Thursday, March 27, 2014

My experience with Burial At Sea Episode 2 summarized with animated gifs

March 25th was practically a goddamn holiday for me because it meant that the final installment of BioShock: Infinite's DLC, Burial At Sea Episode 2, would be available for download. The conclusion of Elizabeth's story (which took a rather interesting turn in Part 1 that left me with a lot of feelings) was nigh and it would be grand! Not gonna lie: I traded my usual Kermit-flailing for a variety of different happy dances.




(Okay, I can't move like Leo, but whatever -- you get my point.)

Jeremy and I got started, and I was immediately pulled in because damn -- even though Irrational had released a snippet that showcased some of the things I was seeing, it was INTRIGUING. We were now in Elizabeth's shoes! ELIZABETH'S SHOES!!! How would her ability to open tears impact gameplay? Surely, it was going to be hella dope. (Nope...)


But there was that thing that was revealed very early on.


From there, things were still interesting enough to keep me engrossed/curious about where it was all going to go, but it started going downhill.


Then came that one thing that was fucking HORRIFYING.



Not long after that came... the end...? Seriously?






Buuuuuut, at least I got my Lutece fix, so there's that.





All gifs courtesy of giphy, except for that last one, which came from http://the-lutece-tear.tumblr.com/

Monday, March 17, 2014

Contributing versus condemning: a late-night ode to being annoyed with sexist comments and questionable logic

Hi. I'm terribly sleepy, but I'm a writer and I write about things that are on my mind. (Usually.)

Every time I sit down to watch (fighting game) tournament streams, I see something like this:

You'll probably have to enlarge this. Sorry.

Every.

Damn.

Time.

Like... I turned on the Ultimate Marvel stream for Final Round 17, was called away for a little while, and when I came back this was literally the first thing I saw. It's no secret that sexism tends to really stand out in the FGC (fighting game community) because of how especially male-dominated the scene is, but goddamn. This girl (Persia) knows her shit; the comments when she's off-screen are usually bad enough: jeers about how Sp00ky only has her on mic because it's "politically correct," or other such things like that. But then she's shown for, like, two minutes tops, and even though she's clearly well-established and very knowledgeable, the stream monsters go haywire with misogyny and stupidity. I like that one guy that's saying not to fuck with her, though --  kudos to him.

Somebody on Twitter told me that by capturing and tweeting this image I'm giving it more life than it deserves, and am therefore contributing to the problem; I'm giving the people who say those things attention. To me, that sounds too much like another way of saying, "ignore it and they'll stop."

And, while I sort of see what this person was possibly maybe trying to say I have to disagree. Under such logic, ignoring violent crime will deter criminals because they're not getting attention. Condemning a behaviour sure as hell isn't the same as promoting it, and talking about/acknowledging an issue that has already been touched on by others before me doesn't necessarily mean that it's being perpetuated (though I can see how, in some cases, it could be).

Nevertheless, I'm tired, my finger has just started bleeding everywhere, and seeing these stupid comments over and over and over again is getting old.

Fucking gorps.

Friday, January 31, 2014

"With My Eyes Closed"

Five years ago today, I was jarred from sleep by the worst, most horrifying noise I have ever heard in my life. I can't immediately recall it, which is probably for the best, and words can't really do it justice: it was this... "shriek" I guess. Like I said, words won't do much to truly describe the sound.

I literally jumped out of bed; it was around 4:30 in the morning and pitch-black in the apartment. I thought that, maybe, a then two-year old Midget had gotten lost in the dark on her way to our bedroom or something, but I quickly discovered that wasn't the case. Slightly confused, but still in fight-or-flight mode, I flipped on a light and spotted the source of the noise.

One of our two cats, Nagi, was very clearly in some kind of respiratory distress. I felt along his chest, his belly, and I even stuffed a finger in his mouth (ewww...) to see if he was choking on something, but there were no discernible signs of anything that could be causing harm anywhere. In that moment I was completely helpless; even though I had all sorts of animal training under my belt I couldn't figure out what was going on. But even if I had come up with something, it wouldn't have mattered -- he was dead within two minutes.

Even though I can totally wrap this up without extra details, I feel like I should provide some sort of background on the Little Man With the FACE to better express why today's date gets to me so much. I mean, other than waking up to the sound of death, because I don't think one could ever truly forget such a thing. 

Nagi was born in my parents' basement when I was seventeen. (Seventeen. Holy shit.) He and I got on well enough, but he ultimately chose Jeremy as his person, which was nothing short of adorable. Nagi was a good cat: He liked tomatoes, and, as a kitten, he would HAUL ASS to get to Jeremy when he was called -- so take that, Tokyo. (As he got older he became much less spastic when responding to Jeremy's call, but the fact remains that he would always come.) He once swallowed a small chicken bone that fragmented and had to be surgically removed from his GI tract, which sucked, but makes for a somewhat amusing tale about the medical staff being unreasonably afraid of the guy. He would happily stand at the door to greet us when we each got home from work, smelled great (he always smelled of Jeremy's cologne or some kind of soap and/or deodorant), never once pooped outside of the litter box, and took to sleeping by my side after C-chan died.

Moving along, Nagi developed asthma about six-months before he died. Every now and then he would let out a little cough/wheeze, but, other than that, he had a clean bill of health. He was a little fat, and he was definitely lazy, but he was always bright-eyed and never showed any signs of having a serious illness (nothing ever showed up in his routine lab work, either). So, the question on everybody's mind was, "What HAPPENED?"

My former boss (the doctor at the local veterinary clinic) volunteered to perform a necropsy for me to determine the cause of death, and what he discovered was astounding. The source of the wheezing was not asthma; instead, a lobulated, cavitated mass -- called a thymoma (a tumor of the thymus gland) -- the size of his fist had grown behind Nagi's sternum. It appeared to have ruptured and bled out. Or, in simpler terms:

A tumor the size of an adult male's fist basically exploded in his chest.

That would be sort of metal if it wasn't so goddamn horrible.

Five full years later, and it still sucks. If Nagi were still alive, he would be a little over thirteen years old, which kind of blows my mind a little bit. He would probably be in my laundry basket right now, or maybe on the sofa, or, maybe even chasing Retard Cat up and down the house in a "WHO'S THE MASTER??!?!" (Sho'nuff!) kind of way. But, what sticks out most, is that all of us would have had time to prepare for the inevitable and actually say goodbye.

Fuck. 

Where did I put my Kleenex...?


----



Note: I couldn't really fit this into the main body of my post, but I feel it necessary to mention that a couple of friends bought me a bouquet of flowers to express their condolences. They were really pretty (the flowers, I mean. Not that those friends aren't, or whatever.), and that gesture totally trigger the feels because it was so thoughtful. If you ever read this, thanks again because that was awesome.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

One month in and 2014 can already eat a bag of dicks

I wanted my first post of the new year to be optimistic and full of joy; perhaps a number about new opportunities, and "here's hoping that 2014 will treat us better than '12 and '13 did!" or some shit, but an extremely unfortunate and catastrophic event has occurred, thus derailing any such train of thought:


That's right -- we have kicked off the year by being hit in the face with extremely sudden unemployment. U4iA Games was shut down without any notice whatsoever; everyone went to work in the morning, did their thing, and were thanked for it by a company-wide memo that said they were done. The way the company went about it, and the lack of any sort of compensation (or even a goddamn warning) is bullshit. They were basically like, "BYE," and that was it. To say that there's a healthy amount of rage surrounding this thing can't even come close to accurately describing the feelings surrounding the situation. Honestly, I have been in a near-constant state of nausea since it happened; I think about what happened, and I crunch our numbers (because, you know, we still have to pay for things), and then I feel like throwing up.

Jeremy, of course, is more than a little raw, but he's a much nicer, stronger person than I am, so he's dealing with this as best as he can: by staying productive and finding humour in little things.



Though, you have to admit, that is kind of funny...

Friday, November 15, 2013

My experience with Burial At Sea summarized with animated gifs

I think a lot of people know that I've fallen hard for BioShock Infinite. My current Twitter avi (the Lutece twins), and the almost nonsensical tweets and FB updates (it's hard to come across as sane when trying to keep things vague and spoiler-free) have been totally Infinite-centric. I can't help it; I think it's fantastic, and I just finished my own personal play through this week. (I watched Jeremy play through it a couple of times earlier this year, when he tackled the Main Campaign in Normal mode followed by 1999 mode.)

Nevertheless, the first story-related DLC for it, Burial At Sea Episode 1 came out this week, so, naturally, I was fucking stoked.


Then, there was the "new" Elizabeth, who's a total 180 from who she was in Infinite's main story.


And, then, there was that ending, which, was definitely shocking...



But not as HOLY SHIT as I had been led to believe. So, there was some quiet contemplation, and then, at two in the morning, the absolute horror of the events that unfolded really started to kick in.




Then came some renewed analysis of BioShock Infinite's main ending:





And, now, the wait for Episode 2...



All gifs courtesy of gif-central. I own nothing!