Friday, May 10, 2013

In which I bungee jump into the Inferno.

Not Shown: the safety line I'm wearing.
--- 1 ---
Long week, high energy - exactly my sort of thing. I've been putting in extra time at work while I can, in order to build up some sort of protection for while I can't. It's one of those lessons you can have academic understanding of long before you've actually absorbed it. My go-to solution for cash flow problems has always been to leverage my somehow -exemplary credit. Rather than have to dig myself out of that hole over and over again, it would be better if I could absorb my own nest-egg first.

That's the theory, anyway. In practice, I usually just work hard to play hard. More on that, perhaps, at another time.

--- 2 ---
My work with Sl33k Studios has slowed down considerably  and that's because that's work that can only charitably be described as such. It took my tank log videos and my own independent let's plays with it.

As it happens, that's largely to do with today's first Quick Take, but is also comes from one of my larger weaknesses: Drafting.

See, I went ahead for the Sl33k series with recording about four episode's worth of material - around an hour of play, as it happens. Because I was recording live, I wasn't saving especially frequently, because I didn't want to cut each save, and I also didn't want to have to play around too much with dubbing in post.

I ran a benchmark on the video beforehand, liked the results I got on the raw footage, and then I went ahead with the recording. Sadly, once you've run the footage through my editing software, it's got some funky lighting and sound issues that the new settings were supposed to fix.

The next episode is going to be more of that bad footage, since I don't have 4+ hours to spend getting back to where I was, then editing the footage. And you're just going to have to deal with that.

Jesus was a Big Damn Hero, if you ask Pilate.
--- 3 ---
So, I'm Catholic, or so they tell me. In actual fact I'm probably either a heretic or a protestant given my interpretation of the New Covenant and the rather haphazard and cavalier way I separate social justice from moral justice. However, the fact that I'm a lapsed Catholic certainly gets a lot of play at work (I made the mistake of mentioning it once while working with the most honest atheist I've ever known), and I get a lot of questions.

One of those co-workers caught wind of my habit of hopping onto a Battlefield 2 server over the lunch break while particularly frustrated, and blowing things up. The same habit applies to other games of war - most of them strategy games, rather than shooters. What's more, my RPG gaming habits are also fairly open, which lead to a good question:

"How does a Christian of any kind justify playing violent games?"

This is really just a continuation of the Video Games Breed Violence argument more than anything else, and as usual, I'm moving the goalposts and claiming the match - it is not necessary to justify violent video games.

How do I make this determination? Well, it's actually rather simple. I'm a marskman, a trained one, and I have a fair amount of bushcraft experience too. Any game, no matter how realistic, doesn't even begin to approach the realities of the situation being presented. I can no more pilot an A-10 the way I do on my favourite series of flying sims than I can throw an 80-pound gear bag over my shoulder and fight a pitched battle after several miles forced march. Nobody, on the Christian Right or the Satirizing Left, has ever argued that games of war breed violence and therefore chess must be banned.

I enjoy first-person shooters. I don't play them particularly extensively, because until recently I've not had a good system to play them on, and since then I haven't had much of a budget to obtain new ones. FPS games are good exercises for reflex and perception. Particularly as the games inject more and more realism into their framework, they're a useful mental exercise. I like MMORPGs and RTS games because they help me get over my problems with multi-tasking, and a like flight sims, both wartime and peacetime, because it lets me experience things I've never experienced and probably never will. That, and physics.

The actual flavour of the games doesn't matter. For the styles of games I enjoy, war is a useful flavour, but they aren't the mechanism. Chess is as good a mental exercise as turn-based strategy games, which could easily be about running a restaurant or something.

The next time someone asks you how video games could be moral, ask them if they like football.

--- 4 ---
There is a bird, at work, who has taken a shine to me, and I've taken a shine to him. This actually isn't a photo of him, simply of a close cousin - this Pineapple Conure is the best photo I have that relates to a Sun Conure.

I want him. I don't want the expense of him, though, so I'll probably never get him. But it's worth noting that apparently I'm not as full of hate for birds as I thought. The intelligent ones are very fun.

--- 5 ---
The internet still seems firmly convinced I'm a woman, in spite of occasional protests to the contrary. Normally, this is amusing, and I leverage it more-or-less to my benefit when making arguments surrounding the basic idea of equal and full rights for everyone.

At the moment, it's actually annoying, as I have begun to accumulate a rather large amount of spam and ad traffic surrounding everything from breast cancer to bras.

Is that really what the internet thinks I would give a damn about just because I happened to wear the latter? I'm a guy - why isn't my inbox stuffed with ads for Pakistani knockoff Viagra and boxers?

Oh, wait....

I hate the internet.

--- 6 ---

--- 7 ---
Oh, and I got a bike. It was a (very) early birthday present, nearly two months early in fact, but it's well appreciated. As is the subject of much quiet ridicule, I've never learned to drive, and during the summers I rarely seem to think about the issue or have any real desire to operate a motor vehicle.

It does very well, doesn't it?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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