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Everything posted by Amadeus

  1. Huh. A little ways into Ross's explanation of the backstory, I found myself thinking of Cave Johnson. I swear I could hear GLaDOS humming from somewhere below the track, too.
  2. Deus Ex is probably one of my favourite games of all times, so any comments I make will probably be at least a little bit tinged by fan-boyism. But as far as non-lethal and pacifist styles go, I played it the way I think I would have done in real life. That is, if I'm in law enforcement and go in to take down terrorists, I'm not there to kill them. I'm there to neutralize, apprehend and investigate. If I go rouge for the reasons laid out in Deus Ex, I would refuse to kill or seriously injure my former colleagues. On the other hand, when people like Majestic 12 show their faces AND kill my brother, all bets are off. I would not desire to kill them, I would avoid it if I could. But since they force me into a position where A) it is morally impossible for me to let them continue their operations and B) I'm at such a disadvantage that I can't deal with them in a civilized manner I would use lethal force against them. The prime defining aspect of the awesomeness of Deus Ex, for me, is that it immersed me so much that I wanted to stick to these principles.
  3. Kinda wish people would just say outright that they don't want to hang out with you, instead of running this hollow say-the-right-phrases-racket... and then get offended when you call them out on it. Seems to me that it either means they don't know what a mirror is, or they're implicitly insulting my intelligence and I don't which one annoys me more.
  4. It might just be a matter of semantics and choice of words, but to me this attitude has always sounded kind of strange. For one, choice and situations playing out differently is part of the soul of games like The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. For another, of course they're glorified story books! But you make that sound like it's a bad thing, which I don't understand. Or rather, I would like to call the ones I've played a novel take on story books and story telling, introducing a new level of investment in the narrative. Take something like The Path. While a skilled author can certainly evoke a similarly haunting atmosphere (The fall of the house of Usher comes to mind), the simple fact that it's my choice to lead the sisters, one after the other, off the path and into the forest lends it an extra quality that I love. Inviting you to simply stop and enjoy, as well as the promise of a real reward for emotional investment. Now that's what selling me on these games.
  5. So I walked into this thread not even quite knowing what the words meant, so I googled and found this article: http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/317795/the-top-10-interactive-games-for-story-lovers In essence, they put Telltale Games' The Walking Dead as an example, so I went "Boom, yes, done, sold, I'm a life long fan of this genre". I think I'd like to put Tale of Tale's game The Path in this same category, which is another game that I love. To me, these games represent a true evolution of the concept of literature. The way Telltale Games, for example, utilizes the game mechanic of time limits on your replies in dialogues along with long stretches of game time between save checkpoints in order to force you to play according to your gut instinct is an amazing artistic possibility. Add in the superb quality of the writing in several of these games and, well, like I said - I'm a fan. I'll actually try taking the time to check out a few of the titles mentioned here!
  6. Most of all I think I want to say "Nice catch, Ross!". Quite enjoyable, it feels like there's potential for a lot more fun stuff and I think you could have a loads of fun with various guests in this format. Here's to hopin' for more!
  7. You guys have been amazingly helpful when my sketchy memory has failed me before, so I was thinking maybe someone here could help me out again? Years ago I saw a hilarious video with a guy doing a stand-up routine while playing guitar. The theme was that every single melody he ever got to play ended up in the same bloody thing. One of the key punchlines was "The violas got beautiful melodies, which just shouldn't happen". I think it may have been recorded at some sort of ceremony, like a graduation or something. The guy did seem like he could be a college graduate, but I'm not sure at all. Is this enough to jog the memory of anyone here?
  8. I'd revert back to the #1 rule and don't panic. If you suddenly found yourself compulsively believing that snow is, in fact, cereal frosting?
  9. I think I may be partially on Enguzrad's side in the last exchange - maybe this is one way to phrase it: I would say that what we refer to as meaning in this context is contingent upon there being one or more mind/s. A rock lying on the ground, by itself, holds no meaning. However, to a bug it might make for a cozy hiding spot. To a hiker it might make for something fun to kick, or a memento that for the rest of her life will always remind her of the most amazing trip she ever took. The meaning of the rock is not an attribute of the rock itself, it is something ascribed to it by a creature with some sort of rudimentary faculties for experience, feeling and possibly even thought. Thus the meaning does, in a very real sense, cease to exist once the mind that gave rise to it ceases. And for my part I am still quietly waiting for any grand religious claim to know of some sort of "universal meaning" to meet its rather staggering burden of proof.
  10. ...gnomes... they're everywhere... holding their little fishing rods... no escape... If you could live out your deepest, darkest desire involving a bulldozer, what would it be?
  11. I didn't know you had hired me... (I'm in that exact position) Oh dear heavens, it's international. Well, but of course it is. Why wouldn't it be? Are you actually forbidden to work, or have they devised something more creative in order to be grade A douchebags?
  12. Man, a good instrument in your hands, that goes beyond words. Excuse a guitarists (who don't have English as first language!) but when you said hollowbody bass I first thought about one of the big ones, like in a symphonic orchestra - is that what you're talking about? I remember the very first time I got my hands on my ESP flying V. Looks and black glistening finish aside, it was love from first power chord. Fuck, I'm so frustrated with a lot of people today. They seem hell bent on manufacturing problems out of thin air for no reason whatsoever. Today I hired a guy, highly skilled and motivated, who for lots of insanely stupid bureaucratic reasons haven't found a job in more than a year. And I know there are hundred others like him just strewn out across the landscape, wasting their lives and draining tax payer's money. Not by their choice but because of rules and governmental incompetence. In other words, for NO GOOD REASON WHAT SO FUCKING EVER! Sorry, this whole thing just... gah.
  13. Make a hobby out of downing a cocktail of various contagions in front of people and then go "See, completely safe". ...if you found a gnome wearing a red hat and nothing else in your bedroom closet?
  14. On a forum like this, I'm pretty sure there will be one or two people who love a good story - whether it be books, around the campfire, computer games, movies or other forms. So maybe someone also recognizes this little conundrum: Once you've, for example, read a story it's often very difficult to recapture that first time feeling again. I have a pretty good memory, largely by training, but sometimes I hate it. Once I've gone through a story, even massive ones like Asimov's entire Foundation series, The Witcher or Dragon Age Origins, they're kind of like empty shells to me. As much as I love rereading, the way my mind keeps skipping ahead at crucial points in the story is really damn annoying. For sure, this is an extremely comfortable type of first world problem, but it can be nice to talk a little about those sometimes too. So, anyone else want to join in lamenting the loss of that first read? Or is there someone who has some clever little tip on how to willfully forget, perhaps? Thoughts on stories you'd particularly want to experience for the first time again? I know if I could forget and then immediately reread Ursula le Guin's books about Ged and the Earthsea, I would in a jiffy.
  15. So, I looked up the Christmas pickle thing and I can now say that yes, yes I do believe it's a German tradition. Indeed. Is anyone else still kind of stunned at what the whole concept of a comic book movie has turned into the last five years or so? The Avengers, The Dark Knight...
  16. Yes, that was it! It's been bugging me for a while now; I just remembered these bits and pieces but couldn't for the life of me remember where I'd seen it. Thanks a lot!
  17. Hey, I was wondering if perhaps someone savvy in the ways of machinima could help me out identifying a particular series? It's been a while since I saw it and I only remember bits and pieces - and the fact that it was... special. So, I'll try to summarize as many helpful details as possible: The setting and characters are Team Fortress 2. There isn't much dialogue. I think the first episode was about a Doc from one team and a Femscout from the other having some sort of romance. I think there was a rose involved. Then a lot of stuff happens. A bunch of characters from each team go off and form a black team, under the lead of the renegade Doc. They set up a list of rules for their new team, being all revolutionary. Then a bunch of robot versions of the characters show up and start causing trouble. Hm. I seem to recall something about a pretty well done lesbian love story, possibly involving a Fem Sniper. I think there was an episode taking place in a winter landscape, with some people in a van. And then there was one at a tropical island and a pirate ship. So... does this ring a bell with anyone?
  18. I guess. It was just so completely out of left field. I mean, I've stood beside the guy in a nasty bar brawl and the only panicky thing about him then was what he caused in anyone getting too close. But, I guess matters of the heart really do play in a league of their own.
  19. I hope the doc's recommendations work, Alyxx. That sounds like a right pain to be dealing with. The damnedest thing happened with a buddy of mine today and I just have to ask around a little to see if anyone else has ever experienced something like this. Just to set the stage, my buddy - let's call him Greg - is a pretty stable guy. Seriously, under pressure and when things heat up, he's the guy you want around. He was in a pretty bad car accident once and didn't really do much more than yell a few bad words at the idiots who hit him and then, figuratively of course, just shrugged and walked away. So, me and Greg was over at his place today, just hanging out. I was doing some leftover work and he was texting with a potentially special lady friend. Now, maybe I should mention a couple more things about Greg: He's very intelligent, very kind and slightly socially inept. Not in any major way, just a little bit off and don't always react to things the way you'd expect. Like today. Holy crap, like today. So, he was composing a message that was supposed to be really sweet. It actually was, but the wording unfortunately could be misconstrued as a rather nasty insult. So he sends it, reads it again and immediately sends off an apology and then Bizarre Central Network started their main broadcast for the day. She doesn't reply and he starts freaking out, but in a very Greg sort of way. He doesn't say anything, but his face becomes this rather fascinating high speed time lapse of the various stages of panic. Then he starts sweating profusely, like, I can see it. Then his eyes start glacing over and I get the distinct feeling he can't hear what I'm saying (which at this point amounts to various versions of "hey, dude, are you OK?"). He said later that his ears started ringing so bad he couldn't hear anything. And then he keels over. Literally, just sort of a hinge like motion centered around the waist, toppled over and fell out of the chair. At this point, I have to admit, I'm standing there like a moron, staring and wondering what fucking universe I just stepped into. A few seconds pass. Then he opens his eyes and looks around. And then does the Gregiest type of Greginess that Greg ever Greged. He stands up, shakes his head and says "I'm alright". And he seemed to be. No visible ill effects, no slurred speech, no racing pulse (yes, I checked), no hyper-ventilating, no decent aftermath of any visible kind. Eight hours later and I'm kind of questioning whether I imagined the whole thing. He just scoffed at the idea of calling a doctor and since there didn't seem to be any more drama forthcoming in the next three hours I was there (other than him getting mildly annoyed that I wouldn't stop bothering him about it - I think he was a bit embarrassed) I just kind of let it drop. Have any of you ever experienced something like this? Should I be worried about him? Or should I just assume it never happened and it's me who's in need of a quiet room with padded walls?
  20. That's some sweet lighting you got going on there, Jeb. I'm just an amateur with a basic course in Blender, but at least I've learned to appreciate other people's work. I'll probably lose a lot of nerd cred for asking, but is that bot from some game/movie or is it your own design? OT: I've been feeling rather torn, lately. I have this colleague. She's smart. She's quick. She's reliable. She's real fun to talk to. I don't know precisely when I started thinking about her more or less constantly, but there it is. Thing is, she kind of has a boyfriend, that she's broken up with but still lives together with, out of convenience. And sure, of course there's an element of jealousy to it when I say this, but that guy, well... let's just say, for tuppence I'd happily hit him around the head with a shovel and bury him under a compost heap in the light of the full moon. Charming, good looking and just downright mean. The way sometimes he talks to her and treats her, it drives me up a fucking wall. But I don't know, we're colleagues, how much can I actually say? I feel like we have this absolutely awesome professional relationship where we keep feeding of eachother's energy and drive the other to improve. On the one hand, I want to speak up, I want to just say that she deserves way better than what she has. I want to say how much I enjoy her company and how fun it is to see her develop through the work we're doing and all that corny stuff. On the other hand, I don't know if I have the right to or really what's the deal with that other guy. Damn it. First time in seven years I've been seriously interested in someone and OF COURSE I have to come blundering into it like this.
  21. Well, nothing exciting on my part. Just your everyday hetero, stereotypical guy. Although, for the life of me, I've never been able to actually understand why so many people make such a fuss if someone happens to be, for example, homo or trans. Live and let live. I may not be interested when another guy flirts with me, but the times it has happened it was still flattering. As for how vocal trans people are, it's just like with everyone else. There may very well be a number of them around you in your life and you will never know. Still, there are legitimate reasons for speaking up. In my awesomely civilized country, we were actively working to remove their traits from the gene pool up until quite recently. No joke, as a prerequisite to be granted permission(!) to legally and biologically change your gender, you had to provide proof that all your possible ways of procreation - such as frozen sperm - had been eliminated. It may be a silly notion, but I don't really mind trans people raising a finger about that.
  22. I'm not an American, but seeing as I spend a lot of my waking time educating people in ages ranging from eight to forty, I can't help but feel somewhat drawn to a thread like this. Right out of the gates I have to comment about the perspective on achievement-based education. My own approach to my job could very well be described with those exact words. I'm not all that interested in how long it takes my students to learn. Within reason, of course. My only interest is that they learn and retain their knowledge. To me, the great nemesis for a long time has been my own nation's widespread belief that it's more important that everyone finish a particular segment at a particular age, rather than whether people can actually read, write and do math. But it's fascinating how words can turn around and bite you. When I hear the words "achievement based learning" I think of putting all focus on whether my students have learned and actually understood something about algebra and mechanics. What she's talking about sounds like a gods damn horror show. Honestly, from about the eleven minute mark this starts sounding like straight up conspiracy ideas for a movie script. I'm sorry, I'm gonna need some more corroborating evidence that this is even true before I'll believe it. I'm not saying it isn't true, just that this is so far out there that we're into extraordinary claim, extraordinary evidence territory. I find it highly confusing that the occurrence of multiple levels among students in the same group should be such a problem. That's a normal day for me. The nature of the groups I work with is that the level can vary quite dramatically from one person to the next. My way of dealing with that is to know the subjects I teach and know them really fucking well. When someone surges ahead, it's my responsibility to make sure there are new challenges for them to take on. When someone falls behind, it's my responsibility to identify the gaps in their knowledge base and assist them in catching up. Sure, it takes some snap decisions and thinking on your feet to make it work, but it's really not such a difficult concept. Just make sure you stand firmly with both feet in your professional knowledge, take an interest in your students' successes and setbacks and go from there. I don't know, this whole video just left me really confused.
  23. Concerning the comments about depression above, I do feel it might be a good idea to share this one: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.se/2013/05/depression-part-two.html See, true clinical depression is essentially a number of very important signal substances in your brain - not least serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine - getting into a serious imbalance. The blog post above has a perfect summary of when it truly hits the lethal stage - "I don't want to kill myself, I just don't want to be alive anymore". And once you get into it, it can spiral horrendously quickly. My personal bout with it was when a friend came down with it, and came down hard. His point of realization was when he couldn't fulfill a promise to go get a liter of milk at the store around the corner. He knew he should be able to. Just a hundred meters to walk. Hardly costs a thing. He didn't really have anything more pressing to do. But it didn't happen. Thing is, when someone is at that point, positive and hopeful words about how wonderful life is may be exactly the wrong thing to say. He knew he had a good life. He knew he should be happy. The fact that he couldn't be only contributed to a vague sense of shame whenever someone pointed it out. Look, I'm not saying you shouldn't try to cheer up sad people. But I do think it's worth being mindful about the fact that there's a very real difference between being sad and having a depression.
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