Seeing From Beyond the Abyss

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For quite some time, I had been dealing with depression. While I still have moments of doubt, for the most part, stability has been achieved. Even the low moments are relatively high in absolute terms. I’m in a good place, and I want to dissect this journey so that I can perhaps help someone else navigate through their own struggles.

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Plato’s Digital Cave

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Admittedly, summer has been particularly slow in regards to blog content. Perhaps it’s the lazy days of the season that make writing out of reach for me, or possibly because I just didn’t have much going on that warranted a blog post. However, that has changed.

I’m going to talk about World of Warcraft and game addiction. More specifically, my own experiences with the game and what happened as a result.

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Can’t Spin This

fidget-spinner-2329469_1920Now that I’ve managed to recuperate from post-exam exhaustion, it’s time for me to return to the blogosphere. I have a lot to talk about, and today I want to start with something topical.

I have seen the fidget spinner craze, and there’s been a lot of discussion on the toy in question and I want to approach a byproduct of that craze. Shortly after the fad took off, I saw the occasional odd post that voiced outrage at how neurotypicals were taking a toy meant for the disabled and making it impossible for the disabled to use due to the bans put into place after fidget spinners became popular and overused in the classroom.

These posts didn’t sit well with me. While the people who shared them probably┬ájust did so reflexively (which I admittedly find troubling, but somewhat understandable), it was because something unexpected happened.

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A Roadmap For Summer…

I recently received notification that I had earned a handful of followers on the blog, and as a courtesy for both them and for my readers who are already awaiting my return.

Since we’re about a month away from when my academic year ends and summer begins, I can give a ballpark estimate to when I’ll be back. My classes end on May 14th and exams are finished on the 21st. I am not worried about my academic standing, since I am doing just fine.

A few things have changed, and it’s been a hell of a rollercoaster ride this semester, but I have a few things I want to discuss.

The one subject that has generated a lot of buzz for me in my offline life is my experience with friends-with-benefits arrangements. I specifically want to mention this because I saw a lot of people glorifying or romanticizing such a setup. Although I have alluded to it before, I want to give it a full treatment.

I also want to talk about my experience with depression, as I’ve found more and more that a conversation about the subject is urgently needed. Aside from the heavier subjects, I do have a handful of fun things planned!

I have been quietly expanding my collection of board games. I have also gotten into some new tabletop adventures! Other than that, I’ll have an open schedule during the summer. See you then!

An Ode to the Light Gun Shooter

For the most part, I am relatively okay with losing arcades. The arcade experience was something that I like out of nostalgia, but admittedly I also really dig the home gaming experience. There is, however, one thing I do definitely miss.

Remember light gun shooters? Oh man, now those were some good times.

I remember playing a copy of Time Crisis on my PSOne in the good old days of 1997, I still have a disc actually. I had played a handful of light gun shooters before, or at least saw them. But it was Time Crisis that actually got me into the genre.

I also played Virtua Cop and pretty much all of the House of the Dead games (except for 4). I still have to play Time Crisis 5, but that’s probably gonna be a permanent thing unless a port comes out. I haven’t played Razing Storm either, though I did play Crisis Zone.

But, as the arcade went, so too did light gun shooters. Pretty much the only two franchises that are still alive and kicking are Time Crisis and House of the Dead. Everything else has basically gone under.

One of the side benefits of the Nintendo Wii, despite its lack of graphical prowess, was the fact that the Wii Remote was well-suited to light gun games. Indeed, we got House of the Dead: Overkill and the Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles games.

This was important because until then, light guns worked off CRT (big-ass) monitor technology. You had to use a CRT monitor, and even at the time of the Wii they were on their way out.

But that ride had to end, too. All I’ve got left are fond memories. At this point, I’m going to wax nostalgically about both Time Crisis and House of the Dead. For the record, I saw both House of the Dead movies and they were pretty terrible.

Ok, so let’s start with Time Crisis. Time Crisis is, as I was told by an old friend, a “bad action movie simulator”. In terms of plots, they’re pretty terrible and pretty campy. Yet, I enjoy this camp factor, especially in Time Crisis 3 where we got banter from the VSSE agents.

And of course, we got Wild Dog. No matter what happens, he always seems to pull through. He loses his arm after the first game, but it is replaced with increasingly more ridiculous weapons.

In fact, I think the games got more and more campy as they went on. But still, in terms of intense shooting action, you can’t beat it.

But while taking down armies of mercenaries/terrorists/whatever action movie bad guy they’re using is certainly fun, others may want to hone their shooting skills on a less…living target.

Enter the House of the Dead series of games. House of the Dead is known for two things: Shooting zombies and the worst possible voice acting to grace video games. Watching the cutscenes alone is entertainment enough, especially if you’re watching House of the Dead 2’s cutscenes.

House of the Dead 1 and 2 had an emphasis on branching paths which could be triggered by saving hostages or destroying objects in the environment. This was neutered in the third game, where you were given more direct choices that had less of an impact.

I never got to play House of the Dead 4, but I have seen playthroughs. Outside of the numbered games, we have Overkill. That game was so much fun, with a humorous take on grindhouse cinema. Agent G is cast as a rookie teamed up with Isaac Washington, who constantly swears.

There was a Silent Hill rail shooter, but it wasn’t honestly that good. Still, it’s got classic monsters in it.

I must confess, I love the simplicity of the genre. If I have some time, I can just pick it up and play. But, it seems pretty clear that this will have to remain a relic of a forgotten age of games. I have heard of attempts to resuscitate the genre with VR, and if that’s the case, I’d be more than happy to pick that up. Until then, I guess I can watch playthroughs on YouTube.