James Martini archive

Tag : Gaming (4)

Game on

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Published on: January 18, 2013

fitocracyIt being a new year I thought about doing the standard resolution thing but that’s never really worked for me. I stick with things for about a month and then slide back into my old habits. A couple years ago I’d talked with my friend Clint regarding reframing lifestyle and fitness goals as a game but my initial implementation lacked the feedback mechanisms of a true game so it didn’t kick off the usual OCD obsessiveness with which I approach accumulating achievements in the various MMOs I’ve played. I’d created my own Achievements page but, again, didn’t have the feedback mechanisms in place to motivate my inner, lever pushing, monkey.

A few days ago, Jyllian, wonderful woman that she is, pointed me at HabitRPG. Someone else had a similar idea but implemented it in a much better way. The reddit thread on it also reminded me of Fitocracy which has a similar level/achievement based approach motivation so I spent some time today at lunch setting both up. HabitRPG will be used to gamify behaviors that I want to promote and avoid while Fitocracy will be used to deal specifically with the physical fitness and diet goals.

Lets see if the habits developed in decades of gaming can drive changes in Real Life.

//also, i get xp for blogging :)

Elves: A rant

Categories: Gaming
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Published on: October 18, 2011

I’ve always been annoyed by elves, particularly J.R.R. Tolkein’s elves. I never spent much time analyzing why they get under my skin the way they do but I had an epiphany this evening. I realized why I’d probably start punching elves in the face ten minutes if I ever found myself in one of their hauntingly beautiful cities.

Lets look at what they have going for them

  1. Beautiful – you never read about a homely elf, they’re all ethereal and beautiful
  2. Live practically forever – barring accident the either never die or live a ridiculously long time
  3. Good health – they’re usually immune to disease and the complaints of mere mortals. Seriously, when did you ever read about an elf complaining about their sciatica?
  4. Good at everything – I guess if you can spend twenty years perfecting the G chord on your mandolin you can’t help but be ridiculously good at whatever you set your mind to learning.

So what’s not to like? Well, lets take a look.

They’re vaguely racist . Elves pretty much reek of condescension. The lowest elf on the garland wrapped pole still knows that he’s going to outlive just about anyone else and in better health. Sure they’ll smile and be polite but it’s the politeness adults afford to the three year old who has wandered into the conversation.

They’re lazy. Orcs come in and burn down one of your mystic towers? Tree spirits forbid that you actually, oh I don’t know, rebuild it. No, a better use of your time is to spend the next fifty years writing a song about how beautiful it was. Which brings me to their mortal sin…

They’re emo hipsters. The thing that absolutely sets my teeth on edge about Tolkien’s elves is that they are irredeemably wrapped up in how things just aren’t as cool as they used to be.  You think the ruins of this vast decaying elf city deep in the heart of the forest are beautiful? You should have seen it back when humans were still inventing fire and cracking each other over the head with rocks. Nothing is as good as it was and so they spend their timeless, endless youth sighing about how cool things were before your civilization was even founded. That was my epiphany, they live in a constant state of nostalgia.

Barring accident or violence they live their functionally eternal lives, enjoying permanent youth, vigor and beauty complaining about how the sprinkles on their double chocolate sundae existence aren’t quite the right color and the sorrows of knowing that the fallen city of Cuiviénen had sprinkles of just the right shade.

How’s your oatmeal, human? Cold enough?

LOL: Resistance Is Futile

Categories: Gaming
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Published on: September 2, 2011

I was weak. I thought League of Legends looked pretty cool but didn’t want to pick up another game habit with SWTOR just around the corner. Unfortunately I got to talking about it with a friend who was looking for someone to play with rather than grouping with random psychopaths. So I thought, well it’s free, I’ll check it out just to see what all the hype is about ignoring the first rule of dealing with a dealer: you never accept the first one for free.

I’ve got things I need to do. There are the regular chores, my reading list, writing in this thing, guild related work, the gym, EVE… well, you get the idea. I absolutely cannot add another addictive game into the mix which is why I’m uninstalling League of Legends.

 

 

Just as soon as I’m done with this next match…

Bridging the gulf with EVE

Categories: Family, Gaming
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Published on: August 10, 2011

I never talk to my brother which a lot of people find strange because we’re twins. I don’t really know what it is but  it never occurs to me to pick up the phone and call him. It works the same for him. No big deal really. I love him and sometimes think about him but we never pick up the phone.

EVE OnlineSo one afternoon I posted a random error message from EVE online to my facebook page: insufficient power. About an hour later my brother responded with another warning from EVE online: I cannot set a waypoint to the same location twice. We’d been playing the same online game for years.

A few days later I logged into EVE and had an email from my brother so I added him to my watch list. A couple days after that we happened to be online at the same time and started chatting. Mostly a little catching up but he recommended that I look into joining his corp.

A few days after that I’d applied to and been accepted to his corp. Since then I’ve had more communication with my twin than I’ve probably had in the last five years combined. I know what he’s up to with his college and internship, how things are going with his kids and generally have regular conversations with him via corp chat and our personal channel. I’ll probably get him a headset with a mic for christmas so we can actually talk to each other.

After decades of only rarely speaking I now have frequent chats with Scott and he’s even on board for my guild/social experiment idea in Star Wars: The Old Republic when it launches.

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