Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Five things I want to do in video games

For me the biggest problem with video game is serving size. So many games require almost 100 hours to complete, with all the side quests, collections, and even the story itself! Because of that I've never hit 100% on any game, since I have things like a female and I'm getting an education. While most things in games I have no problem skipping (Who can get all those stupid Riddler trophies?), some I'd like to see if I can get.
Since this list is only five long I actually did order them sequentially this time so feel happy that the thing I want to do most is number one in case you really really wanted to know.

5: Beat one of the survivor modes on a fighter game
I like fighter games, but only if they have super heroes I've heard of before and/or Pikachu. Each one though has a challenge mode where you have to get through all the characters one by one without healing, and I can rarely get through it without switching the game to "easy for a deer to play" mode. I'm not the BEST at these fighting games, but I don't ALWAYS button smash...

4: Collect all the characters in a Lego game
I'm convinced that the Lego video game franchise isn't about Legos exactly. Sure, everyone is made of Legos but that's more of a general style than a plot point anymore. I think what Lego games are really about are letting you play your favorite characters from different franchises in a way that's fun and childish that doesn't need top of the line graphics. Each game has every major character, minor character and random tangentally connected guy in their universe as unlockables. What's disappointing is that most of the unlocked characters are just palette swaps of the characters you unlock in the story so gameplaywise they're isn't much point to it except to play the levels you just finished playing with a different characters to unlock more stuff. Still would be cool to play Lego Marvel again with Deadpool though.

3: Play one Civilization game from beginning to end
This is the game series where you start out with a group of villagers and advance until your flying spaceships to Alpha Centari, so it's long because you're basically playing all of human history. It's incredibly fun, but it takes endless hours to get through a game, even on the lower settings, so it's easy to get distracted. I'd still like to win this thing one day.

2: Watch a Sim live out its entire lifespan
This isn't just from when I drop them into a neighborhood and make them get into fights with the neighbors. I want to have a Sim make a Sim, raise it, watch it go to school, go to college, move out, get a job, fall in love, marry, make their own Sim, then die. Call me the most boring gamer on the planet but I think it would be fun, and I hear trying the real thing is fun too!

1: Collect all the Pokemon
We are now up to over 700 Pokemon in this franchise, and each one has its own way to level up. Since I've convinced several friends to buy 2DS's with me and play the latest game I honestly think I may be able to get this thing, however if I'm ever found passed out and malnourished with my game in one hand and my stuffed Charmander in the other you know what happened.

I would say that I wish my list was longer, but I actually don't. I like video games, but so many of them are either so incredibly long or the stuff you can do is so incredibly needless that it's hard for me to want to do more than hit the story and move on. Some games I like, some I want to finish, but many I just can't get interested in because it always comes down to the same thing: Would I rather play this video game or go play a board game with my roommate and that gal I'm getting ready to marry? Not many games win this debate.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Hay folks,
Earlier this week I saw a video about a young man being harrassed for bringing a My Little Pony backpack to school and how the school banned his backpack because it was causing a "distraction". I hate bullying and I hate how often the victim is blamed for being bullied, so I made a little video in support of the kid and just sharing some of my views. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dinotopia: One of the awesome parts of my childhood

The other day I was looking for a new background for my new laptop. The problem is I have so many interests and hobbies I can never decide on one for long. My last computer shuffled through over 1,000 images it automatically shuffled through, but since that helped slow it down to a crawl.
Anyway, I went searching for a cool dinosaur pic when I came across a painting I hadn’t seen in almost fifteen years: Dinotopia.
For the uninitiated: Dinotopia is an island where dinosaurs are not only still alive but sentient and live in harmony with humans. The books follow several humans brought to the island by dolphins as they learn about Dinotopian society and history and have fun adventures with their new dino friends.
I’ll be honest, the stories for me were really more of a context for the art. I must’ve checked out every Dinotopia book my elementary school had at least a hundred times. I was a dinosaur kid back in the day (Still am, I go to Vernal’s Dinosaur National Monument anytime I can) so this was right up my alley.
One of the things I loved about Dinotopia was that it’s a utopian society. The entire island is at peace, even the carnivores. When an herbivore senses it’s about to die it wanders into the valley where the meat eaters live and offers itself as sacrifice. Humans live on fish and plants, like the dinosaurs, and spend their time bettering the society. Utopians are hard to find in fiction, since dystopian societies are a greater source of conflicts. There aren’t any villains or massive world-shaking conflicts for the characters to stop. The main stories are usually the characters just exploring the dinosaur’s island, meeting new dinosaurs and learning about the island’s history, and honestly when you’re dealing with a world where dinosaurs will talk to you while happily letting you ride on their backs, a villain will only get in the way.
I mentioned the art before and I’ll mention it again: ART! The illustrations are full paintings with rich detail only a master artist could come up with, and considering we’re talking about people riding pteranadons that’s saying something. The artist James Gurney never seems to think of his subjects as silly or ridiculous, and thus the scenes are always these grand scale pieces emphasizing the beauty of Dinotopia. To me it’s how kids see dinosaurs, big, beautiful, and full of wonder.
This series is a spectacular piece for children and parents alike. The art is perfect. The story is full of hope, beauty and adventure without the usual darkness comes with fiction, and the escapism is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. In the immortal words from Reading Rainbow: “You don’t have to take my word for it…”
We’ll see you next time!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Imagine Dragons

Did you know there's this awesome fantasy-idea painting by Eric Dowdle called Imaginary Dragons? Here's what it looks like:

But really, this post has nothing to do with them. I just liked that the name was similar to a really awesome band with ties to Provo.

That's right: Imagine Dragons. I really love their music. Today, I'm gonna share some lines from some of my favorite songs of theirs and my interpretation of them. Why? Because I can.

My favorite song of theirs is "Underdog." Really, all my life I've felt like an underdog. I'm strong, but not the strongest. I'm smart, but not the smartest. I'm quick, but not the quickest. I'm fat, but not the fattest. (Thank goodness for the last one there.) So when I first heard this song, especially the chorus, I immediately felt a connection to the song:

Hey, that sounds like my luck
I get the short end of it
Oh I love to be
I love to be the underdog, Hey!
Hey, that sounds like my luck
I get the short end of it
Oh I love to be
I love to be the underdog, Hey!

Luck just doesn't roll my way. And I usually root for the underdog. Like this past Super Bowl, I rooted for Seattle, despite them being the underdog. (Ha! They blew Denver out too! Booya!) If my team isn't playing, I quite commonly root that way. Underdogs really do get the short end of the stick sometimes, and it's nice to have someone rooting for them, helping them. 

Here is the second verse of "On Top of the World":

I’ve tried to cut these corners
Try to take the easy way out
I kept on falling short of something

I coulda gave up then but
Then again I couldn’t have ’cause
I’ve traveled all this way for something

I take it in but don’t look down

I love those lyrics. I see the singer referring to taking the easy way out and learning that it isn't really "easy" at all. And it's a beautiful imagery of "I've taken the easy way, and it hasn't worked. But I'm not giving up, because I need to see this through." Just awesome.

And finally, I wish to share some lines from Demons, which to me is classified as a "beautiful song." For those wondering what I classify as beautiful, take a listen to Demons, compare it to Beneath Your Beautiful as well as Madness. Demons falls in a category with them.

I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

I don't think the singer is referring to the evil inside of him, like a monster that will hurt another. I see the singer trying to protect somebody else from his demons. But really, he's just trying to protect himself from the rejection he may feel from others. Letting the walls down, letting others close to see the demons, giving them that opportunity to accept you for what you hide, that's the beauty I see in this song.

Well, enough of that. Last week was a long one. And to add to it, I have a new calling that will be eating a lot of my time. So hopefully I'll be able to continue to blog. Until then...

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.