|Video Game Culture||November 28, 2010, 12:49 pm|
Recently I visited my neighborhood shopping center and stopped in Target to look around and hypothesize gift ideas for Christmas. I'm not one to actually pick out gifts at stores that are what the person would most likely enjoy, but instead look around at the options to get myself to think. I usually prefer to scope out each person's specific interests and come up with some kinda memorabilia to reflect that interest.
But anyway, I was walking around in Target and it didn't really strike me right away, but I was looking around various sections of the store and this obscure observation started to accumulate in credibility as I wandered about. It was something I wasn't really accustomed to growing up. The electronics area of the building occupied almost a quarter of the entire building. This isn't much of a surprise with all the new TV's and movies and the desire to have the best living room, but I noticed a lot of electronics related things seeping into other sections of the store. Around the literature section where they had a list of best selling books, I came across "The Halo Encyclopedia." among the many vampire themed books. When I was looking around the furniture section I walked in on an assortment of "Gaming Chairs" which are chairs that are comfortably laid back and allow for adjustments based on your mode of play, a lot like the driver's seat of a car. Also around the clothing section, I came across a bunch of Call of Duty articles of clothing such as T-Shirts and pajamas, overhearing a couple gazing at them exclaiming "Oh, Jeffery is gonna love this!"
As I was growing up, video gaming wasn't very popular and when I tried to talk about video games to kids at school, or anyone really, they were never really interested. Video gaming seemed like it was something to be ashamed of. I've grown to accept the fact that if I wanted to meet new people, I would need things more interesting to talk about than my favorite video games. I still regret the several years I spent strictly playing the video games I couldn't care less about now that I should have spent doing something productive or memorable. I came to that realization when I entered the work world and became aware of my lack of common sense due to having so few experiences in the real world. I don't think I'm a bad person now because of it, but I think I could have been better if I had realized it much sooner.
Today, it's almost as if habitual gaming is welcomed. I find this to be pretty disgusting. Not that kids are able to openly admit they play video games and talk about it on a regular basis without looking like an outcast, but because as a man who's been predisposed to playing video games growing up, I know there's nothing good that can come of it. Especially with how stupified games are these days, they communicate to the gamer like a fucking moron, spoonfeed them directions, and make multiplayer always fair and balanced, regardless of skill level. This virtual reality doesn't reflect anything in the real world. I don't think video game developers have a duty to fill in a parent's position, but I still think it's wrong to market video games like it's something people can be proud of being addicted to.
|Mapping||November 21, 2010, 11:42 am|
As of late I haven't been churning as many maps out as I used to. There's several people I said I was going to make a birthday map for and I hadn't gotten around to it. I haven't forgotten about you all and will get to it at some point.
I've been having a lot going on at this point. Nothing really bad, just fillers of my time. I've been working full time, I'm training to become manager, I go to school 3 days a week and am already falling behind on homework. I'm also struggling to sever ties with some people and spend more time with others. I'm still stuck in some situations where I can't tell if they are relationships or not and am indecisive on how I want to handle each one.
But anyway, the point is that I can't seem to make as much time for mapping as I used to. I haven't decided to quit mapping. In fact, much the opposite. I WANT to keep mapping. I love mapping and I love being able to document my changes in style and my improvements over time. (It's one of the few things that I have a historical timeline of) I also like to assume that you guys love playing Doom maps as much as I do so I WANT to continue contributing to the Doom community. I'm hoping in the near future I will be able to have some free time to continue doing what I love. During some moments of freetime I've still managed to create some unfinished layouts and such so maybe some day I'll be able to utilize it in my mapping.
I just wanted to keep you guys informed about what i've got going on and how it's been interfering with my consistent mapping pace over the last few months. I don't intend to ever 'leave' being as though I'm so attached to this game. I'll probably continue mapping until I die. At the moment I'm a little overwhelmed with stuff and I seem to be putting off mapping (among other things like a reasonable sleep schedule and having more than one meal a day) because of it. I dunno how long I can take it and hopefully in the near future I'll have some time to breathe so I can make maps again.
|I have a new facebook friend||November 13, 2010, 9:28 am|
|Dedication||November 4, 2010, 4:08 pm|
This semester of college, more so than others, is really opening my eyes and im developing all these negative opinions about everything. I suppose you could call me a hater now that I can hardly be satisfied with the direction ANYTHING is going anymore. I was already pretty angry with a lot of things to begin with, especially knowing that there is very little I can do about most of it, but my writing class has directed me towards a lot of recent literature with speculative opinions about the new generation and how things aren't and never will be as good as they were before. I find myself agreeing with some things and disagreeing with others, and alternatively developing my own opinions based on my own observations.
The more I participate in my Advertising and Promotion class, the more I begin to hate it. Not the class, but the whole concept of marketing in itself. The more I understand marketing the more evidence of it is showing up in almost every type of product or service I get exposed to. I'm coming closer to the conclusion that the purpose of all material things is to make money, not so much to effectively create a solution for a given problem. I remember reading somewhere about how pharmaceutical companies don't develop cures for illnesses, but instead develop temporary medications for them, because it's a business.
I have this lame History of Mathematics class where we study math in its earliest primitive form. At this point in our course, we talked about a great mathematician named Pierre de Fermat. He didn't write his own books, but instead added commentary in the margins of other books. His last theorem, a mathematic equation, x2+ y2 = z2, was correct, but unable to be proven correct until 300 years later in 1993 by Professor Andrew Wiles.
We watched a documentary in class about him. This dude, Andrew Wiles is a pretty goofy lookin' fellow. He has a messy haircut, a big forehead, and he's not very charismatic at all. But when the documentary showed him in front of a whiteboard, he could do math like a machine. It was incredible. According to the documentary, he fled in secrecy, isolated himself in his room for 7 years thinking and handwriting his math problems until he discovered the proof to this theorem. I'm sure any average person who saw this documentary wouldn't really think of him as your typical role model and would think to themselves "Wow what an outcast. He must have a lot of time on his hands."
I have half a mind to go with that same general consensus. I mean, he didn't even get paid for those full 7 years. He knew the proof to that theorem was out there and it was in such high demand by great mathematicians of our time, and that was enough motivation for him to pursue this lost piece of math history. In all honesty, I couldn't give two fucks about math history. But that's not the point I'm getting at.
It's the act of performing actions that benefit people, even an extremely small group of people completely out of passion. Andrew Wiles' dedication to the subject of math proves to be so deep that he doesn't need money to be satisfied with a discovery that he made for the benefit of others. I feel I'm one of the few luckiest people in the world to know that I am part of a community that benefits from entertaining each other for free through using Doom as the medium. We are a rare breed of people who absolutely love this game and it amazes me to see that people are willing to put forth effort in creating great Doom WADs for nothing more than to read people's feedback.
This cannot be said for so much of the commercialized industries such as movies, music, and video games that as of late, have been outputting a ridiculous amount of merchandise with obnoxious prices and less than satisfying end results. It always boils down to money. Artistic value and monumental effort has become so futile that just about anything is completely useless unless its particular qualities can somehow be converted into revenue. People have grown willing to take shortcuts to reduce the amount of effort or fake themselves out of having to create artistic masterpieces as a shortcut to making money. The passion lies in money that is generated through actions, and not the actions themselves.
I've noticed this same pattern in pretty much all material things. It may seem contradictory for me to use things such as cell phones and cars the internet when I hate them so much, but these things became an addiction and held a position in my everyday life before I even realized what they were doing or what purpose their existence served. It's far too difficult for me to call it quits now. We wonder why our country is a trainwreck when we've become so accustomed to the luxuries of having instant communication to anyone in the world, or throwing a $5 bill on a counter and getting a full meal handed to us in 90 seconds.
If you guys are as predictable as I think you are you'll tell me I need to suck it up and just accept a world where it's impossible to do the things I love and still thrive, and just continue to halfass my way to economic prosperity.
|New Stereotype||October 27, 2010, 11:13 am|
I was at the mall walking through a JCPenny to get to my car after visiting a friend of mine while she was at work and I saw some hats that were on sale so I browsed around. Two of the employees, a pair of young guys about my age were talking as they were hanging clothes up back on the hangers. I wasn't totally eavesdropping on their conversation but from I understand one guy is trying to get his girl back after she broke up with him and the other guy was making fun of him for it. He was saying stuff like "Nigga, you so whipped" and "Youre one desperate-ass nigga."
Here's the thing.
The guy who was trying to get his girl back was black, and the guy calling him desperate was white. I guess I haven't been keepin up with the times or something but I was under the impression that white people can't say the N word. I've never really seen anything like it before. The white guy sort of walked off later laughing about the situation to put coat hangers back and I meandered over to the black guy. We made eye contact and I couldn't help but ask out of curiosity "Does.. doesn't it bother you when he calls you that all the time?"
He looked at me like my head was in my ass and says "Man who do you think I am? What, just cuz someone says something that sounds racist to you, I'm the one who's supposed to be offended by it? What do you think I'm just hidin here waiting to jump out and call people racist when I hear someone say nigga once or twice? You one ignorant mothafucka ya know that?"
|Haunted Theme Parks||October 18, 2010, 5:40 am|
This weekend I went to visit my cousin in New Jersey for his birthday, and he had been planning on going out to the "Night of Terror" at a farm called Creamy Acres. The place featured funhouses, haunted hayrides and a few other attractions. This is one of the first halloween themed scary events I've ever attended. I kinda expected not to be thrilled and to be full of cheap scares, and I kinda got exactly what I expected. Still I chose to admire the scenery the best I could.
First I'd like to give credit where credit is due. For a $35 entree fee, you certainly get to see and experience things you wouldn't see at a park that costs $5 to get in. It certainly opened my eyes towards what you're capable of doing as far as creating a place like this. The place was broken up into 6 different attractions all featuring tons of actors that leap out from corners in front of you or chase you from behind. There was also a lot of strobe lighting, fog machines, and mechanical monsters/witches/dragons/whatever.
However, my biggest turnoff was.. thematically, it didn't make any sense. We started off going into this haunted house where the fear being exacerbated was clowns. All kinds of derranged clowns with maniacal laughter with creepy out of tune circus music. Next we went immediately on to the haunted hayride, which a smooth ride on a strict path where we saw robotic dragons breathing fire, zombie farmers jumping on and off our trailer, crazy guys with chainsaws, animated skeletons, and a ton of other stuff. The next part was the Frozen Tundra where we got off and walked through this manmade cave that had abominable snowmen jump out at you. Shortly after that, we entered the Pirate Playground, which was another haunted house with pirate actors jumping out at you, cobwebs, gypsies, etc.
See what I'm getting at? The entire theme park revolved around the theme of being scary, which is a lot like creating a wad with the theme of Doom. Also, each haunted house thing was a strict mazy layout where there was only one set path to go. Admittedly, it was nice knowing that I entered the park and left knowing I didn't miss anything, but the feeling of fear was totally removed from the equation, knowing that the entire experience was completely 'contained' and therefore safe.
My favorite part by far, was this attraction called "Mayhem of Darkness" which started off kinda slow but cooler as we went on. We entered this barn with fake plywood walls to create an extensive snaking hallway, although it was pitch black, with the exception of a few dim flashing lights. There were ominous howling noises and screams and stuff. It didn't feature anything to scare you but the noises were a pretty cool effect. After you get out of the barn, you're immediately dropped off into a cornfield maze, where there are actors hidden behind bushes. If you go into a dead end, an actor will stalk you from behind and leap out at you as you turn around. Unfortunately the maze was horrendously easy to solve and some of the actors didn't really put their heart into their acting. After that maze, you enter another barn with a similar layout to the previous barn, except with chainlink fencing instead of walls, and instead of darkness, there was a really thick fog created from a fog machine. You literally couldn't see more than a foot in front of you, and actors hidden behind the fences didn't even have to really do anything, because you didn't even realize they were there until you were too close to run away.
I guess my gripe with this theme park was that I was expecting more of a cinematic experience, and an important part of many horror movies is to have a lot of unknowns and places to explore. Also if something like this were a horror movie, it wouldn't make any sense. There's like 500 billion antagonists, and you only encounter them one by one and you know that once you pass one you move on to the next one. I think the best approach to creating a really frightening theme park is to make whatever is trying to scare you implied instead of spoonfed to you. Everything was just way too stagey and you basically just walk through the defined path that you know there isn't any real danger. Something scary would need to be ominous. If people were unsure they were going somewhere that is the
"right way," they can't be sure of what horrors lie ahead, if any. Also darkness would need to be used to it's fullest advantage. A lot of their special mechanical monsters were pretty well lit so you could get a good look at them, and in turn, see how horribly robotic they are, doing their one animation. I think if they had created similar monsters that were less detailed hidden in fog or bushes or darkness, it would leave it's scariness totally to the imagination, and how scary it is relies entirely on what you percieve it to be, not what it actually is, which IMO is a stronger.
I'm planning on writing down some kind of a plan to create the ultimate horror-theme-park using ideas I got from this event and my knowledge of making good Doom maps. I was going to inherit many of it's good ideas and set up some kind of nonlinear forest with different trails leading to different attractions so that each can be approached from any direction for a different experience each time. Actors skulking around scaring people, in addition to actors pretending to be tourists getting mauled by other actors. It would rely less on manufactured decorations and electricity and more on naturally aged materials and makeshift decorations that look real even up close. I think it would also be scary to come up with a way to seperate people in a group so that they need to find each other. I'm still in the conception stage but I'm sure I can throw out some more realistic details soon.
|Textng guys.||October 3, 2010, 3:15 pm|
|I try to hang out with girls all the time and girls LOVE to text instead of call. I usually try to hang out with girls more often than guys. I have a few guy friends and a ton of guy acquantances but I usually avoid getting too close and I don't hang out with them as much, though a lot of times I tend to text girls to find out what they're up to and if they wanna do something. It feels like the standard for getting a date going. Ive kinda grown to be accustomed to texting because of it. Is it weird to send guys text messages to see if they wanna hang out? To me it seems like a really girly thing to do.|
|Why I listen to grindcore||August 1, 2010, 3:01 pm|
Before I start this blog, I just want you guys who are reading this to know that I'm partially writing this for myself, so that I can express in words my interest in this particular genre of music that I can't seem to find anyone IRL who listen to the same stuff as me. Or even in the Doom community really..
The first couple bands I was really interested in and started to know by name were some punk bands and pop-punk bands. I started to like a lot of music that was selected for the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series and so did my friends. We started listening to Dead Kennedy's, NoFX, Less than Jake, Anti-Flag, the Casualties, and some others. My favorite part of most of these bands is that their music had a kind of message that I could relate too, usually about politics or crazy douchebags. It was kind of the first time I was introduced to music that wasn't made purely for the fame and entertainment value, but because it was a message that they wanted to deliver.
I listened to a ton of different punk bands in my late middle school and early high school years, and being introduced to other genres of music such as Hardcore, crust, straight edge, Oi!, and a few others. I became more partial to Hardcore and Crust because the music was heavier and deeper and the lyrics/vox sounded much more fierce than whiny like some pop-punk bands and anarcho-punk tend to sound like.
After being introduced to Last.fm, I was able to find out about a ton of other bands I really started to like, and by using the "similar artists" slider I was able to listen to samples from each band and pinpoint what kind of music I really like. I kinda delved into heavier and heavier stuff and really fast stuff, which lead me to listen to Grindcore, D-Beat and Powerviolence on a regular basis. A lot of my more recent friends can't seem to relate to my taste in music and they usually ask me things like "How can you listen to this shit?" and "Are you familiar with any 'NORMAL' music?" to which I usually don't have a straight answer for.
The thing is, recently, I've been able to connect my music interests to my general personality. When I drink things like coffee or alcohol, I usually don't mix soda in my vodka or cream in my coffee or anything, I just drink it straight. Not that I think it tastes better that way, but because I like things in their purest form. When I play games or Doom wads, I usually play the games on the hardest skill first. I feel as though choosing the hard difficulty in games provides the player with the best possible experience, while choosing the lesser difficulties means that the game has been dumbed down for lesser skilled players. I found that the games I enjoy most are the games that are most difficult but not to the point where the game stops relying on human error to negatively affect the player. The way I see it, when I'm listening to grindcore, there's no intros or suspenseful buildup or progressive tone like most other genres of music. It doesn't pussyfoot around, it just cuts right to the hard parts. Doom is the same way. There's no intro or suspense. By hitting new game, you get a gun and there are monsters in front of you in the first level. It cuts right to the chase. No storyline, no suspense, just raw demon-slaying. I wouldn't enjoy Doom half as much if you were introduced to the game by wandering around without a weapon, getting directions on where to go, picking up on the storyline as you move along, and then getting to the parts where you actually get a gun and do something fun and heroic (like Doom 3 did), Those things are unnecessary to me. I just want to get right into the parts I give a shit about, and in grindcore, it does exactly that.
|Miracle Fruit||July 20, 2010, 9:56 pm|
I've known about Miracle Fruit for about a year now but just recently I've been reminded of it and decided to give it a try. I ordered a pack of 20 on thursday night and had been waiting anxiously for it to arrive on my doorstep.
My parents never go grocery shopping anymore and we never have any decent shit to eat but this miracle fruit should make just about everything we have left deliciously edible. Also I told a couple girls about it who are really excited to try it with me, so that should be fun.