Sunday, February 24, 2008

Day 49 - "I feel fantastic and I'm still alive..."

(I'm falling behind on my blogging duties, and I definitely owe a longer entry than I am about to write, but bear with me for now)

I don't normally develop serious crushes on someone I've never met. Sure I may see a celebrity that I think is gorgeous, or I may see a girl on the subway that I think is super cute, and I think of 100 ways to introduce myself to her before watching her get off of the train without ever saying a word. But tonight, I think I fell in love...on the internet:
Her name is Veronica Belmont*. I don't know anything about her, except she was apparently at the Game Developer's Conference this past weekend, she hosts a show called Mahalo Daily, she has her own blog, and she apparently kicks ass at Rock Band:

Jonathan Coulton performs "Still Alive" in Rock Band from Joy Stiq on Vimeo.

You have to watch the whole thing if you want to see what I'm talking about. I think I fell in love with her right at 4:18, when she saves the old cowboy* from his terrible, terrible excuse for virtual bass playing.

When I first saw her all over joystiq I assumed she was just another pretty face hired to stand out in a male-dominated industry. But no, she is more that that. Much much more. In what way is she more than that, you ask? Shut up. Shut the hell up. You should be ashamed of yourself, for asking that stupid stupid question.

I just became a fan of hers on Facebook. Now, before you start judging me, keep in mind - I'm no stalker. This is just the easiest way for us to become acquainted with one another, in this modern day world we live in. While she's sifting through her 465 fans one day, she'll happen across my profile, read my blog, and that's when she'll realize - through reading my blog post dedicated to her* - that she in fact, is a big fan of me and all my work!*

Ball's in your court, Ms. Belmont. And just so you know, I won't wait forever. Having said that, you probably have a good 2, 3 years, easily before my next internet crush that overtakes the one I have one you. That time will fly right by though if you're not careful, so definitely mark your calendar!

In other news, I'm an hour away from Day 50! How 'bout them apples?!? You like apples, don't you Ronnie?


Yeah, but I'd still rather be playing: Anything you that you wanna play, my dear.

*Descendant of Simon, perhaps?
*That son-of-a-bitch went on to cause them to fail the song at the last second. I would never let you down, Veronica. Together we'd make sweet sweet (pre-recorded video game) music!
*Or alternatively, by googling herself. "Who loves Veronica Belmont?" Click here to find out!
*Note to self: become more famous, have more "work" to show off to VeBe.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day 36 - "Please don't put your lives in the hands of a rock 'n roll band, and throw it all away..."

That was me 5 weeks ago.

And here we are now. Let the it be written into the stage of history that I officially made it at least one month into my journey. One month and five days at least, to be more precise.

I finished my first book ("Forever" in case you haven't been taking notes), which I realized, at 608 pages, took me less time to get through than a lot of games I would spend the same amount of time playing on my subway rides to and from work. I wonder if that means I'm fast reader or a slow player? I think it just means that it's easier for game makers to add 100 more pokémon than it is for an author to add 100 more pages of character and plot development.

I recently discovered that I still hate crossword puzzles as much as I ever did. I would imagine that perhaps, after reading several books, and gaining just a few more points of literary reference, as well as running past some of the more obscure three and four letter words in the English language*, I would have an easier time. For now, a hasty retreat from them. You have won the battle, crossword puzzles. But the war is far from over.

I did realize however, that I have a pretty damn strong general addiction to board and card games. Which begs the question: "Is Matt just addicted to games in general?" I think the answer, given the unquenchable thirst I've have for 'Hand & Foot' in the past month, is fairly obvious.


37 days ago, I was finishing my last game of Rock Band:
If I were a smarter man, perhaps one not so quick at initiating self-imposed-joy-deprivation, I would have allowed myself one caveat to my year off from games. I would have allowed myself the pleasure to continue to at least enjoy this fantastic game. Or at least the ability to play it with friends. How smart would that have been? Surely no one would be upset with me if I let myself have that one little cheat. And anyone who did, I'd invite over to play Rock Band and they'd soon forget what they were so upset about. Or else then, at that point, I'd kill them.

Playing Rock Band is one of those wonderful experiences that I think anyone in the world would enjoy. Casual gamers. Non-gamers. Even my grandmother, who calls any video game system (or electronic device, or parakeet*), "The Nintendo," to this very day. Even people who have come to believe video games are the source of all the world's problems would probably play this game for a little bit and smile and say: "Ok, this one's alright by me." It's that much fun.

My last two days/nights of gaming revolved around Rock Band. I had not one, but two separate parties in which people of varying degrees of gaming ability got together and played the hell out out this game. Playing Weezer, Ok-Go, Radio, The Killers, Smashing Pumpkins, The Strokes, Garbage, Stone Temple Pilots, The Police - a virtual concert put together by dozens of people with little to no musical ability.

You see, I have very little desire to learn how to actually play the drums, guitar, or the bass.* But this game manages to trick me long enough to make me think I'm playing them, and that I'm playing them well, something anyone who's ever been into any kind of (popular*) music has fantasized about. And when you break it down - you're just trying to match up colors to the tune of a song you may or may not like on a fake instrument - it doesn't sound all that fun on paper.
But it is. It just is.

And I probably would be sick of it by now if I were playing the game (and only this game) alone all the time. But get three or more people in the room - and I don't need anything else to entertain me for the rest of the night.

God, I miss Rock Band. It was the game I played, and it'll probably be the first thing I play on January 6th, 2009*.
-Matt "Can At Least Beat 'Here We Go Again' On Expert" Shafeek

Yeah, but I'd still rather be playing: I put this phrase/line in here when I first started the blog, thinking I'd talk more about other stuff, and that I'd give a quick nod to games at the end of each posting. Things haven't worked out that way thus far. Especially today. Ah, well. Whatever.

*Honestly, I don't think I've heard the words élan or floe outside of a crossword puzzle. I hate you, Stanley Newman.
*There's been a slow, but steady decline in her ability to recognize the difference between living things and electronics.
*Though I did sing in my high school chorus. Baritone, FTW!
*Sorry, opera fans.
*I'm gonna plug in my system just before we're hit by the massive earthquake that sends New York into a watery abyss. Figures!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Day 27 - "I've got a hunger twisting my stomach into knots..."

This is probably the first really hard night I've had so far.

Friday night.

Awful, cold, rainy weather outside.

Nothing exciting on my Netflix/DVR.

It's the perfect storm.

This is a night meant for gaming.


Maybe I'll curl up with*?


Yeah but I'd still rather be playing: ANYTHING!

*An instruction booklet, or a strategy guide perhaps? I'm dying over here!