An Infinite amount of entertainment awaits in Columbia – Part II

 

This is a continuation from my previous post which I wrote after playing the Bioshock Infinite campaign for five hours. This particular post concludes the last with my final thoughts after successfully completing the game on the afternoon of March 29th. My original thoughts explored in the original post still reign true, and can be found at this link here (http://wp.me/p2tQ7q-6C) where I talk about the graphics, working alongside Elizabeth, the game play and the differences between the previous Bioshock titles and Infinite.

Title: Bioshock Infinite
Developer: Irrational Games
Publisher: 2K
Release Date: March 26th
Platforms: PC, PS3, XBOX360
Game Length: Between 15 and 18 hours

More Entertaining Than: Singularity

Less Entertaining Than: Half Life 2

Pros:
-outstanding graphics
-powerful weapons and abilities
-Skyhook is fun to utilise
-entertaining action sequences
-interactive characters
-powerful themes

Cons:
-Complicated storyline
-Major game play differences in
contrast to former Bioshock titles
-No multiplayer features

Rating (out of 10): 8

Bioshock Infinite is quite unlike its predecessors as I previously explored. The ability to work alongside a fellow character, Elizabeth, the young woman you are sent to the city of Columbia to extract is a gaming element that was never established in prior titles. Her ability to restock your supplies of health, salt and ammunition when you are running low is something that makes the game all the more easier, and her ability to interact with the environment is something that very few games today actually explore.

The ability to work alongside a fellow character in the game on occasion allows for emotional interactions between Elizabeth and Dewitt, which includes comforting Elizabeth when she is emotionally distraught and discussing ideas of race and religion. Of course, this seriousness is additionally in contrast with the playful banter that exists between the characters, which includes, but is not limited to, Elizabeth contemplating what it would look like for Dewitt to hop onto a merry-go-round.

Unlike in previous Bioshock titles, the emotional connection your character, Booker Dewitt, has to Elizabeth is not quite as powerfully moving throughout the game as it was with the original two. In the original Bioshock, over the course of the game you discover that your connection to the city stems from your character having been born in Rapture, and in Bioshock 2, your connection to Eleanor Lamb stems from you being her Big Daddy protector, Alpha, assigned to watch over her until death.

However, that is not to say that Bioshock Infinite is not shocking or daring in its nature. Unlike in the previous games in the franchise, Bioshock Infinite’s storyline is concerned with some incredibly powerful themes the likes of racism, war, religion and violence. You may not be moved to tears, but a part of you will inevitably bear the brunt of such an evocative storyline that dares to bring to light themes from the past that continue to haunt humanity to this very day.

In Bioshock Infinite, Elizabeth is initially a job to your character. Your goal is to acquire her, and send her back to New York to wipe away a ‘debt’ that is shrouded in fog for a majority of the storyline. It is over the course of the game that Elizabeth becomes something more than just an ordinary job, but a means to an end, and your character, Dewitt, is essentially her bodyguard and protector. Elizabeth needs Dewitt to get off Columbia. Dewitt needs Elizabeth to wipe his conscience clean.

What I didn’t explain however in the last post is Elizabeth’s special ability. It is found over the course of the title that Elizabeth is able to open up rifts (think Singularity), but, instead of these rifts being linked to one specific time and one alternate world, they are linked to many; to alternate versions of the past, present and future. Hence, this explains how a floating city in the sky could be successfully developed in the late 1890’s.

It becomes mandatory over the course of the storyline to explore some of the worlds hidden behind the rifts, and suffer the dire ramifications that come from deciding to go through one particular worm hole and into another.

Confused? Well, friend, you should be, because Bioshock Infinite’s storyline is not as clean cut as the former two games in the franchise. The previous games did not require much thought to sufficiently understand the storyline, unlike Infinite, which starts out relatively sane, and then becomes quite the opposite.

Upon initiating missions that require the use of rifts, and having to go through other rifts inside other worlds, to say that your brain will become bent out of shape at attempting to fathom what on Earth is going on will be beyond an understatement.

Safe to say there are answers to the many questions that you will no doubt generate as the game slowly descends further into what some may view as utter madness, however the answers come incredibly slowly, so patience is key in deciphering the storyline. Over time, you will come to adjust to the oddities the game presents to you. The amazing action oriented scenes are enough to satisfy you throughout the game and keep your eyes fixed on the screen and your trigger finger at the ready.

Much like in former Bioshock titles where one needed to adjust their combat styles to eliminate certain enemies, the same can be said for Infinite. There are aptly named ‘Firemen’, who blast rounds of fire at you, and are immune to the power, and thus need to be dispatched by alternate means; ‘the crow’, who is much unlike the comic book character, who uses crows not just as an attacking power, but as way to disappear, and thus the player will need to find a way to break the defences of this particular enemy and keep them from moving about the map so quickly; and there are robotic enemies that are designed to preserve the religious integrity of the city who are weak from behind.

Moreover, there are no Big Daddies in the game, but there is what is known as the Song Bird, which is a colossal winged giant that is assigned to keep Elizabeth from leaving the city of Columbia. However, again, much unlike previous games where Big Daddies played a crucial role, in Infinite, the Song Bird very rarely appears, and half the time you will probably forget he even exists at all, which is an insult to his character for he is an amazingly powerful being that deserved a far greater role that what he is provided.

Unlike in Bioshock predecessors, there is no specialised ammunition to use, so one simply has to make do with what they have. There are additionally no Power to the People stations where weapons can be upgraded, and instead upgrades need to be bought from vending machines, many of which come at exorbitant prices. The ability to hold several thousands of dollars in your wallet does make this substantially easier though, with these particular upgrades increasingly the damage, range and aim of all weapons.

The weapons however do not look quite as spectacular as they once did, with the likes of the shotgun and machinegun looking rather drab in contrast with the colourful designs that were allocated in the two previous titles. The ability, as mentioned in my last post, to carry only two weapons is considerably unsatisfying considering the player could carry every weapon in the game in former titles. This presents the player with a choice, and a very significant one. Ammunition is sometimes difficult to come by, and it is often mandatory to swap weapons over. Over time, whether you are carrying the weapon or not, Dewitt is able to store all of the ammunition he comes across, so by the time you have swapped back for a weapon you were previously using you might well be fully stocked again for your next battle.

Former weapons the likes of the spear gun have been replaced with a sniper rifle and a carbine, the grenade launcher from the original Bioshock has been replaced with an RPG, and the machinegun from Bioshock 2 has spawned several weapons, including a burst rifle and a Gatling gun of sorts.

Upgrades can additionally be purchased for your abilities, which will more often than not cost over a thousand dollars. Old favourite abilities, the likes of the fire ball and lightning are available, along with a few new ones. These include the ability to toss out an army of crows to chase your opponents around and there is a drag ability, which is used to bring your enemies closer. There’s one particular ability that I liked which allowed you to send a shockwave across the ground that would toss any organic enemy caught in its radius up into the air for a short period of time, thus removing their defences whilst they were in the air, making it easier to eliminate them.

Battles are genuinely not that difficult due to Elizabeth’s ability to keep you fully stocked, and on the few occasions when she is not around you feel it as you become overwhelmed by opponents. Previous Bioshock games had considerably difficult fight scenes, but Infinite has opted for scenarios that you will be able to efficaciously beat. They do make up for it though by having a truly difficult conclusion that will put all of your skills accumulated over the course of the game to the test.

On the rare occasion that you will die, instead of being resurrected at a Biosphere much like in Bioshock 1 and 2, you instead either; are brought back to life through adrenaline and CPR at the hands of Elizabeth, or instead come waltzing out from a rift with a good portion of your health restored. No matter how you are brought back, in addition, your enemies will have additionally being partially revived.

Moving back to the game’s complicated storyline, by the end of Bioshcok Infinite, you will have received a vast number of answers to the many questions that will have been weighing upon you, but even then that is not enough to quench your thirst for knowledge. Although you have the answers, the solution to how the answers were conceived still eludes you, and the game seems to contradict itself and only complicate things further.

Unlike in Bioshock, where at the end the game moved me to tears, and Bioshock 2, where I cried like a baby for a full forty minutes after I completed the campaign, Bioshock Infinite will probably not cause you to cry, but the revelations that are revealed are considerably shocking to behold.

Winner of 80 plus gaming awards and hailed by Time as a game worth looking out for, Bioshock Infinite has been built up considerably on all fronts, and yet, I get the intense feeling that the game itself is overrated, and that the game’s success will be unable to mirror the success of either its PR department or that of the many critics that have hailed it as a game worth playing. There have been a number of other fantastic titles that have come out over the years that have received not even half the publicity that Infinite has garnered, and yet, they were far superior to what Irrational has developed.

If Irrational continue to develop Bioshock games in the future, I only ask that they don’t cause my mind to blow up with such strenuous confusion. If 2K could develop a brilliant campaign that was easily understandable, I cannot see why Irrational are unable to do so.

An Infinite amount of entertainment awaits in Columbia

First Impressions of Bioshock Infinite: The following post details my opinion on this particular game after having played it for approximately five hours

Developer: Irrational Games
Distributer: 2KOfficial_cover_art_for_Bioshock_Infinite
Platforms: PC, PS3, XBOX360
Release Date: 26th February

Pros:
-Exemplary storyline
-Stunningly beautiful graphics
-Upgradable abilities
-Powerful weapons
-Incredibly fun Skyhook segments

Cons:
-No multiplayer functionality
-Vastly different than predecessors

In comparison to the previous Bioshock games, many hardcore fans may be disappointed with the wealth of changes that have occurred since the second game. As a standalone title though, Bioshock Infinite is spectacular, and is well worth the wait since the release of the last game.

Unlike in the previous Bioshock games, where you, the player, were a little dissociated with your character due to never seeing your character’s face and discovering very little about their life or identity, Infinite is, well, infinitely different in that you learn more and more about the lead protagonist, Booker Dewitt, over the course of the game.

Dewitt, who has more debt than he has money to ease his burden, is recruited to extract a young mysterious woman, Elizabeth, from an unknowable city known only as Columbia, located, where else, but in the clouds. Built in 1893, and having being floating around for the past 19 years, the entire city and its founding is shrouded in complete mystery, and so are the reasons behind why your employers are so intrigued in this particular young woman.

However, it would seem that although forces outside of the city wish to have Elizabeth, so do forces from the city within, who revere Elizabeth as being their ‘lamb’, who is prophesised to lead their city when their founding father of creation, Father Zachary Hale Comstock passes away.

On that note, it is prudent to notify the gamer that the storyline behind Infinite is extraordinarily religious, with an incredibly detailed back story being generated to accommodate said religion. As with all religions, there are its heroes, and in this case that would be, you guessed it, its creator Father Comstock, and its nemesis is, well, we’ll get to that…

Upon arrival into the city, you will find yourself unable to look away from the incredibly vivid detail of every surface and each construction. There is so much going on in the world all at once and often there is a lot to take in that you will more often than not find yourself staring admirably at what Irrational Games has accomplished. Every single piece of the gorgeous artwork looks as though it is a necessary part to the storyline, and not a thing seems out of place in this fictitious world that will enthrall you to the very end.

With this writ, there are often many areas to look through, and searching around the environment is a mandate to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything. There is much to explore and even more to find, with the additional support of side quests that will cause you to deviate from your current path in order to find something that will efficaciously assist you, whether it be weaponry or other such offensive and/or defensive capabilities.

Safe to say not everything is in plain sight, so it is often prudent to stay sharp and keep all eyes open. Much like in the previous games though, you can open up cabinets and chests and look inside to discover the loot they contain.

Furthermore, like in the previous titles, much of the back story of the city can be found in the recordings, these particular one’s labeled as Voxophone’s. Although not a necessary mandate to the game’s completion, these recordings provide an invaluable amount of information on the culture and the climate of the city that you stumble into.

There is plenty of money to be found moreover, which comes in the form of Silver Eagle coins, which can be found in purses and prizes, but unfortunately often come in singular pieces scattered about the environment. You’ll be unwittingly surprised by how much money people seem to simply leave about their city. Astounding!

Adjunctively, there is health to be found about the city, which comers in both medical packs and tasty, tasty food. To better protect you, your character later discovers a shield that, much like the shield used by the Spartans in the Halo games, will automatically replenish itself during portions of the game when you are not under attack. This shield you will often find is unbelievably beneficial, and will assist you greatly.

Unlike in the previous titles where you could accumulate an assortment of health packs and hold onto them until a time was critical enough to use them, in Infinite, this is not allowed. You will either pick up an item and use it immediately, or you will simply not pick it up at all. The lack of a storage system ensures that you are kept on your toes more often and pay closer attention to your health bar, because in this game, the only way to save yourself is through finding an item rather than hitting a key and immediately becoming rejuvenated.

The same goes for salt; yes, you read that right, but this ain’t the white specks you put onto your meat for additional flavor – this is the blue stuff that powers you abilities, known in Infinite as Vigors, and as the expression goes on their advertisement, ‘a life with Vigors is a life that’s bigger.’

Vigors are the titles given to the powers that your character is able to wield (think back to the powers in previous Bioshock games, but with different names). In this game, by simply clicking the activation key, you are able to send out a quick offensive attack in the direction of your intended target, but by holding down the key, you are able to conjure a more powerful attack, resulting in a tarp that will heinously harm your attacker.

Each Vigor can be upgraded twice by accumulating such upgrades from a vending machine (bearing in mind the prices are unbelievably frightful). On top of this, your Vigors, your health and your shield can be upgraded with Infusion. These bottles that are scattered about the game can be applied to only one of the three upgradable options at a time, so it is up to you whether you become the healthiest character alive, the most well armored, or the most incredibly powerful.

On the subject of armor moreover, you are also able to equip clothing; not to say that your character runs about stark naked beforehand, not at all. You can exchange your character’s clothes for different shirts, pants, hats and boots, which each come with their own powerful attachments. These can range from defensive abilities activated upon coming under attack, to offensive strengths. Either way, the assistance these clothes will provide is incalculable.

bioshock-infinite-elizabeth-artwork

Moving on, upon arrival in Columbia, not only is the city highly religious and stunningly beautiful, but incredibly peaceful and charming to boot, making it a paradise. Columbia is a city of music, dance, joy and love; at least for a short amount of time. There’s just one little problem – earlier I mentioned that like all religions there was a bad guy, remember? Well, you see, the problem is that you, the character, are the supposed bad guy. Father Comstock predicted that you would one day come to steal their blessed lamb from their city, and upon being spotted for the suspected pariah that you are, the entire city goes from a place of zen and peace to a place of madness and horror, and you finally see the city for what it is; a body of lies, mangled with the disgusting ideologies of racism and hatred that have mirrored society below, only far more intensified. Designed for the privileged, white upper class, anyone who does not fit such a limiting constraint is not treated kindly at all.

Upon being discovered as the enemy to this zealous regime, the game turns into a sudden explosion of blood as you violently attack your oppressors, and in this moment you cannot help but be entertained as the action finally heats up.

You immediately acquire yourself a Skyhook, which is the unanimous device in the city for quick movement. You can hook yourself up to a rail line suspended above the ground and go for a ride, or you can use the magnetized device and leap from one section of metal attached to the side of a building to another as to quickly move about your environment and accomplish your objectives. Or, you could always use the device to bludgeon your opponents to death with, the melee capacity of this weapon being unfathomably astounding.

From above, when attached to a rail line or other like piece where the Skyhook is necessary, you can pounce down upon unsuspected enemies below and instantly kill them in a comical style attack that will leave you breathless.

As for your other weapons, that is one of the disappointing factors of the game. True, you acquire them at an incredibly fast pace, but since you only ever have two weapon slots, you have to choose which ones you intend to carry into combat, unlike in previous titles where you could carry all of them at once. Irrational Games also tend to provide you with a limited assortment of ammo, and you are often forced to resort to using your abilities and being quite tactical. Those who have the bull at a gate syndrome may sometimes find that the more subtle approach is often recommended in defeating large groups of bad guys out for your blood.

Another part of the game you will need to change up and rely upon are your checkpoints. Again, unlike in previous installments where you could save your progress whenever you deemed necessary, you are forced to rely upon the game to checkpoint every so often as you continue through the campaign. Although most games in general today rely upon such a saving technique, it is annoying to be denied something of such great import after having the luxury in the past.

Lastly, as previously mentioned at the beginning, the goal of making your way up to Columbia, was not only to marvel at your surroundings, but to find and extract Elizabeth.

As with all stereotypical video game heroines, Elizabeth is unbelievably gorgeous physically, however, is not just limited to standing around and looking pretty. Having been locked up for most of her life with nothing to do but read up on a wealth of knowledge, she has become alarmingly resourceful, and her intellect is borderline unrivalled. Elizabeth has the ability to pick the locks of doors, and, much like your own character, will be able to search about the environment and scavenge for supplies that she will gladly give to you. However, these environmental interactions don’t stop there, and Elizabeth will also interact with controls, look at videos, talk to the people of the city and even sit down every so often when there is a chair near her location. All in all, the realism of her character is astounding, and efficaciously assists in making the game even more powerfully realistic.

Although I mentioned that Elizabeth’s character is highly intelligent, years of being locked up inside a tower like a prisoner have also caused her to become quite ignorant of the world outside. She is alarmingly sweet and her views are incredibly innocent, heightening her evocative character’s features and causing her to be even more desirable, not just as a sumptuous looking woman, but as a human being.

On a last note, I should mention the lack of multiplayer functionality. I was never entirely rapt with the Bioshock multiplayer and only ever played the games because of their alarmingly fantastical single player experiences. However, this decision to chop out such a popular gaming aspect may well come back to bite Irrational where it hurts and they may well be doing themselves a great disservice for such a feature was available in both of the previous titles.

One may suspect that perhaps multiplayer was dropped as to focus more on the single player campaign. Time will only tell if this is true, and if so, if such a decision was well worth it.

In conclusion, although a vast number of changes have being implemented since the last game in the franchise, and although a number of these changes may initially seem difficult to come to terms with, Bioshock Infinite stands alone as an extraordinary piece of fiction worthy of any gamers’ collection.

IMAGE CREDITS:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BioShock_Infinite

http://www.entertainmentfuse.com/video-games/pc/pc-news/bioshock-infinite-trailer-certified-gold.html

Is it possible to fail – at being human?

 

You can fail a math’s test. You can fail to acquire an internship position. You can fail to successfully complete a project to adequate standards. But is it possible to fail at being a living, breathing human being?

What makes a human being who they are? Okay, would you consider a person born with a head and a torso, but no legs and no arms a human? They can do everything a human can, with the exception of using the appendages that they do not have. Is this specific person a human? Yes, in my opinion; this shows that physicality does not alter one’s humanity.

That would leave the psychology of humanity.

Tell me, when you see on the news acts of intense violence; unspeakable slaughter and genocidal actions; civil and international war; unspeakably heinous evil; the people who are involved in instigating these actions, do you think ‘this is not what humans are meant to do – they are absolutely terrible at being human’, or do you think ‘that is what humans are supposed to do, and therefore, my inability to commit such acts of violence proves I am incompetent at being human’?

Additionally, if you see people that you know injuring others either verbally or through physical abuse, do you think that they are failing to be human, or do you think that you are for not being involved?

Now, maybe someone could simply say that such an argument revolves around human decency and the idea that some people are generally good and others are not, and it is all a matter of choice.

I am making an alternative argument. I am saying, what if, hypothetically, to be human means that you need to be violent – that such is a mandatory requirement, a fixture of our genetic structure – that it is our destiny and we cannot escape from it – none of us can. What if humanity is supposed to naturally be a race of violent zealots?

What if those who are causing horrific acts of violence; those who do bad onto others; those who hate, loathe and incite rage; what if these people are not the monsters? What if the people who do not commit these acts; the people who do not harm, abuse and bully; what if these people are the freaks; the incompetent delinquents; the monsters of society?

Would it be too hard to imagine? War, after war, after war, after confrontation, after confrontation, after confrontation; it seems that one group of people on the planet win a tremendous battle, and the next day another, far more violent confrontation has sprung up to take its place.

Moreover, how many times have you thought you knew a person; you befriended them, talked with them, worked with them, helped them, and they in turn returned these favors and worked and talked with you? How many times has something happened, something nefarious, and all of a sudden, this person you thought you knew is no longer perceived in a positive light, but you see them as a horrible individual? They have made a mockery of you; they are tormenting you; they suddenly loathe you.

Was this occurrence inevitable? Were they always this person underneath what could have been a deceitful façade all this time? Or was it you who triggered this by wronging them? But if this was a surprise occurrence, then technically, it would not have been you who caused this, right? So, how could this have come to fruition?

One could argue that society has laws which state that those who enact acts of violence will be punished for their offences? But how often do you see these offences going unpunished? How often do you see those who are supposed to protect society and uphold the law doing quite the opposite? How often do you see people harming others in comparison to people helping others?

Why is it that violence is often inevitably the first action to be taken, rather than the hope for a peaceful resolution with formalised discussion?

Why is it that a person can commit the most heinous acts imaginable, and then be so easily forgiven by their God with but a few prayers and words?

Why is it that when most people become drunk and intoxicated they do not suddenly begin acting so nice and caringly, but so violent and aggressively?

Why is it that children as young as five are carrying knives and are becoming involved in acts of horrific evil, like stabbing another child?

Why is it that on the news, you are quite often no longer shocked to hear of a suicide bomber killing several dozen people; no longer shocked to hear a warlord is on a genocidal rampage; no longer shocked to hear a husband beat his wife to death and killed his children; no longer shocked to hear a young man went on a rampage in the city, murdering and raping women; no longer shocked to hear that a person was murdered and the person who killed him or her did so without a reason?

Why is it that the news is often filled with acts of evil rather than acts of kindness?

Why is it that random acts of violence are filmed on smart phones, uploaded to the internet not five minutes later, and after an hour are suddenly the most popular videos online?

Why is it that on occasion, doing the right thing can seem so wrong, yet doing the wrong thing can feel more right than any other option?

Why is it that sometimes sorrow, pain, anger, animosity and heart ache come as easily as breathing, whilst happiness seems so incredibly difficult?

On that note, I have one final question;

When can somebody honestly say without a doubt in their mind ‘I am not very good at being human’?

Broken, Done or Dying? Actually, just Dead!

 

Contains sexual references and coarse language.

Weird title? Not really – it basically describes how I will inevitably feel if everything goes belly up in regards to the current girl of my dreams; Elisha. Yes, back on this topic, and I decided I would dedicate an entire post to this subject matter, so if you do not want to be bored to tears by the soporific ideas of some love depraved love struck anti-hero – I suggest you flee immediately!

Now, some themes and ideas I have brought up in previous posts may come up during this topic, but that is just because they are directly tied in with this subject matter.

Now, I have mentioned before and I will say it again; I suck at deciphering the codes that women use. I have found that women emphasise less with vocabulary, and more with physicality; basically, they say more with their faces than with their mouths. I however could not interpret an ‘I love you’ from a ‘go screw yourself’. Hence I don’t ever act on anything in that regard. A woman could give me the ‘I fancy you’ look, and I would be able to interpret that as easily as I could fly to the moon using nothing more than a jet propelled pack constructed from tissue paper. A woman could give me the ‘I think you’re a douche’ look, and I would probably interpret that to mean the exact opposite, but still not act on my ideas from fear that I am wrong. Yes, fear, it can be a very powerful ally. It is also the one bitch that prevents you from getting anywhere in this world.

What I personally would like, is for women to go up to guys and say what is on their mind, rather than giving them a look from a distance. I can’t translate what intense and frequent gander’s means, or what raised eyebrows or smiles are meant to signify, or what bared teeth and a tongue sticking out is supposed to represent. What is so difficult with just walking up to a bloke and saying what is going through their mind? I of course mean all this in regards to relationships. I don’t mean, go up to a guy if you’re thirsty and say ‘I like diet soft drink and I’m gonna go get me self some’. No, I mean go up to a bloke and say ‘hey, I think you’re as hot as magma’ rather than staring at a guy from across the room.

I read once on the Facebook page of a Miami psychologist that apparently 92% of all men would rather women make the first move in instigating a relationship. 92%? That is a big friggin’ percentage! With my views, I probably make up 65% of that entire statistic.

That would be the benefit of women making the first move – there would be no more looks. They would do the talking rather than ogling blokes from a distance, and I would be in a finer position for it. I would for one, not be in the fine mess I am now, for if Elisha liked me – she would have said something. Or has she? That is the problem, for when women are not looking at blokes, they are insinuating ideals in their dialogue and behaviour. God, if women wrote a dictionary on their codes and their looks and such, I would be so much happier for it. Then I could look in the little book (it would probably be a huge friggin’ book) when a woman pokes her tongue out at me and say ‘oh, that means she either wants to lick me genitals – or she hates my rotten guts. Oh, she’s winking at me, and giving me the finger- yeah, she totally hates me.’

On top of interpretation of codes and hidden messages and the like is, of course, the competition. The problem is that men pursue women, not the other way around, which would be another benefit of women making the first move. So all women have to do is sit back and watch the potential lovers come up to ‘em. Men need to actually be the potential lovers, which is somewhat more complex. I believe that women often do not notice many blokes until they make contact and ask them out. Until that moment, a woman may know a bloke exists, but will see him in a neutral fashion because women are better at being friends with blokes than blokes are at being friends with women.

At high school, the only real competition are other high school students, and it is very easy to prove yourself better than the rest. Actually, it’s not, but if you can’t win on that battlefield, then you are gonna die alone, afraid, and a virgin when the real fighting starts. How come? Out in the real world, and by ‘real world’ I mean post high school, which is as real in the dating game as it is ever going to get, all of the women are now like free range hens, pardon the comparison. All of them are now on the market for all the men. Most men in their early to mid twenties are attracted to women in the same age group – women in their early to mid twenties. The problem? Men in their thirties, forties and fifties are attracted to women in the exact same age group! Hell, I’ve seen my father who is breaching sixty checking out friggin’ teenagers! He’s married BTW, and I dunno if that makes it better or worse.

Women are, and always have been attracted to older blokes. So, those guys in their thirties and so on have a much higher chance of gaining one of those young ladies than a bloke in his twenties does. How so? Older men are better equipped economically, professionally and sexually (as in experience), and are better equipped with transport and accommodation too. Would a woman be more interested in that? Or in a bloke in his mid twenties who still lives with mummy, has a job that pays about fifty bucks per day rather than five grand, has a wooden car with a wooden engine that when started up wooden go, and whose sexual experience ranges somewhere between nil and not much. Yeah, real attractive – my arse! (I was not describing myself just then, FYI).

Of course, the next issue after communication and competition are standards. Every single woman has the image of the perfect man in their minds eye, and if you do not fit that criterion, then you have already failed before the relationship has officially begun. Now, this is one section that I do know about. You see, the woman of my dreams has a blog. I ain’t gonna provide the link because I don’t want other blokes going over there, thinking she’s a fox and stealing her right out from under me! I’m already having enough trouble right now without adding any more to my list!

How so? Well, apart from issues with communication, there was my intro…the first day we met was at university during a Media Management in Public Relations class. Yes, the girl of my dreams wants to be a PR consultant of sorts. Well, PR consultant or no PR consultant, an intro is still an intro, no matter which woman you are attempting to woo. So, as for my intro – I get out of my chair, take two steps forward, trip over a chair that some bastard has left out, and nearly break my neck and flatten the girl of my dreams in the exact same moment. Yeah, real smooth. Lucky for me I grabbed hold of the table, and lucky for me it did support my weight, else that would have been the end. No, I ain’t fat, but those tables at university…you barely have to look at ‘em and they wobble. Falling on ‘em – hell, I would not recommend it in the future.

Moving on…So, I am going to provide a couple quotes from her blog to explain what she is after. Elisha’s dream man needs to be a chef, an electrician, a mechanic and a carpenter. He needs to be capable of changing a light bulb and the water in the car, and additionally needs to be skilled in child care.

Of these areas, I have potential in cooking, in changing the light globe, child care and…awwwwwwww fuck! A mechanic? I don’t even own a car! An electrician? A carpenter? Fuck me! No, she won’t be doing that any time soon! Not with the pathetic resume that I have to offer.

But wait, what is Elisha’s opinion on the subject matter. Here is a quote from her blog; ‘So wherever my future husband is, I know he will have these skills and if he doesn’t, I know that he will learn these new skills so we can build a life together.’

Okay, so perhaps things aren’t completely over yet. I do however have to learn the skills and prove myself competent in them to ensure a successful relationship. But a carpenter? I don’t want a carpet! I would rather have wooden floors! (I realise carpenters do not work with carpet – this is my sick idea of an ironic joke).

Additionally, Elisha had this to say; ‘I don’t have any preferences on how my future husband has to look. But I do have an impressive checklist of what qualifications he must hold before even considering wanting to marry me.’

So, basically, if Elisha chooses to be with someone, they could be friggin’ hideous, that is what this sentence is saying.  An impressive skill set? She wants the fuckin’ impossible! She wants fuckin’ superman for Christ sake! Also, I’m not saying I want to marry this woman, but I would like to have a long term relationship, which is looking less and less likely to occur with every paragraph I write of this post.

Adjunctively, Elisha has mentioned in the past to me that she is a strong believer in the Christian religion. I am an atheist. Is that going to spell doom and gloom? Wait a minute, if we were to get married…does that mean the wedding will take place in a church? Could I even go to church? Hypothetically, let’s just say God is real 100%. I’m an atheist, I walk into church – will He smite me down with lightning? Or will I spontaneously combust and catch fire from the spells and hexes placed across the church to prevent people such as myself who are inevitably doomed to end up in hell from entering? Oh no, perhaps I should call this whole relationship thing off…this is just far too strenuous. Second thoughts, Elisha is far too foxy and amazing to give up on just yet…moving on.

On a more serious note, returning to the views on Christianity, I want to know one thing. At the start of 2011, Elisha mentioned she was a virgin. Yes, quite the thing to admit to, but she did. Being a Christian, what is the chance that she believes in getting married before you know, having rudey nudey’s/ the deed/ a roll in the hay/ the time of our lives/ how else could I put this without putting it any other way? I am not asking this question because I am a sex crazed loon – not at all. I would just like to know where she stands. One friend of mine has decided to not have sex (oh my God, I used the word!) before getting married, and although she is a Christian, she is not as strong a believer as Elisha is.

Any other issues? Well, there is of course location. Elisha has said in the past that she wishes to go to London for a year, and to go around the entire world. I intend to stay at uni to obtain my masters, so I will be unable to accompany her if we are in a relationship. That is the thing – I do not want a long distance relationship; I want a long term one, which is completely different people! At the moment, this same difficulty is in effect. How come? Elisha lives in Darwin. I live in Melbourne. For those of you who do not live in Australia, let me give you the geography.  Darwin is located at the top most centre point of Australia. Melbourne is located in the lower most right section of Australia. There is a cool few hours of flight time in-between each state, with a massive desert smack bang in the centre. Elisha is only in Melbourne whilst she is at university, and since every semester is only twelve weeks in length (and during the week off Elisha flies back home), that provides me with very little time. Quite the issue it would seem…

The other problem would be that I am infatuated with her. And, I am sure anyone reading this right now knows how it feels to be infatuated with the one woman/person you cannot live without – it is friggin’ horrible! I realised I had feelings for her last year, but I did not make a move. Why not? Was I chicken? No, that was not it. I simply thought she was in Melbourne just for the year, and I would never see her again. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how I view this, she did return this year. I did nothing again, not because I was chicken, but because I came to this conclusion; do not do anything until the last minute, the last minute being the first week of the final semester we would ever experience together at university. That way, any awkwardness that comes from me finally admitting to her my feelings will be relatively less difficult than it would be if I mentioned the way I felt earlier on. So, if everything goes belly up, then we will only have to experience eleven weeks of awkwardness rather than an entire year’s worth.

What awkwardness am I referring to? People go to university to study. They spend a shit load of money to do so. By the time I am finished, I would have a racked up a bill that probably extends to that of 100 K, if not more. I mean, my masters course alone will cost 42 thou, and who knows about the doctorate!

At high school, people can quit at any time, whilst people who attend university attend such an institution because they want to. They wish to gain an education – they do not go there to get hit on by fellow students. If they wanted some dufus flirting with ‘em, they would spend their life in a bar. So, by waiting until the end of university basically, that limits the amount of awkwardness that could very well come from such a situation. I think…

The problem with this plan is that I cannot move on from the way I feel until I confess to Elisha my feelings cuz that is the kind of guy I am. I need to verbally convey them to the woman in question, and then, if nothing happens, which is quite the possibility, I will be able to successfully move on roughly two weeks later. If something happens, well, that would be absolutely beautiful, but I always plan for the worst, and hope for the best, but do not expect it to ever come to pass. Due to the fact that I cannot move on, I have to endure these painful feelings. Yes, they are terribly, terribly painful. You see, at the moment;
I want Elisha
the way a heart needs a beat,
the way lungs need oxygen,
the way a bee needs pollen,
the way a plant needs the sun.

I want Elisha
the way a shark needs the sea,
the way a lion needs meat,
the way earthworms need moisture,
the way rich red blood needs cells.

I want Elisha
the way a gun needs ammunition,
the way a hunting knife needs a clean,
the way an army needs a captain,
the way a country needs government.

I want Elisha
the way a husband needs a wife,
the way Cupid needs an arrow,
the way true love needs to survive,
the way moist lips need to be kissed.

Okay, sorry about the shotty poetry, but I felt no other way to explain myself nor my feelings.

So basically, I still have a few issues I need to go through…

…before I go however, there is one last question I wish to pose…back in March, Elisha mentioned in conversation that she was going to cook with someone she referred to as her ‘lovely’. Now, who might this ‘lovely’ be, cuz she never went into specifics. Lovely husband? Lovely partner? Lovely boyfriend? Lovely mother? Lovely father? Lovely family member? Lovely friend? Lovely teacher? Lovely dog? It would have to be one friggin’ awesome dog to know how to cook, let’s put it that way! Also, the post I took the information about her potential future husband? She typed that up in April, one month after mentioning this dinner. Any ideas? No? Yes? No?

I guess I will find out when I see her next…if I see her next…

Well, here’s Naughty Nefarious once more, signing off, and hoping for the best. See you round…

…and thanks for reading!

BTW, Any material acquired from Elisha’s blog is copyright of the original writer.

Video Games, Religion and Politicians – Not good bed fellows

 

What  people who don’t play video games say: ‘I don’t know about video games. They sound awful complicated.’

What people who don’t play video games would say if they played them: ‘Da! I shoot u ya BaSTarD! i kill u d00d, u r DOA lama!’

Maybe that is not what people inexperinced with the gaming world would say, but still, gaming has changed an awful lot since its orchestration. But I ain’t here to talk about the history – no, I am here to talk about the possible future. Films today in general are, can we say ‘not very good’? So many are total blow outs at the cinema. Creators and story tellers are running out of original concepts it might seem and are looking towards books for ideas. I mean, how many days was Twilight out before someone said ‘I could make a movie about that!’

When might this unfortunate occurrence hit the world of the video game? Perhaps it has already happened? We might be living in such a world right now. How so? For one, the sequel; almost every single game now-a-days comes with a sequel. And it ain’t like in Hollywood where you watch a film and the entire storyline plays out and then they create a brand new story line for the following title. No – games have sequels because the story gets to a certain point – and then gets chopped – only to be revisited in the following two games. Yes my friends, I am talking about the trilogy! Mass Effect, Gears of War, maybe even Crysis and Rage – all have elements of the sequel. Bearing in mind I am not complaining about the content – they were all equally awesome in their own way – but they were chopped off at points where they leave the gamer crying out ‘Oi! WTF!’, before forcing them to wait a cool 2-3 years for the next installment. I mean, who here has heard the rumor that a possible Doom 4 will come out in December of this year? Id and Bethesda have been awful quiet, but still – that there is the sequel at work. We gamers are but slaves to it, for if we liked the predecessors then of course we are going to buy the sequel – even though by the time the sequel comes out it is twice as expensive as the game that came before it in the series when released a few years before!

Secondly, there is the HD version of games. When people run out of ideas, they plan to remake the old!
Recently the creator of Alone in the Dark specified how he wished to create a HD version of the original concept that was designed back when games were but new and people looked at them with suspicion. Halo HD, Silent Hill HD collection, Serious Sam HD…Duke Nukem, released on XBOX360, PS3 AND PC 2010, but in old graphics format (never released in Oz though). The problem with the HD versions of games, or the re-release of them is…that they never offer anything new or exciting. No new weapons. No new levels. In fact, they often take segments out. Serious Sam had no Split Screen function on XBOX360 and several movie clips were removed from the campaign. Halo HD had no new weapons or abilities and almost all of the original multiplayer maps failed to make a return. However, imagine what Doom or Doom2 would look like in HD! Now, that is one wet dream of mine I would like to see become real…

…then there is the whole concept that video games are the root of all evil; that they cause violence in society and turn children into uneducated delinquents. Of course, the people who always make these comments are those of whom in society would not know a video game from a glass of water. Take Australia for instance. No ‘R 18+’ rating all these years, and on January 1st 2013, they intend to have a ‘test run’ of this rating system. That don’t sound all too ominous to me, but if it means I will temporarily have no restrictions on my games, then I am fine with it for as long as it lasts. For years Australian gamers have been craving such a rating as to be treated like adults rather than little children who desperately need protection. There is such thing as too much protection. Most gamers are between the ages of 18-32. Don’t tell me they require parental protection?! When will these restrictions begin to grow more lenient? Or are they to grow more fierce as the years go by?

The politicians are in constant debate over this notion for an ‘R18+’ rating, yet no politician plays video games, so what is the point of having people with no knowledge on such subject matter making choices that ultimately affect the world of gaming in one entire country? All be it, not a very large one, but a country all the same! According to gaming specialists who accuse games of being violent, ‘Doom’ was basically the beginning of the end for our society, yet none of these speculators have any actual evidence to support their ridiculous claims that gaming causes intense violence amongst its community. Apparently earlier in the year a known gamer defecated in the hall of the hotel they were staying in. Yes, that might not be the smartest thing to do when travelling the world, but still – I have not played a game where shit was used as the primary weapon.

What really shits me (pardon the pun) is when groups who have no real say in the world about games decide to put their bib in. Before March, when it was decided an ‘R18+’ rating would be allowed in Australia, the last meeting on the subject occurred in around August of 2011 in Brisbane where the members of parliament involved in the meeting came together for three hours. There are a cool couple million people in Oz who play video games, and the government decides to give away three hours of their precious time for video games? They spend more time giving each other additional surpluses of money on the general public’s dime! After this meeting occurred and it was said that the politicians left without an informed decision – a Melbourne Christian group came out and said this decision was a win for them. Why did they need to comment anyway? Not one of them had ever played a game, yet they were frequently accusing games of spreading the root of sin!

On top of this, it is almost ironic for a Christian group to come out and accuse video games of being the excuse for the world’s problems. Video games it would seem are nothing more than a scapegoat in the eyes of such organisations that wish to change the world to that which they want. Why can’t it be that some people are just naturally arseholes? Why does it have to be that everyone began as ‘good’ people, and then played a video game and then, and only then, did they turn into raving nut cases? It’s rich that Christian groups like the one that saw video games as an antagonistic evil labeled it as such, specifying that they should be banned and restricted. Now, what I am about to say is going to seem quite controversial to some, but couldn’t religion and Christianity be viewed in the exact same light as video games?…

Now, I may be an atheist, I will admit it, but that does not mean that I naturally despise religion. It simply means that I can look at it, discuss it and interpret it without being blinded by personal religious bias. But, I digress.

 …Seriously – if video games are responsible for but even one death, and I ain’t saying that they are – I can assure you, religion is responsible for more deaths in the entire human history than anything else combined. Video games are considered harmful to the people – they promote violence supposedly. Couldn’t religion be articulated in the same light? The Crusades – hundreds upon thousands of people slaughtered by armies of Christian soldiers just because they chose not to believe in Jesus Christ. And what about extremists? Are not their causes religious too? On top of this, Christianity reaffirms the idea that a person can kill and kill again and not feel at all guilty for their crimes – hell, a person could kill a million people, go to Church, ask God for forgiveness, and it shall be granted to them. Then, they will not only feel free of guilt – but will probably go out and kill another million people and feel the same exact lack of guilt immediately afterwards.

Moreover, video games are seen as been dangerous for children. Here’s a question for you – how many times have you heard a report on the news that a child has been grievously injured by a video game? Has been influenced to bring harm to another individual because of a video game? Now, with those answers in mind – how many times in the news have you heard reports that a priest or member of the church has sexually assaulted a young boy?

If you intend to ban video games, or restrict the content within them, then why not ban every single thing that is potentially hazardous to one’s health, regardless if there is verified proof to back up the allegations or not. This not only includes religion, but what about driving one’s car around? Having a shower? Walking down the street? Joining the military? Becoming a law enforcement officer? When will it end? Almost every single thing in the entire world can be seen as a tool for violence if it is interpreted that way. My idea – if we removed every single supposedly violent thing from our society, we would no doubt be relegated back to the Stone Age for anything and everything can be used aggressively if placed into the hands of a violent aggressor. On top of this, I would recommend that one does not quickly judge something before they have all the facts to make a substantial case. Not only is doing this foolish, ignorant and boring because one is simply copying every other group or person like an army of brainless sheep – it is also blatantly rude to prevent people from experiencing their entertainment just because a couple people here and there have a supposed ‘problem’ with the product. If every single thing the church had a problem with was forever banned, there would be nothing but the church left in this world.

Is this the future of gaming – a restricted world where content is blocked and games are banned? Where restrictions reign supreme? I certainly hope not, and if so, it ain’t the kind of world I want to live in!

Thank you for reading