Nerdos iuvat fortuna

Thoughts from the life of a big nerd

Video Game Calendar

I’ve recently been playing some old Gamecube games on my Wii, which all started because I got a GameStop gift card and found some old used favorites. While playing these games I had some fond memories of wasting hours upon hours with video games in college. Then I started thinking that I could actually define my entire college experience by the most popular game from each year. As the video game market grew, each year brought a new popular video game. In addition, dorm life was an excellent way to gauge the most recent gaming trends.

So, it’s only fitting that I create a calendar of those care-free four years of my life based purely on video games.
Freshman year: Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64 was easily one of the most popular games ever for the console.  I had started playing it at the end of high school, but it carried over into freshman year.  I remember my across-the-hall neighbors were always playing Goldeneye, and I often joined in the fun.  Bond was soon a distant memory, however, when Grand Theft Auto 3 hit for the Playstation 2.  Everyone up and down the hallway was playing or watching someone play this game.

Everyone wanted the golden gun

Sophomore year: The end of freshman year and all of sophomore year saw the advent of the Gamecube and the Xbox.  My cousin and I roomed together and bought a Gamecube.  Our room quickly became the room to be in.  One reason:  Super Smash Brothers Melee.  I can’t even tell you how many countless hours I spent playing Smash Bros.  Even though this game is under the freshman/sophomore section, Smash Bros. is easily the defining game of my entire college career.  We had our own rules, language, and preferred characters and any deviation might associate you forever with your heinous Smash Bros. conduct.  To sum up, my life would not be the same without Smash Bros.

Junior year:  No self-respecting college junior in 2003 would admit that he never played Halo.  The brand new Xbox console stormed into the gaming world with one of the best first-person shooter/multiplayer games ever.  Everyone who had an Xbox had Halo and everyone who didn’t still knew how to play better than anyone else.  The fun increased even more when you went off campus to someone’s house and hooked up four Xbox’s on four TV’s and played 16-player Capture the Flag matches.  Once again, hours of time spent shooting each other in the face and trying not to be a camper (for the uninitiated, a camper is someone who hides somewhere high up and snipes people).

Senior year:  Senior year was a dark time in my life, devoid of any real video game meaning.  Halo was still popular and continually expanding as sequels started coming out, but when I transferred to a new school and did not find any video game buddies, I had a hard time establishing a video game identity.  I no longer had the Gamecube so I couldn’t play Smash Bros., although I’m sure I dreamed of Hyrule Castle and Falco’s powerful deflector shield.

Just like the Ice Climbers, I was being swallowed in a black hole of video game nothingness

Needless to say, video games are a fond memory of my college years, and they continue to be a fun way to pass the time, although nothing will quite match the experience of “four on the couch” for a a good match of Smash Bros.

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February 15, 2010 Posted by | Video games | 2 Comments

Lost?

The Lost Supper

***SPOILER WARNING***

At the end of the last season of LOST we were left with the question of whether the survivors of Oceanic 815 were able to reset the past or they weren’t.  In the words of Rob Bell, pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church, when faced with such a moral dilemma,

“Yep.”

The first episode of season six introduced the idea of alternate, parallel universes, or so it seems at this point.  Apparently there are real physicists who research this sort of thing.  It will be interesting to see where this new storytelling device goes, and if the two universes will ultimately reconcile or remain separate.  In addition to the multiverse concept there are several thing I look forward to some resolution on this season.

1.  Jacob and his Nemesis:

The mythology of the island has been one of the most fascinating elements of this show, although I may be biased toward anything related to ancient Central American temples in the jungle with Egyptian hieroglyphs all over them.  The history of Jacob and his nemesis, however, adds a compelling character focus to the mythology.  Now that we have seen revealing facts about the smoke monster I get the sense that the island’s secrets are going to be slowly revealed early this season.  The questions that still remain:  What are these characters?  Divine spirits?  Demi-gods?  How did they come to the island and how long have they been there?

Good vs. Evil?

2.  Desmond’s Role:

Last season Eloise Hawking told Desmond that he had a key role in the story of the island, and we saw in the premiere that he makes an unexpected appearance on the plane.  Jack’s recognition of him perhaps hints at a connection between the two universes.  It is likely that Jack would never have met Desmond in the alternate universe because he probably would not have been training for the race around the world.  This makes Jack’s recognition of him all the more revealing.  Maybe Desmond becomes something of a constant between the two universes.  It would fit the episode “The Constant” from season four.  Desmond quickly became one of my favorite characters on the show, and I hope to see much more of him this season.

3.  Alternate Relationships:

From the beginning LOST has been about the characters.  Their pasts have direct influence on how they interact with others on the island, and we have watched as complete strangers grew to become friends in the midst of a crisis.  The interesting question now is if the lives of these characters will intersect in a non-crisis reality.  There was some hint at this already in the scene between Jack and Locke in the airport, and I think that this might be the direction the show is heading in order to bring the story of the characters full circle.  Can these various people from various backgrounds recognize their faults and work to overcome them without the catalyst of a disaster?

I became a passionate fan the moment I started watching LOST, and I have never lost interest.  I hope these issues, and many more, are at least addressed in the final season, but I know there will be many things passed over that do not pertain to the broader story arcs.  And actually, I hope the show does not resolve everything because it would not be LOST if we did not have something to think about.  That’s why I love the show so much.

February 6, 2010 Posted by | TV shows | 2 Comments