Author Archive: Guest

Am I a cheater?

Interesting article that points to another interesting article. I love it when that happens.

Anyway, I play games for pleasure, and for me that doesn’t necessarily mean a perfect performance. In fact, it usually means a good-enough one;  for example, unless I’m after a specific achievement, I tend to play on easy. The story for me is generally more important than the challenge of blowing things up. (A notable exception is Skyrim, where combat is a different animal than the games I’ve been playing recently.)

I cheat. I cheat where I can’t figure things out and I can’t advance the storyline until I do. Puzzles I can’t solve usually get half an hour or so of my beating my head against the wall before I peek at a walkthrough. And yes, achievements I can’t seem to achieve? The folks who post their methods to YouTube are occasionally my heroes. It really doesn’t feel like cheating when these things are so amazingly weird and obscure that I’m amazed anyone ever figured them out at all.

On the other hand, I almost never go back to a prior save, which is weird because I don’t consider it cheating. I just have a hang-up about time and what happened having happened makes it irrevocable, like it is in the world we live in. Pity, too. I could save myself a lot of trouble that way. When I, like the author, shot a guard in Markarth, I decided to battle it out. It was entertaining, but the authorities were ultimately unimpressed. Funny thing is that I’m usually so polite in that game.

In any case, I’m in awe of the folks who never do any of these things, even though I have no desire to ever be that good at it.

People aren’t built for the modern world.

I’ve been saying this for years, and more often now that I’ve been diagnosed with a severe mental illness. I’ve always felt that these things that are so problematic now must have been a positive somewhere in the past. Apparently I’m not the only one; there have been actual studies and real live papers about it.

Mind you that this is presented with Cracked’s usual offbeat sense of humor, but that makes it no less interesting: 5 Brain Disorders That Started as Evolutionary Advantages.


And now I’ve got Brian Wilson in my head:

I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times

For Real.

I keep seeing this list of 22 books that people pretend to have read pop up all over the place, and I have to say that as such lists go it’s a highly likely one. Having been an English major, I’ve actually read more of them than seems average in my normal circles. The real takeaway, though, is that you can listen to me about reading Catch-22 now that Buzzfeed says it will make you look smart. I still believe that it is, hands down, the finest novel ever written in the English language.

Speaking of Windows Phone…

Words With Friends or not, my new Nokia has to be the single best piece of technology I’ve bought in the last few years. It’s fast, it works flawlessly, the interface is intuitive, it looks good, it works as a phone, it has an awesome camera, and despite the bitching I hear everywhere, I haven’t had a problem at all finding apps for it. Certainly the selection isn’t as big as for iOS or Android, but anything I’ve really wanted I’ve been able to find a solution for.

I am now lusting after a Windows 8  laptop. This phone is That Good.

Anyway, I cannot recommend the thing enough. I’m sure it’s not for everyone (not everyone wants to be as app-minimal as I run), but it’s a beautiful piece of technology.