Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of The Counter of Death and Tap Hero, two mobile action games. They’re relatively simple games, especially within the action genre. Both use only two “buttons”. The Counter of Death actually has two virtual buttons, and Tap Hero splits the screen in two with each side becoming an invisible “button.” In each case, the simplicity of the controls belies surprisingly difficult games, but they’re not difficult because of their mechanics. They’re difficult because of my natural human limitations.
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I hate sleep. Maybe it’s because I’m just so bad at it.
I’ve grappled with insomnia for all of my adult life. At this point, much of it is my own fault. I pour copious amounts of stimulants into my body all day long (caffeine, nicotine, and the like). However, even before I developed my addictions, I never slept well. I resist sleep. It seems useless, an interruption to getting things done, and my brain tends to mull over thoughts endlessly, aiding in my resistance to falling into unconsciousness.
I’ve been following the evolution of Pokemon Go fairly closely for the past couple of months. I like the game, and I especially like the game as a social experience (for example, see my recent article ”Field Observations from a Non-Pokemon Go Player”).
I have watched the game since its initial launch and have seen the unprecedented numbers of Pokehunters that emerged to play the game at its launch. Even as player interest has dropped off and players have dropped out of the game following the initial mania to “catch ‘em all”, the game still clearly has its adherents. The initial numbers of players trying out a free app weren’t going to last, of course, but when you are talking about a player base that still remains in the millions, the game is unlikely to die out all that soon.
Fans of Kentucky Route Zero have waited two years for the penultimate chapter in the episodic game series.
This week we discuss the slow winding journey of The Mucky Mammoth down the Echo River, the slow dissolve of the game’s former protagonist, and speculate on where this journey to 5 Dogwood Drive will end.
One of the most common words used to describe No Man’s Sky (common, at least, when being positive about it) is “lonely”. PopMatters’ own Erik Kersting wrote a piece just last week about its “vast loneliness”.
But for a game that’s supposedly so lonely, there’s a crap ton of life everywhere you look. There’s a space station in every galaxy, and every planet is littered with crashed ships, outposts, transmission stations, and ancient monoliths—markers of intelligent life and civilization. Not to mention all the plants, every planet has some plant life, so there are no truly dead worlds. In fact, I’d say there’s too much life in No Man’s Sky. No matter where you go, you can never escape the presence of the three big spacefaring species. I think the review by the A.V.Club has the best description I’ve read of the game, “Your traveler is not really an explorer—you never visit a planet unknown to the galaxy’s intelligent species—they’re a pilgrim, traveling towards their sacred destination slowly and alone.” This universe was discovered, charted, and colonized long before we ever showed up. We may be traveling alone, but we are also never truly alone.