Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bordering on Obsession

Alright, guys. I admit it. I am REALLY on a Hunger Games kick right now. Having just finished the first book again, this is somewhat understandable.

You know a book is good when it's actually better the second time.

I mean, it was good enough the first go around. But this time I'm already attached to the characters, and I know what is going to happen. And I was somehow hoping that it wouldn't happen again.

It did. I was dying the entire time. No pun intended.

But I was. I cried at the Rue thing. (I won't say what the Rue thing is, because some haven't finished them yet. But if you have, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.) That, for me, is seriously the emotional low/high of the whole thing. And when I say that I mean it's a low because it's awful, but it's a high in terms of the amount of emotion.

And holy cow, the girl who is cast to play her in the movie is SO FREAKING CUTE.

I am sorry for my overzealous use of all caps. But sometimes I just need to do it.

Back to business. She is adorable. Even if the movie turns out to be crap, I will cry there for sure.

In other news, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta: YES!

He may not be blonde, but face shape-wise and general build-wise he's exactly how I see Peeta in my head. Also, he's a spectacular actor. And I'd rather have a great actor than a good look alike any day.

Basically, this movie has the potential to go the way that all of these movies do -hollywood blockbuster that destroys the story and the only thing good are the effects - but I don't think it will. So far, according to everything that I've read about the director and about Jennifer Lawrence, I really think that they are trying to make a legitimately good movie interpretation of this.

Let us all hope that my faith has been well placed.

Time for the confession: I was already excited about this movie. I think I posted about it before, actually. But having just re-read the first book and re-looked up movie info, right now my excitedness is even over-shining the last Harry Potter movie.

Shocking, I know!

But it is. I'm beyond psyched for the midnight showing of the final HP in 3 weeks, but honestly, right now I wish it was the Hunger Games. It'll cool down again, I'm sure. But for real, I'm hyper excited.


Okay. That is all.

A random picture. These aren't the actors, just somebody's art. But I like it. The way he's touching her arm as they sit there is very Peeta. :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The New Personality Test

What kind of gamer are you?

We'll use pinball as an easy example. Partly because I spent about 2 1/2 hours playing it today. In windows pinball you get three balls. You get points by hitting stuff (obviously) and by keeping the ball going as long as possible, but you have to complete missions with the balls to get the real points. I've discovered that average for me is about a million points per ball. My current high score is 5,048,750

This is a screen shot of a game I was just in. As you can see, I played my first ball and died almost instantly. I didn't even start a mission let alone finish one. It's here waiting for me to launch my second ball.

So, what kind of gamer are you? When you're going for a high score and your first ball is this miserable, do you restart and restart until you get a good first turn? (This is what I usually do. I've been known to restart MarioKart like 12 times when I'm trying to set a track record, just because I didn't get the speed boost start.)

Or, do you persevere? Maybe the second ball will be so awesome that the first one doesn't even matter.

How do you look at it? And does this have any life implications? I really think it does. Not that one way is better than the other in terms of how you play pinball. I'm pretty sure it won't be on any kind of "Entrance to Heaven" Checklist. But it might tell you something about yourself.

I play Alpha Centauri sometimes. It's very similar to civilization (it was made by the same people) except that it takes place on an alien planet.

There are 7 factions you can choose to play. (From left to Right. I promise, this all has a point.)

The Morganites - Under CEO Morgan. They're all about the money. Their main strength is a strong economy. If they're going to win, it's probably going to be because they cornered the global market and have a monopoly on everything.

The Hive - Under Chairman Yang. They're socialists. Their main strength is political/social. They usually have about a billion cities, and brainwash all their citizens.

The University - Under Provost Zakharov. They're scientists. They'll out-technology you. While you're still using conventional missiles, they'll be making a planet buster strong enough to literally blow a giant hole in your continent. (Which is actually kind of fun to do).

The Gaians - Under Lady Dierdre. They're tree-huggers. This is an alien planet, after all. Might as well be friendly with it. Their main strength is using the natural forces of the planet (like mind worms), and not getting attacked by them as much as everyone else.

The Spartans - Under Colonel Santiago. It's all military. If they win, it's probably because their gigantic army crushed you under the soles of its boots.

The Believers - Under Sister Miriam. They're religious fanatics. And I really mean fanatics. Totally crazy. (Almost as much as the Hive) But it makes them very socially strong. In other factions, you can send spies in to bribe people, and then you can take over their city without fighting. But the believers are so strict in their morals that bribes don't work. They're totally immune.

The Peacekeepers - Under Brother Lal. They're supposedly the "Peacekeepers". Basically what's left of the U. N. They aren't really so peaceful but they can talk their way in and out of everything. They're really strong with government and order and everything.

(Are you really getting a rather stereotyping/racist vibe from all of these?)

After reading this, I'm fairly confident that there is at least one of those that seemed to be the most reasonable one to you. The rest seem okay, but it just looks like one or two have all the advantages. Which was it for you?

The interesting thing is that all of them have a main advantage and a main disadvantage, which makes them all equally capable of winning the game.

But I've noticed that in games like this, people who play them tend to play the same characters over an over again. Sometimes they branch out and experiment with the others just for fun, but they always come back, because of what I said.

I very legitimately think that this kind of thing is a great way to assess personality. If said person were to actually come in charge of a civilization, you'd know what kind of leader they'd be, and where their focus would lie. Yeah, I know, it's just a game. But even our games can betray personality.

What is mine?

I always play this guy, for two reasons: One, because I really like the picture. Those glasses things are way cool to me for some reason that I can't really explain. But two, and most importantly, because these are the science guys.

Sure it's great to be big and muscley, but it won't help you if I blow your entire city up first. And sure, it might be a great thing to have a strong and wealthy economy, but that doesn't help you defend yourself when I invade with a legion of neutron-armored hovertanks.

And anyway, Academecian Prokhor Zakharov sounds pretty cool.

In real life, I'd totally be like this too. "Your soldiers' martial arts are really awesome. I'm impressed. *pushes button*. Too bad they're all dead now."

Alright, before you think I'm a psycho, we're talking about extreme situations. Our country is being invaded, and the only way to save the lives of our citizens is to destroy the other army. And for some reason I'm in charge. How would I go about it? Pretty much just like that.

So yeah, there are things I'd do in games that I certainly would never do in real life. For example, if you give me enough money in a game (but I don't come cheap) I'll declare war on whoever you want me to. It'll cost you, and you've got to have a really good case. And I'd only do it if it didn't hurt me. But I am completely bribable in games. I sell technology for money. I'll attack someone if you pay me.

Not completely so in real life. I hate betrayal more than almost anything else. So no, I would never, ever turn in a friend just for some money. But if I had absolutely no other motives to consider, well...

Even so, I think there's still a lot that we can tell about me. We can see that I like to carefully weigh options. I like to make profitable trades. I keep the best things for myself. I don't like to just barely win; I like to crush the enemy into the dust. I bide my time, and then spring the trap. I like to manipulate. To get people to do what I want, without them knowing that I got them to do it. I'm not proud of it, but it's true.

There's more, but this post is already WAY too long.

Next time you play a game like that, take a look at the things that you consistently do. It may reveal quite a lot about your personal character.

Next Day UPDATE:

For anyone who cares, I just now exploded my all time pinball record. I've been playing this game since it came out on windows years ago, and I've never done this well. My first ball was only a couple points away from 4 million all by itself. The funny thing is, though, that my second ball died almost instantly. But I still got a great score. Ironic, anyone?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'm a Brainist.

I always considered myself a pretty non-judgmental person.

I seriously don’t care what brand your clothes are or where you bought them.

I honestly don’t care if your family is famous or has a load of money.

And I really don’t care if you’re super good at sports and stuff.

But I realized, partly last night, and mostly today, that I’m a big fat liar. I still don’t care about those things, but there are other things that I’m really judgmental about. Namely intelligence. When someone doesn’t understand something that seems extremely simple, I automatically write them off as lower quality.

And really, who am I to do that? So maybe I’m pretty good at understanding science, or memorizing things. There’s a lot of stuff I’m terrible at too. Like finance. Taxes and all those CPA terms make me feel like a complete moron.

Being severely impatient when people don’t understand things isn’t very non-judgmental.

So, to everyone, if I’ve ever been rude or mean, or just made you feel like an idiot because I treated you like one, or even if you never knew that I thought you were a dunce cap, I’m sorry.