Saturday, May 19, 2012

Just Chillin'

And seeing the autocomplete come up for that title, I'm about to hunt through the archives (657 posts) to see where I used it before ...

First games of the season are always tough for me physically, even before I get in the way of the ball and hurt myself. I've appreciated the chance to do very little today except watch the cricket while simultaneously watching videos from the gamer people.

One thing that struck me during the TGS podcast was the difference between what gamers look for in their fun and what gym people look for in their chosen past time. They were criticizing Diablo 3 not for being cursed by a daft always-online restriction but for being too samey. In a lot of games (I can't talk for Diablo 3 because I don't intend to buy it) the game suffers due to repetition. The gameplay life of the game is extended by repeating the same maps over and over again but with only very subtle differences.

Yawn. I gave up on Diablo 1 early due to that. Random map ? Annoying. Same enemies ? Yawn. Different colour but exact same enemies just tougher ? Watupwidat ?

Mass Effect 1 suffered from this a bit by the side quest missions being set in prefab buildings. Which makes sense for the setting but it's incredibly boring going into Prefab Garage 89 after Prefab Garage 1,2,3,4etc, with the variation being Underground Bunker Prefab or Standard Space Freighter. That didn't make Mass Effect 1 a bad game but it did make it somewhat Grindy. (Where the game duration is extended through repetition)

Ok - what makes that comparable to gym people ?

I don't go to a gym. Never have. Although I can run Very Fast, I've never done jogging training either (I should do). The reason is that I can't stand that repetition thing. If the aim of the session is to do 50 push ups, 30 sit ups, 100 reps on Equipment A, 100 reps on Equipment B, 10km on the bike - that to me is boring as hell. Apart from "I want to get fitter", there is no real aim to it.

Sport is much better than Exercise for the sake of it. I'd like to be as good as I can be on a cricket field. I have the potential to be a very effective batsman at my level and the core speed to be a better fielder. It doesn't come out at the moment. So my aim is to unlock that potential and prove to myself that I can still get runouts. I'm a harder person to please than the rest of the two teams I'm involved in.

When I look back at the two games this week, I can see all sorts of ways I could improve in terms of skill. If I'd spent that time in a gym, all I could improve is number of reps or time taken. I'm stiff as hell at the moment but I feel like I've earned it.

And through that, I've earned the opportunity to have a chill out.

Wait - games vs exercise. Exercise is solely against yourself. Games (both sport and online multiplayer) are all about being up against other people. Your skill vs their skill. If you win, you feel like you've earned it. (But don't forget to remember a "yeah, we lost to better opponents, we'll try harder next time")

Cricket's over for the day now so the music's gone on. I owe you guys a music post sometime soon but before that, what new stuff has appeared ?

Maroon 5 - I've been pleasantly surprised by these guys. Their Songs About Jane was an excellent album and their Hands All Over is pretty good too. I just picked up their "It Won't Be Soon Before Long". It's not my favourite Female Vocal + Band type theme but the variation makes them great to listen to.

Morcheeba - is more variation in the way that Portishead is variation. They're both very different and with a brain that works like mine (great memory can be a bitch sometimes for avoiding boredom) that variation makes me sit up, listen and sing along.

Air - Pocket Symphony came along at the same time as the Maroon 5 album (2 for £10!). It's more variation.

Saying "variation is good" though, I'm looking forward to listening to some Cardigans, Alisha's Attic, All About Eve and Kate Bush (old ones, the new ones suck) albums again.

PS Physically ? I think I'm about to start improving there. Thighs still feel like iron but I think tomorrow they'll start to forgive me. Hands are bruised, as are the legs. Right shin has spectacular bruising. Back and shoulder are sore (snafu). Will I make Wednesday's game with all that ? Should do :-)

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