I forget what inspired the fight with my girlfriend in the autumn of my sophomore year at college. She and I had been dating since high school and were always having stupid arguments, but this one ended with my girlfriend expressing her dissatisfaction with me by pointing at my stomach. She had been a runner on the track team whereas exercise and I were relative strangers to one another.
Naturally I felt she had scored a low blow and threw her out of the room with a “Good riddance!” to boot, but the anger behind my indignant reaction flamed out quickly. The sine wave of my mood disorder that charted my emotions took hold and I realized my girlfriend and I had been together for three years and how much I still loved her. Within a day of the breakup I was so low that I didn’t leave the dorm for anything other than meals or the bathroom. (more…)
I was extremely late to the BioShock party. I remember playing the demo on Xbox Live. I floated down to a city in the sea (a ridiculous proposition at best), was met with art that felt cartoony compared to the military shooters I loved and fired archaic weapons like tommy guns and revolvers at people wearing vintage clothing. I was not interested. (more…)
EA revealed the new Battlefield game at GDC 2013. You can watch the same 17-minute trailer online that the press was shown in an AMC movie theater, but imagine the power of the new Frostbite 3 engine blown up huge on a movie screen. Seagulls weave in circles in the sky and the motion is smooth and organic. When we take cover behind a cement block, the gradations of light and shadow in the pockmarked surface are subtle. The God beams from the setting sun are soft and diffused. (more…)
Console generations have historically been about moving the visual performance of the hardware forward. The gap between the current and previous generation was also about evolving connectivity. These are the two metrics I consider when I assess the need for another generation of console hardware, and then whether I need to get on board or not. (more…)
When I was a kid we had proper bad guys.
A fight is only interesting when it’s a fair one. The 21st century is the age of the military mismatch. Any great power that could stand toe-to-toe conventionally with the United States has no interest in doing so due to how intertwined all our economies have become. But no one gave a shit about that in the 1980s. Thousands of intercontinental ballistic missiles stood in silos, ready to arc over the Atlantic and Pacific and rain radioactive fire down on the United States, Soviet Union and all their allies. (more…)
For the last year, I’d been thinking about going to my grandmother’s assisted living facility, sitting down with my digital voice recorder and getting the story of her life. She was 93 years old and there was so much about her I didn’t know.
I’d heard bits and pieces of stories about growing up during the Great Depression, or what it was like to be at a high school dance and hear the announcement that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States was at war, but I never heard the complete versions and now I never will. (more…)
The five Halo titles developed by Bungie spoke of a much larger world beyond the confines of the console games. It was a place described in incidental dialogue among the marines of the United Nations Space Command, in computer terminals found on a gigantic alien installation called the Ark and in the live-action commercials for Halos 3, ODST, Reach, and the Neill Blomkamp directed “Landfall” live-action shorts. It was a universe described in glimpses and whispers. (more…)