Random Ruminations

It seems to be part of my nature to reflect on all my experiences--even the hobby experiences many people consider trivial. And I reflect best when I'm typing. So, here are some of my thoughts on games and gaming. Enjoy them if you can, comment if you like.

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Beached Again

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Don't hang around, 'cause two's a crowd on my cloud, baby.
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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<sigh> shake
I'm back around to feeling stuck on a sandbar again. My whole collection of games seems to be comprised of nothing but duds. The game of Master of Orion I just finished was too easy, but the two previous ones were frustratingly hard. And right now, MOO is old hat to me anyway.

I need a new game, but not just for the sake of novelty. I hate novelty; it's too ephemeral a delight. I want something solid and timeless.

I want a game I can immerse myself in so that it's like a holodeck vacation from all my cares. But it's got to be more than just entertainment; it has to mean something and do me some good. If I'm going to work at playing well and winning, I expect to be rewarded for my effort.

The other day, I ran up against a wall in Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal. I'm on the third level of Watcher's Keep, and I've encountered one of those fights that so far seems impossible to win--and yet has to be won if progress is to be made. I've been through that before, and maybe someday I'll get past this sticking point too, but right now it's discouraging, so I've put the game on hold.

I installed Avernum and started a game, but I soon got fed up with all the wandering around. The game feels juvenile to me and just doesn't catch my interest.

I've been wanting to pick a traditional strategy game and buckle down to learning how to play it reasonably well. Checkers is interesting to me again (it comes around periodically, along with chess and go). I got as far as installing a good, free checkers app, but it's so strong as to be crushing to me. I can't seem to muster quite enough motivation to tackle a beast like that.

The board wargame on my table, Ancient Battles Deluxe, has been just gathering dust for a couple weeks. I finished one scenario but haven't been able to bring myself to set up and play another.

So, I guess it's time to take a break from games and go do something else. Unfortunately, though it's Sunday and I'd like to be relaxing and having fun, it looks like I'm in for chores. I've got laundry to put away and a lawn to mow before it rains again.

The ups and downs of life, all the trials and tribulations--who needs 'em? Why can't life just be nice and smooth and easy and enjoyable all the time?
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Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:31 pm
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I Don't Want to Just Play a Game; I Want to Accomplish Something

p55carroll
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Minnesota
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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I just finished reading through a fine GeekList, and it made me reflect, once again, on my own taste in games--what works for me, and what doesn't.

The list includes a mix of strategy games, RPGs, and other kinds, and that prompted me to think about genres. There's a danger of overgeneralizing there, but I asked myself what my favorite genre is. I want to say it's turn-based strategy (TBS), but on the list were great games like M.U.L.E. and SimCity (1989), which I tried and didn't like much at all. Also on the list was Civilization (I and IV specifically), which I recently got fed up with an uninstalled for the third or fourth time.
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Sat Jun 2, 2018 9:08 pm
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Drifting Back toward Board Games

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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I thought I was pretty much done with board games, so I moved from BGG to VGG some time ago. Now I sigh every time I fire up my PC and look at my list of computer games. There's nothing I want very much to play.
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Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:20 pm
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Who's Escaping?

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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Sometimes a line from a movie or novel sticks with me long after I've forgotten what the story was about. That's the case with an old movie, Cutter's Way. I saw it just once, when it was new and in the theater. I remember the protagonist was a real character--a disabled vet, IIRC. I almost never remember actors' names, so that's about it. (I do remember the friend I saw the movie with; he died of a heart attack just a couple years ago.) But the main character was a heavy drinker, and at one point he said people are wrong if they believe he drinks to escape the pressures or difficulties of life; he drinks to escape the humdrum boredom of everyday life.

With that in mind, why do you play games? Why do I?
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Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:51 pm
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No Plot Complications, Please

p55carroll
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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Yesterday I came to realize something about myself: I can't stand complications.

At work, I rushed through a small job that didn't look quite right to me. Somebody had taken a shortcut, but it was late in the day, and I didn't want to track down all the connections, so I did my part and let it go. Then my coeditor painstakingly researched all the connections I had missed. We discussed the job, and I ended up apologizing for my shortsightedness and complimenting him on his thoroughness.
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Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:59 pm
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The Moment of Conquest

p55carroll
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Minnesota
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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For most of my life I've been passionate about games. I've collected them, played them, gathered friends together around them, immersed myself in them for hours on end, blogged extensively about them, read books on them, and even sometimes designed them. Yet all the while, I've been trailed by a shadow that says, "I hate games."

So, what is it that I want? And why does it keep eluding me?
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Sat Apr 7, 2018 4:37 pm
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Intense versus Casual Gaming

p55carroll
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Minnesota
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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Continuing my train of thought from my last blog post, I'm fast coming to the conclusion that I'm basically a casual gamer who's unusually intense about gaming.
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Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:42 pm
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Oops, I Guess I Had Already Found What I Was Looking For

p55carroll
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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Wow. All these years of searching--and over four hundred blog posts about it--and it turns out I had already found the right kind of game for me. I found it a long time ago.
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Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:03 am
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Like a Fine Wine

p55carroll
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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One problem with aging is that you get to know yourself better, and it turns out you're more complex than you like. Every opinion has several notable exceptions, and your preferences don't apply evenly across the board. It's great to be a unique individual, I suppose, but it can also be annoying.
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Fri Mar 9, 2018 1:17 am
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Back to My Roots

p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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Don't hang around, 'cause two's a crowd on my cloud, baby.
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If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
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Thanks to a fellow VGGeek for the inspiration for this blog post:
Sean D.
Canada
Langley
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I bought Panzer Corps yesterday, since it was on sale for a couple bucks. (Could have spent ten times as much and gotten all the DLC, but I restrained myself for once.) I'd been curious about the game for a long time, hearing it was an improvement on the Panzer General series, so now I get to see for myself. So far, having only breezed through the first four tutorials, I'd say it's just about like PG. I'm not informed enough to see the differences.
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Mon Mar 5, 2018 4:00 pm
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