For a fun little strategy game that involves killing zombies and securing an island, try Shattered Colony: The Survivors. I blame it for the briefs I didn’t succeed in writing last week. And my newfound penchant for blowing up bridges and raiding semis for “wood,” the game’s generic building material.
October 26, 2010
September 30, 2009
My brother wrote a lovely piece for The Escapist wherein he postulates that hardcore unemployed gamers are getting their employment satisfaction jollies from said gaming. Or something. I’m quoted at some point.
January 18, 2009
Meetup is an odd thing, isn’t it? Sometimes you’ll find a dozen and a half people, who purport to be interested in the same subject matter–e.g. silent films, lowland hikes, bowling, Ron Paul–all located within a fairly short distance of your house. And sometimes you’ll organize or attempt to attend a particular get together, and of those dozen and a half people, only one or two people will show up. And other times, you’ll get something approaching 100% response rate, with 50% attendance. I have yet to detect what sort of factors make for a successful meetup.
Last Spring, a pinochle-related meetup formed in Olympia. I promptly joined. After all, I have a longstanding love affair with cards, and have missed it since the Pine Cone pinochle parties of 2005-6. Months passed with no word. Eventually, in December four of us met at a clubhouse in a housing development on the road toward Boston Harbor. Good time. Partner play, with odd scoring rules. But good time.
Shortly after the holidays, I prompted the organizer to set up another game. Offered my house. Eight people RSVP’d yes. Seven people actually turned up. Another good time. Again, odd scoring rules, with other long-time players thrown off. Need standardization. So I’m going to put my standardized rules here, for posterity:
Re meld: Run (A10KQJ) in trump is 15. AAAA (aces around, i.e. one in each suit) is 10. KKKK is 8. QQQQ is 6. JJJJ is 4. Pinochle (QS & JD) is 4. Double pinochle is 30. Marriage (KQ in same suit) is 2. Marriage in trump is 4. 9 of trump is 1. All the aces is 100. All the kings is 80. All the queens is 60. All the jacks is 40. No bigamy in runs (i.e. don’t get to count marriage within run if meld run and don’t get to use king or queen in melded run as one leg of a marriage).
Re play: start with bid/last trick winner, moving clockwise until all four have played for each trick. Must play in suit if possible. Must beat trick, including with trump, if possible. 1 point for each A, 10, and K taken, and an additional point for taking the last trick, for a total of 25 points.
Bid as a team for meld plus play. Winning team exchanges 3 cards. No pass backs. Trump named before exchange. Bidding starts to left of dealer; if no bids, dealer stuck with bid. Opening bid/stuck bid set at 25. If don’t make bid, down by bid only. If don’t take trick during play, lose meld. If stuck with bid, do have opportunity to throw in early (i.e. before meld counted).
Does any of this sound familiar? Or do I play weird? [By the by, anyone who wants can join the meetup.]
April 26, 2008
Working hypothesis: people who played a lot of Tetris at some point in their lives are better at efficiently loading dishwashers than people who rarely or never played Tetris. Evidence?
April 16, 2008
In this, a relatively vacant trial week, I really ought to be spending some time coddling my private clients. But instead, I’ve been wasting hours on a rather addictive and well-designed game called Canyon Defense. I’d recommend it, but then I’d be supporting the time suck. And I’d hate to do that…
April 5, 2008
You know the knowledge imparted by your high school chemistry teacher has disintegrated when you score, as I did, a mere 33 out of 118 on the Periodic Table. It’s one thing to miss not-named-until-after-graduation elements like dubnium, which I learned as unnilpentium. I’m even willing to forgive myself for not remembering not-so-everyday elements like scandium or ruthenium. But how embarrassed am I to miss so many obvious elements, like sulfur, lead, iodine, and nickel.
[From I Let My Fists Do the Talkin'.]
March 23, 2008
Man, can Henry Rollins speak. A cross between a Denis Leary-style comedian and a “This American Life” essayist, but inhabiting the body of a self-deprecating former 80s pop star with absurdly enhanced stamina and rage. I guess I’m trying to describe is Michael Palin, born in an alternate universe in America a couple of decades late, and joining a Washington, D.C. punk band instead of a comedy troupe. Or something.
After over three hours of listening to non-stop amusing anecdotes, political rants, and a pretty entertaining demon voice, I was impressed with Mr. Rollins’s packed-house performance at the Capitol Theater last night. But something rubbed me the wrong way. Well, a lot of things rubbed me the wrong way, because like most political comedians (which is primarily what the former Blag Flag frontman has become), his stage naivete and overrsimplification (which may or may not be representative of his private self) gets grating after a while. But that comes with the territory any time there’s a one-sidedness and performance aspect to what’s being said. No, what bothered me about Mr. Rollins was that he referred to an Xbox 360 as a “game.”
See, many older people who came of age before video games were an at-home staple don’t seem to be able to get their heads around the word “console.” Hell, I’m not sure I was aware of the term when I first managed to convince Santa Claus to drop an Atari 7800 in my lap, so I can’t blame them for not getting the lingo straight. But there’s something awful about people using the word “game” in place of “console.” “Gaming system” would be fine. “Machine” works. “Thingy that the game goes in” will do. But Xboxes, Wiis, PlayStations, Gameboys, and Geneses are not games. Any more than a football field is a game. Or a computer with Minesweeper pre-installed is a game. They are equipment.
So, Mr. Rollins, when you get on stage in the future with a story about grown men fighting over an Xbox 360 as evidence that Christmas is awful, please pay attention to what you’re saying. The Xbox 360 is a console, not a game.
June 16, 2007
Again, the cases I thought would go to trial this past week somehow didn’t. One partial plea, partial dismissal for want of a witness. Another dismissed for want of a witness. Another dismissed for lack of evidence of witting possession. And one I expect to be dismissed for want of a witness (although technically, it is pending dismissal under the speedy trial rules).
Which meant the June trial term was as oddly light as usual. A week of boredom was filled with all sorts of things, including trying to bring myself up to speed on condemnation actions. But mostly, it was filled with time-wasting gaming.
While I am not as uniformly enamored with the zombie film as some folks I know, I do enjoy a good zombie-infused standoff. See e.g. both Dawn of the Dead films. For a relatively simple gameplay along the same lines, check out The Last Stand. And remember to aim for the brain.
June 10, 2007
Another amusing timewaster that contributed to another lost Friday: IndestructoTank!
June 26, 2006
For a lovely and engaging puzzle game–reminiscent of Monty Python artwork, only interactive–look no farther than Treasure Box. Not nearly as tricky as some of its kin, and thus, to me at any rate, much more enjoyable.
[From Table of Malcontents.]