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    Watch Dogs 2 (PS4)    by   dreimanatee       (Oct 16th, 2017 at 23:37:16)

    I have made quite a bit of progress. I have played a lot of the main quest to try and get through it before I have to return the game to the library. I have played the game throughout the week.
    The game continues to parallel to the real world and issues of information and technology sharing and company use of personal data.
    First was the infiltration of Nudle and the similarities to Google.
    The Burning Man festival a.k.a. "Swelter Skelter" Was entertaining too but the logic puzzles have become stale. The characters struggle to keep the game interesting once the game play has staled.
    I knew Horatio had to die. His character was too well developed and likable and helps further push Retr0's avenging vigilante persona. The drones are pretty overpowered now. I can just drop bombs and the Police A.I. isn't sophisticated enough to deal with it. After all the upgrades my character is unstoppable.
    Galilei or as some would say SpaceX also was a breeze to run through. I snuck past everyone and finished the mission within minutes. Disappointing since I was infiltrating corporate space plant. Despite that (and increasing the difficulty now.)
    I find that the vigilante acts of DedSec try incredibly hard to create a good image for themselves. While not as bad as a their motives seem just and their methods are a little rebranded to make the player feel better. Overall the story wouldn't be as interesting if there wasn't an overarching ultimate bad guy with a man bun. The side stories need an element, or scapegoat, to tie them together. One of the most interesting aspects about the game and Anonymous is for an orginization that lives in perpetual fear of doxxing it's incredible they go to such lengths to dox others. I agree that censorship is pretty trash and that corporations should be transparent. But laws were created for a reason and legislature exists to change those laws. The argument that DedSec would make is that the legislatures are too far into the corporate Oligarchy to actually listen to the people.

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    Watch Dogs 2 (PS4)    by   dreimanatee       (Oct 13th, 2017 at 11:23:25)

    I have been playing Watchdogs for this entire fall break after my business classes. I have enjoyed it thoroughly.
    With its obvious overtures to the hacking group Anonymous it brings up many ethical questions about censoring and personal information.
    Of course the faction DedSec believes that Blume's harvesting of information unchecked requires the Hackers to step up and protect users. Despite that it doesn't feel much better to have DedSec be the ones with the information.
    The clever parallels to Anonymous' history continues in the themes of the game. You have graphics that look similar to troll memes and the doxing of the Church in the game is very close to the story of Project Chanology against Scientology. Despite the fact that the game tries to make it easier for you to determine what is "right" I think that the game is really relevant in the conversation. With drones and access to cameras having anyone able to aquire personal information. Hackers aren't known for their idealism (aside from the vigilante styel of Anon.) But rather from their data breaches and bank siphons.
    DedSec pins itself up as the ultimate file
    I feel bad when I accidentally kill pedestrians in my stolen sports car. So by giving me an ideal of revealing the truth and exposing the lies of the games oligarchy seems heroic albeit thin in story. Characters are fun.

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    Polyforge (Arcade)    by   veruscio       (Oct 12th, 2017 at 03:39:37)

    Nivel 69. He logrado una confianza que no creía posible. Juego todos los días, eso es clave.

    Los niveles con figuras de lados iguales son más fáciles. Requieren un buen ritmo de tapping. Los otros niveles exigen mucha concentración. Los lados más pequeños son los que pueden generar más tiros fallidos: el tapping veloz o muy rítmico no siempre sirve.

    También descubrí que, en ocasiones, si miro un lado que no está iluminado, toco la pantalla apenas lo veo, independiente de que me toque disparar o no. Por eso, trato de no distraerme.

    Mi tapping actual me permite dejar un promedio de 7 lados no iluminados tras el primer giro.

    Cada vez más cerca del nivel 100.

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    Polyforge (Arcade)    by   veruscio       (Oct 9th, 2017 at 12:02:37)

    Estoy en el nivel 51. El juego, a esta altura, me apasiona. Mi objetivo es llegar al nivel 100.

    Comencé a usar dos dedos de la misma mano (índice y mayor) para reducir el espacio entre un disparo y otro. Así, según la velocidad a la que gira la figura, logro más lados contiguos iluminados. La clave es lograr la mayor cantidad de lados iluminados en la primera tanda. Cuantos menos lados queden pendientes a partir de la segunda vuelta, mejor. El riesgo de hacer esto es que es más fácil que se dispare dos veces al mismo lado.

    Ya no me molesta perder vidas. Antes me exasperaba; ahora me río si me falta un lado. Han elegido muy bien el color rojo para mostrar los fallos. De alguna manera, los cristales pequeños que aparecen junto al lado al que se disparó dos veces parecen gotas de sangre. Me genera ternura esto. No que se desangre, sino que haya algo en el juego que transmita humanidad. Finalmente, entendí que morir es la única manera de perfeccionar los tiros. Ahora, en efecto, puedo tirar hasta cuatro o cinco tiros en una misma vuelta.

    Hay colores que me resultan más agradables. El violeta con lados iluminados amarillos es mi preferido. Será el contraste, que es alto en ese caso. Detesto los colores más claros o cuando los lados se iluminan de color blanco porque me cuesta verlos y detectar rápidamente si están ya iluminados o no.

    Intenté grabar la pantalla con un capturador (dos, en realidad) para ver más tarde cómo voy pasando los niveles, pero me da error. Estoy investigando si es posible la superposición de pantallas.

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    Polyforge (Arcade)    by   veruscio       (Oct 7th, 2017 at 13:39:22)

    Llegué al nivel 32. El nivel 22 fue por lejos el más difícil hasta ahora. Estuve casi dos días para pasarlo.

    Mi coordinación ha mejorado mucho.

    He leído que otros usuarios del juego se ponen tan ansiosos como yo. Eso me ha dejado más tranquila. Mal de muchos...

    Todavía no descubro a qué se debe el cambio de velocidad del juego. Pero cuando sucede, trato de concentrarme para poder superar el nivel.

    También trato de hacer dos tiros como máximo por giro. Si hago más, suelo perder. También tengo un área débil, donde suelo perder: el cuadrante inferior izquierdo.

    Me siento más segura de seguir jugando. Si no pasaba ese nivel 22, era muy probable que abandonara el juego.

    Cuando lo pasé, estaba en el subte y grité un: «¡Vamos!» de alivio y alegría. No me importó la gente a mi alrededor.

    Hay gente que pasó el nivel 100. Me encantaría llegar a ese nivel de destreza. Es difícil, eso sí. Y a mí me puede llevar un largo tiempo.

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    Depression Quest (PC)    by   dkirschner

    Got to play this for its role in Gamergate. ----------- Actually very interesting and enjoyable experience. Dare I say important.
    most recent entry:   Sunday 4 December, 2016
    This semester I gave a presentation on gender and sexuality in gaming post-Gamergate, i.e., what has changed in response? I read more about Gamergate than I ever had before and figured I'd download the game that sparked the shitstorm. I'm all for interactive fiction and games thematically outside the norm, as is practically everyone who studies the medium. So one of my questions was simply, "Did I think this was a good game?"

    My first point is, although this isn't a game by mainstream definitions, it's a game by academic ones. That was the first and main criticism of Depression Quest before sex and journalism ethics was brought into it. There's artificial conflict (between your character and him/herself and other characters), there are rules, and there is a quantifiable outcome where your depression exists along a continuum. There is a goal (manage your depression), a feedback system (the answers you select change the following scenes and your character's depression state), and you play voluntarily. Given that I'd read soooo many diatribes calling this not a game, I kinda thought it wouldn't be, but it totally is, though atypical.

    My second point is that this is an important game. One way you can tell it is an important game is by the controversy it caused. People are having existential crises over games not looking and playing like AAA titles, which is bizarre in 2016. There are more indie games than grains of sand on the beach, man! Though one can easily imagine something more interactive to teach us about depression, this is a solid effort. I've recently played a game about a blind girl (Beyond Eyes) that provides some insight into that condition, and hopefully some empathy. I've played Papa & Yo about having an alcoholic father and child abuse. I have my students play Darfur is Dying to give them insight into life as a refugee in the Sudan. There's an app about everyday racism. There are so many important games that are not about shooting aliens or getting high scores. This is art that needs to be made and experienced. You can't convey in a painting what I just experienced in this simple text game about depression.

    Intro matter aside, I do not have depression. I do live with someone who does. My favorite person in the world suffers from it. I see her in this game. But the game encourages the player to see themselves too. I relate to some of the social anxiety that the character deals with (being anxious at a party, avoiding socializing with strangers, wanting to retreat to a room and/or just drink a lot real fast to get comfortable around strangers). That stuff isn't abnormal. One difference is that a depressed person is often embarrassed or ashamed by their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, whereas non-depressed people usually aren't. My partner sometimes sleeps like she's dead, stays in bed half the day, thinks she's screwing everything up, avoids difficult tasks, has low self-esteem, even talks about killing herself when things get overwhelming. That's life. You draw support from your network. You see a therapist. You try to find things that are meaningful to you. You try to find things to look forward to. It's not always going to happen, but you keep working at it. It's important for non-depressed people to understand that you can't rationalize a depressed person's thoughts. I can tell my girlfriend all day long, "You are stressed out because you are sleeping until 3pm and then you don't have time to do anything, and it's making you more stressed out" and it doesn't matter. Depression isn't rational. And depression makes people spiral inward and downward.

    The “quest” element in Depression Quest is thought-provoking, as I actively managed the character’s depression. That's the goal: get less depressed; manage it. It worsened to severe, but I got it back down to regular depression, and then to under control. Seeing a therapist helped in the game as in real life (luckily the character had a good therapist!). I usually couldn't pick the dialogue option that the real me would pick, but there was usually an option that's like a more resigned version of what I’d pick. Like, instead of “Just get out of bed and get ready for work. You’ll be late, but it’s better than not going at all!” I picked “I guess I'll get dressed and go to work, even though I'll be so late it won't be worth it.” There’s not that optimism, that positive thinking there. It’s more dread, futility.

    After I completed the game and got the "good" ending where you are successfully managing your depression, I replayed making clearly terrible choices and predictably the outcome was terrible. I hated my job, my girlfriend left me, I made a scene at dinner, I'm terribly lonely, etc. I must be good at dealing with life since I made all the "good" choices in the game. Oh, I also like that you can get a cat, which again as in real life, helped the character feel less lonely (if your cat isn't an ass at least).

    But does this sort of invalidate the premise of the game, that you can make choices that ease the depression? The game sort of undermines its own premise because you can easily choose the "correct" answers and get a positive outcome where the character manages their depression very well. I imagine this simply confirms for some people (who don't suffer from depression) the idea (that people with depression refute) that you can just think yourself out of it, which is problematic for developing empathy.

    I found Depression Quest a worthwhile experiment to click through. If you're curious, it takes like 45 minutes. Definitely made me think a lot more than I'd anticipated.

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