Monthly Archives: April 2013

Video Chat

Prepare yourself, this post has nothing to do with writing or storytelling.

Maybe it’s just me and the people I know, but I feel like we completely under appreciate and under use the amazing technology that we have at our finger tips today. I’m sure some of it is lack of understanding that the technology is out there slash made easily accessible.  Though, that would be my reasoning for the older crowd. Maybe for the rest of us it just isn’t convenient enough yet.

One thing that is hardly ever used in my life that I feel like should be used all the time is video calling. Services like Skype or Google Hangout, or even Facebook now I believe, make this so easy. And what could be better than talking to someone face to face when you want to say something? One of the major flaws of technology is that it’s un-personal. Texting? How many things have you said in text that you would never say in person? Because it doesn’t feel real. You don’t have to look the person in the eye or even actually say the words. It completely defiles most of the meaning, and though even I text all the time, I’ll admit that sometimes it’s the safe coward way of saying something/ confronting someone.

On the other hand, if you actually care about someone and want to interact with them, video calling seems like the way to go no? I mean you can actually see the person and talk to them as if they were next to you. You can do this on the fly, with your phone! Instantly! In seconds, you can video call anybody you know and talk to them as if they were right in front of you, for any amount of time you desire. I mean, that’s like practically summoning a person in front of you to have  quick conversation, or opening a black hole to their current position just to say hi. This can be done with the push of a button and it never gets put to use. What is wrong with us? Ten years ago, the idea of this existing would have blown our minds.

 

Yet, instead of using this incredible, unfathomable, convenience, we take an hour to text one another about what to do for dinner. I understand the usefulness of texting while busy like at work, or school, or something, but while all parties are sitting around doing nothing , wanting food, wouldn’t it be easier to have a 5 minute Google video with everyone to decide that you want to get pizza at 630 instead of each all texting each other and getting confused for an hour to come to the same conclusion?  Yet, we still use texting as our main source of communication. Why?  I wish I knew.

 

 

It’s almost as if we have this strange belief that video calling someone has to be an involved process. That if you video call someone it’s to hold a conversation that will last longer. In reality this isn’t the case. I believe a video call should be used for the smallest of things. Let’s take away the barrier that technology thrusts upon on communication and make it personal again.

 

-Your Favorite Socially Awkward Texting Penguin

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Infinite Story

First of all, before we get into the real reason for this post wanted to comment on how fast it takes to get blood drawn. I went to get it done the other day and I think I spent a total of 5 minutes in the building from the time I walked in without a preset appointment to the time I left with the taped cotton ball. The process blew my mind, though other people don’t seem to be amazed at the process,; I am thoroughly impressed. Kudos to you, health care system.

 

With that out of the way, let’s get on with it. Today I want to talk a little about Bioshock Infinite. Bioshock Infinite is the second game, the other being the new Tomb Raider, to hold my attention in quite some time. It is simply brilliant thus far. I haven’t finished it yet, though I’m on the verge and wish I had much more playing time left.

 

I’m going to skip over gameplay details and focus on two things here: the story and the story telling. What else did you expect from a writer? Also, be forewarned here that I mean accidentally give away spoilers. I assure you it is not my intention, but in case you haven’t noticed I don’t even read over these things a second time before I post them. It’s not that I don’t want to. Maybe someday when I’m successful and don’t have a day job sucking every ounce of initiative out of me I’ll give it a try. Maybe.

 

I, for one, absolutely love the story telling in the Bioshock franchise. Sure they tell it the old fashioned way that everyone else does through ‘cinematic’ sequences, but it’s the additional audio files you find and listen to that are unique and work amazingly well. Picking up one of those files is exciting every time. And the best part? You can get the story without pausing your gameplay? I mean talk about streamlining the process. I think they really help submerse you more into the game as well. The files cause you to really focus your hearing on to the game and ignore everything else.  It causes you to activate your imagination to picture things happening in the game world as you’re playing. Now if that isn’t gaming on another level, I don’t know what is. A truly genius plot telling device. On the other hand, though the old time movie things are neat, I don’t think they add anything.

 

 

As for the plot itself? So far I like it a lot.  Granted I don’t the ending but it’s good. I think the world is brilliantly unique. The whole idea of the prophet and how they distort American history is fun and a nice change. And the two cross dimensional twins-who I have a huge hunch about but don’t know for sure yet- are quirky and unique. They add a nice mystery to the game and make you want to listen to the audio files to learn more about. And Elizabeth? Who doesn’t like a helpful, un-annoying, alternate dimension door opening NPC? No one, that’s who. And she’s pretty cute to boot.

 

 

AS always, I’m sure I’m forgetting to say something I really want to. But shout me your input and we can talk more about it. I’m still obsessively playing it, so of course I want to talk about it 24-7.

 

-Your Super Fatigued Bucking Bronco-Hand Cannon Combo Lover

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Books and the Future

Authors are creative people, if a bit what Kanye West would call cray cray. But I think the two come hand in hand, and so we must all put up with the ridiculous things they invent while we benefit from the ingenious things the invent. Yes, I said invent because in a way the create things that are unfathomable and in some cases some geek somewhere goes, that would be so cool to actually have, or I wonder if that can really be done?

 

Stories that we love give us inspiration. For some people this is the inspiration to go out and change your life.  Others sit back and decide they need to have better relationships with their mothers or fathers. Some people read a book and are like, “you know what? I could be a pirate.”. And luckily for all of us there are those scientists that read a book and see the future. I’m talking about the people that see Ironman and attempt to make a working Mark IV.  Which by the way, I really hope someone achieves someday, because being Ironman would rock.

 

Now, you might be sitting there thinking this is all cool and would be fun but hardly possible. A working Ironman suit could never possibly work, right? Well that’s what they said about going to the moon  or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But they both do now thanks to advance in technology. Of course, I don’t mean an actual Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but a concept of the device.  If you haven’t read the series, do so. Or at least the first book, because I’ll admit I didn’t make it through the 3rd for some reason or another.  But for those of you who don’t know, or need a little reminder,  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy  at its core is a book all in an electronic device. No pages, no bindings, just an electronic box that you can pull up any page to look at. Amazing right? Also pretty common now a days isn’t it, in many different forms too!  Nook, Kindle, there’s even ones out there that can do far more than what The Hitchhiker’s Guide could do.

 

What I’m getting at is that books inspire the future. What someone creates in their craft can very likely become common place down the line because somebody smart that it would be really cool. In this way you could argue that authors are inventors. And because of this, a fully functional Ironman suit could be on the way. At least, that’s what I hope.

 

-Your Inventor of Things That are As Physically Impossible as Possible in Order to Generate a Fantastic Future

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