January 21st, 2009

gamer rolled a 1

Farming psychological disorders for gold

Well, I stayed up all night dicking with Guild Wars again. I really don't know how I feel about this game. On one hand, I feel pretty sick to death of it and I feel like I'm spending my time bashing my head against a wall trying to figure out how it works. On the other hand, if you count up the hours I've put into it in the short amount of time I've been playing you could easily conclude that I must love it. I think part of the discrepancy is due to my not yet diagnosed but very real affliction with gamer OCD. This is a special sub-classification of the disorder that only affects gamers. I don't compulsively wash my hands or check to make sure the stove is off. Instead, what I do is spend inordinate amounts of time grinding away at some game just so I can have every single spell/wand/materia/level/etc in existence. I can't always predict when it will strike since only certain games seem to trigger the response. What I can be sure is that I spend agonizing hours on my quest for completionism, all the while wishing I could just quit and stop. It's a disease. Pity me.

On a slightly less deranged note, I've also been watching episodes of Solitary on Hulu. I finished all of season 1 a couple days ago and am halfway through season 2. It's an interesting show to say the least. From what I can see, it kicks the crap out of every single other 'reality show' I've ever seen as far as torturing the contestants go. You wouldn't believe some of the things that these people are subjected to and the best part of it is that they do it to themselves. They're free to quit at any time and if they happen to be the first to quit, they're booted of the show. No doubt that sort of voluntary participation is how the show's producers hope to dodge any potential lawsuit and why they feel justified in pumping up the potential psychological and physical damage to the contestants. I'm surprised that there hasn't been a lawsuit already despite the voluntary nature. There's decades of psychological research on the detrimental effects of enforced isolation, near starvation diets, and sleep deprivation. I only hope they run these people through some fairly extensive psych evals before they're allowed on the show. It wouldn't take much to push an unstable person over the edge with some of these treatments.

As with most reality shows, part of the fun of something like Solitary is to watch along and try to decide whether you could have done better than the various contestants. I'm sure all of us have boastfully claimed that we could have eaten more maggots, ran a race faster, or excelled at whatever the challenge was. In this case, I know I wouldn't stand a chance. There are just too many physical elements and I'd be in pretty sorry shape without my pain meds even without those challenges. I do think I could probably handle the solitary part for a good chunk of time. There are times where I feel like I spend most of my life in solitary.
discworld grim squeaker

Flaming death rodents

There are some stories you just can't help but wish a video camera had been filming for. Preferably with a Benny Hill-esque sound track going in the background. Then again, I'm probably being overly optimistic. I just like the idea of it running around completely enflamed.

JONES, Okla. -- A squirrel caught fire, sparking a blaze Wednesday morning that resulted in the evacuation of an elementary school in Jones, fire officials said.

Investigators said the squirrel touched two power lines at the same time and fell to the ground near Britton and Hiawassee roads.

That fire burned 5 acres in the Jones area, forcing the evacuation of the elementary school. Those students were taken to Jones High School.

I can't help but think there could be a weapon system somewhere in this. I figure we can coat any future squirrels with some flame retardant gel and then with napalm. We light them all on fire and then fire them out of a canon into enemy territory. There would have to be some system that lets them land safely and then they could run around in a frenzy setting the local brush on fire. The resulting smoke would provide cover for the movement of infantry in the area.

Now, this obviously wouldn't work in an urban area. Well, not until our scientists discover a way for squirrels to set fire to concrete. Still, it could be very useful in the brush or woodland areas.
wonderfalls smoosh face lion

This is your life

Ever take a look at your life and wonder why you haven't put a gun in your mouth and pulled the trigger yet? I'm having one of those retrospective moments right now. I mean, look at my situation. Life has pretty much fucked me in ass and then didn't even have the courtesy to call me the next day. I pop pain pills like candy to keep Stabby McOwie away, I'm practically a shutin, I have no prospects for things getting better, and there are almost no real positive points in my life right now. All that being said, I've been relatively chipper these past few days. I have no idea why. Part of the current stoic mood might be due to the buoying effects of caramel popcorn. It's very likely that after this bag of popcorn is gone, I'll go back to wishing I was dead and could take the world with me. Maybe the bag is spiked with happy juice, made from the pulped remains of dozens of chipper pixies. Damned if I understand it.

I'm sure all this relative goodwill will soon filter away. I just find it sort of amusing that it's stuck around for this long.