Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A Barrage of Disks

The last days of september through the middle of january, the "Holiday Season" has historically been a strong few months for gamers and game companies. This year is no different, except that really it is. There was a drought for a while, in games, it seemed that for a while the only thing to do was to anticipate the new games that the companies had us all salivating over. The avalanch has begun however, and many gamers find too many titles to adequately play. On a completely unrelated note-I'm sure, I've been particularly unproductive lately.

Doom 3 has been out for a while now, Half Life 2 has gone gold, and Halo 2 should be arriving shortly as well. I don't play first person shooters though, so lets get to some of the releases that I've particularly excited about. Not too long ago, I finally got around to buying Resident Evil 0, it's been a really fun game, but sadly it doesn't stand much of a chance of getting finished anytime soon, in the face of all it's competition. Not too long ago, I took a risk and purchaced another PS2, having been without one for about a year, since my old one crapped out. Along with the PS2 I picked up Star Ocean 'Till The End of Time. Two days later I was back up at gamestop picking up Tony Hawk's Underground 2, and a day after that, Paper Mario 2; I have yet to pick up Silent Hill 4, and I'm still eagerly awaiting Resident Evil 4.

This year seems to be the year of long awaited sequals, but the question is, why are all the games in a year of great games? The game companies seem to have gotten the idea into their heads that the christmas season is the only time when gamers want to play games. The idea certainly has roots in sound logic, there was a time when games were relegated to the realm of expensive childrens toy's. There was also a time when children had a much smaller disposable income, and had to rely on gifts on their birthdays and on christmas to get the expensive toys, such as videogames. Neither is true today.

The single largest market for videogames today is males, age 18 to 35, followed closely by a tie between males ages 12 to 18 and females age 20 to 35. The fact is that two of the largest game markets not only have year 'round disposable income, but many have less income to spend on games in the holiday season, because a lot of gamers now are at the age where they have kids to buy for now.

I suggest that we show the game companies that we are willing and able to buy games year 'round, I say gamers of the world, since it will take a while to finish the majority of the games that are comming out this season, put a couple of games on hold, buy a couple of those new games this summer.

Dreams that Haunt

So I had a dream the other night, it was kind of depressing, but I think that I'll share it with the 2 or 3 of you who read this site anyway. Here it goes.

I don't know what time of day it was, it had to be sometime in the midmorning. The sky was already a pale blue, the sun hidden behind the wispy clouds as it ventured to it's noontime azimuth, but the air outside was still cool as it kissed my cheek, and dew still clung tightly to the blades of grass and the clovers that made up the lush green lawn. As I stepped out onto the back deck to behold the surroundings, I was reminded of a sadness in my heart, today was the day of my father's wedding. This was his fourth wedding, and I didn't hold anything specific against his new bride, except that historically my father did not pick the best women to betroth. From the left I saw her and my father round the house, dressed in their wedding day finest, and I stepped down the stairs into the yard and to give them both a hug and my blessings. The blessings were of course half hearted, but I wanted at least to be polite. In all honesty I didn't know the woman, but I was sure that I probably didn't like her. "You know she has a daughter your age" my father said to me, as though this was some coincidence of special magnificence, but I barely gave it a second thought.

I'm not sure if I was bored or overwhelmed with the situation, but the cause doesn't really matter I think. I decided to slip worlds. To slip worlds sounds like an amazing feat to the uninitiated, but is quite common and ordinary for those who have learned how to do so. The world we see is one of many, and they are not so separate. With skill one can learn to slip under the thing veil that separates these worlds, and explore entire other universes.

I found myself on a boardwalk, the sun was setting, and the stars were already in the sky, which was a brilliant shade of deep violet. I listened to the soft sounds of the waves as the washed up on the beach, and walked around the oddly shaped boardwalk, until mine eyes happened upon a woman. She was a little taller than me, not by much. Her skin was soft and white as porcelain, her lips a deep black. Here eyes were blue, and the eyeliner she wore was black and red. Her hair was black as well, a few inches long, spiked up. She wore a dog collar with steel spikes. Her outfit was leather, elegant but simple, ankle pants and a leather and cloth v-neck shirt. We began to speak.

I was enthralled by her grace and beauty, and I learned that she was the daughter my father had spoken about, and a fellow world slipper. We spent a great deal of time talking, when to my surprise, she embraced me and kissed me deeply and for an infinite moment, I was lost in her lips. Then something happened that had never happened before, I blipped, I was, for the blink of an eye, not in this world any more. It was as though I had disappeared for the briefest moment, but when I returned, she was gone. I looked around, wondering where she could have gone, when I ran across a strange old man.

The man was short, no more than 3 and a half feet tall, wearing a yellow rain coat, and a Vietnamese style pointed hat, he had thick glasses and a white beard that touched the floor. He told me that she had gone. My heart dropped and as I tried to get more information from him, I glanced upward into the ever darkening sky and I saw her face among the clouds. We spoke at length, the visage in the sky and me. I completely disregarded the old man, and walked to a secluded part of the boardwalk. I told her that I longed for her embrace once more, I longed to be with her forever.

Suddenly, she appeared before me, ethereal, but more than just a face in the clouds, and she walked toward me. I looked at her and began to cry and reached for the vision, and pulled her toward me, and my love gave her substance. We fell backwards onto a higher section of the boardwalk and were lost again in each-others arms. Not more than a night had passed though, when I went for a walk and returned to find a letter from her. She was gone.

My heart sunk deeper than the depths of the ocean who's sound once soothed me, and I fell down on all fours in the sand and let out a howl. She had said in the letter that she had gotten online, and searched for my name to learn more about me, in a journal entry I had written, I had talked about spending time at a graveyard. She was amazed at the apparent cruelty of this, and had left me.

In an instant my world was shattered, I had planned to ask her to wed me, and she was gone now. I looked to the sky and saw her face again, and begged her to return, but she told me that she regrets having even been allowed to return once, to take form again and she was gone forever. As her face faded from the sky I cried out her name, but there was nothing.