End of Days
Fiddle me blank
Fiddle me blind
All the young girls
Fiddle their minds
- Momus, Sempreverde
The last three days have been archetypical of my life as a whole. Each day represents a kind of ur-day, from which all others may be regarded as derivative.
Tuesday was the Rossignol-standard weekday, which is spent playing games. And I really did play some games. In the morning I started off with the startling average Legend of Mir 3, toiling for a few hours in the fauna-fighting fields, before trailing off into installation, downloading and other tasks related to the library of ludology through which I must work as the week unfolds. Then I played Gish, the indy platform game. You play a ball of tar with excellently evil teeth. Amusing enough, but more thoughts on that elsewhere.
Then I visited Eve. I canâ€™t stay away, of course. Nothing particularly interesting occurred, and the process was just a little bit of house keeping. I hoovered up resources from a place that used to be a base of operations and played out some over-familiar missions while chatting with my fellow players. The aftershocks of last weekendâ€™s fleet catastrophe was still being felt. â€œWhat is to be done?â€ was question of the month. I didnâ€™t really know. So I made tea and fired up Boiling Point for an hour.
Boiling Point is one of those games that I was sad to miss out on being paid to review. Nevertheless I want to write something about it. Itâ€™s so beautifully the right side of broken that I just canâ€™t hang fire on the gibberish. Again, more to come on that: stuff and things that I wonâ€™t go into here. Suffice to say: those civilians are bad pedestrians. And why do the girls sunbathe in the middle of the night? Bah.
Then I attempted some deep contemplation of Garryâ€™s Mod. Again, thoughts on this are to appear elsewhere, but I should say that Half-Life 2 instalees who havenâ€™t already seen it should definitely take a nose, transform it into alien flesh and attach it to a rocket. I even briefly contemplated my half-arsed mod idea, made for me by my friend Simon. Itâ€™s the best one-minute long game in which you kill a man with an oven, ever. Probably. Anyway, after the twenty-fifth abortive Garryâ€™s physics fabrication I paid my second visit to Alwaysâ€™ Blackâ€™s Library. Itâ€™s a remarkable achievement, even if Boozebot is broken, and makes me jealous that I have no tolerance for extended fiddling. Second Life is free for a week, and about eight quid for a lifetime membership. If you havenâ€™t signed up, then thereâ€™s not much stopping you.
Of course itâ€™s a common impression that I do just play games all day every day (an impression propagated further by the bemoaning of my lovely girlfriend, â€˜how neglected is she that couples with the games journalistâ€™â€¦) But the following days do flesh things out a bit. Wednesday was the other type of day. It was the day of words. I got up â€˜earlyâ€™ to finish something before the Americans woke up, and then got on with blogging and reading the gigabytes of ephemera produced each day for our browsing delight. I wrote on and off for about fourteen hours. Two short reviews, one opinion piece and few other idle musings. Not to mention a gamut of emails, and a quick session taking screenshots in City of Heroes. (That counts as words because it has nothing to do with play.) I even dug out this old piece of fiction. While Iâ€™m largely irritated with my output in that area over the last few years, that one still amuses me. Then I read the opening chapter of this book. Pretty good, if you can be bothered with vaguely conservative analytic philosophy primers.
Today, or â€˜Day Threeâ€™, was the day that prototypically represents all the other crap I find imposed on my usual scheduling. The morning was all about tax and shopping, the afternoon about invoices and tracking down lost pennies. Tedious as golf, and even less healthy. But there was a ray of light: the Business stuff was interrupted by the realisation that I live in a beautiful town full of pleasant lunch venues. One of those venues now houses the Barmaid of Peerless Pulchritude from ex-local booze-trough The Garrickâ€™s Head. I stared agog at the buxom presence, chatted with an old friend and ordered chicken sandwiches. Perfect.
And now: to the pub.