Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense


Real life vs. Half-Life 2

While kayaking yesterday, my neighbor Jay and I decided that the designer of Half-Life 2 spent a lot of time around hydro-electric power plants.

Real life vs. Half-Life 2

BioShock 2 looks… AWESOME!

I played BioShock and was completely enthralled with the entire game… the playability, the graphics, the interface, and most dramatically, the atmosphere. The creepy, art-deco look and echoing underwater sound was so immersive that the already-engaging storyline was transformed into what was, if you’ll pardon the cliché, an experience.

The trailer for BioShock 2 (which I have already pre-ordered) looks like the game will perfectly continue the legacy of it’s predecessor.

Left 4 Dead 2… and a machete

I just played through the Left 4 Dead 2 demo using only the machete… no firearms. It was in Easy mode (no other way to get the machete right from the get-go) and I had to be healed twice (I took on the tank), but it was jolly good fun… really, really bloody, but jolly good!

I can’t wait for the full game!

Surviving in a Post-Apocalyptic World

This report hits the nail on the head. Although I think that more education needs to occur than just what video games can provide, I couldn’t agree more with statements such as “playing video games all day, alone and friendless, is simply the best way that we have to prepare our children for a life of solitude in a barren wasteland.”

Are Violent Video Games Adequately Preparing Children For The Apocalypse?

So many zombies. So little time.

Okay so maybe they’re technically not zombies, but they’re close enough. They’re more like infected zombie-like humanoids that voraciously attack you in swarms of blind, flesh-ripping rage. Yeah. Bring it on!

Thinning the horde is what’s been keeping me busy lately. Left 4 Dead is the game and the multiplayer aspect is just fantastic. Single player is fun, but just can’t compare to playing with a few other folks who talk and work together to survive and escape an area that’s been completely overrun with “zombies,” including some special ones with special powers that are disturbing, frightening, and fun all at the same time.

Ah… good times. Good times.

Left 4 Dead

Maybe sad… but true!

UO is still the best MMORPG out there.

BioShock is creepy

Since I just got a computer that can handle the game, I’ve been playing BioShock for the past few days. For those of you who are familiar with the game, BioShock’s creepiness has already been well-established, but I’m revelling in it for the first time.

Little Sister and Big Brother

Little Sister and Big Brother

The atmosphere the developers created is just stunning; art deco designs, creepy evil-clown carnival music, constant leaking, dripping, pinging, echoing background sounds. Combine that with the crazed genetically twisted denizens of Rapture (the name of the underwater city), and the game very closely approaches the level of “disturbing.”

Nothing is more disturbing, however, than the Little Sisters and the Big Daddies. They roam Rapture together, the Little Sister using her giant syringe to harvest genetic goodness from the corpses lying around (mostly thanks to the player). She speaks to “Mr. Bubbles” in a little girl voice and he protects her with a vengeance against anyone or anything that comes too close to her or threatens her.

If you defeat the Big Daddy (which you really have to do), you have the (moral) dilemma of either “rescuing” the Little Sister or “harvesting” her. Rescuing her gives you a warm fuzzy feeling (sort of) and gives you a bit of genetic material that you can use to enhance your powers. Harvesting her gives you no such warm fuzzy, but a LOT of the genetic material. Depending upon which path you choose, the game has a different ending. I’m not there yet, but Mike (the “shoot it in the water” guy) has played it and he rescued all of the Little Sisters and got the “happy” ending. So I’m taking the other path and have harvested all but one.

I’m looking forward to see what sort of twisted ending I get.

The Lord of the Rings Online

Pingwulf riding past WeathertopWell, a few weeks ago, my friend Mike got me a closed beta key to play The Lord of the Rings Online. I started playing it and was really enjoying it, but was still waffling over whether to pre-order the game (thus gaining nice benefits if I decided to play it when it went live) or to just stop playing when beta ended. Mike kept trying to coerce me into getting it, to no avail, so he finally forced me to commit to playing the game by pre-ordering it for me as a birthday present. FFS!

So now I’m committed to playing it, which isn’t a disappointment because it really is fun and well-done. Two months before launch, it’s more polished and complete than most competing MMORPG’s are after six months from their release dates. The closed beta ends this Monday and the open beta starts for pre-order customers on March 30th. For non pre-order customers, open beta starts a week later. Pre-order customers also get a couple bonus items when the game goes live and they get to keep their characters (up to level 15) from beta, which is really nice for beta players. It means we won’t have to start over AGAIN to create characters.

So… I’m happily playing Lord of the Rings Online now each evening for a bit… about an hour or so a day, give or take. Mike even convinced me (the bastard!) to join a guild of older gamers who are very casual (mostly) about gameplay and have families that are a higher priority… which fits nicely in with my playstyle. Once a game becomes a chore, I’m done, and nothing makes it more of a chore than feeling like you have to play a certain amount, a certain way, or for a certain purpose.

I periodically take some screenshots from the game and post them on my gallery site ( in the Lord of the Rings Online gallery. Mike plays a character named “Arepfoot” (and other characters whose names always start with “Arep”) and I play a character named “Pingwulf” (and other characters whose names always start with “Ping”).