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About deadmoscow

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  • Birthday July 20

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    Indianapolis, IN
  • Interests
    Grad student earning MIS degree, video games, literature, photography, interface design
  1. Unless they give you the option to remap controls, there's no way in hell I'm playing on 360. I hate hate hate the bumpers on the 360 controller.
  2. Dark Souls(Demon's Souls successor)

    Sweet! That'll make repeated trips much less daunting. My strategy for most of the game has been to bulk up in absolutely gigantic armor but maintain speed using Havel's Ring, but since you have to wear Artorias' ring (and I've already got the Ring of Favor and Protection on), I end up being way, way too slow to handle the fight.
  3. Dark Souls(Demon's Souls successor)

    New Londo Ruins was always the most horribly tense section of the game for me. I don't know why, but the prospect of risking curses and dealing with those ghosts just felt absolutely gut-wrenching. It probably doesn't help that I haven't beaten the Four Kings yet, either.
  4. I just put in my pre-order on Amazon yesterday. It sounds like I *might* not be getting the game on release day, which is fine because I'm currently in the middle of a mad rush of projects and papers before spring break kicks in. I'm definitely going to jump in blind - half of the fun of Dark Souls was the slow unraveling of the mystery of the world, and I'd rather not walk into it this time with something like "HEY SHOOT LIKE FORTY ARROWS AT THE DRAGON'S TAIL" over my head. I'd rather save all the optimization for my second run of the game.
  5. Life

    I can't even handle it when my cat makes weird horking noises and has the sniffles. Losing a pet is the worst thing. On another note... Taking programming courses in grad school with almost zero experience beforehand is turning out to be somewhat ill-advised. I've been banging my head against not only building and working with arrays in Javascript, but also translating that into web forms via doPost and doGet. Coding HTML within Javascript is like trying to speak Russian in French right now, and once we start plugging in APIs and doing SQL code on top of all that, it's just going to get harder. I need to learn this stuff though! Determination! Code like the wind!
  6. Who are Your Favorite Video Game Reviewers/Critics?

    My main source of gaming discussion / news is generally Giant Bomb. I like those dudes a lot even if they're not into the whole "criticism" thing as much. Patrick Klepek, maybe, but he's more of a news guy anyways. I really like Leigh Alexander, Tom Bissell, Ian Bogost, and Tim Rogers. I'll generally read anything they write, regardless of where it's posted. Consolevania was pretty rad! I liked their stuff. And I can't fucking stand Zero Punctuation - even if the points he makes are relevant, his style is so obnoxious that I generally just tune out.
  7. Books, books, books...

    I've only ever read If on a winter's night a traveler... by him, does any of his other stuff hold up to that same standard? I just finished up S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. It's a sort of metafiction book, in the same style as Pale Fire and House of Leaves. I think the book itself, as a physical object, is more interesting than the text within. J.J. Abrams has a bad habit of introducing way too many twists and turns into his stories, complicating the story unnecessarily. The story of the novel and the story surrounding it were both completely incoherent at times, and the author's prose was just kind of obnoxious at times. The conspiracy / mystery portions of the story were nearly incoherent at times, and the romantic portions were just kind of trite and predictable. The artifacts and footnotes littered throughout the book were super neat, but nothing else really holds up very well. I'm about to crack into The Crying of Lot 49 for the third (and hopefully final) time, and then hopefully from there I'll finally start Gravity's Rainbow.
  8. Any baseball fans out there?

    That looks like an interesting book! I've got a pretty good understanding of the mechanics of the game but yeah, balks and weird situations tend to confuse me a little. I've only recently been able to decipher what is meant by a "6-4-3 double play" or something like that. I did the entire package this year, it's such an incredible service. Having the Gameday Audio stuff is the cherry on top - I'm listening to the first O's spring training game right now. This should be an interesting season with the additions of Cruz and Jimenez - if the rest of the team keeps up to the same standard as last year I think there could be a legit playoff shot.
  9. Any baseball fans out there?

    Our long national nightmare is coming to an end - opening day is upon us, and baseball is a month away from happening again! In the last couple of years, my sports allegiance has slowly been shifting from football to baseball. I found that watching football was literally bad for my blood pressure, and I started to get a bad taste in my mouth from all of the concussion / safety issues. A while back, I binge-watched the entire Ken Burns Baseball documentary on Netflix, and after going to a couple of local minor league games I was completely hooked. You've got the excitement of big plays and stuff, but I've found a calm, meditative quality to the sport. I like how every pitcher and batter have their own little rituals to be completed before every pitch, I like sitting in the stands and filling out a scorecard and drinking a beer, and I like listening to the games on the radio on a warm summer evening. Is there any contingency of baseball fans on Idle Thumbs? Who are you rooting for? (I'm an Orioles fan, personally)
  10. I poked around with the NES Mario games as a kid but never beat any of them; that is my secret Video Game Credibility Shame. I did go completely nuts with World though, and ended up playing and beating a lot of the weirdo rom hacks made while I was an undergrad with way too much time on my hands. I still like the imagery of being in a sleeping bag wearing a Luigi hat and having a sudden revelation about your adult life as you play Mario 3.
  11. Escapist and Genre Fiction is not a bad thing.

    Sci-fi has had a very long history in film, though. Think about early film history and there are a few things that really stick out - Voyage dans le lune and Metropolis in particular. I think the speculative nature of the genre allows for more (and easier) metatextual cultural commentary than you get with most other genres.
  12. Escapist and Genre Fiction is not a bad thing.

    I'd have to say there's nothing wrong with reading some brain candy now and then. Sometimes I like to pretend that I only engage in serious literary experience as I peer over my glasses at all the plebeian bestseller pap oh ho ho but then I realize I'm being a self-involved doofus and get over myself. In particular, I like really dumb westerns now and then, even though they're chock-full of mustache-twirling villains and astoundingly racist caricatures and really poorly written female characters. They're just fun sometimes, and it's totally okay to engage in that.
  13. Recently completed video games

    I just beat Yama for the third time in Spelunky, and I think I might have to put a fork in that one. I don't have access to the daily challenge (playing on 360) so I've done just about everything at this point (except for the Mothership).
  14. I agree with SecretAsianMan completely, and on the first iteration of Fallout 3 (before Broken Steel) it was a giant buzzkill that they just shut the door on the world for you the moment you finish the narrative. I've had this experience with a lot of single player narrative driven games - generally I avoid finishing most of them, because that feeling of being shut out of the world after you alter it in such a meaningful way is so awful. Lately I've only been playing stuff that gets better with repeated play. I haven't played anything besides Spelunky or Street Fighter 4 for months now.
  15. Poetry suggestions

    I've got a copy of The Waste Land that's got more notes in the margin than text in the actual poem. I've actually got a tattoo of the last line of the poem, "shantih shantih shantih", written on my forearm in Sanskrit. I absolutely love T.S. Eliot's work; the moody and dark imagery captivated me as an angsty kid but as I got older it still held up and yielded nicely to increased study. His work, The Waste Land in particular, is unbelievably dense with literary allusions and commentary and all sorts of tasty bits that a reader can uncover with time. That said, when I want something a little lighter, I like Bukowski's poems as a palate-cleanser from the serious stuff. Most of them are something like: i got up and then i went to the horse races boy i got really drunk my life is shit ...but there's an endearing quality to them that I really dig.