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Hilarious Recession Poem - May 31, 2009

I listen to a podcast every few days which is a compilation of stories related to the economy that were broadcast on NPR. The link to this particular podcast is attached to this post. Well I guess that NPR held a challenge for listeners to write Haikus about the recession. One Haiku was particularly hilarious to me, it appears about 12:02 in the podcast attached. It goes as follows:

girl, you are so fine
I made you dinner myself
mmmm, ramen noodles

So true of the recession.

Categories: 2001-2011 College

Piano Lessons - May 31, 2009

As a young man of about fourteen or fifteen, I did as many do at some point in their life, I took piano lessons. Naturally I dropped out after my first year, but I do have a fond memory of them. After a several lessons my teacher had another book for me to practice from. The book had various simple recital pieces. One was entitled Little Bird Lost. The song was a sad piece, but it didn’t have any lyrics. I, however, made some lyrics up. The song had a main phrase that repeated twice, and then a variation on that theme with a few more notes. They lyrics I made up were, Little bird lost... Little bird lost... Little bird lost, his head... A very sad song indeed.

Categories: 1999-2001 High

PC vs Console Gaming - March 11, 2009

For as long as video games have existed, there has been PC gaming, and there has been console gaming (arcade as well, but few arguments are made concerning arcade). The biggest argument is, of course, which is better PC gaming or console gaming. Don’t get me wrong, I own and play games on a PS3, and I think it is a fine gaming system, especially when hooked up to an HDTV. Indeed, the argument of which has better graphics is a moot point. The latest generation consoles, X-Box 360 and PS3 easily match PC in graphics quality, that argument cannot be made anymore (in times past PC was better, but no more). Controls are debatable, certainly mouse and keyboard are a great combination for first person games, but there are other arguments that can be made for controllers as well. This article, however, will not dwell on controls. No, no, today I want to argue about cost.

In times past PC gaming has always been much more expensive than console gaming. A console might cost around $150.00 and everyone owned a TV so that was the only cost involved, whereas a PC cost around $1000.00, and you needed a monitor, and constant upgrades to keep up with the latest games. Expensive indeed. Now, however, the latest consoles are in the $300.00 range, X-Box 360 being less, and PS3 being more, Wii is not figured in because it is not a latest generation gaming system. Certainly, however, these are still much less expensive than a $1000.00 PC.

Realize, though, that if you really want that latest generation gaming experience, you cannot play a console game on the TV you have owned for years, you need an HDTV, the smallest of which are several hundred, a decent sized 32" being about $500.00, but if you’re gaming you are going to want a full 1080p with a high response time and a fast refresh rate. Indeed, around $1000.00 is necessary to buy a TV that is going to get you the gaming experience you want. So we are already talking at about $1300.00 for the latest gaming experience. Of course the argument may be made that your HDTV can be used for a lot more than playing games on, but the same argument can be made for the PC as well.

Now what I really want to argue about is the day to day cost of gaming. PS3 and X-Box 360 games sell for $60.00, this seems to be the price that people are willing to pay for a game. PC games are at $50.00, so every game is ten bucks cheaper. If one were to own a modest collection of 20 games they are already saving $200.00 in the cost of the games alone when choosing PC. However, I acknowledge that many choose not to buy new games, and they buy used games instead, but realize this. Console games tend to have a much longer shelf life, a two year old console game will probably be selling for the same $60.00 as when it was released. A PC game on the other hand, of two years old, will probably be selling for $10.00 to $30.00, but certainly not the original $50.00. Used PC games can be found much cheaper than used console games as well.

Ultimately for a serious gamer that owns more than a few games, PC will actually turn out to be a cheaper investment for a gaming career. That said, PS3 and X-Box 360 are fine gaming consoles, and naturally the most serious of gamers would own one of these along with their PC.

Categories: Video Game Reviews

Wii Is Not a Gaming System - December 11, 2008

My reason in writing today is not to denounce the Wii, rather to make it clear that Wii is simply not in league with real gaming systems. As I said I do not wish to denounce Wii, the reality is that Wii was a good marketing strategy for Nintendo. Being that the Wii is not a gaming system, it means that non-gamers can safely purchase and enjoy their Wii. Gamers, on the other hand, will not enjoy the Wii. The reason I say that this was a good marketing strategy for Nintendo is because of the simple reality that there are more non-gamers than there are gamers, therefore the Wii has a big market to attract. The point I want to make with this is twofold, non-gamers can successfully purchase and play with a Wii and will not have the risk of being labeled a gamer (though the label Geek might still be applied), and further they may even enjoy it.

As a gamer when I first heard that the newest Nintendo was going to be called the Nintendo Wii, I knew it was not going to be a system that I would enjoy. When I play games, it’s hardcore. The exclamation, Weeee!, is something a kid gliding down a slip-and-slide would say. Certainly not the vocal exclamations of one who is blowing carnage through the air with an M16. Gamers know that the Wii is not for them, and that’s my point.

The problem that I find with the popularity of the Wii is not that people enjoy it, let them. The problem I have is that when asked about my hobbies I state my love for video games, and I often get the response, Oh I like games too, I have a Wii!. At this point I am thinking to myself, oh boy, you think we have something in common because you waved a controller around in the air, believe me we don’t have anything in common. At all.

In my opinion comparing the Wii to a more serious gaming system such as the PS3, XBOX 360, or PC, is like comparing boardgames to sports. Sure both are games, but you would hardly categorize them together.

Categories: Video Game Reviews

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