A Point for Let’s Plays

So video let’s plays have officially become a thing now.  Just now.  Right here when I said it.  That made it so.

Anyways, once upon a time, I used to watch quite a bit of them.  Followed a few guys.  It was interesting, watching new perspectives on games I already knew, seeing someone go through a game they new so well, being introduced to whole new games I wouldn’t have experienced before.  And part of that was getting to know the people who played them.  The ones that were worth watching all had a good personality, and were able to bring something of themselves to the experience.

As I went through life, my time started coming at more of a premium, and I drifted away in favor of other things.

Yet now, as I become a stranger in a strange land, having next to no social network in this weird place I just moved to, I find myself coming back to them.  Specifically, the same people I used to watch.  And while part of it’s for entertainment value, another part of it feels kind of like catching up with old friends.  Coming back to the personalities I spent so much time with.  And it may be a little sad, but, being alone in a completely new and uncertain environment, that’s a really fulfilling feeling right now.  With as much personality as the good lpers put into these things, perhaps there’s something to it.

Rose-Tinted Gaming

I had cause to look for my old PS1 memory card recently.  Well, I had lost the card, and wanted to play a PS1 game.  That’s about about as deep as the ’cause’ goes.  Anyways, that set me looking through the house, uncovering all my old stores of games and game supplies.

I’ve got quite a few of them.  Back when I was a youngling, I tended to finance the acquisition of new consoles by trading in everything I had for the old, but every since I got my Nintendo 64, I’ve hoarded all my games and systems jealously.  Adding to that my efforts to regain the games I once had and the various old-school gifts I’ve gotten over the years, my collection now takes up several boxes, most of which currently lies in safe storage in my closet.

Breaking into those boxes brought a wave of quiet nostalgia over me.  Most of these consoles haven’t even been turned on in years, yet the craftsmanship of those days was such that I’m almost positive they all still work.  The games themselves, well, the graphics are nowhere near the level of today’s efforts, the experiences may not be as polished, and the interfaces may not be as user-friendly, but I’ve got a lot of games in that collection that still stand strong in terms of entertainment, and lots of games that have well earned their place in video game history and paved the way for today’s blockbusters.  These were boxes filled with masterpieces, untouched for so long.

It struck me then that the way I approach gaming has changed over the years.  I make my own money now, and don’t have my parents on my back, so I can both buy as many games and play for however long as I think is appropriate.  Yet, though I don’t have those limitations any more, I don’t have such strong memories for as many modern games as I do for these older ones.  Hell, I still remember where I got most of these classic games.  Donkey Kong Country, purchased used at a friend’s garage sale after saving my money up for months.  Mischief Makers, bought at the department store down the mountain, then spending the next week being almost constantly played by a friend and I.  A beat up SNES, a gift along with a Japanese copy of Shin Megami Tensei to keep me occupied for the year I spent as a full-time volunteer.  I can’t even definitively state where I got half the discs in my library, but I have such vibrant memories of most aspects of these games.

Several years ago, I was worried that I wasn’t really appreciating my games, that I had too many that I wasn’t getting the full value out of, and so set out to replay all my games in full, generation by generation.  I’ve been going strong and am currently up to the PS2/GameCube/Xbox gen, but now I’m wondering, with these games being stuck in my closet for so long, if I haven’t been working in the wrong direction.

If you’ll excuse me, I need to go play some games.

An Important Message from the Terran Confederacy

MEDIA CONTACT: Corporal Maxwell Hammer, Public Affairs Liaison


I’m proud to be a Terran.  Who wouldn’t be?  We’ve got the most trustworthy government, the most powerful military, and the happiest citizens the galaxy has ever seen.  From our founding in the year 2323 tao today, we have expanded our territory and taken just what we deserve, and let me tell you, we deserve a lot.  Have you taken a look at everything we’ve accomplished lately?  Pretty impressive, right?  And you know what?  Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.  You’re part of the Terran Confederacy, so our success are your success too.  You’re just one more cog that makes this great machine of ours work, and I’m proud of you.

Well, most of you.  A very select few of you, I’m rather disappointed with.  For they’ve been spreading lies.  Filthy, dangerous lies.  I speak, as I’m sure you’re aware, of traitors in our midst, of these so-called Terrans for the Ethical Treatment of Zerglings(TETZ) and these horrid falsehoods about Zerglings they’ve been passing around.


As I’m sure every responsible, red-blooded citizen of the Terran Confederacy knows, we are at war with the Zerg Swarm.  The Zerg are parasites, infesting and assimilating all they encounter.  It is important to know that the Confederacy has never interfered with the Swarm; it is in fact they who forced us into the war, seeking to take the pure potential for greatness that exists in the heart of every Terran citizen (except, of course, for those scumbags at TETZ) and twisting it into a weapon they can use against the Protoss.  We do not fight the Zerg for our own entertainment.  And we especially do not push back the Zerglings “because they look alien to us,” as the traitorous dogs at TETZ suggest.  The farthest we go because of their alien looks is horribly unethical and painful experiments, their looks have no impact on why we’re fighting them.  We’d go to war with anybody!  The way they look has nothing to do with it.  No, the only reason we fight them is to protect you, the average Confederate citizen.  You have my word as the Terran Confederacy’s Public Affairs Liaison, we only kill Zerglings when it’s absolutely necessary, or when it’s at least mildly funny.

It’s not even true that Zerglings have feelings anyway.  According to our science staff, the aforementioned horribly unethical experiments have revealed to us that the Zerg have a hive mind.  Meaning these fleshsacks don’t even have the ability to hold feelings.  They’re mindless, just following the whims of whatever consciousness the Swarm has.  That means it’s completely okay to do whatever we want to them!  It’s not like it makes a difference!  In fact, that’s what makes the TETZ’s campaign so dangerous.  See, the Zerg are going to come.  And they’re not going to care one whit about you or your family.  So if you’ve got a Zergling under the gun, and you start worrying about their “feelings”, you and everyone you love is lost.

Now, if the above pamphlet is the first time you’ve seen a Zergling, I can see how you’d be confused.  After all, how could something so cute be so deadly?  I’m afraid to say, real Zerglings don’t look anywhere near that huggable.  This is a Zergling:


You see those teeth, there?  They need those because their diet is completely made up of Terran babies and cute puppies.  Literally, the only things we’ve ever seen them eating in our extensive testing on the matter is either a baby or a puppy.  How’s that for feelings?  And those spines?  I have personally seen Zerglings pierce through like eight marine’s sternums at once with those!  Not a pretty sight.  Zerglings are death machines, that’s all they’re capable of.  In fact, the entire reason you can’t find a stable relationship is probably because a Zergling has already killed the man or woman you were destined to be with!  Now are you going to sit back and take it?  No!!  Of course you’re not!  You’re going to kill any and all Zerglings you see!  We’re counting on you, citizen.  Do us proud!

One final note.  This is Joel Bartlett, evil mastermind of TETZ and this campaign:


You may be wondering what would drive a man to betray his own species and side with the Zerg.  I know I was.  But remember that the Zerg are fully capable of infesting us Terrans and controlling us from within.  Am I saying that’s what happened to Mr. Bartlett here?  No.  But after we had our forensic guys go over the photo with gamma radiation, x-rays, and only a little bit of image editing software, this image was revealed:


Rather suspicious, if you ask me.  In an entirely unrelated note, the Terran Confederacy is now offering a reward for information as to the locations of Mr. Bartlett and any other member of TETZ.