What a terrific weekend for gaming. At 12:30 on Saturday Headshots From the Heart began their 24 hour borderlands marathon to benefit Child’s Play. If you are not familiar with Child’s Play they are a massive charity organization that helps hospitals acquire recreational items for kids, namely video games. That way hospitals don’t have to worry about those sorts of things in their budgets and kids get to have a little fun in an uncomfortable place. Last year they raised about $2500 and this year they plan on outdoing themselves. What is the best party of this gaming for good? 100% of the funds raised go to Child’s Play.
I am a writer, digital media specialist, and an intrepid explorer but when I am not working or seeking out new adventures, I am an avid gamer. Why? Because saving the world never gets old. I love all sorts of games but shooters are my favorite. I cut my teeth on my PC with Wolf 3D, DOOM, & Quake and today I still relax with some Call of Duty or Borderlands. That is one of the reasons I am helping some friends out with a very cool project that takes the games we love and is putting them to good use: helping sick kids. Headshots from the Heart is a fundraising marathon unlike any you’ve seen.
I am a gamer. I love my PS3 and PC, my shooters and platformers and for me there is nothing like that feeling you get from being the hero in a good adventure story. The trouble is a lot of people discount video games as juvenile or even a waste of time. Non-gamers have trouble understanding why an adult would want to spend hours exploring a digital landscape or fine tuning your marksmanship. They can’t understand the emotion that comes with toppling that final boss or pride of finishing your game on “impossible” difficulty or even why we “gotta catch them all”. I won’t waste my energy trying to convert the non-gamers of the world, If you don’t get it then it probably isn’t for you, you sad sad individual, but I would like to share some things that gaming has taught me.
A couple of weeks ago I had one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. Wait, I said this was going to be how great building your own PC was? Well it is, when it is all up and running, you are filled with a sense of joy and accomplishment that can’t be matched by much. However it is a long rocky road to that joy. OK the rockiness and length of the road will vary on the builder but what makes building your own rig so great is that it teaches you about yourself.
Well it’s been a while. I was a PC gamer, tried and true for many years. Mt first experience gaming was Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. I used to play over at my friend’s house, but it wasn’t until that I got my first game, Quake 2; the first game I ever owned and completed myself, that I discovered how much I loved playing video games. I bet my dad regrets it a little; bringing home that jewel case with Quake 2 in it. It began a long love of PC gaming.
Time is not good to the things people build. Sure some things have lasted longer than others but when people forget about their great projects they tend to slowly or not to slowly fade away. This is why the Pyramids, Parthenon, Colosseum, and Machu Picchu, each shining examples of the civilizations that crafted them, aren’t really looking as good as they once did. No, the only things that really stand the test of time are things totally forgotten about such as the tomb of Tutankhamun (it looked great for the 30seconds before old Howard starting ripping the place apart) and things people were invested enough in to keep up. There isn’t a long list up til now, so it is important to know how special it is when you get to walk through a still working piece of history.
As it turns out I don’t speak Spanish either. Perhaps that’s why I am traveling with my personal translator: My sister. We cross into Spain with little hindrance, the only indication that we may have changed countries is the road signage. How cool is this though? I have never been to Spain before, so this marks a first for me. We don’t aim to stress ourselves with the classic travel trap of trying to see ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. No, on this trip we are gently rolling through Spain just drinking it in (before we roll on out).
This week I am in the South of France. I know, how fancy does that sound right? It is a family road trip to discover what this serene part of the world offers. A relatively short flight to London, followed by a short hop to Bordeaux. Certainly not the longest air trip I’ve taken but that doesn’t seem to matter as I emerge from the airport in Bordeaux almost zombiefied. It I only 6pm but I don’t think I will be getting much done without a full night sleep; I may be getting old.
Day 2 and I am feeling up to the task, we venture off down the highway to a little town call Dax. Home to an abundance of thermal baths and currently my sister. As I explore two things become apparent 1. I don’t speak French & 2. that southern France has different priorities than home. They drive a slower through their pastoral country side, no one seems to work over lunch, and dinner is at least a two hour commitment.
5 the tenseness that has been spreading over your body reaches its climax
4 Just a moment now
3 why is 5 seconds so damn long!?
2 hold your breadth
1 CLICK DAMMIT
Today I spent my morning recovering one of my hard drives. For anyone who has ever done it you know it is a tedious process and often frustrating. Today was a good day as crashed drive days go as I successfully recovered about 75% of what I lost. I know that means I still lost a whole lot but it is one of the happier results I’ve had with file recovery. I have lost drives before and you’d think I’d learned my lesson but the truth is sometimes shit happens.
Even if you regularly back up your drives (but seriously who does that?) hard drives aren’t always reliable and more importantly accidents happen. It can sometimes lead you to swearing fits as you attempt to reorganize the thousand s of files you are have recovered. It did get me to thinking though; there are some good lessons to be learned from all this chaos.