Monday, June 29, 2015

The Convention to End All Conventions (but hopefully won't)

A couple of weeks ago was a very important week for anyone interested in or involved with games. The week of June 16th was the Electronic Entertainment Expo (or E3 for short), which is a convention dedicated to the the video games coming out in the coming years. Companies large and small showcase what they have spent the last 2-5 years developing (to give an arbitrary time frame) in the hopes that games around the world will take interesting it in. For the most part everything shown at E3 is all thrilling to see, and showcases the next level of gaming. This year was particularly exciting to watch, for what little of it I've seen so far, as the current gen of consoles is just over a year old. In the first year of the current gen (or any generation) is more about trying out them out, and ironing out any kinks with the programming. With that year over, companies can now explore what the current generation of systems can do. While they may not be pushing the limits as far as they can go, we'll get to see a lot more of what the systems can do.

So I've spent way too much time talking about what we might see at E3 (or really what has been seen since it happened a couple weeks ago!), perhaps it's time to actually go into what was there. Unfortunately I've only been able to see a few of the press conferences as life and day jobs seem to always get the in the way. There is also a lot of details to go through, far more than I could ever write in one post! Instead, I will be going through the videos bit by bit and writing up what I see, learn, and what my opinions are on everything. Hopefully you'll enjoy learning about the next year of gaming as much as I will!

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Beginnings

In recent weeks (ok months), I've thought a lot about my career and whether or not I would like to keep pursing it. The answer has been a resounding "NO.", which leaves me with a rather difficult choice to make. I've been in the field of Computer Science (or Software Engineering, or Programming depending on who you ask), for almost 5 1/2 years, after getting my Masters in Computer Science. I took my first programming class Freshman year of High School, so if you add that up I've been programming for about (six plus four, carry the two, got it) 16 years rounded up. That's more than half of my life devoted to this field, and yet I find myself not enjoying it at all. With so much of my life spent towards Computer Science, what else do I want to do? What else CAN I do? Embarking on a new career is no easy task, especially any that would require a different degree or education. Add onto that the experience most jobs require, and you're looking at another 5-10 years just to get anywhere in a new field! While I'm not one to turn people away from exploring new fields of interest, it can be a daunting task, especially when one still needs to meet financial obligations.

TL;DR, With the magnanimous decision of a new career placed before me, I decided the best place to start would be to think about what I enjoy the most. What do I want to spend my time doing, or find myself drawn to? The answer came to me quickly and is fairly obvious. I want to be part of the video game industry. I've been playing video games for as long as I can remember, and they're the reason I first got into programming. When I come home from work, I look forward to playing more games, whether it's progressing in an RPG, playing co-op with friends, or trying out a new game that I just purchased. I've been to PAX East twice (unfortunately only twice!), and regardless what booths I visit I enjoy just experiencing it. The energy, the atmosphere, the excitement is palpable, and something I look forward to for the whole year.

So I've decided on the industry that I'd like to get into, but an industry can consist of many different parts. The most obvious way for me to join would be through programming games, given my extensive programming background, but given my current feelings to any code-related may not be sustainable. That leads to the purpose of this blog post (took long enough to get here!), and the reason for me starting to blog after over 4 years being absent. Some people make their lives around playing games and reviewing them, and since I play games all the time I decided that I should write about my experiences and exploits! Most likely nothing will come of it, but perhaps someone will read a fantastic adventure I've had and decide to give a new game a chance. Regardless, this will give me a new outlet and focus while I explore the exciting realm of gaming journalism. See you all online!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

“Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Humans are creatures of emotion, there is no denying it. Without emotion, we would be nothing more than a calculating machine, little more than a computer made out of flesh and blood. Without emotion, we would have no purpose in life. What point would there be to reaching for the stars if their beauty did not fill our hearts with such wonderment? What would be the point of risking our lives  for those around us, if we did not ache at their pain?

Yet, even though our emotions give so much meaning to our lives, they can cause us so much grief. When a loved one dies, when those we care about turn their backs on us, we are filled with so much pain. This pain can stay with us for days, filling our every thought and hindering our lives. Our what of longing? Why must we crave what is seemingly beyond our reach, why must we put so much effort into attaining it when it might slip out of our grasp in the end? Might we be better served without emotion? As Spock would say, "We disposed of emotion, Doctor. Where there is no emotion, there is no motive for violence.

However, despite the seeming disadvantages of emotion, I would argue that our emotions are one of our greatest assets. While the Vulcans in Star Trek aspire to be rid of their emotions so that logic is the ruling factor in their decisions, they did so because their emotions were so overwhelming, so beyond their control that their entire species was driven to centuries of war because of it. As all good sci-fi does, the Vulcans reflect a side of humanity, the argument of logic over emotion.

In truth, ridding ourselves of emotion is not the answer. Emotion is in everything we do. While it lures us with empty promises, and false hopes, it also drives us to protect those we care about, it pushes us to do our very best. Instead of trying to escape our emotions, we should understand them and learn from them. Why do we feel the things we do?

I for one, have found myself feeling all sorts of conflicting emotions in the past year. I tried to sort them out, but I haven't given myself much direction. In a series of following posts, I plan on talking about different emotions. Specifically, what I think they represent, and how I feel it affects me. When this is all done, maybe I'll have more answers. Perhaps you will, too.


Ok. I'm sorry. I said I would do it, and I didn't. I'd like to say it won't happen again, except it probably will. I'm lazy. When I do drag myself to do something, it's not usually very productive. That's just who I am. I've tried to fix it, I really have. And I'll keep trying to fix it, but that doesn't mean everything will be fine overnight. Please, don't get mad. I know I probably deserve it, but I never meant to leave you hanging. I know I've said that before. No, I can't promise this time will be different. I know it probably doesn't mean much anymore, but I am telling you, and I mean every word of it, I will try to post more. I've been thinking a lot about it lately, because it has bothered me more. I wish I could have been better to begin with, but I kept telling myself, "I'll post later". I can't keep telling myself that anymore, and I've got to start doing it. So, I'm going to make the effort, starting tonight right now. One post, coming up.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Keeping Quota

I was sitting down at my computer, writing up some code and chatting with friends, when I remembered that I hadn't made a blog post in a while. I'm trying not to slack on my blog too much; it holds me to writing every now and then. Unfortunately I'm not really feeling a good mood coalesce in my head right now, so I shall through these words up into the webbisphere to keep up with posting with my blog. Bleh, there it goes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Transformations Part 1: I Have the Power!

In an earlier post, I detailed the events that led me to discover my condition. As I stated, I really had no idea how huge an impact my condition had had on my life, and thought the treatment would have an affect akin to my allergy medication. Overall, I would feel no different, but I might be able to avoid some times where I was feeling particularly downtrodden. While I had been prescribed a dosage of my pill, I was told that I should return to the doctor every month for the next couple of months to get it fine tuned. This made sense to me, as even my allergy medication has changed dosage over the years I have taken it. Over the next couple of months I didn't notice any big changes, and I got my thyroid levels tested again as per the doctors orders. My dosage did drop a bit, which made me a feel a bit better as I would not be taking a more concentrated pill (the less medication I need to take the better in my opinion).

During this time I able to procure another job, one more suited to the education (or lack thereof) that I received over the past 6 years. During this time, the winter of 2010 to be precise, I was paying close attention to how I felt, trying to see if there was any noticeable change. The only change that my body seemed to go under though, was a pain in my knees. They didn't seem to want to hold my weight anymore, and I would struggle walking down stairs or even running. This disturbed, as I thought I was supposed to be feeling better with this medication. However, true to my nature, I did not immediately call the doctor, and just ignored it like some ache that will go away.

Winter turned into spring and I got my first apartment, giving me the first opportunity to really live on my own. The weather started to warm up, giving everyone the chance to enjoy the outside once more. It was during this time that I really started to notice the changes to my system. The pain in my knees had finally gone away, leaving me with no indication of why I had it, and I started walking outside a lot more. It was warm and sunny, and I felt like I was breathing fresh air for the first time. When I walked, I felt like I could burst forward at any moment, freely running just for the sake of it. I had not run in a very long time, and it felt good to feel that energy again. On some occasions, I would sprint down the sidewalk to my destination, I'm sure to everyone's puzzlement. If I was trying to catch a train and saw it arriving as I entered the station, I could run and catch it! My whole body seemed to tremble with energy, bringing me back to my childhood days of climbing trees and swinging on monkey bars. I was born again, and the world was so much more this time around!

The increased energy was the most prominent change, and the most welcome. Unfortunately, the energy showed itself in aspects other than physical exertion. I would soon find myself struggling to control emotions that I had thought were managed...