• Patterns

    I awaken on the floor, cold linoleum against my flesh, surrounded by the smudged ink marks that mark my latest attempts at understanding. For a long time I lie there, patterns running through my mind, until the needs of my body are able to intrude upon the ever closer to perfect arrangements I am making. I am hungry, and the physical needs exceeds the mental. I regret losing the pattern I have created but I let it fade back into my mind and stand up. I stumble to the kitchen but am unable to find the nourishment I need. Empty packages and unwashed eating implements are scattered about, their surfaces mottled with the odd, semi-random patterns of mold and decay. I ignore them; I have examined their patterns long ago and find them lacking. I briefly consider the trails of the ants streaming across the counter, watching as they morph and wander in predictable but still random motion but they too I have previously considered and found unable to produce the true patterning I need. I realize that I must leave my place of safety and venture again into the world of others. Into that realm where man has forced existence into plain, orderly patterns that inhibit the growth of true beauty. I stumble into my long-ignored bedroom in search of appropriate clothing. I ponder long over my choice in what to wear, searching for those items which will exist in the necessarily exquisite harmony with one another. Of course

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  • Return to the Sea

    I had come down to the sea. Why I no longer remember. What I do remember is that I swam out away from the shore, far enough out that the sea stretched to the horizon and the swells blocked the shore from my sight so that I was alone in the blue-green waters. I dove beneath the surface and saw that there was the surface of another sea beneath me, waves crashing on the rocks of an underwater shoreline. I somehow perceived that this was the surface of an ancient sea from long ago and that I was above its ancient shoreline. I was swimming through the air above that ancient sea and this air was different from the air above me. It was newer air, air that had not been breathed by countless generations of creatures and so still retained all of its vitality. Though I was beneath my own sea I could breath the air of this ancient time and so swam out to explore this ancient sea. For a long time I swam along this shoreline, watching the waves break against the rocks of a strangely barren land. Then, I reached a point where I could see objects far out to sea and I, desiring a change from the endless rocks, breaking waves and empty beach, swam towards them to see what they were. I discovered the towers of a city, rising from the ancient sea which broke with increasing ferocity about them. The towers were of

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  • Skyrim – Nobody’s Right if Everybody’s Wrong

    When you first start your experience in Skyrim you are a prisoner on your way to be executed. You are a prisoner of the Empire, who captured you along with a number of the rebel Stormcloaks. One Imperial realizes that you aren’t supposed to be there, but his superior insists that you be sent to the headsman anyway. Of course the dragon Alduin attacks and you are freed, able to escape with either the Imperial who knew of your innocence or with one of your fellow Stormcloak prisoners. Almost immediately you are forced to choose a side in the civil war. (Temporarily at least.) The game seems to want you to side with the Stormcloaks. The Imperials did just try to execute you for no good reason after all. But whose side should you be on? It has been 200 years since the events of Oblivion and the Cyrodiil Imperium has fallen on hard times. Most recently a war has been fought with the Aldmeri Dominion (formed from the former provinces of Summerset Isle and Valenwood) which ended with the Imperium retaking their own capitol after a bloody war. The cease-fire that ended that war was known as the White-Gold Concordiant. As a result of the Concordiant, the Empire was forced to give up the province of Hammerfell and to ban the worship of the god Talos; the deified Tiber Septim, the unifier of Tamriel and the first emperor of the Cyrodiil Empire. Tiber Septim was also a Nord, so

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  • Trust and Betrayal in Skyrim

    So I’ve been spending a lot of time in Skyrim lately. I’m the Harbinger for the Companions, the Listener for the Dark Brotherhood and a Nightingale and the Master Thief of the Thieves Guild. I’m also apparently the Dragonborn, whatever that means. I guess I should get around to completing the main plot at some point or another. Still, I’ve started to notice a pattern in the major questlines, enough to make me think that it is actually the “theme” of the game. Skyrim isn’t about the return of the dragons, the rise of the Dragonborn or even the civil war between the Empire and the Stormcloaks. It’s about trust and betrayal. Consider the Dark Brotherhood questline. You are tasked to kill the Emperor, but when you do you find out that you have only killed a decoy. You were set up and betrayed by Astrid. Of course, Commander Maro immediately breaks his own agreement with Astrid and betrays her. I wouldn’t have thought too much about that (you are dealing with a guild of assassins, after all) until a similar thing happens in the Thieves Guild questline. You are helping Mercer Frey track down Karliah, who he says is the killer of the former guildmaster, until it is revealed that he is the murderer. Right before he tries to kill you after getting you to do the work of locating Karliah for him. Others are less obvious. During the Companions quest, Markus accuses you of betraying Kodlak when you

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  • Steam Sale – Winter 2011 Continued

    And so it’s over. The Steam sale has come and gone again. The “coupons” they were giving out this time turned out to be pretty much useless. I guess it worked as far as advertising their coupon platform went, but there was never anything there that interested me. Still, I managed to pick up enough games to keep me occupied for the next few months for less than a single major release, so that worked out. Here’s a quick look at the rest. Anomaly: Warzone Earth – A tower defense game, but in reverse! This time the player is the one trying to get past the towers to a destination instead of the one placing them. Looks to be an interesting variant. Bulletstorm – I’ve heard that this is a silly, over-the-top FPS. The first level looks entertaining anyway. Probably worth the $5. Machinum – An adventure game. Another of those I’ve heard a lot about but never got around to playing. Solar II – A weird little game where you start off as an asteroid (!) and try to “evolve” into a black hole by absorbing other celestial bodies. Looks to be more complicated than it sounds. S.P.A.Z. – Space Pirates and Zombies. I thought this was just another shump. I was wrong. It’s an interesting take on a 4X game. Build up your mothership, build up your fleet, research upgrades, collect resources and explore the galaxy. I’ll probably be spending more time on this one. Puzzle Agent 1

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