May 9th, 2007


My Avatars All Ugly and Mean Looking (Except for the Beautiful One)

Over at the BBC there are some pictures of gamers and their avatars.

It's an interesting, but I'm not sure I'd buy a whole book of it.

Still, as anyone knows, my recent addiction is the massive online role playing game, World of Warcraft, and I delight in telling people about it, because outside J, none of my friends play it, and they all think it's incredibly funny and/or lame that I do.

It's the longest time I've played a game. I like games, don't get me wrong, but I usually play one obsessively for a week, finish it, and then maybe a month or two later, find something else I want to play. What I'm saying is that I wouldn't call myself a gamer by any means. However, we're now clocking up my fifth month on this game, and I recently discovered CT mods to alter my interface, and I have three different characters, two of who I dedicate the majority of my time to. In short: I'm not going anywhere fast. Yet, the true addiction of this game, at least to me, is not the actual game itself, but the thousands of people who are playing it with you: the way they flick around you in their avatars that are, by various designs, beautiful, ugly, and dead, and with names that range from the serious to the ridiculous and to the just downright stupid. Yet, by and large, I've found them--whoever they are in real time--to be friendly, helpful, and chatty as we kill our way through various monsters and quests. It's a strangely social thing, and I know people laugh at that, I do, but there's really no other way to explain it to you. I do know, however, that if there wasn't the social side, I reckon I would have lost interest in it months ago.

By and large, I don't usually wonder about the person behind the avatar, though I occasionally ask people where they're from in the world. Still, I do occasionally wonder who these people are that I play with, what they do, and what exactly they were thinking when they named their character Cowmunist.

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More One Line Reviews! (And Free Shit!)

The other day I linked Blue Tyson's (bluetyson) one line reviews. I dug 'em. I said I would send copies of whatever fiction of mine he hadn't read, and he went to my wikipedia page, and asked for everything he didn't have, to which I said, Some things deserve to die. Any of my fiction published before 2004, for example. Then I sent him everything else he asked for, because it is that easy.

And here are the reviews:

We start with 'theleeharveyoswaldband', which is described as, "Unfortunate names and useless business models. Three out of five." This score is mirrored by 'An Investigation into the Chinese Made Roman Toga', which receives the jolly description of, "Middle-aged Messianic Travelling Vanishing Act." After this, we move to 'The Dreaming City', which is "Mark Twain's Sydney Dreaming timeslip. Three and a half out of five." A bit of sword and sorcery--mixed with westerns and faerie mythology--was also reviewed, with 'Scratches in the Sky' described as, "Ship deserting, slaver slaying, supernaturally stalked half-elf swordsman. Three and a half out five." 'The Lost World of the Stranger, featuring the same half elf, is "Half-elf and dwarf, a-monster huntin' while a-whingein'. Three and a half out of five." Another Allandros and Balor story, 'Night of the Dead King', is described as "When Blessed Virgins and dead children get in the way of drinking on the titular day, the boys go looking for some sorcery to sword." There's one more bit of sword and sorcery, 'The Elephant's Glass Prison', which is summed up as, "A ship's crew of mage hunters starts the game. Final score: Mages 13, Hunters 0. Four out of five." Like the previous story, it's a four out of five. Let it not be said, however, that I had a thing for this stuff. 'Under the Red Sun' is perhaps the longest description, with, "Bodysnatchers work to provide parts for rich people's after death Clockborgs. A man works to prevent his sister's corpse being part of it. Four out of five." My story about making fun of Dr Who gets one of my favourite bits with, "Two-D Tom's a Talking Terror. Four out of five." But my favourite description is reserved for 'Mono':

"White people make just the best zombies. Three and a half out of five."

Am I the only person digging these?

Probably. Anyway, as an added bonus for everyone having to put up with this, should anyone reading these be curious enough to want to read any of the stories reviewed, email me and I'll send you it. In the case of 'theleeharveyoswaldband', it is still free on the Wheatland Press site, but for everything else, fuck it, for today and tomorrow or whenever I get tired of it, all you have to do is email me at benpeek @ livejournaldotcom, tell me what you want, and I'll email it back. It's that kind of day.

(EDIT: Okay, so apparently the livejournal address might not be hugely reliable. If you emailed and didn't hear back, try again, or leave a comment.)

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