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Postcards from the Renaissance

Look, it’s me! Freerunning across the rooftops of Renaissance Florence!

Yup, I’m playing my way through the Assassin’s Creed series, now that the first few are older and cheaper. The first one was a little brain-hurty, offing all those Crusaders. But it was awesome to parkour my way through Jerusalem and Acre.

Also, I discovered if you grab a beggar woman by the front of the robe and give her a shove, she falls down and you get to see her underpants. As to why I might want to see a beggar woman’s underpants, this chick was the most irritating indigent ever. “But you don’t understand, sir, I haven’t any munnay!”

Wham! Underpants!

As a nodding aside to current events, of course violent games are dangerous for potentially murderous crazy people. And violent movies. And music. And the next-door neighbor’s barking dog. But particularly games. They’re like dress rehearsals for atrocity. But we don’t really want to live in a world where everyone’s entertainment is tailored for the one-in-a-hundred-million, undescended violent nutcase, do we?

No. We do not. Thank you.

Anyway, I’ve just started Assassin’s Creed II. Renaissance Italy. Leonardo da Vinci has repaired my spring-loaded assassination blade.

Say, who in the HECK thought it was a good idea to start a game with a realistic childbirth scene? I’m a woman of fifty-something, and that shit makes me cringe.


Comment from Man Mountain Molehill
Time: December 20, 2012, 12:18 am

Remember Son of Sam?

“Berkowitz confessed to all of them and claimed
that he was commanded to kill by a demon that
possessed his neighbor’s dog.”

You can regulate video games all you want,
won’t help against the voices in your head.

Comment from LesterIII
Time: December 20, 2012, 12:19 am

” Wham! Underpants” about made me have a barking-laugh-GUFFAW reading this. Ill advised while in a dojo observing my daughter in class.

“Wham! Underpants” Great googlymooglies! It made my day. Thanks Stoaty!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 20, 2012, 12:26 am

That’s exactly who I had in mind, MMM, when I said that about the barking dog. You can’t NOT upset a psycho. Still, I will freely admit…I love video games so much, but they’ve gotta be catnip for sociopaths.

Oh, Lester, the fun I had. The underpants I’ve seen. The Cockney beggar woman’s screams I’ve heard…

Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: December 20, 2012, 1:07 am

Wease, if you like this one, you’ll also really like Brotherhood and Revelation…

Just skip 3. Just… It kind of insulted me…

Comment from Redd
Time: December 20, 2012, 1:10 am

I’m pretty sure that they didn’t have underpants during the crusades nor during the Renaissance. The ladies all went commando.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 20, 2012, 1:10 am

Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks.
When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.
If little Lizzie had HAD video games
There’rd have been no doubt about what to blame.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: December 20, 2012, 1:12 am

Do I get extra points for not mentioning underpants?

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: December 20, 2012, 1:21 am

I am a total failure with computer games. . can’t do puzzles or riddles. Just … Can’t….Do’m.

I blame public education starting back in the 1960’s where you sat in regimental rows and columns, the teacher told you the answers, and on test day you tried to remember them. It was called ‘getting an education’.

Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: December 20, 2012, 1:23 am

… Skandia, how old are you suggesting Weasel is?

Comment from Cyril St. Nigel Hesketh-Hazlitt-Hewlett
Time: December 20, 2012, 1:43 am

Dame Stoat,

should you wish to trade the imaginary thrills of abuse of unwashed indigents for the real discipline and thrill of serving with Oliver Cromwell’s Roundhead Militiamen of Country Squires,
send £5, 4 shillings, tuppence and a grote each year
to The Manor
Old Moorhen Estate
Moorhen Mire
Shrewburyshropshire SH4 BR19

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: December 20, 2012, 1:44 am

Scott, um…wait….I was told there wouldn’t be any math on this quiz.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: December 20, 2012, 1:57 am

Not to be sort of nasty but… how on earth does a beggar in the middle east during the crusades have underwear?

Comment from orabidoo
Time: December 20, 2012, 2:10 am

That business with pouncing on roof tiles of Mediterranean cities… ?
Is it a form of dreamy escapism from the humdrum quotidian drudgery of pouncing on thatched rooves of hive-like druidic structures in Old Dart?
Pouncing on a bat, rook, woodpigeon and partridge can be sooo tiresome.

Comment from Shifty1
Time: December 20, 2012, 3:01 am

Ms. Weasel….

Just wiat until you hear your spoiled brat sister whine how she has to WORK (gasp) while a guest at a relatives home…

Alas no beggar woman panties in Italia…however the “hoors” are nice..:)

Comment from Mitchell
Time: December 20, 2012, 3:03 am

I played & enjoyed 1 & 2 but got kinda bogged down in Revelations for some reason and I didn’t finish it. Scampering around on rooftops is bunches of fun, and the big swan dives off of tall places into haystacks. And of course the stabby bits. But I’ve got too much other stuff to do IRL to bother much with video games anymore.

Comment from Ghost
Time: December 20, 2012, 3:56 am

Insulted or not, Assassins Creed 3 is awesome. The story, the fight scenes, the graphics… I don’t know what insulted Scott, but from where I’m sitting, it’s a great video game about fighting for freedom.

Comment from Ripley
Time: December 20, 2012, 1:03 pm


I’m a woman of, um, similar vintage, and you sorely tempt me to try a video game…

As to medieval undies:


Well, I’ve seen worse — a daughter who wears ’em to death.


Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: December 20, 2012, 2:06 pm

Say, who in the HECK thought it was a good idea to start a game with a realistic childbirth scene?
No doubt the same people who insert that squicky stuff into every sitcom and TV drama, that’s who. Oh, for the good old days when Lucy could be pregnant, nobody talked about the details, and then she went away and had the sprog off camera while Ricky paced in the waiting room.

Comment from AliceH
Time: December 20, 2012, 2:47 pm

At least childbirth scenes are never vital to a story and can be safely muted, whereas the seemingly mandatory men-talking-at-the-urinals scene often includes important plot exposition. Lord I hate them.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 20, 2012, 2:49 pm

I’m torn whether to recommend this series, Ripley.

On the yes side, they’re gorgeous. Beautifully modeled and a joy to crawl around on. Also, I think, punctilious recreations of the actual cities.

On the no side, I find the interface and the fighting really awkward and hard to manage. Like, getting him to quit fighting a losing battle and RUN.

And the commands are like: to thrust, hold down the right mouse button and briefly click the left. To parry, hold down the right mouse button and briefly click the left. As a special move, hold down the right mouse button and briefly click the left. I just whaled away on the left mouse button and hoped for the best.

I’m really learning to love open world style games. Big places you can explore at leisure and the game won’t penalize you for it. I got absolutely lost in Skyrim last year.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: December 20, 2012, 5:46 pm

I use to play Asheron’s Call for that very reason, Stoaty, you could run around and explore to your hearts content or beat the living shit out of a monster. Fun times, I miss it.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: December 20, 2012, 6:15 pm

The birth scenes are like “getting kicked in the mangerine” and puke scenes, some people just love to put that into everything they can.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: December 20, 2012, 7:04 pm

The only game I ever got hooked on was ‘Plants vs. Zombies.’

I’m just not a gamer.

Comment from Redd
Time: December 20, 2012, 8:58 pm

Ripley: That was a disgusting read. As far as I can tell, the jury is still out: just because it was thought women should not wear them, doesn’t mean they didn’t – especially as they come in handy during certain days of the month. So what did women do during their menstruation?

Highly speculative. At most, Stoaty appears to have pushed a beggar woman off the roof who was having her period. Way to go, Stoaty! 🙂

I have this vague recollection of a famous woman in the 17th century being thrown off her horse in front of the king, her dress flipped up, she was wearing nothing underneath, and it was love at first sight. 🙂

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: December 20, 2012, 10:03 pm

I could never really get into Assassin’s Creed, and I’ve only played about half of that first game.

I wish Ubisoft would apply this gameplay mechanic to Splinter Cell. That used to be a stealth game where if you run and gun, you used to end up dead very fast.

It’s wishful thinking though. The next Splinter Cell installment is going to be a cover-based shooter. Hell, Michael Ironside isn’t even in it any more.

Fuck that noise. You’ve changed Ubisoft. I don’t know who you are anymore.

Comment from little, little
Time: December 21, 2012, 1:52 am

Wow, I must be running in a different crowd. I have never played any video game much beyond pong, although I do remember one called Sceptre or Scepter, whatever. Multiple levels of adversity pitted against your careening el-fago-baca-like escapist maneuvers while hanging on by a thread. Luckily, that got swallowed by a generational schism, and was no longer accessible.

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