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Huh. I guess.

Looking for something a little different in my escapism, I have played through a game called Journey this weekend. It’s a trippy walking simulator, where you’re this tall thin creature headed toward a mountain. You can walk, fly a little and make a musical noise. That’s all you got.

It takes about three hours. You move through a changing landscape, see some pretty stuff and listen to some pretty music. It’s an unsubtle metaphor for a spiritual journey. I guess. I enjoyed it. I guess.

According to the Wikipedia article, it’s been called “one of the greatest video games of all time” and it won a bunch of game-of-the-year titles.

This is just stupid and it shows you how desperate game reviewers are to be associated with a REAL art form.

Two things I didn’t know when I finished the game last night: the other players you sometimes encounter along the way are real people playing the game and if you sit through the credits, they show you their usernames at the end.

So I replayed the last 45 minutes (that’s where it took me when I hit ‘resume’), sat through the lonnnnnng-ass credits and, sure enough, there were about seven plausible-looking usernames at the end. That’s when I remembered I don’t have a print-screen button on this keyboard.

So that was cool. I guess.

Indie games. Eh?

p.s. Blake has won-a da dick with Dustin Diamond AKA Screech. You know what that means!


Comment from blake
Time: February 1, 2021, 8:30 pm


My secondary choice Cloris Leachman also died and here I was shaking my fist at Mr. Diamond, who has embarrassed me by also dying!

Comment from BJM
Time: February 1, 2021, 8:31 pm

@stoaty, to print screen:

Fn + Windows logo key + Space Bar

You can also use the Windows Snipping tool. You call up Snip and a small menu drops, choose the snip you want and Voila!

The easiest way to call up Snip & Sketch is with the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Shift + S.

A small side widow opens the clipboard so you can what you’ve clipped.

If you’re using a Windows Surface: hold down the Windows Logo touch button at the bottom of your Surface screen and hit the physical volume-down button on the side of the tablet. The screen will dim briefly and the screenshot will be automatically saved to the Pictures > Screenshots folder.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 1, 2021, 8:36 pm

“You know what that means!”

Uh, it means Blake has two…

No, I won’t.


Comment from blake
Time: February 1, 2021, 9:05 pm


Did you just assume my gendertalia??!

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: February 1, 2021, 9:32 pm

Forge of Empire, as advertised by Microsoft. It is a lot like Farmville, but you are building hammers and gold coins, and great buildings, and working through a huge tech tree. It is needlessly complex just to be ‘challenging,’ another word for ‘frustrating.’ I play it because otherwise, I would have nothing to do, and I can only sleep so much. Eventually, you just keep waking up, and then what? Read internet news?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 1, 2021, 9:46 pm

I’m funny about games, Skandia. I can’t tell which ones I’m going to like until I play them. Genre doesn’t matter, style doesn’t matter.

Of all the Civilization games, for example, I only liked II. And Alpha Centauri, which was Civ in Space.

Comment from Pupster
Time: February 1, 2021, 10:08 pm

one of the greatest video games of all time

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: February 1, 2021, 10:28 pm

Sounds like video games have reached what I call the “Four Star Movie” rule. That is:

The odds are greater than 50/50 that I am not going to like a Four Star movie. Generally speaking critics are never willing to admit that they don’t understand something. I am very sure that the same college-cause-dad-said-so types who used to get jobs as movie critics for small newspapers now review video games online.

As for my game choices, I like Bad North (which Ms. Stoaty turned me on to, here’ and CIV III. I have never played CIV II, but I have tried IV, V, and I guess there’s a VI too but those later versions get too hung up in details – they add too many layers of complexity, sort of how when I played Sim City a million years ago I got tired of running water pipes when I wanted to be building stuff.

Perhaps I would like other games more if I got a controller: would that help?

Comment from blake
Time: February 1, 2021, 10:54 pm

I liked the Civ I and Civ II, but Civ III was the one I really got into. It had a bunch of hooks that I think the serious players didn’t like. (Imbalanced? I care NOT for your imbalances!)

I mean, I’m terrible generally and specifically terrible at games—I think because at the point where you have to get good, it starts feeling a lot like work to me. I love “Heroes of Might & Magic” 1, 2 & 3, e.g., but to be good you gotta do some pretty tedious “hero chaining” running your troops from end-to-end by passing them between heroes. Oy.

So when I comes to Civ, I’m, like a “beeline for tanks and conquer all” or more likely just a “play on the lowest level and beat the idiot AI to Alpha Centuari. But 3 had some killer points: If you didn’t get horses or iron or saltpeter or oil, you were effed, and that kind of forced me to look more seriously at how I expanded, etc. There was “The Statue of Zeus” wonder you could get that just churned out ancient cavalry, e.g. I guess the better players considered that imbalanced but it made it fun for me.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: February 2, 2021, 12:58 am

I don’t mind revealing my age by asserting that The Greatest Video Game of All Time was Breakout on the Atari 2600.

Comment from blake
Time: February 2, 2021, 5:28 am

Uncle Al,

The greatest Video Game of All Time was Colossal Cave running on an IBM/360…

Comment from bds
Time: February 2, 2021, 5:53 am

Not the greatest of all time by any means, but I’ve been having a hoot lately playing Deep Rock Galactic with my sons. Dwarves in space, fighting off alien bugs and mining.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 2, 2021, 10:14 am

Greatest computer game of all time is Nethack. I’m still playing it 36 years later.

Now that I think about it, I’m not sure if it was Civ II or III I liked. It was the one where you could slowly explore and build your civ without encountering another civ, if you were lucky. And if you were super lucky, when you finally did encounter another civ, you were miles ahead and could mow them down like the insects they were. That was good civ.

Then I bought the next one and other civs developed HELLA fast and you had to throw up cities as fast as you could or you’d be buried. I hated that.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 2, 2021, 11:16 am

@Blake – believe me, I paused in thought about that when I wrote it.

But then a nasty little dwarf ran into the room threw a knife at me and missed before I could edit it.

Then I dropped the copies of Spelunker today in the ‘waiting room’

and all this gender stuff…I think


It worked on the Tandem T16 too. Heh, and the guys teaching the Fundamentals class thought I was staying late to learn to use FUP.

Comment from blake
Time: February 2, 2021, 5:18 pm


That was II. And that’s exactly how I played it, too. Building up my Civ so I had nukes before I ran into any one. Heheh. But, see, that’s “imbalanced”.

Now, you COULD get that outta III or probably any of the later ones, too (though V is just plain meh, IMO) by picking fewer rival civs than the standard for the map, or picking an island map, but it was definitely a normal occurrence for II.

Comment from blake
Time: February 2, 2021, 5:23 pm

Oh, and I also still play Nethack. When I’m learning a new programming language, the first thing I look for is the roguelikes that have been written in it.

My dad and I played Colossal Cave for hours (man-days!) when it “came out” and struggled through it. The final magic word (to get the emerald the size of a plover’s egg) eluded us, so he just looked at the code. Heh.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 2, 2021, 7:31 pm

@Blake –


My clue was that it didn’t tell you it didn’t know that word, or said “I don’t know how to apply that word here.”
or something like that.
That one I got on my own…but

My Fundamentals instructor had to take pity on me and asked what I did with the magazines so I could get the last point.

I shudder to think how many “man days” I’ve spent playing games, though Steam will helpfully TELL you, which only makes it worse.

Comment from BJM
Time: February 2, 2021, 8:12 pm

@Blake Here I thought the biggest game on a 360 was running a gang of TTY printers…or a phone card switch.

Comment from blake
Time: February 2, 2021, 8:22 pm

>>I shudder to think how many “man days” I’ve spent playing games, though Steam will helpfully TELL you, which only makes it worse.

Oh, yeah. :-/

@Blake Here I thought the biggest game on a 360 was running a gang of TTY printers…or a phone card switch.

And reel-to-reels and Hollerith readers…my baby days. lol

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: February 2, 2021, 8:33 pm

The best game involving an S/360 I played was using a tape canister lid as a Frisbee, tossing it around the computer room at the bank I worked at. It was a lot of fun until our shift supervisor skipped it off the top of the 2540 read/punch and that darned disc bulls-eyed the Power Off button on the CPU toward the end of the nightly three hour Demand Deposit run.

Funny how we all lied about what happened that night…

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 2, 2021, 8:49 pm

Uncle Al! AWESOME!

Okay since it’s obvious there are a bunch of old DP “imaginary Weasel friends” here.

How many of you heard the mythical tale of the dude that figured out how to topple the tape drives by syncing the reads/writes on two or three of them and rocking them over?

Ah, the legendary old days.
Then there was the time someone ( O.o ) didn’t use an unsigned integer on a monitor display to track the sequence numbers on Fedwire exchanges and shut down the Fed SNA lines at a bank in Philly just before Fed close on a month end because the sequence numbers started to go negative on the display.

(Tries to remember what story was told to explain that one)

Comment from blake
Time: February 2, 2021, 9:57 pm


My parents (and my namesake) have a story about doing some calculations that had to be done by the end of the night. But by the speed, it was going to take a month, so my dad came up with this brilliant insight, and they stopped the process and rejiggered it, and zoom, it went along tickety-poo, gonna be done in plenty of time.

But then, that sickening realization that the insight, however brilliant, was terribly, terribly wrong. And then having to explain why they interrupted the already overlong process for a harebrained scheme…

Suddenly, a drunk hits a power pole out on the street, and the machine goes dark…

Any reports given of that night may have left out certain details.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: February 3, 2021, 2:27 am


How many of you heard the mythical tale of the dude that figured out how to topple the tape drives by syncing the reads/writes on two or three of them and rocking them over?

Nope, but I did hear a variant. Some BOFH¹ wrote a program that wrote some random stuff to tape, then beginning in the middle, read it forwards then backwards, repeating the process with ever-so-slightly lengthening cycles until the reel motors hit their hysteresis resonant frequency and all the tape unspooled from both reels and got sucked down into the vacuum columns jamming everything up reeeeeeal goooooood. Never saw it, of course, but heard about it more than once.

1. Bastard Operator From Hell (see: Simon Trevaglia’s hilarious and immortal BOFH series at The Register; it’s been running for decades.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 3, 2021, 7:22 am

Oh, Uncle Al….bless you. There’s a bookmark added,

and passed along to Son #2 who continues to live the legend.

On a side note –

Isn’t it amazing these TV hackers can break into machines now without any banks of blinking lights and spinning tape reels?
Just list some old C++ code, or maybe some HTML across a screen, boom, you’re into the Pentagon and have control of the missiles!

I was once assured by “George” our operator that the machines behind the glass wall were put there specifically so he could have a job mounting tapes and occasionally annoying the programmers.

FUP PURGE $*.*.*!

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: February 4, 2021, 4:55 pm


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