some scattered mid-week ramblings

Thought exercise:  play some first-person shooters immediately following the viewing of a few Westworld episodes and see if you don’t react somewhat differently to the deaths of enemy soldiers.  I did this during the campaigns of both Titanfall 2 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and experienced a rather wide gamut of emotions, from (a) suddenly not giving a shit about tactics and becoming a lot more aggressive, because nothing’s real, to (b) halfway-stoned musings about, well, what if the AI in videogames were real?

I recently added more storage to both of my consoles.  Per Major Nelson’s recommendation, I picked up an 8TB external hard drive for my XB1 which took literally no time to set up; I also got a 2TB internal hard drive for my PS4 which required some quick disassembly, some pre-downloaded software on a USB stick, and then a slightly nerve-wracking re-boot/re-set process.  There’s no question that the XB1 solution is the best, especially since you can play games off the external drive; but there’s also something to be said for the burst of adrenaline after the successful swapping out of internal computer parts that makes me feel like fucking MacGyver.

On that note, I should add that I currently have the fullest plate I think I’ve ever had, gaming-wise.  I went a little nuts on Black Friday, is the thing.  And in my quest to hit the 100K mark in Achievements, I’ve been mostly focused on Xbox stuff, and I bought a ton of shit on sale, some of which I’ve already played on the PS4.

To wit, I am currently engaged with:

  • Dishonored 2 (ps4)
  • Watch Dogs 2 (xb1)
  • Mafia 3 (xb1)
  • FFXV (ps4)
  • Far Cry Primal (xb1)
  • Witcher 3 (xb1 replay)
  • Battlefield 1 (xb1)
  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst (xb1)

I have yet to compile any year-end best-of lists, or even start compiling their respective templates.  Part of this is simple procrastination; but it’s also that in light of recent political events, it’s much harder for me to give a shit about the arbitrary rankings of various entertainments.  You’d think i’d want to stick my head in the sand and make this stuff important, but I can’t seem to allow myself to go there.

As far as music goes, I mostly listen to custom playlists these days – it’s very rare that a whole album will suck me in (though there were one or two this year that did).  My “favorite songs of 2016” playlist is also mostly just the best stuff I learned about from my “favorite songs from the Spotify Discovery playlist”.

In terms of books, I’m about to finish reading my 50th book of 2016; of those, most of them were short and and relatively decent genre fiction, but with few exceptions I didn’t read anything truly mind-blowing.

And in terms of games… well, I look at my spreadsheet and I have trouble putting a solid top 10 together that I can stand behind.  (There appears to be a critical backlash against Uncharted 4, at least among the critics I follow on Twitter; I still had a blast with that game, though I find I don’t often think about it.)  In any event, there are a few more games I want to spend at least some time with before I start putting that particular list together.  But I can say that, if nothing else, I finished more games this year than I have in a long time.

You guys OK?  Everything all right out there?  I’ve been feeling somewhat isolated from people lately, what with my day job’s prohibition of social media and my iPhone suddenly shitting the bed and making it impossible for me to keep up with notifications and emails and texts and whatnot.

My birthday is tomorrow and I’m trying to not think about it.

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