Painting With Shotguns XXXVIX
Why I Should Not Play World Of Warcraft
Couple days back, the announcement hit that Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) was going to go “free,” so I threw a pebble and asked if anybody had any opinions. Confession time: that question was a bit of an experiment for an upcoming article, though I should also note that the question was a serious one.
See, I really love MMOs.
I first played Ultima Online and adored it, because I was a gen-yoo-wine whore for the Ultima series. (Still am. Someone please, please do more games in that series? I will love you forever.) Of course, my adoration for that game waned fairly quickly when I got ganked every five minutes by some dickbat in Uber-Evil Armor. He’d just run up, pull my peasant shirt over my head, rape me with a halberd, and then steal all my shit. It was really great. By which I mean, it was kind of awful.
Then came Everquest.
And that was like a dream. I was this little halfling asshole, and I’d run around and have stupid adventures with other people, and it was a hoot. Totally changed the way I envisioned the play experience, and ever since I’ve been hungry to recreate it.
I played a little Eve Online, which theoretically I loved, but at the time found the game as cold and icy as a distant moon; the learning curve was basically a brick wall.
I also played City of Heroes for a while, and boy howdy did I love that game. I could spend hours on the character creation alone. I liked flying around. I liked teleporting. I liked thumping enemies and going on raids and all that shit. I liked it so much, it ate my time in giant, airless, gulping bites. Chomp, chomp, chomp. And it didn’t just take up my time in the game. It took up time outside of it. As discussed a while back, it siphoned away my Intellectual Energy with a big fat straw. Seriously. I’d be consumed with what was the best build or best zone or best server or best costume. It’s also a social commitment: it’s not exactly peer pressure, but it’s like, hey, all your friends are getting together and they’re going to go do this awesome mission, and if you’re not around for it you’ll miss out. Oh, sure, they’ll “do it again,” but… yeah, probably not. And hell, you can’t blame them. You missed out. They shouldn’t be punished for that. So, you go.
Back to the LOTRO question.
I asked it, and Rick Carroll (He Of Wordasylum) said, “Hey, I got this free code thing for World of Warcraft, and you should play, and also, I’m wearing a dress right now, and I really want to lick your beard.” And I was all like, “Whatever with the beard-licking. But, World of Warcraft you say?”
I’ve always pondered it.
I’ve always quietly noodled the thought and secretly hoped for the opportunity to play The MMORPG To Which All Other MMORPGs Must Kneel. Those who play it — all 80 billion of them, including those Romanian goat herders that acted as gold farmers on the side — seem to enjoy it quite a bit.
And that’s good, right?
Alarm bells. Klaxons. Red lights and sirens. Awooga, awooga.
Dude, I got shit to do. I don’t know that I can play the game as “casually” as I want. Again, see earlier problems: time consumption, brain consumption, social (over)engagement. Would I like it? Dang, probably. But I’d probably also really like heroin if I gave that half a chance.
So, for now at least, I think I’m writing off the game. I know what will happen. I’ll write less. Playing computer games on my work machine is already tricky; I associate this PC with Getting Shit Done. If I’m sitting here writing in the morning, WoW gives me all the excuse I need to quit early and miss the day’s target. Can’t happen, so, I don’t think you’ll see me prancing and dancing my way across Azeroth.
By the way, I sometimes confuse “Azeroth” with “Azathoth,” the blind idiot god, the noxious demon sultan, he who is chaos and destruction. Oh well.
Stuff For Your Ears
Whenever I do a music post, you people flee for the hills. My lowest hits ever come from the days when I talk about music. Well, get ready to bail like rats from a sinking ship, because it’s time to talk tunes! (Or, even better, just skip to the next section!)
Here’s the stuff I’m cramming into my earholes:
Band of Skulls, Baby Darling Doll Face Honey. I love this album. Solid rock, leans a little toward The White Stripes in that bluesy way, with a dash of Yeah Yeah Yeahs– some songs are pretty catchy, others are just sodden with mood and grinding goodness. Take, for example, “Blood.” Or, for catchy, “Death By Diamonds And Pearls.” Their latest, “Light of the Morning,” is on that car commercial — it’s the new Mustang commercial, I think, the one with the V6 that gets like, 31 MPG.
The Dead Weather, Sea of Cowards. I call this “evil swamp rock.” Has a great malevolent, muddy, sodden feel to it. Once more, a White Stripes comparison — but that’s because, a-duh, Jack White is part of the band. Really moody stuff. I think I like this album better than their last (which was their first), but I’ve grown to love that one, too. Anyway: check out “Hustle and Cuss.”
Reggie Watts, Fuck Shit Stack. Actually, I listened to the album, and ehhh, it’s too short. It’s live, too, which means the tracks aren’t as produced as the core hook, “Fuck Shit Stack.” Still, that track’s a winner winner profanity dinner. Video, in case you missed it when last I posted it:
The Bird and the Bee, well, pretty much anything. I’m so digging these crazy kids right now, it’s nuts. Once again, like Dead Weather and Band of Skulls, we’re looking at a male-female combo pack, but Bird & the Bee are nothing like those other two in terms of sound. Their most recent endeavor is a Hall and Oates cover album, and it’s delicious. “Rich Girl,” if you want to hear it. Really, though, my favorite track of theirs is the catchy (and cute, and funny) “Polite Dance Song.”
Kate Nash, My Best Friend Is You. Like yourself some Lily Allen? Some Amy Winehouse? Some… er, whoever the other British poppy chick is that I’m thinking about? Dusty? Dusky? Dustface Killah? I dunno. If you like them, you’ll love Kate Nash. Her new album has some misses, but also some resounding hits. Less quirky, more rock-poppy, but still solid. “Do-Wah-Doo” is a good example of an earworm.
Elizabeth and the Catapult, Taller Children. Quirky fun stuff, a great companion to Bird and the Bee. Have a listen to the title track: “Taller Children.”
Other quick hits (singles, really):
I know, I’m a sucker, but I cannot get Ke$ha’s “Tik-Tok” out of my head.
A while back, someone recommended Cage the Elephant’s “No Rest for the Wicked,” and damn, I’m glad they did. Groovy. Good video, too.
Sleigh Bells: “Infinity Guitars?” Yeah. Yeah. Yes.
New Sarah McLachlan hitting soon. Hey, shut up. I’ve seen her like, eight times live.
The new Nine Inch Nails-flavored Reznor experiment, How To Destroy Angels, ain’t doing it for me. It’s okay. Odd, as I’m a pretty huge Reznor fan. Haven’t heard all the tracks yet, though.
Finally, the M.I.A. single, “Born Free” is so fucking awesome, it makes me want to run around and kick things. Or better yet, write a movie that’s 100% wall-to-wall action. Video embedded below.
This Codpiece Johnson Story Won’t Write Itself
Hey, I told you. You people get me to 1000 followers on Twitter by June 20th, you get yourself a free Codpiece Johnson short story. That’s cash money. And by “cash money,” I mean, “not actually cash money but actually a short story that cannot ever be used as legal tender.”
I’m at 941 now on the Twitters.
That’s good, but by golly, I got 69 followers (hee!) to get. But, only 12 days to do that. Which means I need, like, what? *gets out the abacus* I need about six new tweeps a day. That’s not including the fact I lose followers, usually one or two a day (more if Twitter goes through and executes spambots, because Lord knows half of my followers are probably self-aware viral memes).
So, you people want a short story featuring the MOST AWESOME SUMBITCH EVAR, then, damn, you best get to work.
Shake your booties. Promise sex. I don’t care what you do. Just do it. Like Nike says. No, not the shoe company. The Greek God. Nike was the god of motherfucking victory and shit.
Chop, chop! Snap, snap! Clap, clap!
Man, I like making noises.
Bwoop! Beep beep! Honk! Brrrbt! Ring, ring! Zorb! Meep!
Where was I?
Right. Get me more followers. This I command!
*crack of thunder*
*the howl of three wolves*
Chain Link Fence
Links to chain around your heart, coming right up.
Are you familiar with Operation: Awesome? Jason Blair lays out his own personal manifesto for becoming a better writer, and damnit if it isn’t something everybody — new writers and experienced ones — should read. I’ve read some of Jason’s stuff, and it’s killer. With the plan he lays out, I think he’s got what he needs to knock this baby out of the park. And for the record, I do not condone knocking babies out of parks. Out of high chairs, maybe, but out of parks? That’s egregious.
I don’t know what Iron Sky is, exactly, but I want it to happen. Two words: MOON NAZIS. That’s all you really need to get you interested.
I spoke of music earlier, but I need to point you toward game designer Gareth-Michael Skarka’s Designer Monologues website — the guy, besides doing up compelling posts on all manner of media-related awesome, does this “Friday Music” thing where he posts links to new music he’s digging. (Yep, just like I did above.) I’ve been digging on this for… well, years, now. I think he’s why I started listening to Lily Allen, actually. Come for the Friday Music, but then stay for, well, the rest of the site.
Lady Gaga continues to be a compelling lunatic, and for that, I love her. I also love that she’s reminding us that music videos are still something really cool. In related news, eat a dick, MTV.
Hey! Companies are trying to avoid hiring the unemployed. Which… is about as insane and discriminatory as it sounds. I guess the logic is, if you do not currently have a job, you’re about as worthless as a dog’s asshole. You stay classy, big business. High-five. Fuckheads.
Dan O’Shea reminds you that The Muse is his bitch. He is not hers.
Finally, hey, weird. This Mortal Kombat video (embedded below) is… apparently a teaser for a movie they want to do? Well, hey, they’ve hooked me. I want to see more. The really weird thing is, the other day I was looking for videos of pugs in chicken outfits (don’t ask, just blame Stacia Decker), and I came across this video and then this one featuring a disease called Harlequin Ichthyosis. No, I don’t know why my “pug chicken” search took me there, but it did, and then a day later I see the Mortal Kombat teaser, and it features that same disease, so I think, ah-ha, viral meme! Invented disease! Except, holy crap, it’s actually a real disease. Which is tragic. And kind of weird that they’re using it for entertainment purposes (the “serial killer” Reptile suffers from it). Maybe poor taste. Still, it’s a compelling fake teaser. Video, below.