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Liebster’s on Ice

So it’s been fairly close to forever since I’ve blogged.  I’ll blame a lot of that on the arrival of my son and a fairly significant series of life events which includes actually moving one step further along on The Quest.  In October, I began working at KingsIsle Entertainment and The Friendly Necromancer, our community manager, there was kind enough to to nominate my sleepy blog for a Liebster.  So at the risk of delaying my response any longer than I already have and possibly slipping back into hibernation, here are my answers:


1- You’re suddenly very tiny and trapped in a giant salad bowl, what do you do?

Hope that the salad isn’t dressed yet?  I suppose I’d probably start climbing the vegetable cliffs to get out of the bowl… though if I’m this tiny, I think that being in the bowl is probably the least of my worries.


2- What’s your very first memory of playing video games? If you could lie about that question to make it sound more cool, which game would you choose instead?

I don’t really remember if this is my first, or just a fairly early memory, but I absolutely loved Magic Candle II. I remember playing that game for hours and hours and hours.  Building up a team of six and scouring that game for new companions, weapons and quests.  To be honest, I don’t even know what the main objective was in the game but I still have a mental map of that game world stuck in my head full of ridiculously useless details.


3- What’s your favorite comic book series? Why?

X-Men. The 90’s cartoon actually got me into comics and X-Men is really the only physical comic I bought in any great amount growing up.  Aside from that, I think the fact that there’s no one hero in the X-Men that kind of gives it some extra life for me. In fact, of all the X-Men, I hate Wolverine the most because he’s pretty much his own hero. Everyone else has limitations and strengths and it’s the combinations of personalities and powers that keeps things fresh. There’s also something about the idea of random ordinary people being ostracized for hidden gifts that sort of speaks to a kid who was less than popular growing up.


4- Most astounding food you’ve ever tasted?  Was it every bit as good the second time you tried it?

A Moroccan tajine dish I had junior year of college. I was in Morocco and this was a tiny restaurant in Fez. I tried getting something similar at a Moroccan restaurant months later back at college and it was good, but not the same. I think a lot of it was the atmosphere, but the food was really good.


5- What’s something you’ve lost in your life that you’ll never get back. If you did find it, what would you do with it?

So I originally wrote this answer about how I loaned out my series of the Death Gate Cycle in high school.  I don’t even remember who I loaned them to but there were plenty of times over the last few years I wanted to read them. That said, it’s kind of a silly answer because I really could just get a new set and reread them.

Then I remembered that I don’t have a copy of C++ code I wrote for my senior AP Computer Science project.  It was a game I called “Mazem” that had a procedurally generated 2d maze that you had to find a set of keys to escape from. The code was on a CD with its own jewel case and art cover I made for it. Really ridiculous since I’m not sure what I’d do with it, but I’d kind of like to have it now.


6- What theory, rule, or insight do you remember most from school? What made it stick in your head?

“Extremes lead to extremes” is a pretty useful life philosophy that’s good to keep in mind in any number of settings. It works in physics, dealing with people, deciding how to approach a day. I don’t think it’s necessary to avoid extremes or excesses entirely, but it’s a relatively simple way to look at a situation and reasonably expect an outcome or explain it after the fact.


7- You want to make me a mix CD. What five songs (or artists if you can’t name individual songs) would be essential to the mix?

I’m super bad at music (just ask my wife!), so I really have no idea. There are a handful of songs I might pick at any one time, but I really don’t consistently listen to music or make playlists.  On the rare occasion that I do, it’s just random stuff off the last few things I heard that caught my attention.


8- What website do you use that you feel more people should know about?

Snopes. O.M.G. Snopes.  If there is one thing that grinds my gears more than anything about the internet, it’s people who spread crazy “incredible” things they find that are a) patently false, b) veritably false, or c) why-would-you-even-think-this-is-a-real-thing-and-not-think-to-check-first false, without first taking the 10 seconds of Googling it takes to be a responsible citizen of the information age.


9- If you were to take a week long trip to get away from everything and find some peace of mind, where would you go? Why?

This was a toss up between the beach and mountains, but I think I’d probably choose a ski trip. Half of the time, the good places are way out in the middle of no-where so you get to focus mostly on what you’re there to do. It burns a lot of energy and I like the cold, so it’s physically refreshing. My bachelor’s party was skiing and board games, which may sound lame to a lot of people, but I really liked it.


10- What’s the one game everybody should play? What feeling does it tap into for you?

After spending probably way too long on this one, I don’t think these two questions really work together. I can’t say that there’s one game that everyone should play because I think some of the best games are the ones that let everyone take away something different. In fact, I’d even go a step further and say the best games are the ones that surprise you with what you do end up taking away.  There are a lot of games that have caught me like that, but which I wouldn’t recommend now because I know that others probably wouldn’t feel it and even I might not feel now because so much has changed in how I might experience it. I have a lot of good memories from WoW, for instance, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I think everyone should go out and try it now or that I’d play it the same way I did 7 years ago.

All that said, if you just want a game recommendation, Telltale Game’s Walking Dead is pretty great for the reasons above. I think they did a fantastic job of making you think and reflect on choices, making you a real part of a story.

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