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So I am playing a lot of Starcraft - I Am My Avatar
Big Warm Fuzzy Public Heart
So I am playing a lot of Starcraft
I am terrible at doin' nothin', hangin' out, not seeking any self-improvement for an hour or two. Unless you count bouncing distractedly between Facebook and Twitter and email, ugh; I'm trying to cut back on that. It's not real relaxation, not if you're doing too much of it.

There are lots of activities I can do in alternation with my day job that are somewhat relaxing and shift me into a different place, but I need some true downtime as well, not just sneaky self-improvement.

PG-rated activities that do function as relaxation for me and are not sneaky self-improvement (For the most part):

• Salsa dancing (*)
• Reading science fiction
• Truly silly programming projects like the snowcam
• Playing Starcraft 2.

I still remember discovering the original Starcraft: I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law. Jason had a dedicated office-slash-gaming-room. He didn't have a PC, he had a rig, you know what I'm saying? It was a good cave in which to discover a game.

Speaking of caves, though, I love how you can fall into Starcraft and then come out again. Each match is self-limiting in duration. Nobody's trying to force you to "farm" all fricking day to get anywhere in the game.

Because it's a GAME. It's not a REPLACEMENT FOR YOUR LIFE. I like that.

After a concerted attempt to get good at playing the Terrans, I have rediscovered the joy of playing the Protoss... the one species in all of known space that can set up a decent static defense and build a slow, inexorable, overwhelming offense.

All of those things are good if you have never had the fastest reflexes in the world.

Plus, they have voidrays, which are terribly satisfying and strike more terror in one's opponents than their actual stats deserve.

And a decent build seems to come naturally to me, while I find the Terrans much fussier to play. I'm still not, y'know, GOOD. But I'm hardly ever that guy all the thirteen-year-olds are making fun of at the end of the game anymore. So... I win?

(*) OK, salsa can be sneaky self-improvement, especially in the early days of the learning curve. But at my level of experience going out to the club and spinning the ladies for a couple hours is strictly recreation.

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Current Mood: relaxed relaxed
Current Music: "Pedro Nevaja," Ruben Blades

4 comments or Leave a comment
dwenius From: dwenius Date: January 4th, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I went off on a hunch to see if anything out there in the modern graphical rouguelike world could keep up with nethack. Answer: I am playing a lot of nethack, still, lo these 25 years later.

The roguelikes on the Steam platform are *horrible*. 100 Rogues on the iPad is cute but too easy; there is an obvious winning strategy for each character class and once you've sorted it, eh, not enough variation between games. None of the other dungeon crawling (or forest exploring or castle storming) iPad games have anything complex or interesting at all going on. WazHack is promising but kind of laggy and honestly the graphics are doing nothing for me. I didn't bother looking into the Playstation platform because a realtime or god forbid multiplayer game is definitely not what I'm after. On the plus side, I discovered iNetHack for iOS, which has several small but critical UI advantages over NetHackHD for the iPad, which I gave up on as unplayable.

So...back to the dungeons of doom with this elven wizard I guess.
boutell From: boutell Date: January 4th, 2014 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL Nethack! I won version... 3.0? 2.3?... once upon a time and stopped playing. It was the last version before they added hell and the castle endgame.
dwenius From: dwenius Date: January 5th, 2014 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)
If there was no Hell or Castle level, then you were on 2.something.

I have only beaten the game twice in all my years of playing. I am just reckless enough to keep it fun but that means I kill off a lot of promising characters in the midgame, often from preventable causes. I have been playing long enough to have to relearn lessons that killed off a character in the late 90s. Somehow this is only frustrating enough to make me rage-start-a-new-game-immediately, no matter how many hundreds of times it happens to me.
nerdsholmferret From: nerdsholmferret Date: January 11th, 2014 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I believe I gave you my copy of the original StarCraft back in the day. I, too, enjoyed the strategy involved, but I like turn-based more than real-time, so my new toy is Civ5.
4 comments or Leave a comment