Saturday, January 15, 2005

Writing this on a late hot noisy night - music coming from all directions including my stereo, mixed in with random shouting from the street. I have finally got round to doing some heavy programming without any distractions. Yes may sound the first thing you would want to be distracted from but in my job it pays to keep your hand in, plus its quite relaxing when you can do it at your own pace.

Anyway, before I go any further I just have to tell you about this hilarious (for some people) site I found yesterday. Just to keep you salivating I will meander around the background context for a bit before getting to the point. Not that I ever do that when I´m speaking... Well, I managed to half-knacker a computer the other day in a place I work, while trying to upgrade the operating system, and so when I got home I had a look on the internet to see if anyone else had encountered the same problem. In fact no one else had FOR DEFINITE what I did, but there were several useful suggestions.

The most useful came from a gentleman who was apparently a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Military. His ´signature´ included a link to a website for ´Civilization Fanatics´. For those of you who ain´t herdjit, the game known as ´Civ´ to its fans is a hugely addictive strategy game in which you control the destinies of a people from the dawn of time, through history, to the modern age. Yada yada. Obviously while bashing all other rival nations, states, villages and ´furriners´ in your path. I was never a ´fanatic´ about this game, but I certainly used to play it a fair bit. Several years ago I banned myself as it is just TOO EASY to get HOOKED when you just think you will play it for a SECOND. [Prose momentarily slipped into the style of Stan Lee there].

Still, I was interested enough to follow the link, and have a poke around on the website. Most of it was players chatting to each other, exchanging tips about how to beat the game. Since any game was only dreamed up by.... other humans... that has never really appealed to me. Play it like it is or go do SOMETHING ELSE, dude.

But one bit of the site was a set of ´stories´ by players, narrativizing in a dramatickal fashion the games they had played, turning the countless hours of staring at a screen - ´Just one more turn then I will go to bed/do a pee/get a glass of water/phone that person´ etc. - into something even NON-PLAYAs could read. [Sorry will stop with the capitals now, getting a bit much].

The one I picked at random turned out to be, in a hit-and-miss (but mainly hit) way absolutely hilarious - for anyone who´s ever played the game - it went on for ages, and poked fun at all the stupid frustrations and completely unrealistic things in a way you never thought would actually be possible when the subject was just a ´stupid game´. Basically, it was like playing a whole game in only 2 hours instead of 20, and without the eyestrain either. Here, then, without further ado, is the link:
Out of the Rubble I - The Byzantine Empire

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