An Update… A Rather Large Update

Another ridiculously large gap between posts, another lacking excuse. Well, actually, I can’t really think of any excuse at the moment… wait, I got something. Get this, my excuse is school – you know, school work and such, or did I use that already? Anyway, let’s get down to business. I present to you a condensed post that touches on numerous topic, from my latest obsession in the realm of video games to the most recent quip of mine that I’ve chosen to expound upon.

Halo 3. Yep, you’ve probably heard of it by this point. Even those who play no video games at all have most likely seen it in a magazine or television ad. Microsoft’s 100 million dollars of marketing was very much helpful in bringing this gaming juggernaut to the attention of all. And despite numerous claims of my own that I would wait a while before buying it, I have indeed caved in and purchased my very own copy of Halo 3. At least I didn’t fall for the ludicrously priced legendary edition, right?

I will say that I was pleasantly surprised with the improvements on the single-player campaign and got just about what I was expecting in terms of multi-player. There’s really not much to summarize considering Halo 3’s still working from the same old formula as its predecessors. A couple of new features including the theater, a tool that allows the playback of multi-player and single-player matches, and the forge, a simplified real-time map editor, were surprisingly well done additions to the typical Halo features. The production value is about as high as I’ve ever seen in a game.

Secondly is a game that has been occupying much of my time lately, a game that was simply meant to be a side show, but became an instant favorite for many fans. It’s called Portal. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s the result of Valve hiring a team of Digipen university students to create a small game to include in the recently released Orange Box, which also includes the newly released Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode 2.

Portal is a puzzle game that takes a simple concept and crafts a number of elaborate, fiendishly clever challenges with it. The only weapon (if you could call it that) that you will use in Portal is the ever so creatively named Portal Gun. The Portal Gun will create a blue portal if you left click and an orange portal if you right click. These portals are linked together, so going through one with send you walking out the other. Simply messing around with portals provides an enjoyable time. Infinite jumps, the house of mirrors effect, and other nifty situations can be set up with portals.

While quite short clocking in at only around 3 hours, Portal is still a source of tremendous fun and exactly the type of material well suited to re-playing.

And here comes trouble. Stop reading now if you wish, for another of my infamous rants looks to be next up on the schedule. For today my topic is social networking sites. Many of you may know I have a Facebook and formerly owned a MySpace, so I hope you don’t consider me hypocritical for criticizing that which I make use of, but it’s not that I dislike social networking sites, simply that I consider them misguided in their purposes.

The core purpose of any social networking site is to, well, network people together. While you will connect and communicate with existing friends on these sites, a large focus is put on making new friends through these sites.This seems like a ridiculous waste of time to me because the large majority of people do not reach out in any way to people they don’t know, and they shouldn’t. Social networking sites, in my opinion, should be solely focused on communicating and having fun with already existing friends.

Friendships through networking sites are forced and rarely last for long. On site like MySpace, people compete to get a larger friends list, but most of the people on the list barely even know them. Simply adding friends to your list on these sites is very different from actually considering them friends. People would be better off meeting new friends through other interactive online sites such as forums that relate to their interests.

Social networking sites, in my opinion, should take a new approach which is more prominently focused on providing existing friends the tools they need to have fun with each other through the site. Facebook is a bit ahead of MySpace at the moment because of their so called “application” feature which allows anyone to develop applications for user profiles, and many of these applications are designed for existing friends.

Well, that’s all for now folks.

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5 Responses to An Update… A Rather Large Update

  1. Hawk says:

    Ooh, Portal sounds like fun. I’m gonna have to check that out at some point, but I’m currently playing through Geneforge 4 for the fourth or fifth time right now…

    Oh, and on the matter of MySpace, you might enjoy http://www.gregslab.com/myspace101.

  2. Michael says:

    Social networking isn’t a bad idea… I have plenty of friends that I’ve met online. I met Krissy on dA, and she’s like family to me. And MySpace < Facebook, because Facebook does what you said.

  3. Hawk says:

    These days the trend seems to be using social networking to accomplish some other goal, such as YouTube, video sharing in a social network, or deviantART, which is art sharing in -you guessed it- a social network.

  4. Michael says:

    LOL, honestly, I think we should stop using the classification Web 2.0. We’ve changed almost all the distinguishing factors.

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