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Tycho / on Fri, Jul 5 2002 at 6:30 am

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I recognize that - under ordinary circumstances - Penny Arcade is not your source for comics about man’s single-minded enthusiasm for putting one thing into another thing.  Putting the lime in the coconut was only the tip of a terrifying iceberg covered in a carpet of unblinking eyes with the wild, animal look of a man who has killed.  If you already knew that human beings were doing this kind of thing, by which I mean the spider-goat thing, my hat’s off to you.  We never heard about this shit until a week ago, which is surprising because when someone squeezes some Goddamn spider silk out of a goat’s titty it’s the kind of thing one expects to hear about.  Industry is clacking its hideous mandibles with excitement over the applications of readily available spider silk, focused largely on the swinging and thwipping sectors of our economy.  I’m making goofy jokes about it because I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don’t know how to unfuck.  It’s a coping mechanism.

I still haven’t purchased Warcraft III, though that isn’t to say that I haven’t played it a bunch at Monkey’s - in fact, our fruitless travails versus the invincible A.I. foe have become a ritual of sorts.  Greg thinks it’s pretty great, and since everything that he has thought or felt ever is true I’m inclined to agree with him.  By comparison, I invest young S. Monkey’s opinions on a given subject with the unswerving credulity I might grant a growling raccoon - so when he says that he’s iffy about the game, it’s like a rodent at a podium trying to lecture on the elasticity of oil prices.  In other words, it’s not only irrelevant - it’s hilarious.

It’s worth discussing, though.  To take you back - much like Star Control 2 is for me, Warcraft 2 is for him.  I’d bet that goes for literally a million other people.  It’s a game that was not only excellent, but also came to represent some idyllic phase of life, which is better marketing than some fuckhead could ever scratch on a whiteboard.  He’s as invested in the Orcs as I am in the Chmmr.  So when a sequel to that game comes out - and let’s be clear, it’s a sequel to your life, to some irreplaceable coordinate charted on some personal continuum - there’s absolutely no way you can examine the event objectively.  Not at first.  More often than not, you can’t help but feel disappointed.  Now, Star Control 3 wasn’t a very good game in my opinion, which is a matter quite apart from the phenomenon I’m describing.  It had the lizard guy, and he ate the mouse and I really wasn’t into it.  But it was damned doubly by the fact that it did not successfully recreate my life in Junior High, a feat which would be difficult to accomplish for any developer.  I did not find my heart somehow rekindled for Jennifer Hebb, so the entire exercise was a failure.  That’s hardly Accolade‘s fault, of course, but there are simply realities about perception that I’m not going to deny.  So yeah, at first, Monkey had some misgivings about the game.  Maybe he still does.  Maybe he’ll step up to the plate and talk about it.  The thing is, when we get a chance to just play it, we have a fantastic time - apart from the cogitation and so forth that occupies the time we aren’t playing it, mulling over this and that in a pantomime of genuine objectivity.  It’s amusing, but I know that gamers probably are the worst people to ask if this particular product is a worthy successor. 

Stack that on top of the fact that I don’t even know if I’m playing stuff like this right anymore.  Ever since I started reading Zileas dot com, looking at the strategies and thoughts on each patch or whatever, it’s like they’re not even talking about games.  I don’t know that I’ll ever look at Warcraft in this way, which means that I’ll probably never be competitive online - but if you ever need your Bnet ranking padded with some easy victories you know where to find me.  Just send a couple ghouls over and I’ll probably disconnect.

(CW)TB out.

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