War never changes…

For those of you expecting a post about Fallout, I apologize.  In fact, you might just want to stop reading now because this post is about Modern Warfare 3.

I’m super late to the MW3 party.  I was an early adopter of pretty much every Call of Duty game up to the original MW, which I skipped for a while, but eventually joined in on.  It should also be noted that I didn’t start playing multiplayer CoD until MW2, which is mostly because I didn’t have fun – but once I started playing with friends, it was a great experience (for the most part).  Once I had the MP bug, I played with fairly reasonable frequency on my own, just because.

Anyway, for one reason or another, I decided to forgo MW3, even though I had had a blast with Black Ops.  However, this weekend, I got the itch.  It’s been growing, but manageable (and ME3 was doing a fine job as a placebo), however, this weekend I cracked.  I had a 50% of a used game coupon at Best Buy, plus some Reward Zone certificates, so at a cost of $0, it was a great deal.

I started playing SP on Friday night.  I’ve always been an SP player for FPS games.  Sure, I could have dove in to MP (but, none of my friends were on, so, SP was an easy choice).  The story is decent, the environments fantastic.

Saturday, I played MP.  Man, how have I missed that.  I suck, but its still enjoyable.  I get frustrated, yet I want to play more.  I don’t know.  It makes me feel dirty.

So yea.  I’m back on the MW.  Goodbye, sleep.

Let the wookiee win

My son is starting to get older (granted, he’s still only 3) but we’ve begun to play more structured games, which got me thinking.

If/when we start playing competitive board/video/etc games, should I let him win from time to time?

The obvious answer is yes, you should!  But, I’m not so sure that it’s that clear-cut.  Like most parents, I think my kid is pretty smart.  Won’t he figure out that I’m not trying very hard?  Will that teach him that I don’t think he’s an opponent worth putting my full energy into?  Alternatively, will winning all the time teach him to dislike a hobby that I really would like him to enjoy with me?

I think ultimately, it will depend on him and the game.  Some games make it easier to hide that you’re making bad choices, and there are plenty of games that have enough randomness that I probably don’t have to do anything to help things along.

Ultimately, I know that I should be teaching that having fun with me is more important than the outcome, but show me a person that doesn’t like to win time to time.  Absolutely, having fun is the #1 goal, but I remember myself as a young kid – I wanted to win.  I expect nothing different from my kids.

I think this is one of those tricky spots in parenting, or, maybe I’m just reading too much into things.

Letters to other blogs…

A few weeks ago, @soupytoasterson asked me if I’d be willing to write a bit about Greg Rucka’s novel A Gentleman’s Game for Comics! The Blog’s letter section.  Today, that letter ran, in the feature Um, Actually.  The actual letter is at the end of the section.  I’m not sure it closes with the power of

but, it’s hard to be better than Brad Pitt in Burn After Reading.

My letter discussed how I discovered the novel, some brief thoughts on it, as well as where I was going from here.  In short, I like Rucka’s comics, spy books are cool, and I’m going to read some comics.

What I didn’t talk about in the letter was my historical reluctance to ‘mix media’ with universes that I really enjoyed.  When I was younger, I consumed many, many books in the Star Wars expanded universe.  What I slowly, but surely realized, was that these books were ruining Star Wars for me, so I stopped reading them.  But, from about that point on, I can’t recall a single universe that I followed in one medium, then picked up in another.

It should be noted that in this, I’m not counting books made into movies.  I’m talking about the EXTENSION of a universe, not a RE-IMAGINING of one.

I don’t know what changed in the past year or so, but I’m going to say that because of some of the books in my comics file being so far off of what I’d pick on my own, I’m more willing to give (borderline) looking books a try.  On top of that, there were some damn good Star Wars books (in addition to the stuff I didn’t like), so, why care about the medium in which the story is being told?

If I stuck to my old ‘one medium per universe’ mantra, I’d be missing out on some really awesome looking stories in Queen and Country, a bad-ass origin of the Jedi in Dawn of the Jedi, and of course more background to the Mass Effect universe.  Frankly, that’s an injustice to me, a fan of these series.  Absolutely, there’s stuff I don’t want to explore in other formats (for instance, the Firefly, Battlestar Galactica RPGs), but damn, I’d love a sourcebook for playing as a CTU Agent in the world of 24.

Not all expanded universe material will be good.  I KNOW this.  But, by letting the stuff that I subjectively found uninspiring/uninteresting overrule the stuff that’s amazing, I’m pretty sure that’s letting the bad-guys win.

So readers, I’m going to read/watch/play in the universes I love.  I’m going to follow my favorite characters.  If a storyline doesn’t interest me, I won’t interact with it (I certainly won’t start a petition to change it).