Saturday, September 26, 2009

No, Not Like Big Bang Theory

Imagine if Dawn of the Dead had a love-child with Revenge of the Nerds. That would kind of be like what just walked in to the theatre. All was quiet between shows when suddenly I was surrounded. Honestly, I didn't think that nerds like this existed any more. It's kind of like spotting a rare species of butterfly.
If that rare species happened to have a raging acne problem, BO and no social skills.
I feel like I should be documenting this for science. I wish there was a way I could film them without their knowing. Or even snap a few pictures. But, like a timid heard of deer, I'm afraid they would notice and scatter. After all, every nerd worth his weight can spot a cell phone camera from 100 paces.
First I might need to come up with a good name for a group of nerds. Swarm? Heard? Gaggle?
After years of working here I've learned to spot people who are here for the show and who's just here for the bathroom. These guys threw me a bit. They came in all at once and stood there, just inside the security gates, completely ignoring me. They weren't moving for the desk and no one was running for the can. They just stood there, nerding up the place.
Amongst them were some of the most classic examples of nerdery. It was like they pulled their looks from the Encyclopedia Nerdannica.
They had the classic "Acne Nerd" with his black T, fleece coat and ill fitting jeans. His conversation was mostly filled with criticisms of a french film he'd seen recently (actually, he complained mainly about its title) and talked rather too loudly about being a computer science student and not having a student card because it would mean leaving his house. No, I am not making that up.
Next was the "Awkward Nerd". You know the guy. The one who has always and will always be complete oblivious to fashion trends, hairstyles beyond whatever is cheapest at Supercuts and still wearing the same style of glasses he's had since he was eight. This one was decked out in his finest tan slacks (rolled up to MAKE them flood pants), slip on brown loafers and a red shirt that fitted like he bought it thirty pounds ago. It went well with his attempt at sideburns.
Joining them was "Sweatpants Nerd". Like so many of this breed, he came in the shape of an eerily pale 20-something. With his Reboks that have never run and his matching t-shirt/sweatpant combo and his windbreaker straight out of the 1995 Sears Catalogue, he's ready for a night on the town. If you're imagining him with a nasally voice and an inability to get through a complete sentence without pausing for an awkward gasp of breath, you're spot on.
Their ranks were filled out with "Tubby Nerd" with his "I PWN N00BS" physique and the cargo shorts/sandals combo in weather that any reasonably intelligent person would get out the long pants for (along with the required bunnyhug), "Skinny Nerd" looking a bit too much like a badly designed bird with glasses and obligatory obscure reference t-shirt, "Socially Handicapped Nerd" who seems to go out of his way to be as obnoxious as humanly possible, perpetually standing where ever he shouldn't be, saying whatever he shouldn't say and just generally being someone you'd chew your left arm off to avoid and finally "YouTube Commenter Nerd" otherwise known as "FIRST!" on every message board ever created online, perpetually pointing out "obvious photoshop" and talking like an expert on every subject known to man because he's read it all on Wikipedia.
They're milling slowly started to move toward the desk. I hoped they would buy their tickets and sit out on the bench until the first show was over, but of course, they didn't. They stopped directly in front of my desk and blocked the entrance to the theatre and the mens room all in one amazing move. Slowly they began to drift, still chatting until they were pacing around my desk in circles. It was like some kind of horrible nerdy-go-round.
I felt like I was being hunted. It reminded me of the scene with the raptors in Jurassic Park.
They all arrive almost 30 minutes before the movie started and this all went on for 20 minutes before they finally bought any tickets.
Meanwhile, the projectionist just laughed.
"You seem to attract them."
I guess we all have our cross to bear.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yahtzee Likes It. See I'm Not Crazy!

Ok.... so that doesn't really prove anything, but it does make me feel better.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Arkham Asylum: Lock Me Up And Throw Away The Key

Games for me are divided in to three camps. 1) Games I play once or twice, never finish and don't really enjoy 2) games I play forever, never really getting to the end because I'm just picking away (but enjoying anyway) 3) and games I can't put away, play right through in one sitting, play again and again, talk about at length until everyone within a 20 mile radius signs a petition in an attempt to get me to shut up about the fucking thing already. Camp 1 has been displaying a "no vacancy" sign for years already but new titles keep showing up and demanding entrance while Camp 3 has always had shitloads of room for its very few occupants.
Well, after a long dry spell I have a new favourite game.
Mondays are my day off. I usually reserve them for doing a whole lot of nothing. Nothing important anyway. It's my day to sleep late, do a bit of shopping, make a dent in any personal projects. That sort of thing. Last Monday I woke up with a plan to play Arkham Asylum for an hour or two, get dressed and get a few things scratched off my list. That was at about 10am.
I got dressed at 9pm. After I finished the game and only because I had plans to go to a movie with my brother.
The game is awesome. I don't think I could have asked for more out of a Batman game. Or any other game for that matter.
Kevin Conroy has always been my favourite Batman voice. Maybe because (other than Adam West) he has been the Batman I've known the longest so I was giddy when Batman opened his mouth for the first time and it was him. I was equally giddy when I hear Mark Hamill's now perfectly familiar Joker joining him. Mark Hamill being, much like Kevin Conroy, forever ingrained in my brain as being Mr. J jumping effortlessly from manic insanity to menacing psycho in less than a beat.
The supporting cast was no less amazing. An army of bad guys, a ton of references, the game is littered with little gems. The only one I really want to mention (just because I really do love her so) is Harley. What would a game with Joker be without Harley Quinn to back him up? Arleen Sorkin's airheaded, drawling, obsessive, psychopathic, hopeless Harley is what made me love the character in the first place. Oh and she's got a new look... goddamn, no one pulls off that look like dearly devoted Harley.
The game itself is fantastic. The game play is awesome and engaging. The story line opens it up to so much. Batman stuck on Arkham Island with every crazy and criminal lose and out to get him. What's not to love?
One of my biggest complaints with some of the games I've been playing is the controls. I don't think every game should be pong-esque in control simplicity but lately it seems like game designers have nothing better to do with their time than to make the controls for every game as complicated as humanly possible. I'm all for options and cool shit but I shouldn't need a magic decoder ring to figure out the diagram explaining the controller set-up. Arkham does really well at giving you lots of cool shit to play with and still keeping everything manageable.
The overall look of the game is really spectacular. Everything is Batman from top to bottom. It captures that universe so well and dumps you in the middle of it. It's not campy Batman either. It's dark. Deliciously dark. People die, bad things happen, criminally insane mass murders live up to their reputation for mayhem and Batman slogs through it all with his typical style.
It's a game I happily played from start to finish in a sitting but what makes it great is that it's so full I can happily do the same again and again. A game that is only good once is hardly a good game. I do love me game with serious replayability.
If you've thought about playing the game, if you're a Batman fan, if you have some spare time just play it already.
Would I lie to you?

Holy Hell...

Has it been that long?
Sorry guys. I honestly haven't forgotten about this place. I've just been stupid busy and occupied with a million other things. It's hard to be motivated to write anything at all when I do have a free minute when all I want to do is lay on the couch and maybe watch an episode or two of something or other.
Tomorrow is the shoot day for my teeny, tiny, very small film. For such a little thing it is causing me massive amounts of stress and costing me a small fortune.
I'm not complaining, mind you. This is really something I'm more excited and happy about than I have been in... maybe ever. Every minute of stress, every penny spent, every sleepless night, every worry I have, every bit of work done is absolutely worth it to be able to spend even one day doing the one thing that makes me happier than anything in the world. And I'm incredibly fortunate to have some really amazing and awesome people on my side, helping me out and putting themselves out just so I can do this. I appreciate it more than I'm sure I'll ever be able to express.
So lets all cross our fingers and hope that tomorrow goes really well.
Send good vibes and happy thoughts. I need all I can get.