Friday, in which I learn from those who came before.

December 4, 2010

I got up at 8 a.m. today, which is pretty much the worst thing in the world. But, I had my thesis proposal defense meeting at 10, and I really wanted to get there early to set things up.

The only non-presentation based media usage I did in the morning was to check my mail just in case anyone had a last minute cancellation, but everything seemed in the clear, so I went on my merry grumpy half-asleep way.

When I got to Weimer, I went to the library to print out some papers, then went up to 2008 to set things up. That’s when I found out that both Jody and Sarah were out for the day, and that no one was around to give me the key. Some aimless wandering and a quick pit-stop to see Dr. Armstrong got me on the right track, and I was able to get the key and enter the room to start preparing.

(This is why you always give yourself lots of time. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.)

The proposal defense came and went. I may not have actually needed to make a Powerpoint after all, but my committee was gracious enough to listen to me stammer my way through it anyway. I tried to make it mercifully short to return the favor.

After the meeting was over, I decided to have some lunch on campus. As per the custom whenever I eat on campus, I grabbed a copy of The Alligator and gave it a quick read. The homosexual birds got mentioned again. I also learned that the proposal for the block tuition had been submitted to UF’s Board of Trustees. I can’t say I really like the idea. I went to school full-time as an undergrad at FIU, but I never took a 15-credit semester. It was always 12 credits for Fall and Spring and two classes in the summer. But whatever, we’ll see.

I returned home and, for the first time in a while, didn’t have anything absolutely urgent to do. It was kind of liberating.

I checked Facebook , Twitter, and the blog to see if there were any comments I needed to approve. I read some stuff off Kotaku and 1UP, and I watched a video from one of my subscriptions on Youtube.

At this point, I felt really sleepy. I suppose the last few days were finally catching up to me. I fired up a gaming podcast on my computer and listened to it as I lay in bed. I think I lasted about 15 minutes before I was out.

For about three hours.

What? I’ve been working pretty hard, alright? Geez.

Anyway, I woke up around 5 p.m. and went back on the computer to look at Facebook and Twitter. I fired a message to a friend of mine to see how he was doing, and contemplated calling my folks to see how they were. I ultimately elected to wait till tomorrow, since I know Fridays are generally busier for them.

I watched a couple of videos via thatguywiththeglasses.com, a sort of geek-comedy collaboration site, and then decided I would crack open that copy of Demon’s Souls I bought on Cyber Monday. It’d been sitting on my table since Wednesday, silently beckoning to me while I was studiously working on projects.

But I had persevered! And now, I could goof-off without a guilty conscience!

I don’t want to go off on a huge tangent about the game, and I’m sure you will all thank me for that. What I will mention, since it may be of some interest to communication scholars, is the interesting way in which players can aid each other in the game.

When playing online, you all do not actually run around in a world together killing stuff. Actually, you play what is essentially a single-player experience, except you will find “traces” of other players as you run about. These traces come as either small messages written into the ground that other players leave behind, or in the form of bloodstains which will grant you a vision of another player’s final moments before dying.

Both of these can provide you with advanced warning of upcoming challenges and treasures, or simply prove to be highly entertaining as you watch a ghostly player flailing about before toppling over. You are limited in that you can never see what actually slew a player and the messages can only be formed by using preset words the game provides. I assume this was done to curb profanity, or to limit how much someone can “give away” to another player. Or maybe both. Nevertheless, players are encouraged to leave helpful messages since passing players can “recommend” messages they find. When this is done, the player who posted the message receives a boost to their health, which is nice in a game where you are constantly being beat down.

While there are some more traditional multiplayer modes in the game, I really enjoyed the unique flavor the messages and bloodstains added to my experience. I learned a lot from “those who came before,” and was able to beat through the first real dungeon in one sitting. This is actually a pretty fair accomplishment because this game is really hard.

Also, this sitting was three-and-a-half hours. I got into it, ok. I haven’t had a proper gaming session in a while!

Don’t judge me!

But yeah, that pretty much carried me to the point where I had to stop playing so I could write this up in time. Not entirely sure what I’ll do next, but it’s not likely to be going to sleep. I think I will likely hit the news feeds and catch up on what I missed.

Just one more entry left!

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