More gaming, more reading and some experimentation

This week was a little bit different from how I would normally spend a typical week. For one I’ve been reading and playing games a bit more than normal, and then I decided to watch a game of ice hockey. Since I’m really not into any sports in general watching a sports game it pretty out of character for me, and this is one that’s not even played in my country so that makes it that little bit odder still.

The Stanley Cup Final (Ice Hockey)

So after seeing a few people tweeting about the Stanley cup final game that was played this week, and also reading about the rioting that occurred in Vancouver because the Canucks lost, I decided to download and watch the final game of the cup. About the only contact I’ve ever had with ice hockey is via the movie The Mighty Ducks and it’s sequel. Given that I felt that was a chance it could be interesting (I enjoyed the movies after all), but wasn’t sure if a real game would be much like the ones portrayed on the silver screen.

I can happily say that the game was enjoyable enough and, assuming most games are similar to this one, I could probably stand to watch it from time to time. The fact it was a grand final probably makes it more interesting that a regular games is though, so who knows. I don’t really want to watch footy regularly, but I do enjoy watching the AFL grand final each year because it’s usually a good game with plenty of action and tension.

More Reading

I decided to read The Redemption of Althalus again (I must have read it at least three or four times now), so I bought it on the Kindle store and have been reading it on my iPad, even though I already have a hardcover copy of the book. Books are nice and all, but I’m more interested in the content that the physical medium so I wanted to have a digital copy. Digital has it’s issues and restrictions at the moment (the conversion of most books seem to have typos here and there, so the quality control could stand to be improved) , but as someone who wants to avoid accumulating physical items that need to be stored and moved I find the idea of digital media to be very attractive and it’s something that I’m planning to make use of for the foreseeable future. Also after a discussion with Doug last weekend, I’m beginning to think that one day I might have to try to get back into the Wheel of Time series, and reread it all the way through. The last book I read was book nine or ten, but with the final book due out later this year it might be time to try and take a crack at finishing the series. I really enjoyed reading it when I was younger, and I must have read all of the first 6 or so books at least twice at one point. Presumably that is one series of books that I should be able to buy digital copies of, which would be great from a space saving point of view. If I bought physical copies of all the books the series would probably need an entire shelf to itself, which doesn’t do much for my goal of reducing my physical item count. Plus, if I have digital copies, I can have them on my phone as well and my iPad, and having the books with me all the time means a slightly greater chance that I’ll decide to read a bit when I find myself with an opportunity.

I wish it was possible to get digital versions of all the old books that I have, though I’m not going to hold my breath on that. I’m pretty sure some of them are out of print, and while the publishers could probably make some money (in the long run) by getting all their back catalog converted into digital format, they aren’t likely to do so any time soon. They still haven’t embraced the digital medium well, despite the fact that adoptions seems to be going well, and it’s quite probably the way of the future. Given the fact that books of recent years would have their manuscripts in electronic form already, there certainly isn’t much of an excuse for not creating a digital version of the book and benefiting from those sales as well as the sales of physical copies.

More Games

So after watching a short video about it from the Playstation blog I decided to buy the platform game Outland. It’s pretty neat. The visuals are a bit different, with your character and most of the enemies, and even the levels themselves, being shown in a profile kind of style, where you see the outline but no real detail within the outline. It doesn’t sound that great when described like that, but it actually presents well and I quite like the look. The running and jumping of your character make for a nicely flowing game and the light and dark spirit switching is something different. There are various obstacles that will damage you only if you are the opposing spirit colour so switching to a matching spirit allows you to pass those obstacles without being hurt, and then in contrast there are the enemies that can only be damaged when you are the opposing spirit colour. The result is a game where you can find yourself fairly rapidly switching back and forth between the two spirits types as your run and jump and fight your way around a level. It’s an unique mechanism that I haven’t encountered before in a game, and so far I’d say it’s one that lets the games designers create some interesting challenges.

Craig Reynolds @wyldphyre