PTFSD Update: Week 1

Weight Loss: Week 1
Previous Weight: 403.4
Current Weight: 395
Loss: -8.4 Pounds
Total Weight Loss: -8.4 Pounds

This week was probably the toughest I’m going to have, and it wasn’t THAT tough. The really bad part was when everyone else got to eat Boston Market last night. But I persevered and I feel like I was rewarded for it.

Name That Game 97: Remembering the Unrememberable

Video game characters are often shallow, 2D, cardboard cutouts. And sometimes they have names to match. Video games somehow get away with giving their characters names that would be laughed out of the literary or cinema realms. Probably because video games don’t have editors.

The worst part is when a character endures and is finally given a decent backstory and gets a fan base…because now you’ve got a cool character attached to a cruddy name (I’m looking straight at you, Solid Snake).

So here are eight of the worst video game chracter names I’ve ever seen. They’re either generic, unassuming, rote, trite, hackneyed, overly macho or just completely inappropriate. Can you name the games they are from? And remember – when you cheat, you only cheat yourself.

1. Blake Stone

2. Cutter Slade

3. Edge Maverick

4. B.J. Blazkowicz

5. Sol Badguy

6. John Dalton

7. Lo Wang

8. Royd Clive

Bonus: Chet Awesomelaser

Good luck! If you win, I’ll put you in my game and I promise I won’t use the Random Character Name Generator to name you!

The Odds

Okay, so according to this episode of Penn & Teller’s Bull…pokey, the success rate for any self-improvement plan is about five percent. This includes Weight Watchers, Alcoholics Anonymous, or going it alone.

Which means all I have to do is try twenty times and I’m golden! The odds are in my favor!

So my focus has returned to Planitia again. I’m ditching my own networking solution and going with RakNet, which is free (as long as Planitia doesn’t make $100,000) and incredibly full-features. How full-featured? Peep this video:

And it integrates with Steamworks, so should the clouds part and THAT ever happen I’ll be able to take advantage of it.

This means that I may be able to have a public…alpha of Planitia soon. I’ll be running it through my own forums; if you’re interested in trying it out contact me.

Game Center CX

As I mentioned on my Twitter, I’ve been watching GameCenter CX (in the US it was retitled Retro Game Master). It’s a show where a Japanese comedian is tasked with beating old, hard, and/or terrible video games; it’s also interspersed with interviews with developers and trips to Japanese game centers.

Here’s a sample episode for your perusal. In it our hero, Shinya Arino, must complete the original NES version of Ninja Gaiden. He’s never heard of it before.

(Anyone who has actually played Ninja Gaiden is probably chuckling already.)

Now, I love me this show a lot. It’s got humor, game history and interviews with luminaries of the Japanese gaming scene.

But at the same time it makes me wistful. Why? Because the punchline of the show isn’t that a 35-year-old man is playing games. It’s his reaction to being locked in a room with a terrible (or terribly difficult) game and being told he can’t go home until he finishes it that’s funny. When Arino visits game centers there are just as many adult players as children.

As you watch the show it becomes clear that gaming in Japan is not stigmatized like it is here in the United States. Nobody cares that Arino plays games; hell, everybody does it! There isn’t a single person in Japan that is Arino’s age that didn’t play a Famicom at some point in their childhood, and continuing to play games into adulthood isn’t seen as a failing but as perfectly normal.

I just wish that were the case here.

I leave you with Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain’s take on the social stigma of playing games here in the West (warning: salty, hilarious language).

Name That Game 96: Pure Poetry

Of course, as soon as I post the last entry I have an idea for a Name That Game! Behold! Hints in haiku for your perusal!

i read your passport
please face the scanner because
you don’t look female

a big, epic quest
ruined by bad RNGS
and dumb time limits

they scream “assassin”
but when I save the empress
I don’t harm a soul

my gun shoots lightning
and sets bandits on fire
ooh! a purple shield!

a robot hero
fights through a cold asteroid
to stop endless war

only turn-based game
where you’ll hear the players say
“halflings are OP”

don’t get too attached
to your soldiers; aliens
will hit even with low scores

Good luck!