Archive for July, 2011

Ladies and gentlemen, I am terribly sorry, but the next top 10 will be tomorrow, and it will be about why Latvians worship potato. And…well, why, unfortunately, we deserve nothing else but our brave and nice potato overlord. No, seriously, I’ve written that stuff, because, seriously, all of this…this THING (and it’s just ONE thing, really, because only the symptoms differ, but the cause is the same) happening around me, is terrifying me. So, I re-read what I’ve written, and decided to put a little explanation before tomorrows post, so that my fellow Latvians won’t kill me, and so that I could link to this post and tell everyone that I’m not a bad person and that I shouldn’t be shot. Yes, it is THAT insulting.

For one, I like it here. Truly, I do. I’d be glad to see Latvia as a better place to live in, and I’m doing what’s in my powers to actually do something so that it could really happen. I’m politically active, and I believe that, one day, maybe, this country which happens to be my home will be a nice place to live. Unfortunately, I can’t see that happening right now. Because we blame everyone, and don’t do anything ourselves. And we make fun of those who do. But otherwise, Latvians are awesome, and Latvia is actually a pretty nice place. T There, I’ve said it. Now, wait for tomorrow, and let’s worship these potatoes together.

All hail the potato bag!


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Because f**k you, I have insomnia. Also, a temperature of 38,5 degrees Celsius. And, while thinking about some totally unrelated problems, such as the Voyinich Manuscript I understood that gaming has made me a better person. I’ve learned things which I wouldn’t know otherwise, and I would be a much less of an asshole and than I am now, if not for the occasional desire to slaughter virtual zombie-nazi-mutants or just defeat an opponent in Warhammer. Yes, I’m not just speaking about video games here. And, again, this is mostly bullshit, spawned from my ill head. Because f**k you.

10.  Math is power! 

Tovarisch Stalin Approves!

“But Torq”, you might ask, “you’re a philosophy student, and you also play games. Now, what is this heresy?” It’s very simple actually. Grab a random gamer and ask why, for instance, a Dark Eldar Kabalite Warrior is a much better troops choice than Slaanesh Chaos Space Marine in WH40K? Or, why Lightning Bolt is a much better M:TG card than Volcanic Hammer. Or, why you should use Laser Rifles over much stronger Plasma Rifles in X-Com? The answer is basically the same: They are much more cost effective. You get a bigger bang for your buck, thus owning the n00b and being competitive in the tournament scene. And, as every part of gaming is [sarcasm]serious business [/sarcasm] and if you do want to get that first place of whatever, because whatever, you start to calculate these things. You learn to manage and optimize your resources. And to calculate your chances. Woe betide the wargamer who doesn’t use statistics to his advantage. For 16 points, he gets a marine with a 43% chance to kill a Guardsman in a single shot. For 5 points per piece, I get a dude with a 5% chance of killing the said marine. But hey, I get 3 shots! And he only has a chance to kill 33% of his points per shot…besides, my guys get better, when their chances are calculated when evening the shots out against a different opponent, say Eldar. …and so it goes. In everything. All the time. If I wouldn’t be a gamer, I’m sure, I’d be a much less responsible person now, concerning money and expenses. But then again, I wouldn’t spend the said money on my plastic cocaine, so go figure. (Mmmm….plastic cocaine.)

9. Losing is FUN!

I've played dwarf fortress, and this is NOTHING in comparison...

Let’s face it, we’re goddamn masochists; “You WILL lose!” is a good thing to hear in a game review for our wicked minds, and when we hear phrases like that, something smiles within us, contemplating all the nice hardcore enjoyment we shall receive by getting smashed to pieces by that unfair Crysallid in the terror mission or those cheating Germans with their tanks, or those damn Space Wolves with their Longfangs, or my IG with my bassie, or Dwarf Fortress with…well, in this game, unfair EVERYTHING. Because losing is FUN! Actually, most fun comes from not losing anymore, but…until then, you torture yourself by doing things again. And again. And again. Rage ensues, and you die again. Then, there are those games who make you think that you’ve gotten better, but then – you die. Ad nauseam. And then…you stop dying. Or don’t. Because it’s….FUN! And do you think that a person who’s completed Terror from the Deep on Veteran difficulty level will stop being awesome when such puny things such as getting his skull broken and hearing nerve damaged and nearly dying from this and then lying in the hospital for two weeks and having to write graduation exams just the day he got out of the said hospital? F**K NO! Because LOSING IS FUN! Really, gamers can endure anything you toss at them. And then some.

8. Luck is what you make of it.

Nothing can roll so much 1's than the guys who need 2 or more to survive.

Some of you might think that this should be combined with the previous part. But no. Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. BIG NO. You lose, when the game is cheating. When you’re doing something wrong. When the opponent is cheating, but no. This time, you made your army roster perfectly. Your deck is ideal. Your strategy – impossible to defend against. Your character – minmaxed to impossibility. And then, you roll a 1. Nine times in a row. And the person who’s obviously weaker, manages to win. That’s…just…NOT…fair anymore. But, as Wizards of the Coast spokesperson Mark Gottlieb once wrote in his House of Cards column: “There are games you cannot lose, there are games you cannot win, and those which can go either way, depending on the way you play. Once you learn to differ between them, you start to understand which are the ones you should care about.” And so we do. Luck…is just that. Luck. And there is no sense of complaining about it. And that’s what games taught me: Maximize what you can, even if you cannot win. Because doing everything to win is much more effective in the long term than winning in any given game. Including life.

7.  Style is important.

Two cars, two girls. If i have to explain further, then you are an idiot.

Victorian era? Awesome! Stylish mafia clothing? EPIC! Pirates? Yarr! Space knights with psypowers mixed with gigant robots of doom and destruction? ZOMGWIN! People like cool things. And beautiful things. Why do you think Global Agenda guys buy dyes for their equipment and why Warhammer guys paint their miniatures like maniacs. (Except me, I suck at painting.) And why did i enjoy the latest Alice game so much? Gaming, in a very weird way, has raised my aesthetical standards…and, although, I can’t speak about all the guys out there, it’s a weird stereotype that we’re fat, ugly people who dwell at basements and don’t take care of ourselves. What, I just spent two hours getting that awesome looking armor, what do you think, that I won’t wear my suit and a fedora hat, trying to look as fancy as I possibly can? Why, you are mistaken, good Sir! Yes, there is a reason why all the wargamers in my store use this form of adressing their opponents. Because good sirs we are. And we like to be such. Why? Because why the hell not? Pretty is cool. P.S. Thought it  would be bad, not to give some credit here. All the legal rights of the photo on the right belong to my coursemate, Zane Lodiņa, from whose frype profile it was blatantly stolen. But hey, any publicity is good, right?

6. Taking yourself too seriously is a bad thing.

And when I decided to go to the store, I had a nice evening with Cthulhu and Pinhead. Nice fellows, those two.

Actually, everything’s funny. As I’ve got told in my psychoanalysis lecture: In those societies where you can’t laugh about something, you, most likely, can’t cry about something as well. Basically, if something is so sacred as to not be made fun of, then don’t expect that you’ll be able to complain it about that as well. Hey, I’m a christian, and I love that Cyborg-Ninja-Zombie Jesus idea. It’s fun. And so is gaming. Whether you’re Abbaddon, destroyer of worlds or Vault Dweller, Messiah of the Wastes or whatever, really…those games who forget that they are just games and are there for a) art and  b) entertainment and try to be ultra-uuber serious just get annoying. Deus Ex, for example. It was a serious game, with a deep storyline and a huge moral value, talking about political responsibility and values of democracy, quite possibly like no commercially produced computer game before. And it didn’t even take itself serious – it had easter eggs, dark humour and everything a man needs to get a couple of hours of a good entertainment. And why should we be any different? We’re gaming, we’re gamers, in a way, we complete the game itself – for it is only completed, if there’s anybody playing it. So why bother. I am not a clever man. I’m a funny person with a lot of socially unacceptable quirks. Also, ducks. Ducks are fun too.

5. There will be bugs.

Unfortunately, this isn't a bug.

The first time in my life when I’ll see a game which, upon release, isn’t haunted by ridiculous bugs, I’ll shave my head and buy all my readers a box of their favorite beer. The first time when I’ll see something which isn’t riddled with incompetence, laziness and idiocy, I’ll accidentally myself, because es no posible, es ist nicht möglich, non est possibile, это невозможно and It’s not possible in any other language imaginable. But gamers are prepared for this. Because something will always lag (loading times…and frame rate) and sometimes, NO GODDAMN PC on the world will be able to run the game smoothly. (Civ V before the patches. Even Alienware PC’s were lagging on large maps in lategame.) Therefore…well, who am I to remind you that the real life has no beta-test.

4. Teamwork is essential.

I play a Demoman. I'm a black scottish cyclops, and nobody loves me.

There are those times in the Free-For-All servers when you just kill everyone. There are the honourable duels in any game, when skill is all that matters. And there are those days when someone must play the healer. When you’re on a domination map, and you win by points, and not by an individual frag count. When your tank is failing, and you yell at him, because your DPS mage is being whacked. And then…you play an engineer in Team Fortress 2. See, it’s TEAM fortress. And when you’re in a Team, everything changes. If you’re a good player, you will be respected, and, in spite of the traditional syndrome of everyone on your team (whatever you do – not limited to, but including, gaming) being a clumsy failbag and not doing their job well, you will try to do as much as you can to make sure you support your team members and are, like in the picture above, a credit to the team. This leads to me, not understanding the people for whom it’s hard to cooperate with someone else when doing something. Because it’s just natural. Like…YOU’RE THE TANK! WHY THE HELL ARE YOU NOT THE ONE, ABSORBING ALL THE DAMAGE FROM THE DRAGON! BAH!

3. Being good gives you more experience points

But don't forget: Good is not nice.

Everyone who’s played a RPG game know that the evil choices give you more monetary rewards and immediate gains, but the good choices give you more XP. Somehow, it’s built in all of them. Hell, it’s so important that even the 6th HoMM will have a morale system – blood and tears they call it. (As if making someone cry wasn’t bad. Go figure.) The bad part is, you can get the gear in other ways than quest rewards, such as…stealing it? (Fallout 1 & 2 didn’t carry any penalties for stealing…so…yeah, you did all the good quests, but stole everything. Which…wasn’t evil, for some reason.) Anyhow, as XP has always been more important than gear, in my eyes, at least, the fact that I am a gamer taught me that being good is beneficial to all, in the long term. And gives you experience. Which is more valuable than anything you can by for puny zorkmids.

2. Sanity is for the weak.

Picture is unrelated

What is this heresy? Orange muffins of doom? Why, yes, rabbit of total carnage, I accept your demands, and will trade this world domination for your fluffy loaded dice! In short – RULE OF COOL! Also…if i can will it, it must be true! Games are fun, because they’re abstract. Because they are more interesting than real life. Because they don’t care about the sanity, and you, basically, just click buttons for three hours, because the flickering images on your monitor made you so. And…the point is? Is there a goal? Why, in games there is! We spend hours, upon hours upon hours doing seemingly pointless things, to achieve seemingly pointless goals. And we do things which seem like hard work and make our achievements in gaming mean something. Because it does. Games force us to think outside of the box. Games force us to think…different. (Better than nike commercials) – and now and then, the truly indie ones actually take the matter deeper, and actually make weird things happen to our minds…but that’s ok….after i finished fallout three, i spent a night, reading german grammatics and writing my top10 relationship things. Because. Oh, wait…that brings me to number one. Thank you for the tea, rabbit. Your box is in that corner, thank you.

1. Because f**k you!

Truth. In a neat packaging.

We play games, because they are fun. In games, you can do whatever. You have the power of whatever. And it’s fun. It’s much better than the routine. But sitting and rolling dice and/or sitting next to a PC is dumb. So, I spent a night in front of my university, camping in line to get the #1 number. It doesn’t matter, except pointless bragging rights and high-score in life. Which is pointless to “serious” people. But hell, that was fun. I spoke with tourists, with the police…awesome. Also, I’ve lived together for two weeks in an apartment with 30 metalheads, who, at one point, decided to just go out in the streets and punch the hell out of douchebags. And so we did. Also, I’ve hitchhiked in the middle of the night from one side of my country to the other. And driven with drunk drivers. I’ve spoken, together with my friends, at about 2am in the night, in the center of the old Riga with an old, drunk Latvian language teacher about life. Have saved the life of a crazed bum, and then he called me “the savior of the world” – and spend a night in an abandoned hospital. My life has, probably, been shitty. Yet…it IS FUN! Because I make it so. Games inspired me. And so should you. And you know why?

Because the sky is blue, motherfuckers!

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Web reviews.

Exam session over. For a while now. Life’s still not completely perfect, and I haven’t posted anything for a while, but now and then, some gathered things should be revealed to you, rest of humanity.  And this time, it’s the things I like to watch in youtube and some other sites. Not the crappy nostalgia critic, or the angry video game nerd, no, this is quality stuff we speak of, some lads you can watch, while you’ve got nothing to do.



This guy reviews things that are a) old and b) very cheap. Has his own show on bbc. Popular series include: PoPstation watch and Poundland special.



The cynical brit reviews indie games. And that is….AWESOME! Because the gems i’ve found there, in his WTF? is…series are now and then worthy additions to everyone’s game library. Also, preview of HoMM6 and how the dude sucks @ starcraft.



Better than the other Thatguywiththeglasses stuff, he actually takes care, reviewing blacksploitation movies and sodas. Yes, old and weird sodas, like Crystal Pepsi and that japanese junk.

Mr. Plinkett


Found this out, when searched for The Phantom Menance reviews. Quite old, drunk and original. Also, don’t get in his basement.


And why am i posting this? Because there’s a lot of crappy foods we students eat here, and…you know, half of this isn’t even half bad. 🙂 Possibly, with video, but pics guaranteed.

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