The Story of Life.

Originally posted on August 18, 2005
I’m finding it more and more important in entertainment to have a good story Or is that to have good entertainment in a story?

Oh sure at one time it was good enough to have a few guys dressed up as knights clacking coconuts together for a laugh but nonsensical fun can only go so far. That was when film was still a novelty. Okay, even today there’s not that many movies with decent stories, then again there’s not many decent movies period. No classics to be sure, just sequels.

It seems Hollywood has run out of original stories and so now it’s up to another entertainment form to be the storyteller. Games. They are taking the best of both worlds. The original stories that once upon a time you just sat back and listened to or watched and the interaction of puzzles and things that make your brain work. Thus immersing the player fully into the story. (Well not quite, that will come with holodecks)

This is not a new thing either. Adventure games have been doing this for over 20 years. Also edutainment titles almost as long, though most are geared towards young children. More recently though people playing First Person Shooters are becoming bored with shooting the same monsters over and over. So all our kids (and some adults) who sit in front of the computer 5 or more hours a day are becoming bored once again. Enter the story driven game. Now they can still run around shooting monsters, jumping on platforms, and going on quests but now they have a purpose. Strange stories involving photographing aliens to unravel a mystery or entering someone else’s mind to stop kids from being kidnapped have come around because of this.

So the good thing is people are starting to appreciate the power of a solid story. And yet we may be loosing something in our lives from this. As one story is just a varient of another, (how many times can you watch two people fall in love?) we are going extreme and loosing ourselves in stories that are not true. Our own history bores us. We no longer wish to sit around the fire while grandpa tells us of his war stories, or grandma of how she met grandpa. No we’d rather immerse ourselves in fictional worlds. Sensationalism is key now.

Okay some things like certain reality shows have the sensationalism and “real” life stories of everyday people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not endorsing reality shows. I hate them in fact. I think they are the opposite of what is needed. While a cultural study on them would be interesting, if not scary, they don’t have much historical value.

Of course history wasn’t exactly my favorite subject in school. I have found, however, that as one grows older history becomes more interesting. Or maybe it’s just because it’s being presented in a more interesting form than a text book.

Some of the more interesting adventure games I’ve come across are based on historical events or has elements of history that one needs to know in order to finish the game. Sometimes, as with all entertainment, the actual facts are distorted, stretched, or otherwise right out lies, yet something can be garnered from these things. For example one of my all time favorite games, Gabriel Knight 3, has this completely interesting intrigue story based on real history. However the story takes some of these facts and makes its own conclusions where it has you in the end saving the world from vampires. Yet I still learned a lot from this game about Rennes-le-Chateau in France, the Templars and Catholicism.

If more stories could be told in interesting fashion like this one without the extreme sensationalism and misleading facts we might not lose so much of ourselves.

The End.

Author’s Post Script

Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite. After all I’m contributing to this escapism. I’ve created a few new universes that have nothing to do with history or something for the young to learn from. And yet I’m a sucker for a good story, my own, a game, or even a movie. And sometimes I like to find out Who’s on First even if it doesn’t have a happy ending.

In the end does it really matter?
I don’t know.

Third base.

Blindness

I don’t normally write about politics, I try to stay out of it as much as possible, but there are times that I get upset at my own friends for their short sightedness.  Now, I will also admit that I don’t know much about what is in this new Health Care Plan, but I know there are many people against a National Health Care at any cost.  These are some of my closest friends and it irks me to no end that they don’t see that there is a need.  They don’t see that existing insurance companies are charging through the nose for nothing and offering less and less services.  They all seem to believe that if everyone just got a job they wouldn’t need government run health care.  They probably also believe that all the money will go straight to illegal immigrants.  They probably don’t know that one of their closest friends will soon be needing this Health Care or have none at all.  All because she can’t get insurance from a normal insurance company for less than $700 a month.

No one can get health insurance in this country unless they work for a company that subsidizes it or are in perfect health.  This “preexisting” bull shit is ruining health care.  If we got rid of that one thing we might not need a National Health Care, but the insurance companies would never accept that.  The only reason I even have any insurance right now is because my county is good enough to provide me with minimal coverage because I have absolutely no income.  If I got sick outside of this county I’m screwed.  If I broke my leg in South Dakota they’d have to drive me all the way back home to get it fixed else pay thousands of dollars for ER.  With National Health Care I wouldn’t have to worry about what county I’m in.

Sure the bill up for approval is probably not the best, and we’ll probably never have great National Health Care but something is better for nothing.  Yes, I could get a job, but then I’ll never get published.  And even if I got a job it would only be a part time job that wouldn’t offer Health Care.  So what about all those thousands of people who can’t get a job that does offer health care, and I’m not talking about illegals, I’m talking about people who actually are trying to work for a living.  Or those that are trying to run their own business.  They are working harder than the average American and if they have one little preexisting condition they get rejected and have to worry about having a heart attack.  So don’t tell me to get a job to make it all better.

The people who think that and are against National Health Care are the ones who probably voted yes on Prop 8 discriminating against those people who just want to share the rest of their life with the person they love and wouldn’t bother those that already can.  But don’t get me started on that one either.

So there you have it, the only political arguments that have ever ignited me and it’s not the politics that get me fired up but the blindness and intolerance of those around me.  Let’s all just turn a blind eye to those that need help.  Let’s just forget the American dream and let Big Brother take over.

It’s all Eve’s Fault.

Originally posted July 29, 2005

Okay, don’t get too used to me updating so often. This is a once in a lifetime deal. I’ll start my first real entry with something that might stir up some controversy. Go ahead and leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Anyone that knows me knows that occasionally I’ll throw in “It’s all so and so’s fault.” When talking about any random problem. Normally it’s just a passerby that has nothing to do with the said problem.

Now however I believe I have gotten to the root of all problems. It’s all Eve’s fault.

Why Eve? What has she done to deserve this blame? Oh I’m sure you can guess it easily enough. Getting kicked out of Eden is a pretty good start. I mean one little piece of fruit is innocent enough even when you’re told no. I mean who would it hurt?

That’s not the problem though really. I’m sure she was a smart lass and was kind of bored in Eden and wanted to see the rest of the world. She no doubt knew that one had to have some kind of adversarial condition in their life for it to be exciting. She just didn’t realize the consequences.

She and Adam, being kicked out of Eden, needed to recreate the feeling of bliss in some way. After some experimentation, and extreme pain, they discovered the orgasm. Of course because she is the one that sinned hers didn’t come as easy. The real problem here though is as further punishment God decided she would be the one to bear the “fruit” of their entanglement. Perhaps she didn’t realize that consequence either. Or the fact that the result would be children who would inbreed over and over until they produced so many mutated genes they became lawyers, politicians and evangelists.

Of course she had no clue what she was doing she just wanted the best for her children, for them to live better lives and eventually make their way back into Eden. Had she taught them to be tolerant and patient and understanding as any good mother should, one of her sons wouldn’t have killed the other starting off millennium of fighting between people who should be siblings.

Okay, step back, this was supposed to be a simple essay on why my life is messed up not the world. Eve was a woman. Eve was an idiot. Therefore giving all women a bad reputation.

On the same note Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit (some claim to be an apple). Apples are computers. Computers are turning people into vegetables. Therefore computers are evil.

I’m a woman. I work with computers. Therefore I’m screwed.

Then again maybe it’s all God’s fault for being so damn picky over one tree.

Okay religious fanatics can now flail me.

First!

Don’t you hate it when people post a comment stating they’re the first to comment on an entry?  There is no point to it whatsoever.  So if you leave me a comment do so with more than ten words to let me know you’ve at least read the entry.  No firsts here, just random thoughts.  And no firsts in comments, you can leave random thoughts there too, just make them a bit meaningful.

I’ll be adding my older rants first and eventually posting new stuff, but don’t be looking for regular posts.  My last rant was written sometime last year.  If you do like my writing you can check out my web page that features a range of short stories.

http://www.thetesseract.org/~cschnell/