Football Manager studies

In which I take a non league team to European glory.

This may seem strange to measure my life against what amounts to a spreadsheet-based football simulation, but one constant in my life for the last 15 years has been the annual release of this game. Added to this is the fact that the first weekend of release has been passed over to a 48 hour session of tinkering with formations and scouting every single under-18 player I can find. Football Manager, and before that the original Championship Manager has been there tempting me with one more game since my mid-teens. I have FM Addiction.

Along with Sensible Soccer it was my education into the world of football, cementing my love of Italian Football and AC Milan in Championship Manager Italia. With my squad of Franco Baresi and Danielle Massaro I was Fabio Cappello (as it was at the time) leading the Diavollo to European success.

It was the game that took me from 10 library books a week to interfering with my revision at GCSE and A-Level and it took up my time at University. Some games claim to be able to change you life, for me only one has and with very significant impact. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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Addicted to Minecrack

In which I try to not become addicted to bashing green blocks.

Now that I’ve nearly sorted out all my photos, retagged my music and rewrote a load of posts I find myself with a little free time. I have plenty of life improving tasks I could undertake but instead I am being drawn back to a game I promised I would never get into because I could see it was a time sink.

I already know what games like Football Manager or The Sims can do to a person’s time and did not want to get drawn in again. I still fight against the urge to play one more game or stop a digital avatar from using the toilet.

I see the icon there for Minecraft and think to myself, don’t build a rabbit hole to enter.

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4 things that took the nuclear option

In which I may have leant on the red button.

Nuclear power was once meant to be the fuel of the future (which as anyone who is in the know will now tell you is quite obviously LPG – how long does the brainwashing last?) In the early days scientists and marketeers alike told us of the many amazing applications the mighty could have.

Rightly or wrongly, nuclear power has now got a bad reputation. Incidents such as Chernobyl and the recent events at the Fukishima plant have highlighted that when a nuclear power plant tends to get into trouble it generally causes quite a few problems.

Many people have imagined a post-nuclear apocalyptic world, so that sounds like a great excuse for a list.

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Late Review : Skyrim

In which I get my Dovahkin on.

I spend my evenings in a grey landscape glistening with rain, such is life in the wastelands of Fallout 4. This is the latest game to suck me in with hundreds of hours of gameplay when I have none to spare.

I don’t like stress, yet I go for games that are nothing but. Not that I’ve regretted the end destination of the activities that cause the pain, but the journey of getting there.

Thankfully I have hobbies that let me take out some of the pent up rage and not store it all in the knots in my back (which is a good job as it is already full). Gaming is a great way to be able to turn on and tune out, and doesn’t create too much stress in the process (ignoring a few damaged PlayStations after some bad Fifa results). Previous to the radioactive plains of Boston I my go-to-game saw me adventuring the tundra of Tamriel, for I am Dragonborn and relaxed by scouring Skyrim for gold coins.

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Rock Band skills

In which I R, Y, R, R, R, G, B, G+B,G+B, WHAMMY!

I am, was, maybe still am,  a master of the green, red, yellow, blue and orange. I could play almost any song on expert as my fingers flicked across the clinking buttons of my ersatz Gibson Duo Jet. I used to be able to rock out like all the great fake guitarists; I was the British Kill3rzQu33nz or xxx2tasteexxx.

Then I realised that despite my ability nobody really cared, in fact I would get more derision than admiration from my fingering ability. Plus it took up too much time, cost far too much and other interests came along to distract me.

This left me without a skill I excelled at. I was a normal again. If only the Matrix was real and I could have new abilities uploaded at will. What would I choose?

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Keeping up with the neighbours

In which I get to test drive some fantastic fantastical vehicles.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve dreamt of driving imaginary vehicles, at school I was the pilot of the Golden Condor from Mysterious Cities of Gold, and this has continued to adulthood. The chance to control some of the greatest machines of sci-fi is just so alluring.

Being able to own any vehicle is a very tricky exercise, after all with such a myriad to choose from how do you decide. You know what this sounds like? List time!

So, in order of me thinking about them, the five fictional craft I want to own:

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Welcome to our evil overlords

In which fictional leaders show their real world equivalents how not to do it.

The interesting part about democracy is that there are relatively few leaders who are elected that are totally evil. History has thrown up a few bad eggs, but mostly we avoid putting nefarious individuals in a position of responsibility. Instead of malevolent rulers we are more likely to place incompetence at the head of government.

We should consider ourselves lucky in real life that we don’t have as many nasty and vindictive leaders as appear in pop culture. It’s such a regular occurrence it has it’s own trope.

Here is a list of my favourite bad fictional rulers who show how terrible leaders can get.

(Warning there may be spoilers ahead)
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Join the Dark Side

In which the best choice is not always the good choice.

One of the great lies in the Star Wars Universe is the validity of choosing the dark side. I get the path is fraught with a few missteps (oh god, not the younglings) but the idea that it is not as strong is hokum. I’m currently replaying the great Knights of the Old Republic and very early on you get to decide whether you are going to be the next Yoda or Vader.

In modern RPGs there is this morality split of whether you choose the path of the enlightened good guy, or pursue the path of a douche. That’s a bit unfair, the split is often to decide if you try to help everyone you come across and right the wrongs of the world or prefer to not intervene and let chaos reign.

However this further becomes a choice of extra healing powers (light side) or the ability to shoot electricity from your fingertips (dark side). Come on fear, let’s starting walking down that path.

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Playing by myself

In which player one is ready.

I’m not a good loser, it is why I don’t play multiplayer games all that often and don’t own a Scrabble board. The thought of not winning can make me a bit crabby and not a fun person to play with. I completely understand the greed of the financial system as I like to be the bank in Monopoly and take commission every time some one passes go, plus a finders fee for every land sale.

So as well as being a bad loser I’m obviously not a great winner either. If the aim of a game is to emerge victorious then what honour is there in coming second. Of course there is more honour in coming second honestly than first by cheating, the key is to not get caught. Nobody remembers who came second anyway, but they always remembers those who won and were disgraced.

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Creating my world

In which I digitally rule the world.

I have a sister who lives on her own planet, she likes it there as she is on her own little world and everyone knows her there. I often think about invading as it seems ripe for a takeover and I could add it to my intergalactic empire.

I’d quite like my own world, one that I could create and sculpt in my own image. I thought at one point I could do that when the game Spore came out. It promised so much, I could make my own life forms and civilisations and expand into space. Instead it ended up being a limited penis-monster (well played The Internet) maker with a space arcade element.

This is what happens when you give people freedom to design their own lifeform

Instead I need to think about if I was given unlimited God-like powers what I would build with this great responsibility.
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