All About tom77l1
After watching Danny's latest video on the link between depression and video games, I figured I'd say a few words about it.
Firstly, I'd like to say that, while I have had bouts of what I believe to be depression, I have never been medically diagnosed with it. I guess I know what it feels like to feel a sense of hopelessness for long periods of time, and these feelings tend to come in waves rather than be constant.
Being seventeen is difficult in a lot of ways. It's this kind of limbo of self-discovery, you're this not-quite-developed human, insecure about everything. The kind of things that are currently life shattering I'm sure will make no difference to my life in a year, or a month, or a week. It's not so much that teenagers have it worse off, it's just our Weltanshauung isn't developed yet. We think the world has it in for us.
I'm sure a lot of people on here remember what it's like to be where I am now. I'm weeks away from some potentially life altering exams, and I'm sat here doing anything but revising. I'm playing League of Legends, or an instrument, or smoking pot, or writing this. I'm in that spiral of de-motivation that leads only to further de-motivation.
And all of the aforementioned things work in the same way. They detach you from the world in the most exquisite way for only a brief time. I can spend my evenings playing LoL and feel satisfied for accomplishing things in its pseudo-world like I would do in my real world.
If I actually did anything.
My point is, if I'm depressed right now, gaming isn't making it any better. And while that doesn't mean to say that there isn't a situation where it does (I know immersing myself in Just Cause 2 for a while seriously helped my depression subside), context is key when referring to any correlation.
Some games like World Of Warcraft create a community that may promote continuous play in the same way stoners will promote continuous use weed. What most people call addiction in these cases I call obsession: you don't need it, but being surrounded by it is certainly better than 'real life'.
Unfortunately, obsession is often how depression manifests itself. Be it an MMORPG, drugs, or that girl who spoke to you once, we get sad and chase the things we think will change our lives, even if it's only briefly. It's finding a balance that is crucial, something I've yet to be able to do...
You know what, I think I'll get some work done. Thanks for reading.
Been a while, Gamespot. Here's my impressions of Borderlands 2.
So, I only just got round to playing this game, I'm about half way through it I reckon currently, so maybe I need to play a bit more before I can comment properly, but here are my initial thoughts on the game:
I am a huge fan of the first game, sank hundereds of hours into it on Xbox and PC and basically think the world of it. Of course, when Borderlands 2 came out I was psyched. I pre-ordered it, pre-loaded it and played the whole of the morning on release day.
And here I am now, only just getting to the mid point of the game. Why? Because it just didn't grab me in the same way.
Now, I know there are complaints about the Borderlands storyline and I agree, it totally sucks. It's mainly there to hold events together rather than engross the player. Borderlands was intriguing in different ways, the art style, the lore and most importantly, the atmosphere.
The game had tonnes of the stuff. The barren-ness and isolation of the locations in the game immersed the player in a similar way to classics like Fallout 3 and Shadow Of The Colossus (though perhaps not to the same extent as the latter.) The game played best with friends, and it felt as if you and your fellow comrades were on a level playing field with the various clans of bandits, the rag-tag aesthetic of it all serving to reinforce the post-apocalyptic excitement.
And as I play Borderlands 2, a sad realisation dawns on me. Main antagonist Handsome Jack lives on a satellite so large its shadow is cast upon the moon. He can send pods holding hi-tech robots down to confront the player at any time. He can destroy entire cities with missile strikes from miles away.
Handsome Jack's sheer power both politically and offensively makes you feel small as a player in a way that simply isn't compelling. While I assume the aim was to create excitement in rebellion, a formula perfected in just the first few hours of Half-Life 2, it instead feels tired and out of place.
And while it's unfair to compare any game to Half-Life 2, the basic ideas of what make a rebellion exciting are non-existant. Interaction with NPCs barely ever goes above a 'press E to talk' function. The non-player triggered interaction with allies in HL2 and genuine help they gave you (aside from when ascending stairs) meant you actually cared when they died. The level scaling of enemies in Borderlands means a high level Skag is often more of a threat than any robot. It makes Handsome Jack's portrayed power seem like a facade. Remember the Strider battle in HL2? That was hard. It felt like a struggle in ways Borderlands 2 simply doesn't.
While many quirks from the first game were somewhat fixed,for example, a more robust trading system (though dropping weapons is faster), slightly weightier-feeling vehicles (though the controls are still finnicky) and a better approach to weapon style and differentiation, it simply does not replace that atmosphere the first game had.
Maybe it's just me, but the travel times to quests in Borderlands 2 seem considerably longer than in the first game. In reality, it's probably just the fact that the environments and aesthetics of the first game were so much more appealing that I cannot remember a single time of being bored while en route to a quest.
I've recently created a YouTube channel where me and my friends play games, so I figured i'd shamelessly try and get a few people on here to check it out. And hey, the BioShock reference means you have to now. huerhuerhuerhuer......
My Recent Reviews
May 3, 2013 7:09 pm GMTtom77l1 posted a new blog entry entitled On Gaming and Depression
Apr 22, 2013 8:13 pm GMTtom77l1 posted a new blog entry entitled Borderlands 2 and the Importance of Atmosphere
Apr 22, 2013 7:06 pm GMTtom77l1 began Following BioShock Infinite
Apr 22, 2013 7:06 pm GMTtom77l1 began Following League of Legends