Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Nerdy stuff’ Category

More on the topic of unemployed young men who play video games

Commenter “Simba” provided me a link to this article (or maybe more of an essay than an article) at Reason:

http://reason.com/archives/2017/06/13/young-men-are-playing-video-ga

It’s another take on the topic of young men who are playing video games instead of working.

All of these types of articles are addressing a topic I addressed many years before (I was way ahead of the times.) This is what I wrote in 2006:

In WoW and similar games, your status increases slowly but surely every time you play. After so many hours in the game, you can see exactly how many more experience points you have, maybe your level has increased, maybe you have better armor or weapons than you had before. Unlike the real world, where you can work 40 hours of overtime and not even get paid for it, if you put an extra 40 hours into WoW you will definitely have something to show for it. Your status within the virtual world of WoW will have increased in ways you can clearly ascertain.

* * *

In Overwatch, although your skill rank never goes up, they do give you some consolation prizes like a higher “level” and loot boxes that give you things like “skins” and “victory poses.” But I don’t care about that stuff. I feel like the real game in Overwatch is your competitive skill rank, and therefore Overwatch kind of depresses me because it demonstrates that I’m not even very good at playing video games.

Maybe I should switch to a role playing game (one of many WoW clones) which gives you the illusion that, as long as you keep putting in playtime, you’re becoming more powerful.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 14, 2017 at 7:37 am

Overwatch update

Once your Skill Rank declines below 500, they stop telling you how low it has gotten.

How can I be so bad at this game?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 16, 2017 at 11:04 pm

Posted in Nerdy stuff

17-year-old kid becomes pro Overwatch player despite his parents

Liked this article. His parents, not surprisingly, didn’t like the idea of him playing Overwatch all the time, so they tried to cut off his internet.

I’m glad the kid was able to persevere and pursue self-actualization from playing Overwatch. Why should Overwatch be treated differently than training for the Olympics. I bet most parents would be a lot more supportive if their kid forwent college to train for the Olympics, even though 99% of Olympic athletes make no money from it. On the other hand, the Olympics probably look a lot better on a college application being a pro Overwatch player.

I guess the counterargument is that even if the kid makes a living for a few years from being a pro Overwatch player, his reflexes will be shot by the time he’s 30 and then he has no self-actualizing career path.

* * *

My current Overwatch skill rank is only 548. I think that puts me in the bottom 1% of players. I am too old to play videogames.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 28, 2017 at 10:54 pm

Posted in Nerdy stuff

Middle-aged man plays Overwatch: update

Playing Zenyatta, a hero who’s a healer but who can also debuff enemies and dish out some damage. At the expense of low mobility. Zenyatta is a harder hero to play than Lucio because you have to aim your healing, while at the same time you are less evasive and that much easier for enemies to pick off. Plus being a good damage dealer requires good aim, which I don’t have.

Based on my stats in this competitive match, I held my own and did pretty good, but my competitive skill rank is between 1000 and 1100, which I think means that I’m in the bottom 10% of players, maybe worse, so my good performance here was relative to the players on the other team being pretty bad.

Whenever I rise above 1100, I fall back down after a few games. I am stuck at my level of incompetence.

I think this means that middle-aged men aren’t any good at playing videogames. I am sure that if I were in my teens, after putting so much time into this game, I’d be at a higher competitive skill rank.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Posted in Nerdy stuff

In the future, will the government pay people to drive virtual trucks?

Self-driving trucks will soon put all truck drivers out of work. What will they do instead? Every other industry they might migrate to will also be laying off workers because of automation. Pizza delivery will be done by robots. Stores will no longer have cashiers. Even the cashier-less McDonalds won’t be hiring anyone, because robots will be in the kitchen making the hamburgers.

The government could simply give everyone a basic income check. But there’s too much political opposition to that. The idea of poor people getting something from the government without having to work for it drives a lot of people, especially conservative blog commenters, crazy. Even free healthcare for everyone, which is an important first step towards a basic income, outrages the conservative types.

Furthermore, there are some legitimate concerns about people without the kind of structure to their lives that comes from having a job becoming social problems, joining gangs, committing crimes, etc.

Thus paying people to do virtual jobs like driving virtual trucks could be a necessary first towards a true post-scarcity economic model. And it’s a lot better than paying people to drive real trucks because the virtual trucks don’t pollute and don’t waste any scarce natural resources. Plus the truck simulator provides reinforcement of civic values because you have to obey the traffic laws.

* * *

Am I serious, or is this just tongue-in-cheek?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 29, 2017 at 12:37 pm

American Truck Simulator bugs

Look at that 65 mph speed limit sign on a regular city street. One of many bugs in this game. It’s not as polished as Overwatch.

But still, not buggy enough to make me stop playing. A very strangely enjoyable game. Although I don’t see myself become one of those total truck-sim geeks with a steering wheel gas/brake/clutch pedals setup that costs hundreds of dollars, plus side monitors to see your left and right mirrors.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 27, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Nerdy stuff

American Truck Simulator

This game, only $20, gives you a pretty realistic representation of what it’s like to drive a big rig around Nevada, California, and Arizona. Although this review is based only three runs runs: Reno to Truckee, and Reno to San Rafael, and San Rafael to Huron. On the first run I damaged the truck a little getting out of the loading dock (the hardest part of the game). On the third run, I ran the truck off the road and got stuck, and had to call for assistance.

Graphics look great with my Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti videocard and a 2560×1440 monitor.

I’m using an Xbox 360 wireless controller for PC to control the truck. Steering is very fussy using the left joystick of the controller. The game has sensitivity settings for the steering; I adjusted it down and I think that helped a little with the steering.

The game is in 1:20 scale, so a 5 hour drive in the real world only takes 20 minutes in the game. And yes, 95% of the world is missing, so it’s only a simulated experience and not the real thing. Furthermore you are only allowed to drive on designated roads; you can’t wander around on the side streets because they don’t even exist.

It’s a much more mellow game than Overwatch, no one is trying to kill you. I didn’t even get a traffic ticket for not being able to stay in my lane and for accidentally turning the wrong way down a one-way street. I hear that this game is popular with older men.

The unrealistic part of this game is not the graphics or how the truck operates, but the fact that driving a truck is very profitable. Even though I drove the truck off the road, I still got paid handsomely for the run. Maybe in the past driving a truck was a decent middle class job (my grandfather drove a milk delivery truck in New York City), but today driving a truck is very low paid work, and someone who drives the truck off the road won’t get a job again. In the near future there will be self-driving trucks, and all truck drivers will be out of work.

In the screenshot above, I’m heading for Santa Maria, CA. It’s dawn. There’s a very light rain, so my windshield wipers are on. There are three “cheat” elements displayed: the left and right rear-view mirrors on the upper left and upper right, and the GPS display on the lower right (which also has other useful info like your speed and gas tank level). You can turn those off for a more natural experience, and then you have to use the right joystick on the Xbox game controller to look around at your mirrors, but the game is hard enough without also having to deal with that. Also, you’ll have to use the smaller in-dash GPS that’s to the right of the steering wheel.

And now I’ve just gotten off the highway at Santa Maria.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 25, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Posted in Nerdy stuff

Overwatch update

Played five competitive matches tonight: two draws, one loss, two wins. So I moved up very slightly in the ranks. Need to get to 1500 to get out of the bottommost tier.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm

Posted in Nerdy stuff

New hero coming to Overwatch

Tomorrow is a big day. A new hero will be introduced to Overwatch, Orisa, who is a black African female robot, thus adding more diversity to the game and totally destroying the archaic notion that heroes are white male humans.

Orisa will be the third robot hero. We already have the non-talkative nature-loving Bastion, and the Buddhist robot Zenyatta who wanders the world, helping those he meets to overcome their personal struggles and find inner peace.

Zenyatta is the only overtly religious hero. Will Blizzard ever introduce a Christian hero? Don’t count on it.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 20, 2017 at 10:17 pm

Posted in Nerdy stuff

Middle-aged man kicks ass at Overwatch

8 kills with only one death. Take that you snot-nosed teenagers! Fear the middle-aged gamer!

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 14, 2017 at 11:00 am

Posted in Nerdy stuff

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