Last week Blizzard announced their latest expansion, titled “World of Warcraft: the kitchen sink”. Okay, okay, it’s actually called Legion, and Aro is overcome with lore nerdery. Liore wonders what happened to Garrisons, and all three discuss the viability of artifact weapons. Do blacksmiths deserve to be cranky about their profession? (Elly says no.) The crew is across the board on whether they will play Legion or not, ranging from likely to unlikely to “time is circular so it is an inevitability”. Wait, what?
Liore watched a lot of the DOTA 2 International tournament and still doesn’t understand what is going on. Elly watched new movie The Kingsman, and he describes the ending as “butt-sexy”. Somehow this also gets Aro to shout about poop demons.
Also, Liore is being haunted by an ice cream truck! Elly gives parenting tips with Ke$ha songs! Aro only says a couple of things about Dragon Age: Inquisition!
This podcast is also available in unedited form as a video. Behold:
Monday mornings are tough, but fortunately instead of having to devise my own post topic today I am helped out by the “Blaugust AMA” thread on Anook. A few days ago Roger from CMP asked me the following:
Has gaming had a negative impact upon your health? Or has it had the opposite effect?
It’s a question with a lot of possible variables: Physical or mental health? Negative in general or more negative than an equivalent activity? And how much gaming are we talking about here?
When it comes to physical health, pretty much every activity is bad for you aside from jogging and eating kale. Gaming for the most part is something that you do while sitting down. In the past I have given myself a repetitive stress injury in my right shoulder from playing, and one time I got a smidge of nerve damage from my gamepad which caused my little finger to be numb for a few days.
On the other hand, my wrists are weak with a reoccurring RSI that happened well before my “serious” gaming days thanks to a keyboard-based career, and many of my previous game-related injuries would have been avoided if I had thought to set up my desk properly. Gaming is obviously not an inherently healthful hobby, but I think taken in moderation it’s no worse than any other leisure activity that isn’t a kale run.
Mental health is a different subject entirely, although also a nuanced one. I have absolutely used MMOs as a crutch when I was going through a difficult time in my life, but again both in a positive and negative way.
My mental health is roughly 18 quadrillion times better than it was ten years ago. I think I’ve written enough about my struggles here in previous posts, but poor Jessica of 2007. I wish I could go back in time and give her a hug.
Games are not the whole story there of course — there’s also just getting older, and medication, and therapy, and making essential changes in my life. What MMOs in particular did give me though is a support network. Gaming allowed me to meet other weird, smart, kind people (a peer group!) in a way where I felt in total control of the situation, at a time when I wasn’t ready to meet people without that.
The long-term effects of my gaming hobby have yet to be seen, I suppose, but I can’t help but think that keeping my brain and reflexes sharp with games through middle-age will promote good cognitive health in my retired years.
I guess gaming is just like the rest of modern technology — able to be used for good or for ill. Choose wisely!
Today I have an article to write for MMORPG.com (available on Tuesday) and an episode of Cat Context to record, so forgive me for skipping most of the hard part of writing a post today and just sharing some photos. Although I have been limited to a cell phone camera, I’ve been trying to teach myself how to take better photos, with varying degrees of success. One day I would like to get a DSLR camera and take a real photography class.
Anyway, here are some fun photos. See you tomorrow!
In 2015, a group of Seattle bloggers and podcasters began meeting for brunch roughly every six weeks. At these meetings the attendees discussed games, Seattle resident stuff, and, often, pancakes. They last met for brunch on August 8, 2015, and were never seen again. Weeks later an MP3 recorder belonging to member Liore was found in an abandoned house in the woods. The following is audio from that MP3 player.*
* Okay no so actually I just ambushed people with a recorder at brunch this morning because Blaugust is hard and LIORE MUST FIND CONTENT — but the Blair Witch story sounds a lot more exciting! Thanks to Out of Beta, Talarian, Tamrielo, and Kodra for being good sports.
PS: Eon Altar is a cool indie game.
Listen to the conversation by clicking here: Seattle Brunch Club Interviews (3 minutes, 10 seconds)