Allergy to Advertising
Yesterday in my travels I listened to a piece on NPR talking about the habits of TV binge watchers and advertising. Apparently a study has found that binge watchers are far less susceptible to advertisements than your average viewer. They went into some reasons behind this… but I think as a whole we have just learned how to ignore advertising. William Gibson is the oracle of our age, because he consistently predicts a thing being a thing… before it actually happens. I remember in the book Pattern Recognition he introduced us to a person who is so allergic to branding and advertising that they would get the branding ground off the buttons in their jeans. I feel like I am nowhere near this, but instead I am in this realm where advertising just really doesn’t work that well for me. When I see the same ad over and over… especially if it feels like they are targeting me for some reason… I find myself less and less likely to use whatever product that is. There was a time when I actually like several post cereals for example… but after watching commercials for honey bunches of oats between shows on Hulu I have nothing but a negative reaction when I see anything with the Post brand on it.
As far as advertising in general, I’ve gotten adept at ignoring it. If I am going to be serious about a website I tend to snap it into my RSS reader, which also tends to trim most of the advertisements. From a side effect it also cuts down on the exposure to Malware, since a large number of attacks on end user machines come in through infected ad providers. While I might trust the hell out of a website, I don’t trust the advertising services that are well known cesspools of Malvertisements. With Television however…. there is very rarely a time where I will be watching a show without also doing something else at the same time. So I might be playing an MMO or fiddling around with this or that project… which means when an ad comes on the screen it gives me liberty to look down at my device. I am vaguely listening, but only well enough to be able to identify when the ad has finished and the television show has started again. Mostly I really don’t enjoy being advertised to. I am not bought into the fantasy that they are trying to create that is supposed to tell me that my life will be better with this product. Instead I prefer to just do my own research when I find that I need something. There is never a moment when I purchase something, that I have not already googled it, youtubed it, and tried to find multiple seemingly trustworthy sources of information on how said product works. That said… I realize I am probably a huge aberration, but I would have to think its an aberration that is growing more and more common.
Last night most of the evening was spent going to RiffTrax where I saw Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny…. which is every bit as horrific as you might have imagined. Well the movie was horrific… the riffing over top of the movie was absolutely glorious. I would say this batch of shorts and the final movie… was quite possibly the best RiffTrax I have seen. They are doing a rebroadcast of Starship Troopers early into January so I think we are going to rally the troops and go see it as well, since it was one of the ones they did before we started making this a regular outing. When I got home however I spent some time piddling around and on a whim decided to roll a Female Orc Warlock rather than flipping over and playing my Dwarflock like I had talked about. Essentially I am enjoying my time Horde side quite a bit, and I am feeling the need to develop a stable of characters. I also really really need access to an enchanter and a potion maker, and there is no better way to do that than to make my own. So in theory Belghula… because I am running out of ideas for Belg names… is more than likely going to be a Tailor / Enchanter… since having access to crafted gear is always a useful thing.
This is I guess going to be an experiment in just how long I manage to stick with a female character. This is a thing I don’t do terribly well, and mostly its because… I tend to keep creating versions of myself when I make characters. At some point I need to do a supercut of my characters, but you will see there is a very specific pattern to them. They all have beards of some sort… and if there is a game that doesn’t allow beards… then honestly I don’t tend to stick around terribly long in it. After that I tend to have long hair drawn back into a ponytail… or if nothing else just long hair in general, and said hair is generally black or as dark of a brown as I can get it. Essentially that character ends up being the idealized version of how I guess I wish I looked… or at least my ultimate version of myself. Maybe I just really like the whole Adrian Paul Highlander thing… because my Secret World character looks quite a bit like he did in the Highlander Television series. In any case… I never seem to be able to fully immerse myself in a female character, because it pulls me out of the whole “this is me in game form” aspect. That said, when it comes to horde in particular… I think the female characters look badass and less sexualized than the alliance versions. I also like the female Orcs, Trolls and Undead far more than I like the Male counter parts. As a result I am going to give this a try, and hopefully it works… because seriously this Orclock looks awesome already.
While I played quite a bit of Devilian in the various phases of alpha/beta/whatever… I had yet to actually install the game proper since its launch. So last night when I got home… while I was dinking around on the Orclock I had it installing in the background. I crashed pretty hard around 10pm but I managed to get in this morning and get a character created. As a result I created Belghast the Berserker on Ravan… because if you give me a server name that even vaguely sounds like Revan… I am going to play on it. I am looking forward to seeing what the game is like after the handful of polish passes the late betas gave it. If nothing else it should at least partially scratch my Diabloesc itch for awhile. I have significant issues still with the fact that the classes are gender locked, but this is not really a Trion Worlds thing. That is one of the frustrating things about playing a game that has been localized like this… is that you end up knowing that most of the things that might frustrated you… the company you actually have access to, can’t do a damned thing about it. So as a result I am going to enjoy what is there, and try really hard not to worry about the stuff that isn’t.
I joined a Discord server yesterday being run by Zoltariel and having a bunch of the Trion folks on it as well. So I started chatting like I normally do, to which point I was treated to a length rant about how essentially anyone playing a Berserker is a “casual” and that how no one would ever invite them to a group. I am paraphrasing because this was a rant that took place over the course of twenty or so lines, but the gist was that Berserkers and melee in general had problems dealing with late game mechanics. The thing is… I enjoy melee. If you give me the option between a bunch of characters, I will always without a doubt play a melee… and problem even further play a tank. Since Devilian is the sort of game that doesn’t have a tank… then I am likely to play as much of a high survival melee as I can because I like being able to live through stupid things. Melee is what makes me happy, and even if it is absolutely empirically worse than every other class in a game…. I am still going to play it because it is the player fantasy that I enjoy. So I killed the chat channel when I quoted Tommy Lee Jones from the Fugitive after Harrison Ford just gave an impassioned plea about how he did not in fact kill his wife… “I Don’t Care”. Not everyone plays a game to win… some of us play them to have fun doing the playing.