Video Games

The 1:1:1 Challenge

Starting Monday, March 6, 2017, I am embarking on the 1:1:1 Challenge. No, this isn't the Catholic 1-1-1 Challenge, although their challenge is pretty cool. The 1:1:1 Challenge is one that I created on my own to pursue my interests and to do the work necessary to build the expertise I want to have. According to my challenge, every week, I will complete the following:

  • one video game
  • one book
  • one craft

The challenge does come with a few rules and caveats:

  1. Completing a video game means reaching the credits and/or end screen. It is up to my discretion whether or not to 100 percent a game.
  2. Completing a book means reading a book from start to finish
  3. Completing a craft means creating something from scratch into a final, new product or form
  4. I am allowed to repeat video games, books and crafts. It doesn't have to be "new" to me to count toward the challenge.
  5. If a game video game will take longer than a week to complete (I do still need to eat, sleep and work), then the challenge can be extended to two weeks for the completion of that game only.
  6. A "craft" is defined as "an activity involving skill in making things." Crafts include, but aren't limited to, paintings, mixed media art, jewelry, blog posts, papercraft, textiles, text-based video games.

Why Video Games, Books and Crafts?

Video games and books are chosen primarily to build my repertoire. My vision is to be an expert in post-escapism, which is the field of understanding "games by placing them in social, political and cultural context. It finds value in what game says about the world around it." Post-escapism combines my love of gaming with my interests in activism, human rights, public police and the like. Playing video games will build my repertoire of games to analyze and place into context. Books will build my repertoire and understanding of past and present social, political and cultural contexts.

Crafts are the synthesis of the first two, since there's little point of building repertoires if the actual analysis is never completed. It's the chance to connect what I've learned, played and read so far. Although I am a writer by trade, writing isn't the only way to practice post-escapism, which is why I defined it to include so many different mediums. Craft is also defined as a trade or a handicraft, and I liked the idea of creating crafts while also working on honing my craft.

Why Do This Challenge at All?

I am embarking on this challenge and creating it for myself as a matter of discipline. I feel I need to double down on my strengths and interests and this challenge is a great way to do that while also pushing myself to execute and to create, whether that's through writing or painting or a household good or what. It's good to play video games and to read books and to think about their contexts, but that alone isn't going to make me a post-escapism expert or build my credibility as said expert.

Also, now that I have the language of post-escapism, I'm excited to explore it and perhaps define its study and some its major theories. It's a rather new field within video games analysis, culture and "new games journalism." I think it'll be really cool to be a part of this evolution within video games. I need a way to get started and embarking on a challenge is the perfect way to get started!

When Does the Challenge End?

Hopefully, the challenge never ends. There will always be new video games and new books to discover. The political, social and cultural contexts in which these media exist will always be changing. The artistry and creativity needed to create great crafts are boundless. Ideally, I could do the challenge forever and tweak it so it includes more types of media. Eventually, I could make it harder by increasing the quantity per week or decreasing the amount of time to take on all three items.

What video games, books and crafts are you doing first?

The video games I am tackling first are Democracy 3, Shovel Knight, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Hand of Fate and Cook, Serve, Delicious. All of these games are titles I've already started, so they are first on my list so I can finish them. GTA Vice City may take me longer than a week to finish, but I think I can do it. I'm about halfway through the game if I remember correctly. I do have a full list of video games I plan to tackle, which is ever-changing as I complete games and own more titles and consoles.

I also have a list of books I plan to read. The first eight books on the list are the first eight I will read because I either own those books or I have them in my possession from the library at the moment. After those eight books, I will read books in any order based on availability and/or interest at the time. Like the video games list, the books list is also ever-changing as own more books or discover new titles that'll provide great information.

As for crafts, I do have projects I need to finish as well before starting on anything new. I do have signs and coasters I need to make since I already have the materials to do those. I also need to make a present for a wedding reception coming up later this year, and have just the canvas for that present. Besides those, there will be plenty of ideas for blog posts, ZEEF lists and other artistic endeavors.

What I Need to Be Able to Play Skyrim

playing SkyrimI want to play Skyrim, the fifth game in the Elder Scroll series, so badly! I've been watching Sips play Skyrim for months and months now, and once you see the graphics and game play in Skyrim, it's hard to go back to Oblivion or Morrowind. I've already watch Sips play a lot of Skyrim, and I can only imagine how much he hasn't done yet and how many places he hasn't explored in the world yet. It's makes me so excited to play the game! I want to see all the places I haven't seen yet! I want to build my own house! I want to do all those open quests that Sips hasn't touched yet, even though he keeps picking up more and more quests! However, I might need a whole new computer to play it. My fiance also needs a new computer, and I know that he's planning to get a computer that can handle Skyrim, but I might be in a better position to get a new computer or to get an upgrade first. Here are the minimum system requirements needed to play Skyrim:

  • Windows 7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit)
  • Processor: Intel Dual Core 2.0GHz or equivalent processor (AMD Sempron @ 2.4 GHz)
  • 2GB System RAM
  • 6GB free HDD space
  • Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512 MB of RAM
  • DirectX compatible sound card
  • Internet access for Steam activation

The video card and the sound card are the only two things I don't know how to confirm, unless I can dig up my owner's manual and review the information. I don't really know where that is, and I might have actually thrown it away because my cat peed on it. Although, the fact that I have everything else makes me wonder if my computer can handle Skyrim. I bought it about five months prior to when the game was released. Although, what I could do is perhaps just purchase the right cards, and then get them installed into my laptop.

But, I am Able to Play Hearthstone!

I received my beta invitation to play Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft yesterday, and the game is absolutely amazing! This is another game that I watched Sips and the rest of the Yogscast play, and it looked so much fun even though I don't play World of Warcraft. I only played Magic: The Gathering once in my life, so I know how but I'm not an avid player by any means. I love Hearthstone because there's so much strategy to it, but it's not boring because there's fun sound effects and characters to play.

Right now, I'm still in practice mode trying to beat the AI on expert level. I need to level up each the classes to earn more cards. Then, I'm going to try the Arena and try to play actual people. Once I get some experience playing actual people and choosing cards to play (in Arena, you have to create a deck prior to the match. The cards you have to choose from are giving to you randomly) then I'm going to try to create my own deck. Since I'm not choosing any of my own cards right now, I'm certainly not ready to do it on my own. I only have a faint idea of what needs to be in my deck in order to have something versatile and well-rounded.

Overall, video games are awesome and it's really nice to play a critical-thinking game again. Game Dev Tycoon was the game I was playing before this, and it requires a lot of thinking, but there isn't too much strategy to it. It's just a matter of managing resources and trying to squeeze in as much as possible. I think I might need to play a few more rounds of Hearthstone now.

4 Video Games I Want to Play Next

Koalaphant Rogue Legacy: completed, with longings every now and then to do another run through. Don't Starve: back in it, with goals to kill a Koalaphant, find the Pig King, and descend into the caves. The Caves: fun, but I'm having trouble with the controls. The characters seem to just keep running. I haven't played it in a while because of that. Grand Theft Auto III: started, but I need to fix my controller. I can't target anybody if I need to shoot them because two of the buttons on the top are broken. Of course, there are still four Grand Theft Auto games that I haven't even tried yet. A bit unwilling to considering that I don't have a fully-functional controller.

With the status of my current games out of the way, I want to start thinking about some of the games I want to purchase and to play next. I have the points accumulated in my inferno of productivity, and although I have more than enough games to play right now, there's always new games to look at and to add to the collection. It's like books. There are always new books to read, even though there are plenty of old books to read already. So, I'm going to suffer from the "new and shiny" syndrome and think about these four video games that I want to play next (besides the four Grand Theft Auto games. It's already a given I want to play them next):


I have seen so many videos of others playing the beta version of this game, and it looks so much fun! It's a card game like Magic: The Gathering, but the characters and creatures are based off the World of Warcraft universe. I've never played World of Warcraft before, and I've only played Magic once, but this game just looks it would be great. I really want to build my own decks and to play against other people online.

Folk Tale

I saw Sips play 30 minutes of this game several weeks ago, and it looked like a really great game. It's a strategy game where you're a village of elves, or dwarfs, or something and you have to build up the town and rescue a few villagers who were kidnapped. Although I only got to see a small glimpse of it, Folk Tale looked like it had a lot of story and game play to it, and wasn't a game that was just an adventure or just building up a town. Plus, it's a little cartoon-y, and I'm all about the cartoon-y, animated games.

Knights of Pen and Paper

This game moves with the format of Dungeons and Dragons, where you create a team of characters and move through the map doing quests, all the while a Dungeon Master (an NPC in the game) reads aloud the dialogue of the bad guys and other narration. However, there aren't any dice to roll, but you do get to pick how many bad guys you want to face at a time. For example, if your quest is to kill 10 rats, then you can choose to fight all 10 at once, or you can do them two or three at time. I think there's a lot of creativity and originality to this game.

Ittle Dew

This game is very reminiscent of the Legend of Zelda series, but it's another strategy/adventure game that just looks like a ton of fun. I've seen several videos of other people playing it, and I like how the puzzles work. I also like that there's a story to it, but it's also kind of an RPG where you don't necessarily have to do things in a particular order. It helps if you do it in the right order, because you get items that help with the next world, but you don't have to do it that way.

OMG, I'm Going to Go Hog Wild on Video Games

file cabinet I want I know I'm supposed to be working toward that file cabinet, that really awesome $25, $50 file cabinet that's going to cost me 300 productivity points to get (see, I redeem the points so that I can spend the money on the file cabinet. The idea is that by earning 300 points, I would have also earned enough money to reward myself for my hard work. It's also good to set goals, and with these sort of goals, I can be conscious of them and save the money as well. Plus, I really need that file cabinet. I've been putting it off for about a year. I probably could have bought it earlier, but never made any solid plans to buy it and to get it back to my apartment.

But, Steam is Having a Summer Sale

Steam is having a summer sale! So, tons of games are anywhere from 30% to 85% off! There are now TONS of games that I want to get, not only because they are on sale but also I now know of games that I didn't know existed. For example, I can get several of the Grand Theft Auto series for maybe $15 or $20. I can also get really cool games like Rogue Legacy, Trine 2, Spore, Orcs Must Die 2, The Cave, Evoland (this list could go on FOREVER). Since Steam saves games to the cloud and delivers them digitally, I don't have to worry about them running out. However, I do need to worry about the prices going back up once the sale is over.

I already had to take a huge hit to my points because I needed to eat out. I recovered most of those points last week, but I still have less than half of the required 300 points. It will cost half of what I have to buy one video game, and the summer sale ends in one week. Perhaps I could consider this extra motivation to get as many points as possible over this week. If I get at least 11 points each day (including today), then I could 77 by Sunday, which would allow me to get a couple of games with the $20 budget allotted in the reward.

Decisions, decisions. I need to sort out my priorities over what to do with the points, as well as what games I want to play first. The latter will be in a future post. But, I do need a file cabinet really bad. My files have been piles on the floor ever since I brought them home when I moved offices.

By the way, if anyone else if on Steam, then please add me as a friend! You can find me under my (not so) secret identity, Pocket Aces Agnes!

So, About that Meal Plan...

I still haven't finished it (I've started), so I've turned it into a point and I'll get it done tomorrow/today (I am writing this after midnight). I really don't need more to do, but I'm going to keep forgetting about it or pushing it back if I don't turn it into a point. So, I've turned it into a point, which are badly needed now so I can get video games and/or a file cabinet. I also need to stay productive and to stick toward my goals. Right now, I'm not doing too good a job with my SuperBetter project, primarily since there is meat in the apartment again and I need to get rid of all the meat. I will be better! Things will be awesome!

You Must Play Geoguessr (and Challenge My High Score)

my first location Geoguessr, if you haven't heard of it, is a brand new Google Maps game where you're given a random location in the world and you have to use the clues in the Google Street View photography to figure it out and take a guess. Each game gives you five locations, and you only have one guess for each location. However, you can take as much time as you need and can click around as long as you need to take your guess. It sounds simple, but it's not easy. Even if you know what to look for, it can still be difficult if you get thrown into a rural location where there aren't any roadsides.

I Started Off Well...

The first time I played, I got 11000 and some points. That's about 2100 points per rounds, which is guessing within 1500 kilometers of the actual location each time. That's a really good score. It also helped that three of them were in North America, so it was pretty easy to guess. However, I've played it a few more times and haven't been able to come close since. I suppose I used up all my deduction and geography skills the first time around. I also received harder locations after the first time around. I actually gone one that was just ocean! My clues were the coral, the fish, the three swimmers/tourists/scuba divers looking at the fish, and the bright blue water. How am I supposed to guess my location with clues like that? It didn't help that I started to stress out because I felt like I was underwater and that a shark could get me at any minute.

my second location

Hint: Google Street View has only been around the Cape of Good Hope, and that's about it. So, if you get one that looks like Africa, or has something that says, "Africa" you're best bet is to guess somewhere in South Africa or western Botswana.

This through me off the first couple of times, because rural Africa doesn't have any road signs, you all you have to guess your location with the shrubbery and the vehicles (which may, or may not help, depending on where you are. License plates are blurred so you can't look at numbers, or colors, or anything). It also throws you off because the signs are in English, so your instinct is to go to Western Australia, but that is not correct.

I Want to Challenge People!

I know I can do better (I can do better tomorrow. I will start again tomorrow. I am in pain with all the clicking and guessing and all the wrong guessing)! Therefore, I will issue a challenge! I'm going to say that my highest score was 11,000 so far, since I know it wasn't bigger than 12,000 but I don't remember the rest. If you can beat that, then let me know! It's harder than you think, even if you've been around the world. It's only after you've played a few times that you learn what to look for, and what indicates what about your location.

Hint 2: When you guess, guess near a road. Obviously, this is Google Street View, so your starting point is always on a road. Whether it's a country road or a city road is a completely different story. Although, my first location for this last round wasn't exactly a road. Fortunately, I followed the stone steps to receive a big clue about my location.

Hint 3: Obviously, if you are in a city, then you want to guess in a city. It's one thing if you know you're in France (of which you might not be, because French Canada is always a possibility). But, if you know you are in a big city in France, then you want to make sure that you don't guess in the middle of nowhere.

I should stop giving away hints! This is supposed to be a challenge where I beat you! From here on out, you'll have to learn the rest on your own!

But, give Geoguessr a whirl. As hard as it can be, it's surprisingly addictive.