Posts tagged with "obsession" - Faerye Net 2006-11-09T22:59:53+00:00 Felicity Shoulders The problem with tea 2006-11-09T22:59:53+00:00 2008-06-08T12:28:27+00:00 <p>I am addicted to tea. This I know. I have this idea that, just perhaps, taking down my canisters of tea one after another just to sniff their contents and enjoy the secure and comfortable way the tins close is not normal.</p> <p>But as addictions go, the costs are easy to control, and it actually benefits my health, so I refuse to give it up. The problem is that it grows. I must try new kinds of tea, and I am almost always unwilling to part with an old kind of tea. I prefer to add to my repertoire rather than maintain it at any given size. Recently I&#8217;ve ordered a few &#8216;Sip by Sip samplers&#8217; from <a href="" target="links">Republic of Tea</a>, and picked up some other samples from the bulk tea section at <a href="" target="links">New Seasons</a>. This gives me access to more varieties than my usual habit of going to <a href="" target="links">my favorite tea shop</a> and smelling tins until I like something. Also, it doesn&#8217;t require me and my wallet to go to my favorite tea shop.</p> <p>The problem? As hinted above, once I have any sort of tea or tisane in my house that I like even a bit, it&#8217;s hard to imagine <span class="caps">NOT</span> being able to brew that particular tea or tisane on demand. I already more or less monopolize two cupboards with tea stuff. How much more can the kitchen hold?</p> Nethack 2003-10-07T17:01:45+00:00 2008-09-25T11:09:13+00:00 <p>The other day a link from <a href="" target="links">Penny Arcade</a> led me foolishly <a href="" target="links">hither</a>. I say foolishly, not for the reason some of you may suspect, as you recoil in fear from the prospect of Whisker Bob the cellar-dweller posing in a Speedo and draping himself artisticly over a vintage pinball machine &#8211; but rather because it was foolish to expect such a contest, promising a valuable prize rather than just bragging rights, would really have that indefinable something we call <em>authenticity</em>. One has only to click on the &#8220;top 10&#8221; to notice that, instructions not withstanding, nary a one of the female contestants has any trace of gaming paraphenalia in her pin-up &#8211; in fact, in many cases, you&#8217;d be hard-pressed to find paraphenalia of any sort. As an aside, I will say that this is really rather awful. Assuming such a contest to have some amusement value, is it really that unlikely that there are sexy gamer girls about, so we must allow random cheesecake entries to fill the ranks? And gaming references can be very cheesecakey &#8212; see the burgeoning subculture of <a href="" target="links">cosplay</a> or slap one of <a href="" target="links">these</a> across your tracts of <span class="caps">LAN</span>.</p> <p>But I digress. The point here is that these <span class="caps">NPC</span> chicklets (<a href="" target="links">Ling Xiaoyu</a> and I do humbly entreat them to <a href="" target="links">bring it</a>.) had a list of favorite games next to their pictures. Three apiece. I was staggered. Three! I mean, I don&#8217;t even play that many games by web standards, but mostly there are about half a dozen I like equally well &#8212; how would I ever pick <span class="caps">THREE</span>? And then, even as I pondered the complexity of the question of &#8220;favorite game&#8221; and how no <span class="caps">ONE</span> video or computer game could ever really hold such absolute sway, I remembered <a href="" target="links">nethack</a>.</p> <p>Nethack is my favorite computer game. It&#8217;s portable &#8212; I can play it anywhere I can utilize ssh. It&#8217;s got <span class="caps">GREAT</span> graphics. Look at this jabberwock: <font color="#990099"><b>J</b></font>. See how the dangerous curves of the beast are only sketched, leaving the rest to the imagination?</p> <p>In all seriousness, nethack&#8217;s strength is its simplicity. New versions come out all the time. They&#8217;re free. They&#8217;re made for the love of the game. The game is endless in its variety &#8212; the jokes, the versatility, the way you can tame almost anything, polymorph into anything, eat anything (if you&#8217;re polymorphed properly). You can ride your pets. You can tame a dragon, or become a dragon and lay an egg, then protect it for an instant pet who wuvs you. You can swim (or fail to), if you don&#8217;t mind your potions diluting and your scrolls and spellbooks fading. If you throw a boomerang, or even the mighty hammer of Thor, at an orc or a troll, he <span class="caps">MIGHT</span> <span class="caps">JUST</span> <span class="caps">CATCH</span> IT! You can <span class="caps">CAN</span> corpses for later consumption. You can steal from shops, and get the Kops called on you. You can pray to your god, or tick her off. You can rub a magic lamp and make a wish.</p> <p>Why is nethack so multifarious, so deep and ever-changing? Because it&#8217;s simple. To add a new weapon, a new class, a new monster, a new level, all you need do is write some code. No graphics, no rendering. Its limits are the limits of imagination. That&#8217;s what a game should be.</p>