Category Archives: Journal

Regrettable Gaming: Dragon Age and my Inner-Child

For the past week or so I’ve been struggling with the notion of buying Dragon Age: Origins in preparation for Dragon Age 2. You see, I already played and finished Origins on the PS3, but I’m getting Dragon Age 2 on the 360. This means that I will have no save to transfer from DA:O to DA2.


I also realize that this means putting down $50 for the “Ultimate Collection.” $50 for a game I already own?

Also unacceptable.

BioWare knows how to get me.

I spent the better part of an afternoon rationalizing all the pros and cons of buying the game or not. I never played the DLC included in the “Ultimate Collection,” so technically $20 of the price is going to new stuff. I also really want to replay the game, or more accurately, I want to play a western RPG set in a gritty “low” fantasy world — an itch that will be scratched in a few weeks by Dragon Age 2, regardless of my decision.

I know that importing a save won’t have any major impact on the events or characters of Dragon Age 2; the developers have stated that an imported save mostly fills in back story. … But it’s my back story, and I want it to turn out my way, regardless of how trivial it may be.

Also, (and let’s face it, this was the real issue), I had just missed out on a promising and exciting job interview, due to forces beyond my control. I wasn’t blind to the fact that, really, I wanted to buy this game to make myself feel better, because there are pretty much only three ways that I deal with disappointment or depression: drinking, smoking and buying shit I don’t need.

The solution to all of life's dilemmas

As the “Cons” column was filled out by my mind’s desperate pleas to reason, and the “Pros” became characterized by flawed rationalizations and petty desires, nothing really changed. I didn’t re-buy Dragon Age, but boy, I still really wanted to. By the time I worked up the nerve to just go buy it, the time had passed; it was getting late, I had other plans for the night, and I knew there was no point. I decided to sleep on it.

I woke up still wanting it.

I took my morning constitutional, as I do every morning, to the sounds of my favorite comedy podcasts. I listen to comedy podcasts when I exercise because, I find, laughing is a good way to start the day. Also, they distract me from the thought that I’m actually exercising — an otherwise miserable way to start the day. Specifically, WTF with Marc Maron has become a form of therapy for me. I find that Maron and I share a lot of the same neuroses, but because he’s had more experience wrestling them, he’s able to articulate them in ways I can’t.

So imagine my surprise when he and guest Paul F. Tompkins briefly discussed this very same issue: buying things you don’t need as remedy for depression. Boy, was that ever a coincidence to shake my spiritual nihilism (if only slightly).

Am I possessed by a Desire Demon?

Specifically, they discussed the process of learning to be your own parent to your inner child, to tell yourself “no” when you know better.

My inner-child got pushed in the mud, and wanted arbitrary material gain to make up for it. Even though I’m still shelling out my own money, I wanted the Universe to pay the debt it owed me for fucking up that interview. I am owed compensation because things didn’t go my way!

The real-life, adult me was saying, “No! No, you can’t have this game! No, you can’t always have your way! No, the world does not revolve around you!”

My inner-child was responding, “Fuck you! I can do what I want!”


So I just bought Dragon Age again — the $50 “Ultimate Collection” for the 360. But at least now I can characterize the particular kind of self destruction in which I’m engaging. And that, my friends, is a little thing I like to call … growth.


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Rural Rebellion on Rise

Albion Inquisitor
Rural Rebellion on Rise
By Higgins Odious-Bonaparte, Editor

Our Illustrious Sovereign, the Prodigious and Conscientious King Logan, rightly puts traitors to cessation of life every day. Most of these communistic barnacles are appropriated when they march on the castle gates, picketing with their calumniatory slogans. But in the Mistpeak dweller camp outside Brightwall Village, a new threat to royal prepotency has egressed.

MISTPEAK DWELLER CAMP– We’re all familiar with the camp of funny-sounding derelicts living up in the mountains outside of Brightwall Village. The savages have never posed much of a threat, but in his exquisite, overhwhelming charity, our Great King Logan allows them to go about their primordial ways in unmolested equanimity.

But now, reports are coming in of the commonality being roused by a mysterious hand-shaker and handout-giver, claiming to be our beloved Prince, who recently went missing following the anarchisms at Bowerstone Castle.

“Why, the lad walked right up to me and shook me hand,” claimed Aaron, a malodorous snow savage. “I didn’t know quite what to make o’ the lad at first, but then he shook me hand and I thunk, ‘Yah, he’s a good sort, this one.’ So, I gave him this ol’ seal I had on me, to help him with his venture.”

The abstruse stranger’s trickeries didn’t end with a simple, quotidian handshake.

“Why this lad, he bought from me a set o’ fur clothin’s,” added the local tailor, a term I use loosely to describe the piteous ‘outsider artist’ who stitches together the dwellers’ hides and rags. “When he shook me hand, he shook it for a while, see, and he finished shakin’ it, and we done a slappy-hand fist-bumpin’. ‘Fore that, I didn’t think much o’ the lad, but after, I kinda liked him. Not really liked him, mind ya, but liked him enough that I didn’t think nothin’ o’ him. I guess you could say, I liked him neutrally. Either way, I gave him this ol’ seal I had on me person, to help him on his way. He told me about a revolution or somethin’. Sounded alright to me.”

Even the camp’s children, already irrevoked to the illogicalness of their elders’ culture, interacted with the traitor.

“He came right up to me and let out a big belch right in me face!” claimed one local child, giggling noncompliantly. “Then, he gave me ten gold just ‘cause. I like this man. I gave him a big blue seal to show him how much I like him.”

Though the tribals were easily manipulated by the unfledged traitor, listening to his treacherousness and offering their only prized possessions (the useless blue seals owned by every single citizen of Albion), not one of them has any idea from whence the apostate actually emanated.

“He just appeared out of thin air on the hill outside camp,” asserts Sarah the Beggar, who was too busy asking for handouts to think any more on the mystification. “When he shook me hand and gave me ten gold pieces, I just thanked him and gave him me blue seal.”

Tribal chief Sabine avouched that no such man exists, “There was no one shaking the hands of my people*, but if someone were to take the time to shake all of their hands, I wouldn’t be surprised that they might be urged toward rebellion and hand over their blue seals. Maybe if Logan shook more hands**, people would like him more.”

When assailed on the current whereabouts of this Enemy of Liberty, the savages made no comment. But we’ve reports of a “trail of sparkling sparklies” leading to contiguous Brightwall Village.

We’ll have more on this story as it maturates.

*Ed. note: The Albion Inquisitor does not support the dwellers’ notion that they are, by annotation, “people.” We’re enfettered by journalistic rectitude to print chief Sabine’s quote scrupulously, despite its preposterous claims to the antithetical.

**Ed. note: The Albion Inquisitor wants to remind our Potentate and censors that we would never accredit our Wonderful King Logan divulging himself to the feculence and affliction spread by engaging in physicality with the squalid savages.

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Five Games to Play When It’s Too Hot to Live

Despite being weeks into Autumn, Southern California is currently hotter than it was all summer. There’s no breeze, no cloud in the sky; no respite from the fist of the fiery death-orb that oppresses us all and stops me from going about my daily routine.

Also, I have no air-conditioning. Continue reading

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Risen Journal 06: Wherein Our Hero is Just Getting Started

Everything changed in the monastery.

Walking its halls as a bandit on a diplomatic mission was an endurance test. The monastery is the rogue’s wet-dream. The quarters are lined with the bunk rooms of the recruits, all of whom are busy with their daily tasks, and rich with chests and cupboards to raid; in the cemetery is a tomb, hosting only still-dead, non-animated skeletons buried with their possessions, ready for plundering; there’s a warehouse where the Inquisiton keeps its artefacts, guarded by a single old man who enjoys taking time off; and if that weren’t enough, a surprisingly thriving drug-trade makes the guards easy to bribe. It takes every bit of will I have to be a good envoy and not rob the fools blind. Continue reading

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Risen Journal 05: Wherein Our Hero Goes Cardio-Crazy

There’s something I have to take care of before I head out on my “diplomatic” mission. Remember those thieves I helped out of Harbour Town earlier? Well, I didn’t just do it out of the goodness of my heart. I’ve had this quest for a while now that I haven’t had time to tackle, to find the entrance to some ruined temple on the opposite side of the island and find three treasure seekers to go dig it up. Continue reading

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Risen Journal 04: Wherein Our Hero Becomes a Real Boy

The walk back to the swamp looks far more daunting on my map than it turns out to be. I haven’t been in the wild for a while now, but during my time in the city I invested good money and points into my skills and stats. For the first time I feel like I can survive out there on my own, without a tour guide or a mercenary mob by my side. Continue reading

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Risen Journal 03: Wherein Our Hero Considers WitSec

I’ve finally found a way out of Harbour Town. During the rest of my time there, I engaged in numerous dirty deeds, all of which means to the justified end that is fighting the Inquisiton. Continue reading

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