I'm Robin. I'm an amateur game designer. I post game recommendations (mostly indie), my thoughts on goings-on in the industry, and progress updates on games I'm making. Also, occasional posts about science and whatnot. DFTBA.
Currently playing Shadow Of The Colossus, Chrono Trigger, and Ridiculous Fishing. Looking forward to playing The Witness, The Last Guardian, and the reboot of Thief.
If you install Adobe Reader on a Mac, an internet plugin is also installed that replaces how PDFs are displayed in the browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc). Since it has a lot of editing features to load, this can dramatically slow the loading of PDFs when viewing them on the web.
If you want to keep the Adobe Reader application but don’t need Adobe Reader’s extra functionality when in the browser, you can speed up PDF loading by going to Macintosh HD/Library/Internet Plug-Ins and deleting the two .plugin files with PDFViewer in the name. If that doesn’t work, check yourusername/Library/Internet Plug-Ins for the same files. This won’t prevent Adobe Reader from working; it’ll only affect the behaviour of browsers.
(spoilers for both BioShock 1 and Infinite)
BioShock (the original) was such an important experience in my gaming life that it and Braid (mostly Braid TBH) were pivotal experiences that not only changed the way I think about games, they made me radically change my life’s ambitions to focus on games as a career.
I played through BioShock Infinite and enjoyed some of it, but disliked most of it. I tried to just forget about it (disappointing sequels are a common thing after all), but every time I heard someone mention how awesome the game was, I actually felt angry, and I didn’t know why; I’m not usually an angry person, and it’s just a game, right? It’s supposed to be enjoyed! I just couldn’t close that chapter of thought. Until now that is, because I’ve finally worked out why Infinite bothered me so much more than any other game I’ve played.
I’m not going to go on about the many problems with the gameplay, or the immorality of so much violence, or even the downright insulting scene with the interracial couple. My main issue with the game, way up in the clouds above all other issues I had with it, is loosely on the topic of autonomy. Bear with me.
In the original BioShock, I felt like I literally was Jack. The game made me believe that I was an ordinary man in Rapture, trying to survive the dystopia like everyone else, until what is perhaps the greatest plot twist in videogame history pointed out that all the major decisions that I thought I made were actually decided by another character.
“Would you kindly?”
At this point a wonderful meta-narrative emerged about the immature and naive storytelling techniques used in the majority of linear games today: those games pretend your character has full autonomy, but your autonomy is actually restricted to choices that don’t affect the plot, in order to make the storytelling easier to handle. I remember I felt strongly about that very topic around the time when I started playing BioShock (I felt games were fundamentally flawed as a storytelling medium), but I could never have presented it so eloquently, or with such artistic flare. It was astounding, and so, so clever.
In Infinite, I felt like my only autonomy was almost entirely limited to choosing how Booker killed people. I didn’t feel involved in the story because I wasn’t in control of any of Booker’s major plot-affecting actions. I didn’t even feel like I was Booker, due to my lack of control over his role in the story.
“Booker, you don’t leave this room until you [give him the baby].”
This means Infinite is precisely the kind of game that BioShock criticised. BioShock had set a precedent for sophisticated storytelling in games, and Infinite shat on it. I felt that Irrational Games, one of the game creators that had changed my life for the better, had kind of sold out. That’s what made me angry.
Gladly, now I can happily enjoy BioShock Infinite for what it is on its own: A pretty average shooter with a story that, while not groundbreaking, is still incredibly impressive. Chapter closed.
I had to stop playing prematurely yesterday because I was emotionally exhausted. I finished it today. It seemed that every session I had with it bumped it up another place on my all-time top ten list.
Polytron, while announcing that preorders for Fez on PC are available.