Analysis

VGHS, Yu-Gi-Oh and the Games With No Rules

Hello all who read this blog, you beautiful, beautiful people.

I probably have said this before on this blog, but I read manga and watch anime. I also watch YouTube and enjoy the variety of content that is available.

Well, I was reading Yu-Gi-Oh the other day, and aside from it being more psychotic than the anime, I also realized that Yu-Gi-Oh truly gets a bad rap for a reason that I think is a little unfair.

Yu-Gi-Oh is very impressive because it not only has an anime, a manga, multiple video games, and large amounts of merchandising, but it also has an entire card game that is still relevant and highly structured.

This is where the problem lies. The Yu-Gi-Oh Manga started in 1997 and the card game started in 1999. The anime (not counting the questionable and spooky season 0) started in 2001, and 2002 for America.

By the time young kiddos started watching reruns on Saturday mornings the trading card game had been solidified. The rules are now known by every youngster in the land.

So when the show starts introducing the card game it becomes apparent that every character in the show has no clue what the actual rules are.

And it drives people crazy. Rules of the official card game being broken left and right. Somehow the zones that people play in affect the card abilities. Some cards can now be shrouded by darkness with other cards revealing them.

This is the most nonsensical amount of blatant rule breaking that could ever be in a show.

And it makes most people angry.

But most people don’t understand that the actual plot came way before the card game.

I’ve talked about shifting my frame of reference on this blog before, and I brought up how much I love Banjo and Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. I feel like this works the same way.

Once I realized that the manga was just trying to tell a story through a story within the story that took the form of a card game I realized that it was doing a very good job of it.

The card game doesn’t exist as a card game in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe it exists as a medium for the story to propagate through.

Another notable example of this is a web-series on YouTube called VGHS, by far one of my favorite web-series of all time.

It follows the story of a FPS gamer boy named Brian D who, by random fluke, gets his way into VGHS, the prestigious Video Game High School.

What’s great about VGHS is that they never describe the game more than what is needed for the plot to advance.

One could argue that the scenes where they are being depicted “in the game” are too lifelike when you consider that they are canonically just wielding a mouse and keyboard. You would probably win that argument.

But that’s the great part about VGHS, there isn’t an FPS like the game they are describing. They aren’t saying we play Call of Duty like this. They are saying we have a game that is similar enough to Call of Duty for all of our audience to recognize, but with enough expressiveness and flexibility to move a dramatic plot through.

Every game shown in VGHS doesn’t exist to follow rules, because it never makes strict rules that could be broken.

The same thing with Yu-Gi-Oh, they first show a card game, and then they have a couple of rules to setup the premise, which they follow! The rest of the story is exactly that, a weird fluff meant to move a plot.

Yu-Gi-Oh didn’t mean to break rules, they just wanted a card game that people could relate to and understand while still having an emotional investment in.

Garry’s Mod and the Mini-golf Masters

So, I’ve played plenty and plenty of video games. My steam profile says that my most played game ever is Counter Strike: Global Offensive. I don’t know if that is truly my most played game of all time because I don’t know my game times from my console play

(If we counted console play it might be that Far Cry 2 or Fallout New Vegas or Oblivion would shine as top dogs (even more possible, Call of Duty: Black Ops could also be in the running))

I have also dumped a considerable amount of time in RuneScape so it’s possible that it has the most Maxwell Hours (totally legit units) dumped into it.

My most played game on Steam or in life is not important to this story though. What is more important is what Steam considers to be my second most played game of all time, Garry’s Mod, or what everyone else in the biz calls it, Gmod.

Garry’s Mod is a game where… well… there isn’t inherently a game in it. All it is is a Source engine sandbox. Much like Minecraft you can get in a server or play alone and all you can do is spawn in objects or move them around and interact with them.

There is no story.

There is no objective (inherently).

There is no end to what can be done in it.

And so, once more like Minecraft, people made servers with mods and plugins, and got different game modes to work.

Of the popular ones are:

DarkRP- I don’t have much experience with this, so I won’t say much for it. I just know there are tons of great stories on the internet about it.

Murder – One person has a knife and wants to murder everyone. One person has a gun and wants to kill the murderer. Everybody else just tries to stay alive and collect pieces around the map to obtain more guns. It’s a super fun game and no matter the role is worthwhile.

Prop Hunt – The objective is simple, there are a team of props and a team of seekers. The props hide as garbage around a map while the seekers try to find an eliminate them. It was simple and it was fun, but it never felt satisfying to hide in plain sight, or to hide in general. Overall I didn’t sink that much time into this game mode (but I did watch a bunch of YouTube videos of people playing it that I thought was hilarious).

Trouble in Terrorist Town – I have a love-hate relationship with TTT. First, the premise is much the same as Murder. There are a couple of traitors who are trying to kill everyone. There are a couple of detectives with some abilities to scope out traitors. Everyone else is trying to kill the traitors and defend themselves. It’s a fun and if everyone plays the game as intended it can make some really interesting gameplay.

The problem with TTT is there are a lot of people who play the game and just start shooting people. They might not be a traitor, but they will still kill people who are innocent. This fundamentally breaks the game. So what a lot of servers do is enforce a strict set of rules to stop people from griefing (the term for doing not good things in general, basically).

Problems arise with these rule sets though. I’ve played tens of hours on servers where the game wasn’t Trouble in Terrorist Town, but rather Lawbreaking in Lawyer Land. People will report players for anything, assuming they are breaking the rule. Then the people who get reported more than likely get banned.

One fundamental rule is that you can’t shoot someone until you see them commit a “traitorous act” (See article V subsection 4). This is reasonable as a rule until you realize that traitors can’t tell if you saw them commit a traitorous act. I have seen so so so so so many cases of traitors getting people banned because they thought that they were killed on a whim and not because they saw the traitor commit a crime.

When I play a multiplayer game, I don’t think of fun as constantly checking a rule book to see if I can get someone banned

And finally the best server that ever was.

Gmod Tower. There are a couple of servers still on Gmod that are like this beauty, but nothing that comes close.

Gmod Tower was a game mode where you had an avatar and an apartment.

You could watch YouTube with random internet strangers. You could play chess and trivia with random internet strangers. You could deck out your apartment. You could get a watermelon pet that rolls behind you and emotes all of the time. You could gamble in the casino. You could play a variety of mini-games that would net you money to buy stuff for your apartment.

Best of all, the mini-games were all very, very good. And the best of the mini-games was mini-golf.

I love mini-golf. In real life. As a video game. As a game within a video game. As a mini-game within a game. As a mini-game inside of a game mode of a video game. All forms of mini-golf are great.

And I wasn’t the only one who thought this. Gmod Tower mini-golf was very well made. It was fair. It was fun. It had the right amount of challenge.

And the best part was it was filled with a lobby of full of people who were all very passionate about this mini-game and being the best at it.

Do you know how absurd that is? Think about it. This wasn’t your regular group of zealous mini-golf enthusiasts. This was a group of people who logged into a video game to log into a specific server to play one specific game mode on that server. And that was all they did. And I was one of them.

I don’t have any regrets playing Gmod Tower mini-golf. Hearing random people scream on the internet about mini-golf filled my heart with absolute joy. Hearing people brag, and cry, and laugh, and blast their mics with hip hop music, and play low quality static-filled meme sound bites all to the sound of relaxing mini-golf is easily one of the funniest experiences of my entire life.

Chuck and the Child of Destiny

Gather around boys and girls, it’s trope analysis time. And by analysis, I mean rant.

There is a little show that is one of my favorite shows of all time and it goes by the name of Chuck.

Super spoilers ahead.

The synopsis of Chuck is that a nerdy dropout from Stanford who is now working at the Nerd Herd (Geek Squad) in Buy More (Best Buy). He has no discernible future and then one day he receives an e-mail from his ex-bestfriend. This e-mail contains all of the intel from all the intelligence agencies ever in a nice sublimal message format.

Chuck opens up this e-mail and then knows pretty much everything about anyone whenever the story calls for it.

Now Chuck is an asset for the CIA and NSA and helps them stop terror from happening.

And this is great.

Random guy, no future, stumbles upon greatness. In my book, this is grounds for a great story.

And that’s season 1

From there it gets discovered that his dad was a spy and his mom was a spy and his ex-bestfriend who was a spy also knew his spy mom and dad.

And his mom and dad planned for him to be a living government computer.

And all of this is feels like an after though.

Chuck is a great show with a lot of humor and cheesily great action writing, but this sort of child of destiny syndrome really irks me.

I am okay with child of destiny plotlines. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion you are a prisoner destined to save the kingdom, this is one of my favorite games of all time. Child of destiny plotlines are great, the idea that no matter what happens to the main character they are destined for greatness.

My problem is when a show adds the plot afterwards. It cheapens the power of luck.

Supernatural is another great example. Two brothers go on a quest to find their father. They are supernatural hunters, people who hunt all sorts of mythical beings. They learned this from their father (who learned from one other person), who went on a hunt for all mythical beings after their mother died to a demon.

This was an awesome dynamic, the idea that there is approximately 3-4 people who even know of the existence of mythical beings.

And then as the seasons went on it was discovered that they were both reincarnations of angels and demons. And their mom was a hunter, and all of their mom’s family were hunters. And there are whole swathes of hunters around the US. There are bars of people dedicated for supernatural hunters.

This is ridiculous. The idea of two brothers using their own hardened savvy to eliminate swarms of demons is awesome. The idea that they were destined from birth to do anything really just cheapens the blow in my opinion.

These shows are great and I still watched all of Chuck and probably about 6 seasons of supernatural. All I’m saying is that shows that don’t have to resort to saying that this was all planned from the start win huge props in my book.

Cubic Analysis

Classically, I like to start off with what this blog post isn’t:

  1. This isn’t an analysis of Timecube.
  2. This isn’t an analysis of cubic functions, or any sort of polynomial function for that matter (sadly).
  3. This isn’t a lifestyle post.

What we are talking about today is the one-of-a-kind thriller (horror?) trilogy Cube. Let that be a warning that spoilers will most likely be ahead.

The first of the movies was Cube. It was simple, it was low budget, and it had a small math puzzle. The main plot of Cube (and the following movies) is that a few people are trapped in a cube room, that is attached to more cube rooms, which in whole make up a giant cube.

They are not only trapped though, they don’t know how they got there, they don’t know how to get out, and to put the icing on the cake, some of the rooms have death traps in them. The plot is driven solely by the need to escape the cube.

The start of the movie consists of random characters that come from different backgrounds in an unexplained and mysterious environment. The end of the movie consists of random characters that come from different backgrounds in an unexplained and mysterious environment.

That’s right, other than a snippet from one of the characters, the movie leaves out a ton of details such as:
1. Who built the cube?
2. What is the cube’s purpose?
3. Why did they choose these people to be in the cube?

And that’s why the movie is good in its own unique way. It lets the viewer come up with their own canon. Watching it, the viewer can answer those question with whatever seems to be the most reasonable answer. This means that establishing that there is no lore was more effective for Cube rather than trying to come up with some lore that could be considered unreasonable or faulty.

This was lost on the next installment, Cube 2: Hypercube.

As the name implies Cube 2: Hypercube takes place inside of a cube that has an added dimension. They added more than that extra dimension though, they also added an separate reason for each person to be there. And they also added a corporation that backed the building of the cube. So now we have two questions of the three answered.

Then at the very end they give a half-baked reason for what that cube’s specific purpose was, thus kind of answering the third question.

They simultaneously answered all of the questions without giving any solid lore.

Then the third movie came out, which being a prequel, is aptly named Cube Zero.

I have almost no words for Cube Zero. It’s like they were aiming for adding as much lore as possible without actually having any effect on what that lore implies. It showed people operating the cube. It showed higher-ups to those operators. It pictured a dystopian government using the cube. It gave a reason for the people to be in the cube.

And yet…

Nothing felt established. The reason people were put in the cube was also disproved in the movie itself. There were weird religious overtones at times. The operators don’t know why they are there. The higher-ups talk about people even higher up. The dystopian government was never fully pictured.

Yet it relied on the lore to drive the plot, rather than Cube’s plot being driven solely by a need to escape.

It’s a strange concept to have a movie that strips almost the entirety of its setting and still maintains a driving plot, and I firmly believed that Cube achieved that.

New Look, Same Content

During this joyous Christmas season I have decided to switch servers for this blog. To preface: the blog used to be run on a private server, not affiliated with WordPress at all. I didn’t have a ton of costs, but I also didn’t have backups or HTTPS.

This used to not be a problem, when I first started this blog I didn’t actually expect to take much pride in my work (and I still don’t take too much pride in it). Things have changed though, I looked through the posts I wrote and I have thousands of words written and a wee bit of pride attached to it, and all it would take is a single person feeling a little malicious to wipe away what I have.

So here we are now, I have backups and access to some pretty sweet site layouts and HTTPS. But even with everything looking different (Here is an archive for comparison) I can guarantee the content won’t change suddenly, although I can guarantee it probably will over the next year, which brings me into my next point.


“I miss the old _______.”

This is the funniest phrase in the history of phrases in my opinion. With any organization, group, community, content, you can almost guarantee that this phrase will be said.

Some people believe that nostalgia is a big factor in this. I think otherwise. YouTube content creators have this problem in their communities. Challenge: Go the comment section of a big YouTuber who has been around for years and see if you can’t find someone who says, “I miss the old [Name of YouTuber].” Still you can go back to their old content, and it is still as fresh and funny as the first time that you see it, so really nostalgia isn’t the biggest factor.

Content creators who are actively trying to grow their content aren’t going to stand still on what they have, any great content creator is going to have to change or become more official so they can break out of their niche and capture a larger crowd. And this is why the phrase is said for content creators like YouTubers.

I don’t think this blog or Xylo-a-day is ever going to skyrocket because I’m not trying to grow them, my whole purpose with this blog is to document things I think are cool, if people read it then that’s just a bonus. Xylo-a-day’s purpose is to make sure that I’m playing on a consistent basis, if people stop by and think that the content is cool I’m not going to stop them, but at the end of the day I’m just trying to get my practice in.

And because of the reasons above I don’t think that my content is going to change much, it will definitely undergo change as I become better at blogging and better at playing, but not because I’m trying to make my content appeal to a larger crowd.


Organizations suffer this same exact problem of having people grumble about missing the old days, for similar reasons too.

Let’s say I wanted to start disc golfing with my friends. So a couple of my friends and I start going to play disc golf. We have tons of fun and start a group chat to schedule more meetups. Everyone is loose and relaxed we are all just there to have fun.

Then we start picking up other people who hear about the fun we are having. Our group is growing and we now have tens of people coming. It’s still fun to play but it is getting more hectic trying to schedule everyone on the same day. So a few people step up and say that they are willing to play multiple times a week and we can have multiple sessions a week, so that everyone doesn’t rely on a single day.

This is a big deal because now that we have more sessions a week, our availability is larger and even more people want to come. So now we have grown much much larger and some of the sessions are becoming mixes of beginner players and competitive players. The beginners want to learn without being intimidated and the competitive players want to play competitively.

“Why don’t we host learning sessions.” One suggests.
“Why don’t we host a tournament.” One suggests.
“We could even have prize money, and T-shirts!” Another chimes in.

So with a couple of peoples input our unofficial group has a couple of social organizers in charge of hosting the weekly sessions, a learning session organizer, a tournament organizer, a volunteer graphic artist for the shirts, and an unofficial treasurer.

We are growing large and the next stepping stone comes when we start collecting money from the tournament entrance fee, and the shirt orders. We make a little bit of profit.

“We should use that money on advertising!”
“We should use that money for club-owned equipment!”
“We should donate it to charity!”
“We should use that money for travel expenses so we can go to nicer parks farther away!”

And before you know it, we have our first major conflict that needs a full-baked response. Whether we resolve it or not isn’t important, because soon after somebody suggests that we create an official organization to help resolve future disputes, like a non-profit or a school club.

So we do, we draft up a constitution and by-laws, appoint official officers (probably the same people as before), open up a bank account, and are now having official officer meetings following Robert’s Rules of Order to decide the direction of the organization.

We are now a fully fledged fully organized entity. People sign forms to come play with us. We reimburse for gas money when we go on long trips. People can rent out some equipment from the club after signing a few forms. We host legit tournaments with prize money and charity donations that the surrounding community can see. Whenever somebody comes to play it isn’t “hanging out with pals” it’s “going to disc club”.

And that’s when you’ll hear it.

“I miss the old days. You know? Like when it was just a couple of us going to play disc golf and hanging out…”

Now I’m not saying that every organization goes through that, some organizations are immediately formed with paperwork and a constitution and are backed by another entity. But still, it is a very reasonable scenario that has most assuredly happen on some level.

Burning Man, a festival promoting free expression of art went through something similar, originally it was just a group of people going out into the desert making art and burning a wooden man. Nowadays, you have to buy a ticket and fill out a couple of forms to go. It is a legit organization with principles and a constitution, which holds legit responsibility for the actions of the festival-goers.

DEF CON, a yearly hacker convention held in Las Vegas, has also undergone this same problem. What originally started as a party to celebrate hacker culture has turned into a legit organization with volunteers and speakers. It is now a convention that hosts thousands of people who are interested in the realm of cyber security and hacker culture. In DEF CON you can easily find people who say “I miss the old DEF CON, it was a lot less uptight.” Las Vegas is cool with having a couple hundred hackers roaming the strip, but it gets a little less relaxed when you have a few thousand.


I didn’t mean for this to sound like a rant, I just wanted to share an observation. With any sort of growth, content is bound to change, rules and exceptions are bound to change, people are bound to change.

I’m a boring guy, I don’t plan on actively growing this blog or my YouTube channel, so you can expect more or less the same thing.

Unofficial Official Spots

I had a really good week this week. Got a lot done and the semester is coming to a close. Beyond all of that, I’m a week into the Xylo-A-Day Super Advent where I play a Christmas Carol every day up until Christmas (I called it a super advent because I started it a day after Thanksgiving rather than December 1st). Also I’m starting to average around 80 WPM, and Typeracer is starting to give me ridiculously large quotes to type.

But the icing on the super awesome cake that was my week… I got my unofficial official bike spot back.

Now if you are still in high school there is still a possibility that you have to have seating assignments. At my high school some teachers did and some teachers didn’t. If your high school doesn’t have seating assignments or you are in college, then you should understand the unofficial official spot. For those of you who don’t, I’ll explain.

People resist change. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone on some level resists change.

In regards to seating, if it’s not assigned then people will sit down wherever they want the first day. At worst, it might take a couple of days to find a spot. At best, you and all of your friends take over a section of the room.

In this scenario you have a spot you are finally comfortable in, or you have a spot where all your friends sit around. You don’t have assigned seating but now you sit there every day, just out of habit and comfort. But then it happens…

A new kid shows up. That one kid who skipped all the lectures and is just coming for the review session shows up. Some guy brings his twenty friends who aren’t even enrolled in your class. The semantics don’t matter the result is still the same…

YOUR SPOT GETS TAKEN. (And it feels bad)

This is one of the greatest tragedies of modern man. Even though it wasn’t official, it was your spot, it was the comfort zone. Anger pours through your veins (not really though), but like any agreement that isn’t contractual there is no governing authority to get your chair back.

So this happened to me, but even worse.

The bike parking at my apartment is scarce. We have a decent amount of bike racks but just too many bikes for all of them. All of last year I had a sweet spot. The end of a bike rack, closest to the entrance of the apartment. If you don’t understand what that means, I’ll explain. It means that I didn’t have to mess with anyone’s bike when I went to lock mine up. It means that I could immediately leave conveniently.

This school year began and the first day after all the new residents moved in I went out to go biking and I came back and my spot was taken.

Over the next few weeks I was able to get it back, and then lose it every other time I went to go biking. Then that person locked their bike up and either had a perfectly synced up schedule with me or just let their bike sit there, I don’t really know which. But essentially I haven’t had the spot for the rest of the semester.

Finally though, after one of my best weeks in the entire semester. I unofficially officially have my unofficial official bike spot bike.

I AM VICTORIOUS.

Ben Wyatt: King of Nerds

Bazinga. Lots of people like to talk about Big Bang Theory and how it has promoted nerd culture. Nerd culture, though, has fundamentally rejected the image that Big Bang Theory has displayed. Going as far as creating over the top shammy looking comics on the internet, satirizing the show.

Image result for zimbabwe meme

Why? It doesn’t promote the idea of the casual nerd. Somebody who likes math, and board games, and TV show lore, but when in a normal human situation, acts like a normal human.

Everybody in Big Bang Theory is a caricature. Sheldon has 0 people skills, absolutely none, he straddles the line into being a sociopath. Raj physically can’t talk to women without being drunk. Howard is a grown man and still lives in his mom’s house (until later, but we aren’t counting that). Finally, Leonard comes closest to being an actual human, understanding that he can’t just talk about geek stuff 24/7 with people who aren’t interested in geek stuff.

But even Leonard pales in comparison to the true nerd king:

Image result for Ben Wyatt

 

Ben Wyatt from the hit TV show Parks and Recreation, a man who is weird and awkward at times, but also is fully capable of speaking to other human beings. Just that alone gives him a huge step up from those on Big Bang Theory.

Some people might argue though that Ben isn’t a nerd. He doesn’t bring up geeky or nerdy things as much as those on Big Bang Theory, and that’s exactly my point, he is a nerd, but you might not even be able to tell. So here are my arguments:

Treat Yo’ Self. When Ben tried to treat himself he got a Batman costume. I don’t feel like that needs an explanation.

Image result for Ben Wyatt Batman

The Iron Throne scene. He gets to sit on the iron throne and is so blown away by it that the only lines that he can re-enact are “yes” and “no.”

Image result for Ben Wyatt Iron Throne

He loves accounting. He genuinely likes working with numbers, which is pretty nerdy if you ask me. But beyond that he is able to crack math jokes with the most boring of accountants. Not only is he a nerd, but he is the funniest of the nerds.

Image result for Ben Wyatt Accounting

Lastly, he is the architect of Cones of Dunshire. If creating a super complex board game that involves a rule about rolling dice for how many dice you will roll doesn’t make you nerdy, I don’t know what else does.

Image result for Cones of dunshire

All my point really is  is that he does all of this weird geeky nerdy stuff, and still has friends and a wife and children, and is a completely realistic normal person. In my book this is one of the best interpretations of the casual nerd that exist.

Angles on an Angle (A Mathematical Tangent)

I guaranteed there would be a post, and this is proof of that guarantee.

I like math. I wrote a post a while back about Fermat and how he is a super math prankster. This post isn’t going to be biographic. This post is experimental. Buckle up and get ready for the paint-application-level images.

I’ve always had a design in my head that is kind of inspired from taking the limit of a regular shape as its sides approach infinity. In basic terms, if you keep adding sides to a square such that all the sides are equal length once that side is added, at infinity you’ll get really dang close to making a circle.

So here is my example time. I was up one night doing this because it seemed fun and I was particularly fixated on figuring this out.

So this is a 90 degree angle.

If you put a single point somewhere in that quadrant, you’ll get another 90 degree angle if you draw perpendicular lines from the axes. Like the one below.

Now that’s a square and all the angles equal 90 degrees. But what if we add another point out in that space, such that we maintain the perpendicular angles on the axes, and make their angles out in the quadrant equivalent. It will look something like the thing down below.

The question that remains, what would the angles of the intersections have to be in order for them to be equal to each other?

What you are looking at is one fourth of an octagon. Also you are looking at two points, both with 135 degree angles in the quadrant. It is pretty easy to figure out that it is 135 since you can reason that they are perpendicular lines, splitting another 90 degree angle between them, forming two 135 degree angles.

So let’s add 3 more points for the fun of it, putting a total of 5 points out in the quadrant. You’ll see the result (or my best paint of it) down below.

I won’t lie, I eyeballed that figure so they probably won’t all be perfect 162 degree angles. How did I come up with that number? This one you can’t really just eyeball 162 degrees, but by the time I got to this many points that night, I already had a formula in hand (more about that later).

One thing that you should notice though is how much more like a circle it already looks than the 90 degree figure. That’s because all of the angles are getting closer to 180 degrees, which every point on a circle should essentially be (for our sake). And here is where the fun and elegant part comes in.

Like I said before, there is a formula to figure out what angle each intersection would have to be in order to have equivalent angles to each other, I couldn’t find one, but I made one and it looks like this.

[90(1+2x)]/(1+x) x being the amount of points added minus 1.

So as a chart
1 point = [90(1+2(0))]/(1+0) = 90 degree angle
2 points = [90(1+2(1))]/(1+1) = (90*3)/2 = 135 degree angles
3 points = [90(1+2(2))]/(1+2) = (90*5)/3 = 150 degree angles
4 points = [90(1+2(3))]/(1+3) = (90*7)/4 = 157.5 degree angles
5 points = [90(1+2(4))]/(1+4) = (90*9)/5 = 162 degree angles
…   skip a few
2000 points = [90(1+2(2000))]/(1+2000) = (90*4001)/2001 = 179.955 degree angles

So if you took the limit of this equation as you take the number of points to infinity you’ll get a nice crisp 180 degrees. This verifies the assertion that the limit actually creates a circle. Since, although a circle doesn’t have a 180 degree angle for every single point, it has something infinitely close to 180 degrees without ever actually being 180 degrees.

Limits are pretty cool and I might write about Euler’s number one of these days, or even the Monty Hall problem. For right now though, I hope this post satisfied your mathematical interests until the next one comes along.

Also feel free to test the formula, it should undoubtedly work and looks awesome when you decide to choose a large number of points.

 

Oblivion

Oblivion is one of the greatest works of art and one of the greatest milestones in-

Image result for Tom Cruise oblivion

Move aside Tom Cruise, I wasn’t talking about that one movie you were in (although that was a pretty good movie).

I’m talking about Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Oblivion, a role playing video game, is one of my most favorite video games of all time. Beyond that though I would argue that Oblivion was and is unmatched to any game like it that has been produced since.

Image result for Oblivion game

What is Oblivion?

Oblivion is a first person (although you can play 3rd person) role playing video game that was released in 2006. If you have ever heard of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, this game was the predecessor. Oblivion features a fully immerse open world, with tons of dialogue and story which allows you to make unique decisions giving a high amount of replay value. Beyond that though, it allows the user to fully customize a character to become an evil archer or a heroic fighter or a callous wizard and any combination in between.

Without spoiling the story too much, you are a prisoner for a crime you don’t even know. Turns out though that there is a plot to kill the emperor and your cell is a secret tunnel out of the imperial city. So you get a get-out-0f-jail free card and wind up getting assigned the task of saving the world, by the emperor himself. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to save the world, if you just want to wander around the cities and be a merchant the game will not stop you.

What really makes this game golden though, is that if you want to be the best wizard in all the land, you can be. If you want to be the best fighter, you can be. You want to be the god of the realm of madness, totally, you can do it. You want to gain the favor of all the counts of the land, go seek audience, I’m sure they have something they need done.

The land and the characters are all unique because nothing is randomly generated, everything was written by someone, somewhere along the line. So even though the world is incomprehensibly massive, everything feels meaningful. This is a lot of work though and has (for good reason) been taken out of newer games in favor of adding randomly generated quests for replay value, where random events happen to certain places (Fallout 4’s a settlement in danger).

So this begs the question if Skyrim is newer, then

Why do I believe that Skyrim is inferior?

Mechanically I don’t believe it is. The game has really awesome combat. It has a really interactive gameplay with a really immersive and beautiful environment that just blows Oblivions combat and graphics out of the water. But people-wise and quest-wise there is no substance.

In Oblivion if you want to work your way up the fighter’s guild you have to try your best, only to find that you made a mistake and now your demoted. After 30-40 really interesting and meaningful quests you will finally find yourself at the top of the fighter’s guild.

In Skyrim’s fighter guild (The Companions), after a couple of quests (less than one days worth of time) they will initiate you into their inner circle. It just doesn’t make sense, you just show up and they immediately equate you with members of the highest caliber.

In Oblivion, the Dark Brotherhood (Assassin’s Guild) has a long and complex questline full of conspiracy and lack of trust. After working through 20-30 meaningful and interesting quests, you are finally the highest rank and essentially running the guild.

In Skyrim, the first quest makes you the chosen one of the Dark Brotherhood.

In Oblivion, the main questline is a heroic feat. You are just some guy who happened to be in the right place at the right time and worked your hardest to save the world. You aren’t chosen, you’re just awesome.

In Skyrim, you are the chosen one. You can absorb dragon souls, you are destined to slay the dragons. There isn’t a choice, you are just the way you are.

If you are creating an open-world role playing game, well written story can go a long way to make you feel immersed and make your achievements feel more meaningful.

All in all, I don’t think Skyrim is a bad game, just that in comparison to Oblivion it is inferior. It is like comparing platinum to gold. If somebody gave me the option of having a pound of platinum or a pound of gold I would obviously pick the platinum. If I didn’t have an option and they handed me gold, I wouldn’t be complaining.
Turns out this analogy is bad, platinum is now cheaper than gold, I’m behind the times.

Banjo and Kazooie: Race to the Death

Have you ever heard of Banjo and Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts?

If you haven’t I’ll start from the beginning. Banjo and Kazooie was a 3d platformer released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998. It was quirky, it was funny, it was well designed, had a rich environment, and most importantly it was loads of fun. The developers at Rare decided to make a sequel on the N64 in 2000… and it was another smash hit. It had more exploration, more story, more platforming, more quirkiness, and most importantly another great load of fun.

Move forward to 2008, Microsoft publishes Rare’s 3rd game in the series on the XBOX360. It comes out completely monstrous. This. Isn’t. Banjo. And. Kazooie. Instead of a fun platforming game that the series was known to be Rare delivered a car building game. There was outrage among the Banjo and Kazooie fans. Safe to say when I played it I was a little more than disappointed.

But then I grew up and when I got into college I played the game again, and I’ll admit, I realized how great of a game it is. The car building mechanics are great, the story is hilarious, the missions and objectives are challenging, and the thing I forgot about when I first played it, I had lots of fun.

I’m not a professional critic (whatever that means) but unlike all the reviews it gets from the Banjo and Kazooie fans, I would rate Banjo and Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts a solid 8-9/10. It isn’t Banjo and Kazooie, and that’s the problem. This was a great game with fun and original mechanics that were never seen before in a game.

It isn’t Banjo and Kazooie, and that’s the problem.

Nowadays gamers everywhere look for games with new and interesting mechanics. I would argue that the build and drive system of BK:NB is refreshing and amazing, and it makes the game unlike anything else, something entirely original. Except it has one thing holding it back. They decided to put the name Banjo and Kazooie on it.

This game is unlike every other game in the series and doesn’t belong in it, but they gave it the IP. Microsoft probably did so to promote sales, knowing that there was already a large fanbase that was excited to get there hands on the next Banjo and Kazooie (if it were to ever be released).

And by giving it the name they won. Not to be anecdotal here, but I wouldn’t have bought a car building game on my own, no matter how great it sounded. But the moment I heard Banjo and Kazooie, I said to myself, “Self, we are going to get that game.” And young me, playing that game hoping for the Banjo and Kazooie’s of my childhood, was disappointed. I wasn’t the only one too.

To reiterate though, I now love this game. It is easily one of the best gaming experiences I have ever had.

Ever since my replay of that game, I have tried analyzing the things I watch and the games I play more objectively. It is easy to get caught up in pointing out the inconsistencies in a series or a remake and forget about what it is all about. The point of any entertainment is to be entertaining. Media created for the sole purpose of entertainment is first and foremost entertainment, and then it is art.

Banjo and Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts is a video game designed for the sole purpose of entertainment. I would argue that Nuts and Bolts as well as any other game in the Banjo and Kazooie series is art as well and should thus be criticized accordingly, but only after objectively answering the subjective question,”Was this game fun?”

This brings me to current and tantalizing topic of today:
Was the Deathnote live-action movie terrible?

A lot of Netflix reviews seem to think so, but I’m reluctant to say so.

To give some backstory. Deathnote is a well-praised anime that begs the question, “Is it alright to be judge, jury, and executioner if you have good intentions?” The main character Light Yagami, a highly intelligent Japanese high-schooler with good intentions, gets his hand on a notebook that can kill anyone with the wave of a pen. Upon receiving this he decides to rid the world of the trash, and what ensues is a mental cat and mouse chase with the world’s best detective.

Most would say that it is art and philosophy, and I would definitely agree. First and foremost though, it is very entertaining to watch. The show has good meaningful plot, great character development, and an interesting original story. Beyond this, being an anime it is a direct adaption of the manga (Japanese graphic novels). And although the manga has loads of content, the anime varies only slightly from it. And this is where the problem is.

My belief is that the Deathnote live-action movie was mismarketed. Some of the fans of Deathnote believed they were going to get an hour and thirty minute live action adaption of a 37 episode anime. This would be like hearing that the Banjo and Kazooie series that you knew from your childhood is getting a third installment, and so you rush to Gamestop and put down a pre-order for it.

Now you know where I am going with this.

I saw the Deathnote live-action movie and I would rate it a solid 7-8/10. It was an entertaining action movie, that’s all I got to say. The movie varied so much from the anime and the manga that there is no way the producers sat in a room and thought they were making a scene for scene adaption. What they knew they were making was an American action movie adaption with heavy Deathnote themes. And that is where the ultimate problem is. It isn’t Deathnote.

I could write another entire blog post pointing out all the inconsistencies, but I will just have to give the brass tacks that supports my theory. The movie is now set in America, instead of Japan. The main character is a social misfit, rather than an upstanding member of society. They added an entire subplot where the main character gets a girlfriend who helps him. The kid is named Light Turner instead of Light Yagami (this goes back to being set in America).

there is no way the producers sat in a room and thought they were making a scene for scene adaption

And because of all this, I can’t and won’t judge it on the grounds of being an adaption of the art piece everyone knows and loves, I am going to judge it on the grounds of being an American action movie. To tell you the truth, my standards are pretty low for American action movies, and as far as those go, Deathnote, with it’s original (in comparison to other action movies) and dark elements make for an interesting and entertaining watch.

All my point really is, is that it doesn’t seem fair to judge media based off it’s predecessors, without first assessing the present media for what it is.

In order, the way I review anything that is meant for entertainment purposes is by first asking the question, “was I entertained?”
From there I might ask more questions, but those would be based off the context of the situation. Stuff like:
“What did they say this media would be?”
“Did they purposely deceive me?”
“Is it supposed to be an adaption, a sequel, or a fresh concept?”

By asking contextual questions after, you can more objectively assess if you wasted your time or truly enjoyed the entertainment for what it is and not what it was or could be.

This is not a lifestyle blog.