XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Strategy Game - Developed by Firaxis

I'm also in the Easy camp. On pretty much any game. Hard? Ain't nobody got time for that!

I named all my soldiers after the crew from Battlestar Galactica, because Nerds. The game nicknamed Saul Tigh "Mad Man." I didn't change it.

duckilama wrote:

Hard? Ain't nobody got time for that!

Preach it.

wordsmythe wrote:
duckilama wrote:

Hard? Ain't nobody got time for that!

Preach it.

I'm sure there's a funny OOCT here but I'm not quite getting there...

Duoae wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
duckilama wrote:

Hard? Ain't nobody got time for that!

Preach it.

I'm sure there's a funny OOCT here but I'm not quite getting there...

IMAGE(http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8um5czsa51qawgya.gif)

wordsmythe wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:

* Now I'm imagining this Lacanian interpretation of gaming culture. I'm going to close my laptop.

No! Don't! Write it up and send it to me.

Well, I've been rereading some Zizek the last few days. And I got to thinking about how games not only often depict characters that are part-machine or post-human (or more precisely, post-"natural") in some way (Crysis, Mass Effect 2 both come to mind immediately, but there are many others) and ask us to identify with them, as we stare at these glass screens. But then the "subjects" on those screens are themselves completely machined--they are bits of computer code. So as I play a game in which I am asked to identify myself with this Subject, the process itself closes off the possibility of any sort of actual identification. Secondly, how many of these games in turn (again, Crysis and Mass Effect come to mind) ask us to immerse ourselves in the resolution of some "devolving" relationship between an organic or natural humanity and a machined world even as we must separate ourselves from any natural inputs in order to experience that game properly. Meaning, alone, in silence, no natural lights, preferably (or stereotypically) surrounded by the most artificial foods imaginable. And we haven't yet touched on what might be the most interesting dynamic: These games most often ask us to play as the most machine-like humans, who live and (literally, again and again) die for their profession (most often as ubermensch/uberdame), while playing well both demands that we professionalize our hobby at the risk of undermining our own real-world (now there's a loaded term) professionalism. Just look at the game this thread is for. X-Com is a great example of a game that expects to be practiced and practiced until one is "ready to play it for real." Possibly, in both of these situations, the games are themselves the conflicts they stage. We as gamers are always-already machined.

All very half-assed, but a few preparatory thoughts.

And now I want to point out the need to problematize the unexamined assumptions I have made about so-called "natural" light, food, conversation, etc.

OM OM NOM I EAT IT UP

I might argue that the "devolving relationship" is more a revealed power conflict—a symbiosis gone sour. What appeared to be a companion-species relationship being violently shifted out of a humanist/anthropocentrist view to reveal some sort of ... frenemy? I want to say it's an opposition, but 1) that'd be pretty structuralist of me, and 2) it's pretty clearly not that simple (the techno-enemy wants to help but communicates that desire in a way that isn't intuitive from a human viewpoint, or they see us as only existing as a subservient species for its needs, as a reversal of how humans treat a number of domesticated species, etc.).

Anyway, I want to read this thing, and I'd seriously consider Front Paging it, if you're willing to try spelling out the academic shorthand for a broader audience.

Now I'm imagining close readings of the openings of Crysis 3 and Mass Effect 2. Goddammit Wordsmythe.

wordsmythe wrote:

OM OM NOM I EAT IT UP

I might argue that the "devolving relationship" is more a revealed power conflict—a symbiosis gone sour. What appeared to be a companion-species relationship being violently shifted out of a humanist/anthropocentrist view to reveal some sort of ... frenemy? I want to say it's an opposition, but 1) that'd be pretty structuralist of me, and 2) it's pretty clearly not that simple (the techno-enemy wants to help but communicates that desire in a way that isn't intuitive from a human viewpoint, or they see us as only existing as a subservient species for its needs, as a reversal of how humans treat a number of domesticated species

This is why writers get drunk all the time, isn't it

Mex wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

OM OM NOM I EAT IT UP

I might argue that the "devolving relationship" is more a revealed power conflict—a symbiosis gone sour. What appeared to be a companion-species relationship being violently shifted out of a humanist/anthropocentrist view to reveal some sort of ... frenemy? I want to say it's an opposition, but 1) that'd be pretty structuralist of me, and 2) it's pretty clearly not that simple (the techno-enemy wants to help but communicates that desire in a way that isn't intuitive from a human viewpoint, or they see us as only existing as a subservient species for its needs, as a reversal of how humans treat a number of domesticated species

This is why writers get drunk all the time, isn't it

True story: a lot of academics and writers drink in part to slow our minds down.

I always thought it was so we could experience the happiness afforded by stupidity and ignorance?

6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

Have you seen Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Nope. Had to google it. The only anime-type thing I've ever seen was Akira, and had no interest in it. The only reason I went to see Pacfiic Rim was really because of my love for The Wire and Sons of Anarchy. Also I liked Hellboy a lot, or at least I liked the vibe it went for.

wordsmythe wrote:

6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

I just saw Pacific Rim, which has a whole lot in common with what we have been talking about in this thread. There are giant organic monsters (that are birthed out of Gaia itself!), and to defeat them we have to build giant machines shaped like people for some reason, but don't worry! because there are people inside the machines, but plot twist! it turns out that the exemplar of the man inside the machine is empty inside, himself.

Edit: So basically Pacific Rim is just like Crysis, except the robot suit is a lot bigger.

wordsmythe wrote:

Have you seen Neon Genesis Evangelion?

This is not the kind of thing I expect a real academic to say!

Mex wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Have you seen Neon Genesis Evangelion?

This is not the kind of thing I expect a real academic to say!

Trade secret: 42% of academic scholars are still in mourning over the cancellation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Mex wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Have you seen Neon Genesis Evangelion?

This is not the kind of thing I expect a real academic to say!

CptGlanton wrote:
Mex wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Have you seen Neon Genesis Evangelion?

This is not the kind of thing I expect a real academic to say!

Trade secret: 42% of academic scholars are still in mourning over the cancellation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Yeah.

I'm not sure I've ever seen such a deep, philosophical, engaging, intriguing derailment of a forum thread in my life. Truly, a thing of beauty.

It's a shame only the xcommers are seeing this, because it's interesting stuff. Then again, if it was in some "gwjers with thinking caps" thread, I'd have missed it.

Carry on!

CaptGlanton wrote:

Well, I've been rereading some Zizek the last few days. And I got to thinking about how games not only often depict characters that are part-machine or post-human (or more precisely, post-"natural") in some way (Crysis, Mass Effect 2 both come to mind immediately, but there are many others) and ask us to identify with them, as we stare at these glass screens. But then the "subjects" on those screens are themselves completely machined--they are bits of computer code. So as I play a game in which I am asked to identify myself with this Subject, the process itself closes off the possibility of any sort of actual identification. Secondly, how many of these games in turn (again, Crysis and Mass Effect come to mind) ask us to immerse ourselves in the resolution of some "devolving" relationship between an organic or natural humanity and a machined world even as we must separate ourselves from any natural inputs in order to experience that game properly. Meaning, alone, in silence, no natural lights, preferably (or stereotypically) surrounded by the most artificial foods imaginable. And we haven't yet touched on what might be the most interesting dynamic: These games most often ask us to play as the most machine-like humans, who live and (literally, again and again) die for their profession (most often as ubermensch/uberdame), while playing well both demands that we professionalize our hobby at the risk of undermining our own real-world (now there's a loaded term) professionalism. Just look at the game this thread is for. X-Com is a great example of a game that expects to be practiced and practiced until one is "ready to play it for real." Possibly, in both of these situations, the games are themselves the conflicts they stage. We as gamers are always-already machined.

Oh, please bring that into P&C someday. Please.

Bagging on Zizek is germane to any thread.

CptGlanton wrote:

The only reason I went to see Pacfiic Rim was really because of my love for The Wire and Sons of Anarchy.

Wait. What?

wordsmythe wrote:

Bagging on Zizek is germane to any thread.

Aw, I like his stuff. Even when he's wrong, he's fun. And IRL he's as wild-eyed manic as his books.

Trashie wrote:
CptGlanton wrote:

The only reason I went to see Pacfiic Rim was really because of my love for The Wire and Sons of Anarchy.

Wait. What?

Stringer Bell yelling at Jax Teller. What better way to spend a weekday afternoon?

I actually have an X-Com related post to make--I have played all the way to the last mission and loved every minute of it. But now, because I haven't been using Psi powers, I have to grind them up to play the last mission, and I really don't want to. Bleagh.

CptGlanton wrote:

I actually have an X-Com related post to make--I have played all the way to the last mission and loved every minute of it. But now, because I haven't been using Psi powers, I have to grind them up to play the last mission, and I really don't want to. Bleagh.

You haven't been using them? For shame sir! They're awesome sauce. Point at bad guy, guaranteed 5 hp gone. Also the big friendly bubble comes in handy too. Come to think of it, mind controlling Mutons is pretty damn cool too. Like I said, for shame sir!!!

It needn't take many rounds of testing to find a gifted trooper, and you only need one in psionic armour to finish the game. Plus, as Blacksabre said, psi is pretty powerful and gifted troops keep their usual skills and specialisations.

No need to grind. Just make Psi Armor and go for it. The final mission is still easy enough to finish without Psi. Psi's really just overkill. Even one powerful Mind Control soldiers edges it over into super easy on Normal.

Oh, I thought I had to max out someone's Psi skill tree. Making a Psi armor will be a lot easier.

CptGlanton wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Bagging on Zizek is germane to any thread.

Aw, I like his stuff. Even when he's wrong, he's fun. And IRL he's as wild-eyed manic as his books.

100%

CptGlanton wrote:

I actually have an X-Com related post to make

If cyber/post-humanism isn't related to X-Com, I don't know what is.