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August 16th, 2013

In Which Some Rambling Is Done

A lot of stuff has happened this week and is continuing to happen; not that you'd know it from reading this journal, of course, because I have been too busy doing stuff to post about it. But I'm attempting to rectify that now.

Let's do the good stuff first! As you may or may not know, laurie_robey's birthday is in just a few days, and to that end, we splurged a bit and got her a new camera. Photography is one of those things that she just really loves, and while her previous camera was very nice as a "digital point-and-shoot," it really wasn't beefy enough for someone serious about getting good pictures, so we got her a very snazzy Nikon DSLR. As for her previous camera, I was thinking I might claim it for taking pics of my art at cons or such, when the phone camera just doesn't quite cut the mustard.

Other than that, life has mostly consisted of being at work, or continuing to pack/prep the house for selling at home. When I've reached the end of my productivity on both of those, I've mostly been puttering around in World of Warcraft, about which I'm still conflicted. My reasons for being conflicted can probably best be summed up like so:

Which is more unbelievable? You make the call.

LotRO is just about the best MMO you could possibly make set in Middle-earth; it (mostly) respects and draws from the lore, and with the various character customization and social options it's quite possible to feel like you've "stepped into" M-E and made your virtual home there. The downside of that is when you're in the mood for something a little more "fantastical" in your fantasy, there's no place in LotRO for it. That's exactly as it should be. Putting flying mounts and Discworld-esque puns into LotRO would destroy everything good about it. But that's just one flavor of fantasy, and sometimes one craves variety.

On the other hand, I really like my night elf huntress in WoW with her saber-toothed tiger pet-- except for her stripper dance and her tendency to do "boob-jumping jacks" when she's bored. -.-

WoW has a dudebro problem. Or perhaps I should say, I have a problem with WoW's dudebro sympathies. WoW is like the "Big Bang Theory" of MMOs [1]. "Humans" are all of white European extraction (the darkest they come is a sort of almond color), males are generally huge and muscular, women are generally Barbie-shaped and wearing skimpier versions of any given armor set. (I should note that it's not all like that-- the recently-added Pandaren all tend towards the tubby and cute, and there are non-slinky outfits to be found. But "men are from muscle, women are from Hustler" is where WoW goes by default.) And of course, don't get me started on the worst-crap-from-the-locker-room bile spilling out of the general chat channels.

So there's a lot of wheat-from-chaff separating that has to be done before I can enjoy WoW. Finding a good guild (c/o sirfox) and turning off the general chat have helped quite a bit. But it's still disheartening: what I want is a game with LotRO's graphics quality, cosmetic options, and mature user base, set in a high-fantasy world with wizard schools, airships, and blunderbusses (blunderbusi?).

And yes, I'm aware of the contradiction involved in my decrying skimpy-outfits-by-default when I tend to like playing characters who are very decorative glass cannons. The only defense I have there is that my desire to be decorative is not because I want to ogle my avatar's backside, but because I am an aesthetic at heart and will never actually be decorative in real life.

-The Gneech

[1] i.e., co-opting geeks and geek culture to sell the same old entitled and sexist crap to the same old entitled and sexist people.

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