Friday, March 4, 2011

The Doctor Who Podcast, A Healthcare Rant, Wizard's Keep & Soul  


TV: If you’re a Doctor Who fan, then you may find the most recent GameCritics podcast to be of interest. We put aside discussion of videogames for an episode and spend the duration talking about everyone's favorite TARDIS traveler, post-reboot.

Regular cast members Tim and myself are joined by special guests Kimberly Unger of Bushi-Go and Big Red Potion's Sinan Kubba. Won't you join us?


Politics: I try not to talk about politics too much here at the blog, but today was one of those days when I'm just too dissatisfied with the way our society is set up.

The issue on my mind is healthcare, or more specifically, health insurance. I mean, just look at that phrase for a moment… health insurance.


What is insurance, really?

It's paying someone money as a way of protecting yourself from an event that you hope will never happen. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes… it's entirely possible to go your entire life without ever having a severe weather event flatten your house, and I know several people who have never, ever been in an automobile accident. In situations like these, the concept of insurance makes sense.

Applying the concept to a person's health? It makes no sense at all.

People get sick. It's just a fact of life. I've never met anyone who had never been sick, or who had never, ever needed medical care of any kind. Taking a step further, I've never met anyone who will not die at one point or another. The fact that we even have health "insurance" in this country is proof that we've gone too far in the wrong direction.

(At this point I'm taking a deep breath and grinding my teeth.)

I could go on and on about this and I know it's not as literal as I'm making it out here, but I'll just keep it short and say that health care should be a top priority of our country. The US is one of the richest nations in the world, and depriving people of doctors and medicine because they can't afford health insurance is an atrocity. It makes me more than a little sick that our society has failed to get rid of the current profit-based systems we currently have, and the fierce resistance to change in this country is infinitely depressing.


Games: I'm kind of in a holding pattern at the moment. Dragon Age 2 comes out pretty soon, and I have intentions of reviewing De Blob 2, although I haven't actually started it yet since the copy hasn't arrived at the GameCritics West offices.

With two reviews about to start soon, it would be pretty silly to begin anything substantial, so I've been plinking away at Monster Hunter Freedom Unite and slowly working my way towards G-rank -- the highest-difficulty quests in the game. It's slow going since I don't have anyone to go on a hunt with at the moment, but progress is being made.

Otherwise, I've been looking at some of the XBLI demos sitting on my hard drive. At last count, I've got something like three hundred that need my attention, so this is going to be a bit of a process.

Wizard's Keep - XBLI
The first one I checked out was Wizard’s Keep, put out by the folks that created Miner Dig Deep. It's basically a dungeon-crawler with very primitive graphics and a simple level-up system. I put a few hours into it hoping that it would blossom, but no dice. It was as straightforward as it initially appeared to be. I might not have minded shooting through the game just to say that I did, but the combat was too frequent and too annoying to put up with.

Soul - XBLI
The next that caught my attention was Soul. I only put a few minutes into it, but I really liked what I saw and bought it on the spot. Essentially, the player is a soul represented as a glowing ball of energy. The object is to navigate the soul through various obstacles without touching anything, but this is made complicated by enemies that pop out of nowhere and levels that are tricky to traverse. There's also a very strong Horror vibe running through it thanks to the high-quality artwork and some creepy touches like unexpected jump-scares.

I'll be putting some more time into this one, for sure.


What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories