Hey! Thanks for reading! Just a reminder that I wrote this some years ago, and may have much more complicated feelings about this topic than I did when I wrote it. Happy to elaborate, feel free to reach out to me! 😄
🎵 The song for this post is La Negra Tiene Tumbao, by Celia Cruz. 🎵
I never played "Adventure games" when they were really a thing, and doubt most people in my generation even know what they refer to: for a genre called "Adventure," it's oddly passive! Point-and-click "stories" where you track inventory, get clues from dialogue, and make liberal use strange objects to solve puzzles. The ur-game of this is Myst, which I suppose everybody played, but others that get a lot of love are Monkey Island, Dragon Quest, and Grim Fandango.
I found this very old rant from 2001 which is cute in "Old Internet" sort of way (I love how much more durable these sites are than almost all fashionable web content; this is very much the "Space Jam Website" vibe), but I also found it cathartic after feeling like a small-brain failing at Grim Fandango when I tried it a few years ago. I think I'm reasonably clever! I think I'm pretty good at video games! And yet while I loved Manny Calavera and the dialogue and the setting, I remember breaking down and reading an FAQ and being like "okay lol I never would have done that shit."
Adventure games, like my teenage explorations in anime or nerdcore, were always something I wanted to like more than I ever did organically. I might be alone in this, but I think a lot of hobbies come from wanting group membership more than what the hobby entails. In a lot of cases, I knew I liked video games and wanted to meet people in neighboring hobbies, but they never really stuck. Ditto musical theatre.
If it's not about community, it can also be cachet: it's like those guys in sweater vests who carry tomes of the Great Western Canon, and you're like I think you're really enjoying performing this character; I also don't think you know how hard you're playing it. That happens all the time in programming too, and I'm aware of doing it when I talk about being grumpy and using email-only on sr.ht and things like that. Hard to find the line between performing it and what you sincerely enjoy.
Adventure games! Yeah, I think I want the community or cachet. I'd like to be the kind of creative and curious weirdo who thinks to themselves "right! If I open the jar with a bee in the dining room, it'll enter the gears of the grandfather clock and make the cuckoo bird come out, waking the guy from sleeping! Of course!!" and seem to get a life experience out of it. But I don't think I'm that guy!
This speedrun was fun to watch though, and did get me curious to play the Zork series:
Also, a great longread on Myst. I did play it (with not one, but two strategy guides!) and followed games media; it was a pretty interesting thing to witness.
I've been blogging on-and-off since 2005:
2005 was when I had a LiveJournal. I had a few "private" posts but changed the password to share it with a friend so she could see them. Now I have no idea what that password is, so absent web scraping, I'm not getting those posts in here 😛
2007-2010 saw me FTPing files to a hosting service, running WordPress. My card expired and my host's warning email got spam collected, so they unceremoniously took down the whole thing. A few cringey posts are in the Internet Archive.
I moved to Blogspot, but successfully exported those into here. And from 2010-2017 there was a lot more "off" than "on" while I was going through the highly depressed tornado of my 20s.
So here's a link to a very early post in the "trying to get back into it" phase
in 2017, on Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I think the observations hold up,
and tonight, New Horizons launches. Unless they bungle it like Pocket
Camp, this is just what we need in a pandemic lockdown. Animal Crossing is
so damn soothing and wholesome, and such a delight to share with people. My
friend code is
SW-0499-8526-0009, send me yours, and come visit!
Also, if you haven't caught the crossovers with the Doom community, give it a look, they're delightful!
Thanks for the read! Disagreed? Violent agreement!? Feel free to join my mailing list, drop me a line at , or leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you 😄