My top ten funniest video game moments

So….I JUST started playing video games on the PS4. When I was younger, my parents refused to let me play video games (they made me play outside and read books instead), and as much as I appreciate their good parenting I feel like I have slightly missed out. Now that I am an adult, I can do whatever I want with my playstation so I decided why not play games and see what all the fuss is about. It has definitely been a very entertaining journey full of dramatic failures and lots of judgement from the 6th graders I babysit on the weekends. So here are my top ten video game fails.

  1. While playing Alien Isolation I was crawling around in the vents, minding my own business and not paying attention to anything. As I was crawling, I heard a sound and it was then I realized that THE ALIEN CAN CRAWL IN THE VENTS TOO. It turned the corner and we just kinda stared at each other for a split second. It was probably thinking “what kind of dumbass would crawl around in the vents when it knows I the Magiestic Alien uses them as a way to travel around the ship?”.I then tried to escape, but I hit a random button on my control and I accidentally threw the noisemaker I was carrying at it. The noisemaker hit the Alien square in the nose. Then it screeched and ate my face off.

Here is a picture:

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2. Another Alien Isolation moment, I was struggling at a segment where I had to kill off about 6 humans, then escape in the access elevator to go to the next level. I had just about had it, and was about to give up when I realized that I had a EMP mine bomb stored away. Those are the ones that produce a spout of electricity, very useful for disabling Working Joes, and I decided to find out if it worked just as well on people.  So, first I when up to one of those access controls and turned off the air ventilation so it was nice and steamy, then i crawled my way up to where all 6 of the humans were, guarding the elevator. I threw the bomb, and it went off. The humans were kinda like “WTF was that?!”, and then I snuck in and hit the elevator button as it was going off. As I was waiting, the Alien decided to show it. It attacked one of the humans, and I–in a deluded panic–turned on my flamethrower and did a 360. Successfully killing the already electrified humans with fire, scaring the Alien off and hoping into the elevator.  It wasn’t the most elegant way to escape, but it worked.

3. I was playing Just Cause 3 with my friends, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to learn how to fly. I would fly up, plummet down, then fly up again, all in the same time avoiding trees, rocks and water. It was during this crazy falling flight that I managed to take out an entire base by accidentally dropping a bomb on in while in mid flight. Sometimes pushing random buttons works!

4. I was playing the Witcher 3, and through a series of random events managed to make Geralt run naked through the town. The townsfolks totally noticed, and I got lots of “Oh my!” and even a “Put on your pants, good sir”. I also caught a chicken on fire, picked a whole bunch of wild flowers and killed one of those swamp monsters. All while naked.

5. During the Last of Us, it took me 30 minutes to walk across a plank. I kept falling and dying. Oh man, if those characters could talk they would be like “what an idiot”. One time I punched the air, and then fell.

6. Another time in Alien Isolation, I was in the Psych Ward, playing the level where you have to go through six different rooms to turn off the something or another to get the med kit (or something like that). While I was poking around in one of the rooms, I found a button and the game prompted me to push it. Thinking it was the way to turn on the generator (or whatever), I pushed it without a second thought. It made the toilet flush. The Alien heard the flush, came into the room and ate my face. Thanks a lot, toilet.

7. While playing Grand Theft Auto,  outran an entire an entire force squad on a pogo stick.

8. In Second Life, I one time programmed my avatar to become a Xenomorph, and I dressed him in a tie and top hat. Then I proceeded to go to Newbie Island where I sat on one of the lawn chairs and casually sipped a margarita while screeching at the newbies. It was quite a spectacle and I’m sure it confused a lot of people. I also took him to the dance club and made him dance. I named him Paul.

9. Another time in Second Life, I had one of those virtual cats that required real time care (like changing the litter box, being fed treats and so on). So, I fed my kitty, changed the littler box and then proceeded to dress in one of my clubbing outfits. When I got to the club, someone came up to me and we started chatting. A little while later he asked what was in my hand. I looked at my avatar and realized that I had been carrying a can of cat food with me the entire time. In my fancy formal dress. I told him it was cat food and he was like, “okay…..gotta go”. Not the strangest thing that has ever happened in Second Life, but it definitely made me laugh.

10. While playing Star Wars: Battlefront I managed to throw myself not once, but twice into the Sarlacc Pit. In a row.

 

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Top Ten Scariest Video Games Ever Made

1) Dreadhalls

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This is one of the few horror games created for the Occulus rift. It was so scary that it made Markiplier cry, which is why it is on the list. Featuring spooky dark hallways and extremely heavy on jumpscares, this game takes you through an abandoned creepy basement maze with threats lingering around every corner. Definitely not for the faint of heart!

2) Silent Hills

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Created by horror writer Keiichiro Toyama, this is first person horror set in a fictitious american town. This series is influence by psychological horror, and really immerses the player in the game. The first one made for the Playstation follows Harry Mason as he searches for his missing daughter in the abandoned town of Silent Hill (or is it abandoned….). He encounters a freakish demonic cult, and must survive long enough to find the whereabouts of his daughter.

3) Dying Light

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This is another open world, first person zombie shooter game. It is equally, if not more disturbing than Dead Island. It was developed by Polish video game developer Techland, and was published by Warner Bros. Just released this year for the playstation 4, it features a zombie infested, open world quests that have a dynamic day and night cycle.

4) Dead Island

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This is an open world, first person zombie shooter game. Zombie games are creepy in general, but I found this one particularly scary because it was in first person. The zombies are very gory, and there are a few really good jumpscares. I was super excited about the new one, the trailer was really cool! But unfortunately I think it was canceled. Sigh. 

5) Static Speaks My Name

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Yes, I heard about this one through Markiplier. I watched him play it, then went and played it myself. This game is heavy, and disturbing. It made me feel kinda grimy at the end, but I think that was it’s purpose. It’s an education game created by a group of psychologists that wants to put you in the mind set of a person who is suicidal.Go play it for yourself and see, but use caution because it may contain triggering material for some people.

6) The Last of Us

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Probably one of the most beautiful games in 2014, this game takes place 20 years after the zombie apocalypse, which was caused by the outbreak of spores. This is another third person shooter game and you play Joel, a cynical man who has been tasked with the burden of escorting a 13 year old girl across the country to a safe house in Utah. The zombies in this game are not ordinary zombies and they are terrifying. Because the outbreak was caused by spores, the zombies who have been around long enough turn into “Clickers”. Clickers are incredibly hard to kill, and they have mushrooms growing out of their heads. So scary!

7) Dead Space

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In this third person shooter horror game you play Isaac Clarke, a ship systems engineer who just happens to be on the space ship when everything goes to hell. An Alien outbreak turns people who are bitten into zombies. This game is also super heavy on the jumpscares, and much like Alien:Isolation, it has an overhanging sense of desolation throughout the entire gameplay.

8) Evil Within

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In this third person horror survival game, you play police detective Sebastian Castellanos, who is investigating a murder an an abandoned insane asylum. You go through the levels trying to solve the murder mystery while being stalked/attacked by a variety of evil forces, including a creepy spider witch, a meat cleaver wielding pyscho and a hallway filled with broken dolls. This game is heavy on the jumpscares, and ick factor, which is why it made this list.

9) 5 Nights at Freddy’s

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You play a security guard who has the night shift at Freddy’s, an old super spooky pizza restaurant in this survival/horror point and click game. Seems easy, right? Nope, because Freddy’s is haunted by these evil anamtronic teddy bears that want to kill you. You use the security cameras to track the bears throughout the restaurant, and try to keep them out of your office by closing the doors. Each night is more difficult that the previous. How long can you survive?

10) Alien: Isolation

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You play as Amanda Ripley, (Ellen Ripley’s daughter) as you try to find your way through the dilapidated maze that is the Sevastapol space station. Sevastapol has been abandoned, and is slowly falling apart. Your task is to go onto the station, find the recorder that has the original Nostromo pilot logs, and then get back to your own ship. Easier said than done. Not only are there hostel survivors, murderous androids and malfunctioning spaceware, but there also is an extremely grumpy xenomorph that has a grudge against you. It’s like playing hide and seek with a violent alien that wants to kill you.

 

Top Ten Tips for Surviving Alien:Isolation

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Alien Isolation is a challenging game…

I love playing Alien Isolation, but I have to say that it is not an easy game to play. Especially for someone who just started playing PS4 games—I figured if I could conquer this game, I can conquer them all. I am a huge fan of the Alien series, and I was super excited to start playing this game. It is simultaneously frustrating and exciting at the same time. You play as Amanda Ripley, Ellen Ripley’s daughter who has taken a mission on board the abandoned Sebastapol Space Station to find a recording of her mother. On the station, she faces murderous robots, battles the elements, faces desolate isolation and –of course– has plenty of encounters with the dreaded Xenomorph.

Here are my ten tips that I wish someone had told me before I started playing.

1) Use the Map (duh.)

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Press the touchpad to access the map.The map is your lifeline. ALWAYS update your map. It will tell you what your objective is and have a green dot that will tell you where you need to be. It also points out areas of interest, where the save stations are (AI uses manual save stations to save your progress, so always save!), and it tells you which doors are locked or blocked.

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It also shows you where the vents lead. The vents can be useful, but always use with caution because the Alien can crawl in them too!

2) The Tracker is Your New Best Friend

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When you get the tracker, you can use it to avoid detection from the Alien.
The tracker is the 2nd most important thing you need. It not only helps you avoid the alien, but it will also make a bleep noise whenever you pass something you can collect, are next to a save station, next to a wall modem (to turn off the lights/speakers/air systems), and it also beeps when it detects something up ahead.  It also has a tracker line that tells you if you are heading in the right direction of the objective. On the harder levels, the tracker is less accurate and on Nightmare Mode, it is wonky and unreliable.

3) Hiding in the Lockers is a BAD Idea

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They may look like a great hiding spot, but they really are a trap. Getting out of them creates noise, which attracts the alien. Plus, the alien will hear you breathing in the lockers. If an android sees you pop into one, it knows you are there and will pull you out of it, no matter how quiet you are. It’s better to hide under desks or craft to make a noisemaker to distract it.

4. Do Not Kill the Working Joes or Humans unless they are Violent.

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If you kill an innocent human, the game will boot  you and you’ll have to start over. Some Working Joes are not programmed to kill people yet, but if you do attempt to kill them, then they will become murderous. You tell if they are in Murder Mode by their eyes: if the a red, you are dead, if they are blue you are…not stuck in glue? A poo? Anyway, they are just doing their own Working Joe thing when they are blue eyed, so it’s best to just leave them alone.  It is better to run from them because killing them is very difficult and noisy. it will attract unwanted attention. Use the BOLT GUN to kill them later on in the game with one shot.

5.Read All the Files on the Terminals

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The computer databases contain vital information, so read them all. There is also a few sub stories, tracking different people who lived on the station before it was abandoned. Little by little you find out what exactly happened. These databases also contain information on  where important items are, key codes, and passwords. I was stuck on a level for 2 hours before I realized that the answer was in the database. Always check them!

6. Flairs Work Just as well as Flashlights

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They last longer than flashlights and don’t require batteries. You can also throw them ahead of you in dark tunnels/passageways to see ahead. Also, if you light one and throw it on the ground near a Working Joe, it will stare at it until it goes out, giving you a distraction for escape.

7) Use the access modems to rewire the system

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This works especially well when you are dealing with human enemies. Turn on the air filtration system and it will create smoke and dust, this worked for me with the Working Joes–even though it made it difficult for me to see. It’s a lot easier to sneak up on the humans and kill them quietly when there is fog obstructing their vision. You can also turn on the speaker system for a different room to distract the alien. It will hear the voices and head over there, leaving you to quietly go into the room you need to be in. Sometimes they control the camera and tracker systems, and sometimes they activate the air vents to open. It’s always a good idea to check them out.

8. Follow the green lights

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This is also kinda of a duh! tip. This game does not give you any guidelines on where to go, or what to do. unlike other games like Witcher or Assassins Creed, it does not give you a trail to follow. You are pretty much on your own for the majority of the game –except for the green lights. If you come across a hallway with three doors, 2 of them are marked with red lights and one is green, you are probably supposed to go into the green door.

9) CRAFT as much as possible

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There will be segments in the game where you will not have your flamethrower or automatic weapons. Craft noisemakers, and Flashbangs to distract the alien and Working Joes. The EMP Mine will disable the androids for 10-15 seconds. As you go along, collect blue prints that will show you how to make each one.

10) Do not step on the Alien’s tail and watch out for drool.

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It is deceptively long.and the alien does not appreciate being stepped on. You and the Alien have a surprisingly intimate connection throughout the entire game. It’s like you are constantly running away from an ex who wants to murder you. He (it? I called it a He, actually I named him Boris) can be very pesky at times, and sometimes I felt like I was playing a very dangerous game of hide and seek with the creature. It absolutely loves to hide in the ceiling vents on the jump down on top of you.  The Alien is different than most AI in horror games, it learns your behavior and your patterns, it stalks you and tries to trick you. Always be aware of your surroundings, and don’t trust the locker or vents!

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Alien:Isolation has been one of the most challenging, but also the most entertain game I have ever played. It is beautifully simple, yet complex at the same time. It pays homage to the originally Alien by creating the same suffocating, isolating atmosphere (and by having the dippy birds in almost all the rooms). I am definitely looking forward to playing it again and again!

The World’s End: An Anthropologist’s Review

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The movies starts out as a grainy, super 8 quality fashback of 1990; Twenty years ago, Gary King and his friends Andy, Steven, Peter and Oliver, embarked on an epic pub crawl called the Golden Mile, consisting of 12 pubs, in their sleepy hometown of Newton Haven. However, they didn’t make it to the end. Now, Andy, Steven, Peter and Oliver are mature, responsible adults with lives, jobs and families. Gary, on the other hand, is stuck in the 1990’s, trying to relive his teenage years. He dresses the same as he did 20 years ago, acts on impulses and avoids modern technology like the plague. He hasn’t seen any of his friends in years, and his relationship with Andy has become particularly strained, thanks to an “accident” that nobody wants to talk about. Gary tracks down his four old friends and coerces them to go with him to Newton Haven and finally complete the Golden Mile. However, they realize that Newton Haven has changed. They find that it’s been taken over by robot-like aliens whom Steven decides to call “Blanks”, who have replaced most of the townspeople. The Blanks want to enforce conformity throughout the town, and will eliminate anyone considered to be different or harmful to society- and they’re after Gary and his friends. Gary and his friends have to complete the pub crawl while fighting off an army of Blanks. It’s really clever with lots of excellent twists and an absolutely epic climax. The World’s End manages to give us strong character development, fantastic action and terrific humor.

Gary King, A Complex Character

Simon Pegg was spectacular as the main character, Gary King. A man who has fallen out of the social norm, who’s social role isn’t acceptable anymore to his society. He’s stuck in the past, he goes and gathers his friends up to make the golden mile so he can feel how he did all those years ago; so he can feel like Gary King once more. He just wants to feel human again an he longs to let go of everything that’s wrong with his life. He acts like this arrogant man, that ‘loves’ himself so nobody else has to. Because he knows that no one really does anymore. He gave up his thrown all those years ago. So for that one night, he goes and sits back on his throne. For that one night, he is once again The King. He is stuck in the past because he has fallen out of the mechanical solidarity of society. He has decided he would rather opt out, than conform to the Norm. This one decision lead to his own self destruction.

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The theory begins here…

The reason he is unhappy is because he has not participated in the smoothly functioning system of his society. Unlike the other characters, Gary isn’t married, he has no kids and no job. He is the odd one out. Why is he like this? He must have been exposed to an unhealthy socialization at a young age. It’s hard to tell with the current script, but maybe a deleted scene on the DVD will cover his history more. In my opinion, I think it was the lack of a positive male role model in his life as he grew up. He only mentions his mum in the movie, maybe his dad left at a young age? Or Maybe he drank too much, or had an affair, or beat his kids. Gary seems stuck in the past, but only in the past he created for himself in high school. he was The King in school but who knows what he was at home. Maybe the past caught up with him, which is why he seems so fixated on the one good time he had growing up. This ultimately leads to his attempted suicide. His character reflects a prolonged sense of not belonging, of not being integrated in a community, an experience, and not having a tether.

What really got me was the big reveal in the end, where we realize that he had tried and failed to end his life, Gary’s attempt was the result of a weakening of the bonds that normally integrate individuals into the collectivity: in other words a breakdown or decrease of social integration. this type of suicide is the result of “excessive individuation”, meaning that the individual becomes increasingly detached from other members of his community. Gary lost contact with all of his friends after high school, with the exception of Andy, who tried to “save” him but ultimately failed. Gary completely detaches himself from normal society and spirals out of control until he is no longer functional. The scene that tugged on my heartstrings the most was when Gary was wearing the “out of order” sign. A human out of order.

Suicide and Durkheim

Those individuals who were not sufficiently bound to social groups (and therefore well-defined values, traditions, norms, and goals) were left with little social support or guidance, and therefore tended to commit suicide on an increased basis. Durkheim discovered that of unmarried people, particularly males, who, with less to bind and connect them to stable social norms and goals, committed suicide at higher rates than married people. Gary is a prime example of this; you can see it, even in the clothes he is wearing. While the other four men wear suits and ties, Gary is seen wearing all black. He sticks out from the group, a rebel that is unattached to the acceptable social norms. Even though individualism is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle, it is essential to maintain a social role that smoothly functions in society’s system. Gary is the exception because he choice to make bad decisions, he drank, used drugs and isolated himself from everything that he loved. The only thing that kept him afloat was that one failed attempt of the Golden Mile when he was 18 years old.

What Does this Film Teach Us?

So, what does this film teach us? Many things, some of them good, some of them bad and some of them ugly. It teaches us about the value of camaraderie, of sticking together no matter what. Amid the raucous comedy, heavy drinking, and (cartoonish) violence is the underlying message that friendship will see you through even the very worst situations. It teaches us to let go of the past, and that nothing good comes out of drinking 12 pints of beer in one night. But, it also addresses the battle of trying to conform to society’s exceptions while still trying to maintain a sense of individualism. Where is this line? To abide by social norms, you are merely a Blank, a duplicate of everyone else in your life but if you rebel against everything you are an outcast. It is a fine line to tread and I think this film addresses this dilemma perfectly. Gary strayed too far from the line, he isolated himself completely . While Andy, Peter and the rest got jobs, wives, houses and met society;s expectations of what is considered “normal” and “successful”. You have to find the perfect mix. Everyone had those Gary King moments, where they feel like they have lept so far off the deep end that they have nothing left. The key is to always, always keep trying. To keep fighting for what you think is right. To not give up, like Gary did, to not submit to the loneliness. I thought Andy’s character was very inspiring, his line at the end “but I always kept fighting, and I will keep fighting to the very end” shows a lot of courage. He made it through because he kept strong and he didn’t give up.

All in all, I found “The World’s End” a compelling, multi-leveled comedy that had good, well developed characters, witty dialogue and fantastic aliens. It’s irreverent and unpredictable, which makes it enjoyable, but its edgy content made it a surprisingly dark, but non-the-less hilarious comedy that is truly enjoyable for both the sci-fi and slapstick comedy movie fans alike.