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Blog Entries posted by Ciel

  1. Ciel
    I really need to start either typing these things in Word or saving my drafts. That said, I am still typing this in the awful on-site editor. Sigh. Let me try this again. It is the end of the semester and that means many things, namely Summer. While Summer also means many things, what it means for GamePodunk is Ciel's to-do list can finally be picked at. As such expect me to once again play an active role in the community and earn my invisible dollars.
    I remember posting an update some time ago, but alas I cannot locate it. I know that things around here can get pretty bleak and as such I figured it was high time to post another blog just to keep everyone up-to-date with the goings on of GamePodunk. So what is on GP's plate for the future, then, huh? Well, I am not so certain myself! But what I do know is what I intend to bring to the table. So let us unpack this lunchbox and try to see how long it takes for me to exhaust this stupid food metaphor.
    is a nice, instrumental, song to guide you through these slightly intoxicated words.

    Now kick off your shoes, sit back, and feast on my words! And cue the obligatory anime .gif already! (People are going to start thinking this is a site for weebs--and they would be correct.)


    I have a few interviews lined up. Kind of like a buffet line--OK I was reaching with that one. I hope to have an extensive Realm Reborn interview posted by the end of the month. No, not with Square, but with those who play the game. I have asked numerous people to participate and answer questions about their experience with the game. Not boring questions either (I do not roll like that, you know that). Complete with character photos, too!
    I am also looking to continue interviewing up-and-coming gaming personalities. I do not care to interview known personalities. They do not need or quite frankly deserve the publicity. As GP is (still somehow) a growing spud, it only makes sense to help others grow as well.
    Expect one more interview this month before the Realm one. I hope I can do about one a month. I have no idea who it is yet. Time will tell. I do not really care to do video/audio interviews for a variety of reasons so please don't ask and just learn to read.
    I am currently (and newly) unemployed. That means in order to play games I will have to start reviewing them. Expect more reviews from me in the future. I look forward to doing this more often; less for the games and more for the experience. We have lost some great faces over the last year and I will try my best to fill in the blanks. Wish me luck!
    Let's Play:

    Probably starting sometime by the end of the week I will post-up my gaming library and let everyone vote on a game they want to see me play. I will then play that game via a Let's Play stream on Twitch. Uh, there might be some giveaways of sorts eventually--but not right away. I am sure by the time I get the whole thing posted I will have some incentive to get everyone to watch. Maybe I will turn it into a drinking game since I will be drinking anyway.
    I think these will still exist. I dunno. It was no secret I was pretty bothered with the showing at most of them. I will have to revamp some things. There will probably be more Twitter-based giveaways and less forum-based activities. But take this with a grain of salt. I would rather have less "Do X, Get Y" and have people come join us on Game Nights for cool prizes. Which leads me to my next point. I've got a Destiny expansion pass bundle-thing I am looking to get rid of. Hint, hint.
    Game Nights:
    We already play a lot of Smash and Mario Kart. We did play a lot of CS:GO too. Well hopefully soon people that participate will stand a chance to win a prize or two! I also want to add more games to those we frequent. Not sure what these prizes are. I will make a post in the future asking everyone to post their gaming library. I will then sift through everything and figure out what games most of us have in common. Cause I have nothing better to do with my time.
    Idea: Prizes = Amiibos. You kids eat those things up. It only makes sense to win an Amiibo while playing Smash.
    There are some other minor things I want to adjust, like... still get us a new and darker skin. I'm trying people, I'm trying! Jason is a hard man to please.
  2. Ciel
    Over the last few weeks I have been dying to return to my beloved Shmups and Danmaku (bullet-hell). It is not secret to some folks that I have been longing for the arrival of Galak-Z: The Dimensional on the PS4. Seriously, where is this game? Come on already... anyway! The good news is the PS4 will soon be saturated with other like games so I cannot complain. People often ask, "Joe how do you play those games, man, aren't they hard and stressful?" To which I respond, "How do I play them? One bullet at a time." (Get it? Seriously I said this...)
    Now there are certainly a lot of I have not played. Here is looking at you Xbox 360 and PS3. Sigh, one day. Probably not actually. I have also yet to play the eXceed games so if someone wants to gift me some cheap games on Steam... that be great.
    What follow is in no order and one game per franchise. I could list more, but I've got stuff to do. What are your favorite shoot-em-ups, bullet-hells, whatever?

    Touhou 08: Imperishable Night (PC)
    No doubt there are a lot of Tohou games and they all have their own merits. As such choosing one over the other is pretty tough. I binged 7-14 last night and I honestly had the most fun with 08, 10, and 14 respectively. There is really not much to say here. Tohou is the epitome of bullet-hell. They are punishing and I love them for it.

    Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie (SNES)
    Just look at that stupid long title! As far as horizontal shoot-em-ups go this is probably one of the most nuanced. You can change your ship into different forms--on the fly (pun!)--each of which has three unique different bullet spreads depending on the amount of power you have collected. Different situations call for different ships and the whole thing is really engaging. Plus the sprites, backgrounds, and the music are all great; the artwork is gorgeous.

    Bullet Soul Infinite Burst (Xbox 360)
    My heart broke a little when my Xbox 360 broke because I could no longer play this game. I don't want to talk about it... honestly shut up.
  3. Ciel
    Well, rather than sit here and work on any of my three (read: four) papers I will instead try to do the impossible. That is, as I eat my lunch on a Tuesday afternoon—being thankful there was no class today—I will attempt to make sense out of nonsense. I am not the smartest cookie in the pickle-jar, that I admit, but I am seemingly the only one, save for Nintendo fanboys of course, who is confused by the YouTuber outrage against Nintendo. At the very least, I represent the minority.
    But where does my problem rest, you ask? Surely, you are saying to yourself, it is even more nonsense to support the stupid practices of a company who carry the thorny baton of consumer destruction passed down from EA (Electronic Arts). But let me stop your strange, possibly disanalogous, imagery there. Yes, Nintendo is in full-blown nonsense mode, but they are not the target of my confusion in this instance. Nor in fact is the group of YouTube cool-kids who band together like they are part of some popular high-school click and say, "No Nintendo, no more!"
    So what is the officer, problem?


    It is the chief argument those YouTubers and their acolytes are putting forth that puzzles me so. (OK, so maybe it is them.) "Nintendo is being greedy. This is very greedy of Nintendo." Does anyone else sense the irony here? There are numerous arguments a person could make against Nintendo here. Let me try one: Nintendo making money off of people showing off/playing their products is like John Deer wanting profits for every lawn some thirteen-year-old cuts during Summer vacation assuming of course that he or she uses a John Deer product (and they'd be stupid not to). Disanalougs again? Or how about part of my paycheck having to go to Subaru because I used their car to get to work and without that car I wouldn't have been able to make money in the first place. OK this seems more disanalgous. At any rate this is wrong. This is unethical. We could have this discussion, we could even turn this discussion into something greater, something more mature. But we're not. I don't care to do it either so I don't blame anyone. In the end, it comes down to complaining. The problem for both parties is this: instead of making enough money that would give Scrooge McDuck a feathery hard-on they are making enough money that would give Scrooge McDuck a feathery hard-on. See what I did there?
    And yet, there exists the "greed argument." To my knowledge Nintendo allows certain games to be on display in YouTube videos, but they take 40% of the profit that particular video makes. Rather than "share" the profits with a company one supports and wants to see flourish—especially when they haven't been—YouTubers want all of it. "Nintendo doesn't need the money, this is blatant corporate greed." But here's the thing, do you Mr. Youtube Gamer? You are already making astronomically more than the general world population. And for what? Effectively being a dolt and catering to dolts. You're not contributing to society contra to your belief (so maybe just Capitalism) and in most cases you tarnish the image of a fandom you so proudly wish to defend. Oh, ad-hominem attack; this just got real. Let's be honest you are in this for the money. Say what you will, but you will not convince me otherwise. Does this upset me? Nope. I like money, too.


    Are they entitled to it all? Yes, absolutely. Is Nintendo being greedy? I think the problem is with the words we are using, dear Brutus. It is obvious the reason they, Nintendo, want revenue from YouTube videos is because they want to make more money. I guess Nintendo has the understanding that they will make money from YouTube videos and even more when people go and buy their products, but when no one is buying their products because no one is posting Nintendo-based videos the whole thing seems self-defeating. But I digress. If one is going to make the "greed argument" then it only makes sense for that very YouTube Gamer to liken him or herself to Nintendo. You are both businesses and you both want your money. The only way this argument makes sense in the end is if YouTube gaming personalities just admit this. Perhaps the nonsensical nature of this whole situation is two-fold; it is shrouded in quasi-ethical (i.e. distracting) diction and the underlying argument is circular. If someone would come out and say, "Nintendo's policy bothers me because it hurts my revenue," I would understand. If someone would release an estimate of just how much this hurts that revenue I would absolutely be interested. Hint. Hint.
    In closing and to end rather inconclusively since my food is getting cold, don't be a hypocrite. Make better arguments. I leave with some questions: Why is it seemingly acceptable for individuals to be greedy, but not corporations? Maybe I am being a pessimist, but most people are not philanthropists, most people do not care about others. Why is it common to pretend that YouTube personalities that we follow (who are a business) are the exception—do we not want to admit that we ourselves are also no different? I understand that it is 2015. That there is a media craze going on. I understand that being a YouTube Gaming personality is now a full-time job; it is work. People have to get paid. But are they making too much money for doing too little? Most just sit around, play, and talk (read: yell, shout profanity, etc.) and they get paid. They get paid a lot.
  4. Ciel
    Hibike! Euphonium
    Air Date: March 28th



    Hibike! Euphonium begins when Kumiko Oumae, a girl who was in the brass band club in junior high school, visits her high school's brass band club as a first year. Kumiko's classmates Hazuki and Sapphire decide to join the club, but Kumiko sees her old classmate Reina there and hesitates. She remembers an incident she had with Reina at a brass band club contest in junior high school.




    Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me

    Air Date: April 3



    The anime follows the daily life of an earnest, hardworking office lady named Kaoru and her otaku husband, Hajime, who is totally immersed in a certain huge net bulletin board system.




    Air Date: Apri 3


    Amami Hibiki is a girl who can see ghosts and other supernatural phenomena in her surroundings. The stories follow her daily life with both her friends and the otherworldly.




    Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu
    Air Date: April 4
    Nagato Yuki, the shy president of the literature club, has never been very sure of herself around other people. But around Kyon, the only boy in the tiny, three-person club, Yuki finds herself faltering even more than usual. For Kyon, and for her precious club, Yuki must find her confidence and let her true personality shine!




    Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd Cour
    Air Date: April 5



    Fuyuki City—a city surrounded by the ocean and the mountains becomes the setting for an age-old ritual. To realize the mythical Holy Grail, which is said to grant any wish from its possessor, seven masters are given seven heroic spirits chosen by the Grail. These heroic spirits or servants are: Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, Berserker. Each master will enter into a contract with their assigned servants and battle the other masters and servants to the death until only one pair remains... This is the "Holy Grail War."



    Plastic Memories
    Air Date: April 5

    This story takes place in a future not too far away when androids that look exactly like humans begin to spread across the world. The android production company SA Corp. produced Giftia, a new kind of android that has the most amount of emotion and human-like qualities out of any other model ever seen. However, due to problems in technology, the androids have a service life, and once they pass that, they... Well, it gets pretty bad. For this sake, SA Corp. creates a terminal service in order to retrieve Giftia that have gone past their service life. A new employee at the terminal service named Tsukasa Mizugaki forms a team with the Giftia Isla to retrieve the other androids, but...



    Kekkai Sensen
    Air Date: April 5


    A breach between Earth and the netherworlds has opened up over the city of New York, trapping New Yorkers and creatures from other dimensions in an impenetrable bubble. They've lived together for years, in a world of crazy crime sci-fi sensibilities. Now someone is threatening to sever the bubble, and a group of stylish superhumans is working to keep it from happening.



    Ghost in the Shell Arise: Alternative Architecture
    Air Date: April 5



    ??? (LOL)



    Triage X
    Air Date: April 9th



    Mochizuki General Hospital boasts some of the most well-trained (and well-endowed) nurses in town. But though these ladies spend much of their day battling sickness, their after-hours are spent fighting a very different sort of disease... Under the leadership of the hospital chairman, a handful of staff members and local teenagers form a group of mercenary assassins, targeting the "cancers" of society and excising those individuals before their wickedness spreads.

  5. Ciel
    I have posted this in various status updates, but I am well aware that there are still prizes to be distributed from October. I appreciate everyone's patience on this front and promise to have those out-and-about hopefully by December 5th. I have been incredibly busy with both school and personal projects, life/health, and so forth. Additionally, November was a hard month financially for me--despite working two jobs when I am not in class--and for that reason I ultimately did not have money to spare.
    Thank you all who have thus far participated in most, if not all, or even just one, of the contests that have been held.

    There is a lot planned for the month of December. Right now we are making arrangements to host a Secret Santa event. Obviously more details will be revealed when the event is posted about within the coming week or so. We are also tinkering about with an Advent Calendar of sorts. Consider this a head's up! Also there stands the chance to be another blog contest--Christmas related of course. The contest won't be held however if there is fewer than five (5) entries.
    Contest Prizes: Do to the relatively weak outing on the past few contests, I am going to stick to digital Amazon dollars. If I can be frank, per usual, it is a little disheartening to collect a handful of games and other assorted video game junk, put it in a box, and ship it when the related contest only yielded like... at most, two entries.
    Random Prizes: Right now I am also entertaining the idea of randomly selecting GP members to win digital game prizes--for use on Steam, XBL, or PSN. Who knows, maybe even just $2-5 in Amazon bucks. How many members will be selected each month depends on my mood and my wallet. If you are selected or not depends on your activity. While I am tempted to keep the criteria a secret, I might reveal it later on... who knows. Expect this to start mid-December. Am I paying people to be active now? Yes... yes I am. (No one pays me; sad face.)
    Game Night Prizes: This is a thing. It is happening. Soon. Get ready.

    I am probably going to catch hell for this, but whatever--I'll do with that later. I like to think of GP as a community that shapes itself. As such there are some little details I am going to present vaguely so everyone knows the future holds. Contrary to popular belief, the staff does more than just sit around and abuse power.
    New Look!: For a few months now I have been pushing for--and even designed--a new forum skin for GP. It is still being manipulated to make it more "GP-esque," but you can view it here. What are your thoughts on it? It is rough, but I mean whatever. There is also a new forum home/template that Jason is working on. That however, is all you are getting on that. It looks pretty rad right now. When we will see both the new forum skin and home remains in question, but they are on the horizon... for some point. With the coming new year I'd like there to be a new look to GP, but there are a lot of factors to take into account.
    Recruitment Campaign: Over the next few months I intend to advertise GP to the best of my ability both at school--posters!--and on various forums and social media that I frequent. I have a friend who runs one of the few radio shows on campus and am going to have him pitch the website every so often. We might get people who join that are not interested in video-games all that much--but say anime or film or anything in general. I expect us all to be warm and welcome to whoever joins.
    This leads me to another point. Currently we, the staff, are trying to allocate a particular niche that GP can squeak itself into--in order to stand out among the overabundance of gaming forums. We are not yet sure what this is going to entail--perhaps a greater emphasis on Game Nights; hence the prizes. So you as members might start to see some sub-forms disappear and others added.
    There is something else I wanted to say, but I do not remember...

    Next year is going to be busy for me. I will have a student teacher / teacher assistance job on campus. I am to hold office hours and so forth. I doubt this will affect my activity too much--since I will have my laptop with me, but who knows... it might. I am also directing the play No Exit by Sartre. Additionally I will still be working my other jobs and attending class.. and playing video games.
    What this means is that in my absence, I expect everyone to be on their best behavior (activity) and contribute to GP in a meaningful way. There is going to be a lot going on for me outside of GP and for everyone inside GP. Do not think for a second that just because I am away a Game Night will not take place or a contest will not be held, or whatever. Not that anyone would think this, but who knows, you're all a strange bunch. Also if I plan something, say a Game Night, but am not there because of schedule hiccups for example, there is no reason to postpone the event. Do it anyway!
  6. Ciel
    The Backstory:


    Dokey was delighted upon receiving Aisha's mysterious letter. Dokey's travels have not quite yielded the results she so wished; she is still regarded as a madwoman, a tyrant, and fool by the people of Eorzea. Her acceptance to meet with the letter's author derived both from the immediacy of its call and the chance to sway the individual minds of a nation. Ultimately, it was clear Aisha was in need of assistance and saying "no" did not even occur to Dokey. She only hopes her presence and name do not marr nor hinder the forthcoming adventure in any way.
    And so the two met in person. Much to Dokey's surprise, Aisha was able to discern her location without request. The two greeted each others, concerned little with the letter and more worried of the recent history of the other. Aisha was quick to ask, however, if there was a place they could sit and talk--down to business per usual. Dokey invited her into the cabin she has been renting through the years, although never quite staying in. Only recently because of the misfortune granted to her by her efforts to re-shape Eorzea has she returned to the seclusion of the hut. She was delighted to see Aisha, a familiar face. She was more excited to be of some use.
    Dokey offered Aisha some tea. Aisha accepted with a smile.

    Dokey stood as Aisha sat and delivered her tale. She had asked Dokey if she had heard of the Book of Spades. The title was something Dokey had not heard of since her childhood--the stuff of legends and bedtime stories. Further as she is no longer part of the courts of Eorzea such matters were no longer relayed to her. Both her interest in and her memory of the book have waned as a result of maturity and time. Confounded, she implored Aisha to explain herself. She asked how Aisha came into possession of the book.
    Aisha explained that during a foray into the Syrcus Tower she had looted the book from the person of fallen solider. Additionally she told of the book's history and its purpose (see: 'backstory' above). A woman of ethics, Dokey had more questions still. Further having not talked to Aisha in some time her character was, for Dokey, in question. Why exactly was Aisha in the Tower? Aisha was, assisting the Sons of Saint Coinarch with shutting down the place and stopping the Mad Emperor Xande. Pleased by such a noble response and the still virtuous character of her old friend, Dokey agreed to help Aisha for both their sakes. However, there were two condtions: 1.) Why her? and 2.) Dokey would not kill nor harm any creature that may come before them; she would only provide support both in health and spirit.
    Aisha nods and adds that it was not only her who wishes for Dokey's assistance, but the book as well. The book, she said, spoke to her. Shocked! Dokey was in awe that a book could talk! Aisha had to remind her that it did not talk per se, but it wrote. Still enamored by the sight of the magnificent book, Dokey longed to own one of her own! Oh how her bookshelf missed such a rarity. She had always thought the book assumed the will of its owner and its mind was some closed off portion of the owners intellect. Never had she thought both were distinct!
    The Book wanted to speak to Dokey.

    "Good evening, professor, it is a pleasure to speak with you," the words curled neatly atop the page.
    Dokey was taken aback, "Wh..."
    "I understand this may be a new experience for you, allow me to explain." There was a pause. "Myself and my brtheren, the Book of Spades and DIamonds, had established a network of sorts between each other. It is how we gained and shared knowledge with oursevles and our weidelers. As our knowledge grew, we found ourselves able to... predict events... in minor ways at first with increasing clarity as time passed and the data at our disposal grew."
    Under Dokey's studious glare, the fire of an excited child burned.
    "We used this ability to safeguard Eorzea, trimming the hedges of fate," the final word came a moment later then the rest. The Book continued to explain how the Calamity disrupted their lines of Aether used in communication but also destroyed and left many of the Books without power. The Book proclaimed its intent to continue its work.
    Always the skeptic and concerned with the safety of everyone else, Dokey no doubt had question.

    Dokey inquired into the books previous owner and whether or not if, in the wrong hands, the book could be used for evil. The book's memory of its previous owner(s) is "indistinct" because he entered ST before the Calamity. The book assured Dokey that none of the books could be used for wrongdoing because, by the gift of their precognition, they would not permit it. Dokey remained weary because the answer did not quite seem to answer her question. Her friend had faith, so she she thought she would too. In the very least, she would be there if anything went wrong. She did not press further. Instead, she asked why the book had chosen her in particular.
    The book answered vaguely, "Though I am not sure of the details, your involvement with this project is meant to do something positive for Eorzea.. and yourself." Another vague answer, but this one Dokey admired and agreed to be, as she said, "A puppet of fate." The book corrected her without hesitation, "There is no need for that level of devotion, I assure you; we are partners here if nothing else."
    "Man has always shared a hand in the creation of the world," Dokey replied. The book did not answer.

    (To wrap this up because I have other things to take care of, I am omitting particulars.)
    And with that, Aisha closed the the book. Although closed it could still hear the two friends so Dokey communicated with Aisha via Linkshell. There, Dokey continued to express her apprehensiveness. Regardless, she conveyed to Aisha that she would see it to the end, if only for the sake of her friend. In discretion the two further discussed the nature of the book and their quest until the sun rose.
    Aisha left in order to round up more people for their journey.
    Dokey stayed in her small cottage so she could tie up loose ends. She had forgotten about her tea. She wondered when she would hear from Aisha next.
  7. Ciel
    I am still trying to figure out how I should convey these "scenarios" in each blog post. Would everyone like to see them told in story form--much like how we act them out in-game--or would everyone prefer a simple overview of what happened; the "tldr version" so to speak. Below will be a bit of both. I can save the chat logs and post those as well.
    At any rate, tonight was the first time I managed to get in on the goings-on. However, tonight was by no means "official." In other words, it was more an introduction process that allowed myself and Hamato--another new RPer--to become acclimated with the whole process. We have decided that while there are more of us in the Shell, the four of us will create scenarios that circulate around us and our character's relationship to one another. Each time we get together will act as an improvised chapter of an entire book, if you will. We are currently working on the "bigger picture," so we have some basis/plot/conflict/bigger narrative to work around. Ultimately though, everything will play out on the spot and in the moment.
    What happened below... per usual, just happened.

    Originally I was just going to sit idly by and spectate as Rowan, Asagi, and Hamato, did their thing. But I decided to jump in. It appeared as if Rowan and Asagi were continuing from the last time they RPed as such, their characters knew each other. I sat at the bar table, listening. Asagi told Rowan that he had a job the two of them could take. Rowan questioned Asagi, asking if it was "legal." Asagi told him not to worry and that a "job is a job." After some banter between the two, Rowan turned over his pockets that were indeed empty. At this moment, Hamato who was sitting at another table stumbled over and said he wanted in. A few moments later, I did the same. Having not yet explained the job, Asagi became distracted and assumed I was Rowan's date! This resulted in some amusing dialogue and eventually Rowan got Asagi back on track.
    The job was to hunt down and kill a giant monster that was causing trouble for a merchant--simple enough, right? I protested the killing, or even fighting, and told them I would only provide support; I needed the money despite the moral ambiguity. This sparked some debate, but I convinced them nonetheless. At least, so I thought. We moved out.

    When we arrived at the destination the monster was not there so we decided to wait and have some of my tea. I also scolded the three for their brutish behavior and mindless killing of the smaller monsters around us. Just as soon as Hamato was going to tell us the tale about his eye--and more importantly, evidently, the eye's patch--the giant monster showed up. The fight, of which I forgot to take pictures of, lasted for some time. The monster, was knocked unconscious... but later cut into pieces...? At any rate, this generated some moral upheaval in myself and overall confusion. I cleansed the land as they brought the corpse to the merchant for our reward; a reward I adamantly refused.
    Now this is no means "canon" in our story, but as a RP virgin, it was surprisingly really fun! I look forward to doing this more often and posting more of these blogs. Hopefully future posts are more detailed and easier to read. I wrote this after a long day of classes and philosophical readings. I also hope that they will be longer. All of us were pressed for time, but wanted to RP together.
    Until next time!
  8. Ciel
    I thought it would be interesting to experience and share roleplaying in a MMO. While it is true that to some finite degree I roleplay in my head--who doesn't--I have never once sought to flesh it out and expand my character in a world of other roleplayers. I have joined a group of roleplayers both new and experienced in Realm Reborn. Our official Link Shell titled, "Seventh Dawn" was created August 27th, 2014. We play on Brynhildr, a server not known for its roleplaying community.
    I will post weekly updates on my social interactions and experiences as well as whatever characther shenanigans I put myself into. Look for them to be posted on either Saturday or Sunday--so look for something this weekend as well and join me as I create a story within a game.
    There is an entire wiki dedicated to Realm Reborn roleplaying and its characters. I have created a profile page that you can find here. Yet, I will still post its contents in this initial post for simplicity sake as well as all future updates to background, etc.
  9. Ciel
    How to "Work a Pump"
    1.) Check if your car needs gas.

    2.) Go to a gas station and park next to a pump. For directions on driving and parking, see Google. Be sure that your gas cap is on the same side as the pump!
    3.) Pull this button-thingy up.

    *If you're paying with cash, skip the next step, go inside, tell the cashier what pump you're on and how much you'd like to spend. Give him or her that amount.*
    5.) Slide your card here.

    6.) Follow the on-screen prompt. Credit or Debit. Credit is always faster, even if you have a debit card... which I know you don't.

    7.) Select "Regular"

    8.) Pump. For hands free pumping slide the thing up against the other thing like so.

    9.) Wait.
    10.) Wait some more.
    11.) Finish, hang the pump back up.
    12.) Take your receipt and you're done!

  10. Ciel
    Over 48 hours ago I spoke with a customer service representative in regards to my broken PS4 controller. He informed me that I would have to pay for shipping on a malfunctioning product because that is, "just how the service works". Frustrated, I continued on with his help and set up an exchange request. I was supposed to receive an email that contained my case number and what not (aka: RMA). This email was to be printed and shipped along with the controller.
    I woke up this morning, still with no email. All the more frustrated I went online and chatted with another customer service member. I gave him the case number that was provided for me at the end of my first conversation two days before. It took him about 15 minutes to look it up and return to me. "There's nothing I can do here," he said, "I do not have the authority. You'll have to call customer service and speak with someone over the phone." I asked him if there was a number I could call directly as to avoid phone wait-times--there wasn't.
    Thankfully the wait time was minimal. I spoke with someone and after giving him my case number he told me, "It says here a box was sent out to your house. FedEX says they left it on your doorstep." I told him to wait a minute while I checked out front. There it was, the box... completely covered in snow. "Oh wow, this is convenient. No one told me about a box. So do I just put the controller in this box and send it out," I asked. He laughed at how satisfied I was that this was finally going to happen, "Yes. It's that simple. Also I am not sure why anyone told you that you have to pay for shipping as it is covered with the box." I happily thanked him and said goodbye.
    It turns out that the box was for the PS4 console itself and is not meant for the controller, or any other accessories.
    I called back.
    "Can I speak to a supervisor, please?"
    Keep in mind throughout the whole of this exchange I sound irritated. The following was a little more intense than what is posted, but you'll get the gist.
    The woman on the phone asked me what the problem was. I let her know and she transferred me. It should be noted, again, that at this point that I was incredibly annoyed and curious as to why no one around here knew what they were talking about. There was a lot of miscommunication, despite my being perfectly clear. There was also a lot of lying, intentional or not, and I did not know what to believe. The supervisor picks up, he sounded like he didn't want to talk. He didn't give me his name; I should have asked. I explained to him the problem. I also lamented over the fact that I should not have to pay for shipping. "This isn't a debate line, sir."
    "I'm not looking to have a debate either, I am just wondering why I have to pay for shipping on a product that was clearly sold to me as defective. I understand that I do not have to pay to ship a console back, but I have to pay to ship a controller? That's weird wouldn't you agree? Why is it so hard for anyone at Sony to do something right? Why did I get a box?"
    "Paying to ship defective accessories is company policy, sir."
    "Yes, but why? ... "
    He raises his voice over mine before I could finish, "Sir that is our policy. Those are the rules."
    "So what you're trying to tell me is that you do not even know why you have certain rules in place? I'm asking because I'm curious as I think it is a stupid rule that inconveniences the customer. As a supervisor shouldn't you know why rules exist and other do not?"
    "We pay to ship consoles because it is harder to find a box the size of a console than it is a box the size of a controller. We also do not refurbish them, we replace them."
    "I'm not asking what the policy is, I am asking why it is the way it is. Also, it's really not hard to find a box the size of a console; I would just ship it in the box my PS4 came in. Don't bullsugar me, I'm asking you why is it company policy--who is it supposed to benefit? It is going to cost like $15-30 to ship this out UPS, you do know that right? At that rate I might as well just go buy a new controller. It would beat waiting around 10 days and it would put more money in Sony's pockets. I'd just like to use the product that I bought, sadly I need a controller to do that. Well kind of anyway."
    He grows more upset with me, "Sir that's a decision you have to make.This isn't a debate line."
    "O.K I get that. I know. My point is that this isn't a decision I should have to make, nor even think of making. Can you please explain to me why I haven't received my RMA email then? It has been over 48 hours. I was told I would receive it in less then 24. I could have had this shipped out and gotten it sooner. Now I have to wait an extra day because tomorrow is Sunday. Three days have thus been wasted."
    "There is no RMA! You don't get an email! It's not a return!"
    "I was told I would receive in email if I am not supposed to get an email why would someone tell me that?"
    "You don't get an email! Do you want me to process the exchange or not!"
    "One always get RMAs sent to an email! RMAs contain information that are to be packaged with a return and or exchanged item. They have important information on how to handle the ret---..."
    "Wait! What am I supposed to include with the return? What is the return address? Hello... hello?"
    He hung up.
    I called back, "Hi your supervisor just hung up on me. He didn't give me his name."
    "Did you call on the same number?"
    "OK. Well what was the problem?"
    I crudely explained the problem with the controller as well as the supervisor, "Can you help me?"
    "Yes. What is the email? I'll send you an RMA." I calmed down when I heard this, despite still being confused. "You just have to package that with your controller. Yes you have to pay for the controller to be shipped, it sucks, I know but we just replace it. So you're basically just paying for a replacement."
    "You know I've never really thought about it. Anyway can I have your email information. Then if you could just stay on the phone with me we can make sure you actually get the email this time."
    "OK, I got the email. Now what?"
    He explains the process and that it'll take about 7-10 days for me to receive a new controller.
  11. Ciel
    Top 10 Songs of 2013
    While 2013 was filled with many obnoxious songs, these are the good ones that that will stick with me. I limited myself to one song per artist--happy listening.
    10. Arctic Monkeys - "Knee Socks"
    9. Kelley Stoltz - "Double Exposure"
    8. Haim - "The Wire"
    7. David Bowie - "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)"
    6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Despair"
    5. Waxahatchee - "Dixie Cups and Jars"
    4. Vampire Weekend - "Step"
    3. Paramore - "Last Hope"
    2. Dead Weather - "Open Up (That's Enough)"
    1. Queens of the Stone Age - "...Like Clockwork"
  12. Ciel
    I decided to go with a "favorites" list rather than a "top" as it less objective and no one pays me to have opinions that are not my own. I also have not played a lot of games from 2013 and am hardly qualified to objectively declare games better than others. The following is a list of games that I happened to be taken to, for whatever reasons. Furthermore, the list is not in any particular order, save for the last which is my GOTY. I guess this list is good. I'll probably want to change it later. Oh well, I don't care. Play all these games when you have a chance, OK?

    The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
    Nintendo EAD Group No. 3, Monolith Soft
    22 November 2013
    Nintendo 3DS
    Not only one of the best Zelda experiences I have had in years, but also one of the best gaming experiences. This game was an incredible addiction that often had me losing track of time.

    Tomb Raider
    Crystal Dyanmics
    5 March 2013
    Xbox 360
    This game was so damn good that I will be buying it again on my Playstation 4. Rare is a game that is executed so well--let alone a reboot.

    Shin Megami Tensei IV
    16 July 2013
    Nintendo 3DS
    Disappointing yes, but only because my expectations were so high. Nonetheless its philosophical nature, unlike many other games, handles the morality of the gamer quite well.

    Slender: The Arrival
    Blue Isle Studios
    26 March 2013
    F* this game, seriously.

    Camouflaj, Logan
    19 December 2013
    A unique and story-driven one button stealth game unlike anything I have played. It is releasing on PC in 2014 and is intended to have subsequent episodes... all of which will probably appear on my 2014 list--is that legal in the list-making world?

    Pokemon X/Y
    Game Freak
    12 October 2013
    Nintendo 3DS
    Dude, it is Pokemon... but like... better... kind of... but dude, Pokemon!

    Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
    Square Enix
    27 August 2013
    Playstation 3
    I have been playing this at my friend's house for the past week, he has caught on that I only care to be there just to play on his account. This is the first MMO that I am willing to pay a subscription fee for. Forgetting about its superiority relative to its predecessor A Realm Reborn is able to stand by its own merits--of which I think people often forget.

    17 October 2013
    An interactive mystery game that has me rotating, touching, and looking at my iPhone in confusion and amazement... yeah anything that permits me to willingly look like a dunce in public gets my vote.

    Fire Emblem Awakening
    Intelligent Systems, Nintendo SPD
    4 Feburary 2013
    Nintendo 3DS
    Umm, I have beaten this game three times...

    Bioshock Infinite
    Irrational Games, 2K Austrailia
    26 March 2013
    Xbox 360
    My GOTY. I could write pages upon pages of why I love Infiite so much, but for time's sake all anyone here needs to know is that it changed my opinion on the possibilities of gaming--or in the least made them more realized. It also reinvigorated (pun?) my love for the medium. This is one (or many) great thought experiment(s) and while I believe the game would have been better without all the bang-bang-booming, I did enjoy those sequences despite how trite they might have felt at times. I have beaten it twice and both discuss and think about it every day.
  13. Ciel
    Multiplayer is Dead
    The Irony of the Isolated Player
    It seems appropriate to begin with what is surely to be the one contention to the proceeding argument. "But Call of Duty," so will say a yet to be named person, "is incredibly popular online." Yes, and the sky is also blue—what is your point? "Well, I play with with hundreds even thousands of people a week, all from across the globe." Yes, yes but are you really? To what extent are you engaging with these other players in both the game itself and the world external to it?
    The woe of digital modernity has, in ironic fashion, rendered online-players as isolated others of which are hardly more sentient than the procedural AI sought to be avoided by playing online. The dichotomy between player and BOT has, as a result, become less palpable and indeed more ostensive. The aim of this blog series, which will be composed of parts, is to provide cultural and contextual evidence of this claim in the hope that doing so will encourage change in the coeval multiplayer paradigm.
  14. Ciel
    In my previous blog entry I was discussing one of my townsfolk, Katt, and my efforts involved in forcing her to move out. The other night, as I entered someone's house in game, I saw here there and felt worried that she was building relationships. Well, today, she finally decided to move out! My absolute favorite part of all this is that she divorced herself completely from the abuse she suffered and instead gave me an arbitrary and potentially fabricated reason as to why she is doing so on July 23rd.
    My response when she asked if I wanted her to stay?
    "Who are you?"

    ... And stay out! (Seriously, look at that atrocious umbrella.)
    On another note, I am currently writing a blog/essay about why Animal Crossing is "so good", or better, what makes it good. While I am sure that many people have heard various different reasons, I hope to present and tackle the subject with a different perspective altogether.
    Look for that sometime between this weekend and the next. Or not. I'm a busy person, but it will happen by and by.
  15. Ciel
    There are one too many cats living in Sky City. Unfortunately Katt here (seriously that is her name) happened to be the third cat to move into town. I have the impression that she moved in under the suspicion that Sky City is a litter box. Not too mention she spends all day sleeping which prevents her from participating and socializing with Sky City's hard-working and eccentric citizens.
    I do not know about anyone else, but this is simply unacceptable to me. As a result of her very existence, for the last few days now I have been in the pursuit of her leave. Regularly I bash her on the head, I bury pitfalls for her to step in. I even go so far as to send her hate mail such as,

    Sadistic as it may be, I trapped her here and beat her ad nauseum with my net only to provoke conversation and further instigate her frustration with me. To make matters worse, my impatience with Katt has extended onto Boone--a Jersey Shore esque gorilla. He aimlessly walks around and talks to me about wrestling, or something, I never quite care to listen as he calls me "bro". (Do not play New Leaf drunk.)
    Oh yes, throughout all this nonsense someone requested I fund a specific public works project. I liked her snobby, hipster personality; it was ironic, comical even, so I obliged. After the project's completion she interrupts a quiet afternoon of gardening to tell me she is moving in four days.
    Good, leave.