The Power of the Internet During a Calamity

Katipunan Avenue, approximately 10 minutes walking distance from my house
Katipunan Avenue, approximately 10 minutes walking distance from my house, yesterday.

NOTE: Stream of consciousness writing here folks, my apologies.

If you’ve been following the international news, it’s only been recently that coverage of Typhoon Ondoy (Internationally known as Ketsana) has been made known.

What news outlets probably won’t tell you is that we got a month’s worth of rainfall in under a day, and the Philippine drainage system couldn’t handle it, making the flooding not only dangerous in the immediate sense, but a carrier for all sorts of vile diseases and other stuff. ūüôĀ

The above picture comes from a search I did, and that shot is taken directly in front of my school. While not indicated, what you don’t actually see from this top-down view is that the pedestrian overpass’ stairs are halfway submerged in that mucky water.

My friends are okay, as they were in a hotel when this all happened, but they’re worried for their families. Thank goodness I’m even able to get in touch with them through Plurk and facebook. Relief efforts are being coordinated partly through TV and radio, but also through the hundreds of people who have gone on facebook to spread the word about making donations.

For those handful of you who read the blog, maybe you can also lend some assistance. Donate to your national Red Cross for Philippine Flood Victim relief. We need everything from food and water, to blankets, medicines, and even rubber dinghy boats. A little bit can go a long way.

Last bit of info… if my intel is correct, there’s a second tropical storm heading towards the Philippines. Definitely not a good thing, as we’ve had more rain than our dams can handle. If they add wind into this second storm, we’re in for some serious hurting.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfWpVe7w3DA]

Anime Recommendation: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

From the Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Credits
From the Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Credits

These past few weeks, I’ve been following a very different sort of anime series from what I’m used to. It wasn’t action-packed, it wasn’t all hopped up on giant robots or pint-sized alchemists. Instead, it was 11 episodes of three people trying to get back home after an earthquake of historic proportions hits Tokyo.

The recently concluded Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 follows the story of siblings Mirai and Yuuki as they try to make their way to Setagaya with the help of Mari, a courier who was also at Odaiba at the start of the tale. As it happens, they encounter the fallout of a Magnitude 8.0 earthquake hitting Tokyo, and face both emotional trauma and physical peril as they make their way back to their respective homes together.

It’s definitely a drama series, and you definitely have to watch the entire series without blinking to get the most out of it. I won’t spoil anything here, but I will say this: the ending made me cry, and if you remotely feel love for any of the characters in this series, you’ll end up bawling before reaching episode 11.

As for finding it, you should be able to get episodes on YouTube, or you could pick it up through various subbing sites. My personal recommendation would be to try bssubs.net because of their speedy work in handling the series. Enjoy!

More Borderlands Goodness: Claptrap Episode 2

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL4QNsaqnz4]

Claptrap is back! I’m a few days late, but apparently there’s a new installment of the Claptrap web series that advertises Borderlands. No Christian Bale imitations this time… this time, you just have a 100% irate Claptrap going nuts while directing an ad.

Anyway, still trying to figure out how to embed videos on WordPress Free. If you see a video above then all is well. If not, the link’s also found above for you courtesy of destructoid.

Sadly, the PC version that I’ve been salivating over has been delayed a week, but it’s not too bad, I suppose.¬† Just have to learn patience and delayed gratification.

Barriers to MMO Entry: The Community

Taken from Wiki­me­dia Com­mons, by Junc­tion Festival
Taken from Wiki­me­dia Com­mons, by Junc­tion Festival

Note: Adapted from my original post on MMeOw.net

In the last part (unless other ideas pop up) of this short series on barriers to entry in MMOs, I wanted to dis­cuss one aspect of the MMO expe­ri­ence that plays its own role in one’s enjoy­ment of an MMO: the game’s com­mu­nity as it exists both inside and out­side the game . While it may play a minor part in our personal preferences for play­ing a game at the begin­ning, it can ulti­mately end up being a big rea­son for want­ing to leave an MMO.

To begin with, let’s look at the power of a game com­mu­nity within the MMO land­scape itself.

Read more

Barriers to MMO Entry: Game Mechanics and Personal Preferences

Taken from my personal screenshot library, Sept. 21, 2003
Taken from my personal screenshot library, Sept. 21, 2003

Note: Adapted from my original post on MMeOw.net.

Now that we’ve moved on from account management issues as a barrier to entry in MMOs, it’s time we talk about another important barrier to entry: the game mechanics surrounding the MMO you’re playing or trying out.

As a term, “game mechanics” has certain connotations, so let’s define the term for use in this article. In this particular article, “game mechanics” shall refer to both internal (in-game) and external (relating to the game) aspects of MMO that a player can perceive and possibly use but not directly influence or change.

One common factor among MMO enthusiasts is that each has his own set of needs and expectations when it comes to playing a game. Because they are needs and expectations, satisfaction from the player can be derived when those needs and expectations are met through either research of the game in question or actual play. These needs and expectations also change through time, sometimes necessitating either an internal change from the player or an external change in the type of game played.

What am I talking about? Let’s take a look at the game mechanics of a couple of MMOs I’ve been through and how they relate to player needs and expectations for further insight.

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Starting anew

Hi folks,

If you followed me over from my blogspot blog, welcome. If you stumbled upon this blog as well, welcome too!

I’m basically here to write about my experiences with geeky things and gaming stuff that interest me. Posts should come at least once a week, as I’m quite busy with graduate school these days, but I do love seeing what I think on paper (or on a screen), hence I’ll be doing my best to keep this updated with the things that interest me.

In the meantime, please don’t mind the missing posts or empty posts. Apparently, WordPress’ import function isn’t 100% precise, and thus some of my posts have either gone missing or have had videos removed.

In the meantime, I’ll see about getting some of my old posts on another blog I write for (my barriers to MMO entry series) on this site. ūüôā

More Borderlands Goodness: The Claptrap Web Series, Episode 1

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=876X30YznqE&hl=en&fs=1&]

Gearbox Software has come out with a new bit of advertising for their upcoming game Borderlands. If you remember the cute robot from my previous video post on Borderlands, then you’re in for a treat, because he’s the star of the Borderlands web video series.

Not to spoil anything, but basically, he mimics a very famous actor in this episode, and carries a potty mouth to boot.

Enjoy!