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Scrapbooking on Game and Player


Michael Ubaldi  //  December 31, 2008

Some pictures, some memories.


ix years ago, a staple of my regular blogging was to make common observations of daily life. Felicitous moments were recounted, road trips were recorded and, for a while, the eastern horizon was catalogued. I don't keep a journal these days, online or otherwise, but with tools available, I've managed to capture the last year or so in select gameplay.

If Bungie succeeded in a single effort with Halo 3, it was to satisfy the comic book aesthete. Look at those contrails! A composition like this belongs in the lower half of the right leaf with three mid-moment insets.

I occasionally wonder if the game's impact physics shouldn't exaggerate. This was not one of those times.

Double Team. The other pair chased me and Ed around The Pit, the game close but never feeling like ours. We chose to perch along the map's central catwalk, calculating a ghost of a chance if we faced opposite directions. Our opponents struck, Ed and I scrambled. I wish I could say I knew the plasma I flung would make like a Velcro bomb and score the winning point, but — well.

As faithfully as I load up my computer's installation of Oblivion, I play it less than I photograph the title's arcadia.

Three years ago, I didn't understand what drove the value of user-created content in Elder Scrolls titles. Now I can, and contend that as Bethesda Softworks set the groundwork, those tripartite players-architects-visionaries build castles high.

Fourteen months after playing World of Warcraft for the first time — and about twelve after giving it a rest — I returned to the character I began with, the svelte paladin Aedilhild, the rest of my stable idle or else reserved for play with my fellow editors Jeremy and Ed.

Pushed by curiosity, I tried to play a Forsaken character. I tried! And shelved the project indefinitely, returning to putting the undead where they belong.

While I was running errands in the capital city of Stormwind one evening, two players advertised meals at a tavern, the Blue Recluse, in the General Chat channel. I brought my character over and, could you believe it, actually witnessed roleplaying on a roleplaying server. Chatting with me at the time, Jeremy logged on so we could take our characters on a dinner date — we wanted to see the lengths to which the roleplayers would remain in character. Well, the maitre d' welcomed us, seated us and served us. My character talked over the noise to another party seated nearby about Goldshire having gone downhill. A surly fellow at a table nearby got loud. Jeremy's character got tipsy and duly changed shape. The druid genuflected and proposed to the paladin at one point but, inasmuch as the offer was tendered non compos mentis, later declared it null and void. Enthusiasm waned, the servers abandoned their charge, and Jeremy and I ended up closing the place.

And life went on.

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