Half-Life 2 and Other Matters

Half-Life 2 for the Xbox hits this week. So, two years after the fact, one of the original reasons I gave to myself for buying the Xbox has finally come to pass. This means that I managed to get the game without buying a PC. On the downside, I already bought the PC version of the game, though I didn’t play it all the way through (the only PC I had at the time was at work). In addition, instead of a PC, I bought an Xbox, a PS2, a Gamecube, a GBA, a PSP and a few dozen games, all of which probably add up to what a high end PC would have cost. But I got so much more value this way.

Of course, by value I really mean a horrible debilitating addiction that infects my every waking hour.

I should have seen it coming. I had consciously avoided computer games for most of my life because I knew that if my in-born OCD did kick in I would end up in a black hole of suffering and despair from which I would never escape. This is in fact what happened, but it hasn’t been all that bad. The consoles and the games that run on them have changed in subtle ways to appeal to an older audience with more money than time. Games these days are playable without requiring 90 hours of your time in 8 or 16 hour blocks. I see this as a positive trend, and one that should continue as time goes on.

The fact that games are interruptible is their most appealing trait at this time in my life, when I am more often interrupted. So I guess it was inevitable that I’d end up becoming one of “them”. Of course, I’ve had my share of annoyances, shameful neuroses, bizarre discoveries, and strange injuries. So, while it has not been completely smooth, my trip into the game world has mostly been fun. As we move into the next generation, I can only hope that the good stuff gets better, and the stupid stuff (hello, savepoints) slowly dies away. For now, I guess I’ll go level some more and then try to kill that Boss in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne again (I know, you told me not to buy it, but I did).