The act of observation changes the observed?

Whee. Now when I do research on Hannah’s condition, my own blog comes up on the first page of results for various different queries. That’s a good reminder to take it easy and not focus on it too much! But I did discover a different kind of injury: Fibrocartilaginous Infarct/Ebolism, which seems to fit the situation and symptoms, although was not, of course, the exact diagnosis. Unfortunately, the major prognositcation is still based on deep pain awareness. However, I feel a little less like Hannah’s situation is something from bizarro-land.

She seems more mindful of her rear end. I’d like to say this is a good sign. but it may just be her learning that she has these parts she can’t feel anymore and being more alert for people messing with them. She still only has a reflexive, not conscious, reaction to toe manipulation. She hasn’t been drinking or peeing very much the last 20 hours or so, which is a bit worrisome, but there’s been a little movement in both directions. I think I’m going to start adding some water to her dry food in the evenings.

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In other news, I’ve played most of the first Phoenix Wright game (and enjoyed it), and returned to Dwarf Fortress. I’ve also started the Fantasy Harvest Moon game.

The Phoenix Wright game is not high art, but it does a great job of conveying fascinating little plots via nothing but dialogue and extremely limited art resources. It requires a healthy distance from any prior understanding of the justice system, though. I spend a lot of time shrieking during the investigation phases, when witnesses won’t talk to me, when accidental deaths are still considered murder, when as a defense attorney I’m treated like the enemy of the state, when I have to not just prove my client’s innocence but prove somebody else’s guilt– although I suppose that last gives me both the fun of defending the innocent and the aggressive pleasure of prosecution. Nothing like making a ‘witness’ break down in tears or scream in rage, right? The structure of each case is a bit repetitive so far but if you play the cases far enough apart that doesn’t seem like a big deal.

It’s that time again.

When I wrote Shadows on the Mirror, I recall nights that Galen and Enra discussed me as I slept. My characters don’t usually get all self-willed and disobedient, but they DO develop opinions about my life.

Kevin’s poking at original Devil May Cry.  Dante, impaled by a sword, pulls himself up it, pushing it through his body and then picks it up and does some sword kata. His sexy red trenchcoat is unmarred.

Jinriki, a character in Citadel, says, “Hell yeah! That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Why can’t I get me some of that action?” or, in his more usual parlance, “That is precisely what I would have asked for. If you’d asked me.”

A second thought: instead of Easy, Normal, Hard, these games should have Empowered, Normal, Challenging.

Puzzle Pirates again

I got no words written tonight! Blame Kevin!

Instead I went to the store, made dinner, watched some television with the boys (two days of Daily Show/Colbert Report on the Tivo) and explored Puzzle Pirates. It has the same sneaky time-eating quality of The Sims and Civilization. So now it’s 12:45. And I’ve played several games of competitive near-Tetris, many rounds of near-Bejeweled and many rounds of a strange game that stands in for Alchemy crafting.

As far as I can tell, the economy and item and crafting system in the game goes like this: you get a store. You decide to sell things. You hire people to play the crafting games and fill crafting orders that shoppers place. I haven’t really worked it all out yet, as I signed up to work at a weaving stall and couldn’t find a workstation, and later did some work for an alchemy station and was told that there were no orders to fill but I could practice anyhow. I accidentally skipped past the instructions so it took me a long time to work out what exactly was considered a success in the Alchemy game… but once I did I had to play it five or six more times because it was just so compelling. Basically, you’re spinning tiles with tubing in them in order to fill bottles.

My obsession is nothing compared to Kevin’s, though– he started his dinner tonight and then went and joined a PC pirate crew while it was cooking (preventing him from claiming it when it was done). I’m not really sure how I feel about the longer timesink individual ‘encounters’ create in this game; in a standard combat MMO, it’s usually pretty trivial to step away from the computer for a moment every couple of minutes. But tours of duty (aka gameplaying commitments) and even individual battles seem to take twenty to thirty minutes. It’s FUN time, definitely, but… darn it, it’s also irritating, especially when I’m the one waiting.

Also, it seems to not work very well over the wireless. Apparently it’s pretty packet-needy and gets all irate when the wireless drops the packets. Which means to play it, I am banished to the garage at the moment.

Puzzle Pirates

Kevin installed it last night because it’s all innovative with micropayments and stuff. He played it almost all night. It’s like Bejeweled on top of an MMO, with houses and clothes and stuff and a little tiny cartoony interface. So I was in a whiny mood last night, all rambunctious and persnickety and I played a few of the little puzzle games and late last night when I was trying to convince Kevin it was time for bed, I sat down at his computer while waiting for him to get his act together. I was reading about the micropayments. That’s all.

Kevin came over and I asked him about how the micropayment system worked and he decided he had to log in to show me the money trading house, where status-buying-money (purchased for real world money) can be traded for in-game money (used for clothes and furniture and stuff) and vice versa. You earn in-game money for playing games, see. Anyhow, since he’d already logged in, I decided to try out the two ship-operation games I hadn’t played yet: carpenting and sailing. Kevin was surprisingly gracious about this, practically insisting I play the sailing game when I finished the carpenting game.

When the sailing game was done and I was complaining about how the tutorial journey had ended before I was satisfied with the game, I found out why Kevin had been so generous. He’d installed Puzzle Pirates on my laptop in the time it took me to play two puzzle games.

He should make up his mind on whether he wants me to write or play games!