I’m not dead

But I’ve been playing Spore a lot, hence the absence.

How is it? Mini-review: It’s like going on a date with a cute girl. She’s smart, funny, makes you laugh, very easy to be around her and you two have a blast. Then you take her home at the end of the evening and realize she’s really a man. As in, she actually has male equipment in the crotch locker. So what do you do? Call it off then? Or go through with it anyway so you don’t finish destroying a great date?

That’s what I’m debating.

In non-gaming news, got ourselves a cheap telescope yesterday. Thought I’d get my oldest son interested in science with some hands-on observing time, and we had a great time with it last night. The moon wasn’t up when we went out, unfortunately, but I could show him the disc of Jupiter, a couple of stars and told him how to spot the Milky Way, and what it was.

It was a very nice night that made me warm and fuzzy. One of the most honored and solemn duties of any geek is to pass the torch to future generations. I feel I’ve started doing that last night.

10 thoughts on “I’m not dead”

  1. Hmmmm, you’ve got a vivid imagination :)

    Have Spore at our house too, but I’ve only had a chance to look over my son’s shoulder at it. As far as I can see, it’s no revolution in gaming. Just a series of fun looking but very basic games strung together on a common theme.

    The tie-in that could have been made in your post was this game looks great — for kids and super-casual players, who will appreciate to the cute environments and ease of playing (the Creature Creator alone is very cool and fun). It just looks to simple to keep the attention of serious gamers.

    Oh, and kudos showing your son the night sky. I did the same thing with my children — looking at the moon, making a game of finding the Big Dipper and Orion’s Belt (when visible), etc. Great memories from some warm summer nights. Try to top that, Spore :)

  2. I wouldn’t say it’s great *just* for kids – I like it. I enjoy it more when I approach it as a canvas to drop my creativity in, and see what happens to my creation as the rules of the game evolve through the different stages. Not as a “game” per se. As a game, I agree, it’s borderline “weak” (if there’s such a thing).

    My two kids (the aforementioned six-year old and my three-year old) absolutely love it, and love making zany creatures they can control, move around, change parts, paint to their little hearts’ delight, and so on.

    It’s also good as a pseudo-educational tool, if you are able to approach it that way. Since we got Spore, I’ve been talking to my son about evolution, what cells are, what are carnivores, herbivores, omnivores. How to tell them apart. How creatures change through time and so on.

    I’d definitely have no problems *whatsoever* recommending it as a wonderful piece of software for both kids and adults. As a “game” proper, though… don’t know. It’s lacking.

    By the way, the metaphor about the girl really being a man is a direct reference to Spore’s “Space” stage, the last one in the game. To be blunt, it feels like one huge cockblock compared to how the game’s previous stages were delivered.

    If you approach the Space stage with the la-dee-da, careless, creative, let’s see what happens attitude you had all through the game, you get severely screwed. Very early on, and very fast. However, if you try to approach it as a game in a more classical 4X space genre, you find it lacking and utterly guilty of excessive micromanaging (think a weird mix of “Master of Orion 2/3” and “Star Control”, but tasting slightly off no matter how you drink it)

    It’s somewhere in-between those approaches. I hope the Space stage receives some sort of attention in future patches, because there’s potential there.

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