Archive for the ‘misc’ Category
I did some heatmap tracking on the homepage of The Average Gamer this week. It’s a reasonably small sample size – 199 users – but still have some interesting results. If I let the analytics from this heatmap drive the editorial direction, my new approach would be this:
- Stop doing interviews
- Only preview Triple-A games
- Write more about Kinect
This is purely a post promoting my own ego. Look away now.
I was on 4Chan again yesterday.
You can find the full image from the OP here.
The Batman thing made me laugh. So did the comments calling me “whore” and “dumb bitch”, but for a completely different reason.
Oh /v/. You so crazy.
Yes, regular reader. Yet again I have failed to adhere to a regular blogging and workout programme. Never mind.
In much more exciting news, I was a guest speaker on BBC Five Live’s Game On show. We talked about games company Valve, Steam, Steam Greenlight, Kickstarter and more.
Yes, I know it airs at 3:30am when no one is listening. Shush. Anyway, I forgot to look it up before and it’s only available through iPlayer for another 6 hours so I figured I should probably blog it here.
Also, I can’t bear to listen back to it so for all I know they edited me out completely, like another BBC interviewer did last time.
Here it is. Debbie Timmins on the BBC. Probably. The games segment starts at the 2:12 timestamp.
Oh hey, the last post I did here was all about my depression and trying to find new drugs. Well, happy to say that a new combination of Cetirizine (a cheap over-the counter antihistamine a.k.a. Zirtek) and Diprobase (a greasy prescription moisturiser), I now have a way to control my symptoms that doesn’t make me crazy. Hooray!
Or maybe it does because I’ve decided to start a new workout programme. A couple of years ago I took up weightlifting, using the 5×5 programme described over at StrongLifts. I gained a lot of strength from it and highly recommend it as a beginner’s programme. The thing is, it’s based around free weights so you do need a gym with a proper safety bar. I can’t really afford the £40 for a gym with free weights right now, so I’m back to the machines available in my building.
So, my new workout programme is Occam’s Protocol from Time Ferriss’ book 4 Hour Body. You can find all the sciencey logical stuff behind it in the book. As far as I’m concerned, it seems to work and takes very little time so why not try it out for two weeks?
The depressing part was when I did the exercises to work out my starting weights. Ferriss recommends that you try 5 reps of 40kg, then increase by 5kg each set to work out your 5-rep max. I couldn’t even make 40 kg :S
Still my 5-rep max was 35kg, giving me a starting weight of 25kg on the close-grip supinated pull-down. My starting weight on the shoulder press was a feeble 7.5kg.
So a few months back I realised that my allergy medications have actually been giving me mild-to-moderate depression for the past two years. Since then, life has a been a weird struggle, readjusting to the ups and downs that come with being a normal human being.
I remember ridiculous things from my teens that I thought I was over, like the time that one guy said this but I thought he meant THAT and oh god, the shame. Over the past few years I’ve no longer felt that faint tinge of embarrassment on remembering incidents like that. I thought maybe I was finally growing up and getting over that kind of stupid shit. Nope, turns out I’ve just been a drug-induced emotional cripple.
So, on figuring out that the hours I spend staring into space thnking about how useless I am are actually caused by medication, the challenge becomes finding a way to control my symptoms while remaining functional.
Loratadine was the drug that helped me breathe better but brought the depression on so slowly that I didn’t notice. Fexofenadine makes me hate everyone and want to hurt myself, with the added bonus that it doesn’t actually control my symptoms. Atarax does, but it also puts me to sleep within 90 minutes of taking one, which rather defeats the purpose of symptom-controlling medication. Benadryl is the latest one and so far, the most effective. It’s a pity really that it also makes me want to hurt myself as well as the sweaty-armpit strangers I have to share a train with during these summer journeys.
Since learning that these feelings come from meds and not myself, I find myself approaching them very differently. I used to sit around staring at the wall or watching shows on Netflix that I wasn’t really enjoying, just to distract myself. I’d think about how useless I was and wonder when I became such a pointless human being.
Now it’s become something to power through, trying to just get on with life while my liver clears the crap from my system. Like the worst kind of hangover – not bad enough to stay in bed but makes achieving anything a hundred times harder than it should be. Everything is overshadowed by “What’s the point? Why even bother? It’s just another fuck-up anyway. Stop wasting your time”
It’s been been 16 hours since my last anti-histamine. I don’t like this at all.
Edit: 7 hours later and I am feeling much more like a normal human being. I have also become one of those smelly-armpit strangers you have to share a train with.
As I am now a world-famous writer*, I thought this would be a good time to share my process with those of you still struggling. Here’s insight into how I plan my articles.
Follow my lead and you too could someday change hearts and minds through the sheer power of your prose.
*Translation: have a blog
I don’t cry much at entertainment. Sometimes I wonder if it’s me that’s broken. I remember way back in the late 90s, virtually everyone I know was talking about how they sobbed their eyes out at the end of Titanic. I was just annoyed that he slipped away OFF-SCREEN, what the hell?
Here are the few things have made me cry. Not prickling or welling up but actual tears escaping.
Volcano. Shut up. It was just that one scene where a fireman jumps out of a train carriage. You’ll know it if you’ve seen it.
Up. This whole film was just very sad. I have no desire to ever see it again.
Toy Story 3. Doesn’t anyone else feel sad for poor Lotso? He just needed some love.
Nothing. Not even the end of Buffy Season 2.
There’s one song absolutely guaranteed to make me cry. I’m not going to name it here because one of you fuckers will probably think it’s funny to play it at me and then I will be forced to break your nose.
None. Many book are emotional – The Deed of Paksenarrion series has some particularly horrifying moments but I’ve never empathised enough to cry.
Mass Effect 2: Overlord
I’ve heard a lot of talk about people openly weeping at Mass Effect 3. We’ll see…
Here is a post to rekindle my ability to write. Lost that habit over the past few months as I spend more time emailing people or editing others’ articles instead of writing my own.
I could spend this post discussing justifications or telling the story of my life since I failed miserably to do that #oneaday thing at the beginning of the year but frankly, it’s not that interesting. I’m not going to try another promise of one a day. I’m just going to throw a few paragraphs here on the days that I don’t write something for The Average Gamer.
P.S. Where is the Send button on the Android WordPress app? :P
Edit: I found it. Crisis over.
Between 12:36pm on Monday 17th October 2011 and 10:14am Wednesday 19th October 2011 I used real-time sentiment-monitoring tool Qriously to poll approximately 20,000* people in the UK on the Occupy London Stock Exchange movement.
I asked “OccupyLSX – worthwhile?” Respondents were asked to rate their answer an a 10-point scale between “Waste of Time” and “Worthy Cause”
900 people responded. Here’s what they said:
NB: Qriously is an app still in trial stages. The sample will be biased towards people willing to try pre-release software.
*qriously provides a count of question views, not actual users polled. Views will be counted up to twice per user, meaning that the actual number of users who saw the question lies somewhere between 14,035 and 28,070.