Friday, March 30, 2007


I have talked before about both System Shock 2 and about Never Winter Nights 2. I think I’m about nearly done with both games and it struck me as interesting this morning how differently I feel about the two of them. I’m excited to finish SS2 and I haven’t touched NWN2 for ages now. I believe that in both stories I’m at approximately the same place.

In SS2 I’ve moved up through the Von Braun to the umbilical where the UNN Rickenbacker is docked. The story is reaching a climax and important choices are ahead to be made. The game itself is atmospheric and eerie and very interesting to play. My resources are extremely limited and I have to consider how I use them carefully. I have an uneasy alliance with one of the bad guys but expect to be betrayed at any moment. I got to watch a fun little drama unfold in messages as two (of at least three other surviving humans) managed to get off of the Von Braun in an escape pod. Unfortunately, they took the last one with them so the UNN Rickenbacker is my only hope for survival right now.

In NWN2 I’ve built up my keep and have fought some battles while Aldernon the forgetful mage studies the book to tell us how to defeat the ancient evil threatening the land. The story is reaching its climax and I don’t feel that I have any choices to make in the upcoming story. The game is mechanical with very little feeling to it. I expect that I’ll be driven down the proper rails to the “final confrontation” and defeat the big bad (after watching the cut scene, dying, reloading, watching the cut scene, dying, reloading, watching the cut scene, and so on until I finally win the battle that starts right after the cut scene).

So the difference between the two is the level of emotional involvement that they have created in me.

ASIDE: NWN2 is a decent game and I have liked it so far – and to be fair the major advantage to NWN2 is the creation of the tool kit that will allow the user community to create more compelling stories. The single player game in NWN1 wasn’t very interesting either, but there were numerous user created stories that were very fun to play through and gave the game life well beyond what it was released with. Hopefully, the same thing will happen to NWN2.

The question is then how did the one game create an emotional reaction while the other one failed? In SS2 I feel like a part of the story and in NWN2 I feel like I’m watching the story. I think the major reason for this is the complexity of the two different stories.

NWN2 is a straight forward ancient evil has returned to the land and threatened your home – you must rise up from humble beginnings and defeat it. We’ve all seen that story a gazillion times. The twists and turns in NWN2 irritated me – for example the sudden realization of which two characters were related and then being railroaded into allying with the one character even though MY character never would. So far all of the plot twists have been parts of sub quests and the main story line has been quite simple.

SS2 is a complex story that unfolds slowly. The player knows right away that something is wrong on the Von Braun – the glimpse of a crewwoman running down a corridor screaming was the first clue. (Wait – that wasn’t the first clue but it was the first really dramatic scene in the game – and it was done with the in-game engine instead of a cut scene.) Allies shift as your goals change through the story. The players understanding of the goals of the different powers builds up piece by piece until it is all laid out to horrifying view and the player will have to find some way to save it all.

In the end they are both stories of player saves the world. But the development of the story and the complexity of the two make the SS2 game much more immersive and enjoyable. They could both be compelling stories but the CRAFTING of the story in SS2 is what makes it compelling while the NWN2 story leaves nothing to the imagination of anyone participating in it.

Gaming isn’t about pretty pictures and getting the most points and exploding the most bad guys. It’s about story telling. That is why NWN1 had legs – the user community had the tools to tell stories. That is why SS2 stands up so well after all these years since it’s release - it is a well told story. I can’t wait for the next good story to come along to play.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I have set a goal for myself of updating this blog at least twice a week. It is good for me to write and get things out - it's a creative exercise which I need and is also sometimes fun. This week I've been reviewing some things I've written for a therapy assignment and doing a little re-writing so my efforts have been focused there at bit rather than here. However, I think some of them I could put in both places..... errr.... so I will. Neah!.

These are bullet point type answers to a series of questions that I was trying to answer. They are not fully complete in and of themselves since they are designed to get thoughts out on paper that can then be discussed. So don't take them to be the end all be all of my thoughts. I suppose you can if you want though. Heck that's not my problem if you do - but if you do and then I surprise you you can't come back to me and say that it's not like what I said on my blog. Heh.

My blog comments will be in this color and answers to the questions will be in this color. Anyhoo without further ado here is one answer to the question what do I feel when I'm upset or uncomfortable:

When I’m upset my feelings are largely based in anger. I feel frustrated at things I can not control and want to escape into something simple and manageable. When I’m uncomfortable – my feelings are often uncertainty – I really dislike new experiences and will worry over and over about what I need to do or be or say or act when I’m about to do something for the first time. I’ll play the event over and over in my mind trying out different possibilities and practicing facial expressions and potential responses I could make. Then I worry self consciously that other people just do this kind of stuff naturally and it’s weird that I have to practice.

I saw a Dilbert cartoon once where Dilbert was talking with Dogbert in the bedroom as Dilbert was preparing for work. Dilbert was practicing his smile in the mirror and Dogbert reminded him that it was time to practice his sneezing. The punch type line was that Dilbert said that other people make it seem so natural. I don't think I'm quite as extreme as that cartoon but I have to admit that sometimes I HAVE practiced saying things or expressions and have worried that I'll do it weirdly. It does seem natural for some people and maybe not for me. It could all be perception since I have no idea what everyone else feels - maybe we are all like that.

One of the questions was what do you believe in. This was a very hard one to answer. There doesn't seem much of a way to condense the question down to simple answers and starting places. I've re-written this one several times and, frankly, I'm still not happy with it - I don't think it captures the depth of what I believe but simply superficially mentions a number of things that I believe in. Again - this isn't an end all be all answer but a good discussion point. It's also not a testimony meeting - I deliberately left much of my religious feelings and beliefs out of the answer to avoid sounding like I was answering a question in Sunday school..

I believe that people should be able to get along. I think selfishness causes most problems in the world, including the ones I create for myself. I believe we are here because of a plan prepared by our Heavenly Father – but we can’t fully understand our place in that plan or how it really works because we are limited in our views in this world. I believe in trying to make things a little bit better. I believe in being a good friend. I believe laughing is one of the best things you can do. I think time spent at home is more valuable than time spent outside of the home. I believe that the rules aren’t always the best solution but are usually trustworthy. I believe we are here to be good friends and to have good friends.

See what I mean? It's to pat - to simple - I'd probably need pages and pages to really answer that question and each day I might give a different answer to that question depending on where I was at that day and what was on my mind. I think there are some good core ideas there but that the medium of answering this question is perhaps to shallow to allow a real answer.

What am I good at what am I bad at?:

I am extremely loyal and hold on to things longer than others would. I try to make things better. I am a peacemaker. I am a great reader and a wonderful cook. I like creating things. I am very funny when I’m comfortable with whom I’m with. I can tell a decent story. However, I’m introverted and struggle to reach out to others. I have to remind myself to listen to others rather than think about what I want to say. I am to often selfish. I am afraid that people I love will leave me. My self confidence is low enough that doing something new is really hard for me to do.

I think that a lot of people struggle with self confidence. The past year I've been practicing doing things for myself to improve that weakness in myself. It's funny but stopping to buy myself a new book or something is an easy way to tell myself that I like myself and I'm good enough and heck, I even deserve good things. That is a surprisingly effective way to improve my self confidence. The connection may not seem obvious but it's there. As I affirm my own value to myself - my reliance on external indicators of value decrease and as a result I am more comfortable with my own self and therefore more confident in my ability to take care of myself. It's not that I convince myself that I'll always do well or succeed but rather that even when I don't I'll still have value to me.

OK, do you know too much about me yet? Well are you still reading? Whew. Well I'll do one more and then quit. This was my favorite question to answer in the whole document (and there were 32 questions that I have answers for). The question was how do I feel about me. It was fun to answer because as I did so I was remembering how I have felt about me in the past and contrasting that to how I feel about me now. I could ramble on about this but I'll let my bullet pointy type answer speak for itself.

I like me. I feel positive about where I’m at and which way I’m going. I am no where near perfect – nor where I want to ultimately be but I’m also much more at ease with myself than I’ve ever been before in my life. I know more about my feelings and thoughts. I understand better why I do what I do. I’m able to form stronger friendships with others. I have learned how better to care for myself and I like doing it. I don’t get drawn into conflict as easily as I once did. I have a better spiritual life than ever before. I fool myself less.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I have whined before about liking older style games over the newer, and in my opinion, spazier, ones. I ran across a link the other day at the Gnomes Lair about how to update your old System Shock 2 with new user created patches and goodness. It made me long for that experience again so I dug around in the boxes in my closet until I found the disks. SS2 is available on home of the underdogs as well. Then I downloaded as many of the recommended patches as I could. (Two of them are on a site that has exceeded its monthly bandwidth allowance and is now shut down till the end of the month). I installed everything and managed, after a little frustration to get it running.

FYI ASIDE: The trick to making it run smoothly is that this engine does not like hyper threaded and multi-core systems. After launching the initial program open up the task manager, find the sshock2.exe in the process list, right click it, choose set affinity and unclick things until only one (1) CPU is enabled for that process. Until I did that it would crash every few minutes.

The first time I ever played this game I was at a game company that was closing its office. There were basically two people left at this point me and the money guy. My job was to turn all the computers off when corporate HQ gave the money guy the high sign. His job was to fire me and then himself and turn out the lights.

Since there wasn’t anything to do until the word came down I had a lot of time to kill so I played System Shock 2. It was an amazing game and still one of my favorites. One of things that I really liked about it was the style of game play verses the other popular games (Quake of some version or other). There was no rocket jumping, no hyper spazing out – but rather careful, methodical game play.

Resources on the Vaun Braun were very limited requiring the player to use careful tactics to succeed. The basics of the game are: you are in your fourth year of service with one of the three branches of the UNN (the futuristic space military). You wake up aboard the Vaun Braun with no memory of why you are in the medical section and a brand new cybernetic implant. You suddenly start getting e-mail from a mysterious helper and begin to explore the ship.

The story is an absolute hoot so I’ll leave it there at that. It unfolds slowly as you collect data records from the missing crewmembers and e-mails from your helper and loudspeaker announcements from the ships AI, Xerxes, and the psychic emanations from dead crewmembers (ie ghosts).

I had forgotten about the ghosts and as I was exploring the beginning levels of the game I was startled by the appearance of the first ghost complaining about one of the systems on the ship. It was a blast – it’s very rare that a game is well written enough and atmospheric enough to evoke that type of response. The list of games that have actually startled me is low. (Lets see, X-COM, Thief, System Shock 1, Thief 2, System Shock 2 and that might be it. At least off the top of my head that is it. Pattern there? Anyone notice that?)

I would very much like to find more games like SS2. I have hopes that BioShock which is made my many of the same people who worked on System Shock and the Thief projects plays the same way. Some of the descriptions leave me hopeful that it will fulfill this role. And I have to say I love some of the artwork I’ve seen. It has an older, stylistic feel to it that reminds me of the Fallout games. It doesn’t come out until later on in the year and it has already slipped a ship date – hopefully they will be able to ship a completed and well done game. But for now I think I’ll play a little more of this SS2 and enjoy some gamer nostalgia.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I love reading. It’s one of my all time favorite activities. When I was younger and had lots more free time than I do now I could read hundreds of pages in a day – even to the point of reading whole novels in one day. I still love reading although it usually takes me longer to finish a book than when I was younger.

I find a lot of pleasure in reading beyond just having a story too. I love the feel of the book in my hands and the sound of the pages as I turn them. I especially love the smell of a book – the glue and paper and ink. It evokes a feeling of goodness and safety that I just eat up. In fact the smell of books is one of the things that make libraries so great – smelling all those books in the same building is one of my favorite parts of going to the library.

I go to the library a lot. There are tons of books to read and more coming out each month and I’ll never read them all. The library is a good way to try and stay up on the oncoming tide of books. Most of the books I read all the way though I enjoy but for most of them I’ll never read them again. There are some special books that I love to read over and over. Those ones are my favorites. Those are the ones I buy – and put proudly on my bookshelf. Those are the ones I loan out to get other people “infected” with the series. They are almost always a series.

Lists are ephemeral things – always changing and shifting depending on mood and sun spots, and what I read last, and what is happening in my life. So for your pleasure here is a list – presented in no particular order – of books that I like to re-read. The ground rules for the list are: 1) Fiction – I’m going to leave off religious and non-fiction books that I have re-read. Even though some of them I have re-read many many times and often find enjoyment in them. This is a fiction list. 2) A series of books will get a single entry. 3) I am allowed to change any of my rules at any time for what ever reason I feel like, thus reflecting the basic ephemeral nature of lists that I posited above. Heh.

1) The Dresden Files – I’ve just started re-reading this series and I must say it’s better the second time around. I’m picking up on nuances that I missed before that foreshadows things that have happened in later books and also items that portend major events still to come. My favorite is still Dead Beat – since that one created my most powerful emotional response to any of the books but they are all lots of fun.

2) The Lord of the Rings – This is the series that started it all for me. I reread this every few years or so. In fact I’ve had to purchase the series twice now because my first set of books had fallen apart from being read so much. It still has the ability to evoke powerful emotions in me as I read through it.

3) The Company Novels – Kage Baker created a wonderful character in the Botanist Mendoza and I’ve enjoyed reading all of her works in the company series. Literature Specialist Lewis is also a fascinating character. The primary draw to this series are the compelling characters and the drama they find themselves in – but the meta-story of the creating of the company and what happens in the future are also lots of fun.

4) Cryptonomicon – one of the few “alternate history” novels that I have ever really enjoyed. This one uses several different viewpoints to create a larger story – a near future, a past, and a further-past. Jumping from viewpoint to viewpoint is a refreshing change (although it does make the reading more complex) from most simple stories and it allowed for a richer story line where I as the reader know more of the nuances than the characters in the book do.

5) Snow Crash – Another book by the author of Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson. This one is a fascinating what-if story about could a virus be created that will crash a human brain. It’s very sic-fi in nature and includes one of the most fun opening chapters I’ve ever read – The Deliverator!

6) Neuromancer and all the sprawl novels. In 1984 I read Neuromancer and couldn’t put it down. I re-read it almost immediately after finishing it the first time which is quite rare for me. I loved the way William Gibson creates a chewy (for lack of a better term) novel where things are described in allegory requiring me to pause and imagine things as they go along. This has one of my favorite opening lines of all time too “The sky was the color of a TV tuned to a dead channel.” I have liked all of Gibsons novels but the Sprawl Trio and the complementary book of short stories are my favorites by him.

7) The galactic center series by G. Benford – This one almost didn’t make the list. I have reread it several times but some of the stories are definitely more fun than the others. If I wasn’t just a little weird I might skip some of the stories and stick with the others – but a part of me likes completeness and so I start at the beginning and read through to the end. This series posits a machine intelligence living around the galactic center that believes that biological life is a threat to it and so wages war on biology where ever it finds it. The story starts on earth with man exploring orbit and the solar system. The later stories skip ahead and show tribes of people living on abandoned colony worlds – fighting the machine invaders and others in space ships trying to reach safety. All in all the middle of the series is the best part but the beginnings and ending serve to make a nice framework.

8) Foundation novels - this is another series I read long long ago. The first three Foundation novels seem to be written for younger audiences and I can see why they appealed to me as a child. I like them still when I read them now but it no longer fires my imagination as it once did. The later stories in the series were more complex and longer and hold up better when reading them as an adult. However, the first three are the ones that remind me of the sense of wonder that good stories can create and when I read them again I am transported back to that feeling I had when I first read them.

9) The Order of the Stick – This isn’t technically a book but since I’m allowed to break any of my own rules I’m going to include it. I have three of these books currently (book 0, 1 and 2) and I love them all. A comic that can make me laugh out loud when I re-read it is definitely a keeper and one that I’m happy to pay money for to support the artist. Most jokes loose their power once you have heard them once but in OotS the comedy is often derived from the characters and situations but even the sight gags and rules jokes are often funny enough because of which character is participating that I will often break out laughing every time I see it.

10) Dilbert – The Dilbert books also have the ability to make me laugh when I re-read them. They are not as funny as OotS but a few repeated laughs in each book makes them keepers. Some of the lines really stick with me and I find my self anticipating panel when I know it will be uttered.

11) Shermans Lagoon – I really liked these at first but they seem to be more repetitive lately. I think I have all the ones published to date and these do pass the “make me laugh again” test but I’ve noticed that the later books feel very familiar – as if covering the same ground over and over. I’ll probably keep buying them for a while in hopes that it changes but if nothing does I’ll just stick with what I have and enjoy them for what they are.

12) Hitchhikers Guide novels – I’ve read these dozens of times. My favorite books are still the first three but all of the series has good stuff going for it. Seeing Arthur Dent finally get some happiness in the later books was lots of fun but nothing has matched him discovering that his good friend Ford Prefect was an alien and his adventures through time and space are by far the highlights of the series. I should add at this point that I also enjoyed the Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency novels as well and they are very re-readable too. I was surprised to learn that one of these novels was VERY much like an episode of Dr. Who but when I watched the episode again and saw that Douglas Adams was the writer for that episode the surprise vanished.

13) The Discworld novels – how can a list of things to re-read not make mention of Terry Prattchet? This guy is hysterical. The novels are delightfully silly and fun to read but there is also a deeper level of humor to them that is just as delicious. I can still remember the moment of realization I had when the thought occurred to me: “Ank-Morpork is America!” Suddenly a whole new level of the story was opening to me and I re-read the series looking for the subtler layers and jokes woven through out the entire series.

Well there you have it. A list off the top of my head of…. Ummmm… 13 good stories to re-read. I’m sure there are others and you list may vary. In fact my list tomorrow may vary too – but I expect that any variations in my list will be only to grow it as I realize I totally forgot something else that I just love.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I play DDO once a week with a bunch of friends. I’ve enjoyed it as a chance to play with friends but the overall game hasn’t been anything to write home about. Some of the design decisions were pretty lame and the game is – like most MMORPGs – multi-player whack-a-mole.

The March update to the game introduced a new system of using action points. The action point system was one of my least favorite parts of the game. You can use action points to buy enhancements for your character. These are supposed to allow you to specialize your character into different areas and abilities. You were allowed to pick four enhancements to your character and each mini-level (each level is divided up into 5 mini levels) you would receive an action point to spend. If you had any unused action points when you hit a major level (level 5 to level 6 for example) you would loose those unspent action points forever.

My character is now level 6 and from level 1 to level 6 I had thrown away well over half of the action points ever awarded to me. In fact, one of my character enhancements I had kept since level one for lack of an upgrade path for it. All of the other enhancements were in pretty much the same boat – they were things I’ve had for ages and were at low levels of effectiveness.

The March update scrapped all that and now allows you to have more than 4 enhancements. As a part of that process each character has had their enhancements removed and all their action points restored so that they can re-select enhancements. This was a tremendous improvement on the previous system. In addition if you don’t like what you’ve changed it to you can pay some in-game money and reset them again and try one more time.

These changes to the action point system made my character a much more interesting bard. The highlights include: I have 20% increase to the time that my song effects linger, I have 40 more spell points than before, my sonic and healing spells are 20% more effective than before and I have a 3% chance of generating a “critical” on sonic and healing spells which adds a 1.25 multiplier to the numerical effects of such spells. In addition to that my haggle skill is +3 better than before, I got +1 to my charisma score, my Inspire Courage song adds a +1 to attack and damage (before it was only damage) and I have a 10% improvement in effectiveness of healing spells cast on me. The only decrement I see to my character is that in spite of taking two levels of extra bard song I can only perform a song 8 times before resting where as previously I could do 11. It seems like a small price to pay for the improvements to my character.

For me the nerf bat hit a triple.

For others the nerf bat seems to have hit them right between the eyes. The rouge in our party, Coyote, was really unhappy with the changes to the enhancement system. He was previously enjoying a +3 bonus to all sorts of skill checks that was converted into a time based effect that only lasts for 30 seconds now. We stumbled into several traps that he was unable to detect for some reason. Hopefully that was due to a design of the dungeon and not to his abilities being nerfed but that is yet to be determined.

The rest of the party wasn’t very vocal about their changes. The Paladin/Rouge (what a combo) seemed to like his but I don’t know what they were except that he did get some skill bonuses. What is that score – a single, a double?

I know our wizard took an enhancement that makes it so monsters don’t mind being blown up with fireballs quite so much. That is a pretty cool enhancement since she has a tendency to attract a lot of monster attention after cutting loose with a powerful spell. I certainly spent less time hanging back with the wizard to pull beasties off of her than previously so that’s an enhancement that works for me too! I’d call this a nerf bat double just for that alone unless there are detriments I don’t know about.

The warrior – I have no idea. He always seems to be able to smash stuff dead before I can even hit them. I didn’t notice anything different – so nerf bat score: unknown.

The cleric – seemed to be reasonably happy with his changes. He did note that he was using spell points much more quickly than previously. He also took enhancements to the effectiveness of his healing spells. From outside it looks like at least a sold single for him.

All in all it’s a score for the home team (that would be us) with these changes.

Friday, March 09, 2007


I like daylight savings time. I love having the light in the evenings during the summer. It makes the baseball games much more pleasant not to mention how much more time you can play with or have the kids play outside. It’s a sign of spring. Loosing that hour in the spring is quite a pain but I really do like having the daylight hours match the sunlight.

In case you haven’t noticed (and believe me some of you haven’t). (Well actually. Now that I think about those who will probably be reading this, I have to take that back. I’m sure all of you, that I know that will see this, HAVE noticed so let me try this whole paragraph again.)

In case you haven’t noticed (and believe me there are potentially some people who might possibly one day read this page who haven’t noticed) this year the daylight savings time has been extended. It start earlier in the spring and it ends later in the fall. This by itself is nice. If you are in charge of patching a Microsoft Exchange server or two – it’s definitely not nice.

Let me explain: In order to patch the Windows 2000 clients – I had to update them to the latest security patch level and run some regedits.

In order to patch the Windows XP clients – I had to update them to the latest patch levels by running the Windows Update utility.

In order to patch the Apple OSX clients – I had to update them to the latest patch levels by running the Software Update utility.

In order to patch the Windows 2000 servers – I had to update them to the latest security patch levels and run some regedits.

In order to patch the Windows 2003 servers – I had to update them to the latest patch levels by running the Windows Update utility.

In order to update Exchange Server 2003 – I had to download and install the Exchange calendar update tool and download and install the TZMOVE.exe tool and download and install the patch to the TZMOVE.exe tool. Then run the MSextmzcfg.exe to extract all calendar data from the server we were working on. Run the batch file that produced. Then edit the .ini file associated with the batch file to include a different flag and run the batch file again. Then edit the mailboxes.txt (which is the data file associated with the batch file) file to include all the files that the MSextmzcfg.exe tool marked as non-existing. Re-run the batch file….twice, once with each option from before. Then edit by hand a new mailbox.txt file with the names of any resource mailboxes on your server, edit the ini file with a secret undocumented flag and run the batch file again to update resources. Then go to the exchange server and make sure that it is patched to the latest service pack level, and download and install the CDO update (why they call it CDO I’ll never know). In my case this update returned the result that I wasn’t patched to SP2 even though I clearly was. Beat head against wall. Discover that because I did an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2000 to Windows Server 2003 that there are three registry keys that need to be deleted. Remove the keys, reinstall Exchange SP2, re-run the Exchange CDO update, and reboot the exchange server. Open up outlook and manually check your calendar – notice that almost all of your appointments have been changed to reflect the date correctly but a few haven’t. Open each of the wrong ones manually, click the recurring tab, click OK, click save. Do that for each one that is wrong and you are done.

*starts singing* Which one of these is not like the other, which one is different, can you tell? */stops singing*

I think I’ve found what castle I need to storm. I’m pretty sure I can find pitchforks, torches and mobs of other to help me. But first I need to go and do this whole process on the other server.

Monday, March 05, 2007


I like spooky stories.

I’ve watched a few episodes of the X-Files over the years. I mean, really, who hasn’t? They are, or at least were, heavily syndicated and they made like 7 seasons worth of shows. I almost always enjoyed the show but never really got into it – for quite a number of reasons, most of which were dumb and involved me caving in. Anyhooo…..

I put the first season on my Netflix account and I received the first disk the other Friday. Perfect timing, I had shows to watch over the weekend. After having had a chance to watch the pilot episode and the first several series episodes I have been smacking my forehead going “Why didn’t I watch this?”

Hmmm, that’s not very clear. Let me rephrase. I really really really really really liked the first disk. The shows were clever and well written. The acting is surprisingly good for a pilot episode. The music was perfectly fitted to the pacing of the episodes. The stories were spooky and intelligent enough to treat the non-rational aspects of the show seriously and yet not crazily.

Hmmmmm, maybe that’s not very clear either. Let me try this. I think it would be _fun_ to believe that there are spookies and beasties, and monsters and aliens and all sorts of weirdness out in the world. It would be better than knowing that so many of the bad things that are done to people are done by other people. Plus stories about monsters and beasties are fun because they create an attitude of “let’s beat the monster”. Sometimes we all want to be part of the mob of townsfolk with our torches and pitchforks.

These episodes of the X-Files were well enough written to appeal to that part of me that wants to believe and yet also allowed for the viewpoint that things could possibly be completely rationally explained – it’s just that our understanding wasn’t good enough. In other words, they captured the FUN of letting yourself believe in something fantastic – without preaching that it’s true.

Contrast this to Art Bell and George Noorys radio shows called “Coast to Coast AM”. These people also talk about the beasties and the strange and the aliens and the unbelievable and yet they portray an attitude of "it is all real and those that don’t believe are simply deluded". I do enjoy listening to this show from time to time but it is fascinating to hear these earnest believers call in but I wouldn’t say its fun. It's more like watching a train wreck to me - I just cant stop once it starts.

X-Files captured the fun of the fantastical. I think they will need more than that to sustain my interest for long but they have already laid the ground work for some interesting character development and for a meta-story involving Mulders place in the FBI and how Scully relates to him. All in all it was a promising beginning to a show and extremely entertaining. I’ve bumped disk two up in my queue and hope to be watching it soon.

I can’t believe I waited so long to look into this program. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go find my pitchfork and see if I can agitate a mob up to storm a castle.
Site Meter