How to totally be a ninja and crawl into a hole to avoid awkward moments…

It can get a teeny tiny bit awkward when you do something a little bit maladroit and then people give you those stares… You know… those kinds of looks that make the blood in your body either freeze and cause popsicles to form in your nose or make your blood boil while a lovely shade of autumn fire hydrant graces your lovely round, paunchy cheeks.

Here are but a few examples and how you can sweep such situations under the rug while still looking like the axe murderer that you are…

Waving at someone you think just waved at you but they were actually waving at the person behind you.

That disapproving frown. That embarrassment that creeps up your neck and gives you creepy little love bites all over your face. That mortification when you realize that you look like a retarded fishcake and probably a red tomato topped with cherry sauce too. Ewwww. The actual recipient of the greeting that caused the destruction of your very life that moment in time, awkwardly brushes by you and greets the enemy. IT. IT CAUSED THIS. How dare they just “wave” like that. How dare they put your life in danger like that. Your grave will read “death by person that waved at you but wasn’t really waving at you and thus you died of embarrassment because the earth couldn’t swallow you whole quickly enough…” It’s that horrible. You should sue them for almost causing your death but you’re not going to. Instead you will quickly spin around and walk away like a centipede with 98 missing legs. You sad picked onion.

Pulling a door that says “push” and vice-versa.

It. Will. Not. Open. Push damnit. PUSH!!! While you are mercilessly grinding with your shoulder against this door, trying to get it open, someone just casually walks by, taps you on the shoulder and then pulls the door open. I do believe your brain just forgot how to brain. Much intelligence. Well done. Situations like these call for a certain kind of finesse. There is a bush nearby. Gracefully extend your slender leg behind you like a dog at a fire hydrant and… Awkwardly fall into the said bush while flailing wildly like an octopus trying to break dance. You have ineffectively avoided an awkward situation.

When your server says, “Enjoy your meal!” and you reply, “Thanks, you too!”

It’s one of those moments where you slowly want to pick up your spoon and stick it in your ear because you have no idea what else to do. It’s not like you can take it back because you have just inexplicably ruined this person’s life. They’re going to go sit in a corner and rock to and thro because your carelessness have brought back childhood memories from the time when they were 3 months and 16 days old. You may slowly sink from your chair now and become a puddle on the bacteria infested floors.

Telling a joke but then forgetting the punch line halfway through.

“So this Oreo walks into the dentist’s office and it asks the barkeeper for a drink and the zookeeper replies…” Wait what?

“Uhm…”

“The cannibal says…”

Look there is an easy way out of this one. Look everyone dead in the eye or try to… (Make your eyes go in opposite directions dammit, you can do this! You’re a ninja.) Look them in the eye soldier, slowly extend your tongue and… lick your eyebrow. Tiss as simple as that.

Facebook stalking someone and accidentally liking their profile picture from six years ago.

Remember that time I gave advice on how to talk to introverted girls? Well my dear, this one is dedicated to you. You’ve been stalking this girl for a while now, you know the ins and outs, which books she likes, which carpets she don’t like and of course how many bugs she has in her dead bug collection. And then it happens. Just another day of idly going through her Facebook photos and you accidently push that like button. You think, “Oops, well that’s okay she’ll probably won’t think much about it…” Until you see the date. Your heart stops, your stomach takes a plunge down candy mountain and your eye starts to do that special little twitch of its. You frantically Google for hours on end a way to “take it back” but alas you realise your fate is set and thus you say goodbye to your luxurious life and pack your bags to go live with the hobos under the bridge.

Asking someone at a store for a different size and realizing they don’t work there.

You’re trying on these gorgeous pair of red shoes with pretty jewelled bows and heels high enough to make a giraffe envious of your awkward stumbling. You realize that they’re not precisely your number so you turn to the lady standing a few feet away and ask her politely yet firmly with a flick of your gorgeous mane of magnificent hair to please be a dear and “go fetch my number.” The arrogant bitch gives you incredulous look and shakes her head. With dawning horror you realize that this woman does not work here. You swallow nervously and your eyes dart left and right, looking for any indication that there are hidden cameras somewhere…

Yeah, my suggestion?

Yell “I’m a potato!” and take a nose dive behind one of the displays. Belly crawl your way to the lingerie section and high tail it out of there. Change your name to Petunia and book a ticket to Botswana to start your new life as a tomato farmer.

When someone says they’re going to a funeral or a hospital visit and telling them reflexively to “have fun!”

You might as well have dug the grave yourself with a jewel encrusted spoon while listening to Nicky Mi-something. (Word can’t spell her name… Shame on you Microsoft Word. Terms and conditions may apply. Also apricot jam.) You horrible creature. We all know funerals and hospitals don’t have bouncy castles, how could you even suggest such a thing? People can’t have fun without bouncy castles. It’s atrocious. The horror. You must immediately exile yourself to the artic to go live as an eskimo and hunt snow balls to further fund the research for bouncy castles made of ice. It’s a thing.

Good day sir.

You sir, are a banana. Or should I say is a banana? Will that satisfy you?

“Why are you so quiet, it’s like you’re not even here.” Look at that, I know the difference between you’re and your. Yes, my English is just fine thank you very much even if I have blubbers from time to time. Did I mention that they only taught us the very basics in school while you can barely speak my native tongue? Just putting out there. Just for funsies. So to say I am infuriated would be putting it mildly. Not only have we just met, but also do you take it upon yourself to comment on my language, my person and the fact that “I’m quiet.” It’s called being an introvert you retarded banana. Not to be confused with retarded fishcakes. They’re cool. Bananas are considered the highest insult in my house. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we? We went out. As in I left my PC alone for a day and partook in socializing with other people. Well mostly my friends which is required of me but much to my utmost dismay a stranger approached us. Oh I do recognize you somewhat. You’re that guy thing I have played some games with before. Fun times… What did you say Nigel? (I have decided to name my brain Nigel. I will introduce you guys eventually.) Oh you’re right, that chair is funny colour of red. We were a large group of people but most were known to me so I was allowed to frolic in lala land. We split into two groups, they went one way to do things and I and two close friends went another way to do things.

It was nice, while the others did more physical things, I and one of my best friends had deep meaningful conversations and eventually it happened. My socializing meter reached its max capacity and I was satisfied and Nigel retreated into the nothing box/cave to chase unicorns. The others eventually joined us and conversations started. I of course just sat there, enjoying the sounds of close friends talking around me while Nigel frolicked.

And then “it” opened its mouth. I try to be polite to people I don’t know but it takes a certain kind of person. Look, I don’t general get this mean but first impressions are kind of a big deal to Nigel and you sir, you well and truly pissed Nigel off.

It went something along the lines of:

Why are you so quiet?” or “Why are you not saying anything?” It’s called being an introvert. Google it. I guess I should be asking you “Why are you talking?” since you insist on asking me brain-dead questions.

Why are you not partaking in the conversations?” Because unlike you retarded banana, these people know me and are used to it and do you see them constantly annoying the living crap out of me to say something? As stated before in an earlier post. I DON’T DO SMALLTALK. Go annoy someone else if you want to talk about utter and complete nonsense.

Since you’re not talking, you’re not really there.” Or “You don’t really count.” What? Did I get up and leave and forgot to take my body? Am I invisible? Why Nigel, swiggly swooty, we’re invisible. Let’s light this bugger’s pants on fire, shall we?

After a while the prodding and poking turned into blatant mockery of my person. I did not appreciate it one bit. I don’t mind it at all when my friends poke fun at me, they do it often enough, and I know that they do love me and my quirkiness. However, when retarded bananas that I do not know think it appropriate to attack me like that, Nigel starts to come up with creative ways to murder them. How does nailing spoons into their skull while blasting Justin Bieber to chorus of wailing white girls sound? Pretty gruesome eh? Nigel has much worse in mind. You barely know me and although I am acting like my usual self it still doesn’t mean you have the right to belittle me like that. My ego is large enough to suffocate a person but even I have my limits and some things do hurt. Hashtag just saying.

Since you possess only a single brain cell, I guess I shouldn’t blame you for shoving an inanimate object in my face because you’re so bored with yourself that you cannot sit still at the table like a reasonable adult.

Oh, now you seem to think I’m utterly and completely deaf too!! It’s called ignoring someone like a stop sign because their opinion is so insignificant you simply cannot be bothered by them.

This right here is a prime example of what introverts like me have to deal with when meeting new people. Seriously people I’ve talked about this before. Why do you insist on making our lives so miserable when we dare it out in society? Why can’t we just play nice and accept that people are different. This is why introverts prefer solitude. At least when you’re alone you won’t be constantly asked in some way or another if there is something fundamentally wrong with you.

Get with the program bananas.

How to pick up chicks… Not the edible kind… Well… How not to be creepy. (The introvert version, Part 1)

So we know by now that I am useless. Wait, you don’t know? Shame on you. Let’s narrow down the search and rather focus on the particular attribute of mine that makes me useless. I. Am. Bad. At. Guys. That sounds terrible. I need a waffle. No wait, make that two waffles and an upside-down peanut butter jar. I hate peanuts. Not the point.

Now as stated above, I am terrible at talking to guys I find attractive. I blubber like a retarded fish cake (damn you Mother for bringing this up!!), hide behind my books and of course I can totally do the whole camouflage thing in the tomato garden but recent events have gotten me thinking. There are tips EVERYWHERE on the internet for men on how to pick up women, blah, blah, blah but these generally are aimed at women. Not fish cakes like me.

Let’s call him Fish Paste. Now if you’re a fish cake, you’re useless, if you are a Fish Paste, you are the object of my affection (for the time being. I have the attention span of a brain-dead goldfish.) Or to make things more general, you are the male life form said introvert fancies over her book. Be happy.

Now… On to business. Boys, if you fancy yourself some luscious bookworm, this is the guide for you.


 

How to approach a female introvert.

(Warning, disclaimer, screw you and so on, this is purely from my point of view. Be warned.)

Know when to approach the matter.

The first hint would probably be the giggling. Even introverts giggle, bloody hell, introverts probably giggle more than most because they don’t know what else to do with themselves. Not to be confused with that annoying OMG you’re so cute giggle normal girls do, nooo, ours is the awkward, shit fuck I’m in trouble giggle. (Excuse my French.) You probably think this is a bad thing and all because awkwardness is never a good thing but trust me on this one, she ain’t never gonna approach you so man up, lick your socks and sweep that lady off her feet. Or try to.

If she looks like she’s about to peg over and die (metaphorically of course, introverts do not like people.) as in, she looks mightily uncomfortable, now might be the time to swoop in and save her. Be the knight in shining armour. Or makes things more uncomfortable. You know what… scratch that.

Generally other signs include cough, I totally don’t do this, cough:

  • Peeking at you from underneath her lashes while you’re kind of not looking.
  • Peeking at you from behind her handbooks and or novel she keeps hidden between said handbook’s pages.
  • Biting her lip a lot, playing with her hair or finding something arbitrary to do when in your company because she does not know what to do with herself.

Try to steer clear if female in question is having an intense moment with her fellow girlfriend, like gushing over a video game, bitching about friends or just cursing life. She needs the therapy, stay well away unless you want to be mauled by stray female emotion.

Approach her with confidence.

Look if you’re going to be a nervous ball of bunny fluff when approaching her then you’re only asking for a train-wreck filled with slimy peaches, blegh. You need to show this girl that you are confident, that things won’t be awkward once you reach her. Ok, she’ll probably be avoiding eye contact at this stage but this is for your own good damnit. Also make sure when nearing her general vicinity that you’ll be able to steer the conversation because honey, I can guarantee she won’t know what to say so be prepared. Relax… take it easy and sing the “Pink, Fluffy, Unicorns dancing on rainbows” song in your head.

Introduce yourself, no wait, don’t introduce yourself. Or maybe you should. Hmmm if she were me and did like you, I, she would probably already have stalked you on Facebook.

………………..

Introduce yourself, it’s safer. Not everyone is a stalker. Tsk, tsk.

Do not, and I repeat, do not use pickup lines. The probability that this girl is a smart-ass in her head and possesses more than one brain cell is quite high. If you’re going to use pick-up lines she’ll probably think:

  1. Dafuq?
  2. What is that smell? (Pickup lines smell bad, didn’t you know that dude?)
  3. Groan inwardly and wish for the earth to swallow her whole.
  4. Mmmm I wonder if I can calculate this guy’s brain cell count.
  5. Shit, fuck X 10834796196
  6. If I run now, will he be able to outrun me?

And finally…

Did the chicken come first or the speckled egg?

Make sure you are a dressed well, women and not just introverts, do appreciate a well-dressed man anytime and make sure you at least look like you showered. We do not live in the Stone Age anymore despite you what you want us to believe at times.

Keep eye contact and give her all your attention. Introverts are very good listeners so if you want to drone on while doing the whole “I like you dance” then please do talk as much as you like, but try to pay attention. Men are multi-threaded beings, they flit through the different tasks so quickly that it actually looks like they’re multi-tasking. Implement this strategy. She’s making post-in notes and decorating her cave walls while you are talking and your actions will speak for you or rather, her mental post-it notes will. Same thing.

Be direct. BE DIRECT. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BEAT AROUND THE BUSH. I REPEAT, BE DIRECT. ONCE MORE, BE DIRECT. Introverts are not equipped to pick up on subtle “Me man, me like” hints. We are social retards and require you to be completely and utterly blunt over the fact that your caveman instincts like what they see.

And lastly smile. Just smile. Don’t ask any questions, smile troglodyte.

(To be continued)

Introverted Reality

So in light of my most recent post, I am going to extend the theme of being introverted and the hard times that befalls me and my fellow awkward pack mates. Katherine agreed that Steve is going crazy and that we should book him into the insane asylum for deranged Jelly Beans which happens to be my cat’s left nostril or was it the hole in my lampshade? My brain is struggling to brain. Damn you Nigel, why you no worky? Oooh pretty shiny-thing-lying-on-the-ground-which-happens-to-be-like-really-really-shiny-and-shit…

What?

Problems that only introverts have to deal with.

Practicing conversations with people you will never talk to.

You know that bitch that bumped into you the other day and apologized and like turned around and left? Yeah well let me tell you something missy, I… We all do it. You have these epic conversations with celebrities, showdowns with your nemesis and of course the cockroach living underneath your two weeks old sock just told you about this place… It’s called La La land and… Instead of, you know, talking to people, you instead have conversations with people in your head all the time. They have no clue that you’re proclaiming your love, declaring war or reciting a candy wrapper to them because you know… Sound fails to leave your lips and that would just like end the world. Like seriously.

That dreadful feeling that sambas in your stomach when the phone rings and you are not mentally prepared to chat with whoever is calling.

I in particular have this problem. It’s always more convenient to either let the phone ring. And ring. And ring.

And ring.

And ring.

And.

Ring.

Ring.

Until someone eventually picks it up or it just… stops. Oopsies I didn’t hear. Or you pick it but instead of answering you run to the nearest relative, make up some halfwit excuse like sorry I’m on the toilet even though I’m not but I am and then make a break for it. Of course it does happen from year to year, sometime more, that you are forced to pick up the phone, either by said relative or your brain was just like screw da emotions, pick it up slave. And then you stand there, gaping like a retarded fish cake while the creature on the other side blabbers on until they realize no sound is coming from your end because hello? It’s impossible to combine retarded fish cake with multitasking even if you’re a woman.

The need to recharge after social situations.

My best friend once told me something interesting about myself. When I go clubbing for a night (if I go clubbing and don’t find some excuse like my non-existant gold fish died or Katherine licked my bras.) I usually need to recover for at least two weeks, if not more, before they can even attempt to ask me again. I don’t know if it’s the same for other people but hell, one night of that and my social meter is like in overload mode.

When you hear the question “Wanna hang out?”, and your palms start to sweat with anxiety.

Oh this is quite horrible, not the sweaty part (which is also very horrible but misses the latter with like a 0.01%) but the coming up with viable excuse part. Like, uhm, I have stuff… Important stuff mind you. What stuff you ask? Uhm… Stuff? Buy yourself a dead fish at the super market and keep it in your fridge until further notice. The moment someone asks you to go out just make up some sob story about how your best friend which happens to be a fish (remind them to ignore that part) has died all of a sudden and you have to like have to create a shrine in its honour and crap like that. Oh and don’t forget to show them the photo you took of you kissing the dead fish. It will help. I think.

Or it will land you in fluffy white room where you can hit your head against the walls without getting hurt.

Neat eh?

Having visitors stay with you is a nightmare, because it means you have to be on at ALL TIMES.

Now as I have explained before, I have a cave. This cave is my escape from life for some periods of time and I visit quite often. The thing is, when you have guests over, you have to pay attention to them and they get quite upset when your eyes glass over when they’re talking which means escaping to one’s cave/box/merry-go-round/hole/fridge/milk carton is a big no no. Which also means that you start to get twitchy because people find it normal to stay at your place for an unholy amount of hours because socializing and shit man. I loathe these people. I loathe a lot of things. I loathe raisins.

When people mistake your thoughtful look for being moody, or worse, scary as hell.

The big daddy of all annoyances. I kid you not. When I am in my cave and deep in thought I get this really angry, pissed off look on my face but really I’m just fantasizing about eating candy floss off a unicorn’s butt and that’s like happy thoughts right? Yet my face fails to register that I am happy and as a result every man, woman and child that does not know me personally fears me and usually refuses to even look at me because hello? I eat waffles for dinner and that is wrong. Apparently.

It gets really annoying sometimes because I really do occasionally, as in every 6 months or so maybe a bit more, would like to make a new friend but that’s not going to happen because I am the waffle menace. Fear me.

Begone now.

The Life and Times of an Insane Introvert

I have a cave. Not a real one of course, I only wish, but an imaginary one that is located in the deep recesses of my twisted, little mind (I call her Nigel). This delightful place is filled with wonders like unicorns and short waiting lines and flying waffles. Things that would amaze my teddy bears and probably make you run screaming in the other direction. I have this imaginary jelly bean named Steve and he’d probably chase you so I suggest you slowly back away while scratching your left ear.

Point taken.

There are two types of humans. People and us. Extroverts and introverts. Raisins and parsley.

Now cave aside, as all introverts know dealing with other apes that have the ability to produce sound and form reasonably understandable dialogue through their vocal cords a.k.a. other human beings a.k.a. people, can be quite challenging. People… just people. That’s all you really need to utter to your fellow awkward pack mates to invoke mutual understanding.  These creatures make it increasingly difficult to navigate the thing we call life with their socializing and telling you to go out and “do things”.

“Are you ok? What’s wrong? Why are you so sad?”

“Why are you so quiet?”

“You need to get out more.”

. . .

I have several words for you people. Shut.The.Hell.Up.

If we wanted a social life we would have gone out, gotten one and probably poked a 40 something year old “tante” (lady) on the nose and then ran away shrieking like a banshee while inwardly rejoicing in our new “social life”.

Hopefully by now you would have realized that I am introvert. I don’t like people. Making friends is a challenge and staring at people, recording their every alien move while hiding behind a fern is a preferably activity.

Don’t get me wrong I have friends. Wonderful friends. Superb friends. Friends that sometimes make me forget I have the internet. Enchanting friends whom have learned by now that when I am in my cave it is best to leave me alone while I frolic in my absurdity. But alas they only make up like 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000…[insert number here]% of the people population.

That is sad. Which is why it’s frustrating when you try to deal with other people that is not friend and newish friends that don’t know you that well yet because they have trouble understanding that your brain is part troglodyte [oooooooh shiny.]. You like being alone. You like hiding in dark corners while other people “socialize”. You don’t need their sympathy and pity because there is nothing bloody wrong with you but they seem to think so because you’re shy or you have trouble making small talk.

Ugh. That brings me to my other bane. The dreaded small talk. I can do deep meaningful conversations or gushing about some fandom or just discussing something in detail but small talk. It makes me quiver in my boots and cringe inwardly. Even my innards start crying in agony. Talking about arbitrary things, like discussing the weather or what this person did the other day… it’s simply maddening.

Mostly because Nigel (my mind) has this annoying thing where she utterly betrays me by going blank while the entrance to our cave slowly lights up like a neon light inviting us in and I’m just like: “Really? Now? Come on, gimme something, anything.”

But alas the traitor simply refuses and you stand there, gaping like an idiot at the person while they grow more and more uncomfortable because you are not making any kind of conversation and you look like a retarded fish cake.

Fun times.

Another thing people have trouble dealing with when communicating with me is my talk quota. You heard me right, I have a talk quota or communication breaking point or uhm socializing meter. (If anyone has this I applaud you bro. Dis thing is a pain in the arse.) There is only so much socializing I can do in a day or a week and if that quota is reached at some point, I get really mean and nasty and growl at people and shit. In other words, steer clear of the bitch.

People have a really hard time dealing with this part of me but it is simply who I am and I cannot change it. I am an introvert. Deal with it.

That is all.

Mass Effect 3 Game Review.

To my lovely yet crazy, possibly deranged readers… This post is a bit special in the sense that it’s not entirely my own work but rather a collaboration of 7 people more or less. This is actually an assignment for one of my University Modules so it’s very academic and stuff. I’m not allowed to use stuff. I am bad person…

I present to you. (Drum roll please…)

Mass Effect 3 Learning Principles Review
We will be reviewing Mass Effect 3 by taking into consideration (Gee, 2005) 13 learning principles for a well-designed game.

1. Co-design
In the trilogy, there is a moral system in place. The two sides are renegade and paragon. Renegade is when you take whatever measures needed to finish the mission. Paragon is where you go out of your way to help every last soul that you can. These two aspects have a massive role in the Mass Effect universe, where it even changes who will be left alive in the end and what actions are available to you in certain situations. The game allows you to make your own choices and these choices have an effect on the story that you as a player experience. The game allows you to choose your squad, who will be fighting alongside you. You further have the choice to help these companions in personal matters; this has an effect on how well they perform throughout the game.

2. Customize
The game has many different ways of playing it. When you start a new game, you have the ability to choose the difficulty of the game, making it easy or very difficult. If this is not enough for you and you want to skip out on all the combat the game offers, you can choose an option that makes the game all about the interactions between characters. The second option is Role Playing, where you have a component of interacting with characters and combat. A third choice would be Action only where any interaction between characters will be done for you by the game. In the game itself, you have the ability to customize Commander Shepard as well as his squad. Commander Shepard has many classes available to him; each class presents a different style of gameplay and can change how you experience the game.

One

Two

3. Identity
In the Mass Effect trilogy you are Commander Shepard. In Mass Effect one you had a casual conversation with a death machine and then blew the thing up while grinning at your tight knit alien team. In mass effect 2 you made more alien friends then jumped through the super-scary-it-might -kill you relay… and then continued onwards to blow up the space station on the other side. Blowing things up is kind of your thing. In Mass Effect you create your Commander Shepard and you choose the fate of the galaxy. You can either be a badass or a hero hell-bent on helping people. The choice is yours.

4. Manipulation and Distributed Knowledge
In Mass Effect you can move Commander Shepard within the boundaries of the game world, you can interact with most people and you have a gun. Not just a gun, a space gun. It shoots things. Bad guys mostly. After character creation you are immediately dumped into the action after a cut scene and from there on out, it’s your job to solve the problems of the galactic community by shooting, helping and shopping. I am not kidding; you can’t shoot things properly without a nice, new gun.

5. Well-ordered problems
In the game, mass effect, many skills are taught in tutorials in the anticipation that these skills will be implemented in more difficult problem solving later in the game. The story choice system also offers many different scenarios where dialogue and action choices provide guidance for future choices and progression usually in the role playing elements of the game. This means that the game fulfils the criteria of well-ordered problems entirely.

6. Pleasantly Frustrating
At the start of Mass Effect 3 a players skills are judged by the game and a difficulty is assigned to the player that is meant to be challenging but doable. As the game progresses a player knows which directions to take due to suggestive prompts and the story aspect of the game only progresses if a player is headed in the right direction. Bosses and all enemies in general have health bars that indicate how well a player is progressing in defeating them. This shows that Mass Effect 3 fulfils the pleasantly frustrating criteria.

7. Cycles of Expertise
In the game Mass Effect 3, the principle of “Cycle of Expertise” is applied in a very simple but elegant way that makes sense to the player. Mass Effect 3 implements the different stages of difficulty in a game similarly to many other games. The player begins the game on “starting difficulty.” This gives the player a choice to play “casual”, “normal”, or “veteran.” Once a player has played through the game once on any of the above mentioned difficulty levels, they will have unlocked the “Hardcore” difficulty. In this difficulty level, the enemy’s difficulty level is scaled up. Some enemies now have protection abilities and bosses get varying levels of immunity. Once you have played through that difficulty, you would have unlocked the “Insanity” difficulty level. This level has immense scaling for bosses. All enemies now have protection and all bosses have immunity. This is a great example of how the “cycle of expertise” principle is handled in Mass Effect 3 as we can see that once a player has mastered all skills at one level, they now have to apply those skills at a much higher level. This requires the player to acquire a lot of practice and tests their memory of their practice and shows how they apply that to the new levels and challenges presented to them.

8. Information ‘On Demand’ and ‘Just in Time’
Mass Effect 3 delivers information to its players by the use of a Heads up display (HUD) system. The HUD is split up into three sections (left, right and bottom of the screen). The left and right of the screen display information about your squad’s talents and the abilities. It also allows you to issue orders by clicking on specific icons unique to those orders. The bottom of the screen provides information about your own characters abilities and talents and allows you to use them by clicking on them. In addition to these UI elements, Mass Effect 3 also provides player information while they play the game through messages and other characters. As can be seen above, Mass Effect 3 applies the “Information on Demand” in a very subtle but useful sense. Mass Effect 3 is able to provide information to the player without being obtrusive.

Three

9. Fish Tanks
The game itself does not necessarily offer tutorials and instead puts players in the action of the game and the players are put to the test as soon as they begin. However in the beginning it is not that difficult in the first levels of the game as the player is introduced into the story, they get the idea of what is to be expected in terms of game play or and the difficulty that will come with it. Sort of a ‘Learn-as-you-go’ type game. This is the closest to a fish tank as Mass Effect 3 can get.

10. Sandboxes
In terms of Sandboxes, Mass Effect 3 uses a lot of dialogue where the player can use the time to relax from any action during playing. Nothing can go wrong during the dialogue unless of course one chooses the wrong response; in the game, player has options on how to respond in dialogues which determines the rest of your game play. Should a player choose the right response, they could likely avoid any conflict in the game at all.

11. Skills as strategies and System Thinking
In the game mass effect, each character in your group has 4 skills, each with unique benefits. Often the skills of the members on your squad are very important to the success of a mission. Not having the right characters equipped and correctly levelled skills often results in mission failure, showing that critical thinking is necessary for mission success. Your squad is a system and every “component” in the system needs to be picked out carefully, working together as a team, flanking enemies and combining abilities to wipe out enemies or disable bosses is crucial.

12. System Thinking
The game consists of a class and skill system. As you level and play through the game, you can choose to unlock certain abilities. These abilities play a role in playing the game and fulfilling certain strategies. The abilities are core elements of the lore of the Mass Effect universe. As you play with these different abilities, you learn that you can combine certain abilities, meaning that over time you get a feel of the rules used in combat.

13. Meaning as Action Image
Mass Effect 3 prides itself as a game that has the player deeply experience the universe, characters, relationships, and stories through their characters. Throughout the game the player must role-play either a paragon or renegade character which defines the player experience through moral and ethical choices that the game presents to the player. These choices have a profound effect on the game, changing the outcome of certain events completely. The immersiveness of the game allows players to pick up concepts and terminology quickly by experimenting and figuring out things for themselves instead of learning definitions for example. The actions of the player allow them to learn through experience of Commander Shepard. The highly controversial ending to the game presents a philosophical question to the player that ends in three different outcomes based on what the player believes to be the correct choice depending on their experience through the game.

Bibliography
Gee, J.P., 2005. Learning by design: Good video games as learning machines. E-learning. 2(1): 5-16.

Electronic Arts. 2007. Mass Effect 1. [DISC/DIGITAL] Canada: Bioware Edmonton.

Electronic Arts. 2010. Mass Effect 2. [DISC/DIGITAL] Canada: Bioware Edmonton.

Electronic Arts. 2012. Mass Effect 3. [DISC/DIGITAL]  Canada: Bioware Edmonton.

Life is tough and crap falls on your head…

If there is one thing I’ve learned it is not to take life too seriously. It can kill you… Like grab a fork and tickle you, kill you. Like seriously. There is nothing more dangerous than a fork and peanut butter falling on your head when you open the cupboard in the kitchen. I should totally write a post on how to wash peanut butter out of one’s hair. Because it happens. Shit happens my dear readers and it’s often peanut butter in your hair. How bloody poetic.

Peanut butter infested hair aside, let’s get down to business.

Cue University, the main reason why this blasted blog of mine is so quiet. But I repent; I do honestly try to make an effort… I promise no wait I don’t. Screw you all.

As pleasant as the thought of chasing a three legged cat down the street in my underwear sounds, I do believe I’ll pass. What? You had not suggested something so absurd? Well excuse me for assuming you’re interesting.

Another little life lesson that have been adequately forced down my throat would be not to hit morons over the head with my water bottle. You see I’m in that awkward position of choosing to study a degree equivalent to an engineering degree. Some might argue that I’m talking a cluster of crap; nothing in the world is more challenging than an engineering degree… I beg to differ. You try spending everyday getting up at half past 5, working for hours upon hours having barely enough time to pee and then going home, eating, bathing – that is to say if I even remember…(if you remember, there is reason I have dead windowsill fly collection. They seem to love me by the time I reach Wednesday and end up dead by Friday. Could be me… Could be the bug spray or perhaps Katherine carrying an aerosol can filled with au de stinky toes.)

Okay I’m lying; I’d eat my own ear before I got to bed smelly. I have no idea how I’m going to accomplish that but I will, hear me out, I will non-believer. (Here is a dirty little secret… I shower naked.) Anyway… where was I? Oh right, I was at the part of repeating the entire damn process over and over again until you eventually reach that point where you’re willing to lick a wall just because you can. Well that’s just me; I don’t know what the rest of you people do when under a lot of pressure. Me?

I lick walls and hunt carpets in the middle of the night.

Now the reason as to why the urge to use my water bottle as a weapon of mass destruction had risen in the first place is because I was in the unfortunate position of being stuck behind some two girls chattering like banshees and walking really… really… really slowly. I was irritated, irrational, female and hungry. I couldn’t help overhearing one complain to the other over the absolute atrocity of her having to sit through three hours of class before having a blessed break. Cue eye twitch. I’m lucky if I even have a bloody break. You my dear, are probably studying something like BA arts, I have nothing against any BA degrees what I do though have a problem with is people complaining about absolutely nothing. Shame you have class until half past 3? Well that’s cute; I have class till half past 6 sometimes but never mind me. Oh no, you have to get up at 7 to make class… Oh dear, what absolute train wreck, your life is ending because you can’t go out with your friends tonight because you have this foreign thing called homework. I’m lucky to even have social contact with people for 5 min a day. What the hell am I talking about anyway? I don’t know what her life is about.

Perhaps I’m too hard on this individual whose name I do not know, but when you reach the point of finding late night activities like hunting carpets entertaining… You know you are losing your mind or perhaps a pillow and finding any kind of sympathy is asking a bit too much.

That is all.

Ye be primitive.

What is more horrifying than your cell phone inexplicably dying on you?

It’s not the boogeyman picking his nose or the daunting task of finding something to watch on television… Oh no, it’s something much worse.

A power failure.

Dum dum duuuuuuuuuuuuum.

There is nothing more horrifying than the knowledge that for a unknown finite amount of time you will be sitting at home with no electricity meaning no way to charge your dead cell phone, no video games, no hot water, no television and food that might as well be still alive since the means to cook it is… is so primitive (forgive me I had a horrible flashback. It involved burned grilled cheese, the horror! I know for a fact that my wonderful oven wouldn’t have inflicted such monstrosities on that poor sandwich.)

Not to mention no lights, eternal darkness, an increased threat of boogeyman dancing, spiders (I’m not kidding, they seem to thrive on the no electricity front. Something about crawling out from underneath the rug while you try to pee strait and not fall off the toilet in the middle night with a flashlight barely making a dent in the black abyss of your bathroom. You sit there (or stand…) minding your own damn business and then bam! OH SHIT! Need I elaborate? We’ve all been there.) and of course it’s the middle of dead winter. So no electric blankets, no heaters, did I mention the no hot water?

But what gets me the most of this big mess is nothing else than the soul sucking boredom of it all. What the hell am I suppose to do with myself the entire day? What do people do when they have no technology to entertain them? In my defense I realize that there are people out there that deal with this on a daily basis and to them I say: “Well done. I applaud thee.” But that is simply not the point. I am a spoiled child with access to technology on a daily basis and my question is: “How does one entertain oneself when technology has inexplicably bit you in the butt?”

The answer?

Things to do without technology:

  1. Write a story… with your bare hands. That’s right, look for a pen, it’s a tangible, long, thing object that is usually about 20 cm long more or less that when you scratch on a piece of paper (a thin white sheet, you need this as well.) it  makes a mark. Magic! Now go, be the next Stephanie Meyer.
  2. Write a song. It’s like writing a story only the difference is that this can be used to inflict mass horror on people by singing it. So if you ever feel like being hunted by pitchforks and the power happens to be out, this is your means to a very painful end… and possibly finding out what the definition of “Run Like Hell” is.
  3. Wash a car. Time to get down and dirty… like with mud and shit. Get your head of the gutter honestly what do you take me for? A llama-llama? I think not. Washing a car is an entire process on its own and will be elaborated on a later date. For now take it as an excuse to stalk that super hot neighbour of yours and ask him/her for help on washing your car or someone else’s car or the cat’s car. Whatever floats your boat?
  4. Stand on your head and try to lick your toes. It’s harder than it sounds, trusts me. This should waste a few hours, for added effect you could invite over your cute neighbour and try to light your farts on fire but this should only be done in the clutches of pure, undiluted stupidity.
  5. If you have a sibling (like me) that is even more useless than you are during a horrifying crisis like this, play a board game. Something likes chess. If not really your thing or your brain-cells struggle to understand the concepts of intellectual pwning, you can always tie your sibling to a tree and throw them with the board pieces…
  6. Take a nap. Also commonly referred to as a horizontal life pause. Even the most simple minded of beings understand this concept and should I not have to elaborate on the art of napping.
  7. Get a hammer, some wood and some nails… and make something. What the hell did you think I was going to say? Go after your arch-nemesis and have a tea party of death involving a hammer and a lot of screaming? Noooo, bad murdered in the making. We do not kill people. We help them into the afterlife.
  8. Light a candle and fry marshmallows. Ignore the strange colour your marshmallow takes on. I’m still alive so I can say with certainty that it will not kill you. I think. I might be dead already but I’m not sure.
  9. Watch a movie. Ha ha… ha ha ha… ha ha ha ha. I’m sorry I had to.
  10. Read a book. My brother absolutely hates reading but when desperate times call for desperate measures you’d be surprised as to what you discover you can and cannot do. Like reading a book. After spending some time ignoring him flat while he wandered around the house listlessly I held out a book to him and urged him to read it. He actually liked it. So shut up you “I hate reading morons”, the revolution will get you!!

Last but not least…

If all else fails, eat a peanut.

The nonsense of tertiary institutions.

I’m alive.

No wait, that’s a rock. The rock is not alive. I’m alive. The rock isn’t. Now that we have established that little titbit of useless information I greet you peoples of this world, honoured chickens and of course peanut butter sandwiches… all of which are very important.

Look I have valid excuse for not… you know… not writing anything of value for uhm… months… it’s called.

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

LOOK OUT A GIANT FLYING POTATO!

University

I would put in an audio clip of that scary music that plays right before you (the imbecile in some movie) open the damn door but imagination is much nicer. I hear it has cookies. Come to the daerk phase my minions, we have cookies. Spiders are not welcome.

Now this is aimed at all those teens out there that can’t wait to get out of high school. When your acquaintances which can not be yet classified as your elders (give them a few months of tertiary education and we’ll talk again.) tell you that you should enjoy high school while you still can… listen to them. No… They’re not trying to cramp your style, or smother your ego. They speak the truth. Oh, if only I had listened to that wise person whom I can’t remember from a nik-nak (it’s a chip by the way, ohhh cheesy goodness…) he or she spoke truth! Repent, REPENT! The end is nigh!

What are you muttering about you deranged lunatic you might ask? Well all I can say is that university has been interesting to say the least. Now I’m not quite sure how the school systems work in other countries but here in Sunny South Africa where we dress like Eskimos when the temperatures drop below 18 degrees Celsius. (What can I say… we’re pansies in the winter? Not that our winter can really be classified as such, but can you blame us? Snow is a fairy tale is some parts of this country and only extreme weather brings it along once every thousands (I’m exaggerating) or so years. ) We have three levels of education as to say.

Primary education a.k.a. primary school:

This stretches from grade 1-7 where you get to kick other children on the shins and get high on sugar much to your mother’s horror. Where you think you’re the coolest little… uhm… [Insert good descriptive word other than shit] (I’m trying to be a good example to the young… okay young, young people that skulk around on this website.) the world has ever seen when you hit 3rd grade and the lower grades are so beneath you… until you hit grade 4 where you’re at the bottom of the food chain in the senior hierarchy. Fast forwarded through those long torturous years where basic math nearly kills, break time is marked by the blackness that is the mystery of how exactly your lunch managed to crawl out of your lunchbox that your mother packs in for you and of course don’t forget that tyrant that teaches history. Like I care what happened to Mapungubwe (Google it, the wound is still too painful.). Until you reach the seventh grade. Oh how this time is characterized by your superiority, how the little ones quake in their pants when you and your posse walk by. This of course all happens in your head. After all what does a bunch of seventh graders know about snogging? Cough Cough.

Secondary education a.k.a. high school:

Need I say anymore? You swallow hard as you hold onto your mother’s hand for dear life, you were the cat’s whiskers a few months ago, and why are you clinging to your mother now you pansy?  You cannot deny the weakness in your bladder or the fact that they’re HUGE. Matrics, oh the humanity! Your mother gives you a big kiss on your forehead not bothering to wipe the lipstick off and THEY grin with malevolent glee as they notice the pink splotch and kindly show you in to the hall while laughing in their non-existent beards. (Our high school teachers actually cut the guys’ hair and have razors ready if the guys’ beards get too long.) Initiation is… laughable, only now that I am older and somewhat wiser can I laugh at my high school experiences. I’ve already whined and moaned about high school enough while I was still attending it if you’re really interested in a third world country’s education system. High school doesn’t really prepare you for much if I have to be honest. Everything I’m learning now have absolutely nothing to do with what I was taught in high school yet they continue to insist that it is necessary for whatever the reasons they may think. I don’t think that the government thinks at all but you know… Africa. One thing is for sure we still have a hell of a long way to go before we can validly be classified as an information society… (Look at that, useful information that I did not learn in high school…)

Enjoy high school while you can if you are still attending because here in South Africa the next step is… University.

Now I really need that scary audio clip.

To be continued. Hopefully…

I’m still alive here…

Sooo…

This is awkward. Not really, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about since the probability of you ever returning here once you have seen this obscurity that is my non-existent-existent blog is zero to none. So welcome Random Stranger to my blog. Yes, yes I know. I’ve already done the whole introduction thing of hello world, this is me and my blog which I am convinced will be the most awesomest thing ever (as is every other aspiring blogger out there)… like a year ago. You can keep hitting that previous posts button until you find it if you’re ever curious enough. But your laziness is apparent and I’ll spare you the pain… so don’t do it. That’s right, don’t hit that button, don’t you dare. There is nothing of interest. I am starting anew. I haven’t been on this site in months because I’m a horrible person and a damn lazy one.

But I have a valid excuse this time.

Yes I do.

Your eyes are going to fall out if you keep rolling them around like that. I swear one moment you’ll be doing that whatever whoever you are and your random ass blog I so accidentally stumbled on and the next moment… BAM! No more eyes for you, you must look really odd staring up at yourself. Watch out for the eye eating budgies while you gape like a goldfish at yourself. You should probably go the hospital though; I hear randomly losing one’s eyeballs is bad for your health. What? I caused this? Nonsense, I was just here minding my own business and contemplating whether I should make a valuable contribution to society by writing something meaningful… Which I’m like totally doing now for your information. FYI.

Right… where was I? Ohhh, that’s right. I have this perfectly valid excuse for staying away so long. What was it again…? Oh yes… It’s a little thing called I have no life anymore a.k.aUniversity. That’s right, I’m one of the big kids now, see my awesome My Little Pony backpack and shaky legs. I’m totally owning this. No? You don’t believe me? Pffft, who needs you anyway, Random Stranger, you don’t know me or my dead windowsill flies. That’s right, I’m awesome and I collect dead flies.

Ok, ok, I’ll stop now. I came here for a reason.

Dear Random Stranger and any non-existent returning guests.

I sincerely apologize for staying away so long yet I cannot promise you, my adoring Random Stranger, any regular posts but I’ll certainly try, while wearing my undies upsidedownupdownleftright. They have pink toads on them… or is it llamas? I can never decide.

Just a bit of useless information and an excuse.

FYI.

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