It hurts to type

So I’m not typing much

I seem to be suffering from some form of Raynauds Syndrome, so my fingers hurt. But in a strange way. The tips are hyper-sensitive, meaning touching anything is an ordeal.

On the one hand, I feel like Matt Murdock, but on the other hand, thousands of tiny knives. Actually, both hands have the tiny knives.

In all, means I won’t be writing much here for a little while.

Milly-Molly-Mandy

Nothing ever happens. Nothing happens at all.

The thing about Milly-Molly-Mandy stories is that nothing actually happens.

Imagine Enid Blyton only without any peril, no fairies and magic folk, and nothing exciting ever happens. That’s the stories about Milly-Molly-Mandy. Written in the 1920s to 1940s by Joyce Lankester Brisley, a woman to whom the very peak of excitement was discovering the world doesn’t vanish when the curtains are closed, The Milly-Molly-Mandy Stories and subsequent followups are a trial in staying awake for even the most caffeinated parent.

Her name, which is actually Millicent Margaret Amanda, is perhaps the most interesting thing of any of the “adventures” she finds herself in. Adventures like the time her Great Aunt came to stay (and that was literally all that happened). Or the time – oh no! – the village had a party and Milly-Molly-Mandy went. No, it want exciting at all. Or how about when she and Little-Friend-Susan (that’s her name, apparently) went blackberry picking but the field was out of bounds. So they found some somewhere else. Good grief.

She calls her parents “Farver” and “Muvver”. Every story contains the phrase “Father and Mother and Grandpa and Grandma and Uncle and Aunty” at least once. The girl called Jilly, is aparently only to be referenced as “Miss Muggin’s niece Jilly”, as her parents are whoknowswhere. There is a child called “Bunchy” like that’s a thing. Billy Blunt can run. Who knew?

In one story, 3M’s teacher comes to stay with Father and Mother and Grandpa and Grandma and Uncle and Aunty in the nice white cottage with the thatched roof (also referenced as such in every tale), and it’s a bit creepy with her wanting kisses goodnight from 3M.

How did this series ever become popular? And why did I read the whole lot to my daughter over a period of nearly two months?

Oh.

Globbits.

So it seems that sometimes, the bad guys do win.

It’s hard to see right now what news is real and what is fake on either side of the reports coming out, but if Trump has indeed fired all his ambassadors and had everything regarding climate change deleted from the White House website already, then things are off to a terrible start.

Good luck, America!

A Big Fat Squizz At The Year: Part 3, The Events

Very Bad Things

It has been widely noted how terrible a year 2016 was. Bad things happened, worse things happened, and possibly worst of all, James Corden is still on television.

We lost some great people. Terry Wogan, Alan Rickman, George Martin, Anton Yelchin, Andrew Sachs, Carrie Fisher, Liz Smith, Gene Wilder, Prince, and many, many more. The one that affected me most, and still does a year on, was of course David Bowie, but I realise how I felt about him was similarly felt by others when Prince or George Michael died too. It was not a great year for celebrities and their (mostly surprising and unexpected) deaths, Anton Yelchin perhaps most unexpected of all those I’ve mentioned.

Other Really Bad Things that also add to how terrible 2016 was include a number of high profile terrorist attacks, such as the Belgian bombings in March and the German Christmas market attack in December. As horrific as these were (and they were), we should remember that worse – far, far worse – happen more frequently further from home, with Iraq, Yemen and Syria being especially targeted. I don’t know how attacks like these last year compare to in other years, but the fact they happen at all in a supposedly modern world is frightening.

People hating people saw a public rise last year too, with fascism gaining increased acceptance across the West. The downtrodden, and those who believe themselves to be such, using racial hatred in such an open and public way, excused by false beliefs that all the wrongs in the world are because of those people. I’m certainly not saying that all those who voted Brexit or for Trump are racists, but the outcomes of those votes certainly outed a lot of them who used the results as a way of legitimising their views. The future looks bleak, not just because of the political and financial changes that have come about because of Brexit and Trump, but also because of the growth in popularity of right-wing figures and ideologies. I’m no historian, but even I can see the parallels with the start of Nazi Germany.

And fake news, fake facts, post-facts, “we’ve had enough of experts” and all that sort of stuff. Lies and rumours are reported and treated as facts, and facts are treated with scorn. Even when the truth is proven, it’s rubbished with a limp wave of a hand.

Also: they announced The Emoji Movie. Good grief.

We’re going backwards, people.

But was there any sunlight in those dark, dark days? It’s hard to recall any. Certainly, the only things I can think of are personal, minor, or video game related. It’s true that good news often isn’t news, or is in a very specific field that may mean little to many.

We did have the Rio Olympics, even if it was overshadowed somewhat by other events at the time, the worry of the Zika virus, and the Russian athlete doping scandal. Team GB did incredibly well though. Andy Murray, the world’s most under-excited man did his thing again at Wimbledon, and Leicester won some ballfoot game of apparent importance against all odds. Mind you, that did mean we had Gary Lineker on telly in his pants, so I’m not sure if that was all good. Wales had an amazing time at the Euros too.

There have been incredible strides in medicine, with some great advances in treatment of cancer (such as using T-cells, and discovering the four subtypes of pancreatic cancer which means better chances of targeting them), Alzheimer’s and strokes. As is the way with these things, it could be years, or even decades, before this new research actually starts to make a difference, but things are looking up.

So what for 2017? As the Klingons put it: The future is an undiscovered country. Let’s hope the discoveries are worth the horror that 2016 was.

A Big Fat Squizz At The Year: Part 2, My Completed Games

110 is the magic number.

In 2016, I completed a whopping 110 games. My previous record, because of course I’ve been keeping count, was 84 in 2015. You’d think with a number like that, I’d finally be on top of my backlog, right? Ahahahahano.

I didn’t anticipate completing that many. Like in previous years, I did strive to finish the RetroCollect 52 Game Challenge (which I managed before the end of June) and then expanded that to 104 games just for a laugh (and I sorted that by mid-December), but of course I had to go and beat that too, didn’t I?

There may be some arguments over what constitutes a “game”, and what counts as “completed”. There’s no hard and fast rule, whatever feels right for a title, usually. However, normally a game is “something you play” and “completed” is “reached the final goal”, “got all the achievements” or “watched the end credits” as appropriate.

DLC and addons are usually classed as separate games even if technically they’re not – like Life is Strange episodes, or the Lego Dimensions level packs.

Anyway, here’s the full list of 110:

Continue reading “A Big Fat Squizz At The Year: Part 2, My Completed Games”

A Big Fat Squizz At The Year: Part 1, My Posts

Them Things Wot I Wrote

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I remember saying Happy New Year at the start of 2016 too, and we know how well that went, so perhaps don’t read too much into the word “Happy” there.

At the start of 2016, I decided I’d post a lot more on my blog. I’d not really decided what to write about, and it was only after a couple of weeks of daily posts I thought hang on, I could do a post every day for a month! Then a couple of months. Then I went all out and tried for a year.

And what a year of posts it was. Certainly, I prattled on a lot about games, but I also wrote loads of other things. Of course I ran out of ideas very quickly so canvassed Twitter for suggestions, most of which I’ve accommodated. I made stuff up. I told stories. I wrote about true things. I divulged some opinions, explained how to do some technical stuff, and I even typed up words about politics. But mainly, I wrote about games.

In 2017 I don’t intend to write quite as frequently. Even though I technically didn’t compose a post each day (I’d often do several at once and queue them up), it still took a lot out of me in both time and ideas. I don’t want to return to a post every couple of months, but I definitely want three or four each week. Posting here so much means my Gaming Diary has been left to exist almost entirely for the purpose of reporting on games I’ve completed, rather than those as I’ve been playing them. I’ll see how it goes.

Looking back over my year, there are a few specific posts that stand out as those I’m either proud of or were just so ridiculous even I was surprised I published them. Here are a handful of the highlights:

See anything you like? Have any suggestions for other stuff to write about? Why not let me know!

What You Missed: December 2016

But, it’s a long, long while from May to December.

And, as the curtain draws on the Year of All of The News, it is time for a quick look back at all my lovely posts from the month of December. I say “lovely”, but, you know.

Posts this month included some exciting game projects I’ve been working on – Sandman, an interactive fiction game, and something still under the working title of “FR”. The latter is really coming along now (by which I mean, is barely moving), but at least Sandman was finished.

Being December, it was only right that Christmas was mentioned a few times. I brought you some of the only truly acceptable Christmas songs, explained why I hate (or don’t) Christmas, pointed you in the direction of all the best cover versions of “All I Want For Christmas, Is You”, and even let you have a go of The Official Father Christmas Game.

Speaking of games, Alphabest: GameCube trundled on, there were more regular posts like Let’s Play!, and I gave my thoughts on the reveals at the PlayStation Experience and told you the best things to spend your money on in the PSN sale.

All that, and chips, controllers, a woman enjoying her car and how I completed 104 games in under a year. Incredible stuff.

Before I regurgitate an index, I’d just like to wish each and every one of my three readers a most wonderful New Year. Let us hope it’s nowhere near the state 2016 was, yeah?

Happy Christmasdaytime

He’s got spurs that jingle jangle jingle. No, wait…

As a wise man with excellent mutton chops is wont to exclaim, it’s Christmas! That’s right, it’s the only day of the year that it not only normal to be drunk by lunchtime, but positively encouraged. It’s a wonder the turkey ever gets cooked properly.

Speaking of turkey, I don’t do turkey. I like turkey, certainly, but I don’t see the need for it on Christmas Day. “But it’s traditional!” you may say. And you would be wrong, because it’s goose, not turkey, that is traditional in this country. But we won’t be having goose either (and not just because of the 1500 local geese that were stolen, somehow, in the middle of the night) – no, we’ll be having beef.

By the time this post is live, no doubt I’ll have opened presents already. I have an idea what one or two of them may be, although I’m not bothered if I get other stuff. The main thing is how excited my daughter is when she opens all her presents, although it’s likely a little tempered with her birthday being in just a few days time.

I may post later with some of my seasonal gains (and not just in the weight department, although we we have all the mince pies to consume), but it’s possible I will forget in the beer and gift excitement. Either way, have a lovely day everyone.

And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, then have a great day anyway!