Yesterday we continued on out in the garage and did a much more prodding and tedious detail pass. This meant sitting down and sorting through old boxes that we had not seen in nearly a decade. Among the treasures I uncovered was my Gameboy SP as well as pretty much all of my Gameboy Advance cartridges. I literally had no clue where that was, and the last time I remembered having it was in a car that we traded off long ago. I had feared that I simply forgot to remove it from under the drivers seat… because for a long while it was my “waiting on my wife to finish at school” from a time when we regularly drove in together. Apparently we did in fact pull it out of the car, and it sat in this trash bag filled with lots of other stuff we hurriedly pulled from that car before we traded it off. This is apparently a tradition of ours because not only did we find a bag for when we traded off the Pontiac Grand Am… but also a bag from when we traded off like two other vehicles as well. I also found entire boxes of stuff that I apparently packed up when leaving previous jobs and never bothered to go through. These boxes were full of countless pay stubs and health plan documents… so a good chunk of my yesterday was sitting down listening to podcasts and shredding all the documents.
One of the gems of the day was the above image… a box of essentially all of our ancient cell phones. These pretty much represented our pre-smartphone era and those Nokia 5160s were our very first phones that we used for ages. We also found a bunch of extra face plates… since you could swap them out so easily. The positive about these ancient phones is the fact that we didn’t even really have texting plans on any of them, so there isn’t really data worth harvesting so we can dispose of them pretty easily. My friend Squirrel suggested that he would love to have them, for target practice. Unfortunately by the time he posted that I had already disposed of the entire box. Probably my favorite of that era was the weird white LG flip phone, largely because it had a clock visible on its face without actually opening it. Another interesting find was my “art box” which is a big wooden box that was crammed with all of my watercolor and pen and ink stuff from college. Another strange thing was the truly insane number of World of Warcraft trading game cards that I found stuffed pretty much everywhere. For awhile it was habit to pick up a pack anytime I needed to go to the store… and apparently they just sat around everywhere. At some point I will sift through them all and gather up all of the leftover in game codes to give away to readers or something. They are mostly the “toy” variety, like Path of Cenarus or Illidan or maybe some Pet Biscuits. Still the sort of thing is fun to have if you don’t otherwise have access to them. The strangest thing about the weekend… is I think because we were so tired anyways from the cleaning, I can’t say that losing an hour has really had much effect on me.
I spent essentially the rest of the weekend playing The Division. At this point I have logged about thirty four hours since launch, and am sitting just a little past level fourteen. The game still feels very fresh, and it is funny how much my play style has changed as I have moved into the game. Early on I thought I would be super tanky and focus on things that let me survive in an open firefight, but in truth the longer I play the more sniper I become. Right now I am running around with a Covert SRS for sniping purposes and generally dealing lots of damage quickly to targets that are far away from me, and then when they get into closer range I swap to a Police M4 which can whittle down enemies with focused bursts. This works amazingly well against pretty much every enemy type but snipers. Those guys… are pretty much the bane of my existence because they are trying to play the same game I am, and generally the computer is better at it. So I spend a lot of my time trying to get out of line of sight from the snipers while mopping everything else up… and then play this game of chicken popping in and out of cover and trying to quick scope them before popping back down like a prairie dog. The worst snipers so far are the Rikers because they just seem more brutal in every possible way. That said it might simply be that they are the highest level enemies I can encounter currently.
On the podcast Saturday night we got into this long discussion about the morality of The Division, and how it made the other AggroChat folks feel uneasy. I can’t say that I am experiencing this at all, because like always I am writing my own narrative of my character as I go… and the fact that this is a silent protagonist game really helps that for me. So as i move around the city, I am the big damned hero cleaning up the city and saving people. I am absolutely the good guys in my tale, but then again as they said Saturday so are the Cleaners, who absolutely think they are doing what is right for the city. I guess for me I just love how rich this setting is… all of the little details like the graffiti that I am showcasing in the photos for today’s post is just amazing. I think the key difference is… that I never really fully immerse myself into a game setting. It is always a game that I am playing, and always a story where I am the hero. Even if I am not supposed to be… I am building a narrative compatible with my notion that in spite of whatever actions I am taking, I am doing it for some greater good. In the Division I absolutely rush to save hostages, or citizens being held up by looters, because it makes me feel like the hero I am trying to be. When you do a random encounter on the street you are given bonuses for various things… and when I see that survivor bonus it always makes me happy. I also spend a lot of my time going through abandoned buildings so I can make sure I always have whatever item citizens ask for when I come across one in need. I am the one making the city a better place, and I am comfortable with that stance. I guess that might be why I like the post apocalyptic genre so much, is because the world is in such a screwed up state… that there are so many ways for me to help fix it. Even if fixing means simply hunting down the biggest baddest warlord… and putting a bullet in his skull.