The Birthday/Friendship System

Over the past few years, I’ve refined a system that had been subconsciously formulating in my head. Here it is: Your closeness with a friend is directly proportional to the method by which they communicate “Happy Birthday” to you once a year. Seeing as today is the one day a year I put this system into motion, I thought I’d share it with the general community.

This system divides your friends into three categories:

1. Those who call you on your birthday.

2. Those who text you on your birthday.

3. Those who Facebook you on your birthday.

The first category is easy: These are your close friends. These are the ones who take time out of their day to have a conversation with you.

The second category is for those who are close enough to you that they’re willing to have a synchronous conversation with you, but not so close that they actually want to have verbal communication.

And the final one are the people who like knowing that they’re a good person, enjoy saying that they keep in touch with you, but aren’t really super close. The acquaintances.

I may judge people based on the system, but mostly it’s just always interesting to see if your perception of the relationship you have with a friend is the same as theirs. Sure, I’d call this person on their birthday, but I’m curious if they’d do the same for me. Over the past few years, I’ve never actually been extremely surprised by where someone falls within the rankings, but it’s always fun to guess if anyone’s moved up or down since the previous year.

Oh, and there’s also a fourth category, aka The Insane People Who Think They Are/Want To Be Your Best Friend. This system does indeed include your actual best friends, but it also includes people who consider themselves to be much closer to you than you actually are. These are the people who A) Write really insanely long/thought out posts on your Facebook wall and B) Call you and C) Sing to you and D) Continue to do so throughout the day.

I freely admit I fall under that category for a few people. People who I am not close with.

In Which We All Learn a Little About Love

My Xbox speaks to me. No really, it’s true! I signed up for this site at first just to play around with it, and before I knew it, I had subscribed to its RSS feed. Now I get a daily message from my Xbox, telling me how sad it is that I don’t play it. The blog even has a badge on it called “Emo”, because I don’t play with my 360 enough.

This is what my Xbox feels like when I don't play it.

I kind of like the blog, though, because it reminds me of how my newfound enjoyment of World of Warcraft means I’m neglecting other games. I finally actually got back into the 360 this week, grabbing achievements for 1v100, and buying Indigo Prophecy and Shadow Complex. (Oh, and by the way, Shadow Complex is awesome, if you liked Super Metroid. Same exact game, but newer.)

Giving my console a voice is silly, for sure. But it makes me feel loved. And that’s all that matters during this holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year!

Indigo Prophecy, A Few Years Late

I make no excuses for the fact that I don’t finish many games I start. I have video game attention deficit, in no part helped by the masses of excellent games that are released one after another. I’ve already fallen way behind the curve from Q4 2009. I have yet to even purchase Modern Warfare 2 or Assassin’s Creed 2, not to mention all the games I already bought but never finished. But all of that was put on hold when I heard about this upcoming game, “Heavy Rain”.

From what I’ve heard about Heavy Rain, the game is basically an interactive movie. You control minute actions of your characters, from opening a door to conversing with people. And every action affects how the story plays out. Sounds cool, right? Then, I come to discover that this isn’t actually the first game like this. The same company, Quantum Dream, came out with a game for the Xbox years back called “Indigo Prophecy”. I debated for a while between buying the Steam version (For about $5) or the Xbox version (For $10). Seeing as the game came out originally for the Xbox, I figured I wanted to be a “purist” and play the game the way it was originally designed to be played.

I spent about all last week playing through the entire game. Didn’t play anything else in between, didn’t switch games at all. Well, okay, actually I played some WoW too, but that’s only because I finally hit 80 and am experiencing what others call “The actual game” for the first time. More on that later. Anyways, I played Indigo Prophecy straight through. Why? Because the story was actually good! The game was creepy as hell, but the plot kept moving along and I wanted to continue to experience it fully. No, the game doesn’t look so good nowadays, but the voice acting was excellent, and it really felt like I was interacting with a movie. That’s something I want more of.

There are plenty who will say “All that game was was an 8-hour long quick-time event game.” And you’re correct, yes. But there’s something about pulling off a QTE combination that then leads to my character backflipping off a wall and ninja chopping a cop into unconsciousness that I probably wouldn’t have gotten from many other games. Okay, maybe the new Prince of Persia stuff. But in theory, I’m still correct.

Point is: Indigo Prophecy was an awesome experience. Heavy Rain will probably be even better, since it’ll look great on the PS3.