Interesting Laws of the Universe

I went online this morning to check the weather forecast. Two hours later, I was looking at the Wikipedia page for O’Toole’s Corollary of Finagle’s Law. How the hell did I get here? Where did the time go? I have no idea. I did, however, discover some new incarnations of Murphy’s Law – everyone’s favourite adage when it comes to explaining why shit hits the fan.

Interesting Laws of the Universe

Murphy’s Law

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.


Finagle’s Law of Dynamic Negatives

Anything that can go wrong, will — at the worst possible moment.


Benford’s Law of Controversy

Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.


Herblock’s Law

If it’s good, they’ll stop making it.


Skitt’s Law (or “Muphry’s Law” – not to be confused with Murphy’s Law)

Any post correcting an error in another post will contain at least one error itself. The likelihood of an error in a post is directly proportional to the embarrassment it will cause the poster.


And my favourite:

O’Toole’s Corollary of Finagle’s Law

The perversity of the Universe tends towards a maximum.


Jiksun’s Observation

It’s funny that all the above were named after men. Just sayin’.

Have you come across any other variations?

VIDEO: Men Throwing Rocks With The Other Hand

Beautifully captured moments of otherwise manly men… throwing rocks with their other hand. It’s the great gender equalizer: everyone looks so frikkin’ awkward. Reminds me of my mum trying to throw a tennis ball. A little something for the weekend. Enjoy!

Source: http://vimeo.com/34678147

Weathers great in Hong Kong – going out to get some sun!

Top 9 Killer Old School Adventure Game Tunes

Old school adventure games frustrated the hell out of me. This was before the internet, so it was simply down to you (and your friends – if you had any) to figure out just how to win that ridiculous pirate spitting contest [spoiler alert!]

There was simply no other way to advance the story – you sat there, hour after hour, just trying random (sometimes logical in hindsight) things like capturing an Energizer® bunny so you could use its batteries somewhere else. (I almost cried when I figured that one out.)

My point is this: you spent so much time immersed in the same environment, figuring puzzles out, that the looping background MIDI tracks and quirky sound effects stayed with you long after the end credits have rolled – and decades later you’re writing a post reminiscing about the good old days.

And so, without further ado – here’s my Top 9 Killer Old School Adventure Game Soundtracks:

#9 Leisure Suit Larry III
Classic Sierra-style MIDI tunes. Did I mention this game was my first encounter with boobies?

#8 Sam & Max Hit the Road
Ass kickin’ – nuff said.

#7 Beneath a Steel Sky
Industrial, post-apocalyptic tunes.

#6 Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (on Crete)
Atmospheric and at times totally eerie – perfect for an Indy caper.

#5 Full Throttle (Increased Chances by Chitlins, Whiskey & Skirt)
I was so in love with this particular song I tried to cover it when I was learning the guitar.

#4 Day of the Tentacle
The music was as whacky as the characters themselves.

#3 Space Quest III: Pirates of Pestulon
Quirky, bizarre, and totally awesome.

#2 Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge
An incredibly memorable mix of bumbling pirate-y tunes and Carribean island music.

#1 Grim Fandango
Masterfully scored collection of dark, greasy jazz, ethnic Mexican-inspired carnivale music, and grungy Americano tracks.

And there you have it!

Are you a fan of old school adventure games? Do you agree with my list? Would love to know what you think in the comments!

You might also want to check out my Top 10 Best Old School Adventure Games Ever, and my thoughts on why Online games just… kind of suck.

Online games just… kind of suck.

I don’t care much for online gaming. The idea of online gaming is cool – it’s the execution of it that, somehow, still doesn’t cut it.

You know what? It basically boils down to this. Imagine you’re in a vast open world MMORPG. You’ve just slayed some massive beast in a harrowing, all-or-nothing, death-defying battle, when your supposedly wise, sage-like online companion (a wizard who’s supposedly older than the land itself) suddenly turns around and utters, “yo n00b wtf is wrong with you. get teh (sic) crossbow.”

So much for immersive experiences, man.

It’s the nature of online gaming that breaks the illusion. What’s the difference between an online game, and a single player game? One key factor is the addition of human controlled characters (as opposed to computer controlled non-player characters) in online gaming – which introduces issues like unpredictable dialogue, questionable decision-making, unrealistic actions and just plain old trolling.

World of Warcraft
Somehow it all just seems like a farce.

The responsibility of storytelling has been shifted onto the shoulders of the players at the detriment of the story itself. We’re only professional consumers after all, not professional game makers, so who are we to create intricate, nuanced and fully fleshed-out characters for the benefit of other gamers? Would a filmmaker make a film filled with basic character sketches – then ask the reader or audience to fill in the gaps themselves? Actually yes – they’re called straight-to-DVD-bargain-bin-titles.

Yes, we’re actively participating, but participation for the sake of participation, and truly involving yourself in a story are strikingly different things. The greatest novels and films succeed on so many levels because they draw you into the fabric of the story – without having to place you and your friends literally in the story.

What about the social aspect? Not all games are about stories – some are about multi-player action. That’s true – but then what differentiates one shooter from the next? If you take away the story – what’s left? Realistic sprites running around shooting at each other with bigger or smaller guns. That’s what it boils down to.

So why do we play online games? Why the growing trend? My theory is that we play them because they’re good excuses to play video games. We feel better playing online games because they’re more “social” than single-player games. Let’s not beat around the bush: if you were in the mood to socialize you’d meet up with some friends for dinner. Online gaming isn’t about socializing – “social” is merely a construct to make you feel that it’s “okay” to play video games again. We feel “social” while actually being quite anti-social.

So I say let’s embrace it. Gaming is still an anti-social thing, like reading, or watching a movie, in that they are best enjoyed on our own individual terms, as envisioned by the creator. I say “still” because while I don’t think we’ve reached a stage where the issues I’ve discussed here can be fully addressed yet – I’m not discounting the fact that someone somewhere will figure it all out someday.

In the mean time, if you feel like “devolving” – look back at some of the classic adventure games and you’ll be surprised at the quality of the stories and characters. I’ll leave you with two of the best old school adventure game characters ever to grace my computer screen.

Roger Wilco
Roger Wilco – space janitor

Roger Wilco – Wilco stars in all six Space Quest games. He started off as a janitor aboard a space ship, saved the universe from alien scum, and ended up… as a janitor aboard another space ship.

Guybrush Threepwood
Guybrush Threepwood – badass pirate

Guybrush Threepwood – Guybrush is the main character in the Monkey Island series. His adventures lead him to incredibly strange places with ghost pirates, voodoo magic, rubber chickens, and of course, monkeys.

If you’re interested in old school adventure games, check out my Top 10 Best Old School Adventure Games Ever.

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What do you think about the latest online games? What about old school adventure games? Let me know!

10 Best Old School Graphic Adventure Games – Ever. Period.

What happened to those good ‘ol graphic adventure games?

The thing I find most memorable about graphic adventure games wasn’t actually the graphics, it was the soundtrack: you’d inevitably spend so much time trying to find “the crowbar that opened the latch that released the pigeon that distracted the pirate,” that you’d subconsciously internalize every single MIDI note that was playing in the background. For more on retro MIDI soundtracks, check out my Top 9 Killer Old School Adventure Game Tunes — the coolest tunes only.

Here we go.

10. Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers

Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers
The shuffling old geezer with the brain contraption meant instant death – and it freaked the hell out of me  back then.

9. Leisure Suit Larry 3

Leisure Suit Larry 3
My first encounter with boobies – sneaking a peak at a sprite from behind the bushes.

8. Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango
One of the last great adventure games from the late ’90s.  Twenty years later I still have the soundtrack on a CD in my car. Hey — stop judging.

7. Sam and Max Hit The Road

Sam and Max Hit The Road
The dialogue and setting were hilarious – even the episodic remakes don’t hold a candle to the original screwball comedy.

6. Full Throttle

Full Throttle
This guy was a total badass.

5. Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon

Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon
My dad introduced this game to me when I was a kid – almost three decades ago! They just don’t make ’em like they used to.

4. Beneath A Steel Sky

Beneath a Steel Sky
Great sci-fi plot, awesome characters, fantastic locations.

3. Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
That sense of mystery and awe. And you’re Indiana Jones, man!

2. Day of the Tentacle

Day of the Tentacle
Time travel, super quirky characters, and an unforgettable soundtrack. What other game would have you transport objects through time  via a toilet bowl?

1. The entire Monkey Island series!

Monkey Island
I know I’m cheating a little by naming the whole series — but seriously, we’re talking about a franchise that has both ghost pirates and rubber chickens.

And there you have it: the Desk of Jiksun Top 10 BEST Old School Graphic Adventure Games. I have to admit it’s heavily skewed towards Lucas Arts and Sierra, but they were really that good.

You can find a whole bunch of these old games at Home of the Underdogs.

Are you a fan of old school adventure games? I’ve probably missed out a couple other classics, but hey there’s only room for 10. Let’s hear your thoughts on the list!

You might also be interested in a related piece: Online games just… kind of suck.

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