What Draws Me to a Video Game?

What happened to all the games we used to love; the communities that used to bind us together? Have the games changed? Or have we?

Have we become such restless, entitled consumers that we can’t appreciate the content available to us?
Have we, the gamers, become so knowledgeable about games and how we like to play personally that we are constantly searching for the “one game” that caters specifically to all our needs? Can such a game even exist?

Are there so many more gamers now than there used to be that the anonymity has bred a general lack of empathy and has destroyed our sense of community?

Have “gamers” as a group diversified so much that game companies can’t please all of us, or even a majority of us?

Have we become so desensitized to games that we’ve lost our sense of wonder?

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Stories of Rynne – Karen

The engine of her fighter plane stuttered, coughed, and began streaming smoke. Karen Cyneas, ace pilot in the military air division, cursed. Fighting with the controls, she banked left, steering away from the rocky cliffs that jutted out from underneath the floating island of Rynne. Passing through a cloud bank, she grappled with the control wheel, the muscles in her arms straining to lift the nose of her aircraft. Dials whirled out of control and lights began flashing on her console.

“Come on, baby! Come on!” she coaxed soothingly. The engine hiccuped, stalled, coughed again and spluttered back to life.

“Don’t you do this to me you son of a bitch!” she screamed. The wind roaring past her whisked the shout away. Plummeting down towards the waves a sickeningly far ways below, Karen re-evaluated her sneaky plan to explore the restricted sectors beneath the island and cursed even harder.

Wrenching the steering controls, she managed to tip the nose of her plane skyward again. Still streaming smoke and curses, she made her way back towards the airfield. Her engine only stalled once more on the return trip, but every hack and hiccup from her machine caused her heart to jump into her throat.

The men were ready with hoses when her wheels bumped back onto solid ground. She killed the engine, and as she coasted towards the garage she could smell burning rubber. Karen was still cursing when her feet hit the ground. Continue reading

Stories of Rynne – Dawn

It was a charmed life living on the floating island of Rynne, especially for those of noble blood. Every need was attended to, every wish fulfilled. Dawn Leville wandered around her family’s estate aimlessly. It was a sweet spring afternoon and her feet found their way into the back gardens. Her mother, Jocelyn Gael-Leville, was taking her tea by the fountain. Settling down in the chair opposite mother, Dawn heaved a little sigh.

“Don’t sigh like that, Dawn. It isn’t ladylike.” Her mother set her cup down on the china saucer and placed her hands in her lap. “Come, child, tell me what is bothering you.”

“I’m bored, mother,” Dawn whined. Immediately she could tell that she had said the wrong thing in the wrong tone of voice because Jocelyn’s lips thinned into a line. She cringed, the silence stretching on. Then her mother said something that shocked her.

“Well,” she replied, standing. “I think it’s time that you were introduced as a lady to our society.”

She blinked her light green eyes in shock. Dawn had been pining for this for almost a full year now, but she had always been refused. Instantly she grew wary.

“I’m…. overjoyed, mother, but…” she hesitated, “Why now? What’s the catch?”

Jocelyn gave her daughter a dark, wolfish smile. “The catch is that you’re going to have to think like that for the rest of your life now, my dear. Our society isn’t all parties and wine, galas and pretty dresses. We make alliances, form contracts, discredit and destroy our enemies and we do it all with sweet smiles and soft words. If you’re so bored of your care-free life, I think it’s time you learned how to be a productive member of this family.”

Swallowing, Dawn wasn’t sure how to feel about the news. She was getting something she had wanted, but the price seemed very steep. Her mother sensed her trepidation.

“It’s a package deal, darling. If you want to be a lady you’ll learn to act like one. And,” she added with a little twist of her lips, “We’ll need to start working on your betrothal. Oh, it’ll take some time, don’t you worry about that, dear.” She patted her daughter on the cheek as her face went slightly ashen at the thought of marriage.

Jocelyn stood, arranging her skirts and picking up her fan.

“I’m so glad we had this chat, darling. I’ll go tell your father the good news.”

Dawn was left in the garden staring after her mother.

“What have I done?” she thought worriedly. Continue reading

Homemade Potato Latkes

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I bought a wonderful new kitchen gadget recently and have been coming up with new ways to put it to the test! The sweet mandolin (the cutting tool, not the instrument!) I have has a fancy matchstick-cut making blade that is PERFECT for hash browns and (you guessed it!) latkes.

I threw together this recipe on the fly this morning as I was making them. Probably could do with a few tweaks and additions, but it was really tasty as is!

Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of the step-by-step process, but perhaps I can update it later with some 🙂 Continue reading