My Time in Tyria – A Thank You to “Decimatin”.

ImageThe last few months have been a really strange time for me.  Being away from my family and dearly loved ones, living in the heart of Brisbane, I found myself feeling especially isolated and lost for things to occupy my time.  If I were a young single guy with an expendable income, I might find myself frequenting the many pubs / social venues around the city.  I’m not that guy though, so I found myself not wanting to sit around my apartment, but also not wanting to actually go anywhere.  With a majority of my friends living interstate and missing the weekends being spent sharing a drink, playing a board game or belting out some God awful sounds during a drunken bout of Singstar, I was essentially bored out of my skull for company and entertainment.

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For Father’s Day this year, my wonderful kids had picked me up a copy of Guild Wars 2. While I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the virtual world, it was still a largely solo adventure.  Recently things have changed.  Not too long ago I received an invite from a Guild that had a large Australian player base. Decimatin. Through these guys I have found a group of what seem like minded individuals.  While it would be extremely easy to sit back and groan or laugh and make fun of “Those kinds of people”, I would say this to you.  Sometimes life is pretty shitty.  Plain and Simple.  You do your 9 to 5 day, you mindlessly complete the mundane activities that you are required to undertake and then if you’re lucky, you spend a few hours staring at a TV screen mentally unwinding from the day, ready to face the next.  What the guys in Decimatin have provided me is a community, whether it be real life or virtual, that I can jump online with, make a few jokes, have a few laughs and basically forget that things might be less than perfect for a few hours.

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I guess that this post could basically be seen as a “Thank You” to the guys from the guild.  It’s been great fun so far.  While everyone within the guild that I have interacted with have been fantastic, I guess I have formed a bit of a core group with a few people.  Dom.  One of the most unique individuals I have ever come across in an online community.  To hear someone speak as passionately or sincerely as this guy is simply astounding!  I don’t care what it’s about!  If everyone showed as much enthusiasm for anything in life as much as Dom, then we might be on the right path for a worldwide virtual hug!  Of course I have to give shout outs to what has really become “The Fractal raiders” Mon, Avaree, Snip, Siomai Dom – amazing teamwork, dedication and a real feel of “team”.

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There is a really weird feeling of ‘friendship’ or ‘comradery’ when you are doing something as meaningless as playing a computer game, but you’re working together to achieve something and you know that when that Mossman pops out of the swamp and smashes you to the ground that somebody will call out “You OK there Tarryn?” (My characters name) or rush over to help you up.  Even something as totally stupid as an in game jumping puzzle becomes so much more fun when you’re all having a laugh as you fall from geysers or when you know that you have two friends that aren’t going to leave you behind as they patiently wait for you to guide you the rest of the way.

To have guild members like Gil who will graciously give their time to spend an hour swimming around with you hunting nasty Barracudas and Drakes so you can get a handful of scales, and then mail you a whole stack more after the event, is something you don’t usually encounter in an online community, much less in the “real world” (Could have something to do with the fact that we don’t usually have aggressive river Drakes in the real world, but I digress).

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As nerdy as it may make me, as much as sometimes I feel like an extra from an episode of Felicia Day’s “The Guild”, as much as there will no doubt be people that think my time and energy is wasted on “Silly computer games”, I would like to say “Thank you Decimatin”, you guys have made me feel part of your community and bought a smile to my face on many occasions, even when we find ourselves being overrun by Dredge or screaming in panic as that Agony Condition ticks away on our health bar!

Tarryn “I could outrun a Centaur” Underhill

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New Trouble in the Old Forest

Being a huge fan of both Lord of the Rings Online as well as Fantasy Flight’s “Living Card Game” The Lord of the Rings: The Card game, I decided to go ahead and try and design my own custom scenario with all new cards.  This is all based on the characters, events and locations from Turbines MMO that I have had endless fun with since it’s launch many years ago.. 

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Trilogy

There seems to be a lot of angry comments going around about The Hobbit being stretched into three films. People seemed to be focussed on the fact that the Hobbit is a much smaller book than The Lord of the Rings,  (my copy being only 289 pages) and ask how such a small tale could possibly be stretched into three films – the same amount of films as Jacksons original trilogy.  The actual thing to think about here is when the events of The Hobbit take place, and the period of time between it and the Lord of the Rings books. 

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An Open Letter to James Sunderland

Dear James.
A few months ago I wrote an article about how much you deceived me. For 11 long years I have hated you and everything that you stood for. I always vowed that if I got the opportunity again, I would punish you in ways unimagined.
That opportunity presented itself to me a couple of weeks ago. Manifesting as a glossy update to your tragic tale, I allowed myself to be immersed in your story once again. 

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“I’ve Got Wood For Sheep” or “One Man’s Love For Board Gaming”.

There are a few declarative statements that an individual can make that usually puts you squarely in the pigeon-hole labelled “Nerd”.  One of them would be something like “I am a huge Star Trek fan”, another might be “Stephen Hawking is my hero” but for me, it would have to be, “I love board games”. 

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Tales from an Arcade Boy – Interlude – Arcades of Hong Kong

Its been a while in-between articles and I thought I would love to write about the Hong Kong arcade scene – at least what I saw – from my recent trip to my favourite city in the world.

I spent most of my time in HK in Mong Kok, which as most people would know is the young people and technology hang out of HK. You can buy the latest phones, computer equipment, cameras, TV and games there for ridiculous prices.

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Through a Rose Coloured Bezel – Gauntlet

If you are like a lot of other people around the world at the moment, then you might have spent your weekend, and every other waking moment, exploring a series of top-down, third-person perspective dungeons with a mighty Wizard. You may have been scouring these dungeons for special items that increase your health or picking up magical potions. In these dungeons you might be pitted against evil demons and tricky thieves who are Hell-bent on swarming you with overpowering numbers and sending you and three friends to an early grave.

You might even cringe when you hear the narrator telling you “”Elf – shot the food”

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The Colour of (Movie) Magic

There is something inherently nerdy about the way I watch movies. Unlike my family and friends who are able to sit back and turn their brains off for 90 minutes of flash and bang and enjoy the spectacle before them, its usually these 90 minutes that my mind goes into overdrive.   In a little bit of a diversion to the usual NerdGasm articles we usually post, Im going to take this opportunity to reproduce a paper I wrote on Lighting in film.  Covering a few themes, some of which you may not be instantly and consciously aware of while watching a film, this paper may open your eyes to things happening in the background of your favourite movies and change the way you watch your next popcorn blockbuster.

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Uncharted – The morphinapg Cut.

Here at NerdGasm we generally try to stay away from the general news that you can pick up on every other game / geek site out there.  But sometimes it’s good to share the love, especially when that love comes dressed in a half-tuck. So, why not hit the jump and read about something special that has been put together for the masses to enjoy over at YouTube.  Hooray!

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Tales From An Arcade Boy Pt10

In the mid 90’s a massive shift occurred in the arcade scene. The video games that were a hit in the 80’s and early 90’s were being usurped by an upstart called the PlayStation and its competition called the Saturn. Kids were losing interest in paying $1 for a 5 minutes game they could buy for $5 off a guy at the market to pay as long as they wanted………

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