In the Spirit of Thanksgiving…

A few things I am thankful for…

(in no particular order)

1.  L.A. Noire 😀

Come on, who here is surprised? 😉 I am thankful for L.A. Noire because it significantly peaked my interest in games and also helped improve my gaming skillz (yes skills with a ‘z’ :P); specifically it helped me get over my at-the-time phobia of shooting games.  Turns out I’m not too shabby with a gun 🙂  My driving on the other hand leaves a lot to be desired *shame*

L.A. Noire also led me to be a part of a whole community of like-minded fans via Twitter and Tumblr (shout out to Kelly and Allyson – so thankful to have e-met you guys! :)), and also introduced me to Sean McGowan, the amazing, super talented actor behind Stefan Bekowsky, who also happens to be one of the nicest, sweetest, most down-to-earth people in the business today.  Sean, you are AWESOME, thank you for, well, being you! 🙂

So big thank you to Rockstar Games and Team Bondi!

2. Naughty Dog and Nolan North

The Uncharted series is the perfect game in every way, in my eyes 🙂  It has given me hours and hours of much needed escapism, which I have really craved this year, so thank you to the Dogs!!

Nolan – you brought life to Nathan Drake, possibly one of the most liked video game characters of this generation.  Thank you for giving me a virtual crush, HAHA!

I think I will leave it at that since I think I nattered on long enough about Uncharted in my previous blog post…

3. Jason Mraz

I have been a fan of his from the start (before the world took notice!), but I have grown sooo in love with this man ever since I saw him live last week.  I have been listening to his songs non-stop ever since – his songs are truly a work of art; he is an amazing lyricist with such a beautiful and unique style to his sound and his performance.  His improvisational method of performing means he sings a different rendition of the same song each time which is great!  He is even more fantastic live – heartfelt and effortless performance from start to finish…truly magical.  And man, can he rock that guitar!!  It is an experience I will NEVER forget and I can only hope that I get the opportunity to watch him perform again in the future.

To top it off he is just such a wonderful human being – I swear he is the nicest and most genuine person in the music industry (very similar to Sean ;)).  His humility, generosity and selflessness is truly inspirational.  I just love that even though he is this successful singer/songwriter (two time Grammy winner, no less!! :D), he doesn’t let the fame define him; he just wants to make music and share it to the world, he wants to enjoy life and make his mark in this world in his own special way.  I like that he sees his fans as his friends and that he sees the world as one big family.

The fact that he is also incredibly cute and charming is just the cherry on a very yummy cake 😉  He is quite a comedian too which I discovered at his concert.  WOW, he’s like the perfect package *swoon*

But yeah, I’ve been a bit down this week and listening to Jason’s songs have really cheered me up and lifted my spirits.  He also said something during his concert that really moved me and has motivated me to see things from a different perspective.  So muchos gracias, Jason – YOU ARE LOVED 😀

4. Patricia 🙂

I have known Patricia for quite a number of years now.  We’ve had our ups and downs as all good friendships do but we have certainly come a long way and I feel our friendship right now is at it’s best 😀  Patricia, you have been a source of strength and comfort to me this year when I needed it most and I cannot thank you enough for your words of advice, encouragement and support.  I will probably never be able to repay you but I can only hope that I can return the favor one day 😉  I love you, babe – I’m glad to have you (back) in my life xo

On the subject of friendships, I want to take the opportunity to extend some quick shout outs to the following awesome people:

Michelle – I’m thankful for the friendship we developed this year…until you abandoned me, that is! (how rude)  Have an absolute blast in NYC, can’t wait to catch up with you when you’re back 🙂

Jimbo – It’s been really great geeking out *ahem* chatting with you on Facebook these past few months; shame we didn’t get to do this more when you were actually here but oh well…better late than never, as they say!!  Thanks again for being an excellent Uncharted co-op buddy hehe 😀

Louise – We have been on quite a journey together, haven’t we?!  I am so thankful that our lives crossed paths all those years ago, I guess we have Harry to thank for that aye 😉  I’m so chuffed that we have still managed to keep in touch after all this time and that although we have moved on from the VTM days, we have new geeky things to talk about!!  I’m grateful to have you as a friend, in many ways you are like the big sister I never had 🙂

Lavy – The long lost friend from the good ol’ high school days!!  I’m so stoked and thankful that we are in contact again after quite a hiatus – I hope to see you again in the near future as it’s been far too long!!  Love you, babe 😉

Shane – My Irish cutiepie 😉  Like Louise, we have come quite a ways too.  Even though we both at some point have disappeared on the other, I am glad we have found each other again 🙂  I always enjoy our conversations and I’ve always felt we have a special connection – I’m thankful to Harry for bringing us together and to Facebook for helping us always come back 😉

**UPDATE!! November 26th @ 933AM:

2 more quick shout outs to a couple more people I forgot to mention, whoops!!

Chelsea – I’m glad and grateful we’ve had the opportunity to grow closer this year 🙂  Who knew we had such similar dramas and perspectives on things? 😉

Lewis – My fellow Survivor freak – I never thought I would find one and I’m thankful I have!!  I’ve really enjoyed our e-conversations and I think an actual hang out is in order at some point!! 🙂

PHEW that’s a lot of thank you’s aye!!  I actually have a lot of things I am NOT thankful for too but probably better to leave that for another post, or maybe it’s just best to keep to myself 😛  I will say this though: I am NOT thankful to be in New Zealand on Thanksgiving because I don’t get to have turkey 😦  No gobble, gobble for the Whimsical Banana, sigh…

10 signs you know you’ve become more of a gamer-geek than a movie-geek

1. You are more in the know of what games are releasing/being made vs what movies are coming soon

2. Friends want to borrow games from you and not your movies (I still do have a lot more movies than I do games though!!)

3. Friends ask you what games you are currently playing, not what films you have seen lately

4. Friends recommend you games you need to play, not films you should watch

5. You head to the Games section first in JB Hi-Fi whereas before it used to be Movies

6. You don’t feel so much like a “fish out of water” anymore when you go in to EB Games

7. You can spend hours playing The Sims, not only creating many “families” and building the ultimate dream homes, but mapping out the entire neighborhood!!

8. You own game memorabilia – I have a beanie with a Sims plumbob on it, a replica gun from Bayonetta, and several guide books

9. You SO want a Playstation Move even if it’s just for one game (for now, at least!!)

10. You start getting obsessed with collecting trophies

11. Instead of drooling over Hollywood hotties, you think Nathan Drake is pretty damn cute ^_^


Okay so that was 11 signs, I lied 😛  Oh how I have changed in the last few years…  In all seriousness though, even though I started playing games from a very young age – back in the days of the infamous clone console, Micro Genius, only known to those who grew up in Asia hehehe – it was only as an alternative mode of entertainment, nothing more.

I’m glad that my world now includes games because it truly is a remarkable entertainment medium.  I’ve always believed – and I still do – that film is an incredible medium because (a good film) has the ability to suck you in to an alternate universe for a good (on average) 90-120 minutes.  Good ol’ escapism and all that!!  The thing with games is it can do just that too, and so much more. Because the beauty about games is that it is largely interactive; the gameplay actively and often directly engages with you.  Yes in a good scary film you feel scared, if the character is played by a good actor you feel what they feel and you root for them to survive, etc etc.  But in a game, you often are that character.  So not only are you made to immerse directly in that game’s world, but if done well, you can completely embody and be that character.  And if a game succeeds in doing that, it is an amazing experience.  Heavy Rain did this very well, in my VERY humble opinion.  It’s definitely one of my favorite games but admittedly it did have it’s share of flaws, however I felt it succeeded in what it set out to do which was to be an “interactive film which involves moral choices” essentially.

With technology constantly improving – sorry I don’t know all the actual gaming engine names/tools/programs/jargon!! – what I’m really starting to love about games is that they can be made to look exactly like movies.  And to me, still having a passion for movies, this is the perfect mix, the best of both worlds!!  The Uncharted series is a perfect example.  Because I am completely hopeless at shooter games, I actually have never played the games myself.  But I was able to still enjoy and completely immerse myself in the world of Uncharted, relate to and invest in the characters, because it plays out like a movie.  The choice of camera angles, realism of the characters (not only physical look but also their personalities), the pacing and unfolding of the plot, as well as the accompanying soundtrack are simply incredible.

Some more serious gamers criticize games like this because they believe that games and movies are different mediums and so games should not try to be like movies – to an extent I do agree because I believe games have the potential to really push boundaries and go places that movies can’t and so they should take full advantage of that.   But at the same time I also feel that if they have the means and resources and it is the gamemaker’s intention to produce it to look like a movie – then why the hell not?  To each their own, I always say.

Uncharted 3 is looking really awesome so far – can’t wait ’til November!!  I’m considering actually attempting to play Uncharted – on VERY EASY MODE, of course!! – in the hopes that by the time November rolls along maybe I would have had enough target practice (literally) to be able to play the new installment.  Still toying with the idea…

Wow I can’t believe I just wrote a whole post on games.  I guess I just made my 12th sign 😛