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Ten Years ago on Life is a Mindbending Puzzle

What was I writing about in April 2013?

I started the month complaining about the ever growing issue of DLC. Unlike most gamers of the time it wasn't the rip off factor that annoyed me it was the nuisance factor of there being too much of it. 

My second post that month was a long and thoughtful analysis of the demise of the PC. The PC proved more resilient than I expected at that time but it interesting that the PC market is again in sharp decline after a pandemic lock down inspired boost. One of my biggest concerns about a possible decline of the PC was whether or not I would still be able to play older games. It is interesting the the big consoles from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have since become much more aware of the value of their back catalogue and have introduced various ways to play older games. 

I was playing Fallout 3, Darksiders 2 and the Walking Dead according to my next post. I remember finishing the first two and giving up on the last. 

There was a lovely bit of father daughter bonding in my fourth post of the month where I introduced my 12 year old to Star Wars. Even though she is an adult now she She still has a few items of star wars memorabilia which I take as a good sign. 

My fifth post is a complaint about Microsoft dropping the ball with Skype and how Microsoft's neglect of video calling had allowed WhatsApp to sneak in and build a dominant position in the market. Whatsapp now owned by Facebook became and remains the world's most popular communication app. Microsoft did later manage to grab a dominant position in business video conferencing with Teams but poor Skype is still a neglected cousin. 

I seemed to have been obsessed with obsolescence that month. My next post was a cryptic one about the decline of the buggy whip market. The references to model 7 and model 8 makes me think it was intended as a rather well disguised swipe at Windows 8. It probably seemed clever at the time. 

Next post is about good and bad checkpoint design. Overall I think that checkpointing in games has gotten better but some games still get it wrong even today. 

An interesting post follows about the fact that even back then I bought more games from third party resellers than from Steam. The main point of that post remains true today: Even though Steam is the largest retailer of PC games it is rarely the cheapest. 

I played Bioshock Infinite that month and I was enormously impressed with it. I quote: "This game truly is a work of art".  I thought / still think the Bioshock series is a masterpiece and Infinite is its crowning glory but opinions elsewhere are mixed. Many commentators call out the game for being pretentious and complain that story took precedence over gameplay. However I still think Infinite was a great leap forward in story telling in games  and enabled more recent games like Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War to unashamedly have strong storylines underpinning their action game play. 

I also played Darksiders 2 that month and was particularly impressed by the gorehammer rocket launcher. It was obviously a good gaming month for me. 

A brief post follows  about how Google was profiling me for advertising. I have long since reconciled myself to the fact that the big tech companies know more about every aspect of my life than I do myself although I did start to use the privacy focussed Brave browser about a year ago. A side effect of this is that I no longer default to Google search.  I still use Gmail, Youtube and Google maps so Alphabet has plenty of data points with which to profile me. To be honest I use Brave because it has built in ad blocking not because of any particular privacy concerns. I can recommend Brave to anyone who uses  Chrome but would like a more privacy focussed browser with built in ad block. Brave is based on Chrome so it feels very similar and can even run Chrome extensions. It seems to work reliably on every website and if you do hit a rare problem you can turn off the "privacy shields" at the press of a button and that usually solves it. Brave is available on just about every platform. The only caveat is that it uses a crypto token to monetise its advertising model which seems a bit sketchy. I opted out of it and haven't suffered any limitations. 

The final post of the month asks if it was too late in 2013 to try some Wii games. Sadly I never really put that to the test. Too many games and too little time to play them all. 

That was April 2013. I wrote 12 posts that month which was quite prolific given that I only wrote 66 posts that whole year. Nowadays I am lucky to write a post a month although I do enjoy having a creative outlet when I am in the mood to write. This blog was at its busiest back in the heady days of Lotro 2007-20011 when I was averaging more than three posts a week. 


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