The Dragon Podcast Γ – Accidentally a Video Game Podcast

Austin Smith, Leigh Wilson, and a random assortment of dorm-room background friends accidentally talk about Bioshock, Resident Evil, and Call of Duty for 40 minutes, interspersed with other video game talk, how technology slowly dies, what the price of a soul is, books, and how Austin is a bad person.

Collecting Things that Have a Story

When you collect as many things as I do, you inevitably run into the side of at least one hobby where everyone values the things that are being collected much more than you do. And that isn’t a problem, and this won’t be about that being a problem. These people tend to want things to be pristine, some of them in the package, some of them out. For fountain pens and knives, they’re the people who don’t want anything with an engraving.  For video games and toys, they’re the people that want the item in box, in shrink wrap. And for various other hobbies that I may or may not be involved in, there are different things that are important to the collectors.

Now, obviously I don’t agree with that. I have a video (but I haven’t posted it anywhere) of me opening a brand new Atari 2600 game in the late 2000’s. That would give some people a heart attack. But I just feel that if it’s a video game console or a toy, it was meant to be played with, and if it’s a fountain pen, or knife, or anything else it was meant to be used.

I know I’m not that way with everything. Older notebooks and art supplies I have a hard time using sometimes, because I feel like using them destroys them in a way, and that at least one specimen should be preserved. This applies more to something like a unique pencil and less to something like old paint that just seems wasted if it isn’t used.

It’s hard to find the balance of what to preserve and what to use, especially if you do believe that vintage items were meant to be used. My heart does sink every time I see someone who has an older item and is using it because it’s “cool” to do so and is in the process destroying it. They are well within their rights to do so, but I think that they should be putting at least a little more care into it.

I’m well aware that nothing will last forever, but I do want as many examples as possible of anything to last for as long as possible. That is part of why I invest so much time and money into my collections. I want to see them last, I like them a lot, and keeping them nice is just as important to me as the collection itself.

But what does that say about personal engravings in pens, knives, lighters, jewelry, and tools? Are they ruined even before the collector sees them? I don’t think so. While it is true that I tend to buy items without engravings or personalization, this has more to do with either them being less recognizable (No one would look at a painted Xbox and think it was an Xbox at first glance, and they might think I’m weird for painting one afterwards) or because people would think I stole things. “Hey, why are you using Edward Clavares’ pen?” Not that many people even really look at the engraving, but it could be a concern.

But as for items I won’t carry around: that older knife or fountain pen that should’ve been several hundred dollars that I got for free (that really happened), I like the wear and personalizations. It gives the items a sense of history. It’s even better when I know part of the story. I have a multi-tool with my dad’s name on it, a knife with my brother’s, and I had a notebook with my grandfather’s, but I gave that back to my mother. For all of those items I know part of the story, maybe very little, and I can only imagine the parts before, but having that realistic grounding is nice. I really do love the engravings on such items.

I also go to garage sales and charity shops a lot. Inside there are all sorts of items which have all sorts of different possible stories associated with them. Especially handmade items, which I always feel bad passing up. I feel like I’m leaving a part of history behind, even if it is poorly constructed history.

That’s why it’s nice to have several pieces in a collection that are personalized to some extent. I feel like I’m both saving history and getting a well-constructed product. Though I won’t seek out a product that has been personalized, having a few shows that these items were used by actual people, not just some other collector who took perfect care of them. And there is something collectable about a thing that has a person’s name on it, especially if it’s an uncommon name. It might be the only one like it in the world.

Really though, I’m just not snobby either way. I know there are some people who would never collect a personalized or even a used item, and there are some people who would only collect those items. And I understand the urge to do both, so I try to meet somewhere in the middle. I like to keep my mind open, and I haven’t yet gotten to the point in my collecting where I only collect a thing here and there that I’m really searching for. I may never get to that point. If you have exactly what you want to collect figured out, I’m glad, and your life is probably a lot more organized than mine. We all see value in different things in any given hobby. Like I’ve said previously, I’m not into buying anything very expensive. And as personalized items usually go for less on the second-hand market, the fact that I like them is just a bonus.

If you asked me why I collect what I do, I’d probably tell you I like to collect things that interest me, and stories interest me. Whether it’s some fictional universe the product is based on, or my personal experiences, or the crazy collection of a guy I met a few times who was a great person and really into all of this stuff, or just some letters on the side of a pen that I can make up a journey around, I like collecting for the story.

Table Topics Family 9 #17-18


1. If you could attend any sporting event which would you choose?

2. What would you do for fun if you had to give up TV and electronic games?

ANSWERS By: Austin Smith

1. I don’t really like sports, so baseball I guess.

2. I would just play the ton of board games I play anyway. That’s a benefit of having them.

Games that Teach – Tetris and Addiction Management

Tetris is an addiction. Of this there is no doubt in my mind. You just have to keep playing. It drives you to keep playing it. You can’t quit Tetris. But you must. Eventually everyone stops playing Tetris, even the best. Eventually you have to put the controller down. It’s when to put the controller down that Tetris helps with.

Some people don’t know when to stop. And Tetris is a way you can learn when to stop without any major consequences. I mean, you could end up playing Tetris all the time and doing nothing else, but that’s the case with almost any video game.

He saw the colors and was never heard from again.

He saw the colors and was never heard from again.

The real reason Tetris is so good is two reasons, really. First it has nothing that could be considered objectionable. It’s just organizing falling blocks. The second is that the game ends every ten minutes or so. Even if you’re super good, a game of more than 20 minutes is insane. The point is that the game ends, which gives you time to decide whether or not to continue.

Learning to quit earlier and earlier will teach you how to moderate and break your habit (and if you don’t, at least you get wicked awesome at Tetris). I know that’s not the most descriptive advise, but it is true. At least it works for some people. Even if you don’t quit, getting addicted to Tetris is one of the best addictions you can have, it won’t hurt your body directly and can probably improve your brain strength in some areas. And if you have friends they can always drink a beer and watch you play Tetris as your social activities.

So I didn’t like the Hitman: Absolution trailer “Attack of the Saints”

By: Austin Smith

*warning* Kinda inappropriate, but so is the trailer.

The Trailer for the new Hitman game came out, and something about it just rubbed me the wrong, way, so I’m going to watch it again and tell you what I find wrong with it. This is almost unedited so bear with me. It also helps if you’ve seen the trailer because I’m not going to write down times or anything.

Yes, this may contain inappropriate content.

You’d think it would take more then a band-aid for a shoulder gash like that.

Why are we focusing so much on the nuns chests?

Why the stilettos? That barely makes sense.

You might want to check on that band-aid on your head. Blood pouring from your cranium is generally not a good sign.

Whoa, I get where the SMG came from, but an RPG really! Did she just pull that out of a car I didn’t see pass by, because she didn’t pull it out of her ass.

Oh, the gloves are on now.

Whoa, maybe she did. This is where I start to dislike this trailer, I mean really, why latex. I understand that a nun getup might not be beneficial in a gunfight, but at least it might obscure your form. Latex that barely covers you is pointless, especially when it’s going to rain. Do “sexy” getups help you fight your enemies. And why are they “sexy” nuns anyway, does the Hitman series just have a roaming group of killer nuns. Why? I mean the only Hitman game I played had me going around impaling people on meathooks for twenty minutes before my friend came back and we went bowling. Are these nuns reoccurring characters? If not, why? There is no need for them to be here, let alone dressed like that, I’m almost offended. These assassins suck at their jobs.

Oh, I talked so much I missed the coin he pulled out of his head or something.

You know maybe standing in your “sexy” formation and blowing up the room with and RPG is not a good way to maintain cover, or not be seen, or just flat out killed. Hey look, he’s already killing them, like the shrapnel wouldn’t have already.

For assassins they really don’t notice when people get killed behind them do they.

I’m not sure he just fired enough rounds to kill all but two of them.

Nice covered up-skirt and machine-gun shot; he lied.

You’d think she would have thought about him grabbing the barrel.

Are rosaries effective strangling devices?

Oh, unrealistically broken nose.

Yeah, I bet those latex outfits are helping you fight now.

Okay, there is no way that at that distance, a rifle bullet packed by a professional assassin would just stop inside a person. They are both dead now, game over.

Bull***T, he should be dead, or at least suffering for several more bullet wounds.

He shot first, or something.

Thats an awesome car.

No I don’t care that he closed her eyes.

Well, that sucked. I mean really, nuns, why? Just so they could do that lame title. And why sexualize them. It’s not because they weren’t nuns and the disguises were cumbersome, or they would have taken their wimples off. They were just bad assassins. Or it was just an offensive marketing campaign with a stupid title for a mediocre game. That’ll be it.