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Samuel Dravis

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Posts posted by Samuel Dravis

  1. I'm really enjoying Tales From the Borderlands... I'm also enjoying Life Is Strange. Both of these episodic games are really doing it for me right now.
    I picked up Life Is Strange because you mentioned it here and it really is great as well. Finished episode one today. Adventure games are definitely coming back in style.
  2. I'm a fan of the Borderlands games, and while I haven't gone all-out on any of them, 100%ing everything, I have enjoyed the aesthetic and the "ooh, piece of candy" feel to getting new guns and upgrades. And playing MP with my friends was a real plus.


    I'm also a huge fan of the old LA adventure games-- Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango-- even Loom and The Dig. I love storytelling to a fault. Also I love Telltale.


    Tales from the Borderlands is now on its third episode out of five. I recently bought it because of the Steam summer sale, but you can still get it there for a little more.


    Tales from the Borderlands is absolutely great. The gameplay is very different from its originating series (as you might expect for an adventure/story game based off a shooter), but the story-- and more importantly the characterizations- are spot on.


    There were many parts where I laughed out loud due to the ridiculous situations you came across and the subversion of series tropes that happened when someone actually decided to say in words, "that doesn't make any sense at all." And it is hilarious. Recommended.

  3. Give this a watch if you're a fan:


    Crazy how many locations are almost exactly like they are in the game. And be sure to check the rest of CorridorDigital's channel, because it's amazing.

  4. I've played quite a bit of it on PC since getting it a couple of weeks ago. It's a really good game, definitely on the must-buy list for anyone who likes sandbox games as well as anyone who enjoys a good single player experience. Heists are super fun.


    I tend to listen to the Mirror Park radio in the game a lot. I recently discovered a google playlist for the same station and have been listening to it in my car. Makes me want to drive fast.

  5. @Sam D, I deliberately left it very open as the discussion came about in a Skype conversation, I suppose we could settle on a definition from a dictionary perhaps - but I think answers, also come with cultural backgrounds, for example I'm going to outrage some of the Americans here by saying;


    I have to confess, I'm glad that in the UK if Westboro Baptist tried to picket a soldiers funeral they would be arrested - I think a families freedom to grieve for a dead family member superceeds an individuals right to be an obnoxious insensitive moron.


    My question would be is true "freedom" the right to speak, behave and act as you want, so long as that doesn't interfere with another individuals freedom?

    Surely that would be giving it a context just as I asked for? And in this specific case, as long as they were on "public" property at the time, I don't really have a problem with them protesting whatever they like. I really don't trust anyone in charge to determine what is and what is not should be classified as free speech in a public space.


    And it is not that: I don't trust certain individuals. I simply don't trust the institution itself to always promote freedom in that space-- hence I would deny them the ability to regulate it.

  6. You will probably need to define the context of the question; freedom does not exist in a vacuum apart from human beings. What things are relevant? Physical law? Coercion?


    A determinist would say that physical laws deny freedom, while most people would say that being told "their family will be killed if they don't do X" would make a person less free (implying that there's a gradient in there somewhere), but someone who believes in libertarian free will would deny that any outside force can limit agency.


    It's not too clear what is being asked if it's left so wide open. Kind of like asking "what is a game?" when the things people say are games are of such variety - chess, solitaire, hide and seek, "the game", "playing chicken", etc that there is no necessary common denominator to identify them.

  7. Really, I think it was the SWKnights java chat that started it. That was public, so me, Dev, Jae, Bob & co started chatting on it. Then we all moved to Skype because the applet was terrible, and that had the side effect of making the chat "invite-only" and obviously nefarious! Very entertaining.


    Anyways, I am excited by the prospect of new SW games coming out. I'm sure they will, because Disney can't pass up an opportunity like that, and given the type of more mature content Disney has been passing through I think that they have a passing chance of being interesting! This will no doubt bring in a lot of newbies.

  8. I think that somebody's throwing a tantrum because they're not getting their way.


    On a side note: my parents are losing their coverage after paying into it for over 40 years because of ObamaCare. Who needs "death panels" when the old will lose their coverage simply because they're too old?

    To my mind, that seems like an argument in favor of government intervention into health care. The companies involved are either incapable or unwilling to provide it on terms which are acceptable to everyone. Death panels already exist, and they are called actuaries.
  9. Private revelation and/or vision does not present a very convincing argument one way or the other, IMO. It puts rather too much stock in the eye of the beholder for my liking.
    A reference from John of the Cross' Ascent of Mount Carmel here related to this--sections 6-9.


    Finally, a point Sam made to me a long time ago is that belief has a practical dimension. If you wish to believe, make an act of belief (i.e., pray, if the mood strikes you); nothing will come of nothing.
    Interestingly, I think that I lifted that, at least partially, out of Ascent of Mount Carmel somewhere, but I can't remember the specific location.


    Is that Neitzsche's point? The Madman seems to suggest a certain ambiguity about what is lost:



    (Emphasis mine.)


    Perhaps his point is that non-belief, on its own, is not enough? Or perhaps it's simply a recognition that man is a ritual creature.

    I thought it was that, since God was dead (that is, no longer given the central place in people's lives that had given all the other ritual accompaniments, such as a Christian morality, their power), that people would feel like they were adrift without purpose. Nietzsche goes on further than this though and says: if our previous morality has been cast off and we can see that there are other moralities possible, what is to stop us from deciding a new set of values for ourselves, one that makes us into what we want to be?


    Interestingly enough, this new set of values will also form the basis for the criticism of other value systems-- including the previously cast off Christianity! (The Antichrist anyone?)


    I think probably the most telling part of the passage you quoted was "Yet his shadow still looms". It does loom-- in the form of colloquial uses for the word "good", for example. As a contrast, with Aristotelianism there is not really an exact equivalent to the Western idealized "good". There is good towards an end, good related to existing as a human being, but not good-in-itself as is commonly associated with God.


    This imprint of God on our culture is widespread, and it is no wonder that people who have decided to do away with God find it very hard to separate from his shadow, as I mentioned in my first post. It is a bit more complicated than just saying, "I don't believe."

  10. Regarding your specific situation, colloquial existential Nihilism seems to me as the only logical conclusion of Atheism. I don't understand how atheists can keep from moving into that ideology. (That's not an insult, it's a genuine question.) From what I can tell, most just occupy themselves collectivism or individualistic pursuits to distract themselves from the question. It seems to work until for some reason or another, the distractions, or ability to pursue distractions is taken away, and the person is forced to consider to logical emptiness that lays before them.
    If it helps as an illustration, I am comfortable being atheist (I am not uncertain in any way about God's existence) and yet I am certainly not a nihilist, instead preferring modern Aristotelianism.


    Nietzche may get a bad rap sometimes, but he was dead on that most of the time people just pay lip service to Christian values. What is lost when you declare yourself atheist at that point?-- not much. But it would be a terrible mistake to assume that rejecting religion means necessarily embracing nihilism, a point which he was specifically critical of.


    Of course, that's not to say I didn't go into the nihilist phase for a while as a result of apostasy, though I think that was at least partially due to simply not knowing about other methods for finding meaning. Even if you do know though, it's hard to completely change your values system, and it takes a long time to really accept a new method of value after being with Christianity for most of your life.

  11. First of all, there's no reason for this to be locked. This is the section of the forum for this kind of stuff!


    Second, I recently watched a good video which may show you that you can be more comfortable with the beliefs you have rather than the ones you think you should have. Being honest with yourself is a good policy.


    I am not sure how to make dying less scary, since that never really came up as a problem for me. Alan Watts had a great bit which might help you, though-- just to put a little perspective on things.

  12. Nice to see Samuel Dravis is still kickin it. And the new Tomb Raider looks tasty.
    It really is great. Far less quicktime events than the last one I played (Anniversary), much better "feel", really beautiful fire effects, and the bow is pretty fun to use. The only real gripe is that the tombs are very few and they are all 5 minute physics puzzle affairs. Kinda sucks when it's called Tomb Raider, but as a game it is significantly better than what came before it.
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