November 26, 2014

Cheating on Books: TV, Movies, and Games

First of all, it's not so much that I cheat on books with television, movies, and games. It's more like I'm in some kind of weird polyamorous relationship in which I love books, television, movies, and games equally. ...well, maybe not equally.

Anyway, here are some of the media I love beyond games.



The Sims 2 and The Sims 3

The first PC game I really got into was The Sims 2. I purchased all of the expansion packs as they came out and installed any interesting mod I could get my hands on. I damn near destroyed my first computer with intensive TS2 gaming sessions. (Because I owned a shitty computer--a fact that remains to this day, even though I've had several computers since.)

After the era of The Sims 2 ended, the era of The Sims 3 began. I couldn't get on the bandwagon right away, because, like I said, shitty computers. I now own all of the expansion packs, but I still can't play The Sims 3 as often as I'd like (I probably haven't played it at all in) because--once again!--shitty computer.

Crusader Kings II

I only got into this one over this past month and I haven't had as much time to play it as I would've liked, but I'm kind of loving it so far. Someone mentioned the game in an Ask Reddit thread, and their comment was enough to get me curious about what exactly this Crusader Kings thing was. So I got the demo and about two days after I'd decided that this was a game that deserved a place on my Steam wishlist, I found a ludicrously awesome deal for the game and a bunch of its DLC. So now I've got it, and I kind of want to spend all my time playing it, and it really bums me that I can't.

Life's rough.

Dragon Age: Origins

Earlier this year, EA had Dragon Age: Origins up on Origin for free, and I decided to check it out. I fucking love it!

I played through once as a female Dalish elf, and I was halfway through a playthrough as a female human mage when I got distracted by Crusader Kings. I definitely intend to get back to that mage playthrough, because I grabbed a few mods that I'm really loving and have completely changed the way I played the game... but I'm more interested in Crusader Kings at the moment. When I get sick of that, I'll get back to Dragon Age, and when I get sick of Dragon Age, I'll get back to The Sims 4. A few patches have come out since I last played that (quite a while ago, since the game really didn't measure up against 2 or 3, in my opinion), and so there should be a few things to explore. (Like pools!)

Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra

The Avatar cartoons are Nickelodeon programs (insert joke about Nick trying to kill Korra here) created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko (referred to in fandom as "Bryke") and set in a fantasy universe inspired by several Asian cultures and Tibetan culture.

Avatar: The Last Airbender was a three-season cartoon with a single overarching plotline, while Korra has been a quartet of thirteen-episode miniseries-style seasons, but both shows have been pure awesome. Korra is actually on its final season right now and should be finishing up mid-December, and I am going to be so sad to see the 2010s incarnation of the Avatarverse end!

In spite of the horrendous treatment Nick has delivered to Bryke and Korra, I'm hoping that DiMartino and Konietzko will eventually return to the 'verse (hopefully not at Nickelodeon!) and deliver another kick-ass Avatar to us eager fans.

American Horror Story

I love horror, but there's really not much on television beyond monster fighting shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Supernatural. And while I love all three of those, I'm also a fan of genuine horror, and so when I found out about American Horror Story, I was pretty damn intrigued.

The first season of American Horror Story was retroactively subtitled Murder House, and it definitely hooked me on the horror anthology show.

Season two, Asylum, was even better than Murder House, and by that point, I was truly in love with the program.

Season three, unfortunately, was a bit of a let-down, as I explain in my Coven review here. Season four, Freak Show, is currently airing (and should be wrapping up sometime in January or February), and I'm not sure yet whether it's going to be awesome like Murder House and Asylum or kind of lame like Coven, but I'm still quite hopeful.


The Marvel Cinematic Universe

As far as films go, I'm not the biggest fan. It's not that I don't like movies, it's that I prefer to see movies in the theater, but can't afford to do so very often. So while I keep up with franchises that I know I enjoy (Paranormal Activity, The Hunger Games, The Hobbit), I rarely take a chance on a new movie and just have to wait until I can get the DVD from the library or Redbox.

But when it comes to the MCU, I'm hooked. I don't feel the need to see every MCU movie in the theaters, but there are definitely some that I won't miss.

Above is a timeline of Phase 3 of the MCU. I know I'll be seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, and Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 in the theater (along with Avengers: Age of Ultron, which is part of Phase 2). But I can't say for sure yet whether I'm going to want to see Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, or Inhumans in the theaters. It depends on how convincing I find the trailers and fan/critic response. If I'm not head-over-heels in love with what I see, I'll just wait for the DVDs.

So what about you? What films, shows, and games do you enjoy when you're not reading? Or are you a strict reader with little interest in other media? Let me know in the comments below!

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