Winging it with Peter and the pre-promotes

Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War (1996)

I’m here today to call BS on a piece of conventional wisdom that I keep seeing repeated everywhere, and that’s this idea that everyone around you is winging it to some extent, that nobody really knows what’s going on and we’re all just trying to get by. I’m sorry, but that is one enormous coping mechanism, probably designed to make you feel better, or smarter, about yourself. A couple of jobs ago, this was brought home to me; I’d thought of myself as fairly intelligent, which isn’t too arrogant or self-deluded right? Don’t we all like to think that of ourselves?

But in this job, in an office of about 50 people I was fone of about four imbeciles, and I most certainly wasn’t just “getting by”, nor was everyone else just winging it and pretending to know the score. What I’m getting at here is that if you’re’ not sharp, then in most cases you shall be found out very quickly, and just see what happens if you call the person sacking you a blagger.

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Mystery of the menus, curse of the cursors, the death of design

Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (1994)

I don’t know if we’ve just become spoilt by the wealth of apps and online services available nowadays, but is it my imagination or are user interfaces and user experiences getting worse and worse? Strangely, it also seems to me that there’s a growing abundance of money in UX / UI Designer jobs. Perhaps this means they’re throwing more money than in God’s wallet at the problem, but it’s still to no avail.

You take the video streaming services, and we pretty much have them all as we’re awful couch potatoes. Well, you try and search for something on Netflix and you can forget it. The search function is slow, sometimes difficult to find, and the thing you’re searching for is either not there (but here are dreadful knock-offs, a classic Netflix move. Or your desired result is buried beneath a load of child porn-enabling series and other bleeding heart liberal rubbish.

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A war’s brewing, you say? The country’s on fire? I ain’t your guy, then

Fire Emblem Gaiden (1992)

It’s all going nuts again. Geopolitically, I mean. Of course, even that sentence doesn’t date this piece too badly – a headline like “Tensions mount in Middle East” could be on any online news outlet since the mid 90s and still be relevant. For today’s purposes, let’s just say that the Taliban are at it again. I wonder if they’ll still be at it in 20 years time? Or will there even be a 20 years time, because it gives you a right frightenener down the jacksy when those boys are at it, America and Russia are responding (the UK tries to pop up but deliberately gets ignored) and then suddenly fingers begin hovering over the big red button.

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In an alternate timeline, I’d be Prince Burkey

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & The Blade of Light (1990)

I know you never believe me when I come out with things like this, but I am actually descended from nobility. That’s right: I have blue blood, and you may well be wondering, if that’s the case Burkey, then why is it that you’re tight with money? Why were you on the dole? Why do you never exercise any kind of power, and why are you not inbred?

Well, perhaps some people would contest that last one. But I have a perfectly good answer to every one of these rebuttals, and unfortunately it’s that old devil at work again: organized religion.

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World War 3, be all you can be

Advance_Wars_logo

Advance Wars (2002)

I’ve never been sure if this was a myth or even if it was particularly common, but I’ve been led to believe that if you were caught being a naughty boy in 1960s or 1970s Ireland, the exasperated judge would often give you the choice of doing a six-month stint in jail or a year in the army.

We aren’t exactly what you’d call a belligerent country – if Ireland had been involved in the Gulf War we would’ve sent snowploughs – so a spell in the army always sounded like a bit of a holiday camp to me. But then again, isn’t that what they always accuse the prisons of being? You start to see now why we need a death penalty for all offences, except software piracy.

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I’m the master of strategy, until someone uses en passant

fire emblem logo

Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (2004)

It mightn’t much fit my macho image, but I can tell you without any hesitation or modesty that I’m one heckuva chess player. OK, I haven’t played against a human, an AI opponent or even against myself in the last ten years or so. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still kick some ebony or ivory behind if war broke out and the main fighting weaponry turned out to be chess pieces.

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