Lina's 5 games of the year

5. Soma

I'm going to go ahead and preface this entry by saying that I have not actually finished this game and this may be why it is not higher on my list. It asked me to sneak around a maze of enclosed offices and cubicles with a nightmare hell monster following after me, and that was fine. But then they turned the lights off and I immediately saved, quit and have not returned to it. I genuinely feel this is a mistake, considering how amazing this game is and how much it tickles every part of my brain, but you weren't there. You didn't see the lights turn off.

SOMA is a game that asks some very simple questions: What is it to be human, and is that humanity something that should be intrinsically valued for its existence? If you know anything about me you will know that I am a total sucker for media that can effectively tackle the themes of humanity being less a biological trait and more a sum of the parts of the human experience; pain, joy, loss, love, compassion, calculated violence. The idea that any sufficiently advanced technology is not so much indistuingishable from magic, but from being human. It is a long standing trope in science fiction but one that has yet to wear out its welcome activating the parts of my brain that love to philosophize about the nature of ourselves and our increasing reliance on modern technology, and the paths it will take in the future.

Every new room, every new section in SOMA had something interesting to throw at me and complicate the story in important, fascinating ways. I will not say much more than that about the details of the story because it's something worth experiencing for yourself, but you'll know within the first hour or so if this game is for you. When I had to pull a machine free from things I did not understand and it begged me to stop because it wanted to keep living, I knew that I was in for a treat that I would recommend to anyone of like mind.

4. Life is Strange

You know what game, Life IS Strange! But it probably would have been a lot stranger if my high school experience had included the ability to time travel! Also if I had known I was girl back then. And if I'd had cool lesbian friends. Or friends at all. Uh.

It was at the end of episode 2 that I realized Life is Strange was something special. To avoid spoilers here, I will just say they ask you to make a very powerful decision that cannot be reversed no matter how much you might want to. It was something that resonated with me very powerfully, having been in that moment myself in real life, and having had friends in the same position. When I managed to get through the other side of it the way I wanted to I felt so relieved that I was able to make a difference, even in some small virtual high school.

And I think that is what Life is Strange is trying to get through to the player, with its focus on youth, what some may argue to be the best times of one's life. The transition from adolescence to adulthood and the confusion, the sudden overwhelming power and responsibility that comes with it. The way your actions have consequences and affect the people around you, for good or bad, and that it is all up to you what kind of difference you want to make. The main character's fascination with photography being a metaphor for making memories. Moments that cannot be regained. Finding what is important to you and how that defines you as a person.

I played the episodes as they came out and I really feel this contributed positively to my experience with this game; sitting around for months wondering what was going to come next, fearing what decisions I'd need to me, talking with my friends about theories and decisions we'd made and what outcomes those lead to. I could talk a lot about the themes of this game and all of the fun symbolism and deeper metaphors for quite a while, but what it really comes down to is that this game made me laugh, cry, love my friends, get engrossed in the small things that felt overwhelming, fear for the future but find myself engrossed in the possibilities it could bring. And isn't that really what youth is?

also max is a scorching lesbian dont let the haters confuse you

3. Undertale

I have not finished this one, but there's a lot to say about this game. I'm not going to say much of it because you either already know, or knowing will detract from playing it. Play Undertale. The only reason it's not my top spot is because I have not finished it, but no other game this year has made quite an impression on me as Undertale has.

2. Bloodborne

This one kicked The Witcher 3 off of the list because the more I thought about it, the more I realized The Witcher 3 didn’t leave a lasting impression. It is a very good game, and I enjoy it and would recommend it to people with the clause of It Hates Women, but ultimately it was just another big game to me. A new bar for open world RPGs to meet in terms of content worth doing and the feel of the world, but not something I’m going to carry with me. It wasn’t something that felt incredibly special.

Not the way Bloodborne does.

There is so much I want to talk about regarding Bloodborne, about how good the gameplay is and how it makes a single redaction to the Souls formula and immediately changes every rule you’ve learned in doing so: You can’t block. Dodge, and get in there, and do not stop being in there. About how it’s the best horror ANYTHING in years. But what stuck with me the most about this game is the world, its lore, its history and its themes.

I could write paragraphs and paragraphs of praise and theorycrafting and study discussing the metaphors and symbolism and how each facet of the game’s world and systems feed into every other part of it, a creation so wholly interconnected and complex that it almost has a life of its own, a horrible biological monstrosity begging you to delve into its unknowns and greedily devour every last secret it tempts you with, even while reminding you that knowledge is power, but absolute power corrupts the low and the mighty both absolutely, and thus knowledge is the root of all suffering.

A world so massive that it is easy to get lost in, but so interconnected that you can always find where you’ve been. A world so close to one we have already known, a history that we recall so lovingly as one of the heights of any of our civilizations, but so alien and grotesque that it speaks of the forgotten horrors of these times and the fascination the human mind has with the unknown and the unattainable. The reminder that behind every massacre, every tragedy, every sacrifice for the greater good, there are human hearts and human minds and human intent and these can be the most evil things of all, the corruption that can take hold of our being and our bodies and turn us into nothing more than Beasts. Beasts that cannot coexist with Humanity, for their very essence is antithesis to what is Good and Right.

That when you worship the heavens, anything that comes from the sky must be an angel in the eyes of those who believe. And that these Gods do love us, but that does not mean that we love the Gods in return, or the way they should be.

1. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


Metal Gear Solid V is really really really good.

It may not have had as much of an impression on me as Life is Strange, SOMA or Undertale did. The story doesn't hold a candle to any of the other games on this list. It kinda deflates a bit towards the end with a clearly rushed second act, a paper thin story that relies on a twist at the end that doesn't actually change anything(though it is fun to talk about the deeper meanings of it!) to have an impact and just sort of falls flat. It is missing its final third. Quiet's design capital S Sucks.

But Metal Gear Solid V is really really really good. I put 215 hours into this game within 40 days of its release and I plan on going back for a second run through at some point. The act of playing this game is so pure and good and complex and wonderful that I get excited just thinking about it. The game gives you so many tools to see something, immediately imagine some bullshit on the spot and go about executing it. And it works! There are just SO MANY WAYS to do anything in this game! Some of it just because you can! You totally could just run into the base, sneak through all cool person like, or slap on the heavy armor and machine gun and go for it, and it'll work! Or you can put yourself in the driver's seat of a jeep with your eyepatch wearing, electro knife weilding armored wolf(!!!!!!!!!!!!!) in the passenger's seat, slam it into a wall at full speed, bailing just before you crash, then surround it with inflatable versions of you to create a distraction, clearing a full path to where you need to be. You can drop yourself down in a tank and then call in your helicopter for support, explosions and machine gun fire illuminating Afghanistan sands at midnight with the best looking lighting engine I've ever seen in a video game, all while Rebel Yell by Billy Idol plays. You can stand up in a cardboard box with an anime idol girl pasted onto the side to get a horny guard to come over and get blown up by C4 on the road. You can make your horse poop to make a jeep transporting a VIP you need to extract skid(heh heh heh) out and flip. You can sled down a sand dune in a cardboard box and knock out a full patrol by colliding with them.

That's not even getting into the FOB system, stealing materials from other players or enemies around the world, building up your base, playing around with randomized soldiers instead of Snake, or developing increasingly more powerful items, customizing your weapons, your emblem... This game is fantastic. It didn't have such as big an effect on my as the other games on this list may have, but for the game I went back to most this year and the game I would say is simply the most fun to PLAY, Metal Gear Solid V takes it.


A bigger game is not necessarily a better game.

This was originally going to be a response to Charlize's blog post about Arkham Knight but kinda turned into its own thing. I tend to write off the top of my head and not proofread anything I do write so I am sorry if this is a wreck. I may touch it up at a later juncture, but for now it exists deeply flawed, as all things are.

It's really interesting to compare the "last"(we'll see.) of the Arkham games(Knight) to the first(Asylum) and notice that as the series has progressed and included more and more aspects of being Batman, such as the Batmobile, Gotham City, a wider range of moves to perform and obstacles to overcome, the games have sort of lost the laser focus that Asylum had and was only really capable of because of its smaller size and limited scope.

I felt this way several times while playing Arkham Knight. While I reached the end of the game feeling like I was glad to have experienced it, I also found that there were several points that I just felt frustrated with how much the game was trying to do all at once. In City the combat was maybe the best it's ever been. It ramped up the difficulty of the combat encounters gradually, introducing new enemy types as the game advanced, and only after giving you enough time to get comfortable with the latest variation introduced.

In Knight it feels like the game just constantly throws new enemy types at you with every other encounter and without giving you much room to breathe. There's many more variations than there have ever been in any of the Arkham games. By the time you get to the end of the game these specialist type enemies make up at least 80% of any given group and it just gets so fuuuuuckinnn teeediouuusss having to cape stun a big guy, jump over him, do a beatdown that is constantly interrupted by these enemies that are using attacks that you can't counter so you have to redo the whole cape stun into beatdown thing and just UGH. And more than any other Arkham game, the enemies are allllll about picking up dropped equipment so if you're not using the special move that destroys weapons enemies are holding, they will just pick them up over and over and over and over and over. Figure that with regularly faulty targeting that makes me attack people holding shields or stun batons instead of people that aren't and it just gets really annoying.

Anyway. The game is loaded with side stuff that isn't necessarily worth doing in that it doesn't really contribute anything to the overall story and really feels very strange and out of place given the immediate urgency of every single main mission. Like, Batman's going to drop a hostage situation or hold off on saving one of his best friends because a dead body was found strung up? I got a real Ubisoft open world game feel from playing Arkham Knight in that it feels like there's a ton of side stuff in this game because there's an expectation for there to be and not because it necessarily NEEDS it, you know? It often feels like the developers are saying "There are Militia checkpoints to deal with because we needed more side content!" And the game is cooooonstantly reminding you to go do side stuff. If you don't have an active objective, there's a big ol' prompt telling you that you need to have one. After finishing every three or four main missions, Alfred will chime in like "Hey buddy, maybe you should go check on those firefighters instead of stopping Scarecrow? Just a thought."

And even in some of the side stuff there's all of this buildup and then just pulling the rug out from under your feet because OOPS you haven't found the next step in the world so you either waste your time trying to find it(you have to get VERY close to some of these objectives to put them on the map) or just keep doing main missions until the game mercifully grants you the next waypoint. It's different when you're just collecting Riddler trophies or Sea Shanty lyrics or doing backyard brawls or whatever, but to have these side threads involving named villains that are mini plots in their own right gated off or just put on hold for periods of time until you progress far enough in this way feels a bit strange. It kills the mood.

People have said enough about the Batmobile. I think it's just fine in its implementation and isn't necessarily overused, just underutilized. With a few more tools at the car's disposal it could have been really cool, but by the fourth or fifth time I was shooting something to pull it down to become a ramp or an entrance for Batman to get into on foot I was like "okay, I get it."

BUT, I have been digressing as I am wont to do. Sort of. All of that stuff serves in contrast of Asylum's lack of all of these things. Asylum didn't have a huge open world, it was very Metroidvania in its design; you go and find a new gadget that allows you to return to different areas and bypass previous obstacles, which then allows you to delve deeper into the story it was telling and further into this very meticulously crafted environment created by people who clearly had a reverence and love for the source material with tons of references to villains and characters that weren't showing up in person in the game's story. You dealt with a number of villains that had their time to shine that fit into the story as a whole, and a lot of work was put into making you really feel like you were trapped in the lair of the beast. (But because you're Batman you have the advantage) There were a ton of really cool moments in Asylum that can't really be replicated with the open world design mindset, such as the fear toxin sections which Knight tries to recreate but doesn't do so nearly as effectively, the opening moment of being introduced to the Asylum and reacting to it all going very badly(that initial fight and frantic run down the hallway covered in chattering wind up teeth comes to mind) and many others. Thinking about it now, you totally run over Bane with the Batmobile in Asylum. Why were there no boss fights in Knight that utilized the Batmobile beyond "drive away from it" or "shoot it because your car is also a tank"?? Perhaps the last encounter with the Riddler does this? I didn't get that far in that storyline because fuck Riddler puzzles.

It's an argument to be had about the differences between a smaller scale experience and how the developers can really work with the environments and mechanics to hit the player with very focused moments, and a larger playspace that has fewer "ooh, ahh" moments but more personal freedoms. There's a place for both of these things, but when it comes to a Batman game I think the first one works better because a Batman game should be about empowerment and focusing on his rogues gallery and Batman's interactions with them. In a more open setting, you don't really have many opportunities to engage with the villains aside from them spouting a monologue at you from time to time as Scarecrow does from the screens all over Gotham in Knight or being a fight at the end of a series of missions because it pulls the player away from the focus of so much to do!!! I don't really think there's much room for argument in saying that in this regard, City is the best of the games because it marries the open world with smaller Zelda-esque "dungeons" that involve villains other than the "main" one even though City isn't my personal favorite of the series.


One and a half years of actual, real magic.

I've always been really open about it here but for those of you that may not recognize me, my name is Lina and I am a transgender woman! I've blogged about my progress before but not in about a year holy goodness has it really been so long

By transgender woman, I don't mean "male trying to be female" or "wants to be a girl" or "transitioning from male to female" or any of that junk. Very simply, I am a girl. A little different from what most might expect, but I am just a girl doing her best.

So, well... here we are. One year, six months of hormones on March 4 2015. That's only a day from now! Holy jeeze.

I'm.. not really sure what to say, honestly. I've always done my posts off the top of my head, a very spur-of-conscious-thought sort of style with very little proofreading or planning out so as I sit here thinking of what I want to say I find myself at a bit of a loss. This is kinda just how my life is now, I guess. After a year and a half it can be difficult to remember where I even started this whole thing at but I know I'm glad I'm not there anymore. I no longer want to die every day, I no longer hate myself or my body, I no longer stare at myself and think about all of the could-have-beens. The future is bright though still scary and intimidating.

I had a lot of hate in myself when I started. Hate for myself, hate for others, hate for just about everything... I was cynical, misanthropic and I don't know. It feels like the biggest mistake of my life was believing that I was cool for not liking other people. Hormones have helped me shelve all of that toxic shit and replace it with love and kindness, one of the better things I've ever done for myself. It's a lot easier without all of that testosterone running through my system making me go "grr!" 24/7.

Unfortunately it has made me lose a lot of my places where I once felt I belonged. I've lost a fair number of real life friends, a few internet ones, my job and a lot of my internet hangouts, Giantbomb being one of the major ones. I no longer feel welcome in many places and that has made me a bit shy when it comes to dealing with other people. The way I've been treated has caused me to regress socially in some ways and it's a real shame that I can't point to myself and say that it's my fault because it's really not. Please treat trans people with respect; we get a TON of shit from every other place in our life that your kindness is something we will cling to when we feel at our worst. It's sad but true. Also just treat everyone with respect, but especially marginalized groups!

I've found a safe haven in the whole social justice scene, though! I've found that a lot of the things that I had strong feelings about before transitioning actually have a name and other opinions behind them and I've sort of made it part of my mission in my life to educate others so they might hopefully work on their problematic behaviors and make this world a safer, happier place for all that inhabit it. This may turn a certain type of person away from being friends with me but A) empathy is not something I will ever be made to feel guilty about having and B) GOOD

Aside from that, the physical changes are... Well, uh.

The first picture is my ID from when I turned 21 which would be a full year and a half before HRT, and the rest are from over a year on hormones.

Hormones are literally magic. I got real purdy, duders!

I've lost an inch in height, went down half a shoe size, my hands are smaller with slendererer fingers, my body has redistributed my fat more towards my chest and my thighs, I lost a LOT of muscle in my upper body, my skin is ridiculously soft now(like seriously woah), I'm almost unidentifiable from who I was before in the face area, I have C cup breasts... There's almost nothing about me that hasn't been affected by HRT and all of it RULES. Enough so that when my cisgender(cis for short, meaning somebody that identifies as what they were assigned at birth) come to me for emotional support my go to without even thinking is "have you tried transitioning" because it's fixed almost everything that I hated about myself. I still need to lose some weight but I really really cannot overstate how much this has done for my personal happiness. Just look at that smile!

As always, I will answer questions as I see fit if anybody has any about what I'm doing, what I've done or whatever! If you aren't comfortable asking them in the thread, feel free to PM me and I will do my best to get back to you! c:


Six months to go from peon to princes

As most people on this website are probably aware of, I am male-to-female transgender. I started hormones back in September and three weeks ago was my six month mark so I'm here to talk to about that a little bit! The short short version of it is: My life is better now.

Hormones are a... interesting thing to experience. Besides the obvious physical changes which I will get into later, the psychological changes have been just as crazy. I find that I am much calmer now, more forgiving, more reasonable, more confident... but with that confidence, I have begun to assert myself more and stand up for myself and what I believe in which blends a little strangely sometimes with the fact that I am also a bit more emotional than I was before. I kind of kneejerk reaction to everything and I have to mentally check myself and step back, analyzing the situation after I calm myself down. It's been a weird thing to get used to... This is all when I'm not on my "period", which is when I get a litttttttttle crazy. I've posted a few times while under that influence and it isn't great.

I had a day after they changed my dosage where I yelled at both of my roommates, apologized, started crying, barricaded my door with my desk, unbarricaded it, had grilled cheese and tomato soup, cried that all I had was grilled cheese and tomato soup, angrily turned off The Last of Us because people were in the same building as me when I wanted to play it, tore apart a piece of paper for no reason other than I needed to destroy something and then cried in my bed wishing I had food that only comes from a place 20 miles away. All within an hour. Girly hormones are weird.

The physical changes have been quite dramatic as well. My skin is softer than it used to be, my body hair grows much slower, my face has changed shape a bit, I have boobs now, I've lost a LOT of muscle, and... well.. The first two here are from the last week, the third one is me two months before HRT and the last one is my ID from when I turned 21.

The things you can't see are that my arms are much smaller, my thighs are more feminine, my waist has curved a bit, my skin is MUCH softer... Ugh, I'M SO different. It's ridiculous. I dunno. I'm pretty now, and I love it.


The first day of the rest of my life.

I started hormones today, somewhere around nine hours ago as I hit the "save your blog" button here and send this away to be forever etched into the colorful, soggy, tried-to-bleach-it-out-but-these-stains-aint-goin-nowhere history of the internet.

It's an interesting thing to change your life so completely, especially when change comes so quickly. I made the decision to transition on December 3, 2012 and now on September 3, 2013, I have finally begun the process of taking the medication I need to become somebody I can be happy with. I really only began the process of making it to this point on July 1, 2013. Two month is all it took to reach my goal. It seems silly that I stressed out about it for so long before deciding to take the plunge and see a therapist when I look back on it now but it's also a massive change. This is literally life changing, in a way that something big like finishing college or starting a new career can never be. I can go nowhere with one of those things, I can quit a job, but I will never be able to take back being a girly.

But a lot happened in those nine months. Tons of video games were released, many that I played, some that led to me making new friends or rekindling old friendships I thought were long over. I made new friends here on Giantbomb. New consoles were announced. I became so depressed over confusion and stress about my gender and the way I viewed myself and how everybody else treated me over it(they are finally starting to understand that I am serious, though!) that I felt the only option was to take my own life. I came reallll fuckin' close and the only thing that saved me was hesitation causing me to involuntarily stop what I was doing.

I wish I could say that I am genuinely happy now and it's all okay and my life is so much better, but really, not much has changed. Some of my friends are still toxic people that make me unhappy, a couple of people that I live with are still completely awful and seem to actively try to make me miserable... I wonder on a daily basis how many people give a shit about me and/or whether or not I'd REALLY be missed if I were gone. I am still very depressed, but I feel like that may not be the case for much longer. I've been completely over the moon all day. My life is changing. It's the first step on the road to something great. By the end of it I will have a new name, new gender, new sex, maybe a new home, maybe a new job, maybe new friends... I want my life to be something I can be happy with. And maybe, just hopefully, something I can be proud of.

So, uh... yeah. I kinda just wanted to tell the group of people that I've been sitting at the edges of trying to be a part of for years that I'm doing something huge! Follow your dreams or some shit!


Through all of this, I only feel guilt.

I remember several months ago stumbling across a thread here on the Giant Bomb forums that was asking people who they would miss the most if they were to leave Giant Bomb for greener pastures. The idea of death had nothing to do with it, it was just a very simple but very difficult question: If someone were to leave, how would you feel?

I thought long, hard and what I thought was very realistically on the question. I can't remember if I posted what I thought in that thread or not and I don't feel like going back through my forum history JUST to check, because the only relevant thought that occurred to me then is this: If Ryan Davis alone were to leave, I would be sad, but I think overall, my Giant Bomb experience would not be drastically effected.

I was wrong. It was so easy to say that in the moment. It was all just hypothetical. I wish this wasn't how I found out the reality of it.

There is a hole in my heart and a hole in this website that no human being will ever be able to fill. I've gone and blocked the one in my heart off and it's going to take a while before I fill it with enough tears to the point where I can bear to look at it again. For now, it's just surreal to me. I've spent the last day or two just kind of walking around in a daze. Occasionally I let out a tear or two, but it's still registering with me. I only now am capable of finding a way to turn my feelings into words.

I turn twenty two next Saturday, on July 20. And for the first time in my life, I am dealing with the death of a friend.

We never met, we never exchanged words, but Ryan Davis was part of my daily life in some way or another for three whole years. I felt like I knew him very well. I learned his likes, dislikes, grew to love and even emulate his sense of humor and unfiltered joy for goofy, inane shit. I have never really followed the Bombcast but the few times I listened, I didn't feel like I was listening to a podcast about video games, I felt like I had been invited to sit in on a great group of guys just shooting the shit. It felt like a privilege, and I realize now that a big part of why it felt like that was Ryan's ability to host that show the way he did. It extended to the live shows they do. Something about having him sitting in the "head seat" there made everything just feel okay. You could just feel how much fun he was having and he was letting you in in that, sharing it with you in a way only he could. I think he and I could have got along famously if we'd ever been given the chance to know one another.

I'm sorry, Mr. Davis. You were the best friend I never met. I'm sorry for thinking what I did. You ARE Giant Bomb, as much as everyone else that makes up this website is Giant Bomb. There is no one person that makes this website what it is. It is all of you. And without you, Mr. Davis, the Giant Bomb I know and love is going to be a different place.

I was wrong.


Dumb things that you should probably play

Hello, world! I am here to tell you about things that I have discovered on the internet, either recently or many months ago, that I think other people need to know about because I haven't seen them posted anywhere else. I would like to say before we begin that I am not Scoops, I was not born with the required superpower to find all of the cool things the internet has to offer. But I do like fun! So I will share things with you that I find fun. I am not sure how it will show up when I click the submit button, but all of the paragraph headers are links so click 'em to see cool stuff!

also i am on my work laptop so i cant really search for images without risking blowing this poor thing up from trying to run flash seriously it is from like 2004 it barely does youtube and giantbomb at the same time

Brutal Doom

If I had a giantbomb soundbite to use as a reaction to playing Brutal Doom it would be Ryan from the latest Sleeping Dogs quick look, Year of the Snake. The way he screams YEAH! YEAAAAHH!!! when the game launches the car into the stratosphere is definitely the closest thing to the emotions I have running through my system when I flying kick an imp in half and shotgun a pinkie demon into fourteen different parts in less than two seconds. If you own Doom 1 or Doom 2, or have ever enjoyed Doom, I feel you owe it yourself to give this a whirl because it is so good. If I still haven't sold you on it, there is a dedicated button for making Doomguy shout quotes from the Doom comic.


That really adorable Doom roguelike that was just released

I am starting to see a pattern here. Don't care. Throw this in your computerbox and put on a big dumb smile. That this exists is such a wonderful thing and reminded me that, while this is a little simplistic, video games are such a great thing.


You probably know about Warframe because it had a quick look on this site. It's pretty good. What you might not have known is that it is no longer in closed beta and you(yes, you!) can play it now. For free! oh gosh what a deal

Get in there and start playing with duders! It's free, so you have no real excuse not to if you have an adequate peesee.

Under The Ocean

I'll be honest with you here, I have not actually played this game nor even heard of it until yesterday. It seems kind of obscure, and I am not really a video game hipster. I just thought it looked cool. I am a fan of this new fad for making video games about gathering resources and building cool stuff and this honestly seems like the step in advancing the formula. If this manages to pull of its ideas the way it wants to, I think we will have a game on our hands that we will be talking about for quite some time.


I am okay.

I am not going to make this very long because it isn't something that needs to be. I am not trying to make it a big deal. But I would like to first say that I feel a lot of shame. Some shame for involving other people in it, but a lot of shame and a lot of guilt for even considering what I was doing. It isn't the first time I've tried, but it is the first time I've felt so stupid about it. I apologize for presenting myself as an attention whore. It is not what I wanted, I wasn't thinking straight. I just wanted somebody in the world to hear what I thought were going to be my final, rambling thoughts.

But, I just want to say thank you. You, the person reading this, individually, for making this website one of the best I've ever been a part of, and Giantbomb, as a concept, and as the website. The girl I mentioned before is in California right now visiting her sick father and she saw my post almost the minute it went up. She got all of my housemates together who then stopped me mid act, got my friends to drive up to see me, some several states away, to remind me that the world is much larger than the room that I nearly did something incredibly selfish in, and all I had to do was reach out for help, not regress inward and let those dark feelings overwhelm me. I don't feel happy, and I don't think I will for a while, but it's a positive thing that I'm even still feeling.

So, in a way, Giantbomb saved me. Without a place like this, I would not have told a single soul.

To anybody reading this who might be feeling the same way I did, present or future: Don't be an idiot. They say vodka mixes with anything, but thirty-four prescription strength painkillers was not what they had in mind when they said it. Try orange juice. And just talk to somebody. Even if it's to tell them you're about to do it. Just having somebody else know what you're doing might mean the difference between making a memory and being all out of quarters.


The state of my life and why I've decided to end it.

this will probably get deleted how depressing is that

Hello Giantbomb. No, you did not misinterpret that. I am going to kill myself. As soon as I'm done writing this, actually! Maybe. If not, tomorrow evening. Depends on if I get too sleepy by the time I finish this. If I were the type of person who had the drive to do anything properly I would probably not be in this spot. So hopefully by the time these words are absorbed and analyzed by your brain area I will not be a thing anymore. Assuming this all goes well, anyway. If it does not I will probably be back here in a few weeks telling you about my liver damage.

I spent a long time writing out a very long, very mopey, pity party post but I got rid of it. Some of you are rereading this(maybe?) going "i thought you said it wasnt a pity party this time" and oops i goofed. I don't know why I got rid of it. I don't expect sympathy. But I do know that I would like to tell you a few things because I want somebody out there to hear them. Why you, anonymous internet person that goes to the website triple-double-yoo-dot-giantbomb-dot-com?

Because you've been there for me. I found Giantbomb three years ago when I was at one of my lowest points. I was stuck in California with a girl I'd met online and was visiting. I say I was stuck because I went down there for a small convention, and when it was time to come back home to sunny Seattle, Washington, my father would not let me. He told me there was no room for me at the house I had left two weeks before and I was on my own. This led to me being unable to finish high school which is probably a large reason why I am where I am. Thanks dad. He never told me why, but I think it was because I had implied something to him before leaving, and he was worried it was true. It was true, and I've since told him, and we're good friends. But that isn't the point, because we weren't when it happened. I guess we both had a lot of growing up to do. But anyway, you've been there for me, Giantbomb. You've made me smile when I thought I couldn't anymore, given me hours and hours and hours of entertainment, and while you peoples on the forums tend to call me stupid for my opinions like everybody else does, I at least don't feel that you mean it in a harmful way.

So I'll tell it to you straight out instead of tiptoeing around it like I did with el padre. You deserve that much.

I am transgendered. I feel terrible about not telling you sooner, giantbomb dot com, but it isn't the sort of thing that just comes out naturally. It's something I try not to make a big deal out of because it is nothing more than who I am as a human being, but it isn't really something you can bring up casually, it has to be the center of a conversation. You can't just drop it like "I really liked the part in Halo 4 where Cortana had boobs because hey by the way..." It's very scary. I've had to stare into internet eyes and real people eyes both and say it, and neither is easy. I start shaking and my mind goes in so many figure eights expecting them to judge me or tell me we aren't friends anymore or that I'm some sort of freak. I lost a couple friends the other day because I finally decided to tell them. People I'd known for four or five years. If I can't be sure of how people I think I know extremely well are going to react, how can I try to tell strangers? But it's out there now and I am not going to take it back, for better or for worse. It's one of the reasons I am going to do this. I didn't mean to masquerade around as a proper, natural lady. Some of you probably feel lied to. I am very sorry. It was not my intent.

Anyway, meat of the issue. Or something. I feel completely stuck in life. No, stuck is a bad word for it. I feel I've hit the height of my potential. I am not going to make more money than I do now. I make about $1000 USD a month at the comic book/tabletop gaming store I work at. It isn't bad, but the lady I mentioned above lives with me now after I got her out of her abusive parent's house. I have been paying for her rent and entertainment for the past two years and now I simply cannot afford to take care of two people on that budget. Things have become too expensive, and I have the above thing to save up for and I just can't do it. If I set aside every single penny I had free after paying my rent and my bills it would take me nineteen years to save up for all the medicine and surgeries and other bullshit I'd need to make my dream a reality. I cannot even afford to maintain a car. Not that I have one. Not that I can drive.

I've tried applying to many jobs but every single one has turned me away. Some have even called me to go PFFF WHY DID YOU EVEN BOTHER HAHAHA and that just makes the whole thing even harder. I know it is because of my lack of education, and I have tried so hard to study to rectify this, but the unfortunate truth is that I am not very smart and I have a learning disability that makes it very difficult for me to absorb information quickly or efficiently. Sometimes at all. I do not believe I can advance my education, and with that, I cannot advance my ability to make money. I've tried. Several times. I've failed. I was simply not born smart and there's nothing I can do to fight that.

The place I live in looks like a truly horrific episode of Cops. I live with seven other people and not a single one of them is willing to do anything about the state of the house even though they are to blame for it. I work very hard to keep it looking as best I can. I do dishes every day, I've cleaned the bathroom several times this month alone, I sweep, I mop, whatever. But every day, more dishes, more dog shit on the floor because nobody is willing to take care of their animals, more mould growing in the shower because nobody turns the fan on when they are done showering, more empty Little Caesars boxes and beer bottles lying around every corner of every room that isn't mine, more macaroni and cheese that wasn't cleaned up, just sitting in the pot on the stove. I can't keep up with it, and when I ask people to help take care of the house I am met with ridicule that I am not trying hard enough on my own. I'm being taken advantage of and there is nothing I can do about it because this is the only place I can afford.

I have a lot of trouble making friends in real life. I did not have a group of people I could really call "my friends" until I was eighteen years old. I have not made any new ones since then. The ones I have now don't particularly care for me. I can tell they only associate with me because it is convenient for them at times. I let them take advantage of me because without them, I am completely alone aside from my internet acquaintances. Even the regulars at the store I go to only tolerate me. One of them went off on me when I tried to socialize with their group a few weeks ago. Told me that I am weird and a bother and that I have nothing to live for aside from that job. I wish they hadn't been so right.

I don't know. There's so much to say but I am not very good at putting my thoughts into words. I never have been. I guess the best way to summarize it is that there is nowhere for me to go from here. For me, life will never move beyond wake up, play video games, go to work if I have work that day, if not, wait till bed, sleep, repeat. This is the best I can aspire to, that disappoints me and I don't want to stay in this spot anymore.

I had dreamed of being beautiful. I wanted it more than anything. To be able to look at myself in the mirror and not want to crawl out of my fucking skin because I felt like a liar whose fool was the entire world.

I dreamt of being successful. I had an ingrown toenail that had become terribly infected for about five months because I could not afford to get it fixed. I finally got it taken care of in December after being told I may lose the toe if I didn't bite the bullet and shell out the cash to get it done. I had made up my mind then that I wanted to be a doctor so that I could help people, that they would not have to live with injuries like I had. If I could help one person not be terrified of putting on their shoe in the morning, then I had done made a difference, even if it was small.

But I guess I really was just dreaming.


Video games hate me...

... or how I learned to start bitching and learn to hate peer to peer.

I picked up Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine for my personal computer box last Thursday because I LOVE Warhammer 40k. It's a really good game. It sells the world of Warhammer 40,000 very well, bringing its brutality, ground scope and sheer ridiculousness to life almost perfectly. It is very satisfying to shoot ten orks in their ugly alien faces with a bolter and watch them all explode into gross alien bits. The melee is a bit shallow unfortunately, but it's still satisfying and the game provides a decent challenge throughout. You should check it out if you haven't yet! There's a demo up on all of its platforms. It's very fun!

But don't touch the multiplayer for more than a few hours.

In less than a week my enjoyment of this game has gone from "I really like this game and want to play a lot more of it" to "i hate this fucking game almost as much as i hate modern warfare 2 i wish i had a physical copy so i could destroy the disc and slit my wrists with the jagged shards" and it is not because the game is BAD or not fun to play, but because the networking is fucking awful. As a PC player, I'm used to certain amenities with my online experience, like NOT FUCKING PEER TO PEER INFRASTRUCTURE WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU

I'd never really cared about peer to peer because it's never really been an issue for me. Yeah, I've played on peer to peer networks before, they're not as smooth or stable as a dedicated server, but hey man, I can play, so it's all good. No longer, brave reader. It took a few years, but Space Marine has taught me that a lack of dedicated servers is a death sentence for your game.

With peer to peer networking on the consoles, everything is gravy because you don't have to worry about differences in hardware or software, how many programs are running in the background, just the actual connection. On the PC, however, there are far too many different setups and differences that may not seem like a big deal, but actually are. I'm not getting into detail, but suffice to say, whoever thought a reflex focused, melee heavy game should be peer to peer needs to be kneecapped. I cannot give those people a hard enough "fuck you."

I recorded a video last night of a standard match of Space Marine. Let's watch together!

Yeah, I could have played better. My tendonitis is acting up, it was 2 in the morning, I'm just awful at assault and video games hate me to begin with. But seriously, what the hell, man. A week ago I was going 15-4 or better almost every match, and now I'm lucky if I go 1-9 because I just can't fight back anymore. I get into an engagement and just die because there's no way I can beat the enemy player because they teleport about or shoot where I was and still hit me, even though I've taken cover or have dodged out of the way. Awesome.

And the unfortunate reality is that the developer, Relic, simply does not care. They have our money. They don't care how much fun we have with their game, or that it's a slow, broken mess that needs some serious tweaking and dedicated servers to remain a viable competitive option. And this is becoming fairly standard in the industry. Rather than take the time to make servers an option for their fanbase, they just shovel in some bogus, barely functioning client dependent networking and give us the bird.

I don't ask for much. I just want a smooth experience that, when I lose, I know it's because it's my fault because I messed up. Not because I did everything right but still died because on his screen, I was running face first into a wall so he could just shoot my retarded wall humping space man to death on his screen and it will kill the actual me.

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