Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dominant Strategy - Resident Evil 4 (Wii)

            Once the player has passed the game the first time, they can go through it again and retain all of their items, weapons and Pesata (money) from their previous game. In addition to all of that, new weapons are unlocked, including an Infinite Rocket Launcher and a Chicago Typewriter, which is a fairly strong machine gun with infinite ammo.
            Either of these could be used as a dominant strategy as they work for any situation and both have infinite ammo. The Launcher is a little more difficult to utilize just because it has crosshairs and there is a small delay while the player aims it. It is a little like a rifle with the way it has to be aimed and isn’t great in close quarters, but it would still work. The Chicago Typewriter can be used in any situation and close quarters won’t matter.
            Both weapons described above are special weapons that have to be bought and cost quite a bit. There are two other weapons that can be acquired and upgraded towards the end of the player’s first run through. These two weapons are the Red9, which is a high-powered handgun and the Striker, which is a high-powered, high-capacity shotgun that, on top of everything else it has going for it, doesn’t take up a lot of space in the attaché case. Either one of these would work well as a dominant strategy in a second run through of this game. Also, though these guns do not have infinite ammo, it really isn’t much of a problem because they are more powerful and don’t require as many shots to incapacitate the player’s enemies and the player retains any ammo they had and can pick up any additional ammo.
            I wanted to see how long it took me to get through part of the game using only my Red9. It took me about an hour to get through the first chapter and I didn’t die even once. Normally, to get through the first chapter would have taken me about twice that long. I also noticed that I wasn’t as careful as I usually am because I didn’t have to worry about getting overwhelmed as much nor did I have to really worry about conserving ammo.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Looking for Jack Kerouac

While reading Walt Whitman’s “Pioneers! O Pioneers!” I couldn’t help but think of the beat generation and also how that bucking of society’s traditions seems to be coming back in our current mindset. From great turmoil comes change. An idea. A way of thinking that is, not so much new as it is being forced into the foreground. Walt Whitman’s experiences colored his life and outlook, as did the beat generation had to shuck off society’s norms and values and how even today, so much is changing that we cannot embrace the values that our parents grew up with.
            When I was young, I believed that success was having a good job, a house, getting married and having a kid or two. Then I realized that I didn’t particularly want kids and I wasn’t so sure about getting married, especially when so many of the marriages around me were dissolving. This made me think about other aspects of my parents’ lives that I had thought were the marks of being an adult. Then the housing bubble burst and so many people were having trouble paying their mortgages and it seemed that maybe having a house did not equal success. All this, along with a more recent transition in my life made me think that these were not the traditions to follow anymore. They were too inhibiting to embrace.
            I assume this is a lot like what triggered a lot of the writers in the beat generation. It didn’t make sense anymore to embrace what society had been telling them to embrace. A lot of people will call it a beat movement, but I don’t think it can be classified as a movement so much as a way of life. The beat poets at the time did not consider it a movement, they just were. Later, the hippies took it and warped it into a movement, but the beat poets and those in their culture were individuals who were just living and questioning society’s values.
            More and more lately, I have felt a kinship and an urge to learn more about the beat generation. I have recently found more and more reason to question what I thought was important. Some of this due to personal reasons, some due to economic reasons and some due to values just not making sense anymore. There is always change and this poem is so easy to relate to when I realize that we are in time of great upheaval.

Academy of American Poets (1997 – 2011) Walt Whitman. Retrieved Aug. 12, 2011, from

Parkins, Keith (2005) Beat Generation. Retrieved Aug. 12, 2011, from