01742: Games Of All Kinds

My technical issues at work seem to be getting worse for some reason. With my desktop dead until a replacement hard drive becomes available, I've resorted to using the laptop that the department had inherited from my predecessor. However it was this week that some latent virus decided to rear its ugly head and make life difficult. Despite the laptop's antivirus not having up-to-date definition patterns, it managed to quarantine the offending bugger. But in the process it killed my MS Outlook, and so now I'm working off the webmail version of our email client. And for some reason, our IT staffing is either highly limited or simply a lot more focused no operations for situations like this.

So it's a good thing that I can fall back on the wonderful world of computer games for stress relief. And while I naturally still enjoy watching stuff on the TV or reading a book, there's something about the whole gaming experience that just takes you away. And the various independent game are even more interesting since there are some pretty quirky game developers who have taken the initiative to head off in some peculiar directions.

Over the past day or so I've been killing time with Little Inferno, the follow-up game from the folks who gave us World of Goo. The game is set in some weird world where kids are given Little Inferno fireplaces as toys and they're encouraged to burn pretty much anything in order to stay warm. And that's pretty much the game - you have items in your catalog that you can order and then burn. If you want some direction in life, there are certain combinations of items that are counted as sort of achievements when you figure them out. But pretty much you just keep burning stuff, which earns you more money, which you can use to buy things to burn.

The game has no time limit nor does it have any antagonists. There is no temperature that you need to maintain or achieve. You're free to burn whatever you want at whatever pace works for you and the game is generous enough to continue to provide more money. And when you're feeling tired at the end of a work day, these low-thinking games come in handy. As seemingly pointless as the game appears to be, it has a subtle message woven into things. I'll need to think about it more and will try to include this in my inevitable review of the game.

In the meantime, I think I've relieved enough stress between finishing Little Inferno and writing this blog post. Good night world.

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