Monthly Archives: December 2011

From China to Singapore *


* (Virtually that is.)

I’m still in a holding pattern for a teaching gig in Asia, preferably in Japan.  Everyday, I see big, honkin’ 747 heavies taking off for points far east.  It’s SO hard to avoid terminal frustration and to prevent myself from accepting a local corporate drone career trajectory.  Fortunately, I have an outlet to release some of the mental pressure.

Occasionally, I play video games.  Yes, it’s true.

Now, I’m well aware that this sad confession has caused my one or two female fans to instantly assign me eternally to the “entertaining friend who will NEVER get the goodies” zone.  Too bad for you, ladies.  Such shortsightedness means you’ll never know the delights to be had by dipping a toe into Lake Kokujin.

The reality of social service and education and training work is that it’s stressful, frustrating and not always good for one’s mental state of being.  I’m fairly resilient, and I generally manage to maintain a fairly even keel.  However, when times get tough, there are few legal and socially acceptable methods of blowing off steam more satisfying than firing up Ye Old Computer and killing a few (hundred) zombies, terrorists and/or alien bastards.  In fact, I believe I even have a self-portrait of my digital alter-ego around here somewhere…yes, there I am!

You lookin' at me?

Halo, especially Halo 2, has been a long-time favorite in the Kokujin household not least because it provided so many controversial and compelling ideas.  Little Kokuijin and I had any number of discussions around self-determination, blind faith, obligation and zealotry.  By far, however, we had more discussions about the rich content of the world of Deus Ex 1 and 2.  In the world of DX, ideas have consequences.   Obligations and alliances must be thoughtfully considered.  There is conventional wisdom, popular opinion and then there is truth.  Good stuff for fathers trying to teach their kids valuable insights.

I installed DX: Human Revolution last week.   One of my earlier missions was in Hengsha, China, a two tiered city with the wealthy elites living above in the sunshine and the 99% eking out a living in the lower levels.

Deux Ex: Human Revolution Hengsha, China

There are innocents, hookers, huggers, muggers and thieves all around.  The game designers did an outstanding job of creating a life-like rendition of a modern dystopia.

After a few days and several hours of intense effort, I finished the China mission last night.  Whilst taking care of business, I visited a house of ill repute, taverns, street food vendors, and the hospital.  Today, I awoke in Singapore.

Yes, I KNOW it’s the not the same as actually being there – but it does help me dream.

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