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Also some spoilers for Uncharted 4, before we get into the moral complexity


Ok, got some in. Yay.

Did the “puzzle” where you rather clumsily try “stuff” before Elena figures it out (I liked that a lot. I even sat there re reading the note, getting a better view, thinking “ok, which one, let’s pick the right one,” line blurring). Discovered exploding mummies (prospector? Maybe not, but creepy), did some fighty fighty, stopped.

Another rather wonderful piece of line blurring was the flashlight dying. Making you whack it (which didn’t work on couch), making the lighter not work, and making Elena save you. But what was great was that I had SUCH a hard time finding Elena, so there I was, looking around desperately, getting increasingly nervous I wouldn’t find her, until I did.

Which is all cool…..but…..

It really brought into focus what we were talking on the other day: MORE DAMN ELENA! Not in the more Chloe regard (ahem) but this is a cool, independent character, who, when there’s actual STORY gets put in the corner to be the convenient woman.


I also caught something that looks like a pea pod in the game you’re playing.


A metapod? I just evolved one of those into a ‘butterfree’…apparently the margarine pokemon.

Also, I just hatched a pikachu. NOW I’ve arrived in this game.


Yes! I liked the shifts here in who’s really doing the work. Along those same lines, I also liked how there’s a point where you’re following Rafe and Nadine and the Shoreline guys, and they’ve crashed through some stuff ahead of you, so you don’t have to figure out where to go/how to get there.

This is the point I mentioned a million years ago that I wanted to remember to talk about: I just liked that FINALLY, the villains are solving things ahead of me and I’m taking advantage of their effort, rather than the other way around! That never happens!

In this game, these little things seem like perhaps more indication that Drake is rethinking some things in his life (or the game is rethinking it for him): he’s not actually the only one who can get stuff done.

The dark bit was pretty effective. Even though I knew it was part of the scene, I was halfway worried that, in fact, the game had glitched on me and I was going to have to reload, which gave it this sort of anxious cast. It’s also just weird not being able to see anything for a significant stretch of time like this. You feel lost…shake the controller a bit, push buttons randomly, wander a little (but not too much because I didn’t want to walk myself into a pit in the dark)…it was awkward, and that worked well for the story.


Nah, man, a bellsprout. Whatever that is.

“I can’t believe it’s not pokemon!”


The traps…Yes! And they blew up some! THEY fell victim to an actual trap! Ha ha! And, thus, disarmed it! THANK you, bad guys! You owe us.

And really, we should rethink things, too. I wonder if Elena would have done that if we had just waited. Not sure. I’ll never know. Because I was trying to do it.

YES! I did the same thing in the dark! Or thought maybe I had wandered off, gotten hopelessly lost, and would have to restart!

That’s gotta be new. A game using a potential glitch as a gameplay/story/metaphor element. Like “Players know games glitch, let’s use that to put them in the hero’s shoes.” What? Is that even allowed?

I mean, giving a player a trophy for recreating a glitch is just cheeky, but using the THREAT of a glitch? Could they really have been doing that? Cuz they’re two for two with us…..


Oh, yeah, I have a bellsprout. Whatever that is. I also have a magikarp, which takes 400 candy to evolve. So…I have to catch another 100 of these and turn them over to the professor (to be released gently into the wild!), is what you’re saying. I’m on it.

The bad guys TOTALLY owe us some accidental disarming. We have gone ahead and disarmed SO MANY traps over the years.

Speaking of traps, the exploding mummies were creepy, but I was slightly troubled by a practical consideration, which was why couldn’t I just throw the torch into the room, stand back while they all explode, and then proceed in peace?

I mean, technically I know why: it’s less exciting as gameplay. But come on, that was my immediate thought and I’m not even an adventurer: you KNOW Drake would have thought it, so why couldn’t we do it? Was the torch really sticky (all that resin from the tree branches it’s made of?) and he couldn’t get it off his hand? I suppose MAYBE he was desperately afraid of losing the torch in the explosion and not being able to see anything (again!), but…there were other torches by this point. He could have gone to get one. I call implausible mechanics/motivation.

Man, Avery’s rooms full of bones were creepy, though. Did you get to Nathan’s snide comment about it? I thought that was funny.


I hear magikarp are the worst possible ones. They suck. Terrible. And, so the story goes, when the game came out, they put a gym in some hard to get at section of the White House. The Secret Service banned using it, but, before they did, some dude claimed it with a magicarp. It’s still there. One, sad little magikarp, guarding the hardest to get to gym in the world.

Yeah, haven’t we done enough with traps? Do some work, faceless guys! Before I kill you all.

There were plenty of torches. Shit, there were those campfire thingies. Also, I had grenades. And bullets. I could go on.

We’ve already discussed the problems of one use, or at least very hard to reset, traps. This sort of falls into that, I think. Plus, who did it? Sure, Avery had minions to build all his stuff, but did he take the time to arm every single mummy?

Strings. Pulled.

And yeah. Drake can ALWAYS be snide.


That’s…kind of awesome. Although it’s disturbing to think that no one in the White House is playing Pokemon Go. I was told this game was POPULAR! Still, I like to imagine that magikarp just hanging out, flopping to itself (they’re kind of disturbing because they lie on their sides and open and close their mouths as if gasping).

Never give up the snide comments, Drake. We count on you. It was also a cutting down of a person that we kind of admired earlier in the game: “what’s next, the eyes that rolled at my gigantic ego?” Which is possibly a hint of what Nathan values, and why he’s never bothered to seek renown despite his many unparalleled discoveries. He scorns gigantic egos, and doesn’t respect a person who thinks too highly of himself, takes himself too seriously, etc.

Nathan kind of liked Avery when he was just a bold pirate with big dreams of building paradise, but when he turns out to be so demanding of respect and adulation (he needs to be the god in that paradise?)…that’s not cool.

And then Elena sort of hushing him, like “he might really have done that!” which is totally true. I could believe it. I half expected it once she said that!

It highlights the danger of a person who’s full of himself and has access to a lot of power.


There’s certain places where people have asked Niantic to shut the gyms. The White House….the National Holocaust Museum (true)…Air Force Bases….

This story does highlight the danger of powerful egomaniacs. Which…he isn’t. Usually, you are in games. Very powerful. Bioware games stand out in that. Shit, in Baldurs Gate, you were the child of a god. Yeesh.

Geralt? Nate? Just trying to make a living.

And killing everyone.


I heard about that at the Holocaust Museum. Seems reasonable. I mean, we felt a little awkward about it in cemeteries. I get the idea that it’s good to draw people towards places of interest and importance, but…yeah. I would personally feel extremely weird about playing this game at the Holocaust Museum.

Would I still do it? If, say, I was right there anyway and there was some rare pokemon that I really wanted? This is the interesting moral question. There’s the sort of right thing to do, and then there’s the thing the game is offering you the option to do. Where do you draw that moral line?

One could investigate some interesting questions this way, but this is probably not the morally complex game to do it.

Nathan and Geralt: just getting the job done. The superhuman, death-defying, laughing-in-the-face-of-danger job that no rational person would do.


It is good to draw people to your places…..if they are then going to appreciate said places. Not just chuck shit at butterbeans.

“Where do we draw the moral line?”


Ok, phew. Off the hook. You recognized that Pokemon Go is not the game to address these complex questions.


Exactly. It doesn’t really help increase anyone’s understanding or appreciation of any historical or cultural thing if they only go there to hunt imaginary monsters, and having a bunch of random people wandering up to hunt monsters and ignore the point of the whole thing does seem disrespectful to the intentions of the place. (Or, in the case of the White House, a security hassle.)

In general, I don’t see anything wrong with putting gyms and pokestops near statues or fountains or whatever, as long as they’re in public places where people are normally coming and going all the time anyway. Who knows, maybe a few of them WILL stop to read the plaque commemorating the founder of this public garden or whatever, and even if no one does it’s not as if some extra people walking by on this street is going to hurt anything.

Cemeteries…I’m a bit on the fence. I don’t feel awkward enough about it to avoid the pokestops there, but it doesn’t seem ENTIRELY respectful. On the other hand, there’s an argument that cemeteries, although they’re where the dead are buried, are actually FOR the use of the living (somewhere to memorialize and remember those dead), and that they ought to be spaces in which people are comfortable spending time. If people can jog through cemeteries (and they do, and I don’t have a problem with it) or take walks for pleasure/exercise as opposed to because they’re visiting a specific grave (which I do all the time), then surely they can also play a (really fairly quiet and low-key) game there. It’s not as if we’re all wandering around shouting out loud at our imaginary monsters, or throwing actual things around, or gathering in large, unruly crowds.

At least, I’m not…maybe some Pokemon Go players gather in large unruly crowds?

Heck, there’s a pond in the cemetery near my house where people go fishing, and no one seems to object. Catching fish is at least as irrelevant to respectfully memorializing the dead as catching imaginary monsters is, unless we assume that somehow imagination and technology in and of themselves are what makes something disrespectful (which to a certain extent is an understandable reaction–that thing’s new and I don’t hold with it, so keep it off my lawn! Kids these days!).

People walk their dogs there, and as long as they’re on a leash and someone picks up after them, that’s allowed. Letting your dog poop on someone’s grave is among the least respectful things I can think of, but no one seems to mind taking that chance. Imaginary monsters don’t poop on graves! (And there’s your new sales tagline, Niantic.)

There IS a sign saying “no skateboarding,” which is interesting in light of this discussion.

Is skateboarding automatically disrespectful because it’s loud? No louder than a car, and you can drive there.

Because it’s fast and you might bump into someone who’s walking? Enh, maybe, but these aren’t really narrow sidewalks, they’re more like streets, so there should theoretically be room for both.

Because mostly kids do it, especially them URBAN-type kids, and kids these days got no respect and they need to stay off our lawn? That could be it!

More fairly, skateboarding DOES tend to be something people do in groups, so the unruly-crowds argument could actually apply here. Do I really want a bunch of people skateboarding loudly up and down the paths, probably calling back and forth to each other, while I’m trying to mourn my dead or walk my dog or whatever in peace? Perhaps not. Plus, you know they’d start trying to do fancy jumps over the tombstones and stuff, because how could they not? I certainly would if I could skate!–and that is pretty disrespectful.

So the question is, is Pokemon Go more like dog-walking, or like skateboarding? I’m going with dog-walking. Lonely, geeky dog-walking.

So…I’m tentatively OK with pokestuff in cemeteries, although I’m sympathetic to feelings of awkwardness about it.

But I think in specific cases it makes sense to just NOT have the stop there. It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of other places.

And here we thought Pokemon wouldn’t provide any interesting blog fodder.


Dude you’re on fire.

I’m now on mobile trying to get the hang of this new phone so i suck.

But I will say….

I yell all the time. I’ll stay out of cemeteries.

And what I really can’t decide about: parked right now, and I’m near an ice cream shop that has all that incense going (like it needs it today) and a toy store that’s a gym!

I mean… That seems sleazy. Get the kids in… I’d rather they take a nice quiet walk in the tombstones.


That does seem like overkill on the kid bait. On the other hand, now you know where to look for Jr. if he ever wanders off.

You have a new phone? I hope this means Mrs. McP will take your old one out pokehunting, and leave you yours. But probably it doesn’t.

You yell at your monsters? See, I mutter at mine, but only under my breath. I think that’s OK in cemeteries. Or on a crowded street where people look at you funny when you shout “DIE! DIE!” at your phone.

Not THAT funny, because they’ve seen a lot weirder things already today, but a little funny.


M upgraded. I have an I phone six. I just got used to the old one, and now everything’s bigger and in the wrong place.


Ah, I know that feeling. In theory you’re gaining something!–but it’s just so confusing to try to figure out what you’ve gained, and where all the stuff you already had is now.

So you have to reinstall Pokemon Go. I’m sure that was your first priority.


I did!!

On hers.