Technology… You’re a Double-Edged Sword.

Matt Thumser

Hello. My name is Matt Thumser, and I am a Mac. I am not a PC, nor do I wish to become one. However, every so often I feel pressured by others to do so. I’ve been feeling it a lot lately. Worlds of Wordcraft is a brilliant class; that can’t be denied. I’ve never been in a class so forward-thinking, one that is so technologically advanced that has encompassed so many different media. In a single class period I’ve used books, movies, and computer games to make a point understandable. Obviously, the class is brilliant. It is also, however, very demanding in terms of technology. Again, I am a Mac. Lord of the Rings Online does not like this. Therefore, I was forced to become a PC as well. This in itself was no easy process (I’m looking at you, Boot Camp). It’s tough installing new drivers onto your newly installed copy of Windows when those drivers are on a disc in a bedroom hundreds of miles away. I guess you could say things are okay now; Windows has been installed, and I’m now a combination Mac and PC.

Needless to say, I haven’t fully immersed myself into the world of LOTRO. The story arc is yet to fully reveal itself; after all, I have only completed the intro. So far I’ve seen Blackwolds lay siege to the town of Archet, and nothing more. The actions I’ve witnessed bear no resemblance to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Names are familiar, however. I’ve stumbled into Bree-land, and into the Shire. I’ve traveled into Hobbiton, and visited with Bagginses. This, I can relate to, and appreciate. I almost feel proud to see these names in the game, because these are the names I’ve grown up reading. The feeling’s not that different from what I imagine it must feel like for a parent to watch their son score a touchdown in a football game, or see their daughter hit the hardest notes in a choir concert. It’s a great feeling to have.

My experience in LOTRO is just beginning. Maybe the story will change to follow the books, and maybe it won’t. Who knows? Either way, I’ve got a world to explore.

Toads are Terrifying

by: Calvin Patimeteeporn (Calvirth)

While I would love to describe th intricacies of the Epic Book 1 and Prologue, I can’t because of my horrible LOTRO skills. My inadequate skills of gaming has severely hindered my advancement to higher levels in the game and I apologize for not being able to reach these quests. However, I have a great substitute topic:

Why is this game SO. CONFUSING?

Today, I realized I have more than one sack to place my items in. I also realized that I can eat a numerous amount of food to regain health (morale? I dont know what to call it). I realized that I can, in fact, change weapons and sell items. All of this happened either today or yesterday. Did I mention I’ve been playing for a month?

Yes. A month.

Within that month I’ve discovered the wide variety of objects that can harm or kill me. Bears, wolves, man-eating spiders, and toads. YES. TOADS. How something so small can withstand 20 blows from an ax completely astounds me but I guess Shire toads are extremely resilient. I’ve also been called “n00b” in this game, or even better, completely ignored by other gamers who approach me and then quickly run away when I say, “Hi”. This world confuses me so. A frog can hold up a fight against me but when I fall from a manageable height I am left limping. Or how other gamers interrupt my fight with beasts to land the final blow. Or how it is only when I have very little health left do I fall off a cliff and into a wolf den where I am basically ripped to shreds by “Snarling Wolf” and “Wolf Leader”.

Besides my own frustration with the game, the virtual world of LOTRO that I actually HAVE experienced is amazing. The feeling that I have the entirety of Middle Earth to explore is real and the game designers attention to detail is amazing. It gave me great pleasure to walk around the Farthings and visit famous pubs, or even recognizing characters from the first book.

However, I am fully determined to reach the appropriate levels to enter these quest. Otherwise I would let down my avatar, and Calvirth will not stand for this.

Hear this Toads of The Shire! YOU WILL FALL BEFORE MY AX! I SWEAR TO IT!

The Uninsigtful Blog Unrelated to the Topic!

LOTRO, LOTRO, LOTRO…where do I begin to discuss the Prologue and Epic Book 1 quest in this game? Oh that’s right! NO WHERE, because I still haven’t been able to downloaded it! So far the process of being in this class with a MacBook has been the biggest pain and frustration of college to date. No one is to blame except for my lack of technological skills along with MacBook’s lack of corporation with Windows computer games. It is absolutely ridiculous.

The way it was once described to me, Windows are like the freeway, and Mac’s are like the toll way. Both are used to get you to the same location in the same amount of time, but only certain people can ride the toll way. And no I don’t mean a certain race or class level is allowed to buy a MacBook, I simply mean that MacBook’s are designed to be more selective and elite. Windows are a more general and basic computer system.

I love my MacBook, probably more than my little brother, but with my luck, of course I ended up in the writing seminar class that only works well for Windows/PC users. This competition between computer systems reminds me of McKenzie Wark and Gamer Theory 2.0. Wark believes that American society today does not work as a team. Everyone is always competing to be bigger and better than everyone else. This is how I see the rival between Windows and Mac to be.

MacBook’s appear to be lighter, thinner, and more aesthetically appealing, where as Windows are bulkier, heavier and user friendly. Though it is all based on matter of opinion as well as what you plan to actually use your computer for. Apparently, Windows works better for computer games. Who knew? I believe Mac’s to be better for using programs such as Adobe InDesign and Photoshop because the quality makes the pictures sharper and clearer. Either way, two great computer systems that have been around for such a long time and are constantly developing and changing and growing, what do you think could happen if the two morphed their powers together into a Super Computer from heaven?

Think about it? This would cause peace between the two companies as well as, peace between my MacBook and sanity. I’m pretty sure there is some type of economical problem with this utopian computer world I’m trying to make, but a girl can dream can’t she?

All I’m saying is, once you go Mac, you don’t ever want to go back! Ok, that’s not really what I’m trying to say. I just wish there was something I could do about being able to download LOTRO onto my computer without having to spend an extra $150 and go through the process of downloading a hundred different things onto my hard drive before I can get it all up and running smoothly. It’s frustrating and I needed some place to vent.

I find the world created and written by Tolkien to be ethereal, magical, imaginative, original, ingenious and inspiring. But without having downloaded or played Lord of The Rings Online yet, I’m afraid my insight about how the two compare will not be too helpful.

~Adriana