I'll start by saying that I didn't know when I started writing that this was going to be as long as it turned out to be. I also didn't know it was going to be this depressing. It didn't occur to me when I started that a history of me trying to communicate with other fans would be, by necessity, a history of me trying to communicate, and that's by definition near the apex of dishearteningly inept.

But I was talking about LunarNet with pandorkful a while back, and it got me thinking about my history of interactions with other gaming fans, both online and offline. "Remember when" may be, as Tony Soprano charged, the lowest form of conversation, but it's certainly one of the most comfortable and, judging from the hits that "mall memories" post of mine gets, crowd-pleasing. Also, Tony Soprano didn't live through the 2020s, which make almost any other time in memory seem paradisical to revisit. Here we go!

In case you saw the Chapter 25 Dead by Daylight announcement and was wondering why they didn't choose this character or that character or any of the more obvious, self-evidently-suitable options:

Despite the "we'll be printing money anyhow with the license, but we want to print double the money, to print Felix money" logic, I have to wonder why the Character Who Would Print All the Money is being held back. Too recent? In-house plans? Issues with representing the affiliated survivor? (Couldn't they just use his wife instead?)

ETA: An outright spoiler, but too good not to share.

ETA 2: Excellent fan-made chase music for the rumored killer by composer Jon Rob.

Roger Ebert once wrote a guide on how to go to the movies where he spoke about how to use input from critics. The best approach, he said, was not necessarily to find a critic whose tastes were in lockstep with your own but to find one whose opinions you could use to judge if you personally would like a movie. His example was a woman who called him up (apparently, the Chicago Sun-Times had dial-a-critic in those days) and asked him what he thought of Ingmar Bergman's Persona. He replied that he found it one of the best films of the year. "Oh, great," said the woman. "That doesn't sound like anything we'd want to see."

In reading GameSpot's description above of Elden Ring's de rigeur completely-unreasonable difficulty level - which can be called only rapturously masochistic, promising ceaseless, limitless agony in every single second of engagement with words that would make a Cenobite proud - I can respond only with an "oh, great" of my own.

Sometimes, it's a pure skill wall. The final level of High Hell requires you to climb a spiral staircase while avoiding a rotating barrage of lasers with precision and timing I'll never eke out of WASD. (Then again, maybe I should give it another try after dozens of hours of Dead by Daylight.) Mighty No. 9, I just couldn't beat the final boss; I got close one time but fell short. I doubt it'd be impossible to triumph eventually, but I just haven't gotten around to it. With a Hard playthrough of Elite Beat Agents; I almost beat the last set of spinners on "Jumpin' Jack Flash," but then my abilities left me. (This is a common experience with the spinners on this game, I hear.)