“Call of Juarez” and Wild West Nostalgia

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger in-game screenshot via Steam

The residents of Dodge City — the town on which the “get the hell out of Dodge” idiom is based — faced a 1 in 61 chance (1.65 percent) of being murdered between 1876 and 1885. The annual homicide rate was 165 per 100,000 adults, which would make it the most dangerous city in the world today by a fair margin.

If it was such a bloody time, why does film and media glorify the Wild West and canonize its outlaws? Can it be attributed to our society’s wholesale obsession with violence, or is there something else at play? …

Melee Combat Bonanza with the CSI Treatment

Source: In-game screenshot via Steam

The only time I’ve ever put down a loaded shotgun was in Condemned: Criminal Origins. In this game it’s more satisfying to bust someone’s head open with a pipe.

There aren’t too many first-person melee combat survival horror games out there, but it’s an itch you didn’t know needed scratching. Criminal Origins is the lesser known Monolith Studios game created way back in 2005. The other game? F.E.A.R. What a year it was for Monolith.

You play as an FBI agent framed by a serial killer for offing two cops. …

Source: In-game screenshot of Amnesia: The Dark Descent via Steam

Today’s horror games boast monsters so painstakingly rendered that the grunts in Amnesia: The Dark Descent look like goombas by comparison. Frictional Games is often praised for the use of a sanity meter in TDD even though previous Lovecraftian horror games, like Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, have utilized them. So how is an 11-year-old game with dated graphics and limited gameplay scarier than most horror games today? Because it changes the rules on you.

Setting the Scene

Changing the rules is a key ingredient in TDD’s horror experience, but this tactic wouldn’t work without the right atmosphere. …

Source: Image by peshkova on Adobe Stock

Bombing down the Garden State Parkway in 1999, I wasn’t shitfaced, but I shouldn’t have been driving. My friend George was riding shotgun when I asked, “Wanna see how fast my car can go?” Before he could even register surprise on his face, I stomped on the accelerator.

The speedometer on my burgundy ’89 Mustang GT maxed out at 140 miles per hour. I had almost reached the limit when I saw a swarm of brake lights suddenly appear in front of me. When I pumped the brakes, my old muscle car shuddered like a Higgins boat on D-Day. …

Then Why Does It Get So Much Hate?

Source: Image by Gorodenkoff on Adobe Stock

After the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas in 2019, video games were trotted out yet again as the culprit. The age-old argument is as follows: video games glorify violence, which, in turn, “teaches young people to kill,” in spite of there being no evidence linking the two.

Video games have been blamed for everything from the return of rickets (yeah, rickets), thanks to a tenuous connection to Vitamin D deficiency, to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, which has been repeatedly debunked.

The bulk of the criticism, however, is related to so-called gaming disorders.

What is a gaming disorder?

This is how…

A 6-Step Guide to Earning 7,000 Caps in 5 Minutes

Source: Press Kit Image at IGDB

No, I’m not talking about maxing out your Luck and hitting up the casinos in New Vegas. That’s downright wholesome in comparison to what I’m suggesting. With this loophole, you’ll be able to earn between 3,500 and 7,000 caps every 5–10 minutes…and it’ll feel GOOD. Or maybe I’m a sadistic maniac, I don’t know.

PREP: Clear Out the Gun Runners

Source: Dark Souls III press kit via IDGB

There’s a difference between challenging and hard. A math test is challenging. A math test while someone slaps you in the face is hard. The latter is more difficult than the former, but it doesn’t teach you anything new about math.

Hard Games

Hard games will turn enemies into bullet sponges, they’ll create bottlenecks to force you to play a certain way, or they’ll deliberately make puzzles inaccessible. Those aren’t challenges. They’re artificial obstacles that developers injected into the game to slow your progress. It’s a cheat, a shortcut, and it makes the player feel shortchanged.

I’m not talking about games that…

Image by Angelina Bambina on Adobe Stock

If Covid-19 taught us anything, it’s that we are incapable of staying away from one another. It turned out to be our fatal flaw. Our dependency on one another was a big part of it, but the myth of independence played just as big a role.

Our Chief Vulnerability

What makes Covid-19 so dangerous is not its case mortality rate, which ranges from about one percent to nine percent depending on which country you’re in. The real problem is the transmission rate. Essentially, a larger number of infections translates to more deaths.

The case of Ebola

In spite of a case mortality rate that ranges from 20…

What I Learned From My First Month in the Partner Program

I started writing for Medium back in 2016, but I didn’t join the Partner Program until the end of February. Here’s what I learned in my first full month in the program.

I’m not getting rich any time soon.

Here are my stats for March, 2021:

March Medium analytics for Pablo Andreu — Medium

Based on those numbers, Medium will pay out $3.15. This puts my rate at about a penny a read.

I know, I know, that’s not how they determine payouts, which are based on membership reading time. Essentially, you get a percentage of a members’ reading time that month.

How Medium calculates payouts

If a member spends 20 minutes reading Medium content during the last 30…

Image by Ginettigino on Adobe Stock

Jack the Ripper is probably the most infamous serial killer in history. He is often portrayed as a criminal mastermind and a skilled surgeon, evading the authorities with preternatural ability. The reality is less sensational, so how did we end up with a cartoon villain? A culture obsessed with celebrity and violence laid the groundwork.

Who Would Win in a Fight?

Celebrity Deathmatch was a popular MTV stop-motion claymation series that pitted famous people against each other in bloody grudge matches. Who-would-in-a-fight scenarios litter the internet and publishing. There’s a 23-book series on Amazon titled Who Would Win?” that speculates about the outcomes of wild…

Pablo Andreu

Writer | Gamer | Video Maker | PabloAndreu.com | JacktheRipperVictims.com

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