Ranking Forms of Entertainment

For Topic 3 of this week’s GameOverGreggy show Colin wanted to know how the guys would rank various forms of entertainment. He asked the guys to list them from most important to least important, and with the idea that if they could only keep one or two of them, which ones would they want.

The categories he laid out were reading, watching TV, watching movies, listening or playing music, and playing video games. Though the reading category was intended to be about books and magazines, the other guys lumped Internet in there as well, explaining that reading articles or other things online should count.

With Internet thrown in there it was no surprise that reading ended up on top, with only Greg picking video games as his number one, though Colin and Nick cited books as being their reason for picking reading as their top entertainment choice.

I’m going to leave the Internet out of my rankings. I mentioned in a previous post that I, along with millions of other people, use the Internet every day, so there really is no contest. I sincerely doubt that most of us could live without the Internet these days. With that said, I enjoy all five of these activities so this is an extremely difficult task.

1. Reading

I thought that by leaving the Internet out of these rankings I would have a different top choice. But as I stared at the options, I realized how much I love books and I wouldn’t want to give them up.

2. Music

Music has always been a part of my life. I used to spend some time every day listening to music, and often I would listen to music before bed. I’ve been so busy these days that I don’t spend as much time listening to music, but it’s still one of my favourite things to do when I want to relax. I also always have my iPod on me, so I get my fix while I’m driving. I definitely couldn’t live without music.

3. Movies

It was a tough choice between movies and video games. I love good stories, and though I believe video games are capable of telling stories in ways that movies and books can’t, I still appreciate the traditional storytelling found in movies. A great movie can be like a great book, in that it offers the viewer an escape into another universe. I think that is what I love most about both these mediums—getting lost in a different world for the duration of the story.

4. Video games

I was surprised at first that I put video games this low on my list, but because of how busy I am these days, I’ve essentially given up games already. As much as I love video games, I know that I could live without them. And really, I have only been super invested in games over the last couple years. I played casually as a kid, mostly sports games, but the last two or three years I’ve played a lot of games. Still, I would sacrifice video games before giving up reading, music and movies.

5. TV

TV is a tough one for me. On one hand, I don’t watch live television anymore, though I do follow some shows and stream them on my own time. I also occasionally watch TV on Netflix.

The big thing for me is that I’m a huge sports fan, and TV is still the primary medium to watch sports. Still, It seems to me that people are gradually moving away from TV, and eventually I should be able to watch sports in HD online, so I’m listing TV as my lowest ranking. I can live without TV, I just can’t live without sports.

Those are my rankings, but I certainly wouldn’t want to give up any of these things, as they are all important forms of entertainment in my life. How would you rank ’em? Let me know in the comments.

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Gettin’ Jiggy With It

The annual Jigging Contest is one of many events enjoyed by patrons of the Festival du Voyageur each year. The Centre culturel franco-manitobain was packed on February 20, 2016 for this year’s contest, which featured participants of all ages. Jigging is a form of dance where the performers upper body remains still and upright, while their legs kick and shuffle across the floor. The brave and talented jiggers competed in four categories: nine and under, 10 to 13, seniors (60+), and the open category for all other ages. The first, second, and third place winners in each category received cash prizes and medals.

On stage, host Marc Rémillard entertained the audience and introduced the participants, while fiddle player Simon Reimer played “Gigue de la Rivière-Rouge” for each contestant’s jig. Once the participants finished, the Ensemble Folklorique de la Rivière-Rouge performed music and danced, while the judges determined the winners.

1.

A packed house enjoying the annual Jigging Contest at the Centre culturel franco-manitobain. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE
A packed house enjoying the annual Jigging Contest at the Centre culturel franco-manitobain. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE

2.

Simon Reimer plays “Gigue de la Rivière-Rouge” on his fiddle for each of the participants. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE
Simon Reimer plays “Gigue de la Rivière-Rouge” on his fiddle for each of the participants. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE

3.

Paryce Ducharme, 11, competing in the 10 to 13-year-old category. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE
Paryce Ducharme, 11, competing in the 10 to 13-year-old category. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE

4.

Kalem McLennan registers for the open category with the help of volunteers Adrienne and Robert Paquette. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE
Kalem McLennan registers for the open category with the help of volunteers Adrienne and Robert Paquette. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE

5.

Musicians from Ensemble Folklorique de la Rivière-Rouge entertain the crowd during the intermission. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHAN PIRRIE
Musicians from Ensemble Folklorique de la Rivière-Rouge entertain the crowd during the intermission. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHAN PIRRIE

6.

Dancers from Ensemble Folklorique de la Rivière-Rouge perform while the judges deliberated. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE
Dancers from Ensemble Folklorique de la Rivière-Rouge perform while the judges deliberate. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE

7.

Host Marc Rémillard standing with the winners of the open category: Ryan Richard, Kelsey McLennan, and Kylie Sais. Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE
Host Marc Rémillard (left) with the winners of the open category: Ryan Richard (1st), Kelsey McLennan (2nd), and Kylie Sais (3rd). Feb. 20, 2016/JONATHANPIRRIE

The Best Video Game Music

I love music, and some of my favourite video games have amazing soundtracks featuring originally composed scores or licensed tracks. Topic 2 of the Kinda Funny Gamescast is all about video game music so of course I’m going to weigh in. I’ve talked about many of the games below in previous posts, so I’ll keep the discussion brief, but I’ve added a little taste of the music each has to offer.

Hotline Miami 1 and 2 features synthwave/electronic music from various artists, and its music is as addicting as its gameplay. These games require you to spend a lot of time figuring out each stage, so good music that doesn’t get boring or annoying is essential—this pairing of music and gameplay is perfect.

Final Fantasy VII is widely regarded as having one of the best soundtracks. Period. The Final Fantasy series in general is known for having great music, a lot of which was composed by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy music is so good that live orchestras have played it, recorded albums of it, and have done tours of it. Final Fantasy VII is one of the first games I ever played and still has one of the finest soundtracks.

I am such a big The Last Of Us fanboy, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I’ve never  been so obsessed with a game before. I played the game twice, watched every behind the scenes video on YouTube, watched the full-length making of, bought and played the DLC on day one, watched the Teens React playthrough (all 20 parts), watched the live reenactment special, and downloaded the beautifully composed soundtrack. So ya, obsessed. I don’t normally study or do homework with music playing because it can be distracting, but sometimes instrumental stuff puts me in the zone, and Gustavo Santaolalla’s score for The Last of Us is awesome. Fun fact for all you Making a Murderer fans: Santaolalla did the music for that too.

I just recently talked about To the Moon, and one of my big selling points was the soundtrack, so check out both these videos.

The Life Is Strange soundtrack is mix of licensed music and originally composed music by Jonathan Morali of the band Syd Matters. It’s a phenomenal collection of music that adds to the atmosphere of the game, which follows two teenage girls and feels like an indie movie. The YouTube video above is actually a video I posted years ago (well before the creation of this game), because I loved the song so much and noticed it was not on YouTube. The song is call Obstacles by Syd Matters and is one of the major songs in Life Is Strange. I also quite enjoy the originally composed stuff, and I think Jonathan Morali composed a phenomenal score.

Telltale’s season two of The Walking Dead featured some licensed music while the credits played and this song was one of the best. The music throughout The Walking Dead is sombre and dramatic—I didn’t pay attention much to it while I was playing (and perhaps that’s the hallmark of a good soundtrack for this particular type of game), but the music during the credits was often beautiful and I was particularly taken with this song.

Honourable mentions: 

Mega Man

-I’ve only played Mega Man 9 and I love the music from it. I’ve heard the others have amazing soundtracks as well.

Final Fantasy X

-As I said above, the Final Fantasy series as a whole has great music, but my two favourites for music are VII and X. I’ll admit now that I haven’t played VI, but I’m looking forward to it, and maybe its soundtrack will dethrone one of these two behemoths.

Flower

-Thatgamecompany makes games that are interesting experiences and couples them with great music. I’m sure you gamers who know them are wondering why I listed Flower instead of Journey. Well, I haven’t played Journey yet… I know I know, so little time right? But Flower’s soundtrack is nothing to scoff at either.

NBA 2K Series/Madden circa 2000s

-The NBA 2K series always has awesome licensed music—a couple of the soundtracks were put together by Jay-Z and Pharrell. Madden in the 2000s used to have soundtracks of licensed music. These days they use their own football scores. I kind of miss the old days.

I’m the kind of guy who hears a song in a movie or video game and later looks up what it was. I love music, and I especially love being shown new music, so leave a comment with any video game soundtracks you love, or any songs you love that you heard in games.

 

Brothers

This week on the GameOverGreggy show the guys were joined by Nick’s brother Matt Scarpino. Everyone at the table has a brother except Greg, so for topic 3 he wanted to talk about what it’s like having a brother. I particularly liked Nick’s comment about knowing that a brother will always be a part of your life. He talked about the friends he has lost touch with over the years, which is natural, but unlike some friendships, he knows he will always have a relationship with his brother.

I am a brother to two sisters, but I unfortunately don’t know what it’s like to have a brother. When I was younger, I thought having a brother would be so cool. I wondered if he would be like me, if he would like sports and video games, or if he would be a completely different person—either scenario would be fine by me. I wonder too how different the relationship is if you’re the older brother or the younger brother?

I do have a twin sister and we have a close relationship. Having siblings at all is a great thing, but I think there is a different dynamic between having a sister versus having a brother. When I was a kid, I used to look up to my older sister, but being a boy, I think I would have looked up to an older brother differently. I imagine I would have wanted to be just like him— unless he was a jerk or something. And if I had a younger brother, I would want to be a role model to him. I would share with him my interests, maybe teach him things, and most of all I’d look out for him.

I may not have any brothers in my family, but I’ve always considered my best friends to be my brothers. I’ve known all of them since we were teenagers, and some go back even further. These are the kind of friendships where you know you’d do anything for any one of those guys, and vice-versa. I wonder how different these close friendships are from actually having a brother? But back to what Nick said, I think he’s right about knowing that a brother will always be in your life versus friendships that might deteriorate. As our lives change, some of these friendships might grow apart, but I like to think that these best friends will be in my life in some shape or form. Maybe that’s just a phone call every now and again, a Skype chat, or a Facebook message, but we’ll still be interested in each others lives and we’ll still be friends.

Do you have a brother? Let me know in the comments what that’s like. And if you don’t have any siblings, let me know what it’s like being an only child. I’d love to hear about it.