Tag Archives: musing

Musing: Let’s Watch Let’s Plays of Other Players on Youtube: The Video Game Spectator

Sit back, relax, and watch the game.

What is the best part of video games? For me, it is to be a game spectator. I do have and play my fair share of games such as the Command and Conquer, Need for Speed, Age of Empires, and Pokemon series around. But currently, the real interest of video games is to watch gamers game.

A quick flashback.

The clearest memory that I have of my spectating of games was when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I used to go to the Kowloon Club restaurant on Sundays when I was a kid, and next to the restaurant was this play room and lounge. I still remember the room with its brown and parchment coloured walls, the slightly dim lights, and a whole bunch of older kids crowded around a SNES playing Street Fighter. There was always a Ken or Ryu player if I recall correctly, and most of the time the players were spamming Haduokens. Of course, these game terminology and characters were only known in hindsight many, many years later.

The “Let’s Play” videos of Youtube

With the introduction of Youtube when I was in high school, I started to search for gameplays, first starting off with my favourite franchises and the games I used to play such as Pokemon, before moving on to checking out other games such as the Shenmue series. Sure beats waiting for the game review channel that used to be on air every Saturday morning!

Although relatively uncommon, I do still like to dive into multiplayer matches instead of being a spectator.

During my first university year at UBC, every night in the common residence lounge was, as I informally call it, Super Smash Bros night. The thing is, I did what I always used to do, watch other people play. But soon, I thought I would give it a shot too. Understandably, I always got owned by the extremely pro Kirby, Ness and Samus players, but I soon had fun being Fox. I like to observe relatively more than I game though, because I would say that 30% of my time is gaming, and 70% of the time I was spectating. Of course, some would say that I am not an expert enough gamer, which I admit, but hey, old habits die hard.

I am relatively still a Youtube “Let’s Play” game spectator.

I still continue to check games out nowadays. Currently, I am following a Civilization 5 and an XCOM: Enemy Within. Following gameplays online does have its perks. Firstly, I can check whether the game is attractive enough for me to purchase it from a second-handed opinion. Secondly, I am at my own flexibility in terms of pausing and resuming spectating the gameplay of others. Thirdly, with respect to my provided examples of the games I am currently checking out, I can be inspired and be interested in game genres, such as turn based strategy, more so than through means of reading video game reviews.


A Greener Mid-Autumn Festival

Bringing the Symphony of the Lights from Victoria Harbour to Victoria Park, the “Rising Moon” highlights a sustainable way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Mid-Autumn Festival isn’t until the 19th of September, but Victoria Park is already rife with colours. Walking along the sports ground, red, white, and pink lights arranged themselves in a ceiling as people mingle about, taking out their phones and snapping photos up and about. Lanterns in the shapes of classic Hong Kong culture – hawker stands selling food and yum cha delicacies. Thankfully, the hot summer air forgo’d its possession of the night, letting the tourists, local and foreign alike, to mingle and make memories together amongst the mid-autumn festival of lights…

Of all the lanterns being displayed, there is no denying that one2free, a mobile phone company’s “Rising Moon” takes the show. Its hemispherical shape, reminiscent of the Hong Kong Space Museum in Kowloon, is made of reused plastic bottles, its size being of litres and gallons. Best seen at night (obviously), it provides a colourful light show. Doors open at 8pm for visitors to walk in and take pictures of themselves from its interior. I have managed to take a photo of it from afar.

The Rising Moon is a sustainable addition to the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Rising Moon is a sustainable addition to the Mid-Autumn Festival.

If you are in the Hong Kong area, you should definitely visit Victoria Park and take a walk around within the “Rising Moon” before September 19. Come September 19 is the Mid-Autumn Festival proper, and it will definitely be packed to the brim. Make the most of the nights between now and then and visit Victoria Park now, and celebrate the festival proper at home with mooncakes and finding the lunar rabbit on the moon.

“A Greener Mid-Autumn Festival” is published on September 16, 2013, which is part of my muses. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com.

Growing up across Kai Tak

Growing up across Kai Tak has harboured many memories from my childhood in Hong Kong.

During my many, many years spent in Hong Kong, I grew up across Kai Tak Airport. The Victoria Bay is what seperates North Point of Hong Kong island, where I stayed, and the airport in Kowloon.

As I am typing this right now, I am back in Hong Kong after my long and enjoyable stay in Vancouver, job hunting away. I take a break to stare across the Bay. The airport has long been gone, and in its replacement, a terminal nearing its final stages of completion, ready to welcome luxuriant cruise ships from around the world. The terminus occupies the at least half of the runway, the very runway that I would stare out of the window of my bedroom as a kid to spectate on the airlines that takes off many years ago.

I remembered taking a bus a year or two ago on the highway overlooking the old airport grounds from the Kowloon side. Hazard lines were still prevalent on the very grounds that they used to serve a purpose. Left weathered by the countless rainstorms and typhoons, they serve as but a distant memory of the good old days.

Soon I will be seeing the joys of passengers embarking and disembarking from their journeys. It may no longer be by air, but the journeys that they modern day Kai Tak will host on the sea will still bring a smile to my face.

“Growing up across Kai Tak” is published on September 7, 2013, which is part of my muses. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com .

Article Response – Re: Metro Vancouver’s “Al Jazeera aims to shake up U.S. broadcast news”

More journalism – less yelling. The lead of this article provides a spot-on definition of what news is about

According to Joie Chen, U.S. news is driven…to reach the widest audience with the shallowest coverage. Chen once worked as a CNN and CBS news anchor. I personally do not really check out American news – one of the reason being I’m Canadian, I live in Vancouver, and I get Canadian news. Though having said that, I remember the channels that my university dorm offered during my university years had American news channels from Seattle.

But I digress.

When I think of American news, I think of FOX news and CNN. FOX news is simply au contraire to “less opinion, less yelling, and fewer celebrity sightings”. I don’t need to know about Kim Kardashian or Snooki getting in the limelights of the paparazzi. For this point, I’m not singling out American paparazzi news as bull – all paparazzi news are of bull. And I have not forgiven CNN for their racial bashings. By correlative logic if you are going to call Chinese people the same bunch of goons and thugs they were 50 years ago, doesn’t that make the CNN news network’s view on social justice 50 years out of date?

Enough of my rant on the sorry state of American news media today. If I want to watch a sitcom or emotional drama, I’d watch a sitcom or an emotional drama. I prefer learning and being aware to stories that may be ignored and washed under by the irresponsible tides of media power. Al Jazeera’s opening of a branch in America is an overarching saviour reaching to a sinking ship. Less on advertising the latest 99c burger and more on telling news that matter.

Good move, Al Jazeera.

“Article Response – Re: Metro Vancouver’s “Article Response – Re: Metro Vancouver’s “Al Jazeera aims to shake up U.S. broadcast news”” is published on August 21, 2013, which is part of my muses. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com .

The said news article was posted in the Metro Vancouver Paper on page 7, on August 20, 2013.

Musing: EXP Restaurant + Bar Deserves Replay Value

EXP Restaurant and Bar is a video game culture themed restaurant. From the Triforce Burger to the Red Dead Lemonade, this establishment along West Pender Street is one not to miss.

I’ve just been to EXP Restaurant and Bar earlier this evening with friends. I didn’t want to wait in a long line for the tables, so I decided to come along for an early dinner at 6pm. The first thing that caught my eye was a Street Fighter III arcade machine.

The restaurant was dark, partly because I was wearing my transition lenses glasses. When we were sat down, I started looking around the place. There were TVs everywhere, broadcasting gameplays of Legend of Zelda and Marvel vs Capcom. The waitress dropped by a couple of times to check on us, asking us whether we were ready to order. I had to ask for a bit more time because I was just fascinated with the amount of effort the copywriting team had used to make video game references.

I ordered the Triforce Burger.

According to the menu, the Triforce Burger consists of a burger patty with the triforce seared into it, a fried chicken breast, two slices of bacon, and lettuce on a buttered bun with fries. It filled me right up to the brim. THe fries were amazing. Even though they had cooled when I finished my burger, they retained their crispy crunchy texture instead of going soggy on me.

I would definitely recommend EXP Restaurant and Bar to my friends and future colleagues. If I have any gaming friends coming in from the States, this will be the first location for dinner for them. Great food, great ambience, great theme, and great service. My receipt concludes by proudly exclaiming “Please play again!”

You know what? This restaurant earns a replay value of A+. Although I don’t drink alcohol, go ahead, order some beer, and enjoy eating in video game heaven.

-insert trademark Legend of Zelda's Acquisition sound effect here-

“Musing: EXP Restaurant + Bar Deserves Replay Value” is published on July 27, 2013, which is part of my muses. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com .

EXP Restaurant and Bar is located at 309 W. Pender Street in Downtown, Vancouver, BC. You can find their official website here.

Musing: On drawing canine/feline noses

One little thing that has been starting to bother me in terms of anthropomorphic drawings is that nostrils are often missing from canine and feline noses.

I do understand it is for simplicity’s sake, but perhaps I am thinking a bit too much about it. To keep it short, I think it is just unrealistic. It may be somewhat difficult to draw the two indents but that’s what guides are for. Even a pixel or two would make all the difference. Just because the nose is black or of a dark enough colour doesn’t mean you can shirk work from it. Just merely drawing a shiny triangle doesn’t seem right to me.

Am I a professional artist? I hardly think so. Am I an amateur artist? Yes, but not quite. I think I am more of a pro-am artist, leaning a tad bit to the amateur side. There are tutorials out there for one to draw realistically – whether they are for or nonprofit is not a defining variable.

“Musing: On drawing canine/feline noses” is published on July 27, 2013, which is part of my muses. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com .

Musing: “Room Party: The GAME!”

At first glance, “Room Party: The GAME!” is one of the most wittiest card games ever.

This card game caters best to convention goers. It doesn’t matter if you are a Trekkie or a Furry, so long as you are or have been a con-goer, you’d get the gist of the cards quite easily.

I have attended a couple of conventions in the past, and amidst the basketful of good experiences, there’s bound to be some bad apples of the bunch that elicits awkward scenarios. When you put a whole bunch of eccentric nerdy and geeky folks in a concentrated space, be it the local convention centre or the confines of the hotel room hosting the said convention, positive and negatively embarrassing things are bound to happen.

And this is where the “story” background of “Room Party: The GAME!” comes in. To be short, it’s a card game where 2+ players take turns drawing cards, playing cards that fall into one of four categories: people, item, event, and interrupt. Each card has a + or a – effect. You use the + to make your “party” the best, while using the – cards to sabotage other players’ parties.

Shame I didn’t get to attend Comic-Con, I’m still looking for a job and I’m not going to burn the least of my budget on a flight, hotel, and convention package. I might not be able to contribute monetarily to this project, but hey, if you are interested, help these guys out. Remember my mention of Furries above? That’s going to be their next stretch goal at $15k! The current donation pool stands at $11,430.

You can find more information about this card game at their official website

“Musing: “Room Party: The GAME!”” is published on July 21, 2013, which is part of my muses. Read more about Vincent Wong’s work at https://vincentwongwanders.wordpress.com .