What I’ve Learned from Games

I feel so old, LOL. I’ve been a video gamer since 4 years old. I dedicate this post as a memoir of my past experience and a nostalgic way to express 15 memorable games that I’ve played. I won’t mention up-to-date games or recently released games in here.

1. Dig Dug

Platform: Windows 3.0

Maybe a lot of people around my age doesn’t know what Dig Dug is. Well, I played this game in the very first laptop I’ve ever touched. I played this in Microsoft Windows 3.0 when I was 4 years old (1995). Yes, it is Windows 3.0 that I touched. The desktop has 6 active windows, each grouped into somekind of folder consisting work tools such as Borland Turbo C++ (WTF that I touched at my age?). Well, at that time, my father hadn’t bought the Windows 95 Toshiba notebook yet.

This is the first video game I’ve ever played. Unfortunately, in those time, the Windows 3.0 laptop has no color scheme, so it’s monochromatic black and white. Here’s the screenshot of the Dig Dug in Apple II OS (I couldn’t find the Windows 3.0 screenshot)

Well, at that time, I only managed to play up to level 7, where the level 3 or above the enemy become harder and some of them can walk through the wall.

What  I learned from this:

A computer is truly an entertainment machine.

2. Prehistorik 2

Platform: Windows 3.0

Still the old and memorable game, this is the first platformer I’ve ever played. Still in the old Windows 3.0, I found this game pretty interesting. In this game, I played as a prehistoric man in his quest finding food. I remember that some secrets need you to fly using hang glider in level 5 (What? hang glider in prehistoric era?). Here’s the screenshot of Prehistorik 2.

What I learned from this:

A game is something with goals, rewards, and punishments.

3. Chip’s Challenge!

Platform: Windows 95

It’s the first game I’ve ever played in Windows 95. It is included in Windows Entertainment Pack,  with the infamous Ski Free. It’s a game where the geek is tasked to collect every chips scattered around the level.

Confusing and full of traps, this game had made me paranoid to touch computer, since this game suddenly made the whole laptop frozen (hang). Shit, it was my father’s laptop, and at the time it froze, he departed to United States without this laptop.  It has no reset button! Yes, my uncle plugged a needle to the reset hole in the laptop. For 1 year after the incident occured, I was scared of touching a computer, afraid of hang and blue screen. That’s ridiculous, of course.

What I learned from this:

Always bring needle just in case the Windows 95 froze.

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Piracy is not a Theft

Yesterday, I saw this funny post on 9Gag:


Well, this image is quite funny. This image justify the means of piracy. Well, it’s a matter of perspective to see whether piracy is a theft or not.

In that image logic, piracy is not a theft since the pirate doesn’t make the product being sold disappear, rather they copy the product for their own convenience. Is it theft in the image’s perspective? No, maybe not, since the object of the thievery is still out there.

On the other hand, piracy is a devious form of theft, but the object of the thievery is not the product itself, rather the developer’s income is the object of piracy. When they make a cracked version of the product and release it in the “underground” (WTF, it’s a “cloud” computing era, but they still use under “ground” method), the income doesn’t flow to the developer’s anymore. In a sense, pirate stole the income from their rightful owner.

That is the main reason why USA has an idea to abolish the piracy through a ridiculous method called SOPA/PIPA. Piracy also the main reason why gaming industry undergoes a major revolution, from the premium, pricey, masterpiece game to free-to-play, pay-to-win, piece-of-junk game. Because if developer sell a premium game, it will be pirated without a doubt. If you make a free-to-play game, no one will try to pirate the game. Unfortunately, I don’t quite enjoy a lot of these free-to-play game, since most of them lack the quality and the user-engagement.

“He who steal the other people’s right is a man without honor”

Trust or Distrust?

Just got the worst valet parking experience it time.  I lent my car to the valet parking in Siete, Bandung. Two hours later, I found myself in a quite predicament where my car is blocked by some unknown stranger car. I told myself  that’s okay, since it’s valet parking. But what do I got, the people who manage the valet parking said that this car (the blocking one) owner had not parked it in a valet service. He said that the owner didn’t trust them to lent the car key. Damn. Finally, I spent the whole half an hour to tresspass the grass in the parking lot, to bail out my car from the parking lot.

As I drove, his line is still in my mind to the time I wrote this. He didn’t trust. Trust.

Well, I blame him for being stubborn that he did block the other people’s right to park. On the other side, I can’t blame him  because it is human nature to distrust the others. I didn’t say that I trust my car wholly to the valet parking manager, but I trust them to some degree that they will take care of my car. That’s it!

Looking back at the manga called Liar Game, Akiyama Shinichi said we live in the world where people suspicious of the others. Human will always put some degree of suspicion. Human is born to distrust what other people said until at some point, both of you had the understanding to trust each other. The state of distrust and full of suspicion is what lead human to believe only him/herself. It is the biggest human weakness. Not only you become a paranoid, but also at some point, it wil change you from distrust the others into deceiving the others, only to gain personal advantages. If you had already become the latter, then you’re no longer better than the demon itself.

Well, it is not that I said that you have to believe what the others said, but it is a good start for you to open your mind a bit. For example, due to my experience, I will never believe in maid anymore. That’s okay, but never put the hatred and distrust in front of them. Why? Because what you believe is what will happen. If you believe that you can pass the test, most likely that you will pass the test. If you believe that he/she will betray you, that’s what will happen. World itself is like a mirror of yourself. What you do is what you will get. You sow what you reap. If you show a smile to the others, the other will smile, too. If you frown all day long, the others won’t greet you too. If you don’t believe in them, they too won’t uphold the trust. If you got too suspicious of them, most likely that they will betray you too.

Trust is the key to success. I remembered Mr. Mary Handoko once said that trust is the most important thing in business. Gaining trust is no simple task, but after you get the trust, everything will go smoothly. Do not ever try to break the trust, as it will lead to the crumbling of your past success. They won’t even bother to trust you anymore if you ever break their trust. Gaining trust is a hard task, however regaining the trust is a much harder task.

Now, learn to trust the other, but prepare somekind of pre-caution action in case of something bad happen. Although Liar Game is only a manga, the moral story contained inside is true. If you form a team based on trust, you can do much more rather than relying only on your own self. If people would trust their leader, and the leader would trust the people, the country will prosper. If you trust your God’s decision and destiny, peace is what you will find. Oh yeah, the most important thing, never lose your faith to God, since He is the only one who knows what’s best for you.

“A man must never go back on his word”

No Skill? Or NoSQL?

It’s already been a year since I first learned the MySQL. SQL in MySQL stands for Structured Query Language, a relational database management system (R-DBMS) widely used in websites around the world. It single-handedly fetch and insert data to a database in many well-structured tables. Now, now. While SQL is good at fetching data, it has a quite limitation that if the data are just too many, the query itself may take a longer time to perform the query. It is usually tolerable, however in game development, it is unforgivable.

Here comes the competitor of MySQL: the NoSQL Database. Contrary to the MySQL which hold data in a well-structured tables, NoSQL stores data in a very ill-structured, or I can say “Unstructured”. Yes, since performance is the highest priority in NoSQL Database, the “unstructured” structure of NoSQL is quite good. Well, if it is not because of my internship projects which demand me to use the NoSQL Database for Game Development, it is highly unlikely that I would touch this right now.
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