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So you don’t know this yet, but I work in a lab.  A little white room in the basement of a building where I sit and work by myself all day. It has no windows, but there’s a keypad to get in so I feel important. As much as I like the lab and have started naming the robots, I hope I eventually get to work in a room with windows. For my own sanity.

Anyway, every week another student comes down to visit my little cave, and helps me with debugging and we bounce ideas off of each other. This week I was doing mainly research, which meant there was little programming to be done and in turn we ended up on some random tangent, which is what we normally do after debugging anyway. Yesterday’s tangent was Steam (www.steampowered.com), and he convinced me to try it.

So here I am, a person whose parents wouldn’t let have video games in the house (yep, I left my GameBoy in the car) being thrust headfirst into this wonderful world of oh-my-god-there-are-so-many-games. If I wasn’t so poor, I’d have bought some and would be playing instead of blogging. Lucky you!

Being a nerd who doesn’t like war games (oh unless I’m flying something. And the aerospace engineer peeks out….) and loves graphics I went right to simulations. As the page was loading I was unsure of what to expect! I imagined flight simulators, racing simulators, more versions of sim city or even something like the tycoons (you know, rollercoaster, zoo, etc). The page loaded and to my surprise, the ridiculous number of train simulators were only being beat out by expansion packs for this:

What? A farming simulator? Even if you watch the trailer for the game (yes they did) for $29.99 you are confined to driving large machinery over a tiny square. Or dumping grain into a bin. Or driving said bin down a road at roughly 1 km/hr by means of pulling it with a tractor. Or milking cows. For only $9.95 more you can have better grain for said cows and more tractors, and for $11.95 more you get even more equipment and can even “use renewable energy”, which really means stick a wind turbine on your land and watch it spin!

 …. seriously, people?

Who would even be interested in this type of game? And why would you pay that much for it? If you like farming that much I’m assuming it’s your job. Which probably means you’d like to spend your free time doing something else, since you just did those things ALL DAY. Which brings us back to the question of how on Earth this is sucessful.

I feel like it was a joke between the people at Microsoft. It’s not like plants even grow quickly. I really hope you can speed up time, or you might as well go outside and plant an ear of corn. It’s cheaper.

Of course its contender was being advertised at the bottom of the page:

Do they not know it takes four hours in a submarine to get to the bottom of that point in the Atlantic? I used to love the Titanic. Even with my horrible memory I knew everything about the ship, the crash, and what exactly happened. After clicking on the link, I was thoroughly disappointed. According to the game description you could only go through a few select parts of the ship, and even though there is control of a robotic arm, you can’t use it to pick things up. Or poke things. You just float there and look at it. Talk about exciting game play. I really wish you can at least take pieces of the ship, move benches, steal gold coins, something…

I don’t mean to be rude or anything, I’m just really curious. WHO IS PLAYING THESE GAMES AND WHY?? If you do, please, please respond.

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