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Journal: September 2, 2011

It’s the end of the week at last, and this one comes with a three-day weekend as an extra bonus feature. I feel spent right now, though. No motivation or energy to do much beyond playing some more Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the addictive game whose siren song I hear constantly. The funny thing is that my mind is churning away on ideas that I’d like to start exploring, like a new design for one of my other websites, but there will be no synthesizing of that mental energy into physical productivity tonight. My best hope is to do some creative writing later.

Speaking of Deus Ex, I can’t say enough good things about this game. It’s the second sequel to one of the most beloved PC games of all time, the original Deus Ex from the year 2000. That game was followed by Deus Ex: Invisible War in late 2003, a decent shooter but one that had no hope of living up to the standards set by its ancestor. Invisible War also suffered greatly from “consolitis”, the condition wherein the interface and graphics of a multi-platform title are brought down to the lowest common denominator set by a game console like a PlayStation or Xbox, and PC gamers usually suffer for it. In late 2003, the gulf between the technical capabilities of a well-built gaming PC and a PS2 or Xbox was vast.

So I was largely uninterested in Human Revolution, even forgetting completely about it until a couple of weeks before its release this past month. But when the Internet started to light up with glowing early previews and opinions about the game, I laid down a preorder and wound up with the game on release day. It was a smart investment indeed: this is easily the most consistently fun and engaging game I’ve played so far this year, and that includes the likes of L.A. Noire and Portal 2, both of which were excellent titles. Eidos Montreal has really pulled off a masterpiece with Human Revolution, and it looks fantastic even on my Xbox 360.

Here’s a secret: I’m particularly taken with Human Revolution because a large part of the game takes place in future Detroit, ca. 2027. Having grown up in the shadow of the Motor City myself, it’s fun picking up on all the authentic references in the game. These include names like Grand River Road and Highland Park, as well as the Renaissance Center being referred to in dialogue, and even a futuristic monorail that just so happens to have the same stops as the present-day Detroit People Mover. “The next station is…(pregnant pause)…Bricktown.”

With the Labor Day weekend here, I imagine I’ll be playing some more of the latest Deus Ex, in between the usual errands and weekend warrior type stuff that I’ve been doing of late. A couple weeks back I hung some curtains up in my study, for example. They’re woefully short, as the window in there is absolutely humongous, but the missing portion happens to be concealed behind my desk, so I’m not complaining. The rod and holdbacks that I picked up from Kohl’s have square finials and a “black coffee” finish that matches the other aesthetics of the room perfectly. The only thing that did not go according to plan with the installation were the cheap garbage screws included with the kit; next time I’m using my own screws from the hardware store.

I also recently completed painting of our son Connor’s room. The home’s previous owners had a daughter and her room was painted yellow with a mural of flowers along two walls. The yellow is okay — my room was yellow when I was a baby — but the flowers wouldn’t do for a boy, so my dad helped me paint a sky blue stripe over them. It turned out great.

Hopefully the weather will be as nice as it’s forecasted to be. I’d like to check out the community pool!