Things are going about as well as one could hope while stuck at home.
Let me set the scene. I’m up 4-3 in 1-on-1 mode in Rocket Leauge. This is a casual match, an opportunity for to warm up before hitting the ranked 2-on-2 competition. There’s about a minute left, with the ball in my opponent’s side of the court, so I’m setting up to save a shot from long range. (I’m positioned to the side of my net since it’s easier to move east-west to do a save like this than it is to move north-south.) My opponent dribbles, and, I suspect, lost control of the ball and is not able to get a shot off. As luck would have it, we end up locking the fronts of our cars.
Even before I knew it was unwritten rule number one of Rocket League, every time I ever locked up with an opponent, I always find it funny and keep doing it. In a team setting, I quickly realized it took that opponent out of the play, letting my teammate(s) take over. A 3-on-3 becomes a 2-on-2, a 2-on-2 becomes a 1-on-1. In a 1-on-1 situation, a lockup becomes a 0-on-0, which both makes no sense in terms of strategy, and is hilarious! Unless…
In this case, I was ahead with a minute left, and I think to myself “Great! If my opponent adheres to Rule #1, all I have to do is run out the clock!” So I pursue that strategy. Watch the video below to see it play out:https://medium.com/media/53ee0c541d0451c5aa1d670f4baeed6f/href
To my chagrin, Rocket League interprets a lockup between two 1-on-1 opponents as idle time, even though I’m flooring the gas, and moving because I had a very slight edge. Not knowing the timeout time, I thought the clock would run out first, and I would get the win. I don’t know who ended up with the win, either my opponent or myself, and since the stakes were so low, it doesn’t matter. But I found it very funny, and I’m very unlikely to find myself in that situation again.
Adherence to Rule Number One Leads to Loss in Rocket League was originally published in The Gaming Years on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
This is the new year, and we are still "locked down" (if you want to call it that).
Over the course of a month, I visited the University of Toronto to take an architectural tour.
“‘Tis a fine shutdown, but sure ‘tis no lockdown, English.”
I name my computing devices after minor characters in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.
Faced with the need to get some sunshine and exercise the day before it was expected to rain in Toronto, I took a walking architectural tour of University Avenue.
This is the end of the beginning.
The best time to buy a Nintendo Switch was in late 2019, when it was available at Shoppers Drug Mart (a Canadian drug store chain) for regular price but with a $100 in redeemable points for the store. Not knowing that there would be a global respiratory illness pandemic on the horizon, it didn’t make sense then to bring in a gaming system in addition to my PS4™ and Mac. In March of this year, as the pandemic spread to North America, Switches quickly sold out, and I briefly investigated buying a used Wii U, before ultimately and somewhat belatedly deciding to buy a PC laptop instead. I was tired of being left out of the PC gaming world, with a limited selection of Steam games being available on the Mac, and my Mac being a work laptop anyway.
So I bought the cheap PC laptop that Wirecutter recommended at the time. I had the presence of mind to notice that they had updated their recommendations without in a header without having written the full review. Now I see that they have posted their review of the Asus TUF Gaming A15, which I got from Amazon on Prime Day, though not at a discount. (I missed my opportunity for a lightning deal. At least this one comes with 0% financing, dulling the force of the blow.) I’ve spent the last few weeks setting it up with software, and have made rules for it: No work to be done on it, despite the temptation to test things on a Windows PC; no email except to verify account creation; no eating next to it (drinking should be fine, I just don’t want to get food on it). I’m also putting together scheduled gaming nights, where I set a goal for the evening, limit my time on it, and plan wind down afterwards. I’ve been slowly learning what it means to livestream my gameplay, but it’s the second-guessing from onlookers that I know I won’t be able to handle. I still like the idea of learning what it takes to do it.
I’ve already downloaded and played Rocket League, and it’s much faster to load there than on my PS4™, and much, much easier to type in chat. I plan on never writing a mean word in it, and just using it to joke around or explain myself if need be. I’ve also since learned of the existence of not just the Discovery Tour mode in the Assassin’s Creed series¹, but that there are standalone Discovery Tour games for the games that have them. I bought the Discovery Tour edition for Origins and and Odyssey (on sale, no less), and I’m eagerly awaiting the standalone edition for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, the one about Vikings. If you know a little bit about my heritage, that’s a pretty exciting edition (even if I don’t care about the assassination part of the game).
I’m actually fairly busy with work and other pursuits, lucky me, so I don’t know for sure how much gaming I’ll do in the next 6 months. That’s about the time period where I expect there still to be no events in Toronto to attend in person, and not much opportunity to travel beyond city limits, so I’ll fill it with a commitment to PC gaming and a recommitment to writing about it here.
 Discovery Tour mode takes out the storyline and the need to kill people in the game. You just walk around the world getting educated on the game’s subject. That sounds good to me!