Words Gamers Use


Words Gamers Use was a side project I abandoned a while back. In truth, I abandoned it before I even started it. The idea was simple: define words typically associated with games and gamers, but in a style befitting The Devil’s Dictionary. If you are unfamiliar, then you should know that The Devil’s Dictionary was a satirical work written by an American from the turn of the 20th century. It was witty, funny, and some of its definitions stand up to this day.

For example: PRAY, v.To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy; or, CRITIC, n.A person who boasts himself hard to please because nobody tries to please him.

Words Gamers Use

I had originally envisioned the whole affair as a Twitter account. Each week, I’d tweet a new word (as a picture). I wanted to build up a large supply of them before I went live with it, but for one reason or another that never happened. More than a year later, it still hasn’t happened.

Since I’ll likely never use any of these to become a Twitter-famous video game critic/comedian, I thought I’d share them anyway. Some are better than others, especially since some include typos or desperately need rewording. Others I am either proud of or cringe at.

Rather than hide them longer, here you go:

Finally, the Murf has come back to wrestling.

I am no Rock, but lately I have been more involved with wrestling than him. I am not exactly sure what got me watching again. Diane has been a casual watcher for years now, so when I discovered that she still watched RAW, I got curious. Eventually, I made my way to the WWE Network where we both fell in love with NXT, their minor league wrestling show filled-to-overflowing with more talent and better stories.

My slow descent back into wrestling has been an excersize in frustration. The more I see of the WWE’s youngest stars, the hungrier I am for them to succeed and thrive, yet the WWE doesn’t feel the same way. Every pay-perview is headlined by some veteran (washed-up or otherwise), and the state of RAW each week is … well, pretty damn awful.

If the match isn’t a six-man tag, then its a repeat of a match you’ve already seen, either last week on RAW or on the last pay-per-view, or even on the next pay-per-view. I don’t want the halcyon days of Jerry Springer-esque antics, but with so much talent, some creative booking and a bit more focus on the wrestling part of Sports Entertainment would be greatly appreciated.

Thankfully, NXT is everything that the WWE is not. Women are respected as competitors, and their matches/storylines are really fun to watch. Sasha Banks and her string of NXT Women’s Championship matches have her so over with me that I wouldn’t at all feel foolish wearing a hat with her face on it. While most of the competitors lack mic skills, their personas are more varied and more interesting. Even with a greater focus on wrestling and not story, NXT remains entertaining beyond just the match-to-match grind.

It’s a shame that the main product isn’t nearly as good. I enjoy the WWE’s current champion, Seth Rollins, but his skills seem to be limited every pay-per-view by the age of his competitor. With so many talent wrestlers to challenge him, it’s a real shame that his title run has been one of the most forgettable I have ever seen.

There are some stars that I cannot get enough of, however. The New Day, a stable of three men and the current tag-team champions, remain entertaining week in and week out. Recent NXT alums, Kevin Owens and Sasha Banks, have both moved up to the WWE since I began watching again. While Sasha still needs to get a push, Kevin Owens is already kicking ass as the Intercontinental Champion.

Once upon a time, I associated wrestling with my brother and I automatically thought it was dumb. Eventually, it became something I and my friends were really fond of, especially with the action figures and video games. These days, I see it for what it  is: an elaborate performance of talented, athletic individuals meant to entertain.

Even with its troubles, the WWE is managing to entertain me again. How long I remain a viewer remains to be seen, but, for now, I am tuning in and marking out.

Grow Home (PS4, 2015)

If you had asked me a few years ago, I may have argued with you whether or not Grow Home is truly a game. To my then narrow-minded self (relatively-speaking, at least), a video game requires combat of some sort. Without violence, what sort of conflict can really be overcome within the confines of a video game experience? Grow Home is a game about climbing, and, in many ways, it reflects a recent post of my own video game achievements.

In Grow Home, you play as a robot whose task is to bring new life to an alien planet. Truthfully, I didn’t pay that much attention to the plot (partially because it is so minimal). This isn’t the kind of game that requires a lot of narrative, though it still manages to have a lot of character. B.U.D. (your avatar) has a child-like sense of wander that reflects the nature of the game itself: explore an open world and continue a climb higher and higher. The only other character is your ships on-board computer, M.O.M., who gently scolds you when you fail while offering reassurance or tips. The whole game is as innocent as it sounds.

Who is in control?

It’s a gentle experience, but Grow Home adds its own conflict and drama via its control scheme. The controls are built entirely around the idea climbing, and does so wholly unique way for me. Each arm has its own control, so maneuvering through the game’s alien world involves a series of grab and releases with each claw. It sounds frustrating and, in the opening moments it is, but it soon became second nature. After getting the hang of it, I was totally immersed, but still not an expert at the controls.

Intentional or not, I think the controls in Grow Home are perfect, though I also admit they are very frustrating. When it comes to video game experiences, we all seem to expect these perfect controls, but what about characters who aren’t so perfectly in control of themselves? B.U.D. is a robot, and as such, he has certain limitations. He’s spastic and awkward, and even though he can climb, he doesn’t seem to be an expert at it. Grow Home’s scheme conveys that exact feeling to the player. Climbing in the game feels as awkward as it might be for a small child. I fondly remember climbing trees as a kid, but I doubt I looked graceful doing it. By including that awkwardness in its controls, Grow Home removes a wall that helps block out immersion in almost every other game.

In Grow Home, I stumble over the controls and my character stumbles over the world. It is magical.

Should you play it?

Grow Home is not a game for everyone, but why should it be? It’s unique, different, and not free of its own problems. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the time I put into it, and even if I never finish the climb, I rest easy knowing the experience I have had was worth having. Grow Home is a game that dares you to ascend or to explore at your own leisure, and it is utterly fantastic for it.

Murf Versus 3.0: Categories Categorized

In the past few weeks, I’ve been overhauling the categories and tags of the blog. I wanted to get everything back on track and refreshed, mostly so I could make locating old posts easier. Plus, I’ve been re-examining those past posts for future re-posts, sequels, or rewrites. That includes the articles on my now defunct blogs as well.

With the category refresh, I wanted to better reflect the types of things I want to write about. For several months now, I’ve focused a lot more on MMOs again, but I want to make sure that I am creating content for a much bigger set of interests than that. I want to write more about other kinds of games, about books and other kinds of media, and keep everyone up-t0-date on my real life adventures.

To reflect that, here are some of the category changes I have made:

  • Versus Games: this category includes posts about all gaming, but it also has several sub-categories.
    • MMORPG is dedicated to the genre, and encompasses everything I’ve written about it.
    • Playstation 4 and Steam do the same, but for PS4 and Steam games respectively. I go by what I consider the game primarily, so even if it is both a MMO and a Steam game, it’ll most likely be in the MMORPG category.
    • Nintendo covers all Nintendo games with no regards to any platforms. I don’t play enough Wii U or 3DS games to justify unique categories for both, and I still sometimes play or write about older Nintendo games for older systems.
    • Other Games covers pretty much everything else. That includes Dreamcast, non-Steam PC games, and mobile games. Similar to the Nintendo category, I just don’t write enough anymore about any of these particular platforms to justify giving them entire categories of their own.
  • More Plus Infinity: this is technically a sub-category of #murfvs, but since it is an on-going even that I doubt I end anytime soon, I am giving it top billing in my navigation menu for now. More details on what it covers to follow.
  • Other Opinions: some of my past product reviews have netted me some book money, so I am hoping to do a few more of those from time to time. Those, along with general opinions or opinions specific to Books, Movies, Music, etc. will go here. All of these things have their own sub-categories, but more for my own reference than anyone else’s.
  • #murfvs: this is my new catch-all category. Special events (Listmas, Blaugust, Newbie Blogger Initiative, etc.) will go here with their own unique sub-categories. Those too are more for my own use. In general, categories under #murfvs can be used in conjunction with other categories, since these typically convey the event and not necessarily the content. There is one sub-categories that I wish to highlight:
    • Blogosphere: This is a new one. Over the years, I’ve wracked up a lot of posts redirecting to other blogs or highlighting my comments on the posts of others. In the past, I used a Community category for this, but that covered other things. This is strictly for posts primarily about the posts of others.
  • Murf IRL: this is a new category that was previously put under the C. T. Murphy one. Since I’ve had so much success (and taken so much pleasure) from writing about my real life self, I thought it’d be nice to have a category strictly for that. It has two distinct sub-categories:
    • C. T. Murphy: this is a category I’ve already been using, but I wanted to limit its use. Basically, any post about something I’ve written elsewhere or about me being featured on a different blog goes here. As does any creative writing, but those are few and far between.
    • Food: this is for the times I share anything about food. Typically those posts have ended up on 8bit Kitchen, but I am hoping having my own category for it will inspire me to do more posts here about my culinary adventures.

Not categories, but the links for Murf@MMOGames and my twitter profile are staying on my navigation menu for now. I am retiring links to my Twitch, Google+, and Facebook pages. The Facebook page has been retired altogether.

Tags also saw a major overhaul. For game series I write about often, I now have specific tags for those. I also deleted all genre or publisher/developer tags. I deleted any tags for expansions, as well. Ideally, the category will contain the platform and the tag(s) will reflect the series and/or title of whatever is being discussed. I also took the liberty of adding even more tags for fellow bloggers to older content, that way you can all track what I have been writing about your blogs. Those are incredibly useful, so I don’t see any reason to get rid of them anytime soon.

Finally, I re-instituted the ‘Review’ tag. I may bring back a version of my Crit/Hit/Miss reviews from a while back, but until then, any post that I consider a ‘review’ will be tagged as such. I don’t intend on creating any new categories specifically for reviews however.

I don’t know when or how often I will be able to post, but I am not done blogging yet. Hopefully with this Fall Cleaning I’ve streamlined things in such a way that I will feel both more comfortable and more able to talk about a wide variety of topics. I look forward to the future of this blog and I hope you all do, as well!

My Final-Final Thoughts About Destiny


It troubles me to do yet another post on Destiny, especially after the last one was titled ‘My Final Thoughts …’, but I hate seeing content/old drafts wasted. As of this post, I’ll have a consider stack of articles devoted to the game; not unlike World of Warcraft, my love of what is done right begets my hate of what is done wrong. That leaves me with a lot to say, even if I have mostly moved on.

When I quit Destiny for good the first time, I wrote a break-up letter. I’ve since reviewed that post and I found it to still be accurate. Check out these two paragraphs:

You are not that someone. I know that’s blunt. I know that you will argue. You’ll say, “But wait, I am patching myself up to fix things I didn’t know were broken!” You’ll whine, “But there is DLC coming before the end of the year!” You may even mention how you’re not someone who can be understood so quickly, that you’re dynamic and interesting, changing weekly to keep me interested in your deeper mysteries.

But I am not interested in your deeper mysteries, Destiny. At first I thought there was potential; you had me convinced that something good might come out of our relationship. I don’t see that changing anytime soon though. You’re lore is a flimsy excuse to justify personality and your personality is by no means good enough to justify your ego. You try and lure me with other things, like loot, but what is the point of trinkets if wearing them out on the town with you is a once-a-week affair where we go to the same restaurant we went to last week?


Some of those metaphors may sound like exaggeration, but I think they all jive perfectly with what I said more recently about the game. That wasn’t the first post or even first draft I had written about my final opinion of The Taken King, however. I had at least two more posts ready to go, but I held off because I was still hooked on Destiny’s charm. By the time the Iron Banner debacle finally launched me out of the game’s orbit, I was ready to leap frog those two posts to something more concrete.

Like all the bad loot the Crucible felt happy sometimes rewarding me, I am going to salvage those two posts for parts.

I almost included a few choice words about this, but every way I worded it came off as petty in the context of the rest of the review. That said, I had an entire post dedicated to the fact that The Taken King is a code on a disc that (to me) strongly suggested otherwise:

At first, I was pretty excited about the deal. I wasn’t so sure how useful the two expansions would be after launch, but it was nice to have access to them all the same. I mostly came for The Taken King, which was built in the media as an almost sequel to the original game since it had so many sweeping overhauls.

Of course, the problem is that The Taken King edition of the base game is just the base game and then an unlock code for all the other content. I realized this when I originally started playing The Taken King (since I had to use the code to access any new content), but now that I’ve considered selling off my copy of the game again, the bullshit of it all has finally dawned on me.

No, it isn’t that unusual to have DLC be packed behind a code, but where’s the limit when the packaging is called ‘Destiny: The Taken King’ and repeatedly mentions including all the DLC content? I don’t often buy Game of the Year Editions of games, but I was under the impression that those were ‘everything on disc’ in the majority of cases and that you didn’t get the base game plus a bunch of codes.

I tried to end that same post with a counterargument to one of those obvious openings in my thinking, but it sounds a bit mean in hindsight. Destiny isn’t that bad.

I can’t complain too much. It’s not like MMOs have any resell value once you’ve redeemed the codes. I suppose in Destiny’s bid to be the most MMO-like non-MMO it decided to copy that model too. If only it had copied a few more things and been an actual MMO …


The rest of these quotes are from a separate draft entitled, ‘Destined Again.’ It was meant to be a preview of the negative things I was feeling, but it was still in progress at the time of writing since I was still playing. A few areas of it turned out to be factually incorrect, so I am glad I never posted the whole thing.

Patrol missions are intended to offer open spaces in which strangers might interact out in the wild, but, more often than not, I am completely alone.

That remained true for my entire time playing. I attempted to do some of the quests without bringing in a group, but the game never matched me with anyone trying to do them. With how small the player size is for these open maps, I still don’t understand the point. If Destiny 2 wants to include this feature, then it needs to be completely overhauled. I’d prefer if the Patrol maps were designed to get people socializing and playing together, especially since the entire rest of the game is hidden behind matchmaking.

Matchmade Strikes are the game’s equivalent to dungeons, but don’t require any communication to complete. They also don’t always start you off that close to the beginning of the run, so I’ve had cases where I loaded into a strike and was already well behind another player rushing and skipping the opening mobs, or where I had to sit and wait for others to realize where to go.

This is ultimately a quibble, but since MMOs with dungeons get this right more often than not, it does bother me how Destiny does it. Yes, it can be cool ‘fighting’ my way into the dungeon proper, but my teammates usually bypass all that anyway. I’d much rather begin at the beginning, inside the instance, and not have to worry that I or someone else will get lost for the first five minutes of the run.

Another issue, strikes can be freely dropped out of without penalty, and the game’s UI doesn’t offer up a whole lot of information if that player will be replaced with anyone else anytime soon. I’ve had several runs fall apart entirely at the final boss because one person quit and no one else was brought in to finish.

This either improved a bit, I was unlucky before, or I got lucky. I noticed dropouts being replaced a lot quicker after I wrote this. I’d still love some more information though.

Group size remains at three, which doesn’t sound all that bad until you realize your the fourth man for three different groups of friends.

In order for Destiny 2 to work, I think they really need to consider designing around a max of 6 to 8 players with the size and difficult scaling based on user preference. I often felt like the odd man out or felt like I was leaving someone else out because of the group-size. At the very least, the game needs some PvE alternatives for larger groups. You know, like Patrol zones that don’t suck.

The rest of my complaints were covered in my other post. Now that these two drafts are properly salvaged, maybe I can throw away these resources for a modicum of Faction since there’s no way else to really earn any!

Destiny_Oryx 2

What was your first online purchase?

I grew up in the mid-to-late ’90s in a mostly rural, small town in Alabama. The Internet was just beginning to take over the world and, consequently, my life.

The first concept I had of the Internet were AOL chatrooms and keywords. By around 1998/1999, my parents decided to sign up for America Online, the online service best known for sending the entire population of the United States a free coaster every month. It was a 56k service and we only had the single phone line, so it wasn’t quite the always-online experience we have today.

I loved it, but other than being a means to look up cheat codes on CheatCC or play Ultima Online/EverQuest, the Internet wasn’t really a game changer for me as of yet. That changed in early 2002 when I placed my first ever online order:


Before Amazon, I was a voracious reader who bought, borrowed, or rented books knowing next to nothing about them. I wasn’t reading anyone’s reviews or opinions. There wasn’t any hype reaching me. At least not from any strangers: if I had a friend who was hyped over a book, it was because he just finished it, and was ready to lend it out.

When I discovered I could order books online (with my mother’s credit card, of course), everything changed immediately. Purchasing new books became something I felt more educated about because I had access to so many more opinions. I also didn’t have to beg my mom to take me to the closest book store, which was at least a 45 minute drive.

After books came everything else. I started buying CDs and clothes. The latter especially, since there were no Hot Topics as of yet to buy band t-shirts or clothing with ‘obscure’ references to placate my rampant consumer-individualism. By the time I made it through my teens, most of my purchases were done through some online store, and the old dynamic of window browsing or ads didn’t really work anymore.

These days, that remains the case. Purchasing products online has never been more convenient, and some of the deals you can get are outright amazing when compared to purchases in a brick-and-mortar store. Lately, I’ve been purchasing things for my current and future kitchen, so I place a premium on affordability, but I also want things that’ll do the job and last. Using the power of the Internet, I can crowdsource every purchase, get great recommendations, and I am almost always left happy. I have a pressure cooker right now that I absolutely love, but if I had made that purchase locally, I likely would’ve paid more for an inferior machine. Worse, I would’ve probably tossed it in some dark corner after a single night of frustration and forgotten about it forevermore.

When it comes to books, I don’t even go to bookstores anymore unless I want to drink a coffee and walk around casually with a friend. I’d rather buy online and, whenever possible, buy it for my Kindle since I don’t really want the physical clutter of books to haul around from one move to the next. Some of you may still love fondling the pages, but as with the Internet that led me to buying more books in the first place, I personally favor the convenience.

Sorting through my online order history, it’s amazing to peel back the layers and see the slow evolution that now seems as instant as a light switch in retrospect. I can remember the kid who obsessed over the Toys-R-Us holiday catalog or who was totally sold on a new toy from a commercial on television. Now that I am an adult, the only ads I pay attention to are for great deals, and the closest thing to catalogs are the blogs and news site I read for opinions on what to buy next. Is it a better way? I sure hope so.