It’s early 2021 and Logan is just finishing his spring finals. He hasn’t stepped back into a dorm or class since the first lock-down. He switched to all online classes for his second and third semester, and he’ll probably do the same for his fourth. In the fall he’s on schedule to graduate with an associate’s and move on to his bachelor’s. He doesn’t leave his room much, but neither does his dad. Kelly is the only one going out of the house regularly, and that’s only for work. Michael worked remotely long before it was a necessity, but lacking any reason to leave the house has made him more and more sedentary.
Kelly feels like she is somehow living alone, despite being with her family. Logan is distant and online talking to his girlfriend every night. Michael is constantly slammed with work because he’s currently a department lead for a group that does tech support for webcams, keyboards, and microphones. His last year has been spent doing both his job, and the job of the in-person reps who got benched for the plague.
Kelly, however, works exceptionally cut hours at the library, and otherwise just cooks and cleans for her desk jockey family. She’s feeling isolated, depressed, and frustrated because no one is wrong, it’s just a crummy situation
She communicates this to both Michael, and to a lesser extent Logan. Michael is her partner and she needs to communicate with him so they can remain a functional team. Logan, being her adult son, doesn’t owe her his time in any capacity, but it’s good he knows what’s going on. Kelly is miserable without projects. She usually has projects for work, but all her event planning is shut down for the moment. Logan pitches the idea of doing some sort of painting or refurbishment of a room in the house, but their living spaces are all pretty much just as they like them. They could throw up a coat of paint somewhere, but it would feel very much for the sake of it.
There is nowhere in the house Kelly particularly dislikes or wants to overhaul…
Nope. That isn’t true.
The laundry room. Still with the paint chosen by a relative Kelly is only vaguely aware of in the 70s, it’s awful. Her great uncle Jimbo left her mom the house, but Kelly only met him twice when he was alive and it was long before he did anything that made such an effect on Kelly’s life.
She feels a little bad. Jimbo was often the recipient of negative press from her family growing up, and Kelly never got to meet him again before he died. Now, she’s living in the very house that was the center of all that drama and she barely knows any of the names of the people involved. Then again…at second look at that paint color…and wood paneling…and linoleum…maybe that’s for the best. Eesh.
Kelly and Logan pile into the car armed with masks and a plan, and head to their nearest hardware store. They need paint chips, tiles, a few tools and some hardware.
Just like every other room in the house, the laundry room is both bigger and somehow smaller than it feels. Kelly’s first thought is to just make it a good laundry room, give it a fresh coat of paint and a built in ironing board she’ll never use and call it a day. But, at second look at the space, it’s not small enough for that plan to feel cozy and a good use of the space, there’s still tons of leftover empty floor.
So, maybe a basement game room, throw in some bean bag chairs or a card table, maybe a tv and…no, it’s too small to be a good game room either. It’s too big for the space it is but too small to be much more. This is because it was built to be a cool place to keep homemade canned goods, but it’s over a hundred years later and it no longer has a real purpose.
It could be an office but the WiFi is horrible down there, and she doesn’t want either of her boys sitting even more separated from the rest of the house, they’re both already always online. It could be storage for the BookNook, but Kelly doesn’t like the idea of keeping an entire stock or books or games somewhere so at risk of flooding. They could take the washer and dryer out entirely and put it upstairs, which Kelly has wanted to do for years, but that gives the space even less of a point.
Sitting in the hardware store parking lot, Kelly and Logan are in total silence as they both try and wrack their brains. It’s a horrible time to be overhauling any space in the house and they both know it, they don’t need more space with Logan freshly twenty-one and his parents preparing mentally for a real empty nest. To make a game room or office is just one more space to be empty in a few years.
“You know…” Logan finally breaks the silence. “The door into the kitchen is nice, but we could switch it to the door being on the Nook’s side.”
If they take the washer and dryer and put it upstairs entirely, the basement could be a rentable gaming room for the BookNook. They’re going to have to do some sort of event when they can reopen anyway to bring people back. Having an entire new space would make that a lot more interesting.
Without going in the store at all, Kelly turns the car around. They need to go measure and see were the new door would end up, and actually make a game plan for attempt #2.
Quakecon Keynote 2013 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
The Death of Half-Life
Valve still hasn't admitted it, but the Half-Life franchise is dead. So what made these games so popular anyway?
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
A video discussing Megatexture technology. Why we needed it, what it was supposed to do, and why it maybe didn't totally work.
The Biggest Game Ever
How did this niche racing game make a gameworld so massive, and why is that a big deal?