Tuesday, November 01, 2005

[Blog Entry] The Long Weekend, Internet Cafes and Network Gaming, The Curfew

The Long Weekend

If it seems I just disappeared from the blogosphere, there’s a reason for it (not necessarily a good one, but a reason nonetheless).

Friday was a hectic day at the office as we were making preparations for our concert with The Speaks, a seemingly-overnight band sensation thanks to the promotions of Pulp. And if Friday was busy, you can just imagine Saturday. I left the concert early to attend the RPG session me and my friends were having. Suffice to say, the sun was rising when I went back home.

Sunday was spent recovering all the sleep lost the other day, while Monday was plagued by the same Internet problems I had the other week. My sister was supposed to call tech support, but depending on my sibling is like depending on the government. Which is probably why I’m a control-freak that depends only on myself to get the job done. Not that I could as I’m at the office during tech support hours of PLDT.

Tuesday and today just made my DSL connection go bleep. Can’t even connect to Google. So I guess the only time I’ll have updates is when I’m at work.

And NaNoWriMo officially started, with me not writing a single word, and I have a huge reading backlog from October (no books read!). So what’s been distracting me as of late?

Internet Cafes and Network Gaming

Internet Cafes have a certain allure for me, especially the Network Gaming part. At least the one I visit. I mean you can come in and expect to have opponents to play against. Even if you come in at close to midnight (which is actually one of the peak hours).

Right now I’m obsessing Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne’s custom game scenario, Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which is like the equivalent of Pokemon to the original Gameboy: giving an old game an extended lifespan. Now while I was very, very good at the original Warcraft 3, I had to stop because of budget concerns. Reintroduction to DotA has given reinvigorated my interest, with a smaller learning curve on my part. Of course I’m far from very, very good (more of average), which makes the game interesting for me (I always look forward to fighting strong opponents).

Any way, there are 2 places I usually game. One is a an Internet Café near St. Luke’s, which is special because it just costs me P20 an hour. It’s only limited by the fact that it closes by 2 am. Area 51 is the other place I game which is closer to home, albeit more expensive (of course the most expensive place I’ve heard is a Network Café at Eastwood, which costs P120/hour). What it lacks in price it makes up in service though. I’ve mentioned this before, but Area 51 has several perks. For one thing, it only closes at 6 am – 10 am. Even then, you can request them to open if you’re there early. The second is even if you don’t have opponents, the caretakers will play with you. They’re not the best opponents, but they don’t suck either. Interestingly enough, that’s where I met Leinil Yu 3 years ago before I knew he was a comic artist. Just recently, saw a familiar face from my Magic: The Gathering days playing with his level 60 character from World of Warcraft. Sean, owner of several comic/toy/anime stores and even a network gaming place in Annapolis. Since I’m shy, I didn’t have the courage to say hi.

Of course with NaNoWriMo here, I probably have to say goodbye to all of that…

The Curfew

It seems that during every presidential term, there’s always a rumor that Martial Law will be declared. (It also seems that during every presidential term, there will be talks about Charter Change.) Of course during the two decades our country endured Martial Law, in the event that the Philippines comes under its rule once more, the one thing it can’t do would be the midnight curfew.

I don’t know if it’s because Filipinos are nocturnal, or our Martial Law background gave us a wilder spirit, but the curfew simply won’t work nowadays, at least not without hurting the economy.

I mean the ones who’ll feel the impact would be the call centers, which is the bread and butter of the Filipino middle-class. Can you imagine the police arresting an employee just as he’s about to go to work? In such a scenario, offices will have more bunks, and employees will probably make a dorm out of their office thanks to the curfew.

And what about all the convenience stores that lurk at just about every street corner? What use is it being open 24 hours a day when you don’t expect customers at the last 8 hours? You can also imagine what’ll happen to the new 24-hour fast-food joints like certain branches of McDonalds or KFC.

There’s also my network gaming café’s. Employed people need their evening hours to play, play, play! Then there’s people coming home from gyms, their evening badminton games, and midnight shopping.

With the 24-hour phenomenon, no wonder we’re consuming so much electricity.


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