The 2010 Arbitrary Awards

12 Jan

Most Helpful Journalist

Adam Oxford is the kind of writer that gets around a bit, figuratively and literally. Equal parts technology guru and international development wordsmith, he can often be seen travelling the world in the name of social improvement. He helped me with a much more middle-class problem: building a PC for the first time.

Via PC Gamer’s hardware section (and a how-to video starring Mister Oxford I found on Youtube), he indirectly held my hand through through the delicate and complicated procedure, despite my pathetically inept technical knowledge and dithering over fitting the CPU. I now have a (probably) unique machine, built with my own large and slightly hairy hands, to call my own, and I have this clever and cheerful-looking chap to thank. Cheers.

Best Song I haven’t Heard Before

I don’t remember my reasons for watching a Minecraft LARP video, but the snippet of Globus’ Europa that it pinched belied a glorious pop-rock-classical masterpiece that’s been burned into my memory forever.

I can do without the dodgy lyrics and vocal delivery of the original version, ta very much, but this instrumental-ish rendition sounds constantly incredible. Accessible rock song structure reinforced by a driving bassline garnished with piercing strings and dramatic brass flourishes? With soaring choir backing and scalpel-sharp percussion? All music should sound like this.

All of my music, anyway. Some like to dance. Some like to relax. With a few exceptions, I like to be slapped in the face , tied to a rocket and fired over a 1,000-man swordfight. Maybe that’s why I never ‘got’ Lady Gaga.

Best New Game

Fallout New Vegas.

Best Old Game

Team Fortress 2.

Best New Game that cost me a great deal of my emotional well-being and self-respect

Super Meat Boy.

Alcoholic Drink I Hate The Least

2010 was the year I finally moved on to harder stuff than Diet Coke, by which I mean ‘Gin and Tonic’. Why people enjoy this less than wines, lagers and so on is beyond me – it’s crisp, refreshing, and tricks you into thinking it’s lighter than it is. most importantly, though, it doesn’t look like urine or smell like vinegar, which automatically puts it above 92% of all drunkifying beverages.

Best Firefox addon

One of the reasons I dislike receiving cheques is that I have to haul myself to a bank to get anything out of it. Worse, none of Halifax’s paying-in slips are compatible with InFormEnter. After a quick sprint through my often-typed info (Name, Email address etc.) at setup, filling out even the lengthiest of online forms becomes a trivial series of left clicks. This leaves my left hand free to do more interesting things, like shovel Mars bars into my mouth or prop my rapidly slouching head up. And if you think having things like passwords and account information visible from an easily accessible menu is a security risk, you make an excellent point and I have no rebuttal whatsoever. Though I will have saved, literally, minutes.

Most Inexplicably Hilarious YouTube Video

Call Of Duty: Black Ops admirably included a video feature, which automatically records multiplayer games and allows for a decent amount of in-game editing (namely lots of slow-motion and swooshy camera maneuvers) – an excellent addition that should be put in every game ever made. The result when applied to CODBLOPS? More ridiculous deaths, improbable kills and unlikely murderous shenanigans are caught on film than ever before, regardless of whether Fraps was running or not. This particular video shows that in Treyarch’s relentless shooter, death is swift and, not infrequently, plain stupid.

As a side note, it’s a shame the recorder isn’t in singleplayer, as I’d love to show off all my achievements in that as well. Like completing the first Vietnam level without heatbutting my keyboard in half.



One Response to “The 2010 Arbitrary Awards”

  1. Elliot Metson January 13, 2011 at 12:34 am #

    Mr Oxford held my hand as I crossed the proverbial road of PC building as well this summer. What a man. Like a hairless Santa.

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