Let's Chat

Huh.  I admit, I have no blogs written up for today.  I was planning on spending my day adjusting to life with a pitchfork up my ass down in Satan’s barbeque.  Seriously, who could’ve predicted that Harold Camping would have been wrong?  I mean, aside from everybody.

Since I was anticipating non-existence, I’ve kept my schedule clear.  That means I am not traveling this weekend!  I’m in my PJs like a perfectly unwashed sow, and I’m just sowing around doing some writing.  So let’s chat.

Are there any arguments for god’s existence you find perplexing and would like rebutted?  Anything deliciously shred-worthy in the news?

Also, I may play some video games this weekend.  I have the time to do so!  I have all manner of old school NES games on my laptop.  Which were your favorite old school video games (if you never played Nightshade on the NES, you missed out!)?

And are there any good PC games out nowadays?  Don’t recommend MMOs – I love them*, but I simply lack the time to play them (if you haven’t tried Champions Online, I recommend it).  I love games you can play online with others such as Left 4 Dead (1 & 2), Diablo 2, etc.  It’s sad there doesn’t seem to be any good RPGs you can login and play with friends in the vein of Baldur’s Gate, that aren’t an MMO, but are still story and character-driven fun with friends.

I like short-burst competitive games like Counterstrike.  Starcraft 2 would be a good fit, but I suck mightily at RTS games.  Despite having little time to play it, I will probably purchase Diablo 3.  I loathe Blizzard, so I will hate myself for this.

Did any of you ever play MUDs back in the day?  I did.  Don’t judge.

Any PC gamers up for some Left 4 Dead 2 sometime today?  I play vs. mode and am a freaking savant.  Seriously, read my profile —–>

Anyway, let’s get to know each other today (and feed me some fun stuff to blog about).  If there’s anything you’d like to know about me, ask away.  We could also try doing a vid chat hangout on Google Plus if there’s interest.

Alliance all the way!  I don’t care if horde is unstoppable at PvP.  And even if this fact has changed, I do not have enough time in my life for WoW…but my allegiance to the Alliance still runs strong!

PERSONAL: Mid day lab pics from the wife.
PERSONAL: Happy birthday, Hitch.
PERSONAL: Sorry to disappoint you, Julian.
PERSONAL: The corrupting power of fame and my love for my commenters.
About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • VeritasKnight

    Borderlands. Borderlands is one of the most-nearly fun games I’ve played in a very long time. My friends and I bust it out pretty often as well.

    For a recent Diabloesque type game, try Titan Quest. No Diablo, mind you, but it is pretty damn awesome.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      I’ve played Titan Quest! You’re right, it’s hella fun! Great LAN game.

      I’ve heard similar things of Borderlands, but I’ve never played it. Perhaps one day. :P

      • VeritasKnight

        I got this ballin’ drop in the first world, the Hand of Brennus, I was still using it at the end of Egypt. Everyone was jealous. Fun ass game, and you can play with like 6 or 8 people.

        We’re about to have an Age of Empires II: Age of Kings LAN party here.

        Borderlands? If you like LFD, you’d love borderlands. The game has like 40,000 guns. Sometimes you get a shotgun that shoots rockets. What more do you want in life?

        • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

          Man, now I’m really tempted to reinstall Titan Quest…

    • Tynk

      Borderlands is an awesome online co-op rog game as well as never winter nights 1 and 2 which are d&d style games. I have been playing Rage when I get time lately. Great single player progression fps with standard online death matches. But I am off to breakfast at hella kitchen! If Im not going to be spotted to roast eternally, I may as well get a steak for breakfast.

      • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

        NWN is awesome! I haven’t played it in years…

        Man, you guys are going to occupy my whole weekend now by forcing me to indulge in nostalgia!

  • Chrisj

    If you’ve not tried Torchlight, the excellent Diablo 2-style dungeon crawl designed by the Schaefer brothers (who designed Diablo 1 and 2) working with Travis Baldree (who designed Fate), you should get a copy right now. There’s no multiplayer in the original, but the multiplayer-capable (up to four) sequel is supposed to be coming out before Christmas, and Runic have promised to be sane about everything Blizzard are working hard to get wrong. (Modding? Runic say yes, Blizzard say no. Always-online DRM? Runic say no, Blizzard say yes. Sanity? Runic appear to have it; Blizzard not so much.)

    If you want tactical combat you can pick up and put down in short bursts, there’s the awesome Frozen Synapse (although you’ve just missed it on humblebundle, so you can’t get piles of free stuff with it).

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      I will give Torchlight a look-see. Thanks for the heads up! :)

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Holy crap! Torchlight looks awesome!

      • Chrisj

        And if the sequel isn’t ready by the time you’ve finished the original, worry not – the modding community is huge, and there’s some really good stuff out there.

        But yes, it’s a great game even without that.

        • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

          Ok. Getting it. :)

  • Steph

    I pretty much suck at all video games, but will admit that I was a genius at Pandemonium on the old-school Playstation.

    Also, Paperboy on the first-gen NES has my heart 4-EVAH.

    We won’t talk about the shameful number of Disney games I own on the Sega Genesis.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Aladdin was awesome! :P

      And yes, Paperboy was classic goodness. Will probably load that one up today at some point as well.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula PZ Myers

    We’re going to have to throw you off the network now.

    HORDE FTW! For Sylvanas!

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard


      Next you’re going to tell me that you play a rogue or a Paladin…

      • Tynk

        I stopped wow before cata (horde warrior tank!) now I am just waiting SW: TOR, been waiting for that mmo since Sony screwed SW:G.

        Oh yea, FOR THE HORDE!

        • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

          Admittedly, SW: TOR is very tempting. Argh, why must I be so busy!

    • Richard

      I was an undead holy spec priest. Healing zombie, FOR THE HORDE :D

  • John Eberhard

    Razorbacks vs. Ole Miss @ 11:21 on SECTV.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Open college football thread is scheduled to go up at 11:40 EST. :D Go hogs!!!!

  • Brandon

    As far as games go, I’m going to recommend Red Dead Redemption if you’re looking for some high quality time-killing. I’m on my third play-through right now, and it just doesn’t get any less fun. Also, if you want some sneaking, thinking gameplay then I’d suggest Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      DX: HR looks fun. Is RDR on PC?

  • Andora

    L4Dz; in for it, I am!

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      Later tonight? Anybody else in here play LFD2 on PC?

      • Tynk

        Hell yea! Girls gotta game, zombies gotta get double tapped!

      • Richard

        …I will admit to playing LFD.

  • neatospiderplant

    Yay for PJ day! I’m home from work sick so I too am in my jammies today not up to much.

    As for arguments for god’s existance, I’m sure there are some that I can’t remember at the moment. I’ve recently started to try out counter apologetics with some nice JWs that come by every week or two since they are some of the only people I know that are up for a debate. I keep meaning to write down the things they say that I mean to look up or think about, but I usually see something shiny shortly after they leave and rarely remember to do so. I wish I had a “debating with christians” coach. lol.

    As for video games, I’m semi-embarassed to admit I’m forever a tetris kind of girl! I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

  • Jonathon B
    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/wwjtd JT Eberhard

      For everybody else, I’ve ‘tussled’ with Jonathan B before.


      You’re either an abject idiot or a troll trying to waste my time (personally, I think you’re an idiot).

      Either way, this comment is all of my time you get.

      • Cruz

        Give the argument a try JT. Oh and Wes was thinking of maybe having that dinner tomorrow if we can get a video camera for it that would be great, otherwise I have plenty of recording equipment to take care of it.

        It seemed like many people were very interested in listening to this conversation.

        • tynk

          Premise of the paper, from my understanding.

          the actual world exists with a set of rules.
          there is a possible world that exists with these same rules.
          these reals might have a cause.
          god is a contingent cause of these rules.
          if god might be possible then god is possible.
          if god is possible then there is a possible world where god exists
          if there is a possible world that exists the the same rules as the actual world then the possible world and the actual world are equal.
          since the possible world where god exists is equal to the actual world, then god exists in the actual world.

          however, because there argument is for every possible set of rules there is a possible explanation of god they must make the argument that it is also possible that the explanation is also possibly not god. They explain god as a contingent cause of the possible and actual world.

          Thus because there is a possible world identical to the actual world that contains a god, there is also a possible world identical to the actual world that does not contain god. Since the possible worlds and the actual worlds were defined as being identical with the exact set of explanatory rules, through their logic it must follow that in the actual world god both exists and does not exist.

          Since this is not possible… god does not exist.


  • Richard

    JT, I do not know how you stand on the issue of Minecraft.

    I recommend it, if you enjoy games with mods, morrowind or oblivion being examples, you will get a kick out of minecraft. However, the game is not for the faint of heart, there is no hand holding for starting out. You have to do research to get the basics of how to make a door, a minecart, or even a shovel. (Here is my hint, you have to start by punching a tree.)

    Once you get past that, you can add mods. There are thousands of mods out there, but the best in my opinion are Industrialcraft, which adds basic electric engineering to the game with everything from lasers to electric fences. Buildcraft enables the construction of factories, with supplies running down pipes and machines that craft stuff for you. There are mods out there that give users the basics of the Portal games, for science. (If you haven’t played the portal series, I also recommend that)

    The game is also multiplayer, but no monthly fee, I run a home server that my friends sometimes play on. Most of the time its empty, but if we get in the mood sometimes we build stuff.

  • http://www.graymatterboundaries.com John Grafton

    +1 for Portal 1 & 2. I don’t get much time to play games but I’ve spent several satisfying evenings playing through them (for science).

  • http://www.nobodysworld.com Nick Gardner

    I recommend the following:

    Starcraft 2 – Even if you’re not into RTS (maybe multiplayer is too much of a struggle for you), the single player campaign is very forgiving in comparison (even in the harder modes)

    Team Fortress 2 – a now aging FPS, but still good fun

    League of Legends – a DotA like new free game, but the new arena mode, Dominion is fast paced and lots of fun (games tend to run under 20 minutes and are highly competitive)

    • http://www.nobodysworld.com Nick Gardner

      Dragon Nest – MMO, but it’s also an action game with a focus mostly on player versus environment. It’s a lot more fun than any other MMO I’ve played, but levelling over 20 gets too grindy. Still, those earlier levels are a lot of fun and very actiony (lots of moves requiring keyboard+mouse click combos). It also has a storyline that you and your coplayers can follow (though its kind of hackneyed).

      World of Tanks – Russian f2p third person shooter, lackluster graphics but solid game play mechanics, only down flaw is the lack of good Elo matching, which will end up pitting newbies against top tier heavy tanks. Very fun to play, even more fun to troll if you have 2-3 people (only problem is making platoons with three people requires at least one of you to have a premium account… which might not be worth it at $14 a month).

      The first 3 I recommended though, LoL, TF2 and SC2 are very solid games.

  • Richard

    This was a triumph!

  • Drakk

    Is your main problem with MMOs that you don’t want to pay a monthly fee for a game you won’t play often enough to justify? If so, maybe you could try Guild Wars 2 when it comes out? Guild Wars is a one-off fee per campaign pack you buy (loosely speaking). I know you said not to recommend MMOs but I thought this might be different enough for an exception.

    I will throw in a further recommendation for Borderlands.

    “Short burst competitive” just screams to me “Team Fortress 2″.

    Have not tried Frozen Synapse, but I hear amazing things about it.

    Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood’s multiplayer is fun, personally though if you’ve not picked it up by now I’d wait for Revelations and see how that’s like. I think they’re including multiplayer mode. Think.

    • http://www.nobodysworld.com Nick Gardner

      I think (speaking for myself) the biggest problem with MMO(RPG)s (regardless of whether they are 1 time payment, f2p, or monthly fees) is that they require a substantial timesink to keep up stat wise with other players in competitive environments, whereas RTS and FPS rely more on individual skill, effectively resetting the gains clock every match, rather than a snowball effect where an individual who cannot afford to sink more than 4-5 hours a week into gaming is far far behind those who can play more which puts pressure on people to play more often than they should or necessarily want to just to keep up with others.

      • Drakk

        I’m not sure how the sequel will be but the first Guild Wars saga was not like this. The level cap, 20, could be easily reached in about a week’s worth of play, and from then on all that really mattered was having a good skill set (player skill and character skills). The only “grind” existed in getting to that 20 (debatable regarding which campaign you started in). There is even a PvP-only option where your character start out at level 20 with all equipment maxed out but are restricted to PvP play.

  • Daniel Schealler

    Speaking of Baldur’s Gate:

    I never got around to finishing BGI when I was a teenager. Eventually BGII came out and I played through that one a couple of times. But then when I went back to try BGI again I found it uplayable by comparison. Too clunky.

    Enter EasyTutu.

    Apparently some time ago a bunch of modders got together on the project of porting all the BGI resources into the BGII engine. The was originally called Baldur’s Gate I to II (or something similar) which was abreviated to Baludr’s Gate Tutu (too two, get it?).

    The project was eventually built into a windows self-extracting installer called EasyTutu.

    Being somewhat slow to catch on to these things I only recently discovered EasyTutu myself – and I’ve been trying out playing through the early chapters of BGI as a monk, a sorcerer and as an assassin – because you can get all the class kits to play with in BGI now. ^_^

    I’ve been playing BGI in between Dragon Age I (still haven’t finished it and refuse to buy II before I do) and Oblivion… And to be honest, I think I have more fun playing BGI with EasyTutu. The story is several orders of magnitude better, the scale of the universe is grander and feels more populated, and the BGII engine overcomes playability issues that might otherwise prevent entry.

    So that would be my big reccomendation – revisit BGI with EasyTutu. GOG.com has versions of BGI and BGII that I managed to get working with EasyTutu (as I had lost my discs years ago) with little difficulty.

    All of which will probably become moot once Skyrim comes out, of course. Well – hopefully, anyway. I really hope Skyrim lives up to my anticipation.