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Two Week Disconnect

Clayton Lin: Weighing In

Two Week Disconnect

Andrew Ryan

As I write this, I finally have NBN speed internet (not that it feels any different- and not the fault of the government in particular).

I spent two weeks without the internet, not my own volition mind you. I have survived and not become insane.

Well, I did use the local library as needed though, so it wasn’t entirely within the rules of that ‘disconnect’ game.

Without the internet, there was a lot of things I couldn’t do, namely searching for work, looking up strategy guides, so I had to pass the time in more than unusual ways.

I ended up gutting through three novels- 2 of which I had bought a long time ago, but could never finish- the works of Iain M. Banks are a hard read- The Culture novels, Consider Phlebas and Player of Games doesn’t come easy to digest with its concepts (and consequentially why the novels would be nigh-on impossible to adapt- the descriptions would be a nightmare for production designers alone), and then Ben Bova’s Apes And Angels which explores the whole “White Man’s Burden theme” in a science fiction context, in which humanity embarks on a mission to save as many species as possible from an universal doomsday. The novel is told in a rather straight forward manner, and develops its characters enough, for them to have believable physical and emotional motives for their actions.

As for games, I passed the time between familiar classics Morrowind and Skyrim, fully modified to keep it playable in the 21st century, and then Civilization VI, which was a massive upgrade compared to the previous Civilization game (V and Beyond Earth which used the same ruleset and engine). The game’s score is possibly one of the most uplifting score (‘Sogno Di Volare' to come out a video game of recent years, here is a live rendition of it, coupled with a narration by Sean Bean (he survives here). Civilization VI eschews the old art style in favour of a more Pixar-like look, for both reasons of technical clarity, and a sense of optimism and innocence, and mixes the best parts of previous Civ games, as well as removing the more frustrating parts of it, and reducing the amount of micro-managing one has to do in a typical 4X game.

That and I got some personal writing done. A little bit though.

On the other hand, there are silver linings to not having internet for a while. You get to think and meditate a little. Two weeks of disconnect is enough of me. I’m not much to wax morals on cutting oneself off from technology, even for a while. Such notion is silly.