If you’re interested in participating in the Geek Out Challenge, read this post here! Each day I will be posting a question for that day for the next 30 days. Follow along each day with your own post or feel free to wait until the entire challenge has been released and take it on when you like! Be sure to link back to the master post at the end or link back to each post for each day.
Day Five: What is the geekiest thing you’ve ever done?
Interesting question to tackle today, there are probably more obvious actions I’ve undertaken or decisions I’ve made that would be recognised as heavily geeky, it’s a very subjective viewpoint, but to me they were fairly normal or routine. Going to a convention for instance I would see to be a little indulgent in the geekiness, others were adorned in full costumes and attire so me in my Zelda shirt was relatively modest. I would probably say the most geeky project or action I’ve undertaken, purposefully was a photo project I’ve written about fairly extensively, previously, but will go a little behind the motivation today for variety sake. In the earliest, fledgling days of my ambition to begin writing in earnest again, beyond the loose idea of reviewing gaming art novels I recognised I would need something substantial to write about over a series of articles if I was to consistently produce a weekly article of merit. It was also a nice Summer and the creative itch was strong.
As such I decided it may be fun to play through Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, using the Playstation’s Capture mode to pick up the iconic historical buildings such as Parliament, Whitehall, St Paul’s and Covent Garden to name a few and contrast them to their real world equivalence. I would probably structure them differently today but it seemed at that point given a wide variety of locations to visit, it made sense to break them down to loose geographical areas and write a series of articles on each. First of all I needed to complete the game, thankfully this was before Ubisoft’s conversion to epic open world games and at the tailend of their repetitive copy and paste titles. I enjoyed Syndicate to a degree, it still felt very familiar to everything that had come before but still London is my city so it was fun climbing about my city and exploring the areas and places that are very familiar to me. The ‘challenge’ or frustration with the Ubisoft games of this period was the need to make each subsection of the map safe before you had freedom to just walk around and explore. A concept resolved to an extent in Origins with its freeplay roam to explore the setting. Something I would have loved in Syndicate but sadly I had to ‘break’ the game using angles caught in scenery to create a first person perspective of sorts.
Once I had my shots it was time to get out and about on the streets of London planning my routes that would take in the various sites and locations whilst being manageable to accomplish. I wanted to start with St Pauls, its such an iconic location on the skyline and from here I walked through the City to Covent Garden which was and is a lovely walk on a nice day in London. For each post I went out on a seperate day to capture the images in real life on my camera whilst having the screen captured images from the game loaded onto my phone to allow me to get the appropriate contrasting shots to do a comparison between the two. I could say it was relatively easy and once I was into the swing of things it did become a straightforward process to follow but it did take time and planning to bring it all together. It also allowed me to create a continuing series of articles of the next 6 months right up until Christmas when I was able to use my membership to the Historic Royal Palaces to an advantage by entering the Tower of London to capture images here in addition to Tower Bridge, two notable tourist locations in the capital. Finally a piece that happened entirely by chance when I found a room in the Tower of London with real world images from the Tower during the first world war which matched up to the period shown in the game at the Tower.
Is this necessarily geeky? as I proposed at the beginning, it’s a subjective value to measure. It’s probably the most geeky action I’ve undertaken where I’ve taken the base product, in this case Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and invested significant time and effort to produce content with no measurable benefit to anyone else really besides myself that I know of. Certainly it continues to be a series of articles that people read and come to, which, humbly, is always nice to see but also if I were to talk about this hobby of ours to an outside audience and tell them I spent many hours of my life walking around London taking pictures to compare to digital environments on a mediocre open world game there would probably be some form of judgement towards me. So I consider that my most ‘geeky’ action or thing I’ve done to date but that’s fine, it’s ok with me.
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