Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wii Will Survive

On June 16, my brother Jon had an aneurysm rupture in his frontal lobe. He spent six weeks at  Miami Valley Hospital after having endovascular coiling surgery. The first few weeks were in intensive care, followed by about a week and a half in the regular neuro unit, and then in rehabilitation. 

As you can imagine, it was a very trying time for my family but the excellent staff at Miami Valley went out of their way to be there for us, to take great care of Jon, and to answer any and all questions we had. We are thankful that Jon doesn't remember any of this, however, because it was very trying for him. His only memories of his hospital stay are the weeks he spent in rehab. 

The rehab unit impressed us. He had top notch care from his nurses, therapists, case workers, and even the unit clerks. Everyone on the unit genuinely cared about the care they were providing, and did everything in their power to ensure that Jon was cared for in a way that let him maintain his personal dignity. 

We were also impressed by the use of the Nintendo Wii in his physical therapy. They used balance and body control games on the Wii Fit to help Jon learn to walk again, learn to stand on his own again, and to help with his hand-eye coordination. This family of geeks and gamers found it refreshing that for once video games weren't being demonized as a catalyst for the downfall of society. 

Jon and I have always been very close, so when they told us that Jon was going to need help at home for a while, I gladly volunteered to help. I have kept up the Wii therapy here at home, and I have our whole family doing it now. We take time during the day to do our body checks and play games that suit our individual needs. Wii Fit Plus allows us to track Jon's progress while he continues to heal at home, and has also helped get our family rededicated to living a healthier life. 

On top of the physical benefits, doing this together gives us time to spend with each other which is something we sadly didn't always make time for before. It also makes conversations like this possible:

Jon (holding the Wii-mote at crotch level): *laughs*

Me (trying not to laugh): That's not how you play this game.
Jon: No, but it's how I play with my Wii-ner. 

City of Heroes News - VIP Beta, Patch Notes, and a Look at Time Manipulation

Today City of Heroes starts up VIP Beta for City of Heroes: Freedom. The official announcement:
Since the announcement of City of Heroes Freedom™ and Issue 21, we've been getting a lot of questions about features and functionalities that will make it into the game. Well, it is now time for you to experience all those changes first hand, for the VIP Beta for City of Heroes Freedom andIssue 21 is starting at 4:00 p.m. PDT ( 7:00 p.m. EDT / 12:00 a.m. BST / 1:00 CEST) on August 9 (August 10 in Europe)
If you've never accessed our Beta server before or need a refresher, get the latest set of instructions to install it here.
Once that's done, delve into the next evolution of City of Heroes starting from the new Character creator and its myriad of improvements and additions, straight into the brand new combined tutorial and the updated Atlas Park and Mercy Island! 
And while you're at it, browse through the Paragon Market™ as well as the brand new Paragon Rewards system that supersedes the Veteran Program!
City of Heroes Freedom and Issue 21: Convergence have so much to offer, you will want to make sure you check our Issue 21 Overview page as well as our City of Heroes Freedom mini-site before embarking on the Beta adventure.
We're looking forward to seeing you on the Beta server!
Join in the Community Discussion now!
City of Heroes: Freedom brings with it many exciting updates, including a free to play option. If you have ever considered trying City of Heroes, now is the perfect time! 

Today is also patch day for City of Heroes:
The Live European and North America City of Heroes servers will be offline for a publish on Tuesday, August 9, 2011.
Start Time: 4:00 a.m. PDT / 7:00 a.m. EDT / 12:00 p.m. BST / 13:00 CESTExpected Duration: 2 hoursExpected Finish Time: 6:00 a.m. PDT / 9:00 a.m. EDT / 2:00 p.m. BST / 15:00 CEST
Patch notes will be available in the Patch Notes section of the City of Heroes website as soon as possible after this downtime.
We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience! 
So while you're waiting for the servers to come back online, you can wet your CoH appetite by checking out Synapse's article on the upcoming power addition Time Manipulation. From the article:
Time Manipulation was originally an idea pitched to me by Sean "Dr. Aeon" McCann. In retrospect, the idea seems very appropriate given that character's dabbling in time travel. I always imagined a time-based Power Set as being control focused, and probably as a primary set for Controllers and Dominators. However, the concept Sean suggested with this set was very solid and quickly changed my way of thinking. In fact, I'd say the Time Manipulation set still retains about 50% of the original design proposal. After we solidified the proposal, it took a lot of balancing and number-tweaking, and then a lot of amazing work by our animation and FX teams to bring the idea to life.