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The QueueJul 2, 2024 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Back to School!

I popped in to a store to get more red hummingbird food (my local hummingbirds are spoiled brats) and was simultaneously surprised and overwhelmed that all the summer outdoors stuff has been shoved off into one little clearance corner, while the rest of the seasonal section is now devoted to back to school shopping. I should not have to compare notebook paper rule sizes while slathered in sunscreen.

This is The Queue, our daily column where you ask us questions and we’ll answer because why not, life is relentless anyway.


QftQ: Anyone have any idea if YouTube watch history “bleeds?”

I’m working from a card table in LF’s bedroom. She has a TV with a YouTube app. She is not signed in to the best of my knowledge (she wasn’t the last time I was here). She does have a watch history of basically night music for the grandniece, but I don’t think she wants to see my typical YouTube content (though the defense economics slideshow might help her sleep).

i was thinking of logging in on her TV and then logging out before I leave. Would my watched videos go onto hers even if I log out?

It really doesn’t between accounts, per se, but. I maintain a few different YouTube accounts so I get better, cleaner recommendations tailored toward my weird niche interests. If I’m browsing for a good summery make-ahead lunch recipe, I don’t really want to wade through nail art and Device Orchestra and broadway musicals to compare noodle salads vs summer rolls, you know? However, I’ve found that, in cases where there’s a bit of overlapping interest, content — especially from larger and growing creators — will mysteriously start being shared between accounts.

My classic literature account has suddenly been recommended Tasting History after I initially started watching it on my main account, for instance. There’s a good amount of overlap in terms of target audience and demographics, so I’m not fully suspicious about it, and yet. Conversely, on my ASMR account I’ve been recommended Tony Walker’s readings of classic literature ghost stories, which makes sense, especially as he’s done a few where he intentionally plays rain effects and such to play up that angle, though again, and yet.

So, if you’re into history content, and the un-logged-in algorithm is all lofi hip hop, you’re probably fine. If you’re into boring history content, and the other algorithm is classic literature, you may see some bleed through — but in a way where it still seems plausible that the algorithm would recommend that content anyway, maybe, and yet.


Q4tAnna: Have you finished Pacific Drive? If so, what did you think of the ending? Any changes you would make to improve the gameplay?

I mean, with a game like Pacific Drive there will always be airquotes in play, but yeah, I rolled the credits on it. And I absolutely adore it in so many ways, perhaps in no small part because it is a very unsatisfying ending. It might be my personal GOTY.

In talking the plot, I’m going to try to avoid spoilers, but with Pacific Drive it’s always tough to talk about since it’s best to go in as absolutely blind as possible because that adds a ton to the ambiance of unease and hostility that is The Zone. So, spoiler warning!

In terms of gameplay, for me it’s completely delightful. All the little cues and weirdnesses combine into a whole which is quirky and charming and fun, even if frustrating at times. I do wish we saw some more of the endgame materials before the narrative end, but it also gave me incentive to keep on playing after I rolled credits. I also appreciated that the lovable jankiness of the car helped to hide a little bit of the jankiness behind the actual video game controls. Am I pulling to the left because the controls are weird or because I have a quirk, or– wait, the sound design and integrated car monitor HUD is telling me I blew a tire. Welp!

In terms of narrative, the game is a bit of a bait and switch in a way that feels deflating at first blush, but also weirdly realistic. PD is all about grief, how we process it, and how we try to make sense of it even though there’s no sense to be made of it. We expect the narrative to go a certain way, and to tie up the implicit questions with a bow, because that’s what video games do, but the harsh reality is that people die, and even if they’re being noble or whatever, they’re just gone, and there’s no reason why. Even if we’re desperately searching for meaning, especially in a scenario like that, we just don’t get it, and can’t expect to.


Midyear Gaming Review!

So far I’ve acquired 12 games.
4 of them are essentially completed. I could play them more for achievements etc but I’ve finished them at least once.
2 have been started, 1 I really need to get back to, 1 I just got.
6 are unplayed, although 2 were received for free so I don’t consider them as actually in my backlog.

Wow, you are incredibly organized, and I definitely need to start keeping better track of all this, especially since I do also pick up a decent number of games on Epic and (sometimes) Prime when there are freebies.

I tend to start far more games than I’ve finished, and part of that is, I really should play the demos before I purchase. You Suck At Parking is a good example of this. In my head I thought it would be more Truck Sim-esque, but turns out, it’s a physics-based puzzler. Meh. I also semi-accidentally bought a few Metroidvanias, and now I’m debating buying a controller, which I usually hate because I have small hands and double-jointed thumbs, but man is that genre awful with mouse & keyboard.

My stand-out titles for this year so far are Pacific Drive, Spirit City (which technically isn’t really a game, but that’s kinda splitting hairs), and Balatro. I’ll also add that this has been an incredibly strange year for several of my favorite Survival titles, because many of them have been pushing random build revisions and updates and season passes, which is completely antithetical to the core concept of surviving as long as you can on one save. I love just digging in and piddling around, and my Fallout 4, 7 Days to Die, and The Long Dark saves all got nuked in a similar time frame. I’m still waiting on 7 Days to Die to finally roll over to 1.0 and The Long Dark to finish pushing their “seasonal content” to actually start playing again, and while I understand the impetus behind these changes, especially 7D2D, man is it frustrating.

Good thing I just re-bought Oblivion on Steam, I guess. Add one more to the backlog.

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