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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Apr 2014 19:22

Also, this is a bannable offense:

gr.luke wrote:AAA schlock

But it's your first post so I'll let it slide. Like I said, tread carefully here if you want to be able to keep posting.
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Unread postby gr.luke » 01 Apr 2014 20:22

I just meant that I am influenced by the hype machine, but I see what you mean. I'll be more careful.

Also, I straight up love Earthbound.
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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Apr 2014 21:06

That's good. The hype machine is an invaluable part of the videogame industry. It tells people which are the best games. The more the hype, the better the game. It's as simple as that.

gr.luke wrote:Also, I straight up love Earthbound.

Great. Here's where you can go to talk about that:
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Unread postby gr.luke » 01 Apr 2014 21:19

I have a hard time thinking for myself. That's why sometimes I need help.

[User was banned for not knowing when to shut up. -icy]
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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Apr 2014 21:58

See, this is what I get for being lenient. Every. Fucking. Time. Some retard who thinks I have nothing better to do all day than to chat with him back and forth about nothing. I almost always end up regretting it when I let something slide. The only language they understand is the whip. I have to ban him first, then he has to open his wallet AGAIN and buy me some games, and only THEN there is a small chance that he might stop behaving like a retard and more like a proper human being.

Thank god that at least I only have to face this once a month now instead of every other fucking day, as I did when forum access was free.
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Unread postby chb » 25 Aug 2014 14:45


I actually registered here a few years ago but recently decided to reactivate my account to read the new articles and reviews. I don't remember how I found the site but I was immediately and still am very impressed with the quality of the writing here. I don't know any other videogame website which comes even close to this site.

I've been playing video games since my dad installed Lemmings on the family computer. My favorite games are Gothic and Gothic II, Deus Ex, Far Cry, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines and The Witcher 2. Currently I play mostly Diablo III. As you can see, I mostly like to play ARPGs, but I also play some strategy games from time to time.
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Location: Germany

Unread postby simanino » 01 Sep 2014 22:30

Hey everyone, how’s it going? I’ve been reading Insomnia for the past three or so years, enjoying myself and learning a lot with all of its massive content. Words can’t really express how I feel about this place, but for now let’s just say I love it here. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to give something back. But enough of that, the point here is that I know all about you, while you know nothing about me, lol. So it’s time I properly introduce myself.

I’m 21 years old. I’ve played videogames since before I’ve even developed a memory, starting with my older brother’s Master System and later on with his Mega Drive (which, incidentally, I eventually stole from him and successfully secured in my own bedroom, lol). There were many games I enjoyed back then, from Light Crusader, to The Revenge of Shinobi, RoboCop Versus The Terminator, the Sonic games, Vectorman, Dynamite Headdy, X-Men 2: Clone Wars, etc., etc., but I’m quite certain my favourite one was always the original Streets of Rage. I guess it was just too awesome for my brain.

But anyway, as time moved on and throughout the years, I got the Sega Saturn, the PS1, PS2 and PS3, and kept enjoying myself with all the myriad of games I had at my disposal. I became a MASSIVE fan of Devil May Cry since day one, but my obsession with the series eventually turned into disgust (see: On Why Scoring Sucks And Those Who Defend It Are Aspies), and even severely damaged my passion for videogames in general.

If I were to make a list of my favourite videogames, or, at any rate, the ones I spent more time with all these years, I guess it’d look something like this:

-Streets of Rage
-Devil May Cry
-Grand Theft Auto III
-Age of Empires 2: The Conquerors
-Pro Evolution Soccer (all of them, up to PES 2008)
-Gran Turismo 4

So, yeah, that’s my gaming history in a nutshell. I look forward to seeing you all in the forums and to reading all the new stuff. (Probably won’t contribute much besides news reporting, but we’ll see. :)
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Unread postby CTF » 13 Sep 2014 11:50

Hello, non-native English speaker here.

First I would like to say that this site is amazing, I used to read it when it was still free and finally decided to subscribe. Glad to see how much content is available here and I am also looking forward to contribute my share.

I'm 22 years old, and have been gaming since the PS1 era. I like to try new things so along the years I have played many different games from many different genres and am pretty open to any genre there is (except for sports and rhythm).

Some favorites:

Deus Ex
System Shock 2
Metal Gear Solid 3
Red Alert 3
The Longest Journey
Final Fantasy X
Arcana Heart 3
Melty Blood

Since I just got a new PC, currently I'm focusing on playing stuff from the past two years that hasn't ran well on my older machine so my to-play list for the close future is Crysis 3, Metal Gear Rising, Serious Sam 3, Tomb Raider, Planetary Annihilation, Divinity: Original Sin, and DmC (the Ninja Theory game).
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Unread postby icycalm » 13 Sep 2014 13:20

Yay, another PA player! Post your Steam profile in the thread, dude. And welcome here.
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Unread postby Cassowary » 16 Nov 2014 20:13

Hello. I am a native English speaker, and my first game was Crash Bandicoot on the Sony PlayStation. However, I did not truly take to videogames until I encountered Panzer General on a school computer, heaven knows what the game was doing there, in high school. I was so intrigued by the game that I ended up buying a copy and its sequel for myself, playing different campaigns for both games obsessively for a number of years. I am always willing to try new games and genres, but my PC is currently somewhat outdated and my consoles are in storage, putting something of a bottleneck on this. I intend to upgrade when Intel releases the Broadwell series, as the improvements from Sandy Bridge to now have all been so incremental that Sandy Bridge is still at least somewhat viable.

Here are a few of my favorite games, off the top of my head:
Cossacks: European Wars
Far Cry (haven't played the sequels yet, although I did purchase Far Cry 2 for PC the other day)
F.E.A.R. and its two expansion packs
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
Jagged Alliance 2
The Last Express
Pacific General
Panzer General II
Real Bout Garou Densetsu 2: The Newcomers
Thief: The Dark Project
Wing Commander, including the Secret Missions expansion packs

I cannot recall a single Insomnia article that has not immeasurably impressed me, and I eagerly look forward to being a part of these forums. The standard of discussion here blows everything else away: going from any other gaming site to here is like comparing the energy generated by a potato battery to a supernova. It is a great privilege to be here.
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Unread postby High Quality Paper » 25 Nov 2014 06:18

Hey guys, glad to be here.

I've been gaming since the early '90s as a kid with my earliest memories being Master System games like Alex Kidd In Miracle World, Wonder Boy III and the Sonic 1 port. From there I went through the usual paces with the SNES, Mega Drive, N64 and PlayStation. It wasn't until the PS2 and GameCube that I started to realize just how great videogames were becoming and started putting a lot more time and research into it, looking up reviews and trying out all kinds of games.

Around I'd say 2007-2008 my interest waned because I found that the Wii, 360 and PS3 didn't seem to be offering much to my interest and I had never been a big PC gamer (although obviously I'd played through Doom and a couple of point 'n click, strategy games at some point). It wasn't until I saw some footage of Metal Gear Rising's prologue stage that I ended up buying a 360, because it looked like a sweet as hell game. So now I'm back into it and have been going through the 360 back-catalogue.

Regarding, finding this site has almost been like a double-edged sword. The articles and reviews are great, but at the same time there's no way you can ever go back to taking any other game-related literature seriously at all.
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Unread postby James W. » 06 Dec 2014 01:42

Hey, I'm James. I'm 16 and have lived in Minnesota for my entire life. I first played videogames as a kid at my friends' houses on their Playstation 2s, mainly. When I was about 11 or 12, my parents bought me a Wii for Christmas. I was overjoyed and had a lot of fun with it, but in a couple of years the games on the Wii seemed too childish and basic for me. Since then, I've been playing mainly on the PC.

Games I've enjoyed over the years that come to mind:
Mario Kart 64
Star Wars: Battlefront II
Roller Coaster Tycoon 2
Supreme Commander
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Mario Galaxy
Half Life 2
Portal series
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

I'm very glad to be here. Thank you, icycalm for working so hard to create the smartest and most beautiful videogame website in the world. It has changed the way I think for the better and I haven't even gotten to studying the philosophy yet!

Lastly, I'm sorry about telling you that "I liked your free articles". It was true, but I see how you could find that ungrateful. I think that all of your articles are AWESOME, even the ones that I haven't read yet. Your writings are priceless.
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Unread postby theiban » 23 Dec 2014 20:58

HI, I am Ibán, Spanish artist, photographer and journalist as graphic reporter, born in 1972 and grown up in Madrid City. I have lived the espectacular evolution of video-games since the first video games machines. I had a Spectrum 48k, you should see what programmers did with only 48k, now I think about it and it is really awesome.

If you want to know my work as photographer you can visit my web in URL:

peligroburro2.gif (22.22 KiB) Viewed 18024 times

I was a sick addict to Total Annihilation, that game was the revolution. Now I am playing Planetary Annihilation and having much fun. I feel so proud to be one of the Cult team, thank you very much, icycalm, for recruiting me.
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Unread postby OuterLimit » 25 Mar 2015 08:19

I've read Insomnia's articles for a very long time now but never really commented before. I can't remember exactly how I found it but the works stood out to me. It took a lot of rereading and reflection before I realized how significant it all was. I can't really express how much I love Kierkegaard. I've learned more about video games from icy than I have from everywhere else on the internet combined. He doesn't just describe games or evaluate mechanics, he develops an entire philosophy on them: and thus answers questions before they are even asked! Even the things I believe he is dead wrong on are insightful. He taught me to understand games better (the proper way to play arcade games, the responsibilities the player has in making the game immersive) and thus LOVE games more. He also introduced me to Nietzsche, who taught me to understand LIFE and thus love that more.

My first gaming experience was with a SNES. My first game was Link to the Past but my first hardcore game was the Gradius 3 port, its highest difficulty setting opened up a new possibility for how great a game could be. That discovery was the highest point I had in gaming. Then with emulation I was also going back a generation with the NES and to a lesser extent Genesis. I probably spent half my gaming life in emulators, although I quickly learned that the save state button should be used for skipping lengthy password entries.

From game generation onward till present I had every major home console except the original Xbox and PlayStation. Current generation I only have a Wii U. Consoles get fewer and fewer titles worth playing every generation. Only moderate experience with PC gaming. I tend to dislike VS games.

Favorite games
*Gradius Series
*Contra Series
*Castlevania series(excluding 3d titles)
*F.E.A.R. and it's expansion packs
*Super Metroid and Metroid Prime
*Doom 1-3
*Mega Man X 1-4
*Seiken Densetsu 3
*Ninja Gaiden series (2nd and 3rd)
*Shinobi (PS2)
*F-Zero GX
*All Zelda games before Majora's Mask
*Sin and Punishment Star Successor
*Violent Storm
*Serious Sam 1-2
*Compile shooters

I would like to apologize in advance if this doesn't meet your standards of formatting and grammar, that is a weakness of mine.
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Unread postby icycalm » 26 Mar 2015 17:54

OuterLimit wrote:Current generation I only have a Wii U. Consoles get fewer and fewer titles worth playing every generation.

... said every casual player and pseudo-intellectual poser with bad taste ever.

You haven't even bought a current generation console. You are so stupid that you think the Wii U is current generation. You bought the worst major console available today and you presume to lecture us on quality of console libraries.
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Unread postby Robomoo » 29 Apr 2015 22:57

First I had a PS1 inherited from a cousin with an odd assortment of games which I remember playing on Saturday mornings: Ape Escape, Spyro 2 and something called Jedi Power Battles were the ones with the least scratched discs. I remained envious for years of those with PS2s. At friends' houses we'd have endless tournaments of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 which was the best fucking shit.

When I was about nine my parents got me this random sim game called Stronghold 2 which was the first new game that I owned. Later when I could compare it to Rome: Total War I realised how crap it was but it seemed incredible. I got an Xbox 360 when I was 12 in order to play COD 4 with my friends and bought Mass Effect 2 in a shop because it looked cool - it blew my mind, the first game I'd played with actual story in it. I remember the way in which games like that could totally immerse me to the point that I almost believed in them (more due to my inexperience rather than particular merit). Just Cause 2 and Skyrim were great free-roaming games which I completely 'bought into' as well for a while.

I played Dark Souls when I was 16, which is when things started to go downhill - at various times I'd wanted to be a writer... then a film director... now a videogame developer. Whereas what's above does not capture the smallest part of what my life was like outside of some games I played, time from this point on can be comprehensively summed up as "I stayed in my room on my computer". What I used to justify my isolation was that what I was doing was worthwhile - of a higher purpose, even. I was actually very disciplined and amassed more time programming than playing games; I'm now a lot better at it than some undergraduates I know and I'll soon be studying it for real, so perhaps I can get into actual game development at some point in the future. What happened over time though was that I just became... numb. I could no longer derive nearly as much pleasure from any amount of new, "iconic" or "art" games as I had done from any random shit when I was young, and then none at all. It was a mix of continued saturation and my desperation at feeling the countless hours I'd spent being invalidated, forcing me to come up with ways of explaining it all away...

What's in the "Basic Instincts" and "Myth of Independence" essays sums up very well what I was beginning to suspect and what reading this site made me realise much faster. Right now I'm just going to take a break from games for several months, so I probably won't even post here much either. I'll join the Steam group someday though.

Other games: SS13, PlanetSide 2, Natural Selection 2, The Witcher 2, L4D2, Spelunky HD, Super Hexagon, Metal Gear Rising, Minecraft, Team Fortress 2
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Nice to meet you all

Unread postby hammeroth » 09 Aug 2015 15:36

Hi! This is my presentation for the good people at Insomnia. I got my account yesterday and am very glad to be a part of this site.

I encountered Icycalm like 3 years ago while I read his comments on Action Button's review of Metal Gear Solid 3, which made me lol. I had found that site that same day while "googling" analysis of that series and the rambling style in it I found quite amusing.

The context for that search, which also has to do with why I subscribed now, is that for a while I've been reflecting on video game experiences as life changing experiences, while reminiscing about the games that most enhanced a perspective on the world and my interests/tastes in many ways. The bigger context for this was a vocational crisis, which is where all of the Game Theory and Philosophy comes in as a wake up call. Now I see that most of those games were simply Good Games, but Icycalm's analysis helps me understand Why or more precisely, How.

My gaming history starts with Super Mario Bros. for the NES, played as a 4 year old at my cousin's. I obsessed and dreamt about those games, my parents remember my "nightmare" of not being able to beat Super Mario 3. I used to draw Mega Man "Robot Masters", Double Dragon stages and Street Fighter characters. I was very influenced by "the Shotos" as yuxtaposed personalities, as a child that got me into Martial Arts. I bought the monthly Club Nintendo magazine here in my country and read it from beginning to end. I rented Video Games every weekend. The Nintendo 64 era was also very exciting, with Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask being highlights. Later on I read PSX IGN reviews (yikes!), which helped me learn English faster. Then as a teenager I was eager to play Soul Calibur, (I played Soul Edge for PSX's training mode for hours, Mitsurugi against Hwang haha) which felt really good when it became a reality.

So my whole growing up is tinged with seeking thrilling Video Game experiences and reflecting on them, which is why I have read reviews all my life.

On JRPG's I must confess I saw a friend play Final Fantasy VII from the opening mission and was flabbergasted. Years later I bought it and finished it promptly, it was amazing. Therefore I played other JRPG's looking for the same kind of experience. In the end, I must say I love RPG's and am a sucker for character statistics and character profiles in a fantastic, kind of surreal story setting with those mythological, uber epic End Games you see in the Final Fantasies, Xenogears and Chrono Crosses of the world. I like those more than the Fallout's and Elder Scrolls, because I feel they have (or had) more personality and were more interesting in general.

I recognize this as a current problem of mine since I feel many current games are the equivalent of Michael Bay films, being very polished but lacking substance and being filled with cliches. Because of Icy's reviews I have finally found an explanation of Video Game design which accounts for the desire for polish and the need for substance, which as I understand it now is the integration of challenging and fun Mechanics and Rules with interesting Context or Setting displayed through an Art Style and a meaningful Character Arc. This has an history and a philosophy (more like a psychological explanation), which I'm interested in developing.

So, fully immersive and enjoyable experiences with games for me, are kind of old-school. Games like Mega Man X, Flashback, Super Mario World, Wing Commander (IV), Metal Gear Solid (especially 2), Street Fighter and Marvel Vs. Series and of course, Deus Ex. Later on Jet Set Radio (and JSRF), Burnout Revenge and Virtua Fighter V have been fun experiences. I also got hooked with Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox and had no problem finishing it, which speaks of a successful immersion in the experience I think, reigniting my motivation to play. Currently I'm once again in a rut videogame-wise, but have been playing Stoked: Big Air Edition for PC with real enjoyment.

I look forward to Metal Gear Solid V, which is a game which seems to have been directed with passion and high stakes by Hideo Kojima, so I have no doubt it will be intense (well, some doubt). Those kinds of experience I hope will happen more often, because of the recommendations found at this site.

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Hello, friends!

Unread postby Scoob the Doob » 21 Apr 2018 22:37

I am known around this corner of the internet as Scoob the Doob. I hail from the frigid northeastern wasteland known as the Canadian Maritimes.

Basically, I am here for one reason: I have a great passion for arcade games, and I credit icycalm with sparking that passion through his wonderful essay on Arcade Culture, which I am still linking to my gaming friends to this day in an effort to get them to see the light (with mixed results). I have not yet found anywhere else on the internet where arcade games, and games and gaming in general, are discussed with the love and rigor that they deserve other than here, and so after enjoying the content on this site for many many years I decided to finally get myself an account and participate with all you fine people.

So, here's some backstory about how I came to this site and how my love of arcade games developed: Where I come from, arcades are few and far between, and as you might expect those few there are are populated with about 99% ticket-redemption crap as well as a dazzling selection of various Hunting Simulators (hunting is HUGE where I live and I guess people just need to experience it virtually as well), with some decent to middling racing games thrown in, none of which ever really piqued my interest. However, there was one arcade called Crystal Palace that I frequented as a child, and in and amongst all the gambling-for-kids "games" there was one that stood out: A full size dedicated cabinet of the original Mr. Driller.

That was my first exposure to a real, no-nonsense arcade classic, and even though I didn't understand it at the time I was drawn to that game more than any other, and despite being awful at it I spent many a quarter on it; Just mindlessly drilling and inevitably getting crushed or suffocating. Eventually, I stopped going there, the arcade closed down, and I forgot about Mr. Driller for many years.

Then, in my teens, I stumbled upon, linked from a thread on the Escapist (yes I used to frequent that hellhole, I was young and ignorant) mocking the author for being a big dummy stupidhead who's real mean and ain't like the games that I do so therefore he be wrong. The article linked was Arcade Culture, and I read it in full and couldn't help but feel like people were missing something in it and simply being thrown off by the abrasive language and tone. This was also around the time that I started getting seriously into Super Street Figter IV, which had just come out, and through learning that game and reading icy's writings I started to realize just how much people ignored and outright mocked any game that was perceived as being "too hard." Fighters were routinely shit on on many of the gaming fora I read back in those days as being overly complex games for elitist shut-ins who did nothing but pour over tomes of frame data and wank over their own replays, and that was when I realized just how little most gamers know what the fuck they're talking about when it comes to any game that actually requires a modicum of skill.

And then I started thinking about Mr. Driller again, how much I loved that game and how much I really wanted to beat it but never did. So, I loaded up MAME on my laptop and started playing it again. I eventually did beat it, but I was having so much fun with it that I decided to set the difficulty higher and see if I could beat that. I did. Then I put the difficulty on hardest and beat that. Then I beat it on one life. But my hunger for drilling was not yet sated. I realized that there were several Japan-only sequels that I had never even heard of before. So, naturally, I set up a JP PSN account so I could download the PS1 version of Mr. Driller G. By this point I was playing on a proper arcade stick (a Hori RAP 3) and my skill had grown quite considerably, it only took me two weeks to clear the 2000m EX stage. But I wasn't done yet. I saw that the arcade version was far superior to the PS1 port, which was stripped down in many ways due to memory limitations (and also to fit in the extremely lore-rich and deep story mode).

The solution was clear: I needed to get the real arcade version of Mr. Driller G no matter what. I was way too far invested in this silly little puzzle game series to back down now. I was well and truly obsessed. I researched superguns and got myself a Sigma HakuRyu and a proper CRT TV to play it on, then grabbed myself a Mr. Driller G PCB and went to town on that game. And the rest, as they say, is history. That day I became a convert into the Arcade Master Race. It was like a fulfillment of a prophecy: I finally realized that every single word icy had written down in that Arcade Culture article was the truth. The thrill of overcoming challenges, the adrenaline rush you get when you're *so close* to beating a personal record, the quality of the games themselves with their perfect controls and fine-tuned difficulty... it was so clear. This was everything I had ever wanted from games. This was the pure undiluted essence of gaming, right here. No pretense, no marketing gimmicks, no convoluted-ass storylines, just 100% pure FUN.

So, now, here I am, and I look forward to getting to know you all! I don't really play online multiplayer games at all (I don't even own a modern console and I have a weenie Mac laptop unsuited for gaming), but if you ever see me in Discord and want to shoot the sheep about some arcade classics, I'm always down for that!

See you around!
Currently Playing:

Mr. Driller G (Going for WR)
Progear (2-4 67.5 Million)
Power Stone (Best Ayame Solar System)
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Joined: 20 Apr 2018 23:42
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Unread postby ReyBiz » 14 Dec 2018 10:56

Hello all, my name is Reuel, I'm from the Netherlands.

The first game I played was SMB1 on NES, so I'd say I played my first video game somewhere around '89. From that point on I played and beat hundreds or maybe thousands of games on Commodore 64 (with the tape), Atari, NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Mega Drive, Neo Geo, several Game Boy installments, PCs from 286 on, arcade systems, PS1,2,3, Dreamcast, and I'm probably forgetting a bunch. CD-i, lol. Lost about six months of my life playing World of Warcraft in my twenties. I don't know what to tell ya.

I actually started composing a list at some point of games I beat but got bored at ~200 titles on two systems. The last non-PC system I bought was PS3 at launch. I was disappointed with the games (think I got Haze and some DBZ game) even though they looked great, and that bummed me out of (console, modern) gaming for a while.

Somewhere in my late twenties, having been living off of poker for a couple years, I decided to do something with my life and got a Masters Degree in Computer Science/Software Engineering. During that time, I played Dark Souls, which has become my favorite game (series).

Nowadays I don't play as much, currently liking Magic: The Gathering Arena, and some Pokémon GO with my daughter of 3 (that's about the complexity level of the game, too).

I'm mostly here to learn, and ponder on what makes a good game. After not having taken ~anything people wrote about games on the internet seriously for years, it was a breath of fresh air to read icycalm's take on them/art.
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