New Years { Goodbye 2006

Hello 2007.

I haven't posted much, mostly because I have been working a lot and when I have sat down to post writer's block has been in the forefront.

Recap of 2006:

* thank the maker we no longer have Republicans controlling all branches of the Federal government
* I bought a bike
* I finished the basement (for the most part)
* I wasn't able to lose 30 pounds
* I enrolled back into school (haven't taken classes yet)
* fished, a lot, which makes me happy

Hopes for 2007:
* lose 30 pounds
* take classes
* no soda (rekindling something from 97-99 when I didn't drink any soft drinks, hello coffee and tea my old friends)
* see Europe
* fish more
* Bush gets impeached (come on Dems, at least investigate)
* never have to see Britney Spears' cooch again


Blog { 'Don to Earth'


Found this via boingboing a while ago. I find it a good read.

Computer Games { Observations from the Peanut Gallery

I'm not a huge computer gamer. I grew up playing games in the 1980's. For me, say 'computer games', and my first thought is things like Wasteland and Sopwith. My brother owned a NES console, but aside from that, I never did the console thing. The only cartridges I ever owned were for my TI-99/4A.

So how am I to look at the state of vidgames today? They certainly are pretty. The graphics rendering technology has come a long way since Mystery House. What GPUs can do today is nothing short of astonishing.

I'm uncertain that games are any better. For sheer playability, imagination, and fun, a lot of games just come off as rehashes of old ideas, or poorly written or executed eye-candy. Or, in the case of MMORPGs, huge time-sucks.

I could talk about technical advancements, but I thought instead I'd just make a couple of personal observations:

1) The adventure game is dead. Rest in peace. Dreamfall doesn't a genre reincarnate.
2) First person shooters are boring and played out, except...
3) Bioshock looks SO DAMN GOOD I could pee my pants. Can't wait till end of June. There is just something compelling ,at a brain-stem level, in my running around trying to survive in an Art Deco themed post WWII retro-futurist underwater dystopia. Being the spiritual successor to System Shock 2 is not a bad thing.
4) There certainly seems to be a lot of MMORPGs in development. I would generally consider MMOs to be a huge time and money waster, but then they go and announce development of projects in the 'Firefly' and 'Fallout' (which itself was the spirtual successor of Wasteland...not to mention Post WWIII retro-futurism) universes. There is also a Stargate (played out as that series is) one in development.
5) I'm not sure if the Wii remote is a stroke of genius or utter craziness. Probably both.
6) The Playstation 3 is an overpriced hunk of overheating metal and plastic. $600 for a console!? Plus $100 for an HDMI cable (not to mention a high def tele that isn't instantly obsolete by whatever HDMI iteration they are on this week). Low-numbers available. Difficult laser diodes. Hideous DRM on the 'did we really need this?' Blu-Ray. How about this. Instead of the $1000 it will cost you for the system, a cable, the needed adapters, and say four games, why not instead buy a PS2 and then, oh say, the 50 best games ever written for it. Thousands of hours of entertainment for the same money. Or better yet, save your money.
7) It sucks that I have neither a decent game nor peeps to play deathmatch with.
8) My enthusaism for Spore has been a bit diminished. It does look great, but I'm not sure how much fun it would be to actually play. Yes, I know I'm just parroting Tycho.
9) While I try not to be a neo-luddite, I must admit that most of my passion for video games is in retrogaming. Old Infocom text adventures and old Sierra games pull me in more than 95% of the stuff out there now. Classic games are sometimes really fun and playable (and replayable).
10) The game that gets the most play is GnuGo and various graphic frontends for Go.
11) Starforce Sucks
12) Getting games from the mid to late 90's to run on modern OS is hard. Even with emualtion, a lot of stuff I own only works on legacy hardware and software. I hope I won't have to keep a computer around for each version of DirectX.
13) PC gaming is dying. This does not bode well for one who is reticent to say the least in making a plunge into the console world. I know XBox Live is great, but I really want no part of it.
14) What I really want in new games:

* a kick-ass scifi with compelling settings, characters, and storylines
* a kick-ass survival horror with real-time lighting and shadow, sound and music, all crafted with the single purpose of frightening me into a myocardial infarc.
* a kick-ass completely novel and replayable game that can run on anything and doesn't need bleeding-edge graphics or a supercomputer to run. Think Tetris, Katamari Damacy, etc, but NEW
* humor
* Jules Verne, rayguns, Forbidden Planet, robots, flying cars
* 1920-1938 or so.
* for game companies to keep hiring Jeremy Soule to do their soundtracks
* Machiavellian political intrigue in games
* obviously not all in the same game


Casual Friday { World of Roguecraft

When I started playing WoW, there were two things I wanted to be since before release, a Rogue and an Undead. I didn't get WoW right away, because of various reasons. Now that I am playing, there are a lot of Rogues (and Warlocks). On PvP servers Rogues are 50+% of the classes (and not much lower on PvE). When I started I didn't know they were supposed to be the 'DPS Kings', I just like the class descriptions and Rogue is one of my favored classes in D&D (with Ranger). When I played Planetside, I played a stealthsuit. I just like stealthy characters. Playing a Rogue is easy once you understand the limitations and strengths and know how to manage energy.

Here are some excellent comparison videos:

Ep1: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7410095177695043805&q=world+of+roguecraft

Ep2: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1924309195372520571&q=world+of+roguecraft

Ep3: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4203756741355245537&q=world+of+roguecraft

Do I think they're overpowered? I can't say. I've only have 1 character and its a rogue. I've struggled, as would anyone new to a game. But are the overpowered? Only time will form my opinion.

(PS I hope the whiners do leave the Rogue class, it will help raise the maturity level of the class)



Word { I learned me my letterz

Your Vocabulary Score: B+

You have a zealous love for the English language, and many find your vocabulary edifying.
Don't fret that you didn't get every word right, your vocabulary can be easily ameliorated!

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"So, you're a cannibal."

Your Pirate Name Is...

Surgeon Beard of Maggots

Your Superhero Profile

Your Superhero Name is The Human Ghost
Your Superpower is Dance Dance Revolution
Your Weakness is Crystals
Your Weapon is Your Energy Ring
Your Mode of Transportation is Catapult

Its true, I take a catapult to work.

And this was nailed it dead on, which freaked me out:

Your 2006 Summer Anthem Is

Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

"I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that phase
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space"

And finally...duh:

You Are 12% Capitalist, 88% Socialist

You see a lot of injustice in the world, and you'd like to see it fixed.
As far as you're concerned, all the wrong people have the power.
You're strongly in favor of the redistribution of wealth - and more protection for the average person.

PS: I didn't intend for this to be a quiz post, it just sorta happened.


Zen { 151 systems, daylight savings time, some coffee...

Dear Congress who passed the 2007 Energy Bill which has a change to daylight savings time,

Fuck you.


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