Happy birthday, Tim Curry! The English character actor, acclaimed on stage and screen, is 65 years old today. Let’s pause for a moment to silently celebrate his myriad voice-over and FMV contributions to the world of computer games.
Here he is, hamming it up with both class and gusto in 2008’s Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3:
Update: Aww! I really like Luke Plunkett’s commemoration of Tim Curry’s Special Day over at Kotaku! A lot of fun clippy-clips there (and none of them are Gabriel Knight which, beloved as that work may be, is really too obvious a go-to, IMO). As my mom always writes in her emails, “Smiley face!” I love these clips! Go see!
"Geek meets craft in this fun collection of 25 kooky projects for geeks of any affiliation, from D&D dice earrings, Star Trek pillows, and Super Mario cross-stitch to Star Wars terrariums, a Morse code quilt, and much more!"
I hope not to alarm you, but plenty of websites employ "power users"—not for actual money, I don’t think, because that would be illegal—to boost articles’ scores on social content sharing networks. But Digg always seemed to ban users just as soon as the site suspected something fishy happening, so it isn’t as if Digg were in on it. So is gaming the system, in the interest of pageviews, really so bad? Because as an ex-community manager, I really struggle to make any judgments here.
See, this is one of those moments wherein I’m so Late to the Party I’m just baffled by myself. Thanks for IMing me a link to it, Mike! Where were you two years ago, huh, bro? (Just kidding! Thanks, Mike!)
Brad Neely (Washington) made this video about the Competitive Spirit. I have no idea whether this is safe for workplace viewing. Probably not. Probably your boss will catch you fullscreening it and she’ll be like, “Wow, that video is two years old; you’re fired.”
"Women are difficult to model because they have—they’re sort of put together—well, let me put it this way: male bone structure is mostly made up of ninety-degree angles. Right? Maybe a couple forty-fives here and there. But it’s simple, and that makes it easy. I guess I shouldn’t say ‘easy,’ but I mean more straightforward."
I almost missed linking to one of these! It’s a good thing I caught myself: I recently told Bureau editor Kevin Nguyen by Tweet that if I missed one, he ought to phone the police, because I must be in trouble. I’m okay, guys! I have a free, 6-month subscription to OnStar!
Have you been reading all these? I keep telling you to. Mr. Gourlay’s approach to games is something I have heard called "experiential," which is a descriptive word that I like but barely understand how to pronounce aloud. I think I’m kidding? Maybe.
Even though I am not a mother, I have watched children play and have felt defensive and nurturing only until I got in on the game myself (at which point I will start shouting, "Boo-yah! No mercy! In your face! ...Sorry"). But there is something sharp and moving—so sharp that as a reader I don’t even see it coming until it’s too late for me—about Mr. Gourlay’s relationship with a game (_Minecraft_) as contrasted with his relationship with his 9-year-old daughter.
This is one of those things that make me ehhhhhhhhh, because Will Wright is an inarguable visionary and I know what he is saying and how it makes sense, but I just ehhhhhhhhhh.
Still it’s nice to see some discussion of "Bar Karma," Wright’s crowd-scripted TV serial on Current, and anyway we all should embrace conversations about narrativity versus sandboxing with the goal of eventually furthering the form or whatever.
"Anyone hoping for a level of fence-whitewashing or a trip through the graveyard will be sorely disappointed. Ultimately, Injun Joe appears, riding the neck of a giant green serpent, and Tom finally rescues Becky, who is imagined, as most women are in Nintendo-world, as a blonde princess in pink."
My old pal Adam: "I wanted to see release dates for video games in a less noisy, less hype-filled form so in keeping with my new mantra of ‘less complaining, more problem solving through extremely rapid prototyping’ I made my own video game release calendar thing."
Reading the MetaFilter thread—which took me at least a day, because I needed to read very carefully—clarified a lot of concepts. It was, indeed, the conversation no one expected. Measured and moderated in a neutral court, this dialogue did a lot of work for me that I never could have done on my own in any good time.
I know not everyone will be able to do all the necessary reading, or even make total linear sense of the back-and-forth there, because who has the time, and maybe that really has been the issue from the start.
I get angry, but not that often. Or maybe I am angry a lot. But in my adult life I have always stepped lightly around my own opinions. That timorousness has helped maintain a lot of friendships that might otherwise not have lasted. My best childhood friend and I, for instance, have completely opposite, rabidly passionate beliefs. We have carefully cultivated a friendly and loving political distance. She and I understand the stakes. We know that, if we begin those conversations, we won’t stop, our feelings will be hurt, and no one will win. That is why she is my best friend. I have the same relationship with, you know, my mother.
Maybe nobody needs to know everything I’m thinking at any given moment, or how I feel about health reform or gun laws or Larry Elder (it’s complicated). Maybe there are some fiercely held opinions I’d do just as well to keep under my hat, just as I’d do well not to march up to a friendly acquaintance and scream “I hate you and everything you stand for.” No, I tiptoe, genuinely working hard to not alienate my fellow humankind. There’s no reason, ordinarily, for me to take up arms and get in your face and go THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS.
"Game developers love brainstorming: they use notepads, whiteboards, napkins, Photoshop… anything they can dump ideas onto! They make calculations, lay out interfaces, doodle character designs, and collect their thoughts. Unfortunately, these glorious scraps almost always get thrown away, and rarely get looked at again. This is a creative museum where I collect and share the best of these scraps, to both preserve them and let them inspire others." (via @Capy_Nathan)
I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but all these properties have been terribly mishandled since like the late 1990s or whenever. Listen, you: we still really want to play these dumb old games. We consistently pay for the privilege. Sure, remakes and homages are a little squirrelly, but litigious smackdowns are some way to repay our love.
If the titles’ original developers had any complaint about any totally amazing project, that would be one thing, but honestly, we all know the franchise creators have been shorn away from their own work for at least a decade. It’s OK to wring the last drops of money out of whatever you have, but just don’t be obvious about it.
Oh my gosh, what am I trying to say? Just, like, try not to be dicks about stuff when we’re all looking directly at you, right? But yeah, thanks for the inch here, the inch there, OK, because we live for that. And oh, yeah! Sarien.net is coming back, sort of. Sorry I sound so annoyed about it; I’m really not.
"Hence, it is no coincidence that some (media) artists have begun working with computer games in recent years. The possibility of making modifications to computer games (‘mods’ for short) has inspired them to create their own versions of games that, in some cases, take the premises of the games further and think them through to their logical conclusion and, in others, explicitly contradict them. As such they differ from mods created by fans, as these generally make do with redecorating the existing game structures." (via dinosaurparty)