wOf Gods and Gaming
Lord, may my words be sweet and tender, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.





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wMonday, December 23, 2002

Just as a note, if anyone's interested in getting their wits scared out of them, may I propose Broken Saints. I'm up to chapter 10 out of 24, and it's some of the most professional, creative Flash work I've ever seen. Not to mention a great story and the best psychological tension I've seen since The Ring.

I'm not sure whether it's piss-your-pants awesome or just piss-your-pants scary, but this stuff will make you piss your pants at some point.

posted by Danin at 12/23/2002 01:26:00 AM

wFriday, December 20, 2002

60 Minutes II reenforces older generations' negative stereotypes of video games.

I'm really quite interested in how the good, dumb folks at CBS honestly think 60 Minutes could do anything even resembling an informed report on gaming. There's not a correspodant on that show that's a day under forty (at least not anyone involved in this story--there is one contributing correspondant who's 31, but who cares about her, she works in London), and Bob Simon, the reporter of the afformentioned journalistic drivel, has (as he states in the article itself) never touched a video game in his life.

They are, nonetheless, journalists, and they know how to hack and slash at source material to make it look as scandalous and offensive as humanly possible. Rather than interviewing intelligent people who make good games, we get the limey morons at Acclaim (who are notorious for their shock media tactics) responsible for the debacle that is BMX XXX. I don't know what's worse, the fact that the people at 60 Minutes chose to interview these people in the first place, or the fact that these same people are being totally serious when they make ridiculous statements like, "We wanted to create an entertainment experience on par with things like 'Sopranos' or even 'Sex and the City.'"

...Say that again?

"We wanted to create an entertainment experience on par with things like 'Sopranos' or even 'Sex and the City.'"

...Right, so they wanted to make a masterful work of art, and they came up with BMX XXX, a game so offensively stupid in concept and bad in execution that it makes the video game and pornography industries hang their head in shame for eveen having to be associated with such tripe?

What frightens me is that my first instinct is to say that nobody could be so stupid to simply accept such a blatant logical non sequitur, but in reality three quarters of the people who saw that report inevitably will.

God, I do so hate the media.

posted by Danin at 12/20/2002 10:04:00 PM

wThursday, December 19, 2002

It just occurred to me that I never mentioned Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, despite having seen it over a month ago. I'm going to remedy that right... now.

All I can say in favor of this movie is thank god for good characters. If the characters were any less interesting than they were, this would have been the worst movie I paid money for since Supernova (never, ever watch that movie). Director Chris Columbus, as this movie so eloquently displays, is a talentless Hollywood hack. Many people have described the movie as a "supplement to the book," but I didn't pay $8.50 to go see a supplement to the book. I went to see a good movie, damnit, and I got ripped off.

Character development woefully lacking; just because we've already seen one movie with the same characters doesn't mean they don't have any further room for change. Besides, there are a slew of supporting characters introduced that remain entirely underdeveloped. The plot is even slimmer, if that's mathematically possible. In fact, I'm not at all convinced that the movie contains any kind of story, in the dictionary sense--more like a series of totally disjointed events tied together by some vague overlying themes, kinda like Jackass: The Movie, which turned out to be much better (at least it met expectations). Columbus sacrificed the vast majority of the material that made the book entertaining, just to provide us with longer, excessive action sequences. I've never seen a movie so long in which so little was accomplished.

And the ending. Oh my God. Not only is it totally different from the one in the book, but it's sappy, generic, utterly preprocessed Hollywood shit. If I could stand the rest of the movie (which I can), the ending has enough overriding concentrated tripe to make me hope I never have to watch this drivel again.

posted by Danin at 12/19/2002 11:52:00 AM

wWednesday, December 18, 2002

Okay, so like, The Two Towers.

Of course it's awesome. Don't tell me you actually needed me to articulate that.

This is certainly something I have to go see again just to pick up on all the details I missed in my trance-like state the first time. The banter between Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli (especially Gimli) gets better and better all the time, and it makes a good part of the movie.

Gollum is amazing. You get the impression from his face that, when he was designed, the creators thought, "Gee, what's the most expressive feature set we can create?" The way his split personalities talk to each other is incredibly well-done, if unintentionally hilarious.

Ian McKellen is a golden god. He really ought to be in much more of this movie, but since it focuses so much on Helm's Deep, Gandalf's gone for quite a bit.

There are several discrepancies with the book, the reasoning behind one of which I cannot ever hope to fathom (if you've read the book, you'll know what I'm talking about when you see it). The tail ends of both stories are also cut off, which I was disappointed with, mostly because I wanted to see how they handled the end of Book IV, which blew me the hell away the first time I read it.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm saying an 8.5, and only because I've been spoiled by the Fellowship Extended Edition, and I know I'll be getting more of this movie come next November.

posted by Danin at 12/18/2002 10:13:00 PM

wSaturday, December 14, 2002

Okay, so I just got a letter from Virginia Tech saying I've been accepted to college.

Time for the happy happy fun dance.

posted by Danin at 12/14/2002 04:44:00 PM

wWednesday, December 11, 2002

I've finally got this thing looking for the most part the way I want it to. Now all I have to do is make a new, considerably better-looking logo, since there's no way the old one would match this scheme.

posted by Danin at 12/11/2002 12:06:00 PM

wTuesday, December 10, 2002

Turns out my archives weren't working because there was something screwy about the old template, which means I'm going to have to rework it a bit until it stabilizes. In the mean time, this works well enough, and the page isn't the length of three football fields anymore.

posted by Danin at 12/10/2002 09:03:00 PM

Honduras is going to ban violent video games in an "effort to stem growing crime." I really don't feel like going into how incomprehensibly stupid the very idea of video games being directly connected to criminal activity is, but I really would like to address two of the game series they're banning:

  • Street Fighter series: what a shame. Every gamer worth half his salt knows that the Street Fighter series is the pinacle of 2D fighting games and a true work of art.

  • Resident Evil series: I'm just wondering exactly how the entirety of the Honduran Congress thinks killing zombies with poor controls and bad camera angles is going to encourage someone to knock over a store.

Honestly, if they want a game to ban that encourages crime, they might as well go after GTA. That'd be a shame, too, but at least it's a better choice than limey Resident Evil.

posted by Danin at 12/10/2002 08:05:00 PM

wThursday, December 05, 2002

NFL holds Midway's Blitz as a twisted standard of reality

News flash to idiots at the NFL: Blitz is an arcade game. It's not meant to be realistic. The ball catches fire, for God's sake.

This guy, however, is smart:

"I think it's pretty odd that the players are saying that the video game industry is a standard for reality." - Miguel Iribarren, Midway's vice president of corporate communications.

posted by Danin at 12/05/2002 03:23:00 PM


That's a shot from my door. It hasn't snowed like this in years. The top half of my car looks gone.

And yes, that's my dog by the tree. Cute, isn't she?

posted by Danin at 12/05/2002 01:04:00 PM