Friday, January 29, 2010

tim rogers Commented On My Comment!


I mean, here is his FFXIII review. I warn you, this isn't something you can consume in one sitting. Many times you will find yourself in another room pacing in circles. Full of wonder - and terror, then disorientation because you don't remember walking away from your computer.

This isn't a wall of text it is a ziggurat of text - a literal Tower of Babel even. But buried deep within await treasures and rich veins of precious words. A marvel filled with marvels.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Attn: Fans of the Worst Final Fantasy Game

Team Teamwork, the folks behind the amazing Ocarina of Rhyme, will soon be dropping Vinyl Fantasy VII a mash-up record that matches Final Fantasy VII soundtrack with hip-hop rhymes.

Extragalactic tightly bound intimate diabolic strip waltz action

after w1ndst0rm's post, you may be in need of some more lurid extragalacticness.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sorry Shepherd, the Princess is in Your Spaceship.

We are introduced to Miranda, who some may think a heroine of Mass Effect 2, by eavesdropping on a conversation between her and her, for now we will say, boss. We come upon the scene from behind where we see a male sitting at an obnoxious desk in an obvious position of authority with Miranda standing slightly behind, figuratively and literally his Lieutenant. She is clad in, nay caressed by, a white tight uniform designed not for function but form.

She is leaning hard and straight on one of her long and shapely legs with her well connected hip cocked to the side enhancing another and already shapely curve. Your eyes begin to follow a line over said hip, through and along her waist and up her left side. Almost knowingly the camera swings around in the same direction and presents us fully with Miranda’s impossible breasts. Of which we had caught lustful glimpses on our recent and far too short visual journey that started at her ‘supple yet firm at the same time’ right butt cheek. Continuing to pan upward the camera forces us to focus on her perfect neck, chin, lips, nose, eyes - face. Her perfectly styled and never out of place hair isn’t black. It isn’t brown. Let’s call it raven. Finally the rest of our senses start to catch up and we realize she has been talking in a sexy, if not outright sexual, Australian accent throughout the exchange.

The problem with that last paragraph is that I didn’t make any of it up. Miranda’s character design is exactly what you would expect from a still male dominated industry selling their (bio)wares to a still dominantly male demographic. I am going to assume that her design team had no women on it and was made up of immature men that could only come up with the born out of ignorance, standard and stereotypical “perfect woman.” I am also going to bet that at some time during the process her hair was blonde.

Please bear with me because this might set up the only subtext the character Miranda was endowed with. In the game you can find out Miranda’s origin story. That is, if you take the time to talk to her. You know, instead of staying with the ogling. You learn that she has no mother and was created solely by her father by way of genetic science-fiction using his own arrogant chromosomes to, again, be the “perfect woman.” What terrible irony – for the design team. Furthermore, she was created by her father and the design team to do what he and they want for their purposes. It is as if this plight is her fate and she cannot escape it.

This brings us back to the man I temporarily referred to as her boss and the glimmer of hope that I have for Miranda and by association Mass Effect 2. At this early point in the game there is no difference between the boss known only as “The Illusive Man” and Miranda’s father. As far as both are concerned she is simply a tool for their use in their agendas. The only difference is on Miranda’s side where she has rationalized that she made the choice to work for said boss. When in fact he is more successful a puppet master than the father she thought she escaped. To conclude, Miranda is not (yet) a heroine. She is a clumsily, stumbled upon by accident "damsel in distress." For her sake, and that of Mass Effect 2 and the character designers, I hope she is able to be freed from this fate through her own actions and in the end both find and save herself.

Friday, January 22, 2010

friday thoughts

video games are bad for you. so go do something else.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

H.G. Wells Reviews Metropolis

His critique reminds me of most negative Avatar reviews.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The story of Reggie

(from an email, author unknown.....)

They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, and the people really friendly. I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street. But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to.

I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did. But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner.

See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike. For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls - he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he settled in. But it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.

I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and "come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name - sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth of fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever. When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.

This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell. The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cellphone amid all of my unpacked stuff. I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "damn dog probably hid it on me."

Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter. I tossed the pad in Reggie's direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home. But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that come here and I'll give you a treat." Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction - maybe "glared" is more accurate - and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down with his back to me.

Well, that's not going to do it either, I thought and I punched the shelter phone number. But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice........."

"To Whoever Gets My Dog:

Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner.

I'm not even happy I'm writing it. If you're reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter. He knew something was
different. I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time... it's like he knew something was wrong. And something is wrong... which is why I have to go to try to make it right. So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls... the more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in
there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where you throw them, he'll bound after it, so be careful - really don't do it by any roads. I made that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.

Next, commands. Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them again: Reggie knows the obvious ones - "sit," "stay," "come," "heel." He knows hand signals:
"back" to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your hand out right or left. "Shake" for shaking water off, and "paw" for a high-five. He does "down" when he feels like lying down - I bet you could work on that with him some more. He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business. I trained Reggie with small food treats. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He's up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when he's due. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet.
Good luck getting him in the car - I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time. I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially. Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new. And that's why I need to share one
more bit of info with you....

His name's not Reggie. I don't know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the
shelter, I told them his name was Reggie.. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. For me to do that, it seemed so final, that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I'd never see him again. And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything's fine. But if someone else is reading it, well... well it means that his new owner should know his real name. It'll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.

His real name is Tank. Because that is what I drive. Again, if you're reading this and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. See, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter... in the "event"... to tell them that Tank could be
put up for adoption. Luckily, my colonel is a dog guy too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.

Well, this letter is getting to downright depressing, even though, frankly, I'm just writing it for my dog. I couldn't imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family. But still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my
family. And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will
adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me. That unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things... and to keep those terrible people from coming over here. If I had to give up Tank in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He was my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. I don't think I'll say another good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.

Thank you, Paul Mallory"

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.

I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog. "Hey, Tank," I said quietly.

The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright. "C'mere boy."

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months.

"Tank," I whispered. His tail swished. I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me." Tank reached up and licked my cheek. "So whatdaya say we play some ball His ears perked again. "Yeah Ball You like that Ball "

Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room. And when he came back......he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

for AVK

a more realistic version

Guns and Roses

you say you don't like brussel's sprouts? or snow globes? shoot 'em.

Monday, January 11, 2010

David Hasselhoff - Hooked on a Feeling

I really wonder if he thinks he is good, or if he just says 'F... it! if these morons will pay me I'll do it!'

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Andy, do you remember Brian from FFG?

He is part of a WoW Hunter site:

I wondered what your analysis of the site's analysis would be.

In related news, Phil rolled a Priest and ran Dead Mines for the first time last night.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Gus is a Better Man Than I am

Oops! The embed code I used didn't work for some reason. I'm afraid you'll have to follow this link. I promise it isn't a Rick-roll.

A Dance With ... Vampires?

A little over two years have past since the last "official" update from George. And that update was a rewrite of an update from January 2007. Earlier this week he shared that he completed a troubling Tyrion chapter. That is great and all but doesn't he understand what we have been dealing with and going through in the meantime?

Sure there was plodding pleasantly through 'Anathem' and rereading Orwell's classics but now I'm down to 'Twilight.' And last night I was informed that the fourth book sucked and that I should stop at three. That would be 'Breaking Dawn' and 'Eclipse' respectively -

Ahhhhhhhhh ...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Church of Yoichi Wada

Like the rest of you I hate it when politics and religion fornicate. I hate it because every time they do we get yet another example of why they should abstain. But what if we mix politics and religion and video games?

The short answer is that we get Final Fantasy X.

I'm just beginning work on the long answer - it is in the genesis phase if you will - but I was inspired by reading Wada-San's New Year Message to his church, er company.

Note the breadth of his thesis paragraph with the understanding that he is the head of a corporation whose religious purpose is to zealously make money. To make money no matter the political environment.

To parse it further notice the line he tries to walk between the political realm we live in and the conservative nature of business. In one hand he offers, "While no one yet knows if these changes are an early indication of stabilization or the beginning of more turbulence, at this point we should watch, wait, and try to nurture these seeds of change." In the other hand he immediately satiates his conservative business conscience and his investors with, "Demanding change simply for change's sake, only invites empty gestures." He pulls it together with the sentence following and lays out his goal for Square-Enix in 2010.

The cynical part of me cannot help but notice that he is taking his company into this new world of change in the same year that he is releasing Final Fantasy XIII. (and possibly Final Fantasy Verses XIII and Final Fantasy XIV) A journey like this will be much easier with that kind of money waiting for him on a quarterly basis. However, don't get me wrong, as an active member of The Church of Yoichi Wada I will be in line at midnight anxiously awaiting my turn to tender my offering.

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