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Everything posted by Nachimir

  1. Far Cry 2

    Anyone else playing this? Chris mentioned it in the Fallout 3 thread. (I must confess I'm only playing this because Spaff was kind enough to give me one of the preview copies given to expo staff). It's much less silly than Far Cry (I gave up on that when I encountered a monster that took more ammo to kill than I could carry), and it's very, very beautiful. Fire is absolutely awesome in it, you can set dry grass alight and watch it spread for quite a way. In one mission I had to blow up a propane tank in a train yard, and sneaking in to lob a single molotov resulted in the consequent fire taking out most of the enemies without them ever realising I was there. The save system that allows you to choose time of day is pretty eloquent, especially as it's functional but really shows off the aesthetics of the game too as you watch the hours whizz by. God damn though, getting around can be a chore. The other day I decided to do a side mission, which was to assassinate some random, non-plot related dude. Once I'd got to the town he was in, it only took about 2 minutes to sneak up and set him on fire, but the time to do it including getting to the radio tower to pick up the mission, getting to the target, then getting back to a save point was about an hour. They aren't so much missions as expeditions as a result. The missions themselves are all kind of short and easy so far, but getting around is hard. It reminds me of Assassin's Creed: Really beautiful, technically stunning, but a bit shallow and repetitive in terms of action. This seems to be a major pitfall for procedural content versus designed experiences; procedural seems to lead to a lot of popcorn-like filler.
  2. Since I learned something new this morning, and this wasn't medical: An offhand comment by a friend led me to read about Ununoctium, and this phrase absolutely baffled me: That led me to relativistic quantum chemistry, which I'd never heard of but apparently goes back to 1935. I have a far from comprehensive understanding of it, but as far as I can gather: Because the electrons in some atoms are travelling at a significant fraction of the speed of light, the resulting effects influence the electron shells and thus also the chemical properties of the substances. For instance, things may bond when normally/ideally they wouldn't, or their radiation absorption changes: Why this is awesome: The explanations I got of matter during my school years were all about the relative distance between electrons and the solidity of mass being to do with charge. Neat, but all pretty abstract and sometimes leads people to think they can walk through walls, or make worthless piece of shit bits of metaphysical wank like What the Bleep do We Know?. This is awesome because it reveals a connection between physics and chemistry, and in so doing also reveals fundamental chemical, quantum and relativistic effects tied to THINGS WE CAN SEE WITH OUR OWN EYES.
  3. Movie/TV recommendations

    Jupiter Ascending is a lot more fun if you imagine it's written by Tina from Bob's Burgers.
  4. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    That's true, but the reason I've withdrawn from almost all discussions about GG (like, everywhere, not just here) is the obsessive and relentless focus on figures like TB. Given how he and his audience respond, it feels like he and his words are not a target through which any of the social/internet/abuse/harassment problems forefronted by the emergence of GG can be resolved. Unlike other prominent gaters and sympathisers who aren't fundamentally embedded in or tied to video game audiences, and thus have moved on to an extent, he's there to stay. Focus on prominent individuals also feels like it's contributing more to maintaining "August never ends" than ending it. Amongst their awful habits, those who already have ignorantly or purposefully sicced legions of followers on targets with .@'s are unlikely to have any road to Damascus moments. There are people doing really good work, like Randi and Crash Override. Outside of directing people to that, it feels like the best I can do is signal boost people who need it, criticise myself, keep a weather eye on GG, and watch the backs of everyone involved in events I'm running. There's always guff and dead ends in group discussion, but on the back of the above my brain has started vehemently and automatically sidelining discussion of TB as irrelevant. I cannot recommend that habit strongly enough.
  5. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Shall we just name him King Shit of Turd Island then forget about him forever? Talking about TB feels like being trapped in some nightmarish eternal news cycle.
  6. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    This New Yorker piece on torture and 24 is interesting. West Point Academy sent someone to specifically ask them to stop depicting torture the way they were, because they were getting students turning up to learn interrogation with a far from useful "Torture! Fuck yeah!" attitude. (The relevant section begins "This past November". Pretty sure I've linked it in other past discussions here, but the link has changed since)
  7. EGX Rezzed: March 2015

    I spotted I_smell! (Nice to meet you earlier) Vasari: I've not heard of an RPS meetup, but there's stuff going on at Loading Bar on Saturday night.
  8. Life

    We were lucky to have him, and the last tweets he had someone else send were beautiful. I'm happy he managed to stay so coherent for so long with a condition like his, because I'd been absolutely dreading reading something like Mervyn Peake's last work. I'm sad that he's gone, but he'd studied death, talked about it in public, maybe accepted it, and he mustered an impressive amount of humanity and dignity these past years. Good to hear.
  9. Feminism

    This is good news: A lot of bike events offer smaller prizes for women, make women race shorter distances, give almost no coverage, and take the attitude that "More women should race if they want equal prizes/coverage/etc." rather than "We could do something to address this". Helps that the UK currently has some excellent role models in Manon Carpenter and Rachel Atherton too.
  10. EGX Rezzed: March 2015

    I really enjoyed that one. Not that Gamer Network don't work on it for all of their events, but that one had really lovely atmosphere. I think it was a combination of the size and the place. Brighton, alas, seems to be in the gravitational pull of London's black hole. Hopefully it'll reach a stable orbit, but I've known a few people grow up there, love it, and find it difficult to afford to stay. It's a nice town. Everyone dresses ten years younger than most other places in the UK.
  11. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Gaizokubanou, paypal me ten bucks and I'll reply to you. Until you do that, I can only infer that my posts are worthless to you and that I should, as a rational economic actor, save myself the trouble. If any of this perplexes you don't worry, the invisible hand will be along shortly to clear it all up. In other news: After two days of solid harassment, 8BitBecca has locked her account and appears to be moving out of the games industry. Good job everyone!
  12. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Sure, people follow the money because looking at and talking about big numbers is easier than thinking about stuff. The "bigger than Hollywood now!" thing is still repeated, and has been for nearly a decade. At some of those times, particularly the ones further back, it's been a blatant fabrication or massaging of figures in a desperate effort to claw some validation from the rest of the world. Largely, that validation was lacking because the industry drove itself into a trough of appeasing teenage boys, and the resulting stigma is still clinging on. It's done some good, but led us to a point where, say, major games organisations still think "art" is putting something in a frame then on the wall, that they can absorb aesthetics of respectability by doing that without having to put time or thought into what they do beyond their existing production process. We're left with an industry that has a massive tantrum when someone says its commercial products aren't art, yet has (for instance) persistently ignored or marginalised a history of computer arts going back to the sixties as irrelevant.
  13. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Go tell it to the poem industry, Gaizokubanou. My experience at the moment is that "industry" is too deeply embedded in everyone's psyche to have a distinct boundary within games. The term automatically rolls off everyone's tongue, including mine, still, sometimes. You have to go a very long way out to the fringes before you find someone who feels any kind of hesitancy over the word, let alone pride in non-industrial work. Most routes toward developing the skills required to craft video games also happen in contexts that are heavily biased toward industrial output too. IMO one of the symptoms of this is a lack of appreciation and respect for support roles, such as the archivist above. Mature industries have, understand and value these roles. At video games industry events, people still assume you're either a developer, a journalist, or maybe a musician.
  14. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    She specifically mentioned GG affecting her (edit) universities employers view of video games and willingness to fund games archiving related study and projects. She's now getting widely and simultaneously shat on by GG, GGhazi, and assorted mansplainers, and you guys are busy picking holes in her here too. I think I'm done with this thread. For sure this discussion. A week or two ago someone said here they were uncomfortable with the constant exhausting dissection of whether people were good people or not, and I've been strongly feeling that too. It is deeply unempathic and I absolutely despise it.
  15. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Some of the things people are saying are certainly melodramatic and come from limited perspective (in her case, of one academic department and some horrible shits on Twitter), but take a spin through her mentions and you'll glimpse an awful shitstorm: I'm significantly less reassured than you. For my part, I still regularly meet people who don't play games at all and, for instance, scoff loudly when they hear a friend of mine just completed a PhD in video games and the sublime. Similarly, I deal with hundreds of developers and not many of them have any understanding of culture or how video games work as a medium outside of industry. "Industry" is deeply coded into their vocabulary, go to phrases and habitual discussions. Nearly every conversation gets dragged back to the selling-focussed methods and perspectives that often alienate non-industry people who work in fields such as academia and art. I'm glad your work and careers seem to be going well. Maybe things are different in your neck of the woods, but when the audience for games and the industry that feeds it are both largely impenetrable and occasionally hostile to outsiders, it's dispiriting. In 2004 I saw an immature industry that didn't really take care of itself or understand its need for a wider foundation. A lot has changed in the intervening decade, yet not that.
  16. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    So isn't it interesting that the heat is largely being focussed on her rather than the department making those decisions?
  17. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Here's an interesting storify on GG giving academics an excuse to cut funding to study digital archiving: Sadly, the follow up from her feed is apparently non-GG liberal dudes using her own work to mansplain her own job to her
  18. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Thank you. I don't have the stomach to comb through them, but you cheered me up on a terrible morning.
  19. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    It was Brandon Boyer's thing before Venus Patrol. They never talked much about why it shut down, but there was some kind of deal that saw the entire Offworld archive transferred to Venus Patrol.
  20. Life

    Consider that charity "The Spastic Society" renamed themselves to Scope and you can probably extrapolate.
  21. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    I think my biggest laugh was at the phrase "Owen was on track to be a successful movie producer"
  22. just announced their revenue model:
  23. "Ethics and Journalistic Integrity"

    Statement from Brianna:
  24. Idle Workouts

    North American Scum always involuntarily puts my pace up a bit.