Idle Weekend February 12, 2016: Mad Skills

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Oh hey, if Flash Boys sounded interesting but you aren't ready to commit to a book, the NY Times Magazine had an article on it a while back that's kind of the book in miniature. It's a fascinating read.


On oldschool trading in general... if you want to witness the colored blazers and people yelling at each other, the Chicago Board of Trade is the last holdout in the US. Most of the floors were shut down just last year, but a few remain open. So if you find yourself in Chicago, give it a visit because they'll all be gone before long.

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I’m always intrigued by games with multiple protagonists, especially where the switch entails some kind of distinct change in mechanics, systems or user interface. Splinter Cell: Blacklist has one mission where you briefly play as Sam Fisher’s buddy in order to get him out of trouble. The twist is that while you are playing as this other guy, the game suddenly becomes a first-person shooter rather than a third-person stealth game; I guess they basically took the camera and weapon models and animations they’d developed for the ‘spies vs mercs’ multiplayer mode and incorporated them into the campaign.


But the implication of this in single player mode is kind of fascinating. It suggests to me that the reason Sam Fisher is such a brilliant stealth operative is because he has an almost superhuman ability to envisage himself from a third-person perspective, while his colleagues are limited to seeing the world as the rest of us do. And the game never comments on this at all! It’s really good and strange.

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