Sep 302007

duck-at-ueno-gardens.jpg Pondering a Duck, Ueno Gardens, Tokyo

Say you have a duck, and the duck is daring,
A frantic quacking fowl that disturbs the water’s peace.
Would it pick a quarrel with placid turtles drowsing?
Would it raise a ruckus and disturb the carp asleep?

Of course it would. Some critters quack whole days away,
Heedless of the peace a summer garden brings.
They cannot help but lack the sense to meditate,
Their temper dragging them from windy cry to whim.

Compare, contrast, the carp beneath,
Always moving, never loud.
They gape their mouths to beg for food,
But do not bellow when they crowd.

Above them sit the lily pads, the waterstriding bugs,
The people at their temples, the tourists on their days.
The lake itself enduring, patient, with towers ‘round it rung.
The duck you see, just visits. The turtle comes to pray.

Sep 292007

SF REVIEWS.NET: Halting State / Charles Stross

The story opens in the very near future in Edinburgh, where police sergeant Sue Smith is called in to investigate a bank robbery. The catch is, the robbery has taken place, not in the real world, but in gamespace, in the online environment of Avalon Four, an enormously popular MMO. A band of marauding orcs plus one big dragon have virtually invaded a virtual bank and virtually made off with all manner of virtual loot. It seems absurd at first, until the possibility of very real corporate espionage is raised. In-game assets can make you real-world money. (I’m a casual gamer, but not an MMO guy, and I was personally stunned to hear some years ago that people were making some pretty damn good coin selling fully-developed high-level Everquest characters on eBay.) The bad news for Hayek Associates, the company whose job it is to oversee security issues for Avalon Four, is that once word gets out of the game’s vulnerability and the loss of so much digital loot, the game loses players by the millions and everyone’s stock prices take a nosedive.

Oh, I definitely have to read this. 🙂 Glasshouse is still in my backlog pile…

More on Meet-Me

 Posted by (Visited 4437 times)  Game talk
Sep 292007 has an article on Meet-Me, which I believe I have mentioned before, but not in quite a while. The emphasis on the article is about how the Japanese don’t respond well to the relative anarchy that Second Life offers, and want a more controlled experience.

I am  not sure that this take is validated by the (largish) Japanese population in SL. On the other hand, it does seem like more constrained environments, like the ones offered by Makena, Kaneva, and so on, are gaining traction.

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CEDEC 07: Coverage of my talk

 Posted by (Visited 10617 times)  Game talk
Sep 272007 has coverage of my talk for CEDEC, including a bunch of photos of the slides where you can see the cool thing they did where they projected the English slides and the translated ones side by side.

Naturally, it is all in Japanese, but luckily, I don’t have to rely on machine translation this time because there’s a translation over here. Thanks, Jaerik!

For those who have been following my talks closely (I know there must be someone who does), you won’t find much new here, I have to admit. But apparently it was new to a lot of folks there, so that’s fine. 🙂