Watching

Stuff about TV or movies.

Jun 062013
 

In the wake of Indie Game: The Movie, I was asked on Quora about other works that are descriptive of gamer culture, suitable for someone who doesn’t play games, isn’t trying to learn how to make them, but rather is interested in learning about gamer culture.

Something that presents the human side, rather than the technical, and doesn’t assume a lot of prior knowledge. As many of you know, portrayals of the gaming hobby in the mass media have often been rather sensationalistic or inaccurate.

So here’s a quick list of ones that I have enjoyed and recommend for this purpose. It’s not in any particular order. I avoided “business books” that are more about how a company was built, in favor of ones that tell human stories.

In terms of being interested¬† in gaming culture, and game development culture, but not in “how-to” books, I would recommend: Continue reading »

Pics from Anime LA

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Jan 082012
 

Here is an assortment of pictures from yesterday at Anime LA. I spent the day there shepherding a gaggle of teen girls who were all doing Homestuck cosplay.

If you watch my Twitter feed, you have already seen these. The one of Darth Vader as #1 dad went a tiny bit viral. There are also a TARDIS, a bunch of candids as people try to eat hamburgers while in costume, a
walking rage comic that was my favorite costume of the show, and of course, there is an arrow to the knee.

Continue reading »

Playing with the iPad

 Posted by (Visited 12744 times)  Art, Game talk, Misc, Music, Reading, Watching  Tagged with:
Jul 182010
 

I have an iPad, as of about a week ago. I have now had the chance to try it out on a trip, as well as general home use, and I think this sort of form factor is probably the future of computing for most folks. It’s clearly early days still for slates like this, but you can see the path from here, and it is an interesting one, with variations depending on who needs to use the tablet. In the meantime, with some trickery, it can do most of what I would need to replace a laptop. Basically, I am now carrying it everywhere, and on my trip I booted up my laptop exactly once, and it was to create and display a presentation — I didn’t have a VGA adapter yet, so I couldn’t project from the iPad.

I have already spent over $100 on apps for it, and thought I would share some of my thoughts. I tend to favor free and cheap apps, actually, so the below is me trying to be a skinflint and failing!

Continue reading »

May 172010
 

Long ago I asked (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) whether American Idol was an MMO.

Today, I see that NBC is working on turning their entire TV schedule into a massively multiplayer social game.

Q: What is Fan It?
A: Fan It is NBC.com’s affinity program where members are awarded points for participation and interaction. Members can choose to redeem these points for a variety of rewards and/or experiences.

Q: How do I earn points?
A: There are two different ways to earn points: events and challenges. Events are the activities you do on the site and on the social networks you’ve linked to every day, such as leaving comments, watching videos, playing games, posting links or updating your status. Challenges require you to perform specific events within a specific amount of time and are typically worth more points. Click here for more information on how to earn points.

— Fan It | Social Networking: Photos, Videos, Blogs | myNBC.

Of course, this has as much to do with traditional community management and traditional rewards points programs as with games. But note the prominent leaderboards, the featured members area on the home page, the badge system…

As with most social games, there’s an underlying viral agenda here, of course. But also as with social games, the marriage of fictional worlds that users care about with game mechanics and transparent sharing could be very powerful.

Now excuse me, I need to figure out what I need to do to get a Chuck badge…

Oh, Avatar

 Posted by (Visited 9410 times)  Watching  Tagged with:
Jan 102010
 

So, I finally got around to watching Avatar yesterday. In 2d, not 3d, as it happens.

I enjoyed it a lot. It was fun, and yes, it even left me thinking. But it left me thinking in probably not the way that the filmmakers intended, because the core problem with it and the reason, I think, why so many people have a hard time with it, is because it is a great entertainment that is intellectually dishonest.

Spoilers below.

Continue reading »