Dave Berk Interviewed at GDC 2007

June 3, 2008

I’m going to start to dip my toes into some of the things I’ve been neglecting, including this blog.
In the meantime, here’s a interview with Dave Berk of Mobygames from Game Developer Conference 2007. A few months earlier I was in Montreal for MIGS 2006 and I can assure you the soundbytes were similar ;). At the moment, Dave has gone off to concentrate on some other activities including Hellgate: London. I’m posting it on my blog mainly because I wanted an easy way to link back to this. It functions as a decent video I can give to people when they ask ME what Mobygames is all about.


Hand drawn NES tutorial

January 23, 2008

Still alive. Still trying to sort out my life. And still unfortunately feeling guilty about all the electricity my computer, tv and playstation use.

In the meantime, maybe someone wanted a tutorial on how to draw a NES in Photoshop? There’s plenty of other tutorials on the same site.


Apocalyptic Fear Mongering

December 4, 2007

So as a direct result of my last post, I’m now reading a book on anxiety disorder, will probably be seeking more professional help and continue feeling generally “down”. I did find come across an interesting article on psychology of Y2K doomsaying (the last major panic) , which isn’t to say that Climate Change isn’t real or important…. I’m just saying that the worrying that I’m feeling is not unique to myself or this situation.


The important stuff

December 2, 2007

When I registered this blog last year I had a real intention about it: It would be about videogames, cultural effects of videogames and to a lesser degree; the issues that plagued Mobygames as a database in trying to define an categorize materials. While the content of this blog has sometimes been on hiatus, and other websites have done a much better job than little old me, it still seemed worthwhile. I want people to understand that I love my consoles and videogames, as I love other artforms: movies, books, theatre, youtube, tv shows, clever websites… the things that make up culture.

However I’ve been watching some television dealing with the environment and climate change and it has pushed me to being depressed. I mean really depressed. The kind of depressed that I really can’t discuss on any kind of a blog without being called an emo. Suffice to say that my appetite is gone and I really had to force myself to eat every bite of my dinner. Steven Running likened climate change to dealing with any other tragedy, in that there are five stages of grief. As he points out, a fair amount of people only deal with it as three stages of grief… and jump straight to depression. That unfortunately is where I currently lay.

Suddenly in the wake of earth’s problems, videogames really don’t seem that important. But neither do a lot of the media that I previously described as culture. A lot of people are happily watching their TV shows and I can’t blame them, it’s good TV. A lot of people are happily shooting opponents at Halo or Counter-Strike or dealing with Mario Galaxy and exploring Azeroth. I know I have. It’s been a wonderful experience. But climate change scares me. It scares me to such a degree that I’m having trouble enjoying these things. I’m having trouble even thinking of culture as important. Existence is of the paramount important. Existence allows us to live, culture makes living worthwhile.

As a gamer, there’s a certain difficulty in explaining this. Part of the gamer nature I believe, is to be masters of distraction and focusing one’s attention elsewhere. This is the essence of videogames and quite a few people I know *became* gamers at a young age simply as coping mechanism for trouble in their families or around them (childhood and adolescence are traumatic experiences even under normal circumstances). Because of this… I know firsthand that a lot of brilliant people are… well focusing their attention elsewhere. I’m worried somewhat that the solution to problems are buried in one of these brains, genius but for the fact that it’s concentration is on Final Fantasy XIII rather than anything occurring in the real world. Again, I understand this… I despise watching the news and hate reading newspapers. Under normal circumstances I can even justify this attitude, a lot of what human beings do are scandals and business deals and whatnot that don’t affect me. And yet climate change somehow is something there’s no running from. Isolation within a virtual world is simply something not viable for an issue that’s not only global but potentially the most important thing for the species.

If this is sounding like the same “environmental rhetoric” that the reader has heard before. I apologize. I simply have to write something because as mentioned, I’m pretty depressed over this. The worst is not knowing what to do. Coupled with issues I already have this is…. not paralyzing but…. it’s very hard for me to get anything done. I’m hoping the feeling will pass, I can measure this emotional state since Friday. Nonetheless it affects my sleep, my ability to do anything and quite frankly scares me more than anything in recent memory. I wandered over to remnants of the “One Tonne Challenge” website (I believe the program has been canceled), most of the stuff seems to be things I’m doing already. And yet, I live in an apartment, there’s lots of things that aren’t under my control but that of the building owners and would be difficult to convince. At the same time, all of these are small steps, which while they add up and are certainly better than nothing, really don’t feel like they’d accomplish too much either. A quick glance over my television stations shows that most TV stations are filled with sitcoms, movies… everything regular and normal. I feel depressed that there isn’t more… I dunno. Eco-Programming?. Likewise I visit the Internet and the top stories are still about which Christmas toys to buy and what hi-tech gadgets are coming and the timeline for the Iraq war. All issues that seemed important last week but now merely see as something to distract the world from a goal of preventing pure terror. Maybe I’m too sensitive to this, I was raised on a school curriculum of caring about the environment and cartoons about Planeteers. However none of that particularly helps in knowing what to do. All I’m seeing in the current environmental data are trends that lead to the destruction of everything I know and care about: all that “culture” I was so passionate about in the first paragraph.

Like I mentioned, I’m having real trouble enjoying anything and I’m having real trouble even doing anything. The highlight of today is that I signed up for “green power” from the company that provides the electricity. Every other task I’ve completed seems extremely unimportant and like I’m just wasting or biding my time. It probably also doesn’t help that I don’t have any friends I can really talk to this about… and so I’m also getting myself more and more upset without an outlet for comfort or a shared consciousness to give my faith in humanity’s efforts. The bulk of my social circle lives online and as mentioned, they’re gamers. They seem more concerned about multiplayer strategies and newly released games and 30 lives codes. Like I used to be. And now that I’m not, I don’t know what to do.

I had fully intended to restart the NGAD (New Game a Day) section of this blog. Now it seems like I have a new reason to avoid it and have lost any reason to think why it might be important. :(. Likewise I’m having difficulty finding a reason to log into mobygames.


Now you’re thinking with… Macromedia

November 7, 2007

A few weeks old but I never claimed to be a news site…. in the same vein that Codename: Gordon gave a 2D version of Half-Life (not to mention DOOM 2D), there’s a 2D version of Portal…. free and in flash at Newsgrounds

I’m beginning to suspect that Portal and it’s flash ilk is a puzzle game… in that I’m scratching my head and stuck… comeon I don’t play videogames to think! oh wait… mustn’t admit to that.

And as always… if you’re drooling over Portal but haven’t got enough $ to buy it for some unknown reason… the game that inspired it, Narbacular Drop remains freeware.


Clutter

November 6, 2007

I forget what I was googling for when I came across this… because it made such an impact that my jaw dropped and it became the most important thing on my screen. This is amazing… but not in a good way. This link goes to an archived forum thread (originally in the somethingawful.com forums) with pictures(!) about a VERY cluttered house and a mom who doesn’t throw anything away.

It’s obvious that to reach clutter this large there are some… mental issues. There are people like this living in my own city but to have a tour and narrative of it… is just something remarkable.

Still, considering how full my own closet is, part of me respects this kind of usage of space.


Pre-October posting

September 27, 2007

Just a quick update. My whole month of December was spent away from the communities I’m associated with. People everywhere are missing me I’m sure (the ones who noticed anyway). What I had originally described as a “few weeks away” had blossomed into a full month of not having time to work on this stuff. Considering how badly I’ve guesstimated time for other activities (cleaning, driving, standing in line paying bills etc.) this seems on par.

In any case, I hope to get the New Game a Day project going again soon… because quite frankly, I enjoy playing random stuff (and watching random movies for that matter, I’d probably do more random books, but the time investment takes too long) of which I have no preconceptions or even a good idea of what it’s going to be about. On that note I notice there’s a “random game” feature at Aeropause. So maybe I’m not the only one.

Also, Happy Birthday.


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