As the distance between this ship and you gets greater, the transmissions will take longer to reach you. Just know that we think about you daily, and that as long as photons move predictably through space and time, we will keep transmitting.
Yesterday we saw the new Halo ODST trailer and were temporarily stumped. Is this a movie trailer? Afterwards, when Quagmire was too amped up about needling some grunts to talk, I remained more impressed that Microsoft agreed to pay for three minute, live-action1, dialogue-free trailer.
Psych Officer Halcyon helpfully supplied this voice-over for those that aren’t ready for a lack of dialogue (read aloud in that famous trailer voice – you know the one):
In a world. Where the world can only be saved by one man. And his buddies. This is a story about those buddies.
1Don’t accidentally Google “love action trailer” like I did. Just a friendly piece of advice.
This is a direct email quote from GalacticMu engineer, Leesa, unrelated to anything other than the magestic awesomeness that is my best friend:
“i dreamed last night that i sat down at jared leto’s pc and totally fucked up his virtual d&d game by using this big blue sword/key and advancing his character without permission. “
Okay. Calm down. Take a brea–
DIABLO MOTHERFUCKING THREEEEE BIIIITCHES!1!!!1
Okay I’m over it. It’s just a role-playing game.
Alright, it’s old now. Blizzard’s Diablo series is the Tetris of role-playing games: stupid on the surface, hypnotic on the uptake, classic on the finish. It has been, to date, the only game that I’ve played over and over again, each time freshly entertained by different gameplay logistics. But I shouldn’t have to tell you that.
For years we’ve languished, bending under the rumors that there would never be a Diablo III, and crippled by the fear that if there were, someone might have the terrible inclination to “improve” gameplay by making it first-person or something equally shudder-worthy. But behold! Diablo III is not only real, but just like Diablo II + better art! And a new character! Oh, be still my geeky heart. No joke: hearing the classic sound effects while watching the Diablo III overview video made me goosebumps. NERD.
20 minute Diablo III overview at GameVideos.com (loads slow, make yourself a sammich)
Because I don’t have cable TV, and because my primary source of news is GalacticMu’s engineer Leesa, I missed this whole flap over an apparent image of a post-apocalyptic event Washington DC being used by Al Qaeda as a motivational incentive.
At which point a bunch of bloggers noticed that it was actually concept art for a video game called Fallout 3.
My first reaction is of course total batshit paranoia: the powers that be are using it as a combination fear-mongering manipulation and anti-gaming propaganda! Sort of brilliant actually. Pointing out the anarchistic depravity of these gamers who delight in images of America’s failure – the very same delight that terrorists take! The very same! Right down to the concept art!
My second reaction is not unlike Anne Frank’s; if my computer were named Kitty, the comparison would be uncanny. But I am in hiding for fear of being sent to some kind of camp somewhere where human rights are as reliable as Amy Winehouse is sober. And my reaction is not without a measure of horror, but still: apocalypse! What a thrill! If this is motivational to terrorists, then I suppose I am a terrorist too. Looking at the concept art, I think, yes, yes, let’s pay $6 a gallon for gas! More! $8 a gallon! And be told by analysts that paying an hours’ wage for a single gallon of gasoline is beneficial to the world economy! And while we are at it, let’s pay double, triple for food staples. Let’s ensure that there is absolutely no health care at all, and that the old myth of being able to just show up at an emergency room and at least get physically cared for (while going into debt) is just that: a myth! If you can’t provide payment, upfront and in total, you get to die in the street like everyone else. I guess what I’m saying is, would I rather human misery was represented by a burned-out husk of our once-democratic society, or would I rather it was obfuscated behind another season of American Idol?
Jesus, someone put some loony tunes in my cornflakes this morning. Just kidding, I ate cookies for breakfast.
The entertaining Fallout home page (which wisely fails to acknowledge their Al Qaeda fan base).
The Fallout 3 blog (which wisely pokes a great big stick-o’-fun at their Al Qaeda fan base).
The headline for this article does well to summarize both its content and what I have to say about it:
“Nintendo to not release Holocaust-themed game in U.S.”
The game in question is called “Imagination Is the Only Escape” and is not, game developer Luc Bernard says, about concentration camps, graphic violence or… anything to do with the Holocaust, I guess. It is instead about a fantastic inner world that the main character, a child, must enter into in order to save himself from the psychological horrors he is exposed to. By my reckoning, is sounds a hell of a lot more like Pan’s Labyrinth than a war game.
I don’t find it offensive. The video game world is rife with questionable moral lessons, and for a long time now it has been perfectly acceptable to kill Nazis in WWII shooting games. After all, they’re Nazis, fuck ‘em. I think it’s just the word “Holocaust” that is throwing people. And “game” so closely thereafter. If he called it a “WWII-themed game” it’d already be doing well on presale lists.
Remember when they tried to market Concentration Camp Tycoon? That didn’t go over very well.
Over at GoNintendo.com, an unknown poster had this to say about the game:
“I have a feeling that some people may be offended with the idea of a game teaching about the Holocaust.”
Uh. Um. I guess that would be not Jewish people? I mean, I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth, but maybe that sentence should have been reworded to something like:
“My children are only allowed to play World Wrestling Entertainment titles because I don’t want them gettin’ smarter than me.”
This is America, after all. We don’t like thinking about feelings. We like shooting things. Especially things that might expose us to feelings.
Gary Gygax, co-creator of D&D, died today.
I can’t tell you how much this guy did to help rescue me from an excruciatingly awkward childhood. Long before I was bolstering my ego by programming the c64 to say “hello”, I was rolling dice in a dark basement, avoiding getting my ass kicked with my chubby smarty pants friends. We found our pride where we could, and for us that was in a dungeon where for once we could claim we had some charisma.
It’s weird, just last night I was looking at this and thinking “maybe we should have a kid, just so I can put them in this”. Boohoo.
So let’s all pour a little mead for our homie.
Commander Seuss: You ever see “7 Brides for 7 Brothers?”
Major tiltawhirl: The musical? No.
Commander Seuss: It’s pretty offensive.
Major tiltawhirl: Because it’s a musical?
Commander Seuss: Here’s what it teaches you: if you want a woman, just kidnap one and hold her hostage for six months in filthy cabin deep in the woods. She’ll never want to leave you.
Major tiltawhirl: Really?
Commander Seuss: That’s what love is, apparently.
Major tiltawhirl: Huh.
Commander Seuss: It’s also known as “Stockholm Syndrome.”
Major tiltawhirl: All I remember is a lot of hairy-chested men chopping firewood and singing.
This was already featured on Neatorama today, but I am excited like a monkeynaut in a banana galaxy, so I’m going to show it off anyway.
Carnegie Mellon student Johnny Lee was all, I wonder what happens if the Wii remote senses backward? And if there were more data “on screen” then could actually be seen from a static, 2D angle? PA-POW! Hear that, meatbags? That’s the sound of video games GETTING FUCKING AWESOMER.