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Forbes

Nov. 21st, 2008 | 04:05 pm

Every once in a while, we get some place pretty cool to do an interview with.

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Wassup

Oct. 27th, 2008 | 05:56 pm

This, right here is one of the best political ads that I've seen in a long, long time.

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More Subprime

Oct. 1st, 2008 | 09:37 am

A good video here on it.

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Subprime Mortgage Primer

Sep. 30th, 2008 | 09:57 am

A quick read - the subprime mortgage primer.

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Electronic Drum Kit Shirt

Sep. 29th, 2008 | 11:27 am

So go here and check out this video.

I might have to get one of these.

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Sinfest - Sooo good!

Sep. 15th, 2008 | 06:56 pm

If you regularly read the the web comic Sinfest, check this out.

If you don't, start here and read the 13 or so comics to get to it.

Well, well worth your while.

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Kazumi and The Lost Ring

Sep. 10th, 2008 | 12:33 pm

So I can actually talk about it now. Kazumi recently finished a stint as an actress/puppetmistress on the ARG sponsored by McDonald's and the International Olympic Committee for the 2008 Olympics.

Links can be found here, here and here.

She played Noriko, one of the main characters in the game. She also got to attend the Beijing Olympics to help finish the event out. Very jealous.

Sadly, they will be taking a lot of the official websites down soon... but its worth checking out while its still up.

Anyway, just wanted to mention it because (a) it was cool and (b) because Zumi, as always, kicked ass doing it.

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This is just cool

Jun. 13th, 2008 | 01:51 pm

Follow the link, read the story.

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New game review site

Jun. 9th, 2008 | 07:01 pm

So a buddy of mine just started a new game review site - PlayItReviewIt.com.

Interesting concept - game reviews by gamers, as opposed to professional reviewers.

People posting a game review there in the next week have a chance to win the new Metal Gear game...

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My life is complete

Apr. 1st, 2008 | 03:32 am

I'm not sure which one of these three devices makes my life complete, but...

Or maybe its just that its 3:33 AM and I'm not in bed yet.

Be sure to watch the videos.

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Fox News and Order of the Stick

Mar. 14th, 2008 | 05:24 pm

This made my entire day.



Image from GiantITP.com.

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Climate Change

Mar. 14th, 2008 | 02:42 pm

An interesting little article about what to DO about climate change.

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Watchmen

Mar. 6th, 2008 | 02:12 pm

Long as I'm posting.

Some Watchmen character shots. Holy crap! I'm so ready to see this movie. :)

--GZ

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Gary Gygax

Mar. 6th, 2008 | 01:29 pm

As almost everybody in the gaming community has heard, Gary Gygax passed away a few days ago. For those of you that don't know, Gary Gygax was the principle creator of the Dungeons and Dragons RPG (Role Playing Game).

For all of the controversy this game generated over the years (with parents in the 70's and 80's blaming it for a whole host of societal problems, in the same way that Rock and Roll, comic books and Jazz were blamed before that, and how media violence, Rap, etc. have been blamed since), Dungeons and Dragons, and all of the other RPGs it inspired, have never been anything other than a positive force in my life.

I played RPGs with my friends since I was 10 or so. I still play, and have met several lifelong friends this way. I was a reader before RPGs, but RPGs really got me reading in a studying way that I never had before. I loved that there were systems made that could define how a (made up) world worked. I loved the mathematics and system design. I also loved how many of them sourced real history and historical items, weapons, archetypes, places, mythology, etc. At least half of my eclectic knowledge (and I have a lot of that) comes from having played RPGs.

Dungeons and Dragons, and everything it inspired, is a large portion of what got me into my profession of video game design, and, now, video game analysis.

In many ways, Gary Gygax was the elder statesman for the industry. I never met him, and I really don't know a lot about him. But for me, and many people like, his name is synonymous with RPGs and the ideal of all the good they can bring about.

His death has brought about sadness mixed with good natured humor (a very geek response). Order of the Stick, GU Comics and Penny-Arcade (some of my favorite web comics) have all done very tasteful but humorous comics about this, not so much on his death but instead celebrating his life.

I approve.

Overheard. "There’s never a 12 th level Cleric around when you need one." I will point out at this point that (a) with 3rd edition, the cleric really only needs to be 9th level (though that is more of a first edition reference, and deservedly so), (b) raise dead doesn’t get people that died from old age (how do we define that anyway – old age is usually just that something stopped working) and (c) the man deserves to rest in peace.

I don’t know that I really had many heroes/role models growing up as a kid. But Gygax, and what he stood for, might have been one of them.

Rest in peace Mr. Gygax.

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Man

Feb. 5th, 2008 | 08:29 pm

Every once in a while something that really *shouldn't* make me laugh does.

Like this.

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Election

Feb. 3rd, 2008 | 05:46 pm

While I try not to talk politics with everybody (just like I don't talk religion), I'll have to say that I'm really excited about this election. After '04, where I really didn't like either candidate, in this election I am excited about candidates in both the Democratic and Republican parties.

As I am a registered Democrat, I will be voting on Tuesday for either Hilary or Barack... and I'll have to say, I like them both - for very different reasons.

I just saw this Obama video, and thought it was very good. The man speaks well.

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And this is just scary

Jan. 10th, 2008 | 05:22 pm

http://www.roberthein.dk/screenclean.swf.

Well, that link no longer works. Ah well.

Updated link here.

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Now this made me laugh

Dec. 29th, 2007 | 04:06 pm

http://veryfunnyads.com/ads/25448.html.

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Social Networks

Dec. 21st, 2007 | 10:32 am

There seems to have been another round of social networks launched.

So I'm a member of MySpace and Facebook. And I really don't use either of them. Well, maybe Facebook a little. But really, I just don't use either that much.

Now LinkedIn, on the other hand, I love. I track all of my business contacts and some friends through LinkedIn. This lets me see their changes in job title and keep track of when they move to new companies. I also used it recently to send out an e-mail blast on a job opening I was trying to fill at my company. Marvelous! If you're not on LinkedIn, you're missing out.

I sometimes post entries here on Livejournal. But you knew that already.

Recently, I joined nextcat and Spock. Nextcat seems to be a MySpace just for the entertainment industry (including video games). Kind of neutral on it so far, but I'll see. It feels more like MySpace, with random people giving me invites. Spock, on the other hand, is just cool. They seem to have done all my work for me - webcrawls have incorporated in my profile from LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook. It was spooky - I went there, and it already had my picture, links to my blog on Livejournal, my bio on my EEDAR website, etc. I like its "feel" - so I'll stick with Spock for a while and see what it does.

If you haven't checked out Spock yet, I would go there and claim your profile.

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Wii Remote coolness

Dec. 14th, 2007 | 11:20 am

So this is just the coolest thing I've seen in at least the last 15 minutes. Thanks Adam B!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5s5EvhHy7eQ

--GZ

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I can't help it; sometimes I'm snarky

Dec. 11th, 2007 | 04:34 pm

So, for work, we patented our process of classifying video game features.

This in and of itself way quite a process; I'd never worked with a patent attorney before, it was a lot of fun (and quite expensive).

We applied for an expedited patent; this means we might have our patent in a year or so instead of 6 to 7 years. It also meant that we had to do a lot of the background research ourselves. That was fun (and expensive) as well.

Then our patent had to be tweaked a bit to get the expedited bit. Accomplished.

Now we are having the patent office point out a few similar things and asking us why were are different. Kind of fun as well. So it turns out the most similar thing to our patent is some PhD student who 2 years ago analyzed 39 factors on a Pac-Man game. So I got to write a rebuttal for our lawyer to turn into lawyereese.

Guy did an interesting study...it was a good read and he did well with the resources he had. But then he committed two errors of colossal magnitude.

(A) PhD guy misspells Pac-Man. His paper lists it as Pacman. Holy crap! Thats a shooting offense.
(B) PhD guy classifies Pac-Man as a "popular Action game" based off the old Chris Crawford book (1982); so a report published 2 years ago is citing a 23 year old book as to what is a current "hot" video game. Holy crap! again.

So I can't help it. I'm snarky. Besides my "well formulated" responses for our lawyer, I included:

(A) [Author] tracks a single game, listed as Pacman. No such game exists. The game his study cites is most likely Pac-Man. However, if the author can’t even spell the game this study talks about correctly, how seriously can we take this?

(B)[Author] lists Pac-Man as a “popular game” (i.e. relevant to the marketplace) based on a book published 23 years before the study was done; that is like saying that the Apple IIE is a popular computer (despite the fact that it hasn’t been sold for over 15+ years). [Author]’s use of such an antiquated game is what allows such a simple study to even be possible. This system is entirely impractical for any sort of modern game analysis.

(C) Pac-Man (the game [Author] tracks) is not actually an Action genre game, but instead falls into the “Classic Arcade” or “Arcade” genre of games

Does this make me a bad person?

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Sad Animal Crossing

Nov. 26th, 2007 | 02:11 pm

But it reminds me of a story from my old MUD days.

http://animalcrossingtragedy.ytmnd.com/

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I have a niece

Nov. 12th, 2007 | 09:07 pm

I have a new niece (my first!), and her name is Sayo Tsunekuni. She is the daughter of Kazumi's sister Mio.



She was born November 12th, at 3:35 PM. She weighs 4.2 kilos.

Sayo and her mother are both doing fine. :)

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Despair.com

Nov. 1st, 2007 | 03:07 pm

My top 6 favorites.

Ambition | Give Up | Hope


Mistakes | Tradition | Trouble

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Funny beer story

Oct. 26th, 2007 | 10:48 am

This link here leads to the CNN article "Drinking stories that put yours to shame."

Here is #2 (of 5) - IMHO, the best of the bunch.


The Industrial Revolution wasn't all steam engines and textile mills. Beer production increased exponentially, as well. Fortunately, the good people of England were up to the challenge and drained kegs as fast as they were made. Brewery owners became known as "beer barons," and they spent their newfound wealth in an age-old manner -- by trying to party more than the next guy.

Case in point: In 1814, Meux's Horse Shoe Brewery in London constructed a brewing vat that was 22 feet tall and 60 feet in diameter, with an interior big enough to seat 200 for dinner -- which is exactly how its completion was celebrated. (Why 200? Because a rival had built a vat that seated 100, of course.)

After the dinner, the vat was filled to its 4,000-barrel capacity. Pretty impressive, given the grand scale of the project, but pretty unfortunate given that they overlooked a faulty supporting hoop. Yup, the vat ruptured, causing other vats to break, and the resulting commotion was heard up to 5 miles away.

A wall of 1.3 million gallons of dark beer washed down the street, caving in two buildings and killing nine people by means of "drowning, injury, poisoning by the porter fumes, or drunkenness."

The story gets even more unbelievable, though. Rescue attempts were blocked and delayed by the thousands who flocked to the area to drink directly off the road. And when survivors were finally brought to the hospital, the other patients became convinced from the smell that the hospital was serving beer to every ward except theirs. A riot broke out, and even more people were left injured.

Sadly, this incident was not deemed tragic enough at the time to merit an annual memorial service and/or reenactment.


All I can say is... wow...
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