I haven’t really been giving this blog the attention I should lately, and I beg pardon for that – though I blame life, the universe and everything. I do have some more posts brewing, but not sure when I’ll have time/will to finish them up and hit the publish button. Anyways, enough excuses, have a small update about… stuff.
I was linked this awesome flash-based platform-game by a co-worker yesterday, and even though the game has been live since the middle of April and is probably old news to many, I just have to throw out a link for it here myself: Scarygirl.
The main character in the game, i.e. Scarygirl, sorta looks like a mix between one of the characters from The Night Before Christmas and Lenore, the Cute Little Dead Girl. Which makes her damn cool. The actual game isn’t too shabby either – it’s as if the developer (Touch My Pixel) took bits and pieces of old classic platform, puzzle-and adventure-games (Treasure Island Dizzy came to mind. So did Mario AND Giana Sisters, and Commander Keen) and then combined them into this awesome, totally new Flash-based experience. From what I’ve seen so far, everything about this game is very well made – be it visuals (by artist Nathan Jurevicius), audio, story or gameplay – it’s all gorgeous. Granted, I’ve only reached level 3 so far (out of something like 14?) but I’m hoping the rest of the game keeps up the standard set in those early levels. Try it out yourself!
Any less real if it’s virtual?
Gamer.no has an interesting article about a talk/presentation held by Jon Bing, a prominent Norwegian writer/law professor at the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law (NRCCL), at the Norwegian Game Conference on the 23rd of April this year.
He argued that there is no significant difference between virtual and real experiences, that looking into a monitor is no different than looking out a window and that a lot of people are already living in their own fantasy-worlds without the help of technology. He stated examples like an MMO developer being forced by courts to reinstate virtual items for a player who got his account hacked, and how a Chinese Legend of Mir 3-player – Qiu Chengwei – stabbed and killed a real-life friend of his (are virtual friends any less real?) after said friend sold a virtual sword of his on eBay. What happens in those games are already a part of real life, Bing said.
Other topics he discussed were virtual reality, and integrating technology with the human body, for instance through microchips, speakers, microphones, input devices like keyboards etc. which could for instance let us be the cell-phones ourselves and not have to carry around a separate device. Interesting, but a bit scary, especially when thinking about the potential for abuse by Big Brother (TM). You can leave your cellphone behind today (though few people do), but if the cellphone is a part of your body – what can you do?
The Dresden Files
Forgive me, Rincewind, but you’re no longer my favourite wizard (though you are still my favourite wizzard, mind).
Some time last year, a friend of mine and I were discussing Fantasy authors/series, and he suggested Jim Butcher‘s The Dresden Files to me. It took me a while to actually pick up the first book, but after I started reading it I didn’t put it back down until I reached the last page, and I’ve since then reached book 9 in the series (with two more to go before I catch up to the author and have to start waiting for books… *grumble*).
In short, Harry Dresden is the most awesome wizard ever. And Jim Butcher, buddy; you’ve just climbed to position #2 on my list of favourite fantasy authors (position #1 is still securely held by Pratchett).