Tag Archives: games

Techno-weird Links

Lisa the Barbarian: A woman poses with a viking helmet and a sword…and an Opera Browser T-shirt. (via Espenao’s Opera the Barbarian)

CNET UK presents The 30 dumbest videogame titles ever, including “Spanky’s Quest,” “Ninjabread Man,” “How to Be a Complete Bastard,” “Touch Dic” and “Attack of the Mutant Camels.” (via Slashdot).

Cowboy Bebop at His Computer — examples of media articles (especially about pop culture) in which the reporters (and editors) clearly didn’t do their research. The title comes from a caption on a still from Cowboy Bebop. That’s not the character’s name, and the character in question is female. It probably is her computer, though.

Archeophone Records: Actionable Offenses: Indecent Phonograph Recordings from the 1890s. Comedians telling bawdy stories, recorded on wax cylinders. The write-up is PG, though the track list looks to be at least PG-13. Looked up after reading NY Times’ article on voice recordings from 1860 (recorded with ink on paper), which is also worth a read. (via Slashdot)

Edit: Forgot to list the (temporary?) resurrection of 1994-era home.mcom.com, the website of what was then Mosaic Communications Corporation and would soon be renamed Netscape. Subsequently picked up by Boing Boing and Slashdot. For more old web browsers, check out the Browser Archive at evolt.org. (via Justin Mason)

The City Still Has Heroes

It seems Marvel Comics’ insane lawsuit against City of Heroes has been settled. Details are sketchy, but “no changes to City of Heroes® or City of Villains’™ character creation engine are part of the settlement.”

Given that the lawsuit was basically the equivalent of suing pencil manufacturers because they could potentially be used to draw Spider-Man, it’s good to see that Marvel didn’t win (though a precedent-setting loss for Marvel might’ve been better in the long run).

(via Slashdot)

New meaning to PDA

OK, this is bizarre. Apparently a Hong Kong software company is preparing to release a Virtual Girlfriend for high-res mobile phones. It—or I suppose I should say “she”—is structured as an online game, on the virtual pet model. (Remember the tamagotchi fad?) You hold conversations with “Vivienne,” give her virtual gifts, even work up to a virtual wedding—which adds a virtual mother-in-law to the game.

The graphics are nice, and apparently they’ve put together a very elaborate conversation engine, but I have to wonder who this will really appeal to. The way she’s described she’s pretty high-maintenance—why go to all that effort when you don’t get the benefit of a real person?

Of course, there are other possibilities for the technology:

Vivienne, for instance, will double as a translator for travelers. Type in the desired words in English while traveling and, with additional programming in the next few months, her synthesized voice will coo it back in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish or Italian.

Just as games have driven desktop computing to keep pushing the envelope, this could lead the way toward the conversational interfaces that are so prevalent in science-fiction.

Always check the requirements

We have a “yours, mine and ours” set of computers at home. My system started out as a Compaq Presario in 1994 and has been upgraded piecemeal over the past decade, Katie replaced her Power Mac with a G4 last year, and we picked up an eMachine to use as a dial-up server when we moved in together. (I was going to cobble something together out of the leftover bits from my computer, but it was cheap and saved me the effort of figuring out what was working and what needed to be replaced. Plus it gave us an extra Windows system.)

I’ve been dual-booting Linux and Windows for about 5 years, and spent most of my last year in college using Linux almost exclusively. (Student housing with Ethernet. Having worked in a college computer lab for several years, I didn’t trust Windows 95 to be safe on the network.) Well, a few months after we got the eMachine, hardware problems corrupted my Windows installation. I didn’t want to “borrow” a Windows 98 install CD, I didn’t want to buy Windows Me (piece of ****), Windows 2000 was too expensive, and I really didn’t want the licensing nightmare that is XP. So I delayed, using Linux exclusively, and eventually came to the conclusion I didn’t need to reinstall Windows at all.

Unfortunately, there are very few commercial games written for Linux. Now I’m not much of a gamer, but I do enjoy RPGs, turned-based strategy, and the occasional FPS, and No Windows meant No Might and Magic. Continue reading