Thursday, 28 June 2007

There's just something about Mind Flayers

I first came across the Illithid as named (by geeks) whilst playing Baldur's Gate II. There's a whole section where they've captured your group and you need to flee off fast, less they literally feast on your brill encased brain.

I found it the most 'keyboard smashing' part of the whole game. The squidies can control members of your group with telekinesis! Its like Tony Blair all over again. I assume a major inspiration for the design for my multi-tentacled friends is the Cult of Cthulhu by H.P Lovecraft. Cuthlu is the monstrous guardian of the Old Ones a bit like the Axis of Evil but genuinely dangerous. He just happens to have a squid head. Like the Axis just happens to have oil. 'Squid head,' lets get that being used in playgrounds across the country: "Errrr, squid head, squid head! What you gonna do squiddy, spray ink at me?!"

*consumes brain*

This war keeps going on and on...

I just like Jeanne d'Arc. Original girl-power and all that. I'm not sure why the current obsession is for Japanese game designers to borrow from European mythology like the soon to be released Odin's Sphere or European history with the likes of Jeanne D'arc.

They both look better in the vibrant Anime style than the stuffy originals ever did. This got me cranking the lever on the side of my thinking bowl: why not change all European history/mythology to fit within an Anime frame work? Say goodbye to the bland Bayeux Tapestry and say Konnichi wa to a full on eye ejaculating Manga comic strip. 'God damnit, I just took one in the eye! Saxon's assemble, ultimate Saxon warrior transform!' -King Harold.

It's now, now,!

I can't sing the praises of Google Current enough. The vast majority of the content is user generated. I.e. any crack fiend with a camera can make a film about being addicted to crack and be paid £250 for their trouble. It's like You've Been Framed but without the injuries and more dignity.
The sheer breath of pods (videos) is immense, covering everything from drug labs in Columbia to break dancing pensioners. Each pod averages three to eight minutes which is perfect for my short attent...hey, is that Jack? It's like being on Whackoffpedia, and repeatedly pressing the random article link without having to read!

The only downsides are the smugger than smug presenters that are a throw back to the VJs of MTV. Each one is a supermodel and each makes it quite obvious they are auto-pilot reading off an auto-cue. This isn't a massive surprise as most writers are so hideous that beautiful people are often required to read their words to the public. 'Eww, I don't even care what he's saying, he looks like someone just shat him out.'

Repeats is the other problem. If you watch it zealously enough like I do then you are bound to see the same pods and Google Current programs (news bulletins) very often. That's more a reflection of me as a shut in than it is of people not producing enough content. Go watch now!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Smugness is the silent killer

The 1UP show might have once started out as a group of enthusiastic games journalists, trying to create a visual forum; bringing together their individual gaming experiences for discussion. It’s now become a vanity and shit expulsion exercise.

Every new episode highlights a self-indulgent segment that either has them playing an ego boosting gaming tournament or having dinner with a developer mate, discussing how they can ‘own’ each other at a particular game.

Even if the gaming information you want is there, you have to pan through all the shit just to get a single gold nugget or maybe just a nugget. And the infinite use of the word ‘like’ in every sentence is enough to make you put a fatwa on the whole of Sans Francisco, where their smugness seeps out into the world.

Honestly, games journalism whether it is TV programmes or vid-casts needs to be more like Bits, early Games Master or the Charlie Brooker games special and needs to be less fucking smug.

Be more John Snow and less like one of the personality driven FOX news or CNN correspondents. Its not about you, its about the games and if you can’t communicate that sans your disgustingly over paid ego seeping through like infected bed soars, then stop all together. I want to learn about an upcoming game, event or technology in a concise and/or amusing way. They fail to do both. Boooo to smugness.

Wiiiii I’m a DJ

DJ WiiJ aka Jimmy Lesondak has a stupid smear of a square beard as if he just smelled his own shit and it manifested on his face. He uses two Wii motes to scratch, mix and generally be a prick. It might be an idea, if you get wind of him playing a show in your local area to bring all your spare Wii motes and catapult them at his stupid face, David and Goliath style.

Chances are you wont even be blamed for the subsequent death by Wii (sounds like a snuff film) because as we all know Wii motes are notorious for breaking off at the strap.

Chances are he’ll become incredibly successful and grow obese from all the drugs, adulation and groupies he’s digested. All hail Baron Harkonen!

Class act users

An article published by the BBC highlights a study done by THE PhD student, Danah Boyd. She watches society. I used to do that but was called a peeping tom. You say monster, I say Janet Street Porter. In summary, MySoul is for the less affluent, soviet blockers, rude boys, crack hoes, oh and people in the music biz obviously.

Fakebook is for more affluent types, the ones who go to university and can read the squiggly things in books that make my brain scream. Take all of this with a pinch of salt as it’s a study done in the United Systemic A-tards and that’s an entirely different set of problems. They don’t have a feudal society like what we doz. Keep blogued for a scathing deconstruction of why Myspaz is the worse of all the evil social ego massagers.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Brent Cross vs Ben

After hurtling through repetitive suburbia we finally reached the temple of Buy This Now! Entering by a side cavity, navigating a forrest of lamps followed by a veritable treasure trove of tack. Things you never thought you needed but you do, you so do, you know you do: flamingo shaped cutlery, one of a kind pillow covers, draft excluders with silk embroidery ooooh...

Once we cleared death trap John Lewis, the main, people clogged arteries of Brent Cross lay ahead. I passed a stand that told me because I and everyone else here is an idiot, 'YOU ARE EXPERIENCING HD' but was it referring to the TV screen or the high definition hell hole all around?

Dodging, and in some cases, simply cutting through Paris Hilton clones, like overgrown orange vines. If it wasn't the Paris Hiltonities, there were wannabe gangstaaas or bloodied consumer zombies. I was in Dawn of the Dead sans a baseball bat. This is exactly the sort of reason we should sell guns in this country.

Staggering into HMV, mentally wounded, I found what I'd been seeking. A massive sale of DVDs, which gods willing, none of the shop attendants would try and help me with, 'Apocalypse Now? I fink dat's under comedy you knowz.' The one upside; an attractive girl trying to sell Wiis. We can Wii anytime but not in my house, that's disgusting.

You should never ever, under any circumstances go to Brent Cross. It will only suck you in and then you'll have to work there, which is the same as being undead or trapped in Dante's Inferno. They've even got whole areas that are communication black-holes, you can't even ring for a evac. Crucify the Cross!

24hr pint streaming (somerset house)

I went to the original Somerset House film festival before it got big (that makes me a trend setter, you Film4 watching, Guardian composting...) that's when it was sponsored by Becks (the beer not the artist). Becks doesn't have a tv channel like Film4 (the new sponsor) otherwise it'd be 24 hour pint glass streaming. Alcoholics would try and lick or worse attempt to drink their screen, buckling under the sheer weight.

Who knows, (I should) last time it was really good. The green lighting everywhere ( a subtle marketing ploy) made me feel a bit nauseous and the drinks are silly expensive (sneak in your own booze). Oh, and you should bring a pillow, your arse will fall off after sitting on cobble stones for two hours. If nothing else you get a tramp's eye view for the evening: cold seating, getting pissed, watching blurry images not sure if they're in your mind or being projected on to a stately home.

Dead like Ben

I died. It was shit. Can you guess how I bit the concrete?

Was it:

a) On my way home I was stopped by a voice asking, “hexcuse mee pleaze, have you got a 'pare ciiigarette pleaze?” And upon failing to produce a ciiigarette I was stabbed and drowned in a pool of crimson?

b) The W7 bus driver started talking to a mate and shut the doors on my head?

c) I dived off the Tate as a statement about, um, something important

d) All of the above

Answers through a medium…

Bioshock made me wet my pants

Bioshock is looking like a fantastic gene splicing/Art Deco crumbling/ dystopian romp. Set in a city established at the end of WWII for society’s elite to pursue their own questionable endeavours. You only need to watch five minutes of Big Brother (the TV series not 1984) to know that people living in a confined space tend to start cracking skulls and feasting on the goo inside unless the powers that be step in.

Sadly for the citizens of Rapture it’s the city’s founder and a leading scientist who kicks the ruckus off over a substance more valuable than insulin to a cake addict. Adam: stem cells purer than the finest grade A Columbian is the Oil of Olay to Rapture’s metro sexual inhabitants.

You crash land a decade or so later to find the algae has well and truly hit the propeller. Apart from getting your head around attacking little girls (little sisters) who carry Adam they’ve recently sucked out of dead bodies. (I promise this isn’t a pedophile’s/ necrophilic’s wet dream.DID.YOU.SEE.WHAT.I.DID.THERE?!). Various other moral choices will no doubt smack you about like so many bible wielding preachers, leading to different game endings.

I wet my pants (apart from taking a bullet in Nam) because BioShock boasts ‘emergent game play’ which will hopefully mean you can interact with just about anything. Pulling your virtual nob out and placing in on a window to see if any fish are attracted would definitely be a gaming first. Fish nicely leads me on to ecology, AI ecology even, allowing the player, that’s you, to observe how each person/creature/machine in the world interacts and pit them against each other for your own personal gain. It’s a bit like middle management.

Bioshock looks to piss all over water world when it’s released in August later this summer.

Monday, 18 June 2007

poem on drinking and hangovers

After killing
brain cells, how lonely I feel
in the cold of night!

For love and for hate
I swig a mojito and offer it
to a mate.

A mountain of stairs
sweet release at the sumit.

A lightning flash:
between the forest in my mind
I have seen paracetamol.

Emasculation, what a sensation

My girlfriend has gone to her flat to lay down some wood (not a euphemism) with her mum's boyfriend who resembles Bob the builder but more scrotum like. The man owns a chisel set for Christ's sake! And I do mean Christ cos he was a carpenter weren't he eerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

In fact I feel so emasculated I might as well cut my nuts off and run head first into the nearest Body Shop, drowning in strawberry flavoured bubbles.

Valentine's enema

Invariably the majority of us will feel a hint of sea sickness at this time of year. A veritable tsunami of pinks and reds will crash upon and engulf this Isle while the sound of Hallmark execs high fiving will ring across the cosmos.

A rapturious wave promising to whisk away the rose and chocolate faithful to a fuzzy nirvana while the rest are 'left behind' inevitably feasting on each others brains.

It's important to admit that like all holidays this is a made up marketing coo. Where mechanical teddies and gigantic rose monsters devour the none believers and the faithful are fondled. (Like a care home)

But for all the shallow materialism and forced affection Valentine's evokes, it's not without some merit. In the same way that Christ-massive forces you to tolerate family members. New Year's induces some reflection followed by vomitting...Valentine's can be an opening to make a move on someone. That doesn't mean assault.

But next year lets not all pile into central London like so many hapless sheep worshipping at the crotch of St Valentine (who is an Italian stallion by default) and do it a couple days earlier in the form of a poor man's protest.

Where's my chocolate enema?

Yo chemo boy!

Yo chemo boy! You going for a drink later?

To which he replied, "err, yeah I iz northen and that's what we do us."

Or would you prefer a drip instead?

(Disclaimer: he weren't actually dieing he just shaved all his head* off)

Log and Roll

The merits of Brown Terrorism as a vehicle for change:

The duo went into the big M restaurant. One immediately went to the M toilet. In said cubicle he went for a number two in an M branded coffee cup.

They walked to the nearest plastic table and placed the offending cup upside down. After which they calmly got up and began to vacate the scene but due to the busy time of day, an M attendant went immediately to dispose of said cup.

There she discovered the log. Screaming shrilly, said log rolled across the table and fell from a great height to the floor. The two brown freedom fighters then fled the scene chased closely by M Special Forces, which are denoted by their blue waistcoats. Mr R's, personal guard. Report


Special Agent Will de Castration

Ministry of Grease

Green Tea

If you leave the tea too long it tastes like failed politician. It's SO good for you they should strap people down and inject it directly, saving the NHS.

Green Tea originates in deepest Asia where dragons propelled by human legs still roam free. Paddy fields full of Irish refugees that fled the carnage of the Guinness Wars, work ceaselessly to create replica blarney stones, funding the war effort. One day they will return to the Emerald Isle and overthrow the Adversary who is half man, half foam.

Prawn crackers are the remnants of the once Great Dream Prawn who ruled all Asia. His followers sucked human brains clean out their skulls. Such was the tyranny that a call went out to build the Deep Fryer of Despair. Ever since the Day of Accompanying Plum Sauce, prawns have bowed down (hard, they have no knees)

Theory on being niiiiiice

I like to think I'm nice and not brimming over with hate and darkness and black gunk.

(i'm very nice, ask anyone...but not him...he's dead to me!)

Don't lecture me (hypocrite)

Yeah so when you're drinking that fifth litre of whisky or whatever stupidly named cocktail you just guzzled down like some hungry SUV and there's that momentary reflection. You think, 'fuck I'm X years old and I'm still doing this.'

For some ridicules reason you assume that being between the ages of 17 – 27 it's all alright 'yeah cos that's what I'm meant to be doing errrr.' There, congratulations you've just become what Jean Paul Sartre called 'bad-faith,' you've given over all your free will and become an object with a set amount of options like a fucking Casio keyboard.

Except you don't make anywhere near as many interesting sounds just a static noise varying in pitch every time you open your fog horn of a mouth. I digress as a pretty heavy drinker and smoker (at the weekends at least) I know what it's all about. Let's not lose perspective. Drinks anyone?

Busy Bodyitice

Mothers are tricky, especially mine. My mum seems to be afflicted by a virulent strain of 'busy bodyitice.' This terrible disease effects subjects by stimulating an uncontrollable need to do stuff. I'm careful to use the word 'stuff' as the tasks dictated by the virus are completely random, or at least it can appear so to an outside observer. I conducted an experiment once, while I was still at school. My mum use to come home in the evening and say, "This house is a mess!"

Wait, this can't be I thought. I ran through a mental check list: Kitchen, wiped down, stairs hovered... er ... sitting-room? SITTING-ROOM! I thought I had found the source of the problem. The next day I would go on nothing less than a crusade of cleansing, not ethnic cleansing mind. I cleaned like Marry Popins and Barry Scot's bastard child. Every surface, every floor, beds were made. The time of judgement was upon me, mum had returned... She came, she examined, she proclaimed, "This house is filthy!"

I knew the house wasn't filthy because I had purged everything! It was super shiny like a hospital. Maybe not an English hospital. This is what first alerted me to something being very wrong. How could I combat a disease of the mind that blinded the subject to the cleanness around them?

I had a revelation of sorts, maybe it wasn't an illness at least not in the way I'd thought. Maybe this had been with mankind since the beginning. Long ago, before the advent of Tesco's and the Dyson, it may have been a very useful survival trait to be a busy body. The constant demands for survival: looking for food, protecting the offspring, finding shelter, would inevitably lead to a rise of busy bodies.

As I watched some ants in the garden, it struck me. When was the last time you saw an ant stop for a cup of tea? Fucking never that's when. They'd die, tea cups are huge.

But what did this mean for the future? Imagine in year's to come, as technology ultimately makes our lives easier, what would become of the busy body? Sitting in a chrome room (everything in the future is made of chrome) with a Hal 9000 voice fulfilling your every whim. This state of affairs would cause the busy body to explode with pent-up energy. My future descendants, inevitably being affliction, would succumb and eventually detonate. I could hear their last words reverberate through the corridor of time, "This chrome room is filthy, filthy, fiiiiiiillllllttttthhhhy!"