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August 18, 2008

Filed under: random»linky

This American Link

I'm more of a Marketplace guy, personally.

  • The This American Life episode Giant Pool of Money has been getting a lot of acclaim as the finest explainer of the sub-prime mortgage crisis ever made. Considering that the entire sub-prime mess is probably a large part of what will drag us into the next depression, it's a good thing to understand.
  • So here's an interesting gaming question: I loved Braid, and finished it in only a few hours. I had, honestly, no real problems with the difficulty level. Other people, like Corvus (includes links to other parts of the extended conversation), seem to be having such a hard time getting past the puzzles and the platforming that they can't enjoy the story (or get to the ending, which is good enough to forgive a number of the game's sins). I'm not just writing this to gloat about how awesome I am, but also to ask: how much of a future can gaming really have as a narrative medium when its very mechanics can create such a high barrier to entry? If a great narrative is innately tied to a contentious play style, how do we evaluate its quality?
  • A blogger for Seagate takes a look at Batman's storage requirements from The Dark Knight. Fascism takes a lot of hard drive space.
  • My friend Jee from the Bank posted this video of a converation with John Lennon on Facebook the other day. It's an old interview that a teenager did with Lennon shortly before he died, animated in an incredibly elaborate fashion similar to Terry Gilliam's work.
  • Have you ever wanted to hear the theme for Mega Man 3 sung by Japanese voice synthesis software? Now you can.
  • Ethan Zuckerman linked this morning to two stories about reverse scammers--the guys who persuade Nigerian 419 spam authors to do outlandish things for the anticipated payment. The first, a story in the Boston Pheonix, asks whether there's not something more sinister about rich Americans taunting desparate spammers from developing nations. The second, Cory Doctorow's review of Scamorama, is notable for its comments. As Zuckerman says, it's "evenly split between people who think scambaiting is funny and worthwhile and those who find it cruel and loathesome." I'm tending towards the loathesome side, myself.
  • Anonymous posted another anti-Scientology video on 8/08/08, this time revealing employees operating illegally in the UK. It doesn't seem to have gotten much in the way of news coverage, this time around.
  • For the next week, Pitchfork is hosting Reformat the Planet, a documentary about the chiptune movement. It's a nice idea, but I get the same kind of feeling from watching it that I get from watching techno or drum-and-bass perfomed live--even if I like the music, it's a pretty silly show to watch someone acting like a rock star while fiddling with a Gameboy onstage. At least Squarepusher plays a bass in front of his laptop.

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