Jan 6 2014

My Media Holiday: The Rules

Yesterday I posted about why I’m going on a media holiday. Some of you have asked me about what I’m doing exactly, so I thought I’d share in more detail.

In short, the point is to reduce information input into my brain, and see what I get up to when I don’t have constant distractions to run to. Over-abundant entertainment can make us blind to things in our own lives, and when you also read self-help and spiritual material for entertainment (like me) the constant advice and directives can get very confusing.

So I decided to see what happens if I turn off the information overflow for a couple of months or so. This is not a new-years resolution, or a solemn vow, but merely an experiment. If I fail, I learn something useful. If I succeed, I probably learn something useful also. Failing would almost be more interesting.

See_No_Evil,_Hear_No_Evil,_Speak_No_Evil

These things are forbidden:

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Jan 3 2014

Why I’m going on a media holiday

I spend all my time “plugged in”. When I get up in the morning I throw on a TV show and walk around with my wireless headphones, getting ready for work. On my commute I listen to a podcast. At work I take regular Facebook/Reddit breaks. If I eat lunch at my desk I tend to put on a youtube documentary and play a game. Podcast while commuting back. TV shows while prepping dinner. Game, book or Reddit for an hour or two after, then end the night on the couch with Edda, watching an episode of something, followed by some light reading in bed.

We are a generation largely raised by TV and internets. And ads on these things constantly tell us that our lives are broken, Continue reading


Sep 21 2013

When doing it feels bad, but not doing it feels even worse.

Imagine you are at a talk at a conference. There are hundreds of people watching. You just caught the speaker giving out incorrect information. He made a big mistake and anyone that tries to follow his advice will suffer for it. At the end of the talk a mic is passed around and you have the opportunity to correct him. Do you?

For most of us, this is not an easy decision. You probably feel resistance to the idea of getting up and correcting him so publicly. But you are also likely to feel resistance towards the idea of leaving all these people misinformed when you could have corrected the oversight. Whether you speak up or not depends entirely on which idea you resist more.

This happens multiple times a day to all of us. Maybe you are miserable at your job, but afraid of the incertainty of leaving. You might resist the idea of exercising, but feel bad about lying around on the couch. Maybe you hate your spouse, but hate the idea of being single even more.

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Aug 1 2013

List of important Cyberpunk works

Cyberpunk has been coming up a lot lately, what with Shadowrun Returns being newly out, Cyberpunk 2077 on the way and things like Google Glass and brain controlled robotic arms hitting the news every week. This his refuelled my long-standing interest in the genre and I thought I’d make a list of important works to defining it.

William Gibson Novels

  • Neuromancer
  • Mona Lisa Overdrive
  • Count Zero
  • Virtual Light

Philip K. Dick Novels Continue reading


Jul 29 2013

First attempt at a Cinemagraph

Ever since I heard about cinemagraphs I knew I had to make one.

If you haven’t heard of them before, check out this article for 40 great examples, and see mine below.

I’ll obviously need to try this again in better light, and possibly with better equipment, but now that I’ve gone through the process once, the next times will be much easier. Give it a second to load before it starts animating.

Tutorial on how to do these.

(Click it for full-size)

Loppi


Jul 14 2013

Puzzle and Dragons – Action Loop

Puzzle & Dragons is a Japanese mobile game developed by GungHo Online Entertainment.

This article focuses on the moment to moment action of the game itself, the micro-loop, but if you are interested in the larger strategic aspects and the monetization, then see Puzzle and Dragons – Macro Loop and Monetization.

Match Orbs

At the core Puzzle and Dragons is a match-3 game. You match up lines of 3 or more of similarly colored Orbs to make the disappear, much like Puzzle Quest, Candy Crush Saga or Bejeweled. What makes the game feel completely different is that when you choose an Orb to move, you can move it as far as you want. Thus, a good player can get multiple lines matched up every move.

Matched    Matched done Continue reading


Jul 9 2013

Puzzle and Dragons – Macro Loop and Monetization

Puzzle & Dragons is a Japanese mobile game developed by GungHo Online Entertainment. I’ve sunk a few dozen hours into this game already, and have been tempted to spend money, but due to how much the monetization currency costs I decided against it. Aside from this one major flaw, the macro loop of the game is well designed for monetization and when this is written the game is the number #13 grossing game on Android and #23 in the Apple store.

The macro-loop of Puzzle and Dragons is a very “Pokemon-esque” gameplay loop where you expend Stamina to send a team of Monsters to complete Dungeons which give you Coins and Monsters. You can then increase the power of your team using those Coins and Monsters.

Macro Loop Graph Continue reading


Jul 4 2013

How are games using sex?

I’ve been thinking about how sex and sexuality gets portrait in computer games and why it’s a touchy subject. I don’t really want to get into whether it’s desirable to include it or not, but thought I’d take a loot at how different games use them.

The most tasteful example that springs to mind is Mass Effect.
Mass Effect Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3 Mass Effect 4


Though controversial for depicting gay and lesbian scenes (oh my!), sex is used as a dramatic tool to progress the relationship between the characters. They’ve grown to trust and respect each other and the sex emerges out of that.

Scarlet Blade does things very differently. Continue reading


Jul 2 2013

We can pay everyone a livable wage – busting the copouts

So I was reading this article about the increase in temp workers in the US, and their lot in life.

I don’t know the definition of slave labor, but this seems to be as close as you get could without legally considering people chattel.

As usual, reading the comments on Reddit tends to be as interesting as any article posted there, and there are a few points that always seem to come up when people talk about labor issues in the US.

Copout #1 – This is just supply and demand. Economic realities suck, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

This is an such a myopic statement. If a river suddenly started flowing through your house, I doubt you’d say “Water flows downwards, there’s nothing I can do about it”. Continue reading


Jul 1 2013

Selected slides from Wordcamp Montreal 2013

Some speakers share their slides on Slideshare, so I thought I’d show them off if any of you are interested. I only include talks that I or my wife went to and liked and only if they have easily accessible slides online.

Elida Arizza had the best talk of the conference for me personally. As a bit of a noob, this was a torrent of great information: