This Penny Arcade comic…

…about the parable of the Games Journalist and the Developer doesn’t precisely correspond to how things can work in the political blogosphere; but neither is it completely alien to my own experience, either. Politicians hate both Old and New Media, and Old and New Media both despise politicians. But we can’t operate without each other, and we all (both sides) crave the access. And if you have the access, you may not understand how having access looks to people who don’t*.


I was going somewhere with this, I swear. Danged if I know where, though. It’s still a pretty good comic.

Moe Lane

*Speaking as someone who has some access; you legitimately forget that you have more of it than most people. And that your life got steadily weirder as a result of that access.


Quote of the Day, I Have This Problem Myself.

Not as badly as I used to have it, but still.

Most of the words I know I got from books, which I thought were my friends, but they don’t necessarily have pronunciation keys and also the English language is a kaleidoscopic whorehouse.

It won’t surprise you to learn that my stunted, hairless translucence was borne of a largely solitary childhood that involved me learning words alone, and then saying them to myself, without the civilizing benefit of the social mirror.

As you can imagine, being in a situation where most of my communication is done via text – yes, like we’re doing here! – and my verbal communication mostly involves small children hasn’t exactly helped matters, either. I probably need more hobbies. Ones that maybe don’t require a wifi signal.


Quote of the Day, Teach… The Parents Well… edition.

Gabe of Penny Arcade:

Last night I was a guest speaker during a PTA meeting at my son’s school. I spoke about video games, ratings and the importance of paying attention to what your kids are playing. I thought it went really well and I figured I’d break down my talk here in case anyone wanted to take some of my ideas and do something similar at their kid’s school.

You know… people probably should. I remember what many parents (including mine!) got pretty wrong about roleplaying games, when I was a kid; I imagine that it’s a lot worse for video games, given that there really is a lot more in the way of objectionable material that’s accessible to kids. Sharing one’s knowledge on this topic seems like a mitzvah.


I *was* going to comment on this…

…but after looking at it a little, I have instead decided on the alternate tactic of ‘backing away slowly.’ My kids don’t play this game, they’re not likely to any time soon, and clearly This Way Lies Madness. I’ll just assume that Tycho… no! Bad Moe! BAD! No biscuit!



Penny Arcade and Black Friday.

I have to admit, this is pretty much my reaction:

As someone with experience in these matters – on both sides of the retail divide – Gabriel simply stays home for Black Friday.  And it’s not because he doesn’t like to buy things.  We discussed it all in the podcast you may absorb at some future date: he feels that the “deals” are illusory and that he doesn’t especially relish the thought of his heel on a retail worker’s trachea while he pours into the Consumer Battle Arena.  He has been that motherfucker in there, the one with the human throat, and even if there is still a pitched melee with or without him he can (at the very least) guarantee one less heel.

I don’t particularly criticize Black Friday on a regular basis, because there are elements of the criticism – and, more importantly, some of the critics – that taste more than a little of class snobbery. But I’ve done holiday retail. Pleasant, it is not.


Penny Arcade takes up the pirate ship argument.

I am having difficulty arguing against Gabe’s position, here.  Pirate ships are, indeed, awesome game accessories.  I kind of regret not having one in my MMORPG, and probably not in Dragon Age Inquisition next week.


So, I played The Stanley Parable.

I understand why the two halves of Penny Arcade apparently are almost at war at each over it; it’s… different. To give an idea, my gameplay involved [SPOILER WARNING]… (more…)


Quote of the Day, I Dunno: We Just DO It edition.

I’ve had this exact same reaction as Tycho.

People occasionally compliment me on my writing: they will say something like, “I like your writing,” which is constructed in such a way that I cannot wriggle from it.  I accept the compliment because my momma raised me right; refusal of a gift is the first sin.  But this is respiration for me.  This is the sound of me breathing out; I can’t not do it.  Though I suppose I could stop, and die.

I know what shape a piece of language has to conform to, and once I have the mold, words just fall into it.  [snip] I’m not telling you this to make you think that I am clever or interesting – I’m trying to explain why it is difficult to absorb compliments for what feel like autonomic responses.  Most of the words I’m using are just English words, right off the shelf, with the occasional aftermarket mod.  I’m not sure I’ve ever done anything that could not be accomplished as well or better with refrigerator magnets.



Penny Arcade and the Luck of the Draw.

I wonder how many successful creative types wonder this.  Although I think that Tycho is being overly humble:

I talked for awhile with Brawsome, the Jolly Rover/MacGuffin’s Curse people, about how making something great should be sufficient.  There are people much, much better than me at writing comics, or writing in general, but for whatever reason they don’t have conventions.  I think it’s weird, too.

I still scratch my head at how it was that RedState – well, I know why it succeeded; it still sometimes bemuses me that I was able to go along for the ride.

Moe Lane

PS: This was not an invitation to tell me that I’m good at what I do. I already know that; it’s just that there are plenty of people out there who are equally good at what they do, only they don’t have guaranteed front-page privileges at one of the most influential political websites in the country. I think it’s weird, too.


Yeah, I’ve been noticing this about Windows 8.

The lack of a Start Button on my new computer. It’s not exactly heartening to hear that Windows 8.1 will just show me the Hawaiian Good-Luck Symbol

Moe Lane

PS: Incidentally, when I showed the above link to my wife she laughed and told me that we had become Those People. You know, people who want things to stay the way that they were originally, dammit, because you knew where everything was and it worked perfectly fine.

…Well, maybe it’s not THAT bad yet, but I can see it from here.


QotD, Horror Is Where You Find It edition.

Penny Arcade:

Robert had Lasik done awhile ago, so long ago now that he has to wear glasses again, which is apparently a thing that happens.  He would occasionally wear glasses anyway, for their intimidating effect, which was powerful enough to work on me even though I knew they were props.  He told us about the process, which he found beyond odd: the laser man talked to him the whole time his cornea was off, complimenting him on the brilliant color of his iris, now unencumbered by its protective scale.

He told me that story when I first met him, too long ago to even remember when that was exactly, and I’ve probably thought about it one or twice a week ever since: a man who is always in some way unsatisfied with the human eyes he sees, who knows that there is some undiscovered color beneath those shells, a shell he knows is easy, so easy, to pull away.

There’s a 30 minute television horror episode in this one, somewhere.  Assuming that they still do those.  On cable, maybe?  Yeah, probably on cable.


QotD, What’s The Exact Term For An EVIL Sensei? edition.

OK, some background: There’s a game called What’s Inside the Cube? – and it app… you know, if you know about it you don’t need the explanation, and if you don’t know about it you can probably just click the link.  The point is that apparently the people behind the game have released a feature where you can pay cash money to make it harder for everybody else to solve the puzzle.  And that’s happening, because it’s the Internet.  As Penny Arcade’s Checkpoint said it, succinctly:

“This really is [Peter] Molyneux’s magnum opus: the regimentation and monetization of griefing.”

You’d think I’d disapprove.  Well, no: I’ve been trying to figure out how to monetize Lefty trolls for years.  Stuff like this gives me hope.

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