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Elonka's Memestreams Page - Subcultures R Us


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Current Topic: Games

EA: The Human Story
Topic: Games 11:43 am EST, Nov 23, 2004

] My significant other works for Electronic Arts, and I'm what
] you might call a disgruntled spouse.
] Our adventures with Electronic Arts began less than a year ago.
] I remember that they asked him in one of the interviews: "how do
] you feel about working long hours?" When asked for specifics
] about what "working long hours" meant, the interviewers coughed
] and glossed on to the next question.
] Now we know why.

This is an excellent essay about the human side of the game industry. Personally, I work in one of the few remaining small independent companies, but I know lots of people working for (or who have worked for) the larger corporations, and from what I've heard, this is a pretty accurate representation of the kind of stuff they talk about.

It's worth keeping in mind that there are other factors that *aren't* mentioned in this essay. But for a spouse's view, yes, I'd say it's right on the money. It's representative, it's articulate, and it's worth reading and thinking about.

EA: The Human Story

Gotta Love Bagdhad Bob!
Topic: Games 3:02 pm EST, Jan  9, 2004

Mike the Usurper writes:
For all you Civ 3 players out there, this will be self explanatory... :)

] Iraqi Information minister as modern military advisor

Toooo perfect. :)

Gotta Love Bagdhad Bob!

Flash adventure game from Czech Republic
Topic: Games 1:58 pm EST, Dec 25, 2003

This is a fun little Flash program, where you have to help a guy rescue his world from destruction. Some of the pages may be slow to load if you don't have broadband, but even with dialup you can probably get through the whole thing in about an hour.

Flash adventure game from Czech Republic

European Commission Protests Greek Ban on e-Gaming
Topic: Games 4:12 pm EDT, Sep  3, 2003

] On July 22, 2003, the European Commission has announced
] that it had sent the Greek authorities an initial letter
] of formal notice drawing attention to the fact that
] prohibiting electrical, electromechanical and electronic
] games in all public places, with the exception of
] casinos, could in practice restrict the import of these
] products in contravention of the rules of the EC Treaty
] on the free movement of goods. The general ban on the
] above-mentioned games introduced by Greek Law No 3037 of
] July 29, 2002 made it totally impossible to provide and
] supply electronic games equipment and programmes,
] particularly in public places, or to perform related
] activities (for example, the installation, repair and
] maintenance of such equipment and programmes). The law's
] broad scope initially forbade all gaming activity.
] Reportedly, the ban has already been narrowed to include
] only devices generating "any form of financial gain for
] players or third parties". However, the law could still
] represent a disproportionate restriction on the freedom
] of establishment and the freedom to provide services,
] since the law does not treat games of skill (which are in
] principle not harmful) any different than games of chance
] (which may be regulated by Member States in order to
] preserve public order or to ensure consumer protection).


Last year, following a public outcry because a Greek official was caught gambling, a new law was passed in Greece (#3037) which banned "electronic or mechanical gaming". The wording of the new law was horrible, and as a result, the Greek police cracked down on *all* computer games -- GameBoys, internet multiplayer games, everything. Arcades were shut down, and internet cafe owners were arrested and hauled into court for such absurd things as allowing patrons to play Counter-Strike and online chess! Judges have been throwing the cases out, saying the new laws are unconstitutional, and certain guidelines have since been produced saying that the law is supposed to be focused on *gambling* machines and not *gaming* machines, but things are still chaotic.

This news from the European Commission is a follow-up, as the EU is filing formal protests against the Greek law. Greece, so far, is standing firm, claiming that it can legislate what it wants to legislate, even if it means making illegal in Greece, things that are not only legal but are thriving import/export and service businesses in other EU countries!

It's an interesting battle, not just for the effect on gaming, but also because it's going to help define the rights of the EU countries as to just how independent they're allowed to be when they're passing some law which conflicts with laws in other EU nations. Keep your popcorn handy . . .

European Commission Protests Greek Ban on e-Gaming

Hexic Game
Topic: Games 12:24 pm EDT, Aug 20, 2003

This is my latest gaming addiction: A little (free) game on the Zone called "Hexic" where you rotate hexagons to line them up. *After* I got addicted, I dug deeper to learn who designed it -- Alexei Pajitnov! The same guy who designed Tetris. I should've known... :)

Hexic Game

Over 500,000 'Iraqi Deck of Death' cards sold
Topic: Games 12:54 pm EDT, Apr 25, 2003

] The Defense Intelligence Agency originally produced 200
] decks to help U.S. troops identify Iraqi government
] officials for capture. The privately held U.S. Playing
] Card, owner of the Hoyle and Bicycle brands, saw the
] interest and made a 500,000-deck batch for sale at $5.95
] each through the Internet by licensed partner
], of Chicago.

Over 500,000 'Iraqi Deck of Death' cards sold

Battleground God
Topic: Games 11:50 pm EDT, Apr 13, 2003


In this activity you’ll be asked a series of 17 questions about God and religion. In each case, apart from Question 1, you need to answer True or False. The aim of the activity is not to judge whether these answers are correct or not. Our battleground is that of rational consistency. This means to get across without taking any hits, you’ll need to answer in a way which is rationally consistent. What this means is you need to avoid choosing answers which contradict each other. If you answer in a way which is rationally consistent but which has strange or unpalatable implications, you’ll be forced to bite a bullet.

Battleground God

Cliff Johnson Treasure Hunt Challenge
Topic: Games 4:37 pm EST, Apr  1, 2003

Who's Cliff Johnson? Well, if you remember the early days of Macintosh games, Cliff is the guy who designed the "Puzzle Game of the Year" titles such as "Fool's Errand" and "3 in Three". He's a puzzle-designing god (and yes you can quote me on that). Anyway, if you liked the humor and style of my "PhreakNIC v3.0 Code Tutorial," you'll probably like Cliff's style too.

I haven't solved the challenge yet myself, though I have indeed started work on it. But I wanted to let everyone else know about it too. If anyone would like to brainstorm on any sections, let me know!

Elonka :)

Cliff Johnson Treasure Hunt Challenge

20Q - Play 20 Questions Against an AI
Topic: Games 11:29 pm EST, Mar 13, 2003

The game you are about to play is a test of the next generation of Twenty Questions.

This works surprisingly well. The algorithm is very straight forward...

20Q - Play 20 Questions Against an AI

Website of Game Designer Cliff Johnson
Topic: Games 9:00 pm EST, Mar 11, 2003

Despite my relative fame or standing in the current game industry, there are still a few game developers out there whose names can still turn me into a gibbering fan-girl. :)

One of those, is Cliff Johnson, who designed some long-ago puzzle games for the Macintosh, such as "Fool's Errand" and "3 in Three", both of which I spent *many* ecstatic hours playing.

Cliff is someone that I've always wanted to meet at a game industry conference, but he just never seemed to attend any of them. Periodically though I'd do a web search to see if I could find out any new info about him and his projects. Today, I was delighted to find out that as of last month, he has (finally) set up a personal webpage and blog, and, thrill of thrills, he has a new game coming out this year, "The Fool and His Money"! Plus he's got some sort of a web puzzle treasure hunt starting on April 1st (of course).

I look forward to seeing what he comes up with! Hi Cliff, glad to see you're still in the industry!

Elonka :)

Website of Game Designer Cliff Johnson

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