August 31st, 2005


toys for the rich, toys for the poor

Well, as many of you may already have heard, Microsoft has announced two pricing options for the Xbox 360: $399 for the colossal gaming powerhouse they were showing off at E3, and a heavily neutered $299 version. Game magazine Next Generation asked several game developers for their reactions, which are neither surprising or interesting (some say it's a good idea, others hate it). What is interesting is that Next Gen chose to interview Scott Miller, CEO of 3D Realms.

Yes, 3D Realms, the venerable developer of Duke Nukem 3D, which promised us Duke Nukem Forever almost a decade ago and has been virtually unheard from since. 3D Realms, whose CEO personally answered my internship application spring (which was really nice of him, but more than a little odd). 3D Realms, the tiny and incredibly talented company that, for over a decade, has been kept alive by little more than licensing, consulting work, and faith.

Don't get me wrong, I really love 3D Realms. Quite a few of my old role models are employed there, and they have made some of the finest games I have ever played. But are they really the people to ask for opinions on the new Xbox 360? Aside from several mediocre ports of Duke Nukem 3D to the Playstation, N64, and Game Boy Advance (none of which were made by them, if I remember right), I'm not sure 3D Realms has ever done a console game.

I mean, they might as well interview Interplay--which at this point is little more than one guy with a webserver and a bunch of lawsuits.

Due to my renewed interest in games, I'm thinking of making a "gaming" friendsgroup so that those of you who aren't into computer or video games won't have your friendslists clogged up by posts like these. If you would like to be in this group, or if you think that the group would be a bad idea, leave a comment.
  • Current Mood
    distastefully geek-snobbish
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disaster movies are real

Storms, some of them powerful enough to destroy cities, on opposite ends of the earth. Tragic stampedes in Iraq. Israel pulling out of Gaza.

For once, the news doesn't really need to exaggerate.

As much.

I can't help but draw illusory connections between the storm in Taiwan and the much bigger one that hit New Orleans. According to this possibly sketchy LA Times editorial, a lot of the old houses in New Orleans had been severely weakened by Formosan termites. Formosan, as in Ilha Formosa, the old Dutch name for an island off the coast of China. An island taken over by people from southeast China, who called in Taiwan. Granted, it wouldn't have mattered since the storm was so powerful--newer, stronger buildings unaffected by termites were also destroyed by flooding--but as a second-generation Taiwanese-American and a first-generation (once removed) American immigrant to Taiwan, I can't help but feel a tiny blip of collective shame for owing my existence to the traditions of international exchange that brought these pests to New Orleans. And now that the storm is passing over Taiwan, and the part of China where the bug actually originated, there is an odd sense of instantaneous karmic justice.

Add in the even more tragic stampedes in Iraq, where terrorists claimed seven hundred pious lives without doing as much as lighting a match, and you can imagine Tom Cruise or some other crack-religious Hollywood actor standing on the roof of a sinking building in New Orleans, laughing and shouting, "Where is your God now?" to squealing violins from Howard Shore.

Leo's doing a 21-hour shift at the ER tonight to help out when Typhoon Talim strikes Taichung. He deserves the maddest of props.
  • Current Music
    Dragonforce - Fury of the Storm