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Comment: Re:Just (Score 1) 155

by gstoddart (#49151933) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

But that's just where the usefulness ends. Sure, you now appreciate rock music, but can you play it in real life on real instruments?

Umm, yeah, and how many video game skills do you apply to daily life?

Are you an awesome assassin? A race car driver? A pilot? A marine? Are you actually Batman?

It's a frickin game. It is play. Nobody gives a crap in this context about playing an actual instrument. It's frickin air guitar. It's intended to be fun.

Millions of kids bought Guitar Hero and Rock Band to realize their dreams of actually becoming ROCK MUSICIANS.

Horseshit. Millions of kids bought GTA and Saints Row to realize their dreams of become thugs, mac daddies, and pimps.

Do you think any of them actually expect to have that happen? (Well, I guess in some cases the just might.)

Sadly, all the games do is to train you to press colored buttons in sequence with colored lights. Those skills are not transferable to real instruments, and in fact, won't even get you an audition.

Dude, in the 80s there used to be this game called Simon. It had four colored lights to press. You can still buy it.

This is shared fun, with "press colored buttons in sequence with colored lights" but with music and animations. It's not sophisticated or real. It's not for hardcore gamers.

Most 'skills' you practice in video games will never translate into real world skills or get you an interview. So why is this any different?

You don't need to like it or understand it, but it's not completely without entertainment value to some people ... even if they don't actually become Rock Bands. Which, none of them actually expect to.

No more than any other game with a "make pretend" aspect to it.


Comment: Re:Just (Score 1) 155

by gstoddart (#49149655) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

LOL ... I do now. Prior to rock band, absolutely not. Now based on drum rate I can tell old v new Metallica -- or at least know it's either Metallica or Anthrax (based on what else is in my collection that is).

And, obviously, I do not think real drumming is easy, not by a bloody long shot ... but she's hella good at it in the game. Way way better than I ever got. She was rocking it on expert and I was in awe.

But prior to that, it was all a blur of screeching noise that I couldn't stand.

Now? Metallica and a bunch of hard core punk are likely to be on my iPod.

As I said, my wife is eternally grateful for the game, as my musical horizons have blown past what they had been.

Comment: Re:Just (Score 4, Interesting) 155

by gstoddart (#49149351) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?

You know, my wife will be eternally grateful for Rock Band, et al.

I led a very, er ... musically sheltered life prior to Rockband and Guitar Hero. Wasn't a fan of most forms of rock, couldn't stand metal or punk. Like, at all.

The Rockbank type games taught me a LOT about the melody, structure, and musicality of them; sort of acted as a crash course in understanding why they didn't suck.

Since then I've bought well over a hundred punk albums (literally) and other stuff I previously didn't like since playing the game.

Say what you will about these games ... but in my direct experience, nothing teaches the structure and musicality of a broad range of music as well as these things.

For me and my wife? We'd buy this again in a heartbeat ... because it's a fun game to play in parties, and a friend's wife makes drumming on expert look easy.

So when I'm rocking out to Rise Against in the car, my wife is laughing and saying "Thank god for Rockband". Because without those games, I most certainly wouldn't have been.

Comment: Re:Illogical (Score 4, Funny) 394

by gstoddart (#49148409) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

Honestly, yes, he died of smoking.

But he was 83. What is the median age of death?

It's like the great lines from George Burns:

"Is it true that you smoke eight to ten cigars a day?"
"That's true."
"Is it true that you drink five martinis a day?"
"That's true."
"Is it true that you still surround yourself with beautiful young women?"
"That's true."
"What does your doctor say about all of this?"
"My doctor is dead."

Comment: Re:Highlander 2 (Score 1) 214

by gstoddart (#49148249) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

There were actually two.

The second sequel pretended the stupid, implausible script from the first sequel had never happened. And then it produced it's own stupid implausible script.

For all purposes of discussion, anything which claims to be a sequel to Highlander doesn't exist to anybody except the people who wrote them.

Highlander was a story which really couldn't have a sequel, nor should it have. It was beautifully complete on its own, and should have stayed that way.

Even the TV series technically couldn't have existed without pretending the movie didn't happen, but then they still brought in the original guy eventually and did some strange stuff.

There can be only one.

Comment: Re:Oh God No... (Score 1) 214

by gstoddart (#49147635) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

But those are not human hands.

Well, they are and they aren't.

The GP has a point, they are biological in nature, not mechanical.

Sebastian was a bio-engineer, and said he suffered the same problem as the replicants, premature aging.

So, they're not robots. But "more human than human", which means some of our limitations have been removed, but still built out of the same stuff.

It was never clear in the movie if the replicants ever started out as "babies", or sort of started out fully formed ... so to answer the GPs question about how we know they don't age ... I guess we don't, because we don't know much about their lifecycle, other than they don't live very long.

It could be an interesting movie. Cynically, I fear it is just there to make more money and not tell a good story.

Comment: Re:I Have Plans Now (Score 4, Informative) 214

by gstoddart (#49147571) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

I know I was disappointed as a kid when it came out originally in theaters, I was expecting something like Star Wars and it wasn't that.

And that's kind of the problem ... Blade Runner would be a terrible movie to a kid.

The appeal of Blade Runner was, in part, the world they created: gritty, dark, decaying -- contrasted with the high-tech world of the wealthy. The story was much more sophisticated than a kid is going to get, it's definitely not space opera -- and understanding some of the stuff which is more insinuated than stated is a lot harder.

For me, the one labelled "The Director's Cut" restores some of the film noire elements, does a little more filling in the gaps, and makes more sense. The theatrical version lost some stuff in translation and dumbed it down a little.

I see there's now a "Definitive Edition", but I've not seen it and don't know much about it.

Find the Director's cut, and pay special attention to the things which suggest Decker is a replicant (sorry if that's a spoiler, but I assume this has been well known for a very long time), and have fun.

IMO, it really is a damned fine movie.

Comment: Re:Oh God No... (Score 4, Interesting) 214

by gstoddart (#49147011) Attached to: Harrison Ford To Return In Blade Runner Sequel

And, unless they somehow account for how Deckard the replicant has grown old ... I just don't see how they get there at all. He's not just a hunter of them, he is one.

So either they start this one in which Deckard isn't a replicant, and they'll piss off the fans of the movie. Or they'll have to treat very carefully to explain it.

There are some movies and stories which do not invite sequels. This is one of them.

Cynically, this sounds like someone looking to make some more money, not someone with a good follow up story for Blade Runner.

Comment: Re:Just y'know... reconnect them spinal nerves (Score 5, Interesting) 207

by gstoddart (#49146817) Attached to: Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away

So, here's the problem with that ... in addition to motor skills, your spinal column handles all of the autonomic stuff ... you know, heart beat, digestion, breathing, all that stuff which is controlled by the brain.

If you don't have those things connected properly, you will die. Plain and simple. This is leaps and bounds beyond physiotherapy. This is the entire function of your body which is controlled by the brain, which, last I checked, is pretty much all of it.

This isn't something where you can jam the two ends together and wait a few years until your brain remaps everything. Not unless you plan on keeping someone on extensive life support until the brain re-learns how to tell all of those other parts how to operate the body.

I just don't see this being viable, not unless you plan on spending zillions of dollars to keep someone alive until possibly the brain remaps some connections.

In which case this is a "treatment" which is only ever going to be viable for billionaires, because the resources to keep them alive in the mean time would be utterly staggering.

If all you're doing is designing a treatment for billionaires ... well, experiment on the billionaires then.

Comment: Re:Really need to post information about the act (Score 1) 56

by gstoddart (#49146345) Attached to: Patent Trolls On the Run But Not Vanquished Yet

You know what would be far better?

Making the patent office liable for passing overly-broad patents, which aren't actually innovations, and which simply fall into "a system and methodology for going something we've been doing in the real world for decades, but with a computer ".

Put some actual onus on the patent office to not simply be chimps who rubber stamp inventions and collect fees, and legal liability on patent applicants who basically play a shell game to essentially patent an idea and not an invention.

By the time you are at a jury, the system has failed so badly as to be useless.

If the patent office allows a patent for something which already exists, or which is fairly obvious, or is merely an idea ... they're bloody incompetent, and essentially are the problem.

Nothing succeeds like success. -- Alexandre Dumas