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Comment: Re:Just (Score 1) 127

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:fees (Score 1) 238

by Shakrai (#49151719) Attached to: Verizon Posts Message In Morse Code To Mock FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

I've already had to turn down a couple of high-prestige projects for some remote stuff because of this.

If they're "high-prestige" why aren't you willing to move? It's not like you own that apartment you're renting. Move out when your lease comes up and make sure you tell management why you're doing it. Good tenants are hard to find, if you complain infrequently and pay your rent on time (less common than you'd think) they'll be sorry to see you go and will listen to your reasons for doing so.

Doesn't solve your problem in the short term but it's more effective for long term change than griping about the problem on Slashdot.

Comment: Re:Stomp Feet (Score 1) 238

by Shakrai (#49151691) Attached to: Verizon Posts Message In Morse Code To Mock FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling

Because corporations bad, mmm'kay?

That's really the crux of it. Any argument against this ruling is immediately shouted down. I posited this question on another forum and received the equivalent of -1, Troll: Why is everybody cheering a ruling that attacks hypothetical problems (the oft discussed "fast lane" has yet to actually happen) while ignoring the actual problems that are impeding innovation? The "killer app" that started this whole argument is streaming video, so ask yourself which of these two things are a greater threat to that: The data caps that are currently being imposed or the fast lane that only exists on paper?

Comment: Re:Just (Score 1) 127

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) 127

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: Feasibility of exploiting real instruments? (Score 1) 127

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49149331) Attached to: Can the Guitar Games Market Be Resurrected?
If you have a large enough market, the simplicity and repeatability of dedicated controllers with buttons chosen precisely for your game's design and so on is attractive.

If you don't, you run into the problem that low volume production of such gear isn't going to make the price point any more attractive, and it's fairly bulky and expensive for something you can only play a few games with.

Anyone know what the feasibility might be of, instead, of taking advantage of what is already available? For mics, the attempt to make voice control a fad left a fair number of consoles already equipped with one, cellphones and tablets all have them and support wired or wireless headsets, and USB mics of unexceptional quality cover everyone else for not much money. On the guitar side, probably-awful 'beginner' units are $60-80(probably less if you get one used after buyer's remorse claims the original victim), and essentially any electric guitar will support putting out a low-level signal into a 1/4inch jack. If a device already has a line in, a simple mechanical adapter will do, if not, cables that are a USB audio-in on one end, 1/4inch jack on the other are quite cheap. Once you had that, your game could presumably crunch the guitar's output and (depending on how much 'game' and how much 'learning tool' you want) do anything from treating a few large contact areas as 'buttons' to actually grading you on the degree to which your results match the correct output.

I doubt that, if the user needs to purchase everything, particularly new, you could beat the package cost of a mass-produced controller pack; but if you don't think that you have the volume for a suitable production run of instrument-controllers, it seems like an approach that has very low marginal cost and can work with more or less any instrument floating around in the wild, might be less risky and more approachable.

Comment: Re:Romulan Ale (Score 1) 354

by Shakrai (#49149197) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

Last Halloween I got suckered into running a 13k in costume; since the only costume I own is a TNG uniform and one of my friends wore a TOS redshirt it wasn't much of a leap to get smashed afterwards on Romulan Ale. Alas, I found out the hard way that my Playmates Type II Phaser doesn't work on the bouncer at our local pub. He's a big guy, so maybe I just needed to bump it up to maximum stun....

Comment: Re:Is that really a lot? (Score 1) 274

by luis_a_espinal (#49149065) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

The working class was making a living wage doing, for the most part, manual unskilled job (pull a lever on a converyor belt or making US flags.

I'd like to know where you got the idea that the working class was doing mostly manual unskilled jobs.

Because I was in the middle class doing manual unskilled work (soldering electronics) 26 years ago. Because that is what I saw predominantly everywhere I went. Yeah, you had a factory that manufactured and repaired electric motors. For each one of "you" there were a dozen of "others" truly doing unskilled jobs.

Jesus, look at all those people that used to work in the auto industry. Sure, there were truly skilled laborers, but the lot was just put thing A in mold B, yell "clear" and pull the lever. The garment industry? Unskilled by modern standards. Assembly of electronics? The bulk of it is unskilled by modern standards.

Look at the work done by FoxConn workers in China. Yeah, they are assembling your fucking awesome, newest iButtPlug electro-trinket, but those workers are unskilled. They simply pick part A and B from conveyor belt and put them together in a bucket in another conveyor belt.

Those are the type of manufacturing jobs that were predominant here, that were uber-sophisticated by the standards of the 50's and 60's when Europe and Japan were recovering from the ashes, China and India were completed fucked, Latin America was fucked and incompetent (hasn't changed much) and 2/3 of the planet was living in some weird state mixing stages from the Neolithic, Iron Age and Feudalism with a bit here and there from the Industrial Age circa 1800's.

Things changed, and those uber-sophisticated jobs no longer count as skilled. The rest of the planet did some catching up, and what counted as skilled now counts as menial.

Time to deal with it.

Comment: Romulan Ale (Score 2) 354

by Shakrai (#49149025) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

I've seen a lot of recipes over the years; the one that comes the closest to the effects of the "real" thing is equal parts Everclear, Bacardi 151, and Blue Curacao. It kind of tastes like gasoline but that's part of the appeal, along with pretending it was smuggled across the neutral zone after you've consumed too much of it.... ;)

Comment: Re:Just damn (Score 1, Troll) 354

by Shakrai (#49148903) Attached to: Leonard Nimoy Dies At 83

Human beings are one of the few (the only?) species on this blue marble that can override their baser instincts in favor of reason. I personally know several people who quit smoking cold turkey after many years. It's simply a matter of will power. Don't whine about the "tobacco" companies if you can't summon it even when you know the consequences.

The Tao is like a glob pattern: used but never used up. It is like the extern void: filled with infinite possibilities.