Jill Duffy writes "GameCareerGuide has posted an intellectual article about video games which argues there is no such thing as 'breaking the fourth wall' in games. Written by Matthew Weise, a lead game designer for the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, the article considers the complex relationship between video game players and characters. Weise says that, unlike in theater and film, video games don't ever really break the fourth wall, as it were, because in games, there is no wall. Players are always tethered to the technology, and the player is always just as much the main character as not the main character. Weise looks at both modern experimental games, like Mirror's Edge, as well as old classics, like Sonic the Hedgehog, to defend his point. He writes, 'Both avatars and the technological devices we use to control them are never simply in one reality. They are inherently liminal entities, contributing to a mindset that we, as players, exist in two realities at once. It's just as natural for a player to say, "I defeated that boss," as it is to say, "Snake defeated that boss," since Snake is and is not the player at the same time. It is likewise natural for a player to say, "I punched an enemy soldier," when in reality, she punched no one. All she did was press a button.'"
rmnoon writes "Apparently Japanese TV and bloggers have just discovered Disney's theme park in China, where young children can be part of the Magic Kingdom and interact with their favorite characters (like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and the Seven Dwarfs). The park's slogan is 'Because Disneyland is Too Far,' and there's even an Epcot-like dome. The only problem? Disney didn't build it, and they didn't authorize it. What's more? It's state-owned!"
jonerik writes "Though it's not being widely reported, this week marks the end of the line for the F-14 Tomcat in US Navy service. First flown in 1970, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat was easily one of the world's most powerful, advanced, and deadly aircraft for many years, capable of flying at Mach 2.3 and firing its half-dozen Mach 5 AIM-54 Phoenix air-to-air missiles at targets as much as 100 miles away. Having been gradually replaced during the last several years by the newer F/A-18E/F, the last of the aircraft in US service will be officially retired on Friday, September 22nd in a ceremony at Virginia's Oceana Naval Air Station. However, at least a few F-14s will continue to fly for a few more years: Iran — which took delivery of 79 aircraft before the overthrow of the Shah — still flies the plane, though only a small number (perhaps ten or twenty) are believed to still be in service due to a lack of spare parts and attrition."
riflemann writes "Another 26 episodes of Futurama will shortly go into production! This news comes from none other than Billy West (voice of Fry) himself, in a short post to his own message board. No further details are available, except that it's likely to be on TV, not straight to DVD." The best news is that means fresh quotes for slashteam to hide in the source code.
McDrewbie writes "Yahoo! News has an article about Japanese researchers extracting a small amount of gasoline from 3.5oz of cow dung. The process uses application of high heat and pressure. Hopefully, when more information is released, we can find out how much energy it takes to produce this gasoline and how energy efficient the process is."
This article, published 5 weeks ago by the CalTech PR office, is slightly better-written than the yahoo version.