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Comment Re:If I had my way... (Score 1) 53

I'd seriously like to see the courts side with consumers and insist Lexmar must refill the cartridge for free as long as I own the printer. Let's see how fast the printer companies back off from their outrageous claims.

All of the printer companies have a history of abusing the legal system. Lexmar just happens to the worse offender.

Comment Laumerlicious stuff (Score 1) 345

Chris, know what else would make a superb movie from Laumer? The Long Twilight. That book is awesome fun.

It has superhumans, aliens and alien artifacts, AI constructs, alien empires, broadcast power, several quite different levels of plotting, alternate history, near-future tech, military aspects of various ages, a love story, revenge, reconciliation... and it's all reasonably doable, movie-wise.

Any Laumer fan who hasn't read it... I highly recommend it.

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 1) 345

Probably not. He's likely better at saying things with big words; and he's also human, and likely looks at people playing real instruments and people doing exactly the same thing with a thing shaped like a real instrument as ... well, performance art. His brain would immediately recognize the visible, physical aspect of playing the game as something he's accepted as performance art, and would build his entire appreciation of the game based on the presumption that it's leading people to engage in a non-video-game artform.

From there, attacking the game is attacking performance art. He might have actually had the impulse to attack the game based on his existing bias against video games, with the uncomfortable sensation of attacking performance art pushing back--simultaneously.

Whatever he then came up with from there is, in all likelihood, compensation for said irreconcilable conflict.

Seriously, what's the difference between Guitar Hero 4 and The Beatles: Rock Band? GH4 has a 5-button, plastic guitar; The Beatles: Rock Band has a two-octave keyboard that you can play in the same physical manner as a real instrument. Why wasn't Guitar Hero art?

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 2) 345

Uh, April 2010, "Back Then". Roger Ebert says "video games can never be art." Can never.

Let's make a new Plinkett/Bechtel type test right here. Describe artistic game expression without relying on irrelevant (to the medium) things like pretty backgrounds, models, or movie cut scenes.

Video games are mechanics affecting these things. Even Atari games move a few pixels. Those things have to be identifiable.

Xenosaga does this with cutscenes, voice acting, complex 3D graphics, orchestral music, and the like; Golden Sun did it with two-dimensional sprites and some transformations, along with text-based dialogue and some sound-effects, and music; and Adventure: Colossal Caves did it with only text. The first two have immensely complex stories and deeply-developed characters, like a Brandon Sanderson novel or a TV series such as Babylon 5; the last is largely an exploration of a descriptive and somewhat-fantastic world inside a mountain cave, with much less depth of plot and character.

The Metroid games does the same kind of thing, notably with Fusion, Other-M, and Prime; Super Metroid is said to have a strong story backing it, but doesn't express it directly via any kind of dialogue or cut-scenes, which draws some argument from people like me who say a game that doesn't demarcate plot and purpose isn't exactly conveying a story from the writer's mind to the player's. Nevertheless, even the original 8-bit game had complex level design and creative ideas of how a game is played, combining the "platformer" and "action-adventure" genres.

Video games are often a medium to tell a story (any genre), evoke an emotion (e.g. horror), or describe a place (the world in which the game occurs). Movies and books have to tell a story; static art (images) can only describe a situation at a moment (although, as with my argument about Super Metroid not demarcating plot elements, many people argue that a picture implies a timeline events leading into and out of the situation, and thus can tell a long and complex story on its own). A video game can just world-build, giving you a place to explore without explanation or purpose other than to see it; or it can create that place and then render it in a particular art style to show off the visual medium; or it can deliver a deep and immersive cinematic experience with the player in control, or at least the illusion of control. It has options.

Ebert's main argument was that video games aren't art because art is a thing you do and show others. Video games allow players to control the outcome--you can go left or right at this point--thus they have not expressed what the player will see and hear, and so aren't art. He essentially claims anything that doesn't play out exactly the same for everyone who observes it is not an artistic expression.

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 1) 345

The idea that he considered for even a moment trying to make an argument that music is not art is preposterous.

I said he probably didn't think he could get away with the argument; I didn't specify how long it took him to conclude that, or by what route. The game he conceded on is essentially performance of music.

Comment Cockpit access (Score 1) 248

First, those only stop someone from commandeering the aircraft in the circumstances that we saw in 2001 and do not necessarily address destroying an aircraft

No, they don't. And you can't, completely. You can shoot one down, and nothing at all prevents that. And the TSA doesn't do anything worth doing at all. But the problem that arose in 2001 was using the aircraft as a ballistic weapon with intelligent guidance. Everything that came about post 9/11 was in response to that. We'd had various aircraft destroyed by bombs, and no one felt we had to go anywhere near the lengths we did after 9/11. So what I was saying was that in response to 9/11, we should have done what I suggested, and that would have adequately addressed the actual issues that 9/11 brought to the table.

One of the concerns about the cockpit door is a rapid depressurization of passenger cabin might force that the door be opened.

Fine. If this is a real problem (unlikely, but possible), start building new aircraft without cockpit doors, and replacing the entire bulkhead in older aircraft. Have an external hatch access the cockpit; another the cabin. The pilots and engineer(s) don't need to be in the cabin, and the passengers and stews don't need to be in the cockpit.

Then toss the (un)PATRIOT(ic) act in the sewer where it belongs.

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