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Comment I like this because... (Score 1) 366

I've long believed anything that you do can be done passively or it can be done actively. Someone earlier complained that they might as well offer a badge in movie watching. I guess he thinks that's a bad thing. But I like the idea of offering badges for things kids are already doing specifically because the badges have requirements and those requirements cause you to consider what you're doing and put effort into doing it right.

If this gaming badge was nothing more then a time sheet that gives a badge for X hours of gaming time it'd be worthless. But their requirement list is perfect: connect the gaming hobby to your family experience, research pricing at different stores instead of just bugging mom, and explaining what you're learning to your folks are all really good ideas and great practices to have.

As a movie example I worked at Blockbuster all through college because I was a movie buff. So I read movie reviews, I sought out rare movies, took movie classes, held movie conversations with other knowledgeable people and risked seeing movies I didn't like (or that challenged me) to find movies that could surprise me.

None of this is true of 95% of the people who walked into our store. They would not, under any condition, rent a movie they hadn't seen plastered on every billboard and bus in the city. They'd never, ever, rent a movie that wasn't in their native language or even starring people they didn't already know.

That said, I'm not bitter or angry at them. Movies aren't their serious hobby, they just want a bit of escapism after a long day of work. I'm fine with that.

What I am saying is this: one approach deserves a badge and the other does not.

I, for one, respect the cub scouts for giving their members a reason to take aspects of their lives more seriously and their requirements are exactly right to meet that goal.

Oh, and one other point: the purpose of badges is to have more than one. That gaming should be one hobby balanced among others is a fine lesson as well.

Comment The real danger: (Score 2, Funny) 478

Isn't leaving extremely powerful particle stream generating equipment out in the open air how supervillains get made?

Tell me this isn't how it happens: some escaping convict, with dogs barking and flashlights swinging wildly behind him is being chased through the Swiss woods. He jumps the one fence with the "do not enter" sign even as the klaxons begin to blare in warning of the experiment beginning. In his panic he doesn't notice the air-cooling door opening ahead of him and falls through into the machine itself. He yells, and bangs on the walls but is unheard and unnoticed as the cold voice of science counts down to ignition over a distant intercom. The hairs on his arms stand on end and electricity crackles through the air around him as the room begins to glow...

...and so on. It's how we end up with the nefarious Baguette Man. Hrm... maybe it was on the French side instead of Switzerland?

More the point: what kind of open-air equipment is immune to rain and vulnerable to bread?

Comment Re:Transcript of first excursion (Score 5, Funny) 203

I wrote one like that in high school:

A team of tiny tapeworms were trekking through a tract
As was their creed and calling, the purpose of their pact
When one among their numbers, who's eyes were not as strong
Decided he would light a match, not knowing this was wrong.
But the others saw the danger and screamed with tiny howls:
"He will ignite the methane gas! EVACUATE THE BOWELS!"

Comment I may be the last survivor. (Score 1) 374

Lets see, I got to tell Ron Gilbert a limerick I wrote face to face, I got to play 20 glorious minutes (each) of Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 AND I saw Bioware unveil Old Republic gameplay?

Worth it.

Pro tip: Blizzard had free bottles of Blizzcon Hand Sanitizer (I kid you not) at their desk. That'll save you, surely.

Comment Computers aren't designers. (Score 1) 162

Better AI agents? If it means the end of Ulduar PUGS more power to 'em. But I've been hearing a lot about "computer designed" games recently and I think it sounds like a terrible idea. I don't even like the idea of player driven design, why would I trust the machine?

You see what I enjoy most about games is reveling in the craft of the designer. Bioware's story, Blizzards art, Lionheads... press releases. These are professionals, very good at what they do, who are setting out to engage me. So they wrap a story around me and that story is "Your hero sets out from humble beginnings to acquire the strength to defeat..." and so on and so forth. Player driven? "Your hero sets out from humble beginnings when suddenly M0nkeeP4nts, a level 80 death knight, runs him through with Newb Gank, his legendary two handed sword. Then he squats over your corpses face and farts loudly." I find it hard to imagine anything computer driven doing much better

...though as a side note I *do* enjoy when a decent designer builds some random elements in. X-Com's or Diablo's random maps are great. I mean, heck, even Worms would play out differently if you just had the static, premade arenas memorized. So there's something to be said for dynamic systems, certainly, I just like to know that a qualified professional is behind that system, is all.

Comment Re:Written to be released on DVD (Score 1) 834

I've always been a movie guy, and this has long irked me. Those few times I've given whatever series a try, I'll say "why is this good" and they'll go "oh, you have to watch the whole thing".

But, see, that *isn't* actually true of movies. You might not know the story, but you'll know the quality from about any point. If I'm flipping channels and I land half way through a movie I don't know it doesn't take me long to know if I think it's well made or not. Then, of course, I rent it to see it all from the beginning. But I can tell the quality right away.

Why should TV be exempt?

Besides, I like to think of myself as the consumer and not the consumed.

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