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Comment Computation Thoughts & Nostalgia (Score 1) 204

Finally they prove these games are as hard as flipping pancakes!

Joking aside, being NP-Hard doesn't really correspond to difficulty. It was pointed out in another comment that since the levels are fixed, they cannot be NP-Hard. Another then said people have altered the levels on many of these games, but that still doesn't mean much. There is no set of levels that could prove it.

Being NP-Hard is a property of at least one of the mechanisms in the game. For the proof, the mechanism is shown be able to encode an NP-complete problem in such a way that if you could solve the game mechanism's problem quickly, it can be shown to quickly give solutions to the NP-complete problem. So it's not really any specific level, its the ability to embed other "hard" problems into the level and being able to translate the solution back quickly that's important. (IE, it's hard because it's solution can "automatically" solve other hard problems quickly)

Odds are if you saw the levels created by translating 3-Sat problems (or whatever they used for the reduction) into Mario levels, you'd think the levels were not fun in the slightest. Then again, it could be cool to let people input some 3-Sat problem and then go play the Mario level and see the answer they generated by beating the level. Anyone wanna make that? And then input the levels into Super Mario Crossover 2 so I can use the Blaster Master tank :)

Speaking of Blaster Master, I got a kick out of reading other people's experiences with those old NES games. It seems the harder those games were the more I liked them. Kid Icarus, Battletoads, Blaster Master, Fester's Quest, and Solomon's Key were mentioned, but also Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the one with the swimming bomb-defusing second level), Friday the 13th (though once you know how Jason attacks it's too easy, even just throwing stones), the first Mega Man (without using the repeated select button trick), Bart vs. The Space Mutants, Double Dragon III, Ninja Gaiden Trilogy, Deadly Towers, Rush 'n Attack, Snake Rattle & Roll, Mike Tyson's Punch Out, Metroid, Gauntlet, Castlevania, Nightmare on Elm Street, Little Nemo, Legendary Wings, Bionic Commando, Guardian Legend, Zelda I & II, Marble Madness, Werewolf, Legacy of the Wizard. I've got nostalgia for each one (maybe because I spent enough time to memorize the levels, develop my strategy, and finally win), not to mention the various RPGs but those are generally less difficult. Thank goodness for emulators :)

Comment Re:I'm so confused (Score 1) 372

Technically, anything seen on a computer monitor / LCD screen / movie screen / etc is an image, regardless of whether there's text on it or not.

I'm thinking that getting a group of Tennesseans together that finds the interface that Windows uses intimidating and frightening might be a good idea. Has Sony made any movies with a part that is frightening, intimidating, or offensive lately?

Also, for some odd reason the Tennessee state seal and flag are getting rather offensive to me.

Comment Re:Is That More Than a Brazillion? (Score 0) 545

Wow... I wrote the same joke a while back and got a 0,redundant.

Kudos to posting at the right time and place. (or not, according to the rest of the replies to your post)

So, how many unique funny comments do you think there are on /., and how many are repeated a couple times every month? I'm thinking that if you compiled all of them together that you could get an astonishingly good rate of compression...

After a while, jokes should be added to an un-funny-modable blacklist. This would promote more creative jokes as well as be an easily accessible archive for jokes. We could look back and see what stupid thing we thought was funny umpteen years ago. "Pfft, a car analogy? That officially stopped being funny in .... let me look it up... 2009 when it was modded funny for the 1,785th time." We could also associate the first use of a joke to a given person, so we could easily send hate PMs for the collective "ughhh" forced upon society by their careless, but ironically thoughtful, humor.

Comment Re:Dosen't this give the people more choice ? (Score 1) 416

More choices will be an understatement.

Passing this means that there's no incentive to prune the number of possible candidates to one per party, so why won't there be a flood of candidates from each party? Try and limit to 1 candidate per party, and you'll end up with tons of "independents."

To use an analogy CNN wouldn't touch with a 40 foot pole nowadays, essentially you'll change from one carefully aimed rifle shot to a shotgun blast. Sorry it wasn't a car analogy...

Comment Re:Not Just Hateb by the Left (Score 1) 1425

unfairly redistributing wealth (healthcare).

Huh? How is providing free stuff at the expense of everyone else to "the poor" wealth redistribution?

Fixed that for you. Really, you cannot see it? It seems almost the definition.

And while we're on that topic, why is always considered a bad thing when wealth redistribution benefits the lower-middle income, but it's a good thing when it benefits the upper 2% (e.g. tax breaks for the wealthy)?

Tax breaks may make you think they are getting something, but it's just taking less from them. They still pay a greater percentage in taxes. Except the very rich avoid paying taxes altogether (offshore/etc). If you raise taxes too much, those that are rich enough will find ways to avoid paying them. The hope is that small business owners will hire more people if their taxes are lowered. It's {a balancing act, a tough problem, impossible?} to minimize moochers and also not give aid to those who don't need it.

The problem with wealth redistribution is that people are getting stuff for nothing. This reduces the work done by people (why get a job if you'll be getting a "pay cut" by going off unemployment? 99 weeks.... really? Most get jobs (or at least seriously look for them) right as unemployment stops anyway.), and encourages dependence, an attitude of entitlement (why does someone deserve to be paid for not working?), and removes accountability. In general, you don't value things you are given and didn't need to work for. Going back to health care, why put a lot of effort in keeping yourself healthy if any health problem is "free" (to be read "paid for by everyone else") to get fixed? It's for these kind of reasons (and so many others) that socialism/communism simply doesn't work long term. There is really no substitute for a good work ethic.

Don't get me wrong, there are people who need help and there are extenuating circumstances where a little help can make a world of difference. It's just not clear cut. Charities have been created for these kind of things, and generally work more efficiently than the government (ever had a government job, or even a highly unionized one?). Another plus for the charities route is that It makes people feel good to give to those in need, but taking from people makes them angry.

Yeah, I'm generally conservative/right-leaning, but do try and understand all sides of issues. I would love to hear opposing viewpoints.

Comment Re:Let them know how you feel (Score 1) 385

Agreed. Anyone who hasn't played it is missing out... so try it!
It's not the original, but it plays just like it. Reminiscing makes me want to try and take out a fleet of Ur-quan (both Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah) with a single Thraddash ship.

Also, is futurama's Hypnotoad a dynarri?

Comment bandwidth... (Score 1) 228

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway. —Tanenbaum, Andrew S.

Wikipedia also mentions that "the original version of this quotation came much earlier; the very first problem in Tanenbaum's 1981 textbook Computer Networks asks the student to calculate the throughput of a St. Bernard carrying floppy disks (which are said to hold 250 kilobytes of data)." --

Comment How can it not be art??? (Score 1) 733

First, from a math/logic perspective, video games are a super set of all art (save taste, smell, and many touch aspects). Practically any piece of art that has ever existed can be experienced through a video game.

Example 1. Paintings -> Textures. Sculptures -> 3D models. {Books, Movies} -> {Plot, Storyline, Character Development, Text, Conversation, Setting}. Some touch -> Force feedback. Music -> Soundtrack. Sounds -> Sound effects.

Second, video games can be "turned into art" by trivial means.

Example 2. Imagine the Mona Lisa was never painted. Some game designer creates a maze game with colored walls that allows zooming in and out. If you zoom out enough, the level is shown to be the Mona Lisa (to any degree of fidelity required). This is not art, but printing off a copy and taping it to your wall would make the printed copy art?

Example 3. Imagine that someone's play through of Final Fantasy X is recorded. One in which he talks to everyone to provide the character development, etc. This is essentially a (super long, rather slow developing) movie. It has a plot, character development, etc. This movie would then be art, but having any say in the outcome is not? (FYI, I do not intend to compare FFX to the Mona Lisa by this example, it is merely an example....any sufficiently interesting game would have worked. I mainly chose FFX because I remember some critics calling it a 100 hour movie because of the long cut scenes)

Example 4. Imagine a given work of classical music was never created. Imagine a platformer in which the only solution recreates this work through sound effects to reach the next area. A given audio recording would be art, but the game itself isn't?

Third, having some extra control in how you experience something should not change whether it is art.

Example 5. While watching a movie, I may, intentionally or not, fail to notice something a character says or an object shown on the film. It is still art. If the movie from example 3 were to skip some of the character development, it would simply be a movie with crappier character development.

Example 6. You are reading a book and do not recognize why certain elements are crucial to the plot. In a subsequent read, you put 2 and 2 together and notice what you didn't before. In a game you can find side plots you didn't know exist that explain further why the plot turns out as it does, or even simply "finally put 2 and 2 together."

Fourth, having an objective/puzzles should not disqualify something from being art. (a.k.a., BRAID IS ART...Grrr)

Example 7. "Where's Waldo?" books.

Example 8. "Choose your own adventure" books.

These two examples can be done with works of arbitrary quality and I'm sure could be qualified as "art." Not only this, but these can be directly made into video games.

All art is the expression of some idea or emotion {or combinations} by it's creator. How can a medium that allows so much more than any other medium not ever have the possibility of yielding art?

I have the impression that Ebert wouldn't give a video game a chance anyway. I doubt he has had much interaction with the medium of video games, and, as some posters above have stated, may have an agenda against the medium as a whole to protect movies or is biased another way (perhaps just age). You cannot judge a book by it's cover, you cannot judge a movie by it's trailer, and you cannot judge a game by it's trailer either. Not only this, but just because you cannot appreciate something doesn't mean it is not art.

I give Ebert's article/argument two thumbs way down.

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