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Input Devices

Brain-Control Gaming Headset Launching Dec. 21 112

An anonymous reader writes "Controlling computers with our minds may sound like science fiction, but one Australian company claims to be able to let you do just that. The Emotiv device has been garnering attention at trade shows and conferences for several years, and now the company says it is set to launch the Emotiv EPOC headset on December 21. PC Authority spoke to co-founder Nam Do about the Emotiv technology and its potential as a mainstream gaming interface." One wonders what kind of adoption they expect with a $299 price tag.

Comment Reboots vs. Remakes vs.... (Score 1) 1120

I'm seeing a lot of interesting 1-shot comments here now.

I'm thinking that a prime candidate for a reboot has to meet certain criteria.

* There has to be some lore. If the game is pure play style without a story, then it's not really a reboot. If you changed the play style, you change the genre, and that's the most defining characteristic of a game. (Would you reboot Guitar Hero as a band sim?)
* The franchise is a series. (You can't reboot Hellgate: London, for example; it's either a sequel (if you liked the story) or a remake (you didn't).)
* The first of the series was considered great. If it wasn't, you either build on it (a bad reboot), or redo it (a remake).
* At some point, the rest of the series was considered less than great. At some point, the sequels just added too much. It became feature-ridden, self-inconsistent, or silly.

That last point is the crux. It's like you made this great base camp in the jungle, and it had several great-looking treks you could take, and you took one, but it turned out to suck, so now you have to go back to base camp and try a different route.

Good candidates I'm noticing include Deus-Ex, Doom, Duke Nukem, Everquest, Half-Life (rebootable, even though I personally love the current line), King's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Space Quest, Star Control, Tomb Raider, Ultima, and Zork.

Comment For effects, I still look to Zemeckis. (Score 1) 461

For the best use of special effects, my favorite director is still Robert Zemeckis. For someone who's done as many high-concept sci-fi pieces as he has, his use of FX is remarkably sparing, and artfully placed. Consider Dan Taylor's legs in Forrest Gump, and the giant device in Contact. Even the footage of Gump with various US Presidents, while receiving some criticisms, is arguably in the same vein.

He seems to try very hard to get a realistic look out of something that you know couldn't possibly exist. A lot of this mileage is achieved by placing the effect into an ordinary, present-day setting, as opposed to inundating you in an entire lavish otherworld. Even in a futuristic universe like Star Trek, numerous opportunities exist to juxtapose the ordinary and the fantastic; in fact, Trek stands out as begging for such moments, since one of its motifs is that it presents allegories for our present time.

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You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than about 10^12 to 1. -- Ernest Rutherford