Friday, August 24, 2007

Why Is There Always Money For Bubble Shields and Plasma Turrets, But Not For Love?

Monday was perfectly funereal. It was dark, rainy and Karen went to a funeral. It's kind of hard to be flip about funerals. Actually, of course, it's easy, but I don't want to this to be that kind of blog.
Last night was lovely, though. I went for a short ride. It was a short ride because I'm still a little tentative about clipless pedals and the bike trail was full of people walking, walking their dogs, pushing strollers, and even riding bikes. It was harrowing, so I turned around at Westchester Lagoon and rode towards home. Just before the duck pond I met a classmate of Sarah's from Sonrise who was skiing or whatever it's called when you have short wheeled ski-like devices attached to your feet.
We ended up talking for quite awhile. She had been to the same funeral as Karen. The lady that died had looked at her cancer as a sort of blessing because it gave her a chance to tell doctors and nurses and whoever about Jesus. What a contrast with so many of us who look at even a hang nail as a chance to complain. Well, especially those really bad hang nails that sort of start to tear. Man, I hate those.
She, Sarah's classmate, has just finished school and starts a job in her field on Monday. She's ready to start looking for a steady boy, but there don't seem to be any. She asked me if I knew any nice boys. "No, they're all playing video games, as far as I know,"
It turns out, according to Wired Magazine *that, as far as video games go, women, living women, at least are competing with Microsoft. Well, duh, but, Microsoft is really playing hardball. No, wait, that's Electronic Arts.

*here's a highlight from the article:
...because it is owned by Microsoft, which launches dozens of Xbox and PC games every year, Bungie has access to one of the most advanced game-testing facilities ever built. Pagulayan and his team have now analyzed more than 3,000 hours of Halo 3 played by some 600 everyday gamers, tracking everything from favored weapons to how and where — down to the square foot — players most frequently get killed.
Bungie doesn't just test its own games this way. It also buys copies of rival titles and studies those, too, to see how Halo matches up. "I've never seen anything like it," says Ian Bogost, a professor of digital media at Georgia Tech, who toured the testing lab in the fall. "The system they've got is insane."
It might seem like an awfully clinical approach to creating an epic space-war adventure. But Bungie's designers aren't just making a game: They're trying to divine the golden mean of fun. They need to create an experience that is challenging enough to thrill the 15 million existing hardcore fans of Halo — yet appealing enough to lure in millions of new players.

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