Thursday, August 31, 2006

now visible: audible words

One of my articles for Game Developer Magazine is featured this morning on the front page of If you don't get Game Developer and you're interested in seeing how the gaming press reviews game audio, head on over and click the link in the upper left corner of the page.

Or click here. Whatever works.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


For my birthday this year, my dad surprised me with a gift certificate to iTunes. It's a great gift. I've been downloading a bunch of music that I'd never gotten around to checking out before. When I didn't have money already allocated to iTunes, I couldn't justify spending any on it. Now that it's already there, I can't find any reason not to use it. Anyway, I've been getting some really great stuff recently.

Now, I realize I'm pretty late to the party with this, but last night I downloaded "American Idiot," Green Day's album from last year. Before I start yammering on about it, two concessions. A.) I realize that I'm about to jump head-long into the major conceit of both the blogosphere and artistic criticism at large: the general delusion that anyone else cares what my opinion is, and 2.) anyone who knows me knows that I don't like musicals, and that includes rock operas, so that colors most of what I'm about to say.

So, anyway, American Idiot. I have to say, I got this album largely based on the strength of the singles I had heard on the radio and the huge "woah tis CD roXorz!!" attitude that everyone has had about it ever since it came out.

Now, I like Green Day much the same way that someone might like Don Cheadle. Great actor? Absolutely. Do I like the movies I've seen him in? Sure! Am I president of his fan club or standing in line at midnight screenings of "Hotel Rwanda 2: Motel Rwanda"? No. So, when it comes to Green Day, I own the obligatory copy of "Dookie" like everyone my age and I tend not to change the station if they come on the radio.

However, before owning the album, when tracks from "American Idiot" came on the radio I found that I would sit there transfixed. The song writing is so phenomenally better than anything they've done before. The hooks are stronger. The risks they take are bigger. The lyrics are more timely and meaningful.

So, and I'll get to the point, why is the album "American Idiot" so insanely average? Well, for me, when it's on, it's ON. Rock solid writing, great arranging, great performances, etc. However, where it falls flat to me is in it's existence as a concept album/rock opera. And so, when it's not on, it's really completely forgettable and lame. In the end, that averages out to completely average.

I don't like concept albums. I've never heard one that was done really well. Sure, there's "Sgt. Peppers," but even The Beatles admit that it's not a concept album in any respect other than the fact that they said "Hey, this is a concept album." But, "Operation: Mindcrime", David Bowie's "Outside," "Tommy," Extreme's "Yours, Mine, and the Truth," "Joe's Garage," "Pinkerton," Tori Amos' "Scarlet's Walk" ... All of them don't work for me.

And they don't work for me in the same way that "American Idiot" doesn't work for me. To me, the strength of American Idiot is in the deeply resonating lyrics such as "Well maybe I'm the faggot America/I'm not a part of a redneck agenda." Anyone who counts themselves as a Blue Stater can probably relate to that. Where Green Day lose me is when they start talking about recurring characters:

"My name is Jimmy and you better not wear it out
Suicide commando that your momma talked about
King of the forty thieves
And I'm here to represent
That needle in the vein of the establishment"

Yawn. When you start to dabble in cliched characterization, you start to ruin what was so true and relatable to the initial track of the album.

Honestly, I've never gone from so into an album to so over an album than I have with "American Idiot." I feel like I can hear the moments when they decided to switch from sincerity and get too clever for their own good while starting to repeat motifs and characters into a "Tommy"-inspired muck of pinball wizardlian self-indulgence.

Anyway, I'm off to go listen to "Til The Sun Turns Black," the new album from Ray Lamontagne. His first album - "Trouble" - was an incredible set of songs laced with heart, soul, and depth. Let's hope his follow-up isn't a concept album.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

if at first you don't succeed ...

There's a concept in game design. Maybe it's not limited to game design, I don't know. Anyway, it's called "iterative design" and basically it goes like this:

While you're designing something, you continually refine, redefine, and retest your original ideas in order to make them better, stronger, and more focused.

Or, more simply: by the end of a project, you'll have a billion different versions of the same thing.

So, all day today I've been stuck in iterative design mode. I delivered 12 pieces of audio for a game as originally designed and it turns out the designers felt the audio was too long. They specified shrinking each piece down to 60 seconds. I did. I redelivered. Now they feel that it's all too short. So, I'm spending all day today going through the process of shrinking the original pieces down to about a minute and a half. It takes all day every time they ask me to do this and it's really tedious. Plus, it's for a project that - technically - I'm not even on anymore.

Fun. Anyway, I'm almost done. Here's hoping they're done. I don't feel like editing 2 minute versions of the same 12 pieces again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

bloggy, bloggy, rotten loggy

Sunday was Manda's birthday and the grand plan for the day was a little rhyme: Vasoni, bologna, and spumoni. Vasoni was for Vasona State Park where we were going to have a picnic lunch (thus the bologna). Spumoni is a kind of ice cream served at one of her favorite restaurants where I took her out to dinner. It was a nice day and included some kite flying, even though I couldn't figure out how to make that rhyme and end with -oni.

While we were at the park, we set up our picnic blanket in a nice shady area that happened to be near a large family (about 20 people) who were having a big family picnic. It didn't take long before the 10 or so kids decided to start playing catch with a Nerf football right next to us. Not exactly the romantic and relaxing picnic I'd had in mind.

However! It did give Amanda and I the chance to relive a little bit of what it was like to be 10 years old.

Let's just say this: kids are awesome because they don't know how to express themselves for shit.

So, just in case you need to know, here's a crash course in how to insult someone if you find that you're suddenly 10 years old again.

1. Shame 'em with Math
Yep, that's right. When the shit hits the fan, add. Or rather, tell your rival that they're so dumb that they don't even know what one plus one is. This is apparently a big insult in the kid world. If they happen to counter with the inevitable "Yuh-huh! It's 2!," then go for "oh yeah? Then what's 10 plus 10?" If all else fails, the big finisher is always "I bet you don't know 10 times 10."

2. Rhyme
If your math battle goes nowhere, you have no recourse but to start rhyming. Rhyming anything at your rivals is sure to make them feel like retards. If you want, start off with this one that we heard - repeatedly - yesterday "Weaky, weaky, lemon squeaky!" This was apparently very insulting to the other kid to whom it was directed because he got very angry and yelled "You're weak!" Unfortunately it was too late ... For you see, the benefit of a good rhyme is that it's bound to be instantly taken up and chanted by any other kids in the area. The other kid's protests that his attacker was, in fact, the weak one were unfortunately drowned out by the massive shout chorus of "lemon squeaky!!" that was coming from the rest of the kids.

So, there you go. 1. Math. 2. Rhymes. The key to winning any battle with a ten year old. Keep that in mind should you ever run up against a Zoltar machine.

Friday, August 25, 2006

guess it's time to up my meds ...

I don't know why, but yesterday on my way home I kept having the strongest urge to be the weirdest guy on the train. Mostly it involved the urge to talk to people around me about things that no one would even remotely care about:

1.) I had a strong urge to high-five my train neighbor when I was playing Jewel Quest on my cellphone and cleared a level.

2.) While waiting for the shuttle to arrive, for some reason I thought it would be hysterical to say to the guy sitting next to me "Hey! Hey, guy! Let's talk to each other like we know each other - even though we don't!"

3.) Some guy got on the ghost train and then got off two stops later. I don't know why, but I had such an overwhelming urge to start taunting him. "Oh yeah! Go on! Get off the shuttle. We don't want anyone around here who isn't really into shuttling, anyway. We're all real men! We know how to shuttle right!"

I dunno what the hell was wrong with me. I'm charging up my iPod today while I work. Hopefully I can retreat into my headphones on the way home and not become a menace II society.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How many planets are there in the Solar System?

If you said "Nine, idiot. Everyone knows that." then you'd be wrong.

As of today, Pluto is no longer officially considered a planet.


There are only eight planets in the Solar System.

?? This must be what it feels like to change the number of stars on the flag. Somewhere there's a centenarian sitting around saying "I'll be damned if I'll ever use that new fangled 'Oklahoma' flag ... everyone knows there should only be 45 stars on Old Glory, idiot."

Then again, that same crotchy old jerk probably refused to accept Pluto as a planet originally anyway. So ...

I lost the point of what I was trying to say. Anyway, Pluto = space rock, not planet.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

damn you, apple ... damn you to hell

Take public transportation these days and there's one thing you'll see more than anything else: iPods. They're everywhere, hanging off of people like some kind of symbiotic parasite.

No, actually, I don't mind them really. It's slightly annoying to hear the high frequency mish-mash of 8 different hi-hat patterns bleeding out from people's earbuds around me, but I can cope with that.

What I find truly awesome - and by awesome, I mean "not awesome" - are the people who have no problems with singing along to their iPod on a crowded train.

Um ... exqueeze me?

Don't these people realize that standard elevator/urinal rules apply to mass transit? 1.) Keep to yourself, 2.) speak only when spoken to, 3.) No freakin' singing along to your iPod.

My two favorite train singers so far have been:

1. The guy this morning who liked to cluck his tongue and dance along with his mariachi iPod music. He was sitting right in front of me and would wiggle his head and cluck his tongue in rhythm to the music.

2. And this lady's my favorite - the lady who sang traditional Vietnamese music to herself on the ghost train. Picture a little old lady rocking out with this but unaccompanied - AND NOT ON A STAGE.

Special. If nothing else, public transportation seems to give me an endless about of stuff to blog about.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Snakes As A Movement

In response to direct questioning, I thought I'd explain why I was so into seeing Snakes On A Plane this weekend. Yes, Manda and I saw it on Sunday and, yes, it was lousy. But, not wholly without any amount of entertainment. It had massive plot holes, terrible acting, bad dialogue, and plenty of moments that just don't make any sense at all. But ...

My stock joke answer for wanting to see it was "I want to support it so that Hollywood will start churning out copy-cat crap like 'Sharks On A Dirigible' or 'Piranhas In A Gorilla Costume'" or whatever, just like Ry said. But, in reality, that isn't the real reason that I wanted to support this movie.

To me, there's something very cool about the producers going back and adding lines into the film to please the fanbase. That's extremely hip. When was the last time that fan involvement helped to shape part of the movie itself before it was finished? The fact that there was a very organic and cooperative process happening there is what should be the big lesson to the studios. Not that the country wants to see crap. Not that we want to see "Snakes On A Plane 2: More Snakes On A Plane." But that fans can get behind something that they feel a part of - that they feel they are involved with and not simply consuming.

I think I was so affected by this because of what went on during the filming of Star Wars: Episode III. More or less around the time of the film's pre-production was when the whole Star Wars Kid thing hit the internet. Here was a kid from Canada named Ghyslain who clearly loved Star Wars and quickly became more than just a source of mockery to many on the internet. He also became a hero. He came to represent to many anyone who had ever swung a broom around like a lightsaber, jumped over a creek as though it were an endless pit within the Death Star, or made Darth Vader breath noises within a paper cup. He represented the imagination of Star Wars fans and the general disconnect between who you wish you could be in your imagination and who you actually are in real life.

As such, there began a tremendous ground swell in the fan community to "Put Ghyslain In Ep 3." It was a pretty vocal movement for a little while and one that seemed like it was maybe starting to get some traction when an on-set web cam once displayed a hand written sign that read "We Love Ghyslain." In the end, Ghyslain was not in Ep 3.

But - he could have been. And it would have been a tremendous story. And if it had happened, it would have trumped SoaP and been the movie that got all of the buzz for having listened to the fans, indulged their goofy whims, and in the end make a stronger bond between the content creators and the content consumers.

Anyway, that is why I wanted to support SoaP. In the end, while it may spur a small number of crappy rip-off action movies, hopefully the larger lesson will be absorbed by studios as well.

Friday, August 18, 2006

snakes. on. a. plane.

Snakes on a plane, snakes on a plane snakes on a plane. Snakes! On a plane! Snakes on a plane snakes on a. Plane snakes. On a plane, snakes on a plane snakes on a plane snakes on a plane. Snakes on a: 1.) plane, 2.) snakes on a, 3.) plane.


On a plane,

- Snakes on a plane

Thursday, August 17, 2006

our loss is clearly someone else's gain

Q: You know what public transportation has that driving alone in my car doesn't have?

A: Crazy people.

Manda and I went to the Caltrain station this morning and arrived just as three police officers were having a conversation with some scruffy-looking nerf herder. This guy was in his early 30s and dirty. About one pair of Hefty bag pants away from hobo dirty.

The best part about him - and I'd say this is the best part about any decent, self-respecting crazy person - is that this guy wouldn't stop talking. The cops had this look on their face that seemed to say "Right now, I'm thinking about some paperwork I have to do .. oh, and maybe I'll go to In 'N Out for lunch ..." Meanwhile, Crazy McTrainguy was yammering on and on (and on) about how he "wasn't a part of the whole Watergate thing" and also something about how he "travels between here and France collecting music from the collectives," whatever the hell that means. Apparently "it's a repertoire that goes back eight thousand years."

The biggest issue with him seemed to be that he didn't like being threatened by the police. My favorite part of the whole encounter was when he started to threaten the cops. Not with violence, mind you. No, he threatened "to leave the country and stop all of [his] work doing translations." I guess translating the 8,000 year old music. The cops didn't seem all that broken up about it and ultimately he just got on the train when it arrived, so I guess our country is still blessed with his "talents."

By the way, speaking of crazy - here's a site called It's pretty self-explanatory.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

my new accoutrements

This past Sunday, Amanda threw a really nice birthday party for me at Dave & Buster's down in Milpitas. It was lots of fun. There was cake, and food, and goodie bags ... she really out-did herself. (Thanks, babe!)

Anyway, for those who haven't been to a Dave & Buster's, it's essentially a restaurant and grown-up arcade tossed together in one place. After we all ate, everyone moved on to the arcade where the goal quickly became Ticket-Thon 2006. Everyone was trying to amass as many tickets as possible so that they could give them all to me and I could cash them in a big new prize from the ticket reclamation booth. Mission accomplished. They managed to get 4200 tickets all together. And while that wasn't enough to get me my very own copy of Battlefront 2 for the Playstation 2 (don't really need that ...), it did manage to get me:

The Talking Donald Trump Doll

Yep. He's awesome. Highly posable and let's not forget highly talkative. When I asked him to comment for the blog here, he said "Stay focused." Generally good advice, I think. Wouldn't want my post to seem as though I'm rambling.

The other awesome ticket prize I got was this:

A completely hideous Darth Vader lamp. It's mounted on an ugly spring, glows with this hideous 70s amber color, and generally looks like someone's craft project rather than a mass-produced product. It was the only one they had there and it felt wrong not to bring something so ugly back home to the mothership here at Lucas.

Lastly, I got a white plastic skull full of green slime:

Amidst the slime are some black rubber maggots (the big cigar-looking things in Trumps hand). It's pretty gross.

Anyway, good stuff. I'll give Trump the last word here today:

"Remember: the buck starts here."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

the underground shuttle

The Presidigo Shuttle is definitely some long-lost descendant to the Underground Railroad. Now, before you jump all over me and say "Hey, a-hole, the Underground Railroad was an enormous civil rights victory against oppression that saved thousands of lives while the Presidigo is just a bus that runs into downtown San Francisco," let me say "yes. you're right." But, CLEARLY the great-great grandson of the person who scheduled Underground Railroad stops and stations is the one in charge of organizing the Presidigo.

You see, as best as I can figure, the Presidigo is this mysterious shuttle that just shows up at random places in the city, picks up people who live or work in the Presidio, and then carts them back off behind the walls of the Lombard Gate. The thing is, there are no signs for it anywhere in town. No where. Caltrain doesn't know anything about it. BART doesn't know anything about it. MUNI doesn't know anything about it. And yet, you'll see people waiting on random, completely unmarked street corners who just somehow know that at 9:33 the Presidigo will be stopping next to Old Man Johnson's barn and that they should get on if they want to make it to freedom ... or you know, the Presidio.

But how did they figure this out? I got off of BART this morning to get onto the Presidigo and started hunting around for signs. Nothing. With no indication of where the shuttle picks people up in the morning, I decided that I'd go wait where it dropped me off the night before. I walked two blocks to the Transbay Terminal, made my way under an overpass, and stood next to a completely unassuming light post. There was no sign indicating the Presidigo. I'm lucky that I have a decent sense of direction and a pretty good memory for visual landmarks, but even I wasn't sure I was at the right random light post.

After about 10 minutes, I was convinced that I was being completely ridiculous. There was no indication that any kind of anything was going to stop under the overpass to pick people up. Just when I thought I was officially retahded for even trying this location point, some random guy walked up and also started to loiter near the light post. I can't tell you how excited I was. It was like I'd figured out a secret handshake or hacked my way around some fancy-schmancy firewall. Sure enough, a few minutes later the Presidigo pulled up and I got on.

Harry Potter has the Night Bus. England has London Below. San Francisco has the Presidigo.

Monday, August 14, 2006

2 hours and a half hours

That was the length of my new commute to work today. My car's dead, that much I've mentioned before. So, today was the first day of work for me without a car. That meant that I got to explore the rich wonderland known as public transportation.

Now, by and large, my experience was fine. It took a little longer than I wanted it to in order for me to get from San Mateo to San Fran. But, no biggie. I enjoyed not driving, I was able to finish my latest GameDeveloper article, and I just happen to love trains. So, all around - good.

Unfortunately, I read the schedule wrong for the Presidigo Shuttle, the free shuttle that will take me from BART (San Fran's subway system) to my office in the Presidio. Turns out I looked at the info in Insert A when I should have looked at Insert B on the Presidigo schedule info. Stupid me. What does it mean? It means I showed up a half an hour late for the last shuttle to the Presidio.

Frustratingly, absolutely no one anywhere downtown seemed to know anything about the Presidigo. It's some sort of weirdo ghost train that just shows up, drops off Presidio phantoms, and disappears. There are no signs for it. None of the transit system workers know anything about it. So, I didn't know I was late for a while. I stood around waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a ghost train that never arrived. It was awhile before I actually made the realization that the ghost train was not coming. So, I decided I'd start walking. I figured I'd walk until I found an ATM and then get a taxi to work.

Turns out I found the one freakin' street in San Francisco that doesn't have an ATM. I ended up walking about a mile before I found both a taxi stand and an ATM next to each other and finally made it to work.

My favorite part of the taxi ride was when the taxi driver got a call on his cellphone, turned around to me and held a finger up to his mouth as if to say "Shhhh ... don't let this person know you're here." Quoth the raven: Bweh?! Is this guy moonlighting as a taxi driver? Why would a taxi driver need to sound like he didn't have passengers? Part of me felt like I'd wandered into an 80s comedy movie where this guy was trying to fool his in-laws into thinking he was a nuclear brain surgeon diplomat when in reality he just drives a cab.

Well, buddy, you're secret's safe with me. Oh ... well, except that I just blogged about it. Guess it's not safe with me. Sorry, guy.

Friday, August 11, 2006

if we were all three-toed sloths ...

We'd probably have a base-6 number system. That being the case, I would have celebrated today at the age of 18. Instead, being humans and all, today is my 30th birthday and the beginning of my third decade on Earth.

And I rang it in watching the finale of "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" and watching my brother horribly attempt to perform the Running Man, which was much funnier than Deuce Bigalow.

So, here it is - 30. I feel significantly less introspective than I would have imagined. I attribute it to the fact that I have always been the youngest person in my department at work. Therefore, I'm surrounded by people already in their 30s and I end up feeling as though that's where I am already. I certainly don't feel like I'm a part of the "where am I going? What am I doing?" crowd of mid-20 somethings who live with their parents these days.

As for where I've come from, ten years ago today I was about to leave for England for college. I was single. I lived with my parents. I had a new car. I looked pretty different; 40 pounds thinner, I hadn't started to shave my head yet, etc.

Now, here I am 10 years later. I support myself and am now 4 years outside of grad school. I'm engaged to a wonderful woman and will be getting married in January. My car that was so shiny and new 10 years ago may have just breathed its last breath as it's in the shop right now and looks like it will cost more to fix than it's worth.

But the biggest change, and by far the most important change, is that I'm happy. My teen years were rough and as I turned 20, I was thrilled to kick them to the cosmic curb and trudge off into my 20s. Turns out, my 20s were pretty rough too. I found myself an outsider in a foreign country for a few years. I then did the whole "starving artist" thing in LA for a few years, still very much feeling like a foreigner in a foreign country. But then, Amanda and San Francisco and LucasArts all came into my life. Slowly but surely over the last three plus years, everything feels as though it's been falling into place. I've made a home for myself, a name for myself, a career for myself, and a life for myself with a wonderful woman.

So, it feels good. 30 feels good. And not good like I felt at 20 when I was simply happy to be done with my teens. No, 30 feels like I'm happy and optimistic because things are settling down, going smoothly, and just generally good - as opposed to just the promise of potentially being good. It's a nice calm feeling, something akin to sitting outside in the summer dusk and watching fireflies linger in the air. That's how I feel today - calm and slow. S'pose that means I'm mellowing in my old age.

Meh. Whatever. I'm happy and I'm going to go eat a piece of cake.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

jane camaroni

Well, the Birthday Train keeps a-rollin' along. Today is the big 3-0 birthday for everyone's bass-playing new father, Ben! Hopefully, Simon got Ben something good for his birthday this year, that little moocher.

In honor of Ben's thirtieth birthday, here are 30 ridiculous prog-rock band names of actual bands courtesy of the Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock:

- Airbridge
- Bach Two Bach
- Captain Beyond
- deathORGAN
- Exqueixada Sniff
- Flasket Brinner
- Flied Egg
- Gongzilla
- Hieronymus Bosch
- Igginbottom's Wrench
- Jade Warrior
- Jam Camp
- Kalacakra
- Kraldjursanstalten
- Lord of Mushrooms
- Moving Gelatine Plates
- Nocturno Concertante
- 101 Crustaceans
- Public Foot The Roman
- Qoph
- Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno
- Sperrmull
- Supersempfft
- Triangulus
- Universal Totem Orchestra
- Vampires Sound Corporation
- Waterfront Weirdos
- Xhol
- Young Scientist
- Zamla Mammaz Manna

Oh, and about the title of this post: "Jane Camaroni" is the retahded misunderstood lyric that I - at the age of 14 - thought Steven Tyler of Aerosmith kept singing on their MTV unplugged show during the song "Train Kept A-Rollin'." It didn't seem out of character for them to have a song whose lyrics went "Jane Camaroni - ALL NIGHT LONG!" What the eff did I know? Apaprently, not much.

Monday, August 07, 2006

no wonder most of the world hates us ...

We have

Besides just being a respository for common and obscure slang terms (like "mac daddy" and "yoti breath" respectively), Urban Dictionary also seems to be the Great Conjuction of the internet that brings the Mystic-like A-holes together with the Skeksis-like Fucktards to create a disgusting blunderland of sexual depravity.

There are so many slang terms here for some of the most repugnant things you could ever do to another human being. Want some examples? Feel free to go on a little treasure hunt here. Take a gander at the seriously eff-ed up wonders that are terms like:

- Angry Dragon
- Pink Sock
- Strawberry Shortcake

Why anyone would do any of these things boggles my mind. Why more than one person would do them is unconscionable. That enough people even consider these things to the point that they need some kind of name to differentiate them is insane.

Friday, August 04, 2006

the waiting is the hardest part

Just delivered a new piece of music this morning. Now I'm waiting on feedback. That's my least favorite part of the gig. Concert composers get immediate feedback when they have something performed. TV and Film composers get pretty immediate feedback from the Director or Production company. Game design, however, being a creative endeavor via committee, takes a while to get "buy-in" from all of the "stake holders" involved in order to get a general consensus of feedback that then gets passed on to the "content provider" - in this case, me.

In reality, I probably won't hear anything back about the track until next Tuesday at my next scheduled meeting regarding the project. Still, every artist wants to know some feedback on their work. Otherwise you're just throwing your work into a bottomless well and never get to hear if it splashes or crashes.

That's a weird metaphor. Sorry. Oh, and I fucked up Microsoft Outlook today. Some random keystroke made it so that I now can't get rid of a visual display of every carriage return or space marker within my emails. It's ugly and it's driving me nuts. Anyone know how to turn that off? I have no idea what I accidentally hit to turn it on.

If you know how to fix it, you're my new buddy. Well, if you know how to fix it and you tell me, then you're my new buddy. Who cares if you know and just keep it to yourself, you selfish a-hole.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

30 days in 60 minutes

Last night Manda and I watched the show "30 Days," the (relatively) new show from "Super-Size Me" director Morgan Spurlock. As you'd imagine from someone with a flair for documentaries and socially-minded investigations, it's a very interesting show to watch.

The episode we saw was centered around a guy named Chris who lost his job in NY as a computer programmer. For the show, he traveled to India where his job had been outsourced to in an attempt to see if he could get his old job back.

Turns out he couldn't because he now needs knowledge of India, its culture, and its regions in order to have that job. He did, however, get a job working at a call center where he had to pass a test judging how well he spoke with an American accent.

It was a fascinating show. I really recommend it. Looks like it's on FX at 10:00 on Wednesday nights. Check it out. Good stuff.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

e3 is dead, long live gdc

You can read about it here if you're interested. The short version is that a bunch of the top publishers in the game industry decided that E3 - the Game Industry's mega marketing blitz held each May in Los Angeles - was too costly and had become a large, bloated, money-sucking noise-hole.

To which I couldn't agree more.

The new approach is apparently for E3 to be replaced by a number of smaller, "more intimate" events. Adios E3 trinkets, earplugs, and booth babes. Looks like you'll have to find somewhere else to make nerds think you're into them.