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Wii Are Not Amused · What hap­pened was, in single-Dad mode a cou­ple of week­ends ago, Best Buy had a spe­cial on the 500G LaCie so I took the kids down there. I was walk­ing by the gam­ing area and saw some­thing I nev­er have be­fore: a cou­ple of Wi­is on the shelf. The one I grabbed turned out to be an open-box, had been re­turned by some­one, so it was cheap too. So far, I’m wait­ing to be blown away ...
Portal · While I was in Min­neapo­lis I was walk­ing through a mall and there was the Orange Box on sale. Un­der the in­flu­ence of Nel­son Mi­nar and Ars Tech­ni­ca, and es­pe­cial­ly giv­en that it was priced in those in­ex­pen­sive Yan­kee Pe­sos, I had to pick one up. I nev­er played Half-Life nor Team Fortress, but the lat­ter sounds fun; I won­der if we should put to­geth­er a dynamic-languages-mafia or concurrency-obsessives team or some such. I’m not a se­ri­ous gamer, so I start­ed with Por­tal. I’ve put in a cou­ple of hours now; it’s quick, lightweight, oc­ca­sion­al­ly quite dif­fi­cult, un­like any­thing else, and fun­ny. It seems to pro­voke out­bursts of Deep Think­ing, f’rinstance from Sch­laghund and Leonard Richard­son; so I guess I got­ta say some­thing. It’s amaz­ing how deeply em­bed­ded in our col­lec­tive con­scious­ness is the no­tion of the lethal­ly im­per­son­al cor­po­ra­tion with a dead mar­ket­ing voice. Dear Mar­ket­ing Pro­fes­sion­al­s; when you think “message control” sev­er­al gen­er­a­tional co­horts of geeky tar­get de­mo­graph­ics are think­ing about the Por­tal voice. Go play it, and shud­der.
The Phantom Hourglass · At the be­gin­ning of the year, we got a Nin­ten­do DS to im­prove the then seven-year-old’s qual­i­ty of life on the long flight to our Aus­tralian va­ca­tion. Re­cent­ly I bought the just-released Le­gend of Zel­da: The Phan­tom Hour­glass, and have put in a lit­tle time fool­ing with it ...
Tab Sweep — World · In which we vis­it the sad, bad, mad Mid­dle East, are in­spired by art, and re­port some cheery game news ...
WMDs · Scoble says he loves Flash de­vel­op­ers who have too much time on their hand­s. I dun­no, check out Bubbels, cour­tesy of JWZ. This verges on be­ing a WMD, Weapon of Men­tal Destruc­tion; some­one get Don Rums­feld on the case. On the up­side, it can dis­tract a 4½-year-old for a re­mark­ably long time. Grown-ups, of course, are far too so­phis­ti­cat­ed to blow a whole evening on this thing; or at least to ad­mit it.
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