May 25, 2004
arrows bags and bullets

300 Images From 1800 Sites

I started gathering little, iconesque web images for myself so that I could compare, contrast, and study the techniques used by other graphic artists on the web. My initial pool of images looked so interesting that I decided to continue methodically hunting and capturing the icons for a public display piece.

Posted by illovich at 11:43 AM
May 21, 2004
May 18, 2004
ludes omniform are there invented

He wole maken fule luden, He wole grennen, cocken and chiden. - a1275 Prov. Ælfred 687 in O.E. Misc. 138

As my interest turns from simply living in various virtual worlds to studying them, I came across, a website devoted to videogame theory. Unfortunately, the webserver that hosts the articles by the author (Gonzalo Frasca) is currently unavailable, so I'm having a hard time forming my opinion on ludology on it's own, let alone versus narratology.

Searching the oed (yay!), I find that the (what I assume to be) the root lude can mean either noise/clamour, a game, or is a variant of lede and oddly enough as an (obscure, past, scottish) form of "love."

My guess is that the coining of the word ludology was centered around the "game" meaning of the word.

Title:1694 MOTTEUX Rabelais v. (1737) 230. Yep, I got my access to the OED back!

Posted by illovich at 10:36 AM
May 17, 2004
ok, even I think this is stupid

American athletes have been "warned not to wave the U.S. flag during their medal celebrations, for fear of provoking crowd hostility and harming the country's already-battered public image."

Ok, look. If we have a bad image in the world, how will not waving the flag when we win gold medals make it better?

Are we going to send world journalists flowers and chocolates in hopes that they'll cover the US in a more favorable light too?

People are mad.

Posted by illovich at 03:39 PM
i like starwars, but...

mypetjawa takes the cake. Let me see if I can break this down for you, the beloved reader of my blog and possible star wars fan:

Dr. Rusty Shackleford posits that "we" (american citizens, I guess) "can now safely divide our enemies into two camps" (our enemies are, as far as I can tell... arabs and/or muslims and/or other assorted peoples who dress funny according to "us"), and that those two camps are: jawas and sandpeople.

What's nice is that the comparison fails on two distinct levels:

1) The author has a view of these fictional aliens that has been molded slightly (radically in the case of the jawas) to fit his view, and it might sound good to a casual fan of star wars, but if you are a geek like me, you know he's a bit off the mark.

2) The aliens mentioned above have the narrative advantage of being uncomplex one-dimensional beings who can only do what they are required to do by a script. "Our enemies" on the other hand (arabs? muslims? it's what I'm working with) are a lot harder to deal with because they are, well, complex and multidimensional to start with. And they can be painfully unscripted at times.

Rusty really needs to tighten this up a bit, for the slower readers:

[Jawas] despise being a second rate power when they were the most advanced civillization for so long. They hate you but tolerate you. The only thing they hate more than you are the "settlers" that ventured out into the desert. In public, they openly rail against these settlers and say they wouldn't mind the rest of the colonists if we would just withdraw our support for this small minority. This would placate some of them, for sure, but they would just find another excuse to resent us. For the most part, the jawas can be dealt with. They live their semi-nomadic life and simply want to be left alone. But don't misunderstand them, while they wouldn't personally kill you, when a Tusken Raider takes the life of an Imperial Stormptrooper or even an innocent colonist, they secretly (and sometimes openly) celebrate. Jawa political society varies from clan to clan, with some tribes even outwardly adopting many of the customs of the colonists they so despise. However, in all cases leaders rule with an iron fist.
I bolded the sentence in the blockquote to call attention to it, because you might have missed it.

The "settlers" as he calls them, are Israel, if I read him right.


For a sanity check, here's some info on jawas from the Star Wars databank:

The Jawas are a scavenger species. They comb the deserts of Tatooine in search of discarded scrap and wayward mechanicals. Using their cobbled-together weaponry, they can incapacitate droids and drag them to their treaded fortress-homes, immense sand-scarred vehicles known as sandcrawlers.
Nothing in there about hating the jews, or appeasement or any thing. Seriously, Dr. Rusty: take your hate-mongering to some other fantasy world, and leave the jawas out of it.

Or better yet, get your head out of the stars and realize that our "enemies" are complex and shouldn't be reduced to cardboard cutouts, because that always leads to disaster. And in the process you might begin to question who should be our enemies, and who we should try really hard to make friends with again.

I'm not saying I have the answers, just that it's a lot more complicated than every muslim is either a jawa or sandperson.


Posted by illovich at 03:16 PM
May 14, 2004
I still <3 Mena + Ben

Well, the people who make the software that powers this website plus this one not to mention this one and of course the only site I made that gets any traffic at all have released a new version and the kvetch mob isn't happy, because Mena and Ben have decided that people will have to pay for the software, sort of.

Most of the moaning has to do with how movable types fee structure evolves, from free (1 author, 3 blogs) to personal ($99 for 3 authors, 5 blogs) to commercial (20 authors, 15 blogs).

I think especially the blogs that have lots of authors are the ones getting bent out of shape, but my guess is just because a non-profit blog has more than 9 authors they won't have to suddenly dump $600 for a commercial license.

I mean, I don' know but I have faith in Mena + Ben.

Plus, to be perfectly matter-of-factual plus rude, you don't HAVE to upgrade to MT 3.0. People just want to, and are mad that they'll have to pay finally. I guess I'll probably finally pay for my license, which I was planning to do anyway.

Posted by illovich at 03:42 PM
May 04, 2004
A world with no poverty

What defines a healthy economy? Wait, don't answer... what defines a healthy economy in a world where no one ever really dies, needs to eat or really feels pain? That's right, the topic is the SWG Economic Data, and it's a lot more interesting than real economics, I'll tell you what.

Hokay. Let me qualify that. It's more interesting to someone who plays MMORPGs a lot, but who doesn't give a hoot about economics in real life.

Raph Koster (aka Holocron) posted some interesting tidbits
about the movement of Galactic Credits (cr) in Star Wars Galaxies the other day, and it's picked up a fair amount of interest even in places generally not about gaming in general, and not about SWG in particular.

Which I think speaks to how interesting and unique SWG is beyond the fact that it's Star Wars. Actually, what makes SWG interesting has nothing to do with Star Wars at all: it's the economy, stupid.

Well, to be clear, it's not really the economy but rather the amount of direct control and options that players have in shaping their own community and economy. I've been talking with a number of players who are or are planning to use the unskilled labor (and unused real estate allottment) of other players for offloading menial manufacturing tasks. The artisan in question (be it an architect, droid engineer, etc.) will design the schematic and gather the resources necessary (steel, petrochemicals, etc.) and deliver it to the unskilled (or not-necessarily-skilled) industrialist who completes the manufacturing for them.

"Ah, how much like real life," you sneer. But wait: SWG has a built in minimum wage (the mission system), so it's pretty difficult to exploit labor--at least to the degree that we're accustomed to in the service sector, to say nothing of sweatshop labor.

What SWG lacks of course is the ability to actually get off the credit wheel unless you wish to be completely homeless (which is not the hardship it is in real life, admittedly). After some conversations with Scott, I've begun to wish more and more that a player city could opt out of credits totally, and work things out in a socialist (or if that makes you uncomfortable, kibbutz) style. All of the tools are there... instead of paying building maintenance charges (hard wired into each structure), the player could have tools and resources and tasks that they used to keep a structure going.

Am I dreaming? Would this subvert the economy of SWG? Or would it make it more robust, as such a city would demand that all players were involved in their own economic system, contributing and building instead of just sitting around and paying taxes every week with mission payouts.

I can't tell. God damned late capitalism... it always clouds my vision.

Posted by illovich at 08:54 AM