Graphics Matter, Actually

Gameplay over graphics! This is what you’re going to see from a lot of gamers these days, especially those on “my side” of things. They aren’t wrong. The problem is, these things are usually presented as a dichotomy, or at least discussed as one—you are either choosing good gameplay or good graphics. The reality is we’re looking at a field for both things, a matter of emphasis, often a matter of art and graphics actually do matter. In fact, they matter a lot. Visuals sell games. Since you cannot really “show” what gameplay is like as an experience, you instead…

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You make your own reality

This thesis has two applications, both literal, but only one objective. First, your perception of reality is reality, insomuch as singular subjects we cannot comprehend all of reality, only that which our senses detect and our intellect is able to interpret and contextualize. This has many forms that we don’t need to get into here, but a quick example would be seeing a tree and recognizing that it belongs to the category “tree,” which then provides you a predictive model for the properties of the object and how it will act. Second, as humans are empowered with the capacity to…

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High School, Forever

Seems a little odd that brands (D&D and MTG) built on escapist fantasy would circle back around high school, doesn’t it? When I look up on Twitter the people who create such things, one of the thoughts that doesn’t pop into my mind is, “This looks like a person who was happy and socially successful in high school.” Besides the nerd brands, we have a vast swath of similar Harry Potter fans who are in their 30s, yet still write fan fiction about a wizard high school. What I’ve realized from interacting with these sections of millennial fandom is that…

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Kindle Vella is Live

And I have a book available there: There are 11 episodes available now (there will be 38 total for this run), and the first three are available for free. Since I know many of the people who read this blog are authors or artists themselves, let me run through a few things about Vella, now that is live: First, there is a dissonance between what established authors are already trying to do with the platform, and what the platform was designed/intended to do. Vella is supposed to be a serial fiction platform, not a straight book-reading platform. There are 11…

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Boomer Hate

If there is one thing that has ascended over the last few years, it’s hatred of the Baby Boomer generation. I ought not have to link much to prove my point, but if you want a distilled sample, head over to Vox Day’s blog. Vox is a little older than me – he’s Gen X and I’m Gen Y – but the last three generational cohorts (X, Y, Millennial) all share similar attitudes towards their immediate predecessors. The thing is, this is not the standard intergenerational hostility and resentment that has been standard in the west for the entirety of…

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Service Guarantees Citizenship

There are only two things people seem to take away from Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein: Power Armor and “Service Guarantees Citizenship” (unless you are James Cameron, in which “bug hunt” is also a takeaway). For those who focus on the latter, Starship Troopers might as well be Heinlein’s only work, which is not so much an indictment of the readers as it is an acknowledgment of the power of that idea compared to Heinlein’s other ideas (which were often quite liberal, by the way). This has led many people (mostly older people to whom the prescription does not apply,…

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Unplugging

Last week my internet went out for a couple of days. Also lost was the internet on my phone – apparently, it piggy-backs on the Comcast backbone and that went down over the entire region because (get this) somebody crashed their car into the fiber line. As an aside, that is an example of the actual fragility of the internet; while the system as a whole is quite robust, an individual’s ability to use the system is fragile. When the lights are off, so is the internet. With the internet off I lost lots of services, including strangely my Adobe…

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Thinking Backwards (in Bodybuilding)

Check out this video by popular fitness youtuber Jeff Nippard. If you don’t want to watch the entire 18 minutes, I’ll summarize below as well as point out the big flaw in what Jeff is trying to explore here: he’s thinking backwards, assuming reality must match some “study,” rather than evaluating obvious outcomes. What Jeff is exploring here is the connection between “how hard you train” vs “gains.” Throughout the video, there is a basic assumption, based on “research” that the connection between “hard training” and hypertrophy occurs due to some linear equation – reps slowing down, etc. etc. It’s…

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Middlebury (A Gen Y Tale)

Tim stepped into the cool, dry air of his house. The air conditioner was whistling like usual, but he was tired and didn’t feel compelled to attempt to fix it. It could wait another day. He stepped over the hardwood floors and to the kitchen, where he opened the fridge. There were no cold drinks there; apparently, Marcy had forgotten to go by the store and pick up more beer and soda, just as he had forgotten the last time. Tim looked around the brightly lit house, his eyes resting on the floor-to-ceiling windows and the small garden beyond, which…

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