Sunday, 26 April 2009


It's funny how things happen. Last night I got tricked by Kieran, who decided to pretend to be our friend Vicki on MSN. "Vicki" told me that the boys had managed to persuade her to start playing WoW too. Such a monumental event had actually caused me to want to resubscribe to WoW, leading me to the WoW europe site and almost doing it. I got distracted by this article.

Imagine, having a life sized gnome in your room! Pure awesome.

It reminded me of a time years ago, when my brother had a book that had a big paper skeleton that you were supposed to put together. I'm not sure if we even managed to get halfway before something went wrong, like something getting squished or broken on missing. It was that long ago that I actually can't remember what happened to it.

But yeah. I'm not going to resubscribe now to WoW, not just yet.
I've gained a new interest. Or rather, regained an old interest :)

If you want to check out the other awesome WoW papercraft models, you can find them here. They've also got some friends, I think, doing Pokemon ones :)

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

How to Break a World of Warcraft Addiction

Get a hypnotist to hypnotise you into thinking you are Charlotte Gyseman.

I've noticed a funny thing about myself. I have played WoW, and I still have my WoW account, but I just can't be bothered to re-subscribe. I had to unsubscribe because I lost my Magic Money Card [I've lost it only twice and yet I'm on my fifth one, amazing], and had to replace it. That was weeks ago, and I have still not had the urge to start playing again. Well, sort of.

Dancing on Thrall's throne in nothing but a tabard was fun, but I'm sure it would be more fun in real life. And the sight of Luke dancing like a female blood elf in a tabard would be hilarious.

I've felt like it now and then because of the friends that play it, but I always get a voice in my head letting me know that I've got better things that I want to do, or that I'd rather have fun for free. I did wonder if it was because I have a dislike of spending my money, but that doesn't explain Black & White 2. Kieran lent me the game to see what it was like, and when I showed it to my sister... she got addicted. The last time I went home, my mum said that Gen [my sister] had asked her to tell me to make sure I bring B&W2. A similar thing happened when I introduced her to Twelve Sky.

This sometimes leads me to wonder if there's something wrong with me, which then makes me wonder if there's something wrong with me for wondering such a thing. Surely a lack of addiction to games is a good thing, right?

Note: For those readers who actually want to break a WoW addiction and have no hypnotists to hand, the wikiHow article is here. I must admit, I laughed when I saw it and laughed when I noticed that it's the first one on the list when you type "addiction" in the search box. By the way, I have no idea whether following the steps actually helps. Apparently I've never had to try them.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Projects and Essays

I've received the marks for the Flash Postcard [we got a B11 or B12, I can't remember at this second] and the 2,000 word essay we had to write on how digital games have exploited their technology of delivery to produce a play experience unavailable in pre-digital games [I got a B11], and it's looking good so far.

Next up we have the Maya Project and the Second Essay [ooooh, ahhh], and then that's it for the first year.

The Maya Project - Primitive Theatre

You are asked to produce a character animation sequence of strictly no more than 2 minutes in which primitive character constructs communicate a nuanced and expressive performance of an emotional scenario of your own creation. The piece should feature no dialogue, though sound must be utilised to emphasise the emotional registers of the piece. Pay particular attention to the lighting, colour and compositional elements of the piece, through a clearly structured pre-production process. The use of camera will play an integral part in the construction of meaning.

I'm now working with Kieran, with Daemon working with Scott, so we can experience what it's like working with different types of people. As a result, elements from our projects will probably be merged to create something new. The characters Kieran and I have brought to the table to develop are Seth and Igor, and the scenarios we come up with will centre around an interaction between them.

The Second Essay - 2,000 words

Isolate one key element of a game. This can include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

- A specific game mechanic, which might be thought of as a cycle of exhange between user and software to create a change in the game state
- The user interface (including the HUD)
- Narrative structure and its organisation
- Structures of progression
- The specifics of level design unique to the game in question
- Systems of reward/punishment

Your game analysis essay is not an appreciation ("I enjoyed this because") but an analysis of the details of how the design affects the experience of the user ("how does this function/operate to produce event or meaning?"). It should be supported with reference to the published literature, and must go beyond industry publications to include scholarly work.

At the moment, I don't know what I want to write about. Maybe the fact the you can be a girl in Pokemon Crystal version on the GameBoy Color. Or maybe I'll just go check out the books in the library and see what interests me.

Thursday, 9 April 2009


I'm really annoyed.

Why, oh why, did I think it would be a good idea to check out how the Tim Eves stories were doing.

I'm really annoyed because of this. And this. And this. Oh and definitely this. Uch! This too [it let me write the comment out before telling me I had to be logged in? Shut. Up]. This one didn't annoy me at first, but then I started reading the comments. Bad idea. It started to annoy me. This and this? Also annoyed me.

Basically, every blue-instead-of-purple link that came up on the first two pages when I searched for "man dies playing wii fit" on google, which led to a site that required me to register in order to post a comment. This would have annoyed me, were it not for the fact that I had already registered to EA in a moment of spontaneity to find out about a game called Battle Forge [which, in the end, I didn't spend a lot of time finding out about due to needing to pack to go home for Easter hols]. I thought I'd better stop at page two when I noticed there were about 187,000 results at the moment.

The reason I want to comment is to educate people, as a lot of the articles just pull the term "Sudden Adult Death Syndrome" from the articles they find as their source, causing lots of people to think its some stupid name given for when doctors don't have a clue how someone died. Often these people go on to blame the kebab he had just ordered and the glass of port that was waiting for him.

I had been thinking about the "Jade Effect" before following up the Tim Eves thing, the term that has come about to describe the fact that loads of people have been trying to find out about cervical cancer since Jade Goody died - to be fair, it's not something I had ever thought about before. I could say that Jade dying was a good thing, but it sounds horrible when I put it like that. It made me think, "Hmm, maybe annoying sensationalist crap can be good for something. If that Tim Eves story makes people aware of SADS, then it can't be that bad a thing that sites like the Telegraph's have reported it". I was going to write a follow up on here while [at the time] in a less annoyed mood saying exactly that, when I decided to see what new stories had sprung up.

Unfortunately, it's not quite been the same. Each time the story is reproduced, something else gets chopped out or rephrased, and soon enough people are reading about some kebab eating, port drinking, trying-to-get-fit-with-a-Wii-fit-cos-he-MUST-have-been-really-unhealthy-on-that-kind-of-diet dude who happened to in the process of trying to get fit. Cue the eye rolling groan. It frustrates me how uninformed people have become along the grapevine, but there's not a lot I can do. Sure, I could register to every site just to post a comment stating the original story. But seriously? I have a life [honest, I do].

It also annoys me how angry it's making me look through my blog. I probably should stop writing these things in the heat of the moment and maybe leave it to sink in first, before writing something that I just have to post now, because it's there, finshed and done, while the Publish Post button keeps staring at me in all its orange glory.


I promise, I will start writing about work again soon.

Actually... I'll start now.

I had an extension on Kieran's Igor idea: Igor comes home from work with re-animated Seth statue, gets changed out of the Igor costume, freaking out Seth because he thought the costume was his real skin? Hmm... It might work. Again, more on that later. My laptop and I are running out of energy.