This weekend is Memorial Day, that somber holiday when Americans honor those who died in combat to guarantee our right to barbecue. And barbecue we will. Glory, glory hallelujah!
-Jim Rossignol contributed a guest post to BLDG BLOG, an architecture blog, called "Evil Lair: On the Architecture of the Enemy in Videogame Worlds." Rossignol is one of the best writers we have, and this is a penetrating, surprising, and funny look at the design of various enemy strongholds in games. Great stuff. I am a little surprised at how awful System Shock 2 is looking these days. Hard to believe that game once scared the crap out of me.
-Maximum PC's retrospective of 3D graphics cards is a wonderful nostalgia trip. It brought back fond memories of my first "3D accelerator." The Canopus Pure3D had the Voodoo1 chipset, but sported 50% more video RAM than was standard at the time -- a mammoth 6 megs of memory. I followed that up with a Voodoo2 that powered, estimating conservatively, about 300,000 hours of Quake 2 CTF. Then the Alienware system I got as a high school graduation gift was rocking the Nvidia Riva TNT2, and now I have some goddamn thing or another. I don't even know anymore.
-About halfway through this Game|Life article about whether gamers prefer violent games, I thought to myself, "Geez, this is really well written." Then I looked at the byline: Clive Thompson. Well, no wonder. Thompson's central point -- that people don't even notice a game's gore once they get immersed in the play mechanics -- rings true. I find it's true of graphics, too. I'll often gawk at new games upon booting them up, but before long I stop noticing the visuals at all, because I've gotten down to business. But that's also why I tend to appreciate games that make the effort to show me new and interesting things. They can shake me out of the stupor.
-Finally, with Punch-Out!! receiving positive notices all over the place (and rightly), I was reminded of the Perry Bible Fellowship's "Punch Bout" strip. The PBF was gone far too soon. Pure genius. If you've never read it before, I'd recommend clicking through them all.
Have a great weekend, everyone!