Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday afternoon tidbits

Some of you have suspected this for awhile now, and it's true: Insult Swordfighting is a ruse. The writer you know as "Mitch Krpata" is, in fact, nothing more than a carefully calibrated construct. All of Insult Swordfighting's posts are generated algorithmically by a cluster of Cray supercomputers running a total of 256 Intel Xeon quad-core processors. It's part of an elaborate Alternate Reality Game, whose purpose is to promote Tricomium Labs' new educational software, "The Taxonomical Imperative: Categorization and You." Apologies to all who were taken in by this hoax.

(Roll in, traffic. Roll in!)

-Gus Mastrapa's Media Coverage column at GameDaily had an excellent headline last week: "Readers, we hate you too." In the piece, he talks about the vituperative criticism game reviewers often face from the online community. Gus quotes me as saying that it'd be hypocritical to complain too much about getting our reviews reviewed, and I do mean that. Of course, the difference is that good reviewers ought to give constructive criticism to games we don't like, whereas fanboys don't have any such responsibility when telling us to get fucked. Fortunately, it's not something I've had to deal with too much.

-Hit Self-Destruct has a suggestion for how to get games journalists to do their jobs better: make covering the industry more like an ARG. Well-written stuff, as always (and a collaborative piece, to boot!). And what a great last paragraph. Nobody ends posts better than Duncan.

-Not to keep fellating Duncan here, but he also said this better in his Twitter feed than I could: "PolicyVixen707."

-On the PixelVixen tip, a couple of opposing views: The Brainy Gamer feels used, while Mike Walbridge think it's an opportunity for introspection. And in the meantime, the charade continues unabated. I continue not to know how to feel about the whole thing. "Bemusement" sums up my reaction, I think.

-Earlier this year, the superb NPR program Radio Lab did an episode all about deception. The segments include a snake that plays dead, the performance boost athletes get by lying to themselves about their chances, and the trail of mistrust left behind by a serial con artist. I don't know why I mention this just now. Not as though it has anything to do with video games.

Enjoy your weekend! I'm playing some paintball tomorrow, so if I'm covered in welts come Monday, that's probably why.


1 comment:

Duncan said...

You are too kind.

I presume PixelVixen is continuing because they have a contract, and a predetermined end date (the release of the book, probably.) They can't just call it off because someone guessed correctly. I do wonder if the guys behind it are going to change anything up now that people know about it, or just plow through what content and plot points remain. As they say, "we'll see".