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Born far-Easterner by circumstance, not descent. Played Marathon for Mac, X-Wing, Escape Velocity. Went to the University of Chicago and discovered Vendetta Online. Lived in Colorado for a year, rode Crested Butte for 70 days. Worked as a Geoscientist. I have always enjoyed designing games; would love to do it for a living.


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Vendetta Online
  • Are games art?

    Scot said:
    Sovrath said:
    Literally considered art:

    Image result for rauschenberg white painting

    Robert Rauschenberg, White Painting [three panel], 1951

    You can't make this up.
    It is important to put context to that "painting."

    There's "art" that is about skill as well as subject matter and there's "art" that is about the artist asking the viewer to think about things in a different way.

    If one were to look at the other end of the spectrum, say Jackson Pollack, criticism could be made that what he did took no "talent" as a kid could do it.

    But if you watch the videos of him painting one gets the sense that he truly meant what he painted. And what he painted was a sort of visual representation of his improvisatory movements as well as his choice of color, texture, etc.

    Not to say everyone can or should appreciate or even like this stuff but understanding what is going on is part of understanding why some consider this "art."

    Sorry, but I have to point out how lacking in substance these arguments are. This "asking the viewer to think about things in a different way" is intellectual claptrap. What they are doing is coming up with an idea for you to think about, and because the art elite buy into this it has to be amazing. If you don't "get it" you must somehow be of lesser intelligence, not able to master the ability to see beyond what you see. It reminds me of the fable of the Emperors clothes.

    The Emperor has tailors who prepare for him the most amazing costume made from a fabric so fine that only those who are intelligent enough can see the fabric. If courtiers cannot see the fabric surely they are not fit for office. But as he parades around the courtiers do see it and admire the outfit. The tailors were con artists and the Emperor was naked, but to not see the clothes, well that would make you stupid wouldn't it?

    It seems this sort of con has been around a rather long time. :)

    You get thousands of ideas thrown at you in a book, but somehow we are to believe the idea above is special? Come to the gallery, put on your face of studied thought as you look at the painting, think your great thoughts, you to can be a courtier and see what cannot be seen.

    Pretentious nonsense.
    It's true though that certain artists, after building a corpus of work, earn greater artistic license.  I'll read basically anything William Gibson puts out because the man's a genius and a poet.  Tastes may vary.

    I'd never consider someone to be of lesser intelligence because they don't appreciate Gibson or the... painting?... pictured above.  Just of different taste.

    Just like someone can put out this:

    and have it not be great art, Joyce gets away with "bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnth
    unntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!" and it's genius.  However, Joyce had to earn it.  It doesn't mean everyone will appreciate it, and that's no marks against the ones that don't.

    Hey, I really like Nine Inch Nails !
    If you make it past the intro, the rest of that soundtrack is surprisingly chill.  Ironically blissful at times, even.  Take "Hall of Souls":

    Someone like @Sovrath could do a better job than me, taste notwithstanding, but it starts out with a faint kind of ambient buzz, almost like an air-conditioning unit droning in the background.  Numerous voices are whispering unintelligible phonemes.  The synth begins to come in slowly at around 0:48, then unexpectedly moves up a major third, I believe.  Unexpected, because the atmosphere is already unsettling; a minor chord would be more along the lines of the setting.  This tension between what is expected and what is presented is artistic.  However, as the synth sustains, it bends or decays rather into the minor chord; the reprieve cannot last.

    I could go on and on about this track... needless to say it won't be everyone's cup of tea but the thing about NIN is that there usually is a lot more going on than what's presented on the surface.  Like great horror, Reznor is a master of slowly ratcheting up the tension while playing with the listener's expectations.

  • How I Feel About Star Citizen At This Point

    MaxBacon said:
    By playing of course I mean playing the damn game, not playing keep up with the wallet warriors.
    What's the point of playing a game after it released if you won't be able to "keep up" with the ones who played since it released?!

    What's the point in playing a game where other people can play +10 hours a day while you can just play 5h a day and won't be able to "keep up" with them?

    What's the point in playing a game where you are playing solo while others are playing in large guilds and you won't ever be able to "keep up" with them?

    Because SC is not a sandboxy space sim MMO, it is a race to end-game instead. 
    The difference is that you are not allowed to spend $5 in a game of chess to promote a pawn to a queen. I don't resent losing to someone who has spent thousands of hours to study things like the Najdorf defense. I do resent pulling out a strategy like the Najdorf defense and losing to someone who pays $5 to promote a pawn to queen.

    Playing in a sandbox against someone who has spent $27,000 on a Legatus fleet is still playing against someone who has spent $27,000 for an advantage. It also goes without saying that the sandbox nature of Star Citizen remains to be seen in detail, if it even ever emerges at all.
  • How I Feel About Star Citizen At This Point

    I'm glad I'm not on the hook for $5k, or even $250.

    At some point maybe they will stop this spaceship selling madness, but right now I doubt it.
  • Oh Yes, Oh Yes, Oh Yes! It's the Steam Summer Sale with Big Game Savings - MMORPG.com News


    Neo Scavenger


    ...some strange ones, but then I'm getting to be a Steam veteran by now.
  • Valve policy change: All games allowed on Steam

    blamo2000 said:

    Do you think educational institutions are indoctrination camps?

    I mean, I encountered all sorts of opinions I didn't agree with in high school especially but thankfully I had learned critical thinking and when I got to college and beyond I picked up some useful skills like calculus and how to read a balance sheet.  It also sparked a lifelong passion (thus far) for geophysical science which I never knew I had.

    I don't need to live in a bubble. I'm not afraid to examine and reject ridiculous ideas and repulsive opinions. They can't harm me in nearly the same way as my own complacency has the potential to. 
    The only people scared of having their members subjected to outside thought or different, challenging ideas are cultists.  Cultists are also told to hate outside ideas for them being "evil," because it helps members reject non-cult approved ideas because their hate of it is good because they possess the righteous truth.  Cultists are indoctrinated - that is what makes cults different from normal people and free-thinkers and fair minded people who value freedom and diversity of speech, thought, and ideology.  It is documented fact that colleges (students and administrators) engage in shutting down of free speech by shouting down or engaging in violence against non-cult speakers or presenters.   Hateful, small minded, cult activity in the guise of "tolerance" and "goodness."  

    Is this all college kids?  No.  Certainly not.  I doubt it is anywhere close to a majority.  But it is common, accepted and expected and that, in itself, is very scary.  The place and people that should be the most open-minded and open to free thinking and debate shouldn't be taught to be close minded sycophants.  

    The free-market place of ideas only works when ideas can be freely presented and debated.  Stalin said something along the lines of "Ideas are more powerful than guns.  We don't let the people have guns; why should we allow them to have ideas?"  
    You're going to have to support that assertion with a citation or two. If it is a documented fact then where has it been documented? Some links to your sources or references including author and publication date will do.

    We agree on what a cult is, but thankfully my college experience has been the complete opposite of this.