I spent much of December in Southern India for business. I was awash in culture and history yet the most amazing thing I experienced the entire time was the traffic. It’s impossible to accurately describe the semi-organized mayhem, the constant multiaxial motion and the utter and complete lack of fucks-given. Here’s a 10 minute video that’s a pale, sad shadow of what I experienced:
This is the May, 1982, cover of “Electronic Gaming Monthly”. This was a very popular magazine (kids: think “paper internet”) and told my 11 year-old self what to think about pretty much everything important. I was born in late April, so I had plenty of convertable-to-quarters birthday money when this particular issue came in.
Good thing, too, or I might not have been properly warned to “move over” at the arcade because here-was-coming the “gals”. Even more inclusive, the gal in the picture is clearly disabled by some terrible spinal condition as well. I assume those are orthopedic fuck-me boots.
This began, for me, nearly 35 years of playing video games with “gals” but being periodically told that that they had just started doing so a few short minutes prior.
I’m just thankful that the fine journalists of the day were looking out for me. Without them, I may have fallen victim to some kind of systemic sexism!
One thing that came out of RiffTrax Live: Godzilla was that I reminded of this 1969 gem of a short film by Marv Newland [IMDB]. I can’t believe that I had never subjected my children to its understated genius before now.
I remember having to track down eccentric little movie theaters to see stuff like this when I was in my teens. Thanks Internet!
When the fine, funny people at RiffTrax decided to take their special brand of snark to theaters across the country we knew two things:
- They were clearly both very smart and very lazy for doing so via satellite instead of actually, you know, driving around.
- It was going to be insanely, amazingly awesome.
The first show, August 20, 2009, was “Plan Nine from Outer Space” and this was followed up regularly with a small herd of super-cheese staples including “Reefer Madness”, “Manos: The Hands of Fate” and the modern, solar-powered classic, “Birdemic“. To do bigger movies, they’d need more money. Being that special combination of smart/lazy/awesome they left that part up to us. A hugely successful KickStarter campaign gave us an amazing evening with “Starship Troopers“.
So, after another successful KickStarter and nearly five years from that first show, they brought us Roland Emmerich’s 1998 character assassination of “Godzilla”. In it he accused the Big “G” of being an asexual, hermaphroditic, tunnel-crawling, no-fire-breathing, Jay Leno-looking mutated iguana. It got what it deserved and it was hilarious.
Broadcast by Fathom Events to hundreds of theaters across North America (the good America) the shows bring together thousands of fans and and some high-quality father/son time. I’ve seen “Guardians of the Galaxy“, but this – Roland-freakin’-Emmerich’s Godzilla – is still the most fun I’ve had in a theater all year.
Remember Mike Teavee from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory“? The boy that was completely TV crazy?
Well, in the book and both film adaptations Mike was so incredibly excited about TV and being the first person broadcast by Wonka-Vision that he idiotically threw himself in front of the equipment and ended up getting shrunk down to action-figure size. Despite his size he’s ecstatically happy about being sent by television. In 1971’s “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory“, he shouts, “I’m famous, I’m a TV Star!” He’s thrilled as a pig in slop to be on TV.
But (in the book and both films) when he wins the Golden Ticket and a horde of reporters show up to actually put him on TV, as the star, for the first time in his life he… annoyed, mostly ignores them and just wishes they’d just go away.
There are certain causes, certain arguments, that certain people hold very deeply, very truly. Causes that every single other person on earth simply can’t bring themselves to care about. It’s not that other people are ill-equipped or unable to understand the issue. It’s specifically that the issue simply doesn’t have a single valid impact on… anything.
The Steam Controller was recently unveiled as part of the larger set of Steam Machine announcements. The Steam Machine is an open specification for console-like PCs allowing for easy integration of PC games into your living room. While boxes can vary in power and capacity – and so in cost – the Steam Controller is an attempt to normalize the interface.
The controller represents a significant evolution of what’s become a relatively stagnant controller design. While this is a pre-release design that may change it’s unlikely that the core features will change drastically. It shares the two lobed, split-surface design first popularized by the original PlayStation controller but with significant differences.
There are certain arguments that attract certain people. Arguments that sane people ignore for the simple reason that none of the positions raised actually matter in any way. This series will explore some of them. Here’s one.