Thursday, August 31, 2006

Deny Me Not

What? Son of a BITCH!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Is nothing sacred?

First we had to change all the maps. The Germanies combined, and the USSR didn't turn out to care that much about the U.

Then the food pyramid. All of a sudden, dead animal is good for you again.

Now the solar system? Setting aside the general dimwittedness of messing with a celestial body named after a death god, what's left? Are we going to add more states? Will we discover new half-elements, requiring us to carry atomic number to at least the tenths? Perhaps an additional stanza can be added to the Gettysburg Address. A new color of the rainbow, something between red and orange, just to mess with Mr. Biv? How about another Great Lake?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Old Bean

I promise this isn't really about videogames. I mean, a little, but not much.

The black and pink versions of the DS Lite are being released in the US quite soon. 'Onyx' and 'Coral Pink', I should say. Now, in Japan they called it 'Noble Pink'. Why the switch?

Does pink mean something other than 'feminine' in Japan? Is it associated with the nobility there, as blue and purple are to the anglosphere? Are Japanese more likely to respond well to concepts of nobility and class structure? Does Nintendo fear we will take up arms against their nobles and overthrow them, establishing 'Casteless Pink' and 'Merit-based Salmon' DSes?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I kinda miss Mega Man

Know what I haven't done in a while? New B A Start banner. Any suggestions?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Insert 'Other 364' Joke Here

The United Way Day of Caring means two things:

1) No morning shave.
2) A half-day in the office with a T-shirt and shorts on.

I become a ninja when not in my business cadzh. Several unsuspecting coworkers took a step back and gasped when I said 'hello', unaware that the non-descript shape heading towards them was indeed I. I vow to you this day, gentle reader, not to use this power for evil. After all, Yojimbo is still out there somewhere.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I don't really remember my college roommate being that into baseball cards, but The Onion is the world's finest new source, so I suppose I have to believe it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Things seem to have quieted down a little on the "videogames as art" front, so I'll tell you the following.

Took a tour of the Erie County Holding Center this week. In the library therein, the dictionary had been opened to "utopian socialism".

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Stupid Commercial?

Esquire recently published an article about the fact that serious criticism on videogames does not exist. No incisive essays, no erudite articles, just "dude, looks like Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast II: Jedi Academy* is gonna be sweet" stuff. As someone with experience reviewing games, I feel I must state the following: videogames are not art. They just ain't.
It takes a lot of artists to make one, and some of them can have truly brilliant imagery, but I have yet to see the game that's art. Artistically presented maybe.

In my (albeit limited) experience, professional criticism often takes one of two forms:

A) The secret decoder ring. "Here's what the artist/author/composer is trying to say, dimwit."

B) The petri dish. "Here are all of the religiosociopoliticaeconoclimatic factors kicking around in the spacetime locale in which the artist/author/composer worked. Put it all together, and how could he not end up writing this? Hmmm, dimwit?"

These approaches require that the author actually be saying something, whether he means to or not. I'm just not seeing it. When I sit around and talk about games, relevance never comes up. This is due mainly to the fact that it's not there.

I mean, come on. Let's give it a try.

"The major statement made by Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 comes to its zenith when the audience unlocks Darth Maul as a playable character. At that precise moment in the play experience, expect to turn to your fellow aficionados and reverently gasp the syllables "skateboarding is totally fucking awesome". "

"In summary, after witnessing the stunning victory of Natalie Cook and Kerri Ann Pottharst at Sydney, Team Ninja's 2001-02 Japan had begun to taste the beauty of the occidental sport of volleyball, which, in combination with the new Xbox's hardware and man's enduring fascination with breasts, made a perfect world in which to develop Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball."


* No really. That's an actual title.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


The decorative style in the B A Start household can most easily be described as "libraryey" or perhaps "libresque". We like us some books. Her Worshipfulness, though, has often bemoaned the fact that a collection more often lacks uniformity, looking hodge-podge and patchwork.

My solution: why not pick up some large collections? We'd use them, and they have a standardized look. (Can you see how my nefarious plan is working? Slowly but diligently I move towards attaining my life-long goal of owning the OED.)

Here are some I've had my eye on:

The Harvard Classics -- the "five-foot shelf" meant to equal a liberal arts education. Haven't been in print for years, but a little Ebay action should do it.

The Loeb Library -- The left page is in Greek or Latin, the right page the English translation. Both pages contain the foundations of Western thought.

The Oxford English Dictionary -- Online subscription, shmonline subscription. If the full 20-volume version seems like overkill, too bad.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

An Open Letter

Dear Mark, Johnny, and Greg -

I write to you to apologize. As you may remember, at Goose's wedding we sat together. I had tied my tie with a windsor knot, and each of you had tied his with a half-windsor. When someone commented on my more formal, dare I say stately, knot, I took the opportunity to mock you, saying that I was the only person at the table who did not look as if he was going to his first communion. This was, perhaps, a bit much.

Please accept my apology. Also, the fine folks at Brooks Brothers have put together a site to help us learn even more knots. I couldn't help but think of you.



Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Not much

I do dig these old posters.