||the Seventeenth of November, 2002|
"This is such a habit now that I do it all on autopilot.
I disconnect from the officenet at 5:28pm (special dispensation,
medically certified). 5:29, my coat is on. By 5:32 I am walking through
Drake Plaza in front of the office, heading for the transit stations."
The ghosts of ghosts, at Upsideclone. Beautiful.
was a 1930s card game based around the London Underground as
it was as the time, with stark, black-and-white photos of fifty of its
stations, many of them long-since revamped and renamed. Mark Lane, Praed
Street, Post Office... A distant cousin of Mornington Crescent, but
hammered out of the abstract Beck's map and into the real world. (I've
Dvorakised the Lobo deck for appropriately artless online play, if anyone's interested.) [via Herr Bratsche@MCiOS]|
Related: GSM Arts' Tube card game, which I suspect is just Uno using lines as
suits, and (since I had the same idea myself a few years ago, and made the
cards for it) consequently haven't bought.
Friends; six people re-enacting a Friends script on an active
Quake server. "Our performers functioned as passive, neutral visitors to the game - we
were constantly killed and reincarnated to continue the performance." [via
I'm pretty sure that the last few series of Friends have been scripted and
choreographed entirely for ease of digitisation - that they now have enough
stock footage of basic stances and mannerisms to create another three thousand
episodes inside a computer, with ageless, wageless virtual actors.
|I Used To Believe also details many, many chewing
gum fallacies, of the death and destruction caused by swallowing (I dimly remember
believing this, and later realising the unlikeliness of sweetshops selling things that could
kill children). Although
evil gum-spitting has been dropped
from Blair's on-the-spot utopian fining schemes, I think Chrissy's got a point about
gum-swallowing re-education being a good way to approach the whole problem.|
The permanent scatter-plots left by spat gum feel like a valuable
source of social data, though. I'm still percolating theories as to the
relevance of their locations - that they map the points at which people
decide to stop chewing gum; that it boils down to (a) meeting someone,
(b) being about to eat something and (c) general self-awareness and
boredom. I'm sure there's a great deal of significance embedded in the tarmac
around train stations, if only we knew what to do with the data.
"My brother told me that anyone with an arm band, like
the ones bartenders used to wear in old western movies, murdered his
brother. So, I thought that anyone wearing any kind of bracelet high on
the arm; around their bicep, murdered their brother. In the seventies,
these bracelets were very popular among women, so I thought I was often
surrounded by murderers."
I Used To Believe,
an archive of the fallacies of childhood, the careless lies of elders
impacting heavily on fresh plastic brains.
(I used to believe, amongst other rubbish, that strangling
ivy would slither through my bedroom window at night if I left it open; that
the Jeff Wayne War of the Worlds album was actually happening in real time on
some quasi-real level, but would work out alright if we listened to the whole
thing (I can still picture a Martian tripod slumped against
white horse); that when you bought a new computer you first had to sit
down and teach it everything you needed it to know, from one-plus-one
onwards; that I was able control light switches with my mind but couldn't
quite remember how to do it; that human beings were basically decent,
and that some sort of god existed.)
The site was part of an exhibition
in Brighton, in May, apparently. The world's getting very small, these days.
"As the court is no doubt aware, Defendant has a virtual monopoly of
manufacture and sale of goods required by Mr. Coyote's work. It is our
contention that Defendant has used its market advantage to the detriment
of the consumer of such specialized products as itching powder, giant
kites, Burmese tiger traps, anvils, and two-hundred-foot-long rubber
Coyote vs Acme. Very possibly the oldest thing on the Internet, but new to me.
|The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed, not even across
a single kitchen - the spirit wife pointed
out that the thing we were too tired to listen to and too technically
impoverished to audio-record would probably be available on the BBC web site,
and it was.|
You can listen to
broadcasts of The Heard, a poetry vehicle driven by the Johns Hegley
and Cooper-Clarke, as they become available. Scratchy quality, but
no worse than a bad radio. All we need now is a cheap wireless
speaker that can pretend to be, well, a cheap wireless.
"The coyote begins to walk aimlessly away from the
highway; for the first time in his life, he lets that precious source of
road-kill fade unchecked to the horizon behind him. He has no
destination, he just walks. One paw over the other, weaving around
columns of rock and stony hummocks. He passes cacti but neither eats nor
Wile, a poignant
look at the reskilling of an immortal cartoon coyote, after its lone
blue-feathered quarry is dead and eaten.
"[Simulation] can allow insight into a situation that mere
narrative cannot. It allows players to explore different outcomes -- in
the fashion of a software toy -- and thereby come to a gut understanding
of the simulation's subject. Having played at least a dozen different
games on Waterloo, I understand the battle, and why things happened the
way they did, and the nature of Napoleonic warfare, far better than if I
had merely read a dozen books on the subject."
Have No Words & I Must Design, an essay on
the important factors of game design by Greg Costikyan, a co-author of the mighty
Good stuff on the importance of resource-allocation dilemmas, relevant feedback, endgame narrative tension and being
able to identify with characters roles - widely applicable
stuff, from computer games to bits of cardboard. Opens with a nice deconstruction of
what a game is and isn't.
|Forthcoming soulless, lurching horror from the pen of Richard Curtis;
Love Actually, the tale of a British
Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) who falls in love with the Downing Street
maid who "brings him his tea" (Martine McCutcheon). But at least the
usage of the title pre-empts any romantic comedies set in
"These painted bikes have evolved into fantasy
contraptions blissfully ignorant of the laws of mechanics, instruments
of torture unable to be ridden, whilst those with missing parts echo the
reality of bike ownership in an urban environment."
- cycle-lane symbols in the wild, extracts from a photo-collection of the white-painted outlines of dead bicycles, mutated and repainted at junctions and crossings, never quite living up to the Platonic Department of Transport ideal.
The Weird Cycle Lanes of Brighton
site quietly encourages activists
to reclaim the kerbsides by painting their own.
|A Dawn of the Dead remake is nigh; there's a
spoiler-laden look at the
script, which seems more focused on the survival of a reasonably-sized community in another soulless shopping mall, and furthers the science of zombification a little (they only start lurching when rigor mortis kicks in).|
Tangentially, don't rush to buy the 28 Days Later soundtrack for its
video-clip "unseen footage", unless you really want two minutes of pointless car-journey
singalong and are desperate to know why the protagonists suddenly drive across
fields and stop for a picnic. (Spoiler: "Frank, can we stop for a