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The Guild: Do you wanna date my avatar?

September 5, 2009 Comments off

Thought I’d take a short break from serious posts and bring to your attention something that I think is very clever and funny.

Some of you know that among my many interests is computer gaming — nearly always online with friends and mostly teamwork-oriented first-person shooters (FPS) — though I have quite a long history of trying out MMORPGs. Yes, it’s nerdy and has its pros and cons, but such games can be a fun escape from thinking, reality and seriousness every now and then. They’re not really much different from reading a book or watching a film, except you’re sharing the experience with other people and can manipulate and interact with the environment.

So imagine my nerdy delight when I discovered The Guild, brainchild of the talented and lovely Felicia Day, who is probably best known for her appearances in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Monk and Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. It was the recent release of a music video for The Guild — called Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? — that put me onto the show:

The Guild – Do You Wanna Date My Avatar

The video was directed by Joss Whedon — creator of Buffy, Dr Horrible, Angel, Dollhouse and the brilliant Firefly, and also a well known humanist. If you’re a gamer, particularly if you’re into MMORPGs of any kind and with a group of friends (group, guild, clan — whatever you call it), then I’m sure you’ll get as much of a kick out of it as I do.

The Guild is a web show about a MMORPG guild, who call themselves The Knights of the Good, who don’t know each other in real life but play together online regularly (just like your average gaming guild). It focuses upon Felicia’s character and her online and eventually real life interactions with her fellow “guildies.” It’s brilliant, it’s clever, and it deserves every acclaim that it has been receiving.

The Guild - Season 1The Guild - Season 2It has just started showing its 3rd season and is available to view online via Xbox LIVE Marketplace, as are the previous seasons — or you can even buy them on DVD.

I expect that Season 3 will eventually be viewable online as for the previous seasons, and presumably available for purchase as a DVD. Lastly, those in the US can watch them all here.

But in the meantime, enjoy…

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Categories: games Tags: , ,

The CNC music factory is Still Alive

May 5, 2009 Comments off

As Yogi Berra once said: It’s déjà vu all over again.

Well, almost: I’d like to start this post with a welcome to those who have found me via Planet Humanism, and to pass my thanks to nullifidian for adding me to the aggregator. He, too, seemed to find something interesting in my ramblings. Good luck.

Actually, this is a kind of half-way post to both introduce you poor lucky folk to my blog and to share something with you, although it’s been around the intertubes for the last day or two. The following contains spoilers for the game Portal — part of The Orange Box by Valve Software.

For those of you who have been lucky enough to play Portal and have finished it will know of the fantastic ending song by Jonathan Coulton called Still Alive. As ending songs go it is the perfect epilogue to what is a thoroughly enjoyable game: it ties up the loose ends, it captures precisely the personality of the game’s antagonist and, when you get the in jokes, it leaves you walking away laughing.

Here’s the ending song in all its glory:

Alternatively, here are the lyrics to Still Alive.

And here’s the point of this post: some genius has taken a CNC router and used its stepper motors to play Still Alive. Its three-dimensional motorised control means it can effectively play 3 notes: a chord. The result speaks for itself:

I’m truly hoping that you can appreciate this as much as I can. Okay, it’s geeky and is an off-the-wall kind of musical art expression. But what tickles me is that the artist has programmed a robot to play a tune about a robot that spent the entire game lying to you.

After all, you must remember:

The cake is a lie!

It’s gold, I tell ya…

Categories: games Tags: , , ,