Regular Spelling
Thoughts on language and more

(Very) Slowly Moving Forward

So at this point I'm going to have to get a new car. The other day I went to drive up to Idaho for Thanksgiving and my poor 95 Sable wouldn't shift into 3rd (non-OD Freeway) gear, and then when I went to take it to AAMCO on Saturday it would barely shift into gear at all and I had to get it towed down there. They got with me earlier today saying it was something internal with the transmission, and considering this would be the second time I've had to deal with the transmission (not to mention my cousin hates my car now because of the trouble the first one gave him dropping it), its simply not feasible to replace it again now. 

Other than that I haven't really been doing much lately. Writer's block has prevented me for doing any significant work (especially unfortunate given its NaNoWriMo currently), although I have been able to pull off adding more Spiral Island stuff to my development wiki. I've been working on and off on a Twitter client I was challenged into making, and the rest of the time has been learning some WPF stuff, and sorting out issues updating my two games to XNA 4.0. Things are slow, but unlike my poor Sable at least they're still moving.

Mon, 29 Nov 2010 08:00:00 -0600

The Mystery Of Code

Some people that know me know that I like to read creepy stories. Particularly, the "creepypasta", as its called, thats born of the internet for forums and mailings thats designed to unnerve people and give them fear of the unknown. The fact alone that I have a planned storyline for a game series called "Phobia: The Only Thing To Fear" should be evidence of this enough, in addition to the few times I have mentioned such things here on the blog before. But I don't read them as a matter of causing fear to myself, because these things bring no fear, I read them because sometimes they end up turning out to me to be quite humorous, and mainly I read them to see the varied and wild imaginations that bring these things to life. They're intriguing, interesting stories to me. 

Recently I found a new site that keeps an archive of these things, so I've been reading through the archive. What's been nice about this site is there are a lot of new things that I haven't seen before, whereas other sites I find usually just have the same things over and over without adding newer original content. But I've noticed a rather unusual trend as I've browsed these archives, that has really made me stop and wonder: a lot of these things are about video games.

A good number of these stories surround paranormal events, with games doing things they're 'not supposed to do'. A few stories are about games designed not to be so innocent as they appear. From Zelda cartridges that are possessed by ghosts, to a massive conspiracy surrounding binarual beats designed to elicit specific response in the early Pokemon games, to PC games that can delete themselves and never be installed again or interface with information from the real world with lack of (or before the advent of) connection to the Internet, a lot of these things are about games. Granted, with a good, modular game design that can allow complex scripting systems like some of the more popular topics in these stories describe (Zelda, Pokemon, Fallout and Elder Scrolls being the most prominent ones I'm reading about that I know can be scripted in such a fashion) many of these stories can fairly easily be turned into genuine hacked games that could be distributed on pirate cartridges for a laugh, but the overwhelming fear and mystery of these things I find very unusual.

Is the function of video games really that much of a mystery to people? Is the belief in the "magic blue smoke" so ingrained in the minds of those that are not as computer savvy that they forget that all games are are just lines of code made by people like me entering things into a computer? Older game systems especially turn out to be interesting, because sometimes these stories describe the games as being able to do things that would be physically impossible for the limited hardware to be able to support (even considering all the clever tricks that professional studios and homebrew challenge people have come up with to push the limits)? 

It really boggles my mind what people will believe, and what people can fear. This is why this genre is so interesting to me, and always serves as a reminder as to why I chose to explore it myself in my writings and games.

Thu, 11 Nov 2010 05:00:00 -0600