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Tycho / 2 days ago

2020 has progressed unabated. The treacherous Gary Whitta - merely this era's wet vessel for the perfidious and eternal sorcerer Gar'Whita - has unleashed his naughty Wordle clone, Lewdle, where morally wrong answers are always right. Will this lead to an age of license and perversity in the young? Undoubtedly, yes. This was almost certainly its purpose. Such are his workings that they may take centuries to come to fruition - his was the bony hand behind "Fruit By The Foot," too long the fuel for rough teen behavior, a crimson snack that is somehow also, improbably, a whip. It is the very icon of his wickedness.

Now, Wordle is the app that launched a thousand ships. You get in ultrahuge megatrouble if you try to profit from it, but if you're making another free spin on the game people don't seem to mind very much - there are heaps of them. Obviously, we're on track to enter this fraught arena ourselves; we even offer a clue for one of them that should work literally every day


Also, Episode 5 of The Book Of Boba Fett is just an episode of The Mandalorian, and the most brutal indictment of the show possible. I have no idea what happened over there, the rumors were crazy around the end of the second season of The Mandalorian but it would be hard at this point to say that anything other than a bumper crop of brain parasites could have been responsible for the season that contains this episode. Studio meddling, issues with talent, whatever the fuck it is it's so bizarre to have access to these kinds of resources and then use them to create The Book of Boba Fett. The reason we let power concentrate in companies is because it leads to "efficiencies," broadly writ, according to some functionally religious concept of how these things work, but it's entirely possible that art resists - let's say, resents - this type of environment.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 4 days ago

I still haven't had a chance to get into this fuckin' Valheim server - maybe I'll do it today. It will definitely require that I scroll up my text history with Gabe until it reaches the cached portion. That's the kind of sacrifice I'm willing to make, and I think it's an indication of my vigor and resolve.

The fact is, every moment I can wrench from existential terror is utterly spoken for. I'm playing Storybook Brawl, either by myself, or in a cadre of like minded gentlemen all discussing tactics. That's essentially what Dabe and I do on stream, and it's a really fun way to refine your thinking and also have someone else do everything. My strategy thus far is to triple the egg. What I've discovered is that playing Storybook Brawl, especially live, makes you talk like a complete lunatic.

Any time not spent doing that is spent in Halo Infinite multi. I read an article yesterday about how somebody had gotten all the way through the battle pass or something; I play almost every day and I am level sixty or so. If I were any harder core than this, I would start to get pissed off by all the problems I keep reading about, the nettling qualities of which I don't even deny. I like the special events, where I earn on the battle pass while also earning on the special event simultaneously, and secretly I like the fact that even when I eat shit in a round the XP is essentially the same. I just play my matchmade, 4v4 games of whatever they got; I essentially order the Number One Combo. I don't swap drink for shake. I don't pick what kind of fry. I love how it looks, and plays, and sounds, and it is exactly what I want every time.

And any time I'm not doing that I'm building and rebuilding or even playing my Necrons list for Warhammer 40k 9th. When I was flying all around doing shit, I lost countless hours just making armies for Kill Team and even the regular game, which I wasn't even playing at the time. The ability to "play" when you are not playing is one of my favorite things about the hobby, and since we're all essentially babies at the full game it's nothing but possibility. It's all experiments, all the time - it's my favorite part of what is currently my favorite thing to do. At night, I lie in bed and just… shiver from it, like a fever.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

I'd actually decided not to read this Joss Whedon article; I'm not super interested in a piece that layers bullshit retcons of his behavior with flaky pastry and tender rabbit. I'm not in the market for some kind of artisinal rehabilitation. But… it's not that. It's something that is, in fact, truly revelatory. It's a confession, lurid and ornate; it's the last ten minutes of a procedural where the villain can't help himself anymore. He has to make absolutely certain that you know just how smart he is.

There is almost too much to summarize, and even if you did try and remove some of the overall volume to concentrate it, you'd miss the weird texture that persists throughout. It's honestly something you should read for yourself, because the little thorns and barbs that have been projected all over in people's takes aren't the thing in its entirety. This particular part has been doing work online, and it should:

“I feel fucking terrible about [all the sex I had with my employees, journalists, and fans while I was married],” he said. When I pressed him on why, he noted “it messes up the power dynamic,” but he didn’t expand on that thought. Instead, he quickly added that he had felt he “had” to sleep with them, that he was “powerless” to resist. I laughed. “I’m not actually joking,” he said. He had been surrounded by beautiful young women — the sort of women who had ignored him when he was younger — and he feared if he didn’t have sex with them, he would “always regret it.”

That… is not a good enough reason. Did some kind of fucking statute of limitations just pass or something? This is a legitimately revolting person who fashioned a malevolent lure out of a studied, systematic feminist performance - one that protected him from criticism like a magical ward for years. That "messed up" power dynamic, Guy Who Made The Show Dollhouse, is the part you like.

Now that the post is done, I'm gonna jump into the stream for some Storybook Brawl with Dabe. We still have a few codes for Fairy Dust, enough in each code to get a new character, and we'll be throwing down with the chat later in the afternoon so stop by if you want to test our mettle.


Tycho / 1 week ago

Sometimes on the Internet sometimes "thing happens" and all you can see are the ripples out, not the inciting event. Microsoft's move to purchase Activision Blizzard was in that category. There were a lot of one and two word tweets; I couldn't help but get in on it myself. The headlines all seem to say slightly different things - Microsoft bought them, they intend to buy them, those are pretty different. It's possible that those who say it's already done are simply saying the FTC isn't even gonna look at it. That's a charitable interpretation.

Disney's purchases of Marvel ($4.25b) and Star Wars ($4b), both cosmic detonations that have shaped popular culture, barely rank. Pixar ($7.4b) is roughly equivalent to the ZeniMax/Bethesda purchase ($7.5b), but in 2006 dollars. This is ten times that. I would be lying if I said I could actually fix that number in my mind. It's easier than trying to hold Microsoft's 2.33 trillion market cap in your head, I guess. For that one, it's like the gears don't even catch. I just wake up two or three seconds later. The kaiju scale of the contest, between the Microsofts and Tencents and Googles and Amazons and the Apples, is its own self-fulfilling prophecy. If even one is allowed, others must be allowed to scale beyond mortal comprehension simply to "compete."

There's a lot that we don't know right now, but obviously Kotick doesn't survive that transition; well, he survives it in the strictly definitional way, obviously. In fact, between his stock and a unique particularity of his contract, he's going to spend the rest of his life coiled atop a mountain of gold and objet d'art. This is the x factor that explains why he wasn't encased in an iron lozenge and fired from a sub-orbital railgun into the sun. They're going to let Microsoft pick up that check. He's being rewarded, in effect, no… not "in effect." He's literally being rewarded for every wicked thing that happened there, because this deal doesn't happen without the hit to their stock. Jesus Christ. That's where this ended up?

I have been saying that Game Pass is the platform. It was good before this. After? I think you'd have to call it industry defining; this is Disney's grip on cinema, without any pesky theatres or modern-day plagues to get in the way. It will have fractal implications at every threshold of the business and it has already begun.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

Pokemon Legends: Arceus hits on the 28th, which means it's time to ritually cleanse our decrepit equipment and prepare ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. It's such a whacked out interpretation of the series I genuinely wonder how people are gonna take it. On the one hand, it's hard to imagine a lightning mouse as controversial. On the other, people have played these games their whole life and the developer appears to have made Breath of the Wild. I'm just saying, there's sides to this thing.

In the deepest, most isolated portion of the pandemic, the thing I missed most was Mensousai Mugen. It's a ramen shop in a Melbourne, Australia laneway that I found a few years back at PAX Aus that I would I would try to fit into the trip an annoying number of times (sorry, Kiko). They are always projecting Seven Samurai directly onto the wall in the basement, and it's dipping ramen, and… if there is a subject I am truly expert at, it's eating at this restaurant.

The other thing that I missed was boardgaming in general and wargaming in specific. They do the same thing for me, in either case. It's a structured but surprising mode of social interaction that also clearly indicates when it's fucking over! Most interactions can barely hit one of those.

My friend Eric and I used to play in the garage, with the door open on a fold-out card table with masks, seated on opposite sides. It felt like we were both working on an antique clock. I'm sure this is something I'm doing wrong: I guess I'd rather win than lose, but I mostly just want to play. The game is telling a weird little story down there and you can hear it if you bring your ear down close. I think that being a canny opponent makes for a better story and I care about that way more than winning.

Anyhow, I had a chance to try out a new list - this is what a dork calls their specific army configuration - in a place that was being built around us as we played, Waystone Wargaming Speakeasy, which is a lot of words I've never seen together before. I'd heard about it over at Mox Boarding House, which is a place I'd put up against any game store in the world. Somebody there was mentioning that a couple employees had left the store to do their own thing, so we got hold of them to see how things were shaping up. They're promoting it on Kickstarter, which I've seen a couple other young venues do; if you're local and you like to throw handfuls of plastic at your friends it might be something you find of use. I'd love for this world to be a place where such a gentle, precious creature could survive.


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