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Tycho / 22 hours ago

I feel like a sweatshop that the worker willingly enters constitutes a kind of labor market endgame.

Like the opt-in Surveillance State we acknowledge and worship every time we tag a photo, we really have to take a second to think about this.  But nobody has a second.  I deeply resent the fact that one can accurately and succinctly describe the actual world we live in and sound like a fucking AM radio whackjob.

It’s true that these are choices people are making, ostensibly with the knowledge that this type of “employment” has none of the strictures commonly understood in a job, but after I saw my fifth or sixth burnout video - videos which slot ever-so-neatly into the same machine that caused the breakdowns in the first place - it just hit a point with me.  I have the privilege of being able to use these services when I want to or to make viewing something we’ve done more convenient.  For the creator native to these platforms, it’s not hard to determine what the beast wants.  You come to understand when it reacts with delight or when it recoils and no doubt it’s simply a coincidence that it likes you best when you are prostrate before it in abject, dependent terror.

The beast, rendered here as a perpetually salivating squid crab, must be fed constantly.  It is in desperate need of your youth and your authenticity because even in its green-black Authenticity Glands it cannot approximate who you and your friends are, just on your own.  It has to baste its marketing ordnance in your innocence so that they may be fired with impunity and without consequence.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

We knew that including the actual image I received in the comic would provide delight purely as a hidden object game, but I wasn’t a hundred percent prepared for how viscerally people would feel it.  In the past, I’ve either helped him build a computer or he’s bought them online.  This one isn’t even technically for him, it’s for Gabriel the Younger, and they put the whole thing together… together.

I try to adhere to a robust moral praxis, but I can’t pretend not to be mesmerized by case lights that sync with your mouse, keyboard, and headphones.  I consider it a personal failing that I am unable to resist them.  But Gabe sprang for the fuckin’ RAM with the programmable lights on it, and I’m so glad.  It’s like the really nice LEGO sets - let’s say, purely as an example and not as a very specific, perpetually renewed coordinate of desire, Metalbeard’s Sea Cow.  I love this shit but I could never buy it - I know the very moment that my resolve slips it’s not gonna be one set.  But Mike can buy it and I can enjoy it without feeling that I’ve somehow let down the woman in the Great Depression photo.

Anyhow, lots of streams today: the Design Team is gonna submerge themselves in fish-based horror at 12pm PDT, and at 2 our Technomancer and I are going to hack even deeper into Zachtronics’ crafty, clever EXAPUNKS.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 6 days ago

I’ve had a chance to check out Cody Blorpfor (esq.) on PS4 and Xbox One X now in Blackout mode, and I’ve had fun everywhere I’ve played it.

The Base PS4 gets a workout for sure - I don’t know if it’s some kind of dynamic resolution thing happening or if it’s simply my ocular fluid crystallizing due to my advanced age, but the game really would rather be running on the newer boxes.  The Xbox One X doesn’t give a shit about it, near as I can tell.  I think it could mine Bitcoin in the background.  What I’ve seen online has a good showing from PS4 Pro also.  The main thing for me is that the feel of the game isn’t compromised on the older PS4.  It still feels like COD, but on a gigantic fucking map, which should be a contradiction in terms but isn’t because of engineering sorcery.  Nobody interviews these motherfuckers unless they own the company.  I am hailing you.  I see what you did.

Among others things, “what they did” was create a kind of direct counterweight to PUBG.

That’s more or less what the strip is about.  Fortnite is on a very different wavelength than PUBG - different business models, different aesthetics, and ultimately I think different audiences.  There’s much less daylight between hashtag Blackout and Public G.  Blackout is… whatever the opposite of a Time Capsule is.  It’s a communique from a future of settled law, a comprehensive conceptual egg from a realm where PUBG has accomplished its performance, visual, and design goals only now it’s called Blackout for some reason.

I like PUBG, and I especially like playing it on Twitch.  They staked out a kind of play that is perfectly matched to the way we play and watch games right now, but that idea is not owned by them, may not even be ownable, and when these competitors came after them so many of the initial questions they’d face were already answered.  The situation we have now is something like an emperor being forced to fight in his own devious colosseum, and there seems to be an endless supply of lions.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

My feed is jam-packed with amateur, yet still somehow amazing Spider-Man photography.  Technically, I do own it.  It’s one of about three PlayStation 4 discs I own.  It came with the Pro when I upgraded, but I upgraded for Destiny 2, so the box still has plastic on it.  Hopefully his hands and feet will remain sticky until I have a chance to get back in there.

I’ve been able to pry Gabe out of it for rounds of Gambit usually, especially once I showed him the Ancient Apocalypse set, but he must have gotten to a good part or something because he is now too unavailable to tell me he’s unavailable.

We had a chance to check out the Call of Duty: Very Long Name beta, the one for their Battle Royale contender Blackout, and it’s fucking great.  This doesn’t look like a first outing at all.  The map is plump, the vehicles are executed with precision, and underneath all that is the speed and feel that keeps the game selling tens of millions of copies even when you know exactly what you’re getting - even if, arguably, you have owned it many times before.  This is a brutal competitor in this context, borne of world class expertise heaped atop world class expertise.  It’s a Voltron made out of Voltrons.

The last time I got heavily into The Division, I spent a lot of time wondering how you could incorporate the RPG fundamentals that drive its progression inside a essentially stateless, start-from-zero framework in the service of its own BR-adjacent outing.  Blackout does something I thought might function there, and I think it really does: you pick up perks as “items” that function for a limited time.  It completely works.  It also has whacked out surprises like small incursions of the Zombies mode inside the rest of the serious shell.

Kiko came in to our office later and sheepishly asked if he could play a round.  Yes, Kiko.  Watching you play shooters is like watching Itzhak Perlman do his thing.  There will never be a time where I don’t want to see you pulverize strangers online and I cherish these blessed moments, each of which is a tiny, stirring egg in the nest that is my heart.

It was a near thing, but Amy… I mean Walnut was able to escape Hawaii before any hurricane related unpleasantness, and Kate…. I mean Rosie’s Wednesday thing got moved to another day, so we’ve got the whole crew in for tonight’s presumptively breathtaking episode of Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team.  Starts up at 4pm PDT tonight on on the Twitcher, come hang out.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

I was there when the miracle happened.  Indeed: I was the vessel that carried it.

I told you on Friday that I can’t be trusted with motes.  Let me tell you what I can be trusted with: robbing motherfuckers.

Now, I should say that I think anyone would be capable of this particular feat with my build.  I think a sufficiently enthusiastic branch could manage it.  I play as a Stormcaller Warlock, which you might have heard referred to as Tickle Fingers.  I’m essentially a young, spry version of the Emperor from Star Wars.  They move really fast, the ult creates a shockwave on use, and then anything in a wide cone dies while arcing deadly lightning to their doomed fellows.  I invade the opposing team, sneak up as quietly as I can, and then:

1. Eat them while they’re fighting mobs to destroy their hard-won motes in the early game.  The most I’ve ever destroyed in this way, in one invasion, is thirty.

2. Kill them in the endgame to feed their Primeval, the boss they must kill to win.  Wiping an enemy team under these circumstances is practically a reset.

We understand that dads have been lonely in our absence - too lonely.  To this end, we have assembled a crack team of dad fuckers we’re calling “Dadfuckerz, Inc.” expressly to form lasting, romantic bonds that bloom into all-you-can-eat erotic buffets.  We’ve got a classic configuration for you today: Joshua Price as an older, wiser Tommy No-Chill, Ryan Hartman as Tommy’s modern incarnation “Sex Goku,” and myself as everybody else.  At 12 the Design Team is gonna get some horror games underway, and we’ll be on to go nuts on a dad at 2pm PDT on Twitch.

(CW)TB out.

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