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Tycho / 2 days ago

The dynamics of my relationship with USA Gundam Store are exactly like ordinary relationship dynamics. I literally get pics. I signed up for it, I'm not mad and I can get out whenever I want, but there's a level of increasingly cyberpunk intensity when I'm getting texts, and mails, and these texts and mails are informing the ads I see on literally every website.

Gabir Liel - of Gabir Motors fame, proud member of the Dragon Race Team China family of automotive brands - was frank in an interview about an accident in the last race, potentially too frank, insofar as he told the truth. Enriqua Lara ("The Lariathan") struck partner Hong Liao on the circuit, ruining two wings in the process. Liel said as much, which caused Lara to refuse contract negotiations with the organization for roughly a year and a half. Here's where things get interesting. Well, here's where they get something at any rate: her existing contract is only in place for seven more weeks. Which means that, independent of how many Enriqua Lara bobbleheads we might have in the fulfillment center, The Vroom Raider won't be part of the organization going forward.

This was incredible news for Hans-Kurt Hog, known in the paddock and in the broader racing world as The Hogfather, who has recently been elevated to the main stage of the competition after having exclusively tuned cars for his entire career with the company. This came right after the announcement that he had become a Soundcloud rapper or something, I shit you not, that's basically what actually happened in the game. While he and the mechanic develop the kind of relationship that will let him get the best out of the car, the racing season is only halfway over. WHat's next? Find out with us today at 2pm PDT, only on Twinch.

(CW)TB out.

PAX Stuff

As PAX returns to real life venues I want to announce that I am actually retiring from real life venues. That is to say, I’m no longer going to be attending the US shows. It’s possible you might see me with my family at some future PAX but every show every year is just no longer doable for me. Like a lot of people the recent life pause has given me some perspective and I’m changing my routine coming out of this pandemic. 

My wife Kara was actually pregnant with my oldest son Gabe during the very first PAX. He has a driver's license now and is taller than I am. I have never liked traveling or crowds and I’ve never felt comfortable on a stage. To use a band metaphor, I dig making music but have always hated touring. I could never have done this at all had it not been for the fact that gamers are good people and for 16 years you all made me feel like I was among friends no matter what city I was in.

When Jerry and I started attending conventions 20 years ago nothing like PAX existed. We went to comic book conventions all over the country but E3 was the gaming convention and that wasn’t for fans. I’m incredibly proud of what PAX has grown into and I am honored to have had a hand in shaping it since the beginning. Going forward, Ryan and his team at Penny Arcade are still determined to put on the best shows they can for you. The PA designers are still kicking ass on the pins and PAX goodies you love. The Enforcers will still be there to answer all your questions. Plus, you will be seeing a lot more of Kris Straub who will come in to help our friend Jerry MC the shows. More Kris is always a good thing.

Thanks again nerds, in all honesty you are the ones who make PAX and I’m sure you’ll keep doing it just fine without me. 

-Gabe out

PA League Race!

After a couple weeks off I am back in the driver’s seat tonight for another Penny Arcade League race! We are all heading to Watkins Glen for a multi class race that will once again see me driving the slowest car on the track, the Mazda MX-5. There will also be more Stream Racer shenanigans this evening before and after the show. No need to download anything, just login and type !boost in the chat to give your car the goose juice! 

The Pit crew will open a little after 7PT tonight over on the Penny Arcade Twitch channel. You can also race along with us by joining the Penny Arcade iRacing League. Just get yourself a copy of the game and look us up in the league directory. We are happily accepting all skill levels. The league has races all week and an active Discord. It also has a kick ass website built by my son Gabe which his Computer Science teacher would not give him extra credit for! 

This week's theme was "Pride" so look for a lot of awesome rainbow colored cars tonight, including mine. See you on the track!

-Gabe out

Tycho / 4 days ago

As a spectacle, as a meticulously engineered media experience lensed through the twin magnifications of IMAX and 3D, James Cameron's Avatar is absolutely - I am confident in saying this - a film. It didn't really stick with me. I was at Disney World a couple years back, and they had a whole fuckin' Avatar, like… zone, and I was surprised. Like The Matrix, I think it provided a tool to get at some existential concepts a youth informed William Gibson had already formatted me for.  Ubisoft is now doing a second Avatar game - oh? You don't remember the first? I'm not a hundred percent sure what we're supposed to glean from the trailer, other than the idea that butterfly lizards apparently beat attack helicopters in whatever enigmatic version of Rock Paper Scissors they play in the future. The best we can hope for at this point is Appa DLC.

If you have missed your friends from The "C" Team, so cruelly ripped from you by the Plague Year, stop by the stream at 4pm PDT for their sponsored Wildermyth Stream. This shit is gonna twist your head around - check out PC Gamer's review if you're curious, but your primary means of interaction is telling a story(!!!). Said story is undergirded by a tactics game where time passes and heroes grow old. Steam says I bought it on March 8th, 2020, and I remember thinking "You are cool, and I'm gonna come back to you when you're out." And now it's out, currently sitting at "Overwhelmingly Positive" on Steam. Congrats to the team at Worldwalker Games, and thanks for the opportunity.  Check that custom art!

But, just before...

New prophecy just dropped: it's about how the brutal warlord Garr and his unkempt, mostly skin scavenger bird Willie Smithers made a pact with the inscrutable lords of Golgolfa with one foul aim: to despoil the Green Supreme. Obviously, my stalwart second Gabir Liel and I aren't about to let this happen. I bade him: stay thy club, brother. Let us meet them upon that manicured field, that field which is made right for war, and… you know, we'll play golf with them on Wednesday. Well, it's Wednesday! We've all got time for one round, so you'll probably want to be there at 2pm sharp.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 6 days ago

Loki is like Wandavision in that it's a kind of puzzle, which is the sort of show I like best. It's also the most optimized use of Disney+ as a platform, because now the hook is set and I sorta have to stick around to find out what this shit is about now. I go hog-ass fucking wild for a Primer, or a Memento. Or even a regular Mento. I should buy some Mentos.

I don't surf the Internet correctly. For one thing, I either ronically or i-ronically still use the term surf. I tend to go to individual sites for information; it's not really mediated by feeds or algo shenanigans. But until I got an Android phone a couple years ago, when I thought Google Fi would make travel to Canada and Australia more sensible, I hadn't been exposed to this bizarre underbelly of content whose provenance is difficult to discern. Content that essentially makes me feel like I'm going crazy reading it. There's a panel on my phone if you swipe left from the home screen that tells you what the algorithm really thinks of you, and what it thinks is that I want a bunch of articles which purport to have - but do not actually have - clear answers to increasingly granular horseshit.

These articles are like the broth you would make by filling a pot with water, looking at the water very intently, and thinking about a chicken. You'll get to the fifth paragraph of one of these, where you imagine the answer to the question posed by the headline might be, and find out that they don't have the answer either. They don't know if the new Ratchet & Clank is coming to PS4. Wandavision is what broke me, because it was bullshit ninety five percent of the time, just completely unmoored from reality. I was under the impression that these pieces constituted information - I thought they were someone's thoughts and ideas set down in a way that I could observe and process. Great pains had been taken to make them appear like communication.

These articles are essentially genuflections, completely empty ritualized movements and assertions, acts of worship for this devil we made. We have stories about Viziers for this fucking reason, about outsourcing our cognition, but now the feedback loop is essentially inescapable. I feel bad for the people who have to make these, but at the end of the day I'm glad someone is making money writing even if they're merely hanging a kind of linguistic drywall. It's not a choice they're making; the Internet has essentially been apportioned into fiefdoms and you have to sing these strange songs to be let in the gate. I'm essentially at the ragged end of a radicalization funnel, it just thinks that my belief system is The MCU. I don't think we can say that selectively pruning and breeding our attention in this way isn't twisting our heads around in a way that pop cultural ephemera isn't simply a proxy for.

(CW)TB out.




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