The cat Frida Kahlo and her owner says she beats the shell game two times out of three.
A gamer recently sold a virtual property, existing only in the context of an on-line game, for serious money.
Think the rent is, in fact, too damn high? Then stay as far away from online world Entropia Universe as possible, because its real estate prices will drive you insane.
Take, for instance, what just went down on Planet Calypso, where one of Entropia’s wealthier players has sold off his interests in a “resort asteroid” for an eye-popping $635,000.
The seller is Jon Jacobs, also known as the character ‘Neverdie’. He originally purchased the asteroid in 2005—eventually converting it into the extravagant resort ‘Club Neverdie’—for the then-record price of $100,000. For those keeping score, that’s a gain of over $500,000 in just five years. In nerdier terms, that’s an ROI of 535%. Match that, Citibank.
You have to be pretty old to remember the original, but it’s hilarious if you do.
YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. THERE IS SNOW OUTSIDE. YOU ARE BEHIND A DESK. ON DESK THERE IS A BUST OF CHURCHILL.
YOU HAVE A CONGRESS.
YOU HAVE A SENATE.
YOU HAVE A MEDIA.
YOU HAVE A TELEPROMPTER.
YOU HAVE A MILITARY.
YOU HAVE A BIG JET.
YOU HAVE $3 TRILLION OF GOLD.
YOU HAVE 82% APPROVAL HEALTH.
THERE IS 7.2% UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE FOREST.
YOU HAVE A RACE CARD.
YOU HAVE INAUGURAL PARTY LEFTOVERS.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?
JourneyQuest is a web comedy series poking fun at role playing gaming produced by the Dead Gentlemen. There are four episodes so far, but the story has barely started.
Episode 1: Onward
Episode 2: Sod the Quest
Episode 3: A Rather Unfortunate Turn of Events
Episode 4: Deadly, Ancient Magicks
Avalon Hill, Charles Roberts, Games, James Dunnigan, Nerd News, Obituaries, Simulations Publications, War Gaming
PanzerBlitz, designed by Jim Dunnigan in 1969, was the best of the Avalon Hill games.
Charles S. Roberts passed away recently from emphysema at 80 years of age. Roberts was best known as a historian of American railroads, but in 1954 he took advantage of his professional experience in printing and advertising to found the game company Avalon Hill in 1954.
Avalon Hill created an entire new war gaming hobby with its board games based on historical events. AH’s crucial innovations included the use of a grid overlaid on a flat folding map, zones of control (ZOC), an odds-based combat results table (CRT), and terrain effects on movement, troop strength, morale.
The earliest games were primitive, featuring large and arbitrary units, a rectangular grid offering overly limited movement and possibilities of unit interaction, and thoroughly unbalanced scenarios.
AH’s publication of PanzerBlitz, designed by the legendary Jim Dunnigan, in 1969 represented a design breakthough featuring a hexagonal map grid, tactical level units, and multiple typically far more balanced scenarios.
Dunnigan went on to operate Simulations Publications, a rival company that eclipsed Avalon Hill and created a new era in simulations gaming.
Baltimore Sun obituary
Hat tip to Walter Olson.
Fighting one’s way to the vital Russian village of Bednost (Poverty)
President Obama’s performance has been so memorable that already, after less than two years in office, he has won a special place in the hearts of ordinary Americans: a place resembling Osama bin Laden’s as one of a series of carnival targets you throw baseballs at and win prizes for knocking down.
Gawker positively squeaked in protest at the political incorrectness of it all, headlining the story as “Horrible Obama-Smashing Game.” (chuckle)
That didn’t keep them from uploading a video of a young man hurling baseballs at the target of the president prefaced by “F**k you, Obama.”
Hit the alien invader with the health care bill & presidential seal game
The Jersey Shore boardwalk game, however, was not the great man’s first recognition by amusement park popular culture. Even earlier, a church fair outside Allentown, Pennsylvania attracted the attention of the Secret Service when a rented shooting game featuring You-Know-Who holding the health care bill appeared as the target.
The Morning Call reports that the feds were not amused and the games company was quickly strong-armed into removing this threat to his Imperial Obamaness.
The game’s target is a painting of a black man in a suit who is holding a scroll labeled “Health Bill.” He sports a belt buckle fashioned after the presidential seal, antennae and a troll doll on his shoulder.
Players paid $1 per shot, or $5 for six shots, to fire foam darts at targets on his head and heart. Those who hit their mark won a stuffed animal.
Cindy Wofford, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia office of the Secret Service, said her agents are looking into the game and will determine if there were any direct or indirect threats to the president. They will share their findings with the U.S. attorney’s office.
“We take these kinds of things very seriously,” Wofford said.
The White House issued a statement Wednesday through spokeswoman Moira Mack saying it disapproves of using the president’s name and likeness for commercial purposes. The longstanding policy precedes Obama.
There was no Secret Service intervention that I can recall when representatives of the liberal urban intelligentsia produced a fantasy documentary and a play featuring the assassination of George W. Bush. (link)
Former President, New Community-Organizer-in-Chief and 12th Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi, formerly Barack Hussein Obama
David Corn, in Mother Jones:
Glenn Beck mysteriously killed. The GOP driven out of Congress. Obama proclaims himself the “Lost Imam.”
It’s January 2011. The GOP is about to assume control of both houses of Congress—having been voted in by a public deeply suspicious of Democrats after President Barack Obama conducted clandestine talks with President Felipe Calderon of Mexico and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada. But two days before the new conservative majority is to be sworn in, Obama announces that this Congress will not be seated, that the United States (a creation of “racists and warmongers”) will be replaced by a North American Union, that the US Constitution will be dissolved, and that private ownership of firearms will be outlawed (as part of a United Nations treaty banning firearms globally). In response, millions rise up, and the Revolution begins. ...
[This is] the premise for a new [as of October, 2009] online computer game hosted by a website called United States of Earth.
In the game’s scenario, 20 million armed American “patriots” begin seizing local and federal government offices. These are the same people whose earlier Tea Party protests had been ignored and dismissed by the mainstream media. Now, they post bounties for government employees. There’s fighting in every state. Meanwhile, Lou Dobbs has been disappeared, and Glenn Beck has been found dead of an “aspirin overdose.” Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly have been rounded up, and Fox News forcibly shut down. The US military refuses to come to Obama’s rescue. His loyalist forces of 40,000 end up controlling merely three counties in Virginia, while an allied force is in charge of three counties near Washington, DC. The Federal Reserve also controls two of its own counties, as does the Cong (the remnants of the Democratic Congress). A collection of pro-Obama black nationalists and Islamic fundamentalists have a hold on two counties. What can you do as a player? You can join the patriots trying to capture Obama and defeat the Cong.
The only rumors of Barack Obama’s intended coup d’etat that I’ve heard pertain to an on-line game obviously having a certain amount of fun with paranoid fantasies.
But J.R. Dunn, who is a well-known and respected editorialist at American Thinker, has been receiving comments from his readers containing real rumors of the sort in recent weeks (He must be attracting even more colorful commenters than me!), and is actually editorializing on the unlikeliness of such a thing.
We’ve been hearing a lot of comments recently about a national coup d’etat scheduled for sometime in late summer or early fall and designed to circumvent the coming Democrat debacle in the 2010 elections.
This is an example of political gothic of a type that I tend to overlook. But my interest was piqued by the fact that it has been mentioned several dozen times in the comment threads of essays of mine in recent weeks. I’ve had a little difficulty grasping exactly how such a thing would work, so I’ve spent the last few days puzzling it out.
The contention is that at some point before the upcoming November elections, an “incident” of some violent but unknown nature will occur that will provide Obama with the opportunity to declare “martial law” across the country, which will involve the “cancellation” or “postponement” of the elections. This will enable the Obama dictatorship to take off its humanist mask and put its true agenda into play.
Personally, I’m going to practice up by playing some of that United States of Earth game.
"Der Untergang" (2004), Amusement, Bizarre, California, Darwin Awards, Games, Intoxicated Humor, Jerry Brown, Journalism, Oklahoma, Satire, Technology, The Mainstream Media
UPI reports that the cops in Oklahoma City received an interesting offer.
Authorities in Oklahoma said a man who crashed into a parking lot walked into a jail and offered a stick he called the “last tree in the universe” as payment.
Oklahoma County sheriff’s deputies said Rondell Bailey walked into the downtown Oklahoma City jail with a stick and told deputies he wanted to offer the object, which he called the “last tree in the universe,” in exchange for dropping any possible charges against him, KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City, reported Wednesday.
The deputies said Bailey left after being told the stick was not an acceptable form of payment and threw a brick through a jail window.
Investigators said they discovered a white powder suspected to be methamphetamine during a search of the suspect’s truck.
From Vanderleun via Karen L. Myers.
“Just buy me a sun dress and put me in a Prius!” Hitler declares angrily on learning that Jerry Brown is again running for governor of California in the latest “Der Untergang” take-off.
Hat tip to Kenneth Grubbs.
The most epic World of Warcraft duel is not going to be fought inside the game, reports the New York Times. Nor will broadswords, enchanted armor, and magic spells be producing the decision. DPS will be inflicted by interagency memoranda, and the Communist Party rather than the program algorithm will select the winner.
It could almost be a World of Warcraft game session — two competing titans, plotting against each other, swapping blows, embarked on a quest for a single prize that only the stronger of them will claim.
The virtual World of Warfare game is the subject of a regulatory dispute in China, where such games are big business.
But this is not virtual reality. The titans are two agencies of the Chinese government. And their quest, during which they have traded a few blows in the past week, is for a potentially rich prize: the power to regulate the real World of Warcraft, among the most popular online games in China.
The background: On Monday, the Chinese General Administration of Press and Publication ordered the Shanghai-based operator of World of Warcraft, NetEase, to shut down its servers for World of Warcraft. The agency said that it had rejected the company’s application to become the new host of the game’s four million Chinese players.
But by Wednesday, the Ministry of Culture had struck back.
“In regards to the World of Warcraft incident, the General Administration of Press and Publication has clearly overstepped its authority,” a ministry official, Li Xiong, was quoted as saying in the Economic Information Daily, a newspaper in Beijing. “They do not have the authority to penalize online gaming.”
The ministry said it had that authority. And it said NetEase was perfectly free to offer the game on computers in China. The matter now appears destined for settlement by the State Council, the Chinese government’s cabinet.
Such bureaucratic hair-pulling might seem petty, were so much not at stake. Why the authority to regulate video games should trigger such a fracas is not altogether clear. But on its face, the defining aspect of the dispute involves money.
The online gaming industry in China is already huge, and growing fast. About 50 million people crowd the Internet cafes of China on a regular basis to play. Revenues in 2008 rose about 50 percent to at least $2.9 billion, according to Alicia Yap, a Hong Kong analyst for Citi Investment Research and Analysis. That is 10 times the revenue of just five years ago. IDC, a research company, has predicted that annual revenue will reach $6 billion by 2013.
In that context, the question of who decides what games go online — and how they decide — looms large.
President A. Bartlett Giamatti, in one of his only too frequent fits of political correctness, banned Yale’s traditional annual game of Bladderball for being an affront to liberal wussiness in 1982.
In previous years, individual Yale students and impromptu teams representing residential colleges, undergraduate organizations, and imaginary or facetious combinations celebrated the weekend of the Dartmouth game by battling on the Old Campus, a large quadrangle surrounded by the freshman dormitories, to keep aloft and move a 6 foot (1.8 meter) leather ball in no particular direction.
The Bladderball game was a pure scrimmage lacking specific rules or goals.
The game normally ended when some combination of persons finally succeeded in getting the Bladderball over a fence or out one of the gates of the Old Campus, whereupon a flying wedge of Yale Campus Police would seize possession of the Bladderball and hastily deflate it, terminating that year’s contest.
I recall that, one year, the undergraduate community bested the Campus Cops by successfully moving the Bladderball through New Haven streets for blocks and blocks, finally putting it over the fence into the yard of the residence of the University President on Hillhouse Avenue, as President Brewster cheered them on.
Since there was no actual set of rules or system of scoring, it was traditional for every team to compete in loudest, and earliest, and most preposterous claims of victory.
Student demand seems to have persuaded Richard Levin, the current Yale President, to do the right thing and restore a popular tradition. I noticed disapprovingly, looking at the video, that they seem to be using a lighter, synthetic ball. Still, they did get it out on to the street successfully. And, as is traditional, the team from the Calliopean Society clearly won, while Jonathan Edwards continued to suck.
The Oldest College Daily reports.
After the game, the Wikipedia entry for “bladderball” was edited more than 160 times. The name of the winning college changed constantly until one editor locked the page at 5:51 p.m. because of “excessive vandalism.”
Felicia Day, writer of The Guild, also plays Codex
The Guild is an amusing online comedy whose storyline revolves around a group of on-line gamers playing an unnamed Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing game bearing a considerable, not entirely coincidental, resemblance to World of Warcraft.
The Guild premiered on-line in 2007. Its first season consisted of ten 3-to-7-minute episodes. A second season of only six episodes ran the following year. But The Guild has attracted corporate sponsorship. Microsoft bought the exclusive right to release the first episode of Season 3 on Xbox starting this week, for one week prior to the general release September 1st.