Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 12:29 on 23-01-2013, Fishing in the Mud
I'm OK with it, because I don't think it's necessarily saying it's logically impossible to use your brain to understand your brain, just very difficult, because the brain masks so much of its own complexity from itself. But I don't read XKCD, so I don't know this guy's actual opinion.
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at 11:38 on 23-01-2013, Andy G
@Dan: It reminds me a lot of the sorts of philosophical confusions Wittgenstein was trying to clear up.

"It's infuriating, sub-cartesian, nerdboy faux-insight. I think what infuriates me the most is that there is, in fact, *no problem or contradiction here*."

That, in a nutshell, is also basically what Wittgenstein said about philosophers and philosophy.
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at 09:44 on 23-01-2013, Dan H
I know I've been saying this a lot, but once again this XKCD made me facepalm hard.

It's infuriating, sub-cartesian, nerdboy faux-insight. I think what infuriates me the most is that there is, in fact, *no problem or contradiction here*. It's the equivalent of a comic that runs "I need information about the internet. But I rely on the internet to find information about things..."

It's a classic false paradox. There is no intrinsic logical rule which states that you can't use something to analyse itself.
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at 00:14 on 23-01-2013, Andy G
Also, are we meant to start calling you Thunder in real life too? ;)
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at 00:13 on 23-01-2013, Andy G
@Thunder Good effort, though wasn't hugely impressed by some of the dancing skills on offer!

Also enjoyed the Disney Star Wars song by the same people.
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at 15:42 on 22-01-2013, Fishing in the Mud
I'm familiar with that style of "parody," so I recognized it right away.
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at 16:54 on 21-01-2013, Rami
OK, you may have seen this already or be sick of variations on this theme, but I just discovered this fantastic YouTube video. I can't stop watching it.
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at 16:54 on 20-01-2013, Fin
You can have it back.

Took me til the second or third post to realize this is a parody.

Sorry, I forgot to account for Poe's Law. I guess I found it funny because I know the source, but I should have considered that that kind of humour can be problematic in its own way. Mea culpa.
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at 01:30 on 19-01-2013, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Well, there is decent stuff out there, you just have to comb your way through the chaff and spend a lot of time in libraries to find it. Devoting a year or two looking for stuff doesn't hurt either.

Also, I'm glad you enjoyed the podcast!

In other news, I love Beyond the Black Rainbow so much.
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at 22:28 on 18-01-2013, Ibmiller
Listened to that Steampunk and AU History podcast - it was really nice! And pretty much confirmed my sense that both genres are way overhyped and overblown, and seriously need to have someone write something actually good in them :)
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at 12:00 on 18-01-2013, Robinson L
Fin de siècle: Courtesy of a friend, I give you Anti-Social Justice Warrior.

Took me til the second or third post to realize this is a parody.
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at 17:28 on 16-01-2013, Arthur B
I don't know, it seems plausible to me that a studio that has never made an MMO before and has only the barest experience with online multiplayer would make rookie mistakes.

Except with the budget that was dropped on this you'd think they'd have done the background research and so on. Did any of the dev team have prior MMO experience the gang could have drawn on? (Genuine question, I don't know.) On top of that within the EA corporate structure there's also Mythic Entertainment, who did Dark Ages of Camelot, so it's not as though Bioware lacked for people they could turn to in-house to get an idea of what they might need to do for the project.
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at 17:05 on 16-01-2013, Fishing in the Mud
You can have it back.
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at 16:51 on 16-01-2013, Fin
Courtesy of a friend, I give you Anti-Social Justice Warrior.
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at 16:40 on 16-01-2013, Daniel F
I feel that confining them to one tiny section of an MMO sends... kind of the wrong message. It feels an awful lot like they're brushing it all off into a corner somewhere so that people who'll be offended by the existence of gay NPCs can pretend they aren't there.


Well, I was being more than a bit facetious. I can see how changing previous content might be logistically difficult, though.

The idea that Bioware somehow didn't understand their own companion systems to an extent that they couldn't work out in advance how hard it would be to add a particular type of content to an NPC feels mildly absurd to me.


I don't know, it seems plausible to me that a studio that has never made an MMO before and has only the barest experience with online multiplayer would make rookie mistakes.
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at 10:34 on 16-01-2013, Arthur B
Conspiracy theorists who want people to believe that the Sandy Hook school shooting was staged/a hologram/a LARP event for the demonic global elite/whatever are harassing a guy who helped shelter a bunch of kids in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
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at 00:22 on 15-01-2013, Arthur B
(Also their official statement seems a little disingenuous. Adding more content to an established companion character would take "a lot more work than we realised at the time" - excuse me? You did, in fact, realise you were writing a MMO, right? And you were aware that part of running a MMO requires you to be able to quickly and efficiently inject new content and make alterations to existing content on a continuous, ongoing basis, right? The idea that Bioware somehow didn't understand their own companion systems to an extent that they couldn't work out in advance how hard it would be to add a particular type of content to an NPC feels mildly absurd to me.)
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at 00:16 on 15-01-2013, Arthur B
Oh, it's very definitely a compromise forced on them by the fact that adding new content to existing NPCs in a fully-voiced MMO with conversations as versatile as SWTOR's is an immensely expensive proposition, and is probably not a realistic option given the extent to which SWTOR has underperformed. It's a compromise forced on them by their inability to implement the promises they actually made on this front in a timely manner.

On the other hand, it isn't necessarily unfair to judge the game by which promises they choose to punt into the long grass.

On the third hand CGI'd in on the special edition, I note that it's the only planet in the new expansion pack content so it's probably less skippable (for hardcore players at least) than I'd made it out to be.
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at 00:07 on 15-01-2013, Dan H



That's a very *slightly* uncharitable way to express it. While I'm not wild about how much Bioware have dragged their heels over implementing gay romance options, since they *didn't* implement any gay romances at launch, any romances they do implement will necessarily be part of new content, which will very likely be added on new planets.

This does mean you wind up with a "planet of the gays" but it's a little disingenuous to suggest that this is part of a deliberate "keep the galaxy straight" policy. You can make a reasonable case that it's still too little too late, representation-wise, but I don't think it's reasonable to spin "Bioware is including gay NPCs in a forthcoming expansion" as "Bioware is exiling the gays to a space ghetto".
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at 00:01 on 15-01-2013, Arthur B
I feel that confining them to one tiny section of an MMO sends... kind of the wrong message. It feels an awful lot like they're brushing it all off into a corner somewhere so that people who'll be offended by the existence of gay NPCs can pretend they aren't there.
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at 23:35 on 14-01-2013, Daniel F
...I now take back any shame I might have ever felt for reading Turtledove. I was just cleaning out my cupboards and *hangs head* ... Drizzt. And also Dragonlance.

Like, a lot of them.

And also Robert Jordan's Conan novels, for some reason. I am this close to being morbidly fascinated enough to read them.

You will only be allowed to be gay on one planet in SWTOR. The rest of the galaxy remains straight.


I don't know, considering what most video game romances are like, not having any might be a blessing in disguise for gays.
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at 22:40 on 14-01-2013, Arthur B
You will only be allowed to be gay on one planet in SWTOR. The rest of the galaxy remains straight.

Sure, sure, it's only a temporary measure until they can iron out the technical glitches. I'm sure we all have faith that the SWTOR servers will stay up that long.
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at 22:19 on 14-01-2013, Shimmin
...how is it that trying to think of groan-inducing song references for GOGathons takes about the same time as writing the article?
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at 21:18 on 14-01-2013, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Oh, don't worry, Daniel, we all have our periods of juvenile experimentation. Some of us even have later lapses; I purchased the entirety of his The Great War: American Front trilogy a few years back hoping for some fun alternate-WWI action, only to realize I'd have to bushwhack my way through his prose. Still haven't read them yet.

And now, for content, Commander Shepard receives his prescription contacts in the mail.
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