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 10:00 on 15-07-2011, Wardog

Shut up Jam!

Be silent, condiment!
at 03:36 on 15-07-2011, Guy
*Shut up and Jam
at 03:35 on 15-07-2011, Guy

Kyra, have you played Barkley, Shut up Jam: Gaiden? I find it hard to imagine any parody old-school RPG bettering it, but you never know, Cthulhu might do it...
at 22:50 on 14-07-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
I think we can safely assume one thing: it will be better than Duke Nukem Forever.
at 22:30 on 14-07-2011, Robinson L
I'll probably get it on audio from the library and listen to it whenever I can be bothered, since it isn't costing me anything and I can always do with new stuff to listen to.

Anybody care to open a pool concerning whether it'll be exceptionally well-written?
at 21:58 on 14-07-2011, Arthur B
I wasn't sure whether I could be bothered or not, so I decided to look up spoilers on the basis that either they'd excite me enough that I'd want to read how they happen or irritate me enough to make me decide not to go for it.

Neither happened. A lot of names appeared but I only remembered a fraction of them. Those spoilers I did understand, I was completely apathetic about. So I guess I'll be leaving out Dance with Dragons unless people report that it's exceptionally well-written.
at 21:28 on 14-07-2011, Wardog
If I bother with it, it will assuredly be on Kindle...
at 20:03 on 14-07-2011, Andy G
Just bought A Dance with Dragons. Bloody hell it's big. It's not so much a doorstep so much as an offensive weapon.
at 13:35 on 14-07-2011, Wardog permalink
at 06:28 on 13-07-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
It's a reference to some random crappy video (possibly this one) out of the former Yugoslavia that includes a sequence depicting several soldiers playing a folk song, chief among them a very serious man on an accordion.

Then someone made a TF2 version of it in Garry's Mod and it snowballed.

To cut a long story short, RANDOM INTERNET GIBBERISH LOL.
at 06:22 on 13-07-2011, Michal

I think I could stare at this thing for hours. The art style reminds me of a children's book I read about castles a very long time ago.
at 05:41 on 13-07-2011, Orion
I don't get it.
at 05:34 on 13-07-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Ooh, and I just stumbled on some leaked footage from Mass Effect 3.

It wasn't what I was expecting.
at 21:10 on 12-07-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
I've been really enjoying The AV Club's rewatches of older shows. Right now they've been doing a series on Star Trek: The Next Generation that's been pretty solid all the way through. Particularly good are the comments; everyone is on the ball, and there's also a lovely comedic pairing of two gimmick posters who go by the handles of "Frakes" and "Sirtis" who offer their own insane behind-the-scenes tidbits. (For the record, Johnathan Frakes is a lovable horndog who has a way with an anecdote, while Marina Sirtis is a jaded old Hollywood hand who doesn't care what anyone thinks of her.) I'd also recommend a look at their X-Files/Millenium watchthrough, which is starting to convince me to go back to the former and see what I missed first time around.
at 20:08 on 12-07-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
As near as I can tell, the translation project's been put on hold while Ice-Pick works on their new game. The game's still playable in its current state; it's just really elliptically phrased and navigating the dialogue trees can be hit-and-miss. Still, it kinda fits with the environment, and you're going to be quicksaving/quickloading a LOT anyway. (And, hell, I think English sounds really cool once you run some Russian grammar through it.)
at 14:07 on 12-07-2011, Arthur B
I clicked through to that article but then I stopped reading because I said "You know what? I want to experience this for myself." Will probably buy in the near future (may wait to see if the fan retranslation patch mentioned on the wikipedia article is any good).
at 13:38 on 12-07-2011, valse de la lune
Alasdair: omg Ice-Pick Lodge <3 <3

I could never manage to play Pathologic though, but The Void was mind-bendingly amazing.
at 09:57 on 12-07-2011, Arthur B
Yeah, wow. "Waaah, my wife doesn't take everything I say absolutely 100% seriously and sometimes we have to compromise on things, married life is haaaaaaard."
at 09:19 on 12-07-2011, Dan H
I love

Mind, this someone I know. I am not exactly unbiased.

Thanks, that was really interesting.

But dear me, facepalm, Moffat. Facepalm.
at 08:23 on 12-07-2011, Arthur B
Yeah, I did a search for his comments on Black Gate and I think it's fair to say that if he hadn't provided something of value to the site owners (or had dirt on them) then it beggars belief that they don't consider him a nuisance. Not least because of his maddening tendency to post more or less the same rant over and over again with mild variations. (He keeps banging on, for example, about his conspiracy theory that when the head of DAW Books died his daughter took over and immediately cancelled the Gor contract.)

I like “pulp” and “Sword and Sorcery” in all its gory, sexist, glory. Big, awesome barbarians, though an occasional wizard or rouge can slip in. Women are to be barmaids, princesses, slave girls, dancers, victims to be rescued, etc. Blacks and MezoAmerican like peoples are either rare “Noble Savages” or hideous cannibals with filed teeth. Orientals are sinister characters, though their women look hot but unless they are “Rescued sacrifice victim” also very sinister. Of course, awesome “Noble Savages” think Kubotai from “Conan the Barbarian”! Mix in lovecraft, westerns, maybe some not too queer Burroughs like stuff…

Oh gosh, that's just special.

Have you seen this conversation? He goes into a little detail about the sort of stories he'd like to write and direct if he had his way.

“NO! The VENGEANCE SQUAD doesn’t just SCARE the pig that sent jobs overseas and laid off Americans! They break into his house and with hot pliers MUTILATE him and his FAMILY in front of him! Really, can’t that 8 year old “actress” brat playing his daughter tolerate some fake blood and spirit gum as fake torn skin? She sure screams loud enough when they don’t bring her the right gourmet entre from some cafe I can’t pronounce the name of…”

I guess someone might be mad about losing their job?
at 02:20 on 12-07-2011, Michal
I am amazed that the response to GreenGestalt wasn't simply a torrent of ridicule.

I mean, maybe Black Gate has a fairly tight moderating policy, but I can't imagine many other places where people are still taken halfway seriously after posting something like that aside from crank conspiracy theory outlets and Men's Rights sites.

I'm not sure what's going on in the comments section of Black Gate. From what I understand, GreenGestalt might've sold a story to the magazine, once, which is why they let him yammer on every time someone makes a joky post about Gor. I don't know, and I don't even think it's very likely. He blamed the PC wussifying of the market for his inability to publish anything, for one thing, instead of the (more probable) reason that he might just be a bad writer who also happens to be racist, sexist and homophobic.

Then again, I noticed someone just got pounced on in the blog post I linked for even suggesting what Theo said might just be a tad bit sexist. I mean "he cannot reasonably be described as sexist due to his institutional and cultural preferences for non-female writers"...really? REALLY? It's a bit of a shame because some of the contributors to the site are really great people (Brian Murphy and Matthew David Surridge spring to mind). Plus, I've been quoted on it, and would rather not have guilt by association.

Also, check out GreenGestalt's political cartoons on YouTube.

The lack of talent and humour in that video is astounding. Just astounding.
at 02:04 on 12-07-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Oh hell yes. One man fights his way through Pathologic and lives to blog the tale.
at 00:12 on 12-07-2011, Cammalot
(There should be an "is" in there...)