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  • Blog Post: Learning under fire. Is there any other way? =P

    I’m one of those folks who prefers to test the depth of a river with both feet, and this learning mode from CodeAcademy appeals to me. Codecademy does a pretty good job, but one group of programmers wanted to make it a little more accessible. Enter CodeCombat, a browser-based game where your in-game...
  • Blog Post: How high is your impulse buy threshold?

    I think Jeff’s on to something: While there's an odd aspect of race to the bottom that I'm not sure is entirely healthy for the iPhone app ecosystem, the idea that software should be priced low enough to pass the average user's "why not" threshold is a powerful one. Coding Horror: Software...
  • Blog Post: If it wasn’t in California, this might have gotten me to choose UC Berkeley.

    Well, besides the locale barrier (for politico-moral reasons of my own), there’s the teensy fact that I’m decades past being interested in attending university courses as an alternative to being gainfully employed. But places like FullSail and Digipen didn’t exist Back in My Day™, either, when I was...
  • Blog Post: Pirates are customers, too?

    Leave it to Valve to find the sunny side of piracy. "We take all of our games day-and-date to Russia," Holtman said. "The reason people pirated things in Russia is because Russians are reading magazines and watching television. They say 'Man, I want to play that game so bad,' but the publishers...
  • Blog Post: You’d think that this would already be available off-the-shelf...

    I can think of three or four realistic first-person shooters that might already fill this niche. There are probably more... Reportedly, the army has had a great need for virtual training aids and initially wanted to get videogame training materials out to units before the money was available. Though...
  • Blog Post: That’s not teen spirit I smell…

    I’m not sure that I’m ready to smell my video games yet… Researchers in Birmingham have been developing new technology to add smells to the virtual world of video games. Firm adds smell to video games (bbc.co.uk) We’ve already got people getting nauseas from the visual input alone. I haven’t played the...
  • Blog Post: Meet the Reedz on Xbox Live

    It’s always interesting to see how other people see themselves. Or want to be seen. Maybe it’s the latent social scientist training from decades gone by in graduate school. Who knows? Giving them no specific directions besides “make an avatar for yourself”, I turned the family loose on the Xbox Live...
  • Blog Post: Fictional characters with autism

    Not exactly mainstream fiction, or even mainstream scifi, but it’s based on an Xbox game published by MSGS. Mass Effect: Ascension The central character (not the protagonist) is described as having autism and several parts of the book are from her perspective. I thought it was interesting and a generally...
  • Blog Post: The Next Big Gaming Platform: SQL Server?!

    I realize that I'm normally off-topic, so it's weird for me to actually be blogging about SQL Server on my vacation... Figures.     I've blogged before about the Real Reason™ that most guys my age (at least in the USA) got into software development: video games. Back in my day, they wasen't even much...
  • Blog Post: It may not seem related to SQL Server, but...

    In the dim and distant past, I picked up the 5±2 thing rule. I'm sure it has a fancy, academified name... but Tribal Video Game Knowledge™ has edged it into the recycler in my brain. My oldest son is trying to convince me to buy enough copies of Sins of a Solar Empire that the "whole...
  • Blog Post: The synchronicity is frightening...

    The synchronicity is frightening, especially considering that I just made time last night to finish all 45 achievements in Mass Effect for another 1,000 points... It almost like Randall's always there: just watching me. <insert_scary_ghost_noise /> Randall routinely channels my life @ xkcd.com...
  • Blog Post: XNA to the n-th power trumps Gears of War 2 trailer?

    I've been a closet XNA fan for a while. I've been lurking and watching to see how they plan solve some really hard user-generated content problems... “The time has come for the games industry to open its doors to all game creators, enabling anyone to share their creations with the world,”...
  • Blog Post: Internet vigilante justice?

    I'm not advocating mob justice generally; however, this is the *only* case in which I can remember the media even coming close to a retraction of it's horribly biased, agenda-based drivel. "They" put up unresearched stories full of unnecessary ambiguity and emotionally-loaded 'nonsense' (to...
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