“…he has a selection of sound effects on his mobile phone, such as a cymbal crash, that he can trigger to make it clear he is joking. When people misunderstand him, he doesn’t get upset. “I’m the Forrest Gump of the Internet,” he says. He loves customer service. “I’ll only be doing this as long as I live,” he says. He taps his phone, triggering a ghostly whaaahahaha. “And after that, who knows?”—Craig Newmark: Awwwkward
Why not a Jazz Hero, asks this writer? Hmmm. Are there any music games which reward improvisation over accuracy?
Not rewards, per se, but certainly allows for. This was the idea with Harmonix’s original games, Reonance and Frequency. You had to display a certain amount of accuracy, but once you’d done that, you could reconfigure the songs in ways that pleased you. The idea was that you would press a certain series of buttons to “activate” a track—of drums, vocals, keys, etc.—and so you could hear songs with certain elements added or removed, remixing on the fly. (This may also be the idea with the PSP’s Rock Band?) There’s also the drum fill in Rock Band, a freestyle section in which advanced players are encouraged to come up with something aesthetically pleasing. Harmonix seems to be moving toward this sort of idea, actually, but it’s hard to think of how to work such an objective thing as improvisation into game mechanics.
Or rather, how to work such a subjective thing such as improvisation into game mechanics. Games are basically systems that provide order, rules, goals and outcomes. The moment such a system would reward you for your improvisations, or allow for “UBER POINTS” when your avatar goes the scenic route/pulls off a tough skateboarding trick/completes the game without firing a single shot/etc. is the moment those improvisations cease to be improvised. These alternative methods to reach the same goal are totally different from improvisational jazz, where the musician redefines the goal itself.
This also relates to why I think the whole “Games as Art” discussion is a bunch of hooey.
“Their new album, Bleed American, is the best at that. Lead singer Jim Adkins reels off lyric after insightful lyric, facing you with tough questions like, “Are you gonna live your life wonderin’ standing in the back lookin’ around?” and “Are you gonna waste your time thinkin’ how you’ve grown up or how you missed out?” Serious words, my friend. You better consider what this guy is saying, ‘cause you “gotta make a move or you’ll miss out.” He’s right! If you don’t make a move, whatever that might be, you’ll miss out on whatever you might miss out on, and that could be anything! You don’t want to miss out, do you?”—
Another classic Shreiber burn. Contrast with Mark Richardson’s breathless ‘09 track reiview:
"Don’t write yourself off yet." In the world of rock’n’roll, that’s about as good as advice gets. But "it’s only in your head you feel left out, or looked down on," on the other hand, is a total lie. They really are looking down on you, and they’d rather you not come along at all. But you can’t let the enormity of that hit you when you’re 16 (the hardest age) and in the middle of it. So it’s a good kind of lie, the kind that helps you when you need it most, and J.E.W.’s affirmation, then, is offered as a sort of public service to a nation of insecure teenagers. And if your band delivers that message of hope with the kind of power-pop chorus hook that gives the best couple of Weezer songs a run for their money, you’ve accomplished something.
“It’s fun" is about the only legitimate excuse a guy could come up with— and that’s the one thing I’ll give it to warrant the .6 in the rating— but this world of music which history has graced us with is loaded with fun music. Even fun music with substance, fun music that doesn’t talk to you like you’re some kinda total dipshit that wouldn’t know Boredoms from buzzworthy.”—
“Granted, it’s been a few years now since the 9/11 attacks. Still, you wouldn’t think you could get away with gratuitously digging up its memory, pissing on it, and then filming the results. And yet, G.I. Joe does exactly that, and, honestly, it doesn’t even seem all that offensive. Partially the film manages this because the world city in question is Paris, and the building is the Eiffel Tower. Dead Americans are tragic, dead Arabs are un-P.C., but dead Frenchmen? That’s funny.”—G.I. Jingo!
Walking to the car, late at night, beautiful weather, thinking to yourself how peaceful existence can get, you see a woman with a few tiny dogs flitting around her like butterflies over a lump of geraniums. Kneel to greet dogs. These dogs are horrible, vicious animals, and one of them lunges at the space between your eyes as if there is lunch meat stapled there. Almost bites off eyebrows (they frame the face, without them you’d be like Whoopi). You fall backwards, squishing several kumquats into the sidewalk.
New band name: “Without Them You’d Be Like Whoopi”
“MOO-OOOM. OK ALREADY! IT’S OVER! LOOK, WE’RE MISSING THE BEST PART! REWIND! NO, YOU HAVE TO REWIND IT A FEW SECONDS, WE MISSED THE WHOLE THING! NO! COME ON, MOM. IT WAS JUST KISSING. IT’S ONLY ELEVEN THIRTY! YOU SAID WE COULD WATCH THIS AND YOU’RE NOT LETTING US WATCH! GOSH, WE’RE IN FIFTH GRADE, MOM.”—Ten year old boy with protective mother during sleepover viewing of T2: Judgement Day.
me:don't forget to bring your game genie so we can do the secret mortal kombat fatality codes
me:i told my mom to rent T2
nick:she made you promise to let her watch it with us though so she can go "aye-aye-aye" during the swear words and fast forward the last ten seconds of the sexy scenes and the two minutes of other scenes after that. and i'll stay up til 3 AM playing your better computer games
“so i bailed on the Bahn Mi UYE outing today. why? because not only was i anti-social from going full retahd last night and nursing a hella hangover today, but i felt like i was going to hurl and rhea at the same time. honestly don’t think anyone at the outing would’ve cared for any of that. but i digest.”—sometimes even glowing reviews on Yelp turn me off
I talked to David Sedaris for a while after he did a book reading, and he was really nice and, unsurprisingly, very funny.
I asked him to sign my copy of “Naked” as if we were old friends who’d had a falling out, and he signed it “Dave— Can we at least try to bury the hatchet? I really miss hanging out with you and your negro friends.”
“Conversely, veteran video game journalist Stuart Campbell described Space Giraffe as “one of the best games released this year at any price” but Campbell used the first letter of each paragraph to spell the phrase “MINTER IS A BIG TWATTY SPACKER TRUFAX”.”—I’m just glad that the word “Twatty” exists in Wikipedia