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Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

GTA and Braid: Games as art

In Video Games on September 26, 2008 at 4:45 pm

The pinnacle of modern blockbuster video games is Grand Theft Auto IV, which came out earlier this year. Everyone knows GTA as the violent game where you can pick up a prostitute, do the deed, then heartlessly murder said prostitute as she leaves the car to get your money back. What most people don’t know, what gets little attention in the media, is that GTA IV is about an immigrant hoping to find redemption in the American Dream. It’s a game about American culture, which is why it’s full of violence and sex and drugs and dirty language and crooked cops and crafty politicians and offensive stereotypes. It’s why it’s there are terrible fast-food joints, strip clubs, AK-47s, fast cars, hummers, bazookas, ultra-right-wing radio talk shows, creepy dating websites and annoying ringtones for your cell phone. It’s satire and commentary. It’s unfortunate it is discounted as a waste of time simply because the protagonist’s actions are controlled by a joystick.

Just like there are blockbuster movies and indie movies, there are blockbuster video games and indie video games. And just like indie movies, indie video games tend to be me creative, and dare I say, artistic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Please let it end

In Politics on September 25, 2008 at 9:24 pm

I’m tired of the presidential campaign. I’m tired of the hijinks, the ploys, the attacks, the lies, the stretches, the photo ops, the gaffes…everything that makes a presidential campaign a presidential campaign. Every week, every day it’s something new, and for the past year it’s what kept me hooked. But now I’m just over-stimulated. McCain’s stunts have been particularly outrageous, what with Palin and her pathetic interviews and press conference (singular), and now the suspension of his campaign. Apparently he single-handedly brought the parties of Congress together to agree on a plan for the bail-out (according to his spokesperson). Oh, and Bob Barr and Ralph Nader are offering to take McCain’s slot in this Friday’s debate should he choose not to show.

Of course Obama’s campaign isn’t innocent either. The NYtimes ran an article detailing how Biden and Obama had voted for a bill that specifically approved the “Bridge to Nowhere” that their campaigns had been ridiculing Palin for. On and on and on.

I’m a pretty strong Obama supporter, but I’m ready for this to be over with. Let’s see the debates and then hit the polls. I just need to hang on for six more weeks. What more can happen in six weeks?

The Bittersweets and Steven Delopoulos

In Music on September 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm

For my inaugural live music outing I went to go listen to The Bittersweets and Steven Delopoulos. Steven Delopoulos was part of the Christian band Burlap to Cashmere back in the day, who were one of the few bands that had a unique and distinctive sound. He’s now gone solo. Check out his CD “Straightjacket.” His songs usually involve catchy fingerpicking with lots and lots of words. The Bittersweets are a band I discovered when they opened for Vienna Teng in Houston. They’re a band that’s a mixture of simple and elegant folk/country/pop melodies. They just released a new CD “Goodnight San Francisco,” which I’m enjoying a lot. Read the rest of this entry »

Arrived in Boston

In Personal on September 6, 2008 at 4:43 am

After a good week of traveling along the East coast, I finally settled into my new home in Boston. Cambridge, actually. It’s different than I expected. I was prepared for a miniature New York City, but in reality Boston is more like a miniature San Francisco with less weed and more PhDs.

Unfortunately I haven’t really had a chance to explore my new domain. I’ve spent the past week searching for furniture on craigslist, scoring a computer desk for $15 and a full IKEA bedset, complete with 2 attaching night stands for $100. My little Corolla has proved to be an effective hauler, with a $6.99 set of straps.

Now onto the new task-at-hand: a job.