Friday, October 07, 2005

A Few More Words About The Revolution


Usually I never link to an article without putting my own two cents on the screen first...but in this case I am going to make an exception because this is a really well written analysis.

So without further ado, here is the link.

If you want to know what you are clicking here is a quick summary.

This article written takes a look at the impending console wars and tries to provide the reader with a possible marketing/business plan that Nintendo may be following.

I agree with just about everything the author says especially regarding these areas:

1. Nintendo has been involved in the gaming world for over 100 years, so I think that they have a better grasp of the long game.

2. If Nintendo can deliver the console for $199.00 they are going to do fine, if as rumored
the price is in the $100.00 range they are going to make a good profit.

3. Unlike years gone by this Nintendo console will have a back catalogue of all their old games to support the system while the new games are being developed which is a luxury
that Nintendo has never enjoyed before.

Umm yeah so read that article and let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Memory


If you have seen Ghost In The Shell or read any of William Gibson's Sprawl novels then you are probably somewhat familiar with the concept of a "cyber" or "e-brain." Simply stated the cyberbrain is a human brain that has been modified or accessories to allow it to be easily connected to the net. Once a link to the net has been established the user has access to all the information on the web and all of the resources. One of the major benefits to this arrangement is that the user will have access to external memory, so that all of their experiences can be archived and recalled at a later date.

Well it looks like a doctoral candidate at MIT has taken us a step closer to realizing the dream of a cyberbrain. Sunil Vemuri has developed a process that will allow a person to record all of the conversations that they have over the course of the day and archive each conversation into a searchable database. Click here to read an article that describes the actual process and devices that allow a user to have at their fingertips a record of everything that they have learned in the last few months.

The reason I decided to post this article is because in class the other night we had a brief discussion about memory and how technology has enhanced or crippled humanities ablility to remember things. The discussion was based on a selection from Plato's dialogue Phaedrus. The selection of the dialogue that we examined in class dealt with whether or not writing is an aid to memory. The question that we analyzed in class was whether or not technology dissolves memory. We made the observation that the Greeks of Plato's time seemed to have a more developed faculty for memorization. A bard would be able to memorize all 16,000 lines of the Iliad but a modern man would be hard pressed to memorize that much information.

I personally felt that the difference between modern man and the Greeks came down to the issue of selectivity. Homer, committed the Odyssey to memory, but he did not have to memorize television schedules, and passwords to email accounts. We have more data that we have to memorize so we begin to rely on technology to perform the task of memorization. I find the concept of having ever conversation that I ever had archived simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. There are some exchanges that I would love to have a textual account of that is untainted by time or interpretation; but at the same time there are an equal number of exchanges that I think I am better off letting fade away into the past.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Can You Smell The Revolution?


Perhaps you have noticed small groups of geeks huddled in the darkest corner of your local arcade holding whispered conversations amongst themselves. You may have tried to inch a little bit closer to hear what they are talking about in such excited whispers but you can only catch a few words here and there. But the word that you hear the most often is Revolution.

Well take a deep breath and calm down, the geeks aren't going to overthrow the governments of the world in glorious armed conflict...yet. They just happen to be talking about the Nintendo Revolution.

For those of you who have been living in a dark cave somewhere in the coldest nether regions of Siberia I will save myself the time and trouble of trying to bring you up to speed on the whole project and simply refer you to this link, which does a wonderful job of illustrating the whole Revolution project and the buzz that the console's controller has created.

While I can't speak for every one I personally am very excited about the release of the Revolution for two reasons, the first is that I am a huge Nintendo fan and the second reason is because the console looks like it is going to be revolutionary!

I have always owned a Nintendo, in fact I clearly remember moving to East Longmeadow and somehow convincing my parents that if they got me a Nintendo I would be able to make more friends. I am still a little hazy about how playing video games in my basement with my brother was supposed to make me have more friends but I got the NES and that is all that matters. Everyone has a great Nintendo story...hell a right of passage for men of my generation is learning the cheat code to Contra. I know a bunch of you are rattling it off right now. Here is my two cents on the whole subject, I personally believe that Nintendo is, was and always shall be the best video game system out there because they are an extremely innovative company.

If you don't believe me take a look at this interview, Nintendo is risking a lot by employing a controller design that scraps the last twenty years of game controller development mostly pioneered by Nintendo. Nintendo has always had the most imaginative and enjoyable games. Even more important every product is shipped with the Nintendo Seal of Quality and that seal is worth its weight in gold. How many of you have a broken Playstation? Now how many of you have a fully functional 8-bit NES sitting right next to the dead Playstation?

Anyways I do not want to get off on a rant here but I for one can't wait for the Revolution.