After months of addressing stage fright through karaoke, I put my mettle to the test by participating in a live “Geeks vs. Nerds” debate at Yuk-Yuk’s Comedy Club tonight. “Geeks vs. Nerds” is a comedy debate show where two teams of three argue over which fictional character is better. My roommate hosts it, so that’s sort of how I got involved. Tonight’s show featured the match-ups “Tintin vs. Indiana Jones” and “Superman vs. Goku”. I wound up on Team Superman.
I seriously had no idea that Superman costume of mine would get so much mileage this year.
The first debate between Indy and Tintin went hilariously wrong as Team Tintin berated Indy’s “let’s use child labor and get Hitler’s autograph” policy, while Team Indy printed out some portrait-sized images of Tintin punching black people in the Congo. In the end, Tintin won the “Best Globe-Trotter” award on the grounds that by calling dibs on the moon, he’d effectively trotted more globes than Indy.
Our following debate was a bit more dramatic. The audience was clearly pro-Goku when we started, but as time went on, we think we pulled a “Rocky IV” with the crowd. By the end, it was a close call, but Team Superman pulled through.
My friend Zach had the best one-liner of the night with his “Goku is the #1 cause of world hunger” jab. As the debate was in regards to who was better suited for protecting Earth, it was in our favor that Goku was a walking natural disaster who allowed three planets to be destroyed under his watch. The other team pulled out some great jabs too, and even produced a skit depicting the climactic battle. Our version of the battle ended in Superman using rainbow-colored kryptonite to turn gay just so he could memory-erase Goku with a kiss.
All in all, it was a great night. Plus we followed it up with drinks at the EXP Bar (this fancy new video game bar in the city where I’m now apparently known as ‘Commander Shepard’ just because the waiter encourages nicknames at the table to make separating bills easier.)
Not sure what else to write. That’s what I did today.
Here’s an inspirational picture I’d been looking at to pump myself up for the debate.
It’s funny how all my science news has been coming to me lately in the form of Japanese pop stars. First there was that robot, and now we have a singing, dancing 3D hologram performing on stage. Hatsune Miku is a character featured in a piece of voice synthesizing software called “Vocaloid,” and her singing voice is also produced by this same piece of software. It took me a few videos to notice that she was only projected onto a flat piece of glass (and not being projected into mid-air as Star Trek once promised) but it’s still a pretty neat trick, and she’s far more entertaining than that scary robot girl.
I really wish I had the time, energy, and resources to devote to my Halloween costumes that my friend Michaela has. I mean, I saw someone dressed up as a Domokun as a Halloween party last night, and it’s still nothing compared to what she has assembled in her little apartment. Doctor Who fans, prepare to worship your new Dalek overlord… Schroedinger!
I would really love to see a video of her costume in action, because I can’t imagine the trouble she went through to travel around in that. Hit the above link to visit her site and read more about it.
Ack! Double geek-out! Directly behind the Dalek is a picture of a fictional marine animal I drew for her. Now I feel involved!
Courtesy of Geekologie, is this video of a little robot girl (HRP-4C) dancing at a Digital Expo, and I rank it as both amazing and incredible creepy. Amazing in the sense that we now have robots who can dance around without wheels, and creepy in the sense that some engineer somewhere probably modeled this thing after his daughter (I know I’d feel uneasy knowing there’s a digital doppleganger of myself walking around and performing at shows.)
I still can’t see any good to come out of making robots look exactly like humans. Once that technology’s perfected, what do we do with it? Robots by themselves can be useful, but where in society can they benefit from sharing our faces? I’d never once walked up to a clerk, secretary, or salesperson and thought “boy, I wish this person was a robot.” And if I did, I certainly didn’t think “boy, I wish this person was a robot who had a human face.” If I’m going to be served by a robot, I want them to be more like Johnny Five or C-3PO. I need to know I’m dealing with a machine. Otherwise, the technology would only serve to deceive us, leading to immoral uses (like building the perfect sex-bot, or planting a robot assassin in the White House.)
I’d rather see them start building robots that resemble CGI characters, like someone out of a Pixar movie as opposed to straight-up real life. Sure, CGI looks fake, but in some movies, it’s just the right amount of fake. It’s easier to empathize with Woody or Shrek than it is to stare into the cold dead eyes of Tom Hanks from “The Polar Express,” and it allows people to reconnect with robots on a more familiar (and better-tested) level. It’s one of those cases where I don’t think they need to cross the uncanny valley, but that’s just my opinion.
Well, now. Here is the kind of news that would make my head explode fifty times over if physics permitted. I was going on the Telltale website to download and replay “Tales of Monkey Island” when right on their front page was the announcement of their next two adventure game series:
“Back to the Future” and “Jurassic Park.”
Fresh off of finishing the brilliant “Ghostbusters” for the PS3, I’ve been itching to see more childhood favorites return to PCs and consoles. In fact, just the other week, me and Brit sat down to watch BTTF again, and I kept thinking that the movie would work so well as an adventure game. I had the same gut feeling when a group of us watched JP months earlier. Now all I want to see is “Bill and Ted” make their way into a game and my life shall be complete.
In the light of this news, I actually sent another follow-up to Telltale’s HR department. I liked where this company was going before. Now I’m convinced I need to be in that office.
“Back to the Future” is a good choice for this company in my opinion. Their last two seasons of “Sam & Max” relied heavily on fourth-dimensional thinking in order to solve puzzles and tell the story, so bringing in the DeLorean wouldn’t stray far from what they’re already good at.
“Jurassic Park,” on the other hand, is a little different for the company, given how Telltale is renowned for making comedies. They have had success with their CSI games, but in this case, we’re dealing with a horror franchise where in every movie, people are trying to escape an island full of killer dinosaurs. So they’ll really have to expand on the situations and characters if they plan to make it episodic (unless they make it a comedy where we get to play as velociraptors trying to start a rock band.)
So yesterday I attended a GameCamp convention – it’s this thing where about 20-40 people from the gaming industry around Edmonton all get together in a pub, show off demos, and talk about the industry. I figured it would be a great place to make some connections and even find some employment opportunities. Ironically, everyone there turned out to be unemployed.
However, there was a demo that really caught my eye – something that’ll probably be the future of gaming in the next five years: super casual gaming. Gaming that’s so casual, you don’t even need to be playing a video game to play it. By using your iPhone to scan barcodes around the world, or even individual people, the system can take what you do in real life and carry it over to your game character. Doing things like going to the gym, shopping, attending local events and even climbing Mt. Everest could grant you in-game experience points, money, trophies, and so on that will carry over to any MMORPGs or Facebook games you’re playing. It’s basically gaming that’s designed to get you out of the house.
I keep thinking that super casual gaming is somehow going to lead to the end of the hardcore gamer. In the gaming world, nerds rule because they sacrifice a social life to hone their skills. But it can all be in vain if, while playing Warcraft, they happen upon a player who visits the gym several times a day and is already at level 5000000 because of it. Now they’re competing against people who can beat them up in video games and in real life. It’s like “Revenge of the Jocks.”
Here it is: the next chapter in my trilogy of nephew stories. Time travel has always been one of my favorite subjects, so I had fun coming up with my own take on how somebody could screw up the past, especially if that somebody is Dewey.
I’m still convinced that J.J. “Mystery Box” Abrams is spying on me somehow.
Chris Ushko, Box of Mystery 2010
And here we at the end. Eventually, I’d like to review non-anime shows as well, but all these hour-long programs like “Lost” and “Dexter” take significantly longer to watch and don’t show any signs of ending anytime soon.
Maybe I’m brainwashed by the mainstream media, but Japan is awesome. We need to agree on that. Awesomeness just seems to flow out of that country like a natural resource. They’ve got sushi, they’ll be the first to invent giant robots, and if you set a “Fast & the Furious” movie in the country, it’ll automatically be the best of the franchise.