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Showing posts from July, 2022

Memory Leaks: Myst

📚 Just take a look, it's in a book... Myst  was a point-and-click puzzle/adventure game published in 1993 by Broderbund and developed for PC by Cyan. It was a surprise runaway hit, becoming the best-selling PC in the world and holding onto that title until 2002. Its success helped drive CD-ROM as a format for gaming and PC entertainment. In it, you explore an island whose various locations contain books that double as portals to other realms called "Ages". In each of these realms you collect blue and red pages that can be used to complete books in Myst's central library. These books appear to be holding people inside them, each one swearing that the other cannot be trusted. Which one should you free? How I Remember It... This felt like a game for smart people--especially when you compare it to the other runaway PC gaming success of 1993, which was Doom , the game the popularized first-person shooters. Myst  was a quieter and thinkier game that felt like it was delibe

Stray Thoughts: Hannah Gadsby is a Goddamn Genius

🐕 At the dog park! Hannah Gadsby's Netflix special Nanette  was a ground-breaking and rule-breaking performance that completely shattered the paradigm of what a comedy special could be. Halfway through the show she "quits" and starts reframing the content of the first half in terms of the trauma behind it. It broke the internet a little and made Gadsby a household name in the States, while also being a cathartic crie du coeur that spoke to millions. It's her masterpiece So let's talk about  Douglas . Douglas  was the show Gadsby wrote after Nanette , and it's one of my favorite comedy specials. I think I've watched it four times now. I don't know if it will every surpass Eddie Izzard's Dressed To Kill , but it is nonetheless fantastic. "At the dog park!" has become one of those lines we just say around the house now. And while I find it funny--because it's quite funny--what I truly admire is the unique way Gadsby employs a framing de

Memory Leaks: GoldenEye 007

🕵️ But you can't touch them, no, 'cause they're all spies... GoldenEye 007  is a 1997 first-person-shooter developed by Rare for the Nintendo 64 console. It was based on the 1995 James Bond film of the same name and adheres loosely to the movie's narrative while fleshing out the environments and backstory. The overall gameplay and story mode were celebrated, however, the reason this game is so well-remembered is because of the multiplayer death-matches. Ironically, the death-match wasn't even intended to be part of the game--it was just something the devs screwed around with in their downtime, but it was so popular at Rare that they ended up including it. And lucky them. For many people, it was the  reason to own a Nintendo 64. How I Remember It... I was one of those people. I missed out on the 64 when it was new (my family eventually got one, but it stayed at home when I went to college). In high school I had a friend named Mikey and we'd get four of us togeth

Stray Thoughts: When BAD Was Good

🕺 You Know It... In junior high I got a little bit obsessed with Michael Jackson. Part of this is because one of my closest friends in school was obsessed with Michael Jackson and he just brought me along for the ride. This ride included moonwalking and sharing bootleg VHS tapes of music videos. It was a whole thing. About which we will say no more. My fandom ended in the mid 90s when credible allegations of child molestation first surfaced. Not because I believed those allegations, but all the coverage left a bad taste in my mouth and I eventually moved on to second-wave grunge. Life is strange. Somehow Bad  crossed my radar recently, probably just hearing the singles in the car. But it stuck in my brain. It was one of my favorite albums when I was 11 or 12. It was one of the first four albums I owned on CD. It was the first album where I started to pay attention to musical arrangements. And then it completely evaporated from my rotation. Looking back, it occupies a weird inflection

Memory Leaks: The Magic Circle

🐿️ Ship it... The Magic Circle  is a 2015 sandbox puzzle game for consoles and PC that takes place in a vaporware adventure game that's been trapped in development hell for nearly twenty years. You are a QA tester who gets abandoned in the game after a dismal playtest that mostly consists of watching the two developers bicker. A rogue... someone... reaches out to you for help from inside the game. He teaches you how to hack the game's creatures and access new parts of the world and start manipulating things--so just maybe you can turn this game into something shippable before the developers figure out what you're up to. How I Remember It... This is a delightfully weird meta-game that derives a lot of humor from poking fun at the culture of software development and video game development in particular. The game-within-the-game The Magic Circle  holds the record for getting the most rounds of crowd-funding for a single project without actually fulfilling it. The main writer