Film, Video games

Finding Pixar

Had a day off yesterday. Took the kids on a couple of errands, and went through Fed Square to visit ACMI. I never fail to be impressed with ACMI, especially since I discovered their Games Lab. Last time I was there they had old Commodore 64 games. This time they were highlighting some of the best indie games from the recent Independent Games Festival, a kind of TropFest for games. In the vid

Geek, Video games

Are you keeping up with the Commodore?

Yesterday afternoon, reminiscing at ACMI's Hits of the 80s video game exhibit -- free at Melbourne's Federation Square until May. While most of the games were running on Spectrum or C64 emulators, this copy of Way Of The Exploding Fist was running on a genuine machine. And just as it was back then, one of the joysticks was quite frustrating to use. We also had a go at The Hobbit. They had a

books, Film, Video games

Arthur, Anakin and Jyndabine

Arthur And George (Julian Barnes) -- not quite historical novel, not quite biography, following the true story of Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji. Somewhere in between, perhaps. Really well written, I thought (no wonder if was on the 2005 Booker shortlist), getting inside the heads of the main characters using language they'd probably use themselves. And a very intruiguing story, which althou

Video games, Working life

Top-heavy

Bizarre thought #574: In the building where I work, there's a security guard who is sometimes seen wandering about the place. He looks kind of top-heavy, like he's got a lot of upper-body muscle. For some reason it reminds me of an old video game I once had back on my Commodore 64: Ultima II, which had fighters who looked like that. When I wrote the Ultima clone in high school, I used a similar

Home life, Video games

Rain brings on the aliens

I had it all worked out -- 15 more minutes mucking about, then we'd go outside. I'd bring my laundry in off the line -- it would be about dry -- the kids could jump on the trampoline, or get their bikes out, whatever. 15 minutes later I glanced outside. It was pouring with rain. It did so for the rest of the day. No trampoline, no bikes, and my laundry was drenched. Damn. So instead of en

Video games

The virtual deer hunter

I hadn't noticed this before: you can now get a deerhunting game for the XBox. Obviously there have been 1st person shooter (FPS to those in the know) games for quite a while now, usually despatching alien monsters or WW2 German guards into the afterlife, but this is the first time I recall seeing a modern-day video game based on blowing away animals. There have been various cruelty to animals

books, Home life, TV, Video games

Instant reviews

The Crow Road (Iain Banks). I just finished reading this. The ending nicely tied up the story, and it was a great read. I think for me one of the signs of a great writer is that Banks was able to throw up thoughts and concepts along the way that most would consider are thought-provoking enough that they could be expanded into more depth, but rather than dwell, he is able to leave them behind, to k

Clothes, Consumerism, Video games

Clear the credit cards for action!

Do I walk a bit funny or something? The heels of the two pairs of shoes I most commonly wear (the Monday to Friday work shoes) are wearing away on the outside edges. Further, one pair is re-developing the same hole which I thought was comprehensively eliminated a year ago. And in the same position of the same shoe. Strange, since the repair bloke fully redeemed it and gave it an entirely new soul.

Home life, Melbourne, Video games

Onto a winner

Plan A for Sunday: Take the kids to the footy, meet up with Tony, Rae and Phoebe and watch the Cats lose. Plan B for Sunday: Walk down to Dick Smith Powerhouse, buy an XBox game, come home, play it. Maybe have a bounce on the trampoline at some stage. When these two plans were proferred to the kids, they voted unanimously for Plan B. The footy would have to wait. (And yet the Cats didn't los