Are video games stagnating?

I think we’ve had this discussion here at least once before, but now it’s John Dvorak’s turn to trot it out.

Opinion Column by PC Magazine – Doom 4: End of the Game Industry?

Am I the only one who expects a collapse of the gaming business soon? Does anyone else think that it is overdue? It has happened before, and I can’t see how people will keep shelling out $50 or so for a video game when the games have hardly changed since the invention of the first-person shooter. […] I’m not the only one who thinks there’s a problem. When Nintendo president Satoru Iwata spoke at this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, he discussed the lack of new game ideas. He saw the same things that I see: There are four or five simple game categories and nothing really new or different. The categories are shooters, puzzles and mazes, adventure games, sports games, and simulations. That’s it. Most of today’s hottest games are combinations of two or three of these categories, with a storyline added to keep the players from being bored stiff. […] Iwata mentioned that in almost all the big games, the so-called boss characters are all beginning to be pretty much the same: big, creepy monsters. If you want to see exactly how inane this is, go out and rent the brain-dead Paul Verhoeven film, Starship Troopers. The movie stank so bad that nothing came of it after its release. It’s essentially a video game turned into a movie — all the elements are there, including an idiotic “boss” that is just some huge flabby bug — and it shows you just how lame these games actually are.

Any article which takes shots at video games and STARSHIP TROOPERS is just asking for me to blog it. I’m more than happy to.

24 Discussion – 1 a.m to 2 a.m.

Two weeks in a row of very strong shows, this week ending in one of the most hilarious and satisfying binges of violence ever seen on the series. LOVED it.

As always, DO NOT TALK ABOUT THE TEASER for next week’s episode or any outside knowledge you may have of what’s coming up. Let’s talk about the show so far, with all the spoilers you wish for last night’s episode.

Posted in TV

Daylight Savings grows

Indiana House sends daylight-saving time bill to governor

All of Indiana is just a stroke of a pen away from uniformly moving clocks forward an hour next year. Last night, state lawmakers narrowly approved a bill mandating the time change. The state’s governor ran on the issue and is likely to sign it. Most of the state’s 92 counties don’t change their clocks. And businesses and lobbyists say the current system causes mix-ups over airline flights, delivery times and conference calls.

Apple getting sued

What delightfully convenient timing. The “Tiger” name for this software has been known since, what, September 2004? And this company has just now (er, yesterday) decided that it needs to throw out a lawsuit? Ya think it looks at all like they’re hoping for a quick pay off from Apple? Nah, couldn’t be. . .

AppleInsider | Apple sued over “Tiger,” injunction sought

Apple Computer has been slapped with a lawsuit by Tiger Direct Inc. for allegedly infringing its trademark with the new Mac OS X “Tiger” operating system scheduled for release on Friday. Tiger Direct, which sells computers and related products on the Internet, said Apple’s Tiger OS threatens to dilute its trademarked name, according to Bloomberg, which has obtained a copy of the lawsuit.

My thoughts on this OS upgrade has always been to wait a week or two after its initial release to upgrade to it. Reading all about it this week, though, has made me a little impatient for it. . .

Bo Blows

“Idol” Finalist Dodged Cocaine Rap – April 28, 2005

One of the five remaining “American Idol” finalists was once arrested for felony cocaine possession, but had the charge dismissed last year after completing a so-called “diversion program” for first-time offenders, The Smoking Gun has learned. Harold “Bo” Bice, 29, was busted in June 2001 by Huntsville, Alabama cops and hit with the drug count, a Class C felony, according to the below warrant (Bice posted $1000 bond and was released from the Madison County Jail). He was arrested again in 2003 near Birmingham and charged with marijuana possession, public intoxication, and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to the latter two misdemeanors in December 2004. The pot possession charge was dismissed after Bice’s successful completion of the same diversion program that covered the prior cocaine case.

Assuming he told the AI producers about this ahead of time, this shouldn’t be a problem. The only question is — what took Smoking Gun so dang long to find this one out?!?

Of course, Constantine fans can start the campaign going now to bring their drug-free boy back and have Bo ousted right now. Oh, you know that someone somewhere is trying that right now. . .

I suggest something more radical – kick Bo off and bring back Amanda Avila.

I await your messages of scorn, contempt, and ridicule below. (I mean, I think it’s obvious that I’m joking, but it’s tough to tell over the ‘net sometimes.)

AI4 – Round of 6 Results

Bottom three were Vonzelle, Constantine, and Anthony.

That’s right – Scott is still getting votes from somewhere. I’m starting to hear the conspiracy theories on those, too.

Vonzelle was safe.

Then Constantine was gone.

The audience was stunned. Paula needed a new drug. Then Paula needed a drink. Then I was blinded by Paula’s lip gloss.

Most amazingly, I predicted Constantine’s ouster last night. I’ve had a good couple of weeks.

AI4 – Group of 6

I’m a little — OK, a lot — under the weather these days, so here’s the quickest AI recap yet, in no particular order:

Scott stunk. Boring song. Missed a bunch of keys.

Vonzelle was OK, but I agree with Simon. There was a lot of flatness to it, particularly in the opening minute.

Anthony did well. He did a Celine Dion song. Holy crap.

Bo picked the perfect song and did it well.

Constantine tried to do the same as Bo, but the song doesn’t have the range, and he came off looking like a far distant second.

Carrie did a great job, I thought. I didn’t hear the pitchiness, but maybe I’m just not tuned in enough.

From best to worst: Bo, Anthony, Carrie, Vonzelle, Constantine, Scott.

Bottom three: Anthony, Constantine, Scott.

Constantine is voted out in a major upset. Why not? I need to go out on a limb once in a while. =)

“Fallen Idol” next week

Just saw the commercial for ABC’s upcoming AI “expose.” It’s scheduled now for May 4th.


ABC has been warned in writing it could face legal fallout for airing its scathing behind-the-scenes look at FOX’s AMERICAN IDOL, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. FOX owner Rupert Murdoch has informed executives that it appears ABC is attempting to maliciously “destroy” the nation’s most-watched series as it heads into the final weeks.

If all they’re doing is interviewing losing contestants, ABC won’t have a leg to stand on. There are always sore losers. And most of them will float wild conspiracy theories to explain why they’re perfect voice didn’t win. Look, nobody ever said AI was perfectly fair. It’s always been obvious that the judges picked favorites. If the Americanpublic falls for that and let’s that dictate their voting, then they deserve what they get.

New releases, 26 April 2005

Full list at

Airline: Season One (2-disc set)

Reality TV hits Southwest Airlines. Thanks for reminding me why I don’t ever want to work retail again.

Beaches: Special Edition (1988)


Blade Trinity: Platinum Series (unrated) (2-disc set) (2004) Blade Trinity: Platinum Series (R-rated) (2-disc set) (2004)

I’ll go with the unrated. I like blood and guts.

F for Fake: The Criterion Collection (2-disc set) (1976)

Orson Welles. Supposed to be really really good.

The Family Guy: Vol. 1 (2-disc set) The Family Guy: Vol. 2 (2-disc set)

I have no idea what this repackaging is now, but it’s a great show.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (widescreen) (2004)

ACE VENTURE II is on cable right now. UGH

Leonard Part 6 (1987)

Wow. I saw this movie as a much younger man. Yes, it is as bad as they made it out to be. Why do they bother putting it out on DVD? Does Bill Cosby need the money that badly?

Survivor: The Australian Outback: The Complete Season

Someday, that reality TV cable network will get started and we’ll be able to rewatch these series for free. I don’t need to pay, though, for them.

Wild Things 3: Diamonds in the Rough (2005)

The world doesn’t need this, either.

Next week: New seasons of Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek, plus THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, SPACEBALLS: SPECIAL EDITION, and a lot more. We’re starting to get good stuff on a regular basis again.

Posted in DVD

DVD podcast for this week

Sorry to say, this week’s podcast has been cancelled. I’ll try to do a double next week.

If you’re looking for the Pipeline Comic Book Podcast on Wednesday, don’t. It’s on hiatus this week, too, hopefully to return next week.

Sorry for the temporary outage.

Pray for the Soul of Betty – Foxlife – ‘Idol’ Finalist’s Band Gets Record Deal

The band of “American Idol” finalist Constantine Maroulis will release their first CD on May 10, recorded before the singer’s fame skyrocketed on the TV talent show. […] Maroulis signed over the rights to his bandmates before joining “American Idol,” so the self-titled album isn’t owned by the show, a publicist for “American Idol” confirmed Friday.

Money Origami

Origami usually involves patience, free time, and a square piece of paper. Some of the designs are fairly simple, but most aren’t. It’s tough to do Origami on the fly, because you have to find the paper at any given point.

Well, who doesn’t have paper currency on them at any given moment? (Slight exaggeration there, but I’m getting to a point…)

Now you can do Money Origami!

Tuck your Tee?

tucking a t-shirt in | Ask MetaFilter

When wearing a T-shirt do you tuck it into your jeans and why? The question came from a response in a previous question today. Americans are the only race in the entire world that tuck T-shirts into jeans. We don’t know why you do it. Also, if wearing a belt will it make an influence on your decision? Did the Fonz have an influence with us doing it more than others? Being he was “50’s” and that is what we think when wearing a t-shirt and jeans.

I didn’t realize that it might be considered a fashion faux pas. Generally speaking, I don’t tuck my t-shirt in because it’s less comfortable. But I do tend to think it looks a little neater that way. What about you?

(Hat tip: Darren Barefoot)