The Weekend(s) of August 2010

Sorry for not having Weekend posts this month. Things have been in turmoil.

First things first, if you didn’t watch Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in the last two weeks, you’re off my Christmas card list. It’s simply one of the best films ever made.

It also has been tanking at the box office. Nerds do run things, but the sad state of things is, they probably also stole this movie. Which is uncool, because if we want more movies like Scott Pilgrim we have to speak the language of commerce, which, as you know, is money. If an artist makes something of value, you buy it, not only because you should reward entertaining people for entertaining you, but also because you want the people who funded them to know that you appreciated their contribution, and you would like to see more in this vein. If you don’t pay for straight-up nerd films, you only get movies that come close, but stick with mainstream appeal because it pays. Money talks.

So, money. Great way to start out an entry.

The boy got his Tenderfoot rank in scouts and also his First Aid badge. That was like, the coolest thing I’ve ever been able to post on this blog. He really enjoys scouts, which is good because I really enjoyed it and if he didn’t I’d feel bad.

Had some good BBQ over the last couple of weeks, but if we don’t start cooking something healthy soon I’m going to have to stop BBQ altogether. I’m talking about Salmon.

Played lots of Hand and Foot, the one game I can win on a semi-consistent basis. I actually sometimes rock at it. I even one a team game! Wait, there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’ …

Played the best game of Zombies!!! ever, played Bang! (with new expansion) … Died … a couple of times …

Oh, and then there’s the Playstation Move.

It had such promise to be better than the Wii. Video game historians will remember that Sony and Nintendo at one time collaborated on a system, but then Nintendo went their own way and the Nintendo 64 console was the result. Sony developed the Playstation back when you could call it ‘Playstation’ and not ‘PSone’ and it tanked for a few years before titles like Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy VII put it on the map – meaning you had to have one to play these exclusive games. Playstation carved itself out as a hardcore system and years later here we are:

Nintendo’s Wii was a shock to the world of console gaming, and it got people to play games who couldn’t before. Just wave this stick and cool stuff happens. Yes, the tech actually turns out to be primitive, but the results are phenomenal: your grandma can play games with you.

Well, I see the Playstation Move as an attack on the Wii: it’s meant to surpass the technology used in the Wii, and it does, being able to track the origin and angle of the controller is a distinct technological advantage over the Wii, but I am afraid that is where the advantage stops. Somehow it is near-fun but not fun. Calibrating your controller to maximize your experience gets very tedious and very old. Yes, it’s a few seconds. But you don’t have to do it with the Wii.

The games that Sony sent over aren’t blockbusters either, of them only Sports Champions, Shoot, and Tumbler are worth the screen-time (the last one, Tumbler, really showcases how much better the tech is and doesn’t seem to fall apart as easily as Sports Champions, Shoot is a good enough shooting game but doesn’t fully leverage the technology – doesn’t really need to though, does it?)

All in all, I didn’t get the sense that many people were overwhelmingly impressed with it, and many times throughout the day the Move wasn’t used, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (the game) was played instead.

I’d say I’m a core gamer, but I’ve played and loved a number of Wii titles that used motion controls. I just got the sense that the Playstation tries to put you and your Move in to a little box inside your living room and wasn’t as friendly to groups as the Wii is.

I know, maybe it’s all coming across that I’m a Nintendo fan boy – but Nintendo has let me down in a few areas as well: no real Hi-def, not enough game demos available. A *very* large chunk of the money I’ve spent on video games in the last 6 months (since I’ve had a PS3) has been on PS3 games.

In the end, I really wanted to fall in love with the Move, but I was vastly underwhelmed by it. I don’t find myself waking up in the middle of the night with a need to play it. It does not live up to the hype.

Finally, Pepper news. She’s getting so big, she definitely is getting stronger every day. She’s very expressive, with smiling and wanting to interact with people. Sukie says she’s reaching for things now, but I don’t believe it. Saturday when we had so many people over she was definitely not wanting to nap much, but was chill enough to sit in laps and hang out. I really dig that about my baby.

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