Week 3

I'm noticing that these weekly posts are turning into a link dump rather than a weekly look at what's going on in my life. I'm not sure if that's what I want to do going forward, and I'll have a think on it.

On Friday No More Heroes III was released. I've been looking forward to a new NMH game for a while. Travis Strikes Again was fun for a bit, but I'm glad to be back into the Garden of Madness! It's everything I could've hoped for and expected. I was playing the game in front of my friends and their confused reactions to everything was delightful. It's a game you really need to take at face value and question nothing.

Sunday was movie day. We watched Wag the Dog and The Lobster. Wag the Dog was a dark comedy about the industry of politics and media, and their relationship. Watching it in 2021 gives it an even more sinister edge. Interestingly it came out only a month before the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.

The Lobster was an... interesting movie. It was very uncomfortable throughout. I don't recall ever actually enjoying anything I was watching. I couldn't stop watching though, it was strangely gripping. I don't want to go too far into detail with the plot, but I'll say it starts out with our main character being escorted to a hotel after his wife leaves him. He has 45 days to find a new partner, or else he will be turned into an animal. There is no emotional connection to the characters. In fact the film (purposefully, I imagine) seems to be largely devoid of any emotion at all. All of it comes from the viewer's reactions. I have a surprising amount to say about a movie I don't recall ever enjoying. But I watched it. All the way!

It's hard to recommend it because I think you kind of need to know what you're getting into first. I was warned the movie was "weird" and kind of prepared myself for it, and even then my expectations were incorrect. It does feel like an "important movie" that people should watch at some point in their lives.

Next week we're on vacation again, albeit much shorter this time. I'm excited for the break. I have some project ideas to work on for a few days.

Anyway, onto the aforementioned link dump!

  • I had no idea Quake 1's development was so troubled! At the time it felt like id software were nailing it.

    I'm glad to see the surgance of "boomer shooters" (although I prefer the term retro shooter), as it's such an undertapped market. The article says it best: "bland realism". I want the off-the-rails freedom of movement, ridiculous guns, big explosions, giant enemies, endless carnage! No cinematics! No story! Nothing but mindless action!

  • How can we trust an entity like Apple to handle something as complicated as their approach to CSAM when they can't even handle children using their services? This is basic stuff here. Like if age < 17 levels here! Come on! They rule their App Store with an iron fist, and yet won't even take the small amount of time and effort to ensure that their apps are following their own guidelines. They have access to a user's age since every device has to use an Apple ID. Ridiculous.

  • I didn't know this prior to the most recent lawsuit leveled at Activision Blizzard, but the Overwatch cowboy was named after real-life Jesse McCree, who up until August worked at Blizzard. I'm glad that they are opting to change his name with all that has come to light. Going forward, Blizzard won't be naming in-game characters in any game after employees. Smart move. They've had to remove quite a few other references since the fallout began.

    Linked in that article is a great explainer to prime yourself if you'd like to learn more about the recent news with Blizzard.

  • The Fortnite meta verse continues to get weirder. This feels a little tone-deaf given that Fortnite is a cutesey cartoon shooter game. It's also a game that deals heavily in microtransactions. It's a nice gesture, but something that should've been shot down when the meeting was taking place. Big guess as to why that didn't happen...

  • The big news heading into the weekend was Apple settling a lawsuit. Apple relents a little and allows mentions of other in-app purchases in the App Store. Great, big win! Right...? Not quite. The language in the settlement is very specific. Developers are free to mention other avenues of purchases in email, websites, whatever, but not inside their own app, where it's the most important. They pat themselves on the back like they did everyone a huge favour, yet change nothing.

    This thread has a great breakdown of what the settlement entails. By accepting any settlement money, developers cannot sue for antitrust violations, or join any similar lawsuit. Such a scam!

    It's really distressing that the wider tech sphere has taken the headlines and ran with it. They're giving Apple far too much credit for doing nothing.

    Lastly, the lawyers claiming they need 30% of the $100M for developers is a delightful bit of irony. 30% being the same percentage Apple takes of all in-app purchases.

  • Secret side note since you made it to the bottom: I really really like False Knees. I learned that the painting style is gouache (pronounced "gwash"). If you like Uses This, they have one on Joshua Barkman (the author of False Knees)!