First off: I have a guest piece on the wildly popular OverthinkingIt.com today – “Quantifying Solace“. What exactly is a “quantum” of solace? And, if the movie turns out successful, what other emotions can the Bond series micro-measure?
(I know this is my second or third time mentioning it, but LJ went down yesterday)
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While drifting off to sleep on Monday, I had the brief but terrifying urge to give World of Warcraft a try. Just for a few weeks. Just to see what it was like.
I didn’t bolt upright screaming, though perhaps I should have.
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I thought Candid‘s enthusiasm over the public library last year was the geekiest thing he’d ever written (at the time). Then I joined the Cambridge Public Library this summer. Have you seen their website? Holy hell!
You can browse their catalog of books online – not just Cambridge’s, but Natick’s, Framingham’s, Lexington’s, etc. And then, when you click on the book, they deliver it to any library you like. For free! And then you go and get it and take it home. For free! You don’t even have to set foot in the library to renew it. And you can do this as many times as you goddamn want.
I suppose the notion of a public library taking advantage of the Information Superhighway shouldn’t shock me. But I used to work for a public library in high school. I’m accustomed to a certain way of doing things. This is one of those unexpected and amazing conveniences that turns people into lifelong customers.
(Marketers trolling my weblog – and I know you’re out there – write that down. That’s the key to a good customer experience: unexpected, amazing convenience)
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Penny Arcade had a justified laugh at Peter Molyneux when he suggested reviewers should play Fable 2 with people who don’t play games. But, at the same time, I understand the distinction Molyneux hints at – between hardcore gamers and casual button mashers. I’m pretty sure I fall in the latter.
Last night I hit three different stores in the Arsenal Mall*, looking for a 20GB XBox 360. To bring the outsiders up to speed: Microsoft currently markets the 360 in three flavors: Arcade (practically useless; $200), Pro (60GB memory; $300) and Elite (ostentatious; $400). But only a few months back, they also marketed a 20GB version. Some stores still have one or two of these peeking around the corners, available on the cheap. Of the three shops I hit on Tuesday, however, I only found one. And even then I wasn’t swayed.
Instead I bought two games for the original XBox – Soul Calibur II and Full Spectrum Warrior: Ten Hammers. I got these for $10 total (not each). The music and electronics store that I bought them from had slashed every original XBox game’s price by 50%, in a frenzy to get the old crap off the shelves.
I do this sort of thing all the time: wait until a game drops to $20 or below before buying it. Waiting until the current generation console drops in price by 25-50%. I’m in no hurry to ride the state of the art curve. So even though I play video games all the time, I don’t consider myself a “gamer” in the same sense that the PA staff, or the guy who narrates Zero Punctuation, are.
It’s a trivial distinction to people who never play video games at all, but I think it matters.
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Okay, so we hit: posts on other blogs, World of Warcraft, the public library, and video games. Pretty good for a Wednesday. Every now and then I need to dash off a post like this to help my street cred.
* Out of the four that were open at the time.