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Could be good, or utterly dire - Ender's Game is being developed into a series of games. "The first game will focus on the Battle Room, the elite military academy where Ender hones his strategic and tactical skills and that provided some of the most memorable scenes in the book."

"War Dance", by Sabretoothed Ermine, who's now open for commissions - not cheap, but if you look at the full size version by way of example, well worth it.

Here's the trailer for a documentary finalist for screening at SXSW: "Second Skin takes an intimate look at computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by the emerging genre of Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs). World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Everquest allow millions of users to simultaneously interact in virtual spaces. Second Skin introduces us to couples who have fallen in love without meeting, disabled players who have found new purpose, addicts, Chinese gold-farming sweatshop workers, wealthy online entrepreneurs and legendary guild leaders - all living in a world that doesn't quite exist." It looks as if it could be quite a genuine production, seemingly lacking the PR fluff and sordid sensationalism that drives a lot of such press coverage.

Here's an SL build that caught my eye: Condensation Land.

dagoski and dronon especially might enjoy this nugget ibneko stumbled upon. ^_^;

TV show for the day: jPod, on CBC, Tuesdays 9pm. Pleasantly snarky look at a group of game developers working for Vancouver-based Neurotronic Arts, and their new boss, who, on seeing the surprisingly gory skating game they've been working on, decides that what he needs in the title is a friendly animal - a turtle, in fact. Add in one of their mothers growing "The Dude" in the family basement, and an untimely electrocution.. ^_^; (Perfect theme tune, too - one of Bonobo's best) You can catch the trailer here - it does a surprisingly good job of it, too.

Another good column by Bruce Schneier, in which he outlines a subtle, important distinction between the TSA's activities and their usefulness. In particular, though, my interest was piqued by one commenter's mention of his TRansnational Republic ID (which, in a surprise to nobody but politicians and pundits, often serves well for such occasions where "proof of ID" is required. He notes that all the information listed is entirely accurate). As they say, "In times of growing globalisation the problem of global representation has not yet been sufficiently addressed, the way of the world as well as the faith of the individuals are increasingly determined by transnational organisations (corporations, churches, trade organisations…). There is no comparable political representation system of the individual."

Well, isn't this delightful? The next UK Census will be handled by a private contractor - not, per se, a bad thing. Except guess who's one of the two final candidates? Lockheed Martin. As Census Alert note:

- They also focus on intelligence and surveillance work and boast of their ability to provide 'integrated threat information' that combines information from many different sources.

- New questions in the 2011 Census will include information about income and place of birth, as well as existing questions about languages spoken in the household and many other personal details.

- This information would be very useful to Lockheed Martin's intelligence work, and fears that the data might not be safe could lead to many people not filling in their Census forms.

On a more personal note, LiveJournal's just introduced new "Explore" areas, which you've probably seen at the top of some LJ pages. It's worth noting that these categories are populated by people's journals (public entries only) - if you'd like to opt-out of this, they note 'You can remove individual posts that are currently appearing in an explore area by clicking on the delete button next to that entry. This will not delete your entry from your journal; it will only remove it from appearing in that explore area. If you want all of your public entries to be excluded from the explore areas, you may opt-out by going to Viewing Options and checking the box labeled "Explore Area Exclusion."' The idea itself is quite neat, though, on the basis of giving people more LJ to read, on topics they might be interested in. I'm not certain what I'll do - most likely, I'll just let their parser work its magic. Given it's all automatic, though, I can only wonder what categories I'll wind up in. =:D

On a more positive note, here's a particularly good SL weblog: Dispatches from a Virtual World. Its core is intelligently written articles, examining diverse aspects of SL society, rather than engaging in drama or press releases. F'rex, one interview was with the founders of The Heron Sanctuary, a support community for people with RL disabilities. In this way, they're able to offer a genuine sense of community that members may not be able to find RL, not to mention being able to enjoy activities that may have been stolen from them physically, or indeed, never had, such as flying.

A fragment of a meme I saw, and thought might be vaguely interesting:

"Search the following [in your music library] and state how many songs come up:"

Death - 11 (oddly, mostly BT, plus Clint Mansell and Goran Bregovic & Iggy Pop)
Life - 44 (bumped up by Art of Trance's "Wildlife on One" and Asura's "Life2")
Love - 163 (not hurt by Vector Lovers)
Hate – 0
You - 301
Sex – 18 (helped a bit by Lords of Acid =:)

And this etymological metaquote sounded like something paka could take great pleasure in illustrating. ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm concerned about any attempts to transform Ender's Game into any other kind of media... I just think that they'd either have to bump the age of all the kids up several years, or the whole thing will be torn to pieces by idiots who don't know what they're talking about. We'll have to see though.

In the meantime I should consider reading the rest of the series... and I should read JPod, I've heard nothing but good things about it from people who have read it. I really enjoy Douglas Coupland (Shampoo Planet was brilliant), so I don't know why I haven't gotten around to it yet.

And I really, really want that tribal bunny...
I do still adore that icon. ^_^

I need to read Ender's Game, I think. It sounds as if that was something of a pinnacle for him, from what I gather. I admit, his rather nastily homophobic stance has put me off his work for a while now, but it seems it's better to separate an artist's attitudes from their work, providing that doesn't entail unduly enriching them in the process. Quite possibly he's mollified his stance anyway.

It's rather painful seeing how warped films become over the course of the "creative process" of Hollywood, unless the director, writer, or producer holds sufficient sway with the studio to just let things work out within the team. (Kevin Smith and Superman.. what a fun little saga!) Of course, print and visual media are quite different, so we're all used to books having to be cut here and there to fit into a mere two hours or so of screen time, but the LotR trilogy showed quite well that that can be accomplished, and still leave the majority of the story told. (And then there's the other extreme, where they take a huge mound of material and try mushing it all together, à la Judge Dredd. What a dog's dinner that was..)

Thinking of literary adaptations, those familiar with the work seemed reasonably content with the job the BBC did with Gormenghast - seen it? Visually lush, with some quite excellent casting, rendered into five or six hour-ish episodes. I could send along a copy, if you'd like, or the original DVDs if I can't find my transcodings.

I'd like to dig a bit into how the book and TV version of jPod compare - I suppose everyone's visualisations will be different, just as people's expectations for the voices of Asterix and co were (which did introduce me to quite a few classical concepts at an early age, albeit at the cost of confusing me with "alea iacta est" = "the die is cast", without noting whether the meaning was the singular of "dice", or a mold. Works either way, really =:).

The style on that bun reminds me somewhat of Dark Natasha's - ye gods, but those few lapines she's drawn are memorable. And then there's Blotch, of course, oh yes. ^_^
I love the icon too... I have a ways to go if I'm going to try and catch up with you, though ;)

I didn't actually know anything about Scott Card's homophobia... I'll have to look into that some more. Ender's Game is quite conservative, but I still thought it was thought provoking and entertaining (at the same time :P). I don't remember anything jumping out at me as particularly homophobic though, but then it has been a few years since I read the book.

Hollywood and Books just upset me. I think Lord of the Rings is the sole example I can think of where the movie hasn't at best left too much to be desired from the source, at worst completely raped the printed piece and left me in tears. Well, the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe wasn't bad actually, all things considered, and I still enjoy watching it again now and then. Compare that to say, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix though :(

Gormenghast... isn't that Titus Groan and the rest? I'm mildly curious, but someone in one of my creative writing classes read it and then produced a short story about sentence semantics based upon it that made my head spin and then hurt profusely, so I've always thought I should stay away...
It seems the BBC usually do pretty well with their adaptations though. Except for the poor budget, their version of the Narnia books were all very accurate with attention to detail (even if it did result in one of the most boring Prince Caspian versions ever). And my mother still raves about their Pride and Prejudice. Or is it just because of Colin Firth? Hmmm...

I've seen a few of Dark Natasha's bunnies... they are pretty stunning. But don't get me started on Blotch... I could stare at his lapines (and their hind paws) forever.