Tuesday, June 26, 2007

To tide you over until KT recovers from jet lag

Random topics:

1) I think I suffer from inverse SAD. When it's sunny and beautiful all the time I start feeling extra grumpy and guilty for being a hermit unworthy of the natural beauty around me. Bleh. (For some reason this reminds me of the sonnet I had to write in 8th grade - mine was to "darkness." They really shouldn't let 13 year-olds write poetry.)

2) On the plus side, I finally used up the $100 in amazon rebates that have piled up from my credit card. I only went $19.71 over, and managed to pick up:
- a non-crappy blender
- 2 cookbooks
- subscription to Selecciones (Reader's Digest en espaƱol)
- my favorite ESL book of reading selections
- 2 100-piece tubs of Xylichew (Short of giving up my gum habit, the best alternative I’ve found to my past of rotting my teeth or poisoning myself with icky sugar substitutes. I bet I can work myself up to a good rant about this someday :)

3) Sat nite shifts are the best. No tourists buying beach novels or locals buying guidebooks for Costa Rica. And lots of time to catch up on magazines.

Thank you, Wired, for this.

Welcome to Fatworld! Experience Refreshing Moral Discomfort!

Ian Bogost likes to play with failure. The 30-year-old Georgia Tech professor designs popular Web games powered by sarcasm and social commentary. In his latest, Fatworld, players navigate a consumer paradise, rule their own empire of restaurants and convenience stores, and enjoy food allergies, diabetes, heart disease, and death.

Most games with social themes are built around tiresome moral lessons. But the titles created by Bogost's development studio, Persuasive Games, invite us to be ruthlessly greedy, helplessly incompetent, and breathtakingly rude. The goal of Airport Security, for example, is to relieve infuriated passengers of prohibited items in accordance with continuously changing carry-on rules. In Bacteria Salad, players grow veggies for profit and try to avoid poisoning too many people. And in last year's Disaffected!, we assume the role of a Kinko's employee struggling to deliver print orders as lazy coworkers shuffle papers into the wrong stacks. Bogost proudly cites this user review: "I could actually feel myself getting angry and depressed and my sense of self-worth going right through the floor."



  1. Ian was going to be my nominee for FEMA employe of the month,

    until the FEMA subcontracter, working in St. Louis, managed to broadcast the President's take-over-the-air-waves special code yesterday morning. It left all of Chicago's broadcast media quiet for several minutes without any explanation.

    Maybe I will go for co-winners this month.

  2. I've officially passed the point where this post can serve to tide me over. I demand a post!! Even if KT's still to lazy to be the one to post it! ;) <3B

  3. Post post post! (And send me your phone numbers/call because I drowned my phone!!)