Matt's Cool and Interesting Blog of The New Millennium 

Of interest to few

He looks like he could totally drop a card.

Here is a picture of the first result for a google image search of John Collins. I wonder if his friends call him "Badger"? Actually he kind of looks like the picture in my head of Badger anyway, so maybe I'll just go with it. The set of people who actually know what I'm talking about here is quite, quite small. OH WELL.

Anyhoo, I got through the first week of the new season of Fine Art. And I also got all of my homework done well. I have two new articles for IO too, but we'll get to that. Yes we will...

Fine Art Season 3 (part two)

The next season of Fine Art will begin this Monday. You will find it at this address.

Infravision Oversoul

So, my good friend Jesse Crater wrote this article for IO. It is good and timely and you should read it.

As I said before, my new apartment is swanky. I mean wood panelling?! I am allergic to it though (not the wood panelling, but the apartment). You know, so allergic it's crazy. It's like if I was living with 10 cats. I never lived with 10 cats, but I think I would be very allergic to them. Maybe one of my roommates has 10 cats. Maybe I should do a little investigation.

Let's talk about videogames now:

I read that Fable s coming out on the PC. Cross that off of the reasons that I want to play an Xbox.
I tried some demos for some games lately too:

The Myst 5 demo makes me sad. You see, I wanted to play a game where you can tap on things like Myst 4. (It does not take much to interest me.) Myst 5 does not have this feature. Also you can walk around with WASD. Did they not learn anything from Uru? Oh well.

Dungeon Siege 2: Very much like the first Dungeon Siege. It does have pretty graphics though. My problem with games like Dungeon Siege, by which I mean you control a whole party, is that I like to micromanage too much. This means that I end up pausing the game every 5 seconds during a battle to assign orders. It also means that equipping the loot I get takes way, way too long. I just wish you controlled just one character. I wouldn't get too bored, I promise.

I also have been playing the Battlefield 2 demo. This game is actually fun. I never played the first Battlefield, as it never worked on my old computer. This game actually entertains me though. Its especially cool because of the different styles of gameplay it offers. You can run around and shoot fps style at dudes and try to capture bases, or you can fly a plane (and in my case crash into mountains or the ground), or you can lead a squad and issue orders to your grunts, or you can be a medic/support unit and help out, or you can be a commander and order all the squads and fire artillery and drop supplies and stuff. I really enjoy being the commander. I'm pretty good at it. In fact I never lost a game while commanding.

Enough with videogames, more about me. I am very sunburnt. After spending summer generally indoors, I guess I hadn't prepared enough of a tan to survive the football game without sunscreen with band Saturday. Man have my trombonery skills decreased since last I played. I used to be able to hit a highish E flat or so without difficulty (I've only been playing for about a year), but now even that has become a challenge. I guess I should practice more.

This Digital Strips Interview with Tycho and Gabe is quite odd. Especially because they refer to each other as Tycho and Gabe throughout it. Don't they have names? It's strange I think. Maybe I should get people to call be my online name. Oh wait. I guess they already do. Weird.

Well, time to continue reading Irregular Webcomic. Only 300 more to go until I'm all caught up. Then it's time for bed.

Back at School

Well, I'm all moved in at school now. Man, is my apartment nice. It looks kind of like a lawfirm with wood panelling and stuff. I will post a picture here in the future. Now I need to put away books.


I've been thinking lately about starting Fine Art Season Three, but I haven't yet come up with a good premise, decided how much continuity to have, chose characters (and art), and written a plot (as well as episode scripts). But it's definitely in the planning stages, so stick around.


I sometimes ask people to tell me what games are good for the XBOX. Of course, the only response I hear is of the Halo family. I've played the Halos, and I never felt that impressed. Halo 2 was particularly disappointing. We played on the same map as we always would in Halo 1. The only notable difference was that instead of wielding one gun I could wield two. I hope they come up with a better gimmick for Halo 3, because I don't think that they're going to find a way to really sell the idea of wielding three guns at once. Then again, it worked for George Lucas..

Of course maybe this is being unfair to Microsoft. There are XBOX games that I'd like to play. Two, in fact: Jet Set Radio Future and Fable. I'd like to play Jet Set Radio Future, because Jet Grind Radio was my favorite cell-shaded rollerblading graffitti game of all time and Fable because Peter Molyneux is capable of generating an almost superhuman amount of hype.

That's it though. I'm not interested in any other XBOX games. The other games I would kind of want to play are all available for the PC or PS2.

Ultimately this has left me completely unenthusiastic about the impending release of the XBOX 360. I just looked up a list of the XBOX 360 launch titles, so here is my breakdown of each game.

Kameo: Elements of Power

This is made by Rare. Oooooh Rare. They were responible for some good times back in the N64 heyday. I think the last game I played by them was Banjo Kazooie. That was a good game, but I still have the theme song stuck in my head.

I'll be honest, I have no idea what this game is about. It says something about being a platformer or something with "hundreds of characters on screen at once". It just doesn't seem like it would convince me to make a console purchase.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Now this is a game I know about. I played Morrowind, the prequel, a lot and it was a fun game. I don't know if I'd want to play it on an XBOX, but it could work. Still, it's being released for the PC, so there is no impetus for me to even consider buying a 360 here.

Ridge Racer 6

The site I found this list of games on said that two reasons two buy this game are that "It's Ridge Racer [and it has] thrilling gameplay". I have never in my life considered Ridge Racer a thrilling game, or worthy of merit. I own the original for the Playstation. There is nothing enjoyable about this game. I think all my years of gaming have rendered me incapable of enjoying driving fast around a track that looks completely realistic. It's just too mundane for me.

N3: Ninety-Nine Nights

Another game I know nothing about. This one features large battles, so I'm going to pretend that it is Dynasty Warriors instead. Dynasty Warriors is fun, if you have a hankering for mashing buttons. Also, you can ride elephants. That's pretty cool.

Dead or Alive 4

Meh. I have one of the Dead or Alives for Dreamcast. It's a fighting game. It's not as fun as Soul Caliber, and well, that pretty much sums it up right there.

Call of Duty 2

I didn't realize this was being released at all. I liked the first Call of Duty. I have it on my computer. And it looks like this one will be released on PC also, so no need to get an XBOX for this. Moving on...

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

What? That seems like a bad title to me, and I call my blog "Matt's Cool and Interesting Blog of The New Millennium". Anyway, I never got into any game that had Tom Clancy in the title. I tried on once, I think, though. Maybe I should try one of the other ones on my computer.

Project Gotham Racing 3
This one has a great quote about it: "the all out thrills of Ridge Racer and the simulation of Forza Motorsport". I believe you know my opinion here already.

Madden NFL 06

Arrgh. I bet I could beat anyone at this game, because I run a kick off return as defense for every play. In all seriousness however, I can't imagine anyone actually playing this game in the way I tend to play games.. You see, I like to play games for extended periods of time, primarily by myself. I just can't see myself getting any significant enjoyment out of a realistic sports game, ever.

Perfect Dark Zero

Rare again. I just can't get excited for a FPS on a console. I mean, I can't really get excited for a PC FPS, but I don't think I could play an FPS without a mouse and a keyboard anymore. I know that the XBOX can support a mouse and whatnot. And, I know I had some good times with Perfect Dark and Goldeneye, but I just don't feel like I want to play this game. At all. Sorry Rare.

So there we have it. There are no games up for launch for the XBOX 360 that interest me that aren't available for the PC.

Adventures in Subletting

Subletting in the place I subletted this summer has been an experience, to say the least. Obstacles overcome include the grossness of the house, strange smells, and mysterious leaks. I also learned to deal with the fact that you never know who really is living here at any moment.

Par exemplar, this dude just walked down from the attic, wearing boxer shorts and carrying a towel. Who is this guy? Does he live here? Is it perhaps a person from the street that just walkerd in? Some of these questions may never be answered.

But if it is indeed his car that is blocking mine, I would appreciate it if he moved it by tomorrow morning.

Lady Of Spain

So there's this guy sitting on his porch across the street from my room, strumming softly on a guitar and singing soft tones He's completely alone and looks exactly like you'd expect a dude strumming softly on a guitar and singing soft tunes.

I have this desire to open up the old accordion, go out and sit on my porch and blast round after round of Lady of Spain and harshly shout the lyrics in a style known to the stylerati as Screamcore.

Will I resist this temptation? Tune in next episode to find out...

The End Of Summer Personal Update

Two updates in a single day!?

Can you believe summer is almost over already? In fact, so almost over that I'll be heading home next Saturday, August 6. Clear your calendars, because the Mohnton/Shillington area is going to be a partyzone until I get back to school towards the end of August.

The research I'm doing is going well, not that I'm really discovering anything worthwhile, but no one really expected that anyway.

I need to update Information Overload more. Last week I had no ideas, then my parents visited during last weekend, and then I simultaneously got a cold and the most recent Harry Potter book. Next week we should be back on track.

Have I mentioned that I've been getting the best chicken teriyaki from the Thai food truck here? It's really awesome. I wish I had tried it out earlier in the summer.

Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo! That is all.

Details of The Plot

So there's this guy, right. His name is Andrew Plotkin. Here is his website. The thing is, almost once a month, when I'm rrandomly surfing the net, I end up there somehow.

The first time was when I was looking for rules for the game Werewolf or Mobsters as the people I know who knew it called it. Next I was reading about the game Icebreaker, and here I quickly learned that he was involved with the Macintosh Port of it. Finally, after deciding I wanted to write an Interactive Fiction Adventure (a project that I never got around to) I saw that Andrew Plotkin had won the Interactive Fiction Contest. There have been several other encounters with me and his website I'm sure, but I can't recall them.

I never really looked into what was going on here, until I was one day looking at the KGB website. For those of you who don't know, the KGB are a student group here at Carnegie Mellon that can best be described as a bunch of CS folks who do all kinds of ubergeeky and slightly Discordian activities. They are especially known for their underground tours of CMU and games of capture the flag with stuff. If you closely examine the credits of the game, you'll see that, indeed, Andrew Plotkin created that game. Of course it follows that Andrew Plotkin was once a student at Carnegie Mellon, who I assume has long since graduation vacated the university.

Anyway, I have this feeling, based on the synchronicities that keep leading me back onto his massive website, that one day I'm going to run into him. That will be a strange day indeed.

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