John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica



 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Friday, April 30, 2004
Fraggin' Friday: Q3A - Cityrush

   Shoot at bots, not your neighbors
  Click for larger image of Hack-writer's Cityrush

The first time I player-spawned on the rooftop of a building in Cityrush, I had to blink to make sure I hadn't somehow loaded Duke Nukem 3D, but I saw no Piggies with badges and felt better when I heard the familiar game voice telling me that a bot had joined the game.  The DN3D look and feel of this map is pulled off well, down to the Playboy magazine cover lying around.

While some other map authors might complain that it is just a open box map, I would point out that most real city neighborhoods are also plain box maps.  Hack-writer uses building facade textures with enough windows to create the appropriate visual scale of 1-6 story buildings in an urban fragfest.  There are also several interesting shooter_ entities, like the tank and the gun triggered to protect the Red Armor, which I haven't seen used much since Q2. The bots did well, lighting is good, there are multiple respawn locations, and player items like weapons, health, ammo, and power-ups are distributed well.

Cityrush is a break from the overly-detailed and beveled maps and this Russian Q3A map author seems to understand that gaming is just supposed to be fun.  It is a fairly simple map with a retro urban gaming theme that is fun to play FFA, but especially CTF.  It would be great for a Fraggin' Friday LAN party -- the more, the merrier.


more quake map reviews

Don't have Quake 3?
Go get it now!


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Thursday, April 29, 2004
Eminem's D12 World

If Eminem is Slim Shady is Marshall Mathers, who is J f Z?
 Click for a larger view of the   Color of Money
The infamous hip-hop rapper and our homey from the Detroit area, Eminem, has actually had a legal battle in court go his way for once.  Unbelievably, it was a decision by a United Nations arbitration court in Geneva concerning a U.K. phone company using Eminem to promote their products without his permission.

The cyber-squatting decision by the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization means that Marshall Mathers will own the domain name "eminemmobile.com", instead of the original domain name registrar, Joker.com or Visitair Ltd.

You'll remember that in another court, Eminem pleaded no-contest to the brandishing/concealed weapons charges stemming from the incident with Insane Clown PosseAnd more recently, a Detroit judge sentenced 16-year-old James Antonio Knott to more than four years for carjacking Eminem's mom, Debbie Nelson, with whom Eminem also became tied up with litigation.  Where did Em's mom get jacked?  You guessed it -- on 8 mile road.

In other happier news, Eminem's newest music with D12 world, released this week, seems to be doing well ... which is great because I really do like him and his music.  Something that went unreported about Eminem, except that I heard it from the mouth of the man who set it up:  Eminem recently spent a while backstage with a terminally ill kid and swapped hats with him.  Who made the right phone calls?  My illegitimate father, Don Imus.

One of my favorite Emimen quotes is about notoriety: " Suddenly, you're not cool no more, you're like the Kris Kross jeans or something, even if at first you're the greatest thing since sliced cunt. "

Sliced what!?  Umm (thinking) okay ... is that a new low-carb Atkins wrap from Subway Subs?


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Wednesday, April 28, 2004
YCMTSU: Schizophrenic Link Hopping

Saddam Hussein celebrates his birthday, today.  No WMDs for you, buster.
I'd feel good too, if I still had a morphine pump

Schizophrenic Link Hopping is where I make you work for  your government cheese.  Click on a link that interests you. It will open a new window, so you can return to the list easier.  Officially, it is topically spawned from You Can't Make This Shit Up (YCMTSU pronounced: ick' em soo). Even though some of it is true, and some of it is just me taking poetic license on reality.  Nonetheless, it's a snapshot of the human condition from those trying to live it and probably the reason why God will soon smite us all.


Brandon Starr tells us why George Bush is his personal hero.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Big Brother puts the Man in Manalapan

I have been awake for 30 hours
The Man in Manalapan

Have you seen this man?  Be On the Look Out.  He is Clay Walker, Police Chief of Manalapan, Florida.  According to a Miami Herald article by Noah Bierman, Walker plans on Manalapan being one of the first cities to use digital cameras with infared technology to capture license plate tags on vehicles passing through his town of 321 of the richest people in the United States.  It seems there were several robberies last winter amongst the $500k homes.

Is Manalapan the first of many privacy dominoes to fall?  Miami-Dade officials are looking into using it.  The VP of the PIPS technology boasts that Palm Beach has been testing its on-street surveillance cameras since December.  Even though Tampa Police scrapped their facial recognition system in Ybor City, a local nightclub hotspot, after several years with no arrests attributable to that system:

Police Chief Clay Walker says that if all goes well with the first phase -- placing two cameras on a quiet road that leads to the island's ''point'' neighborhood -- he'll put a camera directly on A1A, so that everyone who passes through the busy area will be recorded.
People in the United Kingdom are used to having cameras trained on them in public places, is this a needed public safety measure that the U.S. will just have to accept?

Since we're talking about privacy, If you are re-directed to a registration login page on the Miami Herald link, use - email: miami@herald.com, pwd: bogus1

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Monday, April 26, 2004
... and the moral of the story is?

Lisa Ling is a hottie!
How FUN is this?

A discussion over at Plastic points out a recent Wired.com article by Daniel Terdiman, Playing Games With a Conscience:

In it, Terdiman mentions the release of the Simon Wiesanthal Center's annual report, Digital Terrorism and Hate 2004, which the SWC is selling for $20.00 in CD-format.  I'm big on free information on the internet, especially if it is important enough, so I'm a littled irked that the SWC expects me to pay for its "report".  Other than that, I can't comment on it.  All I can do is not give them a free link to their store.  Terdiman also quotes an essayist, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, about Newsgaming.com's September 12th game:

the goal of the game is to develop in the player "empathy for the people who will become terrorists out of that experience, of having seen innocent people killed."

Basically, the game goes like this:  You're the U.S. military.  The terrorists are in the village.  You shoot the terrorists and inevitably kill innocent bystanders.  Other people in the village see this and then become terrorists, too.  The point of the September 12th game is, as near as I can fathom, that you kill Osama and a thousand more take his place.

Empathy is one thing.  Teaching your kids that the U.S. military is in a no-win situation while someone's relatives are actually fighting in (Fallujah) Iraq, right now, is up to you.  Newsgaming.com also recently released a Madrid game.  Its goal is to "homage the victims of the Madrid terror attacks, as well as all the other cities that have  experienced these hideous crimes."

While Wardrip-Fruin may be a Brown scholar and believes that the popularity of online gaming may be a way to communicate ideas since the straight-text e-book has flopped commercially for the most part,  I partially disagree.  Blogs, which are predominately text, have become huge.  In addition, while I could perhaps imagine myself having a little empathy for someone's situation, if say, I was reading their Trapped in Fallajuh blog, I think it's in poor taste to turn the War on Terror or the Madrid Bombing into a videogame to begin with.  But maybe that's just me.

And finally, I thought games were just supposed to be fun, right?

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