August 30th, 2005

Walter

Virtual Insanity

I haven't posted in a while, but what bugged me enough to do it is this bullshiat about Nintendo patenting Insanity Systems in video games (link via Slashdot).

This is amusing, but ultimately annoying. It's true that Nintendo did advance the art of your character going temporarily insane, with visual and audial feedback (the bleeding walls, whispering voices, and other hallucinogenic episodes in Eternal Darkness were definitely well done), but they certainly didn't invent it. We all know about Sanity Points from the Chaosium RPGs (most notably Call of Cthulhu), but many other games have featured an implementation of "fear", "insanity" or "hallucinations" as part of the gameplay.

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Anyway, this is just another example of why Software Patents are retarded. Now you can own the idea of doing something; Not just a specific implementation or style of it, either. And even if it's a combination of two things that have been done hundreds of times before in other places. (Or even if the exact combination has been done before... It's not like they check this stuff first.) So it will be impossible for someone else to try making a new product that does same sort of thing, only better, thus totally screwing any chance of innovation.

I had a good time this weekend... I got to visit with old friends, and have lots of tasty food, and generally relax and not be at work. Unfortunately, work started back up on Monday right where it left off... Even though I came into the office Sunday night to get caught up, I was up wicked late on Monday trying to get ahead on the three projects I'm trying to work on simultaneously.

Today is looking better, though... I have substantial progress to show for everything, and the Project From Hell may actually be done and signed off soon, as hard as that is to believe right now. (That's the one that I've been coming back in to the office to take an extra crack at every night for nigh on three weeks now.)

I'm still way behind on stuff, especially personal/friend related projects, and I really need to remember to pay my bills sometime in the next day or two, but it's nice to know that this fucking multi stage boss monster of a project is in it's final form, and it's starting to flash red, and the health bar is almost empty...

Also, if you know anyone in Lousiana, make sure they're okay. If you don't have any friends there, you're lucky. We're pretty sure our resident co-worker is all right, but we lost contact yesterday... We're hoping it's a "no power, conserving generator fuel" kinda thing, but the roads are flooded out and blocked with trees, and they're just sorta stuck out in the woods to fend for themselves for a week or so, vs. additional flooding, looters, mutants, etc., on whatever food and water they managed to stash before the storm hit. There are indeed worse places to live than New Jersey right now...
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