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December 14th, 2008:

Wii are not amused

I admit it. I thought Nintendo was dead a few years back… I confidently predicted that XBox 360 and PS3 would fight it out like T-Rex and Triceratops in some “Lost World” movie. I thought Nintendo DS looked pants and that PSP would pwn it. I thought the Wii would tank – especially when I heard the name. I was wrong. Nintendo was the pesky little mammal watching that dino-fight and waiting for the asteroid (or whatever it was) to change everything. It’s getting up to Crimble and Nintendo are advertising like buggery. But

I still don’t quite get it. I appreciate they’ve broken the gaming mould but it’s left me feeling gen-gapped. I shouldn’t feel gen-gapped. I am pretty much the same age as the home computer. I’m up to date on PC-stuff and I get the attraction of Call-of-Metal-Half-Doom-Gears-of-War and stuff like that but I don’t get Nintendo. They have “Brain Training” which I thought was bonkers but hell whadda I know? It sold like free beer on a Saturday night, in Ireland! It still looks like doing a GCSE maths exam though. They also advertise this “game” where you use the various controllers to “play” on-screen musical instruments. It’ll probably shift more units than the Bible but I just don’t see the point of a musical instrument simulator. It’s like those “Guitar Hero” stuff. They’ll even sell you a “guitar controller” and all for more than a battered second-hand acoustic and a book of chords. What the hell is that about? The latest Wii offering seems to involve some rather Matt Groening-looking flatulent rabbits which in one of the games you can control by sitting on a board and waggling your arse. It proudly proclaims to be the first buttock controlled game in history. Oh and there’s something else. There’s a “game” called “Animal Crossing” which I absolutely don’t even pretend to understand enough to even describe. The ad shows a young woman playing it in a living room with big French windows and a voice-over about how the game is about “connecting with nature”. Look love, save yourself a few quid and just go into the garden. Is I getting old or somefink?

Personally I blame “The Sims”. I have played all the SimCity Games. Those I got. For me gaming is largely about doing things I wouldn’t normally be able to do. And God-like control of an entire City is something I don’t normally do (not being one of Mr Obama’s friends and all that). But all those Sims expansion packs – “The Sims go on holiday”, “The Sims go on a date”, “The Sims re-decorate the bathroom” are all so prosaic. The idea of simulating ordinary life is something I don’t get. Flying a Sabre-jet right to the stall in a desperate battle with MiGs over the Yalu, conquering the world or a little space-piracy are all things I get. And I love gaming because I can’t do them in real life. But going on holiday – yup, couple of months back; going on a date – yup could do that though my wife would kill me; redecorate the bathroom – gotta do that or my wife really will kill me I don’t need a game for. Even when proper gaming is in the realms of the possible it’s at the extreme. There are footie games and they’re about stuff like winning the European Cup – they’re not about a Sunday League kickabout – “Really feel the drizzle and the barked shins!”. There are driving games but they usually put you in Lewis Hamilton’s seat and not stuck in traffic near the Trafford Centre on the M-60 on a Thursday evening wondering if you’ll get home in time for Eastenders.

Gaming is, or should be, a disconnect from the real world in the same way the Cinema is. It should be about pretending to be a fighter pilot or re-building the British Empire by strength and guile or running narcotics from Downtown to Riverside in your Swallow with the entire Lazarus Family on your six. It should be about entering a totally different world and doing it from the comfort and safety of a back bedroom (or in my case a shed). I know gamers have frequently (in the past – it’s waaay to “mainstream” these days) been portrayed as strange loners who need to get a life but frankly I have a life and I don’t want a second one. Nintendo fair-play to you and all that but if you don’t mind I’ll stick to battling aliens and flying Spitfires and dreams of Galactic conquest because that makes sense to me. Much more than the weird stuff that passes for much gaming these days does anyway.

Black pudding

Sunfish has raised the question, how does one eat black pudding? For those unfortunates unfamiliar with the full English breakfast I hope these images give some hint.


German efficiency

I suppose even physicists are open to sexy and horny.

One of Europe’s most prestigious scientific research institutes has had to issue an apology after discovering that the calligraphy used on the cover of its flagship magazine to illustrate a special China edition was in fact an ad for a Hong Kong strip joint.


The exact translation is open to interpretation.

According to the general translation, the text begins: “We spend a lot of money to have [girls] to be in house during daytime.

“Our mama sans, Ga Mei and KK, present you with young and beautiful girls. Stylish and good mannered beauties from the North [of China]. Sexy and hot, young housewives. Flirty and enchanting, available today.”

A Taiwanese reader on the University of Pennsylvania’s Language Log blog provided a more formal translation:

“With high salary, we have sincerely employed [lots of strippers/girls] to stay in our daytime show.

“Jiamei as the director, she will personally lead young girls who are as pretty as jade.

“[We have] beauties from the north who appear in all their glory with thousands of deportments.

“[We have] young housewives who have hot body that will stir up your [sexual] fire.

“They are sexy, horny and enchanting. The performance will begin in few days!”

Before and after …


Mortification of the flesh

Now we know it is a religion –

So she built a translucent leg band that keeps track of your electricity consumption. When it detects, via a special power monitor, that electric current levels have exceeded a certain threshold, the wireless device slowly drives six stainless-steel thorns into the flesh of your leg.

via Small Dead Animals

Mea Culpa

I have been meaning to add these two for some time to our Blogroll:

Old Holborn is a foul-mouthed bugger who is always worth a read and is very much on the money.

Leg-Iron is brilliant and his series on “The Righteous” is pure gold.

Sorted. They’re there now. Enjoy.

PS. No idea why I didn’t add them way back… I really can’t explain.

PPS. LI also blogs on OH. Oh how much easier the world was with carrier pigeons and cholera!

Addendum:  Further comment by CC, not Nick – by foul mouthed, Nick means OH probably attends the same Tourette’s clinic as DK.