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Comments

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Best Browser For Using Complex Web Applications?

Rafajafar Advice on PDF Printing (347 comments)

If you're going to print, use princexml.com's app. Create HTML documents which are converted to PDF on the fly.

more than 4 years ago
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Spore Dev Down On the Wii

Rafajafar What is art? (315 comments)

What was disturbing to me about his rant was not what he said, but how ill-defined his terms were. He professed that Nintendo does not take gaming seriously as an art form. What is this "art" he speaks of? As someone who studies philosophy, it's very important to me that such an objective argument as "Nintendo hurts art" is defined properly.

When one speaks of art, they speak of aesthetics. What he argues is that function possesses the highest form of aesthetics. This is an extremely shaky ground for argument. One could easily weigh other factors of a game in with beauty... graphics, challenge, and enjoyment seem to be the pervasive accounts of beauty in gaming. Let's focus on these three and see if we can try to understand why Nintendo chose to focus on enjoyable rather than pretty and smarter games.

Graphics: Since the PS1, graphics seems to be the focus of most games. Higher texture density, more polygons, faster processing. These were what made a game "good" for a very very very long time. And while game sales were still increasing, more and more gamers were complaining that games seemed too much like their predecesors. Racing games were prettier, but they were still racing games. Fighting games had more characters with greater detail, but they were still fighting games. Sandbox games like GTA were getting sharper graphics and interfaces, but they were still GTA. Gamers were catching on that the industry is merely eating glitter to make the same old crap sparkle more.

Smarter: With the same old games comes the same old play. The only way to improve this is through design changes, which serves for temporary "newness" but quickly becomes associative in a near one-to-one nature from previous games in the genre. Final Fantasy games, for example, had a completely different play style from game to game, but functioned on the same basic prinicples as the last game (until 12). Fighting games may have different dynamics of button mashing and combo systems, but they were still button mashers. And racing games? Pfft. So in lieu of breaking the mold and trying to make games that challenge the mind in new ways, developers ... dare I say "in the box" developers... improve AI so that the same old game is harder to the same old player. While this may be nice when playing a genre game, I fail to see the argument that it has been applied artfully from system to system. Granted, it can be. It just has not thus far and I do not see a majority of developers as taking full advantage of it any time soon.

Enjoyability: Remember the first time you played a side fighter? Remember the first time you played a virtual fighter? Remember the first time you played an RPG? Remember the first time you played GTA? Wow, wasn't that fun? And so much so, it's had many gamers chasing the carrot on the stick for the companies that put out those games ever since. Remember the first time you played a 3D game with an analog stick? Do you remember all the other games you played using the same analog stick? That was enjoyment you got out of EVERY SINGLE GAME from a simple interface change. Nintendo has been the pioneer in that market since the Super Nintendo (and arguably sooner). Sure, they made a lot of sacrifices to graphics and processing power. But let's face it, the Wii is enjoyable. They chose a different definition of "art". To Nintendo, making games a social experience, making them widely available, and making them "fun" was what "art" is. To Nintendo, their system is THE system to progress video games as an "art form".

To say that Nintendo does not do for gaming as an art form as much as the other two major systems does is rather blind, I think. No other company has been as influential on the other two systems as Nintendo. Top buttons on the d-pad? Sony used it. Trigger buttons? XBox. Analog sticks? Sony and XBox. Force feedback through controller rumble? Sony took it again.. this time illegally. And now, full motion sensing capabilities... SONY TRIED TO COPY IT. So my question to this man would be, if a game is supposed to be art, and Nintendo is not art... then where does fun fit into the equation? I'd much rather have a peice of artless trash that was fun to play than a game that felt like an interactive screen saver.

In all fairness, the system has nothing to do with the art of a game. Shadows of the Colossus is a great example of a fun game, that was pretty, and used a system that was not Nintendo. If you think your art is hindered by what paint you use... you sir, are no artist.

All that aside, Spore looks fun.

more than 7 years ago

Submissions

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Rafajafar Rafajafar writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rafajafar writes "Speculation and rumors have going around Wall Street recently that Microsoft is in buyout talks with Yahoo. The news is being pretty good to Yahoo's shareholders, to say the least. From the article:

Yahoo Inc. shares surged following published reports Friday that Microsoft Corp. had resumed its pursuit of Yahoo to better compete with Web search and advertising leader Google Inc. Both companies declined comment on the reports.
There is still much doubt as to whether these talks will result in anything, however."
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Rafajafar Rafajafar writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Rafajafar writes "Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror has a pretty interesting comparison of Windows XP and Vista RC1 requirements. Apparently, "Vista requires 10x the drive space, 8x the memory, and 4x the CPU power." That's going to be a pretty hefty upgrade to a lot of users who are behind the curve on their computer specs. Luckily, Microsoft also included a tool which measures something called the "Windows Experience Index".

Unlike some of the new Microsoft Vista features, this one is remarkably well thought out. For one thing, it expresses the total score as the lowest subscore. This is an incredibly intuitive way to highlight that your PC's performance is only as good as the slowest subsystem. You know immediately which part of your system will give you the most bang for the buck when upgrading.
I'm glad they at least got this tool right."

Journals

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OMG!! USERS ROCK!!

Rafajafar Rafajafar writes  |  more than 12 years ago This is a real Computer Center Problem Report sent in by a user here a the lab where I work. This guy is one of the genious researchers, apparently...

Problem Report (10552) submitted on 10/18/2001

Email Address:* Corneliussen@jlab.org
Requestor Name:
Username:
Category: GENERAL
State: RECEIVED
Staff: rackley
Platform:
Building:
Room:
Hostname:
Subject: Please come and shoot me

Original Request:

Please come and shoot me. I suppose that if your rules disallow that, you should just come and either shoot my computer, or dump it from the ARC roof. It's hard to describe what the computer is doing, but it seems fair to say that it has to do with Word, and that Word is sort of an Osama bin Laden that makes the computer do crazy things -- freeze for long periods, show odd combinations of parts of different frames, fail to print, fail to print even a one-word test message. I've rebooted three times. There are lots more symptoms, but it's hard to remember and report them, since they follow no pattern, except that I'm pretty sure it's all a Word-related thing. (E-mail, for instance, seems to work pretty well, except when the screen is frozen up.) This all came on suddenly. I've worked for a long time in one long Word file, with lots and lots and lots of revising. Maybe that screwed it up. As I say: simplest solution? Just come over and shoot me. Thanks.

Steve Corneliussen
7582
ARC 531

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