What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?
Try Hitchhiker's guide to galaxy. Great read.
Kurt Vonnegut's Sirens of Titan (which was a big influence to Adams' HG2G) would be a much better read for a lit class. It's a book of pure genius and there's as much insight into the human condition as there is humor. There is also a great Audiobook for this floating around for anyone too lazy to flip pages :)
Which Game Series Would You Reboot?
More than most tiles I've seen here, I think the Ultima series could definitely benefit from a series reboot. While I'm a fan of the series, I think it has lost a lot of momentum lately because the design efforts of the last few titles in the series have been monotonous and uninteresting. Every title I'm just loading into the game, picking some Tarot cards, and running around with my bland Avatar in some typically bland fantasy kingdom.
I think it represents the idea of a reboot well because if another game came out, they would have to do something totally different than what they have been doing in order to resurrect the series.
How To Help a Friend With an MMO Addiction?
I was addicted to EverQuest throughout all of high school. I pretty much missed that _entire_ time of social development. I wanted to avoid it, and EQ made it easy. EQ was the kind of game where you could sit there and do your homework while your group was meditating. I still kept my attendance up and had good grades. I just avoided social interaction.
I had parents and friends tell me that it was a bad idea, but I just turned on my defense mechanisms. It was Them Versus Me. By taking that approach, they became the bad guys. They became someone who doesn't understand because they didn't understand.
The only person who *might* be able to get through to your friend in a direct way is former MMO addict. But of course, as it's been reiterated on here plenty of times, the only one who can truly get through is the addict himself.
In my situation, it was a mixture of things that got me over my addiction. Firstly, the game started to get old. I tried other games like Asheron's Call, Anarchy Online, Dark Age of Camelot, SWG, etc. These continued my addiction for a while longer. But eventually you find the same things in every game and they just keep getting more boring.
Secondly, I started to really re-evaluate myself and what I was doing with my life. I knew I was a social misfit and that had to be fixed. When I started college, I quit my games and started on a clean slate. I developed for a while and it was going great. I was making some real progress. I even got a girlfriend that my friends gawked at.
Then EverQuest 2 came out. Yeah. I went back. It was a relapse, you could say. I went back to my habits of nothing but gaming. I still kept up with my school work but I avoided my girlfriend. Eventually, she gave me the ultimatum of her or the game. I tried to convince her that it was only temporary and that I'd be over it soon, but she wouldn't listen to that. So, I chose the game. I told myself 'I don't want a girlfriend who would give me an ultimatum like that. I want someone more patient.' In retrospect, I know it sounds pretty stupid. This is just how I reassured myself as I continued to play EQ2. It's just how the defense mechanisms work.
I regretted that decision for a long while, though. Eventually, as I expected, I got bored of EQ2. And WoW. And all the other games that were popular around 2004. Eventually *none* of them sparked my interest. I graduated from college and started a job. By that time, I was totally done with MMOs and I haven't looked back.
So, to sum up: it sometimes unfortunately takes big life transitions like going from college to a career to really wake someone up. Right now, in their life, they are at a point where they are content. They enjoy their games. You cannot argue this with them because it will only make it worse. You can only try to be subtle about it. Try to make them jealous. Bring over hot girls that they can't have. Go on trips with your buddies and come back and tell him how awesome it was. He won't be receptive at first--not at all. He will have some clever retort. But you will have planted the seed of corruption. Eventually, when he's tossing and turning trying to sleep, these things will eat at him.... not that I speak from experience in this department =x
Eventually, he'll get over it. Fortunately, MMO addictions are a lot easier to recover from than drug addictions. They can ruin lives just as well, but fortunately once you get a taste of some good fun in real life, you quickly forget why the hell you were playing those games in the first place.
The Global Warming Heretic
Between billions of years of planetary bombardment by comets/asteroids/meteors, worldwide floods, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, recurring ice ages, black holes... it's only a matter of time. If anything, we aren't paranoid enough considering not only our world but the universe's natural tendencies toward destruction. We as a species haven't been here long.
Now, onto the OT: is it really worth it to gamble on something like global warming? We obviously aren't going to be colonizing any other planets soon. We might as well try to take care of this one as best as we can. It's for our own survival. Even if it's a .001% chance that Al Gore's vision of global warming is correct, I say we heed it anyway. Maybe that's not a logical position for a scientist, but it is a logical position for a human being.
Richard Garriott Quits NCSoft
I do not want astronauts defying gravity in front of my children. Nor do I want them driving their moonbuggies through our neighborhoods at all times of night, playing that theme to 2001 on their CosmoBlasters. Astronazis! Watch out! They'll try to stick an American flag in you! They can't eat normal food and they're addicted to tang!
Last October, an astronaut moved into my neighborhood... Simultaneously, all the leaves started dying.
-Upright Citizens Brigade