Tag Archives: Video Games

The State of Online Gaming, the Gated Internet, and, of course, the Money

I am not the biggest gamer nor the biggest technology maven, but even so, one sees news about how much more all content is being pushed online, how more companies are trying to have consumers access things by apps, and how controlling access –to the internet and apps– is key to many corporations making money.

Into that sphere of information comes this longform article by Nick Statt at The Verge about a recent flashpoint between the makers of Fortnite and Apple. Cory Doctorow also weighs in over on Slate. Finally, Matt Stoller, an author with an abiding interest in covering monopolies, politics, and power, has his own take.

They’re are longer reads, but I found them worthwhile to better understand Apple’s app store business model, how cloud gaming services mess with their collection of coin, and many of the potential paradigm shifts at play.

Life? Don’t talk to me about life! RIP, John Conway

I hope this doesn’t become too frequent, but I had to post something about one of the recent victims of the pandemic. As is being reporting in multiple outlets, John Conway has died at the age of 82.

Photo credit Thane Plambeck/via the Ars Technica article linked.

I know Conway the same way so many people know him: from his game of Life. No, not the family board game with the impressive spinner in the middle of the 3-D board. Conway’s game was abstract and far more mathematical (but it still has spinners!). It was like an endless civilization-building simulation.

I first tried my hand at it using graph paper, but found this to be very manual, so I took to using a Pente board, not realizing Conway himself had used a Go board when he was coming up with the game from the 60s. Thankfully, far cleverer people than I ported it over to the Interwebs, where you can test much vaster combinations much faster than I ever could manually. My favorite is over at Bitstorm.

So, take a moment at some point and play around with it. It’s very absorbing.

A proper sendoff via XKCD https://xkcd.com/2293/

(Note: not being a mathematician, I really can’t comment on what I understand are vast contributions in terms of other areas of mathematics, but I believe there are some links to that and some interviews in the Ars Technica article).

What’s WASD Got to Do With It?

I’m not sure when I started using the W, A, S, and D keys playing first-person shooters on the computer, but I’m sure I wondered why that was the standard.

In case you’ve wondered too, Phil Edwards over at Vox has your back.