Is Microsoft Saying Fuck-You to Multi Gamer Households?

According to Edge Microsoft’s next X-Box console is going to require an always on connection to play games and games may be linked to a gamer tag to stop people reselling their games.

I don’t really care about the resell market, I’ve got games that I’ve had for over 20 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever sold a game. I’ve bought second hand games before, but I guess I’ll live without that.

Sure I’ll be a little annoyed that I can’t get classic titles that are out of print any more, I recently got my other half K.O.T.O.R. 1 and 2 for the X-Box and she loved them.

But what will make me think twice about getting an X-Box 720 if they do this is that I live in a two gamer household, with two X-Box 360s and I don’t buy games just for me to play, I buy them so I can play them as well as my other half. I already find it really irritating that we have to decide who gets to activate the DLC code for a game when we buy one, this happened when I decided to give Mass Effect 2 a shot 3 years after my girlfriend completed it: I couldn’t use the online features because she’d used the code on her gamer account.

But if I can’t play the game at all… Screw you Microsoft I’m not even going to buy your console.

Sony have a way around this, they have a parent account and all other user accounts are sub accounts of that account, so I guess if you activate a game for the parent account it would remain active for the sub accounts.

Microsoft don’t, as far as I can tell, do this. They have a family version of X-Box Live Gold which allows you to pay for 4 accounts to be gold for less money, but they don’t have a system of attributing accounts to a household.

To be fair to Microsoft previously they didn’t let you log the same account onto two different consoles without importing it over which would stop it working on the old console, so they recognise the people might own more than one X-Box, but do they recognise that more than one person might “Own” a game?

I’m not averse to buying two copies of a game to play multi-player, I own two copies of Halo 3 and Borderlands 2, both so that we could play multi-player over 2 consoles, but I really object to buying a game twice so that both myself and the person I live with can play a single player game.

Lichtenstein Makeup by @c0louredlights

Have actual hi res images but thought I’d upload this in the meantime… Had wanted to redo my pop art makeup for ages as it was my first ever finished look and I know I’ve learned a lot since then, though I still love the original pictures. Rebecca’s hair being blue and incredible face made a great opportunity to try it again.

I have a soft spot for posting pictures of People wearing Lichtenstein Makeup. some of my  most viewed blog posts of all time are collections of Lichtenstein make up images and I’ve also posted a tutorial I found online which people seemed to like.

So I was pleasantly surprised when twitter suggested I follow @C0LOUREDLIGHTS (Tumblr) a Glasgow based make up artist and upon looking at her profile saw an example of Lichtenstein style make up. Looking through her Tumblr I found yet another which made me even happier:

Free(?) 20’s Jazz Uploaded to Archive.org

All that Jazz...
A Jazz Cat (Photo credit: kelvin255)

If you like the background music in games like Bioshock and Fallout 3 then you should check out this archive of 123 Jazz songs from the 20’s which was ripped from old 78s and  and wax cylinders.

There seems to be some contention as to whether the copyright for these songs has in fact expired, leaving them in the public domain, but I’m sure if you don’t use them for commercial purposes you will be fine.

Check the comments on the post on the Internet Archive for people’s best efforts at associating the various tracks with artists and track names.

NaNoWriMo Kick Off Event: Pimp My Plot

So for the first time ever, despite having done NaNoWriMo 4 times before, I attended a NaNoWriMo local meeting. It was quite fun, in as much as 20 awkward, introverts meeting in a pub with a group of people they have never met can be fun.

One of the exercises that we did was called Pimp My Plot, the idea is you write a short synopsis of your plot on a bit of paper and then you hand it round the room each person adds a little to your plot. While some people will have gotten more use out of this than others it was none the less an interesting exercise.


I was caught off guard and had to scribble down my plot, here is what I wrote:

Due to a clerical error James finds himself unable to die. Meanwhile a demon working for a charity that raises money to fund plots to end the world is accidentally summoned by a group of teenage girls trying to perform a ritual to make boys like them.

I’m not even sure if that summarises my ideas well, like I said I was caught off guard. Knowing that 20 other people were going to comment on it I was pressed for space.

Here are the responses I got.

Babo is the Devil
James finds himself caught in a conspiracy to end the world through his mere existence, to use him as a source of infinite power to power a device that will rip a hole in reality.

I’m not sure that the first word is “Babo”, I can’t read the handwriting. I hope the word I’m missing isn’t intrinsic to the idea. While I reckon that the there will probably be some conspiracy, and James will be at the center of it I’m unsure how this will pan out. I think the way that imagine the clerical error happening means that it’s unlikely that he has been given any kind of power. I think it’s just that they can’t harvest his soul/move him on to the next plane of reality until his paperwork is in order, and since they have lost the paper work that is going to take some time.

James is the key to either life or the end of the world, but the girls decide he is the ultimate man…

I hadn’t actually figured how James and the girls were linked, I didn’t think that the girls would actually fall for him, the teenage girls were actually a McGuffin to get the demon into the world in a comical fashion. I was debating killing them off, although I might have just one survive and she will be his bane. Or something along those lines, whether she will “Fall for” James is another matter entirely.

…and must fight the demons, their alternate selves and a fallen god to have him.
The girls start to make boys into girls and the balance of the world is upset as girls start to find it difficult to find boy friends.

I don’t think this is going to feature much, I have a concept of how the theology is going to work in the universe of my story, and that is that every religion is right. I have a quite complex justification for this that probably doesn’t make sense and is probably going to sound better being explained by one of my characters through the narrative rather than here.

I’m going to drop the Y: The Last Man Vol. 1 – Unmanned esque plot idea as i don’t think it fits with my setting, but there will probably be many fallen gods. Just maybe not in the way that the commenter intended.

James suddenly finds himself in possession of powers – much like cupid – that will help the girls. This will be key (and hilarious) to defeating the demons

Thinking my way round the table I think that this might have been written by the person who has 4 erotic fiction novels published. While the concept isn’t in it’s self erotic, I’m not entirely sure I could pull this plot off.

The only power I’d intended to give James was that he couldn’t die, I think anything else doesn’t gel with the setting. Not having Cupidian powers kind of makes this plot point moot sadly.

James falls in love with one of the girls but decides to just have them all, with disastrous consequences.

I envision James as being a bit of a lost soul, quite literally, he’s not the Casanova type, sure he might develop feelings for one of the teenagers (I’ve not decided how old he or they are but 18 is still a teenager and they may well not be teenagers, they might be University students, naïvety was what I was going for not age) assuming any of them survive. I don’t think that he’s likely to have the social skills or the balls to try to seduce all of them though.

James develops a killer allergy and must find a cure because he can’t die but his life is boring because of ….

I don’t think that word toward the end is boring and I can’t read the last word. If the point of the story was to torture my character this might be a good way to go, you can’t die but you are going to spend the rest of your life in anaphalaxic shock, is pretty horrible. The allergy could be his Kryptonite I guess, “I would have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for those pesky cats!”

I’m unsure, initially I dismissed this outright, but I think that having such an Achilles heel might make the character more rounded. I’d have to ensure that it doesn’t crop up too often though.

It was all a dream…

Really, I’m not even sure this warrants and answer. James is going to have to get killed at some point to kick start the whole process,and the whole story could be his dream as he is lying on a hospital bed in a coma. I’ve always thought the it was all a dream plot was a little tired though, unless you are writing a story where dreams have some tangible effect on the real world like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series then it’s a bit of a cop out.

As neither the protagonist nor the demon can die their battle plays out over and over again with the whole of human history as a backdrop. Until… James finds another immortal.

This is a great idea for another story, James is not a fighter, he’s a guy with rubbish social skills and a crap job who gets killed and finds out he can’t move on to the next life because they’ve lost his paperwork.

The demon is also not a fighter, he’s an accountant (I know I never said this in the synopsis) at a charity that tries to raise money to fund schemes to destroy the world.

Also James’ death takes place in modern times, my current plan has him “Killed” by someone holding up a convenience store. He’s not been about for years, he is just getting used to being an immortal.

Also this story is a little too epic for me, I tried epic for last year’s NaNoWriMo and it didn’t gel with my writing style.

Does he want to die? Or was he happy with the situation? Does he let people around him know? Use it for the good of others? Can he still be hurt? IE bleed, break bones… That kind of thing

That is a list of useful questions:

Does he want to die?
No, at least not to begin with. He’s not made his peace with the world and he dies trying to save someone. I guess a darker version of this would start with him slitting his wrists and then finding out, much to his chagrin, that he can’t die.

Is he happy with the situation?
I think happy is a strong word, confused with what to do with himself is more likely. I see him as having lead a fairly mundane aimless life previous to his “incident”, when he gets sent back, he tries to find some sort of purpose for his life. After all if he can’t die then he probably should do some good. Unfortunately I see him as being a man with little or no practical talents, and he probably doesn’t have the strength of will to stick at anything for any period of time. It’s not like he could go off to the Himalayas and spend 20 years training to be BatMan or anything like that, that would be too much hassle.

Does he let people around him know?
I’ve been humming and hawing about this for a while, I don’t know the answer yet. I think the people who send him back have a process for successful reintegration of people who for whatever reason have to be sent back due to processing misshapes.

This process will have been set in place due to previous cases where a person who could not be processed was inappropriately reintegrated into society.

“We really screwed up with this one guy about two thousand years ago, guy died on a cross but we couldn’t find his paper work so we sent him back. Everyone thought he was some kind of messiah. Luckily Bob over there found his paperwork three days later, it had been filed under Y when it should have been filed under J”

Something like that.

Use it for the good of others?
I think he will try to, but he won’t know how to. I mean if your only super power was that you couldn’t die what would you do?

Can he still be hurt?
Yes, I think he will be imbued with a healing factor by the administrative body that sends him back, but it’s not like Wolverine’s healing factor, he heals over days, and gods does it hurt.

If he wants to die he must give the demon ten koala souls.

There was someone who was trying to work Koalas in everyone’s story… I’m not going to humour this. Although I might mention Koalas in passing during a trip to the zoo.

Is he able to choose life or death? Was he meant to die in the first place?

He isn’t able to choose, he can’t be processed until his papers are processed and since they can’t find his papers he can’t die.

I don’t think the concept of fate is going to play into my story, nothing is meant to be until it happens, if it happens then it has happened.

All boys like them – from toddlers to octogenarians

Again I’ve not put much thought into the girls, if I were scripting an episodic story then this might be possible, it sounds like the plot of an episode of Buffy that vampire slayer though, and I’m not sure I’d be able to write that. I might though, the whole point of it is that the ritual failed though.

He sells his soul to fix things

Souls and the selling thereof are governed by contract law. As James’ paperwork cannot be found it cannot be determined whether or not he has a soul to sell in the first place.

What happens if he loses a limb?

Like I’ve said earlier, he is given a healing factor, but it would take days to grow one back, and it would be excruciatingly painful to lose a limb. He’s not a comic book character who shrugs off pain like that.

James has been trying to commit suicide and continues to try again and again, but the demons start to chase him and he realises he does want to live.

This would work in a different book, with a different James, but not with the character that I envision.

I love this idea and I really want to read it. Anyway the demon’s older brother is much higher up in the hierarchy of hell, and their relationship is typical, overachiever vs unlucky slacker

It’s nice to get a compliment, I might add in other demons, I’m not sure at this point. Part of me wants to add in depressed version of the devil himself, he’s given up on running hell because he’s depressed. Lilith has left him for someone else because he doesn’t have the fire he used to.

Part of me likes the idea of the overachieving sibling for the demon character, I want him to appear to be just as down on his luck as James does.

James is doomed to eternal celestial filing.

I don’t think I want James to spend is time filing souls, he may well have been filed away, but he gets sent back to earth to continue/resume living. Perhaps as someone else.

Dead Pool references

I really wish I’d read more Dead Pool comics, I’ve seen the odd snippet here and there on the net and I like what I see, but I don’t know enough about the character to be able to make references. Also I don’t think James has Dead Pool’s sense of humour, or his multiple personality disorder for that matter.


So uh yeah, that’s that. NaNoWriMo starts in 2 days and I have some food for thought.

Scale Mail For Potential Steel Punks

Slave bracelet, Tribal, elven chainmaille handflower, scalemail.  Larp, SCA, medieval, dungeons and dragons, bellydance, costume, sexy, bdsm

Never say that I abandon a cause right after starting on it… Eternalelfcreations over on Etsy might be the people to spark Steel Punk, or possibly Scale Punk or Elf Punk I can’t decide (It’s not even a real subculture and yet it now has sub cultures!) The hand covery thing above kind of fits what I was talking about a couple of days ago and it’s only $65 Canadian (I have no idea what that is in real money… Oh wait Etsy tells me it’s £42.66) If you want to cover more than your hands you could buy this scale mail bra  (It’s actually reserved for somone but I’m sure in exchange for money they’d make another) or the scale mail bikini below it? They seem to come in loads of colours.

Reserved, scale bra, belt, bikini top, chainmaille bra, chainmaille belt.

small chainmaille bikini, fantasy armor, scale, scalemail, bra, shirt, bellydance, tribal, Elven, ranger, fairy, warrior, dragon, costume

You could pretend it was dragon scale or something…

If that’s not your thing then how about this cool looking but functionally useless chain mail vest by daughtersofbastards?

Chainmaille breast plate/halter

It’s $500 Canadian which is apparently about £328. Knock yourselves out.

What’s That You Say? You Asked For A Duck And All You Got Was A Lousy Dog?

The quack “Invisible Muzzle” that’s right invisible will keep your dog from barking at and biting people no problem… It sells for 1600 yen and will make your dog look completely retarded…

Via Rakuten

Garbage: “Not Your Kind of People” Initial Impressions

I’m going to say this now before anyone points this out, I am conscious that this post is going to reek of “it’s not as good as it used to be” and “anything new is rubbish”, I’m not a music blogger, I don’t want to be a music blogger, in fact I’m probably rubbish at blogging about music in general but this is something that I wanted to blog about and if you don’t want to read it well… Just don’t.

I bought the new Garbage album today, I’d listened to a couple of the tracks on YouTube and my impression was they sounded okay, but there was something wrong with them that I couldn’t put my finger on. I’ve now listened to the whole album twice in the background while working and I think I’ve realized what the problem is.

I don’t think I could have listened to any of the previous Garbage albums for the first time in the background. Shirley Manson’s voice exudes so much power and (for want of a better word) sex that you are drawn into it, or at least it did…

There are hints of that power in some of the songs, “Battle in Me” for example has it’s moments and, but it never quite reaches the intensity of their previous albums. “Man on a Wire” Is, I think, one of the closest songs to their old levels of intensity but it’s still only a 10 when to be honest I expect Garbage to have turned it up to 11. This album is Garbage by numbers it’s unmistakably Garbage (the band obviously not refuse) and it’s not half bad, but it’s what to me makes Garbage not just another band and that makes me sad.

Note as I’ve been listening to it in the background I’ve not been listening to lyrics, which I probably should have, Garbage normally have quite evocative lyrics, but to me Garbage are about the music and Shirley Manson’s voice. Mostly Shirley Manson’s voice actually, and what’s wrong with this album is Shirley seems to be phoning in her voice, it’s beautiful but like I said before it’s jut missing that extra level of sex.

I have no doubt that this album will grow on me, but it should’t have to… At this point I should probably make some kind of joke about this album being “Not My Kind of Garbage” but to be honest I can’t be bothered. I’m not angry, I’m just a little disappointed.

Nerves Of Steel Tights

So most people want to hide the veins they have on their legs, if you are not like most people you can get these tights that have veins printed on them! from THE CULTLABEL

A blend of blue and red blood vessels running down these tights. Soft and comfortable material that’s durable. Stretchable.

They also sell among other things these machine gun stockings:

 

The Downsides of Being Grammar Conscious

comic

I’m not grammar conscious, I sometimes try to be, but to be honest so long as you don’t mix up “your” and “you’re” (which is a pet hate of mine) or use text speak when you are not constrained by a character limit,  I’m willing to let you murder the language as much as you want to if you can get your point across in a concise and understandable manner.

I do, however, find how infuriated people get at people’s bad grammar amusing, which is why I’m posting this.

Via Yucca Muffin

Social Network Privacy + Bonus Rant…

I’ve noticed a few stories cropping up over the past week of employers requiring candidates to give them access to their social networking as well as coaches demanding that athletes friend them so that they can monitor them.

While I think this kind of behaviour is deplorable, and to be honest if an employer asked me to sign in to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn or whatever in the middle of an interview I’d walk out as that is not that kind of organization I want to work for, I’m not sure why people don’t see the simple way round this:

Just have two Facebook accounts!

 

One that is private and has all your pictures of the sordid acts you perform on barn yard animals with custard at the weekend and another account that shows you as an upstanding citizen.

It’s not rocket science…

Sure curating the account might be a bit of hassle, but it should be easy enough to friend a few people and just leave the account to fester, then when they ask you why you update so infrequently just tell them you don’t really use social media. Unless you are going in for a job at a marketing firm as a “Social Media Guru” this shouldn’t affect your chances one bit.

By the by: If you do describe yourself a “Social Media Guru” though seek help, chances are you aren’t. You are a toss pot. This is a completely different rant, but following hundreds of people who are “Social Media Gurus” and posting nothing but articles about increasing your follower count, or maximising your follower potential, or anything that has nothing to do with anything but social media does not make you a guru, it makes you a retard. Having 90,000 followers on Twitter all of whom describe themselves as “Social Media Gurus” just means you have your head firmly shoved up your ass and are participating in the worlds most social and pointless circle jerk.

I’m not going to pretend that I know everything there is to know about social media, in fact I acknowledge that I don’t know much about it, but it’s painfully obvious that having 10 followers who actually care about the content that you are posting and retweet it is more valuable than living in an echo chamber that is a hundred million “Social Media Gurus” waxing lyrical about stuff no one cares about.

Anyway like I said this is a rant for another day…