Hollyhock house

March 29th, 2015 by harold

So I visited this bitch yesterday. I’m still processing it.

My favorite part of FLW’s work is the dynamic and mystery. You never know what the hell is going on from the outside and you have no idea that it’s so soft (wood) inside when the exterior is so brutal (concrete). This long outside corridor with at the end front doors made of concrete opening up to a low ceiling entrance I mean, you have to live it to understand how sanctuary-ish that shit feels. I wonder if it gets old.

As much as the concrete doesn’t look so great when untreated, inside with its particular soft green color mixed with some gold, connecting with the wood… Concrete can be very cozy. The craft and detail cranked to 11 on every single item, surface in every single room definitely makes it a historic cultural monument. It’s amazing.

The main “attraction” is the living room:

The mantle’s art is awesome. Water was supposed to run at the bottom of the fireplace, connecting with outside ponds. The skylight was providing wind and light so basically you would have all the four elements in one place: Earth (mantle) Air (skylight) Water & Fire (fireplace). All those design decisions materialized, it’s so cool to see.

Sounds nice but obviously having a massive running water system in 1920 was insane and still is in 2015 in L.A. They never used it. The room is so big you barely see that there’s a hole though.

$7 to get in. Not a lot is open to public unfortunately, but it’s a good initiative in this city where everything changes so fast. Preserving and pondering guys, it’s important too.

I know everything

March 25th, 2015 by harold

I know everything. I know we’re nothing I know we’re everything

I know we’re fucked up I know we’re greedy I know you want that property

I know everything, even how Lord of the Ring warns you about that bling

I know rent doesn’t exist, I know in some ways we have no heart

I know we could. I know we should. I know we would

I know most people can’t see long term, I know they still want those kids

I know we have enough to provide for everybody, I know we fake scarcity

I know them plants and trees are ready to save you and me

I know technology would do the rest if only

I know everything, tits lips and p-spot

Hemp, passive gains and how much Dubai costs

I know God is a fallacy, I know all you need is empathy

I know everything, system theory pattern recognition, meat salad and St Emilion

I know white people can’t deal with Nature, that Queen who’s refusing their future

I know women can’t deal with that endemic sense of entitlement, we vile creatures

I know we can do better, I know we’re trying harder

I know persistence is all we got

And I don’t know where it’s going to take us

 

(inspired by the verse 2 of Kendrick Lamar’s Momma, written in one shot)

CS GO GO GO

March 23rd, 2015 by harold

OK so I stopped watching a dude playing CS:GO on Twitch. Instead, I’m watching the best teams in the world going at it.


For those who don’t know the game, the yellow dots have to plant the bomb either at yellow A or yellow B. The blue dots need to stop them.

It’s within the first minute and you can see that the yellow dots are all together while blue dots are spreading. One is alone to get the information on whether the opponent is coming for yellow A or not. Looks like it’s going to be yellow B. Good read from the blue dots!

[THE MOTHERFUCKING HELL TO CREATE THAT GIF FROM A YOUTUBE VIDEO FUCK YOU 2015]

Counter Strike is so good. It’s kind of the perfect mix of Go and soccer. Everything can change at any time and it’s all about terrain control. I think soccer because US teams are playing like the US soccer team: very aggressive, very willing but totally lacking finesse which results in them getting their asses handed over. But it’s probably closer to basketball because well, five players and a coach. Five players to defend two zones means a 2/3 split which means one zone is weaker than the other. It’s all about that little advantage you can take over your opponent even though it’s not a guarantee at all. It’s brilliant.

Like in sports, all teams and players know each other inside out so they try different techniques, changes of pace to overcome their opponents at different venues and matches. Emergent stories popping out from a system of rules that’s the juice, narrative-driven folks.

It’s really good to watch, a map is about 45mn to an hour long. I definitely applauded the last action in the last round of the ESL final and last map between the two Swedish teams NiP and Fnatic. Insanely tense!

Two things that suck: I don’t like the fact that we use terms like kill and death. Too strong. And of course, the total lack of diversity in the scene. I can’t forget that I stopped playing that game online early 2000s because of all the inappropriate niggers thrown at the team chat and my headphones.

Too bad.

Systems and diversity

March 21st, 2015 by harold

Two articles particularly interesting to me:

Toe Jam & Earl game designer Greg Johnson speaking at GDC about lack of diversity in games.

Ian Bogost writing about how games are better without characters.

I have always felt that games are better as system toy machines. I’m a designer I know people are scared of systems and think of them as not fun and cold. But to me as Ian puts it perfectly:

A game, it turns out, is a lens onto the sublime in the ordinary.

It’s the essence of what is so unique to computer games. But let’s go back to escapism.

For the lack of diversity with characters, let’s just have game engines give you the option to morph your avatar as you like.

It’s something funny: in any story in games, how the character looks like doesn’t matter at all, never did matter because the story is lived by one person, the player. The notion that you need character consistency across players experiences is weird as hell, if not totally stupid. What a brake on what can be possible, it’s a shame.

The only limit is technical: allowing players to shape their avatars means that some stuff can’t be done in some games (memory print). That is quite vague and the Saint Row series showed to the world that you still can do a lot with a custom avatar creation tool.

So technically it’s doable –if you take that into account from the start-. Also characters are such a small part of culture diversity. Black culture is way more than just having black characters.

What is bad with how we handle diversity is the notion that it’s not worth it. Now that’s ridiculous because it couldn’t be further from the truth.

White dudes don’t care so much about avatars, so used to have them mold to them for decades. Everybody else likes having avatars looking like them. It’s not just in games.

On TV Empire just exploded and demonstrated that a massive black and brown crowd exists. And that this crowd leads interest:

I would imagine that an Empire mobile game or adventure game would be widely successful. And yet I don’t see that happen anytime soon. So frustrating. In the meantime as again Ian puts it perfectly:

What if replacing militarized male brutes with everyone’s favorite alternative identity just results in Balkanization rather than inclusion?

I don’t know what to think!

Hustling Butterfly

March 18th, 2015 by harold

Just a lot of work and hustling. L.A. changes so fast. The place next door is blowing up. I am a member of the W. Adams Yacht Club and no I can’t tell you nothing about it. Meanwhile all my favorite staff at my favorite coffee place bounced for some reason, probably a lack of raise. I really hope they come back, the place is a desert in the middle of the desert now.

Definitely Kendrick Lamar’d. The Funk permeates my surrounding. I need to participate more.

It’s amazing how a TV crew attracts attention in 2015 in the town that produces like five billion shows a year. People ask questions, are excited looking at a old as fuck camera when everyone in southern California could shoot the same with their phones. The camera becomes the uniform.

I might speak at a conference sometime in the future.

Old and Bold

March 7th, 2015 by harold

It’s a little sour article on turning 50 and making games. I’d like to point some things out that I think we all take for being normal or the default setting and shouldn’t at all.

Game development has always had an uncomfortable relationship with age and experience.

Let’s just ask ourselves this: where in the world a really complex field is overlooking experience? Age shouldn’t even be an issue, experience means you’re going to be older because that’s how it works.

Game development, a really hard and complex field, has a culture that almost bullies experience (I remember people making fun of Chris Crawford, have some respect young, pantless padawans).

This shouldn’t be OK at all. This is so fucking weird and needs to stop. In other “passion-driven” industries, people seek experience and people respect experienced people. That’s how the craft progresses but whatever.

So when I read the conclusion that  “hey, I still love what I do” as the pinnacle of 22 years of game development, it kind of breaks my heart. Laralyn, you know you could be feeling way better than that. You should receive Lifetime Achievement Awards and have younger game developers come to see you at GDC to take selfies with you and buying your games and design books.

instead we have a panel at the GDC this year talking about ageism. At 35 I’m entering the “old age” which is some serious bullshit but yeah, that’s the market. I hope this will shift as quickly as possible.

I also really hope for broader games. I talked in the past (back in ‘08) about games for seniors. Tons of room for innovation and steady, sustainable game development. I would be thrilled to work on that. We’re just getting started.

Body as service

February 27th, 2015 by harold

Also, I don’t keep men in my life who pay for sex. Sorry guys. Life is full of double standards. I’ve got no problem with my girls selling it, but you’ve lost my respect if you’re buying.

Coquette.

Exactly. Which is why I stopped giving a flying fuck about sex workers defending sex work it’s like listening to oil companies telling you that yes, you need a car that consumes fossil fuel because this is how it goes. I’m OK with you selling it because in the case of oil there’s still tons of cars running on it or in the case of sex, I understand that it’s a way to independence for people but don’t ever try to sell me that it’s the norm, the future because it’s fucking not.

I agree with Coquette. She’s right. And that’s the problem because that double standard right here is for me why we can’t have nice things between men and women. I have nothing against double standard per se, but as a black man I’m constantly and forever on the bad side of it. This shit sucks hard. Why we shouldn’t have double standard? Because I’d like to think that we’re not at war, that we’re equal, the same damn meat bags and that we live together and respectively need those tits lips balls and dicks?

How can we have more equality and respect  when a dude can buy a woman for the night, that just really doesn’t make any sense. Imagine a kid trying to make sense out of that. How society can shift its perspective on women if in any city you can get a sloppy blowjob for a a couple bills? Everything from slut shaming to cat calling to internet stalking derives from that, men believing that if some women can be bought –it doesn’t matter for what- they can do whatever they want to them because they feel like they are entitled to. Ladies, don’t you get it?

Even for the brightest men (well, maybe not so bright) that shit is confusing. Respect women, but buy one and do whatever you want wit her? It sounds like the perfect recipe to create psychopaths heavy breathing behind you in the street.

Fuck double standards and if you are a woman with some long term views, you shouldn’t support prostitution. Period.

You fight patriarchy while feeding it with slave-like behavior, how is that supposed to even work? It’s not and it can’t. I see things like “when you allow prostitution, rape rates go down!” God so much sleaziness in this argument, I can’t believe it’s being used. Dude, it’s like trading death for permanent injuries maybe it’s an upgrade but come on, we can do way better.

Dear men seeking that kind of service, what the fuck is wrong with you? I don’t get it except that it’s kind of a way to justify the ridiculous hours of work and absence in your life that you’re dealing with. A “fuck it” to the cubical or constantly-on-the-road loneliness. An immature wish that you can now fulfill, OK’d by society as long as you’re not getting caught.

Stop. This. Shit. Get an Autoblow or something. Go see a therapist or start writing a blog if you pay a hooker to hear your stupid lamentations. Dress better. Hit the fucking gym. Learn to listen. Be smart, fuck for free you idiots.

Dude re-calculate your existence, seriously. Not only you fuck up our global relationship with women in general but you’re making yourself swallow so much pride you’re pretty much choking on it until you’re old enough to not give a fuck about anything. That misogynistic selfishness is sometimes disrupted because you happen to have a little girl. Jesus fuck, if you need to have a kid to understand what women go through you are slow up there, like really slow. And you are the problem.

Let’s be equal, fuck for free and build shit/have fun together. How hard is that, really?

AI to AGI to ASI

February 27th, 2015 by harold

Like, super fascinating and funny and sharp article on AI.

Best comment so far: “I’m excited and shitting my pants at the same time”.

 

- Thing to keep in mind: before we reach the ASI (Artificial Super Intelligence) level that either kills us or makes us timeless, we have to go through AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) first. We’re super far from that. We’re still fucking around with basic AI and it’s already a nightmare of complexity.

- Moore’s law? Fine. But the limit isn’t so much technology, it’s economy: all that new technology coming is doable, only it takes decades to make those plants and master some processes. We’re slowing way down because shit is becoming extremely, extremely expensive not because we can’t make them at the speed of Moore’s law.

- There are tons of things we could already improve by ourselves without a need for AI. In the article there are mentions of how it could help us:

ASI could even solve our most complex macro issues—our debates over how economies should be run and how world trade is best facilitated, even our haziest grapplings in philosophy or ethics—would all be painfully obvious to ASI.

It’s already obvious for a lot of humans, usually atheists and with a way more chill sense of moral, nihilistic almost. We could solve all of that in a decade. We’re probably slower than any future machine but we could solve that; it’s not AI science.

It’s like the prospect of being immortal thanks to some friendly ASI. People freak out because of a set of beliefs they have been following all their lives but to me it just sounds doable and I’m not thinking much more. I don’t judge or overthink it. Because I already think humans as amazing biological machines, enhancing our meat envelopes so that we don’t age ever? Nothing crazy about that. We would definitely stop having kids by that time, probably. Or conquer other planets which I don’t care for, let me see how we’ll do so much better on Earth.

I might see that in my lifetime. Dayymm.

Ignorance be like

February 24th, 2015 by harold

This.


Game journalists analysis skills

This article bothers me so much for two reasons I think:

1/ You game journalists are so, so bad at connecting the dots. When you hear stories about crunch time for decades now, you should fucking investigate the why and how and see that behind that crunch is insane complexity. Developers haven’t been that shy about it. I remember hearing about how it took a couple months to create 3D models for Gran Turismo cars. Months for one car made by a highly skilled artist, guys. And that’s the easiest fucking part of making a racing game.

If you keep destroying game developers in reviews while being well aware of those facts, you’re a mean idiot and a liar to your readers. You participate into creating a culture that thinks that things are simple and easy on computers. You enable and vouch for stupidity.

Worse, with this article some game developers are saying thank you, I shit you not! Yes thank you game journalist for being a dumb ass dick for years, it really helped all of us. Fuck me.

2/ You game journalists are passionate enough about the medium to totally forget how it operates. Which makes subtlety impossible in your critics: if it’s technically perfect it’s fine for you while you don’t really connect to what extent it is, it’s fine. How can you have recognition of a medium when its media are unaware of why shooters are cool programmatically speaking because we can debug that gameplay easily (has the target gone down? No? Debug) compared to heavy simulation a la Sims where you don’t know what the hell the computer or the player are going to do and there are dozens of variables at play. Tons of shit happening in games are happening for a technical reason. We’re dependent, we’re working around tech to create gameplay.

With your ignorance you foster a profound lack of knowledge within your audience. The amount of horseshit or entitlement I read from gamers, it’s mind blowing. As if people were like “I saw the boom in this movie shot, 2/10 will not watch again”. You game journalists nurtured that bullshit. You participated into creating a world where 2D games are inherently not as good as 3D games. It’s sad.

Passion isn’t about clearing 100% of all Nintendo games or playing the most obscure and obtuse shit around, it’s about understanding processes, the craft, the tools so that you can judge accordingly the collaborative work of developers and teach your readers about the most complicated medium in the world, enjoying it more and more importantly, make it progress.

This article should have come up in 2000 if not 1995. In 2015, it’s a disgrace.

Quickie

February 23rd, 2015 by harold

One post this month damn, that’s not a lot. I did write but didn’t post. Going back and forth between hard work days and days off where I catch up with everything.

It’s weird to be disconnected for days from what’s going on and then go online, freak out and then just freak out, speechless. You want to comment on everything but nothing matters with this endless stream.

There are so many things going wrong, small to huge it’s ridiculous. It feels like what’s going OK is just to hide the horrendous background behind.

SWAG

So here’s a picture of someone giving 0 fucks about you and life.