Extrinsic Motivation: the Danger That Games Embody

There’s a new editorial up today on Kotaku describing a man’s struggle with the disconnect between reality and the elaborate systems of extrinsic rewards we have used as the basis of so many things in our society. As Kotaku is a gaming news website, the role of video games in this process is of course mentioned.

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Dallas Comic Con

This past weekend was the Dallas Comic Con, which I attended on Saturday. While there, I got glimpses of Patrick Stewart and Stan Lee, and braved the sea of people to explore the expo hall. I saw an excellent Harley Quinn win the comics category in the costume contest, and perused some wares.

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The thing about pure heist movies

Brandon Sanderson has said that one of the two main ideas for the first Mistborn novel was to create a fantasy version of a heist story like Ocean’s Eleven or Sneakers. I probably wasn’t the only one to make the connection before reading that that was his intent, so it did come across. I think the idea of a fantasy caper story is interesting, but as much as I liked Mistborn, it didn’t really satisfy me as a heist story. Maybe that’s because other elements took over more after the first part of the book.

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Of interest to writers

Barry Eisler has an article in The Guardian today continuing to point out the problems with the arguments supporting legacy publishers against the Justice Department’s suit. It’s good, but what prompted this post was the great links in the article to some things I hadn’t come across before.

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Trust Busting

A lot of people are blogging lately about the civil antitrust suit the US Department of Justice filed against Apple and 5 of the Big 6 publishers. Some authors are saying some pretty ridiculous things to paint Amazon as the bad guy and the Big 6 as the underdogs, and of course the publishers themselves want you to see them this way. I found it kind of disappointing today that John Scalzi recommended people read that drivel by Charlie Stross, especially since Scalzi’s earlier points on the matter were so rational. I found this section of Stross’ diatribe both humorous and galling (emphasis mine): Continue reading Trust Busting

First Drafting

There’s been a lot going on lately. I’m writing a novel, which I started a few months (a year?) ago and then let sit. I’ve been continuing to write it intermittently, and I am at a point where I really feel a need to finish it, hopefully this year. It’s been slow going. There are always other things that demand my attention, but this is important to me and I don’t want to let it slide anymore. Honestly I’m only around twenty pages in at this point, but still.

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The “Authors Guild” Speaks

Scott Turow, President of the Authors Guild, posted an open letter to its members regarding the US Department of Justice’s impending anti-trust lawsuit against five of the Big 6 book publishers, plus Apple. The contents of the letter are laughable, and there have been responses already posted by Joe Konrath, Barry Eisler, Suzanne WhiteDavid Gaughran, and probably others I haven’t read.

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Oops, I forgot the title.

This week I…

…finished Persona 3. Started playing “The Answer,” the follow-up in the FES version which I have. I also recently got Persona 4, which I will play at some point after finishing “The Answer.” I really like Persona 3. The social game aspect seems like it could be a game on its own if done well. Of course there are Japanese dating sims but most don’t reach the US and I doubt there are very many which are any good. They seem1 to follow the same patterns, with a slew of potential female partners, one each for seemingly the same categories in every one. I guess there are some that aren’t like this but I think with Persona 3/4 it’s really cool that the sim encompasses more types of relationships than just dating. I’d like to create a game with this aspect some day (I mentioned it here before, it’s called This Celestial Life).

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  1. I say this without having actually played any except one or two short web games of this style on Newgrounds.