I’m getting the hang of this, I think. I’ve just cracked 1 million space credits in the virtual space bank through a combination of trading commodities and delivering cargo (my last job was transporting Imperial Slaves to a backwater colony, probably to do some hard labour in the highly profitable mining venture there. Hey, what do I care? They’re pixels not people!) So, in an effort to continue my low level tips for newbies, here we go again:
Continue reading Elite Dangermouse
In the past week I’ve been racking up some flying hours in my favourite Mal Reynolds simulator: Elite Dangerous. I’ve moved from Sidewinder to Viper Mk IV (I was a premium beta backer), back to Sidewinder when I realised I couldn’t afford the insurance on the Viper or any upgrades, to Hauler. Here are my top tips (mistakes I am cleverly trying to lampshade) for new pilots.
Continue reading Not so Elite (or Dangerous)
Hey, I almost forgot, I write music occasionally too!
Over the last few weeks I’ve been looking at the gender split of playable characters in video games. The overall result isn’t exactly surprising, but the detail within the data does offer a few new perspectives on the issue.
Firstly, if you’re an MRA or misogynist who’s come here to view new and interesting ways of abusing Anita Sarkeesian, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. To use a cricket analogy, You play the ball, not the man, so there will be no discussion of personal history, politics or other such nonsense.
What I am trying to do is give anyone interested in genuine debate surrounding Tropes vs Women a grounding in the issues that are brought up in the Damsels in Distress series of videos and suggest things that, if you want to try and rationally debate the salient points, you would need to counter to have an effective argument. I am not going to do your arguing for you! I personally agree with the broad message that is presented in Tropes vs Women, what I’m interested in discussing is ways that message might be critically engaged with.
This was the first Yes album I listened to, and it’s still a revelation to me. I’d been to see Rick Wakeman a few years earlier, I had pretensions of adequacy as a keyboard player and I worshipped at the becloaked keyboard god’s silvery hem, but I’d not gone far into the murky world of Prog Rock. A chance conversation with my then girlfriend’s father led me to his vinyl copies of Going for the One and Tales From Topographic Oceans and a lifetime of verbal abuse from those not in the Prog fraternity.
I’d dabble in other genres of music, but my love of complex harmonies, counterpoint and virtuosic musicianship always led me back to Progressive Rock in general and Yes in particular. I was in awe, in every sense of the word, of Rick, Jon, Chris, Steve and Alan. I was afraid of their ability, it seemed inhuman to me, and still does in some respects. Going for the One, from the playful lyrics and sense of fun in the title track to the esoteric wonder evoked by Awaken via the production brilliance of Parallels, I was hooked.
There are better records out there, with better players, more interesting songs and superior production, but they don’t move me in the same way. The hair stood up on my neck when I listened to the album for the first time, and still does if I’m in the right mood. Listening to Awaken was like stepping into an ancient, alien landscape. I knew I wanted to make music like that.
My ambition has been tempered somewhat by my lack of technical playing ability, I have neglected my duty to practice, leaving my keyboard skills sorely lacking, but I maintain the passion to create music that is different and evokes an emotional and intellectual response. I may not succeed by anyone else’s standards, but I’m having a blast trying.
Thank you Going for the One, you made my life a better place!