The Joy of Swik
Prolegomenon to Forthcoming Philosophical Musings


Snowdog The whole of Manchester is buried under a carpet of white right now, and I'm gradually digging myself out of both the email and the snow, as well as clearing the spam out of the virtual gutters here at Only a Game. I'll try and do comments this week, and it should be blogging as usual next week, with a bit of luck. In the meantime, here's a picture of Boomer enjoying the snow, and a few snippets.

  • Will be starting work on the two new Kant pieces shortly; hope to have this ready this month.
  • Finally ditching the HP printer. This has been the worst purchase the company has ever made... Without going into the litany of problems, let me share the most recent "feature": it ran out of magenta ink and then refused to print in black and white. Avoid HP printers!
  • My iphone broke just before the Winter Festival, leaving me without my highly addictive portable internet device. To Apple's credit, itunes successfully restored 100% of the content when the replacement iphone arrived - but to their detriment there was no way of accessing the contact information via itunes in the interim, leaving me without a lot of contact numbers.
  • It's Modern Warfare 2 versus New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and although the wargame has an early lead thanks to its twin SKUs (14 million total sales thus far) Nintendo's challenger is outselling Call of Duty by 3 to 2 right now (8.6 million total sales thus far). I predict eventual victory for Mario in this battle, in about three or four months time.
  • And speaking of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I'm surprised at just how tough this game is right from the outset. I don't see what hope a new player (whose never seen a Mario game) will have of getting to grips with this, but I guess what they're selling is the challenge. Perhaps this is another reason why other platform game franchises dried up - they lost the hobbyists by becoming too easy. 

More nonsense soon!


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a new player (whose never seen a Mario game)

Exactly how big do you think that group is? And how much does it intersect with the Wii owner group? I suspect that the game is selling mostly on nostalgia value to people who grew up playing the game. (I was 13 when I first played Super Mario Bros. and am 36 now. I was younger when I played the earlier (and much harder) Mario Bros. in arcades.) People who didn't play Mario back in the day might have seen their kids or friends play it even if they didn't pick up the controller themselves.

Mario is highly recognizable as an icon. So, I suspect that there won't be a problem with people sticking with it even if it's not overly "casual" to start with; as you said, that's probably part of the nostalgia factor appeal.

My Cannon printer uses color when printing black and white to smooth out the gray. I can set it to 'economy' to avoid using the color ink...

I agree with you, HP printers are to be avoided.

I've had New Super Mario Bros. Wii since the day it came out and I've been so busy it's still sitting there, sealed. And frankly I don't see myself opening it for a few more weeks, haha.

Brian: thanks for sharing your intuitions here... you may be right. It seems odd to me that the game didn't make more of an effort to 'reach out', but perhaps (as you say) this is not its target audience.

Chris who-isn't-me: I don't suppose you can suggest what make of printer is not so evil? :)

Sirc: My wife and I have been playing it since my birthday... I'm having a lot of fun, but it's seriously challenging. I find it fascinating the steps they have taken to sustain the "lives economy" - if I get some time, I might discuss this over on ihobo.


Well, that's good to hear! I've never found Mario games particularly challenging, though I remember the Lost Levels having a good difficulty level. Then again, I was pretty young so I don't trust my memory about it too much. I'll try to play it soon! Although Mass Effect 2 is just around the corner... and then a massive downpour of other games after that. Gonna be a busy spring...

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