Posts Tagged ‘matt wigdahl’


IF Comp ’10 – Matt Wigdahl’s Aotearoa!

November 15, 2010

I’m very slightly dreading posting this one, because it contains an opinion on political correctness.  Therefore, because I never ever learn, I’m sharing the contentiousness with the RSS buffer.

See, I’m torn.  On the one hand, I absolutely hate the mindset, so prevalent on the internet, that if you are offended by anything you are a whiny pussy bitch with sand in your vagina, particularly if the thing you are offended by is the casual misogyny inherent in the phrase “whiny pussy bitch with sand in your vagina.”  It leads to an atmosphere where genuine hatred and intolerance are allowed to quietly coexist among people who are being ironic, people who are being funny, people who use the word “ghey” (may they burn in some special hell), and God forbid you stand up for yourself, or for someone else, or for civil rights.

On the other hand, sometimes I read things like this, and think “Wow, what manner of drugs got mixed into the sand in your vagina?”  Are any interactions that an Asian person has with the color yellow inherently racist?  Is it homophobic to have a gay character gathering firewood, because fagot once meant a bundle of sticks?  When looking at something that might be construed as offensive, depending on interpretation, are we obligated to be offended every time or never offended at all?

What does framing things in terms of being offended and stopping there do for anybody anyway?  It’s only the reaction you get on the surface when you feel things are wrong and unfair on a fundamental level.  Instead of “I’m offended,” how about “Everyone is a human being deserving of, at the very least, basic human rights, and I’m going to try every way I can think of to communicate this to you and everyone else, on the off chance that I can convince just one more person of this, because my carbon footprint is huge, I don’t pay enough attention to where my clothes are made, and this is the only way I know of to maybe make the world a slightly better place.”

…well, that was a thing that just happened.  Why am I standing on this soapbox?  Where are my clothes?

[spoilers begin here]

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IF Comp ’09 – Matt Wigdahl’s Grounded In Space!

October 18, 2009

On a completely unrelated note for the RSS buffer, Machinarium, the new game by Amanita Design is out, and I’ve been playing it a tiny bit.  All Amanita games are along the same lines:  you solve environment-manipulation puzzles by clicking on shit in this sort of magic-trees-robots-and-airships fantasy world that is oddly hard to describe; the closest I can get is “like Wallace and Gromit and the Little Prince had a baby.”  They’re all pretty damn cool, and Machinarium brings some new stuff to the table.  The earlier games could sort of be brute-forced by moving the mouse around until the cursor turned into a hand, but Machinarium won’t let you click on something unless your little robot dude – oh, you’re a little robot dude – is near enough and the right height (your little robot dude has three heights) to reach it.  Also – oh, man, there are little boys screaming at each other in hero and villain voices outside my window, and one of them just declared the other one would never defeat him, and cackled.  That is so damn cute.  Where were we?

Oh!  Right!  Machinarium has a super kickass feature that is my new favorite thing ever:  each screen has one hint, and a walkthrough.  To access the walkthrough, you have to play a little platform mini-game, navigating a key through a field of spiders, and it is hard as fuck. To the point where I went “fuck these spiders, I will figure it out.”  Then did.  (I hadn’t realized yet my little robot dude had three heights.)  Figuring that one out for myself was approximately as satisfying as a warm English muffin with strawberry jam and oozing butter, which I really want now, dammit, and the game playing keep-away with the walkthrough kept me from robbing myself of that.

Anyway!  Grounded In Space!

Mostly Spoiler-Free Upshot: This game is mega science-fictiony.  Probably Heinlein-inspired, although I’ve never read any, and I suspect I wouldn’t enjoy it.  From what I can tell, the puzzles are clever, but I have no idea how I would have figured them out in a million kajillion years.  There ar e six beta testers credited and all of them must be way smarter than I am, or read so much science-fiction that laser beams, reflector fields, and fusion chambers are what mice and cheese are to the rest of us.  If you are one of those people, you will probably enjoy this as a fun little puzzler, in the same way that Mothra enjoys Tokyo as a light snack.  Personally, I couldn’t hack it.

Update:  Oh, and according to Elizabeth, Matt Wigdahl and his wife just spawned a baby human, so grats on that!  If it’s a girl, I think you should name it Penumbra.

[spoilers begin here]

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