WordPress

Yesterday I played around a little bit with my blog. I changed the categories into the more aesthetic key cloud, some arrangement changes, and some other minor things (thinking about adding a graphic to the top or something like that in the near future).

I also added a new widget for sonirific (or something) as well. This one is supposed to allow you to have streaming music on your site, I thought it might be cool. All the artists on their site are independent which i appreciate, however it also means I don’t know any of them and I don’t have the patience to sit and sift through them all. My biggest complaint with the program is that in order to put something on your site you have to make “soundspots.” This isn’t really that bad except for the fact that you can only have one song in the spot at a time. This is kind of silly as I’d like to have maybe 4 or 5 songs on a small playlist. I just can’t justify spending the time to listen to all these groups and songs for 1 song on my blog… I hope they work on that though because it is a very nice idea.

Guild Troubles

This last weekend we had some guild drama. So our guild has never been big, and many in our guild do not want it to be big (leaders included). It is a rule free, fairly rank free guild, that by design is meant to limit the drama and strangers (some might call this family oriented).

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GLS Conference 3.0

I went to the GLS Conference this past week. I wanted to start going to more conferences so that can network better and chose this particular one because it was here in town so that I didn’t have to worry about paying for hotel stay and travel arrangements and such. This conference is a small conference which really focuses on how games can be used for learning purposes and how they teach players how to use the game. This is a topic that I find somewhat interesting, however it is a very base interest. I mostly like when they talk about the games or the social aspects of games because I find that more interesting being in the MMO field myself. However a good majority of the field seems more interested in the learning so I do pick up stuff here and there.

The Conference itself is mostly used as a forum for students, professors, and other teachers, however there are some more mainstream developers and writers as well. This year’s speakers included a writer from the New York Times, a game critic from the New York Times, a couple of writers/designers from GameLab, Pathfinder Linden from Linden Labs (Second Life), and some guy that works at the company that made There.com. Rich Vogel (of Ultima Online fame) and Jeff Briggs (one of the producers of the Civ series) were also supposed to attend, however they both did not which was a major upset for me as I was really looking forward to both of them.

All this said the two day event had its ups and downs.

The ups were that the food was fairly good, though some was questionable. I was mostly disappointed that the beverages were weird (tea, milk and coffee). The snacks between sessions were great (nummy cookies, muffins and fruit). The Monona Terrace was beautiful as expected, though surprisingly small considering how big it seems and how much of a fuss was made over it, though I understand that part of that is meant as a transportation hub too. Several speakers were very good, I liked the two NYT speakers, as well as Constance Steinkuehler, and Katie Salen from Gameslab was absolutely amazing (she is seriously underrated, I put her up with Will Wright as far as speakers on games concerns). I got to meet plenty of people, including a couple in town I plan on hooking up with over the next week or so (and incidentally got myself pictured a couple times in Mark Chen’s blog.)

The downs really was the lack of the two that I was looking forward to seeing, as well as the lack of much strictly about games and even society to a lesser degree. It really is a meeting meant for people studying learning which just isn’t what I am into. I also had some issues apparently with paying. I thought I did back when I registered, and now they are telling me I did not so I don’t know how exactly that works. What makes it worse is that now they want to charge me the full price instead of the early entry price that I should have paid. This sucks only because I thought I had paid.

Would I go again? I don’t know. For networking purposes I suppose I would. What makes this decision more difficult is next years I will not be a student anymore so I will have to pay more. This makes it far less worth going to. For the student price, I think it is worth it for the networking, the food, the cool location and the about one session each day that was really worth the while. I don’t know if I will go again next year, depends on my situation. But I will definitely think about it.

Uplink

I recently have been playing Uplink which you can get off Steam for about $10. This game is an older game made by an indie development team I think around 2000 or 2001. The game is really genius. It puts you in the role of a hacker working for some weird hacker corporation. You take out contracts from corporations who want to sabotage people and companies, steal and destroy data, and start viruses. You then go out with these contracts, break into the target system, and do the task envolved.

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Humanities Building, the one no one likes

Today in the Wisconsin State Journal was an article about the future of the Humanities Building on the UW Campus. This building has been on the chopping block for the school over the last couple of years and it has been at the center of a large debate, as the article accurately suggests. There is a lot going on with the building which is sad, and good that it is getting the attention it is after years of neglect in the city… I will give my personal take on it, as someone who has grown up in Madison, and as someone who has attended classes in it.
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Sicko

On Sunday I went to the Sundance Cinema with my roommate and saw Sicko. I thought it was fairly good, not as good as Bowling for Columbine but much better than Roger & Me, and slightly better than Fahrenheit 9/11.

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