The last two weeks have been freaking awful, haven’t they? So I say it’s time for another link post! To temporarily distract from the terribleness of the world. You could call this one the Video Game Nostalgia Super Special.
• It’s the 20th Anniversary of the PlayStation! Holy crud. Of course, I didn’t get a PlayStation until after the PS2 came out*, so it’s not twenty years for me. XD
* I actually got one of those PSones mentioned in the article. It was a cheap piece of crap that broke within a year of purchase. To demonstrate how crappy that is, let me tell you that not only is the PS2** we got to replace the PSone still in perfect working order, but so is my circa 1988 NES***.
** Said still-functioning PS2 was a refurbished number off eBay, by the way, not even a new one.
*** Okay, I have had to make some repairs on the NES (I actually changed the circuit board! I’m L337!), but it is still usable, unlike the POS PSone which is probably in a landfill somewhere right now.
• Today, gaming industry legend Tommy Tallarico shared this fantastic YouTube documentary about the rise and fall of G4, a short-lived video games channel (I say short-lived because even though it existed for 12 years, it only didn’t suck for about 3 of those) that defined my college years. Having Dish rather than Comcast, I did not get to experience the first few years of G4; rather, I was a TechTV fan that only became introduced to G4 thanks to the disastrous merger.
I have to admit, I was really bummed when my precious TechTV disappeared, but I actually liked the gaming-related shows that G4 brought in the early months of the merger. There were some really great shows there for awhile—CinemaTech, Icons, G4TV.com, Cheat, Filter, and then of course my all-time faves Electric Playground and Reviews on the Run (which are actually still running, so there’s that, at least). And The Screen Savers and X-Play were still there, so for the first few months, not only did I think everything was going to be fine, but I actually thought everything was going to be GREAT. I had that damn channel on around the clock, to the point where my mom probably would have thrown me out of the house if I hadn’t gone off to college on my own.
Of course, if I had known what had been going on at G4 in the years before the merger, I wouldn’t have been so happy. But I didn’t, so I was. Needless to say, the retooling of the G4 to be “a male oriented channel, more like Spike TV” (described starting around 11:45 of the video) hit me like a fist to the stomach. I still remember the trauma of that move, of them bringing in all the stupid syndicated shows, and of something like 9 of my favorite hosts all leaving the network or being fired at the same time (I think somewhere around early 2006?).
Basically, 10:00-12:00 of the documentary is like watching my college years zip by on fast-forward. It was kind of surreal.
Anyway, TL;DR, if you are a gamer and G4/TechTV was as important a part of your life as it was of mine (or if you want to get a glimpse into the lives of weirdos like me), this documentary is a must-see.
• In non-gaming news, some of my friends at the LFA (who were also the kind people responsible for publishing my first short story) are releasing a science fiction anthology! It’s called Defiant, She Advanced, which is a very badass title. They are running an IndieGoGo campaign to finance some of the production costs (editing, cover design, etc), and there are some pretty cool perks available!
I am a little sad because I was going to be in this anthology, but had to pull out because my health problems/treatment conflicted with the deadline. But the good news is that the story I wrote has found a new home, and I think it will be an even better fit, for the story and for everybody. So, stay tuned for more about that!
• And finally, your random pic/historical fangasm of the week: “How English has changed in the past 1000 years.”
The caption to this on Tumblr summed up my immediate reaction, which was, “It’s like watching someone get progressively more drunk.”
I was immediately struck by how, even in Middle English, the text is pretty much recognizable, apart from some weird spelling and a couple of, “Huh?” words, but Old English is absolutely another language. WTF happened in the relatively short amount of time between Old English and Middle English to make it so different, when in the 900 years between Middle and Modern, it didn’t really change that much?
The AHA moment for me was when my sister the linguaphile glanced at the Old English and said, “Hey, some of these words are German,” and then read the entire passage with a German pronunciation, rather than the “English” pronunciation I’d been attempting—which made it go from sounding like gibberish to sounding like actual words.
So what happened between Old and Middle English? You ought to know, you history-majoring-moron. 1066! The Norman Conquest, aka the French-speaking Normans conquered the Germanic-speaking Saxons… and transformed the language, too. After all, as my linguaphile sister pointed out, 60% of the English language is derived from French.
/ historical language geekery, out!