Games Came First


Rough sketch of lions at play, Leigh Faulkner

It occurred to me recently that, in the Animal Kingdom, games evolve before “art” does. After all, those of us with pets see our puppies and kitties play games of their own devising every day. Evolutionarily speaking, games are controlled, safe scenarios that symbolically represent some advantageous activity. Animals derive pleasure from these practice activities as a biological function that leads to survival. The fun of games is instinctual.

But we are more advanced than juvenile lionesses play-hunting each other, and when we play, we often ascribe abstract meaning to the mechanical constructs of our games. Birds may sing, but no bird could name their song, “The Four Seasons.”

Thinking about it in this way makes the whole “are games art?” argument seem silly. Art, of course, is the creation and interpretation of symbols. These symbols are myriad, encompassing limitless forms. Nothing else must really be said.

Wind Up Knight


My latest addicting phone game recommendation is a cute little “runner” style game called Wind Up Knight. It has a few more mechanics than most games I’ve played of this type, and the graphics are really fun!

This one is available for iOS: and Android:


Some programming things I’ve been looking at


Did you know that if you are interested in learning how to program Windows Phone applications, Microsoft has provided all of the tools and resources needed, for free, on their web site?

I mean, check out the tutorials available at . They are amazing.

I’ve also found a good free ebook that has greatly enhanced my understanding of the programming language C#, which is what many Windows phone applications are written in. It is called .Net Book Zero and it is available at . I put this book on my Nook and read about 150 pages of it today, and I liked it a lot.

Just figured some of you might like to learn some of this stuff too, so I thought I’d share.

I Literally Cannot Title This Anything Save “Some Japanese Game”


I can’t quote publications, but I’ve heard that Seattle is 12 times more culturally influential, per capita, than New York or Los Angeles. This is exactly the sort of self-aggrandizing comment that Seattlites love, and you can almost feel the populace rolling this idea around in their heads like a lozenge in their mouths.

It’s really kind of egotistical and gross. (more…)

Tron: Legacy (The Movie, This Time. Not The Soundtrack.)


The new designs for Tron: Legacy are extremely beautiful

You know, just to be clear.

So, I don’t feel it’s necessary to say too much about Tron: Legacy. It’s beautiful, mellow, and contemplative. The original Tron, if you will remember, was not an action movie. Neither is Tron: Legacy.

But it’s gorgeous, and it’s interesting enough, though the script (admittedly better here than in the original) could use a little more… pizazz. They have the seeds of some interesting ideas carried through from the original, including the exploration of the intersection between religion and technology. But these seeds barely sprout, or the code doesn’t branch, or something.

I get the feeling that given some time, the mythos of Tron is going to flesh itself out with fan speculation. Perhaps I’ll find some line of fanboy logic that satisfies my desire to chew on the Tron universe better than Tron: Legacy itself does.

Apropos To Our Phone/Tablet Discussion…


This Link is Shamelessly Stolen from Eli Jones

Windows Phone OS On a 12in Tablet from Lizard Pro on Vimeo.

This afternoon, Eli linked to this video, showing the Windows Phone 7 interface running at 1280 x 800, AKA Tablet Computer resolution.

After my post a couple of days ago, I figured you guys might be intrigued. I was!

Microsoft, you are crazy if you don’t use this interface on a Tablet device.



Pretty, isn't it?

I’ve recently started taking the New York Times Crossword Puzzle seriously.

It’s easy to see why people are intimidated by it- the grid can be daunting, a black-and-white menace more reminiscent of the chaotically symmetrical face of an industrial drill bit than a Sunday Breakfast diversion. But with just a small bit of training and a little practice, a wonderfully witty and challenging world unfolds from this mess of clues and letters.


On The Victrola: Tron: Legacy Soundtrack


Tron: Legacy

With talk that includes comparisons to James Cameron’s Avatar, Disney’s Tron Legacy is getting some incredible hype as it leads up to its release next week. Leading the surge of Tron preview media content was the release of the original score, created by French-electronica-legends Daft Punk. (more…)

Phones, Tablets, and the Future


Windows Phone 7 Alongside an iPhone

I’ve been thinking a lot about technology, recently.

More specifically, my friend Eli Juicy Jones (Eli’s Blog) and I have been talking and thinking about the future of mobile devices.

Not too long ago, I was tapping a Facebook message into my iphone when I realized that it had been three days since I had last used my desktop computer. I was surprised by how capable my little digital Swiss Army Knife had become, despite (or perhaps, because of?) having seen its feature set grow through software updates and third party apps.

Things I Am Fascinated With #1


Hallway-Long History Exhibitions That Do Not Reside In Museums or Other Such Buildings of Record, Except Possibly Libraries, Depending On How Large and Museum-Like the Library Is.

Prospectors buying supplies in Seattle

The other day, I found myself utterly captivated by a long pictorial exhibition of Seattle during the Klondike Gold Rush. As I wandered down the long hallway upon whose walls these sepia toned memories hung, I realized the great incongruity of my experiences with these pieces and the experiences of the hurried businesspeople who walked the halls alongside me. As their shoes and rolling laptop cases CLICK-CLACKED down the subterranean tunnel between the Hilton and the conference center, I heard instead the sounds of the Seattle train yards of the 19th century. They were rushing to meetings; I was mentally running my fingers over the leather and wood seat of a merchant’s stagecoach. And while they chattered into their cell phones, it was all I could do to keep my teeth from chattering, so real was the icy chill of Chilkoot Pass to my imagination. (more…)

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