open thread

I’ve decided to disable pingbacks and trackbacks on this blog since the last few of each that I have received were spam. IIRC WordPress adds the rel=”nofollow” tag to links anyway so it’s not like the spammers would get any PageRank boost if they succeeded, but if spammers were smart they’d be productive members of society rather than, well, spammers. I do wish I could separate pingbacks from trackbacks, but WP doesn’t seem to support that. Henceforth, I’ll just rely on Technorati to keep track of who is linking here, as well as my Sitemeter referrals.

On another note, since I have about 40 unique visitors a day, and 20-some registered users, I want to indulge in the self-conceit of an open thread, to try and entice some of the lurkers here to come out and have their say. To those of you reading but not commenting, please treat this as an open thread and weigh in on anything sci-fi or anime related! I value the smallness of this little community and the intimacy of the otakusphere relative to the other ‘spheres out there and would like to encourage more discussion. I am very much interested in what you all are watching, your suggestions for anime or sci-fi, cool links of interest, etc.

17 thoughts on “open thread”

  1. Over 99.8% of trackbacks are spam, based on a sample of roughly 7 million we’ve received at The trackback system is just horribly broken.

  2. I wonder: Are videogames passe’ among otaku? I’m the only one who seems to mention them on a regular basis. Steven has clearly stated that he does NOT play video games. (In fact he declined outright an offer for a gift Playstation from a few of us before the effort even got rolling. Now THAT is someone who really has no interest in games.) Looking around at other anime blogs, Pixy is the only one who even mentions playing gmaes.

    Video gamers can’t be this rare among otaku, can they? Maybe lots of you play games but don’t write about it?

  3. egads – just deleted another spam trackback. I thought I turned those off!

    Alas I just don’t have time to play games anymore. I used to be quite into scifi flight sims – most notably X-Wing and Tie Fighter, but I cut my teeth on Wing Commander. That was an amazingly tightly-coded game – I remember that when I upgraded to a 486 in college, we installed WC on that box and were astonished at how unplayable it was – because it was so blazingly fast that the enemy AI became unbeatable.

    I also was addicted to Myst and Riven (never had time to solve the latter). And of course all the goofy little PC games like Tank Wars and Spectre and Pipe Dream and of course Tetris. I could play Tetris for hours (and piece preview off, thank you very much).

    The only console I ever owned was the original Nintendo – on that my games were Zelda, the various Marios (v3 being another game I had total mastery over). Other titles i used to love were Ice Hockey and Contra. Those were the days πŸ™‚

    But I never got fully into gaming the way others did. This was mainly because I had other geek hobbies, like AD&D. In the latter half of college D&D got supplanted by Magic, The Gathering which was a true revolution in gaming. I still have my collection well preserved, including a full set of Arabian Nights, a Mox Pearl, and a Black Lotus. I think of all the various pursuits I engaged in, Magic was by far the most challenging and the most fun. I never really saw a PC or console game that could offer me the same kind of addictive thrill.

    Well, other than Tie Fighter. Die rebel scum! bwahaha!

  4. I play video games, though from the output on my blog, I guess I should let everyone know that I watch Anime too (though I am, of course, nowhere near as conversant as pretty much anyone who has responded to this thread)

    I used to play video games more often when I was younger. Most new games are too big and require too much of an investment of time. I’ve been looking back at all the old games I used to play and it’s amazing how simple they are, yet how effective. That Atari 2600 games I’ve been playing tend to get old fast, but the NES games (like Zelda) are almost as engrossing as they originally were.

  5. I have those installed on my notebook. πŸ˜€

    Well, not MOO, because that’s still locked up, but the other three have been released by their publishers for free download.

    Also X-Com 2 & 3, Colonization, and Sim Ant/City/Earth/Farm/Life/Tower.

  6. Good ways to spend time, all of them. Of the Sims, I remember Sim Ant most fondly.

    Anyone else still have some of the Panzer General series installed?

    Over the last several years there has been something of a console renaissance in turn-based strategy, with Nippon Ichi leading the way.

  7. I haven’t played a turn-based RPG since the Ultima days πŸ™‚ I do remember the original Civ I and II fondly, but that was about the extent of my interest in the strategy stuff (I actually was a big fan of playing chess with no computer involved πŸ™‚

  8. I’d have to say I’m 60/40 video games versus anime, at least at the moment. I just never feel like talking about gaming.

    I remember the first time I played the original Wing Commander. It took five (5!!) 3 1/2″ discs to install. By the time they got around to WC4, I’d lost a lot of interest and they’d gone a little overboard with the live action footage (7 CD’s I think). Wing Commander: Prophecy resparked my interest, but then they blew all their money on that god-awful movie and were subsequently bought up by EA (where all good game licenses go to die).

    Galactic Civilizations 2 has been a decent diversion from my normal FPS and RTS habits. Otherwise, it’s been a lot of Oblivion lately. I still refuse to pay more than $40 for Battlefield 2, but once Fry’s gets it below that point, I imagine I’ll pick it up. By that point, my online twitch-gaming skills will probably be rusty enough to qualify as noob-grade.

    I just watched Hoshi no koe (Voices of a distant star) the other night. I haven’t decided if I like it or not. It’s only 30 minutes, but that’s understandable given it was produced entirely by one guy on his own time with average-joe equipment. For that it deserves at least some praise. (More than?)Half the disc is extras.

  9. Hoshi no Koe is almost precisely analogous to El Mariachi – the original version, the one without Antonio Banderas. Of some interest in itself, it is also of interest for having launched a promising career.
    What about RPGs, then? Strategy gaming isn’t exactly drawing a discussion…

  10. RPG? You mean of the Ultima mold, or of the Warcraft mold? (or are these examples considered to be of the same mold, nowadays?)

  11. Do you mean World of Warcraft? That I’d call a MMORG, and I have no truck with such. I was in a beta once, and enjoyed it immensely, but the amount of time that they can consume has no upper bound. Theoretically, that’s true of all games. Practically, it’s truer of this genre than anything I’ve seen that wasn’t on Schedule I. I’ve seen people I know vanish for months on end, abandoning all else.

    I meant RPGs in the mold of either Ultima or Final Fantasy – or, more relevantly, of the quality of Fallout or Planescape:Torment.

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