Daily Archives: November 4, 2009

Thought for the day.

Massively has an article describing how Funcom has a new MMO in development, Board with the World, a free-to-play social MMO focusing on the world of extreme sports. I’m not entirely sure that a pun on ‘bored’ is the optimum way to market your MMO product. And then, of course, there’s:

First and foremost we will be focusing on snowboarding, with the possibility of adding different sports later.

So, starting off with the extreme sport well known for its grinds, then.

Reviewlets: Stewart Lee and Boffoonery

A quick comedy catch up: saw Stewart Lee a couple of weeks back, on his “If you prefer a milder comedian please ask for one” tour. Opener Henning Wehn, the German Comedy Ambassador to the UK, was pretty good, and Lee himself was fantastic. Covering the heinous crime of coffee shop loyalty card stamp faking, the joy of moving to the country or indeed another country for the quality of life (particularly with respect to prawns) and his admiration and respect for the Top Gear team, the high point was the finale, a brilliantly crafted, slowly building epic, beginning in a doctor’s surgery before moving into pear cider, the magpie culture of advertisers and the internet, and finishing with a song. Yup, a song.

Last night was Boffoonery at the Bloomsbury Theatre, a comedy benefit for Bletchley Park. Both informative, with Simon Singh doing a bit on the bible “code” before giving a live demonstration of an Enigma machine in action, and entertaining, with stand up from Robin Ince, Dave Gorman and Richard Herring and skits, spoofs and humorous vignettes from Punt & Dennis, Laurence & Gus, John Finnemore, Margaret Cabourn-Smith and the voice of Stephen Fry. All most excellent, but particularly most excellent was Captain Ridley’s Shooting Party, a Bletchley-themed panel game chaired by Robert Llewelyn featuring Maggie Philbin and Richard Herring against Johnny Ball and Robin Ince. Ince deployed fearsome, if ultimately futile, lateral thinking that put even Ted Rogers on 3-2-1 to shame, Herring dropped in deft asides, Maggie Philbin, having read up on the subject, actually knew the answers to the questions in great detail, and Johnny Ball is a legend. At the age of 71 he’s as full of passion and enthusiasm as ever, with that vital hint of lunacy, as several questions fortuitously allowed him to launch into a whistle stop tour of binary and Egyptian multiplication, Euler and the seven bridges of Koenigsberg and finding square roots with Euclidean geometry, demonstrated with a string of beads that have hopefully given Richard Herring another half hour of material.

An age will always drag-on.

The empty wrapper flips and somersaults its way down the high street towards me, ducking in and out of the shadows between the downcast gaze of the streetlights. It’s the only thing moving in that once congested thoroughfare. The shops stand empty, the street silent but for the faint sound of the wind as it plays its mournful symphony, the percussion of the windows shutters above me and the reedy crescendo of letterboxes stuffed full of unopened mail.

Everything is in order. It’s not the dramatic apocalyptic scene that we’d always envisioned. Cars are parked neatly in their spaces at the side of the road; doors are closed and windows remain unbroken. That’s how it was when the Event happened: nothing really changed in the world, no big bang, no screams of pain and panic, and no news stories with rolling tickers at the bottom of the screen spelling out our impending doom. People just went home, kissed their husbands or wives, played with their kids and put them to bed, and then… were never seen again.

Hands in my pockets and coat collar drawn up under my chin, I wander aimlessly down the middle of the road. I turn into a side street, walk between rows of town houses, neon lightning flickering from behind the windows. Amber eyes watch me from behind a half-licked paw as I walk past. It feels strange to be observed now; I work hard to resist the urge to hold my hand up and shield my face from that haughty glare, the eyes hold questions and accusations “What you doing here two-legs, don’t you know that we rule the world now?” I want to turn and shout that we’re still here, all of us… here and yet not here, but my accuser has already closed its eyes and gone back to cleaning its face.

Everyone is here, yet no one is.

Except me, alone. All alone. I wander the dark streets and listen to the sounds coming from the houses, brought to me on a wind that sings the song of the end of all things.

Maybe one day, if I keep moving on, I’ll find someone else who isn’t stuck inside playing Dragon Age: Origins.