Deep thoughts on the Matrix by John Tynes and friends and by Ran Arad. Very cool.

Ran also wrote this funny FAQ.

Oh, and yesterday, he killed my character. I think it’s the first time a character of mine died, outside of perhaps a con game or the old D&D days (not that much happened back then – I mostly DMed). Purely my fault, really, for doing something suicidal, and I spent too much time post-morteming it, but I think my conclusion is that I commited character suicide by attacking the game system.

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Matrix: Reloaded

Thanks to Bo and Oren (… and together we are Three Fat Producers!) I saw Matrix: Reloaded tonight. So now I can read all the posts those nasty first-weekenders wrote about it.

Capsule review (no real spoilers): some awesome action, interwoven with set-pieces of exposition/philosophical bullshit, mediated through a sequence of Mysterious Strangers ™ – in other words, NPCs. This is definitely a movie about the roleplaying experience (notice how everyone looks cool when they jack into the Matrix, because those are their wish-fullfillement PCs). My games are just like this…

Over here, Itay Greif has an excellent, spoiler-laden play-by-play detail of why the Matrix: Reloaded is an RPG run by a 15-year old virgin DM (Hebrew).

I should note that the bullshit is skillfully done – more skillful than I expected, at any rate. The Merovingian (annoying NPC with French-accent) is cringe-worthy, but the scene with the ultimate explain! NPC actually works very well, IMHO.

I can understand why some people felt the movie wasn’t as good as the first – the first movie drew an iconic appeal from it’s mysterious, unelaborated background, while here, some effort is put into world-building (Zion, especially, but also expanding the mythological aspect of the Matrix), which dilutes the “purity” of the thing. Very similar to what Andrew Rilstone was saying about the first Star Wars vs. its sequels.

Speaking of Star Wars, Bo said the Matrix Trilogy could be a Star Wars trilogy for our times (I don’t know what “our” times are – I grew up on Star Wars – but I guess “these” times is pretty accurate). He then tossed off the idea that in the future we’ll have to suffer through prequels.

I can just picture that, I said. The Matrix being programmed, the Matrix being compiled, and of course, the Matrix being debugged… Let’s go in and beat up some stuff, I’ve got these bugs to work out…!

short Software and Programming


PHP: xml_parse_into_struct (PHP Manual) looks like what I need.


Star Maidens!

Maybe you’re here because you just vaguely believe you may have dreamt about a planet ruled by women dressed in platform boots… Star Maidens was A bungled British-German co-production of a sci-fi comedy – two mutually exclusive concepts for the price of one and surely doomed to failure. (thanks to Zygon on the Ort SF forum.)

Oddities short

History Of The Internet

The Lemon: History Of The Internet (via /dev/null [Cameron]).