No players were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, due mostly to the addition of several players linked closely to the "Performance Enhancing Drugs" scandals. Joe Posnanski writes about eight players who are borderline candidates, but are not very likely to ever make it.
And while we're on baseball, Reason covers Curt Schilling's Crony Capitalism Debacle. I remember when Schilling founded 38 Studios, back when he first started talking about retiring. It sounded, at the time, like someone had got their hooks into him and promised they had the only road to the future in their back pocket. And apparently that's exactly what happened. The only question at this point is when did Curt Schilling himself become aware of the farce his company was. This article is just a sum-up, unfortunately. While the author spends some time trashing Schilling and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, he barely mentions any of Schilling's partners (I guarantee Schilling wasn't running 38 Studios, and he sure wasn't programming).
Sankaku Complex has pictures of a novelty shopping bag. SERIOUSLY NSFW I MEAN IT. As in this bag probably violates a lot of community decency laws in America.
A little less controversial is Nvidia's new handheld remote gaming system. I.E. an Xbox controller with an LCD screen that connects remotely to your computer.
Doug Ross, "Don't Cry For Me, America". Argentina was once a world power. Not just technically; they were a major player in world politics. What the hell happened?
I finally started playing Guild Wars 2. It's pretty obvious I've been a big fan of the original Guild Wars for a long time, partially because of the game mechanics but more because of the story. Not that the storytelling is actually very good, but the story itself is very interesting. The history is very deep and the interactions between the various races of Tyria is fascinating. If not always entirely clear.
With Guild Wars 2, the dynamic has skewed a bit for me. While Guild Wars was challenging, the interesting game mechanics made the game fun. The game mechanics of Guild Wars 2 are *phenomenal*. It's one of the few games I play just because it's fun to play, not necessarily to get another achievement or to level up. In fact, I kind of wish the game was a little slower...I've been playing for two weeks now and I'm already up to level 55. (Keep in mind; I only play a few hours at a time every few days).
But the story is a major disappointment.
Leaving out the storytelling, which once again is a bit disappointing, ArenaNet made a pretty serious mistake. In Guild Wars, your character is a faceless hero. You're the guy standing behind Prince Rurik, along with all the rest of his Vanguard, as he negotiates passage through the Shiverpeaks. Sure, you end up Ascended and fighting an undead lich, but the story is always told from the point-of-view that the player is in a party. Specifically, you and whoever you're playing with are assumed to be travelling with Cynn, Mehnlo, Devona, Aidan and Eve. In Guild Wars 2, the point-of-view is shifted to the assumption that you are playing alone, even when you play with others. ArenaNet tried to create the impression that your character is driving the storyline, rather than following it, and it works about as well as it does in most video games. The story is filled with false choices, and you end up feeling like the dupe of stupid people rather than the hero of the story. Additionally, a secondary part of the story is to reunite the gladiator team Edge of Destiny, which was comprised of the 'mentor" characters of each race: Rytlock, Logan, Zojja, Caithe and Eir. What happened with this bunch is detailed in the book Edge of Destiny, which leaves these characters on a slightly different note than what we pick up in the game.
The "My Story" concept in general is a big disappointment so far. Much was made before the game came out about your "Home Instance", which disappears after your first few story missions. I haven't fully experimented yet, but it seems like almost all of the personalization choices you make, that factor in the first third of the game, disappear for the last two thirds. It was such a good idea, but it looks like ArenaNet ran out of ideas.
Still, as I mentioned, Guild Wars 2 is just plain FUN the play. No doubt I'll have more to say about it in the future.