You keep using that word…

I do not think it means what you think it means.

In this case, I’m talking about narcissistic content creators and media companies that throw around the word “theft”, usually accompanied by talking about their “rights.”

You have copyright, which is intended to be a short term, limited concession to publishers in order to incentivize creation of new works.

Now, this has expanded in popular discourse into a “natural right” of authors to restrict users of software and even control how we use the physical things we buy.

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Thoughts on the announced Myst TV Series

What is there to say about Myst?  It’s one of gaming’s first genuine hits with mainstream audiences.  It was a pioneer of computer graphics and game visuals.  It’s approach to storytelling and puzzle design have inspired modern games like The Room and Gone Home, and its sense of mystery and wonder was one of the big inspirations behind the TV series Lost.  For me, it was one of the games that got me into wanting to learn computer graphics and make immersive worlds, alongside the original Doom.

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While later games in the series released in the early 2000’s eventually lost the widespread appeal that the early games did, the series made a splash again when it was released on iOS in 2009.  It was on the top sellers lists for a while, as people who owned the game back in the day but never finished it bought it again on their touch devices, and it found a new audience as well.  It also was a pioneer of “serious” games on mobile, with its success at an (at the time) astonishing 727 MB download encouraged other developers to make bigger games on the platform.

In this light, Legendary’s recently announced partnership with Cyan to make a Myst television show alongside a transmedia game element makes a lot of sense.

I look at the comments sections of articles reporting the announcement, and I see a lot of reactions similar to this Penny Arcade joke.  I’m not sure how much of this is the internet snark machine and how much of this is people not understanding how much potential there is in this idea, so I figured I’d talk about why I think it’s a good idea and talk about my theories about what it might look like.

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Chris’ Most Affecting Media Pt 1: Tiny Monsters

I have a friend who says that people spend too much of their life idly consuming media, and fixate too much on it as a way of relating to other people.  I think he’s right, but still certain pieces of media can be life-changing under the right circumstances, or at the very least evoke new insights or strong emotions that stick with you forever.  As someone who got into the game/software industry to do just that, it’s something I think about a lot.  I want to dedicate some space on this blog to sharing some of the bits of media that have stuck with me for a long time for one reason or another.

However, I’m starting this off with something that might be perhaps a little unexpected.

It’s an episode of the show “Hoarding : Buried Alive”, Season 4 Episode 1, titled “Tiny Monsters.”  The show is another crappy reality tv show, the kind where every episode has the same plot, whether it’s Kitchen Nightmares, Hoarding, or whatever.  In this show they find someone who has a hoarding problem, show how crazy they are, talk about how what they have is a compulsion or a mental illness, then eventually they have a dramatic turnaround for the camera where they resolve to change, clean out their place, and have some nice before/after shots to make you feel good at the end.

This episode of the show, however, is special.

It depicts the absolute nadir of the human experience.

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