As some of you might have noticed, my real life has taken precedence over my blogging the last half year. Ever after having started my current job, it’s been a long process to adjust to a new life with new working hours and a totally different job than what I was used to. For those of you that have been with me for quite a while, know that I used to work as a bartender in a sports pub and worked the really odd hours. But at least at that time, my work was close to home and I had way more free time than I have now. Today, I work the usual nine to five scheme, and pretty happy about that. But seeing as my new job is quite a distance from home, I’m using roughly three hours of every day getting back and forth to work. And let’s face it, more often than not I work more than my assigned eight hours. So on most days, I’m way from home for no less than twelve hours. Many people like to jump into the couch and turn on the telly when they got home, but I need to do something, something that makes me interact and get my load off, something to preoccupy me. And for this, I have gaming.
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If you’re anything like me, you like to fire up a game every now and again. It’s a great way to relieve stress, as well as an excellent way to waste some time. But not only that, playing games can be both very entertaining, educating as well as highly social. There are many ways way people are attracted to playing games. The modern gaming industry is far away from the way the industry was in the early days of computing. Back in the good old days, a game could be made be a single person sitting in his bedroom on late nights burning the midnight oil. And that was in fact how most games were produced back then. That was before the gaming industry became a multi million dollar industry, where the money governed and the production line has become more and more similar to any given Hollywood production.
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As some of you may know, I’m attending as crew at a large computer party in Norway this easter called The Gathering. I just arrived after a two hour train trip, which was spent on IRC and sending off a few e-mails using my cell phone over GPRS. The party has almost 5000 people attending, and a good 200 people responsible for making the party happen. In just under 24 hours, the Vikingship will start to fill up with enthusiastic computer nerds of all ages, to attend the party for five full days. It will be a party filled with all types of different elements, that make up the computer scene as we know it.
You will have professional gaming tournaments, music competitions and the genre I love the most; demo making. For those of you that don’t know what demo coding is, I can sum it up with this definition. Think of a music video, think of computers games and 3D environments, add those two together and you have yourself a demo. A demo is a program that displays lovely graphics, stretched to the extremes of what is possible with todays technology added with catch, groovy music tracks. It’s all meant to entertain, and to amaze you of what can be done with today’s 3D accelerator cards.
Of course, an event of this size does attract quite a few people with vast computer knowledge, so the whole hall sizzles with people with good know how. For those that are interested, it’s a great chance to get to learn new stuff and to expand your social network. And this is the greatest aspect of the event itself, the chance to meet up with likely spirited people that love the same stuff that you do. And of course, with the way the internet works, you actually get to meet those people you chat with online that live too far away from you to meet on a regular basis. An event like this erases the borders that you have on a day to day basis. It’s just great to be with people that love the same stuff as you do, namely computers! It’s gonna be a great five days and I can’t wait to keep you up to date. And here’s a sneak peek of how the hall looks, just to get a feel of how it is.
Ah well, the summer Olympics has been launched with a huge open ceremony as always with modern Olympics with well trained athletics just bursting to prove that they’re the worlds best and to set new world records. I have to admit, I’m not overly enthusiastic with this years Olympics, not at all. It might be that I’m a bit superstitious, but I’ve had a bad feeling about this Olympics for a long time, and when I heard news that the Olympic flame went out just a few days ago I became even more “nervous”. I have a feeling that something bad will happen during these games. What it is, I don’t know but it will be something. One thing that it will be remembered for, is the amount of participants that will be proven to have used anabolic steroids.
Another thing is the amount of firepower and security these games have, which I can perfectly understand in these days of modern terrorism. But many of the images I’ve seen published on the net the last few weeks are very disturbing. Right in the middle of urban areas we now see mounted firepower in such masses that it easily could be enough to settle a small war. The amount of money spent on both military arsenal and other security forces, plus the added amount spent on the games themselves (stadiums, advertisement etc etc) are enormous! I don’t know, but I just get the feeling that this money could have been spent otherwise. The way I see it, the last few Olympics has all been about who could build the best and largest stadiums, much like a “I got a bigger penis than you have”-competition. This is not what the Olympics are about, it’s about bringing a diversity of people together to enjoy each others company and to compete on equal grounds. I think this is all overclouded by the commercialism of the modern games, the use of illegal drugs and the massive military presence. Let’s just hope that the future proves me wrong, and that the Greeks have a great event that will be remembered for what it was, a great sporting event, not just a theater for the masses to prove the commercial value of what the modern games has turned out to be.