Oculus Rift, Presence, and Virtual Adventures (but not games, YUCK)

April 12, 2014 § 4 Comments

There’s been a whole lot of talk of late about Facebook’s recent 800 quadrillion dollar (estimate) acquisition of Oculus Rift, the first viable (well the first in a series of viable, Sony isn’t far behind with its Project Morpheus) Virtual Reality headset. Chris has been beside himself for weeks; boy have we watched a lot of YouTube videos about the forthcoming Dev Kit 2 (pre-release prototype of the Rift hardware packaged for developers), various virtual environments, and most importantly of all, the concept of “presence,” essentially the process by which one’s brain, at least the lizard part of one’s brain, is tricked into thinking it’s actually where it is not.

At first I was preemptively disinterested in that just-shy-of-charming knee-jerky way of mine due to Facebook’s involvement (“What!? Facebook!? Then it’s bullshit!”). I was also resistant because, drumroll, I don’t like playing games. Not that I don’t appreciate games, video and computer particularly, or deny that the best of these kinds of games easily qualify as art. Nor do I think that people who love (video/computer) games are weird (people who love playing board games, however, are). It’s just that personally, games (particularly video) make me anxious (and non-video games just make me angry). I don’t like the concept of winning and dying and I don’t like having to kill/fight not to die, regardless of how cartoonish my enemies might be. I don’t quite know why; let’s call it a personality trait and move on. Consequently, my world wasn’t exactly rocked when presented with this AWESOME NEW GAMING PLATFORM (now owned by Facebook).

But, as is often the case, I am an idiot. And over the last week or so have changed my mind.

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Oh Boy and Man and Wow

April 9, 2014 § 4 Comments

It’s hard to know who else will think this is the greatest/worst thing ever. My husband sent me the link in tears (conveyed over email; come on you guys it’s 2014) and insisted that it would change. my life. FOREVER, and I’ll admit, it’s pretty great (read: horrible). But how much you like (hate) this will depend on how much social media marketer-speak makes you want to eat your own face. Consider this a litmus test, then.

Oh, These Arguments Again.

April 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

This article by Amitai Etzioni, which urges those on the receiving end of microaggression to like calm the f down because jeez or whatever/bigotry is just human nature/back in my day, is the second I JUST CAN’T WITH YOU moment I’ve had while reading The Atlantic this week. The first was yet another but-but-but-FREE SPEECH piece written by a white dude worried about his ability to make bad jokes on Twitter the “chilling effect” of censorship pushing back against racists, sexists and homophobes. I would write more about both, but is just so exhausting, having to read all these tl;dr articles lamenting how restricted people’s speech is becoming. I mean there are only so many hours in the day.

Well Played, Dillon the Hacker. Well Played.

April 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

This is proper, artful trolling and mother approves.

What, I Cried. I Don’t Care. I’ll Punch You in the Throat.

April 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Shut your cynical face, this is great.

Love,

Whitney

via Jezebel

George Bush’s Performance Art Instillation

April 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

i dunno lol

Earlier this week I was contacted by a reporter at the Houston Chronicle PANICKING about a deadline for a story (which she never ended up publishing, possibly because of unhelpful sources) about “How Ted Cruz Got Trolled,” her primary question being “So just how trolled did Ted Cruz get.” To which I could only look around and make the above face. Because I dunno, lol.

While I was reluctant to ascribe trolling–or anything! I don’t read minds– to the Ted Cruz story, I am so very tempted to declare George Boosh’s performance art instillation “Here Are Some World Leaders LOL” one of the strangest acts of trollery in Presidential history, this week anyway. I just have so many feels about this, how could it NOT be trolling. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely isn’t. However, I feel trolled by 43, and at 6:45 in the morning, isn’t that enough?

“But until then — accept that your umbrellas will turn themselves inside out.”

March 23, 2014 § 2 Comments

A normal stroll through the UES. And that smell you smell? Hot blood mostly, you'll get used to it.

A normal stroll through the Upper East Side. And that smell you smell? Hot blood mostly, you’ll get used to it.

The first few sentences of this article about why New York City doesn’t love you are frustrating, annoying even. Very TOUGH GUY NO WHINERS, which from my current vantage point (happy dog, nice husband, gorgeous backyard garden, green and flowers and spring sweetness everywhere) just doesn’t interest me. I do however recognize this sentiment; it was me, down to the very last sentence and ellipses and expletive, for the entire 11-month period Chris and I lived in New York City. Living in New York (although “living” is more like it) just DOES that to a person — makes them angry, rushed, and desperate to get back home, whatever that might mean. For me, coming home meant coming here, where I presently sit in Arcata, California. It meant walking away from the academic job market. It meant reassessing all the choices I thought I had figured out.

I owe New York everything, in other words. Had I not been thrown against that particular wall, I wouldn’t have had the impetus to ask myself the hard questions about what I valued most. Say if we’d stayed in Eugene post-graduation, where life is not terrible — without the daily, constant reminder of what happens when you end up living in the wrong place, I doubt I would have thought to fret about what might happen if I ended up living in the wrong place. As it was, I couldn’t help but fret. And having fretted, it was clear what needed to happen.

So thanks New York. You ARE like a cat that would eat your face after you collapsed in the kitchen from a heart attack. And for that I will be forever grateful.

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