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Monday, February 28, 2011

"And I'd Like To Thank My Wife, Uhhhhh, Whatever Her Name Is"

I'm not sure I'll ever see anything funnier than Christian Bale last night at the Oscars, as he clearly couldn't remember his wife's name... while she looked on, stunned, from the audience! Julie was over watching the show with us, and she immediately pointed it out, but I refused to believe it. I mean, c'mon: how can a man possibly forget the name of his spouse?! But we rewound it when Julie insisted that that's what had just happened, and sure enough, she was right. This definitely tops any recorded tirade of Bale's that ever has been, or ever will be released for public consumption!

And I really hope he's planning to lose that beard before filming on The Dark Knight Rises begins! Maybe his wife, whatever her name is, will force that issue before she divorces him.

[Update later that same day: Jimmy Hinckley makes the case, in a Comment, that perhaps Bale was just too choked up to say his wife's name. I hope that's what it was. It's inconceivable to me that someone would forget his own spouse's name, as I clearly stated to... Mrs Holmes... last night! :-) ]

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Pattern Emerges

I'm noticing a definite pattern in my Killzone 3 multiplayer experience thus far: I try a role - eg. Engineer - and initially suck at it, dragging my kill-to-death ratio lower and lower. Then I start to get the hang of it, and my results slowly improve, to the point where I'm finishing most games with a KTD higher than 1.00. At some point I decide to try out a new role - eg. Marksman - and the sequence starts all over again, which can be quite humbling, let me tell you!

I've now "mastered" Engineer and Marksman, but haven't tried Infiltrator, Tactician or Medic yet, except in the Botzone arena. I'm not sure which to try next. As a Marksman tonight, I was completely disgusted when one group of team mates seemed utterly oblivious to the requirement that our Engineers need to be fixing ammo dumps for us! Since I only spawn with 80 rounds in my Assault Rifle as a Marksman, I had the displeasure of running out of ammo several times... which usually resulted in me dying pretty quickly. A couple times I was able to claim a fresh gun off a nearby corpse, but c'mon people! That's no way to play as an Engineer, for crying out loud!

Anyway, it's a terrific game, and I've already logged over 6 hrs of online play in my first 4 days of owning it!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nice 5:00 Inspirational Speech By A Good Guy

Here's the Man from Mars, himself, telling us a little bit about the year he's had.

Back In Familiar Territory

It took a little more than 3 hours of playing time, but I just finished pushing my Killzone 3 kill-to-death ratio up over 1.00 for the first time! It's now sitting at 1.03, which is a far cry from the 0.41 that I had on my first day of playing. I had several really good games today, including a 10-3 finish and a 9-4 result. It's probably as much an indication of who you end up playing against at any given time as anything else, but it still feels good to be in positive territory on this new game now.

I played as an Engineer for the duration today but may move to Marksman over the weekend. As far as ranks go, I'm sitting at Sergeant II right now, or level 11 of 45.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Life Imitating 'Art'

The news stories about "superheroes in the real world" just keep on coming! Now it sounds like Seattle has its own Civil War-style rift forming ("Civil War" in this case referring to the Marvel Comics story of a few years back, rather than to the 19th century emancipation of the American slaves). I suppose it was only a matter of time before this particular example of life imitating (comic) art would follow it even farther down that rabbit hole!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Early Killzone 3 Impressions

There's a small but vocal segment of my blogging audience that likes to hear what I think about the video games I play, and so this post (like so many others) is for them!

I've now logged about an hour of Multiplayer Killzone 3, which I'd not ventured into when trying out the beta/demo that was released earlier in the month. I stuck to Botzone then, and I'm wondering now if I should've done that indefinitely! No, no, Matt, don't be like that! That's just the frustration talking, as I sit on a Kill-to-Death ratio around 0.5 after nearly a dozen Team Deathmatches (called Guerrilla Warfare in this game). My first game saw me finish with 1 kill and 7 deaths, followed by one in which I had 2 kills and 9 deaths. Quite the comedown from my 1.40+ KTD in Call of Duty: Black Ops over the holidays!

The truth is, though, this is a very different game. The roles - or 'careers', as they're referred to here - are quite specialized, with you choosing to operate as an Engineer, Medic, Infiltrator, Marksman or Tactician. Each type has special abilities associated with it, although most of those are initially locked and can only be accessed once you've earned enough 'unlock points' (by playing and accomplishing stuff) and then decide where to apply them. In my Botzone time in the beta, I tried each type, but found that I liked the Marksman and Engineer best. So that's where I started yesterday, in both the Botzone and Multiplayer arenas for the full game.

What I've found so far - besides the fact that I suck - is that I can only enjoy the Engineer role if I don't worry about my KTD. The reason is simple: a good Engineer spends his time repairing ammo dumps and turrets, and setting up his own turret... all of which are activities that leave him a sitting duck for any enemy who happens to spot the poor slob while he's doing so. As such, I did well in terms of helping my team, but lousy for my own personal stats. I'm pretty sure that's how it's supposed to work, but it's awfully tough on the ego.

As a Marksman, which I've yet to try in Multiplayer, you can go semi-invisible as long as you don't fire on anyone, which seems to work well against bots. When I try it against human opponents, though, I expect I'll die a lot more. Still, that's the next thing I plan to attempt, as my poor Engineer just seems to be cannon fodder most of the time.

I have to say that online Killzone 3 is a tough place to excel, thanks to the weighty controls and long reload animations. Even as an Engineer, using a gun with a large clip in it, I still tend to automatically reload after each kill... which leaves me completely vulnerable for what seems like about 5 seconds (it's probably not quite that long). Whatever the delay, it's an eternity during which I often get slaughtered. And I've lost count of how many times I've come upon an enemy suddenly, tried to swing my sight around to him, only to either melee in the air or perform some other unnatural act that allows him to slowly and carefully put me out of my misery. I'm sure I'll get more used to it than I am now, but it's hard to get past the frustration at the moment.

Despite that, I'm happy with the game after my first hour. I'm hoping to start the campaign on the weekend when Tammy's here, as the game offers a split screen Co-op version of it. It was really the single player campaign experience of Killzone 2 that won me over, so I'm looking forward to that, as well, when Tammy's not available. And I'll keep trying to improve at Multiplayer, as I know that dozens of hours can be joyfully lost there if I can ever get the hang of it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Are We On The Cusp Of A Big Change?

Two recent events, which couldn't be less alike, have made me wonder whether we're possibly in the midst of a game-changing revolution (or two) the likes of which usually only comes along once in a lifetime, if that.

The first is the wave of uprisings that appear to be sweeping through Africa and the Middle East, seemingly feeding off one another in a way that's truly mind-blowing if you stop and consider their scope. Social media, a term that presumably wasn't even coined a decade ago, is now being partially credited with toppling dictatorships. Let me just repeat that: software intended to facilitate 'keeping in touch' or describing what your cat had for lunch is now contributing to regime changes! What armies, black op forces and political will couldn't accomplish, Twitter and Facebook are helping to make a reality! This is beyond unbelievable, really.

On the other side of the human experience, there's IBM's supercomputer Watson appearing on Jeopardy! and defeating the two greatest human contestants that show's ever seen. I'm not sure how many of the millions of people who watched that bit of entertainment have any idea just how significant that outcome really was. As the Nova episode that provided a lot of background on Watson made perfectly clear, this was a stunning accomplishment for the world of artificial intelligence! Because of the human-friendly, computer-unfriendly format of the game show's questions, success there required Watson to master what's called 'machine learning'. Essentially, it couldn't be pre-programmed with enough static information to handle the challenges it would face because the 'chatty' nature of the questions is designed for humans, using puns, plays on words, and double meanings to simultaneously conceal and reveal their meaning.

This is something that wetware like anyone reading this blog learned to do rather intuitively early in your normal mental development, but which is extremely difficult to quantify in the form of software. To get Watson over that hurdle, IBM introduced machine learning into the AI's bag of tricks: Watson would examine all correct answers ('his' own and others') and look for patterns in them to help 'him' learn on the fly. In my mind, that last statement is every bit as potentially monumental as the earlier one about social media. Getting a computer to learn on its own is a thought both wondrous and terrifying. It's tempting to downplay it and say, "It's still only doing what it was programmed to do." But I think that's shortsighted. We have no way of knowing where the vaulting of that particular obstacle may lead artificial intelligence in the next ten years, say. I'm not necessarily predicting SkyNet - though I'm not ruling it out, either! - but that's only because I don't think we can forecast the result yet. I just think it's going to be huge.

In the same way that some people think in terms of "pre-9/11" and "post-9/11" when they consider events from the past couple of decades, we may eventually talk about "before Watson on Jeopardy!" and after it. This could be that important.

Or, of course, I could be wrong on both fronts. But it certainly doesn't feel that way right now.

A Day Late, But At Least It's Here

Prepare to die, Helghast scum!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Don't Like The Looks Of This So Far...

So Killzone 3 is due out tomorrow, and yet my pre-order of the game from Future Shop hasn't shipped yet. As Vicki said when I told her that: "But how's it going to get here tomorrow if it hasn't even shipped yet?" Exactly.

If I'm lucky, it'll ship tomorrow and be here by Wednesday. I'm tempted to go buy a copy from a store tomorrow and then return my pre-ordered copy once it arrives. The lesson here seems to be that I can't rely on getting anything on the release date if I pre-order it online; maybe reserving a copy at a store is the only way to go. Seems like a failure of the online economy, though... especially considering that I've previously received pre-ordered merchandise on or even ahead of the launch date (Halo: Reach, several DVDs).

Very disappointing, this. In a relatively minor way, that is.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh, Radiohead, How Do You Manage To Be So Consistently Awesome?

At this, the height of the Information Age, how is it possible for one of the planet's biggest bands to absolutely shock the music world by announcing a new album and then releasing it just a few days later? Shouldn't we have known everything about Radiohead's The King of Limbs months ahead of it appearing on the scene, like we do with every new TV show, movie and album these days? What a breath of fresh air it's been this week to be surprised like this, and in a good way (for a change)!

I think I'll be holding out for the physical medium release (late next month) since I want a portable version of the album that I can enjoy in a variety of places, including the car. But five or six weeks is nothing to wait, especially when it's anticipation for something as monumental as a new Radiohead record. To get me there, here's the first video produced for The King of Limbs, with a very limber Thom Yorke grooving to "Lotus Flower":

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Crisis Resolved, One Continuing

The dish washer repairman showed up today (just 5 days after the breakdown), quickly pronounced the motor on the 1-year-old machine pooched, and phoned for a new one... which would have to come from Toronto by truck! Fortunately, he was back a few hours later to replace the dead soldier and then we were able to load our reanimated appliance with a full day's worth of dirty crap. Vicki had had the foresight to get a 5-year warranty in 2009 when she bought our dish washer and range, so this visit cost us nothing. The technician kindly informed us the bill would've been over $300 had the machine been out of warranty.

Vicki's ice-bound injury, on the other hand, won't benefit from any such quick fix. She's scheduled to start physio on her shoulder tomorrow. At the moment she can lift her right arm up at most about 40 degrees from her hip. She did take our 2-month old car out for a drive today to make sure she could handle it in her condition, which she never would have been able to if we still owned a manual transmission vehicle, as we had for the past 20+ years. She did very well putting it into gear, cornering and stopping... so she's approved for future driving.

It's been a trying week so far, but it's almost over now, right? Right??

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Birthday Fun & Games

On Saturday night we celebrated our friend Julie's birthday by hosting her for a long night of food, games, and endless discussion. She and I had gone for a long walk in the late afternoon, and then she came over for dinner and an evening of frivolity that Vicki and I had designed. Dinner was homemade pizza and then it was on to the main event.

We each had several gifts to give her, so I had made up trivia questions for Julie in 5 different categories and the poor girl had to correctly answer them in order to earn (Monopoly) money with which to buy them! Here we are in the thick of things:


You can see most of the 9 gifts lined up along the mantle, with prices ranging from $1 to $8 (plus one mystery price of $??), as well as the cardboard game board with its colour-coded trivia cards set out on it on the table between Julie and I. The three of us spent most of the evening there in our family room, engaged in this silly and trivial pursuit, with a lovely wood fire blazing in the background.

Leading up to the final 2 gifts, Julie picked up a toy ball for her dog, Cooper; a couple of Lois Lane comics (after she'd admired some that I'd gotten from Vicki for Christmas last year); a pair of strap-on lights for our night walking (one for her, one for Cooper) to go with the one she'd given me for Christmas; two movies and a TV show on DVD; and a behind-the-scenes book about 42-Up.

The second-last present was a card that said "ADMIT ONE to the Comic Room", leading Julie to believe that she was perhaps going to have her pick of any treasure in my collection (fat chance!!!). Instead, once we got down there, the following photo collage was awaiting her, commemorating many of the good times the three of us have had together over the past six months:


Eventually, after Julie answered the final question in the game, it was time for her to count her remaining cash and discover if she had enough to cover the mystery price on the last gift. She had quite a wad by that time - we think she got 47 of the 60 questions right on her own and answered another half dozen or so correctly with the clues that the game allowed her to procure - but then was disgusted to learn that the price on the last item was simply "Complete the game to win me!" You can see what was in the big package (as well as the birthday cake) in the shot below, although it's not featured as prominently as it should be: it's the beautiful quilt resting on her lap, courtesy of Vicki!


Prior to creating it, Vicki had even made an uncharacteristic trip to Julie's house with me back in January so that she could ostensibly visit with Finley, the cat, while Finley's mistress and I went for our walk... all so that Vicki could surreptitiously compare various swatches of material to Julie's decor. Vicki then assembled 147 squares of carefully selected flannel material into the finished product over the course of the next several weeks. All of that hard work paid off when the birthday girl declared just how much she loved getting her first ever home-made quilt, at the ripe old age of [information redacted for personal safety reasons].

After all of that was over and done with, we retired to the front room to watch the first episode of The Shield Season One (a favourite show of Julie's which she thought Vicki and I would like) and then sat up talking for hours afterward, as we usually do. It was another in a long line of great nights.

Strangely, though, the last two times Julie has come over for a visit, something has gone wrong around here! On New Year's Eve, it was a huge icicle crashing down and breaking one of the windows in our garage. On this past Saturday, just hours before the guest of honour arrived for her party, our (approximately 1 year old) dish washer decided to go on the fritz. Less than 48 hours after that, Vicki slipped on black ice going to the garage, and is now dealing with a serious injury to her shoulder. Considering how much fun we have with this particular friend, it's almost like the universe is trying to balance things out by giving us offsetting headaches to deal with each time we host her! That's not very nice, if you ask me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Massacre

Vicki took a tumble on some black ice outside today and is now nursing a very sore shoulder and hand. Where's the justice in that, I ask? She had a tough enough 2010 without 2011 delivering her something like this. Sheesh.

[Update Feb 15/11: Family doctor thinks it's likely a rotator cuff tear but wants to rule out bone fracture first. We've been to have her shoulder x-rayed and are awaiting results from that.]

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Busy Weekend

It's been light blogging here over the last several days as we got ready for a little party here last night as well as doing some uncharacteristic weekend tutoring (by both of us!). I'll post details on the Saturday Night Event in a couple of days, along with photos for those who prefer a picture to my thousand words.

I also headed to the comic store today, for the first time in three weeks! This may actually been the longest I've gone between comic store stops since I was a kid, considering that even my six-week trip to Europe after university had me finding two or three comic shops over there! A combination of bad weather, Vicki being busy with the car (on contract work and other trips), and general apathy about the comic fare nowadays conspired to stretch the time out to such an extreme as it did. I have to say, though, that buying 15 comics felt like old times... back in the day, of course, that big pile was one week's worth of comics, not three!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gaming Miscellania

I've spent a few hours over the past week playing the Killzone 3 open beta that's currently available on the PlayStation Network (for another few days). It's multiplayer only, limited to 1 map and 3 game types (only 1 of which I've tried)... meaning that it's a very thin slice of the final product that's due to arrive in a week and a half (Feb 22). The fact that I've spent more than, say, a half hour in such a limited offering speaks volumes, I think: this is quite an entertaining bit of code!

I've actually only played against bots so far, as I figure that venturing into the true online environment before I've gotten the measure of the game will simply be too frustrating. As with Combat Training in Call of Duty: Black Ops, you can set the skill level of your AI teammates and opponents to one of several different values, allowing you to increase their proficiency as your own goes up. I loved that opportunity in CoD:BO, and I'm similarly making the most of it with KZ3. I've already seen my own ability go up measurably, as I've ratcheted the AI from Rookie to Trooper to Veteran, each time slipping backward a little in terms of my success before catching back up.

While Guerrilla Games has normalized the weighty controls a little from what it was in Killzone 2, it's still requires a Hell of an adjustment after months of playing various Call of Duty games. I'm slowly getting the hang of it, though, and quite liking it. You have to handle the controls differently, as the physics of the game are just a lot more... realistic, I suppose. It's hard to describe, but anyone who plays it will notice it right away. The good news is: you can still get used to it, and potentially even get good at it, if you stick with it long enough.

I've pre-ordered my copy of the full game (not from Best Buy this time, though) and am already looking forward to both the campaign - which I haven't seen at all - and to venturing into the full online arena.

In other gaming news: I'm quite astonished how much Resistance 3 news seems to come out every week, considering that that eagerly-anticipated release is still almost 7 months away! Obviously Boneman and I aren't the only two huge Resistance fans in the world for there to be this much winter interest in a fall launch! This excellent article, written by someone who got to play a small bit of R3 at a trade show recently, only whets my appetite all the more. I'll continue to reserve final judgment until I get my own hands on a beta or demo version, but so far the early results seem promising. Needless to say, I really, really want this game to be good... last year's Aliens vs Predator was enough disappointment to last me for another few years, thank you very much!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

When Smart People Decode The Stupidity Tax

Courtesy of Freakonomics, I found this fascinating Wired article about a Toronto man who's cracked some of the lotteries being run in North America. He's deduced that the "random distribution" of numbers on the face of those Tic-Tac-Toe scratch cards is not only not random but it also reveals, sometimes with as high as a 90% accuracy, whether the card is a winner or not! Anyone who plays the lottery should definitely read this one!

Monday, February 07, 2011

On Human Bonding

Tonight, as we watched the 4th season episode of Mad Men entitled "The Suitcase", I did something that only a saint of a wife would ever put up with: I paused the show for several minutes so Vicki and I could discuss something that the program had made me think of.

In this case (no pun intended), it was my decades-long observation that there seem to be a lot of people on this planet of ours who are likely to have what I'll call a "bonding experience" with someone only to then revert to their original disposition toward that other person "the next day" (or at some point shortly thereafter). In other words, it seems like they're bonding but it doesn't last at all. So, for example, John might work late with Peter one night and the two men get to exchanging personal stories about themselves. Some of the walls between them come down over the course of the evening, and each person gets a deeper appreciation for the other. They see new sides of each other, trust is extended in various ways that never has been before, and it appears - at the time - like a new friendship is born.

However, the next time they happen to be in a setting together, it's like none of that ever happened. They're just as likely to turn on each other as they'd ever been, or they simply have no more empathy for the other person than they did before the "bonding experience." Or, as sometimes happens, one of them feels the new-found connection afterward but is surprised to discover that it's not mutual. (Mad Men often features both versions of that scenario.)

And just to be clear: I used two men in that example to drive home the fact that I'm not talking about sexual attraction here (that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish!) I'm thinking more about those times when you have some sort of sustained, unusual experience with another person or a small group: a crisis at the office, a deep philosophical discussion at a party that lasts until dawn, or any other time when - in the moment itself - it feels like walls are coming down. I'm the type of person who, when that happens, expects the bond to outlast the event itself; and I'm often disappointed to discover that it hasn't. As I reflect on the people I've become closest to over my life - Vicki being foremost on that list - I can see a common trait among them which is that they all behaved, at least, as though they felt the same contact with me as I had toward them.

Vicki's theory on it is that some people simply don't want or need to give it that kind of meaning, preferring to limit those kinds of intimacy (of feelings) to their immediate family or very, very closest of friends (typically one best friend). Since she and I both come from small families, she believes that maybe that's why we're both wired to be open to new connections in that way. Most people, on the other hand, have more "home bodies" than she and I do, and therefore may be more resistant to such spontaneous forms of bonding. (Our friend Julie, if she read this blog, would no doubt find this whole notion quite interesting! She and I have had a similar conversation on this topic.)

Me, I wonder if it's more evolutionary in nature. Perhaps it's disadvantageous to be that empathetic outside of your immediate tribe, because you were too likely to be killed by whomever you trusted so. That, of course, would suggest that I'm an example of someone who would have been culled from the species 100,000 years ago, because I extend trust much too easily for my own good.

Anyway, we eventually watched the rest of the Mad Men episode, and it was excellent. The fourth season, which we're now a little more than halfway through, has been a joy to watch so far.

Your Laugh Out Loud Moment For The Week

Courtesy of Neil Gaiman, I had my attention directed to this hilarious newspaper correction. I can almost guarantee you'll laugh when you read it!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

It's Nice To Be Wrong Sometimes

I was pretty sure that the hated Steelers would claim another NFL championship tonight, especially after they avoided both the Colts and Patriots on their road to the Superbowl. I was so sure of that undesirable outcome that I didn't even watch the game... not for the commercials, not for the half-time show, and not to see them hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy for the 7th time.

As it turned out, though, despite a big comeback, the bad boys from Pittsburgh managed to lose to the Green Bay Packers by 6 points! If I'd been watching, it would've been sheer torture to see them get back even that close. It sounds like Ben the sexual predator and his offensive line (just too easy to make a poor-taste joke out of that!) had a chance with two minutes to go, which would have had me hiding my eyes behind my fingers had I been perched in front of the game.

Instead, Vicki and I watched a couple episodes of Mad Men, Season Four, and thoroughly enjoyed our evening! That show just keeps on winning me over!

Congrats to the Packers for keeping the 2010/11 NFL season from being a complete disaster for me.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Battle Of The Planets Continues

Anyone who - like me - has been interested in the fairly recent demotion of Pluto to "dwarf planet" status will want to read this article, in which the actual diameter of Eris, the dwarf planet discovery that provided such a knockout punch to Pluto's planetary aspirations, is being called into question. It's all very fascinating to those us who find all the stuff "out there" at least as intriguing as what's going on "down here."

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Thoughts On Mad Men Season Three (Minimal Spoilers)

Vicki and I finished the third season of Mad Men on Netflix last night, and will almost certainly dive right into the latest (so far) season shortly, thanks to the magic of Tivo. To say that Season Three ended strongly would be something of an understatement.

I was actually quite shocked by how much of the show's status quo was turned on its head during the third season finale. This was a Babylon 5 / Lost level of upheaval, if you ask me. Mad Men's a drama, rather than sci fi, so it's not quite as earth-shattering a disruption as those earlier shows experienced, but within its work-a-day context, it's huge! Of course, there may be some attempt in the following season to reset things, but I don't expect that. God help us if the events of that third season end up being a dream when a happily-married Betty Draper wakes up to hear her father singing in the shower! :-)

I think I've enjoyed each season of Mad Men more than the one before it. I love how many little things pay off eventually and reward the observant viewer for watching closely. And I have to hand it to the series writers for how well-defined each character has become over the course of three seasons now. I also love the recurring flashbacks to Don's / Dick's childhood, as that really adds a dimension of pathos to a man who would inevitably be written as a one-dimensional lothario on another show. As I said to Vicki last night, though, I've slowly come to realize that Peggy Olson is the real star of the show, despite the greater screen times that Don, Betty, Peter Campbell and others get over her. She's the one character on Mad Men who you're always rooting for but never quite sure what to expect from, and Season Three continued that tradition with the strange turn of events in her love life.

It's a great show through three seasons, and I want to thank (again) all of the blogospheric voices who encouraged me to try it out. If Season Four is strong, Mad Men may just be my favourite of the current crop of TV shows.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Gaming's Really Just Good Parenting

Loved this article about a university study that showed that dads playing video games with their daughters have a significantly positive effect on the girls' emotional well-being and the cohesion of the family unit itself.

This will come as no surprise to Tammy and I, who've bonded over a myriad of First Person Shooters over the past decade plus, going all the way back to Star Wars: Jedi Knight Dark Forces II in 1999 (my first foray into gaming). As recently as last Christmas, she and I had a great time playing Call of Duty: Black Ops together for hours on end, and there's really no one I'd rather play with than her (with due apologies to Boneman and McChicken, close seconds).

Killzone 3 Open Beta Delayed One Day

On the extremely unlikely chance that anyone who reads this blog actually relies on me for gaming release news: the eagerly-awaited Killzone 3 open beta, which was to be made available on the PlayStation Network sometime tomorrow, has been delayed until Thursday @ 1:00 p.m. ET. I'm disappointed to hear that it's still more than a day-and-a-half away, but at least it was only pushed back 24 hours. Now I just have to find something else to do tomorrow...

New Resistance 3 And Ratchet And Clank: All For One Trailers

You can see them here, if you're so inclined. I'm a bit worried about Resistance 3, at this point, but that's probably just because the campaign in Resistance 2 was so much of a letdown from the original. Until I play a beta or see more game play, I won't really know if my fears are well-founded.

[Update later that same day: A much better, longer video showing some awesome Resistance 3 game play can be seen here. Looks quite impressive, actually!]