Archive for May 1st, 2004

Doom Revisited

May 01, 2004 in Tech

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time playing Doom, the all-time greatest first-person shooter game. I’m a fairly casual gamer, and never really got into deathmatching and the more popular FPS’s such as Half-life, Quake 3, Unreal Tournament and such.

Doom’s ultimate appeal lies in it’s bloody (and addictive) simplicity. Plus, it will run on just about any machine. The isometric 3D view of modern FPS’s is frustrating to a non-hardcore gamer such as myself, who fumbles with the mouse/keyboard combo skills required to play. In Doom, on the other hand, all of your aiming is done on the horizontal axis. I prefer a joystick to the mouse/keyboard combo that modern FPS’s require, and Doom allows you to map pretty much all of the features you need onto a eight-button gamepad.

Id open-sourced the code to the Doom engine in 1997, and since then, a number of source ports have been made to extend the features of Doom, giving it a more modern feel. For those of you who haven’t played Doom in a while, go pick up the shareware version (or dust off the copy on your hard drive). While you’re at it, download Doom Legacy and point it to the doom.wad file in the Doom installation directory.

If you have a good video card, you can now play Doom in OpenGL, and use higher resolutions. You also have access to a plethora of new features and configuration options, such as the ability to jump, look up and down, and play Doom like a modern 3D isometric FPS. Doom Legacy also allows you to easily connect to deathmatch game servers, and play against others.

With all the hubbub about the soon-to-be-released Doom 3, it’s as good a time as any to go back and play an enhanced version of the original.

Stephin Merritt on Cee-Lo

May 01, 2004 in Music

The new Magnetic Fields album, i, is coming out this Tuesday. sat down to talk with Stephin Merritt, and asked for his opinions on rap music.

‘I tried playing Merritt a track by the Southern rapper Cee-lo, called “One for the Road,” a dazzling display of verbal ingenuity and wit I thought he might enjoy. Before Cee-lo actually starts rapping, there’s a short introduction, in which, sounding very Southern and very black, he says, “Yeah, mm-mm-mm, yeah that sho’ feel good. Hello, I go by the name of simply Cee-lo Green, how d’ya do? Welcome. I thought I’d seize this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about myself, if you don’t mind. This is my vision, ya know what I’m sayin’? Check me out now.”

Unremarkable and tame, at least it seemed to me, but it was too much for Merritt, who stopped the song after a few seconds of this. “I think it’s shocking that we’re not allowed to play coon songs anymore, but people, both white and black, behave in more vicious caricatures of African-Americans than they had in the 19th century. It’s grotesque. Presumably it’s just a character, and that person doesn’t actually talk that way, but that accent, that vocal presentation, would not have been out of place in the Christy Minstrels.” Dramatic pause to prepare for the inevitable hyperbolic quip, “In fact, it would probably have been considered too tasteless for the Christy Minstrels.”‘

The War on Weight

May 01, 2004 in Current Events

An article in today’s eugenics movement in the 20’s.”

Kathleen LeBesco, associate professor of communication arts at Marymount Manhattan College, also asserts that at the root of the current slimness craze is an effort to stigmatize certain groups.

…Ms. LeBesco writes that African-American and Mexican-American women are particularly targeted as obese in contemporary culture. “All of the discourse about fatness is about pathologizing the individual.”‘