You know how I love real world applications of game principles and applying game principles to real world analysis. Today’s news provides a good one: healthcare.gov enrollment numbers were reported. While I fear mentioning politics, visible cartoon exclamation points appeared over my head when I saw the US government copying an F2P game press releases in announcing how many people signed up at the website but refusing to mention how many of them are actually paying customers.
The comments are not a forum for arguing for or against policies, but feel free to discuss PR, the presentation of data, game business models, or the prospect of time-traveling pandas.
Regular readers know that I rarely include pictures in my posts. I am not a visual person. My mental world is verbal and quantitative, and embellishment usually strikes me as willful distraction preluding deception. I write about mechanics and gameplay and seem to be made suspicious by great graphics because what are you trying to hide?
I am unusual in this respect. I have poor vision and am somewhere in the bottom ten percent for mental imagery. Those with better sensory gifts may instead see that “embellishment” as the whole point, with the game mechanics there as a framework for the aesthetic experience.
Remember our buddy Tesh’s Kickstarter for metal gearpunk dice? It has gone ridiculously well, now past 2000% of its goal, so well that Tesh started making up new stretch goals and adding more tiers of dice to accommodate the need to have one of everything. You can still kick in $10 for the original idea, but some people went all the way up to $145 because they wanted one of everything, and for all I know some of those people paid even more to have more than one. There are now multiple shapes and colors and designs and…
You have a day (probably less by the time you read this) to join or increase your pledge. I’m figuring out if I need to add a few dice to play with finish options. I must not spend $145 on very fancy dice.
Mithril Ore – Buy order: 34c. Sell order: 37c.
Carrot – Buy order: 1s21c. Sell order: 1s50c.
Back in June, we mentioned that our friend Tesh had a Tinker Dice Kickstarter going. That did not go, but there were several comments expressing interest in his metal and gearpunk designs. His new Kickstarter is for the metal dice, and he has already reached the stretch goal to start introducing gearpunk dice as options.
So good for our buddy in the MMO blogger collective. :) Feel free to add more money and support more dice options.
Tesh, friend of ratslayers everywhere, has his Tinker Dice Kickstarter live. Personally, I am more interested in the options once stretch goals become available, because the metal and gearpunk dice are nice. Tesh is also working on pretty cards.
Especially here on the internet. Ken sees a potentially sobering mirror:
I’ve been feeling very self-conscious. That’s because lots of people are talking about … subjects with which I am somewhat familiar. When they do, I ask myself: when I very frequently talk about things I haven’t bothered to learn about, do I sound like that? God help me.
I urge you to ponder this koan, which could lead you to satori.
It’s not just me. Ben Zimmer and Scott Hanselman have peeked behind the veil and found comment spam procedural content. The first spam comment template allows 30,576,476,160 distinct comments, which should be enough to last at least a few weeks.
We frequently receive search engine optimization spam. I presume everyone who runs or writes for a website does. They can help us increase our ad revenue! Okay, so they have never looked at the site. They heard about us from our current ads, but did not click and increase our ad costs! Okay, so they are just blatantly lying from the first sentence to the last.
Replying to spam is generally a bad idea, but I am tempted to have a Popehat pony e-mail exchange sometimes. What do you think of our current KTR ads? By what percent do you think we could increase our revenue? Would it be enough to buy a pony?
“Expect,” like most English words referring to mental states, is problematically ambiguous. It could refer to considering something (1) likely to happen or (2) obligatory or reasonably due. Speakers may not realize that something obligatory is unlikely (or something forbidden is likely), and listeners can reasonably misunderstand which sense of expectation is meant.
If I say that I expect someone to do something, you’ll probably need context or nonverbal cues to understand whether I consider it likely, obligatory, or likely because it is obligatory. I have some employees who will not be meeting their performance objectives; we expect (meaning 1) them not to live up to their expectations (meaning 2).
Further ambiguity is introduced because expectation is not a single thing out there in the world but rather billions of individuals’ mental states. You and I have different estimates of how likely something is (meaning 1). We are more likely to agree about expectations (meaning 2), although beliefs differ radically on what is “reasonably due” (see: who deserves the most credit or whose turn it is to do housework). A particular person’s expectations (1) are a single thing we can reasonably discuss, as is a consensus estimate (“the publisher expects (1) the game to have 1 million subscribers”). In that sense, it becomes entirely reasonable to expect (meaning 1, personal) something to fail to meet expectations (meaning 1, consensus or someone else’s). I occasionally hear someone say s/he expects (1, personal) something not to live up to his/her expectations (1, personal); expecting disappointment is not fully coherent, but we are just a bunch of social primates with meat-based computers in our skulls.
To answer a recent question: my expectations (1) can differ from my expectations (2).