The Chinese Gaming Frontier: Assassin’s Creed Mobile ?>

The Chinese Gaming Frontier: Assassin’s Creed Mobile

I learned today about a plan by Ubisoft to make, with their Chinese development partners Ourpalm (zhangqu or 掌趣 in Chinese, which literally means “interesting palm” but to a Chinese reader would convey a message of “grabbing attention”), a mobile massively multiplayer online Assassin’s Creed game specifically for the Chinese market. It’s an exciting idea, and a rather alien one to Western ears I would think. In the United States and Europe we are used to the idea of “massively...

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Baseball is nerdy ?>

Baseball is nerdy

Joe Posnanski interviewed the always wonderful Bob Costas on his podcast a few days ago, and listening to Costas got me thinking, of all things, about the discipline of history. There’s more to come in a future (and considerably longer) post, but for now I’ll just make the point that I’m increasingly concerned historians have essentially abrogated our responsibility to inform the public. This is sometimes out of frustration with the kind of narratives that appear to gain traction, it...

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Short Thoughts About Public History ?>

Short Thoughts About Public History

I’m reading John Dower’s Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering and thinking about conceptions of public history. Dower, writing specifically on the controversy centered on the 1995 Enola Gay exhibit at the Smithsonian debating how to present the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in terms of aftermath and context (or lack thereof), presents the importance of public history as part of an obligation on the part of historians to participate in a fuller exploration of our mission...

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The slow, slow move from inertia to momentum ?>

The slow, slow move from inertia to momentum

A quick word about reviving blogs: I hate writing posts like this, but I still write them, compulsively. It’s terrible, making a promise I suspect I won’t keep, for no real concrete reason beyond the numerous times I have broken similar promises. The central argument in favour of such posts is essentially that it creates a precedent that must be sustained, but that’s not why I write these; really, I’m trying to give that boulder a really hard shove, and...

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The Fidelity Wars ?>

The Fidelity Wars

Hefner’s most appealing variety of weirdness, for me, was their willful, enthusiastic and deeply self-conscious embrace of the pathetic. The Fidelity Wars was a masterpiece for a heartbroken twenty-something, which is exactly what I was when I first discovered the album. Darren Hayman’s vocals were plaintive, the songs’ themes unabashedly bathed in the deep treacle of self-pity, the depth of the instrumentation stripped back to resemble talented lounge rockers in a large empty room; it’s a masterpiece designed for someone...

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Johan and Garry ?>

Johan and Garry

Two men passed away today. They were in completely different fields but both were influential in my life. My grandfather’s house was a house of football. In the back of the house, by the pit in the back garden where my grandmother hung clothes to dry and, on the other side, a cavernous garage that I’m not sure was ever used to house a car but was always full, sat a washing room with two washing machines and more football...

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Episode Fifty Eight: Super Mario Bros. (1993) ?>

Episode Fifty Eight: Super Mario Bros. (1993)

We take on Super Mario Bros., not exactly a classic and frequently disavowed by almost everyone involved with it... so perhaps it's ripe for a re-examination? Not quite. Mostly we wonder at the extraordinary poor fortune of trying and failing to make a video game adaptation both child-friendly and edgy, deciding to release a dinosaur-themed movie in 1993, and Bob Hoskin's accent.

Episode Fifty Seven: Masters of the Universe (1987) ?>

Episode Fifty Seven: Masters of the Universe (1987)

We talk about that classic from our youths, Masters of the Universe, featuring a terrifyingly buff Dolph Lundgren, and admirably motivated Frank Langella, and a lot of apparently confused people doing their best to make something of this thing. I mentioned two articles from HitFix in this episode, and you can find them here and here. They are worth checking out!

My Week in Games ?>

My Week in Games

These posts are drifting further and further into the following week. This is ostensibly a post about the games I played last week, but hey, whatever. Here we are. Not included: the game I’m currently gathering footage from for the next episode of History Respawned, and Civilization V, which I am currently running through a short playthrough for the streaming episodes of History Respawned. I guess I can say those don’t count, but really, are we ever not playing Civilization?...

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Episode Fifty Six: Cobra (1986) ?>

Episode Fifty Six: Cobra (1986)

  This week we discuss the mangled cut of Sylvester Stallone’s Cobra, a film that reacts to the crime wave of the 1970s and early 1980s US pretty aggressively. Aviator sunglasses, a toothpick hanging from the lip and a poorly explained violent serial killer: Cobra has it all. You can find the podcast episode by Movie Geeks United! mentioned in the cast, with Brian Thompson and Ric Waite, here. A quick note: the gremlins got into our machines this week,...

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