Wreck-It Ralph

If you’re a video game and animation nerd waiting for the release of Wreck-It Ralph, then you’ll enjoy reading up on the Nerdist’s interview with director Rich Moore who worked on The Simpsons, Futurama, and The Critic.

This animated history of LEGO is fantastic and weirdly feels like it stepped out of the Pixar universe. The shift from wooden toys to plastic bricks interestingly parallel’s Nintendo’s shift away from cards into toys, and eventually electronics. Bricks and bytes are mashed together in my head because of Douglas Coupland’s Microserfs and I can’t help but think how significant LEGO has turned out to be in our increasingly digital world. It’s almost like we were prepared for the jaggy edges of pixels through LEGO.

I’d be curious to know what LEGO thinks of Minecraft since the video game a suped-up version of LEGO’s systemic approach that pushes the notion of free creation into concepts like the post-scarcity economy.

I recently caught The Nerdist podcast with Billy West and and John DiMaggio, who are two amazing voice actors most known for being Frye and Bender on Futurama. If you weren’t aware, the show has been running again since June and the first episode The Bots and the Bees is a hilarious new start.

John DiMaggio plugged I Know That Voice, which is a movie he’s producing about voice acting. They’re trying to get it into festivals and right now and hopefully it’ll get wider release soon. I’m really excited since this is an underdiscussed part of animation and acting. In the podcast West and DiMaggio talk about what goes into a voice and the range of expression that they need to convey convincingly and how that will fit into an image. I was taken by the fact that the actors weren’t used to discussing the minimalism of their performances like in the visual arts. There is a nakedness to voice acting that the animation process enables that theatre can’t. Think about how pantomime is acceptable in theatre but a voice behind a curtain would be a hard act to pull off.

In the podcast I also love the entire bit about Marge Schott that I highly encourage anyone who was a baseball fan to listen to.


The most recent iOS update to Figure added the ability to export songs! I’ve been waiting to see this for a long time since I’ve been noodling with Figure for months.

It was really disheartening to throw songs away. I really like how exploratory this app feels since I’m a non-musician and instead just mash and tweak until it sounds…reasonable. Now if only I had a chance to corner Tim with this app, a Jambox, and some beer. Then I would purse my fingers and say “excellent.”

Apple Keynote

Showing off cross-platform gaming from June’s keynote.

Chris Foresman over at Ars Technica has an interesting piece that tries to paint the map of iOS as a gaming platform. Hint: it’s huge. It’s not a surprise to me since my mom is a regular iOS gamer and who had previously been really into Tetris on the Game Boy. I’m sad that Nintendo refuses to publish for iOS because I think they’d do something great with the platform. Even though they would see it as a bit of a defeat, I think they have a lot to gain from proving they can win a match on someone else’s court.

While the numbers are impressive now, I think we’re going to see the true impact in the coming months when people start to really use cross-platform gaming. The battle for the living room this holiday season is going to be really interesting.

Jane McGonigal’s cool new TED talk, The game that can give you 10 extra years of life, is based on the chapter SuperBetter Or How to Turn Recovery Into a Multiplayer Experience from her book Reality is Broken.

McGonigal’s really great at expressing her personal experience with head trauma and how a game structure helped her get better by thinking of herself as Jane the Concussion Slayer. I really appreciate McGonigal’s positive outlook on gaming and the human creature and the hope that it creates.

Here’s a link to her previous Ted talk Gaming Can Make a Better World.

“Well, the one thing with writing stories about the rise of fascism is that if you wait long enough, you’ll almost certainly be proved right. Fascism is like a hydra — you can cut off its head in the Germany of the ’30s and ’40s, but it’ll still turn up on your back doorstep in a slightly altered guise.”

Alan Moore on Fascism from Salon in 2004

It’s kind of amazing if you think about this in the context of the Captain America movie from last year and The Avenger’s film from this summer. It really makes you think about the need for an “old fashioned” according to Agent Coulson via Joss Whedon.

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s podcast Star Talk has an amazing episode on the history of video games with comedian Eugene Mirman, Jeff Ryan, author of “Super Mario – How Nintendo Conquered America” and Will Wright, the incredible creator of the SIM video games and Spore.

I was surprised that deGrasse Tyson focused on violence in video games, but was really impressed by the discussion that follows. This is a must listen for anyone interested in the origins of video games and the nature of gaming in general. But worth it alone for deGrasse Tyson’s thoughts on the “parsecs” reference in Star Wars. Guess I have some podcasts to catch up on.

Joss Whedon stars in a short film written by a 4 year-old! I’m amazed by this whole Written by a Kid series.

Via Neatorama

I love how this promo for The Hub’s Batman: The Animated Series recuts the show into the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. It’s really incredible how these two series have really redefined the character.

Even better, John Stewart indicated that he’s looking forward to all the Bain/Bane jokes that are inevitably going to happen.

Via Neatorama