Entertainment, In Whatever Form

Well, the mini-break is nearly over, and after polishing off the week's edition of The Economist and Ian M. Banks' Use Of Weapons I'm now engrossed in the utterly, utterly fascinating The Lady Tasting Tea, one of my that is really paying off - and which I'd like to thank Paul Hoffman for.

The history of Statistics is a lot more fascinating than what people would ordinarily think, even those such as myself who were wantonly exposed to its most venomous manifestations during our studies. But do not think of this as a highbrow book - the writing is amazingly down-to earth, although enough leads are given to enable one to dig out and search Wikipedia for, say, Stigler's Law (my favorite off-beat bit so far, which pops up every now and then).

Blowing Up Things

Like I've written before, I'm now a somewhat regular reader of EDGE, and the current issue carries a (shortish) piece on Valve's upcoming bumper console pack. Basically they'll be giving away a bunch of games in the same package for the Xbox360 and the PS3, but what caught my eye was the great Team Fortress 2 artwork, which is refreshingly cartoony (and eerily reminiscent of The Incredibles):

From Steam News

I used to love playing CTF, and although I never quite got the hang of TF and hated playing just about every single FPS game on a console (nothing like a mouse for actually aiming), the notion of getting online for a quick romp in a squad-based game with this kind of gameplay is very appealing, especially if the animations are all they're cracked up to be.

The thing is, most of my gaming nowadays is portable. Daxter is great, Loco Roco is endlessly entertaining (although the cute music can get on your nerves), and with games at Eur.50 a pop, I wouldn't buy anything I wasn't absolutely sure to be worth the money.

Plus there's something profoundly egotistical about hogging the for what are clearly testosterone-fueled combat sublimation games, so even without considering the very odd shifts in the ranks of hard-core gamers, my ever investing on another console would be heavily conditioned.

And there's also the little thing about not just game pricing, but also recurring costs.

For instance, I have no idea about what kind of fees Xbox Live entails, or how they apply to Europe. Anyone out there care to drop me a summary?

I promise not to camp if we ever play on the same map. :)