Tonight on GeekNights, in light of a fascinating article on whether or not the first decision one can make in a Civ V game matters, we discuss the phases of games and how decision trees evolve. Most games break down to three fairly distinct phases: the early, mid, and late game. Why is this the case? In the news, Rym runs afoul of an out of date Civilopedia and Jungle Speed's 20th anniversary comes with a new release.
Tonight on GeekNights, after doing a show on Dentistry and Dentistry, we discuss how to search for things. In the news, Netflix pays out to Comcast to keep movies streaming (see peering and tiered networks), and Microsoft Killed my Pappy.
Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about dentists and dental work. (Shut up, it's an awesome show topic). In the news, Olympic hockey is best hockey, and Kiev continues to burn. The New York Comic Con has split off its comics into a new edition that will likely resemble Philly Wizard World.
Tonight on GeekNights, we discuss the Internet and its fascination with, well, itself playing Pokemon... collectively. It's Action Pokemon. It's amazing to behold. It's Saltybet 2.0. It's unbearable to watch, yet captivating not unlike a trainwreck in slow motion. Five days in, and it already has its own fandom, its own fan culture, and its own fan merch. Twitch Plays Pokemon. In other news, the videogame industry is as it's always been with Ken Levine shutting down Irrational , and Rym tries a single-day variant of Mafia.
Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about technology in sports, the technology of sports, sports technology, and technical aspects of sport. Eventually, it will all be humans controlled by machines, or else just machines themselves anyway, but what will happen (and has happened) in the more recent term? In other news, Twitch.tv is the #4 consumer of bandwidth in the US (thanks to gamers streaming their games), and the NYPD is looking into using Google Glass.
Tonight on the GeekNights Book Club, we discuss William Gibson's Idoru. It's a product of its time - the 1990s - showcasing both the promise and the dystopia projected from that era. Wildly inconsistent in its treatment of technology (fax machines, disposable cameras, and IR remote controls exist alongside city-building nanotechnology and true AI), steeped in the cyberpunk aesthetic, it is typical of Gibson and of its era. If we had to say what it's truly about, it's fame, information, and adolescence. The Idol herself, as AI, is not the core of this book: don't read it expecting to be blown away with a deep look at at the Sharon Apple story. The side details, the setting, the meta, are what make this book worthwhile.
Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about what it means to add stakes to games. Do they just remove intrinsic enjoyment? Can the old fashioned "arm slap" add anything to games like Dobble? Antes and wagering have existed for a long time (e.g., in Magic the Gathering), but we don't think of them in other gaming contexts. We also discuss Arthur Chu, the Jeopardy hero, not without precedent in his desire to win games (and money). Hint: you should always play to win. Rym describes what he would change in Nidhogg (it's not perfect).