After nine years of development, Dwarf Fortress is, from the perspective of game play, perhaps the most complex video game ever made. And yet it is still only in “alpha” — the most recent release is version 0.31. By version 1.0, Tarn says, the game will include military campaigns and magic, along with scores of other additions. He showed me a four-inch stack of index cards, color-coded and arranged into umbrella categories, to keep track of his goals. “I like being able to hold the game in my hands,” he says.
—New York Times on the brilliance of Dwarf Fortress
“Glamour queen Katie Price brought Chester city center to a standstill as hundreds turned out to see her,” reported The Chester Chronicle. “Staff were forced to shut the whole store as hundreds of people, mostly teenage girls, crowded around the entrance while queues stretched as far as Tesco on Frodsham Street.”
You should be ashamed! Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now!
—Ivy Frye, assistant to Gov. Palin
What lessons can we derive from the western today? First of all: Everyone is potentially an outlaw, and everyone who takes action is effectively an outlaw. Second: Success will probably lead to ruin. Third: It’s a jungle or perhaps a desert out there, and barring a horse your only friend is your shadow. Fourth: You can parley with a major villain, but beware of spear carriers. Fifth: Violence is continuous, and the absence of gunfire can only mean that an even greater explosion is due in a few minutes. Do these insights reflect the world in which we live? Sadly, they probably do. We have all by now earned our moral ambiguity. The essential American soul may not be hard, isolate, stoic or a killer, but more than ever, it wishes it were.
For a long time Pierce had stopped taking that immense wad of newsprint; he had become convinced that what gave Sunday the particular character it had for him–a character it retained in all seasons and every kind of weather, a headachy, dreary, dissipated quality–was not Jehovah claiming his own day and poisoning it even for unbelievers, not that at all but a sort of gas leaking out from that very Sunday Times, a gas with the acrid smell of printer’s ink, a narcotizing, sickening gas. And in fact the symptoms seemed to have been at least partly relieved when he began refusing to buy it. But out here its effect might be neutralized. How anyway were Sundays spent here? Maybe he’d have to start going to church.
—John Crowley, Solitudes