The End Of A Football Career

On 14 May 2007 I became manager of Stockholm Wolves, through an online football management game by the name of Hattrick. After many seasons, and with some success, I have decided to throw in the towel. I still enjoy the game, but it takes away precious free time from real video games, of which I have not spent enough time with recently. There are a number of unplayed PS2 and Wii games that have been sitting in the cupboard for a long time, and I’d prefer to spend time with those than in front of the computer, working out formations for the coming matches or searching for new players.

Thanks Hattrick, and goodbye.

Freya Perling Mario

This morning Freya asked me to help her lay some perler beads. She wanted to make a Mario, so I printed out one from New Super Mario Bros. I helped her fill in the dungarees and generally worked to her direction, but most of it is her own design.

Tetris To Statistics

A few months ago Freya was pearling with my semi-professional bead set. Quite by accident she crafted a mosaic Gameboy, complete with angled corner, and in the process of playing Tetris.

Now, whilst it may take the monkey a very long time indeed to write the complete works of Shakespear, it only took Freya about four years to come up with this.

Wiki writes that the “monkey” is not an actual monkey; rather, it is a metaphor for an abstract device that produces a random sequence of letters ad infinitum. All this arsing around with metaphors and the like is clearly unnecessary, especially when it would be far easier to replace the word monkey with, say, computer: “a computer printing random letters for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.”

Wiki does have something interesting to offer about the theory, though:

In 2003, lecturers and students from the University of Plymouth MediaLab Arts course used a £2,000 grant from the Arts Council to study the literary output of real monkeys. They left a computer keyboard in the enclosure of six Celebes Crested Macaques in Paignton Zoo in Devon in England for a month, with a radio link to broadcast the results on a website.

Not only did the monkeys produce nothing but five pages consisting largely of the letter S, the lead male began by bashing the keyboard with a stone, and the monkeys continued by urinating and defecating on it.

That’s all very interesting and highly amusing, but back to the subject matter. And I have to say how pleased I am to finally use this image to the left. I’ve had it stored away for an age, waiting for the right blog entry to come up for its inclusion. I suppose I could mention that just this very month researchers in the UK claim that playing Tetris helps to reduce the effects of traumatic stress.

I know I’m about to anger all the researchers around the world who regularly visit my blog, but I think research is a load of bollocks. Research misses, misinterprets or falsifies results to the point of being harmful. Regardless any altruistic intentions of research there are miriad factors that influence or pervert the original test settings or results, making the the whole thing relatively worthless.

Statistics are a load of shite, too. Pick up any paper or magazine and there are a load of them just waiting to grab our attention. Of course, the only stats that are worth reading are the ones that pamper to our political or ethical standpoint. A discussion or argument waits with baited breath for them, as if their presentation somehow validates or even strengthens the participators’ ramblings.

The Social Side Of Videogames

The last month or so Freya and I have been playing the DS a lot. We started to play “her” games first, but soon we found ourselves attempting some of the child-friendly games I have. It amazes me, even though it shouldn’t, just how quickly Freya picks up the controls; even though the “adult” games soon become quite difficult for her, she is able to play some of them without too much assistance.

We actually play all the games together. We lie in bed or on the sofa, and there is, I feel, a real connection between us. Which made me think of the nature of gaming. Although these games are meant to be played solo, there is a great deal of social interaction to be gained from being there when one’s daughter is happily trying to complete a quest, whether it be Builder Bob or Princess Peach.

She has been playing so much that I (yes, I) have been the one to end the session. These sessions can be four or five hours long, and I’m sure Freya would be quite happy to continue for a further few hours if I had not been the one to call it a night.

Videogames can be, without doubt, a great way to spend time with one’s children, as long as one has the right mindset from the outset.

We Have Contact (And I Didn’t Use The Crass “Wii”)

Lotten came up on Monday to finalise an article she has written about us, which should appear in a Sunday supplement of one of the big nationals, DN, later this/next month. She brought her laptop with her, and during our conversation she tried to connect to her email client via wi-fi.

Her connection may have been fast, but it took me and my synapses nanoseconds to see how I could exploit the situation, particularly when she mentioned her connection was unlocked.

Suffice to say, I have now set up both Jo’s DS and my Wii to Lotten’s hotspot (must remember to mention that to her sometime). I was terribly impressed at how easy it all was, and, while it’s not as fast as my “other” connection I shall not complain, considering it’s costing me nothing.

I had been considering wi-fiing the flat myself, but due to some rubbish reason my Internet provider has given I’d not be able to use the free wi-fi modem they are offering. I could buy a wi-fi router to plug into my useless current modem, but spending 700 crowns on achieving a setup that other people are getting for free niggles me somewhat. But now I don’t have to.

Chris, Jack and Mark all have Wiis (with only Mark not having it in online mode yet), so I can see the next few months being fairly interesting, especially with Mario Kart being released next month.