Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, June 14, 2021

Enough with all the Pac-Man stuff, already! I mean, I like the game, but it’s far from my favorite.

Still, I have to mark this month’s 25th anniversary of the introduction of the arcade classic.

“This was the first time a player took on a persona in the game. Instead of controlling inanimate objects like tanks, paddles and missile bases, players now controlled a `living’ creature,” says Leonard Herman, author of “Phoenix: The Rise and Fall of Videogames.”"It was something that people could identify, like a hero.”

My first reading of that paragraph aroused skepticism in me; there had to be videogame characters that preceded the Pac. But, going strictly from memory, I guess there wasn’t, at least not in a truly identifiable sense: It was hard to give a Pong paddle or Space Invaders ship much of a personality.

Pac-Man was a more definable character, as evidenced by the ease with which spinoff storylines were launched for him. He and Mario from Donkey Kong/Mario Brothers fame were, really, the only enduring and mass-market characters to come out of the early videogaming days.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/14/2005 11:26pm
Category: History, Videogames
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darkest knight
Yep, tomorrow. I won’t say I’ve been waiting with bated breathe, but I’ve certainly been looking forward to the rebooting of the Batman movie mythos in Batman Begins.

There’s a possibility I’ll be watching this baby in the real-life Gotham this weekend. What could be better?

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy myself with a re-reading of the “Batman: Black and White” short story collection. Katsuhiro Otomo’s “The Third Mask” is a particularly good piece, as it does a great job of delving into the identity crises of the character (a subject near and dear to my heart).

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/14/2005 10:09pm
Category: Movies, Pop Culture
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A while back, I stated that my alma mater, Eckerd College, could boast of only one truly famous graduate: Novelist Dennis Lehane, of “Mystic River” fame.

Zac Turney aims to be EC star Number Two. He landed a spot as one of the Gilligans on this season’s edition of “The Real Gilligan’s Island”.

As an alum, I’m so damned proud. And, not wanting to pass up a marketing opp, so is the school.

I particularly like how Turney wound up being a Little Buddy (tough for him if he doesn’t like that nickname):

“I was thinking, “I don’t want to be Gilligan, I want to be the professor.’ Then I saw where you have to have a Ph.D., so I said, “Well, looks like I’m stuck as Gilligan.’ “

An early lesson: Stay in school.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/14/2005 11:34am
Category: Florida Livin', RealiTV Check
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say pac
Wow. Just a day after noting the continuing cultural influence of Pac-Man, I run across MindSay, a blogging/social networking site that liberally uses a blue-hued Pac-Imposter as its logo.

I guess there’s something compelling and universal about that little wedged-out circle.

As for MindSay… Looks like nothing but a warmed-over replay of Xanga, aimed at the slightly older (mid-20s) demographic who (think) they’ve outgrown Xanga. Like MySpace, these kind of sites seem to have a predictable trajectory:

1. They launch amid much hype over attracting groups of enthusiastic, hip, pretty young things

2. They attain a critical mass of a couple hundred thousand members

3. They start to cross-promote and sell ads like crazy, cashing in on what’s assumed to be a captive audience

4. They roll out premium add-ons for nominal fees

5. They get so large and ad-driven that they turn off the very members that flocked to them in the first place, leading to defections and a loss of cool-cache

6. They sputter on, devolving into purely affiliate-marketing/spam-generating subscriber rolls of questionable value

And so on, until a new crop of sites roll out. What I can’t figure out is why people continually buy into them, swallowing the hype about how they’re new and innovative, when they’re far from it. Maybe the average joiner goes into it knowing that it’s got a short shelf life.

If someone can figure out a way to break this cycle and come out with a social networking site that endures, they’ll make a mint.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/14/2005 11:00am
Category: Internet, Videogames
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