A few random thoughts (to prove I’m still alive)

I’ve been writing like a fiend at this stage to get this dissertation done, but I’ve still had some time for gaming, mostly PS4 at this point. I finished Infamous Second Son, getting my platinum for that. I liked it, particularly the innovative Paper Trail DLC, but I liked Cole better as a character. It seemed harder as an Evil character until you got the Video powers. “Evil” Deslin was more of a dick than he was genuinely a super villain (until the very end).

Right now, I’m playing through Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, in which you are an undercover cop trying to infiltrate the Hong Kong triads. It’s a GTA clone, but there’s a different sense to it. It takes itself pretty seriously, more so than Saints Row, for example. You can’t be a maniac, most of the time, because you’re a cop. I do like it, except for the cheap ass bike races.

After I finish with that, I’m not sure. I spent a lot of time in front of the PC to write, so I don’t like playing PC games as much these days, but I’ve got a pretty good backlog of stuff there. I have three other PS4 games, but one is the Last of Us and I’m not sure I could play that again. Watch_Dogs is something I’d like to finish, for sure, and I have Shadow of Mordor too. I’m also watching Red vs. Blue again on Netflix to pass the time.

Upcoming Events

Over the next six weeks, I will be speaking four times.  All of these talks are free and open to the public—although SQL Saturdays do require payment for lunch if you choose.

TriNUG Data SIG

On Wednesday, June 17th, I will speak at the TriNUG Data SIG (link forthcoming).  My topic is Working Effectively with Legacy SQL.

SQL Saturday Chattanooga

I will speak at SQL Saturday Chattanooga on Saturday, June 27th.  My session begins at 4:15 PM, and the topic is Much Ado About Hadoop.

SQL Saturday Columbus

I will speak at SQL Saturday Columbus on Saturday, July 11th.  My session begins at 1 PM and I’m also giving my Hadoop talk there.

TriNUG F#/Analytics Group

On Tuesday, July 28th, I will give a modified version of my Hadoop talk to the F#/Analytics group.

Meet the 2015 class of the Video Game Hall of Fame

I wrote about the Video Game Hall of Fame and its inaugural class a few weeks ago. Here are your results.

I was right on four of them, the four I thought were slam dunks: Tetris, Pac-Man, Pong, and Super Mario Bros. I assumed there’d be five winners; my #5 pick was the Sims, based on the online polling at the time. Instead, there were six winners, and I didn’t even guess at #5 and #6: DOOM and World of Warcraft.

If I were going to compare the video game Hall of Fame to the baseball Hall of Fame, Pong, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and Pac-Man are pretty much your inaugural baseball class — Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, and Walter Johnson. (Sorry, Christy Mathewson — you don’t get into this analogy.) You, the reader, can decide which is which, but they are all no doubters that any idiot (like me!) could figure it out.

DOOM really made the modern day FPS possible, which, whether we like it or not, tends to dominate modern gaming, especially on console, along with sports games. They weren’t the first, but they were the most popular. If he was already in the Hall, I’d say DOOM is Derek Jeter. DOOM has to be a Yankee. Somebody legitimately good, but not quite as good as everyone thought, and spawned a bunch of imitators who were wildly overrated. I think Reggie Jackson is a fair comparison.

World of Warcraft is the culmination of a series of games much older, and one unlikely to spawn any imitators who are a serious threat. MMORPGs have peaked with WOW and I can’t see anybody else challenging that. If the Old Republic couldn’t, nothing can. Some of the glimmer is faded, but it’s still going strong, and we’ll never see its like again. Tony Gwynn seems a really good fit. Hitters who rely on the raw ability to make contact and hit intelligently, without hitting for much power, and still contribute offensively in a huge way are all but vanished now. I’d use Ichiro as my comparison if he had already entered the HOF.

Robo-punter unavailable

When your back is up against it, you do whatever it takes to win. You fight, claw, and win when the opportunity comes, you seize it.

… Or, you trade for a punter. That works too.

Cleveland traded a 7th rounder for San Francisco punter Andy Lee. He is, admittedly, a pretty awesome punter. However, Spencer Lanning wasn’t exactly chopped liver either. I actually like the move, and a 7th rounder isn’t much (and it’s a 2017 7th rounder, no less), but swapping punters when the guy you had was at least okay seems like shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s not likely to blow up in Cleveland’s face, at least, and I have a feeling we’ll be punting a lot.