Elly Williams' Weblog

Caught Between Industries

The Problem with Holidays…

It was my birthday yesterday, so I took the weekend off. It was great to have a break, but I now have a bit of a backlog so may not be able to update for a while.

Just so’s you know

Technical Merit

Last Saturday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honoured “the people and companies that have advanced the process of filmmaking” in the 2003 Scientific & Technical Awards hosted by Jennifer Garner at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.

The technical Oscars are usually presented a few weeks before the main Academy Awards in an annual gala that positions itself as something of a revenge of the Hollywood nerds.

One honoree joked that Garner was the best part of the evening.

“I want to thank the Academy for inviting Jennifer Garner here tonight,” said Henrik Wann Jensen…….. “Now I can brag to my friends I spent Valentine’s Day with Jennifer Garner.”

Wired News covers the evening

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

The biggest ever diamond has been found floating in space. The gem, estimated at close to 10 billion trillion trillion carats, is at the core of a dead star (BPM 37093) – a crystallised white dwarf.

The newly-discovered diamond in the sky is a whopping great chunk of crystallised carbon 50 light-years from the Earth in the constellation Centaurus. It is 2,500 miles across (the moon is approximately 2,200 miles across) and weighs 5 million trillion trillion pounds….. Diamond specialists told the research team that if nothing else, the diamond was much too big to wear.

Moon-sized Diamond Found in Space – via The Register

Risk of Infection

I was quite interested, although not entirely suprised, by this article this morning. “Clueless office workers help spread computer viruses” claims a newly released survey.

Like I said, this doesn’t particularly suprise me.

  • The people quizzed admit they are not aware of even the most basic virus prevention measures
  • The workers quizzed believe that have no part to play in preventing the spread of viruses, preferring to leave responsibility to “their IT department, Microsoft or the government”
  • The people surveyed said they are “too busy to download anti-virus updates”

(more…)

As Seen on the Silver Screen.

There’s an article on GameGirlAdvance about the portrayal of console gaming in the movies.

The article raises some very good points. How often do you see movie characters “with one thumb repeatedly mashing buttons while the other twirls the joystick mindlessly” ? It’s fairly often.

There are some games you can just about get away with this on – StreetFighter, Mortal Kombat etc, where it might be preferable to press some buttons in certain orders (special moves etc) but random button pressing is sometimes -depending on your opponent – a viable strategy.

I agree with the comment that it is unlikely to be “purposeful victimisation of our upstart industry”

It’s all in the same vein as improbable hacking abilities, implausible flying kicks, dangerous driving and various other activities where the reason the actor looks like can’t possibly be doing whatever is because they aren’t.

So while an actor may go and spend a month shadowing a doctor in preparation for a medical role, or even watching gamers for a gaming role – they’ll never be playing the game while the cameras a rolling.

Why? Well, part of it may be that doing things for real isn’t in their job description, they pretend to be gamers, so where’s the harm in pretending to play games… after all, “most people won’t notice”.

Guns Don’t Kill People….Video Games Do?

Two things have caught my attention relating to this subject this week.

First, on collective about the connection between games and killing sprees made in the upcoming film Elephant, which has just won awards at Cannes.

Secondly, on gamegirladvance noting that violence in video games is a declining trend (many of the comments have differing views on the reasons and implications of this)

I’m not sure that I’ve entirely made up my mind on the whole subject one way or another.Wandering around killing “marauding alien zombie Nazis” is violent..yes? But it’s part of a much, much wider picture.

Violence in entertainment (games, film, tv programming) is not the most universal exposure to violence in modern culture. Every time we turn on the news there are reports of more bombings, more attacks and more murders – and they are not always portrayed as the atrocious loss of human life that they are. And it doesn’t matter – because as long as you come out on top, you’re keeping the peace – which isn’t violent at all….

is an Architecture Student and Web Designer based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, (UK)