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Tycho / on Wed, Mar 25 2009 at 12:00 am

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OnLive is pretty much the belle of the ball at GDC thus far, and its promise of rapture must be pure exhilaration to anyone who has never worked IT.  I wouldn’t describe it as a fight, per se - the knives remained sheathed - but I would say that Gabriel and I entered into what you might call a scale model of a fight.  There was fury, but it was a very compact fury.

I received an SMS from Robert late last night, no doubt typed at some Game Developer’s Conference bacchanal, and something in the way it was formatted managed to communicate a breathless enthusiasm.  I reminded him that years ago - during E3 That Was - we saw a demo of the Phantom that was impressive enough to elicit a purchase.  The demo was that good.  So good that I never wrote about it - it was, in fact, too good.  The machines that served the content were situated in a room not ten feet away, connected via gigabit ethernet.  Every time I pore over some unchecked torrent from an ecstatic new convert, I start to become very curious about topology.

I mentioned IT before because people who have done time in the field have already been through several cycles of this kind of thinking.  I’m not making a value judgment of any kind - I’m just saying that terminal computing is perpetually making a case for itself, because the seat of processing power is always shifting.  Back when I worked for the school district, the basement of the administration building was given over to an ancient mainframe serviced by equally ancient people who only knew how to tend to their beloved, humming sarcophagus.

What I’m saying is that server-side solutions invariably lead to sinister necromantic cabals.

I’m not saying that exactly.  Even sight unseen, there are genres I prize greatly that would work well on a mechanism like this.  Virtually any raw tactics experience would excel under these conditions. Role-playing titles and some massive games would perform adequately, even in the absence of any unique technology.  The new Prince is the sort of platformer that might function, and it features prominently in their materials.  When I see a racer or a shooter, however, something in my mind rebels.

They have some incredibly forward thinking community solutions, and as a rental scenario what OnLive delivers is near optimal.  I resonate in a harmonious way with the idea that discrete gaming “platforms” are a divisive, untenable regime that often obscures the medium.  This is precisely why I am careful about things of this stripe: it is the will of my heart to believe it.  I believe Matthew 24, verses 23 through 26 might be appropriate here.  Due diligence.

If a man claims to be Jesus Christ, you can bet I’ll check the wrists.

(CW)TB out.  

the city of the great king


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