Ascension of the Jackdaw

So, Assassin’s Creed 4. You’re a pirate. It’s kinda awesome, though I’ve mostly so far only watched Ben play it rather than playing it myself. But like all games, there are glitches.

This one was amazing.

Yes, the choral music was added as a joke.

I love glitches like these in games because they illustrate a topic I always find interesting: emergent behaviour. These actions were not specifically programmed, but came out of something askew being input in some variable in all the existing equations that under normal circumstances worked perfectly sanely. It’s like how Newtonian physics works in most cases, until you get into cases near light-speed or around black holes, where you need special relativity because something wacky happens to the calculations. This was something very wacky happening to the calculations despite all the calculations working perfectly elsewhere.

The whole damn universe is a set of emergent properties for a very simple and very fundamental ruleset that probably is itself a result of some other extradimensional brane-collision or fold in the fabric of the multiverse. Time itself is an emergent property of the existence of our universe. Physics and chemistry and life, all emergent. This sort of complexity emerging from simpler rulesets is exactly why people are so frequently inclined to assume Goddidit.
[Read more...]

Geeks Without God: Crappy Religious Board Game Edition!

Two weekends ago, I went to OmegaCon in Siren, Wisconsin. And by “went”, I mean “was kidnapped and made to go”. There, I played some board games with a whole lot of local board game nerds who frequent the local convention nerdery circuit. Many of these games were fun. The one that Molly and Nick Glover and Tim Wick forced Stephanie, Brianne and I play, though… um… well, that was significantly less so. It was loosely based on the “hit” movie based on the “hit” Christian novel series, Left Behind. “Loose” is definitely the operative word when describing this board game, because it barely qualified as a board game. I shit you not — we played Left Behind: The Movie: The Board Game.

Click the thumbnail below for a fuller experience of the pain we endured for your entertainment. Screen reader users: it’s a picture of the board game. Sorry that you’ll have to make do with the audio descriptions — though really, you’re the lucky ones, with limited exposure to its whargarbl.

leftbehindboardgame

In a desperate effort to make the podcast fun — because the game’s mechanics are unbelievably boring even to someone with a vested interest in proving themselves the best Tribulation Forces fighters and redeeming themselves in the eyes of Yahweh, you know, like me — the Geeks Without God crew helpfully included the following drinking game to accompany the podcast. I need to disclaimer this, though. Unless you’re a bull elephant, you’ll have to drink something piss weak to survive.

Here are the rules (feel free to add your own rules in the comments):

Take a drink every time moonshine soaked cherries are passed out or someone mentions consuming one

Take a drink whenever we make a Ghostbusters reference

Take a drink every time someone mentions game theory

Take a drink every time someone says the game sucks

Take a drink every time someone lands on a Carpathia square

Take a drink every time someone says “Flightplan.”

Take a drink every time we get a question about the bible correct

Take a drink any time someone mentions Omegacon

Seriously, just don’t do it. You’ll die.

Go listen. We played so you never, ever, ever have to.

Though if you really must, it’s fairly cheap.

When you fail this often, may as well quit while you’re ahead. $75 Mil ahead.

Harold Camping has retired as head of FamilyRadio.com, and the radio website has pulled all mention of the failed apocalyptic predictions, according to the Christian Post.

The move comes soon after Brandon Tauszik, a documentarian who has been attending Camping’s Oakland, Calif., church for eight months, confirmed with The Christian Post in an exclusive interview that the Bible preacher has informed those close to him that he will effectively retire.

Additionally, Tauszik told CP that Camping has changed his views about the possibility that one can know the exact date of the end of the world, a notion that Camping has maintained for at least 20 years; the doomsday prophet made his first public end of the world prediction in 1992, claiming the world would end in 1994.

[Read more...]