I’m taking a Coursera/Yale class on happiness called The Science of Well-Being. It covers the lies our brains tell us about what will make us happy and how to get around it. It’s loaded with good information. The major focus of the first video in week four is spending money on experiences will make you (and everyone around you) happier than purchasing material goods. I think there’s overlap between buying experiences and material goods in sense that some of the things you can purchase enable experiences.
The course discusses buying material goods such as cars, homes, fancy new tech toys, and the like. These are goods which are exciting to purchase but quickly become a regular part of everyday life. Experiences are things like vacations, concerts, etc, which last for a limited period of time. They’re too short for novelty to wear into boredom. We can’t just grow accustomed to the latter. They’re also more fun to talk about with friends, so they provide more happiness for longer.
However, some things enable new experiences by being owned. I’m gonna look at two examples here: needlework supplies and games.
I feel like I should have seen #GameStruck4 coming. It’s a permutation of #FilmStruck4, which started with this one tweet:
I’d never heard of Filmstruck before. As someone who does PR, I’d say this social media campaign is a resounding success. Filmstruck started by tagging four big people in film, who cascaded the modern-era chain letter until people who weren’t tagged started joining in for fun. Now there are permutations like #GameStruck4, and people are wondering where that came from and tracing it back to #FilmStruck4, even if they missed seeing it over the past couple of days. Filmstruck has put its name in front of zillions of eyeballs, even if not everyone bothers to research and find out that it’s a streaming service for classic movies.
I thought about doing #FilmStruck4 yesterday, but it was pretty easy to pick four movies and then I felt too lazy to actually put the tweet together. Then this morning I saw #GameStruck4 and had to stop and think.
It’s been basically forever since I updated my blog. A lot has been going on, some good and some not so good. I had trouble finding a job I wanted and eventually had to settle for a low-income position at a hotel. That threw me into depression for the entirety of November. I was doing a bit better come December. However, I was still not great until I got a better job working for Stride PR, a PR firm that focuses primarily on indie games PR.
I haven’t written anything here in a while. The reason for it is I’ve been writing things in other places. Now that I’m officially on staff for www.indiegames.com, I’m writing articles for them 4-6 times a week. This involves finding and trying good games on top of the writing itself. It’s also November, which back home in the USA is National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo.
Every year, a lot of people celebrate NaNoWriMo. The goal is to pump out 50,000 words of a story over the course of the month. It’s doable if you keep up with it. When I tried last year, though, I got a few thousand words in and then stopped. This year, I picked up the same story and am trying to actually finish it. It may be a little cheaty to use the same idea and what I started with last year, but this is a story idea that’s been floating around my head for years waiting to be written.
Besides, when the goal is 50,000 words, what’s a 2,500 word head start?
It’s a fascinating read, whether or not you like to write. But while I was reading it, my mind drifted a bit. I’ve been thinking a lot about writing styles recently anyway, thanks to the author’s commentary at the end of the Ender’s Game audiobook. This article just built on that for me.
Six years later edit (April 21, 2019): This post needs a bit of extra context. It was migrated from my old blog, Of Crows, Nuts, and Bolts. That’s where my requested elements for the comission came from.
One of my Ludum Dare buddies was offering fun, $1 commissioned sketches, so I got one. I asked him to do something with a crow, a walnut, and a bolt (as in screw, not lightning).
This is the story all about how My mind got flipped, turned upside down. I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, And I’ll tell you how Apple’s customer service punished me for wanting to make an in-app purchase.
When I make calls to customer service centers, I don’t usually have a normal problem. That’s the benefit of being more computer-savvy than most; I already know to check the cables, try restarting, clear the cache, etc. This time my problem was simple. I was pretty sure I understood the cause of the problem. When I made this call, I expected to be told there was no help for it and to be on my merry way, but Apple went a step further than that.
Here’s my unorthodox situation. I am a U.S. citizen living in Japan. I have a U.S. iTunes account, with which I’ve been merrily buying things for who knows how many years now from both the U.S. and from Japan. A little over a week ago, I got an iPhone from my Japanese phone carrier. I got it all set up and had no problems using my U.S. iTunes account with the Japanese iPhone.
I saw Iron Man 3 at the theater last weekend. It was a good movie, but that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about an ad before the movie which starred this fine gentleman:
One of the trailers was for the upcoming G.I. Joe movie. Once the trailer had ended, there was a commercial for G.I. Joe pens. I didn’t pay much attention to the details of this Amazing Pen Offer™, but it was very Japanese. So very Japanese that they used a clip of Bruce Willis saying “Nice,” in the movie, subtitled in a bubbly pink font with a heart at the end.
Six years later edit (April 20, 2019): You can no longer download Poke from itch.io. Sorry folks
Item one: there is now a Mac OSX build for Poke, the game I mentioned in my last post.
It can be downloaded from item two, which is my profile up at itch.io. Itch.io is a web site made by another Ludum Dare person. It’s designed to just be a place where indie game developers can host their game files. The site supports pay what you want models, with the minimum price being set by the developer and $0.00 being a viable minimum price. It’s a neat site.
Ender’s Game Trailer
Then there is item three, the first trailer for the Ender’s Game movie adaptation.