Pop Culture Archive

  • Yesterday we got the press release below from the people behind the Guinness Book of World Records: Gamer's Edition. I, personally, love when someone assembles a list like this. It is a great way to get people talking, often loudly and irately, about who their favorite characters are and what makes a character great. Analyzing the list, though, one thing strikes me. Gamers, it seems, have got a long memory.

    Guinness Book Lists Top 50 Video Game Characters

    Yesterday we got the press release below from the people behind the Guinness Book of World Records: Gamer's Edition. I, personally, love when someone assembles a list like this. It is a great way to get people talking, often loudly and irately, about who their favorite characters are and what makes a character great. Analyzing the list, though, one thing strikes me. Gamers, it seems, have got a long memory.

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  • For the second year in a row, BrainLazy heeded the call and headed down to one of the biggest geek gatherings the East Coast has to offer, the New York Comic Con. It is a rare chance to join up with pop culture gurus and socially awkward dweebs and quietly convince ourselves we belong in Column A, not Column B. As usual, it didn't disappoint, bringing us plenty of news in the only areas that matter: Games, Comics, Movies, and Assorted Nerdery. Let's break it down and see what made Comic Con great this year, shall we?

    NYCC 2010: A Look Back

    For the second year in a row, BrainLazy heeded the call and headed down to one of the biggest geek gatherings the East Coast has to offer, the New York Comic Con. It is a rare chance to join up with pop culture gurus and socially awkward dweebs and quietly convince ourselves we belong in Column A, not Column B. As usual, it didn't disappoint, bringing us plenty of news in the only areas that matter: Games, Comics, Movies, and Assorted Nerdery. Let's break it down and see what made Comic Con great this year, shall we?

    Continue Reading...

  • Recently I was talking about an upcoming enhancement to an excellent web game called Super Meat Boy. One half of the design team is a fellow called Edmund McMillen. He's a game designer, legendary in the Indie community, who has helped create some of the most creative and memorable games of the last few years, so I mention him a lot. The problem is, I didn't call him Edmund McMillen. I called him Edward Cullen. Repeatedly. It would be bad enough that I'd gotten his entire name wrong, but Edward Cullen is the sparkly vampire from Twilight. That's not just a slip of the tongue. That's a symptom.

    The Twilight Infection

    Recently I was talking about an upcoming enhancement to an excellent web game called Super Meat Boy. One half of the design team is a fellow called Edmund McMillen. He's a game designer, legendary in the Indie community, who has helped create some of the most creative and memorable games of the last few years, so I mention him a lot. The problem is, I didn't call him Edmund McMillen. I called him Edward Cullen. Repeatedly. It would be bad enough that I'd gotten his entire name wrong, but Edward Cullen is the sparkly vampire from Twilight. That's not just a slip of the tongue. That's a symptom.

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  • One point I've established again and again here is that I'm not, shall we say, "skilled" with children. I've never had a younger brother, nor have I got a child. The result is the expectation that everyone I interact with will be of a maturity greater than or equal to my own. This isn't hard, since I still gleefully fart in public. That said, there are still those with enough disregard for their own children to subject them to me. Those situations seldom end well, but I've recently learned of an upside to such events.

    Skipping A Generation

    One point I've established again and again here is that I'm not, shall we say, "skilled" with children. I've never had a younger brother, nor have I got a child. The result is the expectation that everyone I interact with will be of a maturity greater than or equal to my own. This isn't hard, since I still gleefully fart in public. That said, there are still those with enough disregard for their own children to subject them to me. Those situations seldom end well, but I've recently learned of an upside to such events.

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  • People always talk about pandering like it is a bad thing.Granted, it doesn't have the best origins. Technically pandering was initially a synonym for pimping, and as we all know, pimpin' ain't easy. These days we associate it with taking the easy way out in terms of popular opinion. Just heaping on the equivalent of bacon and chocolate sauce. It gets a bum wrap from critics, and politicians are perpetually accused of it. The thing is, is taking the easy way out really a bad thing?

    The Positive Side of Pandering

    People always talk about pandering like it is a bad thing.Granted, it doesn't have the best origins. Technically pandering was initially a synonym for pimping, and as we all know, pimpin' ain't easy. These days we associate it with taking the easy way out in terms of popular opinion. Just heaping on the equivalent of bacon and chocolate sauce. It gets a bum wrap from critics, and politicians are perpetually accused of it. The thing is, is taking the easy way out really a bad thing?

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  • The other day I watched a fair chunk of the Emmy Awards. Mostly I was hoping that Conan would win for the Tonight Show, just so that the most awkward moment in television history would occur. Conan accepting an award for a show that he was fired from on the very network that fired him? Classic. Alas, it was not to be, but watching did give me a look at the truly idiotic state of genre classification these days. It is time to set some of this mess straight.

    Genre Confusion

    The other day I watched a fair chunk of the Emmy Awards. Mostly I was hoping that Conan would win for the Tonight Show, just so that the most awkward moment in television history would occur. Conan accepting an award for a show that he was fired from on the very network that fired him? Classic. Alas, it was not to be, but watching did give me a look at the truly idiotic state of genre classification these days. It is time to set some of this mess straight.

    Continue Reading...

  • Phawx and Decoychunk cover such diverse and varied topics as the current state of Android, the Enderverse (SPOILERS), Calvin and Hobbes, and Grammar Ninjas.

    BrainLazy Uncut – August 25th, 2010

    Phawx and Decoychunk cover such diverse and varied topics as the current state of Android, the Enderverse (SPOILERS), Calvin and Hobbes, and Grammar Ninjas.

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  • In 1966, a character who would come to fame as the cookie monster burst onto the scene. He was a blue, furry creature that devoured everything initially and cookies preferentially. After forty years of delighting children, though, it was decided that our blue friend was setting a bad example. Thus in 2007 he went on Martha Stewart and explained that cookies were no longer good enough for him. They were a sometimes food. An icon of two generations of children's television caved to public pressure, and who is to blame? Elmo.

    Monstrous Role Models

    In 1966, a character who would come to fame as the cookie monster burst onto the scene. He was a blue, furry creature that devoured everything initially and cookies preferentially. After forty years of delighting children, though, it was decided that our blue friend was setting a bad example. Thus in 2007 he went on Martha Stewart and explained that cookies were no longer good enough for him. They were a sometimes food. An icon of two generations of children's television caved to public pressure, and who is to blame? Elmo.

    Continue Reading...

  • Science Fiction is a fun genre. It manages to be slightly more respectable than fantasy simply by substituting science for magic. Best of all, though, it is easy as pie to write. Mostly you can just make things up, but if you ever get stuck, referring to a handful of simple rules will get you back on track.

    The Rules of Science Fiction

    Science Fiction is a fun genre. It manages to be slightly more respectable than fantasy simply by substituting science for magic. Best of all, though, it is easy as pie to write. Mostly you can just make things up, but if you ever get stuck, referring to a handful of simple rules will get you back on track.

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  • B movies are great. Awful effects, awful acting, awful plots. They are great because they try so hard to be good and fail on every level. It is different when a show or film actually has a chance to be good. Decent acting, reasonable plot, and then comes the wretched effect that causes you to change the channel. Good effects can help, sure, but bad effects? Well, sometimes they can be worse than nothing at all.

    Worse Than Nothing

    B movies are great. Awful effects, awful acting, awful plots. They are great because they try so hard to be good and fail on every level. It is different when a show or film actually has a chance to be good. Decent acting, reasonable plot, and then comes the wretched effect that causes you to change the channel. Good effects can help, sure, but bad effects? Well, sometimes they can be worse than nothing at all.

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  • Director Raja Gosnell is currently shooting Sony Pictures' The Smurfs in New York City and Hank Azaria was spotted today in character as Gargamel. You can check out the photos inside!

    Hank Azaria as Gargamel in The Smurfs

    Director Raja Gosnell is currently shooting Sony Pictures' The Smurfs in New York City and Hank Azaria was spotted today in character as Gargamel. You can check out the photos inside!

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  • Not to long ago I saw Kick-Ass. It was a good movie, as you should soon learn from our resident movie reviewer. The movie is massively entertaining, but it isn't for everyone. I don't mind if you have objections to things, and trust me, there are plenty things in this movie for you to object to. No, the thing that confuses me about the reaction people are having to this film is the part they find most objectionable. I'm going to be talking specifics here, so if you've already seen Kick-Ass, read on. If you haven't seen it, go see it, then read on.

    Tweens, Mass Murder, the C-Word, and Reality

    Not to long ago I saw Kick-Ass. It was a good movie, as you should soon learn from our resident movie reviewer. The movie is massively entertaining, but it isn't for everyone. I don't mind if you have objections to things, and trust me, there are plenty things in this movie for you to object to. No, the thing that confuses me about the reaction people are having to this film is the part they find most objectionable. I'm going to be talking specifics here, so if you've already seen Kick-Ass, read on. If you haven't seen it, go see it, then read on.

    Continue Reading...