DICE 2011 Day Three: Raymond’s Rants

DICE 2011 Thursday was capped off by the 14th annual Interactive Achievement Awards. Mass Effect 2 and Red Dead Redemption cleaned up, with the former getting game of the year. Legends Bill Budge and Bing Gordon were honored, winning the Pioneer and Lifetime Achievement awards, respectively. Gordon wrapped up his acceptance speech with a 10-minute poem full of excellent videogame references — it was entertaining and inspiring…but for some reason I kept thinking about Reverend Jesse Jackson reciting Green Eggs and Ham on Saturday Night Live.

My personal highlight was watching Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk get inducted into the AIAS hall of fame. I am such a fan of these two men on several levels. After playing through Baldur’s Gate for the 18th time, I kind of became a fan. Then I got to meet these guys and was immediately impressed with how sharp they were. As I’ve gotten to know them a bit over the years — and witnessed several of Dr. Greg’s…unfortunate hairstyles — I was floored by how nice they are. Not only was I fan of their games, I was a fan of them as human beings. They’re trained physicians, brilliant game creators, and two of the nicest people I’ve ever met in this business. Watching them receive this honor from their peers was fantastic.

After the after-party, I ended up with a bunch of old G4 production friends, a dear friend from Sony, an oceanographer’s son, and some cool developer from Mexico that brought tequila that was numbered by hand. The evening ended with Fatburger. Now onto day three!!!

DICE 2011 Day Two: Raymond’s Rants

Man, that was way too much alcohol last night. I’m finally starting to feel like a human being again. As expected, DICE 2011 is awesome. It’s fantastic chatting with incredible developers, catching up with friends, and watching RPadholic N8R. We just had a fun lunch with some major players in the videogame industry. I can’t wait for him to tell you his impressions of Michael Pachter. I’m positive you’ll be surprised.

I’ve said this several times over the last few years — DICE is my favorite videogame conference by far. It’s a relatively small show that’s attended by some of the most brilliant people in the business. It’s truly an honor to attend. To give you an idea of how intimate the setting is, the first person N8R and I bumped into at The Red Rock Hotel was BioWare’s Dr. Ray Muzyka. This morning we shared a cab with the amazing Mark Cerny. I respect and admire the hell out of both of these guys. I’m having my usual excellent time at this year’s show, but it’s fascinating watching N8R meet these people and imagining what he’s thinking.

As for me, it was cool catching up with former Nintendo of American VP Perrin Kaplan. She’s an awesome woman and she shared some great Nintendo stories during our interview. EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich — the number one analyst in the video game business IMHO — shared his thoughts on the upcoming Nintendo 3DS vs. Sony NGP.

I’ll update the comments section of this post throughout the day. Thank you guys for keeping the site active while I’m at the show!

Who is Your ISP? What Kind of Speeds Are You Getting?

Out of curiosity, who is your ISP and what kind of speeds are you getting? I’m a Time Warner Cable subscriber, but only because AT&T U-Verse isn’t available in my building. Thankfully, the company upgraded the wiring in my building a few months. I just did ran SpeedTest.net and got 24.99 Mb/s down and 1.84 MB/s up with a 17ms ping. That’s much better than what I used to get, but still not as good as the Comcast service I had in San Francisco.

If you have a moment, kindly post your results and let me know if you’re happy with your ISP.

Christmas Randomosity Comment Madness!!!

I’m going to be in Orange County for the next two days, hanging out with family and friends for Christmas. I’m bringing my Google Chrome Cr-48 with me, but my proper laptop will stay at home, ergo I won’t be posting any proper stories. That said, I’ll be checking the site a bunch to see how you guys and gals are. It’ll be like celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, the destruction of Xenu, etc. together! With any luck, we’ll set a new comment count record for RPad.tv. That would be an awesome Christmas gift!

Whatever you’re celebrating (or not celebrating), I hope you’re having an excellent time with friends and family! As for me, I wish you a wonderful commercial holiday!!!

Anyone Else Alarmed By What’s Going on in Korea?

While you were sleeping, North Korea launched more than 200 artillery shells at South Korea. Each side has claimed that the other shot first (What is this? Han and Greedo?). Here’s more on the situation from MSNBC.

Anyone else really scared about this brewing situation? Despite its claims of being able to refine uranium for nuclear weapons, North Korea is mostly harmless to Americans…but when you bring China and Iran into the mix then a new “Axis of Evil” seems ready to…do whatever evil things evil axis do.

Obviously I’m concerned because I have family and friends in various part of Asia, but North Korea can wreak havoc in the region and reshape the world — physically, politically, and economically. All it takes is one crazy man (or his son) pushing a button and the world will be changed forever.

Today’s Poll: The TSA’s Search Techniques

Thanksgiving is coming up and some of you will be traveling. Are you ready to be fondled by the TSA? Don’t get me wrong, a lot of TSA agents provide great service that help keep airports and flights safe. Others are…not-so-bright people that strip-search kids (see the video above) and spill urine on passengers.

The TSA has been getting a lot of negative press lately, but some polls show that people don’t mind the new search procedures and body scans. How do you feel about them? Kindly take today’s poll and share your feelings (like a Care Bear).

[poll id=”86″]

I Hate FedEx…So Much

I was supposed to receive a FedEx overnight package today. The item was integral for a video I’m shooting this week. I was at home when the FedEx driver “attempted” to deliver it. Unfortunately, he was a moron. For some reason, he didn’t bother coming up to my apartment. He didn’t bother going to my building’s security desk and leave the package with them, which is normal procedure. Instead, he left a FedEx door tag on the side entrance of my building.

Fortunately, I went down to the local convenience store shortly after he left the door tag and was furious at the driver’s ineptitude. I called FedEx customer “service” — a department that was completely useless in my last go-round with the company — to complain and get another delivery attempt. The CSR contacted the driver, who claimed that management wouldn’t let him into the building. That’s complete b*llshit, since that’s handled by security, not management. The genius must have been speaking with the management of the pizza parlor next door.

The CSR also said that it would be difficult for the driver to deliver the package to me because he doesn’t have a cell phone. My friend’s five-year old has a cell phone. The CSR said that he would contact the driver and call me back. I never received a callback.

This is the second time this year that FedEx ineptitude has interfered with my work. I receive packages all the time. I haven’t had major problems with Ontrac or UPS. I’m impressed that FedEx has managed to completely f*ck up two of my deliveries in major ways. That’s a special brand of idiocy.