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Monday, January 16, 2006  

Onward With the Octys!
I’m going to squeeze two in today, and I’m going to be quick about it again.
First up: Videogames. I’m not even sure if I should be awarding the category anymore as I played so few videogames in 2005… And my favorite was an update to last year’s Octy winner Burn Out 3. In the interest of keeping things fresh I’ll give Burn Out Revenge only the runner-up prize, even though it is better than BO3 in nearly everyway it didn’t consume our lives in quite the same way.
And thinking of consuming our lives, the Octy! In videogames goes to: We Love Katamari or whatever the official name is for the sequel to Katamri Damancy. I enjoyed the first game like a meth-addict enjoys disassembling bicycles. Which is to say I felt an irresistible urge to play it compulsively and it tended to infect all of my thoughts for days-on-end. It also often left me with a headache and the feeling that if only I could look past the pretty colors, acid-trip “story,” and utterly bizarre and wholly Japanese concept I would be shown the unspeakable secrets to the universe, but instead I just felt kina empty. This year’s sequel takes that and makes it into a more-fun game complete with goals, and missions, and giraffe hats! Julie has been doing ALL of the actual playing, but I’ve had more fun WATCHING her roll-up stuff while commenting on all the random Gomi that she picks up. For those who don’t know Katamari and are utterly confused as to what I’m talking about, sorry but I cannot offer an explanation. Google it and try to wrap your feeble American heads around what I am too lazy to get into.

As far as Tech and Gadgets, I don’t have much this year… 2005 really seemed to be the year that Web 2.0 has started to emerge and cross over the average user threshold. So yeah, lets give the runner up to Flickr, Del.icio.us, and all the other emergent Web 2.0 apps that are doing cool things. But the Octy! for 2006 goes to Google. They get more useful (nay, more CRUCIAL) every year, and with Google Maps, Google Local, Google Earth, Movie-times, Weather and all the other additions to the suite of services offered by Serge’s band of web-warriors I find it harder-and-harder to imagine life without Google at my side. And although Google doesn’t make us Omniscient (yet) it DOES give us access to almost-everything that we need to know on a day-to-day basis.
NASA and the folks at JPL and Kennedy get an Honorable Mention for keeping the dreams of space alive though a lot of difficulties and strife. For me Space and the blackness symbolize hope and limitless potential and every time we spend millions of dollars to shoot an insanely complex piece of machinery into the nothing/something of space it makes me happy.

posted by JMV | 1/16/2006 02:16:00 PM
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