Tuesday, February 02, 2010


As some of you know, I will be speaking with game designer/creator legend David Crane at the upcoming DICE conference in Vegas. As such, I've been getting very nostalgic for my childhood gaming days. And then I get to Utah and...well, hang on a sec...lemme set it up:

Ok, so as a as kid, I used to love this game:  

As a kid, me, my brother, and my neighbors used to play the hell out of Maze Craze on our Atari 2600. Not really much to it, just a simple batch of mazes and you try to get out first or- if I recall- stop the other guy before he gets out. Pretty fun, pretty standard.  Check out a screen:

Ok, so that's it. That's the screen. That's the game that some 28 years ago kept me engaged for hours. How times change, yes? But the point is, there's that...and then there's this:

This is the carpet in the Utah hotel room I'm staying in right now. Just looking at the floor brings me back to a simpler, more pure time of old school gaming and I thought I'd share :) Plus it's late and I gotta get to work on a document and I'm kinda procrastinating since I worked all day. But I guess it's time to get rolling on it...so lemme get going!

Nite ya'll!


ps. Oh! One more thing! Have you seen this?

Yes, yes. I appear on the show as you can see in the trailer. I have not see the final shows so I can't comment on outcome or anything like that. Also, since it's a reality show where the outcome is not know, I'm also contractually not allowed to talk about it. But once it airs, I'll spill all the beans! Hope it's as fun to watch as it was to shoot!


So they just announced the Oscar nominations...and I missed seeing them live! Which makes no sense cause I was wide awake! I'm out in Utah for work and Utah is an hour ahead of San Diego/LA so I was already up. But I guess I just forgot about them. Which- for me- is somewhat newish. I used to love the Academy Awards. I mean, I still really love the show and am still a crazy movie nut, but you know how life goes: you get other things on your plate and the stuff that used to be crazy important slips away.

I'm sure I've written about this before but as a total movie geek back in junior high and high school I'd be up at the crack of dawn to see the noms announced. I have one particularly warm memory of me in like 10th grade and my dad waking me up crazy early to watch the noms. So I'm sitting there freezing, waiting for the heater to kick in on a cold, February Alabama morning and my dad is making me biscuits while I watched the nominations being read. Man, my parents were always so supportive of my dreams. I'm so grateful for that. And they still are :) Thanks mom and dad!

So after the noms, I'd spend the day arguing back and forth about who would/could/should win with my fellow movie geeks. Ah, the life of a nerd. But I loved it! Good, good times.

Anyway, as many of you know, they've expanded the list of best pic noms this year to 10 flix instead of 5. And I've seen the vast majority of them. So here's my take...cause I KNOW you wanna know :)

  • Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producer
  • JAFFE SAYS: Probably will win. Should not win. Good movie that raised the bar on film making process and effects but as a pure movie, it's just 'good', not great. I think it will benefit from the whole '#1 movie of all time!" hype cause that heavily reported story makes it seem like Avatar has become part of the cultural zeitgeist. But clearly the whole #1 movie thing is more about inflated ticket prices and 3D tix being more expensive than it is about Avatar having seeped into the culture. Avatar has not become part of our daily lives. It's not like people are walking around going, "I see you!", you know?

  • The Blind Side” Nominees to be determined
  • JAFFE SAYS: LOVED IT! Totally entertaining. But won't win. And it should not win. What it says has been said many times before and has been said much, much better.         

  • District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
  • JAFFE SAYS: Walked out of this. I know, I know. I'm an idiot and need to see it again but I just wasn't in the mood for it. What I saw was cool if not a touch slow. However, it won't win cause it's just not seen as that important of a movie. However, I would argue that it has done a lot for the film making process just like Avatar. To tell a sci fi story of this visual ambition for as little as it costs says a lot about how movies will get made in the future...at least that's what I think.

  • An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
  • JAFFE SAYS: Didn't see it. Guess I will now as I hear great things. Don't really even know what it's about.

  • The Hurt Locker” Nominees to be determined
  • JAFFE SAYS: Liked it, didn't go gaga for it like so many. It may win as it's 'about' something grown up and tangible and isn't an easy movie in terms of what it says about humanity and war and even family. I need to see this one again...think I'll rent it. I could see this one growing on me.

  • Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer
  • JAFFE SAYS: My fave movie of the year. Won't win but I wish it would. I loved this movie. It was a good, old fashioned, entertaining love letter to the movies. Great, drawn out scenes filled with tension and excitement, very cool characters. To me, this is Tarintino's Raiders of the Lost Ark. I know that probably sounds stupid but in the same way Spielberg made one of the best 'movie movies' of all time with Raiders, Tarintino has done the same with this. Au revior, Shoshanna!

  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
  • JAFFE: Some amazing performances and a strong, strong spirit. Still, felt like an afterschool special. Hope the ladies in the flic get some Oscars tho. Especially Monique (sp?), she was amazing!

  • A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
  • JAFFE SAYS: I LOVED this movie! I know it's one of the Coen's least successful but I just thought it was fantastic. As a kid raised Jewish it really struck a chord. Just great and thought provoking and really cool flick all around. I don't think more than 10 people saw it tho. I don't see this one winning. 

  • Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer
  • JAFFE SAYS: I like this and like most people with a heart LOVED the opening 'they meet' montage. But a best pic? Nah. And not cause it's a cartoon. But because it- like all Pixar movies except the Toy Story flix- goes on for about 20-30 minutes too long and is caked with this sort of melancholy that- to be frank- I'm getting kind of tired of. 

  • Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers
  • JAFFE SAYS: I really liked this movie. And while I can see Bridges getting the actor win for more of a 'we really like you, Jeff!' kind of thing (and he may deserve it on merit, have not seen Crazy Heart) , I thought George C. rocked this flick. And the dude who talks about not being able to take his kids to Chuck E. Cheese? Give that guy an Oscar- he broke my heart man. But I liked this movie a lot. And if anything is gonna take best pic from Avatar, it's this. But out of this list, it's not- to me- the best pic by a long shot.
Ok ya'll...there's my prattle for the day. Off to work! Later!


ps. I just voted for my choices in the DICE awards and it occurs to me I should write up a list like this but for games. I think I will...my biggest issue tho is I've only played about 40% of the games last year and out of those, I only FINISHED about 2%. Which is a crime but games are fucking long dude. If I actually played ALL the games ALL the way thru, I'd never be able to work on our own game!