Category Archives: Silly

Wallow in silliness here

Infocom adventures

I used to love playing the Infocom adventure games on my Commodore 64. Yes, they had no graphics and no sound. But they did have excellent text and the cleverest, most infuriating puzzles. Also the games had an excellent parser, that could even understand input like “Put the x in the y using z” (hot stuff back then, when many adventure games only accepted input formatted like “verb noun”).

There’s also a lot of humour in there. One of the games had you running around a maze of walls (actually many of them did). In this case if you got desperate enough to try “listen to the wall” the game came back with “Ah, a Pink Floyd Fan.”

My absolute favourite is Planetfall where you’re a lonely ensign third class from the Stellar Patrol Ship Feinstein, stranded on a deserted planet. You need to find a way home, before you run out of food and water. Click more to see an example of the kind of things I relly liked about the Infocom games.
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Ken MacLeod

Ken MacLeod is the greatest living Trotskyist libertarian cyberpunk science-fiction humorist, and there’s a great interview with him here.

I’ve read most of his books, and they’re excellent. My favourite detail is a company that’s bought the ex-soviet nuclear arsenal, and use it to rent protection to countries that don’t have nuclear weapons – “You bomb our clients, and we will bomb you”.

Online comic strip: Staggering heights

I’m an avid fan of online comics, from Dilbert to Doonesbury. But one of my favourites is a relatively unknown strip called “Staggering Heights“. It chronicles the lives and trials of a sleazy barfly named Jake, and a highly irregular cast of costars (my favourite is Murray – your average 300-pound truck driver turned woman).

The humour in the strip has both depth and variety, and the artwork is among the very best I’ve seen in any strip – online or offline.