The Week in Review: Inventing historical events since the Great Lizard Fire of 1954.

The Rock Band Effect, Explained With Science!


If I said that ‘Rock Band allows you to infer causality from temporal contingency’ would you know what I meant? How about if I said “Rock Band makes you feel like an awesome rock star!”? Apparently those mean the same thing, but the first is the scientific way to explain why Rock Band and Guitar Hero are so popular, at least according to Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology at New York University. I’ll be sticking with the latter explanation, I’ll never remember the first one. (link)

Left 4 Dead 2 Not Welcome Down Under


In the event of a zombie apocalypse, I’m moving to Australia. Zombies are not only shunned Down Under, but are in fact banned. Or at least it seems that way, considering how the OFLC has reacted to Valve’s survival horror game Left 2 Dead 2. Apparently the game is too gory to qualify for the country’s highest rating, the MA15, and so has been refused classification. Valve say it is going to try and work on the game so that it gets a release in Australia though, so keep watching this space! (link)

Cheat at Shadow Complex, Lose Your Score


Hey, were you planning to cheat at Shadow Complex? Don’t bother, it’s really not worth the hassle. In exchange for your fleeting ephemeral brush with fame, the Xbox Live Enforcement Team – an ominous sounding group at the best of times – will hunt you down, strip you of your minor accomplishment and then, and this is the important part, they will take your entire gamerscore and tear it from your still-living body and then brand you as a cheater forever! Maybe a little on the heavy handed side, but sometimes you have to get medieval. (link)

College Kid Kills Burglar With Sword


“Guy killed me with a sword, Mal. How weird is that?” It’s a funny, if sad, line when it’s in Serenity, but it’s not quite as funny when it’s actually happening. A 21 year old Chemistry student at John Hopkins University in Baltimore investigated a noise in his garage one night, armed with a katana, whereupon he found an intruder who lunged at him, forcing the student to defend himself. The intruder, who has not been named, suffered two wounds: one to the wrist, effectively severing his hand, and another to the chest, which proved fatal. (link)

Gabe Newell Cons Vacation out of the Internet


Gabe Newell is a clever man. “I’m boycotting your campaign,” he said, “you’ll have to fly me out to Australia if you want me to look at it”, all the time rubbing his hands in glee as he set his Machiavellian plan into motion. Just as he planned, the internet quickly clubbed together and voila, one free trip to Australia has fallen into his lap. All he has to do is look at some mod-thing when he gets there and then has nothing to do except lie back and catch some rays, and it’s all thanks to the internet! (link)

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