0.0 Context Setting
It is Thursday, September 22, 2022 and I was not able to write yesterday.
1.0 Some Things That Caught My Attention
It’s a trombone, a midi controller, and a videogame controller…
Trombone Champ is a new videogame that came out about a week ago and is a strong contender for game of the year. It’s easier if you just watch a video.
If you don’t want to watch the video right now, then here’s what Trombone Champ is:
- a musical rhythm game, a la Guitar Hero (guitars), Rock Band (guitars, and other things), Taiko no Tatsujin
- with the aesthetics of a Nintendo game (your character looks like a Mii)
- hilarious, because everything just works together, the animation, the visual design, the timing, the music choices. All chef’s kiss, well done Holy Wow.
It’s out on Steam and the Nintendo Switch, and Laura Hall was quick off the mark to beg for a trombone-shaped motion controller.
What caught my attention:
- I’ve been following, vaguely, the MIDI 2.0 spec, out since January 2020, which is an update to the 37 year old spec. If you read up on it, most people will say it’s a big deal because MIDI is 32-bit now, which is also kind of funny because in a way it’s like the 8-16-32bit generational shifts in videogames. Suffice to say that 32 bits and 37 years allows the spec to be much more expressive.
- Internet friend Brett Porter replied to one of my tweets; Brett is on the board of the MIDI association, but also lead engineer at a company called Artiphon
- Artiphon makes what I’d call… well, I don’t have a good name for them. I’d call them software instruments, but that’s a thing already – those are plugins or whatever that run on a computer and are, well, instruments. The things Artiphon makes, like the Orba 2, are tactile, hardware instruments that are stuffed full of software and are attempts at making new musical instruments. There are lots of things like this, this is just one that most recently caught my attention.
- In fact, MIDI 2.0 is so expressive that it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that there are playful uses of MIDI 2.0
Now I’m thinking about whether and how MIDI 2.0 and its polyphonic expression spec would be a good fit (or usable at all) for videogame controllers. It’s a trombone, a midi controller, and avideogame controller… are you getting it?
- I like how Kellan Elliot-McCrea is thinking about the Inflation Reduction Act and the need to not do things the normal way.
- I watched the first episode of reboot series Quantum Leap and it’s… US network prime time TV? So it’s okay, if you grade on that curve? Anyway, there’s a part where you can see a shot of the code Not Sam Beckett uploaded that replaces Ziggy, the AI, and it totally has references to NPCs in it.
- I completely missed that Alexa has been running on custom Amazon silicon since at least November 2020. I was going to say “Alexa’s non-corporeal existence” but Alexa is clearly corporeal; the next part of that sentence talks about how the physical substrate of part of Alexa is custom silicon. So there.
- There’s a Washington Post Op/Ed thinking out loud about whether the US’s Noise Control Act of 1972 can be extended to defending human attention in a digital world (not my wording, don’t blame me)
- It feels like we’re at the thin end of the wedge, or the “slowly” part of “slowly, then all at once” of something happening to Amazon because of Twitch, based on a Bloomberg investigation finding child predation on the platform. It would be funny, in a way (e.g. funny ha ha, strained laugh, what can you do in today’s world eh?) if the livestreaming of videogames and a massive public opinion and child safety failure of content moderation is the thing that marks the beginning of the end of how Amazon has been behaving. It’s one thing for Amazon to be acting the way it has been in the world of commerce and employment practices, but if you add CSAM on top, that could be the thing that makes everything fall over.
Okay, that’s it! I have been writing this in a car. Don’t worry. I’m not driving.
How are you?
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