O. B. A. M. A. Thank all the powers of heaven and hell.
Moving on from politics, let me point you to some of the amazing things you can do with Little Big Planet, care of 1up. This is serious business, right here, and speaks to where mainstream gaming is going, I think. (See also Halo 3’s Forge, and the tools in Guitar Hero: World Tour)
Back to techno: I went to see Richie Hawtin just before I left Vancouver, playing on his new 4 deck, 2 laptop, custom controller thing. Hawtin obviously revels in the power it gives him, and he’s experienced enough to know not to go crazy with the effects and the edits and so on. A good show, if a bit clicky at times.
Also on the subject of music, I had a thought that Guitar Hero could become a really useful teaching tool, if the fret buttons were replaced with a programmable touchpad. This would allow people to start with the very simple 4 / 5 button configuration that the games actually use, and then move on to a system that emulates frets more and more exactly. If you had a pressure sensitive pad, you’d be golden.
Music again: There’s a mad scientist who wants to summon up the ghosts of Glen Gould and other dead, gifted performers. You can watch him talk here. While I’d love to see the code he’s using to drag MIDI data that is that specific out of audio tracks, I disagree with his thesis that the performance is merely what the performer did to the instrument. A performance is the sound, the performer, the people around you, the space, and everything else. A recreation of exactly what the performer did to the instrument, while a clever idea, won’t cut it.
Finally, I got the first trade of DOKTOR SLEEPLESS, by Warren Ellis, and it’s either going to be the best book he’s ever written, or a complete mess. Very much worth a look though.