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Showing posts from May, 2012

Movie Attendance

The audience for movies is dwindling and has declined every year for quite some time now (I'm having trouble finding a definitive number online, but many sites all agree that, at least for 10 years now, the audience (aka, actual ticket sales) have gone down) even while the movie business has managed to stay steady or improve in profitability. For example, BoxOfficeMojo.com recently commented that, while MIB3 made close to the same dollar figure in its opening as MIB2,
"Adjusting for 10 years of ticket price inflation and 3D ticket prices, MIB 3's initial attendance was significantly lower than that of Men in Black II." (link) [Italics mine] It is no wonder that the movie and theater business has had to consistently raise prices for the same period of time, is it? If you lose, say, 5% of your business every year for a decade, you have to raise prices to compensate, right?

Wrong. The audience is still there. Successes like The Dark Knight, The Avengers, Hunger Games, th…

NBA Refs

I argue that the NBA has the worst officiating of any professional sport, especially in North America. When it added a third on-court official, the refereeing actually got worse. How about, instead of fining players and coaches for pointing out what every fan knows to be true (i.e., that the NBA officiating is so horrible), the NBA simplifies its rules and cleans up the officiating? I know, I know, what a novel concept.

Here are some suggestions:

Right now, on approximately 8 out of 10 plays, the official who is completely blocked off from actually seeing whether a foul was committed is usually the one that blows the whistle. He assumes a foul must have been committed because he heard a sound or saw some movement by the shooter that suggested a foul. New rule: if you don't actually see an actual foul, you don't call it.

Also, frankly, the rules have gone too far toward allowing "act of shooting" calls to grant the person with the ball a foul shot. Let's make it s…

Rift

I fairly recently became aware of a new MMORPG called Rift. It generally uses the tropes and conventions of other online games of the fantasy genre, but it does something that few of the others do: it learns from the mistakes of past games and has put in place new ways of doing things.

Rift provides you with a lot of storage space, than can be expanded by larger sized backpacks. Many games make storage an issue so that you cannot carry around what you want to and have to make decisions (or as a time sink so that you have to constantly return to locations where you can sell items).

The game provides a button at each vendor to sell all "gray" or low-level, trash items that you pick up during your forays into the wilderness. This saves a lot of time at the vendors, and means you can more quickly get to reviewing and selecting which of the new, high-level items you wish to keep and use, and which you want to sell (or if you have stuff that is craft fodder and want to convert it)…