“My superior is a gamer.” Sister Helena Burns said, laughing. “You know you’re a media nun when your superior is a gamer.”
You might not expect nuns to be experts on Twitter, Facebook, and multi-player video games, but Burns defies all expectations. With 13,790 Twitter followers and counting, the Daughter of St. Paul calls herself a “media nun”: A woman religious with a calling to communicate the word of Christ, in any way she can.
And yes, there is a gamer-superior in her convent.
“She has this souped-up computer,” Burns continued. “She gets her own little ministry out there. Once people get to know she’s a nun, they have questions, or they ask for prayers. But you do have to clean up your language when Sister Irene’s out there.”
I imagine Sister Irene sitting in front of a sleek desktop with neon LED backlights, wearing her bright yellow Grado headphones and concentrating intensely on a multi-player RPG. It’s a funny image—there’s such a symbolic disconnect between the stereotypical idea of a nun and a basement-dwelling teenager who loves World of Warcraft. That’s what’s so fascinating about these sisters and their order: They defy stereotypes about who participates in Internet culture, and how.
So how does a nun use social media?
Read more. [Image courtesy of Helena Burns]
New personal hero.
Spreading around the WIRED office this week is this HTML5 Game Boy emulator built for iPhone browsers. Apple doesn’t allow unauthorized emulators on the App Store, although the relatively open nature of the store allows people to sneak them on there for a few days before they get too popular and Apple pulls them down.
So get after it, quick!
"You might not realise, but real life is a game of strategy. There are some fun mini-games – like dancing, driving, running, and sex – but the key to winning is simply managing your resources.
Most importantly, successful players put their time into the right things. Later in the game money comes into play, but your top priority should always be mastering where your time goes.”
This post from one of my favorite Internet people, Oliver Emberton, is great. Sure, life really can’t be boiled down so easily but this is a fun pseudo strategy guide framed around cute video game tropes.
I found the section on “Finding A Partner” to be particularly accurate:
"Attraction is a complex mini-game in itself, but mostly a byproduct of how you’re already playing. If you have excellent state and high skills, you’re far more attractive already. A tired, irritable, unskilled player is not appealing, and probably shouldn’t be looking for a relationship.
Early in the game it can be common to reject and be rejected by other players. This is normal, but unfortunately it can drain your state, as most players don’t handle rejection or rejecting well. You’ll need to expend willpower to keep going, and willpower is replenished by sleep, so give it time.”
Go check out the whole post, which is full of great illustrations and fun, video game-laden writing.
HAPPY WEEKEND! Here’s a fun read to bring you out of the work week.
The entire internet has weighed in with what it believes is the answer to Nintendo’s financial woes: Go mobile, immediately. But the entire internet is wrong.
Nintendo’s announcement that it’s facing a third straight year of losses prompted pundits to say the company must swallow its pride and put Super Mario on smartphones. I’ve argued against this in the past, to little avail. The opinion that Nintendo should “go mobile” has become such conventional wisdom that it has moved beyond gaming columns and investor reports to the straightest of straight news stories.
“Resisting Mobile Hurts Nintendo’s Bottom Line,” read a New York Times headline over the weekend. “Nintendo Refuses To Make The Radical Change That Could Boost Sales,” Reuters declared. This is begging the question, beginning from the presumption that obviously Nintendo should put its games on iOS and going from there.
The conventional wisdom is wrong. It is not an inevitability that Nintendo must put its games on rival hardware or die. It may even be a bad move.
TOKYO — Inside Sony headquarters, at the heart of Tokyo’s Shinagawa district, Yasuhiro Ootori is about to reveal something that almost no one outside the Japanese tech giant has ever seen: the inside of a PlayStation 4.
What we see is a hardware architecture that’s both simple and powerful. With longtime game designer Mark Cerny leading the way, lending his software-minded expertise to Ootori and the rest of the hardware engineering team, Sony abandoned the overly complex Cell microprocessor that drove the PlayStation 3, building the PS4 around an “x86″ chip similar to the processors that have driven most of our personal computers for the last three decades. The idea was to make it that much easier for developers to build games for the new console, to create the things that will ultimately capture our attention.
Twenty years after the release of Tim Burton’s legendary stop-motion animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas, its popular protagonist Jack Skellington lives on — this time in Disney’s $100 million virtual toybox Disney Infinity.
Jack Skellington’s Infinity figurine — available in GameStop stores now and everywhere else October 29 — unlocks the Pumpkin King himself as a playable character in the Infinity Toy Box mode, as well as a new challenge level called “Jack’s Nightmare.”
WIRED recently caught up with Disney Infinity executive producer John Vignocchi and art director Jeff Bunker to learn more about the process of adapting Burton’s iconic character, and got an exclusive look at some behind-the-scenes concepts and character studies.
There’s a moment that every player of the Grand Theft Auto series has experienced. You’ve done the missions, you’ve driven inside the lines, but you’ve gotten bored. You stop and think to yourself: “Just how crazy can I get in this thing?”
GTA V is now nearly a month old, and its online mode has been accessible since the beginning of October. That means that millions of players have now had ample time to get a little creative with their exploits in Los Santos.
Luckily, some of these inventive players have recorded their exploits. They’ve poked and prodded at GTA V’s underlying systems, breaking the physics systems, exposing the game’s goofiest design flaws and busting up a whole lot of cars.
We’ve assembled nine of the most over-the-top videos and GIFs of players’ adventures in GTA V. Click here to watch them all.
We all have hobbies, and a lucky few have a passion. Within that group, there are some for whom passion borders on obsession.
Such people are the subject of Living the Wired Life, a series of profiles about people who use technology to pursue their passion and excel at their endeavors, whether it’s riding hundreds of miles through the desert, crossing the Pacific in record time or putting yourself in the studio with Mick and Keith as they laid down the tracks for Exile on Main Street.
These are serious (and potentially dangerous) undertakings, but that’s part of the appeal. You don’t become obsessed with the Wired Life if you don’t love it. Here’s a rundown of people living that life (including - above - Emile Rosales, aka Chuggaaconroy!).
SAN DIEGO — The convention floor opened on Wednesday at 6 p.m., but for one of Comic-Con’s most fascinating tribes of fans, the celebration started in earnest a few hours later, outside in the warm night, on a stretch of sidewalk a half mile north in San Diego’s Gaslamp District. There, slowly, the Guild of Extras began to assemble— at first just five, clustered in a knot around a lamppost, and then three or four more, and then 10 more from inside the building until the sidewalk was thick with their talk and embraces. There were men and women in roughly equal numbers, predominantly in their twenties and thirties, but a few were much older. Some of them wore the group’s official jacket: a sharply cut zip-up number with a whimsical crest of a googly-eyed squid, embroidered on the left breast.
Who were these people? The first thing you need to understand about the Guild of Extras is that they’re friends–very close friends, by any fair definition of that phrase. There are 182 of them by the most recent count, and they stay in touch mostly through a private Facebook group. But they meet up in person whenever they can, and Comic-Con is a special time when a large portion of them can reconnect: “It’s like the rest of the year is just a waiting period,” one of them tells me.
The second thing to know about the Guild of Extras is that (per their name) they are extras, in the Hollywood sense of the word. But almost none of them are trying to make it as actors or actresses. They’re scientists, students, healthcare workers, and so on, who appear as background characters on web series, for free. They do it to support creators whose work they admire, but also for another chance to hang out together once again.
It’s only third, after pondering those other two points, that you should think of them as fans — though fans they most certainly are. The Guild of Extras all met while serving as extras on The Guild, a web comedy about World of Warcraft-style gamers that ran six “seasons” online and helped launch its creator and star, Felicia Day, into the middle echelon of nerd celebrities. Over the remainder of Comic-Con, the self-named “Guildies” used Day-affiliated events–her meet-and-greets and signings, the panel parties hosted by her YouTube channel, Geek & Sundry–as gathering points for their own get-togethers.