Tag Archives: games


loopsThis doesn’t look like the face of a fatal addiction, does it? But my hands are cramped, my mouth is drawn back into a rictus grin, and I hear myself thinking, just one more… Twenty minutes later, just one more…

I can go years at a time without playing a computer game. Or I could.  Oh, this all started innocently enough.

Youngerson and I were sitting in the DMV, waiting to get his learner’s permit (Mistake one, right?)  He’s playing some game on his phone I’ve never seen, so I ask. He explains the basics and suggests installing it on mine so that he can have his own back. (The wild eyes should have clued me in that here be crack.)

I connected the dots with a fingertip. (Read I took the first hit.) And I’ve been doing it ever since. Even getting good at it intermittently. The game rewards you for doing well, and punishes you for not using its resources wisely. (Yes, that term is relative, but when your chain is missing a possible dot on either end because you set your finger down in the wrong spot, you get crap dots for a while.) It chimes a little tune, which gets louder when you do well, and you find yourself want to please it, to get that little sequence that means you closed a loop, or maybe two.

I woke up this morning with an afterimage of the dots filling my field of vision. I’d tried using the dinosaur icons, but discovered that I didn’t like the screen that way. The dinosaurs cost me 2000 tokes. I mean tokens. I could buy a lot of poppers for 2000 tokens. Yeah, I could pop the pesky dots that interfere.

(You thought something else entirely, didn’t you. Confess.)

The real issue, in retrospect, is that I had 2000 tokens, earned 18 or 19 or 50 or 60 at a time, to spend on different icons. And I didn’t like them. But wait, the little fruit figures are cute, and only 2000 tokens. Excuse me, it’ll only take me another 15-20 minutes to get the rest of the tokens I need…

You can find it here, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Hunger Names

I’m still waiting for my son’s friends to return our copy of the the first two volumes of The Hunger Games. I may be the last person around who hasn’t read them, but I am not turning loose of Mockingjay until the others come home. I’d like to read before seeing the movie.

Enough buzz has filtered through that I have a certain idea of what’s going on, although I admit I thought Peeta was a girl until someone explained. How many ways can a body die of low-tech methods? Not sure, but after playing here, it has to be a lot.

I’m Gloss Scrabbledeen, I was a District 6 Tribute to the 11th Hunger Games, and I was killed by a bear. (That’s spooky, I was editing a scene with a bear before I stopped to play.)

Who are you?

Kerning, or why to hate Comic Sans

if you hate someone teach them to recognize bad kerningComic Sans, the font of derision, or so font aficionados tell us. But they usually don’t tell us why. Okay,  it’s really casual, and somewhat silly, but that doesn’t seem like a good reason to throw rocks at it. That is is used inappropriately isn’t the font’s fault. (A headstone in Comic Sans?)

Turns out that one of its design flaws, or casual characteristics, depending on your POV, is the kerning. That’s the distance between letters, and in spite of what we’re used to on computer screens, it’s not set in stone. It’s why type justified to right and left both can look really odd; the spacing between letters changes. Kerning is a major function of good typesetters and font designers. Most of us don’t alter it deliberately.

Here’s your chance: play the Kerning Game. Move the letters around until it looks good, and find out how a pro would solve the dilemma.

I found this game a while back, possibly through Moonrat’s blog, but it’s been a while: I don’t really recall. But I torture myself with it at intervals. How good an eye do I have? Good enough to hit the pro solution about 70% of the time. Once in a while I blow it completely.

You try. Dare ya.