From Across the Net – “Switch Lite is Now Part of Joy-Con Class Action Lawsuit Against Nintendo”

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I had wondered about this when I saw the non-detaching Joy-Con design on the Switch Lite. Awesome, Nintendo.

When the Switch Lite was announced, some worried that the similarly designed analog sticks on the miniaturized console would be susceptible to the same issue. While no plaintiffs who have purchased Switch Lites have been added to the lawsuit (PDF via Polygon), five online accounts of drift on the Switch Lite posted since the Switch Lite’s September 20 release date have been added to the class-action complaint. “I can’t believe it, my Nintendo Switch Lite is already drifting,” reads one complaint posted on September 24. “I tried to calibrate and update the controllers but it was still the same.”

You can read more here

Jockeying for Position

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Jared C. Wilson wrote a piece yesterday titled “The Way to Greatness“. This got me thinking:

Like the disciples, we seem to be always jockeying for position. We are driven to succeed, to prosper, to win. So when someone else gets the promotion at work, someone else gets the recognition at church, someone else gets the trophy at play, we battle resentment. It happens in a million ways, big and small. For some of us, it only takes losing a parking space or the big piece of chicken at dinner to feel slighted.

During a worship service at church recently, a fellow member was given recognition for something artistic he had worked on. In that moment, I felt my heart begin to quicken; I felt jealousy and resentment kick into high gear.

Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash

For the past 10 years, I have served my church in the area of web and graphic design. I took on the volunteer position because I saw a need: our church web site was terrible! I knew I could do better. I also knew that I could help the church step up their communication game. So I talked to the pastor, and he was all in.

I served quietly in the background, providing not only web design but graphic design in the way of slides for the worship service. I enjoy finding the perfect blend of font, color, and image to compliment an event.

An example of my work.

A recent example of my work.

A short time ago, I decided it was time to step down. An issue arose that I decided wasn’t worth battling. It was soon after stepping down that I watched my fellow church member be recognized in front of the church for his work.

Like I said, I was jealous! BUT I had to stop myself in that moment. Tell myself to be still. To KNOCK IT OFF. I had to remind myself that I had never served for recognition but only to help church staff communicate at their best. To practice “excellence”, as my church puts it.

We are constantly “jockeying for position”, as Jared C. Wilson writes. That moment, in the church service, was a reminder to myself about the importance of taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). The devil prowls hearts and minds, even in a worship space.

As a kid, there was a song that I listened to that went something like this:

If you want to be great, in God’s kingdom, you have to be a servant of all.

I am thankful to follow a God who continues to lead me onward, upward, and away from my stinky self.

From Across the Net – “Influencers”

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Photo by Alberto Bobbera on Unsplash

Who influences you? Who do you follow? And why? Everyone has mentors, but I’m old school enough to want mine to have substance. I learn from people who have actually done something – not just thought up ways to tell others what to do. My conviction about this shows up in a range of ways – from the people I ask for leadership advice to the faculty we employ at Gateway.

You can read more here

From Across the Net – “The Cast of Wolfenstein: The New Order”

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A RavingLuhn flashback from 2017. Good thoughts here:

It is true that the characters I’ve just described fit the cookie cutter character stereotypes found in many war stories. What may be surprising is that none of them feel that way; they all feel completely genuine. Part of the reason for this is The New Order’s approach to storytelling. We’re not forced through a segment of exposition and backstory explaining why we should care about anyone. Instead, we’re shown how their personalities respond to the situations they’re in. Fergus knows there’s a job to do, but he still spares a moment to tell his squad mate to look after a wound. Wyatt refers to everyone as “sir” in an respectful tone of voice, even when he’s scared out of his wits. Even BJ will whisper some of his thoughts and motivations during quiet moments in the game. Amazingly, his soft-spoken demeanor doesn’t seem at odds with is proficiency for killing Nazis. By themselves, none of these elements would work. By all rights, none of them should work. But somehow, all the different elements work together to create one of the most memorable casts in gaming.

You can read more here

Spider-Man

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Marvel's Spider-Man

Spider-Man is a game I kept waiting to see fail. And yet, every story beat pushed the game to new heights. Had my wife and son not been sitting with me, when I finished the game, I think I would have cried. May’s talk with Peter, at the end, almost did me in. One of those moments, as a parent, where you know you have done a good job raising your kid.

Can’t wait to pick up the DLC and continue Spidey’s adventures!

Developer Insomniac wisely chose to focus the game not on Peter’s romantic pursuits but more on the qualities that enable us to relate to Peter Parker.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit

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You ever play something that just hits you wrong?

My wife and I are in the process of adoption. Don’t Nod Entertainment’s The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit reminded me of our foster/adoption training classes. A chunk of the stuff that parents get their kids taken away for = present in this game. As is:

  • The parent who is trying and failing to succeed/live life.
  • The kid who is alone, even though the parent is physically present (drunk/passed out), and has to take care of himself.

The superhero story veneer and child-lens softens the blow of what is a super depressing and potentially abusive situation. I’m thankful the game didn’t last long. Sad that kids have to deal with stuff like this when all they crave is stability and love.

Snowman showdown.

Never know what is going on inside a home.

Outside of his drinking, the dad in this story clearly cares. Check out the treehouse!

Because.

Never quite figured out what happened to the mom.

Seriously, I’m good.

Wolfenstein: New Order

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Some things are not meant to be.

Wolfenstein: New Order is a game that shouldn’t work at all… and yet somehow does. The rah-rah bro shooter moments mixed with alternative history and horror elements gel together into a gross yet beautiful game. I love the storytelling and the brave ending developer MachineGames put together. I almost cried at the ending of this game… almost.

Saying goodbye.

Cause I’m happy.

This was so messed up.

That moment when you know that your friends and loved ones are safe.

End Credits.

From Across the Net – “What Does Your Dad Do?”

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This one is worth the read. Reminds me that the more I’ve learned to see/love my dad for who he is, the better my relationship with him has become.

Photo by Revolver Creative Company on Unsplash

My dad was a truck driver. Gone for a few days; home for a few days. A hard worker.

In an exhausted world that measures our worth by our performance; I want to learn to ask better questions. After all, what we do is not always an indication of what we’re like. Our output and achievements are not a reflection of our inner heart and character. Outward success does not necessarily equate to generosity, wisdom or courage.

You can read more here

Crazy Drivers, Waiting, and Space Gunplay Ballet

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As we head into Fall, the time is changing. When my alarm goes off at 6:30am, the sky is dark. Walking in the morning, with Tabitha, now requires a flashlight to warn drivers of our presence.

Every time we go out and walk, Tabitha and I are amazed at how fast people drive on our street. Even on the side streets around our house, people use them as raceways. Whenever we hear a car come up behind us, we step to the side of the road, silently hoping that we don’t get hit from behind–at least I’m thinking… please don’t hit me!–.

Photo by OC Gonzalez on Unsplash

Our adoption caseworker let us know, about two weeks ago, that she had put us in for a child. The due date for all caseworkers to submit their interest was this past Friday (9/13). Total wait and see. Excited though.

Spent a good chunk of Saturday with Tabitha. We had a nice lunch date and then went clothes shopping afterwards. Our time alone was much needed. Thankful for family who live close by who are willing to watch him.

Secrets.

Sunday we went to church. Got a good nap in after (splitting headache). Tab and Wyatt went to a birthday party in the afternoon. I stayed home and shot Nazi’s in Wolfenstein: New Order.

Earth

Lunar landscape

Dem Mond!

Speaking of Wolfenstein, I made it to the Nazi base on the Moon (because of course that is where they’d keep nuclear launch codes). There came a point where I had to make my way from one lunar module to another. This required a space walk. So there I am, all I can hear is my own breathing. Attack drones come out of nowhere! The music swells, I fire my weapon repeatedly, complete silence outside my spacesuit. There is something majestic about fighting in the vacuum of space. Listening to your own breathing as you dispatch enemies with precision. Space gunplay ballet.

Sweet lighting

I eventually made it off the Moon with my life and crash-landed back on Earth. Ah, London.

London Nautica

My work week has been a bit odd so far. I am in this period where I never know what I am going to be doing the next day. Drives me nuts. How about you, how is your week going? You playing/watching/reading anything that is blowing you away? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Kissing

Happy Tuesday!

From Across the Net – “Gameboard-1 will be a digital slate for your tabletop board games”

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There are somethings that I instantly understand… and other things that I just can’t wrap my mind around. The Gameboard-1 is one of those items that falls into the middle of that divide. I’m not sure I understand the why. When I play board games, I am playing them because I want to unplug.

Loved this random little “gem” in the article:

They also saw that today’s technology is seen as promoting isolation trends in our population. Video games are being blamed for depression, ADHD and many other ailments that plague our society. In order to break these trends, a gaming device should be built to enhance the human connection, they felt. Games should bring people face to face. That was how they came up with the inspiration for Gameboard-1. They started their company in 2019.

How does technology somehow become the human connection savior? So many questions that ultimately end in, why?

You can read more here

From Across the Net – “Rotten STEM: How Technology Corrupts Education”

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Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

The sciences and mathematics have a historic place in the cur­riculum, and technology does not, for the simple reason that the latter is not inherently “about” anything. Absent human contributions on specific topics, cut off from the subject matter of academic work, technology is nothing—an electron microscope without any samples, darkened VR goggles, an empty spreadsheet. Specializing in techne as such means trying to teach people to be good at “making” without having any idea of what to make, or why to make it.

You can read more here

Be Excellent – Listen

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Woke up this morning and laid in bed for awhile. Peace.

Got out of bed, grabbed my phone, and I started scrolling through twitter.

A Southern California pastor dying of suicide filled my feed. As well as discussions on:

  • Checking on friends
  • Listening
  • Anxiety and depression

Being greeted by a brother in Christ’s suicide, first thing in the morning, just sucks. But I can’t imagine what his wife and children are feeling.

A few years ago, over a lunch with a pastor, I confessed that I wasn’t doing well. My depression was trying to drown me, and I admitted it out loud. The pastor half listened and eventually changed subjects/blew me off. He had no clue how close I felt to doing something… and yet he didn’t care either. There was never any follow up. Nothing. I cringed when I heard friends were going to talk to him. Afraid of the damage his lack of pastoral care could bring about.

I get that we are not all gifted in all things. But I do think we all have the capacity to listen and empathize.

Photo by Federico Respini on Unsplash

Bill and Ted have said it best:

“Be excellent to each other.”

Listening and empathy are but a level of excellence worth fighting for. I’m not sure where you are today; not sure what side of the bed you woke up on. I want to encourage you to find someone trustworthy who will listen before/after things get bad, someone who practices what Bill and Ted preached. Be excellent.

From Across the Net – “Is Your Church Frantic or Focussed?”

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Photo by Jeremiah Higgins on Unsplash

This is worth the read:

It says a lot about church culture that above anything else we fear “white space”, we fear a lack of noise.  It says a lot about church culture that everything has to run smoothly to the point that a gap in the service is viewed as hellish.  I expect my eleven year old son to be that little bit bored in church.

You can read more here

Something I Enjoy – The Geek to Geek Podcast

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Geek to Geek Podcast logo

I enjoy commuting with the Geek to Geek Podcast. Hosts Void and Beej do a fantastic job talking about movies, TV Shows, apps and video games. There is something about their rapport that reminds me of geeky dinnertime conversations in college. Granted, they haven’t talked about the return of zeppelins for use in military applications… yet.

If you are looking for a solid geeky podcast, you can’t go wrong hanging out with Void and Beej.

Take a Flying Leap, Robot

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Will Robinson found a robot. He saves the robot’s life. Will and the robot are now friends.

Netflix’s Lost in Space reboot later reveals that Will’s robot is a killer and the reason the Robinson’s are now stranded. Despite this dramatic revelation, Will loves the robot for who it is now. He fights for the robot to be accepted by his family and fellow survivors.

The story seems to communicate that the robot, a highly advanced artificial intelligence, is learning to be good. But after an incident where the robot tries to protect itself from an attacker, flinging Will’s dad across the room in the process, Will makes a drastic decision.

A Boy and His Dog

I keep seeing articles and comments that Will and the robot’s story are similar to a boy and his dog story. Stories that make me think of:

  • Old Yeller
  • Sounder
  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Even Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur

The problem with saying that Will’s relationship with the robot is like a boy and his dog story is that the robot is an advanced AI. An AI capable of thinking and perhaps even feeling on some level. When Will commands the robot to walk off a cliff, therefore killing the robot, Lost in Space takes a big poop in the story pool. Flushing half a season’s worth of “the best part of the story” (as Wyatt puts it) down the toilet.

Having a young boy suddenly see no hope for his robot friend and ordering said friend off a cliff is dark. Even darker, having the robot looking at Will, knowing what Will is ordering it to do, and doing it anyway. I have no doubt that the writer’s are trying to set up an “evil robot” storyline down the road… but really, suicide as the only answer in a family show? This is dark and gross, Netflix.

“Danger, Will Robinson!”

Indeed.