I am not an 'audio' sort of guy. As I try to listen to audio commentary - radio, spoken books or podcasts - my mind begins to wander and I don't retain a whole lot of what was said. I'd much rather read. I am a speedy reader and can quickly scan to the bits that interest me. Even better on the web we have Google, in page search and our age old friends Cut and Paste.
Fortunately for the world not everyone is like me. Some people are much more tuned into audio - such as my friend Peter Marks - who put me on to some worthwhile podcast streams.
In listening to one (hmm now how do I find the source of a podcast ... hmm) ah yes, Will Wright - Lessons from Games Design (IT Conversations) I did pick up some bits that were amusing.
Will Wright is the creator of The Sims - a virtual dollshouse where you get to create a simulated household. While the podcast ran for 1 hours 30 minutes I didn't pick up a whole lot. I was concentrating on other bits in the 'foreground'.
What I did learn was interesting
- Some people who have a psychological problems have used The Sims to explain their issues to therapists
- Some individuals have got seriously hooked on The Sims to the extent that they model their lives and their relationships, and experiment on The Sims before trying it in real life - wow.
- Uber-blogger Dave Winer claims to have coped with grieving for his late uncle by locking his Sims in their house for three days with no food or water, and slowly watched them die. hmm.
I was a little obsessive about SimCity when it first came out (1988 from memory) but after perpetrating a few earthquakes to destroy my nuclear powerstations I got unhooked. Maybe I am not so different to Dave Winer!
Best I keep well away from The Sims 2 and spend time with my real family.
Podcasting ... well I did get more of a sense that Will Wright was a really bright and engaging speaker. I was priveleged to hear him speak half a world away and in a different time. And all through the magic of the stuff we just take for granted - powerful computers, highspeed bandwidth and smart people continually trying just one more thing. What a great time to be alive.