What to do with yourself while you’re waiting for Mass Effect 3 to come out.
When Mass Effect 3 was delayed to March 6, 2012 earlier this year, I told everyone I knew (and a few that I didn’t) that it was going to be the longest wait ever, and that I would probably die of impatience before it came out. Instead of obsessively playing the games again, (okay, maybe I’m doing that a little) or obsessing on the Internet (well, I am doing that) I’ve decided to read and watch some awesome Sci Fi. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi – Rajaniemi’s debut novel is dense with a well thought out and imaginative future where ideas of physical and temporal permanency are turned on their ear. At heart, the Quantum Thief is a noir mystery infused with relativity theory, super cool tech, and an unexpected social structure that challenges ideas about wealth, a good life, and how you give back to society.
Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway - If Harkaway’s language was a pirate ship, it would sail in improbable places, rob you blind, make out with your lover, clog your toilet, and have you thank the crew. There’s Tai Chi masters hunted by ninjas, a bomb whose fallout creates monsters from your thoughts, a hell with mimes, and some poor sod who is always in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson – Told as an oral history, this book chronicles the war between humans and the robots we created.
Level Up by Gene Luen Yang – Who says that your childhood obsessions can’t turn into marketable job skills?
The Mass Effect novels – These give some back story to some of the characters in Mass Effect 1 as well as an expanded view of the universe in Mass Effect 2.
Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell – Really interesting insider’s take on how and why games are made the way they are with relevant examples from current games, including Mass Effect. I also enjoy the way that Bissell examines the industry’s biases and weaknesses with an eye to making things better.
Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal – Written by a game designer, this well researched look at gaming addresses the negative assumptions people have about gamers while providing numerous ways that gamers learn and benefit from gaming. McGonigal also offers interesting and practical uses of gaming as a tool to improve our lives. Watch her TED talk here.
You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier – Ever wonder why tech is the way it is? Lanier talks about how tech grew from seemingly arbitrary decisions about functionality and discusses how those decisions (made decades ago) are still influencing how we think and view the world today. If you love tech, or are just interested in knowing more about it, this is an accessible and vastly interesting read.
Avalon (not owned by DPL) – This is the only live action movie that Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, Patlabor, Sky Crawlers and others) ever made and it’s brilliant. Shot in Poland, the film plays with ideas about industrialization and what really constitutes a bright new future against an eerie gaming backdrop. View the trailer here.
Battlestar Galactica - The robots are coming!
Star Wars (the first GOOD 3) - Do I want to be a biotic, or use the force?
Gantz – I saw this (and Gantz: Perfect Answer) at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal last month. They had an amazing line up of Sci-fi, fantasy, and just generally out there movies that you can see here.
And for your Internet obsessing pleasure:
Jennifer Hale (the voice of FemShep) was recently interviewed by Tom Bissell in the New Yorker (“Voicebox 360,” The New Yorker, August 15, 2011, p. 48). You can listen to her talk about the role and hear Shepard order a pizza here.
Gametrailers has the best footage from E3 where the ME3 demo was first shown. Look under Features.
Bioware’s News Page
Does anyone else wish EDI would speak with GLaDOS’s voice when she’s messing with Joker?