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PlayStation Homo [21 Mar 2010|11:07pm]

I've spent quite a bit of time in the PlayStation Home virtual world over the past year and a bit since it went live, more than I actually thought I would. Originally I had imagined a space where Gaymers could meet up for 'phobe-free online gaming and while that's certainly true, especially due to groups on FaceBook and elsewhere, something else entirely has been happening as well.

I didn't think about being out on the service too much before it was released, since I basically considered it just another type of internet forum or something similar to the Yahoo Groups and Live Journal communities I've been part of previously. This mindset meant I figured I'd just carry on as usual being an out Gaymer and not taking any crap from anyone.

So on I went, creating a moustachioed gent with a crew cut and blue eyes, almost the complete opposite of how I look in real life, considering I kept him Caucasian. Naturally I was a bit hesitant to reveal my sexuality at first, unless it happened to come up or someone was being hassled, since I figured there were probably kids around and why bring it up at random right? It turned out not only was there not much hassling going on, but thanks to the initial user base of the PS3 being at the higher end of the gamer age bracket, there were actually a lot of comfortably gay and gay-friendly people checking out Home.

Even in the service's early days, it wasn't rare to see groups of guys rave dancing in the Central Plaza area, sporting sunglasses, cowboy hats, and leather pants; some of the initial items available for purchase to customize a user's avatar. Later on, thanks to bare chest options via Street Fighter outfits and club accessories like glow sticks, it was occasionally starting to look like "Gay Day" at times in the communal spaces.

Naturally, the fact that groups of half-naked male avatars can be seen dancing together didn't go unnoticed by the general public using the service. This has led to conversations that include statements like "I've seen a lot of purposely gay-looking avatars before, but you win hands down", or "All the chicks at the SingStar space are lesbians". I've also had unanticipated interactions such as being "collected" like a pokémon by high school girls as the first gay guy they've met in Home.

The content creators at Sony seem to have noticed as well. Recent items made available have been inclusive to say the least, if not outright targeted at a gay audience. Who else would consider buying outfits that pretty much cover every member of the Village People and then some? I was expecting a lot of game-based content, which there is, but much of what's available seems either obviously gay-friendly (cowboy and sailor outfits anyone?), or easily pervertable, such as the new items based on the Twisted Metal game series that include a leather harness and gauntlets. Why would they release these items when there's no new game in the series and hasn't been for a few years? Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

What this means is that when someone sees me in Home, there's likely very little doubt about my sexuality these days. Recently, a fairly typical looking avatar approached me as I was dancing in my newly updated western gear and asked "is that what I think it is around your chest", meaning my harness, of course. I mentioned as much and they asked if I was gay, and soon after, (them being Black) asked if I "had ever tried dark meat". Now usually, even if I think someone's baiting me (which happens occasionally), I'll play along just to see what they do and mess with them a bit when the time comes. This was different though, it was very direct, and the person sent me a friend request almost right away. He takes off and says he'll send me an invite, leaving me figuring I'll never see him around again, as is often the case.

A few minutes later, he invites me to his personal space (in Home, all users have at least one space they can text or voice chat privately with about a dozen people by invitation). I figure, even if it's a joke, I'll still have my say and accept. It turns out this guy is not gay, but likes to play with men on occasion. We ended up having a great conversation and I was hopefully able to say a few things that help him out. What's most interesting here though, is that similar situations have happened before. I've talked to teenagers in the closet who change the subject randomly when other people walk into the family den, middle-school kids caught in the middle of complicated custody battles, and other people in situations you just don't expect to talk about with strangers.

It seems like Home is attracting its fair share of people who simply don't have someone to talk to in their close circle, so they go online just as they would go on a forum. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise though, since the service is basically a giant 3D chat room. Who knew that a place where kids were supposed to meet up for some fun would so quickly evolve into a space where not only can gay gamers feel welcome and be open about who they are, but the ones who need something more are finding that as well.

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New PC setup Phase 2 [18 May 2009|01:00pm]
So, back to the original plan of a new laptop (see previous), I got a deal on a D-Link DNS-323 NAS box this week, and grabbed a Western Digital caviar green 1TB on sale to start off consolidating all the files I have on the myriad drives inside the PC, and on the external drive.

So far, so good. It has UPNP streaming built in, so the PS3 can find it (and it doesn't time out before finding all the music, like it did with other server software). I also mapped the drive to the PC and VAIO so they can easily access the files as well.

Now to see if this old UPS I have still works...
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VAIO CS290-CTO aka "Mars" [12 May 2009|08:10am]

Intel® Core® 2 Duo Processor P8700 (2.53GHz)
4 GB DDR2-SDRAM (DDR2-800, 2GBx2)
DVD +/- R DL / DVD +/- RW / DVD-RAM Drive
LCD 14.1" WXGA+ (XBRITE-ECO™) with integrated video camera
250 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive [5400 rpm]
WLAN (802.11a/b/g/n) with integrated Bluetooth® technology
Sangria Red
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New PC setup Phase 1 (so there goes that plan...) [03 Apr 2009|12:05pm]
Originally, since my video card was dying, I figured maybe it was time to get a boomin' new laptop and switch over to NAS for file storage. Thanks to the unrefusable deal I got on a 23" 1080p widescreen LCD, I think I'll be sticking with the desktop box for a while.

Phase 1:
Replace dying Ati Radeon 9800AV video card with Asus AH3650 Dual-DVI

Also noticed that the Ati was dying because the fan had spun off and was lying on the bottom of the case - lol!
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Happy Holidays! [21 Dec 2007|05:23pm]
[ mood | happy ]

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Belated October entry [17 Oct 2007|05:27pm]
heh, I guess I skipped a month there ^_^

Nothing too big really, except it took a couple of weeks to get paid for doing the Samsung website work. I guess that cheesy HTML test that I took should have been a clue that the agency was pretty clueless, but whatever.

I did check out the Halo 3 launch, and it was a pretty small event, considering how important that title is to the Xbox's bottom line. I guess maybe they were scared of it getting overrun by the people lining up to buy the game at midnight. At least the dude they had dress up as Master Chief was actually tall enough to pull it off.

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I guess updates are officially monthly now... [10 Sep 2007|09:11pm]
It's actually kind of nice though, since that means there's more stuff jam-packed into each one of my LJ posts.

So yeah, I hit the top of the hill a couple of weeks ago and had a good evening with Gord and some friends. It's still kinda weird, but am pretty glad to leave my 30's behind. Didn't end up with a list of crap left to do beforehand either, so that feels good.

I actually spent most of the day working on a microsite for a contest Samsung is doing for the Olympics. Was pretty cool doing the work, though it was over the weekend and there was some dodginess when it came to dealing with the design studio, which is a definite let-down, since they seemed to know what they were doing at first. Workwise, plan B and C are in pre-production, so hopefully something will work out.

More recently, I finally got out to Centre Island, so I was able to grab some shots of the skyline from there. I had no idea just how much of a joke that ferry ride actually is.

Yesterday, I managed to get into the premiere of Shake Hands with the Devil at the film festival, thanks to Meesh. It's a great film, and even better than I had hoped it would be. The Producer, Director and main cast were there, as well as several of Dallaire's men and an envoy from Rwanda. After the film, Romeo Dallaire came on stage and spoke a bit as well. It was quite moving, and I wish I had known that cameras were allowed at the screenings.
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Pride update [12 Aug 2007|02:45pm]
So I guess this is a little late, but whatever... It's not my fault crackbook is kind of like realtime shared blogging. LJ is still good for archival purposes though I guess, so here goes:

Pride Week was at the end of June, of course, and I finally had the chance to go to the flag-raising at city hall, which was pretty cool. The CN Tower was also getting ready for the launch of its new lighting, and as one of the tests that week, it was rainbow-coloured. Pretty cool idea. though I didn't catch it myself, Sharon did, and luckily took a photo.

Pride was good. Beforehand I had also got a trim and *finally* trimmed the beard (yes, this is a really bad pic, but it was the morning after or something). It was a combination of summer, guests, and my upcoming passport expiration that prompted it, besides, it's already growing back faster than I thought it would ; ) Our party was great this year too, we had a really good turnout, just the right number... and had hardly any food left over, which is always good. It was good to have my Mom there too, since she already knew some of my friends, and met new people as well.

Mom was visiting, so we went to the parade and I was able to explain who some of the groups were etc., which was cool, since I don't think she realized how diverse and organized (heh) the community is really. During the week, we also went for a few walks around the neighbourhood, and I got to explain about things like the bathhouses still being open etc. Zoe and Vivien also came up from NYC for most of the week, so that was great too. I also ran into Zoe's friend Chris, since I was looking to read the sixth Harry Potter book before the last one was released.

Pride weekend also brought the HMV 333 reunion which was, as expected, a really weird mixed-bag of an experience. I got drunk pretty quickly, which was kinda nice, as it took the edge off of seeing a few people I certainly didn't need to. Brought my camera and didn't use it.
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Summer Update... er, was that a tumbleweed? [12 Jun 2007|09:14pm]
Yeah, so it looks like I haven't posted anything here in about 6 weeks. Not that anything too major has happened - to me at least.

dumpster_diver and axia had their first child, Dante Liam Frith, about 2 weeks ago on 05/29/07 at 7:01pm:

Dante Liam Frith

Congrats also go out to cyn and piratebanana on their nuptials this past weekend:

The Dreamer and The Pirate

Cyn's Mother also read a great story about a Dreamer Girl who wanted the moon and how she ended up with a Pirate.

Random Assortment of Pirates

Pirate dress was optional, with about 15 people taking advantage of the opportunity.

I've also been debating on going to L.A. again this year, since money is tight and the magazines I write for are all being kinda sucky these days. Maybe this is supposed to happen so I can find a new direction... I just hope I start seeing some signs that make sense sometime soon. Until then, I'll be getting ready for my Mom's visit during Pride Week - gah!
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mellow [29 Apr 2007|08:44pm]

We've taken Julie out to Cherry Beach a few times this month, and it's actually been great for me to get out there as well and mellow out. I'm thinking maybe some kind of bonfire at the beach action might be good later in the summer. I sent a couple more resumes out this week, and hope something happens on the work front soon, since this has gone on quite long enough, thank you.

I did manage to get to the VNV Nation show last weekend, which was good, though I'm not really into the new album from them or Trent as much as their previous efforts. Still good though. I passed on the FLA show though, since they were just here last year and the new disc is just remixes of the album. Also saw a preview of spidey 3, which I really dig, except the sandman guy doesn't really do much for me. Great summer movie though, and I might end up seeing it again even.

I found a few people on crackbook I've been meaning to look up for a while, so hopefully I'll get to see some of them again soon - maybe at Pride, we'll see I guess, since Mom will be here too ;)
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catching up [16 Apr 2007|04:01pm]
Weird week that last one... reminds me of Chef Boy-ar-dee Roller Coasters pasta from the 80's, a bit cheesy, some noodles, and a few meatballs thrown in for good measure.

I finally caved and got on crackbook, where I found a surprising number of people I know have also recently joined. On wednesday I had likely the weirdest job interview ever and later on got to hang out in a box at the SkyDome and pretend to care about the Jays game, which was nice, since I needed a few drinks anyway. We also had the TV tuned to the hockey game, such rebels.

Also, the condo construction near us had their crane "bent in the wind" somehow on Wed night. How exactly does something like this "bend in the wind". Definitely didn't get the whole story. It also took 3 days for them to replace the crane, so Wellesley St. was a mess for most of the week.

ok - that's it for now... off to wing night!
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PCs marketed as burgers? [03 Apr 2007|09:07pm]
OK, this is pretty weird, and yet so awesomely Japanese.
Click the banner to go to the "Sofmap original burger PC" page.

Sofmap original burger PC - OS installed

Fried Fish ftw!!!
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PS3 Triples Folding@home's Computing Power in first day [24 Mar 2007|11:43am]
Now this is funny...

I figured when the PS3 Folding@home client came out on Thursday's system update, it would be cool just for the fact that spare PS3 cycles could be used for medical research. Turns out the first 13,000 clients have kicked the project timeline's ass and have completed the monthly estimate in the first day online. Those 13K units also contributed twice the computing power of ~160K PCs (338 vs 151 TFlops). This will be pretty sweet if a majority of the millions of PS3 owners join up. Hopefully, we'll see the first PetaFlop within the week ;)

Current Stats:
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We Were (We Were) Rocked... Thank You! [18 Mar 2007|11:07am]

I took Gord to see We Will Rock You yesterday for his birthday, followed by Salad King and cake. It's nice it was at the Canon Pantages theatre, so we could walk over and still get there early. The show is quite good as well, and Gord said he thought it was better than Mamma Mia, so I'm glad he liked it that much ;)

New tickets go on sale Monday as well, so no, you haven't missed it.
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Robots... indicator of a country's mindset? [08 Mar 2007|10:16pm]
Japan and Israel developed new robots recently... one is a medical prototype to enter the body through an incision, and the other is a "Hunter Killer" robot.


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F1 baby... F1! [28 Feb 2007|01:28pm]
Just took Julie for a nice walk in the +1 sun and got back just in time to meet the Purolator dude who was delivering my copy of Formula 1.

Motion control steering + psp wing mirror = awww yeah!
*not that I have a 3rd hand for it anyway*

Special thanks to Nero, for updating Nero 7 for Vista ; )
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Where's my residual cheque? [25 Feb 2007|01:40pm]
So after almost a week, I now have a working laser printer. The first one printed like crap (repeating blotch from the roller), and Samsuck's support was so lame that I decided to get an HP, the first of which didn't work on Vista - oops! A couple more trips to the store, with a pick-up from Salad King to ease the pain, and I can print! yay!

Tomorrow there's a media lunch with Kentaro Hisai, designer of the new Spectrobes game/anime/product for Disney, which is interesting because this is the first time Disney have based something around a game, instead of the other way around and it's the first time they've done initial design in Japan. I think my nephew Monty will dig it, and one of the first things I'm asking is why the professor/mentor dude (see icon) looks like me and when to expect the cheque ;)

I've also made a separate blog for my game/film/whatever reviews at http://automatedculture.blogspot.com/ so I can send links from my feed there and not mix it in with my personal posts and also use it to show clippings for some potential jobs. You can also add the feed on LJ via automatdculture.

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Lunar New Year [18 Feb 2007|11:32am]
Gung hei fat choi y'all!

It's also 20 years ago today that Prince's single 'Sign 'o' The Times' was released, which is related to one of my favourite psychic episodes that happened while my friend Peter and I were driving in his car:

me: man, I really want to hear that new Prince song, I've only heard it once...

*changes radio station*

prince: Oh yeah!

peter: man, that was weird...

me: cool.
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DrunkenGamers Ep01 - Crackdown [15 Feb 2007|01:00pm]
Tonight at 10PM!

DrunkenGamers will be playing the Xbox 360 game Crackdown for a while and attempting to record a 5-10 minute video review. The following link goes to the Episode page and should have a link to the broadcast when we go live. There's also a chat feature, so you can ask questions or let us know what you think.


You'll have to create a (free) account if you haven't already.
Mac owners: use Firefox instead of Safari.
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A Delta State primer... [13 Feb 2007|06:05pm]
I did this up since the Delta State season one DVD set is out today, and if you don't know what Delta State is... you should, because it's pretty cool. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the second season. I also hid the 2nd half under a cut to be somewhat friend-list friendly.

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