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I can't possibly be the only gamer on FJ. I refuse to believe it. I mostly use Playstation (though I only have a PS3 now, a PS4 is outside of my financial means atm), but I also tend to follow Nintendo legacy games like Mario and Zelda. I'm a huge fan of Steam, so anything you can get for PC on Steam is fair game for me. My favorite games are things like Okami, Red Dead Redemption (and a number of other Rockstar Games), Dead Island, and my apparently endless addiction to Don't Starve. I also love Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, anything Zelda... but also multi-console series like Portal, Assassin's Creed, Bioshock, Max Payne, GTA, etc. I love little games like The Cave, Thomas was Alone, Papers Please, and Limbo. I also love big ass games like The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls (and Heavy Rain, for that matter) and my all time favorite game forever is Shadow of the Colossus. Right now I'm playing the Walking Dead game by Telltale games, because I haven't had a lot of time to give to it so I'm way behind. I'm also currently replaying Brothers, which is fucking gorgeous. Please someone talk about games with me!
Not much about this in the western news, but in the world of computer game play this is more significant than Deep Blue beating Kasperov. While computers took over the chess title 20 years ago, up until a year ago there hasn't been a computer program that could challenge even a low ranking pro Go player. Chess and similar games were beaten by glorified calculators- humans told them what to look for in a game and then the computer simply analyzed millions of positions a second. Once computers got fast enough to see far enough ahead humans couldn't beat them. Go can't be beaten this way- brute force search would take more than the lifetime of the universe. AlphaGo can do some brute force for small areas, but mostly it uses a combination of techniques that makes it a learning network. People fed it tens of millions of positions from high level games and then had it try to mimic them, then they started it playing itself. It rather shocked everyone when it beat a low ranking pro 5-0 last fall. It's just won a best of 5 series 3-0 against Lee Sedol, 18-time world champion. I'm nowhere near a good enough player to follow play at that level, but in the 3rd game last night it was obvious Lee was in real trouble early. It more or less toyed with him- AlphaGo doesn't care if it wins by 1 point or 20, so when it sees that it will win even by a small score it starts playing less aggressive "slack" moves, and it was doing that by mid-game. They'll play out the last two games but at this point I suspect most serious players don't think Lee (or any human) can take a game from AlphaGo. While there's no way someone of Lee's rank would do this in public, Go has a built in handicapping system so weaker players can play stronger ones on an even footing and it might be interesting to see just how many handicap stones Lee or other top humans would need to actually beat it. See https://gogameguru.com/alphago-shows-true-strength-3rd-victory-lee-sedol/ for some actual game analysis I can't decide if I'm more excited about advances in AI or bummed that there's basically no mental game left where humans can win.
Does anyone else play? After a couple of years of Candy Crush, a friend showed me this app. I really like it - okay, sort of hooked. It's a pretty challenging hidden object game. Anyone want to "friend" through the game and exchange gifts?
So, the new Star Wars MMORPG will be out next month. Any nerds here like me who can't wait or at least plan on playing? I have already pre-ordered the Collector's Edition and will betatest THIS weekend! Not addicted yet? www.swtor.com