…and the next week

Planning to be in London Friday, Saturday and Sunday next week. Might stay there Monday and Tuesday too, if there’s anything interesting happening. So…

Is anybody going to B-Movie next Friday? I’m looking mainly at _proserpina_ and duranorak, but presumably some of the rest of you go occasionally?

If not I’ll probably go anyway, because I almost prefer going out by myself. But it does look pretty tiny – it’s hard to lurk unobtrustively in the corner when there are only a dozen other people in the building.

And if anybody else is in London and would like to meet up, then yay! Currently I don’t have any plans for Saturday, but Sunday is looking pretty packed.

Online RPGs affect players’ perceptions

Online RPGs affect players’ perceptions of reality. People who play a MMORPG think that assaults with weapons are more likely than those who don’t play. There’s the start of a discussion on whether the same might apply to positive ‘cultivation effects’ (which is apparently the appropriate jargon). The next question is whether you could rejig the rules of a game in light of this – and whether you should.

Looking East

Today I’ve had my head in Russia. From time to time I’ve attempted to find some interesting Russian-language blogs, and I’ve more or less failed. Turns out the reason is that they’re all using Livejournal. Now the question is just how to find the fascinating LJs amongst the teenage breakups and blow-by-blow personal diaries.

Meanwhile, I’ve turned up some odd and interesting Russia-related bits in English. A Soviet cartoon character reinvented as an Olympic mascot Panic-buying of salt, because of fears that Ukraine would stop exporting salt to Russia. Nobody from the Ukrainian government actually said that, or anything close. Just some Russian official worried publicly about the possibility and – Wham! – salt prices go up twenty times.

And how did I not notice that there’s a new BBC documentary series about the role of the oligarchs in Russia?

Edit two minutes later: or rather, there


a documentary about oligarchs. It’s presumably finished in the three months since that article was written. Have to rewatch this film instead (the DVD arrived a couple of weeks ago, as part of my christmas bonus from work, and it’s sitting on the shelf for a rainy day).


Well, isn’t that nice. The mayor of Moscow has decided to ban Moscow Pride, which was due to happen for the first time this May.

The silver lining is the justifications given by the authorities. Leaving aside the nasty-but-predictable (“Russia is a multi-faith state and it is a known fact that all religions are against homosexuality”, “Love is supposed to be only between a man and a woman”), there is this wonderful comment by a deputy mayor who saw Paris Pride:

“All of them were wearing their swim-suits and some of them had false plastic tits, others had pictures on their butts. Moreover, for some reason, they were wearing rollerblades.”

Poofs we can cope with, but poofs on skates? That’s going to destroy our society!