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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Barbie and … uh … Barbie?

Someone please tell me why the new 50th anniversary Ken doll has to look like a cross dressing Julie Andrews!

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Please please kill this product

Oh new Monopoly Live, what is wrong with thee? Let me count the ways.

  1. Does everything need to be battery operated? - really.
  2. Eliminates counting of money – the one positive thing I can say about Monopoly is that it teaches money counting & management skills. Gone. (At least learning to enjoy the thrill of financially crushing your siblings under big red hotels is still there.)
  3. Eliminates haggling? – not shown in the video but I’m curious how they manage trading properties with each other. Another essential economic skill learned the old fashioned way. “I cant make my rent. Will you take Reading Railroad instead?”
  4. Adds complexity to a simple concept – The best games are the simple concepts with underlying complex strategies. (i.e. Easy to learn, tough to master) I know they are trying to simplify this by automating it, but that is outweighed by these other concepts added to the board. Creating new complicated things (check out the inner ring of the board) and automating the rules via computer does not balance to zero.
  5. Provides a weapon for the loser – every game of Monopoly I ever played was only over when someone threw the board across the room in a fit of bankruptcy. Now they have a tower/club too. (Maybe they should provide little tiny men who can throw themselves off the tower in despondency when they lose their life’s fortunes)
  6. No dice! – come on. it’s a freakin’ board game for crying out loud! Making a dice rolling sound is not gonna do it and is in fact extraneous. Why make a dice sound at all? Just make a computery “blip” and tell me the number already.
  7. Its not “Live”. It’s a computer! - when was the last time you played Monopoly remotely or recorded? Its always been live as far as I remember.

The new American dream

Apparently same as the old dream. The problem is it used to mean “I hope I can grow up and find a steady job in a factory so I can take care of my family”

CBS is airing a “Made in America” series this week on their news around the fact that

Economists say that if every one of us spent an extra $3.33 on U.S.-made goods every year, it would create nearly 10,000 new jobs in this country.

Yeah look at that - 10,000 new jobs making drapes and couch covers. Can’t we do better than basic manufacturing? Other countries have plenty of cheap labor to make things. Lets do something better and more challenging than that.

Don’t be the guy that makes it. Be the guy that make it better and less expensive! [cue the 3M commercial]

If my sons end up working on a factory line for 50 years making pillow shams I’m going to be sorely disappointed.