Monday, April 28, 2008

While I Climb Out from Under a Mountain Of E-Mail...

... that those I that argued the Open Source Boob Project I blogged about previously was a tempest in a teacup and that no way would it spread further than PenguinCon...

... there are guys planning on attending Dragon*Con that are, in their male-privileged, socially clueless, way talking about how they will implement the project.

Not IF.

But HOW.

Thankfully, there is also something AWESOME coming out of all this:

The Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Project (and Gentleman's Auxiliary)


The LJ community

From the original OSMBEU post:

"I would like to start the Open Source Women Back Each Other Up Program. Here's my pledge: if I see somebody groping you in public, and you're not moaning Yes! Yes! Yes!, I will break through your Somebody Else's Problem invisibility field and come over and ask if you're okay. If your situation looks dangerous enough I can't help on my own, I will call over friends or, if it's a situation in which I think the cops would be on your side, I will call the cops. If you're being harassed by a guy, you can say so to me, even if you don't know me. I pledge I will distract him so you can get away, or I will tell him that he needs to leave, or whatever I can do to the best of my ability. I pledge that yes, actually, because you are a woman I will give you the benefit of the doubt. If you tell me that a guy just did something shitty to you I will not refuse to look at any evidence and tell you that I know him and he's a great guy and you must have been imagining things. I have great loyalty to my male friends but I will not allow that to blind me to the fact that none of us are saints and even my best friends can screw up and may need to be called on it. I pledge that I will walk you to your car if you don't feel safe walking alone at night, and then you can drive me to mine.

Yes, even at Wiscon. I pledge that even if I don't know you, if there is a creepy guy following you around, you can say so, and I will not say to you go hide in your room; I will say to him go find another party, or if necessary, go home. I will come with you if you need to talk to the con organizers. I will not make you feel like your right to control over your own body is not a big deal.

And I will do this whether or not I like you, or even know you. It's not about liking you. It's about the fact that we need to back each other up, and I will need you to do this for me some day."

I, myself, will be interviewing organizers of this at A-Kon and passing out a few flyers and buttons, too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Breasts, Geeks, Sci-Fi Cons, Creeps, Open Source, and Livejournal: The Perfect Storm

This past week, at the noted science-fiction convention Penguincon, Star City Games employee and erstwhile livejournal blogger theferrett spontaneously launched something that he demurely called the "Open Source Boobs Project". What was that all about? Here, I'll let theferrett explain himself. Take it away, mr. mustelid!
"This should be a better world," a friend of mine said. "A more honest one, where sex isn't shameful or degrading. I wish this was the kind of world where say, 'Wow, I'd like to touch your breasts,' and people would understand that it's not a way of reducing you to a set of nipples and ignoring the rest of you, but rather a way of saying that I may not yet know your mind, but your body is beautiful."

We were standing in the hallway of ConFusion, about nine of us, and we all nodded. Then another friend spoke up.

"You can touch my boobs," she said to all of us in the hallway. "It's no big deal."
At Penguicon, we had buttons to give away. There were two small buttons, one for each camp: A green button that said, "YES, you may" and a red button that said "NO, you may not." And anyone who had those buttons on, whether you knew them or not, was someone you could approach and ask:

"Excuse me, but may I touch your breasts?"
It was a raging success at Penguicon.... And there haven't been any hookups that I know of thanks to the Open-Source Boob Project. It is, as I said, a very special thing. (Though I wouldn't rule it out if two single people exchanged a moment.) And we'll probably do it at other cons, because it's strangely wholesome and sexual at the same time.
And then, his livejournal comment section EXPLODED, with over 1,300 comments on the original entry before he froze any comments, and then first issued clarifications, followed later by a complete denuncation and several retractions (perhaps with a soupçon of martyrdom and not before both himself and his wife engaged in vigorous defense of the idea).

Award winning and best-selling science fiction author John Scalzi was at Penguincon, and while he didn't witness the Open Source Boob Project, he did have something to say about the matter:

...if I had known about the Open Source Boob project while I was still at the convention, I still wouldn’t have partaken, because in general I’m not a huge fan of touching people I don’t particularly know very well, even if they have a button on that tells me I’m free to do so (or at least ask to do so). This is less about breasts than it is about more prosaic physical comfort zones. I’m not neurotic about it — I understand some people are huggers, and you have to go with that, and a couple of years ago at the ConFusion science fiction convention, when one of the Guests of Honor told everyone to kiss the top of my head by the end of the con, my response was to be amused, not to Purell the top of my scalp every five minutes...In short, Open Source Boobs: an interesting idea, deeply context specific, and generally not for me.

Many people had critical reactions to theferret proposeal. Some of them, like livejournal user misia (the nome de electronique of dutch author Hanna Blank) were outright visceral parody, in her counter-proposal of an Open Source Swift Kick To The Balls Project.

Kate Nepveu talked about how the Open Source Boobs Project could never, ever work in the real world.

springheel_jack thinks the fact that such a tin-ear for personal decency or ignorance of male privelidge or being genuinely shocked that someone might have seen the situatiuon in a manner that was completely different from his own shows that there are just some fundamental problems with the insular nature of geek culture and sexuality:
Maybe the comparison is... with little kids playing Cowboys and Indians. Because the little kids are not trying to root out a culture of which they are cognizant; they're simply insensible of the extent to which the culture - often the very evil culture - they've already imbibed is controlling every aspect of their "game", which they think is sui generis. [...]

Too many geek guys never got the message. The game is one of gender politics and they stayed home with their computers - those shadow-boxes of projective fantasizing - rather than go out and have experiences of, well, gender, with people unlike themselves. They kept with their in-clique at school, which was either homosocial, fumblingly chaste, or already a version of the sexual Walden Two they would be re-enacting in their college dorm rooms and in the hot tubs in the hotels at cons; they never got schooled. They never had relationships with many (especially non-geek) adult women, in other words, and got to know them as humans, as subjects in their own right. They never had their fantasies reality-checked. Instead they masturbated and imagined how things could be different - a world without all the preliminaries and subtexts and baggage of the adult world. A world in which, sexually, it would be perfectly okay to go up to any desirable woman and say, "me cowboy, you indian, bang bang you're dead."

There is this awful immaturity in the condition of geekdom. The singleminded obsessions; the valorization of social inexperience and awkwardness; the love of blinking lights. Look, I know what it felt like to grow up like that, smart, shy, and stigmatized, and I can understand wanting to feel good about being a geek and to believe that we rule the world now. [...] But when it's an excuse to refuse to be an adult and to deal with adult complexity, to avoid the sometimes bitter lessons of adulthood, to dodge the recognition of how weak we are in the face of the accumulated mass of history, to deny the genuine difficulty of navigating this world, with all the iron constraints and fragile supports that make up our prospects...well, okay, it's understandable, nobody wants to live in a tragedy, but that's where we live[...]the alternative is to stay a child. Blind inside an unbroken egg.
What do I think?

Well, from a purely married man's perspective, I admit that I like breasts. I'm alright with a group of other adults deciding that they're okay with touching each other and being touched by each other. I honestly don't really know whether I personally would have participated, though I do know that it is somethng I would have first talked about with my wife.

theferrett's "experiment" in groping shouldn't ever, EVER be repeated at a convention. Why? My pokemonreasons, let me show them:

1) Sci-fi cons (or anime cons, or RPG cons) do NOT exist in a vacuum. Open boob-graabing in a public shared space is a bad idea because of everything from the fact that it can be a trigger for those who were assaulted or abused, to the fact that if you're not at an adults-only convention you could make someone (say a parent with kids in tow) and their family uncomfortable, to the fact that conventions taking place at hotels also have a fairly large percentage of "mundanes" to the fact that you may be giving Mr. Off-Duty Cop With No Sense of Humor A Reason To Bust You.

2) You can't wear a "no you may not button" without knowing what the damned buttons are about in the first place. In other words, to know that you can put on a button and state 'I do not want to be asked,' you must first be introduced to the subject. Now, this can happen because you ask what people are doing, or ask about the buttons, but it's more likely to happen when someone asks you, and suggests you go and get a button. THis also means someone who declines to participate has no means of being identified, which in turn means they might be solicited by several different well meaning people.

So, you pick a "no you may not" button, right? But now by buying in to the whole button label, you have engaged in implicit condoning of the behavior, and itself becomes an invitation to discuss their decision. If someone is publicly wearing a red 'No' button, after all,somoene might go and ask you why? So, what, to be on the safe side, would you then make more buttons covering the range of "I don't want to talk about iT. LEAVE ME BE"?

3) Mix this button system with underage convention attendees, and you might end up in prison. For real. Can you 100% identify people under the age of consent on sight? Of both sexes? What happens when a 13, 14, 15 who "looks 18" gets a "yes, you may" button and her dad or mom comes across her being felt up by a bunch of 20 or thirty year old guys? In some states, this will get you placed on a sexual offender list for the rest of your life, plus mandatory jail time.

4)Your right to swing your first ends where my nose begins. What happens if a dude or lady says "Hey, this is sorta awkward, but... well, I'm a parent, and my kids are at this convention, and while I sure don't want to tell you how to live your lives, would you mind keeping the touching behind closed doors?"

Seriously, what could you say without sounding like a self-entitled, self-absorbed tollbox?? "Durr, nuh-uhn the point of the experiment is to get you to get over all of your hangups, and restricting it to private rooms breaks that?"

5) The potential for hurt feelings on all sides is off the charts.
Hell, what about the people at the convention will put on a green button... and no one will want to grope them? They'll be the kid at the junior high prom standing near the wall. "I feel like a total loser on a suck sandwich; I can't even give it away."

6) The cpn can be held liable for what happens, even if they don't officially condone it. If someone finds it offensive, believes they've been harassed as a result, feels their children have been subjected to inappropriate activity or lots of other potential (bad) situations, the convention can be held accountable and liable for it, and the legal defense "hey, it's at a convention, man" is not bloody likely to stand in court for more than three seconds. Since the project becomes something very very different if it only takes place at closed room parties, there isn't a good way to ensure that only the participants are liable.

As if this whole idea (Uptopia is where I can be a cad and get rewarded) wasn't base or riducolous enough, then let me conclude with boobs, tits, breasts, funbags, melons, hooters, tomatoes, knockers, rack, honkers, lady pillows, breasticles.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Polybius Lives?

Last year, I linked to a cool project-- dedicated arcade gamer nerds took the urban-legend game "Polybius", and made it a reality, sort of.

A few days ago, a user named POLYBIUS left a comment linking to the site .

They're been around a few other sites, doing pretty much the same thing, sometimes adding a "Have you forgotten?".

Is this for a game? An ARG? An art project? A bored spammer?

WHoever you are, I invite you to send an email to shawn_struck at and we can set up an interview. Let's see what you're all about.

D(ewey) D(ecimal) Revolution

Los Angeles libraries offer video games to kids -- Over half of the LA public libraries are offering video game nights to encourage kids to visit libraries:

"It makes the library a fun place," said Ponce, a 13-year-old eighth-grader who says he now goes to the library every day even when there are no games.

Libraries are turning to video games to connect with teenagers who have outgrown story time. Almost a quarter of libraries surveyed last year by Syracuse University's School of Information Studies had put on video game events.

About half of Los Angeles County's 88 public libraries hold gaming events at least once a month. Administrators credit the practice with helping boost teenage attendance by about 50% since the county started a pilot program two years ago.

Also, this the Awerican Library Association has declared this Friday ss 'gaming @ the library day'.

Gotta Quit Pall Malls, Smokémon!

From DS Fanboy comes a tale of trading one habit for another, and how a gamer pulled it off-- he traded cigarette smoking for playing Pokemon on the DS:

How did you come up with the idea of using Pokémon to help you quit smoking?

I can't really say for sure what made me choose Pokémon to help me quit. Back when Pokémon Red and Blue first came out, I was addicted to those games. I caught them all, even borrowing a friend's Gameshark to help me get the elusive number 151, Mew. After that, I more or less forgot about Pokémon for 10 years or so. It was only while getting trophies in Super Smash Brothers Brawl that I was reminded of all the different Pokémon, and I became sort of nostalgic for the series. Then one day in-between rounds, I just decided that I was going to play Pokémon instead of smoking. So I went down to the local Target and purchased Pokémon Pearl.

How does it work? Walk us through the process.

I decided that every time that I wanted a cigarette, I would turn on my DS and play some Pokémon. But the thing about going from two packs a day to cold turkey is that at first, you always want a cigarette. So the first three days, I did nothing but play Pokémon non-stop. My routine was to sleep extra late (because if I'm not awake, I'm not craving a smoke), play Pokémon for about 8 hours with breaks to stretch and eat, read Pokémon walkthroughs, F.A.Q.s, strategies, and websites, and then sleep. Experience has shown me from previous attempts to quit smoking that the hardest thing is to be around other smokers. Unfortunately for me, every single one of my friends that I see on a regular basis are smokers. So for those first few days, I went into seclusion, locking myself in my room and not answering my phone. After the initial push, it just required the willpower to keep playing Pokémon instead of smoking.

Did it work? Read the rest of the interview to find out!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hands Free 3D, or: How to Control Second Life In Your First Life

Second Life investor Mitch Kapor has a new project in his lab: creating hands-free, 3D navigation for Second Life using a 3D camera that tracks your body geometry, allowing you to fly around in-world in much the same way you'd ride a Segway: by leaning back and forth. Why? From his site:

For the moment, our objective is to explore the possibilities for these new types of devices. We believe that these cameras will eventually make interacting with Virtual Worlds as comfortable as using a webcam. This will ultimately broaden the appeal of Virtual Worlds by allowing new ways of online expression. It may also attract people who find the current gaming interface too hard to handle.
You can see a short video of the concept in action here:

Second Life on an Apple II (sorta)

This video shows one enterprising programmer managing to squeeze a session of Second Life, an experience that can tax the most demanding of today's PC rigs depending on where you visit through a system with a 1 mHz processor with 128 k of system RAM.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Holy Crap! HOmestar Runner Game To Be Released On The Nintendo Wii!

The above concept art by Strong bad.

Yes, your dreams of a Homestar Runner video game have now come true!

The WiiWare/PC game "Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People" is a joint collaboration between Mike and Matt Champman (the creators of Homestar Runner) and Telltale Games (the brains behind the Sam and Max adventure game series).

From the official site:

These are story games, with weird plots and tons of dialogue conceived through a mind-meld between the guys who make the cartoons and the team who brought you Sam & Max Seasons One and Two. In each SBCG4AP episode, you take control of Strong Bad and interact with other characters in beloved locations such as Strong Bad's basement, Bub's Concession Stand, and The Stick. Besides talking to other characters and messing with their minds, you'll also get to dress up in funny costumes, check email on Strong Bad's trusty Lappy 486, and play arcade-style mini games such as the timeless Snake Boxer 5.
Check out the official ad here:

Check out the official trailer here:

That's it, between Michelle and I enjoying the hell out of Wii Tennis a few weeks ago, and THIS announcement, I'm sold. WE're getting a Wii with our rebate. :D

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

World Cyber Games Committe Picks 2009 Host City

The World Cyber Games (WCG) today announced Chengdu, China as the WCG 2009 Grand Final host city for the world's largest and most prestigious video game tournament and festival. The formal announcement will be made in China on April 23rd when Chengdu city officials and World Cyber Games organizers join together for the official signing ceremony in Chengdu, China.

The World Cyber Games Committee considers numerous factors when selecting each year's host city, including geography, facilities, infrastructure and marketing plans. For 2009, Chengdu received the overall highest score due to the extensive support offered by local government, accessibility of the Grand Final venue, and high network potential of broadcasters.

"As a state-level digital entertainment industry base, Chengdu aims to become the eSports training and tournament center in China," said Ge Honglin, Mayor of Chengdu. "By hosting the World Cyber Games Grand Final, the biggest and most celebrated eSports and gaming festival in the world, we believe we are now well on our way to achieving this goal."

Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province in China, is a city rich in history, dating back more than 2,300 years. Chengdu is a cultural center for science and technology, commerce and finance, as well as a hub for transportation and communication in southwest China. The city has already hosted a number of major eSport competitions and is the first place in China to establish ratings for players, referees and coaches. Chengdu is also the first Chinese city to train cyber gaming referees and mandate gaming venue standards.

"Chengdu already has an incredible reputation for being one of the world's elite cities when it comes to hosting video game competitions," said Mr.Hyoung-Seok Kim, CEO of International Cyber Marketing, organizers of the World Cyber Games. "We have no doubt that they will be a wonderful and exciting host city that provides World Cyber Games players and fans with a unique and amazing setting for the premiere event and competition."

Founded in 2000, the pioneering WCG continues today under the slogan "Beyond the Game." Over the years, it has steadily grown to become the world's largest and most prestigious video game festival and tournament, with an aim to be a total digital entertainment festival for gamers and the general public.

The 2007 World Cyber Games experienced record numbers of gamers and participating countries, with more than 700 players and 70 countries competing. At last year's WCG Grand Final in Seattle, USA, TEAM USA captured the overall championship for only the second time in the history of the tournament. National Championship registration is well underway in the USA ( and many other countries for the WCG 2008 global tournament, which culminates with the World Cyber Games 2008 Grand Final, Nov. 5 - 9, in Cologne, Germany.

Samsung Electronics is the worldwide premier partner for the World Cyber Games. Other global partners include Microsoft Xbox 360 and Games For Windows, Samsung Monitor(SyncMaster), Philips amBX, Procurve Networking by HP, Dust-Off and several others.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Crayon Physics Comes To A Browser Near You!

It looks simple:

A child's crayon scribblings on a piece of graph paper.

The goal sounds simple:

You play the game by moving the red ball so that it collects the floating stars. You can cause the red ball to move by drawing physical objects, like ramps, or shapes, like squares. You draw with the left mouse button and erase with the right mouse button.

Even the game engine sounds simple:

It was created with C , and SDL.

But Crayon Physics has taken the gaming world by storm.

Now, you don't even have to download the game to enjoy it.

Online Crayon Physics is Flash version of this sleeper indie game hit, and still totally addictive. For us homebrew-running-capable DS owners there's also Pocket Physics. Still in beta and a little buggy though.

Gamespot Steals Content, Gets PWNED

Danny "Sardius" Cowan compiles a weekly feature for gaming industry news site Gamasutra called "Release This!" which compiles worldwide video game releases. As you can imagine, this feature takes him quite a bit of time and effort.

So when GamePro began syndicating this feature across all of the IDG family of sites without permission of Gamasutra, and without crediting Danny, he could have gotten mad.

Instead, he got even.

Not once, but twice.

"In brightest day/
in darkest night,/
Crtl+C, Ctrl+V is how GamePro writes

Heart of A Lion? Check. WIngs of a Bat? Double check.

Strong Bad's favorite glam metal band, Limozeen, played a club in Atlanta for reals over the weekend.

Here's a taste of "Because It's Midnite":

You can see the rest of the show up on YouTube.

So You Wanna Be A Video Game Writer?

"One question I'm asked all the time is: What do I have to do to become a game writer? Well, at last I'm going to tell you. Are you ready for it? You're sure? Okay!

To become a game writer you must be good at writing for games.

I'm glad that's settled.

Oh ... were you looking for a little more than that? I guess you're persistent and curious -- that's a start. I'll tell you what I know."

Writer James Portnow explains how the art of writing for video games is different from writing for any other medium - and how making that distinction is the all-important first step towards being a GOOD writer for video games.

Be warned, there are some BioShock spoilers in the article proper.

(via gamesetwatch)

EA: You'll Pay Us More MOney For Less Ice Cream

Libr'ul commie puppy eating cartoonist and weblogger August Pollak is pretty hot under the collar about EA's recent plan to charge gamers for upgraded weaponry in what is supposed to be a complete game at purchase:

The short version: You have to buy a video game. Then you have to pay to play it against other people over the internet. You have to pay to download extra levels or maps for the game. And now, in this particular case, you have to pay again to buy additional weapons for your character. I am pretty sure only a few years ago this would mean someone was selling you an incomplete game. Now you're paying for "add-ons."
While gamers are up in arms about this rather skewed spin on "pay as you go" gaming, August points out it's essentially an older problem in a newer wrapping:

Basically, it's a much older concept at work here, which you can call the "less ice cream theory." It's when a company decides that the consumer will be happier with paying the same price for less of a product rather than paying more for the same product at a higher price. In other words, why ice cream now comes in "1.75 quart" containers instead of "one-half gallon" containers. The only way this isn't allowed to happen is when the consumer wildly revolts- case in point, Coca-Cola tried a few years back to reduce 2-liter bottles of soda to 1.5 liters, under the guise of a "new, easier-to-handle bottle." No, seriously. I don't know the exact details of the consumer distaste for that, but needless to say that marketing idea lasted less than a year.

My point being, video games cost about as much now as they did ten years ago. The industry is terrified of, and stubborn to, raise the price, so they take away part of the game and sell it to you later. You're paying the same amount for less ice cream.

Now who would win in a fist fight: Sam Kennedy or Master Chief?

A recent issues of Popular Mechanics tackled an interesting video game question: Just how "realistic" is the weaponry in so-caled "realistic" military first-person shooters like America's Army and Rainbow Six?

"[M]ilitary shooters have a tradition of so-called realism. Most of the in-game weapons are available now—or at least loosely based on designs that could eventually reach the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, as optimistic as game developers might be about a high-tech replacement for the M-16 assault rifle, there are no plasma rifles or rail guns in your arsenal. Firefights look and sound like something out of Blackhawk Down, with that unnerving, staccato crackle of modern-day warfare. And the damage inflicted feels more accurate, too: In games like Call of Duty 4 or Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, most enemies are vulnerable to a single burst, and a few incoming rounds can kill you easily. So as this successful genre continues to deliver best-selling titles, will increasingly powerful PCs and game consoles allow military shooters to become more realistic than ever? "

According to the article, the technology certainly is there. Says one developer:

With 200 unique variables for each weapon, including the damage it inflicts at various ranges, how fast it reloads and when bullets tend to start dropping off, a gun in RSV2 could perform precisely like the real thing. “These consoles are so powerful, when you fire a bullet we could factor all of it in: windfall, range, everything about the history of that specific weapon, friction values for the barrel, how many times it’s been fired since it was last cleaned,” says Theiren. “We could make it as anally realistic as possible. But we’re not trying to make a live simulator.”

Read on for more gaming and gunnery geekery.

In-Gamw Ways To Turn Abusive Gamers Into Bugs Instead of Features

Bill Fulton, a former Microsoft developer writes about the need for instituting features into games that discourage players from acting like jerks.
"[W]hy do I care? Because the online behavior of our customers is dramatically reducing our sales, and continues to stunt the growth of our industry. Non-gamers simply don’t love games enough to put up with the crap they get online. The reason they would consider playing online is to have fun with other people -- and right now, playing games online with strangers rarely delivers that for anyone outside the hardcore demographic.

Are these problems even solvable?

Short answer: yes. Social environments and culture can be designed. Just like good game design creates fun gameplay, good social design creates fun social experiences. Unfortunately, online games seem to have allocated very few resources to designing the social environment."

Essentially, he proposes finding a way to engineer social expectations into games rather than just glumly accepting that people who play online are going to be complete tools.

The comment section is almost as interesting as the article itself.

Is It Too Loud, or Are You Too Old? Video Games In The Eyes of Non-Gamers

"Inevitably, after I finish speaking, the strong opinions come. It happens the same way every time: People listen and then they say what they've been feeling. 'Videogames are not good for you'. 'Videogames are a waste of time. They isolate children. Kids never go outside to play. They just sit there and stare at the TV all day'."

This choice is from an enlightening, and at times, sobering look at what prominent game designer Brenda Brathwaite has written for The Escapist.
After a dinner table discussion of what she did for a living lead to an exchange like th one quoted above, she was inspired to ask 40 people over the age of 30 (who were not gamers) what they thought about video games as a whole.

The answers wre surprising: most of them were completely negative, and seemed grounded in second or third hand media reports, or buried resentments.

From later in the article:

More and more, Edison sees a split between two extremes. "I see popular thought divided starkly between those who play, enjoy or appreciate interactive media and those whose feelings fall somewhere along the lines of 'I hate videogames,' 'Videogames are for kids' and 'There is no redeeming value to be found in gaming.' If you take the latter group, you hear two contradictory beliefs: that videogames are a child's medium, and that videogames are too violent and explicit for children. Just those two conflicting biases alone would be enough, I think, for a person unfamiliar with videogames to throw up their hands and be done with the subject until someone more invested works it all out."

The article's entitled "The Myth of the Media Myth", and is worth a read.

How about you, dear readers? What do your parents, friends or other relatives who are non-gamers? What do they think? Any readers over 30 who'd care to chime in?

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