Interzone Games decides on Perth

Martin pointed out on the IGDA Perth internal mailing list that it looks like Interzone Games has decided to come to Perth. His reasoning is that Melbourne is no longer listed as a possible location on their (rather minimalist) website. (All the job descriptions list “Perth, WA” as the location.)

This should be good news for the local games development industry.

Shouldn’t there be regulations against packaging for “dine in”?

Everytime I’m at a fast food place, I’m amazed by the amount of packaging that is used solely to transport food from the kitchen to your mouth, and then discarded. It’s clearly incredibly wasteful, but nobody seems to notice or care. Fair enough (most people aren’t immediately concerned), but shouldn’t there be some legislation against such gross waste?

A few places make inconsistent efforts to provide plates and cutlery. Nandos will put your food on a plate if you’re dining in, but they will often include some unnecessary packaging as well. For example, they will wrap the burger in grease-proof paper, or place the chips in a bag and then on the plate. What’s the point? Are their plates dirty or something?

I think the general perception would be that it’s crazy to make fast food places provide plates and glasses for dine-in, but I really feel that this has just been trained by familiarity (rather than based in logic). Other types of restaurants serve food on reuseable crockery; Why not fast food restaurants? When I was in Thailand, KFC served food on a special food tray (like a plate with sections) and drinks in glasses. It just made sense.

We just say the opposite of what we represent and people will buy our products!


I’m amazed by the apparant success of advertisting campaigns that are completely incompatible with the product being sold. I’m not talking about ads that seem to have nothing to do with the product (eg. those ones that consist of unrelated overtly sexually imagery accompanying a product logo), I’m talking about campaigns that read like serious cases of self-denial.

Take the “campaign for real beauty” from beauty products manufacturer Dove. What are they saying? You’re beautiful, but still buy our Natural Glow and hair care products? That’s totally insane! How can people take it seriously? Who buys beauty products when they are entirely happy with how they look?

And then there’s McDonald’s recent focus on presenting a healthy lifestyle full of nutrition and exercise. What do french fries and soft drinks have to do with a healthy lifestyle? Sure they have introduced some “healthy options” to their menu, but who goes to McDonald’s to buy a salad?

Normally, I’d think “you can’t be serious, no one would actually believe these campaigns“, but they seem to be working. So who are these campaigns appealing to? I think Dove is selling to people who previously figured that they were too unattractive to bother trying. They’re are now presented with a redefined version of beauty that they can acheive (if they buy the right products)!

What about McDonald’s? They want to convince people that going to eat at their restaurants isn’t necessarily unhealthy. They want to impart a feeling that they know all about health and are personally concerned for your well-being. You can have the peace of mind to walk in knowing that you could get something healthy, but chances are you’ll walk out with a quarter pounder with cheese meal. Upsized.

Note: I like what Max Barry had to say about McDonald’s “make up your own mind” campaign:

Their argument seems to be that if you’re smart, you’ll ignore the overwhelming body of evidence that says their product is dangerous, and instead reach an independent conclusion based on their promotional web site.

The word “condescending” springs to mind.

OneTwenty Events blog

I started a new blog for local events of interest to OneTwenty members and similarly minded people. Check it out at I’ve also added it to the OneTwenty Feed Reader ( so people can keep track of events that way as well.


Minh is helping me with content for the site and we will be posting information leading up to events, and then writeups afterwards. At the moment, we have categories for next month’s Perth Massive and Nullarbor Mixer. Please visit and comment on posts to let us know what you want out of these events. If we’re helping to organise the event, we’ll take it into account; If not, hopefully the organisers are reading as well!

PC demo and game development mixer (16 December)

The IGDA Perth Chapter and OneTwenty are proud to invite all aspiring digital artists and programmers interested in developing entries for next year’s Nullarbor Demo and Game Development Competition to a special event designed to help people form groups and get organised!

Since next year’s Nullarbor competition will be part of the GO3 Electronic Entertainment Expo, this is great opportunity to showcase Perth developers to the world. If you haven’t already started it’s not too late, and we want to help you find the right mix of people to create that perfect game!

Mixer details:

  • Time/Date: 2pm – 5pm, Saturday 16 December 2006
  • Location: Room 13.225, Building 13, ECU Mt. Lawley campus
  • Contact: RSVP to (as artist or programmer)

I’ve planned a few things to make finding and talking to people a little easier, and it’s very important for people interested in attending this event to RSVP (for catering and organisation purposes). There will be computers available for people to demonstrate their previous work to their peers, and space for people who want to bring laptops or portfolios.

I’ve included the invite sent out to the IGDA mailing list after the jump.

Continue reading “PC demo and game development mixer (16 December)”

More thoughts on the National School Chaplaincy Program

I recieved a new comment on my post Federal Government condones religious discrimination that really hit home because it was an actual case of discrimination, rather than a theoretical one. Tarnya wrote:

I am a Social Worker and have completed a masters paper in spirituality in state schools. I have worked as a school counsellor for more than five years, yet under John Howard’s scheme I am ineligible to apply for the recently announced positions of chaplain as I do not have a Christian affiliation which is deemed suitable by Scripture Union (the employing body).

So that got me thinking again, and I wanted to post a few more thoughts. When the original issue came up, I tried to engage both sides of the argument with a sort of middle ground stating that invariant of personal religious or atheist inclinations, the Government’s National School Chaplaincy Program should be recognised as irresponsible and divisive. I commented on Peter John Chen (against policy and religion), and Matt Glover‘s (for policy and religion) blog posts concerning the subject (to see if I could sway either side).


I think that the common theme from many opponents of the program is the assertion that this program will necessarily lead to religious education. I think bundling an argument against religious tuition with an argument against this program complicates the issues and provides an easy target for for supporters of the program to unfairly stereotype and criticise opponents.

To some degree, it is easy to feel that evangelism is a valid concern. The Scripture Union Western Australia website lists the following on their Secondary Schools Work page (emphasis added):


Working together with the churches in your community to impact your local secondary school…

Having a positive impact on the students, encouraging them to live life to the full and discover a relationship with God…

Unity amongst the local churches, a community Christian presence in the school…

However, I’m confident that such evangelism as a Chaplain is generally frowned upon (particularly in public schools). Regardless, there is no reason to even discuss this issue when there are more fundamental problems with the policy: discrimination against people seeking employment in these roles without a recognised religious affiliation, and an unfair bias towards private schools (which are predominantly religious).


A common response from supporters of the program seems to be:

How can it be discriminatory when it benefits all students?

This completely misses the point. Imagine if only men could become teachers. It’s like saying that isn’t discriminatory because these men will educate all students. It’s not the students who are being discriminated against, it’s the women who can’t become teachers! Similarly, the government’s National School Chaplaincy Program asserts that only those with a recognised religious affiliation can provide pastorial care.

Even if the chaplains provide services to all students (without a religious bias), that point is entirely moot. The discrimination lies in those that are prevented from working in that role based entirely on their lack of religious affiliation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are atheist; It could well be that the person is simply of a different faith or denomination to the sponsoring religious body.

Final Thoughts

Let’s not make this into a religion vs. atheism issue. It’s about problems in a specific Government program. There is clearly public discord created by the program requiring religious affiliation. This creates divisions and hostility within the community. By embedding discrimination into this program, the government condones discrimination, and fosters and justifies feelings of inequality and bias.

Discord would not be present if the Government’s policy was more sensitive to these issues and made clearly non-discriminatory. For example, say that the Government pledged $90m to a National Personal and Social Wellbeing in Schools Program (NPSWSP) and clearly stipulated that persons who fill the supported positions must simply be accepted by the school and parents association.

Under such as scheme, I would imagine that a vast majority of funding would still go to support Chaplains (as they fulfill this role in a large number of communities). However, it would not overtly discriminate against those that are suitably qualified, but not affiliated with a religious organisation (even if these cases are few and far between). There would be no reason for animosity.

Given the option of the divisive NSCP or an inclusive NPSPWSP, why would the government propose the former? Is it because they are careless (at best) or antagonistic (at worse)?

Has anyone seen Linda Linda Linda?

After watching the Wii launch videos, Minh asked me if the guy interviewing people for Joystiq was from Control-Alt-Chicken. I had no idea what she was talking about so I used Google to find that Control-Alt-Chicken is a geek cooking show that’s part of Revision3, a new video project by the creators of Digg.

I checked out the latest episode (Crab Cakes!) and immediately recognised the opening song as Linda Linda by The Blue Hearts as featured in the videogames Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (a recent purchase by Jason).

I remembered seeing a page with links to all the Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan songs on Cracked Rabbit Gaming, but the Linda Linda video they link to has been removed. I searched YouTube for another one, and came across this cover by Japanese school girl band Paranmaum from the movie Linda Linda Linda.

It looked pretty good and is billed by Steven Venn on its IMDB page as:

What Josie and The Pussycats should have been.

Well, I liked Josie and The Pussycats, and if this is even better, I want to see it. So… has anyone seen Linda Linda Linda?

Photos from Red Bull Air Race

Just a quick post with a number of photos (and commentary) from the recent final leg of the Red Bull Air Race here in Perth last Sunday.


Keep reading for more photos.

Just a quick post with a number of photos (and commentary) from the recent final leg of the Red Bull Air Race here in Perth last Sunday.


Keep reading for more photos.

Continue reading “Photos from Red Bull Air Race”

My Wii preorder

I decided to preorder my Wii with Game Traders Carillion City. They don’t have advertised preorder packages, but are happy to put together a deal for anyone who asks. I knew exactly what I wanted and have looked around on the web (mostly using Vooks Wii preorder guide and the PALGN forums) trying to determine the cheapest way to get it.

The problem with a lot of preorder deals is that they offer all this crap that I don’t want. Toy ‘R Us gives you Open Season for free. Do I care? Myer gives you GT Pro Series if you are a member of their (information collecting) loyalty scheme and a bunch of coupons that probably only apply to games I don’t want. JB Hifi offers poor service and novelty sports gear (no thanks). The list goes on.

Anyhow, I worked out the full price that I would be paying for what I was after and Myer looked to be the best deal if the coupons applied. Here’s a snippet from the notes I have been keeping:


$399.95 Wii Console (with Wii Sports)
$ 0.00 GT Pro Series with Wheel (for Myer One members *if* I sign up)
$159.92 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess + Red Steel (20% off *if* coupon applies)
$ 64.95 Wii Play Bundle (with Wii remote, $15 off *if* coupon applies)
$ 14.95 Nunchuk Controller ($15 off *if* coupon applies)


$399.00 Wii Console (with Wii Sports)
$ 79.95 Wii Play Bundle (with Wii remote)
$ 29.95 Wii Nunchuk Controller
$ 99.95 The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
$ 99.95 Red Steel

This is the deal that I got from Gametraders (and all I had to do was ask):

  • Wii Console (with Wii sports): $369.95
  • Wii Play Bundle (with Wii remote): $ 69.95
  • Wii Nunchuk Controller: $ 29.95
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: $ 79.95

That’s a total price of $549.8! It’s not the same order as I was planning, but after reading some bad reviews for Red Steel I tentatively removed if from my “must buy” list. However, even with Red Steel included Gametraders would be $10.05 less than Myers (assuming that the Myers coupons would apply). Bottom line: it’s a good deal.

I’m just glad knowing that everything I want will be ready and waiting for me on launch day!