Find of the Week: Goth Girl

Aug. 20th, 2017 09:57 pm
green_knight: (Never Enough)
[personal profile] green_knight
I picked up the first of these in a supermarket the other day because I could not resist the eight-poster bed, read it yesterday, and today picked up the next two volumes. They are

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse
Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death
Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright

by Chris Ridell.

Young readers (the alleged intended audience) will probably enjoy them - they're not quite graphic novels, but they have a lot of graphic elements[*], and very silly plots - but well-read, pun-loving adults with a good grounding in literature and contemporary British culture will probably enjoy them even more.

Since I started reading them the air has been punctuated by laughter every now and again when a penny drops. I am halfway through book two, and there seems to be a puddle of pennies at my feet...

And now I shall return to the statue of a sulking-looking seamonster known as 'Mopey Dick'.

[*] extra points for innovative use of footnotes


Aug. 8th, 2017 09:49 pm
green_knight: (Spitting Cobra)
[personal profile] green_knight
I am currently staying within reach of someone who cheats at Pokemon, and it makes me more than a little bit mad.

The village I am staying in is fine. It has one gym, which gets taken over by this team and that; very frequently I'm the person who takes it over for my team, but it changes hands every couple of days. (Alas, very often my pokemons return without bringing any poke coins with them. Funny how that glitch always works in Niantic's favour, isn't it?)

(There are other problems with this. There are not enough players to take down a 40.000 CP super-rare pokemon: usually, there's only me, and I can do 12.000-16.000 if I'm very, very lucky; 40.000 are impossible. I have no idea where the other players live; I've never seen one. Spontaneous crowd to take down a gym in a raid? In a village this small? Forget it.)

The next-nearest village, and the country town beyond, are firmly in the hands of one player. Now I've been out playing fairly seriously, once in a while, and I've never managed more than six or seven gyms at any one time, and then not for very long. This guy has a radius of at least six miles, ranging from next-village-over to country park-at-edge-of-town.

So far, so good. Maybe he's just REALLY determined, it's the summer holidays, and he has a motor.

Too many coincidences )

Now, it is humanely possible that someone could have noticed their pokemon was knocked out the gym, drive up the lane about a mile out of town, parked their car or moped on the verge, climbed over the gate and hushed along the wall to hide in the brambles underneath the site in order to take down the gym while I was up at the site and walking down into the lane, but at THIS point, we're really talking a level of dedication that taking down a single gym in rural Wales does not merit. I do not believe that a second person would have joined them in that endeavour.

The more likely explanation is that someone is sitting at home, somewhere, *probably* in the area, because taking over a lot of gyms when you have no connection to them sounds even more boring.

I am - see second powerful pokemon appearing in gym #3 after I took it over the second time - certain this person has at least two accounts, one they seem to be using everywhere and one that's more bother to use, but I don't actually know how you would do this - someone feed your phone GPS recordings that correspond to gyms? Would you still have to do the battles yourself, or could you automate that as well? Maybe using assistive technology? I don't quite see how this could be done on iOS; would that sort of thing be easier or harder on Android?

And what, other than feeling immensely powerful because you've just ruined everybody's game from your computer desk, is the purpose of this? This is a level 35 trainer; and I'm level 30; I started late and am a regular, but somewhat indifferent player. OK, they probably have more than one high-level account, but still. What is the point?

Questions over questions.

I have reported this to Niantic, because it goes way beyond 'making it easier to play for someone who cannot walk as much as the game demands' - I've pretty much tested out how much pokemon a single dedicated player can play in a day (only I do this about once a month), and this person's hogging of gyms goes well beyond that. It also makes playing completely pointless: if you get kicked out of any local gym by a bot as soon as you're there, whatever the gym is, why bother?

In a world where someone is trying to kick non white-male googlers out of engineering, this is probably not the most pressing problem to solve, but this kind of game-wrecking pisses me off nonetheless. Someone is pissing in everybody's collective cornflakes, and probably feels very clever doing so.


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