Positively dashing

Monday, 23 August 2004 — 3:38pm | Video games

Back in June when the title of the sixth Harry Potter book was announced, I inquired: “Who is the Half Blood Prince – and is there, or is there not a hyphen?” At long last, we have an answer to the second question, and it will indeed be Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, “half-blood” hyphenated as it is in the books themselves.

While on the subject of correct punctuation, I am aware that I do not practice it on this site. I refer not to the placement of periods and commas, but how I do not differentiate between em and en dashes, or curly quotes and primes. Part of it is because I have enough trouble remembering web-ready identities like & (&) and é (é) to even begin using the numerical ones on the fly. In fact, I see the misuse of dashes, apostrophes and quotations marks as a larger problem within society as a whole that can only be corrected via better keyboard designs. Add quotation mark and em dash keys, I say. Make them mappable to HTML identities. Take Microsoft’s automatic entry of em dashes, curly quotes and correct apostrophes and have them default to Unicode characters rather than proprietary Windows ones, not that this will ever actually happen, given Microsoft’s predilection to all things proprietary.

At some point or another, I might correct the non-ASCII extended characters littered throughout the site to their corresponding identities so the blasted thing validates properly, but the day I find time to comb through every post to do this will also be the day I do a table-free redesign and move to my own server; in other words, not for a while.

Interesting scoop on the Nintendo DS today, stating that it has a square port with an as-yet-undisclosed secret purpose. Nintendo is also reportedly considering releasing the device in multiple colours, in which case you can expect me to head straight for the purple (sorry, ‘indigo’) model, unless they release a retro-styled NES gamepad design like the one that graced the Game Boy Advance SP.

One minor detail requires clarification. I quote: “The stylus pen is going to be connected to the back.” Does that mean it merely slides into a stylus-holding slot at the back of the unit, as one would assume, or is it physically attached to the device itself – say, by a retractable cord? If it is the former, I can guarantee that Nintendo is going to be receiving a lot of warranty calls for replacement styli. Not to make overly sweeping generalizations, but the target consumer that will be purchasing and playing the Nintendo DS is more likely to lose a stylus than a Palm-piloting businessman. A stylus connected to the DS would make a lot of sense as long as the cord is long and flexible enough to not impede gameplay, yet short enough so as to avoid getting all tangled up.

The Sign of the Apocalypse du jour comes courtesy of the official website to the video game BloodRayne:

Rayne Makes Her PlayBoy Debut

If you felt teased by her sexy Girls of Gaming cover, then this new feature art is going to blow your mind! Rayne is 100% topless and smokin’ hot in the October issue of Playboy magazine. This is a first in videogame history and trust us when we say that Rayne does not disappoint. The magazine hits newsstands in early September so here’s a great excuse to get a copy!

Keep in mind that this is an imaginary computer-generated vampire chick we are talking about. Who is in direr need of getting out more, the BloodRayne team behind all this or the kids who will go out and actually buy the issue? (And yes, I said ‘kids’.)


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