(…I’ll be back tomorrow with the Rulloff’s trivia wrapup along with a special “What I Learned on my Thanksgiving Vacation edition. In the meantime…)

Today I Learned…

…that Maxim magazine had an interview with Hernan Sanchez, the voiceover artist for the announcer in the Mortal Kombat series.  And they made him say silly things using his recognizable voice into a microphone.  Click on the link to find the soundboard that resulted.   (Hopefully soon I’ll figure out if I can embed it here.)


Today I Learned…

…that EA might have a problem.  Spore, Wil Wright’s new masterpiece game (and something that I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced in 2006), has some pretty heinous DRM (specifically — SecurROM).  I found out today that opponents of DRM in general and the particularly harsh version of it that SecurROM represents have organized a flash mob of sorts to give the game 1-star ratings on Amazon.com, hoping to force EA to drop the DRM provisions in the game.

It remains to be seen whether they will be successful.  If they can infiltrate enough big retailers, EA might end up taking a big enough hit in the wallet and on the PR front that they’ll change something.  I think it’s unlikely.

For me?  It’s a bit of a moot point.  Since I’m not running Mac OS X Leopard yet, my laptop can’t run Spore — and I don’t own any of the next gen consoles (although a game like this really should be run on a computer).  Although even if I could run it, the problems with SecuROM would give me pause.  The problem isn’t that I disagree with the central premise of DRM — which I do — but rather that there are serious issues with SecuROM (detailed in the Wikipedia page linked above) that need to be addressed by its adherents.  EA is far too powerful in the video gaming industry to be allowed to use sub-standard methods like this.  Who knows?  Maybe if there’s enough public outrage they’ll start making better Madden games too.

Today I Learned…

…about the Wilhelm Scream.  It’s a sound effect that is used /extremely/ frequently in both movies and video games.  From Wikipedia: “The Wilhelm’s revival came from Star Wars series sound designer Ben Burtt, who tracked down the original recording (which he found as a studio reel labeled “Man being eaten by alligator“). Although Distant Drums was the first known use of the sound, Burtt named it after “Pvt. Wilhelm”, a minor character who emitted the same scream in the 1953 film The Charge at Feather River.”

Once you hear it, I’m sure you’ll recognize it.  Check out this compliation video I found on Kezins.com: