living video games

Humble Bundle for Türkiye-Syria Earthquake Relief Efforts

There was a devastating series of earthquakes affecting Türkiye and Syria early in February and the Humble Bundle folks have a bundle of games and more up for the next few days that donates all of the proceeds to three relief groups. Highly recommended. Get it here.

video games war

MiSTer FPGA Developer Sergey Dvodnenko in Occupied Ukraine

Sergey Dvodnenko is a software developer living in a city in Ukraine that is under the control of occupying Russian forces. Dvodnenko is behind software cores for the MiSTer project with a focus on the Sega Saturn and he even recently released a core for Sega’s 32X during the occupation.

His most recent update to Twitter talked about the occupation:

Dvodnenko was later able to post last week to the MiSTer FPGA forums with an update on his status:

Hi. I’m fine. The Russian occupiers have turned off our Internet and mobile communications. There is a slow Internet connection, but this one is not always available. Twitter and Facebook are blocked, so I’m writing here. I’m working on Saturn and other cores. Maybe not so fast, but I continue to work. Thank you all for support.

Sergey Dvodnenko has a Patreon page where people can support his work directly and get updates like the video above when he’s able to upload them with his progress.

politics video games war

Ukrainian Government Calls for Video Game Sanctions on Russia & Belarus

The invasion of Ukraine has led to the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine & Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine (that’s one person, Mykhailo Fedorov) requesting via Twitter that Microsoft’s Xbox division, and Sony’s PlayStation division, in addition to “all game development companies” and “esports platforms”, to temporarily block all games from accounts in Russia and Belarus and cancel esports events in Russia and Belarus:

There are a lot of strong and thoughtful arguments that sanctions are a bad idea, the rich are likely to be easily able to work around them so only the regular people may suffer. Without a democratically elected government how likely is it that further unrest in Russia will result in Vladimir Putin being deposed and this war ending? I don’t know, but I do want peace and it is good to sympathize with the Ukrainians and all victims of war. We will see if Sony, Microsoft, and the rest of the game industry join in on the wave of sanctions.

This isn’t the first request that the Ukrainian government has made via Twitter, they’ve also requested support from other countries, businesses and notably from the name-calling heir to a fortune from apartheid-era mining, Elon Musk. Who may have delivered some internet-providing Star Link satellite dishes but who knows if those worked or if the service can even be moved from one location to another which seems like it might be useful when you’re trying to avoid an invading military force.


Recommending The World

If you’re trying to keep up with the news but can only take so much, I highly recommend listening to The World, it’s available as a free podcast online and features some great reporting from around the world and claims to be public radio’s longest-running daily global news program. Marco Werman is the regular host and I think he is pretty good. I’ve listened for years and linked to stories they’ve reported on like one about Rachel Lopez’ incredible documentation of the colorful taxi cab ceilings of India.

Unfortunately, the news of Russia invading Ukraine is incredibly sad, but The World gives us a bit under an hour of reporting on this and other stories and it seems like a fair dose to keep up-to-date. For example, today’s broadcast has Werman’s interview with Elena Chernenko which is very good to hear, Chernenko is a reporter from Russia who organized an open letter opposing the war with Ukraine.

Listen to The World via Apple Podcasts or the RSS feed.


Green Onion Chex Cereal, Awful or “…Too Mild”?

Apparently there was a contest in South Korea 16 years ago to determine which new Chex flavor to make, Chocolate or Green Onion and green onion won but the local Kellogg’s company determined that the voting was fraudulent and ran with the chocolate variant. People were sort-of upset about the situation, Sangmi Cha & Josh Smith for Reuters have the update:

It is being hailed as a major win for democracy in South Korea. After 16 years in exile, a president this week triumphantly returned to claim his rightful place – on the front of a box of green onion-flavoured cereal.

And that’s why there’s the ad above celebrating the product.

My favorite part of this story though is this review from Jamelle Bouie for Serious Eats. There’s no surprise that the cereal turned out to be offensive to Bouie’s pallet, but it is a very good review especially because it includes a video of an adult in the United States attempting to eat Green Onion Chex with milk and give it a serious review as a breakfast cereal.

But the end of the Reuters article includes a completely different review from someone in South Korea:

“I had adult-like taste in food since I was young, so I love local food with garlic, green onion or kimchi,” said food blogger Lee Soo-jeong, 24, who voted for Chaka as a child and was an early taster.

Her verdict on the long-awaited cereal?

“The green onion flavour is too mild.”

Which review is accurate? Both. I love this because it is a fantastic example of different cultures and their respective food palates, and different ways things are judged by different people. I must get a box of Green Onion Chex.