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Location: Cowford, FL
Country: United States
DOB: 4/21/1989
Joined: Nov 23rd, 2010 @ 5:48 pm
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Posts: 2805
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American Mall Gamehttps://www.bloomberg.com/features/american-mall-game/

A "SimMall" game from the news site Bloomberg. It's a fun little thing, and as a Jacksonville resident, I can definitely relate to it!

I lasted 660 days on my best run. I could probably do better if the ear-piercing minigame didn't glitch up on me more often than not.
Itadaki Street DS Sound RipDownload them here.

Sound effects and fanfares ripped from Itadaki Street DS, a Japanese-only Mario-Dragon Quest crossover. I couldn't find sounds for this obscure game anywhere else, so I decided to rip them myself!

All sounds are property of Nintendo and Square-Enix, as well as the original composers of these songs.

(And yes, this is a very obscure game.)
TaxlandiaDownload it here, if you really want to.

Can you create a better future for your happy digital European Millennial people?

Taxlandia is a rather shameless SimCity knockoff made by the European Union (yes, really). The graphics and music are a decent effort, considering it's a game made by a loose partnership of European nations, but unfortunately, the game experience falls flat. Unlike the SimCity games, where you can design pretty much anything you can dream of, there's very little room for creativity in Taxlandia. All you can do is set tax rates, adjust funding levels, and build things in predetermined locations. You can upgrade an existing apartment or factory, but you can't build a new apartment or factory on vacant land! Once you've built all the major projects in the game without bankrupting your cute little European nation, there's not much else to do.

The game stops being exciting when your nation is no longer teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

Compared to SimCity, the game is intended more as an educational tool. While the built-in glossary is nice, the game doesn't teach you much. The game demonstrates the economic theory that if tax rates were set to 0% or 100%, the government would earn no tax revenue, either because there would be no taxation (0% of anything is 0!) or because if taxes were too high, nobody would have any incentive to work (since the government would take everything you earn, and most commerce would move to the black market). At the beginning of the game, you'll learn that the previous administration has left your country without any funds, and you'll need to find a way to get out of the hole - and fast! To maximize tax revenue, you'll need to set tax rates toward the lower end of the spectrum (30% worked well to revitalize my bankrupt government, but in later years I reduced tax rates to stimulate the economy). Basic tax policy is about the only thing the game teaches. Beyond that, the game has issues. Serious issues.

This game's definition of a "crisis" is "making sure the percentages add up to 100% when allocating funds."

Even though it's designed as an educational tool, the game doesn't acknowledge the absurdities of SimCity's all-powerful ruler playing the role of both mayor and business oligarch (though you don't get to pinch-hit for the Almighty this time - there's a scenario where you react to a small natural disaster, but you don't get to unleash them on your own land). While government certainly plays a role in economic development, especially when big projects are concerned, most governments aren't going to be responsible for renovating a supermarket - with the possible exception of some Communist countries, that's something the private sector would do. That's not the only way the game takes great liberties with realism. Expanding an apartment complex will automatically increase your city's population by the thousands - you just spend the money and people automatically move in! These people also won't move away when things go bad - although you could lose your job as Prime Minister if you run out of money.

The cops will appreciate the new coffee machine and the spiffy desks you bought from IKEA, but upgrading the police station won't actually have a measurable effect on crime rates.

It's also strange that lowering taxes seems to be the only way to reduce crime rates. While lowering taxes will spur economic growth, and increasing economic opportunity is one of the best ways to fight crime, there are lots of other factors that affect crime - education, policing, and health, not to mention countless other things that can't easily be reflected in a city simulation game. And speaking of education, upgrading schools doesn't really help you much in this game. I guess education is a waste of money and you should just play this game instead.

In this brave new world, planting trees requires a crane, some scaffolding, some burly foreign laborers, and a whole lot of waiting.

The game's interface is annoying as well - a long, unskippable animation plays every time you build something, and I can guarantee you that you'll soon grow tired of seeing a massive crane come in to build... a few trees.

Also, all the buildings look the same. This will never cause any problems.

Surely a game this good wouldn't have any typos in it.

Taxlandia has potential, but in its current state, any SimCity game is more fun to play - and more interesting as an educational tool.
I did stupidSeems I forgot to attach a file to an e-mail earlier this week, and since realizing my mistake, I've deleted the file that I was supposed to attach. The big problem is I've dumped the Recycle Bin since then.

So now I'm having my first experience with file-recovery software. This should be interesting. I'm trying Recuva since it comes from the same folks as CCleaner, and I've had good experiences with CCleaner (even if they had a bit of a security scare recently).

Of course, even if I can't recover my missing file, I'll learn something - and there's a decent chance that the person I e-mailed won't notice anyway.
Gee, it sure is boring around here

I just wonder what Gannon's up to.

Nite fixed my Super NESMy Super NES hadn't been working properly in many moons. After being on for a few minutes, it would randomly shut off. As time went on, the amount of playtime I could get out of it dropped to nil - the power light would go off almost as soon as I turned on the system's power switch.

Fortunately, however, I know someone who's amazing at fixing old video game hardware! I recently sent Nite my Super NES for repairs and a tune-up. Thanks to his magic, my Super NES is back in good working order!

The past few days have been rather unusual with a hurricane approaching, so I haven't had a chance to play it too long, but it's nice to be able to play Super Mario Kart (and NHL '97!) again. It's kind of amazing that the battery still works in Super Mario Kart - after all, this cartridge is now about 25 years old, so the game has technically been powered on for a quarter century.

Unfortunately, I have mixed reviews for my friends at the United States Postal Service. I had to use USPS to ship my package to Nite, since FedEx and UPS won't deliver there. The people at the post office were helpful and friendly, but the Super NES shell suffered some moderate exterior damage during the cross-country trip. It's a long trip, but I tried to be pretty careful in wrapping it, and it would've been nice if it had been treated a bit more gently in transit. Fortunately, the innards were unscathed.

So if you ever need a piece of old game hardware repaired or modified, Nite is your man! Just be extra-careful when shipping it using the postal service - feel free to go overboard with the bubble wrap and FRAGILE stickers!
Fun with Regression AnalysisMost of the members here are also members on MFGG, so I was wondering: Is MFGG more active when this forum is active, or does this forum tend to cannibalize the MFGG forums?

After crunching the numbers, I found that there isn't a significant correlation between posting activity here and on MFGG. When I did a regression analysis comparing post activity on the BT Forums and post activity on MFGG, I got an R² value of 0.0346 - which means the model can explain about 3% of the variation. Basically, there isn't a relationship between activity here and on MFGG - activity here doesn't cannibalize MFGG, although it also doesn't increase activity on MFGG.

Now you know.
It's time to take a break from Twitter LandReal Life and I had some quality time together yesterday. It was splendid.

Yesterday was quite an intense day, considering that I was at school from 8:15 to 8:30 (that's A.M. to P.M.) doing various grad school things, including some very scary things like giving my final presentation. (The above timeline also had a short break for non-educational things, also known as lunch.)

This was an intense and slightly scary day, as presentations and team projects inherently are. But I also realized that it felt good - it felt great to be away from depressing and discouraging political posts. I was even OK with fasting from memes for a while. I survived.

I have no problem with debate, in and of itself. Unfortunately, political discussion - especially online political discussion - is getting more and more polarized and toxic. Twitter certainly isn't the only place that's struggling with the issue of having civil, rational political discourse, but Twitter political talk is especially lacking in insight and deep thought. Twitter users are more interested in symbols than action, identity rather than ideas. (They get more upset over the existence of antique war memorials or a mediocre-ish quarterback for a lousy NFL team peacefully protesting during a football game than things that have a tangible effect on people's lives.)

I still feel it's important to be informed about what's going on in the world, including in the political sphere. However, it's very, very difficult to have a nuanced political discussion in 140 characters or less, particularly in today's climate. Twitter is not a very good place to get actual information - especially in-depth information.

Maybe I'm complacent and part of the problem myself, but considering that I only have 169 followers (many of whom are inactive or spambots), I'm pretty sure that anything I post in Twitter Land isn't going to have an appreciable impact. I think I'd be far better off using my energy in real life - or post things on MFGG or here, which people find a lot more interesting anyway, at least measured by the number of impressions they get. (MFGG and the BT Forums are not exactly big communities, so this is further evidence of my superpower of being ignored on social media, especially Twitter.)

I've been on Twitter for over eight years now. Until recently, I always enjoyed hanging out with the little blue Twitter bird, but the quality of conversation has steadily gone downhill. If there was a way to limit my timeline to art and other non-controversial content, I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about tweeting again. A lot of the features for making Twitter great again - like the word filter that blocks posts with words like "Trump", or the setting that puts Twitter's timeline back in chronological order the way it should be - don't actually work properly. At this point, using Twitter lists is the only way the service is tolerable.

I can't say I'll never use Twitter again, but it's definitely time to take a break. As you can probably tell (actually, you probably didn't notice, because you're not dangerously obsessed with everything I do), I haven't been tweeting much lately anyway.

Maybe I'll use my Twitter vacation to post more stuff here or on MFGG. (I probably won't, but I could!)
Giantmicrobes.comThis is pretty funny. I never would've thought to make adorable plushes of microscopic things - especially pathogens!

I also found a good avatar for LouseSr:

Ever wanted to run Windows 95 in your browser?https://win95.ajf.me/win95.html

Now you can!
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