55: Minecraft all the way down
 transcript  October 4, 2010 2:59 PM   Subscribe

Episode 55 of the MetaFilter podcast features the best of September 2010. It runs about an hour and 20 minutes long and was recorded on September 29, 2010.

posted by mathowie to MeFi Podcast at 2:59 PM (68 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I think this is the first time one of my posts was mentioned! Cool!
posted by phunniemee at 3:29 PM on October 4, 2010


And this is the first podcast I've listened to. Wow -- great radio voices.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:59 PM on October 4, 2010


You guys, Matt and Jess and your Minecraft comments. "Looks like Wolfenstein, the movements like that, but it's also like Super Mario Worlds of yore and then...there's...stuff...you can...do." "I broke through to the center of the Earth!" "There's no zombies! I think I won!" I'm dying here.

I think I'm only just now becoming aware of the pervasive nerd-noodging you guys are always giving cortex in the podcast, too. It's like, whenever he gets going on something he found that he thinks is really cool, you guys are sort of snorting derisively and all, "Pffft, nerrrrrrrd." It's so cute.
posted by Gator at 5:07 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, Jessamyn, if you want to be wowed, just step into the MeFi server world...
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:10 PM on October 4, 2010


Cortex, can you write that faux-Smiths song about the girl on a whale ship? I'll send you a jug of scotch.
posted by vrakatar at 5:10 PM on October 4, 2010


Hadn't seen Fuck Lorem Ipsum, but I did see this recently.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:19 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's like, whenever he gets going on something he found that he thinks is really cool, you guys are sort of snorting derisively and all, "Pffft, nerrrrrrrd."

I hope it's completely clear that we think he is wonderful, because otherwise I'd feel like a weird jerkish nerd thunderdome participant. But I like to think of mathowie and I as somewhat old skool blogger nerds and cortex seems to have come to his nerdliness more recently, or from another direction (gamer/music).

Did xkcd do some sort of nerd atlas where all the different sorts of nerds [math, computer, band, theater, sca, dead tech, steampunk, radio, train, whatever] are outlined sort of like the fetish map?

I will work with cortex on the girl on a whale ship song, I think it's a great idea.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:34 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course it's perfectly clear. Like I said, I think it's cute. He's several years younger than both of you, so it's like you're teasing your kid brother.
posted by Gator at 5:36 PM on October 4, 2010


Jessamyn: here's how you can play Wii on your iMac.
posted by ColdChef at 5:39 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex, did you just say MEH-fight Club?

You're banned, buddy!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:39 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


[Not really, of course, but I am going to have to find ways to mock you when I see you in-game now.]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:42 PM on October 4, 2010


I bought Minecraft based on all the recommendations from the threads in the podcast, and I haven't been able to actually play it at all. Freezes up my browser, the game crashes, etc. I've had to shut off my computer twice now.

I would just like to at least try single-player and figure out the basic game moves, so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.
posted by misha at 6:26 PM on October 4, 2010


jessamyn: Did xkcd do some sort of nerd atlas where all the different sorts of nerds [math, computer, band, theater, sca, dead tech, steampunk, radio, train, whatever] are outlined sort of like the fetish map?

You're thinking of Mefi's own Lore Sjoberg's Geek Hierarchy.
posted by Pronoiac at 6:30 PM on October 4, 2010


Download the actual Minecraft.exe client and run that, misha. I haven't even tried running it in-browser, and suspect that that might not the the greatest idea stability-wise.

You need to make sure you have the latest Java Runtime Environment installed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:32 PM on October 4, 2010


It's always fascinating watching (or hearing) somebody playing Minecraft for the first time. There's always that audible gasp when the depth of the possibilities is first grasped. I'd love to see a YouTube series of somebody exploring it with totally fresh eyes. (I've watched a little bit of X's Adventures in Minecraft, but that guy was already somewhat familiar with the game mechanics).

Either way, watching highlights of somebody else would surely be less time-consuming than doing it myself. The vice-grip of the game was broken recently after my saves got lost during the server downtime, but all these FPPs are beginning to reel me back in...

Also: jessamyn remembered how to say my name! Thank you, jessamyn.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:35 PM on October 4, 2010


misha, have you downloaded the desktop client or are you trying to play in the browser? Because it runs like total butt in the browser.

The one thing I don't think to mention when I get to yammering about the game is that it's not really optimized for really aging computers. I don't know what the cutoff is exactly, it's not terrible I don't think, but a gig of ram and a remotely modern graphics card (e.g. your old Voodoo3 probably not gonna cut it) may be prerequisite for a reasonable experience. There are probably decent hardware experience roundups out there by now, but this is definitely one of the pitfalls of super indie game dev.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:37 PM on October 4, 2010


It does like power, definitely, but I've actually gotten it running quite well on a 2-year-old netbook with the onboard Intel Graphics Decelerator garbage, with default window size and setting lowish. One thing that really makes it chug is water/lava flow, but otherwise, eminently playable.

I'm beginning to think that the default way that Metatalk threads are going off-topic recently is into Minecraft chat (which I prefer infinitely to recipe-posting, myself, but I can see how it could be very annoying to people who don't give a damn about Minecraft. Sorry!)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:44 PM on October 4, 2010


Heh, well, look at the tags for this post: podcast, september, minecraft. For an hour and half of the best of MetaFilter in the past month.
posted by Gator at 6:54 PM on October 4, 2010


Hearing my (user)name pronounced on the august Podcast is unexpectedly thrilling. Thanks for the kind words!
posted by theodolite at 7:22 PM on October 4, 2010


I have never listened to one of these before, but you guys are hilarious and great. I guess from your posting-demeanor as mods I expected much drier conversation.
posted by Nomiconic at 7:50 PM on October 4, 2010


It just occurred to me that "august" is the most potentially confusing adjective I could have chosen for my previous comment. Oops.
posted by theodolite at 7:51 PM on October 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Well, it is an August podcast.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:51 PM on October 4, 2010


"There are no... points?"
posted by boo_radley at 9:02 PM on October 4, 2010


The LA ice cream swap was a huge success. It WAS really frickin' hot out, but Argyle brought dry ice and a huge cooler (not to mention one entire crapton of ice cream!) and mandymanwasregistered hooked it up with the baby wipes. Essential to avoid hot, sticky, melty fingermesses.

I went home with some great pints: Pluot sorbet from loulou718, coconut pepper and honey pistachio from Argyle, Riesling plum sorbet from mandymanwasregistered and speicus, and OMG THE BEST honey lavender ricotta ice cream from Parasite Unseen (been saving that one, but tonight's the night!) My humble pomegranate ginger ice cream melted really fast. Good times!
posted by carsonb at 9:26 PM on October 4, 2010


My humble pomegranate ginger ice cream melted really fast.

Ah, but I have the last few bites of said pomegranate ginger in my freezer right now -- courtesy of klang and holyrood, who brought it by the other night (along with nectarine-plum sorbet). In fact, I'm going to go finish it off right now! My compliments to the chef.
posted by scody at 11:16 PM on October 4, 2010


Hey Jessamyn, you can toggle off Gmail's threaded conversation view in Settings now. Just rolled out. So now you can count emails to your heart's content.
posted by Askr at 11:21 PM on October 4, 2010


Thanks for the advice on Minecraft. I was able to enter a multi-player server. I clicked on something, it disappeared, I was banned for messing up the world. Uh oh.

So, don't use the browser, download it. Check.

I downloade the game and tried the single player. But I can't DO anything!

I am in a snowy world. I can walk. That's it.

I checked the game options screen and it tells me I is inventory--looks like I have nothing. The only other commands are to move or to drop (Q) and, again, I have nothing to drop. Supposedly T is for chat, but it does nothing when I type it.

I thought I was supposed to be able to dig or craft? So, obviously I need to know some commands. All right, let's check out the wiki.

Went to the Minepedia wiki (linked in the Minecraft thread from above). Clicked on "Help"--and there is nothing there.

Hmm. Maybe I need to get more specific?

I looked up "commands" and got a page about making a player an op, etc., which is obviously not applicable.

Okay, how about "game basics"? I found recipes for crafting with different materials. Way beyond me as, again, I have nothing; no materials to put together, and no way to get any.

What am I missing? Is there a (helpful!) wiki with the basics somewhere? I just want to dig a frigging hole or pick up something!
posted by misha at 6:23 AM on October 5, 2010


misha, start here with "How to survive your first night" and watch the subsequent videos for great beginner's advice for survival and crafting. The Minecraft wiki isn't all that helpful for a first-timer, I've found. It's moderately useful if you already know what you're looking for, but it's not Wikipedia by any stretch.
posted by Gator at 6:27 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I did try going to YouTube and watching a video. When he just moves, looks like he digs holes. Nothing happens when I do that.
posted by misha at 6:27 AM on October 5, 2010


Hooray! Thanks, Gator, I know how to dig now. : )
posted by misha at 6:29 AM on October 5, 2010


I'm happy to have had my teeny HTML5 goal-monitor-thingee mentioned, thanks jessamyn! -- and I think no, I have not met you that I know of unless maybe at stuff at SXSW 2001. Yes, that's how out of circulation I've been. mathowie, 12 years is a long time, thanks for remembering. cortex: no, I will not be storing any nefarious permacookies with localstorage. :-)

Oh, and jessamyn, what browser did it not work in? Should work fine in Firefox and Chrome. I welcome suggestions for making it prettier and more useful, too!
posted by artlung at 7:19 AM on October 5, 2010


Oh, and jessamyn: http://playwiionmac.blogspot.com/
posted by artlung at 7:21 AM on October 5, 2010


Who is breathing on their mike during the Minecraft discussion? Creepy.
posted by Splunge at 7:27 AM on October 5, 2010


Wha wha wha? Did you guys just link the Python job in Vermont and forget to talk about it? (Noted on account of IKNOWTHATGUY.)
posted by clavicle at 7:46 AM on October 5, 2010


hot, sticky, melty fingermesses

Is there a way to get this added to the fetish map?
posted by slogger at 7:47 AM on October 5, 2010


Uh. Disregard previous comment, have now listened to the intervening three minutes, derp.
posted by clavicle at 7:58 AM on October 5, 2010


re: New user in charge of the MeFi Music Challenge

Y'all send snsranch ideas for future Mefi Music Challenges, y'hear? Do it!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:01 AM on October 5, 2010


So now you can count emails to your heart's content.

Ossum! Now I hope they implement my other wish: a little monster that shows up when you've fully emptied your inbox, like hte kitty that was in the bottom of my breakfast cereal bowl when I was a kid.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:16 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


hte is better than teh.

But that kitty? That kitty's gone, and she ain't never comin' back.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:18 AM on October 5, 2010


Who is breathing on their mike during the Minecraft discussion?

It's Jessamyn (sorry Jessamyn, I was going to email you and say you should re-position your mic or something for the next one). In the past, I've cut out the loud breathing sounds by hand but Garageband was being a jerk this week while editing and I couldn't see the normal sound sine waves of her recording, so I couldn't pick out the breathing sounds to remove, so they were left in. I barely noticed it so it's not a huge deal, but I bet a small move of the mic arm would cure it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:19 AM on October 5, 2010


It is true, I am a mouthbreather.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:25 AM on October 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


I... that is to say... um... it's...

EEK!
posted by Splunge at 9:28 AM on October 5, 2010


Whoa, thanks for the mention! I'm super flattered!

(yes, I'm relatively new, and on the lurky end of things and I don't talk a lot - but I really lurve you guys. and...terrariums.)

I can also listen to people talk about Minecraft all day.
posted by sawdustbear at 12:03 PM on October 5, 2010


Oh, and I did try going to YouTube and watching a video. When he just moves, looks like he digs holes. Nothing happens when I do that.

This wasn't obvious to me from any of the howto videos: In order to destroy a block you should point at it, then hold down your mouse button. Clicking and releasing will not do anything, and neither will repeatedly clicking over and over. Hold the mouse button while staring at the ground, and you should dig a block out. Run over the now-dug area and your inventory should increase by 1 dirt block unit. If you select the dirt in your inventory, then point somewhere and right-click, you'll deposit the dirt at that location.

This is the basic thing that isn't really explained too well. It applies to all tool usage and block placement.
posted by odinsdream at 1:26 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Uh oh - I guess if you unthinkingly contaminate your thread with Minecraft there really is no way back.
posted by Artw at 1:28 PM on October 5, 2010


We could contaminate this thread with Del Toro. I don't think anyone would mind, peanut butter and chocolate and all that.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:34 PM on October 5, 2010


He likes videogames and shoggoths. Just sayin'.
posted by Artw at 1:36 PM on October 5, 2010


misha: “What am I missing? Is there a (helpful!) wiki with the basics somewhere? I just want to dig a frigging hole or pick up something!”

All else aside: clicking should hit things. Click - hit. Click and hold down (don't double-click) and you will keep hitting things.

If you hit things repeatedly, you will destroy them and get their elements. So click and hold on part of a tree, and after a few seconds you will get some wood; click and hold on part of the ground and you will get some dirt; etc.

If you are holding something (dirt, wood, etc) you should be able to right-click to place it.
posted by koeselitz at 1:37 PM on October 5, 2010


The thing about fantastical celluloid meditations on the Spanish Civil War is that you have to be sure to hold the mouse button down or you won't get anywhere.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:42 PM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Things I did not initially get:

1) The hold to dig mechanism (admittedly I got this quite quickly after some stumbling around single clicking like a fool)
2)Four crates makes a crafting table, right click to place it.
3)When crafting, two sticks at the bottom middle and a row of something at the top makes a pick. crates and stone are the most likely candidate when you start out. Sticks will not work for the top row.
4) The "crates" are actually supposed to be little stacks of planks I think.
posted by Artw at 1:43 PM on October 5, 2010


Also, misha:

T is indeed for talk, but it will not work in single-player mode because there is no other person to talk to; you are the only player. You can talk to trees, but to talk to trees you may simply walk up to a tree and then speak to it through your monitor. The functionality is the same. (I do this frequently, though I usually talk to rocks and annoying gravel blocks.)
posted by koeselitz at 1:43 PM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, this killer update is Halloween? Oct. 31?

I can count the thinly-veiled minecraft narratives on NaNoWriMo now.

"Gramelthorn the, uh... Excavationer explored the hollow space where his pick had just pierced stone. His torchlight could not illuminate the vast chamber beyond, but the unholy moans of the undead echoed from within. He pulled forth his cobblestone sword..."
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:23 PM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks, all.

I'm normally not this clueless (at least I don't think I am). I've been on the phone all week trying to get my son's MRI done for his chronic headaches, and I'm getting the runaround from doctors and insurance, and I find myself actually yelling into the phone that this is his BRAIN for heaven's sake and it's been three weeks already and and and...so I apologize if that frustration was coming through in this thread!

It turned out I actually had to re-download my copy and then ALSO I realized I needed to hold down that mouse to continue digging. Doh. Gator's tutorial was really helpful for the building tools and such.

I need to start playing again in a little while with all I have learned!
posted by misha at 3:31 PM on October 5, 2010


Durn Bronzefish, shush. I think it's perfectly plausible that I might have developed my personal Mary Sue heroine(who rides a pig and is devoted to cultivating her subterranean wheat fields and forests) before Minecraft.
posted by sawdustbear at 3:50 PM on October 5, 2010


Wait wait, I can RIDE A PIG in Minecraft? I am so there. I saw the mushroom block but all I could to was wave it menacingly at a tree. Look out tree! I think my mouse is missing a button. Pig riding?!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:52 PM on October 5, 2010


You can ride a pig if you have a saddle. You cannot, however, steer the pig. You ride at the mercy and pleasure of said pig.
posted by Gator at 3:54 PM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


This game is just so awesome. My waitwaitwait moment was "There are ZOMBIES?" Jessamyn's waitwaitwait moment is the prospect of a pork ride.
posted by Gator at 3:56 PM on October 5, 2010


I didn't know you could ride a pig. Now I want to try this.
posted by koeselitz at 5:41 PM on October 5, 2010


This is the first MeFi podcast I've listened to in over a year and I just happen to be mentioned during it? Yikes!

Glad you liked the photo, Matt! The light was particularly nice that day.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 7:15 PM on October 5, 2010


Jessamyn can attach a Wii to a 27″ iMac, whose display can be used as an external monitor with an uncommon video adapter; she doesn’t need an Elgato anything.
posted by joeclark at 1:25 PM on October 6, 2010


Thanks joeclark. As a result of clicking that link I got sent to

1. the information that helped me
2. a six page Apple Support Center survey about my experience.

Woo!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:49 PM on October 6, 2010


Okay, I'm only like 7 minutes in, but there is something amazingly soothing and interesting about all y'all's voices. I could easily listen to your podcasts in the background while working/surfing/whatever.
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:56 PM on October 6, 2010


Okay, I have to know. Why isn't cortex's name in the song? Wasn't it in there before?
posted by P.o.B. at 7:02 PM on October 7, 2010


Nope, it's never been. I recorded it for Matt and Jess a good long time ago, before I was participating and maybe before I was even a mod, so it's me performing it but I've never actually mentioned myself in it.

I like more and more the idea of having people record new themes and us just changing it every episode. Could be a lot of fun.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:41 PM on October 7, 2010


Matt's voice needs a boostin' or a tweakin' or a sumthin', I could not hear him over my vacuum. Otherwise, very fun edition.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:41 PM on October 7, 2010


MeFi: You ride at the mercy and pleasure of said pig.
posted by artlung at 9:09 AM on October 8, 2010


Let me see if I understand the situation correctly: I'm currently posting a comment on a website... about a podcast... that's about a newspaper article... that's about a movie... that's about a website?
posted by FishBike at 3:24 PM on October 8, 2010


YOU'RE ALL LIVING INSIDE MINECRAFT, YOU JUST CAN'T SEE THE BLOCKS
posted by koeselitz at 5:30 PM on October 8, 2010


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