Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Wii is important

I now write articles on gaming at

Here's one on why I think Nintendo should have a greater presence in emerging markets like India. An excerpt :

This is why I believe that Nintendo's products are best suited for getting a whole new segment of people into gaming. Markets like India are chock-full of people who've never played games before. Products like Gears of War aren't going to convert too many of them into gamers. Fancy explosions and realistic physics will get their attention, but won't hold their attention long enough to convert them.

Read the full article here.

Two handhelds in one day

by Anand Ramachandran

What a day!

I bought a PSP. My friend S.U.Saravanakumar (yeah, the bosey guy) bought a DS. An opportunity for day long handheld gaming, and of course, for the diligent reviewer to conduct a comparison.

First, the DS. Along with the Wii, I think the DS firmly establishes Nintendo as the custodians of all that is sublime about gaming. They continue to innovate, they continue to fly in the face of convention, they continue to astound. More power to them.

The touch screen, stylus thing is cool to a fault. Already, games are beginning to make use of the input system in interesting ways ( Trauma Center, WarioWare Touched, Nintendogs). I played Mario Kart : Double Dash, which was most enjoyable, though not madly innovative. It's a great design - so I guess Nintendo knows how not to mess with a winning formula. Fair enough.

I also think the DS wins out in the looks department. Sara's black unit looks so sexy, he's already fending off advances from crazed women, so he can focus on Advance Wars : Dual Strike. Wildlife photographers are weird like that.

And the PSP?

One word . . th . . th . . the SCREEN! Ohmigawddd. It's enough to make the most cynical of gamers do a double take. It's the most brilliant, breathtaking thing I've seen in gaming. Never mind all that next-gen nonsense - the future is already here, and it's in the palm of my hand.

Ridge Racer and Burnout Legends are reasons why I haven't updated the blog in ages. Hi-Octane, blissful gaming experiences both. FIFA 06 looks good, but it's only FIFA. The gameplay remains retarded in comparison to PES. I can't wait. Damn, that screen!

The unit feels nice and solid - takes a little adjustment but soon the grip feels entirely natural. I know I said that the DS is sexier, but this is no slouch in the appeal department. Oh - and did I mention the screen?

And the sheer power of the PSP opens up immense possibilities - I can't wait to see what developers are going to do with this thing. Hell, I'll even be happy with PS2 ports. Shadow of the Colossus, anyone?

Which one should you get? Tough, if you aren't a fanboy. (If you are, you already know)

If you're more of a straightforward, racer-shooter-sports type gamer, it's the PSP. Also if graphics are your thing.

If you're looking for a more innovative, quirky product - then get the DS. It's also a lot cheaper.

Tough, but. I don't see how anyone who truly loves games can be without purchasing both consoles, and quitting their day jobs.

The Wii is important

I now write articles on gaming at

Here's one on why I think Nintendo should have a greater presence in emerging markets like India. An excerpt :
This is why I believe that Nintendo's products are best suited for getting a whole new segment of people into gaming. Markets like India are chock-full of people who've never played games before. Products like Gears of War aren't going to convert too many of them into gamers. Fancy explosions and realistic physics will get their attention, but won't hold their attention long enough to convert them.
Read the full article here.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

World Rock, Paper, Scissors Championships! No, really!

I don't know why I bother to write Son of Bosey, when there are real-world happenings that are this funny!

A report in today's Hindu led me to try and dig up more information on the old schoolyard favourite 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' - with delightful results. There's a whole bunch of people who are either masters of satire, or are dead serious about the 'sport'. I'm not smart enough to figure out which.

This is the video promo for this years World Championships, which was held yesterday, and carried a winner's purse of $10,000/-.


According to the official World Rock Paper Scissors Society web site, here's what 'Advanced RPS' is all about :
RPS is gaming at its most basic, its most fundamental. Take anything away, and it ceases to be a game at all. Every other game, at some level, contains RPS. Like chess or fencing, the rules are simple, but the game itself is as complex as the mind of your opponent.

Playing RPS probably won’t make you rich and famous. Chances are good you won’t win an Olympic gold medal. And it’s not likely to improve your physique, maximize your sex appeal, jump-start your career or expand your memory. Many players have found, however, that studying RPS gives them a greater understanding of how gaming relates to human behavior. In that sense, RPS can help you find success in other areas, but only if you have the determination to work hard and think hard – not just in RPS, but in every area of your life.

More general hilarity at The world RPS Society, and, as always, at Wikipedia.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Vijay Saar helps in diabetes control!

You never know what your favourite tamil actors are capable of!

Herbal cure for diabetes

Surya Herbal Limited which claims to be the first Ayurvedic ISO 9001 certified company, has launched X-Diaba, a herbomineral approach for arresting, stopping and curing diabetes. A chronic metabolic disorder, diabetes is characterised by an increase in sugar levels in the body.

X-Diaba is a combination of some of the best anti-diabetic herbs and minerals. The capsules contain Basant Kusumakar Ras (with gold and pearl) which provides strength to the brain, heart and the kidneys. It also contains Vijay Saar, which is known to regenerate activity of the pancreas. Other herbs are Gurmar, Karela and neem extracts. A pack of 20 capsules is available for Rs 200. Surya Herbal Limited has a manufacturing unit in Noida. The automation of the entire process meets the requirements of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) spelt out in World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

Originally from here. Scroll down to see it.

Three cheers for Vijay Saar - celluloid star by day, herbal cure by night!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

You may have heard of Rajnikanth. You may have heard of Kamal Haasan. But have you . . .

Heard of Kamalkanth?

I've just learned that Sarath Kumar, much before taking his first steps to fame by battling Gap-Tian in Pulan Visaaranai, used to knock at the doors of producers, asking for roles. All under the carefully constructed moniker of 'Kamalkanth'.


This HAS to be the best idea ever. Surely, the film studios would fall over each other for the chance to work with a judicious combination of the best of Tamil cinema's most bankable stars - in one convenient package. The charisma of Rajni. The talent of Kamal. Who could resist?

Disbelievers, check with Dinakaran.

Whore Presents Expert Sex Change.

Now that I have your attention, check this out. The worst domain names ever. Tummy-achingly hilarious.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Meet the IODC and the BCODCI (or) Will somebody please punch Malcolm Speed.

Wonderful, just wonderful.

The amazing Malcolm Speed, in his most recent bleatings against the BCCI, says that Indian cricket is in bad shape since we “haven't won a significant cricket event since 1983”.

In response, Ratnakar Shetty, in all his wisdom, points out to Mr.Speed that “we won the World Championship of Cricket in 1985, and were in the World Cup finals as recently as 2003.”

I see.

What about the test series victories in Pakistan and the West Indies? What about the levelled test series in Australia and England? What about that unforgettable Laxman-Plaha inspired home win against Steve Waugh's Aussies?


This clearly shows where the priorities of the suits who run cricket lie. God save our game.

P.S. - Technically, we won the Champions Trophy in 2002. Which means South Africa and New Zealand haven't won squat for even longer than India. The mind boggles at how inefficient and unprofessional the ICC and BCCI can be, even when just bickering.

Trouble in the dessing room?

Some of my cricket-based friends (Inis, Jubbs, Tayne), picked up on something during the disastrous Champions Trophy campaign. There were plenty of signs that there is more wrong with Team India than just bad form with bat and ball - the lacklustre body language prominent among them - but one was particularly interesting, and decidedly odd. During the final over of that famous loss to the West Indies, conferences were conspicuous by their absence.

How many similar finishes have you seen – six to ten off the last, tension all around? In every such game I remember, before every delivery, the captain, bowler, and a few seniors would congregate to hatch a plan. There would be nods of agreement. Shakes of the head. Scratching of chins. Frantic waving of arms. And then, everyone would run back to position, and the bowler would do his best to set the plan in motion. Depending on the result of the delivery, the boys would wash, rinse, repeat.

Where was all this during the India-West Indies game? I don't remember seeing Sachin, Plaha or Kaif running up to offer advice to Dravid or Agarkar. Are the boys even talking to each other? Hmmm . . .

India lose another heartbreaker. in more ways than one.


You watch a whole game after a long time, and it just HAS to be a last-over nailbiter loss. Well, better than getting trounced by the 45th, with a bagful to spare - as we perhaps deserved to, on the strength of yesterday’s showing.

But what breaks my heart is this - the team got so many things wrong, it wasn’t funny. Even if one of them was done right, we might have sneaked it.

Five hopelessly wayward overs from Irfan Pathan and R.P.Singh up front quickly gave us a mountain to climb, right off the bat (sorry ’bout that). I believe Pathan has it in him to bounce back, hopefully sooner than later, but R.P.Singh looks out of his league at this level. Pathan showed a bit of pluck to come back at the death and bowl reasonably, collecting Lara’s stumps on the way. Singh merely added an assortment of embarrassing fielding manoeuvres to his profligate bowling, and came away India’s least impressive player on the park. In this game, that’s saying something.

The ground fielding was the killer, in my opinion. Lazy, lacklustre, and sometimes downright sloppy - the number of times Indian fielders miscollected, strolled up gently to the ball, or otherwise exhibited a lack of commitment made the jaw drop and the mind boggle. Batsmen and bowlers can take cover behind the convenient ‘bad conditions’ curtain, but there’s simply no excuse for a fielding display like the one India put on in this game. Why, boys? Why? A little bite and sting in the fielders’ body language, and it immediately begins working on the batsman’s mind. Should I chance the single? Maybe I shouldn’t play on the rise. Where are the weak fielders? Suddenly, it’s a different game. Against a team known for buckling under pressure, it would have been well worth a try. Even Raina’s grassed chance of Gayle didn’t hurt us as much as the ground fielding did - in all the subtle ways that are such a huge influence on a cricket match.

I admire Dravid as much as anyone, but I can’t help feeling he let it drift a bit in the middle overs. He should have been barking orders, clapping, shouting encouragement, mixing things up a little. Even if he wasn’t actually DOING anything differently, just being seen to be on top of things would have helped. When he did appear, it was a tad too late.

Sure, the batting failed - but the game was not yet lost at the dinner break. Sure, they could have picked Powar - but everyone’s a selector after the game’s done and dusted. We could still have won if we got a few simple things right when defending. Period.

‘THE HINDU’ gave us a lame report this morning stating ‘India goes down fighting’, or some such tripe. True, we did show great improvement in the latter half of the game, but the oh-so-close finish was greatly helped by some brainless batting from Morton, Lara and Smith. Even in the penultimate over, a single edged boundary from Lara or Smith would have made this game seem like a thrashing.

Lots of work to do if we’re to beat Australia, who will doubtless be primed and ready for a do-or-die match.

Gentlemen prefer blondes.

Get a load of this. Priceless stuff. From a site called

“This ties in to mass migration of non-whites into the West. If there are sufficient non-whites around, unattractive whites, who would until the recent past disproportionately die without being able to find a mate and reproduce, may end up with a non-white person who would be more than happy to get a white mate. For instance, a black man would typically prefer a 250-pound white woman to a 350-pound black woman. The resulting offspring of such unions, being closer to whites in looks, would be more acceptable as a mate to a greater proportion of whites than the non-white parent, which in turn will set the stage for gradual creeping of non-white genetics into the white gene pool, resulting in reduced attractiveness of the descendents of modern whites. In addition, if mass migration of the likes of Muslims reduces sexual freedom in the West, then the mulatto descendents of present-day Europeans will also have less of an opportunity to reacquire the looks of their white forebears via intense sexual selection. The conclusions are clear…we have yet more reasons to keep the non-white masses out of the West, even if they are as intelligent and as well-behaved as whites are. Personally, I don’t have a problem with a small non-white presence in the West, but allowing mass migration of non-whites to the West is madness.”

This guy’s put up a bunch of pictures to ’scientifically’ demonstrate that Nordic women are better looking than Indians. It’s brilliant. Scroll down, and don’t miss the comments section.

Here’s the full article.

How did I find this? While googling for ‘Shilpa Shetty’. Har.

The true Yin and Yang.

Those ancient Chinese dudes merely came up with a pictorial representation of Yin and Yang . . .

yin yang

But Kollywood has finally revealed the real thing . . .

The one and only Gap-Tian

Wonder why he looks so happy, sly dog! There can only be one true Gap-Tian.

Why I support the Indian team.

“Why do you support the Indian team? They ALWAYS lose. They’re USELESS.” Okay, how many of you have heard THAT one recently? I’ve heard it several times. So has Aravind Murali. So has Vishvanathan Srinivasan. So has Tony Chacko. Mostly from people who have no problem joining the party when the boys win.

Our answer? Because it’s OUR team, you morons! O-U-R team. India. The men in blue.

We don't support this team because it's the best team in the world. Or because it's filled with good looking hunks. Or opening batsmen. Or great scientists. Or whatever.

We support this team because they play for India. And, in case you haven't noticed, we're Indians.

little fan

Stay with it, little one. Stay with it. Don't let them tell you any different.

I'm no apologist for the team. I think our approach to fielding is woefully hopeless. I agree that our bowlers and batsmen are too indisciplined, too inconsistent, to provide us with anything more than patches of brilliance (but WHAT brilliance!). And no, I don't think we're going to win the world cup.

So, what do you want me to do? Paint my face yellow and support Australia? Sounds ridiculous? Exactly.

It’s all about loyalty, you superficial palookas. That’s why people support Atletico Bilbao. Or Charlton Athletic. Or Tim Henman. Or England. Or India. Loss after loss after heartbreaking loss. That’s what real supporters do. That’s what makes them different from fair-weather fans who will guzzle the bubbly during the good times, and change the channel during the bad.

Yes, we'll castigate the selectors. We'll say that Suresh Raina needs a kick up the backside. We'll dream of throwing the fast bowlers off a plane. We'll crucify the captain and make plans to assassinate the coach.

But when the game begins, we'll be there. When a single wicket falls, we'll dream of an impossible recovery. When a tailender finds the boundary, we'll start hoping for cricket miracles. We'll believe in our hearts what we can never conceive with our minds.

Because that's what we do, us cricket fans.

That's why none of you outsiders will ever know the sweetness we feel when India wins. I hope you're happy waiting for The DaVinci Code 2, or the next Shah Rukh blockbuster, or whatever. Because we have a world cup to look forward to.


P.S. - I lost a large number of posts due to some technical issue with wordpress. This article is a reconstruction - and may differ slightly from the original. Also, all the comments were lost, so I'm putting them all up in one lot. Thanks for visiting. 


Friday, November 3, 2006


PEPSI is brilliant.

They've finally cracked a way to keep their feel-good cricket ads, even when we lose.

Their response to India's disappointing exit from the ICC Champion's trophy is a syrupy ad film featuring an angry old man, an optimistic young boy, and India T-shirt, and oodles of pop-sentimentality. No doubt you've seen it.

Now, they no longer have to look stupid when their highly paid brand ambassadors fail to live up to their reputations on the field. And no longer have to bear the brunt of the negative-publicity backlash that is otherwise inevitable in these situations.

Personally, it makes me cringe, but it's sound advertising strategy. They're actually gaining positive brand momentum, turning defeat into victory (for the brand, that is. We're still some way away from doing that for the team).

Why did it take them so long to come up with something like this?

Why you should buy a PS2

I just bought a PS2. That’s right, just another newbie bitten by the virulent bug of gaming, and a little behind the times. Only I’m not. My first video games were Nintendo handhelds and two pong machines. And through a distinguished Atari 2600 career, a Mattel IntelliVision, countless hours of Sierra Online’s ‘Quest’ series, down to losing much of my life to Half Life, Baldur’s Gate 2 and their ilk, I’ve been gaming pretty much forever. So the question becomes, why am I getting a PS2 so incredibly late in life? Well, partly because until a few years ago, I was a card carrying member of the ‘consoles are for immature kids, only PC gamers are true sophisticates’ brigade. And when that changed, the evil empire got me, and I got an Xbox. And was recently considering a 360, so a PS2 wasn’t even on the radar.

It took half an hour to change all that. One holiday, I spent a few hours at my brother’s place and suddenly, I had to have a PS2. I can sum this transformation up in four words: Shadow of the Colossus. I happened to play for an hour or so, and soon any set of circumstances that could prevent me from playing, owning, experiencing, living this game was inconceivable. And so, I bought a PS2. The thought that there may be other games this good, and not owning this console meant I might be missing out was honestly just an afterthought.

Shadow of the Colossus is an incredible experience, serving up a cannot-ignore mix of action, art, emotion and philosophy that transcends mere gaming and crosses over into something more. Several reviewers, while sharing my sense of awe at this game, have begun their take on it by saying that at its core, Colossus is a platform jumper. To me, that’s like saying that Pro Evolution Soccer is basically a game of Pong. At its core, of course.

You play a young warrior/traveler who is seeking to restore to life a young girl who was killed to save her from a cursed fate. His quest (over the course of a long, almost painfully slow cut scene intro) takes him to a distant land where he finds a mysterious presence known as the Dormin, who tells him that in this land, he might indeed achieve his objective. All he has to do is find and hunt down the 16 colossi who roam the land. Dormin also casually mentions that the young man might have to pay a very heavy price indeed for this, but he doesn’t really seem to be listening. And so, with your trusty steed Agro for constant company, you set off.

So as you can imagine, you set off, heroically astride your horse, holding your sword up into the light to guide you, roam this vast, desolate land that is all the more beautiful for it’s complete lack of inhabitants. And eventually, you will find your first colossus. And colossal it is. You quickly find that you are roughly half the size of it’s little toe, so any thoughts of using your warrior like skills to hack it down are quickly banished. After shooting a couple of arrows at it which will not even get it’s attention, you then figure that you need to run at this thing, cling on to it’s fur for dear life and climb all over it’s body as you look for it’s ‘weak spot’. Which you then need to stab at repeatedly, while it uses every bit of its colossal strength to shake you off.

I won’t even begin to describe these battles, you have to experience one to believe it. The heat and grime and dust and mud are as real as anything you’ve felt. And the consistently brilliant mood enhancing score completes the picture, perfectly complementing whatever you’re feeling every moment of the game. But it’s only when you bring your first colossus down that you realize why this game stops being a game and becomes a work of art. As you watch the cut scene of the creature’s death, the first voice of doubt nags away at you…. And therein lies the beauty of it. It is impossible not to feel sorry for these colossi, yet you cannot help yourself as you are compelled to find the next one and bring it down. And I’m not talking about the character in the game, I’m talking about YOU. You end every battle with a bit of a bad taste in the mouth and yet you are driven to find and kill each one of the colossi. Corny as it sounds, the moral compromise inherent in destroying these lonely, isolated creatures in order to restore the life of a loved one is inescapable to anyone with even a molecule of sensitivity.

Many of them have no intention of harming you at all until provoked and even then, they’re merely defending themselves. What compounds your feelings of guilt is the consistently excellent character design, and the fact that you have no option but to watch as each of the deaths is played out in front of your eyes. As the adrenaline wears off, the guilt kicks in. Every time. But one cut scene later, you’re off in search of the next one.

I’m only half way through the game as of this writing, but four battles were enough to have my entire family glued to the tube in the way that the best movies can achieve. And, albeit temporarily, to make me my four year old nephew’s hero. I’m told that Roger Ebert said that games could never be art or something like that, but he’d better have four thumbs for this one, so he can point them all skyward.