books

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John Leguizamo Reveals Horrors of Playing Luigi in the movie Super Mario Bros

The Super Mario Bros. movie is not one of the better flicks based off a video game. It's certainly not the worst, but is odd in so many ways that it is probably worth watching at least once.

In his recent autobiography Pimps, Hos, Playas, And the Rest of my Hollywood Friends, John Leguizamo (the actor who played Luigi in the movie) devotes an entire chapter to the horrors of making is usually considered to be the first video game movie.

Here are some highlights:

Matt Barton's picture

Review: "Robots Unlimited: Life in a Virtual Age" by David Levy

David Levy's book Robots Unlimited: Life in a Virtual Age is a great introduction not only to robots, but also the various technologies that must work together in their creation: logic, artificial intelligence (AI), speech synthesis, natural language processing, sensory recognition, personality training, emotion--does it ever end? Although most people assume that we're centuries away from the invention of an intelligent, human-like android like "Data," Levy shows just how close we've gotten and just how soon we'll be interacting with amazingly smart robots on a daily basis. Robots will enhance our lives in countless ways; they'll not only help us in our daily tasks, but also become our friends and even our soul mates. They'll talk to us and show a sensitivity to our emotional states that not even our mothers could match. Furthermore, they'll be wonderful inventors and artists, breathing new life into every field of creative endeavor. Sound like science fiction? Levy shows that the only "fiction" is that robots won't play a vital role in the (near) future of the human race. David Levy will make you a believer.

Matt Barton's picture

Book Review: "Stan Veit's History of the Personal Computer" (1993)

Stan Veit's History of the Personal Computer, authored by--you guessed it, Stan Veit--is a roughly edited collection of memoirs and editorials Veit wrote during his tenure as editor-in-chief of Computer Shopper. Veit's personal experience with personal computer history is tremendous. He was the first personal computer dealer in New York City, and got to know almost every early luminary in the industry on a first-name basis. He's one part technician (he can talk chips and boards with the best of them), one part salesman, and one part patron. In short, it's hard to find an author better qualified to take us on the journey from the Altair to the IBM PC. However, the book is not without its flaws--it's poorly organized, and the typos make your head hurt.

Matt Barton's picture

NES Worlds: Novels based on NES Games

1UP is running a hilarious feature called 8-Bit Lit: Behind the Worlds of Power. These were books for children based on such popular NES games as Castlevania, Metal Gear, and Ninja Gaiden. The authors of the article do a great job providing snippets from these amazingly poorly written books published by Scholastic. Apparently, Scholastic was even more draconian about censorship than Nintendo!

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