Picture of Simon Best

Simon Best


Simon Best was born in England, studied in Wales, and now lives in Vancouver as a writer, teacher, and actor. He misses real ale and old stone, and writes articles, fiction, and children's poems.

I started acting when I was fifteen. It was the freedom that attracted me; years of shyness and frustration shunted cleanly out of the way with scripts and imaginary characters to hide behind. A few decades of training, performing, directing, then teaching eventually lead to two years of standing on movie sets on the other side of the world. I came to understand that the key to growing as an actor was being flexible and open; in dramatic terms, being able to improvise.

FeatureThe Shared History of Tennis and PONG

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In 1972, Atari co-founder Nolan Bushell hired an electrical engineer named Allan Alcorn to work for his fledgling video game company. Alcorn was experienced in computer science but had never been involved in video game development, so Bushell set him a practice exercise: replicate a game with two paddles and a moving spot that he'd recently seen running on the Magnavox Odyssey. It was a simple tennis-based game, and Alcorn soon had his own version up and running.

Did you know that Michael Bay is making another Transformers? Number five in the series is being prepped right now. This fact can be a little confusing if you are under the misapprehension that critical feedback, from critics and public alike, are the main influencers when it comes to making more of something. I didn't see Transformers 4 - sorry, Dark Of The Moon - but I tried to watch Transformers 3 (I forget its gravel-voiced subtitle). I lasted for maybe thirty minutes before deciding to do something else, anything else, instead.

The ubiquity of Season Passes and layers of post-release DLC is a standard part of today's gaming landscape. Many saw it coming with Oblivion's infamous horse armour; with the majority of modern consoles constantly gulping down new data from our gaping broadband pipes, it was only a matter of time before publishers saw the opportunity for earning regular chunks of income. And why shouldn't they? Businesses are, after all, in the habit of making money, and adaption to the target market is a vital part of this process. The problem, though, is twofold: firstly, as customers with brain cells, watching DLC fragments become Season Passes, which then evolve into paywalls that lock out initial players, can often leave a sour taste.