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Monday, April 30, 2007

System Requirements

I'm back from Nigeria much later than expected. I found myself adrift in a country gripped by election fever - a contagion which my immunisers were remiss in anticipating! The presidential elections were held on the day of my departure and an understandably anxious military assembled roadblocks with haste amidst the city of Lagos. Traversing the dimpled, tarmacked veins leading to Lagos airport was made impossible by soldiers who displayed themselves particularly unwilling to cooperate. Our car stood nervously in a government-orchestrated pileup. After the driver in front was threatened with the possibility that his windscreen might just get smashed if he were to remain in the same spot any longer, the occupants of my car came to the consensus that we should move on. We changed tactics, drifting slowly through the darkened and sporadically delved capillaries that serve the city's vast citadel of humanity, a passage which failed to divide the divine spirit of the populace it both served and severed. A throng of folk stood on either side as our car dissected a slow progress towards home. I felt dissolved by fear, yet I was steeled by the presence of my mother, perhaps equally apprehensive, holding my hand as we sat in the intermittent bathing of yellow light which brought a sudden awareness to the colour of our skin.

No harm came to us, and in retrospect I don't believe we were ever in serious danger. The crowd was sedate, no signs of anger. In the week prior to our diverted foray, I've participated in conversations with people who own a comprehensive knowledge of Nigeria. They inform me how, just as in English cities, street life rises as the sun sets. Markets open and parties begin as people emerge into the cool relief of dusk.

So perhaps I was wrong. There was no election fever. The riots which the government had predicted didn't happen, and the political party which everybody knew was going to win went ahead and won. Although I didn't get to the airport, my way was not blocked by the good people of Nigeria. The good people are as unheard by their government as they are as unconcerned with politics. Helpful, happy humans are common in Nigeria. I'm ashamed to admit that the same cannot be said of my home, England. Nigeria's national roadblock may be erected by the mammoth corruption of their government, but England's people live in their own depression.

Games writing will resume soon.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Big Fat Diary

I'll be in Nigeria until the 22nd. I've never been before, so my expectations of Africa are based on what I've seen in games. The rainforest will provide a chance for me to observe new DX10 real-time shadowing effects, although this opportunity may be spoilt by the African people's fondness of survival horror and as such their insistence that the brightness should always be turned up to maximum. I hear the first few levels may be worse than Daikatana, with lots of annoying incessantly nibbling insects that I'll need to deal with - at least there will be plenty of Rhinos to provide RAM.

I expect no surprises on my trip, and to come back home having learned nothing new - I already have the guide, after all.