Notes On Distractions

An archive of long-form articles written by Elliot Bentley for fun.

  1. Note #2: A love letter to Metroid Prime

    A decade ago this month – 17th November 2002, to be exact – gaming titan Nintendo released Metroid Prime, the long-awaited follow-up to the 1994 SNES classic, Super Metroid. It was the latest in a small series of science-fiction adventure games in which the player, taking the role of female bounty hunter Samus Aran, explores a hostile and foreboding alien planet, their only company a fleet of increasingly nasty monsters.

    This arms race is matched on the player’s side with a veritable toybox of weapons and gadgets, which are tantalisingly drip-fed throughout the game. With the exception of a few forgettable spin-offs, this is the classic structure of a Metroid game – one dragged kicking and screaming into 3D by American developers Retro Studios.

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  2. Note #1: Solicited mail

    At the time of writing, there is a 45% chance that you, dear reader, are a member of Facebook, the first social network to obtain one billion active users. 1 If this is the case, it’s perhaps equally as likely that you receive most of your birthday messages via Facebook, rather than by text, phone call or (shudder) post.

    Zuckerberg’s unstoppable behemoth has made it near-compulsory to send a birthday message to every ‘friend’, and through a combination of reminders and sheer convenience rendered it entirely meaningless. On our birthdays, we are flooded with messages from long-forgotten schoolmates and ex-colleagues who we barely care about, and who probably don’t care about us, either.

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    1. This one billion is out of an estimated 2.2 billion internet users. Kind of mind-blowing, isn’t it? And with schemes like Facebook Zero, it’s feasible that one day Facebook membership might even dwarf regular internet access.