Weeknotes 2022.13: As Steve Jobs Intended

A silhouetted projection of a pale sphere against a shaded pink and purple background representing sunrise/sunset.

Having not got my Xbox out of its box for the past 5+ years (at least since I moved away from Forest Gate, possibly longer) I discovered that Xbox Cloud gaming exists, and works pretty well. As a result, I’ve been able to play Halo on my iMac with a DualShock 4, something approaching the experience Steve Jobs probably expected during the original MacWorld demo for Halo in 1999 long before the Xbox was a thing.

A hand holding a PlayStation 4 controller in front of a green 2021 iMac playing Halo inside a browser.

On this note, Halo Infinite is fun—a surprisingly tender, if at times tonally un-even, game that offsets some of its weaker moments with some stunning artwork, direction, and performances. There’s one particular cutscene that gave me the same feeling as watching Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: First Contact—here is capital-A Acting in a Halo game, and I was surprised that it landed the way it did. I’ll have more thoughts once I’ve finished the campaign. I’m also looking forward to sharing some thoughts on the Halo TV series, but cannot because currently I cannot even pay to see it in the UK (legally.)

Yesterday we went to the World of Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museum. It’s beautifully presented, and gave plenty of pause for thought about how people with what we’d now consider an utterly alien way of life must have lived, moved around, and died. There were a few odd quirks, though—from some ambient music that sounded uncomfortably close to the sound of the Broadmoor Hospital sirens, to the inexplicable marker on the display case containing the Nebra Sky Disc—the star of the show—prohibiting photography. Our working theory is that they must have been hoping to sell postcards instead. (Unsurprisingly, no-one was paying attention to the sign.)

Bulb Watch: The bigger daffodils I whacked in in a frenzy in late December are putting on a lovely show. No sign of any tulips or aliums yet, and I’d be amazed if they put on a show that was as good given how little direct sunlight we get, but we’ll see. Some last (pale blue?) muscari are also on their way up.