Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Moralgorithm

An article in LA Weekly called "The Moralgorithm" has been getting quite a bit of buzz in the last few days. It's written by Joshua Bearman, who is clearly highly skilled.

The basic premise of the article, unfortunately, is insane. It posits that NBA Live has a highly developed algorithm to model morale. Here's an excerpt from the article:
Gathered on one floor of the Electronic Arts campus in Vancouver are the 53 people responsible for building new versions of the NBA Live game each year. Over the years, explained the game’s producer, Todd Batty, dozens of programmers have indeed tried to quantify the intangible by writing several hundred lines of code that govern what Batty calls “in-game momentum.”

Outstanding. So what EA is telling us is that they can model morale but they can't accurately model a freaking fast break? Because they can't. They're excellent with tats and hairstyles and sweatbands and not particularly good with anything else. Until guys can catch passes in stride instead of stopping to catch the ball, I don't want to hear about how "catch-up code" has been transformed into "the moralgorithm."

Here's the article (and like I said, he's a highly skilled writer and bears watching in the future):

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