A Copywriter’s Blog


It’s gonna be nothing but baby posts from here on out.

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On a boat. In Mexico. Ben Levy 22, October

Post next week when I return.

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Friday Feature: Uncharted 3 Ben Levy 21, October

The first Uncharted contained a piece of scenery so amazing I found myself praying that I would get to explore what was in front of me. Not “oh that looks cool” but “That is so damned cool I want to fucking be there”.

And I did go there. And it was amazing (before I accidentally blew it up).

The genius of Uncharted was aside from some olympic-level long-jumping, and wall-sticking abilities even Spider-Man would envy, Nathan Drake was just a normal guy. An incredibly relatable character.

I was concerned- when the sequel opened with Drake climbing up a train car that was on fire and hanging off the edge of a cliff while nursing a gunshot to the gut- that the game had robbed me of that “relatable” aspect. I stopped worrying about that around the time I shot down a helicopter using the machine gun turret on a tank that was being carried through the jungle by a speeding train. Which I later blew up (on purpose this time).

I hear they’re in talks to make an Uncharted movie. This is redundant. These games are the finest movies I have ever played.

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Anyone Order a Mindfuck? Ben Levy 16, October

The other day, I got a strong sense of deja vu.

The place I was at was the Brooklyn Night Bazaar. A really cool street fair created out of recycled shipping containers.

The place it reminded me of was the shipyards in Empire City. They had corridors made of shipping containers.

What’s weird is I’ve never been to the shipyards in Empire City. Because Empire City doesn’t exist. Except in the PS3 game InFamous.

Here’s a crappy shot from my phone:


Here’s a crappy screenshot from Empire City.

Screen Shot 2011-10-16 at 10.13.51 AM

I felt like I was wandering through a place I’d been before. Only this time I wasn’t shooting lightning from my fingertips. (I tried once, just to be sure)

Debates about gaming aren’t unique. Usually it’s over something like whether games can be art (sure, why not) or whether violent games are bad for children (no, actual violence is bad for children). But I remember reading a post once that argued that game memories carry the same weight as “real” memories. At the time, I laughed.

Now, I think gaming is a “real” experience in the sense that it is a thing I have done with my time. I have shotgunned zombies, dominated planets, and assassinated corrupt politicians in quasi-historical settings. But I’m not about to put any of those on my resume.

Still, I spent an entire night unable to shake those feelings of deja vu. And this guy has a whole, amazing sight dedicated to game tourism photos. So maybe there’s more to these fictional experiences and memories than I thought.

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Friday Feature: The Raid Ben Levy 14, October

Holy. Hell.

Back when I did Wing Chun, there were a pair of SEALS that sometimes trained at the school. Most of the time there was nothing remarkable about them. But one night during a sparring exercise, they wound up facing off against each other.

All attempts at kung fu went out the window. There was a bang, and I looked over in time to see one guy elbow drop his buddy, who was already on his knees, on the back of the neck. When the loser stood up -smiling- there was a thin line of blood down his neck.

The sheer ferocity that these guys went after each other with is not something you see often. Not even if you watch MMA or boxing. It’s not a “smart” way to fight. What it is, is a total and utter commitment to breaking the other guy before they break you. It’s pure animal instinct.

I bring this up because the combat in this trailer does one of the best jobs I’ve seen of dramatizing that. Especially 1:22-1:25. Holy. Hell.

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Slight Turbulence Ben Levy 11, October

Something will go up sometime. It’s just with the high holy days and all I’m a bit behind on life. When I was in school, my grades always took a dip during this time. I’m not in school anymore, but I still feel that mild sense of “well, I’m doing the best I can to solve the problems my archaic beliefs make for myself, but you will notice some slight disruption.”It should even out after Simchat Torah.

Yeah, I know that only made sense to, like, half of you.

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I’m stealing this wholesale from, because I don’t think I could say it any better myself:

In 1987, Apple released this concept video for Knowledge Navigator, a voice-based assistant combined with a touchscreen tablet computer.

Based on the dates mentioned in the Knowledge Navigator video, it takes place on September 16, 2011. The date on the professor’s calendar is September 16, and he’s looking for a 2006 paper written “about five years ago,” setting the year as 2011.

And this morning, at the iPhone keynote, Apple announced Siri, a natural language-based voice assistant, would be built into iOS 5 and a core part of the new iPhone 4S.

So, 24 years ago, Apple predicted a complex natural-language voice assistant built into a touchscreen Apple device, and was less than a month off.

(Thanks to Hugh Dubberly for the video, who helped create it for ex-CEO John Sculley’s EDUCOM 1987 keynote in six weeks on a $60,000 budget.)


Perspective at 60 mph Ben Levy 2, October

I was irritated this morning.

The day started out with an argument with The Wife (yes, we have those). Then, on the way to meet friends for brunch, a track maintenance thing forced us to get off after only a single stop and pay for a cab. Then we waited on a crowded corner outside the restaurant for forty-five minutes. Because nothing says “New York hotspot” like publicly flaunting your inability to serve your customers.

While waiting, I casually glanced to my left and watched a girl on a bike get hit by a car.

It was a full on broadside. Squealing brakes, thump as she folded over the hood, another thump as the girl and bike slide off the hood and hit the ground. It was like a movie, except slightly less dramatic. Which made it twice as disturbing. I kept waiting for the slo-mo shot, or for the scene to cut away and show the accident from the driver’s perspective.

I was running. Then The Wife was running. Our friends were calling 911. The Wife and an off-duty EMT kept the biker still until paramedics arrived. My contribution consisted¬†chiefly¬†of telling some angry dude that the people helping the biker were doctors, and maybe he should stop stupidly berating them to let the girl sit up. Cause, y’know, they probably have a better idea of how to handle this than you do. He got insulted and left. So I did my part.

The Wife thinks the biker will be fine, although I’m sure she’ll be all kinds of fun colors down one side come tomorrow.

It took another twenty minutes before we were seated. The food was overpriced and underwhelming. We had to walk twenty-five minutes just to find a train back to the train back to Jersey City.

I was no longer irritated about it in the slightest.

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