How Much Does It Cost To Be Batman?

July 17, 2012 in Editorial, Top

We all think about it several times a day (it’s not just us, right?…right?) How much would it cost to become Batman? In anticipation of the impending release of The Dark Knight Rises, Centives decided to find out.

Batman Begins establishes in painstaking detail what it takes to become a caped crusader. Bruce Wayne first decides that he needs to f Read the rest of this entry →

How Much Is Bruce Wayne Worth?

July 17, 2012 in Editorial, Top

Forbes’ Fictional 15 is the gold standard in determining the net worth of fictional characters. It estimated the 2012 net worth of Bruce Wayne at $6.9 billion making him the 8th richest fictional character. However Forbes’ does not publish its methodology and it takes into account all iterations of Bruce Wayne from the comics to the movies. Centives decided to create its own estimate of the net worth of Bruce Wayne, based only on the Batman movies directed by Christopher Nolan: Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

In Batman Begins we’re told that Wayne Enterprises helped build the rail system of Gotham City. Therefore the company must have a division focused on con Read the rest of this entry →

The Cost Of Being An Unbeatable Evil Overlord

May 27, 2012 in Editorial, Top

If there’s one thing that the movies have taught us it’s that evil never succeeds. Yet most of the time evil fails for silly reasons. In 1994 Peter Anspach published the 100 things he would do if he ever became an evil overlord. They included such gems as:

  • If my advisors ask “Why are you risking everything on such a mad scheme?”, I will not proceed until I have a response that satisfies them.
  • When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll say, “No.” and shoot him. No, on second thought I’ll shoot him then say “No.”
  • I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line “No, this cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!” (After that, death is usually instantaneous.)

But while following such prescripts are likely to lead to evil-overlord levels of success, is it financially viable to do so? Read the rest of this entry →

Forrest Gump’s Running Route

May 14, 2012 in Editorial, Top

He ran to the end of town, the end of the county, the end of the state, and to the end of the coast. Then he ran back a few times. But how far did Forrest Gump run? And for how long? Centives decided to find out.

We know that he began in his fictional hometown of Greenbow Alabama on October 1, 1979. The date is given away when a newscaster announces that President Carter had collapsed that day due to heat exhaustion as Forrest runs through town.

His first stop is Sa Read the rest of this entry →

The Wall That Protects the Seven Kingdoms

March 29, 2012 in Editorial, Top

Centives’ coverage of The Game of Thrones is spoiler-free for those who have watched the first season

The towering wall that protects the Seven Kingdoms from mythical evils is one of the 9 Wonders Made by Man in George R.R. Martin’s World.

At its highest point the wall that is made mostly of solid ice is 800 feet or 244 meters tall. This makes it taller than the Py Read the rest of this entry →

The Lannister Brand

March 29, 2012 in Editorial, Top

Centives’ coverage of The Game of Thrones is spoiler-free for those who have watched the first season

“A Lannister always pays his debts” is a phrase that will be immediately familiar to those who have finished watching the first season of HBO’s popular series Game of Thrones. It is also a phrase that seems to be commonly known in all of Westoros.

It is a useful motto to have; Tyrion Lannister is able to use its widespread acceptance and recognition to get out of several sticky situations. The motto is then, at its heart, a form of branding. It is strongly linked to anybody who comes from house Lannister, and the brand-awareness is so deep that it can be used as a form of currency in itself. Tyrion is able to promise rewards in the future for actions taken by others in the present, and these promises of future payments are seen as credible.

For the brand to receive the kind of reputation that it has, constant repetition is necessary. Even one failed promise of debt repayment could be enough to put an end to the brand if word of the reneged promise were to spread. So while the brand is useful it also opens the famously rich Lannisters to risks. Any individual could, for example, try to Read the rest of this entry →

Game Theory in the Hunger Games

March 19, 2012 in Editorial, Top

(Spoiler Information: The first half of this article doesn’t reveal anything more than what is already in the trailers. We’ll throw up another alert when it begins to get more ‘spoilerey’.)

Katniss is heavily restricted under Panam’s social structure and a prisoner of the Hunger Games. She must use her rage at the capital and her obstinate attitude to protect herself and those she loves from coercive rule and an unsettling future.

But how does the Hunger Games function? Why don’t all the tributes just agree not to kill each other? The Prisoner’s Dilemma helps to answer this question. Let’s take a look at Katniss and Peeta, the two primary protagonists of the book.

Both Katniss and Peeta can choose to either cooperate with each other to try and win the games, or they can rebel. Their decision matrix looks like this: Read the rest of this entry →

The Cost of a Supervillain Lair

March 12, 2012 in Editorial, Top

As any good James Bond villain knows, before you start conquering the world you have to have an evil lair to plot and scheme from. After all, where is the fun in pulling off the perfect plan if you can’t laugh about it from a black leather chair in an undisclosed area?

Name: Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Organisation: SPECTRE

Hobbies: World Domination

Before you start building, you need a location. Now downtown Tokyo is fine or perhaps a charming flat in Brooklyn…. but wouldn’t you prefer a nice est Read the rest of this entry →

How Much is the TARDIS Worth?

February 27, 2012 in Editorial, Top

Disclaimer: This is not the cost of making the TARDIS. This is an estimate of how much the Doctor could rent it out for.

That is to say, how much we think that people would pay for it. We’ve decided to go for a year-long hire of the TARDIS, and make a flying guess at what we would expect the market price to be. Roughly.

The easier bits first.

For one, the TARDIS is like a mobile translator. Wherever you go, the TARDIS allows you to speak fluently to local people. We’ve taken that to be equivalent to h Read the rest of this entry →

How Much Does the Batmobile Cost?

February 22, 2012 in Editorial, Top

Batman enthusiasts have always wondered where the caped crusader managed to find some of the snazziest and most sophisticated vehicles ever seen. 2005′s Batman Begins gave us an answer: he simply uses the latest experimental technology from his family business, Wayne Enterprises.

But as The Dark Knight demonstrated these vehicles have a propensity to be destroyed. What does Batman do when Wayne Enterprises isn’t developing some new concept that the Batman can co-opt in his crusade against crime? As long time readers of the comic books know, he simply p Read the rest of this entry →