The Reset Button 12/24/2012 - Silent Night
I remember when I was a kid during the Holiday season, mostly around Christmas time, that there was an aura of innocence and magic at this time of year. For me, that won't change too much as far as magic goes.
However, the innocence of the Holiday season has clearly been shattered for this year with the tragedy of Newtown, Conn., two weeks ago. For those affected, the Holidays will never be the same again. Ever.
I usually like to open up these articles with something very light-hearted and less serious topics ongoing in either my life or in current events that isn't the topic that hundreds of millions of people aren't already talking about, quite possibly billions of people. Sadly, the Newtown tragedy was a little prior to the Resetti Awards I had posted last week, and I did not address it right away.
For that, I apologize. And with that, I'll mainly be talking about our first topic right away.
NRA's LaPierre blames 'violent culture,' video games for shooting
I could link to endless sources on this amazement wonder of a blunder this "press conference" was, but I won't. I could talk about how a "start of a discussion" without taking questions until today is a bad idea, but I won't. I could even talk about the ridiculously ludicrous "plan" to keep children and school faculty safe by reintroducing the Wild West days where, like Toby Keith's self-indulgent advice in his first hit "Should've Been a Cowboy," everyone wears a six-shooter while riding their ponies on a cattle drive, but I won't.
Okay, that last one was a bit of a stretch, as the plan is to put an officer in every school and arm the faculty with guns, but you catch my drift. This "press conference" was comedicaly horiffic, with some protesters interrupting to show how bad the National Rifle Association's (NRA) public image has gotten recently.
In this conference, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, could have talked about how tragic the events have been, how the NRA will allow the U.S. government to take the necessary action needed to prevent such happenings, and/or step into the discussion with meaningful thoughts to see where the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution might need a revision, possibly.
Instead, LaPierre, like grandpa when he gets cranky about "them darned whippersnappers" messing with his doorbell and lawn ornaments, pointed fingers towards the very media he was talking to, towards a "violent culture," and towards video games.
The games he mentioned were, in order, Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat, and Splatterhouse. In addition, LaPierre pulled, out of the thin air in left field, a 10-year-old flash "game" called "Kindergarten Killer."
First thing's first, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse are very violent games, but feature absolutely no guns. At all. Well, there's the Mortal Kombat character "Stryker" from the third installment, but that's hardly a presentable case to be had there. Second, everyone and their mother blames GTA for violence nowadays, so that's no longer a shocking statement to make. Thirdly, Bulletstorm? The highly unrealistic shooter that was mainly released only for the Gears of War 3 beta? Why not Gears of War, where it's a more plausible situation? I'll award him this much: He knows what Bulletstorm vaugely is, and so do I.
And lastly, "Kindergarten Killer." Very seldom do I ever consider flash games "games," but there are exceptions to the rule as usual. This, however, isn't that much of a game, and even I would be offended to give it such a prestigious title. The concept of "Kindergarten Killer" is to shoot and kill all targets within a school, where everyone is armed and awaiting you.
So, Mr. LaPierre, let me get this straight: Your ingenious "School Shield" plan is to arm all faculty members, while having an armed patrol roam the halls, just in case an attack happens, yet you slam a "game" that puts this plan loosely into action? Sure, they're kindergarteners with guns in the game, but replace those kindergartenders with teachers and staff and, low and behold, you have the "School Shield Simulator!"
Now, if you don't mind Mr. LaPierre, the grown-ups are talking about serious things. See me after class for your detention punishment.
$2M worth of WiiUs stolen
ABC News reported on what can only be summed up in Sgt. Cindy West's words:
Thieves have apparently stolen 7,000 WiiUs, which totals up to $2 million USD, from a warehouse in the Seattle area. Police, who are still on the search for the unknown culprits, also state that they have stolen semi-trucks hauling their loot.
Sure, it'll be a work of David Copperfield to hide this many game consoles without someone noticing, but these guys have managed to pull it off so far. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Grinch, or Grinches, stole Christmas from 7,000 people. Not much else to be said.
War Z pulled from VALVe's Steam, refunds offered
According to Polygon, the game War Z has been pulled off of VALVe's Steam store and refunds are being offered the product.
The game has drawn heavy criticism from those who purchased the game as well as those who have been paying attention on the development of the game. Many complaints drew comparisons to the popular Day Z.
Hammerpoint Interactive executive producer Sergei Titov tried to calm the storm of complaints by releasing the following statement:
No, no, and absolutely no. This is how to not promote a game, public relation readers. In fact, this is how to go into unwanted early retirement. Not only is this a kick in the shins for developers who are still waiting in Greenlight from VALVe, but also a kick in the shin to those who have been awaiting your game ever so patiently for a whole two weeks.
Two weeks of development and you charge people for an alpha of the game? Not only that, but you also use AMC's The Walking Dead to promote your game? There's only one word to label this kind of incident: Scam.
A pure, blatant scam that has little to no shame. Disgraceful to those who not only play games, but make games on attempt to make a living as well. Good for VALVe to give refunds from this garbage, as they really should.
THQ files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Gamespot reports that THQ has finally hit on hard times and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, this does not mean that THQ will go the way of Midway, whom filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy which is liquidation.
THQ president Jason Rubin breaks down all of the legalese for those of us who are not reading to read all of it.
Currently, all development and publishing is on-track and Clearlake Capital Group is in charge of financial operations and assets for THQ for the time being.
This is a great bit of news for THQ, even though no one really wants to file for bankruptcy ever. Chapters 11, 12, and 13 are all very similar to each other, which allows another party to take control of finances and accounting situations either permanently or until the company that filed for bankruptcy can be stable once more.
As mentioned earlier, many confused this situation with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, like what Midway has done in 2009. Once a company files for Chapter 7, then the sky is falling with no hope in sight. Heck, I even confused myself with the two types.
THQ isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but they're by no means in great shape. This is still a bankruptcy after all. They need to make great games in order to stay in the game business, and quickly. So far, things are looking up with South Park on the way for THQ's publishing team. Let's hope they rebound soon.
That'll wrap-up this week. I hope everyone stays safe this Holiday season, creates great memories with friends, family, and loved ones, as well as have a great remainder of 2012. I hope to see you here next week.
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