3 years ago
"Damsel in Distress: Part 2 - Tropes vs. Women in Video Games" is now on YouTube for all to see. If you want to see it, I link it here.
In this episode, Anita Sarkeesian talks about the more graphic representation of women in video games. Her examples included a lot of time when a women are brutalized or murdered, claiming that this is for the whole empowerment of man.
After watching the episode, I was kind of pissed by this. The first one didn't really bother me, but it did rub me the wrong way that she was trying to bring up what felt like a dead horse and was wearing giant hoop earrings. But in this episode, though, I felt as if she was being bitter, almost nasty for the sake of shock value. "Look at all of the death occurring in games. Look at how bloody it is. And look at how it is occurring only to women." At this moment, I can't think of any example off of the top of my head where the role is reversed, but I'm also not making a video rebuttal to this. I'm just commenting on my own person thoughts after the first pass of watching this.
During this video, she kept repeating brutalization and murder against women as a trope for a man losing his masculinity and having to respond by achieving his revenge plot and regaining his masculinity. But she kept using a lot of "revenge plot" games for this. She kept using the worse of the video game industry to get her point across. That's like saying that every one of those nasty attitude workers at your local McDonald's represents all of Food Service. It paints a narrow picture of the games industry as a whole.
Ultimate, I want Anita Sarkeesian to answer one question and one question only: What is the point of the series? Is it supposed to be informative to the players? To the game designers that keep writing these stories? To the women that she is trying to recruit into a feminist army (I know. Bad boy for being chauvinistic)? Is she wanting to see games with the gender roles are reversed? Is she wanting it to stop altogether? What is the point of this entire series?
I tried to research this answer on both the Feminist Frequency website and on their Tumblr page. That was a bad idea as I saw every woman in gaming history who had to be saved by a man posted on that bulletin board wall for all to see like it was "The lives lost in Iraq" or that "Missing Children" board at Wal-Mart.
I'll state this again. If anyone has an honest answer, and not just chauvinistic answers to this question, then I'd like to hear it. Right now, I feel that Anita Sarkeesian is using misandric (hatred of men) otherwise terrorist (the use of fear) propaganda for the sake of shock value. So please, if someone has a clear analysis of her motives, I'd like to hear them, because right now, I feel that she is offering no solution and is doing nothing more than complaining about a problem.
3 years ago
Ordinarily, I don't comment on recent news unless it's E3. But I've been mulling this over for a little bit, and now I'm commenting about this. Recently, it was announced that Sony had filed an Anti-Used Game patent, which, if does what everyone thinks it will do, will lock a Game Disc to either the console or to the User ID. It is also rumored that this could be implimented in the PS3 now or it could show up when the PS4 comes out. But if all of these rumors are true, then Sony is going to kill itself with a cannon.
There are several reasons why this is bad, but they all end with one thing: Sony is alienating their market.
"Late to the Party"
I bought my Xbox 360 a little over a year ago. At that time, the Xbox had already been around for 6 years. As a result, I had a lot of games to buy, and most of them were used. This includes Batman: Arham Asylum, Bayonetta, BlazBlue, Brutal Legend, the new Prince of Persia, Final Fantasy 13, L. A. Noire, and Star Ocean. The rest of the games in my collection are either digital downloads, which do not matter in this argument, and brand new games, some of which were sequels to a few of the aforementioned games.
Now, let's assume that when I got my Xbox, it had an Anti Lock Technology. In order to buy any game, especially years after their release, would require me to go to websites such as Amazon or eBay and try to find a brand new copy. And those copies would probably sell at much higher than the original MSRP. As a result, I would have given up my search and said, "Screw it. It ain't worth it."
Sony, this is one of the groups you could be alienating. I'm betting some people finally bought a PS3 when the Slim model came out. Guess what? They were "late to the party" and would probably be buying older games used. But with this technology, they can't do that because you would essentially be telling them, "No. You can't use that game because it's locked to another console." As a result, you would have killed someone from being a future purchaser of new games.
Buggy since Day 1
Lately, consoles have been released with problems. The Xbox had the Red Ring of Death. The Wii U had the Blue Circle of Death. For a while, the PS3 "Only Does 80710D23". hese were actual problems when the console first came out. And the best solution: to replace the console. As a result, any games that were locked to that console would have to be re-purchased all because the console that the games were locked to is no longer working.
Sony, this is one of the groups you could be alienating. Those unfortunate to be victimized by these issues would suffer the greatest, especially if you could not do anything to easily solve the problem for these troubled individuals. And it's all because of your Anti Used Game technology.
Rent Before You Buy
One thing that I like to do is rent games. If I'm not completely certain whether I like a game, and a demo is not enough (or not available to me), I will rent it from Blockbuster or Red Box and give it a try. If I like it, I'll add it to my Wish List to buy later. But this Anti Used Game thing makes that impossible since no rental organization would keep games that can only be rented out once. It becomes very impractical for them. As a result, a consumer could not rent for that console.
Sony, this is one of the groups you could be alienating. People who like to rent video games, especially the ones who like to try before they actually buy it, can no longer safely try it because you essentially killed that part of the market. So now these potential buyers are now indefinite leavers.
Sharing with a Friend
I have a friend whose choice of games is very limited to Super Smash Bros., Legend of Zelda, Yu-Gi-Oh!, X-Men, and Dragon Ball Z. So, whenever I go see him, I normally bring a game or two over for him to try. He doesn't like them all, but the ones that he does he adds to his own Wish List. However, this Anti Used Technology would make that impossible. Why? Because the game is locked to my console. So unless I haul my console, which weighs as much as George Foreman Grill (and in Sony's case, looks like it), I'm reluctant to bring it over every single time.
Sony, this is one of the groups you could be alienating. You now make it a chore for someone to introduce their friends to new games. People who want to help support you and the game developers at your disposal are now blocked because they have to put in a substantially larger effort into the task of showing their friend a new game that it becomes no longer worth it.
It's a Moot Point
Now, one of the rumors that I've heard is that it doesn't acutally lock the game to the console. It actually locks it to the User ID. In this case, the PSN ID. While it makes the second point moot, the other two are still very much supported. Plus, it has its own set of issues.
I have a friend who has kids who all play from a single Xbox 360. Each them play from the same set of game discs. But each of them like to maintain their own sets of Achievements. However, if this Anti Used Technology was in place, if the games are locked to the ID, then the kids cannot play the same games on the same consoles on their own IDs to get their own Achievements. They would each need their own copy of the game. While this can be exploited by concerned parents to prevent their children from playing those "damn violent games," this is unacceptable for family friendly games like Sonic Generations.
Sony, this is one of the groups you could be alienating. If this lock actually locks to the ID, then any other player using that console would need their copy of the game, which once again, becomes a very expensive endeavor. 1 copy per user for 1 console is not acceptable at all. It forces people to overbuy when they do not need to.
The Cold Truth
The only people who benefit from this are those ultimate gaming fans who will give money to something the moment that it is announced and will love and cherish it for the rest of their lives, even if it is a steaming pile piece of crap. This is a very small demographic, even smaller than the demographic that is unwilling to play video games period. If you alienate your entire market, then you are alienating yourself.
Piracy is the Key
With this massive of a lock in place, the world that would want to still have their Sony console but not deal with these locks would turn to the online world of Hacking and Piracy to circumvent this entirely. The already dwilndling sales would become [comparatively] non-existent, and Sony would have been the ones to paint the target.
And it would not have been the first time either. Or might I remind you Anonymous? I don't think I need to say any more on that.
Because there are so many people that Sony would be alienating with this Anti Used Technology, they should either make all of their games available via Digital Download or they should forgo the Anti Used Technology entirely. It's a bad idea and will most probably cost them at huge chunk of their install base and quite possibly their gaming division entirely.
It's hard to say anything more than "This idea is bad. Please, do not do it."
What Do You Think?
Is Sony just in creating an Anti Used Game technology? Or do you think these rumors of them actually doing something with their little patent are just rumors? Let me kno what you think in the comments section.
3 years ago
The year is 2013. We live in an era where information can be accessed at high speeds with the simple click of the button. This inovation has enabled software publishers to shift from distributing their software on store shelves in lieu of being able to sell them digitally. While all have not fully adopted this system, it is possibly the future of mankind.
With the over-dramatic first paragraph said, let's get down to the main point: Digital Distribution of games is a thing and it's not going away any time soon. In fact, it'll probably only get stronger. The thing that holds it back at the moment is the current channels of distribution have yet to master it. Even Steam, which has been the best in Digital Distribution, is nowhere close.
A day or so ago, I conversed with HybridRain in the comments section of his recent video post, "Will you be able to sell your used games on Steam?" concerning this as well as some of the ideas that I had. He was even able to expand on my ideas by offering a few of his own.
If you need to view the video, go here.
The comments section of someone else's video is one thing. A blog post of my own is quite another. I want to publicise and discuss what I believe it will take to enhance the consoles of Digitally Distributed Games (DDG for short). I also want to discuss what is currently in place and what would need to be added to make it better.
Physical Copies, DLC, and Legality
I first need to say that I will not cover these topics.
I first need to start by mentionion that I will not talk about these topics. If a console wants to enable physical copies, then they may design it that way. I'm here to talk about games that are distributed digitally. I think Physical Copies are still necessary for those games that are huge in terms of Hard Drive Space that would otherwise take hours to download and install.
Also, this topic does not include DLC. Due to the nature of DLC, they are not the same as DDG and cannot be treated as such.
Finally, I will not discuss Legality. The research that I would need to do on things such as Digital Rights Management, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, First-Sale Doctrine, et cetra, would require too much time. I do want to mention that what I'm about to propose could possibly be blocked due to legal reasons, but if it is implimented and widely accepted by the develpoers, it could bring changes to laws like these.
Accounts and Game Locking
Anyone who has run Steam through more than one computer or anyone who has ever had to replace their iPhone knows how this works. You have an account that is associated with everything that you do. When you add money for future purcahse, it is locked to that account. When you buy a game, it is locked to that account and can be downloaded to any [compatible] device through that account. When you add something to your wishlist, you can see it on a different device when you access it through your account. If you ever have to replace the device, you simply have to add your account to the new device and be done with it.
I agree with locking a game to an account and oppose the idea of locking a game to the console, especially during the early days of my Wii and DSi. There was a game on the Wii taht I wanted that was 500 Points. There was a game on my DSi that I wanted that was 500 Points. I bought a 1000 Point Card. But due to the nature of the Wii and the DSi, I had to place all of the points on one console. This made me unhappy. And it made me realize that as much as I loved Zelda and Samus and Mario and all of the others, Nintendo was indeed a generation behind.
Nintendo has shown that they are continuing to do this, linking the points and the games to the console itself, with their Wii U, as demonstrated in this blog post by Sean Hinz about a month ago, which you can readhere. This is a terrible idea since if the console ever malfunctions or is stolen, then a person would have to acquire a new console and re-purchase the games again. An unfair punishment for a victim of bad circumstances.
Ultimately, it comes down to creating a universal account that is knows what I've purchased, what money I have, or even what special offers I can redeem (just thought of that) that can be transfered from device to device, if needed, instead of leaving it all in the hands of a device that may not always be there.
Continuing on from the previous idea, I'm aware that this has a problem , and I mentioned it in the "Sony Anti-Used" blog. If more than one person has an account on a console, and the games are locked to the account, then Account A cannot play the games of Account B. This would not be a problem with physical media, so we must determine a way around this issue.
One solution is "Shut up! You want to play the damn game?! Either log into Account A or fucking buy it!" But I don't like that idea one bit. It can be considered either a lazy design or poor design and it harms in the realm of customer service. Plus, it contradicts my intention for this DDG System.
Another solution is Joint Accounts where you can associate your account with someone else's account, and you can both play the game. But if both of you are playing the same things, then why not just make a single account that you both use? And once again, it contradicts my intentions.
Ultimately, each game needs to have its own set of adjustable settings, one of which being the ability to "Share" or "Loan" the game to anyone on the same console. The person who purchases the game can download it and then set whether or not this game is "Shared" amongst all of those on the same Console. This means, for example, if Dad buys Wheel of Fortune, he can set the game to be "Shared" so Mom can play it, too.
However, sharing should not be done unrestricted. If an Achievement system is in place, then Achievements should be blocked on a game that is being "borrowed" from another user. Also, if there are DLC or Expansion Packs for that game, those cannot be used because "that person doesn't have that game" technically, and you cannot install DLC or Expansion packs onto a game that you do not have. Even if Account A has the Expansion Pack, Account B, who is borrowing it, cannot play those because technically they don't have the game. I am enforcing this because if you like a game enough to want to play the DLC or Expansions, then I think you like the game enough to want to own the game youself instead of just borrowing it from someone else.
Having the ability to "share" a game with everyone else in your household is a great idea. I can buy my game, everyone else can play my game, and if they want a copy to call their own, then they can buy it themselves.
The Home Console
I realize that the combination Account-Game Lock and the Game Sharing creates a problem. If someone logs into any account that has a game on it that they want to play and sets that game to be shared, then that someone can play that game for free. A system like this is easily exploitable, enabling a form of piracy, and needs to be addressed quickly.
The solution is easy. First, do what most services that require an account do. When you log in to your account on another device, you are kicked off any previous devices that you are logged in at. Second, have a setting in both the Account and on the Console that says that this one console is my Home Console, the system that I primarily use to play my DDGs. These two measures together will create a result that is both secure and prevents piracy.
One of the things that happens is that when you log in to another device, you are logged out of any previous devices, and anything that you brought with you would be unistalled EXCEPT if that device is your Home Console since that is where you want everything to be, where you will bring everything back to. To verify this, an Internet connection is required, though for a short amount of time in order to get updates on the accounts currently on the console. If, when a console tries to do this it is unable to gain an Internet connection, it will put a lock on any foreign account (any accound whose Home Console is not the current one) as well as anything that foreign account has. An easy security measure to help prevent piracy.
Also, while you are logged in on your Home Console, and Internet Connection is not required to verify your account since you're at home. You would only need an Internet connection to make purchases.
WIth this in place, you would ordinarily need to disassosiate an Account from a Home Console from the Home Console itself. However, what happens if the console gets lost or damaged or even stolen? That thief now has access to your Account and can use it as they see fit. Almost.
There is only one thing that needs to be done: tell the Account that you don't have a Home Console anymore. This can be done through some form of customer service or through some Internet self-service where you provide the answers to some security questions and tell it to remove your Home Console. The Account would still be there with all of its purchases. But what would happen if a Home Console that has an Account as one of its residents logs on and finds out that the Account has moved? The Account's data on that console would instantly turn foreign, and we've already discussed what happens to foreign accounts. So the only way a thief could enjoy your Account on your stolen console is if they never connected it to the Internet. But that would be the price to pay for a system that distributes games digitally.
By associating an Account, whose logged information is stored on a server, with a Home Console and by using an Internet connection to verify it in the proper manner, this impedes the piracy that I had mentioned before. And swift response to customer service can also impede problems such as a bricked console or a stolen console.
I'm going to make this one short. Since consoles tend to be more proprietary than computers, its infrastructure is pretty finite. Therefore, verifying that the console is still what it is supposed to be can be performed by the console whenever it is booted up. If something returns bad, then depending on the error, it'll have to quarentine itself, blocking of Internet access, at the least, until it is serviced. This measure is also a hopeful means of fighting against hacking who would put the consoel into this altered state for their own selfinsh gain.
Selling Back Your Games
This has always been an issue with digital download. It's more of an issue on computers where you can go into the computer's file system and move/copy/alter the files as you please. This is not as easy to do on video game consoles since you have no access to the individual files without hacking the system. But since we just quickly nipped that in the bud (or at least slowed it down), then we can proceed with solving this problem.
When you buy a product digitally, it cannot be sold back. You have purchased it. You have the data. It is not a physical copy that can be passed around. You are screwed.
Once again, I have a solution. When you buy a game, a flag is set to your account stating that you own that game. This way, if you ever need to download it again, you can free of charge. And if this variable can be set, then why can't it be unset? This is essentially what selling back digital copy entails.
In a DDG Console, you would have to log in to your Home Console (for security purposes) and click that you want to sell the game. By clicking YES, the game would uninstall (except for Save Files, of course), you would receive small credit, which I recommend is no less than 25% of the game's current selling price, and your account would show that you no longer have that game.
In short, selling back a digital game would relinquish the account user's rights to play that game, requiring that they buy the game again if they want to play it again. However, this possibility of enabling and disabling access to a game like a switch and repeat purchases opens the door to one more thing that DDG Consoles do not have.
Let's face it. The Video Game Rental Industry sucks. Most rental stores have only recent or popular titles of the most recent consoles, leaving out anything old or obscure. This is partially due to shelf space and partially due to projected sales. What game is possibly going to make them money is what's going to be on the shelves. As a result, your options are limited.
With DDG, this is not the case. There is no shortage of games being developed for DDG, and when funds are limited, you need a better means than a demo to try the game before you buy the game. This is where renting comes into play. But how do you rent on a DDG Console?
With the ability to easily switch whether you own a game or not in place, all that is left is to impose a time limit. This is where that "Game Settings" file that I had mentioned earlier comes into play. What there were settings that the user had no access to, one that only the console had access to? What if one of those settings was an expiration date, a time at which the game would be automatically uninstalled? This is how.
When the game is rented, the game is installed as usual except with this expiration date. When the console sees that this expiration date is reached, it will uninstall the game automatically. However, if you are playing the game when that "expiration date" is reach, I think it would be curteous to extend the date by one hour so that you may save your progress before the console automatically boots you so it can "return" the game by uninstalling it (leaving only the Save File).
I do have two recommendations. First off, Renting can only occur on the Home Console and that game cannot be brought to another console but it can still be "loaned" on the current console. This is for the purpose of security as well as one of the restrictions.of renting a DDG game as opposed to buying it. The second is that the price needs to be small. I suggest either $2 a day for a number of days as specified by the user at the time of renting or 20% of the game's current price to rent it for 5 days. There are various other options, but the price is ultimately up to the console developer.
Renting is necessay in this day and age of numerous AAA-budget titles. Even if a company had put millions of dollars into the development of a game, that game may still be a game that I'd rather play and not own. This is the possibility with any game. A game might be fun to play once, but are you going to play it again? If the answer is no, then it's probably better to just rent the game until you beat it rather than buying it outright.
This, in turn, could give the developers a better idea of what games are really worth the consumers' time while giving them a few extra dollars in their back pocket. How many people are renting the game versus how many are actually buying the game. This would raise a red flag at the studio and make them re-think just how good their game actually was.
With the inclusion of the rental system, games become far more accessible while enabling a paid form of an extended demo which has the side effect of providing companies a slightly more accurate number concerning tbhe popularity of their games.
Simplifying It All
Games are locked to the Account. The Account has a Home Console. The account can go to other consoles but will log you out of the previous consoles and remove all of your stuff EXCEPT when that console is your Home Console. You can loan games to anyone else on your Home Console. You can Rent games on your Home Console. You can sell games on your Home Console. And all of this is through a Digital Distribution service.
With Digital Download becoming more popular, it's only a matter of time before the video game industry adopts this system 100%. And when it does, it needs to be able to provide the same services as with the physical industry. And this might just be the start with how it does it.
What Do You Think?
This took me a couple of days to write, so I want to know what you think? Would you buy like a DDG console like this? Or do you think the concept is way too ludicrous to be plausible? Let me know what you think.
3 years ago
Ever since I swapped out the AV cables on my Xbox 360 with an HDMI Cable, I've been hooked with how much better High Definition truly is, so much so that I want to be able to play all of my games in this manner. However, history itself has prevented that ... until recently. When searching around the web, I discovered two programs that would enable my dream to be a reality: Dolphin and PCSX2. These are emulators for the Gamecube/Wii and the PS2, respectively. And both of them enable me to play the games the way that I want to.
That's when I started thinking. "The Wii and the PS2 do not have the capabilities of HD Gameplay. But these emulators do. Gee, I wonder how else they are better." And that's how I created this list. A list of reasons why Emulators are better than their Console counterparts.
5: High Definition
I just briefly mentioned this, but all emulators have the ability to play in crisp high definition, even the ones for the NES and Game Boy to the point that you can see every single pixel on the screen. Even if pixels aren't your thing, emulators for the N64 and PSX have the ability to upscale, making games such as Super Smash Brothers and Crash Bandicoot look the way they would had they been released in the modern day ... well mostly.
4: Cheat Codes and Save States
I personally try to avoid using these. However, there are times when I feel it necessary. For example, I normally use Infinite Money codes when I would otherwise have to grind or farm for it. Screw that waste of my precious time. I use save states to prevent having to do something again and again and again, especially when I die a lot. I've proven several times that I can reach that point. Why should I go through the trial and tribulation of doing it again and again and again?
Gee, I bet that would have helped Craig cut down his times when he faced Mike Tyson.
3: They're Legal!
Okay. MOSTLY. Emulators have been deemed Legal in a court of law. The part that is NOT legal is ripping the BIOS from your console to use on said emulator. That is technically illegal. And playing games that you have not physically purchased is also illegal. Beyond that, if you own the game and don't rip the Bios, then you have yourself a free console to play your games on.
EDIT: I have been informed that playing a backup copy of a game, even if you already own in, is still illegal ... mostly. You have to use a ROM that you yourself ripped from the game. I apologize for misleading before.
2: Save Files
When I went back to play good old Pokemon Red for its nostalgic charm after letting it sit for over a decade, I discovered something: that every single one of my fully evolved Level 100 Pokemon were gone. I was furious. And I knew why this happened: the internal battery that maintains power to the save file had died. As a result, all of my data was lost, never to be recovered.
Emulators save those files onto your computer, so they'll be gone only if your hard drive crashes. Beyond that, they are safe and secure to never be deleted because some battery died. Actually, you can take it a step further by having more than one save file, even on games like Pokemon that limit yourself to only one. Or you can be cheat and load your Pokemon Red save file into your Pokemon Blue game and really catch 'em all.
Have you ever asked yourself "I wish I could play Ocarina of Time with a PS2 controller" or "I wish I could play God of War with my Xbox controller" or a similar question? Well, emulators enable you to do that. I personally have always theorized that Sonic and the Black Knight or even Okami on the Wii would have been better if playing with the Wii Classic Controller was an option. While I still can't play with a Classic Controller, I can map those motions to my Logitech Dual Action (essentially, a PS2-style controller).
In other words, if I wanted, I could play Super Mario Bros. with an Xbox controller, an SNES controller, a pilot-style joystick, a keyboard, a mouse, a virtual keyboard, an Xbox DDR pad, a Dreamcast controller, a PS2 DDR pad, a PS2 Drum,a .... I think you get the idea.
High Definition, instant use of Cheat Codes and Save States without needing additional hardware, the fact that the programs themselves are legal, the fact that they'll keep your save files longer, and the fact that you can play any game with any controller that you want makes Emulators much better than their Console counterpart, especially when you consider that all consoles up to Generation 6 as well as the Wii from Generation 7 have a high compatibility rate with system's existing library. It's just that once you hit Generation 6, you might need to have a more recent computer system in order to run them at their native 60 frames per second.
What Do You Think?
Do you agree with me that Emulators are better than their console counter parts? Or is my argument and me just a digital dummy. Tell me what you think.
3 years ago
Ever since the tragedy of the Sandy Hook Massacre, it has been thrown around by various people that playing video games can make you violent. It has been said that studies have been done that prove this to be true. There have been arguments back and forth on the matter, and I wanted to give my opinion on the subject.
Do I think playing Violent Video Games can make you violent? Yes, I do.
I have a reason for this.
Back in October of 1993, a 5-year-old boy burned down his mother's trailer and his two-year-old sister in it after immitating the "Hairspray and Fire" stunt on Beavis and Butt-Head. While I'm not entirely certain of the facts of this incident, I do know that this was an actual thing. It forced Beavis and Butt-Head to pull the episode and to no longer have Beavis say the word "Fire!", though they got around that by saying different, similar-sounding words like "Fryer."
So what does this incident have to do with my opinion? Let's ask the question again.
Do I think playing Violent VIdeo Games can make you violent? Yes, I do ... IF you're not the target audience.
The Target Audience
Whether it be TV, Movies, or Video Games, there is an Age Rating system in place. I personally believe that the intent of this is not to mark content that may be too graphic for those below the intended age limit. I believe the intent of these ratings is to place a limit because those below the age limit will not be able to responsibly comprehend the content.
Allow me to create an example to explain this. A 17-year-old boy and his 7-year-old kid brother are watching "Die Hard". The 17-year-old would see this movie as "John McClain is trying to save his wife from a bunch of gun-wielding terrorists in an over-the-top action movie." The 7-year-old would see this as "the bald man is shooting the bad guys." While the 17-year-old knows that this is just a movie, the 7-year-old probably doesn't understand that what John McClain is doing is only okay within the confines of this movie. He may end up thinking "you can fight bad guys with guns." He may even think that about the bully who has been picking on him at school.
In this example, we used "Die Hard", which is an R-Rated Movie, which is equivelent to the M-Rating of the Gaming industry. But a 7-year-old, who is clearly outside of this range, is watching that. His brain, which is probably still developing morality and understanding about how the world works, sees that "killing bad guys with guns" is how the world works.
Here's what this example boils down to. The gaming equivelent of a 7-year-old watching "Die Hard" is not uncommon. There are kids out there who are playing games that are outside of their age range? Why?
This is probably the biggest part of the issue. There are parents out there who will buy their kids the latest edition of "Call of Duty" and let them play it at the kids' leisure. This states both of the problems.
The first problem is purchasing a game for a child that is outside of their age range. As I mentioned before, Rating Systems are in place for a reason. They provide a general enough description, just in its rating alone, that states who can enjoy this game responsibly. I also believe that this is why the age limit laws on Cigarettes and Alcohol are in place: because anyone below that limit cannot enjoy the product responsibly.
To me, buying an M-Rated game for your 7-year-old, hell, even your 15-year-old, is like giving them a beer and telling them to drink up. It's irresponsible and shows bad parenting.
What also shows bad parenting is not keeping an eye on your kids or at least being involved. There are parents out there who have a "laissez-faire" style of parenting. These are the parents who, for the most part, don't monitor their children in their growth, development, and activities. As a result, these parents have no idea what their kids are learning, not knowing that they could be raising ticking time bombs.
To me, this is one of the reasons why Columbine happened. Their parents did not know that they were playing Doom mods where their classmates were targets. They didn't know that Dylan Klebold's friend, Eric Harris, was clinically psychopathic. They didn't know because they weren't involved.
However, all three of these tragedies, from that Trailer fire to Columbine to Sandy Hook happend for another reason. And it ties into the second requirement for being part of the target audience.
If you are the proper age, you have to be of proper mind. You have to be able to discern that the video game that you are playing is merely a fantasy, even those based upon actual wars. They are merely pieces of interactive fiction meant for enjoyment. If you are unable to discern that fact, then you shouldn't be playing video games.
This is backed by a recent report that I read from our friends at Operation Rainfall where former FBI Profiler Ellen O'Toole states that while violent video games can further perpetuate a violent person to commit violent acts, they are not the primary cause. In other words, if you're already willing to be violent, then video games will just re-inforce that fact.
And this is the core reason why Columbine happened. And this is the core reason why Sandy Hook happened. Hell, this is even the core reason why the tragic shooting of Oslo, Norway, happened. There were psychological factors BEFORE video games that pointed that these people were already prone to violence. So even if they did not play video games, these people were still psychologically unstable and were definitely outside of the intended audience.
Recapping the Indended Audience
I know I provided a lot of real-world detail to support my argument, so I wanted to condense it down to. There are two requirements for being part of the Intended Audience of any game, or even for any piece of media for that matter.
1: You are within the age limit for that piece of media as described by the media's rating system.
2: You are of sound mind to be able to understand and enjoy the media with humility and responsibility.
Responding to Criticism
There are people out there that would discard this argument and still state that violent video games are a source. And there are probably also those that wish the government would do something about it. I personally have a very simple solution.
If the government would have to be involved, then all they would need to do to regulate these games is to absorb the ESRB as now a Federal Department and use laws similiar to "selling alcohol to minors" or "providing cigarettes for minors." But I think that would be tragic considering the ESRB is a body created by the Video Games Industry and that most production companies will require that it meets not only Quality Guidelines but also certain ESRB Guidelines before the game is allowed to go into production and it has been doing a very good job of that. So why take it away just because the people can't regulate themselves?
Do I think playing violent video games can make you violent? It can if you're not the intended audience. But if you're too young for the game or if you have psychological issues, then you shouldn't be playing them.
What Do You Think?
Do you agree with me on this hot-button topic and that violent video games can make a person violent under the correct circumstances? or do you want to go violent on me for saying that? I'd like to hear what you have to say.
3 years ago
The Nintendo Wii U. The Sony Playstation 4. The Microsoft XBox One. These are the consoles that are associated with this, the 8th Generation of Video Game consoles. And at each of their announcement events, the companies declared how many units of their current generation of console that they sold.
WIi: 100.30 Million units sold
PS3: 80 million units sold
Xbox 360: 80 million units sold
However, these numbers are absolutely meaningless. Why? Because these numbers are very fluffed and they do not properly represent the trend as they head into the next generation.
What is Represented?
These numbers given represent the number of units sold. Anytime a person went to an authorized retailer and bought a console brand new, it was recorded as a unit sold.
Now, you would think that this number represents the number of people who bought them. But I'm betting that this is not the case. How many of you bought the original Xbox 360 when it first came out but had to buy a second one because of the infamous red ring of death? How many of you bought the PS3 just to sell it off and get the special edition Metal Gear Solid 5 PS3? These sales are represented in those numbers.
Here is another scenario. I have a WIi. And my dad bought my mom a Wii so that she may use its various exercise software. My mom never, if ever, uses her Wii anymore since she has other outlets for exercise. And while I still have my library of games, I play mine sporadically, mostly due to a faulty DVD drive that requires I use homebrew software to play backup copies of all of the games that I own. In this scenario, 2 people both have a Wii but we don't play it.
This shows that despite two people owning a Wii, neither are playing it.
To put this simply, this number also represents the number of consoles that were bought by the same person, either because they had a faulty model and the fastest way of being able to play their games again was to just buy a new one or because a newer, better model had come out and made the previous one obsolete. So each one of those obsolete and defective machines are included in the number of units that have been sold.
What is NOT Represented?
I want to give you a scenario. A former co-worker had an XBox 360. Bought it when it first came out but sold it to get the white model because it was less prone to crashing. He then sold that unit to me since he bought the Gears of War Special Edition. He and his wife play that system.
I had the Xbox, which me and my brother would play, until he moved out and I got tired of it. I sold it to my ex-girlfriend for her and her 2 roommates to play.
This means that through 3 Xbox 360, 1 person bought 3 Xbox's, only 2 of which are being played by 5 people while the other one is sitting in a second-hand store if it hadn't already been recycled.
What SHOULD Be Represented?
The question should not be "How many consoles did we sell?" The question should be "How many people are still playing our consoles?" The number should represent how many people are still playing that console.
For a very good example of this, let's look at Steam's latest report concerning the most recent Black Friday when a record number of 7 million users were concurrently logged in. However, though, the total number of users registered to Steam is about 65 million. I find these number to be quite contrasting.
Whenever a console developer tells you how many of their consoles that were sold, these numbers are fluffed by people who ended up buying more than one unit, even for themselves, and include units that are no longer being used. They should focus on the number of units that are still being played; more specifically, they should focus on how many people are still playing their consoles and represent the number of people who still find that console relevant.
What Do You Think?
Do you agree with me and also think that console developers need to look at the people or the machine or do think the number of machine sales are a proper representation of the number of people? Let me know in the comments below.
PS: I know this blog only states what I think it should be and not why it should be this way, and I'm sorry. This is what I get for writing late at night.
4 years ago
I fucking love Mega Man. I love him so much that I hate him. And I'm going to show my love for the blue bomber who stole Astro Boy's career and his looks by pointing out the flaws of each of his games
WARNING: This entire blog is for fun. Do not take it seriously.
Mega Man 1
Fuck. The graphics were really flat and didn't pop at all. And that music was so bland. It was just all so bland. And did you see that bad box art? Who the hell came up with that? It looks like someone made it in a week from a b rief description. Goddammit, the firsts are always the worst.
Mega Man 2
Mega Man 2 still had the same bland graphics and music as its older brother, but it sucked because the difficulty was all over the map, and those fucking "BWAAAAAAH!" lasers required pixel perfect movement, like a Quick-Time Event. And they only happen in one level.
Oh, and Dr. Wily's an alien! Except that he's NOT an alien. Oh, shennanigans.
Mega Man 3
Mega Man 3 is incomplete. Even Inafune said it was incomplete. When the fuck will it be completed?! Fuck!
Mega Man 4
Mega Man must now face .... Dr. Cossack! Oh, wait. He was being controlled by Dr. Wily. My bad.
Meg a Man 5
Mega Man must now face .... his brother! Oh, wait. It was a fake controlled by Dr. Wily. My bad.
Mega Man 6
Mega Man must now face .... Mr. X! Oh, wait. It's only Dr. Wily in disguise. My bad.
At least this is the final battle.
Mega Man 7
Fuck! Dr. Wily had a contingency plan for the Final Battle! Plus it introduced Bass. Bass is nothing more than Evil Anti-Hero Clone of our Hero. He fights on the same time as the hero but he hates the hero. And he was created to do exaclt that. I hate these characters!
Plus, the game tried to continue Mega Man when we already had Mega Man X. It was trying to muscle in on X's Thunder Beam.
And the goddamn thing tried to be X and the Game Boy games and the orignal all in one, and it still sucked.
Mega Man 8
The goddamn cutscenes, the Meg a Man 7-like setup, and the large levels that don't belong in a Mega Man game.
Mega Man and Bass
This game ... is perfect actually. Except for being after Mega Man 7, it has absolutely no flaws. It is a fun and incredible game. Oh, wait ...
Mega Man AND Bass must now face .... King! Oh, wait. He was Dr. Wily's creation! I hope this is the last time that he does this!
Mega Man 9
Woo! Old school action. But why did they derive their sound effects from Mega Man 2? And I can understand condensing the power of the charge shot into a single bullet, but why did they take away the slide that I've had for 7 games? Oh, and one more thing.
Dr. Light's robots have gone amok! Oh, wait. Dr. Wily did it. Why won't Wily quit pulling this?
Mega Man 10
The bosses suck. The level layout suck. The Easy Mode is a cakewalk while the Hard Mode is a cakepound. Plus the Roboenza is like something from the Ruby Spears cartoons. It gives ROBOTS the cold AND makes them go crazy. Oh, and ...
Mega Man must defeat a bunch of robot infected with a cold. Oh wait! Dr. Wily did it! I should have known. Known that Cacpcom would pull this crap again!
Mega Man is fucki ng awesome. Seriously, you should go play his games. Like, now!
4 years ago
Steam always has incredible deals, so part of this mid-week Deal on Steam has L. A. Noire for cheap. The full game, its DLC, and even the digital guide are all 75% off. You can get this full bundle for a mere $10!
If you've been waiting to buy this incredible game, now is the time to get it. I just hope your computer can handle that much awesome.
4 years ago
In December of 2011, a book called the Hyrule Historia was released in Japan. It contained a section called "The Complete History of Hyrule" which reviewed the storyline of each game. This allowed Game Historians to piece together the following
The widely debated Zelda Timeline has finally been revealed. As a fan of the Zelda games, I was thrilled to see this. But as I took a closer look at the Timeline, I began to notice some things that made me slam my head against a wall. I became disgusted with the Zelda TImeline, enough to create a short list of what I find wrong with it.
5: The Origins of the Master Sword
This rates very low because it focuses on parts of the story from one game: Skyward Sword. But since the Master Sword appears in almost every game, it bears mentioning.
I remember when I first heard that the origins of the Master Sword would be revealed in Skyward Sword. I thought to myself that it would involve forging the Elements of the Goddesses into a sword by a Master Blacksmith. After all, the Master Sword could be modified by human hands, or at least dwarf hands, as was done in "In A Link to the Past." So there was no harm in thinking that it could have been forged by mortal hands. And since the powers came from the Masters of the World and it was forged by a Master Blacksmith, it would be christened "The Master Sword", meaning "The Sword of the Masters".
Instead, our hero picks up a sword that, when it absorbs a new element, expands like a Transformer until it was eventually the Master Sword. And it was named the "Master Sword" because Fi, the spirit of the sword and your Navi for the game, kept calling you 'Master', which is how a servant addresses their superior.
I feel as if this weakens the wonder of the Master Sword. Instead of having a weapon forged by the hands of the people, thus showing how their actions or inactions control the destiny of the land, the sword becomes something that the world was given by the gods. It's that whole "Destiny vs. Choice" argument.
The Origins of the Master Sword. I may have been nitpicking, but I'll remember these origins every time I get the sword again.
4: The Alternate Timeline where Link Fails
When the TImeline was revealed, it was discovered that the Split Theory was correct. It just wasn't split far enough. On top of having the Child Timeline and the Adult Timeline, Ocarina of Time splits off to a third timeline where Link failed to defeat Ganon.
This Alternate Timeline is a "What If" story. The problem, though, is that once you use that once, it is possible to be used again. This means that the timeline can splinter at any point with one of these "What If" Stories. It opens up a can of worms that could possibly turn the Zelda Timeline into a confusing-looking tree.
The Alternate Timeline. This was a brief nuissance, but it is definitely one that can affect the future.
3: Our Hero's Name is Always Link
When I was originally trying to determine the Zelda Timeline, I believed that there was no true name for our hero. Part of it stems from something that I'll discuss later. The other reason is because players are allowed to name the hero whenever they start a new file on any Zelda game.
It turns out that my assumption is incorrect. Naming your character is nothing but a vanity that allows the player to associate themself with the character. I very much hate naming characters becasue history will be written with their correct names, despite what I call them. Whether it is Final Fantasy 7, Chrono Trigger, or even Zelda, naming your character is nothing more than vanity.
The purpose of naing the character was to allowe the player to feel invested in the character. I think it's bad enough that they allow the player to name him but not customize his appearance, but if his name is wrong, too, that just voids out the personal investment.
Out Hero's Name. If it's supposed to be Link, then just put it in for us.
2: The Legend Itself
Another thing that I kept in mind when analyzing the timeline was tha the "Legend of Zelda", the legend described in Zelda 2 from which the entire series is named after, had to be at the beginning. Here is an abridged version of that legend:
A prince went a little too far in trying to get some information out of his sister, Princess Zelda, to the point that she was turned into Sleeping Beauty. To remember this tragedy, the Prince decreed that all daughters of the Royal Family would be named Zelda.
This is a great legend, but what is the problem? My assumption is once again wrong. It is placed just before Zelda 1 in the Alternate Timeline. This means that the legend that this entire series is named after does not occur near the start of the series but instead near one of the ends of the series. This creates 2 problems.
The first problem is the name of the games: The Legend of Zelda. I always thought that every game was named after this legend. But for all but 2 games, the legend never even occured. SO what's the point?
I think the games should have been named after the Japanese Subtitle of the first game: Hyrulian Fantasy. Then we would have had Hyrulian Fantasy: Minish Cap, Hyrulian Fantasy: Majora's Mask. Hyrulian Fantasy: Spirit Tracks. And so on and so forth. Without the legend occuring near the start, there is no legend.
The second problem is one of probability, and this is where the name of our hero factors in. If this legend occurred near the start, it would make sense why ever single Zelda in the series is named Zelda. But without it, it creates an outrageously random probability.
Let's assume that the likelihood of a boy being named "Link" and a girl being named "Zelda" is 1 in 500 each. Now, add in that Link would be more close to a commoner while Zelda is a princess, a 1 in 1000 chance. Now let's factor in that they are always involved with a great and powerful evil, something that is as likely as being struck by lightning, which is 1 in 1 Million. When you do the math, it creates a probability of 1 in 250 Trillion! That is some big odds! But for it to happen several time, currently counting 16 times?! It is so highly improbable that it is impossible!
The Legend itself. Its position in the timeline creates an impossible probability.
1: Future Games
Whenever a new game is introduced, it will have to go under one of four categories: The Child Timeline, the Adult Timeline, the Alternate Timeline, or it will go before the split. In addition, it is also possible for one of the future games to be a "What If" game, creating an endless slew of possibilities. What if Link didn't leave Hyrule in the Child Timeline? What if Link failed to find the Triforce of Courage in Zelda 2? Or what if Malladus successfully revived in Spirit Tracks? Or what if ... what if ... what if ... What if we didn't have this "What If" possibility?!
Thats the problem with this timeline. EIther it will be inserted somewhere in the middle of one of these four categories or it will be a split. And, as I mentioned before, it will eventually create this giant, confusing, non-linear tree of a timeline.
I know that I should praise this idea, especially since I loved the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation where man could "no longer map the stars but instead map the possibilities" but as a gamer and as a fan of the series, it just makes the timeline chronologically confusing.
With all of these problems with the Zelda Timeline, does this make Zelda suck? Absolutely not. It is hard for Nintendo to make a bad Zelda game, and I will enjoy every one of them until the end of time. But I'll have to enjoy them ignorant of the timelines, instead opting to see the games in a different light.
While there are certain Zelda games that are prequels and sequels to others, overall the Legend of Zelda games are exactly that: a legend. They are different versions of the same story being eternally retold. While one version may have Link as a "child of nature", as just a person who lives alongside nature, another story may actually have him as a child who lives in a forest. Some will tell say that their story occurs in Hyrule while others may say that it happens elsewhere.
No matter how you enjoy Zelda, it is a series that will live on as long as its legend ... even if you have to be a bit ignorant of its history.
I'm just another guy who likes video games.
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