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When Spin Fails - Co-Opt

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Amid the brutal crackdown which badly wounded a US veteran and disrupted the people's right to peaceably assemble when Oakland Police raided the tent grounds and destroyed personal property, the corporate media is running out of scape goats and can't seem to make up their minds on how best to caricature the movement.

The movement's gone from being made up of lazy unemployed kids to anarchists to statists to angry union workers to communists and hippies to socialist zionists to racist anti-semites to the muslim brotherhood to Acorn, just about any boogy man they can dream up. They're desperate and shambling for any scape goat they can find, they don't even try to make sense.

With the support for the movement only growing as more and more people learn what it's about, and as the media realizes that it can not contain undesirable footage, some in the media are trying a new approach. Co-opting the movement.

Desperate attempts are now being made to marry the movement to the Democratic party in an attempt to politicize control and contain it. But as most of the protesters are aware, and as the general American public is becoming increasingly aware, despite the theatrics of false resistance and despite the politics of division on wedge issues of no importance to those in power, both parties take money from the same banks and corporations to further their interests.

Media efforts to co-opt the movement will fail, because the corporate news media now finds itself in an echochamber unable to even keep up with all the people on the ground and the countless free voices shouting over the internet.

New Spin on Occupy Wallstreet

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Wall-Street-Workers-join-in.jpgThe Corporate Media has found it impossible to ignore the movement. Now 'news' agencies are trying the next most obvious tactics, delegitimizing the movement.

An intentional deception is being perpetrated against the American people, as the media intentionally targets the inarticulate, the radical, or the ridiculous while ignoring main stream protesters, editing out articulate voices where and when they can be heard. All effort is being made to depict the protest as a new Woodstock with communists and hippies who just want to get high and bang on bongo drums while shouting about something.

So who makes up the core of the movement? Who's voice is the media trying to silence? Independent reporters, international reporters, and the protesters themselves are answering that question. American Workers. The main voice of the movement and the main bulk of the protest is that of Labor, American workers who are tired of being treated as disposable commodities as if they were put here to make rich men wealthy.

They are protesting against economic injustice, against a system that is rigged against Labor. They are protesting against corporations getting special bail outs, tax cuts, and tax havens so that they can send jobs over seas. They are protesting against the corruption in our government, a government of millionaires where every politician is bought and every piece of legislation up for sale. They are protesting against banks that loan money they don't have and commit usury against the American people, intentionally trapping hard working American people in debt slavery, perpetual debt that grows without end.

Why does the US media not want these voices heard? Because the mainstream US media made up of corporations who themselves are corrupt. And even if media corporations want to do the right thing, they are beholden to sponsors, the same sponsors who buy our politicians and practically write our laws.

Welcome to the Oligarchical Republic of America

[spoiler] It seems at last they have succeeded, Occupy has been physically removed, and revisionists are already spinning a new telling of events - August 25, 2012.

The movement needs a revival surge focused on WDC, in my humble opinion. [/spoiler]

Copying WoW is Bad for Gaming

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Copying WoW is bad for gaming because WoW has become a stale fixture in the marketplace, gamers are largely tired of it, lots of MMO players hate it, and people who love WoW will probably just want to play WoW with their friends rather than switching over to some clone that can't provide all the bells and whistles without first including several expansion packs.

That's why Rift was destined for failure within the first few months, you can't just copy and paste WoW and catch lightning in a bottle. Because as soon as people ding to top level and realize it's the same game with less features they get bored. They start complaining, they turn people against the game, they bash it in reviews, then they take their friends and leave.

Before WoW there were many successful MMO's with features that you don't see in MMO's today, there's a big niche market that grew up with them and there are a lot of new gamers who have never gotten to experience them. In todays market, games using similar mechanics with all the bells and whistles of a modern interface and innovations that have come to the genre over the last decade could be highly successful. A new DAoC type game with top end graphics for instance would hold a rather broad appeal.

The truth is a lot of MMO Devs do copy WoW, they copy WoW because it was successful. But you can't just copy that kind of success, and I think people are getting pretty sick of PvE grinding through the same dungeons over and over again for a chance to roll on loot they almost never win, and I think people are getting tired of having their MMO's play as hub games where all the content is instanced.

Occupy Wall Street Ignored by Corporate Media

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Thousands of people flooded to Wall Street to protest against the corporate takeover of our government and the erosion of our civil liberties, worsening conditions for America's working poor, mass unemployment, the growing divide between the rich and poor, and the destruction of our environment caused by the business elites.

The Corporate Media is completely beholden to Wall Street because Wall Street controls it's sponsorship, and ultimately most news media outlets are for profit enterprises governed by their own vested interests. Any CEO who tries to do the right thing is removed from power, any politician who tries to do the right thing is defunded and has no political future. Corporations, Banks, and Private Industries completely control political finances, and they control what the general public sees and hears in the media.

As predicted the most obvious scenarios are playing out. One, a massive crackdown on the protesters, with suspected disappearances and an escalating violent crackdown. Two, the corporate media is blacklisting the story, ignoring it, or spinning it and downplaying it when ignoring it isn't an option.

Paradox Encourages Customers to Up Vote on Metacritic

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It's not uncommon for companies to stack the deck, cherry picking reviews and posting their own reviews and comments to promote sales, but Paradox Interactive has sunk to the new low of outright soliciting it's customers to Up Vote reviews on Metacritic for it's recent GSG Sengoku, this following a pattern of behavior which casts doubt on the companies integrity. You can find my reviews of Sengoku on Metacritic and also here on GameSpot.

For me, my grievances with Paradox started with Majesty 2, which I felt had betrayed fans of the original and it's expansion and which I saw deceptively promoted. Back then it was people posting as fans, not openly Paradox, promoting up voting on Majesty 2, but I witnessed Paradox cherry picking extremely positive and somewhat dishonest reviews to display on their site and in their art, often from extremely obscure sources. Then there was the deceptive marketing of the expansions, the way the Kingmaker expansion was presented in the promotional videos many people believed that they would be able to play as the Goblin faction, this trend continued in further expansions. To top it all off, there is a thread so massive that I dare not even guess the pages in it, containing hundreds and hundreds of posts, that was dedicated to improving Majesty 2 by covering the things missing from it that fans wanted from the original. Paradox pretended to be listening and considering the feedback and suggestions in the thread, but for the most part they were disregarded in expansion after expansion.


But back to Sengoku. Paradox fanboys would have you believe that the only reason the game has gotten a bad score is because reviewers are idiots who are only casual gamers and just can't comprehend grand strategy, as if everyone just wants to see action combat and explosions. They like to think that the game just isn't dumbed down enough for the drooling masses.

The truth is the game has many flaws, not the least of which is it's inaccessible interface. In order to play the game, you have to invest hours trying to learn how to do the most basic things, if you have no experience with previous GSG games you're out of luck. There aren't any mouse over tool tips where you need them most, the help text that pops up is like tomes and sometimes it's more confusing than helpful. The gameplay mechanics are often obtuse, I had to spend 15 minutes on google and browsing forms just to figure out how to hand over a province to a family member and I've been playing GSG's for years, for a newbie that sort of thing makes the game unplayable.

Then once you actually start playing, a bigger army = win 99% of the time, and there are massive lag issues when resigning and loading a game due to some bug or memory leak, the AI often does ridiculously stupid things, the borders aren't clearly defined enough unless you're in Clan view which is quite ugly, and the units and structures are all small, extremely generic, and poorly represented on the map. The game deserves some of the bad scores it's getting.

Underneath it all, as a dynastic strategy game, it's a decent game if you know how to play it, but it's not your fault if you can't figure it out. Paradox refuses to learn, and now it's games are increasingly prohibitive of new gamers.

Industry Corruption: When Words Lose All Meaning

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There was a time when words like "Game of the Year" and "Critically Acclaimed" meant something. Sure the industry greased the wheels, sure reviewers were beholden to the industry advertisements as a source of income, but in general if a game did poorly and recieved terrible or mediocre reviews no one would think of calling it Critically Acclaimed let alone Game of the Year.

Yet today that is the world we live in, publishers write their own reviews, they have PR people running image control on mainstream forums, they hire fake protesters for publicity and host fake reality shows for the sake of sensationalism, and words that once meant quality are thrown about cheaply.

This case couldn't be clearer than in Kalypso's upcoming expansionpack for the "Critically Acclaimed Strategy Game" Dungeons, a game that did so poorly that it doesn't even show up as a game you might like when checking out the expansion pack. The question I would ask is 'Critically Acclaimed By Who?' and several others have thought to ask the same question. Meanwhile we see other titles that utterly bombed getting resold as "Game of the Year" material.

Anonymous Plans to March on Wall Street.

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While there is debate about the authenticity of the announcement, it seems that Anonymous has plans to march on Wall Street this September.

I'm only speculating, but I'd suggest that the plan may be to establish a stand in presense for others to join, starting with a crowd of protesters and capitalizing on the general sentiments of the American public to create a peaceful prolonged occupation of the area via interchangable protesters. The Anonymous message has a very broad appeal, the message that "We Want Freedom" has potential appeal to Americans of all political stripes, the Tea Party, Anarchists, Neo-Confederates, Ron Paul supporters, Progressive Socialist, Democrats, the message has a nearly universal appeal. The unique theme of Anonymous makes it possible for protesters to come and go with no one noticing that anyone has left.

If the media chooses to cover the event it could effectively lock down wall street for months as the media attention would surly attract more protesters, but if the media chooses not to cover the event then people on the streets will, and if it appears that the media is with-holding information from the public there could be a massive backlash. Some members of the media could even potentially hijack the networks to broadcast Anonymous messages and footage if the media proves unwilling to give the event proper coverage.

It's a tricky situation, and there's probably a high risk of infiltration. The nature of Anonymous makes it easy for spies to pose as protesters, and various agencies and organizations may be inclined to infiltrate the group and try to generate an excuse for a violent crackdown. There's also the risk that Anons from political factions will bring their politics to the event, resulting in a loss of cohesion and solidarity and increasing the risk of an outbreak of violence.

Whatever the case I hope the event goes well and ends well.

Jimquisition can't tear away from Deus Ex: Human Revolution

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Fans of Jim Sterling probably know that he's a man who loves to troll, he normally has some snarky or controversial comment or rant in store for his viewers custom designed to make some people mad.

So it may come as a surprise that Jim Sterling had nothing to say about Deus Ex: Human Revolution other than to mention that he couldn't tear himself away from playing it, skimping out on his normal ranting and trolling for Jimquisition. I take this to mean that it is highly immersive and enjoyable. Despite his low brow antics and trolling wordplay Jim Sterling is also known for having high standards, expecting much better than the standard copy and paste shovelware that currently floods the market.

Newbs Who Diss Old School Video Games - They Just Don't Know Any Better

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There is a trend among newbie gamers to think that it's progress for the industry to sacrifice everything that made the older games fun. That's just wrong, there's no reason newer games can't have the stuff that made the older games fun, and still have new stuff too.

In the MMO world in particular you see a lot of newbs who never played an MMO game before WoW, who seem to think that the only alternative to a WoW clone is to discard all of the advances we've made in the past decade and start from scratch. There's no describing just how stupid that line of thought is, games could easily model after one of the Pre-WoW MMO's like DAoC and still have all of the updates to the genre.

If you think the older games look like crap, or you don't like the fact that they're absent of something that was introduced to the genre later, ask yourself how a similar game would play with modern graphics and features.

It is inherently assumed that successful games are successful because they give gamers what they want, and that other games do poorly because no one wants to play such games, but this is a flawed assumption. The amount of marketing and polishing that games recieve is rarely factored into the equation, how well might a game similar to DAoC or Starsiege Tribes do with the same amount of marketing and refinement as games like Rift and Halo?

I'm of the impression that a lot has been lost and that developers looking for inspiration could find a virtual gold mine in some of those older games.

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