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Shame-usBlackley Blog

I'm Envious of England

Because they have an elegant, beautiful, engaging woman like Kate Middleton as a role model, while we have a boring, uninspiring, disgusting, blown-out mental midget like Kim Kardashian that our kids look up to.

Jesus, no wonder we're so fvcked up.

Someone Saved Gaming Tonight

Seriously, no one was more disappointed in Sony than I was when they announced the price of the PS3 in 2006. Yet, here we are, seven years later, and tonight they saved our hobby. 

Time heals all wounds and all that, but seriously, each and every one of you reading this knows the place Microsoft wants to take this hobby is bad, potentially calamitous. Whatever your silly allegiances may be, be thankful someone stepped up and did the right thing tonight. I know I am.

Tough Love

I've always been an outspoken advocate for this hobby. God help the person who blamed society's ills on gaming within my earshot. The person who blames games for everything and sees them as a corruptible influence on kids found no friend or safe quarters with me. I defended the hobby because I knew I was right. I know that in my gut. In my heart. But I also defended it because I loved it. I loved it for all the reasons anyone loves anything. I loved it for all the times it transported me from my boring, mundane (sometimes painful) world to another that I could've only dreamed of taking part in. I loved it because as I grew, it grew with me -- like any great love does. From days as a wide-eyed kid with my Atari, to adoloscence with my Nintendo consoles, to Adulthood  and Sony, the industry aged with me and yet still somehow remained relevant. Over the last few years, however, a dark spot has formed on my love for the hobby, and I fear it will turn malignant if it isn't cut out. 

It's not the games themselves -- I still love sitting down with a game just as much as I did back when I first stuck Defender in my 2600. And I think by and large game developers are just as creative and amazing as they've ever been. I don't think I could ever stop loving this hobby, as I have loved it longer than any other thing in my life. I hear musicians talk about how music made them feel the first time they heard their favorite band, and that's how gaming makes me feel. I hear people talk about the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction they get from climbing a difficult mountain or getting an A in Calculus, and that's how I feel about gaming. Of the problems I am about to speak, love and admiration for the hobby aren't among them. 

However, you can still love something and not like what it's doing. That sums up very much how I feel about where things are going. I see developers shutting doors even after making a game that sells a million copies. Back in the day, they would have been heroes of industry. I hear publishers mentioniong that a game has failed to meet expectations after it sells nearly three and a half million copies in a month, and I wonder who these people are and where they got their expectations from. I see publishers abusing the loyalty of gamers by asking them to buy unreleased, unaccounted for content for nearly half the cost of the game itself, even before it has been released. I have watched the two main players in the industry make proclamations of "10 Year Cycles" all the while refusing to lower the price of overpriced, ancient hardware that is only months away from being replaced. And I have also watched the industry attempt to explain away the sales numbers that have fallen each month for hardware and software. Whether due to bluster or plain self-delusion, they believe that they don't have a problem.

But they do. They really do. 

New rumors of consoles requiring that there be a constant internet connection have surfaced and not been squashed. The insistence on pairing the precision control of a controller with an imprecise motion control mechanism looks set to continue. A recent interview with DICE revealed that one of the companies (Microsoft I would presume) has been trying to bribe them to include Kinect controls in their games. What better illustration of a problem is there than a company trying (and feeling compelled) to bribe game developers to include support for a device that just doesn't work? Sales numbers are going down because the companies have kept the prices so high that the $129 market (which is quite large, by the way) has never turned up to support this generation. Further, people like myself have found their love for the hobby tested by all the microtransactions and season pass asshattery. Can anyone make a compelling case for why you should buy a game on launch day anymore when you can wait a couple of months and pay one third the price and get a bunch of additional content? I tried, and I couldn't. If you can, enlighten me. I'd love to hear it.

Which brings me to the crux of this post: the industry has done the impossible. It has found the place where my disdain for how it is being run has exceeded my love of it, and the last thing I can do -- the only thing I can do to show it how much I love it is to stop supporting its bad habits. My love is about to grow tough. Where it was once unconditional, it will now be very conditional. The relationship is about to become very lopsided in my favor for a change, and brother, that's going to feel pretty good. I have realized that I am strong and that this hobby needs me more than I need it. I purchased over two hundred retail titles this generation, and roughly half that number of downloadable games. Believe you me, I hold the cookies in this relationship, and if I don't start seeing more respect, that money is going to go elsewhere. 

So from now on, I will abide by this simple set of rules:

I will no longer buy games at launch unless the publisher publicly and openly states that there will be no plans for Day One DLC and/or Season Passes. If a game includes those items, I will wait until it is either bargain bin priced ($15 or less sounds about right) where I can buy the extra content for less than the amount they would have gotten from me initially, or until a "Game of the Year" version gets released at a discounted price and with all the additional content. 

I will no longer support any system that emphasizes motion controls. I believe the Wii was a cancer on this hobby largely because it flagrantly disregarded the fact that controls are the single most important aspect to a game. I believe Microsoft has, sadly, gone in the same direction. There is a lot of money in pocket and I want to spend it -- all you have to do is give me what I want. The first and best way to be guaranteed not to get it? By shoving a control mechanism on me that doesn't work.

I will not support any company that demands I connect to the internet to use their device. I am the master of my time. I will be goddamned if anyone is going to tell me how to use it, especially a device that I've paid hundreds of dollars for. 

I will not support any company that implements measures to block used games or intends to tie software to one console. I think it's safe to see why this is such a bad idea after a generation where the North American industry leader had a failure rate of double digits. But it's not just that -- it again goes back to trying to tell me how I can use a device I bought legally. If I want to loan a game to a friend or family member (or conversely, borrow one of theirs), then I should be free to do that. Other industries do just fine with used markets existing, and in many ways, view that as a means of gaining a lifetime customer. Gaming can too. 

I will buy the machine that least resembles a media center and most resembles a game console. This should be self-explanatory, but I don't need Netflix on my console. I have a myriad of other devices for that. And think about that for a minute -- why would a game console manufacturer include all kinds of options that encourage the player to not buy and play games? I want a game console, because that will be the developer's console. 

In closing, I'm not doing this to be a prick. I'm not doing it to make a point. I'm doing it out of love. I feel I owe it to this hobby to not take part in a lot of the dark habits it has taken up. If my money goes towards the good side of gaming (and perhaps other like-minded people too), then perhaps it's not too late to save it. And if it is, at least I can say that I tried. I am afraid of where things are headed. The dark signs are everywhere. Something has to change. We have to go back to the basics of what worked, and let history be our guide. 

One Thing Assassin's Creed Did Better Than Any Other Game This Gen


No other game series came close to delivering the amazing sense of unique locales. From the parapits of the Middle-east, to Italy, to the American Revolution -- NO other series even attempted to match the sense of scale and beauty in AC's worlds. There are other parts of the series that need to be fixed or are sub-par, but damn... I really love how each time I boot up a game from this series, I feel like I'm not only learning a little more about history, but taking part in it.

Obama Bltches Out on Benghazi

Our guys called begging for back up during the assault and they were denied it, not once or twice -- but three times.

Further, the Obama administration watched the killings occur in real time via a drone, but they are refusing to release the tape.

Then, the father of one of the slain SEALs asks: who was responsible for letting my son die? And he said the president seemed insincere and that the meeting was "like shaking hands with a dead fish."

All this from what Obama promised would be "the most transparent administration in history." What a fvcking sham. Whether Obama wins or loses next month is becoming increasingly irrelevant, he's already displayed what he's made of.

6:07 9/11/12 Al Qaeda Claimed Responsibility for Benghazi

And the Obama administration spent the next two weeks blaming it on a riot that never happened and a shoddily-produced internet movie. Obama has tried to say otherwise, but it has been well documented that Ambassador Rice, James Carney, and the president himself, all blamed the occurrence on the movie and a fake riot.

Further, the now dead ambassador Stevens begged for more security for weeks leading up to his death, advising people that his detail was not enough to prevent the attacks that were already occurring (the wall to the compound was blown up with explosives earlier in the year), and his requests were DENIED.

Obama can say what he wants, and lie and say that he takes responsibility, but every time anyone has tried to hold him responsible, he gets pissy and indignant. The bottom line is that it took only a few days for us to find out who perpetrated and planned 9/11, and Obama expects us to ignore the mountain of evidence suggesting he knew who did it, including the admission of the man interviewed?

Please. Here are the facts:

Four Americans are dead, and the Obama administration has waffled back and forth between deciding whether they knew something or didn't know something. Most recently, they opted to go with not knowing something, but now the emails surface showing they clearly did.

The ambassador asked for more security and was denied.

The date of the incident should have been enough of a clue. I mean, Jesus Christ, I've seen teens in a Friday the 13th movie with more common sense. "Hey, someone's blowing up our embassy and it's September 11th, they must be mad about this movie that no one watched."

The Obama administration, knowing all the above, opted to blame, obfuscate, and harrass some mouth-breathing idiot film-maker in order to hide their shortcomings in an election year. Everyone knows this now, including Obama, who has declined to comment on the new emails released.

The mother of one of the slain SEALs has been asking/begging Obama for answers that she'll never get, because he's a liar and an empty suit who will do anything to get reelected. This isn't hyperbole or me laying blame -- it's a fact. The man is a liar, and the worst kind -- the kind who will step over dead bodies to get reelected.

CBS Affiliate in Arizona Calls the Race for Obama

Check this happy shlt out. I understand mistakes happen, but showing nationwide results with actual vote counts, percentages, districts counted? Yeah, someone needs to step up and do some explaining.

From Obama's Lips To Your Ass

What ever happened to the most transparent administration in history?

I suppose that only applies in non-election years. God, what a fvcking thick clown this guy is.