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SOCOM: The single-player game with a little online thing added.

But that online thing is pretty much just an afterthought. Just a little added bonus thing that nobody really cares about. :D

So,my 9-game package arrived from Gamestop.. And I was reminded of another reason why Ilike to buy online from Gamestop. Every time I order from them, I choose the cheap USPS value shipping, but they send it by the much better UPS 3-Day instead! This has happened without fail every time I've ordered from them since late last year. At first I thought it was mistake, but now I think they're doing it on purpose.

Unsurprisingly, my favorite game in the package is SOCOM II. Even as my collection rapidly approaches 200 PS2 games, I still come across games that can suck me in and make me sit for hours upon hours.

Interesting story about last night. It's about midnight, and I can't sleep. So I turn on my PS2 and pop in SOCOM II. I play it, die a few times before beating a few missions. Suddenly, I look up at the clock and it's 5AM! The fact that there are still games on the PS2 that I haven't played yet, that can make me stay up all night convinces me that the PS2 truly does have the best library of any game console.

Anyway, there arevery few differences between the original SOCOM and the second one. What they did right in the first game, they still did right in the second one, and they even found some ways to improve the controls. There are still no checkpoints in the middle of missions, and the missionstend to go for an average of about 20 minutes each. It's not uncommon to spend about 20 minutes in a mission and die right before the end, which can be frustrating. Still, if you play on the easiest difficulty the first time around, then the game is quite challenging but not impossible.

One of the things I like about SOCOM II is it's slightly more story-based than the original. The original only had just barely enough story to give basic meaning to the missions. In SOCOM II, the missions have a bit more meaning. Although the cutscenes are still minimal compared to other action games, it still feels like there's more of a story to hook you.

Everything else is pretty much the same as the first game, but improved. The level design is improved, the mission objectives are improved. But mostly, it's the same game. If you loved the first, you'll love the second.

If you haven't played the series yet, I'd recommend starting with the original and work your way up. And I'd recommend doing it as soon as possible! If you like a good squad-based shooter with great stealth mechanics and amazing action, SOCOM is your game.

I was going to comment on some of the other games I got in the package, but SOCOM II is the game that's really eating up my time like no other. I'm on mission 10 of 12 right now, so I'm already close to the end. That's one problem I have with the game. I'd estimate it's about 5 or 6 hours long. The original definitely felt a bit longer. Hopefully the last three missions will take a bit longer.

But anyway, once I beat it, I will have a bit more time to pay attention to the other games. So maybe then I'll blog about them a bit.

9 Times The Gameplay for 1/3 The Price.

First of all, I want to thank all of you who commented on my last blog about G4. Great thoughtful comments all around.

As for the topic title. I could easily be referring to the PS2, as compared to its successors, that's an apt description. However, I will instead use this statement to describe my latest Gamestop order of PS2 games. 9 of them to be exact, with the price totaling a whopping $20. This brings my PS2 collection up to 189. However, this will also be my last big order from Gamestop for a while. From now on, I plan to buy games individually. I'm going to make sure each one is truly special, because I'll be slowly counting up to PS2 game #200.

But not to overlook this order, because there's a bunch of awesome games in this order. These are the games I got.

1: SOCOM 2 ($3): I actually bought this game once, at an actual Gamestop store. But the guy behind the counter gave me SOCOM 3 by mistake, which actually worked to my advantage because I got it for half price. But now I'm buying SOCOM 2 in order to complete the series. Anyway, this is one of the best series' on the PS2. While it's best known for its online play, I actually prefer the single-player because I think it's better. This will probably be one of my favorite games in the package.

2: SSX ($2): I already own the sequel, SSX: Tricky. So again, I'm buying this for the sake of completing the series. Another excellent series. Needs no introduction.

3: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ($2): Video games have an uncanny ability to make me interested in things I didn't enjoy before. Sports are a good example, as I was never a sports fan until I played the video games. The same applies to some movie franchises. I hope this game will do the same for Lord of the Rings. I've never been a fan of the movies, but according to reviews this seems to be a great game, so it might even get me into the series. Or hopefully, at the very least, it should justbe a fun game.

4: AirBlade ($2): This is one I used to own several years ago but it got broken. I'm excited to play this game again because I remember really liking it, but that's about all I remember about this game. Even reading reviews of it hasn't really jogged my memory, but I bet I'll remember it when I play it again.

5: Intellivision Lives! ($3): I'm a big fan ofretro compilations, especially the ones for these pre-NES systems because this is really the best way to enjoy these games (downloading them individually would be silly), and these compilations usually have tons of games in them (Atari Anthology has about 80 games, Activision Anthology has about 50, and Intellivision Lives has about 40). This actuallymight be the one I'm most excited to play. It might be the first one I play when I get this package.

6: Metal Arms: Glitch in the System ($3): Two words. Hidden gem. I never really heard of this game, until I won an Ebay auction a few months ago for a pack of PS2 demo disks, and this was one of the demos. I played it, and fell in love with it. This is an awesome shooter. Kinda kidlike graphics but brutal difficulty that only the toughest gamers can survive in. It's also an over-the-shoulder view, kinda like Resident Evil 4 (What I like to call "2nd-Person View), although the controls are way better than RE4's.

7: NBA Live 2004 ($1): Another one I discovered in the demo disks. Struck me as pretty fun. Although I've always been a fan of the NBA Live series. My most played PC game, with the exception of The Sims, RollerCoaster Tycoon and Doom, is NBA Live 2000, which I used to play a lot on my old computer.

8: NCAA Gamebreaker 2003 ($1): Believe it or not, I've been looking for this particular gamefor a while. That's because my favorite football game is NFL GameDay 2003 (the GameDay series is very underappreciated in my opinion.). This is the college football equivilent of GameDay 2003, and you can build up players on Gamebreaker and then transfer them to GameDay, which I thought would be fun. Just to add a little bit to my already favorite football game.

9: ESPN NFL Football ($1): Another football series I enjoyed, although not as much as GameDay. I got ESPN NFL 2K5 on the Xbox, but my Xbox isn't working reliably right now, so I wanted to get the PS2 version. But the PS2 version is out of stock at Gamestop, so I went with the previous game in the series instead.

So there you have it. Not a bad game in the pack. Looks likeI've got tons of gaming fun heading my way. I'll give you more in-depth thoughts on a few of these once I play them. Yes, I actually play the games I buy! I don't think I'll ever understand people who collect games for the sake of collecting. I buy these to play them! But whatever. That was for you LazyHoboGuy.


From Paradise to Popcorn Farts: The Story of G4

My discovery of G4. I'd describe it as a life-changing moment. I don't remember what year it was, but it seems like a lifetime ago. It was about 6 or 7 years ago. I was hitting my peak of video game nerdiness, when I discovered a TV station completely devoted to video games.

Needless to say, I felt like a kid in a candy store. The amount of video game-related TV was just astonishing. If you weren't around to see some of the shows that were popping up on that channel, man you missed a lot.

From Cinematech, the show that broadcast nothing but video game trailers, to Cheat, the show devoted to cheat codes and walkthroughs, Electric Playground and Judgement Day, two shows hosted by colorful gaming personalities Victor Lucas and Tommy Tallarico (the former show devoted to game previews, the latter to reviews).

We had Arena, which is one of the most kick-butt shows of all time. It took multiplayer video games and pit two teams of gamers against each other and turned it into a sport. Filter counted down "Top Ten" lists of games.

Probably the most popular show on G4 was X-Play, previously known as Extended Play, a show with both previews and reviews, but completely different from Electric Playground and Judgement Day. Although the longer X-Play continued, the more silly and gimmicky it got, I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

But my favorite show on G4 was always Icons, later renamed Gamemakers. It was a 30-minute documentary show, and each episode covered a different "Icon" from the video game industry, either a major game company, game series or game creator. Highly informative but hugely entertaining for fans of the industry.

It was just, perfection. But unfortunately, it didn't last forever. Soon enough, G4 brought in a new president, Neal Tiles. G4 started slowly dropping their video game programming in favor of bringing in a bunch of random male-centered programming. Almost like G4 was trying to become a poor man's Spike TV. They started bringing in re-runs of Cops, and showing them for hours at a time. Then they added stuff like Totally Outrageous Behavior and Whacked Out Videos. They also brought in Cheaters. All these shows, as well as several others like them, replaced the video game programming.

So they basically became a channel devoted partly to syndicated shows, partly to infomercials late at night, with a little bit of original programming sprinkled in. There's still a little bit of game coverage on the channel. X-Play is still on the channel, and Attack of the Show has some video game-related news. And of course, they covered E3. But it's so half-hearted, not like it was in earlier years.Ultimately, the channel is just dominated by garbage to this day.

I've been wanting to get this off my chest for years, and it kinda feels good. I only wish I could use stronger language. G4, I hate you! And apparently you hate me too. For a little while, you gave me the greatest TV channel I've ever seen, only to snatch it away a few short years later. Thank you for turning an amazing TV channel into the exact same garbage we see on hundreds of other channels.

I also believe G4's downfall is one of the reasons why I don't follow gaming news as much as I used to. So G4 hasn't just hurt my TV viewing, it's also hurt my love for the gaming industry.So, in conclusion, damn you Neal Tiles, damn you Comcast, and DAMN YOU G4!

Dear Game Industry: I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed.

Every year around the time of E3, I think about the current state of the video game industry. I watched some of the E3 coverage on G4. Now, G4 is a whole nother rant I want to go on, but I'm not going to do that here. Leave a comment if you want me to do that on my next blog. My views are probably in line with most gamers on that.

But getting back to E3. I watched the coverage on G4 this year and once again I frankly wasn't impressed. A lot of sequels and retreads. Even the new original IPs discussed on the show still looked exactly the same as games I've played a million times already. Either the game industry is just out of new ideas or they're just playing it safe because you can't take as many risks when development costs are so high. Either way, it baffles me that people are still buying the same games over and over again.

I still don't own a current-gen console. Luckily I have a friend named Adam who owns a PS3. The other night we were hanging out, and we were kinda bored so we decided to play some PS3. I'm trying to remember which games we played. I know we played Modern Warfare 2, LittleBigPlanet and Mortal Kombat vs. D.C, and maybe one other which I can't quite remember.

I wasn't impressed with any of those games. Modern Warfare 2 is the same first-person shooter I've played a bazillion times before. LittleBigPlanet was kinda interesting but it got boring after only a few minutes. Mortal Kombat vs. D.C. struck me as Mortal Kombat Armageddon with slightly tighter controls, but since it had such few features, I could see it getting boring in less than a few days as well.

In each case, as per usual with the current-gen consoles, if I had dropped $60 on one of those games, I would've felt like I had been mugged at gunpoint on the subway.

I don't like to complain about graphics either, but come on, without an HD television, PS3 and 360 games still looked like slightly polished PS2 games. With how many years have passed since the release of these consoles, does this mean that this is all these consoles are capable of? They might look better with HD, but come on. From the time of the Atari 2600, up until the PS2, we've been using basically the same TVs. Now, all of a sudden, we have to buy a new version of a TV just to get better graphics? I think that indicates that current technology has pretty much hit its peak. Which is probably why game companies are trying to move to 3D. But is that going to be any more than a gimmick? Time will tell.

Speaking of gimmicks, I finally got to sit down and spend some time with a Wii. My friend Doug got a Wii last week. Now, that's fun. I'm not sure how fun it would be after about a week of playing, but it's definitely fun at first. But at least it's something different from what I've been playing. I could see myself buying one some time, but I'd probably only play it every once in a while.

But man, I really thought I would have bought a current-gen console by now. I figured I'd just stay a few years behind, taking advantage of lower prices from older used games. But now it appears Microsoft, Sony, EA and other companies are starting to take steps to discourage the buying of used games. That's really disappointing, because I think it will eventually lead to used games being phased out completely. I don't think any game that's coming out today is truly worth $60. If I thought it was worth it, I'd be paying it, but I'm not.

So this went a lot longer than I expected, and I didn't quite touch on everything I wanted to. But oh well. I guess I won't be buying a current-gen console in 2010. I will instead focus on building my PS2 collection. It's at 180 games now, and looking at my wishlist, there are more than enough games I'm dying to have, to make it up to 200 and beyond. Plus there's plenty of Gamecube, Xbox, N64 and PS1 games I still need to play. Call me stuck in the past, but I'm enjoying gaming as much as ever.

There are probably enough games on those consoles to keep me busy forever. So as I look in disappointment at the current direction of the game industry, I'm still having fun with games. And I guess that's all that matters. So, thanks for reading.

My return to Gamespot, and 3 Konami PS2 games.

I'm back on Gamespot, and man it's beena crazy month. Good to see everyone here.

As for why I've been gone. It's a long story, but I'll try to keep this as short as possible. My house has sustained some water damage over the years, and my insurance denied me so I haven't been able to get it fixed. Worse, someone called the town building code inspector and tipped him off about my house. So he wanted to condemn my house.

Over about 3 weeks, it was a race against the clock with me and about 15 of my friends and family, trying to get the house up to code. I skipped a mortgage payment to have money for materials, because I can't get credit or a loan in this economy. Most of us didn't know what the hell we were doing, but luckily one of my friends is a contractor and taught us how to fix the house.

After weeks of hard work, tearing down and replacing several floors and ceilings, as well as a few walls, we managed to get the house up to code, and the inspector is off my back. None of these dozen or so people were paid a dime for their work, it was all out of the goodness of their hearts. It was really incredible.

In the process, my computer was broken. i'm using a laptop at the moment. Once I install the drivers needed to run my Eyetoy as a webcam, I'll make another video for you guys and probably show you some of the repairs we made.

Anyway, back to gaming. my next blog will be a pretty big opinion piece about this generation of gaming. But in the meantime, my PS2 collection has reached 179 with a close friend of mine giving me three Konami games. Silent Hill 4, Silent Hill Origins, and Neo Contra.

I'm not the biggest fan of Silent Hill. Actually, outside of Resident Evil, i'm not really a big fan of the survival horror genre at all, and I've only really liked about half of the Resident Evil games I've played at that. But, from what I've played so far, both Silent Hill 4 and Origins are solid games. I'll give more in-depth thoughts after I've played them more.

Neo Contra is more of my kind of game. Blasting stuff, really cool. I've been a huge fan of the Contra franchise since Day 1. From what I've played, Neo Contra is a solid title, definitely worth checking out.

So that's about it. Again, I'll give you more thoughts on Neo Contra when I play more of it. I'm going to try to do some reviews soon, both text and video reviews.

Best PS2 game ever, maybe the best game ever, and it's free!

If you have enough hardware, that is.

Yeah, this really could be the best PS2 game ever made, if you even count it as a PS2 game.

So, my birthday was a few days ago. A friend of mine gave me a great gift, a DVD/CD burner for PC. The first day I got it, I put it to some seriously good use. Getting SNES Station.

SNES Station is a program that you burn to a DVD, and it allows you to play downloaded Super Nintendo games on your PS2. You burn the games to the disk with the SNES Station program.

Unbeknownst to me, I've actually been collecting all the necessary hardware for this for other purposes. You basically need four things. A PS2, a computer, a DVD burner and a way to play import games on your PS2 (either a modchip or what I have, a swap magic and flip top). Apparently the same lockout chip that prevents you from playing import games also prevents homebrew games.

It was actually very easy and very quick to download and burn. I found SNES Station with over 600 games already in it (basically the entire U.S. Super Nintendo library), and once I found a YouTube tutorial on how to burn it, the whole process took less than an hour or so.

The first night I played about a dozen or so games. I played Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, Mega Man X, Mortal Kombat, Earthbound, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Street Fighter 2 The New Challengers, basically most of the old-school hits. I also played Final Fight, I love that. Power Rangers, Saturday Night Slam Masters, Earthworm Jim, I even tried out the SNES Monopoly and other stuff I hadn't played before. The hardest part is just deciding what game to play. From literally hundreds to choose from, many of them legitimate great games. It's really overwhelming.

My only complaint is it's kinda glitchy. Some games have a bad frame rate, sometimes on several games your character turns invisible for several seconds when you get hit, sometimes there are sound problems, sometimes the game freezes when going from a game back to the main menu or when you're loading a game from the memory card. Speaking of the memory card, sometimes it doesn't save right. And, I've noticed a few games don't even work at all. These glitches aren't really surprising considering this is homebrew software, but these are just minor negatives against the many huge positives of this.

If you take it all collectively and you actually count this as a PS2 game, I'd probably call it the best PS2 game ever made. But since it's really just a piece of homebrew software, not in any way endorsed by Sony or Nintendo, and you actually have to burn the DVD yourself, I don't really consider it a part of the PS2's library. But it is a freakin' awesome thing you can do with your PS2. As if the entire PS2 and PS1 libraries weren't enough already...

The YouTube tutorial that taught me how to download and burn the SNES Station

If you want any more information, just leave a comment here.

My first video review! Check it out.

I posted a video review of the Dragon Ball Z Arcade Stick Controller for the PS1/PS2. You can view it HERE

I worked pretty hard on this video, made it pretty elaborate for such primitive recording (I recorded it with an Eye Toy, with a computer that was a in a different room from the room I recorded it in. So I had to keep going from room to room. Plus my computer sucks so bad that a 3-minute clip took 10 minutes to save. I edited together 25 clips to make this vid.

Please check out the vid, I tried to have fun with it and make it kinda entertaining. If you watch it, please post your thoughts either here or on the video comments. I'd love to hear your opinions! This was my first video of this type, so go easy, heh.

9 More PS2 Games.

I haven't written a blog in a while, but I thought I'd come on to talk about my new games.

I can rarely resist an offer for $3 and lower used PS2 games with free shipping, especially when they often ship with the far superior UPS rather than the cheaper USPS I selected on the order form. So I placed another order on Gamestop, this time for 9 games totaling about $27. Here are my initial thoughts on each of them.

Moto GP ($2): A PS2 launch title by Namco. Pretty basic game but definitely fun.

Zone of the Enders ($3): Gamestop screwed up big time in my favor. They accidentally sent me the much more rare and expensive sequel, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner instead, which sells on Gamestop for $20 used, and goes about $25 to $30 or more used on Ebay or Amazon. Thanks Gamestop.

Dragon Ball Z Budokai ($3): I played this a few times before and kinda liked it. A few weeks ago, I also bought the boxed set Dragon Ball Z Trilogy, which contains the PS2 versions of Budokai Tenkaichi, Budokai Tenkaichi 2, and Super Dragon Ball Z. So, 4 games in the span of a few weeks is easily a record amount of games I've ever bought based on a cartoon I've NEVER seen (dead serious). I also bought a Dragon Ball Z Arcade stick for PS2, and I'm in the process of making an elaborate video review of it. All these DBZ purchases happening so close to each other is a complete coincidence.

Pipemania ($1.50): The most recent game in the package, released in 2008. It's a remake of an old Amiga puzzle game. It kicks ass actually. I love it. It's definitely a puzzle game in the truest sense of the word. Pieces of pipe come up and you have to create a pipe going from the beginning to end, trying to make it as long as possible so you get the most points, but if you take too much time, the flooze (slime liquid that flows through the pipe) starts leaking out and if too much leaks out, you lose. There's more to it than that but that's the basic premise. Best $1.50 I've ever spent I think.

Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 ($3): I'm a big fan of the Tony Hawk type of action sports game, but I've already played nearly all the actual Tony Hawk games that are worth playing. So I picked this up. To be honest, this is the only one of these 9 games that I have kind of negative feelings about. The control feels stiff and unresponsive. While the control layout is basically identical to Tony Hawk, it feels very different. I still kinda like it though.

Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer ($4): Now, this is what I'm talking about! This game is awesome. I can't believe how great it is. This one definite captures the essense of surfing. Again it feels a lot like Tony Hawk, but it's on a completely different level, with the surfing. First of all, I'm surprised how great it is, secondly I'm even more surprised that they never made a sequel. Maybe it didn't sell too well. I dunno. But I love it.

Eye Toy Groove ($3): The third Eye Toy game I've bought (Play and Antigrav being the other two). I like this a lot, although I wish it had some more music. It's fun but pretty basic.

Oni ($3): The only PS2 game to be developed by Bungie. But it doesn't play anything like Halo. It's a completely different genre. But it's a cool beat-em-up though. The controls are great.

Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil ($5): The most expensive game in the package at a whopping 5 bucks. This demonstrates how Gamestop's prices occasionally differ wildly from the rest of the market. This game routinely goes for $20 or more used on Ebay. Some games are like that, very cheap on Gamestop compared to the rest of the market, while other games are more expensive at Gamestop. You just gotta know your prices. But anyway, yeah, this game's awesome. It's a platformer with 2D mechanics but 3D graphics, and it plays so great that it makes me wonder why we don't see more of these. I wouldn't say it's better than some of the full 3D platformers, but I think it carves out a definite niche for itself.

So that's all. It's getting kinda rare lately that I buy so many games and end up liking all of them, but the only game in the order that I didn't do tons of research on was Pipemania, which was more of a last-minute impulse buy (but ended up being one of my favorite games of the package).

This is why the PS2 is my favorite console.

I woke up early yesterday (Presidents' Day) morning. I had the day off from work, so me and a couple buddies of mine decided to go target shooting. After a long day of walking around and shooting, I came home and found out that the UPS guys didn't have the day off from work.

The package contained 5 PS2 games, bringing my PS2 collection to a new total of 161 games. The thing about me, though, is when I'm feeling tired and pooped out, I usually don't feel like playing games. But I popped them in anyway to at least test them out.

It went pretty well, all things considered. Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild didn't work, so I'm getting a replacement copy sent to me. Soldier of Fortune is a fun little FPS, but I couldn't even figure out how to reach the end of the first level. All the doors were locked, and the level just goes around in circles. Mafia seems like a decent game but I found it frustrating at first, and the driving controls aren't the best. Rayman 2: Revolution seems great to me, a lot of variety in the gameplay, a very solid platformer.

But I didn't have too much fun with any of those games, because of how tired I was. It's rare that a game actually breaks through me and my mood, and actually strikes me and makes me pay attention. It's rare when a game makes me fall in love with it, when I'm not really in the mood to fall in love with a game.

But the fifth game in the package, Escape From Monkey Island, did that. I was tired and impatient, and I saw the testing of the games as almost a chore. But once I played Escape From Monkey Island, I woke up and took notice. I fell in love with the game, and in those moments, none of that other crap mattered.

Monkey Island is an adventure game in the truest old-school sense of the word. It mostly boils down to just problem-solving and dialog. There's no actual combat to speak of, you can't even die. You just go around talking to people, and figuring out how to solve the puzzles to advance the story.

The game is bursting with charm. The main character, Guybrush Threepwood, is a total nerd, definitely not your normal hero, but he's lovable and hilarious. The non-player characters have tons of personality as well. The dialog is hugely entertaining and much of the time, very funny.

It definitely hearkens back to the old-school adventure games, which are pretty much extinct today. There's still a few of them out there, but for the most part, they're gone. It seems like almost every video game today, regardless of genre, has some sort of combat or action involved. I guess that's due to gamers. It's almost like they have to kill something or at least beat something up just to have fun in a video game. I suppose that's why Escape From Monkey Island never got that much attention on the PS2.

While I'm only at the beginning of the game, I definitely see Escape From Monkey Island becoming one of my favorite PS2 games of all time. Its uniqueness, its charm, it's simply unmatched on the PS2. I just, love it. While I can't recommend it to everyone, I will say that if you're looking for something different, definitely give it a chance.

This is really why the PS2 is my favorite console. As soon as I feel I've pretty much played everything worth playing, I find another game that just blows my mind and excites me all over again. I'm so happy right now. Only problem is, I need to buy a new memory card. My current seven cards are all full.

My favorite George Washington Quotes:

"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

My favorite Abraham Lincoln Quotes:

"A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have."

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. "

"Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."

Buy online more! A response to JustPlainLucas

JustPlainLucas posted a very well-written blog entry the other day, basically encouraging people to buy from local stores, rather than online, because a lot of online retailers avoid local sales taxes, and the government needs the money right now. A lot of you have probably already seen his blog, but if you haven't, please view it here. If you haven't seen it, definitely close this page now and go there. Then come back after :)

Anyway, I was going to make this a comment on JPL's blog, but it ended up being too long, so I decided to make a whole nother blog about it (with JPL's permission). Now, a lot of this has to do with politics and economics, so it's not really a gaming blog (sorry everyone).

Alright, JPL, I think you make very interesting points but I respectfully disagree with your recommendation for people to pay more in taxes.

Evidence has compelled me to believe that the reason why the government deficit is out of control is not because the government doesn't get enough revenue. It's because the government spends and wastes too much. The evidence is clear. Revenues have gone up greatly over the past decade, but spending has gone up faster, too fast for the revenues to keep up.

No government in America, whether local, county, state or federal, they don't have a revenue problem. They have spending problems. So giving them more of our money, doesn't make any sense, because unless there's serious change in government, it won't matter if they get all the revenue in the world. They'll just spend more to make up for it. That's how the government always operates, and the only way to change it is to change the government, a near-impossible task.

Now, let me make this clear. I wouldn't really have a problem with paying more in taxes, if I felt it was being spent properly. But unfortunately, that's not the case. I feel that my tax dollars are being wasted on needless government programs, worthless pork projects, crony payoffs lining the pockets of big business, paying the wages of Wall Street regulators that sit all day watching porn on their computers, the list goes on and on. This is not just a problem in the federal government. Town and state governments waste in similar ways.

One big reason why I feel my tax dollars are wasted is because government workers have tenure. Now I don't have any problem with people having job security, but they pretty much can't be fired for anything. There are even public school teachers who had sex with their students, and they're still on the government payroll because it's impossible to fire a government worker, no matter how bad the offense is. A lot of government workers slack off and don't work efficiently because of this as well.

So unless and until we can change all of this, I encourage everybody out there to buy online more, from retailers that avoid sales taxes. I also encourage you to find ways to pay less in federal income tax. A great way to do that is to give more money to charity, and then write it off on your taxes. That way, at least some of your money will be going to a far greater cause.

In the interest of full disclosure here, though, I live in New Hampshire, which has no state or local sales tax, or income tax. So it really doesn't make any difference to me, whether I buy in physical stores or online, I never pay any sales tax. This message is mostly for other people who don't have the luxury of living in New Hampshire.

Now, of course, if you're happy with the performance of your government, then by all means, give them your money. But, not too many people are nowadays.

In closing, here, I want to thank JPL for bringing this topic to light. It really is an interesting thought. But, as someone who's never been the biggest fan of governments in the first place, I don't think giving them more money will help much.

Thanks for reading my rants. I doubt too many people read all the way up to this point, but if you did, thanks a lot. My next blog will be about video games, I promise. Heh.

My favorite quotes on the subject:

"We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." – Winston Churchill (1903)

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." – P.J. O'Rourke

"Governments harangue about deficits to get more revenue so they can spend more." – Allan H. Meltzer (1993)