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Freedom is a Light for which Many have Died in Darkness -- GW 1796

Peace and Clean Water

Parallax & Contrast

A Tale of Two Games

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Well--I just shelved the most overrated game of the year until they fix the bugs.  I'm having some rather annoying bugs in the single player and the online is a complete wash, because I haven't been able to get online.  It also took three days before I could even download the 40mb update, in the interim I had to sign out of the PSN when I wanted to play.  Probably the most annoying thing is the in-game advertisements.  It's ridiculously infuriating to have pop-ups encouraging me to purchase items through the online store when infact the online store doesn't function (even though I have zero intention of buying anything). So far I haven't found a way to turn these off.  Even more annoying are the pop-ups asking me to join facebook, I wonder how much money Zuckerberg paid Rockstar to litter their game with social media garbage.  Zuck once said that people who trust facebook are "dumb f*cks," methinks Rockstar has the same opinion.   Considering the record profits the game is making, the adverts for micro-transactions seem extremely exploitative.  I could dwell on everything that I dislike about GTA V, like its faux character driven mission selection or its perverse obsession with headshots, but maybe for another time.  I must be having buyer's remorse.

This whole experience has reminded me why I don't like so called sandbox games.  They pretend to offer choices, but as soon as I try to make tactful decisions or be creative, the game sidelines me and puts me back on rails.  It always feels like the more choices I'm offered the fewer effective strategies I actually have.  I have about as much freedom and choice as I would in a game of pinball.  The illusion of the open world tricks me into thinking that I'm having a unique experience, however the truth is there's still only one preferred payoff, which is programmed by the developers and not created by the player.  This is noticeable in games that have achievement qualifiers at the end of each mission.  Sure, I can be creative and still beat the mission, but since I only got 14 of 15 headshots I don't get the maximum payoff, a gold medal.  In an effort to get the best score I have to abandon my preferred strategy in favor of the developers strategy, and that's not the type of choice I consider appealing in a game that's supposed to be open world.  The problem is that this system forces players away from creative decision making and encourages them to pursue a predetermined course of action in which there are specific rules and methods that must be followed if one is to receive the maximum payoff.   The result is that true decision making is stifled and players end up having nearly identical experiences. I know it all boils down to personal preference, but this stuff really degrades the emersion factor for me.

I mentioned this to a friend the other day and he highly recommended I play Dishonored.  He seems to think it might offer the type of creativity I'm looking for in an open world game.  So, I might be playing that soon.

I recently played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.  Unfortunately the game has some performance issues on PS3, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was a wonderful change of pace and extremely satisfying.  The game is not difficult by any means, nor is it very long at about 3 hours.  The gameplay is simple, you control two brothers who must overcome a series of obstacles in tandem.  Since you control two characters at the same time youre constantly facing the biggest obstacle in the game, your own coordination or lack thereof.   Some of the obstacles are so simple they require very little thought, yet I found myself having to focus intently on synchronization and dexterity.  There were even times that I had to stop, take a deep breath, and focus just to walk down a winding path.  The greatest adversary in the game was myself, and that lead to some really enjoyable feelings of emersion which I havent felt in any other games I've played.  It was like the characters bonded with me, which elicited even more intense feelings during the games emotional sequences.  It's an incredibly unique experience and I will definitely play it again.

Wow--now I get pop-up spam when I login.  I hope this isn't part of the change they're making.

Broken Resolution: GTA V Safezone?

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I broke my new year's resolution and paid full price for a stand alone videogame in 2013.  I bent the rules for BioShock Infinte and Aliens, but after nine months I finally succumbed to GTA V.

My preferred settings are (PS3):

Aspect Ratio: Just Scan

Audio Output:  TV

Controls:  Alternate

Vehicle Camera Hight:  High

Target Mode: Free Aim

Invert Look:  On

Weapon Target:  Complex

Motion Sensor:  Off

PS Store:  Off

Tooltips:  Off

Facebook:  WTF?

SafeZone Size:  Set to max screen size on Just Scan (the default is minimum)

What is the Safezone size?



For God or the Public Enemy: BioShock Infinite Commentary

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Intro: The internet is loaded with interpretation about Bioshock Infinite, there you can find a wealth of plot details, easter eggs, and explanations about the game's ending.  There's also no shortage of criticism, but this blog is intended as neither an iteration of the story or criticism of the game's mechanisms.  This blog will attempt to provide a preliminary videogame context by discussing the historical background for the main characters and city of Columbia, as well as establishing themes (broad patterns) represented within the game.  Themes can be used to evaluate games, however I shall only call-out themes during the current blog rather than discuss them.  I can safely say that you wont see this kind of commentary anywhere else on the internet.  Oh yeah--Spoilers!

One of the first details we learn about the protagonist Booker Dewitt is that he was posthumously commissioned with the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment during the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890.  The incident is one of the longstanding examples of gun confiscation leading to forced relocation, if not outright genocide.  Unfortunately for the Lakota it meant the latter.  Five-hundred armed troopers of the 7th Cavalry systematically confiscated firearms from the 120 or so Lakota men stationed at the civilian camp.  Nearly all the Lakota had been disarmed when one man apparently shouted in protest, "this is my gun and I bought it with my own money."  Although many details of the event are muddled, accounts indicate troopers attempted to wrestle the gun away from the man when a shot was fired.  Three-hundred Lakota were left almost defenseless and gunned down in the ensuing massacre.  Although 31 troopers were also killed in the incident, it is believed that at least half if not all of those casualties were the result of fratricide--friendly fire.  There is no question that several friendly fire casualties were caused by the reckless use of the Hotchkiss cannon.  The Cavalry carried four Hotchkiss (42mm) Mountain Guns capable of firing 10 rounds per-minute, each round consisting of a canister holding 30 (.50 caliber) lead balls.  This amount of fire power would have projected a lead fan several feet in width that indiscriminately killed friendly troops still conducting searches amongst the Lakota.  At the time, news of the heroic deeds of the 7thCavalry was welcomed news by the press and the Army awarded 20 soldiers with the Medal of Honor.  Presumably Booker would have been the 21st medal earner, an accomplishment that forever marred his inner psyche.   

This leads to the first two themes I identified in Infinite: gun confiscation and forced relocation.  These are two themes that Booker already has in his background and are played out through the city of Columbia.  One of the major missions in the game is to steal weapons from the Columbian guard and give them to the Vox Pupil revolutionaries.  Forced relocation is prevalent throughout the game but isn't clearly fleshed out until we learn that the Lutece twins have actually coerced Booker into kidnapping Elizabeth.  Unfortunately, I'm not going to discuss themes at length in this blog because I'm trying to keep it short.  Seriously. 

Once Booker is baptized he's allowed to enter Columbia and is greeted by statues of Gorge Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson.  All three men are clad in gold, wearing togas, and each holding a symbolic object of their virtue.  Washington holds a sword, a symbol of war and law and order.  This image of the first president is reminiscent of the Apotheosis of Washington, which is a fresco painted on the ceiling of the Capitol Building in Washington DC.  In the mural Washington is depicted wearing a toga, ascending to heaven, and flanked by a pantheon of Greco/Roman gods.  Above his head are the words "E Pluribus Unum," which is Latin for "out of many, one."  The Apotheosis of Washington literally translates to: out of many, Washington rises to the rank of god.  Below his feet is a scene of war, where a woman raises sword against kings and tyrants in a fight for freedom.  This female warrior, a personification of war and allegory for a nation, is named Columbia.  Hence, the U.S. capital is known as the District of Columbia.  At the beginning of the game Elizabeth is held within the Statue of Columbia on Monument Island, a symbol of the floating city.  The game foreshadows that Elizabeth (the lamb) will become Comstock's successor and lead Columbia to war against the U.S., ultimately elevating Comstock (the prophet) to the position of god.  The imagery of Washington is rebranded throughout Columbia as statues of Comstock show him with sword in hand.  Ascension is probably the easiest theme in Infinite to recognize because symbolism at the very beginning of the game right to the end has Booker constantly moving upwards.  Whether flying from the light house to Columbia in the beginning of the game, or rising from Rapture to the light house in the end of the game, ascension is a clear theme.

Benjamin Franklin is also depicted (in lesser status) on the Apotheosis of Washington.  He is shown taking school lessons from Minerva, the goddess of science and invention.  In Columbia, the statue of Franklin is associated with the key, which is symbolic for academia and science.  Franklin was also a well known author and publisher in his day.  In 1751 he published a very controversial essay titled Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, Peopling of Countries, ect.  In which he suggested the preservation of the "American race" through population control such as immigration and breeding.  One of his statements argued for immigration control because people of color had countries of their own, and even the "swarthy" whites of Europe were of mixed complexion, whereas white-Saxons were confined to the small corners of England and Scandinavia.  To this end he argues in favor of an America with exclusively white immigrant populations and the perseverance of the white-Saxon complexion.  He adds that the Saxon-Americans needed to share the new world with Native Americans because the indigenous populations were the progenitors of the land.  Although Franklin owned slaves, he condemned slavery for economic reasons, but mostly for the risk of darkening and maligning the hereditary pool of white-Saxons. 

It's easy for modern readers to describe these sentiments as racist, however they were more accurately eugenicist.  The belief of a white America was widely held among aritocrats of the time and was at least partially influential in Charles Darwin's publication:  On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.  [Yes, that is the real title of the book.]  Eugenics was born out of Charles Darwin, who himself was obsessed with purity of breeding.  Darwin and his family pedigree were well known in England for promoting the Poor Laws, which restricted people of certain social-economic classes from having children.  Fixated with racial purity, Darwin himself married his first cousin--with whom he had 10 children--then after the death of his wife, he married his mothers sister.  The only reason I mention Darwin is due to his proliferation within the eugenics movement, which is a major theme in Infinite, and he bears a striking resemblance to Comstock.

The social philosophy of Columbia is strictly eugenicist, people with desired traits are encouraged to have children, and people with less than desirable traits are segregated or discouraged from reproducing.  During the early 1900s the U.S. was the first country to openly adopt forced sterilization under their eugenics program.  The topic of a genetic purity through nationalism (not strictly racial purity) would have been a viable subject matter within the political theater of the day.  Propaganda scattered throughout Columbia urges racial purity and calls for restrictions on "foreigners."  The essence of Columbia is bound by a conscience of faith in nationalism, for which there is a deeply rooted background.  The theme of ethnic purity is plastered on the walls of Columbia.

Thomas Jefferson is not depicted in the Apotheosis of Washington, however his role as a founding father is more than noteworthy.  People around the world know Jefferson as the author of the Declaration of Independence.  He also wrote another very important political document known as The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom.  The act is short, easy to read, and more to the point than this blog.  In Columbia, the statue of Jefferson holds a scroll, for all intents and purposes the scroll is blank.  Jefferson understood religious freedom, insomuch that the name of the act is embossed on his tombstone.  Legislation can be enforced at the edge of a sword, and bad choices can be made in the pursuit of law and order, but Jefferson believed that none should be coerced against their conscience to follow a monopoly over truth.  Religious freedom is a dominant theme in Infinite, free mind and natural rights cease to exist in the presence of oppression and revolution.  The narrative builds tension by casting this theme into disarray, and does it ever.  There are very few references to Jefferson in Bioshock Infinite, but perhaps I'll recognize more connections on a second play through.

There are two more themes I'd like to briefly mention.  During Elizabeth's first introduction to Booker we get to visit her personal library, where she picks up a quantum physics book and throws it at Booker, she literally throws the book at him.  Then she picks up another book, The Odyssey, and clutches it to her breast.  Two major themes running through The Odyssey are homecoming and the guest/host relationship.  When we first meet Odysseus in the The Odyssey he has been away from home for 19 years, and on the 20th year he finally has his homecoming only to find his house in disorder.  In Infinite, Elizabeth has been living in the Comstock timeline for 19 years and the Lutece twins eagerly await Booker to rescue her and bring her home to the proper timeline.  Unfortunately, along the way Booker continuously violates the hospitality of the guest/host relationship.  On the other hand the Lutece twins also violate this relationship by kidnapping Booker and coercing him to believe false memories in order commit atrocities.  The game becomes quiet convoluted as these themes play out.

The reason I wrote this blog is to demonstrate what a videogame context might look like.  I'm not saying it's a good example, or that even anything I say is right, but this is the direction a written context would take.  I've been frustrated lately with the gaming industry's complete lack of understanding in this area.  I've heard very well known high profile game commentators discuss videogame context and completely butcher their argument because they don't know what a context actually is.  One gentleman in particular has posted several videos on youtube criticizing the Australian government for their attempt censor Saints Row 4.  His basic argument is that the censors aren't considering drug use and/or sexual violence within the context of the game.  The obvious problem with his argument is that their currently exists no such context for Saints Row 4.  It is a fallacy to state that something is being taken out of context, when infact there is no context.  Once a context is developed themes can be identified, and only then can a proper evaluation of the game take place.  If this all seems overly academic it's because it is academic.

So, now that you've suffered through the end of this, please keep in mind that most of what I talked about is within the first half-hour of the game.  As you can imagine, I could provide much more context or commentary if desired. 

[Sorry there's no pictures, the original blog included pictures but GS is glitching and telling me each photo is like 20,000 characters long.  I tried like ten times then gave up, I can't even post a single photo.  I can't even read a PM someone sent me.  Does anything work on this POS site anymore?]

Thought Food for GS

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Well, people can be indignant assholes, something easily seen in the comments section of the GTA V review.  I've been called many things on this website, idealistic, full of shit, gay, stupid, Rtard'd, and delusional.  That last one is really the only one that makes me mad, but I never respond to insults because I prefer to let indignancy fester.  And to think, some of those things were said to me after I encouraged people to stay on GS after last years' bull-shit.  Look's like I was wrong.  But I can say, whole-hearted, that the last thing in the world you want is for me to loose my dignancy.  I'm getting pretty close, however it has nothing to do with what was said about me, but what I'm not allowed to say.  I just had all the comments I posted today deleted--for no apparent reason--other than this website is just a piece of shit right now.  Trust me GS, you don't want to lose a user like me, I'm part of your base audience, not those flamers posting hate on the GTA comments--yet I get deleted! 

Remmeber when I spoke of an act of faith from GS, except it didn't come from GS, it came from the users.  The differnce now is that the users of this site are no longer willing to give it away, and I'm not sure GS can earn it back.  Unless you can flame-on for Feedbackula--they don't give a shit! 

I'm of two minds right now.  I can gladly swear off GS, which I think is inevitable at this point.  Or, I can give one last ditch effort to salvage the remaining enthusiasm I once had by posting some blogs from my unpublished archive.  To be honest I have zero confidence that I will be able to post this blog right now.  Once....  Twice.... viola

It's a Funny Thing: About the Future

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I don't like making predictions, especially about the future.  In a few short months two new consoles will hit store shelves and dozens of new games, TBA peripheral devices, and commentary will be up for sale.  Clearly the PS4 has the upper-hand with preorders and will take an early lead. The Xbox1 isn't doing too bad either and will sell very well even though it's more expensive.  The PS4 and Xbox1 offer very similar experiences: the only visual difference will be with load screens and the quality of PC ports.  Digital media will rule: it's about the future.  Network reliability will depend on who gets hacked: more or less.  Exclusive titles will play a major role for each console: but it won't make a significant difference until the end of the consoles' cycle.  Both consoles will be available in stores right after launch: just don't wait too long before Christmas shopping (don't forget to put a big bow on it).  All launch titles will receive good to excellent scores--make sure to look for them used one week later--unless you bought digital copy: sorry.  Strange and unusual Indie games will launch new franchises.  Virtual-Reality headsets will change how games are designed: your friends will love watching you play it.  The Wii U will prelaunch in 2014 and dominate the gaming industry for 10-years.  Still having the same problem posting a blog on GS as I did one-year ago.  Maybe I should never make predictions, especially about the future ; )


Target Practice

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It's all about violence and videogames, gun violence and videogame violence.  Guns are designed with a simple yet sinister intention--to kill--and that's what makes them so interesting.  Guns are so fascinating that they have a tendency to take on a personality of their own.  Some people develop such an emotional attachment to their guns that they'll go as far as giving them a name.  Frontier legend Davy Crockett thoughtfully named his .40 caliber flint lock rifle Beautiful Betsy.  In videogames, guns can achieve the same level of notoriety as once famed legends of the American past.  In Borderlands we get our hands on Bessie, a sniper rifle with devastating power and accuracy.  CoD Black Ops features an operative holding a .45 caliber Colt 1911 embossed with Sally.  Sometimes games will simply refer to firearms by their cultural nicknames, like the Chicago Typewriter or Tommy Gun (.45 M1A1) in Resident Evil.  The idea of naming a gun might seem absurd and unnecessary, but these nicknames are affectionately assigned, and if anyone tries to take Betty away from me--they're gonna have to take my bullets first.  Digital bullets of course

Now stands mounting political pressure to stop videogame manufacturers from using digital images of real firearms in their games.  As I mentioned in my previous blog, the attempt to ban physical ownership of firearms is failing, so their going to try to ban digital guns.  Some people may find the notion laughable, but as I've said before, this matter shouldn't be taken lightly.  Yesterday, Moms Demand Action (for Gun Sense in America and Gun Sense Project) released their call to action to censor the use of firearms in videogames.  The report Game Over: Resetting the Relationship Between Video Game and Gun Manufacturers (pdf) portends that the alleged partnership between videogame makers and gun manufacturers is at least partially responsible for America's "gun problem."  The 16-page document illudes to a long held belief among anti-2nd amendment advocates that playing videogames with realistic guns--ipso facto--leads to the video gamer becoming a spree shooter. 

"For the sake of public safety, and the safety of their customers, the makers of these games should not enter into deals that connect fantasy to reality, promote the gun industry and spark ideas in the heads of individuals inclined to mass violence."  This is just the beginning.

Like I said in my previous blog, the powers that be are coming after our games.  Political correctness can easily go too far in an effort to make people feel more comfortable.  It's easy to dismiss this kind of stuff, point at all it's flaws, and say that nothing will ever come of it, but that may be niave.  They will not stop until their so-called science is put to shame. 

I haven't completely digested the document, but at first glance it looks to be a legislation primer designed to encourage new regulation in the name of public safety.  It's no surprise that I have a slurry of commentary on this matter.  More blogs about videogame violence are sure to follow.

"I am sorry to say I do doubt the honesty of many men that are called good at home, that have given themselves up to serve a party. I am no man's man. I bark at no man's bid. I will never come and go, and fetch and carry, at the whistle of the great man in the white house, no matter who he is. And if this petty, un-patriotic scuffling for men, and forgetting principles, goes on, it will be the overthrow of this one happy nation, and the blood and toil of our ancestors will have been expended in vain."-- Davy Crockett

Down in the Dumps

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Once upon a time videogames were so bad that Atari dumped tractor loads of unsold games into a New Mexico landfill. In 1983, the gaming industry lost all integrity and destroyed games because it was more profitable than distributing them.  The city of Alamogordo, New Mexico has agreed to let a Canadian production company to exhume all the old terrible Atari games rumored to be buried there.  The Atari 2600 game cartridges were reportedly crushed before their final internment, so why would anyone want to dig them up?  Probably to remind us that the gaming industry still lacks integrity.

Another upcoming film called Video Games: The Movie will including some well known figures from Gearbox, Epic Games, Blizzard, ect., The film will cover several topics in an attempt to portray the industry in a more positive light, in particular the link between video games and real-world violence (or the lack thereof).  I appreciate that video game violence will be addressed as a topic, however, I dont see the need for an industry of experts to defend themselves against a community of non-gamers.

In this clip from the film we hear the staple argument that parents are responsible for deciding what content is appropriate for their children, and it's followed by a myriad of terrible analogies.  Like this one from Tommy Tallarico--he said, "Violence unfortunately is a part of human nature. And last time I checked, Cain didn't bludgeon Abel with a Gameboy; Genghis Khan didn't have an Xbox Live account; and Hitler didn't play Crash Bandicoot.  I don't believe that video games are murder simulators; if anything, what the statistics prove is that it's exactly the opposite."  This analogy is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard.  I'd also be curious to see these statistics he's referring to.  These statements aren't coming from no-name activists pushing a social agenda, theyre coming from industry professionals who for all intents and purposes can be considered experts. 

The recent controversy surrounding videogame content should not be taken lightly, there is a concerted effort to censor the videogame industry.  California Senator Dianne Feinstein failed in her effort to restrict physical gun ownership, so now she's going after virtual guns.  During a speech in San Francisco, Feinstein threatened the videogame industry by saying developers need to start censoring the use of guns before Congress has to step in and do it for them.  Videogames have "a very negative role for young people, and the industry ought to take note of that," she said.  She continued to say that mass killers practice there evil deeds by playing shooters.

It doesnt stop there, President Obama's new gun control program includes $10 million in funding to investigate violence in entertainment, including videogames; specifically gun violence.  The research will be conducted by the Center for Disease Control and will focus on the cause and prevention of gun violence, including links between video games.  The study will look for a potential correlation between violent videogames and their impact on Americas gun crime.  Additionally, Senator Jay Rockefeller wants taxpayers to fund more videogame research through the National Academy of Sciences. 

If videogames are going to be scrutinized for their content, we must first have an appropriate context in which to evaluate them.  Context statements are not intended to be a chronological listing of the history of videogames or overviews of noteworthy developers of videogames.  Nor are they intended to be academic summaries of previous research--comprehensible only to professionals in the field.  A social, historical, or ethnographic context for videogames will include a statement that intends to provide an analytical framework for identifying and evaluating videogames by providing a focused and concise explanation of the temporal themes, types, and background that have influenced a community or culture over time.  By focusing on clear criteria, a good context will provide a template for identifying and developing a research design for the treatment of videogames in the analytical process.

A context for evaluating violence in videogames would need to establish thematic, temporal, and geographic parameters for defining what types of videogame violence are deemed significant.  What types of videogame violence are significant?  Once this question is answered a research design can be developed.  Without a context to define what types of violence are significant further research is essentially a waste of time.

Taxpayer funded studies mean nothing, documentary films defending the videogame industry mean nothing, and digging up 30-year Atari games means nothing unless we have a contextual framework that defines each game being inventoried.  In order to restore integrity within the videogame industry a said context must be developed per each game, otherwise all lower order research questions are insignificant.  I cannot stress the importance of this information, we can talk about content until were blue in the face, but it means nothing in absence of context.

Digging up 30-year old trash is a daunting task, Sounds pretty boring to me....

Did Atari make the right decision by burying the past? 

What Differnce Does It Make?

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I've been told that I take games too seriously--a statement that I wont deny.  I guess Breen Malmberg takes games pretty seriously too, because the gamer wrote Valve asking for a refund on the purchase of Bioshock Infinite.  Apparently, Breen couldn't play past the baptism sequence in the opening stage of the game due to religious conflicts.  It appears that Valve has refunded the money.  It never ceases to amaze me what a person can accomplish through a polite email, Please and Thank You go a long way too.  Personally, I choose to avoid Infinite for the time being due to issues I have with the game's recombinant take on history (a topic that I shall not discuss here).

Breen's actions remind me of a few times that I was so offended by the content of a game that I either quit playing, or begrudgingly continued playing while cursing under my breath.  Although I've never asked for my money back because of these matters, I have returned games for a full refund on three separate occasions.  The first game I ever returned was Metal Gear Solid for the Gamecube.  The managment told me it was against company policy to allow refunds for opened new games, but I convinced them--very politely--that the salesman had mislead me by saying the game was all-new when it was really just a port of the original, which I had already played.  I got all my money back. 

The second game I returned was Just Cause 1 for the PC.  The instruction manual clearly stated that you could crouch, however, the ability to crouch was completely absent in the controls.  The merchant told me it is was against company policy to accept returns on new items, but once again I was able to express my point and they refunded all my money.

A few years ago I purchased Red Alert 3 for the PS3.  The sound in the game was completely broken and I must have spent 4-hours alternating settings and the sound still never worked.  As it turned out, this was a well documented problem for many players.  Same story, I made my point politely and they refunded my money despite company policy.  It never ceases to amaze me what a polite Please and Thank You can accomplish.

On rare occasion the content of a game has offended me.  The treatment of the Boston Tea Party in AC3 comes to mind.  I have deep seeded conflicts with the way that event was portrayed because the Boston Tea Party is one of the most well known non-violent protests in the world.  The crowd calmly assembled, dumped the tea, and then quietly dispersed--AC3 turned it into a bloodbath.  That didn't stop me from finishing the game, but it will stop me from purchasing future installments of the series.

The only time I've outright quit a game was in Dragon Age: Origins.  In the early stages of the game there's a bloodletting ritual and human sacrifice.  These are satanic practices and I didn't want any involvement.  It has nothing to do with religion--there was no choice in the matter other than quiting and I'm just not that character.  Fortunately, the game was a rental.

I don't like that Valve refunded Breen's money, it sets a bad precedent.  I do like that at least one gamer is playing with a conscience, even if for self-promotion.  It reminds me that one Irrational team member threatened to quit the game because of similar conflicts.  Although Irrational reported that changes were made to the game and this person did not leave the project, I still wonder why any company would ever admit that their game was so offensive that an employee threatened to quit.  Perhaps for free press. 

I don't know if it's wrong or right, but my conscience inhibited me to return those games. I will never play Dragon Age again, but who knows. I may never touch AC or Infinite even though I'm curious.  The main point to take away from this is:  One man can make a difference Michael Knight.

When the Fun Stops

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With all the controversy over violence and sexism in the industry, This Happened and We All Let it Happen.

I'm practically speechlesss, if you don't want to watch the vid, you can read the article here.

When the Fun Stops--the Shame Starts

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