vgm007 / Member

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vgm007 Blog

What have I been doing?

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I bet you're asking that, with me being so inactive and all. Well, I've been doing my studies. My schedule's kinda random this semester, so I don't really have regular classes. Most of the stuff I do is online, but even that eats up my time. When I haven't been studying, I've been playing Persona 4 obsessively, as I set a goal to beat it before the year ends. Well, I've almost beat the game now, but explaining my place would give away some details, so I'm gonna cover it in a spoiler in case you don't want to read it. [spoiler] Persona 4 features multiple endings, and that depends on how many final bosses you defeat. There are two: Ameno-sagiri and Izanami. I defeated Ameno-sagiri, and I could stop there if I wanted to, but in order to get what's known as the "true" ending, I have to go through another dungeon to face Izanami. I'm still trying to decide which route I want to take. [/spoiler] Oh, and I also achieved level 47 on GS. Seems like it'll be a fast one.

Remodeled Game Store + New Game

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Yesterday afternoon, I went to my local strip mall to go to GameStop, only to find that the location they were in was empty. A sign on the door said they moved to the other side of the plaza, so I got back into the car and drove over there. Sure enough, there they were, all unpacked and open for business in a much larger section. I walked in and I was floored - the section is huge... more than twice the size of their old location. Games were stacked up to the ceiling on the tall walls, and the store was filled with brand-new kiosks and signs. What immediately caught my attention was the large touch screen on one of the walls - this kiosk acts as an info center for finding out where certain games are, what's coming out soon, what your Edge card balance is, etc. I was so tempted to go into shopping spree mode, but I held myself back and only bought one game - Fallout 3 GOTY edition for the PC. This game includes the base Fallout 3 as well as all 5 DLC packs, so it was a must-buy for me. Luckily I had some trade-ins to ease the cost, so that wasn't a factor. In all, I don't know if this new store is good or bad for me: it's good that they can serve gamers like myself better, but it's bad because I'm so tempted to buy everything in sight. :lol: I only just installed and started FO3, so I'll let you know how it is. BTW, I named my character after a friend of mine here who loves FO3 - Shawn, aka certifieddata. :P

A Discussion on Fanboyism

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It seems this generation is becoming increasingly vocal over preferences to certain platforms. Every day, we see scathing comments from "fanboys" proclaiming their platform as being the best, while all the other platforms are no good. While I don't consider myself a "fanboy" – given the fact that I own an Xbox 360, a PS3, a Wii, and a decent PC – I feel the need to look at this whole console war from an outsider's perspective and voice my opinion on this whole debate.

First of all, what is causing this whole debacle? Fanboys have existed since the beginnings of competing consoles. Those of you who grew up in the early 1990's undoubtedly remember the fierce competition between the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and Super Nintendo (a.k.a. the "16-bit Wars"), and how great this war was for business in the video game industry. Now that this generation is in full swing, we have a three-way tussle between Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, each company vying for the hearts of console gamers around the world. The Internet has made this competition much more significant, as it is easier than ever for gamers to voice their opinions to the rest of the world. Within this segment, there are certain gamers ("fanboys") who swear their undying loyalty to a particular brand, and curse out those who dare buy a competitor's product. This is hardly new, but the method and intensity of this argument is. You can't go into a news story nowadays without seeing clashing comments from these fanboys, each one proving their own argument with "facts" from their own perspective. Websites that review games (such as this one) very often draw the ire of fanboys if a multiplatform game scores less than its counterpart(s). Believe me, if I was on one side, I'd certainly be upset if the other side scored a victory like that. But it's just a review – you could go to hundreds of other sites and see just how different their own perspectives are.

Now, let me touch on the realm of bias for a moment. Bias exists everywhere – you can't avoid it. Everyone will have their own tastes and preferences, no matter how "unbiased" the site they work for claims to be. I bring up the comparison to national news channels in America. The three major channels – CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News – all have their own pundits for certain political issues. Fox News, in particular, is often decried as overly biased towards conservatives. Some folks want Fox to change, but why should they? If you don't like Fox News, don't watch it – it's that simple. Same goes for gaming review sites – if you don't like their reviews, fine. Rely on someone else's reviews instead. The hard fact is that they're not going to change. They may try to shuffle the review staff around to give different opinions on things such as platform exclusives, but there will always be claims of bias no matter what. Trust them or don't – it's up to you.

As I discuss this issue, let me address the question of why fanboys act the way they do. I recently wrote a research paper on the effects of Web 2.0, the era of user-made content on the Internet. In this paper, I wrote a little bit about the attractions to this revolution, and one of them is the temptation to create an "online persona" of oneself. The personality that one portrays on the Internet is most often radically different from their true personality in real life, and, to an extent, the same can be said for fanboys. The term for a manufactured Internet personality is "sock puppet", and these types of personas exist everywhere on the Internet. While it's true some fanboys are using sock puppet personalities in an attempt to provoke others, most fanboys are indeed true fans of their platforms. The reasons for becoming a console fan range from economic disparity ("I can't afford the competitor's product") to growing up with a particular brand ("I've lived with X brand since I was 4, so I'm sticking with it"). However, in my personal opinion, this does not warrant harsh attacks on the other side. So what if you prefer one brand? Don't be a bully and make fun of others' tastes. Like politics, it's beneficial to provide constructive criticism towards the issues particular brands face, but it's not beneficial to provoke others.

Finally, let me use myself as an example for my argument. I do own all four platforms of this generation, as I mentioned before, but I am by no means balanced over each platform or partial to one over the other. If you look at my game's list, you'll see that I "prefer" the Xbox 360 with 23 games on that platform. However, my Xbox 360 has not been used for weeks. Why, do you ask? Well, my tastes and preferences are constantly changing, so I tend to go between platforms quite often. Those of you who know me well already know that I'm a big fan of Japanese RPG's, so it shouldn't surprise you that I've been playing my PS2 a lot, since it has a wealth of great JRPG's. And while I play JRPG's more than other games, I respect the opinion of others regarding their tastes. For example, I have a lot of friends who only play FPS games. That's fine with me. In fact, I'm a casual FPS gamer myself. I'm perfectly content playing games such as Dead Space or any of Valve's FPS games (Half-Life 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2, for example). This, of course, is only a small sample of the games I play. I'll play just about anything, so I don't consider myself a fanboy. There was a time where I only owned Nintendo products, but I still remember having a lot of fun with Sonic the Hedgehog games on the Sega Genesis way back when.

Now what should one take from this platform war? In short, respect the opinions of others and back up your own opinions with constructive, fact-backed criticism. Find what you like the most and stick with it. And most important of all, know that fanboys are here to stay, as long as there is an Internet and a multiplatform competition in the marketplace. You may not agree with the opinions of others, but that doesn't mean you should attack those opinions with baseless arguments.

Salespeople...

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I went to Best Buy yesterday to buy a new all-in-one printer, since my old one couldn't scan with Windows 7. When it comes to printers, I've used HP most of my life and didn't intend on straying from that loyalty, so I was surprised to see an Epson printer on sale for $100 ($50 off, in fact). The salesperson recommended that one highly, so I went ahead and took it. Only after walking away did I notice that man was actually a representative for Epson. >_> Not that I have any complaints about the printer, though... it works great. I just wish I didn't have to be swayed like that... it's kind of a pet peeve of mine. Makes me almost feel like I've been swindled. Oh well, the next best HP printer was $105, so I'll live with what I've got.

Presidential Visit and Other Things

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So yesterday, President Obama visited a college campus in Troy, NY, just 15 minutes away from my house, on his way to NYC. People were expecting a big hoopla about this visit, especially since VP Biden visited the area recently. However, this was all a private affair exclusively for the biggest government folks, nothing was open. The term "maximum security" is an underestimate of how tight everything was... the entire city of Troy was closed off for two hours during the President's stay. Afterwards, he was briskly led away and he and his entourage left promptly for NYC. Sure, there was plenty of media coverage, but something feels wrong about the events that transpired... almost as if this sprawling area wasn't enough for the Pres. It could have something to do with Governor Paterson, who was personally told by Obama not to run for election next year, but what do I know. Sometimes I'll never understand politics, I swear. >_> Anyways, on to my own life. I've been rather busy with schoolwork lately, so I haven't had much time for other things. When I do, I'm usually playing Persona 4... I'm setting a goal of beating that game before the end of the year, so wish me luck. :P Speaking of the Persona series, I'll be picking up the PSP port later today. I'm looking forward to playing that as well. That is all for now.

Flu Scare

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I've been hearing a lot of things lately about flu season, especially with the whole H1N1 debacle, so I thought I'd put my foot down on this issue, especially since I thought I had it earlier this week. First of all, we need to clear the air as to exactly what makes H1N1 different from the "garden-variety" flu. The only difference I can pinpoint from the facts is that H1N1, aka "swine flu", is much more contagious. It is NOT any more deadly than normal flu. Agreed, I don't know everything about the differences between the two illnesses, but that's why I'm not a med student. I just feel the need to say that because I see topics about swine flu every week in OT, with people relating it to "zombie apocalypses" and other things, which are all groundless arguments because they are not backed up by facts. Yes, the H1N1 virus is becoming a worldwide epidemic, and it should be taken seriously, but it only poses a danger to people with weak immune systems, such as those with "pre-existing conditions" that we hear about on the news all the time, especially in the US with the whole health care reform issue. If you're a normal, healthy person, you will not die from any known form of the flu, so don't panic. Just see your doctor and take his/her advice regarding treatment. While I'm on this topic, I might as well say that I didn't have the flu after all. On Monday night, I had a fever, nausea, and a headache, but that was it - no sore throat, no unusual coughing or sneezing. That ruled out the flu, so that came as a relief to my folks. Whatever I had, it's going away, so I'm feeling better both physically and mentally. Now I just have to wait until the flu vaccines become available so I don't get the flu at all this year.

Sister's off to college + Reduced activity

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So I helped my family with moving my sister into her dorm today... it's only 15-20 minutes away from our house, but my mom won't stop crying about it. >_> I, for one, am happy for her, as she's starting a new phase in her life. Unfortunately, this means she won't be able to help me with the endurance run I've been working on lately. But not to worry... part 7B will come soon. I'd also like to take this opportunity to say I'm reducing my activity here at GS for a while. Things have been getting boring, and I need some time to get acclimated to my cIasses that I'll be starting next week. Until then, I'll still be on periodically, but don't expect to see me posting that much, especially in RC. Well then, see you all around...

Pickups - Present and Future

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So I went to Best Buy today and picked this up:  I've only listened to a few tracks so far, but from what I've heard from these guys, it sounds like a decent album, hence my purchase. And on Tuesday, I plan to get Metroid Prime Trilogy as well as Dissidia FF, both of which I reserved. I also want to get the latest album from Jet which comes out on Tuesday as well, but I can wait on that.