Thursday, June 23, 2005

Not Again

I can't believe this is still an issue. I came across an article while surfing the web about violence in video games. They talking about one in particular, 25 to Life, which is an urban game about gangsters versus cops. The article laments how violent the game is and how you go around shooting cops. Of course, it never mentions that you can also play as the cops, who go around shooting gangsters. Here are few of my favorite parts of the article:

"It's outrageous that a company like this would try to desensitize our children," Lynch said.
I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure their goal is to sell games and make money, not desensitize our children. Which brings up another feature I enjoyed about this article.
"It's like ghetto-ish, I like that," said Bronx seventh-grader Jesus Martinez, 13.
Brooklyn seventh-grader Nashalie Ledesma said she would try the game "just for the fun of it, to see how it is, explore the violence."
"It's just a game," said Ledesma, 12. "It's not like I'm gonna do it in real life. I don't have the guts to do it."

I really don't think the opinions of some preteens needs to be added to this article. They just really don't matter. They don't even matter in the calculation of how many games get sold, at least they shouldn't. This game is rated M for mature, which means it's the equivalent of an R rating. Would you ask a 12 year-old if he thought Apocalypse Now is worth seeing? I hope not.

Also, can we get past the whole shock value thing here. Just because it's pushing the bundaries of decency, doesn't make it a good game (ditto for movies). There are a lot of FPS (first person shooter) games out there, but there's only one Half-Life 2.

On a more positive side: I came across this article. It's all about how scientists have study the effects of gaming on the brain and have discovered that it's actually beneficial.
Gee's studies show that players learn pattern recognition from puzzles and enemies or bosses; they learn system thinking, i.e. they learn how a game is structured, or how an enemy is attacking, or how to solve logic or physical puzzles. They even learn patience.

See, so go let your kids play videogames, just be mindful of what they're playing.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

From the Mouths of Jesters

I was reading through my webcomics the other day and came across this one. Now, I'm sure some of you already know about what the comic was talking about, but I didn't. I had to learn about it from a comic strip. How sad is that? You'd think that it would be newsworthy material. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Save Big Bird

For those of you who haven't yet, go here. I guess congress feels that it's not worthwhile to fund public broadcasting anymore. Congress is thinking about cutting funding to NPR and PBS. I guess they can't stand that there are some media outlets out there that they don't have under their control. Oh, and the best part about all of this is that they plan on starting the cuts with commercial-free children's programs. I guess they can't stand that there are some kids out there watching educational shows and not half-hour commercials.
Don't these cuts go against the right to free speech?

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Ok, I know I'm a dork, and this shouldn't excite so much, but I just got inserted a links section on my blog. Yea! I don't have too much there yet, but I will add some of my favorite sites later. Look over there and check it out.

Still recovering

I haven’t blogged in a while, I know, but here’s an update now, so that’s something right? Now I can relate more to those web-comic authors who sometimes post late or have “dead artist” days or whatever. Although, most of the really good ones have nothing else to do but work on their comic. And some of them don’t even have posts scheduled everyday. But, I know their whole life isn’t devoted to creating entertainment just for me, they have lives as well. Hell, I don’t even read all of them everyday, if I can’t keep current with just read them, what right do I have to criticize their creation process.

Anyways, a quick note. I was reading a blogpost of sorts and came across this really neat article . It’s about a processing chip that can reconfigure its hardware depending on the particular program that’s running on it. How cool is that?

Last weekend was crazy. My sister graduated from Winston-Salem Academy and there was B-fest (formerly called Blake-fest but I think B-fest would work better considering where it’s headed). The graduation was nice, not too long or drawn out. I think that’s because they kind of break it up and spread it out over Friday and Saturday. There were award ceremonies, art shows, concerts, senior parties and of course the graduation ceremony. It’s a little weird thinking about how old my “little” sister is now. She’s a high school graduate, on her way to college.

B-fest, for those who don’t know, is a gathering of a bunch of my college friends. The first one was done last year because Blake’s father had recently died and he was getting a little depressed. Everyone (ok not everyone, but all those who could) flew/drove/hitchhiked over to Blake’s and hung-out and cheered him up. The first one went over so well that it seems to have been deemed a tradition now. This year it was held in MN, since a few of us live up here (or have family that does). The weekend was filled with drinks, games, dinners, drinks, laughter, games, conversation, and sleepless nights. All-in-all, a great success. It’s good to be reminded that you have some friend’s out there. I know Emily enjoyed it as well. Plus, she was able to cross off many people on her people-I-used-to-be-friends-with-but-now-hate-me” list, which is always a joyous occasion.

I really hate this whole not-having-enough-money problem. I just wish I knew of a way to fix it. I’ve tried consolidating my debt, but I’m so far behind on so many bills that no one wants to touch me, or they say, “Sorry but you have too much debt” or my favorite “We can’t help you, you don’t make enough to cover your debt payments.” Yeah I know, that why I was asking for help. The big problem is that my coping mechanism for problems is to run away and ignore it; unfortunately that only seems to make things worse in this case. But every time I do work on it I feel hopeless and frustrated and depressed. It’s a vicious cycle it is. Lately I’ve been thinking of becoming anorexic, so I can save money by not buying food. Dumb idea huh?

Anyways, I think this problem is going to be taken care of one way or another in the coming months. I’m either going to start making more, or we’ll find a way to work past it, or we’ll file for bankruptcy. I actually found out about it today. It’s not as scary as I originally thought, at least, not until October 17, when the new laws about bankruptcy come into place.