Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pirates could literally steal our internet

Does anyone remember the Bond movie where the villain wanted to rule the world by controlling the media...didn't think so cuz it's lame. But besides blowing shit up there are a lot of ways to mess with the world, say not having the internet. The economy would go haywire.

I don't normally stop and think about how the internet exists but it's not just all a bunch of floating digital information shot around by satellites most of it gets transfered through massive underwater cables. These giant cables are straight up, information highways, and we have to build more of them. One proposed cable recently had to be moved several miles over because of pirates! Yes, pirates!

(First pirate picture to show up on Google Images...interesting...HD DVD seriously)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Porn Video Games

In my dream last night I was discussing with Shags why there aren't any porn video games. Strangely enough it was quite a coherent conversation so I'll pretty much transcribe what I dreamt.

The idea is that porn is a very lucrative industry so why isn't there a mainstream north american porn console game? In Japan they have tons of hentai computer games, and I guess culture does have something to do with it. Where we have curtain and shops for porn, Japan also has entire floors/rooms devoted to those games it's that big. Here, where would you sell a porn game, probably not at gamestop or best buy, it's more likely it'd be in a porn shop. But that would be a problem because video games often have huge budgets and would enough of the market go to one of these places to purchase it?

One company is making a porn MMORPG, which to me actually sounds like the best idea. You can buy/play in the safety of your home so no one can point at you leaving a porn store and call you a pervert. Plus the content can keep updating and changing. Who knows how well it'll do.

I guess the other reason we don't have a porn video game is because it wouldn't work on a console...we're not Goro.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Celebrate... it's alright

World Cup is on which means people slap on flags and celebrate their culture. It's nice and all and I don't really mind it except people have got to figure out a better way to celebrate then how it's done now. Honking car horns, in theory, probably sounds like a good idea. It's saying 'Hey, I'm loud and I'm proud! Look at me! Check out this flag, it means my countries awesome at football, we won a game!' Great, now it's very easy to get annoyed at all the sound pollution it causes but that's not really my beef. What I'm more concerned about is, is it actually fun? For one thing a lot of these drivers don't seem to be having fun honking a horn, but they do it, because it's easy. And why should they be happy driving back and forth on the same street wasting gas and clogging up lanes. Shouldn't there be a more fun way of celebrating? Like taking a nap. Naps are fun it could symbolize that you're so confidentin your team you don't have to worry about anything.

(Nap time)

Big Bang Theory Theory

by Shaggy

I haven't had the greatest relationships with TV sitcoms. Sure, the more modern ones WITHOUT laugh-tracks, I can get into; I consider Arrested Development to be the funniest damn show of the decade.

But network shows with laugh tracks, I never trust them. They try to tell you what's funny, and if you didn't laugh, you probably 'didn't get it'.

So I fianlly checked out The Big Bang Theory since I've heard some things about it, along the lines of 'finally, a sit-com geared for OUR generation'. And that I can say is true.

Not a minute goes by in the first episode that a social networking media isn't name dropped (facebook, myspace, blog, etc). In fact, it's done in such a way, I feel that the show is more intended for an older audience who vaguely knows of these medias by name, in that kinda of "oh I burned a CD today... shouldn't have stood so close to the camp fire with my walkman" kinda way.

I have to say I was disappointed in the first episode. Laughs were dropped in at the end of math and advanced physics jokes that I don't think any studio audience would collectively get... let alone understand it was a joke at all.

But even though I only verbally laughed-out-loud (see LOL) ONCE in the entire episode, I noticed the characters were starting to grow on me. Yes, they're eccentric and over the top, but that tends to be the point of all sitcom characters, or we wouldn't have a comical situation.

And by the second episode, IT HIT ME.


Sitcoms, don't actually have to be funny for you to watch and enjoy them. All a sitcom needs is likeable characters that, plain and simple, SAY STUFF.

As much as your friends come over and may say something witty or humorous that you laugh at even if it isn't terribly funny, when you watch a sit-com, you're amongst your 'friends', listening to their problems and screwy solutions.

It's that simple. Granted, you're more of a fly on the wall in this case, but you know these people and their daily dilemmas, and you wanna be there when they get through it.

And if you happen to laugh once in a while, all the better.

Friday, June 18, 2010

And THAT'S what's called a full circle.

by Shaggy

Holy crap, it's 1994 again.

Well, if you're a gamer that is.

This year's E3 has been the most nostalgia driven of any I can remember. The 2D side scroller has truly made a 'big name' comeback with returning titles such as Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby's Epic Yarn, and Sonic the Hedge Hog 4 (and this is AFTER New Super Mario Bros Wii took over the world).

Fighting games have the classic 2D stylings of Mortal Kombat. Car combat has a new Twisted Metal on it's way. Shooters will be getting a remade Goldeneye (which I thought someone already did with the Source engine).

And to top it all off, the Nintendo 3DS is ready to port over BUNDLES of classic N64 games, such as Star Fox 64 and Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

If a gamer my age has ever told you young'uns "man, games just aren't like they we're in the '90s...

...THIS IS THE 90's!!! Now where's my remake of Blast Corps?!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Showing off New Technology with old Technology

I slapped in a DVD the other day and the first thing that came up (after the Copy This and Die message) was a Blu-Ray ad. The opening shot is a boat from Troy, pixelated and ugly looking, the Narrator informs us that DVD was a revolution but now something is even more fantastic and sharper then ever. With a magic wand, poof the same boat now in glorious clarity. WOW it's so clear, it's so sharp if only I could have something as great as that...wait a minute, I'm watching a DVD... so that means it IS that clear and that sharp on my TV without anything new.

Now I'm not here to argue the merits of getting a Blu-Ray player or not, do whatever, I don't care. It's just kinda funny when people try to market you a better technology with an older technology. Do you remember the "Everything is better in DVD" campaign back in the day. They used jarring sounds and cuts to make it feel better. The thing is, I think it worked...

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Movie Industry

So far this summer's box office is down 147 million from last year. Does this mean the end of movies?! Has 3D changed anything?! How can we fix this horrible horrible slump?! The simple answer, make better movies. I hate it when the media attributes a whole whack of reasons for box office slumps when the only real reason is because of the quality of movies. It's just really weird when people start building trends, graphs and causations when there's absolutely no reason to.

False cause, you know what else uses causality horribly? Matrix Reloaded

(Worst use of causality ever)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Toys that talk SUCK.

by Shaggy

This is something that's botherd me for a while now. It really started way back when my younger sister was a MUCH younger sister, and she was all into Cardcaptor Sakura.

When a kid is into something, you get them the toys so they can play that something themselves, right?

A cool toy was the Cardcaptor Wand staff and clow cards deck. Pretty much picture perfect from the show. You got the cards, you got the wand. YOU ARE SAKURA.

...wait, no, you're not. For you see, if you wanted to USE the magic of the wand (have it light up and make sounds) THIS happened:

THE DAMN THING TALKED FOR YOU! Wouldn't the kids want to say the magic words them selves, and then cast the wand spell?

The interesting thing is, the wand sounds could also be activated by motion, so when you swung it at a clowcard, it would trigger the lights and sound, but if you as the kid said "RELEASE THE POWER" then trigger the wand, it also says (in a horribly compressed voice) "RELEASE THE POWER", taking you out of the moment.

Simular to toys with pre-recorded sounds is toys with a very specific emotion or expression. Maybe if the intent is to leave them on your shelf for display, sure, some well posed and emoting figurene works just dandy, but when they're meant for kids to play with, I would think too much expression would be limiting.

Some action figures have such extrem emotions, they leave little room to expand on a character. For instand, an angry looking guy will always be an angry looking guy, no matter what the story is. In contrast to this, the somewhat vacant expressions of Barbies can lend them to being more of a blank slate, cappable of a lot more emotions through acting of a kid.

That being said though, I'm not sure kids actually care much about this 4th wall of toy design I'm running up against. They can take any inanimate object and make it talk and emote if they want to, regardless what it looks or sounds like.

I could end this article with a thought provoking "altho as far as I'm concerned" punch-line, but I don't got one. Just stating my observations.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

[BLANK] Anime

by Shaggy

Since I can't keep my online posting to myself, here's my response to a post on the following Kotaku thread, the brought up how a lot of anime plots are the same: http://ca.kotaku.com/5559926/resident-evil-creator-jrpgs-were-never-popular-in-the-west

@jay13x: Just a quick response to your anime comment; what I like about anime is that there is a show that address EVERY subject matter (fantasy, sci-fi, cooking, sports, playing board games, high school, the work world, etc, basically, something for everyone).  

But yes, when you break it down, too many of the key plots are exactly the same. See how many series you can fill in the blanks with these:  

- main character wants to be the best at [blank] and goes on a journey challenging various people at [blank] and learning about friendship.  

- lone traveler sets out on a journey to [blank], picks up a band of characters / friends along the way, we gradually find out the character's true intentions, they all stick together and follow through in saving the [blank]  

- main character gains the abilities of [blank] and with the help of their new mentor/friend, must defeat many [blanks] that are popping up all over the city.  

and finally,   

- [blank] happens, then there's a tournament.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Journalist Flip-flop-flip E3

by Shaggy

DAMN YOU gaming media!

For the past half decade, all gaming news sites, ESPECIALLY IGN, have been teaching us to hate E3, the Electronics Entertainment Expo; the most exciting press event for a kid who subscribed to Nintendo Power in the pre-internet era.

HUNDREDS of new games would be revealed, drool worth screen shots of sequels and new titles, new systems, hardware and peripherals we're addressed; in short, E3, was the mecha for a gaming youth in the 90's. We all wanted to go.

Enter the 2000's, where something gradually began to change.

Gaming journalists became little bitches!

E3 stopped sounding like something fun and full of wonder; instead, in their articles and podcasts, game media moguls would whine about over-crowding, complain about how loud the music was on the show floor, and how there's too many things to write about- waaaaaaaaaaah!

It got to the point that all the big publishers would have their own separate press events the days before E3, where everything was neatly packaged in a nice bundle for these journalists, and they gobbled it up, praising these separate events over the main show itself.

And you know what? They could have been right. 

My childhood dream of going to E3 is what led me to cross the continent and attend PAX, the penny-arcade expo that's meant for the gaming public. And I loved the hell out of it, but I could see how it can be a little cumbersome to get all the stories and coverage you need with all the noise and action going on.  I even made some video reports on the event.

... then again, I did it as a hobby, they go as their job (so scratch my previous defense for journalists, SUCK IT UP!).

Now, we're in the 2010's, and things would have seemed to return to form, "E3 is back" according to the journalists, speculating about who's gonna show what, will 3D be as awesome as everyone says, motion control on all systems, who's gonna win?


Make up your damn minds, journalists.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Make your LIFE more like a VIDEO GAME: Tip #1

by Shaggy

Sure, lot's of people wish their lives could be more like the stories and styles of the mediums they enjoy; in this case: video games. Heck, that's one of the reasons MMORPGs are so big. 

Well, each week I'll be giving you all a tip on how you can make your life more like a video game, in subtle ways that won't alienate you from the rest of the world (i.e. I'm not gonna tell you to jump on turtles or extract the souls of your enemies to level up your fighting abilities).

Make your LIFE more like a VIDEO GAME

Instead of running errands, call them "missions"

When people ask you what you're up to, you can honestly tell them, "I'm on a mission."

Bonus action: when you've completed a "mission" have a ring tone ready on your cell phone or other mobile audio device. Posing while your stats tally-up is optional.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Is it still Lego?

What defines lego? I had a dream last night where I was at a toy store and they had a line of giant sized lego. But is giant sized lego just Duplo? It's weird to think that a part of ones characteristics is size definable. Like a gherkin, is a giant gherkin a pickle? There's ants and then there's giant ants...is a giant person a giant person or just a giant?

(Duplo and Lego)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gotta catch / collect / find / shoot / appease / complete / max out them all...

by Shaggy

I realized my problem with video games this year.

Ok, it's not so much a 'problem', for as how I play games would probably make the developers of said games pretty happy.

Basically, I have the mentality to not start a new single player game until I've beaten the previous one. And the reason I rarely beat a single player game is because I have that drive to reach 100% before finishing it.

I had to collect ALL 120 stars in Mario 64 before even thinking of going up against Bowser, even though you could have confronted him sooner.

I had to find ALL 101 hidden Dalmatians in Kingdom Hearts and reach level 100 status before using the final save spot, and fighting Bad Guy Boat Man at the end of the game.

I had to find every hidden item and piece of armor/weaponry in Shadow Complex before the grand rocket finally.

All challenges in Diddy Kong Racing, all Masks and deeds in Majora's Mask, side quests, secrets, collectables, you name it.

The reason for this, has to do with being a completion-ist, as well as someone who appreciates narrative.

Basically, yes, I like to feel I did everything I could have in a game, but at the same time, I also feel the flow of the story is kinda thrown off when after beating the game and ending the story... you gotta go back into the world to dick around for collectables or something stupid.

I like to end the tale entirely. Game over, as it were. When you're done the game, YOU ARE DONE, CREDITS ROLL! (side note: this is also why games like Ocarina of Time and most RPGs piss me off that your last save is BEFORE the final boss and not after; it's like the game never remembers you beat it, your constantly in the state of BEFORE THE FINAL BATTLE, and your only option is to erase the save).

However, the game that has pushed me to give up this strive for 100%; to instead just enjoy the story and the experience without having to get EVERYTHING, is Grand Theft Auto IV.

There is WAY to many damn things to 'complete' in the game. The very fact that in the pause menu there is a 100% complete check list is testament to that. Here's the short list of SOME of the things you could strive for:

- percentages of how much your friend characters like you
- did you date every eligible female character in the game
- percentages of how much the women liked you
- have you found and completed all hidden side missions throughout the city
- how many games IN THE game have you won (pool, darts, bowling, etc)
- did you do a stunt at all 50 stunt locations
- did you shoot all 200 pigeons
- did you steal all the vehicles Brucie wanted
- did you steal all the vehicles Steve wanted
- did you do all the drop jobs for Jacob
- did you deal with all wanted criminal on every island as a vigilante
- have you watched every stand up show Rickey Gervais shows up
- have you seen every commercial/show on tv
- have you bought every article of clothing in the stores

There's more, trust me, but all this ONTOP of XBOX Achievements, like being on full wanted for 5 minutes without dying, and so on...

Man, the thing about GTA4 is that there is so much attention to detail and variety, that in it's attempt to paralel real life, I had to come with terms with one of lifes realities:


You are always gonna miss out on something, be it the more obvious case of deciding between going to the movies with one friend or a bar with another as your Saturday night plans, or on the larger scale of how every minute of the day there's something going on you're missing: a comic convention, a street festival, a race, all you can eat icecream, grand opening of something, people getting together, a guy on the street is using a hula hoop etc.

So, there you have it. GTA4, you overwhelmed me. I'm done trying to see and do everything you have to offer. Just let me finish the damn story so I can move onto to Red Dead Redemption.

The One That Got Away

Today I was checking my ryerson email. My email address, not a bunch of messages from Ryerson. Good thing too, I don't want to give them any more money...anyway they call me for that. No, I was just maintained the account just in case I ever want to impersonate a student. I also use it as the email I punch in for unimportant forms that need to be filled out.

I was deleting the usual Facebook updates and such when all of a sudden, there it was, a Buy Viagra email. In general I find that I probably sign in to a bunch of things, maybe more than the average person but I don't usually get a lot of Spam, I'm not sure why. I know spam exists but I don't really get it. I guess it's kind of like a car accident, statistically you know that you're supposed to get in one, but you never think it's going to happen to you...until it does.

This Viagra was a violation, an abomination, how did it weasel its way past my defenses. I kind of picture Spam blockers as a form of Tower Defense, and I was always good at Tower Defense. But now, one got through.

So it's become a new game, a game of Clue. We're all in the parlour, Mr.Facebook, handlebar mustache with a ten gallon hat, Miss Contest Entry her flashy good looks always tempting and full of promise and Skype, a ratty skiddish looking fella with one leg longer than the other. I of course am smoking a bubble pipe and wearing a deerstalker hat.

I pace back and forth holding my attention on each one until I whip around to face Miss Contest Entry. "It would appear you are the most likely suspect, multiple forms to fill and contests usually want to sell you things, however, I made sure each time to properly uncheck certain boxes wishing to email me things. Mr. Facebook, you sir are a scoundrel and a sneak, slowly changing your privacy rules to sell away my information without me knowing...and Skype, the new kid. After perusing when I added you that's when all these Viagra Ads popped up." Skype looks to the exit and tries to make a run for it, sadly his wobble makes him an easy target to trip. He falls down. I point my accusing finger at him "It was you!" Skype spits at me and laughs "So what if it was, what's done is done, you'll never be able to stop Viagra NEVER!" He throws down a smoke bomb and scuttles off. "SKYYYYYPE!"