Edit: I've sent a resignation of my duties as a ranger, and have decided to leave Gamespot entirely. My engagement is off, and my life right now is so off course that I can't even think clearly right now. Thank you for all the good times I had here for there is a lot of good folks at SystemWars, I will return when... I don't know.
Hello there Gamespotters,
My final semester is upon me and with that comes a full plate of classes and work. On top of that, I'll be interning for the local Police Department so with that, school, and work... (and of course a fiance who needs attention), there's not much room for Gamespot among my other frequented sites.
Now, I'll still check in to help with the SystemWars Game, and Ranger activities from time to time, but don't expect to see me too much in the bowels of SW discussing things or getting into debates. If things change, I'll happily start posting a lot again but until then, cheers.
Side caveat -- my Ethics professor is a retired South Dakota Supreme Court Justice, how cool is that?
It appears this discussion has only recently came to be because of the mass murder incidents in the States. Truly it makes sense, just like there was a craze during the 70s and 80s with respect to our fascination and interest in serial offenders that the same would be true for these incidents. You have a story that is sensationalized and with that comes the emotional attachment of political involvement. It's never healthy for society to let politicians become the experts for large social constructs like guns.
I get the reaction, I get why someone like Giffords would be interjected into the limelight to push the anti-gun mantra. You need a mascot for this, and she's a good puppet to choose for this because of her history. Indeed, on the flipside, the gun-activists need a scapegoat to levy blame for, and the obvious choice remains media-entertainment. That puppet on its strings however has been played so much that it can't dance no more, yet they hope that dead horse can still be beaten once more.
Media involvement has been essential to human connection for the past couple decades in the States, and yet violent crime has consistently gone down (a trend that has been going on for three decades). Guns are seen as a tool of religion -- not religion in the literal sense, but in the mantra of a strong belief following. It's an integral piece of society that has been around since the dawn of our nation's seed when pilgrims landed on North American soil. This has played to its benefit, and to its detriment at times.
The gun's sole purpose was and is to inflict bodily harm and injury to a person or thing. It's a human construct incorporating metallic pieces, and relatively explosive material to propel a projectile towards a given aimpoint. Alright, I'm not here to debate the underlying means of this object for its purpose is plainly rooted in the ground, and to try to aim away from that is disingenuous in nature. The point remains the obvious: the object requires human input for its purpose to be initiated; it's not an inherently evil object, yet the conductor's input can be.
I understand the anger from a mass murder of children--the media coverage of that event being a circus for days showcases that we care about these things. I was in a Criminology class when the news came to light, and the initial reports were only a few killed. When the class was dismissed and I turned into NPR to get the latest scoops, the numbers balooned to over 20 children killed. This news turned my stomach; it made me sick. The sheer thought of a man entering a classroom with children and opening fire is simply unfathomable.
It's clear that this individual had pyschological issues, and the means of helping these individuals is shaky at best in society. The discussion didn't turn in that direction, it turned to guns. The question is why? The arguments would be that it's simpy too dificult to understand and explain the pychological issues that led to the mass murder, so labeling the weapon as the problem is clean and it's easy. The other side is that politically involved individuals have clear motives to target the banning of weapons, so an incident like this becomes a billboard for their underlying motives.
It's clear that behind these incidents that psychological issues are to blame. Within the past half-century we have closed our mental asylums and removed integral means of support. Prisons are being the de-facto means of psychological-mental-illness support which is disgraceful to the individuals involved, and the overall image of health for our society. Communities need to give ample safety nets for these individuals and help the parents of the children who face these mental illnesses. A good read that is a necessity to digest is this article about a mother struggling with her son; just how many more mothers out there are like this?
To go off track a second here, I need to remind my readers that I am not objective in this manner for I have a strong history with guns in my life. I grew up in a family who loved the outdoors and loved hunting. I received my hunting license at the age of twelve, and went hunting then after but I was still involved in watching the hunting before that age. I received a 20-gauge shotgun, and my grandfather's 30/30 Hunting Rifle which was my father's at one point. I've been hunting and shooting for over a decade now, so guns have been just another facet of my life. The question that begs an answer to me is why target me and my family?
Responsibility is one of the greatest characteristics a gun-owner is taught either by the respective family members, or by upper echelon authorities. My hunting license class was eight hours long if I recall correctly, and most of that was on safety. It's the same logic and ideas that is expressed when an individual learns to drive a vehicle. Which brings me to my main point; selective targeting. Do we punish all car owners in the States when a drunk driver, or incompetent driver takes a life? The answer to that is no, although I imagine arguments can be made with respect to insurance policies (but that's a private take by companies, not a political maneuver).
To throw out some numbers to give credence to my point, 250K children are injured from car accidents annually with 2K fatalities. The CDC notes that over 33K people overall died from vehicle related incidents. On the flipside, the CDC noted similar deaths overall from guns. For children, injuries by guns are around 1K, and deaths less than or around 400. Children are typically a poster for messages and movements, yet politics are quickly intertwined with guns only selectively.
Don't let me sway you in the direction that I believe gun violence isn't a big deal, for even hundreds of children to die from weapons is unacceptable, and even more unacceptable that tens of thousands die from guns. We need to address our culture in how it's handled, more safety training and more responsibility is key. It's about who people surround themselves with, and how much integrity and responsibility they carry with themselves. Nevertheless, I think politicians should stop politicizing the issue of guns and not selectively focus on it when a mass event happens.
Perspective is needed, release the tunnel vision and stop politicizing. Wake up. Seriously.
TL;DR Version -- Politicians are exploiting guns for their underlying motives; they selectively target the construct and ignore other larger problems facing society. Guns are only tools, the real means is addressing the handler of the tools.
Just woke up about thirty minutes ago, as my fiance and I had our own little Christmas at midnight. Since we're in the Midwest right now, and all of our family is back in California, this might be the first and only Christmas where it's truly just the two of us all Christmas Eve and all Christmas day. That's both equally good and bad. I do miss my family, and wished I could spent time with them (and my wonderfully old dog), but I decided it was just too costly to visit. Besides, I graduate from College in May so I'll be back home at the end of May to Early June--that's not too far away, right?
Anyways, my fiance had some awesome gifts for me--additional 8GB of ram (I'm now at 16GB, a bit overkill lol), a 200mm red fan to replace my 120mm side intake fan on my HAF 922, the Lord of the Rings Extended Blu-ray Collection (OMGWTFYES), a cell phone case (really needed that), and Far Cry 3 on PC. A nice Christmas.
We spent the night watching The Fellowship of the Ring Extended up till 5:30AM. lol These extended versions are fantastic, the extra scenes flow so seemlessly that I can't even remember which is extra and which is meant to be there. It's been many years since I've sat down and watched these bad-boys but I'm excited to watch the Two Towers tonight, and the greatest film of all time tomorrow... the Return of the King.
Merry Christmas guys, and gals. What was the best thing you took away?
Rome 2: Total War
Dead Space 3
Sly Cooper 4
Aliens: Colonial Marines
God of War: Ascention
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Metro: Last Light
The Last of Us
Company of Heroes 2
Rainbow Six 6: Patriots
Grand Theft Auto V
Elder Scrolls Online
Command and Conquer: Generals 2
Gears of War: Judgement
- Favorite Games of the Year So Far -
Mass Effect 3;
While the ending left a sour taste, it managed to captivate me for the entire game. Few games can have me so invested into the experience, and I had a very hard time letting Mass Effect 3 go. I even thought about the game at work, how crazy is that? The gameplay was nailed down to a tooth, and the sound/voice acting was terrific. The storytelling and progression through the game was so immersive that I found myself playing for very long stretches of time (one stretch lasted an entire dang eight hours; I mean... wow). Few games have managed to wow me so much, and the most amazing part is how it all fell on its face with the ending. Still scratching my head about that one.
Fall of the Samurai;
The stand alone expansion to Shogun 2 really raised the bar above and beyond what was found in Shogun 2. Modern units made for some incredibly exciting gameplay; especially when you're able to call in a costal bombardment onto your enemies while on the battlefield (sa-weeet). I've known a few times where the costal bombardment from my ships literally saved my ass. Unique units adds some much needed variety, and the cannons are now a must to ensure victory without epic losses. All in all, playing this meant I would end up investing three hours at a time whenever I played it. Watching a small town grow into an expansive empire... delicious.
Ah yes, Minecraft on the Xbox 360. I was late getting into the "Minecraft" craze always wondering what the fuss was all about. Subtle trolling my fellow GUFU members on the IRC to see why they invested so much time into it. It was strange to me how so much fun could be had in what appeared to be a relatively shockingly simple game. I figured I would give it a try once it came to the Xbox, so I downloaded the trial, and loved it. Spent 90+ hours on the Xbox version and then bought the PC version to see how that faired... and boy when I thought Minecraft on Xbox 360 was awesome, the PC version took that awesome and multiplied it by a thousandfold. Now, my fiance gives me crap about playing the game. Oh well, it's fun as hell and now I anticipate every new update that comes!
Gods and Kings;
The first expansion to release for Civilzations was a goodie. The anticipayed religion debut (again) after it was removed is very balanced, and well executed. Much better than what it was in Civilizations IV, which made diplomacy rather stale and predictable. This changes things up a bit while at the same time benefiting the game as a whole. There wasn't a lot of new content here, but the new civilizations, units, and religion made an already great game even better. Now, if only they could alleviate some of the AI issues that still plagues the game--but I suppose that's been there since the start...
- Games I'm looking forward too for the Rest of the Year -
Doom 3 BF3 Edition
Working a lot plus with getting in a lot of overtime and sleeping during most of the day means not much time for computer, or games. And what time I do have, I want to relax playing games or watching movies/tv to wind down. I finally have a night off of work so I'm going to cook myself some hamburger helper, and then f*cking get drunk.
F*ck work and being understaffed, and folks calling in or no-shows and the higher-ups have no f*cking balls to call them out on it because we're understaffed. We can't get our overnight job done and then day side has the f*cking nerve to b*tch at us. I once thought having an unemployment of 3% to be a good thing, but there's too many f*cking jobs here that no one wants to work overnight here. BALLS.
Also, we deserve a raise/bonus/f*cking lap dance from Carrie Underwood.
Get it done Target.
22Jan 12Staff wrote:
2. Nominate a user that you want to see make a return by sending a PM to GS-Community with the subject title "Resurrection Request". Explain why you believe this user should be evaluated for a possible reinstatement. Did this user make a difference in the community? Explain.
Time to compile a list with SW vets that should be restored, list any that I missed;
Welcoming back old SW posters who are now unbanned:
I feel like expressing some of my thoughts on SWA and its future and the current and past fiascos already contributute to drama. If you feel like you'll be insulted, offended, or otherwise annoyed by the following comments--click on that damn red X on the top right of your f*cking browser. If not, read on.
SWAs began in 2008, and continued over the years in 2009 will little trouble at all until 2010 hit. 2010 was an odd ball only because as an envoy of SystemWars Monthly, I offered the magazine to take over the Awards to Ninja-Hippo (who hosted every year's awards) since the SWM is about the community of SW itself and the workings of the forum--thus it makes sense that SWM could handle something like this. It wasn't like SWM was going to rig the awards or "destroy" the entire deal, no, for that would be silly thinking. We were only going to take Ninja's place in hosting the thread on SW in our E-magazine. Simple, and creative with additional side caveats as well.
A few users saw this as a threat persay to the SystemWars Awards (SWA), and decided to voice complaints to Ninja for apparantly selling out to SWM. Odd, but it riled Ninja enough to have a chat with me and some other SWM Officers to discuss the status-quo, which led SWM to stand aside and let Ninja go back and take control over the SWAs. Ninja is a stand up fellow which left him dumbfounded at the remarks he received from the users involved. SolidTy is normally at the forefront of these complaints which--understandedly so--is due to bad blood between him and GUFU/SWM for kicking him out of the unions. This has led SolidTy (he isn't alone however, I only single him out as he's the most renowned individual to take these steps amongst GUFU and SWM members) to voice complaints regarding the actions GUFU and SWM have taken in recent years.
When the SWA in 2010 ended, there was complaints levied that the entire event was orchestrated against some users--a la rigging the awards, and trying to get unions to go out and spam vote for an indivudual (Ballot stuffing). All in all, to conclude, the SWAs in 2008-2009 went from harmless good fun to taking internet awards seriously in 2010--and actual conspiracy notions appeared that people were out to undermine individuals. It's rather amusing to see this situation come to be, and I among others found incredible humor in the entire situation which led me to orchestrate some silly trolling pranks at riling up these conspiracy folks--a favorite of mine was this (which actually ended up trolling GUFU members instead which ended up producing lots of lulz). Another one was roleplaying a conspiracy where GUFU was out to undermine other members in the SWA (this prank was after the SWA concluded). It was feeding into some individuals silly beliefs, although hindsight shows it was a little over the top. Dang it!
Now that I see all of this, I didn't really participate in any drama that arose in the SWAs in 2010 (Because I was suspended during the awards) and in 2011, because I was playing games or watching TV during each of the drama wars. (Hey, I can't spend all waking day and night on this darn website).
Anyways, time to wrap this novel up. SWAs are in good fun, and aren't meant to be taken seriously. I don't have any problem with people with conspiracies, grudges, or whatever to come in and flame/troll the likes of anything or anyone. I enjoy watching these things fold out, and especially would enjoy participating in them because it's the internet and making people mad or upset is always entertaining. And when I finally did try to participate in the initial fire-starting comment by Treal_since, I was ignored and the fire was already put out. Well, sh*t. Either way, I'll reiterate what I posted in the "Final SWA Discussion thread."
Well, because I'm working tonight till Tuesday night--and will be sleeping most of the day as my lady goes to work. The lady and I decided to have our "Christmas" this morning. I know, it's odd. But we're leaving on Wednesday to go back to California and spent a week with the folks so time is limited.
I got my lady an iPad 2 (16GB Black). Unsurprisingly, she friggin' loves it. I love it too, haha. She got me Halo Wars, RDR GOTY Edition, and MW3 all for Xbox 360. Worthy picks, and she's pledged another $100 for Steam so when the holiday sale comes around... -bam-!
I have to admit that I had some high expectations going into this purchase merely because the sheer idea of 3D without glasses seems incredibly mind boggling. I've been through 3D movies and I've hated it. Hated it. I've been through 3D attractions and walked away interested but underwhelmed. I still remember having the blue and red glasses for a 3D dinosaur PC game back in the 90s. HA!
But a la, the the 3DS comes to be and it's the new poster child of the 3D saga, perhaps a fad? We'll see. I tried fiddling with the 3DS at my workplace a few times but I couldn't really get a good look at the 3D quality which frustrated me. The game on display was pilotwings which seemed incredibly underwhelming as I tried to play it in of all of its incredibly shallow and uninteresting glory. But I wasn't going to let that sour my taste, not at all.
So I jumped into the realm of handheld gaming with the 3DS. The last handheld that I owned was the original gameboy--yes, it's been that long. That doesn't mean I haven't played with handhelds before because I had quite a number of friends and family members who owned these devices but I never saw the appeal. I'll be heading back to Sacramento, California for Christmas and I decided I needed something to fulfill my waiting in between flights, and on the plane trip itself--and I hate planes--so the 3DS idea came to be.
So 3D. Does it live up to the hype? Yes. Make that a double yes. I won't lie to you when I say it's a clear gimmick in a lot of ways but it sure is exceptionally cool. In fact, I'm consistently dazzled by the depth effect that continues to encompass my gaming with the little thing. Hitting a giant pollen ball in Super Mario 3D Land? My eyes widened. Taking pictures in 3D with the 3DS camera? Awesome! "What's that sweetheart? Hold on, let's take a picture and look at it in 3D." *blank stare at me*. "What? This is awesome! Don't judge me, damn it."
But the device is pretty finicky and the 3D effect can only be observed from a constant perspective from a set distance but considering that distance is always the perfect distance to play a handheld game, I'm not complaining at all. I will admit that it can be stressing on the eyes to see the 3D effect shift if you shift your hands or whatnot causing the device to move out of the perfect range to view the 3D effect. Nevertheless, considering I only spent pockets of time of like 10-30 minutes of playing... it's not a problem at all for me.
I will admit the 3DS game library offering is a wee-bit on the tiny side but I've barely even touched Star Fox or Mario kart yet. And Kuromino just told that the 3DS is compatitible with the vast majority of DS games? Series! Holy mother of crap! Looks like my time and money invested into the 3DS was well-worth it. I have a whole list of games now to check out with the DS, and a few more games for the 3DS like that Ghost Recon game, and Zelda.
The user interface is a breeze to use although I think I'm going to have to pick up a stylus and case of some sort because typing is rathe challening on such little boxes. Nevertheless, I don't have any complaints so to speak regarding that. The internet and browser is a bit touchy in regards to zooming in and out of pages and scrolling I find rather annoying but... why the hell would I use the 3DS for internet? So it's a pointless deal for me either way.
I really wish that some good social integration comes to be with the 3DS. I recently added haziqonfire but then realized I can't send him any messages or anything. What the hell Nintendo? No user profile? No game library to view or rapsheet? Nintendo, you need to take a step into the big leagues now and understand that social integration is key to your devices especially when you competitors do it exceedingly well. Hell, I can send XBL messages on my phone to my friends but my actual gaming device can't? Come on now, Nintendo. Come on. And codes? Series? That's just dumb.
With that said Nintendo, you have my thanks, you have brought out the old gamer that rested within me back when I used to enjoy these cl*ssic handheld games. Now I find myself shoving my consoles away and choosing to rest on my couch enjoying some of my 3DS goodness.
Went to Best Buy, they were offering a $50 gift card if you purchase a 3DS.
So I bought the Black 3DS.
Got the gift card.
Used that gift card to buy two games, got the third game free.
So I paid about $210 for a 3DS, Mario Kart 7, Starfox, and Mario 3D Land.
Played a little last night--this little device is *awesome*.
Going to the Best Buy Midnight Launch on the 11th. =D
Stubbornly used giftcard, so the total cost for the PC version was about $45.
I am proposing a bet for folks who wish to join the ordeal purely out of fun of course:
If the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim does not manage to achieve at least a 9.5 on at least one platform here at Gamespot, then I will make a JRPG > WRPG signature along with an anime avatar (picked out by at least three SW Loungers) and have it displayed in my signature/avatar until 1/1/2012.