How RoboCop and the T600 Can Solve the Financial Crisis

All we need is one act of charity from one or more of the world’s billionares.  Two corporations need to be built: OCP and Skynet.  First city to receive the benefits of financial healing?  Detroit.  OCP and Skynet will create the T600 and RoboCop and have them do battle in the streets of Detroit and it will be awesome.

How could this possibly solve the current economic depression you ask?  The Skynet corporation has to create Skynet, a complicated AI program to run the T600’s.  This requires massive amounts of research and resources which requires massive amounts of researchers, technicians, and programmers.  OCP is in a similar situation in that employees will be needed to make huge breakthroughs in cybernetic and medical technology.  OCP will also need lobbyists, law makers, and lawyers so that a corporation can not only purchase the Detroid PD but also own their employees and turn one luck individual into RoboCop.

The ensuing city street destruction will not only create a form of population control but also increase jobs in the construction and destruction prevention markets.  On top of all this people will want to see the spectacle involved with the war of machines so the tourist attraction of Detroit will infinitely raise.  OCP and Skynet as corporations will also need to to provide maintenance to RoboCop and consistently create additional T600’s.  Even new sports can be made such as the John Conner Olympics, where one lucky contestant will be released on the streets with only a T600 to save him against the legions of Skynet and RoboCop.  Tickets to this event will sell out like crazy.  I’d buy that for a dollar!

You might be asking how this post has anything to do with videogames and the answer is simple, all RoboCop and Terminator video games suck.

Write to your Congressmen now to tax the 1% to make this economic paradise come true!  Peter Weller isn’t getting any younger and he still has to pass all those pesky police exams before he can be hired by the Detroit PD brought to you by OCP.


Stereotyping is Not the Answer

Fan boy.  Troll.

Those are used a lot.  Most people don’t consider themselves those things or if they do they do it in jest.  But there’s a communication breakdown that occurs when discussing them in the context of feedback.  I myself comment on practically everything I read and listen to but not everyone is me.  There are a multitude of reasons I do those replies which include everything from interest in the topics to wanting to interact with the people who produced the media to wanting to gain attention to my music and podcast.

So this happened.  I’m sure opinions of G4 and Adam Sessler vary greatly as its not popular right now to be the popular kid, and this kid has a television station.  I don’t always agree with the guy and usually don’t find him funny, but I love hearing his thoughts and reasons.  What he preaches about is very much a problem and I thoroughly agree with everything he says in this clip.  I don’t think the world will ever change, but it is very much a problem.  But one part he doesn’t talk about is the disconnect between the audience, the reviewer, and whether a given person considers themselves a troll or fan boy.

Its very easy to dismiss people as fan boys or trolls.  They are words given to those we deem less than us.  Those people so out of control with their emotions and brand loyalty that they display an irrational opinion in the face of right (even though its impossible to be right on an opinion).  People who have to comment and insecurely defend whatever product, line, or franchise they love.  The problem is who in their right mind would think of themselves this way.  The only answer is no one.  Most people who interact with the internet via comments or  message boards have been called a fan boy or troll before.  I know I sure have.

Owning a PS3 in 2007 was not a pretty sight.  Oh there were plenty of games for it.  The problem was everyone and their dog being a giant dick because you had anything good to say about the device.  The general public would not accept my opinion it.  Period.  My liking of the PS3 back then was always whittled by message boards or comments down to things like being contrary for the sack of being contrary or, as should be predicted, being a Sony fan boy.  And let me tell you when people constantly attack you for holding to your love in these situations regularly, you start going on the defensive at the slightest jab.  Its not a pretty environment and its one that a person requires pretty thick skin to deal with reasonably.  Emotions are a very good thing that everyone should engage in, but anger is always blind, reckless, and needlessly damaging.

No one is ever going to identify themselves as a fan boy or troll except in jest or to avoid negative public feedback on a popular opinion they hold.  Calling people these names does absolutely no good what so ever.  All this whole article comes down to is everyone has an opinion and some people get paid for theirs.  A lot of us wish we got paid for ours.  Its alright to disagree with people, in fact I encourage it!  What I don’t encourage is trying to come off as superior when you do in any type of serious regard.  And if you are joking, you should mention it.  But really Wil Wheaton’s first rule of the internet is most imporant: Don’t be a dick!

Here is my advice on reading reviews, as every review sight has a different philosophy on the function of their reviews.  For the simplest reading experience, know that the review is an opinion piece that is going to give you details about how a game functions and what that game is about.  For the more serious about their review reading, become familiar with the personalities of the writing stuff.  There’s no clone of you out there in the media world so you have to figure out where these reviewers differ from yourself.  If you have already bought the product be secure in whatever opinion you hold of the product.  You don’t have to agree with the website.  People will still understand you so long as you express yourself in big boy words.  And last but not least, some reviewers LOVE getting controversy.  Let that be your entertainment.  If they’re a good enough writer, despite their need to poke the dragon that is the internet from its slumber, they’ll still either cause your brain to move your neurons into thoughts or at the very least, educate you on aspects of the game you may not be privy to.

And to you reviewers, I know many of you think of the developers as your audience.  If so, you should rethink that one.  I’m sure developers do read your articles, but they aren’t the ones who provide your income.  I know their work is required for you to have a job but they are a minority and your job keeps them in business.  I’m not saying do what the audience wants.  But I am saying provide the audience with a piece that makes them think they’re getting what they want, but instead give them what they actually need.  As a reviewer you have direct impact on the public’s brain.  When you can write something and thousands or hundreds of thousands or millions of people read it, you have the means to teach.  And building a better society is going to happen if we teach people how to be better.  Right now we have some pretty lousy teachers in the political press.  People learn by example and you have that on your shoulders whether you want it or not.  Everyone messes up but not everyone gets back up.

With all that said, Trek is better than Wars.


I keep almost posting something here.  See the trick is to be outraged about something enough that I can be a giant jerk except with some sort of relevant logical point.  See my big gripe right now is for people to stop being jerks to people about what games they like.  And to stop declaring what they believe to be antiquated design.  Most of this rage stems from liking the underdog games.  I don’t need good graphics and animation to be immersed in a game and I know the rest of the world isn’t necessarily like me.  But I also know I’m part of a large minority which doing the Picking Up the Pixels podcast with Boston has taught me.

So really to start we probably should define evolution in terms of gaming.  See evolution is somewhat predictable where human and animals are concerned.  But in gaming terms its….  Well let me put it this way.  Either we redefine the word evolution to mean what everyone seems to think it means or we start using the word “innovate” in place.  A better physics engine, better AI modeling, better animations are all predictable things that we could consider predictable evolution.  Doing something unpredictable, which is what everyone supposedly wants, is more like the X-Men are to evolution.

Everyone loves ragging on Japanese developed RPG’s for ignoring years of evolution.  Its a small market folks, so yes, Japanese RPG’s can’t always afford cut scenes and high end physic engines.  And if they could they would probably make something that the majority of the world wouldn’t like because they are a minority that designs games for a minority.  Japan is a very small island.  The real question that should be asked is: Are Japanese games innovative?  And the answer is a resounding yes!  Final Fantasy, love it or hate it, innovates every single iteration of the main series.  Shin Megami Tensei games, Persona included, are highly innovative.  The problem the world has with them is they aren’t convenient.  And really convenient in terms of a videogame is going to be relative to the person and what they want out of a game.

And multiplayer!  Come on folks, there are tons of us out there who are about the single player experience quite a bit more than the multiplayer one.  If all games go permanently multiplayer, forgoing any single player experience, the videogame market is going to lose a substantial chunk of business.  You may only need 51% to win a vote but when it comes to profits even 20% of a market is substantial.  I realize there are tons of people who buy things like Call of Duty and never touch the single player.  Well guess what?  I own a ton of games with multiplayer that I will probably never experience because I simply don’t care.  In reflection though I could save a ton of money by not buying videogames if everything goes free to play and multiplayer.

And free to play….  I really have no opinion on this yet except that I do.  Its evil in a way.  Its like a bank that’s just waiting for you to use that ATM card enough times so they can start charging you.

The thing to keep in mind is there is a lot of people in the world and everyone wants to make money.  And as long as there aren’t people playing video games there are potential markets.  And each time one of these markets is tapped there’s going to be a huge surge of people coming out and declaring whatever it is the future of videogames.  Nintendo Wii, Facebook… do I really need any more examples other than those two?

But hey guess what?  The thing we love is finding a way to be loved by everyone.  People aren’t using drugs or collecting STD’s like pokemon cards.  People are exercising their problem solving and motor skills to complete a task in a graphics interface that gives them pleasure.  This is what we want, right?  People to stop comparing us to the Simpson’s comic book guy?  People to stop acting as if all gamers and comic books nerds live with their mom and are afraid of the opposite sex?  I know its what I want.  Its not that the stereotype offends me, its just it makes me realize just how closed people’s eyes are.

And really, people like being condescending.  Look at popular humor/sarcasm that everyone and their dog uses.  Everyone wants to feel smart and that they made good decisions and most people accomplish this by belittling other people, or what other people love (same thing).  There’s a lot of people in the world and our values don’t match up and simply won’t until the Microsoft Siri overmind programs us to.

All I’m saying is quit being a jerk about what other people like or I’ll punch you in the nuts.

[musim out]

Choke a Bitch.

So this happened.  And now for some thing completely offensive.

Is the man who did the choking psychotic?  Absolutely.  Would a 13 year old kid FPS stalking me online and kicking my ass infuriate me?  Absolutely.  Do I feel bad for the kid?  No way.  Have I had friends who have done worse for less at bars/clubs/school?  YES.  Would you ever suspect these people of these atrocities?  Nope.  Well maybe one or two of them but only because they kept getting caught.  In my experience its the ones who want you to think they’re physically or mentally dangerous that are the puppy dogs.

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East vs West: FIGHT

Okay seriously guys, STFU. Yes the Japanese have an entirely different culture than us. And yes that means the amalgamation’s of their pop culture winds up in a different place than ours. No the Japanese gaming industry isn’t dead. Granted the country can’t compete in sales with the rest of the world.  The best the United States can do is match the rest of the world in sales. I realize we as a world wide civilization look to these two places as leaders in product innovation and industry standards, but Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia are pretty big too.

Japanese games are mechanically stagnant and lack innovation to paraphrase pretty much any gaming website out there that I love including but not limited to Giantbomb, Joystiq, etc. To really counter this argument we have to look at what innovation IS in gaming. Innovation is defined as “something new or different introduced“.

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Welcome to my First Rant…

… on this blog that is.

So I don’t want to flood the Carousel with text opinion posts.  I’d prefer to stick to objective reviews and fun discussions on the podcast.  But I feel the need for an opinion piece now and again so here’s my first one.  And don’t worry, I’ll provide links for whatever factual things I reference.

 Subject: Gamestop

Why pick Gamestop?  Well the recent Deus Ex debacle seems like a good reason to put some focus on this company.  Gamestop is doing for video games as to what Guitar Center did for music: absolutely nothing.

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