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Saturday, October 15, 2005

When BatJack Attacks

Gamepolitics has up two responses from Jack Thompson to David Walsh. I'm sure you'll be surprised to find out that somewhere along the way, he says something totally insane. I mean, I won't even get into how he considers the yet unreleased Bully to be a Columbine simulator. Earth to Jack - you guys lost that case ... let it go.

This one, is just funny.

Liberals, like you, love to label things and then think that the labeling has accomplished something. If that had been the case, then Churchill's calling Hitler a Nazi would have ended the war. But no, people like me had to get into the trenches and stop the Nazis. And there were always those tut-tutting back home about what a nasty business it is to stop the bad people, and can't we all just "get along."

Churchill did once make the inference that Hitler was worse than Satan, but calling Hitler a Nazi? Well, gee, that's just not terribly ... anything ...

"Hey Hitler."
"You're A NAZI!"
"Well .... duh"

And what oh what does Jack have with Nazis anyway? It must be something frightful in that man's mind to convince him the world is just one more video game away from the next Holocaust.

And who uses words like tut-tutting these days?

But, that's not as much crazy as:

Dave, it is laughable, it is absurd, that you have copied your email to Bill Gates, of all people. This is a guy whose Halo trained Malvo to kill in D.C. This is a guy who now has put all the Grand Theft Auto games on his XBox. This is a man who is going to release Bully when the coast is clear in the spring.

That's right ... Bill Gates is personally responsible for training Malvo to kill using Halo. Now, what was it that Dr. Walsh found so objectionable about Thompson? Oh yes, "Your commentary has included extreme hyperbole".

As they say in the courtroom .... case closed. Dr. Walsh, props to you for raising the level of this debate by helping cast aside some of the dead, insane, weight. Let's hope some of the media outlets follow suit.

Read the full text of BatJack's attack at

Friday, October 14, 2005

Even More Colossal

Seth of sends word that they've got some machinima for Shadow of the Colossus, called The Colossus Whisperer, available. If you've ever wondered how the game and Dr. Phil would mash up, this is your chance to see. Quite funny, and honestly just makes me want to see the game even more.

EDIT: They also have a video which spoofs Indigo Prophecy, but seeing as my Outlook just sideswiped my Visual Studio, I'll have to check it out later...

Colossus Viral Ad?

Snopes is covering an online rumor about an enormous creature being washed up on shore. There is a semi-convincing video that you can view which honestly feels a little blue-screened and I kinda wonder why it's in English considering it's a foreign news source based in India. Snopes suggest that perhaps it's a form of viral advertising, perhaps for the ICO follow-up Shadow of the Colossus.

Walsh seperates from Thompson?

Kotaku is reporting that GamePolitics is reporting that they've seen a document from David Walsh of NIMF asking Jack to stop referring to him in the middle of his mad, inane rants:

Your commentary has included extreme hyperbole and your tactics have included personally attacking individuals for whom I have a great deal of respect. I believe that respect is essential in all our dealings, including respect for those with whom we disagree. Some of the people that you have publicly criticized are not only people of integrity, but are people who have worked to improve the lives of children.

Well, now I know how David would have answered that question should I have gotten the chance to ask it. If this is true, hurrah for him. BatJack is a man with a severe psychotic break from reality and his addition to debates like this is the equivalent of releasing a wild bear into the Senate. Sure, it's funny when everyone is running around screaming ... but it's pointless and unproductive.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Lost goes a little ARG on us

For fans of the show (well, if you're big fans, you've probably already seen this):

Not much information, hence not much in the way spoilers. The second one feels like a rabbit hole, but I'm not sure if there's really an invitation to try and gain entrance or it's just a tease.

Gamix Open Platform Console

The details are pretty darn murky, but Gamix hopes to define an open spefication for others to make a console and develop for it. This essentially comes down to a medium-range PC running apparently Linux. Needless to say, thoughts of this nipping at the heels of Sony or Microsoft doesn't seem likely, but it's always interesting to see someone try.

More to the point, it shows the interest that's out there. Homebrew projects also show that people want to be able to develop for their hardware without having to secure a loan in order to start.

Lost Question Of The Week*

Mild Lost spoilers ahead. I'd white it out, but the feeds will still show it. So ... just avert your gaze.

Last warning.

OK. So, here's the question. If you were trapped on a island where you had to push a button every 108 minutes under the vague threat of world destruction, how long would you last? How long would it be until the curiosity of what would actually happened should you fail to press a button outweigh the fear of potential apocalypse?

The follow-up question to that is ... if you could take your significant other with you, how much longer would you last? This is based on The Girl's indignation when I said I'd probably destroy the world within a year, even if she was there ... just based on the sheer need to know whether or not the vague threat was even real.

Also, how does one tattoo a shark?

Anyway, loving this season :)

*will not actually be weekly. on BatJack

It almost seems like the title should say it all... has a great write-up on BatJack's latest bout of attention whoring. Not really much more has to be said about a guy willing to pay out $10,000 so that someone will make a game for him to divulge his apparently wildly violent fantasies, but this addition at the end is enlightening:

"The Bible doesn't promote killing innocent people," Thompson said. "Grand Theft Auto does. Islam does." (...) "Islam promotes the killing of innocent people," Thompson said. "The Quran requires the infidel, whether Jew or Christian, to be killed. That's a core essence of the religion. Muhammad was a pirate who killed infidels and who advocated the killing of infidels. Not a nice guy. Osama bin Laden is in keeping with his fine tradition."

Well, there's your answer, folks - ol' Jack's not only a liar, stalker, immature punk, and litigious jerk, he's also a bigot. Congrats, Jackie boy, you've earned this man's contempt.

I have my own proposal for Thompson, since he's so keen on proposing things: I have about $20 stashed away somewhere around here. I will give him every cent if he just shuts his filthy mouth and stops lying, cheating, and bullying his way through the world.
-- Jack Thompson's Indecent Proposal

There you go, people. Jack has compared Doug Lowenstein to a Nazi who is worse than Saddam Hussein. He now compares Grand Theft Auto to Islamic radicalism, except to Jack ... all people of Islam are radicals. Hey Hilary, how do you think that's going to play for your next political bid? "Hilary Clinton features panel with complete religous zealot". That should play well on Broadway.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Games and Porn

That should get your attention.

Gamecloud has an excellent article about game age gates and how the ESRB has mandated that they be used for promoting M rated games. Activision has reportedly gone so far as to require credit card checks. This is clearly in reaction to the current trend of laws making the sale of such games illegal to minors and is actually on of the things I suggested might happen back when the Demuzio law was still being discussed.

The disturbing thing here is that it places video games closer to the domain of pornography. As the article rightly points out, there is no such restriction for browsing the websites of the much more similar R rated movies. Even, if I recall correctly, to play web games based on those movies. How about that for a double standard? So I can play a game where all I do is blow zombies away in a Flash player, but if I dare check out the next Resident Evil game ... I better bring my Visa? Clearly, this isn't making any sense.

NaNoWriMo + CoG

Well, perhaps invoking the Carnival might not be the most accurate, but anyone in the old gaming blogosphere who is doing NaNo this year can raise their hand in this thread.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Thompson Will Pay For Violence


In what must be a contender for biggest act of hypocrisy award, Jack Thompson is offering $10,000 in charitable donations for someone to make an insanely violent video game:

O.K. then works his way, methodically back to LA by car, but on his way makes a stop at the Philadelphia law firm of Blank, Stare and goes floor by floor to wipe out the lawyers who protect Take This in its wrongful death law suits. "So sue me" O.K. spits, with singer Jackson Brown's 1980's hit Lawyers in Love blaring.
-- Attorney Proposes Violent Game (thanks Kotaku)

How big of an attention whore do you need to be in order to offer up a bribe just to get someone to make another opponent? It's been awhile since Hot Coffee, and rumor has it that if BatJack Thompson doesn't do another television interview soon, he'll be forced to slumber in the dirt of his homeland until Bully is released.

Screw violence and children, I think we should study what makes a person that fanatic. Seriously people, imagine the things you would spend $10,000 on. Does any of them include the things you hate? Could we pool enough dollars together and perhaps bribe Jack to just shut the hell up?


According to BoomTown, City of Heroes is undergoing a nerfing of epic proportions. Essentially every single player is effected, and in someway degraded, by the update and they're pissed as hell. I guess I'm glad I cancelled quite some time ago, when the level grind just going boring and my online chums were like, four zones ahead of me ... because this sort of drama sounds painful.

It's also another reason I still give props to Guild Wars. Yeah, sure, I know it's rude to throw one MMO down when another is being kicked, but it's seriously the reason I bought the game. First, ArenaNet seems to have done enough testing that their patches involve only minor gameplay tweaks. Second, if they suddenly decided that say ... monk carrying swords only do half damage ... I could just put the game away. I haven't spent any more money on than a normal title and I don't have to call anyone to stop harrassing my credit card.

Serenity: The Mobile Game

I had mentioned this before, but the only game licensed to the movie is Serenity: Renegades, a mobile phone game. I couldn't resist downloading it yesterday.

As a game designed for simplicity and casual play, as most cell games are, it's not too bad. Essentially a scrolling version of Galaga with a buy screen and autofire. Sadly as a license, it misses the mark. For one thing, Serenity doesn't really have guns ... much less automatically firing cannons. For a franchise which has never really had a proper "dogfight" in space, this is all about blowing stuff up and doing other things (like picking up "friendly" ships) that Mal and his crew never really do. There is a "sneak" mode, but it's pretty silly. Essentially just like shoot mode, but you have a stealth monitor. In stealth mode, though, you are still running in with guns all ablazing.

It's really a shame there doesn't seem to be any kind of PC or console title for the franchise in the works. Rich with opportunity.

Monday, October 10, 2005

More on Serenity

I remember seeing the Firefly premiere because a Whedon fan friend of mine told me I'd regret it if I didn't. I had long argued with him about the major decline of the Buffy series and was a bit skeptical, but I have to say he was right. Firefly was good television if there ever was any.

Fox must have more than a couple of idiots on staff not to be able to see the potential of this show. The problem Star Trek and Star Wars has is that while the people who grew up digesting those shows and movies have grown up ... they've remained the exact same age. Or worse, made leaps towards younger audiences or mainstream audiences.

Firefly was the counterculture to that. It was serious, keeping it's humor to within the confines of it's gritty dialogue. It was esoteric, peppering that dialogue with phrases in foreign languages to prop up swear words and exclamations. It was deep, focusing primarily on it's characters and less on subplots involving pseudo-technology or ramblings on about meta-philosophy. Firefly was about getting into space and staying alive. To keep on moving on, as Mal would say.

The writing was arguably the best Whedon and company has produced. The characters are flushed out and unique, carrying with them a signature style to every line of dialogue. If someone handed you a script with the names blacked out, you could still tell who was speaking quite clearly.

So for this cancelled gem to get a second life based almost solely on the loud raucous of it's fanbase is a bit a of a miracle. And also an enormous burden on the cast and crew. Not since Fellowship of the Ring has a more rabid group of people watched closely to see if a film was doing justice to the material they loved.

There are moments and deviations that the hardcore fan will blink at or scratch their heads, but largely Serenity is Firely distilled into a two hour movie, capturing the kind of story that drew people in the first place and doing it in such a structure that new viewers won't feel isolated. That's an impressive feat. If there is any flaw to the movie it's that it feels too short for all that it's bringing to bear to the screen. The film remains true to it's source and not a carbon cliche of most of the science fiction out there. This is a franchise for a more mature viewer of the genre, someone who is tired of seeing plots dumbed down or prettied up just to sell more toys on the backend.

I am desperate that they'll be able to do a sequel. It apparently has to make $50 million domestic or $80 million worldwide, and it looks like it just might ... although it could be close. I'd feel a lot more comfortable if the second weekend was closer to the half way mark for that ... so I'll probably be seeing it again when I get the chance.

Oh, and as a side note. Can I recommend to other netizens that if you're posting reviews of the film ... warn your spoilers. I walked right into a sentence which was written something like "Whedon holds mostly true to the series, has made some changes, and BAM HUGE PLOT SPOILER". My eyes nearly bled. The movie is exciting and somewhat unpredictable, so I highly recommend anyone going to do a better job avoiding such traps than I did.

New WiFi Consortium

A group of 27 technology companies said on Monday they would collaborate on a new, faster Wi-Fi wireless Internet connection standard for computers and other portable devices.

The alliance, dubbed Enhanced Wireless Consortium, joins previously separated camps that were heading towards separate standards for wireless networking.
-- Wireless industry comes together for faster Wi-Fi

The Girl forwarded that along this morning. Apparently the new standard, dubbed 802.11n, will be ten times faster than the current speeds, reduces traffic information within the signal and will take out your dishes for you when the washer stops. Eventually this stuff will be like Bluetooth, making it's way into more household items than you can shake a cantenna at.

$99 Revolution?

Forget filed, this should be locked in the rumor drawer for later contemplation. The big mumblevine story now is that Nintendo might release the Revolution for $99. Try as I might though, there's very little to support that it might be true other than oft-whispered "insider sources" which usually end up telling us stuff about holograms and flying cars.

I just don't buy it. The Micro released at $99. Do we really think the big N has a console sized sibling for the same cost of hardware? The main fuel for this fire is that they've said repeatedly that they will underprice Microsoft and Sony. But c'mon, with 360 bundles going for $600-$700, it's not like they have go double digit any time soon in order to accomplish that task.


Two amusing facts when you put them together.

1. We have a friend who lives in New York and is in a comedy ensemble called Mini Red Satan. She ran in the Chicago Marathon this weekend and wore a shirt from the ensemble.

2. Fans of the Chicago Marathon are known to stand by the sidelines cheering on complete strangers, looking for any clue on their clothing as to what name they should be shouting.