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Shameful Human(s) of the Week: The Government of Vietnam

February 24, 2011 Shameful Human No Comments

Image: Adapted from IMG_1924 by helloandrew under a CC-BY-SA license.

Online gaming. It’s fun, it’s cheap, and only in the rarest of cases has it been a problem for anyone. Time for a crack down just in case.

The government of Vietnam is taking the high levels of interest in online gaming amongst its youngsters seriously, requiring ISPs to block online games from 10pm to 8am every night (which everyone knows is the best time to game), supposedly in an effort to curb addiction.

I suppose the kids of Vietnam (and everyone else) will have to find something else to do during those hours, like form gangs, rape, or pillage. I guess they could try single player as well, although free to play MMOs are what’s big over there.

Most amusingly, the true addicts of gaming will see little effect from this, as they can still play all day. Really, it’s the casual gamers who want to relax after school or work who are hardest hit by this needless and ignorance-driven decision.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the upcoming Mortal Kombat game has been denied a ratings classification, which means the title won’t be available there. This is a persistent problem in the country, as the nation’s ratings board lacks the equivalent of an “R” or “M” rating, which means anything that warrants something higher than a “Teen” rating is simply unable to be sold. So, you know, the Australian government, they’re pretty shameful this week too.

Fun aside: my source includes a bunch of kids huddled around SNESes, which makes me wonder just what kind of online gaming is going on in Vietnam.

Source: Mail Online

Shameful Human(s) of the Week: Fox News

February 10, 2011 Shameful Human 1 Comment

Image: News Corporation.

Of course, the employees of Fox News could take turns being Shameful Human from here on out and it would be entirely justified, but that would be too easy. That granted, I’ve got a link to a Fox News exposé on the horrors of video games that’s given me special motivation to berate the organization this week. It’s right here. Be sure to make a wanking motion the entire time you’re reading that. Let’s do a quick run through of the issues with this piece.

The title is “Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?” Oh I get it, you can imply ridiculous things to your readers without being entirely libelous by posing leading questions. I need to take notes for my website dedicated to mockery and trolling. “Fair and balanced” is so ironic a slogan that I actually have to keep my brain from flipping into “I’m reading parody” mode when consuming Fox material.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Jerry Weichman says “if a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm‘s explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant.” Well, I suppose children can be affected by viewing violence, but Bulletstorm is M rated. If 9-year-olds are playing the game, I suspect it is as a result of poor parenting… no wait, I’m wrong. According to psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, ESRB ratings aren’t enforced. That’s funny, because I’ve personally seen EB employees refuse to sell to kids, and they are apparently better enforced than movie ratings. Baselessly attacking movies must not be worth as many scare points for Fox’s old and angry audience.

Lieberman wasn’t done making shit up in her above quote. She also claims “the increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games.” I wonder when all those dating sims I’ve played will kick in and I’ll go on a raping frenzy.

Alright, final ridiculous quote. “Video game publishers traditionally stay glib about the issue of violence.” This statement is followed up by an explanation of all the “no comments” game companies gave to Fox. In other words, I don’t think glib means what Fox News thinks it means.

Shameful Human(s) of the Week: Whoever Created the Marketing Campaign for Dead Space 2

February 3, 2011 Shameful Human No Comments

Image: Dead Space 2 box art. EA.

EA, or whoever defrosted the aged idea of selling video games by making you feel rebelious for playing them in the marketing campaign for Dead Space 2, are this week’s Shameful Humans.

The campaign consists of a bunch of mom-looking moms (or maybe/probably they’re actors) reacting to footage from Dead Space 2. They react just the way years of stereotyped portrayals on television would lead you to expect they would react!

You can see the humiliatingly stupid results here. Anticipate a lot of middle-aged women grimacing.

Even more embarassing, part of this campaign involves a forced attempt at “going viral” by trying to get the kids back home to film their moms reacting to the violence of Dead Space 2 as well. Quick, you’ve only got until February 25th!

So, to recap: This campaign implies that gamers are a bunch of teenage guys who strive to be as bad-ass as possible by playing games their mothers wouldn’t approve of. Women don’t like video games. Adults don’t like video games. A “mature” rated game isn’t for mature people.

This campaign reminds me of the juvenility supplied so copiously by game marketers in the ’90s. These ads are more fitting Mortal Kombat than they are what I thought was supposed to be a serious game of 2011.

(Potential) Shameful Human(s) of the Week: Nintendo

January 12, 2011 Shameful Human No Comments

Image: Adapted from Nintendo office by Moja under a CC-BY-SA license.

For real this time.

Will the 3DS have loads of bad-ass games that both play and look awesome? Hell yes it will. Will it include intelligent design decisions? Maybe.

Andriasang has a story up about the online play of Super Street Fighter IV for 3DS, and it includes some rather dubious language: “You add players to your friend list by exchanging friend codes.”

For the uninformed, the Wii and DS have both featured ugly and arcane online systems which require you to enter a 12 digit “friend code” if you want to interact with specific people online. You can still play strangers no problem. There are system codes, which some games use, while others use game specific codes. The few players that bother with this system are faced with utter tedium.

Now, Andriasang’s story is based on a translation from a Japanese magazine that doesn’t give any further details. We don’t know if this is an updated friend codes system, whether friend codes are per game or per system, or if friend codes are even tied to an entire player account, nevertheless, the language is foreboding indeed.

Rumours are now circulating that the system will also be hindered by “region locking.” This is the authoritarian restriction of preventing people from different territories from playing each other’s games. In other words, a North American 3DS won’t be able to play Japanese games, or vice versa. You’d need to import a Japanese 3DS to play games meant for that territory.

All of this comes in addition to a currently unknown but expected price of $250+ and shaky 3-5 hour battery life. The west is waiting for January 19th when much is supposed to be revealed, including (hopefully) specifics on these troubling issues. Whether Nintendo has realized that this event is occurring in 2011 remains to be seen.

Shameful Human of the Week: Bobby “Fucking” Kotick

January 6, 2011 Shameful Human No Comments

It’s a new year, which I was hoping would mean a fresh round of faces for Shameful Human of the Week, but the old ones continue to be goddamn horrible.

Activision Blizzard, the world’s largest video game publisher, worth roughly $14 billion, may end its presence in the UK and leave 600 people there unemployed because of an absence of sweet tax breaks. The company has thrown a tantrum over the government’s decision not to introduce tax “relief” for its industry.

Activision’s president and CEO, as well as ShufflingDead’s Shameful Human of 2010 Bobby Kotick called the lack of tax breaks a “terrible mistake,” claiming “there are so many other places that are encouraging the video games industry.” In other words: tax us wealthy corporations even less and maybe we will occasionally throw you a speck of employment.

Jesus fucking Christ.

Here’s an economic suggestion for the governments of the world: tax opulent asshole CEOs so thoroughly that they are forced to live in reality again, and use their money to employ people, instead of fighting over the scraps their companies give you now.

Source: The Telegraph

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