Monday, March 15, 2010

Blogging? Communication?

Just recently I stated blogging for an English class over winter quarter at The Ohio State University. The class required that I blog for a grade, something I had never done before in my life. I thought blogging was a pointless form of wasting time when someone was bored. At the beginning of the quarter I felt that blogging was pointless, and was just a way for someone to try and make money. But as time went by I began to realize that blogging was actually great.

Blogging for me, made me feel as though I was really getting to let my feelings about certain subjects just come out. It made me relax more, and more on the whole subject of expressing my opinion over the internet for all to read. It also allowed me to grow closer than normal to some of my classmates, after seeing how they felt about subjects and how I could relate to them. I ended up using blogging to take about issues I was having with game companies and it turns out that many people can and do feel the same way.

There are many purposes for using blogging as a communicative tool. Some people use blogging as a way to let off steam when they are made about something that had happened in a past period of time. Others use blogging to get talk about something like video games and if they were crap or good. I’ve even seen where some people go on blogging sites to get information or helpful answers to any kind of complication that they are facing.

Who reads blogs? Well that’s a great question about blogging. Everyone and anyone, from geeks to the president may read blogs for their own reasons. As stated earlier it could be for information, stress relief, what’s in style or not … and the list is endless for topics of the blogging world and who reads them. It could be a first time mom looking for advice on raising her child, and what she shouldn’t do to have a healthy child. Or a first time father who needs to know what to expect when the child is born.

Can or how do blogs affect our culture, our ideals, and our lives? Well,  in Douglas Rushkoff  "The Internet" he says that “The Internet is Not Killing 0ff Conversation but Actively Encouraging It.” Blogging affect’s our culture every day, even if we don’t want it to. People could be online right now, blogging about the next big invention for the future. Or just saying how their day went, but with everything the human mind gets to read, it can learn from. This allows culture or our ideas to change the lives of everyday people. Cultures are developed by communication and adaption, which is exactly what blogging can do. They allow even the most shy of people be able to keep going on with their lives by typing how they may feel.

Blogging is defiantly a great form of communication. It allows people to be who they are without embarrassment of doing thing in front of people.

Rushkoff,Douglas. "The Internet..." We've Got Blog. MA: Perseus Pub 2002. 116-118.

Video Game Restriction?

I remember having to ask my mom if I could get a mature rated game to play before I turned seventeen all the time. Having to get her to take me to the store, and then go to the game area with me. Just so I could get the game that I wanted, because the games I liked to play contain a lot of violence. Looking back on things like that made me wonder, could a restriction on video games really help solve some of the problems our society has with violence? Are kids getting their violent habits from playing video games? Honestly I believe they couldn’t make a restriction on video games any stronger then what we already have. Art Carden addresses the issue of whether to restrict violence in video games in his essay “Video Games and Violence.”

Carden mentions how a radio host (Who he does not mention the name of) goes on to talk about violence and games, bringing up that the perpetrators of the 1999 Columbine school shootings (Picture at top of page), were avid video game players. According to rumors, one of them had practiced for the raid by creating a mock-up of their school using a map editor from one of their favorite first-person shooters.

Carden then writes how “…one of the guests questioned whether the physical activity people are getting by playing Nintendo Wii is really doing much good for their health… Thus, attempts to regulate video games will have important implications for our safety and liberty.”Carden says that games may be a cause for violence in public, but they can also be a way for criminals to get their violence (fix, as he puts it). For what better way to stop a criminal from committing crimes in the streets, Carden argues, then by letting him/her do it in a game where it’s controlled and safe. Carden also mentions how this is plausible by showing a relationship with porn and rapists, in a study that he found by Winai Wongsurat and Todd Kendall.

I can see how Carden feels that video games may cause violence in some cases with shootings, and I can agree with that. Playing violent games could influence children and teens in their actions or behaviors. Due to the fact that children are like sponges and absorb every detail they see or hear, so I’ve always been told by my parents. Although, this is why there are ratings on video games to stop violence in children until they are old enough by standards. To be mature enough to know what is acceptable or not of what they are doing.

So I would say in most cases the cause and blame as I’ve said in one of my blogs are the parents. For in order for to get a hold of a violent game someone over the age of seventeen must give it to them, because in order to purchase a violent or mature rated game you have to be at least 17 years of age. Ratings for games are as follows “E” for everyone, “T” for teen, and “M” for mature. Parents that let their children get away with buying a mature rated game, while not being seventeen or older is very wrong.

Anyone who sells a video game with a mature rating to someone under 17 should be fired in my opinion, for the ratings are there for a reason. If that were to happen maybe violence and or addiction of games would go down. On “The Lion & Lamb Project” web page the statistics say that “78 percent of unaccompanied children, ages 13–16 were able to buy Mature-rated games at retail stores, according to a secret shopper survey conducted by the Federal Trade Commission in 2001.”

Now in the case of the Nintendo Wii games that Carden brings up, I personally feel that some games for it aren’t quit as exercising as they say they are. They’re more of an arm and hand movement type of thing, not involving much effort. The Wii Fit, on the other hand, is awesome it’s like having your own personal trainer at home whenever you need them. It’s a game designed entirely to help you get in shape, and stay that way. I don’t have one myself, but would love it if I had it. This is definitely a game for all ages that doesn’t cause any sort of violence.

In the end of his post, Carden writes, “Attempts to regulate cultural goods like video games may involve far more than considerations of personal liberties alone”, which I can see. It could end up increasing the problems that people may be trying to fix in the first place. The number of adolescent violence problems would most likely get worse, for their going to resort to stealing the games, instead of buying.

Thus violence and video games I say should always be around with the restrictions that we have in place now. We are trying to fix the problems we have with children and violence. The problem can only be fixed when parents start putting more effort into their children.

Bachelor day nightmare!

I realize that there are many ways to cope with stress and that most work for a lot of people. Video games can be a good way for some people to ease their mind. For me, depending on the issues of the day, most of the time a violent video game helps me let out my frustrations with people. The main game that usually helps me with the stress is   Call of Duty: World at War. I love this game because I get to knock off some zombies in rounds that never seem to end. I feel the best way to explain how video games helped me with stress would be through my own experience of the day before my wedding.

It was a couple weeks back on December 18th, the day before I was getting married. I woke up happy and ready to go, for today was going to be my last day as a single man. I had a few errands to run and finish before having to be at my bride’s church, Westgate Chapel, for rehearsal at six. Right after the rehearsal, everyone was coming to my parents’ house just down the road a ways to have rehearsal dinner at around seven. I was hoping that everything would work out so that my bachelor party could take place as soon as everyone left my parents’ house.

It all started with the errands that I ran with my wife-to-be. We just had to go to the store and back before we could pick up a couple of people in our wedding party before the rehearsal started. The weather was fine that day with clear skies and roads, but people all over town were driving like there was a foot of snow on the ground. As I was driving to Wal-Mart, I became stuck behind an old lady who was doing maybe 40 mph in a 45 mph zone. So it started to irritate me because I couldn’t get around her, with every one passing me all the time. I was on a time deadline and I don’t like being late for anything.

Once we finally made it there, we got the things we needed from Wal-Mart and stood in the checkout line, where we hit another stall. We had to wait on this lady in front of us who was trying to get something that didn’t want to ring up. So they had to send someone back to get a price on the item, while we waited impatiently. They finally returned with the price about five to ten minutes later.

Since we had wasted so much time at Wal-Mart we had to almost fly to the bank, because I wanted to deposit a couple of checks that we had received for our wedding early on in the week. But we couldn’t because the checks had my wife’s married name on them and we hadn’t yet gotten her name changed. This just pissed me off even more, for we needed that money in order to buy all the groomsmen their gifts. I was going to get Nerf swords from Wal-Mart, so that we could all have a fight in the beginning of my party (since we’re all still big kids at heart).

From there I drove the once-again slow streets back to my parents’ house to get changed with only about twenty minutes until six, and we still had to go pick up my friend, whom I went to high school with and had asked to be the photographer, from her house. This extra step could have been avoided if my parents hadn’t messed up and got a photographer like they were supposed to. My friend was the only one with photography experience that we could get on such short notice. Somehow on our way there, we managed to go two streets past her house, causing us to have to turn around to get back to her street, taking up more time. Once we finally picked her up and made it to our rehearsal, we were about ten minutes late, which was all right with me. For at that point I had just given up and said to myself, “Heck with time keeping.” After a few minutes I started to relax a little, but the tension was still there even though we finally getting things done.

From there on throughout the rehearsal dinner it seemed to go off without a problem, so I was cooling down and feeling good. After the dinner, my stepdad suddenly decided he was going to become a jerk because he got a headache, and wouldn’t let us use the nice 48 inch TV to play games, or even put on some different music. So that we could start to have some fun, until he would let us play. After a half an hour he decided he was going to bed, and finally told me that we could use his Ps3, to get the party going. I figured I would go back on the slow streets to get a game from down the street at Blockbuster that would be a fun and everyone could play.

So I decided to get the game Full Auto 2: Battle Lines, since I’ve played it before with my step dad, figuring my friends and I would have a great time playing it too. After getting the game and leaving the store, I stopped and waited between two cars, while an old man finished driving by in his dirty black car. I got in my car and pulled up behind the old man in order to leave the parking lot on to the main street. Then all of a sudden he put his car in reverse and backed up into my car with a light thud. Cursing under my breath, as I got out of the car to look for damage he got out and apologized over and over. Keeping my opinion to myself I told him “No harm, no foul,” and drove home. I didn’t file a report since there wasn’t any damage.

When I got back, we put in the game from Blockbuster and had a little fun with it but not as much as I was expecting, for only a couple of us seemed to be really into it after all. In the game you chasing each other down and blowing each up with mini-rockets or shotguns mounted to the cars, while trying to complete a race through the winding streets of the city. In another multiplayer stage you going head to head, in an arena type location of the city, killing of all other enemies until you reach the set goal for number of kills. I thought at first everything was going well, until one of my wife’s brothers wasn’t enjoying himself. I soon found out that he thought I was having my party at the wrong time saying that it’s not traditional to have the party the day before the wedding, and that I should have had it earlier in the week. He explained that didn’t want to be out late, only because we had to be up and out to the reception hall in Monclova to decorate by six. So he was kind of grumpy and I was tempted to kick him out right there and then, for he was lowering the level of fun at the party. Although I didn’t have to worry about kicking him out, for after twenty minutes he had to leave, along with his brothers, because he didn’t want to be out late had to go by order of their mother, so they weren’t dead in the morning for the set up of the hall(I was cool with that). We tried having fun with the rented game but after about fifteen minutes or so we got bored with it because the codes I had to unlock items in the game wouldn’t work. So we just kind of gave up on that one and ended up finding a demo off the play station online store called “Blade Storm”.

We had a great time playing it, and it just really made the whole rest of the night so much better. In the game I got to take my anger out on the people in the demo by killing off endless armies of European soldiers, with my three friends, Codey, Josh, and Lucas. We took turns playing the demo and all the characters you could be in charge of, releasing all our frustrations with each blow we dealt to our enemies. The character we found to be the most fun and stress relieving turned out to be horsemen or knights on horses. You could use the horsemen to charge through enemies and capture posts, then run to another post within minutes and slaughter the men there until you were in control of yet another post.

Anyway, the game just did its job and relieved my stress while having fun with friends. After struggling with Wal-Mart customers and clerks, slow drivers and old ladies, and the pressure of not having enough time to accomplish what needed to be done to please everybody. That last game came through for me and my friends, so that we could have fun, relieve stress, and enjoy the rest of the night as well as the wee hours of the morning.

Monday, March 8, 2010

False Clames!

Something that kind of ticks me off is when a company clams something their product will do, and then when you get it, you find out it doesn’t. Such is a same kind of clam that Play station made when the ps3 system came out. That like the ps2, the ps3 would also be able to play games from the earlier systems. Which everyone thought was great, till the redesigns of the ps3 were made. Thus the system could no longer play the older formatting of a ps2 game.

But they decided to give us a small break and put the software that the ps3 needed to play ps2 games on the online store for free of charge, only one OR MORE stipulations with the software. First off you may be able to play some of the games, not all, SOME. They may or may not work very well on the ps3 system. There could be glitches or even in some cases failure to read the disc in the middle of the game.

Play station then decided that they would put up a list of games that are compatible with the software that they gave. Trying to please people, but I don’t think that’s what most people had in mind. Especially when you originally make a clam that the ps3 will be able to read ps2 discs. From an article I found on the ps3 system, PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) Revealed Before E3, by Roger Altizer, he put in his article that ps3 will read ps2 discs.

CD Disc media (read only):                             

• PlayStation CD-ROM

• PlayStation 2 CD-ROM


• SACD Hybrid (CD layer), SACD HD

• Dual Disc (audio side), Dual Disc (DVD side)

DVD Disc media (read only):

• PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM



It gives you the sense that ps3 will be able to play ps2 games when you read it. But as we all have found out it’s not so true. This was just kind of my major let down with the ps3 system, since I love playing some of the older games now and then. Let me know how you feel about the ps3 not playing older games from the ps2.

Another source Can PS3 play PS2 games

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chopper Down!!!!!!!!

Hope everyone is enjoying the latest game that’s out, if so I want to hear about it. I haven’t been able to play much lately, so need an update on what’s good or crap! Anyway my blog for this week is going to be on helicopter games. For over this past weekend I went to visit a friend in Hocking. He has a play-station 2 like I do, and while at his dorm he wanted to play this assaults helicopter game that he had. I don’t remember the name of the game, but it had me thinking when was the last time I had played any kind of helicopter game was?

I started thinking about that for a while and came to realize that the last one that I remember playing was about in 2005 or 2006. The game was Operation Air Assault, and I really liked it although it somehow came up missing a couple of years back. It was cool in my opinion; you could play in multiple views such as the cockpit. Just like many fighter pilot games you could control a variety of weapons with a Gatling gun mounted on front. Your mission is to kill the enemy in environments like jungle and desert, while trying to stay alive. I love games like this, for they can be difficult for me, challenging my minds ability to react to situations.

While realizing how great some of the games like this can be I came to notice that play-station hasn’t made a new helicopter game in some time now. The release date for Operation Air Assault was in 2005, but I’m not sure if there has been any released since then. Although I know for sure that the ps3 system doesn’t have a helicopter game yet! Hopefully they will soon though, because I really want to see the difference with some of the graphics that could be done. Like a more realistic take off and landing and maybe a better looking cockpit as well. But who knows, they may never make another helicopter game. Maybe the ratings for the last one were so crappy that they gave up on them. Hit me up with your opinions.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Into the FUTURE!!!

What will the future of gaming be like? The most reoccurring theme I’ve heard or read people say is that “It won’t be long now before games become virtual.” From my standings I would have to agree with everyone, for games are developing at a rapid pace just like any other type of technology out there. I mean ever since the Atari game system came out in 1977, they have come a long way and its only been 33 years. When you think about how much progress has taken place in just each decade, it makes you want to say wow!

Just from that it makes me wonder what could be possible for game companies to come up with in just this next decade. Maybe for war or some type of shooting game, they will come out with a realistic gun. That requires the user to cock and reload the weapon, while movements of your body are tracked by gloves and a jacket that you put on. Who knows what exactly the future may bring us in the gaming world. Things may ever become more 3D like, with characters or scenery that you feel like you could touch. We already have graphics that allow us to see characters breath, sweat, and move as if they were real people.

Really the next biggest step I can see in game development is in a virtual reality. Where when you move, they move and act as you do. Just like in the movie I just watched the other day called “Gamer.” Everything I watched on this made me feel this I kind of the way I can see video games evolving (minus the human controlling part), but how the kid controls every action of the game just by thinking it. I could easily see the military using some type of set up like this, to train their soldiers without sending them into the field where they could really end up dead because of a mistake.

So I guess will just have to wait and see what happens, and hope for the best really. Hope it turns out to be great though! Cant wait to see what you think may be instore for gaming!