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FEATURED VOXPOP danielrbischoff
Peace in the Era of Call of Duty
By danielrbischoff
Posted on 04/15/14
In a world dominated by violent media, Americans are no more eager to go to war than they were in the 1980s or the 1960s or the 1940s. Hasn't it always been someone else's problem? The overwhelming majority would rather go on thinking it had nothing to do with them and there...

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Lost my Touch
Posted on Tuesday, August 12 2008 @ 09:59:16 Eastern

After three weeks of barely playing Rock Band, I finally got back on it. Mainly because my guitar is finally in working order again, a month ago the fret button wouldn't work at all, making me fail some easy songs both off and online (so to everyone I have played with where I failed, sorry.)

So after learning that no matter how coordinated I can become I will always suck at the drums (although I am now on medium difficulty, which is good.) I put the game away for a bit until I had time to fix it.

After operating on the guitar and fixing it finally, I downloaded todays pack and began playing, and failed all six songs downloadable today. ALL SIX. Granted, thee of them were level 9 I believe, but still, this is unprecedented because I have been an expert guitarist for a while now, and until today there were only a few songs I couldn't beat on expert, and now there are six more.

So I went down to simpler songs, and I began floundering there as well. I beat them, but none of them had five stars, let alone gold stars. To test myself, I played Enter Sandman, and even four starred that! Now there is something REALLY wrong.

I guess I am out of practice, so it's time to play like a madman for a few days until my vacation with the family next week.

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Total Control and Setting Standards
Posted on Monday, July 14 2008 @ 12:24:13 Eastern

Well, like a lot of the fretwork freaks out there (Nick), I think I nearly orgasmed when I saw the new setlist for Rock Band 2 today, over 80 songs strong, and almost every single song alone can be a make or break deal for a game like Guitar Hero in the past, it is that strong, ranging from Bob Dylan to AC/DC to even a new single by Guns N' Roses, yes, you read that right.

With this newfound strength is the added bonus, namely twenty songs that will be, as of this writing, free right after the game is launched, which means the game will bolster 100 songs, yes 100 songs, right from the get go. But to add even more to the pile up, Harmonix is making all of the first Rock Band compatible with number two. So not only is all of the downloadable content available at your disposal, but so is the original setlist from Rock Band, and the peripherals that go with it.

Essentially, for $60.00 or more, you can buy the game alone and play it right away, without shelling out for the new, likely better and improved peripherals that will make the game better, i'm sure.

This, to me, is a marriage of something that I have suspected will happen for a while now; total, freeform downloadable control from the market in video games. The players can be radical completionists and purchase the game and the nifty bells and whistles that can accompany it, or they can just get the game alone. Or, as it is the case now, they may buy the game in pieces, the drum kit on it's own later on to replace a broken one you may have, or a new guitar to bolster your bands prowess. Harmonix and MTV have done something that is both experimental and risky, full customization of their product for the consumer by utilizing current technology and tactics.

When compared to the other music and rhythm games out there, such as Guitar Hero, it almost pales in comparison. Guitar Hero, World Tour has a more limited compatibility with the previous titles, with only downloaded content going into World Tour, leaving behind the other features, including the guitar itself. Guitar Hero, which many can site for the major boom of the music game industry, is starting to show its age, ever since Neversoft and Activision took over the franchise, it has been playing catchup with the original creators. True, Guitar Hero 3 was a hit, but GH Aerosmith and On Tour are both seen as minor quick buck cashins by most fans of the game, pointless supplements that could of easily been content for download. With only GH Metallica coming soon (which admittingly, I am looking forward to as a metalhead) the old franchise is now taking it's cue from Rock Band, but I doubt it will be successful.

What Rock Band is doing is perhaps the wisest of all things. The numbers for downloadable content, which range in the near 20 million mark, is just a sign of the power of this new customization aspect that Rock Band is subliminally promoting. They are also taking a cue from their core gamer base, and making sure everything is compatible with their games, right down to the GH II guitar for the 360. This will easily generate more revenue for Harmonix, since many fans will likely just purchase the game itself, take what they can and continue the pattern now, and with over 500 songs by the end of this year (if my math is right, including the Rock Band 2 songs) , I don't see how Guitar Hero can compete.

And maybe this is a start of something new as well for the gaming industry. Many people were concerned about the sudden flood of music games and the non-standardization of the plastic guitars, drums and microphones, but at the same time it is clear that the niche audience these games cater too is starting to notice this as well. What Rock Band is doing is essentially making all of their equipment standardized, instead of releasing new equipment every year and making it only compatible with the game it comes out on, like Guitar Hero is planning to do with their previous guitars. The use of the downloadable content is also liberating, now creating a vast library of choices for every gamer to either customize with or even leave alone, something that is glossed over with most games, like Halo and Elder Scrolls.

This total control is something that many gamers clamor for, and it is no doubt going to be a major feature for future games, and not just Rock Band. I wouldn't be surprised if episodic, cheap content for Mario, Zelda, Halo and the like begin to pour out of the woodworks, so to speak. Maybe more mini-games for Mario Party, more quests for Mass Effect, more cities and cars for GTA will come pouring in online, and be devoured like popcorn by the consumers. While Rock Band is easily setting the standards for how to make a successful musical rhythm game, it may also be setting the standards for the future of downloadable content for games; especially those prone to a sequel or two that is likely to come out.

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Goddamn Mother****ing COLLEGE ARGH!!!!
Posted on Tuesday, July 8 2008 @ 19:00:52 Eastern

Yeah, i'm ****ing pissed off right now if you didn't notice.

I got a letter from my college in the mail two days ago saying I cannot get my degree because my degree conferral has been denied. After four years of working my ass off, receiving cum laude in the field of Education/History, and taking tons of classes to support that, I can't get my degree.

The reason? I one credit course (known as a CDDS course, usually taught for a whole weekend from 8 AM to 6 PM Friday and Saturday) I didn't attend because I registered out of it back in February because I was too busy with writing up my work project for the colloquium class, as well as writing up numerous projects in other history fields.

So in other words, because they didn't get the memo that I registered out of the class for one ****ing credit, I am not getting my diploma.

I am so ****ing pissed off, partly because they wait until JULY 2nd to send the ****ing letter to me, and the other part is because this is essentially preventing me from finding a real job, with student loans looming in December and teaching positions hard to ****ing come by to begin with.

Right now I am waiting a response from the school as to how to rectify this, because I never went to the class, and what they told me to do, contact the professor whom I never met and ask them what I need to submit to a class I never attended or to change my Incomplete to a actual grade, since there is a grade for the class, is obviously not an option. And frankly, I am not going to attend a class like this just to get a diploma, because it would meant the spending of more money for a weekend.

I ****ing hate this.

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Forum Woes
Posted on Thursday, May 29 2008 @ 19:28:36 Eastern

Until the forums come back, I am not going to be doing much here. I planned on writing two member reviews today, actually. One for GTA IV, and one for Viking, the game that I picked up on Monday and gave up on Wednesday. Good thing it was a rental.read more...

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The Sequel Effect, Part I, Conglomerates and Popular Culture
Posted on Wednesday, May 14 2008 @ 15:42:49 Eastern

In the forums recently was a topic that argued how games are possibly taking a backseat in creativity, as sequels are constantly pumped out that become major productions for the respected developers. For me, this is a critical topic for the gaming...   read more...

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More Poetry!?!?
Posted on Sunday, May 11 2008 @ 12:32:09 Eastern

yeah...sadly...im that bored and after writing another essay for school, and instead of doing my planned vox pop articles, I wrote this little thing instead.

Colorful Expression

Red, blue, yellow, green,
and all the colors in ...   read more...

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Poetry for the Win!
Posted on Wednesday, May 7 2008 @ 14:55:54 Eastern

Hey, I won something!

Well, sort of at least. I essentially was featured in my schools literary magazine, a lot of poems and short stories, essays, photos, etc. and my poem "Revolt" was voted "Best in show" by the peopl...   read more...

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So pissed
Posted on Wednesday, April 30 2008 @ 13:37:48 Eastern

I hate computers sometimes!

 

I just spent the last few hours finishing off the final few pages of my thesis paper on Pre-Colonial African Slavery, only to have the computer freeze on me before I can save!

I lost...   read more...

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Working hard...yet hardly working
Posted on Monday, March 31 2008 @ 21:31:24 Eastern

Want to see the **** I have been doing for the past three months?! No???

Tough!

Ok, I am a bit tired, so sorry for the cynical stuff lately, but this research project is so ridiculously off putting it's not even funny. Here is the ...   read more...

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Outpacing the Technology from Today
Posted on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 11:33:49 Eastern

I finally saw some videos of Crysis today, and I have to say that it is impressive visually. It looks as close to as realism as I think we have ever gotten in the graphics department, and quite frankly I smacked my face once because I forgot I was lo...   read more...

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