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Call of Duty will never be the same
By oneshotstop
Posted on 07/28/14
       We've all been there. Everyone remembers that mission. You and your partner are climbing up the mountains in the snow, striving to pull some slick clandestine operation about getting some intel on a bad guy, or something similar (because let's face...

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The Rabbits are Leading the Wolves to Their Dinner
Posted on Friday, January 18 2013 @ 01:42:12 Eastern

This began as a reply to Missouri Proposes Tax On Violent Video Games by Keri Honea.  It is posted here for length.

There is blatant hypocrisy in, on the one hand, being completely cavalier in advocating legislation whose very existence is not only illegal to the point that it threatens to undermine the majesty and integrity of federalism and the constitution but also the rule of law itself while, on the other hand, getting up on one's hind legs and shrieking at similar such legislation elsewhere because one's own ox is being gored.  One group in defending its interests without attacking others and another doing the same can work toward the same goals without contradiction.  Gamers and gun rights advocates (many of whom are the same people) should be working together to push back a wave of idiotic knee-jerk legislation that will solve nothing, violate the civil rights of over a hundred million Americans the day it passes (with a count skyrocketing from there) and ensure that incidents will keep happening and that frauds like the Brady Campaign will have their foot in the door and that foot will soon become everything else.  They won't, of course, and one day after Jack Thompson dies you will read a lionizing obituary of him.  They will not describe him as the joke and pariah that he deserved to be but a hero for 'thoughtful, well-considered and long overdue' censorship (here to be called 'reasonable content restrictions') and activist government.  Just picture it.

"Even through disbarment (likely orchestrated by a then-powerful videogame industry) he bravely fought on.  When the government-controlled ratings and approval board was created its standards were decried as draconian by a group of self-serving brats who refused to grow up and put their murder simulators away.  It is true the board has outright refused classification to many more pieces of media than it has permitted and in doing so has driven over 90% of all publishers and developers out of business.  This only tells us that developers adamantly refuse to cooperate with the board's perfectly reasonable standards.  With the forced shuttering of Rockstar Games as per the Thompson Act the last of his old foes have been beaten and the industry can finally get fully in line."

That will be history's verdict of a man too corrupt and debauched to practice law in a state which cannot even elect district attorneys without rampant fraud.  I need a drink.

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Sony's Immediate Future
Posted on Thursday, December 6 2012 @ 13:13:45 Eastern

On Razörfist's "The Rageaholic" this post contains a link to a .pdf financial report from Sony embedded in the image at the top and a bit of commentary below that.  Razörfist concludes from the selected information that there is no PS4 dev kit.  This means there will not be a Playstation 4 in the near future.  A little arithmetic follows.

Conversions will be done using information from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.  From this we can do some conversion with the chart supplied in the PDF to get some more local numbers.

Sony R&D Expenditures from 2008-2012 - All conversions done with the April 1st conversion rate of each year.

2008 ¥520,568,000,000 or $5,069,533,111
2009 ¥497,297,000,000 or $5,027,264,456
2010 ¥432,001,000,000 or $4,622,670,078
2011 ¥426,814,000,000 or $5,131,388,326
2012 ¥433,477,000,000 or $5,334,943,952

It's possible Razörfist is mistaken.  After all, he does characterize R&D expenditures as having not gone up at all in the past three years but from 2010-2011 they went up by more than 500 million dollars and from 2011-2012 it also went up another 200 million.  It is also possible the visibility of expenditure on the PS4 is being swallowed up by other projects being cancelled or abandoned and other avenues of research just generally being closed off.  However, this argument overlooks two problems - the dollar values do not count the lowering purchase power of the dollar itself and it is extremely unlikely that an undertaking of this scale could be buried in noise via what would otherwise be a massive dip in R&D.  I think his conclusion is sound.  I think the PS4 is at best a long way off.  Once again the Microsoft console will beat the Sony console to the market by a wide margin.  It will be the console more powerful than the Wii U and the seventh generation hardware.  It won't have to fight for exclusives with Sony because Sony won't have a system.

UPDATE: I was wrong.  The PS4 has been announced.

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A Riposte to a Rebuttal to a Reply, or Something
Posted on Monday, April 16 2012 @ 12:14:14 Eastern

This is a continuation of an exchange in the comments to "Gamers Rebel Against Dirty Tactics as Capcom's BBB Rating Plummets" and is posted here due to comment-length restrictions.

"Oh please, around the entire internet[...]"

I didn't ask about the entire internet.  I asked about this place, Game Revolution.  Where had you seen such a thing here?  You concede you have not.  It's a good thing, too - it's a starting point of agreement for what's to follow.

"I got shat on for point out the fallacy of their website"

I'm sorry to hear that.  We're talking about a formal topic and how it relates to a passion people share.  I do wish people would be more civil.  Were I the one reeling from a 'you're a tool of Bioware/EA' attack, I would demand hard evidence of a conflict of interest, on the condition that failure to produce such in the wake of such an allegation ends in a permaban on the spot.  You'll watch the internet tough guys' penchant for libel disappear on the spot.

"Point is, it doesn't matter if EA/BioWare/Capcom/Square Enix do good or bad practices, because the BBB is not evidence of that, or at the very least credible. That is my point, and why I don't take them seriously. "

The BBB's credibility is not at issue in Stephens' statements.  She could work for George Lincoln Rockwell, Meir Kehane or the DMV for all I care and what she said still stands or falls on its own merits.

"And yeah, I always assume what they say is a lie, because it never comes true. Hell look at other developers out there like Molyneux, Todd Howard, Gabe Newell, David Jaffe; they have been caught in "lies" time and again, but get off scott free."

Here is where you make the mistake I tried to point out by committing the same invalid extension of one of your prior statements in the exact same way you extended Stephens'.  What you have identified is a problem.  The right to freedom of speech ends where fraud/threat or incitement to same begin.  The problem is not whether you personally do or do not trust them.  The problem is whether a consumer can or cannot trust game makers.  If putting blatant lies about the contents of your product on the packaging (this is where your extension of Stephens' argument became invalid, that is what she talked about, not keynote speeches, not interviews, not on-the-record informal conversations with journalists) is accepted industry practice then the industry, and its accepted practices, need to change.  Objective definitions of false advertising, fraud, or abuse of consumers' rights need not change to suit it.  They're doing something wrong. If EA is the first to get slapped while others also deserve it, even if EA is the only one to get slapped when others are far more deserving, they still deserve it.

"So you are not abusing any argument, but rather making a fool out of yourself due to naivety."

Yes I did abuse your argument.  I abused it in the formal sense.  I was strawmanning you.  I was pretending that you would or were knowingly and willfully aiding and abetting outright fraud on a multi-billion dollar scale.  I never thought you actually did, believed, or intended any such thing.  One could not even uncharitably read that into your statements.  Likewise one could not even uncharitably read your conclusions about false advertising on Skyrim's blurbs from Stephens' argument.  Which was my entire point.  But even if those were a valid implication of her argument, that doesn't invalidate it.  'I don't like the conclusion' is not any more a refutation of an argument than 'all those other guys are doing it too' is an affirmative defense.

"It's advertising and promotion, of course it has a slant to it. It's why it needs to be taken with a grain of salt."

Which is why advertising is (normally) filled with weasel words a PR person can later hedge and lawyers can point to in order to protect their clients from false advertising and fraud lawsuits.  The problem is the use of the word 'completely'.  It is an absolute statement for which no significant qualifications are possible.  There are two reasonable interpretations of the indirect meaning of the word in context and neither one could possibly describe any of the Mass Effect games (or any game at all, for that matter) and it's really simple - EA hoisted themselves (and by extension, Bioware) by their own petard.  If you have a physical copy of Skyrim handy, read the blurb.  There's lots of weasel language.  If you tried to sue them they could bog your argument down in interpretive ranges for the words you would hope to single out.  It might, by some estimates, be very close to the line where hype ends and lying begins.  No one could seriously argue it is on the far side of that line.

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A Critique of Reactions to Utoya
Posted on Friday, July 29 2011 @ 19:57:06 Eastern

This post began as a comment on Josh Laddin's Manifesto post - "Revolutionary Rant: Video Games Did Not Cause the Norway Shooting".  My comments are too long to post there, so they go here.

To be as kind as I know ho...   read more...

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Devotion and Fanaticism - A response to Squiggly
Posted on Tuesday, May 5 2009 @ 17:06:20 Eastern

Squiggly's post ("Calling the Kettle Black") inspired this post.

     So, the fanboy.  I find it interesting that this sort of behavior is indulged in at all.  I could easily come up with a 'how ev...   read more...

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Beginnings in Philosophy (some game-related content, I swear!)
Posted on Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 11:09:09 Eastern

This Post May Contain Spoilers
    I should start by saying that my own knowledge of the body of Western philosophy is still in embryo. I'm working on the problem as best I can, using a particular set of books to correct the d...   read more...

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Gaming's Political Future
Posted on Monday, May 26 2008 @ 20:24:10 Eastern

    "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root," --Henry David Thoreau

    When I first started paying attention to the political pressure being ratchete...   read more...

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Theory of Morality; a response to Sandineyes
Posted on Wednesday, May 21 2008 @ 04:39:56 Eastern

This is a response to Sandineyes' post of May 19, 2008: "Morality in video games"

I felt a blog post was necessary, rather than a comment, as I'll be going to length and depth to which a comment is not amenable.

The wh...   read more...

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