Vox Pop of the Month (September 2008)
Posted on Wednesday, October 8 @ 16:32:56 PST by Nicholas TanThis month, there were a fewer number of Vox Pop-worthy entries but the quality remained surprisingly high, including one member that surprised me with two intriguing blogs. As usual, only the best entry by one author is considered for the prize, but I will give a shout out where it's due. I was also tempted to feature Melaisis' rant against video game violence, for a change of pace, but it made me want to kill him. (Not for real, of course. Just sayin'...)
The winner ($50) and runner-ups ($25 each) will receive online gift certificates to Amazon.com and can spend it on whatever they wish. I would spend it on a security system, myself. (Just sayin'...)
Title: "FALCON PUNCH!"
Comment: Martial art styles are usually taken as one giant umbrella of generalization for one simple reason. Why bother knowing what style you're using as long as you're kicking ass? But people should at least know what a martial artist practices, because if you don't, it's your ass that will probably be kicked.
Just because a video game character can do a Kazuya-style electric spinning uppercut or a Tatsumaki-Senpuu-Kyaku, doesn't mean it actually means much in the real world (even if a person could actually do them). Thankfully, oneshotstop demystifies all of the confusion - CQC? UFC? Juditsu? - and gives us the word on what real martial arts are all about. And if you don't believe him, he'll probably p'wn you before you can tell what he actually did.
And as a special honorable mention, his other Vox Pop entry entitled "War" really gets to the crux of fighting - its purpose and its impact. As a person who has joined the military, he faces the childhood fantasies of violence against the realities of war - and if that doesn't cut right into the heart of the video game violence debate, I don't know what does.
Title: "Ridiculous notions: Multiplayer unlockables"
Comment: Though the rant focuses primarily on fighting titles, it makes a point that I'm sure Duke will agree with. For some reason, developers thought that forcing players through single-player mode to get the maximum value out of the multiplayer mode was a good idea. Unlocking characters for a multiplayer brawl is not much of a reward when they should be there in the first place. Who really wants spend 10 hours killing yourself in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (as I did) or slug through story mode with every freakin' character, just so that when your friends come over, you could have a real party? Rock Band 2 understood this dilemma, allowing you to input an "unlock all songs" cheat while disabling the save function so that the game would remain fair. So listen up, developers of over-the-top Japanese fighting games: the answer is right in front of you. Stop making me jump through hoops just so that
Runner-Up: Kijan (someone, please, give this dude an avatar)
Title: "Hell, it's about time!"
Comment: I'm not sure whether gamers still get bullied in school for being gamers anymore. It's pretty much a requirement to play video games when you're male teenager nowadays - as KaiserKold says in his comment, even the jocks play games like Halo, Madden, and Call of Duty. If anything, it's the girls that tease men for playing kiddy games, but there are more and more gamer-girls out there today, so their general complaint lies mostly with playing ultra-violent titles. Even so, the gamer stereotype resonates much more with the "young vs. old" conflict than the "geek vs. jock" one. (Besides, I think trends have turned geeks into the new cool.) But at any rate, teasing based on stereotypes is hardly cool. Just let the bullies deal with their outdated notions of what a man is supposed to be about. No amount of penis comparison makes up for being a bonified A-hole.
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