Posted by Stropp on
March 31, 2008
DM Osbon over at Sweet Flag is currently doing a journalism course during his, somewhat spare free time, and has an interesting post up about game journalism. It’s a series of YouTube videos from an American TV show called GT. I’m not familiar with it, but it looks like it’s from the G4 network.
I’m half way through watching, but so far seems pretty fair and balanced. The interviewer is talking to three people, one of them a journalist who writes for one of the bigger print magazines, and a couple of representatives from the big gaming companies. From what has been said so far, they’re all in agreement about game reviews being fair and balanced, but there are some stories about the companies not appreciating low reviews, and the consequences of those reviews.
If you are at all interested in game journalism, perhaps you have dreams of writing for a game magazine one day, maybe even going so far as writing for Stropp’s World – such a dream is rarely achieved – then have a look at the videos. All up you’ll need around half an hour to run through them all.
You can find DMs article here.
Posted by Stropp on
August 3, 2007
A little update on yesterdays mocking of Australian bureaucracy regarding terrorists using World of Warcraft and Second Life to conduct training for their nefarious schemes.
Terra Nova has put up an article; More Dots! Cried the Terrorist, that gives their take on the Australian Newspaper article. As usual Terra Nova takes a thoughtful approach to the topic. Not perhaps as derisive and mocking as I.
My favorite quote from the article.
But we’re always haunted by the prophetic imagination of Gibson, Stephenson, Sterling, Stross: even those who have never heard of them or the Metaverse have been affected by a collective unconscious that expects there to be only a few steps between raiding Blackwing Lair and post-Singularity downloads of our consciousness into Moravecian cyborgs striding through AI-generated simulacra.
Definitely worth a read, even if just for the colorful phraseology.
Posted by Stropp on
August 2, 2007
While I have fairly strong political opinions, I don’t discuss them on this blog. Partly because I don’t want to offend my readers, but mostly because this is a blog about games. And while games have all sorts of politics in them (guild politics, developer/player politics) they don’t usually have much to do with the real world body politik. Games are meant to be fun, relaxing, and a diversion from the real world.
Sometimes you read something like this article in The Australian newspaper which makes you grieve for the future of intelligence. Terrorists Practice on Cyber Game. Here’s a quote.
The head of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre in Canberra, Kevin Zuccato, has warned that terrorists can gain training in games such as Second Life and another game known as the World of Warcraft, using weapons similar to those in the real world.
As far as I know, the only weapon World of Warcraft has that is in any way similar to real world (modern) weapons are the guns. And they’re pretty slow. Take a soldier in any of the worlds poorest armies, and he’s probably packing an AK47 which has a much higher rate of fire than the most epic WoW gun. I doubt that even an army of a thousand berserking Orc Jihadists would in any way pose much of a threat to a squad of well armed US or Aussie soldiers.
I don’t know about Second Life though since I’ve never played it. From what I understand, players can create almost anything in the game. This means there is a lot more scope for evil mischief. Maybe the terrorists are planning on sending a million flying penises to disrupt the next sitting of Congress or the Australian Parliment. As that Dwarf in the Burning Steppes says, (I can’t remember his name) that will certainly scare the children.
Here’s another quote.
International terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna says the use of the virtual world for terrorist training is a new phenomenon that has not been discussed outside intelligence agencies.
And do you know why it hasn’t been discussed outside of intelligence agencies?
Because they don’t want to look like bloody idiots.
This is the same sort of rubbish that was spouted about how children were using Doom to practice using guns, after the Columbine High School shooting. I’m sorry, but I can’t see how swinging a mouse around in a game gives you any skills towards the real world use of a gun. That’s akin to saying that a high level Command and Conquer player should be directing a real world army, since he’s really good at strategy.
The scary thing is that our governments are using the terrorism angle to tread on our freedoms. Last Friday, while driving home from work, there was a news report that said that the Australian Government was considering legislation to ban Film, Literature, and Games that in any way promote terrorism.
With reports like the one in The Australian being presented does this mean that the government would consider banning WoW?
You could play as a team of terrorists in Counterstrike. Does that count as promoting terrorism?
And what about movies like V for Vendetta that promote the violent overthrow of a government. Will the Australian government ban those sort of movies?
I’m wondering where it will all end.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. No more politics. I promise.