Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Since its inception in 2000 as "SimEverything", Spore has been a part of the gamer zeitgeist as that game; a game so massive, so unique, so all-encompassing that gamers could not help but wonder at what it would be. This would not be just another Sim game, just another Black and White ripoff. Spore was to be a game whose scope was massive: Follow a species through its entire development from a single celled organism to a space-traveling master race. Spore would both deviate from and incorporate many different gaming genres to create not only the ultimate God Game, the ultimate Sim game, but, in the opinion of many, the ultimate game.
After eight years of speculation, previews, changes, and more changes we're finally three months away from the release of Spore. To wet our whistles, as it were, EA released the Spore Creature Creator, a free utility which allows users to delve into the depths of their creativity and design creatures into which their spores could evolve once the game ships in September. So the utility is released, creativity is unleashed, the Spore online community is inundated by Penis Monsters and Humpasaurs, the term 'Sporn' is born, and EA starts sending out cease and desist e-mails.
I'm fucking thrilled.
Spore is the video game equivalent of the Tower of Babel, the Titanic; its primary design philosophies are hubris and pretention fostered by Will Wright's inconceivably high opinion of himself. He could Sim ants, he could Sim people, he could Sim cities. So why not Sim Everything? Why not allow gamers to design their own worlds, their own species? Why not simulate the entirety of existence and condense reality down to six gigs of hard disk space and run it on a 2.0 GHz processor?
Because Cockosaur; that's why.
I can't think of a better initial reception for the game. Will Wright and company spend eight years developing Spore, meticulously crafting the procedural generation system, the fractal-based world. Games-as-art faggots laud the game's progression and yearn for the ability to distance themselves even further from the MMO, FPS, and RPG crowd by delving into Spore upon its release. And then what happens when the creature creator is released? The Sporepedia is filled with Cock-o-saurus Erexes, Vaginadons, and Boobceratops.
And if that were not awesome enough? Now EA has to unleash their inner prude on the Spore community and threaten users who create "crude or explicit sexual references", whatever the fuck that means, so that they don't get sued by some pissant Midwestern mom whose son's game is inundated by gigantic carnivorous Penises.
Figure out that duality. They wanted to simulate everything, to foster creativity and allow for an open-ended gaming experience...yet now they stifle creativity. They wanted their game to allow users to propagate a species...yet now they prohibit users from referencing any of the means by which human being propagate the species. They wanted to create the ultimate God Game...yet all they created was Sporn.
That's poetic fucking justice right there.
So, Fuck you, Will Wright. Fuck you with a Warbling Tri-cock-odon right in your pretentious, narcissistic ass.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
"I would much rather have a policy where if we see Obama, there's a shoot-on-sight order."He later apologized:
On Wednesday, I misspoke when talking with a local Chicago radio program regarding the current presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama as well as the status of our anti-terrorism efforts against Osama bin Laden. During the course of this conversation, I mistakenly referred to 'Osama' as 'Obama.' After being alerted to my mistake, I apologized to Sen. Obama for my misstatement and will take extra care to make sure I do not make such a mistake again.I'm not sure where to go on this one. Either Mark Kirk is an idiot who is easily befuddled by the difference between "b" and "s" or Mark Kirk is an idiot whose apology amounts to b.s. Given the little R next to his name I'm certain that idiocy is involved. I just don't know what kind.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Pick whatever invisible being in the sky you like and I'll happily swear to that man, woman, or pasta dish that the McCain Campaign is going out of their way to both piss me off and miss the fucking point.
In a conference call this morning Randy Scheunemann, the McCain campaign's top foreign policy advisor let loose with the dumb:
"Sen. Obama is a perfect manifestation of a Sept. 10th mindset."
Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you! I can't fucking stand that. "Sept. 10th mindset" has to be the intellectual equivalent of running fingernails down a chalkboard; it manifests the same cringing response. Moreover, how fucking idiotic does a person have to be to think that the lasting, foundational beliefs which have sustained the United States for hundreds of years, for which innumerable patriots have fought and died, somehow changed when two planes hit a fucking building? Talk about a fucking fixation on imagery. Shut the fuck up. Rebuild the buildings. Shut THE FUCK up.
But that's not the worst of it. After the "Sept. 10 mindset" comments Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard decided to one up Scheunemann and pull a Scalia:
Hayes' asked if -- in the campaign's interpretation -- the Court's decision would mean that if Osama bin Laden was captured and imprisoned at Guantanamo, he too would be entitled to Habeas Corpus rights.And in case you missed it, the McCain campaign thinks "yes" is incorrect.
The McCain campaign's answer was yes.
Ok, fuckers, OF COURSE Osama Bin Laden would be entitled to Habeas Corpus rights. THAT'S THE FUCKING POINT! That's why the United States is awesome, a beacon of lasting hope throughout the ages. The United States needs to, wants to, was founded upon the principles that even prisoners have rights; that even the most horrendous criminal is entitled to due process, to Habeas Corpus. Stalin did not afford prisoners Habeas Corpus. Hitler did not afford prisoners Habeas Corpus. Do you know why? Because STALIN AND HITLER WERE THE BAD GUYS! They are the dictators we do not want to emulate or strive to best. We don't want to be like them.
You see what I'm talking about? The Republican Presidential Nominee has advisors, friends, and supports who thing that Gulags were a good idea, that Stalin and Hitler are admirable figures who, while perhaps mistaken about the particulars, had the right idea when they just locked people up or killed them without trials, without Habeas Corpus, without any fucking oversight at all. The McCain campaign wants to emulate, does emulate, VILLIANS! Moreover? They think that emulating Stalin and Hitler makes them patriots!
You know what I think? I think they secretly fired up that particle colider already and the ensuing rip in space/time landed our collective asses in bizarro world. Because there's no other rational explanation for this shit.
Monday, June 16, 2008
The Earth's Resources are Finite post was a failure in that I completely failed to communicate my position and rather created what seemed to be an unintelligible mess. So rather than ignore the mistake or attempt to salvage its wreckage I would like to try again by utilizing this picture as a starting point:
The above picture portrays a particular mindset which sets Earth, its resources, the processes which occur upon it, and the entirety of known human existence equivalent to or in proportion with the dollar or, in a more general sense, currency. It is the mindset which says that we can, nay, must discuss a loaf of bread in terms of currency, petroleum in terms of currency, animals, vegetables, and minerals in terms of currency, labor in terms of currency, life in terms of currency. It is the mindset which utilizes currency to dictate and assess actions and policies, which utilizes currency as the basis for decisions.
It is a flawed mindset.
My grandparents own around 40 acres of land which is currently used for farming. When they die my mother and aunt will inherit the land. My aunt wants to sell the land. I have, for the time being, convinced my mother that we ought to keep it. Why?
Some, my aunt included, would argue that the currency we could receive in exchange for the land has more utility, value, worth than the land itself. Some would argue that we must discuss the land's utility, value in terms of housing, food production, resources, currency. But that mindset is flawed; it is mistaken; it is fundamentally wrong. Land has value in its being land. Land has value in its being part of the whole of Earth, the planet upon which humanity exists. To assess the value, the utility, the quality, the anything of land in terms of anything else fundamentally misunderstands the nature of humanity. Humanity does not exist apart from The Earth, apart from Nature, apart from that fundamental facticity of its being which is its reliance upon The Earth on which it survives.
From that realization we can extrapolate the point I attempted to make in Earth's Resources are Finite: Currency is an inadequate means of true valuation.
Currency has no value apart from the social context in which it has value. Yet petroleum, trees, food, The Planet Earth all have an existential, True Value which can never be captured numerically on a spreadsheet; True Value exist independent of our stupid little system. A Dollar, a Euro, a Franc, a Confederate Dollar only have value within social contexts. Yet a loaf of bread has value in its being a loaf of bread, land has value in its being land, petroleum has value in its being petroleum, Earth has value in its being Earth, The Moon has value in its being The Moon, Nature has value in its being Nature, Reality has value in its being Reality.
We cannot and must not talk about the value of a gallon of petroleum in terms of currency. We cannot and must not talk about the value of homes, land, puppies, electricity, water, anything in terms of currency. Currency is a minute, social, moronically simplified means by which faux, inert value can be shoddily constructed. The True Value of anything within reality, its existential and actual value is far greater than, far more complex than, anything our stupid little currency system could ever hope to convey.
When we attempt to assign value in terms of currency we exhibit a fundamental misunderstanding of reality. We cannot assess the True Value of petroleum by merely employing a short-sighted grasping at its use for humanity in the immediate future; we cannot honestly think that a gallon of gas and $4 are in any way equal, related, or discernibly similar. We cannot talk about the True Value of anything be it land or food or clean air or fresh water in terms of currency, in terms of dollars and cents.
We can pretend that currency is a true representation of value, worth, utility, what-have-you. We can pretend that currency is meaningful or useful. We can continually focus upon currency as an end, ignore reality and fabricate our own structures and systems. But to do so is short-sighted, foolish. To employ currency as a means of valuation indicates a fundamental failure to understand reality. One cannot discuss Earth in terms of some dollar value, in terms of currency. So stop pretending that the components which comprise Earth, the various phenomena within reality, are somehow estranged from this fundamental, existential Truth and rather are merely items upon a shelf whose value is signified by numbers in a database and cotton paper.
That's what I was trying to say before.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Kotaku posted an article by some reader explaining his experience with using a WoW Powerleveling service. It is an engaging, entertaining read which I think would appeal to both WoW players and those who despise WoW.