World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...

2009/02/21

PC Games Released: Penumbra Collection

Recently, as of the 18th of February, the Penumbra Collection was released for PC. This pack includes the trilogy of Penumbra, namely Penumbra: Overture, Penumbra: Black Plague, and Penumbra: Requiem.


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2009/02/20

The Wrestler

The movie, The Wrestler, is now showing here in S.A. I suppose wrestling is going to explode now more than it ever has, with e-TV showing about one installment, sometimes two, every day, much to the chagrin of everybody who isn’t a wrestling fan.

It tells the tale of a washed up, burnt out guy named Randy “The Ram” Robinson, who fills the stereotype of wrestlers nowadays- long, blond hair and tights, and his journey from zero back to hero. Sounds like a Rocky movie, or Mickey Rourke's real life, but it's not about boxing (although Mickey was once a 'professional boxer' for about eight fights in five years).

The fact that Randy
“The Ram” Robinson wrestled The Ayatollah at Madison Square Garden twenty years ago in the film just reeks of Hulk Hogan and The Iron Sheik, and the rivalry they had back in the 80's.
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Delayed: The Sims 3 and The Godfather II

These two games were initially slated for release this month (The Sims 3 for today), but they've both been pushed back. 

The Godfather II is now on hold until April 7, and The Sims 3 and the Collector's Edition are due on June 2.


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2009/02/19

On This Day: Bethel Regional High School shooting

The Bethel Regional High School shooting occurred on February 19th, 1997, when Evan Ramsey killed two people and injured two others. He was sixteen. He is currently serving two 99-year sentences and will be eligible for parole in 2066.  He will be apparently be about 85 when that time arrives.

Ramsey's father was sent to prison when he was seven, and then his mother slipped into alcoholism. Ramsey and his siblings were then sent to foster homes, and in at least one he was sexually abused. Often, his own foster brothers would pay other students to beat him up as a sick game. He suffered from depression from as young as 10 and was contemplating suicide five years before the shootings.

Ramsey was reportedly picked on frequently at school. According to friends, Ramsey was very smart and was often, ironically, called names such as "retard", "spaz", "screech", or "braindead".

Evan Ramsey did an interview with Anderson Cooper titled "In The Mind of a Killer" in which he blamed the videogame, Doom, for the school shooting.

Ramsey is reported to claim he did not understand his actions would really kill people.

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New CGR article published: Doom II

Hey, I've just published another one of my Classic Games Resurrected articles. It's one on Doom II: Hell on Earth, and  it contains plenty of info on the game as well as a resources section with plenty of links to interesting sites. There's also a video and plenty of pictures too.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Classic-Games-Resurrected--Doom-2


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2009/02/18

Games to get cheaper: good or bad?

Unlike everything else in this world lately what with the global recession, the prices of games are apparently set to get cheaper instead of more expensive.

While we may be rejoicing, it’s supposedly bad news for publishers, as lower sales profits would not be compatible with flat development and publishing costs.

I have said for a long time, that they should have done this years ago. The recession aside, think about it; the cheaper things are the more sales they’ll make. By hiking the price up, it only leads to some missing it (we’re not all rich brats), and piracy, and that’s all money that doesn’t end up with the publishers.

As of the last few years, they’ve been charging astronomical amounts for games. For the PC in South Africa, a brand new game will cost usually somewhere between R350-R400, with slightly older games’ prices dropping a little bit. For console games, you can double that initial ballpark figure- it’s damn expensive.

If they were to sell a new game at half that price, say R200, you would think more about purchasing it. I know I would- I often go for games on specials when I can, especially classics at budget price.

Say ten people buy that game at R200 (R2000) versus one person at R400, and you start to see my point. Of course there are other costs that nobody knows or cares about that get deducted from this amount before it ends up where it’s supposed to go, in the publisher’s pockets. Say it takes R50 to churn out a single unit without adding on all the profit and whatnot. With the first model, you’d minus R500 (10x50), and have R1500 over for everyone to fight over. With the second model that we’ve been seeing, you’d minus R50 and end up with R350. Would you rather have the first wad of cash or the second?

How much confidence do they really have in their product if they assume that even if the price of the game is lower, only the same amount of people will buy it? 

I know years ago, they did trials with this, and had Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 on sale for about R100, and nobody bought it. Let’s be honest though, the game wasn’t that good, and anybody who cared was only looking at the sexy protagonist, Julie, on the box cover. 

I’m talking about new, exciting games that are destined to attract attention and make sales. Then they won’t have to worry about covering their costs. If they’re still making a profit, who cares?

If people are tightening their purse strings and avoiding overspending, then by everyone raising their prices to cover their costs, it will only reinforce consumers’ attitudes and lead to people making a loss anyway. 

It’s called business sense, and publishers or whoever, don’t say, “It’s not that simple.” How else would you go about it?

http://videogames.yahoo.com/feature/analyst-games-to-get-cheaper/1286173
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2009/02/17

On This Day- Rise of the Triad: Dark War

On this day, back in 1995, the full version of Rise of the Triad, or ROTT, as it is casually known, was released.

This remains one of my favourite classic games of all time, and I still play it to this day. In fact, I wrote an article recently on it under my Classic Games Resurrected series. This page contains pictures, a video, and plenty of useful info and links to ROTT resources and sites on the net.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Rise-of-the-Triad
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2009/02/16

What’s with all the School Shooting?

You may have noticed that I’ve started writing On This Day features and the like that revolve around school shootings. Why would I have this on a blog about gaming, you ask?

Well, unless you haven’t heard, videogames and PC games have been blamed for almost every school shooting and other related attack since Columbine. One of my missions on this blog is to oppose this myth will factual evidence, and try to get people to see that this isn’t necessarily true. Of course, I’m a gamer, I listen to heavy metal, and I like violent films, all evil things as far as politicians and parents are concerned, nowadays.

I haven’t killed anyone. I know right from wrong. I hardly ever resort to violence to settle disputes as I am conscious of the consequences, and besides, people just laugh at you if you get angry anyway.

I’ve always been one with words, sometimes spoken, but always written. It’s far more efficient and constructive for me to write and to blog. I can talk about things, get stuff off my chest, and reach more people than I would in real life. I’ve been complimented on my skills in debating and negotiation- trying to get the other party to see my way of thinking.

People blame the media because it’s easy. I have this notion that many people play games, listen to music, and watch films to get away from life for a while. It’s called escapism.

I don’t just sit around doing these things all day, but they do make up a big part of my life, just like they probably do with others too.

People who blame the media at the drop of a hat are ignoring the real issues, and these take place in real life (or in Second Life, perhaps, what with cyber-bullying). These issues are bullying in all its forms- verbal, physical, sexual, psychosocial etc, social alienation, isolation and the like.

They like to say that if we get rid of games, music, and movies that it will stop the problem and the phenomenon that is this killing business. News flash: killing would continue even if an all-out ban did occur. More people would kill others due to the overload of stress, and frustration of not being able to play games, listen to music, or watch movies and cool off, I’ll bet.

So I think that you need to get to the source, which is the real or initial cause of the person’s problems. Games, music, and movies are just activities that people use to get away from these problems. If someone did decide to go to school and shoot up a classroom, there’s no doubt that they might have been witness to violence in a game, movie, or heard about it in an mp3, but what really spurred on the feelings for them to get to that point? Sadly, schools, parents, and whoever else, are probably more likely to attack games and try to get them banned, rather than host social workshops or youth centres, compulsory seminars that encouraged tolerance and condemned bullying, banning bullying, and punishing non-compliance with expulsion or possible jail time, and solving that problem.

“My Johnny is the most popular boy in school, and he’s on the A rugby team! We give so much to this school! You can’t do this!”

“Tough tits, lady.”

Nobody ever thinks for one moment what damage other kids at school might be doing. One thing that a lot of these shootings that have taken place over the years have in common, is the fact that they were pushed around by ‘jocks’, and they wanted it to stop, but nobody listened, cared, or even knew about it. These feelings might have been exacerbated by the lack of a safe home environment, with abuse or other things going on at home. So what is a person supposed to do in the end? I know what it’s like: the fear of having to go to school every day and put up with violence, intimidation, and taunting; it is hell. And don’t laugh, because chances are you’ve either experienced it too, or you’ve made someone experience it. Yes, this does involve you. Let’s face it, if you were given the choice of either being bullied, cast out and miserable or being accepted, embraced and happy, you would very likely choose the latter option every time.

I’ve seen and even experienced this kind of anti-social behaviour practiced by the so called jocks and popular kids at school. Everyone thinks it’s perfectly normal and that we’ll all grow out of it and end up okay in the end. They fail to realize that these events shape us, and stay with us in our lives, probably until the day we die. It’s happened to people I know and am close to, after all.

Has anyone ever read an article or heard about how kids at school have died because of bullying or initiation practices? Well, it happens. What is the cause of this? Is it video games? Is it movies? Is it music? Likely the answer is ‘no’.

There’s probably more violence in schools worldwide that takes place every day than all the school shootings combined (although the massacres, even though not as often committed, do lead to more loss of life). If parents, headmasters, teachers, coaches, bosses, and whoever else just took the time to listen to pupils or employees and actually try to rectify the situation, and get to the root of the problem, and nip it in the bud, then perhaps we’d see less of the consequences of not listening and heeding the ‘warning signs’.

It’s your choice.

Let me just say that I in no way endorse the actions of the shooters, nor am I trying to shift the blame on anyone else in particular. My main aim here is to get rid of this stereotype that gamers are killers in training, and get the focus shifted on to real issues and motivators that lead to these actions.

"I wouldn't say a single word to them — I would listen to what they have to say, and that's what no one did."
   
- Marilyn Manson, in an interview with Michael Moore in “Bowling For Columbine”, a documentary that took a rather large look at the Columbine Massacre, guns, and violence in general.

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President's Day (U.S.A)

On This Day: Nox 

According to IGN.com, the game RPG, Nox, was released on this day back in 2000.

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2009/02/15

On This Day- Star Wars: Dark Forces

On this day, fourteen years ago, Star Wars: Dark Forces was released. 

It is said to be one of the most innovative games of its time, having features that Doom and Doom II didn’t have, including being one of the earliest games, alongside Rise of The Triad, Marathon and Strife, to introduce secondary attacks with weapons.

This was also the first game that featured Kyle Katarn, a favourite Star Wars character who ended up being in the sequel, Star Wars: Dark Forces II, and Star Wars: Jedi Outcast (essentially Star Wars: Dark Forces III).

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St. Skeletor’s Day


Today is Anti-Valentine's Day, or otherwise known as St. Skeletor's Day.

I've recently written an article about this on my profile.

The History of Valentine’s Day and Antivalentinism

A new site, devoted to Anti-Valentines, called Himote SNS, a Japanese site, has been started recently.

http://himote.in/

http://www.japanslate.com/himote-loners-unite-happy-folk-in-real-life-drop-dead/


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What does AAA stand for?

It's not an abbreviation of anything. It just means the best of the best... 

"Well, now you know the truth: Apocalypso's Atomic Arcade!"

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