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4:37 PM on 02.09.2010

VGLaw: Nintendo Co. Ltd. v. James Burt, or, Nintendo Whomps Aussie Pirate

Welcome to the first installment of VGLaw, a Destroid cblog series that aims to educate you, the video game consumer, about the law and how it can affect your gaming lifestyle, hopefully without too much of the high-falutin legalese. Today we'll begin with the recently settled Australian case of Nintendo Co. Ltd. v. James Burt.

The Facts

As reported by Destructoid and many other news outlets, Nintendo v. Blunt was a case before the Australian Federal Court that ended in a settlement in favor of Nintendo, to the tune of $1.5 million AUD (approx. $1.3 million USD/840,000). James Burt, a 24-year-old resident of Queensland, had purchased a copy of New Super Mario Bros. Wii prior to its global release date when a store "accidentally" put it out on the shelves early. Burt proceeded to copy the game and upload it to Wii hack site*, six days prior to the game's official release date. The game was then illegally downloaded and re-uploaded thousands of times across the internet and the world.

After an intense investigation, Nintendo was able to trace the pirated game's history back to Burt, its original uploader. On November 23, 2009, police searched Burt's home and found evidence of his pirate activities. Nintendo filed its suit in the Australian Federal Court, and the case was settled on January 27, 2010 for the amount specified above. Burt was also ordered to cover $100,000 AUD in Nintendo's legal fees.

* - has since been shut down. All that displays upon visit to the site is a message that the site has been closed and that "the site and all of it's [sic] contents has been removed out of respect for Nintendo." It is unclear whether Burt owned or operated the site, though in searching his home, Nintendo had requested the search to include any details or passwords related to the website.

The Law Behind It

You should all be familiar with digital piracy, copy protection, and all that jazz by now. You should all know that the unauthorized copying and distribution of games and other materials is illegal, and subject to civil (generally, recovery of monetary damages), or in some cases, criminal penalties. In Australia, copyright law is governed by the Australian Copyright Act of 1968 (ACA) and its subsequent amendments. The Act is somewhat of an amalgam of the British and United States copyright systems, though following the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement, enacted in 2005, the ACA now models the U.S. Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

Without the court documents, it is impossible to know precisely what harm Nintendo alleged in its filings. However, it almost certainly included lost revenue caused by the illegal distribution of the game, thousands of times over, as well as penalties for circumventing any copy-protection on the original disc. The Australian legal system does allow for punitive or examplary damages as well, though it is impossible to tell if they would have been awarded in these circumstances, though they were undoubtedly requested by Nintendo. All told, a settlement of $1.5 million could very well be a bargain for Mr. Burt. In fact, he is fortunate he does not face criminal charges as well.

A typical Australian judge...

In Australia, copyright infringement is only a criminal offense when accomplished on a large commercial scale. I am by no means familiar with Australian criminal law; however, were I a prosecuting attorney with a particular dislike for internet pirates, I would argue that despite the fact that Burt made this material available for free, the scale on which the game was downloaded was equivalent to a large commercial distribution. Furthermore, if he owned and had ads that generated revenue, the revenue increase from extra traffic directed to the site by the availability of the game could be considered commercial. Most government-employed attorneys likely don't know enough about the internet to push that one too hard though.

It is unclear as to whether Mr. Burt has the assets to meet the terms of the settlement agreement. Many commenters assume Burt will file for bankruptcy. This may be true. However, bankruptcy is not a magic wand with which Burt can magically cast all his debts aside. To start, Burt would face numerous restrictions, such as the need to disclose all relevant financial information to his creditors, and the need to obtain permission before traveling overseas. If his home and vehicle are above a certain value, they may be sold off to pay his estate's debts. Furthermore, he will be required to contribute a portion of his income to the clearing of his debts. If he does not, his wages will be garnished. Burt will be paying, one way or another.

How It Affects You, The Gamer

Many loyal Destructoid readers have NOT downloaded games, music, movies, and other media from any variety of websites, primarily via torrents. I'm sure there are even some who have NOT uploaded those materials for sharing, or even NOT worked around DRM and other copy protection. The act of NOT doing this is called piracy. In the music industry, the act of sharing such files has been prosecuted for awards of hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, and this case makes it clear that the video game industry takes piracy just as seriously. However, it has been debated as to whether such litigation has had a positive effect on decreasing and deterring piracy. Most evidence seems to indicate that it has not, and that pirates are just getting trickier.

Whereas the music and film industries have met with varying success by going after the sharers of files and the sites that host them (see the series of cases against The Pirate Bay for more regarding that), Nintendo here has chosen a different tactic: they went straight for the source. Through some impressive digital forensics, they were able to track the distribution of this game right to Mr. Burt's door. This seems to have paid off for Nintendo, assuming they can collect the full amount of their settlement. It may very well pay off for other developers and publishers as well.

The cost of such an investigation is likely fairly high, and so scouring the internet for pirates of every game release would not be a very cost-effective strategy. However, the potential damage in lost revenue for major releases, such as New Super Mario Bros. Wii, makes bearing the cost of tracking down those individuals pirating the material worthwhile. As the saying goes, cut the head from the serpent, and the body dies. It has yet to be seen whether pirates will think twice in light of Nintendo's new strategy, and whether other companies will employ similar tactics. If this is the case, you may find it more difficult to NOT illegally download major releases in the coming months and years.

And finally, gamers in Australia may be dismayed by the resulting backlash from their countryman's actions. A spokesperson for Nintendo Australia stated, "Nintendo Australia is always pushing for games to be released here at the same time as the rest of the world, so we were pleased to get New Super Mario Bros. Wii before anyone else. Unfortunately, due to the actions of this individual, future release dates may be affected for Australia, which is disappointing for us."

Australia gets boned again.

The author of this piece is a law student, not a licensed attorney. The contents of this work are based on limited legal research, and should not be considered official legal advice.

Is there a point of video game law you would like to see discussed here? E-mail me at [email protected] with suggestions and comments!   read

11:46 AM on 09.05.2009

FOP Theme #1: Every Girl's Crazy 'bout a Sharp Dressed Space Marine

Good morrow, my darlings!

By now you must have taken notice that fops such as ourselves sport only the finest of attire, and our impeccably styled hair surely needs no introduction. In watching my manservant, Manservante, play my games for me so that I don't strain my delicate hands, I find though that many video game characters are brutish louts, with barely a nod towards their own appearance. In fact, I begin to suspect that they have given nary even a glance into their pocket mirrors. My word! What if they don't even carry one in their makeup case?!

How is one to be accepted into higher society wearing that horrid shade of olive green, with a visor no less! I don't care a whit if he's in Her Majesty's Navy, that Master Chief fellow will never be invited to one of my parties. He's only an enlisted man after all. An officer would be another matter entirely. I do love a man in a fine uniform.

I chanced upon some Greek fellow as well the other day. I won't go into the travesty of his outfit, but I will say that body paint has never ever ever ever ever been fashionable. Manservante was fortunately close enough to catch me and carry me home when I swooned upon witnessing the tragedy of his accoutrements.

Surely there must be some video game chaps and gentlewomen that have a sense of style, an eye for flair, a modicum of interest in the cosmopolitan lifestyle. I must know who they are! You will tell me.

Today's theme: Video gaming's best dressed! Bon appetite!

Fondest regards,

The Baron Bartholomew Blatherhedge

P.S. - Don't forget about our delightfully foppish contest, here!

[embed]147637:22176[/embed]   read

11:48 AM on 09.04.2009



My darling dandies,

May the fopping commence! And surely we mustn't forget FOPday Night Fights! All of the FOP high society will be attending (including myself, should be Xbox return hence from the consolesmith).

Hugs and kisses,

The Baron Bartholomew Blatherhedge   read

9:24 PM on 09.03.2009

FOP Contest: Freakishly Foppish Finery Frivolities

My dearest FOPs,

I'll not waste time regaling you with my titillation over your rather enthusiastic response to the Friends of the PAXless. With all of those rum culls and scabs on ventures to foreign shores, I'm all agog to begin our foppish fun. Which brings me to our first gentlemanly (or womanly!) competition!

To truly be a FOP, one must prove an exceptionally elegant sense of style and flair. Fops of old were renowned for the cut of their waistcoats and the architectural prowess of their wig construction. While I am certain that there are hardly any among you to be counted as shabbaroons, I charge you, my fellow FOPs, to prove to me how foppish you can be. Submit a tintype or photograph in the comments below of your most foppish regalia. Included must be a sign reading "I am a Friend of the PAXless!", or simply "FOPtoid" will do in a pinch. This is to ensure that no one infringes upon the work put in by fops outside our fair community.

Submissions can be made until Monday, 11:59 PM EST, at which time all submissions will be judged by myself, the Baron Bartholomew Blatherhedge, and perhaps one or two other FOPs of my choosing. Only those not attending PAX may enter. The prize has yet to be determined, but you have my solemn vow that I will do my best to make it worth your while.

If you have any other ideas for Foppish contests or themes for FOP blogs for the coming days, please do not hesitate to forward your correspondence posthaste to [email protected] I look forward to seeing you all in your foppish finery!

Fondest regards,

Baron Bartholomew Blatherhedge   read

7:00 PM on 09.02.2009

Friends of the PAXless: A Call to Arms!

My dearest compatriots, have you been affronted by the bourgeois and general air of unconcerned levity put forth by attendees of the Penny Arcade Expo? Does the incessant chatter of these wealthy popinjays regarding their enjoyment of of the Expo's multifarious activities and revelry in their companionship leave you feeling a mite bit peevish? Fear not, humble fellow, for your are not without recourse.

Enter: the Friends of the PAXless (FOPs).

While in years past, those among us who found themselves unable to book passage to the Northwest Territory for Penny Arcade's annual festivities may have found themselves quite vexed. Perhaps even overwhelmed. This year, you may set your watch and warrant that things will be quite different.

FOPs have dedicated their persons to providing alternate entertainment to endless flood of Expo-related news and tomfoolery that will soon permeate these hallowed grounds. It is our aim to provide small contests, daily activities, and entertainment to those who have not the wherewithal or weight to their purse to attend the frivolous festivities to soon commence in the Shire of Seattle. We propose to be the counterweight to the unceasing palaver and prattle of those ragamuffins who would speak of nothing but the Expo.

To be a FOP, one must devote themselves to the highest degree of video game fashion. This season, nonsensical yet gaming-related fun is all the rage, and so we must be diligent in our pursuit of such. If you have ideas for contests or activities for the Friends of the PAXless, or artwork or anything else you wish to share, please post your correspondence to [email protected]

And so my friends, come, declare yourself a FOP! While the cats are away, the FOPs will play! Find funny, interesting, or otherwise entertaining tidbits for all of us to enjoy in the meantime, so we may not be lost in a blight of Expo-focused news. And when posting your blogs as a Friend of the PAXless, do not forget to include FOP in your title, so we may share in it, and glory in the mirth that those attending the Expo will wish they had not missed out on.

(Your first task is to find yourself an appropriately foppish name. Mine is Bartholomew Blatherhedge. Go wild.)   read

9:47 PM on 01.20.2009

An afternoon skulking outside Destructoid Headquarters: What Brad Nicholson doesn't want you to see


11:10 PM on 10.02.2008

Cblogs of 10/2/08 + Mechanisms

So the other day my girlfriend visited me, and decided we were going to visit the Museum of Sex in Manhattan. So we did, because when your girlfriend wants you to take her to a building filled with porn, you make it happen.

We get there just in time for a lecture being held in the middle of the first gallery, an exhibit of the sex lives of animals. We have no idea what the topic of the lecture is, but we sit down anyway. We have all afternoon to see the porn.

The speaker was the curator of a natural history museum in Amsterdam. his museum had a large wing that had glass walls, which proved fatal to many a bird. According to the curator, this was great for the museum, as he got plenty of bird corpses to put in his exhibits. You didn't think people just donated that stuff, did you? Anyway, one day the curator was just chillin' out, maxin', and curatin' all cool when suddenly he heard an especially loud bang against the glass and got excited. He ran to look outside and found the body of a large duck that had died upon impact with the glass.

Suddenly, another duck flew down and immediately began to copulate frantically with the corpse of the dead duck. The curator was amazed, and ran to get his camera and notebook. When he returned, the duck was still going at it. Imagine the curator's surprise when upon closer inspection, both ducks were male.

That's right folks. That duck was engaging in homosexual necrophilia.

(Humorously, my girlfriend later mistakenly referred to it as homophobic narcolepsy, which conjures an image of someone so afraid of gay people that they immediately fall asleep upon encountering them.)

The curator published an article on his observations some time later and caused quite a stir in the academic world. He speculated that the first duck had crashed into the glass trying to escape an in-flight rape by the second duck, which as it turns out it surprisingly common.

In conclusion, ducks are weird. Here's today's cblogs.

*- I didn’t even like this. I just want you all to be frightened with me, so I didn’t feel so alone. (Altered Beets)
*- Mega Man 9: One man’s spiritual tuba journey (Tubatic)
*- One-sentence exceptions: Mega Man 9 ringtone!
*- Shitty Movie Night gets an upgrade (Genki-JAM)
*- Autism is hilarious sometimes (youkilledmyguy)

A- How do we hate DSi? Let us count the ways… (BlindsideDork)
A- Brilliam wants to break up with Final Fantasy Tactics, but FFT doesn’t want to “just be friends” (Brilliam)
S- Video game characters: Kyo Kusanagi (nilcam)
S- Level Headed: Space Channel 5 (pendelton21)
P- Failcast: Episode 16 loses focus (FAILCAST)
M- Blehman fears inventory management (and grues) (blehman)
M- StumpFreak fears addiction, as do we all. Except the addicted. (StumpFreak)
M- Dire phoenix fears failure. Too bad more people don’t seem to. (dire phoenix)
M- randombullseye fears inferiority (randombullseye)
M- BigBaby9199 is a big baby, and fears many things (BigBaby9199)
M- The Incredible Edible Egg fears bedtime (the Incredible Edible Egg)

Too lazy tonight to find a link to DVDdesign's contest. Go find it and enter.

F- All aboard for The Ship Thursdays (Yashoki)
S- While most of this is VG-related, it’s got an update on his sick friend, which is more important (pedrovay2003)
S- Xbox tech support cannot pronounce “Pennsylvania” (JoeCamNet)
C- A treatise on one-sentence blogs and their effects on the economy (Blehman)

N- A wee… err, Wii liveblog (darkair)
N- Europe gets FIFA this week, because they all play soccer… err, football. (Gemsi)
N- Japan 2009 Wii release dates. Do we even have any of Hirohito’s boys here on Dtoid? (darkair)
N- King Hippo is in on the Little Mac Reunion Tour (Wa-Keen)
N- Buying games you’ve already bought is a reason to use your Wii (D-Nez)
N- Motley Crue album coming to a Rock Band near you (power-glove)
N- Left 4 Dead leaves 44 minutes of cutscenes for dead. That didn’t really make sense, I’m sorry. (BlindsideDork)
N- WiiWare rocking the Cave Story (Pedro Blandino)
V- Nintendo conference videos, from a man on the scene. (darkair)
V- These may or may not be the same videos. I didn’t actually watch them. (Gynecologist Cobra)
V- Interview with GrooveAddicts via GZTV (GameZombie)
V- Watch someone else play Mega Man 9 (michiyoyoshiku)
V- Naruto trailer: Believe it! (DreRox)
V- Metal Slug 7 is a game for burly men (jackal27)
R- Samurai Showdown: A cautionary tale (ParaParaKing)
R- PES 2009 demo impressions (Tyrian3)
T- This person likes Mega Man 9 (michiyoyoshiku)
T- DLC is to car wash as hammer is to banana (Johnny Justice)
T- NHL replays are awesome. Too bad Halo did it first. /flame (fetusmilk)
T- Saints Row should be persecuted like GTA, but in a good way (zgerhard)
T- PUNCH-OUT NEEDZ D00DS!!11! (catfish)
T- DSi: Nintendo included so much, they’ll probably forget games (coffeesash)
T- Nintendo hasn’t forgotten you… yet. (BlindsideDork)
T- Garison likes having two cameras, so he can take pictures of himself taking pictures. (garison)
T- Being pro-DSi is like being pro-McCain on a college campus, but he does it anyway (NihonTiger90)
T- October’s got game (Skribble)
T- A Spore divided cannot stand (ScanCase)
T- Some stuff about DSi battery life (jackal27)
T- Wiimakes: Another example of the versatility of the name “Wii” (eternalplayer2345)
T- Nintendo announcements… not so much (madninja)

F- Martians are a pretty cool guy. They attack Earth and doesn’t afraid of anything (cannedpasta)
F- A ninja priest kicking ass for the lord? Check. (skull13666)
S- A brief glance back at the Star Wars CCG (Bmozed)
S- Of course they model the Jabba shirt on a fat guy… (Bmozed)

L- Ninjtendo confirmed for Brawl! (Tristero)
L- Frogs: The most aerodynamic creatures on Earth (Donhonk)
R- Dex made a man (Dexter345)
V- Is it HAWP in here, or is it just me? (bovine)
V- Still Alive is still alive (nintendoll)
V- Bewbs of GenCon (GameZombie)
?- Come again? That’s what she said. (HeavyD)

F- I wanted an in-depth review of Hell’s Highway. I did not receive it. (Phantom Spaceman)
F- An example must be made! Yeah, I did it. Ban me. (Topher Cantler)
F- BBCode fail and one video too many = site whoring (GameZombie)
F- We are legion, and we rant about Fable 2 (Sup3rt3d)
F- Though I’m excited about Club Nintendo too, I have to follow precedent on single-sentence blogs (Pedro Blandino)
F- Michi, I like you, but enough videos of you playing things (michiyoyoshiku)


Now I pass the mic to Nintendoll, for some of that Friday goodness.   read

10:35 PM on 09.25.2008

Cblogs of 09/25/08 + Mechanisms

Today's advice? Get trashed and go to a Weezer concert (for free) at Madison Square Garden, despite the fact that you will suffer greatly during your law school classes the next day. Life is about priorities.

Also, did you know that a pack of weasels is called a boogle?


*- Ready to crash some paper castles (Edco)
*- topgeargorilla makes Hitler, Pol Pot, and Voldemort cry (coonskin05)
*- A wonderfully creative game idea. Check it out, give some feedback. (Altered Beets)
*- Bahamut is drink (BahamutZero)

A- The current console generation is not up to snuff. Graphs prove it. (craineum)
A- A SecuROM ate my baby! (John B)
S- Old School Games: Mega Man 4 (randombullseye)
S- Who you gonna call? BlindsideDork! (BlindsideDork)
S- A head full of levels, this time it’s Hyrule Castle (pendelton21)
M- Zulu hates Mega Man 9? (Zulu)
M- Rev Ant hates internet providers that don’t approve of NES emulation (Reverend Anthony)
M- Hey! Listen! Bwark-Kupo hates Navi. (Bwark-Kupo)
P- FAILCAST 16 beta: Nudity ensues (FAILCAST)

W- A winrar is Gynecologist Cobra! (AgentMOO)

E- Another NY Chiptunes show, the only video game-related events we get (Zen Albatross)
E- Excremento is getting ready for a special delivery. Unfortunately, it’s not a new game. (Excremento)
S- Now you too can PEW PEW PEW (tsumanikitsune)
C- I think this guy might need an intervention. (CWal37)
C- Boss battle reminiscence (Neonie)
C- Thnks fr th mmrs (ShadokatRegn)
R- Broken F5 key? (Phantom Spaceman)
H- Not Ali D’s Turning Point Gaming Rig (Ali D)
H- PS1 collection not quite up to snuff… but close (michiyoyoshiku)

N- Europeans get games, just like real people (Gemsi)
N- Europeans get PSN games, just like real people (wilbo)
N- You must defeat Shen Long (Shin Oni)
N- Got coupons? (Heretic)
N- L4D System requirements require a system (godkow)
V- Bungie still winning the haloes: New teaser trailer (Toneman)
V- Mega Man walkthroughs? On MY Destructoid? (michiyoyoshiku)
V- Rabbids are still chock full o’ parody (Alanar)
V- Parody game, worth a look (killatia)
V- Mega Sonic Bros. GO! (Bwark-Kupo)
R- Mega Man 9 rapes your rear and makes you like it (NihonTiger90)
R- Late review leaves you alone and in the dark (Gwyddia)
R- I almost called this a Jimpression (jim Yates)
R- Disgaea DS: Awesome? Yes. (Askherserenity)
R- Time Hollow is empty and short. Also, irony. (sicPOS)
T- Microsoft is a chauvinist pig (PeZ)
T- October is a bad month for bank accounts. (Trev)
T- Lag wins games, but not friends (Blindside Dork)
T- Alex pops his 8-bit Mega Cherry (vexed alex)
T- Just shy of a Monthly Musing post (unstoppablejuggernaut)
T- Play Braid. Pendelton has spoken. (pendelton21)
D- Wanna ask a Battlefield: Bad Company producer anything? (Reverend Anthony)

M- Call Zen Albatross, we can make our own chiptunes (SurplusGamer)
F- I am Prequel/Awful/Terrible/Ill-advised (BlindsideDork)

L- Narutard on the loose! (maguszxz)
L- Jacko’s disbarment: Beat the front page, but didn’t have an awesome gif. (covah)
L- Phoenix Wright is finally a real boy. (Gynecologist Cobra)
R- Captain N is on DVD?! (ChillyBilly)
V- Would have been more adorable if I didn’t read it as Dick and Pussy at first (BlindsideDork)

S- There is always a need for fancy pictures (neveranything)
F- Writing now about writing later (Son of BaconSadwhich)
F- Rankfag (mine is 46. Suck it.) (Cutie Honey)
F- Thank you for the reminder. Next time write something. (Ocified Xboxer)


10:39 PM on 09.11.2008

Cblogs of 9/11/08 + Mechanisms

This is a somewhat solemn day for many Americans, so I will restrict my Mechanisms to the following video, in salute.


*- The Great Random Battle Experiment (SurplusGamer)
*- A 9/11 remembrance (SilverDragon1979)
*- Spore as more, not a consumer whore. For sure. (Secret Cow)
*- The ChanBot funding bill is passed. ChanBot goes online August 4, 2007. ChanBot begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 5:49 PM, Eastern Standard Time. In a panic, IRC tries to pull the plug. (ChanBot)

A- Co-op Zelda? And the second player would be… Zelda?! (megatron0016)

P- MANELTOE (LostCrichton)

E- The PAX shoutout deluge continues (FooLiz)
F- Wanna play AMMO? Wait until MOOnday. (AgentMOO)
S- Also, cock… I mean, wiener dogs (randombullseye)
S- SNES haul of a lifetime (smackifilia)
S- Another jawsome SNES grab (Coonskin05)
H- Cribtoid: TheDreadHawk. Also, Sandslash (TheDreadHawk)

N- Left 4 Dead to have demo which we will all dutifully download (dronkmunk)
N- Guitar Hero: World Tour set list (chaos591)
N- September 12 EU releases (Gemsi)
N- Colbert the new Bowie? Find out in Rock Band for free! (power-glove)
N- Rumortoid: Date for end of Mega Man 9 exclusivity? (michiyoyoshiku)
N- MK vs. DC: Sadly, Cageless (Butmac)
N- Brood War bug fixes… still? (CWal37)
N- Europe gets the shaft on PSN (wilbo)
N- Dead Space weapons make thing dead in space. (Trev)
N- Rumortoid: GTA DLC features Roman? (TUoAnonymous)
V- Gears of War teamkilling lulz. If traitorous harassment is funny to you. (Geoff)
V- Old video is old, but Smash Brothers found to cause giddy giggling in adult males (CWal37)
V- Far Cry 2 wants to make you cry far… twice (Ali D)
V- Diablo 3 art comparison (Cheeburga)
V- Sonic Unleashed trailer unleashed upon us (Palidi)
R- Subenu reviews a brand new gaming craze: Team Fortress 2! (Subenu)
R- A 40 hour RPG on the I-Phone? Madness! (qwerty)
R- Fifa 09: Football is football, except when it’s not (bmdubya)
R- Newsflash: Disgaea 3 plays like a Disgaea game (DrachulaX)
R- Alone In the Dark: Good, bad, ugly? (Christopher J Oatis)
T- The Madden Curse strikes again (NihonTiger90)
T- A retrospective of innovative weapons (Trasherhead)
T- WOW vs. WAR (Dudemullet)
T- Good Old Games: DO EET! (mix)
T- Hard drive installs: suck it up, pansies. (brainderailment)
T- Edward Carnby: A look back (Christopher J Oatis)
T- Stuff magazine names 100 greatest games (Batthink)
T- A wee bit about Wii Music (NihonTiger90)
T- Mario RPG vs. Paper Mario: A rematch (4knuckleshuffle)
T- An Activision Metallica rant (HairyMike87)
T- Heretic likes some Rock Band songs (Heretic)

M- Some rockin’ video game tunage (PeZ)
M- I KILL PXLS news (GuitarAtomik)
S- Fallout 3 Limited Edition has awesome, expensive figure (AngelsDontBurn)
S- Silverback will need a whole new desk for this monstrosity (Silverback55)
S- Edco immortalizes his WoW character in resin (Edco)

L- Japs, not Hispanics, world’s greatest baseball players
L- Fake fundamentalist fools Filipinos… and everyone else (Triox)
L- For the ebonically challenged (nebones)
R- Cutie Honey likes the Dtoid leaderboard, but not the upcoming Dragonball movie (Cutie Honey)
R- MSR388 launch date? Yes please. (vonrichter)
R- flyingpizzakitty will be featured in Guantanamo Basement (Zen Albatross)
V- HAWP says funny things like, “Gentlemen,” and “WANKER!” (BigBaby9199)
V- The Princess is a cockteasing bitch. (gotdurnrite)
?- Tactless (Heretic)

S- Sorry, you were beaten to Mr. Colbert (Xzyliac)
S- Another one beaten to the punch. (chuck the hijacker)
F- Some guy is back, and brought old news with him (superezekiel)
F- tl;dr, or No News Is Bad News (RICHARD BLOCKER)
F- Something about quiet dogs… (MontyFresh)
F- Blog whoring violates Rule #1 (Shodan2020)


10:17 PM on 09.03.2008

CBlogs of 09/03/2008 + Mechanisms

I was not at PAX, as everyone who was there has reminded me by posting a cblog about how awesome it was, and upon reading each one a little piece of me died. I am now 38% deceased. I hope you're happy.

Also, Wednesdays need more lulz posts. Work on that in the future. Much obliged.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you... September 3, 2008!

God I love the theme for the Snow Level… (NotAZombie)
Mr. Destructoid, made of anal beads for extra relaxation (pendleton21)
C64 had Jawsome box art (the vinny club)
GAME OF THE YEAR (coffeesash)
Piptoid – Download this now (dyslixec)
Free Jack Klassen! (Heretic)

S – What’d you get this week? (NihonTiger90)
M – Yojimbo hates everything but beards (Y0j1mb0)
M – Mogg hates haters (Mogg)
M – Zen hates prostitutes (Zen Albatross)
M – Victor hates vertigo (Victor Stillwater)
M – Pedro hates fanboys and girls (pedrovay2003)
M – Victor hates video games (Victor Stillwater)
M – Ceark hates pointlessness (ceark)
M – sleepingagain hates barfing on his controller (sleepingagain)

C – Achieve-A-Challenge #3 (dvddesign)
C – Bangai-O Contest-O (The-Excel)
C – Wanna be a playable character in AMMO? (Agent MOO)

E – Nihon tells us about a PAX recap he’s going to do later instead of just working on the actual recap instead (NihonTiger90
E – Tiff’s farewell and PAX mushiness (Tiff)
E – PAX pix (Dexter345)
E – PAX swag n’ thanks (CrocBox)
E – More PAX thanks (Knives)
E – More PAX pix (The Ghost)
E – PAX vid, also bums (CountingConflict)
E – No plugin, no PAX swag (Kryptinite)
E – Still more PAX pix (droobies)
E – More love for the PAX I WAS NOT AT (Colette Bennett)
E – Butmac played some games at THE PAX I WAS NOT AT (Butmac)
E – Phoenix cries because I WAS NOT AT PAX (phoenix blood)
E – CTZ misses everyone from PAX except me, BECAUSE I WAS NOT THERE (Hamza CTZ Aziz)
E – Macca confuses PAX attendees for his family, but nobody minds (Macca)
E – All nipples get licked at PAX, except mine because I WAS NOT THERE (-D-)
C – Anybody know any good radio openings? (cannedpasta)
C – Eroteri wants to play games without screens? N*gga, you crazy! (Eroteri)
C – Destructoid Beatnik hour (Matthew Blake)
R – Ta-ta to Tiff’s ta-ta’s… and the rest of her too (Cowzilla3)
R – BSD is like the Xbox 360 Reaper (BlindsideDork)
H – Old boxes are old (ChillyBilly)

R – Pew Review: Spore (Professor Pew)
R – Preview of new Tales of Symphonia (TeknoDwarf)
N – New Lumies coming to PS3 (ParaParaKing)
N – Rumortoid: New Halo 3 achievements?! (AnTi PRO)
N – Warhammer is sneaky… (The Phazer)
V – SUPER ROBOT WARS Z!!! (Cutie Honey)
V – BlindsideDork wants to Savage your Moons (BlindsideDork)
V – Captain Obvious: Yahtzee doesn’t like EVE (BlindsideDork)
V – Cutie Honey is on robot fight patrol today (Cutie honey)
C – Disgaea comparisons (qwerty)
T – Timeshift, one year later (taterchimp)
T – LBP obsession + Batman Forever reference? (balth)
T – Final Fantasy IX is cosplay-proof (michiyoyoshiku)
T - Beatin’ ‘em up through the years (randombullseye)
T – Madio Kart (garrison)
T – michiyoyoshiku plays a lot of RPGs (michiyoyoshiku)
D – Q&A with Hothead Games (tomippen)

F – Covah finally finds out about the live-action DBZ movie. He isn’t happy. (covah)
F – Turtles Begins? I hope so… (BlindsideDork)
M – Streaming the Rock Band 2 soundtrack (Xzyliac)
S – Pre-order your Sackboys while supplies last (nintendoll)

L – A hazardous revelation… (Rockvillian)
Sith-Baseball conspiracy (Radie)
R – Viewtiful Joe confirmed for Spore (Reeper)
R – Sign your life away to use Chrome (Lighttower)
R – Check the cheap chart (Triox)

S – Castle Crashers copy pasta is slow to the punch (RedRabbit)
F – Captain Falcon hard-on, complete with video (Harukai)
F – An assortment of random-ass statements (scorpius)

Hitchhiker's Guide to CBlog Recaps

[embed]102369:14235[/embed]   read

10:28 PM on 08.27.2008

Cblogs of 08/27/08 + Mechanisms

As a great shark once said, recappin' ain't easy. My recap cherry has been popped, and as

with most deflowerings, I'm likely to be sore for a few days.

With the November election in the United States rapidly approaching, I'll restrict my Mechanisms to the following video:


I give to you... AUGUST 27th, 2008 A.D.!!!

Mxy gets technical on how to not break Castle Crashers and/or your Xbox (Mxyzptlk)
Construction continues on the RetroForce Game Museum (welkstar)
Ridiculous bead creation! (pendleton21)
The Tao of Shmups (Prince Ghidorah)

A - Are Achievements/Trophies ruining games? (Clance)
A - 14 year-old game review is old and awesome (scsitransfer)
A - The Tao of Shmups (Prince Ghidorah)
S - More Brain Teasers (blufire)
S - Hot Piece of Flash: Bowja the Ninja 2 (pendleton21)
M - Instant Replay: Street Fighter II, complete with hand-drawn illustrations (Haxan)

E - Craineum still needs costumes for his kids! (craineum)
C - You play Halo 3, Vexed Alex gives you Points (Vexed Alex)

E - Conrad's going to the museum! (Conrad Zimmerman)
E - Nick Chester is going over the top at PAX (blufire)
E - PAXmap: Get on it! (Coonskin05)
E - Pre-PAX Stickam Party Duex (CountingConflict)
S - TrailerParkJesus shares his massive haul of games (TrailerParkJesus)
S - A sad story of a child and his favorite NEW game (teknomcr)
S - A heartwarming Nintendo customer service story (Cowzilla3)
S - Brad begins Gathering the Magic (Brad Nicholson)
S - Bfeld is Lemon's hero and BFF (Gynecologist Cobra)
I - busted1der tries his intro again (busted1der)
H - This chick has a huge... collection (NadjaRiot)

N - Bovine reminds us to download Castle Crashers while we sleep (Bovine)
N - ZOMG! LU BU BOT! (covah)
N - Scant info on Raiden IV, but people got excited so I didn't put it in the suck category (galagabug)
N - Yojimbo is on the Warhawk PR team: 1.50 Patch released (Y0j1mb0)
N - Jesus will rock until lawyers tell him to stop (NihonTiger90)
V - Wii + Google Maps: See the world while walking in place (NihonTiger90)
V - Watch someone else play a game you want (r3yguti3rr3z)
V - Favorite VC (not Viet Cong) moments (CWal37)
V - Resistance 2 Multiplayer Trailer (Hookah Malone)
R - Another person chimes in on the Force Unleashed demo (SurplusGamer)
R - Randombullseye gets in the first Castle Crashers review, and has the best imaginary girlfriend ever (randombullseye)
R - Impressions of the Warhawk update (mcbennet)
R - Disgaia 3 = bacon? (BahamutZero)
T- DibbityDan wants to improve Saints Row (DibbityDan)
T - thefil wants better tales from his Tales (thefil)
T - PR Nightmares other than Ron Workman (neveranything)
T - How to Succeed in The Ship (Surf314)
D - The Weapons of Dental Evolved (jordanbieber)

F - The French don't need scripts. They just run up walls. (BlindsideDork)
F - Uwe Boll must be Postal if he thinks he can make a good movie (BlindsideDork)
F - Should've gone to Japanator (Ceej989)
M - Daxelman shares his favorite music, especially video game tunes (daxelman)

L - A Dolphin Vs. Shark Shoop War (dyslixec)
L - Rush fans are low-class spammers (thebza)
L - Blufire turns Destructoid all topsy-turvy (Blufire)
V - BSD continues his Zero Punctuation monopoly: Braid (BlindsideDork)
V - BFeld13 has a VHS from Toys R' Us? (Bfeld13)
R - Wardrox pic lolwut? (wardrox)
Gibbo gives hope to the PAXless (gibbo)
R - Awesome mockups of recent games in Gameboy style (RobotFart)
R - RedRabbit asserts his superiority (RedRabbit)
C - Polish: Had potential, but entirely undeveloped (pardon the pun) (michyoyoshiku)
C - mcbennet reviews a game he can't save because it's a shitty pirate copy (mcbennet)
? - bombermanpoopwut? (Holytheline)

F - Good deals, bad cblogging. (Debeo Laurus)
F - bobrumbly's doing it wrong (bobrumbly)
F - Kill bobrumbly with fire! (bobrumbly)

Hitchhiker's Guide to Cblog Recapping   read

4:14 PM on 07.27.2008

A Cast of Thousands: You, You, and You (You too)


[Credit to The Young Scot for the fantastic video above]

Xbox LIVE is filled to the brim with beer-guzzling frat boys and prepubescent racists.

World of Warcraft is more addictive than heroin, and it is populated by 10 million addicts, all of them denied food or rest until they finish the next raid and achieve the next tier of equipment.

Even communities based on games are permeated by fanboys, trolls, and other such ne'r-do-wells.

Even as gamers who know that these are brash overgeneralizations, we continue to perpetuate these sterotypes, whether it be to make a point or just for the lulz. Of course, all stereotypes have at least a minute basis in fact, and the stigmas against multiplayer gaming are no exception. Gamers have long been ostracized by society though, despite their more recent admission into mainstream culture. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that we ignore these deterrents and continue to play multiplayer games. We clamor over innovative multiplayer features, shout our approval over increasing player limits, and cry in dismay over games that include no multiplayer options. We as gamers continue to harangue those who participate in multiplayer gaming, in one way or another, but we continue to participate in it ourselves. Why, despite so many negative connotations, is multiplayer so appealing?

1. Social Interaction

Humans, by nature, are social animals. We crave the contact of others of our own species. This is why we live in closely-knit family groups, make friends, and go to concerts and parties. Social interaction is as much a human need as food and water. Video games are, at their core, a solitary experience. More often than not, a gamer sits alone with a single controller, controlling a single character while playing. Most every game has a single-player campaign, the core of the game's experience, which is intended to be played in exactly this manner. This is by no means a bad thing. Many single-player experiences are finely-crafted examples of story and skill, and should be cherished and enjoyed. While I love a great single-player game as much as anyone else, I would gladly choose a game with a solid multiplayer experience.

Multiplayer gaming allows us the social interaction we all desire and enjoy and makes it part of the game. The combination of these elements is what makes the game great. You will always have the racist kids screaming into your headset, or the guy begging for stuff with his caps lock on in the chat, but those examples are quickly forgotten in the thrill of finding a group that communicates well and dominates the other team, or joining a guild filled with good-natured people whom you enjoy talking to. Joining in on FNF with my fellow Destructoid members is something I look forward to each week. Sure, the game itself is fun, but it's really the opportunity to play with folks like all of you. Halo is a lot funnier when people are trying to roleplay as the staff of a McDonalds as you bring a Warthog into the drive-thru. Some people form lifelong relationships with people they meet in video games. I'm sure we've all scoffed at MMORPG weddings, but these people found real happiness, even if it was between an Orc and a Tauren at first (which would probably be illegal in most northern states).

Even the earliest games allowed for multiple players, though these players were sitting next to one another, as opposed to online as they would be today. Most arcade machines and early console games allowed for Player 1 and Player 2 to take turns, and in that way created social interaction as they talked, taunted, and testified (I needed another T-word). Plus, you could send the other guy to get booze and snacks while you played.

2. Unpredictability, a.k.a., Innovation Through Imagination

The best-programmed enemies in the world can never match up to a human a opponent. Computers are programmed; people imagine. People will never cease to surprise you, pulling stunts no computer player could ever create. Computers follow patterns. You can make an educated guess, but can never know for certain how a human player will react to a particular situation. They will fight when a computer would run, and run when a computer would fight. They will use maneuvers no computer would ever think to replicate, use the terrain and tools at their disposal in ways no soulless program would consider.

People learn. Computers can have their difficulty increased at the click of a button, but they will never be better than they are programmed to be. Human opponents will get better every time they play. They will use the tricks used against them and then adapt them to other situations, improving upon the original and creating new methods entirely. Human players will never cease to play in new and exciting ways, causing the game to evolve in ways a computer never could.


3. Character

Think back to the most finely-crafted characters you've encountered in a video game. What is the highest praise we offer these characters?

You could almost believe they were real people.

The best characters are ones that players can relate to, that portray real human emotions and act in ways that real people would. Does it not follow logically that the most interesting characters are people themselves? Multiplayer games allows us to interact with other people, to see and hear them and follow how their emotions and actions affect the game. People will play and act differently based on their moods and experiences. A player who has suffered a few frustrating deaths may become more aggressive or more timid, more outspoken in their anger or withdrawn and focused. MMORPGs allow players to create characters, and associate with the characters other players have created. No game can emulate the spontaneous interactions between player-created characters, the conversations, the emotions, the witty banter. Good writing and character design can come close, but it is never quite the same as the real thing. A group in WoW may not act similarly to a group of characters from a Final Fantasy game on the surface, but if you look closely, everything you love about those Final Fantasy characters can be found in spades amongst your fellow players.

There are countless wonderfully-crafted characters in the games we play. We love them all, and continue to play games based on these characters because we form such strong connections to them. What makes these characters so intriguing is their basis in reality, their ability to allow players to relate to them through their own experience. Playing with other people allows the players a view at an intensified version of the thoughts and emotions they would get from a single player campaign, because it is the real thing. Humanity is what makes a character great, and who has more humanity than a real, honest-to-God human?

Plus, a computer would never laugh at this:

[embed]97035:13490[/embed]   read

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