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Did you have much encouragement in writing, and if so, by whom?

Good Lord! I wish there was a funny story for this, something evoking Truman Capote, to tell you about my early writing. Sadly, I came only lately into writing and would likely be better known for drawing if there was any fairness in the world. I can very honestly say I never wrote a grammatical sentence, of more then six words, until I was twenty. Well, at least anything set to paper of on the first attempt. I am creative, but I've lacked the careful architect tools of a real writer who can build something great. I have the mind of a lunatic and that helps make for interesting ideas, but nearly ninety-nine percent of my writing process is correction and re-writing. Maybe, knowing enough to re-writing makes me a real writer, but it sure seems like more work when the whole process seems like carving toothpicks out of whole trees. The first story I ever wrote was in second grade about a one eyed monster that was cruel only because he needed eye-drops. My 2nd grade teacher's assistant thought it was very creative, and the was my first moment of pride in anything I wrote.

Why should people read what you write here?

Facts are written by and for the sissy! Here in my blog, I deal in truth and leave factual reporting to the experts. I might not always spell all the words correctly and I cannot vouch for my mastery of the rules of grammar; However, I do try to say interesting things and I try to make it fun. That's my only promise: what you find here will be as fun, funny or irritatingly interesting. If you don't agree I give you back twice what you paid me to read it..
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Lately the concept of the zombie has really taken over gaming. It has been a slow burn of course there were dozens of zombie games even before Capcom mad the Biohazard/Resident Evil series, but we see how that the zombie has become a “stock” character in a lot of games from shooters to causal party games.

I have a new concept for a zombie that is different from the typical slow, fast or monstrous that we have seen in past media. I think my new concept which is a mix of some other “horror” memes and tropes has merit, but you tell me what you think

My idea is the following what if there were a sickness where the outcome is not shambling zombies, but rather passionless sociopath. When you become ill you lose all sense of right or wrong, love, and emotion; but you retain your intellect, your knowledge, and even the ability to dissemble (lie or hide the truth). You can know you are infected, but you do no care. Once infected you don’t just slaughter everyone but rather YOU COULD. It might takes days, weeks or even months before you kill, but you will and it could be anyone or anything.

Now why is this interesting? I think it is interesting because it increases the paranoia and at the same time gives no “out” for lacking humanity. A slow zombie or a fast zombie is easy to spot. A monster zombie is even easier to spot. But the smart zombie/psychopath that could be anyone so everyone is a potential monster. But, as I said this new monster has reason, so you can talk to this psychopath monster. The infected person is passionless, but is still very human it is like sitting across from Dr. Hannibal Lecter…if Dr. Lecter were you neighbor, dentist, or sister/brother.

Now there always has to be a twist, right? Well, my twist is an oldie but a goodie. Only children between 3 and 10 get infected. In my concept is after you are a toddler and become a child you hormone levels change, and then when you become a teen your hormone levels change again. The infection can only strike when you are between those ages at the right hormone level. Once puberty hits your get a high fever that lasts for a week, and if you survive that, you that emotional parts of your brain turn back on. Do you see where we are going here…you can save them…but do you risk saving your child…do you risk someone else trying to save their child? See that is where the tension is in this idea. You have a smart, methodical killer that could kill anyone at a whim…but they are human in so many ways..and can be saved. And, (there is always an AND), because it is a specific group - what would be done to save kids, what harebrained schemes would people try to protect themselves from kids or would be tried to reverse the disease. Communities without children? Communities where children are imprisoned? Communities where people scarified ANYONE ELSE to the whims of their psychopathic children?

What do you do when your ability to love and want to protect children is at odds with the disease that makes something that CANNOT love and does not care? What happens when the enemy is hidden, but hidden in something you want to protect more than yourself? What happens when you see a sly smile on the face of a child slowly hiding a knife it took from the dinner table…do you kill the child before the cold chill down you back takes over your ability to act? How do you live never fully trusting a child, or always having some doubt? What is a family like, even a 'post apocalypse' family life, when children are something to be respected and feared like a poisonous snake or a wild lion?

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You often hear in development circles that the more characters you have the more styles of play you allow the greater the headaches. The common laments that comes from that is “Geeze, balancing all that characters is hard that game gets too easy or too hard if one character runs slower/faster, carries more/less, jumps taller/shorter, etc.” But my questions is…why FIX THAT? Why not just make sure tam game works and then allow the player to experiment?

The thought arises that UN-equal abilities are something that could make RPGs and adventure games more interesting. What if in an open world RPG you chose to make the smallest lightest slowest character or the tallest, most muscular, and fastest character? Would that really be BAD? Would it be bad if up front you talk the player that their choices matter and the attributes you choose would affect how the player could play or even if they could win?

In my mind, I see an RPG that is has naturally running systems in it and real world physics. You make your character, you have some choices about who they are & what they look like and what skills you want them to have. You cannot choose everything, what you know you will gain more skills in, what you can learn you can learn after hard practice, but anything you don’t know and have no affinity for will be impossible to learn beyond the basics. If I choose not have little agility then I’ll never be a second story thief, I’ll never free climb a mountain side, and I’ll never catch myself in a tricky fall. There will be all the same skills as in most RPGs…but what you choose matters…a lot. If you choose to be good with blades, but you choose to be weak & small you better choose a small sword to wield. If you choose to have “slick city skills” you better not try living off the land or hunting game in the woods very successfully. Real world rules apply big characters won’t fit into small spaces, weak characters won’t have stamina or vast reserves of health, and agile characters won’t intimidate anyone or cast a spell ever.

In my mind I see a party system as well. But even choosing a party in the real world has complications. If you choose NPCs to help you that have other skills they makes what the party can do more diverse. Yet, what happens when the smallest most agile character can only fit into the secrete magical cave? Party members can wait outside, but they won’t wait forever nor do you have their help carrying loot. There are advantages to making a more homogeneous group, yet when a problem only a mage can solve is encountered what do you do without a mage? A group of thieves might clean up as a gang, but can you trust another thief? A group of warriors might make a formidable team, but what if you don’t have the charisma to lead or loot to keep them interested.

The key would be to sometimes have multiple solutions to problems, but sometimes NOT have a solution. Sometimes there is one easy solution and one super hard tricky solution…yet as I said it is a living physicals based world. If you can use your mind to MAKE A SOLUTION then that’s great, because that where the game is doing what I want it to do. I want players that say, I couldn’t get to that cave on that cliff so I when into town and I stole a rope ladder off a ship. Then I hired an acrobat to bring the ladder up to the cave mouth so I could climb up. I want people to say, I couldn’t defeat the wizard in the cave….so I got a bottle of poison and when the cart was in town that would bring him supplies I poured poison on all the contents…but that killed the wizard and the wagon driver too…so when I stole the wizards loot and brought it to another town is the wagon I took as well….I then went to the wagon drivers wife who after not seeing her husband for three months was willing to marry me. WIN-WIN-WIN.
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This has been a rough few weeks on the sexism front. We have that eye popping business in the “Tekken/Street Fighter gaming community. We have had Rush Limbaugh call a law school student a sl_t. And we have all sorts of nonsense in other corners of news about Sport Illustrated models, if Angelina Jolie is too thin, and many other things.

There is the notion that nobody in American is comfortable talking about race, but if you want some real fear and bizarre nonsense start talking about sexuality. It seems no matter where you turn there is a concept about what is proper and improper…most of it conflicting.

Erotophobia- Fear of sexual love or sexual questions.

Here are my feelings
- Sex is normal. We are supposed to do it. Human females are “plumbed” to ovulate once a month after all.
- Once you pass puberty there is a sexual aspect to your life in some form…SORRY THAT’S BIOLOGIAL TRUTH.
- The fear of seeing nudity even for adults seems to be pathologically paralyzing these days, and that is unhealthy.
- We fear being considered (not considered) as sexuallly active to such a gegree that we lie about it...or boast about it...or do both.

Above you see a nude male and female..or you would just that would DRIVE PEOPLE nutz if they saw it...Admit it you'd feel weird if I put that picture here. Kinda sad.

I have to ask, how did we become so uncomfortable with naked people? How did we become uncomfortable with our own sexuality? Why are we on a course legislated, criminalize, and penalize sexuality among teens?

I have to say that in my view we have a warped point of view on sexuality. We make the subject so taboo that it is shocking that anyone has any rational view on the subject at all. More troublesome, the people who do study the subject or human sexuality we deem perverts. It is as if we want to control the idea of sex and our own bodies as if they had just been created so we will legislate them like a pack of cigarettes.

- Is it any wonder men call woman whores in online games?
- Is it any wonder a man like Rush Limbaugh would demand someone seeking female contraception would have video proof of it?
- Is it any wonder boys and girls “sext” each other when that is just the use of technology to do what boys & girls did in the hay-loft 60 years ago?

We are sexual beings, and when we are not allowed to be those 'sexual beings' we crack up. We we fear our own sexuality we crack up. And when we pretend teens are not sexula being too..ones that still need guidance...we crack them up too.

I think most of the social problems we THINK we have are due to sex. No enough, and a lack of understanding aboiut how to view sexuality in a healthy way.

ThunderCats Writer Murdered?

I just saw this story at Kotaku and it just made me sad. In short: Stephen Perry, who was a writer for 1980s cartoon ThunderCats, recently went missing. His van was found last Sunday. Inside it, a man's severed arm. Stephen Perry, police now report, is dead.

Even sadder what happened in his life since the 80s, it sounds like from reading teh rest of the story that he hit some really hard times. Crazy roommates -- Kids with a baby momma half his age -- court dates -- and the picture of his house just makes me sad. Nobody should live likd that even thought I know people do every day in America

ThunderCats was just a really neat, I'd not go so far as to say good, but a really neat concept that brought together some really weird stuff. Was it high art? Maybe! It sure was creative in that it made some crazy weird stuff seem normal and cool. I don't know....but it has to be said one last time


Hideki Kamiya (Bayonetta creator)
It looks like there's pornographic Bayonetta fan comics. That's bound to disturb fans of the game, and I can't imagine the creators of said manga have any love for the game.

If I understand him correctly, he is confused that the game character who is viewed by way of crotch & butt shots and is in fact clothed by magic body hair is viewed in a sexualized way.

Okay, I'll accept that. However, I also accept that Hideki Kamiya suffers from a form of autism that makes the world confusing to him or he is so full of ____ that he has custom made clothing entirely made of toilet paper.

On a more serious note, that a few of you might not thing the blog will discuss, I do think the concept of fan fiction is and always will be a sensitive topic to some writers. In fact I would say any artist will always have some sensitivity to their art, be that painting, sculpture, photography, movie, game, being used in way they never intended of considered. That is nothing more then human nature. You make something and then as an artist you share it and because of the dialectic between artist and viewer there is a response. Most artists hope for the response of the viewer giving their impression of the original work as-is, but we all know that often the response can be, "Here is how you could have done it better."

The desire to mold art to our own point of view is not new, it is as old as art itself. It can be as officious as a Pope having loin cloths painted over the genitalia of the Sistine Chapel or as mundane as people singing the wrong lyrics to Rolling Stones songs.

Sometimes we 're-write' in only our minds, and sometimes we take out the red pen and scratch bit of art out. We do this out of necessity because art is communication that requires at least two parties. The artist states something by their work, the viewer responds by what they think, and the discussion continues as the artist creates more and the viewer becomes a follower of the work.

The problem arises when either artist or public comes to feel they have more control. Art is only art when shared, much like a tree falling in the woods, does it really exist without it being viewed. A better analogy could be Schrödinger's cat where only when the box is opened does anything meaningful occur. If the artist start to believe only they can have an impression of their own art and only they should have control over the art then a problem occurs. In the same way a problem occurs when the viewers thinks once art is released the artist role is over and the art now belongs to the viewer alone. Things works when the dialectic between artist and viewer is cordial and respectful, things work poorly when the artist resents the viewer or when they viewer dismisses any ownership of art to artist once it is released. And problems also occur when either party becomes thin skinned because the conversation turns sullen.

In this case I think the 'artist' is being sullen for a very bad reason. Bayonetta is a game about a sexy witch who is portrayed in a sexy way in the 'official work', therefore her sexualization being move a few step more is too be expected. But I also wonder if any of these fan-fic artists are trying to profit from these other work of art they are making. But with that said, Hideki Kamiya is going to use the argument of Bayonetta being over sexualized in the fan fic meaning a lack of love for the game or character is full garbage. A better argument is sexualized fan-fic is to be expected, but it such fan fic misses the point if it ignored the characters other attributes aside from sexiness and is unfair to the original work if it is trying to profit off of the IP.


I don't know what do you think?
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In an article at MVC, the discuss how Michael Pachter accuses Nintendo of being “complacent” in face of falling Wii software sales.

On the surface I think it is a bit silly so see gloom and doom for Nintendo and the current Wii, but he does makes some good points about if Wii 2 had the power of a PS3 or XB360 that porting games too its system would be easier. It is a good point, even if it is just a single point of view trying to explain a bigger issue. Making all things equal might make developers happier and therfore provide more games.

However, even if the above is true it trods upon the idea that the millions who bought Wii would be happy about this? Also, who would be pleased by these ports? It would only be the 15% of Wii owners who actually would want more hardcore games, right? Those are people like me and you sure, but that’s not the bulk of mothers, uncles and old people who bought the Wii. I think a lot of people are very happy with content taht isn't the same and doesn't allow instant ports of PS3 or XB360 games.

The solution in my eyes is for Nintendo to put the BILLIONS they have made off Wii and create two or three in house development teams to make more games that fit the Wii ethos. Its not like Nintendo needs to put out many more of their own games. I would say they need only three in house titles and maybe only half a dozen 2nd part titles worth looking forward to then they have now.

A quick and dirty olution would be three in-house teams, two to make new intellectual property and one to dig into the vault and make updates to classic properties. Then, take some of the money and invest in small a few development teams to turn into second party development. In all cases Nintendo should be willing to allow some ideas to be tossed out without malace, but then take the time to polish the games that do go forward. The answer isn’t to make more game faster; it would be to build up the ability to make more good games themselves that are great.

Stage two would need be to STOP allowing shovelware. Nintendo must tighten up the firehose of junk that is giving the Wii a bad name. I bet half of the issue of declining sales can be attributed to the fact that new casual users don’t know games are reviewed and rated on websites and magazines. Most of these people bought Wii Fit and Will Part games and they accidently bought a few of those shovel ware titles. They felt burned after that because they didn’t know there was a way to find out those games were crap. These are new gamers and returning gamers who have not been brought up in the culture of there being extreme difference in quality. All they know is it a Wii game, right? They have no idea that in gaming culture there is the concept of shovelware. Moreover, how did Nintendo stray so far they they forgot some of why video game consoles got a bad name in the learly 80s when Atari lost control of what was put out on their system. They forgot why a 'Seal of Quality' was a good idea.

In the end Nintendo must use the money they made to invest in themselves. It is a CRIME that they makes billions and don’t build up more development teams and invest in more game studios. They seem to be actually very miserly with the good fortune they have had in the generation. Even while Sony and MS struggle they invest in new developers, what is wrong at Nintendo that they don’t do this? What good are all the profit if they don’t invest them towards making games?

BOTTOME LINE: Nintendo doesn't need a new system they need a new 'less crass' point of view about what being profitable is about. If they invest in themselves they can only profit more.
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