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11:44 PM on 08.14.2008

Mathematical Proof of Jack Thompson's Incompetence

I'm sure you all remember our good friend Jack's shenanigans a while back where he left
his email out where anybody who wanted to do so could send all the hatemail the wanted
straight to him, as opposed to just posting it in forums and blogs. Well, he soon found out
that this was a remarkably bad idea. After the incident had passed, I wondered whether
all he recieved was a slew of death threats without any attempts to reason with him.
After a while, I got the equally remarkably bad idea to try just that, so after fishing his
email out of the series of tubes, I tried to explain that his argument was flawed. Great idea,
huh? Well, he responded with:

"Thanks for writing, Stephen. The 2005 American Psychological Association report
establishes the link between violent game play and increased aggression. So do brain scan
studies at Harvard, Indiana, and Michigan State Universities.

Your personal enthusiasm for violent games and your own history of not killing someone
are not statistically significant events. Note the following news story, and consider that
there are others out there who are affected by this wasteful past time. The games contain
no warnings about such behaviors. They must:

And then went on to make leave some clever-sounding "words of wisdom" which, like all
words of their nature, don't really mean anything worth a damn.
So I pretty much just went on with my business figuring that he had no idea what he was
talking about.
But you know the funny thing about thinking that someone doesn't understand what they're
saying, is that you are sometimes dead-on! Notice that he says that my "enthusiasm for
violent games" (I actually just said I play games and that they are occasionally violent, but
that's beside the point) combined with the fact that I haven't killed anybody does not have
a "statistically significant" relationship.

Think about that for a moment; the fact that I, just like 63% of the American population,
play video games, and the fact that I have not killed anybody, is not a statistically
significant event. Now my statistics is a bit rusty, but that would mean that I would have to
be a part of the 5% of these people that have not committed murder after playing video
games, and that the other 95% are bloodthirsty killers in order for my situation to not be
statistically significant at the acceptable 5% significance level, and if that's true, then I
really should stay inside more.

Well, There you have it, mathematical proof that Jack Thompson doesn't know what he's
talking about. If you would like to tell me how boring, retarded, presumptuous, and or just
plain wrong my article was and how I am a waste of space, please leave it in the
comments. Also, if anyone notices that my math is wrong, or at least stated improperly,
please tell me and I can edit my post accordingly. Oh, and I'm so incompetent that I can't
make my pictures work in the actual blog, so...... laugh at me. Ha ha ha.   read

2:46 AM on 07.10.2008

A Cast of Thousands: Player Created Content


Firstly, I hope this article is better than the one I wrote earlier today and promptly
destroyed in disgust.
(Today I tried my first shot at a blog here on destructoid: I made a really poor quality blog
about relating to gordon freeman, and it really really sucked. It got a few comments hinting
at how much it sucked, so I took it down in shame and rethought my life choices.)

Now, explaining the video's relevance; I think that, more than any character that the best
game design team could create, a player will relate most to a character they have any
role in actually designing. Just about any character that the player designs themself, even
the abomination above, will be more meaningful to the player than Solid Snake or
Mario will ever be able.....Well, maybe not Solid Snake...

The first thing that made me think of this was the character I made for Oblivion. I instantly,
as soon as I was prompted to make a character, tried to make a character that looked like
me, despite the ability to make much more interesting races and designs. Sure, when I
made another character later, I picked a race that had abilities that were more useful than
my first. In spite of this, no matter how many other characters I made, even if I gave them
more effective abilities, I never cared about them. I didn't so much as make them as let
the computer design a generic character of a race that had better abilities for my chosen
class. I could run them to their death more times than I could count and not batt an
eyelash, but if my terribly thought out first character so much as got injured, I actually
gave a damn. Sure, they were a sucky character, but they had character. They were MY
sucky character.


I thought that maybe it was the fact that the character had my face, and that I simply didn't
like the idea of something with my semblance getting injured, but that wasn't quite it.
Each time I put any time into designing a character, whether it looked like a pale, teenage
dork, or some ugly troll that wandered Azeroth (aka, a pale, teenage dork), then I cared
about the character.
All my friends that I talked to said they felt the same way about characters they made with
even the tiniest bit of effort over the better, pre-made characters. Maybe this was just an
indicator that me and all my friends are very, very lame people.....Well, we're probably
lame people either way, but perhaps my point will still stand!
What do you think? Have you ever connected with a character you made over other,
arguably better characters?

On a different note, can you please give me any advice you can spare on writing these
blogs? I admit this one probably sucked balls, but not quite as much as my earlier one.
That one was a crime against nature.   read

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