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TheStripe's blog

9:25 PM on 07.15.2010

Activision Made Me Dig Through Garbage

Yeah, you heard me.

You've probably heard about this whole "Buy Singularity, Get Prototype" thing they have going for Xbox 360. I hadn't. I did however, hear a friend at work gushing about how much he loved Singularity, a game that I had been looking forward to, but had sort of lost faith in after Raven's last mediocre offering and the total lack of ad-blitz for the game. So I goes to my local gamestop, pick up a copy, and see this poster behind the counter. "Buy Singularity, Get Prototype FREE!" it proclaimed.

"Huh," I thought, "how can I lose?"

After verifying with the clerk that I'd have to mail in for it, and buying Singularity, I went home to play my new time-altering, mish-mash of excellent shooter mechanics, being careful to retain my purchase receipt. After a solid six hours of aging soldiers to dust and hucking explosive barrels at weird, phasing zombie-things, I decided to look into this whole "Free Prototype" business.

"Here's what you need!" the handy website said,

"A copy of Singularity!"


"The original, dated purchase recipt!"


"The sticker from the cellophane on the Singularity package!"


Fast forward to me, knee deep in dumpster, selectively opening kitchen garbage bags looking for the one I took out not six hours earlier.

Long story short, I found that &*@*&^@$(*&*(^@(&^*@^#$*@*&! sticker, and I only have a little spaghetti left under my fingernails.   read

12:57 PM on 11.23.2008

OT: Parental responsibility issues outside of the gaming world

Family Of Web Suicide Teen Reacts To Viewers’ Cruelty


"The entire world was in shock at the news that a 19-year-old boy took his own life in front of a live webcam,
but no one could have been more shocked than the teen’s family. As Abraham Biggs took an overdose of
drugs to commit suicide, an audience watched and encouraged him to do it."

A tragedy, no doubt. As a survivor of a suicide attempt, it always disheartens me to see some unfortunate
soul who didn't get the help they needed to triumph over their personal demons. However, my sorrow was
soon muted by moral outrage.

"Abraham’s father told reporters that both viewers, and website administrators, are to blame for the incident."

WHAT. THE. FUCK. This poor soul committed suicide because there was a forum to broadcast it, and an
audience of depraved shut-ins to watch? Why not blame his doctor and the pharmaceutical company that
manufactured the medication? Why not blame the company that built the computer? Why not steve balmer
(or Jobs, depending on the OS)? No, no, it's certainly the website (which has nothing to do with suicide
or depression or bipolar disease).

“I think they are all equally wrong,” Mr. Biggs said. “It’s a person’s life that we’re talking about. And as a
human being, you don’t watch someone in trouble and sit back and just watch,” he added, calling for some
kind of regulation to put an end to such incidents."

So why weren't you there with him, Mr. Biggs? Where were you while your son ate most of a bottle of anti-
depressant sleep aids? Why wasn't he living at home with you, if you knew he was at risk of taking his own
life. The article also cites how he had made suicide threats before, and yet Mr. "blame the internets" Briggs
was not on hand to prevent a clear and present danger he was obviously aware of.

I guess we can be glad that he's not a gamer, otherwise Mr. Father of The Year would be coming after EA
and Activision instead of and teh internets.

My thoughts are with Mr. Biggs Jr's rational family. His father needs to learn a bit about causality before he
starts spouting off to media outlets before he can earn my sympathy.   read

1:58 PM on 02.16.2008

The Real Steven Kazmierczak: ABC news on the NIU killer

Read it all. I was going to post some quotes, but ABC's site doesn't allow copy/paste.

Please note that there isn't the first mention of gaming.

Many condolences to the friends and families of those effected in this most tragic event.   read

11:54 PM on 12.17.2007

The Discriminating Gamer 00: Introduction

Hello all. I've been haunting this blog for a while with basically no personal info posted. So
here's a blog. A series, actually.

I was browsing the mass of gaming data available through my tube o' internets, and realized that I can trace all of my console purchases to a single game for each, save one. I didn't have the budget for gaming that I do now when I was in high school and college, so I didn't play many games. I had just gotten a mac, after a hacked up PC on which I played UT and half-life finally nuked out. I was going into RTVF at Northwestern, and needed a FCP machine anyway, but the move to mac wiped out my gaming. Quake III Arena ran no problem, but that was about all that was available.

I remembered purchasing the PS2 because MGS2 was coming out eventually, and I had to have one when it did. In retrospect, the murkiness of MGS2's release date probably did help drive the early PS2 demand through the roof; people didn't want this game to come out, and not have the scarce system on which to play it. However, this was Q1 of 2001, the trailers hit the internets, and everyone wanted more of solid snake. PS2's were still selling for $600+ on ebay, and lines were still forming in front of BigBox retail in the wee hours. I got mine on the internet in march, maybe april, for about $400, shipped. A week later, they were readily available, in plenty of time for MGS2's November release. That was the one time I bought a console without a AAA game; I was stuck playing SSX and DOA2. Not that those are bad games, but I don't think you're going to see them on many top-five of all time lists. I had a limited budget, and was basically buying crap to justify plopping four bills on a console with nothing to show for it but a snowboard game, that while fun, is clearly no better than a 7.75, maybe an 8, but . . .

You know how it is when you're looking for a steak, and all you can get is burger?

You get tired of burger.

This series of blogs is a tribute to the the AAA titles, the cream of any collection, some of the best games of all time, dolled out in easy to quaff single servings; no waiting for months, chewing on a rehashed fighter for you! These blogs will be my comprehensive look at the games that made me purchase consoles, and some that merely made me glad I did.

While we're on the subject of the PS2, I'm not going to write jack about MGS2. You all
know what a great game it was, and hundreds, maybe thousands at least as talented as I
have already written about it. I will say one thing, though; I derived such satisfaction from
shooting the ice bucket in the lounge on the tanker. Watching the ice scatter across the bar and slowly melt away really did it for me. I think that was when I realized that games were beginning to become something much more than they were before; it's details like ice bucket that began to wrap players up in the world that games were taking place in, not just the necessary components of the level or stage. Details like this are implied in the current gen of consoles; if you're standing in a field of grass, and it's not swaying in the wind, that game just got a notch against it for not having realistic grass. How important is it to the gameplay that the grass sways? Not at all, but gaming history has built our expectations for future masterworks. Hopefully, we'll have more retrospectives on the current state of gaming as these things go on, and maybe we'll even be able to draw some big connections between the golden games of yesteryear and the current-gen juggernauts. Much of which is useful discussion; if games are to be art, then they should have some level of academic pedigree as well. If these examinations can help one guy remark "Bioshock did a really good job of building on concepts that originated in games like Deus Ex and system shock while remaining a standout, individual work in it's own right," instead of "I pwn teh haloz," we can all consider it a moral victory.

Tune in [s]next week[/s] sometime soon for The Discriminating Gamer 01: Viewtiful Joe   read

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