I am no gamer. I like Space Invaders. I cannot get past first level. I do, however, have a big issue with the constant moaning about kids playing unusuitable games. Parents ... do your job and stop buying them if your child is too young. Smash the nanny state and make parents responsible for their actions. I also like ZOMBIES. And I play D and D. The proper game. On a table. With figures. And dice. And beer. Which is where the mayhem usually starts.
I missed Lame Post Wednesday due to random shite, but just spoke to my RPG friend which reminded me about the last time we plated when I arm wrestled a demonist in the pub for a soul eating sword.
Now, this was an awesome sword, but it didn't like him at all due to him being an evil fucker who likes to kill barmaids and offer their souls to his god. So the sword wanted me. Yes, I thought I was in like Flynn, hard piece of kit that majorly fucks up anyone in range. This sword was truly awesome. So, I hatched a cunning plan, got the demonist pissed in the pub and arm wrestled. He lost, passed out, I took the sword.
Only then did I find out that it was cleverer than me. It had equal intelligence which means ... I had no control. I was truly fucked. The answer> Sell it - I can't use it and the experience from having it OWN me big time would get me up a level. I negotiated a good price, tried to hand it over and it wouldn't go! It wanted to chop me up for trying to get rid of it!!! They had to call a bigger and better fighter than me to control it, who was not happy about it and wanted to punch me for being a twat. I failed. A soul eating sword, fucked in the arse. The demonist also wanted to kill me when he realised what had happened.
I play again next week.
The demonist is upset. Demogorgan wantes a piece of me. How bad can it get?
Ah, here we go. Another comment on a site was ranting about connections between games that are violent and violent crime being connected. I have come to the conclusion that gamers don't shoot people for real for a number of reasons.
1. Gamers don't like to leave their games/kits/etc for any length of time and a killing spree would be fairly time consuming.
2. Gamers don't really like to go outside unless they really have to or it involves puchasing a new game. Killing sprees would probably need a lot of planning AND possibly prolonged exposure to daylight. That ain't gonna happen.
3. If you shoot real people, you are going to be dead or in jail when the new best game comes out. Gamers missing that? I thnk not.
4. Where is the fun? For real, people would scream, die, blood, police, you get shot, sent to jail, shagged like a pirate for twenty years. In a game, you can kill people all night, stop for a cuppa and a sandwich, phone your friend and call him a pussy, shag your girl and till be able to go back and kill again.
Logic surely prevails.
And I base this on the gamers I know.
I was watching Sky News the other day and caught just a snippet of a woman saying something like "Well, the first problem is that most young boys first learn to drive on racing game." I missed the following bit as my toast popped up and in the morning, feeding my face becomes far more important than feeding my brain. And I started thinking while struggling to get that stupid plastic seal off the Marmite. She is probably right. It would explain a few things, though BMW drivers have always driven like arseholes. It seems to be an inate abilty that when a man buys a BMW, or Super Size Penis Pump as I like to think of them, he loses all control. I once had to remind one that the little stick by the steering wheel was "an indicator, which lets other people know exactly where the fuck you are going you twat!"
Anyway, I think we could put games to good use and train kids to do things better from an early age. We could have games that teach men how to iron properly or show girls how to run without looking like they have two wooden legs. We could solve the teenage pregnancy problem in Europe by having a Shag It game. They have to reach the age of 16 without having contracted any STI's or getting pregnant. They could bank enough points to buy a car if they shag enough girls without doing the above. Extra points for a ginger or a fat bird. I really think it could work ....
I could be rich!
Now, if I can just learn some coding and stuff ...
Okay. A serious blog. And I am British, although this could well apply to both sides of the Atlantic. Our education system is a little different to you..
So, a while ago, we had a training day (translation - a day when staff have to go into school when the kids don't and do stuff) and some of the kids were asked to show us 'their' technology like the PS3, 360, DS, etc etc as well as showing us sites like Bebo and how they use them. The idea was to try and understand if any of the stuff that the kids used could be used in education. The advantage being that kids are used to this technology and can function perfectly well while doing several things at once. Apparently, a large proportion of people under the age of 25 or so function at 'twitch' speed, meaning they can focus on many things at once, although much of what they come into contact with is surface knowledge and can be quickly lost.
Anyway, the upshot of this was that the kids had a great time. They had something that we, the educators, were shite at. They kicked our asses. All day. I wanted to throw my Wii controller at the screen. Or at a kid. It made me realise that there are a huge amount of skills that they develop from using these consoles. The skills they have through simply playing a game with their mates are pretty impressive. The interesting thing is that they learn largely by repetition. They repeat the same thing until they get it right or win. Quick reward. Can this be used in school? The premise of it , yes. But I fail to see how it can teach kids some important stuff.
Most gamers that I know are usually dedicated. Alot of kids play games randomly, but aren't what I think of as serious. Serious gamers seem to have a high level of intelligence and enjoy the strategies of games rather than the quick reward. These kids will usually function at a high level within school and need a great deal of challenge and stimulus. Would they then resent gaming becoming part of education? Is gaming their escape? Will bringing this into school work? I don't know. Maybe you have an opinion.
I can't resist.
I have to have a comedy moment. A joke.
What is black and crispy and sits at the top of the stairs?
I have stopped decorating for a break. I am painting the study (formerly known as bunnyrabbit's bedroom) and was happy listening to my old vinyl. Two coats of red paint later, I can still see the blue and yellow underneath. Grrrr. Then I heard someone else outsdie call his mate a pikey. I laughed. I got thrown out of an essambly because of that very thing. Let me explain.
At the school where I work, the head of year for my year group was from Bolton. Proper accent and everything. I live daan saaf. Which means all the kids speak like London gangsta's. There was this craze of putting post it notes on other people's backs and it had got, quite frankly, a little tedious. In the assembly, there was the head of year with several of the said post it's stuck to the lectern. Well, I knew what was probably coming. A lecture. Worse. He read them out after teling the kids what a waste of everyone's time it was. The first one was, predictably, 'you are gay'. I chuckled a little. Then, in his strong Bolton accent he said 'You are a pikey'. He kept a straight face, I was trying to hold it together. The last, and sadly, my undoing, read 'You are a pikey and you live in a caravan by the sea.' I couldn't hold it. I laughed, got a look and figured I should leave to get control of myself. Outside the hall I went, guffawing and crying, whilst he carried o regardless.
I think that staff only work in schools for the crack. It's moments like that, happening every day, that make it worth all the gangsta tripping. Forget GCSE's, we are there to muck about. We once held another staff member's resources box to ransom. It was full of shiny new pencils and all manner of other lovely stuff. She was showing off, so we kidnapped it. We sent her bits of broken pencil in envelopes with notes. 'Be nice to the kids or the ruler gets it'. Pathetic, I know, but the fun we had making other people, including kids, walk past her room with identical boxes. She would rush out and ask where they got it.
Incidentally, my mum is a pikey and she does live in a caravan. And it is by the sea. Rough justice or simple irony?
I may have mentioned that I pay role playing games, specifically D and D and Call of Cthulhu. I hanen't actually played C of C for ages because ... well, no one wants to play it. Having just confirmed my next two D and D meets, which will probably be all night drinking fests again, I am left wondering how much longer my character, and indeed the party will survive in the next dungeon. You see, I play with some people who are, not to put too fine a point on it, repressed maniacs. We have done some foul things in our dungeon capers and classic players always do classic things.
Dave used to set alight to everything, including the hay in cell we were in as a way to attract the guards attention. Needless to say, it didn't work and we lost several scrolls, our boots, a few important spell components and some hair before we managed to control the blaze. Dave also had a habit of going into battle on 1 hit point. And he was the cleric with healing power. Nice. Mark likes to kill things. Anything really, though barmaids daughters and anyone who argues with him are usually his starting points. He usually plays demonist or evil characters which always causes trouble for us. He once slayed an entire village that was loyal to the Dark Army in a module because someone pissed him off. We had a big problem - the Dark Army was coming past the village on its way to battle. So, the only solution that presented itself was ... nailing the villagers to their doors as if they were waving and hiding the blood. And it worked.
Mark now has in his possession a sword. That is evil. And needs souls at least every two days. On the third day, it chooses a soul for itself. It has an intelligence only slightly less than the character weilding it. Which means only one thing. Either the demonist gets a bash over the head next time he is asleep, or the party is gonna get mashed to little pieces. And I have had my character for ages. It has some good kit. I am gonna bash the demonist.