Leland Yee’s arrest is a victory for gamers – 4/9/2015

On March 26,2014 the FBI made series of arrests across the country related to a massive investigation into political corruption, among the most prominent politician arrested was California State Senator Leland Yee.

Lee was indicted with two felony counts of conspiring to traffic firearms (a classic ‘Baptist and Bootlegger‘ scenario) along with six corruption counts. As a result he has ended his campaign for California Secretary of State while the State Senate has suspended him. He has pleaded Not-guilty to the charges on April 9.

After hearing the news; conservatives and gun rights advocate wasted no time popping open the champagne bottle in celebration. Political sites have been flooded with Op-Ed’s denouncing Yee’s betrayal of the peoples trust and his hypocrisy of trampling on gun rights while trying to traffic arms.

The festivities of the Right has been well known while unknowingly another cultural group has had a reason to celebrate, the gamer community. As several weeks have passed; the gaming community hasn’t been having the same kind of celebration despite having our good reasons.

Besides being an opponent of private firearm ownership, was an outspoken adversary of the gaming community. His reasoning came from a position that gamers are “children” while its affects are based on junk science.

Yee is most infamous as the sponsor of AB 1179, which banned the sale of violent video games (in the vaguest definition possible) to anyone under the age of 18. The bill was signed into law by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegge before being struck-down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Despite the ruling; Yee never gave up on his moral crusade and continued to find ways to legally challenge an industry that he demonized as peddlers of snuff. At times he would brand an entire culture as children and expecting them to remain silent as he trampled over our freedom.

Using his background as a child psychologist, Yee has acted as a moral authority on the debate while casting other views aside. He even took the massacre at Sandy Hook as a low-ball chance to attack the video game culture.

Gamers have no credibility in this argument. This is all about their lust for violence and the industry’s lust for money. This is a billion-dollar industry. This is about their self-interest,” Yee stated in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.

Now this once champion moralist is now facing charges of alleged public corruption while trying to buy firearms from Islamic terrorists.

For gamers; the arrest of Yee is one of the greatest victories for the community since Jack Thompson was disbarred back in 2007. The staff at IGN, Gamespot and other establish game news sites also need to pop open a bottle of champagne and celebrate with the writers at National Review.

Watching a judge declare him guilty is going to be the most amazing moment to watch, got a special bottle saved for that celebration.

Written for The Gamers Progress
04/9/2014
Original Article: Leland Yee’s arrest is a victory for gamers

Advertisements

Op-Ed: NM State Police action against Oriana Ferrell was justified – 11/18/2013

A video has surfaced regarding what started as a routine traffic stop that turned into a hostile confrontation between Oriana Ferrell and her 14 -year old son against officers of the New Mexico State Police.

During the ordeal; Ferrell attempts to flee the scene multiple times and resists arrest while endangering the lives of her children. This confrontation could have all been avoided had Ferrell just complied with the officer instructions and apologized for speeding while accepting full responsibility (like a normal person).

In the end this is a classic example of how a mundane moment could escalate into a hostile confrontation just by failing to use common sense. Oh how some people need to learn from Chris Rock.

Yet a lot of the attention has been focused on the few seconds were one of the officers tried to shootout the tire of the minivan as it fled the scene. The majority of articles that report on the event focus on that trivial moment while burying away what lead to the confrontation or how she resisted arrest.

Its agreed that the officer should not have drawn his gun but that pales to how recklessly Ferrell fled the scene the second time. As obvious most people who have been outrage at how the New Mexico State Police handled the situation probably just read the tittle “Cops Shoot At Minivan Full of Kids” then proceed to the comment section to vent their outrage.

These criticism come from a position of hindsight by those who have no understanding of the daily ordeals a police officer goes through. It looks like it was unnecessary after the facts but the officers have to act on how the situation is presented while keeping unknown factors into consideration.

Of course there will always be those social activists that are also anti-law enforcement who will cry about the “police brutality” while making tasteless comparisons with the Gestapo. These idiots always think they have a right to act hostile towards a police officer and then they are surprised when they are suspected of being involved in some criminal activity.

Critics and activists need to stop crying “police brutality” and just look into the issue form a perspective that involves common sense rather then a quick outrage.

Written for Digital Journal
11/18/2013
Original Article: Op-Ed: NM State Police action against Oriana Ferrell was justified

Waiting to buy a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One could be the smartest thing you do – 11/5/2013

The gaming industry is going to enter the eighth generation of consoles this month, but it may be better to wait before wasting your hard-earned money on a product that will probably be defective.

Like all new technology, the first models will suffer from software glitches because the development team was under pressure to release them on the market around the same time as the competition. Looking back at past trends and current problems in the industry provides a strong case for waiting to purchase these systems.

Xbox gamers will recall the early days, when some of the first models of the Xbox 360 had a defective disc reader. This flaw resulted in a circumferential scratch on the disc that rendered it unusable. It was discovered that some disc drives lack a mechanism to secure the disc solidly in place.

If an Xbox 360 owner was lucky enough to have a proper disc reader, then he risked facing a hardware problem that resulted in the system crashing and the console becoming inoperable: the Red Ring of Death. Affected gamers had to mail their defective console to Microsoft to have it repaired. Microsoft never officially revealed what caused the Ring of Death, but speculation was that it was either a central processing unit (CPU) failure or the use of a poor-quality solder.

Meanwhile, the first models of the PlayStation 3 had hardware that was difficult for developers to work with, which resulted in fewer games being released at launch. Also, the new software was incompatible with so many PlayStation 2 games that the feature had to be abandoned in the slim models.

Back when PlayStation 2 dominated the market after the failure of the Dreamcast, the first models had a disc reader that would wear out and result in the system being unable to read any disc inserted into the console. Sony offered to fix the disc reader and provide a free game while some retailers offered a trade-in for the new PS2 slim.

So has the game industry learned how to minimize potential hardware failures? Of course not! The market has grown so that highly anticipated games will compete and outperform movies at the box office. However, the industry is under such great pressure to move products that testers may overlook serious hardware flaws.

Rumors have emerged that there may be major problems with the Xbox One’s operating system and that Microsoft will be unable to resolve it in time. Adding to the speculation are several games journalists claiming that Microsoft is allegedly pressuring them to not publish reviews until after the official launch.

Supporting the rumors is the fact that Microsoft had to redesign the Xbox One after its Orwellian features and draconian style of digital rights management (DRM) caused an uproar in the gaming community. The system had been in development since 2011, but after its controversial unveiling, the development staff had eight months to remove the unpopular features and ensure the console could function properly. Hence, it’s very likely that gamers might experience major system problems with the first models of the Xbox One.

On a smaller scale, there have been countless examples of how ill prepared the industry has been for highly anticipated launches. Most of these nightmares have been in the last few years.

The most recent example would be last month’s launch of Grand Theft Auto Online, which suffered from technical glitches on day one of its release. Due to system problems, gamers were unable to play the game, and the few that could ended up losing their characters after developer Rockstar fixed the glitch.

In March 2013, Electronic Arts had major problems with the release of Sim City. The game suffered from gameplay glitches while server crashes made it unplayable for a weekend. Worse is that the DRM required players to be connected to a dedicated server even if they were playing the single-player game. This contributed to EA being voted “Worst Company in America” by The Consumerist readers for the second year in a row (beating Bank of America).

That pales, however, to how ill prepared Blizzard Entertainment was with the highly anticipated PC release of Diablo III in 2012. After a decade in development, the game suffered from major glitches when players tried to create a profile and was followed by multiple server crashes. Blizzard underestimated how well the game would sell. Even though Diablo III was a major hit, its success was overshadowed by its disastrous launch.

The first models of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are going to have some major problems while later models will have those resolved. It’s better to wait until they do rather than have a system crash just as you’re about to play a brand-new game.

Written for GameBeats 
11/5/2013
Original Article: Waiting to buy a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One could be the smartest thing you do

Gamers still distrustful of Xbox One privacy policy – 11/3/2013

Microsoft has released an update of its privacy policy for the Xbox One in hopes to address concerns that the system could be used as a spying tool.

According to Microsoft’s new policy, the any information collected by the Kinect will nod be distributed to outside sources and any information collected is deleted when the system is turned off. Also activating the Kinect is not required to use the console or access Xbox Live. The policy also states that changes will be made in the future to reflect customer feedback.

Despite the policy change, many in the gaming community are still fearful that the Xbox One could be used as a tool for spying. News aggregators and message boards have been flooded with gamers expressing their continued distrust with Microsoft.

Since its unveiling in May; Xbox One has been a lighting rod for controversy because of its Orwellian features and draconian style digital rights management (DRM). Microsoft was forced to abandon its DRM policy while it has been very sketchy regarding users privacy.

Several news sources have pointed the fact that Microsoft will continue to monitor data collected from voice chat, video and communications during live-hosted gameplay sessions offered through Xbox Live. The Consumerist has pointed out that many free chat services do reserve the right to monitor user activity. Adding to consumer fears has been the controversy regarding the National Security Agency program of mass surveillance and collecting personal data of American citizens.

Gamers have expressed their concern that the Xbox One will become another tool used by the government to spy on them. The issue of privacy has been one of many controversies that has plagued the Xbox One since it was unveiled in May. Despite all the problems it is still set to be released globally on November 22, 2013.

Written for Digital Journal
11/3/2013
Original Article: Gamers still distrustful of Xbox One privacy policy

Op-Ed: Tom Clancy’s death is a loss for the video game community – 10/7/2013

 

The death Tom Clancy on October 1 is a major loss for pop culture. A literary icon known for his espionage themed techno thrillers, he also had a profound impact on the video game industry.

His contribution to video games should have earned him the same legacy status as John Carmack, Hideo Kojima, Shinji Mikami, and Steven Spielberg.

After a successful career in literature, Tom Clancy partnered with Steve Reid and Doug Littlejohns in 1996 to establish Red Storm Entertainment (bought by Ubisoft in 2000). The first games were Tom Clancy’s Politika and Tom Clancy’s ruthless.com, strategy games based on the Power Play series.

These early games had little significance in the gaming industry and they have been now forgotten. It would be the release of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six in 1998 that would solidifie his legacy in the gaming world by creating a new genre.

Based on the acclaimed novel, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six focus on the exploits of a counter-terrorism unit as they must stop an eco-terrorist group from releasing a bioweapon during the 2000 Sydney Games. Players took command of Rainbow and were tasked with having to plan a tactical operation then lead the squad in action.

The game was highly praised by critics for its revolutionary gameplay and heavy emphasis on realism. It success was followed by Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear, which firmly established the franchise reputation.

By combining elements of strategic planning and realistic combat, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six created the concept of the tactical shooter genre. Tactical shooters abandoned the need for over the top violence in favor of stealth combat and operational awareness within the context of a realistic combat situation. It was because of the focus on realistic combat experience that the game was used by the military to train in counter-terrorism tactics.

The series became a major influence on military-themed and multiplayer games while its gameplay mechanism became the model used for all tactical shooters. The success of the Rainbow Six series was followed with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, a tactical shooter designed to simulate the battlefield experience of the United States Army Special Forces.

Unfortunately thanks to the growth of the “casual gaming market” and the need to dumb-down games, the Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon-series had to abandon some of the tactical gameplay components to make the series more action-oriented.

After creating two successful franchises, Tom Clancy would have little involvement with Red Storm while giving his personal endorsement to the Splinter Cell and H.A.W.X. series.

While readers will have to hope for an unpublished manuscript, Tom Clancy’s legacy will live on in the game series that bear his name. Splinter Cell: Blacklist was released not to long ago and was highly praised by critics while gamers are excited for Tom Clancy’s The Division and Rainbow Six: Patriots.

Rest in peace Tom Clancy, your legacy will live on among the gaming community.

Written for Digital Journal
10/7/2013
Original Article: Op-Ed: Tom Clancy’s death is a loss for the video game community

Bookie has ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ outselling ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ – 9/13/2013

Call_of_duty_ghosts_box_artAccording to bookmaker William Hill plc; ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ will be the bestselling game of this holiday season with the odds being 6/4.

The announcement comes a month after a report from Cowen & Co., an equity research firm, revealed that Call of Duty: Ghosts is the most pre-ordered game for the 2013 holiday season

Meanwhile FIFA 14 has the odds being 2/1 followed by Grand Theft Auto V going for 4/1 while Batman: Arkham Origins and Battlefield 4 are both going for 10/1. Many have pointed to the fact that Ghosts will be available for all major consoles while GTAV is set to be released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Joe Crilly, a spokesmen for William Hill plc, has stated in a press release:There is no doubting that GTA V will sit at the top of the games chart for a couple of weeks (at least until FIFA hits the shelves) but will it sustain enough momentum to make it top for Christmas? The odds would suggest it will fall just short.

However Doug Creutz, an analyst for Cowen & Co., has pointed to the flaw in the ranking regarding Grand Theft Auto V. The report only accounted for pre-orders made after E3 2013 while the game has been available for pre-order since November 2012.

Meanwhile shares of Take Two Interactive (TTWO), the parent company of Rockstar Games, rose by 3% after Grand Theft Auto: Online was unveiled. A report by Merrill Lynch expects the game to be one of the biggest online experience and will have potential to revolutionize the franchise.

Grand Theft Auto V will be the 15th game in the series and is set to be released on September 17. Call of Duty: Ghosts will be the tenth game in the series and is set to be released on November 5.

Written for Digital Journal
09/13/2013
Original ArticleBookie has ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ outselling ‘Grand Theft Auto V’

Roblox hosts gaming conference in Santa Clara – 7/14/2012

DSCN3031Santa Clara – The Roblox Game Conference 2012 welcomed gamers as young as 7 to the Santa Clara Convention Center on July 14, for a learning experience along with some fun.

The event started on the Main Stage with company CEO David Baszucki welcoming the crowd while introducing the Roblox team. For the young gamers; the Roblox team are like rock stars as each one would be asked to sign posters or pose for a group photo during the conference.

After the introduction; guests could mingle with the Roblox team, play games, participate in a hackathon, or attended forums on game development.

The hackathon went from 11am until 2:30 with participants competing in a series of challenges for prizes. Challenges include building a house out of grass or designing golden thorn with in a time frame. Participants had to bring their own laptop but Wi-Fi service was provided for the tournament.

During the forums; the Roblox team would give a demonstration regarding advancements in gaming technology along with advice on how to break into the gaming industry. In one forum, five members of the Roblox team told their story on how they got into gaming.

My story begins with pong, some of you might not know what that is,” said Matt Dusek about his first gaming experience. “It is your Xbox’s great great great great great great grandfather.

Gamers also had the opportunity to meet Brandon LaRouche, who is well known among the Roblox community for creating the My Roblox app. He is also the author of the book, Basic Roblox Lua Programming.

Roblox staffers also had set up a user feedback session as way for the company to gather opinions from users on how to improve their system. Among the subjects discussed were gameplay, character art, and scripting.

The conference ended with the Roblox honoring the best games while Baszucki described his plans for the future of the company.

Roblox is a user-based game development company that allows gamers to create their own game play it online for free. The company was established in 2005 and is located in San Mateo, CA.

Written for Digital Journal 
7/14/2012
Original Article: Roblox hosts gaming conference in Santa Clara