Dammit To Hell
It seems that time has come around once again. It's your favorite time of the month, kids.
Fan pack time.
Yes, I realize this time that it's been more than four weeks. That was entirely on purpose.
And no, that's not me making a convenient excuse. If I was actually late, I'd just say "I'm late."
Or make up a much more awesome excuse. Perhaps involving pirates.
I decided to wait a week or so and see if anyone mentioned it. I really don't want people thinking I'm some greedy, money grubbing bastard, so I thought I'd see if anyone actually cared about the fan pack.
I'd wait until someone asked.
See, I've spent so much time developing the other terrible facets of my charming personality that people thinking I'm greedy would be a real step down for me. I think I've built up a pretty solid reputation for being mean, cruel, and mildly insane.
Greed would be so far beneath me.
Okay... Slightly beneath me.
Still, I like to think I'm better than that.
Fortunately, it didn't take too long for someone to notice and send me a message. Then I got another and then another.
As long as you guys are still interested in the fan pack, I'm still willing to crank them out.
Honestly, the theme weeks have been a lot of fun. I'm trying to keep my posting to every second or third day to keep me from burning out (you probably remember the last time that happened), but these weeks of straight posting have been interesting.
I get less sleep those weeks, but screw it. I barely sleep anyway.
Anyway, the next fan pack will be sent out early next week. I'm thinking Monday or Tuesday night.
Seriously. Monday or Tuesday.
As usual, anyone who donates $5 or more to support the blog will become an instant member of the theoretically official [GM]Dave fan club. All fan club members receive the fan pack as well as my personal seal of approval.
Basically, if we ever meet each other for some unforeseen reason, I promise not to strike you in the face.
That's a big deal for me. Striking random strangers in the face is one of my hobbies.
Other hobbies include running away quickly and hiding behind shrubbery.
Also, the person who donates the most each month gets to pick their very own theme for their very own theme week. Anything you want to read about for seven straight days.
I even provide suggestions though no one has yet to take me up on a week of me saying obscene things about their mother.
C'mon, people. Lighten up a little.
This month's top donator opted not to hear seven days of "yo momma's so fat" jokes and instead came up with his own theme.
I didn't even make fun of him.
He wants to hear my thoughts on the worst things that game designers do, the things I absolutely hate about video games.
He wants me to bitch about games for a straight week.
This won't even be challenging. I do that anyway. I'll just have Susan write down whatever the hell I'm ranting about each day.
Princess Peach. Somebody tie that bitch down so she stops getting kidnapped.
See? How hard is that?
They'll be better than that, I swear.
Seriously. Someone get up right now, go buy a gun, and come shoot me in the face.
Like right now.
Why aren't you getting up?
Oh, sure. Let someone else do all the work. If everyone thought like that, we'd never get any face shooting accomplished.
Then where would we be? Walking around with our faces not being shot.
Thanks for nothing, lazy.
Why my new sudden fascination with the face shooting?
Susan had a few days off work.
I had a few days off work.
Unfortunately for me, my few days off lined up exactly with her few days off. When this alignment of planets (or contractually required vacation periods) occurs, my beautiful wife always comes up with something for us to do together.
No, I don't know why.
I don't see what's wrong with spending my vacation days sitting around and basking in the glory that is Zelda.
3 days off in a row. Perfect for me to get through several Zelda games in a row.
It'd be like one of those charity gaming marathons except without a webcam or any chance of me doing anything to help other human beings.
My wife sees three days in a row as an opportunity to get out of the house and do something different.
I don't like different.
If I liked different, I would adjust my life so that the different was part of the normal.
I like to keep all the different outside with all the other things I don't like such as fresh air and people.
But no, my darling wife just wants to go out and do something new. Get out of that old rut.
I like my rut.
It fits me rather nicely.
You don't find a rut like this just anywhere, you know. You need to work damned hard to break it in just right so it fits snugly.
And she wants to go and ruin that.
And what did Susan want to do with those days off?
This is the funny part...
She wanted to go visit her parents.
And stay with them.
She wanted to go stay with her parents.
There are no words to describe my feelings towards this idea. But, if there were words to describe my feelings, I'm pretty sure it'd be "FFFF&&&&%%%%@@@@ NO!"
We had a frank discussion about this in which we shared our feelings and decided that the best option would be for us to compromise.
By "compromise", I mean "we are staying with her parents for three days".
How exactly is that a compromise?
I don't know that either.
I do know that if one of you people doesn't come shoot me in the face, I'm going to be forced to kill myself with a butter knife.
But not the fancy ones. You touch the fancy ones and Susan's mother will fly at you like a crazed howler monkey.
And lord forbid you forget to open the blinds in the morning.
Susan's mother seems nice and sweet until you get to know her. Then you find out that lady is batshit insane.
Every morning, as soon as she rolls out of bed, every blind in the house MUST be opened. If, for some reason, you are up before her, you are expected to open all the blinds for her. If you do not, there is a ten minute lecture about proper blind usage.
I'm not even making this up.
And her father...
We basically pretend the other one doesn't exist. We do this because we both know that the first word one of us breathes is going to be immediately met with physical violence.
He really doesn't like me.
In his defense, I do terrible, terrible things to his daughter.
I wouldn't like me either.
So, I've spent the last few days living in Susan's parent's house, trying not to drive her mother into hysterics by throwing out a plastic bottle and trying to keep her father from wanting to murder me.
Man, what a great vacation. Maybe next year I can spend a few days driving nails through a board with my dick.
You know, break out of that rut.
I'm Not A Good Role Model
Reading through some older posts, I started to notice a theme. This, however, is probably due to my keen skills of observation and may have gone unnoticed.
Apparently, I drink a lot.
I know. I was as shocked as you are.
Now, I don't want you to get the wrong idea. I'm not trying to encourage or even condone drinking.
Drinking is a stupid, stupid thing to do.
I'm just way better at giving advice than following it.
There are no good drinking stories.
Yes, you can have a fun time drinking. You can go out with your friends and have an awesome time drinking yourself off your ass.
It will end badly.
Trust me on this. It will end badly.
Assuming you're old enough to drink, I want you to think of every great drinking story you have, every story about drinking that still makes you laugh.
You're laughing at someone getting hurt, aren't you?
The only time you can even think of a good drinking story is when you're not the one that things ended up badly for.
Hey, your best friend in the world drank a litre of vodka and fell off a bridge.
It's funny, though, because it didn't happen to you.
If, however, you're the one falling off the bridge, suddenly that shit isn't so funny any more.
I've been that guy before. Plenty of times. I have probably fallen off every type of structure that has ever been conceived of or created by man.
Not fun at all.
Oh, sure, the people around me were having a grand time. They were laughing their freaking asses off. Especially Susan.
Still, not fun for me.
Every single drinking story ever ends up with something very bad happening to someone. Then we all laugh and sit around talking about how awesome drinking is.
People get angry. People get stupid. People pick fights.
All because of drinking.
I don't want anyone out there thinking that drinking is a good idea because I make light of it.
I make light of everything. It's kind of my thing.
Drinking is bad.
I only do it to drown out the terrible, terrible morons that infest my daily life.
If falling off a bridge is the price I have to pay to suffer these people, then I think I can live with that.
Also, someone invented bacon-flavored whisky so I don't see me stopping any time soon.
Eh, chicks dig scars.
It Seemed Like A Good Idea...
Remember when last month's fan pack rolled around, I mentioned that anyone who donated could choose an extra fan pack and I'd send it to them.
Yeah, apparently, that was WAY harder than I thought it was going to be.
I am still trying to send out the bonus packs and have been trying to do so since the fan pack ended.
Hotmail is threatening to murder my children if I don't stop sending such large e-mails.
Joke's on them. I only have one kid.
Anyway, I'm still trying to sift through the list of people who wanted what packs and then cross referencing that against the mailer daemons that are filling my inbox.
Work is hard.
Seriously, this seemed like such an easy idea. You know, help people get some back issues and stuff.
How hard could it be?
It's funny how every time I ask that question, life kicks me in the face.
Girlz Play Too
I am offended.
I am offended as a person and as a man.
Mostly though, I'm offended as a gamer.
Sony, the fine people behind and currently working very hard to kill the Playstation brand, have sunk to a new low, a low so far beneath their already frightening level, it is honestly astounding.
I present to you Girlz Play Too
Really, Sony? Really?
Now, taken at face value, this new campaign might seem to empower women, to give new respect to the female gamers of the world.
Both of them.
But really, when you start to seriously think about it, this whole thing is just plain insulting.
Do you know how much it takes for me to find something insulting? I once called a twelve year old kid a F&%@ING retard because he was wearing his hat sideways.
I get that Sony is just trying to open up a new demographic. Girls have money and they like money.
Don't really need to be Grissom here, folks.
But do they really have to be so downright insulting with their advertising?
Yes, girls play, too. We know that. When they're not busy replacing their 's's with 'z's, they often like to play some video games.
Sorry... Video gamez.
Oh, aren't we so very hip?
Lilac purple? Really?
They're girls. They're just regular people. They're like guys only with a vagina instead of a penis.
Innies instead of outies, if you were.
They don't need purple F&%@IN' PSPs. They can play the black one just fine. Or the silver one. Or the blue one.
Or the eleventy billion special edition versions.
They're not stupid and they're certainly not trying to match their PSP to their shoes or lipstick or what the hell else some moron at a marketing meeting said in between doing lines of coke.SonyExec1>> We need to sell more PSPs.SonyExec1>> Who haven't we exploited lately?SonyExec2>> Um... Chicks?SonyExec1>> There are girl gamers?SonyExec1>> Seriously?SonyExec2>> Oh, yeah. Lots of them.SonyExec2>> Probably.SonyExec1>> But we need a hook to lure them in.SonyExec2>> Well...SonyExec2>> We could make games that empower women.SonyExec2>> We could treat them like people.SonyExec1>> I've got it!SonyExec1>> Make it freaking purple.SonyExec1>> Bitches love purple.SonyExec2>> Great idea, sir.
Honestly, I can only assume that Sony thinks all girls are either:
The funny thing is that if you actually exploited people who were either twelve or retarded, people would be up in arms, protesting and starting Facebook groups and shit.
But slap some purple paint on a PSP and say "You go, girl" and people just let that shit go.
So, they misspell words on purpose to seem cool, throw together a poorly thought out girl power campaign, completely patronize almost half the people on our planet, and then offer a product that is designed for a stereotype of a retarded tween.
Oh, and let's not forget that they've already announced a brand new PSP that should be coming out pretty soon and that this really comes off as an underhanded attempt to get rid of unsold and obsolete product.
But hey... It's purple, right?
Everybody knows them bitches just f&%@ing love purple.
NOW, I've Heard Them All
People stop playing FFXI.
I'm not sure why. Maybe they get bored. Maybe they're no good at it. Sometimes, life just sneaks up on you and you don't have time any more.
Still, they stop playing.
This isn't surprising. I would be insane to think that every single player is going to play forever.
Even I'm not that crazy.
Occasionally though, a player likes to make a GM call to tell us why they're quitting. Sometimes, they want to complain. Sometimes, they just want someone to say goodbye.
No... It's pretty much just to complain.
Ooooooh, someone stole your NM. Go back to single player games, moron.
Anyway, I was at my desk going over some GM call statistics (read: drinking Jack Daniel's through a crazy straw), when I got another goodbye call.GM Call Description: Quitting game. Need to ask a question.
Now, I know I complain about getting GM calls a lot. Damned people making me do the job they're paying me to do.
Honestly though, I don't mind these calls so much. Most people don't tend to get too upset when they're quitting.
Also, I know from the outset that no matter how the conversation goes, they're not going to be bothering me any more.
... Yes, that's true of pretty much all of my calls.
So, I log into this guy's server and send him a message.[GM]Dave>> Hail, Adventurer.[GM]Dave>> I understand you wish to quit.Player>> That's right.[GM]Dave>> As I see it, you've made this call to either...[GM]Dave>> Complain, which would be bad.[GM]Dave>> Or say goodbye, which would be less bad.[GM]Dave>> If it's complain, I am authorized to send you a commemorative hammer.[GM]Dave>> Just apply to face as needed.Player>> No... It's neither of those.[GM]Dave>> No?[GM]Dave>> No complaining?[GM]Dave>> I'm... I'm not sure what to do at this point.[GM]Dave>> I think you just became my favorite player.Player>> I just have a question.[GM]Dave>> A question from my favorite player?[GM]Dave>> Not a problem.Player>> Who do I talk to about a refund?[GM]Dave>> ...[GM]Dave>> And there we are.[GM]Dave>> Refund?Player>> Yeah.Player>> I'd like a refund since I'm quitting.[GM]Dave>> Yes, yes. I understand the situation.[GM]Dave>> At least one of us isn't retarded.Player>> What do you mean by that?[GM]Dave>> Exactly.Player>> I just want my money back.[GM]Dave>> Again, I understand the situation.[GM]Dave>> I understand the word refund.[GM]Dave>> I don't understand it in this context.Player>> Well, I don't want to play any more.Player>> And I want my money back.Player>> Understand?[GM]Dave>> I think so.[GM]Dave>> Basically... You're an idiot.[GM]Dave>> That's about it, right?Player>> That's not necessary.[GM]Dave>> Oh, you realized it, too.[GM]Dave>> That should speed this up a lot.Player>> There's no need to be rude.Player>> They don't pay you to be rude.[GM]Dave>> It's complimentary.[GM]Dave>> Ironically.
I'm not going to lie. I made myself laugh.
Shut up. It's funny.Player>> I just want my money back.Player>> I've spent a lot of money playing this game.Player>> Since I'm quitting, I think I deserve a refund.[GM]Dave>> And why exactly?[GM]Dave>> Why do you DESERVE a refund?Player>> I put a lot of time and effort into this game.Player>> A lot.Player>> But now, I think it cost too much.[GM]Dave>> You mean the fees you agreed to when you signed up.[GM]Dave>> The fees that are in the contract you signed.Player>> Exactly.[GM]Dave>> Logic shields are holding, Captain.[GM]Dave>> Our shots bounced right off.Player>> Who are you talking to?[GM]Dave>> No one apparently.[GM]Dave>> I am saddened to inform you...[GM]Dave>> No... Wait.[GM]Dave>> I am indifferent to inform you that we don't give refunds.Player>> Why not?![GM]Dave>> Well, there are many reasons.[GM]Dave>> One, you've already used the product you paid to use.[GM]Dave>> The agreement has been fulfilled.[GM]Dave>> Two, you cannot get a refund for every product.[GM]Dave>> You can't eat a meal and then ask for a refund.[GM]Dave>> And three, my personal favorite...[GM]Dave>> We just don't like you.Player>> That's...Player>> That's...[GM]Dave>> Logical?[GM]Dave>> Justified?[GM]Dave>> Seriously, just grunt when I'm getting warm.Player>> That's just plain ignorant.[GM]Dave>> I didn't want to call you ignorant.[GM]Dave>> That would be rude.[GM]Dave>> They don't pay me to be rude.Player>> Can I speak to someone else?Player>> Someone in the refund department?[GM]Dave>> No problem.[GM]Dave>> Let me see if anyone's available.
We don't have a refund department.
We don't have one because that would be retarded.
I might as well transfer him to our department in charge of space shuttle maintenance.
I don't think we have a shuttle... I should make some calls.[GM]Dave>> Okay, I'm going to transfer you now.Player>> Thank you.
He thanked me.
I'm not even kidding.[GM]Dave>> You're welcome.*warp*Area: Mordion GaolPlayer>> Why am I here?[GM]Dave>> I'm guessing two stupid people shared a special hug...[GM]Dave>> Oh... HERE.[GM]Dave>> I decided to transfer you to our refunds manager.Player>> Really?[GM]Dave>> Oh yeah.[GM]Dave>> He also handles complaints.Player>> Perfect.Player>> I do have some suggestions.[GM]Dave>> Of course you do.[GM]Dave>> Oh, here he comes now.Player>> Where?Player>> OHMYDEARGODDSASDHG.Jormungand hits Player for 14,489 points of damage.Player was defeated by Jormungand.[GM]Dave>> He says you forgot your change.
I think I have officially experienced every possible type of GM call. I don't see how anyone could find any way to decrease my faith in humanity.
And... Just as I said that, a whole group of people took that as a challenge.
People often ask me for advice. Something about my manner and my writing has suggested to these people that I am a valid choice for someone to let me have some small control over their life.
Apparently, the underlying tones of me being a violent, angry drunk were too subtle for them.
I would make an awesome life coach.
Step 1) ascertain problem at hand
Step 2) drink until problem goes away
Step 3) ???
Step 4) Profit
One of the most interesting types of problems people write me with is issues with their spouse or significant other.
ie. guys need help with their wives because their wives hate games.
Now, I can tell you a lot of good things to do. I can give you hints and suggestions on exactly how to handle this situation. I can list games that a non-gamer wife might enjoy or ways you can manage your time better.
I is very smart.
Unfortunately, and this is me being honest here, I really don't have that problem. I really don't have to deal with a wife that hates video games.
My wife likes video games.
My wife plays video games.
She doesn't resign my gaming systems to a closet in the hallway. She doesn't hide my controllers away when company's coming over.
She's pretty cool about it.
That's not to say that Susan and I see perfectly eye-to-eye about video games all the time. That'd be nearly impossible.
Apparently, she still thinks going on a 72 hour straight, redbull-fueled gaming marathon is "not cool".
And my idea to spend my entire check on a full-size original Neo Geo cabinet didn't get past the approval committee.
But I don't have to explain to her that I'm going to play games. I don't have to explain why I like them and why I play them so much.
I don't have to because she gets it.
I understand it that a lot of wives don't get it. Due to any number of life experiences, they just weren't exposed to gaming in a way that fostered a true passion for it.
Sadly, this is all too common in women.
The stereotypical idea that most, if not all, gamers are men is not a slight against women. It is not some insult we heap upon the feet of an entire gender.
It's just commentary.
Most girls aren't exposed to games the same way boys are.
It sucks, but it's true.
And that means that ten or twenty or thirty years later, these girls who never played games end up as wives who don't understand games.
Through sheer probability, the majority of male gamers end up with a woman who is not a gamer.
It's just math.
There are many gamers. The majority of gamers are men. This, therefore, means that there are not enough female gamers to meet demand.
If it makes you guys feel better, it's not your fault. The majority of us are just bound to end up with women who do not understand our most fundamental passion.
Luckily for me, that wasn't me.
Sucks to be you guys.
It's Just Not Fair
So, Susan dragged me to another wedding yesterday.
No, I don't know why.
I've spent many, many, many years developing a very solid image of someone who does not enjoy these kinds of events. I actually hate this kind of event and make it my mission to make all of those around me hate it as well.
What can I say? It's a hobby.
Unfortunately, one of my duties as the husband is to attend these things with my wife.
I was informed of this along with the information that failure to perform these duties would result in Susan failing to perform many of her wifely duties.
These duties would include:
a) sleeping with me
b) not punching me repeatedly in the groin
So, I'm at a wedding.
After the whole "I now pronounce you something something", we were at the reception watching a very drunk group of people dance very badly.
At least... I think that's what they were trying to do. Basically, it looked like a group of people having epileptic seizures almost set to music.
It was painful to watch.
That was, however, when I realized something incredibly interesting about people. I had an epiphany, if you will.
Women can dance like absolute retards and someone will still want to have sex with them at the end of the night.
I mean, it's common knowledge that woman have very little difficulty finding a willing partner. Men aren't exactly the most discerning people.
Still, it never struck me just how pervasive this concept really is.
There was a girl on the dance floor, a reasonably attractive girl, and she spent most of the night dancing.
I immediately understood two things:
a) she thinks she is a very good dancer
b) she is very, very wrong
Oh lord, it was like watching some horrible train wreck. Limbs flailing in every direction.
I wanted to look away, but couldn't.
Then, as I watched, I noticed a guy walk up and start dancing with her. I'd like to say he was subtle in his advances, but he was doing everything short of dry humping her on the floor.
That might have actually improved upon her dancing.
And that's when it struck me. No matter how retarded this girl looked, as long as she was breathing, someone would want to take her home.
Shouldn't there be a line somewhere? Shouldn't an even moderately intelligent man be able to control himself enough not to jump on top of the spastic tard trying to flail her way through Boom Boom Pow?
I'm sorry, but we, as a species, should be better at selecting potential mates.
Can you imagine the genetic failures this woman could create? Little idiot children stumbling haphazardly around the room.
Yes, I realize the girl is pretty. I get that.
I also get that pretty girls turn men into large piles of stupid.
Still, I fail to understand how anyone could look at her and find her attractive. I don't care how stupid you are, retardation is never hot.
I don't care if a chick is Megan Fox. If she's sitting in the corner eating paste, she's not hot.
The funny thing about people is that every woman reading this agrees with me.
And every guy just thought "Eh, I'd still hit it."
Man, men are stupid.
A lot of people have been writing me to ask my opinions on the latest wave of bannings.
In case you don't play FFXI (And why not? Are you too good or something?), in recent weeks, there has been a sudden flood of bannings for reasons cited as "irregular play".
That roughly translates to "You're a gil seller so GTFO."
Basically, the higher ups at SE have developed an new set of criteria for determining who exactly deserves to get kicked the F&%@ off our servers.
This, of course, has created an uproar in the FFXI community over the many, many, many people who have been banned unfairly.
Oh... Wait... Who CLAIM to have been banned unfairly.
See, that's the funny thing about all of this. Most, if not all, of the people who got banned DESERVED to be banned.
They did. That's it. End of story. Roll the credits.
We're not complete idiots over here, people. We're not just making this shit up willy freaking nilly.
Every single reason that was developed to ban accounts has a very sound a reasonable logic to it. Each and every reason makes perfect damned sense.
At least, they did make sense... WHEN YOU PEOPLE SUGGESTED THEM.
Pretty much every single rule that has been implemented came after carefully considering suggestions made BY PLAYERS.
Hey, you have 15 mules all with the same name. That's really cute.
Remember that time you sent us an e-mail about how stupid we were for not banning huge groups of RMT players that all had the same name?
Can you not put two and two together?
Seriously, people. These are the damned things you've all been saying for years.
Oh, hey. Someone got banned for camping the same NM over and over. They basically monopolized the camp for days at a time and they got banned for it.
You complained about that LAST WEEK!
Yeah, when it was a group of "chinese" guys, that shit was terrible. They were ruining the game, blah, blah, blah. They deserved to be banned.
But you do the same thing and suddenly, banning's not fair.
Oh... I get it.
We're not using some automated banning program. There is no auto-ban RMT-PWNER 1.337 software.
You're not in the freaking Matrix here, Neo.
You did something wrong. You got caught doing something wrong. You got punished for doing something wrong.
None of this falls under the heading of "unfair".
Did some people get banned that maybe could have been let slide? Of course.
You can't make an omelette without banning thirty or forty people.
Seriously. I can't do that. If I make an omelette, I ban thirty or forty people.
Toast is twenty. A bowl of cereal is... You know, it's a whole thing. Long story short: I ban people.
That does not, however, mean that their behavior was not deserving of a ban. It simply means that they could have been let off with a warning.
My personal favorite is the chargebacks. People use a credit card to pay for their monthly fees and then file a chargeback to get that money back.
And then... Later... They act surprised that they got banned.
You stopped paying for a service. You actually used the service and then demanded your money back.
What did you think would happen?
Yeah, yeah. Some people are saying that their credit cards filed those chargebacks.
How exactly is that OUR fault? Can I ask you?
That shit is your card company's fault. All we know is that you are trying to screw us out of the agreed upon monthly fees.
I know, I know. You didn't do anything wrong.
The simple fact of the matter is that we can't pick and choose who gets punished based on the honor system.
We can't do that because EVERYONE LIES.
No one ever gets banned and goes "Oh yeah. You got me. My bad."
No, it's always evil old SE screwing over the innocent players.
How about, for a change, instead of blaming us, you try blaming all of the people who broke the system in the first place? How about we blame the gil sellers for making all of this necessary?
Or maybe, just maybe, you could realize that we're working to make your experience enjoyable and pleasant. We're working to make the game better for the honest players.
Or maybe, and this is just PLAIN CRAZY, we could realize that PEOPLE BITCH AND WHINE ABOUT BEING INNOCENT EVERY TIME WE BAN PEOPLE.
How about we just stop making a big deal out of it?
That'd be super.
Feeling Much Better
Susan decided she was getting annoyed with my mood the past few days, so she decided to do something about it.
No, she didn't divorce me.
Why does everyone ask that?
She went out and bought me something that was guaranteed to make me feel better.
No, not whiskey.
No, not drugs.
Wii Sports Resort.
Holy freaking damn, what a fun, relaxing game. If that game can't make you feel better then there is something majorly wrong with you.
There's something just so wholesome and... Well... Fun about it.
I don't know what it is, honestly. The graphics are standard for any Wii (insert noun here) game. You play as Miis and blah, blah, bowling.
Still, it is so freaking easy to pick up and start playing that you can't help but like it.
My only question is what resort would actually let you do all of this stuff?
Sure, basketball and golf and shit. That I can understand.
But sky diving?!
And not just you. Oh, no. Every single person at the freaking resort is up there doing all sorts of advanced tricks and patterns and shit.
With no instructors.
Wait... No, there is an instructor. She takes your picture as you and a couple dozens other people plummet to your deaths.
Still, there will be some lovely photos at the mass funeral.
And sword fighting. What the hell?
Oh, I love the sword fighting game. I dare you to find any Star Wars fan who wouldn't love this game.
Or that won't make the Mmmrrroooooooowwwww sound while they fight.
No, my problem with this game is the Showdown game.
Basically, you start off on one end of an area and you have to plow through dozens upon dozens of other characters to get to the end.
What kind of resort offers this event?
"Uh... Hi, folks. We were just... Well, could you guys all put on this fighting gear and let this other guy beat the ever loving crap out of you a few times?"
Yeah, sure. For you it's fun as hell.
What about the twenty or thirty other people who spend their vacation acting as a practice dummy?
I mean, what the hell?!
All in all, this game is incredible. It's everything that's right with games and then some.
It's easy to pick up and jump right into the action, but also provides a nice challenge at the higher levels. Enemies get progressively harder without being impossible.
Also, each event has Stamps that you can collect for doing different things.
I'm going to try and pretend they didn't basically steal Xbox achievements.
In their defense, Microsoft can't exactly start throwing around the "stealing ideas" argument without being either foolish or ironic.
Honestly, this game made me feel a whole ton better. Just running around, playing all sorts of fun, fast games really brightened my spirits.
Also, the beating the shit out of everyone else on the island may have helped.
This just once again proves that violence is actually, sometimes, the answer.
Sorry for not updating for two days, but honestly that whole story I wrote about a few days ago still has me very pissed off.
Plus, I thought it would kind of undermine the point of it if I followed it up with "A funny thing happened at the Auction House today..."
I spent some time really thinking about why the story made me so angry.
Sure, I could say it was the shoddy parenting, but I don't even know if that's the case. Maybe they had tried every other possible solution and this was a last resort. Maybe they were just hoping to help out a son they loved very much.
Besides, I've seen enough horrendous parenting in my time that that really shouldn't bother me as much as this did.
Yes, of course much of my anger relates to the fact that he was beaten to death by teachers who were assigned to help him, to help make his life better. They were obviously insane to use such punishment and anyone would be outraged by it.
Again, though... I've seen all of that before. I've seen people in power abuse that power and the people under their authority.
I'm very jaded and cynical.
You know, in case you hadn't noticed.
I think what really pushed me over the line here is that they treat video games and the internet like it's some form of sickness, a disease, a virus that turns us into helpless automatons.
If we were spending hours a day working out or jogging or what the hell ever, nobody would say shit to us. We'd all stand around checking our pulse and talking about our resting heart rate, and thinking how freaking normal we all are.
If we spent twelve hours a day training for football or hockey or whatever, they'd slap us on the back and give us a jacket with a letter on it. We could stand around pumping our veins full of steroids and assaulting drunken cheerleaders, and thinking how freaking normal we all are.
But you pick up a damned controller for more than fifteen minutes a week and suddenly you're some sick, addicted bastard with no ability to control our own actions or emotions. Suddenly all the wonderfully normal joggers and quarterbacks will look down on us with disdain like we are somehow mentally ill.
What the hell?!
Not everything is an addiction. Not everything is some mental illness.
Stop making excuses. Stop trying to find reasons why we don't fit into your perfect little definition of perfectly normal people.
Maybe we don't want to throw a ball and then carry a ball and then run the ball around the other guys who want to take the ball.
Maybe I don't want to run through the park pumping my arms and trying to get into the eight minute group.
Maybe I just want to sit down and play a game, a nice quiet game that I enjoy.
And maybe... Just maybe... If I REALLY enjoy it, I'll want to do it every day.
That doesn't mean I'm sick or obsessed or addicted. It doesn't mean I need to see a councilor or a therapist or be sent off to a camp.
WE'RE NOT SICK.
Sure, we may not be what the rest of the world calls "normal".
I don't know about you, but I'm okay with that.
There Are No Words
In a rare moment, I'm going to be perfectly serious with you guys. I'm severely pissed off right now and I need to vent.
The term Internet Addiction is thrown around WAY too loosely. It's a buzzword more than it is a diagnosis and is bandied about by ignorant people who would rather blame their children's problems on a console or computer than shoddy parenting.
It doesn't take much to be a good parent. You talk to your kids and then you listen to your kids. You spend time trying to understand what they like instead of complaining that they should like something else.
And you take responsibility for your kids.
That's it. Print it up and slap a "Parenting for Dummies" cover on it.
Instead, people send their kids off to treatment facilities or get them prescribed the latest in medical parenting.
Who needs quality time and proper nurturing when you can give your kid a pill every day?
Can kids go overboard with it? Of course they can.
THEY'RE KIDS FOR GOD'S SAKE!!!
They go overboard on everything.
It is your job as a parent to curb and manage that behavior so that it doesn't become problematic. You put down your blackberry or your remote long enough to make sure your kid isn't going psycho.
THAT'S YOUR F&%@ING JOB!
You don't ship your kids off and, in case you did not understand that, you damned well make sure the place you are sending them is going to take good care of them.
Now, you may wonder what managed to get me so angry.
It seems a young man in China was sent to a "camp" for people suffering from Internet Addiction. His parents wanted to cure him of his quote unquote addiction.
At that camp, he was beaten to death by three of the instructors.
Yes, beaten to death.
Because he ran too slow
I wish I was making this up. I wish I had some witty punchline ready to go, but sadly, this is all too real.
One young man, someone you may have spoken with in a chatroom or in a game, was beaten to death because he wasn't what everyone else thought he should be and didn't do what they wanted him to do.
This should not happen.
THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN!
Are there computers in China without wires? Are there magic internet signals that come freely to every house and cannot be stopped?
TAKE THE F&%@ING COMPUTER AWAY! THROW IT IN THE GARBAGE!
Is your child suffering from Internet Addiction? Here's the solution:
IT'S CALLED A F&%@ING HAMMER!
Apply to computer externally until problem is resolved.
Or... And this is just an idea... BE A PARENT!
If you kid is using something too much, TAKE IT THE F&%@ AWAY!
It doesn't matter if they get mad. It doesn't matter if they scream and cry and say they hate you.
It doesn't matter if they actually hate you.
That's part of being a parent. You lay down the law and you suffer the consequences.
But that's your job.
Let's imagine that this young man actually DID need professional help. Let's imagine that he was so dangerously caught up in his addiction that he needed to be sent away to a camp.
WHY THE HELL IS THERE A CAMP WHERE TEACHERS BEAT THE KIDS?!
CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN THAT TO ME?
How exactly did beating the living shit out of a kid become a better plan than letting them play some video games or letting them watch Youtube all day?
I am so freaking sick and tired of dealing with a world where people can deny all responsibility for their children and then other people can justify physical violence in the name of helping.
I am saddened that this young man had to die. I am saddened that he was punished for nothing more than doing something he enjoyed.
I am saddened that this is the world we live in today.
Apologies to Seinfeld
I present to you...
[GM]Dave's Day In Reverse
I'm sleeping on the couch.
10 minutes ago
Susan>> Are you SERIOUS?!
Susan>> You're just going to PLAY VIDEO GAMES?!
Susan>> For a WHOLE WEEK?!
One hour ago
Susan>> Huh... A "Staycation"...
Susan>> You know...
Susan>> That sounds like a great idea.
Susan>> We could do so many fun things together.
One hour and 3 minutes ago
[GM]Dave>> I just heard about the greatest thing.
[GM]Dave>> Have you ever heard of a "Staycation"?
Susan>> What's a "Staycation"?
2 hours ago
[GM]Dave>> I can't believe I have to get Susan to agree with this.
[GM]Dave>> This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.
4 hours and 23 minutes ago
[GM]Dave>> Wow. A "Staycation".
[GM]Dave>> That sounds like a great idea.
4 hours and 24 minutes ago
Supervisor>> My other choice is to fire you.
4 hours and 25 minutes ago
[GM]Dave>> Wow. A "Staycation".
[GM]Dave>> That sounds like a retarded idea.
4 hours and 27 minutes ago
Supervisor>> I just heard about the greatest thing.
Supervisor>> Have you ever heard of a "Staycation"?
[GM]Dave>> What's a "Staycation"?
4 hours and 28 minutes ago
[GM]Dave>> What do you mean I can't have vacation time?!
[GM]Dave>> What the hell am I supposed to do now?
4 hours and 29 minutes ago
Supervisor>> Yeah... Vacation...
Supervisor>> About that...
Supervisor>> We had to eliminate vacations due to cutbacks...
4 hours and 56 minutes ago
Susan>> A vacation?
Susan>> That sounds like a great idea.
4 hours and 58 minutes ago
[GM]Dave>> Should I ask my supervisor BEFORE I ask Susan?
5 hours ago
[GM]Dave>> This would probably be a good day to ask about that vacation.