Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Journalists Could Learn a Thing or Two from Call of Duty

Back in June, there was an investigative report on FOX News concerning how America's increasing reliance on drones could present a severe security risk in an age of cyber-warfare.  It is a good report, so give it a quick watch here:

Pretty interesting, right?  But here's the kicker: if you were one of those slack-jawed video gamers, you probably were already well aware of this possibility because of Treyarch's forthcoming title, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.   Remember this from May (i.e., one month prior to the FOX special report)?

But how can this be?  After all, aren't video games all about mindless violence?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Obama: The Meme Maker

That's right, ladies and gentlemen!  Only 100 days to go before this nation gets a chance to correct a big mistake!  Boy, how the "hope and change" time flies.  Almost four complete years into President Obama's first (and last?) term, and he has yet to create anything.  Oh, I know how he likes to tout all those jobs he saved or created, but the truth is that America is suffering a net loss of about 1 million jobs (the link shows a net loss of 1.6 million, but as of June the figure is now closer to a 1 million net loss.  Just trying to be fair here.), making President Obama the worst job creator in American history (with a net loss of almost a million jobs, perhaps "job destroyer" would be a more accurate term for him?).  I guess that $800 billion Keynesian "shovel ready" jobs bill wasn't so "shovel ready" after all (even Obama has conceded that!).  

So what has Obama managed to create?

Well, quite unexpectedly...memes!  You know, those viral like internet references that everybody starts using for no apparent reason.  Obama, while recently making some un-teleprompted remarks during one of his campaign stops unexpectedly made himself the Meme in Chief when he said that America's business owners did not, in fact, build their own businesses.   His exact words:  "You didn't build that!  Somebody else made that happen."  Of course, the "somebody else" for Obama is Big Government, the source of all goodness in the land if you are statist.  What a gift to Mitt Romney!  Now, of course, the Obama team has been working overtime trying to unring the bell and clean up the mess made by such a fatuous statement, but their work is a near impossible task.   I mean, we HAVE the VIDEO TAPE!  And no amount of spin about roads is going to convince anybody that the great orator himself said anything but what he said.  Even the oft dull and timid RNC has figured out what a big bullseye the prez has put on his own back:


By the way: this who idea of collective success is perfectly in keeping with Obama's Marxist predilections.  Remember when he told "Joe the Plumber" he was going to "spread the wealth around"?  Well, if you actually believe that success is a collective effort, why shouldn't the profits be divided up collectively as well?  Anybody who denies there is a theme to Obama's political and economic philosophy just isn't paying attention.
Well, in the wake of this mess, all sorts of "You didn't build that" memes have been popping up here and there. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Visiting Bag End

I've been in a hard fantasy mood lately. Don't know why it is hitting me in the middle of summer as medieval fantasy gaming is usually something I save for Fall. Why? For me, when I think of the Dark Ages / Medieval periods of history - and when it comes to gaming, I find most fantasy titles to mix the two periods together - I also think of a time of figurative twilight, when everything is in decline and long dormant monsters begin to stir to the dirge of creeping despair. With that in mind, I find Fall to be the perfect seasonal counterpart for fantasy gaming, what with its darkening skies, chilly nights, and dying foliage. Part of the Earth is literally in decline during Autumn. Even the name "Fall" conveys this attitude quite accurately.

Anyhoo, my seasonal clock must be running fast because July has been a month of frenetic fantasy gaming for me. Of course, with over 8% unemployment, skyrocketing national debt, a crumbling culture, the possible collapse of the Euro (and western Europe?), Orcs on the march throughout the world (I'll let you interpret that one), and a possible second recession creeping ever closer, I suppose it is not unreasonable for me to want to experience a fictional world in decline as well (reality often influences my gaming choices). With that in mind, I have jumped into Lord of the Rings Online.

This isn't my first time with the game, so nothing really blew me away from the last time I played. In fact, I continue to be a little disappointed in how LotRO mimics World of Warcraft, as just about every other MMO does (ironic, considering how many MMO devs like to bash WoW). But for the fact that LotRO has a monopoly on bringing Tolkien's beloved high fantasy world to life, I would expect that LotRO would just be another forgotten WoW clone. Shame, that.

What is it going to take to get a non-WoW MMO?