Tuesday, 30 March 2010

I am awake. And I am like you.

Unlistedoo7, this one is for you.

A friend of mine on the Animation course, Fitz, posted this up on Facebook today:

A brief look at the comments on the video showed the possibility of it being a fake, a video produced by the person who directed Lady Gaga's Pokerface video, intended to be a viral video.

Comments on the video included rage at the "parents and steacher of the school", rage at America for raging about society and then allowing kids to pretend to be gangsters in school plays, rage at the people who thought it was real, rage at the way the kids were used, and awe at all the ragers who need to calm down because "they [the kids] know that it's only pretend". Personally, I felt a bit of rage for all the people who said "Chill the fudge out" or "What the fudge??", but only because the word fudge stopped being funny about halfway through the first use. Mmmmmmm... Fudge.

Unfortunately, as is the way with videos that attract comments like this [or any subject for that matter on the Internet], you get people commenting on what they see, exactly as they are seeing it. This leads to responses from others who are slightly more informed,who will try to tell them, for example, that the video is not real.

As the discussion continues, the views snowball and more people come to the discussion who are just as uninformed as the initial commenters. The comments that originally tried to explain the truth of the video get covered by the avalanche of new comments. Some people will see this happening, and in frustration attempt to relay the fact that the video is not real. But more people arrive, and they don't know what to believe.

This was me. One of the posters, TheKidJKR, said:
This play was put together by the director of numerous lady gaga music videos. The children were casted like any other role. Not a real school play. Intended to be a viral video.

I wanted to know what his source was, but there are over a thousand comments for me to try looking through at this point, so I asked:
How do you know?

I was aware that it might be a while before I got a reply from them, so while I waited I tried having a browse through the comments anyway. In less than half an hour, I'd found out the comment stating Rockhard Films and googled it, and while I found an article saying it's not a real school play, I don't know where TMZ got their information from [I also found a comment stating it is an advert for a video game, but I haven't found anything more on that so I can't verify that claim either]. It's been a while however since I've commented on controversial matters on Youtube; I kind of forgot that other people would read my question to TheKidJKR and reply too.

Dear unlistedoo7: I'm as awake as you are.
But I am also aware that I can only pay attention to what is not hidden from my awareness. I know you are aware of this; I've looked at your channel. If what you wrote up there is true, we have similar intentions.

You probably weren't aware of my motives in asking my question, and possibly assumed I was ignorantly asking for the sake of asking, or trying to poke or prod or antagonise. I was not. I wanted a lead, so I could find out what was going on.

Although I'm 20, I consider myself still a child. There's a lot I don't know, but at least I know that. I'm a truth-seeker, just like you.

Monday, 29 March 2010

New Essay Idea: New Games Journalism

In my previous post about what to write my essay on, I said I'd do it on Binaural Audio. Then I spoke to Corrado about it, ditched the idea, and scaled back to just talk about Foley and SFX in games and how they add to the players' experience.

I've since done little actual research about sound. Instead, I've spent most of my energy on the WOF project, and pretty much totally neglected my essay... Muppet.

Anyone reading my blog may have noticed my recent [or is it?] interest [obsession] with media and journalism. In fact, I've spent the last 3 days researching it as a possible career option. I'm possibly not the greatest writer in the world, but it's not like I've been trying to write greatly...

So here's my new focus: New Games Journalism and it's relationship with the idea of Player Experience, or how Player Experience can be used successfully in New Games Journalism.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Burn The Witch

This weekend, I have been mostly reading about journalism, games journalism, and magazine publication.

This all comes after a recent vague feeling I had that newspapers are evil, before quickly realising that they're only as evil as video games, nuclear energy, and the entire human population as a whole.

I can take some of my own advice; if I don't like what people are broadcasting about the games industry, I can try broadcasting something myself. Although technically, I already am via this blog. As I went through all of my previous posts last night, I noticed that while a percentage of them were about work I produced for the course, a large amount consisted of brief comments on things I'd seen and found kinda interesting within the games industry, comments on life and philosophies and concepts, and rants against the demonisation of Computer Games by the media.

Bad disguised as Good vs. Good disguised as Bad...

So perhaps after uni, or even during, I'm interested in attempting to start something up. A tidy and attractive bit of entertainment with serious motives to defend the witch that is the Computer Games Industry from the demon that is Fear and Moral Panic, who screams "Burn them all! For the children!" Fighting fire with fire, you could possibly say.

Although when I think about it, there are two seperate ideas going on in my mind. One involves storming the world, exposing the demons for what they are and helping new kids to the industry become aware of the mob that metaphorically cries for their blood, while bringing them entertainment in the form of clever nonsense, and useful tips to get into the exciting industry of games.

The other involves metaphorically dressing up as an old lady, selling magazines targetted at mothers showing them all the games they'd find lovely, so that wild accusations like "Video games promote rascism, sexism and hatred" can be seen for what they really are.

...We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

So... [Ping Pong / Tetris / Brain Training] promotes hatred, rascism, sexism, and rewards violence. Is it?

If you are a concerned parent reading this, please read the information on the following link before reading the rest of the blog post: The Byron Review [Wiki]


So check it out, they're trying to make us look like the bad guys again.

It parades itself as a concerned look at whether video games are corrupting children, but it is quite clearly just another attack on the computer games industry. There are so many things wrong with this, I could write a book about it.

The Industry places age ratings on games. The Industry is aware of the possible effects of exposing children to violence, and the Industry has taken steps to prevent those kinds of games getting into the hands of the children. If children are playing violent video games, it's because someone old enough to know better [such as their own parents] have been buying the games for them. It's the responsibility of the parents or guardians to be aware of the content they are buying for their children.

Knowing all of this, it upsets me to hear people old enough to know better speak as ignorantly as Julie Peasgood did here. I was quite offended when she pretty much proclaimed that video games were evil [at least when I said it, I was sleep deprived. Also... I was joking].

She is writing off the entire video game industry [or did she merely forget to add the word "violent" onto the front of her statements about video games promoting hatred, rascism and sexism?], speaking as if the whole thing should just be exterminated. She is only promoting hate, when you get down to the bare essentials. And on television [oh, and on the Internet via ITV's Player], too. Nice.

What she needs to do is open her eyes and see how video games actually are, in their entirety; the good, as well as the bad. If she still doesn't like what there is to see, then what she ought to be doing is helping to change it positively, by promoting the positive aspects of video games, for example, the potential for use in education. This would attract more people to the industry who want to use games for "good", which in turn would result in fewer games about "bad" stuff.

If people carry on slandering games as evil, worst case scenario; those people who want to help the world will forget that using video games is an option, and so they won't use them. Only the people who want to make violent games are left, so only violent games are made, so people will complain that games are violent, so people will assume games can only be violent, because "that's just the way things is". It's a vicious cycle, and though it can be broken ["Making a game that's non-violent? You innovative genius, you!"], it's better not to let it get to that stage in the first place.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Escaping from Life? Man up, will you.

Ollie sent me this link today: "The most dangerous drug isn't meow meow. It isn't even alcohol..." by Charlie Brooker

Combine that with the post I wrote yesterday, and it makes me wonder about people. Life is actually really interesting when you stop to examine and experience it properly. What is it that we are doing to ourselves, our culture, to make us feel like jumping the ship of reality?

Is it because we have shackled ourselves into lifestyles that feel so boring that we feel like we have to create virtual realities to escape to, and exaggerate the stories we write in newspapers to make life sound more interesting than it seems?

Look at Second Life.
What is stuff like that all about? I mean, fair enough if you have serious disabilities preventing you from getting out there and doing much, like connecting with people. But if you're perfectly "normal"...?

Or fair enough if you want to quickly see how it might feel to dress a certain way, or have a certain colour hair, or go to a certain place. But to do it in a virtual world is not the same as doing it for real.

Get out there. Wear those different clothes, for real. Try out that hair style, for real. Go to that place, FOR REAL. If you are capable of doing it, then why aren't you doing it?


Stubborn Response #1: But I don't have the time...

Make time. Plan a time where you can do what you want to do, and just do it. I don't care if your job doesn't like you dying your hair. If you have a job, then you can probably buy a wig, and wear it out one day in public. That's all it takes to experience a day of purplehairness. Well, purplehairnessish. To do the job properly, dying your hair purple would help you experience true purplehairness. Wearing a purple wig would only help you achieve the experience of true purplewigness.

Whiney Response #2: ...But people will stare at me if I "wear that purple wig".

So what? If people stare, you can relax knowing that you've just made someone else's day more interesting. If you have to, make up an excuse to do it. Wear a sign around your neck saying you're doing it for charity. Even better: Actually do it for charity. Why wait for Red Nose day? Charity can happen any time of year.

Naff Response #3: ...But I don't know how to "get a purple wig".

Are you serious. One word dude: T'INTERNETZ.
You're reading my blog. Surely you know how to use a search engine.

Lame Response #4: ...But I can't afford "that purple wig".

Then start saving up. If you're not earning anything, start earning. Read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. If Siddhartha can go from being a ragged beggar to wealthy merchant, why can't you?

Decent Response #5: ...But I have mental issues. They're like physical limitations, except they be in me brains.

Professional help exists for a reason.
If you can't afford professional help, please see my reply to Lame Response #4.
If you can't think of a way for you to earn dosh, please see my reply to Naff Response #3.
If you don't have time to check out the internet for a way to help yourself, please see the first two words of my reply to Stubborn Response #1. If you have time to read my blog, you blatently have time to google something.
If your mental issues consist of you feeling slight apprehension towards the idea of doing something that's different to "normal", please see the title of this blog post.

I don't want your excuses, I want you to get rid of those mental barriers.
Accept responsibility for your own life.
Stop putting it off. Stop being lazy. You can start doing it today.

Observational Comedian's Response #6: ...But I don't want people here to discover how cool life can be and stop complaining about shit the world seems! It'll ruin all my observational jokes about how the British are.

Trust me, when people in their 30s and 40s start following a 20 year old Computer Games Design student's advice and start wearing purple wigs to their office jobs, the newspapers will go mental about the PWE [PurpleWigEpidemic], and you'll have plenty to joke about.

Warning: Charlotte Gyseman is not a certified advice-giver, although she has got lots of certificates that she got in school for various things. Some of them were even laminated. So if you're thinking of taking her advice and end up doing something stupid, please see the part where she told you to accept responsibility for you own life.
[This means: Don't sue me. Especially not if your kid does something stupid after reading this article. If you have kids, they are a part of your life, and therefore your responsibility, not mine. Two words: Parental Controls. If you don't know how to use them, google it. Or get your kid to show you.]

P.S. The important bit is the big bit in bold.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

I watched The Truman Show last night.

So basically, I go this email invite from someone from the Shire:

Subject: Invited you to Miss Bimbo!


Your friend Nikalix has invited you to join the worlds premier fashion community at Miss Bimbo.com.

Miss Bimbo.com is a free to join community of fashion conscious girls, ladies and women. Enter fashion contests, make friends, socialise and gossip amongst the largest female population on the internet.

Click the link above to accept your invite and proceed to the coolest place on the web.

See you soon on Miss Bimbo!

The Miss Bimbo team


First of all, I laughed because I wouldn't say I'm fashion conscious. And then, I laughed when I checked out the site.

And then I thought how ridiculous it sounded:
Are you ready to become Queen of the Bimbos!?!

Then I clicked on the Blouzar Ltd. link at the bottom, and was somewhat surprised to find Papermint listed under the "Our Games" header.

And then I was actually reading the Papermint site, and this part caught my eye:
Escape to a cute 3D world!

And then I realised that I kind of dislike ongoing-virtual-worlds that are there for people to "escape" to, because it makes me sad that people feel the need for an escape from life. A brief retreat? Fine. But a full on escape from life...?

A game to me is a bit of fun. It should be no substitute for real life - the biggest game of all.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy Mummy's Day

The Internet told me it was Mummy's Day, so I made this video.

I didn't actually spend an entire day making it - it's currently 5:26pm and blue-sky outside, which means I've still got part of my day left to do some texturing and schtuff :)

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Butterfly Project with Ollie Elliott, and Dealing with Shizz.

We got a B12 in all areas and [surprise surprise] a B12 overall on it. Nice one.

Time to up the game I think though. My personal life is beginning to distress me to the point where I start getting in a childish strop over silly little things that don't really matter. I have two options.

1. Focus on my personal life and all it's silly little annoyances.
I could talk all day about how this would be a bad idea. The amount of energy I've been spending on tolerating situations I don't like is ridiculous. I could try putting more energy into it and try to figure out what to do about it all, but I think I my time would best be spent writing articles on Uncyclopedia about Carew's evil robot sheep [watch this space]. Or I could try option 2.

2. Focus on my professional skills, and let my personal life sort itself out.
Let's take a leaf out of the Tao-te Ching. I'll be honest, I've only read bits and bobs about the Tao, but I'm under the impression that if I'm struggling AND things are still going wrong, then there must be better ways of doing things. Someone said energy flows where attention goes, so if I spend so much time worrying about annoying things, they'll just grow out of proportion in my mind. Which they definitely have been.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

"Doritos: King Of The Ads"

Scott gave me the last of his Doritos the other day.

The packet says if you make and enter the best advert by the end of April, they will put it on the TV and pay you for it... I'm seriously consider trying it, if I have the time. I'm also going to let my film-making friends know about it, because making short funny videos should be right up their street :D