Archive | March, 2006

New word from the Gulf Coast

My family lives on the Gulf Coast.  They survived hurricane Katrina, but not much of their stuff did.   I recently noticed they have begun using an interesting new word and I’m going to start working into my everyday vocabulary.

KATRINAED – something whose usefulness has been drastically lower by uncontrollable and usually outside forces. Ex. That’s my katrinaed boat which I keep my tax records in now.

Video Games Help Kids

I read this fascinating article on News.com: Video game therapy–a new frontier. It is about how video games are being used to help children with brain damage recover! These creative uses of video games are sure to grow more amazing over time. I hope that eventually the general public comes to recognize that video games, like anything else in the world, have positives and negatives. I also hope they also come to understand that governments should not be allowed to make something illegal just because it has some bad qualities. Politician do not really wants to apply their philosophy of “bad and mean stuff should illegal” to the real world because this would mean outlawing the car.  Did you know car accidents are one of the most common causes of death (US)? How about the fact that over 43,000 people a year dies in car accidents? Would it surprise you to know that it is the number one killer in people ages 1 to 34? Don’t let the politicians fool you; they don’t have your best interest at heart. Their real goal is getting headlines, media coverage, and securing that cushy six figure salary for another term.

Airbus A380 built in 7 minutes

What strikes me is that a lot of sci-fi games gloss over the reality that the construction of a spaceship is a ridiculously massive under taking. I think this video helps give one a small taste, a mere glimpse at how much work it would really take.

I think it would be cool to have time lapse construction videos in a game. It could add a level of coolness and authenticity. Can you imagine ordering the construction of a starship and being able to check on its progress, seeing the engineers testing a system, or painting the markings? That would blow me away.

Politicians like to ignore reality

The politicians are at it again, trying to use the game industry to score points, all the while ignoring reality. I’m always suspicious when politicians want to make people stop doing something, especially if it has to do with the free market. The war on drugs is a great example of politicians wasting money, energy, foreign relationships and society’s good will to score political brownie points. I’d even argue that more people have died as a result. The reality is that as long as people want to do drugs someone is going to provide them. If supplying the market is illegal it will only marry it to hard core criminals. Politicians should focus on the real issue: Why do people WANT to do drugs and play violent video games.

It is also ignorant of them to think they can stop the creation of games that contain violence for two reasons. First, violence and death are a part of the real world and games must reflect reality to appeal to people becuase they live in the real world. Two, the Internet makes it very easy to distribute a digital product into the US. Just as the car companies move their headquarters over seas to Germany, Japan and Korea to avoid the US’s draconian tax system to survive so too can game developers move to avoid laws restricting content.