Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I scrape my knees, I scrape my hands until they bleed

You may notice a small censorship logo to the left of this entry. I've read enough on SOPA to be really, really terrified at the implications. Just concerning this blog alone, there would be major changes. To wit:
  • If ANYONE entered a complaint, I could not criticize the Lindens, or Second Life, or use Second Life as a phrase without official permission (plus, face felony jail time);
  • If ANYONE entered a complaint, I could not link back to content anywhere else that I did not originate (plus, face felony jail time);
  • If ANYONE entered a complaint, I could not use graphics containing content that I did not originate, but instead, only manipulated (in artistic or photorealistic ways) (plus, face felony jail time);
  • If ANYONE entered a complaint, I could not mention musical bands, artists, songs, lyrics (including the blog titles) or descriptions that could be matched to existing bands, artists, songs, or lyrics (plus, face felony jail time);
  • If ANYONE entered a complaint, I could not quote literary sources, literary quotes, or writers in small ways or large (plus, face felony jail time);
  • If ANYONE entered a complaint, I could not display ads, or pictures from Amazon, or graphics linked to other blogs, or text links to YouTube (plus, face felony jail time);
  • And all of this could be completely pointless anyway, because if ANYONE complained about copyright violation to my website provider, for ANY reason, this blog could disappear entirely (And I might still be sent to jail with felony charges).
It's a very, VERY badly written law. If you're reading this, and live in the States, please consider joining the fight in any way you can.

In the meantime, while we live in fairly uncensored (ish) lands, have part one, part two and part three of MightyGodKing's Literal Titles series. Some of them are really, really accurate; some of them are really, really funny as well.

While I have ethical issues with the parenting evidenced in this Skyrim video, I will also say that if both parents are gamers, that it's going to be part of her environment growing up anyway, and her father, at least, seems determined to integrate that--and her choices as a budding gamer--into parenting education. So it's not all bad. Still, I agree with many respondents after the article--"People don't want to be sword" is really good advice any way you take it.

New World Notes mentions the departure of Kim Salzer, former VP of Marketing, from Linden Lab. Based on information read there, and information I've tracked down from other sources, I'm thinking she's responsible for three things I really, really loathed hearing about in connection with the Lab:
1. She tried to co-brand virtual animals (especially Ozimal bunnies) with Linden Lab, which was both a slashing mark of nepotistic favoritism, AND encouraging the wrong thing for customer retention;
2. She regimented communication between departments, so whereas before, anyone could talk to anyone, now the people behind Concierge support can't get answers on anything without three emails and a priority-courier envelope sent across the hall;
3. She was responsible (though perhaps not solely) for the proliferation of "Be a sparkly vampire just like those characters you've read about!" campaigns that are now seen EVERYWHERE (and hey, she might have ALSO been responsible for the insanity of the "Be a Na'vi in Second Life!" ads).
Based on the above, I'm thinking I'm happy she's gone, but on the other hand, I'm a cynic and mistrustful, so there you go.

To bring up another reference for "Navi", have Meekakitty's take on Link's little fluttery helper from Zelda: Link to the Past. It's a plaintive, sweet, and oddly sincere tribute to what's essentially the most annoying thing in the game.

Did I mention the new Saint's Row Zombie option? I'm not entirely sure what it means by doing the sounds yourself, but maybe that's exactly what it says--you get an option for "Zombie" to record you grunting, moaning and asking for braiiiins...

In the meantime, back to Skyrim, there's now a downloadable mod to remove all spiders from the game. I haven't played Skyrim, I don't know how annoying the spiders are; what I do know is that both Miss Kamenev and my WoW-playing friend are utterly, utterly scared of things with eight legs, so for them? This mod makes Skyrim playable!

Well. As playable as self-impaling followers, floating wagons and circus performers in armor can be.

The Key of Awesome returns with some questions on the missing plot points in Dark Knight, which...yeah, I'm kind of behind. Unlike some of my friends, I liked the film, but there are some glaring plot holes that refuse comprehension.

For those of you who play Minecraft, there's now a sound mod, along with an assortment of sound packs people have created. If you're like a lot of us, and really, really hate the new sounds, this is an option to deal with that...that doesn't feature waiting for Notch to fix things, if he ever will.

And just in time for the holiday season, you can get Vat19's 26-pound gummi Party Bear! It's not a prop, it's fully edible, but it doesn't go cheap. Still, it pretty much is a party sensation, guaranteed.

Finally, to wrap this up, have a taste of the Extra Credits team taking on Deus Ex: Human Revolution as an exercise in transhumanism and wealth disparity. Those are pretty hefty weights to hang on a video game, but watch the video and you'll see why the game not only shoulders them bravely, but does it in style. Enjoy!

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