Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Endangered Gamer #11

Hey, back with another episode. Cesar and Sean are here this week, and we go through Nintendo Memories, talk about Golgo 13's hot monkey loving, and GRAW's crappy new Chaper 2 download. There is a NES version of Nelly's "It's Getting Hot In Herre" the Leroy Jenkins stuff from WOW, ( i know it's old, but i just saw it last night!!!!) and a intro from the Devil Boy!!!!!!

Direct Download Here



Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Greatest YouTube Video EVAR!!!!!!

I fucking LOVE finding shit like this!!!!!!
I know I've seen this commercial before, but the years have dulled my memories. Now i can watch this commercial over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

So, it looks like the Louisiana violent videogames bill has fallen flat on it's face. A fed judge temporarily blocked the enforcement of the law hours after it was signed by Louisiana Guv Kathleen Blanco. Seems like every time some do-gooder (attention starved politician) tries to ban the sale of videogames to kids, they fail and fail again. Let's see.......

ROLLCALL!!!!!
Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Utah, Washington (state), and Maryland have all proposed legislation that was swiftly smacked down by their respective elected officials. (Maryland's bill was since rewritten and passed without challenge)

New York, North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, and New Jersey still have bills pending that will probably be shot down by the ESRB's lawyers.

The bills that HAVE passed, (Georgia, California and Washington) were only to condemn 25 To Life (a disgusting TURD of a game) and to demand rating information be on the boxes of all videogames sold in that state. As if the ESRB hasn't been doing that for the last 12 years.....

Anyways, I don't think that any of this will make a difference in the long run, since most kids will find some adult to buy the game for them anyways, and work-frazzled parents will take their kids to R-Rated movies no matter how much people gnash their teeth about it.

oh well. I had a first hand look at how parents deal with their kids playing inappropriate games, you can get the lowdown on the latest episode of Endangered Gamer Podcast here.

(yeah, I know, shameless plug; I'm guilty!!!!!)

Thanks to http://www.gamepolitics.com for the charts and to Gil for kickstarting my brain!!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

super paper mario

this game looks HAWT!!!!!



Saturday, June 17, 2006

i should probably link to this original article, but i thought it was so well written, that i copy-and-pasted so anyone can read without navigating away. it's a great read, and unfourtunatly true.

On Wednesday, June 14, 2006, the Committee on Energy and Commerce, a subcommittee of the US Senate, held a hearing titled (why do these things need titles?), "Violent and Explicit Video Games: Informing Parents and Protecting Children."
As you may have heard, the outcome of this event was not entirely in the best interest of gaming as a whole. The gist of their conclusion, after questioning the head of the ESA, the President of the ESRB, the Director of the FTC's Consumer Protection bureau, Wal-Mart's VP of merchandising, and three game/health experts, was that violent videogames are akin to pornography in their harm for children and that the ESRB is at fault for letting something like Hot Coffee (which was a terribly isolated incident that would be nearly impossible to reproduce) defile our children.
I watched most of the hearing live, before the video feed suddenly cut out once things started getting good, and throughout the whole hour and a half of viewing I was consistently flabbergasted by the ignorance and misinformation that the Senators conducting the hearing were dealing with.
It is extremely apparent that these people, the ones wielding the power of the entire Legislative branch of our government, have little to no experience in the actual "world" of game playing. Every bit of evidence or material they used in their favor was misrepresentative, illogical, or flat-out wrong.
Congressman Stearns
Take, for example, the video clips that the Senators showed after each of the attending introduced themselves. Congressman Cliff Stearns (R. Florida) prefaced the video with something to the tune of, "this should give you an example of the type of material found videogames today." A series of clips then played, mostly from various Grand Theft Auto games, one from San Andreas where the player flew a plane into a building, another from the same game where the player stood on a street corner and shot civilians from a distance with a sniper rifle (even, gasp, police officers), and then a cutscene from Vice City where the main characters complete a drug transaction in a comically farcical way.
What they failed to mention was that all the footage of "acts of violence" they showed were all completely player-choice. The game does not require or even reward you for crashing planes into buildings or sniping police officers; it means that whoever recorded that clip decided on his own volition to see how violent he could be. A player could go through any Grant Theft Auto game and never harm any person who did not attack him first; any violent acts taken out upon strangers or non-combatants is entirely the player's choice.
And the clip of the drug deal, come on... you can watch real drug deals on The Discovery Channel, and there is fictional drug trading in many movies and television shows.
Much more misinformation was bartered in regard to the "Hot Coffee" element of GTA: San Andreas that most people don't even understand.

What People Believe About "Hot Coffee"

In the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, you can enter in a secret code (most people believe that code to be "hot coffee") and you enter a secret level where you engage in scenes of sex and rape. Any person can buy a copy of San Andreas and enter this code to unlock the illicit material. Because this fully explicit material exists in a game rated M (Mature; 17+), the ESRB made a grave mistake by not discovering this material and giving the game an AO rating.

What REALLY Happened With "Hot Coffee"

When Rockstar was creating San Andreas, they planned to include in the actual course of the game this scene where CJ (the player's character) and a woman engage in consensual sexual intercourse at the woman's request, even. Rockstar (wisely) decided late into the development cycle that this material would be offensive and cause too much trouble. This scene’s programming was already integrated into the game's architecture and would therefore be very time-costly to actually remove, so they unlinked all triggers in the game that would cue the scene. In the game as it shipped, there was absolutely no way that this scene could ever be triggered. You could play the game ten thousand times and the sex scene would never show.
Later, some software crackers discovered this content in the PC version of San Andreas and created a software patch that would hack the game files and make it so this scene could be viewed in-game.
To unlock this scene, a player would have to go onto the Internet and find this very complicated unlock patch and apply it himself. This is the only way the "hot coffee" scene could ever be viewed in the game.
While the player was online looking for this patch he could also have downloaded all the illegal child pornography he wanted, but this is not what concerns these Senators. They are concerned for our children's safety because someone could buy a $50 piece of software, play it for at least six hours to get to the part of the game where the sexual content takes place, and manually install an (illegal, according to the DMCA) patch to play a humorous sex minigame.
Nevertheless, almost immediately after "hot coffee" was discovered, the ESRB changed the game's rating to AO (Adults Only) and every single copy of the game on store shelves was recalled and sent back to the manufacturer until a version could be authored where it would be completely impossible to unlock the scene. That part, nobody seems to know about.
Senator Stearns, addressing the representative from Wal-Mart, said, "All a child would have to do to buy this game on your website would be to click this, 'I agree that I am over 18' button and he could buy the game and then enter the 'hot coffee' code to view sexual materials." One of Stearns' assistants leaned in and whispered something in his ear then, most likely something to the tune of, "they fixed the game so you can't view that scene anymore," but Stearns continued, "Ok.. but a child could have just clicked that button to get the game!"
Right, and he'd also need a credit card. Not to mention, even the most law-abiding and child-protecting pornography websites on the Internet can only verify that a customer is over 18 by requiring a credit card and asking that he click a button to confirm that he's over 18. If it's good enough for porno, it should be good enough to make sure nobody buys a videogame who isn't supposed to be.
And if children are using their parents’ credit cards to make online purchases at Wal-Mart willy-nilly, should we blame Wal-Mart or maybe the parents not paying attention? Obviously the Senators want to protect the parents from having to become responsible for their own children.
The real loser in this subcommittee hearing was the ESRB. Patricia Vance, the President of the ESRB, was there for questioning but was obviously unprepared for this last-minute hearing and was too-easily flustered by the Senator's too-easy questions.
The ESRB, for the uninitiated, is an independent foundation started by the ESA that assigns age ratings to every videogame sold at any retail store. They do so by asking game developers to provide a thorough list of all mechanics of the gameplay and any material (in context) that would be offensive, and to include gameplay videos of certain scenes. It's in the publishers' best interest that they be honest, as the rating of their game defines what stores will sell it and how many parents will allow their children to play it.
Senator Stearns got hung up on the notion that it's called the Entertainment Software Rating Board and it's not an actual Board of people who sit around a conference table and discuss all 1,100 games that are released each year. The games themselves are reviewed by volunteers who have no ties to any game publisher, developer, or company.
Dr. Kim Thompson; kook.
Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a shrill-voiced professor of "Risk Analysis and Decision Science" at Harvard's School of Public Health, has a definite grudge against the ESRB. She and her researchers do their own ratings of certain games and chides the ESRB for how "inaccurate they are." For an example of how this woman's mind works, she has stated before that the gameplay of Pac-Man is "64% violent" and at this very hearing tried to denounce the ESRB's ratings by saying that "60% of games rated E (age six and up) by the ESRB reward players for 'injuring other characters." Yes, this includes Mario, for he jumps on turtles which apparently incites youngsters into fits of carnal rage.
The conclusion of the whole hearing, which was decided before it started, was that the ESRB is doing a poor job and should change the way it reviews games – including a serious suggestion that they play every game they review, instead of relying on publisher-provided details.
The fact that anybody could say this with a straight face demonstrates how little these people even consider gaming. One senator who agreed with this idea stated earlier that he liked to play Civilization IV and after many hours still hadn't mastered it. By a generous estimate, it would take over 100 hours to see everything the game Civilization has to offer. A game that you can beat in under five hours is considered to be "too short" by us reviewers, and even a game that you could beat in five hours would take another five hours just to see every corner of the game; and consider then that some games unlock new content only after you've beaten the game a certain number of times. Consider also a game like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas where the gameplay is, aside from the scripted missions, entirely open ended – so it would take an infinite amount of time to see "everything" in the game because what happens is up to you. Consider still that as the ESRB would be reviewing the games for content and not speeding through like the average player, the ESRB reviewers would be forced to play very slowly and deliberately and to take notes for each event.
If the ESRB spent a generous 10 hours on each of the 1,100 games that release in a year, it would take over a year to review a year's worth of games. Also, the ESRB would have to receive completed copies of the games in order to review them, so if they received a too-high score they would have to spend months and months just removing one scene/weapon/character and bug-testing for any errors that removal might have caused. In short, forcing the ESRB to play every game through to completion, if not entirely impossible, would cripple the game development process and would (like the government loves to do) stifle creativity.
The ESA's Doug Lowenstein said two very powerful things that were completely ignored. "Defining this industry based on its most controversial titles would be like defining the film industry based on Kill Bill, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Natural Born Killers," and "Our research shows that the average gamer now is 33 years old. These are not kids."
That doesn’t matter when the Senate is on a vendetta and will allow no facts, logic, or sense of decency to stop them from protecting these imaginary children who will go completely bonkers if they see a woman's breast.
The ESRB is not the culprit here. Wal-Mart, or any retailer, is not the culprit here. The developers making violent or sexual content aren't the culprit here. The culprits are these old cronies who refuse to understand the basic principles of the matter.
Trying to condemn videogames based on a few acts of player-motivated violence is akin to condemning books based on the fact that if you rearrange letters and words, you get satanic rituals and descriptions of rape.
Chiding a store for allowing a child to circumvent their safety policies is akin to blaming Borders if a child buys a mystery novel that includes scenes of murder or sex.
Blaming the gaming industry for Hot Coffee is akin to blaming a book publisher if someone draws a penis on a page from a book with a magic marker.
I'm using books for that metaphor because books are something people understand. You can learn to make bombs from books, you can read about how to burn down a house for the insurance money, you can learn what was going through Charles Manson's head in the 1960s, and you can read the hate-filled words of zealots, dictators, racists, bigots, murders, rapists, and extremists, but nobody cares because they're books. We hope that parents would keep children from reading harmful books, but we don't chide everybody but the parents if they don’t.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

now that's some FUNNY SHIT. yeah.

Got this video from Kotaku.com, who posted it today. it s a tour of a videogame publisher's headquaters circa 1983-84. A perfect example of what retro humor and videogame nostalgia can do in perfectly capable hands. from what i can gather, the clip is from some BBC show called Look Around that spoofs old science films of the 70's and 80's. Well, here is the clip. pay attention to how the prez gets those suds going!!!!!!!



the archer bus is coming!!!!!! run!!!!!!!



Sometime last wiik, TheArcherBus.com went live again, and began posting blog entries furiously. It's good to see that Gil's gotten back on the horse, even if he left his podcast orphaned on the range. i expect to begin a flame war soon. I especially like the planned, read and recent book listings. i have a few suggestions for him, like this and maybe something like this. anyway, great to see you back, and maybe play some poker this year..........

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Endangered Gamer #10

This week we have a special guest, sean from texas!!!! we talk about Rockstar Table Tennis, Halo vs. Halo 2, and the beating sean got for finishing DOA4 and getting caught watching one of the scandelous endings. this episode is the most kid-friendly ever, with less than the usual amount of swearing. We've also got a intro song from Minor Threat, and a outro song from the Minibosses!!!!!

Direct Download (right click here and save target as....to download)


CUBS SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Rare Nintendo Prototypes discovered.....

i'm too lazy to type my own observations, so i'll cut and paste....

Rare Nintendo Prototypes Discovered
Congratulations to the lucky bastard out there who came across a whole cache of prototype, competition, and unreleased NES and Super NES games at a garage sale on sale for a mere $40. This lucky person has put up the collection for sale on eBay a piece at a time, releasing new copies of the Star Fox Championship Weekend game pak into circulation as well as prototype versions of Tetris and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past plus the second known copy of the English version of Earthbound for the NES.

This kind of discovery is what all gamers hope to come across at some point in their lives. Imagine finding not only the Holy Grail of video gaming, but a whole box of Holy Grails that can all be yours for mere pocket money. I check out the local used game shops from time to time in hopes of discovering something like this, but of course I never do. As I once said in an essay on acquiring used video games, it's always best to buy from people who don't know what treasures they have.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Endangered Gamer #9

Ah, el moco rises from the dead!!!!! this podcast has rants on recent movies i've seen, shit games i've played, and is all about games, no filler here!!!! observations on Tomb Raider : Legend, Far Cry: Predator, and MORE Oblivion stuff and a song from the Racouteurs!!!! post comments here, or email me at elmoco2000@yahoo.com, and add me on xbox live gamertag el moco.
Direct Download

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