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All posts for the month February, 2007

If there is one sector I feel comfortable making predictions in, it would be the video game sector, although the majority of it is really just a cluster of a dozen or so companies that publish for a much broader cast behind the curtain. It excites me everytime that this mini-sector is covered by market blogs, and this article is no exception. I like to read about an industry dear to my heart from the perspective of those less intimate with it. What the article says about EA‘s development difficulties with the PS3 and idealogical difficulties with the Wii, while not surprising in themselves, reminded my of how I’ve forgotten that companies are companies. Even in the business of creativity and play, the corporate speak is nothing new to investors.

That comforts me.

The game industry, for some betters and many worsers, has grown up. It’s leaving its roots in the basement of hackers. It is being held to a multi-national standard, ethically and financially. It has, despite its loss of innocence, become recognized.

And I dearly hope that, like books, radio, comics, television, and film before it, it will endure through its current phase, the scapegoat of political campaigns and modern vices, and enter the annals of pleasant anachronism. Only there is it safe to continue to work its influence as the world whirls around another threat. There, it will build better men.

Right now, the old guard thinks it ruins them. What about the teenage gunman who turns out, contrary to preliminary reports, didn’t own a single game? Or what about when the stepmother of a boy recently apprehended for the sport-killing of a homeless man opens herself and her story to Penny Arcade, telling the world that “Video games DID NOT make this kid who he was, and it’s unfortunate that the correlation is there.” Her story is haunting, even moreso if unheard.

As the year of the Golden Pig arrives, I hope that the industry will have great fortune, making it (and me) rich. Feng Shui experts proclaim this also a year of Fire on top of Water, a year of great conflict and volatility. With game legislation in furor, and the industry cycle starting anew under the duress of the console war, this will no doubt be one of the deciding years on the fate of games and their status among other media.


Stop. Stop everything you are doing. What is the most dangerous substance in your house today? What threatens the very veil of existence behind which your children stay but a step from mortality? From Death's gaze? Why, none other than the sickest invention yet to penetrate our virgin shores: The Nintendo DS. That's right, the ancient myth was true- this electronic pandora's box leaves our children wide-open spread-eagled for child molestors. Its insiduous design abuses our every security, and FOX News is out there bringing its Promethean insight to the crisis.

This is so absurd I feel like I'm on bizarro internet. BTW, FOX you should know that the internet has amazing graphics and a feature that lets anyone chat with your kids from a bit more than 300 feet away… try anywhere in the frickin' globe.

'Course not everyone far from your kids is a child molestor. Some are just kingpins of sin, like this school teacher in a remote Ural village being thrown into the Gulag for software piracy. Gorby, my main man, you do realize Microsoft has little to do with the chap being pressed into slavery at your uranium labor camps, right? Oh wait, they made a complaint. I guess the Russian penal system has no choice then, I mean, there was a complaint.

In other news, but on nearly the same Richter scale of sillytude, Apple is complaining about DRM, as it is the only thing keeping them from making music accessible to all. Unlike .aac and its ban in France. Hey, I know DRM is Big Brother, but I didn't need Stalin to tell me.

I blame it all on global warming, 'cuz a global crack epidemic is the one other logical explanation.

As your dutiful reporter of the asian masculinity-pedophilia complex, I must share with you one of the most disturbing things I've seen. English lessons, teaching subtextual phrases like "take anything you want," performed in spandex; may include random close-ups of sports bras. Doesn't any director in Japan just crack and say "Dammit guys! Just once let's do a piece without rape fantasy in it!" Thank god they never got their hands on Sesame Street. Their penchant for sesame and violating tentacles would have left Oscar lecherous and the Count breathless.

Just in time for the Oscars, we watched Little Miss Sunshine over the weekend. It is a real desert american comedy, and I loved the spot on commentary on underage beauty pageants. It tickled me to no end that people dress their girls up as whores, but when they actually act as such, some indefinite line is crossed, and they are suddenly morally conflicted. Moreover, it shows that the american ideal for beauty has girls dressing up, increasing age, whereas in Japan, they dress down, with sailor skirts and high-pitched childlike squeals.

Trying to understand why this difference exists, I think it comes down to values. Americans prize the confidant power of the femme fatale, and the Japanese prize the innocence of a lolita. I attribute American men as more self-confident, and asian men as one of two extremes: passive, or excessively male dominant. Often both. I read in the Economist recently a study that showed sexual satisfaction between couples is correlated to equal social status. It was no surprise then that Japan had one of the lowest ratings among developed nations.

The San Jose dating scene that I've seen has been indicative of cultural difference. Is it an accident that white guys and asian girls are far more common than the other way around? It would follow that if american women have the same tastes as american men (power, confidence, independence), but asian couples have a great divide what they value (master and submissive), the combination of aggressive american women and passive asian man would suffer.

Of course, when I say american, that encapsulates asian-americans, so the issue is hardly that simple. The latter is very diverse depending on which generation they are, how much cultural tradition they've absorbed, etc.