Archive for ‘Misc.’

February 1, 2012

U.S. Political Figures and Their Pokemon Counterparts by JSixGun


JSixGun points out the similarities in appearance between famous American politicians and their pokemon look-alikes:

read more »

January 31, 2012

War crimes and other light reading


After getting my ass beaten mightily in Battlefield the other day, I pulled myself away to stave off my impending rage-induced aneurysm.  I decided the best course of action would be something healthy, so I reached for the nearest can of Mountain Dew and some Camel menthols and decided to check out the news.  I get caught up in the gloomy world of news from time to time, but my anxiety needs to feed off the bad news and ever present dangers in order to live.  So instead of checking out the newest

read more »

January 25, 2012

Three Deux Ex Technologies That Are More Real Than You Think


By JSixGun

I really enjoyed Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The capacity to upgrade your body with awesome biotic abilities in a way to foster your own kind of game play was as solid as a Skyrim sweet roll. That’s why in this article I’ll be looking at some real life tech that is leading us to the new age of Sarif Industries; who knows maybe Adam Jenson is just a few innovations away.

read more »

January 18, 2012

SOPA and the Dangers of Internet Censorship


As of today, most everyone has heard of SOPA and PIPA, the House and Senate versions of a bill that are aimed to combat online piracy.  While most internet savvy people have been inundated with SOPA arguments for weeks or even months now, today marks the day that many of the major websites blacked out to protest this bill.  This is an important step to educate less connected and informed people about the dangers of this bill and the effects it could have on the internet.  Tons of people never venture far from Google nor are involved in internet communities

read more »

December 27, 2011

Ocean Marketting, the makings of an internet saga, and the birth of a meme…


This morning I woke up and decided to check out reddit for some meme goodness.  What I found instead was a strange email back and forth between a customer and a marketing rep for a video game controller company which had taken place just hours before.  You can see the whole conversation here (which I highly recommend you read), which is both shocking and hilarious.  It is at this point I want to make it clear that, by all accounts, the actual manufacturer of the controller had

read more »

December 15, 2011

Jsixgun Presents: Fallout Technology


I’m not a fallout expert; my first experience roaming the wasteland was with Fallout 3. I did, in fact, love every second of it (well almost every second, those long foot trips while encumbered to the closest vender so I could sell my goodies did often make we want to try out for backyard wrestling so as to truly test my self degradation).

read more »

November 17, 2011

Animals, Video Games, and PETA


This week Nintendo released Mario 3D Land for the struggling 3DS.  And while many have given the game great reviews, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has come out swinging against them game, claiming that Mario’s Tanooki suit glorifies the wearing of fur and, more specifically, supports the fur industry in Asia, which they claim skins the animals alive.  See, a tanuki is actually a real animal, also known as the Japanese raccoon dog, and its fur is harvested in Japan to make fur coats and other types of clothing.  So PETA, an organization known for its rather outlandish stunts, such as hosting a porn site to promote vegetarianism, has created a Flash game to protest Mario by allowing players to play as a skinned tanuki, chasing Mario to get its bloodied fur back from him.  And while I’m certainly against animal cruelty, I have to wonder about the protesting of “animal cruelty” in games like Mario, where any relation to actual cruelty is tenuous at best and disingenuous at worst.  A tanooki suit may be available in the game, but it takes a special kind of detachment from reality to then assume the game promotes the killing of animals to gain powers they don’t even possess in the first place.   Mario may wear a tanooki suit, but I think it’s a stretch to claim that this:

Promotes the skinning, alive, of these:

Regardless, most sources I’ve read have come out against PETA for its somewhat misplaced focus of attention, and I have to agree.  But it did raise an interesting question in my mind.  What does PETA think of some of the more graphic depictions of violence against animals in video games?

The Battlefield Rat

In Battlefield 3, you find yourself trapped in Iran’s capitol city after a devastating earthquake. While trying to crawl through a ditch to avoid detection, a squeaking rat comes up and starts biting at your fingers.  Rats are nasty, and in this case, can even get you noticed and killed from the noise it’s making.  So you have the option to do what a soldier would be inclined to do, kill the rat lest you be killed.  Now, it’s important to remember that before and after this scene, you are tasked with killing waves and waves of people from all over the world.  You can cut their throats, pepper their faces with a shotgun, or, like any other shooter, simply blast them away as you make your way forward.  And in one level you even kill innocent policemen in the streets of Paris.  But, and don’t be surprised, PETA has ignored the gratuitous people killing and moved on to condemning the game because “Killing virtual animals can have a brutalizing effect on the young male target audience. There have been repeated cases of animal cruelty in Germany, where young people kill animals. Inspiration behind these acts often came from movies and computer games.”

Snitches get stitches?

As I’ve emphatically argued before, violence in video games has never been shown to correlate with violence in real life.  Furthermore, the dubious claim PETA makes, that the inspiration behind acts of animal abuse came from movies and computer games, is shockingly misleading.  Any animal cruelty cases in Germany I was able to find make no mention of any sort of motive at all.  Its doubtful that video games inspired any of these acts, but rather they stem from the fact that they’re fucking Germans.

Red Dead Redemption

I have to preface this by saying that I really am totally against all forms of animal cruelty.  I eat meat, but I don’t think we should treat food animals poorly, and we especially shouldn’t treat pets or even wild animals badly.  Hearing about some kid burning cats or some lady hoarding dogs makes me sick to my stomach.  But unlike some people, I realize that video games are not real life, and I think PETA loses tons of credibility for what could otherwise be a good message by attacking video games like those mentioned above.  And so when I sought out PETA’s inevitable complaint about Red Dead Redemption, I was left scratching my head.  As far as I can tell (and I absolutely combed their website), they didn’t utter a peep about Rockstar’s blockbuster hit Red Dead Redemption.  You know, the game where you can shoot and kill countless wild animals, get a trophy for killing one of every type, hunt buffalo to extinction, and then graphically skin the animals for their fur?  Yeah, nothing but silence from them.

The game is pretty historically accurate, especially in the sense that people back then lived off the land and gutted the animals they hunted.  I see nothing controversial about this depiction in Red Dead, but I am stunned, absolutely stunned, that PETA had nothing to say about this.  As an aside, some might claim Red Dead influenced this guy, but my bet is on moonshine:  Man field dresses deer in parking lot, arrested.

Riverwood Chicken

Lastly, it appears the realm of Skyrim may have its own brand of environmentalists in the form of the citizens of Riverwood.  As many people have recently discovered, at the beginning of the game if you kill their chicken, the townspeople flip out.  And they don’t just scold you sternly and post porn on the internet to protest you, oh no.  They arm themselves to the teeth and try to slaughter you.  While its probably just a weird bug, it is nonetheless fun to do if you’re bored.  (Bored in Skyrim?  Yeah, yeah, I know).  So far PETA hasn’t had anything to say about this newest installment of the Elder Scrolls, but there is still plenty of time.  With an open world like this, and tons of animals to kill, I’m sure we’ll hear some grumbling sometime soon.  In the meantime, why don’t you enjoy watching a man try to kill a mammoth with his bare hands, naked.  (Spoiler alert, he loses).

November 9, 2011

I Discuss Video Games With My Dad


Since this site’s inception a mere two months ago, my dad has been a frequent visitor.  Though he doesn’t play video games, he eagerly anticipates the day when he’ll get a 404 Error so he can call me and say “I told you so.”  See, as strange as it may sound, my father is slightly older than me, and grew up in a time when video games didn’t really exist.  And in his teenage years, he saw this new medium develop before his very own eyes.  I figured it must have been strange seeing these weird VCRs which let you control dots on the television, and so I decided to talk to him about what that was like.  So off we went, deep into the woods of East Tennessee.  We equipped ourselves with rudimentary weapons to fend off the hill people, and once atop a grand mountaintop, looking down upon the TVA dams and grist mills, we discussed what his vastly different experience with video games was like.

God's country, indeed.

We’re both out of breath as we reach the top, and I ask him if he ever actually played video games growing up.  He says yes, and in fact went to an arcade and spent several hours and quarters there.  This all came to an end when a friend of his got a pinball machine for Christmas and they could play that instead, for free.  I ask him what a pinball machine is, just to instill further disappointment in him with today’s generation, and then say I’ve heard of it, because I had Sonic Spinball for Sega.

No quarters required (*Because it cost $60). The march of progress.

We’re at a gazebo at the top, and we both sit in the shade.  We’ve done this hike many times before, and always love it.  The hike up the trail at the beginning isn’t the reason we come though.  That part comes later.  I tell him that pinball sort of counts, but when did he first really play an actual video game?  He says the first video game he ever played was Pong for the Atari.  I really do remember the Atari, they had one at the church I went to for preschool, but I don’t remember which games they had.  I think it was the one with pixels, big pixels.  Regardless, I ask him to elaborate.  He and his brother loved it, and thought it was extremely difficult.  It took a few years of convincing to get one at his own house though, because his parent’s thought kids needed to be outdoors instead of controlling the television.  It did a good enough job controlling itself they would say derisively, presumably while gathering leaches to reduce the levels of black bile and other humours.  Or it could be that they just didn’t want the one television in the house tied up with Pong.

Though in fairness, MS Paint was a hell of a graphics engine at the time

Pong was not the only game they played of course.  Pac Man and Space Invaders were also fantastic, addictive new innovations.  Because there wasn’t really much to compare those games to, I ask him what he thought about the graphics at the time.  He says that Pac Man and Space Invaders were better because they were in color, and he thought they had good graphics.  He pauses and then adds, “No one really thought about graphics then.”  This makes sense to me.  These games weren’t trying to be realistic, they were just games.  It was the gameplay that mattered.  No one cares in Uno how well the cards are drawn, in the same sense no one cared if the Pong ball was shaded or not.  Graphics only come into play when you attempt to show something in real life, and the graphical quality is thus measured in terms of how closely it resembles whatever it attempting to be represented.  It wasn’t that these games had good or bad graphics, it was simply just not a factor to be considered at the time.  I’m feeling enlightened, and we look before us at the hike to come.

Not to mention that a real Pac Man is the stuff of nightmares

He goes on to say that he preferred pinball to video games at the time because pinball featured pictures of scantily clad women, which he needed to feed his perverse mind.  I suppose he’s right, as a kid perversion will outrank Frogger in terms of entertainment 10 times out of 10.  I ask if he ever imagined these things (video games) would one day become common place in people’s homes, and he said no.  They were part and parcel of arcades and skating rinks, and served mostly as something for him to do when they called for couple’s skate.  Anyone that had one in their home was rich.  I ask if he could foresee video games becoming as huge as they are today, and mention that Modern Warfare looks to outsell anything before it in terms of entertainment, including movies.  He says no, he thought it was a flash in the pan, a fad that would last for a Christmas or two like Cabbage Patch Kids did for girls.

He was terribly, terribly mistaken

Video games at the time, he says, were a nice bit of a distraction.  In an arcade, they cost money and you didn’t want to waste it on something that is over and done in a matter of minutes.  I ask if some people got hardcore nerdy into games back then like they do today, and he said not really.  It was all so new and novel at the time, and no one had them in their homes, that it was more of something fun to do while you were out.  Though, he adds, if your initials were on the high score on a video game, they probably thought you didn’t have much going on in your life.  I attempt to correct him, and point to my mentor George Costanza and his Frogger high score, and my dad gives a sly smile.  He’s proven his point.

We stand up and prepare to head back to the car.  I acknowledge that he doesn’t play video games at all, and ask what the biggest reason for that is.  He says they go too fast.  Not being brought up around games and playing them for years like younger people have, it all just races past him too quickly, and the mental stimulation may induce a wild eyed seizure on a man of his age.  We both look out at the extremely steep hill before us, and I get it.  Sure, I play a lot of video games, but I’m also a busy guy and have tons of work to do.  Video games are an easy way to burn off stress and distract myself from law stuff.  But as we take our first steps off the path and straight into the brush, prepared to rush down this horrendously dangerous mountainside just to see what happens, I realize that he sees life, real life, as something far more satisfying and rewarding.  And I get it.

So we ran downwards over a whole bunch of this

Trees snapped as we desperately tried to grab them to stop our decent, rocks were torn from the ground as we searched in vain for a foothold, crashing downwards until we could hear them no longer.  Down and down we went, our hands gathering puncture wounds, our legs shredded and torn in the bushes.  And once we reached the bottom, our faces sweaty, our bodies bloodied, his leg bruised severely after slamming into a tree, we wiped the dirt off our asses and drove home.

The bone was bruised but not broken

And when I got home, glowing from the adrenaline and endorphins I had rushing through my veins, I sat down and reflected.  I grabbed a Mountain Dew, turned on the TV, and started playing some Battlefield 3.

November 1, 2011

A Visual History: The Batmobile – Jsixgun


With Batman ‘s Arkham City just released, lots of people, including myself, have the caped crusader on the mind. While I’m only 10% through the game and still have a lot of thug butt kicking left to do, I’m still inspired to do a visual history on our favorite anti-hero’s ride. It might surprise you just how much the car has evolved over time. Let us take a stroll through time.

In the 1940’s it changed a lot in the span of a single year. And so did America for that matter.

The Picture on the left appeared only months after the term “Batmobile” was coined.  For the next couple of years the overall look did not really change too much. While only minor differences were instated depending upon the comic book and the artist, the theme of the car was beginning to take shape. It was moving to solidify the darker roadster with bat-like wings as fins which would be utilized throughout future iterations.

The change from 1943 to 1950 saw the car begin to take a sleeker look, more modern (for the time) while keeping the bat like battering ram that adorned the front. However, the new version also introduced a lot of tech that the Batmobile still uses today (such as jet propulsion and computer screens, as well as radar).

In the mid-to-late 1950’s the Batmobile kept the sleek look and ushered in what is called the bubble dome. The picture on the left was the first to introduce the idea while the one on the right was what drove the Dark Knight into the 1960’s.

The 1960’s were an important decade for the Bat. For instance, that’s when the Batman TV series starring Adam West first appeared for American’s viewing pleasure, as well as Batman’s first animated hoo-rah (with Superman no less). Adam West’s famed ride is pictured left, while the iconic Batman: The Brave and the bold model is pictured on the right.

The 1970’s saw many different versions of the Batmobile, depending on what artist was illustrating it at the time. It wouldn’t be until the 1980’s that we would really start to see the post-modern Batmobile cement it’s self into the hearts of kids everywhere.

The 1980’s finally saw the Batmobile design begin to resemble the modern jet fighter to a greater extent by bolstering more aerodynamic and lengthened vehicles; eventually culminating into the very sleek and very cool Batmobile found in Tim Burton’s Batman movie. Burton wanted an aesthetically pleasing design which at the same time looked powerful.

Then came the 1990’s, and with it the Batman I grew up loving. While the Bat saw many different iterations through the 90’s, his most memorable for my self would be the Batmobile from Batman: The Animated Series pictured in the top right. Batman: The Animated Series is probably, to this day, the best Batman cartoon ever and had tons of episodes. However, TV wasn’t the only place (other than the comics) that Batman owned in the 90’s; he also two motion pictures. Batman & Robin and Batman Forever each presented wholly distinct versions of the Batmobile while keeping the sleek, jet fighter inspired motif. They are pictured (above) in the bottom left and right accordingly.

Than came Y2K and some of the most glorious years for Batman. Above we have the now famous version from Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins. While it is probably the most iconic version from 2000- present it is certainly not the only one. I leave you with a few more versions seen in the last decade below.

October 27, 2011

What Weapon Would You Choose For A Zombie Uprising?


Jimmy Paperboy

Life Sucks.  There are countless things to worry about.  How am I going to eat?  What do I want to do as a career?  If the toilet paper doesn’t have anything on it, should I quit wiping?  These are problems that we all face everyday, and we at some point must address them.  But, if a zombie outbreak happened we wouldn’t have to.  What’s that you say?  You say that we still must fight for our lives, and that only exacerbates the problems that humans have?  Well I don’t wanna be human.  That’s right. As soon as word of an outbreak happened I would lie down in the middle of the street like a virgin sacrifice and just let them go at me.  That is assuming that I would be turned into a zombie instead of suffering a horrible death for nothing.  The life of a zombie is much more appealing than that of a rat human trying to cling on to what they call “life.”  As a zombie you have one thing to worry about.  BRAAAINNNS.  There are no societal norms for zombies, no competition, and absolutely nothing is expected from you by your zombie brethren.  I could have my entrails dragging the ground and an eye out of socket and I would be on the same social strata as a zombified Barak Obama.  So, as a zombie what would be my optimal weapon?  A zombie’s most important part of him would be his teeth.  A zombie can have no appendages, as long as he can roll around as a torso and try to latch on to pinky human flesh.  Since teeth are the most important part of the zombie anatomy I would have vampire teeth installed.  I am not talking about those plastic ones that you wear for Halloween that are too small and make your gums bleed.  I would get Bond Villain quality metal ones.  Since complex things such as surgery would not be able to be performed by zombies, I would have to get my teeth prior to turning.  I would still be human with the metal vampire teeth, so in order to not get confused with the Twilight or True Blood crowd I would have to get my teeth UPON word of the outbreak.  Feeding for a zombie is a weakness.  When zombies are innocently catching a bite to eat, humans are always trying to put a bullet or a blunt object to their head.  Although the stationary feast is a great pleasure for a zombie, it leaves them open and makes them vulnerable.  With metal vampire teeth I would no longer have to sit there and hopelessly grind human flesh with those dull default teeth.  I would now be able to make a clean bite, walk away, and saunter on to a place that is less populated with those murderous humans.

DorisfromNoris

Even though my friend Jimmy Paperboy thinks he is the alpha male when it comes to surviving a zombie apocalypse, I know for a fact that I could outlast his pussy ass any day.  Jimmy would most likely spend his last days using Rufilin™ as his primary defense and taking advantage of some innocent zombos while Bill Murray jacks off in the corner.  All of the meanwhile I will be cruising around in my black station wagon with a white number 3 painted on the sides in remembrance of the late Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson).  To pick a weapon to fend off those little bastard zombies, I would use a P90 not only because Mortar and Pistol is obsessed with it, but also because of its lethalness and ammo capacity.  While most guns may get the job done when it comes to blowing off some heads, the rate of fire in the P90 would make a zombie look like it got stuffed into my Vitamax 2 horsepower blender.  Furthermore, if any zombies turn out to be the flack jacket or the heavy armory type, (which trust me, they are from time to time) the P90 would not be hindered by these little annoyances due to its armor piercing capabilities.

I googled P90 and this came up...so yeah

MortarnPistol

All too often I find myself minding my own business when out of nowhere someone comes knocking on the door.  Maybe its a girl scout, a dejected man selling magazines, my landlord, or the police asking about where I was the other night when I totally wasn’t drinking lighter fluid and firing live rounds at the moon.  These may be minor inconveniences anyone can expect from living in polite society, but in every man’s life there comes a time when the knocking at the door is caused by a zombie uprising.  I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t consider a game of Russian Roulette with a hand grenade, but I’m no longer a young man without a care in the world.  No, I have responsibilities including a dog and some friends that never call.  And thus I must survive.  The perfect zombie weapon for me?  Well, the AK-47 of course.  Its durable and won’t get clogged up by drying blood, and it makes for great Facebook pictures to pose with one while throwing a peace sign.  See, these zombies aren’t simply undead masses out looking for their next meal.  They’re undead rude masses ruining my evening by bothering me and everyone I know.  The AK is terribly inaccurate, which works well for crowd dispersal and adrenaline-fueled behind-the-back run and gun scenarios.  Its loud, which lets the zombies know where I am and just how many fucks I don’t give.  And its heavy, which makes for a great melee weapon after I inevitably run out of bullets and have to resort to beating them, moments before I succumb.  We all too often see folks choose baseball bats and golf clubs to fight the hoard, but in my opinion sports are too much work, and I don’t want to exercise while fending off crowd after crowd of people that even the cemetery couldn’t keep.  Sure, they’ll eventually get my brains.  I don’t have much endurance and I lose interest quickly, and sooner or later I’ll give in out of sheer laziness.  But while I’ve still got some fight in me, nothing beats popping off a few rounds from my Soviet sidekick to (if nothing else) inconvenience the wave of zombies from getting their food like a rude hostess at the local Chilis.

Like

Jsixgun

Imagine this, a glowing orange sun rises over the evergreen’s on a cool fall morning. You step outside and stretch you arms with a loud boisterous yawn, your breath steaming on the southern air. In the distance you hear sirens and see wisps of flowing smoke dancing into the pale blue sky. You take notice but give it nothing more than a bout of curiosity in your mind and then you notice your neighbor limping around in their front yard seemingly mumbling or growling; you can’t be certain. You cock you head in a gesture of confusion, “what exactly are they up too?” you ask your self- rhetorically of course. Then they see you, and you notice that’s not dirt on their morning gown, its blood. They begin to shuffle your way with a beguiling intensity, it’s not fast but it is certainly an attempt to get to you quick. It dawns on you in a second of horror and realization…your neighbor is a zombie and you forgot to return their gosh danged hedge trimmers.
In any Zombie apocalypse the key to survival is a trusty weapon and a motley crew consisting of at least one older/ wizened character, one female, a tough black guy, and a good looking heroic white guy. While I won’t break down who would be the best motley crew (older/ wizened character = Gandolph, female = Sarah Palin, Tough black guy = Michael Vick, and heroic white guy = ), or I will- whatever. I will tell you this for certain, a 12 gauge shotgun is the must have weapon for survival. “Why nots an AK dawg so u can rape those flesh eater’s like their noobz,” you ask? Well for one I have a college degree, and two I realize a little known fact which I will share with you; the AK-47 (or any assault weapon for that matter) is not going to have ammo just lying around for you to pillage like it’s an RPG with gold hidden in barrels. It’s the real world mother trucker, and you better get serious. Honestly, I mean if you need a gun for a zombie apocalypse, you need to be able to waltz right into any Walmart and load up on the boom booms like you’re Jeff Foxworthy. This is not to mention all the old timer houses you’ll come upon where once you’ve taken out the creepy geezer zombies, will be stocked full of goodies (among them a plethora of shotgun ammo). So get that shotgun, boy head, and send the dead to rest with holes in their chest.

Where them zombers at?