A poem black I write at dusk,
alight as empty flame,
drenched in drying torrent rain.
What bright shadow pen I use,
when silence blares its tones,
and walking without motion moans?
Yet still darkness fills the husk,
wills a feast of bleak despair,
suffocating on cool, fresh air.
Dawn, creeping swiftly, slays muse,
flays gently my tired mind,
awake, my pillow I find.


Waking up in the morning...

Those of us in college or fresh off the press probably understand this better than most. Getting up in the morning is hard. Admittedly, some people such as myself can jump up the instant their alarm sounds, regardless of how little sleep they've had, and get cracking (though we still seem as the living dead). The majority of people I know are not so fortunate.

For those of you who are like my roommates and have to set their alarms about an hour earlier than necessary just so that when they finally stop hitting the snooze they don't miss their class, there is hope.

In any case, I am continually suprised by mankind's ability to fail to get up in the morning.

Now consider how hard it is to wake up from the dead.

Somehow, it just seems semi-ironic how we all struggle weakly with getting up the morning, meanwhile today we celebrate a man who woke up from the eternal sleep.

That must have been one incredible alarm clock.

Happy Easter.


Sometimes, when I'm watching anime or just listening to an internet radio, some song reverberates through the air and hits me in a way that few songs do. There is something of a stirring of my soul as the chords, the voices, and the beat all combine into a synthesis of something more than sound.

This begs the question, why? What is it about humanity that has spawned music? What is it about music that brings us those special songs that strike our soul and make us yearn for more than the mundane existance we share?

As I listen to Forces from the anime Berserk, I can't help but be awed at how it affects me. Even though I have taken music theory courses and done plenty of rough compositions of my own, the actual hows and whys of music are lost to me. I find myself wandering aimlessly as I ponder the questions of how concepts such as dissonance and melody even fit into the mechanics of sound.

It seems rediculous sometimes. Through the manipulation of compression waves people can be changed. They can be made to feel excitement, joy, sorrow, depression and any number of emotions. I can not deny that music does this, I just don't understand how.

There can be no doubt that music and life are somehow linked in ways we can not comprehend. I seem to recall hearing about a study wherein playing music for plants helped them grow, or could even stifle them.

Whatever the deep, underlying substructure that allows pitch, tone, timbre, and key to be understood, music is. We have an art that is continually improved regardless of the lack of a tangible basic understanding. All we have is what we feel.

Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, each of these has some secret that can touch us. It's all a mystery to me.


The Death of the Internet

I realise there has been a lot of death in recent posts, and this almost seems repetitive of the very last one, but it seems necessary.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but the internet seems to have become a stagnant hole. While it can be a good resource for some things, what made the internet revolutionary has been lost.

To begin, we first must define what made the internet revolutionary. In the beginning, the internet was a place where anyone with a modem could get hosted and publish a page that represented them. This page would be, in many ways, an image of that individual unique person. In some cases, it was an image of a group of people who thought along similar lines. Because of the uniqueness of each group and individual, each page was very unique.

And it was good.

Obviously, web design was not exactly at the level it is today. A lot of things now considered (and properly so) in very bad taste were common. But even as 3d rotating gifs and repeating backgrounds were common, any coherent webpage could be found and visited.

Not all webpages were equal, but anyone could make a webpage and be found in search engines, grow and become something better.

Even I, at fourteenish, had a unique webpage of my own. Mine was a page dedicated to Final Fantasy's load carrying ostrich, the Chocobo. While mine wasn't the only page to feature such creatures, it was very different from what else lay in the vastness of the web.

Yet now as I search the internet, the first five pages may all be large websites posting the same exact content as the next one. Whether this be concerning video games, shopping or just in terms of a research topic. My frustration with today's internet grows daily.

Buried beneath what was once the prime way of finding websites lie treasures that I have managed to dig up. Fansites that continue the tradition of unique and useful content that differs from the rest of the world, unique pages with purposes that transcend the mundane and more.

Finding them is beyond a chore, it is practically a Herculean quest. Sometimes something even I can not accomplish. In the same way small chain stores are gobbled up, so have internet stores succumbed. Where once one could find an obscure store in Maine selling a few last items of a product no longer made, now you find a million "different" sites that all link to Amazon. I don't mind that Amazon exists, I like Amazon, except that it has subjugated all of small internet retail into its fold.

This is the death of the internet.

I can only hope that there remains innovation somewhere, much like the bastions of innovation in video games that I have given laud.

The Death of the Middle Ground

Recently as I was walking through the campus center at my college, I saw our wall of college related news. Anything in local and national newspapers that is at all related to or mentions Messiah College gets posted there. One particular article piqued my interest. With some time to burn before class I read it.

The article was about a recent forum on religion and its relation to the public school system. The basic thesis of the article was an attempt at having an honest attempt at finding middle ground between Creationists and Evolutionists and possibly including theories such as ID theory in schools.

The tone of the article was at first excellent. It really focused on the middle ground and how for too long things have been polarized at the cost of all. There was a definite sensation of reaching out.

Then everything collapse.

For the last half of the article, we had large sections of opinions from Creationist and Evolutionist perspectives. Basically, the whole jist of the article turned into another exposition by both sides, their dogmatic ideas that slight any attempt to find a middle ground, and the perpetuation of a futile venture.

The death of the middle ground.

I have always held to my beliefs, and I think ill of no one for doing likewise. I do not despise creationism or the Creationist, evolution or the Evolutionist. What I despise is the end of mystery and understanding both.

The idea that there are some things we as humanity can not fathom, and the idea that we should attempt to understand another's view (while still disagreeing) have long since been left to ruin and abandon by the vocal populace in many arguments akin to the creation/evolution "debate".

There is a key difference between those who are dogmatic and those who hold to belief. One considers what the other has to say, but disagrees, the other simply disagrees. One seeks answers objectively and finds support for their side or the opposing side, the other simply finds whatever supports their side as they seek it.

When dogma reigns supreme, the middle ground becomes caught between two warring sides. As the two sides annihilate each other without care, the middle is wiped out doubly so. Any attempt to create a bridge between the two sides is met with hostility from both.

As a middle grounder, times like this feel only of despair. I think sometimes all I can do is lament the death of the middle ground, and of intelligent discussion. I've had arguments about traffic light colors more intelligent than this. But to give up entirely is to leave the future a doomed place without a populace that takes a serious look at their beliefs and the beliefs of others. A populace that sees only a precipice between them and their foes.

To all middle grounders like me, I can only encourage us to persevere.



Read this and be amazed.

I tell you the truth, it is Will Wright and President Iwata who hold the future of video gaming in their hands. Here's hoping the gorillas at Microsoft and EA don't stop them.

Sometimes even Link can't win.

Grumpy Gamer recently made a blog post about how he is rather upset with the upcoming Zelda game's realistic graphics. Throughout the replies and comments, there are insights and various stupidities. Overall it is an interesting read.

The basic jist of the original argument is that Zelda previously had been a game series that went against the flow, and now was failing that by doing what every other game does by trying to have ultra realistic graphics. There's more to the argument, and a lot more insight if you read the comments, but that's just a summary.

The greatest insight I saw was rather subtle. One commenter noted that Nintendo hadn't signed up Britney Spears to do Zelda's voice, or Eminem for Link etc. This commenter noted that there were a lot of points to be made for Nintendo not having sold out to the whim of video game fad and public random opinion.

Underlying this was the insight of, "Why are we so concerned about the graphics?" People have basically been arguing for and against the new Zelda's graphics the same way they did for Wind Waker. That in and of itself is ironic. Because of this, the majority of people are missing out on something a little more important.

You would think that Iwata's moving speech would have clued people in, but apparently Microsoft had their brainwashing equipment turned up to the max at their keynote speech. The final insight that anyone who's played Zelda games since Link to the Past will notice the repetition that has been occurring. The difference between Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time is a seven year time change, and between Ocarina and Wind Waker an ocean. We still find rupies in the grass, free sages, find the master sword and rescue Zelda.

As Iwata pronounced, innovation is what we should be concerned with. Graphics, while important, should be secondary. My hope is that as revolutionary and controversial as the Wind Waker's cel shading was and unchanged the gameplay, the gameplay of the new Zelda will be revolutionary and controversial while having the same "mundane" realistic graphics that seem typical today.

Iwata touched me with his ideas, and I'm sad to see that gamers still fuss and obsess over graphics while ignoring what really makes a video game a video game.


Research of Dr. Weis: Responsibility

Greetings from Dr. Weis!

Dr. Weis recently had unexpected opportunity for new research! The honorable Dr. Weis decide to share wisdom recieved through research on responsibility.

Like pen cap on pencil, Dr. Weis research many topics that day. In middle of research on chemical burns, head research assistant Svenn Yamato (the Jewish Arabian Drug Smuggler from Argentina, born and raised in the English outback and educated in the finest universities of Australia) have terrible accident. Dr. Weis, like pretzel at Boy Scout knot tying competition, research basic medic handbook. Know better than to research chemical burns while Svenn in pain unexpectedly! Dr. Weis instead make mental notes.

Dr. Weis lament lost opportunity for chemical burn research, as soul for worn shoe. Dr. Weis overjoyed at sudden ability to research responsibility!

Dr. Weis provide medical plan for all research assistants. All research can be hazardous, because until all research complete, chance remains of unexpected result! Dr. Weis has not yet disproven connection between Ketchup and Zombies. Svenn Yamato try to use medical plan to cover chemical burns. Svenn, like trainwreck in still life, shocked to find plan not cover chemical burns!

Question arise, who should pay for medical bill? Svenn was able to research again, but needed to pay hefty cost! Answer, like spraypainted squirrel in monochrome, is question! Who is responsible for accident?

Dr. Weis had no research to guide him and could not say! Svenn saw tv commercial for lawyer and ask him. Lawyer say, "Workplace at fault for being unsafe! They owe money!" Dr. Weis confused, workplace not have money. Dr. Weis have money. Very interesting.

Court day come, and Svenn testify. Lawyer ask Svenn, "Did you burn hands while conducting research?" Question answered, "Ah, so!" by Svenn. Lawyer ask, "You do research for Dr. Weis?" Question answered, "Ah, so!" by Svenn. Lawyer loudly proclaim responsibily of Dr. Weis for medical bill!

Dr. Weis, like birthday card at christmas, confused. Somehow, Dr. Weis had become workplace? Responsibility very confusing research topic indeed. What puzzle Dr. Weis more, Lawyer claim Dr. Weis pay more than medical bill, but bill for lawyer and royalty.

Dr. Weis know much about royalty. Many of Dr. Weis's ancient and honorable ancestor meet royalty. Many ancient and dishonorable ancestor meet royalty as well. Dr. Weis very confused how royalty involved.

The court of honorable Dr. Weis ruled that lawyer need go back to law school, and pay Dr. Weis for valuable lost research time, and pay Svenn for valuable time lost for research.

Research conclusion? More research required! Like spork in game of spoons, research must find point!



As part of my ongoing endeavor to go to Japan this fall, I participated in a "class" on the Japanese language. It was a student run hour long session, sponsored by the Asian Student Association. It was good.

There, I talked more with a friend who has been to Japan through the Bretheren Colleges Abroad program. A passing comment inspired fear, and mild consideration.

The passing phrase was, "and you'll be taken drinking every night". There's a lot more context surrounding that but it isn't entirely important, only mildly so. In any case, anyone who knows my stance on drinking or my tolerance level thereof (as told by the infamous "purple people eater" fiasco) can understand my fear.

I have zero tolerance for alcohol and similar substances. For the uninformed, I had two to four extremely cautious sips of dilluted vodka (dilluted in grape koolaid) and went wonkers for an hour and a half before went back to my dorm room and slept, having ranted the entire time not about politics, the weather, my schoolwork or anything relevant but about a cookoo clock bird in a video game and how it was taking over the world in a rather spaced out voice rather endlessly. While that doesn't sound entirely impossible for me sober, the sole witness will tell you it wasn't either typical of me or anything but scary.

As such, I don't think my fears and aprehensions about being taken drinking every night are entirely unfounded. Especially given what I know of Japanese culture, their attitudes about drinking, and social factors, I have cause for concern.

I believe I have the following options, few but more than if I were only turning twenty in a few days.

A) Forsake my views and the college community covenant by building up a tolerance beforehand.
B) Fight against social pressure in a foreign land.
C) Pray.

I like C.


I'm not really that worried, just mildly concerned. So don't think I'm going bonkers.


Childhood memories.

Sometimes we simply need to relive childhood memories.

Sometimes, those childhood memories involving engrish, japan and insanity.

The Surgeon General had an annurism trying to come up with a warning.



Halo 2

Anyone who hasn't and will not play or watch Halo 2 should just not bother reading anything that follows.

I play Halo 2. I love Halo 2. There are rumors, facts, and speculations regarding an expantion pack to Halo 2.

The following is a wishlist of additions to Halo 2 I want to see.

1. Add the Fusion Pulse Cannon into Multiplayer.
2. Incorporate the Brute Plasma Rifle, the Sentinel Beam, and the Fusion Pulse Cannon into multiplayer maps.
3. Add some revamped original Halo maps.
4. Add a full ending.

The first two should be rather easy and simple, and ironically are the ones I want more than anything. I can understand if the later ones, especially the last, are not given. I really won't care. I'm more interested in new and interesting ways of killing my best buddies.


9th time's the charm?

I have just finished watching the pilot episode of the new Dr. Who series. Obviously, this isn't supposed to be viewed yet since the series hasn't officially started, but anyone paying attention probably knows the first episode was leaked. Some people speculate it was intentional.

In any case, I watched it. My thoughts are as follows.

The flaws are obvious, and easily categorized. I'll start with them.

1: The intro doesn't show Christopher Eccleston's face. Instead, some CG'd names fly across the screen.

2: The logo isn't much good. For the credits it rocks, but they should return to the older logo and perhaps spruce it up a bit for the intro.

3: The Doctor lacks hair. I think no Doctor has had less than 5 inches worth up until this point.

4: Episodes are only one hour long, 45 minutes discounting commercials and including opening and credits. Classic Doctor Who stories were two to four such time periods. This is perhaps the greatest issue and will be discussed further later.

5: There's a scene where we see the 9th in various parts of history as photographed. The problem being its apparent he's just regenerated and has not yet had time to go on such adventures. This means that he'll have to go on adventures to these various places and times, which while novel, is somewhat constraining. Especially since its obvious he didn't prevent the Kennedy assasination. It might have been better is they had shown pictures of the old Doctors at various places they had been.

6: That cool noise at the end of Doctor Who episodes isn't there.

7: There's slightly more music in the episode than there needs to be.

8: The control room is slightly weird.

That sums that up. Barring that, the new series appears to get just about everything else right. The theme song, while not anything new, is appreciated and taken straight form the early doctors. The graphics are updated, but still classic. The TARDIS still spins, which is cool.

True to form, the doctor gets an attractive female companion that knows very little about what is going on but attempts to be helpful none the less and does random things that eventually help and even save the doctor. In the first episode you just want to see her mother and boyfriend shot by Daleks, however.

The doctor himself is quite excellent. He's a different take than previous doctors, but so was the 8th, the 7th, the 6th, the 5th, the 4th etc. I like him anyway but he needs more hair (see problem 3).

The TARDIS is slightly bigger than previous counterparts. Not on the inside but on the outside. The doctor has also apparently installed lighting on the inside, as the windows are lit when he's inside and his companion(s) blunder around outside wondering what he's doing when there's a monster after him.

There is a consensus among my friends and I that the console room is awkward. We feel the BBC should have raided FOX's old prop room and stolen the set from the ill-fated movie.

In any case, problems 1-3 and 5-7 are readily fixable, and not terrible. 8 is not too bad, but saddened. The true problem lies in problem 4.

The greatest feature of Doctor Who beyond the doctor himself was the fact that episodes took the time to develope, explain, and entertain. This simply didn't happen. There simply wasn't enough time to introduce the doctor, introduce the menance, introduce the companion, and introduce the concept in 35 minutes of story. It simply didn't work.

If they made stories in sets of four I believe the series would work. As it stands I fear for the series. In special situations, such as as few audios adventures I know of, an entire plot can be developed, climaxed and finished and be every bit as awesome as a four part one. However, I stress that this requires very special circumstances. This is by no means something you can base a series on.

Those are my thoughts. I wish that I had the proper TV channel to watch the series as it comes out, but alas.


This is something I wrote as inspired by Ronald Reagan's funeral, which we watched in one of my classes today. It's probably what I'd want said on my behalf when I die, whenever God so deems. For the paranoid, I entertain no thoughts of suicide etc. save for jumping off various scenic vistas in games such as Halo 2, Zelda: Wind Waker and Super Smash Bros: Melee.

I write this to you from beyond the end, and the beginning.
I am gone from you, and I am with you.
I am dead, and I am alive.
As my stilled face speaks, listen.
Know that I was weary with energy,
wise in my folly.
Life is a paradox, a hypocrit,
it defies definition, while defining us.
Consistant in its inconsistancy,
we are toyed with until broken.
Shattered, we are made whole,
in death we are made alive.
Be joyful that as I am dust,
blown in the wind,
Heaven has picked up the fragments,
one by one each flaw and fruit are named,
piece by piece I am restored.
I will wait tirelessly with impatience,
standing as a statue in motion,
at the gate of Glory,
proclaiming aloud the quiet mercy of Father,
thanks to the servant Lord Jesus,
and the helpful helplessness the Spirit provides.

I guess I figure that there will be plenty of words of clarity spoken when I'm dead. I'm sure someone will exaggerate extoll my virtues in flowery and elegant speech. As such, I figured it would be nice to have a little bit of me provided by me, emphasizing an aspect of life I find most enjoyable, paradox. I'll probably look back on this epitaph when I'm seventy and think, "I knew diddly squat."

The Internet's Become a Fish

I wonder at someone's strange wish,
some odd and deranged jerk,
my internet's become a fish,
which shows why it won't work.
My browser loads like a blue whale,
though fish whales may not be,
my email runs slower than snail,
though snail from land not sea.
Whatever, fish the net remains,
a school of ill made pages,
though I toil hard with greatest pains,
I'm stuck in lobster cages.
As fishy as my network seems,
and full too of pollution,
an answer to this problem beams,
a workable solution!
If whoever had that strange wish,
whatever cause they had,
please revert the web back from fish,
and I will be quite glad.

Mr. Smee: Beard Care

Hallo again! I was pontificating on the process when I saw a sorry sight indeed along the road. From my vantage point of my roof, never a finer place for a rocking chair, I saw a couple of young'ns with a goat-tee majigger. I could not have been more shocked. This is what they are calling beards?

Why, back in my day, we didn't have shaving! We had fire, and that was our only option. When one's grey scarf got to be the length of several eons, there came to be little hope. Someone, somewhere was always stepping on the blasted things. Traffic across the cosmos halted to a standstill, as various principles lead to beard lock.

No one would step off of anyone else's beard, no one could step off of anyone's beard for that matter. It was a disaster of such proportion that it required direct intervention from Phil.

Phil had a good noggin on his shoulders. Twas a shame he never used it. Had it all wrapped up in duct tape for some reason. We couldn't figure out why, save that he was Phil. Anyway, because of his duct tape his beard didn't grow, and as such he was our only hope.

Phil devised several wild and ingenious schemes that didn't work before he resulted to changing the laws of physics. You see, fire didn't burn like it does now in those days. Fire was more like spaghetti, flopping all over the place while charcoaling what it touched. I still don't eat italian.

It worked perfectly, minus the caustic burns to the chins and foot inflammations. It was only after that Phil realised the full potential of all the razors we had lying around. If only Jake had known. Poor fellow burned all of his hair, not just his beard.

That's why we ancient folk grow foot long beards. It is to remind us of that awful day, so that we and the next generation will not repeat such mistakes. It is not something to be turned into a fashion! Whippersnappers!

Learn some proper beard care. All you need is a giant axe and a beard of over three feet. Place the beard on a log or stump, and chop!

You'd think the youths would have been grateful for my wisdom.


Franklin: I once had a hat.

Hai guys! It's Franklin again. I thought I'd give a big hello to you kind people all.

Some kind sir even visited from Australia I'm told. I once had a hat I got from Australia. My Great Uncle Francis sent it too me while he was on a business trip there for "Jim and Bob's Car Emporium". It was a nice hat, far too big for my eight year old head. So, I hid it away in the closet until such time as it would properly fit upon my anxious brow.

Years passed, and many incidents occurred that reshaped my life; the chicken noodle soup fiasco, the flag post attack, and the color yellow conspiracy. It was after I thought I had lost all hope that, in searching the closet for Mr. Snuggles, my happy time snuggly bear, I found my hat.

You see, I was twenty-one at that point. My head had grown much bigger at that point. My parents told me that my head was like a balloon, and I needed to make sure I didn't learn too much or it might explode! I chose my education carefully so that my hat would fit perfectly upon my head.

I was pleased to find that my careful planning was successful. The hat fit snuggly on my head as perfectly as possible. Well, it had been in the closet for a decade. The mothballs had long since wasted away, having been there since the time of my father's youth. The once proud hat now looked more like a strainer.

Undeterred from putting this excellent hat to good use, I decided to cook spaghetti. When I poured the hot boiling water into the hat to strain it, the last fragments broke apart and went down the drain along with all my noodles.

I went to the sewers to look for my hat. It was very dark, but I was guided by the friendly sewerhood rodents. They were so cute, nibbling at my pants. Eventually I found a crazy hermit who prophesied that I would have to travel into the depths of Macy's to find it. I was terrified. Macy's was a den of people and places, and perfume! The three fearful P's.

Despite my fear I dressed myself in urban camoflauge, a golf shirt, a plaid jacket and khaki shorts, and ventured a trip to the local mall. It was closed.

I never found my hat.



Is 3.1415926535897 and so on, I think.

In any case, it is Pi o'clock, sort of. The time and date is 3/14 16:32. Which, if you do kindergarden math is equivalent to 3/14 15:92! Things will be better in 10 years I assure you, when 3/14/15 9:26 comes!

Yes, I do like Pi. Digits for the previously unprivilaged.

Big Brother and AOL: Pt. 2

AOL responded to the rampant anger and rage towards their new liscencing agreement. According to them it was much ado about nothing, since that agreement is only in regards to posts on their forum.

Perhaps you will indeed see me on AIM.

The Good Old Days

Thanks in part to my new addiction to Slashdot, after being infected by my dear father and brother, I've become remarkably better informed about recent developements in gaming. That and I read Penny-Arcade. In any case, I rather enjoyed Nintendo President Iwata's Keynote Speech. There's also a streaming video version at Gamespot.

In any case, Iwata's speech reminded me heavily of the "Good Old Days" of gaming. Back in the time of the NES and even of its predecessor the Atari, there were many, many games. These games didn't pop out of nowhere, but were conceived, drafted, coded, and released through the hard work of people. In some ways, that thought is disturbing if you've ever played one of the crappier NES games, or the odder ones.

While most games fit into various categories, platformer, adventure, RPG etc. there was something then that seems to be absent now. Think about Super Mario Bros for a moment. The concept of that game is utterly rediculous. You're a plumber in a strange world where it is safe to eat random mushrooms and flora while stomping on rapid mushrooms and turtles, some of which can fly. At the end of each zone, you meet a giant mega turtle that breaths fire and chucks hammers like there's no tomorrow.

If someone proposed a game like that today, do you think they'd succeed?

Beyond even the concept, the game had craziness that is simply unparalleled today. There were blocks you could hit that you couldn't see, secret warps hidden behind obvious exits, and even a mundane background could become important.

Super Mario Bros singlehandedly evolved gaming and bred into the gamers of that era a sense of seeking something beyond the obvious. A spirit of exploration began to rule the day, which pushes players like me to comb every inch of every dungeon to make sure I did not miss a single secret.

Obviously, not every game can be so influential. The point of the reference is that in the early era of video games, there was massive innovation, creativity and originality. Any bored college student could make a hobby out of creating games, and have a shot at making something special. Iwata himself was of this breed; he and his friends making the company Hal, the Kirby, Earthbound and Super Smash Bros. games and becoming president of perhaps the only company who's name is synonomous with video games.

Yet now, the world of console games seems shut off. While for the video game fan PCs still remain as an option for amateur game developers with freeware, shareware and perhaps eventual corporate help being options, the console is slowly becoming an elite realm. Companies like EA swallow up smaller companies, and the budget for video games slowly creeps closer to that of major hollywood movies. Iwata himself admitted in his speech that, "After all, if a game never comes to market, there is very little chance of it making any money!" Even if an excellent video game is crafted, most hopefuls lack the resources to get a game published.

However, I don't think it beyond a meager group's ability to seek out an investor or help from a large company. What I bemoan is the intent of many of these large companies.

Big businesses involved in media have a tendency to stick to formula. Barring a Shigeru Miyamoto-like figure, I have rarely seen any case where a big business tried something extraordinary on its own initiative. With big businesses beginning to dominate the video game industry, and with the small hopeful only able to publish through big business, a recipe for stagnation is perfected.

For example, I doubt any of you have played Goldeneye: Rogue Agent. It's a semi-sequel to that N64 James Bond game that rocked the world of console FPSs. The concept was very interesting. You're an ex Mi6 agent who joins up with the bad guys after Mi6 tries to kill you (taking an eye in the attempt. For anyone who ever saw the world is not enough, it seems Mi6 has a problem with making sure people are dead). With you're replacement "Goldeneye", you get cool powers that utilize that nifty gadget as you go about doing evil. This is an interesting and cool concept.

Be that as it may, never have I played a more terrible game. At least the overly biblical Spiritual Warfare for NES was in some ways fun. Rogue Agent tried even my patience with more flaws and problems than I can even count.

The game plays almost completely the same as any other FPS. The novelty of being a cruel villain is completely lost. The only sign you're actually a villain is that you can take hostages and use them as human shields. You don't even fight Mi6 much (at least not in the beginning, I didn't get very far before I couldn't take it anymore), spending most of your time involved in a power struggle between Dr. No and Auric Goldfinger.

Aside from the clunky controls, terrible level designs, lack of anything resembling a need for covertness etc. The one thing Rogue Agent exemplifies is the big business's ability to take a clever concept and stifle it. Rogue Agent was a square peg jammed into a round hole. Beyond the clunkiness and other purely technical problems, the concept was taken from a potentially trend setting awesomeness to the depths of failure.

Being a villain would have been so much more evil and cool if you weren't simply doing the same things you would have were you Bond with Geordi LaForge's eye implants. There are no innocent bystanders to terrorize, no scores of agents to face off against, no devious tortures, no minions to send before you, nothing. The most evil objective I had was to snipe Dr. No from an adjacent building. Evil, eh?

Meanwhile, Evil Genius for the PC grants a true and better look at being evil, granting all of the above, just not as a FPS.

Anyone who knows me might remember me discussing something akin to this back in the late days of the original Playstation. Squaresoft released three Final Fantasy games for the Playstation, each taking the system to levels it never had before. However, by the time of Final Fantasy IX, most other developers had long been looking to the PS2.

Squaresoft (now Square-Enix) may done some things that disgruntled me (I wasn't fond of the attribute system of FF8 or the plot of FF9) but they do have a few aspects about them that are beyond reproach. They are not afraid to take something that any intelligent human being would say, "This is excellent, let's leave it that way." and go, "Let's do something completely different." Aside from the recurring Job System, each Final Fantasy's character attributes system is as different from the others' as their storylines. Additionally, Squaresoft has never been afraid to stick around and push a system to its limits.

What I decried then, and continue to now, is one of the problems I feel is stifling the creativity of game developers. For the NES, once the pinacle of graphics achievement had been reached the developers didn't say, "Okay Nintendo, what new gaming console are you going to release for us?" (Or even before that pinacle had been reached). They looked around and saw that they needed something beyond better graphics to reach out to gamers, and they made games that did so.

What disturbed me when the Playstation was ditched and continues to do so now is the wanton carelessness with which aging consoles are left behind for newer, more powerful ones that don't even have set technical specs, let alone anywhere near manufacture. Developers don't stick by a console and look to what they can do aside from graphics to draw in gamers.

This attitude could not be shown better than by Xbox representative J. Allard's speech on what he called the "HD Era".

It struck me as idiotic then, and still does now, to solely pursue the perfection of the graphical, and only the graphical, portion of the medium known as video games. It was obvious to me then as now that there is a point at which no further graphical detail can be crafted. While that point has not yet been reached and may not be reached until I am many years older, that point exists.

As Iwata makes clear, this does not mean I wish graphics remain in the stone age or be ignored. To me this is the same as someone who studies soley for the first part of a two part exam. It will definately be an achievement to ace the first part, but somehow that achievement is sullied when you utterly fail the second.

In any case, I hope that one day my ideas will be able to blaze across the medium known as video games, and before someone else comes up with the same ideas I have.



Oh brain of mine, sweet thoughts so fine,
where soul and flesh both intertwine,
don't wander so for 'ere you go,
when you return I will not know.
Such hours zoned and grades are boned,
no subtle hinting can be toned,
if you away and there will stay,
a dreadful 'F' will transcripts say.
So fatty lump, pink, wrinkled bump,
I have no secret, hopeful trump,
by which I'm sure that I'll endure,
as you accede to spaced's alure.
I'm mortified, no, zombified,
when you depart my thinks have died.
Or perhaps not, have you my thought?
Did you sneak hence with all I've wrought?
I beg you mind, don't be unkind,
without you I can not unwind,
or do my work, you selfish jerk,
brainless, I have not one lone perk.
I grovel brain, I'll go insane,
through all this speech I think it plain,
I need you right, and left's insight,
both lobes please set my hopes alight,
Exams soon come for art and sum,
still many projects must be done!
So brain of mine, I plead and whine,
give me the slightest of a sign,
that in short time, while in my prime,
together once again we'll chime.


Big Brother and AOL

For those of you who do not ritually browse Slash Dot, I include the following.

AOL has updated its AIM terms of agreement. Basically they can now do whatever the heck they want to with your conversations. While this creates the tantalizing possibility that some tearful conversation with your loved ones will be turned into the next great emotional scene of some movie, it also means your million dollar ideas you share are freely accessible to AOL.

Considering the number of AIM users, this technically changes very little. The odds of AOL noticing your conversation in particular, let alone any particular one of interest, is marginal. But to someone like me who overflows with sucky ideas he and his friends think rock, it's too great a risk.

And somewhere, there's a hermit who doesn't care.


Mr. Smee: Cell phones and ZZZzzzzzzz.....

Hallo sonny!

Back in my day, we didn't have blogs. We had munchkins. Not the short little midgets with squeaky voices but the tiny donuts. However, in those days munchkins were a malevolent force that sought to take over the world. Their plans were foiled as soon as it was discovered they were edible. We lost Jim that day. Poor Jim. The fool was both the first to discover the tasty properties of the munchkins, and the first to die from overly high blood sugar content.

Todays munchkins, much like our umbrellas, are docile after millenia of selective breeding. Except, we really didn't have breeding back then. It was more like, building a sundeck. Not sundecks as you know them, but ones that towered to the stars. Breathing hadn't been invented yet, and heights were but the mad ravings of Jim's wiser, if nutty, cousin Greg. Not nutty as you might think of it, that hadn't been conceived of. We called people like Greg "hooplah". Greg was the greatest of hooplahs. Oddly, his voice was more reminiscent of bad cell phone connection.

Bah, you young'ins and your cell phones. In my day, we didn't have the "internet" and "wireless communication". In fact, we didn't have communication. Ungrateful generation. Never listens to the wisdom of their elders. People don't realise that communication is like fat. There are saturated and unsaturated types. Everyone needs some, but some kinds are better than others, and too much of any is hazardous. Of course, it wasn't always that way. When communication was first invented, it was more like a hat. If you forgot to put it on in the morning (that was invented some time before communication, although then it was called "tanning") whole days didn't make sense.

Enough of your yammering about how none of this makes sense. I was there, and that's how it was. Pish, I'll tell you what doesn't make sense. Why is it that people make a point of having a cell phone, making sure that everyone has their number, and making a big deal out of it, only to leave it off or not even take it anywhere. Hmm? Or how about how instead of using land lines, teenagers will simply sit on their beds using cell phones when there's a perfectly good Graham Bell nearby? Oh Graham, the world hardly knew ye then, and it hardly knows ye now. I tell you if he had a grave he'd be spinning in it fast enough to turn a turbine that could power the world, which he does.

Go on you whipper snappers. Geit, geit. I won't listen to any more of your yammering. I've had better discussions with my closed eyelids. You probably don't even care we didn't always have 'em. Ungrateful rasfragshin mmrgsh. ::mumble::



Franklin: When my pajamas were five.

Hai guys. My name is Franklin. I am glad to see you today! It can be hard sometimes with my eyes closed, but I manage.

I wasn't always able to see people with my eyes shut. It was a gift I aquired when my pajamas were five. For some reason my birthday was never celebrated in my family. Instead, my pajamas had a party thrown for them. While my siblings would get toy trucks and pretty dolls and dresses, my pajamas would get their car payments paid for and various items I would later see my parents using. It was when my pajamas turned five that life went terribly wrong.

You see, I decided that I'd get something for my pajamas, just to show them that I didn't harbor any hard feelings. Those were reserved for the goal posts in the soccer field. Anyhoo, I asked my parents what my pajamas wanted for their birthday. They obviously were on speaking terms with my pajamas, because not only did they know what my pajamas wanted but were even able to get permission to borrow the gifts! My parents assured me they would ask.

It was then I got a bad case of both pink eye and conjunctivitus. I woke up one morning and found I could not see. This was a disaster! My pajamas' birthday was tomorrow and I needed to go out and buy the new step ladder they wanted. My parents assured me they could go in my stead if I just gave them the money I had saved, but it wouldn't be the same. I dressed myself as well as I could, and then departed on my errand.

Obviously, God wanted me to succeed in my endevour because I successfully got to and from the hardware store. You wouldn't believe how loud it can be in the downtown area. All the screeching and beeping horns, the screams and crashing noises of traffic, the various slanders and derogatory terms thrown about. I mean what is this world coming to?

My consternation at the current state of affairs in the center of my fair town aside, or not so fair as I might have liked, I prepared to present my gift to my pajamas. They were so happy they couldn't speak. But they did give me a big hug with help from my mother. That was all I needed. From then on it because my childhood dream to find the perfect give for my pajamas each year. I would work tirelessly, and did, to make enough money to purchase whatever my pajamas wanted for their birthday.

It was at that moment that my metaphorical eyes were opened and I began to be able to see with my eyes shut.

So that's how I can say I'm glad to see you.


Furi Kuri

Watch Fooly Cooly, Furi Kuri, FLCL or whatever you want to call it.

I realise that this command will fall on deaf ears, much as Anime Club President (Dark Otaku Lord) Derek's command "Watch Beck" has not yet motivated me to download and watch that particular anime.

For the uninformed, Furi Kuri is a six episode experience the likes of which I have not known in any other anime, movie, soundtrack, or piece of art. The following is a brief rant about the awesomeness.

First off if you are not familiar with anime, manga or Japan in the least, you probably shouldn't watch Furi Kuri. It is not the kind of anime that I'd suggest as a first, second or even third anime for someone to watch. You'll probably want at least three under your belt before you try this one. This isn't a matter of intellectual deficiency, but more a matter of understanding typical anime mannerisms. Some anime are artistically drawn cartoons with the occaisional foreign cartoon mannerism (akin to Elmer Fudd turning into a sucker/lollipop to indicate his gullibility) thrown in. This anime is an artistically drawn work of art with enough mannerisms and brief subtleties. If you aren't very familiar with the mannerisms, you'll miss a lot of important details that are very easy to miss when clouded by the confusion caused from a lack of understanding.

That said, any self respecting anime Otaku (fan) will watch this or rue having avoided it.

I will not categorically state my opinions on Furi Kuri's greatness.

Music: The music in the series is some of the best I've heard anywhere. It rivals Cowboy Bebop for appropriateness to the anime, and for simple awesomeness. It also has a similarly odd band name (Cowboy Bebop: Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts. Furi Kuri: The Pillows). I have both soundtracks and I love them. The only fault I can find is that the band members might want to improve their english. Personally, I enjoy hearing japanese singers attempting english. It's awesome when they suceed, and I like the sound even when they fail (beyond the comicalness of it).

Story: If you can follow it, the story is deep. Much like Donnie Darko, you can only really understand what's going on if you either pick up and understand the subtle clues and hints, or educationally conjecture on what you see. Ideally, you'd be able to do both. The other quality I enjoy in the story is that it is exceptionally random. Not random in the sense of pure random action (if so, it wouldn't be so much a plot as a mish mash) but in that childish sense of random where everything makes sense to the child, even though it seems random to the adult. The first time you watch the series, even if you understand most of it and pick up on everything, the events in many cases will seem arbitrary and "random". The second or third time through, it makes sense just like the child. It might make sense the first time as it did for me, but it makes more sense on repeated watchings. Since it's only six episodes, that isn't so hard.

Characters: The characters are much like the plot. Seemingly arbitrary but as you begin to better understand the series, you realise the depth each has. It is really easy to marginalize each character and place them into categories, this even can help when watching the first few episodes as you attempt to absorb all of the oddities thrown at you. In the long term, it is simply unfair to them as they have so much more to say than "I'm the strange one" and "I'm the selfish child".

Extras: If you get the DVDs, you get some nice extras. An Image gallery is included on each DVD, as well as director commentary. The commentary is nice, and clears up a few possibly confusing points. Most of the time it tends to go off on tangents when you'd rather like to hear more about why they did a particular scene one way and not the other. Although, they do talk about some specific scenes in that way. The commentary is good overall. There are also various oddities in the extras, mostly close ups of various detailed objects in the episodes you'd probably have wanted a nice, long look at. English outakes are also included.

That's all well and good. But you have no idea what the anime is actually about. I'm hesitant to say much, namely because the anime has so much to say for itself. Basically, there is a boy, he has a brother who's gone somewhere, he has a friend who's a dropout from highschool, he's still in middle school, his family owns a bakery and other normal things. Then he gets run over by a very odd woman. She then hits him in the head with a base guitar, and leaves. It only gets weirder from there. And I'm not telling you how.

Yup, that's all I'm saying about that.

Anyway, I own all three DVDs, and the two CDs for the soundtrack. If you know me personally, ask me about borrowing them. Realise of course that return them damaged is akin to suicide. My wrath will be slow and painful. If you happen to be a sibling of mine who is older and intending on visiting me, chances are I'll subject you to a dose of this.

Furi Kuri is probably my favorite anime. While Naruto has it beat in length (125 episodes so far, Furi Kuri only has six) something about Furi Kuri resonates with me. Probably because it's an ADHD trip.


Lawsuit Larry Pt 2

As an addendum, the VGCats CBS interview has been posted. It's likely that there will be more interviews as time goes on at that site. However, this is the last link I shall supply unless I discover another onslaught of ire inducing news.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled randomness.


Lawsuit Larry

I have noted that this blog is primarily a creative output for me. This includes random and not so random philosophical thought and such on random things or present day issues. This unfortunately means that on occaision posts in my blog will actually be serious.

At this point, there's probably nobody reading this blog, save myself, but for the sake of my sanity I must do the following.

Every avid video gamer out there is aware of the issue of violence and the possibility of a link to video games. I say possibility because the wrangling continues on whether such a link exists. In any case, if you weren't aware of this, play video games and hope to keep playing them (or if you're old enough, let your children play them) you should take a good look at what is going on in terms of this issue, regardless of what side you're on.

I personally do not see a strong connection between video games and violence, probably because both the most balanced and most unstable people I know play them in excess (including myself, you decide which category I fit into). This does not mean I believe in the nonexistance of such a link. I simply disagree that such a link is so strong that video games can be blamed solely for any violent act. In each case where violence occurred, parental negligence, mental instability and even other aspects of pop culture are factors as well. While video games are a factor they are by far not the sole one and thus each of these should be examined and rectified and equally blamed as opposed to the singling out of one.

Were I on the "other side" of this debate, I would certainly be discouraged to have a man such as this speaking for me. There is a rational thought process behind the idea that there is a link between video games and violence, but that man doesn't have it. A comparison set of answers from the creator of ctraltdel-online's Tim Buckley is also on the site. Later, vgcats' Scott will also have his answers posted at CBSNews.

Additionally, if there is a link, this isn't the way to solve our problems. If there is a link, the solution rests in the hands of parents and video game suppliers, not in the people who make them. Video game makers will not make video games that don't sell. Violent video games won't sell if parents who do not want their kids to have them do not buy them for them, and retailers do not sell such games to kids who do not fit the ESRB requirements. Footing the responsibility of a crime to a video game merely lets the criminal off the hook.

Unfortunately, I dislike Thomspon for the same reasons this guy does, as well as my noting that Thompson destroys the voice of what would otherwise be a rational challenge to my beliefs opn this issue through his sensationalism.

The media doesn't help much either. The man in charge of study of comparative media at MIT, Henry Jenkins, was ambushed on Phil Donahue's show. While this one case is honestly not representative of all of the media, I can't remember for the life of me a time a national news broadcast, a popular talk show or the like has ever painted video games in a good light. Non existant audience, disprove me if you will.

Regardly, such a treatment of the issue seems epidemic, if only because the diesease of such people like Thompson is. When people like Henry Jenkins sit down to have an intelligent discussion (Such as this three part interview by Penny Arcade) they should be joined in their efforts, not harassed because of their beliefs.

The following is either a brief or lengthy rant, be forewarned.

I feel very strongly when it comes to discussion and debate on any topic. What most irks me in any discussion is not someone who holds dogmatically to their beliefs. Quite simply, I'd hardly expect any debate or discussion to change another person's mind. Rather, I love debate and discussion because at the least it allows me to better understand my own position and to better express what I already believe that whoever it is I'm speaking to can understand where I am coming from. It is entirely possible to understand another person's beliefs and not agree with them.

Those people who irk me in discussion are those who see the issue or issues in black and white only, who do not look at or ignore all the of relevant data and facts they have heard, who do not look at the bigger picture but focus their opinion on one facet and hold to that as a drowning man does to timber. These are the people who kill debates, make mountains out of molehills, and create division where it needn't be.

This irking of mine is regardless of issue. I was irked in this way before the elections in november, in many of my class debates, and in this case as well. If we could get a group of people who are not irksome in this way from both sides of these issues to get together and discuss how each side could work towards their aim effectively a lot of media blasted issues would vanish.

To tie this into the issue previously discussed, it is quite likely that both sides want the same thing or close enough to it that they can each work towards their goal while helping the other. Parents who react strongly against the violence in video games may simply want to secure for their children an environment in which they can grow and flourish properly. Gamers want to play video games and keep them from being continually attacked for their violence and effects on people. Are these ways of thoughts completely incompatible?

As cited in one of the linked articles, eighty some odd percent of mature game purchases are made either by parents or by parents with their children. I believe that the best way to achieve the goals of both parents and gamers is summed up as follows: 1) Make parents better aware of the importance of not only ESRB ratings, but of movie ratings as well. 2) Give insentive to retailers to hold to the ESRB and reduce the ten to twentyish percent of mature game purchases without parents that occur (important to note, this doesn't mean that all of those purchases are by minors below ESRB ratings as a seventeen year old can always buy a mature game for themselves). 3) Generate media coverage that shows the entire set of factors and issues that can generate violence in our children.

I could go into a long explanation as to how each of these three points aids the other, but I think it should be self explanatory.

End of rant.


A House(ing) Divided

Verily I say unto thee, a red day has dawned. So long have our eyes been blind! Blind as the crowbitten corpses that line the streets. Battles have been fought, and war is upon us all. Division! The multiplication of tension leaves us all sundered.

Times were not always as these. It seems as just the day before, and it verily was, that peaceful slumber woke to bright sun of blissful ignorance. Yet today this was all shattered, our eyes have opened to our depravity.

For years the houses of Fry and Smith, Miller and Hess, Gratham and Mountain View, Naugle and Witmer all lived at peace. Even the great fortresses, Klein, Jordan, Frey, Boyer and Cli'menh Aga stood silent in their rest. None were aware nor cared of the vast inequality between them! Forsooth, were it not for the words of the prophet Amy Wolf, we would all have remained blissfully unaware that Smith was better than Fry, that Mountain View more spacious than Miller, and that Cli'menh Aga is largely ignored save by artists in need of a decrepit old building to paint.

After a short time of initial shock, the terrible battles began. No negotiation could prevent the terrible tide. Almost immediately Grantham became swarmed with the angered residents of Hess and Miller. Their position grim, the Granthamites fled to the nearby fortress of Jordan and Klein as refugees. The garrison there took them in unsure of events.

Battle in the southern complex was even more grim. No quick victories were assured to any side. Because of the inequality between Sollenberger, Mountain View and Bittner, none would side with the others. The hall joining the three was filled with battle and destruction. No decisive victor has yet suceeded there or in the field.

Naugle and Witmer, at first confused, turned against each other to claim the label of "Not quite the worst dorm on campus". The distance between the two has limited the fighting, but Naugle's position is grim. Caught between the waves of irate apartment dwellers from Fry assaulting Smith, Naugle can only hope to weather the tide and not be crushed.

Because of Smith's strategic position, it has easily fended off the other apartments seeking to destroy it. However, people such as myself can see in the near future the need to form an alliance with one of the surviving factions of the north complex. Without such a pact, the victor would surely spread their influence and gain control.

The fortresses have, as of yet, done nothing. However, it is said that in disgust some of the painters stopped their work on Cli'menh Aga and began painting Boyer instead. This could have dramatic reprecussions.

All we can do is praise Amy Wolf for her insight into these previously unseen dividing lines. I will continue this narrative as events transpire.


Research of Dr. Weis: On Ketchup

Greetings from Dr. Weis.

It has been time very long since Dr. Weis has imparted wisdom of research. Dr. Weis has spent many weeks conducting research for government. Like Chinese New Year at Christmas, so is research of Dr. Weis!

Government very interested in Dr. Weis research! Politicians ask Dr. Weis, "Have you completed your research?" Dr. Weis humbly and with eloquence answer, Research NEVER COMPLETE! Research, like fifty pounds of frozen meat thawing, take forever to complete. Politicians not familiar with finer points of research.

Dr. Weis note, have finished research on Ketchup! Many interesting points to mention.

First conclusion of research on ketchup: Ketchup does not make proper component of rocket fuel.
Second conclusion of research: 561.728730g of Ketchup can be disintegrated at power level of 5.61 on the disintegrator beam.
Third research conclusion: Ketchup is considered purest when red. All other colors are impure and inferior.
Last conclusion: More research required!

Dr, Weis is proud to display research concluded. More research certain to be done in future.

Dr. Weis impart last wisdom to readers. Like research, young worms live long in dirt, short on surface.



There was once a man, a normal man, an abnormal man, and not a man at all. This was all one man, as paradoxical as it seems. This man has absolutely nothing, and everything to do with this record of events.

There is a great history to this man, an ongoing history that shall be recorded herein. For the sake of rememberence, some old tales must be recounted. Herein is the previous history of this man as it stands today.

Video games.

Such is this man, was this man and will be this man.

Chapter 1

Greetings from the depths of my cereal bowl. For the uninformed, this blog is probably not where you wanted to arrive to. You may now leave, but you must leave all articles pertaining to stupidity behind. You see, I like to collect it, it amuses me. Also, leave any spare randomness.

This is the first of a long line of infamies that will surely besmirch the internet in a juxtaposition of intelligence for years to come, and go I suppose.

Within this blog will be contained many aspects of me, because I'm self centered. I would included references to other people and whatnot, but they aren't important. If they want to be important, they can conform to the savvy ways of the internet and start their own blog no one will ever read.

That brings me to the first and probably only serious point. This blog is purely for the enjoyment of me. Anyone else enjoying this blog will be hunted, shot, beat up, eaten, thrown up, forced to watch reruns of Star Trek knockoffs, and then executed by internet flash animation. So much for serious.

Chapter 3

Thus spake the Moron our Blog, "Let there be aspects of this blog that none might understand. Let their number be the three of the great quest spoken of in Pythons named Monty, and their Grail of Holes. Let it be known among the many (cough) peoples of the internet that these be the tenants of the Blog.

I. Thou shalt see meanderings of a disturbed mind, as it wanders about reality in a distortion without basis.
iii. Thou shalt be told of facts that really are true in every account and have not been fancied up to be like some ancient and venerable quest. Nope, no sprucing up the details here.
2. Thou shalt be interupted by the unprecidented comments of personas and alter egos whose opinions are not of or related to the opinions of the Moron our Blog.
π. Thou shalt be subjected to words conjoined to form crude sentence, thus named "Poetry" by the Moron.
F. Thou shalt see mysteriously as all of the above is concatenated into one at once."

Thus spoke the Moron, and in his eyes it was good. The rest of the world however, didn't even notice.

4 Chapter

Mourning the loss of Chapter 2, the Moron wrote another chapter to replace it. In his sorrow, he really messed up. I mean, wow. Look at that. He got the number in the wrong place. What an idiot. I mean seriously, who really cares about Chapter 2? Did anyone even notice it was missing? I suppose one or two people did, those being the epic hero and heroine of the incredible vast majestic plot that was Chapter 2. But really...


And so it was that the first of many posts was complete. A vast disturbance was felt amoungst the blogs, and all was not well. Okay, no one noticed anything really, but I can dream can't I?