Tag Archive for 'video games'

Bizarre Creations 1994 – 2011

Thanks Bizarre for all the great games.


OnLive is live

Last week I got an invitation to OnLive cloud based gaming service. Today I finally had time to check it out.

OnLive is giving “founding members” a free 12-month subscription to the service, so I decided to give it a go.

I’ve been quite skeptical of the service prior to its launch thinking it can’t possibly work with the lag introduced by having to connect to their servers over the Internet.

I was wrong.

My initial impressions of the service are very positive. The user interface is easy to use and it’s quick. Spectating other users’ games is really cool. All the games can be played for free for 30 minutes. The service has friends lists, achievements and brag clips (I assume video captures of your “greatest moments”.

The only negative thing I could say about the service is that my old gaming laptop is showing its age. It froze for a few seconds at a time multiple times. It felt like the CPU was getting overstressed. That’s not really the service’s fault, however.

I did not test a multiplayer game yet, but the single-player game demos I played worked flawlessly.

This thing is gonna be big.


Jack Thompson officially disbarred

Jack “Jackhole” Thompson, an (ex-)attorney specializing in trampling the First Amendment for decades, has officially been disbarred by the Florida Bar Association as of this past weekend.


-TPP – I’m not an attorney, but neither are you, Jackie boy

Jack Thompson, ex-attorney

The Florida Supreme Court has today decided to withhold the recommendation to disbar him from the Florida Bar Association. He can not apply for reinstatement either. He’s done as a lawyer. That won’t, of course, stop him from being a complete asshole or his ongoing mission from God against video games, but at least he can’t use the courts in his misguided campaign any more. Nor can he ego-boost himself by calling himself an attorney any more.

Jackhole, apparently, has 30 days before the disbarment goes into effect. The next 30 days should be a lot of fun. He’ll file a barrage of paperwork on all directions, no doubt.

Hoah that, Jackhole!


Jack Thompson recommended to be disbarred permanently

Judge Tunis, the referee in the disbarment hearings against Jack Thompson, has finished her recommendations early.

It is good, it is very good. It is more than anyone could’ve wanted.

The judge rejected Florida Bar Association’s recommendation of a 10-year disbarment and went with a permanent disbarment as well as making Jackhole cover the nearly $44K in trial costs. Not only will Jackhole be out of a job, but he’s getting a rather substantial monetary penalty as well.

In her 169-page report she says:

Over a very extended period of time involving a number of totally unrelated cases and individuals, the Respondent has demonstrated a pattern of conduct to strike out harshly, extensively, repeatedly and willfully to simply try to bring as much difficulty, distraction and anguish to those he considers in opposition to his causes. He does not proceed within the guidelines of appropriate professional behavior, but rather uses other means available to intimidate, harass, or bring public disrepute to those whom he perceives oppose him.

Yep. That’s Jackhole alright. It is good that she saw through Jackhole’s Jekyll and Hyde act.

There will be much rejoicing!


Jack Thompson had his day in court and he lost

Mr. Jack Thompson’s been in a wee bit of trouble with the Florida Bar Association lately. They want him disbarred (or sanctioned in some other way). A judge hearing the case against him recently recommended he found guilty for 27 of the 31 bar rules violations he was facing.

Today the same judge held a hearing for recommending penalties for the violations.

The judge’s recommendation is “enhanced disbarment” for 10 years. If the recommendation is upheld in the September 2nd hearing of the Florida Supreme Court, Mr. Jack Thompson’s law “career” is over. Not that he’s done any actual legal work for quite some time being so busy fighting the evils of video games, but it’s still good news. At least after September 2nd it’s unlikely that he can be presented to the general public by the likes of Fox News as anyone even close to reputable. “Disbarred Attorney” sounds so much worse than “First Amendment Attorney”.

Mr. Thompson didn’t take all this beating unopposed, of course. He objected to the entire proceeding with a 14-page, 4,500 word objection that was just as rambling as any of his “legal” “arguments” of late. Suffice to say the objection didn’t have any impact whatsoever to the hearing. And so Mr. Thompson decided to make his point even more pointedly and marched out of the court room like a little child marches off the sandbox when the other kids don’t let him play with their toys. You sure told them Jackhole!

I don’t think there’s any doubt in anyone’s mind that the recommendations will be followed in the September 2nd hearing. My only wish is for that day to be sooner.

Good riddance to bad rubbish!


Judge recommends Jack Thompson to be found guilty of 27 charges of misconduct

Mr., and I use the term loosely, Jack Thompson has been facing misconduct charges from his antics in fighting the evils of video games in several jurisdictions for quite some time.

The judge presiding over the hearings that took place last fall has issued a preliminary report on her findings. She is recommending the Florida Supreme Court find Jack Thompson guilty of 27 out of 31 misconduct charges, incl.:

  • Knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal
  • Knowingly disobeying an obligation under the rules of a tribunal
  • Communicating the merits of the case with a judge before whom the proceeding is pending
  • Using means that have no purpose other than to embarrass, delay or burden a third person
  • Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation
  • Engaging in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, including to knowingly or through callous indifference disparage or humiliate litigants or other lawyers
  • Making statements that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge

I don’t really see any room to wiggle here. The charges sound serious enough to warrant disbarment.

The final ruling by the Florida Supreme Court is due out later in the year.


MUD creator Richard Bartle rips on video game critics

Famed MUD creator Richard Bartle has written an op ed article in The Guardian.

I’m talking to you, you self-righteous politicians and newspaper columnists, you relics who beat on computer games: you’ve already lost. Enjoy your carping while you can, because tomorrow you’re gone.

He’s saying the generational gap is closing in on the “old-timers” and they better adapt or see themselves increasingly irrelevant as time goes by and the younger generations are more and more familiar with video games.


Jack Thompson aka Massacre Chaser sanctioned by the Florida Supreme Court

Jack Thompson, the Massacre Chaser extraordinaire, moronic vigilante of morality and a delusional narcissistic egomaniac has been sanctioned by the Florida Supreme Court. FINALLY!

The Florida Bar Association has been on his case for quite some time already having forced him to go through a psychological evaluation twice in the past. The Florida Bar Association is also currently in disciplinary proceedings against Jack Thompson. Jack Thompson is facing disbarment should the Florida Bar Association find that his actions in recent years has broken the rules of the Florida Bar Association.

Today, however, another matter was decided on. Jack Thompson thought it would be a great idea to send legal picture books disguised as legal filings to the Florida Supreme Court. He was warned that if he continues doing that, he will face sanctions. Today the hammer struck down.

The Florida Supreme Court has issued an order instructing the court clerks to reject any filings by Jack Thompson that are not co-signed by another attorney in good standing with the Florida Bar Association. It was also ordered if Jack Thompson violates the court order he will face further sanctions.

As Jack Thompson is one regular Xerox machine sometimes filing several filings a day, this is going to seriously limit his ability to fight windmills down there in Miami. Since he’s essentially only working for himself, the only real costs to him with his frequent and abusive filings has been time. This time, however, he has to pay some other lawyer to read and sign his filings before he can file them with the Florida Supreme Court.

Score one for the establishment! Let’s get this idiot disbarred!


Eliot Spitzer – you ignorant slut

What is it with New York politicians?

Eliot Spitzer has been on the warpath against video games before, but this time he’s really outdone himself.

He’s had a video produced educating parents of the dangers of video games. The video is called Video Games and Children: Virtual Playground vs. Danger Zone. Well, the video isn’t as much about the playground part as it is about the Danger Zone (insert dramatic voice effect) part.

The video is great. That is, if you’re intent on making sure your kid never, ever, ever plays video games, because after watching it, I’m pretty sure any reasonable parent who sees it will ban video games from the house effective immediately.

While I wouldn’t expect a video intent on educating parents on the dangers of video games to be a shining beacon of all that is good about video games, there’s a fine line between educating of dangers and being an alarmist. The video goes so far onto the alarmist side it’s not even funny.

Not only that but it goes there with an entirely sensationalistic way. The whole thing reeks of production values more familiar with sweeps week local news segments where the neighborhood restaurant was suddenly found to be feeding patrons with minced meat made out of rat feces.

The video has a number of interesting mistakes in it as well. The tone of the video is well set from the beginning when it goes on to “educate” everyone on how the Virginia Tech shooter played video games. Well, he didn’t. He wrote poetry and there was absolutely no video games present in his dorm room. It’s a well established fact that he did not play video games. Yet here we have the New York State educating New York parents on video game dangers by warning us that video gamers shoot people. When, in fact, the shooter wasn’t playing video games. Good start, Spitzer, good start!

Next the video decides to condemn some Australian dude, who apparently wants his 15 minutes of fame so badly he made a game about Virginia Tech shooting called Virginia Tech Massacre. I really don’t know why this segment is in the video at all. Free speech issues aside, the game is not commercially available anywhere and from what I know it’s also been pulled from the Internet already, so including it in the video serves no other purpose than scaring the hell out of parents whose kids play video games. The segments undertone is “look at what kind of games your kid plays”. Nobody is playing Virginia Tech Massacre. It’s not available to anyone. And it’s definitely not available to any kids whose parents are responsible enough to monitor their kids’ Internet use.

Throughout the video it’s presenting the negative sides of video games (yes, there are some) with no context, no counterpoint and no fact checking ever have had happened. There’s a segment on the history of violent video games, which starts by saying “video games weren’t always violent. In 200,000 B.C. there was this game called Pong.” It then goes on to list and show in graphic detail nearly every violent game ever since. I think the only thing they missed from that was Carmageddon. Strange. I would’ve thought someone so hellbent on looking into everything that’s negative about video games would’ve found out about a game where you actually get points for driving over grannies. Alas, even a hatchet job isn’t flawless. After watching the segment on the “evolution of violent video games” you really get a sense that video games are all violent. That is the message the video is putting out.

That particular segment ends up with a condemnation of Bully, a game by Rockstar Games that’s been at the receiving end of some controversy ever since it was announced. The problem with the video is that they get the game completely wrong. Surprise, surprise. In a segment that “lets the game speak for itself” by showing up an intro video from the game, it is implied the game lets you act out on your aggressions in a school environment beating up fellow students and even teachers. In fact, the game actually puts you in the shoes of a bullying victim, not the bully. That “unimportant” fact was never presented in the video.

The video continues with a segment on research about violence in video games. It starts, promisingly, with a mention that the research is inconclusive, but doesn’t explain how it is inconclusive. It then goes on to quote several studies that state negative effects of playing violent video games. There are studies that state playing video games will have short term affects in children. These are the same effects kids have had ever since there have been kids when they’ve been exposed to violence of any kind. Any parent knows if you let your kids horseplay before dinner, they will act up at dinner table. None of the studies on violence in video games have ever linked violent video games to CAUSING children to become violent in general. The video fails to pinpoint that leaving the impression that video games do in fact make children more violent. The producer of the video basically cherry picked the research presented in the video to show video games in as negative light as humanly possible.

The best part about the research segment is on how the video uses an analogy between cigarette smoking and it causing lung cancer and violent video game playing. It’s so subliminal it’s genius. The video goes on to allow video games a rare reprieve. It says that just like not all cigarette smokers develop lung cancer, not all video games are bad and cause kids to become mass murderers. Well, gee whiz, I didn’t know that! The problem with this analogy, of course, is that there are studies that link cigarette smoking to causing lung cancer. Violent video games have not been proven to cause long term violent behavior, never mind a life threatening illness that kills 80% of all of its victims.

The video’s educational part ends up with an egg-in-the-face moment when it lists a number of resources as further information about video game violence. It lists Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence as one of the websites to read up on. Excellent idea. Except that the site is a parody of the anti-video game campaigns such as Eliot Spitzer’s. Well played, MAMAV, well played!

The video concludes with an unnarrated segment of an overweight boy playing some shooter game alone in his parents living room. The sound on the segment is dramatic slow heartbeat pounding as if something really, really awful is just about to happen. I was expecting some Internet stalker kicking in the door and brutally murdering the boy, especially since the preceding segment was just talking about how you should never ever let your children play with strangers online. But that’s not what happened. Instead some video game gremlin climbed out of the boy’s stomach. WTF.

Eliot, my pandering, ignorant, poliwhore friend, you rock!