Tag Archives: Stupid Human Tricks

Stunning news! Keith Vaz hates games!

Oh Keith, when will you learn?

It’s a development so stunning that nobody could have seen it coming – Labour MP Keith Vaz  is quite worried about the impact of violent video games (so, he’s okay with “Myst” and “Ilomilo” then?).

This time around, he’s concerned about the impact of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” and in particular the levels set in London, as they echo the events of 7 July 2005 (my word, it’s almost as though Infinity Ward are drawing from real life or something).

In a story picked up by Eurogamer, Vaz cites evidence of  “an increasing link” between the content of violent video games and a subsequent effect on games players and wants the British Board of Film Classification to more carefully consider their certification decisions before allowing games like “MW3” into the wild.

A couple of points, if I may.

If anybody was going to be negatively impacted by the impact of a prolonged exposure to depictions of violence in media, one could reasonably expect that the BBFC are amongst the first people who are going to have problems.  Why is it that censors and politicians remain utterly unaffected by their exposure to the likes of “MW3” (rated 18) and “The Human Centipede” (rated 18 after a lot of cuts) and can be trusted to walk the streets, whereas the likes of you and me are going to become gibbering, perverse serial criminals if we so much as look at the options screen on a first person shooter?

How, pray tell, does that distinction come to pass?

It stands to reason that there isn’t a direct causal link between what people do in video games, enjoy watching in films or find compelling in novels because the crime statistics don’t for one minute back up Vaz’s current assertions or any of the previous quote-friendly politicians or interest groups who have sought to further restrict our access to aspects of popular culture that they don’t agree with.

If everybody in the UK directly exposed to “MW3” were driven to commit acts of violence due to exposure to the game,  our under-staffed and over-stretched polices forces up and down the land might reasonably expect to keep a couple of million people under surveillance after the annual release of a “Call of Duty” title.

In a stunning development, the Police force don’t appear to be tagging and tracing anybody with a PS3 and a yearning to play Team Deathmatch online.   Curiouser and curiouser.

A politician like Vaz is, let’s face facts, somebody who loves to align themselves to issues like this – his public profile exists largely because he complains about the negative effects of pop culture on the young and he and his ilk desperately needs the oxygen of publicity to be invited on TV news shows and to be interviewed by newspapers.  It might be argued that his press releases are the IRL equivalent of forum trolling and every bit as insubstantial in their ultimate impact.

Keith Vaz, meet your ideal fictional constituent. Shame she's fictional and dead...

The big ugly secret that most gamers are somehow privy to and which the media, concerned parents and outraged parents are somehow not aware of is that kids have to get the likes of “Modern Warfare 3” or “Saints Row The Third” from somewhere, if they are indeed playing them.

Most kids, last time that I checked, don’t have regular paying work which allows them to drop £44.99 on a console title each week.  Most kids don’t have credit or debit cards either, so that precludes them ordering from Amazon or Play.com. Assuming that little Dane and Jade are refraining from using Teh L33t Torrentz to get their gaming fix on, that logically tells us that parents may be the evil Nazi scum pushing computer game filth to their offspring.

News flash – some parents play games, too, Keith.  They may make a decision that their kids are mature enough to handle the content in a video game.  They may be crappy parents, but the buck stops with them.   If they care as much as they claim to do about their kids, they can lock out consoles and place age bars on content that they feel is unsuitable for their offspring.  The tools are there – the kind of people who complain loudly in public about violence in video games are the kind of lazy, responsibility-shirking dullards who have no business having children in the first place.

An age rating is there for a reason – it’s about time that parents actually started parenting and using the tools, warning systems and content advisories that have been put in place because of their incessant bitching and whining.

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Worst. Shop. Name. Ever.

via Failblog

Bitter Wallet strikes again – if you had a wine shop, would you call it this?

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Just when you thought the world couldn’t get more stupid…

Bitter Wallet strikes again.  There’s tasteless and then there’s this gem which they posted today.

Got kids?  Up for some Halloween trick-or-treating?  Why not buy them a terrorist costume?

You know when something boggles your mind so much that you have no words?

I’m all for trashing taboos, believe me, but I don’t see how it can possibly be appropriate to dress up your kids as junior jihadists and send them out on an All Hallow’s Eve sweetie run.  Perhaps this plays better in the States, but I don’t think that I’d ever want to try it.




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Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine opens mouth, inserts foot, surprises nobody.

In a story recounted on Blabbermouth.net, Megadeth founder and mainstay Dave Mustaine has felt the need to share his thoughts on the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests currently occupying the thoughts of many Americans, global financial instabililty and to explain just why President Barack Obama is so bad for America (pro-tip, Dave – absurd, unthinking patriotism is the last refuge of the easily-led).

This gentleman, Dave Mustaine, is the least of your problems.

Apparently, peacefully protest the banking institutions and financial sector big-wigs who have so completely capsized the economies of the world is a bad thing.  Nobody should be doing it – it’s just not American (well, I’m not American, so my continual dismay at the parlous financial state of the planet, austerity measures and public service cuts across the globe is okay, then?  Cool.  Hurray for being a lily-livered European!).

The protesters shouldn’t be occupying Wall Street, the City of London, or anywhere else that banking ne’er-do-wells hang-out because heck – it costs the police money to train and deploy their officers to pepper-spray innocent people demonstrating against innately corrupt and autonomous systems.  Don’t these people exercising their right to free assembly and protest realise what they’re doing?  They’re costing the taxpayers money!  The outrage!

Image via the Daily Telegraph. Who probably don't hold with the likes of Dave Mustaine at all...

I mean, it’s not as though anybody who pays their taxes to a government ever got so ticked off at a government’s misdeeds that they decided to do something positive about their anger and went out to loudly disparage a politician or two!  That would NEVER happen. Of course the only people who ever protest against inequity are jobless, homeless, tent-dwelling, weed-smoking hipsters who can be summarily dismissed because they don’t speak for the rest of us – hey, as they’re worse than useless anyway, why not just let the police break out the hardware and tear gas the bloody hippies into submission, so that they can’t make a lot of fuss and noise and upset those sensitive financial sector types as they go to work, unsung heroes that they are.

And the President certainly shouldn’t be encouraging people to protest against arrogant swine who don’t care that they brought the economies of the world to their metaphorical knees just so long as they can have a nice Mercedes in the drive and someone else to drive it.

Never mind that he hasn’t actually done any of that.  Some rabble-rousing Tea Party shock jock said that he did, so it must have happened.   It couldn’t be some ratings-starved half-wit drumming up controversy just to stir the flames of irrational hatred which arise at the mere idea of Barack Obama being the president of the USA.

Given that Obama, his administration, the Democratic party and nobody at all haven’t been directly encouraging teens to skip school and head to NYC to protest against the financial sector at all, and that this belief is so asinine as to be barely worth discussing seriously in an on-line forum, Dave Mustaine’s argument falls apart with another fallacy – that the banks, traders and brokers of the world are perfectly capable of sorting out the mess that they’ve caused if people would only give them some space and an opportunity to get things straight.

The moment that they thought people were looking the other way, distracted perhaps by wars or natural disasters, the financial sector went back to awarding themselves appallingly indulgent, unearned bonuses and being the vile, overly self-regarding delusionists that we always knew they were.  Given the opportunity to do nothing, guess what?  Wall Street will do nothing.  They are human after all, and if we give them the opportunity to evade responsibility and behave like idiots then they will.  Somewhat like Rock Musicians in that regard, eh, Dave?

Have the banks made lasting efforts to put their houses in order? No.  Do they show any sign at all of wanting to do that? No. Would they engage in absurd misdirection if they thought it would take the heat off them for a second or two? (Look! Over there, everybody! Kim Kardashian’s doing something!)

Peace sells, eh, Dave?

Words fail me.  If Mustaine had something to say about internet music piracy, something that he knows about, has a stake in, has something to impart to me on,  then I’d probably listen.  When it comes to his thoughts on anything other than whether Judas Priest are better than Iron Maiden forgive me for wanting some substance with his ill-advised public utterances.

I’m not the guy who says that celebrities have no business in voicing their opinions and that I don’t want to listen to them trying – a celebrity is, after all, only a version of me with nicer hair and far more opinions about wine than I will ever have.  Of course they should be allowed to speak publicly about what grieves them.   That’s why we have blogs, Dave – so that swell folks can witter and the world can continue on apace…

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When customer service goes bad…

Enjoy the dole queue, boys...

Bitterwallet, my very favourite consumer blog, have a quite wonderful story today which may very well cause you to fall off the sofa as you read it.

It concerns a Melbourne clothing boutique, staggering levels of bad customer service and epic, deluded levels of self-importance when the store in question was called out on their shortcomings.  An excerpt from the letter that this soon-to-go-out-of-business store wrote to their aggrieved customer?  Why, certainly…

“Insofar as our employee goes; Similar to our product offerings, our employees are selected with a similar approach. Chris whom served you is a qualified stylist whom has a sixth sense for fashion, and Chris’s only problem is that he is too good at what he does, and as I am sure you are aware, people whom are talented, generally do not tolerate having their time wasted, which is the reason you were provoked to leave the store”.

More awesome stupidity over at Bitterwallet.

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Sony’s new PSN terms and conditions – WTF?

Sony have updated their terms and conditions for using their free, PSN gaming service.  A common occurrence, of course, and you’re always advised to have a read of what you’re signing up to when you agree to use any service – it’s a contract, after all.

Sony's new terms and conditions suggest that the Cyberpunk Corporate Future is upon us...

This time around, Sony have taken complete leave of their senses and now wish to compel you as a consumer to legally waive the right to sue them if they, for example, lose all of your consumer data when hackers compromise their database due to apparently lax security.

Bitterwallet have a story on this – it makes for great reading, especially as it would appear that their new terms and conditions are legally unenforceable in Europe.


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The stupidity – it burns!

Plays music, does not induce middle-aged dudes to run wildly amok in NYC...

Are we still doing this? Really?

New York businessmen in the Bronx are apparently utterly terrified that next month’s Big Four show in NYC will, by process of osmosis, induce any concert-goer attending to rape, pillage and generally behave like a disgruntled sports fan after a lost championship game. Blabbermouth has more.

Firstly, as pointed out by numerous blogs in the last few days, Thrash’s Big Four (Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth) hardly pull the kind of crowds who are likely to break shizz. Getting ticked off about not being able to park the Minivan – yes. Breaking stuff, a-la The Durst? Nah.

Secondly, the examples of fans rioting in Chile and Columbia are hardly the stuff of indicative comparison. Metalheads are generally peaceable folk – suburban American metalheads are more likely to be more worried about ringing the babysitter to let them know that they’ll be back a little later than planned than they are about pitching bricks through a small businessperson’s front window. Hell, these guys are likely to be the owners of small businesses. We’re talking taxpayers, here, not fricking vikings.

Thirdly, if you’ve spent the best part of a hundred dollars for the cheapest seats in Yankee stadium, I don’t imagine that you’re going to want to spend your evening in the cells after kicking off in the streets afterwards.

I say again – it’s 2011 – are we still abiding by these cretinous stereotypes about music fans?

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Gullible? Pet Owner? Friend of Jeebus? Step right up…

Not the band, rather the sketchy religious concept...

Not the band, rather the sketchy religious concept...

Via those naughty scamps at Asylum, a fine offer for true believers who won’t be taking their pets with them come the Rapture.

For those interested, I also have a really nice bridge that I’ve got to get rid of – at a remarkably competitive price…

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