Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It is amazing how a mutual fondness of another person can change the perspective of so many other things in your life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm reading "Under the Dome", and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I want to share with you two lines from the book that I read last night, which I thought were utterly brilliant.  I love the way this man weaves a story and uses the language.  

"When dawn was still long hours away, bad thoughts took on flesh and began to walk.  In the middle of the night thoughts became zombies."


Friday, July 09, 2010

By Any Other Name

I have a problem with the lead singers of bands who release solo content, because they are basically the sound of their band for the most part.  Sure, some people play a guitar a certain way, or drums, or keyboards.  But really, the voice is the thing that really identifies a band.  Audibly identifies them. 

So yeah.  Brandon Flowers?  Your album sounds like The Killers!  Brandon Boyd?  Your album sounds like Incubus! 

Oh, and anyone playing an accordion sounds like Weird Al.

Now playing: Korn - The Past

An Interesting Turnaround

Blizzard has just announced they are rescinding their decision to incorporate real names into their new SC2 and Cataclysm forums.  I'm impressed with this decision not because I was against them implementing this idea, but because a whole lot more people WERE against it.  Many more people than there were supporting it. 

This example of a large company actually listening to its dedicated consumers and reacting accordingly has just, in my eyes, improved Blizzards reputation exponentially.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A Social Experiment

Since everyone and their mother, to include people who don't even play WoW, are blogging about this controversy, I may as well jump on the bandwagon here and offer my insignificant opinions on the topic. 

That topic is:  What do you think of Blizzard's announcement about using your real name on their forums?

Here's the infamous thread:

Okay.  Where to begin.  First of all, look at the number of replies.  It's staggering, and I mean that seriously.  Utterly staggering.  The amount of response this thread has generated is enough to tell you that this is a VERY important issue, regardless of whether or not you care about it.  So let's summarize what exactly is going to happen in a neat sentence. 

Blizzard is going to implement a new World of Warcraft forum to coincide with the launch of Cataclysm, in which you can only post using your real name.

First of all, the majority of the responses to this change have been negative.  More people, MANY more people are against it than for it.  Obviously, the most commonly repeated complaint is that this is a violation of privacy.

So let me correct that untrue statement right off the bat.  This is not a violation of your privacy, because you will have to read and agree to a Terms of Use policy before you are able to post on the newly implemented forums.  Therefore, you will only be providing your real name on the forums if you choose to do so on your own behalf. 

No arguments there.  If you don't agree with that, then just go the fuck away right now because you are an ignorant human being who doesn't understand what privacy and rights really mean.

Now, with that out of the way, I completely understand why there are people who have a problem with this.  I really do, and I emphasize with them.  Some people really, really like their privacy, and they do not want any of their personal information readily available to anyone.  Good for you.  My suggestion to these people is that you don't use the forums.  I have a Facebook page.  I have a blog.  I have my real information posted in these places.  If someone really wanted to do so, they could track me down and find me.  Do I worry about that?  Trust me, it's the LAST thing I worry about over the course of my typical day.  That information about me is out there because I chose to put it out there. 

As I'm writing this, I'm imagining all the rebuttals that would follow my statements if these people would actually read them and respond.  As I wrote that previous paragraph, I imagine them saying, "But now I'm paying the same subscription price but getting less for my money!", or something to that effect. 

Unfortunately for you, the forums have always been an optional service.  It's not guaranteed to you under the contract of your monthly subscription fee.  And guess what?  It's STILL an optional service!  If you want it, use it.  The only thing that has changed is that now you have to post with your real name.  So if you don't like that, it's YOUR choice to not use it.  Your service has not changed.

Now the tricky part.  The next most common argument against this change is:  "Now that my real name will be displayed on my posts, if someone has a problem with something I said they will hunt me down and kill me."

Ok.  Let me start by saying yes, sure, that theoretically could happen.  Do you know what else could theoretically happen?  An asteroid could smash into this planet and destroy it.  A huge solar flare could turn us all into roast turkey.  The methane bubble in the gulf coast could explode and wipe out half the planet.  Nuclear war.  Car accidents.  Cancer.  Athlete's Foot.  My point is, the chances of it happening are so incredibly small that you have a better chance of getting hit by a bus driven by Beyonce.  I would seriously like an statistical expert to do a study on these and determine just how likely such a scenario would be. 

The sheer number of posts suggesting this very thing however really tells me something about the state of the human race.  It shows me that we're a bunch of sniveling, paranoid, tin-foil hat wearing cowards.  GROW A PAIR!  And you know what?  It wouldn't even have to be a very big fucking pair, either, because chances are nothing is going to happen to you because of this!  Even your pre-pubescent nutsack will suffice. 

Ugh.  So yeah, that's probably the part of this whole controversy that has me the most fired up. 

Next up:  All the people who say they are going to cancel their subscriptions over this.  Answer me this:  Why do you pay that monthly fee? 

If your answer was not, "So I can use the forums.", then you are a FUCKING IDIOT.

Now, perhaps you will compare this to an exclusive restaurant that doesn't allow Jewish people to eat in its establishment.  Perhaps you would also not eat at that restaurant, even though you're not Jewish, because you don't agree with that rule.

(In that case, I say good for you.  Religious discrimination is an ugly thing.)

But that comparison is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard.  They are no where near the same.  You're comparing discrimination of religion (or sex, or nationality, or race, or sexuality) to not being allowed to forum post with a fake name.  You are threatening to quit playing a game you obviously enjoy because they won't let you utilize an OPTIONAL service using a FAKE name. 

Please tell me you can see the lunacy in that statement.

The next argument is that people do not want to see their game become like Facebook.  Valid concern!  This one has merit.  Sadly, these ones are few and far between and drowned out by the endless "OMG SOMEONE IS GOING TO HUNT ME DOWN AND ASS RAPE ME AND GUT ME LIKE A FISH" posts.

And I'm sorry, but I just can't get past that fear-mongering.  It really irks me.  So I'll end this post with a final statement on that topic.

The world is a dangerous place.  Don't think that I don't know that.  But, living in fear is no way to live.  I do believe that a person should be cautious in their day to day lives.  Walking down the street in the worst part of the city at night by yourself is probably not something you'd want to do.  There are people out there who are crazy.  People kill people.  They do it for reasons.  They do it for no reasons.  But living in constant fear of bad things happening to you is a sad, pathetic existence that I wouldn't wish on anyone.  And posting on a gaming forum with your real name isn't going to put you in any more considerable danger than simply driving to work, going shopping, or eating a hamburger. 


Holy smokes.  The last post I wrote for this blog was on October 18, 2017.  Through the little more than  two years since, this blog has be...