#GamerGate: Anita Sarkeesian Threatened and the Media Overload

So, for those who haven’t been paying attention, in a very recent story, Anita Sarkeesian was supposed to be a speaker at a conference at the Utah State University (USU).  However, she never got a chance to speak about her usual BS.  Why?  Well, it seems that there was a threat that she got.  It was a threat from somebody online, threatening mass shooting of Sarkeesian and others there.  In response, Sarkeesian demanded that they have metal detectors for the event.  However, when the school did not deem the threats to be genuine, they denied this request.  So, because Sarkeesian doesn’t have any backbone to defend her values, even in the face of adversity, she cancels her talk.  The media exposure to this has been absolutely nuts and kind of embarrassing.  Because she got almost every major news outlet to print her story.  That’s sure convenient.

The first thing to note is how easily Sarkeesian was dissuaded from talking at this university.  When Marilyn Manson was threatened before a concert that took place after the Columbine shooting, where he was a convenient target to blame, he didn’t care what these bullies thought.  He did his set and didn’t show any sign of fear.  When Bob Marley was doing a concert in support of a political battle he had gotten into, he got shot.  Two days later, he still did his concert as planned.  These two people believed in their music and weren’t about to let some nutjobs stop them from performing.  If Sarkeesian is willing to tuck tail and run from something that nobody has confirmed was a real threat, what does that say about the strength of her beliefs?

What’s more, I have some serious doubts about the validity of this threat.  See, Sarkeesian and her ilk were starting to look REALLY bad lately, following some ugly backlash from the #GamerGate fiasco that still continues.  When they are attacked by another, older and more academically-inclined feminist named Christina Sommers, for their cherry-picking and twisting information to suit their narrative, these people were REALLY starting to look like a bunch of angry teenagers, who were wanting the entire world to change to make them happy.

The timing is very convenient that Sarkeesian gets this threat that shuts her down, just as she is reaching a point where her and every single person who stands with her is looking like a bunch of dicks.  So they get this threat.  One that, according to the campus itself, the police saw as “no risk to students.”  They even determined that the threat she received was no worse than the ones that she usually gets.  Yet she cancels, because they wouldn’t put up metal detectors?  That’s weird.  Wouldn’t they trust the actual law enforcement’s assessment.  This just seems too convenient.

Especially when you see the media’s reaction.  Sarkeesian got all the love in the world, from almost ALL the mainstream media outlets.  NBC, BBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, they all had stories that painted her as the innocent victims of us EVIL, misogynist gamers who hate women.  They accept her narrative at face value.  Even Democracy Now did an article painting her as the victim.  Democracy Now!  The news site that prides itself on doing the research that other sites don’t.  Even they do an article talking about how Sarkeesian is the victim of the awful gamer culture and how we are all bad and she is right.

Which one of them did any research on the terrible videos she has made, or the fact that even a sister-in-arms called her out on her garbage?  Which of these sites decided to talk about how it is so obvious that she has crafted a narrative that fits her description of the events and makes her out to be the hero of a great battle between innocent her and us woman-hating gamers?  None.  They all decided to go with the easy narrative that is not hard to accept.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by this.  After all, aside from BBC and Democracy Now, these are corporate news groups.  Corporate news is, if anything, lazy.

It all just feels too convenient.  It feels like this is part of a narrative.  Sarkeesian was starting to look bad, so she needs something that can make her out to be the hero of the story again.  Something that can put her critics to rest without her having to answer for the charges that people who aren’t just sending her death-threats are saying.  She doesn’t have to address her irrational ignorance.  She just has to answer the soft-ball questions that NBC and whatnot sends her way.  That sure is convenient.  What’s more, the fact that nobody appears to be taking her to task for this is also interesting.  Who has done any research into the validity of this threat?  Someone?  Anyone?

I recently saw a video by a girl who had some rather on-point things to say about women like Sarkeesian -

This is getting WAY out of hand.  I’m with her that feminism in 2014 America makes NO sense at all.  Sarkeesian is being given credibility to her ridiculous notion that women in video games is somehow detrimental to women in real life from mainstream sources, all because of a threat that she got, just when the Internet had written her off.  I’m with Thunderf00t on this one – I would LOVE to see them trace the email that this threat came from.  Here’s me saying that I bet you real money it’s one of her supporters who sent that message, or maybe even the woman herself.  Much like a friend of hers did.  I bet you money.

Until next time, a quote,

“There are no facts anymore, kiddo.  There’s only good or bad fiction.”  -Denny Crane, Boston Legal

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Godzilla (2014)

GodzillaI don’t like this movie.  A lot of my people talked about how this was a Godzilla film that they had always wanted, and I’m here to tell you that that is not the case.  Not the case at all.  It isn’t nearly as bad as the Godzilla film by Roland Emmerich, but that doesn’t make it a good movie.  I don’t believe that this is a bad movie.  I genuinely don’t.  However, given what this franchise has going for it, some of the elements of this movie are just baffling to me.  Still, I suppose I should get into this film before I list my problems.  Let’s get started.

The plot of the film gets remarkably confusing.  At first, you see a old-timey video of a nuclear test.  However, it hints that the test was more than that.  In the future, a Japanese scientist, played by Ken Watanabe, is investigating some unknown creatures that were massive in size.  Then the film goes to Bryan Cranston’s character, who runs a nuclear nuclear power plant in Japan.  An event happens where some kind of seismic event destroys the plant, killing his wife, who is oddly played by Juliette Binoche.  Sixteen years later, his son is now a bomb disposal expert in the military, who gets caught up in his dad’s scheme to figure out the truth behind what happened to his wife.  Little do they know, a needlessly complicated plot involving a secretive organization has gotten everyone mixed up in a battle that was millions of years in the making.  Yeah, this movie goes all over the place.  We’ll get there.

Before I go off on the elements I don’t like about this movie, I should talk about what the film did right.  For starters, a lot of the casting choices.  Bryan Cranston has yet to suck in anything I’ve seen him in.  Juliette Binoche is good, for what little screen time she gets.  Ken Watanabe has a reserved but still good performance.  He’s another good actor.  The guy they have playing the Admiral who has been tasked with dealing with the problem once it gets too big for the secretive organization to handle is also nice.  He’s believable, being faced with a problem that is WAY bigger than he could handle.  However, the person who plays grown-up Cranston’s son is AWFUL!  For real, this guy is so utterly dull that he might as well not be in this movie.  Same with his wife and kid.  Why were they in this movie?  It makes no sense!

Next up is the effect.  Godzilla looks awesome!  Unlike that OTHER movie, this time they got the creature to form, and it looks awesome.  The other creatures in the film also look pretty cool.  The fight sequences between Godzilla and the monsters is so cool.  But we’ll get back to that.

Now, we get to the complaining.  For one – why was Bryan Cranston only in this movie for less than an hour?  For real, he is in this movie and then leaves in such an anti-climactic way.  Same with his wife.  When you have two A-list actors like Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche, making such little use of their talents is baffling, to me.  Cranston was the most believable and sympathetic character in this entire movie, and how they just excised him makes no freakin’ sense to me.  Especially since the person who played his son was boring as fuck.  The ENTIRE plot with his son and his son’s wife could have been excised and this move literally would have not changed because of it.  For real, nothing would be different.

Then there is the fact that this film’s plot goes all over the place.  It couldn’t decide what it wanted to be.  Does it want to be a monster movie?  Well, we’ll get to why that didn’t work out.  Does it want to be a story about man vs nature?  That would be fine, if man showed any sign of being able to do shit to stop nature.  Man is getting their ass kicked the entire time in this movie.  You see so little of the battle against the monsters, since they have a REALLY convenient plot element that makes mankind the monster’s bitch.  Does it want to be a story about a family surviving?  Well, that doesn’t work because of how little time we get with the family characters.  The fact that the only family in the film by the end of the film and how boring they are doesn’t help.  This film tries to juggle too many elements, and it doesn’t work.

However, the worst insult, to me is this – Godzilla was only in this movie for 8 minutes!  Someone kept trick, and that just blows my mind.  This is God-fucking-zilla!  Why is he only in a movie that has his name on it for 8 minutes?!  Each time that you see the fights starting, it cuts away.  Only at the end do you see it genuinely ramp up.  There is even the use of one of Godzilla’s signature weapons that just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  It was a totally epic moment, but it didn’t make up for how little of the titular character we got to see.  People paid to watch a movie with Godzilla beating the fuck out of another monster.  We didn’t get that.  This is not cool.  I love this monster, and some of those old movies where he is fighting it out with other monsters are sick.  The old Japanese films knew where to keep their focus, with cutesy little stories about the humans going on on the side.  That makes sense.  This movie tries to focus on that WAY too much on the people.  Since this film had a sequel-bait ending, I hope the next iteration learns from its Japanese counterparts.

This isn’t a bad movie.  The elements that the film gets right, it actually does shine.  However, I simply can’t ignore how bad some of the mistakes are, so that’s going to make the verdict on this movie suffer quite a bit.  Sad, but true.  I do hope any future sequels get it right, because there is potential here, with the right talent behind it.

Final Verdict
6 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Video Game Confessions: Wario

Being a journalism major, and a future journalist, suffice it to say that I get around.  In my travels, I have met some of the most insane characters!  These are the kinds of people that most nerds only dream of seeing, and I have gotten to meet, in the flesh.  And, seeing as how it is late, there is soft jazz music playing, and I am feeling all deep and introspective, I thought that I would tell you one of my stories now.

I was wandering around town, looking for a story to do for an audio slide show.  It’s for a class I’m taking.  Not the most fun assignment, but what can ya do?  As I was walking, I happened to walk into a bar that I heard lets you smoke hash in it.  I could get down with that.  Was with a friend, so we thought we’d chill.  Hey, maybe I could do a story about this place!  As I get in and find a table, you wouldn’t believe who I happened to see at another Wariotable, looking mighty nervous – Wario!  That’s right, the creepy villain from the Mario series.  He was nursing a glass of beer, not smoking any pot.  That seemed strange.

I went up and introduced myself.  He had heard of me, as most who I talk to lately have.  He was far more polite than I expected.  I always thought he’d be something of a dick, but no!  He’s actually quite a civil fellow.  I take out my tape recorder and set it down.  “So, what brings you here?” I ask.  He lets out a sigh.

Well, I’m about to go on-stage.

“Really?!  You do poetry?”  He nods, taking another swig of beer.

Yup.  I love it.  I love the artistic expression of my inner-most emotions.  Plus, it makes for a nice escape from my day-job.

I had always wondered this.  “Oh?  And what do you do?”

I am the CFO for Bowser’s corporation, King Koopa, Inc.

I smile.  “No way!  You are a businessman?”  He nodded again, looking more at ease.

Oh yeah.  I got my Doctorate in Business Administration.

This had me very confused.  “So wait, if you have a Doctorate in Business, how did you end up fighting Mario and all that?”  He let out a hearty chuckle.

Oh, that.  Well, to be honest, a lot like Bowser, it was all fun and games, at first.  We met not long after he started doing his thing.  The guy was getting into the business world and he needed someone to run parts of his business while he was busy.  I would also scout out new ventures for him.  I signed a contract with him and we were partners.  One day, he comes back from an adventure that he got into with Mario and tells me all about it.  It sounded like loads of fun!  Going to exotic places, getting lots of minions, screwing with that clueless plumber.  I never liked Mario.  So, Bowser sets me up and we went from there.

I couldn’t believe it.  I felt like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, peeking behind the curtain.  “So, did that do well for you, too?”

Like you wouldn’t believe!  The stuff fighting Mario wasn’t great, but then I got into kart racing!  That was awesome!  Fast vehicles, throwing shells at people.  I even bought a stadium and put my name on it.  Of course, Mario had to buy two more.  Where he got the money for that, I’ll never know.  Bought some more properties later for racing.  The kart racing game became one of the most lucrative exploits that I’ve ever done.  You know the newest Mario Kart game?  I co-financed that.  Bowser was in too.  You saw his castle in the game, right?  Yeah, he wanted to show off.

One couldn’t help but be impressed.  “Wow.  That’s amazing!  So wait, how does Waluigi fit into the picture?  I see that you, him and Bowser all seem to be tight.  What does he do?”

Ah, yeah.  Waluigi runs a law firm.  He takes care of the legal problems of King Koopa, Inc.

“Very cool.”  A thought suddenly occurred to me.  “So, you had any dealings with Princess Peach?  I know that Bowser had some problems…”  A look suddenly came on to his face.

Ugh, her.  That woman.  That woman is such a pain in the ass.  For real, I am SO glad that she’s Mario’s problem.  Bowser is obligated to keep kidnapping her.  Part of the reason that I got out is because of how she is.  After I kidnapped her, she started to warm up to me, too.  No sir!  I already have a girlfriend, and you don’t want an angry asari blasting a singularity up your ass!

I was in shock.  “You are dating an asari?”

Oh yeah!  Her name’s Shiala.  She was on the Feros colony, but because she had a problem where her skin turned green, she became something of an exile among other asari.  I met her at one of Bowser’s galaxies, in a bar, drinking herself stupid.  We struck up a conversation and got pretty close.  She’s a nice gal.  She’s even talking about us having a kid together.  I could get down with that.

I smiled at him.  “Well, mazal tov.  Seems like you have it all in order.  So, why are you so nervous about getting up and doing poetry here?  You seem to be a powerful guy.  What could a bunch of stoners at a bar do to frighten you?”  He smiled at that.

It’s one thing to tell a bunch of employees a bad joke.  They’re obligated to laugh.  Trying to get a bunch of people at a bar to laugh at one’s poetry, that is something else altogether.

I chuckled.  “Well, for what it’s worth, I think you’ll do fine.”  I turned off the tape recorder and we shook hands.

Thanks, kid.  You’re a nice sort.  You know, you might just have a future in talking to people.

“I’ll keep that in mind.  Good luck!”  He lumbered off to go and do his set.  I felt good, walking away from that.  You can never judge a book by its cover.  Same with a creepy-looking Italian businessman who is rich as fuck.  Something I’ll keep in mind, should I ever need a friend with money to talk to.

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Gone Girl

Gone GirlI’m not sure.  I’m just not sure.  I’m not sure how to do a proper review of this movie.  I’m not sure how I can adequately explain this movie, without spoiling the living shit out of it.  So much of what I want to and could talk about for days on end revolve around parts of the film that if I did talk about them, I would spoil this movie.  It has been a LONG time since I saw a film that made me question the nature of good and evil the way that this film does.  Even now, hours after having seen it, I am still trying to process it.  A lot of people think that they have seen great film, and they might be right.  However, I know for a fact that I have seen one of the greatest films ever made, and only David Fincher could make it happen.  I’ll try and make this review as good as I can, but the reality is that I can’t talk about it too long without spoiling it, and that is a crime that I refuse to commit.  You have to see this movie for yourselves.

The plot of the film is that a man named Nick Dunne is having another ordinary day in his life, with his anniversary with his wife being on that day.  It seems that they are having some marriage troubles, but it seems like a normal life, until he comes home and finds out that his wife is missing.  Thus begins probably the smartest game of who-dun-it that I have ever seen.  Ever.  The plot of this film continues to twist and turn right up until the bitter end, leaving the audience wondering just what to think of it.  This is a film that I guarantee is going to stay with you.  You are going to be thinking about it long after it is over.  And that’s all I can say about the plot, because where the case about Dunne’s wife goes is the core of this amazing movie.

On the technical side, this movie is perfect.  For real, there is not a single wasted shot in the entire movie.  Like most movies that Fincher has directed, the pacing is deliberate and slow.  This is a long movie, and the film takes advantage of every second of it.  Not a single frame is wasted.  The scenes with building tension are handled so flawlessly that I was chewing on my thumb every time.  With combination of music and mood, they build and build until you have no idea what to think.  When it all breaks, man does it come crashing down!  This is the kind of filmmaking that most directors wish they could do.  The only other person who I can see doing this is Stanley Kubrick.

Given that this is a film where you never know what to think, it takes some great actors to really pull this off.  There was not a single miscast.  When I saw that Tyler Perry was in this movie, I was sure that this movie was going to suck.  But his scenes were even pretty good.  Ben Affleck brought his A-game to this movie, and that’s good, given that his character is the center around which the entire plot goes.  The woman playing his wife is also brilliantly enigmatic.  The thing about this movie is that you never have a firm grasp on what to think of characters.  Even at the end, you are still trying to decide how you see them.  It is NOT easy.

This is also the best mystery film that I have ever seen.  Like any good mystery, you naturally try to solve it.  Just when I think that I had a handle on it, the film sucker-punches you right in the gut.  And I mean every single time.  It is so gripping.  Right until the credits roll, you are still trying to figure it all out.  I haven’t had a movie stay with me in this way where I am feeling weird how much I like certain elements.  This is a new experience, and thank goodness.

The person I went to see this movie described it as “your brain being fisted up its asshole.”  I honestly can’t think of a better way to put into words what this film has done to me.  I honestly wish I could, but I can’t.  There are no other words.  This is a film that is among the very best.  It is a flawless movie.  I can’t say anything more than to go see it.  So that’s what I’ll leave you on.

Final Verdict
10 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

So, Even Acknowledging No Evidence, You Still Believe? (A response to Mick Mooney)

So, I happened upon an article on The Huffington Post recently that made me stop and think.  I’ve always held to the standard that believing in something without evidence is crazy.  If I am going to believe something bombastic, I need extraordinary levels of proof.  That’s how every major claim goes.  That makes sense.  So then, when I think about religion, what would compel me to believe in it?  Or even a deity, for that matter?  The whole concept of a God seems so foreign, to me.  A God who is based on any of the major religions even moreso.  I mean, come on – what deity would care if you like to fuck the same gender or not?  That’s just ridiculous.  An all-powerful being that made the universe wouldn’t care about any of us, because we are tiny ants in the cosmos.  Hell, we’re like subatomic particles in the scope of the universe.  However, there is one guy who says that even if God is shown to be nothing but a fairytale, he’d still believe in him.  Here’s a link to the post, so you can read it for yourself.  Let’s get started.

I thought about this point quite a lot, and pondered if they were right. Is it irrational to believe in God?

An extraordinary claim without one shred of proof?  Yes, it is irrational to believe that.

I disagree that belief in God is irrational (as in the Higher Power who created the universe and everything within it). If anything, it is the complete opposite. Belief in an unknown Higher Power (being agnostic) seems to me to be the only truly rational option one can choose when contemplating the universe in which we abide,

I’m just DYING to see how you defend this claim.

While I don’t believe in organized religion, I do believe in God, and I do have faith in the narrative of Jesus, but I can openly accept the irrationality of it and how it is a matter of faith, not facts or rationality, that cause me to believe it.

And there we have it.  He acknowledges earlier that organized religion is irrational and that it takes faith to believe it, yet then goes on to say that he believe in the narrative of Jesus.  The same narrative that calls him the son of God and says that only through him are you saved.  Only through him can you get into Heaven.  The fact that the Jesus story was cobbled together from dozens of stories floating around the Mediterranean?  The fact that there is little evidence that the biblical version of Jesus even existed at all?  You make a case for the only rational explanation of the universe being a deity, denouncing the religious faiths, yet you subsequently make an argument that you believe in the Christian narrative.  You are undermining your own case.  You may not like the church, but if you believe in what the book it is based on teaches, you are a man of religion and faith.  This isn’t rationality, Mick.  It’s religion.

So, while I don’t think the Bible can be used in any concrete way to actually prove God exists or explain how the world was literally created, I do think that the universe we abide in is hard, physical evidence, something real and tangible, that we cannot ignore. To believe the universe is a matter of random chance―meaning that there is no intelligent design behind it―seems to me to be a far greater leap of faith.

How do you know that it was random chance?  How do you know that the universe hasn’t always existed, in one form or another?  You take the message that you find appealing and then make it fit your narrative, because you like the idea that there is a guy who created all this and cares about us.  If you were just willing to admit that, at least I could respect your honesty.  But no, you are trying to make this argument seem like it is making a compelling case, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Playing lotto to solve your financial problems is not a rational option. The odds are way to long. Why then would we think its rational to believe that the universe, incredibly complex in its design, has no Designer, when the odds of that actually being true are enormous in cosmic sized proportions?

You don’t read a lot of Stephen Hawking, do you?  He wrote a book not too long ago that explains how the forces in the universe can easily explain the origin of everything, without the need of a deity of any kind.  It’s easy to look at how big the universe is, not understanding how science works, and say that it couldn’t be random.  But you are simply ignorant.  I’m sorry, but it’s true.  You don’t get how science works.  Do you have any idea how impressive the forces that made this planet and the star that we orbit are?  Do you realize that all of those things happen without divine inspiration all the time?  New stars are born, die and countless other celestial phenomenon are happening right now, all within the realms of what is scientifically possible.  Or those that we have never seen before, yet wish to learn more about.  I don’t like to call a man who sounds educated ignorant, but the reality is that you are.  And that’s a shame, because the truth is that how the forces that we have observed and how they shaped things is far more interesting than a deity speaking it into existence.  So, it isn’t random chance.  It is science.

Sure, it’s irrational to believe in ancient religious narratives, that is a matter of faith, but to believe there is a Higher Power that designed and implemented the universe is not irrational, not when the only other option we have is that the universe just happened by fluke, right?

First, you believe in the story of Jesus Christ, so you are clearly displaying that you are one of these irrational people.  Next, your ignorance shines again, when you say that the only other option for the universe coming into existence is random chance.  You don’t understand science, yet you are basing your entire belief on life on this ignorance.  To me, that is a problem.  What’s more, that’s what theism is – ignorance.  Willful or otherwise, it is being ignorant of the world.  You, sir, are an ignorant man.  Sorry if you don’t like that, but it’s true.

There is a lot more in the article, so I recommend you read it for yourself.  This is just sad.  Modern religion tries so hard to tell people it’s not religion, that they have lost sight that, at the end of the day – it is.  Call it what you want, but it is still religion, organized or not.

Until next time, a quote,

“I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever – a vision of the universe that tells us, undeniably, how tiny and insignificant and how rare and precious we all are.  A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater than ourselves.  That we are not, that none of us are alone!  I wish that I could share that.  I wish that everyone, even for one moment, that awe and humility and to hope.”  -Eleanor Arroway, Contact

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: The Evil Within

The Evil WithinWith the glut of action games, survival horror has become something of a lost art.  There are games that have come closer than others to recreating that kind of game, but aside from the Indie space, this genre has kind of fallen to the wayside.  However, the original creator of Resident Evil, the remake and the vaunted Resident Evil 4 has decided to team up with Bethesda and bring us a new game.  And let me tell you, without any doubt – survival horror is back!  This game is in the vein of the best of the genre.  I haven’t enjoyed a horror title this much in a long time.  Anyone who wants to call foul, due to my love of The Last of Us, I don’t consider that game this kind of horror.  It’s more of a survival story, with horror elements.  This game is back to form, and it shows that, once-again, the games that I am good at picking my favorite game.  This game was at the top of my most-anticipated games of 2014 list.  I have a gift.

The plot of this game doesn’t take much time to get going.  Detective Sebastian and his two partners report to a mental hospital.  There has been some kind of emergency, with tons of people dead.  After exploring a bloodbath, he is knocked unconscious, awakening in a nightmare that he couldn’t imagine.  A place where what is real and what isn’t are constantly questioned, with answers being few and far between.  Is it Hell, chaos or something worse?  This game keeps the answers sparse, up until the perfect moment to break it in a mind-bending way that will have you colored-impressed.

Before getting into the nit-picky details of the game, the first thing to know is that this game is true to survival horror.  Resources are scarce, ammo is limited and stealth is definitely your friend.  However, traveler beware, when you kill enemies.  A trick was brought back from the remake of Resident Evil.  The only way you can make sure that an enemy stays down for good is when you blow their head off, blow them up, or light fallen foes on fire.  And a clean headshot doesn’t guarantee that.  Sometimes you need more than one.  These things aren’t your typical zombies, given the nature of where you are.  You have to completely destroy the head to bring them down.  This game keeps the constant worry about resources going strong. Even on the lower difficulty, it doesn’t let up.

Another great element are the boss fights.  Given the nature of the world that this is all going down in, the game gives you some pretty creative bosses that you have to tackle.  And not all of them can be dealt with by shooting.  Some of them, you can’t kill at all, and your only option is to run like a lunatic.  Then there are others where only specific elements can kill them.  And those who seem dead, but are fooling you.  Every boss in this game is unique and difficult as fuck.  The difficulty never lets up.  The scarce ammo becomes and even bigger issue when this happens.  You don’t want to be stuck facing down a dog-monster from Hell with only a few rounds on you.

The visuals in this game are a bit of a mixed bag.  I got it on PS4, but it is resoundingly clear that this game was made for the last generation.  That’s not a bad thing.  The environments are gorgeous, with some being real treats for the eyes.  Granted, there is a lot of shadow and fog, but when the game does open up, it really opens up.  However, the character models are very last-generation, with some effects of them looking like early-PS3 work.  That said, when this game wants to shine, it really does.

Speaking of characters, this game has some interesting ones.  You don’t know much about any of them going in, but over time you learn more and more, with details being flushing out gradually.  That feels more realistic, and it allows you to bond with each character as the story progresses.  Sebastian starts out pretty bland, but as you peel away the layers, he gets far more interesting and you see a side to him that he was trying very hard to conceal.  Then there is the creepy nurse who is at the areas in the game that function as save points.  Yeah, that element – safe zones where you can save and stock up – was ripped straight out of Resident Evil.  Though you don’t exchange money for upgrades.  You exchange ‘brain juice.’  Probably best if we don’t know what that is.

The last thing to address is the horror.  Does this game just rely on jump scares to frighten you?  Absolutely not!  The world that Sebastian and his people are taken to is OOZING with creepy atmosphere.  Given the nature of the story, you probably have inferred that nowhere makes a lot of sense.  Even the safe places have an off-putting atmosphere about them.

This has been a very dull year, for gaming.  However, as it comes to a close, we are given a masterpiece of survival horror that is en par with the classics in the elements that made those great games.  This is my favorite game of this year and I hope that you all get to play it.  Especially if you have gotten tired of all the ho-hum action zombie games that think they are worthy of the title of ‘Horror.’

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

God Wants the Terminally Ill to Suffer? (A response to Trent Horn)

For those who haven’t heard, there is a woman by the name of Brittany Maynard.  She is currently suffering from a brain tumor that is inoperable.  She has moved from California to Oregon, where there is a law that states that the terminally ill are able to take their own lives, when their disease gets into the late stages.  It’s a more humane way of dealing with this, as opposed to telling those who have no hope of getting better that they have to suffer and die in some horrifically painful way.  Maynard has gotten the medication to end her own life and has stated publicly that she is going to do so on November 1st.

First, I’ll give my own opinion on this.  I have absolutely no problem with physician-assisted suicide for terminal patients.  If they have no hope of getting better, what good does it do to force them to live in pain or worse?  It only makes the families feel better.  I am not against suicide in general.  What you do with your life is your business.  However, I can see where the ethical arguments come from people who are healthy ending their lives.  But, for the terminally ill, that is a whole other thing.  Brittany Maynard is never going to get well.  Even if there is a cure for brain tumors announced tomorrow, it will have to be tested, approved by the FDA and then reach the market.  By that time, since NOTHING goes through FDA approval quickly, Ms. Maynard will be dead.  It’s a sad and tragic story that we hear all too often.  One of my favorite episodes of FRONTLINE is about a man who is dying of ALS who goes to Zurich to commit suicide.  Here’s a link.  I recommend you check it out.

However, as is typical in these cases, the pro-life bleeding hypocrites had to come out and make themselves heard.  One person in-particular is who I am going to be responding to today.  His name is Trent Horn.  He is a Catholic and a writer for the publication Catholic Answers.  Oh, so he has the right answer to this?  Well, let’s see what he has to say.  I’m not going to respond to every part of this article, just the bits I think are most important, to save time.  Here’s a link, so you can read the rest on your own.  Now, let’s get started.

Everyone agrees we should have a choice in “how” we die. By that I mean we should be able to choose where we die (in hospice, in a hospital, at home), who we want to stand by us as we end our mortal existence, and whether we will use treatment to delay or even indirectly hasten death.

Um, no.  That’s not what everyone agrees on.  Not at all.  If we have a choice on how, by which I mean the method, we die then we should be allowed that choice.  This woman, and the man whose story is in the video I linked above, have no way to stop themselves from dying.  Both of them suffered immeasurably and there was almost no quality of life left.  How can you argue that this is something that they should not have had a choice over?

I think it’s clear we don’t have an unlimited right to kill ourselves. I live in San Diego where it’s not uncommon for people to try to commit suicide by jumping off the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

Whoa, dude!  False equivalence!  There is a HUGE difference between a person who jumps off a bridge and someone who is terminally ill.  You can’t start off your discussion about this with this kind of example, because it colors the entire issue.  That’s not cool.

If the right to die were truly unlimited, the state would no more investigate a person’s motive to die than it investigates a person’s motives for marrying someone or conceiving a child, actions that also have permanent consequences (though not as grave as the consequences of suicide). The state would let people end their lives without scrutiny, just as it lets people have children or marry.

Wait, what?  I can kind of see where you’re about to go, here, but I’m going to head you off at the pass.  Given the belief in our culture that a person’s life has intrinsic value, however, there are limits to that value.  What value does it serve for Brittany Maynard to suffer needlessly, if the outcome is the same?  She cannot get better.  There is no possible way for her to live.  If we are going to have legal physician-assisted suicide, then I guarantee you that there would be a stiff process of approval, much like there is in Zurich.  Your argument here is hinting in the same direction as Sarah Palin’s BS ‘death panels.’

But aside from the difficulty in predicting when someone will die, there are larger problems with this position. It forces us to classify the sick and disabled into two arbitrary groups: those who deserve suicide prevention and those who deserve suicide assistance.

Deserve?  Who’s saying that these people deserve this?  No, we are saying that they have a right to end their lives prematurely, if they are terminally ill.  It is THEIR right.  This isn’t being forced on them, Trent.  Nobody held a gun to Craig Ewert’s head and told him to go to Zurich and end his life.  He made that choice.  What are you talking about?

Basically, it’s dangerous when the people you count on to heal you also have the right to help kill you. This goes beyond doctors. In 2008 Oregon resident Barbara Wagner wanted to try an experimental chemotherapy drug, but her insurance company refused to pay $4,000 a month for the treatment.

It did, however, offer to pay for “physician aid-in-dying,” which at a cost of $100 for a one-time use of pills that would put her into cardiac arrest was a bargain for the insurance company. When death is offered as an alternative to treatment, insurance companies will promote it, since death always costs them less than the medicine needed to treat their clients’ severe health problems.

And I thought that I had a shitty outlook on humanity.  You take the cake, dude!  For one, this is the biggest stretch I have ever seen.  For another, insurance companies may be evil, but I refuse to believe that they are going to tell people – “kill yourselves!  It saves us money!”  That’s bad PR if I’ve ever seen it.

We don’t euthanize suffering human beings precisely because we show them more mercy than we do cats and dogs. An animal’s life is not worth the cost of expensive medical treatment, but a human’s life is much more valuable than an animal’s, so we have no problem spending large sums of money to treat them. We should give human beings effective pain management and respectful care as their bodily functions begin to cease. We shouldn’t just give them the “Old Yeller” treatment.

Oh yeah.  I bet that they are taking Ms. Maynard out back and shooting her.  That totally is how it is.  Why, I know the kind of gun they’re using.  She won’t know what hit her!  And ‘effective pain management’?  Yeah, cause I bet that they have NEVER thought of that before.  Right, terminal cancer patients?  Anyone?

Other people will say that the “dignity” in dying comes from the fact that the person is able to choose how they die, regardless of what choice they make. But dying in a dignified manner relates to how one confronts death, not the manner in which one dies or chooses to die.

Bullshit!  That’s bullshit and you know it!  What dignity does an alzheimer’s patient who is unable to think, shitting their adult diapers and pissing themselves have?  Please, elaborate to me how that is dignified?  Where is the dignity in crying yourself to sleep every night, for weeks, as you are slowly being eaten alive by cancer?  My grandad died of cancer, and you know what the last days of his life were like?  They were hell.  He couldn’t fact that with your BS definition of ‘dignity’ because he was in too much pain.  Ms. Maynard is facing her death with dignity.  She is choosing to end the pain and not have to go through worse, putting herself and her family through hell.

What people don’t have a right to do to be free from pain is directly kill themselves, whether the pain is physical, psychological, emotional, or even spiritual. Doctor’s especially should not participate in assisted suicide, because their job is to kill the pain, not the patient!

Funny thing.  In Zurich, it is a rule that the patient has to be the one to take the medication.  If the patient is unable to take the medication, then they can’t go through with the procedure.  That was part of the reason that Ewert knew he had to get in to do the procedure soon.  His ALS had almost totally crippled him.  He knew that it was then, or never.  And guess what, you ignorant religious zealot – the doctors did kill the pain.  Craig Ewert’s pain was over.  Brittany Maynard’s pain will also be over.

One of the comforts of being Catholic is knowing that our suffering isn’t meaningless, and death isn’t the end. Instead it’s the beginning of a new phase in life. Our loved ones aren’t extinguished at death but wait with us for the final judgment.

And there you have it.  After all his talk of saying that he wasn’t making any religious arguments, it all comes back to his faith.  He can’t even let his BS hold up.  It has to come back to the fact that he believes this way because of his faith, and his faith is his guiding principal.  Just like the anti-abortion Catholics, this is another one who wants people to do what he wants, because of his faith.  If there is a God that genuinely wants Ms. Maynard to suffer, he can go and fuck himself up the ass with a cactus.  He’s not worth praying to.

To Ms. Maynard, if you ever read this, I am sorry for your situation.  I watched my grandad deteriorate and I fully support your right to do what you are doing.  If there is something on the other side, after this, I’ll see you when I get there, however long that is.  Take peace from this one atheist and his kind wishes.

I’ll leave you with a quote that makes me happy,

This may not make much sense to you now, a young man at the beginning of his career, but one of the things you learn as you move up the ranks and get a little older is that you wish you had more time in your youth to really absorb the things that happened to you. It goes by so fast. It’s so easy to become jaded. To treat the extraordinary like just another day at the office. But sometimes, there are experiences that transcend all that.” -Capt. Katherine Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager

Peace out,

Maverick