Mr. Smith Signs a Birth Certificate, by Lucien Maverick

*As read by Charles R Poindexter*

Once upon a time, there lived a man named Mr. Smith.
Mr. Smith was a man who liked to get the most out of life.
He did this by consuming copious amounts of alcohol.
Him and all his friends would drink and drink until all their jokes were funny and their bellies fat.

One day, he got so drunk that he made love to a very pretty woman.
At least he thought she was pretty.
The more he drank, the prettier she got!
It was a very good night.

A long time later, he got a piece of mail in his mailbox.
Heinous villains at Child Support told him that the woman he had made love to now had a baby.
What’s more, he was named the father.
Mr. Smith immediately went into action.

He called the Child Support villains, to right this wrong.
Told them that he was not the father of that baby.
Said there was no way it was him.
Lastly, that he wanted a paternity test.

But the EVIL Child Support customer service representative told him no.
Said that his name was on the child’s birth certificate.
And this meant that he would have to contest this in court.
Mr. Smith gasped!

Seeing the injustice, he informed the EVIL Child Support customer service representative that this was all wrong.
Told him that he was very drunk the night that he signed that birth certificate.
So drunk that he didn’t even remember doing so.
This meant that he couldn’t legally be responsible for what happened that fateful night.

After hearing his genuine honesty, the EVIL Child Support customer service representative told him that wasn’t true.
Said that it is a legally binding document, and only a court order could contest it now.
Mr. Smith was appalled!
He knew just what to do!

Once he had several swigs of his joyous drink, he filed a motion in court and got the judge to hear his case.
He told him of the injustice against him and how he wanted to put it right!
Why should he have to pay for a child that is not his!
The judge heard it all, and said back to him, “are you fucking kidding me?”

But Mr. Smith got his order to contest paternity!
He strolled into the EVIL Child Support office and got genetic testing
This cruel insult would not stand!  He would show these devils!
Maybe when he proves the baby is not his, he would sue these monsters for all the trouble!

Then the results came back positive, and Mr. Smith had an arrears balance of $2,000 and a monthly support amount of $200.
Mr. Smith decided that he needed consoling, so he went to the joyous bar for more joyous drink.
There was a pretty lady there.
In fact, the more he drank, the prettier she looked…

Until next time, a quote,

“Dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb-dumb!” – South Park

Peace out,

Maverick

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Top 10 Things I Hate in Movies

My gay girly-mate and I got to talking and there are a ton of things in movies that bug us.  See, I’m the kind of guy who analyzes things.  To death.  Like way past the point where it’s healthy.  It’s why I know that the only reason Mufasa hates the hyenas in The Lion King is because they’re black.  They’re a minority living in the savannah’s projects.  If that isn’t a more obvious metaphor, I don’t know what it.  So my friend and I thought about the things we hate most, and I came up with this handy Top 10 list of them.  Let’s get into it.  Here are the things in movies that grind my gears the most.

10. Everyone in the post-apocalypse easily finding gas for cars
Am I the only person that this bugs?  I need a straight answer about that.  How are people not aware of how absolutely insane this is?  From The Walking Dead to Mad Max, it seems like everyone in the post-apocalyptic world is very easily finding gas for their cars.  Do people just not know that gas has a shelf life?  Depending on how it’s stored, it can be from one to three months for ethanol fuels.  It blows my mind that you have all these movies where it has been years, sometimes tens of years from when gas was pumped, and it’s still good.  What?!

9. Whispering is never whispering
Do the people who make movies just not realize that they are professionals with sound equipment and can easily make whispering show up in a movie without characters talking very loudly and them just bringing down the audio levels to make it sound like whispering?  We can tell the difference!  Or maybe I can, but that’s just me.

8. Ordinary people surviving things that would obviously kill them
When I watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier and see the titular character survive falling over ten stories, crashing through a window and then surviving all by landing on his shield, I am able to look past that.  Why?  Because that shield is made of vibranium, a fictional metal that takes impact forces and blasts it outward.  It’s nearly indestructible.  That and he’s a superhero.  It’s a superhero film about superhuman characters.  I am okay with that.  What bugs me is when I see character who are shown to be average people surviving things that would OBVIOUSLY kill them.  Michael Bay’s Transformers movies are a great example of what I’m talking about.  There you have tons of people falling huge distances or smashing through things and having little to no damage on them whatsoever.

7. Guns shooting, but no casings hitting the ground
I finally got around to seeing the first season of Stranger Things because Netflix released it on DVD.  Good stuff.  The kid characters are my favorites, but every arc is interesting.  The last episode where the government troops are with the head of the facility and the demagorgon appears is pretty intense, but as everyone is shooting, I’m noticing something – why are there no casings hitting the ground?  These people have fired a ton of rounds, yet you don’t hear a single casing hitting the floor.  The visual for the guns looks fake too.  This tells me that the entire effect was done in post.  It bugs me when there are supposed to be guns going off, but you don’t see or hear a single casing flying out of it.  Totally takes me out of the scene.

6. Bland superhero villains
I’m looking at you, Marvel.  The MCU films run the gamut in quality, but one thing that FAR too many of them have in common is the lackluster villains.  Some of them are just written badly, but it grinds my gears when you have characters who have the potential to be interesting villains, but aren’t.  There are a few examples of those who aren’t that bad.  I liked every villain in The Winter Soldier, and Baron Zemo in Civil War wasn’t half-bad.  They have been building up Thanos for some time now.  PLEASE don’t let him be some boring, forgettable villain.  This film is supposed to be him fucking up the MCU’s shit to get the Infinity Gems, so let’s have him do some damage!

5. Good guys being dumb
There’s that great line in Spaceballs – Evil will always win, because good is dumb.  Um, yeah.  Good is kinda dumb.  The good guys have this really bad habit of being some of the dumbest people ever.  For whatever reason, we like to have good guys being the stupidest fuckers.  I guess because the idea is to have protagonists of big blockbusters relate to the dumb-shit American public?  Meanwhile, you have these villains who are the intellectuals and are so egotistical.  Why is it that intelligence is not a virtue that we can appreciate?  Oh right, because America will vote for a political candidate because they feel like they can have a beer with them.  This country is so fucking dumb.

4. “Comedy” films that only have people in a room talking
You know what I miss?  Visual comedy.  I miss when directors would try and get laughs from visual elements in films being used to help amuse the audience.  Like when things appear in frame in funny ways.  When things leave the frame in funny ways.  When you can do like Wes Anderson does and use lateral tracking shots to sell ridiculous scenes.  Why is it that every comedy film in this country feels like it’s just people in a room doing improv?  I hate that shit.  I’m looking at you, Paul Feig!  Your movies suck!  You’re the antithesis to comedy!

3. The films being made out of books is almost always a death sentence
Maybe I should have it that films are being made out of books.  Because it seems like every time I see a book that I love being turned into a movie, I instinctively cringe.  I recently was forced to watch the entire catalog of Harry Potter movies, and without a single exception, I hate them.  They fuck up the ending of every single book!  What made the books so good was how you’d have the mystery at the beginning of the story that is gradually solved by the end.  At least the first four.  After that they got kind of dumb.  Well, aside from the sixth.  That one was pretty good.  There is all this build-up, leading to so much tension.  And when it all blows up then it explodes in this huge climax that feels so good and has you glued to the pages.  It’s pretty great stuff.  Meanwhile, the films always fuck that up.  Always.  Without a single exception.  And don’t even get me started on how much books made from Michael Crichton’s books almost always suck.  My favorite author, and his books have been turned into Hollywood shit.

2. How dumbed-down PG and PG-13 ratings have become
Am I the only person who thinks that we might as well get rid of PG at this point?  That rating means Pretty much G now.  None of the films I have seen with that rating for the last 20 years have merited it.  It’s so stupid.  Maybe it’s just me, but I happen to believe that kids these days can handle the harder stuff.  Can you imagine if Don Bluth’s masterpiece The Secret of NIMH had come out today?  That probably would have gotten a PG-13 rating.  And speaking of, here’s a video by a YouTuber I like that lays out the problem with PG-13 much more completely than I can.

And the thing I hate most in movies is…

1. Ordinary people outrunning things that would EASILY catch them
You know what I love?  The velociraptors in Jurassic Park.  Those things are badass with a capital B.  Intense, dangerous, and not evil.  Just animals doing what they do.  And they are so cool.  The kitchen scene where Tim and Lex are hiding from them as they hunt them down has so much tension.  It’s great stuff.  The two get split up and you have Lex being really clever and using a reflection to trick a raptor.  That’s pretty smart.  I like that.  But then Tim decides that he is going to run, on foot, to the freezer and trap a raptor in there.  He is on foot.  Not only that, but he has a limp from when he had 10,000 volts of electricity cook him.  That raptor would have been on him in two seconds ripping him to teeny tiny Timmy pieces!  That scene is so laughably stupid that it blows my mind how ANYONE can take it seriously.  It takes all the tension in that scene and blows it out the airlock.  I hate it.  While I do love that movie, that one particular scene pisses me off so much.  Same with anything where you have normal people outrunning things that would OBVIOUSLY catch up to them in a matter of seconds, if not in a second.

What about you?  What things in movies piss you off?

Until next time, a quote,

“Clever girl.” – Robert Muldoon, Jurassic Park

Peace out,

Maverick

Trump Defender Says Video Games are Bad (A response to Matthew Walther)

I’ve been looking for a good representation of the Trump defenders coming out in support of their God-King saying something so asinine and not even remotely backed up by science as violent video games have a connection to mass shootings.  I really have.  But thankfully I have Twitter, and between the pornstars I follow on there and the YouTubers that I like, there are also the people in video game culture who find all of this shit as amusing as I do.  Plenty of them are conservative, and watching them be quiet about their God-King saying something so stupid is interesting on its own.

However, I have now found someone who fits the bill of the /r/TheDonald sychophants who want to come out in defense of their God-King and say that all of us detractors are wrong.  I love this shit.  I really do.  Here’s a link to this article, now let’s talk about it.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just robbed a drug dealer and was peeling out in my getaway car — also stolen — and thinking about my next score when I saw her: a woman in high heels and a very small bathing suit. She motioned towards me and I let her get in the car. We performed a blurry parody of marital intercourse. After she got out of the vehicle, I ran her over. Then Judas Priest came on the radio. I cranked the volume and roasted the tires of my sports car beneath the orange moon.

The moral being that because this happened in vidya, it is no less evil than if it happened in real life.

Because I was 13 years old and the above scene was unfolding on my friend’s PlayStation, I am not writing this column from a maximum security prison.

Called it!  Yeah, Matt.  And the other day I took a teenage girl from an operating room after killing a doctor with a bullet to the face.  Then, when a woman who was her caretaker at one point tried to stop me from taking her away, I put a bullet in her stomach and then, as she begged for her life, one in her face.  But there is a context to that.  The character I was playing as had this one person who was his connection to the human condition, and he was selling humanity up the river to keep that connection.  Wanna know something about both your example and mine?  I know that they are both fiction, because I’m a fucking adult.  I don’t believe in fairy-tales, or unicorns, or Jeebus, or that video games are real.

When President Trump dared to suggest last week that “the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” he was denounced with the uniform hectoring intensity that meets his every utterance. Hundreds of pages of digital ink was spilled pointing out that, actually, there is no proven connection between digital mayhem and the massacres that have become a commonplace part of American life.

Gee, I wonder why that is?  Could it be that there is not a SINGLE piece of substantive evidence linking video games to school shootings?  Or violence of any kind?  I don’t know, I think there might be something to it when the pantheon of people can come out of the woodwork and easily defend our position, while I’m sure you are going to have STELLAR examples that bolster you belief.  I’m sure it is all going to be very well-researched stuff.

What does it mean to say that there is no connection? Virtually every single one of the pasty psychos who have shot their classmates and teachers in the last two decades has played such games. What would count as evidence?

No.  Video games are ubiquitous to modern culture.  Especially modern male culture.  The hardcore audience of gaming is men.  By that same token, maybe we could say that Marvel films are influencing school shootings.  After all, I bet these shooters have watched a ton of them, and comic book films have been a huge part of culture for the last 20 years.  Or maybe it was the iPhone.  How many of these shooters had one of those?  You can take any piece of typical culture and put it in there and make the EXACT SAME argument.

Meanwhile, the hard science (a phrase that conservatives fear more than any other) has shown that there is NO connection between playing video games and being violent.  None.  Find me a study that proves me wrong.  You can’t!  And before you go saying that the studies are biased, Congress has commissioned a lot of these studies trying to prove just what you are!  A Congress who is biased against the industry has commissioned study after study to desperately try and prove that video games cause violence.  It hasn’t worked.  There is a great quote by Max Caulfield that I am going to end this with that summarizes this perfectly.

I cannot understand why even positing the notion of a relationship between games and the behavior of those who play them is taboo. Does anyone think that misogyny in films and television and music does not shape men’s attitudes toward women, that it has no consequences in the real world? A thousand #MeToo takes suggest otherwise. Why, then, are video games the exception?

What?!  You have GOT to be kidding me.  Dumb-dumb, the reason that there is this taboo (it isn’t.  You can say whatever you like, but everyone is going to tear you to pieces for being stupid) is because there is not a single piece of scientific evidence that suggests that.  Just like there is not a single piece of scientific evidence linking film, television, and music to sexism.  This is patently absurd.  By the way, whose side are you on, anyway?  You’re defending Trump’s comments and bashing the left, then using their talking points?  The cognitive dissonance is interesting.

Either way, there has been no connection between video games and violence, or sexism.  None that has been proven.  Just lots of conjecture based on weak, cherry-picked evidence without a single study to back it up.  In fact, there was a long-term study finally done by Germany that disproved the notion of video games.  So yeah, your entire argument is fallacious bullshit.

Why is it the default position of every commentator that spending hundreds, even thousands of hours acting out scenes like the one I described above has no ramifications for the way young people — the majority of them male — feel and behave? How do people who accept the existence of concepts like microaggressions and rhetorical dog-whistling convince themselves that indulging an appetite for murderous rage could have no discernible effects on the imaginations of impressionable young people?

I don’t accept either of those things, because neither of them have been proven by science!  Science, mother-fucker!  Do you speak it?!  Oh right, you don’t.  Just like every conservative who wants a pulpit to stand on, you just spout off rhetoric and then say you’re right.  If this was a research paper it would get a D.

Let me put it another way. If someone created a video game in which it was possible to grope or even rape women, as opposed to just cutting off their heads with a chainsaw or shooting them in the face with machine guns, would we still consider it a harmless diversion unlikely to disfigure the imaginations of players? What about a game where the user was allowed to molest children? Why is pretending to be a killer okay?

The other cornerstone of conservative argumentation – emotional appeal.  Do I think the games you bring up would be tasteless and grotesque?  Absolutely.  Granted, I’m not a fan of playing a game where I can indiscriminately kill civilians with a chainsaw or machine gun.  Now a game where I kill demons with those things like the masterpiece that is 2016’s DOOM, that I can do all day.  But do I think that those games would turn people into rapists?  No.  Much like I don’t think that watching porn makes you think that women are sex toys.  A fact that has actual SCIENCE behind it.  This is so fucking stupid.  How many different ways can I say the same thing?

One does not have to be able to demonstrate a formal causal link — whatever that would look like — between the hideous violence of many video games and real-life acts of mass murder to recognize that the former are contributing to something sinister.

Yes you fucking do!  You do have to demonstrate it.  Because you want to legislate against what people can watch and play.  You want to tell people that they have to pay your morality fee in order to play something that has no proven link to violence.  Just like how Rhode Island wants people to pay their morality fee to watch porn.  I’m sorry that demands for evidence are hard for you.  Lemme guess, you’re a Christian too.

One of the ludicrous dogmas of the modern world is the notion that the media we consume cannot influence us for the worse.

It’s not a dogma.  Dogma is faith.  Faith is belief without evidence.  There is actual evidence of my contention, while zero evidence for yours.  I’m sorry, but I don’t take things on faith.  It’s why I stopped believing in this God that so many conservatives claim to be such a huge fan of, and it’s why I also don’t believe in the SJW convictions like the ones you apparently are also in favor of.  For real, where do you fall on the spectrum, dude?

Virtually everyone agrees that it is possible to be deeply moved by watching a film or hearing a song. We are all familiar with lachrymose paeans to the virtues of reading, which is supposed to be able to make us more open-minded and empathetic and every other vaguely positive-sounding adjective you care to suggest. Why do we pretend that the reverse is not true in a medium that is designed to be immersive and interactive, to give the vivid impression of really being there?

Because I’m not five, idiot.  I know that it’s make-believe.  Can I hear Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 and feel a lot of powerful emotions?  Absolutely.  It’s amazing music.  But I have those feelings based on the things that I feel in my own life.  Being touched by something doesn’t mean that I am going to suddenly start my own orchestra and make it myself.  Being touched by a fantastic book doesn’t mean I’m going to think that it’s real life.  You feel that way about the Bible?  Watching a heart-breaking film doesn’t make me think that way.  And when I play The Last of Us, I don’t feel the urge to suddenly go bust into an operating room and kill a doctor.

I’m sorry that nobody ever told you that there is a difference between real life and pretend.  I think my species is retarded as fuck, and even I give them more credit than you.  Go figure.

Until next time, a quote,

“A pattern is emerging.” – Max Caulfield, Life is Strange

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Annihilation (and the death of cinema)

I got to see Annihilation, and it was pretty great.  It wasn’t perfect.  It does have some flaws, but it is genuinely smart science fiction that does what the SJWs are saying film doesn’t ever do.  A movie starring five smart, capable women who are in STEM and who have a ton of personality without all being bland stereotypes.  The type of thing that every social justice moron should be singing from the hills about it being an accomplishment in film, but not only is nobody talking about it, but nobody has seen it either.  A fact that depresses me to no end.  Let’s talk about it.

The film follows Natalie Portman as a ex-Army, current researching at Johns Hopkins.  Her husband has gone missing in a very poorly paced opening, but then shows up again, very different.  After he has some hardcore organ failure, she is brought into a mysterious event where a meteorite had crashed into Earth and now there is a weird effect called The Shimmer.  Desperate to get answers to save her husband, she embarks on what is understood to be a suicide mission with four other women, all of whom are aware of just how precarious their situation is.  Each has their own motivation and as they get closer to the source of The Shimmer, it becomes clear that they are going to be tested as people, scientists, and the bonds they can make with each other.

It’s so nice to see smart science fiction.  It really is.  We have so much absolute garbage like Life, which is just a rip-off of Alien.  We have the endless amount of big-budget blockbuster dreck that is either very generic like Black Panther, or outright terrible like Justice League.  But just like Blade Runner 2049, we have a film that is genuinely great and nobody is going to see it.  This film’s numbers are in the tank.  It will add its name to the pantheon of films that are smart, well-crafted, and nobody fucking saw.  It pisses me off to no end.

The things this film got right – the slow-burn pace, the fantastic science elements that they explore, and the atmosphere.  Not to mention the really smart use of theme.  This film is able to do visual story-telling to such great extent, and only a few times does it feel like it is overplaying its hand, and one of those times is in the very end and it does damage this film to me a little just because it feels like the film thinks it is WAY smarter than it actually is in that moment.  But there was so much great stuff leading up to that which hooked me from beginning to end.

We also have the performances.  I loved almost every character in this movie.  This film is proof that Natalie Portman is a very good actress if she just has the right director.  Give her the right person and she can turn in a truly fantastic performance.  But the cast with her was pretty great too.  Everyone had their own reasons, and you learn more and more about those reasons as you go along.  The film doesn’t just tell the audience why they are the way they are.  You have to learn it as you go along.  Well-written, well-acted female characters, all of whom are leads, all of whom play characters who are capable.  The fact that the social justice community is radio silent about this while screaming the praises of yet-another cookie-cutter Marvel film is beyond me.

But the science was the highlight of the film.  The Shimmer has this effect on all of the life inside of it that is both fascinating, and terrifying.  Part of the effect of this place led to one of the most terrifying scenes in any film I have ever seen.  Bar none, it scared the shit out of me.  It has such perfect build-up, and when it happens you are left feeling trapped with the characters.  Listening to the characters talk about their observations of The Shimmer and the effect it is having on everything inside is genuinely interesting and it makes me sad that it only goes for so long.

Then there’s the fact that this may be the first film about alien life that I think feels like an alien life since I saw Arrival.  You have the story being told cut in with scenes in the present asking Natalie Portman’s character what the meaning of it all is, and she has the same response over and over again – I don’t know.  Throughout it all, the designs of this alien entity and what it was trying to do is a complete mystery.  Right up to the climax of the film you still don’t get what it was trying to do.  I love that.  So many films hold your hand and feel the need to explain everything to you because they think you’re stupid, but not this one.  It’s great.  Gee, maybe that’s why it’s failing at the box office.  Because America is stupid.

As I said, though, there are problems.  One of which is the fact that there are a couple scenes where you can tell that characters are aiming at things that aren’t really there.  A trailer scene about the crocodile attack is a really good scene, but when Natalie Portman’s character is shooting at it, you can see her weapon going off not pointing at where the target is supposed to be.  It’s almost Starship Troopers levels of off.  I will say that it’s nice to have a scene where people are shooting guns and you have casings hitting the floor.  It’s such a pet peeve for me in films when people are shooting and you don’t see or hear any bullet casings.  Next, the very, very end of the film is nowhere near as smart as it thinks it is.  I’ve heard so many people saying that it’s so mysterious, but it’s not.  And the discourse bugs me.

I’ve talk about how this film is basically dead at the box office, and it bugs me.  I hate that we have these films that are dumb blockbusters that are making huge money.  We’ve seen that blockbusters don’t always have to be stupid.  We’ve seen that not all Marvel films have to be stupid.  But they are.  It’s a bummer how much dumb cinema has taken over, and you have all this direct-to-Netflix stuff that runs the gamut from smart that nobody will see to shit that they knew wouldn’t get a release anywhere else.  The days of smart cinema are number, and it hurts me inside.

Overall, this is a really good movie that I cannot recommend enough.  If you are like me and are tired of the same rehashed shit, over and over again, you owe it to yourself to see this film.  You really do.  That’s all I got for you.  Now you make your choice.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Video Games are now a Virtual Boot Camp? (A response to Jeremy Bailenson)

I thought I’ve heard it all when it comes to stupidity in journalism.  CNN is just like every other major news network.  My favorite journalism teacher (I got my degree in journalism and public communication) called them “infotainment.”  Meaning that no one is actually learning anything.  They just shit out content that they think their ignorant masses want to hear.  No surprise, the audience for this crap is old.  The young are more and more going to YouTube.  Hence why they will do anything they can to attack the platform.  Just look at the Wall Street Journal doing a hit-piece video on PewDiePie.  But now they have decided to go into the Jack Thompson foray with an editorial where this author decides to make the argument that video games are a “virtual boot camp.”  I’m sure this will be just as stupid as it sounds.  Here’s a link to the article so you know I’m not taking anything out of context, now let’s get started.

Last week, Dick’s Sporting Goods banned the sale of assault-style rifles and Walmart raised the age of all gun buyers to 21. While our politicians debate next steps, these companies took swift action. Virtual reality hardware and software companies, which design top-selling video games, should follow suit.

Um, no they shouldn’t  There is a real connection between America’s bullshit gun laws and the amount of gun crime in this country.  Look at all the other countries who have just as much access to video games.  They don’t have NEARLY the gun violence that this country does.  Meanwhile, there is ZERO evidence that video games cause violence.  Zero.  Jack Thompson destroyed his career trying to find it.  To date, there has not been a single study linking video games to violence.  So gaming companies have no obligation to do such a financially stupid thing.

Video games have one mandate: to be fun. But the companies that create and market them must also be socially and morally aware. They must consider the kinds of experiences they are developing, especially in first-person shooter games.

No, they shouldn’t.  For starters, corporations aren’t moral or immoral.  They’re amoral.  There is no morality there.  It’s all about what sells.  Video games sell.  It’s a billion-dollar industry that is standing with the giants of Hollywood.  This industry markets in what sells.  And first-person shooters sell.  Regardless of the declining quality in AAA FPS games, they sell.  Thank the dumb-ass consumers who apparently don’t have a problem shelling out tons of money for regurgitated crap.

There is at least one documented case of a killer using a first-person shooter game to improve his combat skills. According to the Guardian, the Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik told the court in 2012 that he used “a holographic aiming device” in the game “Call of Duty” to develop his target acquisition abilities.

What?!  You have got to be kidding me.  That’s it?  That’s the best that you can come up with?  Court testimony from one person?!  What a joke.  What an absolute joke, at the expense of an industry that has had a ton of ACTUAL science done to show has no connection to violence at all.  Your rebuttal – this guy said Call of Duty helped him!  Well, you sure showed all those experts!

Breivik played a two-dimensional game, but virtual reality can take skill acquisition to a new level. Players can look all around the scene instead of just staring at a screen. Handheld devices vibrate to simulate touch. Most importantly, players use their arms and body to engage in actual combat moves, instead of just hitting buttons. As a result, the brain’s motor system is engaged. Repeated movement while in virtual reality causes changes in brain structure, which in turn improves performance in the real world.

Okay.  Let me see if I got this right.  The argument here is that VR is going to train people to use real life guns?  Am I following that?  I think I’m going to let you keep going before I destroy your argument by rank and file.

The military has been using virtual reality to train soldiers for decades. Today, everyone from NFL quarterbacks trying to improve their play, to retail employees trying to hone their customer service skills, are using virtual reality training to enable an infinite number of mental repetitions.

And your evidence for this is…what, exactly?  What programs are they using?  How do they work?  I’m getting the distinct impression that you have no clue what the fuck you’re talking about.  How do I know this?  Because I’m going to let you in on a little secret – no actual person is going to learn how to handle real life guns with a VR simulator.  None.  Just like how you can’t play CoD and suddenly know everything about handling military-grade weaponry.  You aren’t going to learn about reloading a rifle, dealing with kick, hitting targets with an actual gun, or virtually anything associated with operating a real assault rifle in a game.

I’ve handled an AK-47.  Kicked like a mule and I couldn’t hit shit.  Those guns are ridiculously easy to use, but the ability to use them well is a whole other deal.  This idea that VR is somehow going to be able to train someone to properly use a weapon is laughable at best.

Not to mention, VR for the kind of thing that this idiot is talking about is not sold in the mainstream market.  To use VR to play a game where you’d be doing the kind of thing like in your average CoD, you need a huge amount of space to move.  The best that VR has been able to do is games that work with controllers because the space needed to move is impossible.  This person lives in a fantasy that everyone is secretly being trained by the government to be killers.  It’s ridiculous.

My argument here is not that virtual reality games are going to cause people to become violent, or that law enforcement or the military, for example, shouldn’t have access to them. But if a possible mass-shooter wants to hone his craft, we shouldn’t hand him an over-the-counter digital boot camp.

The biggest gross hyperbole of all time.  As I said above, you will not learn anything about handling real-life guns by playing video games.  Nothing.  Shooting actual guns is vastly different.  I speak as someone who has done it.  Notice how NOTHING here is cited.  The only citation you’ve had to back up anything you’ve said is with your one reference where a guy says that CoD helped him aim.  A contention that I call bullshit on in the first place.

This idiot goes into a list of things that video games can do better that reminds me of that guy in the anti-video game episode of Bullshit! where he says that instead of having shooters, why not have a guy with a magic stick to make people well.  It’s ridiculous and nonsensical, and it all comes back to the fact that there is ZERO evidence that video games are linked to violence.  None.  This dude had ONE piece of evidence to back him up, because every single bit of the science is against him.

In a perfect world, perhaps we wouldn’t have virtual shooters at all. But for as long as we’ve had media, people have delighted in violent content. Some of my own favorite science fiction films and television series are gory and terrifying. The US Supreme Court has ruled that violent video games are a protected form of free speech, and for years the top selling video games have been first-person shooters.

Yeah, there’s a market for it.  And something else you don’t like to mention is that as video games have risen in popularity, violent crime has decreased.  Not to make the correlation equals causation fallacy, but it is REALLY interesting how that happens.  Trying to have the Supreme Court rule that it needs to be regulated is just as much of an insult to the 1st Amendment as when the angry moms went after the music industry and Frank Zappa kicked their ass in his testimony.  I’m sorry that reality bugs you so much.

Virtual reality is on the cusp of becoming a mainstream consumer product, and every year content becomes more and more realistic. Lucky for the designing companies, they have a little more time to think through some of the potential negative consequences of what they are creating.

VR is dying because it can’t be made mainstream.  It’s cumbersome, the games coming out for it have a bad habit of sucking rather than being good, and hardly anyone is talking about it anymore.  As for your argument, gaming companies have evidence telling them that mass shootings are not a potential negative consequence of what they are creating.  What do you have?

Until next time, a quote,

“From 1931 to 2007, 665 kids died from injuries they got playing football.  This is not video game violence.  This is real violence done to real children by other real children, all encouraged by schools and society.  Every parent worries about their kids.  Every adult worries about all children.  But you need to pick what you think is worth worrying about.” – Penn Jillette

Peace out,

Maverick

More Racism Disguised as Racial Sensitivity (A response to What Culture)

I remember a few years back now when I went after Hipster McGee on PBS’s now defunct YouTube channel for saying that there aren’t enough minorities in gaming.  Now we have a British idiot from another hipster culture critic channel who has decided to take a swing at it.  Will this be any less stupid than Hipster McGee’s video?  Not really, no.  The premise this time is that gaming needs to have its “Black Panther Moment.”  Oh boy, I’m sure this isn’t going to be stupid at all.  I’ll have the video so you can see I’m not taking anything out of context, let’s get this over with.

This is stupid right out of the gate.  For starters, this film is a bold reinforcement of what it means to be black?  Wow, what a sweeping and broad generalization.  No, numb-nuts, it’s a Marvel film about a superhero from a fictional nation.  Are you telling me that all black people are supposed to identify with this character?  Yes, I’m sure the black guy from the Bronx who is a New Yorker to the core can so identify with the blackness here.  This idea that all black people are supposed to correlate in some way to this character ties into some more racism that this video spews that I’ll get to in a bit, so I’ll leave it saying that this video has this great power of generalizing about people.  They seem to think that all people of the same skin color are naturally similar and their life experiences, where they are born, and the community they grow up in will make them all the same.  That all black people are supposed to identify as African and be so in touch with their African heritage.  How absurd.

I hate that Black Panther, that is a perfectly fine Marvel film, has been elevated so much.  It’s not that great.  It’s really not.  It’s not bad, but it’s not this magnum opus of the Marvel universe.  That’s so dumb.  They say that the only reason people like it is because it’s got black people in it.  Um, no!  It’s because it’s a Marvel film that follows the Marvel formula to a fault and the Marvel formula tests well in this country.  It makes a shit-ton of money.  I like to over-analyze things, and even I think you’re fucking daft!  We’ve only just gotten started and already I’m annoyed.  Groj help me.

Next up they say that films like Blade and Hancock don’t count because they don’t have enough to do with diversity.  Um, what?  So the fact that Blade lived in New York and had the New York mindset all over the film isn’t a diversity?  Oh, right, this idiot has this idea that all white people are part of some big collective hegemony and is so fucking xenophobic of cultures outside of his own.  What do I mean?  I mean that in New York, the way of life there is vastly different than the way of life in Seattle or Houston, Texas.  See, differen’t parts of the country have different cultures inside them.  If these culture simpletons could actually get that, maybe they wouldn’t be talking about how characters like Blade basically aren’t black enough for them.  And by black enough, we mean African enough.  These people are so fucking racist.

So gaming doesn’t teach about a love of culture and diversity?  Really?!  Fucking really?!  This is what I was waiting for.  I’m pretty much about to go off the rails on this moron, so buckle in, people.  I’m playing Persona 5 right now.  It’s a marvel of a game.  The depth it goes into about Japanese culture is just wonderful.  Oh, wait, the Japanese are too white for this fucking bigot.  Or maybe we can talk about the Yakuza games.  They don’t even have a dub, which is awesome.  You get an even further dive into the culture of those games.  But again, the Japanese are too white.

Or how about Horizon: Zero Dawn?!  That game created several cultures for the tribal societies from scratch!  And you learn about all of them!  I can tell you about what I learned about the Osram, or the Sun Kingdom, or the Banook.  I found every culture in that game fascinating and they were able to do that by having the cultures be diverse skin tones, but have cultural differences.  Something that this xenophobic piece of shit doesn’t even address!  As an example, this is some British or maybe Irish social justice moron.  If we made a game that was very much about British or Irish culture and had a deep look into the community it is set in, is that not culturally diverse?  I’m American as fuck and I would find that just as engaging as I do Persona 5.  But no, let’s just ignore that.

This video has the BALLS to say that gaming rarely goes into detail about what it means to be one with your culture.  Bull-shit!  I just listed off three games right off the top of my fucking head.  Let me try some more – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.  In addition to going into the culture of the pirates and their world, you also get to see some of the racially charged segments.  Hell, that game has a DLC where you play as your former quartermaster freeing slaves!  Speaking of pirate culture and a game that dives into what a culture is, let’s talk about Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.  That whole game has Nathan Drake learning about the culture of powerful pirates who run the gamut of diverse races and backgrounds and you learn a ton about them.  Oh, right, you SJW morons said it’s bad because it basically has Nate as a grave robber.  Fucking idiot.

I could go on for hours about my favorite Final Fantasy games and how they immerse you in the cultures of their worlds to have you come to learn about these characters and their cultural and ideological diversity to care about each of them.  Or maybe we could talk about the fucking Mass Effect games.  They have a TON of codex entries helping the player learn all they can about every culture, and you have all these diverse species and races having different perspectives on things.  Like how Garrus would have taken the Salarian Delatross’s offer to let the genophage go on because of his own biases as a turian.

You know what this moron’s REAL problem is?  It’s not that there isn’t enough diversity.  I’ve just beat the shit out of that entire argument here.  Their argument is that there aren’t enough black people.  It’s as simple as that.  They want more African games with characters who are African as fuck just so they can beat the same social justice drum that they beat for a film that does NOT deserve it.  I didn’t see these people singing the praises for Moonlight, a film about growing up both gay and black that was a masterpiece of the genre.  No, they have to have a film that is superficially about being African so they can say “see, this is promoting diversity!”  It’s because it’s mainstream.  That’s it.  Hardly anyone has seen Moonlight.  That and it deals with being black and gay, which being gay is something that a HUGE portion of the black community is not a fan of.  It’s an ugly truth that these xenophobic morons want to ignore.

I hate this crap.  This person seems to think that all white people are a homogenized group.  Yes, because as a white American I know just how a white Russian (anyone who gets me one right now is my friend.  You know what I mean) feels.  Or a white British person.  Or a white Frenchman (insert Monty Python joke here).  I’m sure I know all about that.

Forgive me for thinking that a black person in New York probably has no fucking clue what it’s like to grow up in a fictional African nation.  Or that a black British person has no fucking clue what it’s like to grow up in New York.  It’s almost like there’s nuance to this or something!

But you know what, if there is a good game that comes out and it has a character who is so damn African that he actually celebrates Kwanzaa (nobody celebrates Kwanzaa), then you know what, I got no problem with it.  So long as the story is good, I don’t care if the protagonist is super mega African so in touch with his African heritage that he wears some REALLY ridiculous clothes.  Or has a lip disk.  Whatever.  I want good games.

That’s what gamers want – good games.  It’s why we all loved Horizon: Zero Dawn, even though everyone says that gamers hate female protagonists.  It’s why Mafia III wasn’t looked upon so poorly because of it’s racial element, but because of the lackluster gameplay.  It’s why you have fighting game tournaments where people of all ethnic backgrounds gather.  Because gaming IS inclusive.  We want good games.  I tell you what, What Culture, you find me a developer who makes to make a game that is so ethnically diverse that it has a genderqueer ponykin, then if it’s actually a good game I will play it.

Oh right, you had that opportunity.  We got that point-and-click housecleaning simulator.  You know what I mean.

Until next time, a quote,

“Perhaps you’re giving the krogan too little credit, or the salarians too much.” – Commander Shepherd, Mass Effect 2

Peace out,

Maverick