In My Day Video Games were Hard August 3rd, 2010

I grew up playing video games, but when I was growing up we didn’t have 3D games, or even game saves. Playing Super Mario Bros. you only had three lives to start and you had to earn more. If you ran out of lives, you had to start the game all over again. Of course we had things like Game Genie and whatnot that let you alter the game to allow for unlimited lives, but even with that it was still as hard. In World 8-1 of Super Mario Bros, you had to jump at the exact right time at a certain speed in order to make a jump, if you fell into the hole you had to go back to the middle of the level, or the beginning and try again.

Nowadays, life count is hardly ever seen and if you die, you can just load up from a checkpoint and continue. You can even stop playing the game for days and still have the checkpoint saved. You can even choose a difficulty setting on video games nowadays. Kids nowadays have no idea how hard games can be, yet if your on Xbox Live or PS3 you will always here some kid, whose testicles have yet descend, cursing up a storm about how he keeps getting killed, or can’t do certain things. Meanwhile, the kid has probably never played a game like Contra or Super Mario Bros and has no idea just how hard games can be.

What happened to video game companies in the last 25 years? Obviously Nintendo is still around, but Zelda and Mario games seem easier than ever. Ocarina of Time was much harder than Windwaker, and the original Zelda trumped them both when it came to difficulty. With Nintendo’s Vitality Censor, I fear that it is only a matter of time that games will be controlled by your heart rate and in order to win you will need to be the calmest in the room.

Maybe it’s time that a company not try and make a game anyone can play, but one for the true gamers, the ones who know what an impossible game is, one that would make kids today cry in frustration. Take away the save data, the difficulty settings, and multiple ways to do things, and just have it one way, just like in the good old days of gaming.

6 leprakhauns running around
Obscenity Case August 2nd, 2010

How do you define obscene? Is it something that someone should never see? Is it anything that is illegal and is scene? Is it just a matter of opinion and obscenity and varies from person to person? Now how do you define obscenity in a case where it’s talking about pornography? When it comes to porn, should obscenity be defined as something that is legal, where if it is legal to do then it should be legal to film and distribute? Is there some line that shouldn’t be crossed? How do you define something like that?

John Stagliano, a male porn star and producer, also known as Buttman, recently was brought to court regarding obscenity. How do you define obscenity though? Some people would say that porn itself is obscene, some would say anything legal should be able to be recorded and distributed. Personally I lean toward the latter.

A couple of years ago there was a website that featured something pretty extreme that went viral. Two Girls One Cup was seen by millions of people and that was never deemed obscene, at least not to the point where the creator was brought to court. For those of you unfamiliar with the video, it featured two girls who defecated into a cup, taking turns eating the excrement, and vomiting it into each other’s mouths. One could argue that the reason it was never brought to court was because it wasn’t made in America, but even if it has been made in America, there are no laws against doing anything in that video, no matter how disgusting it may be, so why wouldn’t you be allowed to film and distribute it?

So what exactly is the definition of obscenity? Well the US law defined obscenity in 1971 in the case of Miller vs. California. Ever since then in order for something to be obscene, the following three conditions:

1. The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interests.

2. The work depicts, or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state (or federal) law

3. The work, taken as a whole, lacks serious, artistic, political or scientific value.

The US law also states that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment. The biggest issue I have with this whole thing is that the US Government thinks that we are all morons and don’t know how to not watch something. It’s essentially them regulating stuff that we as free Americans should be able to regulate ourselves. The government goes after the makers of these “obscene” materials, but not the people who star in the movies, or even the people who buy these movies.

Let’s think about this for a minute, say I wanted to watch 2 Girls 1 Cup, I’d go to the website and watch it and I have every right to watch it as a free citizen. If I wanted to, I’d have every right to partake in the acts in that video as well since nothing in it is illegal. If I wanted to record it and distribute it, I can’t do it because certain people think it may be too obscene. No one is forcing anyone to watch the video though. If you do not want to watch it, then simply don’t, but instead our Government has decided that you can’t do something because other people who would have no interest watching it would find it obscene.

Does anyone else feel like their liberties are being taken away more and more as time goes by?

4 leprakhauns running around


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