Better Blogging

This being my first blog ever, it is only natural that the early posts be somewhat an experiment. Sort of a test to see what can and can not be done using the blog as a source of information, and what limits blogs have. Overall, I feel they are an effective media to use when listing facts and figures, because the source can be linked to right in the text. This does however beg the issue that not all links are credible, and that is something I think I have done well, keep the links clear, concise, and credible.

Aside from the links, my blog (looking back at it) has seemed to become a little bit more informative than political as time went on.Facts and information are things that I feel I did well keeping strait  The more I blogged, the more I wanted to keep up with developments in the realm of electronic media, and the less I wanted to try and decipher the candidates positions on that media. Ultimately, I think the video game industry will largely be self-regulated, so it is more important to see how the industry is developing, than the government at this particular time.

My own personal feelings on the matter have developed a lot form this experience, so this blog did serve a good amount of educational purpose.The biggest lesson? Politics are everywhere, look hard enough, and I am sure you can find something political.

This has been your blog host, Signing off

Further Reading

Well, with the election over, it seems like my blog will be winding down. I started here in an effort to analyze some of the political aspects of games, and I think I have done just that. Along the way, I have been using information from other blogs and websites in order to get facts and figures, and I think that now I can share these for readers to go out find more information.

There is a good news site that covers all the political advancements in video games. They look into things like finances, elections, and legislation, and the site has provided me with many ideas that I then used other sites and details to make assertions and information about. Here is the link to the site known as gamepolitics (convenient for this blog huh?)

Another site that I liked to use was also a news site and is a bit less factual than gamepolitics. The site is named Kotaku, and they have just as many opinion posts as they do news and facts, so it is important to use discretion when selecting an article to site.

Lastly, here is a site where the technological advancements of video games are discussed. It is important, because with new technology often comes new legislation. Watching this site might give us an incite on what the next legislative actions of the government will be.

So there we go, these web sites will provide you with a little deeper reading, and will help you stay up to date with some of the technological and political updates in video games. Enjoy!

The Winner is…..Halo 4

According to a new fox news report, Halo 4, the latest in a long line of video games will take away some of the votes in today’s presidential election. Halo released last night (or this morning) at 12 Am and lines around the world where ready and waiting at the door. 

Apparently a lot of concern was generated by a tweet from a pro wrestler who seems to be more excited for the new Halo game than voting. Whom many people think is setting a bad example for youth who also have the game

Some of the best quotes from the article include one from a man named Jon Peddie who is reported as saying “The idiots who can’t get a date and look at the women’s breasts in the games will definitely find Halo 4 more interesting than something that requires thinking.”

Obviously not everyone in the U.S. is going to the polls today,and picking on gamers seems to be a little harsh. I am not a huge fan of many statements that are in the article proposed by some of there “experts” but what I can say is that this is indeed a strange coincidence.This article here also does not agree with fox’s coverage of the game.

is Halo effecting the vote? Are video games really that important in political life?

The biggest game in the US: Elections (and some blogs)

Well, today marks the day where citizens will go to the polls and vote on which future the U.S. will move towards. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, but voting is something that people all around the world have worked, suffered, and died for. SO while you cast your ballot for whom ever you agree with, just know that the right to participate in government was not always there, and is still not in some places in the world.

We will take a break from talking about hackers, pirates, and video games in order to cover some last minute voting things. I you are interested in a good analysis of the candidates positions on health care there is a good blog here which manages to analyze stances and do a bit of fact checking on the candidates mud-slinging.

There is also a good amount of information on this particular blog that discusses the more under-looked (in this election) immigration policy that both the candidates have. The blog talks about why it has not been such a big issue, and some of the current policies that may or may not need to be modified.

Lastly, one more blog that looks into the highly publicized fracking debate. Fracking is defined, and arguments, both for and against fracking are represented in a clear concise manor.

As always, have a good day, play some games, and don’t forget to play the great game of politics.

Implications of Piracy

Last post I mentioned what could possibly be done to reduce the price of piracy, but if nothing is done we will see the cost to the music, movie, and video game industries go up if current trends continue. Figures about the money “lost” to piracy vary widely, and it is easy to see why. Not every thing pirated would have been purchased, for instance if Photoshop CS5 ($500)  was pirated by a kid to make funny pictures of his friends, would he have spent that same money had piracy not been an option? This is the big question that many money estimates do not account for, but around 45 Billion is a common estimate.

With so much money being discusses it is easy to see why the problem has political significance  Albeit that neither candidate has directly addressed the issue. The producer of Angry Birds actually supports piracy as a way of getting a game popular, people really only pirate good games, and it can get those good games more business at the end of the day. Piracy has also managed to spark new creative businesses that do well because of piracy, and in the end reduce it. Some of the best examples are  Spotify, which managed to decrease the music piracy rate almost single handedly, and Steam who’s video game sales have managed to reduce the software piracy rate. Both of these are just services that where born in the age of piracy and have done well to make use of that fact.

So the implications of not doing anything to piracy is this, no matter what you do, piracy might just always exist. If piracy rates continue to go up it is possible that old companies will go under, and new ones like Netflix, Spotify, and Steam will take their place. Piracy will likely not be the end of music, movie, and video game creativity, but it will take its monetary toll.

Can Piracy ever be defeated completely? If piracy continues to increase will it be the end for many companies?

A Theory on Piracy

Many video games end up pirated, with brand new games relatively expensive, games not getting released in certain places, and the sheer amount of games that get released in a month, it is easy to see why. Still though, there is a way to be more successful in fighting piracy than many of the corporations are now. The current tool of coice in fighting Piracy is called DRM. I have found that when it comes to the top of DRM there is not much middle ground, people like it or hate it, and the internet seems to hate it allot (hence the biased link). Studies show that DRM is not that effective in its current state, and maybe there is a new plan on the horizon, being nice to pirates.

This article posses the point that piracy will never die, and I must agree, so what can be done? How about being nice? Many indie game makes has actually encouraged piracy for their games, like this case of Hotline Miami, and this one of Minecraft. While no real study have been done, there are a few cases where piracy has been beaten by making friends with it. In the case of a game called McPixel, “The Pirate Bay responded by, wait for it, holding an event where they asked people to actually pay money for a video game (after downloading the full version anyway)”

That quote came from a site called Kotaku, on an article titled What Works Better: DRM? Or Just Being Nice to Pirates? Sadly their servers got hit in hurricane Sandy and the site is down, but rest assured it will rise again!

So my theory is this, we can end piracy problems by just embracing piracy, and not trying to fight it. It costs money to fight piracy, and that money might not even prevent a single instance of piracy. Sometimes there is some tough love in the world, and piracy might just be tough love in the video game industry.

Anyway, Where do you thing piracy is headed? is there any excuse for pirating games? will befriending pirates help anything?

Anoymous

In recent years a group called Anonymous has hacked the world. The world has no idea who they are, where they are, or what means they are willing to go to, but the world does know their intentions. Anonymous is a hacktivist group that fights to protect freedoms, uncover corruption, and show the common people truth, by any means necessary.

Hacktivism is the use of legal and/or illegal digital tools in pursuit of political ends. As mentioned Anonymous is the most notable hacktivist group, they even have a movie already, based on their success and stories. Some of their missions include shutting down the FBI and DOD sites in retaliation for closing a file sharing site mega-upload, a threat to bring ” a Reign of Terror” in Israel for poor treatment of Palestinians, and a shut down of gaming company Zynga for improper treatment of employees. Thousands of attacks have be launched by Anonymous, and they are referred to as a terrorist organization in the U.S. But Anonymous is not some band of silly hackers and will not simply disappear because of this title, they often label themselves as an internet sub-culture, fighting for people, despite being called a terrorist organization.

in recent years, Anonymous has received a reputation as the vigilantes of the internet, Declaring war on pedophiles, and attacking the Mexican drug cartels. But this month they turned their attention to the Amanda Todd case.

You can hear the Amanda Todd story here, as told by her and a few flash cards. The story is sad, and does not have a happy ending, I absolutely recommend spending 10 minutes to watch the full story before continuing with this blog post.

In light of Amanda Todd’s suicide on October 10th, Anonymous stepped in, and started looking for the man who started the chain of bullying that caused her to take her life.  On October 15th Anonymous released the name of a man they found responsible to the police and action is being taken now. A terrorist organisation working together with the police might just bring justice.

To end this rather dark post I will poise a few more questions. Is Hacktivism the future of hacking? Is Anonymous doing more good than bad? Is achieving a noble goal through illicit means moral? Does Anonymous deserve to be classified as terrorists? and lastly, Who is Anonymous?

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.