Category Archives: ANALYSIS

SAVE FILE PHOTOGRAPHY

 

save screen

 

There’s plenty of games out there that give us the option to take in-game photos   ( screenshots really ), but I never get around to bother. Yet somehow, when it’s related to the accompanying image that goes with a save file, I’m all into it. I go to great lenghts to find a proper subject, I take my time setting up the shot.

My habit might seem like an unusual idiosyncrasy. But I find that using distinctive images makes it easier to find my way around multiple save files, compared to searching with date and time alone. Also being a visual artist, I can’t resist the option to express my personality using visual means.

What I wonder is whether this an idiosyncrasy shared by other gamers, or whether I’m the only one with this obsession.

[n]

[ EYE NOTICE ]

Netflix needs to add a “trans” section

netflix trans

First off, I’d like to congratulate Netflix on adding sex-reassignment surgery as one of the health benefits they offer to their employees. That is really awesome of them to do so.

But that leaves the question of what is it they’re offering in terms of search options, to their users that are trans? Finding movies and tv shows that relate to trans-identity on netflix, is a pain. There’s a section for gays and lesbians, and that’s great for them, but there’s nothing for us.  Trans related content shows up in various other categories, and it’s being left to us to go on an archeological search to dig up their hidden treasures. Are they ashamed of us?

To me it doesn’t make sense. On top of the few dozens of trans related movies and tv shows they already have listed, they also produce original content with amazingly well-written trans, and gender non-conforming characters ( Sense8, Knights of Sidonia, Orange is the new black ). Don’t they want to keep us as customers? And if so, wouldn’t it make sense that they add a category that makes it easy for us to find the content we’re looking for?

What do you  think? Feel free to vote on the poll below or to write your opinion in the comment section.

 

 

[n]

NATNOTE: If we manage to get 50 votes in favor, I’ll make sure to forward this article to netflix. So be sure to vote and share accordingly. ^_^

Trans characters in videogames

From Poison being turned into a trans woman so that the proucers of Final Fight would have an excuse to justify having male characters beating up women, to Birdo in Super Mario being retconned into a full female, there has been alot of different charcters in video games that are trans. This time around, I decided to try something different. This article is opened to all readers who might want suggest which TG ( transgender ) characters should be talked about. Suggestions can be added in the comments section and can also be emailed to contactt4d@gmail.com.

 

NATNOTE: I intend to update this article as time goes on, and as soon as I get a new laptop. Thanks for bearing with me. :)

 

The Hobo Code is a precursor to the “like” button

[ HOBO CODE LIKE ]

We all do it, clicking away as a sign of approval for whatever we may like. But, that’s not completely a new way of doing things. We don’t need to look back that far to find similar behavior. For example, the Hobo Code, also known as the Hobo Alphabet, could be considered a precursor to the facebook “like” button.

hobo-railroad-signs-symbols

Hobos used to carve such symbols into fences, walls, and posts, as a way to inform, or warn, other fellow traveling vagabonds. I call it Hobo-networking.  It started with the Gypsy Alphabet in Europe, which got updated when it became the Norwegian, and  later the British Hobo Code.  And, sure they had a lot more options then we do. But I think that symbols such as  “Good place for a handout”, “Good place to catch a train” or “Alcohol in this town”, would definitely qualify as a 1930’s version of a facebook “Like”. And since the life of 1930’s tramp was a lot more perilous than whether the latest cute kitten pic was worth “liking” or not, they also had the equivalent of a “dislike” button. Symbols such “Man with gun lives here”, and “Be ready to defend yourself”, would definitely qualify as a bad review. Worthy of a “dislike” button, I would say.

So, in conclusion, even when the stakes aren’t that high, humans have a need to share what they like. Whether it’s letting each other know that we can get drunk here without being shot, or whether it’s letting each other know that some pic, or some article is worthy of our time, adding our approval on things, is just something we’ve always done.

[ clickANDlike ]

[ n ]

NATNOTE: Personally, I see them new fangled “google-glasses” as the next step in our ever-evolving quest of tagging what we like.

[ like]

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SCREEN-FREE WEEK

[ TV SWARM ]It used to be known as “TV-turnoff week”, and it was probably easier back then to only have to give up TV. Now, the challenge is to give up your addiction to all screen devices. The official dates for SCREEN-FREE WEEK in 2013, are from April 28th to May 5th. I got to say, it’s a tall order. I’m actively looking for a new job, so in my case I can’t afford to not check my emails. But I do plan on going at least “TV and video game free” starting tomorrow, and for the rest of the week. I’ll be posting my impressions once the challenge is over.

[ TV SNOW ]

One might wonder why I might encourage my readers to drop off the grid for a week, because at the same time, I’m reducing the potential amount of visitors I get to this site. I figure this is probably the main reason the mainstream media doesn’t talk about this campaign much. But technology4democracy isn’t about popularity, it’s about principles. Media addiction is real, and it’s especially a problem for some people. I believe the electorate needs to be more media-savvy, and campaigns that promote awareness of the pitfalls of mass-media, should be encouraged.

I cannot think of anything sadder than people who voluntarily sign up to receive a modern-day equivalent of the Ludovico Technique. ( see image below )

[ ludovico ]

For those who missed “A Clockwork Orange”, the Ludovico Technique is a ghastly sci-fi medical procedure that uses drugs, media, and  as you can see,   eye-clamps,  in a vain attempt to reform criminals.

So  in conclusion, please go ahead, take off your metaphorical media-clamps for a week, and see how it feels, I dare [ YOU ] !

[n]

POST-EVENT-UPDATE: I gave it a shot, and in my case Screen-free week was a total failure. During that week, not only did I watch tv and movies, and play videogames, I also signed up for a new cel phone, as well as moved into a new pad that comes with cable tv. So yeah, a total bust!  :(

[ YOU ] two

VIDEOGAME SEGREGATION

[ SF SIGN ] 2

I think there’s nothing worse than hanging out at friend’s place who only has 1-Player adventure/shooter games. It doesn’t make for much  2-player interactivity. I buy multiplayer games, including Capcom fighting games, because, as silly as it sounds, I want to be a good host. Plus, obviously, I enjoy playing them tremendously. I love the Capcom fighting games so much, I’ll buy everything Capcom produces that’s got a versus option. From SF2 on SNES, to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure on PS1, To buying games on PS3 that I already have on Ps2. Capcom fighting games are like pokemons to me. I want them all!  See photographic evidence below:

[ capcom fighting games ]

Now back to the point I want to make about Videogame Segregation.

Traditionally segregation is defined as:

1. the act of segregating or state of being segregated
2. sociol : the practice or policy of creating separate facilities within the same society for the use of a minority group

*source: dictionary.com

I love all the capcom fighting games, but with all the updates and different editions, I’m hooked beyond my budget. And what really irks me is how they segregate their online gamer community between different versions of the same game. For example: last time I checked, Street Fighter 4 had sold around 4-5 million copies, and because there’s so many copies, and because it’s available dirt cheap used,  most of the people online are noobs. So I can win online matches at SF4 without too much work even though I usually take “random” at the character select screen. The newer edition, Super Street fighter 4 AE, which sold 1-2 million or so copies, is harder to find and is more expensive, so most of the people online for that game are hardcore. They’re hardcore enough to pay more for the same game, and hardcore enough to learn a newer more complicated move-set.  I can’t  afford to choose random when I play SSF 4AE online, no, I gotta stick to my strong characters and work hard for every win.

4426614716_af0f7378ef

It’s segregation because it separates people into groups, based solely on their purchasing power and skills set. everybody should be able to play the best, and latest version of the game. And in my case, since I own both copies,  I find it’s a downer that the community is split up like that, and that with my skill set, it’s not a fun option  for me to play the latest version of Streetfighter. That strikes me as a design flaw on Capcom’s part, that they would split us up like that, that they would make the latest, and most updated version of their game, so unapproachable.

And Capcom keeps repeating the same pattern. They’re doing it to us again with Marvel Vs Capcom 3, and the newer version called: Ultimate  Marvel vs Capcom 3. Yes, against my own personal logic, Capcom will ultimately get me to shell  another 60$ for a newer version of the same game that now has a few new characters. Woo-hoo! And I wouldn’t mind paying 120$ for one game, if only the online offering wasn’t split into two absolutely polar-opposite groups.

So you end up with two segregated gaming communities for the same game. One for noobs, one for hard-core gamers. Which sucks, because everybody should be able to play the same game, the best version of the game. No gamer should be told to go sit at the back of the digital bus.

[n]

razorbladecandyAQUA

NATNOTE: For anyone who wants to call me out, and challenge me at SF4 on PS3, my PSN username is: Razorblade_Candy. And I’ll take on anybody online. Well, at least for a couple of matches…   ^_^

[ - getting screwed - ]

RED versus BLUE

Coke versus Pepsi, Republicans vs Democrats, The Canadiens versus the Maple leafs. Color-based rivalries for a color-coded reality. We’re simple people, and we like our confrontations to have as much complexity as a kindergarten color chart.

And the people selling us the conflict understand that, they understand the power of color on the subconscious. The opposing political party are so profoundly wrong, they makes us red with anger. That other commercial brand is so lame, it makes us blue in the face. The psychology of color takes on a completely different angle when you apply it to politics and aggressive marketing. The Green party has a green logo. That makes sense. But considering that red is the official color of communists and liberals, then why are the Republicans associated with red?

Turns out it’s just a coincidence. Apparently RED and BLUE  were assigned alternatively between Democrats and Republicans each election by the media. But after the controversy of the 2000 George W. Bush election, where each district was fought tooth and nail between a red force and a blue force, well, each color stuck. And that’s how the Republican party ended up with the official color of liberals and communists.

I remember my high school history teacher telling us that back in the day, when  Quebec was still ruled like a theological monarchy, that before every election,  the clergy would advise their parishioners on how to vote with the following statement: ” Heaven is blue, and Hell is red, makes sure you vote wisely”! That was referring to the socially progressive Liberal party  and their red logo, as well as to the church-supporting Union National and their blue logo. There’s nothing like having the catholic church spell it out for us kindergarten educated electoral simpletons, using simple color-coded analogies. And then people wonder why Quebecers curse at the Catholic church so much.

And ultimately, if you look at it, why is it always Red vs Blue? Why not Brown vs Purple? Turquoise vs Canary Yellow?  And apart from the fact that those might clash, I would venture to say that the main reason for RED and BLUE to always be picked for rivalries, is because, on average BLUE is always everybody’s favorite color. The sky is blue, the ocean is blue, what’s not to like? And RED is the color that will always “pop out” the most. Unless you put it next to some pink, but then again, pink is just some “light red” if you get down to it.

[n]

NATNOTE : Any similarities to existing brands and their trademarked logos, is a coincidence, unless used specifically for satirical purposes.

The language paradox

Language can either work for you, or against you. Because it’s not just some “words”, it’s the mental and cultural architecture that frames the way we think and the way we are able to express ourselves. And it’s not necessarily all about the grammar and the punctuation, it’s also about the meaning and the effect we let words have over us.

For example, when a military power accidentally slaughters innocent bystanders, it’s not military incompetence resulting in the senseless death of innocent civilians anymore. No, it’s, as the media calls it, just “collateral damage”. The last time I checked, “collateral” is a type of payment somebody puts down when applying for a loan or a similar service. And I don’t think that there’s any  dead civilians out there who ever  agreed to have their lives put up as an insurance for a morally questionable military intervention. But that’s just an example of one party using  the power of language and making it work for them.

With the english language, all numbers between 12 and 20 have a “teen” suffix added to them. So as a result, anyone that’s under 20  can be referred to as being a “teenager”, which in my opinion can explain the higher age of majority in certain anglophone jurisdictions. As far as the law, and as far as anyone else  is concerned, any 18 year-old in Quebec is an adult, not a teenager. Because there’s no ” teen” related suffix for numerals in french. But all the other 18 to 19 year olds in all the other anglophone provinces of Canada will always be referred to as being quite up to the level of an adult, because they’re still “teenagers”. That’s what happens when language works against you.

As some of you might have noticed, I keep  going back to my  point that  “a representative democracy” isn’t the same as “a democracy”. That’s because I refuse to let the politico media establishment hijack the way we think just like that. Information is power. And propaganda has always been less effective on an educated populace.

Ideally, everyone should be vigilant and skeptical about everything that’s being said by politicians and the mainstream media, and about the way they say it. But the reality is that we live in the age of infotainment, objectivity flew out the window a long time ago…

[n]