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About Wilds

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  1. Nah, it wasn't about pandering specifically, but the way in which it's executed as a power fantasy and wish fulfillment. The example of The Office was good, I thought: UK Office was about how work is draining and stealing your time, US Office is about how enriching work is and how you get all these wacky new friends and find love. In games, you're never the guy who dies in Normandy as soon as the boat reaches the beach, you're the guy beyond all odds kills thousands of Nazis and saves the world. It instills in people a belief in the "rightness" of existing systems, regardless of their reality. War can work, a military invasion can work, a white collar office job can be fulfilling and worthwhile even if you aren't actually doing anything productive at all. Bad things will get stopped by good people with conviction. Unfair systems will be beaten by strong men with willpower. A way I've seen this reflected in current events is the way people reacted to the anti-Trump violence in San Antonio, with people saying violence is never appropriate, throwing eggs at fascists is fascism, that Trump can definitely be beat just through the system and to go outside the system is inherently letting him win. But our system fucking sucks. If it didn't, he wouldn't be where he is in the first place. The system has put two of the least popular, least qualified people in the history of US elections at the forefront of a supposedly popular election. Trump has gotten hundreds of hours of free press time in front of the nation to advocate racial apartheid in America, explicitly calling for the exclusion of Muslim Americans and Latino Americans. When people react strongly in resistance to that though, they're in the wrong if they're not working in the system? Some nerdy pundits like Chris Hayes have even tried to claim that historical physical resistance to nazis and rightwing uprisings have been failures that have only helped the cause they opposed. Here's a good history lesson on that, in this context: https://thesouthlawn.org/2016/06/04/burying-you-with-a-good-shovel-in-the-good-earth/
  2. I actually think they should encourage MORE switching, especially when someone's doing poorly with a class. They've got tooltip suggestions for everything else, after all. "Hey, you've died three times without getting a single kill as Widowmaker, maybe do you want to try someone else?"
  3. Really enjoyed the conversation about the impact of cultural messages and themes and how entertainment can impact views. For a study on this (albeit one on the extreme end of messages and effects which might make people who don't want to think about this stuff and be introspective balk), here's a video and article on Nazi propaganda: http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/43758/study-1930s-nazi-youth-propaganda-long-term-impact-jewish-world/#1ztChtTT4VhTp0Og.97 The short of it is that the generation of Germans born in the 1930s, thus those who came of age in Nazi Germany, had significantly more racist views than any other generation: INCLUDING the previous generation, the people who actually indoctrinated them. These effects lasted throughout the people's lives, as the study that found these views was conducted 1996-2006, over half a century after the fact. Now, video games aren't teaching kids today to be Nazis (probably). But when I see huge numbers of teens online balk at representing women/POC/etc as whole people, calling it "pandering", or dismiss any discussion of violence with "It's just fun" or "they're just games", I think back to how the industry and press around nerd culture stuff have handled and handwaved issues like these throughout the 90s and 00's, and how these kids, many of whom probably were too young to even be reading online discussions and games press in the 90s, reflect those views. I'm sure most people who write about video games or comic books consider their work completely irrelevant to larger cultural attitudes and politics. But this stuff has snowballed into some pretty vicious territories.
  4. Another Red Redemption, Dead

    You know what was a cool game? Gun. Remember Gun, guys? Admittedly, RDR has a better, more googleable name, but in every OTHER aspect...
  5. What happened to Sean on Idle Thumbs?

    I agree with this. I was super, super sad with Danielle leaving the base cast, but Idle Weekend has turned out to be a fantastic addition. Hopefully Idle Thumbs can continue to expand it's lineup to find a good balance between cast number and putting out the voices of cool people.
  6. The Next President

    This isn't his first seeming disaster on the campaign, but they put him out there anyway, and Hillary has defended him and refused to go against anything he said. We can only assume it's intentional, and the actual message of the campaign at this point. The Clinton campaign as a whole just seems really fucked lately. Hillary probably wouldn't be supporting this stuff, if only out of practicality because it looks horrible, except she's surrounded by people like the "Hillary Men" who think this shit is great, actually. Everyone kept talking about the positive potential of Sanders' campaign to push her's to the left, but they seem to be working overtime not primarily on winning votes, but instead on avoiding any slipping away from free trade, bomb Iran, money is A-OK policies. In the debate last night Clinton claimed to support $15 minimum wage, to have always supported the $15 minimum wage, and in the same sentence say she supports a $12 minimum wage and states can choose to go higher if they're willing. On social security, she repeatedly responded to a question about removing the cap on max taxed income (SS income tax caps out at $115k, so rich people pay far less into it, despite getting the same retirement benefits as everyone else) by saying that yes, she supports... increasing the SS Trust's funding. She kept refusing to actually agree to remove the cap, and insisting that she WAS agreeing by saying she'd "make the Security Trust solvent" some different indeterminate way. Does she support raising the retirement age from 65, as many rich jerks call for? That could be fit under the umbrella of what she was claiming. So could massive benefit cuts. And that's just... acceptable, apparently. To talk out of both sides of your mouth not just to different people, but to everybody all at once, while not actually saying anything concrete. I really don't get it. She also, after much hemming and hawing, said she regretted the 90s Crime Bill. Or, at least "I regret the consequences of the bill that were unintentional," which means what? Because the bill had some really terrible intentional stuff included it, like massive minimum sentencing hikes, expansion of the death penalty, racially biased criminal laws like specifying crack for extra penalties, massive financial support for prison expansion, and almost no money for actual crime prevention. Edit: The crime bill also cut all education funding for prisoners, maybe you could call the obvious increase in recidivism and poverty among ex-cons "unintentional". Hey, we only decided an entire class of people were subhuman, who thought that would have consequences? It also established "Three Strikes" provisions that lead to life sentences for repeated low level offenders like pot dealers and homeless people sleeping in public. I'm sure they thought that the people they choked out of all legit work would simply vanish from existence rather than doing whatever they could to make ends meet. I don't think there's any room for anybody to call mass incarceration an "unintended consequence," though, since one of the largest parts of it was an enormous increase in funding for prisons, including private prisons. Edit 2: The bill also created a bunch of new crimes, including some based on "gang membership," which has been used to jail people based on familial or proximal association, and enabled the FBI to spy on animal rights, antiwar groups, and mosques as "possible terrorism cells". Is that unintentional?
  7. Absolutely. Previous games criticized America, warmongering, and escalation for sure, but those aren't things an international corporation (that isn't Halliburton) would necessarily take personally. MGSV talks about cultural imperialism and how globalization is a form of genocide in the name of Capitalism. That'll sting a CEO.
  8. I was just talking with a friend about MGSV and Konami, since I only recently played through it, long after everything was current news. In the context of the game, I feel pretty confident that the game's strong anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist messages probably fell on the wrong side of some executives that couldn't afford to kill the game, because of how much had already been sunk into it, and couldn't get Kojima to censor it.
  9. Totally agree with this. These things aren't just "politics," they can do real harm to both people's view of the world and to people who have suffered through the things they are trivializing. I wouldn't touch The Division with a ten foot poll, and that has nothing to do with its actual gameplay, but that doesn't mean it's an invalid judgement of a video game.
  10. The Next President

    In just the last three days: 1. The Panama Papers leaked, exposing a major tax haven that was helped along by free trade negotiations Clinton took part in, and Sanders aggressively opposed in the Senate. Clinton supporters in the media start defending free trade as a good thing, and accusing Bernie Sanders of "hating poor people in other countries" for opposing free trade policies. 2. Hillary Clinton tells CNN she's "Going Nuclear" on Sanders, and immediately puts out a statement demanding he apologize to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, saying he's unqualified to be president because he doesn't support suing gun makers for what legal purchasers do with those guns. He responds saying she's unqualified for voting for the Iraq war and should apologize for that instead, and the media pounces, turning this into a sexist slur. Nobody cares about the galling crassness of using dead kindergartners as chips in a political primary. 3. Today, Bill Clinton was challenged at a campaign event in Philadelphia (shout out to my hometown) by Black Lives Matters activists. He called BLM "far left," said they should focus on black on black crime instead, defended welfare reform and the 90s crime bill and HRC's "Superpredators" line, giving an example of "13 year olds hopped up on crack being sent to kill other African Americans." Basically: We ruined our own communities, his policies were trying to save us. Philly wasn't having any of it. Looking forward to see how people twist this to be Sanders' fault.
  11. The Next President

    Yeah, the party's been undergoing long fought course correction lately, with a lot of it dragged kicking and screaming into the future. Lots of people were really bugged by Clinton showing up at the NYC signing for the $15/hr minimum wage law when she's never supported it. Mostly, I just hope it gives her the excuse to actually support the idea of instead of constantly insisting it's too ambitious.
  12. Other podcasts

    Checked the last few pages and didn't see it, and it's my all-time favorite (non-thumbs) podcast, so here's Knifepoint Horror: http://knifepointhorror.libsyn.com/ It's a horror fiction podcast set up like first person accounts of terrible experiences, but is comfortable enough to be way more low key than basically all the other horror podcasts I've listened to. No sharp musical cues for scary stuff, or dumb accents. Just really, really good stories.
  13. So what you're saying is that Paint Drying game is a 10/10, because it perfectly does exactly what it means to?
  14. The Next President

    The Sanders plan for the bank is simplistic, but it isn't vague: Set a specific $ cap on the size of a bank, and let the banks figure out how to divide themselves in the most efficient way. This is a similar level of detail to Clinton's ISIS plan: Here's my overarching goals, but I'm not going to make battle strategy decisions on the campaign trail when there are actual generals and stuff that are far more prepared to make those calls. Elizabeth Warren has endorsed that very same plan for breaking up the banks as well, and that lady's a Harvard law professor specializing in banking. Unrelated to that discussion: Clinton has joined in with the argument that Sanders is a fake Democrat, which is hilarious, because he's been voting along with the Democratic party since before her Third Way branch of the party existed.
  15. The Next President

    I agree, mostly, but at the same time I don't think it's an appropriate attack during the primary, because nobody else is giving fully thought out policy proposals either. Now is the time to convince regular voters that you have good ideas they like, rather than convincing wonks at the Wall Street Journal that your specific recommended laws won't ruin capitalism. Look at HRC's "plan to defeat ISIS":