Monday, December 26, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
So what's it to me? I'm a Dane.
It has everything to do with both me, and any other person based outside the U.S. as much as it has to with the Americans themselves. SOPA, the biggest threat to the internet we have faced thus far can basically take down all your favorite sites because they *might* contain copyrighted content or links to it. This is a direct censorship attack on sites like Facebook, That Guy With The Glasses, Youtube, Google, Screwattack, Overclocked Remix.. Basically, they can even take down webcomics because they might contain depictions of copyrighted characters. Consider popular series like Penny Arcade, 8-bit Theatre and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
To me, the internet isn't something you can actually gouvern. It is far too vast. In actuality, you can call The Internet the first man-made natural thought. It is literal no-mans land. The voting on the fate of these bills will take place this Wednesday, december 21st. If I have anyone in my audience who're based in America and still haven't contacted their senators - please do so. It is good old fashioned showdown, and the stake is Free Speech.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
But can video games be considered a stand alone medium of expression? The shortsighted answer is a cold No. The more optimistic answer however is: Not yet, But it most definitely should.
When the general public thinks of video games they often think of them as playthings. A brief escapism from the everyday life, in a video game you can be a cowboy fighting a gang of thieves or a successful manager bringing your football team to the World cup finale. But potentially, video games can teach you about life, and maybe a little bit about yourself. In video games with charisma, a choice that may seem like the most positive at the moment can turn out hurting the people you are trying to help. A good example of this is the fairly recent fantasy roleplaying game: Dragon Age Origins.
In Dragon Age, you play as a warden. The Wardens is a international organization that has treaties with the different species in the world to bring them armies to fight a soon to come blight upon the land. When you go to the Dwarwen kingdom in the mountains, this is supposed to be smooth sailing. The king has recently passed away however and there is disputes between the kings own chosen follower, and his actual heir of blood. At a first glance, the choice seems easy. The prince uses less than honorable methods and the other one seems like a regular saint that has been forced into hiding by hired goons.
But when the game ends, and you get the updates on what has happened in the different nations since your influence, the saint-like heir is actually the bad ending. Instead of making the Dwarven nation a better place, he just carried on the same way the late king did and the land of dwarves plunged into civil war. The prince however, ends up changing the way the whole kingdom is run. People are now free to choose their own careers, where before they were locked into kind of life their parent of the same sex had, in likeness of the Indian caste-system from the real world.
This is kind of a weak example, but choices and consequences like this one could be used to teach players about the world we live in. Strategy games could be used to teach history and First person shooters could be used to explore the single soldier’s role in a war started by diplomats. It may provoke us, make us question ourselves and potentially make us change for the better.
Video games can also be documentaries, but this has a long bumpy road ahead of it. In 2007, a division of the video game developer Atomic games worked with the American military to develop a training simulator. During the process however, the band of soldiers that the division had worked with was sent off to Iraq to fight in the war. There, the band participated in one of the most bloody battles of the entire Iraq campaign and lost a lot of teammates. When the soldiers returned, they contacted Atomic games and asked them to convey the story of the battle through a video game to the rest of the world. What resulted was a survival horror game but not in the traditional sense, the fear would come from uncertain, terrifying unpredictability of an actual city war. It would use the likenesses and retelling of the soldiers and senior officers that fought in the battle of Fallujah to paint an as accurate and respectful picture as possible of not only those six days, but of the entire war.
But as was predictable, some people weren't happy. Once word got out that someone was making a game about such a recent event, people were outraged. Parents who had lost sons and daughters in the battle, and senior officers who didn't even participate started a debate about it. Heads were going to roll. These people, as with many others still viewed games as toys. Their anger reached the press, and the press literally destroyed the credibility of the small video game developer. Konami, who was slated to publish the title soon backed out of the project and Atomic games was left out in the cold. In a matter of a few years, that being as soon as 2009, Atomic games shut down completely. And that with Six Days in Fallujah still a ways behind hitting store shelves, which I suspect it never will.
There's a lot of blame to go around for this affair. It's easy for an enthusiast like me to just say that those that lost loved ones should have ignored the release of the title completely or even backed it up. After all, it seemed like a really entertaining title. But that's just it. Video games are still at a social standpoint where it's merely escapism. While Atomic games should have been credited for wanting to take the medium further, Six Days in Fallujah would still be released in the golden age of Modern war-based shooters. To many, Six Days wouldn't have stood out much in the flood of first person shooters that comes out these days and it would have been shrugged off as yet another Call of Duty- or Battlefield-like title. That said, to me the blame goes to Konami. Konami is a huge video game publisher, and has followed the medium since the beginning. Konami was originally one of the backers of the project before they eventually left it and that means they simply lost their spine. This is a huge publisher, they must have known that making this game was quite literally sticking your hand in a hornets nest. This was like if as huge a movie-company as Universal Pictures had backed out of a movie, simply because it said something the general demographic didn't agree about.
But that's the thing about freedom of expression. If you want to have a right, you have to accept the responsibility that comes with it. And you have to be ready to defend your points when confronted about them. There will always, always be someone who disagrees with you. If you're planning to use a medium as young as video games to express yourself, you have to understand that you will most likely be on your own. Even video games that was supposed try and teach children about the second world war has been stopped in development because of moral outrage, and that's even though it might have had the best intentions.
So that brings us to my conclusion. Video games are a very young medium. Older and more respected mediums has gone through exactly the same challenges that video games face today. Comic books still face them. Movies won them all. Rock N' Roll won them as well. We have a unique storytelling and teaching opportunity in front of us, now we just have to make people respect it. And once they do, we have to know how to live up to the responsibility that comes with it.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
*Sigh* I never thought I would have to write this. Here goes anyhow. One of my favorite shows of all time "The Simpsons" stands at the threat of being cancelled. This is despite other shows of the same nature (Family Guy) having 2 or 3 spin-offs running smoothly. This is sad. Whenever I defend The Simpsons in public or whenever I hear The Simpsons being talked about in public lately, a lot of people accuse it of not being funny anymore, and having grown stale. More recently, people have said that Family Guy is a much better show and that Simpsons should be cancelled to leave more space in programming to that show.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Illustrations: Kazuma Kondou
Anime adaptation: Manglobe
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THIS WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Don't we all just love popculture? Well sure we do, it's entertaining as hell. But sometimes a character's background can be so dark and brooding that you just have to wonder "Just what the heck were they thinking?" And then do a Patrick Stewart facepalm to punctuate.
BEFORE WE START: PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I've never been good at keeping up with the current events in the DC universe. Mostly because DC comics hasn't been published in a monthly edition in Denmark in a decade. That being said, I have been able to sometimes go to an actual comicbook store (a rarity in Copenhagen, oddly enough) and take a look at the new hardback releases which is why I'm now able to talk about Green Lantern in Blackest Night.
To start off, naming this as a Green Lantern book is kinda silly, as most of the other DC heroes appear. It's more of an event book some would say, putting it in the same booth as Crisis on However-Many-Earths-DC-Is-Gonna-Blow-Up-This-Time. So why not call this Death Crisis affectionally, eh? Well because in my eyes it's more of a Team-up comic. The Flash and The Atom seems to have just as large roles in this as Hal Jordan and his merry band of intergalactic cops do so you might as well call this "Brave and The Bold, Zombie Edition". Also, Now they HAVE to do a Marvel Zombies crossovers. There will be blood if you do not comply with my nerdy wet dreams!
Or maybe he was teasing something? Captain Planet the Comic book? Nah. That could never happen. Could it?
I AM VERY DISAPPOINT!
To those interested, you can find the original Escapist article HERE
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
As I showed my blogpost to my friends, one of them (a girl, such mystical creatures indeed) had a pretty good counter argument. You see, she argued that the "Superhero frontfigure" thing wasn't very up to date or at all in touch with todays industry. Granted, what she actually said was "I've never cared for Superheroes, I've always rooted for the villains and bad boys". But you know, potato, tomato, Shigeru Miyamoto, really.
Because she's kinda right, I myself have always been a big fan of both Disney's version of Hades and The Joker. Some bad guys are just so unquestionably evil yet somehow relatable that you can't help but feel a little sorry for them when they loose. After all, why do you think Iznogood or Pinky & The Brain ever got so popular? We know that what they want is horrible yet seeing them fail, time and time again when they come close to actually suceeding is why we enjoy their company. It's kind of sadistic really, we want them to succeed because we recognize the feeling from when we try to swat that one fly that JUST. WON'T. DIE.
But, that was kind of my point in my previous post. We have become very used to the worldweary Humphrey Bogart-type character that doesn't have perfect morals but is doing good for the rest of us in the long run. Characters switching sides has become a stable of modern culture and in particular the Manga fanbase where this among some has become known as "The Vegeta Complex" based on the very popular Dragonball Z, where on of the invading Saiyans that was the main villain in the first storyarc turn out to be one of the main characters most powerful allies in the long run. This is also seen in American popculture, with examples like Gambit from X-men, and Spike from the Buffy The Vampireslayer franchise. Of course the most well-known example of side-switching is Darth Vader. The one who started out as a noble jedi, betrayed his brethen due to the potential loss of his wife and children (which he ultimately lost anyway, cheery, eh?) and back into a hero when his son needed him the most.
Isn't this kind of naive? to assume that EVERYONE ultimately will hold up their end of a bargain like Hades or come to our aid in battle for the honor of the lost like Vegeta? One of the things The Dark Knight actually got right was this line of dialogue: "Some people just want to see the world burn". And while The Dark Knight might have been an open letter of sympathy to the Bush administration (Another article, promise) it actually had a point. Human beings can be fairly stubborn and some of them to the point of going to their deaths merely to piss off the people they disagree with. How else do you think suicide bombers can actually exist? Whoa, this took a very dark turn. So that's another reason we need our Supermen and Astro Boys, they balance things out with their just as naive pursuit of truth and justice to make our Rick Blaine's and Punishers all the more enjoyable.
GOD DAMN GRAPHICS
so, my computer died on me. The Graphics started gradually dying on a day-to-day basis in a period of 3 months, every day the "The Graphics Driver has encountered an error and has been reset" error became just a little bit more frequent, at first totally unnoticeable to the point of actually exploding the day-before-yesterday. I formatted my computer, with what turned out to be a too scratched windows back-up and now my computer shows black screen beyond the point of the Windows Vista logo before the logon-screen. It's a probable mixed drink of melted graphic-card, bad windows back-up and some kind of servicepack 1 update that triggers it. In case you're wondering, I've been going online from my fathers laptop since the "incident" and I'm now waiting on payday (tomorrow) to go out and buy myself a new graphic-card. I've always taken pride in having at least a decent gaming PC and I'll be damnned if I'm gonna be left behind.
WHERE'S WALLACE BARCRAWL
So I was searching online for refferential images of Wallace (or Waldo) online when I saw a group of individuals having a annual meet-up in canada dressed up as Where's Wallace characters. It wasn't a barcrawl and just seemed to be something of a communal nature. That's when I thought, I loved going to Zombiecrawl 2009. It's to this days on my top ten of favorite moments in my life. So why not combine the two? Therefore I have come up with the Where's Wallace Barcrawl. I will get as many people as I can and do a route in Copenhagen. The date isn't set yet, but It's probably going to be some time in September. My cousin Rikke has agreed to do a British version if she can't attend mine on the same date, More on that when I get some more information. But that's that.
Incidentally, you can find my comicstrip All Sorts of Happenings including the strip that caused the barcrawl HERE