Let’s Play, Nintendo

Since the advent of YouTube, there have been videos about video games, made by fans & reviewers of all types… professional, amateur and asshole.  In recent years, a type of video called “Let’s Play” videos have become increasingly popular.  These videos generally feature gameplay of the game, and overlapping commentary from the player.  They could be intended as humourous, critical or as a walkthrough of the game.  No one seemed to care very much about them for a long while… until YouTube started allowing video creators to monetize their channels and videos using ads.  It’s been a while now, and all hell has started to break loose.

Recently, YouTube has pursued video game companies like Nintendo, Mojang, Microsoft, Sony (and presumably all the others out there) to get them to cash in on the advertising revenue of videos featuring their games.  I haven’t exactly got my finger on the pulse of gaming news any more, but now that a company as big as Nintendo has jumped into the fray, with a seemingly heavy handed, Big Brother-esque stance on the issue, it’s gotten my attention.  Nintendo has apparently claimed all rights to any advertising revenue generated by a video featuring gameplay of their games.  At first glance, depending on where you stand on copyright issues, it seems either pretty shitty, or perfectly  understandable.  But like everything else in life, it’s never quite so black or white.

Okay, maybe not everything.

Okay, maybe not everything.

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Not Another Peep… Not Another Peep…

Army of Grayskull

Army of Grayskull

Since all things must end, Evil Dead Week comes to a close.  It’s been a lot of fun going through the entire series this week.  If you’ve been reading and/or commenting along with me… Thank you very much for the support, and I hope you had even a sliver as much fun with it as I did.  I’ve really enjoyed rewatching the movies, and writing about them was interesting.  I don’t usually deal well with deadlines, so imposing a set of them on myself seemed like a setup for failure.  I’m quite pleased to report that I made each of them.

I’m also incredibly pleased that I was able to enjoy the new movie.  You might’ve noticed that nowhere since the review have I used the term reboot, or remake, in regards to it…  I’m pretty sure it can actually qualify as a sequel, rather than a hard or soft reboot, or a remake.  It seemed while watching it that the events that happened to Ash, Cheryl, Linda, Scotty and Sherry could very well have happened in this Universe.  I’m pretty sure the evil even whispers the name Cheryl to Mia at one point in the swamp.  Then there’s the whispered recorded messages in the background, as well as their appearance in the credits.  I wish I had kept better track of where I read things today, but I’ve been all over the place looking at Evil Dead stuff, I kinda lost track.  Anyway, this theory has been reported as confirmed by Alvarez and Raimi, and that supposedly a crossover movie will occur for Evil Dead 7:  Army of Darkness 2,  or whatever they plan on calling it.

I’m really glad I went through with this, as spur of the moment an idea that it was, particularly because I’ve never had the opportunity to really think about and discuss what I love about the series.  I’m glad I figured it all out before watching the newest entry, because it really laid out for me what Evil Dead was going to have to do to impress me.  If I hadn’t both watched and reviewed the first three this week, I don’t know if I would have really remembered just how different each entry is.  I certainly wouldn’t have noticed half of the references to the original movies that Evil Dead has.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with my endless yammering on basically a single topic for a week.  It was fun.

Evil Dead Week

The thought of going to a new Evil Dead movie for the first time in 20 years has me unreasonably excited.  It’s only showing on one screen in town on Thursday, and the old man and I will be there.  My level of excitement is particularly unreasonable because, aside from tweets from Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce), I don’t know a whole lot about the upcoming movie.  After learning that Sam, Bruce and others are on as producers, and hearing really positive reactions to the trailers, I put myself on Spoiler Alert Media Blackout.

I hadn’t even seen a trailer until last night, when they aired a couple during the season finale of The Walking Dead.  This post started out as a post-mortem on Season 3… but I scrapped it because while I was writing, all I wanted to do was watch the original Evil Dead.  That’s about when I realized that given the time frame, I could watch each of the existing ones, one a night, until Thursday.  And if I’m going to do that… well, fuck it, I might as well have my very first second theme week.

It got into my toys... and it went bad.

It got into my toys… and it went bad.

Of course, whenever I set out to do something on any kind of a schedule, it usually falls apart.  I don’t know that I’ve ever finished anything I’ve started.  Maybe Evil Dead Week will end up Review Grab Bag:  Evil Dead Edition.

Another concern that I have is that I’ve got myself so worked up about seeing this movie, that there’s a very real possibility that I might come away disappointed.  The last time I was excited enough about a movie to ignore all hype-generating media was for Star Wars Episode II…

Needless to say that didn’t live up to my expectations.

UPDATE:

The week’s over!  Here’s some easy links to the reviews:

And here’s the final page, where I go on about my thoughts on running through the series this week.

I Hate Daylight Savings Time ’13

Never been a fan of Daylight Savings Time.  I do not like it.  At all.  Twice a year I sharpen up my machete and try to put together a time machine to go back and right this injustice.

DST has been creeping more and more of our time away, to the point that “Standard” time is only 5 months out of the year and begging for a name change.  Maybe this will be the year that they finally bite the bullet and leave the clock the fuck alone.  At least until the next leap hour, anyway.

The Cursed Crusade (Xbox 360)

Cursed CrusadeThis is my seventh attempt at an introductory paragraph for this review.  The problem I’m having is I cannot seriously discuss any element of this game.  In this moment, I am failing as a reviewer on all fronts.  I really want to be objective.  I don’t want to blast every element of the game, because I can see just the slightest sliver of potential.  But the simple fact remains that this game is just so terrible, so awful, such a failure on almost every level imaginable, that it’s actually draining my ability to discuss it rationally.

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Fat Dad With Glasses: WAKE UP, DA!

So, Charlotte is over 2 and a half years old now.  I’m sure you’ve heard about the terrible twos.  Kids do some of their craziest shit in their terrible twos.  They sing, they dance, they have no shame, they have no volume control what-so-ever, and they are more adept at recording and repeating your conversations in inappropriate situations than Macaulay Culkin with a fucking Talk-Boy.  Everyone that’s ever watched a family film, sit-com, or stand up comedian knows this.

But here at FGWG, I like to try and have your back.  I like to pass on information no one seems to want you to know.  Things like, breastfed infants projectile shitting distances of at least 6 feet with their diaper off.  No one warns you about that.  I thought the total surprises like that were the real danger.  I was wrong.  The real danger is the kind of stuff that you think might be over-exaggerated by others.  Surely certain kinds of behaviour can’t go on for years, with no end in sight.  Well, they can, and they probably will.

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Paragon Forever

Patty at Wentworths
Patty Prestige at her favourite location.


Already Gone:

Well, it’s been a rough year for me electronically. All other aspects of life have been on varied. Most things, at times, have managed to be “Shitty”, “Poor”, “Negotiable”, “Great”, “Fantastic” and “Fan-fucking-tastic”. But, for me, on the electronic escapism front, 2012 has sucked copious amounts of sagging, wrinkly, greying, wiry scrotum hairs. That’s disgusting. I know. I won’t apologize though. That’s how I’ve felt about the handling of my two favourite video game franchises this year.

First off, this spring BioWare cut and pasted a picture of a steaming dung pile into where the end of the Mass Effect trilogy was supposed to be. I had intended to ride out the spring and summer months with near constant replays of ME3. Instead, the ending left me with a poor taste in my mouth and effectively killed any interest I had in ever replaying any game in the series. But that’s another post. (One that I’ve tried to write, but couldn’t find the words.)

Tonight (or today, if it happens to be daytime where ever you are right now) I want to vent about the shit that Korean publisher NCSoft took on one of their most successful games, City of Heroes.

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Johanna Skibsrud’s The Sentimentalists

The SentimentalistsThe Sentimentalists by Johanna Shively Skibsrud

This review will be brief, I think.

I can’t think of any way to discuss the book without revealing the “ending”, so I’m not even going to try. I also didn’t enjoy the book at all. There was a minute there where I thought I would. It didn’t pan out. I don’t think I’m going to be very nice about it.

I read The Sentimentalists because my darling Mother-in-Law essentially asked me to.  I don’t remember the exact words, but she did say “I’d be interested in getting a male perspective” or some other bullshit like that.

In other words:  It’s all her fault.

As near as I can tell, The Sentimentalists is the story of Napoleon Haskell, told through the eyes of his daughter Honey. For the first 80 or so pages… nothing happens. There’s a bunch of wordy, yet vague, descriptions of how Honey’s family was never really close, and that her father was a drunk vet, full of empty promises. One of these promises was to finish a boat. Spoiler: He doesn’t finish the fucking boat. Instead he disappoints his family, runs off to live in an unfinished shack, until one day his daughters scoot him across the border to live with the father of his buddy who died in the war.

Yes. I’m oversimplifying things. I’m doing this because I wasn’t fucking interested.

I was interested at one point. When Napoleon finally opens up to his daughter about the war, the book goes from long drawn out descriptions of minutia to becoming an interesting tale of a random soldier in the Vietnam War. Napoleon goes on to tell a tale, that is sad, engaging and intriguing. He’s not clear on the details, because he’s clearly done everything he can to forget them. This happens about page 150 of  217, and actually made me excited to finish that final quarter.

In the end, I didn’t enjoy this book. That final quarter? It doesn’t fill in any details. Instead, it includes a transcript from an inquiry on the incident Napoleon witnesses. That transcript doesn’t corroborate with what Napoleon tells his daughter at all. I think this was supposed to show us that, despite what his platoon thought, Napoleon had tried not to blatantly accuse his fellow soldiers of anything.

Instead, what it shows us is that the author is trying to leave us with an open to interpretation ending. Maybe we’re supposed to come away feeling that we’ll never really know the truth of anything in our parent’s lives? Maybe we’re supposed to think that we can’t ever really learn from them how to avoid making mistakes? I don’t know. Whatever she was trying to do, it didn’t give two shits.

The book ends letting us know that someone did eventually finish building that goddamn boat and now it’s on it’s way up the Northumberland Strait. Yippie!  It’s one of the things these characters are sentimental about. I think it’s one of those take-pleasure-in-small-consolations moments. Whatever. By the end, when I realized that I wasn’t ever going to get any kind of resolution about what happened to Napoleon or his friend, I really, really, really didn’t care about any of these characters.

This book won “The Giller Prize” for something or other.  It’s a Canadian literature award of some type.  If this is the best we can do, I think we should all throw our fucking pens in the Bay of Fundy and give the fuck up.

This wasn’t very brief, was it?  Oh well.  I guess I lied.  You’ll get over it.

1/5

Found On the Internet: Li’l Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction’s Facebook page shared this today.  I enjoyed it.

Not surprisingly, the 265 comments or so were largely full of people pissing, moaning and crying.  Wah wah… the kids aren’t swearing.  Wah This is inappropriate!  Wah wah John Travolta is white!  wah!  Shoulda done DNS scene! Wah.  Won’t someone think of the children!?! Wah wah wah One of my favourite movies ruined! Fucking wah.

The best three that I saw in my quick glance:

I was hoping they’d shoot Marvin in the face.”  – James Partington

Wrong scene, asshat.

“this is terrible and a disgrace to pulp fiction. vincent vega isnt not a little mexican. get the races right before you make a li’l anything” – Scott Schober

That’s some really choice racism, sir.

“I don’t think Jules was mexican but ok.” – Morgan Shaffer

Also choice racism.  Even funnier to me is that you’re so upset about this detail change you felt the need to comment on it… without realizing that the character Jules was indeed played by a young man of African decent.  How do you get so worked up about one detail, when you don’t even know the character’s fucking name?

Bike Lanes

Bike lanes anger me. I know, it’s hard to imagine me being angry about anything… but bike lanes definitely do it for me. Especially now that the world is in an energy crisis of catastrophic proportions, and my municipal government seems to think bike lanes will answer all the world’s fucking problems. But, of course, I can understand their logic. Suddenly, somehow, altering the flow of traffic in already heavily travelled areas will clearly turn oil into a clean burning renewable resource.

Pictured: All Your Problems Fucking Solved.
No. No way in hell.

Before you start crying to me about how cars are ruining the Earth, and we all need to recycle everything before we start living in the world of Soylent Green, I need you to understand something: I get that the theory is that with more bike lanes more people will use bikes, and that would mean less people would use cars. I get that the future is now. I get that we need to seize the day. I get that every little bit helps. I also get something that, in my opinion, is much more important to realize… at least when it comes to fucking with heavy traffic areas–and slowing down traffic flow–just to put in bike lanes. And what I get is this: Everyone who is going to ride a bike anywhere is already fucking doing it.

At this moment, there are now enough bike lanes in place on my trip to work that I could use them for all but one short block of travelling. I’m not going to. My wife’s not going to. Trying to rationalize paying road crews to paint new lanes and/or widen existing streets by saying more people will leave their cars at home is a flying crock of monkey shit.

But what about safety, you ask? How can you put a price on that? I’ll tell you how. It’s easy. Actual bike lanes are no fucking safer than unmarked ones, non-existent ones, or the fucking sidewalk. I say this because ever since I saw the first goddamn bike lane pop up in this shit town of mine, I’ve been watching. Every day… every single fucking day this summer… I’ve seen one or more of the following:

  • Assholes riding on the wrong side of the road.
  • Assholes riding without a helmet.
  • Assholes riding on the white fucking line that makes up the bike lane.
  • Assholes riding just outside the fucking bike lane.
  • Assholes completely ignoring traffic lights.
  • And one glorious asshole who was riding outside the bike lane, on the wrong side of the road, in the middle of traffic, into an oncoming traffic lane that had a green light.

Even the most safety conscious looking people, wearing helmets, pads, vests, and all sorts of shiny flashy shit, have been driving on the wrong side of the road, and/or ignoring general rules of traffic. You know, those tough calls that none of us know, like “What do you do at a red light?” and “Can I cross this intersection diagonally, because suddenly I think I’m a pedestrian now? I know the intersection isn’t even marked as a diagonal crosswalk, but it’s still cool, right?”

Safety is Job #1.Unless the light is red.

I’m mostly pissed about the whole thing because a road I frequent was formerly 4 lanes, 2 each way, until recently.  You were able to pass any slow idiot, school bus, or car turning left with the greatest of ease.  There was more than enough room in these wide lanes to have accommodated bikes.

Obviously, for the 30 or so years the road had been this way, it must have worked too well.  This summer they decided to add bike lanes, one on each side.  Now instead of 4 lanes, there’s 2 and a half.  One in each direction, and one of those genius dual left turn lanes.  Let me tell you… the people in this area are just not smart enough drivers to figure out a dual left turn lane.  There’s been some form of accident every week since they changed the lanes.

Also, now that school’s back in, you can get stuck behind a school bus stopping every quarter mile, and have absolutely no course to legally pass them.  Most people travelling this road travel it for 15 to 30 minutes with no traffic…  If they were to get stuck behind a school bus, and are headed out to the end of the road, their commute will double.  If the dumbasses I share this road with get frustrated at that traffic, something terrible is going to happen, I’m sure.

I’m not normally one to advocate stupid government red tape (except in the case of Machete Licenses), but I do think that the g-men should step in here.  I need to write a test to get a shiny piece of plastic so that I can drive my vehicle that could get someone killed in between the pretty painted lines they made for me… Why the fuck is it okay for some kid, or dumbfuck adult for that matter, to drive down their pretty painted lines on a vehicle that could get them killed without a shiny piece of plastic test of their own?  And it should cost an arm an a leg to get, too.  All the fees could go to the roadwork, and maybe the police force, so that they could afford to police the (as far as I’ve observed) near 100% rate of infractions per bicyclist in this fucking shitburg.

I’m sure all of you out there living in areas with millions of people, who deal regularly with the idea of taking 2 hours to drive a quarter mile, are laughing at me.  Well… you probably need to push bike lanes.  There’s, like, 6 million of you fucking idiots in a close area and you’re each driving a car.  If you throw together this “city” the 2 towns and 2 villages that make up my “Greater Metropolitan Area”… we might break 200k people.  We don’t need your fancy environmental solutions.  We still have fucking trees.  Although we do have a bunch of people bawling their fucking eyes out because we have one less tree now.  But that’s a different story…

Coming Soon: Give Trees A Chance.