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Malik (11/12/07)

In the greedy mind set that we Americans tend to run off of, there is good news for unscrupulous greedy bastards; Take Two will be offering an exchange or refund (of $35) for anyone who bought GTA:SA before the Hot Coffee scandal broke. The requirements for this settlement include both having proof of buying the game prior to 7/20/2005 and having found that they would not have purchased the game if the Hot Coffee bullshit was known of prior to purchase.

I can see a lot of people jumping on this refund. The exchange for an M rated disc (which is the alternative to getting $35 in a refund) is going to be ignored. However, enough greedy bastards are out there that will take advantage of the refund by swearing that the game harmed their fragile little minds.

As for me, I will not take part. I bought GTA:SA on it's launch day and I loved the game. Hot Coffee required steps that most normal gamers would not be able to do to unlock, and it wasn't all that offensive (when compared with the game of the game's content). I got a good level of entertainment from Rockstar's time and efforts, and I would not feel right looking for the easy $35. It's wrong, immoral, and just dirty to jump on this offer...which means too many people will do it.

On to the current day (instead of news that should have died over two years ago), tonight the Seahawks will play San Francisco. It is always interesting how (at least for the last season and a half) that all Monday night home games for the Seahawks include the weirdest weather possible. It's almost like some form of conspiracy to show the world that Seattle lives up to it's reputation of bad weather.

Tonight should include a lot of rain (enough to make the San Diego/Colts game look dry) and some major wind. In fact, it's a night that is including a lot of news (dating back to last night) from the local news broadcasts that Seattleites need to track down their candles and prepare for some lack of power.

I hope this is enough of an unusual situation to give the Seahawks a nice advantage against the 49ers. Afterall, Seattle in a wind storm is a nice advantage for a home team. I especially want Seattle to win since it has been looking too much like Seattle is where crappy teams (S.F. is 2-6) go to turn around their season (look at how many wins the Saints have received since their Seattle game...which gave them win number one for the year).

Personally, I think the main deciding factor in this game will be the running game. Since the winds may be sustained at up to 30 or more MPH, it will be a bad situation for any passing and kicking game. So, when it comes down to it, the Seahawks will be in a lot of trouble. Alexander cannot run to save his life, and Morris is still not there. There only solution to this, in my eyes, is for Wallace (who runs like a mo'fo') to be put in as a rusher. Will this happen? No. He is the second QB.

Could this scenario play out? Now that is the real question. With Frye, an actual NFL starter (in the past) being Wallace's backup, it leaves room for Wallace to get into the game a bit more. In particular, it leaves room for Wallace to run the ball while Frye waits on the side case the worst happens. So, to answer that question; yes, it is possible.

Sadly, today is when Mario Galaxy comes out (at least according to a very annoying message sent to my phone from Gamestop). It's sad since I am actually excited about this game. It's making me feel a bit nostalgic, like when I was a kid waiting for SMB3 or Super Mario World. It's been a long time since Nintendo has had me hyped for a new game. Yet, one one hand it's a Seahawk's game tonight...and on the other hand, this supposed storm that's coming (and it's not supposed to hit full force around me for another few hours) is already shaping up to look like it may limit my power in some major ways.

Anyway, even if SMG comes along today and is in my hands, I may only get an hour or so of playing. The Seahawks game cannot be missed (and yes...I know it has a lot of potential to be a train wreck...I'm just a dedicated and delusional fan) and then Heroes. Too much to do for one single night.


Malik (11/13/07)

Last night was a good night overall. Despite the threat of power outages as the local news told all viewers to prepare for the Apocalypse, the world (or at least Seattle's end of it) did not come to it's untimely demise.

This also, most importantly, meant I was left with power to enjoy two things that matter a lot to me; new Mario games and a night of football.

As for the football side of things, it was nice seeing Seattle squash the 49ers (24-0!) for a second time this season. However, I was hoping for more of the bad weather during the game since last year we saw some of the best Monday Night Football games in Seattle. Why were they so good last year? Because the weather was always completely unnatural for the Seattle climate. We had rain of biblical proportions, way out of season snow, and further rounds of rain with wind. On the other hand, last night had a bit of a drizzle and a little bit of wind (nowhere near the 50+ MPH gusts promised by the local weather service).

However, the game was still great to watch. Not just because the Seahawks shut down San Francisco (third shutout out of the last four MNF broadcasts for the 'Hawks). It went further than that. It went to how the team played as a whole.

It was sad that certain people weren't playing last night. I don't mean Alexander. I mean Branch. If Branch was playing, then the game would have been a perfect line up. With Alexander sitting (sprained knee), the Seahawks were able to do something they should have done from the first game of this season; try to rely on our best player's (Hasselbeck) best attribute (his arm).

The Seahawks came out throwing with an amazing passing game. Instead of going for short rushes, Hasselbeck threw short passes. The game was perfectly shifted in offensive styles, and that is what left the Seahawks in command of the game (well, that and San Francisco's inability to do anything). The rushes were limited, and they were handled by a player who is coming into his prime (Morris) instead of a player who's prime ended over a year ago (Alexander).

The only thing that could have made this game even better would be knowing if this can become a new playing style for Seattle instead of Holmgren's one time solution to the loss of Alexander from the field. If this is how the games will play out for the rest of the season, I think the season could easily be turned around. Afterall, Seattle is up by a game and played with a good level of intelligence last night... opposed to S.F. and their complete lack of intelligent thinking. It's one thing to try to go for the fourth down conversion on 4th and 1 right near the end zone. That was a gutsy move, but the pay off could have been a nice moral boost and a shift in the momentum as the first half was winding down. However, when S.F. went for a 4th and 3 conversion later on, that's when it was no longer about guts and was more about letting arrogance (of which there was no reason for any to be found in that game) and cockiness take control of your thinking. The saddest part (for S.F...not for Seattle) was that both plays could have been used to get a couple of very easy field goals.

True, San Francisco was pretty much doomed from the start, but they could have easily used those points. Could they have been useful in the game? Probably not. That would not be enough to shift the momentum in that backwards and lop-sided of a game. However, it's a different thing preparing for your next game after a loss than after a shut out loss. Just ask the Seahawks after their horrible humiliation by the Steelers last month.

I will end my Seahawks thinking with one last thought. Was it coincidence that the Seahawks did incredibly well without Alexander? Maybe. However, I'm more inclined to think that this was enough to get Holmgren to look to what was working well for the first eight games of the season. It was not the running game and has not been the running game for quite some time. It's always been Hasselbeck's arm and the large field of receivers' (Hackett, Branch, Engram, Burleson, and so on) hands. Now that Holmgren has had to give up his crutch (Alexander) for a game, it might be enough to open his eyes to who the real offensive powers of the 2007 Seahawks are...and here's a hint; it's not the now fallen offensive power of the 2005 Seahawks.

On a different note, I did get Super Mario Galaxy last night. It's not a bad far. However, I must say that I'm not nearly as impressed as I thought I would be. This may be my own fault, since I have hyped the game, in my eyes, for the last couple of months. I have wanted this game quite badly, and it seemed like it could do no wrong.

As for the wrong it can do, there are a few issues I must get in the open.

First of all, the unusual and alternative gravity scheme is cool...but also very annoying. It's interesting to see Mario walk all the way around a planet that's the diameter of a house. That's fun to see and opens up a few new ideas to the Mario game play. However, there's some issues with directional controls during this. Mainly it is just hard to determine, in a hurry, what direction goes where when the camera and gravity suddenly change your perspective. Usually it's manageable, but not when you are on an area in which any wrong step, no matter how minor, could lead to Mario's demise.

Another issue is that, like with all Mario in 3D type games, the camera is crap. Compared to Mario 64, it's well refined and amazing to use, but compared to what one would expect for the 3D front runner franchise, it is just not there yet. Maybe we will soon see a Mario game with a solid camera, but I think it won't be for at least another two Nintendo consoles. At least, like my other complaint with perspectives, it is not a game breaker...just an additional bit of frustration.

The Wiimote usage is another complaint. In it's core, the controls are great. You move, re-center the camera, and crouch/duck with the nunchuck. With the Wiimote you can make some camera rotational changes, jump, and pause the action with the buttons. With a shake of the Wiimote, Mario will make a spin attack (or a spin jump if in the air). This is all good. However, the ability with star bits is an annoying exercise in obsessive collection.

Star bits? Sorry, I jumped ahead there. The game lets you collect star bits by waving your cursor (from the Wiimote) over them. You can then fire these bits at enemies or collect them to unlock new areas. You also gain a new life for each 50 bits you collect. The problem is that while playing the game you have to keep your Wiimote pointed at the screen. You cannot simply relax and play the game like you could with past Mario titles (not worrying about pointing at the screen). You cannot even play like Zelda: TP (on the Wii). Zelda at least only required Wiimote aiming when using items. Mario requires it almost all the time, unless you don't care about firepower, unlocking new hidden levels, and gaining new other words, you almost have to do this obsessive pointing and painting the screen constantly with the Wiimote.

At least that part can be made a little more enjoyable by playing the game co-op. I have not tried this yet, but my understanding makes it sound interesting. Supposedly (and I could be wrong), one player plays Mario and does the usual running and jumping stuff. The second player is the one who paints the screen with the cursor for star bits and also shoots them at enemies. At least that makes the game more enjoyable, in theory, for the Mario player.

The main annoyance I've had so far is different than I expected. It's what happens when you die against a boss. I've only played through the first world so far, but the boss did kill me (just short of me killing it, I learned on my next life). When you start this level, you first kill some enemies to get to the boss area. Then you get a cut scene with Baby Bowser, and then the actual boss fight starts. When/if you die, you must start from the start of the level. This isn't too bad since it's a short level...too bad the cut scene is not all that short...and there is no way to skip it (believe me, I tried). If I did not beat this boss on my second attempt, I would have quit since I could not take seeing that cut scene again.

At least the boss fight, beyond that annoyance, was fun and took a great liberty with Galaxy's alternate gravity scheme. It's really interesting having to not just think in 3D, but in a whole new take on 3D so far removed from our own.

When you also throw in the new powers of Mario, this game is shaping up to be good. The only main power I've used so far was the Bee Suit. In this mode, you still can do most Mario actions, but you also can hover and slightly fly for short periods of time. The only down side is that water or damage will remove this power from you.

I am still really wanting to enjoy this game, and I am trying...I just hope that the bad parts (especially collecting star bits) does not kill my enthusiasm before I have fulfilled Mario's journey. At least there is a nice change from past 3D Mario games...when you re-enter a level to collect extra stars (like you had to in Sunshine and 64), you only have three stars per level (at least that's the most I've seen so far) and the level does change quite a bit for each different star.

I suppose I must add one more negative before I end this. If you remember the ice sliding areas of Mario 64 (the penguin races), and if you hated them (like I did...and from the sounds of most people I've met, like many other people did), there is bad news. It has returned, but in the form of riding a ray (manta, and using the tilt sensor to move. It's not as bad as the motion sensing in Monkey Ball Banana Blitz (that was beyond unplayable), but it's not great by any means. There's even a Monkey Ball style mode in the game which has you riding a big ball...but at least that's not nearly as bad as it sounds...unlike the ray racing.

I'd rather listen to Baby Bowser's introduction scene for the first boss fight another twenty times in a row than do another ray level...which, I sadly realize, is going to happen again soon. Which one? The Baby speech or the ray? Both...


Malik (11/14/07)

Starting tomorrow, for 48 hours, 360 owners with Live will be able to download Carcassonne for free. This is in addition to there being some XBox classic titles being available for download on Live.

The classic games include Halo, Fable, and Psychonauts. I'm glad to see that Psychonauts will be readily available, since, from what I understand, it was a great platformer that was ignored it's first time around. I have to admit that I was part of the majority of gamers (those who ignored the game) and this is a great idea of bringing such an under appreciated game into a new light. However, and there is always a however, I do have some issues.

The main issue is that these are games (with maybe the exception of Psychonauts...never kept up with Double Take's fight for backwards compatibility) that are backwards compatible with the 360. This is not an issue on it's own, but when you factor in price ($15 per game...or 1200 points) you start to see something else. If you have Live, you can download backwards compatibility updates for free (even without Live, you can use a CD/DVD burner and a PC to get them). Most of these games are ones that retail, used, for less than $15. So, the cost is just not being justified. You fail to get a box, the actual disc, and a physical instruction sheet, but you pay more.

Also, I noticed that Fable is listed...I wonder if that is The Lost Chapters or if it's the original game. If it's the original, it's a double insult since the original was replaced with The Lost Chapters when the game went to the budget price point ($20) a couple years ago. True, Microsoft has an unusual price idea for TLC, since they mention a SRP of around $30-$40 for TLC if you take place in one of their play tests, which includes TLC as a free gratuity item.

My other problem with this, versus buying the actual disc for a game, is that I am sick of content tied to both a system and a profile. If your 360 breaks down, which is a strong possibility, there are lock outs in place to prevent you from seamlessly transferring your downloaded (and paid for) content. This applies to almost any console in the modern era of online and download friendly consoles. It's done to prevent you from downloading a game, copying your profile to a friend's console and then downloading the game for him/her for free.

I think I've had every major console (Playstation, PS2, Playstation, GCN, Playstation, XBox...and there were multiple PSX in there) from the last few generations break down on me at one point or another. I don't like the prospect of jumping through hoops (and an overly long customer service phone call) to get back my content after the console inevitably dies. In fact, I feel that I have trusted too much by downloading anything to any of my consoles at a premium price.

My point in this rambling statement is simple; if you really want any of these backwards compatible games and you do want the actual game and not just a convenient game that never needs to have the disc inserted, you will get more hitting eBay or Gamestop and buying the game used. You may even find a new copy of some of these on eBay for less than the 1200 points/$15 required for the download...and the game will be yours, as opposed to a end user agreement and a use license.

To shift gears, I played a bit more of Super Mario Galaxy last night and am starting to get into the game. I still think the controls have some issues when it comes to how altered gravity perceptions come into play with what direction is what on the analogue stick. I cannot tell you how many times I was frustrated trying to walk around a nearly round object because I could not get Mario to walk in a straight line around the object once he changed his idea of up and down.

However, I am starting to get more into the game. The only parts that I still dread facing again are either more ray surfing (I really wish Nintendo would stop including this and penguin slide races in their Mario titles) or more swimming. Yes, it wouldn't be Mario without swimming. However, it wouldn't be 3D Mario without the swimming controls being infuriating. Despite having a more 3D friendly of controller (analogue sticks) in recent years, this is a different type of 3D that includes too much freedom of movement. It is time for the design of swimming (and zero gravity) controls to be redesigned from the ground up in all 3D platformers.

At least the non-free moving areas are becoming more enjoyable as I play the game. The bosses are fun to face and require a unique sense of creativity in defeating. It's a level of creativity never before found in a platformer. For example, one boss is a giant spider. I hope that did not spoil the game for anyone (it shouldn't, but some people are too trigger happy on yelling "TEH SPOILERZ!11!"). The boss is in a web in the center of an O shaped chunk of rock. You have to use the web to fire Mario at the bosses weak spots, using motion sensing to aim when to put force on the web once Mario is in it. Another boss has Mario fighting on a small round planet filled with magma. You have to get the boss to burn itself (by ground pounding into the weaker areas of the planet and hitting magma) to hurt it...but once hurt, the boss runs (like how Mario does when on fire) and you must run away from the boss to catch up on the other side of the planet.

However, one of my favorite level designs that did take advantage of the Wiimote nicely was one in which you float in a bubble over a swamp filled with poison. You use the Wiimote to blow on the bubble (by pointing behind the bubble and clicking A to blow) to safely guide Mario through, while avoiding traps. It's a simple design concept, but it is pulled off into a really fun and unique experience that breaks up any tedium you may feel from just running around small round planets.

Anyway, I am now through the first two worlds (using old terminology in which each world has one final boss battle). They were both fun to play through, but I'm now, sadly, at the first world that includes swimming. It's sad that, with a water based environment, that Metal Mario did not find his way back here from Mario 64.

I don't know if I'll go for a perfect (get all stars) ending on this game. I just want to play to a sense of completion before Mass Effect and Rock Band pull me from the Wii and back to the 360. Having less than a week to go in that goal, 100% perfect is not an option for me...but it doesn't mean I'm not going back into each galaxy ("level") multiple times to get some extra stars along the way.


Malik (11/15/07)

I came across this link for Rock Band DLC prices and lists (thanks Tangwich), and I cannot even begin to say how much more I am hyped for Rock Band than I was just 24 hours ago...and I was pretty damned pumped already.

Basically, RB will sell songs for a lower price than GH2 and GH3 content packs. RB will go for $5.49 for a three pack (as opposed to GH packs going for $6.25). It's not a huge price difference, but it does add up over the long run. Plus, when you consider that more content packs are announced and quasi-dated for RB than for GH3, this is a major leg up on the competition. On top of that, the songs can be purchased individually for a range of $0.99 to $2.99 per song, with the typical track coming in at $1.99. This means a three pack being bought in separate pieces will still run at a lower price than a three pack of GH3 songs.

In addition to the price difference being small, you must remember what all you get for a lower price. You don't just get the programming for the lead and bass/rhythm also get the vocal track and the drum track in that programming. No matter how you look at it, it comes out as a far better deal for the price. Even at the same price as a GH3 pack, this would be cheaper in value-to-price comparisons.

However, for myself, the most important part of this news is what is being planned for such a quick release. There will be a total of four Metallica songs (Blackened, ...And Justice for All, Ride The Lightning, and Enter Sandman) all ready to go before the game is even a week old. You can also take into account that Who's Next will be out, supposedly, on the week after the game launches. Then you have Queens of the Stone Age also coming along during the first week. Beyond that, you have covers, sadly, of some good old Black Sabbath coming in the first full week of December.

If Harmonix can keep up this pace of constantly flooding the Marketplace with new songs, tracks, albums, and song packs, then RB will easily take the crown as the must have rhythm game for the year...and probably for the next couple of years. At least until Harmonix decides to release a new sequel to RB. That is assuming that the content packs keep coming and don't dry up right after the new year (which I don't foresee being a problem).

Meanwhile, Massive has announced that dynamic (updated) ads will start to flow in to GH3 on both the 360 and the PC. So, while RB is giving us content for a cheaper price and with more variety (leaving more potential for losses on revenue, depending on the structure of their contracts with artists and record studios), GH3 is milking the money factor.

Let me clarify that. So, GH3 (Neversoft/Activision) is charging more per song pack than RB (Harmonix/EA). Yet they also have in game ads that will bring in a constant stream of money, since these ads are not ones that a company simply pays once to be forever in the title. This is a source of constant cash for the publisher (and maybe for the developer). Since I have not seen the same said of Rock Band, I will assume that it could happen, but I'll also assume that it did not happen.

So, it sounds to me like Rock Band may cost a higher install charge (price of game plus instruments), but it will also include cheaper downloads, more instruments for the install price, and potentially no whoring of the game to advertisers (or at least constant annoying whoring via dynamic ads). GH3, on the other hand, costs less to purchase (only $70 less with two fewer instruments), has more expensive and less varied downloads, and whores itself out to whoever wants to pop on an ad (thus earning more constant cash to the people behind the game). Personally, with this being the case, and with GH2 not having dynamic ads, I really am starting to get a bitter taste in my mouth over GH3 DLC prices...and the game as a whole.

Also, for records sake, if I wanted ads, or if I wanted dynamic ads, I would stick with TV, radio, or movies. When I'm gaming, I will not even acknowledge ads, unless they get in the way of the game...then you can be assured that the ads will not encourage me to purchase anything, and they may even encourage me to not purchase future games from the publisher or developer of the ad plagued crap I'm facing.

Looks like what I (as well as many others) have been saying for a while will be true; GH3 was only an appetizer for the real meal of Rock Band. Once RB is here, I think GH3 will be put into a long and deep coma.


Malik (11/16/07)

Today I'm going to go a bit scientific on your asses. It's still in the name of video games (in particular the argument of violent games causing or not causing violent children), but it is sort of on the science side. If this is not something you'd like, then you can come back on Monday for some less scientific stuff.

I always love these supposed studies that try to link video game violence with real world violence. When I say I love them, I mean I love reading how wrong or short sighted they tend to be.

I work in a field (during the day) that requires a lot of scientific publications of various subject matters. I could even add more, but I'll stop there, since this is a geek web site, and not a nerd web site (I like to call my day job my "nerdy side" and the web site is my "geeky side").

I listed those links just to show that I'm not blowing smoke out of my ass when I say I know about these things. It's good to establish credibility...and yes, I am an author on each of these critically reviewed articles.

So, when I see these "violent video games causes violent kids" articles I'm left with a couple of thoughts. The first being that psychology papers seem to undergo a lot less scrutiny and validation prior to being published.

The second thought (which ties in to the first one) is that there is a serious issue in most of these articles about causality very coincidence. Let me explain that. Causality, which is what these types of articles argue in favor of, says that violent game playing causes violent children. Without violent games these violent kids would be pacifists and would welcome non-aggression into their lives. With violent games, causality says, the kids become violent in turn.

Coincidence argues a different idea. It would say that violent children are more drawn to violent media and other examples of violence, but neither one caused the other to exist. It would be saying that without violent games (and media), that Billy (picking a random name that would be considered child-like) would still be violent...but if violent media exists, then Billy may happen to choose to participate in being a spectator of that media instead of warm and happy media that depicts no violence. At the same time, there may even be some violent children who like non-violent media (which these studies do not often times point out).

If I wrote or co-authored a journal article in the biological/life science field (microbiology or immunology would be my areas of experience...maybe with a touch of bio-chem) and made the conclusion that A (let's say violent games) caused B (let's say violent behavior) without disproving that A may just be related to B through coincidence, then my article would be rejected. I should know because half of the papers I've been involved with have been rewritten and corrected in the review process (which is followed by publication...there is causality there...if a paper is rejected then it will not be published), and some of these papers were not accepted on first pass because they did not set up a proper argument, with evidence, that A caused B.

I personally believe that violent media does not cause violent behavior. In fact, I would argue in favor of the idea that many people like to relax (the purpose of media is to find enjoyment...which I like to also couple with relaxation) with something that is slightly (or considerably) in tune with their personalities. For example, I like fantasy, and therefore I like RPGs and D&D. I'm more than happy to admit that. These violent kids are, quite probably, attracted to violent media because they have some attraction, on a psychological level, to what they contain. It could be that Billy loves the adrenaline rush that is harder to find in non-violent games than in violent ones. It could be that Billy loves the way that most violent games have higher production values and Billy loves to be visually stimulated. It could be a lot of things.

The only true and almost 100% accurate test of the causality issue would be illegal in the US under modern research guidelines. It would be to force certain items out of a child's life by forcing them to live in a self contained "world". Then you must take genetics into account by having only identical twins (and no left handed ones...not picking on lefties, since I am sinister myself, but our brains are messed up in terms of the natural order of development) living in separate "worlds". You need a large number of test subjects to eliminate the randomness of error and to set the p-value to a safe number if any conclusions can be obtained.

So, now we have our 1000 subjects (1000 would be a good starting point) made up of 500 sets of twins. Each subject lives in a self contained "world" (think The Truman Show). Now you need solid actors in each world that remain constant, like in that movie. You have to make sure than each actor is able to fully duplicate and replicate the actions of all other actors in all other "worlds". That will be hard since you'll need other children (non-test ones) in each "world" to act identically. Now let the children live. One sibling of each set of identical twins will have access to violent games and the other sibling will not.

Check on them in 15 years. Then you'll have your data.

However, there are other ways that are less cruel and expensive, but also not as accurate or conclusive (real science is more about forming a hypothesis that seems to fit the rule but could, in all possibility, be rejected in the future with additional research and greater means of testing the hypothesis in question). That would be to run a test without such a strong hypothesis (violent games cause violence), and instead do a case study (study some children without fitting them into the specific rules of a black/yes or white/no situation). This would allow you to see who these children really are. Also, you need to keep in mind that during childhood kids will change quickly. Afterall, that is the time when brains are developing, stimuli is abundant, and when the most pressure is put on a person.

Also, look a bit further into the past of a subject. When were they first allowed to play violent media? When did the child first show signs of a hostile psyche? In any case that a child started being violent before being exposed to violent games the idea of violent media causing violence is obviously null. There is simply too many factors to just say that if two factors co-exist than one causes the other.

It's like on the anti-immigrant (or "bear patrol") episode of The Simpsons. Springfield started a bear patrol force after a bear wandered into town. The masses loved this because there were no more bears (the first and only one was tranquilized and removed earlier on). Lisa tried to show that the bear patrol did not eliminate bears simply by existing, and offered an example to Homer; she had a rock and no tigers were present, so her rock "obviously" got rid of the tigers, she claimed with intended sarcasm. Homer still fell for this and offered to buy the rock from Lisa.

Lisa would be myself (and the people who actually care enough to look into what is being claimed by authority figures who have turned against their better judgments). Homer, and the rest of the town, would be the parents who are either short sighted enough or impatient enough to look for a quick fix in raising their children (and therefore will take this study at face value and not challenge it with their own intelligence).

I'm not saying all studies like this one are wrong. However, I'm saying that we, as intelligent people (or at least people with supposed intelligence), need to challenge things in life. Sometimes you will find something to not look right in your eyes, and sometimes you will. Sometimes you'll change your opinions on things (it even happens to sinister people like myself...) and sometimes you'll possibly strengthen your current views. However, if you don't challenge life and conventional wisdom from time to time then the world would be a different place; the Earth would be the center of the universe, Earth would be flat, blood letting would be a miracle cure all, we would not have recycling (and other environmental ideas and practices), we would still have rampant slavery, we would...we would just be ass backwards.

So, in conclusion, I just want to say that I need proof of violent media causing violence before I'll agree to it. As a violent game player, and as someone who's majority of friends and acquaintances are as well, I have not seen it nor experienced it. In fact, my friends who are the most into violent games are actually the most gentle of my friends. The person I know who I would call the most violent never got too much into violent games beyond Street Fighter II (and that was more than 10 years ago that he last played any fighting games) and is actually more of a fan of strategy games. Show me how my life fits into this study, Douglas Gentile.


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