Tag Archives: Politics

#471 Three Years

Today is a day for celebration, because today is the three year anniversary marking the event when I created this Be MOP blog and published it’s first post on WordPress. As I said in last year’s post (Be MOP #315), this blog was created after my Junior college midterms after I experienced a very early quarter life crisis.

What is impressive is that in my three years of blogging I still have the bragging rights of not missed any of my Monday, Wednesday, Friday blog post deadlines. Three years of trying to balance college midterms, finals, graduations, dealing with the transition away from college life, and all of the random inconveniences that popped up along the way I was still here, updating my blog on the same schedule I created for myself since Day One.

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Since my last 2013 anniversary post and now, what now has changed with me and this blog?

At the start of the year I received a 3DS handheld system with a copy of Pokemon Y for Christmas (Be MOP #318) with lead to influx of various Pokemon and Mario posts appearing on this blog. Later in the year I went out and bought a Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle (Be MOP #391) and went full Nintendo Fan Boy with this blog by writing about almost nothing but Nintendo from October to December.

But how can you blame me? All of those Nintendo exclusive games were fun from beginning to end and it was a refreshing change of pace from almost anything else I played through on my PC. Nintendo was something I did not know I needed until I got it, now it has been a staple of my weekly free gaming time.

It is amazing that the Wii U, the weakest console this gen, has been able to pump out the most amazing games from this year with having Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Smash run at either 720p or 1080p while having the frame rate be locked at 60fps. I have a theory that the people at Nintendo code their games on magic.

It is amazing that the Wii U, the weakest console this gen, has been able to pump out the most amazing games from this year with having Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World, and Smash run at either 720p or 1080p while having the frame rate be locked at 60fps. I have a theory that the people at Nintendo code their games on magic.

This year I also celebrated my one year of unsubscribing from Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, an impressive feat. As I wrote in my post blog when I talked more in-depth about the year from the MMO (Be MOP #408), but enough things have gotten inbetween me and WoW the resubscribing would be a waste of money.

and no amount of emails will persuade me to go back, Blizzard

and no amount of emails will persuade me to go back, Blizzard

But out of everything,my most impressive development this year was development of my own Twitch Channel, branching out the Be MOP name from beyond text to video. Since late April, when I was announcing my plans to do start Live Streaming Infinite Crisis and other videogames (Be MOP #370). I have participated in my first 24 hour stream for Extra Life charity event, helping raise $290 dollars to benefit Boston Children’s Hospital. I have also recently reached my 100th day of streaming (Be MOP #454) and shortly after that I hit 100+ followers on my Twitch Channel.

Since my debut as a streamer and now, I have; accepted into Turbine’s Infinite Crisis Twitch Partnership program, joined the Infinite Crisis Community Stream Team, and have even been invited to stream on the official Infinite Crisis Twitch Channel every week as a Community Streamer.

And I got cool Infinite Crisis skins to give out all this weekend.

Fun Fact: Because of the old Streaming schedule (M/W/F 11:30- 2:30am and Sat 11-2a) There was a time when I was technically streaming seven days a week

I wonder how long I have to be on Twitch before I can confidently add “Twitch Streamer” to my LinkedIn profile?

Just like my previous yearly posts,

To make this go full circle here’s a the link to my first post on this blog. Enjoy and I’ll see you back here Monday.”


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#432 The road to #GamerGate is paved with good intentions

You know that I did not WANT to do another #GamerGate blog post so soon. I have been meaning to write a proper post for a while. I have been following the entire event as it has unfolding since it’s conception well over a month ago, and while I have mentioned the effects and fallout of #gamersgate twice already (Be MOP #419 and #431). The terrible thing is it seems that every time I sit down to write a post covering the entire event or a recap of what just happened, a new twist is added or revealed every other day.

But out of everything that has happened, all the accusations and name calling and conspiracy talks I want to focus on three major incidents and wrong doings that Game Journalism have committed, that has been revealed and brought to light from this past month.

The big three are:

  • The Original Sin of having an established journalist having an affair with a game developer, and while writing and financially supporting the work by the developer. (Source)
  • Another journalist writing about the works of friends, significant others, and roommates. (Source)
  • and most recently and most inflammatory the reveal of the secret mailing list of journalists talking about the recent events and leads that lead into talking about what these journalists write about and how to write it. (Source and follow up Source)

These are all wonderful examples and outcomes from the #GamersGate movement because all those accusations have been confirmed, by a Kotaku post from Stephen Totilo about his employees and by admission of guilt by tweets and comments of the journalists in the secret mailing list. The thing is what has been done by the sites and people involved was incredibly unethical.

“– Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.” -The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics

Despite the damning evidence here I firmly believe that all of these events might have been done with the best intentions .

Hanging out a bit too closely with leads and contacts because they were at or hosted some really cool expos and parties, as we have seen with staff of Destructoid having their pictures taken with prominent PR members AAA gaming industry.

Writing about your friend/patreon user’s pet project or creation on the site that you write for and that gets thousands of hits per day as a sign of good will.

Or as we seen from the recently leaked emails from the secret Gaming Journal Pros threads advocating the blocking any coverage of the Zoe Quinn event to help prevent any more harassment coming her way or thinking it would be a good idea to get all the journalists to pitch together to buy Zoe a “feel better” gift for her.

But what they, the journalists, did was still wrong, beyond wrong they broke some founding rules of journalism. Because of what they have done to try to protect someone from trolls, help significant others/patreon and just wanting a place to talk to fellow journalists they were in fact changing or ignoring the recent objective stories, promoting people for their or their own financial gain, and creating a place allowed the passive (or if you read some of the emails aggressively) attempts to sway the direction and message or video game journalism.

***

That is the problem with ethics, it’s that what you want to do might not line up with what you want to do.

I get it, having and following work ethics is a double edge sword, it is great to have as a defense when you have to do something that is unpopular but it is terrible burden to have when it prevents you (or suppose to stop you) from doing the fun stuff.

I have been there, there have been times in my line of profession when I did not know what to do and I had to refer to my code of ethics for guidance and for the answer for better or worst.

With all the glam and fashion of being some of the most viewed journalists in your field and when you constantly get first looks at the newest games, free giveaways, and invitations to all the biggest gaming events I could find it quite easy at time to do the thing you want to do for a story rather than things you have to do.

But work ethics are there so we have an established (and to keep up) a professional image and to keep it a constant professional image for all the other workers, clients, and people you work for.

Those rules are there so that people in and out of the workforce can trust you to do your job. Moving forward how can anyone ever trust these people to write an unbiased article about any of these game developers if they refuse to remain a proper distance away from a source to remain professional.

Videogame journalism, as we have seen, is still a new form of journalism but simply because it’s new does not exclude it from any form of ethics, or cherry picking the essentials. We are in an age where even YouTubers, not professional journalists with web shows but regular people with personalities are expected to have ethics and use disclosures lest you forget the events surrounding XB1M13.

At the end of the day all of these game journalists fall under the same category of some of the greatest Pulitzer Prize winners and people who risk their life for a source or a major story. After reading all the emails from the recently leaked email logs from GameJournos Pro I believe that these journalists did not mean to do harm when they were discussion the possibility to not cover the story, what they have done in their private talks and actions they took did inflict harm to the name of Journalism.

Now these journalists involved needs to be reprimanded for it, with a combination of mass resignations for the worst offenders, massive reconstruction of these website’s code of ethics and how to approach sources and stories, or at the very least complete transparency on what wrongs and these other sites and writers have done in the past and present with regards to GamerGate.


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#431 What does it mean to be a “Gamer” and other titles

Forward: This post is a long time coming, on top of the recent published articles from various news sites declaiming the title, ‘gamer’ as obsolete and tainted from the recent #GamerGate social media movement.

 

Yip we're doing this topic. Buckle up

Yup we’re doing this topic. Buckle up

I hold several titles, ‘gamer’, ‘blogger’, and ‘streamer’ as a result of the various choices I have made from my past. I proudly wear those titles now but that was not always the case, there was a time where I had to go through a personal journey in order to build up self respect and confidently announce that I am a gamer, a blogger or a streamer, and in my personal experience all titles went through the same cycle.

 

It always starts out the same with dabbling with the new media or concept, whether it be being gifted my first game,Pokemon Red, by my parents, biting the bullet and starting a World of Warcraft video game blog (this one right here) or committing myself to a constant streaming schedule. At first, for me but I assume many of other gamers out there, there was a period of time where I kept my gaming activity to myself not being the first to bring up videogames, blogging, or streaming in conversations and when I would have those conversations I would be with close friends in the corner of the lunch table in middle school or just as causal blogging side project with my college friends.

During that time I did not refer to myself as a ‘gamer’ or ‘blogger’ but rather ‘a guy who play games’ or ‘a guy who has a blog’ in fear of retaliation and because at the time, it could have been easily disproven that that was someone I was not, a poser or someone jumping on the bandwagon.

For refrenece, at all of these these times only owning a few games or publishing a few dozens blog posts/stream sessions with no real viewership.

 

What makes gaming, blogging, streaming stands out from all of my other hobbies that I have picked up along the way was that I kept to gaming, playing more games, going out and actively looking for gaming news sites and articles and liked minded people. and I kept to my writing and streaming schedule with Be MOP.

Then I got to a point, and again I assume I can say this for many people as well, where I have put so much effort and passion into your hobby that I could not deny the title to anyone, not even to myself. The “I’ve made it point” in many people’s journey.

For reference this was when I was making and rearranging my social calendar to make my World of Warcraft raids, reaching the 60th Be MOP post and when I was starting to decorate and customize my blog’s wallpaper and banner with screenshots I took from the Mists of Pandaria beta. As for Twitch I reached that point when I started to get constant viewers coming back to my stream to watch and interact with me in the chat room.

 

As I was writing this I did not realize I was more or less writing about the steps of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but if the shoe fits

As I was writing this I did not realize I was more or less writing about the steps of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but if the shoe fits

With all that back story of my gaming life, why does it bother me that there are game journalists out there trying to convince me to move away from the name of gamer? Because I worked incredibly hard to build up the title of gamer and blogger in the eyes of my friend, family, and myself and it is insulting when some when a group of people, from within the same group no less, tries to change what it means to be a gamer by dragging the title through the mud. All in an attempt to shame us away from it because of a few bad apples or an exponential boost in mobile gaming population.

Neither the Democrats or Republicans Party tried send out internal and external memos to their supports to abandon using the word ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’ when one or a few of their politicians got caught in a scandal. Both parties stuck to the name because they realize the title “Democrat” or ‘Republican’ does not mean the group of people, but rather an idea that a lot of people group up under and rally behind.The same can be said about the title Gamer, it is not named for the group of people who plays games it is a name for the people who are avid fans who feel passionate about their hobby and goes out on day trips to gaming conventions and who cares about nurturing and growing the media on a whole.

P.S: To bring a counterpoint to the idea that the title, “gamer” is being diluted because of the introduction of causal and mobile games bringing in people that have never played games before; My mother and I are both literate and can and has read books, but only one of us constantly frequents goes down the bookstore, attend book meetings and events, actively go out and read new genres and works from new authors, and thinks the best time to relax is with a blanket and a nice book. She is a ‘reader’ while I casually read books on the side.


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#422 Mission Majority Report

Oh boy has Political Christmas came early this year, recently I was thinking to myself how it has been ages since my last political videogame blog post and as luck would have it when I came home to find that the one of the biggest political parties in the United States, the GOP, more specifically the National Republican Senatorial Committee, just released a videogame to try to sway voters to support the republican candidates for the upcoming midterm elections.

After looking further to the game, Mission Majority, is a pixel styled platformed web browser game. As a fan for these sorts of games starring a pixelated protagonists perfectly dodging unpreferred enemies and pitfalls, I think it is my duty to play, review, and tell you what I think about this game. So lets dig in shall we?

This game stopped me from watching the newest Doctor Who episode and postponed my Mario Kart 8 DLC blog post.

This game stopped me from watching the newest Doctor Who episode and postponed my Mario Kart 8 DLC blog post.

Just for the sake of transparently for my readers I am not only as video game blogger but I am also a candidate for NH House of representatives

The game starts simple enough at the title screen of some upbeat bit music and a simple pixelated graphic of the game’s mascot, Giopi, telling you the importance of participating the midterm elections and how, with your help, the republicans can retake the US Senate in 2014.

This game stopped me from watching the newest Doctor Who episode and postponed my Mario Kart 8 DLC blog post.

 

After starting up things starts going down (capitol) hill, real fast. In order to play the game you have to sign up either you email address, your Facebook account, or your Google + account. After going over the controls of using your left right and up arrow keys to move little Giopi around, you are then tasked to collect the various golden keys, “to unlock the Senate and help Republican win the majority” scattered across the stages, while avoiding and jumping the “taxer” and the “Democrat’s Mudslinger”.

You know what's worst than Democrats' Mudslingers? the few Republicans that makes Strawmen caricatures of their opponent.

You know what’s worst than Democrats’ Mudslingers? the few Republicans that makes Strawmen caricatures of their opponent.

 

If you do jump on the two different sets of enemies you are rewarded with sound files of prominent democrats taken out of context. There is the infamous Obama sound file of him saying, “You did not build that.” but even I had some problem identifying who said which quote and what it had to do with politics,  like the sound file of someone talking about how there is ‘no towel service’. At the end of every stage there is a button prompt to try to persuade you to click and join or donate to the Republican movement.

There are only four levels, the platforms are pretty spread out with very little to do beyond traveling along the one set path the game designer had in mind when creating the game and there is only one music track set to repeat throughout the entire game but worst of all Giopi does not have a jumping animation. Let me repeat that, this platformer game does not have an animation for when the main character jumps around the stage.

I will give Mission Majority credit though you can fail in this game. The game gives you four hearts at the start of each level, there is a timer (set to 9999 seconds) and I did encounter one or two bottomless death pits that will send you to a game over screen and back the start of the stage if you continue.

At least I beat the game

At least I beat the game

 

After it all is said and done what is Mission Majority? My advice, do not play it, no matter how tempting the game is with it’s silly the game play and the premise.

It is a terrible game and I would not be surprised if it was purposefully created to be a bad game just to act as clickbait get the biggest amount of views and plays to score the most email addresses or Facebook accounts to add the their databases. The game plays terribly and is incredibly bias, worst than normal even in today’s US Political environment, painting the political opposition as  goombas and terrible pixel monsters without explaining why the GOP does not want the democrats to retain the majority in the senate, besides the terrible ideas of taxes.

I highly doubt that the person was making was trying to motivate and energize the ‘young conservative gamer crowd’, I know that the GOP and all connected committee are better than this, making a flash in the pan flash game for 15 minutes of fame. If the conservatives, or any political party wanted to put sway voters to vote for them by using videogames the process needed to make it would require some hard work and passion for the project, just like proper politics.

 

 


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#415 Getting Psyched for Boston FIG

As I check my email I realize that Boston FIG, Festival of Indie Games, is just about a month away. If you could not guess from the title of the event, Boston FIG is an event where independent game developers, of both video and card & board game variety comes together and showcase what games they are currently working on   I attended the expo last year and during the Spring time I did remember to go out and buy two tickets for my younger brother and I and I am quite excited to attend this event to come by. Why? Everyone knows that I am a fan of the Indie game scene, as one of the few places where the game developer’s vision of game that they always wanted to make could be realized without the compromises and pressure from stockholders or the market. It was because of the Indie games being the reason why I got into the platforming gerne with pixel perfect truly pushing platforming games like Super Meat Boy and They Bleed Pixels.

Green_Basic

 

 

Part of being one of the two videogame related events in Boston and the excitement from attending last year was seeing the fruits of labor from these game devs all on display , in 2013 I was able to see a demo of Tiny Brains, a game I am currently playing through now for this month of ‘Games from my Backlog’, but it was at Boston FIG I stumbled upon one of my favorite politically inspired turn base strategy indie games of all time, Neocolonialism (Be MOP #295). I can only imagine what games will be presented on the game floor this year. This is my chance to see what new East Coast games to look forward to next, whether it will be a new game to download on my phone, or computer, or like we saw with some indie games get picked up by major videogame console companies. All I hope is not to see the demo floor flooded with nothing but simulation games, like what we are currently seeing with the likes of Steam’s Indie page.

it is like a mini E3 for indies games

it is like a mini E3 just for indies games 

 

Also gives me an excuse to travel down to Boston, my favorite city, travel around the city, allows me to travel on the T, explore the city blocks, allows me to shop in some of the local cafes and Boston FIG gives me a reason to go to bars hang out and collect some of those sweet, sweet Nintendo 3DS street passes. As I get older with a full-time job with other adult commitments in my life, a weekend day trip down to Boston is a sacred treat.

Boston FIG is going to be held at MIT’s Johnson Athletic Center on September 13th and tickets are priced at $10 per person or if you are going with a group the tickets are $7.50 each

 

 


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#402 What DRM-Free means to me

If you have not already caught wind of the latest Humble Bundle but 2K has partnered with Humble Bundle to release a bundle of their best games for sale including such titles as Darkness II, Mafia II, XCOM Enemy Unknown, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, Spec Ops: The Line,the entire Bioshock trilogy, and the promise of more games coming soon. As always with these Humble Bundle promotions customizable portion of the purchases going to support for Action Against Hunger and the American Red Cross.

 

All the same Humble Bundle rules apply, pay what you want with two tiers of rewards for  donating

All the same Humble Bundle rules apply, pay what you want with two tiers of rewards for donating

 

But I have been having the same problem that other PC gamers have been having with the any popular videogames promotion, finding a reason for paying for games that I have already own. As of writing I already have half of the games in this bundle, all three Bioshock titles and Spec Ops: The Line with no interest in either the XCOM or Darkness series.

 

this single game that would provide motivation for me to buy the bundle IF I DID NOT ALREADY BOUGHT IT ON STEAM DURING THE LAST SUMMER SALES . A story that many other players have lived through

this single game that would provide motivation for me to buy the bundle IF I DID NOT ALREADY BOUGHT IT ON STEAM DURING THE LAST SUMMER SALES . A story that many other players have lived through

 

I was going to let this Humble Bundle slide by like the some of the previous Humble Bundles and the countless other Bundles I have seen around the internet. That was until I saw a little symbol next to the original Bioshock game.

To the left of the Steam symbol, that's right DRM FREE!

That’s right one of my, and many other gamer’s, favorite game comes in DRM-free format

 

I have written about it before but Bioshock is one of my favorite games, not because of the plot twist, but because it was not a game based around a good guy fighting against a bad guy but instead it is about a guy caught in a city based on a different, although extreme, set of rules and the antagonist is only labeled as evil because held to those set of rules to “never compromise not even in the face of Armageddon”. (Be MOP #255)

I knew there was a reason these two stories were so ranked high in their respective communities.

I knew there was a reason these two stories were so ranked high in their respective communities.

 

Now I add DRM-free copy of this amazing game to the flash drive I carry around that is chock full of some of my favorite games that I would carry around if I ever lose my Steam collection and if I am stranded somewhere with a computer with no internet connection (Be MOP #343).  With that one feature I went out and bought the entire bundle because I might as well buy the entire bundle for XCOM and the promise of future 2K games being added later in the week (an incredible clever fundraising technique Humble Bundle uses which I when more in-depth about it a while ago in Be MOP #256).

The people behind this site are genius when it comes to getting people to hand over more money than the consumer previously intended.

The people behind this site are genius when it comes to getting people to hand over more money than the consumer previously intended.

 

To tie this entire post back to the title at the top of the page, this is what DRM-free means to me, going out and rebuying all these titles not to play it again on another improved platform but so I can have legally own the one game I actually want. Now I can copy it over and over again to my various computers with out a limit from Steam, Windows Live, or any other service, and I can play this one game without an internet connection or worrying about what will happen to the game servers in the years to come.

 


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#401 Where is our eESPN?

Valve’s Dota 2 tournament with a record  is just starting up and even I am excited to tune in and see what all the hubbub is all about. Between that Riot’s weekly seasonal split streams on Twitch I have to ask: where is our eESPN channel or at least a consolidated cable channel dedicated to the competitive side of video games?

I made the eESPN joke a few times before (Be MOP #261, #276, and #356) but now I think of it more as a serious possibility rather than a silly joke based on wordplay.

I talked about the potential of some gaming streams to become full-time sports broadcasters, like how Riot has been positioning themselves for the limelight for the past few seasons with their personal stream filled with community created skits, Question and Answer segments with the professionals, highlight reels, Table talks with the professionals and analysis, and the personalities (Be MOP #276).

While I have not followed Dota 2 streams to know what they are doing for providing entertainment during and between matches but I do know and have seen the immense popularity of the Dota 2 documentary and fundraising for the main prize/jackpot.

I know for a fact that somewhere a bunch of sports marketing people just dropped their jaws when their heard the success of Dota 2’s fundraising project.

I know for a fact that somewhere a bunch of sports marketing people just dropped their jaws when their heard the success of Dota 2’s fundraising project.

 

With Twitch’s constant concurrent viewers numbers and the level of interaction in the Twitch Chat, the games respective forums and ,  it is easy to prove that there is a substantial amount of interested demographic. With the year’s Fifa world cup ESPN has proved that they can get Americans to validate the sport of soccer and still getting them excited to watch a sport tournament where the American team was not expected to win.

It is not like there is not enough content to fill a 24 hours cable station, we have; League of Legends, Dota 2, Infinite Crisis, all of the other A.R.T.S, StarCraft II, both of Pokemon’s virtual and card game matches, Melee and Smash Bros tournaments, Speed Runners, Magic the Gathering (ESPN already has precedent on broadcasting this sport), plus all of the news programs that could be created about the latest news/predictions/gossip about these different esports and upcoming tournaments.

I would wager to say there is more than enough games to showcase for 24hrs content, a constantly updating website, AND a special, consolidated, twitch stream.

Just think of the promotions for Riot, Valve, and Blizzard with other companies, new viewership spillover from one fanbase to another, and the increased credibility with other viewers & non-viewers.

Just think of the promotions for Riot, Valve, and Blizzard with other companies, new viewership spillover from one fanbase to another, and the increased credibility with other viewers & non-viewers.

 

The only problem would be is licensing these games for public viewing, the personalities that are currently paid by these companies, and getting these multibillion dollar, global internet gaming companies (that are all competing with each other) to play nice and fair in order to get this eESPN network to properly blossom.

I think we might have found the reason why  eESPN has not happened yet, but that does not means it should not happen.

 

But I want to bump the question back to you:

What do you think of a consolidated cable channel dedicated to the competitive side of esports? Would you regularly tune in to watch broadcasted tournament on a TV cable network, even if it was not a esport that you regularly follow? Or, and most importantly of all, would you rather stick to each company’s own Twitch channel on your computer?

Leave a comment down below I am interested in what other people think about this idea.

 


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