This page is no longer active

Da Blog has moved to Please update your bookmarks, links, and RSS readers.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One more quick opinion

Why, exactly, is there a controversy over ESPN's Chris Berman using profanity off-air? Gee, it turns out that the people we trust to give us the news each day are - gasp! - actually human beings who do human being things! Whoda thunk it? (Apparently Katie Couric is being subjcted to similar videos, which just proves my point.)

An experiment continued, clarified, and started

Because I know there are people who will attack me for it, I want to make clear that I am not seriously proposing what is proposed in this strip! That said, if anyone was to carry it out, I would not necessarily oppose it... although I would not be one of the hordes of men to fly into the store and take it off the rack. (Swear to god!)

By the same token, I've had 24 hours to reassess, and I also want to make clear that I do know GTA technically has some semblance of plot. That's why I mentioned empty action movies in yesterday's post - those things will tell you they have plots too, but no one cares about them, and they're all the same anyway!

If you're not hep on the Hot Coffee scandal or Mass Effect, you might find yourself a little confused at today's strip...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Violent Video Games Debate

As a stopgap measure until SiteMeter allows one account to hold multiple counters later this year, I have added a Bravenet counter to Sandsday (NOT the rest of the website yet), similar to Da Counter from January through August 2007, so I know just how many people are enjoying the strip each day without wondering just how reliable Freehostia's stats are. I have 26 separate hits for the webcomic's title image this month, and at most 13 of those are mine (15 last month but I don't even know how many of those are mine), hence why the counter starts at 13. But the mere fact that I have to go by the title image is not a good sign. And because I'm not entirely certain how many people really read Sandsday before now, I'm hoping I can set SiteMeter to only display the number of people to visit in the last 24 hours.

This is the last strip in the ongoing debate on violent video games, and because it ends ambiguously, I want to cover some points not made in the strip. First, I want to make clear that "Break the law as much as you can" is not really a plot. If you think it is, you can have your empty action movies.

In itself, video game violence is not wrong. It's a damn sight better than real violence, and real violence is enough of a fact of life that we should not be censoring video games if the violence is to be expected. But it depresses me to think violence is an actual selling point for games, and for games like GTA and its clones, the violence is basically the point. What I don't like is the idea of the violence sandbox that's basically "Kill as many people as you can. Why? You don't need no steenkin' why!"

Not that there's a problem with pointless games. I don't have a problem with mind-numbing time sinks, because you need one of those once in a while, and I don't have a problem with violence in video games, but I do have a problem with casual violence as a time-killer. It doesn't reflect well on the mindset of video gamers, it's more subject to the desensitization effect than deeper games, and there's nothing to distract from the fact that you're basically ending the "life" of simulated people. And people don't play video games to have moral dillemas, so the conflict gets swept under the rug - if there's a conflict at all, which is even worse.

I hope I've made my position clear, but I fear I haven't. In fact I may be back to clarify my point.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A blatant attempt to get Sandsday on the search engines

If you saw yesterday's strip, you know I've started to engage in a blatant attempt to rope in video game geeks by commenting on current events. But today's strip is only different from other video game-related strips I've done because it specifically mentions the Wii, at least at first. What happened? Did I realize just how much it was begging?

Well, let's face it. The one thing most video game geeks want to do with the Wiimote, more than anything else, is aim it like a gun. Maybe sometimes swing it like a sword. But mostly aim it like a gun.

Hey Fox News: If you really want to take an unsubstantiated shot at the video game community, try painting them as potential murderers. Of course, everyone and their mother has done that already, but there's still something to be concerned about...