January 17, 2013

MMO armour: not just fantasy, but total nonsense

Filed under: Gaming, Gaming — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 16:04

At Massively, Justin Olivetti has a quiet little rant about how ridiculous most MMO game armour really is:

This is probably a rant best saved for another day, but I want to know when it became completely acceptable not to demand that MMO studios explain the building blocks of their game universes. The devs know that we’ll just draw on tropes (usually fantasy) to fill in the gap, so most of the explanations they give for in-game reasoning have to do with a weak backstory of a class instead of why, say, a liquid potion binds together bones and allows you resurrect completely after being chopped into 60 pieces.

I get why tropes are depended on so much, but in my opinion, they rob these games of the potential to be more immersive and lifelike. Pretty much most elements of MMO games break down even when you apply the game’s own internal logic (what little has been revealed) to it. Chief among these borked elements? Armor.

MMO armor just doesn’t make sense, nor does it hold up to even a light level of scrutiny. Today we’re going to cast aside the “it’s just fantasy, go with it” excuses to investigate why your gear is completely ridiculous from a common sense standpoint. Heck, I wasn’t even breathing hard by the time I counted to 10 on this one.

Related: “Why do you hate the shape of breasts in plate armor so much?”


Filed under: Humour, Media — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 14:53

Satan and Garfunkel - Sounds of Pestilence

A Tumblr blog that might be of interest: BargainBinBlasphemy.

H/T to Boing Boing for the link.

Ibbitson: First Nations must prioritize political agenda to achieve anything

Filed under: Cancon, Government, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 11:18

In the Globe and Mail John Ibbitson lays out the possible and impossible goals and explains why it’s crucial for First Nations to work on the possible goals while there’s still momentum:

In that sense, it might be helpful to look at the disparate demands of the various factions claiming to represent native Canadians living on reserve, in an effort to separate the “deliverables” from the “non-deliverables.”

One key demand is that the Harper government withdraw a raft of legislation, including budget bills that have been passed, that native leaders claim weaken environmental protections and otherwise impair the lives and rights of their people.

Rescinding the budget bills, C-45 and C-38, is 100-per-cent non-deliverable. The Harper government is not going to repeal its budget. No government of any stripe ever would.

But other bills have not been passed. The First Nations Transparency Act, which would require band leaders to publicly report their income, is before the Senate. Native leaders consider its provision onerous and unfair. The Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act aims to improve drinking water safety on reserves, but lacks sufficient funding in the eyes for first nations leaders. It’s still before the Commons. And there are other bills as well.

First Nations leaders would be wise to identify which legislation the Harper government might be convinced to amend, and press for those amendments.

The Assembly of First Nations, in its lists of demands, emphasizes the need for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. This is eminently deliverable; native leaders should push hard for it.

Mr. Harper has agreed to take personal charge of negotiations around treaty and land claims. He is known to be personally frustrated with what he sees as an obstructionist bureaucracy at Aboriginal and Northern Affairs. A new and expedited process for resolving claims is deliverable, provided first nations leaders agree in return that resource development is vital to Canada’s and first nations’ economic future.

Any agenda item that requires amending the constitution is completely non-deliverable: after Charlottetown and Meech Lake, Canadians are highly averse to any constitutional tinkering. This limits some aspects of First Nations’ concern, but other areas can and should be addressed. (As pointed out in the article above, revenue sharing from natural resources is a provincial matter, so beating up the feds on that topic is a waste of time and effort.)

Another major factor holding back any chances of meaningful change are the divisions within the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and opposition to the AFN’s leadership from outside the AFN itself. For details, see Terry Glavin’s most recent article in the Ottawa Citizen.

Joe Strummer to be posthumously square in Granada

Filed under: Europe, History, Media — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 09:34

After legendary punk band The Clash fell apart, Joe Strummer retired to Granada and the city is going to rename a square in memory of his time there:

Granada City Council’s Daniel Galan told the BBC: “The initiative came from a neighbourhood association, backed by some political parties and was approved. It was a popular movement. It is very well known the connection between Joe and the city and people still remember him.”

Strummer’s relationship Spain began back in the 1970s, when he first visited Granada with his then girlfriend Paloma Romero, who later became the drummer of The Slits, under the nom de rock Palmolive.

His interest in Andalucia, the celebrated poet Federico García Lorca and the Spanish Civil War is reflected in the classic Spanish bombs, from 1979’s London Calling. During his later self-imposed exile, Strummer hooked up with Granada punk band 091, producing their 1986 album Más de 100 lobos (More than 100 wolves).

Galan said: “Joe Strummer loved Granada. He loved the whole of Spain but he had a very good connection with Granada because he was friends with 091.”

Borrowing from theoretical physics, we now have “Quantum Copyright”

Filed under: Books, Law, Media, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 09:22

At Techdirt, Tim Cushing explores the legal phase changes that introduce heretofore unknown states of copyright:

Eric Hellman tackles the ambiguous nature of copyright infringement, especially as it pertains to the “region-free” aspects of the internet, in a post amusingly titled, “Heisenberg’s Uncertain Copyright.” (via The Digital Reader)

Hellman turns his attention to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and using his skills in the area of “Quantum Copyright” (a term he threw into his LinkedIn profile for a bit of fun), determines that the question of whether or not copyright infringement has occurred might depend on where the copying occurred, something that is even harder to define when the copying takes place via the internet.

[. . .]

While Hellman exaggerates the repercussions of making a hypothetical copy (the highest statutory claims would apply only to willful infringement [which this could be, especially when infringing in order to prove a hypothesis] and the jail time only applies to criminal infringement — which this almost certainly would not be), the fact remains that one deterrent of infringement is the underlying threat of legal action (whether civil or criminal). No doubt F. Scott Fitzgerald’s estate is in no hurry to give up the American rights (and the attendant enforcement of those rights), seeing as The Great Gatsby earned its author all of $8,400 during his lifetime — but generates $500,000 per year for his daughter. This secondhand largesse enjoyed by many heirs is one of the motivators behind the ever-extending copyright lengths here in this country.

[. . .]

Certainly, copyright-centered entities like the MPAA would prefer to simply have our copyright laws exported to other countries with less stringent laws, especially any sections that extend the length of copyright protection and weaken fair use/fair dealing exceptions. Getting other nations to sync up with our copyright lengths would certainly eliminate these hypothetical discussions, along with many items in the public domain. Many aspects of current copyright laws were written years ago, long before the internet made “country of origin” a meaningless term and reproductions as simple as a right-click on a mouse. What it usually boils down to, after all the discussion, is this:

    You could also be a cynic and say the only thing that matters is where the judge is sitting.

Much like fair use is often determined by a courtroom appearance, the “quantum” aspects of copyright are largely theoretical — right up to the point that someone finds themselves at the other end of an infringement lawsuit.

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