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The worst column I have ever read about video games

Townhall.com::The "Sex-Box" Race for President::By Kevin McCullough

This article is so hilariously misinformed and wrong about every fact that it could easily be an Onion article. See, it's about Bioware's Mass Effect which I happened to have completed last weekend. Mass Effect is a sci-fi epic about the usual things sci-fi epics are about: genocide, racial tolerance, one small ship vs. a million enemies, and so on. It's notable for being beautiful, better written than almost any game this year, possessing a new dialogue tree system that is genuinely engrossing, and also having a tasteful 40-second sex scene at the very end of the game. Said sex scene shows no genitalia, and consists only of quick cuts and implications.

Here is what this columnist has to say:

I know that they all probably assume they have better, much more important, urgent, timely, things to campaign on, but I sure would like to get their individual takes on the new video game that one company is marketing to fifteen year old boys.

It's called "Mass Effect" and it allows its players - universally male no doubt - to engage in the most realistic sex acts ever conceived. One can custom design the shape, form, bodies, race, hair style, breast size of the images they wish to "engage" and then watch in crystal clear, LCD, 54 inch screen, HD clarity as the video game "persons" hump in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of.

The objections to such filth should be simple to understand.

Starting with the disgusting idea that one can "create" their own versions of what people look like, removing warts, moles, and bald spots while enhancing - shall we say - the extended features of the game's characters tends to objectify women, sex, and human relationships. Right? We can all agree on this?

Did someone show him Second Life and claim it was Mass Effect? Probably not. He's probably just making up the worst thing he can think of.

The sex is so tame that it's more like two people hugging for 40 seconds in dim lighting. And the character creation that he finds bizarrely offensive only involves designing the face of your character. There is no option for bust size or cock size or whatever.

This kind of journalism is hilarious, but extremely harmful. This man should lose his job for making shit up, just like other reporters have in the past.

(via)

January 13, 2008

Mock funerals catch on in South Korea

Mock funerals catch on in South Korea / The living spend time in coffins to lead better lives

After solemnly reading their wills, seven perfectly healthy university students climb into caskets in a dimly lit hall.

"I want to give all of you one more day to live, but it's time to be placed into coffins," a man in a black suit says in a resounding voice. "I hope your tired flesh and bodies will be peacefully put to rest."

Workers nail the coffins shut, then sprinkle dirt on top as the lights are switched off and a dirge is played. Muffled sobs can be heard from some of the coffins. About 15 minutes later, they are opened, and the five men and two women are "reborn."

The mock funeral, which aims to get participants to map out a better future by reflecting on their past, is part of a new trend in South Korea called "well-dying." The fad is an extension of "well-being," an English phrase adopted into Korean to describe a growing interest in leading healthier, happier lives.

January 12, 2008

Update: Tasering still completely out of control

Pandagon :: Out of control tasing continues :: January :: 2008

Note that in this video, the guy is restrained and on his knees and THEN has pepper spray shot into his face and is tasered. There is no way to argue that this tasering is not just the cops being dicks to him. They are punishing him for struggling and running. And there is no way that is okay.

It is also clear from this video that the police pointed a Taser gun at a Black woman who was holding a cup of coffee in her hand while attempting to observe what police were doing. They continued to point the Taser gun at her until they had backed her up some twenty yards from a man who appears to be a relative of hers. (In this video, it appears that they Taser may have a red light on it, like a gun, that indicates where it is being pointed.)

It really doesn’t matter how this incident started. It doesn’t matter if the arrested Black man had an arrest or conviction record. It doesn’t matter if he cheated at Bingo in second grade. It is simply unnecessary as a matter of police and public safety, and morally wrong, to taser people who are on their hands and knees. This constitutes torture and it has to be stopped.

Click through for more updates on tasering stories.