Category: general

I AM the Law!

A couple of months ago I bought a used version of the Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death game for the PC. I know the game didn’t get very great reviews but it was dirt cheap.
So I tried to install it and no dice. The damn game just would NOT install. Put the disk in and an error comes up. You guessed it: copy protection. Way to keep your customers from playing a game they actually paid for…
I even tried things like isobuster and still couldn’t get it to work. Of course I would have called tech support — except that the only tech support phone numbers on the game were numbers in England. The site of the US publisher didn’t even have the damn game listed on their website. The UK website didn’t have any useful information, either.
So I turned to that last resort of the desperate man: piracy. The game is kind of old and it wasn’t that popular to begin with and so I couldn’t find it on any bittorrent sites. So I searched and searched and finally found it on edonkey. Three days later I finally had an ISO of the game I bought and paid for more than a month ago…
So the only way I could play a game that I legally bought was to pirate it. And they say piracy is what costs media companies sales…

Anyway, so I finally got to play the game. I thought it was a little better than the reviews led me to believe. It was nice and straightforward shooting. There’s an interesting feature where you are supposed to arrest people rather than kill them that I found fun. It was a nice challenge to shoot perps enough to make them drop their weapon but not kill them. Then there were the zombies…

I love zombies. I even own the Uwe Boll masterpiece House of the Dead. So I also liked shooting zombies in Dredd vs. Death.

Sure, the game is pretty much by the numbers with the standard plot of horrible mastermind behind all the evil and the boss battles, as well as the disembodied voice that tells you where to go. However, I found it charming.

The graphics are rather dated. This isn’t surprising for a game whose copyright is 2003. There is one thing that the game’s maker, Rebellion should be damn proud of. Like their last big game, the original Aliens vs. Predator, this game loads nearly instantly. After playing games like Half-Life 2 which have lengthy loading times, I am amazed at how quickly Dredd vs. Death loads. If Rebellion can do it, why can’t the other companies?

Since I’m tracing the genealogy of Rebellion’s games, in addition to the super quick loading times, there is another trait that is carried over from AvP: the saving. When Aliens vs. Predator first came out for the PC (Rebellion had actually released an Alien vs. Predator game for the Atari Jaguar back in the day) there were no in-level saves or quick saves. If you died, you had to start the level all over again. Like AvP, Dredd vs. Death has not quicksave. AvP had in-level saves and quick saves added in a patch and for the gold version, so I was surprised that Dredd vs. Death didn’t. At least it has checkpoints and you can escape out of the game and save it, so it isn’t that bad. However, it is interesting to see the traits common to the two games from the same developer.

Overall, I’d give it seven thumbs up. If you can find it for 5 dollars, and your system doesn’t have a problem with crappy copy protection, or you don’t have any problem with pirating it, I would say it was worth it.

Videogame clothing

Now, I’m not one to wear an Atari shirt or something, but i just saw a really cool article of clothing. I don’t usually watch Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Is Extremem Makeover: Body Mutilation Edition even on any more???), but I flipped it on to see the end. Ty Pennington not only actually had a shirt on, but also had a jacket on. The cool part of the jacket was that it was a black raincoat-style material but it had outlines of while circles on it. Then they showed a close-up of Ty. It wasn’t a white circle pattern — it was an Asteroids pattern!!!

I totally want one!!!! I haven’t been able to find one online, so if anyone sees one you have to leave a message!

Kicking it Old School

I got a bit of cash for Christmas, so I hit up ebay for some retro gaming. I am not much of a console gamer and so although I’ve had a Pong machine, an Atari 2600, 7800, NES, PlayStation and XBox, I’ve never had a portable system so I got myself a gameboy advance sp and a few games. While I was at it, I went ahead and got an N64. Goldeneye was such a talked about game, and I hadn’t ever played it, so I’ve wanted to get it for a long time. Well, now I’ve finally got it — just when I’ve got grading to do!!!! Noooooo!!!!!

Jack Thompson: lawyer and man of compassion

Game Politics has a story of a gamer who committed suicide. Apparently, Jack Thompson, anti-videogame lawyer and compassionate man apparently posted a message so horrible that the comment was deleted and Game Politics has decided to no longer allow anonymous comments. MetalGearSolid.org got a copy of it before it was deleted and posted Jack Thompson’s response to the suicide. Here is the message that is attributed to Thompson:

Your “gamer friend” will find peace through the Lord, Jesus Christ, but sadly it’s too late for that.

There is a void in every heart. You can fill it up with the things of God, or the things not of God. This unfortunate soul chose to fill it up with combat games. The playing of these video games is masturbatory activity, meaning senseless self-stimulation. If you gamers could use a dictionary you would know that that term is not necessarily a sexual one.

The real tragedy here extends beyond the life and death of this one fellow. There are literally millions of young people and young adults whose despair is deepend by turning to the things of this world and then finding them meaningless.

All of you gamers need to put down the controllers and get a life. The utter inanity of the vast majority of postings here shows how vapid “gaming” really is.

You are one of the cheerleaders for this wasting of time and the wasting of lives. Do you feel any remorse for having contributed to this “culture of death?” Of course not. Hey, let’s all play MORE games, and ignore all the really productive things to do with our lives.

Let’s pretend to be shocked that a gamer might descend into deeper depression, as his gamer “buds,” knowing he was killing himself, couldn’t figure out how to call 911 themselves for him. That would have involved leaving their computers I guess.

Sad. Sad for all of you.”

One can only hope that this is not really Thompson and that it is just some tasteless joke by a troll. Whomever posted it must have a taste for irony. Suggesting that gamers don’t know the definition of a word when the person who posted this obviously doesn’t know the definition of what it means to be a good Christian or what it means to be compassionate strikes me as quite ironic.

When it comes to Uwe Boll, you snooze, you loose…

Bloodrayne the movie opened last weekend. I didn’t get around to seeing it, but after hearing about the horrible reviews, I was looking forward to seeing the trainwreck this weekend. But I guess I wasn’t fast enough. The movie stinks so bad that the theaters in town aren’t showing it any more! Bastards!

I could go see Grandma’s Boy, but I’ve already seen it. I wouldn’t go see it again. If you haven’t seen it yet, it might be worth a matine, but I certainly wouldn’t bother paying full price for it.

I should be writing a paper, not blogging!

So I should totally be writing a paper right now, but I’m taking the night off. I have to write about 20 pages, do some heavy revision on one paper, and probably interview someone for that paper before Monday. So of course, I’m taking the night off. I’m ever so tired!

Writing a paper about legal systems that influence gaming on campus. Hope is that it will be a dissertation chapter.

Also writing a paper about videogame commercials. Back in the Atari games they used to have tons of people in the commercials playing the games. Now, if they are featuring the latest FPS or whatever, they rarely have the players. In the Atari days they didn’t show the games very much. Now, the game itself is nearly all they show. Watching some old commercials I notice that in some they even show people actually plugging the console in so that people would know that it took electricity.

Regarding Roger Ebert, it is nice to see that Mia Consalvo has my back. It’s glad to know that I’m not the only one who isn’t interested in videogames as art! In all these conversations people mention Myst as an art game. Are there really that many hardcore gamers that would rather play Myst again than Doom? Don’t get me wrong, I like Myst a lot back in the day. I bought Riven as soon as it came out. However, since they came out, I haven’t had the urge to play them again. Not even once!

Last night IU had a preview of Grandma’s Boy. It is a film about a 36 year old videogame tester who gets evicted and has to move in with his grandmother and her friends. It’s produced by Adam Sandler’s production company and so, even though he doesn’t appear in it, it could easily be one of his early films. As I said in an email to one of my friends, it was the best movie about a videogame tester I’ve ever seen. It is also, coincidentally, the only film about a videogame tester I’ve seen. If it wasn’t about videogames, I wouldn’t have bothered seeing it. Basically, there’s some There’s Something About Mary-style humor about bodily fluids, some pot jokes, some intergenerational partying, a couple predictable hook-ups, a bad guy who tries to do something bad to the hero, and a grandma who saves the day. I wrote a haiku about it:

Office Space was good
I also liked Golden Girls
This is both of them.

There are some good jokes. There is also some objectification of women which I found oddly out of place. I give it only 4 thumbs up. (Remember I gave Doom 7 thumbs up. And of course my bastardization of what is surely a registered trademark of a certain movie critic adds to my delight!)

Finally, it looks like I’m going to be heading off to Vancouver again next year. This time for the SCMS conference in early March. I’m convinced that the only reason I got in is that I’m giving a paper with a sexy title of, “Post-Colonialism in Civilization“. Then in April it looks like I’m going to the CSA in Washington D.C. I’m convinced that I only got into that one because of the stellar efforts of the other people on the panel we put together. But I’ll be talking about professional wrestling, and not videogames, so I won’t be talking about that paper here. But you will respect the verbal artistry of professional wrestling or I’ll kick your ass! (Which just so happens to be the title of the paper I’ll be presenting at the CSA!)

Now it is time for sleep.

I’ve broken the comments!

I noticed no one had commented for a long time and I found out why. For some reason they are all waiting to be moderated. So, of course, I had over a thousand comments backed up, mostly spam… I plan on upgrading to the latest version of movabletype over the semester break next month, so hopefully that will fix it. Untill then, I’ll just have to check once a week or so and delte all the spam by hand. At least the spam isn’t appearing on teh site, so I guess that’s something to be thankful for! I appologize to those who let a comment and it didn’t appear before now!

I’m a Corporate Whore…

So if you look down there on the left on the main page, you should see a link to where you can buy good old Jack Thompon’s book from Amazon. So click on it and buy from Amazon so I can get rich off of the affilitate fees!
Actually, I just think it is really funny to have an ad for his book on a gaming site.
Oh, and if I click on my own links then I get the affiliate fee for and basically it is like taking 5% off of whatever ad I put there…
…but it is mostly just for irony… …mostly…

Bill Gates Doom video found!

Ever since I read Masters of Doom, I’ve longed to see the video of BIll Gates inside of Doom, dressed in a black trenchcoat and holding a shotgun. The video was made for a special Microsoft event where they were hyping Windows95 games and was yanked by Microsoft as soon as they saw it. Apparently , they hadn’t seen it and were so shocked by the video they never let it see the light of day again. …untill now!

Slashdot has a story, “Bill Gates’ Doom Video From 1995,” that links to Reel Splatter who has the infamous Bill Gates Doom Video! After all this time, it is kind of tame, but it is still awesome to finally see this.