Cleaner, Clearer, Refreshing

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.: Worthy links for your worthy time :.

God: Something I’ve often wondered about is what happens when churches  put too much emphasis on the method of delivery versus the actual message… this article talks about how art can become propaganda.

Life: A 1uper tours Pixar

Gaming: Syp’s quote of the day entertained me. I’m sure we all know people like this.

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Final Fantasy?

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Aliens are much easier to stomach when they are hell-bent on destroying humanity versus just being ghostly cosmic castaways of a meteor.

Nearly 9 years after Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within graced the silver screen, I decided to take a look at the film once more. Originally, I remember enjoying the movie for its graphics/ art design but totally hating on the New Age storyline. So, were we go.

The movie opens with strange dreams, an alien devastation and Steve Buscemi voicing a soldier? Go figure. The voice casting for Final Fantasy is probably what keeps this movie from exploding into the nether right off. Voices such as Alec Baldwin, Ming-Na, and Ving Rhames lend the sci-fi storyline credibility. Well, almost. Turns out the invading aliens are ghosts (SPOILERS! 🙂 ) and that firing the massive Zeus cannon may end up hurting the planet. Our planet? No, the chunk of the alien planet and its spirits…I think. Got that?

For a film that supposedly went through 50 script incarnations (IMDB) and was the flagship for then newly created Square Pictures, I question the oddly spiritual storyline. Sure, the spirits ability to rob humanity of their spirits (thus killing the human in the process) adds some tension to the film. But still, to go on about Gaia and the LOST aliens is just ridiculous considering this movie needed to appeal to an international audience.

The movie ends when the main character, Aki, realizes that she had the final spirit within her all along. GAG! All of the other characters that you have followed through out the film are now dead; all except the good doctor Cid. The movie fades to black after focusing on a bird flying off into the horizon…can anyone tell me what just happened?

I guess we all should have seen this movie coming. Parts of it remind me Final Fantasy 7, especially the end with Gaia and the floating spirits. Just like back in 2001, I cannot believe that I have once again wasted my time watching this movie. With such a rich history and stable of characters, I’m almost sorry that this movie had to be the final fantasy.

CozyQuest News

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JBG has been experiencing a large amount of web traffic searching for information on the iDevice app CozyQuest. Investigating the matter, we have found out the following:

Dear CozyQuest gamers

The old CQ server has suffered a major crash, and a lot of data is estimated to be lost. We are working on restoring this information, and hopefully get things up and running soon.

We have been promised that the data could be restored, but unfortunately, it will take some time.

I have invested in a new server, and have pushed a new copy of CozyQuest to Apple, in which the app is able to log on to the new server.

Hopefully, the game will be back up and running around the 15th. of April. *Fingers crossed*

If you visit the game’s official website as of 5/25/10, you will find this:

Rising from the ashes

There, a new server is set and ready to go.

Now to make a new client, faster and sleeker.

Sometimes it’s better to just let go…or read our review!

Entitlement

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The promise of record heat allows me some comfort in knowing that I’ll be indoors all day. Record heat in May? I’m already worried about how hot this summer is going to be. This morning though the clouds are making every attempt to block out the sun. A bit of morning respite before the onslaught of the day.

Had a good conversation with a friend last week. We talked about the feeling of entitlement college bestows upon graduates. “Finding a job is going to be easy”, administrators and professors tell you throughout your college career. 4 (usually) years of hearing their melodious spiel is enough time to start to believing the lies. Yes, I said lies. The real world, that place outside of the college campus bubble, proves to be harsh for many young graduates. After being unknowingly brainwashed, they suddenly find themselves dumped out into the world with a mountain of debt (unless mom and dad have helped). The jobs that had once been mythically “promised” are no where to be found. The sense of entitlement that has firmly taken root by this point won’t allow the graduates  to simply take a job they could have had in high school. No, those types of jobs just aren’t good enough anymore. “4 years of hard work certainly entitle me to something better”, the newly graduated thinks to themselves. Sadly and perhaps fittingly, this is not the case.

The current economic crisis has turned the business world upside down. Companies are afraid to hire new employees and are instead downsizing/ consolidating normally open positions. The world is tightening its belt. The entitled graduate has a hard time making sense of this economically depressed world. Promises of something better turned out to be lies…for now.

But not all is doom and gloom. Like someone recently held hostage, a bit of deprogramming is needed for the newly minted graduate.

  • Realize that finding a job takes time AND hard work.
  • Realize that obtaining that perfect job with a corner office could take years.
  • Recite daily: “Just because I have a degree doesn’t mean I’m special”

Having a good attitude is probably the most important piece of advice I could ever give someone. Attitude is everything. So, don’t despair recent graduates, time and hard work will soon make all the effort put forth in college worthwhile. If not, there is always the option of fleeing the country to escape the loan bounty hunters.

Vermin of the Trees

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The squirrels outside my office window are many. Organized and cunning beyond belief, they scale mighty trees and leap from branch to branch with utmost abandon. Even on a gloomy day like today, the squirrels seem unfazed. Already I have spotted at least 3 and yet I know that there are more out there exploring the woods.

One of the big problems with having an office with floor to ceiling windows is that sometimes the outside world can prove to be quite a distraction. Maybe distractions are good on a Friday morning; the weekend standing wide open and ready to be filled in.

The Wrath of Christians

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The machine guns blazed with a deafening sound, as a small band of Christians advanced upon Ignition Entertainment. Chanting the video game directors name, Sawaki Takeyasu, the blood thirsty band leveled all who stood in their way.

Weeks earlier, upon hearing about the game El Shaddai’s development and eventual release, this small band of Christians had threatened the games director with death. For you see, to even utter one of the names of God is punishable by death….err wait. Wouldn’t this be shocking if it were true? Imagine Christians militantly defending the name of God.

The announcement of El Shaddai got me thinking about how the Muslim community would react if the game was titled The Prophet Muhammad. Below is a case study from a recent headline.

Case Study:

Back in the beginning of April, the TV show South Park aired its 200th episode (recap here). The episode, which was all about not angering Muslims by physically depicting the Prophet Muhammad, stirred up anger within the Muslim community. One Muslim group even threatened “violent retribution” against the creators of the show. Meanwhile other religious figures which include Jesus, Buddha, and Krishna were depicted with little outcry from their followers. Comedy Central, fearing a backlash from the Muslim community, ended up heavily editing the episode.

Commit a series of terrorist acts and suddenly entire nations cower before you in fear.

As per my opening to this article, I am not insinuating that Christians should become militaristic and take up arms against those that offend us. That goes against the very person of who Jesus Christ was/ is. What I am trying to say is two things:

  1. Our modern media needs to treat all religious groups equally and with respect. Christ should be treated just as respectfully as Muhammad if not more so — hey, I’m biased!–. To cater/cower to only one religious group shows favoritism. Not only favoritism…but fear.
  2. Video game developers need to be respectful when telling stories/ making statements religious in nature. Take for instance the game Assassin’s Creed. SPOILER ALERT!!! The end of the game reveals that the object you’ve hunted for the entire game is what caused people to believe that Moses parted the Red Sea; that Jesus did miracles. I find such thought to be totally offensive. Furthermore, this makes me think that the developers of Assassin’s Creed believe that Christianity is a sham. Whatever happened to tolerance?

Tolerance: a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.

In closing, the video game El Shaddai will not incite acts of violence on an epic scale. No death threats will be reported due to its development/ launch.  The wrath of the Christians will not be experienced. Consider that cancelled if not non-existent.

Things to think about:

  • Why are Christians openly mocked in media and Muslims feared?
  • What are the developers trying to tell us in their use of names like Enoch and a story about Satan and his fallen angels?
  • What is their worldview?

Maturity

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My fondest video game memories all stem from childhood. Be it sitting in the family room playing the NES with my younger sister or hanging out at a friends house playing Road Rash on the Genesis, video games have always played a part in my life. Fast forward to today, and I often find myself trying to recapture those moments.

In November of last year, my sister flew out to spend some time with my family and I. We mostly just hung out around the house and played with my son. Nothing big. However, we did end up playing Super Mario Brothers 3 on the Wii. Talk about stirring up some memories. By the end of our game time, I had realized a few things:

  • My sister will always be a better Mario Brothers player than I will ever, ever be.
  • Gaming is best when your playing with others.

What was great about revisiting this past time with her, was that no fights broke out. I’m serious. My Mom never had to swoop in and take the controllers away because we wouldn’t share or honor the others next turn.

“You die one more time and I get the next life.”

Age has a way of making one want what has been. Having my sister out and playing Mario 3 though made me realize that those gaming moments haven’t gone away. In fact, they have only gotten better due to age and maturity. One thing that I will never miss is being grounded off the NES due to fighting. Hurray for growing older.

What are your favorite video game memories?