Friday, 17 October 2008
OK I am going to be looking into a game called Saints Row 2, recently released and has been facing scrutiny like Grand Theft Auto IV from the New York Police Department, which they said "These horrible and violent video games desensitize young people to violence while encouraging depravity, immorality while glorifying criminal behaviour." NYPD union boss Patrick Lynch told the New York Post.
Lynch isn’t the only one that is against the selling of Saints Row 2. Jack Thompson called Saints Row 2 a GTA rip-off, suggesting that it pushes the envelope further than the Take-Two Interactive franchise he spent so long crusading against. National News Service followed up on the story by reporting that Leslie Crocker-Snyder, a candidate in next year's election for Manhattan District Attorney, has also picked up the NYPD bosses cause.
You can look into this story at this -
Police union martyrs Saints Row 2
Now I am getting sick and tired of computer games being put into the media spotlight for the wrong reasons. If a murder had happened recently, one of the things blamed for murders would be computer games. This has been happening since the very first Grand Theft Auto released back in 1997. One of the biggest cases that involved a computer game been put to blame was Manhunt in 2004. It was when Stefan Pakeerah, 14 was killed by his friend Warren Leblanc, 17. Now Stefan’s mum put the blame the murder on the Manhunt game. She claimed that Leblanc had been 'obsessed' with the game after he pleaded guilty in court. Now the police denied a link between the murder and the game. Leblanc was found guilty of the murder of Stefan Pakeerah. It was later discovered that Leblanc didn't actually own the game, but Pakeerah did. It was also found out that Leblanc had previously seen a Chucky film at a cinema and it went unnoticed that the murder was identical to one seen in the film; when this became known, Manhunt returned to store shelves. When the investigation was going on the game had been banned from GAME and Currys stores in the UK.
Now I have done a lot of research looking into computer games especially when I was in university and found out that there is very little evidence to prove a link with violent murders in real life and violent computer games.
Now I was looking back at some work I did back when I was in university, I did a thesis project looking to see if there was link between real life violence and video games. I found some evidence from someone called Henry Jenkins.
Henry Jenkins believes that researchers find that people serving time for violent crimes typically consume less media before committing their crimes than the average person in the general population. Jenkins does believe it is true that young offenders who have committed school shootings in America have also been game players like for example the Columbine High School Incident. But young people in general are more likely to be gamers — 90 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls play. He found that majority of kids who play video games, do not commit antisocial acts.
What Jenkins found in a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General's report, the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure. He believes that moral panic over violent video games is doubly harmful. It has led adult authorities to be more suspicious and hostile to many kids who already feel cut off from the system. It also misdirects energy away from eliminating the actual causes of youth violence and allows problems to continue to fester.
Now I know this is an old case study but I feel it can be related to what is happening now. So I’m here to say that video games don’t have an impact on real life. I think lecturers and the media are over reacting to something that comes new to mainstream society.
I thought I'll leave you on a trailer of Saints Row 2.
This is Barryboxx signing out.
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
We all know the world is in financial turmoil right now, and some people are even calling this the start of a recession. But what does that mean?
To try and make things clearer today I am going to be focusing on why this happened, what we are trying to do to fix it and how this is going to affect us in the future.
No 1: Why?
A loan is when a bank gives you a sum of money that you have to pay back over a period of time with interest. It used to be that banks were very strict as to whom they gave out loans. They had to make sure you were definitely capable of paying it back by looking at things like how much you earned and your reliability of paying back loans in the past.
This changed about a decade or so ago when banks in America started encouraging people with low income, who weren’t really capable of paying back large amounts of money, to take out massive loans to buy property.
This trend eventually spread worldwide.
Now, a large amount of these loans started to default, which means people simply couldn’t pay the money back.
This was ok for the banks because they would simply reclaim the property and, seeing as this was a time when house prices were on the rise, they could sell on this property for more than the loan they had given to the previous owner, therefore making a profit.
This is when the problems began.
House prices work on a cycle of supply and demand. When more people want to buy houses, this creates demand, therefore they are more willing to pay higher amounts of money, so prices go up.
However they then reach a point when prices get too high for most people to be able to afford to buy, therefore less people buy houses, the price drops and then the cycle continues.
So when prices started to go down a year or so ago this was bad news for the banks.
They started to have to sell the houses for less than the loans they had given their clients. Making a loss.
Fast forward to the present day and the banks are losing so much money they are going bust.
This has also lead to a freeze up of the markets caused by the fact that the banks are no longer lending money to each other purely because they are scared of the possibility that whomever they lend to could go bust tomorrow.
Now. No 2: What are we doing to get us out of this mess?
Here is what would happen if we didn’t intervene. The big banks that made huge profits from these loans that are now going bust would simply collapse.
This would mean short term chaos, not just for the business and financial world, but also for normal people who rely on these banks to look after their savings and provide them with things like overdrafts.
This would leave us with the smaller banks who couldn’t afford to take these high risk loans. They would eventually grow and take the place of the big banks, after which financial normality would be restored.
Governments around the world don’t seem to be willing to let this happen because of the initial turmoil that would ensue.
What they intend to do will depend on where you are in the world.
In the UK Gordon Brown has instigated a nationalisation plan, in which the government has bought up the banks, basically meaning that the majority are now state owned. This means that the government should be able to have some control of the bank’s behaviour in the future, potentially having the ability to prevent another crisis like this.
Government in main land Europe are also in talks about putting into practice a similar plan.
In the USA the Bush administration has decided to take a different approach. Instead of taking control of the banks they has proposed to give US banks $700 billion which will be used to pay for the ‘toxic loans’ that the public can’t pay back.
There is however a call for a similar plan to Britain and the rest of Europe.
Regardless both tactics have been very controversial and has seen an outcry from taxpayers who don’t see why they have to pay for the bank’s mistake.
Whether this is fair or not is up to you.
In terms of how this will affect us in the future (No 3) there are conflicting opinions.
On the one hand there are those who say this is simply a blip on the radar, others say this is the beginning of a great recession.
In the UK and Europe, seeing as we assume governments will have a say in future proceedings of their banks we can hope money lending could become more responsible.
However in the US there is a danger that those who are being bailed out are still in charge without a scratch on them, and there is a danger they will continue to act irresponsibly.
Regardless in the future we are going to have to wade through a whole lot of crap. We will have to deal with rising unemployment, fuel poverty and less spare money to spend on our high streets. It is up to those that we have put in charge to make sure we survive, whether it is just a blip, or something bigger.
Sunday, 24 August 2008
IPHONE 3G NEWS
I know I have mentioned the Iphone 3G and Blunty3000 a few times before on this blog but they have come up again. Now Blunty has found a way to record video on the Iphone 3G.
Here's the video to explain it all.
But If you found difficult to follow in the video here is the written version
HOW TO SET A VIDEO RECORDER ON YOUR IPHONE
Guide to installing iPhone Video Recorder on your iPhone 3G - this also works on the first gen iPhone
Fill in the missing feature of Video recording on your iPhone by jailbreaking and installing iPhone video Recorder, and enjoy taking video on your iPhone 2G and iPhone 3G
Jailbreak, launch Cydia, install OpenSSH, add www.iphonevideorecorder.com to the cydia sources, install iPhone Video Recorder.
Open a SSH shell to your iphone
Log in, username "root" default password is "alpine"
type in the following commands;
chmod 777 Documents
chmod 777 Documents
you're done, enjoy recording video in your iPhone 3G.
If you want to get the files on your computer so you can email them or edit them or whatever, you're going to need to open up your FTP client on your computer, set it to use the SSH file transfer protocol punch in your iphone's IP address login name and password and navigate to the /private/var/mobile/Documents folder, that's where the completed video recordings are stored, you can just drag and drop your files from there.
I heard it could be risky if you want to do this
Go to this website which is GadgetSplaff This is an awesome page.
Oh yeah If you are wondering why I use Blunty quite a bit lately is because he is awesome on reporting on the latest technology and does some brillant reviews on games.
US XBOX LIVE USERS CAN VOTE IN NEXT GENERAL ELECTION
Now I know this is Brainboxx aka Jazza's thing, I went onto the BBC Technology page and had a report that Xbox 360 Live users will be able to vote in the next general election in America in November. Where Microsoft had signed a partnership with Activists Rock The Vote
Here's is the story - Xbox Live in youth voting drive
YOUTUBE CHANNEL TO WATCH FOR GAMES & TECHNOLOGY:
Finally I got a Youtube Channel to recommend that looks into computer games and does some sketches involving the games. This is called Machinima. This is the best site for games that is on youtube at the moment.
Here's a video to finish up with A Midnight Club Los Angeles Trailer which is another game I'm looking forward to.
Monday, 18 August 2008
Hey everyone its Techboxx before I begin the review I would like to welcome Laura (Bubbleboxx) onto the blog and she made her first entry which was so awesome and that I need to step up with my blog entries, which I like to do. OK I promised to do this for a while and now I have finally gotten around to the Soul Calibur IV review for the Playstation 3.
I have asked Blunty3000 (who I mentioned in my last blog entry looking at database) for advice on how to review computer games. Blunty gave me some excellent pointers so I will be using them in this review. I also used his review of the same game to help me out.
Here's Bluntys review of Soul Calibur IV
The concept of the game well its like any other beat em’ up that we all love to play. The objective is to beat up all the other characters to bloody pulp to get your characters hearts and desires which I think it is really cool. They also include ring outs which I ain’t a fan because like Blunty’s review which I will put at the end I rather beat my opponent to a bloody pump so then there is only one left standing.
There are two things that is really special about this fourth edition within the series 1) You can play online with others for the very first time and 2) You can play a star wars character either Yoda (Xbox 360) or Darth Vader (Playstation 3)
HOW THE GAME PLAYS
I like how the game plays as although it has linear storyline that isn’t interactive where you can take the story but I love the characters are so unique that they have their line before a battle starts I like they have some very humorous lines that made me chuckle.
THE LOOK OF THE GAME
The look of the game is very smooth and looks so similar to Metal Gear Solid 4 (Which I consider Metal Gear – Game Of The Year so far) the graphics are smooth and so real to life, its like God had come to me in a dream and slapped me to tell me that games can go a lot further. I'm really glad that game graphics have got better and better but in most of these games the game play isn’t top quality but with this game it is top quality. It is very polished game that matches the standard I have come to expect with todays games.
THE SOUND OF THE GAME
The sounds of the game play are very realistic, it comes out crystal clear. The Lightsaber sounds in the game are like the ones that were used in the Star War films. The character that is going to be used in the future upcoming game Star Wars – The Force Unleashed is really cool reminds of the dark lord of the sith Vader.
THE PLAYABILITY OF THE GAME
The controls are very difficult and very challenging for me as I think this is a brilliant thing as there aren’t a lot of games that offer a challenge nowadays which makes me sad. The game offers many different moves and combos that take to time to find, which is an excellent thing to have in any beat em up.
I think this game is really fun to play, the first character I chose to pick I will admit was Darth Vader. I could play on this game for hours and never stop playing I kept on going and going with the arcade mode to beat the bosses, so this game offers a real challenge and is up there with Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4 as game of the year.
4.5 out of 5 in my opinion.
Finally this is the next game I will hopefully review and it is called Star Wars: The Force UnleashedHere's a trailer to the game The Force Unleashed
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Bubbleboxx here! Yes I know, I’ve finally got on to this site and posted a blog. I have to say a massive sorry to Jazza, Barry and NSG for being so late.
Anyway first off I’m really enjoying reading this blog (yes I have been checking the site even though I’ve not contributed to it).
Righty, after a lovely week of everyone stressing about results and university etc I decided to think up some things that would help distract myself and YOU, so here are my top yummy fondant fancies of pop culture this week:
"LEAPING LIZARDS BATMAN!"
I’ve heard so much about the new batman film “The Dark Knight” and I know that I’ve GOT to see it. However I am a little scared because I’ve heard there are some rather gruesome bits in it and I don’t want to be having nightmares for a week. Anyhow the sequel to Batman Begins starring the late Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and Maggie Gyllenhall is a must this summer while it’s in the cinemas!
Taking advantage of the summer
There are so many festivals on at the moment that you just have to go to one this month. Unfortunately all of the tickets to the big festivals will have probably sold out but there are still many little ones happening over the next few weeks. The Times do reviews on a tonne of festivals and also have an August guide of what’s coming up http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/festivals/?CMP=KNC-IX7429721604&HBX_PK=music+festivals&HBX_OU=50
There’s also another very handy site that shows all of the up and coming festivals and club events for under 18’s. Typical how I found this site after I’ve turned 18…tsk
For the star wars fans
Okay, well I’ve never really been a star wars fan but for anyone who is, “The clone wars” was released in cinemas on Friday. Anyway heres a trailer for the film:
Saturday, 16 August 2008
The other day was talking about the Iphone 3G and showed you a review from a youtuber who has had for a while. It looked really impressive from what I saw in the specs and the review that was done. I was watching a Blunty3000 video (A Youtuber I got a lot of respect for) saying that the Iphone has an application that can make Iphone and Ipod have a WiFi Harddrive and its called Datacase.
I'll let the video explain.
Blunty3000's Youtube Channel
Friday, 15 August 2008
God bless the vlogbrothers
Monday, 11 August 2008
I haven't done a blog on this for a while and thought I'll tell you about the Iphone.
I had been to the Apple store a couple of times through different gatherings that have happened and had a quick look at the Iphone 3G.
I like how it goes into the Internet really well just like the original one that came out.
I heard the camera isn't that top notch when I saw a review of the Iphone 3G from a youtuber called Y2kjonrichards. So I will give have another look into the phone next time I go to the Apple Store in London which should be awesome.
Here are the tech specs on the Iphone 3G
Make a call by tapping a name or send a text with the intelligent keyboard.
Enjoy music and video on a widescreen display and shop for music with a tap.
Browse the real web, get HTML email and find yourself with GPS maps.
Whats New On the Iphone
Surf the web and download email over fast 3G mobile networks.
Maps with GPSFind your location, get directions and track your route with GPS.
Once I have the money and that the Iphone 3G has gone to Pay As You Go then I may think about buying one.
Anyway here is the Review of the Iphone 3G from Y2kjonrichards
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Okay, I know music is NSG’s thing, but I needed to talk about this guy who I have grown uncomfortably obsessed with and who seems to be growing in popularity in the YouTube community (which, honestly, is how I got into him) having been mentioned on both 5awesomegays and fiveawesomeMWs. This phenomenon is the hugely talented Jay Brannan.
A New York based, folk, singer song writer; his self made album, ‘Goddamned’ reaches for a plethora of topics; from religion, to falling in love, to his desire to settle down with someone. Being a young gay man in the modern world could also be seen as a major influence in his work, but to label him as a ‘gay’ artist would be incorrect and unfair. He talks about his reality which simply happens to encompass this one aspect. Case in point; Housewife could easily have been marketed as a novelty record, a gay man talking about how he wants to take on this stereotypically feminine role. But this particular track is just a beautiful testament to love and life, using Brannan’s angelic voice backed simply by an acoustic guitar, to portray a young man’s aching desire to find that one person to spend the rest of his life with.
Jay Brannan’s album is available from iTunes and his website. He is also playing various dates in some of the big UK cities this August (check his myspace below). Unfortunately, I am in Barcelona, so pop along, have a great night and let him know I sent you.
Some links for you:
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
As I (and the rest of the world) predicted, Labour lost the ‘safe’ seat in the Glasgow East by-election to the Scottish National Party, and again, as predicted, party member and people of the public across the country are calling for Gordon’s resignation as PM. Bless the poor guy, he’s on holiday as well!
Now I have made my views of Gordon very clear in the past, both on here and on rhyming, but I will say one thing in his defence. His knowledge in terms of economics is unparalleled in the British political scene at the moment, and if anyone has the capability to drag us, kicking and screaming, out from this rut of an economic ‘crisis’ with minimal damage, it’s him. Yes, he doesn’t have the charisma or gumption (god I love that word) to lead the country, but to be honest, name me an MP who you would hand the reins to at the moment, I certainly can’t think of one.
Then I give my opinions about Knife Crime in the UK and what should be done.
Please Comment or Respond to this video. I'm not tagging anyone, I think everyone should get involved in this discussion.
Barry Aldridge (TechBoxx)
Sunday, 27 July 2008
- Now this series has been hugely praised for being beat em up game that is totally different to Tekken and Virtua Fighter.
- The visuals of the game look so stunning, as games graphics are getting better
- It is produced by Namco who have produced the previous games, so I can expect a lot of greatest within the fourth in the series. It comes out in North America on the 29th of July while in the
it comes out on the 1st Of August. UK
- Now one of the great things I like there are bonus characters that appear on different formats. If you get it on the Xbox 360 your bonus character would be Yoda, while the Playstation 3 you get Darth Vader. The Bonus characters would be able to force abilities.
- The biggest thing with this game is that for the very first time you are able play online in the whole Soulcalibur series which is excellent news in my opinion. I will be able to review this game once it comes out and I will be buying the Playstation 3 version, so I’m going over to the dark side.
Here is a video I did a while ago of a review of Metal Gear Solid 4 for the Playstation 3. This is the type of review I will hope to do for Soulcalibur IV when it comes out.
I think he has an amazing voice and sound that is really represents whats missing in the current music sound in the UK. Electro is getting overated and overhyped its good to see old skool peeps like Tricky making their mark again. Just brings out the edge and gritty vibe that is much needed in the scene right now! Get his new album! its DOPE, heavy, music with balls (which is rare these days): "Knowle West Boy - Tricky - OUT NOW!
Check out the music video: "Council Estate"
Where the rival Scottish National Party are looking for a landslide win, Labour seem that they will be happy as long as they don’t lose, which to me shows that ‘New’ Labour will be doing their best to put on a happy face. Although many will be celebrating this call for that over used word, ‘change’, I must say I do feel sorry for Gordon, it does feel like we are kicking a wounded dog while it’s down.
My name is Jazza, I go by the name of rhymingwithoranges on various places around the interweb and I like to start discussions, share opinions as well as occasionally make a fool of myself.
Right, I guess it falls to me to explain the set up and push of this project. We are TheBoxxCollective (the two x’s make us cool) made up of four people who all consider ourselves as vaguely knowledgeable vis-à-vis our respective topic areas. MyBoxx is split into four sections:
- BeatBoxx, which is music based and is basically another way for NSG to whore himself again.
- TechBoxx, run by the amazing Barry Aldridge who is going to focus on games and technology news.
- BubbleBoxx, our commentary on popular culture such as TV, film and what the hell the youth of today are doing with themselves which will be run by Laura (Laurbubble) well... as soon as she gets back from holiday at least, and finally there is.
- BrainBoxx which I have been placed in charge of and will focus on all the boring things in life like politics and a running commentary of the main stream media.
In the mean time enjoy what the rest of our little rabble has to offer.
So I waited in line to meet up with Jason Mewes which I was in the queue but didn't really care because he is the guys I always want to meet in the general. I admire his work as Jay aka Jay & Silent Bob with Kevin Smith. Now Jason mentioned to me about the next project he is working on with Kevin Smith directing and its called Zack and Miri Make A Porno and he told me that it is not a Jay & Silent Bob which to be honest Im glad it isnt because I felt we need a rest from Jay & Silent Bob even though Im a big fan of the merchandise.
I also met up with Peter Davison who was the 5th Doctor back in the original series of Doctor Who. Now he was such a nice person to meet and great. He was so approachable I said he was a brillant doctor which he didn't have the best stories but he was brillant in playing the role differently than the others.
OK onto my opinion of the event. I felt it was more of a let down looked like it was disorganised and seem the planned it in a rush even though they had 10 months. I think it should have not have been in Earls Court 2. It should have been in Earls Court 1 which they held the Doctor Who Convention which I'll go to in August hopefully. I love Doctor Who. I felt the people they had coming to the convention was the big saving point. They all the star trek people, sci-fi stars, Doctor Who and more. Overall I hope they do a lot better in the organisation skills of the event in general otherwise the 2009 one will be the last one I ever go to which will be a shame. The food and drink was expensive as well. I think conventions dont understand that a lot of people who come to their conventions are working class and only have enough money to just get basic things they need. So thats my review of the convention. May go back next year hopefully to give it another chance.
check out video for more info: