China Lifts Console Ban, Wrestling Terminators and a Murdering Xbox One

This makes me feel like a fat kid on Halloween - lonely but greedily satisfied.

Everything I write is from the perspective of the consumer. I’m not your #1 news source but you can rely on me to have an opinion on anything that’s been reported in the past week. However, it’s a one-side conversation. I would really appreciate it if we could open up a dialogue. You can make this happen by sending me feedback.

That way it’s not just me telling you what I think – It’s also about you telling me what you think.

You can get in touch by tweeting me @LeeLaments or by commenting on this entry.

Rise of the Tomb Raider, the Xbox One timed exclusive, will be available for PS4 in 2016. I’m excited because Tomb Raider was my Game of the Year 2013. It also means I get to own both Rise of the Tomb Raider and Uncharted 4. This makes me feel like a fat kid on Halloween – lonely but greedily satisfied.

The Electronic Sports League will carry out their first drug tests on gaming athletes at the Counter-Strike: GO tournament in Cologne next month. The purpose of the drug tests is to weed out any competitors using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). PEDs were generally ignored in eSports but the ESL has cracked down on them since the use of drugs were discussed during an interview with CS: Go player Kory “Semphis” Friesen.

Robert Boyd has expressed his desire for indie games to lower in price. As an indie developer himself (check out Cthulu Saves the World) he thinks a $20+ price tag will ultimately backfire.

“Lower prices mean more people play your game. Lower prices often result in more positive reviews. Lower prices means more buzz around your game and more people tell their friends to play the game”

I’m not sure how much sway Boyd has in the industry but I couldn’t agree with him more. Part of the charm is their low entry price, especially for how much content they offer.

Hear me moan,

After 15 years China has lifted the ban on consoles! Is this cause for concern or an excuse to party? The obvious benefit of China lifting the ban is its massive population. The assumption is that now that anyone in China can buy a console the user base will sky-rocket, meaning more profit is to be had. It’s an easy assumption to make from our perspective – we know what great games China are missing out on – but the console-shaped hole has been filled with other forms of gaming. It might be a little too late for consoles to secure a substantial number of consumers to make a difference.

Another thing I have seen mentioned on Facebook and on podcasts is the growing concern that games may be heavily doctored to suit a Chinese audience, not much different to certain films like Looper or Transformers 4. Pixels was edited to appease a Chinese audience but most of the garbage removed was racist bullshit that didn’t need to be shot in the first place – the only thing that needs to be shot is the fucking cast.

I digress – what difference does a doctored game make to the Western world if we get a different ‘cut’ of a game? It may seem illogical for a developer to create two different games but would it really be like that? It would more than likely be restricted content and changes in dialogue to avoid offending them. Also, the ‘USA vs Communism’ template hasn’t been relevant since 9/11.

I’m really hoping China start producing their own games that become cult hits over here, so I can ignore them like I ignore all of Japan’s games.

Here’s something super weird – you can play as Arnold Schwarzenegger in WWE 2K16. Correction: you can play as the Terminator T-800 in WWE 2K16. What kind of batshittery in this? Why is a fictional cyborg killer fighting blood-filled flesh bags (or wrestlers, as they’re more commonly known)? I don’t get it! It’s as if 2K are trying to surf the pitiful waves of the latest Terminator cinematic disaster.

In reality the T-800 would walk into the ring and kick every sweaty man-ass that comes near him but, for the purpose of fair gameplay, this pre-order bonus is going to have its power reduced to the point where you’re not even playing as a T-800 but as a shaved, muscular Furby instead.

Speaking of AI, experts such as Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak and Elon Musk have signed an open letter that calls for the ban on weapons with artificial intelligence. I’m in total agreement with these guys as weapons that are capable of killing on their own, without any human input, are a threat to our very existence. However, in recent months Stephen Hawking has been terrifying the nation with his doomsday predictions of all kinds of AI – I’m worried this is going to have a negative outcome.

AI isn’t the problem; it’s the human ego that’s the problem. We’re convinced that one day technology will wipe us out, but for what reason? Machines have to be programmed to carry out specific tasks. If, one day, machines ‘learn’ their programmes by life experiences (like humans do) then I suppose a machine might see humans as a threat but if we’re creating these machines wouldn’t we engineer precautionary kill-switches and software to combat any attempts to kill us? It only becomes a serious problem if intelligent machines start building themselves, which is the point where a kill-switch would obviously be omitted from their design.

All I know is that it’s other people you should be afraid of, not intelligent machines. A human being is more likely to stab you to death for an irrational reason because our actions are governed by emotions and chemical impulses – a machine’s actions are carried out by a series of calculations.

In other news, an Xbox One straight-up killed its teenage owner. The disc allegedly ejected so fast it slit the boy’s throat. I say allegedly because nobody witnessed the console kill the kid. Apparently the disc was lodged in his throat when paramedics arrived, and a Youtube video recorded prior to the incident confirms the attack.

So maybe Hawking and Wozniak are onto something…

Duck Hunt,

Lee the Lamentor

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Ross worked here once? what ever happened to him?
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