I agree with everything you wrote. Why Netflix is going to offer game rentals, and then I went to make a sandwich. Hey look a bunny rabbit.
I have to admit, that's pretty funny. Except, dear AC, in my post I did warn you that I was about veer offtopic in parenthesis (like these) in hopes that I would preemptively prevent comments such as yours. Bravo though, that was better than I was expecting. I fully admit that my style of communication is rather rambling, both online and in real life, because I tend to see abstract connections to topics that most people view as entirely unrelated. In fact going from Netflix offering game rentals to a rant about game demos is a pretty short stretch compared to most of my ramblings. So consider yourself lucky!
For those of you who are going to dispute my point, here are some preemptive replies. First, I know that folks on the left do this shit all the time too. I remember Kerry's "flip flopping" helping cost him the 2004 election. But pointing to the other side and saying "See, they do the same reprehensible thing we do" does not actually make it okay. It's still downright disingenuous. My point is simple: How much money does it take to be rich? Because the conservatives in America have two different definitions that depend not on the amount income, but essentially on class. The fact that these same conservatives are the first to scream "Class Warfare!" at this kind of proposal is deliciously ironic and the whole thing would be fucking hilarious if the stakes weren't so high.
Reality check: to solve the long-term debt crisis, two things need to happen. Taxes need to go up, and spending needs to go down. Either side that says you can do one but not the other is living in some magical fairy-tale land where facts are superseded by what they wish were true.
For example (an off-topic gaming story follows here), I recently watched X-Men: First Class and the American/Soviet ships primed for battle with each other put me in a Red Alert mood. I had never played the third game in the franchise, because when it came out I was raiding heavily in WoW and not playing anything else. Anyway, I went to check the price on Steam to find out if I had to get a pirated version as a sampler first, and to my surprise there was a free demo. The demo only offered two missions, but after spending an hour messing around with the various units in one mission I decided it was certainly worth the $20. Moral here is, game demos make sales, at least if the game is any good. But it seems to me like the industry simply expects you to rent the game if you want a sample, or else pay the full price, which is likely one of the driving forces of game piracy. Obviously the whole "free of charge" thing is a major draw for pirates, but I can imagine I'm not the only person who buys games, but won't waste $20-$50 until I'm certain it's something I will get several hours out of.
Link to Original Source
It seems the moment a female gamer reveals her gender she's automatically the target of the most vile and despicable comments the online community has to offer. Granted, most gamers are thick skinned and can brush this stuff off. But it makes me wonder how many women have tried playing a game, had an experience similar to the ones at the site above, and gave up entirely. It would be nice if the online community were a little friendlier. We would all have more fun that way, regardless of gender.
I've copy/pasted the relevant portion here:
Obviously there are a lot of things about the workings of the human mind that we don't understand. So how can we be so sure that new physics isn't involved? Of course we can't be sure, but that's not the point. We can't be sure that the motion of the planets isn't governed by hard-working angels keeping them on their orbits, in the metaphysical-certitude sense of being "sure." That's not a criterion that is useful in science. Rather, in the face of admittedly incomplete understanding, we evaluate the relative merits of competing hypotheses. In this case, one hypothesis says that the operation of the brain is affected in a rather ill-defined way by influences that are not described by the known laws of physics, and that these effects will ultimately help us make sense of human consciousness; the other says that brains are complicated, so it's no surprise that we don't understand everything, but that an ultimate explanation will fit comfortably within the framework of known fundamental physics. This is not really a close call; by conventional scientific measures, the idea that known physics will be able to account for the brain is enormously far in the lead. To persuade anyone otherwise, you would have to point to something the brain does that is in apparent conflict with the Standard Model or general relativity. (Bending spoons across large distances would qualify.) Until then, the fact that something is complicated isn't evidence that the particular collection of atoms we call the brain obeys different rules than other collections of atoms.
Phasers are essentially inferior to contemporary firearms. For starters, they are actually slower than bullets. You cannot dodge a bullet (in real life, anyway). But there are several examples of the Enterprise crew dodging phaser/disrupter blasts in TNG. Granted, it's possible to retcon this by saying it's some sort of charged plasma that doesn't travel at the speed of light blah blah. But my point is not that it doesn't travel at light speed (which is obvious) but that it's actually SLOWER than a bullet. Which raises the question, why on Earth (or in the Alpha Quadrant, for that matter) would they use essentially inferior technology? If our present day firearms are superior to phasers, why the switch? It defies all logic.
And don't even get me started on the horrible scene in Star Trek: First Contact where the Borg have adapted to Picard's phaser so he lures them into the holodeck and mows them down with a tommy gun. So, 1940s machine gun > 24th century phaser. And they don't keep a stash of machine guns in a weapon's locker? Hell, they can't even replicate a few dozen? Sigh.
Really, it's easier to suspend disbelief about Warp Drive even though that violates everything we know about relativity and modern physics than it is to accept the concept of the phaser replacing the superior firepower we already have in this century.
Anyway, angry Trek nerd rant mode off. Sorry about that.
Hell, look at "culture warrior" Bill O'Reilly. Remember the Andrea Mackris thing? She had transcripts of alleged phone conversations that are clear examples of sexual harassment (and the detailed nature of the transcripts lead people to believe she had recordings). Bill O paid her a bunch of money to shut up and never spoke of it again. Sexual harassment is wrong when anyone does it, but it seems doubly wrong when you preach day in and out about morals and the "dangers" of things like rap music.
I guess, essentially, the gist of my post here is that people are often hypocrites, so hypocritical behavior does not shock me at all. So a group of extremist Muslims who feel strongly enough about their religion to blow up thousands of innocent (including Muslim) Americans happen to enjoy porn when nobody is looking. Not surprised. In fact, it makes me wonder aloud here if the religion is just an excuse for the killings, and if what people like bin Laden were really upset about was Israel and our support of it, that it's more of a territorial dispute than a religious one, but it's just a lot easier to get people to fly planes into buildings if you tell them 72 virgins will greet them afterward. I mean, I tend to notice the folks at the top of these terrorist organizations aren't the ones blowing themselves up. Think maybe they have some doubts about whether or not they end up anywhere afterward?
But then again I shouldn't read too much into this one incident, it is after all just some porn. Just a thought though - maybe if bin Laden's wives didn't have to be covered head to toe, he wouldn't need a stash to get off.
Now things have really changed. There a lot more PCs out there, but the high-end gaming enthusiast is a very small portion of computer users. So developers, with a few exceptions, tend to target those low to mid range systems out there, since that's where the market is... it's no longer reasonable for developers to expect a gamer to have a state of the art system. As a good example to this, I can't help but mention the elephant in the room when it comes to PC gaming: World of Warcraft. Easily one of the most popular PC games in the world. While WoW obviously requires more hardware than your average Facebook game, it's really not by much. They've made sure to design the game so it will run on a very low end machine, like the kind you can pick up at Walmart for under $500. Now, a game like WoW does have advanced shader features and DX11 stuff that can be toggled on for those with higher end systems, but none of it is required. Sure, the higher end machines make it look better and run faster, but it's a huge shift from the late 90s where developers just expected gamers to have high end machines to play their games at all.
Now, before someone points out that my example, WoW, is already several years old, I would point that Blizzard just released an expansion at the end of 2010, and if they wanted they could have totally reworked the game engine for high end systems (while that would be an expensive endeavour, if anyone could afford to it's Blizzard). They did not though, because Blizzard knows that having more systems able to run the game increases the potential market.
That's not to say games for high end systems don't exist on the PC anymore, since they obviously do, but they seem to be the exception instead of the norm these days. And a lot of those high end games are cross-platform, so they only require high end systems because they're competing with the current generation of consoles (which, I admit, isn't hard given this generation of consoles seems to have outlived all previous generations). I guess my long-winded point here is that the landscape of the PC gaming world has changed. High end systems are no longer the default assumption like they were a decade ago. I think overall this is good for gamers, since instead of being an expensive niche hobby, PC gaming is within the reach of anyone who can own a very modest PC.