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Comment Re:Why keep lumping? (Score 3, Informative) 222

1) They are the two main ways of doing "imagine if the world was different" fiction.

2) Because of this, there is a large amount of very good fiction (less so in literature perhaps, which seems to attract the purer forms of each, but certainly in media generally) which combines the two. Drawing a line between them would be impossible.

3) And combining the two is actually a quite good idea, because each counters the weaknesses of the other. Science fiction which gets too hard can lose drama by becoming unrelateable and missing dramatic opportunities which don't seem plausible enough, and fantasy which gets too soft can lose drama by making cause and effect too arbitrary, which undermines narrative.

Comment Re:Facebook - Owned By A Jew. (Score 1) 478

I remember when words like 'racist', and others such as 'discrimination' were only used against people who were prejudiced, who were acting according to ideas which only existed within their own heads. I'm pretty sure the idea that Jews are more likely to support Israel than non-Jews is actually factual. It's not anything special about Jews; almost all groups of people have a tendency to support the organisations of those similar to them, but it's true nevertheless. And the existence of counterexamples doesn't mean you can't observe a general rule.

If someone was to make a similar observation about something non-emotive - say, "that guy supporting the American sports team? He's an American citizen. What do you expect?" I doubt anyone would be jumping to point that counterexamples exist and suggesting the observation was racist.

Comment Re:New Books Maybe Old Books Never (Score 1) 669

And everything you just said about books, I can say about television. (Well, being strip-searched for a TV setup aside.) People are different, y'know. But if you've never created a world within your mind from watching something cinematic, that's a limitation of yours, not a limitation of the medium. I find that combination of media far more effective at beaming a creator's thoughts into my brain; you've got the same narrative and dialogue, plus you've got sound, music, space, colour, precisely controlled pacing...

Comment Re:"There is no right to play" (Score 1) 214

The game corporations will claim that there is no right to play, and maybe even insert a clause that means roughly that into the EULA. It is their right: if you don't agree with their offer, don't buy it!

You shouldn't have to decrypt a load of legalese (which you may not even have access to) in order to work out whether an offer to sell a game is genuine. Purporting to sell a product but designing it so that it refuses to work in certain situations should just be illegal.

Comment Re:No (Score 2) 87

Hordes of derivative and uninspired entries in the lower half of the market is a given in practically any media market and age. You ignore them, and pay attention to what the top guys are doing. And once upon a time, untested "IP" as you call it was frequently found. I don't know much about the console scene, but I'm sure today, if a game such as, say, Gods arrived, with rarely or never seen ingredients on the level of its "help bonuses" for struggling players, and monsters which avoid firepower and pick objects up, its level of innovation would be regarded as most acceptable, even rather praiseworthy. In its own day, the Bitmaps were criticised for not pushing the boat out as much as other developers of similar levels of talent.

Comment No (Score 1) 87

We've classified games into genres almost forever. The modern complete lack of innovation is a more recent phenomenon, probably brought about by the graphics arms race and the greater budgets which have resulted; the more money you're spending, the more corporates and committees need to be convinced it's going to bring in a return.

I think it started happening at about the same time that it started to become common for games to have multiple sequels. I remember once observing that you never saw fourth versions of things. See them all the time now.

Comment Re:War on drugs (Score 1) 317

Just because the laws on Marijuana are poorly thought out, ineffective, and unnecessary doesn't mean that all drug laws are.

Prohibition is necessary in the case of hard drugs. Its true that we need to attack it from all angles, but legalization and taxation of most of the illegal drugs would be a societal disaster the scale of which we have never seen.

Alcohol and tobacco are legalised and taxed. If neither of them are hard drugs, I don't know what is.

Before we prohibited heroin in this country (UK), there were only about 500 addicts in the whole country, and they could still live their lives with a reasonable amount of normality. Prohibition came, and now 50,000 risk death from adulterated doses of uncertain strength and are forced by prohibitionists to steal or sell themselves to pay black-market prices.

I'd like the societal disaster back.

Comment Re:Why is this here? (Score 0) 317

Well, treating people who make, sell or use unpopular recreational drugs completely differently to the way you treat people who make, sell or use popular recreational drugs like alcohol, caffeine or tobacco, and trying to put them in prison just because they are scarily unfamiliar and there aren't enough of them to defend themselves is actually pretty evil.

Comment Re:War on drugs (Score 1) 317

Well, I take alcohol because a little bit makes me outgoing. But I don't think stopping me from wanting to be friendly is the answer. Indeed I don't think my drug-taking is a problem in the first place.

It's impossible to understand the drugs issue while you use the word 'drug' to refer only to substances which aren't sufficiently mainstream to remain legal. The notion that there's some sort of fundamental difference between popular drugs and drugs only taken by a small minority, to the point that the latter need group needs a special name, is the poison which is at the root of this worldwide system of state-sponsored discrimination against people just for being different. So part of the solution is to use words in a fair and accurate manner.

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