Tuesday Afternoon…19 April 2016

The sun is out and it’s beautiful here! Temperature records have been smashed during the past couple of days; the day before yesterday, it was warmer in Seattle than it was in Honolulu – absolutely perfect!

Not much to say today, so I’ll just dive into the tiny tidbits of info I felt like sharing, LOL! First off, if any of my fellow nerds, “Blerds,” and other gaming geeks are in and around the Boston area, head on over to Pax East 2016 and see if you can attend a discussion with the developers and media managers of the MMORPG that I play, The Elder Scrolls Online! Quiz them on their sketchy Terms & Conditions, ask why racist and other exclusionary guilds are favoured, and ask why there is such an insistence on players using voice-only add-ons such as TeamSpeak, GameVox, Mumble, and others – it seems quite unfair to me that deaf gamers are shut out in PvP and other areas! I’m looking to see if they will be in my neck of the woods any time this year…I would sure love to ask them those questions, and more. My questions get evaded, avoided, and flat-out ignored in their forums and on their Live Twitch-chat feeds, so I figure that asking in person is the only way to go! For example, the picture below shows one of the many male gamers who use a female avatar for the sole purpose of harassing real female gamers such as myself. This asshat’s name is Sypher, LOL – and he has a major fan base of total fan-boyz!
XD

Let’s see, what else…oh, yes – yesterday, 18 April, was the birthday of my favourite, lanky, red-haired comedian, Conan O’Brien! He is taking the week off from his show, understandably, so I figured that I’d post a few of his best (in my opinion) comedy clips – including the entire episode of his most recent trip to South Korea! He has also gone to Finland, Ireland, and Armenia, and entertained the troops overseas. His brand of self-deprecating humour has always cracked me up – so I hope that you enjoy these selections!

Conan rides Andy Richter’s mechanical bull podium

Conan O’Brien attends Comic-Con(R) Mad Max(R) style!!!

Andy Richter’s Skyrim voice-overs

Conan O’Brien reviews The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Conan O’Brien in South Korea – #ConanKorea

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Earth Day, MMORPGs, & 373 Days…

 

Today is Earth Day, 2015 – a day to celebrate this beautiful planet and all life upon it. It is our home…let’s care for it and keep it clean, eh?

I’ve been playing The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO) for over a year now, so I figured I’d write another small review now that it has evolved – or devolved, depending on how one looks at it – and add some much-needed critique which, for some odd reason, never seems to make it onto the forums when I try to post there, or mysteriously vanish into the ether when I attempt to make an in-game report.

First off, the game is now ‘free-to-play’ (F2P), meaning that you aren’t required to subscribe anymore – ‘Tamriel Unlimited’ is the new version. You still have to purchase the CD-ROM to install the game and download the content, but once that’s done, you’re set – just sit down and play. I will continue my subscription because of the extra features and bonuses included, and I know that I’m not the only gamer doing so!

The console version (PS4 / Xbox) of the game is being released in June of this year, so the beta testing of same begins tomorrow. It will be interesting to see if the in-game population is noticeably different, as beta testing usually goes on for an entire weekend.

My characters are kicking arse and taking names – of my eight “toons,” five are now Veteran Rank (VR) and one is almost at the maximum level of VR14. The Veteran levels will be going away at some point, now that the Champion and Justice Systems have been implemented. Without going into too much eye-glazing “blerd-speak” and gamer lingo, I’ll simply say that the Champion System isn’t bad – it allows you to apply passive abilities that enhance your skills, and you earn Champion points by engaging in PvP and having fun with the Justice System. The Justice System essentially placed one of the best aspects of ESO games into the online version: the ability to pick pockets and steal things from shopkeepers. Be careful, though; if you get caught by the guards or murder an innocent bystander, then bad things can happen! People don’t take kindly to having their pockets sifted through by a sneak-thief, for some reason…

Now for the critique: I’ve been disappointed in the role-playing (RP) aspect of the game – since there are fewer people my age playing, there are few people who know how to RP the old-school way, the way we did playing D & D back in the age of dinosaurs. Some of the first computer games, like Zork, were text-only options so you had to remember a lot of information, and I still apply that to MMORPGs. Creating a character is more than just making them look good; you must build a personality to go along with the avatar, and a good back-story is part of that. From my in-game experience, people have a difficult time keeping their back-stories continuous, or they create a back-story that is contradictory to the lore of their character’s race and homeland. I haven’t lost hope yet, though; there are sites out there that are built around the RP community and I have registered with two of the larger ones, so there’s still a chance that I will be able to start a nice brawl in a tavern somewhere!

Another distraction consists of people who are juvenile fans of ‘Twilight’ and other vampire- or werewolf-related rape fantasies, who try to shove their pathetic attempts at erotic role-playing (ERP) down your throat if you pass by them in a town. Some of them engage in that activity in the PvP area, which is really annoying when you’re trying to siege a fortress and a bunch of scantily-clad avatars run past. Don’t get me wrong; I’m no prude, but when there is a cap on the population in the PvP area then those people are wasting space that could be used by people who actually want to fight. Go do your ERPing in Mournhold – there’s a brothel there, after all!

Finally, the downright nasty and ugly side of ESO involves – you guessed it, the blatant racism and sexism. It is prevalent in every corner of cyberspace, and games are no exception. Comments in ‘zone chat’ consist of people talking about the ‘master race’ and hurling hatred on the Redguards, who just happen to be the “dark-skinned, wiry-haired denizens of Alik’r.” Yeah – wonderful to be hated in a game, simply because I want my toons to represent me – dreadlocks, dark skin and all. Racist, sexist, and homophobic language are supposed to be against the Terms & Conditions of the game, yet people flagrantly defy those conditions and spout vile things. If one dares to speak out in ‘zone,’ they are jumped on and trashed as being ‘oversensitive’ and ‘unable to cope.’ This only happens with those who call out the racist comments, though – the LGBT community gets defended if someone says “That was gay,” and people are hammered more for using the term ‘retard’ than for using any variation of the ‘N’ word, or slurs against Muslims. Hmmmmm…sounds familiar, no? At any rate, I have tried to report some of the foulest people and have been met with *CRICKETS*…putting those people on your ‘ignore’ list does no good, especially because there is a limit on how many people you can ignore in the game. There is an option to report players who might be harassing you, but I doubt that it is any more effective than reporting racist character or guild names, of which I’ve seen many.

Almost worse than the racism (note I say ‘almost’) are the women who use the game to engage in “the world’s oldest profession,” getting men to pay for their internet and character accounts by cyber-sexing with them on Skype or the VoIPs that many games and gamers utilize: TeamSpeak (TS3), GameVox, and Mumble, to name a few. Again, direct violations of the game’s T&C, but we all know that the men who engage in it aren’t going to tattle! Those women make it impossible for true gamer chicks such as me to be taken seriously in-game, and it irks the shit out of me! No, this is not a myth – many women solicit people online, in every medium – from blogs, to dating sites, to news comment sections, to MMORPGs. On that note, the number of men who create a female avatar and then play ‘her’ as some sleazebag who runs around with no clothes on and propositions every ‘man’ ‘she’ sees, is creepy, to say the least. Even creepier are the men who are married and engage in that activity; when you ask them why they do it, they say, “well, I wanted a ‘hawt’ chick to look at when I play this game!” Um, so…your wife isn’t “hawt?” At any rate, because of the males engaging in those activities, the question, “Are you a GiRL (Guy in Real Life)?” is quite common! In closing this topic, I can say that I still enjoy this game and will continue to play it, but I’m disappointed in the way that the ugly real-life shit has to filter into something that could be very enjoyable and entertaining.

Finally, last but not least – the girls have been away from their families for 373 days…

DEVO: “Beautiful World

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