Friday, April 23, 2010

Mona Lisa + Duck Hunt

Yes, Virginia, there is an ad called “Mona Lisa Duck”.

I know this because I received an email today proclaiming the existence of said ad with the following message:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to inform you about our last press release regarding the first spot for the promotion of the Videogame culture made by AIOMI, the Italian Association for the Multimedia Interactive Works. I would be grateful if you could advertise and publish it on your press media and spread it with your contacts.


If by “publish it on your press media” you mean “post a link on your blog” then yes, I would be happy to do so. Of course, you must understand that in this context “spreading it with my contacts” means that sometime in the distant future, a single drunken music fan may stumble across the link in an attempt to find information about the band Sublime. Note that I use the word “may” because it’s unlikely that the person would actually find this website.



"When in doubt, just grab the gun and start shooting." - George Bernard Shaw

That being said, I really do like this ad for the following reasons:

1) I have fond memories of playing Duck Hunt on the NES.
2) I have fantasies about walking into a museum with a Glock and shooting up priceless works of art.
3) I’m Italian.*

*This is false.

Mona Lisa Duck
Enjoy! (Godano!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Online Hate Speech Is Awesome

I recently read an article entitled Racism and homophobia in gaming: Hate speech corrodes online video game experiences. The first mistake I noticed is that the author used the word ‘corrodes’ instead of the word ‘enhances’. Secondly, it’s important to note that the vast cornucopia of racist, homophobic, xenophobic and sexist language to which the article refers is not confined to online gaming, but is rather an essential component of online interaction in general.

In fact, via some bizarre law of human nature, 99% (my estimation) of Internet conversation will eventually devolve into a communal rage-fest based on one of the following themes:

1) Your race is inferior to mine
2) Your religion is evil
3) Your country is evil
4) Your political views are synonymous with those held by Adolph Hitler
5) You are gay

Hitler, the ├╝ber-reference in political feuds

Additionally, one will find a healthy dose of sexually explicit commentary littered around the Internet regardless of the original topic of discussion.

With all this in mind, let’s return to the world of online gaming. Considering the fact that people will launch into obscenity-filled tirades in response to something as benign as a Youtube video of someone making fruit salad, you can only imagine the extreme levels of hatred and anger that arise from heated online competition. In fact, you don’t have to imagine anything because the article lays it out:

One gamer told an opponent he presumed to be Jewish that he wished Hitler had succeeded in his mission. Many exchanges involve talk of rape or exult over the atomic bombing of Japan. There are frequent slurs on homosexuals, Asians, Hispanics and women.

Sounds like a good time to me! I can’t imagine why this kind of speech would be frowned upon, but apparently some people are not cool with it:

"Personally, I don't do a lot of online gaming for that reason," said Flynn DeMarco, founder of the Web site, which has worked with Microsoft and other companies on steps to clean up online gaming.

No offense dude, but your website sounds kind of gay. At any rate, these psychotic gamers are adding an element of realism that hasn’t been acknowledged. For example, imagine you’re playing a World War II themed shooter. With all these people yelling anti-Semitic insults, it’s like you’re actually in Nazi Germany.

Even if the hate speech doesn’t match the environment of the game being played, it still adds that extra little bit of entertainment. In a society where political correctness is sometimes pursued to an absurd degree, it’s somehow ironically satisfying to enter a chaotic world filled with deranged psychopaths freely yelling out every manner of slur imaginable.

Taking things a step further, many people actually record videos of angry gamers flipping out and post these online, where they inevitably spawn more meaningless and frequently offensive commentary. It’s like a delicious layer cake of rage, hilarity, stupidity and frivolity.

In summary, the world on online gaming is similar to the Mos Eisley spaceport from Star Wars. In the words of Obi-Wan, “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Both areas are places filled with intolerance and violence, but they also hold quite a bit of entertainment value for visitors.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Random Low-Content Post

Greetings, people who read this blog. I thought about addressing all two of you via handwritten letters, but ultimately I thought this would be easier. I'm putting up a new post tomorrow, but for now I just wanted to share my groundbreaking dance remix of John Cage's landmark work 4'33". Hope you enjoy it!

4'33" (DJ Psychospaz Galactic Dance Party Mix)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Background: I write articles for Demand Studios. They have an image database that writers can use to find pictures for their articles. The results of image searches are sometimes bizarre.

These are the first three images that come up when you search for ‘online’ in the Demand Studios image database at the time of this writing:

Besides the fact that they have virtually nothing to do with the search term, they are quite disturbing in and of themselves. Seeing these images, I couldn’t help but imagine that they were telling a story - not just any story, but a terrible tale of insanity and horror. You know, stuff like this:

So anyway, as we look at the first picture, we see the evil mastermind with his outdated cellphone army. He’s planning an evil plot with one of his shady conspirators. He’s also drinking something. My guess is cognac and human blood with a splash of Capri Sun.

The first piece of evidence

In the next picture, we see the super-villain further hashing out the details for whatever diabolical act he’s planning. We notice that his cellphone army has followed him to his new location, a bed with pink(?) sheets. He’s also changed into some kind of weird flower shirt.

It's getting worse...

In the third picture, the situation becomes clear. The miscreant has broken into a kindergarten classroom (as evidenced by the colorful construction paper on the floor) and is lying on the floor wearing only boxer shorts and his ridiculous flower t-shirt. Fortunately, it looks like the children escaped. (By the way, why is he still talking on the phone?!?)

Somebody call Chris Hansen!

Really, this isn’t much of a diabolical plot at all. It’s basically just your standard sicko breaking into a kindergarten classroom in his underwear. But if that’s all there is to this story, what’s the deal with all the planning, the cell phone army, the dirtiest configuration of facial hair I’ve ever witnessed? If you really consider the question, the answer becomes clear - insanity defense.