An Announcement!!

I just received an invitation to The Elder Scrolls: Online beta, and I don’t have to sign any non-disclosure agreement ^__^
I will be sharing my experiences here and over at PT.


On 2013′s Best Games

UntitledIt’s that time of the year again – when people who make a living by sharing their opinions on videogames and assigning arbitrary values as ranking get to tell their readers which games are the best of the year. Unquestionably, within the next month readers will be able to read about how a Zelda re-release is the greatest adventure RPG of the year, Call of Duty: Ghost is the best FPS this year and the game with the best visuals, and Assassin’s Creed VI has the greatest exploration system. Skyrim will receive some awards based on its world, Ni No Kuni will get best JRPG (because being “Japanese” or “Western” is a genre, apparently), and The Walking Dead will win some sort of award for mixing storytelling and gameplay – because it was really different from, and way more interactive than, the much hated Beyond: Two Souls (which will no doubt win awards such as “worst game by David Cage, despite it being great). ┬áDepending on the reviewer, either Grand Theft Auto V or The Last of Us will be nominated for the greatest game of the year. The other will get some sort of great gameplay award.

I don’t really care about that. I’m not going to rank games. Instead, I’m going to write about the games that got me excited this year – and if you, dear reader, haven’t tried some of them, perhaps you should.

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On Bullying Part 2: Stop Calling Everything Bullying

bullyThis morning I wrote about bullying – specifically the difference between real life bullying and cyberbullying, the overreaction of administrators to some cases of bullying, and the means to prevent terrible outcomes due to “cyberbullying” that is easily stopped with the push of a button. I also mentioned that I felt that the term ‘bully’ was being overused. I explained how I thought that cyber harassment is a better and more accurate term for most cyberbullying cases, and how some people take accidents (accidental bumps), single outbursts or insults, every day arguments, or imposing the rules of games at school as bullying. Several individuals – my son being one of them – think that being forced to play in a certain way is bullying, and I have heard from two different individuals that I am “bullying” them when we get into arguments (most of which I think are friendly and cordial). I explained how yes, there are serious cases of bullying, but there are also milder ones. I explained that no, not everything that a person doesn’t agree with is ‘bullying’. And so, the logical extension of this is that the term “bullying” is being thrown around randomly to the point where it’s becoming meaningless.

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On Bullying Part 1: Bullying vs. Cyberbullying

I want to talk a bit about bullying. When I went to school, if a group of kids attacked one kid, whether it was by physical or verbal assault, the victim would defend him or herself to the best of his or her ability and report the incident. The school administration would then do an investigation, and the perpetrators of the incident, or bullies, would be suspended or expelled from school. The same was true when one kid bullied another. When I went to school, the kid or kids who picked the fight – the bullies – were at fault, and whether the victim fought back or not, it was the bully who would be suspended.

If the video below had happened when I went to school, the bully would be the one to get suspended or expelled.

If the video below had happened when I went to school, the bully would get suspended or expelled, and the guy who came to the rescue (for being the first to actually physically attack) would have gotten a stern reprimand and a short suspension, but would be acknowledged by the school as a “good guy”.

But things are different now. In most school districts, specially those with zero tolerance laws, the bullies, the victims, and the bystanders with the camera would be suspended or expelled from the school, and some would possibly get arrested for violent assault.

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