Well, we’re starting to get our first taste of the “taboo” controversies related to MGSV! I’m impressed with how perfectly Kojima is setting the trap for people. We know he was a troll, but this is the kind of subtlety I didn’t think we’d see from him anymore.
What am I talking about? It all started when he mentioned that a female fan of the character “Quiet” — the sniper from the Phantom Pain trailers who wears only a skimpy bikini and mesh leggings — wanted details on her outfit in order to cosplay more accurately. According to Kojima, he took this request so seriously that he wanted to privately give her exclusive 3D model information, but wasn’t allowed to. Instead, he had to reveal it publicly, and so he took time out of his busy schedule (which includes the grand reveal of the Los Angeles studio of Kojima Productions) to whip up the art and put it online…
Read on for the full story and my theory about it all…
In a book he wrote called “War is A Racket”, this is what a former Marine Major General had to say about the nature of the war:
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
People around the world have seen US military dominance as a racket for as long as it has operated abroad, but this is a high ranking official who blindly served America. The whole “we’re not tools of the government, or anyone else” speech comes to mind…
Game playing/streaming community Insomniac Gamers (not to be confused with Insomniac Games the studio) is planning a charity event this Saturday, July 20th. It starts in the morning and goes until the next day, with Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 3 both being live streamed on their website, along with Resident Evil, Super Mario World, Dark Souls, and Pokemon Blue. I’m not saying you have to check it out, but it might be cool to flood their stream’s chatroom with discussion of the Patriots and Eva’s plastic surgery. Food for thought.
The proceeds will go to Child’s Play, which as you know by now is the only charity we can truly be confident is making a positive difference in the world.
It should also be noted that these games will be played as in “speed run” style, which means you might actually learn something by watching. Last time, they raised over $1,800, so you can believe that you won’t be sitting in a chatroom by yourself the whole time. Set your little smartphones to remind you about the charity event, and then bookmark this page to watch some games and chip in for the sick kids.
JULY 20th — Insomniac Gamers 20 Hour Streaming Marathon for Child’s Play Charity
When you think of pretentiousness, you probably think of failed attempts at being intellectual or profound. It’s the failed attempts that you think of. It’s not pretentious to actually be profound or intellectual, but when an artist’s ambition is not matched by his talent, it usually ends up feeling phony. You might think of a college chick who wants to open up your third eye with a shitty tambourine dance and some pot; or you might think of some indie developer who tries to tackle the sensitive issue of rape with an 8-bit sidescroller. In both cases, you’re thinking of someone who bites off way more than they can chew. You think of Peter Molyneux.
Nicholas Carr, my favorite writer on technology, has just written a deep article on post-secondary education’s blossoming movement to go digital, free, and ultra-convenient through the Internet — and how the magic of the classroom may be lost in the process.
Personally, I consider the school system to be the greatest evil in our civilization, while I believe the Internet to be one of our greatest goods. The idea of remodeling school to take advantage of the wonders of the web couldn’t be more exciting to me — if it wasn’t for the inevitability of its failure on every meaningful level. Carr focuses on the restrictive nature of programming code and the Internet, which are incapable of simulating the organic, “ineffable” spirit of the classroom, where professors often guide students towards unexpected conclusions and discussions are free to take any number of detours along the path to enlightenment. My own skepticism has nothing to do with the supposed magic of the classroom, and everything to do with the fundamental nature of the “education system” itself.
You see, when it comes to technological pitfalls, nobody is sharper than Carr, but when it comes to education, the man to listen to is John Taylor Gatto. What he has discovered — through decades of award-winning teaching in some of the worst neighborhoods in America — is that the “education system” is actually just a “school system”.
I’ve said before that I think the Internet is doomed in the long run, despite the victory over SOPA and other misleading “anti-piracy” censorship schemes. Right now the FBI, DEA, and the RCMP are roaring because IPv6 will make it more difficult to track what everyone is doing online. Meanwhile, “Digital Rights Management” is the name of the game in the video game world, where major companies impose ridiculous restrictions on how and when customers can access the content they’ve already bought (Diablo 3 being a perfect example), making people wonder what they’re actually paying for and when the paranoid power-grab will stop.
Well in case you forgot, the United Nations thinks that it should be in charge of policing and the world (big surprise!), and is overseeing a conference on the subject, the World Conference on International Telecommunications. CNET reports on the secret document leaked to the public from the conference:
Several proposals in the newly leaked document, for example, would authorize governments to inspect incoming Internet traffic for malware or other evidence of “criminal” activity, opening the door to wide scale, authorized censorship.
There are plenty of greedy, power-hungry organizations seeking to have a hand in the rewriting of the treaty, including ones who want to tax content providers, control how new IPv6 addresses will be distributed, and otherwise shut down anything they don’t like at the press of a button. Will they be successful? I wouldn’t be surprised. The La-Li-Lu-Le-Lo would be happy at least, don’t you think?
Want to know how I cure my boredom? I go online and look for these two guys. And speaking of all those things, I noticed that Nicholas Carr has responded to something Clay Shirky said about boredom and the Internet. Well, ain’t that a coincidence!
Carr replies to Shirky like so:
“Being bored is a kind of diagnostic for the gap between what you might be interested in and your current environment”: that’s well put. We don’t like being bored because boredom is the absence of engaging stimulus, but boredom is valuable because it requires us to fill that absence out of our own resources, which is process of discovery, of doors opening. The pain of boredom is a spur to action, but because it’s pain we’re happy to avoid it. Gadgetry means never having to feel that pain, or that spur. The web expands to fill all boredom. That’s dangerous for everyone, but particularly so for kids, who, without boredom’s spur, may never discover what in themselves or in their surroundings is most deeply engaging to them.
Perpetual boredom is an unattractive state. So is perpetual nonboredom.
The web does expand to fill all boredom, so if you’re bored (and let’s face it, you are) then slow down and watch Nicholas Carr share some more of his insights in this interview.