bvilleneuve's forum posts

#1 Posted by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

I used to listen to a lot of different kinds of metal. Death metal, some black metal, thrash metal, speed metal, etc. Then I drifted away from that and started listening to mostly podcasts, without listening to a lot of music. Then, a couple years ago, I started listening to all sorts of punk music, and now I've expanded beyond that to really listen to a bit of everything.

Like, I don't want to sound like one of those guys who says "I listen to everything" but actually mean "I listen to about twenty different subgenres of Scandinavian black metal," but I don't know how else to describe it. Among the genres/bands I listen to regularly are folk (Mountain Goats, Townes Van Zandt, Todd Snider), metal (Deafheaven, Mastodon, Nile, Orbs), punk (Bomb the Music Industry!, Future of the Left, Cloud Nothings, Orchid, Fucked Up, Titus Andronicus, Nu Sensae), noise (Swans), pop (Vampire Weekend, Fiona Apple, Frightened Rabbit, Grizzly Bear, The National), hip hop (Aesop Rock, Killer Mike), and some electronic (Autechre). I'm listening to more music now than ever before, and feel like I have something for any mood or moment. Though of course the bands listed here show a definite preference in a certain direction.

#2 Posted by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

@bvilleneuve said:

Let me stop your right there. Biblical inerrancy is not and never has been an issue for anybody who has done any serious study of the Bible. The Bible is a collection of documents, all written at varying times, for varying audiences, and to varying purposes. To many serious, learned Christians, it is the word of God as focused, refined, and sometimes even altered by the minds of men. I understand that such ambiguity might sound like an effort to tear down your neat world of stark contrasts, but that's only because that's exactly what it is. If your neat, tidy worldview requires that you badly mischaracterize significant parts of it, then your worldview, neat and tidy as it may be, is flawed.

Other than your clumsy attempt at theological commentary, though, you've been doing quite well in this topic. Keep at it. Keep schooling people at basic US history and political theory.

I understand the timeline regarding the creation of the Bible (and the Koran). The Bible exists as the world's longest appeal to authority, the moral authority of a infinitely just and infallible God. All moral arguments raised in the Bible function along the lines of an authoritative instruction, not the empirical merits of reciprocity, normative prescription and proscription, social justice (though clearly, most were inspired directly by the mores of these near-tribal Bronze Age civilizations). I'm sure that many theological scholars will refer the rather fluid nature of the early Bible (and the early Koran), but I will disagree that it is not an 'issue'. If we're at the point where we're claiming that some portions of the Bible are not the word of God, are not 'divinely inspired', then it throws into question all other pieces. At what point can one tell that it's God speaking and not a person from three thousand years ago writing his opinion on the proper way to manage your slaves? If that person is not divinely inspired (but their writing is still gathered in the Bible) how does that create any authority to the supposed witness of the life of Abraham, to Moses, to Jesus of Nazareth? A law book shifts and changes to meet the mores of its people, but that's not what an infallible divine law book does. People have tried their best to interpret it to whatever best suits the social climate of the age, and I find this completely lacking in integrity.

My neat and tidy worldview only requires that if one calls themselves a follower, member, adherent to an ideology, they actually subscribe to the fundamentals of that ideology, otherwise they are not actually followers thereof. I can think of the five, maybe six ideological constructs I would invest myself as being a part of, and if you were to witness me disagreeing with their core fundaments, I would expect you to say that I did not actually adhere to it. An atheist who believes in deities some of the time, a rationalist who believes sometimes things break the laws of physics because of an invisible, unmeasurable force. I agree with a few moral lessons taught throughout the Bible on humanist grounds, but not because of the moral authority thereof, and therefore I am not a Christian, because the moral authority of God's word is a fundamental value of Christianity. To say I were a Christian while doubting or disagreeing with the fundamental values of it... I would feel extremely wrong. I don't know what to make of self-professed Christians who disagree with the core fundaments of Christian doctrine, whether publicly in words or privately in feelings and actions. And I know they exist, I know they make up the large majority of the faith because I'm friends with several.

No portion of the Bible is the direct word of God. It is all divinely inspired, but it is all the words of men interpreting that divine inspiration. The Bible is not an infallible book of divine law. Your primary mistake seems to have been believing the fools who say it is and then judging an entire religion based on that sole misconception. You and I don't understand why a person would call himself or herself a Christian while doubting or disagreeing with Christianity's fundamental values, but that's only because we've never been in the position of a Christian experiencing a crisis of faith during which they're not yet ready to completely jettison their belief system and community.

To return to the subject of your neat and tidy worldview, it seems to not allow for human self-contradiction for any reason, which is troublesome, because humans are constantly contradicting themselves.

#3 Posted by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

@MikkaQ The fundamentals of Christianity (in short) are that God is inherently moral, God's word is true in totality, that they are contained in the Bible and they are moral prescriptions for living. Your family in question only follows, for ease of conversation, 95% of God's prescriptions. Would this mean that they only believe that 95% of the Bible is true? If not, does that mean that only 95% is moral? If not, would they say they are being immoral by not following the word of God, not killing people for working on the Sabbath, suffering witches to live, etc? There must be a conflict here.

Let me stop your right there. Biblical inerrancy is not and never has been an issue for anybody who has done any serious study of the Bible. The Bible is a collection of documents, all written at varying times, for varying audiences, and to varying purposes. To many serious, learned Christians, it is the word of God as focused, refined, and sometimes even altered by the minds of men. I understand that such ambiguity might sound like an effort to tear down your neat world of stark contrasts, but that's only because that's exactly what it is. If your neat, tidy worldview requires that you badly mischaracterize significant parts of it, then your worldview, neat and tidy as it may be, is flawed.

Other than your clumsy attempt at theological commentary, though, you've been doing quite well in this topic. Keep at it. Keep schooling people at basic US history and political theory.

#4 Posted by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

First off, there is no meaningful distinction between diesel-punk and steam-punk.

However, that's largely irrelevant, as I'm just here to establish that, while Bioshock Infinite may be a very good game, calling it any kind of "punk" is fucking stupid. Bioshock Infinite is a big-budget piece of mainstream popular entertainment. Stop diluting punk.

#5 Edited by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

@golguin said:

To be clear what if the comment had said this instead of what he wrote?

"The older games were cheesy, but were endearing in its silliness. Whereas this is a hamfisted attempt at pretentious social commentary. With embarrassingly awful writing that tries too hard to be edgy. Prior DMC games (minus DMC2) had combat also provided challenge, whereas DmC was obviously dumbed down to appease the CoD audience."

Is there something wrong with that comment?

I don't usually pay attention to stuff like this, but the funny thing about this post in particular is that there is a serious grammatical or mechanical error in each sentence of that post. (Edit: To be clear, I mean the comment quoted in the post. Golguin's post is fine.)

#6 Posted by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

@snail said:

@bvilleneuve said:

@snail said:

For someone who hates video games you sure seem to spend a heck lot of time on a website about video games.

That's because I also love video games. It's a big medium, I think I'm justified in feeling different ways about its different sectors.

Sure, that makes sense, but you didn't say that you hate "a sector" of the video game industry, hence my comment.

I also didn't say "I hate all video games."

I'm not really sure what you want me to say here.

#7 Edited by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

@snail said:

@bvilleneuve said:

@bourbon_warrior said:

I am against Whaling for sure, no need to hunt those giants of the deep But c'mon PETA you are just armchair Greenpeace, direct your effort at Japan and their whaling ships pillaging the oceans.

Not a video game... Is Carlo Collodi and Herman Melville pro-whaling as well.

God damn it I hate video games.

For someone who hates video games you sure seem to spend a heck lot of time on a website about video games.

That's because I also love video games. It's a big medium, I think I'm justified in feeling different ways about its different sectors.

#8 Posted by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

@bourbon_warrior said:

I am against Whaling for sure, no need to hunt those giants of the deep But c'mon PETA you are just armchair Greenpeace, direct your effort at Japan and their whaling ships pillaging the oceans.

Not a video game... Is Carlo Collodi and Herman Melville pro-whaling as well.

Look, I think going after AC4 for this is just the type of over-the-top activity that PETA is known for. And they were obviously wrong in the case of Super Meat Boy, because Meat Boy is a boy without skin rather than meat shaped into a boy. But don't invoke Herman Melville. Moby Dick is a deeply environmentalist, almost animist text, and I somehow doubt Assassin's Creed 4 has even the slightest interest in depicting nature as an untamable force of chaos. More likely than not it'll just depict whales as another fucking collectible, another hoop for you to frictionlessly jump through as you play your little action movie. Honestly, in this case, I can completely understand where PETA is coming from, and if I had had any interest in playing AssCreed 4 before they brought up whaling in that reveal article, the inclusion of whaling would have killed it for me.

God damn it I hate video games.

#9 Posted by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

@beaudacious said:

Its not the only way to make games though, and admire the entrepreneurial spirit of indie studios, but please stop crying when new wacky ideas don't work out. Don't beat the dead horse, let it go and go and try to make something new. Its not like there isn't a new dozen indie studious forming every day.

-Jonathan Blow's Arch Nemesis

Referring to yourself as "Jonathan Blow's Arch Nemesis" implies that you are anywhere near his level of rigorous thinking about game design. You have one of the most foolish, short-sighted approaches to thinking about the video game industry that I've ever seen.

There's room for both. Film has room for both blockbusters and arthouse films. It's the same with books and music; James Joyce, Fugazi, Michael Crichton, and Ke$ha all manage to exist within their respective mediums, and criticism has found room for all of them. If I don't like Call of Duty, it's not because I'm some pretentious douche who can't just enjoy a good time. It's because I no longer find first-person shooting compelling, or because I don't like to be barraged by violent images, or because I find the writing trite and cliched. Other people can enjoy Call of Duty all they want. It's the uproar on forums like this one (though it's even worse on many other websites) whenever games try to do new stuff that "games should just be fun and WHY DON'T YOU WANT GAMES TO BE FUN" that really gets on my nerves.

Naughty Dog and Bungie are fine at what they do. Naughty Dog has really good adventure story characterization and technically impressive streamlined level design; Bungie revolutionized the first-person shooter on television and they understand encounter design in a way that not a lot of studios did at the time, or even do today. But I still find their games dull. I'm not saying they're shit, I'm just saying I don't like them. I prefer games like Thirty Flights of Loving, or Myst, or your "nemesis"'s upcoming game The Witness. There's room for all of this in the game industry, but for some reason I can't talk about why I find Cart Life more interesting than Halo 4 without some "fun factor" crusader trying to crawl up my ass.

#10 Edited by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

@smcn said:

@bvilleneuve said:

@allison said:

@bvilleneuve: This is more a problem with the video game industry total and less of just EA.

You are expected to work 9-5 every day of the week on THIS ONE video game, and typically working overtime every single day as well. Video game colleges coach you in the ways of working at "crunch time" while you're taking courses so that you're conditioned to this well into working for a company to produce a video game. There's a reason that so many people burn out in their 30's and have to retrain themselves in something far more sustainable.

Independent work? Not so much unless you either teach yourself, or work with programs people have already made.

I guess this is more a rant on how making video games is a glorified factory job.

You're right, I shouldn't have singled out EA. The problem of fucked up working conditions is something that most of the big video game industry is accountable for.

Is it any different for other entertainment industries? Life of Pi grossed $583 million and was nominated for best visual effects, yet Rhythm & Hues Studios had to file for bankruptcy.

Behind the scenes people get zero respect in entertainment, and video games are 99% behind the scenes people.

I'm not even talking about respect, I'm talking about basic ethical employment practices, something that seems to have largely eluded the video game industry up to this point. Film actually passed through a comparable period decades ago, and things got way better creatively after the big studios lost their stranglehold and weren't able to control things as much anymore.