Science and Reason; the New Excuse for the Modern Minds

This Blog-post is a response to Historicity of Jesus 

 
To be with reason does not necessarily mean to be absolutely true. That is the main idea of this article you are about to read. I understand that in the 21st century there are not many people who would like to debate religious matters, and I agree with those individuals since we are not part of this universe to discuss things like this, we are here to evolve, to discover, to prosper and of course to be happy .I am a Catholic and I never fully trust my sense of reason for I believe I could be wrong. I am no fan of superstition, but I also believe that complete materialism makes our lives utterly meaningless. Last but perhaps most importantly, in my opinion, whether or not Jesus existed is of no importance compared to the messages that are associated with him

When I hear that Jesus promoted kindness and sacrificed his life for the others, I would love it in my heart and would try to do the same as much as I can.
It's easy to engage in never-ending conversations and trying to deny the existence of Jesus or God or any other holy being for that matter. These conversations akin to mathematical and scientific discussions can take for ever, but we do not live in this chapter of our existence which we call life indefinitely .

We, as the occupants of earth (and eventually other planets) are constantly fed with magnitude of information in our daily lives. It's quite natural that a scientific and critical approach to everything seems the only way of describing or realization.
However, we also know that science is never absolutely accurate and that our sense of reasoning may not always shed the light of knowledge on our issues.

Blindly using science or reasoning or proof to ignore our true obligations as humans is certainly not the best way to live.
 It is not really important if science or reason can not explain Jesus or God because I am certain that there are plenty of other subjects that can not be explained on mere paper  .Soul, the love of a mother for her child, pleasure in kindness and charity, saving lives and finally happiness among other things. None of the aforementioned concepts could be even remotely reasoned or scientifically proven. So I ask you, the reader; is it okay to ignore all of those things just because we can not describe them? 

 

  Debating this issue is a horrendous wast of time     


In reason and science, birth is merely fertilization of an egg with sperm and love is merely a combination of hormone secretions. But are those definitions the real definitions?
Why can not we let these two issues coexist ? 
Jesse Preston conducted a research named "Science and God: An automatic opposition between ultimate explanations" . In that regard she said : 
   "  people may have a generally positive view of science until it fails to explain the important questions. Then belief in God may be boosted to fill in the gap
 
So why should not we use both means to achieve our goals in the best way possible ?
 
I do not know about you, but I think these kinds of discussions and religion bashings are not worth the time when we can do this.
 
Edit : 
 Guys, guys… calm down! Let us have a civil conversation. Bashing and insulting is not the way to do it.  You are missing my point. I believe religion is merely one way of living good. I know many horrible things have been done in the name of religion, I know many religious people are homosexual haters and I certainly know that religion contradicts with science at some points. However, it's not because of religion, but some of those religious people. Not all members of a religious faith are the same. Just because one pope bashes homosexuals or some bishop abuses his power, does not mean that religion should be abolished. Corruption could be found in any structure of any society from governments to churches. I personally am a catholic and pray daily but am NOT a supporter of the church and have absolutely nothing against homosexuality. Now is it fair to compare me with someone who is an extremist just  because we supposedly share the same faith?  You are trying to empty all those collected furies on religion instead of those who falsely uphold religions.         
230 Comments

Project NATAL and Tumbling down the rabbit hole?!

We are all mad here , you know “, Said Cheshire cat .” I am mad , you are mad . “

“How do you know that I’m mad ? “ , said Alice.

“Of course you are mad”  , said Cheshire cat, “Only mad people come here “ .

                                                                                                                  Alice ’s adventures in Wonderland

If you have not heard from the new ambitious project currently being worked on by Lionhead studios called Project NATAL you need to check out the video bellow :

  


The first thing that crossed my mind while watching this part of Microsoft Press Conference at E3 09 was a hybrid of sadness and excitement . Almost all of us have seen the movie Matrix . The world of everything and nothing ; this rabbit hole seemed so amazing yet fake back when the movie was released . Being able to live in an imaginary world with people whom you like for as long as you want without having to worry about the dangers , frustration and hardships of real life is something that makes anyone happier .

Playing video games for many of us has always been the way to relieve ourselves of the stress and problems of real life . However, playing video games despite the solid frame-rates , dynamic shadows , superb textures and terrific animations can never take us completely out of this world or help us immerse ourselves deeply in a fictional world . After all , all we do is pressing ,holding and moving bunch of buttons .

Another fact is the nature of video games which regardless of the genre , number of endings , alternative game plays are literally linear and the gamers eventually observe the credit screen in the end . But what if a game starts and never ends ? That way the term “game “ would not be appropriate anymore .  Try to imagine that you can interact  with an endless world full of probabilities and opportunities !!!

Many of you agree with me that after coming home full of stress and anger because of  your professor , employer , cab driver ,your own mistakes.. etc,  nothing like crushing Zombie’s skulls in Dead Rising or tearing apart terrorists in Call of Duty or running over pedestrians in Grand Theft Auto makes you feel better !!!! .

Now try to imagine coming home with all the aforementioned problems and turning on your TV and talking to someone who has all the time in the world to listen to you , respond to you , make you laugh , force you into doing something relatively silly , ask your opinion , scrutinize your work , ask you about your shi** or wonderful day ….. .  It’s breathtaking even thinking about this issue .

Once again we come across the idea of everything and nothing , sanity or insanity ! There is no doubt that Project NATAL is nothing less than a ground breaking revolution and the grounds for this idea are not limited to a small boy in a small place by a lake . Project NATAL  and responsive AI can eventually and after years of progression help humanity reach levels of interactions that can only be described as magic even in the contemporary world .

Although we should never forget the sad side of this innovation ; The need to create such technology implies the deep level of loneliness of the modern world that is taking us farther and farther from each other . Maybe humanity will reach a point where it only interacts with fictional characters and places !!!

Nevertheless this technology that was debuted at this year’s E3 deserves a huge round of applause and only time will tell the benefits and harms of this plan , ….. this fabulous fable ……..

“ Wake up Alice dear “ said her sister  “ You’ve been asleep a long time “ .

“ Oh , I’ve had a very curious dream  “ Said Alice and she told her sister all about the strange adventures in her wonderful dream .

Daniel      

25 Comments

Analysis for E3 2009 rumors


Electronic Entertainment Expo 2009 will start in less than 2 weeks and already the speculations and rumors are skyrocketing . While not every rumor can be taken seriously , the history of video gaming industry clearly proves that some rumors are genuinely based on leaked sources and are indeed true . This blog entry contains all the rumors and speculations about all three major manufacturers/ publishers (Sony , Microsoft and Nintendo ) and a quick analysis regarding the validity of each story by evaluating them in three categories : hardly true , probably true and definitely true .


SONY


The electronic giant Sony is finding itself in trouble . The latest financial report suggests that Sony has lost more than a billion dollars in revenue due to the economical crisis . As a result Sony needs to do whatever it can to remedy the loss and generate money . You can not expect the company’s main expensive console (PS3) to sell well when the unemployment and inflation rate are so high . The rumors about Sony were quite interesting yet predictable .

1- PS3 Price drop

                               TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION .

 Thanks to PenguinDust  for correcting me  : In this terrible economy a price drop for the console not only is the best move to insure better sales but is in fact a necessity. However , this act may not make financial sense for Sony and lead to even more loss so  the rumor is probably true  .     


2- PSP Go ( a new PSP with better resolution and no UMD drive )


                               TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION .

As a handheld console that sees the shadow of DS over its head , PSP still is a magnificent device for all the hardcore gamers out there . Have you ever noticed how useless the UMD drive is ? well presumably the heads in Sony have asked the same question from themselves , now they are trying to answer that very question by shipping a new console . The rumor is definitely true   .



3- Team ICO ‘s new project to be revealed at E3 .

                               TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION .

The buzz around Team ICO’s new title has never ceased and many gamers including me can not wait to see the next project of this artistic developer . People keep saying that we will finally hear about this wonderful project at E3 , I think that would be the appropriate time for Sony to reveal its next most important exclusive title after MGS4 at this year’s E3 . The rumor is probably true .



4-
Gran Turismo 5 to be announced officially at E3 .

                                                                                                                                   

                               TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION .

Gran Turismo 5 has been under development for quite a loooooooooong time now and the announcement of the final version of GT5 is nothing less than life-saver for Sony . So will Sony announce and later publish the game within a year ? I’d say it’s probably true.



5- New Twisted Metal to be announced at E3 .

                               TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION .

 Sony has indeed a lot of great games to announce but a new Twisted Metal game seems hardly true .

  

                           
Microsoft

 After experiencing a prosperous year at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 Microsoft has been trying to stay low and that is enough reason for millions of gamers around the globe to feel excited . This secrecy has led to numerous rumors and speculation and has made waiting for E3 even harder . In a statement Don Mattrick, senior vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft said : “Microsoft is gearing up for a big presence at E3 which will completely transform how people think about home entertainment,"  Here are the rumors floating around the net :


1-  Metal Gear Solid 4 to be announced for Xbox 360  

                               

                               TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION .

 Well I have already posted a blog solely about this issue , you can read it here   . MGS4 on X360 seems plausible for both Konami and Microsoft but this would not be a great move for Sony , so even though we won’t see the game coming to X360 this year the chances are MGS4 will be released for X360 in 2010.  I’d say the rumor is probably true . 



2- “Xbox Fluid “Motion-sensing controls for Xbox 360

                                      

                               TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION .   

We know that Microsoft wants to become as close as possible to its main rival Nintendo . Forget about NXE , motion-sensing controls is the next step . As you see in the photo the new product is a type of sensor along with a motion detecting camera  that will allow gamers to control their games using only their bodies .  This device that detect movement and interaction in 3D space was demoed during  last year’s CES and is  manufactured by 3DV.  It’s worth mentioning that Microsoft was trying to buy 3DV !!! .  The aforementioned device is not that advanced compared to the contemporary technology so I’d say the rumor is probably true.



3- Grand Theft Auto IV’s second DLC

                                      TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION .   

As you may recall Microsoft was planning to release two episodic DLCs for GTAIV ,  one at the beginning of 2009 and the next at the end of 2009 . So typically this DLC should hit Xbox-Live in forth quarter of 2009 and therefore Microsoft must announce it at this year’s E3 . The rumor is definitely true  .   



4- Forza Motorsport 3 to be revealed at E3 .

              

                                    TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION .   

Considering the fact that FM 2 was one of the best racing games on X360 and the fact that the developers had enough time to work on a new title we can assume the rumor is Probably true .



5- Lost Planet 2, Assassin's Creed 2, BioShock 2, Halo 3: 0DST, and new Splinter Cell  to be shown at E3 .

                                          

                     

                                        TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION

 I do not think this needs any proof , definitely true .



6- A new game from Lionhead Studios code-named “Richter.” To be revealed at E3

                                  TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION

posted by  PenguinDust  : The Twitter report that surfaced from a student attending a forum hosted by an animation director at Lionhead this last April strongly suggests that the studio would be officially presenting a new IP at this E3 and that Peter Molyneux would do the unveiling.  Molyneux, himself almost spilled the beans at a this past GDC when he nearly revealed the title.  Back in October, in an interview with Kikizo, he said that Microsoft wants to "shock and awe" the game press when they first show the new IP and the game will receive major attention when it is shown.  Considering how Microsoft has been keeping everything they can pretty close to their chest, I think that the new IP will be a key focus of their press conference this June. The rumor is definitely true .



Nintendo

 

I should admit that it’s really hard for me to get excited about Nintendo’s keynote because they did not have a solid presentation last year (Like they need it !!! they keep breaking sales records anyway !!! )

There has not been as much speculations and rumors on Nintendo’s front and that is not really surprising considering the fact that their best selling games including Wii fit , Wii sports and Mario kart are all old games !

 So what are the rumors ?


1- Speaking proudly about how cool Wii and DS are !

Well the first one is not really a rumor .  Since Nintendo has targeted the casual market you can not expect them to start their keynotes with a surprise, now can you ?


2- Motion plus is the ultimate gaming experience and the greatest innovation in video game history !!!

The second one is no rumor either , I’d say Nintendo will save at least 10 minutes of its show entirely for this matter .

                



2-  New Zelda and Mario games to be announced at E3 .


                                        

                                        TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION

The last Zelda game has been out for almost 3 years now thus a new Zelda game is perhaps the only game that may turn Nintendo’s keynote into something engaging and worth following . Also Mario galaxy was one of  the best Mario games and sold quite well so a sequel after 2 years sounds logical .
The rumor is probably true  .



3- Pikmin 3 to be shown at E3 .

                                        TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION

The game has been confirmed as "in development" so a demonstration at E3 is a must . The rumor is definitely true .



4- A new Metroid Prime game with motion plus support .

                                        TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION

Since the game would be one of the best to show the motion plus capabilities , a sequel to Metroid Prime is nothing less than swell . The rumor is probably true  .



5- Red Steel 2 to be officially announced at E3 . 

                                        TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION

 As big of a disappointment the first game was , a sequel may not sound so interesting but this time waving swords using motion plus coupled with new environment destruction feature may actually turn this game into a playable and enjoyable experience . the rumor is definitely true .

 


6- Zelda: Spirit Tracks to be shown for DSi .


                                        TRUE OR NOT TRUE , THAT IS THE QUESTION

The game is expected to be released at the end of the year so an E3 presentation is inevitable . The rumor is definitely true .

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And that was a look at sum of all major rumors out there . As you see E3 2009 looks so hot and be sure that you will be exploded with excitement and emotion more than once during the event .

So let’s get ready for the biggest gaming event of the year !!!  

16 Comments

According to Kombo MGS4 will hit XBOX360 as early as Spring 2010

The rumor of Metal Gear Solid 4 on Xbox 360 has been floating around ever since the ambitious title was first announced for PS3 . Many of us constantly heard this rumor and never believed it ,however, recently Kojima himself and Microsoft have been acting secretly .


Game of Honor just posted this article :

“Early this morning an article from Kombo written by Matt Furtado stated that they received an email from an unknown publisher which we would like to know from whom. Although it's concerning the upcoming Kojima project, A new patch that will feature Raiden in an upcoming downloadable content update that will take control of Raiden through a total of 2 new chapters or more in the near future.

            What is this man doing in front of Microsoft logo ?!!!


Kombo also stated that trophies are finally be making a debut and speaking of debut. It looks like the XBOX 360 will be experiencing Metal Gear Solid early as spring 2010. The 360 version will come packed with the downloadable content. Kombo also stated that PS3 owners will have it exclusive for several months before the 360 title is released.

Here at Game Of Honor; as much as we love rumors, we would rather get the truth instead of false information. Were all gamers at heart so I for one speaks for everyone when I say "Enough Of The Rumors". It's not a bad effort from Kombo to create such hits to achieve on there site. But Kombo had nothing to back up there sources. We love what we do; get the truth.

so contacted our friends at Kojima Productions on this matter and there reaction toward it.

Kojima Productions : 
"unfortunately we are still not working on a 360 version of MGS4. How ever, Were revealing something"     

A quick look at the response and to be precise the term “ Still “ tells us that MGS4 is probably planned to be released on XBOX 360 . MGS4 on 360 is yet to be officially announced by either Microsoft or Kojima Production although many gamers expect Microsoft to officially announce it at this year’s E3 .


On another note here is IGN’s Daily Fix regarding this issue :


 
66 Comments

April fool = D-day for Internet users *warning*



Latest Conficker worm was activated on April 1 as predicted but fortunately [or unfortunately ] so far the worm has not caused any havoc or severe difficulty for already infected computers .

During the first hours of April fool’s day Conficker C ‘s master computer gained control of 5 million infected computers (zombie PC ) but as of now the worm’s author has not attempted to upload any form of data to the infected computers .

Unlike general public ‘s initial thought , “Conficker C “ never harms the victim’s HDD or delete any file for that matter . However , security experts said “Conficker's motive is probably financial, The worm's author could steal financial information, shut down Web pages, track keystrokes or send spam from infected computers. In other word They have full administrative-level rights to run anything they want on all of the infected machines “

The worm’s author has probably decided to keep a low profile due to the heavy surveillance that is currently being held by thousands of computer experts around the globe but we probably will see more worm related issues in coming weeks or months .

“Computer and Internet users should not panic “ said an expert  “The easiest way for computer users to see if they're infected is to try to access Windows updates from microsoft.com.  If you can reach the site and if your system updates are working, it is unlikely your computer is infected” he said.

As many of you already know the worm is primarily designed for Microsoft Windows and mac users are completely immune to the attack .

The worm uses the zombie machines to generate 50,000 URLs in a single day and thus make itself impossible to track . 

The Washington Post mocked the situation saying  "Londoners woke up to find the iconic clock tower Big Ben stopped at precisely one minute till midnight," Brian Krebs wrote. "The British tabloids blared that the giant timepiece had been felled by the Conficker worm."  and ends the statement with: "In case you haven't guessed it yet, APRIL FOOLS!!!"




 



72 Comments

AIG (Arrogant, Irresponsible and Greedy)

Most of us are already aware of the financial conflict and therefore concerned about the tax dollars and the way they are being spent in the current market  . To be more precise  , we can feel the impact of the ongoing recession in our daily lives .  A recession that has started with reckless spending and miscalculations of giant companies like AIG to begin with .

Obama ‘s administration tried to step in and solve the problem in long term and prevent any future recessions . That was where the $ 787 billion bailout came into play .
Many business experts including Ali Velshi  expressed their concerns regarding this bailout by stating that $ 787 billion may not actually be enough to solve all the problems and it could merely increase the budget deficit and debt of our nation .


Despite all the worries concerning the bailout money and the fact that taxpayers should liquidate this money , people were somewhat relieved until they were informed  of AIG ‘s greedy attribute .

In March 2009 AIG revealed that they were paying out $165 million in executive bonuses. Total bonuses for the financial unit could reach $450 million and bonuses for the entire company could reach $1.2 billion .  

With foreclosure and unemployment rate so high this revelation was nothing less than a catastrophe simply because taxpayers no longer trust the government .


Imagine that you should pay your hard-earned money as tax so the executives in AIG can receive millions of dollars in bonuses and spend it on fancy cars and boats !!!

In this regard Senator Chuck Grassley said "I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them if they'd follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide."

To make things even more intolerable  I should mention that these bonus awarded executives are actually the ones whose actions contributed  to the financial crisis and recession !!! .

Senator Richard Shelby said "These people brought this on themselves. Now you're rewarding failure. A lot of these people should be fired, not awarded bonuses. This is horrible. It's outrageous."

Fortunately the AIG’s case is currently being investigated in 20 states and Liddy and other executives are to appear in court of law and bring with them "original or copies of documents regarding the AIG Financial Products Corp. retention bonus plan and any related contracts or agreements." If things go right AIG’s executives will be forced to pay all the money back  .  The court appearing is scheduled on Thursday .

37 Comments

NPD February 2009 : SF IV & Killzone 2 are no match for Nintendo


The group of NPD just released their February sales data .


Based on the report the video gaming industry on the whole has been affected by the recession . Last year the industry seen a 34% growth while this number has reduced to 10% in February . Although 10 % growth is quite impressive on its own considering the other falling businesses and industries .

Xbox 360 's sales were increased 54% which is indicative of the Xbox 360 's popularity in between gamers and also shows that price cut always increases demand  . PS3 's sales however , was reduced by 2% which is not a good sign since one of PS3 's biggest titles (Killzone 2 ) was released in February . This means that people who already possess this expensive console are willing to buy new games and applications for their systems . It is quite apparent that Sony needs to announce a price cut in order to compete with Microsoft in this tough market .

Street Fighter IV and Killzone 2 were among the best selling games but in fact neither could reach the first place and Nintendo's  Wii fit  remains as the number one just like previous months .

Titles like FEAR 2 : Project Origin and 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand were not successful . As an interpretation we can assume  in the current economy mid-level hard core titles simply aren't selling.

Nintendo is still dominating the market and its titles never cease selling well despite the fact that many of these games are quite old . Suffice to say that "Mario Kart DS," is on the top 10 over three years after its debut .




FEBRUARY NPD HARDWARE



  Nintendo Wii - 753,000 (+ 74% )

  Nintendo DS - 588,000      

  Xbox 360 - 391,000 (+54%)

  PlayStation 3 - 276,000 (-2%)

  PSP - 199,000 ( -18% )

  PlayStation 2 - 131,000



FEBRUARY NPD TOP 10 SOFTWARE

 

   1.  Wii Fit  - 644,000

  2. Street Fighter IV (X360) - 446,000

  3. Street Fighter IV (PS3) - 403,000

  4. Wii play - 386,000

  5. Killzone 2  - 323,000

  6. Mario kart Wii- 263,000

  7. Call of Duty : world at war  (X360) - 193,000

  8. Mario kart DS - 145,000

  9. New super Mario bros DS  - 144,000

  10. Guitar hero : World tour (WII) - 136,000



Video game revenues


Total sales: $1.47b

Hardware sales: $532.7M

Software sales: $733.5 M

Accessories: $207.1 M

26 Comments

Resident Evil 5 shipments have reached 4 million units

Resident Evil 5 establishes itself  as Capcom’s biggest and most prosperous title thus far . Capcom’s First Shipment of “Resident Evil 5” Breaks Four Million Copies! The biggest launch of any title in the series acts as a major boost to Capcom’s performance .

In a press release Capcom has this to say :


“ Capcom Co., Ltd. (Capcom) is proud to announce that the first shipment of “Resident Evil 5,” the newest title in one of Capcom’s most popular series, has shipped more than 4 million copies worldwide.

 “Resident Evil 5” combines powerful visuals only capable on today’s generation of video game consoles with Hollywood’s film-making skills and technology to create a new sense of fear that arises from the contrast between light and darkness. Thanks to the company’s proprietary engine, the MT Framework, Capcom was able to make “Resident Evil 5” a multi-platform title(PLAYSTATION®3/Xbox 360™), giving a vast number of players the opportunity to enjoy the game. Many players’ expectations were raised by playing through the demo, which was downloaded over 4 million times. This all culminated in the largest first shipment of any title for the series to date.

The “Resident Evil” series is extremely popular, having shipped over 40 million copies worldwide since the first title was released in 1996 (as of March 16, 2009). The series paved the pathway for a new genre, Survival Horror, and even after ten years, the “Resident Evil” series is renowned as one of the most popular video game franchises in the world.


  The “Resident Evil” brand has grown increasingly popular outside of the video game industry, acquiring non-video game playing fans for Capcom. The three “Resident Evil” major motion pictures have achieved combined sales of over 300 million dollars, and the CG film, “Resident Evil: Degeneration,” has now shipped over 1.5 million copies.

  As always, Capcom will continue pursuing its “Single Contents Multiple Usage” strategy, in which the company’s large selection of unique properties is also used for movies, animation, publications, cell phone games, merchandise, and various other applications. Basing operations on this strategy creates numerous opportunities to increase profits through expanding the range of customers who enjoy Capcom properties. Capcom will continue to employ this strategy to both maximize the value of its content and achieve more growth in sales and earnings. “

 Resident Evil 5 received positive reviews from various sources despite its few flaws . Metacritic announced aggregate scores of 85 and 86 (out of 100) for Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively based on all the credible reviews on the internet   .

12 Comments

PSN/XBL and cybercrimes -let's play with each other- !!!

Since the start of 21st century and phenomenal spread of internet the world has seen drastic changes in the life style and habits of its inhabitants .

As a result of ever growing online expansions , Microsoft for the first time attempted to create an online community where people can meet , chat , play video games together and share assorted things .

It is no surprise that this successful phenomena has been implemented ever since by many other manufacturers including Sony and Nintendo .

Newcomers and parents often do not realize that these so called gaming consoles are nothing less than a powerful computer and their online functionalities and communal aspects could easily surpass many websites such as My Space .

With technology comes tech-crime and abuse (I am not talking about pornography distributed using Little Big Planet !!!)  thus we are now hearing online crime and solicitation committed via Xbox Live and PSN  .

Prosecutors in Texas say they have tracked down and arrested a man who allegedly committed an online sex crime -- though technically he didn't even have a computer. All he needed, the prosecutors say, was a game console -- a Sony PlayStation 3.

They allege that the man, Anthony Scott Oshea , persuaded an 11-year-old girl in to e-mail nude pictures of herself from her PlayStation to his.

"People don't realize how the PlayStation is like a regular computer," said Eric Devlin, the Harris County, Texas, prosecutor who has been leading the case. The suspect, Devlin said, "threw his old computer out because he didn't need it."

Devlin said this is the first time his office has pursued a sex crime case involving a gaming console.


To read the full news click here  


In another case a 16-year-old girl is being reunited with her parents after running away to apparently with a man she met online. Jasmine's mother, Stacey Rieberger, said the teen met a 26-year-old man from while playing an online Xbox 360 game . The relationship expanded into conversations and text messages before Jasmine flew to to meet him .


To read the full news click here


And last but not least  a 13-year-old Virginia girl is back home after being lured away by a man she'd been chatting with for at least six months through a Microsoft Xbox 360 game, police said. The teen was the third child in recent weeks to have left home to meet adults they came in contact with through an Xbox game .

To read the full news click here

In this regard Lt. Jessica Farnsworth, field commander of 's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said, "We've seen people solicit kids online through the games. The people doing these illegal acts, they're going to greater and greater lengths to hide what they're doing. We have long been concerned that game systems are increasingly connected to the Web and could be used to attack children."

The current cases, said technologists,are illustration of just how broadly the term "online" needs to be defined. People are reachable by computer, cell phone, personal digital assistant and now video game consoles.

"Parents don't realize kids are playing [video games] and communicating," said Perry Aftab, founder and head of WiredSafety, a group dedicated to online safety . She then mentioned Microsoft's Xbox features parental controls that help parents monitor their kids online actions, but often, that may not be enough. We need to make sure parents and gamers are aware of this issue and keep an eye out, because the bad guys are."


12 Comments

Resident Evil 5 review

                  


                          9.0    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Resident Evil5 manages to execute the already well executed format of the series in a different way  and refreshes the experience by adding new elements and aspects .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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The good : Stunning visuals , extremely amusing and varied gameplay , fabulous pacing and momentum  , remarkable voice acting, engaging story , deep puzzles  .   

The bad : Inventory menu , devoid of fear .

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First of all let me initiate this review by stating that Resident evil 5 is a tremendously wonderful title , those of you who were disappointed by the demo should certainly give this game a try (a rent is a must )  .

The latest entity in Resident Evil series while does not deliver an experience we’d come to expect from the franchise , manages to establish itself as one of the most qualified games in the current generation of consoles . 

Resident evil 5 is probably the most fleshed out game in the series regarding the level of details and attention to the game structure , level design and story . Suffice to say that the story of the whole saga including the origin of Umbrella corporation , Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA), Biological Organic Weapons (BOWs), S.T.A.R.S , the previous protagonist and heroines , group of eleven and so forth reviews via the in game cut-scenes , flash backs and text documents .

The game follows the step of its predecessor in almost every aspect (it kicks off  exactly alike RE4 ; you first encounter with a zombie , kill him , jump out of a window , see yourself surrounded with numerous zombies , fight all of them desperately till invisible hands of god come to your help )  but dares to introduce brand new set pieces at the same time . Manning a turret against hordes of majini bikers , riding a boat , using various turrets against bosses , managing stealth attacks  ,  holding yourself on a boat  ,   ………… and even taking cover behind walls !!! Awe C’moooooooon, now every one is trying to imitate me “ said a source who prefers to remain anonymous!!! .



Undoubtedly the most important alteration in gameplay structure is presence of a new ally called Sheva Alomar . Many gamers were [ and still are ] concerned about having to escort someone throughout the entire game  .

I am proud to say that Sheva does NOT need your escort and ironically she is an incredibly supportive character . In other word  Sheva is not president’s daughter of RE4  ; she is a smart and coherent character that except for a few sessions does not need your help /support/escort whatsoever and can even survive with her mere knife when she is out of ammo .    

Sheva never gets in your way , never makes you stop for her , never takes damage from your attacks [neither melee nor projectile ] , never stands in your way and block your shots , never asks for ammunition but hand you some if you are in need, never stops checking on your health status , never misses a shot , never leaves items and loots behind if you happen to miss them ……………………….. In short  SHEVA NEVER LETS YOU DOWN .

Even though her AI is not perfect and some weird reactions and insignificant bugs here and there leaves you surprised , Sheva is the most intelligent side kick we have seen in a  video game thus far   .

Another new added component of gameplay is cover mechanic  . Before you start worrying you should know  RE5 is not Gears of War and you can not take cover behind any wall or object at any wanted time . At points were the threat of being shot [or exploded ] is present , you ‘d always find a piece of cover . Taking cover feels a bit awkward at times but it is a nice constituent nevertheless .

As we all know Resident Evil without quick time event sequences is not resident evil and thus RE5 includes many of these scenes that fortunately have been implemented pretty well . I admit that I really loved the magnificence of these sequences specially in the very last mission .

Puzzles in RE5 are much better than Find the plate to open the door kind of things we used to see in previous games of the series . Do not get me wrong ! , you still need to find wicked plates to open some doors but except for a case in which you have to find your way through rays of lasers, most of the puzzle are cooperative and requires both Chris and Sheva to solve . The cooperative nature of puzzles are really pleasing and it is even more fun while playing co-op .  For the first time you can play RE with your buddy online or off ; in this mode you have to collaborate with your partner as best as you can since you‘d fail otherwise . Technically the co-op has no problem and split-screen does not affect the frame-rate at all .   


For the most part RE5 plays the same as RE4 although some minor changes have been made concerning the control scheme . Through one of these changes you can now display/vanish the useful map in the top right corner of the screen by pressing a single button . The game features 4 different control types, none of which feels any better than the third-person control scheme debuted with games such as Gears of War but it gets the job done nonetheless  .


The inventory system has seen drastic changes and unfortunately it is not as good as it sounds . each character has nine and only nine slots to carry items and weapons and space upgrade is not available  . All inventory management is done in real time which sometimes add to the intensity but more often the inventory just does not work that well . Numerous times I found my inventory (and Sheva’s ) full while in desperate need of say a herb but I did not want to discard a package of shotgun ammo just for a pesky herb . So unless you manage your inventory slots pretty well and learn the proper way to exchange your items with your partner , you’d be in lots of trouble .

You’ll need to finish/reload the mission in order to gain access to the inventory organization menu where you can upgrade your weapons , change the place of items in your inventory , trade weapons and African treasures (Have you seen blood diamond ? ) and transfer useless stuff in your storage  .

Some of the improvements such as being able to buy/upgrade your weapons freely without having to find those shady dudes!!!  and the fact that you can assign weapons and items to D-pad for instant access are welcome . I should  mention that there is no longer a single typewriter around and saves are done automatically as you progress .

Due to considerable power of the current generation of consoles the environments in RE5 are enjoyably varied . Dusty desert, rusty factories , lush jungles , never ending rivers , sea side , ancient African tombs, tribe villages , underground tunnels , high tech facilities are amongst the environments you’d get to see while playing  .

The game never cease throwing one enjoyable and stylish sequence after another at the player but regrettably none of them are scary or socking . This incredible action-oriented game lacks the fear factor  . There are very few  oh, snap parts in the game where you feel somewhat overwhelmed by the foes , however they by no means can be considered scary . To make things even less scary the game features a so-called dying mode ; as the name suggests whenever you lose all your health the character goes into dying mode and can not do anything until the other partner revive him/her .

This being said the action feels quite intense (specially during the second half of the game ) because of large groups of enemies attacking you from all directions . One thing is for sure , RE5 is a challenging game in a good way and makes you release adrenalin even on the easiest difficulty setting .

Thanks to Capcom ‘s advanced engine , the game is an absolute looker both technically and artistically . Everything in the game looks fabulous and the level of visual details are quite impressive . Lighting , particle effects and explosions are simply jaw-dropping and regardless of the level of activity on the screen  the game renders smoothly all the time  .

I played the Xbox 360 version installed on hard-drive and never witnessed any frame-rate drop or pop-in issue during the entire game  . The loading times are so short that makes you wonder how could all of these elegant objects and textures be loaded in such a short time .

   

Another stunning aspect of the graphics is the quality of cut-scenes . The high quality of cut-scenes instantly reminded me of Metal Gear Solid 4 which was result of terrific look , exciting actions /martial arts and plausible voice acting . The in-game music is pretty good and makes the action profoundly exciting .

Similar to most of Capcom games , RE5 has plenty of replay value . The first thing would be Mercenaries mode which resident evil fans are already aware of . In this mode you need to kill as many enemies as possible before the time runs out . Unlockable documents , 3D figures , costumes , weapons , maps , screen filters and so forth are also enough reasons to keep you busy for long time to come . 


For the record , All of the upgraded weapons , items , remained ammo , costumes , skins transfer to a new game and unlike Dead Space can be used in higher difficulties .

Epilogue

Despite the huge departure from the franchise’s original formula , Resident Evil 5 is a magnificent title on its own . Lack of fear elements and emphasis on combat may annoy some longtime fans and satisfy the others but it is safe to say that you won’t regret playing this game .     

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Evaluation 


Gameplay[8.0] : Annoying inventory menu , unique control and some bugs never stop you from enjoying the game .

Graphics [9.5]: Simply spectacular visuals turn this biohazard into a safari .

Audio and music[9.0] : Amazing voice acting coupled with appropriate music .

Replay value [10]:  The Mercenaries mode ,  multiple costumes , two playable characters , dozens of unlockables ………. What else do you need ?    

Story and atmosphere [7.0]: NO SCARE WHATSOEVER , plausible story with a payoff in the end .

Length [9.0] : Beating the game for the fist time takes somewhere between 12-15 hours . 

Overall : 9.0

PS  I apologize for the poor quality of images taken by a cellphone , I just wanted to show you some previously unseen footages    :)  

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