Been a while...

Haven't been on here as much as I used to be. But I should let you know I had sex in my Giant Bomb member's t-shirt last night, as a tribute to all of you.

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Is on-line gaming a waste of time?

I had to write a persuasive essay for my English class. One of the topics was, "Is on line gaming a waste of time or can it teach valuable life skills?" Though it is long I figured some of you might be interested in reading it.

The Games of Life

The thought of on-line gaming being a “waste of time” is caused by the cultural differences between the current and past generations. The dramatic changes in technology that have occurred in the past 20 years have had a direct impact on effective forms of learning in today’s society. This misunderstanding of currently viable educational formats has created a generally negative outlook on video games in general as well as the people that play them. Many skills can be obtained via interactive electronic media that are quite applicable in real life situations with the amount of available skills only broadening with the addition of the ability to play games with people from around the world.

Past generations have had noticeably different forms of media available to them in order to learn what was needed to successfully function in life. Things as simple as reading from a book to effectively learn have created a mindset that was not wrong at the time, but causes a conflict with the youth of today. This conflict occurs in what educational theorist Neil Postman (1979) calls a “media war” in which he described as a mental collision happening when an emerging technology and its accompanying ideology begins to challenge the cultural dominance of long-established practices.

In “Gaming Lives in the Twenty-First Century” (2007), Cynthia L. Selfe and Gail E. Hawisher suggest the older generation’s learning method as a “post-figurative” form of learning “in which change is largely imperceptible and the “future repeats the past.” In such cultures, adults are able to pass along the necessary knowledge to children.” But this teaching method isn’t the only solution for a youth to obtain valuable information with the current technology available. Any youth that plays video games is constantly bombarded with new information through a goal to obtain said information. The need to find that information comes straight from inside the youth; a need to solve puzzles or problems in the game; a need to set and obtain goals; a need to cooperate with other people for a common goal; or even just a need to experience a good story. All these things teach valuable skills but aren’t presented in a traditional method.

“Real learning is active and always a new way of experiencing the world” (James Gee, What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy, 2003, p. 26)

The fact that this method is not traditional creates an illusion that it is wrong. Just as with anything, change, even if it is progress, is usually perceived as bad or ineffective even though we can easily bring effective learning down to its simplest form, experience. The one main goal of video games is to provide a virtual world to live an embodied experience, but still an experience none-the-less; therefore learning through video games is inevitable. But what can really be learned through video games?

An article by Peter s. Bearman, Phd, and James Moody, Phd, suggests “A growing body of research links social isolation to suicide. Researchers have known for some time that isolation from peers leads to lower estimations of self-worth and self confidence.”(American Journal of Public Health, 2004) A lack of social interaction can be seen as a lack of life experience. One quality video games instill is a sense of self-value. Setting small and immediately obtainable goals gives endless opportunities for “intrinsic rewards for learning and practicing,” which in turn consistently raises levels of self-confidence. A youth setting a personal goal of trying to set the highest score in a game or be at the top of a leaderboard among his or her peers gives the opportunity that once the goal is achieved it will instill a great sense of self-worth. Though even if this goal is not reached, another great quality known as humility becomes extremely relevant. But even for people who are not goal-oriented, video games can still be great learning tools. For those who choose not to see it, the subtle constant practice involved in a video game is one of its most valuable teaching tools. Learning to pick oneself up after a failure and keep on trying is the complete premise of any game. Learning from mistakes made and making changes to a strategy to adapt and solve a challenging problem is one of life’s hardest concepts to grasp and it something that is reinforced in every aspect of every video game.

A game going on-line furthers to increase the amount of skills available to young gamers by adding a social and community aspect to it. Aside from obvious social interaction required by on-line games such as teamwork and sacrifice, once again self-confidence and humility can be reinforced. Natural leaders among groups of people rise to the top and are able to lead willing groups to obtain common goals. One of the reasons people are able to step forward and take this chance is because of the extreme anonymity that on-line gaming brings. Risking the credibility of something as simple as a screen name is not nearly as frightening to do in comparison to risking credibility of the personal image presented at school or in any real life social environment. Though not everyone can succeed as a leader, on-line games provide youth with a welcoming environment to find the role they feel most comfortable filling. Once this natural role is found it is easier to translate it in to real life situations instead of starting from scratch and searching for it.

The benefits of on-line gaming are not limited exclusively to skill building though. The social aspects of on-line games bring the world to the fingertips of a gamer. In 2007 Brunel University completed a three-year study which was reported by many newspapers, one being a well known online paper known as The Scotsman. In this study of 13-16-yearolds they found that on-line games can be quite beneficial to the cultural knowledge of young adults. Allowing children “to meet other role-playing gamers, many youngsters also get the chance to find out about different nationalities and races they would not normally come into contact with.” Learning to cooperate not only with people of the same race greatly opens the minds to different cultures and ways of accomplishing goals. In some games such as Counter-Strike, an on-line only team oriented counterterrorism based game, groups of like-minded players create organized teams known as “clans”. These clans meet up at set times, strategize for play against other clans, and participate in competitive matches together. Clans, or in other games known as “Guilds”, can create a great sense of belonging that may not be able to be found elsewhere in a certain child’s life. Aside from this sense of belonging, clans give an opportunity for group problem solving as well as teaching discipline and time management.

I used to be part of a clan as I myself am an avid video game player. I am part of an on-line forum in which I’ve met people from all over world including the United States, New Zealand, and even a few people in Russia. The things I have learned through on-line gaming and the community it has provided I may have been unable to find in everyday life. One of the most valuable lessons I feel I have learned is the ability to cooperate with anyone. Over my countless hours of gaming I have made friends with enemies, lead teams to various victories, and even helped to solve on-line friend’s emotional problems. A lot of these social interactions can be found at school or at the workplace with regular everyday friends, but at the same time I was doing something I love. I myself was lucky enough to not have any social problems in everyday life. But I have met a numerous amount of people that without the internet and on-line games as an outlet, may not still be here today.

Through the presented facts and opinions, we can see that the argument not lie in the debate about wasted time versus on-line games themselves but more the diversity of activities that gamers participate in and their ability to manage their gaming commitment with their other responsibilities. The most important thing to remember is that technology is changing at a record breaking pace and with those changes in technology comes new learning practices as well as new social environments. In the end, the broadness of the subject of “life skills” is so vast that building a skill in any area can one day be worthwhile.

Hope you enjoyed.

Respect.

25 Comments

No Time for Games: Gearing Up

So, funny story if you read that last blog that pissed a few people off. I continued to talk to Lily because I have nothing against her, turns out she is married. She was probably never interested in the first place.

Also this:

Racist.

The other day there was a Steam sale featuring Sega games. I decided to purchase Alpha Protocol for $2. Because no matter how many bad reviews it got there is no way it can be “Not worth $2 bad”, right? Fucking rights. I got a solid 14 hours out of the game and had a lot of fun with it. Sure it is a little broken in a few parts but the cause and effect aspect of the game as well as the dialogue options being vague but precise made it a very amusing game. And you can sleep with every woman you meet.

So playing that, and now filling my spare time with TF2 instead of League, it got me thinking about load-outs and the like.

Alpha Protocol suggests you alter your equipment before every mission so that you are fully capable of playing the way you see fit. Conveniently updating the store fairly often with new equipment and leaving enough free drops around the levels to ensure you are adjusting, or at least checking the inventory screen between every mission. STATEGY! EXCITEMENT! MULTI-LEVEL GAMING EXPERIENCE! Make your life easier by bringing shit that helps you along the way. Awesome.

Now how about Team Fortress 2? Altering your equipment for your probably average 3 minutes-at-a-time of chaos isn’t as big of a decision as the 30-40 minutes you are stuck with it in Alpha Protocol (or shorter if you die earlier from some crazy glitch). It makes the decision equally important but not nearly as significant. Placing it in the same realm of concept even though it isn’t quite the same.

So what is the point of all this? We can apply all of this to real life, can’t we?

Here are a few real life items and my opinion of their attributes, special uses, and downfalls.

· Spiked Hair/Tap Out shirt: Douchebag + 1, Confidence +3, Intellect – 1 (Set bonus: Douchebag + 3, Intellect – 2)

· Axe Body Spray: Aroma + 1, Confidence + 1 (CAUTION: Do not overspray or Aroma – 15)

· iPhone: Hipster + 1, Trendiness + 2 (Extra + 1 for latest model), Conformity + 1, Confidence + 1 (Special Use: Distract/Ice Breaker: Bring up cool app or funny picture using iPhone)

· V-Neck shirt or sweater: Metro-sexuality + 2 (Retroness +3 if combined with chest hair)

· Propeller Hat: WTF + 3, Humor +2 (Special Use: Propeller Spin: Instant laughter from surrounding people)

· Man Bag/Murse: Metro-sexuality + 1, Functionality +2 (CAUTION: If not used to actually carry anything and only for style then Conformity + 2)

· Portable Video Game Console: Nerdness + 1, Confidence + 1, Boredom – 4

· Dove Body Soap: Metro-sexuality + 1, Cleanliness + 3, Touchability + 2 (Special Use: Contact initiator: Initiate physical contact by mentioning how soft your skin is due to using Dove Soap)

· GB Members T-shirt: Nerdness + 2, Confidence + 2, Attractiveness + 9000 (CAUTION: Do not wear while applying for GameSpot Writing position or World will explode)

Note: Stat bonuses only apply in public scenarios.

*I take no responsibility for inability to effectively use an item’s special use.*

Respect.

16 Comments

No Time for Games: Video Games Make Me Racist

Asian girls are the most exotic things on the planet to me.

For a solid 2 weeks a certain girl named Lily in my Mandarin class was opening my eyes. I was sitting in a study room just hanging out before class when she walked in. I recognized her from the first class and gave a slight "hello" smile to her, which she returned and instantly started up a conversation with me. I was shocked at first that any girl would have the balls to start up a conversation in general but even more by the fact that she was apparently asian and starting this conversation. Anyways, slightly attracted by act of forwardness we chatted for a bit and headed to class.

I was pretty excited at the end of the day after sitting next to her and flirting for most of the class, that she was going to be this awesome exotic asian girl that I didn't know I had been searching for my whole life. Now I'm not going to say why, but we'll say that I've been continually turned off of her more and more since that day. Not because of repulsiveness or anything like that. But more just the disappointment of what I was expecting compared to what had been presented.

Doesn't actually exist.

All my preconceived notions about asian girls had finally been confirmed: Super conservative introvert intellectuals that excel in things like calculus and tai-chi, and don't wear anything that shows more than their wrist bone.

Girls in movies such as Tokyo Drift obviously do not actually exist. They are either white girls painted yellow, or just the aforementioned asian girls who've been paid enough to shed the extreme values their fathers have pressured in to them long enough to get a semi-seductive 5 second film clip.

Backing this up is my following interaction with Lily:

3:20pm: *I walk in to Chinese class noticing Lily is wearing a red bow in her hair and she has cut her hair short.*

fwylo: Hey Lily

Lily: Hiii

fwylo: Nice red bow.

Lily: Thanks! I cut my hair too.

fwylo: Ya, you did! Looks good.

Lily: Thanks, it was taking so long to dry in the morning so I had to cut it because I've been so tired.

fwylo: Haha oh, so you cut your hair for time usage efficiency?

Lily: Uh, ya I guess so.

fwylo: Makes sense.

Now don't get me wrong. A non-superficial girl who is smart and likes to laugh and blah blah is fantastic and all, but I'll be damned if that was what I was expecting. Though she has definitely shed the "introvert" part of my stereotype, she has reinforced every other part of it.

All in all, I blame video games for this. Maybe not racism, or even discrimination. But definitely stereotypes of all sorts and here's my reasoning.

In a majority of video games, you are a given a situation or enemy to defeat/conquer. You see the presented opposition and evaluate how to defeat it. Once a solution has be found, either through trial and error or because jumping on an enemy's head is obvious as fuck unless it has a hat with spikes on its head. You are trained to put an instant stereotype on how to react or how to view that situation. A skill which is probably subconsciously brought in to real life situations or something. I'm not saying this is the only thing determining how I treat one asian from the next; I'm sure the fact of how much a minority asians are where I live and the fact that almost all of the ones I care to recall have fit in to the stereotype I have created for them helps quite a lot. But my point still stands that it has become easier to accept stereotypes because video games train my mind to specifically look for stereotypes in order to obtain success. Good or bad, stereotypes rule people. If you think you act the same way to absolutely everyone you meet you're probably lying to them, or yourself.

Stereotypes: providing success since 1902.

Apparently I just need to find myself a white bred asian girl with low self-esteem and balls.

80 Comments

No Time for Games: Smooth Move

Well I've never though I was much of a writer, and I would still assume I'm not but Sweep has a point with his Blog Initiative.

I don't know what that point is exactly, but it brought up a sudden urge to fill up some more of my time with completely mundane things. I'll chalk it up as good practice for my entry level English Essay course I'm required to take for this International Business Degree I'm attempting to finish. I've attempted a few blogs before, some that got off the ground and in to a few episodes (even gained me a few followers), and then some that remained as just ideas. Mind you at the time I was a part of the full-time work force and didn't really feel like coming home to do something which felt more like work than play.

But my life has changed a lot since then. So why not…

First, let me break me down for you: I am 23(on Monday!). I am a student. I am not socially awkward. I don't have a job. Some would call me pretty (Claude has even said it a couple times, and he knows his shit). This drunk possibly half-crazy guy sitting beside me at the bar just told me I have a "Yankee" accent. I am Canadian. I am half black. I like women. I love to party. I think I'm smart. I think I'm funny in person, though via text or over the internet probably not as much as I'd like to think. I could go on but I think that's enough to build a decent mental image of me.

UUNNNGGGHHH

TL:DR - What up I'm fwylo.

League of Legends owns my gaming time at the moment, though I finally sat down and hit 70 in Modern Warfare 2 to get the guilt of NOT doing it out of my head. I used to play a shit ton of DOTA, and was pretty good at it actually. Then this came out and stole my life FOR FREE. I'm not going to explain how the game works, but the online and time-wasting mechanic is most easily compared to Starcraft 2's online.

3:50pm Return from University

4:00pm *Maybe I have some time for a game of LoL before doing laundry and eating*

5:00pm *Fuck that game didn't go very well, I have time for another one no problem*

6:00pm *That was a good one, I'll get another quick one in*

6:30pm *Shit that was a bad team I can't go out on a bad note*

7:30pm *Oh fuck I'm hungry I'll make some food and play one more while I eat*

9:00pm *Well shit it's too late for laundry now, I won't even finish a load before I have to sleep*

10:00pm *It's not that late I can play one more*

11:00pm *God damn that was a good one I'm on a roll*

12:00am *Oh man, midnight?!!@ Well if I play one more I'll still get 5 hours of sleep*

1:00am *Alright… one mo- NO*

O.M.S. is a serious problem for me and I'm sure many other gamers out there. One More Syndrome kills time like my uncle clubs kittens. (Feel free to create a wiki page about that because it's probably unclaimed. Do give me recognition in the description though please).

It sucks being addicted to games that eat up time like that. That would have been 10 hours I could have put into something constructive like studying, or laundry, or BEATING the single player of some other game that I'm somewhat interested in but NOPE! Chuck Testa.

So anyways, when I'm not wasting my time with LoL, I'm either partying and bro-ing out, or at school, or talking to girls. (This is where the title of the blog comes in!!!)

Sunny as fuck.

I'm sitting in my English class on Thursday night, and this girl is beside me is pretty cute. The prof is talking about an essay we were supposed to read and it is taking way too long. Everyone is bored. I see her flip her notebook open to a blank page and start writing out a grocery list. Remember when I said I think I'm funny and smart? Well I write a mini grocery list in the following order: Captain Crunch, Bananas, Noodles, Condoms, KY Jelly, Strap-on. I was expecting maybe a smirk or giggle out of this when I slid my paper over to her. Apparently she thought it was hilarious and basically bursts out laughing in the middle of the completely silent room! Ha.

Obviously I pretended to have no idea what she was doing to let her look awkward as fuck. After everything calmed down I wrote again on the sheet of paper smooth move(!) and slid it over to her. We finished the class and went to my place and sexed like crazy.

Not actually but we had a nice little notepad conversation for the rest of class.

Now if you've made it this far I'm proud of you and myself. To be honest I won't talk about games all that much, because with the time I do have I play LoL, and I've already talked about that. So if you liked the rest of it, maybe you'll check it out again.

Respect.

17 Comments

PAX Requests?

Sup Bitches.

fwylo is back after his summer of awesome.

My roadtrip to PAX starts in t minus 45 minutes. It will be a 15 hour drive, we will arrive, then wait in line for 3 hours till we get in the expo hall. NEXT LEVEL GAMING FAN MANEUVER.

3. FUCKING. DAYS.

Anyways, if there is anything you want pictures of or video of just post it here and I'll try my best to get some awesome footage of it. Then I'll come back and write a super awesome fantastic PAX Prime 2011 blog for everyone to love and enjoy. GET IT?!

Respect.

19 Comments

Leave of Absence

Dear Giant Bomb,


As some of you may or may not have noticed, I haven't been around as much. I'm taking some time off from Giant Bomb, possibly indefinitely who knows. I was thinking about writing a long heart felt letter about my time here and all that crap and what I've been doing. But instead, I'll just say that you guys are awesome, and leave you with a picture of me looking badass as fuck. This one is for you Claude, tell your wife about me.


Oh and my sister for you Amir ;) 
See you around bitches. <3
21 Comments

Spring Cleaning!

Though the weather sucks here I figured it's about that time. 
 
As some of you know I'm unemployed as of 2 weeks ago now.  I've been sick for the majority of it so I've been lounging around watching movies and sleeping the whole time.  Yesterday was probably the first day I actually felt good and actually felt like doing something, so I didn't do anything at all.  Slept till 1 and played games all day.  Exactly how unemployment should be, minus the sickness. 
 
Though today I felt I needed to get something done, so I set out to clean my room which has been treated in a not-very-nice fashion for the past little while.  I didn't take any before pictures but I'm sure you can imagine everything under a small layer of dust, with papers and random shit covering the desks and dresser.  A few empty beer bottles lying around, a mess of random cords from random electronics and such, unmade bed and clothes all over the floor.  
 
         

Bedroom! 

In all it took me three hours to dust every surface in the room, organize everything, start my laundry, make my bed, vacuum, and any other cleaning task that came to mind. I'm pretty proud of the results.  A few years ago I renovated the room on my own, did everything from framing to finishing, it's quite the little bachelor's pad.  So here are some pictures because I like to show it off.
 

 The view from my bed.
 
Before anyone asks.  Yes I sit on an exercise ball instead of a computer chair. 
 
Unemployment Beard!

 Respect.
39 Comments

Dead Space owns me like a prison whore.

Holy shit a blog about games.   

This is probably a better game for me. 
Anyways, I started playing Dead Space a couple weeks ago. I haven't had too much time for games so I only have an hour and a half or so of playtime so far.  Well that and apparently I'm a giant pussy that can only play this game in half hour sessions.  I knew I was a sucker for jump scares but I'll be dammed if that game isn't intense as fuck. 
 
I've never been much of a completionist when it comes to games.  I just play through the story, usually skip side-quests.  I'm not an achievement hunter, or someone who needs to obtain every multi-player unlock.  But the atmosphere in this game is phenomenal.  Walking in to a bloody ass room after killing a few necromorphs and seeing some writing on the wall.  Any other game I would usually just run past.  But something about the mysterious atmosphere in this game is making me search every room top to bottom, stop and listen carefully to every audio/video log, and go off in to side rooms that aren't on my objective path. This game is doing weird things to me. 

I think the thing about this game is that its more what isn't happening than what actually is happening.  They give you your first few jump scare and all of a sudden you are waiting for the next one to happen at every possible moment. 
 
I was following along my objective path thingy and walked passed a bathroom.  I glanced at it and said to myself "I've been in there already", and continued on for a couple seconds before I stopped. I knew full well I hadn't actually been in there,  "Fuuuuuuck".  I turned my ass around and pumped my self up to go and check out what was in there. What if there was some awesome audio log in there, or something sweet written on the wall! Ahhhh. But what if some crazy ass necromorph is going to jump out of the toilet and eat me?! 
 
Turns out there was some plasma energy and a large med pack. Good finds.  But nothing else.  No necromorphs, no scares, nothing. But the atmosphere had done it's job.  It has put in me in the mindset that I need to be prepared at all times for something to happen, when really shit isn't even happening that often. Good for you Visceral, good for you. 
 
All in all the game is fantastic so far.  Great controls, fantastic amounts of detail in the design, good graphics, and the mysterious/intense atmosphere it has created in just the hour I've played is phenomenal.  I'm excited to continue with it, and I've got more time to play as of now so if I can now just get some balls to play longer sessions I might finish it in a reasonable time. Oh and the random npc's that get killed, or are doing weird shit?  Pro tip: That shit is fucking creepy.
 

Fuuuuuck.

 Oh also I've been throwing all my credits and upgrades in to my suit so far, is that worth it? And is it worth it to get the Plasma Cutter only achievement?  
 
Thanks for reading. 
 

Respect.

14 Comments

Mix #5: Groove is in the Heart

It really is, Deee-Lite knew what she was talking about and I have finally learnt that lesson. 
 
Let me tell you a little story: 

Anyways.  It's super apparent in this mix that groove really is in the heart.  
 
   
Download it. 
 
Notes: 
  • Check it out is a decent song.  Scratched a bit on the "Fuck you" from cee-lo in the next song but wasn't feeling it so I just left it.
  • The loop to transition I used was weird and sounded weird at the time, but it doesn't actually sound too bad.
  • Cee-Lo's Fuck You is a great song, Scratched on the "New Boys" from the next song and it sounded cool.  Some good scratches in there actually.  The loop out was perfect -- "fuck her fuck her fuck her fuck her fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck" hahaha awesome.
  • Back Seat by New Boys featuring Dev (Dev from Bass down low), good song. Scratching was alright.  Transition out was alright.  Nothing much to say about it.  I don't know how I feel about how long I used the "Everyday I'm shuffling" loop before I brought it into the actual song.  I need some samples that say random things like "DJ fwylo in the mix" or something like that to throw on top there.
  • Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO.  I really like this song.  My scratching on this track was pretty awesome I'll have to say.  Maybe a bit too much, but most of it was on time and decently creative.
  • Good transition in to Rock that Body by B.E.P.  I figured since they butchered the super bowl I'd remind people that they do have one good song.
  • Good loop out of B.E.P minus when I have it at that 1/4 beat loop I should throw it out in to the whole "two-step" phrase right before I transition over.
  • This is a great White Stripes remix by The Glitch Mob, it's free on soundcloud for anyone to download.  Nice little tribute to a great band that is no more.  I maybe should have let it play out a little longer, but this is about the time I start getting a little discouraged and losing energy.  I feel like I can't let songs play for too long.
  • Still a good transition in to Miami 2 Ibiza by Sweedish House Mafia.  Nothing special here.
  • Once again, didn't play the song for long.  I thought this transition sounded like shit because it's so abrupt but it's growing on me more as just a style change.  But doing that style change on two transitions in a row sounds bad, doesn't keep the energy up.
  • This is a Skrillekz remix of Cinema by Benni Benassi.  Fantastic song and sick dub remix.  I scratched on some part of Groove is in the Heart here and there are a couple times it sounds alright, but mostly it doesn't.
  • By the time this transition comes up I feel you forget about the last two style changes already because this song is so good.  So looping the start of Groove is in the Heart underneath the chorus.  Then BIG scratch back.  Then boom intro.  Nice.
  • Groove is in the Heart by Dee-Lite.  Good song, and the scratching I did with the "One More Time" was really good I thought.  But this transition sucks my balls.  And dudeglove has mentioned that Daft Punk is my "go-to".  Which is apparently true.
  • One More Time by Daft Punk.  Nothing to say here.
  • Once again terrible transition,  Two hard cuts like that in a row just isn't working for me.  Hey Baby by Pitbull and someone. Meh.
  • Power by Kanye West.  Good song, and I could have transitioned this much better but there is a huge tempo difference in them.  I was scared slowing Power down too much would make it sound like shit underneath.  But it wouldn't have.  Rookie mistake.
  • Decent transition in to Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi.
  • End Scene.
 
I wonder if anyone actually reads these. 
  
I'm in the red shirt.
  
   
Here's a tracklist on my blog.  
11 Comments
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