After the whole Aris FGC fiasco, it's refreshing to see someone of stature in the game community not tolerate this kind of abusive garbage.
here's the basic gist of what happened to my knowledge
Evil Geniuses (a Starcraft 2 clan) had recently announced that they had brought on Orb to cast their Master Cup Series. Almost immediately afterward screenshots surfaced on reddit showing Orb tossing out n-bombs at his opponent in a ladder match in a derogatory manner. Orbs denies that it was him, claiming it was a witch hunt and implying that a friend was using his account.
EG announces they are reviewing the situation, more screenshots surface, people start contacting EG's sponsors, EG terminates Orb. Orb owns up to the second batch of screenshots but not the first.
I personally never seen someone actually get punished so publicly for this sort of thing before, so it's nice to see at least someone being held accountable for crossing the line. Eventhough the incidents didn't occur on the job (not sure if they occurred before he was hired or not), they certainly occurred in a manner that reflected on EG as an organization, so I think the firing is justifable. They've established a precedent now, it will be interesting to see if they actually continue to follow it later on.
It's also nice to see Orb owning up to basically all of it and accepting his punishment. Hopefully he'll bounce back from this.
and hopefully a sign of things to come. I know I have friends who won't game anymore because they are sick of dealing with garbage like this.
In about a week voting will open for the cover player for Madden NFL 13. If you love your team at all I beg you to vote for a player not on your team's roster. Last Season (likely soon to be former) Cleveland Browns Running Back Peyton Hillis graced the cover as winner of the second ever Madden fan poll beating out Michael Vick.
and I think no one has ever been as Madden cursed as he has been.
So who is Peyton Hillis and what happened to him? Well let me share with you a Cleveland fan's perspective.
From Zero to Hero
After a productive yet unremarkable 4-year career as a Fullback and return man at University of Arkansas, Hillis was taken in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos. While with Denver Hillis scarcely played and was riddled with injuries, despite occasional flashes of brilliance. He was unceremoniously dumped by the Broncos to the Cleveland Browns along with a 6th round pick in exchange for under-performing QB Brady Quinn in 2010.
With Cleveland in 2010, Hillis quickly ascended to the starting Hb role in Week 3 after injuries decimated the roster. For the rest of 2010 Hillis put gaudy numbers in Eric Mangini's run centric offense. He won AFC offensive player of the week in Week 9, becoming the first Brown in nearly twenty years to win the honor and ends up being runner up in MVP voting.
In addition to his performance, Hillis' good ole boy hardworking blue collar nature persona (and enormous biceps) made him a fan favorite. For his breakout season Hillis was voted by Madden fans to the Cover of Madden NFL 12.
From Hero to Zero
Almost immediately things started to go wrong for Hillis.
Late 2010 - Early 2011 - His coach Eric Mangini was fired by Club president Mike Holmgren and replaced by Pat Shurmur, a coach who runs a pass heavy West Coast Offense. Going into Camp Hillis was informed that his role was likely going to be changed in the new offense and that he would need to improve his blocking. The NFL players are locked out preventing Hillis from learning the new offense
Early 2011 - Hillis fired his agent Jimmy Sexton and hires Kelly Masters, in July she is fired and he hires Kennard McGuire, making McGuire Hillis's third agent in 2011.
Summer 2011- Once in camp on the advice of McGuire, Hillis begins to grumble on and off the record about the Browns not offering him the extension and raise he wants. Club president Holmgren claims he is trying "like crazy" to sign Hillis. Hillis who makes $500,500 in 2011 is believed to be asking for $12 million in guaranteed money. When another Brown gets an extension, Hillis starts to go public with his feelings about being "disrespected" by The Browns. Reporters start to cover the Hillis story closely. The Cleveland Plain Dealer quotes him as saying later on- "You feel unappreciated because you want to get something done and nothing has gotten done at this point. As far as that goes, you don't know the ultimate feelings in the end of what's going on up top. You take it with a grain of salt and you keep moving on." http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2011/10/cleveland_browns_rb_peyton_hil_6.html
late Summer- Hillis struggles to pick up the new offense due to the NFL lockout shortened camp. The new offense requires more blocking and outside the tackle running for Hillis, neither of which are his forte. Hillis tweaks his chronically weak hamstrings late in camp.
Weeks 1-2 - Hillis is largely ineffective in his limited appearances, his effort is questioned by Browns beat reporters. Head coach Shurmur reduces his workload in practice on concerns Hillis is over working himself.
Week 3 - Hillis sits out of the Miami Dolphins game at the last minute on the advice of his agent, due to fear of him getting hurt since he was recovering from "Strep Throat and Flu-like symptoms". The Browns narrowly win a close game against a perceived inferior opponent and some of the team internally blames Hillis. Hillis tells the media it was his agent's fault.
After Week 3 - Qb Colt McCoy and the offense hold their first intervention team meeting with Hillis about his attitude and commitment to the team.
Week 6 - Hillis pulls his hamstring early in the Oakland game. Browns PR personnel fail to report this to the tv media covering the game and announcers mistakenly conclude on air he has been benched. Hillis is inactive for several weeks, ultimately he misses 5 games throughout the season. During one of the weeks he is "rehabing" he secretly goes to Arkansas to get married. Browns mgt is not pleased.
Mid October/Trade deadline - Browns Gm Tom Heckert and head coach Shurmur hint that they are no longer certain they want Hillis Back in 2012-2013 season, Browns first deny and then entertain to trade offers for Hillis. Hillis is not traded.
Early November - Hillis skips a Halloween charity fund raiser for the Cleveland Boys & Girls Club with no explanation. Co-host and Former Cleveland browns Center LeCharles Bentley strongly criticizes him publicly. Hillis blames his brother Kyle Hillis (and business manager) for not telling him the correct time.
Early December- In a press conference stating that he wants to return to Cleveland and retire as a Brown, Hillis instead talks mainly about endorsing Ron Paul for president in 2012 which cause more angst in parts of heavily democratic Cleveland.
Late season - Hillis seems to reforms his attitude, refuses to talk about his contract issues any further and performs well in the remainder of the season, including a 100+ yd game against Baltimore. The Browns finish 4-12. Despite early in the season denying the existence of the Madden Curse, Hillis now blames his poor performance in the season on it. The Cleveland Plain Dealer quotes him as saying- "No doubt about it," Hillis finally admitted Thursday. "Things haven't worked to my favor this year. There's a few things that happened that made me believe in curses. Ain't no doubt about it." http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2011/12/cleveland_browns_peyton_hillis_11.html
Post season- Browns pass on franchising Hillis for 7.7 million, Heckert say Hillis is welcome back at "the right price' (I.e. a lot less less money than the franchise tag). Hillis fires agent Kennard McGuire. [UPDATE 3/1/2012 - Hillis apparently has contemplated retirement (and may still be) to pursue a career with the Central Intelligence Agency- no joke]
Change from 2010
It's been a circus for Hillis and Browns fans for a year now. For most seemingly affected by the Madden curse usually one aspect of their career suffers a setback. In Peyton's case not only Hillis' on the field performance suffer, his health suffered, his wealth suffered as the likelihood of him getting a big money contract from the Browns severely diminished and his reputation among fans and peers was severely tarnished.
If nothing else this season probably cost Peyton Hillis tens of million so dollars in potential lifetime earnings. I think most expected a come back to earth season for Hillis, but this is incredible.
And that's why in my opinion no cover player of Madden has yet suffered such a complete collapse in prospects and reputation as Peyton Hillis has in their cover year.
...We’re getting a demo of using the “Kinect” controller to interact with episodes of Sesame Street. The young assistant on stage demonstrates using a throwing gesture to help out Grover by “throwing” a coconut that appears to land in Grover’s box of coconuts I the episode playing on screen.
Ballmer announces Kinect will be coming to Windows on February 1st.
And that’s pretty much it. I closing, Seacrest asked Ballmer what he thought the future would bring. Ballmer, in a spoof of his legendary boisterous style, remarked “Metro, Metro, Metro,” referring to the name for the Windows 8 user interface. Then he added, “Windows! Windows! Windows!
Molten lava is nothing like water. Sure, everyone thinks that liquid rock (magma) is going to behave like any other liquid (e.g., water), but there are some key physical properties that tell us it just isn’t the case. Let’s compare!
Water has a density of 1000 kg/m and a viscosity of 0.00089 Pa*s.
Lava has a density of 3100 kg/m and a viscosity of 100-1000 Pa*s....
Do you suppose throwing yourself into lava would have the same effect as falling into a lake? Probably not. The average human has a density of ~1010 kg/m, so a little bit more dense than water.....If you are less than one-third the density of basalt (and you are, admit it), it is going to be next to impossible to sink into that liquid.
This is going to bug the crap out of me now every time I see something like this
Now this, this is very cool research work being done on Starcraft 2.
Apparently somecognitive scientists are reviewing SC2 replay files to see how players learn and how it affects their cognitive abilities. One scientist in particular, Mark Blair from Simon Fraiser University has a study ongoing called "Skillcraft". Seems like early indications are that high level sc2 play could actually be pretty beneficial in improving multi-tasking function and staying composed in a crisis. Not all studies show this though, so jury's still out on what the cogntiive community's consensus will ultimately end up being.
most studies like this that I've seen have usually focused on FPS games, so it's neat to see someone look at an RTS. Given the competitive play, replay, and sheer number of players SC2 does seem like a fertile ground for this kind of thing.
my favorite parts of the SciAm story
“From the perspective of the cognitive motor system, StarCraft is the most interesting thing you could do online,” Blair says....
In the last decade, however, some experiments have begun to suggest that video games might indeed teach transferable skills. Cognitive scientist Daphne Bavelier at the University of Rochester and her colleagues have used video games to investigate what kinds of learning humans are good at, and along the way they’ve turned up some promising, if modest, examples of brain training...
Early results suggest that gamers may have faster visual reaction times, enhanced visuomotor coordination, and heightened ability to visualize spatial arrangements. They may also be better at rotating an object in their minds and may distinguish more deftly between the trajectories of moving objects. Players might also have an edge when paying attention to several objects at once.
One of the studies mentioned in the article (this one by Josh Lewis at UC San Diego), also concluded that having high APM is one of the essential factors to winning.
They tracked several measures, including how many actions players took per minute and the distances between the locations where actions occurred across the map. Not surprisingly, they found that players who made the most moves tended to win. Of more interest was the second calculation. Distributing actions more widely across a map, which the authors argue reflects a player’s ability to distribute attention, also correlated highly with winning.
Alright, I thought the thing about dudes being into the new My Little Ponies was funny at first, but this is taking the joke pretty far. Man I don't even know what to think of this fan project by (or how much time they must have already put into it)