WATCHING "UNPROFESSIONAL WEDNESDAYS" is REQUIRED to UNDERSTAND.
The "exploit" that Brad and Vinny demonstrated during this weeks Unprofessional Wednesday was magical. Watch the video above at 30 - 45 minutes to see this amazing weapon rip zombies apart and launch grenades and generally destroy the leveling system in the game. Brad goes from level 48 to the level cap of 50 and beyond in less than 15 minutes and it's wonderful. I love this kind of stuff. It's why I wake up in the morning. The Ultimate Grim Reaper is good for gaming and it is only good when it is free.
"This is a pretty good way to play Dead Rising"
If I was, for some reason, going to get an Xbox One I would unplug the kinect, get this game, and I would make my number one goal acquiring this weapon as quickly as I could. As soon as the world was open enough to allow it I would trot to the required location to get the blueprint and achieve maximum status with maximum efficiency. If Dead Rising 3 had microtransactions or any kind of booster pack for leveling, this weapon would need to disappear. There is no way the two could exist because it destroys any reason to spend real money. It's a PP booster that doesn't even require a credit card number. Use the weapon and you can get to the level you want to be no questions asked. It would be removed in a patch and probably never seen again because who would spend money as opposed to using this? The weapon only makes sense to be kept when there is nothing for it to ruin.
At the very least it would be hidden behind a paywall and made into some kind of $15 'Ultimate Death Pack' that would come with a free hot shower, a nickel, and a dime. The equivalent of this weapon is an impossibility to exist freely in any game that includes microtransactions because it would simply make it pointless to spend money in the first place and that's not what publishers want. I think this is important to think about considering the amount of microtransactions that some games have already this generation.
Think about the Ultimate Grim Reaper the next time you're being a dolt and carrying out microtransactions in whatever slimy game you're playing. Forza 5, GTA:O, Ryse, Dead Space 3, or whatever. By participating in that business practice you are murdering this beautiful weapon and everything it stands for.
Of course, this wouldn't effect cosmetic microtransactions. Those don't provide any kind of benefit to the game but remove the "pesky ability" to just unlock them through in game challenges like a real hero. No, I guess, if you really love spending money, Dead Rising 3 would be able to have cosmetic microtransactions and also have the Ultimate Grim Reaper.
Please listen to the music provided in the Youtube (copyright trademarked) video below while reading this post. It is very beautiful and illustrates the feelings I'm having over the recent Microsoft (copyright trademarked) press conference and the announcement of the Xbone:
I am sorry to be in the position I am in right now. It is not what I have wanted and I hope you do not remember poorly of me when I'm old and you are gone. We cannot be together. You got creepy. I don't even know when it happened to be honest, but my gut doesn't lie, you're going to be a creepy product to have in the house... license in the house.... Oh I don't know, you have my heart in a vice. I feel guilty because I didn't acknowledge the signs before it happened. I want you, but I must turn away because I don't think you even know what you're asking of me.
What are you asking of me?
I never thought you the bully. I always thought there was a lump of soul in your beating green heart but alas you've shown your true colors. During our first acquaintance no less. You've changed things forever and you didn't even bat an eye. Like you didn't even know what you did. You didn't even know! You never thought about how uncomfortable it'll be to explain to MY friends that you installed a camera that keeps track of their heart rate and mood in my house? I mean, can the answer to why someone would do something so weird really be TV and internet and games? We can already do that stuff. You have got to tell me why. It's just a weird idea, is all.
I don't like giving out my personal information as much as you like holding onto it and sometimes I don't even know why you ask for it. I don't think you even know why you ask for it. We never talk about it. I don't mean to nag but you make me. There's just been something in your voice lately that makes me feel like you want to smother me.
This is no way to live. I'm verklempt all the time. You've drained me. Please consider the creep factor of your device collecting all that data all the time. Maybe I'm overreacting but tell me so! Did the money and power consume you totally? All I see are plastered smiles and the worlds smallest violin being played by a giant. You bit too far into my side of the pie. There's only a certain amount of corporation that I want to be included in my household and I believe you crossed that line. For me. Who knows how many more. I thought I was a core gamer but your own words poison me against you. You made a big boo boo and I'm not sure your games are going to help. Most of those feel like soulless money now too.
I will now find out what the world is without you. Unfortunately I don't think that will be possible with you in my home. You may spread and make all my other items in my house licenses too.
This has been killing me. I've noticed in the past 10 years or so people have become more and more annoyed by things that don't offer solid answers. Anything with an ambiguous ending causes huge rage wars on the troll threads. I sit back and watch while people bicker over how crappy Prometheus was because it didn't explain the meaning of life, or how disappointing Lost was because it left so much stuff unanswered in its 900 hour long series. I even saw hate for Inception (which was directed by God himself, Christopher Nolan) which ended with a spinning top that never fell. Now the Xbox One is announced and everyone is up in arms about that too!
Microsoft is obviously trying to be mysterious with the way they're handling the Xbox One until release. Will it kill used games and certain businesses in the process? Is it always online? Is it always on? How much information are they gathering from their users? Who is it for? Can the Kinect tell if I'm a Democrat? What about Republican? These are just a few of the many questions that have been left in the air for us to interpret how we want. What they are doing is very interesting here. They're allowing us to decide! The internet is so useful that they've decided to go a new route with the messaging of the machine and the features that it will offer. What's the fun in having all the answers up front? It seems like they're taking the public's temperature on all the things they'd like to do with the next Xbox and then deciding under the wire what to have and what not to have. It's going to have a pretty persistent internet I think anyways so they can definitely include a bunch of system updates after it releases, offering their loyal customers even more input on what it should do.
They're doing the right thing by not having any answers for anyone. Do you remember how mad people got when George Lucas shat on the whole world by explaining that the force is made of midichlorians? How effective was the ending of Se7en when they didn't show what was in the box? Really effective. No one likes the end of The Return of the King because it answers too many questions! Think about it.
I think Microsoft should keep us in the dark as long as they can. I hope they don't even announce the games they said they were going to at E3. Life isn't about answers. It's about the journey.
Okay, so they announced the Xbox One earlier this week and it looks like exactly what I need to stay stimulated. I have a really hard time paying attention to anything I do because I am immediately onto the next thing. If I'm watching a movie I have to be doing one or two other things at the same time or I'll drive myself crazy. Movies these days are always so slow that I get bored easily. I usually never sit through a whole movie at the theaters anymore, I have to get up and pace down the aisles in order to stay awake and feel stimulated. It sucks.
I never understood why people get mad at me when I'm browsing the internet or talking on my phone during films, it's not like I'm louder than what's going on on screen. I'm probably not even half as loud if I really think about it. Those people are going to be a thing of the past. Step over because that mindset is ancient.
Now with the Xbox One I can always be stimulated and fulfilled! It'll be like a media mecca where I can burn my eyes out with all the different forms of entertainment going at the same time. I'll play games and Skype while I'm browsing the internet. I thought I'd need another arm to do that but fortunately everything is voice or motion controlled. It's going to be so nice to have all that data at the tip of my tongue.
Holy crap, my neighbors are being so loud, I think they're eating outside with their family or something. I'll be right back, I'm going to close the windows.
Now it doesn't matter if I lose interest because I don't even need to have interest in the first place. I'll turn movies on with no intention of watching them, catch up on my TV shows while I listen to music, and play COD while I talk to my parents on Skype. My only question is if I can buy a game while I'm playing another one? That would be awesome because then if I don't like one I can just skip it and move on to the next.
When I turn my Xbox One on, or my Playstation 4, the first thing I want to do is help large businesses with finding what is popular; however, I would rather not have to do it manually or consciously. That has always been a pet peeve of mine and I'm sure all of you.
Bar code tattoos could offer really great functionality with the new generation of consoles. Heck, it could be useful for social media, news outlets, online shopping, and national security. If everyone was coded in some way than we could easily be recognized by our new devices without having to say our names or click yes on a log in screen. We'd simply display our forearms and boom, instant access! Our purchases could be applied to our codes so no one could ever forget that we bought their product or played their game. We'd no longer need to download apps to show our support, we'd be able to show it by wearing a short sleeved shirt or perhaps cutting the sleeve off a long sleeved shirt which I'm doing anyways.
Look, I love advertisements but there are definitely some that just aren't for me. It's frustrating. If all advertisements I ever saw could be based on purchases I've already made or things that my Xbox noticed I liked than I'd be a much happier person and would definitely buy more products.
Trends could be set for corporations by digitally counting what coded people are doing the most. Then Microsoft or Sony could create new products and games that catered to those activities. They could advertise products that should be popular to people that are more likely to purchase that content. Trends should be documented and followed and finding ways to know exactly what people like is extremely useful for businesses.
I know there are going to be minor features that will allow them to track what we're doing as customers but the data isn't complete enough to be future proof. If we could get bar code tattoos integrated with a hardware update down the road I can't imagine how helpful that would be to them. They could be implemented on our avatars and in game characters to make it fun. One day we could even drop our proper names and go by our individual SKUs (a man can dream). Imagine never getting confused about all the Daves you knew again.
I'm not expecting Microsoft or Sony to have this kind of technology within the first year of the next gen but it is definitely something they should look into.
Microsoft and Sony are walking a fine line with the level of connectivity in their new machines. They're introducing amazing technology that will be present in every gamers household for the next 5-10 years and are promising new and better gaming experiences than we've ever had before. All this sounds great until you start thinking back to your high school English class and the omnipresent government run by Big Brother in the book 1984. Then a scummy haze starts to blanket all the fantastic features and the beady red eyes watching our every move become visible. How's that for hyperbole? These devices are coming extremely close to the propagandizing found in that book by promoting mindless purchasing based on crowd mentality and constant surveillance with cameras and recorded purchasing patterns. All this being possible through the user simply pressing a button (or uttering two words).
I don't see a lot of talk about the privacy issues of all the sharing and trending features that have been added to both the PS4 and the Xbox One. During the Playstation 4 reveal I remember being a little skeptical and worried about the sharing functions:
Real name usernames
Guessing which games you may want to download based on purchase history and other unknown factors
A Google search says that many of these functions will be able to be disabled but, disabled features don't necessarily stop the information being present on the device. After the hack on the Playstation Network I think it's justifiable to be skeptical of how secure this information is and who it is being shared with. Even today many companies (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Google, Apple, Facebook, etc...) keep track of users browsing history and sell users purchasing habits to other companies in completely legal ways. I find that to be incredibly shady but apparently it's great for business and that stands above personal privacy. Sony and Microsoft may already be using these practices today but it seems like these devices are designed around making this info more useful and accessible to businesses.
While the Playstation 4 reveal had a huge focus on social functionality it was the Xbox One that really left a bad taste in my mouth. Most of this due to the vagueness of all the answers offered about online connectivity and purchasing rights.
The Kinect will be in a suspended state at all times and is capable of reading my mood and heart rate. Sure, that is incredibly useful for sports and exercise games but I can think of a few sinister ways an always connected camera could be used right off the top of my head.
Players will no longer be able to lend games to friends without a fee. This to me is imposing on a customers purchasing rights but I don't think it's fair to criticize it just yet as the Microsoft reps didn't seem to come to any kind of consensus on this. Who knows what is actually going to be happening on the console. I'm sure their using the response of the internet to determine how much they can get away with.
A system that must connect to the internet once every 24 hours or else some functionality will be disabled. To me there is no reason to do this besides updating advertisements. This has been talked to death for the past few months but the lack of closure or reasoning during the reveal and the following press releases was not comforting. A required connection for this machine to work seems like a step back in accessibility and an easy way to constantly keep track of what their user base is doing. Again, great for business but iffy on consumer rights. Microsoft is taking whatever sized chunk of bandwidth that I pay for and reserving it for a system that I may or may not be using.
Trending. Not a new one considering Twitter has trended that word already but still an important issue. This information is gathered and shared with the entire user base. What I gathered from the reveal is they want everything I do and buy on their console to be recorded somewhere as a statistic. These numbers will be shared with the world (anonymously to be fair) and included within the dashboard of every system.
The future is extremely exciting and stuff like this could change gaming for the better. I know that these companies are thinking much further than we are and in ways that we couldn't imagine. But I see a lack of intelligent discussion about what some of these functions open the door to. I don't see Microsoft or Sony addressing it at all. I don't think there is some conspiracy that Microsoft and Sony are here to brainwash the world but I do think it's important to look at how necessary or dangerous some of the "trends" they are creating or improving on can be.
Dealing with cable providers over any kind of service problem is not a 'quick and easy' or 'wham bam thank you mam' kind of exchange. It occurs over several months and involves a lot of account names, case numbers, and reiteration. The cable box is a fragile piece of equipment that breaks down consistently and requires a lot of rebooting in order for it to work properly. Cable boxes are meant to be swapped and traded in multiple times between the hours of 8-5. Services are expensive and only available in bulk because the chip in the cable box or satellite cannot segment the channels properly. It is impossible to offer fewer than 10000 channels unless you just want the basics. There isn't much documentation on these problems as it's all decided by how much money the cable provider makes and the snake can only eat itself so many times.
Firstly, a cable provider is a company and not a person so the human mind cannot actually comprehend what they are doing or why. The closest guess so far is money. This makes the job of the customer service representative extremely difficult often forcing them to resort to actual human interaction complete with apologies and agreed upon confusion to come to any kind of conclusion when dealing with customers. The cable provider doesn't like this because human interaction is apparently too expensive. The class difference between the corporate owners and the help is so large that any kind of honest communication is impossible. Formal communication is best left to memos written by assistants and mass emailed focus tested videos as those garner the most bland response. The working few chatting away on their keyboards are left to their own devices to solve the problems that occur for the common cable buying customer.
Secondly, having cable costs a lot more once you have cable. That wasn't very clear, I'll try again. Cable/satellite costs more once you have bought it and will consistently cost more until you stop having cable/satellite. Kind of like a joke. It is better to switch between cable companies because if you are a loyal customer among any cable provider you will be charged more money annually. It is financially stupid to stay with only one cable provider unless it is somehow compensated by your landlord or occupation. Switching cable in most situations requires switching internet as well unless you're some kind of cowboy.
Not everything about TV is bad. Companies like Time Warper, Com-case, Auntie Auntie, Dish Work, and Directorschair TV. You can get your combo super double packs and upgrade to HD. It's nice having a clock under the television. Websites have email integration. There are a lot of good shows available on Netflix and different networks. Hopefully one day communication will be possible between cable companies and their consumers. I know I'd love to stick with cable if they would keep their boxes working and reliable or even just work out a logical payment plan. Sadly, as I said before it is impossible for that to happen because there is just too much money to make from poorly designed products that have controlled the market for so many years. It doesn't make sense for them to change.
A cable provider is a rare beast. The last of their kind. If something changes around them than they will stay the same as they aren't effected by the ways of the world. This laziness is worked into the fiber of their business. One cannot count on the cable providers to pull their weight because that requires change on their part. Maybe they've fooled me all this time and there actually was some sort of plan to improve user experience among all demographics even the poor areas. Maybe Time Warper was lying when they said that their customer base didn't want Google Fiber internet, and they are actually thinking about staying with the times.
Even if some game console nails its integration of television in its system it doesn't change the fact that it's going through a cable box and that cable itself isn't changing. It is still going to be the same subpar service it is now. It's just sharing an input with a new box.