Saturday, January 21, 2012

In the wake of SOPA's failure, the Federal attack on MegaUpload stokes new fears.

Also, how the US government can take down a Hong Kong Website.
A martial artist and contortionist takes on the impossible poses of comic book heroines: if a martial artist who is also a contortionist can’t mimic a pose you use constantly for female fighters, there might be a problem in, you know, your choices on basic anatomy. I can’t be the only one who thinks this.

She's not.  I've always found it hilarious that the physiological depictions of Psyloche are the least believable thing about her.  I could buy into the notion of a formerly blind, British telepath mystically forced into body of an Asian assassin.  That type of crazy falls under the general "comics everybody!" rubric.  But unless a super stretchy spine is a mutant power, it's hard to forgive the excessive use of poses like this:

Chis Hardwick talks about how he got his shit together.  Hardwick's ascent from D-list obscurity back to television is inspiring and his identification of the problems that held him back hit close to home.  His discussion of geek culture and addiction are spot on:

Because of our mutant powers of obsession, it’s my guess that a lot of nerds suffer from addiction. Nerds get caught up in minutiae, because there is a tremendous and fulfilling sense of control in understanding every single detail of a thing more than any other living creature. But we also tend to have a very active internal monologue (in some cases, dialog). These are some delightful ingredients—mixed with a bit of genetic predisposition—for overdoing things that make us feel good in the moment.

I think that hits a large part of the problem.  But it goes further than that, especially when it comes to alcohol.

Drinking culture and gaming tie in especially well because of the large amounts of monotony. Endless fetch quests and level grinding are prevelant and gamers stick their brain with a lot of idle time.  So you are given two options, find something more stimulating or take your brain down a notch or two.  Gamers frequently chose the latter.   A shame given the immense entertainment options at our disposal.

There is a cultural aspect as well.  Geek culture looks for ways to be cool.  Drinking is a cheap way to buy into a form of cool that spans genres.    I can't tell you how many times I've seen gamers loudly proclaiming in guild chat or on X-Box live that they were drunk and proud of it.  More often than not, these comments are met with approval.  When a thirty something guildie announces they plan on getting drunk while raiding, nobody complains or wonders if there is an underlying problem.  I should know, I've done it more than a few times when it would have been good to have somebody tell me to stop.  While I've figured out that I was engaged in unhealthy dumbassery, I'm still holding out hope that we can convince others to keep gaming from becoming a virtual frathouse.