Wild Musing

Writing – Diary of a Budding Freelance

100% Anti Censorship- Can It Be Justified.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. Benjamin Franklin

I have always had a problem with censorship, ever since I read 1984 when I was a kid, I have squirmed about government interference in our lives. An argument for total non government interference would be arguing for anarchy, something I am also not comfortable with so I cannot say my stance on that issue is absolute but I have come to the conclusion that I am 100% against censorship.

You would think that would be a fairly easy decision to make and stick by but actually I have discovered that it is far more complicated than I at first gave it credit for. For example a big test of my resolve came with the recent news of a game from Japan that involved the raping of a woman and her two daughters. Yuck. I had to have a good think about that. Do I think people have the right to play this game? Through firmly gritted teeth, I have to say ‘yes I do’. Now before people start telling me what this means about my character let’s look at my reasons for this.

Do I support rape? Well clearly not. Neither do I support the killing of prostitutes to steal back your cash after you have slept with them. Or punching innocent people in the face or running them down in a car just for the fun of it. I am actually not even terribly keen on cheating at poker.

The two things we need to take into account when making our decision on this issue are: when you are playing a game you are not actually doing those things, it is not real. I have shouted this long and hard and as big a test of my belief as this nasty little game is, I cannot back down from that now. It is not real, it is playing, no one gets hurt.

The other thing is that I don’t have the right to inflict my moral judgements on others, who am I to say the line has been crossed? If we are not 100% anti censorship then whose hands do we put the decision making process in. I am afraid I just do not think that there is a safe enough pair of hands available. I may well be able to find someone who agrees with my morals entirely but who says my morals are exactly correct and where does it leave the rest of you?

I am sure this game will not be the only thing to test my resolve on this issue, some people have a funny idea (in my opinion) of what constitutes fun, but whatever comes along I am going to fight for the freedom for grown adults to play it if they wish to. Then (if it is bad enough) I will hope like hell that the majority of right minded people don’t want to play it and it fails miserably in the financial stakes.

That is the best I can do, I am afraid that in a straight out fight – liberty wins over security every time for me.

March 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

The Console Wars: From A Totally Non Fanboy Point Of View

I must admit until recently I did not realize the true extent of this ‘war’. I knew that my cousin seemed to be rather disparaging about my new PS3 and my PS2 before that come to think of it but it as I already owned a 360 and a Wii I did not really think much of it. Then I started to visit sites such as N4G and quickly, much to my horror, became aware of the fact that ‘war’ really is a good analogy for this phenomenon.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing like a bit of good hearted rivalry to spice a subject up but a lot of these guys are far from good hearted about it. The discussion gets downright nasty and personal.

Anyway, I decided to look, from a completely neutral perspective, at each of the big three consoles (we will leave handhelds out of it because Microsoft can’t play) and see if any of the fanboys are actually justified in their stance (if not their general demeanor).

The problem is that you can see this competition a lot of different ways. Is it all about sales? About the power of the machine? About the exclusive games available? Value for money?

You would have thought that sales would be a reasonably easy statistic to research effectively but you would be wrong. There are different figures for each country, then you need to decide wether you mean life time sales or are you only interested in recent figures? Lifetime sales in the USA indicate that Playstation is winning that war but not with its latest edition the PS3 but with the PS2. That is hardly surprising as it has been around way longer than all the rest.

How about if you are only interested in recent figures? Well, how recent are you talking? For 2008 Nintendo kicked butt in the US. But the Xbox 360 has sold extremely well over a longer period of time. To confuse things even further latest figures for this year show that in the huge Japanese market PS3 is, it must be said for the first time, starting to kick some tail. It has been top of the hardware sales list a few weeks in a row now. Very confusing but I am sure some fanboys can put me right on all this with their unique spin on things.

Let’s move on to the power of the system, though after some quick research I can see tears (and flaming) ahead. Which is the most powerful console? The first thing we can do is eliminate the Nintendo, it is not, nor was it ever meant to be, the most powerful. After that it becomes very confusing with fans of both consoles claiming the crown. I looked to Gamespot to try to throw some light on the question without bombarding me with fanboy spin. It be fair they seem to think that the Xbox 360 may slightly shade the PS3 on graphics. But even they put in the proviso that game developers don’t seem to be using the PS3 to its full potential.

Games on the PS3 do tend to be blurrier than their Xbox 360 counterparts, but the PlayStation 3 games can look just as good as the Xbox 360 games when developers put some effort into it

Again if I have totally misrepresented any console here I am sure the Fanboys can put me straight.

How about exclusive titles? Again not as simple a question to answer as you may think. Are we talking simply numbers? It would seem important to take into account the quality of the titles too wouldn’t it? And then you are deep into subjective territory. Not a good place to be when there is a war going on. But still we have to try so donning my helmet and flack jacket I try to talk mainly about titles that are stirring up a lot of anticipation.

It would seem a statement of simple fact to say that the Xbox 360 has the most exclusive titles in terms of lifetime. Of course, it has been around a bit longer. The thing is PS3 is undoubtedly hitting a purple patch in this area in 2009. Not counting the ones that have already hit the shelves such as Killzone 2 and Halo Wars, things seem quieter from this point forward for Xbox 360 owners than their Playstation 3 counterparts . They have vague promises about titles such as Alan Wake and some other lesser lights. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list just a general feel.

PS3 owners are drooling over Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2, Infamous, Bioshock 2 and even a slight hope that Gods of War 3 will make the shelves this year. Nintendo has by far the most exclusive titles coming out in 2009, simple as that, though possibly not the most hotly anticipated.

So after my little research, where do I now stand on the question, which is the best console? I will tell you, I stand very firmly, as always, in the camp signposted ‘So glad I own all three consoles’. Probably fairly predictable really, why on earth would you not want to have it all, there is just so much fun available on each of them.

March 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 16 Comments