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View Full Version : Microsoft - "the Great Besmirching"



Spartacus
03-31-08, 06:48 PM
http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/microsofts-great-besmirching

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20080331144223128

Nervous Drake
03-31-08, 10:50 PM
Microsoft just needs to die. All they seem to do is get in everybody's way. Everybody that is trying to innovate.

I personally hate Microsoft for ruining the video game market. Everything was great when you had Sony and Nintendo duking it out. Now you've got this bloated corporate giant trying to enter the market, so they create a piece of shit system that dies after 2 years and start monopolizing the best video game companies to only create games for them. Awesome.

Meanwhile, you've got the Sony Playstation which is actually worthwhile and yet they are weakened by Microsoft's policies. Hey Microsoft, maybe people would buy your product if you actually competed openly and created a good product for all? Isn't that what this is all about?

Jim Nickerson
04-01-08, 12:52 AM
Microsoft just needs to die. All they seem to do is get in everybody's way. Everybody that is trying to innovate.

I personally hate Microsoft for ruining the video game market. Everything was great when you had Sony and Nintendo duking it out. Now you've got this bloated corporate giant trying to enter the market, so they create a piece of shit system that dies after 2 years and start monopolizing the best video game companies to only create games for them. Awesome.

Meanwhile, you've got the Sony Playstation which is actually worthwhile and yet they are weakened by Microsoft's policies. Hey Microsoft, maybe people would buy your product if you actually competed openly and created a good product for all? Isn't that what this is all about?

I've never known what is the redeeming value of video games (that is part of what goes into making "old farts.") Other than pure entertainment, is there some real value that accrues to those who play video games?

Nervous Drake
04-01-08, 12:58 AM
Video games get their value these days with the multiplayer aspect. You go online with your favorite video game and you compete against other people by yourself or with your friends.

When I was 13 I was playing Starcraft with Koreans who didn't speak English because I got so good. Do you know how cool that is?

My brother is joining a tournament that he has a good chance at winning where he'll be sent to Paris to compete and win 100 grand.

It is entertainment in its best form, in my opinion. I realize this makes me sound like a huge dork but I spend maybe 5 hours a week max on video games these days.

lomaxzoltor
04-01-08, 02:14 AM
I've never known what is the redeeming value of video games (that is part of what goes into making "old farts.") Other than pure entertainment, is there some real value that accrues to those who play video games?

Besides being a fun way to take a break from watching Rome being looted and burned around us, there's plenty of evidence out there that shows video games make you smarter, faster and slower to become an "old fart".

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060209/1643245_F.shtml

Not a big M$ fan myself, but I must admit that I love Halo!

ax
04-01-08, 12:39 PM
While not half as old or farty as Jim, have to agree with him. It's sad for me that my peers choose to join multiplayer games or "rock out" to guitar hero instead of spending time with their wives and kids or doing something to better themselves. There is some evidence that playing games improves your hand-eye coordination, but instead of translating that into athletic prowess, it's usually translated into improvement at video games...

Nervous Drake
04-01-08, 08:44 PM
While not half as old or farty as Jim, have to agree with him. It's sad for me that my peers choose to join multiplayer games or "rock out" to guitar hero instead of spending time with their wives and kids or doing something to better themselves. There is some evidence that playing games improves your hand-eye coordination, but instead of translating that into athletic prowess, it's usually translated into improvement at video games...

It just depends on the person I guess. Is there really such a big difference between painting a picture or playing a video game competitively?

I'd make a bet with you that the industry will keep growing stronger. Would you rather watch a movie or play one?

Contemptuous
04-01-08, 09:01 PM
Is there really such a big difference between painting a picture or playing a video game competitively?

Yes. A vast difference. One activity fires all the creative synapses (you have to create something - assuming the activity creates something of high value, and you gain a deepening understanding of what that process entails, developing whole new layers of self-consciousness), and the other activity dulls the synapses down to their mere motor-reflex and 'excitement' components. I worked for a company developing video game software engines for years, and I've come through that familiarity to firmly believe this is one of the largest contributors to the 'creative dulling of America' today.

It dulls the creative/critical faculties in stealthy ways - that leave the general population considerably impoverished, eventually devoid of the cultural richness that existed prior to the era of passive entertainment. The fact that this disparity can no longer even be readily percieved is a benchmark of how far we have already come, and we are only mid-way along in the process of dulling down.

Jim Nickerson
04-01-08, 09:47 PM
It just depends on the person I guess. Is there really such a big difference between painting a picture or playing a video game competitively?

I'd make a bet with you that the industry will keep growing stronger. Would you rather watch a movie or play one?


It was P.T. Barnum who said, "There is a sucker born every minute." And didn't someone else say, "Never over estimate the intelligence of the American Public," or did I screw the last one up.

When you finish the picture you have something you created in hand.

Nervous Drake
04-01-08, 10:25 PM
Itulip, baby? Tell me it isn't so? Am I just too unenlightened for this community?

Spartacus
04-02-08, 03:54 AM
as a former artist, for the 99.9% of artists who never sell any art, the benefit is in the process, not the artefact - in the doing, not the having.

unless you're into this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

Then it's the artefact, I suppose


It was P.T. Barnum who said, "There is a sucker born every minute." And didn't someone else say, "Never over estimate the intelligence of the American Public," or did I screw the last one up.

When you finish the picture you have something you created in hand.

ax
04-02-08, 09:19 AM
It just depends on the person I guess. Is there really such a big difference between painting a picture or playing a video game competitively?

I'd make a bet with you that the industry will keep growing stronger. Would you rather watch a movie or play one?

Oh, it's a winning bet Drake, I have no misconceptions about what people prefer to do with their spare time. As a physician assistant I will have no shortage of work treating this obese nation who rather play video games than real ones....

zoog
04-02-08, 01:04 PM
Yes. A vast difference. One activity fires all the creative synapses (you have to create something - assuming the activity creates something of high value, and you gain a deepening understanding of what that process entails, developing whole new layers of self-consciousness), and the other activity dulls the synapses down to their mere motor-reflex and 'excitement' components. I worked for a company developing video game software engines for years, and I've come through that familiarity to firmly believe this is one of the largest contributors to the 'creative dulling of America' today.

It dulls the creative/critical faculties in stealthy ways - that leave the general population considerably impoverished, eventually devoid of the cultural richness that existed prior to the era of passive entertainment. The fact that this disparity can no longer even be readily percieved is a benchmark of how far we have already come, and we are only mid-way along in the process of dulling down.

Video games are an easy scapegoat to blame for a wide array of societal issues that in reality have multiple root causes. I see gaming addiction as more of a symptom and an enabler than an initial source of problems.

For example, if parents spent more time with their children early on reading books to them and teaching them how to read, then later the children are more inclined to read books on their own, which requires some creative thought because you have to imagine people, places, and events in your mind from the words instead of just passively looking at the images that someone else created in a tv show, movie, comic, video game, etc. If someone is exposed to this at a young age, they develop a "taste" for involving themselves in this type of imaginative thought, and are therefore likely to continue to seek out experiences in their life that foster creative thought, and ultimately, creative results.

But it seems that many children are just plopped down in front of the TV to babysit them, and quickly become accustomed to passive entertainment. No surprise then that they should gravitate towards games which offer thrills without a great deal of creative cognitive effort.

There are of course some "puzzle" type games which require more than mindless pounding on keys. I don't think it is fair to paint all video games with a broad brush as being bad. Television is pretty spectacularly awful in general too, but, one could watch PBS and actually learn something.

Even the fast-paced first-person games can build some valuable skills in terms of quickly identifying problems and developing methods to solve the problem. Some may feel it is too much of an abstract leap to apply these gaming skills to a real-world business scenario.

I work with a lot of creative people, and some of us play video games at lunch. It is a good stress-release if nothing else, and there is a social element to multiplayer gaming, particularly if you know the other players in the "real world". I don't see any indication that it has diminished anyone's creative abilities. But it is important to note that we are not playing games for hours and hours nights and weekends; we all read books, magazines, on the web, etc.; and most of us engage in other hobby activities that involve creative thought and produce something physical such as art. If all you do is play games, you are going to be a vegetable.

Nervous Drake
04-02-08, 09:11 PM
I agree with Zoog. Just because video games attract the mal-adjusted (just like painting little wooden soldiers in your basement attracts them), doesn't mean that everyone that plays them is mal-adjusted.

Heaven FORBID we actually enjoy ourselves doing things that are fun.

I would argue that being creative results from being spiritually centered with your beliefs. Obviously something like reading Itulip means that the common belief is false to you and you are exploring other realities.

Contemptuous
04-02-08, 10:45 PM
I would argue that being creative results from being spiritually centered with your beliefs.

I would suggest that being really "creative" means learning skills that require many months and even years to master. Some creative skills require a lifetime to master. Those are the really creative pursuits, and when the craft or inner secrets of the thing require years of study to coax out of it, they make you grow a lot more than stuff like 3D game playing (which someone else made for you to 'consume').

America is a smorgasbord, superficial mishmash of cultural borrowings, with a large side order of fantasy built into the menu. Always has been - and in Jazz for instance, the fantasy reaches some of the highest peaks of any of the arts in modern history in my view. So yes, fantasy is a very powerful thing to harness. But that's just it - if you 'consume' fantasy, rather than harnessing it and painfully figuring out how to unlock it's secrets (reveal 'new secrets' from within it) the mere consumption of fantasy is more in the nature of a narcotic than a creative activity.

Meantime, we borrow an indecipherable notion of 'spirituality' from other cultures and imagine it's the real thing, but in the form of video game playing, which is bordering on an autistic activity, the narcotic element is powerful, and the painstaking search for the discovery of how far a human can perfect a craft is entirely absent. The 'perfection of craft' in game playing is 'getting a really humongously high score'.

The intriguing thing is, that the people that developed the original versions of 'spiritual centering' e.g. yogis who learn to open chakras by highly disciplined meditation exercises, or Chinese, Korean or Japanese masters of the more esoteric martial arts studies, do somewhat the same thing that those creative people do - they spend maybe a decade learning just the basics, the bare 'ABC's of spiritual centering. Their teachers in those arts regard any student who thinks he has 'learned it' in one or two years to be utterly lacking in seriousness.

So among non-religious or more materialistic people (many more of us here in the West), one substitute for that spiritual centering activity at the most serious level is the learning of a craft, or avocation, to the extreme best of one's ability, driving it to the border of perfection. Those are the Western equivalent 'spiritually centering' activites. But being a pinball wizard or it's 3D Gamer equivalent, you lose a lot of the richness of such a-vocations because you are not 'making something out of nothing'. To call video game playing a spiritually centering activity would be regarded 'somewhat dubiously' by an advanced student of Kundalini Yoga in India.

Sorry, I really don't mean to sound exclusionary about it, and just so I'm not misunderstood, playing video games is absolutely fine - heaven help us from all those people who want to save the world every week, as most of us are simply not up to their high standards. All I'm saying is that video game playing should absolutely not be classified with the 'creative pursuits'. It may be vestigially, but in extent, or depth of potential for growing a human's life-experience, video gamers are not in that same running.

Nervous Drake
04-15-08, 03:10 AM
I just want to say that I really appreciate your last post Lukester. It's hard to really read and understand someone who is in direct disagreement with you, and your points are very thoughtful and changed my views a bit.

I feel that video games are a piece of that materialistic drive when approached from the multiplayer competitive aspect where the driver is "to be better than everyone at this game."

Contemptuous
04-15-08, 12:05 PM
Nervousdrake -

Thanks for your cordial words. Much appreciated!

I've got to clamber in to work pronto at this time (fortunately I live four blocks from where I work) - but will try to post further in this dicussion as we get towards next weekend. BTW, your moniker is cool. I have this image of an edgy Elizabethan ship's captain, with two blunderbuss pistols in his black sash, standing on the bridge, looking "pale and nervous". He's got "approach with caution" written all over him. :D