Tag Archives: video game rack fighter

Are Video Games Too Violent?

By: Video Game Rack Fighter, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Video Game Correspondent

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Hey 3.5 readers, VGRF here.

Are video games too violent?  Are they messing with the brains of our youth and turning them into sick, twisted killing machines?

Here’s the video montage that was shown during a meeting President Trump held about violence in video games, provided by IGN:

So, to return to the question of are these games too violent?  The short version is, yes, probably.  But a longer answer is more complex.

Generation X, that often forgotten generation that came between 1965 and 1981, grew up on video games, first with the Atari in the 1970s and Nintendo in the 1980s.  Games then were relatively cute and comprised of little more than crude pixelized little characters.

It really wasn’t until the 1990s that games starting getting a little too real and a little too graphic.  And there’s the rub.  The baby boomers never got into adult gaming.  They bought video games for their kids but they saw games as kid stuff.

Gen X, on the other hand, carried on their love of games well into adulthood.  It isn’t unheard of for adults in their 30s, 40s, even 50s to kick back with a video game.

And thus the problem that arises is that adults will want video games with more sex and violence, and yet, there’s still a large segment of the adult population who don’t play video games and still see them as only kids toys.  Thus, if the kid asks for, say, Grand Theft Auto, the adult doesn’t know any better, assuming its a kids toy, and says sure here you go.

At least I assume that happens.  Worse, some adults might be negligent.  They say the mature rating on the package and say screw it and get it for the kid anyway.

Plus, kids will always find ways to cut the adults out of the picture and get a violent video game from a friend or something.

I love video games, the gorier the better but I admit, even watching some of these above scenes are rough.  Frankly, even the worst R rated movies don’t get that detailed with the violence, so perhaps the industry might consider scaling back.

On the other hand, I don’t support government involvement because we do have freedom of speech and these games are a form of speech.

Are they responsible for turning kids into violent little monsters?  It’s hard to say.  On the one hand, there are more incidents of kids turning to violence these days.  On the other hand, if video games really were that powerful, then like, everyone who played one would become whacked in the brain and the world would be filled with millions of violent video game crazed killing monsters.

I just think if we start censoring video games it leads to a slippery slope.  Allow the video game industry to crank out what it pleases, but also:

  • Most stores require a license to be shown to buy a mature rated game.  That should always be followed.
  • I don’t know if this exists, but if it doesn’t, here’s an idea.  Video game consoles can come with a code parents can put in that can be used to lock out the user from playing a violent video game.  Ergo, if little Timmy borrows a naughty game from little Billy at school, boom, blocked.
  • Government shouldn’t get involved where societal pressures can work.  Decades ago, it was pretty normal to walk into any business, restaurant, house, what have you and just get hit with a waff of smoke.  Over the years, smoking got relegated to being considered a terrible habit and if you are a smoker, you’ve got to hide on a corner and smoke in the rain.  I’m not saying to ostracize adults who play violent video games, but just make it socially unacceptable for parents to let their gets play violent video games.  If you let your kid play violent video games, then you aren’t cool, you’re a jerkface.

Admittedly, there will always be problems.  Games from the 1980s involved shooting, but it was like, a little pixelized pellet.  Today, games allow the user to peer through a scope, aim at a head and pop it open.  The more advanced the graphics get, the more problems, but ultimately, parents have to exercise some caution and if there are things the industry can do to help parents keep their kids from rotting their brains then they should help.

Bottomline.  I like violent video games, but I’m an adult.  These games are meant for adults, and not kids with mush brains who haven’t figured out right from wrong and fiction from fantasy yet.

EDIT: You know, I watched the above video after I posted this and I thought I liked violent video games but I might take that back.  To me, a violent video game is, say, “Grand Theft Auto,” – violent, but almost cartoonish and silly, a parody of our base instincts.  When I see games above where you get to pretend to be a serial killer and chase down victims and axe them and put them on hooks I mean, yeah, you might want to ask yourself what’s going on inside you that you feel that kind of simulation is a fun way to spend your free time.  The “are games too violent” debate has been around since video games existed, every new generation of adults posing the question and I hate to say it but yeah, maybe there are some games that are crossing lines.  Still, I can’t abide by government intervention so it’s up to society to decide.

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Video Game Rack Fighter’s Mass Effect: Andromeda Journal – First Thoughts

By: Video Game Rack Fighter, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Video Game Correspondent

 

Hey 3.5 nerds.

Video Game Rack Fighter here, taking a break from Car Thief Mayhem to talk about Mass Effect: Andromeda.

This go around, a contingent of space travelers have left the Milky Way in search of greener pastures (and planets) in the Andromeda Galaxy.

I’m only an hour or two into the gameplay.  My initial thoughts:

  • I’m not as big a fan of the character face/body customization options this time.  In the last game, I had my own version of Shepard that I used in all three games.  This time, I couldn’t really make one that I liked so I just went with the default.  I admit it could be that I’m too impatient to work with the options until I find one I like.
  • I do like that you get a twin.  I don’t know for sure but I assume this is for those folks who wondered what they were missing out on when they played Mass Effect as male or female Shepard.  (Were you missing out on FemShep if you were ManShep and vice-versa?)  You can make the twins the same sex, but why not dip your toes in both waters?
  • I’m mildly concerned that there hasn’t been much of a chance to shop or visit space stations or make friends or hump anyone.  These were the most fun parts of the original and they must be reproduced here.

What say you, 3.5 readers?  Are you playing?  What do you think?  I’ll keep posting my thoughts as I move forward.

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Video Game Rack Fighter – Mass Effect Andromeda

By: Video Game Rack Fighter, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Video Game Correspondent

Hey 3.5 readers.  VGRF here.

I just wanted to share the trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda.  That’s right, the video game that redefined the whole RPG genre and turned it up on its butt is back in a big way.  Choose your own style, your gender, your team, your gear, your love interests, whether you are good or evil.  There are most likely plenty of blue lesbian space babes.  I know Bookshelf Q. Battler spent most of his 20s staring at the blue lesbian space babes, but he can’t do that anymore because he has a book to write.  Multiple books actually.  He really needs to get to work.

Did you play the original trilogy, 3.5?  I was very impressed with it.  It was groundbreaking for its time, the amount of choices you were allowed to make and how the tiniest deviation could create a whole different game experience.  Even more, the decisions you made in game one carried into two and three.

Impressive stuff.  I’m looking forward to it.  While BQB will be slaving away to entertain his 3.5 readers, I will be exploring the universe and boldly going where no woman has gone before, namely, a nerd’s bedroom.  Zing!

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Movie Review – Warcraft (2016)

By: Special Guest Video Game Movie Reviewer Video Game Rack Fighter.

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Ms. Fighter – Currently in Training to Defend Her Title in the Upcoming 2016 Car Thief Mayhem World Championship Competition

It’s here! It’s finally here!

The long awaited film based on an online multi-player game is here.

Did it suffer the “video game movies suck curse?”

Read on to find out but beware SPOILERS.

VGRF here with a review of Warcraft.

Movieclips Trailers – Warcraft

Warcraft.  The online game in which humans can choose to be a variety of fantasy characters and fight for virtual power and gold has been around forever, or at least 1996.

That’s right millennials. Some of us were nerding it up before you were born and even before it became chic to declare yourself a nerd.

And now there’s a movie.  It broke the box office in China, bringing in over $145 million this weekend just in that country.  The Chinese love their Warcraft.

Kind of makes me wish I could go back in time and start my own video game company that allows people to pretend to be wizards, warriors, elves, orcs or what have you.

Speaking of orcs, let’s talk about the movie.

Orcs. Long considered the perpetually raging, possibly misunderstood buttholes of the fantasy realm, they’ve destroyed their world and rather than seek to mend their evil orcish ways, they cross through a porthole into the human realm of Azeroth and start conquering and pillaging and generally orcing shit up in true orc fashion.

Hmm. Maybe the Azerothians need to build a wall and make the Orcs pay for it?

Huh? Huh? Crickets. Hmm. Blame BQB. That joke was his idea.

Moving on. Naturally, the humans aren’t going to stand for all this orcish tomfoolery.  From thereon, it’s difficult to figure out who’s who and what’s what because all the human dudes are basically a bunch of long haired hipster beardos who all look alike.

But, if you make an effort to get past that, you’ll see Dominic Cooper as the King Wrynn, Travis Fimmel as Commander Lothar, and Ben Foster as Medivh the Guardian.

I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice to say hi jinx ensue when one orc clan leader has second thoughts about all the evil orcishness and seeks to ally himself with the humans.

Paula Patton plays Garona, the half-human/half-orc and the only one who could possibly bring peace between humans and orcs.

Yeesh. So I assume her father was an orc and her mother was a human.  Her poor, poor mother. She probably didn’t walk right for a year after that.

Crickets? Another joke suggestion from BQB.  Unless you laughed. Then it was all mine.

Ultimately, I don’t think this movie suffers from the “all video game movies suck” curse.

An actual effort was made to develop characters, a plot, a storyline. I won’t spoil the ending but it is obvious that further sequels are in the works.

If you aren’t a nerd or you dislike the fantasy genre, you probably won’t enjoy it.

It is more in line with the traditional fantasy genre style.  Nerds in robes – wizards, elves, dwarves, everyone geeking it up and expecting a nerd audience who knows what all this nerd shit means.

As I watched it, it dawned on me that George RR Martin was able to get a wide, diverse audience into his Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones) series because he was able to take so many relatable human problems and insert them into a fantasy world.

But for Warcraft, you’re going to have to be a nerd to enjoy it.

Luckily for you, if you are reading this blog, you already are one.

Visually stunning. Worth to see it on the big screen.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Game of the Month With Video Game Rack Fighter – Uncharted 4

 

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Video Game Rack Fighter – Ranking World Car Thief Mayhem Champion; Currently Involved with Bookshelf Q. Battler (She has our condolences.)

Hey 3.5 Readers,

Video Game Rack Fighter here, swiping BQB’s laptop to bring you my very first Game of the Month column.

Alien Jones has a column.  Dr. Hugo Von Science has a column. Even the Yeti has a column but that’s ok, BQB.  Make the best thing that ever happened to you wait an entire year to get her own column. That’s totally fair.

***cough cough JERKFACE! cough cough***

Excuse me. Lots of dust here in BQB HQ.

Uncharted 4!  Let’s check out the trailer:

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Playstation

3.5 readers, I love, love, love this series. It is cinematic gameplay at its best. These games always grab hold of you, drag you in, and leave you feeling like you’re guiding treasure hunter Nathan Drake through his very own movie.

The graphics are that good, rivaling any big Hollywood blockbuster.

There’s a little bit of everything. Gunplay.  Oh stop. If you’re reading this then you’re a video game nerd and you know you can’t have a good game unless you’ve got some gun action.

Hell, I’ve been lobbying Nintendo to let Mario pack a Mac-10 but they won’t return my calls.  Dorks.

There’s death defying stunts. You’ll feel like you’re with Drake as he’s clinging on that ledge, overlooking a drop into vast nothingness below.

And there are puzzles.  The puzzles I’m not that huge a fan of. Some of them are pretty obvious. Others are real head scratchers that take some time. Occasionally, they take too much time and then I have to go online to search for the answers so I can get back to making Drake make things go boom.

If you’re new to the series, it follows Nathan Drake, modern day ancestor of 1500’s explorer Sir Francis Drake, as he goes on globe trotting adventures to uncover treasures and relics.  Obviously, there are always bad guys with unlimited supplies of henchmen getting in the way.

Naughty Dog, the game’s developer, scored a winner when they first began making this series. I’ve played them all and they keep getting better and better, proving that it is possible for games to a) have a lot of action and b) a compelling storyline.

Screw the movies.  Just stay home and play Uncharted 4.  Just don’t get any popcorn grease on your controller. Those things are like seventy bucks a pop.

You know, a friend of mine who only has an X-Box asked me whether or not Uncharted is worth springing for a Playstation (seeing as how it is exclusive to PS.)

My answer? If you’ve got the money and plunking it down isn’t going to leave you sleeping in a cardboard box at night, then yes. Yes it is.

STATUS: Rack worthy. This game totally deserves a spot on my rack.

Hmm.  Yeah, BQB said that was a poorly phrased line and I scoffed at him but now that I hear it out loud…

Oh well. Uncharted 4 is my game of the month for April.  If you’ve played it, share your thoughts in the comments and tell me which game you think should be my Game of the Month for May.

Take it easy, 3.5.

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Character Profile – Video Game Rack Fighter

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REAL NAME: Victoria Gloria Somersby Stratenhaus

CODE NAME: Video Game Rack Fighter

NICKNAME: VGRF

OFFICIAL TITLES: Second in Command of the Bookshelf Battle Blog; Bookshelf Battle’s Video Game Correspondent; World Champion Car Thief Mayhem Player

BIOGRAPHY: Ms.Fighter was born in modest circumstances in West Randomtown, the town next door to East Randomtown, where our noble hero Bookshelf Q. Battler grew up.

She developed an interest in video games at an early age, playing the Atari while still in diapers.  Over the years, she mastered all systems, including, but not limited to: Calicovision, the original NES, Sega, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Nintendo 64, Game Cube, Playstations 1-4, XBox (Original – One).

A she-nerd in a time when nerds were social outcasts, Ms. Fighter preferred the virtual worlds of video gaming to her actual one and often imagined herself as a character in them. She did this so much that she experienced a psychological issue that made her believe the various video game toys she kept on her video game rack were a) alive and b) her friends.  She eventually got a grip on reality but from time to time, likes to pretend that her favorite characters are only a call away if she needs them.

Mr. Battler and Ms. Fighter viewed themselves as oddballs and never thought they’d find anyone who’d understand them until they met each other on a quest to find the meaning of life.

They quickly discovered they have a ridiculous amount of things in common.  Ms. Fighter is the Assistant to the Assistant of the Vice President of Corporate Assistance at Drying Paint Media, the world’s premiere of videos of paint drying on walls.

Similar to the path taken in life by BQB, Ms. Fighter acquired this position after an ex-boyfriend informed to her that her desire for a job in the video game industry would take her nowhere.

She now resides in Bookshelf Battle Headquarters and is generally considered Second-in-Command of the Bookshelf Battle Blog, often called on to take over when BQB is sick or in the midst of battle with one of his many enemies.

Together, BQB and VGRF work their day jobs, then come home to support one another in their true passions, writing for BQB and video gaming for VGRF.

Ms. Fighter is currently developing an indie game for tablets called “Weasel Catapult.”  The object is to fling weasels as far as possible until they finally slap up against a wall to hilarious and comical effect.

Among her many accomplishments, she is the world champion in Car Thief Mayhem, and thus BQB usually just lets her drive.

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