Loli versus Moe
It’s like a trade-off. When I search “loli” on Tumblr’s tag search, I get porn with a few genuinely cute pictures, and some that are completely unrelated.
But when I search “moe,” I get so many Simpsons posts that my dashboard may as well be painted yellow, and I find myself actually saying, “D’oh!” whenever I see a Simpsons picture instead of a moe girl.
I’m okay with this trade-off, but it’d sure be nice to follow a tag and not get porn and Simpsons when I just want a specific style of anime and manga. Maybe I should just enter “Banana no Nana” or “Lucky Star.” But then I get no variety.
I guess sifting through porn and Simpsons isn’t that bad, but if I’m ever gonna get my intended following on this blog, I don’t want porn to be a part of it. Simpsons pictures aren’t bad, but they’re not part of the theme I’m aiming for.
Thoughts on Censorship and Violence
It’s not often that I feel something is too violent, sexual, or otherwise extreme for a human being to condone. Even after this experience, my mindset remains the same. The story I read that led me to this post was one that it seems I’d never read of my own free will. I won’t provide a link, but in the course of the story, a group of young elf girls (this was a fantasy) were bathing in a pond in the forest. Sexual, yes, but no description was given of the nudity, so I thought it was all right. I continued reading. The girls, some depicted as young as (I theorize) twelve, were shot with crossbows and slashed apart with swords. The attackers kept one unharmed long enough to watch her friends tortured to death, and then they killed her by cutting her arms off, breaking her legs, and dumping her into the pond.
… It helps not to visualize any of that.
I think no explanation is necessary as to why I couldn’t finish it, although I did read two more chapters, skimming a bit of the second and most of the third. Now, it would come of no surprise to some of you that I am slightly sadistic when I write, but even though I enjoyed bits of the story and admired the writing style, the content was just too much for me. This is coming from the guy who’s broken literally every bone in the body of one of his characters (Akiria), and while I admit to writing Naomi’s story completely differently than it is presently (sexual and violent, nearly to the point of the topic story) awhile back, I’ve never had to experience the emotional investment in characters treated as I treated Naomi in some cases.
So, now to the topic question: should such violent or sexual content be censored? No, I think not. Not to most people. Children shouldn’t have access to said
content, because, like violent games or movies, the visualization of this level of violence can do a number on their brains. This is coming from someone who’s played and enjoyed Postal 2. I’m 17. I know when something affects my mind, and since it’s still growing (brain development doesn’t stop until somewhere in the mid-twenties), it can still be shaped into something other than it is now. Overexposure to violence increase a child’s chances of becoming a criminal (proven by science). I’m not big on censorship. I believe small amounts of violence in media do no harm and can, in fact, be beneficial in some cases.
Adults, however, shouldn’t be blocked off from violent or sexual content unless it breaches the law. There’s this little thing we have in America; it’s called freedom of speech. We’re free to publish what we want and read what we want, and really, the only thing we can’t publish or read is pornography involving underage kids. Violence against kids is controversial (see Fallout 3, with its immortal children). While it’s no question that kids should never be physically harmed in real life, I’m not against it in media as long as it serves a purpose. The story I read served somewhat of a purpose. Enough that I didn’t consider it “going too far.” I was meant to hate the anti-heroic protagonists, and how better to do it than to have them kill innocent little girls? I write a lot of young, teenage girl characters because I’m more emotionally attached to them, as a teenage guy. As normal or abnormal as that is, it’s part of my psychology that I can’t resist, even if I tried.
In order for something to be denied first amendment protection, it must not have any scientific, political, literary, or artistic value. It also must be porn. There was a third thing, but I forgot it. Anyway, I think that story I couldn’t finish was more valuable to me than many philosophy books or writing guides I’ve read. I learned what my limits are—the limits of what I can stand, and I’ve also learned just how far I can go before I reach the limits of the majority of my readers. What are those limits, you ask? I can’t say, because I plan to tread those limits when I write, and typing them here would probably give spoilers to any followers of my stories.
Violence in media shouldn’t be censored, but it should be regulated. Kids are easily influenced by such things, while adults won’t change. All right. Next post, I’ll talk—type—about something less disturbing.
On the Internet and Gaming
I posted a bit of art and such before, but starting from here I’ll post some of my ramblings and semi-coherent thoughts about psychology, games, college, work, art, Christianity, the Internet, the human mind, etc. and the application of psychology to games, college, work, art, — Yeah, you get the idea.
First of all, so that I don’t slip into it outright copyright infringement, I’ll say this now: I do watch Extra Credits and Zero Punctuation on The Escapist (http://www.escapistmagazine.com). A lot of the stuff I say—type—could potentially sound similar. I won’t copy them, but I might post my thoughts on the same topics as them. With my present mindset, I can safely say I won’t be complaining about the Wii’s hardware (like Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation). Much. I do have a bit of a quibble about the Wii, but it’s not the hardware that bothers me. More on that later.
So, to start things off, I’ll talk—type—about the Internet. Yes, this thing that is crucial for the lives of millions of people around the world. And yet, it’s availability is actually not as universal as we’d like it to be. Until I was seventeen, I was stuck with dial-up, and for half of those seventeen years, I had to ask for my parents’ permission to get on and I could only stay on for twenty minutes. In that twenty minutes, I might have succeeded in loading one page, or, if I was really lucky, its contents. Just recently, my parents decided that they could part with an extra sixty dollars every month and bought a phone that acted as a wireless hotspot. While the connection where I live is terrible and I still have no hope of ever playing any MMO or multiplayer game bigger than Runescape, I can at least be connected for more than twenty minutes at a time. And now I can download things. So, I have a basis for what I’m about to say.
If a game company is going to make a game and advertise it as having a single player campaign, make it available to offline users (violator: Starcraft 2), and please don’t let it suck (Brink). I personally think that every game with single player should be able to stand on its single player, because eventually, servers are going to go down. They’ll have technical problems, the players will all flock to a different game, or the players themselves will scare away anyone stupid enough to dare playing online for the first time. This last bit gets more people than you’d think.
Now, I’m not saying that MMO games like World of Warcraft or Eve Online should get single-player campaigns, even if a player chooses not to embrace the second M in MMO. These were games meant to be played online, and therefore, their primary audience didn’t include anyone with dial-up or less. But in the case of Starcraft 2, this is a strategy game coming from a company that makes good single-player and multiplayer products. I was excited for Starcraft 2, and after seeing its reviews, I wanted it. After seeing that I needed an active Internet connection, I went and bought Oblivion instead. And as long as I’m still in this paragraph, why don’t I elaborate on another bad idea: forcing users to activate a game via Internet connection. Now, I know what people say. “But Matt, this is to prevent piracy!” or “That’s so that you don’t give the game to a friend after installing it.”
This just isn’t right. I know the industry hates this, but it’s true: piracy will not stop because of a few added security measures. All that’s being accomplished by all these measures is making the honest customers more frustrated. I won’t quote Extra Credits here, but go watch their piracy episode for more on this topic, if vaguely.
In response to the second quote, I think it was one of the Office products that limited the amount of computers the program could be installed on without the need for Internet. Argue ease of cracking or bypassing all you want, but the common end user sure can’t crack or bypass this kind of thing. Besides, everything I typed in the previous paragraph applies here.
Wrapping it up now. Single-player games shouldn’t have any need for Internet, and single-player games with no need for Internet, but with strong multiplayer, should also have good single-player (i.e. Uncharted 2). Companies shouldn’t require single-user products to be installed via Internet because not everyone has it yet (this will change). The future of anything is uncertain, but I can safely say that the Internet will be a worldwide thing someday. Until then, people who live in rural areas generally don’t have cables in their area, cell phone signals are bad (like mine), and satellites are terrible with latency. Plus, they cost more than most middle-class families can afford. For that matter, all three options are fairly expensive, aren’t they?
I just had to share this.
Because I love this kind of music.