It took me a few days to sum up the courage to drain my bank account this time, but as always, it did eventually happen. Sometimes it just seems to take some time for me to fall back into the habit(addiction) of spending insane amounts of money. So this is how it goes ...

It all started with my decision to buy either an all-region DVD player, or mod my Playstation 2. Both choices carried with them the weight of knowing that going either route; I'd be opening the gates to spending Hell. It took a long time to settle into a decision, but the all-region DVD player seemed like something that could wait, so my PS2 import mod is on its way! I'll have to keep waiting on that Battle Royale purchase I suppose. Damn ... Regardless, the mod cost almost $40, including some pieces to install into my PS2 (without breaking warranty), and the Swap Magic discs necessary to play import games. Mmmm ... tasty import games.

I actually had to hold back when looking at games, because my original shopping carts were bulging at $150 and $100 at both YesAsia and PlayAsia. So I settled down, spent a few days looking at what I thought were the best buys, and ended up with the following:

That would be Ganbare Goemon 1 & 2 for the GameBoy Advance, as well as Rez and Guilty Gear Slash for my soon to be modded PS2. The Goemon game was an impulse buy, considering I really wanted Rhythm Tengoku, but I passed hoping I'd see a price drop within a month or two. Goemon had obviously been on my mind anyways. Rez explains itself with a $10 pricetag, and Guilty Gear Slash will be my first foray into the GG franchise.

Guilty Gear Slash was just the beginning of my Japanese 2D fighter collection, and in truth ... the only reason it came first was because it's so damn ... pretty. Well, that and I want to experience some of the characters before I write my upcoming post on my 'Top 10 Favorite 2D Game Character Designs'. Rounding out the list of titles I'll eventually be picking up are:

- Samurai Spirits: Tenkaichi Kenkakuten
- NeoGeo Battle Coliseum
- Vampire DarkStalkers Collection
- Shin Gouketuji Ichizoku: Bonnou Kaihou

Sure I'm looking at Melty Blood and King of Fighters XI as well, but these games are at the top of the list for me. Especially Samurai Spirits, I haven't played a Samurai Showdown in ages, and it's about damn time.

I wouldn't consider that a Buying Bonanza just yet, but then add the stuff I just got off Amazon:

- Brotherhood of the Wolf - DVD
- Kagemusha - DVD
- Patlabor: The Movie - DVD
- Patlabor: The Movie 2 - DVD

So .. I'm now all kinds of poor in terms of money, but I'm all kinds of rich in terms of wonderful goods. I've had a bootleg copy of Brotherhood of the Wolf since long before it's official release in the US, so I thought it was time to pick up the real thing, despite it's jack-ass cover art. Kagemusha was just me feeling the need to watch another Kurosawa movie, and also just proof that I won't be able to hold back the desire to double-dip when the three disc Seven Samurai drops in September. I almost pre-ordered it right now ... until I realized I was out of money. The Patlabor DVD's were spur of the moment purchases ... I hope they're worth it.

There are lots of things I didn't get right now that I could have, and that I may have wanted even more than what I bought: things like the Bit Generations Games, Goemon for the DS, and the Gunstar Heroes and Panzer Dragoon collections for the PS2, but there's always other days, and other money to spend. I'll just have to kill more hookers to get it.

I promise my next post will be more interesting, and less focused on the numerous things I buy, but doing this sometimes keeps it in perspective that I spend *A LOT* of money, and it helps me appreciate all the stuff I have.

An open critique of Jack Thompson’s appearance on G4 television:

“…every Boolean(?) expert that has been aware of this game (Bully) has predicted that this game will lead to real world violence in schools…”

- I’d actually have to agree with Mr. Thompson on this issue. I believe Bully does have the potential to lead to real world violence in our schools. The youth of our society seem to have an issue with separating game violence from real-world violence. This is something that worries me, surely not because I’m a parent, but because I worry about the future of the human race in general. How can children today make mistakes like not discerning between games and reality? Are we in fact growing more stupid? As a child I played “guns” and I shot my friends … I did it by saying “BANG.” Regardless, the truth is I don’t believe Bully will directly be the result of any more violence in schools, that is to say not any more violence than other events in our society. Where is the study that shows how much school violence is related to arguments about basketball or football? I don’t see us banning children from sports anytime soon.

“…your poll of your viewers who are mostly gamers is interesting, but it flies in the face of all the science and all the medicine.”

- I’m sorry, that’s just a direct insult. Science and Medicine? How exactly do science and medicine interact with the poll? If in fact every person who answered that question was a scientist or a doctor, would the poll be any different? I understand what Mr. Thompson is trying to say at this juncture, but it would probably be much more PC if he were to make a statement without insulting the entirety of the video gaming community.

“So the solution to bad grades is for kids to spend more time playing video games?”

- Hello Mr. Thompson! Please meet Dr. Kawashima-san. He would like to answer your question. “Yes.” I would like to answer it as well. If they’re not doing drugs, and shooting each other, and playing video games instead; what can you really be unhappy about in this situation? Oh, I forgot … you seem to think that because in fact they’re playing games they’re shooting each other. If I could explain something Jack, “I never killed someone with a controller. Never in my life.”

A-A-A-Adam Sessler also made the statement, “I believe that there are greater reasons for the social ills of the adolescent violence than playing a video game, because I believe that violence was existing prior to the release of even Pong.”

- Cute answer. However, that’s actually just side-stepping the real issue. Naturally adolescent violence has existed since the birth of our species, but that has nothing to do with violence as it is today. Adolescent violence today is in fact, a far leap from what it was when Pong was released. But is the violence that plagues our society a direct result of video games? Hardly. I think it’s safe to say that the issues we face today are from a direct result of numerous social difficulties, and surely not video games. I would even go so far as to say that video games just might be a stepping stone that propels some youth who are already encumbered by such social difficulty to violent acts, but removing the video games wouldn’t remove the acts. Their actual source is present regardless, and I think the end result would most likely be negative instead of positive.

Mark Friedler of Gamedaily wins the day with “…we don’t condone gratuitous violence in any way, shape, or form. It just happens to be one of the expressions that happens in video games.”

- This is the answer to so many questions. Too many people, Mr. Thompson included, are concerned with the video games, and not the REASON gratuitous violence is so appealing to children purchasing games. Why is it that children within our society find the idea of gratuitous violence so romantic? Mr. Thompson’s answer would probably include that they were conditioned by games like Doom, or Grand Theft Auto to enjoy this kind of act, but in truth, the answer lies much more deeply rooted than that. Take a look at the core values of much of our society, and in doing so, it is simple to understand the reality that our communities and values are so skewed, that violent video games aren’t the problem. They’re mostly just pathetic attempts to market something to an audience that is already thirsting for it.

“…the dunking of a black students head in a dirty toilet…”

- Thanks for playing the race card Jack. This was a very dirty, under-handed statement that was obviously phrased as such, to reach out to the urban demographic. Are we really still at the point in our society where if a game screenshot includes a white person dunking a black person’s head in a toilet it is considered racist? Jack surely didn’t come out and say that, but he meant it, otherwise he never would have taken the care to say, “black student.” If we took another game, and used a statement similar to Jack’s it might sound slightly awkward. “In Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, a screenshot clearly shows a white soldier shooting and murdering a black soldier.” Honestly Mr. Thompson, that’s sleazy, and stupid ... but mostly sleazy.

“…let me tell you a couple reasons we shouldn’t give Take-Two the benefit of the doubt. Number one, this is the company that put the Hot Coffee sex mod in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas…”

- Touche Mr. Thompson. Touche. However, I do believe we preach “innocent until proven guilty”. Take-Two might win the jackasses of the year award, but I’ll bet when they said there was no sex mod in Grand Theft Auto, they actually thought there was no sex mod. I won’t send them to Hell twice for making the same mistake. They obviously made a pretty blatant error, chances are they won’t do it again.

“…also got the fourth largest school district to pass a resolution condemning the game and it’s release…”

- Is that even possible? If that isn’t un-Constitutional I don’t really know what is. Since when can a student’s school district mandate what video games they can purchase. I don’t deny that he did it, but how was that even allowed?

“…what you actually need to do is real research rather than state your position…”

- I’m sorry; once again, that’s just a direct insult. I don’t even want to critique something as base as that. Try to stay above the belt Mr. Thompson, I didn’t see any copies of your research either, and give Sessler a break, he’s just trying to s-s-s-speak.

There were a few other comments that I’d like to touch on, but I’ll leave it at that. In the end I’m sure Mr. Thompson was furious with the conversation, Adam Sessler made some viable points but they were s-s-s-shadowed by his mannerisms and inability to stay calm and collected throughout, and Mark Friedler of Gamedaily made the best statements of the entire “debate.” I couldn’t guess as to how this actually helped either side of this issue, considering the entire audience was obviously biased.

I’ll come back to this later, and there are some really interesting points to consider that I’d like to cover. Like: Why the hell doesn’t anyone that opposes videogame violence ever look at the full scope of the problem, and try to help our society deal with it’s issues, instead of condemn something as trivial as video games?

The Zenspace Chronicles | It's The Sex.