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Creation Date: 2002-12-11
I'm listening to this good rap. It's about smack. It's called "Stay positive" by The Streets. It's a very negative song. I'm usually not keen about rap, but ever since I started listening to KEXP 90.3 Seattle, I've been gaining an ear for it. KEXP has the only source of brick and mortar techno radio in Seattle that I know. They play good music and they are locally owned opposed to Clear Channel. They are part of Experience Music Project, "the Jimmy Hendrix Museum".

Before you start covering your children's eyes looking at my site, I'd like to try to educate you or perhaps if your child is reading, your child also. Recently, music, guns, movies, and especially games have been scapegoated for a few people behaving badly. The knee-jerk reaction to anyone who has ever played a game doing anything is to suggest legislation. Thanksgiving was particularly traumatic for me since my family suggested multiple times that video games were *so* violent and ought not be marketed for children. "There ought to be a law," is something they unmeaningfully quoted from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Here is the short unsupported, rough-draft of an essay I wrote.

In Defense of Violent Video Games
Video games are a form of entertainment. Being able to convey story, content and political messages, they are a protected form of speech. But since their form requires two pieces: interactive fun and profitability, their content is usually limited. John Carmac, lead programmer of iD, pioneer of the first-person 3D shooter found a winning combination with his violent genre. Audiences were fascinated with the concept of porting their favorite dungeon role playing game from their imagination and books to a computer screen. It was a navigatable interactive world that still is the base of violent and non-violent games. Before computer games, violence was an integral part of role-playing games and fantasy books. The concept of simply using the well-tested violent conflict between a hero and villain in storyline should not surprise anyone any more than seeing it in a book or a movie. That young kids use reflexes and hand-eye coordination to roleplay is an important part of gaming. It is a stretch to say that it is training them or giving them motivation or desensitizing them to violence. To say that violent video games effect children negatively is avoiding the responsibility of parents and the gamers. Many parents censor their children's reading and censoring video games is no different other than games are far more popular in today's culture. While I find this to be repressive, unneccessary, and ineffective, those that do not wish their children to play video games have more than enough power they need to control their childrens gaming. Legislation on the gaming industry will only further the gap between children and adults.

As a game developer and consumer, I see an amazing market of non-violent video games already and many positive aspects in gaming. Parents should not overlook the fact that non-violent and violent video games are an easy way to improve parent/child relationships and spend quality time with their children. Many games are fun for both children and adults which can be a double positive. While children play games, they are not behaving badly and they are exercising one of the last few legal things for minors to do. If you are unaware because the laws do not apply to people over 18, nearly everything has been illegalized or dried up. Here in Seattle, all the businesses (including the arcade) do not allow minors (under 18) after 10 PM. This forces them to find other things to do: play video games, do homework (two words: BULL SHIT), 'hang out', or behave badly. Another terrible law is the skateboarding ordinace. It says that no one (read young people) is allowed to recreationally skateboard anywhere in Seattle. Since it is a very basic assumption that 500 skaters will not fit in our three skate parks built for thirty skaters max each, we must assume that these young skaters are being turned into outlaws. It is not a stretch to say that the limitations on young people is the cause of deliquency which positive outlets like video games are blamed.

This picture is of a model I made in a half hour or so in K3D, an open-source 3D modeller/animator. It's about as as MilkShape was for me initally, but it is powerful and it is native under Linux. I tried to get MilkShape to run using Wine and it didn't happen. I'm going to look it up. This picture isn't directly from K3D, actually. I took four screenshots using KSnapshot and overlayed each on the first. The first one is with nothing selected, all the polygons are black. Then I selected everything and all the polygons turned white. I selected the second image, shrunk the selection (GIMP is so very useful), and I overlayed the second on the first to create this groovy outline. Anyway, I just want to show you all K3D. It's in Beta 0.2.0, but don't let that scare you away, it has very nice in-program tutorials. You have to see it to believe it. My one complaint is that the mouse isn't as powerful or stable as Milkshape. The mathematical manipulations, however, are much more powerful. Scaling something is just changing a number or clicking a button. It also has a direct connection with Renderman in case I ever use it. It doesn't have format options and since I'm using MS3D file format in AltSci3D, it becomes a bit of a problem. I may fix it or just scrap K3D if I can get MilkShape3D to work under Linux. MilkShape has all the positive factors of an open source operation except being totally open source. But I really don't care so much. Mete deserves all the money he can extort out of us. ^_^ But the cool thing is that he doesn't charge much. $20 trialware is very reasonable for such a good 3d modelling software package. All of JF up to now has been modelled in MilkShape3D, so I say kudos to Mete.

Last night, I had this really decent rant. I explained my positive relationship with my father. It was long time ago in school when I said that my father was my hero. Since then, there have been times when I thought poorly of my father, but I've definately forgiven him for anything he might have erred in. Well, now I know why I said he was my hero and it wasn't just because I little sap. Read it yourself.
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