The World of Warcraft’s Gone Mad

Posted on July 31, 2009. Filed under: Misc. Geekery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

((Before I get into the article, I will NOT be playing GTA IV. I tried. I failed. Immediately. Mario recommends Halo 1. Any ideas for a beginner such as myself? Please nothing cutesy. Had enough of that.))


Here’s a little entertainment for you during this post. The title’s a play on the title of the awesome collaboration between Handsome Boy Modeling School and Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, “The World’s Gone Mad”:

I came across this article a few days ago, Addiction Therapists Signing Up to World of Warcraft.

The funny thing is for most of high school, I wanted to become a therapist (people always came to me with their problems because I’m trustworthy or some shit, so why not legitimately make some money off of it? Oh, and help people. Right). Mario becomes addicted to games easily and focuses intensely (he’s currently driven to finish off Fallout 3). He’s even been knocking around the idea of joining WoW again after he finishes building his computer.

Never thought I’d actually say this, but THANK GOD WE ARE POOR BASTARDS.

But who needs WoW, when Star Wars: The Old Republic will be out next year? And that’s when Princess Daisy and I both become MMO widows.

So the deal with the article is therapists are actually JOINING MMORPGs, observing patients, and administering therapy in their patient’s addictive environment. Tricky business, especially if the therapists may become addicted themselves, then all hell breaks loose and there are suddenly no more boars to slaughter, so no more backdoors to level up, pussies!

But probably going (NSFW, duh) Clockwork Orange on all their asses would be best for WoW addicts. (God, I love that soundtrack. Ludwig Van)

The program sounds both simple and convoluted at the same time (as all sciencey things invariably do). Therapists join the game, create avatars, play the game, and all that jazz. They also recruit what they call “peer mentors” from those who do indeed play WoW, but are somehow miraculously NOT addicted –Isn’t it usually a cycle where you play 16-hour days for weeks, then just get burnt out and not play for several months to get another job to support yourself –that is until you pick up the latest expansion pack and then quit your job and resubscribe? I thought with WoW, you’re either an obsessed current player, or else an obsessed player on furlough.

Here’s what makes me itchy, though: Therapists are crossing their fingers that Blizzard Entertainment will give them discounted rates, or else all together WAIVE the fees because it’s–OH NOES!–pricey.

But that’s the cost of business, right? It would be written off as a business expense come tax time. I don’t know how it is in the UK, but in the US therapists get paid around $200-something an hour, and that’s a middle-of-the-road therapist, so why the hell can’t they pay the $19.99 for the game disk, and the $29.99 and $39.99 for the expansion packs ONCE upfront, then the 15 bucks per month to subscribe? Really? And I would hope that the people they would be treating on WoW would be paying them through their insurance and co-pays for their in-game therapy.

Technically, they are being PAID to play.

As an aside, I recognize that the $200 therapist fee does not go straight into the therapist’s pocket. It goes towards their receptionists, rent, bills, etc as well, but it’s all in the cost of business, and with WoW, there’s A LOT of business to be found. So I say the cost of playing WoW is far outweighed by the business that would be generated in their practice through WoW.

How CAN you get cheaper than 15 bucks a month on such an immense game as WoW? That’s $180 a year, granted, but they’ll make that one year’s subscription all back in ONE HOUR. At least their addicts aren’t hooked on something like cocaine. Then their immersion therapy would be a hell of a lot more expensive, and you could NEVER get a discount on that shit, even the stuff cut with baby laxatives. …Not that I know, but I could imagine. Then again, one of the therapists in the article is quoted saying that WoW is “more addictive than crack cocaine.” Would HE know?

And, let me guess, those “peer mentors” aren’t paid, but are “volunteers”. Am I right? Every time I’ve ever worked with the title “peer mentor”, it’s been on a voluntary basis, and the fact that I improved another person’s life was my payment. No indication one way or another in the article, but I think I can be safe in my assumption, or perhaps their only compensation would be a free month depending on the number of hours they put into peer mentoring, and a liter of Mountain Dew with a long crazy straw.

What. The. F##K? Maybe I should become a therapist so I can exploit WoW users and even Blizzard themselves.

Let’s say Blizzard does indeed give a discount (or even waives their fees) in an effort to cure gaming addiction. Does this mean therapists and even doctors can now count on Jack Daniels to help foot the bill at the Betty Ford Clinic, or maybe Big Tobacco can pay for Grandpa Jim’s double-lung transplant? But all the while the patient and their insurance still pay, so they get paid TWICE.

So Blizzard would be literally PAYING to lose customers because those unfortunate souls got a well-intentioned but misfired therapy that the patient is ALSO paying for that cures them of wanting that specific addiction, rather than treating what DRIVES them to addiction. Once their WoW addiction is supposedly cured, the poor sods will find an addiction elsewhere because many people are hardwired to just be addicted to something; anything. And then they have to pay for more therapy.

I was at first intrigued and even in support of this online therapy idea, but now after reading the article and seeing all the WTFs involved… Let me say, I am amazed I have defended WoW. Holy hell.

I’ll take The Rapist for $400, Alex.

~Peach

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It’s Not Just the Internet That’s for Porn…

Posted on July 8, 2009. Filed under: Game, Misc. Geekery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

I’m not a gamer, so I’m late to things. Forgive me.

Warning: These videos are NSFW. Kind of a given, but some people need to be told. Disclaimer: It is not my fault if you get fired from your job for not doing the proper thing and bringing in your own laptop and connecting to a nonwork-affiliated wifi. Or just waiting til you get home you horny jackass.

XP! LET’S PLAY SPOT THE PUNS!!!

So CheapyD just twittered about “The world’s first action adventure porno video game”– BoneTown. They had to be that specific because it’s not the first porn game (I keep trying to spell ‘pron’… damn leets). Porn games have been around since the early 80s. I’ve known about this for a while (so I’m not THAT n00b-y) because it’s amazing what you can stumble into within just an hour of surfing on Wikipedia. Now these games are just kitschy and hilarious, like anything you’d find on the Home Shopping Network. I wouldn’t balk if the gamerbf came home with these since, well, they’re funny collectibles, certainly coffee table conversation pieces, and we also don’t have the consoles to play them on. C’est la vie.

The company Mystique filled the “Swedish erotica” hole in the video gaming market in 1982. From them came a slew of Atari 2600 games, such as the classic gems like “Beat ‘Em & Eat ‘Em”, “Bachelor Party” (no young Tom Hanks here, as it was still 2 years before the film’s release, sorry ladies. Atari was ahead of its time), and the fabled “Custer’s Revenge” where a naked, erect General George Armstrong Custer tries to find a way to bang a naked, big-breasted Native American woman tied up to a totem pole. It’s too ridiculous to be offensive. That and the 8-bit graphics help keep the X-rating down to more of a modern-day PG-13 with all the unintentional pixelization. It’s looks more, dare I say, cute than it does like something your twice-divorced 40-something cousin would actually get his rocks off on. ‘Cute’ in the sense that your hormonal 12-something cousin would be making those games for a giggle to gross out their sisters, and 8-bit’s the best he could do on his hand-me-down computer.

Besides, how in the hell COULD you manipulate TWO joysticks at the same time?? Especially with how bulky and stiff the Atari joysticks were. But if you’re a basement-dwelling, mouth-breathing, twice-divorced 40-something cousin eating failure piles in a sadness bowl and shitting into pringles cans, you’ll find a way.

So here’s “Beat ‘Em & Eat ‘Em”

“Bachelor Party”, where a suggested guy sprite literally bangs suggested girl sprites:

And, of course, “Custer’s Revenge”. I assume ‘revenge’ for being a media whore and getting fatally shot while commanding a one-sided battle:

Let’s be honest here, setting aside my twin X-chromosomes, she’s blindfolded and tied up. She’s really being raped. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not getting all up in arms about it. I’m not going to burn my bra or tie my black patent boots (which I don’t have …sorry honey) on tight, but let’s just call it as it is. That’s his ‘revenge’. Now that said, if I did get my hands all over that and started playing around with it, I’d laugh my ass off. But let’s just call it as it is, is all I’m saying.

Anyway, here’s BoneTown in all its gloryhole …um, glory…

Now it’s probably because I’ve got the double-whammy of both being a chick and an outright entertainment snob… I feel dirty, like my underwear contents have shifted unpleasantly and violently, and suddenly I have a pile of soiled counterfeit cash on my dresser that smells of sweat, blood, and cocaine. Now even though “Chariots of Fire” is one of my favorite films, I also love things that are raunchy and dirty, like any film from the 80s. You could say technically, like Molly Ringwald, I HAVE given panties to a geek. But I digress, I like dirty, but not DIRRTY.

What’s with the bust-waist-hip ratio that’s even worse than Barbie’s? It’s not body image I’m concerned about. How can they even do anything remotely doggie-style without snapping like a Slim-Jim? And there’s a Jewish redneck? Hell, the dude’s a rabbi! Ron Jeremy?! Mr. Jeremy, I have to say, is the obvious highlight. How can you have anything sex-related and NOT have Mr. Jeremy? That and the line, “We are not Arab, you ignorant pieces of shit! We are fucking Indians!” That made me quake so hard with a thousand ecstasies that the Earth moved.

I went to their official website. Of course, like any responsible mature website, you have to be at least 18. I’ve got almost 7 years on that, but I put down that my birthday’s January 22nd, 1960 anyway. Like any 12 year-old could. But it doesn’t matter because they have a woman on that same age verification page on all fours with her brown eye trying to say hi. Silly gooses!

At least the game is educational in case any 12 year-olds sneak through with their lying and daddy’s credit card number, as it tells us about history. In place of Puritans colonizing the US and cheating the Native Americans out of, erm, everything, instead they have the Mormons, as Puritans died out eons ago from sexless lives. Mormons are the 21st Century’s answer to the 19th Century. Instead of the Salem Witch Trials killing Puritanical influence, it took a plane crash of hard rockers to find all the drugs on the island and lick it up (that damn song…). Anyway, other cultures get wind of this freedom and freelove, and the island becomes a government-less melting pot.

DUN DUN DUN! But then, someone had the bright idea to introduce *gasp!* Crack. Oh noes! The black people did it! Money, power, and influence grew with the crack market and a corporation called “The Man” took control of it all, while society bent over and took it. Then after The Man had its fill, they criminalized all drugs and started passing more laws based on decency, sex, and conservatism.

Oh, and your own personal power and influence is dictated by your ball size.

They have notable characters in the game like Ron Jeremy, Moses, Jesus, Joseph Smith (who, according to the game, discovered Mormonism while on shrooms–Shroomanism!), ButtMan, Sexbot 0069, and Captain James T. Jerk, who probably has the biggest huevos in the land.

Their communities are broken down into these varied groups: Pygmies, Natives, Mormons, Hippies (duh), Mexicans, Blacks, The Man Corp, East Indians, White Trash Jews (what?), Asians (the people who finance us), Greeks (Frats and Sororities), Rockers (one rocker died next to his 50 wives and 200 children …Are you sure HE wasn’t Mormon?), and what every society needs: Crackheads.

…They need to proofread their pages, not because of any spelling and grammar errors, but because they’ve copied and pasted the same descriptions on the same page more than once. Sloppy. Oh, and they use a Star Wars reference for Capt. Kirk/Jerk. Fail.

The game is astutely observant to how the world currently is and twists it even further from there into fucked up angles. I don’t know whether to be utterly offended or highly amused. So I’ll settle for generally confused. I’ll play it. I won’t buy it, but I’d try it if given the chance just to see for myself.

I do have to say that for a game so full of rampant racism and misogyny, they certainly put a lot of thought into it.

And, for your enjoyment, here’s some more videos from their site.

~Peach

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