Sunday, 31 December 2017

What this blog has acheived in 2017 and my plans for 2018

Ok so I have always done a sort of year in review post for my blog where I have talked either at the end of the year or the start of the new one about what I feel I have achieved and what I want to do with my blog in the following year. This time it seems like this will be my last post of the year as apposed to my first post of the following year, still for those reading this I would like to with you a happy new year wether it has yet to come or if your reading this well after the time I post it.

Well the first thing to say is that once again I dont plan any major giant changes, I will continue to talk about Games, Horror, and occasionally polotics or just things that have either grabbed my intrest or just pissed me off. I do have to admit that one area I have focused on less and less this year is the World of Wrestling, this has not been a concious decision it just seems to be the way things have gone, I dont seem to get time to watch as much as I once did and I found some of the posts I wrote like the ones on the WWE Hall of fame just took such an incredible amount of time to write that I could find myself slowly slogging away at the same post weeks later.

I still have not finished reviewing 150 SNES games, this has become a sort of never ending task, it was originally made as a way to keep me sane while I was unemployed, unfortunaly for the project I soon found work after starting it and then I felt that it would be letting down everyone who supported me if I just slung the idea, lets face it we have all heard that old chesnut about how we never finish anything we promise we will do or about how we flit from idea to idea never letting any of them reach there true potential.

I said at the start of the year that I was going to try my hardest to crack on with this task of reviewing 150 SNES games and that I hoped to review at least 25 new titles that I havent previously talked about and that if needs be I would buy more games in order to do it. I started out with enough games to complete the task but I found some were just to hard to review or I couldnt form a decent opinion on. As it stands I actually managed to review exactly 25 this year.  This means that if I want to finish this project before the end of 2018 I have to review 17 SNES games which actually sounds completely resonable and I will frankly be mad with myself if I dont manage this. I did just get an Everdrive for my SNES which could make this really easy however I promised to do this all with real carts on real hardware for those wondering if the Everdrive will come into play... No it wont, well at least not properly, if I review a Japanese game I may look at a translation quickly on the Everdrive to make some kind of comment but I will be playing and reviewing the real cart.

Last year I said that I had aquired the services of a guest poster who would be talking about various subjects both to give this blog a differing point of view and to keep it as regular as possible, unfortunatly I was let down on this front and as a result I really tried to push myself to post as regularly as possible. This did end up meaning that it was my year with the highest post count yet but I have to admit it was a lot of work and has left me with very big shoes to fill in the future. I cant promise that next year will be as busy, but I can say that I will do all that I can in order to make sure that this blog keeps on going and that it never goes too long without some new content.

I started a kerr900 Instergram account this year to act as an extension of this blog and this is something that I hope to carry on with. I also think that this place is in need of a redesign so will most likly look at working on a new backdrop with a view to replacing the current one in a few months.

I guess at this point what I really want to do is just to thank all of my readers and supporters for everything and stop and wish you a Happy New year and to hope that 2018 is a good year for all of us.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Retro Game purchases: December 2017

So in November I only spent £47.55 on retro games and in all honesty coming in to this month I figured that my final figure would be pretty similar if not lower. Its just that its a busy time of the year and its one when your usually focused on either other people or buying the stuff you need to make a decent Christmas dinner. So I wasnt at all suprised that I made a\very slow to start my retro purchasing this month it wasnt until the 9th after work when I walked into an indy game store and made my first retro purchase of the month which was two N64 carts for £10 they were Mario Golf and Buck Bumble

On the 10th I got Mickeys racing adventure for Gameboy Color cart only through the post for £3, the postage was free so I thought this was pretty decent. Its made by Rare who I obviously have a lot of respect for so figured why not grab ahold of it.

On the 11th I went into an indy game store and I grabbed Dick Tracy for the Megadrive cart only for £2.50. This is a game that I both love and have a history with. I used to own a Japanese copy of it in fact it was the game which encouraged me to cut the cartrdige slot wider in my original childhood Megadrive. I use to use a little convertor to play foriegn games but I went to the toilet once when I had a friend over and he rammed my Japanese copy of Dick Tracy into my English Megadrive in an attempt to play it and got it stuck, and basically I struggled to get the cart out again and thought sod this lets eliminate the problem and cut the slot bigger so I never have to worry about this again. Unfortunatly on the 14th I went in the same Indy store and found Dick Tracy for Megadrive boxed but missing manual £5 I wish I had seen this before the loose cart but I thought what the heck and brought it anyway.

On the 17th I spent £10 on a bunch of stuff from a charity shop, I got Boxing Fever for GBA cart only, Planet of the apes for GBA complete, Crash Bandicot XS for GBA complete, Rocket power dream scheme complete for gba, and Harry Potter and the goblet of fire complete for gba.

On the 21st on the way home from work I went into an Indy game store and got Vegas Stakes, cart and manual for SNES £3. Maybe not the most exciting title but anytime you see a SNES game for less than £5 its not bad.

On December the 28th I visted a CEX after work and I spent £12 on Xcom Terror from the deep complete for PS1. The disc was in good condition and it had the manual and the sleeves but the case was a bit cracked and grimy. I did clean the case up but then I decided to swap the case for a perfect case I had on a sports game. This is one of the reasons I am quite happy to buy crappy PS1 games on the cheap if the cases are in great condition, heck sometimes I buy horrible compilation albums because they come in the same type of case as some PS1 games.

So in total I spent £45.50  if my adding up is correct, a whole £2.05 less than last month and this did not come as a suprise at all. Its not like there is a lot of things to choice from but as it stands my favourate purchase would proberbly be Xcom Terror from the deep with the boxed copy of Dick Tracy coming a close second. It wasnt exactly the most exciting retro game purchasing month but there is one thing which I didnt buy something which I got for Christmas which really is exciting and that is the Super Nintendo Everdrive my wonderful Fiancee got for me.

Now this does not meen that I wont buy any more SNES games but it does meen that I can have a lot of fun messing around with hacks and translations and prototypes on an actual SNES, why am I so sure this wont stop me buying SNES games? Well the easy answer is because getting a MegaDrive Everdrive has not even slowed down my desire to track down Megadrive games. Ok so thats the end for now, I guess we will all just have to wait and see what future retro purchases I make.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

My Soap Box.... Discusions about things I would like to just piss off.

Ok so I wanted to do a post about things I would like to sod off, things that I would be very happy to see either none of or at the least less of in 2018. This post kind of comes off the back of a couple of discussions I have had with various people who have had a moan about this or that and as I am quiet good at jumping up on my little soap box and having a rant so I thought why shouldn't I have a piece of this?

A lot of people have said that they are fed up of everyone complaining about Trump and about online rants, articles and comedians going on and on about what a dick  he is. Well in all honesty as  repetitive as this can feel I disagree I think people need to keep getting annoyed and ranting when Trump is a dick and keep getting outraged at his stupidity, personally it's him I'd like to go away not his vocal haters. The man is a loud mouthed slow brained hate mongering weirdo who needs keeping in check. The worst thing that could happen would be for his shenanigans to become normalized, for him to go around acting the way he acts with no one questioning it or calling him out on it. Some things in life which might piss us off you actually have to try and live with for the greater good of mankind.

Another thing people frequently raised as something they wish would sod off is reality TV such as Big brother, I'm a celebrity get me out of here etc. Now this is a tricky one for me some of it is not it but how some people watch it, that sort of worship of fame and dickheadishness. It's the worship of stupid shallow people I'd like to see end not the TV that has spawned partly as a result of it. I enjoy watching a little reality TV now and again its easy to put it on and disengage your brain, if you blank for a bit when tired, watching it and you blank for a second it simply doesnt matter. I do hate that money is invested into this kind of stuff as a cheap get out, hey lets just film crap on the cheap instead of actually writing brave and intresting plots and filming new and unique stuff but I can see its benefits, I just wish we didnt as a society make heroes out of people who have no real talent.

Smug smartphone users, you see far to many smug gits go ''oh do you take applepay'' before cocking there wrist in a possing tosser way to simultaneously put it near the contact point but also show off there crappy wrist bling. Add on to this people who think they are superior because they have a Apple phone or an android phone or who otherwise find some stupid way to make out that they are superior because of there choice in purhaceses.

This gets me on to people in shops who can't or won't communicate in any way they either stay on there phone or remain silent throw there stuff on the till immediately hold a card against the contact point and keep a look on there face that says I'm far too important to have human interaction with someone in a shop, utter utter toss bags. You can add to this people who scream if the product they want is sold out or is not part of a promotion they wish it was etc.... Where has basic courtesy gone , I guess nowhere there have just always been aceholes about...

Then there is Brexit which so far has been a shit storm but you know what is possibly even more annoying than Brexit? People who take it to far blaming Brexit for everything. theres no marmalade left in the fridge its Brexit, the dogs taken a shit on the yard its Brexit, it just drags actual credible complaints about our current situation down. I guess this amounts to dick heads should think before opening there mouths and people should just remember that not everyone wants to listen to there shit especially when its just shat out there mouth without a filter. I voted to remain part of the Euro and I was dissapointed that leave won but there is only so much you can blame for this vote before you just start sounding like a complete idiot.

I'd also like an end to the monarchy, Terrisa May to sod right off and don't get me started on certain aspects of education right now. When you really cut to it though  I guess what I am saying is that I just want people to think a little more before they speak and for a bit of human decency, it wouldnt hurt to say hello and thank you and just pantamine it if needs be people should just stop and think of others now again and then maybe just maybe the world would be a better place.

Monday, 25 December 2017

2017 My Year in Games

So as another year draws ever close to its end, as the skies darken the frost twinkles and most look forward to a nice christmas dinner I want to stop and take a look at what the year has been like in the world of Video Games. I wont mention every single thing thats happend I just want to gloss over a few key bits here and there and give my thoughts on them. I could talk all day about things of this nature but instead here are just a few things from the world of games this year and what I think about them.

2016 was very much seen as a year absolutly filled with celebraty deaths but we had one in the world of Video Games very early on in January of 2017, as Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco, died at 91 years old. He established Namco in 1955 and as most will know Namco is responsible for the birth of Pacman one of what can be considerd the earliest Mascots in the world of gaming.Lets face it even if your the most casual of gamer Pacman will probably have come into your life at some point in some way, I type this with my daughter playing Pacman in the background on an Amazon Fire stick she recieved for Christmas. I have been a very big fan of many Namco games including the Rolling Thunder and SplatterHouse series as well as Pacman in all its various form during my time so before I go on Thank you Masaya Nakamura may you rest in peace.

Also in January Sony closed Guerrilla Cambridge the developers of Killzone Mercenary and the PSP version of Little Big Planet and Nintendo announced that they had officially stopped global Production of the Wii U, which I guess you can pretty much call the last nail in the consoles coffin, even if it has had a few post death twitches since. I really enjoyed my Wii U and feel that its a real shame the console never got the attention it deserves still I hope that one day people will look back on it and it will gain the same intrest the Cube did after its demise.

In February, Ghost Story Games was officially founded. It’s Bioshock creator Ken Levine’s new studio for those who missed the news. Also Peter Moore stepped down as head of EA Sports and left the company to become the CEO of Liverpool Football Club. Or for a game fan like me who cant stand football he left the world of games to do some crap I dont care about.

On March the 3rd: Nintendo launched the Switch it had the advantage of launching with a Zelda title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as well as a few other games, After floundering back and forwards on wether I should get one or not I ended up grabbing the very last machine from the HMV near where I work. I then Grabbed Zelda from Tesco's and Bomberman R from Argos. As of now I have about six games and havent really played it as much as it proberbly deserves, but in all honesty I have felt far more drawn to other machines. Breath of the Wild also recieved a release on the Switch which I think was a good move by Nintendo seeing as they had always promised it would come to the machine so it was good to see them keep there word. I have written a lot about the Switch this year and a lot of it has been about my lack of conection with mine, I havent personally bonded to mine really but I do think Nintendo have done a lot of things well and I hope that one day I gain a bigger appreciation for the platform I guess 2017 wasnt my year for this but I will have to see how 2018 goes.

At the end of March, Square Enix withdrew from IO Interactive. With a managment buyout happening in June, IO have retained the rights to the Hitman Franchise and announced that now its independent there will be plenty more Hitman to look forward to. This has made me very happy as although I was very late to the party with the last Hitman title waiting for the full season to relase on Disc I have been greatly enjoying it. Any move which helps the Hitman franchise is something I am going to be supportive of, I hope this is the start of something new and that we can all look forward to many high quality titles featuring agent 47 in the future.

March also saw the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, I had been a huge fan of the Mass Effect games so I got this game near release but it turned out to be a bit of a letdown. It had a lot of the same gameplay as the older Mass Effect games but a lot of issues and well it just didnt have the same magic. It looks like this title has possibly killed the Mass Effect series which would be a real shame.

April was also a month which brought a lot of dissapointment for people , the dissapointment was brought by the release of Yooka-Laylee a spiritual sequal to the old Banjo Kazooie games. I had been looking forward to this but I saw some of the poor reviews that had come in for it and well I decided to give it a miss until I could get it stupidly cheap, so far I havent gotten it.

Skipping forwards a bit August saw the release of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle a tactical strategy game in which Mario teams up with some of his typical friends as well as some of Ubisofts Rabbids. It is a bit like Mario meets XCOM with Rabbid crazyness thrown in for good measure. When it was annoucned it seemed like a really weird idea but in my oppinion it really works on so many levels. I am slowly playing this is bits and pieces here and there and recognise it as a great game but it hasnt been quiet enough to make me go hardcore Switch addict or anything.

Septemeber saw the release of Destiny 2 but in all honesty I didnt really see the fuss, sure I had played and enjoyed the first one a bit but I just didnt think I needed more of it this soon, not when the first one had been updated again and again with DLC but then again I have already said I am not a big multiplayer fan.I did nearly buy it at £20 but I knew my daughter would most likly end up playing it and she has been doing mock exams lattly so I went all responsible and decided not to bring something in to the house that I thought might distract her.

In October  EA shut down Visceral Games, and cancelled the awesome looking Star Wars game that they had been working on, this was very dissapointing, I have always been a huge Star Wars fan I have also never been much of a fan of mutli player online stuff, so to see this game die and yet to see Battlefront 2 launch instead well it was a heck of a pain. October also brought us a raft of new trailers, including one for The Last of Us Part II and also one for Detroit: Become Human a game which I have recently written about and feel could be very intresting.It was also in this month if I remember correctly that EA acquired Respawn Entertainment, the makers of Titanfall. I was pleasently suprised by TitanFall but havent had the chance to try its sequel yet. I hope that they do well under EA and dont suffer the fate other studios have after having been purchase by EA.

I havent had much time for reading about games in the last few months but I have grabbed a hold of a few titles around Christmas that I will hopefully be talking about in the near future.

Merry Christmas one and all.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Why I am not tottally thrilled about Christmas.

I have a quiet shocking admission to make and that is that I don't always find the idea of Christmas a wonderful and magical one actually at times I find Christmas pretty darn hard in all honesty. Yes I know that this admission is enough to get some people calling me Scrooge and asking me if I am dead inside, I also have to put up with constantly being told that its Christmas so I should be happy and that everything is oh so wonderful, its like being assaulted with the concept of  raw undiluted joy. So what is it that I don't like about Christmas? Well part of it is the fact that its busier and more hectic at work leading up to and surrounding the day. I used to work in a pub and you had drunks screaming saying how wonderful it was while falling into things, they were telling you how great it was to be off and to be having fun clearly not understanding the fact that you currently were at work and that being the sober responsible one in a room of drunks is about as much fun as slowly drowning. I don't work in the pub trade anymore, I now work in retail and although this feels like an improvement I now have to put up with people doing there Christmas shopping and believe it or not even though it is the season of good will people are so quick to call you a fucking moron or a shit head for things beyond your control. They have come in 3 weeks after you received your shipment of a product which was being sold for practically nothing but somehow the fact they didn't come in quick enough is totally your fault, you singularly have sold every single one of them, your responsible for how many have been made, how many have been sent to your shop, you could have personally held on to one and hidden it just for them using your secret physic future knowing skills and the fact you haven't done this makes you a prick who they feel totally justified to treat like complete and utter shit.

I have had a real love and hate relationship with Christmas. I loved it up until I was 15 what with getting loads of stuff and breaking up from school for a decently lengthy period. Then I started working and I didn't get much anymore and it became a pain in the ass. Then my daughter was born and it made it all ace again, no matter how bad work might be she made it great. I was unemployed for about a year, then worked in a nursery training to get a grade 6 in childcare, and then was unemployed for a further 2 years and during these 4 years it was ace. I could just sit back and enjoy all of it and spend it with my mum and dad and my kid and really soak it all in. Then my mum passed and I got a job again and my kid got older and knew it wasn't all magic and well it began to suck again. Part of what made it suck was that my mum had really loved it, she had thrown so much energy and love in to it. We had the biggest dinners so much choice there would be several types of potatoes loads of diffrent types of stuffing, it would quiet litterally be a feast, the kind of thing you only usually see in films and there wouldnt be a single thing that didnt look smell and taste amazing. I suddenly found myself responsible for the decorartions for preparing the food and for trying to basically do Christmas, to try and make sure that everyone enjoyed themselves and I guess this is when I really truly learned just how much work this had all been for my mum and how much pressure it really was. I find myself being the one who has to carry the torch, if decorations are to be put up I have to do it, I also have to sort out the food for christmas dinner, I have to pick it all, make sure I buy it at the right time so its ok for the day itself, I have to prepare it, cook it and serve it and then I end up doing 90% of the cleaning it up. I have to do all of this while being made more aware than I usually am of how much I miss my mum.

Now I do enjoy some things about Christmas, I do enjoy eating the meal, being with my family, recently I have really enjoyed helping my fiancee put up her christmas tree, I know the day will be great too, me, my daughter, my dad and my fiancee all togther in the afternoon watching Doctor Who and eating nibbles. I am not trying to ruin anyone elses day or try to make them hate Christmas quiet the oppersit in fact I just want people to realise that not everyone will be full of christmas cheer, it might be a hard time of year for some people, some people might need help or even just be allowed the right to moan and to sulk and to not have cheer forced upon them. If you still have all of your family and they are good people then enjoy them while you can, tell them that you love them, eat drink and be merry but remember for some people this can be a hard time of year so spare them a thought, try not to shout at them when your buying things or try to force them to smile if they dont want to.

May you all have the best Christmas that you can be it a quiet one or a loud one, but most of all remember ''Be Excellent To Each Other''.....

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

My opinion on The Mail on Line complaining about child abuse in the game Detroit.

The Mail Online has recently republished a story from the Mail on Sunday newspaper that takes aim at Detroit: Beyond Human, the upcoming game from Quantic Dream helmed by David Cage. I read the article and then I made sure to watch the games trailer and to watch as many interviews and pieces on it as I could because I wanted to comment on the game and the news story.

Unfortunatly the media can seldom look at a video game without going into controversy mode. The paper claimed that ''Abusers will get off on this stuff''' that the game was ''repulsive'' because it shows a girl aged 10 being beaten to death by her father. The founder of ChildLine Esther Rantzen has also urged the publisher to either remove the scene or withdraw the game and as both a gamer and a former volunter for two childrens charitys which unfortunatly no longer exist I think she is completly wrong and I will now try to explain why.

Basically as far as I believe the Mail Online's article is  presenting Detroit the game as something that is using child abuse for the purposes of amusement. To be honest I think its an old fashioned idea the concept that all games are is amusment. Video Gaming is one of the most popular forms of media at present and  before you judge it too harshly for featuring something you need to first stop and ask if you would judge another form of media the same way if it used the same subject matter and then you have to try to ask what kind of feelings is it trying to evoke, what kind of message is it trying to get across. I also think you have to ask if the event is avoidable in the game, are you taking part in the abuse, are you trying to stop it or are you an observer.

Ok so lets handle the easiest answer first and thats the fact that this abuse scenario is also unlikely to occur in most playthroughs, because it is the outcome of the player's complete inaction and is therfore avoidable. You get to see the way things are headed and can cut this off at the pass so to speak

Ok I think I need to stop and say that Detroit's trailer, first shown at the Playstation Experience at Paris Games Week, was proberbly made knowing it would achieve some backlash, its even possible that they are eating up any controversy generated as lets face it controvery sells, if people are talking about something then its gaining it attention.

Ok continuing on the player is not participating in the domestic violence scene but is in fact an observer, an android named Kara. I think its important to note your note the abuser, this game is not presenting the abuse as titilation, it is holding the scene up like a mirror that is reflecting something horrid and uncomfortable that actually happens in real life.

So the scene in question features a young girl and her abusive father. The fartheris in  a rage and at one point gets out his belt to beat the girl. Kara a home-help android observes this. One of Detroit's themes is self-determination, the ability to make choices, and this scene centres around whether the player in the role of Kara decides to break her programming and try to help the girl. The trailer goes to great lengths to show the amount of possible intervention points, and the way the story can branch off  including the above route where things go badly wrong as well as several other possible outcomes. The Paper and those who it has interviewed seem to be under the impression that the players character is the one commiting the violence. Now while I am not saying that you cant have an oppinion unless you have played the game (Obviously I wouldnt say that as I am talking about it and I havent played it) I do think its unfair to judge the game when you clearly dont really know enough about it, its just not fair to do and I am sure the paper nor these individuals would want me making a snap judgment about them without a full set of facts and a large degree of fact checking and recchecking and I think thats the kind of curtosy they should have extended to this game and its developers and publisher.  I am not judging the game yet, I am merly talking about it and about if certain areas should be taboo for games or for any form of media or not.

OK so I want to deal with what a few people have said about this game. I will start with the Conservative MP Damian Collins, Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, who said the following: ''It is completely wrong for domestic violence to be part of a video game regardless of what the motivation is. Domestic violence is not a game and this simply trivialises it. I worry that people who play this who themselves have suffered abuse will use this game to shape the way in which they deal with abusers. It’s dangerous to plant the seed in people’s minds that the way to deal with abusers is to use violence against them. It’s counter-productive and could put them in even more danger'. Ok so basically he says its wrong to have domestic violence in a game fullstop, and then worries that abusers might get attacked as a result of this game. I have a two fold answer to this. One, many forms of Media have dealt with difficult and distastful aspects of human life on multiple occasions, this is not something new at all. Games are a relativly new medium compared to books or even films and they originally started as something very basic, as a toy for children and those who liked to experiance new and diffrent forms of entertainment, but they are progressing and as they progress much like the other forms of media they will start expanding into new areas. Least we forget that Lee Harpers To Kill a MockingBird was once considerd incredably controversial for its tackling of racial injustice, for the fact it held a light up to the fact that we as people could judge people for the colour of there skin, that we could be taken in by a mob mentality. Some of To Kill A Mocking Bird feels kind of akward to read for many people but it is an absolute classic and it is a classic because it holds this mirror up which reflects some of the worse mankind has to offer. I would argue that this is exactly what this game appears to be doing, it is showing the player child abuse, confronting him or her with it and asking them how they feel about it, but more than this it is asking them do they really want to stand there and watch this or do they want to or even need to get involved? It is questions like these that need asking in order for society to change, for it to move forward and for us to tackle some of the darker issues. A whole wide range of people play games now, some of who would not dream of picking up a book, so why is it wrong to reach out to them and put these ideas in front of them, to confront them with them?

The journalist and presenter Esther Rantzen offered her perspective ''But I’ve never heard of little girls being beaten with a belt as part of a game. That, in my view, is not just savage, it’s seriously damaging. Who would play such a game for fun? People who are impervious to the suffering of children.We never want anyone to believe that beating a child to death with a belt is the stuff of entertainment. It should never be trivialised or turned into a game. I call upon Sony Interactive Entertainment to think again and withdraw this game, or at least remove this scene where a virtual child is put in life-threatening danger. If you don’t, real children may suffer.''

Again, Rantzen is mistakenly under the impression that the player is an active participant in the domestic abuse. Clearly she doesn't know much about Detroit beyond what the journalists interviewing her have told her and you need to remember they will have told her only what they know and more than that they will have told her what they want in the way they want in order to try to get some quoatable lines from her which will allow them to write the kind of report they want to write. Rantzen's suggestion that anyone interested in this game is "impervious to the suffering of children" isjust plainly wrong. Rantzen's position basically seems to be that child abuse should be a taboo topic for the most important entertainment medium of our age Video Games. Does she not realise that a lot of people simply want to deny that child abuse happens and that this game could not only confront them with it but it could do so in a way where they dont feel they are being preached at and it could actually make them stop and think about the situation. If she had shown a little more thought and looked into this in more detail I would like to hope she would have a morre balance opinion.

So here we have a game tackling a hot button topic, something which I think needs raising, needs debating, that we should no longer be silent about and people are trying to silence it. The game is not trying to turn a profit through abuse it is trying to produce a piece of entertainment which will make money, bring people enjoyment and hopefully make people stop and think. What is the newspaper trying to do? In my humble opinion it is grabbing hold of half truths and running with them to produce a story which feeds into a set idea, they are feeding a largly media created panic in order to sell papers so who is the real one exploiting abuse here?

Monday, 4 December 2017

My thoughts on the fall in school children who have part-time jobs.

There has been a recent newspaper article about how the number of school children who have part-time jobs has fallen by a fifth in the past five years. This has gotten people talking about how having a Saturday job used to be a rite of passage for many children and about how this might affect there future.

Now I am not saying that when I was a kid everyone had a part time job but I certainly had my fair share. While I was growing up I had all kinds of jobs, I guess it started when I was really young with one of my older brothers giving me some of his paper round pay if I would help him, I had no idea what he was paid but if I helped him for a bit then he gave me enough for some sweets or a comic book. In all honesty it was kind of neat, I got to spend time with my brother and then could go home to watch Transformers. Years latter when I was about 15 I worked for an auction, I held things up, I took money on the door, I then made money by using an industrial carpet cleaning machine to clean shop carpets as my sort of own mini business on the side. I went from this to being a cleaner for Safeways, then I was a cleaner for an old peoples home and finally I was a cashier at a CO-OP, All of these jobs were before I finished my A levels.

So why are less kids getting part time jobs? Well according to Dr Angus Holford from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex young people in compulsory education are fearful that a part-time job could hinder their performance at school he said that "Teens are being told evermore that you need to get good GCSEs and A-levels to get a good job in the long term," Now having a 15 year old daughter who is currently sitting a second bunch of mock GCSE's and has brought home what must be the 47th progress review. She seems to constantly be being reviewed in some way shape or form and being told how important her grades are, having each and every teacher try to tell both her and me how there lesson is the very most important lesson and how my daughter should do her very hardest to try and make sure that this is the lesson she truly excells in and gets the very best grade in. On top of this there is so much home work compared to when I was young, she proberbly gets the homework in a week that I would have gotten in a month. School also seems to have become obsessessed with both credits and demerits. You can get demerits and detentions for the stupidest of things, one PE teacher wanted to give my daughter a dention because she had forgoten a PE sock, one singular sock. When I was a kid you basically had to do something serious like tell a teacher to fuck off or be continuously disruptive in order to get a detention. Is it any wonder that lots of kids dont feel that they can or want to work part time on top of all of this? Also one of the major types of employment for youngsters used to be paper rounds and with the availability of news online paper sales are down so theres a lot lower need for delivery boys/girls.

Are kids missing out by not having a part time job? Well apparently research has shown that not taking on a Saturday or holiday job could be detrimental to a person later on in life. A 2015 study by the UK Commission on Employment and Skills found that not participating in part-time work at school age had been blamed by employers' organisations for young adults being ill-prepared for full-time employment. It also said this had negative implications for workforce productivity. I think the truth of the matter is that there are certain skills you learn in the world of work that cant be learned in a class room or from a book. I ended up being a supervisor when I was quiet young, but I had worked my way up from the ground, despite getting a degree I also became a manager off the strength of my work not from my studies and I think this made the people under me have a lot more respect for me. We got a lot of graduate managers come into the business and in all honesty they were often cringe worthingly bad because despite having one set of knowldge book smarts they didnt have a whole bunch of other skills.

So am I worried about my daughter? Not in the slightest as she took it upon herself to go and get a job working for a charity shop. Not only does this mean that she is working with diffrent people and learning skills she otherwise wouldnt the nature of the business and her volunteer status also means that they dont put undue pressure on her or try to get her to increase her work scedule. She gains the same skills she would from a paid job but is also free to say she wont be coming in around exam periods and on top of this she has the satisfaction of knowing that she is making a positive impact on the world around her while managing to maintain her studies.

I have to admit that I think more kids should get involved in charity work for the above reasons. So many people are focused on work for pay but the skills you can learn can be worth far more in the long run, charitys need volunteers to survive and kids need the experiance to develop its a symbiotic relationship in which everyone benefits. Not all kids are going to see the value in this but that proberbly says more for the bad shape society is in than anything.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

What I have been playing recently: One. Trials Fusion Awesome Max, Trackmania Turbo, and Ducati 90th Anniversary The Official VideoGame

So I thought it was about time to do a bit of a What I have been playing recently post. It has been awhile since I have done a post like this so I felt like it was about time. I have actually been playing a lot of different things so I am going to split this across a few posts.

I have spent a little bit of time here and there on Trials Fusion, well on its Awesome Max Levels Expansion to be precise. I basically tried to go through all of the Awesome Max levels expansion and get a medal on every track. For a set chunk of this you are a machine gun holding cat riding a Unicorn. Yes it is as crazy and as awesome as it sounds, its a thrilling ride as everything seems to shift around you in seconds, you will be in a lab and then in a spaceport then in a temple quicker than you can blink. It could be argued by some that this is a distraction which makes the tracks a little tougher than they otherwise would be but then Trials Fusion is at its very best when your screaming at it one second and then pumping your fist in the air in triumph the next. If I have one big complaint it is that your not allowed to use the cat and the unicorn anywhere other than their dedicated stages, you also cant use a bike on these Unicorn based levels, for me that would have been the ideal unlockable reward, finish all the levels as the Cat and Unicorn and then you can try them with a dirt bike and can take the cat and unicorn combo out onto the rest of the tracks the game has to offer. There are not actually that many levels with the unicorn but this piece of DLC also has 22  other tracks half of which was  created by the studio itself and the other half by the ''best members'' of the player community.I managed to get a medal on all of the Unicorn levels but found myself struggling on a few of the harder ones amongst the other 22.

I also tried my hand at Trackmania Turbo, it had been one of the free Xbox Gold games and to be honest at first I didn't much like the look of it but after trying it I can see that its actually not a bad game at all, it actually kind of has quiet a bit in common with Trials Fusion in that its a game where your using a vehicle to complete tracks and win medals. The faster you can finish the track the better a medal you get unlike Trials your racing in cars not on bikes or unicorns but its actually not a bad game at all. It has that same one more go sort of feel to it that Trials does but the difference is I don't think the controls are quiet as tight, this means that when things go wrong I don't always blame myself sometimes I find myself blaming the game where as every time I fail in Trials I am sure it is my fault and that's what has made me keep going back to Trials.

I guess I have been doing a fair bit of racing of one kind or another because I have also been playing Ducati 90th Anniversary The Official VideoGame a motorbike racing game apparently based on the engine from the game Ride but with only one brand of bike in it. In all honesty its not a bad game it was £5 during a sale and I figured I would get it to sort of test the waters, I thought that if I enjoyed it enough then I might actually get Ride. In all honesty though while the games a good enough game I think its scratched enough of an inch in the bike racing department that I will probably continue to ignore Ride and just return my attention to Forza and other various car racers.