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5821  The Rest / General Discussions / Sofa Company Ships Racist Couch on: April 16, 2007, 04:09:27 PM
Whoa.  I think I just had another "Color of Fear" moment.  This is tangential, but I think interesting for the discussion on racism/prejudice.  

In hindsight, how offensive is it when I and others use the term "white America"?  I'd say it's pretty bad.  Subversive prejudice perhaps.  I mean, when many of us say "white America" we really mean "corporate America."  The term somehow got twisted into "white America," likely because the heads of all the most powerful corporations in America (and possibly the world) are white.  Within the corporate infrastructure there is diversity, but speaking purely for myself, when I think "corporate" I immediately think "white."  

But not all white people are part of "corporate America."  Thus, "corporate America" isn't synonymous with "white America" even though many people, both within and outside America, believe its synonymity.  

That's something to ponder.
5822  The Rest / General Discussions / Sofa Company Ships Racist Couch on: April 16, 2007, 03:22:26 PM
Well, we all have our own prejudices and we all have different viewpoints on it.  I'm not going to soapbox and say that I don't.  I certainly do and yes, I DO think that not all prejudice is created equal.  It sucks, but it's just how it is in the world.  Prejudice in America is different from prejudice in other countries.  Prejudice regarding X ethnic group is different than prejudice regarding Y ethnic group simply due to cultural and geographical differences between places/groups.  

If a white person is called a honky in a country that's 85% black, it's different than if a white person's called a honky in a country that's 85% white.  Completely different experience even though the way the events play out is the same.  

It's all cheese.  Limburger is a different flavor of cheese than cheddar, but it all comes from cows.  And even then, a cow in California is different from a cow in upstate NY due to climate differences.  (ASIDE: I know someone's going to call me out on ignoring goat cheese.  d'oh! :P)

I think each and every human being in the world harbors some kind of racial prejudice.  It's in where/how it's manifested that's the difference.

Regarding the couch, I feel that, yes, the mother allowed the N-word to have meaning because, well, it does have a meaning and has had a meaning for a LONG time.  

Regardless, I think we can all agree that despite our own viewpoints on racism and prejudice, "ni**ger brown" is certainly not appropriate to have on a furniture label.  And the amount of blame-shifting, buck-passing, and lack of accountability within the company's infrastructure is frustrating and not cool.  

As silly as it sounds, corporations scares me more than racists.  It would not surprise me in the least if a healthy percentage of the prejudiced thoughts/actions/etc. in current day America that's absent in other developed nations was somehow the result of a corporation manipulating our minds.  I guess I'd concisely label it corporate social manipulation or corporate sociological manipulation.    

But the evils of corporations are a whole 'nother discussion entirely.
5823  The Rest / General Discussions / Sofa Company Ships Racist Couch on: April 16, 2007, 02:41:37 PM
Then fire up your wayback machine and change history.  Whitey made the N-word an insulting derogatory word.  It's like during the Vietnam war when the Vietnamese were referred to as "gooks."  By calling them gooks, it made them seen not human and less than human.  In much the same way, killing people is bad but killing ni**ers was fine since in white vernacular they were "un-human/ less than human."  

It's the same as people using words like fag, kike, dot-head, etc.  Get rid of those terms and people will just find new ways to degrade others to make themselves feel superior.  

No matter what, the word ni**er is offensive and derogatory and reeks of ignorance.  Not always racial malice, because like in "Color of Fear" there is that guy David who is racist but doesn't believe he is.  

Again, if you haven't seen "The Color of Fear" watch it, then maybe you'll have a better understanding of where people like Azrael and I are coming from.  Otherwise, I'm sorry to say but the "white privilege" that white folks take for granted clouds their world view.  I know that sounds harsh, but it's the truth.  White folks may not truly know/understand why something like this couch label is demeaning, offensive, and a step-backwards-in-human-equality for us non-whites.  

Sorry, but derogatory terms for white folks like honky or cracker just aren't on the same level as ni**ger since America is primarily a white country.  White majority.  Majorities get privilege.  Me calling a white guy a honky is throwing a pebble.  A whitey calling me a dot-head is throwing a heavy rock.  

"Ni**er Brown" on a couch label IS racist.  Not maliciously racist, but certainly subversive.  It's the subversive racists like David in "Color of Fear" who scare me more than open malicious racists like the Klan.

And in the case of the couch, I don't necessarily think anyone's out trying to change the world.  Just asking for some accountability from those responsible.  Is a little accountability too much to ask?

I don't think it's a case of oversensitivity to prejudice at all.  It's just a heightened awareness that wasn't there decades ago.  Things do seem to be "getting worse" but perhaps things need to get worse before they get better.
5824  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Best RPGs based on story alone? on: April 16, 2007, 08:24:31 AM
Regarding MegaTen, I'd go DDS over Nocturne.  While I loved the plotline of Nocturne ( http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/smt-nocturne/index2.html ), it doesn't have the structured narrative that many JRPG fans go for; plus, Nocturne is less about the characters developing than it is about the world developing.  DDS, as well as the Persona games, have far more structured narratives and character development.  

If you can find the import cheap, Persona 2: Innocent Sin has one of the best RPG stories I've experienced.  Don't worry about knowing Japanese, the wonderful ladies at Oracle of Maiya did a full text translation of all the dialogue.  http://www.chthonian.net/persona/oracle/  Even if you decide not to play the game, read the dialogue anyway.  It's so good.  It makes many of the events in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment that much more meaningful.  I warn you, my Persona 2 reviews are LOOOOOOONG.

And if it's story alone you crave, then why not expand into the visual novel genre?  Some of the most compelling video game storylines I've experienced were in visual novels.  For example, Ever17's amazing character-driven story simply blew me away.  I adore that game.   http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/ever17/index.html
Hourglass of Summer was amazing too.  Still my favorite love adventure http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/hourglassofsummer/index.html

Another visual novel with a killer storyline that just went above and beyond for me is Phantom of Inferno http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/phantomofinferno/index.html
The Exodus Guilty trilogy had almost zero gameplay, but the storyline presented was more epic than I could have ever imagined.  

Or maybe expand into the graphic adventure/point-and-click genre.  The Longest Journey, for example, has a damn good story.  Excellent dialogue, memorable characters, a good English dub [way back when, a Norwegian board member commented that he preferred April Ryan's English voice to her original Norwegian voice (FunCom is a Norwegian developer), despite the fact that a well-known Norwegian TV actress voiced April.]  It's sequel Dreamfall, while having some clunky gameplay mechanics, had a damn good story too.
5825  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Turn Based Battle System Idea on: April 15, 2007, 08:24:07 PM
Hmmm... Lunar DS did something similar with fighting in Virtue Mode vs. Combat mode and that turned out disastrous.  From Pat's review:

Before beginning a battle, the party can either be in "virtue" mode or "combat" mode. Virtue mode allows the enemies to be sacrificed to the Goddess Althena; the player is then awarded with Althena Conduct (a.k.a. experience points), and the characters' level may increase over time. Combat mode robs the characters of any experience points, and in return can receive one of three kinds of items: tools (healing items,) sundries (for Gad's Express,) and cards.

As long as the entire party still gets appropo experience and money but the other spoils differ per world, that's cool.  But I wouldn't want one world to earn me EXP and the other not to.
5826  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Turn Based Battle System Idea on: April 15, 2007, 05:11:32 PM
The whole one encounter consisting of a bunch of mini-battles sounds kinda like what Thousand Arms did, and boy was combat tedious and IMO awful in that game.
5827  Media / The Soundroom / Matt Barlow Returns To Metal on: April 15, 2007, 09:39:53 AM


if anyone's interested in hearing their stuff.
5828  The Rest / General Discussions / GaGaGame Journal #5 on: April 15, 2007, 12:39:39 AM
I'm playing through Memories Off: Complete for Dreamcast.  I'm on 10/8 right now.  Good game and a classic love adventure, but nowhere near as good as Natsuiro no Sunadokei (Hourglass of Summer) in my opinion.
5829  The Rest / General Discussions / YOU ARE DAMNED on: April 14, 2007, 07:24:57 PM
That was kinda fun.  My biggest pet peeve is easily backseat drivers, so I damned them for being assholes while I'm driving.  Worst is when

they try to "help" by navigating me when I'm parallel parking.  Shut the fuck up.  I'm a pretty capable parallel parker so I can do it better when you shut up and let me concentrate.
5830  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Taking the cue: Most Frustrating RPG on: April 14, 2007, 03:34:39 PM
Quote from: "Dice"
Any fucking obligatory sewer dungeon can lick a hairy ass.

Desert dungeons are just as bad, if not worse.  Lufia: Ruins of Lore easily had the worst sewer dungeon IMO.  Worst desert dungeon IMO was in Stupid Invaders.  There's no humanly way to get through it alive without a walkthrough.  

I'd personally take a sewer dungeon over a desert dungeon any day.  The absolute worst would be a randomized desert dungeon.  That'd make me want to lobotomize myself.  

But that's taking into account annoying elements rather than annoying games.  I've played many an RPG/adventure with crap-tastic desert dungeons but ultimately thought them good games.  

Either way, there are too many RPGs that combine elements of boring, clunky interface, cheap difficulty, lousy music, bad writing, and more into a crap-tastic game.  One of the first that pops into my head is Dragon Quest 7.  "Friendship is like a plant and must be returned to grow."  God, that game did EVERYthing wrong.  Not a single redeeming quality in that turd pile.  I swear that RPG must have been made to intentionally piss off the gamer at every single turn.
5831  Media / The Soundroom / Matt Barlow Returns To Metal on: April 14, 2007, 01:12:05 PM
Pyramaze is a solid band.  Their first album, Melancholy Beast, was technically good, but seemed to be missing something; but Legend of the Bone Carver was really freaking good. It's like the band's sound hit the gym for 2 years straight and gained 30 pounds of muscle.  

I think Barlow's deep voice will give Pyramaze the heft and power that was kinda lacking in Lance King's vocals.  Not to slight Lance King (he's a solid singer), but Barlow in Pyramaze would absolutely KILL!  

I can already imagine him singing songs like "The Birth" and "Ancient Words Within" it would make the already great songs multiple times awesomer.  And the thought of Barlow singing "Tears of Hate" is like "WHOA!!!"  Knock me over with a feather.  

As for Iced Earth, I think their best stuff was from Night of the Stormrider through Horror Show.  They've pretty much bit the big one since.  Burnt Offerings was their best album.
5832  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies on: April 14, 2007, 10:05:50 AM
On both, the extras are pretty meager (one of my friends has the shitty original DVD that he got dirt cheap.)  But I don't really care much for extras anyway, so I'm the wrong person to ask.
5833  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies on: April 13, 2007, 11:27:50 PM
The Last Unicorn 25th anniversary DVD came out earlier this year.  I'd get that version over the older cheapie DVD version, because the 25th anniversary edition is letterboxed and has crisper picture quality.
5834  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Taking the cue: Most Frustrating RPG on: April 13, 2007, 07:53:38 AM
Quote from: "Alisha"

uh sure some luck is involved but deck building is a skill.

I guess I could buy that, but man is fussing around with deck building ever tedious and boring.  I'll pass.  I find the whole card battling paragidm tedious, frustrating, and too dependent on luck for my tastes.  I find it like playing War with a standard deck of cards.
5835  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Taking the cue: Most Frustrating RPG on: April 13, 2007, 12:25:34 AM
For me, I find the most frustration in puzzle RPGs like Landstalker and Alundra.  The jumping puzzles especially have made me want to smash controllers.  I'm still flabbergasted that I somehow managed to finish Light Crusader (which was a Landstalker clone.)  

Any RPG that utilizes a card battling system is frustrating for me as well.  I'd like to rely on skill rather than luck of the draw, thank you.

Oh, and games like Phantasy Star 3 that pool your experience, meaning that if your 5 character party gains 45 EXP, that means 9 EXP for each character and not 45 EXP per character.  Made level building a tedious chore.  The slow walking speed coupled with gigantic environments and the only place you could save was at an inn (and you had to pay to save too) and you have a recipe for tedium.  

For me what's frustrating is when games either screams "lack of effort" (whether it be bad music or inability to balance difficulty levels properly resulting in uber-cheap enemies/mechanics) or that are so overwrought and pretentious that they stops being fun.
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