Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Sites: E3 Edition

Tomorrow marks the start of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which is the most wonderful time of the year for gamers. Hopefully, this year would bring the excitement that we have seen in previous years. This is quite possibly the best proof of the excitement that E3 brings to gamers. A history of E3, highlights of each convention. Quite possible the fastest method of getting information next to being there IGN’s E3 site. Quite possibly, the ultimate example of a video game studio that has had its artistic and entertainment values taken away by abusive publishers. Good luck with the Conduit “The Real Game-Master”? [citation needed]. Still a very objective reviewer

Gaming itself has lost much of its artistic integrity. Today, games are mass produced by legions of developers who have nearly no say in what content goes into the games they develop. Developers become sell outs, and the connection between players aIMG_8054nd their games is all but obliterated. The price to develop games professionally has skyrocketed, and thus, fewer developers are willing to take risks, and thus, truly experimental gameplay and norm-breaking presentations have become rare. So this E3 comes at a critical time where fewer and fewer games seem interesting to jaded gamers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Anger is the Motivator

I am angry.

I am angry because Proposition 8 was passed. Passed out of ignorance. The votes were fueled by people who had no exposure to gay society. People who had no idea of how it is like to be gay, people who have no gay friends nor family members. I am angry because of that.

But anger is good.

Anger motivates us to do positive actions that will benefit the world. It drives us to reflect upon ourselves and others. Thus, anger serves as the catalyst for all meaningful movements in history.

We are angry. 

Gay-sympathizers, gays, straights, lesbians, questioners and AnonymousProtestbisexuals: unite in hope. Anger led us to come out and be vocal, asking provocative questions to break long held unfair taboos. Anger will again move us to unite in a movement.

Mario Savio, Harvey Milk and Gandhi used their anger to move people and unite to make efforts towards liberation. Once again, we need a leader. A leader who possesses the fiery passion to instill in each of us the motivation to live out our beliefs.

The passing of Proposition 8 was not a win for the Defense of Marriage, it was a lost. For it instilled in us the anger to create positive change. That change will come with our combined efforts. We will combat the ignorance that has plagued Evangelical communities. With the education of the ignorant, more and more people can sympathize with gays. The frightening lack of knowledge in far too many communities was what passed Proposition 8.

So I ask of you to get angry. Fight back against ignorance with dialogue. As such will enlighten those who willfully shut away sympathy out of fear and insecurity.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day of Decision is… TOMORROW!

The California Supreme Court's ruling is tomorrow.

Here's a rundown of all of the activities in San Francisco -- please spread the word far and wide:

- 7:00pm to 8:30pm: Interfaith Prayer service at Grace Cathedral (1100 California St). All peaceful loving people are invited to come together for this service, no matter what their position on the court case may be.

- 8:30am to 9:15am: Service/Blessing at St. Francis Lutheran Church (152 Church St, across from Safeway).
- 9:15am to 10am: March from Saint Francis to Civic Center Plaza.
- 10:00am to 10:30: California Supreme Court steps (400 McAllister St) Everyone is invited to stand with us on the steps to receive the ruling. If you are a couple that married, or wanted to marry and will speak to media, please email your name, contact information, phone number and story to Please bring your families and allies with you.
- 10:30am: Circle of Care at Civic Center Plaza. If the marriage ban is upheld, a group of Bay Area clergy and congregants will engage in nonviolent civil disobedience immediately after receiving the ruling go to for details.
Emceed by Stuart Gaffney, John Lewis, Lawrence Ellis, Molly McKay and Davina Kotulski
- 5:00pm to 6:00: Pre-March Rally at SF City Hall (speakers include Terry Stewart, Kate Kendall and others)
- 6:00pm to 7:00: March to MLK Memorial at Yerba Buena Gardens (4th
and Mission, next to Metreon). Follow
for live updates from the march.
- 7:00pm to 8:30: Post-March Gathering at Yerba Buena Gardens, (speakers including Rev. Amos Brown , Dolores Huerta music, and next steps)
(We NEED volunteers for SF's Day of Decision. Please email volunteer coordinator Dolores at We need help with peacekeepers, handing out stickers, postcards and chant sheets.)
For more information visit or

- Meet in the Middle for Equality in Fresno:
- Saturday: March from Selma to Fresno, meeting at 6:30am and kicking
off at 7:50am
Buses leave from San Francisco - join your fellow love warriors for a road trip for justice you will always remember!
- Saturday: Rally in Fresno; warmup at noon, kickoff at 1pm

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Sites 27

Today’s Sunday Sites will be devoted to DRM. Part 1 of Gamespot’s series on DRM Part 2. Is DRM harmful to the industry? It surely is harmful to our enjoyment and freedom. the Electronic Frontier Foundation is probably the most vocal on the issue out there. The grassroots campaign to eliminate DRM Information on DRM can be found here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Commercialism in Education: Why Vending Machines must be Removed from Schools

This post originally appeared in the May 2009 edition of the Roundtable, the student newspaper of Stuart Hall High School

It is time to pause and reflect on the appropriateness of various kinds of connections between businesses and schools, and the influence those connections might have on the integrity of education in a democracy. ~ Amy Aidman

In an elementary school in Fort Collins, Colorado, advertisements for Lays chips line the hallways, cafeterias serve food from “Taco Bell” and “Pizza Hut,” and “Burger King” coupons are rewarded for acing spelling quizzes. The school was financially weak, so as an alternative to fund-raising, it let corporate dollars fund nearly everything.

In another school, “Pepsi Day” was held. In order to celebrate this special occasion, the students assembled in the playground and donned colored hats to form a gigantic Pepsi logo. One student, however, broke formation and shouted “COKE!” He was promptly suspended.

While the two cases mentioned above are without a doubt the most Wong_SodaMachine3 extreme cases of commercialism in education, the presence of a vending machine here at Stuart Hall greatly contributes to it. At a school where the students are taught to think critically and brutally tear apart advertisements, the presence of a vending machine seems counterintuitive at best. This is not a slippery-slope.

When a customer is young, it is easy to indoctrinate him or her with subliminal messages. From cradle to grave, we are bombarded with such messages and are expected to buy the products they advertise. Getting students to rely on their drinks during high school is critical to the future success of soft-drink companies because it makes students customers for life. Therefore, high schools are but a cog in the machine to maximize profits for multinational corporations.

"It seems absolutely crazy to have schools sponsor a habit that undermines students' health," ~ Micheal Jacobson

However, support for school's vending machines remains to be widespread. Purchasing soft drinks at the vending machine is far more convenient than carrying one's own drink to school. In addition, most students find that they are mature enough to make their own decisions about their diet. Looking at patterns in purchases also provides classes with interesting information about social effects in marketing.

The vending machine itself lacks soda, instead it is comprised of healthier drinks like Vitamin Water” ~ Devan Patel

Although Coke's Logo appears on the machine, the drinks that it sells come from numerous different companies.” ~ Diego Otero-Caldwell

By no means do I oppose the pursuit of profit. Businesses exist to make money, and I have no problem with that. The advertising schemes that have evolved over the years can be equated to the stalking of customers. At youth, people are far easier to influence, as they are ignorant to the intentions of others. Businesses capitalize off that ignorance by appealing to kids’ emotions and making them irrationally trust them. Thus, making them far less eager to think critically.

I therefore propose that the vending machine be removed from the Columbus Room. Such corporate impalement is unethical, and Stuart Hall should not be made into a cog in the soda machine.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Sites 26

Sorry about the inconsistencies of the last two sunday sites. Here are today's sites: How to live life? That's one of the most important questions young people make. Boredom is one of the worst things that harms productivity. Oftentimes, you would find yourself loitering around Facebook and reading articles on boring subjects. Stuff that dosen't lead to your development. Oftentimes, you would find that you accomplish nothing when you are bored. Thoughts on the evangelization of the Military.
Despite the destructive effects that parental pressure to excel have been proven to exert. It goes on and on and on and on....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

An Open Letter to Steve Jobs

The following is a open-letter to Steve Jobs, discussing the ethics of the aggressive Get a Mac marketing campaign and the social problems that it has caused for many of us.

It has come to my attention that the advertising campaign that fuels the sales of your computers borders on the unethical. The GetaMac marketing campaign, while funny, causes a multitude of social troubles for consumers on all sides of the OS war. You have impaled your customers to Macs by linking the ownership of Macs to countercultural heroes such as John Lennon and Gandhi, role models that people want to be like. By buying these computers, customers will be thought of as more “freethinking” by their friends. Even if this is not the case. Today, buying a Mac has become tantamount to the purchase of a premade persona.

Advertising campaigns are responsible for dictating the way that we think and thus, have a profound and sometimes damaging effect on our social circles.

Stop and think for a moment, of the stereotypes that you have created. The social outcasts that you have made. Ultra-exclusive cliques have developed around the ownership of Macs. They evangelize your products. Such preaching is annoying and at worst, discriminatory. The marketing campaign forces PC and Linux users to be tagged as “nerds”, and thus, must purchase Apple products to shed that social connotation.

Let it be known that commercialism has a heavy effect on our social lives. Today, many of our friendships develop around common interests, usually in corporate-developed products. Take for example: For many of today's teens, video games serve as the foundation on which they bond with others. A virgin to video games will indubitably find himself having major difficulties making friends. The same goes for Windows and Linux users in the OS wars. Apple's commercialism proves to be significantly more harmful than most other forms of commercialism combined.

My critique of your marketing campaign is not a slippery-slope. Already have I met many people who have been placed in narrow places of social difficulties because of their choices of operating systems. Thus, we can conclude that the stereotypical Windows and Linux user can identify very much with the Beatitudes: Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Sunday Sites: Scott Young

Well, its two weeks overdue, but here is the Sunday Sites devoted to Scott Young's blog on self-improvement. I myself, and many other people are limited by their social skills, or lack thereof.
The rat-racer ideals are far too pervasive in today's society.
What do you live for? Is there anything that you'd die for? What is the meaning of life? Now that's a relevant philosophical problem. Discerning between this and the "Dip".
Now, reading Scott's blog and writing this blog has provided me with countless experience points, which I have spent on my attributes. But there are still skills I want to learn and master. Just like in real life.