tl;dr: Religious abuse only happens because religious leaders are allowed to claim ownership of things other people need in order to live, which is basically the spiritual version of "private property." Because of this, most Internet Atheist criticisms of "religion" would be better directed at capitalism instead.
Content note: Discussion of abusive religion and eating disorders.
From CollectQT's Political Definitions page:
capitalism - An economic system wherein the means of production are largely privately owned. Capitalism is inherently oppressive.
To unpack that a little, "the means of production" are what you need access to in order to make a living. They can be anything from printing presses to app stores to hunting preserves.
In a capitalist economic system, like the ones in China and the United States, these things are all privately owned, meaning that one person or corporation is allowed to control them despite the fact that everyone needs them. This is why capitalism is inherently oppressive; whatever political freedoms you may have, the people who own the means of production have the power to decide whether you live or die, and under what circumstances.
When critics of capitalism are talking about "private property," this is what they are criticizing. The "property" in question is the means of production, not your personal effects. They are not saying that you should be forced to give up your plushies or miniatures. On the other hand, if you've ever seen someone eBay their most prized possessions in order to make next month's rent, you know that this is exactly what capitalism does to the people it makes into losers.
The following essay was originally posted on the Final Fantasy XIV forums, where it will probably be eaten alive.
Full disclosure: I played FFXI for seven years or so, starting in 2004. I love FFXIV, but for different reasons than I loved FFXI.
When I started playing FFXI, I was completely taken in by its graphics, its community, and even its timesinks. It taught me the ferry arrives in 15 minutes, you need to have food to go levelling, and be careful ninjaing past Valkurm Dunes goblins. I took it all without questioning it, because this was my world and I wanted to go on adventures in it. And when it came time to do Divine Might, I /shouted and rallied my friends until we were herding 18 cats, which to me was the bigger challenge than the actual boss fight itself.
I'm glad that I have those memories, and I think the world needs more sandbox (or sandbox-ish) games. FFXI and EVE Online are "niche" titles, but with surprisingly loyal players. And if FFXI's slowly shrinking while EVE's slowly growing, it's partly because FFXI's based on 10-year-old tech and went neglected for years.
I'm not sure it's possible to build into a game, by design, the kinds of emergent gameplay those two have to offer. I don't think you can queue up in the Duty Finder, for the kind of unforgettable experience that was my friends and me beating FFXI's Ultima with 10 seconds left on the timer. I don't think scripted, themepark games should replace sandbox ones, and I think it's sad that 1.0's fans and SWG's fans lost theirs (multiple times, in the case of SWG).
But I also think they're unfairly romanticized. And I think sandbox fans like me tend to gloss over their faults, and give other people the sense that we think we are better than "casual" gamers, which are really just "anyone not as invested in ___ game as I am."
I think we should stop doing that.
For every one who has glowing memories, there are a lot more who remember a bewildering and frustrating game. For every one who remembers discovering how to beat a tough boss fight, there are a hundred who looked it up on FFXIclopedia (or Erecia's guide, remember that?). Sometimes you want to do it yourself, but you want to be told how to do it. And sometimes, you just wish the darned ferry would get here already.
For every day I spent having awesome adventures, I probably spent ten getting my head handed to me in Valkurm, or running around doing tedious crap and waiting for JP midnight. We don't remember this stuff as well, but they're all that the people who quit remember, which is why FFXI and EVE both have so many haters. Not because the "casual" gamers weren't "hardcore" enough to "learn to play," but because the games disrespected their time and money investments, and failed to fulfill the promise of being an awesome Final Fantasy / Internet Spaceships adventure.
Who made that promise, and how they made it, we could probably argue about. But FFXI and EVE are simply not like the games next to them on the shelves, and someone who bought FFXI thinking it'd be like FFX would be in for a rude shock.
(Just got my FFX/X-2 preorder, BTW. It's gorgeous.)
FFXIV:ARR, I feel, fulfills that promise. Say what you want about it, it is a Final Fantasy game, complete with boss fight and ending sequence. It's just unique among FF games in that you can keep playing after you beat it, unlocking more jobs and teaming up to defeat superbosses, and the developers keep adding new features and storyline quests.
I think their "ideal player" is a core FF gamer, who's new to the MMO world. I think that's the person they design for. And while I sometimes miss not having stuff spelled out for me, I'm also not sure what the difference is between having to research crafting recipes and food stats on FFXIclopedia, and having the game's UI just tell me. Beyond the fact that one of those things makes me do the same work as FFXIV's devs, unpaid.
TL;DR Sandboxes are fun, but people aren't worse gamers than I am because they don't want to do unpaid dev work.
We wrote our "conversion story" on a forum we signed up for recently, and thought it summed things up pretty nicely in case anyone here is interested in what we've used technology-wise (although it leaves out our history of tablets, game consoles, and one beat-up iBook). What, am I the only one with an obsessive interest in how people relate to their technology and what that says about them?
( Behind cut! )
We love first-person games like Metroid Prime, but aren't particularly excited about shooting up other players. Maybe that's why we loved playing Sanctum 2 with aliaspseudonym. It's an awesome sci-fi first-person tower defence game with multiple playable female characters, one completely androgynous robot, a comic book storyline, gorgeous graphics, and a sense of humour.
Here's a gameplay trailer:
And here's the ridicularious nineties-tastic trailer for their first expansion!
Let us know if any of you get it while it's on sale and want to try playing it online. We might be up for it, although we tend to have really bad lag. >_>;
First off, unless you are triggered by romance or 16-bit pixel art you need to stop what you're doing, and buy the current Humble Bundle for $1. Just so you can play To The Moon.
It's extremely touching, and the best portrayal of autistic people in any media I've ever seen. Just be sure to bring lots of tissues for when you play it.
Secondly, the dood what does the Errant Signal videos is now asking for donations via Patreon. He writes some extremely insightful (and amusing) video game critique, and excels at explaining both a) why a particular game caught on with so many people and b) what's problematic about it and video game culture as a whole.
Here's an example of his work:
And here's where he asks for supporters:
He's pretty awesome, IMO. >_>
The title is a reference to a publicly-available Steam achievement, but the rest of this essay contains spoilers. That is the point of this essay: To provide a trigger warning for people who are depressed, and have dealt with or are dealing with suicidal thoughts. Especially people who survived an abusive, fundamentalist upbringing.
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That's how rev_yurodivy describes their political leanings, which are somewhere left of everyone except perhaps Ammon Hennacy.
I personally see myself as somewhere in that neighbourhood also. >_> With that in mind, here's some stuff curated from my readings today, about why Capitalism Sucks Hard and We Need Way More Socialism. Especially where creative professions are concerned.
Content note for incoherent rambling, but leaving unfiltered in case someone wants to commiserate or offer comfort or suggestions.
( Read more... )
Step One: Log in to the game
Wow, this sure is taking awhile.
I have to enter a secondary password, and I can't change it? And it's only used in the client app? Well, okay then.
Hm, I created this character last year and never touched it ... I'll go ahead and delete this one and get a fresh start.
I have to wait until 7 AM to start playing? Well okay, whatever keeps people from ragequitting.
wait until the next day
Step Two: Log in to the game
It sure would be nice if this game were pinned to my taskbar along with my other MMOs.
Launching the game from the Start screen brings me to a website? But then I click "Start Game" on the website and it brings up a client app.
Okay, I'll just pin that to the taskbar, then exit out and launch that to make sure that it works.
NO I DO NOT WANT TO UNINSTALL MABINOGI
Whew, I found the actual .exe file that starts the game. I'll just pin that to my taskbar.
search DuckDuckGo for why Mabi replaces the launcher with the uninstaller every time you try to pin it
FINE, I will do like this one person tried and create a shortcut to the launcher and then pin that. PROBLEM SOLVED.
Step Three: Log in to the game
Oh crap, the password I chose isn't working. Did I click the wrong key on the onscreen keyboard they made me use? Now what do I do?
I'll reset my account password and hope that fixes it.
Okay, there's an option in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT place to reset the SECONDARY password.
WHY WON'T IT LET ME LOG IN
use your email address as your "account name"
Step Four: Log in to the @#*$ing game
Okay, it'll finally let me delete my old character. Time to create a new character.
WHY IS IT TELLING ME I NEED TO BUY A NEW CHARACTER CARD
WHY DOES A NEW CHARACTER CARD COST ALMOST 8,000 OF THEIR CRAP COINS YOU BUY WITH REAL MONEY
look through their ways to "earn" coins and note that they all ask for your money, credit card number, or email address
I finally found out that at 7 AM on the day after you delete your character they give you another free "character card" to create one with.