All About Articuno76
Come in, sit down, have a cup of tea
I have a younger brother. He's 12. He is also a terrifying shot in Halo 4, COD (BLOPS2, MW3). In addition he plays a lot of Minecraft, Skyrim and on occasion Dead Island. He also has his own XBL account and XBL Gold subscription. Oh, and a pair of Turtle Beaches which are the must-have item for boys in his age range.
Now, you've probably heard countless tales (or experienced for yourself) about kids on XBL screaming down the mike and generally being obnoxious. It's easy to distance yourself from a problem like that when it's not your kid or someone in your own family as just 'some snotty kid of a failed generation'. When you live with them everyday though you get to see things in a very different light.
My brother is for all intents and purposes a healthy, regular boy. He goes to school (his grades are excellent and he is even going to a special school that has requires you to pass very trying exams to get into. Honestly, the stuff on those tests might as well be Greek to most adults). He plays sports to the best of his ability and he takes to people well enough. After he gets home from school at around 4:30PM he eats his tea and then turns on his X360. Until 7PM he plays the games I listed above (most of them are FPS games). After this he gets off the console, eats dinner and then goes up to his room to do his homework. After that he mostly surfs Youtube watching Let's Play videos and learning tips and tricks for the games he plays (you could say he even studies his games). At around 9PM we get him ready for bed and by 10 he is normally sound asleep. This is, contrary to what you might believe, what I believe to be the normal profile of the XBL problem child; well-educated, middle-class and otherwise socially adjusted.
He is mature enough to be allowed to play these kinds of games and to understand how to protect his identity online. He plays mostly with his friends from school or his cousins. But there is something that happens when he goes online that bothers me. A kind of transformation.
Taunt his opponents: Along with his friends he will recite, over and over, 'You mad bro? You mad?'
Engage in name calling: Calling his friends or opponents 'a pedo' and other names (mostly in humour)
These are immature behaviours...but then he is 12 years old. I am pretty sure I was immature in the same way when I was twelve and went around calling my mates 'benders' or 'gay' for their screw-ups. He will have to eventually face wider society as an adult and I imagine he will adjust.
What bothers me the most though is his insensitivity, not just to his opponents, but his own team mates. He will put them down and shout at them when 'no one has his back' or helps him out. The way he interacts with them is clearly hurtful. He will turn to me in all honesty and say 'I don't think my mike is working. I can't get through to my team'...he can't read all the cues that clearly point to the fact that his team-mates, sick of his criticism have either muted him or simply stopped responding.
I'm not so worried about his team-mates feelings as they fight and make-up every other day in the way that children do. What bothers me is that attitude. I don't play anything akin to a sport (digital or otherwise) but even I can recognise the problem.
I am not entirely sure what I am supposed to do. I try and set an example. For instance, we played through the entirety of Resident Evil 6 together in local co-op (PC) and we died (a lot). Sometimes it was because he put too much distance between us or acting without telling me. Sometimes it was my fault. If we messed up I would defuse the situation in good humour. It wasn't that hard as I genuinely wasn't really that angry. But I don't think this is enough. I don't really have anything to include him in as the only things I do outside of playing videogames are going to the gym and applying for jobs (neither of which I can really include him in).
Anyway, what are your thoughts on this? Is this a phase he will grow out of? How could I help him through it?
I've been playing Ninja Gaiden Sigma + for the Vita (for free now for Japanese PS+ members) and I have to say that the game is certainly showing it's age in terms of player-friendly design. This is at once feeling easier than both NG and NG: Black (both of which I played a lot of back on the XBOX).
The trouble NG is that in terms of player-friendliness the game hasn't really got it together with the times. Here is a short-list of some of the really strange issues the game has that struck me as baffling.
i. No retry option: When being bested by a boss the first thing I want to do is jump right back in for another go. NGS+ does not allow you to do this and instead boots you back to your last savepoint. You will then have to run back to the boss and watch the unskippable cutscene again. The only thing between me and the boss is a straight line and a door (I saved after clearing out the enemies near the save point). Everytime I die I have to wait for the load-time, run foward, open the door, watch the cutscene and then I finally get to play. This kind of game design does not make the game more challenging at all (It's not like I'm going to get lost on the way back to the door...).
ii. No checkpointing. Same as above. The game is already broken down into a series of small encounters (and enemies will only chase you so far) so checkpointing between them doesn't make much of a difference. If I defeat a group of enemies upon death I should be given the choice of starting again at a checkpoint that activated after killing them (with my health and inventory corrected to reflect my status at the time of crossing the checkpoint) or started back at the savepoint (and there should be a figure telling me how long ago that savepoint/what status I was at).
iii. Odd camera-work: The ideal camera for this game would be largely scripted. A narrow corridor with only room for one person to pass doesn't need the camera to be near-over-the-shoulder. A sideways on (2.5D style) camera would work much better. Scripted cameras have become a big thing this generation as event scripting has become more common. It's odd that in many cases NG is actually very linear and yet the camera needs some degree of baby-sitting.
The other issues I have with the camera include that it is pitched ever so slightly upwards when being pitched downwards would be far more useful. Camera rotation speed is also way too slow with no customisation options. All this makes taking in the location of your enemies harder than it should be (and I am guessing here that this was not the intent of the game developers).
iv. Accept/Cancel button reversal: This is likely a problem that has arisen because I am playing a Japanese game on UK hardware but the important thing here is it needn't have had to happen. In the game I use X as accept in menus...accept when interacting with objects in the world where the opposite is true. This is unnecessary. Make it consistent either one way or the other (or better yet, make it an option).\
Credit where it is due though. Using the D-Pad to change and use items is a nice touch. It would have been nice to go one step further and be allow to use it to change weapons/sub-weapons in addition to items (left cycles weapons, right cycles sub-weapons, up cycles items, down equips/uses last cycled article (which will naturally be highlighted).
The gist of this interview is that as men get powerful they get more liked and as women get more powerful they get less liked and accused of being bossy.
I think this is a gross simplication of the kind many women make that men can see as problemed from a mile away. There is a subtle, but very clear difference to men between a woman who is bossy and one who is powerful (and that difference may be much more subtle than it is with men. It would be unsurprising to find women frustrated because the disctinction is subtle). My last boss was a woman who I would not consider bossy at all and well respected. Ann Suu Kyi is prominent powerful political figure who is not considered bossy at all (and by all accounts many would consider her feminine at the same time). There is indeed a difference and I wish many women would stop to realise that instead of feeling victimised (and making themselves victims in the process).
The rest of the interview makes some very good points about people's internal worlds (feeling like an imposter). I do however feel that when she makes the statement about women feeling the effects of 'being a fraud' or fretting over their choices and 'men being fine' she is well off the mark.
Being a man myself (and having male friends who I've known for years and been through a lot with and so finally pryed them open wide enough to tell me) I can state that men's feelings of insecurity are very, very real. We are just exceptionally good at hiding them (often even from ourselves).
When she makes statements like 'men are fine' that can in an of itself be taken as another one of those statements that makes men feel further compelled to retreat further into their tough guy image. All the while the number of male heart attacks and suicides (which are often attributed to men not being able to show their weaknesses or confide in anyone because it forces them to choose between themselves and success) continue to climb.
Men have a whole world of hurt and the reason we get so butt-hurt over women voicing their problems is because we know we will never be able to do the same without cashing in our masculinity (which for a man, is everything, the way he is perceived and how sucessful he is depends on it). We see women able to capitalise what is essentially 'being a women' to improve their situation and we know that we can't do the same. We know that we won't be understood. And even if we are we learnt long-ago that big boys don't cry and to take action...sometimes I believe that that is actually correct, sometimes I don't.
The point is. Looks are extremely deceiving. Especially when only looking at powerful/influential men who most certainly do not make up the majority of any organisation.
My Recent Reviews
Jun 5, 2013 10:46 pm GMTArticuno76 posted a new blog entry entitled Sick of screaming kids on XBL? I live with one! Another perspective.
May 16, 2013 11:09 am GMTArticuno76 posted in the topic 'Ace Attorney Dual Destinies Demo' (web-browser version) available to play now on the Nintendo 3DS/DS board
Apr 19, 2013 5:03 pm GMTArticuno76 posted a new blog entry entitled Ninja Gaiden: Trouble distinguishing difficulty from player friendliness
Apr 18, 2013 6:30 pm GMTArticuno76 posted a new blog entry entitled Women sometimes don't see it
Apr 8, 2013 1:41 pm GMTArticuno76 posted in the topic Guacamelee (PS3/Vita Cross-Buy/Play). IGN 9/10 Sleeper-hit on the Sony PSP / Vita board
Apr 7, 2013 8:09 pm GMTArticuno76 posted a new blog entry entitled Vita features wishlist
Apr 5, 2013 4:23 pm GMTArticuno76 posted a new blog entry entitled Microsoft 'doesn't get it'
Apr 4, 2013 5:01 pm GMTArticuno76 posted a new blog entry entitled Piracy is not a responsible excuse for failure
Apr 4, 2013 4:59 pm GMTArticuno76 posted a new blog entry entitled Piracy is a lame excuse
Apr 1, 2013 8:33 pm GMTArticuno76 posted a new blog entry entitled Tomb Raider and the exploding corridor