When Bill Clinton brokered the landmark deal trading American manufacturing jobs for cheap Chinese products in Wal-Mart (and a bit of bureaucratic axle grease on the side), it set China on the road from oppressive communist dictatorship to oppressive capitalist dictatorship. And there was much rejoicing.
China has managed to absorb American greed without any of the other American values like free speech, NASCAR and hygiene. However, one thing they're apparently starting to catch on to is that the best way to deal with your grief after a traumatic event is to find somebody to sue.
The parents of a 13-year-old boy who jumped out a 24th story window (with predictable results) are claiming that he did it to re-enact the Test of Faith quest in WoW, and are suing Blizzard for, presumably, making their son an idiot. This despite the fact that he left a suicide note.
Pretending for the for the duration of this article that the boy was actually delusional and not just a regular depressed teenager who happened to have a soft spot for the ol' Grief-n-Grind, there's still the question of responsibility. If parents aren't responsible for teaching their kids the difference between fantasy and reality before they reach the age of consent, what are they even there for? The glory? But maybe that was something they were waiting to bring up on the actual day he turned 14.
You have to hand it to the kid, though; he proved his faith. Unfortunately he also proved that his faith wasn't justified. C'est la vie, or in this case la mort.
As more and more of these lawsuits get filed by post facto over-protective parents against game devs who presumably have too much influence on impressionable young minds, one wonders when the Invisible Hand will sweep down to sprinkle salted nuts into their upturned mouths. And by salted nuts, I mean a game that targets people who hate games.
Such a game would have to teach kids about consequences and responsibility (Heck, maybe it could teach the parents too). It could not allow the player to do anything in the game world that they cannot do in the real world. So there would be no car-jacking, no double jumping and (praise Jeeves) no night elves.
There would be no healing potions, no stat buffs and above all, no re-spawning. Not only would death be permanent, your account would be cancelled and you would be permanently banned, enforced by retina scan.
Most of the game would be similar to The Sims, except from a first-person perspective. There would be a finite amount of money in the game, with no spawns to camp and no NPCs to sell your worthless crap to. This would encourage players to cooperate and create their own society and economy. Players would have jobs, and they'd have to do them at specific times to earn the virtual money they need to buy virtual food so they don't die (and get banned).
Presumably this game would turn the next generation of gamers into hard-working, productive members of society, just like Grand Theft Auto and Doom turned our generation into thieves and murderers.
Subject: Your embarrassing plea for readers
Date: Tue, November 22, 2005 1:06 pm
Jesus, man, have you no shame? Is Px really drawing again? We've heard that before.
Now that that's out of the way... We still read it here at work. I pimp you on my site pretty regularly, though the three week Qwest-mandated downtime two months ago cut my readership (which is what I call the people who accidentally read what I write when they're looking for hot chick pictures) by about 90%.
What you need to do is make sure Px draws Ilene in skimpy clothes in at least every other strip. She doesn't even have to be part of the story; she can just be in the background, walking through, washing dishes, carrying laundry, pole dancing. You know.
Anyway, keep up the good work. You consistently crack me up, and after over a year it would be a shame to slack off now.
Yes, the Penguin has indeed re-emerged from his aquatic hideaway to draw again, just like in that Morgan Freeman movie. I know he's actually drawing again because I've seen the results. And as I alluded Tuesday, we won't be posting anything until he has the entire next story arc drawn.
No, I have no shame. Or at least, feeling ashamed does not impede me in any discernable way.
I shall pass along your suggestions to the P-man vis-à-vis Ilene in short skirts thusly: Hey Penguin! More T&A!