Pointing out double standards does NOT make you sexist!

There seems to be a trend online at the moment to jump up and down on anyone pointing out double standards against 'white straight males' automatically is a racist or a sexist. No white straight men are not a discriminated group, they (we) still hold a massive amount of power in the western world, but there are double standards that need to be addressed if we want true equality and pointing them out does not mean you hate women.

A few years ago there was a massive advertising campaign in Australia with the tag line "Violence again Women, Australia says no!", it was an important topic, one that needed addressing, but anyone who criticised it was automatically labelled a wife beating sexist. Most people who had an issue with it mainly had an issue with the fact that it focused excursively on physical abuse, which while devastating is far from the only form of domestic abuse. It also made the problem appear to be exclusively a 'male against female' problem, which is is most definitely not. Domestic abuse can be male against female, male against male, female against male, female against female, etc.

I personally grew up seeing things that if the genders were swapped would automatically be considered domestic violence, but since it was female against male, it wasn't. But when I attempted to point that out online that perhaps a better tag line would have been "Domestic Abuse, Australia says no!", I was howled down as a misogynist.

It's also a cultural problem, how often have we seen a 'comedy' where the female in a relationship strikes the male in anger and it's played for laughs when the male winces in real pain? Switch the genders in your mind and consider it. Yes males on average are stronger then females, but you know what? It doesn't matter, domestic abuse isn't just about physical violence, there is a large mental component where one partner dominates the other.

And woe to anyone who attempts to point out the funding disparity between female outreach programs for the victims of domestic abuse and male outreach programs, or even health programs, like the government funding of things like breast cancer and prostate cancer (which thankfully has gotten much closer to parity).

In fact if you switch the genders in a lot of things you can see a clear double standard.
For example imagine a 33 year old male teacher having an affair with a 16 year old female student. You intellectually want to string the creep up by his toes don't you? Good, that's the way it's suppose to be. They are taking advantage and it's dead creepy.

Yet switching the genders, a 33 year old female teacher having an affair with a 16 year old male student will get a different reaction completely, it's exactly the same thing, but it's seen less of a crime, there are men out there that see nothing wrong with it, indulging in prurient fantasies instead of realising just how damaging such a 'relationship' can be to a persons long term mental health. There are also issues regarding the sentencing and prosecution of female sexual offenders thanks to this stupid double standard.

Hell, there are people online who discount the existence of female against male rape. I remember a few years ago a news story from a respected site that played for laughs the story of a man who was grabbed by three women, held down, and sexually assaulted. Most of the comments were people laughing about it... Again switch the genders.

But apparently because it was a man he must have 'wanted it'. Never mind that the male sexual response (Erection and Ejaculation) is an [b]INVOLUNTARY RESPONSE[/B] that can't be controlled. It's a sad reality that human sexual responses are outside of our control, a significant percentage of women who are sexually assaulted become sexually aroused during their attack and some even orgasm as a result, does that mean they 'wanted it?' OF COURSE NOT, IT WAS RAPE, their bodies betrayed them because of millions of years of evolution, it actually makes their mental recovery harder, yet because a man needs to obtain an erection, again a largely INVOLUNTARY response to stimuli, he is seen as 'wanting it'.


No, pointing out the existence of these double standards does not make anyone a sexist. Of course there are some men out there that genuinely do hate woman, and wish to wind back the clock, but there are also women out there that hate men, both groups are a tiny tiny minority.

It's a sad sad society where a person is mocked or denied the help they need based on their gender . I don't hate women, not that I should have to say that, I don't think men are 'discriminated' against, but I do think there are issues that need to be addressed.

Things Sim City 2013 needed

A lot of things have been said about the latest Sim City game, things about the DRM, the Online servers, the tiny city sizes. I'm not going to rehash that. But there are a few things that I think were left out that could have made the game great.

  1. Subways
    Since my very first experience with Sim City way back when, there have been Subways. Somethings about the new game made a lot of sense, doing away with Powerlines and pipes, replacing them with roads made a lot of sense... but the lack of subways was a real killer, and makes the traffic seem like a nightmare.
  2. Public Policy.
    There is very little use in upgrade your town hall, sure you get access to a few buildings, but meh, after that? Just so much dross. What they could have done was adding the ability to set public policy from those buildings and wings. If you've ever played Tropico you know what I'm talking about, Edicts.

    The ability to set things like "police crackdown" or "school bakesale" or things like that, would have added much needed flavour to the game which at times is all about sitting around waiting for something to happen.
More to come.


There are times I think Doctors and Dentists need to spend a few months working retail repair, either fixing cars, computers, or something like that, dealing with customers.

It would do their "bedside manner" the world of bloody good.

How many times have you held off going to see either a Doctor or a Dentist because you just didn't want to deal with them lecturing you over things?

Well, make them work retail for a few months, and they'll learn there is no quicker way to get someone's shirt up then being a smart ass and saying things like "well if you didn't download porn". Most people at that point simply want to snot you in the nose for being a prat. They know they shouldn't have done that already, they don't need you being a prick about it and rubbing their nose in it.

Doctors and Dentists need the same bloody lesson, we already know we shouldn't have done whatever we did was stupid, lecturing about us wont fucking help, all it will do is make us want to avoid you tosspots.

Human Equality

In the past 1,000 years humanity and how it interacts with itself has changed a great deal, and it is my considered opinion that change is down to two great inventions, with a third in it's infancy today.

When you ask people about human inventiveness they talk about the Moon Landing and other such endeavours. Those are all great accomplishments, but they aren't really inventions, nor did they change the world around us, at least not as much as a true invention.

Fire for example, controllable fire on demand, some scholars consider it was fire that allowed man to move from being an animal to what we are today. The Wheel is another great example. Then it sorts of tapers off, with lots of less inventions that improved life, but rarely made much of an impact on humanity as a whole. Just because you had a better sword it didn't mean humanity had changed. We were still ruled by tyrants and only the lucky or the elite got to experience life to it's fullest.

Humanity was ignorant.

But that has changed, has it not? The Greeks invented democracy before the birth of Christ, yet it never really took off did it? Then why has it flourished in recent centuries? What's changed. Why has humanity advanced more in the last 1,000 years then it did in the 10,000 before that? What changed.

Well I'll give you my opinion, it comes down two great inventions.

The first and most obvious is the Printing Press. I'm always staggered and how over-looked it is in history studies, it is perhaps on of the greatest equalisers in human history. Before the Printing Press books were rare, they were hard to produce, and only the rich or elite had the skill to read them.

The Printing Press changed all that, suddenly it was cheap to make books, instead of a man slaving over a book for months to produce one copy you could make dozens in a day, and then hundreds in an hour. And with the availability of books came people who wanted to see what the fuss was about.

Books have always been about storing information, by giving more and more people access to that stored knowledge all of a sudden you had a massive jump in the number of people who could contribute. How many very smart people were over looked because of where they were born? How many Hawkings? How many Platos? How many that never had access to the information they needed to improve the world? How many possible advances were lost.

That's why we've advanced so fast in the last 1,000 years, because more and more people can stand on the shoulders of giants.

Now, what about social change? What suddenly made democracy viable? What changed.

The Firearm, the common gun.

It takes years to train a master swordsmen or archer, and in a fight a master swords man will defeat a weaker fighter 99 times out of 100. That's how Knights and Lords held power, they might have been out numbered 100 to 1, but, a swordsmen of skill was worth 10-20-30 farmers with pitchforks.

That's how the people were kept inline.

The Americans have an expression, "God made man, but Sam Colt made him equal".

It's very very true, you can turn an illiterate farmer into a reasonable riflemen in a matter of days, and unlike swordsmen, that basic riflemen can kill a professional soldier, because there is a great deal more "luck" involved in a battle with firearms.

The Lords and Kings who saw the gun as a way to crush their rivals signed their own death warrants, by arming the "peasants" they provided them with the training and tools they need to assert themselves.

The Printing Press and the Firearm, the two greatest human inventions in the last 1,000 years, the two inventions that did more to change the world then any other, the two that allowed men and women around the world to assert themselves, to learn, to become truly equal.

And we stand at the birth of a new age, an age of information, an age where anyone can access anything at anytime...

I give you the Internet, it will do more to change the world then the Printing Press ever did...

Things I hate about the Games Industry

Just a list of random thoughts I hate about the games industry, though some apply to other industries as well.
  1. Exclusives
    I get why they do it, I really do, if a developer and publisher signs a deal to only release their game on the XBox 360 with Microsoft, chances are Microsoft is throwing them some pretty hardcore scratch, which helps cut down the risk inherent in making games. So I do understand why it's done.

    It still pisses me the hell off.

    It might be good for the companies involved, but it dicks over the consumer. Quick question, what has been shown to be the one thing all consumers want? Book Buyers, Gamers, Coffee Lovers? What is the one thing they all want? Choice.

    Choice is the backbone, give people choice and they'll love you for it, take away that choice and they might still buy your product but they'll be pissed off. You want to know my favourite eBook store? Amazon has the best range, and some of the cheapest prices, but it's not Amazon. It's Baen Books. They might not have the best range, but when it comes time to check out I get to decide what format I want it in. HTML? Got that. Lit? Got that. ePub? Got that? etc. Amazon gives me one choice, a shitty format that they control. It's annoying because it removes my choice. If I want to view in my browser with all my custom settings I can't when I buy from Amazon unless I break the law and hack the book.

    The same is true of the games industry, if a game is only released on the 360 and you've got a PS3, well tough shit you're screwed unless you want to buy another console. If EA is only releasing the Digital Distribution version of a game you want using it's download service but you prefer Steam? Tough shit.

    As I said above I understand why they do it, but that doesn't matter, it's not good for the customer so it sucks, and in the long run it hurts the companies too. I'd totally buy some of the games that are exclusive to the PS3, but I wont because I've got a 360, and leaving aside the merits of each console since both are fine machines, and I simply can't afford to buy a whole other console just for a handful of games.

    It's different for online services without a cost, but it's also bad because it stifles competition, the reason people are going to use Origin isn't because it's better then Steam (though it might be), it's because you wont be able to buy EA games you want through Steam. So it means neither side has an incentive to improve their services, because people are locked in. Which is bad.

    All that being said, there are non-harmful exclusives, which are called short-time exclusives, remember when we use to buy magazines? If you subscribed you'd get the mag a week before it hit the news stands, so you had an incentive to buy a subscription. Unfortunately no-one has realised doing the same thing in the Games Industry would be a good idea. Give a game a month headstart on the 360, or a month of only for sale on Steam.

  2. MMO Boxes
    As above I understand why MMO developers need to put out hardcover boxes of their games and expansions, the publishers and retailers want it in order to cash in, and I would be fine with that if they also offered a simple digital version, but they can't because said publishers and retailers would go apeship. Why should I need to go into a store to upgrade my MMO account to the latest expansion? It's not like I actually need the CD or DVD, everyone is going to come down via the patcher. Anarchy Online did it. It worked fine, it was great for the gamer, and for the company because people can simply upgrade when they see something they want in-game, without having time to cool off and think "nahh I don't really need that".

    I've got to make an account with the game anyway, so why shouldn't I be able to simply pay them the same way as I pay my subscription. Hell some games don't even offer a standard upgrade for their trial accounts, which is the height of stupidity, because you really don't want to make a prospective customer work harder then needs be in order to buy your product.

  3. Currency Points
    I think this one is going to be pretty damn common. Microsoft points, Cryptic Points, Bioware Points, Buggery Points!

    It's just plain stupid, you find what you want, but instead of being able to buy it, you've got to buy the points for your account, then buy the product, needlessly complicated.

    Again I know why they do it, and in this case it's unethical to a large degree, you know how you can only buy points in blocks? 500? 1000? 2000? You also know how products are never those nice round numbers, but rather 1200, 320, etc? It's so that you're overpaying without thinking your overpaying, we've all grabbed something like that and got loose points floating around doing nothing.

  4. Always Online Single Player
    It's part of the "treat paying customers like criminals" DRM trend. Don't get me wrong I don't hate DRM, Steam is basically DRM with a store interface after all, but I hate DRM that gives the customer no advantage while taking away choice. It doesn't do shit to the pirates, because they've got a cracked version that they can play offline, it only screws with the paying customer and the trend needs to die a horrible death. I'm always online, my 'net connection is very good, so it's the pure principal of the thing, and of course the times when the god-damn servers they've got crash and you can't play what you paid for because you're being treated like a pirate.

  5. In Game Pre-Order Bonus'
    Pre-Order and collectors editions are great, they help the publishers and developers make some extra bank, they allow the retailers to bring in more stock and lower the risk of sales.

    But I freaking hate pre-orders that give stuff in game, that stuff should be default. Pre-Order and Collectors editions should be things like books, making-of DVDs, posters, hell even the Night Vision Goggles that came with MW2 made me think about buying a game I had zero interest.

    But an extra level? A different costume? That's bullshit and insulting.
That's all for now, look for part two coming soon!

RIFT: Response to Criticism

I've been playing RIFT for a little while now, and you know I've been kind of enjoying it. I wont claim it's a perfect game, but for such a recent MMO (launched about 6 months ago) it is very polished and there is a stream of new content coming fairly quickly.

But recently I've been hearing a lot of criticism, some of it fair, no game is perfect, but some of it is just plain stupid, and I'd like to take a moment to get these thoughts down.

  1. It's a WoW Clone!
    This is an easy one... I'd just like to say... Well Duh! Copying is rampant in the games industry, everyone does it, RIFT copies from WoW, WoW copied from EQ, EQ copied from UO, UO copied from MUDS, MUDS copied from D&D, etc. But you know what, that's not a bad thing.

    WoW is a very good game, yeah I don't play it anymore, haven't since Lich King, but I will freely admit it is a very good game. So of course if you want to make a good game you'll take notes from other good games, it's obvious.

    It's how we get new games, gradual increases rather then staggering innovations. Just look at WoW itself, when it first came out everyone was so impressed with an MMO you didn't need to grind for days to gain a single level, you could quest and enjoy yourself, but they didn't get hit by a strike of lightening telling that to do that, no, they looked at the MMOs of the time and as players of those games knew what annoyed them to the most, so they set about fixing it.

    And hey, you could call the latest Call of Duty game a Doom Clone (God showing my age there, I remember when that was a common term), never mind the FPS genre has evolved a staggering lot since (in some areas, such as level design, devolved. at least IMO).

  2. The Quests are dull!
    Well okay, look at any MMO on the market, of course there are going to be tons of boring samey quests, kill 7 of these, collect 9 of those. It's nothing new. Granted some games have broken the mould (I personally LOVED the quests in DCU:O even though they were still kill X collect Y, the voice acting added a lot) or are going to do such as SW:TOR.

    But you're not looking deep enough, there are quests that are actually fun and engaging (without the gimmicy crap some MMOs throw at you... looking at you WoW Vehicles), along with quest lines that span the entire level range, start at level 15 and finish up at level 50 with you doing instances and raids.

  3. There are too many / too confusing abilities!
    Personally I love the soul system that lets you build the perfect character for you, and I love the idea that all your spells come from your talent trees, because it doesn't end up with you being forced to do X just because your class has that skill, because if you're Y you don't have it. So no being forced into roles you hate just because your class can do it.

    And frankly I love having dozens of abilities to chose from, even if some of them are only used rarely, it's still cool have a big tool box to chose from.

    Though I will admit some of the tooltips need cleaning up badly (Warriors especially)
Well that's about it for now, I know I had more things in mind, but I've lost track, so I'll end here.

Media Retractions - WTF?

So here I am sitting and watching old episodes of Media Watch, and there is a bit about how a news paper ran a retraction, on page 11, about a story they had run on the front fucking page the day before trashing someone.

So I'm thinking how the hell do they get away with that? If you trash someone and need to issue a retraction they should be forced to place it in the same location. Trash someone in the first 5mins of the 6 o'clock news, retraction in the same place, not after the weather when most people are switching to another show. Trash someone on the front page, front page retraction.

Bloody bullshit if you ask me.

The First Avenger - Trailer


I'm not really a fan of Marvel Comics, I much prefer DC, but I will say their movies freaking rock, and I never thought I'd say I was looking forward to seeing a Captain America movie.

The Wii Didn't Start the Fire

Seriously awesome brief history of video games to an awesome song.

Halo Nights


I'm not even a big Halo fan, but this is pretty cool.

Microsoft Security Essentials

So for the last month or so I've been running Microsoft Security Essentials and I must say I'm impressed, I was very sceptical at first about a Microsoft anti-virus/malware program, however they got it right.

It's lightweight, unlike a lot of AV programs, even the old much beloved AVG feels like a 10 ton brick compared to MS SE, which for me is very important, I freaking hate programs like Nortons which drain more out of my system then any virus could.

It's easy to use, which isn't much of a factor for me, but at least it means it was easy to setup.

And best of all it just plain works, and doesn't bug me.

So I give it a 4/5, if you need a new AV product grab this, it's free (if you've got a legit version of Windows), and very easy to install and use.

Jobs Australians Wont Do?

Okay so I'm watching the Colbert Report, very funny as always, but something came up, the often repeated phrase "they do the jobs Americans wont" and it reminded me of something that is said in Australia a fair bit as well, the problem is it's total bullshit.

It's not that Australians (and Americans) wont do the jobs commonly done by illegal immigrants, backpackers, and new immigrants, it's that they can't do those jobs, it's just not possible. Now let me explain, speaking from experience from where I live backpackers often come in and pick up seasonal work that use to go to local workers, they work for cheaper as they don't have to worry about paying the rent, putting food on the table, making sure their kids have something to wear, no, they just want some extra spending money on their holiday, so farms employee these workers at less then what it would cost for an Australian worker, great for the farm in the short term, horrible for the local economy.

The same can be said of other types of migrant workers all over the world, they are paid less then what the local people would expect for the same job, because they have lower over-heads, often times working for cash in hand ($100 cash in hand is worth more then $150 paid correctly, after tax, super, etc is taken out), this in turn drives down what farms are willing to pay, why should they pay local workers what they need in order to live if they can get workers for cheaper? This leads to the expression "they do the jobs XYZ wont do", which is patently false.

Now I'm not against migrants picking up work (well I am against backpackers, fuck off you cunts, you're either here working, in which case you should be paying tax, or here on holiday, stop trying to have it both), I just think that in order for it to be fair for local workers, and migrants the governments of the world need to pull their thumbs out and sort out this problem, by enforcing minimum wage, by enforcing fair treatment, by stopping the exploitation of migrant workers; doing that will not only help the migrant workers, but the local workers as well, because pay rates will go back to where they were, allowing them to take jobs they currently can't because the pay isn't enough to live on.