Why Video Games Should Not Be Censored

Everyone knows that video games contain some violence and sexually suggestive content. According to the National Coalition Against Censorship, http://ncac.org/resource/a-timeline-of-video-game-controversies, the first game with violent content to be pulled off the shelves was “Death Race”, released in 1976. Although it was little more than grainy black and white images, with no discernable graphic gore, the creatures that were killed make a little “eek” sound, which alarmed the censors and it was taken off the market.

Today, little has changed when it comes to video game censorship hysteria. Yes, there are better color graphics and extraordinary sound effects included in today’s games, however, it is no worse than what you would view on prime time television in shows like “The Walking Dead”, where brains are routinely splattered and people are shown being eaten alive by decomposing zombies.
One of the most erroneous claims by the pro-censorship lobby is that viewing and playing video games with violent content drives young people to commit violent acts. The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary not only energized the gun control agenda, but also brought the topic of video game censorship back to the forefront.

Apparently, Adam Lanza, the Connecticut shooter, was described as an “avid gamer”. Although police found after the murder/suicide that his hard drive was destroyed, and that there were no direct links from video game content to the crime, the media harped on the fact that he loved playing video games, in particular Dance Dance Revolution, a game that revolves around physical dancing and music, that has actually helped teens get fit. The content of the games he played did not seem to matter. They cited “gaming” as a precursor to his violent acts. Other mass shootings have been attributed to “game addiction” which stimulated aggression.

A study by Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media, documented in Grand Theft Childhood, http://www.grandtheftchildhood.com/GTC/Home.html, shows that there the correlation between violent video games and violent crime is a fallacy. So many other factors, like parenting, childhood mental illness, child abuse and other experiences hold more sway concerning what a person will or will not do, given the right circumstances. If there were no violent games, they would find a trigger in something else like comic books or graphic novels.

Do vid games cause violence?
Do video games cause violence?

Before video games, the Beatles’ White Album was blamed for Charles Manson and his family committing brutal murders in 1969. This does not take into account the millions of people who enjoyed the album without thinking that it contained hidden messages about a violent race war directly from the fab four. A twisted mind can take anything from a TV commercial to a song and think it has a satanic or violent message.

Japan has produced the most gory, violent content in video games to date. Conversely, they have a much lower crime rate than the United States. With the number of “avid gamers” among Japan’s population, and the extreme content of some of these games, it would hold true that they would have mass murders and other acts of aggression occurring on a daily basis.

An agenda to censor video games takes the focus off of more important needs of society, like mental health treatment and assistance for families in crisis. As long as society has video games to blame for tragedies beyond comprehension, the underlying sources of these violent acts will not be properly addressed.

Mad Max: Post-Apocalypse Gaming!

A Mad Max review (2015 video game) should always make a note of where this game exists in the overall continuity of the series, and how it compares to many of the other pieces of entertainment that came before it. This is definitely a game that makes a favorable contribution to the franchise as a whole, and the long-standing Mad Max fans are definitely going to love it. This is a franchise that had fans technically before it even become a video game, since it is based on the Mad Max films of the 1980’s. Mad Max has quite the legacy and history behind it, which puts a certain amount of pressure on the games that are going to be released today. Fortunately, this Mad Max game has managed to honor the legacy.

Mad Max Screencap
Mad Max Screencap

Overall, the reviews of this Mad Max game have been favorable, even from the game critics. Video game critics have a tendency to be much harsher than the general public. However, there are also going to be instances in which the critics actually love a given game and the general public doesn’t for whatever reason. Critics are people who have, on average, played more video games than even the most dedicated game players, which can potentially make them jaded and receptive to any novelty in a way that a hobbyist will not be, which can lead to some miscommunication among game players. Fortunately, the audience reaction to Mad Max and the critical reaction to Mad Max were around the same, which should help illustrate the quality of the game.

Mad Max is an extremely exciting game that has managed to impress people with its graphics. This is not a game that is going to be especially earth-shattering in its originality, of course. Post-apocalyptic stories are as old as time, and they have been extremely popular in video games for a long time as well. The Mad Max game of 2015 strikes many of the same notes as the other games that have helped fill out the post-apocalyptic gaming genre for a while.

Mad Max Screencap
Mad Max Screencap

Some people want video games to expand beyond the confines of fighting, and they’re not going to find that here. However, there is a reason why fighting games have been popular for years, and they are still here to stay. Many of the worst fighting games fail to time things properly and do not provide a plethora of interesting obstacles for the players. Mad Max manages to avoid falling into those traps, giving players all sorts of obstacles and forcing them to devise new strategies on the fly. They’re given everything that they could possibly want from games of this sort, and the fans of this genre are going to be able to play it over and over again.

Fans of the original film are going to feel that the game was faithful to the film in all of the right ways. They definitely both feel like they take place in the same universe. However, this is a universe that people can join.

Is Your Car Totaled After a Flood?

In the past, when a person asked questions like, “Is your car totaled after a flood?” Most people would probably say a resounding yes. We thought so too after a storm made the Delaware River overflow its banks, totally dunking our two cars.  Our house was pretty easy to deal with.  We called a great Trenton-based water restoration business and it was fully covered by insurance.  However, the insurance with the car was a little different.  Since many business practices have changed over the years, insurance companies are doing everything to hold on to that extra dollar. It is also important to note that the decisions being made today are not always in the consumer’s favor, especially because of the huge impact that Katrina had on this industry (i.e. yielded over 200,000 flooded cars). Therefore, the answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. With this being said, here’s some facts about insurance estimates as they relate to car flood claims.

Hidden Damage Not Part of the Estimate

In some cases, a car that has been in a flood may not be automatically totaled by the adjuster. In fact, when the adjuster looks over the car, they may intentionally overlook water damage that is not visible to naked eye. Therefore, they may write up their claim based on only the things that they can identify quickly with their assessment. Unfortunately, this practice can leave the vehicle owner at a big loss in the future since some problems may not appear at all until after the claim has been settled. For instance, if the water damage flood was severe enough, it could impact the vehicle’s entire electrical system. When this occurs, the vehicle owner may have to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars out of pocket for their repairs.

Cars Being Sold All Over the Country with Flood Damage

When an individual purchases a used car today, it is important that they do a thorough job of researching the vehicle’s history. This research can be done in numerous ways, however, the most accurate way of getting the facts is doing a search on the vehicles vin number. With this research, the information that the prospective buyer discovers can be used in their decision to make the purchase. Since the situations for each search can vary, the actions taken after the search may result in the person making the purchase or moving on to another used car for consideration. For those who want to make sure that they are making a smart decision, it is essential for them to eliminate any potential car purchases that involve any type of flood damage. This is because the number of cars being sold with flood damage has increased greatly over the years. Many of which are due to insurance companies not totaling the vehicle when it has sustained flood damage and other reasons. Therefore, if an individual is trying to buy a used car, many professionals in the industry will say do not buy a used car that comes from areas that are known for having floods in their areas. In specific, cars that have crossed borders and are being sold in other states.

When Are Cars Totaled?

Based on comments from numerous resources on the Internet and other creditable resources, some people are having to fight for their cars to be totaled when they have been involved in a flood. So, it is essential for people who have these situations to understand the practices of an insurance company if these situations do occur. For instance, it is important to note that a car may be totaled automatically by most insurance companies when:

  • The vehicle is swimming in mud and there is no possibility of cleaning it up or even estimating the extent of damage to the electrical system
  • Vehicle is no longer functional because the water damage is too severe
  • Water reaches the bottom of the dashboard
  • Cost of repairs more than value of the car

These decisions are also made based on the type of water involved in flood. For instance, a distinction for damage is made based on salt water flooding, blackish water flooding, or clear water flooding. With salt water flooding and blackish water creating all kinds of expensive problems, the insurance company may total the vehicle right away.

As stated previously, the response to this question is not always as simple as one may think. With business practices changing dramatically in the insurance industry over the years, and so many cars being affected by flooding in certain geographical locations, the decisions to total the car can vary greatly from one insurance company and claim to another.

Death Race 2000: A Movie Review

“Death Race 2000” is a cult classic that was made by cult film maker Paul Bartel; some feel that this film is superior to the film “Rollerball”, which came out around the same time as this and features a dystopian setting. It stars David Carradine, Simone Griffeth, Sandy McCallum, and a pre “Rocky” Sylvester Stallone as “Machine-Gun” Joe Viterbo.

The film is about racers who try to earn the most points by hitting people in their cars, with a different amount of points being awarded depending upon who the racers hit. Babies and the physically challenged are two types; hitting these two types will also give the racer more points. The race is broadcasted through homes throughout the United States. The whole idea for the races was thought up by the American dictator known as “Mister President”. It features racing characters who are just replaced (sort of like on soap operas) once the current racer has reached the end of the line.

Some of the characters include Frankenstein, Matilda the Hun, Calamity Jane, Herman the German, Nero the Hero, and “Machine-Gun” Joe Viterbo. Joe is dressed like a gangster from a James Cagney movie, Frankenstein is dressed in a helmet and body suit to cover his large injuries, and Herman the German & Matilda the Hun are Nazis. Not only do these characters have great names, but they have great costumes to match. Joining these racers are their navigators who help them through the course, telling them where the best place to go is.

This is a film that is a B movie, but that does not mean that it is bad, not by any stretch. It has cheesy characters and dialogue, but it does not matter. The idea that there is a show (essentially a reality show) in the future that has racers going across the country running different kinds of people for points that is watched by just about everyone, is interesting. I have always been fascinated by people enjoying watching a show with people killing each other. At the time this movie came out, the United States having people kill each other for sport was not done to death like it has been now.

However, this is a film that is not to be taken too seriously, and really only to be watched for the humor that is evident in some of the comedic scenes and the hilarious commentary provided by the “Real” Don Steele, he provides many one liners throughout the film that will keep you laughing. It’s great to watch too, all these racers with their ability to carry a character and be a driver, all at the same time.

The film holds up pretty well, for being over forty years old now. When you want to see the origin for all of these films being made about dystopian worlds made up of bloodthirsty people wanting to watch real people kill each other on their tvs, this was one of the first. And one of the best.

A Brief History of the Video Game “Carmageddon”

The two founders of Stainless Software, Patrick Buckland and Neil Bandam decided to try something new after they had gotten sick of all the racing games coming out. They wanted to turn the cars around and smash the other cars out of the way. They wanted to do a combination Banger racing and Demolition Derby game and put together a rough demo for publishers. There were no takers, until SCi found out about the game.

Originally, SCi wanted to try to do a game based off the “Mad Max” series of films, but did not know who the owner of the rights was. It was decided, after they found out about “Death Race: 2020” which was to be the sequel to “Death Race: 2000” was being made, to do a game based off “Death Race”. The movie was eventually scrapped and so the developers would later change the name by combining the words car and Armageddon to form one word.

Carmageddon Screen Cap 1
Carmageddon Screen Cap

Once the game got started, they did not really know how to actually develop a game. They settled on the idea that if it sounded like it was fun, they should try and do it. One of their models for the game, Tony, was run over (for research, of course) and smacked with a pool cue for Prat cam.

When it came time to rate the game, things stopped being so easy. The ratings board in Britain was given the game to rate, the developers wanted an eighteen rating and failed to get one. This was because of the fact that in the game, you are given points for running over pedestrians (with more points depending upon whether or not they are handicapped or babies or old).

Carmageddon Screen Cap 2
Carmageddon Screen Cap

It was thought that it would ruin the nation’s youth. The developers had to censor the game by replacing the people and cows with zombies (in Germany robots were used). The board would give in after almost a year’s worth of appealing to them.