Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Why The Nintendo 2DS Is Brilliant

Nintendo recently revealed their new entry into the 3DS family and ultimately left many people slightly confused.

The Nintendo 2DS will be available to buy in October, which seems appropriate as many people will probably need about two months to get their heads around exactly what it is and why it even exists. Personally, however, despite the many raised eyebrows I think the device is a brilliant idea and I genuinely want one. In fact, I want to trade my current 3DS in and get a 2DS instead.

First of all, what is it? Well it probably seems slightly, uh, odd that a console titled the '2DS' is part of a series of consoles known for their 3D functionality. But the 2DS actually plays 3DS games. That's its point. For £109/$129 you can get a 2DS and play all 3DS games and original DS games to your heart's content.

Put simply: the 2DS is a 3DS but without 3D. It plays the same games but the 3D option is disabled (obviously games that do actually require the 3D feature in order to be played properly will be useless on the 2DS).

Now it might make more sense to just buy a 3DS, but Nintendo are aiming the new console at, mainly, kids. There's no 3D feature for parents to worry about and the design of the console is clearly not very fancy, so it's built for knocks and scratches. 

But to be honest, I don't see kids as being the biggest audience here. Personally I can see every person who wants to play Luigi's Mansion and Animal Crossing: New Leaf but doesn't give a rat's arse about 3D wanting the new 2DS.

In fact, I own a 3DS and I want a 2DS.

What I also love about the new console is the design. While a lot of people seem to hate it, I like it. A lot. It's simple, doesn't look that fragile, it's compact and I love the placement of the screens and buttons. Some people seem skeptical about how comfortable the 'slab' or 'brick' or 'square' design will be on the hands, but just look at tablets. They're the same sort of dimensions and shape and they're fine to play games on.
It looks alright to me.

Honestly, I really like the new 2DS. It seems a great option for anyone who isn't interested in the one exclusive feature of the 3DS (the 3D, obviously) and I think the price-point is great. I don't play any games on my 3DS in 3D anymore, so I often question the entire point of the feature. I do wonder as well if the 2DS will have a better battery life as the 3D feature is completely gone and the battery on the 3DS is Goddamn awful.

Anyway, I might actually replace my 3DS with a 2DS when it's released and I think it will be a great way for people to play all the latest 3DS games they want without the hassle of 3D or that extra bit of cash. What do you think about it? I want to hear what your thoughts are on the new console, so say what you think in the comments!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Confession

"When everything seems to be going against you, just remember that the aeroplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
- Henry Ford

The human lies in deep sodden grass and mud, unmoving. A storm is raging as the wind hails and the rain pours down. The world is bleak and unknowing; full of abandonment. A tempest of fate pulling the human down. The weight of the elements too much for the weak person.

There is no hope in trying when there is no hope in yourself.

The human is pain. They are emptiness and suffering. They lie alone with only their own thoughts as company. But their thoughts are insanity. Driving them to the point of this desolation and remote abandonment.

If only there was hope.

If only there was something to pull the human back up.

But mistakes and regret have led the human here. The pure lack of courage in the required situations have caused this agony. The thoughts left alone inside the humans head. They never stop thinking. Their brain ticking over. What if? Why? How? Why was it like this? Could I have changed one thing? Just one?! Yes. But I didn't. I've failed. This is the end.

The mud blocks out the human's view of the sky and world. They lie in this pool of misery, drowning in their sorrow and regret. They cannot see and all they can hear is the howling wind which seems to be screaming at the human in anger. But it is the human's anger that screams at them. Anger fuelled by their mistakes and regret over what they did not do.

This is the end.

Maybe if a bird were to sing or the sun were to shine through. Maybe if the rain were to wash off the mud and then subside. Maybe if things were better the human would feel less suffering and agony. If things were to be right. If things were to improve. If things were better, the human would survive.

*There is a chance in everyone. And there are chances and opportunities we encounter. As people we decide the fate of these chances and opportunities and as humans we have the ability to shape our future into the mould we want. As people it is our right and our duty to ensure we live how we wish, how we want. Material things fuel only our shallow beliefs about what life is, but no matter what scenario any person can dream themselves in, they will always be in control of the key choices they make. Right choices affect them positively  while negative and poor ones have a bad effect. Regret is one outcome that returns over and over to haunt you. It never leaves, and there is always that 'what if?' thought. Especially when it is regarding something close to you. But instead of asking why things didn't work out, ask why you are letting yourself regret. Ask why you are letting yourself regret like this. Ask why you feel like this to begin with. If regret is that bad, don't let yourself get into situations and make decisions that lead to regret. Make the right ones. Even if they backfire, there is no regret in knowing you made a decision to benefit yourself longterm. And what's more, you don't have to regret as there is always something you can do. Go out and scream at the top of your voice. Go out and get what you want. Make it happen and force yourself into the world.*

The human feels a pang of light. The epiphany has brought upon them a sudden realisation. They must always focus on never letting themselves make a decision they know will lead them to regret. They must stand up and make the decision that, no matter how scary or intimidating, will leave them with fulfilment.

The human realises they must act fast. They must move quickly to remedy their mistakes. It means so much to them. They are in the mud and grass and storm due to it. And they must remedy it. They must fix it. They must stand up against their fears and rejections. They must do what they naturally feel inclined to otherwise this regret will be with them forever. For the rest of their life. They must act.

The human finds the strength to raise a hand and wipe off the mud that coats their face. The mud is thick and heavy and they struggle to wipe it all away. They open their eyes and witness the dark sky above and the pouring rain.

The human tries to sit up but the mud and water weighs them down. It would be so much easier to lie back down and rest. But why rest in mud and hell when they can rest in sunlight and their own happiness?

The human struggles but forces themselves up. They are naked, coated head to toe in mud and filth. The rain that beats down does nothing to help clean them and instead only muddies them more.

But the human fights on. They must escape the field. It's a dangerous fight that must be won. It must. Be. Won.

The human stumbles forward through the tall grass that reaches up as far as their chest. Moving is hard. The human trips over a hole in the ground. The turf is lumpy and full of cracks and gaps that will try to slow the human's movement down even more.

But they fight on. Moving through the sodden field they see a small gate in the distance. They must reach it to escape. The journey will not end there, but things get better. Improvements will be made.

They move forth, pressing on, asserting as much energy as they can to the task, ignoring the potholes and uneven ground that tries to bring them down. As they get closer to the gate the rain begins to subside. It begins to fade out. Is the storm finally ending?

The rain comes to a halt and the terrain begins to even out. They are getting nearer and nearer to the gate. This is their chance. They can see this through.

On the other side of the gate the field continues. There is no fence and the gate appears to serve no material purpose. In fact, its existence does not benefit the field in the least. But the human approaches the gate. Exhausted they try to open it but it is stuck. They need to fight harder. They must succeed.

The human yanks and pulls the gate with all their might. It won't open. Suddenly the human realises there is a sign reading 'Push' that is stuck on the gate. They sigh, push the gate and it opens smoothly.

The human ambles through and immediately the grey sky begins to drift away only to be replaced by a clear blue one. The grass on this side of the gate is shorter too and the ground is flat and even. There are birds singing and a slight wind is blowing. The mud that coated the human begins to slide away, as if slipping cleanly from them and leaving no trace it was ever there. The mud completely disappeared and suddenly the human's free.

They stand in the field, admiring the sky and birds and the flowers that have popped up through the trimmed grass. This is what they were fighting for. This is what they needed. The regret and hell was only brought upon themselves by themselves and there was always a way out. They needed this. They needed to succeed. No one else could help. It was them. Always them. And the courage they sought was always going to be found within themselves.

"Have great hopes and dare to go all out for them. Have great dreams and dare to live them. Have tremendous expectations and believe in them."
- Norman Vincent Peale

"The best way to get rid of the pain is to feel the pain. And when you feel the pain and go beyond it, you'll see there's a very intense love that is wanting to awaken itself."
- Deepak Chopra

"To have darkness behind me, in front of my a bright sky, flickering lights on the water and to feel it on the stony face of the southern sun."
- Julia Hartwig

This has been a confession.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Rise & Fall Of The Elder Scrolls Online

I'm not really into MMO games that much. I'm not really a multiplayer person anyway to be honest. I'll always pick a single-player experience over a shared one any day.

But I have to admit, I was looking forward to the Elder Scrolls Online. Imagine an ES game with your friends. With strangers. Imagine an ES game with more of a living and breathing world than any Elder Scrolls game had ever had.

I love the series anyway and while the thought of an ES MMO didn't get me immediately psyched, I grew to really like the idea after a while.

That was until recently, when Bethesda announced that the much anticipated game would launch at a standard RRP retail price of $60/£50 yet also charge users per month too. Yep, you're gonna have to shell out $60/£50 and then another $15 on top of that EVERY month just to keep playing.

Let's work this out.

$60+$15x12=$240.

But we can't forget the cost of PSN and XBL if you play on a console.

Xbox Live will cost $60 a year while PSN Premium will cost $50. Either way the cost to use the game for the first year will be practically $300 on both platforms. And from then on in, after the first year, you'll still be looking at between $230-$240.

That's one hell of a fucking cost to use one, yes ONE, game. In fact that pricing regime boggles my mind. It also boggles everyone else's mind too. No one seems to understand why the decision to include a cost per month was made.

Do Bethesda not realise that they just shot themselves in the head? They've betrayed their fan base and customers.

What really - REALLY - pisses me off though is when any developer/publisher thinks they can charge a fee to buy the game and then charge customers AGAIN to actually USE the game they JUST BOUGHT.

When you buy something, you're handing over your hard earned money so you can obtain the use of the thing or service you're purchasing. But when you hand over your $60 to buy the ES Online, that $60 has only given you the right to take the game back to your house to pay another fee, this time of $15, to actually use the game.

It's like the $60 is the first stage - or level.

Level 1: Pay $60.
Level 2: Take the game home.
Level 3: Pay $15 to actually be able to use the game.
Level 4: Enjoy until the next month when you must pay another $15.

It's pointless and it sucks. It's a terrible way to market any game. I know MMOs cost more to run as they require constant attention over a long period of time, but either charge $60 and add in in-game purchases and things or simply charge $15 a month. Doing both is a ridiculous amount of money to expect customers to pay. And, quite frankly, it's shameful.

But in the end, what does it matter? It's not out yet and you can always cancel any pre-orders you have. We're not obligated to buy this game. If paying that much is ridiculous, which it is, then we shouldn't do it. At the end of the day only Bethesda lose out. And they will do. Because paying $60 for a game only to have to pay an extra $15 per month afterwards is ludicrous.

What do you think about the extra monthly fee? Will you be buying the Elder Scrolls Online? Leave your comments below!

Monday, 19 August 2013

A Cynical Call Of Duty: Ghosts Multiplayer Reveal Review (Kinda)

Warning: If you are a Call of Duty fanboi this article will make you very angry. Well, more angry than you are normally. Probably about as angry as losing a TDM match with lag. Maybe a bit far but you know, CoD fans be crazy.

In case you didn't know, the multiplayer reveal for this game that's part this little series you probably haven't heard of called 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' happened about 5 days ago. Oh, you have heard of it? Oh yeah, silly me, it's the most successful franchise in the history of gaming of course - dun dun DUUUUN. God knows why though.

So yeah, seriously now, the multiplayer reveal for CoD:Ghosts happened and I forced myself to watch the entire hour long show on YouTube that a couple of years ago I would have enjoyed but now made me want to rip my eyes out and bleed slowly to death while wondering what I had and hadn't achieved in my measly life.

Yeh, I'm not usually this cynical but this fucking game and its boring ass reveal that I sat through has turned me like this.

So let's get down to reviewing the reveal event and then I'll give you my take on the game at the moment and what I think about it.

So it starts and the first 2 minutes are them bigging up the series with some stats about sales and hours played as well as seeing how many clips they could edit together of people saying "Call of Duty" or rather "Call of Dooty", as half of them pronounced it. They even got several clips from Family Guy. I know right, the most rehashed game series was ass kissing the most rehashed TV series. Isn't it cute?

Then the event started. Eric Hirshberg, CEO at Activision, came out and gave a speech about the event and franchise. Now this was all fine until he started to crack jokes. Jokes like "Our fanbase is the best in the world". Needless to say, after he said that I was literally 'rofling', until I realised he was being serious.

I mean, who writes that crap? That's like the head of Riot Games coming out and praising the fanbase of League Of Legends as being incredibly team focused and the best of any MMORPG.

If you're skeptical about my scepticism of Hirshberg commending the CoD fanbase, then think of it this way.

If you go onto CoD online and start winning, you'll be threatened and called every name under the sun, mostly by 12 year old no lives. If you go on there and start losing, you'll also receive taunts and abuse for being crap. Mostly, again, by 12 year old no lives. And remember that Call of Duty is an 18 or 'M' rated game.

Aside from the issue of online abuse by, yet again, mostly 12 year old no lives, you also have the problem that NO ONE ON CALL OF DUTY CAN WORK AS A FUCKING TEAM. They're like the League Of Legends players of the FPS world.

That's not all though. Hirshberg didn't seem to have an issue praising a fanbase that sent Treyarch dev David Vonderhaar death threats because of patches and changes he made to the game. Start a slow clap everyone; this is the 'best fanbase in the world' as Hirshberg called them. Or as we normal people and gamers refer to them as: animals and cretins.

Hirshberg decided to throw in another serious 'joke' a couple of minutes later too, when he started asking what made Call of Duty such a successful series for so long.

"Is it the graphics?" He suggested.

Sorry mate but


Have you looked at a CoD game recently? The graphics haven't changed since CoD 4. In fact, I actually find the proposition that graphics in general could make any series as popular as CoD to be totally stupid. Nobody will play a mediocre game as much as they do Call of Duty just because it looks nice. Graphics play no part in a game's popularity.

Then he added to his list of *failing* jokes by asking if it was the stories that made the series so popular.

I'm sorry but what stories are these? What games have you been playing, Eric? Last CoD I played had me bored out my skull. No one plays CoD for the stories or the single player. Not anymore. Maybe 4 or so years ago, but these days CoD is seen as pretty much a multiplayer only game.

Then he had the cheek to turn around and say "Sure, it's all those things." So you're saying that everything you just listed is why so many people play Call of Duty? So you're suggesting that it's not just the online progression system, but the nonexistent stories and the shitty PS2 graphics from 2007? No, no, no mate. NO. OK. No. Just no. Here is why CoD is popular:

...............

Mike's Lesson On Why Call Of Duty Is Popular

It's easy.

It's easy to get into.

It's easy to play.

It's easy to win.

It doesn't require much assertion from the player except the energy they use from farting, eating, using the controller and yelling furiously down their mic at their shitty team mates.

It's got one of the best progression systems of any online FPS game (I can't lie, the progression system is A*).

It's been popular since the introduction of the Xbox 360 and PS3 and no other franchise has been able to get ahead because of this. You see, who gets in first, wins. And that's what CoD did. It isn't really popular because it's 'OMG AMAZING' or anything, it just made its mark before any other shooter and thus continues to be bought globally by millions each and every year.

Simples.

...............

There. It's not rocket science Mr. Hirshberg.

Hirshberg: "But at the end of the day, none of that matters. If they don't all combine to add up to that one essential ingredient that's at the heart of every Call Of Duty *Dooty* game and that's fun."

Wrong. Call Of Duty hasn't be fun since Modern Warfare 2.

"You can't count on much in this world, but you can count, every year, on Call of Duty *Dooty* to make your knuckles white, your heart race, to unleash your competitive fire and trigger your 'Holy shit' reflex more consistently than any form of entertainment in the world."

You're right, CoD does make me go "Holy shit!" which is usually followed by "How the fuck did that guy kill me first? Fucking lag...".

After Eric's little speech we're shown a trailer for the multiplayer. Not much to say about this except if it was supposed to get me excited, it failed. The trailer looked like it could be for Black Ops II or MW3. The same guns, same gun sound effects, same graphics and same features too. Yeah, they actually decided to make big writing come up during the trailer saying shit like "Customise your soldier". Oh, wow. Thanks so much for that feature that has been in the series since CoD 4.

Some way into this trailer they decide to show us some new game modes, but they only give you about 2 seconds to read all the information about them and so you end up losing track of what the fuck is actually going on. At least it's only a trailer and not proper gameplay huh?

Then they present us with some new modes and perks and shit but again, not enough time to analyse them so who the fuck knows what they're about or do?

Then a gas station collapses in pretty mediocre fashion because if you've played Battlefield or seen the Battlefield 4 trailer you'll have seen a fucking sky scraper come down so a gas station barely gets the skin tingling. In fact it doesn't. It just looked like they were trying to get some BF fanboys to come over and join the CoD party. But there's more chance of Kim Kardashian being a virgin than that happening.

The Call of Duty logo then flashes up and that's the end of the trailer.

The camera goes back to the stage and good ol' Eric walks out again. You know I do like Eric Hirshberg, even if I am 'hating' on him for lack of better term. It's just the game he's promoting and company that employs him aren't exactly my cup of tea. And the shit he comes out with is embarrassing half the time.

Hirshberg then continues his speech thing, quickly giving Eminem a nice little bit of promotion by explaining that the Eminem song heard during the trailer is the first time the song has EVER (yes, evar) been played to the public. I guess even Eminem does some ass kissing these days. Recession ya know?

But the whole Eminem business didn't end there. Oh no. The man himself had prepared a video explaining how much he loves CoD and how involved he is in the franchise. Ya know, cos' a couple of his songs have been used in their trailers and shit like that.....

I'm sorry but does anyone give a shit? I don't really give a crap about Eminem at the multiplayer reveal of a video game. I care about the game itself, even if it is only Call of Duty. Why the fuck is Eminem getting in on the action? I don't want to see a video of a white guy talking like he is black and sounding like he's high on coke. I'd rather see some, ya know, gameplay.

Oh and you can be sure that Hirshberg made a totally generic and cliche joke when he came back on stage about the way Eminem closed his video with a peace sign.

Hirshberg *doing a peace sign*: "That's how I'm gonna walk off later if that's OK?"

Groan and mumble and typical 'Hahaha why do I have to laugh at this?' from the audience.
If Hirshberg wanted to make a funny comment about the hipster slash gangster way Eminem acts and left the video then he could've just come out and said: "What a twat" and everyone would have actually genuinely laughed and agreed.

So blah blah blah, let's skip ahead a bit.

The first proper new feature revealed was the customisation options. You can now choose exactly how your soldier appears to everyone else. And you can also now play as a woman! Yay, finally games are embracing female players. Took long enough.

I don't actually really have anything bad to say about the customisation features. They look.....Solid. I guess. They're won't exactly make the gameplay experience anymore fun or bad but it's a good start. People have wanted this level of personalisation in CoD for some time and it's good they finally listened.

There's also 30 new weapons and more perks too and you have tons of different options when it comes to choosing what loadouts you use as well as equipment too.

However it got a bit stupid when killstreaks were mentioned.

Some new killstreaks include 'Juggernaut Maniac' which just sounds dumb and a guard dog called Riley who kills enemies that are close and growls to let you know when opponents are near. Sounds a bit lame if you ask me.

However admittedly they did redeem themselves by stating that there are, officially, no more deathstreaks. Finally! Hallelujah! Praise da Lord!

I'm gonna be honest, there were a load of new features revealed and, quite frankly, I can't be fucked to talk about them all. Mainly because this happens with CoD EVERY year. Like, EVERY year. They announce the new features, you get excited, then when you play it you realise the gameplay still sucks and it gets boring after two weeks. I don't want to talk about the new features and waste my time on them because I just know it's gonna end up with the same result as last year and the year before and the year before.

The bottom line is that I'm barely even excited for Ghosts. It looks OK, I guess, but even with these new features, it's still the core experience we've had for the past God knows how frigging long. And I know I'm sick of it and a lot of other people are too. Call of Duty is getting old and no matter what 'innovations' they try to make it will still play out the same every single year. The only time this is going to change is when the next gen starts and new multiplayer rival games are released.

Hopefully Ghosts will surprise me, in a good way, but I have to admit, I'm not even remotely expecting that to happen.

What are your thoughts on Call of Duty: Ghosts? Are you looking forward to it? Or are you not bothered? Leave your thoughts below!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Unanswered Questions


Before I get on with this article, you may want to know why I have not posted in over a week. This is not because I have been on holiday but in fact due to, and you would know this if you follow me on twitter, writer's block.

I haven't been able to successfully write a single sentence that made logical sense for over a week and it drove me a bit insane. I've also been mega busy and have been wondering where I want to take this blog.

You see, last week I got a comment on one of my articles saying "I remember when this used to be a gaming blog", and while the comment itself and what it said didn't bother me, it did make me think that I should make my intentions clear.

This is not a dedicated gaming blog. The reason I started out covering only gaming was simply due to the fact it was easily available to me, I know a lot about gaming and am a big gamer myself and I love writing about it.

However as time went on and I became more confident with my writing, I decided to move onto other things that interest me too. I want to start up a YouTube channel(s) soon and while I will mainly be doing gaming videos, I will want to branch out into vlogging, movie making and other forms of entertainment too. It's important to understand that gaming is simply ONE thing that interests me. I will never stop covering games, but I will never stop covering or doing OTHER things too.

I am going to start posting stories and scripts on here too. So prepare for them. This is something I have wanted to do for a while and I will be starting shortly.

With that out the way, let's move on!

I wanted to talk about something that occurred to me the other day.

I was sitting on the toilet (yes, I was. I'm not even joking) and I started wondering.

"If heaven is supposed to be perfect, then surely that makes it not perfect?"

What does that ^ mean?

Well here's my issue with the heaven concept, and don't take this as an attack on religion please. I am agnostic and a skeptic so bare with me here.

There are two common theories on what 'heaven' is like. If it exists of course.

The first is that it is the same for everyone. It is perfect. No crime. No hate. Nothing 'bad', as it were. Nothing negative. It's a wondrous place for everyone and that's sort of it really.

The second is that heaven changes to accommodate different people. So if you like sunsets and beaches, you're house will be situated somewhere there. Where you 'are' in heaven, is dependant on what you like and what your 'idea' of perfection is. Now that, that sounds perfect. Doesn't it just sound perfect?

But let's focus on the prior suggestion. That heaven is the same for everyone as the idea of 'perfection' and 'goodness' can, arguably, be universal. Not personal.

So here is my issue.

If heaven is 'perfect' in one sense and way, for everyone, then surely it lacks what actually makes life fun? And that is actually adrenaline.

"What, Mike? Adrenaline? ADRENALINE? Are you nutso? Gtfo. Your argument is dead."

Wait wait wait. WAIT.

Listen.

For just a second.

Let's take common human nature.

We like danger. We, as people, luuuuurrrv danger. We LOVE it.

We have games and activities dedicated to it. Skydiving, for instance. Bungie jumping. And how about, of course, violence. We love violence. It gives us the best rush. We play games like paintball, where you shoot one another with guns for fun, the rush and excitement of it.

Can they see me behind this barrel? Can they hear me? Oh God, there is a group of them. Let me sneak up behind them and shoot them in the arse....

We. Love. Adrenaline.
We. Love. Violence.
It gives us the best rush we could ever want.

We love doing dangerous, risky things. It's what makes life thrilling and actually interesting. And, ultimately, worth living. And surely if you're going to live in an afterlife for ALL ETERNITY it's gonna get a bit boring without some adrenaline thrown in there?

"But Mike, who says you can't skydive and do fun, dangerous things in heaven?"

OK so you can skydive. Sure, I can accept that. You can skydive in heaven. Great. But what about violence? In a perfect world, violence wouldn't exist right? And heaven is 'perfect', so no violent rushes. No violent video games. No violent paint-balling or fighting or WWE. The things that give us the best rush in real life, and often the most fun, are actually things that a perfect world would prohibit. And if heaven is perfect we can assume they're prohibited there too. So is heaven really a perfect concept?

But there are other questions that bug me. I find the biggest flaws with religious theory actually come from the most basic questions. It's odd because these questions are the type of ones that people scoff at. It's like if you ask them, you're an idiot. Why? Because they're 'school' boy questions. Things 'kids' ask. But kids actually are right about most things. They see the world how it is. In basic form.

But these questions are SO valid it's unbelievable. It doesn't matter if you don't ask a question, the question will ALWAYS be there. Just because you don't point out a plot hole in a film doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It just means you haven't pointed it out. And just because you don't ask a question doesn't mean the question isn't valid. It's just that you haven't asked it yet.

One of these questions is, quite simply, 'who created God?'. And it's a question that bugs the fuck out of me.

There are several common religious comebacks to this, but I'm going to use my two favourites.

1) If you're going to try to disprove God by asking 'who made God?', then why don't we ask 'who made the universe?

This is a very regular response to the question. Often religious people tend to respond by saying 'well if you believe in the science and the universe, what created the universe? What was before the universe?'. Ultimately they try to make the question 'who made God?' invalid by reminding you that you can't answer who made the universe either. They don't need to answer the question 'who made God?' because it's not like YOU or I can answer who made the universe.

But this is bullshit. Why? Because we have proof the universe exists, and that proof is right here in front of you. Just because we can't prove what MADE the universe, doesn't mean the answer ISN'T out there. If you believe in a supernatural creator that is, ultimately, a being of some kind, that 'being' surely had to be made by SOMETHING?!

The universe, on the other hand, is natural. It is a part of the natural world. So why do you need to prove that it was created by something or anything? The universe could always have existed in some form or another. It could be how life exists in the first place. Or it could have come AFTER something else that existed over a billion years ago. Who knows. And, more importantly, who cares? You don't need to prove natural things exist and why they do in order to validate the question 'who made God?'. And this leads to the next common response...

2) God ALWAYS Existed.

This is more bullshit than the previous response. Why? Because, and this is something religious people can do A LOT, you're ultimately answering a supernatural question with a supernatural answer. And that doesn't fucking answer it.

You can't answer the question 'who made God?' with a supernatural answer.

"He always existed."

That doesn't help. It doesn't offer any proof and isn't a good argument.

God is almost always believed to be a BEING. This means he (or she. Who knows?) is alive. He has a mind. And this makes sense. After all, isn't he all powerful and all KNOWING? Thus he has a mind. He has awareness and he has conscience.

So who made him like that?

The question 'who made flowers?' isn't a good or even really valid one because nature doesn't need a creator. Things evolve. Things change and adapt. Flowers are just a natural product of the environment and evolution. Nature doesn't have a mind, it just goes with the flow and how it turns out is how it turns out. End. Of.

But BEINGS don't just form. A 'God', as we imagine a God, couldn't just evolve from nature and then become all powerful, because surely 'God' would have to have made nature in the first place?

God always existed. Before time. Before ever. He was the beginning. However how can something that ALWAYS existed have a beginning? It can't. Yet a 'beginning' is a natural requirement. Technically EVERYTHING MUST HAVE A BEGINNING so surely the answer 'God always existed' is clearly invalid. If something always existed it never began, yet everything MUST begin. It's a circle of contradiction.

Something that bugs me about atheism, though, is the way atheists seem to be 'looking' for proof of God's existence.

"We have worked out a supernatural force wasn't required for us to exist and evolve. God isn't necessary."

But here's my argument, and yes, it is in favour of God for once.

How the fuck are you going to find proof of God from working out how we exist and why? And just because he isn't 'necessary', doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

If God created everything, he created nature, the world - everything. He made it all work. He ensured life could evolve in one way or another. Just because us humans have worked out evolution and the big bang theory doesn't mean that God wasn't BEHIND these things. What did we hope to find? What, did we expect to look into evolution and see that something was missing and that ONLY a supernatural force could have played a part in it? Of course not. If God DOES exist and DID create us and everything we exist with, then he made us work. He made us work as a system. He didn't just put us together in a factory and plop us down on planet earth. Just because we can prove that we evolved naturally, doesn't mean God didn't make it so we did in fact evolve naturally in the first place.

One last example of my above statement is this:

If you put together a test tube full of bacteria, and that bacteria changes and grows fungus, and that fungus grows a brain and works out it was created through evolving from bacteria, that doesn't change the fact you made it happen in the first place. You didn't directly create the fungus, but you put in motion the steps FOR it to be created. And maybe, MAYBE, that's what God did.

Anyway, these were just some questions bugging me. They can't be answered by fact, though, so there will never be closure on them. Not until I die anyway, and discover whether there is an afterlife of some sort or not. Maybe there is, but maybe there isn't even a God. Maybe there's a giant rabbit who sits in a cage and you have to answer a trivial question about your life to get into 'heaven', but the question doesn't have an answer and is simply opinion based so there is no a right or wrong answer, yet your answer determines the outcome of your eternal live in the afterlife. And the rabbit will forever be stuck in the cage because that's what life is. A massive cage you can't escape from. And it'll be like that till you die. And even if there IS a heaven, as many imagine it, you will still be in that cage, because the boundaries of existence will always limit you and be there to hold you back.

Good luck.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Why Marijuana Should & Shouldn't Be Legal

It's funny, because I'm all for freedom and ultimately all of my personal beliefs and ethics point towards me agreeing with the vast amount of people calling for marijuana to be legalised. Yet at the same time I really hope it doesn't happen.

First of all, why should it be legalised?

Pot is proven to not be a gateway drug. It is a common misconception that the drug ITSELF is one that numbs the users enjoyment and experience of the high to the point where they then take OTHER, stronger, drugs, like cocaine and heroin. The fact of the matter is that marijuana isn't a gateway drug and it is, in fact, the dealers who are often the gateway.

Smoking pot is known to satisfy well enough, however the dealers that the drug is often acquired through try to lead clients onto stronger, more expensive and damaging drugs. The 'gateway' isn't in the drug itself, but the people who deal it.

What's more, if it WAS legal, dealers wouldn't be needed to get hold of it any more, would they? So technically the gateway to other drugs would be completely dead. If anything, it would help people NOT get addicted to other, far more dangerous, drugs.

Pot isn't lethal and doesn't make people dangerous, either. Well, anything can be lethal and anything can make anyone dangerous, which is why pot isn't either of those things. Alcohol, for instance, can make people a threat to others. And honey can be lethal to those who are allergic to it.

Pot is not known to be overly dangerous and is about as damaging as normal smoking. The idea that it is super lethal comes from the common social agreement that all drugs are really bad for you because they mess with your mind and get you high. Of course, some drugs do cause brain damage. LSD does. Heroin does. They fuck with your mind and make you go a little insane, if not completely mad after long-term use.

But pot is not lethal and, quite simply, it gets you high and that's it. You won't go chewing off someone's face if you take it or dying yourself after two weeks either.

Marijuana is also not addictive. Unlike tobacco, which contains nicotine, the weed itself isn't really that addictive. It's the high that is actually what gets people hooked. The feeling of complete happiness and fulfilment is what makes people stay with dope. If it didn't get people stoned then there wouldn't be anything addictive about it.

Then there's the last reason it should be legalised. And this is really a battle of obvious unfairness.

Alcohol is legal. But weed isn't. Alcohol is addictive. Weed, technically, isn't, but it is at the same time. Both alcohol and weed mentally change the people that take them. Both can be dangerous as alcohol kills the liver as well as causes other health issues while the inhaling of the smoke when taking dope kills your lungs. Basically: they're both as lethal, dangerous and bad as each-other, yet one is legal and the other is not. To make this fair and make sense, either weed should be legalised or alcohol should be banned.

Those are all legit reasons why marijuana should be legal. But at the same time, I resent myself and the whole thing. I resent myself for knowing that it makes sense to legalise it because I really don't want it to actually BE legal.

Why?

Well first of all: the type of people weed attracts.
Pot seems to appeal to a particular kind of person. People with alcohol problems may be nasty, not nice people that are going nowhere with their sad lives, but they can still work. They can still do things. Alcohol may be their sole motivator or the thing they live and rely on, but unlike weed it isn't really a 'culture' or 'way of living'.

Weed seems to appeal to people that have no ambition, that contribute nothing to society. This is my own experience and I know many others who agree with me. In fact, very popular YouTuber 'Woodysgamertag' said this when he spoke about the drug.

A lot of people who take pot are of the mentality that doing the drug is a way of life.

"I don't do anything except chill and smoke weed."

Well, great, I guess, but how about you try contributing to society a bit instead of swallowing up fucking money from the government and wasting everyone's time? People like this anger me, and I know alcoholics can be the same, but I've known people with alcohol problems before, and they've all actually had respectable jobs. Have I ever known a weed smoker to do anything 'respectable' or generally 'give a fuck'? Nope.

I also resent marijuana because it scares me. The drug is already easily available and if it became legal it could easily become as socially acceptable and as used as normal cigarettes. I don't like people who take it and I don't want the people I DO know to take it. And the fact that it could be out there, as easy to get hold of as normal cigarettes scares the crap out of me.

It's worth noting in more detail that I don't like people who do the drug because while I'm all for people doing what they want, people who typically smoke weed just aren't great people. I think former potheads Matt Stone and Trey Parker (the creators of South Park) hit the nail on the head with why they avoid weed and its users at all costs.

According to the two men, pot makes them feel stupid and dumb, and they hate being around people who smoke it because THOSE people are stupid and dumb.

And that's it really. Weed does nothing. It doesn't make everything in your life right. It doesn't make you a nice person. It doesn't do A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G productive or positive to you as a person. It just makes you dumb and pretty lame. And it's lame people think it's cool to smoke weed. Not to sound patronising or all 'high and mighty' but remember when smoking cigarettes used to be cool? And it isn't anymore? Yeah? Well that's gonna be weed in 20 years from now and I bet you a lot of the people who did it now will be wondering why the fuck they wasted their time with it.

You might wonder what my personal experience with it is, and I don't really want to comment on that. Just know that I have had experience with it, and it's the most pointless thing I've ever come across. At least gamblers who throw their life and money away are trying to gain something. Weed, on the other hand, is all lose and no gain.

In the end there are clear, technical, reasons why it should be legal. But if you just look at the technical reasons without looking deeper at the emotional and social ones then you're going to find a lot of things that 'technically' should be done differently in todays world.

For instance, is it socially acceptable to threaten someone? No. And you can get punished for it. But if you look at it from a technical standpoint, threatening someone is harmless. A lot of what we deem 'unacceptable' and punishable by law is not actually, technically, 'bad'. We just perceive it that way. And that's when you get into morales and ethics and all that. But let's not do that. I don't want my mind to explode.

It actually made me wonder when I read about what Stone and Parker had said about weed making people stupid. I wondered whether it made people stupid, or if they were ALREADY stupid because they did it. Either way, I don't want weed to be legalised, although I appreciate why, technically, it should be.

Note: This article is about weed legalisation and I did not touch on other drugs. While I may do that separately, I want it to be known that I totally disagree with anyone who claims stronger drugs such as cocaine and heroin should be legal too. I also did not touch on the drugs industry itself and how much of a negative impact that has on the world. However while I appreciate it is a big factor in why weed should not be legal, I wanted this article to focus mainly on the more relatable 'social' reasons. It's a no brainer that the drugs industry is a criminal one that contributes nothing positive to the world we live in. As with everything, it is a money and greed fuelled business run by selfish people whose only intent is that of making themselves richer.

What do you think about drugs and should they be legalised? Comment below!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Feminists: Your Opinion Doesn't Mean Shit


Do you live in UK? No? Oh, be grateful. Why? Because this country is turning to garbage.

Basically, to cut a long story short and simplify what ultimately is a boring tale of idiocy, Lads' Mags have been sold in supermarkets in the UK for years and now some dumb-as-shit feminist group are trying to get them banned from store shelves and are warning that supermarkets that do actually sell Lads' Mags can potentially get sued. What for, I hear you ask? Well sexual discrimination and harassment apparently.

If you don't know what a 'Lads' Mag' is, then let me explain. It is basically a magazine that features topless and sometimes fully naked women in it. That's pretty much it. I have no idea if they feature any 'news' stories or anything because I've never bought one, but they're basically meant to give men (and in some cases women too) visual pleasure.

OK so there are many issues with this whole Lads' Mags controversy. So, so many issues.

First of all, feminist groups, your opinions don't mean shit. What you think about the world and 'how it should change for the better' is invalid. You know why? Because 'some people' don't get a say in what happens or how a country is run and what laws are enforced. Why? Well, because if a group of people could turn around and demand something, and have that demand honoured, we'd all be fucked.

I'm not a fan of the Apple company. I'm going to get a group of people together and ask for all Apple products to be banned in the UK. Do you think anyone will listen? Uh, no. Because people can buy what they want and people can do what they want.

You feminists may think: "Lads' Mags are bad. BAN THEM!", but that's just your opinion. And in this world, your opinion doesn't mean fuck all.

That said, there's another issue here, and this issue is that the law is actually kind of siding with these nut head, idiotic, feminist maniacs this time around. Supermarkets may be liable to be sued for stocking Lads' Mags on their shelves in plain view. And this is where everything becomes really dumb. Like, REALLY dumb.

Apparently the handling of these magazines by staff and, in some cases customers, may breach equality rights as well as be sexual harassment and discrimination.

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Ugh does anyone really need to explain how this is beyond fucking stupid? Really? Is this what this country has come to? The block on online porn was hit and miss but this is just out of this world stupid.

Here's why there is nothing wrong with supermarkets stocking these magazines:

Lads' Mags are stored out of reach of kids and on the top shelf so only adults can reach and view them.

They do not feature any explicit images on the front cover that can be viewed by the public. You have to purposefully open them up to see the goodies.

It is the CUSTOMER'S choice if they buy or view any Lads' Mags.

Lads' Mags are NOT sexual harassment because harassment implies that the person or persons being 'harassed' are being harassed on PURPOSE and PURPOSEFULLY threatened or made to feel bad and are ultimately being victimised.
If a magazine is guilty of that then you need a fucking brain check. Like, now.

Lads' Mags do NOT breach equality laws. Why? Because the word 'equal' suggests we are both equals, does it not? So we have equal 'rights' ultimately, yes? So how can women still buy and choose from the TONS of magazines aimed at them on the shelves of supermarkets that have topless men on the front but men cannot buy magazines with women on the front? Hang on, if anything it sounds like NOT selling magazines with these model women on the front is being discriminatory AGAINST women as surely women have the right to be featured on magazines in supermarkets too? And where is the line here? How do you decide what you should do? In fact, this ENTIRE argument is sexist against women. Yes, the argument these feminists are making is exist against the very gender they are trying to 'protect'. Why? Because they are ignoring ALL of the WOMEN who like to read Lads' Mags.

In fact, the main reason Lads' Mags DON'T breach equality rights is because BOTH MEN AND WOMEN CAN BUY THEM. You know what a real breach of equality would be? A real breach of equality is stocking Lads' Mags but saying ONLY men can buy them. THAT is not equality, ladies and gentlemen.

In the end, as with everything like this, it is CHOICE. I am a man and I CHOOSE to buy Nuts and Zoo magazine. I am a woman and I CHOOSE to buy Nuts and Zoo too. That, right there, proves that these magazines don't breach any sort of equality laws. It's a choice. A choice that can be made by a man or woman. A choice to buy a fucking magazine.

What's more, imagine if these mags didn't exist and in their place were Girls' Mags featuring nude men. Would this be an issue? No, I don't think so. But, in the end, that would never happen, because men are the more sexually driven gender and thus our sex driver attracts us to magazines like Nuts and Zoo. Women on the other hand aren't really fussed. It's all about choice and preference. Don't like something? Don't involve yourself in it. It's not hard. If this whole Lads' Mags argument was about whether the magazines should be displayed on the top shelf instead of the bottom one for all kids to see then yeah, sure, that makes sense. Get them on the top shelf and make sure the kids can't get hold of them. It's a no brainer. But these feminists are crazy. They try to get rid of everything THEY don't like without taking any notice of others who either do like it or are indifferent. And if anything, they're sexist against their own gender by ignoring the women who do like to buy Lads' Mags.

Feminists: shut up already. Your opinion doesn't mean shit.