Gaming is not just mindless entertainment

One of my set work books in English at high school was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The class, myself included, weren’t interested, although now I expect I would have a greater appreciation of the novel. So what made me read one of the same author’s short stories; There Will Come Soft Rains? Was it a new appreciation of classic literature that came with maturity? Partly. Mostly it was that I learned that the story was referenced in Fallout 3, a game I enjoyed.

Continue reading

Quicklinks: Miscellaneous

There’s something really odd going on with the cover story for Science. It appears that they’re making a claim by just not testing the alternatives.

Whether dolphins are smart or not, they do not have a special bond with humans. There’s also new footage of a dolphin supposedly thanking fishermen for helping it. I don’t find this particular example very convincing.

Some amazing animal art made from old machines.

Jacques Rousseau has written a great piece on how ridiculous the occult crime unit is. I also advise following the link inside to the SAPS website warning about the occult and read their list of warning signs. Not only have many of them got nothing to do with the occult but a fair number are just wrong. For example, they claim that fantasy games have no rules. Yet here’s a long list of various rulebooks that have been released for Dungeons and Dragons.

Hypocrisy, thy name is…

The internet is great for getting the word out there when someone has done something wrong. However, it also makes claims very easy to check up. Sometimes people don’t put two and two together and hypocrisy can become quite evident very quickly. That’s been the case just recently in South Africa. I got a link to this post, where South African designer Euodia Roets calls out Woolworths for the way they stole her design. She gives a lot of details and photo evidence of the similarity between her picture and the one that was then printed on some scatter cushions to sell. Continue reading

FPB board loses credibility

I want to write a longer post on the outcomes of The Spear saga but for now I just want to point out how ridiculous it’s classification is. The Spear depicts Jacob Zuma with his penis exposed and was sent to the Film and Publications Board (FPB) to be classified. They’ve now decided that it should be rated 16N, meaning:

Any persons or entities wishing to publish and exhibit images and/or replicas of this specific artwork will in future have to put in place mechanisms to regulate access to this piece of art by members of the public below the age of 16.

Continue reading

The Spear, a test for South Africa’s free expression

The Spear by Brett Murray

There has been a lot of talk about Brett Murray’s depiction of President Jacob Zuma in the picture, The Spear, which already has it’s own Wikipedia entry. Everyone has their opinion on the picture, which was sold for R136 000, and whether it is a legitimate example of freedom of expression or whether it should be removed and destroyed. I want to look at it in light of the 10 principles of free speech I talked about earlier.

While the display of the picture has been defended by City Press and the Goodman Gallery on the grounds of freedom of expression it has been opposed by supporters of Zuman and the ANC by multiple, and often ridiculous, arguments. Continue reading