The “gay marriage” debate

There has been a huge amount of discussion recently regarding the subject of “gay marriage”, so I thought I would throw my view into the forum. I personally don’t understand why there is a discussion at all, and much less why this discussion is being made by the people it will affect the least, but I will join it anyway.

I, for one, have no urgent desire to get married. You may think this is odd from someone who is clearly in favour of marriage and equalising gay marriage, but I have been put off the idea by my experience of unsuccessful heterosexual marriages in my family. I don’t feel confident in the institution, especially once sanctified by God, as they just don’t seem to last. My father is on his 5th marriage, and my mother, brother and sister have also been at the end of divorce proceedings, which somehow takes the shine from the happy matrimony they were promised.

Heterosexual marriage, or just “marriage” as it is called, has an increasingly high separation and divorce rate, so I can’t see why people would be so keen to keep it strictly for the heterosexuals. I mean, more successful relationships and happy marriages could hardly sully their good name could it?

I have been to a number of weddings (no I didn’t burn upon entering a sacred building), and also to a couple of civil partnerships (the gay marriage “equivalent” we settle for in the UK). They are completely different entities. Weddings are full of pride and ceremony, the civil partnerships were shameful and inadequate by comparison, and I feel this is unfair.

I don’t dictate how other people make choices or how they can co-exist, although it would be very easy to do, but I don’t see how anyone can justify denying a basic human requirement of committing to share your life with someone because of one extremist chapter of an incredibly outdated piece of fiction? If I chose to live my life by Act I of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (a far more recent literary tome), I would be off looking for witches and planning high treason if my wife told me to. Do you see how ridiculous this would be?

I am not slating religion as a whole, it serves a purpose and gives people faith. I just don’t understand why it has to get involved in something that clearly doesn’t concern it. The gays have lasted this long being spurned by God and his followers, I think we can last another few centuries.

in Germany they have a “Partnership for Life” for gay couples, and that’s both a lovely name for it, and a great concept. They tried to bring it in to common use for straight couples too, but that didn’t seem to be to popular with the religious crowds.

I think ultimately that this is what’s needed, a new term used for the union of heterosexuals, homosexuals, the transgendered and any other sexual or religious group. Throw away the marriage term, if it has too much religious baggage with it (keep wedding if you want to as a short-hand), but call it something else legally. As long as we all get equal rights, I’d happily share my life union in a “pumpkin carving” ceremony, if I have to.

The rise of the video age

Microphone? Check
Camera (iPhone)? Check
Fascinating matter to talk about? Kinda
2 gamers willing to chat about it for hours? Big Check

Now armed with the means to record decent video ( preparing ourselves for the daily blog from Eurogamer) we are gonna test it out with some reviews and news pieces, and we shall see how well this works!

Watch this space!

…and breathe

So, my final assessment of the year has been handed in. Not sure how I’ve done, but I’ve just got one exam in June and then I promise I won’t mention coursework again.

I have to find the time now (and money) to have some more work done on the arm tattoo. Ideally wanna get the half sleeve finished by the summer, and then I can work on Odin on the forearm for the winter months.

Now I’m gonna have some spare time again, I think it’s only fair that I devote more time to gaming, although my list of games with Lovefilm is dwindling rapidly, so I may need to broaden my horizons.

Any recommendations?

May, and my first blog of 2012

It’s been quite a busy and emotional couple of months so far this year. You may (or may not) have noticed that my blogging has been on hold since last year, and with no great singular reason, just a few meagre but valid ones.

I won’t bore you with the mundane stuff, but will instead give you a few highlights…

My new job is going well, I’ve been kept on permanently and I’m striving to make myself irreplaceable.
I have started writing for a new website (www.zero1gaming.com) and am hoping to do big things for them this year.
I have calmed my uni work down, it has been pretty relentless this year, and I have taken a step back and have a plan for the future.
My Final Fantasy tattoo is coming along nicely (more photos to be uploaded soon).
And, finally, The Avengers movie (Marvel’s Avengers Assemble here in the UK) has restored my faith in a decent comic book adaptation of a superhero time in a live action feature movie. It was awesome!

Now, I think you’re up to date pretty much.
This year has also been a year of holidays, namely to New York again in January (possibly over killed it) and San Francisco for my 30th in March, which has to be the wettest city I have ever seen, but also one of the greatest.

This is a test blog really, to check I can still write, and to see if anyone cares enough to visit. Hopefully I’ll be writing to you all soon!

DLC – a clever marketing ploy?

With the recent report from Rod Fergusson of Epic Games (Gears of War) stating that DLC is planned months in advance of even launching the game to prevent users from playing the game and trading it in, for fear they may miss something, it struck me that this may be a little shady on behalf of the publishers.

Epic aren’t alone in this matter, in fact most companies of recent games seem to spew out DLC virtually from launch, in order to keep a steady income and prevent people from trading in the games when they have already invested such a large amount of time, and now money,  into the franchise sitting in their disk tray.

I know DLC may well be paving the way for the future trend of digital-downloads and online-0nly gaming, and some of the DLC seems genuinely like a good addition to the title. There are, however, some noticeable exceptions.

Stand forward Batman: Arkham City. I know I have mentioned before about the game allowing you to download Catwoman’s gameplay for free on a new game, but charging £8 to play the missions from a second-hand game, but this rant isn’t about the pricing, or the unfair treatment of the second-hand gamers (of which I am one).

This rant is about releasing half a game onto a disk, before releasing the rest of the game in installments which charge the user should they want to carry on playing. You can download Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing packs to flesh out the story and get the whole picture of what is going in in Arkham City, or you can stick with the Batman-only game you bought and play half of the game, as originally intended.

I am not against DLC; additional multiplayer maps, prologue or epilogue stories, side missions, or even new costumes/vehicles/weapons are all viable DLC. However, having to pay for half of the game you have already paid full-price for, and then preventing you from trading it in for fear of having paid for a few useless bytes of code that are meaningless without the original disk? I think that is beyond despicable.

Epic, Rocksteady and the others who perform this practice…. I’m on to you.

XBOX 720, Wii U, PS4?

There was talk earlier this year, at least from Microsoft and Sony developers, that both of their current consoles still had a lot of life in them, and had not been tapped to their full potential yet.

News broke this week, however that Microsoft had let out development consoles of their next generation to several developers and publishers, with a view to launching in 12 months time.

After the lack-lustre showing at E3, we are all aware that Nintendo are also launching their next console, the awfully-named Wii U, around the same launch window in 2012.

Sony has yet to comment on it’s plans, and with the equally shockingly-titled PS Vita launching early next year, are they likely to develop a new home console too?

There was a time when I met news of new hardware with glee, but these days I am a tad more skeptical. I’m not convinced that a newer, more expensive console, and more expensive games and peripherals are what the economy needs right now.

I will be starting a new job soon, and hopefully earning a little more each month, but like many people, that money is getting gobbled up by various bills, debts and a more expensive cost of living. I already struggle to buy games brand new, and often settle for second-hand or through my LoveFilm subscription. I am not sure how I will be able to afford to buy a new console (which will undoubtedly only play current gen games, and won’t be backward compatible except for DLC) and all the gubbins that go with it.

Unfortunately, I doubt that I am alone in this worry.