Archive for February, 2009

…On The Idea of ‘Carrying Capacity’ Vs. “Unfair Trade Market”

Posted in Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 by thenewserials


st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }
<!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>
/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}

It has come to the attention of UNEP that a prevailing argument on the basis of ‘carrying capacity’ in the argument for global environmental protection. The theorist, Harding, believes that overpopulation puts a strain on the world and ultimately will be the largest of problems that will enhance scarcity. He states that when developing, or any, country becomes over populated they begin to stress their resources. In origin the problem is slight and minute; but, as children grow they become adults and will eventually attempt to maximize their profits. The real culprit in Harding’s theory is this maximizing of profits and furthermore the stress of millions of people being born around the world. If everyone was to take an extra unit of anything (for the purpose of simplifying it will be referred to as 1+) then that 1+ would be added for everyone in the world and ultimately the capacity of land, resources and tolerable pollution will be stretched 1+ for everyone on the planet.

Carrying Capacity is as much as a scientific equation as it is a simple math problem. Since one can only harvest so many resources at one time; but, can reproduce at a rapid rate eventually the latter will over take the former causing catastrophic events. There is also an economic look at this theory; but, it is not one where money can be thrown at the problem, more so money must be used to stabilize the infrastructure of countries so that overpopulation can be curbed through education or some other means. Harding also stresses that commons (places that are used by all; but, not owned by anyone: beaches, national parks, ect) will suffer through Overpopulation stretching carrying capacity. If everyone was able to touch, swim, feel and, ultimately corrupt these commons, what is going to keep them from being destroyed at a rapid pace?

Harding uses the theory of curbing the population, through education mostly (some in agreement with his idea might opt to use more harsh tactics) but, this would only put a strain on the population of the world instead of the resources. Imagine if there were less people working on fields to harvest grains, corn or cattle, the remaining would have to work doubly hard to obtain the same success as having twice the workforce. The smaller countries, struggling to enter the world economy as it is, would be held back by their physical work capacity, leading to an even more imbalanced import/export trade system. Larger, more affluent, countries will have more to sell and less to buy (the opposite of the imbalance that currently exist) this would force the smaller countries to buy instead of sell and possibly leave them broke within a few decades. The imbalance the other way also works in detriment of the smaller countries. When they have more to sell and less to buy the culture becomes obsessed with producing goods and less on education, failing to expand the country into one that can compete formidably in the global economy.

It is this problem that needs to be addressed rather than ‘overpopulation’. The unfair trade system often works to the benefit to the affluent countries, and in return, the affluent countries don’t do enough to balance that trade. When a large affluent country like the United States of America trades with a poorer country the cost of the import is more than likely outweighed by the cost of producing the import. This imbalance will force poorer countries to want to produce more goods in a quicker fashion (by means of more workers and/or machines) but, to become more efficient in producing goods one must spend large amounts of money to obtain the tools necessary to achieve that goal. This further puts stress on the smaller country and the amount of money that the affluent country is paying will not be enough to keep up the rate of production or any positive gain in the rate of production. This stress then leads to immoral and illegal labor uses and conditions that will further deteriorate the trade process, bringing in less money steadily over the years and eventually spiraling the country into impoverished conditions that can only be solved with drastic amounts of money thrown at it.

Rich companies have a moral obligation to invest wholly into the poorer countries, to look at them and ensure the structure is sound and working well enough to produce efficiently and subsequently earn a better pay from countries importing their goods. At this point the poorer countries will be able to sustain themselves, overpopulated or not, and compete in the market, which will eventually come to the benefit of all in the market affluent or not.

Concluding: if more affluent countries can help sustain poorer countries; then eventually poorer countries will help sustain even poorer countries; thusly, creating a cycle of positive movement morally and in the market

Advertisements

The War Between The Classroom And The Game Room

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2009 by thenewserials

<!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>
/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}

It is an accepted social assumption that there is a disconnect in students between educational activities and recreational activities. Even the most prudent of students can find the occasional video game more interesting the whole of their time at school. This idea hasn’t just come around with video games, in older days it was the idea of sports vs. school, sitcoms and other television shows capitalizing on the idea more than many times. The overused story of the popular jock that can play Football (or baseball, or basketball, or swim, or hockey, or soccer, ect.) and is the only hope to win the big game; but, can’t read and/or write.

In more recent years; however, television (and even more recently) video games have filled that position. Labeled often as a distraction academics, video games have become somewhat of the antithesis to the college paper. The idea, that either one road will lead you to prosperity and work and the other with slouch a person into a couch potato with no prospects of success, is often taken for fact and erroneously so.

The problem leans to one side; however, the accountability seems to strictly come from the academic side of the equation. Has college become such a pompous institution that it cannot look past itself to see other option for education, or alternative ways to teach new ideas? Or does the College institution fear that a new wave of information may render itself obsolete and doesn’t want to contribute to its own doom? Either way video games don’t need help keeping the players attention and often times college does.

The truth of the matter is that video games are the wave of the future and college is an institution teaching the ideas of the past. If both don’t come to some kind of medium, both may be in danger.

In late January of 1997 a video game named Final Fantasy VII was released. The seventh game in the series, that had been putting out the games for nearly ten years at the time, would redefine the idea of a video game and help propel video games to a mainstream audience and push it to the level of popularity that it could not be ignored.

Within three days of its release Over 2.3 million copies were sold, which forced retailers in other countries to break their release dates to meet the public demand of the game and as of December 2005 the game has sold over 9.8 million copies. The next installment of the series Final Fantasy VIII, released in Septemeber, 1999, sold 2.5 million in the first four days and grossed over fifty million dollars in the thirteen weeks, by the end of the year more than six million copies were sold. In conjunction to its amazing commercial success Final Fantasy VIII released a pop-single into the music realm and conquered that medium easily. “Eyes On Me”, the single released, sold over 400,000 copies becoming the highest selling video game disc ever at that time. Success has for the game has even crept into the Olympics with “Liberi Fatali”, an original piece for the game, being played during the synchronized swimming event in the 2004 Olympics.

With these facts well documented and known, why isn’t college embracing the video game industry and ushering in its alum into a business that is highly popular and successful? Shouldn’t it be the will of the Universities to try to offer students the path they wish to choose, rather than giving them a list of roads and telling them to choose?

This disconnect between college and video games should cease to exist, college writing needs to open up. The primary focus of the Final Fantasy Series are the elaborate plots and sophisticated characters. When the Super Nintendo was boasting Mario Brothers, Final Fantasy VI was dealing with idea of Love, loss, identity issues, duty vs. loyalty and suicide, something never before seen in a video game. A primary character grappling with issues so strong to them that they attempt to commit suicide. The writers of these games are clearly talented and have found a way to make themselves successful by creating something that has reached millions of people. College writing almost counter attacks these writings with the often forcing of English I and II courses which are prerequisites for creative writing courses; but why? Why shouldn’t creative writing be a prerequisite for those courses or at the very least, simply be accessible from the start?

Continuing with the idea, if the focus of the college writing courses is to teach students how to write, where are the courses to teach the students how to use their writing? While M.L.A. style writing will be more than helpful in some areas, that doesn’t mean colleges should ignore the other avenues writing can take one down.

With a faltering economy and an industry unaffected by it, it would seem that video games are going to be one of the iron clad businesses during the recession. The business is nearly monopolized by the Asian market and a fighting American cooperation would help stabilize the business and almost certainly give room for rapid growth and success and most of all video games have already gotten the majority of college students positive attention why not fuse the two for the better of the universities and students? Just like Sports and college have been infused in which you can practice both simultaneously, the same must be done for video games or everyone will lose in the end.

Early Review : Dissidia: Final Fantasy

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1, 2009 by thenewserials

It’s been a while now since the original Final Fantasy was released. It’s been a while since players worldwide took over the role as Warriors of Light and defended the world against the master plan of Garland.

It’s been a while since players played as Cecil trying to make sense of his corrupt kingdom and his, seemingly loss loss best friend Kain.

It’s been a while since players watched Kefka taint the water system and poison Cyan’s family.

A while since players read: “Because you’re a puppet”

A while since the introduction of the “Gunblade”

A while since Alexander fought Bahamut

And a while since Spira was freed from Sin.

But now Square-Enix is allowing players to live out their reveries and play as the characters from Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy X. Dissdia: Final Fantasy is Square-Enix newest game to be released in America “tba 2009” and recently released in Japan; but, that has not stopped this FF fan from getting his hands on a copy and playing through the language barrier. From Golbez to Ultimecia to Cloud to Exdeath, each main character and villain from the I-X are included in the game that aims to change the ‘fighting game’ genre.

Dissidia is a beauty of a game filled with characters from many games past smashed into one rock em’ sock em’, high adrenaline, plot driven game. Focusing on the world of the original Final Fantasy Chaos and Cosmos (the goddess of harmony) are continuing their eternal war against each other. In an effort to gain ground over Cosmos, Chaos, summons a team of villains forcing Cosmos to summon the opposing heroes. A battle ensues and all are scattered to different worlds and soon on a quest to obtain the mysterious crystals, in an effort to defeat Chaos once and for all.

The player is immediately immersed into a game that is full of rich story and different personalities; the player initially has the option to play as one of the ten main heroes: Warrior of Light, Frion, Onion Knight, Cecil, Bartz, Terra, Cloud, Squall, Zidane and Tidus. Each character has their own story mode in which the player must move across a chess like board to get to the round boss while attempting to use as few steps as possible; maintaining Destiny Points (DP) for a bonus at the end. The story focuses on the character trying to find their worlds Crystal for Cosmos and in their journey encounter other heroes and villains. While the story is in Japanese the general idea is not lost, quickly it is revealed that the heroes are somewhat weary about their journey, unsure of what may follow and the villains begin to form teams, one for domination and one for destruction. The opposing teams often come close to blows with one another in sequences many fans will just be happy to see. The sight of Heroes from different games conversing and the same for villains is enough to make the biggest FF gush with nostalgia

The battle system is more strategic than any other FF game so far. It consist of players doing BP (Brave Points) damage to one another stealing and gaining and then utilizing a HP (Health Points) move to do damage equal to the number of BP the player has at the time. If a character goes below zero BP they go into “break mode” and the other character gains the BP in a cache. Every character has twelve moves they can use, 6 BP and 6 HP, in addition the battle system is 100% 3D allowing for freedom in the map from jumping, gliding, running on walls and destructible Enrolments. The battle system is further punctuated by the use of summons which do different things depending on who is summoned. For example the Ifrit summon will raise the summoners BP points x3 while Ramuh will hinder the opponents ability to summon; furthermore most summons have two classes: Automatic and Manual. In the case of my example above Ifrit Auto will raise the summoners BP x3 when the summoner breaks the enemy; while Manual can be done at any time.

The real bread and butter of Dissdia is the complete freedom of the battle, in versus mode the character pics who they want to play as, who they want to fight against, what map they want to fight at and the BGM you want to play during the battle. each game has 2 songs e.g. VII has One Winged Angel and the Those Who Fight Further. the second song is a unique arranged mix of a song just for Dissidia. Later on you the player has the chance to unlock a third song straight from the OST in VII’s case it’s the “Opening/Bombing Mission”.

There are still very traditional aspects of a Final Fantasy game Incorporated in Dissidia. For example the player has the ability to equip their characters with swords; shields, hats, rods armor, accessories ect. This increases stats just like any normal FF game.

In battle each character has an EX mode in which they can “transform” into a more powerful version of themselves. For example Terra can transform into her Esper form, some characters have lesser transformations like Cloud and Squall who merely gain their ultimate weapon. In EX mode (achieved by collecting EX orbs dropped during battle) characters can perform an EX Burst (similar to limit breaks) a special move that inflicts BP damage to raise the BP total and ending with HP damage. Each EX Burst uses a command (e.g. Zidane must rapidly press O, Cecil must input a series of button inputs) and how successful that command is put it will determine the strength of the Ex-burst move.

Dissdia doesn’t stop there though; there’s a Ad-Hoc mode that allows player on player battle; however, there is also an offline lobby in which you could play against another players “ghost”. If you play in Ad-Hoc against someone their battle techniques and traits are recorded into the game and then afterwords the player can fight against a very like-minded ‘Ghost’ that will fight much like the non-present player. Combine that with a full equipment shop, Extras shop and the ability to not only record; but, edit recorded battles and Dissidia is a game you won’t be putting down any time soon after you buy it.

The only draw back is hoping the American version isn’t dumbed down; there’s a lot to do and I certaintly enjoy, or at least trying, doing it.

Gameplay: 10/10

Story: 10/10

Graphics: 10/10

Music: 10/10

Replay factor: 11/10

Overall rating 10.5/10