Sunday, September 29, 2013

Midnight Releases; Is It Worth It?

*I wrote this the week of GTA V's release for a gaming site Portable Platypus but since it wasn't about a portable game it got denied.  Tried to submit it to another gaming site, got denied again.  So I kept it for myself and posted it here because I know it's a dope piece*

You must have a pretty clear schedule to dedicate an entire evening (or days) to wait in line to play a video game, where you are in a world doing what you could be doing in 12 hours at noon.  Legal things of course, not racketeering and driving recklessly not following any street laws.  And that's exactly what these dedicated fans did Tuesday morning because GTA V sold $800 million in 24 hours and later a billion copies in just 3 days beating Call of Duty Black Ops, which sold a billion in 15 days.

Staying up late, in the cold, to play a game with over 30 to 50 hours of gameplay.  Which doesn't even include the main story but side missions and the various distractions that take you away from the story.  Playing a tennis match, racing against other players, going to the strip club, it's almost like they want you not to finish the game but isn't that part of the plan?  When you discuss the game with your friends, I'm sure most will say they played a few missions then took part in some of the activities or tried to cause enough trouble where the SWAT teams are called in and you're avoid snipers above.
 For one thing, not everyone finishes a GTA game.  In a 2009 report based on Gamerscore achievements showing the percentage of gamers completing campaign of games out at the time.  Games like Halo and Call of Duty sit on top with 70-75% completion rates.  Meanwhile GTA IV is near the bottom with 27%, will that number rise with GTA V or go down with the amount of distractions there is in a GTA game?  With a low completion campaign percentage, I'm not sure why people would line up to instantly to play a game that most won't end up finishing.

It's not like a sports game or a first person shooter, where you're ranking up your players stats to be far superior to your online opponents, GTA is mostly story.  I know when I got my copy of NHL14, the first thing I dove into was the Create-A-Pro mode because in lamest terms, you're butt when you first start.  Everyone is bad and the only way to get better is by playing a lot of hockey.  That's why you need to get NHL 14 or any other sports game where playing, ranking up stats and winning games adds to having a better player than others online.  The highest selling sports game of all time is FIFA 13 and that only sold 4.5 million within it's first week, that's what GTA V sold in about 15 minutes.

But are gamers lining up for the game for it's story?  The gameplay?  Or do they just want to shoot casualities, take flying lessons, be in a police chases and smoke marijuana in their large mansions?  Yes, you can do that last one in this game.  With so many things to do in this massive game, it's bigger than San Andreas, GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption other Rockstar Games out together, maybe it's just the experience of doing it all.  Being the first one to be a part of this contingency of this open world and the many things it has to offer.   

 GTA has been instrumental in today's video games in various ways from with the open free roaming gameplay used and the controversy that comes with it.  Parent groups and political figures like Jack Thompson have a thing for stepping on the toes of gaming community by stating how violent and offensive the game is.  Yet, all that does is create the buzz, raises the exposure and the lines are formed infront of the GameStops, Best Buys and other retailers.  Controversy sells, enough to make a billion in under a week.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

One Year Later

I originally started this blog just so I can practice my writing technique, find my voice and to get in a writing rhythm when one of the many advertising agencies I've emailed gets back to me.  Plus I had some ideas rumbling that I wanted to put down.  Has the blog been a success? I'd say so, I'm still using it.  Whether I'm telling a story, sharing my opinion on a popular topic, hearing a song then writing about it, suggesting what you should watch or making a list, I'm still forming my thoughts/ideas into pieces that I'll share and feel good about later.

Have I gotten better?  I want to say yes but no one has ever challenge anything I've written.  You can't call yourself the best in the world if you haven't been challenged.  It's a learning experience.  The worst that can happen is you fail and there's nothing wrong with failing.  You think you came out the womb walking and talking?  Nope, you crawled and fell a number of times trying to walk.  If you've been succeeding for so long and never failed at anything, I'd hate to see you when that day comes because I don't know if you're going to back up again.

A key for me was to get reps. I needed to see things that I couldn’t see standing on the sidelines. That’s where guys like Tim Tebow are: We know he’s a work in progress, but the only way to get that progress is to find situations and to play.  I know you want to play in the NFL, but right now you need to find places to hone your craft. Whether that’s Canada, whether that’s the Arena League, whether that’s anywhere else, I would encourage him, whatever the opportunity is, to take advantage of it and go play as much football as you can." - Kurt Warner on Tim Tebow.

If you want to be great at something you dream of, you got to wet your feet somewhere before you go in the deep end.  I've written a few things here and there (some places I have beef with), done the internships and currently at a pitstop but I'm trying to make it back on that main road.  I haven't given up which I'm proud of the most.  But after awhile if you believe in yourself, you gotta tell it like it is to some folks.

Recently, Dave Chappelle told a story to Spin about a time Kanye West came to perform on Chappelle Show before he blew up to become Yeezus today.  It's a great story but the ending is the real kicker.  Chappelle shows Kanye some unaired unedited sketches including the Rick James sketch.  Kanye gets a call and this is how it goes....
He answers the phone, he goes, “Hello. Huh? What? Uh uh, I can’t. I can’t. Cause, I’m at Dave Chappelle’s show watching sketches that nobody’s ever seen before.”  And then he says, “Cause my life is dope, and I do dope sh*t,” and then he hung up the phone.
I really think I need to tell these agency people the business.  I'm dope and we can do dope things together, hire me.  If not you're missing out on a dope writer that listens to better music than you, watches better television than you and is more dope than whoever you hire that's not me.  Yeah, I'm definitely gonna end each email with that.

Well, I just want to pat myself on the back ala Barry Horowitz, I made this blog a year ago today and still using it.  You should look around, I've written some dope things.  If I can tag the best ones, I'd simply tag them as: dropping_knowledge_without_coming_off_as_overly_self-righteous.  Now I'm going to look back and see how far I've come.  Thanks for reading what I've written, if you like something share it.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Reality for Men: Where's The Shows For Us?

In my daily quest for employment and enjoyment, I've seen recent ads for a CTV show airing today on Labour Day.  To put it shortly, it's The View for Canada.  Yes, ANOTHER show where women talk about pop culture, health and general stories.

Now if you thinking I'm leaning this piece toward what I wrote about the up-and-coming Girl Meets World then you're right.  Because there's no show where men just sit down and shoot the shit.  Why can't men have this?  The only show catered to millennial men, which unfortunately doesn't air in Canada yet the female version does, is Guy Code.  It's not that hard to cater to men: beer, sports, punching things, shooting things, cops and sex.  But is that all that draws us in?

You're telling me men can't have a show in a Mallrats setting in Brodie's room?  Where he's comfortable in his underwear surrounded by video games, comic books and pictures of hot women so men can feel safe watching.  God forbid anything in the room is pink because there's still men out there that think pink = gay.

SpikeTV, the network for Men as their slogan once was, only airs shows for mainly places that need to be rescued.  In quick synopsis describing each show, this is Spike's line up: Tattoos, bars, cops, MMA, bad wrestling, bad tattoos, how to die, kicking out weird human beings from their homes and asking dumb people questions to get their cars back.

He legit has the weirdest hairstyle on Earth

E! Network where a majority of the audience is females and homosexuals, their shows seem to work gracefully.  Women hate and love the Kardashians, that explains their 19 spin-off shows.  They have about four shows about fashion, a profile show on a female celebrity, a handful of celebrity reality shows and Just Shoot Me, a sitcom about the fashion industry.  That's an easy breezy TV schedule.

Shows where it's a comedian or Rob Dyrdek laughing at clips on YouTube will not be watched by me.  That's just lazy television.  I know about the rebranding of G4TV and it is now going to be named Esquire Channel but that's yet to be launched.  Will they have a less douchey version then the lineup of hosts for The Other Half?  I kinda hoping so (really, Danny Bonaduce?  Even when I was 12 I knew something was right about that guy and I love me some A.C. Slater but Mario Lopez wasn't polished yet to be a host along side the hosting gawd himself Dick Clark).  Please no mas Comedy Central, they've been trying to get back the Dave Chappelle magic with so many comedians.  It's time to call it a wrap and move on.


There's need to be shows that can teach men to be better.  Men are in a weird state right now, we can't joke about feminism, not all of us are up-to-date on music, we all don't know what to do in relationship, we can't cook for ourselves, we don't know what's good for our health, some of can't dress, in fact a lot of us can't dress.  What's a better way to teach us to be better at being men then a properly information filled television program?   I know it's a rival magazine but in GQ they have a section titled "How To Do Everything Better".  Now there's an idea, they feature such things as how to catch a mouse, how to beat anyone in a game of Horse and other simple yet challenging things that can carry an entire episode of Modern Family.

Right now women have The Talk, The View, Kathie Lee Grifford and Hoda Kotb have an hour to themselves after the Today Show, Aliya Jasmine from MTV got her own show, Play With AJ and this up-and-coming The Social is another hour of women's view on what's going on in the world.  Where's our show?  I'm sure we have an opinion on topics that hasn't already been covered on ESPN.  We can all teach each other how to be better.  We don't need men like Elvin from The Cosby Show out in this world.  Say what you want on Twitter but soon enough they'll be caught out in these streets saying something foolish to be eaten up and chewed out by women like Claire.

Give Cabral Richards an hour, we love Cabbie!  If you've ever heard his podcast, Cabbie is a great storyteller who talks about more things than just sports.  That How To Do Everything Better pitch idea is still up in the air.  I don't want much but an hour of four bros around a table talking about anything in the news that isn't sports.