Archive | July 2016

Why Five Nights at Freddy’s is a Masterpiece

I realize that everyone else has already played Five Nights at Freddy’s, explored its secrets and nature, and moved on to the sequels, gotten bored, and finally started playing Undertale and Stardew Valley. I’m a bit of an iconoclast, to be honest, and I intentionally avoid things that are particular and surrounded by hype. Hype so often is misleading. It was only 3 or 4 years ago that I played Minecraft, and just a few weeks ago that I played Five Nights at Freddy’s. The exception to this was Pokemon Go, but I was kinda at the forefront of that hype train, so I knew from the start that it was worth the temporary hype–I also noted in my official review of the game for Cubed3 that the hype would be short-lived. Never let it be said that I don’t understand games.

In fact, I understand them too well, which is what led to my vicious review of 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot, as I saw through the cracks in the game and recognized it for what it was: a Final Fantasy XIII-esque romp through various mini-games masquerading as a full game. My point is that there are three things that I know inside and out:

  • Sex
  • Video games
  • Anarchy

And music, too. Character development, maybe. But enough about ego stroking. Let’s talk FNAF, since that’s why you’re here.*

The War Between Doing Something and Dying

FNAF draws its strength from two simple facts: if you do stuff, you’re going to die. If you don’t do stuff, you’re going to die.

I’ve talked before on Twitter and Facebook about how much I hate the power mechanic, and it seems that I’m not alone, since it was removed from subsequent entries, but it worked like this: the owners of the pizza place gave you a generator, basically, to last through the night. Everything consumed power. Checking security cameras, turning on lights, keeping doors shut–it all consumed power. You also had a fan running steadily on your desk, which caused power to constantly drain, and you couldn’t turn it off.

Silence is Deafening

Let’s talk about the fan briefly. A lot of people hate the fan, but the fan was a critical part of the game.

First, the fan caused noise pollution. You just couldn’t hear with 100% clarity because there was a fan going constantly. You could still hear important things, but you had the constant whirring of the fan going the entire time. Moreover, this added an extra touch of realism: no one would sit there in total silence like that. I’m sitting in my house right now, and there isn’t a sound but the steady drip of water from trees above the roof onto the roof, and it’s driving me crazy. Every fiber of my being is telling me to get my fan and turn it on, and I’m going to do that. I don’t know at what point today I will get my fan and turn it on, but it will happen today, and silence will be the reason why.

Silence is scary to modern humans, because we never hear silence. When we hear silence now, we associate it with something being wrong, and we begin to hear everything. Every drop falling onto the roof. The low turning of my computer fans. The distant rumble of a diesel engine. These sounds are MADDENING. They are not rhythmic or predictable. They are intermittent, and it’s very reminiscent of Chinese water torture. When is the next drop going to fall? It’s the same reason that a barking dog is annoying, but a box fan is not: we don’t mind regular noise. We mind unpredictable noise.

My point is: even with life-threatening animatronics coming to kill you, you would be unable to resist having the fan on. I’ve experienced similar things first-hand, when my body and brain chemistry were adjusting to the influx of estrogen, leaving me totally terrified for a period of about two months, when I was too scared to even turn on lights at night, due to some primal and irrational fear that something was outside. Though I knew intellectually that there was nothing outside, I could not bring myself to simply pull back the curtain and look. If there had been devils and demons out there who would come for me if I didn’t look, then they would have gotten me, because in that two month period, fear bound my hands. This is much as someone would behave at Fazbear’s Pizza: they wouldn’t want to hear every little sound of the animatronics moving around in the distance. Without the fan, a real person would run screaming into the hallway on Night 3, “Fine! You want me? Come and get me! Just get this over with!”

Lastly, the fan provided a reason that the power constantly ticked down.

The War Between Doing Something & Dying

The first time I played FNAF, I died on the first night, because I ran out of power around 4 AM. I stayed in the cameras. In fact, that was my criticism against the game: “It’s really funny, but the fun part is looking through the cameras for the animatronics. But if you do that, then you lose.” And while I hated that just two weeks ago, I’ve since realized how extraordinarily brilliant it is.

The player is helpless in Five Nights at Freddy’s. You have two doors, two lights, and a security camera feed. All of it consumes power, as I said. You can’t just slam both doors and bunker down all night, because you’ll run out of power, and then Freddy will kill you by shoving you into one of the suits. The suits, of course, already contain endoskeletons (wouldn’t that just be “skeletons”?). Or Freddy might think you’re a suit without its endoskeleton, and might kill you by shoving an endoskeleton into you. It’s gory, but there’s no depiction of violence in the game.

Four animatronics are coming for you: Foxy, Chica, Bonnie, and Freddy. Foxy is unique in that he hides in Pirate Cove, and he becomes active if you don’t check his camera feed, or if you check it too often. He emerges slowly and through several stages, before he finally bolts down the hallway to come and get you. And shove you into a suit with an endoskeleton already in it. When he charges, you have to slam the door and then “trigger” him by checking one specific feed (he will come at an unpredictable moment if you don’t check this feed), and then he’ll return to Pirate Cove. Foxy is a symbol of everything this game is: doing everything just enough, but not too often and not too little.

You have to be Goldilocks, and the game becomes steadily less forgiving as the nights progress.

I look back and wonder that I ever died on Night 1. God, I was such a noob. I also died on Night 2, though. And Night 3. And Night 4. In fact, I only just beat FNAF recently, and I died repeatedly on each night as I progressed through them. This is exactly right, though–I would bet that my arc through Five Nights at Freddy’s is identical to the ordinary player’s who looked at a few tips but didn’t want to learn any of the “rock solid” strategies that take the fun out of the game.

On the first night, camera usage is constant, and players die either by running out of power or having an animatronic sneak up and kill them. So then they learn to use the cameras less, to avoid running out of power, and die because they didn’t see someone coming. Around this time, they probably reach Night 3, where Foxy becomes active, and they die due to not using the cameras often enough. Then they die from checking the cameras too often. The animatronics become constantly more aggressive, and the player’s attention has to be split into four different things all the time, and doing any of those four things too often results in the player’s death.

In fact, if you want to see someone play out exactly what I just described:

On the first night, players can waste a lot of power and still be alright. Those players who end the first night with 5% power will not survive Night 2, though, and Night 2 will teach them to manage their power more effectively. Then Night 3 will teach them that they managed their power too much, and they’ll die to Foxy. They’ll learn to use more power and check cameras more often, and this will kill them in Night 4, when all four animatronics are active and Chica or Bonnie regularly come up to the door and hang around for a long time. This forces the player to use between 2 and 3 sections of power at all times, because the only way to know if it’s safe to open the door is to check the lights. Players will run out of power, and Freddy will get them. A first-time player will likely finish Night 4 in total darkness, not moving, and hoping that 6 AM arrives before Freddy finishes his song. Indeed, this is precisely how I finished Night 4.

http://plays.tv/video/579e33eb81e697e2a6/-fnaf-night4-night5-doing-night-4-dying-super-fast-in-night-5-

Then I died very, very, VERY quickly in Night 5 (before even 1 AM! I know… It was embarrassing…) because I didn’t check the lights often enough and kept the cameras up for too long.

Jump Scares

Five Nights at Freddy’s has ’em, and they are damned good jump scares, but they only work the first half-dozen or so times. After that, you’ll almost always know before something kills you, because you’ll know that you fucked up. The first time you die, huge jump scare. Second time, not so much. The third… not so much. Keeping in mind that I’m the same person who spent two months bunkered in my house with lights off, refusing to even look out the windows at night, I have no problem playing FNAF–though it’s also true that fear passed, because my brain chemistry did normalize, and now my nipples are sore as hell. Just a small transsexual update.

If you think you might be interested in FNAF (which is available on PC for $5 and Android for only $3–what’s up with that?), then I would recommend not watching any videos about it. You’ll likely gain a sense of what to expect. I went into FNAF totally blind. I didn’t even know it was a horror game, though it didn’t take me long to figure that out. As I said, I intentionally avoid hyped things, and that included all the Game Theorist videos–I even criticized MatPat (not heavily or anything), asking him to do more videos for people who didn’t give a shit about FNAF. You should avoid all that, too, because a jump scare isn’t effective if you know it’s coming, and FNAF’s jump scares are damned good the first few times. They’re well worth experiencing.

No Save Scumming

One of the more brilliant elements of FNAF is that you have to go 6 hours. You have to. There’s no save point at 3 AM or 4 AM. You start Night 3, and you have to make it all the way through Night 3. This means the tension steadily climbs, as the stakes get higher with each passing second. No one wants to die at 5 AM. Indeed, dying at 5 AM has caused more than one Rage Quit from me–not really because I was angry, but just because I didn’t feel like doing it all again. This can be frustrating, but it’s also one of the game’s charms: you can feel the increasing tension with each passing second, because the stakes constantly get higher and your remaining power constantly gets lower.

And the only way to do it… is to do it.

This is why FNAF never stops being intense–at least, not until you’ve mastered it. Once you can do 4/20 (which is a custom mode with all the animatronics on the highest difficulty setting), then the game isn’t really very intense. Everything moves so quickly that you just react in the way you programmed yourself to react. Light, light, door, camera, door, light, door, camera… I certainly wouldn’t be able to do it, not without a time investment that I’m not willing to make since I can move on to FNAF2, but it basically becomes muscle memory at that point. I know the Stop Having Fun Guys get angry when people point out that video games at that level of play are primarily feats of muscle memory rather than feats of skill, but I’m a bad ass guitar player: I know muscle memory when I see it.

I’m waiting on my FNAF Night4 video to finish uploading to Plays.tv. When it finishes, I will update this and post a link. In the meantime, I’ve got shit to do. Thanks for reading, and maybe you’ll check out FNAF.

 

 

* It shouldn’t need to be said, but the fact that I put “Sex” first should make it obvious that this is a joke.

28 Dead Civilians

President Obama has added North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to a U.S. sanctions list, and cited human rights abuses as justification. Of course, this caused the retarded dipshit in North Korea to start blustering, and they’re saying that they view it as an act of war, but I don’t really care about that. Realistically, he’s not wrong, and Ron Paul pointed this out years ago: sanctions are not an alternative to war. They are a prelude to war.

Anyway, what strikes me as amazing as that this is quite clearly a case of the pot calling the kettle black. I don’t know if Mr. Obama has noticed, but he has quite a lot of blood on his hands. In fact, I would wager that Obama has more blood on his hands… than Kim Jong Un has. We know that Obama has personally ordered airstrikes that killed as many as 64 people, and the figure as of July 1 was 64 to 116, but most other governments (read: not the Obama Administration) place the number much higher, at around 900. I don’t know about you, but I don’t expect the Obama Administration to tell us the truth about how many civilians it has killed.

Some people say this makes me paranoid. I say that makes them stupid.

We have Obama saying “No, look, I only killed like 116 people, tops.”

Then we have other governments saying, “No, he killed more like 900 people.”

Are you seriously so naive that you think Obama is likeliest to be telling the truth here?

We can also add 28 dead innocent people to that list, as a drone strike in Syria has killed twenty-eight civilians.

I just don't want any more people to be murdered.

I just don’t want any more people to be murdered.

“Casualties,” they call them, as though there is something casual about the unjust murder of 28 people, a crime for which Obama will never be held to account. Let’s take a moment to remember and appreciate the fact that Barack Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize. The man who authorized a drone strike that killed 28 civilians in an area that we had killed civilians in the week before–that man has a Nobel Peace Prize. The man who authorized a drone strike at a wedding that killed 12 civilians in Afghanistan–that man has a Nobel Peace Prize.

If the Nobel committee cannot retract its prizes, then this should serve as a stern reminder that they should never give out Peace Prizes in anticipation based on what they think someone will do. I was an Obama supporter in early 2009, but the only promise he kept was to end torture; he didn’t fulfill any of his other promises, and thus I stopped supporting him. When he received the Nobel Peace Prize, I was still a supporter, but even I was shocked and embarrassed that it had been given to him. It was such a transparent and gross political statement, and now look what we have. The man who is responsible for the murder of 28 innocent people… has a Nobel Peace Prize adorning his mantle.

Today’s family members of civilian “casualties” are tomorrow’s terrorists.

Women and children were just murdered in Syria by American bombs guided by American aircraft piloted by Americans, and the attack was authorized by the President of the United States. Whatever delusions people harbor that allow them to persist in their insane belief that we have some sort of moral high ground must be fully jerked out from under their feet.

I would not ever make the foolish and false argument that “we” are the government and thus “we” are responsible for what Obama and his military have done, but it is time that we took a serious look at examining our Commander-in-Chief and impeaching him. If this was an attack that killed 28 Americans, how would we react?

Not nearly as kindly, I think, and Republicans would be screaming impeachment. Yet because they’re not Americans, we’re not going to hold our President to the same high standard, and that’s messed up. These were people, human beings, innocent men, women, and children. They are now dead, and they are dead by our President’s hands.

It is not fearmongering to say that Hillary would be even more liberal with authorizing drone strikes than Obama; Hillary is a well-known hawk when it comes to foreign policy, and I would urge anyone who supports her to take a look at what she and Bill did to Haiti, Sudan, and Rwanda. Neither Trump nor Hillary will solve this problem in any way that would satisfy a just and compassionate heart.

yemen-drone-strike

All I want… is for the United States to stop murdering people.

People are so fixated on things happening within the United States. Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, feminism, wage gaps, education costs, health care, immigration, unemployment, inflation, racism, police brutality… And I’m as guilty as anyone. Most of my content in the past three months has been directed largely at one of these issues.

Part of the problem is that our media doesn’t spend much time talking about the civilians left murdered by American bombs. The murder of innocent people has just become… a casual matter. Our media will tell us about it, and the headlines will have the front page for a few minutes, but then Trump will tweet something, Kim Kardashian will set a wine glass on her fat ass, or police will shoot someone, and everything will get pushed to the side as the new story is brought to the front. The story of the 28 dead civilians is pushed into the background, and no one hears about it.

28 people had their lives mercilessly, brutally, inhumanely, viciously, and barbarically cut short by the United States, its military, its drones, its bombs, and its President.

That is a statement that should not be pushed from our minds by something trivial.

The murder of 28 innocent people should be the primary factor when people determine for whom they will vote, and they should all look at the matter objectively, accept the facts, and be honest with themselves. After all, lives are on the lines. Lots of them.

And the truth is that Trump is unlikely to be very restrained with the drone strikes. Trump would surely be more liberal with the attacks than Obama, but probably attack less frequently than Hillary. Between Hillary and Trump, Hillary is by a wide berth the most hawkish. Trump is no non-interventionist, but he does have some non-interventionist policy running through him, and it comes out on occasion.

I can’t say that I would trust Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate, on foreign policy matters, either. The official Libertarian answer to Isis is not a particularly good one–“Leave them alone and stop bombing the Middle East” is essentially the Libertarian Party’s position on the matter, and that’s not really applicable to this situation. Isis is not Al-Queda, and treating them as though they are will leave us weaker. Al-Queda was a rebel group resisting foreign occupation and using religion as a front. Isis is a religious group; Islam is more than a front to them, and it is their primary motivator.

Finger-quote-wink-wink “Liberterian” wink-wink-finger-quote Gary Johnson has other problems anyway.

To be honest, the only one who I’d really trust (other than McAfee) to handle Isis would be Jill Stein. This is because of her character, and not because of any particular policy. Alas, however, a candidate like that doesn’t exist.

Trump and Hillary are our de facto choices.

Let the oceans boil red with the blood of the innocent.

Berning Out

One of the most fascinating aspects of this election has been the speed and totality of Sanders selling out, and his very peculiar way of bowing to the person who rigged the election against him. But it’s not just the Sanders Sell-Out that is fascinating, but that a diehard group of his supporters continue clinging to him as though he’s the bastion of principle and integrity for whom they have been searching. Um…

No?

Quite obviously, he isn’t.

It’s a peculiar day when Ted Cruz shows more principle and integrity than anyone else on the election field, yet that’s pretty much what we’ve seen. Of course, Ron Paul never sold out, never endorsed McCain, never endorsed Romney, and will never endorse Trump, but the millennials don’t seem to have an attention span strong enough to remember that. Hell, judging by the fact that they’re holding onto Sanders as though he’s truly the one who will deliver corruption even as he yields to corruption and endorses the corruption, it’s unlikely that they remember that Sanders himself sold out. Most of them are probably caught in some stage of mental gymnastics that excuse this gross betrayal.

His supporters wanted free education.

They certainly got one.

Granted, they shouldn’t have needed this education. Did they not learn this four years ago, when we watched this very same thing happen to Ron Paul, but on the other side of the aisle? Did they think that the Democratic Establishment would be likelier to yield than the GOP Establishment? Did they go into the Democratic primaries thinking that it would be fair and open, forgetting how rigged the 2012 Republican primaries were, and how the full might of the media machine banded together to crush Ron Paul, but despite that he still performed well–so well that they had to change a long-standing rule specifically to curtail a Ron Paul victory?

There’s certainly something striking about the Sanders supporters walking out of the DNC, just as the Ron Paul supporters walked out of the RNC four years ago.

savageThose who remember four years ago have been amazed at the ease with which Donald Trump took on and destroyed the Republican Establishment. Unfortunately, the Democrats can’t do that, and liberal millennials will find a Trump-esque strategy of outlandish statements will have them ostracized and exiled from their own party. What makes Trump stand out so starkly in the GOP, of course, is that liberalism has conquered the United States. The political correctness and treating everyone like special little snowflakes originated with the Democrat Party, and it spread to the Republican Party. A lot of people would try to argue with that statement, but it’s simply the truth. Where are the Republican Senators and Representatives and presidential candidates standing with Mississippi’s Anti-Gay law, and North Carolina’s fucked up transgender bathroom law? They’re nowhere to be found, because anti-homosexual and anti-transgender positions are crucified nationally.

That’s precisely what’s been so jarring about Trump, is that he eschews political correctness and the liberal faux progressivism at every turn, embracing something more akin to equality than the regressive servitude of minorities that liberals promote. Other Republicans bend over backward to avoid saying that they, like all other human beings, initially judge others (including women) based on their physical appearances, because that liberal denial-of-reality has conquered the United States and even the Republican Party. Trump stands out because he rejects all that. He knows that he, like all other humans, assesses people initially based on their physical appearance.

And if you can honestly say “I don’t find my spouse attractive, but I married him/her anyway,” then feel free to cast the first stone at Trump over that.

Be sure to stone me while you’re at it, because every single girl I’ve ever dated, I initially said “Hello” to because I found her attractive.

Unfortunately, Democrats have built their entire platform around the idea that it’s wrong to even say this, much less to do it. Democrats have built a world where you’re intolerant for saying, “I don’t like gay people, but if they want to be gay, they should be allowed to be gay. I don’t like it, though.” Democrats have built a world where connecting the dots between lots and lots of terrorist attacks and Islam makes one “Islamophobic,” where favoring self-governance, autonomy, and liberal make one xenophobic and isolationist, and where a great deal of facts have to be ignored because they’re simply not convenient to the liberal agenda. What about the fact that most of the world’s Muslims reside in the Middle East and reject the notion of the separation of church and state? Democrats have created a world where we can have no screening process on who can use which bathroom, and where you’re transphobic for even suggesting that a pedophile might use the opportunity to say that he’s transgender and thereby access the women’s restroom.

To be frank, liberals and their delusions–their refusal to recognize facts and reality when those facts are not convenient–have made things far more dangerous than they need to be.

And Trump is the anti-thesis of all that.

I do not support Trump. I don’t even like Trump. I will not vote for Trump, and that will never change. I’m an anarchist. I’m not against the idea of voting as many libertarians and anarchists are–they say that voting is forcing your will onto someone. What? No. That’s only true if you vote for someone who will use force, violence, and coercion. If I choose to shop at Wal-Mart and lots of other people choose to shop at Wal-Mart, and it puts Target out of business, we didn’t force our will onto people. Our actions had consequences, but there is no way to escape consequences in our universe; moreover, “consequences” and “an act of force” are not remotely the same. They are only “forced” to deal with that consequence as much as they are “forced” to deal with the fact that I exist and live. Voting is the same way–we just all have only $1 to spend, and some of us choose to spend that $1 on a company that will use force to do what it wants to do, while others vote for a company that says it will never use force.

No, we are not divorced from the consequences of our votes, and we do bear responsibility for the people we elect. It was not very long ago that I heard someone make the argument that he’s not responsible for the president that he elects, because he only cast one vote. What utter nonsense. That’s like saying that you’re not responsible for burning down a house because you only threw one match, and sixty million other people also threw matches.

Anyway, so I will be voting in this election. But for whom will I vote?

Not Hillary. I would sooner die than vote for Hillary.

Not Trump. I would sooner die than vote for Trump.

If Gary Johnson manages to reach about 40% in major polls, then I will vote for Gary Johnson, and I will do so only in the hope that, by putting him in the oval office, we open the door in the future to elect an actual libertarian instead of a liberty-leaning Republican who doesn’t seem to know what the difference is. And even then, I might not vote for him, because he’s almost identical to Rand Paul, and he’s anything but a libertarian.

mcafeeJohn McAfee is my preference, and I considered voting for him even though he lost the nomination to Johnson. However, I’m not entire convinced that McAfee ever truly wanted to win, and I’m concerned he merely used the debates and contest to drum up media coverage for the tech firm that he has since opened. Hey, Mr. McAfee–I’m a tech chick. And I need a job so I can get the hell out of Mississippi…

I’ve gotten a total of $230 toward that end, but I need $4,000 to be able to safely move away from Mississippi and to a place where I can work and exist in peace without fearing for my life. I’ve written three books in the past year, run an I.T. firm, and do all that I can to make money, but there’s just no money to be made in rural Mississippi. So a few weeks ago, I launched a GoFundMe campaign. If you could take a look at it, share it, maybe even donate, it would be tremendously appreciated.

So I will be voting for myself this year. Aside from McAfee, I’d make a better President than any of them.

What will the millennials and #FeelTheBern #BernieOrBust people do? Why, they’ll do exactly what I said in early June: they’ll go back into hibernation:

Rantings & Ravings Ep 28 – The Internet is Making Us Stupid

I’m not sure if the Internet is really “making us stupid,” or if it’s just making our stupidity more available and more obvious, but it’s distressing that this crowning achievement of human kind, this stunning technology that has placed the wealth of human knowledge literally in the palms of our hands and at our fingertips, is being used by people who basically want you to watch them masturbate.

But enough about Stickam.

For those of you who are new, I do biweekly podcast shows called Rantings & Ravings located at http://ariadimezzo.podbean.com, though now that I’m independently hosted, I’m going to use this website as the nexus of the things that I create. The easiest way, then, to stay up-to-date on the things I create (YouTube videos, music, podcasts, articles, game reviews, and everything else) would be to subscribe here. Or support me on Patreon! That would be even better, because then you’d definitely have an easy place to follow me, if you don’t want to follow me on Twitter or Facebook or Google Plus.

I also have a GoFundMe campaign that is directed at helping me get the hell out of the state of Mississippi, and move somewhere that I can live in peace, comfort, and safety. If you could check out my campaign and share it, it would mean the world to me. I really do need to get out of here.

Stop Fucking Stalking Me

I know that I fascinate you.
I know that I intrigue you.
I know that I am your honey,
And that you are my flies.

But for the love of god
Could you find it within
To show a little restraint
And stay the hell away from me?

That’s my chimpokomon Shoe in the background. Shoe is the best for fighting the evil power.

Some people would say “Look, girl, they’re not bothering you. They’re just reading your articles and stuff. So just ignore them.”

No. That’s bullshit. That’s like saying that someone hiding in your tree and peeking into your house with a pair of binoculars “isn’t bothering you.”

Coprophagus.

Podcast: “As I Live” & Video: “A Message to Transgender Teens”

I used the Podbean app to record this podcast, and I’m really sorry that the audio is so low. Use headphones, but be aware of volume spikes. I hate that about the Podbean app: it records at super low volumes. 🙁

I also published a new video this morning: a message to transgender teens, because it was on my mind as soon as I woke up. I hope you enjoy it:

Hopefully, I’m not talking a mile a minute in it!

Looks like my internet has finally straightened itself up! Huzzah!

But yeah.

I don’t typically check my Analytics page on Google, because I’m not really popular enough to get good info. I know most of the people watching my videos, listening to my podcasts, and reading my articles, and they tell me directly what interests them and what doesn’t, and I try to accommodate that anyway. So until I’m average 100~ downloads per podcast, and 250~ views per video, Analytics just isn’t much use to me. However, I like to keep it in place, because it’s not that all the data is useless; it’s just that the data doesn’t have a very big scope.

Last night I merged my Podbean analytics with the new website (the one you’re reading), and in so doing caught a glimpse of the last 30 days of data. My view defaults to the United States, because that’s obviously where most of my audience is, and I’m simply not trying to appeal to people in Uganda, you know? It’s all well and good that they like it, but I’m not really going to take Pakistani people’s interests into account when I do a podcast. And what I saw was that Nevada had an unusual number of views–more than any state but Tennesse, and Tennesse is supposed to have a lot of views, because that’s where my gateway is. Every time I visit the site to upload a podcast, change something, or whatever, it logs another visit from Nashville. The only state that came close to Tennessee…

was Nevada.

So I clicked the state, though I knew what I would find. I was not surprised to see this:

stay away from me

I eliminated the #2 location of Paradise from the image. Paradise is still Vegas anyway, and it’s still you.

Why?

Why are you here?

Trump v. Hillary: A Case Study of the Devolution of Democracy

If there is any one image that will perfectly explain this Presidential election, it is this:

democracy lolIt’s still going on, by the way.  At least they started using text, but it’s not like they actually started saying anything of substance:

Fascinating, Captain.

Fascinating, Captain.

This particular exchange had me laughing out loud for real:

The lack of self-awareness in these two is baffling.

The lack of self-awareness in these two is baffling.

Of course, anyone who saw the above thread and my comment to it knew that they would say something like this, but to then fulfill that expectation in what we must surely call a Blaze of Glory… it’s too perfect. It’s simply too perfect.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Seriously. The lack of self-awareness is staggering.

Seriously. The lack of self-awareness is staggering.

I’m sure these two clowns will keep at it for some time, and I’ve never been so thankful that I don’t supporter either Hillary or Trump. This is truly amazing. Neil’s concern for the life of the ambassador is shocking. He seems to care so much that he’s willing to post horrifically violent pictures to Facebook, while at the same time talking about how he is dipping bullets in pig’s blood to shoot Muslims. If there’s ever been a clearer example of “I only care about my tribe!” than I’m not sure I want to see it.

Of course, they’re right that Neil doesn’t give a shit about the dead ambassador, and that he just wants an excuse to hate on Hillary. People who care about the dead dude don’t behave that way, and people who value human life don’t speak so gleefully about killing other people. He doesn’t hate brown people, as Alex suggests, though–he hates Hillary and “everyone else,” so he will seize every opportunity to bash Hillary and hate on everyone else. Everyone else isn’t based on race as much as it is his own insecurity, though. He’s not racist; he’s insecure.

And here’s me pwning a totalitarian piece of shit:

"Let's just make up something to support my opinion! That will work!"

“Let’s just make up something to support my opinion! That will work!”

The sad thing is that this person’s mentality is not unique or rare:

not aloneHere’s another “I’m perfectly fine with forcing people to do what I want them to do.”

It stems from an utter inability to realize that I am not their property. That’s where we have gone so wrong in the United States. We’ve come up with this Society > Individual bullshit that makes it okay to destroy the individual’s rights if “society” wants to, because “It’s for the good of the many.” Let’s look at some more harm that was brought to the few for the “good of the many,” shall we?

No, we don’t have to go that far, because you know, before I even provide a single example, what a travesty that entire idea is. Entire history books have been written about the way that various states have killed and tortured the few for the good of the many and for the betterment of society. As rational, thinking adults, we should know by now that it’s an idea we want nothing to do with. Yet here are two people, proudly saying it. Not explicitly, no, but that’s clearly what they think.

I happen to find forcing someone to do something against their will to be abhorrent. In fact, I find that to be absolutely despicable and unforgivable. What if DigiWaffles found it “abhorrent” that his wife dared tell him “No,” that she didn’t feel like having sex?

“How dare you tell me no?” DigiWaffles might scream. “I am your husband, you are my wife, and it is your duty to have sex with me when I want it! It is absolutely abhorrent that you would forego your responsibility, as decreed by God, to serve your husband! I will, then, force you to not be abhorrent! And since it is abhorrent for you to refuse sex with me, I will achieve this by raping you!”

I’m not calling DigiWaffles a sexual rapist, but it doesn’t change anything. That’s exactly what he’s arguing about this behavior that he finds it abhorrent. He finds it abhorrent, and therefore he’s okay with forcing people to do what he thinks is best. If he finds his wife saying “No” to be abhorrent? His own mentality means that he would rape her.

The Christians we were discussing find tolerance for LGBT people to be abhorrent. What if these Christians “completely fine with forcing people to not be abhorrent”? Considering they find his acceptance of LGBT people to be abhorrent, they would be within their rights to force DigiWaffles to not accept LGBT people, to force him to spit on LGBT people, and sever ties with any LGBT people he knows.

I'm now calling this the "Aria Nuked Yo Ass" Thread.

I’m now calling this the “Aria Nuked Yo Ass” Thread.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve encountered this literally every single time I get into this discussion with someone. When I talked with The Non Believer about Mississippi’s Religious Freedom Law, even he asked whether or not the idea applied to racism.

It’s so deeply ingrained in us, this idea that racism is an ultra super duper bad form of discrimination that absolutely must be stopped at any cost, that we just take it for granted. This is, it’s worth mentioning, the guy’s only reply to my lengthy rebuttal of his ideology and the totalitarianism he suggests. Because he couldn’t reasonably address what I said, he pulled out a race card.

And ran smack fucking ass into a stone wall.

I almost left it as just “Yes,” but chose not to. It was a conscious decision to split my reply across three comments, though, primarily to find out which one he chooses to reply to. Usually, when I split a reply across numerous comments, that is exactly why: you can learn a lot from someone by seeing how they choose to pursue the argument. Of course, all three of my points will come back up; his reply won’t possibly be sufficient, and I would wager that he’s simply going to post an image about how badly segregation fucked over blacks in the south. That’s easily addressed, and I’m going to do so now, before he replies.

First, segregation was enforced by the state; it was not an organic product of the free market. The government mandated segregation. Segregation was not a case of business owners choosing with whom they would do business. It was a mandate by the state on how they were to do business. The idea that most of these business owners would gladly have continued segregation of their own accord is demonstrably false, as well–it still is not illegal for a business to try to segregate its customers. They simply don’t do it because it would be suicide for the business.

Second, it would be suicide for the business in today’s world, and it hardly matters whether that would have been true 60 years ago.

He’ll choose to reply to the “Yes,” though, probably with some messed up image showing the very real plight of black Americans before the end of segregation. One thing he will not do is try to discuss the free market or how he holds racism as a trump card.

One that won’t work on me, dude. Sorry.

Donald Trump Rape?

The DNC has already shown that it’s willing to do a lot of really underhanded stuff to win the election, and Bill and Hillary have their own little history of rapes and stuff. Of course, two wrongs don’t make a right; my point isn’t that. My point is that Bill and Hillary would have the idea to accuse someone of raping a girl.

And I’ll be honest with you. For $250,000, shit, I’d say Donald Trump raped me. At this point, I’d do it for $5,000. All you’ve got to do is find someone who is hard up, who is reasonably attractive, and who has been in the same city as Trump at least once. That’s not a difficult criteria to meet. You offer that person to waive their criminal history, or money, or drugs, or whatever, and bam, you’ve got someone spreading the rumor that Trump raped them.

This is precisely why we can’t take these things seriously until they get to a point like Lewinsky’s did, or unless there is a police report or hard evidence. It’s simply too easy to accuse someone of rape. I could accuse Trump of raping me, and if I was popular enough, people like this guy on Facebook would be spreading that story, without giving any thought to the possibility that it simply wasn’t true.

We all knew, once he secured the nomination months ago, that allegations of rape were inevitable. My ex-wife once accused me of raping her, because she agreed to anal when she didn’t really want to do it. She just did it to make me happy and, no shit, later accused me of raping her. If I ever ran for president, I have no doubt that she would come forward with that bullshit and say that I raped her. The sad thing is–she isn’t alone. I don’t think I’ve ever dated a girl who didn’t claim that someone has raped her. And when pressed for details, these stories usually came back to “I agreed to do it, but I didn’t really want to, and he should have known that” and “I didn’t want to do it, but I went along with it” and “I didn’t say ‘No.'”

And I’m just throwing this out there–there might be less rapes each years if women didn’t say “No… stop…” when playing coy. My ex-wife did that shit all the time. I’d start kissing on her throat, and she’d go “Mm-mm” and twist away playfully. Granted, she never accused me of raping her over that (She knew what she was doing, and I’m just making the point) and only did over anal, but my point is that girls saying “No… stop…” because they want to be seduced while playing coy might accidentally contribute to the problem. Though it’s also true that it’s not hard to tell when a girl is playing coy and when she means it, that’s a pretty major thing to leave for the other person to infer, you know?

It’s like they said on Family Guy:

Fifty “No’s” and a “Yes”… means yes.

But it becomes all too easy for a girl to later be offered $30,000 to say that she actually meant it that one time she played coy with Trump, you know?

The Death of White Conservatism

Not long after I posted a new podcast about this very subject, Milo Yiannopoulos, the gay conservative editor with Breitbart, was permanently banned from Twitter for hate speech. Milo is well-known as a “troll,” apparently, and I can’t weigh in on that, because I don’t pay any attention to him. He was also a Trump supporter, though I wonder if that’s changed now that Trump selected Pence as his VP, and now that the GOP has made a horrifically anti-LGBT party platform. They enshrined conversion therapy, for fuck’s sake. No one with any sense of human decency should be able to stand with them as they try to promote such an immoral thing. How any LGBT person can maintain any loyalty to the Republican Party after they write Pray the Gay Away into their fucking party platform is beyond me.

http://ariadimezzo.podbean.com/e/rr-ep-27-how-to-fight-regressives-2-incorrect-strategy-number-one/

That podcast specifically addresses three prominent Youtubers who, like Milo, are heading straight toward bans on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. I spoke of how they need to choose their words more carefully, mind their Ps and Qs, and make damned sure that they don’t say anything that can possibly be construed as racist, and I’m not going to run over the same old ground. I am, however, going to focus more on why these three are receiving channel strikes, what they’re doing wrong, and why they will all be crushed by these social networks if they don’t drastically alter their methods.

The fact is that wearing a shirt that says “White Male” is racist and sexist.

They are doing this and similar things as a response to Black Pride, Female Pride, Gay Pride, and so on, and they are trying to call attention to the fact that racism exists against white straight men, because one isn’t allowed to have White Pride, Gay Pride, or Straight Pride. They are correct, and I have been talking about that for years. I found TNB not long ago, through comments on an atheism video, and didn’t even realize he had a channel until a few months ago. I’ve only ever seen one of Autopsy87’s videos, and that was when I was hoping to call in some backup on my Liberal Redneck video, and I’ve never seen one of Atheism is Unstoppable’s videos. It may be presumptuous, then, to say what they’re doing wrong, but… trust me, it isn’t. I do see them through Twitter, as TNB shares various things.

These are all great guys, and I’m not talking bad about them. But their methods are entirely incorrect.

You cannot defeat racism with racism. You cannot defeat sexism with sexism. You cannot defeat… sexual orientationism… with sexual orientationism…

Let’s take a moment and operate under the assumption that Black Lives Matter is racist. We can make this assumption because… it is racist. It takes a thing that exists independently of the adjective (lives) and carves out a subset from the whole, and then assigns a value to that subset (that they matter) when the distinguishing factor between that subset and the whole is race (black). That is quite obviously racist.

Furthermore, let’s take a moment and add another assumption to that. Let’s assume that it’s not acceptable to have White Pride, Straight Pride, or Male Pride. We can also make this assumption because it’s not acceptable.

White-Pride--480x480This image on the left makes it indisputably clear that one is not allowed to have White Pride. If one attempts to take pride in being white, then one is called a racist, Neo-Nazi White Supremacist. Why? Having Black Pride doesn’t make someone a Black Supremacist, does it? Does Gay Pride mean that LGBT people hate or want to kill straight people? Of course not. Why, then, do we act as though Straight Pride means they hate gay people or want to kill them? These are obvious double standards, and what is the distinguishing factor between who gets one standard and who gets the other? Why, the distinguishing characteristic is race and sexual orientation. So quite obviously, that black people can have pride but white people can’t is racist; that LGBT people can have pride but straight people can’t is heterophobic*.

So now that we’ve a clearer understanding of the state of affairs in the United States, and we know that racism, sexism, and sexual orientationism** are acceptable in some cases, but whether they are acceptable for you itself depends on your race, sex, and orientation. We also know that it is not in any sense acceptable in society to be racist, sexist, and sexual orientationist (sigh) if you’re a straight white male.

So what do are they expecting to happen when they try to be racist, sexual, and sexual orientation as straight white men? Do they expect people in this environment to go, “Yeah, no, you’re right. If black people can have pride, white people should be allowed to have pride, too”? It’s way too late for that; that straight white male ship set sail two decades ago. They were too silent for too long for that to have any chance of working, for anyone to be reached with such ideas. That battle has been over for too long, and the consequences have been in place for too long; it is too late to start trying to curb them now. That’s done, and over.

Ignoring that reality, standing up, and proclaiming, “I’m a straight white male, and I am proud of that!” in the modern world will only get a person banned. We simply don’t live in a society where that’s acceptable, and “doing it anyway” isn’t going to make it acceptable. It will only see that you face consequences like being banned and having your channels deleted.

Nor can I say sincerely that “It would be great if you could stand up and say that you’re a proud straight white male,” because I don’t think that. As we’ve established, proclaiming that is sexual orientationist, sexist, and racist. It is sexual orientationist, racist, and sexist, just like someone standing up and saying “I am a proud black gay woman!” That someone is saying the latter, and thereby sectioning themselves off into various groups based on race, sexual orientation, and gender, does not justify a response that does the same.

At that point, you simply have two groups: one of “Proud White People” who proclaim that Proud Black People are racist, and one of “Proud Black People” who proclaim that Proud White People are racist. Since we’ve established that the former aren’t allowed to do this anyway, the latter will point this out, saying, “You’re not allowed to do that!”

The white people will respond, “Well, you’re doing it! We should be able to do it, too!”

To think that this is going to end well is, to be frank, delusional. It would ultimately end in a race war, and one that white people couldn’t possibly win, because there are too many white people who agree that black people should be allowed to have pride, but white people shouldn’t be allowed to. But it doesn’t matter who would win the race war anyway; we should not be trying to fight racism with racism.

Fighting fire with fire does not extinguish fire. It only sweeps the world in immolation.

Nor does racism end racism. It only extends it.

Yes, Black Lives Matter is racist. So is a t-shirt that says “White Male.” If you are arguing against BLM on the grounds that it is racist while wearing such a shirt, then you simply do not have any moral highground, and you are–I must use the appropriate word here–a hypocrite. I don’t like saying that because I respect these people and what they are trying to do in fighting against the regressive mindset that has glorified racism, sexism, and sexual orientationism for decades. However, as I said before: I will call it hypocrisy wherever I find it.

The reality is that Black Lives Matter isn’t the problem. Divisiveness is the problem. People being sectioned off into various groups, where this group can do this and that but the other group can’t, is the problem. Racism is merely one manifestation of that divisiveness problem. Sexism is another, and sexual orientationism is another. Black Lives Matter is, itself, merely one manifestation of the racist manifestation of the divisiveness that liberals have been encouraging and causing for decades.

In other words, Black Lives Matter is a symptom, but it is not the disease.

If you want to fight regressives, then you have to address the disease, not just its symptoms. Yes, the symptoms should be addressed as well, but we must not lose sight of the disease itself. You cannot fight the symptom of divisiveness that is racism… with racism. You cannot fight the symptom of divisiveness that is sexism… with sexism. You cannot fight the symptom of divisiveness that is sexual orientationism… with sexual orientationism.

If you want to fight regressives, then I would suspect that you want to hang around long enough to do so, right? Well, then it’s time to face reality. If you continue on as you are doing, then you will be removed from the battle as a racist, sexist, and/or sexual orientationist. How many people will you be able to reach, to spread your message, if your Youtube channels are deleted?

I must ask: How do you hope to solve the problem of people being separated into various groups based on irrelevant and inconsequential characteristics by separating people into various groups based on irrelevant and inconsequential characteristics?

* To borrow the left’s habit of taking every fucking thing and slapping -phobic at the end of it.

** I did this initially as a joke, but I don’t know how else to characterize it.

Shemale Lesbian Problems

I’m sexy as fuck.

3I have to be honest, though, that my muscles are seriously beginning to irritate me, even as there’s nothing I can do about them except wait and let hormones knock them out. I imagine that it’s going to take a while, because I’ve always been pretty muscular. I’ve lifted weights most of my life, too, which has caused a lot of people to be surprised when I have to do something that really shows my muscles–or just flex. When I worked at Domino’s Pizza years ago, we were messing around near closing time, and discussing exercising, and everyone was showing their muscles. When the conversation worked its way around to me, I was like, “Nah, that’s alright. I’ve gotta do some dishes.” They pressed, however, so I flexed.

People are always surprised, because I’m so skinny, but I’m seriously all muscle. When lifting weights years ago at a gym, I had to be strapped down while working a machine that had me pulling the weights down from above, because it was instead lifting me into the air. It was a reverse benchpress kinda thing, I don’t know what it’s called. But there were several people in the gym, and everyone was shocked that skinny little me was like “No, put 150 pounds on it. I’ll start there.” When I owned a Bowflex (Don’t buy a Bowflex), I had to order two extra 50-pound resistors, because the default weight wasn’t enough for me to get a workout.

When I got home from school everyday during early high school, I’d jump and grab the roof of our house, and proceed to do pull-ups while lifting my knees–there’s nothing that works abs as much as doing that. And when all that combined, I ended up with mostly a 6-pack abs and quite a bit of muscle on my arms. So there was like a decade or more of pretty regular weight-lifting, crunches, sit-ups, and pull-ups.

I’m thinking it’s gonna take a few years for estrogen to atrophy those muscles away.

2I’m also looking pretty good, though! I don’t normally do my makeup that well, but I had several hours over which to do it, and I had plans that night, so the extra effort was important. I could have gone anywhere I needed to go looking like that, and no one would have looked twice–well, they might have, but it would not have been because they suspected I might have a penis.

Well, except for the muscles.

Those still are dead giveaways.

_20160717_120753I am pretty sexy, though, and I do enjoy showing that off. I’m kinda torn on the subject, though, because I want to take extra care to avoid being stereotyped like many transgender people are. I can handle my abs being like the pic there on the left, and you can even see where curves are starting to develop. There are clear curves there, and I really like that.

Even my legs are pure muscle, though. Look at them.

Just one big ass muscle there.

My legs are okay, though. I’m not particularly bothered by my legs, though I don’t like my ass.

One of the girls I was recently talking to pretty obviously wanted me to keep being a guy. It does put me in a weird position, granted, because these two left-aligned pics… they seem more like the sort of thing that would attract a guy, not a girl, and I’m not trying to attract guys. I’m well aware how this works for me sexually/romantically, thanks.

Interestingly, I used to take pictures because I looked more feminine in pictures than I did in the mirror. I went from using a lot of Photoshop to using filters to using no filters to using the rear camera. Now, however, I find that I look more feminine in the mirror than I do in picture. Why is that?

Mostly, it’s mentality.

I know the blurring work is sloppy. I don't really care.

I know the blurring work is sloppy. I don’t really care.

I know that my friends are put off a bit by it, and seeing pictures like those two on the left and this one on the right leave them asking, “Um… What kind of girl is she going to attract with pictures like that?

Well…

Um…

One that licks ass, I suppose.

But no, seriously, I’m well aware of the problems it creates–I spend a lot of time thinking about that. It’s also true, though, that I’m sexually fluid–something that very few of my friends know, but may have guessed, and something which alleviates much of the problem. While I could never be with a guy in any serious way, I like having a good time. And there’s also the fact that: yes, there are plenty of chicks out there who would see that pic and be interested.

They’re not in Mississippi, though.

They think they are, but they’re not. They always end up back at that place, where they’re basically asking me, “Can’t you just be a guy?”

No… No, sweetie, I can’t just be anything except me.

I’m working on leaving Mississippi, though. I’ve got a GoFundMe Campaign aimed at that end, because it’s really important that I leave the south and go somewhere that I can live and exist in peace, security, and stability. If you’d be interested in donating or even sharing the campaign, that would be fantastic, and infinitely appreciated: www.gofundme.com/transgendermove . I’ve submitted a novel recently for publishing and have my fingers crossed for that, but that’s a long shot, you know?

Saying Bye to Pokemon Go

I gave a pretty glowing review to Niantic’s Pokemon Go a few days ago, and I still stand by everything I wrote in the review, yet I am now pretty much saying “Goodbye” to the game. In fact, the problems I cited in that review are the reasons I’m saying goodbye to Pokemon Go, and I hope that someone at Niantic reads this so they realize just how high they set the bar, and just how badly they failed.

The problems are numerous, and I’ll start with the most obvious.

No Sign-In Bonus

Unlike the overwhelming majority of Free to Play games, there is no daily sign-in bonus for Pokemon Go. Games like Smite, Clash of Clans, and all the others do this as a way of motivating players to stay interested in the game. “I need to sign-in to get my free stuff. Well, as long as I’m here, I might as well do a few things…” Yet Pokemon Go has nothing like this, and there are a few simple ways they could do it.

  • Poke Balls. On Day 1, 5 free Poke Balls. On Day 2, 10 Pokeballs. Day 3 – 15 Pokeballs. Day 4 – 5 Great Balls. Day 5 – 10 Great Balls. Day 6 – 15 Great Balls. Day 7+ – 5 Ultra Balls. Eventually this wouldn’t be much of a sign-in bonus, but for a while, it would be helpful.
  • Eggs hatching on timers. While incubated, eggs should hatch based on time: 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, 96 hours, and 120 hours. Walking should lower the time so that 1 km walked takes of 12 hours. This way, players can have a sign-in bonus, in a way, of having their eggs hatch.
  • Stardust gifts?

There’s Nothing To Do

This is the main problem. There’s nothing for me to do. My character is now level 16, which is pretty high for the game, as most people are still hanging around level 12 and 13 right now. Hey, I had to review the game. That took a lot of playing it, and I gained a lot of levels seeing what it had to offer.

All I can do is go around the town hitting Pokestops and chasing Pokemon. But what Pokemon are around? Just a fuck-ton of Rattatas and Pidgeys. Incense is a total waste of time, as it only causes bullshit like Rattata, Pidgey, and Weedle to appear. Oh, good, I’ve only got 107 Rattata Candies. I definitely need more!

The problem is that character level causes “more rare” Pokemon to start appearing, but those Pokemon are still rare as diamonds and are no more powerful than some of the generic ones I have 40 copies of. Oh, a Ponyta! With 360 Combat Power… Oh goody… It gets put to shame by a Beedrill I caught 7 levels ago. The only way for me to change that would be to feed the Ponyta a lot of Stardust and Ponyta Candy, but joke’s on me! I need to catch more Ponytas to get Ponyta Candy, and Ponytas are rare as fuck, even at level 16!

Removing the Candy requirement to Power-Up Pokemon would solve this problem, Niantic. Requiring Candy to Power-Up Pokemon on top of Stardust is stupid and bad game design, as it renders all the new Pokemon people encounter via leveling up totally useless.

If in the original games, players were still encountering Pidgeys, Caterpies, Rattatas, and Weedles when they reached Celadon City, then no one would have enjoyed Pokemon, and the franchise would not have become the mega success that it is. But that wasn’t the way that it worked. By the time you had progressed that far into the game, you were catching bigger, stronger, more powerful Pokemon. You might occasionally come across a very high level Pidgey (or, more likely, a Pidgeotto), but 99% of your random encounters were going to be with more powerful, less generic Pokemon.

These are the Pokemon I’ve caught in the past few levels:

  • Gastly CP 78
  • Snorlax CP 1016
  • Ponyta CP 230
  • Abra CP 73
  • Koffing CP 348
  • Fearow CP 629

What’s the problem with that? Well, except for the Fearow that is nearly maxed out at 629 CP, I can’t level any of them, because I’ve only found one of each. That’s enough to purchase one or two power-ups for them, but that’s inconsequential. The Snorlax was like 971 before I used 2 Snorlax Candies and 1200 Stardust to buy a power-up for him, but I only got 3 Snorlax Candies when I caught him, so I could only power him up once. To get my Ponyta competitive, I’ll need a solid 40 or 50 Ponyta Candies and 15000 Stardust (at least). Even evolving it to a Rapidash won’t make it competitive with the Snorlax I caught when I was level 11–and that I’ve still only seen two of (my battery died when I was trying to catch the first one I encountered). I’m unlikely to ever see another Gastly, Ponyta, or Abra. I’ll see a ton of Spearows, and can use the Spearow Candy to level my Fearow, but it still won’t surpass the Snorlax.

In a circle through the town, I’m unlikely to encounter anything but Pidgey, Rattata, Weedle, and Paras. I’ve been encountering these same Pokemon since I was level 1. Sure, their starting CP is higher now, but that’s totally irrelevant when there’s only one question that needs to be answered: “Will they reach my Snorlax’s CP?” If not, then they’re TOTALLY USELESS. Yes, that deserved bold and all caps. Because it’s true. If a Pokemon you catch doesn’t have a chance of reaching your best mon’s CP, then it is garbage, pure and simple. And whether it has a chance depends on your character level and how rare the Pokemon is.

So I can’t power up any of these cool Pokemon to show them off in a gym. I just have to keep throwing ThunderBuns (My Snorlax is named ThunderBuns) at gyms, and the AI is so bad that he’s never going to successfully defend a gym. The AI never dodges; it just stands there and spams attacks until it can use its special attack. And that brings me to the next part of the problem:

Battling Sucks and is Gay

^

Nothing To Do 2

The only battles are gym battles, and then you leave one Pokemon behind to defend the gym. Obviously, you’ll pick your best, right? Yeah, but why bother? Whatever Pokemon you leave simply won’t stand a chance of holding the gym, because the AI is too bad and type differences are irrelevant. Damage is a simple number that subtracts a specific amount from the enemy’s HP, and whoever is alive at the end of the fight wins. Dodging isn’t exceptionally useful (even on a lightning fast 4G connection) because it wasn’t designed to be, and it doesn’t make sense to do anything but tap the enemy until you can long-tap the enemy and use your special. Then you leave your Pokemon, and a few minutes/hours later, your Pokemon is back in your bag, needing to be healed, and someone else beat your Pokemon as the AI turned ThunderBuns into a dumbass who just stood there and slowly attacked.

The last time I took over a gym, because I needed to collect my stuff for defending it (That’s kind of a sign-in bonus, but not really, since, as I said, you’ll never defend a gym unless people just don’t bother to attack it), I left my CP 12 Charmander defending it. Why leave anything more powerful? ThunderBuns would lose just as surely as CP 12 Charmander would lose, but ThunderBuns requires like 4 Super Potions to heal afterward, and I don’t care if Charmander is healed or not.

pokemon3So I left a weak little Charmander defending the gym by himself. From MY point of view, there’s no difference between leaving Charmander there and leaving ThunderBuns. If ThunderBuns ever did successfully kill anyone’s Pokemon while defending, it didn’t mean anything to me–I didn’t gain anything from his victory. Instead, I just got ThunderBuns back anywhere from 5 minutes to 3 hours later, needing 4 Super Potions to recover his 170 HP. There was absolutely zero benefit to me, and I seem to be the only Team Instinct player in the area.

Fellow Pokemon Go players, take a look at that image and let it sink in. I happen to think that leaving Charmander behind was brilliant. What was the chance that I would keep the gym for any period of time that would matter? None. Besides that, what benefit would I even gain from keeping the gym? None. It does me no good to try to keep it by leaving ThunderBuns there. In fact, leaving something weak there ensures that someone will take it back, and then I can gain Experience by taking it back. I just hope the other players are smart enough to realize why I left a weak Pokemon, and to see that there really is no point in leaving behind a strong one.

pokemon4ThunderBuns conquers them, and a Charmander or Weedle or something stays to defend them. Earlier, today, I came across a gym in a nearby city that was held by Team Instinct, so I threw my Pidget there to defend it. Jacques the Pidgeot, Cp 700~. Less than an hour later, Jacques was back in my group and needing to be healed. What was the fucking point of that? There wasn’t one. A gym is inevitably going to change hands, and it’s going to do it sooner rather than later. There is absolutely no point in trying to defend one. It is completely broken from a game design standpoint, as the only thing that will keep people leaving strong Pokemon behind is their own stupidity and inability to see that they are only hurting themselves by doing so. They’re just forcing themselves to use Potions later, after ThunderBuns takes the gym back, and forcing me to use Potions to heal ThunderBuns after he takes the gym from their strong Pokemon. If players have any sense at all, they’ll see how counterintuitive it is to leave strong Pokemon defending gyms.

There’s No Social Interaction To It

Earlier today, someone was behind me as I was driving from one Poke-Stop to the next. They were clearly doing the same thing. For about ten minutes, the guy stayed behind me, and we just drove from one stop to the next.

We didn’t even wave at each other.

There was no reason to interact. We couldn’t trade with each other, and we couldn’t battle each other. As far as the game was concerned, we weren’t even next to each other. What kind of shit is that? This is a game that clearly wasn’t thought through completely. I was fifteen feet from this guy, and we were both playing the game, but there was absolutely no way for the games to interact directly?

THIS IS FUCKING POKEMON!

Pokemon is the champion of that kind of thing!

I’m pretty much as anti-social as a person gets, and even I’m saying, “This is ridiculous! There should be a way for me to trade this guy the Beedrill that he needs while he trades me the Butterfree that I need.”

Maybe we could battle, and gain Experience? Maybe you could only battle each person for experience once per day? Who the hell knows?

There’s just no gameplay here.

What is here?

A bunch of Pidgeys and Rattatas.

pokemon1 pokemon2

Sure, there is a more rare Pokemon every once in a while, but not enough to keep me interested, because they aren’t powerful enough to replace the Pidgeot that I evolved when I was level 5, and they aren’t common enough for me to power them up to be competitive. They’re trophy Pokemon, and that’s all. Barring the rare exception that comes really powerful like ThunderBuns, the only Pokemon that matter are Eevee evolutions, because Eevees are common and their evolutions can be powered up to 1200 or so. But 1200 is not a big enough difference when types mean nothing and the defending AI is that bad.

I think I’ll go back to Pokemon Blue. I bought it from the Nintendo eShop about 2 months ago for $9.99. It’s vastly superior to Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is a brilliant idea, but there’s just no gameplay to it. And when I say “there’s just no gameplay to it,” I mean… There’s NO gameplay.

I’m sure I’ll check in on Pokemon Go from time to time, because I’ve made a lot of progress and they promise to keep updating it and to make it “the game that players want.” That’s fine and all, but I find it hard to believe–no, I find it impossible to believe that they somehow didn’t know that players would want trading and traditional battling. Are you kidding me? This is fucking Pokemon! I’m supposed to believe that Niantic didn’t consider the fact that people playing Pokemon Go would want Pokemon trading and Pokemon battling? The stupid masses may swallow that line, but I don’t.

The bottom line is that Niantic knew that this wouldn’t be good enough. They knew that this wouldn’t meet gameplay standards–not to mention the constant crashing and instability. THIS WAS A BETA. But it wasn’t announced as a beta. And I’m not criticizing them for releasing a beta, but I have better things to do with my limited free time than play a crashy, bug-ridden beta that can’t really be “played” in the first place.

And I don’t see any way for Niantic to fix the actual game design problem. I want to raise and power up an Alakazam, but I stand a better chance of developing Psychic powers in real life. I simply can’t fathom the time investment that it would take to hunt down and capture enough Abras to evolve an Alakazam, and I used to play World of Warcraft, so I know time sinks. We’re talking hundreds of hours across weeks and weeks, just to get an Alakazam that… would maybe be about as powerful as ThunderBuns.

I honestly don’t see any way for Niantic to fix that. It’s a fundamental design problem, woven into the mechanics themselves. As I said in the review, “The future looks great. The present…? Not so much.”

And to believe that Niantic can fix these fundamental mechanics problems is something I’m too jaded for. Fixing these core problems requires an overhaul of the entire freaking game, and I’ve never seen a developer overhaul the core mechanics of their game.