April 8th, 2009

straight to hell

Harry's a Pothead and the Sorcerers are stoned.

A teenage star of the Harry Potter films has been arrested after cops found a £2,000 cannabis farm in his bedroom. Drug squad officers swooped on 19-year-old Jamie Waylett - famed as bullying Hogwarts School pupil Vincent Crabbe in the wizard movies - after a tip-off.

Police first stopped him in an Audi and discovered eight bags of pot inside the vehicle. Waylett and a pal in the motor, also 19, were held at the scene on suspicion of possession. Cops then raided the home the actor shares with his mum Theresa, two brothers and a sister. And seized ten mature cannabis plants valued at about £2,000.

The plants were growing under powerful hydroponic lights beside the actor’s DJ decks and a PlayStation.


DJ decks and a playstation? I'm surprised they didn't find some X too. ;D

Rant, meet counter-rant.

This year's rant, "Burned by Friendly Fire: Game Critics Rant," turned the mic over to game journalists instead of developers. Heather Chaplin, author of Smartbomb offered tough words for the gaming industry. "I've been covering the games industry for eight years, mainly for mainstream outlets, and I often find myself acting as a translator," Chaplin said.

Chaplin wondered how it is that videogames remain so focused on violence and zombie gore. "The excuse is that the videogame industry is only thirty-five years old," said Chaplin. "But after thirty-five years rock & roll had Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and the Clash. After thirty-five years film had Fritz Lang, film noire, and was a few years away from Citizen Kane." Chaplin blamed the inability of the medium to move beyond male-centric power fantasies as a direct result of developer heterogeny and immaturity.

"It's not that the medium is in its adolescence, it's that you're a bunch of ****ing adolescents," she said. "It's even worse because you're technically supposed to be adults." Chaplin traced the paucity of more mature content in games to four basic ideas that frighten men the most: responsibility, introspection, intimacy, and intellectual discovery. She described game developers in terms of neoteny, an idea from developmental biology that describes adults of a species who have juvenile traits. This can be seen in mature Chihuahuas, which resemble infant and fetal wolves. Chaplin closed by challenging the audience, "What do you want to be, a Chihuahua or a wolf?"


Dear Heather Chaplin:

No, I will not get off your lawn.

Jeeeesus. Do you have no concept of what fantasy is? Of course fantasy is immature - that's the whole point! It's an escape from the drudgery of normal reality into a made-up fictional world where everything is much cooler. Is that inherently selfish and thus immature? Absolutely! It's called "recreation" for a reason - because you don't have to wear a business suit while you do it.

This is the most annoying case of overcompensation I've seen in ages. You come across as someone who's so utterly flipped out about what they look like - what other people might think of them - when you pick up a controller, that you deride a whole class of wonderful escapist fantasy just because it's not "serious" enough for you. I bet you couldn't deign to let yourself enjoy Iron Man (or any other escapist fluff summer movie), either. I have a word for people like you - it's "oversocialized". You spend way too much time worrying about other people's opinion and thus can never have any fun.

Entertainment is inherently escapist; and thus inherently fantasy; and thus inherently immature. If you have a problem with that, if video games aren't "artsy" or "serious" enough for you, if they aren't enough like real work... then I suggest you log back onto WoW right now. Your Paladin isn't going to level-grind himself.

(P.S. The Beatles? That bubblegum crap that appealed to 14 year old girls?? You're citing The Beatles as an example of a mature, serious entertainment? Oh puuuhlease.)