It may come as a shock to some of you that most gamers today can not finish the original Super Mario Brothers game on the Famicom. We have conducted this test over the past few years to see how difficult we should make our games and have found that the number of people unable to finish the first level is steadily increasing.
This year, around 90 percent of the test participants were unable to complete the first level of Super Mario Brothers. We did not assist them in any way except by providing the exact same instruction manual we used back then. Many of them did not read it and the few that did stopped after the first page which did not cover any of the game mechanics.
We watched the replay videos of how the gamers performed and saw that many did not understand simple concepts like bottomless pits. Around 70 percent died to the first Goomba. Another 50 percent died twice. Many thought the coins were enemies and tried to avoid them. Also, most of them did not use the run button. There were many other depressing things we noted but I can not remember them at the moment.
Furthermore, we asked for suggestions on how to improve the game. A majority of them wanted the game to be easier and they suggested many ways to do this. Some of them wanted a mandatory tutorial while others wanted more ways to kill things besides jumping on them. We explained that Mario could shoot fire balls with the Fire Flower power-up, but then they wanted Mario to start with more weapons like a sword or a gun.
Some of the people seemed to be unaware that this was an actual old game that existed as they asked if the retro-style graphics were supposed to be a throwback to old Nintendo games. Some missed the point of the questionnaire completely and said that the graphics and music were terrible and needed to be improved in order for the game to sell. They also wanted a deeper storyline and voice acting.
So, as a stockholder, you should be relieved to know that our games are easier in order to attract a wider audience. As a gamer, you might feel a little sad, and you should be. It is quite sad.
Happy ‘Murica Day from Sadie (at Vimeo HQ: San Francisco)
That’s when the “use” button on the control may become a “hide” button. Trapped in a room with only one door, a door slowly breaking apart under the relentless pounding of something, I tried using that button. One tap and the reporter began squirming under a bed loaded up with old mattresses.
It made no sense. There was nowhere to go, no escape from this room. Hiding seemed like the worst option, but it was also the only one.
There was a silence: The reporter and I staring at the darkened wall inches from our face, as we lay quietly under the bed. The pounding stopped.
Then the wall began to smoothly retreat from view. There was a moment’s confusion, and then I realized what was happening: I, he was being dragged out from under the bed by his ankles.
That’s when I sort of screamed.
This game looks TERRIFYING.
Space Command • Machines Make Music
Space Command record is out!! Tell all your friends!
You can download it for free here http://spacecommand.bandcamp.com/album/machines-make-music
Quoting this in full because I think every word is important (and Tumblr’s formatting is nicer than a Pastebin doc):
It came out today that the US government’s signals intelligence agency, the NSA, has been collecting mass call records of US citizens from (at least) Verizon. The order, way broader in scope than many thought could exist, is for call metadata only - things like source and destination phone numbers, cell towers, time, and call duration.
Now, this sounds pretty troubling - it’s mass surveillance! However, if you’re anything resembling normal, your next thought might be “Well, hey now. What do I care if the NSA knows who I call? I’m not a terrorist and I’m certainly not important. If this can be used to catch bad guys who want to blow people up, why is that a problem?”
This is a normal and logical response. The problem is that it’s really, really dangerous. I’ll explain why.
Most people, when faced with the spectre of surveillance, immediately point out the fact that their life is effectively unchanged in the face of government surveillance. They’d be totally right. The government doesn’t really care about your individual activities- provided you’re a median person.
The problem only arises in edge cases, which is probably why this has been allowed to proceed as nauseatingly far as it has.
Imagine you’re a member of a group being marginalized on a large scale by society: a black man in 1950, a homosexual in 2010, a staunch communist in 1954. In any reasonable society, we require equal protections and rights from the government for all people who are not engaging in criminal behavior.
Now think about the fact that, in the first steps for change, it is an exceptionally difficult battle. The machinery of society is aligned against you. It seems hopeless to even begin. You may recall that Rosa Parks was immediately arrested for what she did.
To remain strong, you have to prevent society from fighting you directly, at least at first. No individual or small group can stand alone against society - it’s too large.
The solution is to operate anonymously, in secret. Spreading a simple message of liberty and equality can be scathingly difficult when society wants things to stay the way they’ve always been.
The US Supreme Court wrote, in 1995:
Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical minority views … Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority… . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation … at the hand of an intolerant society.
(Quote from https://www.eff.org/issues/anonymity )
The FBI wrote a letter to Martin Luther King telling him to commit suicide. The Attorney General of the US (Bobby Kennedy) personally authorized the FBI to put him under surveillance. They later threatened him with publicizing his extramarital affair (that they’d found as a result of the surveillance) if he didn’t stop his civil rights work.
Anonymity is a prerequisite for large scale positive migration away from inequality, injustice, prejudice, tyranny, and discrimination.
To remain anonymous requires secrecy. You must be able to keep your identity a secret.
Keeping a secret requires privacy. Privacy is a prerequisite for anonymity.
In a condition where everyone is ubiquituously surveilled, you cannot have privacy.
Therefore, in a world where everyone is under surveillance, without privacy, there can be no truly anonymous speech. Without truly anonymous speech, it becomes impossible to move our society forward toward change for the better.
Most people don’t change the world. You and I probably won’t ever change much of anything. We must, however, ensure safety (via the anonymity that privacy can provide) for those that do. It’s a tiny fraction of society, but it serves a vital function for all of us.
You may not have anything to hide, but some do, and for entirely legal and heroic reasons.
If we don’t fight to the last to protect our right to privacy, if only for their sake, then I daresay our society will then rightfully deserve the state of affairs that will result.