Part thriller, part horror, total mind blowing awesomeness. Sunshine is a movie that has everything a viewer could want, but chances are, given its relatively short run in theaters and limited accessibility in “streaming channels,” you haven’t heard of it. Well, we’ll take care of that!
The mind boggling success of Enrique Iglesias’ hit song “Tonight I’m F&3king you” made it perfect fodder for video gamers, geeks, and people with more sense than a 4 year old to spoof. Here’s a look at the hit music video, nearing 1 millions views on YouTube, which spoofs Iglesias song.
A college degree used to mean a ticket into the middle class, now it’s more or less a bill that you have to find a way to pay off. Colleges aren’t perfect, but for how much they charge, they probably should be. College is still the ticket towards most opportunities in this country, and that will probably never change. Still, curriculums, from the Ivy Leagues to the Online Portals, could certainly use some additions that more accurately prepare young adults for life in the real world.
A comprehensive overview of what your landlord can and can’t do. From letting a leaky pipe go unchecked for three months, to holding your deposit for 7 weeks, this course keeps you one step ahead of the competition making sure you don’t end up on your friend’s couch. Final examination includes a take-home quiz where the student must attend a open house from a craigslist post and visit at least one place that sells money orders/cashiers checks (for less than 7 dollars) and describe the experience. Course Pre-requisites: Business Ethics 101, Russian and Czech-Slovakian Studies 102 Keep Reading
Here’s a short list of book titles that would make for interesting video games. Of course they aren’t real video games, but here’s a guess on how they’d play out.
We remember her as the obnoxious fat lady who used to rule the television airwaves…and for the most part, that’s still how we remember her. But Roseanne Barr is far from a one trick pony. She doubles as a commando with the tenacity of Duke Nukem and the humor of Earthworm Jim in this title. RoseanneArchy isn’t a play on words, it’s a deadly test of survival going into the world of Roseanne Barr and trying to come out alive. Gamers will learn what many have already known for years: no matter how hard you fight, Roseanne Barr always finds a way to come back.
From the makers of Joel Osteen’s Become a Better You comes the latest RPG to hit the market. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs allows you to build your own Rock Star character, taking them through the underground music ranks and working your way towards Lollapalooza. A bevy of distractions will hit you along the way, from methamphetamines and hookers to chocolate flavored cereal, it’s up to you to keep your eye on the prize and land the role of world’s biggest (and cleanest) Rock Star. It’s Guitar Hero meets whatever is the opposite of Grand Theft Auto. Rated “M” for “Meant to Teach a Lesson.”
If you thought eating food in real life was fun, wait until you get a hold of the greatest thing since virtually sliced bread. America The Edible sends you across the entire United States (but mostly Texas, Alabama, and parts of Georgia) where you compete in the countries biggest competitive eating championships. Build your wiry, character-in-good health into an eating power-house, working your way towards winning the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Brooklyn, New York. This jingoistic slant on America’s patriotic eating is part of a complete, balanced video game experience.
The title that spawned an Oscar winning movie, is now the inspiration for a video game that sends you into the exciting world of politicians. Pick from one of sixteen politicians from the House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, or the Post Office, as you claw your way to the top of the political ranks. Accept bribes, deny stories that you accepted bribes, and simultaneously cut and raise taxes, trying to acquire as much money as possible, increasing the probability you’ll get re-elected come your next term. Don’t forget to download the latest game updates so that you can forget to vote on the latest public issues, take part in all the hottest scandals, and even skirt-around recent photos that surfaced of you smoking dope in college.
What “We dare” did for couples looking for cheap foreplay, “4 Hour Body” does for people looking to get in better shape, but only have 4 hours to spend. Play along with your own personalized fitness-guru avatar, as you virtually mimic the exercises you’d do in an actual gym, without the tedium of having to get in your car, park, and find a workout machine that isn’t busy. Speaking of busy, 4 Hour Body, uses your Wii Nunchuk like never before, radically improving your sex life and making you as close to superhuman as it gets.
Feel free to add your title in the comments below.
By Paul Nyhart
Wouldn’t it be interesting to create a version of “The Sims” which allows you to go into the world of Hollywood during a night out at The Oscars? The game would be fake of course, but what would it be like to simulate and presumably act out the life of a movie star on one of Hollywood’s biggest nights? Let’s find out and enter the “The Sims: Hollywood Oscar Night!”
It starts with the proverbial walk down the Red Carpet, blowing kisses at people screaming your name, rubbing elbows with stars wearing shades and holding purses that cost more than the limo that just dropped them off. Interviewers ask you all the tough questions: “how are you doing” and “what are you wearing?”
Your publicist ushers you along like a chaperon at your first Junior Prom, navigating you through the minefield of over-caffeinated hosts pretending to be Ryan Seacrest, and trigger happy cameramen, all shouting at you like you stole their car. Donald Trump stares at you, wondering, what the heck you’re doing there? You stare back at him, wondering the same damn thing. Still, you continue waving, pointing at random people, and giving high fives to whoever sees that the camera is in your general vicinity, then file your way into the theater.
You find your seat in the fifth row of the audience, marked “The Sims Hollywood Actor” (yes…they spelled Sims right). The show begins and you realize you have the pleasure of watching a seemingly drunk Anne Hathaway cheering/yelling like an older sister at her younger brother’s graduation, for the foreseeable future. A complacent and most-likely stoned James Franco chips in every now and then, to give his school a shout out and to make fun of nerds. The show does its best to milk a handful of awards into 4 hours, moving along with the pace of a prodding Show Horse. Frequent movie clips of the Academy’s more promising days blanket the screen at random intervals, reminding you, the Sims Hollywood Actor, that film has evolved tremendously since the days of Gone with The Wind, and Citizen Cane (so have show hosts…as the Bob Hope clip so poignantly displays).
You get up to stretch your legs, and look behind at the company you’re in. You meet eyes with Matthew McConaughey and notice that he’s about as tan as most girls on Spring Break. Nice enough guy, though, as he gives you some dynamite tips on charcoaling steak. Mark Wahlberg gives you a simple peace sign, Christian Bale gives you a smile while giving you the middle finger, and Annette Benning finds a way to yell at you about something for seemingly no reason. The “Sims Hollywood Actor” simulation is in full force on Oscar night; it’s everything you thought it’d be and so much more.
You choose to relieve yourself of the stress of watching so many bright lights and bright egos, and head to the bathroom to take a leak. A caterer offers you a glass of champagne on your way into the bathroom, in case you wanted to quench your thirst with France’s finest bubbly while using the john. You avoid the risk of getting your suit dirty so you politely decline, but do end up taking several chocolate Altoids from the paper towel guy guarding the sink. You acknowledge his assistance, but do not tip him for his effort. You’re The Sims Hollywood Actor, the only tip you give is via twitter, and it always has the hashtag #HowToBeInspiring.
You return to your seat where your Sims Actress girlfriend, a 5’9 Swedish Model named Elsa, is now being hit on by Ryan Phillipe. You tell him to bugger off, and for good measure, that Cruel Intentions still sucks, and he goes back to sitting quietly with Rihanna. You wish that you could abort the simulation, but decide to sit out the rest of the awards. Anne Hathaway really tempts you to make an early exit, when she begins singing for absolutely no reason. Hugh Jackman says he knows where this is going and asks you if you want to go grab a smoke. Elsa, tells you to stay, concerned now that Warren Beatty won’t stop winking at her…
Sandra Bullock whips through her intro, while Colin Firth nails his Oscar acceptance speech, and in between, a young filmmaker named Luke Matheny has a great moment. But finally, the awards come to a fitting close when roughly a hundred elementary school students surround the stage, sending the show out with a fusion of Glee and The Mickey Mouse Club. You head for the exit, navigating your way through pissed off runner-ups and reach the stairwell leading out to the theater. You finally hit the escape button and exit the game. Simulations over.
But how far off was the simulation? Based on last night’s Academy Awards. You’d think Hollywood was on life support, but artists like Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, and Luke Matheny will always keep the industry from flatlining. That’s my simulation and I’m sticking to it. What does yours look like?
In a decisive move, Ray J officially announced that he’s responsible for creating Kim Kardashian. Never mind a higher Creator, or even Kim Kardashian’s parents–Ray J is going to go ahead and say he created the hottest reality television star since Joe Millionaire spilled the beans.
“I don’t hang with stars, I create stars. So you know Kim was created…now I’m off to a new project,” said Ray J in a statement.
Bragging that you created Kim Kardashian is like the State of California boasting about its debt or Mark McGuire publicly declaring that he was proud to take steroids. If Kim Kardashian is a star than Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker is the best Sega Genesis game of all-time. Let’s clear the record, what Ray J created was a sex video; what resulted was Kim Kardashian’s appalling run at stardom.
It’s not exactly a “chicken and egg” argument—before the sex tape, no one had ever heard of Kim Kardashian. After the sex tape, she’s on every magazine cover from Los Angeles to New Orleans, with a free sample of her perfume on the inside and an application to sign up for the Kardashian debit card (it was eventually pulled because of its ridiculously high rates). Let’s get one thing straight, Kim Kardashian is not a star. She is a commodity. Her image is being marketed, not any talent. She is the poster child for all things synthetic in Hollywood and practically the world in general. She made 5 million on the sex tape and never looked back….good for her.
But while Kim Kardashian has managed to overtake the world in less time than it took Facebook to get 500 million users, there is one industry where Kim Kardashian hasn’t reached: video games. It’s simple really, people who play video games don’t care about the commodity associated with the product, we care about the quality of the product itself. That’s why television shows like the Kardashians, and many other shows in the same vein, suck. They force feed us concepts built entirely around pointless celebrities and say, ‘here, this is what’s on right now, you can either watch it or go read a book.’
Or you can go play a video game…
Quality always wins in video games because the appearance of the product doesn’t matter, the experience is all gamers care about. I use the Moonwalker example above because it had the biggest star of all-time attached to it, but the game was lame. Yea it sold some copies after Michael Jackson’s death, but what gamer seriously spends their time playing the freaking game? It’s a small example but it’s enough to almost guarantee the “Kim Kardashians,” “Jersey Shores,” and the “Justin Biebers” (jeepers creepers) will stay out of mainstream video games.
Ray J can continue creating stars all he wants, but at the end of the day, it’s only killing people’s perception of television and making consumers clamor for an experience that doesn’t reek of hedonism (even though kids continue to look up to these “stars” as role models, which is arguably more damaging than any video game). Should he be given credit or be taking blame? On to the next project, I guess–here’s hoping they’re smart enough to not make it a video game.
I can’t help but recall the days when I played Duck Hunt on my NES. Pointing an orange, plastic gun at every mallard duck that clumsily flew across my fifteen-inch screen, I was probably no older than eight and here I was simulating the act of hunting (oh heavens!). Some would call that a fun and an enjoyable means for a young child to explore their imagination. Others, would try and call it dangerous. Ever since video game players could pretend to be Kano and rip the beating heart out of their “finished opponent” critics have speculated that video games may be causing severe damage to children. It’s been a subject that’s gone back and forth for years, but has gained some serious steam recently, with legislation intended to put the kibosh to ultra-violent video games.
Driving the vehicle (more on this in a bit) is California State Senator Leland Yee, P.H.D. Senator Lee has become one of the main faces quarterbacking the campaign to censor ultra violent video games, based on their inherent, interactive nature.
“The fact that you can push a button and make certain horrific things happen. If you demonstrate to a child that you can do these things, it becomes part of their repertoire for dealing with anger,” says the California State Senator.
But what are we really talking about here? The fact that you manipulate the actions of characters in video games, be it shooting ducks or whacking crooks in San Andreas, means these actions will carry over into real life?
“I have seen individuals using a baseball bat and bludgeoning a hooker to death, or taking a gun and shooting a cop. Those are the direct result of someone pushing a button and making a conscious decision. I can see that that kind of connection between your action and the consequent behavior is dangerous.”
But using the word “dangerous” is just a means of predicting a possible scenario–what playing violent video games MIGHT result in. Basically, what’s being said here is that children are stupid (“undeveloped” is usually the hip term) and can’t think for themselves, so the government is going to step in and play thought police. Certainly, there are games that aren’t targeted for children, and thus have a rating which reflects that (just like movies). But rarely does the conversation revolve around the enforcement of ratings, rather it’s more or less to thrown the baby out with the bath water and censor “violent” video games as a whole.
But let’s look at a simple FACT ABOUT VIDEO GAMES: it’s a huge business which employs tens of thousands of people (The Bureau of Labor predicts careers in software development will increase 29% and artists/multimedia specialists 14% by 2018). If the Government continues to play thought police and go ahead with the legislation, it would have a devastating impact on the video game industry. As Ted Price (Insomniac Games) explains in episode 6, season 4 of The Jace Hall Show (the video to the right) the issue is one of the most influential decisions to ever affect the game industry and First Amendment rights. It’s no secret that video game makers are heavily against it. Do we want to destroy an increase of thousands of jobs and tear down a huge industry, in a down economy no less, just because some BELIEVE video games are dangerous? That’s exactly what game censorship would be doing.
But the plot thickens…there’s another story in play here, involving a car that mysteriously keeps managing to crash. A Toyota Highlander driven by the wife of State Senator Yee, and was previously helmed by former California State Senator Carole Migden, has cost state taxpayers over $400,000 in less than four years. You could play Gran Turismo for a decade
and not spend that much on your ride. How the heck does this keep happening? Either these ladies have apparently been playing too much Grand Theft Auto, or they’re just having trouble finding the right radio station. Regardless, the car they miraculously keep managing to crash, but thankfully not getting hurt in, is running up a bill that no one seems to care about. Yet, violence in video games still holds the spotlight. What is more dangerous–a video game that allows people to interact in a pretend environment or a car that people can’t seem to properly drive? Should we be cracking down on video games or drivers licenses, here?
If step one is to take down the video game industry, and step two is to crash a car enough times to send the world into chaos, perhaps creating enough lawsuits that taxpayers money runs dry and they can’t even afford to buy video games (I smell conspiracy…) than step three must be to re-name San Fransisco, San Fierro, every time a car gets jacked. Well, we here at The Jace Hall Show aren’t buying any of these scare tactics, especially the claims that video games should be censored. It would be one thing if people were turning off their PS3, Xbox’s, and PC’s, immediately running out onto the streets and going gangbusters on the first person they see–all the result of playing a violent video game. Heck, I live in Hollywood, and I’ve never even seen that kind of thing happen (unless they were in costume and it was part of a sketch…but that’s a different kind of “dangerous”).
There’s always going to be a case here or there where people take a game too far, but if we want to get psychological (dare I say philosophical) let’s pose the question as to whether that’s a by-product of the game or the actual environment the person lives in. Senator Yee holds a P.H.D. in Psychology so he knows more about this stuff than I do, but the point is that the overwhelming majority of people love video games, know that they are not real, and realize that just because you can trigger something in a video game doesn’t allow you to do so in real life (duh). Until kids are running around the street like they’re playing Gears of War, or until Need For Speed style police chases are common on every freeway (Mrs. Yee and her husband’s predecessor certainly seem to be doing their part) game censorship only serves to hurt one of America’s few booming industries, and limit First Amendment rights.