Tag Archives: FIFA

Just for fun

It is 07:14 and I just woke up. My mind came up with a nice idea which is now freely given to Electronic Arts. You see, I am a hockey fan, always have been. I do not care for the other games, but that does not mean that they couldn’t have it. In my dream there was a small altercation between the Shaq and me (nothing violent), I merely accused him of looking down on me, as I would. It then occurred to me that these sport games all have one oversight, a flaw if you like it. When was the last time you had a homie face off? A tournament in NHL, NFL, NBA, FIFA or another sport? A tournament that has a 4-12 player game. So the game gives a grid, you enter the names and you (or them) select which team they represent and you have an evening of friends opposing friends. The grid an be saved and exported and at the end of the evening/afternoon you have one trophy winner and the list of scores to show the victor who ruled that evening. 

EA could even still add it as a patch in all these games and create traction in every game they have. I am merely surprised they never did this before (as far as I know). As such, Electronic Arts get cracking and give the people what they optionally desire. 

And with all the house tournaments with games like pool, ping pong and a few other games, I am surprised we never saw anything like this before, 2K never added it to their games either, as far as I can tell and is that not essential in group plays? I am merely surprised that it does not seem to be there yet.

Enjoy Sunday, my weekend ends in less than 24 hours, yours?

Advertisement

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming

The old debate

The BBC is hitting us with another version of a debate that has been going on for a while. The article (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-61594815) gives us ‘Report blasts “manipulative” video game loot boxes’, first off, they are not lying to you, this is not misrepresentation. In this, I do not completely agree with the point of view of some. The article gives us “The contents of the virtual boxes are only revealed through either game play or by making a payment. While some contain useful tools or desirable extras which improve the experience, others are worthless.” These facts are true. There are two sides here. In the first, why allow for payment? It is the right of a person to buy something, we set ourselves up for that one. Yet in all this, the people who paid 12,000 euro for boxes. No one is debating the utter stupidity of these people. No one is debating that as an adult YOU are responsible for your actions. But the press was all about those poor poor junkies, weren’t they? The other issue is “others are worthless”, what makes the card worthless? It is a direct question. What makes a card worthless? In the NHL game, there are functional cards (stadiums and players), there are cosmetic cards (outfits) and there are support cards, so what makes a card worthless? Then we get “The report authors, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC), say gamers are being “manipulated” into spending large sums of money on the chests.” I have an issue with that. Which games were they? How was there manipulation? The NHL game gave card packs on milestones, and there were a lot of milestones. In addition, you got three free packs a day, and if you connected to the game (logged in) often enough, you got enough markers (there is one in EVERY pack) to exchange those markers for an expanded pack, giving you 12 or even 20 cards. The packs also had a betting coin card. One per pack and these funds allowed you to bid for other cards. Within 3 months I had all the stadiums, all the NHL jerseys and hockey masks, as well as over 100 players. I NEVER spend a cent, this was all free. So please tell me “How was I manipulated into spending large sums of money?” There are always the stupid people who want it all on day one, is that the fault of the game maker? Is it THEIR responsibility for the stupidity of others? The next part of my disagreement is seen in “Critics say the boxes are a form of gambling because players cannot see what they have actually bought until after they have paid to open the contents”. In this it is important to see WHY I disagree. You see in CCG games like Magic, Star Trek, Star Wars, The lord of the rings and more we see that a pack has one rare (optionally one super rare), 2-3 uncommon cards and the rest are common. This is a set formula. So if a game set has 50 rare cards, you would be buying at the very least 50 packs. The optional rest is gotten through swapping with other players at events and at tournaments. It is NOT gambling because one element is missing. The element of gambling is that you lose everything, so until there is a pack where you get all blank cards stating “Thank You!”, it is NOT gambling. You always get a set equation, you always get something. It makes it not gambling. 

In this I oppose the setting of “Finn Myrstad, director of digital policy at the NCC, said: “The sale and presentation of loot boxes often involve exploiting consumers through predatory mechanisms, fostering addiction, targeting vulnerable consumer groups and more.”” Yet there is a sparkly of truth here too and I do not deny it. Players like Electronic Arts played the exploitative element too much in FIFA, it backfired. There is exploitation, especially when the complete pack contains 10,000 players. However I disagree with the ‘predatory mechanism’ part. There is a whole range of predators on YouTube with there ‘card reveal’ channel, there “Do this to get something for free” and that is never a good thing, but these groups did not separate the exploiters from the makers, did they? Lets be clear the makers are not freshly white innocent. Only the people from Mass Effect 3 who introduced these loot-boxes in their multi player element, they were phenomenal and massively innocent. Others used that stage to make big money. 

The article ends with “But the same year Fortnite-maker, Epic Games, decided to let players in its hit video game see what was inside its llama loot boxes before deciding whether to buy them.” And their case agains Apple gained traction. I believe that the Epic Games people are the lest innocent, and their setting will have long term repercussions, it is only a matter of time. The one element not seen was given to us by Android: Netrunner. They gave us a different setting making it fair all around, the expansions were all the same price and always had the same cards, so there was only one pack to buy (once a month). It allowed for a smoother and fair game stage. In addition, the CCG world has something called factory sets. They were slightly different (like a silver border) but that was the only difference. A factory set contained ALL the cards of a game. The game was instantly fully playable, but they do tend to come later. So EA had the option to release a factory set half way through the season, but they did not, did they? Is it on EA? That would be a fair question, and I do not know the answer, merely my feeling in this. Is there a larger exploitation? Yes, but not all of it is on the makers. YouTubers were all over their FIFA cards and the more bang the better their bucks and the numbers of their followers, but we do not see that here either.

The BBC (as well as Tom Gerken) never lie to you, yet I have issues with the article as I have issues with the setting of it. The players HAVE a responsibility and some are pushing it on EA (and others) and the media aided them, which is not fair either. All this is merely my point of view, so feel free to disagree.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Gaming, Media

Call of the brain

Weird, I am not done with one idea and another one pops to mind. I started this in the article ‘The setting of what might be’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/02/27/the-setting-of-what-might-be/) which I wrote on the 27th of February 2022. I had an idea for a torpedo that incapacitates submarines. Yet for some reason the stage of the why eluded me. So in comes a simple marine biologist, a simple devoted husband who gets into the middle of a crossfire with his wife and you guessed it, the lady does not make it and she was pregnant too (for dramatic moments). So out goes the timid loveable husband and future father and in comes Mr Hyde, a man with no sense of normal. As the officials (one side of the equation) are in all kinds of denials and the need to classify so that they can continue being dicks is thrown at him, he man loses it completely and decides to get even. It is later (not stated why) and we see the peaceful village of Saint-Jérôme in Quebec Canada. We see the same man and he has grown a beard. He seems driven and weirdly enough he has stacks of pucks and as we see him working on a torpedo we see he has something planned, but not what is planned. We see more moments of him, practicing shooting (with a silencer), knives and a blackjack. An older man (his father) is training him, day after day whilst he spends several evening hours each day tinkering on his torpedo. 

We then get a moment shot in some hospital, one of the people in the shootout is there. Guarded by what seems to be federal officers. It is clear the man is not happy, he is not a guest. Then on one side of the hospital our ‘hero’ comes back into play. Now with a goatee, his hair coloured grey walking careful with a cane. He walks into the elevator and his demure changes to active. He takes the elevator to the third floor, walks through the corridors to the part he needs to be. He is one floor too high and that was planned for. He leaves a plastic bag and takes the stairs down and carefully scans for what he needs to see, then he sees what he was waiting for. A team is getting on the elevator. He keeps his distance and sees that only the agents, five of them go on board. He takes out one of the pucks presses hard in the centre and rolls the puck into the elevator just as the doors close. He walks away, there is no seemingly no sound. He then goes to the room where the man is, there are two agents, he quickly shoots them and walks in. He looks upon the man who is clearly scared aims and pulls the trigger, the man is dead and he goes back exactly the way he came in, picks up the plastic bag and goes to the other end now revealing the flowers he is carrying. He stops short to get into a bathroom and washes out the grey, he is almost his self again.

This is merely the start, you see we need to get to the story, but how to go about it? There is a need to get the action in the beginning and the crossfire is that, yet from there we need a different stage, a memento stage if I was to give it a name. It is a similar stage that the movie Anna uses and it makes sense to do so. It is not to ‘reveal’ the twist, it is because if the movie plays chronological the sizzle falls flat, a soufflé without the captured air and the air would be part of the story. So how to continue. You see, the ‘simple’ solution is to set the story to some ‘corrupt’ official, but I think it is too easy and it has been done too often. There could be connected issues with industrials (the expected way), yet the larger stage is not any of them. Sometimes shit happens, it is merely that simple. They were merely ‘in the way’ and to set that stage we can use it as an explanation, or we can see it as a twist. That part I am still working on, but I got most of this in less than 12 hours. I wonder if I can get that same range of $130,000-$600,000. We can all dream and so can I. Anyway, with all the shit in the world, I thought I remain creative for a little while. We can always write the gunk of spunk that goes to the junk after all the hostilities are gone. In that setting (just sidestepping it all), has anyone figured out why EA removed all the Russian teams from FIFA? I reckon it is to save their loot-boxes and microtransactions. I reckon that America is pushing towards a new McCarthy era and in that stage an American paying money to get a Denis Cheryshev card will get rather upset. I reckon EA is scared their cash cow needs an overhaul. It is merely speculation, but I might be on the money there. What do you think?

Leave a comment

Filed under Stories

The thin ice

We all step on it at times, at the moment it is me, I am standing on the thin ice, but I feel it is important to stand here. I see all the anti Russian propaganda and tweets and I get it, I really do. But then two events were shown that made me wonder. The first one was given to us by Reuters. It was (at https://www.reuters.com/world/us-orders-12-russian-un-diplomats-leave-by-march-7-russian-envoy-2022-02-28/) ‘U.S. expels 12 Russian U.N. diplomats over security concerns’, not just diplomats, UN diplomats. It is true, the UN value has been overrated for some time, but in this case, I am not sure it is a good idea. The article gives us “The U.S. mission to the United Nations described the Russian diplomats as “intelligence operatives” who had been “engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security.”” It does have the term ‘national security’, so I reckon we will not hear the actual truth until 2042. Then we get “Those diplomats that have been asked to leave the United States were engaged in activities that were not in accordance with their responsibilities and obligations as diplomats”, I cannot oppose it, I cannot disagree with this, because I actually do not know, but it was ‘months’ in some setting of investigation and they chose today of all days to come forth with this? That does not make it not true, but it raises questions, it raises several questions and I am not the person with the answer. Perhaps they interfered with the US shakedown on oligarchs, perhaps they were actual spies. And when I saw it I initially shrugged and let it go. But then David Heroux (CBC) gives us the image below and it is important to see it. 

You see, I have always been a fan of the idea to keep politics OUT of sports. Sports are to be left alone, now that does not mean that it is always possible, but really? Throw the Russian Paralympic committee out? Of all the places they COULD have been thrown out, that was the Paralympic place. And at present the least said about the UEFA and FIFA their actions the better, these money grabbing dodo’s are not worth any consideration at all.

You see, this is not merely about the Russians, it is about us. What did WE actually do in Syria? What did WE do when there was a chemical attack? The US was cowardly enough to keep to the left and out of it, yes that was not what they investigated. The doctors reported, the US has several satellites overhead, but NO ONE saw anything. Then we see a similar setting in Yemen again. How many actions AGAINST Iran were taken, I am not talking about economic sanctions. I am talking ACTUAL actions. Some might have seen news (somewhere in 2021) that Iran exported more oil, yet did not make more money, they stated that middle men gained more profits, so the CIA and FBI can hand over a list of those middle man people can it not? I reckon not. A nation that is bankrupt needs every coin they can get and this game has been going on for years.

It is the hypocrisy we see. I am all for Ukraine, I think they are allowed everything we can offer, but that was not the case for Syrians, that was not for Yemeni’s was it?

I get it, that some people have vested interests and that is fine, governments should keep vested interests out of it. At present Syrians and Yemeni’s wonder why the Ukraine can get help in days, whilst they were waiting for years. I cannot explain that injustice, can you? So, I here admit that I am on thin ice, I really do. Yet there is a larger injustice seen and it should not stop people from helping people in the Ukraine, but they need to understand that there have been fires going on since March 2011. I would state that we do not close ALL the doors towards Russia, which makes me wonder about the UN issue, but I admit, it might have valid reasons, the timeline is just a little too warped and there the media is optionally equally at fault. Yet at present I feel convinced we need to keep politics out of sports, there will be a time when that informal route is the only route we have and we should keep it safe, in addition we keep the athletes out of politics, games are for us all, politics are (alas) not. We are given an hour ago by the Guardian ‘Russia’s NHL hero Alex Ovechkin has a rare chance to hit Putin where it hurts’, I disagree. He is an athlete, in the NHL and he is very good. He is not someone’s political tool. We get that people need to speak out, and if he does it of his own accord that is fine, it is his right. But it is not ours to make him our political tool. A lot of people might not agree with me, but that is where I stand. I get it, in the past he was pro-Putin, his choice and at present he most likely regrets this and it is his option to alter that course (make amends seems to crass). It is not treason, he is still Russian, he merely plays a game in the US an he is one of the best on the planet. We all make mistakes, some small, some larger. Yet should he be held accountable for actions he cannot control when the CIA refuses to shine the limelight on Iranian actions because the national security agenda has different topics? There are two measurements in play and we are fed both at the same time. It is dangerous and it is wrong. Feel free to disagree (it is your right) yet also take time to ask people in Syria and Yemen how they feel about these two measurements. Just my thoughts on the matter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Military, Politics

Who makes the congregation?

Yes, there you were outside and you suddenly see a church, so you wonder who decides on that congregation, the Bible (the third edition reprint with 5 chapters omitted), the bible of King James, the members of the Holiness Baptist Association or the disgruntled members who created the Baptist Purity Association? Yes, it is out there, all versions all creeds and they all have their version of the truth, also optionally the true version that whoever is up there finds the most appealing. But the new religion is sport and we saw that unfold really fast, did we not? With pope Aleksander Ceferin and pope Gianni Infantino at the head of their churches, and they will not tolerate anyone falling out of line. The addition here is that politicians (David freakin Cameron) as well as the media as a whole are really happy to lend a hand to these two popes.

Yet, the media also gives another side. In this, the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/22/esl-european-super-league-global-capitalism-football-tech-giants) gives a really good version, a good story. The writer is giving us the lowdown and Larry Elliott does a really good job of this. He gives us a lot of the goods, not all but a lot. 

And it was then, that this article that gave me an idea. You see, there is a lot of good in the article and all of it true, but there is a part missing. You see, I have no doubt that they were all in it for the money. In this I have no sympathy for a person like Ivan Gazidis, Andrea Agnelli or Florentino Pérez. I do not hate them, I merely do not care about football, I (for the most) do not see the need to care about people who make more per week then I will ever make a year. OK, there optionally 4 exceptions, but this is not about my 5G IP. But money is the foundation used and we need to see this.

So when we see in the article “Free-market purists say they hate the idea because it is the wrong form of capitalism”, it is correct but incomplete. Then there is “The ESL has demonstrated that global capitalism operates on the basis of rigged markets not free markets, and those running the show are only interested in entrenching existing inequalities” which is almost dead on the nose. You see the media has a role to play, as I have stated many times before, the first three parties the media pleases are the Shareholders, the Stakeholders and the advertisers, the audience is a distant fourth. In all this, if there was really an impartial media we would have seen all kinds of interviews with the owners of those 15 teams, but did we? You tell me, where and when were they interviewed? Then there is the stage we see presented as “Having 15 of the 20 places guaranteed for the founder members represents a colossal barrier to entry and clearly stifles competition. There is not much chance of “creative destruction” if an elite group of clubs can entrench their position by trousering the bulk of the TV receipts that their matches will generate”, there is actually a second truth hidden there and it is ‘trousering the bulk of the TV receipts that their matches will generate’ and this is where the media gets involved, you see there are no arrangements with the media when it comes to the ESL, as such the 15 biggest teams will not fall under some agreement with the media, FIFA or UEFA, that money is theirs, the media will have to make new arrangements, and do you think that advertisers will pay the amount we see for the other teams? That is why the media is the larger problem and those two popes, they would lose out on a lot, so whilst we see “he called on the football world to keep fighting against the “disgraceful” plan for a breakaway European competition, worth an estimated $20 billion to the clubs” (source: Fox Sports) we also see that UEFA and FIFA and the media would lose out on an optional $20 billion, this is the larger issue. And the media has remained silent on it, even at the end, the news was all about the fans, the fans were never part of this. We saw “Forget coronavirus travel lists, when it comes to football the UK was being put on code red”, the money involved is too big. 

In the end I do not know whether the ESL was bad or good, the issue is that 15-20 teams of the upper setting would be playing football, the fans do not miss out, they get their football, these teams are merely in a stage of the same level, the same highest level and they are all playing against one another. So the actual losers would have been Aleksander Ceferin, Gianni Infantino and the media, it got to the point where David Cameron got involved, they were THAT scared and made it a political game from the start. If it was real, if there was really care of football, the UK would also be playing the games from the Russian Premier League. Yet the stage is that those fans can find them on YouTube. Where is the Greek league? Yes it is quite the setup, locality for added local advertising. But on a lot of there there is silence. 

Yes, Larry makes a good case with “the men who made their money out of nuts and bolts and waste paper firms in north London have been replaced by oligarchs and hedge funds. TV, barely mentioned in the Glory Game, has arrived with its billions of pounds in revenue”, it is not merely that these teams were changing the levels of loyalty, they took food from the through of pigs and those pigs can squeal, all whilst the media (who would lose a lot too) were the helping hand these two popes needed. 

What I saw was a massive one sided tsunami of flaming and colouring against anything that was not them three. And the people for the most bought it. So when we see “Asked about the Chelsea fans that gathered outside Stamford Bridge, he shot back: “There were 40 of them and if you like I’ll tell you who brought them there.”” We see in part a larger truth, the throughs are in a stage of added protection and the pigs are swarming to blame whatever they can for the image and view to be pushed to other places, but when we see “Ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter and former secretary general Jerome Valcke had their bans extended by six years this Wednesday after the pair were found guilty of financial wrongdoing” whilst actions that took millions from the coffers of FIFA hd been going on for well over a decade and nothing was done, whilst the BBC (Andrew Jennings) pulled the alarm, all whilst we now see “when it comes to football the UK was being put on code red”, we see the stage of corruption and intentional avoidance, whilst for 15 years these same organisations did next to NOTHING. 

A stage that is not seen and actively avoided. As such we need to see that there is a larger stage and greed is only allowed by some, weird is it not? More important, this is not over, I reckon that all kinds of agreements are signed up, agreements with the media, the advertisers and the teams, as I personally see it, the throughs will be protected, greed is all.

Enjoy the week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics

One sided media

We are falling for another one sided attack on the people, pretending to talk for the people, but what is going on? To be honest, less than a day ago I did not really care, but now things are changing and not for the good. It might have started yesterday, but the setting ‘UK government may legislate to stop European Super League, says minister’ makes it a larger issue. Let’s be clear, I checked several sources and they all attack the European Super League, not one, I say again NOT ONE gives us a clear timeline and the other side. So when I saw ‘FIFA voices disapproval of proposed breakaway European Super League plan’ with the added “warning they must face up to the reality of their decision”, yes just like the consequences of large settings of corruption by FIFA, in this, FIFA needs to keep its mouth shut! We get some information (at https://acmilan.theoffside.com/2021/4/19/22391526/official-ac-milan-is-one-of-the-founding-members-of-the-european-super-league-uefa-fifa-lega-serie-a) yet the news groups give us nothing, merely wave after wave of negativity. It makes me wonder where their interests lie and personally I think it is whomever has the most money. 

So the setting where we are informed is not coming, merely politicians shouting, media flaming and no real information. I voiced yesterday that this might be the consequence of unadulterated expansionism and I personally feel that it might be a larger reason, yes more money for the owners might play a role, but when I see “20 participating clubs with 15 Founding Clubs and a qualifying mechanism for a further five teams to qualify annually based on achievements in the prior season” gives view to a competitive side, all whilst several sources give voice in the setting like “The joy of the game’s current structure, one that has kept people coming back year after year, generation after generation, is that even the most seemingly endless period of frustration is made bearable by the possibility, however remote, that one day you could see them rise up”, yes you might voice it that way, yet ‘joy of the game’s current structure’ also implies the funds as they are ‘distributed’ now, as these teams fall away, advertisements will take a different tour, a tour that the power people are not happy about, and such they are all crying. If there was a real concern for the people, there would be neutral interviews with the owners of these breakaway teams. Do you think that people will NOT watch AC Milan-Real Madrid? Do you think that the fans of these two teams are shutting their eyes? No! But media money will now take a different path and the media is crying like a little bitch taking the lames as far as they can, because that has worked so often in the past. 

Is this league a good idea? I do not know, I do not really care about football, but I do know that there is a limit to expansionism and greed driven people will never accept the term ‘saturation’. A stage larger and larger in football, with well over 90 teams in Europe? Yup, you are looking at 4000 minutes per weekend, all that time for advertisement, all the media vying for those coins. None of that is mentioned. Yet we get “Now, more than ever, we must protect the entire football community – from the top level to the grassroots – and the values of competition and fairness at its core”. Fairness?  Are you freaking kidding me? Real Madrid has an estimated budget of 616 million Euro. You really think that Dutch PSV, German Werder Bremen, or British Newcastle United has anywhere near that level of budget? As I see it for FIFA and UEFA this will be about loss of revenue and we need to see this clearly, but the media cannot be trusted, they have too much to lose. You see if they were fair, their would be a clear interview with those breakaway teams, but I see nothing of that. And it gets to be worse, when these teams breakaway, the bulk of all football fans, they will switch to that channel, that is the fear and I believe that if FIFA had cleaned house half a decade ago and stopped expansionism things would not be that bad, it is the clear consequence on what I see as unadulterated greed. The denial of saturated sport venues. Let’s be clear, do you have time and the drive to watch 4000 minutes of soccer every weekend? We know, the ‘smaller’ teams will get a fragmented highlight expose, with the fill match on some other channel (for the local fans), but the breakaway groups are a massive drain on funds. There is no mention of that, is there? We get headlines like ‘European Super League planners condemned as ‘snakes’ by UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin’, with quotes like “he hoped UEFA could ban Super League clubs and players “as soon as possible” from all of its competitions”, “Betrayal was a theme Ceferin was to return to frequently as he denounced the 12 clubs as “the dirty dozen”” and “I have seen many things in my life. I was a criminal lawyer. I have never seen people like that,” he said, “It is hard to believe the level of immorality of some people”, well as we saw the unquestioned actions by a certain FIFA member, his words are hollow and meaningless, fear mongering in the hope to turn things around, but the crux remains expansionism and the media have too large a slice of that cake and the media is not making any serious effort in giving us a real interview of the breakaway teams, and with real I do mean an interview where they give us THEIR side. And in all this, it is the interview of Ceferin in 2019, where we see “The two finalists, Arsenal and Chelsea, were only able to allocate 6,000 tickets each to their supporters. Plus, fans wanting to attend the final have to make a long and expensive journey”, so that is one side, but according to what I saw, we see that Stamford Bridge stadium has 40,834 places, so what happened to the other 25,000 seats? I get it, others want to see it too, but shouldn’t the fans of these two teams have a much larger share of the tickets? As such, who got the lion share of the ‘allocated’ tickets? Perhaps it is all on the up and up, but the stadium would prefer to give ITS fans a much larger share, and Ceferin gives us 6,000 seats. There is a lot more going on and all these funds from the breakaway teams are up for grabs, as are the media contracts, which are now not covered, making the media cry like little bitches. And as we see Boris Johnson give us “has promised football groups that the government will consider using what he called “a legislative bomb” to stop English clubs joining a breakaway European Super League, as official efforts to thwart the plan were stepped up” (source: the Guardian) With all due respect, how the fuck is that any of your business? This is not political, the media, UEFA, FIFA and the advertisers are making this political, which is not the same. 

Sports is one place where the nanny state mentality (social equality) will never ever work and in that stage expansionism is not the solution, it never ever was and now that there is a group of upper league teams, the stage is set. As I see it, it is the consequence of greed, is it not interesting that the media is not picking up on that either, they pick up on greed as a stone to throw towards the European Super League. I am not stating that this is not the case, cash might be involved, but I reckon it is more about FIFA and UEFA losing out, then the ESL is gaining. It is my view, and I might be wrong, I will admit to that, but the lack of neutral media makes me doubt that I am wrong, I still might be, I get that.

But consider the news, the accusation and the flames, all whilst we see no decent response offered by the other side. This might just be another example of filtered information, filtered to the needs of the big three. Shareholders, stakeholders and advertisers. It is merely my point of view on the matter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, Politics

Both sides against the middle

This is not some wannabe setting, not some educated evolution of events, this is pure fiction, this is purely the idea for a script, for TV (or movie) and none of it is real in any way, or if it is, I am seemingly unaware of it. A “Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental” quote is added, so the neighbours wife (and the neighbour) need not get alarmed when I write about seeing her coming out of the shower naked and me as. Result masturbating, it’s purely coincidental (that was a funny). So the setting is a stage where the world, most nations are now in a setting where the military are set into a station where they have become the police, a sort of governmental Helpdesk and a facilitator of services. In this there are the opportunity seekers that have a balance between the military and the people, not unlike the setting in the Third Man. But here we see that the new military are at the mercy of the marketeer, all whilst the veterans are given the goods at near cost price, all whilst the people pay for the matter, with the exception of children, they get their needs at cost price. By setting these margins the dealer gets to swim through the mazes of the law and through the nets of the facilitators in reasonable safety. Yet the path is changing, a new officer is sent into the field taking care of the exploiters, in an age where resources are dwindling down, the exploiters are ending with too much and the military wants it to stop. As such the dealer gives up whatever black market fish there is to keep himself/herself safe. Yet the stage is even larger than the officer realises when a stage evolves where the large corporations are employing their own black marker dealers to keep the private needs of their board members satisfied, the dealer however knows too many of them and as such a larger stage of cat and mouse begins, a stage the officer dreads and loathes as his bosses need these corporate players as well, as such a larger stage of equilibrium is created and basically nothing gets resolved, for the officer it was a lose-lose proposition from the very beginning, so he sets a premise of safety for the dealer to get the goods on the larger corporate exploiters and all whilst he is trying to document the larger goods on all players including the dealer. 

It is a stage that is purely fictive, yet when we look at todays world, we see these element in play and the media is playing a dangerous game in the middle of share holders, stake holders and advertisers. So what happens when one media member jumps the fence? What happens when that person states enough is enough? We see the impact of FIFA and Sepp Blatter when we see “Blatter was found to have accepted undue economic benefits totalling 23m Swiss francs (just under £18m) and approved payments or bonuses of a further CHF46m to other officials” (source: The Guardian), and all whilst the alarm bells were rung by Andrew Jennings in 2006, it took close to 14 years to get that ball seriously rolling, why that long? As I stated before the media had too much power stating all kinds of facilitating settings all whilst it was the share holders and stake holders pulling the puppet cords, so is that setting that weird? We can see (and accept) the headline ‘Parliamentary inquiry into media diversity is ‘a sham’’, yet in that same setting we also get ‘The Biggest Risks to Big Tech’s Continued Dominance’, we want to be clever and hit out against one or both of the two (big tech and media), yet everyone seemingly forgets that the stakeholders are in the middle keeping the seesaw in a position that profits THEM the most, and everyone is ignoring that part of the equation. This is not a new setting, this has been going on for close to a decade at least and we are given news article after news article, by those who want to flame the audience, because emotions are set into profits, into clicks and into $$$$. A stage ignored by most as the media is at the centre of things, now consider the officer in the story when you have these elements available to you, do you think that the stakeholders in the story will give that officer even an inch? The seesaw is there to unbalance opponent after opponent and the officer becomes a tool of the larger players, because the image and documentations were whatever they allowed to get out into the open. 

A stage that remains a lose-lose for anyone offered that position, with a large promotion as incentive, so when we know that, who do the bosses of that officer serve? That is the stage we see unfold in the story, but the story remains slightly illusive. Because in that setting as the officer is keeping balance on a river standing on an ice-plate as it goes down the river hitting other ice-plates. The result being that the ice-plate with the officer diminishes in size the longer that officer is on the river and the more it hits other ice-plates. The premise of a lose-lose situation, so what can that officer do?

Leave a comment

Filed under Media, movies

Consequences of balls

We all face them, you, me, pretty much everyone, we always face consequences. We do not always face them the same way and some see a diminished version of it, but they will be there, no exception. So when I saw the FIFA corruption scandal explode 2-3 years ago, I wondered what would happen next, and yes reports were suppressed and we got to see all kinds of excuses. But it was an event with far reaching consequences. Now, I personally believe that some of the upper class leagues decided to fight the expansionism by certain members and they created the European Super League, the BBC gives us all kinds of news including “Uefa said it will use “all measures” possible to stop the “cynical project”.” To them I say ‘If you had done something to stop the fucking corruption by FIFA, you might not be in this mess’, and that is not all, when we consider ‘Sepp Blatter gets new six-year ban from football after Fifa investigation’ (source: the Guardian, 24th march), so not only was the first conviction not enough, we see him getting more and there is no way that the high end of UEFA was unaware, the BBC investigation over 10 years shows that there is a lot more going on and they stayed silent, so in the setting of anti-expansionism, the largest team set up a new league and it will draw crowds. Is it fair on the ECA (European Clubs’ Association), or UEFA? Not sure if that is in call, it is the consequence of letting Sepp Blatter and his friends getting away with the amount they have. So when we see “Senior figures at European football’s governing body are furious about the proposals”, are they? Where was their indignation stopping FIFA? Where was their indignation on the suppressed reports? Sitting on your hands also comes with consequences and these teams are looking at a way to make it pay for them, so when we see “This proposal risks shutting the door on fans for good, reducing them to mere spectators and consumers” I cannot stop laughing, this is exactly what fns are, they are spectators, they are consumers, this is how sports work and any display or marketing event to show that they are more is pretty much a lie. Consider that “The gross salary awarded by FIFA to its President Gianni Infantino rose to more than $3.2 million (£2.4 million/€2.66 million) in 2019. The world football body’s 2019 annual report details amounts earmarked for both Infantino and Fatma Samoura, secretary general, in salary and allowances last year, at what stage is that level of income seen as normal? I get that they optionally earn a decent penny, but that decent? A source gave us in 2018 ‘UEFA reveals president Ceferin is paid $1.64M salary’, yes these people will see a drop in income, so they are furious, in all this what is the stage we need to see? Can we blame that Andrea Agnelli (Juventus), Ed Woodward (Manchester United) and Ivan Gazidis (AC Milan) want to see a chunk of that money go towards their own club? Oh and before I have stop typing (from excessive laughter) consider “Labour leader Keir Starmer said the clubs involved should “rethink immediately” or “face the consequences of their actions”” I wonder where the hell he was when FIFA got away with event after event, at this point he is better off keeping quiet. So when I see all these people cry havoc, on how fair it is and how greed driven it is, consider their silence when Andrew Jennings initially voiced his show on FIFA in 2006 and for how long serious investigations were avoided and pushed into the dark room in the back. Now we see the consequences on the biggest teams, having to chance injury on Edinson Cavani against a third tier team a week before to head of against AC Milan, this is not against that third tier team, but we all know that the biggest teams want to play the other biggest teams, not fall to injury against a low level team and the fans, the chances to see the big teams fight each other, I am certain they will love it pretty much right of the bat. It is the consequence of badly thought through expansionism, the biggest players are wondering why they need to suffer the consequences of bad management. I believe (still speculatively speaking) it is that simple.

I for one, do not really care, I am a hockey fan, there are 31 NHL teams in total over all of the US and Canada combined, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), has 4 groups adding up to 79 teams. There is a cost to expansionism and I reckon that they are seeing it now. If Ron Francis (Seattle Kraken) offers me a place as goalie on his team, I will happily accept, I get it, we all want to be in the big leagues, but a stage where we have 4 groups combined to 79 teams, the setting is off the wall and the people in charge should have stopped a long time ago, but the media coins were just too appealing and in this we see that FIFA and UEFA are in a bad place, they got themselves there and now we see politicians (if we can call Keir Starmer one), they are all about the change and how these manager have to ‘rethink immediately’, all whilst there are larger flaws to consider and these teams are now setting the stage for THEIR team. Let’s not forget that UEFA is not beyond the paint reach. So when we see “Michel Platini, who was the head of UEFA at the time that Blatter headed up FIFA and the corruption allegations were taking place, had to deny receiving a ‘disloyal payment’ last year. He was paid £1.35 million for, he describes, ‘legitimate consultancy work’. The problem he had, however, was that he received the payment in 2011 – a full nine years after his initial payment for work with FIFA and just three months before Blatter was re-elected at FIFA boss in 2011” (source: Football Stadiums), in all this who even remembers Andrew Jennings? Who is asking the deeper questions? I personally see that expansionism led to Qatar 2022, now, personally I like the idea of Football reaching the Middle East, if sport gets a conversation going, their participation should be welcomed, but in the light of expansionism, there is a drawback and those sponsors are crying like little girls, and now as that is taking place certain funds are suddenly questioned on a larger scale, there is a consequence on nearly every turn and whilst people like Keir Starmer cry foul, the tend to get awfully quiet around the Sepp Blatter case, what cries did he give us when Sky Sports gave us “FIFA’s ethics committee found Blatter was part of a “vicious circle” of officials who sought to award themselves over £50m in undeclared payments”, which is funny, because that much money took years to gather and for the longest time there was nothing and the media was quiet on nearly all of it (which makes sense), but it took a BBC investigative journalist (Andrew Jennings) to create the visibility, even then it took over a decade for all of it to make the limelight and the headlines, why do you think that was? Perhaps a decent look on stakeholders and their influence in media is not too weird a call to make? What do you think?

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Gaming, Media, Politics

Right & wrong, 2 multi-dimensional sides

There was an article at the BBC a few hours ago and I had to sit down and ponder for a moment. I can revisit my view again and again, but the BBC gave a very specific side and it stopped me. As I see it loot boxes are not gambling, but the article ‘Loot boxes linked to problem gambling in new research’ gave an additional side, and it matters.

The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56614281) gives a lot of the same, including the view of “About 5% of gamers generate half the entire revenue from the boxes”, which is an optional valid view, my emphasis is on ‘optional’. You see, even as we are given “Loot boxes are a video game feature involving a sealed mystery “box” – sometimes earned through playing the game and sometimes paid for with real money – which can be opened for a random collection of in-game items such as weapons or cosmetic costumes”, I noticed ‘sometimes earned through playing the game’ before, I got most of all gear in NHL19 without ever paying a cent! This is important, and there is a stage where we need to recognise the games that offer loot boxes as a reward from within the game. It is “The upcoming Gambling Act review is set to look at the question, with the UK’s House of Lords already having weighed in to say that loot boxes should be firmly regulated as “games of chance”” that made me pause, loot boxes are not gambling, but when it is stated that they are ‘games of chance’ I do not disagree. We can argue in all manner that EA games took loot boxes in FIFA and went overboard, I will not disagree on that. Consider that FIFA21 “In FUT, there are more than 16,000 Day 1 cards, corresponding to as many players”, as such, if there are 1,000 it would be a low estimate, 2,500 would be more likely, but I have no official numbers. This implies that to have them all you would have to buy a minimum of 2,500 packs, if each pack has only one rare, that is just insane. 

It is not gambling! You see, to have that premise, that needs to be a setting that buying one pack gets you one cards stating ‘Thank You’, that is not the case, you always get a set configuration of common, uncommon and 1 rare card. But the House of Lords goes with ‘games of chance’, which is the seemingly the case and even more, it has an exploitative side, I never denied that, and there is a difference, I opted in the past for an alternative. It is what is called ‘A factory set’ a set with every card, the set is not tradable and has no value as you cannot trade them, but you would have all the cards and to offer that set in the last quarter of the game might be an option. 

My issue with the article was “The link between gaming loot boxes and problem gambling has been “robustly verified”, according to a new report”, I have issues with that straight of the bat and I would want to see that full report and its data before giving it any validity. You see, in the last 6-12 months I have noticed that gambling and in game advertising that is pro gambling has been popping up all over iOS and Android, Google’s own YouTube now has an increasing amount of gambling advertisements, so the setting is as I personally see it rigged.

This included advertisements on how to win at gambling, a stage that in my mind has nowhere to go and shouldn’t be allowed in any advertisement setting of Google. I wonder if that factor was considered in that report, was it even investigated? Let’s take a look!

A stage that is on a sliding slope, as we see more and more pagers on the internet all set to the stage where you can win real money playing games, so the game is already rigged and it has nothing to do (as far as I can see it) with loot boxes. And the report by the GambleAware charity is off to the wrong start with “Loot boxes are purchasable video game content with randomised rewards. Due to structural and psychological similarities with gambling, they have come under increasing media, academic and legal scrutiny. The UK government is currently reviewing evidence on loot boxes, which will be considered in the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act 2005”, you see plenty of games allows you to win these boxes by playing, Mass Effect 3, NHL 19 and several others, some give several packs a day, you only have to enter the game to get them. The report (at https://www.begambleaware.org/sites/default/files/2021-03/Gaming_and_Gambling_Report_Final.pdf) has more. “relationships between loot box engagement and problem gambling have been robustly verified in around a dozen studies”, I have an issue with that statement, but lets continue for now. When we see “Participants also purchased loot boxes because of a ‘fear of missing out’” I wonder how this was proven, you see, when we see on page 6, ‘A game will offer loot boxes for free. Encouraging later real-money purchases’ it is an assumption, a speculation. I never spend money on NHL19 and I have all the jerseys, all the goalie masks and all the arena’s. In addition, Mass Effect never pushed for spending money, you can get it all by merely playing. That is a setting of two games straight of the bat. Yes, it was possible to spend money, but it was never needed. The research then give us Overwatch which is a free to play and loot boxes are their only revenue, but what is there?

The report gives Fortnite a pass on a few settings, yet the Verge gives us ‘Epic Games will settle Fortnite loot box lawsuits in V-Bucks’ with the additional “The class action settlement also provides an additional $26 million in benefits” (at https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/22/22295676/epic-games-fortnite-loot-box-lawsuit-settlement-rocket-league-v-bucks), as such the report already has a few sides I find debatable and optional rejectable. When we are treated to “the game’s cooperative survival mode, “Save the World,” did — at least until 2019 when Epic changed its loot box system to allow players to see the item inside prior to purchase”, so why did that report not contain the part that gives us ‘when Epic changed its loot box system’, and all whilst another source gives us regarding Ubisoft “The Division 2 has both microtransactions and loot boxes and we said that Ubisoft didn’t go overboard with recurring revenue”, this was given to us in 2019, so why is a 2 billion dollar company excluded from this research? Is this EA games bashing?

There is more, and as gambling influences on other fields that the same group finds itself, the setting is as I personally see it rigged.

The report has some conclusions that make sense, they do have some grasp of the issue and as I personally see it, there needs to be a larger stage here, one that is beyond ‘self-regulating’, in this EA Games made several massive blunders on the stage and that Needs to be acknowledged too. I am all for the full disclosure of odds as well as a FULL LIST (including rarity) of all cards that can be obtained. I believe that a factory set, one that cannot be used for trading and optionally not for playing either, it might lower the ‘Pokemon’ impact (gotta catch them all) of those spending cards on it, some do want to have them all, merely for the having. Anyone who ever collected Football, Hockey or Basketball cards will get that part. A stage that will evolve over time and one that could reset the barriers we have now.

So yes, I feel I was right, loot boxes are not gambling, but they are a game of chance, even as every pack has the same dimensions, they tend to have 1 rare card and in case of EA’s FIFA that will not do, not in a game with 16,000 playable characters. There are several solutions, but it is up to EA to steer their ship to one of the solutions that gamers can live with, I for one think that the EA NHL solution is one that should limit damage, yet with 16,000 characters, the packs should be 500% larger, including at least 5 rare cards, but that is merely my initial view.

I have a few issues with the report, but it does give us a view that is not entirely wrong and it also gives us a few sides that matter. As for the BBC article, loot boxes might to some degree correlate to problem gambling, but that stage is a lot bigger than the report gives. And it starts in both the Android and the Apple store with their collection of free games that offer in-app purchases, the fact that these makers set the game up to mandatory show one advertisement EVERY level is a larger stage, and the oversight of that makes it an issue, if gambling is a factor, these influences should be looked at as well, as well as the deceptive conduct that we see in the advertisements with increasing amounts. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, Law, Media, Politics, Science

The brain race

I am not sure how familiar you are with the ‘race brain’, yet mine went nuts two hours ago. It was a set of circumstances, the first was Dragon Quest Builders 2, I restarted the game only to fall over on the second island (again). As I learned to ‘follow’ the orders nearly precisely I got a bit further, but I was thwarted by the game makers who got overconfident and that is where the wheels came off the car, or was it the train went of the rails? It is almost a crossing between a close question and an open question. If you confine yourself to closed questions, you tend to miss the desired direction, and when you confide in the response of open questions you go in EVERY direction, except the right one. It is a shame really, because the game (island 1) was heaps fun, you are in a stage where the second island seems fun but frustration sets in too quickly and you go nowhere, a game that relies on fun and delivers, at least the first 2 hours, after that it goes nowhere. But that set my brain in motion, or better stated it went into overdrive. As I was relaxing I looked at the new Hogwart Legacy trailer for PS5, within seconds my mind was devising all kinds of trails to make the game ‘better’, and I could not stop it. 

A game that I have not seen yet, I have not played yet and I am already trying to improve on it, 

In one part with an adaption (or DLC) that gives a setting that a group of four one in each house are linked, an idea that has links to an old WW2 movie, but the stage never left me and now it delivered something different. It seems a silly way to waste time, but my brain would not stop. My mind went on towards the stupidity of EA and their sport games. You see, I do not agree with some voices, Their packs are not gambling and I, for the life of me cannot understand why EA is not on the offensive. 

To understand this, you need to see the stage devised by Julius Caesar, I believe it was in De Bello Gallico, he stated that a soldier is in attack, in defence or awaiting response and each links to the other, as such the attack can move to defence or anticipation, defence can move to anticipation or take the offence and so on, as all three states are covered the soldier that can move between the three without pause and move from any stance to attack, that will be the winner. EA seems to be unaware of this option and seems to be between defence and anticipation only. It is a choice but it will be the stage that always and forever leads to losing. I came up with an idea to take the offence in this. Of course as all marketing costs, it might not be cheap but it beats getting slapped around by those giving voice to idiots spending $12K on packs for a $55 game, that is more than ludicrous and the media is eating it up, something they can flame and no one is asking the questions that matter, not even the legal department of EA, or at least they do it in a way no one can hear.

Even the Times gave us 3 days ago ‘YouTube stars ‘lure Fifa gamers into gambling’’ (at https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/youtube-stars-lure-fifa-gamers-into-gambling-dwk8tcx3g), a stage that beckons response but it seems that EA remains largely silent. So as we get “The company behind the Fifa football video game has been accused of using “exploitative” marketing techniques to lure children into gambling”, so where is the response and the campaign by EA? I wonder where they are? You see, loot boxes are not gambling.

Why?
To call it gambling you need to consider that you lose your money, this would only happen if you buy a loot pack and the only thing you get one card stating ‘Thank you!, but that is not the case. In my case (NHL19), I get a free pack every 8 hours, then each pack has also coins and a token, there are each month 3 packs that can be gotten with these tokens and they are three good packs. Beyond that you get non trade-able cards and the coins can be used to buy or bid for items in the auction part. When you hit a milestone (some small achievement, you also get options for packs and in some cases a specific player.

Within a month I had all 30 arena’s, all NHL home and away jerseys and in three months I also had all the NHL goalie masks and a ton of other stuff, I never spend a dollar on this. One site tells me that FIFA21 does not offer this, I am not sure about NFL21, so why not? It would solve all issues for EA. You see, people are staring blindly on the alleged gambling, but the stage of gambling is never truly properly investigated. You see when we gamble we see two options. The first is ‘play games of chance for money, but that stage has the unwritten law that you can lose and this never happens, you always get cards, common, uncommon and one rare card. The second version of gamble is ‘take risky action in the hope of a desired result’, that part too is not met, because the desired result is always the same, one rare card, several uncommon cards and the rest are all common cards. This stage is not the one we consider because the outcome is always the same. What most people forget is that in FIFA 21 (allegedly) we see “30 official leagues, over 700 clubs, and over 17,000 players”, if that is correct, there is every chance that there are 2,000 rare players, which means that any rare card has a 0.05% chance of coming out, so if you want Messi, Beckham or Ronaldo you need to get really really lucky and lets face it, every club in the world wants these three players. But that part is close to never considered, and when we go back to the adult idiot spending $12,000 on packs, that person need to get his credit score adjusted to -15000. Is there an issue? Perhaps there is and I think that EA made a few blunders on several levels, but that does not make it gambling, and as we never see anyone receiving a pack with only a thank you card, the stage of gambling is, as I personally see it never reached. 

So how did I get there? 
Well my brain will not stop thinking things through in creative ways and it is reason for another case of insomnia. I watched the trailer of the Unholy (which looks awesome) and immediately my brain went towards a remake of Stigmata (a Rupert Wainwright gem), why? I have no clue, when my brain is in this mode it needs to run its course, which is keeping me awake pondering N+1 issues all whilst N was the maximum I could contemplate. So at present I am typing this whilst I am trying to calm down my brain by listening to the Mikado (Gilbert and Sullivan). 

The creative brain can be a curse, not an unholy one, but a curse none the less. So whilst we see what is next my brain (overzealously) adapted Hogwarts legacy before seeing the final product, I considered a new version of Stigmata, I am still contemplating a backdrop for ‘How to assassinate a politician’, which at present is set in the Hague and Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. Then there is the idea I had regarding ‘Keno Diastima’, here I believe they should nearly all be new actors, no famous people there, I will not say to much because the cliffhangers 2-3 and 3-4 will be brutal, which is how it should be. 

An idea came to mind on a prequel to ‘Soylent Green’ with Chris Hemsworth in the lead (almost 2 years ago), yet here I fear that the story is just not good enough, the setting is great but I feel that it would end up being some cult movie and not a real breaking movie, a stage that precedes near perfection is also a dangerous step to make and it could backfire in a horrible way, which is why my mind remains the great dangers. I considered the idea before (2019-2020), but I never figured out the part that matter, no matter how good the prequel is, the stage needs to go beyond something nice, and Richard Fleischer did set the stage in a phenomenal way. One can say it is like buying a raincoat to warn against the rain that has been going on for weeks, the flood will drown you long before the usage of a raincoat is validated. There are other idea’s and I wrote about them before, so I want to avoid repetition, but the stage will soon come that Hollywood will look in other directions for new idea’s. Outside of the Marvel and DC range and there have been so many really good idea’s, I merely wonder why that path was not traversed before by Hollywood, Bollywood or Nollywood. And as my brain is seemingly slowing down, I end today’s article and will try to get some sleep (one can dream, can one not?)

Consider the two sidelines that are hidden between the lines and contemplate why it was done, because there might be madness in my methods, but there is also methodology in my insanity, it is merely what we aim for and whether we realise what we were aiming for in the first place.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming