Used video-games are expensive because of YouTube

I did not grow up rich. My mother did the best she could (and she certainly did an amazing job), but despite that, we were never rich enough to just buy anything we wanted. Even as a child, I knew and understood that, so I always tried my best to avoid asking my mother for anything so that she wouldn’t feel bad if she couldn’t afford to get it for me. Moreover, I never really fretted too much because I was too busy with school and always just filed anything I wanted but couldn’t get at the time in the back of my mind to get in the future when things get better and we can afford it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate a few things that would throw a monkey-wrench in my plans.

For one thing, I didn’t account for the fact that many of those things I wanted, be they books or video-games, would get discontinued and would no longer be available. I would have to find used copies of them in the future. This isn’t too bad however, because the kinds of things I wanted didn’t really matter if they were new or used, and even better, used copies should be cheap.

Later on, when I started making some disposable income, I started trying to build my collection of books and games. I scoured used-bookstores, flea-markets, and bargain-bins for them. I collected a bunch of the books I wanted, and a lot of the video-games.

Then I discovered eBay, and my options for getting the old video-games increased drastically. I now had the chance to get a lot of those games I never had the opportunity to play in my youth, and for good prices.

Sadly, this only last a few years. While the prices of old, used games were low and reasonable and properly decent, once YouTube took off and everyone and their neighbor’s mother’s dog started making let’s-play videos of everything, the demand for games skyrocketed which in turn, caused sellers to get “clever” (read opportunistic) which pushed the prices through the roof.

Add to that eBay instituting the idiotic GSP which applies absurd “shipping” costs to everything coming out of the US (you can easily expect $20-$40 fees for even a <$2 item), and now it is completely impractical and not at all feasible to buy used video-games (especially from the US). Stupid YouTube and stupid let's-players have destroyed the used video-game market. For several years, I held out hope that young people (who did not actually grow up with the old games and only know them as "retro") would eschew buying actual physical old games and consoles and instead opt for digital copies or emulation, but that doesn't seem to have affected the prices. Like with most things, once the price goes up, it stays up forever and only goes higher, it never comes back down. 😒

Disney is using Spider-man as a decoy for SEC investigation

News recently broke of Disney being investigated by the SEC for various bouts of financial fraud and crimes (they should also be charged with a wrongful-termination suit on top of that). But then immediately after that, news broke that Spider-man would be pulled from the MCU and suddenly everybody started talking about that and forgot about the SEC investigation. Gee, what a “coincidence” with the timing. 🙄

Shortly after the Spider-man news broke, more information came out (from Sony), saying that the reason Spider-man was pulled from the MCU was because Disney asked for too much from future movies. They were previously getting 5%, but now wanted 50%, so Sony had no choice but to say no.

It’s pretty obvious what’s going on. Disney purposely over-asked on Spider-man to force Sony’s hand and make them say no so that they would have to pull Spider-man from the MCU and make a big mess with that so that everybody focuses on and talks about the Spider-man debacle instead of the SEC investigation into their crimes. And it’s working. 🤦 The Spider-man news broke the same day as the SEC investigation and everybody switched to that.

This was clearly just a decoy to deflect attention from their crimes and keep Disney’s “family-friendly” image. ¬_¬ As soon as the SEC investigation is over, Disney will re-negotiate a real deal with Sony (or just drop the ask altogether, though considering how much Disney cares about money more than anything else in the world, they’ll probably use this opportunity to try to squeeze more out of Sony and up the ask anyway). Then, Spider-man will be back in the MCU in time for the next movie.

Oddly enough, this all worked out perfectly for Disney because the SEC began their investigation just after the last Spider-man movie came out, so it will still be a while before there will be another one, so Disney won’t lose much/any time with this fake news. The mouse wins again. 😒

Marvel takes pride in breaking the law

Marvel often modifies the footage they show in trailers to mislead people. For example, they like to add or remove characters from scenes. They claim they do it to avoid spoilers or to make it more exciting or whatever. They think they’re being clever, but there is a much uglier word for it: misappropria-, I mean FRAUD.

People already find it extremely aggravating, even infuriating that trailers are misleading and make movies seem better than they are (*cough*Random Hearts*cough*), but it’s much worse than just being annoying, it’s illegal. There are truth-in-advertising or false-advertising laws that prohibit this behavior. Trailers are advertisements for a product like any other, and misrepresenting something they are trying to sell violates the law.

Movie trailers have gotten away with breaking the law for decades with impunity. This needs to stop. They should not be allowed to trick people into wasting their money. 😒

Nintendo game-content guidelines policy discriminates against people with disorders

Nintendo Game Content Guidelines for Online Video Image Sharing Platforms Nintendo
Nintendo’s Sharing Guidelines

Nintendo just ended their Creator Program and released a general usage policy that applies to all. Now, everyone is allowed to publish videos that include Nintendo characters, which is nice, but unfortunately, their requirements are short-sighted and narrow-minded, and also discriminate against various people. As written, the policy states:

Q1: What types of content are acceptable under the Guidelines? What types of content are not acceptable?

A1: We encourage you to use Nintendo Game Content in videos and images that feature your creative input and commentary. For example, Let’s Play videos and video game reviews are within the scope of the Guidelines.

However, you may not simply upload or livestream an existing Nintendo video, gameplay footage without your own creative input, or a copy of content created by someone else. For example, mere copies of Nintendo promotional trailers, tournaments, music soundtracks, gameplay sequences, and art collections are outside the scope of the Guidelines.

Some of the things that they forbid make sense, like a copy of someone else’s video, and even a copy of trailers and soundtracks. Footage of a tournament on the other hand is restrictive, especially that unlike a music concert, there is no way for people to purchase a formal copy of it.

Worse, they forbid uploading gameplay footage without “your creative input and commentary”, which is short-sighted and narrow-minded, as well as discriminatory to various people.

It is short-sighted because even though it is vague and open to interpretation, you can certainly bet that Nintendo will not hesitate to attack videos that they claim are not sufficiently derivative and put the burden of proof on the creator to prove that it is.

It is narrow-minded because it does not account for what might count as creative. They say you cannot just upload gameplay footage without creative input and commentary, but gameplay (style) is creative input. For example, speed-runs are creative, as are other styles of play (e.g., playing the game backwards, 100%ing, going for minimal-score, playing with restrictions, and so on).

Worse, that conjunction is important; legally, saying and instead of or is significant because it requires both creative input and commentary, not one or the other. This is discriminatory because it essentially means that to post a video of a Nintendo game, you must include your voice. (Technically, you could probably get away with just onscreen text, but that is not usually practical, and Nintendo would probably attempt to discount such videos regardless.) Requiring a spoken commentary discriminates against people with medical conditions that prevent them from speaking, people who are shy (or have social-anxiety disorder), people with unusual voices, and such.

Legal documents are tricky, and this one definitely needs a bit of tweaking to be more fair and considerate to players.

Fold at the perforation!

I can’t stand it when perforated papers are folded near the perforation. For example, a lot of checks/cheques or other government documents often have a tendency to do this. It’s absolutely infuriating because it makes it extremely difficult to properly tear the paper at the perforation and quite easily end up tearing the whole paper badly.

Fold things at the perforation! (or at least far away from them).

Photo of paper check with bad tear at fold very near perforation
This is stupid, it will only lead to ruining the paper
Closeup of where the tear moved from the perforation to the fold in the paper
This is inevitable because the fold is too close to the perforation

But are there Picard? Are there really four?

Something has always annoyed me about a scene in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the episode “Chain of Command”, Gul Madred tortures Picard to force him to say there are five lights instead of four (a 1984 reference). He tells Picard he can be treated well. Picard asks what he has to do. Madred says to tell him how many lights there are.

Just then, the guards come to take Picard home. Before he leaves, Picard defiantly shouts “there… are… four… lights!”

That doesn’t count; he said four only because they told him he’s going home, so he had nothing to lose by saying four again. If they had not told him he’s going home, he very well might (and probably would) have said five.

Gul Madred stands in front of four lights
Gul Madred trying to break Picard

Picard breaking down
Picard is about to give in

Picard shouting defiantly
That doesn’t count ¬_¬

Google must own you to be corrected

If you see an error in Google Images, you can submit feedback to (ostensibly) have someone check it and fix it, but to do so, you need to submit far too much information, including pretty much every scrap of data that the webpage can scrape from your system. So, sorry Donna Summers, I guess you’ll just have to stay sodomized.

Google Images Errors - Donna Summers Sodomized
Google wanted too much information to correct them, so sorry Donna Summers

World’s Worst Companies

(Explanations to be added later…)

Pathologically, chronically bad companies:

  • Google
  • Rogers (plus Bell and other providers)
  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Valve
  • PayPal and eBay
  • RCA (Really Crappy Appliances)
  • EA, Ubisoft, Nintendo (and other big game publishers)
  • Disney
  • Royal Bank
  • Sony

Companies that are bad for only one or two reasons, or for personal beefs:

  • SlySoft
  • Intel
  • Piriform
  • United
  • Rexall Pharmaplus

Remember When that Channel was About…?

It is really annoying when television channels “evolve” to be something other than what they are supposed to be. It is one thing for a generic station to change, but many channels are subject-specific, so changing doesn’t make any sense. In fact when a subject-specific channel changes its subject, it renders the channel’s name meaningless, yet they almost never change their names to reflect their new material. Here’s a few examples:

ChannelFormer SubjectCurrent Subject
BravoHigh culture programs like operas and Inside the Actor’s StudioInane reality shows like Real Housewives of… Pretty Much Everywhere
TLCEducational programs like OperationInane reality shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Sister Wives, 19 Kids and Counting, Say Yes to the Dress, Rich Bride-Poor Bride, Breaking Amish, Storage Wars, Little People Big-World, and so on
Discovery ChannelEducational programs like Inventions that Shook the World , Curiosity, Cash Cab, etc.Inane reality shows like Deadliest Catch, Gold Rush Alaska, Moonshiners, American Loggers, Finding Bigfoot, Amish Mafia, etc.
History ChannelEducational programs about history like Museum SecretsInane reality shows like Swamp People and Ice Road Truckers, and inane non-history (and non-reality ¬_¬) shows like Ancient Aliens
SpaceScience-fiction, horror, and fantasy showsAnything that is even slightly related even indirectly to the appropriate subject matter like the crime-drama Castle simply because it stars Nathan Fillion who was in one sci-fi show for a few episodes before it was cancelled

It looks like the worst offender is The Learning Channel. It has gone from being a specifically educational channel to a pointless reality-show channel with absolutely no educational content whatsoever anymore. 😒

110%

For the past while now, I’ve been hearing a lot of people on television nagging about when someone quotes the line about giving 110% or something similar. It’s happened numerous times in the past year or so where someone would nitpick that “more than 100% is by definition impossible”.

This is absurd. If amounts more than 100% were impossible, then how does tax work? If an item is $10, but tax is 20%, you have to pay 120% of the item’s price, or $12. Is it impossible to pay more than 100% of the price for the item? The government certainly doesn’t think so.

Likewise, if there are twice as many sales as last year, then sales are up 100%, to 200% of what they were last year. Companies regularly report sales higher than 100%. Are they performing magic? Of course not.

Obviously amounts higher than 100% are indeed possible, so what are people nagging about? One explanation could be that tangible, physical objects are limited. For example, if you have 10 boxes, then you can give no more than 100% of them away. How could you give away 150%? Simple: debt. You give all 10, and owe five more. Another explanation is that you can only do up to 100% of your ability and not beyond that. However even that is not a valid reason to complain because you can indeed give more than all of your ability sometimes; just ask anyone who got a surge of adrenaline and performed the impossible (like the classic example of the parent lifting a car off of their child or running faster than they ever have).

Granted, it can end up turning into an argument about semantics, but nagging that more than 100% is impossible is pedantic at best and generally foolish.