Default Tester

Help people get better with video games. Donate to Child's Play for karma Achievements.

Join Default Tester and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Oh crap sorry! Extra Credits! Along with Heathcliff, I dedicate this story to the following people, in no particular order:

Ada Lovelace

Kurt Vonnegut

Bill Gates

Steve Jobs

Grace Hopper

Ray Kurzweil

Gabe Newell

Barack Obama

Michelle Obama

The Fam

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Issue: People: Carlsbad

A medium time ago I tested for one of the old guard companies. My hair was a nappy brier patch imitating dreadlocks that I hid it under a big grey wool cap. After a while people began to refer to me as "Black in the hat," because I wore the hat everyday as I couldn't afford to get my hair fixed at the time.  But I didn't mind the Dr. Seuss reference much because most people couldn't pronounce my real name correctly anyway.

I got a callback once to test one of those games about the lives of basketball players. You could dress them up and put regular basketball player stuff in their house like gold toilets and strippers. You could also play basketball with them and track their stats over the course of a season. In the testing bay I sat with a group of testers I had worked with previously.

The group was composed of a short black lesbian girl that ran a hip hop radio station, a skinny white guy that barely spoke but was regarded as the best video game basketball player on the team, a Mexican kid that laughed a lot and listened to San Diego gangster rap exclusively, a down to earth guy from New York that spoke his mind no matter who was in front of him, and a kid from Carlsbad that everybody called Carlsbad.

At lunch we would grab fast food together or drive around the area smoking herbal essence. During the ride we mostly argued among each other about what hip hop is and where it is going, spit horrible freestyle raps, or talked a lot of shit. But we didn't make much of the shit talking as we were all passionate about music, and sometimes after seven days straight of crunchtime hours it felt good to yell at somebody about something you care about instead of getting yelled at over things you could care less about.

Carlsbad was a skinny white kid that wore thin rim glasses and talked the smack of a guy three times his size, to guys three times his size. After work we played a lot of online FPS's together. He was the kid that would spam and curse during matches, and if someone responded to the bait he was a master at finding the button that would send them ballistic. The group would end up focusing on him because of stuff he said. One time he and I got into it while we were arguing the legacy of Eminem.

He believed Eminem to be the undisputed greatest rapper to ever walk the earth, I disagreed with him, but admitted that he is definitely in the running. In response he said, "Well if Eminem was a nigga you would say the same thing." Crickets, I told the driver to stop the car because I was going to put hands on him. I felt the need to defend the honor of my race against that word.

So we stopped in a random Cul de sac and got out. Everyone stood in a semi around he and I, he looked scared and a bit sad, but I was so angry I didn't care what he felt, I only cared about how he made me feel. New York broke the silence by asking me a question, he asked "Is he right?"

I turned to look at him, he had a slight smile on his face. I started thinking about his question and came to the conclusion that Carlsbad was right, If Eminem was black he would either not be as popular as he is, or his skill plus his race might make him the unquestioned king of rap. The word nigga tripped me up, I didn't even consider the question he posed after hearing it.

After that I dropped my guard and started laughing, Carlsbad started laughing, then everybody started laughing and talking shit again. From then on New York and I looked after Carlsbad when people gave him shit, we knew he was a smart dude and meant well, he just didn't consider how other people would feel about the things he said because he didn't really think words were a big deal anymore, even though to most people they are.

Carlsbad wanted to marry his girlfriend but her parents couldn't stand him. His own parents wanted him out of their house because he was always in trouble and they didn't see his life going anywhere. He caught a couple cases for drug possession, the first time for a bag with two mushroom caps he was carrying at a party, and the next time for a marijuana roach in his cars glove box.

His parole required him to be employed, but he couldn't explain to the parole officer how testing works, you work for a couple months, then you are off, and if they liked you they call you back. The judge had a hard time believing that was how it worked as well, he thought Carlsbad just got fired. So the judge sentenced him to prison to teach him a lesson in commitment, because you can't get fired from prison.

Carlsbad was terrified of prison, he talked a good game, but understood that he wasn't built for that life, and we knew he wasn't either. One night after we had finished an outdoor sniper map, he said "I can't take this anymore dude, I'm taking off, I love you bruh take it easy." I gave him shit for saying he loved me before I peace'd out, I called it gay.

I learned later that after he logged off he went into his garage, closed all the doors, ran a hose from his muffler to the inside of his car through the window, got in the car, and turned over the engine. A few weeks later our staffing representative called to tell me he committed suicide, and to ask if I was interested in doing a TRC pass against the newest titles alpha build.

He would always ask me to come over to hang out, but he was all the way up north and I would complain about gas money, honestly he still annoyed me a little bit in person, and it was just easier to deal with him online. I don't play the same game we played anymore.

If you have time head over to the online profile "Airizzle" and say hi to Carlsbad. I love you too cracker jack, sleep well.

Protoculture Mixtape v.5

Friday, November 18, 2011

Issue: People: Jolly Roger

Issue Summary:

Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The people who engage in these acts are called pirates. The term has been extended to include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other bodies of water on a shore. Recently it has been extended to include crimes committed against persons travelling on the same vessel as the perpetrator.

Privateering is a private person or ship authorized by a government to attack foreign ships during wartime, a cost effective method used to mobilize offensives without having to spend public money or commit federal officers. But it should be noted that privateering is not piracy, as privateering is legally authorized by national governments.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as H.R. 3261, is a bill introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011. The bill is designed to help U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders fight online piracy of intellectual property.

Intellectual property (IP) is a term referring to creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized. IP protects intangible assets such as musical, literary and artistic works; discoveries, inventions, words, phrases, symbols, and designs.

Steps to Reproduce: 

The internet is a system of interconnected computer networks or a series of tubes that use a standard internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to connect millions of public, private, academic, business, and government networks. This network has grown to a global scope, linked by an ever growing number of electronic, wireless, and optical devices.

This invention has become the largest advancement in human intercommunication ever, a dynamic information and commerce database accessible to anyone at anytime, and integrated into almost every facet of an average persons waking life.

Expected Results:

The internet gave birth and prosperity to a new element called criminals. Pornographers, pedophiles, thieves, and pirates quickly learned how to profit off of the internet, because the internet can't tell who is who.

QA Observations:

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as H.R. 3261 will be the straw that broke the camels back. The last 30 years of life on this planet have been relatively quiet as far as people caring about things has been concerned, but initiated maintenance mode when a silver haired bond villain made a website that told everybody what the government was doing.

It started with the events in Tunisia, and slowly spread across the rest of the world. Sometimes it's peaceful  sometimes it angry, sometimes its gibberish, but the message is always the same, someone is tired of having to put up with someone else's shit, it got old.

The bill seems like the right thing to do, people are stealing, they shouldn't, and the people that make the stuff should get paid. But allowing american industry to handle the policing will prove to be the dumbest idea in the history of American government, which is a hard fought title.

The signs are hard to miss, they had the keys to the auto industry and crashed the car, had keys to the house and crashed the house. And will no doubt 404 the internet the second they get the keys. The entertainment industry cannot be responsible enough to not take advantage of this opportunity.

How long will it be till they realize they can use this bill to muscle out foreign competition on trumped up copyright charges? And would the American government stop them? Its bringing the money back to the states, perhaps this is the bailout.

This will also not change anything. salty web crawlers such as myself consider the worst things they have seen the tip of the iceberg. This bill will push regular everyday people into the deep web, and when they see it, and realize it is a biblical plane of hell bereft of humanity they will very much regret forcing people to go there to jack off.

Because real talk, people will find a way to steal entertainment and jack off as we have been doing way before the internet made it way easier to not get caught, and most of the people pushing this bill masturbate to everything they say they hate, a fact proven every year like clockwork.

Yeah, the world has been waiting for America to fuck up something everyone needs. And this is it, America invented the internet, and the world adopted it. But when America takes away the internet its not only taking it away from its own citizens, its taking it away from the whole world. And we do not have the right to make that choice for everybody, this will finally make us Rome, we graduated.

Don't do this guys, we are where Pandora and a hundred million leaders were before, and this bill may seem like a small thing, one of many issues that pass through the aisle only to get killed in the house, but think about this, even acting as if we have the power to make this call is all it takes to get people worried, proposing it will get them talking, passing it will get them to our door.

The hood has a saying, anybody can get it at anytime. We are not who we think we are, we are not special, we are not unique, we are just in charge right now. QA suggests The United States set the financial and litigious portion of this issue aside, and instead focus on what is best for the people

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Issue: Games: Snitchin Ass Randy

[Diatribes like this only help make everything worse. Find a way to do it honest or tighten up Mr. former EA artist, Mr. Sour grizzapes, fucking peter pan. I wonder what they thought about you? Didn't The Wire teach you anything? All you have managed to do is let the truth about your workplace out, get ready for your reward, the Randy treatment. Trust me, it's no fun.]

Hi everyone,

I would think myself to be part of some noble cause, like the original EA Spouse trying to save her husband from a hellish work environment at EA. That had a happy ending, however, with tons of publicity and a total change of overtime wages and salaries and how they are handled within the company. I do not expect a happy ending, so I’ll be personal and selfish, and this is just for me. So just call me EA Louse.

I found out recently that I will be dismissed from Bioware Mythic during the next round of layoffs EA coming this November. I’m sick of seeing EA outsource their art and find every excuse to get rid of us and still not achieve anything. Mythic is dying, and its not us who killed him but we’re taking the fall. But if you want to know what really went down with Warhammer, I’ll tell you right now.

First, the project leaders did not know what they were doing. Jeff Hickman was the saddest excuse for a producer I’ve seen. All he did was drink the Koolaid and suck up to the right people. He was the perfect yes-man, and this reached down to almost all managers.

My boss who will not be named, again and again would tell us that Rob Denton, one of the original owners, said we should “do this” and “do that” and we would say “omg it makes NO sense, please explain A, B, and C to him. “And then he’d come back and tell us, after we thought he had gone to talk with him,” No, Rob wants in this way. Jeff agrees, this is what we’re going to do. Understood? ” They never actually talked back to Rob. We didn’t talk back to them.

Rob said jump, our leaders said, “How high?! And on who?” So we shut up and did what we were told, by people too afraid to tackle real problems.

It is a culture of fear, especially since Mark Jacobs was fired. Oh, he left voluntarily you say? No, he was fired, and everything placed on his shoulders by those closest to him so they could divide his salary and annual bonus. 

I bet Rob is enjoying that sweet new Maserati he bought after leaving the knife in his partner of 15 years.
Want to know more? Keep reading. I can keep ranting.

Rob was never there during the development of Warhammer. We always joked about when his next weekly holiday was coming. (Answer? Next week!) Mark was not available, was way too head down trying to design his own contributions or whatever. Rob always handled things. We were told NOT to speak with Mark in person, never, or else we would be explaining to Rob.

The coup began long before Warhammer, and Jacobs did not even realize it. And yet, this is common gossip in the company, and nobody in this industry seems to get it. So get it! Rob was responsible for the entire project, then blamed Mark when things went wrong.

Ah, but could not do it alone. No, he needed Jeff Hickman, promoted from customer service to produce the Warhammer project. Wait, let me let you have that sink in. The man running customer service, on the theory that the management of a large team of CSRs qualified him to run a game development project, was put in charge of a $50 million project with no previous experience.

And he needed Eugene Evans, the man who brought you the almost non-existent marketing campaign behind Warhammer. We could not even believe how bad they fucked up the marketing campaign. There was almost none. We slaved for years, and this is how we were rewarded for it by Eugene and the people of EA? Being told that Warhammer was not “worth” a lot of money spent on it? LOL. Now he’s in charge of Bioware Mythic.

Oh yeah, and he needed Paul Barnett. You know him as the crazy British dude that appears in random videos at EA to promote his latest bullshittery. We know him as the crazy British dude who we have no idea of how he still has a job.

This man was supposed to be the savior of Warhammer’s vision and design. Now all he can do is promote his strange ideas about his little secret project web Ultima game that’s been almost universally criticized by all of us and focus groups. What’s that? You didn”t know Paul loves one of those old Ultima games sooooo much he’s making a literal copy of it for Facebook? Well, the cats outta the bag. Too bad it sucks ass.

So what do they all have in common? All of them failed, badly, in Warhammer, and each of them is in a position of authority in the new company, while the rest of us are facing pink slips. How do they sleep at night? They spin aruond, blame everything on Mark, divide his old salary between them, and never speak about it again. Oh, and they fuck us little guys as well.

Almost makes me congratulate them for having the balls, but after watching them work, it’s obvious they don’t have any. They’re cowards running scared trying to hide under the wing of Bioware, now that Rob has become a general manager of EA.

And Bioware? Don’t make me laugh. They’ve spent more money making the Old Republic than James Cameron spent on Avatar. Shit you not. More than $ 300 million! Can you believe that? And you know what they’re most proud of? This is the kicker. They are most proud of the sound. No seriously. Something like a 20Gig installation, and most of it is voiceover work.

That’s the best they have. The rest of the game is a joke. EA knows it and so does George Lucas,they’re panicking , and so most of Mythic has already been cannibalized to work in Austin on it because they can’t keep pushing back launch.

Old Republic will be one of the greatest failures in the history of MMOs from EA. Probably at the level of the Sims Online. We all know it too ……

Anyway, back to Warhammer. We shouldn’t have released when we did, everyone knows it. The game wasn’t done, but EA gave us a deadline and threatened the leaders of Mythic with pink slips. We slipped so many times, it had to go out.

We sold mor ethan a million boxes, and only had 300k subs a month later. Going down every since. It’s “stable” now, but guess what? Even Dark Age and Ultima have more subs than we have. How great is that?

Games made almost a decade ago make more money than our biggest project. So there it is. Rewarding the incompetent. Firing the competent. I say it anonymously so I can keep my next few paychecks coming.
So I’m a louse.

A big fat EA louse. Want some more questions answered? Ask away.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Issue: People: Nom De Plume

Today is a great day because I posthumously won an argument. The argument took place around five years ago and concerned women, specifically lady writers. Back then I played that one sword and sorcery MMO along with everybody else and ran with a crew of misfits.

We communicated by yelling into microphones about dots and meet times, but mostly we yelled about any game that wasn't the one we were playing. And that was ok because we were all passionate about games, and vented our frustrations to each other so we wouldn't drive our significant others crazy because they enjoyed games as well, but found the way we cared about them a bit obsessive. Ey, to each their own.

My favorite sparring partner was a lady Mage. She had the writing bug just like me, so while other people were yelling about graphics and AOE radius we were yelling about game storytelling and game journalism. It got to the point we were insta-muted by the team whenever a game was reviewed, which suited us just fine because we both thought our opinions shit didn't stink.

We also enjoyed pulling cards, the only problem being the most powerful cards in our decks canceled each other out. I had the black card, as in if I found myself on the losing end of an argument I would say, "well that is because (Game reviewer, Company, Forum post, Online player/Community, Subway sandwich artist) don't know shit about the black experience!"

And that volley was always returned with, "Really? Cry me a river Rodney King! Do you have any idea what it is like being a girl gamer? How much shit we take on a daily basis? Answer: No you don't, so how about you shut your damn black ass pity party mouth."  

We frequently found ourselves in this stalemate, and agreed to find out who was most marginalized once and for all by adding up all the times I got called a nigger and all of the times she got called a cunt, with fag being 0.5 points as we were both called that as well on a regular basis.

The rules, voice communication response only allowed through questions and only initiate statements pertinent to the game being played, no instigation to pad scores, and the highest number declared winner.

The numbers climbed so high so fast we both got bummed out and stopped playing. Although at the time of stoppage my score was higher, I see that as an off the books win. As a result of the competition we both decided to only type to strangers, and only voice communicate with people on our friends list. Just easier that way.

On the topic of women in gaming journalism her patron saint was a blogger named pixelvixen707. She held pixelvixen high due to her uncompromising and progressive insights on the female experience in gaming. At first I couldn't stand pixel vixens style, I thought she was pandering, chose style elements and angles that sucked, and ripped off  Leigh Alexander without the courtesy of a reach around, which was a combo attack.

The Mage hated Leigh Alaxander more for her visibility than her writing. She believed any chick writers that wanted to be seen were only seeking the approval they never got from their fathers, and were using lonely gamer guys for a free meal. But I came around to pixelvixens prose, and was forced to begrudgingly admit that she was the best all around game writer at the time, female or not.

Well cut to today and guess what I find while poking around Kotaku. Hey Mage, it's a dude, pixelvixen is a dude. Don't know if it's a black dude or not, which would be better, but knowing he was a dude writing under a pen name is good enough for now. How does that feel? I mean it's the same empowering words, but.. it's... a... Dude. I am walking on sunshine, where is your god now? Haven't talked to you in a while, hope everything is going well. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Issue: Games: The Big TV

A short time ago I pissed my lady off. My rig was getting kind of long in the tooth so I suggested to her that I upgrade and use the leftover parts to build her a rig that I would attach to the big TV in the living room. She asked how much all of it would cost, I said "Shouldn't be too much, I'll get all bargain bin stuff."

I lost it in the store and came back from Fry's that day with Win 7 Ult 64-bit, an i7 cpu, a 1920 x 1080 display, a GTS card that renders dragon lint x1000, and a few other baubles totaling to an amount that I cannot repeat for fear of my life.

I was expecting her to be gone when I got back, and my plan was to install everything, hide the boxes, set her comp up, then play Crysis 2 on ultra high spec until she saw the bank statement. But she was still puttering around the house when I walked in with two armfuls of epic loot and a shit eating grin that instantly morphed into "aww shit" frown. Like I said, she was pissed.

After a while she came to appreciate having access to the internet in place of regular television. And I fell into the pit of sole ownership of a computer I loved. I treat it like the one ring, no one can use it. I still disconnect my R.A.T. 3 and stow it in my bag whenever I leave the house.

She spends her bandwidth watching internet shows, surfing the net, or playing flash games for fun. Which kills me inside because PC gaming is about spending a week optimizing and updating your rig, launching the game, seeing a jaggy or single frame rate stutter, closing the game, and spending the rest of the day in bios trying to turn 3.20gh to 3.80gh without setting the computer on fire. Practice? I'm talkin' bout the game.

When my butt falls asleep I sit on the couch and watch her surf. A couple days ago she spent eight straight hours watching you tube submittions for a dance contest thrown by a South Korean pop group called 2NE1.

I had no idea what 2NE1 was, or how to pronounce it. But I ended up getting sucked into the drama after watching all of these regular people give heartbreaking testimonials about where they came from and how much they want to win if only to meet the group the idolize. I ended up nodding my head every time a new video started.

To win the contestants had to mimic a dance routine from one of 2NE1's videos. They were amazing, we must have watched thirty of them that night, but we both agreed that two crews from the same Vietnam dance studio were shoo ins to win.

I went with St. 319 because they had heart, swagger, and a street style that I enjoy, and Lyly went with L.Y.N.T, arguing that they were the most well rounded and polished group. Lyly's squad ended up winning the contest. But I still consider St. 319 the peoples champ. A while after watching the competition I realized that we had not watched traditional television since the big TV became a computer. TV had its milkshake drunk.

The 15 minutes of fame has gone open source, because fame is an internet connection away now. Telling a kid you used to run home to watch a television show at a set time because if you didn't, well you just missed it, will get you laughed at. It's in the pile with beepers and pay phones and mix tapes. Maybe everything is a mixtape now, which dosen't sound so bad, even though I still miss sitting there for hours in my room making an actual mixtape.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Issue: People: The Holodeck

"True 3d" displays use laser plasma technology to make green pictures float in a box. Quantum Levitation allows college students that are too smart for their own good to take Back to the Future scene recreation to the next level. Smartphones are pretty much tricorders these days, they can tell you where you are, whats around you, and who is with you.

Science fiction told me that advancement would be different. In movies and books all of this stuff was just there, integrated into the everyday life of robot detectives and dystopian governments as if one day the world woke up and decided to innovate at the same time. The only person to really approach the topic is a weird old guy named Ray Kurzweil, he spends most days talking about something called the singularity.

The technological singularity refers to the emergence of robot intelligence by humans playing around with tech. He says that soon there is going to be a sort of Cambrian explosion for technology, where all types of wild shit will be created, and it might be cool or it might screw over the human race, it's hard to say what will happen because the created intelligence will operate beyond the current human minds level of comprehension.

Science people can't stand the dude, they agree that things will be changing, but not all at the same time. They stand on the argument that nobody really gives a piss about tech these days, pointing to the fact that the American space program is no more, and they openly wonder where are all of these geniuses are going to come from, seeing as the average kid cares about Ronnie and Sammi's latest breakup, and not faster than light travel.

I dunno, I think it is happening right now, and for every 10,000 kids that only care about learning how to dougie there is one that only cares about learning how to extrapolate empirical data from moon rocks. Which is fine, because one day the kid that learned how to dougie and the kid that learned how to do science will find a reason to combine their love of adventure and knowledge, and get everybody to the next step. Because that is how we have gotten so far in the first place, smart guy builds it, brave guy pilots it.

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