Thursday, September 06, 2007

I've moved

Well, I haven't, but my blog has. Even though you, and it, are still here, I promise you it has. is what you'll need from now on. It's much the same, only greener, and you'll find everything there that you used to find here, and a little more besides. Blogger's been a great home, but I thought it was time to take the training wheels off. See you there.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I hope you feel bad

I've moved! This site is no longer being updated. Please head over to instead, and update your bookmarks. Thanks.

We all know games are evil. They twist the minds of our youths with glamorised, consequence-free violence. They cause RSI and whitefinger. They're racist, sexist and homophobic. They're ruining the environment. But now we've sunk to a new low. We're extincting stag beetles. Yahoo Asia reports that:

A rare subspecies of stag beetle found only in the Amanos Mountains of southern Turkey is now threatened with extinction as it is being exploited for sale to beetle enthusiasts in countries like Japan, a local conservationist has warned. Nazim Sonmez, of the Amanos Environmental Protection Association, said the beetle is being over-harvested owing in part to the popularity among Japanese children of "Mushiking: The King of Beetles," an arcade game in which players engage in virtual battles between beetles from all over the world. Sonmez said some Japanese passing themselves off as researchers have come to the Amanos area of Hatay Province to catch or otherwise acquire the rare and distinct beetle, which goes by the scientific name Lucanus cervus akbesianus. Locals are also involved in exploiting them to sell to foreigners, especially Japanese, at exorbitant prices amounting to as much as 1,450 lira (some 13,000 yen). They sell for as much as 40,000 yen on Japanese Internet auction sites.

Now, while I defy anyone - particularly Sega shareholders - to resist Mushiking's gladiatorial charm, it's a sobering thought that overkeen beetle-otaku could be responsible for the downfall of an entire species. And what if Mushiking is only the beginning? What if Activision licenses snail-racing? Or squirrel-fishing? What if Rogue Galaxy's Insectron Tournament has already bred a new generation jonsing for real world arthropod face-offs? We live in troubling times.

If your conscience is pricking you, say in the manner of an understandably agitated Lucanus cervus aubesians working its way into your undies, you may wish to salve it in the following ways:

- Back One Big Game, the not-for-profit game publisher looking for specifically developed games to raise charity funds.

- Do a little early Christmas shopping, for Child's Play.

- Get a solar charger for your DS/PSP. Or a hand-crank if you're feeling energetic.

- Plant a (real) tree in Second Life.

- Make sure you're signed up for Folding@Home.

And with that, you can return to pitilessly slaying Little Sisters with a wrinkle-free forehead and a song-filled heart.