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The Needs of the Few, or the One

 


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I've been incredibly critical of the Syfy channel lately on twitter. Mostly, I'm pissed that they cancelled a show I watch; I'm the first to admit that. However, it's not the only reason for my ire. Hell, it's not even the reason that has me motivated most. You see, it's not really rage that makes me critical. It's disappointment.


 When the Sci-Fi channel became the Syfy channel many of the more diehard fans of the sci-fi genre predicted a spiral of decline and decay that would eventually lead to this "new hip brand" being the death of the channel. From their perspective, and maybe from mine now that I've seen it, that's exactly what has happened.


 The channel shows more cheesy horror and wrestling than sci-fi. They seem to care more about them than their flagship shows and the viewers they represent. The truth is that's exactly right, but the reasons should be obvious to anyone who's ever worked on a creative endeavor as their paying job: It's about the money. Their flagship shows aren't bringing in the viewers, but these movies and the wrestling, they do.


 How can you fix that? I mean, if you're a diehard sci-fi fan looking for some place to see new shows like Stargate and to see reruns of your old favorite shows like Firefly, where do you go? How can you create a demand big enough to take your sci-fi channel back from the "greedy clutches of Syfy"? Read more»

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On Father's Day, Obama Urges Dads To Swap Video Games for Books

On Father's Day, Obama Urges Dads To Swap Video Games for Books -

Repeating a theme that he frequently touched upon during his 2008 election campaign, President Barack Obama has once again referenced video games as a metaphor for academic underachievement.

In a Father's Day message published in Parade, Obama writes:

We need to set limits and expectations. We need to replace that video game with a book and make sure that homework gets done. We need to say to our daughters, Don’t ever let images on TV tell you what you are worth, because I expect you to dream without limit and reach for your goals. We need to tell our sons, Those songs on the radio may glorify violence, but in our house, we find glory in achievement, self-respect, and hard work.

Interestingly, the Parade feature is Obama's third mention of video games in the last 10 days. On June 11th he told an audience in Wisconsin:

Even with the good schools, we've got to pick up the pace, because the world has gotten competitive. The Chinese, the Indians, they're coming at us and they're coming at us hard, and they're hungry, and they're really buckling down.

And they watch - their kids watch a lot less TV than our kids do, play a lot fewer video games, they're in the classroom a lot longer.

Last Monday the President mentioned games during a speech to the American Medical Association in Chicago:

[Preventive care] starts with each of us taking more responsibility for our health and the health of our children. It means quitting smoking... It means going for a run or hitting the gym, and raising our children to step away from the video games and spend more time playing outside.

[Game Politics]

I'm pretty big fan of Obama. I like what he's done so far and - generally speaking - I agree with his message, but his derogatory comments about video games are getting worse. On top of that, they're getting less accurate. Before it was "We gotta get kids to stop playing games and get outside" and you know -- that's not a bad thing. We could all benefit from more active lifestyles, right? But now he's saying replace video games with books.

Sounds noble right? I mean, surely a book will teach you more than a video game ever did? Video games are just distractions after all, there's nothing really intellectual or literary in them for you to see, is there?

Is there? Read more»

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