Why You Should Vote On Thursday, May 5th

I’m not arrogant enough to tell you how you should vote in the upcoming referendum on the Alternative Vote – if you’ve managed to find your way here, then you’re more than likely an intelligent, autonomous human being, capable of making decisions based on the information that has been presented to you. Good luck with that.

What I am arrogant enough to tell you though, is that whatever your political persuasion, whether you lean towards Yes or No, whether you’re one of the many Don’t Knows or the many more Don’t Cares, it is of the utmost importance that on Thursday, you scrabble free from whichever hole you find safest, head to your local polling station and put an X in a box.

This referendum is the first time in a very long time that we, the good, bad and average people of this country have been given a chance to have our say on how we should elect our leaders. In the scheme of things, it really doesn’t get any bigger than this. We may not have been given the best two options out there, but the important thing is, we HAVE been given options. It’s a sad state of affairs when turn out in some areas is expected to be as low as 15%, because this referendum could and should have focused on the political apathy that’s blighting this country.

People are disenfranchised not just with the political system, not just with the political “elite” but with the whole concept of politics. The word has taken on such monumentally negative connotations in recent years that it’s almost become an insult. “Urgh, what are you? A politician?” That negativity has spread, festered and become an attitude of indifference. Not an election goes by where we don’t here the bemoaning cry of “makes no difference what I vote, they’re all the same”.

Except this time, they’re not. This time, you have a choice between two radically different views of how governments should be elected. That means that your vote could have a very real effect on the outcome of the referendum. If you decide to stay in on Thursday, then you’re wasting a chance to make your voice heard, to actually stand up and be counted.

I’m not arrogant enough to tell you how you should vote on Thursday, because that’s a personal decision. Weigh up the facts, do some research, decide for yourself what you think is the best way forward for this country. Because that’s what this referendum is, it’s a turning point, a chance for everyone in the country to have some effect over their future. You can make a difference, your vote does matter, so get out there and use it.


Words what I has wrote

Apparently, grammar and post titles just do not mix. Who’da thunk it? Another depressingly quick post, although you can expect something altogether more outrageous come the weekend.

I’ve finished my TEFL Online course, and sit with baited breath by the letterbox each day, praying that my certificates drop and I can use them for… something. I’m also now certified at doings grammar good, thanks to a course what taughted me tenses and nouns and tranzertive verbs. Ha, see what I did there?

For those of you desperate to read a more something that took me a bit longer to write than this, then look no further than the following links:

First, there’s a review of Gray Matter for Brash Games. Which is here.

Then there’s a review of Bulletstorm, also for Brash Games, which is here.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed posting the links to my blog.

I really, really promise that I’m going to write something larger and more better-er over the weekend. Probably about the AV or the IPL. Or some other, third initialism.


Saturday, saturday, saaaaaturday

Just a quick round up of some internet words from this week.

There’s the final part of my four part series on why videogames haven’t grown up yet over on Den of Geek. You can read that here.

Then there’s my review of The Godless Boys by Naomi Wood, you can read that here.

Finally there’s My Life In Books on Libri Populus. You can read that, wait for it, here.

In the not too distant future, you can expect words about Bulletstorm (guns, men, dick), Iain Banks (wasps, flies, dogs), Grey Matter (not,played,yet) and another book review.

I’m also writing another book, or at least trying to. About 13000 words into a sort of first draft.

Busy fucking bees.


Thursday, bloody Thursday

Last night we finished up the final part of our D&D campaign, which culminated in four intrepid heroes being fired out of a giant, exploding heart, landing in different parts of the world, covered in gore and unpleasantness. I was pleased with how everything went, especially the final set piece that saw the adventuring party travelling through the inner workings of the giant heart, slicing through sphincter doors, fighting pus-filled organ bags and wading through ankle deep viscera. Charming.

Next week, we’re taking our first steps into Deathwatch, a Warhammer 40,000 RPG, which I’m quietly excited about. Partly because it means I get to use my Space Marine voice, and partly because it means someone else is DMing, so I’ve got no prep work to do. Yay! It’s also the first time any of us will have played a none d20 system game, so it’s going to be a new experience. And those are good, right?

The second part of my series, Why Videogames Haven’t Grown Up Yet, went up over at Den of Geek today. It’s about drugs. Apparently drugs aren’t as popular as sex. Who know? You can read it here.

You can also read my review of Simon Brett’s Bones Under The Beach Hut, which is a terrible, terrible book. That’s here.


Kinecting The Dots

Hurrah for terrible puns!

Last night I had my first sustained “go” “on” Microsoft’s Kinect. It’s quite good, isn’t it?

I mean, from a technological point of view, the stuff that it can do is definitely a step in the right direction for motion control. The problem is, at the moment, that technology is being utilised for casual party games. Don’t get me wrong, the casual party games are all a lot of fun, and for the casual party situation I found myself in last night, they were more than adequate. The real test for Kinect is going to come when we start seeing titles with some real meat on their bones though.

When you’ve got a few beers in you and, to all intents and purposes, you’re just mucking about with some friends, then issues about lag and confusion over who’s who don’t really matter. It’s casual. It’s a party. If you’re playing on your own and the hardware fails through no fault of your own and you lose an hours worth of progress through a difficult game, that’s when things get annoying.

To summarise – so far, so good, but I’m yet to be amazed, and I like to be amazed.


Lax? Me?

This time, I really am going to try and update this blog as often as possible, even if it’s just telling you what I’ve been up to and posting up some links. Honest.

This week, I was accused of plagiarism for the first time, which I think counts as a milestone in any aspiring writer’s career. It wasn’t true, obviously, but it was still a bit of a kick in the chest that someone thought I would steal their words. I don’t want to get into detail, and I’m pretty sure it’s sorted out, but it’s still a bit of a shock to be accused of something that you didn’t, and would never, do.

Still, it’s all another step towards being a grown up I suppose.

Speaking of being a grown up, I sort of lost my job last week. At the very least I’ve had my wages halved, which is certainly going to be a struggle, but will also give me much more time to do the writings, like I am doing here. Hopefully I can start to pick up some more freelance work, but we’ll have to wait and see. The future doesn’t look very bright in Hull at the moment, and I think me and the little lady might be considering moving further south in the not too distant future.

The fact of the matter is, I can see Hull really falling behind with the new wave of cuts our Tory overloads are ushering in. The council is already shedding jobs, money for schools is being cut and, much as anyone is loathe to admit it, the south-east bias is still remarkably strong in this country .

It’s a shame, because for all of its faults, where I live is cheap and pleasant. I know the butcher, I know the people in the bakery and the deli, it’s a little community and I really like living here. And it’s cheap. Did I mention that? God is it cheap.

Anyway, I might have something exciting to say in the future, but I might not. Until then.


Books and Words and Things

This weekend, I wrote the first book review I’ve ever written. If you’d like to, you can go and read it here, it’s of the really rather wonderful Love Is A Mix Tape. I say it’s the first, but that’s a little disingenuous, because I wrote one when I was in year eight at secondary school as well. That was a review of Michael Crichton’s second Jurassic Park book, The Lost World. ┬áIt was part review, part suggestion of what I’d like to see in the inevitable Lost World movie. I don’t remember many of the specifics, save for that I cast Brad Pitt as a character, so I could see him get eaten by dinosaurs.

I’m not entirely sure why I never got into writing about books, considering they’re a passion above and beyond anything I feel for videogames. Maybe I was afraid of spoiling the relationship I have with the printed word, cheapening it somehow by spilling my thoughts out for other people to read and disagree with. Having said that, I really enjoyed writing the review, and intend to do lots more.

What I also intend to do is write a children’s science fiction novel and get my dear sweet friend Joe to pull his finger out and make some comics with me.

Oh, you can also read some more of my stuff on Den of Geek here. It’s about games and what not. Just don’t tell me that I ‘forgot’ about Skyrim. I didn’t forget about Skyrim, I just didn’t write about it because I didn’t think it deserved a place on the list. So there.