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Arcade in the Sky Blog: November 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nintendo VS Greenpeace

I am a very mild mannered man. I have never been known to get angry, and I'm certainly no James Rolfe. There are things that occasionally grind my gears.

Case in point. Gamasutra reported today that Greenpeace gave Nintendo a zero score in greenness. Essentially they declared Nintendo the worst in the world of home electronics in terms of recycling and use of toxic chemicals. I am a lover of Nintendo it's true, but I'm not above reprehending them for doing something irresponsible. What raises my ire is the way they judged Nintendo. If you look up the PDF on their website the cite the reasons for their scores as "no policy" or "no information". There are links embedded in the PDF that claim to have "more information", however they all point to the same place-the FAQ on Nintendo.com.

Did they do any research for this report at all? Did they just read the FAQ on Nintendo.com and decide to write a slanderous report about them because they didn't like what they read? Apparently Nintendo doesn't get to decide what information belongs on their own FAQ page-they need Greenpeace to do that for them.

Who the hell died and made them god?

Another thing they criticize Nintendo for is not having a takeback or recycling policy for their products. Hello, who would throw away a Nintendo? Weren't we all just trampling each other on Black Friday to get them? Not for nothing, but my Nintendo from twenty years ago is still in working condition and get used regularly.

The people at Greenpeace are a bunch of the worst environmentalist whackos that make Al Gore look like a villain from Captain Planet. They give decent eco-friendly citizens a bad name.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune

I've uploaded another "How to Draw" video to Youtube. It's weird, I get a lot of mean and angry feedback when I post my video, but when I do my workshops in person, I get nothing but praise.

I guess it's easier to criticize someone when you're anonymous. I have a think skin, however, and the comments don't bother me. I know there are a few people out there who will learn something and appreciate what I'm doing. I remember how frustrating it was for me to learn how to draw, and I'd like to make it easier for the next generation.

Line of Motion

Step by step
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Sailor Moon S-Super Famicom

Saturday night I found myself hosting several guests at my house. The ticket apparently called for Gin and Guitar Hero III, which I was happy to condone.

At the moment in question, however, I had my old Super Nintendo hooked up, as I was playing my latest prize, a Super Scope, which I had gotten two weeks prior at the vgexpo.

As it turned out, one of the party-goers was a wizard with the Super Scope, and put on quite a show of Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge ( game that has nothing to do with Falco, Starfox, Mortal Kombat, Captain Falcon, or F-zero).

After the show-just as a joke- I popped in another of my treasures, Sailor Moon S, a Japanese import only Sailor Moon game. This one is a clone of Street Fighter II, but with all girls in sailor uniforms. To my surprise, the drunken jocks asked me to fetch the other controller, and soon a full-scale tournament was on. They must have spent more than an hour going over each of the Sailor Senshi and perfecting their special moves and combos.

I was on site to provide translations, but none were needed. The idiom of the game was known to all. I just sat back and marveled on the oddity of the scenario, wondering how much of a part the Gin played. I was also amazed that no one made a "Sailor Uranus" joke.
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Link to Steve Pearl article

  I apologize, there was a problem with that link.

Steve Pearl

Anime News Network
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Friday, November 16, 2007

The Death of Steve Pearl

This will be the most difficult blog post I'll have to write.

Last weekend, a good friend and hero of mine passed away; Steve Pearl. Those who have been in the anime fan community long enough will know of Steve Pearl, the American Otaking. There's a posting on anime news network that gives his background, but I wanted to remember his as a friend, and not just an anime fan pioneer.

I met Steve at the Rutgers anime club, the Japanese Cultural Association (JCA) , during my college years-1998-2001. Steve was like a special guest star. He would visit our weekly meetings and give sage advice about anime. Having him there was always a treat. We ended up going on several road trips together to anime conventions.

There were, however, many such anime-related friends I've met over the years. Steve Pearl stood out unmistakably. What made Steve a great fan and a great friend was the extraordinary parts of his character. It wasn't his wealth of knowledge about anime, nor was it this legendary VHS collection which blotted out the walls and most of the ceiling of his room. Nor was it the tireless dedication to the Anime Alliance or the newsgroups. Steve was a man alway putting others before himself. No drive was far to bring anime cheer to a fan in need. No hour was too late to tape a TV special for a needy enthusiast.

Never a complaint or cross word would emanate from this perennial Santa Clause. He always had enlightening news and antidotes for anyone who would lend an ear. He kept his unbridled optimism to the end, no matter how dark his situation became. If ever a man deserved to be called a king among his peers, Steve Pearl would be it.

I feel bad about falling out of touch with him these past few years. The solace I can gather in this dark hour is that the world has changed since our fan days in the 90's. America is now a country where any adolescent can walk into Best Buy or Borders and have access to all the anime and manga they could ask for.

This the the America Steve Pearl was fighting for; and it's the America that he achieved.

There may never be another Otaking, as the county now has little use for a crusader of Japanese pop-culture. But wherever there are new ideas and media that have yet to strike into mainstream success, small groups of dedicated fans will ban together, form clubs and websites, and fight to bring the things they love to others. Though they may not be aware of it, they owe a debt to a trailblazer known as Steve Pearl, one of the finest human beings I have ever met.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Trouble in Paradise

Things are not going well at my game studios. I'm having my first employee vs employer spat.

I have a programmer who isn't following orders. I asked him to transmit his code-thus-far last week, and he still hasn't done it. I've been repeatedly leaving voice mails and email, but he still hasn't given me that code; it's been almost a full work week. He just replies with how unreasonable I'm being.

Now, I am not in the wrong here. He is blatantly breaking his contract by not delivering the code in a timely manner, and despite the fact that it would only take 5 to 10 minutes to give me something, I still have absolutely no work from him.

I'm really at a loss here. I want him to keep working, but if he won't let me see his work when I ask for it-how can I continue?
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