Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grand Theft Auto - Random Wednesday

Since I added that daily word app on the bottom of the page, I had stopped posting the Word Power Wednesday. The new thing is, Wednesday is now a random post day! LOL!
So I have made a new logo for Wednesday, oh I mean "Random Wednesday" :D

Okay! So what's on my mind? Since I just gave another set of exams, that means my mind should chill for sometime(Guess what? I got the next round of exams next month! >_<) Anyways, so chilling for me would mean? of course! my favorite time-pass - PC games! LOL! I am crazy about this one thing, the Video Games! \m/ :D

So today I got in my mind Grand Theft Auto, alright, I like that game very much, although not my favorite, but one of the favorites! :D I had played all the games of the series as yet(that were released for PC), with great interest from the ones that started the Sandbox environment. Oh you know Sandbox environment? That was introduced to the gaming world by Rockstar with it's Grand Theft Auto 3, which is also called the Liberty City.

From an article published in SKOAR, August 2011, I would like to add some nice info about the Grand Theft Auto series, and Rockstar, the developer of the game.

Rockstar Studios is a pioneer of sandbox environment games in the industry. The effect of the grand Theft Auto series has been huge on both the industry and the video game fans, worldwide. Sandbox environment means, the open world environment where players are free to roam around and do whatever the hell they want to! The game has not only gifted the industry with such an innovative gaming concept environment, but has mastered it so well that sandbox format is now called a GTA clone!

With the release of San Andreas, the Rockstar offered the players with a city 4xVice City and 5xLiberty City(GTA III). If we consider the timeline of the game by seeing the story of the game, we shall see that Grand Theft Auto Vice City(the 6th installment of the game, 4th for PC), set in 1980s, is the oldest as per story goes. In San Andreas, the lawyer Hillary does mention of Tommy and the old times during a mission. San Andreas seems to be set in 1990s, after the Vice City. GTA III(Liberty City), though the oldest one according to the sandbox environment, but according to story is set in 1990s only, but after the San Andreas. We get a glimpse of this from the fact Catalina being killed in the end of GTA III, Catalina going with our GTA III Player to Liberty City during a mission San Andreas, the Salvatore Leone, and Friolli family in the San Andreas, that were there in GTA III too. GTA IV on the other hand is set in recent times. I have not been able to play GTA IV much, so I cannot comment about it's story, but I know that it's set in the most recent times of the GTA series.

Grand Theft Auto, though being so loved by the gamers, had not lived a clean life! The game has always been under controversies, and seen as potential risk for the psyche of the young! :O Grand Theft Auto III, especially, was one of the games who's name I saw in the list of "the games Parent's should keep their children away from" in 2009.

Apart from all this, there had been much more! On 20 October 2003, the families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young people shot by teens William and Josh Buckner (who in statements to investigators claimed their actions were inspired by GTA III) filed a US$246 million lawsuit against publishers Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive Software, retailer Wal-Mart, and PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment America. Rockstar and its parent company, Take-Two, filed for dismissal of the lawsuit, stating in U.S. District Court on 29 October 2003 that the "ideas and concepts as well as the 'purported psychological effects' on the Buckners are protected by the First Amendment's free-speech clause". The lawyer of the victims, Jack Thompson, denied that, but failed in his attempt to move the lawsuit into a state court and under Tennessee's consumer protection act. Two days later, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal, and the case was closed.

In 2009, a six-year-old boy, who claimed he had learned to drive from the game, took his family's car on a 10-mile trip before he crashed.

According to The Guinness World Records 2008 and 2009 Gamer's Edition, it is the most controversial video game series in history, with over 4,000 articles published about it, which include accusations of glamorising violence, corrupting gamers, and connection to real life crimes.

The game was controversial from the very first incarnation of the series, in spite of its cartoonish graphics. Grand Theft Auto was condemned in Britain, Germany, and France due to its "extreme violence", and Brazil banned it outright. Publicist Max Clifford planted sensational stories in tabloids in order to help sell the first game.

Generally speaking, almost all the games in the series have been accused of something or other.
  • Grand Theft Auto III : General violence and crime - 3D graphics made the violence more realistic
  • Grand Theft Auto : Vice City : Alleged ethnic discrimination - Haitian and Cuban anti-defamation groups criticised the game
  • Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas: Sex minigame - Due to the discovery of disabled interactive sex scenes, nicknamed Hot Coffee, which was a sexual minigame that was cut from the game, but remained in the game code, which was discovered in both the console and Windows versions of the game. Dubbed the "Hot Coffee mod", the minigame allowed players to have sex with their in-game girlfriends and also record sextapes. This prompted application of an AO (Adults Only) ESRB rating to the version of the game containing the leftover code. Take-Two Interactive was forced to re-release the game in order to restore the M (Mature) rating.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV : Drunk driving - One of the controversies involved with this game was Mothers Against Drunk Driving's (MADD) criticism of the ability to drink and drive as a new feature.
  • The Lost and Damned : Full-frontal nudity - the game was "more controversial than its predecessors" because it featured "full frontal male nudity"
  • Chinatown Wars : Drug dealing minigame - The drug dealing mini-game allows players to peddle six types of drugs around the city, but the profit the player makes depends on market conditions, which will be based on the area in which they deal, and the level of regular service this area receives from them.

Anyways, The big news for the GTA lovers is that GTA V is about to be released, hopefully in 2012 itself! It is one of the most awaited games for this year, apart from others like Hitman : Absolution and Max Payne 3. The articles on the internet suggest that interviews with Rockstar "hint" the date of release to be somewhere around the end of May. But well! I am not sure! Anyways, the best thing is that, the game lovers wont have to wait much for the game now. It is about to come and everybody be ready for the action, Grand Theft Auto V :)

Thank you for reading the article. Suggestions welcomed!

Official GTA V Page You can access special downloads, such as Wallpapers here Which GTA character are you Quiz

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Megaupload - Shut Down, Old News? I was here to share my views! :P

Hey friends! :)
Guess I am here almost after more than a month! Wow! Sorry for not being able to post much in sometime, but well, I was busy. Thanks to my university that keeps the students soo busy with exams every now and then. Uh! Anyways, there was something on my mind I wanted to speak, what's a better place than my own blog?! - A website, that in itself was a synonym for File Sharing on the brighter side, but sadly, Piracy on the darker one! :/

The news was a big one, for everyone who used the Internet. From people who used it for fun, to those who used it for work, from those who used it legitimately, to those who used it illegitimately!, shut down on 19th January 2012 was one of the biggest shutdown on the internet in a decade!

Megaupload used to be one of the most popularly used file sharing service apart from Rapidshare, and DropBox. The articles on the internet suggest, HK$330 million-worth assets were frozen by the Customs and Excise Department of Hong Kong!! The shutdown led to denial-of-service attacks on a range of websites belonging to the U.S. government and copyright organisations. The case has not yet been heard at trial.

You guys can check the statistics of the website on the Wikipedia link that follows the article. It says the site had nearly 180,000,000 registered users! Wow! That's too much! O_O I remember my friend who used to be one of the registered users. He was so shocked at losing his lifetime Premium membership of the site because of the lockdown of the site by The FBI.

Personally, I am neither against the action of the FBI, nor against megaupload. Megaupload was a superb website. More of a resource house for many. But alas! the illegal uses called for this. Personally, I did feel bad that the site went down. It used to be quite easy to share assignments and notes through that file-sharing website. Although in my peer group, sites like fileserve, rapidshare and mediafire too were very popular, but megaupload was one of the favorites! haha! It used to be quite easy with such sites around, but articles on the internet that say, "After Megaupload, who's next?!" are kinda scary. If filesharing websites have so much of illegitimate content, then what about so many other services that are catering to needs of people, but are illegally used by people? Even the e-mail services being used by terrorists to threaten people, does that mean closing down of Gmail, or Yahoo! or Hotmail? o.O

I agree! this illegal criminal biz. is not growing without cooperation of the big names, but still, the illegal use of so many things could not call for the closing down of the internet altogether! I am awaiting the trial to be heard for megaupload. I understand the wrong things going under the name should be taken care of, but they should see other facts too.

Many other file sharing websites such as Fileserve have already cleared the illegal content on their website following the shut down of the Megaupload. I wonder how much illegal content is there on the internet, but hey! we all know it quite well, that all this piracy is not bubbling on its own or on the shoulders of criminals alone. The big companies too have their secrets behind it. I can remember the movie Mission Impossible 2, that clearly indicates one such fact. The creation of Chimera virus and the antidote Bellerophon by the same company. Then release of the virus, so that people are forced to buy the vaccine. Don't you think the big names too could be doing that? First promoting piracy secretly, and then catching you with an illegal software, so that they can fine you and also force you to buy their product later!

Anyways, I have found some nicely written articles on the internet about the issue of Megaupload being closed down. One such article was suggesting some websites one may consider since Megaupload is down now! You may consider reading them. Besides, I will try to be on my blog like earlier and post new and good articles to share with you my readers. Somehow, would try to take out time for my blog and of course for you all! Thank you for reading, have a great day! :)

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