Why schools suck
I was never a great fan of school, although I actually never had much trouble so far, but today I once again found a good reason why school is something that has to be hated. As I mentioned on G-News before, I was going to organize a bigger LAN-event. To host a GameSession for 16 to 20 people, it was obvious we needed a big room. Since we planned (I say we, because I didn't do it all alone) to do it during holidays, we decided to ask the schoolboard for a room to use. We already did that last year under the name of "Computer event", which was, to us, clearly to be associated with gaming. The room was granted and we had fun during 3 days, no complaints. This year we wanted to od the same thing, with the sole difference of inviting more than just a couple of classmates. To do this we pinned up a few flyers in school so people would get notice and join. After about 2 weeks (after asking for the room, and after getting the confirmation on the request), the headmaster called for us, telling us, to our surprise quite furiously, that under no circumstances we could do such a horrible thing in his school. We asked ourselves why? Those rooms are empty during the whole holidays, there are no costs involved to using one of the classrooms, apart from having someone open and close the door. The building is not privately owned, it belongs to the community or the canton, thus everyone should be allowed to make use of it. We don't charge entry fees, so it's not a commercial event. We spent quite a few hours in organizing things so far. Politicians always talk about supporting youth and their projects, but when it comes to actually do something, it turns out to be nothing but hot air. In a discussion with the headmaster, he presented me the following point: He could not support gaming since it was clear that violent games and gaming in general are bad for (kids, teens, adults?) and that there was some kind of moral codex at this school etc. blablabla.
Now what is behind those statements? Gaming as something bad, or even evil, spoiling your kids and making them become ruthless killers and perverted sexual offenders? This discussion has been raised so many times and has been turned and twisted so often, it is quite clear that there won't be any proof or decision in the near future. However, what is clear is that a LAN-party is a social event, you get to meet new people, it's like some kind of community. Just look at places like QuakeCon or GameRanger. Gaming is a sport, with the usual pros and cons, bu t it certainly isn't just an addiction of pimply geeks. Needless to say the headmaster ignored the fact that I told him there were world championships in gaming all over the world and that one day it might even become olympic. Interestingly enough, sport clubs can always use school infrastructure. Obviously Mr. Headmaster never watches TV when they talk about the lasted doping scandals and crippled top-athletes. Talk about damaging effects. Also school administration has never cared abotu what music was played at sport or party events, although the discussion about how lyrics influence people is at least 20 years older than the discussion about gaming. (Think Elvis).
Then there was another thing that stinks: About a week ago, someone, or a group of kids obviously damaged Computer equipment in the computer room (which would not have been touched during our Session). As a reaction to this, the teachers got quite angry (understandably) and the computer room was closed and would only be opened on request. We had two flyers pinned up in that room, and the one that was carried to the headmaster was one of these. The headmaster told me his secretary gave him the hint, but if you ask me, it's quite obvious that one of the "informatics teachers" took notice of it, especially since I have never seen the secretary enter the computer room in the last 7 years. You think that sounds like bitter feelings and "revenge" from the teachers? Yes, we think that too.
Let's draw the line: We have to move the GameSession back to my humble house, reducing the possible participation number to a max of 10, down from 20. Our attempt to start a new regional event, that might grow faster than you'd think, was strangled at its roots. The hail and praise of the politicians and administratives about supporting youth is bullocks. We almost printed a new batch of color flyers for spreading in the city, that money would be lost now, if we had done so. Hiding behind unsolved discussions and obviously not having the courage to stand behind the deeds of its students, the direction of our school has once again proved that it can only exist because the state supports and pays it. These are just a few examples of what I think and have to say. If you're from the press, feel free to reprint the content of this open letter. If you happen to go to that school I'm talking about, be it as a teacher or a student, know the truth behind those paper curtains. G-News
Clan getting sponsored
Shugashack delivers me another argument in favor of gaming: you can make money of it. Swedish clan Stickmen has made a sponsorship deal with Media and Games Online (MGON). Talk about gaming being a burden of our time.
Apple playing a bit dirty
Shugashack also notes that Apple is strong arming the press into not publishing any rumors, or they'll stop the ad contracts via the ad companies. Dirty but effective.
Mac OS X
MacObserver has some public feedback on Mac OS X (I think I'll start calling it MOX). Quite interesting how the press has responded to the beta version.
MacCentral talks about the Radeon OEM BTO option card compared to the Radeon Mac Edition retail card from ATI. While it is not a speed comparison or anything, it surely discusses a few very importnat points, as there are: Cube compatibility, TV connector, DVI vs ADC connector and the pricetag.
FPS vs Hz
Fullon3D has some pretty heavy tech babble on FPS and Monitor refresh rate. I'm not going to explain it here, it would simply take too long, but if you're into 3D games and if you are an FPS freak, you probably should read that.