Welcome to the brand new WordPress blog.

The blog had gotten to the point that I wanted a different, more readable format.

Furthermore, since more and more web traffic is coming from smartphones I wanted a better mobile template. Blogspot is great for many things, but providing a good mobile template is not one of them.

All of the archives from January 2010 onward are here, and all of the comments in Blogspot have been imported. The comment system for WordPress is superior to Blogspot’s comment system.

There are some formatting issues with some of the posts, but the content is there and it is readable. My posts going forward will be more suited to WordPress.

Finally, there have been some issues with moving the domain. This is not unexpected, but is nonetheless frustrating. Please be patient as the process is completed. Thank you again for your readership.

Console gaming is not dying

The mainstream media needs to either stop reporting on video games or hire actual gamers to write about games. This has been a problem for nearly three decades, as the media “reports” on an industry they simply do not understand. This time, the Washington Post wonders if the new X-Box makes sense with the expanded popularity of mobile gaming. Is Microsoft hanging on to a dying industry?

Not quite. From the article:

Console sales have continued to grow, but at a much slower pace — keeping more or less steady with 20 percent of revenue for the industry.

And here is the money quote, with no pun intended:

“Console profits are higher than all the others, too, so the ecosystem is making a lot of money and in the end, this is what keeps everything moving,” said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

The last home console I owned was the PlayStation 2, which I sold in 2009. I am no longer part of the “red ocean” market, which consists primarily of 15-30 year old single males. (Having small children is a significant restriction on time for gaming.) But even being eight years removed from that market, I still understand it far better than the Washington Post, as proven by their coverage of the X-Box One.

There is no doubt in my mind that game consoles have a future, even with the increasing market share of mobile gaming. This is because of one simple reason: A cell phone is never going to offer the immense and immersive experience of the top console games. Furthermore, a cell phone screen is never going to give you the kind of precise control that a controller will give, which is a must for high-intensity action games.

The issue is not that consoles are dying. The issue is that the video game market is expanding. Nintendo saw this in 2006 with the Wii. Nintendo was not doing well against Sony and Microsoft with 15-30 year old males, which was called the “red ocean.” The Wii was not going to compete against the X-Box 360 and the PlayStation 3 with hard-core gamers. Therefore, Nintendo decided to go after a completely different market: The “blue ocean” of nontraditional gamers.

Nintendo was wildly successful, and now the game market includes millions upon millions of casual gamers. Now smartphones and tablets are picking up a significant share of that expanded market.

This is basic economics. The video game market is not and has never been a static pie. If smartphone games start selling more, that does not mean there is less market share for video game consoles or PC games. What it means is that there are more people playing games than ever before, and that market is growing. I simply cannot understand what is so difficult for the mainstream media to comprehend here.

Meaningless, hypocritical virtue signaling

If we are going to have a debate on transgender restroom access, can we please have an actual debate instead of meaningless, hypocritical virtue signaling? A friend of mine posted this picture on his personal Facebook page of a sign indicating that a single occupancy, lockable private restroom is an “all gender” restroom.

One of my favorite restaurants has has “all gender” restrooms, but they do not call them that. They call them unisex restrooms. Single occupancy, lockable private restrooms obviously do not need to be restricted to one sex. In fact, all of our homes have unisex restrooms and have always had them.

Therefore, there is absolutely no need to put a “gender inclusive” sign on the restroom. It is a waste of wall space and money. They are patting themselves on the back for accomplishing nothing at all.

I commented on the picture and urged my friend to call them out on their hypocrisy the next time he is there. Why is the business using sexist images? Can’t men wear dresses? Can’t women wear pants? Why are they perpetuating sexist gender roles and stereotypes? (Note: The questions in this paragraph are sarcasm.)

They are hypocrites pretending to be for trans-inclusivity. They are virtue signaling and patting themselves on the back while doing absolutely nothing of substance. This does not force people out of their comfort zone and make people recognize that trans women are, in fact, women and should be permitted to use the women’s restroom. (Trans women are not women, of course, but Leftists say they are.)

Not one single trans woman or trans man has had his alleged “civil right” to use the restroom that corresponds to his or her “gender identity” expanded. It is completely meaningless.

Target took a lot of heat for their transgender restroom policies, and they were wrong. But even in being wrong, Target at least had the courage of their convictions to make multiple occupancy public restrooms trans-inclusive. They have far more integrity than these pathetic, sniveling cowards.

Are fidget spinners dangerous?

I saw an article the other day that claims fidget spinners are dangerous because someone seriously injured himself with one. How did he seriously injure himself? He did it by using an air compressor to spin it faster than it was designed to spin.

Right. That is totally because the product itself is defective. Sure.

When you use a safe product in an unsafe way, you get hurt. That is your fault and your fault alone.


Kevin Durant did nothing wrong

Clyde Drexler to the Houston Rockets. Shaquille O’Neal to the Los Angeles Lakers. Charles Barkley to the Phoenix Suns. Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics. Jason Kidd to the New Jersey Nets. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James to the Miami Heat. All of these personnel moves had something in common: Star players moved to a different team in a different city with the hope of winning a world championship. For some, it worked, and for others it did not. So why are so many people ripping Kevin Durant to shreds for doing what many before him have done?

“Well, what Durant did was different because…”

Whatever. Look, you can come up with all kinds of differences between Durant and all of the other players and claim what he did was uniquely bad. But outside of professional sports, people take different jobs in the labor market all the time and no one complains about it. Nobody would look askance at someone who leaves a part-time retail job for a full time office job with benefits and a 100% increase in his hourly pay rate.

If NBA teams (or pro sports teams generally) displayed loyalty to their players or city, perhaps one could make a more convincing argument. Does anyone remember when the Atlanta Hawks exiled Dominique Wilkins to the Los Angeles Clippers in the midst of a championship contending season because they thought they would do better with Danny Manning? We should not forget that the Oklahoma City Thunder abandoned the city of Seattle, where they played as the Supersonics. The Thunder permanently lost all right to complain about players leaving when they did that.

People, just chill out. It is not like NBA players have a choice of where they will work when they enter the league, thanks to the draft system. Thunder fans can be disappointed that Durant did not stay with them, and NBA fans generally can think the super-team in Golden State makes the NBA less fun to watch, but people have a right to work where they want to work. It is just a game.

Random video game observations

♣ – I find it amusing how in role-playing games you can just walk into people’s houses, look through their cabinets and drawers and take stuff. It was actually very amusing in one of the Phantasy Star games for the Sega Genesis when a fellow party member tells the player that sort of thing is not allowed.

♣ – Speaking of role-playing games, having enemies on-map as opposed to random encounters makes the game much more fun. It is a useful feature to allow players to avoid fighting or to hunt certain enemies. Chrono Trigger for the Super NES was great in that regard.

♣ – If a video game has multiple game modes, the “easy” mode should actually be easy. This is especially important in fighting games, to allow a player to learn the moves and learn how to play as various characters. Throwing the player into the deep water with a nearly-impossible “easy” mode is an exercise in frustration.

♣ – More games need to include a “New Game Plus” option. There are few things more rewarding in a game than fighting an especially difficult early boss a second time using an end-of-game party and completely curb-stomping him with basically no effort.

♣ – The NES Classic was a good idea but it was too limited. It would have been better to offer the ability to play old cartridges like the Sega Genesis Throwback or (better yet) download more games via the Virtual Console onto a memory card. Maybe this will be fixed if a Super NES Classic is released.

♣ – I am still surprised that games for the PlayStation 4 and XBox One were not distributed entirely by digital download. Piracy would be a problem, but not an insurmountable one.

You do not have a right to my money.

It is a common misconception among Leftists that if the government does not fund something, they are restricting that thing or depriving someone of their rights. We see this in many areas, but it is most prevalent in debates over subsidizing birth control or funding clinics that perform abortions.

Of course, Leftists are wrong.

We even see this locally. I posted my most recent letter to the editor a couple weeks ago. In the Facebook comments, someone said “Get out from women’s baby ovens.” Of course, in the context of the city council funding Planned Parenthood, that is not the issue. If the 2019 city election saw nine abortion opponents elected to the city council, they would still not be able to get into anyone’s baby oven. This is because abortion is regulated by the state legislature, not by local government. The city council has no authority in this area.

It is absurd to paint the issue of the city council funding Planned Parenthood as an issue of abortion rights. If the city were to never give another penny to PP, the “clinic” would continue to operate and the “doctors” would continue to murder babies every week with no interference from city government.

This has been the prevailing argument over birth control as well, with the folks at Salon hysterically screeching that a proposal by the Trump administration “would give employers unprecedented power over women’s lives.” This is utter nonsense, and is the perfect example of the #FakeNews decried by the President and his supporters. No one is going to impose their religious beliefs on anyone. No one is going to have any control over anyone else’s personal life. It may be that some women will have to pay for their own birth control out-of-pocket. Many methods of birth control are extremely affordable and there are programs to help women pay for it without forcing employers to do it against their religious convictions.

It is really simple, folks. If government declines to take my money by force at gunpoint and use it to buy you something, your so-called “rights” are not being violated in any way. In fact, in that case the government is taking a truly pro-choice position.