Are We Asking To Be Stalked?

Despite a world in which anything is possible, sometimes I get bored with it all. Sometimes Mythbusters isn’t on the Discovery Channel. Sometimes Top Gear isn’t on Dave. Sometimes over 200 channels of globally available cable television isn’t enough.

It is in these moments that we must turn to the more macabre methods of self-amusement. It is then that we must undertake a solitary hobby. A hobby that requires the participation of two, but only the application and awareness of one.

I am of course talking about – stalking.

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British Summertime – The Horrors of the Heat

Jumpers for goalposts. Juice and bits. Hide and seek. Hundreds and thousands.

The tender cacophony of the ice cream van as it beckons cheery children from their stately homes, distributing dairy products, heart attacks and nostalgia in equal measure.

The sweet smell of freshly cut grass as it lays strips up and down the fields, and invades the nostrils of your friends as they curse their Hay Fever affliction.

The glorious splendour of the setting sun as it scatters celestial orange light above and beyond what little cloud remains in the sky.

The British summer is a wonderful thing.

But as darkness comes and the sun cowers behind the horizon, the night lurches toward us. With it come all the horrors of the heat.

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The Teachings of Fiction: What Games Have Taught Me

When I’m not hiring and killing prostitutes, jacking and crashing cars, or ruthlessly gunning down helpless, disabled civilians due to a feckless overexposure to violent video games, I like to kick back, relax, and play some video games. It’s the perfect way to unwind.

But amidst these barbarian broadcasts urging all players to repeatedly stab everyone they meet in the face or heart, video games transmit an altogether different message. Saturating the minds of gamers with the most potent and dangerous weaponry known to man – knowledge.

Throughout my life I’m perpetually enlightened by a medium considered by many to be corrosive to the mind. There are studies relating gaming to the improvement of cognitive abilities, hand-eye co-ordination, logic, memory and multi-tasking. But in addition to these less tangible attributes, video games spray out facts like an edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica thrown in a petrol powered wood-chipper.

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Was gaming better without collectables?

A generation ago games were simpler. Since then TDM, fastest lap times and online leaderboards have hijacked the humble pleasures of the gamer. Back then you played for fun, you played for yourself. Back then you had no competition. Back then there were no trophies, no achievements to collect. You simply played. Or you didn’t. The choice was yours.

Now that choice has been snatched from us. Now not only must we play, but we must play until the bitter end, until 100%, until Platinum. Because now Jean Girard from Jarrier, Rhône-Alpes can scan our collection, Billy Sanchez from San Antonio, Texas can probe our performances, and Dave Smith from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire can scope our successes. Anyone can view our online achievements and stalk our statistics like some horrid progression goblin.

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It’s The Zombie Apocalypse. Brings Friends. And Extra Controllers.

As a creature of culture, zombies have it rough. You buy them on a disc, load it up, then shoot them in the face repeatedly. Imagine if the same experience was available for Paris Hilton and Simon Cowell. A man can dream…

Unlike many of their monster brethren, zombies haven’t received a media makeover recently. In the past 6 seconds alone, 16 new vampire formats have been commissioned by dastardly Transylvanian executives. There are now more vampires shows on TV than there are teeth in the world. Fact.

Why? Apparently they’re sexy and cool. Shit, they’re even on posters in teenage girls’ bedrooms. Because – I’m sorry to break it to you – your daughter/sister is a necrophiliac. At least, that’s what TV wants her to be. Why else would they rebrand an assortment of crusty old paedophiles and funnel them directly down the impressionable, young gullets of greedy, gullible adolescent females all over this dark and dank world?

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