Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hacked! FML!

Okay, I was kinda stupid. Yes, I am not perfect and I messed up so bad. I am usually very very careful about not opening emails that I am not sure who they are from, I don't buy gold or items online for video games, and I am pretty careful about the web pages that I open. I don't want a virus and I don't want my accounts to get hacked. Well, did I mention I was stupid?
I play World of Warcraft pretty often. I have a social life outside and I do things in real life, but I love sitting back at night or on rainy days and playing WOW. I have had the same Female Tauren Hunter with the same name since release. I have spent several several several hours making her amazing. And a few days ago, I just realized how much I actually care about my main 80. A LOT!
I logged on to WOW like I normally do so I could collect my 2000g in auctions that I had and an authenticator code came up for me to put in. “Hmmmm... I didn't purchase one of those” is what came to mind first. Second thing that came to mind was, “check my email”. So, I did and of course I had two emails from blizzard saying that my password had been changed and another saying that my account had been suspended due to activity they knew wasn't me. I had been hacked!
I called blizzard, which seems like a feat itself. You should get an achievement called Rainbow Connection, which will be for actually getting a hold of a person at blizzards phone support. So, after waiting an hour and a half, 50 minutes after the time they told me I would be on hold, I finally got someone. I explained what happened and she explained to me what actually happened. Apparently, an email was sent out to random people in WOW stating some shit like “You have been with WOW forever and you are an honored customer, blah blah, go to our site and put in your application to use the new PTR for Cataclysm.” I was super excited but thought “this has to be too good to be true that its this easy?” I asked someone who is pretty skilled at detecting these things and if they are scams but he didn't give me a full clear answer on what I should do. So, stupidly I took what he did say as it was okay and away I went to log into my account to sign up for the PTR. LOL Big Mistake on my part!
I was able to get back into my account and all my characters are still there except, of course, my hunter! All my gold has been stripped, which I had about 2500gold. Blizzard said it would take up to a week to get her back but they cant promise I will get all my stuff back. If anyone out there is reading this and plays the game, I was in all but 1pc of T10 and the day I logged on was the day I was going to get my last piece. So, hopefully I will get her back intact and I will have my same name. Its not one of those crazy made up names but its an easy name that anyone can think of. YAY me, FML!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Everything Bad Is Good for You.... Video Games Aren't the Devil!

One of the most common criticisms of video games is that they allegedly increase violent tendencies among youth. I call bullshit! My personal belief is that many youths commit crimes because they lack a positive influence/roles models in their lives. A lot of teens have a lot of empty time on their hands and nothing to do. Also, a lack of experience and discretion along with being influenced by their peers doesn't help either. So before blaming video games for crime in youths, maybe you should be sitting down with your children and talking with them and keeping a shorter leash on them. Be a parent!!
Sexual themes in video games are much less tolerated than violent themes. I think it's the nanny factor. TV in particular has been kept sanitary for kids and it's led to a very backwards view of reality. America needs to stop thinking of sex as an unwholesome and horrible thing and allow the sales of games that deal with sex in the honest and unashamed way like many R rated films do. Come on, they are just boobies! Hugh Hefner came up with a valuable point: "Don't you think it'd be better for the world to be exposed to sex rather than violence? There would be a lot less deaths."
Addiction to video games has also been at the heat of the debate. Its thought that video games and computers interfere with daily life. Example, players using games compulsively and isolating themselves from social contact. Hate to burst bubbles, but most people do socialize with one another on video games, especially now a days with it being so easy to talk to others through games systems. I have a friend who has sever social anxiety disorder and has a very hard time meeting people. He has tried to go out and socialize with others but he ends up getting really worked up and anxious and ends up in a depressive funk for days. However, he doesn't have a problem with getting online and playing in an alternate world and meet people and connect. He has made real life friends doing this and its just an easier way for him.
Also, children who play strategic video games have shown what researchers call a “fluid intelligence”. Meaning, they are good problem solvers. "They have to discover the rules of the game and how to think strategically," said James Paul Gee, a University of Wisconsin-Madison curriculum and instruction professor. "Like any problem solving that is good for your head, it makes you smarter." With our faced paced modern world, games might actually help in developing the skills one needs to succeed.
I will admit that some people do take video games too far. Such as the Chinese man who died in a cybercafe after a 3 day internet gaming binge. However, it is widely known through the gaming world that China has many more developers of online games and services than the US. This makes for a very crowded, competitive, and very successful field of selling virtual goods. The Chinese playing video games non stop, forgetting to eat or rest, isn't much different from a corporate employee trying to succeed up the corporate ladder and working over time and missing out on breakfast and lunch.
My personal belief is that a lot of people who judge video games are people who dont understand them or don't want to understand them. They are spouses/companions who don't play and are jealous that all that time isn't spent looking directly at them. What else would you be doing at home while you are spending time together? Sitting on the couch watching tv, not speaking? Others are parents who want to blame video games for taking up their child's time. That's fine that you don't want your kid to play video games all day but you need to control that. Kids don't have a realistic idea of time once they start doing things that are fun and entertaining. You need to monitor that time and control it. You are the parent! Then there are the people who feel like something needs to be blamed for the crime today and don't want to see the actual truth....so, they turn to video games are the main source.
“After conducting a two-year study of more than 1,200 middle school children about their attitudes towards video games, Harvard Medical School researchers Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson found that playing video games did not have a particularly negative effect on the researched group. “