NaraVara's recent activity

  1. Comment on Sanders climbs, now tied with Biden among registered voters: Reuters poll in ~news

    NaraVara
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    Anecdotally, based on my phone banking, a ton of people are basically just watching to see who they think will beat Trump. They don’t seem to have much real interest in what the candidates...

    Anecdotally, based on my phone banking, a ton of people are basically just watching to see who they think will beat Trump. They don’t seem to have much real interest in what the candidates themselves stand for, just their capacity to win.

    Of course, if all these people would just show some backbone and pick someone we’d all know who the most electable one actually is. Instead everyone wants to be an amateur pundit despite the fact that even the professional pundits have no clue what they’re talking about.

    7 votes
  2. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    NaraVara
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    The same studies find that the aggression response isn't actually much worse than any competitive endeavor, and possibly less severe than you get from participating in contact sports. Actually...

    The same studies find that the aggression response isn't actually much worse than any competitive endeavor, and possibly less severe than you get from participating in contact sports.

    Actually being able to get your aggression out physically through playing the sport maybe has some catharsis that just sitting on a couch furiously pounding your controller does. But I think the much bigger thing is people learn sports under coaches as kids who teach sportsmanship and how to manage your emotions as part of the socialization process. Gamers, though, get socialized by the internet, which is a toxic cess-pool lacking in adult supervision.

    I actually think the best argument around it was one made by David Wong on Cracked. He makes a persuasive case that what video games train into us isn't an instinct towards violence so much as an emotional inability to deal with the fact that not all problems can be surmounted by just grinding at them hard enough.

    I first started to notice this among the subculture of pickup artist stuff where it felt like people were basically trying to gamify human interaction to manipulate women to get laid. It obviously doesn't work because humans don't work that way, and the times when it does work it ends up tipping really easily into being skeevy emotional manipulation. And it's like a self-reinforcing feedback loop. People grow up learning that all problems should be broken down and addressed like video-game problems, and then they design video-games that presume problems can be solved like video-game problems.

    From there it's easy to see how people too deep into this might have trouble actually dealing with real human beings and more difficult and nuanced emotional baggage one deals with throughout their lives.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    NaraVara
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    The updated ending basically just made explicit most of what was previously just implied. The implications were pretty subtle though, so I think the vast majority of people who played didn't pick...

    I never went back and played the updated ending, so I don't know anything about it.

    The updated ending basically just made explicit most of what was previously just implied. The implications were pretty subtle though, so I think the vast majority of people who played didn't pick up on it and decided these were all "plot holes."

    I didn't think it was substantially better thematically or anything, but I was never all that mad about the ending to begin with. Mostly it's just glitzier and sexier since there are more and more differentiated cut scenes.

    What does add a lot of context to the ending, though, are the Prothean and Leviathan DLCs. They goofed by not making that part of the standard game, particularly the Leviathan DLC which actually explains how the Starchild's logic worked and why this iteration of the galaxy was able to fight the Reapers off where other's fail.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    NaraVara
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    I don't know if you ever read the comic book "Wanted" but I got the same vibe from GTA V as I got from that. They're part of this sub-genre of geek fiction where everything about it seems to be...

    GTA V is an awful, joyless game.

    I don't know if you ever read the comic book "Wanted" but I got the same vibe from GTA V as I got from that. They're part of this sub-genre of geek fiction where everything about it seems to be dripping with contempt for the imagined audience from the developers. At it's best it can come across as knowing self-parody, but all too often it starts to feel like self-loathing or mean-spiritedness that can only culminate in a sort of violent nihilism.

    South Park can be like this at times as well.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    NaraVara
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    Ah see, if I played "myself" I'd probably not be in the situations most RPGs put you in in the first place, so the whole premise becomes moot. My characters tend to have more conflicted interior...

    Roleplaying is, after all, the name of the game if you're playing an RPG. Me, I tend to be myself but empowered by the rules of the game.

    Ah see, if I played "myself" I'd probably not be in the situations most RPGs put you in in the first place, so the whole premise becomes moot. My characters tend to have more conflicted interior lives than I do. I find RPGs much more satisfying if I try to empathize with characters who are sort of like me, but with specific drives and tendencies tweaked up or down. It's kind of like acting where you want to examine your character's motivations rather than your own and behave accordingly.

    For example, (Mass Effect spoilers below)

    My Shepherd in Mass Effect went with the "Butcher of Torfan" backstory and I played him like someone who was traumatized and working through the guilt of having been part of a Gallipolli style trench war where he sent many of his own men into a meat grinder. He started the game with a very cold, by-the-book level of ruthless emotional distance on everything along with a mildly xenophobic outlook, particularly against Batarians. The experience of having to lead a more intimate team of misfits kind of softens him up over the course of the game. Then he DOES end up losing someone in Virmire right when he meets Sovereign, who is the epitome of "get my shit done regardless of the human cost because I think on a scale so cosmic and vast that you ants wouldn't even get it." It worked really nicely as a way to mesh Shepherd's own arc of learning to value the individual and put him up against an antagonistic force that gives zero shits about any individual living being. It's actually kind of impressive how I didn't even know the twists and turns in the plot, but I ended up going step by step and ending up with a compelling narrative arc for my character.

  6. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

    NaraVara
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    Not really. Because based on those debates I have no idea how you could listen to his anodyne statements and come away thinking he had so much more pragmatism or detail than anyone else on the...

    I was referring to his comments during the past six debates, but I think you knew that.

    Not really. Because based on those debates I have no idea how you could listen to his anodyne statements and come away thinking he had so much more pragmatism or detail than anyone else on the stage. Especially compared to Warren or even (shudder) Buttigieg.

    I don't like impeachment interfering with the election like this, it's peak stupidity from the democrats.

    It's literally a Constitutional obligation to impeach a President who is committing crimes.

    It's not complicated at all to, for example, direct the NRC to relax regulations on Thorium, or change the measurements of the country from GDP to his american report card.

    A statement like "relax regulations on Thorium" counts as "not complicated at all" to you? It's literally a body of policy relating to enforcement and safety regulations around a nuclear reactor. You don't think there will be legal challenges, Environmental Impact Statements, and a bevy of other things you need to address to make that happen?

    You think just arbitrarily changing a major economic indicator that is used for calculating metrics for everything from BLS to Census to UN HDI data all across private industry, non-profits, international institutions, and state and local governments would be easy and have no major push-back from anyone? These things are not easy in the slightest dude.

    Considering most of our agencies are understaffed and missing their leaders/directors after this Trump mess that seems like it's pretty easy to put a new team in place

    It takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months for a new hire to clear a background check and be deemed ready to enter duty as a federal employee (career, non-political). And that's assuming you can find a qualified person at the rate they're hiring for and who is capable of clearing a background check-requirements which, depending on the job, can include needing to be a US citizen, needing to be drug free (including weed, so good luck hiring any entry-level software devs who are worth a damn), and needing to have a debt/income ratio that isn't too high. There is absolutely nothing "easy" about putting a team in place, especially with an obstructionist Senate committed to not letting you have a team at all.

    Hell, it's not even easy to hire talent good enough to tackle problems of this scale even without all the Federal Government hiring and procurement restrictions and requirements.

    There's no 'legal' case to be made giving new marching orders to the executive branch offices.

    It took the Obama administration more than a year of research and legal work before they were able to push DACA through to make sure it actually worked. One of the main reason it's taken Trump so long to actually put things like the Muslim Ban in action was largely because his team of chucklekfucks didn't do that kind of background work and had the policy tied up in court challenges for years.

    The government is big and has to be accountable to a lot of different stakeholders in lines of work and with levels of expertise that you wouldn't believe. Pretending any of this is easy or simple to unwind or understand the long term consequences of is the sort of naiveté only senior executives can have because they never have to do any of the actual work to make these sorts of things happen.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    NaraVara
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    How so? Being an RPG, my player character isn't me specifically. It's more like a persona I'm inhabiting and the ways I've played them generally had my character believably relating to the...

    Their definition of "romance" is "engaging romantically with a character you couldn't possibly relate to". It's the same type of fantasy dating in most, if not all, of those games.

    How so? Being an RPG, my player character isn't me specifically. It's more like a persona I'm inhabiting and the ways I've played them generally had my character believably relating to the romantic interest.

    The problem I find with them is the baked in assumption that the world revolves around the player and any romantic option should be open to you. Consequently, the characters themselves don't have any sort of ingrained wants or preferences. For example, Leliana doesn't have a type and as long as the player character likes her and expresses that like through the right dialogue options and stuff Leliana will fall in love with him. She will never turn the player down because she tends to go for guys who are sullen and melancholy but you're a sardonic jokester. But that's like, 99% of human relationships. Most people aren't romantically interested in most people so, in this way, it makes the game a bit of a "power fantasy" in the interpersonal relations part the same way they're a power fantasy in the combat part.

    Edit: To add, "power fantasy" doesn't really work for romantic stories because a big part of actually establishing an emotional connection with a person involves the capacity to be vulnerable and open with them. So making you feel like you can't fail or be rejected as long as you hit the right combination of phrases completely undercuts the premise of the story you're trying to achieve. One of the main anxieties about dating is that you and your crush are fundamentally incompatible and being compatible with them would mean sacrificing parts of yourself that are foundational to who you are.

    FWIW, Persona 5 does kind of do what you're talking about. The romances develop over the course of the entire game and lots of comments and decisions you make throughout factor into whether a character even expresses interest in you. You have to spend a lot of time with them, particularly in your "off-hours" where you're doing stuff like going shopping or having coffee together. And your personality as expressed during those side-plots ends up determining whether you and the other character interact as friends or as potential romantic interests.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    NaraVara
    Link Parent
    Isn't this, essentially, the romantic subplot in a Bioware game? Your definition of a dating sim sounds like a degraded form of an RPG. (Though I guess you could also say that a "walking sim" like...

    It's my assumption that making dating sim characters behave more like real people will, overall, enhance a player's experience from such a game.

    Isn't this, essentially, the romantic subplot in a Bioware game? Your definition of a dating sim sounds like a degraded form of an RPG. (Though I guess you could also say that a "walking sim" like Dear Esther or Firewatch is a degraded form of an FPS by the same logic).

    What about Persona 5 where the romantic subplot is a big part of the game? Does that fit the bill you're talking about?

    1 vote
  9. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    NaraVara
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    Since I'm not experienced with the genre, can you talk through some examples of stuff done well vs. poorly?

    I.a. Dating sims, when done well, can be as good as any more-conventional praised title

    Since I'm not experienced with the genre, can you talk through some examples of stuff done well vs. poorly?

    2 votes
  10. Comment on What are your unpopular game opinions? in ~games

    NaraVara
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    Wow. Basically everything I have a reference point to comment on I agree with. This doesn't happen often! I would add one thing though: The Bioshock games have nothing "deep" or interesting to...

    Wow. Basically everything I have a reference point to comment on I agree with. This doesn't happen often!

    I would add one thing though:

    • The Bioshock games have nothing "deep" or interesting to say. (Simply discussing a philosophical concept doesn't automatically mean you're engaging with it at any level fo depth).
    7 votes
  11. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

    NaraVara
    (edited )
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    That’s a neat trick, considering he wasn’t at the debate? In the words of the great philosopher, Mike Tyson, “everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.” Making changes to...

    Andrew said more in his tiny slice of speaking time about the 'how' of a dozen issues than the rest of the field combined

    That’s a neat trick, considering he wasn’t at the debate?

    Further, each of Yang's policies list a spectrum of solutions including what he can do as executive without congress's involvement, and it's a surprising number of things. Just the changes he gets to make by fiat to regulatory agencies alone is enough to fix many issues. Yet, he didn't make me want to kill myself from boredom. Instead, he made me do research into the solutions, and I even enjoyed it.

    In the words of the great philosopher, Mike Tyson, “everyone’s got a plan until they get punched in the face.” Making changes to regulatory authorities by executive fiat is actually a lot more complicated than people who have never been in government like to pretend. It takes months to a year of building a legal case for the order than can stand up to oppositional litigation. Yang’s are the kinds of plans you get to have when you don’t actually understand the brass tacks of how government works, and they dissolve into nothing upon first contact with reality.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

    NaraVara
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    You realize Warren literally wrote the book on bankruptcy and the causes behind high income inequality way back in the 90s right? Just because Sanders was the first person you heard talking about...

    Especially after she essentially ripped off Bernie's entire platform.

    You realize Warren literally wrote the book on bankruptcy and the causes behind high income inequality way back in the 90s right?

    Just because Sanders was the first person you heard talking about this stuff doesn’t mean he invented progressive policy. In fact, it’s been Warren who has a more accomplished record of actually putting words into action.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

    NaraVara
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    1.) 90 seconds of stage time isn’t really the place to get into the weeds of “how” we do anything. 2.) Most “how” questions are so dependent on the legislative sausage making process that it’s...

    Democrats love to talk about what we 'must do' rather than how we do it

    1.) 90 seconds of stage time isn’t really the place to get into the weeds of “how” we do anything.

    2.) Most “how” questions are so dependent on the legislative sausage making process that it’s dishonest and pointless to talk about it before you actually know what the composition of the House and Senate are going to be.

    3.) If they actually talked about how they’re going to do anything at any meaningful level of granularity you would kill yourself from boredom. These things are extremely complicated and even most of the experts on the topics don’t fully understand what they’re getting into until they start work on it.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

    NaraVara
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    If I’m not mistaken it’s the largest margin in modern history. Also the first time we’ve had a judiciary that was predominantly stacked by Presidents who came to power with a minority of the vote....

    If I’m not mistaken it’s the largest margin in modern history.

    Also the first time we’ve had a judiciary that was predominantly stacked by Presidents who came to power with a minority of the vote. You can bet this is going to have consequences that will haunt us for, literally, the rest of our lives.

    5 votes
  15. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

    NaraVara
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    It’s hard to assert that for sure. It’s possible the Trumpy base might have stayed home. You don’t need that many defectors to flake out, just 2% is enough to swing a state.

    Any of the other Republican candidates would have crushed her

    It’s hard to assert that for sure. It’s possible the Trumpy base might have stayed home. You don’t need that many defectors to flake out, just 2% is enough to swing a state.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

    NaraVara
    (edited )
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    It's really fascinating to see the presumption of guilt -> abstraction -> essentialism process unfolding in action here. You've just decided that CNN and Warren are in cahoots, that Warren is...

    CNN and Warren chose the former narrative

    It's really fascinating to see the presumption of guilt -> abstraction -> essentialism process unfolding in action here. You've just decided that CNN and Warren are in cahoots, that Warren is deliberately lying about what he said rather than interpreted his words differently from what he intended, that Sanders didn't actually say something ill advised because he's tactless and brusque (even though we know the man to be tactless and brusque), and on and on. It's so plain to see the bandwagoning pile-on logic at play here based on scant evidence and reflexive assumptions of bad faith.

    Just to start, when did Warren say anything about prejudice on his part? And why do you think CNN and the Warren campaign are coordinating on messaging here? These are all assumptions you're making because you lean Bernie so you're inclined to buy the narrative that lets him be the victim. From there it's a quick hop to essentializing everyone who isn't him as a villain, and then getting pickled in an echo chamber that just consistently reinforces that story.

    despite the extensive public record showing that Sanders is entirely supportive of a woman becoming President.

    There's no shortage of people who will theoretically say women could be President while shooting down any woman who actually tries on flimsy pretenses. A few anodyne public statements are hardly the "bulletproof" bits of evidence you're pretending. It's like the "here's a picture of him from nearly a half century ago protesting Jim Crow" thing all over again.

    but at the same time you have yet to admit that, if this is the case, then Warren and CNN must have then acted in bad faith.

    There's that conflation of Warren and CNN again. You've basically separated the world into Bernie people and "the rest" who are all in cahoots to foil Bernie, the one true hope for progress. It's a tiresome and reductive narrative that the Sanders camp leans way too heavily on. In reality, there are lots people with varying drives and incentives here and pretending everyone is part of a big conspiracy to bring your guy down just is not productive.

    All of this blew up precisely because it is not a miscommunication nothingburger, it's a concerted effort to smear Sanders.

    This is the mildest possible smear ever concocted if it is. And the fact that the Sanders camp is going mask off and letting it get this ugly just reinforces the misgivings so many people have about the guy. Even people who like Sanders are terrified of the people he surrounds himself with and who will surely ride his coattails in power.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

    NaraVara
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    You only know this if you’re in the tank for him. Jesus, I’m a Warren supporter and even I’m privately unsure if her being a woman will be an Achilles heel in a general election. It is not at all...

    What's asinine about the reported exchange is, well, we all know that Sanders doesn't think that.

    You only know this if you’re in the tank for him. Jesus, I’m a Warren supporter and even I’m privately unsure if her being a woman will be an Achilles heel in a general election. It is not at all implausible that Bernie would think so too.

    7 votes
  18. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

  19. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

    NaraVara
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    Like I said. It’s like nobody on the internet has ever been married before.

    don't have to know either of them to think that they've told straight from their mouths mutually exclusive stories.

    Like I said. It’s like nobody on the internet has ever been married before.

    3 votes
  20. Comment on Seventh Democratic Debate Live Stream (Starts at 9pm ET) in ~news

    NaraVara
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    I’m interpreting this as an admission that you don’t want to be swayed. Sanders’ supporters have been carping on DNA test shit since last year man. Where is this sudden umbrage against cheap shots...

    There has to be much more evidence to sway me.

    I’m interpreting this as an admission that you don’t want to be swayed.

    Don't bring it up if it isn't a campaign issue.

    Sanders’ supporters have been carping on DNA test shit since last year man. Where is this sudden umbrage against cheap shots coming from now?

    And even the assumption that it was a cheap shot that was intentionally leaked is just an assumption of malice. You’re not engaged in a dispassionate reading of evidence here.

    Edit: it’s really worth checking out Contrapoints’ cancel culture video. You can plainly see the pattern of assumption of guilt -> abstraction -> essentialism here. Both in what’s being done to Warren and what’s being assumed as the intention towards Sanders. It both makes people more hostile than is appropriate and more defensive.

    6 votes