No MGM Grand Atlanta, pls

Impetus: MGM Resorts pitches a $1 billion dollar proposed casino and entertainment complex for the city of Atlanta.

Thanks, but no thanks.  I don’t want an MGM casino in my city, much less any casino at all.

The thing is, I do like casinos and gambling, but frankly, I don’t want either to be so readily available basically in my own backyard.  Frankly, I like the idea of escaping to Las Vegas for a couple days, where I can gamble to my heart’s content, eat like a ravenous glutton, drink like a fish, but then leave it all behind when I hop on a plane and leave.

Having an MGM Grand Atlanta would mean that if I ever had the temptation to play some blackjack or craps, there would be no want for a trip to Vegas or anywhere else that has decent, reputable gaming, I could just head over to the local casino, and inevitably lose, since as the old adage goes, the house always wins in the end.

Furthermore, I just don’t agree with the rose-colored imagery that businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians seem to think they can pawn off onto the pleebs.  Much like the bullshit stadiums being erected in the metro area that are costing billions, a casino won’t be much of an improvement to the short-term, or long-term benefits to the city.  I fail to see where the alleged 3,500 jobs that would be created, most of which will be fairly blue-collar, unglamorous and very low-paying can warrant the necessity to spend a billion dollars in order to build.

Not to mention the obvious increase of riff-raff that would inevitably happen if a casino were dropped into the city limits; it’s like Atlanta already has enough crime problems of its own, building a casino to extrapolate it doesn’t necessarily sound like a very good idea.  Frankly, the only idea that I’d think is worth exploring is when the Braves vacate Turner Field, use that land to make this mythical casino; the crime rate is already absurdly high around there already, why not have a casino there to at least warrant it?

Ultimately, someone I don’t know said it best on the Facebook thread where I found out about this news in the first place: casinos tend to take a lot more from the communities they are placed in than they have a tendency to give back.  Not only do I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly, this is also how I feel about the bullshit new stadiums being built for the Braves and Falcons.

On a long enough time line, sure, a casino or sporting venues will make back their investments.  But by the time they do, the people are already jaded, won’t really see the long term payoffs, and it doesn’t really feel like much of a victory for those forced to endure them.  All the while, those investors, politicians, and those on the inside operations of these scams, are cashing in from day one, laughing all the way to the banks, over and over again.

Another perspective of mine for why I’m very much against the idea of an MGM Grand Atlanta, is basically the fact that there’s an MGM Grand Detroit, and if there’s every a city that all other major cities should strive to not be like, it’s most certainly Detroit.  It’s bad enough that when I visited Detroit, I’m eerily reminded of how it feels a lot like Atlanta, from the demographic, sprawl, and all the way to the fact that it too is reliant on I-75, I don’t really need or want Atlanta to also end up with an MGM Grand, so that it can provide one more parallel, en route to inevitably city-wide bankruptcy, just like Detroit.

Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!

Did you know that despite the fact that he has not played a game of professional baseball since October 7, 2001, Bobby Bonilla will make $1.2* million dollars a year between the years of 2011-2035, courtesy of the New York Mets?  The lump sum is paid out every July 1st, and will continue on until he is 73 years old; given the rock ‘n roll lifestyle of baseball players, old and current, there’s even question to if he’ll even be alive that long.

The thing is, the story behind such a lucrative deal isn’t one of reward, gratitude or positivity, it’s entirely one of animosity and opportunism.

Basically in 2000, the Mets owed Bobby Bonilla $5.9 million dollars.  However, Bonilla was constantly at odds and clashed with team management.  Ultimately, Bonilla’s agents came up with a proposal that the Mets would be free to release Bonilla, not pay him the $5.9 million he was owed presently, but to defer payment into the 25-year payment plan that would start ten years later, in 2011.

Long story short, the Mets deferred $5.9 million in 2000, into owing ~$30 million dollars between the years of 2011-2035.

In no way, shape or form would this be remotely considered a good deal for any business. Unless they just so happened to know the world was going to end before they hit the $6 million mark or something.

This is often argued as one of, if not the worst baseball contract in history.  No matter how much baseball nerds love to argue about bad contracts, almost every argument can be summed up with “at least it’s not the Bonilla deal.  LOL Mets.”

Ryan Howard’s contract?  At least it’s not Bobby Bonilla’s.  Alex Rodriguez’s contract?  Not Bonilla’s.  The Braves owing Dan Uggla $13 million to not play for them?  At least it’s one year, and not twenty-five; and at least he’s active.

But that’s the New York Mets for you, widely known as one of the most business-stupid franchises in history.

Raise your glass today for good ‘ol Bobby-Bo, who is getting paid today and every July 1st until the end of time; not because he deserved it, because he was a good worker and teammate, but because he was just obnoxious enough to not, and had the agents with the know-how to exploit that animosity and desperation into a sweet lucrative deal that basically sets him up for the rest of his life.

LOL Mets.

Combos are so fucking stupid

I was chatting with some bros on Facebook about the upcoming PC version of Killer Instinct that was announced at E3, and naturally whenever the topic of Killer Instinct arises, you have to talk about combos, and of course c-c-c-combo breakers.

I made a remark about how the reboot should allow for combo hit counter to exceed the three digit mark, as in the old Killer Instinct, the combo hit counter topped out at 99, regardless of how many hits you registered afterward.  I was quickly shown a video clip of the 2013 version of Killer Instinct that I wasn’t even aware even existed, and how not only has the combo hit counter exceeded the three digit mark, it’s surpassed the four digit mark.  The video is over 24 minutes long, and yep, the player in the video executes a combo that is 2,603 hits.

Two thousand, six hundred, and three hits.

Okay, not only is this fucking absurd, it’s fucking stupid.  Combos are fucking stupid, and are completely grossly out of hand, and out of control in games.

I mean seriously, think about it; yes, it’s a video game, and yes there’s a degree of suspended belief we’re supposed to consider, but hitting an opponent over 2,000 times in succession, over the span of over 20 minutes?  Uh yeah, I’d sure hope they’re out for the count after that much effort.  But in that regard, so is the victor, after spending the last twenty minutes concentrating on repeating the same sequence of button presses for twenty fucking minutes.

I remember when the idea of combos were more or less discovered by accident, from players that exploited the Street Fighter programming to where you could chain together particular hits with special moves, to where the opponent couldn’t counter in between.  And why wouldn’t they want to use such tactics; given the fact that two people pay money to play the game, nobody wants to lose to have to pay more money, they want to win, and ride their original token/quarter(s) as long as they can.

When it came to combos back then, Guile’s Four Fierce was pretty much the ultimate combo.  If pulled off, it was a guaranteed dizzy, and executing it again would guarantee end the round, but you wouldn’t even get to the Sonic Boom part, because the damage values were so absurdly high back then, the round would already be over.

The point is, it was four hits, and it basically won you a fight, if you could hit it.  Eventually in later Street Fighters, damage values dropped, and they introduced the first-ever hit counter.   However, even then, a 4-5 hit combo was still the norm.

Eventually, Killer Instinct came out in 1994 and not only jumped the shark as far as combo hit counting was concerned, it took Fonzi, the shark, and the entire cast of Happy Days, put them all into a time capsule, and threw it counter clockwise, so that it could perpetually repeat in time all the times it jumped the shark.  Combos that ranged from like nine hits to over 99 hits became the norm, and it basically became a game where it was that you knew how to execute combos of repeated monotonous button presses, or you wasted your money.

Unfortunately, combo hit counting became a cool thing, and it wasn’t long before the Mortal Kombat franchise hopped aboard, and introduced a combo system in MK3 that has continued to be the norm even to present time.  Gone was repeating the sequence of Scorpion’s spear, uppercut, slide kick to easy victories, and now having to hit a guy 38 times in order to tick them down to low enough health to fatality them.

Naturally, the Street Fighter franchise joined the fray, and I still remember that Ken’s Shinryuken could register 16-18 hits if landed deep enough into the opponent’s sprite.  Somehow, Ken’s back, trapezius, hamstring, triceps, calf and ankle all were allowed to register hits in the logistics of such a move landing that many hits.

Ultimately, I don’t really understand the fascination with hits throughout the evolution of fighting games.  Ideally, my goal is simply to win by any means necessary, and at least back in the olden days of SFII, the more fierce punches and roundhouse kicks I landed, the quicker the opponent went down.  I had no shame in forcing opponents to block a light punch in order to set them up for a cheap throw, as long as I won.

Wouldn’t it be cool if there were a fighting game that took into consideration that in a real-life fight, sometimes all it takes is a single, well-landed punch or kick, to end it?  Like, the perfect storm of circumstances, positioning and strike thrown, knocks one person completely the fuck out instantaneously?  I mean, I’d find that more realistic than when developers try to improve character designs and graphics to make them look more “real.”

But seriously, combos are so out of hand that they’re completely stupid now.  How about some real innovation in gaming for the future?

Jurassic World > Mad Max, easily

If I dared make such a statement over social media, I would instantaneously be labeled as things such as curmudgeon, contrarian, hipster or the like, but it’s true.

I simply think Jurassic World was a vastly superior movie over Mad Max: Fury Road.

Neither movie was really mind blowing, thought-provoking or something that blew me away, but when I think about how I felt after seeing both movies, I come away from Jurassic World with more pleasing emotions than I did after seeing Fury Road.

Ultimately, I don’t really understand the maniacal opinion that Fury Road was the greatest movie ever made, nor do I really understand peoples’ desires to see it again and again and again like they’re all claiming to, or actually doing, according to social media.

Fury Road was an entertaining movie, but ultimately, it’s best described as something that my mother would say:

엉터리영화

Which is “bullshit movie” in Korean.  It was entertaining sure, but it really was a bullshit movie with a lame plot, excessively over-the-top acting, and was just overall kind of stupid.  Again, not to say it wasn’t entertaining, but I think it’s far deserving from the universal praise that everyone seems to be so willing and capable of lavishing onto it.

If I were to go to the theater right now, and had to choose between which movie to see a second time, without any hesitation, it’d be Jurassic World.  Chris Pratt plus a posse of velociraptors easily has my favor over the hardcore extreme version of basically a Griswold Family Road Trip movie.

Photos: Jinx/Fishbones photoshoot candids

Note: the following post is from approximately one year ago, held back as a courtesy.

Good things happen when involved parties collaborate.  I came along to help out where I could with a photoshoot that featured Jen’s Jinx costume, the finished Fishbones bazooka by Volpin Props, shot by Joseph Chi Lin.

Obviously, this is relevant to my interests as Jinx is one of my favorite LoL characters, and all involved parties are what I’d consider friendly, so I can say that in spite of poor weather and typical Georgia summer heat, I had a good time taking part, and making a directional suggestion or two in my own right.

I thought it would be a good idea to bring my own camera, because I thought I’d want to take pictures of the street graffiti of the Krog Street tunnel, but ultimately, nothing in particular in the caught my fancy, due to the incestual mishmash of tags upon tags upon tags creating a whole lot of artistic vomit.

But it was good that I did, because I was able to take some candids of the processes of setting up our area, a few shots in between poses, and just a behind-the-scenes feel of what turned out to be an awesome example of talented parties collaborating for the sake of good art.

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