Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sidequest 6

David Herrmann
Sidequest 6
Violence and Nudity in Videogames
          Europeans are befuddled about a lot of American traditions and ways of life. American’s have a distinct lifestyle that is quite different to that of the Englishman or Frenchman. One thing that many Europeans find extremely confusing is our abundance of violence in videogames and movies juxtaposed against our fear and lack of abundance of nudity and sex in those same fields. American videogame creators and film directors have no problem showing men being decapitated or men being tortured yet when it comes to the female nipple, that’s where they draw the line?
          It is quite funny when you actually break it down and think about it, even if you are an American like myself. What is more inappropriate, showing someone get tortured my getting their fingers cut off, or showing a man’s penis or a woman’s vagina? For some reason, Americans tend to think the latter is more inappropriate. Yet almost everyone has seen a penis and vagina. We all know what they look like, so where does this fear come from for game creators and movie directors? In Europe the nude human body is viewed as natural and normal. It is shown much more often in games and in movies. Yet they view horrible violence as inappropriate and often refrain from adding it to movies and videogames. It does make you wonder: did we, Americans get it wrong? Are we desensitizing ourselves to the wrong stuff?


Sidequest 5

David Herrmann
Sidequest 5
Apples to Apples: Cabin in Lake Wenatchee Washington
          Why is it that parents love when their kids play board games, and hate when they play videogames? Both stimulate the mind, both are more active than watching television. So why give videogames such a bad rap? This is a question that has always befuddled me. I used to try and reason with my mother in high school and argue that both are intellectually stimulating. While I still believe that both stimulate the mind, there is something tangible about a board game played with family. It’s all laid out right in front of you and you can touch it. One of the other amazing things about board games is the memories they hold. For me, Apples to Apples means one thing: I’m back at my cabin in Lake Wenatchee.
          Regardless of where I play Apples to Apples, I am reminded of those huge bay area style windows overlooking the silent reflecting lake. I am reminded of Christmas. Of five feet of snow piled up outside and of a fire in the fireplace. When you play a videogame you sometimes become engulfed in that realm of false reality. However board games keep you in touch with reality while still allowing you to experience play. This is due to the human interaction that comes with a board game. Players can look into the eyes of other humans and make conversation as they play. They do not just stare at a screen and talk into a headset. Wow. I’m actually starting to sound like my mother.


Sidequest 4

David Herrmann
Sidequest 4

Question: The NCAA’s policy on amateurism in college athletics prevents the compensation of its athletes for their work and instead considers the scholarships received by those athletes as viable compensation? Is this policy fair? Is there a possible alternate policy that would fairly compensate the athletes?
            March Madness and the NCAA College Basketball Tournament has come and gone with all its hysteria and unfathomable moments. With it, Villanova University was crowned champion in one of the greatest finishes to a championship in college basketball history. I was basically glued to the TV for the entire month of March as I became engulfed in the madness. However, the great play of those college athletes reminded me of a question that had befuddled me and still befuddles me today. Should those athletes be compensated for their work and the attention they bring to their respective colleges? The NCAA's policy on Amateurism lays out the restrictions of compensation of its athletes using the ideal that amateurism helps maintain an environment where its athlete’s number one goal is in receiving a valuable education.
            I was then reminded of my family friend Jay Bilas, the top college basketball expert for ESPN and a former Duke Basketball star and graduate of Duke Law School, and his take on the policy. He believes firmly that the college athletes should be compensated more for their work. He carries some bias as his job is centered on the popularity of college basketball. More and more freshman are leaving their colleges early to play professional and compensation could have the effect of keeping them in school longer.

            I understand that colleges profit off of their athletics from ticket sales, merchandise sales, etc. and I also understand that not all sports and athletes make their prospective schools’ money. For instance, the University of Alabama Football program makes the school much more money than the University of Richmond swim team. A backup goalie on a mid-major men’s soccer team contributes to the profits of the school far less than the starting quarterback for a top-10 college football team. I would like to research more on school profits from jersey sales. Under the amateur policy of the NCAA the name of the player is not written on the back of that player’s jersey to be sold. Only the number is stitched. A common fan cannot purchase a Deshaun Watson jersey with the name Watson on the back, only with the number 4 on it. That is not to say that the person purchasing the uniform is not fully aware that he/she is buying a Deshaun Watson jersey. Is there a way to fairly compensate a player off of the jersey sales and the money made from the sale of his jersey? I would also like to research the possibility of allowing college athletes to appear, and to be compensated for appearing, in commercials and from their televised games. This would clearly favor the athlete playing on a more popular sport for a top level team and I would like to research the effects that this may have on other sports and on mid-major programs. Hopefully I will get the chance to fully research this problem in the near future.

Sidequest 3

David Herrmann
Sidequest 3
Rick Shiels: Making Golf Easier for Millennials
          In an era where much of our news, communication, and life is spent on the internet, there is this unique juxtaposition that it has with the game of golf. Golf is one of the oldest organized sports known to man. It is deeply rooted in its history and its traditions rarely fade away. Yet in today’s day in age much of golf instruction is found online. One of the best online golf instructors is Rick Shiels, an Englishman who lives, breaths, and speaks golf.
          Rick is a young man, a perfect teacher for this millennial era. He brings excitement every single days to his golf instruction videos often cracking jokes and laughing at himself. He makes every type of golf video thinkable from swing instruction to on the course videos to golf club reviews. In such an old game where tradition means so much, it is so refreshing to watch Rick Shiels way of teaching. It’s fun, it’s funny, and it’s helpful.

          The other great thing about Rick Shiels videos is this: they are free. Golf is an expensive sport. It gets a bad rap sometimes for even being an elitist sport. Rick Shiels and his free online instruction helps bring golf to the masses a little more. You can check out Rick’s YouTube page by clicking on the link below: 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Game Process Essay

Game Process Essay

Sidequest 2

David Herrmann
Sidequest
3/19/2016
A videogame increases the fan base of the biggest sport in the world
            Soccer is probably the most popular sport in the world. While less popular in the United States, Europeans go literally crazy over professional soccer in cities like Madrid, Barcelona, London, and Paris. Yet the game of soccer is so slow paced. There are usually only 7 or so shots on goal within a game and teams rarely score more than 3 goals. Even more annoying is the fact that players always end up passing the ball along the back line refusing to advance the ball into scoring territory. I don’t know the exact numbers but it seems as though 90% of possession time in soccer is spent in the middle of the field, far away from the goalie and the net.

            FIFA, on the other hand, is fast paced. While it is still a lower scoring game, the ball changes possession seemingly every 10-15 seconds. The ball stays around the attacking areas and games with 30 shots on goal are not unheard of. This is an extremely exciting brand of soccer. However it is unrealistic. FIFA, after all, is a video game. For the style of play to be transferred from the video game to real soccer matches, players would have to be impossibly conditioned. They would have to be in the greatest shape of any human, ever. Yet still, the videogame FIFA soccer has broadened the already enormous fan base of soccer. Americans who loved fast paced games like football and basketball are drawn to FIFA soccer. After playing it over and over again, they begin to learn the names of the players on the best teams in the world. The next thing you know, they are purchasing their favorite teams jersey online and watching every match they play during the season. FIFA Soccer is not just making money for EA Sports, they are making money for, and increasing the popularity of, the game of soccer.