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  1. They hysterically told us for a century that communism is bad, and must be fought tooth and nail to one's dying breath, because under that one literally can't own anything*, and now all other economic options have been neutralised in the public perception they openly declare that the endgame for capitalism is to make all goods into services - at which point we regular peons really would own literally nothing - and expect us to simply acquiesce. If ever an accusation turned out to be an unconscious confession of intent all along, it was surely that. *Untrue, by the way; Marxian economics draws a key distinction between private property ("capital"), and personal property. Strictly speaking, hard socialism and communism only really forbid that the former be treated as the latter, whereas capitalism by practical definition treats them as synonymous.
  2. "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." ― Upton Sinclair
  3. Remember when Google's search engine used to be vastly more powerful, precise, efficient and helpful than any other, their corporate code of conduct laid down by the founders literally contained the phrase "don't be evil" and that was the unofficial company motto, but then one day the new executive chairman declared that ever since he joined the company he had considered the phrase to be "the stupidest rule ever" because "there's no book about evil except maybe, you know, the Bible or something" and then it was quietly changed to "do the right thing" and then later just dropped entirely? Maybe laissez-faire capitalism is indeed the best system at encouraging innovation and entrepreneurialism (I've yet to see conclusive logical proof of this, however), but the sad truth seems to be that it's a perverse, desperate death-race to create new, good companies in order to wrest a little power back from the previous, mature and now-terrifyingly-powerful crop of companies faster than they can be corrupted into entrenched malignity by that exact same system. There's no way to fight them directly once they've grown so vast; the only way to beat them is to invent something that makes their product obsolete, and corner the market faster than they can copy it; if their product cannot be surpassed before they reach maturity and the sociopaths take over and consolidate their position, the old company retains its power and become an unstoppable monster.
  4. This is possibly one of the highest compliments you could have given me; thank you, kind sir or madam. Now, if you'll please excuse me, I have an appointment with a stop sign.
  5. I really am so tired of living in something that does a very good job of looking like a civilisation, but actually stopped being one at least a generation ago. The cycle is well-known. Barbarism -> Civilisation -> Decadence -> Collapse -> Repeat. We're now well into the decadence stage. Those who resort to game piracy just as a means to keep using the goods they bought and paid for (or arguably even those who avail themselves of the efforts of less scrupulous pirates in order to achieve this end), have basically realised the decline-and-fall is in full swing, are disgusted by the decadence of the disinterested elite who now all-but-openly swindle us as if it were their birthright to do so (and waste the wealth they bilk out of us on such absurdities as NFTs, which might as well be the Faberge Eggs of our generation), and are jumping ahead of the curve into the barbarism phase of the next cycle, which is to say behaving in a way that isn't sufficiently scrupulous to pass as civilised, but that nevertheless has a basic code of honour and decency tempered by sheer pragmatism. It's only been over trivialities like games so far, but it'll probably be over food and fuel soon enough. I don't remotely like that this is happening but, if the powers that be continue to flout their end of the social contract long enough, sooner or later everyone else stops holding up theirs. Noblesse oblige, ou noblesse décapitée.
  6. There is nothing, nothing, more satisfying than managing to finally turn the tables in a game that likes to trap you in inescapable hit-reaction loops, and exploit that bullshit mechanic for yourself. The time I managed to beat the ghost pirate back into a corner and then whale on him without him able to get a single strike in in Alone in the Dark is probably my own personal crowning moment of glory; that smugly chuckling bastard's nigh unbeatable otherwise, even if you do have the one-and-only weapon in the entire game that's actually capable of damaging him at all. Clunky and frustrating though the Old Ways were, however, I just have to say this: I like tank controls.
  7. I think the bug in the simultaneous buttons puzzle is that the first two times, you hand-pressed one button first and then shot the other one second, when the game only properly responded to you shooting the first and then hand-pressing second, even though the button lights clearly stay on long enough to indicate there should be enough time to do it in either order.
  8. I, also, miss the awards; they've always been consistently hilarious and apt to the game - I would love to see them again as long as they aren't forced. I know comedy apparently runs on "threes," and Ross mostly gives three awards per game, but I distinctly recall at least one instance where he only gave the game a single award (for Go To Hell, I think) because, quite clearly, one was quite sufficient in that case, and a couple of others where there was a surprise fourth award added on, and I didn't think the reviews suffered at all for these changes, it was all great - so I guess one could easily extrapolate from that trend to say that it's always been possible that some games simply didn't merit an award at all, and we shouldn't be shocked when it doesn't happen. It would probably avoid confusion and just generally be a nice cap to each episode to at least get a brief remark from Ross acknowledging why a particular game doesn't get any awards, though, if I may suggest that - even if it's just a simple "nothing really stood out enough in this game to make me think of any." I guess that could be some kind of "Meh" award, a la Yahtzee's "top five blandest games" in his end-of-year vids? But then again, if a game is truly that unremarkable, one begins to wonder why it got featured in Game Dungeon in the first place, given Ross' apparent criteria for actually covering a game in the first place. I think "Echo" very clearly qualified for at least one award - the good ol' "Love and Hate" - so maybe Ross's production schedule was just too tight on that one and he had to shave things a bit. He's mentioned before that even just the credits are a lot of work to produce and edit into the videos, so perhaps the awards are also a lot more work to produce than meets the eye? I mean, they all seem to have custom artwork, in a consistent and distinctive style, that has to be both funny and succinctly illustrative whilst still fitting into a tiny little space that will only be seen for a couple of seconds. That certainly can't be a quick or easy thing to do, especially if one cares about quality. Really, taking that into consideration, it's very impressive they kept going for so long - but that also means they kind of feel like a beloved trademark of the series to me by now, so it is rather jarring for them to suddenly vanish without a word! At the end of the day, though, Ross blesses us with his hilarious and insightful videos for free. Our amusement is not more important than his health and well-being, so please, Ross, if I don't miss my guess and the awards are indeed becoming just too much effort, then don't work yourself into an early grave just to bring them back. Your videos still ooze quality at every pore, and I love 'em. Maybe you could just re-use older awards with the same artwork, as and when they apply? I, for one, wouldn't mind such an approach; it's always fun to see the old favourites pop up again (I live for the day when you find another "Dog Monarchy" game...)
  9. I suspect the cartoon characters Ross alluded to in this episode, buried deep in his subconscious, may have been the Aardvark antagonists in Canadian cartoon "The Raccoons." Funny, I also spent many years vaguely recalling those weird-looking purple creatures from the show, but not remembering the show itself. Evidently it's just one of those essentially-forgettable-but-not-completely-forgettable things that have a way of slipping out of one's consciousness but then lingering just beneath awareness, a very slightly less dark shadow among shadows...
  10. Try "The Daedalus Encounter" for an example of what this kind of ultra-90's, "you're-an-ROV-pilot-investigating-mysterious-aliens" FMV game can be like when the designers actually put some damned effort into its script and puzzles, and even come up with a decent, possibly even original excuse for why you're having to interact with the world via a flimsy ROV with incredibly crude controls in the first place. Oh, and I think Ross might just like the soundtrack too. Uh, that's if you can cope with a grisly, show-the-literal-flesh-to-technology-grafts-inside-your-own-brain cyberpunk player interface that looks like THIS, but Ross has played Phantasmagoria, so I'm sure he'll be fine: The game's still a 1995 FMV, so inherently limited, but it's got very high production values and the designers were clearly pushing right up against the boundaries of the medium. Yes, that's Tia Carrere; apparently she really loves sci-fi and had a blast making it.
  11. Looking at all these pretty pictures, I've no idea why it didn't occur to me to attach a picture to my own post before! God I miss this thing. EDIT: Earlier post where I mentioned it.
  12. My sincere apologies. I can assure you that I did, carefully and repeatedly, but somehow missed it every time. My brain gets very literally stuck in a loop sometimes, and if it missed something the first time around, it'll generally miss it on every subsequent pass as well. It's as frustrating to me as it is to you, I promise.
  13. One semi-personal point I think may be of interest: I find the traditional "Desktop Metaphor" GUI works best for me, switching to command prompt when necessary, but one thing that stuns me is how few people ever actually attempt to use one like a real, physical desktop, which was the whole point of the thing in the first place. Much like my actual desk, I regard the "desktop" folder on my system as the space to put what I'm dealing with right now - work in progress (and stuff to be processed ASAP, which on a real desk might go in an "in" tray) sits on the desktop, and whenever possible I try to have the desktop totally cleared and tidied away by the end of the day or when I shut down. Once you get back to the fundamental inspiration for designing the "Desktop" GUI in the first place, I feel a lot of design decisions for the default installed configuration, most likely to feel "natural" to the maximum number of people, immediately become pretty obvious; for example, permanent launcher icons for programs have no place on such a desktop - you wouldn't drill a hole right in the middle of your actual desk and install a button there - but temporary folders you're working on today, and mounted volumes of USB sticks and removable drives, do. Desk tidys like "my computer" are more of a matter of taste; some people have sitting neatly on their desk, others prefer to keep everything in a drawer.
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