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Topics - Daxx

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1
Photos by My reflection, used sans permission.

FAQ:
Feel free to ask more questions, I'm happy to answer them.

What is LARP?
LARP stands for Live Action Role Play. It is sometimes shortened to LRP or FLRP (Fantasy). LARP is a game where players imagine themselves as characters in a game-world (often fantasy). Imagine Dungeons and Dragons, or World of Warcraft, where instead of rolling dice or tapping at a keyboard, you run around and literally act out your character's actions yourself.

Who plays LARP?
I've met people from all sorts of walks of life. Mostly they tend to be alternative people, as LARP is not usually considered cool by mainstream society. But there are people from all age ranges (most people tend to be in their 20s and 30s), and all genders (gender balance may vary. LARP is still largely male-dominated, but many games have lots of female players).

Isn't LARP really nerdy?
Yes. I'm not going to lie, looking at it from an objective perspective it can be incredibly geeky. But no more so than sitting at a computer grinding your Lv.50 Beastman Shaman, or sitting at a desk painting little models of Space Marines, or rolling dice at a tabletop game in your friend's basement.

What sorts of things do you do in LARP?
Well, more or less anything you can think of. Some LARP games involve sneaking through the woods and beating the crap out of orcs with your greatsword. Some LARP games involve playing a regency noble straight out of Jane Austin, wooing potential spouses whilst eating cake and drinking tea. Some LARP games involve crawling in the mud at the feet of your god, hoping he won't reduce you to a pair of smoking sandals. Some LARP games involve being trapped in a room for six hours whilst progressively horrible things happen to you and those around you. Some LARP games involve politicking your way into rulership of a great nation and staying just abreast of all the intrigue and assassination attempts. There really is scope for almost anything.

That doesn't sound like the LARP I've heard of. I thought it was just throwing beanbags at people and shouting "lightning bolt" whilst hitting people with tubes covered in duct tape.
That sort of LARP also exists, though mostly as local games in the USA. The international variation in LARP can be quite large. Scandinavian and Russian LARP tends to be very immersive and high quality, often eschewing rubber swords and the like completely. UK LARP tries to strike a balance between immersiveness and fun. US LARP tends to be more about hitting your mates with sticks and having a laugh, and sod the silly costumes. This doesn't hold true for all LARP in these places, but they're common trends.

What sort of setting is it? Fantasy, or what?
Settings vary from Tolkeinesque high fantasy through to historical settings, through to sci-fi, through horror and many others. Anything from the grim dark future of the 41st millenium (Warhammer 40k for the uninitiated) to the time of greek and roman myth, to a post-apocalyptic wasteland, to completely alternate universes altogether. Not all LARP involves fantasy; orcs, elves and magic may be common but aren't the be-all and end-all of LARP.

Is LARP different to historical reenactment? I've seen you post pictures of you dressed as a viking. Is that LARP?
That was historical reenactment. The two are subtly different; in LARP you are roleplaying your character as part of a game. Reenactment tends to focus on recreating history as it was, without there being an underlying game to be played. They do of course have many similarities (the costumes, often the fighting - though reenactment fighting tends to be for display purposes), and in the US the line is blurred even further by groups like the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). In general the two are seperate though there may be some overlap.

I want to try this out. How do I get started?
If you're in the UK, PM me and I can try to give you some advice. If you're outside the UK I suggest looking up your local games/comic shop and asking if they know of anything nearby that you can get involved in. The internet is also useful.

Have you seen Role Models?
Yes.
Is it accurate?
Sort of. :P

Show me some more pictures.
Sure. All the photos in this post are from Odyssey, a system run by Profound Decisions in the UK.


2
Portable Games / Henry Hatsworth [DS]
« on: March 19, 2009, 12:17:24 pm »
www.henryhatsworth.com

My flatmate is getting this, and I was astounded - EA appear to actually be developing a solid game for once. Obviously the gameplay isn't anything hugely new or special, but it looks very polished (and the music is great - worth downloading from the site, IMO).

Not that I own a DS, of course, so I wouldn't know: do EA produce a lot of games like this for the DS?

3
PC Games / Video Game Economies
« on: September 08, 2008, 04:59:52 am »
Concerning the economy, it is actually amazing what one can find out. During a titan build, for example, the cost of Scordite, a commonplace ore, nearly doubles, as it's metals are critical to the components needed. If more games had this kind of economy, not only would it be more immersive, but after a given time, it would be near indestructible - nearly nothing could serious harm the market.

I'm hoping to do some work on game economies as part of my doctorate, so it would be interesting so see whether that conjecture requires some prior assumptions about the game environment for it to be correct. For example, in most games the developer often acts like a central bank and regulates the economy through inflows and outflows, and regulates resource availability. I think that's what holds many systems up - after all even real-world economies can crash heavily if they're mismanaged. Game systems are much more susceptible to people gaming the system and manipulating methods of play in order to maximise their wealth, which can easily lead to inflation or the bottom dropping out of goods and resources markets (and the inherent job loss that entails), and so on.

4
Everything Else / Seriously Injured Teen Tasered 19 Times by Police
« on: July 28, 2008, 09:19:02 am »
http://rawstory.com//news/2008/Missouri_Police_taser_injured_boy_19_0726.html

From the article:
"Passing motorists called Ozark police out of concern for the teen as he walked along the busy overpass. When the police arrived, the young man was lying on the shoulder of the highway directly underneath the 30 foot high overpass with a broken back and foot.

Doctors believe 16-year-old Mace Hutchinson broke his back and heel after falling, as his injuries are consistent with such a fall. The boy's family does not understand why police would have tasered the teen 19 times after he was so seriously injured."

This comes just days after the story of a teen tased in Canada who died of a heart attack; the 22nd person since 2003 to die in Canada after being tasered by police:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080725.TASER25/TPStory/National
And just over a week after a taser was used on another teen for 37 seconds before they died in North Carolina:
http://www.wcnc.com/news/topstories/stories/wcnc-071608-mw-officersuspended.603fdb5b.html

I can't remember if we have another taser thread - if so it may be best to merge them if this is going to turn into discussion about tasers in general.

5
Everything Else / Forum Achievements
« on: July 22, 2008, 01:02:30 pm »
I figured this could do with it's own thread. Just a whimsical thing; see how you score. Suggestions on a postcard to this address.

Forum Achievements

IconTitleDescriptionMemberScore
Starting OutMake your first post5
Wait... Don't I Know You?Make 100 posts10
Oh, It's You.Make 500 posts15
Forum RegularMake 1000 posts20
BoardflyMake 5000 posts25
Need A New KeyboardMake 10000 posts40
Need New Fingers make 25000 posts50
I Have Something To SayStart a thread5
SpinnerStart 10 threads10
WeaverStart 50 threads30
Hot TopicStart a thread which gets over 100 replies25
Burning IssueStart a thread which gets over 500 replies50
Everyone's Seen ItStart a thread which gets over 20,000 views20
No-one Will Ever Read This ThreadStart a thread which gets stickied20
Someone Knows Who I AmHave someone refer to you by name5
I Survived The Spore Forum...Start a thread in Spore: General10
...And All I Got Was This T-ShirtHave someone else start a thread with the same topic30
Resistance Is FutilePost in each Spore-related section5
You Will Be AssimilatedMake 100 posts in any one of the Spore-related sections10
We Are The SwarmMake 1000 posts in the Spore-related sections20
WarriorMake more than 10 posts, each with over 100 words, in a single thread10
Warrior's EmblemBe assigned a Flame Warrior type10
Grizzled VeteranAchieve the prerequisites for Warrior in both a religion-related and a politics-related thread25
Push It To The LimitMake a post so long you hit the character limit and are forced to use a second post20
StorytellerStart an RP that involves at least 5 people10
LoremasterStart an RP that continues for at least 10 pages20
GamemasterMaintain a metagame for at least 5 pages10
Incredible SkillsMaintain a metagame for at least 20 pages30
Hangin' AroundAccumulate a day of time spent on the forum10
Home From HomeAccumulate a week of time spent on the forum15
Cave DwellerAccumulate a month of time spent on the forum20
Part Of The ProblemPost In Forum Games5
Part Of The SolutionPost In Site News5
Diverse InterestsPost in every forum section10
Stalin ApprovesPost in the Off Topic... Topic5
Stepping Into The MinefieldPost in the Religion thread5
Identify Yourself!Post a picture of yourself in the Photo Album thread5
Worth A Thousand WordsPost a new picture in the Random Image Bonanza5
InsomniacPost in every hour of the day20
Behind The NameMeet another forumite in real life15
Democracy In ActionVote at least 50 times10
Eminently QuotableHave someone sig one of your comments20
PuppetQuote someone else in your sig5
GabberChat in the IRC channel or other forum-related chat application5
RegularSpend at least 20 days online10
Old-TimerSpend at least 50 days online20
ParentAdopt a newbie10
Are You The Gatekeeper? Find all the forum's hidden keys50
33rd Victor Be a Winner10
LoserChange your forum habits so as to farm these achievements-∞

More to come, possibly. Suggestions welcome. Post your scores, if you're so inclined. If you hit one of these, stick it in this generator and let us know.

Achievement Icons by Brandonazz, Krakow Sam, Celdur and Yannick.

Updated:
2008-7-23 +2
2008-7-24 +4
2008-7-25 +1
2008-7-29 +3
2008-9-08 +1
2008-9-10 +1
2008-10-05 +1

6
Spore: General / EA UK Competition offering Spore Preview
« on: June 18, 2008, 02:55:29 pm »
http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/spore-news-announcements/319996-win-spore-experience.html

Quote
Win a Spore Experience!
We are offering one lucky winner a chance to demo Spore, sometime in August before release at no cost! For a chance to win, all you have to do is send us you contact details, home address, the name you will give your first creature and a brief description of the creature.

Email all entries to: forumadmin@ea.com with the subject “Spore Competition”. We will pick out a random entry and notify them via email. All entries must be with us by August 8th. All entrants must be UK residents and over the age of 13.

Good luck!

7
Spore: Sporepedia Exchange / Daxx's Creatures
« on: June 17, 2008, 08:14:06 am »
http://www.spore.com/view/profile/Destero
Currently just tooling around in the free editor. Comments welcome. Download and upvote the ones you like!

Ankheg
Grislet
Marsh Knub
Broglee
Brillen
Sailed Frosch
Spring Grub
Greater-Bolled Brusher
Losk
Froskiss
Trydon
Golohydra
Giant Logr
Arborran

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Spore: Creation Corner / [NG] The Losk
« on: April 11, 2008, 05:21:23 pm »
Not one of the galaxy's largest, most fearsome, or brightest creatures, the Losk nevertheless have made their way onto the galactic scene through quiet efficiency and dogged determinism.

Biology


A Losk spies a predator

The Losk are small, land-dwelling predators who developed on the scrublands of the planet Hestos in the Gretia-7 system. Their road to sapience was a long one which ultimately came about due to their general lack of other advantageous features. They feed mostly on the large larval stages of a common herbivorous arthropod, but also on the arthropods themselves and, in packs, hunt down huge lumbering grazers by worrying them to death from exhaustion, blood loss and nervous collapse caused by the Losk's poisonous mucous. They were primarily preyed upon by a fast hyena-like predator which ate most anything including the Losk against whose neurotoxins they were able to defend.

An average Losk is about a metre long, weighs little more than 30kg and is a dull orange-brown in colour. At each end of the body is a flexible neck-like appendage which terminates in a tiny head filled almost entirely by a large eye. The body itself contains the vital organs including the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems, protected by a scaly, keratin-like skin. Four flexible legs sprawl from the sides of the body and terminate in dextrous three-toed feet capable of fine motor control. A gaping toothed maw, reproductive organs and mucous glands are hidden under the softer underbelly.

The eyestalks are extremely motile, and are give the Losk significant awareness of its environment, either by looking in different directions to increase field of vision or by giving a form of binocular vision when they focus in the same direction. In the denser parts of the scrub it is common to see only the eyes of the Losk peeking above the vegetation as they keep one looking out for predators and the other looking for food. The Losk are not arboreal, but are capable of climbing and so often escape predators by running to the nearest tree.

The Losk are capable of vocalisations which are surprisingly deep and loud for their size; using the ground to amplify they communicate primarily to warn each other of predators and in order to attract a mate. The species has little sexual dimorphism - the two sexes differ only when the "female" is ready to mate, her skin colour turning a bright yellow. Mating is performed by each participant rearing up on the haunches of the hind legs and communicating genetic material through specially developed mucous glands. The female gives live birth after a gestation period of six months, the offspring ejected via the mouth.

Tribalism

Losk society leading up to sapience was still mostly one of mutual support against predators, though those groups who protected the young of the group as a whole started to become more prevalent. This led to a new behaviour amongst the Losk, that of carrying the young on the backs of the faster adults when escaping from predators. It was at this point that the Losk developed the ability to communicate more than just mating calls and warnings - a Losk could communicate to the rest of its group that it was hurt, that it had just found something interesting, that there was food available, or a number of other basic emotions and signals. This became especially useful as the Losk tribes began to work together to hunt larger prey, as well as in day to day life where a single or pair of members would be assigned to lookout duty, and the older Losk would be able to communicate what they had learned about things in the world to the young in a basic manner.

More to come.

9
Everything Else / Transhumanism
« on: April 08, 2008, 10:04:35 am »
Ah, transhumanism. I don't know what inspired me to create this topic, but I thought it might be interesting to see what people thought. Wikipedia can probably explain it better than I can:

Quote
Transhumanism, a term often used as a synonym for "human enhancement", is an international, intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of new sciences and technologies to enhance human mental and physical abilities and aptitudes, and ameliorate what it regards as undesirable and unnecessary aspects of the human condition, such as stupidity, suffering, disease, aging and involuntary death.

Quote
While many transhumanist theorists and advocates seek to apply reason, science and technology for the purposes of reducing poverty, disease, disability, and malnutrition around the globe, transhumanism is distinctive in its particular focus on the applications of technologies to the improvement of human bodies at the individual level.

What are your thoughts on this sort of thing? Would you go for it, or not? What does it mean to be a transhumanist, or a transhuman? Is it ethical, is it desirable? What does this have to do with a potential technological singularity, the future of the species, and moral/religious philosophy?

10
Spore: General / NERO
« on: January 03, 2008, 01:41:36 pm »
Now, bear with me for one moment. This thread might be better suited to the PC Games section, but I thought it would gather more attention in here whilst we're waiting for release date announcements and so forth.

Neural Evolving Robot Operatives (or NERO) is a machine learning game where you evolve your own team of robots and train them up to fight. The robots have neural nets which when training are affected by a form of artificial selection. Since you influence which bots survive and which do not, you can evolve a team on your whim, training them to perform various tasks in battle.

Quote from: NERO website
NERO is an example of a new genre of games, called Machine Learning Games. Although it resembles some RTS games, there are three important differences: (1) in NERO the agents are embedded in a 3D physics simulation, (2) the agents are trainable, and (3) the game consists of two distinct phases of play. In the first phase individual players deploy agents, i.e. simulated robots, in a "sandbox" and train them to the desired tactical doctrine. Once a collection of robots has been trained, a second phase of play (either battle or territory mode) allows players to pit their robots in a battle against robots trained by some other player, to see how effective their training was. The training phase is the most innovative aspect of game play in NERO, and is also the most interesting from the perspective of AI research.

The artificial neural network "brains" learn by means of the NEAT or Neuro-Evolution of Augmenting Topologies algorithm. Neuroevolution is a genetic algorithm, i.e. a reinforcement learning method that operates by rewarding the agents in a population that perform the best and punishing those that perform the worst. In NERO the rewards and punishments are specified by the players, by means of slider controls. The genetic algorithm decides which robots' "brains" are the most and least fit on the basis of the robots' behavior and the current settings of the sliders.

More information can be found here, and on the NEAT Wikipedia Page

NERO 2.0 has been released fairly recently and can be found from the game's website here. I think it would be quite interesting to see what GamingSteve forum members can come up with, and maybe have some battles amongst ourselves!

11
Everything Else / Lakota Indians Declare Independence
« on: December 20, 2007, 12:57:18 am »
I stumbled across this report a second ago. I'm having trouble finding stories on it elsewhere, but a press release on their website appears to confirm it.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317548,00.html

Here's the Press Release.

Quote
Free Again! Lakota Sioux Make History in Withdrawl From U.S. Treaties

First Nation Travels to Washington D.C., Will Unilaterally Withdrawal from All Treaties with the United States Government

U.S., International Treaty Law Indicate Historic Land Range Returns to Sovereign Lakota People

SUMMARY: For far too long our people have suffered at the hands of the colonial apartheid system imposed on the Lakota Sioux. Our treaties with the United States government are nothing more than worthless words on worthless paper – repeatedly violated in order to steal our culture, our land and our ability to maintain our way of life.

# The devastation this has wrought is clear: Lakota men have a life expectancy of less than 44 years, lowest of any country in the World (excluding AIDS) including Haiti.
# The Lakota infant mortality rate is 5x the U.S. Average.
# The Tuberculosis rate on Lakota reservations is approx 800% higher than the U.S national average.
# 97% of our Lakota people live below the poverty line.
# Unemployment rates on our reservations are approximately 85%.
# Teenage suicide rate is 150% higher than the U.S national average for this group.
# Our Lakota language is an Endangered Language, on the verge of extinction.

We have no choice but to take this historic action to protect our people and our way of life, and reclaim our freedom from the colonial systems of the United States Government. So we travel to Washington D.C. to withdraw from our treaties with the United States and announce full return of our sovereign status under Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, International and Natural Law.

Sourced from http://www.lakotafreedom.com/

12
Everything Else / What D&D Character Are You?
« on: December 15, 2007, 08:23:47 pm »
Yeah, I know, another of these surveys. Pretty cool, though.

http://www.easydamus.com/character.html

You Are A:

True Neutral Elf Wizard (2nd Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength- 13
Dexterity- 11
Constitution- 13
Intelligence- 16
Wisdom- 11
Charisma- 12

Alignment:
True Neutral - A true neutral character does what seems to be a good idea. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other when it comes to good vs. evil or law vs. chaos. Most true neutral characters exhibit a lack of conviction or bias rather than a commitment to neutrality. Such a character thinks of good as better than evil after all, he would rather have good neighbors and rulers than evil ones. Still, he's not personally committed to upholding good in any abstract or universal way. Some true neutral characters, on the other hand, commit themselves philosophically to neutrality. They see good, evil, law, and chaos as prejudices and dangerous extremes. They advocate the middle way of neutrality as the best, most balanced road in the long run. True neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you act naturally, without prejudice or compulsion. However, true neutral can be a dangerous alignment because it represents apathy, indifference, and a lack of conviction.

Race:
Elf - Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Class:
Wizards - Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard's strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

I have no idea why I'm an elf. The description is almost all wrong. Then again, looking at the detailed results show that it's a toss-up between Human and Elf anyway.

EDIT: We should start a DnD campaign where we all play our characters as shown from these tests. Of course, we'd probably end up with a bias towards certain classes.

13
Everything Else / Torture, Secret Prisons and other questionable acts
« on: December 15, 2007, 04:13:35 pm »
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/12/14/bashmilah/print.html?source=whitelist

From the page: "A Yemeni man never charged by the U.S. details 19 months of brutality and psychological torture -- the first in-depth, first-person account from inside the secret U.S. prisons. A Salon exclusive."

It's well known that there are networks of secret CIA prisons, but hard evidence of what happens there has been difficult to come by. Besides removing the right of habeus corpus, some extreme measures have been taken as part of the "War on Terror".

And of course, there's been this whole debate recently about waterboarding (bizarrely some people including the new US Attorney General seem to deny it's a form of torture) practised by CIA interrogators. Stuff like this has been endorsed by Dick Cheney. "Now, you can get into a debate about what shocks the conscience and what is cruel and inhuman. And to some extent, I suppose, that's in the eye of the beholder. But I believe, and we think it's important to remember, that we are in a war against a group of individuals and terrorist organizations that did, in fact, slaughter 3,000 innocent Americans on 9/11, that it's important for us to be able to have effective interrogation of these people when we capture them."

From
http://civilliberty.about.com/od/waronterror/p/torturelite.htm

Quote
The Bush administration has been accused of using "torture-lite," or "moderate physical pressure," against detainees. In practical terms, what does this mean?
Psychological Torture: The number one criterion for American torture is that it must leave no physical marks, and psychological torture certainly qualifies. Whether U.S. officials are threatening to execute a prisoner's family or just falsely claiming that the leader of his terror cell is dead, it's hard to imagine a form of torture that is more effective--or easier to get away with--than a steady diet of misinformation and threats.
Sensory Deprivation: When you're locked up in a cell, it's already remarkably easy to lose track of time. Eliminate all noise and light sources--or, as was done to the Guantanamo prisoners at one point, simply bind, blindfold, and earmuff a prisoner into temporary oblivion--and life becomes a hellish, sanity-destroying experience. Whether prisoners subjected to long-term sensory deprivation can still tell fiction from reality is, of course, another question.
Starvation and Thirst: Maslow's hierarchy of needs identifies basic physical needs as the most fundamental--more fundamental than religion, political ideology, or community. A prisoner who is being given enough (unpleasant) food and water to survive, but only just, can go as long as a week before looking physically thinner--but will soon find that his or her life revolves around the quest for food.
Sleep Deprivation: Studies have shown that missing a night's sleep temporarily drains 10 points from a person's IQ. Consistent sleep deprivation, through harassment, exposure to bright lights, and exposure to loud, jarring music and recordings, can drastically impair judgment.
Waterboarding: Water torture, one of the oldest and most common forms of torture, came to the United States with the first colonists and has cropped up many times since then. In the latest incarnation, waterboarding, a prisoner is strapped down to a board and then dunked in water until nearly drowned, then brought back, gasping, to the surface. The interrogator repeats the procedure until the desired result is obtained.
Forced Standing: "I stand for 8-10 hours a day," Donald Rumsfeld wrote in a 2002 interrogation memo. "Why is standing limited to four hours?" Rumsfeld would probably feel a little differently about this if he had to stand in place for 8-10 hours, which can cause ankle swelling, bruising, and excruciating pain.
Palestinian Hanging (aka Palestinian Crucifixion): This form of torture, referred to as "Palestinian hanging" due to its use by the Israeli government against Palestinians, involves binding the prisoner's hands behind his or her back. After fatigue sets in, the prisoner will inevitably fall forward--putting full body weight on the shoulders, and impairing breathing. If the prisoner is not released, death by crucifixion results. Such was the fate of U.S. prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi in 2003.
Sweatboxes: In this form of torture, sometimes referred to as the "hot box" or simply as "the box," the prisoner is locked up in a small, hot room which, due to lack of ventilation, essentially functions as an oven. When the prisoner cooperates, he or she is finally released. Long used as a form of torture within the United States (most recently against one Alabama activist in 1998), it is particularly effective in the arid Middle East.
Sexual Abuse and Humiliation: Various forms of sexual abuse and humiliation documented in U.S. prisons include forced nudity, forcible smearing of menstrual blood on prisoners' faces, forced lapdances, forced transvestitism, and forced homosexual acts on other prisoners. These abuses and alleged abuses should be considered in light of the fact that most detainees are deeply religious Muslims, and many are married.

A question to the Americans on the forum - doesn't this sort of thing worry you at all? I mean, if it happened in another country wouldn't you be outraged?

14
This is an issue which has made international press, but it's something close to me because I was part of the press covering the event last night.

Basically, a debate was scheduled to be held at the Oxford Union, a private members only (though most of the university are members) club about Free Speech. This stems from an issue which arose when Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, was denied an interview on my radio station Oxide Radio last year by the Oxford University Student Union (the left leaning union to which all students automatically belong) who at the time had editorial control over our content.

Nick Griffin and David Irving (historian and holocaust denier) were invited to speak last night, and basically a complete s***storm erupted. Protesters gathered en masse and ended up delaying the debate by an hour because in addition to completely clogging up the entrance a few broke in and had to be removed from the Union premises. When people were let in for the debate, they ended up being physically assaulted and abused by protesters.

From Wikinews: "Luke Tryl, president of the Oxford Union, defended the decision to allow Irving to speak, saying that the purpose of the debate was to discuss the limits of free speech, not to give the speakers a platform from which to endorse their views. Ned Temko, chief political correspondent of The Observer, disagreed, saying, "It's not a question about giving them a platform, it's about giving them credibility.""

What do you think? Where does free speech in civilised society end, if indeed it does? What do you think about the views of these two speakers? Was this no more than a publicity stunt by the Union? And was the protesters' behaviour just as bad?

Links:
http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Students_protest_Holocaust_denier%27s_appearance_at_Oxford_debate
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jj75XTKlNiXE4f8wgOZM2YT69Hzg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Griffin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Irving

15
PC Games / Zero Punctuation
« on: November 25, 2007, 03:15:16 pm »
I'm surprised we don't have a thread about this most magnificent of reviews yet:

Zero Punctuation is a game review published by the Escapist Magazine, featuring Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw. The content isn't always entirely SFW, but it's damn funny and worth a watch.

My favourite one so far has been the Medal of Honor one; which is your favourite and why?

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