Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Penny Arcade Artist's WWII Veteran Grandfather Speaks

"Gabe" / Mike had his aunt conduct an interview with his grandfather, a World War II navy veteran. Please read it.

At the end I noticed three important things:

  1. Everything he had from the war was lost. He came home with the clothes on his back - his medals, his souvenirs, his diary were all lost. This creates a larger disconnect when you have nothing to hold on to; it's all in the mind, and coming home to the United States was different than Great Britain.
  2. Once home, he married, returned to his job and stayed there his whole career.
  3. He doesn't like WWII "First-Person Shooters" because the only interactivity is killing each other with guns (phrased differently but this is the core).
This made me think of the cyclical nature of the human experience. Prior to The Great World War (One), war was romanticized. Many Europeans wanted to fight. They were in for a rude awakening thanks to modern warfare and outmoded military generals and their tactics.

Here too, we see a new generation, unfamiliar with real war, experiencing it as they can. Instead of books, we now have First-Person Shooters.

I, for one, applaud that the (statistically) ignorant masses, victims of the American Public Education System, are seeing something, learning about the weapons, the uniforms and a bit about the places and battles, however imperfect (the proliferation of sub-machine guns in these games is completely unrealistic).

I embrace the fact that we have yet another generation unfamiliar with war, because that is normal. They will go and face (the 2nd Gulf War) and come home different, like Ralph did, amidst a public who still has no freaking clue what it's all about, what they went through, and what life really means.

Most people, unless their eyes are opened in this manner, are just destined to never understand.

Friday, December 07, 2007

10yo Girl versus Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 Online Players

MoH:H2 is the first 32 player online Wii game.

Capture the Flag, in the map entitled "Sewers", 32 player map (16 people per side)

Kills Deaths Kill Steals* Flag Captures Team Rank
10 3 5 2/3 1st
5 0 0 3/3 1st
5 3 10 3/3 3rd
20 3 5 3/3 1st
1 0 0 3/3 2nd

* Kill Steals are approximate because Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 doesn't track that, but everything else Lupita copied down from the stat board at the end of each match.

These scores are incredible for an adult let alone a 10 year-old girl.

The last match, where she got 1 kill and all 3 flag captures, she said someone shot at her with a sniper rifle and she saw the direction it came from thanks to the heads-up-display, so she chucked a grenade that direction and found cover, and the sniper went "boom."

The 4th match (20 deaths, 3 kills) she got lucky and killed 4 or 5 people with one grenade. I asked her about that round, asking how'd she rack up so many kills, and she said "Well a shotgun and grenades go well together."

Gee, I think every red-blooded man would agree with that.

I asked her how she netted so many flags, and she said "The people on my team were so dumb. They'd run to the other side and then stop to shoot at anyone they met. So I'd just run past them and collect the flag while the enemy was busy shooting at them."

Another trick she'd pull was shooting in one of the two doorways at the spawn point of the enemy side and then ducking for cover; they'd look and see the people she was with, open fire, and then she'd go get the flag, effectively making the people around her targets. But, since they were stupid, this seemed an appropriate use for them.

I remain amazed.