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20070825

Fish, nipples and donkeys

Entry 325 posted in: 3. Gamebits


I quit playing Fishing Champ before the open beta was over. The reason why can be found on a forum thread, dedicated to the game, and written by Pompoko:
"I would say this game is probably boring from the start. But fishing is always boring as it is. You cast - sit - wait - reel in - cast - sit - wait, wait, wait, and wait..."

Now why is a fishing simulation boring and a golf simulation not? And believe me, playing a golf simulation isn't the world's most dynamic pastime either.

Although both applications are primary solitary, in Shot Online golf you mostly play (alone or teamed-up) against an adversary. Although the final outcome of the game is entirely up to you - you either play well or not - there is always the change to win the game when your opponent is actually a bit more careless or unfortunate than you. I have won games against people who ranked high above me but when I play against people who nicely par at level 10, I suddenly want to show off and desperately try to obtain the necessary birdie to win the game. Most of the time my ball ends in the local bunker or pond (alas without fish) and the low level player gets the bait. Such is the game.

The success factor of the Shot Online game is the fact that the player's input immediately leads to results. The program is made in such a way that the player beliefs he or she is in absolute control of all possible factors in the game. And the outcome is almost instantaneous, the moment you hit the ball you instinctively know if you have hit a killer ball or just a bum. For me Fishing Champ is just a bit too random to please me.

Not that Shot Online is so perfect either. The new update meddles with my version of FreeRAM XP Pro, probably the best free RAM manager that is around, and I have to disable that utility before I start the game. And a few days ago my round was abruptly stopped by the build-in Hackshield security tool, that prevents players to use illegal ways to obtain better results, only because my preferred media player MediaMonkey wanted to contact the web (after I accidentally used a keyboard shortcut that provoked that). Not only I lost the game I was currently playing in (and I was winning godammit!), but also my entrance fee was gone, including the extra credits and all other advantages that come after you win. On top of that I will probably be listed as a hacker on their database, which is, I assure you, not the case. Questions about this incident on their forum have not been answered yet.

And this brings me to the grass controversy of the game. Shot Online is intended as a family game so the use of inappropriate words is not allowed. Even I can understand that. Now, you may not know this, but there is also a real-life variety of golf played on planet Earth. To most people the green fluff that covers the ground on golf courses is a botanical organism commonly known as grass. Not to Shot Online players though. When you open a chatbox and type in: 'your ball has landed on the grass', the game will warn you that you have to be more polite. Because grass contains the letter combination a-s-s, and besides the fact that ass means donkey, it also means anus in those parts of the world where people are too lazy to write arse. Thus you cannot use the word grass in the Shot Online game.

I am and will always be against censorship, especially when the censorship is stupid. And mostly it is. Carom 3D is an online pool and snooker game that for one reason or another is very popular in Brazil. The rules are such that Carom 3D will ban you if you use swear words, if you use them too often you will even be banned for life. But the offensive words filters only take English words into consideration and thus the Brazilian players, especially the warm-blooded variety of them, will abuse you in their local lingo. I have become quite an expert in Portuguese swearwords in the last three years, I can tell you that.

Several Internet forums (I'm pretty sure Anthony Burgess would've preferred fora) also use word filters, often with hilarious (or better put: annoying) results. I once put a message on an Are You Being Served bulletin board about good old Mrs. Slocombe but wasn't allowed referring to her small carnivorous mammal in the way she usually does. Even the Late Night forum, dedicated to the words and works of Syd Barrett, doesn't allow the four-letter word that Syd Barrett has used in this song.

Yesterday I was watching the National Geographic channel when the program was interrupted for what I thought would be a commercial break. Instead it was an important health warning video telling you not to use Sanex shower products anymore. The accompanying video clearly showed that the lady, who was caressing her body in slow orgiastic movements, wasn't aware that the product had washed her nipples away! I suddenly felt very old and longed for those TV commercials in the mid Eighties for Fa Shower Gel.

Or should we refer to Elave who claim they have nothing to hide?


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