Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Things to take away from the Gamergate controversy.

I'm not going to take sides in this idiotic debate. Seriously, two months of shouting over a video game review? Anyway, this is all stuff that both sides should have learned by now.
1. There will be jerks and sociopaths on all sides of any controversy. Just because Nixon created the EPA doesn't mean that environmental regulations are a bad idea. Just because Josef Stalin was part of the Allies doesn't mean you should support the Axis.
2. Being a jerk doesn't help your cause either. People have an understandable bias against good ideas when they hear them from bad people.
3. Being offended doesn't mean that you are right.
4. A review of a work of art cannot be completely objective. Whether it is a novel, a movie, gourmet food, or a video game, different people can have different opinions of it. A review reflects the opinion of the reviewer. Opinions aren't right or wrong, but they can be unpopular. Roger Ebert gave 3.5 stars out of a possible 4 to 'Phantom Menace'. Any reviewer can give any rating to anything.
5. Sending death threats to activists only serves to convince them that their cause is vital and just.
6. Decrying offensive content of video games only serves to boost sales.
7. Nothing ever gets resolved on Twitter.
8. If we're arguing, don't send me a video. I hate watching preachy videos on the Internet. You can blame Upworthy for that. Consider yourself lucky that I'm reading what you've typed. If your reason and logic won't convince me, then talking heads and dramatic music won't work either.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Why Red Cross Pheresis Donors Should Be Allowed to Play Civilization On Red Cross Computers

A pheresis donation is where a blood donor donates blood platelets and plasma. A needle is inserted into the donor's arm and blood is extracted by a pheresis machine. This machine separates red blood cells, plasma, and platelets. The red blood cells are returned to the donor, and the plasma and platelets are stored in plastic bags. The plasma has various important medical uses. The platelets are used for medical patients who have trouble forming blood clots.

Pheresis donors are NOT paid, because the FDA prohibits blood products from paid donors to be used in patients. We do this because it saves lives. The ideal pheresis donor has an AB+ or AB- blood type, because these blood types lack the antibodies that could trigger rejection in donors with different blood types.

This process takes several hours, during which the donor just sits in a reclining chair with a needle in his or her arm. .Sometimes the process can be quicker if the donor has a needle in both arms. The donor has the option of watching daytime television oc PG or G rated movies. If the donor has an arm that doesn't have a needle in it, then that they can use their free arm to use a computer to the extent possible with one hand. But since this is a shared public computer, that severely limits what I'm able to do with it. The only games on this thing are Pinball, Solitaire, and Minesweeper.

Yes, it's a first world problem. I'm healthy enough to share my blood with cancer patients and save their lives. And I'm bored out of my mind during the process.

So I propose that additional games be installed if donors are willing to pay for the Red Cross to have its own copy. The games must be rated "E for Everyone" and be able to be played with a trackball mouse. One such game that can be played for hours on end is Civilization. It is a wholesome, educational game in which the player builds a civilization from scratch, founding cities and building libraries, universities, and a military to protect those cities.  If you played it, you know how addicting it is. Other games will make your thumbs sore and your brain numb. People who play Civilization can and do play it for hours. A single game of Civilization can take 24 hours or more to complete. So pheresis donors would have to play their games over the course of several visits.

Civilization is a game that reminds players of the greater good. The donors who enjoy this game will be motivated to make donation appointments on a regular basis. Ultimately, this would benefit the cancer patients and hemophilia patients that the Red Cross is trying to help.