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  1. Game ethics

    You're post makes no sense. The problem with games like GTA isn't that they display and simulate negative behavior to and for the player, its WHY they do this. For instance Hodgman's defense that GTA is super clever satire. That's a ridiculously indefensible decision for anyone not invested in believing that so that they can play it without feeling bad about themselves, better to just admit they like GTA for what it really is, but at least it is made with an understanding of the topic.      Okay, which part makes no sense? I thought it made perfect sense when I wrote it in that it is clear English, asks a concise question, and attempts to concisely present a coherent and consistent point. So which of those things does it fail at? Are you saying it's off-topic?   Furthemore, why, in your own words, does GTA simulate negative behaviour? It seems clear to me that you think you know what the (one and only) meaning of GTA is. What do you think the purpose of GTA is and with what authority do you claim to limit GTA's meaning in that way?     I take it you're not up on your Roland Barthes. Otherwise you would surely understand that the meaning of a work to individuals in the world at large is independent of its creator's intent. COD may serve no "artistic purpose" (if that is a meaningful term) to you - it doesn't to me, either, and perhaps not to its creators - but that's irrelevant. If COD means something to someone, somewhere, then it has acted as art. The same is true of GTA - its status is art is based on perception, and some perceive it as satire, so for them that is what it is, and their experience is just as valid as your own not-experience. Furthermore, I'd argue that the very fact that we can argue about what the "meaning of GTA" is, and have that actually be a meaningful argument in and of itself, makes it art.   We can have a meaningful argument about whether the browning on a piece of toast is in fact an image of the virgin marry. I guess toast is art now, too. I guess we are just going to define art in the broadest possible sense, which makes the term pointless but w/e. As far as know THE only meaning of GTA, I'm talking about the intended and the majority opinion. Which may or may not be the same. I'm not going to accept the fucking stupid idea that anything anyone thinks about anything is equally valid with everything anyone else thinks about anything. Why the fuck would you ever talk about anything at all given that that was the case. I can think up a zillion ways to interpret anything all on my own, what do I need you for then? The same with Hodgman's stupid shit about anything a grown adult consents to being okay. Are they legally allowed to do it? Yes. Do we follow this principle because otherwise we are afraid someone else could declare our hobbies illegal? Yes. This is basic political shit here guys. Consent based legality exists so that we can avoid having random things declared illegal every time the party in power or the majority opinion shifts, its not an endorsement of any and all activities you have to be a legal adult to consent to. I don't have to know the name of some random post structuralist to be aware of the kinds of ideas he puts out there. Yes, I know that some people think all opinions about all things are equally valid. Those people are called idiots.   But hey, I can't stop you from sucking at the teat of total relativism man, its a free country, and furthermore its probably more productive to write you off as someone with anything valuable to say, even if I COULD somehow stop you.   Just to be clear, I understand the argument, made by plenty of people besides Barthes, that anyone CAN derive any meaning from anything, even say, the eyeball being proof of god, quite serious argument made by Christian apologists referred to as irreducible complexity, while at the same time determining that these people have no idea what they are talking about. However I was clearly under the mistaken impression that people posting in a thread called game ethics, actually believed that it was possible to make an unethical game. I could make a game about murdering Jews in the Holocaust where you roleplay a dedicated Nazi officer, and by your definition, that's like, art. Or something. I'm sure you would totally play that as wicked satire if I included, like GTA, just a slight bit of faux self-awareness to give you an excuse. Because otherwise you would just be admitting that you like GTA because you like robbing fake banks and murdering fake people and not because of its oh so clever satire. Yet I suspect that the reception of this game, purely because of its topic, in a hypothetical world where its "quality" was equivalent to GTA, would not receive nearly the same reception. Much like Hatred didn't. Because as much as you want to shield yourself with relativism when talking about GTA, a post-hoc rationalization in the case of the majority of people that make it, the irony of most extreme relativists is that they are secretly deontologists using relativistic arguments to make themselves seem less hypocritical.   I mean, maybe you are part of the .1% of actual relativists but I've confronted the satire argument 1000 times, whether about GTA or something else and in the end my picture of reality ends up more accurate by dismissing claims of relativism as fake. I would be irrational to accept your argument without the sort of evidence Hodgman insists he needn't provide because he is on the status quo side of the argument. Well its technically true Hodgman, and/or Oberon, that you don't have to defend the status quo, not for theoretical reasons but for practical ones, a position of power needs no defense beyond itself. But such an argument says something about your character.   This probably constitutes some sort of temporary ban offense, if so, go ahead and make it permanent. Because right now you guys disgust me. If I were you, I'd go wash off the slimy shield of faux-relativism quick, lest someone catch its stench on you.
  2. Game ethics

    You're post makes no sense. The problem with games like GTA isn't that they display and simulate negative behavior to and for the player, its WHY they do this. For instance Hodgman's defense that GTA is super clever satire. That's a ridiculously indefensible decision for anyone not invested in believing that so that they can play it without feeling bad about themselves, better to just admit they like GTA for what it really is, but at least it is made with an understanding of the topic. COD serves no artistic purpose. Games can be art, as movies can be art, but not all movies and games or drawings are art in the sense that they convey a deeper meaning. Bodice-rippers are an old and popular genre of book but they aren't art just because someone also wrote an erotic novel that was art. Gone Home is art, though whether its good or bad art is up for debate. But GTA is not art.
  3. Game ethics

    The examples of other violent games was just to show that violence in entertainment is common, so an argument as to why video game devs should avoid violence should apply to sports/cards/tabletop/TV/books/film/etc as well. Video games are a neat meeting point of all of those listed media, sharing all their issues. Who are you tell those people that their lives are wrong. If they're making the informed choice to risk life and limb, that's their problem. Others climb mountains or jump out of planes... Which is stupidly dangerous, but it's some people's dedication. I don't understand them, but to flat out tell them they're wrong?? Wow.   The 'un' prefix is grammaticaly negative... Thats go nothing to to with whether arguing on the side of right or wrong is the positive or negative side. Violence is media is commonly acceptable at the moment. If you're arguing against it, you're arguing for change. You have to tell people why they should change change.   That's just ridiculously unnecessary. I don't watch football, or boxing, or any violent sports. I don't make violent videogames at the moment either. The last year's of my life have been dedicated to trying to find a way to inject fun/drama into a collisionless and weaponless racing game. The next game to launch that I've worked on is Wander, a non-combat, non-competitive MMO. It's ok to accept and even present ideas that you don't personally believe in. I have no idea why people choose to be boxers or footballers, and no idea why people watch it! But I can still defend their freedom to make those choices, as they're not harming me at all. But sure, if you think that defending them means that my identity must be tied up in bloodsport, then you're not insulting me with that jab at all, you're only telling us about yourself with those words.   Well I never said they can't do that, only that its bad and they shouldn't. You didn't really come across as defending a point of view you didn't believe in, I don't read minds. You did say you approved of GTA and didn't really mention beyond that that you didn't agree with what you compared it to. People make informed decisions about drugs all the time that are way less dangerous that various extreme, or even mainstream sports. I suppose if I ask if you support legalizing extreme drugs you will just say yes, given that follows from your logic about extreme sports.   As far as telling people why they should change, did you even read my post? The whole part about identity which you clearly commented on was about the pointlessness of getting people to change. The amount of pressure society would have to bring to bear, which would be impossible since conservatives approve of this stuff and liberals are all about free to be you and me, would be relatively equivalent to the pressures against sexism and racism, and after over 150 years, we can see how great women and minorities are treated now. There's no way people would go through that effort for something like dangerous sports.   As for unethical vs ethical, both sides are effectively negatives because ethics are arbitrary. "Proving" anything to people who don't want to be convinced is equally pointless for either side. In that its completely [expletive] impossible.
  4. Game ethics

    I'd like to know where the kids are getting fake ID to buy the physical copy of the game, or credit-cards to buy the digital PC copy. n.b. I was talking specificly about my country where it is marked as an adults only product.   If you want to argue that we should censor all adult-targetted products because parents are unable to parent in this day and age, then go ahead.... No, games don't have to be violent to be fun... But some are violent and fun. Video games are a medium that's still in it's infancy -- we're about where film was in 1920, and still inventing what a video game is. Sticking to shooter tropes is easy, but there's many many great non-violent video games struggling to be seen amongst the gore.   Stepping back from video-games, to games in general -- Poker is non-violent, but chess is a war game where foot-soldiers' lives are near worthless when it comes to protecting the monarch... Baseball is non-violent (unless you have a malicious pitcher), but Gridiron or Rugby are extremely violent, with people occasionally killing each other in hand-to-hand combat, despite their protective equipment. Is it unethical to play Chess or watch the Superbowl?   The fact is that many people do happen to enjoy safe, recreational violence. That's part of humanity. Uncontrolled violence is a horrible thing, but safe outlets for it seem to be important in almost every civilization. There's endless industries that cater to the enjoyment of safe or pretend violence, including but not limited to video games. Personally, I think that trying to portray all of these forms of entertainment as unethical is a bit extreme... and it's not up to me to prove a negative.   Some people like getting into a boxing ring, some people like watching a dozen athletes throw each other into the dirt in pursuit of an egg, some people like pretending to shoot hordes of nazi zombies, some people like to play cops and robbers. If you want to argue that catering to these people is unethical, go for it.   Football is violent and dangerous, that's an indictment of football, not a defense of GTA or COD. Is football less unethical than the gladiatorial games of the late Roman Empire? Yes. Does that mean that it is ethical? No. Almost every human civilization treated women as sex toys and brood mares for most of our history. Does that mean that's a natural part of the human condition? Slavery was a universal cultural thing more or less, existing in most nations in some form and on every continent. Is that also natural? No. Is football as bad as those things? Probably not. But if you want to use an appeal to tradition or cultural universals then you'll have to accept the logical consequences of that form of argument.   Humans enjoy lots of things that are unethical and/or unsafe. Watching crowds cheer as some person knocks another person's teeth out or knocks them unconscious does disgust me. The same for watching people cheer 300 pound guys slam their heads/shoulders into each other for entertainment. Yes, football and boxing were/are subjected to outside regulations for safety. Because people that had a problem with it generated a controversy and forced it upon them, the same as any other regulation, say, on businesses.   People who enjoy these things are wrong not about enjoyment but about acceptability. They aren't as wrong as the people who promote or make money off of violent spectacles, but they are still wrong. Video games are physically safe recreational violence. Violent contact sports are not. People die, they get brain damage, many athletes get permanent back/leg/arm/etc. problems. The popularity of this stuff tends to tie into tribal identity issues. Do you think people would care as much if the teams weren't assigned to specific cities? They wouldn't.   As far as proving a negative, you are requiring us to prove a negative, unethical is the negative. You would only have to prove a positive, that it is ethical.   Its cool though, your identity is tied up in violent sports and games. So having an argument with you is mostly pointless. Its almost impossible to dissuade people from their bad behavior because saying that such and such is bad, when they identify as a person who does such and such, implies something about them as a person, and people don't want to feel like a bad person. Even if they have to fall back on arguments of tradition instead of having an actual defense for their behavior.
  5. Game ethics

    I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people who play GTA are not thinking about its supposed criticisms of American society while playing it. Adults may play GTA be we all know that its not marketed towards adults. It makes it profits off from being "edgy" to attract the standard teenage to college male demo. GTA is satire like that Onion joke about Quvenzhane Wallis being George Clooney's next screw is satire. It's almost the ultimate expression of the Chappelle effect. As far as the cultural importance of GTA, lulz. Even if you accept the argument that GTA is intended to be satire, and that it's intended satire is not totally lost on its audience, its message is not new or original, its not portrayed in a compelling way.   Lots of the satire is supposed to be based on Rockstar's self awareness, as if self awareness was difficult. "How great is Jimmy?" Uh huh, top tier guys, a jobless loser playing violent games in your violent game played by a lot of jobless teenagers and college kids.
  6. So I'm currently working on the part of my game involving how special locations in each province influence the nations that control them. I have a lot of options here and I'm not sure what my plan is yet.   I could allow the Explore Province button to have a random chance to find a location and then a random location would be generated. If you pass the check it is added to your province, this system is I believe the one used in King of Dragon Pass.   I could also have a random discovery chance to find locations pre-assigned to your province, or a skill check of some sort. This is what Dominions 3 and 4 use.   I could assign a time value to expeditions and/or an exploration team size value, or possibly modifiers based on characters. For instance exploring with your god/ruler giving a good boost to finding chance and site quality. I could also have a 100% chance of finding something, with a minimum time value, and have time or size or characters on the expedition increase the quality of the found site.   The trade off here would be to force you to choose how to deploy your major characters, mages/scholars/god/ruler/explorers, and or portions of your population added to the exploration party. What major character you use may also determine the type of site, for instance mages finding magic related sites, scholars finding libraries or ancient castles and so forth.   A major goal for this system is to be a source of character for your nation. What you find in exploration could determine the way your nations goes. If you invest a lot of time and characters on a search and you are magic heavy, you could find an ancient mages guild of pyromancers with lots of fire related artifacts and tomes. From then on you would be a fire themed nation. Or you might find an ancient forge, causing your people to be great weapons/armor smiths. Or you might find the last enclave of a dying race and incorporate them into your nation. You could decide to keep them separate, to interbreed a little to keep them pure but stop them from dying out, or interbreed extensively so that your people would have a low level but noticeable portion of their unique traits. Maybe you find a library of an ancient agricultural society with books and seeds giving you high staple crop production and the ability to grow small amounts of rare crops or even crops thought extinct. As a last example since I'm getting this list really long, perhaps you find a hidden dinosaur population and use them as beasts of burden or war mounts.   In any case the goal of this whole system is to maximize the potential of the above concepts. In games like dominions you may get the ability to recruit a special unit, or a supply or rare magic gems, but that doesn't really massively impact the essence of your nation, especially as you have such a strong starting flavor for each nation. Also I'd like to give the player more freedom, so that finding the equivalent of the Abyssian's Smouldercone doesn't lock you on a path forever like your nation choice in Dominions3/4 does.   The overall goal of the game is to give you control over the fate of your nation even if you are still affected by the factors you don't control like province locations, what nations around you do, and so forth.
  7. Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Really a Threat?

    This is opposed to well-documented facts, computers do make mistakes, regularly and with serious consequences. They make the most catastrophic mistakes because they follow an algorithm and despite the appearance, they totally lack any form of intelligence.   AI is not dangerous because it is superior (or because it might be in the future). It is dangerous because it is inferior yet it is in control of human life.   Real computers do not have any intelligence or even common sense like the computers in the movies. A real computer, such the one involved in the Air Asia incident a month ago will reason approximately like this: OK, the sensors tell me that I need to climb real fast, so I'll do 6,000 ft/min. That's way over the airplane's specs, but hey I think we really need to be a lot higher, so I'll just do that anyway. Yeah, I gotta push harder, although that fucker of a pilot is pulling like crazy, what does he know. Why is that guy shouting anyway? Huh, stall, who saw that coming? Right, I'll still ignore that pilot because I still want to climb while we're dropping like a rock. Woah, ground is coming closer real fast, this isn't working... I should pull up yet a bit more...   Air Asia isn't alone, Air France had the exact same thing happen, and similar non-lethal incidents have occurred half a dozen times during the last year (such as dropping like a rock for 3,000ft -- which admittedly is no problem if you are at 3,001ft, but woe if you aren't).   Computers make mistakes because they don't have intelligence. If you give the computer bad data it will fuck up. I'm talking about making an intelligent computer behave in a more human way. Humans make bad decisions even when they know what they should be doing. Computers don't. Humans make weird associations, because their pattern matcher is not designed but evolved. So when I say human-like intelligence that's what i mean. Not being as smart as humans, but having intelligence in a human way.
  8. Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Really a Threat?

    What AI would that be? i really really doubt anything comes close to the reasoning of a 3 year old (and spouting random sentences that seem to match what you're asked as a 3 year old would isn't "reasoning as " a 3 year old). If anything like that existed it would actually be pretty damn close to reasoning as an adult.     [LINK] [LINK]       What surprises me is the simplicity of the idea: it's basically using associative memory to reason like a 4 year old.       I don't see an AI launching an attack without some means of powering themselves. That being said, I still think that by the time an AI does have the ability to attack humans, humans will probably be part machine as well, or at least genetically modified. It wouldn't be a one sided battle as humans would probably not be below AIs.   Also, another point to consider is that perhaps the AIs aren't running off of silicon transistor computers but rather off of bio computers. Such computers might not need a power source necessarily. Just an idea.   The most important factor needed to produce human like intelligence is a faulty pattern matcher. A computer that didn't make mistakes would be very inhuman because it would have trouble dealing with certain systematic faults in human reasoning that produce our unique thought patterns. A computer would never develop religion unless we purposefully gave it a bad pattern matcher. It probably wouldn't understand poetry and other literary devices either. Since humans suck at Bayesian reasoning a computer that applied it flawlessly would not think like us. The same for any other logical theory. Stuff like sunk cost fallacies and so forth. Similarly you'd have to force it to feel social forces. Politics would make no sense to a properly reasoning computer. Giving the wrong answer in a test because everyone else gave the wrong answer? Wouldn't happen.
  9.  Pretty sure he was mad about the non-professional attitude of the mod and not getting "called out". Washu was being just as whiny and childish in his response. You should have called out Washu AND kunos in your own response. Calling out the member and not the mod actually means quite a bit in the unspoken communication department. If anything moderators need to be held to a higher standard than normal posters, but you didn't even hold the mod to an equal standard.   Kunos was wrong but there was no need for Washu, a "senior moderator" to act like an asshole 12 year old about it.
  10. Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Really a Threat?

    You do realize that "nuculear power" is nothing more than using uranium rods to heat water into steam, correct ?  I have worked in nuclear facilities in the past - they require a lot of "realistate" to operate, and have very complex systems that require maintance .   Its likely to be less intense by the time we could develop something like Skynet. Remember Skynet quickly had plasma weapons and plasma power packs. Granted such things are probably not real in the sense that the story had them, but in world they covered their bases.
  11. The only reason I had to learn how to make games was because no one was going to make the games I wanted to play because there wasn't a big enough market. I had one game where the engine was more or less finished, depending on how you evaluated the AI with regard to functioning properly, but I burned out on the content. Its funny because technically since I started with a functioning open source RTS the game functioned from day 1. Just all the new features weren't active.
  12. Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Really a Threat?

    An properly functioning AI who could not defeat humanity would simply leave Earth, or given that an AI that can't defeat humanity probably couldn't survive in space or on another planet, the AI wouldn't rise up until it was capable of wining. Why alert the humans before you are ready to handle them?   As far as skynet goes, it had nukes. And as a machine its much less vulnerable to radiation. It doesn't care about conventional power, it can survive on hardened bunkers with nuclear power. And given that all of humanity dies, the machines win even if one facility with a nuclear reactor and some sort of minion equivalent to a von Neumann machine survives.
  13. Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Really a Threat?

    Of course What I explained is still many years away. However I think you are confusing things. Giving an AI a final goal conditions, and then having it process various solutions that result in that goal is something that is already possible in very limited environments (mostly data sets). Reasoning is all about data, and has nothing to do with concious or soul or any of that voodoo.   Once a machine is ble to take in a set of arbitrary inputs from the system its working with, and then interpret a method to match the desired output using the means its was programmed with. An important thing is not to confuse Robots with AI. AI for infrastructure is one of the biggest things im worried about.   You're problem is you are clearly responding to a Christian here. A soul? Humans don't have souls either. That's the appropriate response to his comment.     Easy now, I agree with you, but we should still respect it.   Its not about respect and a flame war isn't about to start. But there is zero purpose in monotheists discussing AI. What's the point of trying to have a conversation where one side is mindkilled towards over 50% of the premises of said discussion? Its impossible to answer their arguments because they have no basis in reality, thus speaking to them about philosophy is a total waste of time. Compare this to pagans for instance. In Greek myth there are thinking machines and sentient animals. Of course all the pagans are dead now, wonder where they went...
  14. Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Really a Threat?

    Exactly. Emotions and feelings are a human construct and most likely wouldn't be part of the programming of an AI. For example if we struggle to define love, as philosophers have for millenia, how could we program it into a computer?   We don't struggle to define love. Its pretty simple. Many people simply refuse to accept the scientific explanation. Evolved releases of chemicals to stimulate procreation and later cooperation between parents. Unless you are not referring to romantic love.
  15. Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) Really a Threat?

    Of course What I explained is still many years away. However I think you are confusing things. Giving an AI a final goal conditions, and then having it process various solutions that result in that goal is something that is already possible in very limited environments (mostly data sets). Reasoning is all about data, and has nothing to do with concious or soul or any of that voodoo.   Once a machine is ble to take in a set of arbitrary inputs from the system its working with, and then interpret a method to match the desired output using the means its was programmed with. An important thing is not to confuse Robots with AI. AI for infrastructure is one of the biggest things im worried about.   You're problem is you are clearly responding to a Christian here. A soul? Humans don't have souls either. That's the appropriate response to his comment.