Committing to the Action

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Well, now I’ve done it.

Guess I’ll have to start learning how to play this thing when it gets in. (Sadly backordered in this color.) Anyone be interested in watching some fool learn how to play guitar live on the internet? Because I’m debating broadcasting my experience with Rocksmith when I get it going.

The Last Lemp

St. Louis Magazine:

On October 18, 2012, the Riverfront Times published a story headlined “One of the Last Lemps,” identifying “Andrew Lemp Paulsen” as “the last remaining descendant of Anna Lemp” and describing his tours of the crypt, with “insider history.” Paulsen told the reporter he’d never known that people were so interested in his family’s ghostly history until he was in college and happened to see a magazine that named the Lemp Mansion one of the “top 10 most haunted places in America.” The RFT article included photos of Paulsen and of William Lemp Jr., the latter captioned “Proof that well-defined jawlines and strong schnozes run in the family.”

There was one small problem. According to her obituary in The New York Times, Anne-Marie Konta died on April 16, 1973—11 years before Andrew Paulsen was born.

The story of the Lemp family is a weird one. It’s supremely intertwined with the history of St. Louis, and parallels its own rise and fall over the years.

That someone engaged in what can only be described as a long con to prove himself a Lemp family member is fairly bizarre, but interesting to read about.

Live Another Another Day?

Man, Live Another Day wasn’t the best 24 has ever been, so I guess that’s over and done with, even though they ended it on a cliffhang—

During the 2015 FOX upfronts press call, Dana Walden and Gary Newman, chairmen and CEOs of the Fox Television Group, revealed that another edition of “24” is in development.

Oh, hm.

Well, I’m not sure I would be all that interested in another one of those; what else could they—

Details are scarce at this time, but perhaps the seed for a new “24” season was planted on the “Live Another Day” Blu-ray/DVD release. A special feature on the discs shows Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) in solitary confinement, offering to spill secrets to the Department of Justice in exchange for release from solitary. The request is denied, but someone plants some secret plans for escape in the lawyer’s glasses and in the end, Tony is seen looking at the escape plans.

LET’S DO THIS THING

(source)

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Accessibility Microtransactions?

Mortal Kombat X came out late last night, and I took some time to mess with it. I was having a good time, minding my own business with the story mode and enjoying myself. You know what? This is a pretty good-looking game, I must say:

It looks great, plays well, and has a fairly interesting character selection.

During a match, I paused the game to get a look at the movelist for my character, and I saw this:

I like a lot about this. I like the quick reference to the special moves. My eye moves down, sees “Easy Fatalities.” I remember hearing them talk about this on one of their pre-release streams – simplified button inputs for the series’ trademark ultra-violent finishing moves.

You know what? That sounds pretty cool. Not everyone has the ability to put in those commands within the timing window available. I think to myself, “That’s a pretty cool feature.”

There’s a red skull icon next to the commands; I think nothing of this as there’s also an icon that’s to the left of some of the special moves because they are limited to a specific character variation. No biggie. Later in the night, I’m wrapping up and I’m sitting at the main menu.

I figure I’ll take a look at the Store and see what’s in there; I already have the DLC pass as I bought the special edition at discount. Wonder what else is in there?

Oh, OK. So they are going to take lazy people’s money. That’s fine; I’m not lazy so I won’t bite, but sure – go ahead and take what you can. I’m sure some people will throw down an additional $20. (BTW, this would make the game cost $110 at this point if you also bought the season pass.)

Next page:

whhhhhaaaaaaaaatttttttt

This causes me to double-take. And I look at the pause screen yet again:

It’s not just an icon. It’s a consumable. OK, I guess, sure, I’m not going to use this, but that’s a bit dodgy that you put the command inputs that make people spend bits of money on the pause screen and hide the real deal behind another button press, but sure, whatever—I’m starting to expect this out of AAA games.

This morning it hits me—they are putting a microtransaction price on accessibility. The simplified button inputs, combined with other system and button-level changes on the PS4, would definitely help people who need accessibility options play this game, but this is a pay-to-play lock on content for people who might need the command assistance.

You (and everyone else) should be angry about this. Games already have enough of a problem with being accessible to everyone. Now we need to put something that would be honestly helpful behind a paywall?

WB Games/NetherRealm Studios, I urge you to do the right thing and make Easy Fatalities a non-consumable feature. Charge for other things. I know I and probably a lot of other people would buy some skins for the fighters that have some nostalgia or other hook to them. I’m willing to bet there will be purchasable characters beyond the season pass, just like you did with Injustice. And I’m perfectly OK with that; it’s part of the business now.

Accessibility shouldn’t be something that goes behind a microtransaction paywall.