Sunday 15 November 2009

roundup roundup part 1...

Right, I have the PC to myself, hurrah! The boys are out a) getting some more school stuff and b) picking another game for my son

I became the No.1 bad guy, public enemy No.1, wicked witch of the east/west/etc when I threw a fit last night when they got back with a PS3... and Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 2.

Now, Joe said that he didn't realise it was rated 18 when he bought it... only realised when they were on the train home. But my son knew full well, and he also knew how I'd react... I'm pretty consistent in my opinions on games and films designed with adults in mind... not younger teenage boys!

If it was rated 15 I might have felt differently. I'd have reviewed it with Joe and seen if it was just because the language was a bit coarser than in younger rated games etc... he hears a lot worse in the playground at school and I don't fool myself by thinking that he doesn't use bad language when he's not in my company!

BUT if a game is rated 18 it means the content is only suitable for adults and WILL contain images that aren't appropriate for younger viewing.

My son tried to argue that it wasn't like Grand Theft Auto where you can go around raping women and the like - nice game! But I don't give a damn! It's a WAR game and the player is in control of the action and the killing.

Joe loaded it up for a quick look. The graphics are absolutely amazing, really stunning. But within a minute into 'recruit' mode or whatever it was... the screen was splatterd with blood!

There is also a disclaimer that there are scenes which might be disturbing to the player - the fact that it's got that caveat on an 18 rated game is pretty indicative of the content of this game.

In fact, here's an excerpt from the review on IGN, my son's favourite game cheat site - I'm not sure if he's read this or is just feeding back reviews from all the kids in his school whose parents are letting them play this massively brutal, violent game (bearing in mind my son's school doesn't even have a sixth form - the oldest they cam be is 16 years old):

And make no mistake, this is an adult game. The already famously controversial scene in the Moscow airport, where you can pull the trigger on countless innocent civilians trying to flee in utter panic is probably the most uncomfortable five minutes of gaming we've ever experienced. You can choose to not pull the trigger if you want, but doesn't that rather defeat the object? Even more disturbing is a stealth kill later in the game where the developers' view has you staring intently and unflinchingly into the eyes of a slowly dying henchmen from the combat knife you've just slammed into his chest. Infinity Ward is unflinchingly staring down the barrel of a media shit-storm it knows is inevitable, but will certainly make this a game to remember. Could both of these incidents be played out as non-interactive cut-scenes without compromising artistic integrity? The easy answer here is absolutely yes, but this one's isn't going to go away any time soon. And will be discussed at length by people much more clever – and much, much dumber – than us.

So there you go. He's not playing it, end of story.

I realise that I can't stop him playing it at friend's houses, it's up to their parents to behave responsibly when purchasing video games for their children, but at home I will not have him filling his head with images like that. It's too realistic and disturbing, I'd like him to preserve a little bit of innocence... I know it's difficult as they all grow up so quickly!!

Anyway, enough of that, hopefully they'll come home with a more suitable game and I'll have my wicked witch status revoked!

So, well, what have I not updated you with over the last couple of sporadic-post-filled weeks?!

First week of November 2009

Gosh, this is ages ago!!

Well, I can't actually remember much about the Monday (can't have been too thrilling huh?) but on Tuesday 2nd I went to the O2 to see Michael McIntyre. As I reported on my last big roundup on 31st oct (scroll down to Thurs 29th Oct), I had very mixed emotions towards this event as I was convinced that I'd seen most, if not all, of his act the Thursday before!

I was correct... but it was still bloody hilarious, all my friends were wetting themselves laughing away and it was great to find that I still found the same material funny.

Plus we had great seats, a super night all in all :-)

Wednesday I started to feel a bit odd during the day and by the afternoon my head was spinning... not good :-(

I missed my work Dramatic Society's 80th birthday celebrations that night, I was most upset, but I wouldn't have been able to enjoy myself and would have ended up sat in a corner feeling sorry for myself and resembling a wet blanket.

Thursday I was off work, with my son who was also ill and is now on antibiotics as his residual cough just isn't clearing!

Thursday night was bonfire night and, although all I wanted to do was continue to be sat on the sofa watching rather rubbish re-runs of Dr Who with my son, our local park has an amazing FREE display every Guy Fawkes night so it would have been unheard of to miss it - plus it's only a couple of minutes' walk so not exactly a taxing effort.

So, wrapped up in a zillion layers of clothes, the biggest scarf I could find, gloves, hat etc, we ventured out...

here are some pics, yes they look like fireworks and all fireworks pretty much look the same but humour me as I haven't really ever grown up!

Please feel free to scroll past these self-indulgent "woooahhh" "woooow" "ahhhhh" pics :-D


Unfortunately due to some work being done on the park's entrance it took us an eternity to get out and home and my son and I felt thoroughly miserable by the time we got home and were both bed-bound after warming up with a hot drink!

Friday was pretty much the same as Thursday in terms of lounging around on the sofa watching TV. We watched various programmes recorded on the Sky+ box including a few movies like Hancock which I'd not seen before. It was a great 'leave your brain in a box by the door and come right in' movie, Charlize Theron looked HOT! That woman seems to get better with age - not fair!

I had intended to do all sorts of blogging but I felt so rough that I couldn't venture from the sofa to the PC and concentrating on the smaller laptop screen also didn't appeal so I just slobbed around in my jim jams, drinking hot drinks and feeling generally pooh.

I was resolved to rest, recover and NOT to go to work and spread my germs around and I'm glad I didn't as I felt much better by Saturday :-)

Saturday night was a friend's birthday. We went to a lovely restaurant called Souk Bazaar, which served delicious mezze, I *love* small sharey-style dishes (although with that comes the danger of overeating as you load up your small plate for the hundredth time!!). The food was ace and the little room we had was lovely, the atmosphere was great and the decor was lovely... really nice place. Best of all, with the set menus we all went for there were free refills!

After that we went for some musical fun in Karaoke Box. It was fabulous, I had a sing/rap-off with another party-goer with Vanilla Ice's 'Ice Ice Baby' - baaaad idea, I know that song back to front, I used to adore the guy *hangs head in shame*!

After that we went to a bar and it all went downhill from there.

I've been wondering why my hangovers seem to get worse as I get older and I thought it was just because of my age but actually I've found that the older I get, the more I can drink! When I was younger I'd drink until I'd had enough, or my body had decided I'd had enough... many a night in my teens spent embracing the base of a toilet or lying flat out holding onto the floor while the room spun round my head....

I don't get that anymore, I can just keep drinking until the point that I call it a night.

This results in my feeling like total death the next day and spending most of it in bed/on sofa/just generally feeling useless, horrible and sorry for myself - but annoyed at myself for wasting the day!

I wish I hadn't lost that ability to recognise when my body's reached alcoholic capacity! I guess I just need to take responsibility for my alcoholic intake but it's difficult when everyone else around you is happily swilling away... ahh well.

So yes, Sunday I felt absolutely bloody dreadful and Joe decided that only thing for it was for us to go to the gym!!

Nightmare man!!

I was ultra reluctant, he almost had to force me out - which is bad as we generally as a rule always make a point of going to the gym Sunday afternoon/evening, it's probably the only regular session I make a point of sticking to... the rest of my routine is so erratic and based on social events!!

Anyway, in the end I thanked him for it. We went and did a delt-busting session with free weights, then some core work and finally he went in the sauna to sweat out his sins while I hopped on the elliptical trainer for half an hour.

Felt very virtuous and definitely like some guilt had been assuaged by the time I got home and chucked down a Maxi-milk. PERFECT post-workout drink if you like to go to the gym in the evening. If I was to drink a Promax Diet shake that late I'd be up buzzing on all the fat-busting caffeine!

Right, I need to get off and start cooking so we can just eat and go straight out to the gym when the boys get back.

For my post-workout shake I've already got it half-prepared in the fridge as I had half this morning.

1 x strawberry Maximuslce Maxi-milk
small tub of 0% fat greek yogurt
1 x tbsp almond nut butter
2 x apples (was using up old fruit - smoothies are great for this!)
2 x scoops banana Maximuscle Promax Diet

I've got half the above left (minus 1 scoop of Promax Diet as powder goes funny if you make it up and leave it for any length of time!!)

can't wait to have it, I'm gutted I've run out of Promax Diet in vanilla flavour because that and strawberry maximilk make the best shakes. I had some yesterday with blueberries and peanut butter too, very tasty :-)

Still, have some coming this week as I ordered another big tub and 3 months' supply of Thermobol to tide me over the Christmas and New Year season!

Will post later if I get the chance and tell you about this week's great gig and my workplace charity cycle challenge that I was in charge of all week... lots of pictures to follow...




  1. I actually didnt find modern warfare to be that violent from what I've played of it.

  2. Hey that's cool, but I guess it depends on your definition and interpretation of what's violent and what's not.

    I think for IGN to include a caveat relating to those two specific scenes, then there must be some pretty disturbing imagery there. Have you played either of them? You have the option to skip them because of the nature of the content; it asks you as soon as you start up the game!

    I think that the more we watch and play games/DVDs directed to an adult audience that contain lots of killing (because, let's face it, that's what the idea of the game is - to kill the enemy, the clue's in the title), the more desensitized we become.

    I know there are films that I watch now that contain loads of bloodshed which would have upset me when I was younger – and certainly as a child! But to which I don’t bat an eyelid now!

    I guess I’m just wary of the kinds of images that are left in my son’s head that could affect him and/or give him nightmares.

    I can watch zombie horror flicks til the cows come home; I know I’m never going to have my head ripped off by a flesh-eating undead ghoul, but everything that I see in war films actually goes on – I still have the image in my head of all the skin sliding burn victim guy’s legs when his comrades try to move him in Black Hawk Down, I watched that when it first came out nearly 10 years ago and it’s still with me, wish it wasn’t!

    I know you can’t protect and shelter your offspring forever, but while my son is still young with no life experience of his own, I’m going to do my best to be responsible when it comes to the images of warfare that he’s exposed to.

    There’s a plethora of other shootemup and blowemup games out there that don’t contain the sort of scenes described in the write-up, he can play those and leave the really disturbing gameplay to the adults – the audience at which it’s targeted.

    My 30 year old brain finds it a LOT easier to process unsettling images than my 13 year old’s - it’s had many more years of practice and exposure! :-)