Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sport is not fair.

I can imagine there will be many people complaining about Luis Suárez this afternoon, after he handled the ball into the back of the net to help Liverpool beat Mansfield. Cries of "cheat" will no doubt be thrown about, and I can empathise with those people as I have been on the wrong end of terrible refereeing/umpiring decisions during my time playing sport, yet it is important to remember one thing when playing sport: it is not fair.

What do I mean? It's it fairly simple, sport is not, nor ever can be fair. If sport was fair, if players confessed to their own fouls and everyone lived happily ever after, there would be no need for officials.  But as we are all aware that is not the case. Indeed there is so much scrutiny over dishonesty in football that in European fixtures, there are now 5 officials watching the game (although I am fairly sure the officials that stand by the goal do nothing).

The desire to win, will often over-ride the desire to do what is right. A business (such as football) is structured around player performance, bonuses for scoring goals and reaching certain rounds of  competitions: why would Suárez say he handled it? What is in it for him? As an individual it's fair to say he does not have an immaculate reputation, so what does he have to lose? Whilst fans of other teams will judge him, Liverpool fans will defend him to the death (as if they stood behind him over racist allegations, I'm sure they can forgive a handball...that helped them win).

I mean this is a worse handball, but that has all been forgotten?

Arsenal fans still think of Henry as a legend...but remember when this happened?

Then there is this link of Steven Taylor (well worth a watch if you have never seen it...he got caught, but its bloody hilarious).

Of course I could go on, the hand of god (all lower case) from Maradona will go down in football history, but that's the point. It is one of those things. Cheating or gamesmanship is just as much a key part of sport as sportsmanship (in fact it would appear gamesmanship is more common). So when something like this happens, just remember sport isn't fair, and never will be, as it is that element of un-certainty that keeps us coming back for more.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Do I not own what I buy?

Now call me old fashioned, but when I buy something, I expect to own it. After I have handed over my hard earned cash, it is mine, mine to do with whatever I so choose. This mentality pretty much sums up my childhood, especially when I used to take nintendo 64/ xbox/ xbox 360 games to friends houses ("it's MY game, I have to have to be player one, I have to be top screen, I have to be that character etc") but hey, what do you expect from a child whose first word was 'mine'?
For me this was the point of games as what was the point of buying them, if you couldn't take them to friends houses and play them? So imagine my surprise, and slight disgust when today I saw that Sony are trying to implement a patent that would effectively kill this sharing, social side to gaming. To put this patent simply, Sony want you to register your game to your console, so it may only be played on your Playstation.
Whilst they may be trying to clamp down on second hand sales, to me this decision just smacks of an over controlling parent. The parent (Sony) takes it's young child (playstation owners) to the park to play. However before the child starts to play the parent attaches a collar to the child that will electrocute them if they go out of a 10 meter radius of the parent. Whilst yes this will increase security for the parent (i.e. stopping the sales), it leavesnthe child having a pretty shIt play-time.
If this patent passes it would be impossible to lend, rent or sell your old game. So whilst you own it, it is not yours to do whatever younwant with, which again is similar to the concept of having a child.
But what happens if the playstation breaks? If all your games are registered to one device, do you lose the right to play them if your console dies? would Sony fork out the money to replace the console and disks? After all you would have payed for something that is now unusable. Not only this, but there have been times I have purchased games that were just god awful, and had to take them back. But this too would be impossible, and at £39 + a game, that is an expensive mistake to make.
I hope this idea is denied a patent, as it is nothing more than corporate greed, highlighting a lack of knowledge about the Market Sony are trying to reach. If this idea does become the norm I can only hope other developers do not follow suit, as the last time that happened we ended up with motion control, and I still maintain, it is a load of crap.