Being the random thoughts of Greg Tito, age 29.

Announcements for my standup comedy gigs are here at gregtito.com.

Monday, February 26, 2007

My web 2.0 footprint

You tempt fate every time you Google yourself. That's a given. You may end up with some embarassing diatribe you wrote when you were in school and the internet was young, or may see baby pictures your mom decided to post on Flickr to get back at you for not visiting them last weekend. Or worse, you may find nothing at all. Is there anything more depressing than a blank page? In this internet web 2.0 culture, if you don't even rank in the first ten entries, you're nothing. That's sad. Sadder than the end of Bridge to Terabithia.

So I googled me recently and I gagged, or gaggled. Sure there are more mundane entires about theater productions I produced or movie contests I was a semi-finalist for. But there is a ton actually written about my writing. I mean, yeah, I've written a few gaming articles. And it may be cheating. The demographic of people who read articles about video games are probably also the kind of people who'd be likely to blog about said article. But still, I was surprised and more than a little happy about it.

At the risk of getting needlessly messianic, I'm linking the hell out of myself. Hell, everyone deserves a little self-promotion every once in a while.

http://mac.joystiq.com/2005/11/15/wow-player-analyzes-pvp-cruelty/

This well-known gaming blog posted this over a year ago and I'm just internet savvy enough to find just now. It even has over 30 user comments about what happened to me and my level 29 Night Elf Priest in Wow. I wish I knew when it came out so I could have posted some shit-talk back to some of these fuckers.

Here are some other bloggers chiming about crap I wrote for the escapist:

http://dubiousquality.blogspot.com/2006/06/gaming-links.html

http://www.qj.net/Science-fiction-and-games-go-together/pg/49/aid/70525

http://www.gamepro.com/community/profile.cfm?login_name=Lunchbox&blog_id=14073

http://tlundmark.blogspot.com/2005/11/in-end-there-is-just-no-point.html

And it's not just blogging people. I love that my words are now being used as if I am an expert. Some people are desperate for any promotional material, I guess. On this page, something I wrote about a game engine is used to sell it to other video game makers:

http://www.bigworldtech.com/company/testimonials_en.php

In perhaps the strangest link of all, here I am cited in some dude's law school paper on gambling in MMORPGs:

http://webpages.acs.ttu.edu/mmetheni/Internet%20Gambling%20and%20the%20MMORPG.htm#_ftn51

Scrolling up, the citation is on the following line,

These formal studies are in addition to the high volume of more anecdotal documented odd behavior[51] mirroring other parts of the real society in the Society.

It's crazy, people are using my shit to write their freaking papers?

Friday, February 23, 2007

new design

I was getting tired of the old template. What do you dudes think about this fancy green one? Hold your applause, please, please, I'll be available for autographs by the stage door...


And because I feel guilty just posting that little statement, here's a picture of a douche on a banquette:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ah, videogames

So Rain Delay's got an interesting bit about videogames helping surgeons perform better. Well, duh. We're talking about manual dexterity here and any activity which reinforces the brain-hand connection will improve performance. Videogames, the first truly interactive medium, can and have been shown to actually help mental and physical development, despite being portrayed as a time-wasting endeavor. The news outlets, like the Fair and Balanced Fox news affiliates (who really believes that 24 interviews are news?), love to pick up the banner against any violent acts perpetrated by admitted gamers. "The videogames made them do it." It's the same that was said of the Beatles, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne and Barney the Purple Dinosaur. The truth is that no song or movie or book or game can make someone commit awful acts of violence. Gamers are especially sensitive to this line of reasoning because they've seen such mindless discrimination from their mothers for years. But sometimes, this senstivity goes a little too far.

Take the case of the kid in Wisconsin who is in jail for murdering a homeless person. CNN ran an article about the case, highlighting a dangerous trend of sport killings amongst the kids of America. There have been many homeless people killed the last few years by teenagers, perhaps because of a lack of moral understanding and/or consequences by disposing of an unwanted member of society, ie. a smelly homeless dude. There is more to be said about the kid's sense of superiority over those less fortunate (most of the perpetrators are middle-class white kids) and the ability to exact their own perverted sense of justice. One could even argue that our country's stance on the world stage as a moral superior, able to wreak havoc on any state or individual for a perceived lack of character, is more to blame. Fuck Saddam, we're better, let's kill him. (insert "that smelly homeless guy" for Saddam and you'll get my point)

All of this would have passed my notice however if it weren't for one line in the CNN story.

Ihrcke told police that killing "the bum" reminded him of playing a violent video game, a police report shows.

That's it. One line in a 2000 word story. Who knew that one little throwaway jab at videogames would ignite such passion in the gaming community? At least 3 major gaming blogs have cited the CNN article as another attack against videogames. I agree with their stance. I laughed at the jokes at CNN's expense. Gabe from Penny Arcade makes a very funny rebuttal, citing the story claiming that one of the assailant's rubbed his own feces on the dead homeless man:

"[Rule #]4. Don’t take shit out of your butt and rub it on the hobo you just killed. To me this seems like the easiest lesson of all. My son is only two and already he’s coming to understand that “poops” belong in the potty. How did this kid get to the age of fifteen years old without learning this? Here’s how easy this one is:

Hey son, come here real quick.
Yeah Dad?
Don’t take shit out of your butt.
Sure thing Dad.


Done! How hard was that? What kind of crazy fuck takes poop from his butt and rubs it on someone?"

But I think the gamer reaction is a little extreme. I mean, the videogames thing wasn't even the lead on the CNN story. It was one line from a quote from the kid himself. Yes, that angle is overplayed in the media. Yes, that kid is a dipshit (or rather, a very smart dipshit) for bringing it up. But come on, let's not make a Jack Thompson case out of it. It seems that the gamer community is now guilty of some of the same inflammatory tactics that their opponents always use. Maybe it's worth it to muster this kind of outrage at every disparaging mention of videogames in the press. Maybe. But maybe if we start taking every quote from an obviously crazy fuck as a serious accusation against gaming, then we are also adding credence to that accusation. I'm just saying.

Videogames have enough demons to battle without creating new ones.

(And sometimes those demons threaten to destroy Azeroth and we have to travel through the Dark Portal to battle the Burning Legion on the shards of wasted Draenor. Yeah, I've been playing too much WOW again.)

And for those of you who still cling to the belief that videogames corrupt absolutely, read this letter from the stepmom of one of the teens jailed in the case. It's a crazy read.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/2007/02/21#1172088960

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bad Words

Every once in a while, I see some moron write something that inspires a scathing backlash essay. My friend sent me this link this morning from my hometown newspaper in Connecticut. It involves many things which I hold dear, UConn basketball, Gampel Pavilion, and swearing profusely.

http://www.theday.com/re.aspx?re=38838b92-4244-42b7-b2e5-26f16600ef92

Here is my response, which I just emailed to the writer:

To Mr. Mike DiMauro:

RE: UConn Students Cross Line With Crass Behavior

I'm a UConn alum now living in New York. I've been following Huskies basketball for over 16 years and have been reading your writing in The Day for just as long. During that time, I've noticed your writing style degrade into simple, easy topics which the common reader in CT can consume without having their senior-citizen-values threatened. The pinnacle of which is the article a friend sent me this morning about UConn fans cheering at a game at Gampel. The piece is so fraught with fallacies that I'm not sure where to begin. According to your article, you expected this kind of a response, so I felt it was imperative that I indulge you.

The basic premise of your article is that you wish UConn fans, and sports fans in general, would resist the urge to cheer for their team. Or at least, they should only cheer in the way that you find acceptable. As long as we keep everything PG, the world is a better place. I whole-heartedly disagree with that attitude.

Today's organized sports grew out of the bloodsports of history, from Roman gladiatorial games to medieval jousting and combat. Watching the death of a criminal by hanging or otherwise was a common activity up until the 20th century. We, as a culture, have grown away from such profane entertainments, but there still exists a need in the human psyche for such exploits. We are fascinated by the unhealthy contest, the bitter struggling of individuals against any and all opponents. Our current fixation on reality TV proves this.

What does this have to do with UConn basketball? The contest of the two teams on the court can become an orgiastic experience for the spectator. I've been there. When I was a student, I had season tickets to the student section and rarely missed a game. I would yell anything that came to mind, such as "Kick them in the face!" or "Punch them in the throat!" I would even swear and use the f-word, if you can imagine. All of this behavior would increase my emotional involvement with the game. When UConn won, I would feel ecstatic. If they lost, melancholic.

Too often, I see fans sitting throughout the game, especially at the HCC. They only stand for the ceremonial first field goal, and then thereafter are planning to leave the arena with 10 mins left in the second half. These are the fans who cover their ten-year-old's ears from hearing the word "crackhead," as if they expected the game to be a showing of Happy Feet. Is this the behavior that you are encouraging? Or are you saying that fans should be raucous, but not too raucous? That is a difficult line to draw.

Perhaps the not-so-random shouting of fans (Paul Harris was actually indicted for drug sales and 3rd-degree assault) is actually a plea for an organized student section. I look at the Oakland Zoo in Pittsburgh and I wonder why nothing like that has grown at the University of Connecticut, which arguably has a program more steeped in basketball tradition than Pitt. Instead of suggesting the administration publicly censure the student fans in the Daily Campus, which I'm not confident would have the effect you intend, you could use your statewide circulation to call for a more organized and efficient cheering section.

Your article gets even more specious when you recommend Jim Calhoun write an email discouraging the use of expletives. You've been to many more games than I have, with a much closer vantage point to Calhoun's coaching style. Have you, sir, never heard Calhoun himself utter the dreaded f-word on the court? I have. Many, many times. Yet, in your piece, you say that he should be an advocate for decorum at Gampel. Perhaps you should, with all of your experience, tell Calhoun how he should coach a basketball game. I would cherish listening to his response for years to come. I bet he would drop some pretty big f-bombs on you.

Mr. DiMauro, you already named yourself many of the terms I might have used to describe your attitude so I will spare you any further name-calling. I will merely say that you are wrong. The behavior you suggest should be eliminated from the game is precisely what draws people to an athletic contest. We are not passively watching a movie or TV. The cheering or jeering of a crowd can actually influence the outcome of a game. It is why playing games in MSG or Cameron Indoor Stadium is infinitely more intense than at, say, the Hartford Civic Center. Gampel is the only arena UConn should play its games at because the student section is indeed raucous, supportive, loyal and occasionally profane. And that behavior helps the team win games.

Or did you want the Huskies to lose?



Let's see what happens. Maybe I'll be published in The Day tomorrow, maybe I'll never get a response. But somehow I feel a little better for having wrote that.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

WhoreCraft

So there I was, minding my own business and not looking at porn at work. Then BANG!, I happen upon this crazy mashup:



It's episodic pron content set in an Azeroth-like world with blood elves, hunters and rogues doing it from behind. No really, that's one of the episode titles. At first I thought it was kind of ridiculously derivative crap, but then I read an interview with the creator (?). He's been playing WOW for years while starring in and producing hundreds of porn videos. He wanted to combine his worlds. Hence, WhoreCraft. It makes perfect sense, if you think about it. The asthetic of warcraft is very much based in anime and its sensual conception of the female form. We all know night elves are hawt. It was inevitable really, given WOW's popularity, that someone would make the leap from sexy cartoons to real people screwing.

I haven't DLed the content myself yet, but I plan to tonight. It may be good, it may be crap. I'll let you know.


But all I know is, I spent way too much time looking at this stuff at my cubicle.

Movies that were good when you were 6...

But kind of suck when you watch them now.

A not-so-comprehensive list:

  • The Neverending Story - I remember loving this delightful tale of the Nothing destroying all of Fantasia when I was a kid. I just watched it on netflix and I have to say, keep your nostalgia firmly ensconced in better fare. The ancient effects, nonsensical editing, and bad child acting, consisting of yelling every line "But that's impossible!", definitely ruin the meta-story. Why did I remember the Empress being hot? She was freaking 10 years old, what's wrong with me?
  • The Money Pit - The only funny part is when Tom Hanks is stuck in the floor and does that weird barking laugh. The rest is actually rather sad and reminds me too much of life in my crappy apartment, where my shower has tiles falling on my head on a daily basis.
  • Spies Like Us - Still has got some great moments with Chase and Akroyd, but the sequence at the end with the lasers and the missiles and the pudding pops are way too Reagan-era for me now. I used to love the Cold War, what happun?
  • Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock - I used to think this one went against the odd-numbered Trek films rule, wherein they all suck, and pulled off Kirk and the Gang's weird quest to save Spock from being dead. After watching it as a mature human being though, I have to agree with what Trekkies (and everyone else) knew 20 years ago. It sucks.

Add your own tales of the disappointment in your childhood's ability to critically analyze films in the comments.

Monday, February 05, 2007

A tale of two blogs

I've been doing a lot of work over at my comedy blog, scheduling shit and talking up my gigs. I still have a lto of work do on it, making it pretty and adding pics and video (don't even get me started on how much my myspace page sucks). I'm wondering if it even makes sense to have two blogs at this point. I mean, sure, it's nice to be able to post crap here that's on a more personal level, but that's part of the joy of blogging really, the baring of all your soul.

My dream is to have several urls which would point to the different aspects of my creative professional life. I'd have only one blog that I'd post to and give tags to each facet, like comedy, playwriting or producing. And the url producer.gregtito.com would only display blog entries with that tag. Is that even possible? Is it even necessary?

What think you, my loyal commenters?

Anyway, i thought I'd just point out to you that I do in fact have another blog, just in case you didn't know. There it is.