Monday, November 15, 2010

low self esteem musings

i have a problem, but i dont exactly know what it is. I'm not depressed, I love life. It just seems like I get these really strong feelings I'm not welcome when it's probably not true.
For instance, at home with my family I get this really strong feeling they don't want me there, I'm annoying them or I'm in their way.
Maybe I let it get to me because I feel guilty that I'm not everything they wanted me to be. I feel so angry and frustrated at myself for letting them down, and making them so dissappointed in me.
I was thinking the other day about things that I do, and why I do them. Almost everything I didnt come to "because I like it", but "because I want my parents to be proud."
I want to play roller derby well, so that Dad will be proud of me, like he is of my brother. If I was skinnier and fitter, Mum would like me more, and stop being so mad at me for being so ugly and fat.
If I had a real degree, and was a teacher, maybe then they'll be proud of me.
Thats really all I want. And it kills me that it's all my fault that I'm such a dissapointment.

It's sad, because I remember being confident. I loved myself. I thought I was hot shit. I had put on 10 kilos since highschool (so weighed 62kg), I was wearing short dresses, big shoes, bikinis, whatever. I thought I was hot.
But mum was harpin on me about how I was wearing inappropriate clothes for a girl my size, about how i should cover up because I'm not hot, I should wear one piece bathing suits, etc. I guess the constant reminders of that brought me down from my happy cloud. since then I've gained 6 or 7 kilos, I'm too ashamed to weigh myself now.
I cry a lot more too. I guess now, instead of looking in the mirror and seeing a hot young girl, who loves to go out and party, I see a chubby, flabby, useless moron, who cant do anything right, and would rather stay home than go out because i'm ashamed to be out in public, to have people looking at me and taking photos.

I dont think its fair to bully your kids, you have to remember that we're people too, with feelings, and you are the most influential people in our lives. I want you to sit down with me and say "i'm really proud of you for being who you are".

Thursday, November 11, 2010

18+ game classification in Australia

So, the argument has come up yet again about R18+ ratings on video games in Australia. In case you aren't aware, MA15+ is currently the highest rating you can give to a game in Australia, refering to "strong" impact, while anything with a "high" impact is rated RC- refused classification or banned.
Also, Australia is the ONLY first world country with NO adult rating on video games.
So, here is my argument.

I do not see why video games are any different to other forms of media: films, magazines, etc. We have many things in our society which you can not purchase if you are under 18, and it is illegal to purchase these on the behalf of minors; for instance alcohol, cigarettes, nudie mags. Why is it not possible to ban advertisements on these higher rated games, to keep them in plain cases (like nudie mags) so theres no cover art and keep them behind the counter like cigarettes, with just a list of games avaliable. And why cant we ask for ID to purchase?

People have argued that games, being interactive, have a greater impact on a person's ability to judge what is and isn't appropriate behaviour in the real world, like being exposed to extreme violence will make you think taking chainsaws to hookers is the cool thing to do(GTA reference, btw.). But here is my issue: game developers WANT their games to be sold in Australia, so currently they are tweaking their games to fit into the MA15+ rating.

For instance, Fallout 3 (2008) is an adult rated game in the US and UK, but was originally banned in Australia because the "drug" you took to regain health was called "extasy". The fact is that this game is set post WWII, after a nuclear disaster has left much of the US destroyed, and full of flesh eating zombies (radiation caused deformities in living people, not the undead. this seems very important for the rating board). The music, first of all, is cheerful wartime music, which is disturbing. The graphics are good, the concepts disturbing, and I am not sure the graphic nature of the game is appropraite for people under 18 (or 21, in some US states.) There is a video below of gameplay from Fallout 3, for your viewing. (Note how the innards and bones are visible when the first enemy is headshotted.)

There is also the problem of parental leniency. I was allowed to watch M15 and MA15 films when I was 12, because I was "practically there anyway" and "mature for my age". This seems to be the opinion of many parents. Taking Fallout3 above, for instance, which remember, is rated ADULT in the US, (and in some states, this means OVER 21!!!) and the only thing changed is a WORD. (For the record, it was changed from "extasy" to "drug X") So now it is avaliable for purchas in Australia, and the ratings board ASSUMES that under 15s arent playing it - but they are. The fact is that parents do not think MA15 is as serious as R18. No parent in their right mind would let a 12 year old watch and R18 movie, but MA15 is different.

The Argument that "allowing these games into Australia will allow children to access them" is inherantly flawed. First of all, they are already here, under the guise of a slightly watered down MA15 version, (it might not be straight vodka, but its still alcoholic!) ALSO, the controversy around the games re-rating gets more people interested, and they seek to access it illegally over the internet. Now, I'm going to let you in on a secret. Many games are avaliable to purchase legally online over a gaming engine called Steam. If you have an Australian ID, you can only purchase the MA15 version. BUT, if you have a US ID, you can purchase the adult version and "gift" it to anyone around the world, Australia included. There is no regulation on this: so Australians are paying Americans to purchase a game which is illegal here: and you only have to be over 13 to have a Steam account.

Are you starting to see now?
Some people say "games are for children, so these adult games are just masquerading in order to sell to children" and I think we all know this is wrong. Most game players, and purchasers in Austrlia are between the ages of 18 and 25. Mainly because children need thier parent's permission and money to buy games, and we (as adult gamers) don't. I think it is condisending to think that I have to play games like Super Mario Galaxy because games are "for children".
Also, if any parent buys these games for their children it is currently their choise. Under the MA15 rating there can be no penalty for supplying to minors. I think the government needs to regulate this immediately. I think people who buy MA15 games for their tweens need to be aware of what they are buying for their kids!

If you are still of the opinion that these games arent so bad, here's some clips of other games that were originally rated "RC" but then altered to be "MA15"

Now onto a gamer's perspective. Having a different rating from other countries ruins the online experience. The fact that Australians get booted off online games because a banned scene is coming up is not only annoying, but the rest of the world's gamers think of us as pussys. They dont want to play with us.

A scene fro Hitman where you poison some agents. Hitman also includes assasinations.

A scene fro Left for Dead 2 (a zombie game). The violence was toned down for Autralian audiences because the zombies were living people infected with a virus and not the undead, thus making the whole game a survivalist massacre.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

what is selfish?

this morning my mum said i was selfish for being fat. She said that if i cared about other people i'd want to look nice for them, and should go on a diet. But last week she said Miranda Kerr was selfish for being so thin and successful. Sowhat is selfish? I think its selfish for concentrating on your body so much. Not to say thin people are selfish, but an obsession with your own body is. What do you think?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Studying Japanese and New Job!

So, here I am at home, studying Japanese for my written exam on Wednesday.
At the moment I'm trawling youtube for helpful songs to help me remember things, lol.
So far I've found a "days of the month song" for the "nichi" exceptions (1-10, 14, 20, 24) and a te form song, courtesy of Miss Hannah Minx. Both are very useful, and I am feeling more confident about this part of the exam now!
At 11, I'll be writing out kanji flashcards for myself. I hope I havent forgotten any!
Today I have work from 3-11pm at Dome, who were mean again and only gave me one shift this week.
But earlier this week I got a job at Exotic Body Piercing, as a receptionist. I've done 2 days of training so far, and will be working after November 16th (my last exam)
The problem is that my parents think it will look bad on my resume to have quit Dome for a body piercing place. Because body piercing has the reputation of being "dirty" and "boggy" like tattoos (which, of course, 90% of places are not) my parents think I am "chipping away at my future."
I just dont think I'll have time this summer to do all this! First off I have to finish my thesis costume by January 29th, I have to work 3 or 4 days a week at Exotics, 2 or 3 at Dome, go to roller derby training and lets not forget have a fun holiday!

I really just want to work somewhere where I'll learn something, until I study abroad in Japan, which will be about a year from now. After that, hopefully I can get a job teaching Japanese at schools, or teaching English in Japan as part of the JET program.
As much as I reitterate my goals to my parents they want me to be doing something NOW to forward my career. I need money, and then I can go to TAFE or something to do Japanese programs or teaching courses. I have goals and ambitions! I will achieve them!!! ^_^

... I hope.