Friday, April 19, 2013

Moral Goblemmas

Made up a couple of cute moral dilemma situations. As usual I made them up elsewhere, and now bring them here to my own corner, second hand...

* Goblins have stolen chickens from the local village and taken them to their cave. However, after traversing some traps, the PC finds that the goblins children are starving. If any attempt to arrange a food supply is made, evidence shows up that the goblins used to hunt and forage around the surrounding area (for insects and mice - yuck! But goblins love 'em (them and Bear Grylls)) until the village took over their lands for pasture. Who is the invader?

* A giant beast is rampaging around the outer perimeter of the town, wrecking barns and fences and killing sheep that graze out that way. On encountering the beast, the PC finds it can talk - it has a barb in it that it can't remove but the PC can. However, it informs the PC that it looks forward to removal, because then it'll be strong enough to smash that village that done it wrong so long ago. So, leave the beast in pain? Or kill it - even though it can talk as much as you can? Try and talk it out of smashing the village, knowing that if it lies and you remove the barb and it then it goes on to smash the village - well, that's kind of your fault? Or is it?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Racial Profiling

Well, the laws a game, in more ways than one...

Note: I waited quite awhile for some transcripts from the 7:30 report but since this was an interview and not a story, I don't think any will be available from what I can tell - I'm working from my human memory of the interview.

So, I'm watching an interview where the police chief is saying something like 'Well, there were a number of complaints from area X, and the suspects were African. But there wasn't any racial profiling.'

It's amazing how it was right there, yet not even the journalist picked it up.

You don't have ANY suspects yet - you have a description. Along with clothing, shoes, etc, you have a skin tone (and perhaps facial configuration)

You have no suspects yet.

But it's right there, out in the open in the interview - that 'the suspects were African'

If someone was reported commiting a crime and part of their description was that they are caucasian, would you say you have any suspects?

No, because there's a hell of alot of caucasians in this country.

But when it comes to a minority - that's how the human brain gets lazy (it's part of all our brains to be lazy like this) - that there's less of them and...we have suspects who are African.

No, you have no suspects at all. You have a description - work from the description, looking for a person.

Because either A: you have no idea who the perpetrator is and need to filter through a bunch of people to try and find them or B: You think you have begun to nail down who is the perpetrator, just because you have a description that includes an African background. No, you have made no progress at all - HERE is your racial profiling! The sense that you've somehow achieved something already, just by hearing the guy is African. No, you haven't!

If there was only one African person in Australia, I might pay this line of thinking as working.

Otherwise no - you've made zero progress on determining any suspects - having a description that they are African has done nothing towards determining one or more suspects.

It's the lazyness of the human mind that jumps upon A: Their minority status in Australia as a B: Clever narrowing down of possibilities. Ha, there's so few! So now we've cut down on who it could be, that means we have suspects!

No, that means you have a standard human brain which is prone to such lazy short cut thinking.

Technically even if there were only two people of African descent in Australia, you still wouldn't have any suspects.

But I'm sure you'd bring them both in for questioning anyway.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Borderlands 2: Using all those guns, idea 2

Can't help but think this idea while playing. Because it'd be great if all those guns weren't just vendor trash!

Okay, say guns have a 'potential' rating. It's like a certain number of points more damage they could do.

You charge them with, oh, lets make up a name and call them tech points! 100 tech points equals one more point of damage on a gun! When you use tech points in your inventory (they don't use up a slot though), it improves the weapon you're currently using.

Various guns in your inventory becomes charged and you can temporarily switch to them by holding down the grenade button. This wont spoil your normal equip system. Anyway, if you hit an enemy with the gun you get a tech point! If you empty the clip you get like a 50% chance at a tech point (chance reduces for guns below your level)! Best to do both! Guns in your inventory become charged, randomly, once every two minutes or so.

Also when you sell a gun at the vendor you have a 50% chance of getting a tech point. Yeah, you can still buy them back after doing this, but selling them again wont gain you another chance.

Installing 100 tech points (to gain one point of extra damage) also costs, say, $1000. This price always stays the same, but higher level guns have higher potential levels. Money actually matters...

Now every gun you find is treasure, because it all slowly increases your power!

Because we all love opening a chest which makes us more powerful.

But opening chests which just provide trash loot, which sells for money which isn't really useful at all (past level 10, who doesn't have more money than they need?)

It'd be more fun.