New Century American Motto

“You better watch out. She’ll lay that pussy on you.”

Drinking beers, sharing fears. Drunk and eager women splay themselves across me while the fire burns our legs. And I look into her eyes to find lust and distrust, and an attitude of despondency coupled with belligerence, if it feels good.

It’s open season on the American way of life. The FBI can safely and legally plant tracking devices on your car now. Until it goes to the Supreme Court, which it might never, it’s legal – even if “outlawed” it will go on. Who enforces the law? The criminal dogs that oversee us.

Fraudulence infects every facet of human behavior, life, and lies are the ethical way, so as not to hurt or dismiss another’s potential to suck you off.

Fuck this fake-ass charade, puppeteer conglomerate meltdown frenzy. Millions of Americans ready to work and can’t get shit off the ground. Credit bubble human enslavement crisis not only on the horizon but in our faces. In our blood, in our bank accounts, the freedom virus lives, breeds, counter intuitively thrives on your ignorance, and pattern of submission.

The government knows what you do, where you sleep. Get your cars checked out. If you’re trouble, then you’re watched. Of course, you’re not trouble. You just write stupid shit. Bomb shit.

If you write anything at all, which you don’t.

Empty notebooks stare back at you in a jealous fit, so eager to be full as you, and yet so blank and pathetic. Like you.

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  • Geo Hotz

    Activision is, without a doubt, one of the most profitable and well-known publishers in the video game industry. With an enormous series like the Call of Duty franchise working for their profit margins each year, Activision has consistently had one of the top selling games of each year. Unfortunately, having a franchise like Call of Duty sets the bar pretty high for the rest of the games published by Activision.

    Series like Guitar Hero and True Crime were either under-performing, or were not going to be as good as other titles in the same genre, so they were unexpectedly axed earlier this year. While that would be tragic enough from the perspective of a series fan, the real tragedy lays in the jobs lost as studios close due to their project’s cancellation. An employee who was laid-off in the infamous Activision casualties sometime in the past year agreed to speak with us, candidly, about the publisher and his time there, under the agreement that his identity be kept confidential.

    Perhaps the worst part for our anonymous interviewee was the abruptness in which the lay-off and eventual shutdown occurred. “[There was] No warning at all,” said the former employee. “We just suddenly learned about the end of our contract effective immediately. Feels pretty weird being shut down so abruptly after working there for a few years.”

    Our anonymous employee was quick to criticize the tactics Activision uses in regards to closing development studios. “It’s pretty clear they only think about the short term side of things. They want to make big money and they want to make it fast,” said the former employee. “If they have the feeling they won’t get a quick and huge payback, then they move over to the next ‘big’ thing. The sad thing is they’re getting rid of all the expertise acquired over the years on specific projects. People losing their jobs aren’t just going to wait until maybe they decide to resurrect the games they were working on. They will just move on to other things. The even sadder thing is there are so many games coming out every year that I’m not even sure the consumers realize the loss of expertise.”

    Perhaps his biggest issue with Activision is that, in his eyes, they are strictly business in the way they operate. “I don’t have much respect for their methods now, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t feel exactly the same while working for them, although I really enjoyed the work I was doing,” he said. “They act under the premise that everybody is replaceable. If you don’t value the individual talent, you can replace anyone at any time. That’s what they call team work in the 21st century. So they can get rid of all the expertise and buy other studios whenever they need to because getting a whole new team to do something similar at another time won’t be a problem and it will also cost less in the long run. That way the shareholders stay happy and we all know that’s the only thing that matters! Their franchises and studios are only means for them to get the money they’re after and they care about them for as long as they’re able to get money out of them. When the money is no longer at [that franchise or studio], it’s time to move on. Like any other big corporations, they’re not in the business of making the world a better place, they’re only in the business of making better money.

    The former employee claims that the constant need to appease to the shareholders may just be Activision’s biggest downfall. “Activision is willing to cut 500 jobs every year just to meet the profit expectations they promised to their shareholders,” he said. “They do it every year and they’re not even ashamed of it. Here’s how I see it: Executive 1 [says] ‘Game X sold less than expected, so we didn’t reach our profit expectation for the year. What are the solutions?’ Executive 2 [says] ‘Well let’s shut down those 3 studios and we’ll save $5 million. There you have it!’ Executive 1 [says] ‘Excellent! Let’s go play some golf!’”

    CEO Bobby Kotick has come under much criticism from the gaming community these past several years.

    The former employee claims that this very behavior and reliance on one franchise could eventually lead to the demise of major corporations involved in the video game industry. “[Call of Duty] will at some point fade out as any other franchise,” he said. “You can’t put out so many games every 6 months looking all the same and charge $60 for them without getting to a point where the consumer feels like he already has enough of that type of game to fill its needs. That’s what happened to Guitar Hero, that’s what happens with most things in life. But Activision is not the only corporation guilty of this, you can see it in almost everything. If you buy the same meal at the same restaurant every day for 5 years, at some point you will get tired of it and you will move on. These corporations know this and they’re just trying to make you buy the same meal twice a day for as long as they can before you get tired of it. That way they will have maximized what they initially thought they could get for that said meal.”

    At the very mention of the Guitar Hero franchise, we just had to ask if he could foresee Activision ever selling any of the franchises they have either ended or put on hiatus so that another publisher would be able to produce games for the fans. “They will never sell a license like Guitar Hero,” the former employee said. “They have no reason to. They made record-breaking amounts of money out of it at some point and even if they apparently made a lot less recently, I don’t think they owe any money to someone over it as opposed to their main competitor. It costs them nothing to keep it and it still gives them the opportunity to wait for the nostalgia to kick in and reboot it sometime in the future; maybe on the next generation of consoles where they could once again make massive amounts of money.”

    A pattern like this doesn’t just speak ominous tones for Activision. According to the anonymous former employee, the lay-offs look bad on the industry as a whole. “In this day and age it’s almost impossible for a small independent studio to break through in the console gaming industry. You need colossal amounts of money to be able to produce a game that will meet the consumers’ expectations on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii,” he said. “The investment required in terms of equipment and human resources makes it almost impossible for a small indie studio to compete, which only leaves them with options like developing games for other platforms like cell phones or Facebook. These big corporations have the money to make new and exciting games but they’re so obsessed with their next quarterly earnings that they’re not willing to gamble their money on trying to revolutionize the future of gaming, which will eventually lead to no more breakthrough games and leaving the consumers with a strange feeling of déjà-vu every time they buy new games. Aren’t we already there?”

    Despite some heavy criticism, the former Activision employee will admit it wasn’t all bad. “[A huge benefit of working for a big company like Activision was we had] big budgets,” he said. “You get access to state of the art equipment and technology. If you really need something to make your job in terms of equipment, most of the time you’ll get it. In an indie studio, you might have to make choices, cut corners and find other ways since you probably won’t be able to afford everything you need.”

    So considering all of this, would our former employee go back to working under Activision? “Even if I don’t like the way they handle things and the lack of empathy towards the human beings behind the jobs, I have to admit I really enjoyed doing what I was paid to do and if working for Activision gave me the opportunity to keep doing it, I’d still do [it],” he said. “You have to earn a living and I’d rather get paid to do something I really like for a heartless corporation than doing a job I don’t like for a not so heartless one I guess. In some twisted way, the people running these corporations must know that and that’s probably why they know they can get away with it, so they keep doing it.”

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