I got a new Xbox for my birthday (the DVD drive in my first one failed – the dreaded “disk is dirty” problem) and decided to hook the new one up to my home theatre. I never realised just how much I was missing from my games! Every game I own for the Xbox supports either Dolby Digital or dts sound, and it adds so much to the gaming experience. We game programmers often neglect sound, or at least relegate it to secondary status, behind graphics. See, sound isn’t sexy or cool like graphics are. Developers all drool at the thought of real-time shadow casting, volumetric fog, volumetric lights, reflections, caustics and all that other jazz, and I’m guilty of that kind of thinking too. But I’ll tell you, when I sat playing Panzer Dragoon Orta and my subwoofer was making my ceiling shake (and my ribcage) and I could tell where the enemies were because I could hear them behind me and off to the left, I had an ear-to-ear grin on my face.

   Oh, and this bit’s partially in response to what Binary Goddess said on her page – I don’t really hate Orson Scott Card. If I hated everyone whose beliefs didn’t mesh with mine I’d probably hate everyone. Besides, all my hate is spent on a select few politicians.

   I do, however, hold people who are willing to subvert their intellects for dogma in contempt. Especially when they do so in order to perpetuate bigotry. In his essay, Mr. Card does a nice job of trying to conceal his bigotry by saying that everyone is a combination of good and evil, but it’s still bigotry. In repsonse to the homosexual activism seeking that governments validify homosexual relationships by giving them legal marriage rights, the right to adopt childer, and to teach in schools that homosexuality is acceptable, he says “It does not take a homophobe to recognize how destructive such a program will be in a society already reeling from the terrible consequences of “no-fault” divorce, social tolerance of extramarital promiscuity, and failing to protect our adolescents until they can channel their sexual passions in a socially productive way.” Actually, Mr. Card, apparently it does take a homophobe to see that. Just as it took a racist to see that interracial marriages were destructive to society (in 1912 there was an attempt at instituting a constitutional amendment banning interracial marriage). That Mr. Card uses the dogma of the Mormon faith to justify his bigotry does not make it any less so.

   If you were to take Mr. Card’s essay and replace “homosexual” with “interracial” people would be screaming up and down that Mr. Card is a racist, and may as well be a card-carrying member of the KKK. Think about that.

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