Telegraphed Gazette. 6th of July 2013
Many years have passed since the sounds of war echoed through these hills: too long has the voice of reason been silent amidst a sea of chaos and lawlessness, but no more! Ladies and gentlemen; welcome back to the Telegraphed Gazette for the 6th of July 2013: the name is Vince, and I will be bringing you the latest round up of news related to Quebec, and the games industry. Topics for today’s edition: Microsoft reverses its decision to impose DRM, and unpaid internships exploit vulnerable generation.
Well this is good news; Microsoft has reversed its’ decision on the DRM it wanted to place on their Xbox One. Earlier this week the company announced that it would reverse its decision following a massive consumer backlash against the proposed practice. Now interestingly enough some people were complaining and expressing their disgust for the announcement, however for the majority of consumers, it would appear that Microsoft has listened to the consumer and will now switch back to a better format where the games are no longer restricted to how many people it can be traded to, and where the purchaser holds exclusive rights to sell, keep, trade, or lend the game at their free will.
The honest opinion regarding this reversal of fortune is it was to be expected: if Microsoft did not take a hint when Sony opened fire on their ship, then they would have sunk into the ocean with their hull riddled with cannon fire. However since they took the hint, they have steered the ship 180 degrees around, and has ordered the sailors on board to begin patching the hull in hopes of regaining the confidence of its supporters. All arguments aside, it is nice to see that the next generation of consoles will be on a somewhat even playing field – of course there is the issue of the Kenect making the console cost 100 dollars more, but that can be debated as to whether or not the item is worth the money.
Another bit of good news is that the console is no longer region-locked, which is good for countries like Singapore and Poland where the massive amount of gamers living in those countries were previously excluded from the console: ironic seeing as how one of the console’s best selling series the Witcher is made in Poland, where the console was supposedly not to be sold. The article related to this topic is located in the link below:
According to an article on CBC, about 100,000 young Canadians are working as unpaid interns: “with an unknown number of others missing out on key, early work experience because they cannot afford to go without a paycheque” (CBC). The article goes on to say how these companies are asking for the employee to work – what is essentially – full time hours with no pay; to which in some extreme cases they also seek to replace paid workers with interns. This article has caught my attention mainly because of the companies and their practice of unpaid internships at a time when the economy is at a downturn and people are in desperate need of cash. What bothers me is that these interns who get in have a strong financial background whereas single parents and students on loans are not able to get these positions due largely to a lack of resources. Adding insult to injury, even if these interns have a strong financial background, during their internships they are used as pack mules who go around doing all the menial tasks for the office instead of getting valuable work experience: something of which they were supposed to get when they signed up for the internship.
Now volunteer work and unpaid work experience exercises is all fine and dandy when the economy is doing well, and when people have some spare cash in hand that they can afford to do so. However right now – especially right at this very moment in time – things are not as well as they should be, and people now more than ever are in need of stable work as my previous paragraph states. The idea is if an intern is good – perhaps even better – then the company will hire them on and pay them in order to keep them from migrating over to the competitors. Yet it seems as though the university-aged interns are as disposable as a Russian Conscript in the Second World War – to be thrown away when their expiration date is reached. This sort of behaviour seems to be on the grounds of self preservation; that the employees who run the company, work in the company, or own the company, do not wish to be replaced by someone who is younger, more energetic, and possibly more talented.
The idea that interns are made to do menial work signals – to me at least – that the workers there dislike interns out of a fear that they will be replaced. This can be tied to the economic downturn in that the working population who still have a job, wish to keep the job for as long as they can. When people live longer and longer, those expenses start to rack up, and when money is tight, people will fight for low pay positions in order to survive. Much like how nations in ancient times worked: when land was scarce, war erupted for the survival of their people, and of their way of life. Historically people lived to about 60 or 70 years of age if they were lucky, and often at times the older generations would move on, leaving positions open for the new generations to enter into, and to continue on the work. Yet things are changing, and we see that even the older generations need the work to either support family, or to help them earn retirement savings; thus the dilemma arises in that the younger generations keep growing up, and graduating, only to be slammed into a wall of stagnation built by those who do not wish to be replaced.
Employers can only afford a certain amount of employees, and as such a company may not hire more people – much to the dislike of the younger generations – because there is no room for them. The idea of a business is to make money – and no it is not to exploit people for such a practice is savage and feral in nature. Much like in a real-time strategy game; if you lack the minerals for those marines, or supply depots to train those marines, you either need more minerals, more supply depots, or you use what you have – resulting in whatever outcome befits such a decision. People are resources, and resources cost money. Currency was developed as a means to exchange goods and time with something which in turn can be used to be exchanged for goods and time. You pay someone for a product because you cannot – or do not – make it, and in turn the person can take the currency and use it to pay for a service or product they themselves cannot perform or get on their own.
This story does not come as a surprise to me as the current economic situation has brought some companies to engage in practices ranging from unpaid interns to temporary foreign workers; however given the situation we face, it is likely that this will continue for some time unless there is sweeping changes to both legislation, and how people think with regards to salary/wage expectations and career advancement. Like many topics covered here on the Telegraphed Gazette, there is no easy answer, but then this is what makes life interesting right? The article related to this story is located below:
Alright, well that wraps things up for the news section of the gazette; there really is not much else to cover for me at this time and as such – many of you may have noticed – there has been a lack of stories or even a lack of a telegraphed gazette these past several weeks. Aside from the usual minor toss up with the OQLF, or a small attempt to stir the hornet’s nest with topics such as Canada Day in Quebec was named “moving day,” things have been somewhat quiet. However I suppose the arrest of that Anglophone mayor from Montreal has sparked some interesting discussion surrounding city council and the commission’s tireless efforts to crack down on corruption, but I am not a gossip magazine, so I will not entertain that story.
On the plus side however, I have been keeping up with news surrounding Gibraltar and the whole situation with Spain; so this topic may enter the gazette’s line up of news and comments as the situation is getting a bit out of hand, but once again – like Quebec – this sort of politics and land-based debates continues as countries vie for territories so small and insignificant, yet seem so important on their agendas.
Good news however from Calgary – my hometown – the Stampede is underway since July 4th. While the celebration is a token of what it was meant to be, this show of recovery will help boost morale for the exhausted workers and rescuers who continue to toil in order to help rebuild, and rescue the city of Calgary and her population from the disaster that struck weeks ago. Yet what frustrates me is the lack of sympathy from a certain demographic of people who stated that it was the Calgary’s fault that their city suffered from the floods, and subsequently found some sort of correlation to the Alberta oil sands operations further north past Edmonton. What universe are these malcontents living in? This universe also includes some sort of mythological entity that attacks city dwellers for what their representatives do while in office? This notion of: “it was their fault” is absurd and immature; however it was a comment made on CBC and with all things on the internet, it is uncontrollable. Free country right?
Anyways I digress: the state of the blog! Well, right now I am enjoying games, working, and working out, of which I have spent much of my time enjoying the summer weather and little time really looking into articles and stories. Regarding stories from Quebec, I seem to have struck a submerged wall in that I do not wish to swim past, climb over, or go under the wall in any capacity as the “treasure” on the other side seems to be less and less enticing as the weeks go by. The thought in my mind is that I have exhausted the topic, and am now looking for fresh new stories to cover for my gazette; something that will be interesting yet relevant to my viewpoints. Now regarding the games industry, after E3 and the stampede of discussion surrounding Microsoft’s reversal of decision, not much else has surfaced. Previously stated numerous times, I am not in the business of covering game releases, so there is not much else for me to do: as my usual topic avenues have gone dark as of late.
Summarizing what I have said: things have slowed down for me during these past few weeks. They may pick up, however I cannot guarantee much as I am just not in the mood to produce – what I perceive as – lengthy broadsheets on a bi-weekly basis. Rest assured dear readers that there will always be content appearing here and there on the blog; it just may come suddenly and swiftly, like an attack by the Germans during 1939, or that pie that your cousin has decided would look good on your face. Either way folks do keep subscribed to the Telegraphed Gazette; for when goodness strikes, it causes…..happiness? Anyways folks, stay safe out there, and I will see you next time.