It's not subtle advertising, like, at all, but it definitely achieved the intended effect. Behold!
Yes, I bought a Fujitsu Lifebook T732 from eBay, then used a vectorized version of that very image as its desktop wallpaper. It's not the only reason I bought this computer- I'm hoping its tablet features will spur me into drawing again- but it was nevertheless a strong catalyst for this purchase. Congratulations Fujitsu, that shameless product placement has earned you a new customer. (Albeit twenty-three years late.)
Anyway, enough of that. Much has happened in the video game industry since my last blog entry, and it's my nerdly duty to report on these events. First, professional Hearthstone player Chung Ng Wai was stripped of his title, his prize money, and a chance to appear in the swimsuit competition after expressing his solidarity with the people of Hong Kong.
Some background on all this. Hearthstone is a card battle game, similar to Yu-Gi-Oh! or SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighter's Clash, and tangentially related to the World of Warcraft series. Hong Kong has been struggling to keep its autonomy since China gained control of the country from Great Britain in 1996. Activision-Blizzard makes the Hearthstone game and does big business in China, which is why they felt the need to do the country's dirty work for it, and put the hammer down on Chung Ng Wai for the scandalous opinion that Hong Kong shouldn't have jackbooted thugs and face-identifying cameras on every street corner.
Okay, now that you're caught up, I can continue. Chung Ng Wai lost seven thousand dollars for his outburst, but Activision and its CEO Bobby Kotick stand to lose a whole lot more from their decision to defrock the Hearthstone champion. There's already talk of a Hearthstone boycott, along with a push to make Mei from Activision's other game Overwatch the face of the Hong Kong protests, making the lucrative game more difficult to market in mainland China. Members of Congress are even scolding Activision for its knuckling under to the Chinese government, which will likely mean bad press for the company and, if we're really lucky, an ulcer for Kotick.
What was the other thing I needed to mention? Oh yes, the Playstation 5 has officially been announced by Sony and will be launched late next year. In addition to the nearly instantaneous load times for Playstation 4 games, the new system will have a controller with variable resistance on its trigger buttons and haptic feedback, known on Nintendo systems as "HD Rumble." Guns in first-person shooters will have more realistic recoil, roads in driving games will have discernible textures, flight sims will have turbulence you'll have to fight against to stay aloft... you kind of see where this is going.
I'm not eager to upgrade my Playstation 4 and Xbox One just yet, but at the same time, I'll admit that this console generation has been a little dull. The promise of a more tactile and immersive experience coupled with the backward compatibility that the PS4 was lacking makes me cautiously optimistic for the future.