If you slept through Thursday and Friday and are just waking up to read this now, let me give your slovenly arse a brief recap: Japan is in crisis. In the mid-afternoon on Friday, glorious Nippon experienced an 8.9 magnitude earthquake which spawned a series of tsunamis, some as high as thirty feet, with aftershocks ranging from 6.6 to 7.1 magnitude. The quake’s epicenter was off the Miyagi Prefecture, approximately 230 miles from Tokyo. Fire broke out in the prefecture, the most intense of which at the Chiba oil refinery, which burned too hot for firefighters to get within range. The Defense Ministry has confirmed at least 1,800 homes have been destroyed and 180 dead, though eyewitness reports are stating that the death toll in the coastal city of Sendai are two to three hundred alone.
On behalf of all of our staff here at Lusipurr.com, I express our condolences for the many people and their loved ones who have been injured, killed, or displaced by the devastating events that took place in Japan on Friday. As a website full of JRPG whores, we tease and mock their games and cultural quirks, but we do it out of love and admiration, most of us probably would not be gamers if it were not for Japan. So, what has happened to the industry we know and love during these harsh times?
Not much of anything apparently. Q-Games, Konami, Suda 51, Platinum Games, Media Molecule, and Team Ico were just a few of the many developers that took to Twitter to confirm that they were either far enough from the disaster to avoid harm or had evacuated their staff to safety. The only office that did have any known problems was Sony; Cade Peterson of SCE confirmed that their offices were fine, but six factories close to the quake’s epicenter had to be shut down.
This is yet another hit in what has been a very up-and-down week for Sony. With the release of firmware update 3.60 to ward off hackers, they saved it from the piracy that they hate, though reports have said it does nothing for HDD corruption issues. They also were quite happy to have a decision regarding their ongoing legal battle with LG: the seizure order has been lifted, allowing the shipment and sale of the PS3 in Europe again. However, Sony also announced that they are undergoing a division of power, restructuring their business into two distinct areas. The first is their ‘Professional and Device Solutions Group,’ catering to businesses, and the second, which holds interest to us nerds, their ‘Consumer Products and Services Group.’ So what is Sony’s bad news? Everyone else. NPD data is showing that the Kinect bundles outsold the Move five-to-one in February, in addition to Kinect software sales being well over that of their Move counterparts. Even the Wii performed better, with an additional fifty thousand bundles over Sony’s 400,000 PS3/Move bundles.
That’s enough with the depressing news, let us move on to something less miserable, like the assertion that you are all crackheads! A British therapist by the name of Steve Pope is catching heat from the gaming community this week for pandering to the likes of Fox News, stating in an interview with BBC Radio that “spending two hours on a game station is equivalent to taking a line of cocaine in the high it produces in the brain.” The idiotic boob gives no other explanation as to how he reached this conclusion, no scientific fact or the like, but simply based on his theories. However, this should not come as a surprise, as he said almost the exact same thing in May 2010 in a UK newspaper. He argues that skeptical parents should go to their child’s room and take the controller from them mid-game and watch as their precious innocent baby flies into a rage like an alcoholic separated from their hooch.
Just as Penny Arcade fights against this idea of gamers being soulless violent gaming addicts, I encourage our Lusipurr.com readers to lend a helping hand to Japan in their time of need. The Red Cross and similar organizations worldwide are providing aid to the nation that has given us so much, in addition to nearby less developed nations that will likely be struck by the ensuing aftershocks and tsunamis. Please contribute in any way you can for the sake of the Japanese people and their loved ones. Sure, the games we nerds want will still get to us regardless and their customs will confuse and amuse us for years to come, but for all we take, we should give as well.