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Everyone remembers this moment Gate when they first noticed that the strings appeared, so to speak, and that the sleek science fiction test chamber you were served by GLaDOS’s seemingly friendly sound was nothing but smoke and mirrors. At some point, everyone notices cracks in the walls, scribbled scribbles telling you “the cake is a lie”, and discarded trash some one who experienced all of this before you. It’s all the things the game says you shouldn’t “should” see, but when you do, it marks the point where Gate stops being a fun puzzle game, and starts to get a little scary. Reality is not real. These are tricks designed to get you to complete a specific task.
This is also a trick that has been implemented in many other games, from Stanley’s parable to Bioshock, and while it can be cool and unsettling if done right, you are still only seeing the reality the game developer intends you to witness. If you ask me, this sort of thing gets downright terrifying when you stumble upon a crack that the developers never intended and manage to peer into a dark and abandoned world that no one should see.
If you’ve ever played 3D video games, especially those that had the type of bug affectionately referred to as “jank” (cough Bethesda cough), You’ve probably seen an error where your character falls through an invisible hole in the floor and you can look up to see the thin cardboard structure and the endless expanse of “sky” where this world was created. I’ve always found that sort of thing really creepy, because it violates established rules about the reality that video games present. If you fall to the floor, for example, there is no way of knowing what you will see in the bottomless abyss that consumes you because the fabric of reality has effectively left the window.
YouTube channel likes Boundary Limits have built up a successful following by exploring this sort of thing from an archaeological perspective, using mods or hacks to take control of a video game camera so they can fly it or aim it wherever they want. The idea is that you can see the Easter eggs that developers are smuggling in just to make themselves laugh, or maybe learn about how the game loads the interior of a building by actually hiding it deep underground and moving players to it when they walk through the door. It’s like going backstage at Chuck E. Cheese, but instead of looking at a rat costume and empty machine, you’ll find a vast desert of darkness, a mysterious black cube serving some unknown function, and creepy close-up eyeballs. .
In 2019, PT fans know that if you hack into the camera and pull it from your usual first-person perspective, you can see that Lisa, the ghost that haunts you during the short game, is actually hovering over your back and disappearing from view the entire time. There’s no way to see it there in the game, and he’s probably just there as some kind of spooky sound trigger (or maybe so the game doesn’t have to load his model separately and be able to move it right away where it needs to be), but knowing that he’s being there all the time and you can’t turn around and catch it – no matter how fast you are – making things that much creepier.
To me, this isn’t just scary because PT is a horror game. I find all of these things extremely terrifying, but in a way I almost don’t want to forget. I like to see what’s behind the walls, say, school level Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2,because I was curious to see what the developers would put in a room that the average player would never see. But I still cringe about it. Maybe because this is something unique to video games (or at least a virtual world)? Turn the camera on a film or TV show, and you’ll see crew members watching everything that happens. Look behind a wall in real life and you will not see a bottomless hole becoming an unmarked void; You will only see whatever is behind that wall.
As Gate test room, video games are all smoke and mirrors (Google “frustum culling” some time for some real superficial magic). But the thing about smoke and mirrors is that they usually cover something ordinary. That’s how developers think about the empty expanse surrounding their game world, but it seems to me to be haunting. So covering it up is not a trick, and is more of a compassion.
Mayor elections to be held in Brazil between November and December this year saw a turn by all factions from the ruling class to the hated Brazilian military forces, including the deadly state-based military police corps.
This year’s elections are the first to be held nationwide after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro came to power. Expressing the important collaboration of all established political parties with their authoritarian characteristics, the number of candidates for mayor or deputy mayor from the TNI or Military Police has more than doubled this year in relation to the last mayoral election, which was held in 2016.
The 2018 elections have seen a tripling of Congressional caucuses consisting of former members of the Armed Forces or Military Police. In his first year in office, Bolsonaro filled his cabinet with high-ranking Armed Forces officers – who comprise 36 percent of senior cabinet members – while doubling the number of military officers in the lower echelons of the federal government, including the administration of state enterprises.
To implement a deadly “herd immunity” policy in response to the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, after two medical experts stepped down as health minister in two months, he appointed an active duty Army general to the post – an act without precedent even in under the dictatorship. He also filled the Health Ministry with an unprecedented number of military officials.
The first two years of his presidency also saw increasing threats by Bolsonaro against the Supreme Court (STF), which is investigating his involvement in organizing right-wing demonstrations and meddling at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal Police stations to protect his son, Senator Flávio Bolsonaro, from corruption investigations.
Military cabinet members, such as the head of ultra-right intelligence, General Augusto Heleno, spoke publicly of the “unpredictable consequences” of the investigation reaching the president, while Supreme Court judges publicly consulted military commanders about what steps to take next. The quasi-legal theory that Article 142 of the Brazilian Constitution allows the president to summon the Army if the Supreme Court or Congress “goes beyond their duties” – in this case by trying to hold Bolsonaro accountable for criminal activity – has been supported by Attorney General Augusto Aras.
In the face of overwhelming social opposition to Bolsonaro’s policies, what he sees as “left” opposition to his government, the Workers’ Party (PT) and the pseudo-left appendage, the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL), are trying to give the left a cover-up of the essential premise. from his government: that the military is a fundamental arbiter of the political situation in the country.
The vehicle for this campaign is running two Military Police officers for the mayor and deputy mayor of the states of Bahia and Rio de Janeiro respectively.
In Salvador, the capital of Bahia, which was controlled by PT for four consecutive terms, the party was elected as a candidate for Military Police Major Denice Santiago, despite facing public opposition from local party constituencies. Santiago, who joined the party at the behest of far-right governor PT Rui Costa, was oddly promoted in racial and gender terms, as he heads a special division of military police tasked with ending domestic violence against women. He was named the first black mayor of a city nicknamed “Black Rome”, because it has 80 percent of the black population and is a major center of African-Brazilian religion.
The grim reality is, however, that the Bahia Military Police, after four periods of PT rule, are the second deadliest unit in the country. A full third of the interventions result in death, and more than 700 people are killed each year, from a population of just over 15 million.
Meanwhile, PSOL has selected a candidate for deputy mayor of the Military Police Colonel Íbis Souza. The head of the board of representatives, state representative Renata Souza, was also praised for being the first black woman to head the state legislature’s human rights commission. The list was chosen after the preferred candidate from the party machine, federal deputy Marcelo Freixo, refused to run, alleging that PSOL’s electoral coalition was too narrow. Freixo came second in the 2016 mayoral election, nearly beating out evangelical chauvinist Marcelo Crivella, with support from a number of Catholic sectarians and business interests.
In a press release announcing Lt. Col. Souza’s choice, PSOL is doing its utmost to appease a constituency of youth that has previously sought to appeal by denouncing Rio police, who kill more than 1,800 people a year, out of a population of just over 16 million. It stated that Souza’s candidacy was “an important indication that policing and human rights can go hand in hand.”
The party has always presented assassination operations of the Military Police as a result of racism against their very black victims, avoiding in any way an appeal to all working class youth against the entire capitalist country.
In both Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, PT and PSOL brought identity politics to its logical conclusion, as a way of providing stability to a capitalist state that was increasingly cruel in the face of growing social opposition.
Most significantly, the two parties also took a step further in what was central to their opposition to Bolsonaro: denouncing him not as a threat to workers, but to Brazilian capitalism.
From the first signs that Bolsonaro could be elected in 2018, both PT and PSOL attempted to frame Bolsonaro as a threat to the interests of the Brazilian ruling class, citing his election as a possible source of commercial and geopolitical isolation, given Bolsonaro’s alignments with Washington’s unilateral policies, which clashed. with European imperialist interests and influencing Brazil’s relations with China.
PT seeks to withdraw the military by highlighting Bolsonaro’s international isolation on geopolitical issues, with former foreign and defense minister PT Celso Amorim claiming that the military can “save Brazil’s foreign policy.”
Meanwhile, PSOL, which draws its main electoral power from Bolsonaro’s home state and its political base, Rio de Janeiro, has sought to highlight the “damaging” effect on the political shaping of Bolsonaro’s involvement with organized crime in the city. To the extent that PSOL uses “human rights” rhetoric to denounce organized crime in Rio, and in particular the vigilante police gang promoted by Bolsonaro, the “militia”, it is out of fear that opposition to militias and Bolsonaro among workers will turn against the capitalist system. itself.
Those efforts culminated in March and April with 2018 presidential candidates PT and PSOL calling for the resignation of Bolsonaro and national unity around his vice president, General Hamilton Mourão, to better handle the COVID-19 pandemic. The PT filed an impeachment clause against Bolsonaro for “threatening the security” of the capitalist state by provoking social opposition with a deadly “herd immunity” policy.
This opposition is an inevitable result of the unprecedented growth of social inequality in the last five years of the continuing economic crisis, a process accelerated by the criminal policies of the ruling class against COVID-19. pandemic. The increasing role of the military, and especially the murderous and criminal Military Police, is an expression of this objective incompatibility between bourgeois-democratic forms of government and social polarization.
Under these conditions, despite their “left” rhetoric, both PT and PSOL mask the dangers posed by the growing right wing in Brazil’s military and police. This is part of an international trend rooted in the incompatibility of the bourgeois-democratic method of government with the progress of the capitalist crisis. Its expression has been found in the use of highly militarized police and anti-immigrant forces to terrorize workers in US cities, and in the massive penetration of German security forces by neo-Nazi elements.
These efforts find very fertile ground in Brazil’s military police and have been consciously promoted by Bolsonaro and his 2018 election allies, such as Governor of São Paulo João Doria and former Governor of Rio de Janeiro Wilson Witzel. All of them sought to make low-ranking Military Police officers one of their main constituencies, and sponsored a shoot-out policy that saw police killings soar by 30 percent in the first months of 2020 in São Paulo and to the highest number in 22 years in Rio.
That PT and PSOL carried out a pro-military campaign that portrayed the Military Police as a democratic constituency opposing Bolsonaro’s right-wing policies, is an indictment against the class character of these parties. Although their bitter dispute with Bolsonaro centers on foreign policy, both PT and PSOL fear the working class more than Bolsonaro himself. They tried to give the murderous and repressive apparatus of the capitalist state of Brazil a “left” cover because of fears that Bolsonaro was not quite prepared for the impending social explosion.
Over the past half decade, the Brazilian working class has experienced a violent decline in its standard of living. The economic recession in Brazil, marked by a crisis in the so-called “commodity cycle”, means that in addition to the collapse and stagnation of its GDP, an already surprising intensification of social inequality.
Between 2015 and 2019, while the poorest half of the population experienced a 17 percent decrease in income, the top 1 percent experienced an increase of 10 percent. The United Nations Human Development Report, released in late 2019, reports that Brazil fell one place in the world inequality ranking to become the seventh least equal country on the planet.
This social crisis is indicated by a significant increase in unemployment, especially among young people. The official unemployment rate among young people aged 14 to 25 years jumped from 14.5 percent at the end of 2014, to 26 percent at the end of 2018. In the same period, the income of youth aged 20 to 24 years fell five times from that. of the rest of the population.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Brazil in March 2020, has exacerbated the contradictions that had developed over the past few years, bringing it to increasingly intolerable levels.
The criminal response of the capitalist ruling elite to the pandemic, guided by its profit interests, is to allow the new coronavirus to spread, claiming the lives of about 150,000 Brazilians, while deepening the economic offensive against the working class.
In the first three months of the pandemic, which coincided with a sharp decline in Brazil’s GDP, nearly 10 million workers lost their jobs, while another 11 million workers had their wages reduced. The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) noted for the first time more than half of the working age population were unemployed.
The youth unemployment rate skyrocketed during this period. While among the general population official unemployment was at a record 13.2 percent (and continuing to rise), among young people aged 18 to 24 it was 29.7 percent. This will leave permanent scars on an entire generation of the Brazilian working class.
The combination of job losses and falling wages in the first quarter of the pandemic resulted in a 20 percent drop in Brazilian individual labor income and a 2.82 percent increase in inequality, according to a recent study by Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). The labor income of the poorest half of the population fell 27.9 percent, compared with 17.5 percent among the top 10 percent. These figures constitute negative historical records, both in absolute terms and in terms of variation.
But the study does observe a “paradox” when considering data from income sources in general, and not just from labor. They show a reduction in poverty and inequality over the same period. The emergency aid payment of 600 reais (US $ 106) a month to a large proportion of the population resulted in, in their words, the “anesthetic effect” in relation to the real social crisis. This aid has been cut in half since September and is expected to end in December, indicating that the crisis is approaching an explosion.
While the working class and parts of the middle class have experienced terrible suffering and deprivation during the pandemic, the scenario is very different in terms of capitalist oligarchy.
In the first five months of the pandemic, even as the country’s GDP fell by more than 10 percent, Brazil’s 42 billionaires saw tremendous growth in their combined income, which jumped from US $ 123.1 billion to US $ 157.1 billion, according to aid organization Oxfam. . .
Brazilian Forbes The magazine, which published its list of billionaires in September, noted: “Despite the many economic consequences caused by this year’s COVID-19 pandemic, Forbes list of Brazilian billionaires [in reais] broke new records of new names. There are 33 new billionaires in the rankings, 16 percent more than last year. “
One of the highlights of the list is Luiza Helena Trajano, who chairs the board of retail chain Luiza Magazine. She jumped from 24th to 8th place, appearing for the first time as the richest woman in Brazil. Trajano saw its assets increase by more than 180 percent to 24 billion reais (US $ 4.27 billion). Luiza Magazine’s stock, which emerged as the Brazilian version of Amazon, garnered nearly 90 percent ratings in 2020.
As if by chance, less than a week earlier Forbes releasing his list, Luiza Trajano became the front page of a Brazilian newspaper because of the controversy that did not center on his indecent accumulation of wealth.
On September 18, Luiza Magazine announced a national training program for “leadership positions” at companies that only accept black candidates. The company claims that the race-based training scheme is the first of its kind in Brazil. The program opens 20 vacancies for jobs that pay 6,600 reais (US $ 1,174) each month for freshly graduated candidates in any field. Shortly thereafter, the German-based transnational pharmaceutical company, Bayer, announced a training program with exactly the same requirements, with 19 vacancies reserved exclusively for black Brazilians.
On its Twitter account, Luiza Magazine describes the program, stating: “Currently, we have 53 percent of employees who are black and brown. And only 16 percent of them are in leadership positions. We need to change this scenario. “In the following weeks, in a series of interviews, Trajano further confirmed the program with a blank phrase about” structural racism. “In one of his appearances, he stated that the program should not be credited to him, but to George Floyd, murdered by police in the US !
In the face of a right wing attack on the training program, Luiza Trajano has been described as a kind of champion for democratic values in the Brazilian media. He also received excessive support from the pseudo-left. Website Brazil 247, which goes along with the Workers’ Party (PT), describes him as “an entrepreneur who is traditionally linked to progressive goals in the country, has supported the PT government and fought racism.”
University of São Paulo (USP) professor Dennis de Oliveira, who became a reference point for Brazil’s pseudo-left racial theory, stated: “The Luiza Magazine initiative, apart from being a product of pressure from the black movement, also shows that the company is in tune with studies conducted around the world, especially in the United States, where companies adopt policies that promote diversity getting better results. “
In articles published on Ecoa Magazine, journalist Bianca Santana said that with the launch of the Magazine Luiza training program, “Brazil’s richest woman … announced the termination of her narcissistic contract in white.”
These corrupt ideas are based on the interests of the upper middle class and their disputes over their position above. Contrary to what they say, the interests of the white working masses are not defended by “pact in white”, such as “break” with this “pact,” by the pathetic creation of 20 high-paying positions. in conditions where more than half of the population was unemployed did not in any way change the condition of the increasingly desperate black working masses.
Praise for Luiza Trajano, whose social interests are directly tied to the privacy of a large proportion of the population, as a progressive figure in Brazilian society is an odd joke. Promotion of racist politics, such as that of the PT and pseudo-left groups, stems from their fear of working class rebellions that jeopardize their social rights.
In his final interview, which was broadcast Monday on the television talk show “Roda Viva,” Trajano voiced a series of ideas that suited his reactionary class interests. While he stated that he wept when he discovered what “structural racism” was, he also expressed his staunch opposition to any taxation of the wealth of a billionaire like himself, maintaining the position that capitalists should be free to decide for what social ends they desire. to donate their “donation”.
She also made a pitiful attempt to deny her position as Brazil’s richest woman, saying she didn’t agree Forbes ‘criteria, and that the figures are only “on paper,” according to fluctuations in the stock market. That his wealth is based on financial market speculation is true, but this is the way in which the entire parasitic elite of which he is a member has amassed unprecedented wealth as the real economy and conditions of the masses continue to decline.
Expressing his class view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trajano said: “I admit I am very calm about the company, this is something the epidemic has given me.” He refused to condemn the sociopathic policies of Brazilian fascist President Jair Bolsonaro, whose policies directly favored him, saying that what made him “very sad” were the political divisions in Brazil created during the pandemic.
Trajano also defended the privatization of the Brazilian Post Office, of which the company is a potential buyer, saying that “privatization, to me, doesn’t mean firing people, it means giving speed.” That’s a blatant lie. The Post Office workers recently ended a strike, betrayed by the unions, in which they fought an unprecedented series of attacks aimed at increasing profitability and making it a more attractive asset to companies such as Luiza Magazine and Amazon.
The identification of the false left with such a figure flows directly from their petty bourgeois politics. Their attempts to impose the misconception that the main division of society is between race, and not social class, plays a completely reactionary political role: forcing the working class to submit to the capitalist oligarchy and its state.
The efforts of leftist and pseudo-bourgeois parties such as the PT to divide the working class along racial, gender and national lines go hand in hand with and feed the growth of fascist and right-wing forces in society, emerging from the same rotten. the land of fallen capitalism.
The answer to the fundamental problem plaguing Brazilian society and globally lies in the unification of the working class as an independent political force, fighting for the expropriation of wealth and enterprises owned by the ruling elite.
The global wave of working class strikes and protests, which have been increasing since the start of the pandemic, shows great potential for the development of an international revolutionary leadership, armed with a socialist program and capable of uniting the working class of every race and nation. in the struggle for political power.
Promotion of the construction sector is one of the government’s top priorities: PM
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the promotion of the construction sector is one of the government’s top priorities to reduce the negative impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the national economy, accelerate the economic process and create employment opportunities in the country.
He gave a speech at the weekly briefing meeting of the National Coordinating Committee for Housing, Construction and Development in Islamabad today.
The Prime Minister said that all facilities that might be provided to the construction sector and the business community must take full advantage of this incentive.
He said the business community must invest in this sector, the government is committed to all possible collaborations in this matter.
There is no NRO in return for the law on FATF: Imran Khan
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken a firm stand and clarified that laws relating to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) are needed for Pakistan and that no NRO will be awarded in return for laws in the national interest.
According to the details, a meeting of the parliamentary party was held under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan where he told the members about the importance of legislation in Parliament.
Speaking to members, he said that we corrected past mistakes while the opposition used Parliamentary forums to save its politics.
Imran Khan said that the opposition had tried to block every law. The opposition must support the law in the national interest.
The Prime Minister directs MPs to give a hard time to the opposition and says that they will not be blackmailed. The opposition demanded that the NRO not be given at any cost. PTI will not back down from its manifesto. “If we do that, it will be a disaster,” he added.