Archive for: ‘October 2010’

Story, the 5 W’s and the H

October 18, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

In mid September, Ninja Theory said that story is the most important aspect of game design. This caused quite the stir in the comments that I was unable to participate in. So, I shall post my thoughts here.

First I will say that I don’t completely agree with Ninja Theory. I don’t think that story is the most important aspect of game design. But it’s importance is growing.

For me, gameplay is the most important aspect of games design. You can have the best looking, sounding game with the best story ever, but if the gameplay sucks, it will destroy any other good will it may have had with gamers.

So where soes that leave story in the ranking? Personally, I would toss it in the same level as art direction and audio. All of which falls behind gameplay.

To help explain this, I will be looking at the 5 W’s: Who, What, When, Where, Why; and the H: How. Each of these is impacted by one of the main factors of games design in some way. (more…)

State Question No. 757 – Save it for a Rainy Day

October 12, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

This question adjusts the amount of state funds that can be put in the Constitutional Reserve Fund also known as the Rainy Day Fund.

This measure amends the State Constitution.  It amends Section 23 of Article 10.  It increases the amount of surplus revenue which goes into a special fund.  That fund is the Constitutional Reserve Fund.  The amount would go from 10% to 15% of the funds certified as going to the General Revenue fund for the preceding fiscal year.

While I support the need to have a savings account for the state in order to have funds available for emergencies, I feel that our current cap of 10% is sufficient. By increasing the amount the state can put away for the future, it decreases the amount the state is required to give back to the tax payer in times of excess.

I feel that the any beyond the current limit of 10% should be returned to the people of Oklahoma.

Vote No

State Question No. 752 – Judicial Nominating Committee

October 12, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

State Question 752 adds two new members to the Judicial Nominating Committee and changes some requirements for those who are selected as members.

This measure amends a section of the Oklahoma Constitution.  It amends Section 3 of Article 7-B.  The measure deals with the Judicial Nominating Commission.  This Commission selects nominees to be appointed judges or justices, when a vacancy occurs.  The Commission selects three, sometimes four, qualified nominees.  The Governor must appoint one of the nominees. The amendment adds two at-large members to the Commission.  At-large members can come from any Oklahoma congressional district.  The Senate President Pro Tempore appoints one of the new at-large members.  The Speaker of the House of Representatives appoints the other.  At-large members can not be lawyers.  Nor can they have a lawyer in their immediate family.  Nor can more than two at-large members
be from the same political party.

Six non-at-large members are appointed by the Governor.  They cannot be Oklahoma lawyers.  The measure adds a new qualification for non-lawyer members.  They can not have a lawyer from any state in their immediate family.  Each congressional district must have at least one non-lawyer member. Six lawyer members are elected by members of the Oklahoma Bar Association.  Each congressional district must have at least one lawyer member.

I feel that these changes are unnecessary. The committee already consists of 12 members 6 of whom are not selected by the Governor. I feel that this question was drafted in an attempt at preventing conflict of interest, but does not meet those desires.

Additionally, I think that adding new members would simply complicate the process further than it already is.

Vote No

Pirate Party Endorsement

October 4, 2010 Posted by E. Zachary Knight

Today, the Pirate Party of Oklahoma has released their list of candidate endorsements. Out of all people running for office this year, only 26 were willing to respond to their request. Of those 26, only 4 responded with sufficient support for openness in our government to warrant an endorsement.

Zachary Knight is one of those 4.

As a bit of background for the Pirate Party, their “About Us” page describes their platform as follows:

The Pirate Party of Oklahoma is a new political party with the goal of promoting the Privacy Rights of Oklahomans, push for increased Government Transparency, advocate for Ballot Access Reform, and encourage reform of Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks. We are a member of the United States Pirate Party and are also associated with Pirate Parties International. The Pirate Party of Oklahoma was formed in January of 2010 with the signing of our Constitution.

As for their endorsement, this came based on my responses to a number of questions. These questions ranged from Open Access to government, protection from unwarranted wire tapping and searches and Ballot Access Reform. I have included a few examples below.

This is an endorsement I fully accept and encourage all to read the responses of those who are available on the Pirate Party site and see exactly how these issues affect you as a citizen of this state and nation.

On the issue of automated traffic monitoring systems, ie speed, red-light cameras, and other automated systems for identifying traffic violations:

I lived in Arizona for several years and experienced the automated speed and red light cameras. While I am sure those systems brought in quite a bit of revenue for the contractors who operated them, but not so much for the police departments. What is really worrisome about such systems is their inability to make judgment calls and read context of individual situations. The state should avoid such situations as they would bring on additional burden on the people while not increasing revenue for our underfunded police departments.
On laws preventing citizens from recording on-duty police officers:
Oklahoma is a one party consent state, meaning that only one side of a conversation being recorded whether in audio or video is required to consent to the recording. Any attempt to change those laws would violate our rights and a needed protection for the people. Our police force are public servants and they should be accountable to the people they serve. Retaining our one party consent status would allow the people to protect themselves from corruption and abuse.
On requiring the state legislature to comply with the Open Records Act:
All city, county and school government and agencies are required to comply with the open records act. There is not reason why our Legislative branch should not be held to the exact same standard. In order to hold our legislative members accountable, we need to have an open and accurate record of what they are doing in office. I can see a need to protect correspondence with individuals of a legislator’s constituency, but any correspondence with registered lobbyists, state agencies and other legislators should be open to public scrutiny.
Finally, on Ballot Access Reform:
As an independent, I am affected directly by Oklahoma’s current Ballot Access laws. I have come to realize that yes they are the most restrictive and there is no reason to keep them as is, other than reducing competition for incumbent parties. When elected, I plan on working with other legislators in writing and passing sweeping reform in the state. This will include reducing the required number of signatures to [5000] as it was prior to 1974 and changing ballot access laws to remove language that writes the incumbent parties into law.
To read the full list of questions and Zachary’s responses, you can follow this link.