So with the Christmas Holiday I didn’t write a whole lot and I am just now getting back into writing again for Techdirt. So this time I am combining the last 3 weeks together, for a grand total of 4 articles. Yes I know that doesn’t seem to be a lot. 3 of them were from the last week so it isn’t so bad. Here they are:
There are two White House petitions asking Obama to veto the SOPA and PIPA legislation. The first one met its 25,000 signature goal in 2 weeks and the second one hit its 25,000 signature goal in 2 days. That is incredibly awesome. With the massive public backlash against SOPA and PIPA, I don’t know how Obama would be able to justify signing them into law if he values winning in the next election.
Mommy’s Best Games, creators of Serious Sam Double D, wrote a very good article calling for game developers and gamers to contact ESA member companies to ask them to oppose SOPA and pressure the ESA to do so as well. Let’s hope that more gamers and developers follow through with the request and SOPA gets opposed.
Sadly, the ESA seems to be dedicated to supporting SOPA while at the same time leaving members of its “grassroots” organization, Videogame Voters Network, out in the cold. Gamers joined the group in order to protect the rights of gamers and SOPA is in direct contrast to that end. I have always been wary of the VGVN as I knew from the beginning that it could never truly be a gamers’ rights group as long as it was owned and run by the ESA. Join the ECA instead.
While the PCGA is one of the lesser known games industry trade groups, I still thought it was important to reach out to them for their opinion. They seem to have taken a different, although not necessarily better, tactic than the ESA. They recognize the need to stop piracy, but are remaining mostly neutral on SOPA and PIPA until they get more information from their members and the bills get a lot more review.
So that’s it for the 3 weeks. More will follow.
Today, I took my son, Alex, to the Lego Monthly Mini Model build at the Lego Store in OKC. We had started doing these last year but got out of habit and decided that with the new year we would start going every month from now on. It an awesome little activity and the models he builds are free. So it is a win win.
However, there are some lessons I learned while there. Not everything has to do with the activity, some have to do with Legos themselves.
- There is roughly a 2 hour time frame you must schedule around. From the time we got there to the time we left was about 2 hours. We stayed a little late to browse, but not for too long. So with that in mind we have:
- Bring something to entertain not only yourself, but your kids. 2 hours is quite the wait and if you don’t have enough to do the kids get a little wild. Next month I plan on bringing the DS for Alex and a book for me. This time we had a Lego Club magazine and that was it.
- The models are worth the wait. While they are not too extravagant, they are neat and provide a tool to help kids get those creative juices flowing and see what they can build using standard Legos. No special pieces here, only bricks, plates and slopes.
Those are the main lessons I learned about the model builds. The rest of the lessons are about the Lego sets themselves.
- All Lego Trains use the same tracks. I was concerned about this when my son got the Lego Toy Story train for Christmas and it didn’t come with any tracks. So it doesn’t matter which set you get the tracks from, all trains will fit. Too bad they were out of tracks today.
- The New Lego DC Univers Lego Sets are awesome. However, they should be called the Lego Batman and Friends Lego Sets because they are primarily about Batman. There is one non-Batman set and it is relatively small. I am sure that they will come out with more non-Batman sets, but not yet.
- Speaking of DC Universe Legos, Wonder Woman does not seem to have any iconic villains and needs to be included in a Superman vs Lex Luther set. This is one of the problems with Wonder Woman anything. Even if Lego included any of her major foes, no one other than die hard WW fans would know who they are.
- The Lego Ninjago sets are awesome, specifically the new boat they have. they used to be Ninjas vs Skeleton people but they have now added snake headed people to the set list.
- Lego has a ton of really cool animals now. I remember a time when the only animals were horses, birds and dragons. Then I got excited with bats, snakes and spiders. Now they have freaking dinosaurs, bears, dogs and many many other smaller animals. They are really getting some good animal showings here.
- Finally, Lego women are making a huge showing now. It used to be that Lego women were a rare breed and you had to really search to find them. They mostly came with the city sets but even then it was rare to find them. Now every major Lego theme has at least a couple sets that include at least one woman. Now if only they would include more.
So that’s what I learned while I was at the Lego store today. Can’t wait to see what happens next month.