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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
December 17, 2008     Feather River Bulletin
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December 17, 2008

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lOB Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter EDITORIAL and OPINION ........ E D!TO_P'IAL ......... Winter weather has finally arrived in Plumas County, much to the delight of win- ter sports enthusiasts and those who prefer their Christmases white. Whether you head to the hills on skis, snowshoes or snowmo- biles, we urge you to put safety first. Dress appropriately, carry the necessary safety gear, pack extra food and water, and let someone know where you're going and when you'll be back. Perhaps no one loves to play in the snow more than children. Make sure yours are dressed warmly in layers. If they are skiing, snowboarding or sledding, equip them with a helmet. Sleds should be ridden feet first, never on the belly headfirst. While every- one knows not to eat yellow snow, even the whitest stuff can contain harmful sub- stances. Kids love to eat the fluffy stuff, but parents need to discourage them from doing SO. Whether a winter sports enthusiast or not, we all should slow down and drive ex- tra cautiously during winter weather. Time and again, emergency personnel tell us the number one safety measure we can take is to slow down. Help local road crews by abiding by park- ing ordinances and staying out of the way of snowplows. Our road crews and emergency personnel work in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions, and the least we can do is help them to do their jobs safely and ef- fectively. We are not naive to the fact that crimes of all magnitudes take place daily all over the United States. We are also recognize that bad things happen to good people. Yet, even when the bad happens, we can say that we live in a safe and generous county. We have optimistically waited to see how Plumas County residents would act in harder economic times. In the past, resi- dents have been so generous With their ' time, resources and money that we were proud of those we call neighbor. Plumas County's motto should be "If you ask, we will give." We are proud to note that the spirit of giv- ing is alive and well in Plumas County, de- spite the diffmult economy we are now fac- ing. Dozens of citizens have given generous- ly to local food banks and other providers. There is still time to brighten someone's Christmas holiday. There were still some angels on the angel tree at Plumas Bank last week, and the sheriff's association contin- ues to collect toys for needy children. These are just two of the many organizations that could use your help. Give them a call and they will tell you how you can help. A paper Breaking News .... go to g [ Michael C. Ta borski ............. Publisher Keri B. Taborski ...Legal Advertising Dept. Delaine Fragnoli ........ Managing,Editor Diana Jorgenson .......... Portola Editor Alicia Knadler ........ Indian Valley Editor Kate West ............... Chester Editor Shannon Morrow .......... Sports Editor Mona Hill .................. Copy Editor Staff writers: Joshua Sebold Ruth Ellis Will Farris Scott Blackwood Sam Williams Pat Shillito Barbara France Jeanie Jones Susan Cort Johnson Traci Bue Anthony Larson Feather River Westwood Bulletin PinePress (530) 283-0800 (530) 256-2277 Lassen County Chester Progressive Times (530) 258-3115 (530) 257-53211 Indian Valley Portola Reporter Record (530) 832-4646 (530) 284-7800 Elements of video game spill into real world ~::6~:::::': m: ::::: ,*~ ~i~::, ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: MY TURN JOSHUA SEBOLD Staff Writer In the past I've used this page to argue people shouldn't fear video games any more than they do movies and TV. It seems you can hardly watch the weath- er channel or a news report without having sex and violence shoved in your face. It doesn't matter what channel you watch, With the exception of some programming for kids under 13, you're going to see advertise- ments including movie previews and that means you're going to see some sexual themes and death threats being hurled around. If you're turning on the news, you're like- ly to get another dose of sex and violence. It seems as if Larry King's broadcasting philosophy has boiled down to: "Can we get a celebrity sex story? No? Alright, then let's just do the horribly tragic murder sto- ry, there's a new one happening every day anyways." I imagine his producers' happiest mo- ments are when they realize they have a sexy celebrity murder story on their hands -- oh the joys of humanity at its finest. Now the reality is: Most television isn't really healthy for kids, just as most video games aren't. If you actually adhere to the rating sys- tems for most modern media, and most par- ents obviously don't based on the fact that many of the kids in my sixth-grade class had already seen the R-rated movie "Alien," your kids won't be taking in much of it, which is how my parents raised me for much of my youth. It was PBS or episodes of the Ninja Turtles my parents had pre- recorded without advertisements. But this is all beside the point; what I'm saying is video games are just another source of entertainment that parents need to, well, parent. It seems to me once a person can be deemed mature he is no more likely to be adversely affected by violence and bikinis in games than in movies and television. This is besides the fact that video games have much more stringent rating laws on sexual content than any movie, which is why "Titanic" could win an Oscar with nu- dity, while the overwhelming majority of video games are unlikely to survive with it. There have even been several times when European games with scenes that showed ex- posed buttocks were edited for sale in the U.S. Apparently Bart Simpson is the only per- son decent enough for our youth to view from behind after someone has "eaten his shorts." But I digress. Realistically, there are some video games that do scare and fascinate me. They aren't especially violent, there's no blood in most of them, and they are usually closer to cartoons than anything you would call sexy, although "Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures" breaks both of these rules so you've been warned: What I'm talking about are massively multi- player online role-playing games, or MMORPGs. But, we'll call them MMOs here because we don't want to seem out of the loop. The first major MMO that gained recogni- tion outside of the "Dungeons and Dragons" This farm equipment in the Chester area is located where? E-mail or call your local newspaper office listed at the bottom of this page. Answers must be received by Friday at 5 p.m. All correct an- swers will be entered into a weekly drawing for a free four-week classified ad val- ued at $28. To learn the location of this photo, see Section A of next week's news- paper. Photo by Kate West fan base was "Everquest." It was played by the jocks inmy high school, the popular kids and the D&D crowd, of course. It was an opiate of the masses in every way. The game quickly became known as "Evercrack" in my high school and that name represents one of the reasons these games are frightening. Most multiplayer game play used to con- sist of a maximum of 32 people basically playing a "Doom" or WWII type game, where everyone was pursuing similar objec- tives in a small arena. Games like cap- ture the flag or simple team-on-team combat were the extent of online play. "Everquest" was different. At its peak, 430,000 people were playing on servers that hosted approximately 3,000 peo- ple per game world during peak hours. Players were no longer involved in the same objectives at the same time. Before, there were single-player games that followed a script like a movie and there were multiplayer games where everyone was doing the same thing at the same time. "Everquest" was both and everything in between at the same time. People could chat while in the game, work together on the same objectives and exist in the same world as thousands of other ran- dom people who were trading goods, complet- ing quests or simply annoying each other. It felt a lot like real life. Some unique situations began to arise in a server known as Rallos Zek. This was the only server where players could fight without agreeing to a duel. This meant some players, including a friend of mine who now designs Web sites for people in high places, could spend all of their time, not trying to succeed but, in- stead, using their time to gain enjoyment in helping others to fail at the game. Once again: It was a lot like real life. My friends would roam the game world finding ways to "exploit" flaws in the game. "Everquest" was the first game in which you could actually steal items from other people. You worked hard to get that magical sword that made your character powerful enough to conquer the next dungeon. Then, suddenly, a small gnome hit you with a net and his friend, sitting on a rooftop that a glitch in the game allowed him to reach, hit you with a few fireballs while you tried to find out how to fight back. Suddenly, you were on the ground and your sword you worked so hard to get was gone. This game was fascinating because of the .... dew:opportunities it offeredingaming, but it was just~he beginning. It also provided a new event in video game history. A group of players on the famed Rallos Zek server, including a friend of mine Who was pursing a career as a chiropractor last I heard, were able to change the outcome of the game. MMOs are made to be unending. The cre- ators of the game continually update it so there is always more to do. As the sequel to "Everquest" was in devel- opment, it was revealed a dragon in the orig- inal game that was intended to be un-kill- able, would feature highly in the next ver- sion. The dragon had been placed in the "Everquest" world but had been given a See Elements, page 11B REMEMBER WHEN 75 YEARS AGO ...1933 Christmas trade in Plumas was brisk KERI TABORSKI this year. The improvement was attributed Historian to President Roosevelt's Conservation Workers Act (CWA) program which has many Plumas men on the payroll. 100 YEARS AGO ...1908 Now is the time to buy Christmas gifts 50 YEARS AGO ...1958 for your family, friends and associates. Seventy buildings, a store, hotel and oth- Fountain pens, fine jewelry in stock includ- er buildings which complete the town of ing chatelaines, fobs and cuff buttons. Keddie has been sold to English Properties, Advertisement: Well fed, healthy cows Inc. of Studio City located in southern Call- produce fine, rich and healthful milk and fornia. The price was to have exceeded cream for your holiday dining. None better $250,000. can be foun4 than what is produced at the Quincy Dairy, telephone number 107. 25 YEARS AGO ...1983 Jack Thompson, 71, former owner of the Portola Reporter died Saturday at his home in Portola. He sold the newspaper to Feather Publishing Company, Inc in 1975, retiring in 1977. Sacramento Valley Moulding Company in Crescent Mills returned to non-union status when workers voted 47 to 29 against union representation with 80 workers re- turning to work there. Note: items included in the weekly Remem- ber When column are taken from our bound newspaper archives and represent writing styles of that particular period. The spelling and grammar are not edited, so the copy is presented as it actually appeared in the orig- inal newspapers. Atheists' sign continues Christmas controversy fensive. There is no enslavement with Christiani- I am not offended, for thestark contrast ty either. People are invited to receive between the Baby Jesus lying in the Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is their manger and the concept of hardened hearts choice. We can all come to Christ just as we is astounding. The birth of Jesus shows are; we don't have to start doing anything God's great love for us. or stop doing anything first. We are saved The Apostle John wrote that real love is by God's grace through faith, not by works. shown in the fact that God sent his Son as a In a transcript of a Fox News interview, MY TURN sacrifice to take away our sins. The sin that Dan Barker, the co-president of the Free- is a wedge between God and us is removed dom from Religion Foundation, was quoted SUSAN COURT JOHNSON through Jesus Christ and the result is rec- as saying: "If there is going to be a nativity Staff Writer onciliation and a chance for a relationship, scene that's pro-Christian, which basically That kind of love God has for us is "agape" insults those of us who are not Christian, A sign placed in the Washington State -- which is intensely, intelligently willing by telling us we're going to go to hell unless capitol next to a nativity scene has become the best for someone. That same love be- we bow down before that Baby Jesus, then news. Written by members of the Freedom comes a part of every person who develops a we want an equal time, too." From Religion Foundation it reads in part: relationship with Jesus Christ as well. My first thought was why be offended by "There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no The Apostle Paul described this type of something that does not exist? The sign set love as patient and kind, a love that is not in place by atheists certainly does not of- heaven or hell. Religion is but myth and su- perstition that hardens our hearts and en- jealous, boastful, proud or rude. It is a love fend me, for I know God does exist. Their slaves our minds." that does not demand its own way and keeps declaration does not shake my faith. In- Some are indignant that government offi- no record of wrongs. It never rejoices when stead, it draws attention to the fact that rials would allow a group of atheists to put an injustice occurs. This love is from God each person must answer the question Je- up such a sign at Christmas. They find it of- and is quite the opposite of a hardened heart, sus asked, "Who do you say that I am?" ;iFl'l ' ' rTI2t "1:31 1"