On Friday, June 26th, Chicago Copwatch hosted a protest against a celebration being thrown for members of the Chicago Police Department who were on duty during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Anyone that knows their history knows that the 1968 DNC was one of the worst instances of police brutality our nation has ever seen. To add insult to injury, the official website for the celebration uses ridiculous terminology like “Marxist street thugs.” The last I checked, Marxism was a valid political ideology, and the majority of the protesters were students.

What leads me to post the following video is the near complete lack of reporting on what happened that night by the mainstream press. The Sun-Times updated their story to more accurately reflect the events, but over a week after it happened. The press doesn’t mention that fact that we marched almost 3 miles, with police constantly trying to herd us onto the sidewalks. The press doesn’t mention the fact that we refused, and kept marching until the police finally just gave up.

We took back the streets that night, if only for a few hours, and all we have is a Youtube video to show for it.

The word “portal,” at least to me, conjures up images of casual game havens like Big Fish or Reflexive, or sites full of the same flash games that are on every other site, like Kongregate or Armor Games. The idea of a game portal site really didn’t appeal to me until I spent some time on Game Jolt.

Game Jolt accepts nearly any kind of free game, be it downloadable or web-based. At first glance, it may appear to be just another site, with not much to offer, and I have seen several people complaining about how the layout looks too much like Kongregate’s, and I will admit that both the layout and business model bear some resemblance. However, after poking around the site a bit, it becomes obvious that Game Jolt is more than just another portal and may just be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

Game Jolt has a couple of tricks up its sleeve that give it a large amount of potential. My favorite is the revenue sharing system. Although it is in closed beta right now, the program promises to offer developers a relatively easy way to monetize freeware games. The current split is 50/50, but will probably change as the program matures. The good news is that any developers that sign up now can reserve this rate for life, even if they are not chosen for the closed beta.

Another feature I think adds to the site’s potential is the Quick Play system. One of the main hassles of downloadable games is the fact that they usually need to be installed or unzipped. Very rarely do we download a straight .exe file and run it. Game Jolt solves this with a system that does the work for you. The developer simply uploads a .zip file, and the Quick Play system takes care of the rest. I think the removal of this extra step is a very important part in improving the accessibility of downloadable games.

I could go on about Game Jolt’s other qualities, like the active and friendly community, or the contests, but then people might start to get suspicious. The point is that Game Jolt is creating a site that could open up the freeware games sector to an audience that it hasn’t really had before, and they are doing so in a developer-centric sort of way. I’ve registered and uploaded some of my games to the site, and I sincerely wish the site success in the future as both a developer and user.

Yeah, it’s been a while (a little less than three months) since I’ve posted anything, but I am looking to get back in the swing of things. So, expect near daily updates again. I’ve found that balancing being a wage slave, along with a personal life, and game dev, doesn’t leave much time for blogging.

Anyways, in honor of the holiday, I would like to point everyone in the direction of a transcript of a speech by Hal Draper made in 1962. Draper examines the numbers behind the American Revolution to find that it was far from being widely supported.

Yet I must report that the very best historical authorities admit that the percentage of the colonial Americans who supported the Revolutionary side against the British was only – one third. Specifically, according to the best estimates, one third supported the British; one third supported the Revolution; and the last third just wanted to be left alone to hoe their corn.

While Draper’s numbers can be called into question, most modern sources including Wikipedia agree that around 20% of the population were considered Loyalists, or active supporters of Britain during the revolution. The campaign of terror, which included the practices of tarring and feathering and burning houses, against the Loyalists is not something to be celebrated. Our revolution was that of a minority, and that minority used tactics, which by today’s terms would be considered terrorism.

Just a little something to consider in light of the grilled food and fireworks that tend to obscure any real historical value of the holiday.

EDIT: On a less serious note, you may have noticed that I finally registered a domain name! All requests for theblackmask.wordpress.com will be redirected to the corresponding page at http://www.the-black-mask.com.