Monday, December 17, 2007

It was God's Idea

I just read something profound on the Jesus Culture Myspace Blog. It goes like this:

Revival in America is God's idea. Salvation is God's idea. Healing is God's idea. Crippled people walking. Missing limbs returning. The blind seeing. Foggy minds clear. Broken hearts whole.

For so long ,we have viewed God as someone who can;t wait to punish America when He really can't wait to pour out Hid love on her, when He really loves this nation and the people in it. As the blog put it, when we would pray with this outlook, we would feel like we were twisting God's arm to bring revival and healing and salvation.

This just isn't the case. The Truth is that God is in a good mood. And He wants you to be in a good mood too. So Rejoice, and be EXCEEDINGLY glad, for great is your reward in heaven ..."- Matthew 5:12

With that outlook we can really pray that God wants to do something and will do something. Pretty cool huh?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What do we deserve?

Y'know, many Christians, myself included, have thought some pretty rotten things about themselves. Mostly, self-hatred.

I like what Kris Vallotton says in his book The Supernatural Ways of Royalty: Discovering Your Rights and Privileges of Being a Son or Daughter of God.

He has a lot to say on the subject, namely that as those who have accepted Jesus, we are now royalty and ought not to hate ourselves but rather to love ourselves and who God made us to be. It's about seeing ourselves in a different light.

Instead of saying "I am such a horrible person with a rotten evil heart," begin to live like the Prince or Princess that God made you to be.

'Cause man, we got it made.

For those that aren't saved, ask God who he is and what He is all about. You might be surprised at the answer. How about a call to royalty? To be a son or a daughter of the Most High of the Universe?

And that's all I have to say tonight. Sleep well. Rest. Peace.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Here is an article written by a friend of mine on the Gerstmann-Gate scandal. It is a very well written piece on how a lack of journalistic integrity hurts a publication's bottom line.

Bad, Bad Boy
A story recently has caused much uproar throughout the video-game community. Gamespot, one of the largest video-game review websites, recently fired its editorial director Jeff Gerstmann under suspicious circumstances. Gamespot claims no wrongdoing, but Gerstmann was handed his pink slip shortly after giving a negative review to a game called “Kane & Lynch: Dead Men,” which is published by, Eidos, one of Gamespot's advertisers. In addition, the video review was removed from the site, and the text portion of the review has undergone several changes since its original post. Many in the video-game community think that the timing of Gamespot's actions is too coincidental, and that its refusal to comment on the issue in the days following the break of the scandal damns them further.(Joystiq)In order to gain the public's trust and increase revenue, journalistic publications must strive for honesty and integrity in their work despite the temptation of advertising dollars.

Although the facts of the case don't lead to a definitive answer, the kernel of the Gamespot-Gerstmann story reintroduces the topic of journalistic integrity into the minds of the gaming public. Supposing the allegations are true, is it a sound business move to fire a writer for giving a bad review to a sponsor? The simple answer is that it is not. The cons outweigh the pros definitively on a completely rational basis. The obvious benefit to this behavior is that being sponsor-friendly leads to higher ad revenues; but all is not well in Fist-full-of-dollars-land. Firstly, this is bad journalism, and it causes deep-cutting effects that undermine the quality of the publication. Instead of honest reviews that feel personal, the reader will be left with cookie-cutter turnouts that are more advertisement than editorial. And this in turn is bad for business, even if nobody finds out.

Most people don't like to be deceived. When a publisher deceives its reader-base, it undermines the very public that it serves. This stigmatizes the publisher and defames its brand-name.

Sponsors pay a lot of money for their ads to be shown by a publisher; the more people see the ads, the more potential buyers they will have for their product. So it makes sense then that a company would not want to sponsor a publication that essentially tells its readers not to buy that product. It also makes sense that if the publisher puts pressure on its writers to endorse its sponsor's products, then they stand to make a lot of money in ad revenue. But there is much more at play here than ad revenue. Once this course of action is decided upon, it leads down an unbeneficial path. Essentially, the benefit only continues as long as the public is unaware of this relationship. If readers find out that the publisher of their favorite reviews is being paid for giving good reviews, then it is not in their best interest to continue reading the publication: it has ceased its utility, because they are essentially getting the same information from the reviews as from the company itself. The surprising thing is, people don't have to explicitly find out about this relationship in order for it to affect their choice of reading material.

Bad journalism begets bad journalism. Once the publisher makes it clear that they will fire writers if they don't tow the company line, the quality of the reviews begins to diminish. The writing staff begins to fear standing on its integrity, because that could get someone fired. If continued firings or pressure is used, the reviewers will no longer be able to tell what their bosses expect; they will take fewer risks; they will take less interest in their assignments; the overall quality of the writing will decrease. Even if that series of events does not occur, if readers figure out that the reviews don't agree with their own sensibilities, they will stop trusting the reviews and eventually stop reading them.

Readers don't want to read reviews they can't trust, so they will naturally move to more reliable sources. Readership slowly drops as more readers catch wise. This makes the advertisers nervous; ads are definitely not going to be effective if nobody ever sees them. The demand for ad-space drops and the ad revenue with it. The publishing company is now making less money, and they have two options: fire some writers, or pay writers less money. In either case the effect is the same, the quality of the writing gets worse; either the workload increases and there is less time to do a decent job, or the staff has less motivation to produce high-quality writing.

If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas; advertisers have heard this saying too. They know it is bad for business to be associated with a disreputable company. And that is exactly what lies do to whomever is caught telling them, make them disreputable. Most people are unlikely to buy a product if they think that the company selling it cannot be trusted, and this makes companies very careful about whom they do business with. This effectively can cause a major loss of ad revenue for the hypothetical review website that gets caught in this scenario. Whether or not the website has a loss in readership, the advertisers may decide to withdraw their sponsorship in order to distance themselves from the scandal. It is very easy to see what a negative impact this can have on the publisher's bottom-line.
The scenario is admittedly hypothetical, and the publisher could potentially reverse the process at any point. However, it is a road that leads only one direction; if a publisher consistently does not make journalistic integrity a priority, then it will eventually lead to the publication's financial ruin.

It all comes down to trust. If people trust a website or a publication, the publication will see it's readership increase and revenue streams grow. When a publication betrays the public trust, it becomes useless.

Recently, Gamespot issued a statement saying that Gerstmann was fired only after an internal review. The company denies any wrong-doings or that Gerstmann was fired because of the scathing review. Still, since the story broke, Gamespot's web traffic has significantly declined.(Alexa) Pandering to the advertisers costs money. It's that simple.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Glicker Returns, Gaming Steve is back!

So, for those that don't know and even for those who don't care, Gaming Steve has returned. To commemorate his return, I designed a fan-made magazine cover. Read: This is in no way whatsoever authorized, approved, recommended by, endorsed by, or has anything to do with Gaming Steve aka Stephen Glicker. It's just something I made because I love to design and I enjoyed listening to his podcast for the first time in months.
The two major graphics used in it do not belong to me. The headshot of Steve is from his website,, and does not belong to me. If requested, it will be taken down. Likewise, the image of Mario used is from Nintendo, straight and simple. Once again, just ask and it will be removed.

So, without further adieu, here is my magazine cover for Gaming Steve. It took between 2-3 hours to find the pictures, decide on the design, and layout the page. I used LongIsland for the Masthead, Trajan Pro for the headlines, and Existential for the subhead. There ya go. Enjoy!