Is the customer always right?

There’s an age-old motto that asserts that, above all else, “the customer is always right”. While it’s a catchy motto, it’s also very untrue. When a business refers to a customer, they’re going to wind up thinking of pretty much anyone and everyone. In turn, the phrase “the customer is always right” sounds more like “everybody’s right”, and that’s a dangerous assumption to make.

On it’s own, it’s not too bad, but a customer can easily use that credo against a business, and when a customer does that, it gets harder for that business to deal with the particular customer. It’s a known fact that some customers can have unrealistic expectations, but unfortunately, the “customer is always right slogan” can give them better treatment than the employees who work to deliver that service.

waiter
If he wasn’t being paid to deliver, he’d probably splash that wine on the guy who pushed him to the limit.

The fact of the matter is that retail businesses simply cannot appeal to every individual consumer, especially not when a particularly unreasonable customer makes demands that could take quite a toll on the business’s resources.

Every business assumes that “the customer is always right” because that’s the message that they’ve drilled into everyone’s heads for many years. I wonder what businesses would have to say about that motto if the customers bombarded them with complaints. There’s also another thing to consider. If you owned a business, could you really trust your customers to know what they want?

In my opinion, the old saying that “the customer is always right” is something that can’t be counted on, especially if it can be used against you. I highly doubt that businesses can count on the customer to be right about everything, and I think that’s why I don’t hear that phrase very often outside America. I do apologize if this post seems a little short, but I didn’t have as much to say on this matter as I thought I did.

Why world peace is impossible

world peace
An impossible dream.

Throughout the modern age, world peace has become a highly over-glamorized idea advocated by anyone seeking approval from the masses. Unfortunately, whenever people chant the “world peace” slogan, they have no idea what actual world peace would mean, or if it’s even achievable.

In theory, world peace is a state of peace, non-violence, and happiness throughout the entire world. While it sounds so simple in theory, such a dream is impossible to reach. The cold hard truth is that conflict is a driving force in not just human society, but also life itself. A state of world peace would actually be quite a dull prison, since the things that create conflict are also the things that make every human being unique. To eliminate conflict, you would have to sacrifice individuality, and that may as well be a crime against nature.

Also, I highly doubt that world peace and freedom are compatible. To preserve world peace, anything that might upset the harmony that has been created would inevitably be rooted out. That means there would be no dissenting opinion, no controversy, no freedom of expression, and no real happiness. Simply put it, a world that has world peace would have most or all the hallmarks of a one world dictatorship. Would you really want that for future generations, let alone yourself?

Of course, all this assumes that something like that would even be practical. You would need everybody on Earth to embrace such a system, which is impossible due to the simple fact that not everybody can agree when it comes to world peace. A state of world peace would require all nations to agree on everything, which is impossible. Also, there is no motivation for the whole world to unite as of yet, and there’s nothing that can be gained from the elimination of conflict.

Even if everything I said isn’t applicable in any way, you can’t deny that all we have when it comes to world peace are hopes and dreams, and the real world simply doesn’t run on hopes and dreams. Even if world peace could exist, it could only exist for a very short time, as conflict will always show up in some form, so the dream of eliminating conflict on a global scale is simply unreachable.

Is the anti-smoking movement getting it wrong?

Even though I am against smoking, and the tobacco industry, I don’t judge smokers because of this. In fact, I never go around preaching about the dangers of smoking. If I did, I wouldn’t make any progress whatsoever. That being said, I have more than a few objections with the way smoking has often been opposed.

stoptober
I’m quite sure that going around plastering the word “stop” everywhere isn’t very productive.

In case you’re wondering, this is about the Stoptober campaign. Every year, this government campaign attempts to encourage smokers to quit smoking, using only an annoying ad campaign backed up by regurgitated government statistics. This year, meanwhile, the government decided that this campaign needed Paddy McGuiness to promote it. If I were a smoker, and saw Paddy McGuiness telling people to stop smoking, that’d make me want to smoke even more.

For me, the way the campaign is being marketed is ridiculous, mainly because the people advertising the campaign are basically idiotic comedians who I don’t think I could stand being around. If you go to the official Stoptober website and hover over the thumbnails of the celebrities shown on the website, you’ll see a speech bubble where they say something incredibly stupid. For example, Andi Osho’s argument basically compares giving up smoking to life in a hip hop video. On top of being just plain stupid, it doesn’t even come close to being a logical argument.

To be fair, I’m not at all surprised. The government apparently thinks they can convince a generation of young people to give up smoking by using media personalities. For me, the “no smoking” mentality has become mainstream, and the anti-smoking movement is no longer about public health. Now that the anti-smoking movement is seen as “the good guy” in almost any discussion about smoking, the anti-smoking movement is basically about politics, and making sure that you can’t smoke, even if you enjoy smoking.

Of all the publicly funded anti-smoking campaigns, how many of them are even aware that people actually choose to smoke? The anti-smoking movement survives on the notion that all smokers started smoking because of peer pressure, or because they were “brainwashed” by advertising. While that might be true in some cases, the reality is that most smokers started doing so on their own free will, which brings me to the biggest problem with anti-smoking campaigns – they apparently have no regard for smokers’ freedom of choice.

When it comes to freedom of choice, I find that there anti-smoking movement can be hypocritical. They don’t mind if you want to quit smoking, but if you smoke and enjoy it, they’ll probably preach down your throat about how smoking is unhealthy. What’s worse is that anti-smoking campaigns only focus on the fact that it’s bad for you, and since a lot of anti-smoking campaigns in the UK are funded by the government, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it’s basically a socially acceptable way for the government to tell you what you can and can’t do, all under the banner of “health and safety”.

anti-smoking
Just in case you thought they weren’t that bad.

In conclusion, while I despise the tobacco industry, I find that the anti-smoking movement isn’t exactly better, especially if the government is willing to have some of the most unlikable “comedians” I know to endorse the Stoptober campaign. In general, I simply don’t have a lot of respect for most of these anti-smoking campaign. After all, what’s the point of getting on the anti-smoking high horse if you don’t respect people when they choose to smoke?

My idea for the next Crash Bandicoot game

crash bandicoot

Last month, I wrote a post where I outlined my ideas for what the next game in the Spyro franchise should be like. Of course, this was a response to the idea news that Sony had expressed some interest in reviving the franchises, but because Sony no longer owns the license to the Crash Bandicoot games, this might be difficult. Thankfully, I’ve got a few ideas on what the next Crash Bandicoot game needs.

First, let me give you a brief retrospective of how the Crash Bandicoot franchise is doing so far. The last development team to work on the franchise was Radical Entertainment, who developed the Crash of the Titans, and its sequel, Crash: Mind over Mutant. The publishing rights for the franchise are currently owned Activision, and they currently have no plans to resurrect the franchise, not while they’re still milking the Call of Duty franchise for all it’s worth.

There hasn’t been a Crash Bandicoot game since 2008, and the last game we got was Mind over Mutant, which I remember for being completely terrible in almost every conceivable way. After that, it seemed as though the Crash Bandicoot franchise was dead in the water, which is a shame because I grew up with those games. Remember the Crash Bandicoot games for the original Playstation? Those games are some of the most nostalgic games I’ve ever played. If I could play any game on the original Playstation during my last days on Earth, it’d be those games. It’s too bad that nobody’s interested in making those kind of games anymore.

That being said, it’s been way too long since Crash Bandicoot has been out of the limelight, and I think it’s time that Crash got his comeback. The first thing I would suggest is to take lessons from Crash Bandicoot 2 or 3. In this format, Crash would collect 25 crystals over the course of the plot, while also collecting gems if he breaks all the boxes in a given level, or completes a dangerous bonus level to get a coloured gem. There are five warp rooms, which allow access to five levels each. Once each of the five levels in a warp room have been finished, you unlock a boss battle, which you must beat in order to unlock the next warp room.

crash bandicoot 3
Pictured: My childhood.

Of course, I’m aware that there’s room for some change in this formula, and thankfully, I have some suggestions for how to reinvent the classic Crash Bandicoot formula. I suggest that the new warp rooms take an approach similar to Sonic Colours, where there are six worlds, each of them having a specific theme. In this scenario, each of the six worlds would have five levels each, plus a boss level, which is unlocked after beating the other five levels. Once you beat the boss of a given world, you unlock the next world. I also have a good idea for what theme each world should have.

  1. Jungle (perhaps in combination with the ruins or river theme)
  2. Snow/Ice (complete with at least one level where you ride
  3. Sewers
  4. Desert
  5. Oriental
  6. Outer Space (set in the Cortex Vortex)

Since each world would consist of five levels (including a boss level), you would be collecting a grand total of 30 crystals over the course of the story. You would also get clear gems for destroying all the boxes in a given level, plus coloured gems that you could find in certain levels via “skull routes”, which are secret alternative routes that you can only access if you find a secret lift without dying once.

As for the gameplay, I think it’d be a good idea if the next Crash Bandicoot game strayed away from the beat ‘em up gameplay of Crash of the Titans. Instead, I would suggest a return to the platforming gameplay of the original Playstation games, complete with bonus rounds within levels, and relics being obtainable when you replay a level. If you’re thinking that this may sound repetitive, I wouldn’t worry about it, mainly because I believe that, if Crash Bandicoot were resurrected, then the next game would target a young audience, so it wouldn’t exactly matter too much. Besides, wouldn’t you want the next Crash Bandicoot game to play like the classic games?

Well, that’s all I really have to say on this matter. The story shouldn’t be too hard to figure out for something like Crash Bandicoot, which was never a franchise that focused on story anyway. If either Sony or Activision takes interest in this, then I’d actually like to write for this game. I may have already said that in last month’s Spyro post, but my point remains valid. This kind of game needs to be made.

What’s next for David Bowie?

nothing has changed
Not actual artwork.

Recently, it was announced that the legendary musician David Bowie will be releasing a new greatest hits album that will contain some of the greatest and most well-known songs from his 50-year career, but it will also feature some unreleased material, plus one new song specifically recorded for the album.

This new album, which is being called “Nothing Has Changed”, will be released on November 17th, alongside a new single called “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)”. The new single also comes with a specifically recorded B-side track, “Tis a Pity She’s a Whore” (which sounds as though it’s continuing from the A-side track). In my opinion, all of this says that David Bowie is still at the top of his game, and that he has bigger plans after his previous album.

Of course, being a big fan of his music, this may seem a little biased, but I just can’t help but get my hopes up, especially after the triumph that was The Next Day. Because of this, I can’t help but wonder what David Bowie has in store for the future?

In July, during a charity event celebrating his music, David Bowie hinted that he plans on releasing new music “soon”. The fact that he plans to release a new single, complete with a new compilation album to go with, might pave the way for speculation as to whether or not David Bowie is interested in making another studio album.

Personally, I think that Bowie might be making another studio album. After all, The Next Day was a fantastic album, and it was so successful and so acclaimed that it practically deserves a follow-up. Not only that, but I’m also interested in the kind of style that he’ll pursue in the next album.

While there isn’t much that has been confirmed about the new album, the new single, or any plans for a new album, I still have high hopes for this new album, and that his next studio album will be just as good as the last one.

My approach to art

With my new art course fully under way, I thought it would be the right time to talk about my approach to art as a whole. While I will encounter numerous different styles of art, I came onto the Extended Diploma in Art and Design course with one philosophy in mind. For me, art is the practice of capturing images that don’t immediately exist in plain sight, whereas photography is the practice of capturing images that are right in front of you.

I have this approach because I’ve always believed that art is a vehicle for your imagination, whether it be your interpretation of the real world, or something completely different. I generally prefer working with 2D art (drawings, sketches, paintings, etc.), but I’m generally not too picky about subject matter, as long as I feel like I can justifiably make art from it.

I’m not saying that I’m unwilling to work with any art form other than the ones I like. After all, art is not something to be closed-minded about. However, I feel that it’s important to have a unique, personal approach to art, because such an approach would inevitably be a part of my style. Think of it as the glue that holds it together.

Over the next two years, I hope to live up to this artistic vision, and develop the skills necessary to create the images that float around inside my head. This, I feel, is a necessary step if I want to be a creative writer or artist in my own game development team.

My thoughts on Nintendo’s new 3DS model

new nintendo 3ds

In a recent Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo unveiled yet another new version of the 3DS, but unlike last year, they’ve unveiled an advanced version of the console. This new version, which to my dismay is called the “New Nintendo 3DS”, boasts numerous significant changes from the old version. While some of these changes are good, other proposed changes don’t seem to have been thought through very well.

The first thing that most people might notice is that the face buttons now have the same colours as the face buttons found on the Japanese and European versions of the SNES, but that’s purely aesthetic. The most significant change is that this version has ZL/ZR trigger buttons on the back of the console. This would technically make the N3DS the first portable console to have both shoulder and trigger buttons, making a port of Xenoblade Chronicles possible.

Another glaringly obvious trait is the C-Stick, which is located near the X button. Of course, it’s mainly there to control the camera, making the N3DS more like a home console than its predecessor. Of course, there’s one little flaw with this, mainly the fact that the C-Stick is about as small as the Gamecube’s C-Stick, or perhaps even smaller than that. I can’t help but feel that this would make 3D games made specifically for this console harder to control.

The New 3DS is compatible with your old 3DS games, as well as most DS games, and you can transfer data from the old 3DS to the new 3DS, although I think this is basically an attempt to make the old 3DS obsolete. Why? Because it’s the same thing as on the Wii U, where you can transfer save data from the Wii to the Wii U, making the Wii obsolete. One thing that baffles me is that the console uses Mirco SD cards for save data storage instead of SD cards. I wouldn’t have a problem with them, except for the fact that you can lose them more easily.

Another baffling design choice is that they’ve decided to put the stylus holder, the power button, and even the game card slot on the base of the console, where on the old 3DS the headphone slot was located. What kind of drugs where they on when they thought of that? Seriously, I doubt that they gave any explanation for it.

Of course, the most important part of the console is that it sports an enhanced CPU, which will allow for improved download speeds, and more importantly, better graphics. With enhanced graphics and CPU power, there will inevitably be games made to flaunt this, but these games won’t be playable on an old 3DS.

In my opinion, this should have been its own independent game system entirely. I think we’ve had quite enough variations of the same console already, so why is Nintendo churning out another one? It’s kind of like when Sega rolled out the 32X to extend the life of the Mega Drive, but at least you don’t have to own an old 3DS in order to use it. Besides, they’re probably going to put region locking on it, almost as though they didn’t listen when people complained about region locking to begin with.

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