THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 101

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 101

…”I don’t know what I love, been chasing after the brass ring so long, I have lost track of my North Star.”

Roy points to the early night sky and Polaris, the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor…

north-star

“I have been avoiding my fiancée, some boring media banquet he wanted me to go to. Sometimes he treats me like a station commodity, not a future wife.”

“It sounds like you don’t see things his way.” Roy dares to test her loyalty.

“We are speaking different languages these days” True feelings bubble to the surface. “I think I have become his pet project, but that’s why I have a talent agent wedding-invite-001and I have no need of two.”

“Have you set a wedding date,” he forces the issue?

“A date, we’ve had 4 June dates and counting; not in the same year and I have managed to tiptoe into July every time,” like it is a Girl Scout badge. “Aren’t you going to ask me if I love him? I don’t know what I love, been chasing after the brass ring so long, I have lost track of my North Star.”

Roy points to the early night sky and Polaris, the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor.

Francine nods and goes on,“He has done a lot for me, but we are losing touch, both kinds.”

“Sometimes that happens,” like Roy has ever been serious about a girl since his high school physics teacher.

interuptus

Deke and Gus choose this moment to settle a dispute, “Didn’t you choose Mom & Dad to go to Mars because they were the best astronauts for the job? Bobby says that his Dad told him that it was for advertising.publicity-stunt

“That would be a publicity stunt, Gus and no that is false. A husband/wife team was first put on the table years ago,” Roy directs his recollection at Bobby.

“My father said they flat-out screwed up,” a 15 year old’s blather.

Francine steps in, “I think your father should get his facts straight! Who is he to say something like that?”

talk-bubble-001Roy leans over to whisper in her ear.

“Then he needs to get his facts straight, nobody screwed up here.”

“What Miss Bouchette means is that the Senator from Oklahoma needs to reconsider his position, pending the results of our internal investigation.” He puts his arm around Bobby’s scrawny neck. “The entire world is rallying in support of Gus’ Mom & Dad.”

“THE 1st people on Mars and we are damned proud of them!!!” punctuates Deke, who has been encouraged never to swear… but there are exceptions.

Endless Space Video Game

Adolescent squabbles are best settled over high-tech video consoles. Bobby apologizes to the adults and off they go to the house.

“Thank you for defending Sampson & Celeste with such vigor.”

“I hope to have the privilege of meeting them soon,” she is sincere.

“I’ll hold you to that.”


 

THE RETURN TRIP

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Episode 101


page 123

 

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Contents TRT

Video Games and You – WIF Pop Culture

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Video Games That Are

Part of Enormous

Pop Culture Franchises

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Though not all agree, video games can be considered as being a new art form. Moreover, video games are seen by many as a form of art with which one can actively interact. From the breathtaking landscapes, to the incredible soundtracks and general atmosphere, as well as the enticing plot, some video games can bring together much of what other mediums already have.

In fact, some video games out there were inspired by various bestselling novels, or in turn generated a whole book series with thousands of fans of their own. Some video games have even inspired movies. Be it a strategy game, a shooter, or a role-playing game, it doesn’t really matter as long as it has a good back story, a whole universe, and an extensive lore surrounding it. Here are 10 such video games, even though many others also deserve a spot in this list.

10. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth

Developed by Headfirst Productions and published by Bethesda Softworks, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth was released in 2005. First came the Xbox version, and then a PC version one year later. The game is an action-adventure/survival/horror genre that perfectly combines a first-person perspective with many stealth elements. The story is set mostly in 1922 and follows a mentally unstable private detective hired to investigate the fictional town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts. Unlike many other FPS games, Call of Cthulhu features no heads-up display, and everything from the player’s condition to his ammunition and other stats are represented as realistically as possible. A broken leg, for example, would be shown as the character limping, while a broken arm by a loss in accuracy. Each injury needs its own type of remedy and the player even needs to count the ammunition he’s got left.

All in all, the game received only positive reviews from critics and was considered by some to be among the best horror video games of all-time. However, the game itself was an economic failure, with the planned sequels being cancelled when Headfirst Productions went under. In recent years there has been a revival of the series, and in 2017 a new video game is expected to be released. Dark Corners of the Earth is inspired on H.P. Lovecraft‘s 1936 novella, The Shadow over Innsmouth. Lovecraft was also author of The Call of Cthulhu and several other related stories all within the Cthulhu Mythos.

 A recurring theme in Lovecraft’s works is the complete irrelevance of mankind in the face of the cosmic horrors that exist in the universe. Cthulhu himself and other cosmic deities exist, but have fallen into a deathlike sleep. After Lovecraft’s death in 1937, August Derleth took on the challenge to synthetize and expand the Cthulhu Mythos.

9. Mass Effect

Mass Effect is a sci-fi/action/role-playing/third person shooter first released in 2007. Two later installments came out in 2010 and 2012. A fourth game is expected to be released sometime in 2017. If you’re a fan of this style of video games, it’s almost an impossibility to have not already heard about or played Mass Effect. Developed by BioWare, the trilogy starts off in the year 2183 and revolves around Commander Shepard, who’s entrusted to save the entire Milky Way galaxy and all its inhabitants from a mysterious and overwhelmingly powerful race of machine beings known as the Reapers. And while the plot and story itself are quite complex and enticing, there is an extensive lore surrounding the game series.

To date there are four novels centered on various protagonists other than the ones in the video game. But the plots take place around the time of the games themselves. These not only better explain ambiguous facts from the game, but also expand the history of the Mass Effect universe. A fifth novel, Mass Effect: Andromeda Initiation is set to be published sometime in 2016. Two more books are scheduled for 2017 and 2018. There is also a fan written, interactive novel circulating out there called Mass Effect: Pick Your Path, from 2012, as well as numerous other comics. Also in 2012, an anime film version was released, and there are even talks of a Hollywood production in the works.

8. Mortal Kombat

 This fighting game has been around for a very long time. Originally developed by Midway Games, Mortal Kombat hit the arcades back in 1991. Its idea was thought up even earlier, in 1989, along with its storyline and game content. Mortal Kombat is a fantasy/horror themed fighting game, renowned for its high levels of gore and bloody violence. One of its most notorious parts, the finishing moves, also known as Fatalities, are in part responsible for the founding of the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board). Modeled after movies like Bloodsport and Enter the Dragon,Mortal Kombat aimed to be a bit more realistic and serious than its cartoon fantasy-style counterpart, Street Fighter.

After Midway’s bankruptcy, Mortal Kombat was bought by Warner Bros. and rebooted in 2011. The game became highly popular among young people and is now one of the few successful fighting franchises in the history of video games. Since its inception it has spun off into a series of comic books, card games, a theatrical live tour, countless game sequels, two TV series, and two movies. These two major motion pictures, Mortal Kombat (1995), and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation(1997) grossed in $122 and $51 million, respectively. While not particularly good, the movies gathered a cult following; especially the first one. The second installment, however, was poorly received by both critics and fans alike, resulting in it bombing at the box-office. Though entirely unofficial, an 8-minute short film was released back in 2010, revealing that a new Mortal Kombat movie is being planned in Hollywood.

7. Warhammer 40K

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Without a doubt, the Warhammer 40K franchise has among the richest lore and backstory in video game history. That’s because the whole idea of this fictional universe first came into being way back in 1983. Back then, the game was known simply as Warhammer, and was created by Games Workshop as a tabletop war game. That game still exists, and continues to expand even to this day. Then in 1987, a futuristic version was developed, sharing many of the game mechanics. This is the 40K, which stands for the year in which the fictional action now takes place. We won’t bother going into detail with the original Warhammer games, since they deserve a top 10 list of their own, and instead try to focus on what’s at hand; namely their video game versions of the 40K universe.

The story takes place during the 41st millennium in a fictional, gothic-looking dystopian universe. The Imperium of Man, as it is called, is a galaxy-spanning human interstellar empire, dominating most of the Milky Way, though it’s not the only power out there. The most iconic and finest warriors of the Imperium are theSpace Marines, a combination between sci-fi super-soldiers and fantasy knights, who are sworn to defend their empire from all the other alien races in the galaxy. The Warhammer 40K universe has a total of 31 different style video games. The most notable of these are eight real-time strategy games and expansions, part of the Dawn of War series.

Four novels have been published alongside this series, somewhat following and better explaining the actions taking place in the games. But the entire list of novels, novellas and other short stories surrounding the 40K universe is humongous, enough to completely fill up a big personal library. And that’s without mentioning itscomic book series. In 2010 the CGI Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie was released to DVD. Terence Stamp, John Hurt, and Donald Sumpter, among others, voice some of the Space Marines.

6. Resident Evil

Making its debut in 1996, the Resident Evil series first appeared for the PlayStation. Initially called Biohazard in Japan, its country of origin, Capcom’s director decided to change its name since it was impossible to trademark it in the US. An internal contest was held within the company regarding the game’s name, finally settling on Resident Evil. Even though the director believed it to be “super-cheesy,” it makes reference to the original game, which took place in a mansion filled with evil monsters.

In its 20 years of existence the franchise has expanded into 11 main games and 22 other spin-offs. As of 2015, Resident Evil has sold over 61 million units worldwide. Originally, the game series was more of a survival horror genre, based mostly on horror film plotlines, exploration and puzzle solving. Since Resident Evil 4, however, the series took on a more third-person shooter approach, focusing on gunplay and weapon upgrades.

The plot revolves around the sinister Umbrella Corporation, a worldwide company with ties to every major industry, and which secretly makes extensive research into bio-engineering. More exactly, they are aiming to create an extremely potent virus that can transform any individual into a super-powerful, yet perfectly obedient being. However, most of these experiments were wildly unsuccessful and have backfired with some truly gruesome results. In their several attempts to create the perfect weapon, the Umbrella Corporation initiated a series of viral outbreaks and mass infection of the civilian population, transforming humans and animals into mindlessly aggressive zombies. Players take on the role of various characters trying to survive and unravel the Corporation’s many secrets.

 The Resident Evil movie series loosely follows the same plot, even though much of the original content is missing or has been changed. The main protagonist, Alice, played by Milla Jovovich, was a security operative working for Umbrella. But with the start of the first movie, she becomes an enemy of the Corporation. Though the movie received poor reviews from critics and fans alike, mostly because of the inconsistencies between it and the game series, the Resident Evil film tripled its budget, and got four more sequels over a span of 10 years. A last installment,Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, is set to premiere in 2017. A more faithful CGI animated movie series also exists, and another film, Resident Evil: Vendetta, will also be released next year. Moreover, the franchise also has its own seven book series.

5. Halo

halo

Halo is a sci-fi/first person shooter franchise set in the 26th century, in which humanity has achieved faster-than-light travel speed and colonized numerous other planets across the Milky Way. The series centers itself on an interstellar war between humans and an alliance of aliens known as the Covenant, also inhabiting the galaxy. The player takes on the role of Master Chief John-117, a member of a group of super-soldiers known as the Spartans.

Since its first release in 2001 with Halo: Combat Evolved, the franchise has been praised by many and is considered to be among the best FPS video games played on a console. Managed and developed by Microsoft Studios under one of its subsidiaries, 343 Industries, Halo benefited from a tremendous marketing campaign and four more original sequels and their respective DLCs. In total the franchise sold over 65 million copies and earned a record breaking $3.4 billion from the games alone.

These incredible sales and its increasing fandom have allowed Halo to expand into other media as well. Besides the various spin-offs of the game, including a real-time strategy installment entitled Halo Wars, the franchise boasts its own five-part TV mini-series, called Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, released in 2012. Another miniseries was released in 2014, called Halo: Nightfall. A full length movie adaptation was set in motion back in 2005 by 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios, but due to financial reasons, the project was dropped two years later. However, a future TV show on Showtime is said to be in development, though the exact details of the production are still largely unknown. In any case, up until that moment arises, fans of the video game series can also expand their knowledge of the Halo universe by taking a look at its 13 novel canon.

4. The Witcher

The Witcher started off as a series of fantasy short stories written by Andrzej Sapkowski, which are now collected into two books. The first of these stories, entitled simply The Witcher, was written in 1986 as part of a contest held by a magazine, winning third place. The subsequent five novels, which became known asthe Witcher Saga were written and published throughout the 1990s in Poland, and later translated into English and other languages. Before gaining international notoriety with the release of the first video game in 2007, the saga was adapted into a movie and television series in 2001 and 2002, respectively, with both being called The Hexer. In fact, this was the preferred translation of the first story’s title by the author. But with the release of the first video game, however, the publishing company CD Projekt RED decided on the name Witcher instead.

With two more video games in the series, the story follows the Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, (a sort of travelling monster-hunter for hire) as he struggles to regain his memories and prevent the destruction of the world. Set in a medieval fantasy universe, The Witcher is an action/role-playing hack and slash video game. The use of Geralt’s amnesia in the game allows the player to make decisions that the character from the books would not have necessarily made. It also permitted the developers to introduce those who weren’t familiar with the backstory with certain aspects of the Witcher canon.

Sapkowski uses a tone that is slightly ironic and with subtle links to modern culture in the books, which are also apparent in the games. Unlike most other similar fantasy stories, The Witcher also emphasizes the duality of human nature, with nobody being 100% good or bad. These aspects have helped both the novels and the video games to be widely claimed by fans as the best of Polish fantasy. Back in 2011, President Obama received a copy of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings video game from the Polish prime minister in one of his visits to the country. Obama later confessed that he didn’t actually play it.

3. Assassin’s Creed

 Another video game series that’s made frequent headlines in recent years is theAssassin’s Creed franchise. With a movie set to be released in December, the series made its debut in 2007, and has since released another eight sequels, 17 spin-offs, several short films, as well as a number of other supporting materials. Developed predominantly by Ubisoft, the various games can be played on almost every platform conceivable, and its gameplay, varying only slightly from game to game, is set in the historic action-adventure genre, with a particular emphasis on combat, acrobatics, free-running, and stealth. The protagonist of each sequel changes, as the action takes place in different moments and locations throughout history: from the time of the Third Crusade, to the Renaissance period, the Colonial Era, the French Revolution, and the Victorian Era among others.

The overall plot of the series revolves around the centuries-old, fictional struggle between the historically-accurate Order of Assassins and the Knights Templar, who each desire world peace but through different means and ideologies. On the one hand, the Assassins believe in peace through free will, while the Templars consider it achievable only through world domination. Inspiration for the games came from a Slovenian novel, Alamut, written by Vladimir Bartol, as well as from concepts borrowed from the Prince of Persia series. In all, the Assassin’s Creed series has been very well received by critics and fans alike, and as of April 2014 over 73 million copies have been sold, making it Ubisoft’s bestselling franchise. Aside from the comics, Assassin’s Creed also has a book series. Each of the eight novels are tie-ins to their respective video games, following the various assassins throughout the centuries, in their ongoing war with the Templars.

2. Warcraft

No list like this is complete without mentioning the Warcraft universe. Developed byBlizzard Entertainment, the franchise is made up of five core games, the most notable of which are Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, a real-time strategy game, and its expansion pack The Frozen Throne, as well as the infamous World of Warcraft (WOW), a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) and bestselling title here. At its peak in 2010, WOW had 12 million simultaneous subscribers worldwide, becoming the world’s largest subscription-based MMORPG.

The latest title in the series, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is a digital collectible card game. Another notable game in the franchise, though only a mod for Warcraft III, is Defense of the Ancients (DotA), a multiplayer online battle arena. In this game, two teams of players are pitted against each other in an attempt to destroy the enemy’s heavily guarded structures at opposing corners of the map.

All of the games in the series are set in or around the high fantasy world of Azeroth. The story begins by focusing on the human nations that make up the Eastern Kingdoms and the Orcish Horde that arrived to Azeroth through a dark portal, igniting the great wars between the two. Over the years, and with the subsequent game releases, the developers have expanded the planet by creating new continents. With them, there’s been the emergence of other new playable races.

 Unsurprisingly, the series has since spawned its own sizable collection of novels, covering a broad range of characters in various timelines, vastly expanding the lore and backstory of the Warcraft universe. Many comics have also been published alongside these books, delving even further into the canon. In June 2016, its first Hollywood movie was released by Universal Pictures. With only 5.5 million subscribers to WOW as of 2015, the film arrived a little too late, and bombed in the US. However, it did manage to gross over $422 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing game adaptation of all time.

1. Neverwinter Nights

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Neverwinter Nights is a third-person role-playing video game developed by BioWare, and was released in 2002. In the following years the game got several expansions and premium packs, and due to its growing popularity, a sequel was released in 2006. It, too, had its own series of expansions. The story follows the player’s character as he tries to stop a plague from sweeping over the city of Neverwinter. The city is located along the Sword Coast of Faerûn, in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting of Dungeons & Dragons. As it is in the original tabletop D&D games, players of Neverwinter Nights are able to create their own character from scratch at the very beginning of the game. Everything from gender, race, character class, alignment, abilities, and name can be customized to suit the preferences of each individual player. Overall, the video game was met with positive reviews and universal acclaim.

GameSpot referred to it as “one of those exceedingly rare games that has a lot to offer virtually everyone, even if they aren’t already into RPGs,” while PC Gamer called it “a total package—a PC gaming classic for the ages,” and said that its “storyline [is] as persuasive as any I’ve encountered in a fantasy roleplaying game.”  It has its own collection of books entitled the Neverwinter Saga, written by R.A. Salvatore, which is made up of four novels. However, these are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of literature surrounding the Forgotten Realms universe, since the saga itself is just part of an even larger, Legend of Drizzt series. And for those who really want to immerse themselves into the canon of “The Realms” and probably never emerge out again, the entire book series is a whopping 302 novels.

 


Video Games and You

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– WIF Pop Culture

Cheating and Lying Handbook

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Cheater-001

Surprising Revelations About

Cheaters and Liars

Despite the fact that the vast majority of the populace view deception as being inherently wrong in most, if not all of its forms, lying, cheating, and stealing are depressingly common occurrences in everyday life. Today we’re here to share some surprising statistics and facts about people who live the kind of life Eddie Guerrero would be proud of. For example, did you know…

10. High Achievers are Just as Likely to Cheat as Low Achievers on Tests

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If we were to ask you to describe the kind of student who is statistically most likely to cheat on a test, we’re guessing you’d describe that student as being a lazy underachiever with no principles, poor personal hygiene and like, a really badly behaved dog. However, according to virtually every study ever conducted about academic dishonesty, there’s no real one-size-fits-all profile for a cheater because a “majority” of modern students cheat in some way. What’s even more worrying is that even high achieving students who would ordinarily succeed on their own anyway, are just as like to cheat as even the most unscrupulous of their peers. If they think they’ll get away with it, that is.

This is because, for the most part, cheating is a crime of opportunity like shoplifting or punching a celebrity, which means even kids who get good grades (and therefore have the most to lose by being caught) will cheat if they genuinely believe they can get away with it. With the advent of the internet it has literally never been easier for students to covertly copy-paste a few lines here and there and as a result, the number of students willing to channel their inner Buzzfeed has slowly been on the rise over the last few years. Oh, and for anyone thinking that these kids must at least feel bad about cheating, yeah, about that…

9. Cheaters Feel Just Great About Lying, as Long as Nobody Gets Hurt

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According to the age-old adage, “cheaters never win and winners never cheat,” which is a great quote that we’re guessing has already been superimposed onto just hundreds of unrelated pictures of a Minion from Despicable Me. Even though it’s certainly nice to believe that dishonest students and athletes who intentionally break the rules will invariably feel bad about what they’ve done eventually, research shows that they probably won’t and might actually feel better than people who opted to do things the John Cena way.

According to a 2013 research published by the American Psychology Association, people who get away with an act of dishonesty feel better about themselves afterward so long as they believe nobody was hurt by their actions. This so-called “cheater’s high” occurs mostly after a person commits and subsequently gets away with an act of deceit they believe only affects a faceless entity like a school or the very concept of morality, like cheating on a test or succeeding as a result of an error. In other words, a student who cheats on a test to get an A will, according to science, most likely feel better about themselves than the student who spent all night shotgunning Red Bull and poring over textbooks just to scrape by with a C-.

But hey, if you think that’s bad, just consider that…

8. Young Children Know Plagiarism is Wrong, but 50% of Adult Students Admit to Doing It

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As noted above, plagiarism, academic dishonesty, and the urge to change a few words in a Wikipedia article and quote it verbatim for an essay that’s due tomorrow has steadily been on the rise for the last few years thanks in part to how freaking easy it is to plagiarize things these days. We mean, seriously, there are people out there right now earning millions of dollarsripping other, hardworking creative people off. Hell, the guy who wrote this very article has had a joke he wrote two years ago stolen and reposted bypeople all over the internet.

(Side note: There’s no experience quite as surreal as seeing someone post your own Facebook post word for word and accuse you of stealing it from them.)

Several experts have blamed lack of consistency in how plagiarism is dealt with at an academic level for the current rise in it we’re experiencing, which doesn’t really make much sense. You see, studies have shown that children as young as five seem able to understand the basic concept of plagiarism and recognize that taking someone else’s idea is inherently wrong and something only a doody head would do. Which means that somewhere between age five and 20, children and teenagers either stop recognizing that plagiarism is wrong or simply stop caring, which is why we now have rather depressing statistics that show upwards of 50% of all students have admitted to plagiarizing in some way over their academic career. But hey, for students unwilling to even put in the effort to commit plagiarism, you may like to know that…

7. It’s Surprisingly Easy (and Expensive) to Get a Degree with Little to No Effort

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While the internet has undoubtedly made it easier to steal a profound quote to use as your own or snip a few lines from an obscure textbook to bolster an essay, it has also made it easier to catch plagiarists in the act thanks to the existence of websites like Turnitin and CopyScape. This has led to an explosion in interest in ghostwriting services who can deliver anything from a 1,000 word essay to an entire doctoral thesis on how to punch bees in the nads, for a price.

Due to the fact these essays are wholly original, often being written by people with a degree in the subject looking to make a quick buck, they’re almost impossible to detect using conventional means. As a result, students willing to flash the cash can coast through an entire degree without anywork whatsoever on their part and still come out at the other end with a PhD in nuclear physics or biochemistry. The services are so comprehensive that you can even hire someone to take an online test in your stead or do an entire research project for you. And hey, with a degree like that, they can go straight into a high-paying career, which leads us to our next point, mainly that…

6. Statistically Speaking, Rich People Shoplift More Than Poor People

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Shoplifting, as Nelson Muntz once so eloquently put it, is a victimless crime, like punching someone in the dark. However, it is also often a crime of desperation (which we’ll cover in more depth later on) and is almost universally seen as a crime committed by the most underprivileged members of society.

According to the numbers though, rich people are statistically more likely steal things from stores than poorer people and are way more likely to get away with it, even if they get caught, because apparently the only people in left in our society who wouldn’t punch someone in the face for saying, “Do you know who I am?” all work in law enforcement and the legal system. On top of this, the upper echelons of society are more brazen in what they steal and will often do it, just because they can, as we’ve covered extensively before. Which begs the question, why? Well that may be due to the fact that…

5. Rich People Feel Entitled to Cheat, Lie, and Steal

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Some of you reading this may recall the story of the Ethan Couch, a trust fund brat who killed four people and injured two more while driving drunk and underage and got away with it because his lawyer successfully argued that he was simply so used to getting his own way all the time his view of morality had been warped to such a point that shouldn’t be punished. Though this sounds like a bunch of legalese spouted by a lawyer paid exclusively in dollar bills dragged gleefully through an orphanage on a piece of fishing line, it does have some grounding in science.

Research has (somewhat unsurprisingly) shown that the people born into the most privileged backgrounds tend to display narcissistic and egocentric tendencies in later life. For example, drivers of expensive cars are four times more likely to cut someone off in traffic and three times as likely to not yield for a pedestrian. In addition, more affluent people were also less likely to help a person in distress during experiments and donate less money to charity. More tellingly, they were also far more likely to agree with statements like, “I honestly feel I’m just more deserving than other people,” and there was even one experiment that showed rich people were several times more likely than people from more humble backgrounds to literally steal candy from a baby.

So what’s going on here? Well, to put it bluntly, rich people feel entitled to act selfishly because in their minds, they deserve things more than you. More specifically, being given everything they want forever teaches the more prosperous members of society that the world revolves around them. Which explains why so many rich people are caught shoplifting. It doesn’t matter that they could afford to pay for something three times over, a lifetime of instant gratification has taught them that taking what they want isn’t just the norm, it’s how the world works. In their minds their success is a result of their hard work and they’re entitled to reap the benefits. Think about how many times you’ve heard a Republican complain about funding social security because they don’t want their money to go to people who won’t help themselves, despite the fact studies have shown poorer people donate a larger percentage of their wealth to help others than rich people. But hey, this is getting depressing, let’s talk about video games, more specifically how…

4. People Who Cheat at Video Games Invest More in Them Than People Who Don’t

VGcheat

It used to be that all “cheating” in a video game would result in was 30 extra lives to help you beat Contra or Lara Croft inexplicably detonating herselfafter spinning on the spot and leaping through the air. Today though, cheats, hacks, and mods can pretty much ruin the game for everyone but the cheater.

For example, in online shooting games like Battlefield or Call of Duty, cheaters can pay for mods that let them instantly kill anyone they want with a single button press, effectively turning what was supposed to be comprehensive multiplayer experience into a box of broken toys the cheater can throw at the wall when they feel mad.

With this in mind, you’d think cheaters are the kind of people who don’t particularly care about supporting the game or its developers, which doesn’t exactly ring true. In terms of money and time invested into a given video game, the guys willing to pay money to install an aimbot on their computer because they suck so hard are technically bigger fans than casual players. As discussed here, cheaters often buy multiple copies of the same game for no other reason than to keep playing after their account gets banned for cheating. While we can’t bring ourselves to condone cheating, it’s hard to argue that someone willing to buy seven copies of Counter Strike isn’t a massive fan. Speaking of being an adult…

3. Most Adults Can’t Hold a Conversation Without Lying

liar

We’re probably not going to blow any minds here by saying that everyone lies, because we’ve all clicked the “I Have Read the Terms and Conditions” button on an online form without reading it first. It may surprise you to learn though that about 60% of people can’t hold a simple 10 minute conversation with a stranger without lying at least once. The research also shows that we’re far more likely to lie to people who know us best. For example, while 60% of adults will lie in 10 minute conversation with a complete stranger, that figure shoots up to 69% for spouses, 73% for siblings, 75% for friends, and a whopping 86% for our own parents. Admittedly, the lies told in such conversations are generally harmless, limited mostly to things we assume will make us appear likeable or help us fit in, like having seen a popular movie or hating on Nickelback when we secretly think they’re awesome. But still, it’s kind of jarring to learn the majority of society regularly lies to everybody they meet on a daily basis.

When it comes to online communication, however, people are notably more likely to make more brazen claims to make themselves appear more attractive to the outside world. This is of course most prevalent in online dating, where it’s reported that almost 90% of users lie at least once on their profile, with women lying mostly about their weight and men lying about their height, which isn’t exactly a sin. Then again, not many people know what sins are anyway because…

2. Religious People are More Likely to Cheat, and Don’t Consider it a Sin

badpriest

Normally you’d think that people wanting to cheat on their spouses would be smart enough to, well, cover it up and that as a result, hard data on the unfaithful husbands and wives of the world would be difficult to come by. As it turns out though, thanks to the site Ashely Madison, which exists literally to help facilitate extramarital affairs, we know a surprising amount about how the minds of the kind of people who would actively seek to cheat on their spouses work.

According to data culled from the profiles of 63,000 users of the site, the majority of them identify as Christian, which isn’t overly surprising considering America is a predominantly Christian country. However, despite over a quarter of male and female respondents claiming to pray regularly, only about 15% thought that cheating, a.k.a. the seventh commandment, was a sin.

While it stands to reason that people on a website dedicated to helping them cheat on their spouse wouldn’t consider cheating to be a sin, it’s sort of strange that devote Christians who admit to praying on a daily basis, would be so blasé about the idea of doing literally one of the 10 things God explicitly said not to do. Which brings us to the eighth commandment and the fact that…

1. The Most Commonly Stolen Items are Kind of Hilarious

cheese

While we’ve already talked about the kind of people who steal things today, one thing we didn’t mention is what they steal because we honestly feel that deserves an entry all to itself, mainly because we get to talk about the surprisingly lucrative world of cheese theft.

Yes, according to most every study ever conducted into shoplifting, cheese is one of the most commonly pilfered items from stores alongside more predictable items like alcohol and razor blades. Exactly why cheese is such a commonly stolen item isn’t clear, but it’s assumed to be because it’s somewhat expensive and easy to sell, because who doesn’t like cheese?

Perhaps the most curious item stolen is Tide Detergent, which is stolen in such vast quantities that, as we’ve discussed before, drug dealers will often accept it in lieu of cash because, to quote the guys stealing it, “It’s a leading brand, everybody needs it, and it’s pricey”.

Cheating and Lying

Handbook