Monday, March 28, 2016

Remove Mobile Strike Video Advertisements

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PTSD Foundation of America: The Statistics
While I was recently relaxing, playing a cartoonish game on my IPad called "Plunder Pirates," my game was interrupted by a video advertisement for another game called "Mobile Strike."  It was a very disturbing video, to say the least.  The video included exploding tanks and jets, assassination by snapping another person's neck, and moment after moment of the sights and sounds of combat violence.  After the video ended, I was prompted with the option of purchasing the game.  I declined, and my silly little pirates on their silly little pirate island returned to the screen.

That this advertisement runs as an interruption within a non-violent simulation game is beyond reprehensible: It is irresponsible.  For the sake of all combat veterans and their families, I urge game makers and promotional companies to immediately cease creating games and promotional videos that cold potentially trigger dangerous symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans.  War, assassination, and combat violence are not "games" that should ever be advertised, unannounced, to unsuspecting players of very different game genres.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, through the National Center for PTSD, reports that "about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime," "about 12 out of every 100 Gulf War Veterans (or 12%) have PTSD in a given year," and "about 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF [Operations Iraqi Freedom] or OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom] have PTSD in a given year" (2016).  Furthermore, and more to the point, they also report that "veterans with PTSD may be even more likely to see their PTSD symptoms get worse if they are exposed to reminders that are similar to their experiences in the military" (2016).  In other words, because of the sheer numbers of Americans combat veterans currently coping with combat-related PTSD, there is a distinct and probable possibility that veterans with combat-related PTSD are not only seeing these advertisements, unannounced, but also being affected negatively by those advertisements, which contain realistic reminders of combat moments that may have contributed to their PTSD.

Just as undeniable as the effect the Mobile Strike videos are having on veterans is that these videos are having an effect on their families, especially spouses and children.  According to the Family of a Vet Web site (2007), "Thirty-nine percent of those who live with a veteran who is struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder will develop Secondary PTSD (also known as STS or Secondary Traumatic Stress)." Specifically, children might take on the stressors and triggers of a parent with PTSD, might take on the role of caretaker, or might withdraw and begin exhibiting stressful behaviors in school (U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, 2016). 

When taken into consideration that Plunder Pirates was named one of the best games in 2014 (Midoki, 2015), it stands to reason that combat veterans, spouses of combat veterans, and children of combat veterans are probably playing that game, and they are probably unexpectedly being faced with Mobile Strike videos, a potential combat PTSD trigger.  When taken into consideration that Plunder Pirates in only one game and that Mobile Strike was featured as an advertisement during the Super Bowl, it is more than probably: It is an undeniable certainty that veterans who suffer from PTSD and their families have unwittingly been subject to Mobile Strike's videos, a combat PTST trigger.

The Mobile Strike game makers and promoters cannot deny the numbers of former soldiers and American families their realistic, violent, and dangerous videos are affecting.  Each and every time these videos play, it is possibly a trigger for serious symptoms of combat PTSD.


References


  • Family of a Vet (2007). Secondary PTSD in Children. Retrieved from http://www.familyofavet.com/secondary_ptsd_children.html
  • Midoki (2015). Plunder Pirates.  Retrieved from Plunderpirates.com
  • PTSD Foundation of America (n.d. ). The Statistics. Retrieved from http://ptsdusa.org/what-is-ptsd/the-statistics/
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (2016). PTSD: National Center for PTSD. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/index.asp


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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Product Review: 2015 Chevrolet Equinox

Is your Equinox evil?  I think mine might be.

I drove over to a big Jim Ellis dealership in Atlanta a few weeks ago and purchased a used 2015 Chevy Equinox.

 

Unfortunately, I hate it. This car rates a "D," at best.


The things that are important to me in a car are stability, usability, enjoyment, and safety.  Here's how the 2015 Chevrolet Equinox rates in my book.

Stability

This car drives like a rollerskate.  To be fair, not everyone agrees with me and my trade-in was a 6 cylinder Jeep Liberty with great pick-up and excellent power steering and stability, so to compare may not be entirely fair.  However, with the Equinox's stability and traction control features, I expected a lot more control.  It drifts to the right, bumps in the road send me bouncing all over my lane, and I constantly feel like I have to have a death grip on the steering wheel because the wheel doesn't seem to straighten back out very quickly after a turn.  When I returned to ask about maybe getting a different car, the dealership suggested their service department fix the air pressure in the tires (since they hadn't done that very basic thing before I bought the car).  It still drives like a rollerskate.

Luckily, a very nice salesman over at Heyward Allen Auto in Athens suggested an alignment.  I appreciate his advice and will try that, next.

Usability

I asked for a trailer hitch and a rubber mat for the storage area, but I guess that was too much to ask because those things don't seem to exist in Atlanta unless the buyer coughs up another several hundred dollars. AWD, apparently, is also not available.  In other words, the three features that would make this car the most usable for me were unavailable.  I like to work in my yard, and my yard needs a lot of work, so having a way to haul supplies and equipment when necessary is important to me.  I also intend on driving north, which means snow.  I guess I will just keep my fingers crossed.

By the by, if anyone can sell me a Canyon with 24,000 or so miles on it, I'd be interested.

Enjoyment

All in all, the sound of the tarp shifting and shaking in the back in lieu of the rubber mat won't be as bad as the sound of the dashboard rattling when the car is in Economy mode.  Not that the rattling bothers the voice controls that are supposed to be so "enjoyable."  The car can't understand what I'm saying, regardless.  The only response I can get when I speak is that there is too much background noise.  The most annoying thing about this car is that I cannot wear my hair up, which I do every day, because the headrest juts so far forward it pushes my head and bumps my ponytail or bun as I drive. Much like a child on an airplane, it's trying to see how far it can go before I toss it out the window.

On the other hand, I did get a few free months of XM, so I can listen to Bluegrass Junction to my heart's content.  Furthermore, once in a while Siri can understand me, so I can make calls when she is in the mood.  Lastly, I get great enjoyment out of being able to see my average and best gas mileage on my dashboard and the variations in my tire pressure.  My current average is 28 MPG.  My current tire pressure is 34, 37, 36, and 38.

Safety

Most importantly, this car's score is saved by its safety features.  It has lots of airbags to offset the multitude of blind spots, OnStar services, and seatbelts that cut into my neck and armpit areas.

Other than that, I have smacked my head twice while putting things in the backseat, and I have smacked my knees and shins each time I have gotten in or out of the passenger seat.  Lastly, the MyLink screen shines in my face at all times, and from what I can tell, there is no way to turn it off. Please, if you know how to turn it off, please tell me.  This car didn't come with a manual, and this screen is extremely distracting when it's dark outside, which is 50% of the time  I am driving.


Final Score

Don't get me wrong, it's my own fault I bought this car (in too much of a hurry, apparently) and not the car I tested while I was in Michigan. I also think it worth noting that the salesman at Jim Ellis who sold me the car was very nice and very personable.  In the end, I just really hate this car and needed to take a moment to vent my spleen.  As it stands, I am stuck with this car until a tree crushes it (while no one is in the car), or until I can find something reasonably priced to trade.



Copyright 2016 by Amy Lynn Hess, resentful owner of a P.O.S. Equinox.