In response to "Phoenix Wright's Objection!" from The Escapist Forums: Interesting. I never considered a game as cartoonishly overblown as Phoenix Wright to have any real basis in the world whatsoever. In fact, I'm really surprised to hear, in particular, about the prosecutors overseeing investigations in some cases, since that tends to be a widely sneered at gimmick. (Particularly in courtroom fictional dramas)
The statistics are kind of alarming, though. It made me remember a documentary I saw once about this kind of thing that didn't really register at the time. It basically said that if you're accused of a crime in Japan and it goes to trial, you might as well consider yourself guilty and focus instead on trying to get the lightest punishment you can rather than proving your innocence. It's a little disheartening.
Of course, I come from Canada, where we'll believe you're innocent as long as we can't see your fingers crossed behind your back, so I admit to being fairly idealistic. "Yeah, he had the knife 'n all, but he said he didn't do it, and it's not like he'd lie, eh?"
In response to "Pardon My French" from The Escapist Forums: I teach English as a second language for a living, and I can't stress the importance of video games (and games in general) as a teaching tool. Not only are games much more fun than rote exercises, they also often provide a level of immersion that is quite similar to studying abroad. After all, using English isn't just about knowing vocab or grammar rules; it's about being able to function in an entirely English environment (even a virtual one).
I've had the same experience, but substituting your French with Spanish. I'm from Spain and I mostly started learning English through videogames. I remember trying to decipher those mission briefs in X-Wing when I was little, and a few years later playing through Final Fantasy IV while translating with the help of a dictionary those bits I couldn't understand. Nowadays, I just can't stand material that has been translated to Spanish, it just feels wrong. I've seen a fair share of bad translations, like the "Hollow One" monster in Diablo II becoming the "Hueco Uno" in Spanish (which would translate back to "Hole (Number) One"), but even a good translation seems off. And it's quite bad too when I get a translation that is in fact in American Spanish, which is understandable but sounds completely alien in choice of words and accent.
In the end I buy my games from Steam or order them online from Amazon or other online shops so I'm sure I get the English version, and I always hate it when Spanish game reviewers criticize games for not being translated, when for me it means I'll enjoy the game much more and I can get it directly at the local shop instead of buying online.
This frantic translation of every material that is published in Spain (and other countries like France) is in the end bad for the education of people in these countries, and for their economy too. Most Spanish persons don't know a word of English, because they've never had the need to learn it since everything has been spoon-fed to them in Spanish, and thus will never think bigger than the country for anything they do. Heck, even some of our recent Presidents/Prime Ministers didn't know how to speak English, and had need of interpreters in international meetings. Of course, this means it's impossible for them to keep a conversation with many other leaders, and makes their reactions slower than they should be.
As for me, I'm practically trilingual in Spanish, English and French, and I'm trying to learn Japanese. And I'll never regret having learned any of those languages.
In response to "Physician, Gank Thyself" from The Escapist Forums: Very interesting article. I've recently started playing WoW, after years of avoiding it, and other games like it. I never really saw the appeal in it as a player of FPS games. I got onto it after my PS3 broke and had to be repaired, so I needed something to fill the 6+ hours of MW2 that I would usually play a night. What better to do this then to replace the grind-tastic leveling of COD's multiplayer with WoW.
Now to be honest, I probably played less WoW then I did MW2, but I could definitely see the addictive qualities of this epic new world. No longer was I limited to 10 or so small locales, of which I knew every corner to hide in, but know had miles of open land to explore at my own pace. With Modern Warfare once the fight was over, I'd put the controller down and go on with my day. With WoW I find myself thinking about the world and my character long after I've turned the PC off. What gear I need, best way to level, where to go next. The six hours of play are only a small part of the experience. In essence you are playing every waking hour of everyday, and in this lies the problem of addiction. It's like the game you can never turn off.
I'm lucky that I haven't fallen into the 16 hour a day cycle, but then I am just a level 35 Blood Elf Warlock, far from the hours of time-bending end game content. I guess we will see how that goes when I get there.