Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Professional Gaming in Taiwan

There is a big event for professional gamers going on now: the BlizzCon at Anaheim, California.  There are actually two professional gamers from Taiwan in the invitational tournament of Starcraft 2, SEN and SoftBall:

South Korea is the bastion of professional gamers, especially with Starcraft.  However, Taiwan also had some very good professional gamers.  For example, SEN is a famous long time Starcraft player.  Obviously, not everyone knows much about computer / videos games, and most of us see it as just an entertainment.  However, to some, it’s more like a competitive sports or Chess.

So while Taiwanese cheers for the professional baseball, tennis, and other sport athletes, and Go masters who have successful careers in Japan, maybe some attention should be giving to the emerging professional gaming.  There are already substantial gaming community in Taiwan.  From the standpoint of view of Taiwan, there are some benefits:

  • Taiwan has a lot of computer and high-tech related industries, whose sponsorship would benefit both the players and the company in terms of brand building and marketing.  (In fact, ASUS is one of the sponser of BlizzCon, along with Intel and Nvidia).
  • The professional gaming community is highly internationalized.  More attention to it would be in accordance of the general strategy of “internaionalize” Taiwan, which the government likes to advocate but often fail to do.  (KMT even thinks they can “internationalize” through China, which is completely BS…if we look at Taiwan’s history, the further away it is from China, the more internationalized it becomes…but that’s another topic.)
  • It’s just entertaining to watch as well.

Currently, there is a TV channel that broadcast some game tournament, but it would be nice to see more of it.  Of course, this depends on Taiwan’s society and market etc, but I think the computer and media industry should recognize this opportunity.  Many people are complaining that the government and society do not show enough support for athletes and only cheer for them after they succeeded.  Well, perhaps in the video / computer game arena, more support now could mean a big difference in the future.

(Once again, an important thing to note is that for Taiwan, not every opportunity lies in China.)

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AP Controversy

Taipei Times had some detail report of this controversy.  For me though, this is but a further confirmation of Ma’s twisted mind and his intent for China’s annexation of Taiwan.  Yea, he came up with a bunch of explanation and saying that AP wrote it wrong etc, but that does not really matter.

Ma lied a lot before, and this is not the first time he said one thing in English and then later said another in Mandarin.  AP is not so innocent neither.  This reporting agency consistently kisses China’s ass and put Taiwan down.  However, I don’t think a reporting agency will actually report an interview that is too far from the truth.  Most importantly, however, is the fact that even after Ma’s “fixes,” what he said is not that much better. 

The truth is, Ma and those around him has an agenda, and they are pushing hard toward their goal while sacrifice Taiwan’s well beings and sovereignty.  It does not really matter that much what he said before, because all those are just cover ups.  His actions in the past 2 years have spoken louder than words indeed.

A Puzzling Problem DPP Should Ponder On

Liberty Times did a poll that had some interesting result, namely that in Taipei City more females support KMT’s Hau (40.59% over 32.75%), and more males support DPP’s Su (42.47% over 32.85%).  Now why is that?

First of all, we can rule out sex appeal, which might be the reason for Ma (although I fail to see it) but not for Hau, because you can hardly call Hau as handsome or charismatic.  Granted, Su’s appearance is older and less attractive, but his lack of attractiveness should not contribute to Hau’s attractiveness.  Furthermore, I am sure most people, excluding the idiots, know that they are selecting a mayor, not a husband, a friend or a prostitute, so I don’t think physical appearance is that huge of factor in this election.  Furthermore, Su’s persona is kind of unique and different which should helped him stand out actually.

The question then becomes, why DPP consistently fail to attract more female voters?  The same thing happened in 2008 presidential election…and if my memory serves me correctly, I don’t think DPP had much advantage in attracting female voters even if the candidate is female (and KMT’s candidate is male).  Looking at Ma, it is even more puzzling.  There are tons of guys that are more handsome than him, so why is it that a lot of females think him attractive….could this be some sort of long time media implementation into the female mind?

Therefore, I think DPP might want to look into this a bit, if it wants to have more success in the coming elections, including 2012 presidential election.  Why is KMT able to appeal to more female voters, even though it sucks big time?  What is the general difference between males’ and females’ the mindset and access of information and community?  Who has more influence on the female voters? 

The fate of Taiwan might rest on this.

The Pros and Cons of the Most Intiminating Flag in the World

This is a late post regarding the subject of the 開南 University flag problem in some basketball tournament.  A lot of people have express their opinion.

So to sort of summarize and also add in my bits:

PROS:

  • To Chinese this flag is extremely scary.  The relationship between ROC flag and Chinese is equivalent to the relationship between a Cross and a Vampire.  This could be very useful for those human activists or patriotic sports fan who want their national team to have an automatic win over China.  (I think someone should  bring this flag to the Gymnastic tournament to add some excitement).
  • Had some nice cameo appearance in Hollywood movies (Top Gun, Pursuit of Happiness).

CONS:

  • No one in Taiwan really likes it.  KMT consistently try to hide it as if it’s a pornography.  DPP questions its validity as a national flag.  It is only there because it’s the “lowest denominator,” where most people see it as national symbol just because everyone else know what it is and no alternative exist.  The feeling is not the same as the feeling of American toward their national flag, for example.
  • It’s not really artistically well designed.  Too much red (3/4 of area).  Plus too much contrast (because red and blue side by side). 

Anyway, the jury is still out.  I suggest though that Taiwan should create a new national flag, and the ROC flag can be a “religious” symbol, like a Christian cross, instead.  Then Taiwanese can have a national symbol that everyone agrees to, and the ROC flag can be used to scare off Vampires.

Small Things Matter

Prof 李筱峰 wrote an interesting article on the culture issue.  I think it’s really worth a read.  Sometimes people underestimate the role of culture in the fate of a country.  Culture is the unspoken rules of society that could help but also constrain a country in a lot of ways.

A lot of things in cultural discussion are small things (雞毛蒜皮), but very often they are reflection of things that can have huge impact (if one read the book “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” they will know what I mean).  Therefore, it is important to note that a lot of officials are still behind the general public in terms of history understanding and the concept of Taiwan.

Some People Still Cannot Jump Out of the Box

It is quite interesting to observe that some academia or politicians still cannot jump out a box which China has set up during their policy thinking.  Take an example, the FTA with Singapore.  This is a small and older news, but from the development of FTA with Singapore we see how pan blue always based their policy on China centric thinking.

For example, no one seems to care about just what exactly are the benefits of signing a FTA deal with Singapore, and indeed, what exacly are the benefits and problems of signing a FTA with ASEAN.  Now it seems people only care about signing deals because it’s a “trust” issue with China and because Ma promised to sign FTAs after signing ECFA with China.  They seem to sign FTA for FTA’s sake.  Let’s really clarify:  FTA is just an economic agreement, it’s not some holy grail.  It’s not a the more the merrier type of deal. 

And certainly, signing FTA does not mean “peace.”  Look at China’s expansionism mindset after its signing of FTA with ASEAN.  Now all of sudden South China sea is China’s “core” interests when traditionally the area is occupied and governed by international communities around the area.  Same with Japan and China: after years of increasing trade and foreign investment into China, Japan’s coast guard got hit by a fishing boat and the fiasco starts.  Tension certainly does not decrease after years of trade, but China certainly has become more assertive and arrogant.  Now it looks more and more like China wants everything in the western Pacific.  This development certainly does not go well to all the other nations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Going back to the main topic.  I am not saying signing FTA with Singapore is a bad thing, but Taiwan needs to have a Taiwan centric thinking when signing this deal.  Otherwise, this type of deals will only be a tool of pro-China politicians and a waste of time and money, because they will not be negotiated with Taiwan’s interests in mind.

Taichung Should Get More Attention (Update)

http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2010/new/oct/1/today-p6.htm

Hsieh brought up some very valid points here.  What exactly happened to the pipe dream of Guggenheim Museum in Taichung?  What happened to the Opera House?  And other issues such a vibrant organize crime activities and the decay in the commercial zones near the Taichung train station?  It’s quite interesting no body pay a closer attention to this things over the years.  People are way too easy on mayor Hu.  No one really holds him accountable.  It does not seem to matter whether he and his team messed things up in Taichung.  Even many people in Taichung do not seem to care, which is really weird. 

My personal feeling is that Taichung should have become much better.  But perhaps people don’t pay attention because Taichung does not have huge budget like those in Taipei, and perhaps it is because there are no shocking news that everyone understands immediately (such as the problems at the flower expo).  Or perhaps, people only look at the new condo.  Nevertheless, there are issues…and they surely and quietly accumulated over the past decade.  It is this type of issues that are difficult to detect but still have profound impact.

Pan green recently keeps talking about the problems of flower expo in Taipei.  Pan blue keeps attacking the flood in Kaohsiung (in which some accusations are really ridiculous).  Those are all recent events and obviously they should talk about it, but funny how people did not talk about Taichung’s problems that long a few months ago when that murder occurred with police presence.  Now, do we even get a solid closure on that case?  NO!  For example, the police, how many are engaged with organized crime and to what level?  And what are the solutions to this long time crime problems in Taichung?  No one knows, and it seems no one gives a f**k. 

Ma had some seriously messed up project in Taipei, but when Hu spend millions on some illusive project planning no one seems to care.  Maybe similar to Ma, people will only look back at Taichung if one day Hu becomes the President, by then it would be too late.  People should really start to examine Hu’s term as Taichung mayor.  People do not have to attack him personally, but people need to examine what he had done in the past 8 years, because there are some serious problems and maybe even problems people do not know much about.  There is no point to go easy on him.

I have a feeling that people for some reason are really treating Hu like a fragile vase, similar to how people treat Ma before he became the president, maybe even worse.  That is why people say Hu has “good PR skill.”  But I think Hu, similar to Ma, is actually quite arrogant, based on the speech and Q&A he gave in media.  I think this is really stupid because they are head of a country or city.  People should at least hold them to some basic standards, not just evaluate them based on how “charming” they are (once again I don’t really understand why people think Ma and Hu are charismatic…to me they just aren’t…maybe it’s the media, who knows).

Update:  More new “discovery” from Hsiefinally DPP is paying serious attention to Taichung.