Vivi Campaign Poster Contest

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Hey Y’all,

Since yesterday’s come-from-behind, crazy-upset victory over Mario and Ganondorf in GameFAQs’ “Character Battle IX”, I’ve had an idea brewing in my head.  He had a great victory, but I want more.  As crazy as it may sound, how great would it be for a character from Final Fantasy IX to win the ninth Character Battle?

Needless to say, chances are slim – Link is still in the running, and he’s won many of the character battles in the past, not to mention Sephiroth and the dreaded Tetris “L-Block”.  If Vivi’s gonna win, he’s gonna need some help.

That’s where you come in.

For the next five days (ending at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, September 4th), I’ll be accepting submissions artwork that encourages votes for Vivi.  At that time (possibly the following morning, as I have to get to work), I’ll post these pieces of art to this blog, and people will be able to vote on their favorite campaign posters for the next few days, either on this page, the Facebook profile (FFIXBlog) or on Twitter (@FFIXBlog).

When the Character Battle with Vivi in it begins (the next one is on Sunday, Sept. 8), I’ll tally the votes and declare the winner!

The winner will receive either a copy of FFIX, a FFIX poster, or anything FFIX-related that they can think of (given that it’s in the $10-$30 price range…  I can’t afford much more, but if people donate, the prizes can become much larger!).

Didn’t win?  Don’t worry!  Every time that Vivi moves into the next round, I will begin to accept submissions again, and the contest will recur until he loses.  That means if he gets to the finals, there will be three chances to win!

I think this could be a lot of fun.  I’d love to see some great FFIX artwork come out of this!

To enter, simply email your poster as an attachment to Zidane@finalfantasyix.com, with “Vote for Vivi”, along with the title of your work, in the subject line.

Artists…  Start your pencils!  Vote for Vivi!  And, most importantly, have fun!

VIVIIIIIIII!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EDIT:  I’m running a 5-day “Vote Vivi” campaign poster contest!  Check it out, draw Vivi, win free stuff!

Hey Y’all,

In case ya didn’t know, GameFAQs is running another one of their “Character Battles”, a place where video games’ greatest characters duke it out for your vote.  Unfortunately, Zidane was taken down by Squirtle (pffffffft), but Vivi pulled a HUGE upset over Mario and Ganondorf the other day.  Here’s the map of the vote breakdown, with blue being a Mario country, Green for Vivi, and Red for Ganondorf:

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Fuck yeah, Russia. You know what’s good.

As you can see, Europe and southeast Asia were big supporters of the Vivi cause, which is great.  However, it’s not like Vivi won a landslide victory – out of about 40,000 votes cast in this character battle, Vivi beat out mario by 0.18%… or 74 votes.  Intense.

Vivi had a great victory, but he’s got a long way to go before he claims that crown, and there are still some other big names (Sephiroth, Link, Pokemon Trainer Red) in the running.

But you know what?  I’m feelin’ it.  It’s Character Battle IX, after all;  maybe it’s time that a character from the greatest game of all time stood up against the everyday, run-of-the-mill winners… and took them down.

He’s already beat Mario, one of the most iconic video game characters ever.

Let’s band together and show the world what Vivi can do.

Vivi’s next battle is on September 8th.  He’ll be facing the winners of the battles between Squall, Amaterasu, Missingno, and Wario, Pokémon Trainer Red, Urdnot Wrex.  If he wins that, he’ll be in the “Final Nine”,  with only one Battle keeping him from the Final.

All right, guys.  If y’all know any Vivi fans out there, let them know.

Let’s do this.

Robots are People, Too

I’ve talked with a bunch of friends recently about consciousness.  I’ve been reading Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Age of Spiritual Machines, and I found a quote to be very interesting:

 

Are computers thinking, or are they just calculating?  Conversely, are human beings thinking, or are they just calculating?  The human brain presumably follows the laws of physics, so it must be a machine, albeit a very complex one.  Is there an inherent difference between human thinking and machine thinking?  To pose the question another way, once computers are as complex as the human brain, and can match the human brain in subtlety and complexity of thought, are we to consider them conscious? (Kurzweil 5-6)

 

Every person I asked had a similar first reaction:

 

“No.  Of course they’re not conscious.  They’re a computer.”

 

Granted, this was my first reaction, too.  A computer’s a giant calculator, and I’m a human.  However, after a few beers and an hour’s conversation or so, my friends weren’t so sure.  What really was the difference between a human and a computer with the cognitive complexity of a human?

 

I was the first to speak up in favor of computers being conscious.

 

“I mean, look at Vivi,”  I said.  “He’s got passions;  he questions his existence;  he makes friends; he has feelings, at least of a sort.  How is he not conscious?”

 

Unfortunately, my FFIX fandom betrayed me.  It was easy to see that my emotional connection with Vivi due to my love for the character was clouding my judgement concerning his consciousness.  (Sorry, Vivi.  Did my best.)

 

First, we had to decide what “conscious” meant, for the purposes of our discussion.

 

“I think that consciousness is the ability to tap into the consciousness of the collective – to perceive, to have an ‘antenna’ that connects you to the rest of the universe,”  my roommate, Patrick, proposed.  This sparked a discussion on which beings or things would have this “antenna”, and which would not.  Are we, as humans, the only thing with this “antenna”?  If so, why?  Was it something that was given to us specifically?  If so, since we presumably follow the laws of physics, why is it that we are the only beings with this “antenna”?  Is it beyond science?  Eventually, we came to the conclusion that while people do sometimes have an odd feeling of purpose that could approach a feeling of divinity, there was no evidence to support such claims.

 

I’m sure I’ll write more about this discussion at some point, because I found it fascinating.  What do you guys think?  What is consciousness?  Is Vivi “conscious”?  What do you think of Kurzweil’s quote?

 

For now, I’ll leave y’all with Arthur C. Clarke’s three laws of technology, as well as a great quote from Gregory Vlastos.

 

The Three Laws of Technology:

 

–  When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right.  When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

 

–  The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

 

–  Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

“A machine is as distinctively and brilliantly and expressively human as a violin sonata or a theorem in Euclid”  – Gregory Vlastos