FIFA 16 to include playable Qatar slave workers

SKETCH

EA has announced highly anticipated football video game FIFA 16 will include the option to play as borderline slave workers constructing the World Cup stadium in Qatar.

The extra content, available as DLC upon the launch of the title later this year, will add a new layer on top of the high-quality football simulator that’s drawn strong reviews for years.

“We wanted to make a product that appealed to both fans of the sporting and survival genres,” an EA spokeswoman said.

“We’ve been in talks with Bethesda to create a realistic role-playing game so that we can show the highs, the lows and the rock bottoms of the beautiful game.”

The DLC allows you to choose a name, backstory, country of origin and skill set for your character.

After choosing, all of those are taken from you, as well as your passport, as you do your best to survive the harsh environment working in the high mortality field of stadium construction in Qatar.

“There’s a range of factors you need to work with – the heat, the back-breaking labour, the suicidal feelings – that, like Fallout, make this what we hope will be a classic in the genre,” the spokeswoman said.

“Will you be one of the 1200? Or will you make it out alive, triumphant and still in relative poverty?”

Microtransactions are required throughout the game to add to the realism, as your character tries to send money back to the South Asian country from which they came.

Critics given early access to the DLC have praised the gameplay and single difficulty setting – Impossible – calling it “the most authentic thing to have come from FIFA in years”.

But cynics believe the move could also be a way of placating growing dissent among male gamers upset that the game’s main sporting mode will include women athletes for the first time.

“This will be a relief to the Gamergaters,” one reviewer noted.

“They’ll be able to play in a place where women are neither seen, nor heard.”

Pundits to Oddscheck: abuse your privileges, hire an actual social media expert

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SKETCH

SOCIAL media pundits have told betting agency Oddschecker to “abuse their privileges” and use their vast wealth to hire an actual social media consultant.

The unsolicited advice from those unqualified to make judgment mirrors Oddschecker’s own decision to offer sexist relationship tips to footballer James Wilson.

It followed a string of similar tweets on their corporate social media account, which inside sources say is run by a year 8 student.

Veteran Twitter user Opinionista Dogememe said it was time for Oddschecker to treat itself.

“Sure he can type in coherent English but someone needs to remind Oddschecker they’re a major multinational company benefitting from a constant money stream from addicts and their families,” she tweeted alongside a screenshot of the offending original.

“Start abusing this privilege.”

Gambling companies hold among the highest outrage-to-tweet ratios, a fact that somehow amazes some people.

Other companies are offering odds on the fallout from the scandal. “Everybody learning a good lesson and finally getting along” is way out at $6000, though ahead of “the Advertising Standards Bureau taking punitive action against the company”, which is way out at the GDP of the United Kingdom.

“Grovelling apology and a fortnight-long sabbatical before return to the status quo” is sitting at $1.10.

Queensland’s Pacific Motorway: a user’s guide

QUEENSLANDERS have a bad driving reputation, especially in the southern states.

The New South Welsh, apparently forgetting the homicidal nature that underpins Sydney’s roads, chortle when they see a car with Queensland registration doing something silly on the highway.

The reputation probably came about because the first road most southerners are flung onto upon crossing the border is the Pacific Motorway; Queensland’s jewel dual carriageway stretching from Tweed Heads to the heart of Brisbane, less than 100km away.

While it would be the envy of any major metropolis, South East Queensland’s premier motorway, at its widest reaching eight through lanes in total, nevertheless becomes a frustrating experience due to its patrons.
Commuting between the capital and the Gold Coast is a bewildering thing; one that can lead to road rage, dangerous behaviour and even death.

To make it easier to understand the bewildering behaviour on this broad stretch of bitumen, here is my guide to each of the four lanes that make up this highway to hell.

The far right (War): It doesn’t matter who you are or what speed you’re travelling, you are fall into one of two categories in this lane: the tailgater or the tailgated. Cruising at 112km/h in a 110km/h zone while overtaking someone in the next lane? Expect a souped up sportscar, never-been-offroad luxury SUV or work vehicle to be a sudden brake from an accident behind you. Trying to make it past a car doing 10 below the limit in the third lane from the left? Too bad, the fast lane is taken up by somebody doing 103. Even when the latter happens, expect the aforementioned sportscar, SUV or tradie truck to continue tailgating and flashing their lights, despite the fact you’re in the same boat. It’s the law of the jungle in the far right lane, so make sure your will and testament will be easily found in your soon-to-be mangled wreckage.

The middle right (Pestilence): ‘Keep left unless overtaking’ is a guideline that most drivers take to heart on the Pacific Motorway. That’s why they sit in the second furthest lane from the left, thus generously allowing others to overtake them from the far right lane while they cruise along at 20 below the speed limit. The middle-right lane is the default for commuters: easily the most congested, it also tends to elicit the most frustration. A conga line of cars about a kilometre long can wait with varying degrees of patience while a driver jaunts along at 90km/h, with no traffic in the lanes to their left. But it’s okay, they’re keeping left. The middle right lane is often the reason the far right lane is prone to people sitting below the speed limit, desperately trying to move ahead of the person to their left going even slower than them. Avoid if you don’t want a hoarse throat before reaching the beach.

The middle left (Death): Not named because it’s the most mortally dangerous lane, but because it’s full of undertakers. Frustrated by the slowness of the middle right lane and the lack of progress in the far right, some speedsters will duck and weave into this lane, between even more sluggish vehicles, to get ahead of the queue. This is a risky move: not only is it unpredictable, but there’s every chance the cars to the right of you will inexplicably speed up, leaving you stuck behind a caravan doing 80. Other inhabitants of this lane include trucks, older, less powerful cars and people just trying to get to their destination without dealing with far right lane politics.

The far left (Famine): Apart from those with engines too weak to reach the speed limit consistently, nobody stays in the left lane for long. Either using it briefly in their three-lane mad dash to reach an exit coming up in 200 metres, or arriving from the on-ramp to join their preferred spot in the middle right lane, the far left lane is a dreary, depressing place you stay away from unless you absolutely must. Beware of people entering the motorway at 20 below the limit, expecting for the rest of the traffic to suddenly brake for them as they merge without warning. It’s also home to some of the most extreme undertakers.
So there you have it. For the three-lane sections, merge Famine and Death into the left lane. For the two lane sections, merge War and Pestilence. In peak hour traffic, replace all lanes with “Weep softly”.

Enjoy your drive! Be safe returning home this Easter, which means if you’re reading this while driving, please, please reconsider your life choices.

An open letter to the Australian people: crown me as your Kitsch King

Friends, Australians, expatriates. Lend me your ears, and your eyes, though beware the smoke machine. I volunteer my services in securing our nation’s forthcoming greatest victory. I do this not for the platitudes, great though it may be, but out of a simple, deep-rooted patriotism.

I ask that you give me the privilege of being Australia’s debut champion in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. This honour, bestowed on this fair southern land despite all arguments of logic, geography or a century of history, is our chance to grasp a rare kind of glory; one in which all that glitters is, indeed, gold.

Friends, I can help us gain that glory and bring this esteemed competition to Canberra for 2016. My voice cannot sing and is deaf in both pitch and tone, but that has not stopped past competitors. What this country needs is a unique visual feast, and it so happens that I am skilled in the great dance of our people. Behold! For I am arguably the finest performer of this physical ritual, aside from its creator: Mr Peter Garrett of Sydney.

Assuming the master declines to represent our land at this contest of contests, I plead that you select his natural apprentice. For I have spread the gospel of his dance; from suburban dinner parties to the karaoke bars of New York City.  Indeed, I vanquished a foe during the Great Oxford Street Dance Off of September, 2012. At least, I did according to what I can remember of that liquor-lathered evening.

So I humbly beseech thee, let me dance out the dreams of 23 million souls upon the Vienna stage. And I ask also that you comb the land for backup dancers, others skilled with the Gift of the Garrett. Sequins, plush marsupials, fireworks and artificial wind to accompany me would not go astray also.

Of course, I understand that you may not choose me to carry this heavy but beautiful burden upon my padded shoulders. But if not, I ask that I be the messenger who greets the distant continent with promises of points for the enemy’s teams. A simple smile and a “g’day Europe” with a harbour background behind me is within my range of skills.

Choose me, and we will taste victory in so short a span of competition! Alternatively, scribble your name to this petition so that my next choice, TISM, may take the mantle.

Glamorously yours,

Stephen Jeffery

P.S. I have a shirt decorated with swordfish if that helps my case. Please hire me.

P.P.S. Pls.

Sausage sizzle cooks win Queensland election

Results of the 2015 Queensland state election. Electorates in brown indicate those won by sausage sizzle cooks. Pink electorates are those held by cake stallholders, and green and yellow show vegetarian and gluten-free friendly seats.

Results of the 2015 Queensland state election. Electorates in brown indicate those won by sausage sizzle cooks. Pink electorates are those held by cake stallholders, and green and yellow show vegetarian and gluten-free friendly seats.

FEBRUARY 5, 2015 – Public school sausage sizzle chefs have formed government after winning a majority of seats in last weekend’s Queensland election.

The shock result meant not one of the state’s 89 MPs retained their seats on Saturday, with all new members of the Legislative Assembly voted in without ever having formally applied to have their name placed on the ballot.

The Electoral Commission of Queensland reported the anomaly on Saturday night, finding a majority of voters had informally nominated the P&C volunteers manning sausage sizzles at local school polling booths for public office, instead of candidates on the ballot paper.

“Honestly, I voted for that woman at the barbecue because she was the only person I was happy to see when I went to vote,” one voter said outside a western Brisbane primary school.

“She hasn’t said anything about leasing our assets, and I’m not angry at her for building up massive public debt, so she was the obvious choice.

Rockhampton MP Toby Martin, until last week the secretary of Berserker State High School’s Parents & Citizens Association, has been named premier after forming a loose party with 64 other elected sausage sizzle cooks.
Read more of this post

Maths-metal and streaking: Hottest 100 vote lobbying’s shaky history

Taylor Swift could make it into this year's Triple J Hottest 100. Photo by David Shankbone.

Taylor Swift could make it into this year’s Triple J Hottest 100. Photo by David Shankbone.

THIS month, many of my friends, relatives, complete strangers and I have been asked to make a very important decision; one that could change the course of history. There’s also a state election on.

I speak, of course, of the decision whether or not to follow the social media push to force Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” into Triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2014. Anathema to those purists whose radio dial (or scanner, since it isn’t 1989 anymore) remains superglued to 107.7FM or the various other frequencies across the country, the grassroots “write-in” vote has nevertheless gained traction and could see the mainstream pop song inch its way into the 21st year of “the world’s biggest music democracy”.

I won’t be pulling a Swifty with the others, mainly because I don’t like the song. But I can’t understand the anger it’s generated amongst some of Triple J’s diehard, parochial fanbase. There’s a subsection of Hottest 100 followers to whom the list is sacred, but who will be unhappy regardless of the outcome. They’ll moan that the 2014 poll is the “worst ever” and long for the day Ultimo is overrun and the music democracy is bloodily overthrown to establish a benevolent hipster music junta, free of the bourgeois influence of “songs a majority of the sheeple listeners like”. Read more of this post

Hoverboards grounded, but we can still McFly into 2015

Pockets out is in for 2015. (Not ironing isn't a trend though, just my laziness. Beard not obligatory.)

Pockets out is in for 2015. (Not ironing isn’t a trend though, just my laziness. Beard not obligatory.)

THIS is the year I’ve been waiting for since Christmas Day, 2002, when Santa gave me the Back to the Future trilogy boxset on DVD.
2015 was the year to wait for, the one where I could be like Michael J Fox strutting around in an eighties vision of the future.
I’m not alone with this wish; a couple of generations have grown up loving the film series and, despite Part II being my least favourite of the trilogy, its brief segment in the future was always exciting.

Of course, director Robert Zemeckis said the film’s vision of the future was one primarily populated with screenwriters’ jokes, but that hasn’t stopped us, with some degree of entitlement, demanding that scientists stop fiddling about working on frivolous things like medical research, renewable energy and Hadron colliders, and instead focus their energies on a levitating toy and flying cars that would give motorists an extra dimension in which to be terrifyingly incompetent.
So, yes, hoverboards might be a pipe dream, but we can still make Universal a 20th Century Nostradamus with some of the movie’s smaller, more achievable quirks, thus making this year the best 2015 ever! Read more of this post