Monthly Archives: March 2005

Is ‘CSI’ Affecting Verdicts?

The article (picked up by numerous papers) Chicago Tribune | The Blake verdict and the ‘CSI effect’ is an interesting one. Well worth reading if, like me, you haven’t bothered to follow yet another celebrity trial.
The part I particularly want to point out as a passage is this:

“Prosecutors across the country are very concerned about this.” Marquis found it disturbing that Blake jurors “seemed very dismissive of circumstantial evidence,” he said. “Well guess what? In most cases . . . you don’t have physical evidence.”

Um, then you shouldn’t be getting a conviction. There are reasons why “beyond reasonable doubt” is enshrined in law as a protection against taking away someone’s freedom. If you have proof that they did it, present it. They should go to jail and in all likelihood will do so. If all you have is circumstantial evidence then they may well get off… and they should.
I wasn’t there at the crime scene. Neither were you. If the evidence given by the people who were there and the physical evidence are together not conclusive, you have to err on the side of innocence. Just because all the prosecutors “feel it in their gut” and the family has latched onto someone to blame just to have a focus for their anger, doesn’t make it so.

A New Direction In Videogames

The creator of the most popular video game ever is back with yet another radical design for a new game.
Back when Will Wright was first showing off The Sims everybody who got to see it was clearly amazed. They had never seen anything like it and their ability to describe it in PC game magazines wasn’t exactly stellar. Nevertheless you quickly got the idea that it was something you might want to keep an eye out for.
Now this article talks about an entirely new game he’s been working on and it sounds very different from anything else out there. GameSpy: Will Wright Presents Spore… and a New Way to Think About Games covers his talk about his new game and offers several screenshots of what it looks like and descriptions of what the gameplay may be like. Just as with The Sims, the description seems to be lacking, but maybe, as with The Sims, we just haven’t seen anything like this before and we aren’t quite sure how to talk about it yet.