Once more unto the £44.99 breach

I wouldn’t call myself a professional military man, but I’ve been hunting Russian terrorists from my couch for the last four years.

My first deployment was on a three seat sofa in Melbourne from which, green as grass and with an itchy trigger finger, I picked up the trail of a group of ne’er-do-wells and swore to bring them to justice. I followed the threat wherever it took me and in 2008 I was transferred to a uncomfortable, futon lounge at a secure location in London.

It was war, but notwithstanding one horrible incident at a Russian airport, those were happy days. Good hours were spent in the company of comrades, defusing bombs, calling in UAVs, camping on supply drops and capturing Charlie.

But everything wanes in time and eventually, even I wasn’t without battlescars. Sporting two thumbs riddled with RSI and a pair of index fingers calloused beyond repair, it was clear that my days of chasing terrorists were at an end, so I decided to settle down, adding a wife and two children to my personal platoon.

It turned out to be the right decision and before long I was safely ensconced in a leafy North-London suburb for a quiet life of nappies, beer and telling embellished tales of my exploits to anyone who would listen.

Or so I thought.

Not two nights ago, after putting the kids to bed and installing my wife in front of something involving public ridicule and GAry Barlow, I heard chatter on the squawk-box that a new threat was rearing its head, in London no less.

Now I’m not the soldier I once was; my joints are stiff, my reflexes are tired and my three-seat, terrorist-hunting sofa has been traded for a one-woman, rocking chair designed primarily for breast feeding.

But despite these handicaps, I’ll be damned if I’m going to put up with fictional terrorists rampaging through my town. I may be over the gaming hill, but let’s not forget that I’m a patient, willing, thirty-three year old man with a comfortable chair and the $44.99 that Activision will charge me to hunt these terrorist dogs down.

Kent Valentine is a committed husband and father of who will have sore fingers and tired eyes for the next few weeks.

Cage's Reduction

If you’re doing a “to-camera” piece in public, then the credibility that you’re automatically afforded by those who pass you in the street is directly related to the number of crew you have with you.

Watching a guy recording himself on a handicam at Kings Cross, I noticed that he was being bumped and jostled by any number of passers by who could see what he was doing, but didn’t care about interrupting him because his lack of crew indicated that it probably wasn’t very important. Crew of zero means you’re probably blogging on the long tail with a viewing audience of zero.

As you start to amass crew, the repect & space afforded to you by the general public will increase according the number of crew that you have. People see crew, realise that what you’re filming is probably legit and will give you more space.

This increase in respect will plateau at about 4 and will then actual diminish if the crew approaches 30. This is due to the fact that as the crew increases, it becomes statistically more likely that Nicolas Cage is involved with the project, a fact that will not only decrease cred, repect and space that the public is willing to give you, but may also result in the crowd becoming angry and violent, especially if they’ve seen Ghostrider, Next or Knowing.

Colloquially, this is known as Cage’s Reduction.