Category Archives: Opinion


The second screen

Console to hand-held connectivity taking strides in modern gaming

For me it all started with the Dreamcast, that beautiful white brick, accompanied by the console’s VMU (visual memory unit) I could play mini-games on a small second screen that would affect things in the console version of the game, most notably the Sonic Adventure Chao mini-games.

This type of second screen capability is making a comeback and may in fact be the way of the future in terms of video games. Continue reading The second screen

Energy drinks: worth the risk?

Energy drinks. To many students, they are an ally, a friend, a hero even. They can get a student through a three hour night class, or through an extra hour of studying. But is it worth the risk?

On the back of each Amp, Monster, Rockstar or Red Bull, there is a warning label. It’s small, hard to see, but it’s there. And it normally reads something like; “Not recommended for individuals under 18 years of age, or those sensitive to caffeine. Limit caffeine intake to 400 milligrams per day.” Continue reading Energy drinks: worth the risk?

Video games not to blame

Video games always seem to be the butt of controversy when a new, violent game is released, but is the game really to blame, I say no.

The heavily anticipated video game “Grand Theft Auto V” is set to be released on Sept 17, and already has a huge amount of controversy surrounding it. The game’s developer Rockstar Games is use to controversy though, this being just another installment of the wildly successful Grand Theft Auto series, which includes releases on everything from PCs to mobile devices.

The game carries an “M” or Mature rating as put in place by the Entertainment Software Rating Board or ESRB, this rating warns that only players over the age of 17 should play the game. This isn’t a law, just a suggestion, but most video game retail chains will honor the ratings suggestion and have the consumer provide valid I.D. showing they are over the age of 17 in order to purchase the game. This prevents players deemed too young from playing the mature rated game.

But then why do I still hear 10-13 year-old kids yelling at me through my headset while playing GTA multiplayer, Halo, Call of Duty, or really anything given the “M” rating?

Because someone bought that kid the game.

When any news outlet outlandishly claims that these games are to blame for a recent tragedy, I can’t help but think that the video game development companies did everything they could to ensure no one under the age of 17 played the games, short of pulling games from the shelves or flat out making it illegal to play it.

It’s simple nature vs. nurture. If a parent sees the “M” rating and simply doesn’t care and purchases it for their impressionable child, they simply cannot blame the development company for a child re-enacting events from said game. The parent allowed that child to play that game, same would be the case for movies carrying an “R” rating, or TV shows with an “MA” rating, if the parent allows it they cannot use the company that creates the game as a scapegoat.

The blame won’t stop anytime soon though. Having a big company to blame is just so much easier than proper parenting of a child, and with no end in sight I hope that parents start to make an informed decision by themselves rather than letting a major news outlet make one for them.


Nicholas Wedyke

Managing Editor

Waitressing woes

Servant, the help, the waiter, bringer of food and beverage; that is, your typical server working hard to make ends meet.

Workers in the restaurant industry work long hours, deal with complaints all day, work most holidays, and live in a nightmare world where weekends off don’t actually exist.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, servers in Michigan are allotted a maximum hourly wage to be $4.75 an hour in addition to tips. The minimum is $2.65 an hour, though if servers were not able to make at least minimum wage per hour with the addition of tips, then they are given minimum wage.

Essentially most servers rely solely on tips.

Some restaurants add gratuity to checks to ensure servers get tips. This additional amount can go toward any number of things. One, there could be a tip pool. This means that the gratuity from all checks during a shift would be split between all front-of-house staff, with varying percentages from servers, bartenders, and server assistants generally.

Another possibility is it could go toward paying servers an hourly fee. An advantage is that wait staff is guaranteed a decent hourly wage, even during a dead shift. The disadvantage is that guaranteed wage almost encourages laziness and the motivation to up-sell and increase the check average is not as prominent.

Food for thought.


Liz’s shout outs:

Parents: Family restaurant or not, please do not let your child run around the restaurant. They are likely to get burned or tripped over, usually while I am carrying a heavy tray. Also, I am not their mother; please do not let them call me momma, repeatedly.

If I am at another table and you need me: Please catch my eye, I will be over to see you as soon as I am done addressing an issue or taking an order. They are equally important.

Phones at the table: “Are you talking to me? No you didn’t want fries with that? Wait, yes you do? Sorry, what?” My time is valuable too.

People who walk out without paying: You do realize that most restaurants make the server cover that amount right? I hate you.

People who tip in Kohls cash: If I am working three jobs and serving at a restaurant trying to pay my way through school, what makes you think I have time to go to Kohls and get some miniscule item? I need money for textbooks, not shoes.


Liz Whittemore

Photo Editor

What do you think of SC4’s new logo



Q: What do you think of SC4’s new logo?


Andrew Hohmann


A: I like it and think it’s fresh. I prefer it over the seal.


Brendan Brown


A: The logo looks like a four year old drew it.


Amanda Langolf


A: I don’t really get it. It’s very abstract.


Jennifer Lietzow


A: I don’t see how this is school related. I think that the logo should be related to the school mascot.

The SC4 squiggle

A closer look at the new logo of SC4

SC4’s new logo is certainly drawing a lot of attention.

Proclaimed by the college’s website to be a “symbol of success,” the site explains that the logo represents qualities like knowledge and support, as well as showing tribute to the Blue Water Area as the design “reflects the abundance of sun and water enjoyed in our region.”

Following the and Portal update on June 28, the logo was adopted as a general marketing tool used to compliment the new website’s design.

According to Chris Sebastian, communications specialist at the college, the logo will be for used for more casual purposes, such as advertising, t-shirts, and banners. The seal of the college will still be used on official items such as diplomas.

Review of the new logo on social media sites tended to be negative.

Only two comments out of 161 spoke favorably of the logo on a Facebook thread posted on Sept. 1 in the +6,000 strong “Port Huron, Michigan,” group.

St. Clair County Community College’s Facebook post with the logo on July 24 received mixed reviews, with the majority in dissent.

Sebastian says he understands if students don’t get the logo right away.

The logo is meant to be different things to different people. Our goal was to make people think a little bit more about what it meant to them.”

Sebastian may be right. Jeremy Wilson, a SC4 student studying graphic design, pointed out that while he hated the logo at first, he warmed up to it. Wilson went on to say that the logo was a “valiant effort at modernizing the school,” although he admits reservation on the message the logo is trying to relay.

If we were just an art school it would be great, but using the logo for nursing, business, and everything else doesn’t work as well. It’s a very artistic type of logo.”

The design for the new logo comes from The C2 Group (C2), a Grand Rapids based company that was hired to do the redesign of SC4’s internet presence.

The logo was included in the package of services received from C2, and was chosen by a committee composed of various staff and faculty members over various other options C2 presented.

When asked whether or not the college would be open to other possibilities or student suggestion, Sebastian made it clear that the new logo is here to stay.


Erick J. Fredendall


DRM, the uncertain future of gaming

In lieu of recent events, myself, being an avid gamer is troubled by the seemingly endless dispute over “always-on” video games. Xbox 360 controllers.  Photo credit: Rodrigo Denúbila, used under a Creative Commons license.

DRM or Digital Rights Management, is an access control technology used by video game and software developers to limit the use of content after an initial sell; “always-online” is a DRM used to inhibit undesirable use of video game content, and has struck up quite the controversy.

First came Diablo III, a seemingly flawless return to dungeon crawling that made the franchise famous in the late 1990s. When the 2012 reboot was released it was the fastest selling PC video game to date, selling over 3.5 million copies within the first twenty-four hours of release, according to Blizzard Entertainment. Continue reading DRM, the uncertain future of gaming

Marriage equality paints Facebook red

Facebook has lit up red with supporters of marriage equality showing their support with a single image of the traditional “Human Rights Campaign’s” logo depicted in red being used as profile pictures.

Two men recently married in New York City.  Photo Credit: Jose Anavas, used under a Creative Commons License.The image originally shared by the HRC has caught on recently, as droves of activist protest during the beginning of two major same-sex marriage law hearings outside of the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday. Continue reading Marriage equality paints Facebook red

Better safe than sorry?

As the possibility of fracking in Michigan becomes increasingly more likely, citizens are banning together to prevent what they believe to be a catastrophic degradation of the environment. But are they just buying into politicized hype?

Fracking is a method of obtaining natural gasses, such as methane, and oil using hydraulic pressure. Unlike vertical drilling, horizontal fracking can access resources that are deeper and harder to reach by injecting various substances, including water and chemicals, into rock formations. Oil and gas deposits are released from the earth when the rock formations break apart.  Continue reading Better safe than sorry?