The Sunday Papers

By Kieron Gillen on May 30th, 2010 at 10:05 am.

Sundays are for getting back from the MCM Expo in the very early hours, having sung songs featuring the word money replaced by the words “Lunney” (As in, awesome-if-famously-intimidating cartoonist Liz Lunney) all the way home (e.g. Mo Lunney, Mo Problems, Lunney Can’t Buy You Love, Lunney Lunney Lunney), snatching a few hours of sleep then getting up to do it all over again. Except still finding time to hammer out a list of the (mostly) games related reading from the week, trying not to link to some piece of pop music.

Failed.

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189 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    LCD Soundsystem? Eugh.

    • Alan The Pony says:

      You’re an awful person :(

    • Lilliput King says:

      The second album was really good!

    • kwyjibo says:

      His latest album is a slightly inferior retread of his incendiary second.

    • DrGonzo says:

      The second album is a classic but the third is pretty awful, plus I can’t help thinking it would all be so much better if he would stop singing in their songs.

    • DMcCool says:

      LCD Soundsystem are rather incredible. Not sold on the new record yet, but I like “Dance Yr self clean” Tuuoooon.

    • tome says:

      That damned Mr. Gillen’s made me go and download two albums, he has. How did I not listen to Sound of Silver earlier? I found “Dance Yrself Clean” is incredible in and of itself, but if the synth drop comes in just as a large wave attacks in Revenge of the Titans, I can /guarantee/ your amygdala will sexplode.

    • Dave L. says:

      @kwyjibo: Are you not counting 45:33 as an album? Sound of Silver is the third LCD Soundsystem album (unless you’re saying that 45:33 is ‘incendiary,’ which doesn’t seem quite right to me either).

      ‘This is Happening’ feels a lot like a continuation of ‘Sound of Silver’, with more of a focus on the themes of getting older and wanting to be with someone. I love how even ‘Drunk Girls,’ which on the surface sounds like a song about picking up drunk chicks for a one night stand, is really about trying to find a meaningful connection amongst all the people who are only looking for one night stands. There’s only one genuinely weak track on ‘This is Happening’ and that’s ‘Pow Pow.’

    • kwyjibo says:

      Clearly, I’m not counting 45:33 as an album. I don’t generally count Nike sponsored side projects as proper albums. Who the fuck considers 45:33 incendiary?

  2. Metalfish says:

    Good god, the comments (and the article) about Privates are pretty concerning. Dan turned up, explained what he meant and is then ignored by frothing idiots. Being outraged by something rarely works to your favour, especially when the author is willing to engage with you and (in this case) explain the cultural context.

    An embarrassment to feminism.

    • DeliriumWartner says:

      They also seem to have completely misunderstood the term “glory-holes”. Honestly, although I’m not sure why, I always assumed the bum bits of Privates were, um, male. Not sure what to think now.

    • Metalfish says:

      Well, there’s a (fairly small) group of (usually, but not always) women feminists who seem to be rather fixated on the female aspect of sexuality to the point where men might as well not exist. That might explain their interpretation of glory hole as ‘a [no doubt disgustingly derogatory] slang term for part of the female anatomy’, when in fact it’s an American term that is quite well known to be associated with the male homosexual community.

      Such subject blindness is obviously not unique to them; I’ve seen people impose their realities on all sorts of media to draw interpretations that probably aren’t really there. Marxist analysis of Moby Dick anyone? Hell, even gamers are reading into things that aren’t there in grand essays these days….

    • Bowlby says:

      You can sort-of see where Lauredhel is coming from in regards to the press release, but it’s been taken out of context. Without knowing it’s a satire, it could be perceived as a game where tiny male soldiers with condoms on their heads have to save the stupid, sex-addled, diseased young women from STIs. I think the worst thing she could be accused of doing is jumping to a rather extreme conclusion about the makers of the game without actually playing the game itself.

    • spinks says:

      With the press release, it’s not really clear who the audience is. If it’s aimed at teenage boys, then should you assume they’ll read the Mail and recognise the satire or not? I think I’d have played safer and written it to be more over the top, funnier, and mention promiscuous gay guys as well as pregnant waddling women just to be clear.

      The argument which the feminists missed, I think, is that there are times when it may be appropriate to send a message direct to a single subculture (teenage boys in this case) for educational purposes, even if that means it might offend other people. But I’d like to think you could do that without implying that girls who like sex are skanky disease ridden welfare mums.

      We’re so used to games being designed for a male audience anyway that maybe we miss when it’s the absolute right thing to do. I wish them all the best with Privates. I hope it does well and lots of teenage boys learn about safe sex.

    • Bowlby says:

      Yeah, spinks, I definitely think it’s the press release that lets them down the most. I’ve got to be honest – and maybe it’s just me being dense – I really don’t think I’d get that it was a satire of The Daily Mail unless someone told me.

    • Taillefer says:

      One would still assume it’s firmly tongue-in-cheek, though. And not palpable, vicious misogyny.

    • Bowlby says:

      lol @ the “palpable, vicious misogyny”. That’s just embarrassing.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      The entirety of that blog post is exactly why so few men take feminism seriously, and consequently why gender equality is having so much trouble rooting out 50s societal norms as the dominant view of what women should and shouldn’t do.

      If the idiots who insist on seeing misogyny in everything and taking everything they perceive to be misogynous as a personal insult would just shut up, maybe the rest of the world would focus on no longer imposing an arbitrary ~20% average penalty on womens’ wages, or even just getting parity in national Assemblies.

    • James G says:

      The discussion on the implications of Privates is one that needs to be made*, but I can’t help thinking the article linked somewhat misses the point. I admit, I have some discomfort with elements of the game and press-release (I believe Mario covered some of them in the first post on the subject) but going outright on the attack and assuming maliciousness on the part of Zombie Cow isn’t exactly productive. Furthermore, when your attack shows outright miss-understanding the concept of glory-holes then it somewhat falls down.

      My main concerns were, 1) The satire felt slightly flat. The Daily Mail is a hard target to parody sometimes, as just when you think you’ve exaggerated their vile hatred far enough, they go one over you and produce something even worse. While the press release was written a bit more frankly than a typical Daily Mail article, it was pretty much in line with their presentation of modern Britain. 2) While it is pretty much an inevitability with the subject matter, I am uncomfortable with the portrayal of the vagina as ‘hostile territory’ and being filled with disease. That the same is then implied by a blokes anus, is somewhat complicated by the fact owner of said anus is probably gay. Obviously Ben and Dan didn’t sit down and go ‘I know, lets make women and gay men seem scary and dirty,’ and I don’t even think it is reflecting some subconscious association on their part. However it is a subtext I think it is worth being aware of, even if I’m not exactly sure how it could be avoided given the subject matter. (A level within a penis is one possibility, although as I’m pretty sure the privates are little penis stand ins, this doesn’t make a huge amount of sense.)

      * Not necessarily because it is ‘bad’ but because it could be. Also, just because something may contain unfortunate implications, doesn’t necessarily mean that they were consciously, or even subconsciously inserted by the creators.

    • mister k says:

      Oh rps commenters, please don’t make such comments on feminists

      “its this kind of thing that makes feminists look bad”

      Feminists tend to read things from a feminist viewpoint, looking for examples of misogyny in texts. From a lack of context this can be read as quite offensive, especially the press release. Now they probably should wait for the context, but its easy to get drawn in- we’ve all done it after all. They absolutely have a right to be offended, and its unfortunate that Dan chose to claim that the game isn’t misogynist- thats not the creators purvue unfortunately.

    • MD says:

      As far as I’m concerned, people have every right to speak out when they genuinely believe that something like this is going to be harmful. But they’ve also got a responsibility to be open-minded rather than blindly maintain their outrage, and to engage in discussion whenever possible, rather than assuming the worst of anyone who offends them. Taking the extreme position of absolute outrage and vicious condemnation, and refusing to give any ground even after extra information is offered/misunderstandings are cleared up, is just silly.

      Ultimately I think it’s pretty counter-productive, too. For all I know they might have some reasonable concerns, and I really do try to be open-minded rather than writing off as whingers people who are offended by something I’m not — it’s usually easy to mock complainers as over-sensitive and dismiss their concerns, but that doesn’t make it right. They are really, REALLY not making it easy for me to take the righteous and non-lazy path on this one, though.

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      oceanclub says:

      “They also seem to have completely misunderstood the term “glory-holes”. ”

      I gave up on the article when I read that; either the author is ignorant or, worst, wilfully twisting the definition of the word to fit their argument.

      P.

    • Sulkdodds says:

      The article itself is pretty dumb, but as James G said there are genuine concerns with militaristic representations of people’s bodies that are inescapably linked to questions of moral and sexual health. Surprise!

      Plus, call me a big stupid illiterate knobhead, but it wasn’t necessarily apparent to me that the press release was a satire of the attitudes it could easily be read as embodying. Now, if they’d made the press release as a fake red-top to begin with – exaggerated headlines about an elite team of soldiers sent to sort out sexual disease – we’d all be laughing. The commandos could even have been funded by one of those reader’s drives the Sun and Mail like to do.

    • James G says:

      @mister k

      I think a language barrier causes issues sometimes. As with any discussion in an area with which you are familiar, feminism has its own language which is subtlety different from general usage. As with all specialist language, this allows them to deliver complex points quickly, or be more precise. Unfortunately, this also means that when read by people outside of that sphere, it is open to misinterpretation.

    • Sulkdodds says:

      Actually, I take it back. The article is a fair response to limited information. It just has a few big mistakes and misunderstandings, and might have thought of contacting the developers for comments first…

    • Lewis says:

      The article doesn’t reflect badly at all on feminism. But it does reflect terribly on the author, who has vented into the internet void without any attempt whatsoever to understand the subject matter beyond her own interpretation, or even get basic facts right.

      Context is everything. When you’re writing an article about a serious issue, you should fucking consider it your job to understand that context.

      So, what offends me more than her viewpoint at all – which, as people have absolutely correctly pointed out, would be perfectly fine in another context – is that she can’t be bothered to check which format it’s being developed for, and accuses ZC of “tacking on” the sex-ed angle so as to be seen as more acceptable, when a quick Google search would have informed her that it’s a game commissioned by Channel 4 for the purposes of sex education.

      Feminism = good. Obscene reporting = bad.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Lewis: it reflects badly on feminism as a whole. The misandric part of gender feminism does, because misandric gender feminism is retarded beyond my ability to describe using words. Equity feminism is something that no one in their right mind wouldn’t want, but misandric gender feminism makes feminism as a whole look bad.

      The kind of feminism on display in the Privates blog post is exactly the kind of feminism that makes the average male go “them feminists are dumb, innit” and I fucking hate it for that.

    • Lewis says:

      Alexander: Point being, I don’t read that as a feminist blog post. For me, it’s closer to the tabloid nonsense that the whole satire centred on in the first place. It’s just plainly inaccurate and ill-practiced reporting. When you can’t even get the basic facts right – format of release, nature of commission – and then rant off those, there’s a problem.

    • BigJonno says:

      Feminism is, in my experience, already damaged beyond repair. I’m all for equal rights, quite rabidly so, but the entire concept of feminism has become too tainted by extremists (men are evolutionary dead ends and should be disposed of as soon as possible,) antagonism (men and women aren’t equal; women are clearly superior,) and the worst kind of circular logic (of course you don’t agree with me; you’re a man, that’s the point.)

      I totally agree that there are still fundamental inequalities built into Western culture; thousands of years of male dominance will do that. However it’s very hard to engage in discourse with someone who labels themselves as a member of a movement that is, in part, so completely dismissive and hostile towards you.

    • James G says:

      @BigJonno

      All I can say then is you’ve had a pretty odd experience with feminism. I honestly can say that I’ve never seen a ‘women are great, men are all evil’ attitude to feminism outside of the strawmen feminists constructed as either poorly characterised hollywood archetypes, or formed from tabloid scaremongering articles which try and imply that feminists want us to use the word huwoman instead of human.

      I’ve always been of the mind that, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” While I’m sure that it is possible to find someone in real life there is someone who holds with the ‘strawman feminist’ viewpoint, they are no more feminists than someone who proclaims a womans place is in the kitchen. To dismiss feminism on the basis of a few extremist folk who claim to preach it while doing nothing of the sort is folly. It makes it far to easy to dismiss genuine grievances if you lump them in together with people who are merely using feminism as a label to shore up their own sense of superiority.

      And yes, I identify as feminist. It derives from the same beliefs that cause me to stand against racism, homophobia, transphobia and pretty much every other shade of bigotry you care to identify. Sometimes this involves me recognising uncomfortable truths in myself, as a stance against bigotry sadly does not mean I have been able to eliminate all bigotries within myself. (I’m trying though)

    • Taillefer says:

      Basically, there is more than one kind of feminist.

    • Unaco says:

      OUTRAGE!!

      Sorry… Someone mentioned the Daily Mail. Ya’ Know, it happens to be my 6th most visited Website in Chrome, with RPS being number 5. I’d never buy it in print, but on the Internet, we get the joy that is the Comments section.

      I go with what Lewis said… That the Blog Post is closer to the Tabloid over-reactions and arrogance/ignorance that the game/press-release is attempting to satirise, than anything else. Also, reading through some of the comments, it seems that some people are applying theories and getting far too intellectual for the situation (that’s one of the phrases I never thought I’d write).

    • Grunt says:

      Lewis – Absolutely spot on, mate. Her journalism in this instance is atrocious, and her English language analysis is, at best, Standard Grade level. For someone who claims to be familiar with the Daily Mail she’s using the exact same methodology they do – taking segments out of context, seeing links where none were intended, then lavishing them with the outrage sauce.

      And yes, some basic fact-checking wouldn’t have gone amiss either. Very poor, and I’ve told her so.

    • Vinraith says:

      What Alexander (rightly) refers to as “misandric feminism” is referred to in feminist literary theory, at least, as feminist separatism (basically the “we don’t need men” movement). It’s very important to distinguish this type of feminism from the egalitarian variety. Every movement has its extremists, it’s usually best to avoid judging the merits of said movement by the behaviors and attitudes of those extremists.

    • Cooper says:

      Lewis has made the point clear enough.

      That article isn’t just bad feminism, it’s bad journalism.

      There are a whole host of reasons to be worried about Privates and the PR around it, not all of them limited to a feminist perspective.

      But if the author was trying to give voice to those concerns, she did it very badly.

      Yes – the game toys with and arguably perpetuates a mysogynistic gynophobia and sexual organ boundedness. Yes the PR was, however tongue in cheek, grossly offensive.

      If the gross offense and the game design was in that great comedic spirit of turning a mirror on banal predjudices, it didn’t do it very well. It’s difficult to tell where the mysogyny ends and the parody begins.

      Yes the writer’s indignant anger is ‘righteous’ and just, yes there are clearly deep problems not only with the game but the wide psycho-social issues it is bound up in and, yes, the representational schema of the game is hardly imaginative and is deeply offensive.

      But any good feminist knows things are always ‘a bit more complicated than that’, and to critique the game and PR in such a myopic and hamfisted way is to repeat what already seem like broad brush strokes the designers have taken.

      Be angry, yes. Hit back, yes. But then take a moment to maybe pick apart that anger, get to the real issues and dig a bit deeper. That’s good journalism and a better form of feminism than reactionary rage. The writer missed an invaluable opportunity to dig that bit deeper and instead comes across as the political obverse of the tabloid nonsense already being parodied. Which is a shame.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I would like to see her response to an average episode of SouthPark or one of the Family Guy shows. Wanted to add that my mum is a feminist and not and idiot. That woman is an idiot and feminism has nothing to do with it. IMO people’s reaction that this proves feminism is bad shows that it is still in fact very much neccessary.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Re: The comments

      It is very amusing, some of the comments are written in such a way that it IS clear that they read Dan’s post, but have completely failed to understand it on any real level aside from being able to make passing reference to things he said in it.

      One that was particularly fun says that despite Dan’s claims of not hating women, the press release’s wording clearly proves he does. Despite the fact that he JUST SAID it was written as parody and thus cannot be attributable as his opinions. That’s almost the same thing as holding an actor responsible for the actions and words of the characters they play.

      Another great one is the one that obviously read the bit that said “You also seem to have misunderstood the meaning of the term ‘glory holes’. ;)” and then, RATHER than look the term up, assumed that what he meant was she misunderstood that the term was meant to be complimentary towards women rather than derogatory. She then goes on to say how it clearly IS derogatory, not complimentary, and chastises him for not including anything of value to any gay males in the audience. Exaggerated eyeroll!

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @JamesG “I identify as feminist. It derives from the same beliefs that cause me to stand pretty much (against) every other shade of bigotry you care to identify.”

      Funny thing how the same apparent motives can lead to such different results. I hold similar beliefs and it is in fact those very beliefs that lead me to abhor modern Western feminism as currently incarnated with every fiber of my being. I am very much of the same mindset as Alexander Norris and BigJonno. (In fact I applaud Alex for making the important and oft-overlooked distinction between equity and gender feminism).

      Sometimes I wonder if I am truly living in the same world as my fellow human. I find it puzzling that any person would look at modern Western feminist “thought” and see anything more than a group of shrill, bigoted, bullying, man-despising extremists. If this take is truly the “odd experience” please redirect me to all these wonderful thoughtful feminists you’ve been associating yourself with because, for the life of me, I can’t find them, and believe me, I’ve tried.

      Do I view the idea of “feminism” now, and in the past, completely without merit? Of course not. There are many countries is the world were womens’ rights remain so far behind that the traditional women-focused activist approach can still be used to accomplish noble things. But an ideology that maintains an inherent, exclusive focus on womens’ interests and perspectives, and operates entirely in a presumed abuser-victim/ oppressor-oppressee/, good-evil paradigm of gender relations can never be made compatible with a “final understanding” of egalitarian principles on which to base permanent harmony.

      If you could show me why despite our common values you count yourself a member of a ideology I find not worthy of peeling off the bottom of my shoe I would be very interested. If it’s just the same old knee-jerk feminist insults please don’t waste your time. You don’t know me or my worldview. Even if you think you do, you don’t. :)

    • brkl says:

      BTW, I’m pretty sure there is a Privates level that takes place in a man’s penis. I can’t recall where exactly I read this, but it was possibly Dan’s Twitter.

  3. Ben Abraham says:

    I’m all on board with the latest LCD Soundsystem album with one exception of “Drunk Girls”! That track almost put me off it entirely. Bleugh!

    • Lack_26 says:

      There is a clever trick to that one, I call it… ‘the skip button’. But yeah, I really dislike that track, but the rest is excellent (especially You Wanted A Hit and Home).

    • Tim says:

      That video clip is fantastic

    • Lilliput King says:

      I haven’t listened to the latest yet because of hearing that single. Guess I’ll try it then.

  4. Vanderdecken says:

    “golf-club”

    I thought for a minute they’d recreated Goldmember’s pad at Studio 69 in the game, complete with Beyoncé and jive-talking Nathan Lane.

  5. LewieP says:

    Home is a great ‘sequel’ to All My Friends.

    • Dominic White says:

      That’s just sad. Microsoft have created a twisted walled garden where you can chainsaw a guy in half and watch as his intestines unravel all over the floor, but you can’t make comic reference to peoples naughty bits?

    • Bhazor says:

      American censorship in a nutshell.

    • CMaster says:

      @Dominic
      Remember that Xbox Live was a land that for several years, it wasn’t permitted to be openly homosexual on. It’s a strange world they construct there.

    • jeremypeel says:

      @ CMaster: Really? How so? I don’t doubt you, I’m just interested to know the details.

    • CMaster says:

      This is the article that set it all off as far as I can tell
      The logic basically seemed to be that being gay caused drama, and Microsoft were trying to tackle the rampant homophobia. So gay people should just shut up and not draw attention to themselves. (Oh, and while they’re at it, if women could avoid showing their seductive ankles, that would be great).

      They did, if you look a bit further, eventually make this policy more sensible.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    More of this papers annoyed me than made me happy. Still an excellent round up though.

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    Sagan says:

    That piece about the Ico rumour is awesome.

    I’m pretty sure that they can’t release Shadow of the Collossus again, because they were illegally using code that was under GPL license. Even if they took the relevant code out, they would still have to release the PS2 version under an open source license.

  8. Tom OBedlam says:

    The Gaga article is ace innit? Oddly everyone I know has said “yeah Gaga sounds awesome, but I really want to go party with Caitin Moran!”

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      drewski says:

      Absolutely brilliant, yeah.

    • Brendan C says:

      I’d wife Caitlin Moran just to get an early look her Times articles. She’s great.

      Also, Jochen Kolbe…

      “I am not interested to make any fraud because i have Wife and Child. I dont want scum. ”

      Yeah, know what you mean there fella. I hate scum too…

  9. Will says:

    The Privates article is sheer stupidness.

    Taking the piss out of chav mums is more of a class thing than a gender thing surely.

    And yes, with any feminism thing its best to “shut up and listen” because the stupid ones just want your attention for 10 seconds anyway.

  10. Phoshi says:

    I think at least part of it being hard to explain games to a non-gamer is we have very few common points of reference. TV shows can be described using other shows, or movies, or even books, and vice-versa, but most videogames as non-interactive experiences would be dull as heck – and there lies the problem. Most non-gamers seem to think the story in games is always the most important part, as it is with other media, and simply don’t ‘get’ how atmosphere or “gameplay” are worthwhile. A great pity, seeing as the only real way to explain those is to let the game do the talking, and putting a non-gamer in front of a 12 button controller, or worse, a 100+ key keyboard, does nothing but confuse and annoy.

    • Bowlby says:

      Video games definitely have a vocabulary that you have to know and understand if you want to get the most out of them. It’s an aspect most people probably just don’t expect when first getting to grips with them – if, indeed, they ever do.

    • Sulkdodds says:

      I dunno, man, anyone can understand what a “first person shooter” is. You shoot the first person you see.

    • Bowlby says:

      Well, that’s true, but first there’s the issues of controls, and then the issue of subtle game mechanics. I mean stuff like checkpoints, rechargable health, respawning enemy AI, scripted events, bosses, audio logs, aim-down-the-sight, etc. There are conventions that first-time players won’t necessarily get initially.

    • Sulkdodds says:

      It’s true, but that could be said for genres in other media as well. Think about the problems that people have with ‘sci-fi’ or ‘fantasy’, or wonder whether ‘soap opera’ would make any sense of not for its ubiquity. Jokes aside – and my previous post was half a joke – that Kotako article that Leigh Alexander links is rather silly.

      Never mind how it adds redundant extra terms to genre names in defiance of common usage – eg “TACTICAL turn-based strategy”. It keeps claiming that A) ‘normal’ genre classifications are about subject and topic, and B) that elements supposedly crucial to the “shooter” genre (shooting) or the “RPG” genre (role-playing) are confusingly present in other games as well.

      But this is nothing special. ‘Romantic Comedy’ describes more than subject matter – it also defines a set of formal and narrative conventions, like the hate at first sight, the slow build, the third-act fall-out, and the last dash for confession. Similarly, romance and comedy are big parts of many action films. You’d be hard pressed to find a film without ‘drama’, but that doesn’t mean ‘drama’ is a meaningless classification.

      Yeah, we ‘play roles’ in games other than RPGs. Yeah, we have ‘adventures’ in games that aren’t adventure games. And yeah, we shoot people in games that aren’t ‘shooters’. But plenty of shooters and RPGS also have puzzles, despite not being puzzle games, just as action films have comedy (they might even end in a marriage). The point is, these classifications illuminate what the game FOCUSES on. Roleplay games are those that put the role-playing element centre stage.

      There are genuine problems with our critical vocabulary – maybe that one of its primary sources is advertising spiel and feature lists – but these particular criticisms don’t fly. The cryptic character of games jargon owes to the cultural obscurity of the videogame form, not to any special opacity in its language. The real question is probably whether our terms are any use for describing, discussing and dissecting games – what they tell us, whether they unwittingly perpetrate particular assumptions, what they illuminate and obscure.

    • Bowlby says:

      Oh, no, I agree that this also applies to other media as well. The point I was originally trying to make is that I think a lot of people still think of video games as simple children’s toys and so don’t expect them to have their own particular set of genre conventions like film and TV do. With relation to the Kotaku article, I agreed with one of the commentators who basically suggested that there’s nothing uniquely obscure about video games, but that Leigh just didn’t do a good job in describing why they rawk.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Strangely I have found the keyboard to be a lot easier to understand when given to a non gamer. After all everybody has experience of them whether they are a gamer or not.

  11. Urthman says:

    Damn, I miss Old Man Murray. They would have savaged that ridiculous pimp-talking VG247 article so mercilessly that Patrick Garratt would’ve ended up begging for a job at The Mushroom.

  12. Robin says:

    While the Privates article misinterprets the press release, isn’t making a sex education game (or for that matter, any game) explicitly for teenage boys pretty massively sexist?

    • Will P says:

      I wouldn’t say so myself – the best way to get sex education through to teenage girls probably wouldn’t be to make a video-game for them. Some would play it, sure, but we’re not at a stage where teenage ladies are the most common of MW2 enthusiasts.

      Besides I don’t think there’ll be an age-gate and a sex-gate before you play, banning everyone with the wrong set of chromosomes before the mucky stuff kicks i.

    • MD says:

      Of course not. There’s no reason to interpret the designing of educational materials for a specific demographic as some sort of value judgment, or as implying that the topic is only relevant to that demographic. Sometimes it’s simply more effective to target a relatively narrow audience.

    • BigJonno says:

      No more or less sexist than targeting breast cancer awareness adverts at women.

    • James G says:

      I’d say it depends on the findings and reasoning behind it all. The best protections against STDs are the barrier methods, and one of the most common barriers is the condom. If you are finding that there is a lot of resistance against condom usage coming from males, than they are a good population to target, as any increase there will benefit both male and female, uh, sex doers.

      There is also a difference between the way the two sexes can control their protection. In addition to trying to ensure their partner wears a condom*, women also have other methods of protection/birth control available (albeit more often associated with avoiding pregnancy, than against STDs.) As the degree of control and methods available differ between the sexes, it makes sense to target them separately. (Although obviously ensuring that both partners in a relationship are at least aware of the methods of birth control/protection available to their partner)

      * Culturally it tends to be seen as more the provision of the male though. As a result there is likely to be a difference in the way the different sexes are taught about condom usage. Men need to be taught to use one, and the implications of avoiding condom usage. Women need to be empowered to be able to insist on condom usage (men to respect that insistence) and taught that it is not ‘slutty’ to have condoms available in case your bloke doesn’t.

    • Heliocentric says:

      @james abstenence (sp?) surely trumps barrier?

    • Robin says:

      @Will P – Who said anything about “MW2 enthusiasts”? Games are a wee bit broader than that.

      @BigJonno Because only males need to know about STIs? Buh?

      I acknowledge that there is a point to targeting different genders to achieve different specific practical goals with sex education. Maybe there’s some grounding in research going on here, but the messages seem to be “games are for boys”, “shooting games are for boys”, “sex is dirty”, “women are dirty”, etc. which strike me as massively unhelpful considering the dysfunctional state of sex education in the UK. I expect that this is a result of the ‘educational’ angle being more of an afterthought that they’d admit.

    • James G says:

      @Heliocentric

      I almost mentioned abstinence as an alternative, but decided to assume that we had already determined that sex was taking place.

    • Will P says:

      @Robin Well they are, clearly, I mention MW2 simply because I assume it’s up there with the most popular games among the Privates target audience. Especially on 360.

      Also, the sex education angle almost certainly came simultaneously with the design concept of Privates. I very much doubt they’d have got the C4 commission otherwise.

    • BigJonno says:

      If you’re trying to maximise the impact of any educational material, you have to deal in realities. The reality is that our culture places the responsibility of condom usage firmly in male hands. The reality is that the teenage boys who are engaging in unsafe sex are more than likely to be incredibly resistant to traditional methods of sex education. The reality is that many boys like playing shooty games.

      At the end of the day, it’s simple demographics. Men can get breast cancer, but it’s so much more common in women that it makes sense to target awareness campaigns at women. In the case of Privates, it’s been decided to target teenage boys with an unconventional campaign. No-one is saying that anyone who isn’t a teenage boy can’t play the game.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Of course it would only be targeted at males though. Did anyone here do their sex education at school WITH girls? Of course not we are completely different and it just wouldn’t make sense.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      : DrGonzo

      Actually our sex education lessons at school were done in mixed classes. Which in my mind is the right way to go about it because if there’s anybody you do need to be able to be comfortable talking about sex and sexual health related issues with it’s members of the opposite sex (even if you’re homosexual – need to be prepared for that potential stereotypical gay guy/girl who offers frank advice to straight friend role!).

      Of course it does just degenerate into throwing condoms around so it is debatable how much is actually learned!

  13. Benkyo says:

    Vicious, vicious piece on M.I.A.! Wow.

    • kwyjibo says:

      It wasn’t that vicious. Surely everyone sees the inevitable contradictions of being a popstar and political activist.

      She’s doing significantly better than Geldof. And regardless of how naive or exploitative the Born Free video may be, it evokes strong emotion in everyone who sees it. Whereas show someone the Telephone video, and the only feeling that anyone can come up with, is mild titillation, but mostly – they come out with nothing.

      A bored anodyne apathy for a hollow shell of an artist, whose video makes no artistic statement, other than how to make money without selling records. Of which, the answer is product placement. It’s not any telephone, it’s Virgin Mobile.

    • Arsewisely says:

      It was slyly undermining her artistic integrity. Well, Kieron puts it best: ‘petard-hoisting’. Her entire creative process seems to involve conscripting and organising people who do all the actual work, and seem happy to perpetuate her success – I suppose if she’s buying houses for them, why wouldn’t they? And if you contrast her seemingly half-formed political ideologies and ‘activism’ with, say, Shakira, then she does seem like a bit of a charlatan. I like MIA but the article did project her as some kind of transatlantic Tetsuo monster version of Nathan Barley. But then, it’s journalism so pinches of salt all round.

    • kwyjibo says:

      Yeah, it mentions multiple times how she has no actual sense of musicality. But it doesn’t really matter, because what comes out at the end is sublime, interesting and provocative.

      I felt the petard hoisting bit was when it presents her binary political ideology as flawed. But since when has binary political ideology ever not been flawed?

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I found a lot of the article made groan about the agit wanker I used to be when I was 15, a phase she doesn’t seem to have grown out of.

      Its interesting that her and Gaga are compared by proximity in the original post. On the one hand you have Gaga, who is a fantastically talented woman who has built a collective around her, the Haus of Gaga, to turn her own artistic intentions into reality. Then you have MIA, who seems to exist not as an artist per se, but as a catalyst for the artist endevours of others. Childish politics aside, thats still a pretty impressive gift, like Nico.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      a fantastically talented woman

      Do what now?

      A fantastically talented agent provacateur and media puppeteer – c.f. Malcom McClaren – but no more than middling musical talent – see also, err, Malcalm McClaren, Lily Allen etc.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      Ooh have to disagree most strongly there badger. If you listen to her album there’s a huge amount of pop history homaged, smart, funny lyrics and a true show woman’s flair. In a sea of indentikit pop acts she stands, musically, head and shoulders above everyone else. And that’s without even discussing her live act.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Tom: I’ve only heard the singles, and I find them far less interesting than her outfits.

    • kwyjibo says:

      No, Gaga’s music is uninspired pop dance drudge. The only thing she offers is the answer to how one makes money in the music business in the era of free downloads.

      And that’s to replace everything with theatricality. Become a brand. Sell everything but the music itself. Congrats, it’s as if pop music isn’t dead. Only, it is.

  14. Mil says:

    A delicate one this – as always with any feminist point, it’s better to shut the hell up and listen.

    What a strange statement. Why should a “feminist point” be afforded any more protection from intellectual scrutiny than anything else?

    • DrugCrazed says:

      Because feminists, along with the Daily Mail, get very angry and don’t listen. There’s no point talking with them about it.

    • Heliocentric says:

      This is a majority male channel and white knights are a terrible thing.

    • DrugCrazed says:

      If you ever went on the PCG forums, there was a guy who thought piracy was evil and blah blah blah. We had 189 pages before we gave up on him. All we said is why we did what we did and he assumed we were the devil.

      It’s a similar thing here. She thinks that she’s being righteous and the best of humanity. Nothing we say will make a change to it.

    • Dolphan says:

      Because people tend to ignore and dismiss feminist points without actually engaging with them, challenging their own assumptions, or facing up to the troubling aspects of our culture they sometimes highlight?

    • MD says:

      That’s true, Dolphan, but it’s also why articles like the linked one are so unfortunate. From my perspective (as someone who genuiney tries to engage with viewpoints that don’t immediately make sense to me, and values honest attempts to improve the world over easy cynicism) the author chose a very offensive and unnecessarily combative way of expressing a semi-informed opinion.

    • Mil says:

      @Dolphan:

      You could say the same thing of any ideology. I fail to see how feminism is different or deserving of special treatment.

    • Dolphan says:

      @MD – I agree

      @Mil – While that’s true to an extent, I think feminism suffers from knee-jerk reactions and a lack of willingness to engage much more than more ‘economic’ positions such as socialism or libertarianism, which I suspect has a lot to do with the fact that engaging with it means dealing with the possibility of some rather unpleasant conclusions about your own attitudes and ideas. There’s a similar problem with race issues, but I think that too is a bit less bedevilled with misconceptions and dismissiveness.

    • MD says:

      The thing is, the article could so easily have been more along the lines of “I consider elements a and b of this game and/or press release offensive for reasons x and y, and believe that it could be harmful for reason z”, and even “it seems to reflects misogynistic attidudes, in ways a, b and c”. That might have stimulated some critical reflection on the part of the creators and the community, as well as opening the door for genuine discussion and possibly some ground given on one or both sides. Instead, the author chose the most inflammatory and personally judmental route possible, and flat out accused (‘accused’ barely seems like the right word, it was presented simply as a statement of fact) the guys who wrote the game of hating women and using their work as an outlet and promotional tool for that hatred. Aside from being grossly unfair, that’s inevitably going to a) put the creators on the defensive straight away, and b) forfeit the opportunity to go beyond preaching to the converted and wallowing in outrage together, ensuring that you’ll do no actual good whatsoever.

    • MD says:

      Sorry, I wrote that before seeing your response. It was intended as a clarification/extension of my earlier post, though, rather than a ‘look here you, if you didn’t agree with me before then surely you will now!’, so I guess it wasn’t a complete waste of time. I really need to go to bed now though, before I work myself up too much and/or bore everyone else senseless by going on and on any further.

    • Mil says:

      @Dolphan:

      I disagree. “Socialism” is used as a dirty word by mainstream media and large portions of the public in the USA, in spite of barely knowing anything about it (other than it’s what “commies” do). Needless to say, the many interesting points of Marx’s economic analysis are never, ever discussed by those people. You could say the same of capitalism in other parts of the world. And both socialism and capitalism have plenty to say about human nature.

    • Dolphan says:

      @Mil – I was being UK-centric, I admit.

    • Premium User Badge

      Sagan says:

      Re: Why to just listen to feminists:

      Because in my experience everyone always immediately contradicts what a feminist says. Even women. At least when it is something non-obvious. Few people nowadays would contradict you when you say women should earn as much as men. But as soon as it is about sex or about portrayal of women in media or many other things, people always say “oh it’s not so bad” or “come on, that’s not true anymore” or even “the feminists are just wrong.” (the last one, admittedly, was uttered by a woman who was drunk at the time)
      And then, when you try to argue with feminists, you make so many mistakes, as can be seen by Dan’s comment on that piece.

      In this case the obvious response in these comments has been: She doesn’t understand that the press release is parody of misogyny instead of misogyny. But then if you took that away maybe she would still make a valid point.
      And from just having briefly scanned these comments, I don’t see that mentioned anywhere.

    • The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

      @DrugCrazed;

      Beautiful, beautiful irony

    • DrGonzo says:

      Why is everyone so quick to bundle feminists in with each other? It’s like saying those socialist are all full of nonsense. Except for the fact that it’s a massive group of people who’s views can’t all just be bundled in together. This is by no means targeted at everyone here, but Jesus Christ the comments here on today about feminism have made me quite depressed.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Mil: Quick one on this – as I’m too tired to step into any other part of this debate*. There’s nothing specific about feminism. It’s about any prejudiced-against group explaining what’s on their wick. You want to know about sexism/racism/homophobia/whatever? You listen to the people who suffer it and you don’t go in barging with your arguments until you actually get what people are annoyed about.

      The implicit thing is that I’m talking about me – as in, a bloke. When a woman picks up on something they consider sexist, my immediate urge isn’t to go in and start arguing with fine detail. I listen to it all, because it’s a perspective I don’t have first hand. And not understanding or even thinking about the perspective is what underlies most prejudice.

      KG

      *And I was going back and forth on posting it, as I did know the thread would go like this.

  15. mister k says:

    Oh rps commenters, please don’t make such comments on feminists

    “its this kind of thing that makes feminists look bad”

    Feminists tend to read things from a feminist viewpoint, looking for examples of misogyny in texts. From a lack of context this can be read as quite offensive, especially the press release. Now they probably should wait for the context, but its easy to get drawn in- we’ve all done it after all. They absolutely have a right to be offended, and its unfortunate that Dan chose to claim that the game isn’t misogynist- thats not the creators purvue unfortunately.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I’ve sent this to a few of my feminist friends none of whom have the slightest idea about gaming, and those that have got back to me have said that it looks quite funny and the lass clearly is trying to pick a fight for where there isn’t one. If other feminists think that she makes them look bad, I’ll wager that this is the sort of thing that makes feminists look bad.

    • BigJonno says:

      So if someone claims that your creative work is offensive, you’re not allowed to state that no offence was intended? Considering that they’d been accused of making a game just to spread their hatred of women, I think Dan’s response was positively saintly.

    • mister k says:

      “The game itself is in no way misogynistic, offensive to women, or offensive to men. ”

      As a creator you can claim you had no intention to make a game that was any of those things, you can argue that they’re not those things because of those things. You don’t get to claim that they are NOT those things.

      His response is measured and good, but such a claim is unfortunate, because, as I say, creators of their work do not get to decide what their content is or isn’t.

    • MD says:

      By the same token, though, the author of the article had absolutely no right to claim that “No matter how much we try to make excuses for them and work to find the positive aspects of this sort of game, the developers are dead set on regaling us with their hatred of women.”

      Given that he was responding to a pretty vicious personal attack, rather than simply a suggestion that his game and/or PR is offensive, I reckon his reaction was admirably restrained. Which doesn’t mean you can’t call him out on parts of it, of course. But surely he deserves some slack.

    • Nick says:

      I shall start examining every out of context thing I can find for things I can interpret as misandry, it’ll be totally worthwhile.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @mister k “Feminists tend to read things from a feminist viewpoint, looking for examples of misogyny in texts.”

      See, normal people read something and THEN make their analysis of the content. Not cruise around with a conclusion hoping to find justification after the fact. That would be the difference between political extremists and normal folk.

    • Jayt says:

      It was a pretty horrid sensationalist piece though…

  16. mister k says:

    oh sigh, wrong place again…

  17. Heliocentric says:

    Uptight>stupid

  18. DrugCrazed says:

    HAPPYFACE!!!

    Kieron, you’ve made this weekend a lot better. I’m in a very good mood now. Feel free to ask questions or somesuch about the DrugCrazed post, either here or on the site. I’ll try to keep track of them both.

  19. BigJonno says:

    Ten-dollar words? What’s wrong with pounds, or euros, or florins!

    Goddamn cultural imperialists.

  20. Heliocentric says:

    Either, really. You choose.

  21. Koozer says:

    A challenge: describe Dwarf Fortress to a non-gamer in two sentences.

    • DeliriumWartner says:

      Imagine the Mines of Moria in the Lord of the Rings. You are the miners.

    • Heliocentric says:

      Lord of the rings survival horror as a management game.

      1 sentence.

    • Sulkdodds says:

      You have seven dwarves, a bunch of tools, a wilderness, and you have to build a civilisation from scratch. The simulation is so complicated that some guy built an 8-bit computer inside of it, and it worked.

      (no need to tell them about the ‘losing is fun’ part. That’s a surprise)

    • DeliriumWartner says:

      I suppose the point isn’t to describe what the game is, but more about why the game you love is so great.

    • arqueturus says:

      @Heliocentric

      What’s a survival horror?

    • Dominic White says:

      “Command a clan of industrious dwarven miners in an incredibly hostile fantasy world. Create your own personal subterranean utopia from nothing, or die trying.”

      That’s two sentences and gives the rough concept, but I can scarcely describe an episode of a TV show in two sentences, let alone something as sprawlingly complex as a game like Dwarf Fortress.

      Now, I could do it in a paragraph.

    • Premium User Badge

      Sagan says:

      @DeliriumWartner:
      That is a brilliant description.

    • Dood says:

      Dwarf Fortress: All the fun of locking manic depressive, alcoholic midgets with anger issues in a box but with none of the clean up.

      (stolen from the DF Forums)

    • Premium User Badge

      jaheira says:

      An over-rated Theme Park clone. With a crappy UI.

      Do I win five pounds?

    • Superbest says:

      Back in the day tvtropes described it in a line of their hideous 12 pt Arial font. Something about cannibal elves and killer elephants… It was enough for me to start playing it. Not sure what their current descriptions say.

      Jaheira: 0/10, troll harder

    • Smithee says:

      Thanks Delirium! I’ve been struggling all week to explain to my friends what this strange DF game is, and you’ve given me a start. Now if I can find a way to work in “catsplosion” and “naked, insane dwarf” I’ll be set.

    • DeliriumWartner says:

      No problem Smithee. I work for a major video-game retailer and as I have a lot of passion for games I often find myself trying to explain why I love a particular game, and why they should play it. The best way I usually find to do that is to make my passion obvious, but also to try and understand what their favourite part of the game would be.

      Recently my best example would be selling Red Dead Redemption (boo hiss, naughty console game) to a group of young lads *ahem* chavs *ahem. The fact that you can hogtie a nun and throw her in front of an oncoming train had them rather excited.

  22. SF Legend says:

    All this feminism talk has made us lose sight of what’s important. Posting more songs with the word money in them! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_anbEJsr6s

  23. Kid A says:

    Week – made.
    Unfortunately I’m probably not going to be able to get any further with Jochen, as he’s threatening me with all sorts of legal troubles and having my blog shut down.

    • Auspex says:

      I got an “Official apology” email from Jochen earlier today.

      I’m starting to feel sorry for the guy.

      I truly think he’s just feckless rather than some sort of evil scammer.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I’ve felt a bit sorry for him since I read the PCG interview, I’ve no idea what his intentions were, I don’t care to guess. But when a sizeable portion of the internet are accusing you in a language you barely speak, it must be awful.

    • Skusey says:

      It’s a sad story, it really seems to me to just be a man trying to something nice and messing up, and the internet has bollocked him for it.

    • Brendan C says:

      Oh, wake up and smell the shame fellas! Jochen understands way more than he lets on. Conveniently, the most incriminating questions and accusations are the ones he “doesn’t understand.” He seems to me to be a dodgy fellow, now trying hard to apologise his way out of a big, internet shaped hole – and you’re buying it!? He’s still suspect in my books.

  24. Schmung says:

    There’s a subset of people who seem to derive a perverse pleasure from being insulted and outraged by things. I read that article on privates (and god help me the comments as well) and then dumped the author and everyone else getting het up about it in the same mental bucket as Daily Mail readers and the more militant Guardianistas. Numpties the lot of ‘em.

  25. fuggles says:

    For someone who made such a well written adventure game that is one poorly worded press release. The tone isn’t right at all and it does just come across as offensive rather than parody.

  26. Mario Figueiredo says:

    A delicate one this – as always with any feminist point, it’s better to shut the hell up and listen – though my main note that I think it’s borderline cultural imperialism when someone from outside the culture, unaware of the subject of the satire (The Daily Mail), unilaterally declares the satire is out of bounds. Not all countries are the same, and diktats to pretend they are irk me

    I have so many issues with this quote, Kieron… where to start? From the beginning.

    You’d be surprised by your use of the term “feminist”. Does it matter if women who are clearly not feminist, and to whom I shown this game, felt sick about it and shrugged their shoulders? While others didn’t and actually found the game funny. The issue is thus mostly a personal matter. But you are wrong to think the game doesn’t offend women, when clearly women are offended by the game. For all the little that should matter to you or anyone else, my wife found it unnecessarily provocative and even brushing the offensive and not very happy about the thought teenager kids around the age of our eldest daughter could possible be playing this.

    Cultural imperialism is the notion that you can force your culture down the throat of everyone else. Not the notion that you should protect your culture from outside influences. Let’s be clear about that.

    As for countries not being the same, I’m not sure what are you trying to imply. That all brits are a bunch of unimaginative dickheads who can’t merge education and entertainment into a sensible, non insulting, work? Sure not. Because some of the best edutainment I’ve been seeing in the world is the one being exported by your country. But do not pretend you write for, and address only, your own country when writing a game, or even when you comment about it in RPS. If you want to dance at the tune of protectionism, not allowing yourself to be submitted to outside criticism, don’t write on the web and them they should be announcing games on the web. When the time comes, they should not sell the game outside the UK. Otherwise, expect, and accept, that there will always be criticism for all over the world. Deal with it, or raise a tight nice wall around your pretty country.

    Finally, for failing to see the satire. It’s a satire. Failing to see it is really not the real problem with many satires. Is whether you feel or not they went overboard and became offensive. As I said above, some will think so, others will not. But do not pretend a game developer has a keen sense for proper satire, when even some of the great writers agree satire is one of the hardest forms of expression. For some people the game is offensive. But what really, really throws them of (that is my case) is the quote from their website. Which is in stark contrast with their oh-so-honorific intention to product an educative title, furthering the argument in the minds of those who already found the game slightly off-balance.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      BTW, I’ve been having some difficulty for the past few days to access the forums area in order to fix typos, or otherwise edit my posts. It’s very slow to get in there and it often even boots me out. There used to be an edit button here on the blog, or so I seem to remember. But that has been gone too for a while.

      In any case, sorry for the typos (there are a few). But I think you can still infer the meaning.

    • IdleHands says:

      “The issue is thus mostly a personal matter.”

      This pretty much sums my feelings up, this is a personal matter and not one of gender / race / culture. Which why the linked article is badly done, it tries to impose issues that are not needed. She could of easily said that it was badly done or the PR is misleading in it’s wording, that the satire present is not obvious and falls victim to Poe’s law. But no the article merely touts that they the developers are clearly misognistic women haters, missing all intellegent discussion.

      About the countries differing cultures. Well this game is specifically designed to be played by a very specific market, teenage males in Britain. Thus the games developers must connect with them and them alone, it doesn’t really matter if others outside the intended market don’t understand that culture only if that specific culture being targeted does. Does that make sense? Dangit me write not so good, hopefully you get the gist of what I mean there though.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      @mario I think you’ve slightly misinterpreted the ‘all countries aren’t the same’ statement. I think its metaphorically comparing countries with media. The woman is judging a medium she doesn’t know about by comparing it to ones that she does. And all media are not the same.

      I think… I may be wrong.

  27. Mario Figueiredo says:

    @Idlehands

    Yup. Got your meaning alright. I find a little distressing however that “connecting with the target audience” means producing the type of press release we have seen there. I <b>know</b> (notice the emphasis) for a fact that young brits can still appreciate an attempt at educating them about sex without that meaning explaining things to them in cheap and offensive terms.

    As for her article, I agree it is badly aimed. If you want to know what troubles me most about her article is that she completely fails to address what I find is a much more troubling social behavior concerning that quote; how pregnant or teenager mothers are seen in our societies. It really pays to read the quote again.

    @Tom OBedlam

    Oh! I missed that angle alright. Thanks for clarifying.

  28. Premium User Badge

    Sagan says:

    I have always liked Lady Gaga, but after reading that I have decided that I am going to become a fan.

    I am now going to listen to her songs until I love them.

    • Mr Labbes says:

      Been there, done that. And rightfully so, I might say.

    • Vinraith says:

      Lady Gaga’s primary value so far appears to be as a target of fairly hilarious parody. The Christopher Walken rendition of “Poker Face” beats anything she’s done herself by miles. For that matter, so does the South Park version.

  29. Mo says:

    I read the Lady Gaga thing earlier in the week, really amazing article! I love Lady Gaga, but there are tonnes who think she’s a zero talent popstar. She’s clearly quite talented, and clearly has a point to make. Moreover, she is ridiculously hard working! It’s a huge inspiration to an indie developer, I think. :)

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      absolutely right, she takes the die hard true indie attitude to her music, its not only who she is but wants to share as much as she can with her fans, which I admire hugely. I regard her and Frank Turner as the hardest working people in the music scene at the moment.

      This article about her nails part of why she’s so great, but you’ll have to ignore the columnists fairly obnoxious style. http://thequietus.com/articles/03783-why-lady-gaga-beats-lou-reed-david-bowie-and-iggy-pop-in-a-chicken-minute

    • Thants says:

      There seems to be a weirdness gap between her videos and her music. She makes these insane, avant-garde videos but the music over them kinda seems like any other pop-song. It feels out of place. I wish the music was more like The Knife or something.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I rather like the discordance between her music and her videos, for what it’s worth.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      I, personally, don’t see a vast discordance, but no matter. As my Mum continually insists on saying, no matter how hard we try, “what would the world be like if we were all alike?”

      If we were all like me they’d be a damn sight more battlemechs roaming the streets, thats for fucking certain!

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      The first indie-developer who starts wearing enormous Lady-Gaga-esque hats gets all the coverage they ever want.

      KG

    • Tyone Slothrop says:

      Correspondence to Mr. Tom OBedlam at 5:08 pm.

      With due respect, there are literally thousands of people who far harder for far less in the music ‘scene’. For instance; a contemporary jazz-blues-Latin-Eastern guitarist whom I’m fond of, Derek Trucks manages over 300 shows per year with his own ensemble as well as with the Allman Brothers Band in addition to recording and producing his own material and making guest appearances on fellow musicians albums like the indefatigable McCoy Tyner. Somehow he also managed to join Eric Clapton on a world tour in 2006. He also has children, how he has any leisure time to also read copiously and incessantly refine and expand his musical vocabulary, I have no idea.

      My idol is John Coltrane; he managed whilst continuously playing with virtually innumerable musicians to produce over 55 albums in a twenty year career not including releases in others bands such as with Miles Davis on Kind of Blue and tour during a period of intense racism in America. During his prolific career he managed to quit heroin, alcohol and cigarettes simultaneously without assistance, create unique changes eponymously named thereafter, pioneer his ‘sheets of sound’ soloing technique and master playing on three instruments across several distinct sub-genres each of which he continuously pushed and explored to unprecedented degrees in addition to constant practice and learning.

      I make no judgement here about Gaga, though if I just may digress; In my personal estimation Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holliday, Janis Joplin, Ella Fitzgerald, Patti Smith and Aretha Franklin and many others are incomparably more gifted who deserved the disproportionate success Gaga seems to have received, though what they did achieve was without the help of sophisticated mass marketing. I just wished to inform you there are innumerable people both famous and obscure, past and contemporary who put her to shame in terms of work.

  30. GB says:

    As an OMG girl, I’m torn over the Hoyden About Town piece. Hipster-ism is a pox, and the press release is a miss for me (it’s far inferior to this one anyway)

    However, the way they treated Dan is abhorrent and their attitude is a complete turn-off. I don’t see how they can convince anyone who isn’t already on their wavelength. They should consider that when people are ‘flouncing’ away it’s because they’ve released there’s no point in arguing, but it’s not always because they’ve realised you’re right.

    The thing that really gets me is that I’ve been taking more of an interest in this sprawling, squamous ‘women in games’ issue. When the console game I’ve anticipated the most is selling itself with sexy lingerie in the Daily Sport it’s a bit hard to ignore, innit? And as I’ve been reading more about it and linking to things here and there, and at one point becoming so despondent at the situation that I was wondering why I was even pursuing this hobby, I’ve been hearing more comments from my (male) friends basically dismissing everything I had to say on the subject, or when they didn’t disagree with me, finding other complaints people have made about how females are portrayed in games and commenting how they disagree with those instead and seemingly ignoring my original statement. I flipped out at one of these friends last night, actually, which I still feel terrible for, because while he made me angry, at least he wasn’t the guy who said Alyx and Jade are ‘fucking boring’. Anyway…

    The thought that these people I know might go to this article, see the blogger and commenters tearing into Dan for nebulous reasons, and be reassured that they’re in the right and that I’m just being over-sensitive makes me want to cry or hurl. Probably both, at the same time. So yeah, thanks for that, Hoyden About Town. Thanks.

    (As a possibly related note, this website occasionally plays a sound-only Head and Shoulders for Men ad at me which is a bit disconcerting. Is this meant to be happening?)

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      However, the way they treated Dan is abhorrent and their attitude is a complete turn-off.

      You know, GB, it’s really a philodox effect. We look our absolute worst on comment boxes. I actually have plans to write about this soon enough… In any case, it’s really not that different from the things you read here on this very thread. I mean, dialog rules of engagement are completely thrown out the window when you have the power to post a one-liner without any social repercussions. Or, when you think you can define “feminism” without saying a word about “machismo”.

      The thought that these people I know might go to this article, see the blogger and commenters tearing into Dan for nebulous reasons, and be reassured that they’re in the right and that I’m just being over-sensitive makes me want to cry or hurl.

      This is the thing that bothers me too. This empowerment some people tend to get when someone else weakly supports an argument that goes against their views. It’s a form of intellectual dishonesty, because the readers can themselves often very easily note the weaknesses and instead of ignoring them, choose to use them for their own benefit.

      And it’s not just the the idiocy of some of the replies to Dan. The fact that the article author fails to recognize the meaning of “glory-holes” is hailed as the most important reason to ignore everything she has to say (as if that was actually important, or if someone absolutely had to know every slang expression when it is not even presented within a context). But more sad, the fact that she has something to say, and some feel this isn’t worth an honest and frank debate just because they disagree.

    • Spinks says:

      “I’ve been hearing more comments from my (male) friends basically dismissing everything I had to say on the subject”

      I think those issues go further than a single feminist reading of a badly written press release. If it wasn’t this blog post, there’d be somewhere else online where those friends could go to justify their attitudes.

      You can’t require that the whole internet has to be careful not to set your mates going. It would be better to either talk to them about it or try to find other people to play with online who are either female or more open to treating female concerns as valid. There are honestly plenty of cool people around.

      To be honest, I’m saddened by people here who read a single feminist blog post and think that it puts all feminists in a bad light. But why exactly would it do that? Do they think every feminist writer needs to get his/ her copy approved by the secret council to show that it accurately represents the current state of the feminist thought hivemind or something?

    • Tim says:

      @GB I completely agree with you.

  31. Frosty says:

    Pretty disgusted with that anti-privates article but at the same time fairly disgusted with the attitude of some comments here. They may be a minority, but their voices hold sway regardless.

  32. Starky says:

    Maybe it is just me but anyone for any cause or any reason that just wants me, requires or expects me to just “shut the hell up and listen” is automatically filed under “ignore”.

    Only people who come at you with the attitude or expectation that you “question and think” are worth more than a millisecond of your time.

  33. sigma83 says:

    @Frosty: That’s fallacious thinking. Not every opinion is created equal. Some are factually erroneous or born from mistaken premise, or any host of flaws. One is not obligated to given equal weight to all opinions.

  34. The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

    Am I the only one who caught a hint of latent psychosis in Craig Pearson article?

    • Kid A says:

      “Latent”? Guy’s a maniac.

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      He certainly seems the type of guy you that you wouldn’t want to spill his pint…

    • Nick says:

      He always plays a spy in TF2, that should tell you all you need to know.

    • Paul B says:

      As someone who’s experienced latent psychosis, I’d say no – he just got really, really angry. But, yeah, wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alleyway ;)

  35. Premium User Badge

    oceanclub says:

    I added one comment over on that thread and considering adding more, but it’s pointless attempting to have a dialogue with someone whose language you don’t share. After redefining the term “gloryhole” to mean “vagina”, they have now decided that “hipsterism” means “irony”; as far as I’m aware, hipsterism has always been about ironic nostalgia.

    P.

    • Stu says:

      I think the term is “hipster -ism”, rather than “hipsterism”; ie. ironic use of racism, sexism, etc. rather than hipsterish irony. In other words, Gervaisian irony.

    • Premium User Badge

      oceanclub says:

      A Google for the term “hipster-ism” suggests that the only person who uses the phrase to mean “ironic racism” is, in fact, the OP of the thread (they get the second hit for that term). And honestly, is the meaning of your term depends on whether or not it contains a hyphen, then uses a clearer term (“ironic bigotry” will do fine).

      P.

    • Dolphan says:

      I think you’re missing that it’s two words, “Hipster -ism” and is a play on ‘hipsterism’ in the first place. And yes, she originated it, but she also originated anti-feminist bingo – it’s quite a big site.

    • Premium User Badge

      oceanclub says:

      Yes, I did indeed miss the space. How clever.

      P.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      Would it be really childish to make the obvious “I hope she doesn’t just expouse ironic feminism” gag?

      On balance I think it probably would be. Which is probably some kind of ironic agism.

      If I really wanted to stretch this I could end with ironic j . . . no best not.

  36. Tim says:

    M.I.A responded to that crazy nyt journalist btw.
    http://pitchfork.com/news/38971-mia-continues-attack-on-new-york-times-journalist-posts-new-song/

    Even pitchfork has the title of that blog post loaded though, which is a bit stupid.

  37. N says:

    MADNESS!

  38. Premium User Badge

    Sagan says:

    The piece about Heavy Rain reminded me about how I felt during the early parts of that game. Before reading that piece I mostly remembered my reaction to the later parts with cutting off fingers and performing stripteses and shooting lots of thugs.
    It kind of is a shame that the game became so actiony after a while. Then again I have no idea how they could have made it differently. You just can’t make a big story-driven game about regular problems. And you can’t make a small game with the same quality of production.

  39. dethgar says:

    So do all europeans listen to glam techno pop?

  40. Breaker Morant's Ghost says:

    l sure am glad I don’t take feminism seriously.

  41. Mo says:

    I think it’s insane that she’s writing her next album and touring *at the same time*. How does she do it?! How does she tour, write AND party super hard? Insane, insane woman who I have an enormous amount of respect for.

    Yeah, so her videos are incredibly weird, but I mean that in the best possible way. They’re also a return to the epic 8-minute long music video, which I haven’t enjoyed since Micheal Jackson way back in the day (seriously, look up MJ on youtube, his videos & concerts are still magic!)

    And while her music is certainly pop, I don’t think it’s a carbon copy of what’s out there. I think she has her own unique style, to the point where I can pick out a new Lady Gaga single on the radio on first listening.

    • Mo says:

      Blah, my first reply fail. :(

      (That was suppose to be in response to the little Gaga thread I started a dozen or so posts up the page)

  42. Grape Flavor says:

    God, I loved Halo. I almost forgot about that game (probably due to the subsequent protracted screwing over of the PC community).

    Halo blew my mind back in 2003. What Half-Life did for singleplayer, for me, Halo did for multi. Vehicles, sprawling maps, complex team-based modes. Gameplay, graphics, physics, AI, were all top notch. When custom maps were introduced things just went bananas.

    Even now, as many of these features have become standard, there hasn’t been a true replacement. Halo had a unique feel. Something about the outlandish, cartoony art design and the the tongue-in-cheek attitude was really unique and likeable. IMO the sooner we see games break out of this psuedo-realistic “modern warfare” mold and do something with a little imagination again, the better.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Isn’t Master Chief a seven-foot tall faceless space marine?

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @FunkyBadger
      Yeah, I know. It had a unique atmosphere though. I’m not saying the story was high art, but you have to admit it had a different “feel”. Kind of a fun nonchalance to the whole thing.

      Maybe I’m just sick of “modern warfare” and the half-hearted attempts at “gritty” and “realistic” that often come with it. I want to be a huge green dude blasting goofy brightly colored aliens on a crazy ring world again, dammit!

      Oh well. Microsoft decided it was not to be. (I mean I could technically play Halo 2, but between being six years outdated and probably abandoned MP-wise, I don’t think it’ll be the same)

  43. Kid A says:

    The link to my Jochen Klobe interview is no longer valid, as he’s claimed to Tumblr that he holds the copyright to our email conversation, and they have deleted the post. I’ve put it back up, and am currently disputing the case with Tumblr.

    If anyone genuinely thinks that Jochen is really just criminally incompetent, I would hope that leads you to think again – for someone so very very sorry about what has happened, he was certainly quick to delete my posts showing that he was anything but.

    Also, if anyone could suggest some good, cheap webhosting for a blog? That’d be great.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      He really cannot claim any copyright over email conversations. That’s just impossible. I’m surprised Tumblr reacted the way they did. They must be a bunch of amateurs down there. Sorry.

      At most he could claim some sort of invasion of privacy when you decided to make them public. But for that there would have to exist a signed confidential agreement between you two. Otherwise it is up for grabs.

    • Kid A says:

      I signed absolutely no such thing. I even made it fairly clear (if you’ve seen the original post) that I was asking the questions and asking for the emails for the purpose of my article.

      They are definitely losing my faith – they’ve usually been quite a decent site to work with (I worked on a music blog at one point which was also run on there) – but this is leading me to the conclusion that, in order to be able to continue to write unimpaired, I’m going to have to host elsewhere.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      One explanation I can find for Tumblr behavior is that they didn’t even care to read your posts. And so took a pro-active stance just to cover their arses in case you were in fact breaking some copyright.

      And how could you? Well, if said emails were sharing material protected under a copyright license. Like for instance, they contained source code, transcripts of a book, etc. But that isn’t the case.

      Note however I’m not a lawyer, neither I have any studies in the area. I’m just have my own experience on the matter by virtue of my own status as a right-holder.

    • Kid A says:

      Given that their email read along the lines of “Jochen Klobe has informed us…” not “Jochen Klobe has informed us, and provided evidence which we have checked shows that…” I’m willing to assume that they are just being “pro-active” as you put it.

  44. Kid A says:

    Guess whose blog Jochen Kolbe had removed for “publishing copyrighted emails”?
    THIS GUY.
    If you read this Jochen – you are truly a class act, sir. Actively persecuting someone who gave you a platform for your views just because you didn’t like it when I published them? BRAVO.

  45. bill says:

    That article on Bioshock 2′s gold club mode was the most interesting for me.

    It does pretty well underline what’s wrong with the games industry. That part in Bioshock 1 was important, moving, well acted and had meaning. More than almost any other cutscene I can remember in a videogame. So we’lle make it into a multiplayer melee mode with a cute name!!

    Good grief. I feel depressed now.