The Sunday Papers

By Kieron Gillen on June 13th, 2010 at 10:56 am.

Sundays are for catching up the work you missed on Friday due to having to go along with most of RPS to a Wedding and compiling a list of the (especially this time, I think) fine (mostly) games related writing that crossed your desk this week and trying to not include a link to something with chiming guitars and a sort of forlorn faux-doomed 80s attitude. Go!

Failed.

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184 Comments »

  1. poop says:

    hate speach against men hahahahahaha oh my god

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Less laughing and more just facepalming here.

      I mean seriously. Stop trying to be the victim, you twats. Men are not “under attack”. Just because you think you’ve never said or done anything obnoxious doesn’t mean she didn’t notice you undressing her with your eyes.

      They had a point, they made it, then you cried about how feminists blew up America or something equally stupid.

      And if we’re gonna go for stereotyping, crying is not manly.

    • Seol says:

      Gotta love your “I’m gonna hit you, don’t you dare try to defend yourself” attitude. And of course I know that just by being a man I’m guilty by default, as an original sin of sorts,due to the wonderful concept of class co-responsibility. I guess you are the type to blame all immigrants for the crimes committed by a few as well, right?.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      They raise one good point, being that if the game was cathartic when you replaced men with black, jew, gay or such, would it not be racist then?

      Sure, this game isnt about hating black people, i think its just cathartic to shoot them in the face…

      That would be prejudice?

      The part about the smiling, though. That was aweful.

    • Gwyn says:

      That Rights Of Man piece is unreadably incoherent.

      The opening gambit: “Harassment can make you smile, smiling is good for you, therefore harassment is good for you!” is a quite striking bit of pretend concern.

      The racism comparison amounts to a reworking of that Harry Enfield sketch – “but if she came in here, making everyone black or jewish and gunning them all down, I would say OI! PENNY! NAAAAAOW!”

      And the whole thing is just peppered with a refusal to take any woman’s opinion seriously, at any time, because sexism is obviously only something a man knows how to approach rationally.

      And, like, genocide of men? Seriously?

      PS. Seol, Peter, you’re both wrong. Actually play the game and you’ll see why.

    • Seol says:

      Gwin: Read carefully. I was commenting on DJ Phantoon post, not on the game. Also, if I’m to be declared wrong, I expect some arguments as to why, not what amounts to “play this rubbish game and you’ll reach enlightenment”.

    • Thirith says:

      I have to say that as a man I find those rants about how men are really the oppressed ones deeply embarrassing. Yes, there are certain issues where men are worse off than women, but nothing that deeply entrenched and institutionalised to justify this whiny self-pity. If there’s anything intellectually honest and worth discussing in such writing, it’s drowned out by the amount of sheer drivel.

    • Gwyn says:

      Well, Seol, if you had played the game then you’d know the message isn’t “all men are guilty”. I know this undermines your chance to whinge, but that’s not my problem, nor the developer’s.

    • Seol says:

      Gwin: You either lack understanding, or are willfully ignoring what I’ve written. So allow me to reiterate :

      Besides calling the game “rubbish” in my previous post, I have made no comment on the game whatsoever. So your reply is irrelevant. If you wish to engage in a discussion (or an argument, as it may be) with me, I’d rather have you reply to what I’ve actually said, not to whatever you would like to imagine me saying in order to antagonize me.

    • Paradukes says:

      I’m not entirely sure how to feel about the game. Generally, I don’t have a problem with it (I mean, it’s just a form of escapism, and there’s nothing wrong with it really), but on the other hand, I’m pretty sure I’d have some major moral objections to a game that had positions reversed, i.e. a man gunning down women en mass.

      Now, the thing is, with regards to the arguments about how much uproar there’d be if the game was played from the viewpoint of a white man killing black people or a Nazi hunting down Jews, it’s certainly true that it would be horrendously objectionable. However, if the game were about a black dude killing white dudes, or a Jew gunning down Nazis, would anyone really bat an eyelid? I mean, the racially based version would probably strike a few notes of discord, but frankly I suspect everyone would be too embarrassed about the whole thing to really raise an objection. And hell, if I’m not mistaken, games like 50cent: Blood on the Sand and GTA San Andreas effectively were about black guys killing white guys, although in those cases race wasn’t the motivator. As for Jewish people killing Nazis, there’s been quite a few successful game franchises based around that notion.

      As far as I can tell, any time one group has faced oppression at the hands of another group, jokes and genocidal games with the once-oppressed attacking their oppressors are pretty much fair game, while any continuations on a theme of oppression would be right out of the question.

      So basically, I don’t have a problem with the game, but it has made me uncomfortably aware of certain double-standards that society takes for granted. And while the thought of women gunning down virtual men holds no concerns for me, I can’t help but wonder whether, on some level, it should…

    • Tei says:

      ” Just because you think you’ve never said or done anything obnoxious doesn’t mean she didn’t notice you undressing her with your eyes.”

      Is called Thinkcrimes.
      Wellcome to 1984 as a feminist distopia.

    • mandrill says:

      Hey Baby is hate speech. but its not hate speech of any particular gender, race, or religion. It isexpressing hate for a particularly vile form of behaviour, when directied against anyone by anyone..

      There are women who do what Hey Baby is expressing such hate against. If you’ve ever worked in a scottish theme pub (where the uniform for men is a kilt) and a drunken hen night comes in. You know exactly what I’m talking about.

      Those perpetrating this behaviour have a choice, more of a choice even than they do regarding their religion but thats another issue, either leer and catcall or not. One choice is right the other wrong. Hey Baby simply changes the consequences of that choice to; get shot in the face, or not. If that was the choice in the real world we would soon see such behaviour disappear from our society.

      This is not hatred of people, it is hatred of an unacceptable mode of behaviour which objectifies anyone it is directed against, no matter their gender or race.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Apparently, there’s a significant number of people on RPS who either think black people discriminating against white people isn’t racism, or else have very large amounts of problems with logic. Sexism works both ways. Racism works both ways. Just because one group was previous oppressed, attacked or discriminated against, they do not get a free pass to oppress their ex-oppressors.

      Is the concept of “two wrongs don’t make a right” really that hard to grasp?

    • Gwyn says:

      Seol: “And of course I know that just by being a man I’m guilty by default”

      If I’m wilfully ignoring what you’re written then I guess I’m in good company!

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Seol the discussion around “Hey Baby” has been going on since they put it on the front page. It is your fault for not going back into the archives. Because if you had, you’d know that it HAS been written about quite a lot.

      I’m also not saying men aren’t occasionally marginalized. What I am saying is people treat each other differently (specifically on the internet) due to gender. A female that talks a lot is an attention whore. A guy that talks a lot is fucking annoying. These are not the same archetypes even if the only difference most of the time is just gender. Or incompetent players! You know, where you were playing that one MMO and that chick wanted all the loot but wasn’t any good? Well, because you treated her differently, she came to expect it.

      So far out of gaming, I’ve found the less serious games are more friendly to both genders. Like TF2! Actually that’s the only one I can think of where “OMG A GURL!?” idiots are in the minority. (Hopefully the Macintosh users won’t change that.)

      Basically, “Hey Baby” was about women getting tired of being treated as sex objects. It wasn’t well done, it wasn’t well received and it certainly wasn’t a good shooter. What it did was start a discussion.

      Even if you don’t agree with that message, hopefully you can understand it. I myself hadn’t heard of the line of thinking of “don’t wanna be leered at, gotta dress conservatively”, or at least really conceptualized it, even when talking to my female friends. To them, it’s always just been a fact of life.

      In closing, we (men) are not the underdogs, shut up.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      In closing, we (men) are not the underdogs, shut up.

      This does not make discrimination against men suddenly not be sexism.

    • Seol says:

      Gwyn: Ok, let me explain it to you step by step, nice and easy.

      My “And of course I know that just by being a man I’m guilty by default” is sarcasm replied at DJ Phantoon’s “Just because you think you’ve never said or done anything obnoxious doesn’t mean she didn’t notice you undressing her with your eyes” which pretty clearly states that if you are a heterosexual man who thinks he has done nothing wrong to a woman, you are delusional, because you have by the very fact of being a heterosexual man.

      As you can see, I make no mention of the game, and despite that, you have stated twice that I’m claiming that the message of the game is “all men are guilty”, even after I’ve shown you twice (thrice with this one) that I’ve never claimed that.

      To make it more explicit, if I were to say what the message of the game is, it would be “it’s fun to pretend to shoot guys that hit on you on the street”. Which is something that I’d disagree with as well, but not as strongly, and for different reasons.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      You live in a far different and stranger place than I do if outright sexism towards men is anything beside a fringe behavior.

      Sure, sexism is wrong on all fronts, but the one that actually does damage is more worthy of attention, is it not?

    • jalf says:

      @Paradukes:

      However, if the game were about a black dude killing white dudes, or a Jew gunning down Nazis, would anyone really bat an eyelid?

      Yes. I would. And I’d like to think that the majority of people would. Racism isn’t “when white people do X to black people”. It is when race X does Y to race Z. White vs black or black vs white only matters in the historical context, that in our history, we’ve had an awful lot more of white people being jerks to black people. But that doesn’t make the inverse situation any less racist.

      So yes, I have a problem with white people gunning down black people, black people gunning down white people, jews gunning down nazis, nazis gunning down jews, men gunning down women and women gunning down men. Of course, in the games you mention, they generally get away with it by providing other reasons. In GTA you’re a black guy gunning down a lot of white people, yes, but you don’t do it because of your or their skin color. Which means it’s no longer just an act of racism. In, say, Wolfenstein, yes, you’re gunning down nazis (I’m not sure if you’re supposed to be playing a jew), but you don’t do it because they’re nazis as such. You do it because they’re guilty of some big evil acts, and to stop their evil master plans to do whatever the story says they’re going to do.

      And I’ve played a few games where you play a woman killing hundreds of men (I can’t think of a game where the reverse is true, probably because women tend to be rare in games), but never one where you did it simply because of their gender. If that was the case, I’d find the game pretty offensive too. Just like if it’d been based on race, beliefs, eye color, age or left/right-handedness.

    • jalf says:

      and perhaps I should just mention that I haven’t played Hey Baby (and I can’t be bothered to), nor followed most of the debate around it, but it seems like you are not killing simply because people have a different gender than the protagonist but because, well, they’re being jerks.

      Which means that simply calling it sexist is missing the point a bit.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Oh and- I apologize for not saying before, I do NOT agree with the New Statesman article. I cannot imagine Kieron Gillen being a “furious male commentator” against hardly anything, let alone “Hey Baby”. I do not believe it is possible to infuriate the ego of the hivemind.

    • jalf says:

      I assumed the “furious male commentators” referred to the comments (the link went to #comments, and later in the article when she quotes KG, she doesn’t exactly make him sound like a furious male commentator.

    • Paradukes says:

      @Jalf: Fair point.

    • Grunt says:

      @DJ Phantoon – As Jalf says, you’ve misread that paragraph, mate. She wasn’t calling Keiron a furious male commenter – she was pointing directly at the comments that we RPS readers put there afterwards, THEN she moved on to suggest that Keiron hit the nail on the head in his later comments about the perspective of male privilege.

      Keiron wasn’t a furious anything. He was just disappointed by the responses he got from many RPS readers. :)

      Like Thirith I am also deeply embarrassed by nonsensical male tirades like this one. Embarrassed and angered. I’ve left a comment on their page expressing my disapproval, much as I tried to do for the wrong-headed piece on Hoydenabouttown when that first aired (which didn’t pass the comment censors, apparently): if people can’t analyse things rationally then they shouldn’t be writing articles, plain and simple. It just makes the polarisation of opinion even worse that prevents a sensible discourse from happening. I’m tired of dealing with male bullshit as filtered by close female friends and relatives, and even more tired of having to work to convince a woman to trust me as something different from these jerks who wouldn’t understand basic respect if it scampered up and gnawed off their dicks.

    • Vinraith says:

      For what it’s worth Kieron, the general outrage and commentary surrounding all this has made your point better than you ever could have alone. When all this started I’d genuinely thought that sexism of the sort I’ve seen over these last couple of weeks didn’t exist anymore, at least not in the western world amongst individuals of reasonable education level. I’m embarrassed for my gender.

    • perilisk says:

      I don’t see why something can’t be both cathartic and hateful. I mean, a game about blasting old people off the road for driving too slow would be cathartic (if you have to put up with that annoyance a lot), but it could definitely be hateful as well. On the other hand, it’s not really guaranteed to be hateful. I guess a lot of it would depend on how tongue-in-cheek the violence seemed. Humor makes it violent and satirical, seriousness makes it sound like someone is planning a nursing home shooting.

      That said, it sounds to me like a crapload of whining from both genders. Men shouldn’t really feel threatened by this, and the writer complaining about how people “told her to smile” isn’t exactly a paragon of stoicism by any stretch of the imagination.

    • Dr. Derek Doctors, DFA says:

      Sexism works both ways. Racism works both ways.

      Ooh! Ooh! Call on me! Call on me!

      Okay, look, the thing about racism, sexism and other forms of structural oppression is that they arise from an inequality of power between the groups concerned. In an abstract sense, bigotry knows no bounds, but when applied to a social context, it is critical to understand who (perhaps literally) holds the whip hand in the intergroup relationship. There is no one-to-one relationship between the bigotry of the powerful and the bigotry of the weak. (And there are no absolutes in power: every master is another’s servant. Even the wealthiest white American male is a secret servant to the Rigellian lizard-people.)

      For example, a black man in America is under constant threat of being stopped, harassed, arrested, and prosecuted by authorities. Every woman in pretty much any country will spend her days being sexually harassed, leered at, discriminated against, and having her ideas and accomplishments dismissed because of her gender. These are such commonplaces that they are factored into how they live from day to day. These are such commonplaces that those of us who are white, heterosexual men simply don’t understand the degree that it’s part of their lives.

      The structural aspects of group-based bigotry creates conditions of oppression. “Hey Baby” might hurt a man’s feelings, but it is not part of a continuum of bigotry that will affect his life choices, career, personal safety and psychological well-being. It’s like getting honked at in traffic: annoying, not devastating. But every leer from a man and every curt dismissal (“I think you’re getting a little bit emotional here, don’t you?”) is a reinforcement of the existing power structure.

      Now, “Hey Baby” might fail as a game. It might fail on its own merits as a message title, or an art installation, or what have you. But let’s not pretend that there’s any conceivable equality between it and even a single day of what the average woman goes through.

    • Urthman says:

      Seol. The game is not about shooting men. The game is about shooting jerks who harass women.

      The game is not about you, you are not “guilty by default,” unless you are a jerk who harasses women.

      Are you a jerk who harasses women?

    • MajorManiac says:

      I’m with Vinraith;

      I was genuinely shocked by the responce to Kerion’s ealier post. I thought my fellow male RPS readers were more mature/secure than to make such an outcry at this game.

      Personally I find it a fun concept that has also given me an insight into a part of another life I didn’t realise exitisted. I think more games should be made of this nature to teach us how it feels to be at the sharp end of rasism as well as sexism. As this message can get heavy I totally understand the idea of adding guns and explosions to make it more light-hearted and playful.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Dr. Derek, I’m curious, have you ever even been to the United States? Because it sure isn’t illegal, de facto or otherwise, to be black around my parts. Try to tone down the hyperbole.

      “There is no one-to-one relationship between the bigotry of the powerful and the bigotry of the weak.”
      Sure, but bigotry is still bigotry and decent people have an obligation to fight it. This idea that groups who are in general societally weaker, have a free pass to unfairly stereotype or to advocate horrible things, is morally bankrupt. Wrong is wrong no matter the target.

      Women, in an overall sense, suffer more sexism than men. This is beyond dispute. But when some hate-crazed radical feminist talks about rounding up men and poison gassing them in concentration camps, it’s still repugnant. And any human being has the right to call them on it and push back against that kind of thinking.

      Do I think “Hey Baby” is akin to that kind of thing? No. For one, it’s satire. Any person has had fleeting fantasies of violence against people who act like assholes. And to use this to bring up an issue is fine as far as I’m concerned. I’m not going to lose any sleep at night over “Hey Baby”.

      But my point is, societal dominance or no, the SCUM Manifesto is still a piece of sexist trash and I hope you’re not arguing that there’s anything wrong with acknowledging that.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @mandrill Very well said. I couldn’t agree more.

      @ DJ Phantoon “Sure, sexism is wrong on all fronts, but the one that actually does damage is more worthy of attention, is it not?” Of course. I’d be interested in your definition of “does damage”, though. Catcalling is obnoxious and horrible. It can make people feel degraded and threatened. In that sense I would define said mental anguish as “damage”. But if a man were to read virulently misandric radical-feminist writings and suffer mental anguish a result, isn’t it at least theoretically the same thing? You could say “waah waah suck it up”, and you’d have a point, but wouldn’t then you be using a gender based double standard – “women are fragile and need protecting from anguish, men are strong and can take it”. It’s all very interesting.

      Just a general FYI folks: I am NOT claiming men suffer more sexism than women. I am pointing out sexist equivalencies to make a rhetorical point about how bigotry can be a two-way street even if significantly more cars travel the one direction rather than the other. :)

    • RQH says:

      Seriously people, for the first time, for the last time– HEY BABY IS NOT AGAINST MEN anymore than WWII games are against men. All of the enemies you shoot happen to be men, but in the former, they are OBNOXIOUS JERKS, and in the latter, they are understood to be NAZIS.

      Do I work with lots of lovely men who I respect and who respect me and who would never catcall a woman (or even try to impose on her space)? Absolutely, yes. It is NOT that all men are guilty. It is not even that MOST men are guilty (at least, in my experience.) But all men who catcall (or who ask us out in inappropriate places) are. If you’re not sure what’s an inappropriate place, it’s pretty easy to find out. Rule of thumb: the only people you pick up on the street are hookers. See also: this weekend, the lovely gentleman who thought he was being sweet and endearing by holding the door open for my girlfriend when she entered the gas station (an innocuous action on its own, and not necessarily cause for alarm) but then WAITED FOR HER OUTSIDE THE WOMEN’S RESTROOM so he could ask her out. What made him think he was entitled to do this at a gas station off the interstate? If you think that’s okay in some situations and not in others, you can relax: you don’t have to read our minds. IT’S NEVER OKAY. Not even if you hold the door for us.

      Did I want to punch him in the face? Yes. Did I? No. Do I sympathize with the FANTASY of Hey Baby, yes. Do I think all men are trying to “undress me with their eyes”? Certainly not. Do I think any men should be shot? NO! I’m pretty sure my girlfriend would feel the same.

      I just don’t understand where this idea that Hey Baby is aimed at all men is coming from. It’s just that, well, given certain elements of gender politics, most (all?) of us ladies have never been catcalled by another lady, and even if we were, I think we’d feel better equipped to give another lady a piece of our mind. So we have frustration. So someone makes a dark little joke about it. So the internet explodes. The New Statesmen piece is dead-on: women have power fantasies too. I’m not saying someone should take this concept and make a whole fully-fleshed game of it, but does it withstand three seconds and produce a chuckle? It seems it does a little more than that.

    • Mil says:

      @RQH:

      Who are you replying to? As far as I can see none of the people in this reply thread have said that Hey Baby is against men.

      To give my own perspective: as I said last week, my problem is not with the game. It’s that I perceive a serious, troubling double standard in the commentary about this game from the feminist side, not to mention an aggressive intolerance towards disagreement (search for “whiny” in the comments to this article — used 3 times so far to describe men complaining about Hey Baby).

  2. terry says:

    I’m going to have to pick up that Replay book, I’m far too much of a geek for rubber-keyed lore to avoid it. Weirdly, I read the about the whole golden sundial/Pimania thing on WoS the other day and it brought a tear to my eye how convoluted and utterly barmy the clues were (http://www.worldofspectrum.org/hardware/answer.htm). It was an almost perfect parody of that Masquerade book, where various twee images of rabbits and bad poetry led a “lucky” winner to some golden rabbit sculpture (IIRC, its been a while).

    • Oneironaut says:

      I’m hoping Replay comes out for Kindle, or at least some e-book format that I can convert. I haven’t read a paper book in over a year.

  3. LewieP says:

    Seeing Pains next month, can’t wait.

  4. Carolina says:

    That John Kimble guy is right.

    I can’t help but look at this articles about catcalling written by so-called “female gamers” as yet another form of attention whoring by women on the Internet. Yes, you have a vagina. Yes, you play videogames. Now if you only could get the opportunity to introduce your looks into a debate by mentioning that you are, from time to time, getting catcalled in the streets…

    Enter “Hey, Baby”. Fun times for miss Alexander and miss Penny! It reminds me of a Cracked article:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_18536_the-5-biggest-mistakes-women-like-me21-make-internet.html

    It’s sad to see even professional videogame journalists getting dragged by this White Knight attitude towards women, praising pointless articles or defending dumb points of view.

    By the way, since we’re talking about fantasies, Wikipedia says:

    45.8% of men in a 1980 study reported fantasizing during heterosexual intercourse about “a scene where [they had] the impression of being raped by a woman” (3.2% often and 42.6% sometimes); 44.7% of scenes where a seduced woman “pretends resisting;” and 33% of raping a woman.

    I’d love to see what these “female gamers” say about Rapelay or any other game in which a man commits despicable crimes against women in order to fulfill a common fantasy.

    • Metalfish says:

      Maybe you should take this to the forum where people of learning have time to construct reasoned and researched replies? This’ll likely do no one any good here in the comments, even if such debate is invited by the link’s inclusion.

      I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with you, I just think it’s been shown that this debate/argument works better on the forum than the comments thread.

    • Gwyn says:

      Leigh Alexander actually did write about Rapelay. So yeah.

    • Grunt says:

      “John Kimble” from Kindergarten cop?? Oh god, please let’s not drag Arnold Schwarzenegger into a debate about Feminism!

    • mootpoint says:

      @Carolina and Metalfish: Errr, where in your post do you motivate the position of “that John Kimble”. You are trying to shame people who don’t want their privacy essentially invaded by calling them attention whores. That’s not an argument, that’s bordering on an ad-hominem attack.

      Attention is a social interaction. If you have a brain you can decode when someone wants attention or not. By not even trying to decode, or even as John Kimble does, get irritated when someone doesn’t appreciate your unwanted attention you are disrespectful of their right to privacy.

      That’s just part of where he is wrong, but perhaps it is smart to keep things short and simple eh?

    • Metalfish says:

      @Mootpoint:

      Erm, sorry, who are you again? I was just trying, and failing to prevent a comments thread car crash from happening (again). So, er, what have I done? Aside from not even read the piece, play the game or indeed form an opinion on it?

    • mootpoint says:

      @Metalfish

      Sorry, misread your post as lauding the content of the OP, didn’t see the last line. Plus, I guess I disagree on that one as well as I’ve spent a couple of hours in the comment thread on “therightsofman” just now.

  5. yogSo says:

    That Boing Boing feature is truly great. For some reason, it has remainded me of Seagle’s It’s a bird comic.

    If you fellow RPSers are only inclined/have time to read just one of the articles, choose Nomen Ludi. You will not regret it.

  6. airtekh says:

    There is definitely a dark side to gaining achievements.

    I’m kinda ashamed to admit it, but there was a period last Christmas where my gaming consisted purely of getting achievments in TF2 so I could unlock all of the weapons (I’ve only owned it for a few months).

    It became an addictive, soul-sucking endeavour which eventually resulted in me not playing the game properly.

    I think the problem with achievements is that far too often they involve doing things that you wouldn’t naturally do in the course of gameplay. If it requires skill, then fair enough; but who is honestly going to waste their ubercharge on a scout rather than using it on a heavy or soldier, just so they can get an achievement?

    *nervously raises hand*

  7. RobF says:

    From the book extract:

    “I thought that by the mid-1980s all cutting-edge computer games would be like interactive movies with proper structures, real characters, half-decent original stories, an acceptable soundtrack, a variety of user-defined narratives and variable outcomes,” he explained. “I thought I’d better get in first and produce the computer game equivalent to Metropolis and Citizen Kane before the bastards started churning out dross.”

    God, I fucking love Croucher.

  8. alseT says:

    You missed this gem: http://fidgit.com/archives/2010/06/11_ways_alpha_protocol_is_bett.php

    Bonus points for reading the comments.

    • Wulf says:

      I love how the Mass Effect 2 supporters come off completely belligerent, throwing around the most immature insults possible (I mean, fagboys, really).

      I actually feel sorry for Bioware.

      These are your fans, these are your supporters, look upon them… AND DESPAIR!

    • alseT says:

      I personally haven’t seen that much abuse hurled at a games journalist since the Darkfall debacle.

    • pupsikaso says:

      The difference is that the Darkfall guy deserved what he got.

    • Sobric says:

      haha oh wow those comments are insane.

      But the article is pretty off on some points. (“But I still have no idea what was up with that elusive man…”; I read that bit a few times), but actually some of it was pretty fair. Well OK the first point is fair. ME2 does lack some traditional RPG mechanics that, while it certainly doesn’t make it a bad game (ME2 shot up into my top5 games lists after completing it) that they are missing, had they been included I think it would have been much much better.

      Also, minigames are bad full stop. It’s like claiming death by drowning is better than death by suffocation.

    • Dominic White says:

      My reaction to that article was initially mild confusion, then a bit of amusement, then shrugging and realizing that I have about a 50% rate of agreeing with Tom Chick, and this is one of the disagreeing half.

      And then I read the comments. Oh, hey – so *that’s* what I would have written if I wasn’t a reasonable, mature adult, and in fact completely out of my gourd and fuelled by unspeakable rage and crippling insecurity.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Goodness. Favourite comment, anyone? Here’s mine, from one ‘Hellfire66′:

      ‘ Tom “never touched a” Chick ‘

    • Jimbo says:

      I quite like this one from ‘Sirlolzalot’: “(A)bysmal (P)oop is just an ME / Splinter Cell cheap knock off wannabe dump in the toilet.” lolz indeed!

      I still disagree with about 8 of the 11 points raised, and I liked Alpha Protocol quite a bit.

    • Unaco says:

      That’s a gem. Some of the comments are great… and the whole thing is definitely improved by the lack of Carriage Returns/New Lines.

    • Steelfists says:

      Why does Tom Chick arouse so much hatred? I seem to remember there was another article he did that provoked the wrath of the angry internet men.

    • Dominic White says:

      He really liked Far Cry 2 as well (and that’s one of the things I agree with him on), which is another of those WORST VIDEOGAME EVER MADE IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU ARE A HORRIBLE PERSON triggers for angry internet men.

    • malkav11 says:

      He draws AIM fire periodically for one thing or another. He’s not been terribly impressed by several high profile PS3 titles like MGS4, Killzone 2, and inFAMOUS, so of course he’s a “Microsoft fanboy” etc and the Sony Defense Squad comes out in force. He wrote an earlier article outlining why he didn’t like Mass Effect 2 much, and drew fire for that. And of course, though this far predates Fidgit and most of the rantier commenters there probably have no idea about it, he famously did not like Deus Ex.

    • Vinraith says:

      Funnily enough, that’s actually convinced me to have another look at Alpha Protocol. Much as I enjoyed ME2, I don’t think there’s a single criticism there I disagree with.

    • Dominic White says:

      I can’t disagree with him about Killzone 2, either. The penultimate two levels were really good, but the rest of the singleplayer campaign was just entirely forgettable, and filled with a cast that was intermittently forgettable and hateable.

      Fortunately, KZ2 had great multiplayer to make up for lackluster singleplayer.

    • sebmojo says:

      Mass Effect 2 is my favourite game ever, but I still accept nearly all those criticisms. Still love it.

      I also agree with Tom about Deus Ex, to be honest – it’s still brilliant in many ways, but so, so flawed.

      My tolerance for reading masturbatory rage-jism is dropping almost to zero these days.

    • Bret says:

      Yours too?

      At best, I get a “there but for the grace of God” feeling, and a brief, painful bit of humility considering my own past.

      At worst, I feel smug in an unpleasant way.

      Generally, the whole thing just feels sad.

    • MajorManiac says:

      I think the comment thread there is what it would be like to over hear the usual conversation in a school playground……not at a good shool mind.

  9. James G says:

    ‘Normen Ludi’ was fantastic, a beautiful story. I’m not sure where the boundaries between fact and fiction led in the account, in some ways it doesn’t matter. I certainly recognise the obsession with a childhood memory, and images that through accident of timing and circumstance end up making a profound impact on you. In my case I don’t think any of my personal influences are associated with stories of quite the same level of — tragedy, breakdown, loss? –as the one told here, but still I expect that the odd glimpses of childhood memories that occasionally leap to the fore, are associated with quite different stories, not only with those who created them, but also with others who experienced them.

    • Unaco says:

      I liked it because it reminded me of Kobayashi Naru. I remember playing it when I was 5 or 6 years old on an Amstrad CPC, with a Tape Deck!! I was enthralled by it, but not with the gameplay or the story… just with the weirdness of the whole thing. I also seem to remember it as the game played in the Tom Hanks motion picture “Big” at 1 or 2 points… but I’m also sure it wasn’t that game, just that I remember it being that game.

  10. LewieP says:

    Great interview with Jamie Cheng from Klei Entertainment over at 8 Bit Horse:
    http://8bithorse.blogspot.com/2010/06/exciting-new-things.html

    Some new (I think) footage of Shank too.

    8 Bit Horse is an excellent blog about 2D games, worth subscribing to.

  11. Eight Rooks says:

    Started out good, but fell apart at the end. The plot of AP is in many ways neither more nor less legible than ME2, the conversations still have a touch of ‘No, sorry, in what possible alternate reality did I mean to say that?’ syndrome, the game is certainly easy inasmuch as you should never, ever want for money or be struggling to decide what gear to buy, and one pistol or shotgun or whatever is pretty much the same as the next…

    Not a bad attempt, certainly. Just felt too childish and vindictive. Idiot comments aside, Mass Effect 2 is still a great game. AP is a surprise in that it’s a worthy contender despite how broken it is, not in that it’s a clear winner.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Replying to alseT, obviously… will this even reply to myself? God I hate WordPress. Never logs me in, never replies properly when I’m not logged in – the URL was showing it was a reply and everything, I checked. Eh, not the end of the world or anything. But I do wonder if there’s any more people who don’t comment much because of this.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I’ll admit, there are many times I think we’d be better not actually having the reply system at all.

      Sorry, man.

      KG

    • Dominic White says:

      There’s nothing wrong with the reply system. I’ve been using it since you added it, and have once posted in the wrong place, simply on account of me mis-clicking. It only appears to fail so often because people don’t pay attention to what they’re doing.

    • pedant says:

      Please yes cancel the reply system! It keeps me from posting comments (could be a good thing obviously).

      It makes rechecking comment threads impossible basically, where is the new stuff? I liked going back to see if someone added something insightful. Pretty please go back?

    • Grunt says:

      Can I also say that I’ve never experienced a reply fail? I won’t fall into the common internet error of assuming that just because my experience is a happy one then no-one is having problems, but from this perspective it’s hard not to think some people exaggerate from time to to time or are somehow doing it to themselves…

      And this is with me using the captchas all the time, too (I have a forum password but keep forgetting to use it – d’oh!)

    • Lilliput King says:

      I have to log in for it to work, but work it does.

    • Unaco says:

      I seem to only have problems with the Reply system and logging in… I log in, but it still asks for Name/Email and a Captcha, and sometimes forgets that I had pressed reply.

    • Hodge says:

      I’ve never had a problem with the reply system either. I tend to be careful when replying anyway, after seeing all the comment misfires, so maybe Dominic’s right? Or it could be a browser thing?

      It would be nice if it could be fixed (or at least attributed to something), because apart from all the misplaced replies this is my favourite of all the comment systems.

    • malkav11 says:

      I’m a few missions into my second hub in Alpha Protocol and I’ve never had more than about $40,000 on-hand, with gear costing from $10000 to $157000. So I have to agree with Tom that AP forces hard choices with money. Or at least, it can. The tricksy thing about Alpha Protocol is that it changes in many ways based on what you do. And I’m fairly certain that the way I am playing it is denying me some of the bigger cash windfalls. Also, I typically buy all the intel for a mission before taking it, and someone who didn’t do that might well have more cash for gear. But, again, that’s a tradeoff.

    • jalf says:

      I still don’t understand how people mess up the reply system. It’s always worked fine for me. But given how many people consistently screw it up, I’m assuming there is some technical issue, and it’s not just people doing it wrong. Is it browser-specific or something?

    • Dominic White says:

      Reply system works fine here on Firefox, IE, Chrome and even iPhone Safari. Fairly sure this is one of those things we can chalk up to people not paying attention over. Just remember to log in and you’ll be fine.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Replying to myself re: Alpha Protocol yet again and it seems to have logged me in, but just in case, I was trying to reply to Malkav11 – most forums or comment threads I’m used to let you reply to replies, not merely to the topic creator. I’d say your problem’s WordPress more than allowing replies at all.

      Anyway, all of the expensive gear in Alpha Protocol is pointless – certainly for a stealth/pistols playthrough, and so far a shotgun/sabotage/technical playthrough isn’t suggesting I’m wrong. The costly equipment doesn’t offer anything over the regular when all you have to do is turn invisible then chainshot everyone a few times, and roomsweeping with a maxed out shotty – while not quite as overpowered – seems to be headed the same way. The original article was based on a decent premise, the idea that Alpha Protocol deserves more credit as an RPG (emphasis on the R) but it doesn’t seem as if the author was really taking notice of how the game practically begs to be abused.

      So yes, money is not a problem. The game just tries to make you think it is.

    • malkav11 says:

      Admittedly, I’m not finding gun upgrades to make a huge difference, but I really want some better armor and I haven’t been able to afford any so far.

  12. pupsikaso says:

    Tch. There goes my business plan for the games I wanted to make. I figured I’d price them at 1 or 2 dollars, and then say “hey if you really really liked the game, you can choose to pay more! click here!” but with all this hype around PWYW I’m gonna look like a poser if I go with that =/

  13. Xercies says:

    “Now of course any reasonable person knows smiling to be a positive thing which has health benefits for the wearer and for those around them, something that should clearly be encouraged.”

    One of the most stupidest things i have read in quite awhile and makes me ignore everything else in the article. And yes i would agree with your Blac, and jews statment if the game was going against all men and not just a sub strata of some men. In fact all this hubbalu over Hey Baby has actually made me kind of embarrssed to be in the same field of Men since I have seen a lot of sexist things and just downright terrible things from men.

    The Gaming as Performance article reminds me of what I think is lost in gaming where its ebcome a bit more faceless multiplayer. I’m reminded of the atmosphere of the college games tournament where the talk and the friendship and rivelries and seeing all that projected on a screen with lots of other people is really one thing i won’t forget. And even though i lost the story about me tlking myself up more then I should and then failing miserbly is a highlight because basically you have been immortalised in that and even though its stupid it was only a game and you can laugh at yourself because of it. Something Online Multiplayer can never truly capture and in fact is discouraging relaly.

    I also agree with the Gaming is not about Winning anymore article, I to fear that achievements have twisted gaming to something i don’t like. and i really will hate a future that the DOCE man is suggesting which if you look at the world is becoming ever more likely by the day.

    • Tei says:

      “One of the most stupidest things i have read in quite awhile and makes me ignore everything else in the article.”

      Why you say that? smiley actually make things better, I don’t know if his connected with health, but is possible. I even make jokes about smiling altering reality around you for the better. On a social environment has lots of benefits.

    • DAdvocate says:

      @Xercies
      The scary aspect of the Rights of Man article is the lack of any web link (that I can find) to the article they are decrying. If you happen to stumble upon the article on digg etc you could genuinely believe that the New Statesman promotes articles about genocide.

      @Tei
      There is a pivotal difference between mentioning to friends and colleagues about the benefits of smiling and accosting strangers on the street that they are not smiling and should do so right now. This lack of understanding sets the tone for the rest of the article.

    • stahlwerk says:

      @Tei: so smile, then. Maybe other people will notice and will be motivated intrinsically to smile, too. Telling someone to smile kinda defeats the whole point of it being an expression of contentment, imo.

  14. Pod says:

    This is the worst comment thread in history. I hate you today, RPS.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Pod: Just read the articles. There’s some good stuff in all of these, I think.

      KG

    • Dominic White says:

      The articles are good – thanks for linking them – but you ever get this sinking feeling that your readership are gradually getting worse and worse? The most burning irony is that if you ever suggest they’re being Angry Internet Men, they proudly proclaim that they are men, and very angry that you’d suggest that they’re being angry on the internet.

    • Gwyn says:

      The readership’s not getting appreciably worse, it’s just that only sexists bother commenting about anti-sexism articles. Sampling bias, essentially.

    • Dominic White says:

      You seem to have missed gems like people actively attacking Jim for *not* being furious about the new XCom over in that thread, too. And it spilled over into the Castles & Kingdoms thread, as one guy goes into full-on AIM meltdown on him.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Dom: Nah, the readers are about the same as they ever are. Generally speaking, the best bunch on the Internet.

      It only really gets messy when it hits a red button. In this thread, I tried to keep the sexism stuff further down the article in hope it’d only get some later comments, but it didn’t turn out that way. Perhaps predictably.

      KG

    • El Stevo says:

      @ Dominic White:

      There’s always been that element at RPS. Certain topics bring them out of the woodwork. On the whole, the comments here are still a huge amount better than the majority of the internet.

    • jalf says:

      Like Gwyn said, sampling bias. Whether the subject is sexism, XCOM or anything else, the people who feel affronted and angry are the most likely to comment. And so they’re the ones who show up the most in comment threads.

    • Taillefer says:

      Does the hivemind take sweepstakes about which comments will appear?

    • Mil says:

      @jalf:

      More specifically, it’s self-selection bias.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      @Gwyn “only sexists bother commenting about anti-sexism articles”

      What a tasteless and childish ad-hominem attack. And I remind you that you were posting as well so you just called yourself a sexist. And you know, something gives me the feeling you just might be right for once.

    • Gwyn says:

      Well, I haven’t commented on the anti-sexist piece, so you’d be wrong there.

      Unless you mean the Rights Of Man piece, in which case you would have to, in fact, be sexist. So you’d be wrong about it being ad hominem too. Unlucky mate.

  15. Pod says:

    Also, on a link-related note:

    Half-Life – Nov 1998; 299 accounts

    It also spawned Deathmatch Classic in 2000, a free add on patched in to provide multiplayer. It’s almost a sign of things to come with Valve – who else would patch in a major feature two whole years after release?

    whoawhoawhoawhoa; what? HL had multiplayer from day one! DMC was a “quake mod” for HL. The built in deathmatch in HL is still around. How else are you going to play “crossfire” or “undertow”? :). DMC also came out AFTER mods such as TFC and CS.

    This is the first paragraph in the piece and it’s already badly wrong. :/

    • MrCraigL says:

      @Pod From my understanding while it was available as a mod from early on, it was only actually patched in with 1.07 in 2000 rather than being a separate download. If that’s wrong though I’ll happily correct the piece.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      The point was that Half-Life had multiplayer deathmatch from the very beginning. It was running around Half-Life levels using Half-Life weapons to kill other humans. Deathmatch Classic was a mod that made a DM mode that was similar to Quake. It was not designed to “patch in” multiplayer, since multiplayer always existed, simply to provide a different type of multiplayer. The release of DMC is entirely irrelevant to the question “when did Half-Life first get multiplayer,” which is the error in the piece.

  16. Batolemaeus says:

    “I rooted around in my game pile again. On my hands and knees, I spotted Backyard Football ’10 under the coffee table. “That’s not on the spreadsheet,” I said to my cats. “You’re right!” they replied. Good lord, I needed sleep.”

    No, Kieron, this isn’t “very funny”.
    This is murder. Torture. This is self-flagellation for gaming journalists, funny only to those standing by, watching.

    Suffice to say, I laughed. :-|

  17. pimorte says:

    @Kieron Gillen

    Disabling the reply system would be beautiful.

    Bring back conversation non-fragmentation!

    • Alexander Norris says:

      If nested replies are disabled and replaced with a system whereby clicking “reply” just automatically quotes and links to the post you’re replying to (letting you edit the quote if you only want to quote a single line or two of a 1000-word comment), everyone wins, because comment threads become a lot easier to read.

      They could even bring back the comments-in-the-forums thing.

    • OptionalJoystick says:

      @Alexander
      Although something like Sunday Papers, where there are many different topics, shows why the reply system is so valuable.

      It might be handy if clicking Reply inserted @457236 in to the reply box. The system could replace that with Alexander Norris, which targets your post. It doesn’t solve the threading issue, but it could be made to work both in the forum and the comments.

      Fingers crossed this posts correctly.

    • Sagan says:

      I like the reply system and I think it should be kept. It nicely organizes the comments into multiple threads. Like that big block of comments up there, which I can now just ignore. Without the reply system those comments would be mixed among the regular comments and I would have to read parts of each comment and would probably get angry at the world.

      It could be improved though. Maybe add another button at the bottom named “post as reply” which simply displays a message telling you to select a comment to reply to and then scrolls up the page. That button should be super easy to implement as it doesn’t have any actual functionality. It should obviously disappear when a reply button next to a comment has been pressed.

  18. Dominic White says:

    The achievmeent-related articles are horribly true, and make my heart sink. A lot of people – some who are old-school gamers – don’t even seem to play games to have fun anymore. They’re out to fill a checklist of sometimes-absurd goals, and won’t let themselves do anything more enjoyable until they have done it. It’s not even that they’re not playing to win. They’re playing because they feel compelled to by some dark, obsessive force.

    I know a guy who flipped out and refused to play Lost Planet 2 with me. Why? Because he found out it has an achievement for playing the game six months after release. Not play for six months, but just for playing it half a year after launch. But because he couldn’t have it now, and work it into his completion schedule, the entire game was off-limits. The idea of playing a game and not being able to get those 1000 magical arbitrary points in easy, linear order scared him off.

    God, I hate achievements. Or at least, I hate what they’ve done to some gamers. They can be a pretty cool idea otherwise, encouraging you to do fun and unusual things in the game. Much-maligned zombiefest Dead Rising has a bunch of clever ones, including ‘Frank The Pimp’, which was awarded to a player who rescued (and didn’t return to safety) female survivors exclusively, up to the limit of followers. Nobody would do that through normal play, but it was an amusing challenge. I never did get it, but I thought it was funny that it was there.

    • Tei says:

      I have a friend that play game for achievements (he talk about achievements like is the reason he play games). While demoing his last game to me ( Red Dead Redemption) he was talking about a trophy you get never killing or losing your horse. While he was explaining this achievement to me, he stooped to harvest some grass… and a dude walked to his horse, stealing it, destroying his achievement. It was one of these moments “In your face” made of epic and hilariousity.

    • merc says:

      Agreed. It is abso-fucking-lutely absurd what some some people will do if you label it an achievement or make it contribute to some number. I despair.

    • Taillefer says:

      I wonder what would happen if they made a game which is just a random number generator with a large range. You can regenerate the number as many times as you like. Once you’re happy with the number you can add that to your gamer score; you can only do that once.

    • Chris D says:

      Taillefer – That is pure evil, but I like it

    • Sagan says:

      I have a game that was ruined by achievements for many people: Mirror’s Edge. Because there is an achievement in the game for finishing it without ever shooting a gun, many people tried to play it that way in their first play through. Since the guns are the power ups of that game, in many scenes playing without them is suicide. And I seem to remember that there were a lot of complaints about the game from people playing without guns. Claiming the game was all kinds of broken, when they just played it wrong.

    • airtekh says:

      Mirror’s Edge would have been one of my favourite games ever if they had removed the combat and the level structure, and it was just open-world parkour.

      Don’t think there are achievements in the PC version though? *checks Steam*

    • Jimbo says:

      I’ve often wondered what would happen if Microsoft just offered a once-per-account deal: £10 for 10k XBL achievement points.

      I honestly think that a lot of people would go for it.

    • malkav11 says:

      I get irritated by these achievement-related tirades because I don’t think there’s anything particularly inherently wrong with achievements as an idea. Sometimes they’re implemented badly, sure, but when people enslave themselves to the achievement grind, that’s not the achievements, that’s someone making a bad decision. (or two or three).

      Me? I like ‘em. I play what I want to play, and I do any achievements in the game that strike me as reasonable or interesting to attempt, and I abandon them if they’re proving more frustrating than fun. But I get little discrete nuggets of progress along the way to the actual end of the game that I have never been that likely to reach. That improves my experience with the game and it lends to more fun in my gaming time.

    • Dominic White says:

      Like I said, I have nothing against achievements on paper, especially if they encourage players to try thinking outside the box and doing unusual, fun things in games.

      Unfortunately, they’ve ended up preying on the same mentality that gets people buying lottery scratch-cards by the dozen, or hopelessly addicted to a level-treadmill MMO for years on end. It’s a sense of progression for progressions sake, and for a lot of people it is horrifically addictive.

      On the 360, they’ve now introduced little 3D dress-up avatars that you can use in some games. A lot of games now have certain unlocks of avatar clothing tied to achievements, further cementing that little ‘ding’ and popup as something that must be done to complete games. Now we’ve got otherwise reasonable people refusing to play games because an achievement is for multiplayer-only, or (worse still) in the case of the PS3, refusing to play older games entirely, simply because they came out before the Trophies system (achievement-equivalents) were implemented.

    • malkav11 says:

      To which I say: those people are making their own call. I’d rather leave things be and have those people make what I consider to be bad choices than to remove achievements from the mix and penalize all the people who’re deriving pleasure from them.

    • luminosity says:

      The problem is that achievements reinforce negative behaviour, and I know they do in me too. I don’t mind them in something like TF2 or L4D because they’re a more social, casual experience. But I hate hate hate them in single player games and you don’t get to opt out of them. I’ll always remember when the orange box came out, playing episode 2 and progressing through the caves, when suddenly an achievement popup jumps up telling me I’ve killed 33/20 grubs. Immersion ruined entirely.

      Now maybe I’m really blind and there’s a way on Steam to turn them off? I haven’t seen it and I have looked for one.

    • malkav11 says:

      I certainly wouldn’t object to being able to opt out of them, globally or on a game by game basis. I wouldn’t use it myself.

    • Baboonanza says:

      Re: Achievements
      Perhaps the problem with achievements isn’t so much achievements themsleves but the tracking a of meta-statistics about them, for example the gamer score. It seems to me that without that you could keep the good aspects of schievements while reducing the OCD completionism and willy-waving. ASFAIK this is more how Steam does it (I’ve never seen any meta-stats anyway, but then I haven’t looked that hard.

      Also, the people complaining about Mirror’s Edge were right. The game should have been completable without using a weapon, not because of the achievement, but because that is how the game was marketed. There is not indication at the beginning of the game that you will need to regress to basic shooter gameplay to finish it, and I never did finish it for that very reason.

    • malkav11 says:

      I don’t think the metascore is a problem either – I significantly prefer the Live achievement system to Steam’s metascoreless variety. Although to be fair, the single biggest advantage that system has over any PC achievements is that all Xbox 360 retail and XBLA games -must- have achievements, thus they’re universally adopted. Having them randomly scattered between a dozen different systems or just tracked inside a single game (unless they actually make for in-game benefits like in Mass Effect) is not nearly as appealing.

  19. Seol says:

    DJ Phantoon: Actually I’ve managed to deliberately avoid the “hey baby” mudslinging all this time, and it’s only when seeing your sexist drivel up there in the comments when I thought that it was over, that it irked me enough to reply.

    “In closing, we (men) are not the underdogs, shut up.”

    So just because we haven’t been abused as much, we have to take take the abuse without complaining, uh?. Sorry mister, but I don’t have a victim vocation and I don’t have to atone for the deeds of others, particularly when I’ve always stood against any form of discrimination.

    In closing, with all due respect, (“I’ve forgotten the rules about insults” – Ed).

    • jalf says:

      From what I’ve seen of the game, it doesn’t abuse men. The New Statesman article did not abuse men.
      So which particular abuse is it that you wish to complain about?

    • Seol says:

      (“I’ve forgotten the rules about insults” – Ed).

      Ok, fair enough, sorry about that. Although I reckon it sounds more offensive now than it actually was.

  20. solipsistnation says:

    Here we go again, I guess.

  21. Seol says:

    Dammit, reply fail. I guess I should think about quitting now since the volume and speed of comments is making hard having personal conversations.

    jalf: If you look up in the first comment thread, my bitching wasn’t directed at the game, nor at the article, but at the second comment, so if you’re interested, read that thread.

    • jalf says:

      Oh, you mean the thread that I already read and replied to? ;)
      And as for the second comment, I see no abuse there either. My question stands. Which abuse is it that you wish to complain about?

    • Seol says:

      jalf: Yes, the one you replied to after I refreshed the page and while I was writing a reply ;) (passive aggression in italics followed by a smile, nice!). If you consider that blaming men as a collective is not abusive, I don’t think I can say anything that will make you change your stance. Now, if behind that condescension, you are asking about real world cases in which men are discriminated against, I’d gladly provide examples.

    • jalf says:

      No, I was asking about abuse present in this discussion: in the game, the article about it or the comments. Of course, there’s plenty of abuse in the real world, between practically any two groups of people.

      If you consider that blaming men as a collective is not abusive, I don’t think I can say anything that will make you change your stance

      I do consider that abusive, yes. But I don’t see DJ Phantoon’s comment as doing that. His point is not “all men are assholes”, but rather “stop trying to be the victim, you’re not under attack”.

    • Seol says:

      jalf: Well I see his point as being both, first saying “don’t pretend to be a victim” followed by “you are guilty, even if you think you aren’t”. And is that insidious combination of claiming that defending oneself is wrong, followed by an attack, that got me heated up.

      In any case, I’m done here for this newspost. I’ve said everything I had to say about that particular comment, and I’ve polluted the comments enough.

      Cheers.

  22. jaheira says:

    Wow. Two articles in two weeks about how funny Splinter Cell is. I’m considering buying it for it’s comedy potential alone, DRM be damned.

  23. Chuckles says:

    When was gaming about winning? I’m old (and yes if you could get off my lawn that would be great), and when I started gaming in the eighties it was never about winning, becasue there was never a hope in heck of doing so. I know there are people who ground their way to the end of nintendo hard platformers and sholved coins into arcade machines until they beat them, but me and my friends were playing games like Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, crystal castles and so on for the experince. (That is the joy of playing not the XPs). The idea that in the “good old days” is was all about beating games has zero resemblance to my gaming past.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, I’d argue with the whole ‘playing to win’ thing. But at the same time, achievements seem to have pulled a lot of people away from ‘playing for fun’. A lot of achievements, I’ll never get because they’re just incredibly boring/tedious to get, like hitting the level cap in an RPG, or winning 1000 matches online.

      The people who have gotten hooked on achievements will do these things, often hating every second of it, but doing it anyway. When you’re playing a game and not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

  24. Jayt says:

    I fucking knew there would be another link to some kind of sexism related bs in here, so called it.

  25. Ludo says:

    Hey, Pod. I think you’re right. You should probably comment over on GD as well, though. That way it’ll be corrected.

  26. Flakfizer says:

    @Dominic – It didn’t “spill over” into the Castles & Kingdoms thread; Jim actively invoked it with his insulting “Furthermore, I must implore you to judge what you see here at face value, as if it is all the game consists in.” dig.

  27. Zwebbie says:

    Concerning the ‘Why aren’t games about winning anymore?’ article: isn’t winning the biggest ‘achievement’ of all?

    The whole thing is really rather simple. You’re a game designer, but you realise that a game needs to be extremely clever to hook people for a long time. Chess manages it, Tetris does, but those are, as said, really good. So what can you do? Why, reward people for things they don’t like! Rewards are the ultimate means of perpetuating behaviour.

    That doesn’t merely include achievement, although they are rather blatant and obnoxious. Every form of leveling up is exactly such a way of rewarding people. So is finding loot. Maybe you can even field cut scenes here. Diablo is pretty clever at covering up whack-a-mole with such amounts of loot, diversity in environment, skills and what-not. Team Fortress 2 showers you with congratulations that you almost did as much damage as the last time and it rewards your playing time with hats.

    Anyhow! I don’t see how the big achievement, the beating of the game, differs. Back in ye olde days, when I finished a game, I was very happy because I was proud of myself. My parents were always a little disappointed, because I had ‘consumed’ the game, and was done with it. I think they had a point there. It’s the journey that counts, not the destination, and getting through the journey as quickly as possible isn’t something to strive for – shouldn’t be, anyway.

    It’s a sad thing that the whole win-lose mentality is so deeply ingrained in video games that people feel that as long as they provide input, they ought to be rewarded. As a result, the only possible emotions are “yay, I’m winning” or “boo, I’m losing”; a remarkably short range. The entire form of tragedy is simply impossible in this current playing mindset, and such cheap stimulations as achievements or encouragements to beat a game aren’t doing the situation any good. But why make something contemplative when you can make more money by exploiting people’s gullible brains that are ever hungry for compliments and rewards?

  28. robrob says:

    Quite an anodyne interview with MIA in the Grauniad: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/jun/13/mia-feature-miranda-sawyer

    Compared to that link in the Sunday Papers a few weeks back it seems (and admits to being) uninformed but it’s still sort of interesting.

  29. pupsikaso says:

    This experts blog from Gamasutra is so informative I think it warrants a mention in the comments,
    http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/TaekwanKim/20100609/5330/Validation_Theory.php

  30. Dreamhacker says:

    Euro-centric game development history, GO!

  31. Metalfish says:

    That PvsZ article was a missed opportunity. When I read something about game arts, there better be some pretty pictures to stop my brain from wandering.

  32. Masculine Subversive says:

    I read an interesting article from The Atlantic yesterday that helps put Hey Baby in perspective. The article says that for the first time women became the majority in the work force. More women are managers now than men. For every two college degrees earned by men, women will earn 3.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/

    So, from this perspective, perhaps Hey Baby is a sign of the oppression to come from women once they take power? So much for the more loving, peaceful matriarchy. ;)

    • Starky says:

      The reason for the degree thing is that modern education is slanted more towards teaching in ways that women generally find easier.

      There’s been a few studies on it, and showing some quite interesting results.

      Basically women tend to prefer a classroom book learning environment, reading, discussing, working in teams but without competition. Or in competition with some scoring system, such as grading – by which you are trying to succeed against some predetermined bar, not against another person. Trying to learn as a cooperative endeavour. They prefer sitting and learning, sharing ideas generally more passive study.

      Men (or more accurately young men) tend to prefer hands on education, experiments, demonstrations, practical examples. They tend to prefer solo, or team competitive methods, in direct competition with their classmates. Young boys tend to prefer things like class league tables, activities that have the possibility of winning against other students (boys want to beat their classmates, and be recognized as doing so by the system). They also need physically active lessons – activities that involve getting up, moving around and DOING things/

      The bottom line of this is that Modern education is slanted heavily in favour of feminine methodology – boys are failing in education because education method is failing them.

      Here’s the first article I found on the subject in google, but it is a good read none the less.
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/school_league_tables/article5877032.ece

  33. Guildenstern says:

    I kinda wish RPS didn’t do a story about Hey Baby. Then I wouldn’t know how many commenters here are whiny ass titty babies who can’t handle their precious male privilege pointed out to them.

  34. The Archetype says:

    @Pimorte
    I really like the reply system for reading the comments, even if it’s never worked for me personally.

  35. Hodge says:

    That Hey Baby’s generated a lot of outrage, hasn’t it? Just as well she didn’t call it UFO.

    • Boldoran says:

      It should be interesting to read the comment thread on an article entitled “XCom: Hey Baby to use always-online DRM”

    • Corporate Dog says:

      If I was walking home alone on a dark street, and a Chryssalid was whistling at me, telling me to shake my ass, I think I would have few moral qualms about shooting him in the face.

    • yogSo says:

      @ Boldoran:

      You mean, something like this crap*?

      * Double pun intended.

  36. LionsPhil says:

    Thank the Gods you left out TF2 advertising, or you’d have just created something that would overload the comment system so badly it’d collapse into a dark mass of pure idiocy which would then expand to consume the whole Interne—no, wait, that’s already happened.

  37. Carolina says:

    @mootpoint
    I’m not trying to shame anyone. I’m just saying that I can’t help but see all these “Oh, I’m so tired of being catcalled in the streets, FINALLY a cathartic game that totally represents my situation and feelings comes out. Look, I have a blog with the words “videogame” and “sexy” on it!” kind of statements as pushing your femininity in front of your arguments. And speaking about arguments, this is a stupid one.

    Because it’s trivial. I don’t know about wherever these ladies live, but here, being catcalled or approached in any non-threatful way to flatter, elicit a smile or any sort of reaction doesn’t constitute in any way a valid excuse to fantasize about murder these men. Annoying? Maybe, a little, depending on the approach. But surely not enough to make a game about murdering unarmed random men on the street. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t care about the game, I’m just noticing the double standard on these female journalists (don’t you dare forget their gender). Being so outraged about it, closing and deleting comments when they disagree with them, and having an hysterical attitude in general doesn’t help their case either.

    And by the way, Gwyin, yes, miss Alexander wrote about Rapelay. She wrote things like these:

    I think the problem here is actually this massive disconnect, the fantasy that a violent introduction can lead to unions that actually appear romantic or arousing.

    If I had to guess at what RapeLay’s about, I’d say that the people comprising its target audience know they’re ill. They want to feel bad about it, and they want to be punished for it. Of course, that’s no defense for a theme like this, but I do find it understandable, if depressing.

    But you can’t wage a battle for mature uncensored content in video games on behalf of a game like this, and that’s my final word.

    So yeah, it’s wrong to make a game about criminal, violent fantasies, but only when the victims are men, apparently.

    • Carolina says:

      I fail at replying. I blame the CAPTCHA.

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      Blame it on the boogie, thats much more entertaining

    • Dominic White says:

      I’d have to dig around to source it, but I’ve read in multiple places that pretty much the most common masturbation fantasies in existance are submissive women (for men) and rape fantasies (for women).

      Ah – and a quick google reveals it. Apparently there was a study in ’74 where it was the second most common, but it has since moved up to #1.

      http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2372/is_4_43/ai_n17094104/

      Human sexuality is a complex thing, and fantasies are more complex still, as they don’t always reflect what is desired in reality. It’s all too easy to just dismiss a subject offhand because you find it ‘icky’, but that’s no way to educate yourself.

    • Muzman says:

      Didn’t we just have this debate? And didn’t precious men lose?
      They just keep coming back though. The sequel should be a game about shooting them; some sort of whiny zombies with the same thin arguments.

  38. Carolina says:

    So yeah, it’s wrong to make a game about criminal, violent fantasies, but only when the victims are [wo]men, apparently.

    Fixed.

  39. Carolina says:

    @Dominic White
    Is there any particular reason you’re replying that to me? I’m not against Rapelay in any way; in fact, it was me who cited Wikipedia above:

    45.8% of men in a 1980 study reported fantasizing during heterosexual intercourse about “a scene where [they had] the impression of being raped by a woman” (3.2% often and 42.6% sometimes); 44.7% of scenes where a seduced woman “pretends resisting;” and 33% of raping a woman.

    I’m just saying that it’s a fantasy like any other; in fact, a common one. Arguably, it’s even more natural than fantasizing about murdering random men on the street only because they said something that you didn’t like. So, how can you bash one while praising the other without being a hypocrite?

  40. Urthman says:

    Tom Chick would have to be a much better man than I not to read his comments every day and think, “These insane idiots are my critics? I must be a genius!”

  41. Rogue_Outcome says:

    Dear RPS

    I am late to the party and am very disappointed to find that Hey Baby is still being debated. I used to think the readership of this site was relatively enlightened but the internet seems to have claimed it.

    I find fault with attempts to construe the “game” as something it is not e.g. genocidal misandrist hate propaganda. However, I also find sinister the groupthink that has coalesced among the thought-police who stipulate that any who DARE object to the game, or to their opinions, be labelled “whiny ass titty babies who can’t handle their precious male privilege”. The game and the ensuing debate have told us nothing constructive about gender politics and a lot about how weak a norm reason is.

    Both camps in this pathetic saga have a point.

    Misogyny is a form of structural violence ingrained within our culture. If we relate the concept of structural violence to the issue of catcalling, we find not only the obvious female victims but we may also discover that the men doing the catcalling represent the social demographic most likely to be victims of violent crime, most likely to leave education with minimal qualifications, most likely to be unemployed.

    Throughout history, gender based mentalities have been constructed to deprive women of power. These mentalities still function but are under critique. Men too are frequently deprived of power but the mentality that men be victimized because of their gender, excepting military service, is less prevalent and less developed. This is because, historically, being a man has been taken as given and masculinity has been equated with power.

    One could argue that the forms of discrimination set against men are more insidious because they are not regarded as problematic and have escaped being “gendered”. At the same time, a privilege some men never felt they enjoyed or exercised is being “corrected”. There is some truth here but this view indulges in self-defeating “whiny ass titty” since gender politics needn’t be a zero-sum game and internecine disorder will continue for as long as power reifies injustices between men and women. The men and women who will take us forward do not read RPS or write for the site (Rossignol may yet surprise us though).

    Ultimately, the game and the posts by Gillen and Alexander do not warrant this extended debate. The New Statesman article is glib and the other article is histrionic.

    RPS, please resolve yourselves.

  42. Breaker Morant's Ghost says:

    I would really enjoy a game where I could walk around and rape every woman who impolitely rejected my advances. Such a game would obviously not be sexist in any way and it would also have a valuable social message about respect and tolerance.

    • Vinraith says:

      Because being accosted and being rejected, those are definitely the same. Being shot and being raped, also definitely the same. Do you even listen to yourself? Urthman already said it best up top:

      The game is not about shooting men. The game is about shooting jerks who harass women.

      That someone who thinks rape has a place in this discussion is personally offended by a game about shooting catcalling assholes probably shouldn’t surprise me.

    • Shrewsbury says:

      Your sarcasm meter is broken.

    • Gwyn says:

      That’s unfair, there are plenty of actual creeps who actually would take that at face value. Some of them post on RPS comment threads.

      There was a piece about irony and knowingness linked in the previous Sunday Papers, which really applies here: http://pitchfork.com/features/why-we-fight/7801-why-we-fight-3/

    • Breaker Morant's Ghost says:

      OK, so rape is bad but murder if fine (as long as your feelings have been hurt). I understand your highly nuanced viewpoint.

    • Vinraith says:

      Yeah, how dare women fantasize about fighting back? They should take what you’re dishing out to them and like it. Talk about a highly nuanced point of view.

  43. Dominic White says:

    I’d just like to mention that I was replying more to the chunk of the Raplelay article that Leigh Alexander wrote, that was quoted here, rather than continuing the mindblowingly dumb Hey Baby argument, which now seems to boil down to a bunch of guys feeling very insecure that their oh-so-precious male priviledge is being slighted even a tiny bit.

    Honestly, the sooner that argument dies, the better.

    • Tei says:

      What is a “male priviledge”? the construct of the word seems to suggest is something men have the privilege to do, and womens don’t have the right to do it or something.
      Other than something based on physics.. do really exist any of that privileges? what these two words mean? I am asking, because I am newbie at english, and I don’t really know.

    • bwion says:

      @Tei

      Male privilege is the idea that, because we live in a society largely created by men, for the benefit of men, that men have certain advantages in society that women don’t. Broadly speaking, it’s the idea that men start out at Level 3 in Society: The RPG and women start at Level 1.

      It’s an idea that’s useful, even necessary, to any understanding of gender politics and why it’s often more complicated than Sexism = Wrong, Full Stop. (Even though it is. Full stop.)

      It is, unfortunately, used all too often as a way of ‘winning’ conversations.

    • Gwyn says:

      It’s not so much an ‘idea’ as an objectively observable phenomenon in popular and professional culture.

    • Carolina says:

      There’s not really an argument here against Hey Baby. It’s just a game. A bad one at that. I can’t imagine a man sincerely offended by it (…okay, I can imagine it, but he would have to be really stupid). And that’s not the view I’m suscribing to, not unless you are deliberately using a straw man fallacy or you’re really bad at reading comprehension.

      I’m just saying that for the same reason that you can’t condemn a game like this one, you can’t be outraged by other cathartic games that are based on explotations of common —or uncommonfor that matters— fantasies. Not without being a hypocrite. And that’s exactly what miss Alexander did.

      I’m okay with Hey Baby. Also with Rapelay, and I HAVE CANDY GET IN THE VAN. And either you’re okay with all of them or against the existence of all of them, but you can’t just pick to be outraged at a game only when you didn’t fantasized about commiting the featured crimes in it.

      Incidentally, and after seeing some of the most outspoken journalists about the subject, if someone really catcalled them on the streets… I agree, they should be shot not because their harassment, but because their bad taste.

    • bwion says:

      @Gwyn

      Well, if you want to be pedantic about terminology (and I absolutely do!), then it is, strictly speaking, an idea *based* on an observable phenomenon, in much the same way that gravity is an idea based on the observation (broadly speaking) that things fall when you drop them.

      If you were taking ‘idea’ as ‘thing that people came up with that may or may not have a basis in reality’, well, that’s not what I meant at all, and I apologise for being unclear.

      I don’t have a problem with the concept of privilege. (I’m sure the entire realm of sociology is relieved that I have given it permission to exist.) I totally get why people are resistant to the idea, though; it’s not really self-evident to a white dude whose life sucks that they nonetheless have all these invisible advantages that non-white non-dudes don’t have. It’s very easy for someone in such a position to hear “because you don’t face these specific problems, you have no problems at all and you should quit whining”, whether that’s what’s being said or not. (And sometimes it is, in fact, what’s being said, but certainly not always).

      And it doesn’t really help that the first time most people hear about privilege is when someone starts shouting “YOU ARE WRONG AND IN FACT DON’T EVEN GET TO *HAVE* AN OPINION BECAUSE BLAH BLAH BLAH PRIVILEGE”. Which really doesn’t accomplish much other than turning people defensive. (There’s probably a fancy Latin name for this sort of logical fallacy, but I don’t know what it is and am not sufficiently caffeinated to go find out.) Again, this isn’t how the idea is always discussed, but it happens often enough to leave a bad taste in my mouth. There are useful ways to educate people about social inequities, and to make the point that things that we would very much like to be simple are, in fact, quite complicated by the fact that (again, speaking broadly), some of our ancestors were powerful jerks, but shouting BLAH BLAH BLAH PRIVILEGE is not one of them.

      As for “Hey Baby” itself, eh, whatever. I have revenge fantasies too. I’m just too lazy to make games out of them, and I don’t know how many people would play TAKE THAT, SEVENTH-GRADE GYM TEACHER AND YOU TOO FORMER EMPLOYER anyway. (Actually, I might be on to something, there.) The reaction to it is completely unsurprising to me, as is the reaction to the reaction to it.

  44. DrugCrazed says:

    Kieron, are you just enjoying setting off flame wars between men and women?

  45. Fwiffo says:

    I had to say thanks to every commenter for providing such an entertaining read on a dreary Sunday. Watching so much nerd rage being let loose over the equivalent of a corporate squeaky stress toy has made me laugh very much.

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