The Sunday Papers

By Jim Rossignol on June 26th, 2011 at 11:00 am.


Sunday! At last! All these years we’ve been waiting for it to be Sunday and it’s finally here. A whole day off. If only it could last forever. Well, we’d better make the most of it. There’s no telling we might get another one. It might not even be in your lifetime. And that’s factually true! A relaxing way to spend a bit of your morning could be to read some things about videogames, but then that’s not vital or anything. Just a suggestion. I’ll leave these links here for you, just in case.

  • Richard Cobbett has been a busy boy of late, and you should probably read this sprawling, hiarious Police Quest edition of Crapshoot: “I’ve never been an American beat cop myself. I don’t even really know how American cops work outside of TV and movies, not just because I’m far too boring to ever have gotten on the wrong side of the law, but because – as you can probably tell from my accent – I’m English. Yes, from England. God Save The Queen, and all that. It means I grew up with a very different kind of police force. Our police don’t usually get to carry guns for instance. We don’t have many donut shops. Instead of Miranda Rights, our officially approved caution is “You’re bloody nicked, mate!”, to which our villains admit “It’s a fair cop…” and resignedly hold out their wrists for the cuffs… “
  • Wow, this is depressing.
  • VG247 talked to Relic’s Morten Haugaard about “Reclaiming The Space Marine”. They can eat dirt, you know: “Warhammer 40k has been around for 25 years. We were the original space marine. Lots of other games have drawn inspiration from us. In terms of the aesthetics and the weapons… I mean, you look at the chainsword and you look at some other games. I mean, the chainsword was first. We really want to take back and own what a space marine really means. They’re hulking badasses who aren’t afraid. They don’t hide behind cover. They don’t crouch in the weeds. They run into combat and just wreck people – just destroy them.” A bit like RPS’ blogging style, there.
  • VG247 have also been looking at how Portal could be used in education.
  • A note from Marek Spanel on ten years of Bohemia’s soldier games: “in the years immediately following the original release of Operation Flashpoint, our focus was based on riding on the wave of its success. Operation Flashpoint: Resistance was released one year later and to many of Bohemia’s developers it is their favourite game to play to date. Sometimes, though, I feel we made a mistake not taking this even further, especially on the multiplayer and engine side, and by not extending it into a full-blown sequel. However, we didn’t want to create a sequel at all back. Instead, we wanted to do something completely different: an RPG Wild West game. Aside from prototyping it, we started numerous other ventures simultaneously: OFP: Elite for Xbox, VBS1, OFP2 in Vietnam and several other projects that did not come to fruition, but elements of which fed directly into later games. VBS1 was struggling to establish itself within the serious military domain (where its biggest rival was, surprisingly, a heavily modified Operation Flashpoint known as DARWARS Ambush!).”
  • More on Cloud gaming, with a profile of OnLive and Gaikai – two quite different approaches – over at Gamasutra: “The two entrepreneurs are approaching cloud gaming from distinct angles. OnLive is a consumer-facing service that sells streaming game access to consumers via a storefront, giving publishers a cut of those sales. Gaikai, on the other hand, is business-facing, positioning itself as an “enabling platform” — retailers and publishers pay Gaikai for its ability to provide streaming technology in order to reach gamers directly. But the differences go even deeper than the distinct business models. Both companies have very different approaches to utilizing the web, different approaches to their networks and different visions of where exactly the cloud will take gaming. Turns out that there are real businesses, new technologies, and fascinating ideas behind this ambiguous, fluffy term “cloud gaming.””
  • While you’re at Gamasutra you should also check out this intriguing article on using psychology to define game level design. It’s all about pandering to our primitive instincts, apparently: “Games take advantage of this weakness and reliance on tools by using something I like to call “the problem of the protagonist.” This describes a common situation in many games where a character finds him or herself in a position of natural weakness compared to his or her enemies. This simulates humanity’s own natural disadvantages against the beasts that made our pre-agricultural lifestyles a hassle.”
  • In a week where “free” became ever more the focus of PC gaming, Comrade Cobbett also talks about the problems with the idea of free: “Free-to-play and microtransaction based games always make me feel oddly guilty – like someone just offered me a plate of biscuits only for me to scowl back and reply: ‘No. No, thank you.’ “
  • Insert Credit have been cheerily writing a new manifesto. It’s a series of essays that are about games journalism, and what the authors think about that most significant of journalisms. I like that this one has a “skip cutscene” option.
  • Lots to this post, entitled Playing with race and gender in Mass Effect: “Fans of Lady Shepard often talk about how jarring it is to see Mass Effect promotional materials showing the default male character instead. And it is! The lady version of the character is so memorable and feels such a natural part of the story (thanks in no small part to Jennifer Hale’s fantastic voice acting) that watching a trailer only to see some dudeish lunkhead come barrelling onscreen is bewildering. Who is that guy? Where’s Shepard? Shepard’s not male! Some 80% of players choose the male version of the character, so of course he’s going to get the marketing spotlight (although this will be changing soon).”
  • Do humans have Geomagnetic vision? (…No?)
  • A rigorous defence of Duke Nukem Forever shows why – despite it being rubbish – the majority of the damning reviews were wrong and mad. It names and shames! Ah, the Internet is great.

Music this week is some whimsical whimsy, from Motopony. Ooh, gentle. But also Nick Cave. Seize the mantle! Not whimsy.

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125 Comments »

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  1. Kieron Gillen says:

    That Duke Nukem review analysis never stops being funny.

    KG

    • World One Two says:

      “You could imagine two curves with normal-like distribution in there while squinting. One with an average between 30-60, and the other between 60-90%. Who is right and who is wrong? We all know that we are right, as the true value of DNF is around 65-70%. Thus, I’d say the 60-90% group of reviewers are The Good.”

      Is this satirical?

    • Moni says:

      I’m very confused. It seems to suggest that anyone who gave DNF anything between and including 2 and 5 out of 5 is an incompetent liar.

    • President Weasel says:

      One hopes it’s a troll, and even a slightly over-egged one at that. The internet being what it is, though…

    • Dominic White says:

      The level of denial on show from some quarters of the Duke fanbase is absolutely mindblowing. The absolute inability to get their heads around the fact that the game just isn’t very good is… well, it would be tragic if it isn’t hilarious.

      Now, don’t get me wrong here – I’ve been replaying Duke 3D with the WGRealms 2 and War of Attrition mods and having ENORMOUS fun. The original Duke 3D formula was great, holds up well to this day, and with some polishing and refining, it could have made for a great sequel. But instead, they gave us something halfway between the original Halo and the original FEAR without any of the finer gameplay points of those two, with humor somehow much dumber and tone-deaf than the original.

      And that’s terrible.

    • Duoae says:

      I guess it must be satirical…. right? I mean…. it’s like watching someone complaining about people complaining about complainers. Posting ridiculous articles to generate page views… And RPS is guilty of accessory to mediocrity!

      If, however, it *is* serious then they have a serious flaw (well, okay, another one) in their assessment. i.e. They assume that each publication and reviewer uses the same scale to rate games on. By this i mean that we’re all familiar with the modern review scale ranging from 55%-100% instead of the full 100%. What they should have done was analysed around 10 reviews for similar FPSes from the same publication and/or reviewer and then compared the ranges of those results to each other to determine which relative results were comparable….

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Dominic most of the people who are currently playing Duke Nukem Forever actually seem to be enjoying it quite a bit. It’s certainly not brilliant and it’s rather flawed but it’s a lot more fun than the raft of modern warfare or WW2 shooters that have come out over the last 10 years. I do think that reviewers should be asking why so many gamers have enjoyed it so much while they’ve been panning it.

      It’s a mess but it’s a lot more fun than a lot of games that have been coming out recently.

    • starclaws says:

      Ya the DNF review analysis is great. Anyone who completely bashed it and anyone who enjoyed it are liars apparently. So much for opinions. But a 20/100 and a 88/100 is clearly the extremes of the reviews. As the game wasn’t unplayable and the game wasn’t amazing. His normals were like 55-75 out of 100.

    • V. Profane says:

      A big fan of Duke 3D, someone with no interest in playing Military Man-shoot #29 (and someone who’s played DNF), I can only suggest lowered expectations as an explanation for people enjoying it. Mind you, I thought Bioshock wasn’t very good at being an FPS.

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      lurkalisk says:

      The DNF article seems, to me, to be somewhat satirical, in all all the right ways (a good chance it’s not intentional). It’s precisely as logical as the berating DNF got. There’s substance to back it up, but not nearly enough to take it seriously, just like most reviews for the game.

      Point is, DNF revealed something spectacular and horrible about the videogame journalism community, I’d say. The most concerning part is that I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    • Cinnamon says:

      It was stupid when people were saying that Dragon Age 2 “deserved” a certain range of scores and that anyone who didn’t agree was either incompetent or had some sort of satanic 56th degree free mason agenda. It’s still stupid here. Multiple peaks on the distribution of scores is easily and more simply explained by some people just have different tolerance levels for different types of bullshit.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Why does a game that is “playable” deserve more than a film that is playable? Or a painting which, yep, is definitely paint on canvas.

      One star (25%) and below film reviews are not at all uncommon.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      Disclaimer : I haven’t actually played DNF since I’m waiting for it to hit the bargain bin.

      TillEulenspiegel : Except that 1/5 means that it is an unwatchable flop so 1/5 would mean that it is an unplayable flop. DNF clearly isn’t unplayable since it is by most accounts actually a fun game.

      lurkalisk : I think that part of the problem (And I’m probably going to get some flack for this) is that a lot of games reviewers seem to think that their job is to somehow try to elevate gaming to some new mature, grown up level and they forget that their job is to tell us how a game plays and whether it is fun or not. The result is that games like DNF or Postal 2 get slated for not conforming to their ideas of what gaming should be. Also, a few of those ultra-low reviews seem to be trying to emulate Old Man Murray and are written in an attempted hyperbolic and scathing style. Sadly they aren’t Chet or Erik and DNF isn’t Daikatana.

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      stahlwerk says:

      Lately I’ve been thinking about Ben Kuchera’s (of Ars Technica) “rating” system, where he finishes each review with a “the good, the bad and the ugly” list and gives a verdict of either “skip”, “rent” or “buy”. Which kinda is like a 0%, 50% and 100% rating, if you will, but not quite. It’s not a pseudo-scientific way of trying to rate a game via analysis, but he instead gives a clear recommendation, like an honest friend would do.

      How many people do you know in real life, who, asked if it was nice enough weather to wear shorts would say, “oh it’s definitely an 82%!”?

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      “Dominic most of the people who are currently playing Duke Nukem Forever actually seem to be enjoying it quite a bit. [..] it is by most accounts actually a fun game.”

      Argumentum ad populum. Should reviewers reconsider their views because a lot of people like Britney Spears or Last Airbender?

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      stahlwerk says:

      “Except that 1/5 means that it is an unwatchable flop so 1/5 would mean that it is an unplayable flop. DNF clearly isn’t unplayable since it is by most accounts actually a fun game.”

      Hm, the way I see it, a reviewer’s objectivity (if there is such a thing) doesn’t need to take in “most accounts”. Reviewers are paid for their opinions (at least ideally) about a product, not for predicting and preempting the average response.
      I’d like for more strong opinions. If a game is crude, shitty and offensive, why not give it a 0/5? How would people rate a Custer’s Revenge HD remake? Calling a turd a turd undilutedly (“but the graphics!…”) should be encouraged, IMO.

    • Bhazor says:

      The Hive level.

      One star seems right after that little scene.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I have found the backlash strange. For example, DNF wasn’t that great, but it was slightly above average imo. Whereas I had previously been playing through Bulletstorm, which was frankly insulting to my intelligence.

      I wouldn’t say either game was very good, but neither was particularly worse than the other. And somehow, I didn’t find DNFs jokes quite so offensive. They may not have been funny, but they didn’t make me angry like Bulletstorm did.

    • Urthman says:

      Imagine if the movie industry and movie fans were as thin-skinned as gamers and the gaming industry.

      The drubbing DNF has received is nothing–nothing!–compared to the vitriol that was written about Transformers 2 (to name just one of many movies that is wildly more successful than DNF while being reviled by reviewers). Did Michael Bay have to fire any PR people for crying about reviewers in public? Do you think the studio blacklisted anyone for that?

    • BobsLawnService says:

      “Argumentum ad populum. Should reviewers reconsider their views because a lot of people like Britney Spears or Last Airbender?”
      Ah, yes, I forget that there is still room for elitism in an industry comprised of make believe killing goblins, orcs, aliens, prostitutes, police and toy soldiers on a little screen. I’m not going to say any much about that.

    • President Weasel says:

      “How many people do you know in real life, who, asked if it was nice enough weather to wear shorts would say, “oh it’s definitely an 82%!”?”

      I know quite a few who’d check the weather and go “it’s meant to be about 82 degrees with little chance of rain, looks like it might be a shorts day”

    • steggieav says:

      @DrGonzo: Which is why it got an above-average score, right?

      Also, Britney Spears and The Last Airbender (the show) are the greatest.

    • 0mer says:

      BobsLawnService: “Dominic most of the people who are currently playing Duke Nukem Forever actually seem to be enjoying it quite a bit”

      The people who continue to play DNF and enjoy it are a self-selecting population. For such a hyped game, DNF is woefully pitiful on the number of people playing on PC according to the Steam stats, which are required for DNF to run anyways.

      As of right now, Steam users are at a peak for Sunday (~3.2 million). The most popular game right now is TF2 at 100k or so players (which is F2P but also 5 years old). DNF is sitting below some really old and niche games such as MTG, Napoleon TW, and Mount & Blade Warblade. The total number of players is 3,527 as of 12:36pm CST Sunday. That’s a pitiful amount by any measure and especially for a brand new game.

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      PoulWrist says:

      Actually makes a lot of sense. It just goes to show that when there’s no super-hype machine in place, then a game that is very close to being a normal shooter these days gets what it really should get. Call of Duty Blackops shouldn’t have gotten 90%, or whatever, Dragon Age 2 shouldn’t have gotten 94% in PC Gamer or 80+% anywhere.
      Game reviewers just don’t give games that they think should be good a bad score. They just throw wild numbers out and raving texts that don’t make any sense. Then, a game that everyone really do expect to pretty much suck comes along, and what happens? Why, it’s completely standard, and all the reviewers seem to agree that because something is very standard, but was expected to be bad, all the bad things should be expunged upon and any redeeming factors minimized.
      Sure, it’s business. And sure, DNF isn’t a very good game, it’s however not that bad either. For entertainment the singleplayer ranks right up there with the latest Call of Duty games. No? Why not? Games where you can win by not shooting at all and have ridiculous macho bullshit spouted at all times, while taking itself so seriously, why is that bad? DNF takes itself seriously and thinks it’s so good? What if THAT is the sarcastic statement that the game makes. Being completely mediocre, but spouting itself as the best fucking game ever? Isn’t that what we see every damn year from EA and Activision with first their Call of Duty games and their Medal of Honor games? Huh? I say it is, they’re just being all serious about being the best, while everyone with even a modicum of experience with videogames can see right through that crap. But most don’t. They close their eyes and enjoy themselves playing yet another shitty game.

      And what is the conclusion? Don’t play videogames. They’re too much of a hassle and you will be stuck playing mediocre games from now on till forever, while reading retarded posts on the internet about how this or that game is the best one ever simply because of the name.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Ah, yes, I forget that there is still room for elitism in an industry comprised of make believe killing goblins, orcs, aliens, prostitutes, police and toy soldiers on a little screen

      Right, there are certainly no significant or widely praised books or films that involve fantasy, sci-fi, crime, or war.

    • Jumwa says:

      @PoulWrist

      I’ve expressed the same thing myself before, but you said it better.

    • Det says:

      >Game reviewers just don’t give games that they think should be good a bad score.
      Kane and lynch, epic mickey, shank, FF13, dante’s inferno…

    • Dominic White says:

      To those saying the DNF ‘isn’t that bad':
      Tell me ONE thing it does as well as (not even better) the standard flagship shooters of the past 3-4 years. If we’re using the whole scale, then to break a 50-60% score, it has to have at least one stand-out feature.

    • destx says:

      Dominic, environment interaction is the first thing that comes to mind.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      I’ve seen enough percentile scores today to tell you that I never, ever, want to read another non-RPS review.

    • konondrum says:

      Reading crap like this makes me wonder why people read game reviews at all, unless it is to bitch and moan about the reviews. The argument that any review not within a certain range immediately disqualifies them is absurd. If you’re only allowed to use a certain portion of the scale, then why have the entire scale at all? Why does DNF HAVE to merit at least 60%, just because it boots up? I haven’t played the whole game, but I did try to demo and didn’t like it at all. Yet somehow I’m obligated to give it a pass because it’s not completely broken. Seriously I just don’t understand this argument at all.

    • banski83 says:

      I tried the demo on Steam, prepared to give it a fair chance, and while some bits of it did make me chuckle, it’s not really the AAA game the marketing made it out to be.

      Bulletstorm is better, to my mind.

    • sephirotharg says:

      I’m sure others have or will pick apart the Xentax (sorry, but inter-capped names don’t fly with me) review of reviews (or really a review of reviewers), and I generally don’t post, but with so much low-hanging fruit I just can’t resist. If I’m off-base on anything, call me on it, but I had so many issues with this piece that I felt almost compelled to post.

      Let’s start out by what is, in my view, the most egregious error the piece makes. This is, ironically, a subjective argument, but the piece assumes that games can be viewed and therefore reviewed in an objective manner. Strike one (sorry, I’m American, and though I love foot-to-ball(the European kind) baseball metaphors are the first thing to come to mind). As I said, the debate rages on about whether games can even be reviewed objectively. I’m inclined, as are others smarter than I (John Davison of CBS Interactive, including Metacritic and Gamespot on the most recent Gamers With Jobs podcast, which you can find at [http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/podcast], is one such example) have put forth the idea that a game-playing experience isn’t objective. While some mechanics of games, for example controls, can be objectively viewed, a game is the sum of its parts and the experience of playing it cannot be viewed in a mythical “objective” state. The author asserts that the game “objectively” would receive a 65% or 70% score (presumably on a 100-point scale). This fallacy about the game’s objective score pervades the entire piece, undermining the premise of the argument (namely that many reviewers are bad at reviewing games because they gave DNF a low or high score). If a review score is seen as a quantifiable expression of a reviewer’s subjective experience with a game, it is madness to try to apply an objective lens to their scores or even the game itself.

      Another issue I have with the piece is the fact that it is written more or less anonymously, yet attacks reviewers for using the self-same shield of anonymity. Several reviews in the chart towards the bottom are written by “anonymous wimps”, yet the blog post has no noted author, opting instead to be posted by the account of one Mr.Mouse. It is not hard to find out who the account belongs to; doing a little digging on the site will reveal the owner of the account. I’m choosing not to write the name, though by saying it is there I cannot claim any moral superiority. That said, the choice not to attribute the piece to any one particular person suggests that the author did not want to be identified. The author has no qualms about listing the names of every “incompetent liar” who reviewed the game, yet posts under a pseudonym (if the account owner is even the author, which is by no means certain). The contradictory stance here does not help the author’s case. I realize that my posting this critique under an assumed name is seemingly inconsistent with this paragraph; in some sense, that is true. However, the expectation of revealing one’s name is fairly established in blog posts, whereas it is not at all expected and in some cases dangerous to do so in comments. That is all I can say.

      For that matter, who is the mysterious “we” that has decided on DNF’s objective review score? The author writes that “Overall we would agree that the game deserves somewhere between 65% and 70% as a score…” while utterly failing to explain who the “who” is. Is it a distinguished panel of experienced reviewers? Is it the crew at the website? Is it the author and his imaginary friend? Is it the Mad Hatter, the Jabberwocky and the Cheshire Cat? The idea of assigning a game an objective score without defining the group that assigns said game said score is absolutely ludicrous. If an objective notion of reviewing games is to be adopted, then we need to know who is giving out these objective ratings to assess their ability to objectively judge a game. I know that I respect and trust some reviewers more than others; therefore I would be more receptive to their idea of how a game plays and what score it receives. By failing to explain the people behind Duke’s “objective” score, we cannot accept the “objective” score as valid for lack of information.

      We’re not even out of the first paragraph of the Xentax piece yet! The next problem arises with Rich Whitehouse and his magical review zone of 50% to 85%. To start with, this Rich Whitehouse is rather suspect for his part in all this. Taking a quick glance at his blog, two facts stick out: he got his start modding games, including Duke 3D, and he appears to have no experience reviewing or critiquing games. The fact that he modded Duke suggests he is a fan of the series, and suggests an apologetic stance towards the game (and a lack of toleration for bad review scores). The lack of reviewing experience brings into question his ability to judge the game critically. For that matter, why does he choose the range of scores he does for the game? Why does meeting a certain threshold for a review score qualify it as valid? It seems crazy to me to suggest that a reviewer who gave the game a 50 is incompetent, yet a reviewer who gave the game a 51 is perfectly fine. And Whitehouse’s lack of a reviewing background weakens his case for the criteria used. Of course any person can think critically about and critique a game, but Whitehouse is first and foremost a game developer, not a game reviewer, so for him to play at reviewing is irresponsible, reckless and destructive when it leads to reviewers being called out by name and publicly shamed.

      A note on the tone of the review: it is perfectly fine to critique the work of others, but there is a way to do it professionally. It is apparent that the author took no pains at all to maintain any sense of professionalism or even decency in the piece. Calling out specific outlets for “harboring very incompetent reviewers” is merely the first example of many points where the author’s tone is openly hostile. The examples are too numerous to show here, but from the language I can conclude that no professionalism was used in the writing or editing of this piece.

      The piece goes off the rails, however, when it tells the reader to ignore anything the reviewers mentioned ever say on ANYTHING games related on the basis of ONE “bad” review. To form an opinion on someone based on only one writing sample is silly; to do so on the basis of only the score from one review, as the author has undoubtedly done, is malicious ignorance incarnate. The fact that the author encourages others to brand them as ” INCOMPETENT LIARS for the rest of their lives whenever we hear them say anything about games in general” is nothing short of deplorable and quite nearly unethical. While strict ethical codes need not apply to journalism, abusing a position of power as an author to (mis)inform the audience about competing journalists is indefensible.

      Let us not forget that blind reliance on a review score alone serves nobody well. To point to the review scores alone, without providing context for each score and seemingly without reading these reviews, is deliberate obfuscation of the truth. How can the author possibly know if Jeffrey van Leeuwen of tgdb.nl is a “Foul” or “Righteous” reviewer if he/she has never read his review of DNF? (For the record, I have no proof either way that the author of the post has or has not read that particular review. I merely find it unlikely that he/she has read all 117 reviews extensively enough to speak about each of them from a position of knowledge).

      And the true kicker in all of this: the author writes what amounts to an opinion piece (the opinion being that other journos are crap because they gave one game a score outside a certain range), yet this author is not willing to listen to others’ opinions. That the comments are disabled on this piece indicates that the author does not want to hear a viewpoint other than his or her own. I do realize that comments are closed on every post from the site; that fact makes the lack of comments on such a polarizing piece no less nefarious. In fact, I’m posting this comment on RPS because the comments are closed on Xentax.

      I’ve not played DNF, so I cannot say I have an informed opinion on it. The same standards do not seem to apply to the author of the Xentax piece, however. We as consumers of this content have the right and indeed responsibility to demand better from our content producers. I’m not sure what editorial procedures, if any, Xentax has in place. But if this is the kind of content that is released to the public, then things need to change. The author accuses the reviewers of trying to get hits; is it inconceivable, then, that this piece is also a ploy to get hits? We have no way to know. But I know that pieces as poorly written, sloppily reasoned and shoddily constructed come along, we need to call the authors on it. That said, I have not given up hope that Xentax can change; is it too much to ask for them to extend the same belief to the reviewers?

    • Aankhen says:

      My favourite part was the table of reviews, reviewers and scores… presented as an image. With random rows slightly blurred. (Not obscuring anything, just… unfocused.)

      What is this I don’t even.

  2. McDan says:

    My word that depressing article is just horrible rather than depressing. The shepard article is good, even though I have both male and female shepards I prefer the female ones as it does just feel more “right” in a way that’s hard to explain. Geomagnetic vision? Well flies aren’t really similar to humans in the eye department, we have two, they have…lots? So no. Mhm, that shepard article is good, although anything about mass effect I eagerly lap up. Thanks Jim!

    • Rich says:

      Flies only have two, but being compound eyes means their vision is made up of distinct pixels. It’d be like looking at a low resolution digital photograph.
      Edit: Also, ME could’ve done with a few more default faces for both male and female Shepherds. In certain lights my female Shepherd’s nose still looks odd.

    • Chopper says:

      Online Abuse article – It would have been nice if the author had followed through and found out what, if anything, happens abusive people. If every case is looked at, surely warnings and bans must be issued? It would help if this action was publicised a bit more, even to the extent of a short and unambiguous warning every time you go online with a game.

    • McDan says:

      Yes Rich, that’s it with flies eyes, couldn’t remember rightly. And right about the femshep face as well, unless you spend ages fiddling with the complicated setting on bone structure etc. they all look pretty similar, which is a shame. And yes to the warning, also maybe an automated thing in which people can complain about people’s messages and the other person then gets a warning? Although that could end badly.

    • MiniMatt says:

      The FUoS article is indeed depressing. Unfortunately I suspect it will never really change. That sort of behaviour pretty much exists for the same reason that people will give someone the finger and mouth questions of parentage to the bar-steward who cuts them up on their morning commute. Anonymity is part of it, but so is the feeling of seperation that a car or a computer screen puts around people. Those road rage incidents only really occur in moments of competition – those incidents where we compete for space on a roundabout, ahead of a truck, a parking space etc. Games are pretty much entirely competitive and adversarial.

      I’m not condoning it in the slightest, but I wonder if there will ever be a solution. There are assholes on the internet. Most of us are assholes from time to time, and most of us are never the kind of assholes described on FUoS – but if 1% of the population is then we’re going to run into them very regularly on the intertubes. A healthy and effective blocking system in every game/forum/communication method is pretty much the only solution I can see at this stage.

    • gganate says:

      I’ve noticed bad stuff said before while playing on the pc, but nothing is comparable to the nastiness spouted on x-box live. I would guess this sort of behavior is restricted to competitive multiplayer games like Halo and COD, where the nature of those titles attracts the most idiots. My girlfriend plays Wow and has never run into the kind of vitriol should would if she played more shooters.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      In WoW you don’t see it as much because Blizzard pays thousands of GMs to police the chat for you. What I’ve always found more interesting is the way the game itself influences the behaviour of the players. TF2 players, for example, always seemed to have a different mentality than COD players. It’ll be interesting to see whether this culture changes now that it’s free.

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      Colthor says:

      I think a Reddit comment about the site sums it up nicely:
      “I posit that it isn’t strange at all. This is what people are actually like. Underneath all of the social niceties, this is what people are thinking. The internet has shown us to ourselves.”

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Highly doubtful. Most of the complaints have been either mostly harmless, or “don’t teabag that guy, this isn’t Halo”.

  3. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    Is that guy writing the DNF score thing serious?

  4. Alexander Norris says:

    Reviewers that either score the game 50% or lower, or score the game 85% or higher are utterly crap. So much crap, that they will not be taken seriously as game reviewers for the rest of their lives.

    So… giving a mediocre game a less-than-median score is as compromising as giving that same mediocre game a score reserved for brilliant games (8/10)?

    What?

    • BobsLawnService says:

      I think the point he is trying to make is that not enough reviewers seem to make use of the 50-85% bracket which is fair enough.

    • Thants says:

      It seemed to me that what he was saying is that it’s a scientific fact that DNF is 65% to 70% good. Therefore, anyone rating it below 50% or above 85% is lying.

    • Acorino says:

      He forgot to add the bit where he proved that 65-70% was the only range of score DNF deserved to get. :)
      But then, it was satire anyway, at least I hope so.
      Even if it wasn’t, I took it as such.

  5. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Re: The Fat, Ugly or Slutty thing. I’d like to point out that it deals solely with Xbox Live.

    :\

    • Rich says:

      I don’t wish to pander to stereotypes, but…

    • kwyjibo says:

      “I’m going to travel back in time, find a dinosaur egg, bring it back, sit on it until it hatches, raise it, love it, and then watch it mangle your lifeless and helpless carcass while I touch myself inappropriately.”

      That is comedy gold. Pure comedy gold.

    • President Weasel says:

      It also doesn’t seem to be particularly misogynistic, unlike much of the rest. How do we know that one wasn’t sent because the player was a noob – or just to share the comedy gold with the world?

    • Rii says:

      Yeah, I find it difficult to believe that that was sent as a real insult. I suspect some meta-gaming is going on here.

    • JackShandy says:

      There’s a decent amount from WoW there, too.

    • Theory says:

      Sorry everyone, but I did find a screen from Left 4 Dead on the fifth or sixth page.

    • The Hammer says:

      Christ, seeing misogyny on WOW is quite a regular thing, although the homophobia is more prevalent. Then again: most of that can be solved by turning /trade chat off, and disposing with /battleground chat when you’re PVPing.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      I’m especially impressed by the Hate Mail posts. Where people voice their displeasure at the site owners by acting exactly like the site’s intended targets. Without a hint of irony, I might add.

      http://fatuglyorslutty.com/2011/02/13/hate-mail/
      http://fatuglyorslutty.com/2011/04/08/hate-mail-part-deux-the-hatening/

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      I think quite a lot of it (general abuse) is more in jest than anything else on most of the servers I play on, except for when I was playing CoD, there was quite a lot of “FAG” “CAMPING BITCH” etc etc, I mean come on, I shout those things myself, when I get excited at my game/with friends, but I don’t spray it on the mic.

      Also there are always idiots coming on to girls in video games, always gives me a giggle, I don’t know if the girls find it the same way, but still funny.

    • McDan says:

      Even though I have a brilliant tag on the RPS forums I’m considering changing it to that insult one, it’s brilliant.

    • Jumwa says:

      Yes, it’s indeed present in WoW too.

      Also, I find the article’s insistence that moderators don’t do anything about poor behaviour being a myth is rather off the mark. Even in WoW, where the GMs and official forum moderators tend to act more than most other games, my friends and I discovered them to be rather reluctant to do anything about the harassment we experienced again and again and again.

      We had experiences of a particular group griefing and harassing our roleplay events on a roleplay server–which supposedly is protected against such things–but time and time again they’d be back summoning doomguards upon us, spamming chat with racial slurs, even across the language barrier of the game (which is supposed to be a rule violation in and of itself). Nothing was ever done. For using a racial slur across the language barrier they once received a temporary ban for 24 hours, that’s it.

      Most multiplayer games my friends and I have played, whether on Xbox Live, PS3 or the PC, have been filled with such people. Perhaps not so childish, but manchildish at least. The competitiveness of most online multiplayer games coupled with the bile spewing hate of the denizens keeps us from wanting to play at all.

      The same reason why we don’t really post to any game forums. There’s just too much posturing and anger.

      I’ve always thought of the internet as the place to cut loose and be myself, relax and not have to hide anything. Which, if that’s the common view, is rather scary when I place it to such people.

    • mlaskus says:

      I’ve been playing a bit of Starcraft 2 lately, well not really, I’m only playing an excellent custom map called Star Battles, and I absolutely hate that community. Having your team exchange rape jokes over the course of a match is fairly common. When someone makes a mistake, he is a noob, fag and should gtfo and kill himself…

    • alice says:

      This is not true, I see it in TF2 and L4D all the time as well. Even on servers that have female regulars there is plenty of harassment.

  6. MuscleHorse says:

    Thank you for not linking to a Grinderman song and to a Bad Seeds one. I like to pretend that Nick isn’t going through an appalling mid-life crisis and that he still occasionally writes songs that aren’t all about sexually assaulting under-age girls.

    On the topic of gaming; the reaction to women online is an issue, yes, but the article is focused on Xbox live, something which generally has a younger userbase. It would be nice to see a more PC centric investigation as I don’t think I’ve encountered that attitude for somewhile, though that may be because I tend to play on select servers and not the wilds of public.

    Female Shepard 4 life.

    Aaand I finally got around to playing the Duke Forever demo and I didn’t go past the title sequence after the prologue. It was -fucking- dreadful, both in terms of gameplay and the ‘funny’ script.

  7. Kollega says:

    “Warhammer 40k has been around for 25 years. We were the original space marine…”

    I’m sorry, but this statement is simply untrue. 40k might have been around for 25 years, but they weren’t the first to come up with an idea of space marines. Heinlein was, with his book oh-so-cleverly titled “Starship Troopers”.

    • Bilbo says:

      Just as a nitpick, GW actually refer to them specifically as Space Marines. Relic want to own the term as much as the concept. In Starship Troopers, they’re referred to as “Mobile Infantry”, but I’m not disputing that he makes explicit reference to the use of powered exoskeletons, or that in general GW’s space marines and Heinlein’s MI are very similar in almost all respects.

    • The Hammer says:

      Heh, aye.

      I like how because Mr Haugaard is a global brand director of Relic – a company that only started to make and publish Warhammer games in the 21st century – he can claim that “We”,

    • V. Profane says:

      That interview was absolutely awful. A PR man vs a fucking wannabe T4 presenter.

    • 75oharas says:

      There was space marines in the lensman series written in the 40s before Starship troopers. To be honest i think a space marine is a staple of sci fi since the beginning.

      edit

      according to Wikipedia (not perfect i know) EE Smith was first in 1934 followed by Heinlein in 1939 in his story Misfit (2 books before starship troopers)

    • Zenicetus says:

      @ 75oharas: Yep, “Doc” EE Smith was probably the first with the whole Space Marine package, although there was a lot of obscure pulp sci-fi being written in the 1930’s, where he might have picked up the idea.

      The Lensman series has the Galactic Patrol with power armor (or at least implied power armor) and blasters as hand weapons. It even anticipates the melee combat in Warhammer with weapons like a “Space Axe” designed to overcome the force fields on enemy armored soldiers.

  8. JackShandy says:

    Urgh. Read the “Fat, Ugly or Slutty” article. Turgid thoughts:

    Is there any way to design a game in such a way that it discourages this shit? I mean, you’ve obviously got to have good community management, but that doesn’t stop people starting this shit before they’re banned – especially if the victims aren’t reporting them. So is there a way to make a multiplayer game so that, in and of itself, it appeals to the kind of community that wouldn’t support this behaviour?

    I’ve been thinking about it and I don’t really think there is. Good community management works, of course, but if you’re the one at the back end designing the game I’m not sure there’s anything you can do. Possibly you could make every character in the game a woman, or hell, actually having female characters? I guess the goal would have to be to give female players a way to make it obvious that they’re women, and have them not afraid to do so. If the game’s based around forcibly killing other men you’re probably fucked. Making your game more complex so that it only appeals to a small audience wouldn’t weed out the psycho’s either. I suppose the best option would be to make a game that you play with people like your Facebook friends, so that a random stranger can never burst in and ruin everything.

    • Rii says:

      “Is there any way to design a game in such a way that it discourages this shit?”

      Put fairies and unicorns in it.

    • JackShandy says:

      Then all the unicorns would gang up together and teabag the fairies.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      @ JackShandy

      Hot!

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Ruthless moderation. Seriously, it’s the only way. Ban ban ban.

      I doubt this would even require a particularly large staff, unless your game is F2P where there’s no barrier to registering an account. You want very clear guidelines about what you’re not allowed to do and what will happen if you break the rules (hint: instant perma-ban).

      Thus, any game can have a good, if small community.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      The best way to stop something like this is by enforcing rules against it.My suggestion is that if someone gets reported and it turns out that they were spewing hate speech then just ban them from all in-game communication/chat for a week. Rap them over the knuckles and teach them that their behaviour is unacceptable and they’ll eventually stop spewing that crap or quit.

    • Premium User Badge

      Man Raised by Puffins says:

      The Xbox mods are already undertaking that Sisyphean task: http://forums.xbox.com/xbox_forums/xbox_support/f/41/t/2487.aspx

    • Chopper says:

      @Puffins

      Some good reading over there :)

      User: Please could you explain why my son’s account has been permanently banned? He has been an xbox user for years with no problems and has enjoyed gaming as one of his main hobbies. He has a high gamer score which he is very proud of. His gamer tag is ii x Exile s

      Unfortunately after this ban his OCD and anxiety disorder have come back with aveangance and he is experiencing severe withdrawal symptons which is making family life unbearable. In view of this would it be possible to reduce the ban terms to temporary rather than permanent.?

      Moderator: This account was permanently suspendeded for engaging in user account tampering.

      This suspension will stand as issued. Xbox Live is not a suitable medical treatment for the symptoms you are describing. For more information, consult your doctor.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      @chopper:

      For your viewing pleasure: http://whywasibanned.com/

      Some of the Xbox mods have brilliant senses of humour:

    • JackShandy says:

      “Hi, I got a message saying I was suspended because of my gamertag, “LOVES TO SPOOOGE”. What’s wrong with loving my grandfather, Edmund Spooge miller?”

  9. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Excellent papers this week Jim. Some thoughts . . .

    The Duke Nukem defense is a spoof, right? “You could imagine two curves with normal-like distribution in there while squinting.” made me giggle.

    —-

    Not sure I agree with the angle taken by the Mass Effect gender and race article. While I agree that the marketing focus towards male Shephard is somewhat jarring I’m not convinced by point that;

    “When Brown Lady Shepard is rude, or curt, or dismissive, the reactions she receives from others are not to her gender or her race, but to her words. Why? Because the character was written with the expectation that most people will play it as a white dude, a character for whom reactions based on gender or race are inconceivable. He’s “normal”, y’see. In real life, and in most media representation, we are culturally conditioned to respond differently to a big ol’ white dude with no manners than we do a woman of color doing the exact same thing.”

    Actually I’d argue that this is more due to the constraints of not being able to record masses of unique dialogue. Looking at games which do have unique responses based on character traits, they either use text (see Dragon Age) or suffer a lack of overall polish or playability on release (see Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines). As much as I’d love to see a big budget, fully voice acted game go all out on touches like that it’s rather impractical.

    —-

    Two things I thought whilst reading the video games journalism manifesto

    1) Games journos are a cynical bunch

    2) Nope, still can’t read more than two paragraphs of a Tim Rogers article!

    —-

    The Gaasutra article on level design was a good read.

    —-

    Love the “No, but lose anyway” button in Police Quest. That’s the kind of thing that almost makes me want to go through the trials of playing a Sierra adventure game.

    Fat, Ugly or Slutty is both depressing and hilarious at the same time. I can’t remember multiplayer being that unfriendly back when I played it (we’re talking UT days here) but then again there wasn’t really voice chat and so on back then. Certainly I can’t remember there being as much of a culture of offensiveness but maybe I was just lucky (or maybe people now are unlucky).

    • Rich says:

      To your second section I’d add that most interactions within ME are with aliens. They’re hardly likely to make comments about race and gender if to them we all look alike, as they they do to us.
      Also, maybe humanity lost some of its own inequalities when it encountered species that are genuinely different.

    • Premium User Badge

      Some_Guy says:

      As far as the mass effect race thing goes, It remineds me of terry partchet quote “Racism was not a problem on the Discworld, because – what with trolls and dwarfs and so on – speciesism was more interesting. Black and white lived in perfect harmony and ganged up on green. “

    • Urthman says:

      Lambchops, you’re missing the point about the Mass Effect article.

      She’s saying that an unintended side-effect of Bioware not completely re-writing the dialogue for male and female Shepards is that you get this refreshing spectacle of a brown female characters who is treated with true equality. No sexist and racist stereotypes. No attempts at “progressive” subplots about the character overcoming sexism or racism. Just a protagonist who is treated just like the white male would be.

      Having no one react to her race and gender would be unrealistic in a lot of games, but for something set in the far future, it can be seen as an optimistic possibility of where our society could be someday.

      The sad part is that, if Bioware had taken the time and effort to do a “female” version of Shepard (with different dialogue for all the people who talk to her), she would almost certainly be a more annoyingly stereotyped character.

    • Rich says:

      @Some_Guy: Funny enough, I was thinking of that exact quote.

    • Archonsod says:

      “Having no one react to her race and gender would be unrealistic in a lot of games, but for something set in the far future, it can be seen as an optimistic possibility of where our society could be someday.”

      I’m not sure I’d call it optimistic. You still have Cerberus and their human-supremacist dogma. If anything it just shows racism has indeed shifted from skin colour to species.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      @ Unaco

      That did rather whoosh over my head, clearly comprehension while hungover isn’t my strong suit!

    • thegooseking says:

      To be fair, Word of God on Mass Effect lore is that by the time Mass Effect is set, pretty much everyone is mixed-race anyway, the revelation that aliens exist being a catalyst that somehow made racial prejudices seem somewhat petty.

  10. Bilbo says:

    FemShep: You’re doing it right

  11. Premium User Badge

    sibusisodan says:

    re: the Duke Nukem defense, That’s genius: Logic Fail 101. ‘If I assume my conclusion in my premise, then we can see that my conclusion is true.’

  12. Jason Moyer says:

    Modern Warfare 2 86 critic/3.7 user
    Far Cry 2 85 critic/5.5 user
    Black Ops 81 critic/4.2 user
    Deus Ex Invisible War 80 critic/6.1 user
    The Saboteur 76 critic/8.1 user
    Duke Nukem Forever 55 critic/6.0 user

    I dunno if there’s a conclusion I’m trying to draw here, but I tend not to give a crap about reviews written by people who are paid to do so, especially when part of that payment comes in the form of favors/handjobs/out-and-out payola from the people who publish the games. I don’t agree with the user scores for a lot of games (I thought Far Cry 2 was fantastic) but I can at least put that down as a difference of opinion and/or the fact that most people are idiots rather than a question of whether the scores are a result of marketing reacharounds.

    • Chopper says:

      Are you buying games based solely on a score then, and disregarding the content of the review? Because say what you want about professional reviews, they generally give you all the information you need to make a considered decision. User reviews are an entertaining read sometimes, but I would never treat them as anything but a source of amusement.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I don’t use reviews much at all really. I mean, I guess I’ll look at some from both the press and users to gather information, but I don’t care about the subjective aspects at all. User reviews have their own problems, but for the most part they’re a lot more useful in terms of information than pro reviews. Actually, the most useful source of pre-purchase information I find for most games comes from “Let’s Play” videos on Youtube, because you can browse through them without spoiling much and it gives an idea of how the game looks/plays.

      How often do you read a professional PC game review that mentions DRM or technical issues? Look at the GTA4 PC scores – the critics gave it a 90, users gave it a 5.0. The game was an absolute mess on the PC when it came out and has to be close to setting a record for the number of different kinds of copy protection it came bundled with. If Obsidian or inXile or Gearbox released a game in that state, it probably would have been murdered in the pro reviews, given a 65, and sent along its way. In the case of an anticipated media-darling mainstream release like GTA4 the fact that the game was crippled out of the box was completely glossed over, and the multiple layers of copy protection weren’t even mentioned (of course, the copies the press played probably didn’t include any).

      Oh, and there’s also payola, but that doesn’t actually exist unless it’s a news story (i.e. the Kane & Lynch/Gamespot fiasco).

    • ChaosSmurf says:

      I agree, anyone who’s proved to be good enough to get paid to do something cannot be trusted

    • Premium User Badge

      Sagan says:

      You’ve got two effects here:

      a) It’s cool to hate on the popular game. See Yahtzee.
      b) Gaming Stockholm Syndrome. Since people are stuck with their 50€ purchase they convince themselves that the game isn’t that bad after all.

      And I think the two are competing in the DNF user score.

    • Chopper says:

      Fair enough, I get you. My comment was to do with putting your faith in user reviews, which from what I’ve seen are the domain of lunatics. All 10s or 1s and little in between, while pretty much having no content apart from the bit of the game that impressed/offended the user most. Of course there are plenty of well-considered ones too, but I’d generally be of the opinion that user reviews have more of an agenda and less information than professional reviews.

      Yeah, PC gaming is badly served, and I’d agree that when mainstream sites scent blood, they really go for it with the smaller software houses. However, if you read reviews and are able to discount the hyperbole and empty platitudes, then you can get a good idea of a game. People generally have something to say about good games.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I don’t put my faith in user scores. There are as many, if not more, biases in the user ratings as there are in the critic ratings. Probably the worst is social reactionism, although I wouldn’t say that critic reviews are devoid of that, either. An example would be the OOTP2007 scores, where half the user reviews are people who played it and gave it an 8-10 and the other half are people who haven’t played it and are offended that it’s rated as highly as Half-Life 2, the shining beacon in their otherwise meaningless gaming existence.

      User scores do have one important benefit, statistically, when looking at aggregate scores on Metacritic though, and that’s sample size. For most games (unfortunately, not all) there are far more user scores being put together to create the user rating then there are pro reviews. Without having a way to analyze the data quickly (would love if MC had CSV files of their data) I’d imagine the standard deviation in user scores is also much larger, and the average of all scores combined is probably a lot closer to average than you’d find with critic scores.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I agree, anyone who’s proved to be good enough to get paid to do something cannot be trusted

      The problem is that a large portion of the revenue that is being used to pay the salaries of pro game reviewers comes from the people who are publishing the games that they’re reviewing. That doesn’t mean it’s fair to put all pro reviewers in the same boat (I trust the RPS WIT pieces even though I don’t always agree with them), but there’s an inherent conflict of interest in writing reviews of something that is indirectly paying for your ability to write reviews.

    • V. Profane says:

      @Sagan
      Yahtzee does NOT hate on games to be ‘cool’. He uses hyperbole to comedic effect but his reviews are actually usually fair and reasoned, or at least explicitly qualified.

    • Urthman says:

      Yahtzee’s review of DNF was rather restrained, almost like he was embarrassed to be very nasty to such an easy target (or like he was afraid people would think he was planning to be nasty to DNF no matter how good it was).

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Granted, if he gives a game a gold star it’s probably quite good. People should go to him if only for him to play Devil’s Advocate, and because RPS doesn’t review console toy games.

      I thought he wasn’t hard enough on DNF.

    • DrGonzo says:

      “It’s cool to hate on the popular game. See Yahtzee.”

      I would certainly say that’s true of someone like Jim Sterling, but Yahtzee hates most games, whether they are popular or not.

  13. Unaco says:

    After reading that ‘Depressing’ article, I don’t think access to the internet should be available to everyone, without some sort of background check or test. It should probably be a privilege and not a right.

    I’ve witnessed that misogyny and abuse myself, several times (btw, I’m not a female, my avatar is Patti Hearst, and I just thought that picture looked cool)… But, it isn’t just women who experience that sort of abuse. Back when I played a certain team based, objective based multiplayer Source mod, there was an African American fellow who was part of the community and a friend. He had some brilliant/disgusting/depressing stories/images/recordings from his forays into other online gaming communities. Luckily, the community for the mod itself was quite small and ‘friendly’, so if anything like that happened on one of the servers it was quickly dealt with. I’ve seen other minorities and groups also receiving similar abuse… Asian gamers for example, or Brazilians, or Jewish gamers (or Jew-ish like myself)… or Conservatives.

    • Chopper says:

      You’d think it wouldn’t be hard for the console manufacturers to implement a rating system for Cuntishness. One to five stars, and these would be visible before you entered games, so you’d know who you were playing with and could enter or leave that game. Maybe get one star automatically for being reported (but still only one star total if reported 5 times, for example), more if moderated. Yeah, in the normal cut and thrust, lots of people would have one star, if only for others misunderstanding jokes among friends for example, but I’m sure everyone could live with that.

      PC online gaming would be a little more difficult to do that for though.

    • Urthman says:

      If the game companies cared, it wouldn’t be hard to keep rolling short-term transcripts and audiologs on their server hard drives–even just 10 minutes at a time–and if you got an abusive asshole you could push a report button and the last five minutes of text or audio would be sent to a moderator.

    • Giaddon says:

      “internet access is a privilege, not a right”

      Funny you should mention that…

      http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/06/united-nations-wikileaks-internet-human-rights/38526/

    • Unaco says:

      That’s saying that Internet access should be “an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress.” Being incredibly offensive, misogynistic, depraved, creepy, racist, sexist don’t really fall in line with those ideals, to me.

  14. katinkabot says:

    I’m not particularly depressed by the whole thing – even though I’ve had to deal with it. You just get a thick skin and move on. I don’t pay 60 dollars and then a possible sub to stand on a soap box to preach to idiots. I want to play the game.
    @Chopper
    It’s not about finding a way to to punish them via X-Box Live or PSN. It’s about shaming. The whole site is hilarious – the audio files of the guys with breathy/creepy voices, the unintelligible diatribes that are so horrifying they’re absurd. It’s f-ing hilarious. I’m glad they give out the handles, not so they get reported to X-box live but so they can be humiliated by their peers(I do feel bad for the pathetic ones where the guy is just poorly hitting on the girl. They tap into my disabled-puppy sympathies. Someone please find them something!).

  15. BobsLawnService says:

    Also, in response to that FUoS piece, my name in Starcraft 2 is feminine and In about 50 games the worst I’ve experienced is some dude asking if I like “cock”. My response was “I’m rather partial to my own, thanks.” and that shut him up.

    I wonder how much of a problem that sort of abuse is in Starcraft 2? Most of those quotes do seem to be on X-Box Live.

  16. Wulf says:

    Wow. I must really not have those baser instincts talked about. When I’m confronted with adversity, my first instinct is to–if at all possible–find a scenario that works for everyone.

    Large beasties attacking the livestock? Lead them away from the livestock to better hunting grounds, and then secure those grounds as an area for the beasties to hunt in.

    Angry people? Talking usually works, I find, especially if you’re saying what they want to hear and then slowly bending that toward a scenario that works for them and any other parties involved.

    On the run from a bandit? Well, I still like to deal with that in non-fatal ways. I have a rather entertaining way of dealing with this in Morrowind. They chase me? I knock them out. They’ll never catch me. And if they’re too much to punch… well, time to hop on the back of my old guar and ride off at speeds they’re incapable of. They’ll never catch me.

    I actually enjoyed VVVVVV because it gave me a game, with a lot of content, where I wasn’t challenged with killing things. That or I enjoy games that give me the choice, either with or without mods, to handle things my own way without having to kill.

    It’s interesting because my viewpoints have often been met with a lot of hostile feedback, like my approach is somehow wrong, or even mentally retarded (that’s happened, yes), and that I should just join in with the choir that likes to kill things. It’s just not my way. But I’ve often found it interesting how my approach to gaming tends to grate.

    I just like finding different ways of doing things, even when, in some cases, it might break the game.

    My response to adversity in gaming is to do whatever I can, even breaking reality, to make things right. Just so long as I’m not cheating.

  17. metalangel says:

    Rather than register for yet another site just to post a comment, I’ll say it here:

    Police Quest. Yes, taking off your clothes was instant death. However, this applied everywhere, no exceptions. For example, in the men’s locker room. And, in the shower in said locker room. Go into the shower and you automatically remove your towel, making you naked. Now you can “take off pants” and become bad, death-causing naked.

  18. rapchee says:

    i play mostly source mods, but i rarely meet abusive retards fortunately. unfortunately girls are just as rare as well. (i know 2 good insurgency players though)

  19. Sunjammer says:

    That DNF article has got to be satirical.

    Regardless, while I’m already here… The game wasn’t that bad. I’ve certainly played many, many worse games that have scored better. Subjectivity!

  20. bildo says:

    The ‘depressing’ story isn’t depressing. It’s hilarious. Do I act like a dick in multiplayer games? Not usually. Do I trash talk? Fuck yes. Keeps the game interesting. The one thing I hate is women bitching that some guy told them to “eat a dick,” or “make me a sammich” or some other juvenile thing. Listen, gaming is a domain that is played mainly by men…believe it or not, this is how many men communicate – although it’s rather unsociable. Don’t take it personally! They don’t know you. They just want to win and gloat (or troll) their dominance securing their way to victory.

    Ya know, the wage gap between men and women is pretty tight now. It’s not like women got to where they are today because they just said, “OMG. I hate men and their incomes. Let the government sort ‘em out.” Nope, many got educations and took high paying jobs away from men with their skills. The gaming world must run in a similar fashion – granted hacks aren’t an issue. If you practice, get good at the game, put up with the bullshit, don’t bitch about it, and make that asshole rage quit by dominating them the problem will diminish.

    The FUoS article is silliness just like most people who can’t compete or at the very least stand up for themselves not with words, but through actually competing and being better.

    Bottom line, stop feeding the trolls – kick their ass – make them eat their words without actually saying anything. Problem solved. The Bit Gamer article offered no solutions, only dilemmas.

    • Mman says:

      Misogyny is not “trash talk”.

      “But Woman are almost treated as well as Men now!” isn’t much of a justification. Especially when you’re admitting there’s a problem.

    • Chris D says:

      “Do I act like a dick in multiplayer games? Not usually.”

      You save that for comments threads?

    • Kandon Arc says:

      While I agree that trash talk does happen to girls as much as boys, most of the entries on FUoS have nothing to do with gaming, or rather any particular game. Just read the first page of that site and tell me that those entries are just garden variety trash talk. I also think you’ve slightly misunderstood the point of the website. It’s not that they expect it to get rid of the problem, they just do it because they find most of the entries hilarious.

      After seeing entries like this, it’s hard to disagree: http://fatuglyorslutty.com/2011/03/22/me-draw-u-pikchur/

    • JackShandy says:

      I don’t know how anyone could avoid taking this personally: http://fatuglyorslutty.com/2011/06/21/okay-we-get-it-youre-a-psychopath/

    • bildo says:

      @ Mman
      Misogyny can absolutely be trash talk. It’s not nice, but it can be. If someone told a chick he “kicked her ass back into the kitchen,” after getting fragged the chick can talk smack back and make things worse…or she can show him up with skill. If she can’t show him up with skill, then there is no recourse other than bitching about it. If she bitches about it, that just allows the trolls to keep on trollin.

      @ Chris D
      You think I’m being a dick for putting an opinion up? Hm. Enough said about that. Typical internet man.

      @ Jack Shandy
      The guy got trolled into that reaction. How in the world could you take a word of what GhostKingHades says personally? He doesn’t know you. He’s just talking shit and sadly it was all idiotic. I don’t understand how anyone can be personally offended by what some anon internet man says to you. It’s silliness.

    • Mman says:

      “If someone told a chick he “kicked her ass back into the kitchen,”

      Any guy who does this is scum, full stop. It’s not the sole burden of the minority to change things

  21. thegooseking says:

    gaming is a domain that is played mainly by men

    A 60-40 gender split is an interesting definition of ‘mainly’.

    Edit: Bah, reply fail. It was bound to happen one of these days.

    • bildo says:

      Please show me where you saw that there is a 60-40 split. That I just can’t believe.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Women are the majority of those who play social/casual games; that’s where the numbers are coming from. CityVille allegedly has 100 million active users. Compare that to your piddling ~15 million sales of CODBLOPS.

  22. Premium User Badge

    DarkNoghri says:

    On the topic of Fat, Slutty, or Ugly: http://www.dorkly.com/article/14465/overheard-on-xbox-issue-46
    It’s not always misogynistic comments, but I get a kick out of reading the stupid crap people say. Mostly. Sometimes I just feel pity, and shame for laughing.

    Back issues go pretty far.

  23. destroy.all.monsters says:

    Damn that stuff on FUoS is hilarious. I’m glad the xbox has plumbed the (sub)conscious minds of socially retarded 12 year olds the world over.

    That PQ article is epic.

    I’m also going to argue that if male Shepard were a feminine gay man (or even transgender) that would be a far greater inversion than a butchy lesbian one of any race. That neither are commonplace is a bit ridiculous. That said I may well be missing the entirety of the point of the article but it certainly was thought provoking and made me consider actually playing the series.

    Lesley deftly handles her commenters and there’s some really nice interaction there.

    This comment from FUoS is full of win: “Eric Waters
    You know what I want to see? I want to see a web site dedicated to all the success stories that have motivated gamers to continue using this technique to find girlfriends.
    I mean, they keep doing it, so it has to have a high success rate, right?
    On a related note, can there be another website dedicated to the replacement of words with letters and how romantic and clever that makes you sound?”