E3 2013, Next-Gen, And PC’s Bizarre Invisibility Problem

By Nathan Grayson on June 13th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

After sitting through nearly all of E3’s press conferences (and catching up on Microsoft’s, which I skipped to marvel at my super cutting-edge next-gen loft sink), I came away with two raucously growling gut reactions: 1) new Mirror’s Edge yes yes yes yay yes mmm-hmm yes good indeed and 2) did I just step into an alternate dimension where PC never emerged from the primordial gaming ooze? I don’t mean that in the sense that PC’s not the focus at E3 either, because frankly it never really has been. But come on: our platform of choice has spent years in the deepest waters of areas where Microsoft and Sony are only just beginning to dip their piggy toes. Free-to-play, DRM, cloud, servers, indies, problematic communities, etc, etc, etc. So why does it seem like nobody’s even tried to learn from PC gaming’s mistakes?

We have fucked up. A lot. Early and often. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with that whole trailblazing thing our open platform does so well. Things go horribly, horribly wrong for a bit, but then we get up, dust ourselves off, and keep moving forward. From the moment Steam launched as an unmitigated disaster to the slowly receding tide of pay-to-win to the (sort of, not really) final wheezing gasp of Ubisoft’s dreaded DRM, PC’s past decade has been paved by just as many tooth-flinging faceplants as it has glorious success stories. We learned – and continue to learn – by doing. Fact: most PC gamers don’t have functional hands, because we simply can’t resist putting them on stoves to see if they’re actually hot.

So then, let’s check in on all the sensible, business-focused Boxlords over in Consoletopia, shall we? And here, I’ll pick a random topic from my half-meter-tall, patch-soldered stovepipe hat – which, for the sake of this and all other arguments, you should just assume I’m always wearing. First up we’ve got an obvious one: DRM and other forms of copy protection. Sony seems to be handling the issue well enough, but Microsoft’s dropped the ball repeatedly without so much as a single oddly captivating beat poetry session to back it up. Daily online requirements, strict limits on trading and reselling, and egregiously nebulous explanations of many key elements have led the charge on a frighteningly closed-off assault. And what do Xbone owners get in exchange? TV and sports and a lot of the same multimedia services they already have on Xbox 360 anyway. Wooooo.

But wait, Steam’s offline functionality has a history of horrific jankiness, and we can’t resell games at all. Goodness, why haven’t we rioted in the streets yet? Well, largely because Steam provides so much excellent game-centric convenience and functionality that we’re less to prone to care – even if we probably should. Valve gives PC gamers constant updates, cloud saves, absurd sales, one-button mod support, one-stop shops for F2P and early games, and most importantly of all, hats. Oh, and that all comes sans arbitrary monthly fees. Steam is by no means perfect, but it generally does a great job of piling on so much convenience that the more problematic elements of its nature quietly suffocate below.

Worth nothing: when Steam first launched, it most certainly did not do that. Valve rather arrogantly assumed players would tolerate its Trojan horse for Half-Life 2. People despised the service for years. Meanwhile, exceedingly overt DRM sans much added service didn’t work out so well for Ubisoft and EA more recently. The lesson? DON’T DO THAT, EVERYONE ELSE. YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL OR DIFFERENT. Yeah, the aforementioned publishers made money, but not without some utterly excruciating growing pains that left ugly black stains on their most beloved franchises. Why not just, you know, avoid that part? Or at least try to.

But OK, Microsoft’s recent nauseating practices are rooted in cold, calculating business, and I’m no businessman. That said, indies, MOBAs, and eSports – the holy trinity of PC gaming’s latest renaissance – have been quite hard to spot at E3, both during press conferences and on the show floor. If nothing else, the former just makes sense. Many of them are inexpensive, interesting, and proven. The latter two, meanwhile, are spreading throughout PC gaming like wildfire, crisscrossing to decimate all else in their path. Once again, Sony comes out looking much better overall, but the situation is mind-boggling.

Perhaps even more egregious, however, is console-makers’ (and many publishers’) apparent stance on troublesome community matters. It’s one thing, for instance, to quietly ignore abusive or otherwise mean-spirited online behavior, but to openly endorse it is something else entirely. Companies like Microsoft and EA (and Ubisoft, to a lesser extent) revel in the culture their online communities have created. They co-opt it as a marketing tool – essentially shouting, “This is totally cool! It’s an essential part of playing our games” – to enhance their images. It’s especially frightening when very overt “jokes” about rape enter the picture during conferences meant to represent a product and its culture to millions.

I don’t think trash talk is necessarily bad. For some people, it’s a cornerstone of their gaming experience. And as long as the feeling’s mutual, that’s great. But that’s a big if, and services like Xbox Live have become known for their sizzling cesspits of toxic filth. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that people avoid online multiplayer for that reason.

Actually, I know it. Both Riot and Valve have sort of, um, provided data. But even without that, come on: it’s just common sense. Who enjoys being verbally pummeled into smoking oblivion when they’re just trying to relax? That goes double when race, gender, or other issues of identity needlessly enter the picture, even under auspices of just coming part and parcel with online wars of words.

Valve and Riot, especially, have fought to turn things around. They saw people stomping away from their games – parades thoroughly rained upon and smiles extinguished – and they sprang into action. Countless hours, attempts, and honest-to-goodness science experiments later, both developers are starting to see change.  The current solutions are far from perfect, but they have produced some results. More importantly, though, both Valve and Riot weren’t afraid to acknowledge an issue in the first place. At this point, console-oriented companies don’t even seem willing to admit that player behavior’s frequently a problem, and that’s, er, the problem.

It’s really quite a puzzling state of affairs, especially seeing as those things are only the beginning of a contagiously willful ignorance of PC’s triumphs and – more importantly – its ugliest, sludgiest failures. I’m not suggesting that these nuggets of wisdom will Save Console Gaming or convert me into a stalwart living room lover, either. I just want to see gaming grow and succeed in all sizes and shapes of relative box-ness. Plus, we’ve already got a head start on some related issues that will almost certainly define this hobby’s future (server shutdowns that pull the plug on games permanently, preservation of older games in general, free-to-play pricing/balance, MMOs), and it’d be nice to have everyone on the same page, hopefully working for some kind of common good. Otherwise, one side could very well take a turn for some new, even more player-unfriendly road and drag the other down with it.

Gaming’s evolving, the industry’s evolving, the world’s evolving. At the heart of it all is connectedness, and ideas are traveling through society more fluidly than ever. So I can’t help but wonder: why does everyone have such a hard time just listening? The information’s out there. If companies aren’t willing to learn from it, it’s the industry’s loss. And, in all likelihood, ours as well.

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233 Comments »

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  1. sinister agent says:

    This is an industry that took longer than my lifetime to work out that lowering prices leads to greater net profits. And even now only parts of it have admitted it and acted on it.

    It’s run by morons who hate us. Always has been. There really isn’t much hope for most of it to change, but a large subsecton of it knows better, and is doing better than ever. If there is hope, it lies there.

    • pakoito says:

      >This is an industry that took longer than my lifetime to work out that lowering prices leads to greater net profits.

      Spain 2013, 40% unemployment rate. Government decides to increase VAT for basic products and doubles the taxes for self-employment. Laffer’s curve was crossed a decade ago. The “country” blames the crisis on “unaffiliated self-employers”.

      See any parallels?

      • aepervius says:

        Where did you get that 40% ? Officially it is 5 million people a bit more about 20%. horrid but not 40%. counting unofficial source, you only get up to 27%.

        • BurningPet says:

          Unemployment rates are calculated by the number of unemployment checks the government hand over against the over working population. not sure about exact numbers, since i dont live there, but i think that in spain after 6 months you stop getting those and get out of the statistics, whether you are employed or not. it is a practice handled throughout the entire world actually.

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            Do you have a source for that? I see that that is a potential method for gathering statistics, but it’s not the preferred method – surveys are. Here in the US, we mostly use census data and representative survey data.

          • WrenBoy says:

            A cynic might say that surveys are preferred because they can be worded to hide a significant percentage of unemployed.

            In the US, for example, you do not get included in unemployment statisics if you say you stopped looking for work for the past few weeks.
            http://www.bls.gov/cps/cps_htgm.htm#unemployed

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            That’s legitimate, though it’s reasonable to have some objective cutoff rate (ie. if I haven’t submitted my resume anywhere for the last five years but swear I really want a job, I probably don’t actually want a job) and they do publish the discouraged worker statistics. Still, it means that the “unemployed” statistic is not going to include some people that most would call unemployed.

            Also, apropos of nothing, according to that link John Walker has a side job at the Nuts and Bolts Company.

          • WrenBoy says:

            It effectively rules out alot the long term unemployed who would, reasonably, not be looking for looking for jobs at the same rate as when they recently became unemployed.

            Until I learned otherwise I assumed that unemployed meant adults who were not working / in education and were not independently wealthy. Even if you were happy with being unemployed you are still unemployed. The dictionary agrees with me I think.

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            Lamb Chop says:

            At least in America, a separate problem is that the 15 million people collecting disability checks don’t appear in unemployment numbers, nor do the underemployed. Also, almost every recession is accompanied by an attendant drop in the labor force participation rate, which is not reflected in unemployment statistics. People are taking themselves out of the workforce not because they want to but because they can’t find a job, and then those people are uncounted. Real unemployment numbers are almost always much larger than reported rates. For example, full unemployment rates in the U.S. are above 19% if you include involuntary part-time workers and those who are removed from the labor force because they have no prospects whatsoever. The government actually calculates these numbers themselves; 9 million people have been removed from the labor force during the recent recession by changes in the way they calculate employment.

            Here’s a lot of numbers that explain some of it (ignore the rhetorical flourishes between the economic analysis):
            http://danielamerman.com/articles/2012/WorkC.html

            and here’s an interesting radio piece about how disability benefits interact with these numbers:
            http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/490/trends-with-benefits

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            darkChozo says:

            It mostly fits the dictionary definition of “unemployed” in the sense of “unemployed resources” — things that you have access to but aren’t using. Even if you’re looking for a job, if you never contact any companies you’re basically invisible to the job market; the job market’s not rejecting you, you’re rejecting the job market (maybe justifiably, but still). That’s not congruent with a definition of “not employed”, of course, but that statistic would include a lot of cruft (those in school, those unable to work due to sickness, retirees, et cetera) and would probably be slightly less useful as an economic indicator.

            Really, I think so long as there are sufficient divisions of statistics, it’s not a problem in terms of what data is being produced (ie. unemployed, underemployed, disabled, discouraged, etc). The problem, arguably, is that some stats are emphasized even when more is needed to provide a full picture of the economic situation.

          • PopeRatzo says:

            No, that’s not how unemployment figures are obtained.

            And I know what the next argument usually is, so I’ll just go ahead and remind everyone that the overall employment participation numbers (at least in the US) are higher now than they were in the ’50s and ’60s (when the US economy was experiencing vast growth).

            The notion that “everybody needs to work” is an innovation of our corporate overlords trying to sell the New FeudalismTM. It’s quite possible that we’ve reached “peak labor” where we just don’t need everybody to have a job in order to provide all the goods and services that the world needs and wants. Worker productivity has outpaced population growth and in some developed countries has lapped it a few times. Maybe we just need to start thinking differently about what “making a living” really means.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @darkChozo
            It fits all dictionary definitions of unemployed in terms of paid labour that I have ever read. What dictionary are you using?

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            Google, with a second opinion from Dictionary.com. And that’s not snarkiness, I compulsively Google things for no reason <_<

            Adjective
            (of a person) Without a paid job but available to work: “I was unemployed for three years”.
            (of a thing) Not in use.

            adjective
            1. not employed; without a job; out of work: an unemployed secretary.
            2. not currently in use: unemployed productive capacity.
            3. not productively used: unemployed capital.

          • WrenBoy says:

            Its just as well you are not trying to be snarky. Neither of those definitions say you need to be actively seeking employment to be unemployed.

            Edit: On reflection you must have thought I was saying something else, right?

          • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

            Life as viewed through a Prism, such real world important and ulitmately alarming matters are for the drawing room, not for public consumption.

          • Havok9120 says:

            @PopeRezto

            1) So the US hit that point in the last 6 years? And Europe (except Germany) hit it a decade and a half ago? And Eastern Europe hasn’t decided if they’ve hit it? It’s not a rule most of the Western Hemisphere is an exception to it to some degree.

            2) Using the LPR from the 50s and 60s as benchmarks is as disingenuous coming from your side of the economic argument as it is coming from the other. Or shall I list all the industries that have seen foundational change, died out, or been created since then and remind you that women had yet to enter the workforce in significant numbers. Oh, and that the Earth’s population has roughly tripled.

            If we were talking about market saturation across the globe or a state of affairs which had remained static for decades, you might be on to something. Neither or those is true. Market and labor saturation did not just occur in the last half-decade, causing global unemployment rates to spike permanently and virtually simultaneously all over the world. It was not a market correction in the unemployment rate and even if it had been, it would not have happened everywhere on the planet since the disparity in incomes and living standards would still be equaling out (and thus growing the more marginal economies) as that was going on. As Eastern Europe, China, and most of the developing world will tell you, that is not the case.

            The “this is the way things are supposed to be” argument is a pretty massive crock. At some point in the next half century, we may reach the point where it’s true, though I doubt it. But the argument that we’re there already has some pretty gaping holes in it.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Not sure why anyone is using anything other than http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts here.

          • jasdwuihdka says:

            I guess I should be in jail when I wrote on chat “accept you fate” to a girl player while I was playing Starcraft 2 and flooding her base with zerglings (sperm joke lololol, also femi-rage incoming) and she was valiantly, but barely, holding her line.
            http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/video-argentine-footballer-throws-stray-dog-into-fence-8655615.html

        • pakoito says:

          The statistics have been modified in the past 10 years several times: lost bullets don’t count, people doing 9h-14h MSWord courses neither, as neither do youth between 16-30 that doesn’t even bother to go to the unemployment office because it’s actually on their detriment.

          Top that with almost a fourth of the actives being direct part of the state machinery and another third indirect, and you have a complete mess.

        • chris1479 says:

          40% unemployment is refering to youth unemployment specifically.

      • InternetBatman says:

        There isn’t strong evidence that Laffer’s Curve even exists. Not saying that Spain is making the right moves, but still.

        • tetracycloide says:

          Other than the mountains of high profile cases of legal tax avoidance you mean? Literally every time you read about a ‘tax haven’ you are reading evidence of the laffer curve.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        Laffer’s curve was crossed a decade ago.

        And the Laffer curve was debunked at least half a decade ago.

        • bonjovi says:

          Please point me to a source that can prove that increasing taxes does not eventually decrease revenue. That people are happy to work for free.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          Oh that Laffer! still chasing those curves after 26 years…

        • tetracycloide says:

          There are literally zero economists who would say the revenue maximizing tax rate is 100% ergo there are literally zero economists who would deny the curve exists. Now the exact shape of the curve, where any given country is on the curve, and where the revenue maximizing point is are points of debate.

    • Dervish says:

      lowering prices leads to greater net profits

      You don’t have any business calling people morons when you present this, without extensive qualification, as some kind of universal pearl of wisdom.

      • sinister agent says:

        Good thing that’s not what I did then, eh?

        • Dervish says:

          Maybe you don’t know what “qualification” means, because yes, you did.

          • Corb says:

            Qualifications: A quality or accomplishment that makes someone suitable for a particular job or activity.

            You don’t need this to call people stupid, we’re all kinda born with the prerequisite. It’s called opinion.

          • Dervish says:

            Wrong definition, dude.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Valve has stated repeatedly that lowering prices has resulted in sales increases which dramatically dwarf the reduction in price. Lowering game prices by half will result in far more than twice the sales.

        • BurningPet says:

          Yes, but what valve doesn’t say is that the steam store front makes slightly older games almost invisible due to saturation and by having a promotion, you basically expose the game on the front page.

          So the deep sale is being very very profitable (we saw an increase of X250 units sold in our last 50% daily deal opposed to our average regular days), but also, and mainly, due to the exposure.

          when we extended the deal for another 2 days, yet didn’t get the exposure, the numbers were higher than normal, yes, but only about X5 higher than on average. (and you still get exposed in the specials tab, or the “under 10$” tab so there’s still a much better exposure than usual)

          so, TL DR – steam sales being highly profitable is mainly thanks to the promotion the game gets, not just the price drop.

          • harmlos says:

            I can of course only speak for myself, but I buy a lot of games during Steam sales that I would never consider buying for full (or even half price). It seems to me that Valve is doing the smart thing – sell at full price on release to get those that just have to have the new game as soon as it comes out, and then sell it at increasingly steep discounts over time to get the people like me who don’t have much problem dropping 10 Euros or so on a game they might not enjoy and never really play.

        • Dervish says:

          Half of what? And why not just cut the price in half again and quadruple the sales? It’s almost like it’s more complicated than that.

    • sophof says:

      Since several years I have come to the same conclusion, pretty much all of gaming is simply run by morons, it is the only sane explanation (Occam’s razor and all that). That just leaves the question, how is that possible? What is it about the gaming industry that not only attracts the same type of moron over and over, but also appears to effectively keep out sane people? You would think such a market would attract a publisher that saw all that money wasted on DRM, copy protections and hype chasing and decide there’s money to be made.

  2. Leb says:

    I don’t see how that comment at the Microsoft conference was about rape.

    My doctor told me to “just let it happen” when I was getting blood drawn – should I press charges for sexual harassment?

    • Premium User Badge

      darkChozo says:

      While I’m pretty iffy on the issue itself, when would a doctor ever say “just let it happen”? I’d be creeped out if my doctor said that to me before a shot. “It’ll be over soon”, sure, but not “just let it happen”.

    • Fred S. says:

      It sounds like a line from some cheesy S&M porn to me. But then I’m not a Fainting Feminist who has been primed to hear “rape” any time a man talks smack.

      • Everblue says:

        Don’t be a wanker, please.

      • Focksbot says:

        “But then I’m not a Fainting Feminist who has been primed to hear “rape” any time a man talks smack.”

        No, you’re a naive bloke who never has to worry about rape, and has thus remained blissfully unaware of the connotations of “Just let it happen – it’ll be over soon.”

        That’s the thing about privilege – it shelters you.

        • samedhi says:

          Ah, a battle with parent to see who is the bigger internet troll. Fight!

          • Psychopomp says:

            They’re not trolling. “Just let it happen, it’ll be over soon” is a direct quote from rapes the world over.
            “Just let it happen, it’ll be over soon”
            “You like this!”
            “No, I don’t like this.”

            There’s nothing fainting feminist about seeing a rape joke in there, you massive idiots.

          • Focksbot says:

            Yeah, I’m not trolling. This is like walking in on a bunch of worldly innocent children puzzling over the rude connotations of the phrase “Suck it”.

            I guess I’m also a bit angry because it means none of you have been paying the least bit attention to all the articles about rape culture. Probably because it doesn’t affect you.

          • toejam316 says:

            You know what else is a direct quote from rapes all over the world? Pretty much whatever the fuck the involved parties say. I’m fairly sure I’ve heard murders speaking English. Are my co-workers actually all murders too? They speak English. People choosing to interpret it as rape are far, far too sensitive. It’s a sensitive issue, yeah, but it’s a sensitive issue that’s only reared it’s head here because someone heard the line and decided that obviously the guy was implying he was sexually violating the woman.

            Furthermore what’s with the fixation on Computing and Video Games for all these SJW/rape shitstorms? Why does no other media (film, etc) get tagged? Jesus Christ, these people would have a field day with something like A Clockwork Orange.

          • Focksbot says:

            “Jesus Christ, these people would have a field day with something like A Clockwork Orange.”

            No, they wouldn’t – because A Clockwork Orange is upfront about its content. Its protagonists are horrible little misogynists and were always intended to be portrayed as such. Anyone who doesn’t get that from the film is a plank.

            The problem specifically with games is all you people going round in constant denial that there’s any kind of problem with misogyny at all, even when it’s staring you right in the face. Stop being so blind to it, do Anita Sarkeesian and others the courtesy of admitting they’ve got a damned good point, and we wouldn’t get into all these stupid arguments.

            I wasn’t remotely angry at the actual clip. I was like, “Oh, a rape joke. That’s a bit shit.” What drives me up the wall is all you blinkered little denialists pretending it’s something it ain’t. It’s like we’re all standing in front of a great big bloody building ablaze on every floor and instead of calmly putting it out, we’re having to constantly argue with half the gaming community about whether it’s a fire or an optical illusion created by the sunset. You people are insane.

          • Rumpel says:

            yes, he is implying rape. so what? is it worse than implying murder by saying something like “im going to murder you”? its how smack talk works. is it childish? yes. is it something that needs to be discussed or apologized for? no. stop trying to make every single word some person uttered in public a social issue, because at the end of that road lies all that hollowed out meaningless pr talk. jesus christ…

          • Focksbot says:

            “yes, he is implying rape. so what?”

            It’s come to something when I’m almost grateful for this kind of moronic intervention just because the author at least admits the obvious.

          • Rumpel says:

            you’re very welcome. you know, you should really work on your incessant impulse to belittle your “opponents” with childish insults. maybe someday, someone will see more than a little girl/boy spitting and screaming because the world doesnt agree with her.

        • Jenks says:

          You used the word privilege as if it hasn’t been sapped of all meaning in the last 6 months.

      • cunningmunki says:

        Fred Savage, is that you? I’ve told you before about your rampant misogyny, now stop it.

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      RedViv says:

      It’s an often reported phrase, it’s an attitude, it’s the context of use as – sadly normal – trash talk in a male versus female scenario. The intention might just have been banter, but that does not absolve it.

      • Fred S. says:

        They say it’s an often reported phrase, but where exactly is it reported?
        Because I can’t find a single hit on that phrase outside of the many retweets after the E3 event.

        • Unrepentant says:

          It can be difficult to find hits for obscure things using search engines when something similar has recently hit the news hubbub machine. Boston is a city that played a key part in the American revolution, but after the bombing there you would be hard pressed to find a result on Google about the Boston Tea Party. Specialized resources are better for these sorts of things, and while I’m sure such a site would be fascinating, trashtalkterms.com simply does not exist at this time.

    • SmallGods says:

      I have to say I agree with you there. Seems to me the whole thing has been jumped on and blown way out of proportion. I don’t think I know anyone that would be offended or jump up point and shout “Was that…A RAPE JOKE??!!” if we were playing a beat-em-up and I said what was said in the video. Hell, the first time I viewed it, I actually missed the reference they were talking about, assuming something awful was just over the horizon. And then the video ended. Most people I know had the same reaction.

      • mouton says:

        If not for the context, you would be right.

      • Focksbot says:

        It’s clearly a rape joke. I can’t believe there’s even any debate about this.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          There’s a debate precisely because it’s not clearly a rape joke. Stop overreacting.

          • Focksbot says:

            No, it is clearly a rape joke to anyone who has ever made the most cursory investigation into – or so much as glanced at – the culture of rape jokes and general intimidation of women by men. The only people it’s not clear to are people who’re blissfully ignorant of this whole area of unpleasant behaviour.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Whatever. The phrase in question has been used with different meaning attached to it in various ways, as has been pointed out in this thread already. Just because a woman was involved in this particular situation doesn’t automatically make it a flippin’ rape joke.

            You’re still overreacting.

          • Focksbot says:

            “The phrase in question has been used with different meaning attached to it in various ways, as has been pointed out in this thread already.”

            Find me one single real-life instance of this phrase being used innocently, not conjured out of your imagination.

            Go on – you’ve got the whole of the internet at your disposal. You’re looking for a variation of “Just take it, it’ll be over soon.”

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            As I’ve already stated, all you have to do is browse this thread to see some examples. I’m sure there are more scattered around the interwebz too, all you have to do is look.

            You’re really reaching in order to justify your paranoia here.

          • Focksbot says:

            The examples are all conjecture. They aren’t actual real-life examples.

            Thanks for effectively conceding the argument.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            And what real-life examples have you provided to support your side? Not a single one that I can find.

            Your entire view on this topic has been based on nothing but conjecture. Dear God, debating with you is like discussing philosophy with a fucking parrot. I’m done wasting my time with you.

          • Focksbot says:

            “And what real-life examples have you provided to support your side? Not a single one that I can find.”

            What … the hell … are you talking about?? You’re the one who claims this phrase is in such common usage and is hardly ever used in reference to rape.

            Goddammit, learn how to argue properly.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            “You’re the one who claims this phrase is in such common usage and is hardly ever used in reference to rape.”

            I never claimed either of those things, you pompous idiot.

          • Focksbot says:

            “I never claimed either of those things, you pompous idiot.”

            You said: “The phrase in question has been used with different meaning attached to it in various ways, as has been pointed out in this thread already.”

            But now you refuse to back this up with any proof. What are these different meanings attached to it in various ways? You refuse to show me any real life examples. Instead, you’re turning round and asking *me* to prove that the phrase is used as a rape joke! And when I then read that as a denial, on your part, that it’s used as a rape joke, you say, “I never claimed that.”

            Your argument is a mess, boy.

          • Parrot says:

            “SkittleDiddler says:Dear God, debating with you is like discussing philosophy with a fucking parrot. I’m done wasting my time with you.”

            You got a problem with parrots, Billy? APOLOGIZE!

      • cunningmunki says:

        I thought that when I first read the transcript. But then I watched the clip.

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      Only once have I heard in game ‘chat’ and that was watching my nephew playing COD. Lots of loud proclamations of terms for genitalia to denigrate others by people who I imagine have never encountered a clitoris, let alone understand its function. Let them have their X Boxes, like a big shit full of parasitic eggs they can circle round it buzzing inanely!

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      It’s pretty single minded to immediately call rape yeah. It’s a dominance show so it’s certainly not good sportsmanship but not really specific to rape. Anyone remember that horrible knife fight in saving private ryan? The phrase gets used there too and it certainly fits, too well. It’s a phrase that can and does apply to any kind of confrontation.

      • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

        Fitzwilliam Darcy, (Mr. Darcy) famous quote in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice is very similar to this in some respects. “In admitting scruples about our relationship, I fear I’m going to tie you up and do you up the wrong’un for your gaming inadequacies, I hope you find this agreeable”

      • WrenBoy says:

        That is an extremely appropriate example.

        To everyone who is sure that its a rape joke, why do you think a rapist would say, “Let it happen, it will all be over soon”?

        • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

          Shaving Ryan’s Privates I think he meant, it’s proper inclusive this RPS carry on!

        • Focksbot says:

          “To everyone who is sure that its a rape joke, why do you think a rapist would say, “Let it happen, it will all be over soon”?”

          Because they want you to stop struggling?

          In any case, no one knows where actual rapists say it – the point is it’s used by men threatening or alluding to rape in order to intimidate women, by the same class of person who likes to say that a woman who is too outspoken needs ‘a good raping’. Yes, those people exist. And they target women through social media. Anyone who hasn’t noticed is doing a grand job of keeping their head in the sand.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            So that is the only situation anyone ever struggles against then?

            Not, say, getting murdered, being arrested at a riot, or even just losing at competitive wrestling match? You could easily hear the phrase in any of those too. Until it’s the only time you hear that phrase it’s not “obviously” a rape joke.

            The point isn’t denying it’s ever happened in a rape, just that you’re hammering a square peg into a round hole by trying to claim it’s the only meaning. There’s no shortage of more appropriate examples so why not step back and look for one of those to highlight rather than taking the rhetorical sledgehammer to this one? Because making flawed claims is a terrible way to champion a cause.

          • The Random One says:

            What, is everyone fucking daft? That’s the punchline to a rape “joke”. The “funny” part is that it essentially means “hey, on the one hand, you’re getting raped, but on the other hand, it won’t take long because I am a rapist and therefore will ejaculate quickly!”

            I was under the impression this was as well known as the “why did the chicken cross the road” joke. It’s a pre-internet meme. Maybe it’s so old people forgot its origins?

            But yeah, definitively a rape joke.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Focksbot
            Pretty much what Droopy said. If you look at the video in question there is a struggle going on after all. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

            @The Random One
            In the Saving Private Ryan clip posted by Droopy, do you think the german soldier is referencing early ejaculation? If not why not?

          • Focksbot says:

            You have no idea how ridiculous your ruminations on the context and possible alternative meanings of this are.

            It’s like someone quipped, “Oh, and while you’re down there …” and you’re all going, “Well, she was kneeling at the time. He was probably just going to ask her to look for some coins he’d dropped.”

            Except this is worse because “while you’re down there” is just a blowjob joke, not a rape joke.

            Actually, I’ve got a better comparison. It’s like someone made a joke about bending down to pick up the soap in a prison shower, and you lot are all going: “Well, it wasn’t definitely a reference to prison rape, no sir. I mean, look at the context.”

            Like the guy above says, this is pre internet meme. It’s as old as the hills. It’s no wonder RPS has so many regular anti-feminist jibes when some gamers are so woefully innocent as to the shit women still have to put up with in real life.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            Alright, lets try an alternative angle since this particular prejudice is activating everyone defensive blinkers.

            Victims of racist assaults are often told to “get out!” (the pub, town, country, etc.) as they’re beaten. If someone were to make an absolutely awful pun in the pub and I mock angrily told them to “get out!” and they happened to be a minority in my country would that be a racist joke or could you accept that the phrase has more than one use?

          • Focksbot says:

            “Get out” is obviously a widely used phrase in a multitude of contexts.

            The combination of something along the lines of “Just take it” followed by “It’ll be over soon” is way, way more specific. I have only ever, ever heard it used as a rape joke. Even if it was used in any other context, the person saying the words, if they have any worldly experience at all, would immediately be aware that this is the context they’re normally associated with.

            It is a lot like “While you’re down there …” You might start to say it when someone is in the cellar or whatever, but as soon as the words enter your head, you recognise them as a BJ joke and you have to think, “Wait, either I find a way to rephrase that or I’m making a really corny BJ joke.”

            This guy knew what he was doing. You can hear it in his voice that he knows it’s risque, and the audience all react accordingly.

          • WrenBoy says:

            You have never, ever heard it said in a context other than rape? How would you even know?

            Claiming that a particular phrase can only refer to rape and then backing that up with the evidence that every time you have heard it you interpreted it to refer to rape is pretty circular logic.

            Did you even see the Saving Private Ryan clip posted in the thread you are replying to? That should count for one time at least, right?

          • Focksbot says:

            “You have never, ever heard it said in a context other than rape? How would you even know?”

            That’s not what I said, ye dingbat. I said, quote, “I have only ever, ever heard it used as a rape joke.”

            “Claiming that a particular phrase can only refer to rape and then backing that up with the evidence that every time you have heard it you interpreted it to refer to rape is pretty circular logic.”

            That’s how language works! If someone uses a word or phrase with a particular intent, and that intent is understood, that is where it gets it’s meaning! There’s no external justification for why something means what it means.

          • Focksbot says:

            By the way, Saving Private Ryan clip not working for me. What is the exact quote, please, and said in what context?

          • WrenBoy says:

            “You have never, ever heard it said in a context other than rape? How would you even know?”

            That’s not what I said, ye dingbat. I said, quote, “I have only ever, ever heard it used as a rape joke.”

            Not sure what to say to this. Is english not your first language? Im afraid your grasp of logic is similarly tenuous.

            The movie scene is one of those hero vs villain knife fights where the villain appears to be winning and is slowly pushing the knife towards the heros chest. In this scene however the hero performs no last second reversal and the knife is slowly plunged into his chest. Throughout the struggle the villain is talking:

            Give up, you don’t stand a chance! Let’s end this here! It will be easier for you, much easier. You’ll see it will be over quickly.

          • Focksbot says:

            “Not sure what to say to this. Is english not your first language? Im afraid your grasp of logic is similarly tenuous.”

            Dude, you are being a grade A fucking chump. Do you honestly not understand the difference between words being used as a rape joke, and words being used in the scenario of an actual rape? Really?

            “Give up, you don’t stand a chance! Let’s end this here! It will be easier for you, much easier. You’ll see it will be over quickly.”

            So not really the same phrasing at all then, because he doesn’t tell the person to “just let it happen”.

          • WrenBoy says:

            I dont think the insults are doing you any favours. Maybe you should step away from the keyboard for a bit.

            As it happens you have misread my sentence. When I was talking about rape as a context I was including rape as a topic of conversation as should have been clear.

            Even if you were correct and I made some kind of semantic error then all you would be doing is being pedantic. Ditto for your bizzarre insistence on the exact phrasing of the “rape joke”. For someone who has complained against this behaviour elsewhere in this thread the content and tone of your above comment is pretty spectacular hypocrisy.

          • Focksbot says:

            You said: “You have never, ever heard it said in a context other than rape? How would you even know?”

            I’m sorry, but it’s *your* poor use of English here. ‘A context other than rape’ clearly refers to a rape context, ie. someone actually being raped. If you wanted it to refer to the implication of or reference to rape in the midst of a conversation, you would need to word it completely differently, something like: “You have never, ever head it said except as a way of implying rape?”

            And what kind of a question is “How would you even know?” if you weren’t basically saying, “How would you know, unless you’ve been present while someone was being raped?” At the very least, any ‘misunderstanding’ on my part is completely understandable. But I’m not entirely convinced you haven’t just switched your argument.

            Onto your second point: “Ditto for your bizzarre insistence on the exact phrasing of the “rape joke”. ”

            Seriously, do some actual thinking about this. Actually THINK about it before you type. The reason I’m so annoyed is because I keep having to explain basic fundamental facts that you and everyone else here should be well aware of. *Of course* having something near to the exact phrase matters. An idiom, or meme, is defined not just by its meaning but by its rhythm and repetitious nature. Once you start stretching it out and messing about with it, it’s not the same thing.

            “That’s what she said” does not have the same effect as “Oh, I recall a woman saying that at some point.”

            “While you’re down there …” is obviously a BJ joke, but “I’ve just thought of something else. Don’t get up yet” isn’t.

            There is a specific, oft-repeated pairing of phrases here that constitute the recognisable, oft-intoned rape joke. First you say something close to “Just let it happen” or “Just lie back” and then you immediately follow it up with something extremely close to “It’ll all be over soon.” If you don’t do it like that, you’re making the joke harder to understand, and the further off you are, the less likely it is that it’s even the same joke. The string of quotes from Private Ryan is miles off.

    • realitysconcierge says:

      I believe your answer lies within the ever knowledgeable Urban Dictionary.

    • Cockles says:

      The subtext is there to see quite clearly, even if the intention of the controversial comment made is not as simple (heck, it might have even been a deliberate publicity stunt to offend people?)

      I’d say there’s a massive gulf between your example and the one used at the Microsoft conference and if you can’t see that then perhaps you should try and understand why it made many people cringe and many others uncomfortable, you might learn something about the subtleties of power dynamics and victimisation.

      • Fred S. says:

        If you had to major in Womyn’s Studies to detect the subtext, it’s probably not there.

        • Ansob says:

          It’s a good thing you don’t need to know anything about social studies to see the subtext and know why it’s wrong, then. Glad we’re all agreed on that, at least!

    • Seraphithan says:

      Considering she won the next match as easily as he won the first the whole thing was simply staged.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      Wasn’t the article referring to when one of the MS presenter burst into laughter after having to read the word ‘penetration’?

    • Merlkir says:

      Even if it was a rape joke, then so what? What would an appropriate kind of smack talk be? “I’m gonna murder you!” ?! That’s violence against women, which (as we all know) is the worst kind of violence. “I’m going to defeat you in this game based on violence where you’re represented by a female character, but I don’t mean to imply violence on women specifically is desirable or ok in any way!” ?! Something like that? Sure.

      Violence is violence, crime is crime, jokes are jokes.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        My point wasn’t whether or not I thought it was a ‘rape’ . I was just pointing out the childishness of the comment in the first place.. kinda like a school boy nudge-wink oo-er ‘penetration, LOL’

        It was dumb and rather unbecoming of a supposedly professional presenter.

      • Gunrun says:

        “Even if it was a rape joke, then so what?”

        Are you kidding me.

      • Focksbot says:

        “What would an appropriate kind of smack talk be?”

        Yeah! If people don’t want rape jokes, racism, sexism, homophobia and general utter dickishness, they should just stay at home and cover their ears, right?

    • Jimbo says:

      “Wow, you like those” was well after the fight stick comment and was in reference to her standing there getting hit by the same move a bunch of times. Note also that this dialogue was delivered in the most stilted and unnatural manner imaginable, by both parties.

      She wasn’t there to be humiliated or dominated or whatever else people might have dreamt up (quite the opposite in fact: her ‘role’ was that she was hustling him). That whole bit was a setup for her to annihilate him in the next round.

      It was a cringeworthy skit (they all are), but it’s fucking absurd to take that guy’s comments -which totally make sense if taken literally- and instead go out of your way to assume that he was making a joke about rape.

      • derbefrier says:

        yup. Just a another case of people going out of their way to make something controversial for the sake of it. I don’t know if you guys have noticed but a lot of you almost seem to take great joy in being so offended and given the opportunity to show your moral superiority. So much so you go around taking an innocent phrase out of context just to create another opportunity to do so. Its sad really..

        • MarcP says:

          Heh, it’s somewhat surreal to read sentences like “come on: it’s just common sense. Who enjoys being verbally pummeled into smoking oblivion when they’re just trying to relax? That goes double when race, gender, or other issues of identity needlessly enter the picture, even under auspices of just coming part and parcel with online wars of words.”… And then scroll down, and see the usual mindless drones rehashing their contrived insults on anyone who happens to disagree womankind is being oppressed here (doesn’t matter which article actually, womankind is always being oppressed on RPS).

          If people get serious, angry and foul-mouthed about writing in video games or even about commenting articles written about video games, it seems common sense to me people who actually play said games, something that is inherently more involved than just talking about it, are also likely to get serious, angry and foul-mouthed. Especially in competitive games, mimicking sports, with a professional scene. But what do I know.

        • Focksbot says:

          “yup. Just a another case of people going out of their way to make something controversial for the sake of it.”

          It really isn’t. It’s an incredibly obvious rape joke that has simply passed over the heads of those of you who avoid reading about and around the subject.

          Really, the analysis here is mind-boggling. It’s like reading a site full of people declaring that they can’t see the sexual connotation in a “That’s what she said” joke.

        • WrenBoy says:

          @Focksbot
          Has it occurred to you that if you have to read up on the subject for your assumed context to make sense then it is not as clear cut as you think it is.

        • Focksbot says:

          Read up? I watched the video. You can hear the smirk when he says it and the audience reaction. Everyone who was actually there knew it was a rape joke. It’s only on the internet where people are making this hilarious effort to scratch their heads over it.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          @focksbot – You just said those “who avoid reading about and around the subject” won’t get it then immediately after said it’s obvious to anyone watching the video.

          And your obvious evidence is he smirked and people laughed? That’s evidence of a joke, not rape. Good lord if every smirk is a rape reference to you no wonder you’re so passionate about this as to stop being rational.

        • Focksbot says:

          “And your obvious evidence is he smirked and people laughed?”

          Firstly, it was pretty obvious nervous ‘oo-er’ laughter that recognise the risque nature of the quip. Secondly, if it wasn’t a rape joke, it wasn’t a joke, full stop. There is absolutely nothing remotely joke-like about telling someone it’ll be over soon in a fight game unless it’s making an allusion to a meme or known saying.

          You can’t have it both ways. Either there was no joke at all, and people were laughing at nothing, or it was a joke by dint of its allusion to rape.

          I’m not even going to argue about this anymore because it’s, frankly, idiotic. You just keep sticking your fingers in your ears and singing la, la, la, and the next time it comes to arguing about any feminist topic, I’ll go in with the very clear picture in my head that the people who don’t ‘get’ feminism have a serious problem with only shutting their eyes to what they don’t want to recognise, and should thus be regarded as disingenuous and fundamentally dishonest.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          Oh yes “next time” you’ll go into a debate with preconceptions about all people who disagree with you, that’s worked out so well for you so far so why not continue eh?

          Asserting there’s no joke without referencing rape is just flimsy. There’s a perfectly shitty joke about “You have half a health bar left and are a long way from losing this, but you’ve been so awful so far you might as well just put the controller down now” there. Likewise the whole “oo-er” laughter argument is subjective and completely dependent on projecting your own feelings onto the audience, it could just as pointlessly be described as polite laughter at a joke they didn’t find funny.

          Of course now you can claim any of those subjective things aren’t the right way of interpreting it even though by definition there is no objectively correct interpretation in the absence of actual facts. Then I could claim you’re willfully ignoring that rather than just mistaken and refuse to engage with you any more and nobody learns a bloody thing. It seems like a waste of time to me to engage with someone then suddenly pull that out half way through, but it lets you continue to hold to your views without having to analyse or justify them properly I suppose. And that’s just so much easier than the alternatives isn’t it?

          It seems like the inevitable conclusion this is going to come to now, so I suppose I’ll just relax about trying to understand your reasoning, hopefully this will all be over soon.

        • Focksbot says:

          “Oh yes “next time” you’ll go into a debate with preconceptions about all people who disagree with you, that’s worked out so well for you so far so why not continue eh?”

          At some point, the accumulated evidence is impossible to ignore. I’ve never been in a single one of these arguments with someone who reckons feminists/women are making a fuss over nothing where the other person doesn’t reveal themselves to be a pedantic, selectively blind asshat who will never, ever let anything convince him that the other guy might have a point. Not a single one of you here has considered the idea that: “Hey, maybe I just having been paying enough attention to realise how this phrase is commonly used.” That’s way too much effort, isn’t it? That might involve actually opening your eyes.

          I don’t even want to spend my life arguing about feminism! It’s not like *I* would get anything much from women being treated better. I’m just sick of seeing these ridiculous denials and avoiding-the-points and yeahbuts from people unwilling to recognise the problem. I listen to the feminists argue and think, “Yeah, uh-huh, that’s fine, I get that – sweet.” There shouldn’t be any controversy. Except that a whole bunch of self-entitled dimwits have to come along and start arguing with them about every single little point for NO good reason.

          And this is just an absolutely priceless example – I mean, it’s just such an obvious, obvious thing. It’s only one notch below someone actually saying, “I’m gunna rape you!” The guy even apologised for it afterwards. But here you all are going “Oh no, someone said something vaguely similar in Saving Private Ryan, ooh let’s try and think of examples where it could be innocent.” Deny, deny, deny, deny.

          Heck, you’d probably still be defending him if he had said, “I’m gunna rape you.” You’d be telling me that it’s all fine because it was in the context of playing the game. Right?

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          “Heck, you’d probably still be defending him if he had said, “I’m gunna rape you.” You’d be telling me that it’s all fine because it was in the context of playing the game. Right?”

          AAARGGH, you’re like a human logic bomb! No, not right, geez. Making up arguments you can actually justify and preemptively attributing them to someone is just freaking backwards. Like I got at before, going into this internally labeling everyone who disagrees with an unrelated point as a crazy rape apologist is just giving yourself a subconscious get out of jail free card for bad ideas. Don’t like what they say? “Well they probably rape kittens, ignore them, you know best brain, don’t worry. We’ll show them next time!”

          Because of that self-righteous little defense you’ve somehow come to the conclusion that the only reason people haven’t conceded your point is because they didn’t even consider your point, when they had to consider it very carefully to directly address your point and spell out where the reasoning went wrong (short version, subjective =/= objective, some =/= all) as reasons for not agreeing. Maybe you even feel justified misquoting the video in a more inflammatory, definitive form (“Just let it happen” vs “just take it”) to try and prove your point because everyone else is a bad person and the ends justify the means. But take away that false validation you’re giving yourself and you’re just being belligerent and insulting to people you haven’t got a damn clue about on account of, what, stubbornness?

        • Focksbot says:

          “AAARGGH, you’re like a human logic bomb! No, not right, geez.”

          Glad to hear it, because I’ve got another guy at the top of this thread whose response is, “Yeah, it was a rape joke. So what? Who cares?” It gets pretty hard to differentiate between the different levels of wrongness, especially when some people here are definitely being disingenuous.

          “Because of that self-righteous little defense you’ve somehow come to the conclusion that the only reason people haven’t conceded your point is because they didn’t even consider your point …”

          I come to that conclusion because all the arguments here are so damned weak, and no one but no one has said anything like, “Gee, maybe this is a meme that I somehow missed” – when you’d think the fact that other people picked up on it right away is a big fat fucking clue.

          Instead, the fact that other people picked up on it right away is waved away as feminists ‘looking for things to be insulted by’. Really?? You really think feminists need to look for extra things to be insulted by, when they have people lining up on Twitter to throw abuse their way?

          Why am I being belligerent? Why am I speculating that you might be rape apologists? It’s because you’re throwing up a wall of pedantry to obscure a cut-glass clear case of an insensitive and shitty remark. The guy knew what he was doing, the audience knew what he was doing, lots of people on the internet know what he was doing. It doesn’t make him the most evil guy on the planet – it’s just an example of something that needs fixing, something which he should (and did) apologise for.

          If you don’t ‘get’ the joke, the natural, sensible response would be to say, “I didn’t realise that constituted a rape joke. I’ve not heard it before. But hey, seeing as so many other people recognise it as such, maybe I’ve just missed that.” This is what you would all do if it was any topic other than something you’re in deep denial about – the problem of casual (and non-casual) misogyny in gaming culture.

          Instead, we’re getting references to vaguely related dialogue in Saving Private Ryan – anything at all that can be reached for in an effort to find another explanation. This pisses me off way, way more than the original joke.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          “Glad to hear it, because I’ve got another guy at the top of this thread whose response is, “Yeah, it was a rape joke. So what? Who cares?” It gets pretty hard to differentiate between the different levels of wrongness”

          Yeah, there’s the point we’re slowly laboring towards here. I’m not the person who said that, if you’re going to treat someone disrespectfully and call them an idiot it damn well better be because of something they did not because you’ve lumped them into some arbitrary group in your head. It’s not hard to differentiate who actually said what, there’s names and pictures next to each post to help. Address them as individuals not members of nebulous “teams” on a two sided debate, because I can practically guarantee most the people you’re assigning to one side or the other don’t actually agree with each other on everything.

          As for the rest, repeating over and over that it’s a fact that it’s a rape joke doesn’t make it any more true. Likewise assertion’s like “most people interpreted it that way” are only true when you have the numbers to back it up, otherwise it appears “disingenuous” to present them as fact (no, before you even go there, that’s not fucking pedantry. That’s simply the difference between right or wrong), even though it’s inconsequential to the validity of your conclusion here.

          I don’t know if you’ve missed the point or you’re deliberately trying to lead the debate away from it, but I’ll reiterate. The point on my behalf has never been that “rape jokes are fine!”, it has always been what you are presenting as “definitely, absolutely, no doubt, a rape joke” is actually “possibly a rape reference, possibly not” and that’s an extremely important distinction when deciding how to react.

          I’d be amenable to a debate on how that affects the appropriate reaction, or how probable it was to be a rape reference in that instance. But that’s not what you’ve done, instead you’ve repeatedly asserted your first claim without addressing any of the issues people have with it, applying misinformation, personal attacks, emotional appeals and manipulation in place of reason as your counterpoint. By doing that you’re doing far more harm than good, you’re not going to convince anyone who doesn’t already agree with you and push new entrants to the debate in the other direction. Because you’re not alone, plenty of other people fall into the trap of seeing the whole issue as another battle in a war between two opposing sides, it’s just human nature and nothing to be ashamed of. So when people first look at the issue and see people on “your side” trying desperately to defend a flawed point with bad rhetoric and deceit, they enter the next one with that same self righteous attitude you did, but in the opposite direction. “Don’t listen to their statistics, it’s probably all made up, I bet they think all men are closet rape apologists”

          And that is why I’m here, repeating myself over and over now. Because anyone uninvolved but reading needs to see some evidence that it’s not some ultra polarized issue with apathy in the middle. That you can care without having to be unreasonable and you can speak out when you think it’s right without being lumped in by everyone with a bunch of zealots that, frankly, the rest of us don’t have the time to properly rebuff as we should.

          So yeah, this isn’t even for you, though I hold out hope that at least some part of this made sense to you.

        • sophof says:

          To me the most surprising part is, with so many actual examples to pick, they keep coming up with contrived ones such as this one. It is almost as if they want people to deny it…

          It is just so much easier to fight straw men. It makes one feel like complaining is part of the solution, simplification is the easiest way to show moral dominance. At least that is my amateur-level-psychology explanation.

    • Mman says:

      I found the whole Killer Instinct bit embarrassing in setup regardless of the rape joke stuff.

      Hey look a ~female~ playing games, look how bad it is at them! But all the “subtle” mockery is okay because she wins later! The whole thing was basically one of the industries biggest development companies (unconsciously?) granting validation to every asshole online who targets anyone that isn’t a straight white male.

      • limimi says:

        Are you freaking joking? Or are you just really really desperate to see Microsoft/gamers/whoever in a bad light?

        What you just said is that the skit validates targeting non-straight white males by showing a straight (presumably?) white male beating a woman in a video game. Now if that was where it ended, I might agree with you. It doesn’t end there however, instead she tells him she was playing him, and then she proceeds to kick his ass. Somehow you have decided that the point of her turning it around and kicking his ass was to trick people into thinking it was ok and not sexist, while in reality it was not ok and it was very sexist. That is freaking insane, not to mention belittling and insulting to every single person who took part or watched the event.

        Here is another interpretation of the event, following standard rules of story structure as opposed to the imaginary Microsoft rules for tricking stupid gamers and twirling their moustaches while getting away with being sexist on stage:

        A man and a woman come on stage and begin playing a fighting game. True to the common stereotype, the man beats the woman handily, while the woman complains about not getting it and it being unfair. The round is over, the man has won as everyone would expect. The next round begins and as it starts, the woman says ‘heh, I was playing you for a chump, get ready for a kicking’ – and subverting traditional expectations, she beats him with ease. He gets upset, she gets cocky, and now the playing field is level – men and women are equal and that stereotypes are stupid.

        • The Random One says:

          Congratulations on your not reading award. Mrman specifically mentioned that the fact that the woman won does not mitigate the situation. Women should be respected in gaming, not because they’re gamer gurls full of skillz, but because people who are sensible fucking human beings respect each other. A woman shouldn’t need to “prove her worth” before she can be respected, and should not be owed that respect only if she can win (and neither should a man, actually). The fact that she wins is meaningless; it would have been far more important to show a respectful match.

          • Fred S. says:

            Wait, I thought womyn wanted equality with men. But that would entail putting up with the hazing and the smack-talking and basically just ignoring the general dickishness of the trolls, not clutching their pearls and swooning on the fainting couch at the first sign that they’re not being “respected” just for showing up.

          • Nick says:

            Oh shit, you’ve got them there, Fred.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Last I checked, men have to “prove their worth” before they’re respected, too. Or have you never once played a fucking competitive ANYTHING?

          • Scone says:

            Oh geez. Fred – I doubt you’ll read this but the insults women have a problem with are not the same ones you’re expecting us to get over. I hear all the same insults men do plus the gendered ones, and it’s the latter set most complaints are about.

            It’s not fucking delicacy, it’s not wanting to hear “WHORE WHORE WHORE WHORE WHORE” because for a variety of reasons (like how it’s associated with real world violence) that’s a lot more upsetting than the usual absurd ultraviolent shit-talking. Being threatened with murder is fine (it’s a virtual space, maybe they will kill me), someone not shutting up about me, actual not-avatar me, in sexual situations is REALLY NOT.

            You don’t see articles about “Oh no, the men folk called me a noob and motherfucker.” You do about rape threats. We ARE putting up with what you’re saying we’re too entitled to tolerate, we put up with it without complaint. Same as you. This is different.

            When someone says they’re having a problem, don’t auto-assume you’ve been through worse and they’re just whinging. Listen. Please.

          • Focksbot says:

            Dear Fred and RvLeshrac,

            As men, you and I have no fucking idea what it feels like to have specific insults tailored for us based on our alleged inferiority as a sex, and the power the other sex holds over us because of their tremendous sense of entitlement and disproportionate share of social and political power. It’s in a different league. It’s not the same as hazing other men.

            We get insults telling us we’re gay. But we know we’re not, so what does it matter? We get insults telling us we’re women. But we know we’re not, so what does it matter? But if you’re a woman and you get told you’re going to get raped – well, you might just get raped, because that’s the world we’re living in.

            It’s so tiring making this point again and again to people who have no idea what they’re talking about and refuse to admit that they have no idea what it’s like to be on the receiving end of sexism and, because of that, that they should wake the fuck up to what women are telling us about what it feels like and what needs to change.

          • Fred S. says:

            Dear Scone and Foxbot,
            That’s what hazing is for, to weed out the weaklings who fold under pressure. It doesn’t matter how good you are at the game if your team can’t depend on you to carry your weight when the pressure gets intense. And if a few words on the internet can make you go tilt then you failed the hazing.

          • Focksbot says:

            “That’s what hazing is for, to weed out the weaklings who fold under pressure.”

            Who the fuck are you to talk about ‘weaklings who fold under pressure’ when you have no idea – not a fucking clue – what the pressure of being a woman in a male-dominated world is actually like? I reckon you’d be hiding under bed in tears if you had to go through a day of dealing with the same shit many women have to put up with.

          • Fred S. says:

            Well then, if you can handle all that terrible pressure you ought to be able to shrug off some mean words on an internet gaming chat with no trouble at all.

          • Scone says:

            Fred – You’re talking about a videogame. You are putting doing well in a videogame above people. It’s /silly/. Yes we can put up with the abuse, but there’s no good reason to. Because it’s a videogame. The problem is that people are being driven out of games they’d otherwise enjoy or facing a whole lot of hostility if they stay, not that they’re not doing well in the game. We’re not your soldier buddies, we shouldn’t have to prove ourselves emotionally capable to be in your unchallenged presence.

            Your argument is incredibly weird. Do you refuse to play chess with people unless you can punch them first? Then blame them if they don’t want to play? And I’m not being hyperbolic. I honestly prefer being punched to a match’s 45+ minutes of hearing words I strongly associate with more serious violence. RAPE THREATS ARE A PROBLEM. They’re not “mean words.” Shit-talking is fine, but this is not shit-talking. Rape threats are a callback.

            This isn’t something you’re better than, it’s something different than what you’ve experienced. Nothing is gained by these threats, nothing would be lost if people stopped making them. It’s not a complex issue. At all.

        • Mman says:

          “What you just said is that the skit validates targeting non-straight white males by showing a straight (presumably?) white male beating a woman in a video game. Now if that was where it ended, I might agree with you. It doesn’t end there however, instead she tells him she was playing him, and then she proceeds to kick his ass.”

          I already mentioned that though? In a certain sense it makes it worse because it makes it obvious that Microsoft knew they were perpetuating a “lol girl gamers” narrative and had to throw in a subversion to make it “okay”. As opposed to, you know, just making it a fair match or something.

        • Focksbot says:

          “Well then, if you can handle all that terrible pressure you ought to be able to shrug off some mean words on an internet gaming chat with no trouble at all.”

          I’m not a woman.

          Plus, what Scone says above.

    • offcrcartman says:

      Seems like it boils down to the fact that a MAN was trash talking a WOMAN.

    • Policentric says:

      There are waaaaaay too many little feminist helpers on RPS. I think people have become too keen on getting insulted and raging about it.

      I guess I should be in jail when I wrote on chat “accept you fate” to a girl player while I was playing Starcraft 2 and flooding her base with zerglings (sperm joke lololol, also femi-rage incoming) and she was valiantly, but barely, holding her line.

      You people need to relax and learn when something is said in good/fun context and when in evil/sexual.

      • Focksbot says:

        “You people need to relax and learn when something is said in good/fun context and when in evil/sexual.”

        The trouble is that you need to recognise how common it is for men to try to blur the lines with jokes like this. Just because you’ve never experienced exactly this joke in your little bubble of privilege doesn’t mean thousands of women haven’t. Or what are going to claim next – that telling a woman she needs “a damn good raping” is just harmless fun too?

        And “little feminist helpers”? This stuff actually matters, you know. This makes the difference to women feeling frozen out and intimidated, and feeling included. It’s not about being ‘insulted and raging about it'; it’s about being made not to feel unwelcome by unpleasant macho posturing. You need to grow the fuck up and realise that just because something doesn’t have a huge negative impact on you doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a huge negative impact on other people.

        I’ll be a ‘little feminist helper’ until the rest of the men out there stop being so dipshit-thick about these issues and recognise them for what they are. It’s not that hard – I’m only here, saying this, because something that I take to be common fucking sense is being argued about pointlessly by belligerent anti-feminist whingers.

    • cunningmunki says:

      It wasn’t just the words, it was how he said it. *shudders*

    • engion3 says:

      you’re in denial…

    • SuicideKing says:

      I’ve posted these links before as well, i’m posting them again for whoever wants to go through them.

      And yeah, i’m on the “it was a rape joke” side of the argument.

      http://gamersagainstbigotry.org/2013/06/why-just-let-it-happen-itll-be-over-soon-is-a-rape-joke-and-extremely-problematic/

      http://gamersagainstbigotry.org/2013/06/microsoft-rape-joke-e3-gamer-culture/

      • WrenBoy says:

        TL;DR
        The reason it was a rape joke is because it just was, even my roommate agrees.

    • Unrepentant says:

      The problem to me is not whether or not it was in fact a rape joke, but that it was taken that way by many people. It was seen as a rape joke, yet the canned dialogue at this highly controlled (though obviously not enough seeing the Crimson Dragon and Battlefield 4 snafus) press conference got to the stage anyways. That means that at least a few and more likely several people on different pay grades all saw the ideas of A: this horribly stilted “trash talk” that could be construed negatively B: the staged “hustling” of one player over another, and C: sending two people who obviously don’t even know how to play the game as A-OK. Let me tell you something. I live in the Seattle area. I know and love many people who work for Microsoft. And not a single one of them would be OK with this level of plastic, contrived, stupidity. How out of touch must Microsoft marketers/execs/whoever makes these decisions be to look at that entire exchange and think, “In this day and age when anything can become a 20 second Youtube video and anything can become a blurb on all the news sites, I’m fine with manufactured rivalry and murky trash talk”. This exchange is a microcosm of the entire Microsoft decision process. We come up with an idea we hope will make us money, and manage to market it to ourselves better than the customer.

      Blah, /rant

  3. floweringmind says:

    Microsoft is trying to get rid of a user PC. They are working hard at controlling it with the horrible Windows 8. Until they can totally control it, they will ignore it, as will major companies. Microsoft doesn’t make money off of gaming unless it is via Xbox. The big game companies are all in bed with the belief that they lose sales on the PC because it is just pirated and so the console is a safe platform. The proof of this is how many games are delayed for a the PC so that they can come out on the Xbox.

    Windows 8 is also an example how almost no thought is put into the PC as it is totally focused on emerging markets like cellphones and tablets. So if you are a PC user you are ignored across the board. What it encourages is a move to Linux.

    • Arkh says:

      Microsoft is trying to be Apple.

      But they forgot their cult of technology part. Without fanatics, people just get angry.

      • Styles says:

        Haha, yep. Well said.
        Kind of tired of these claims that Steam is “the best thing EVAR!!!11ONE” ….no….it isn’t. It was horrendously buggy for many years, with crashes and glitches everywhere. They’ve only just fixed this, but you still get ripped off price-wise more than you’d think (I’ve come across games many times that are still being sold for $30AU when you can buy a physical copy for $9AU, and that’s not even sale price) …plus there’s the no refunds ever problem, and the fact that you’re effectively renting these games you’ve bought (if Steam decides you are a naughty person for whatever reason, you lose access to them all). Yes, steam is convenient and it can be cheap, but it’s not the pinnacle of PC game vending. I wish people would stop worshipping it unconditionally.

        • Lemming says:

          WTF? He wasn’t even talking about Steam. Way to hijack a comment with your own agenda there, mate!

        • mondomau says:

          Hi there, it looks like you’re having trouble with your reading comprehension and/or blinkered axe-grinding. Would you like me to direct you to a comment that is actually about the steam platform? Or maybe just fetch you some glasses and some valium?

      • Premium User Badge

        c-Row says:

        As opposed to angry fanatics?

    • Premium User Badge

      c-Row says:

      I am sure Microsoft would introduce something similar to the Xbox’s Gold Service on PC if they just could so to make money off the online multiplayer crowd.

      • TormDK says:

        I would drop 60 USD a year in a heart beat if it meant 10 of my friends could get access to my games library on Steam, like they will be able to on Xbox One.

        There’s so much potential that Microsoft could provide us gamers if they embraced the PC more than they do now. Obviously Windows 8 needs to have a larger install base before it’s going to be a good idea but NetFlix for games? Yes please!

        • Wedge says:

          I’d love to hear an explanation of exactly what the fuck Microsoft is talking about when they mention that part, because I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean what most people think it means.

        • The Random One says:

          Even if they do intend to do that (which I very very strongly believe they don’t, and will in fact take steps to stop it if their system allows it to happen) I doubt that they’d be able to pull it off. Remember GFWL. It could have brought the convenience of standardized controls and the fun of achievements across two platforms. It burned like the Hindenburg if it had crashed on an oil rig.

      • DatonKallandor says:

        They DID. When Vista came out, they tried to force people to use it with exclusivity deals, holding directx hostage and increasing the price on the previous windows while dropping the price on Vista. Then they ported over Xbox Live under the name Games for Windows LIVE – including the silver/gold member segregation with a paywall and multiplayer locks.

        Guess what they’re doing now for Windows 8.

        It didn’t work out then, and it won’t work out now – but the only ones hurt in any significant way are the fool developers who’ve signed exclusivity deals and the consumer.

      • Nicodemus Rexx says:

        Oops! My Windows Live comment got beat to the punch. You win this round Daton!

    • Bostec says:

      My next OS will be some kind of Linux based system. Windows 8 is a slap in the face of PC gamers. I will not be a part of this.

      • Premium User Badge

        elderman says:

        Hey, that’s great. Many Linux-based OSes are excellent. I’ve been using them for four or five years now. I’ve learned a lot, met a lot of great people online and in person, and rarely — increasingly rarely — had a task that I couldn’t easily accomplish due to my OS of choice. Also, I’ve bought more native games than I have had time to play and bought more games for running in Wine than I’ve had time to play. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help making the switch.

      • Apocalypse says:

        And what about windows 8 is a slap into your face?
        I am really interested to hear about this, because the kernel itself is better than ever. The core system is the best windows ever made.

        And the simple metro interface can not be your problem either, as you do not see this much as gamer anyway …

      • vivlo says:

        you know that Linux is Unix based, and that OSX is unix based too ? :>

        • Triplanetary says:

          What’s your point? Android and iOS are both Unix-based. One is largely open, one almost entirely closed (barring jailbreaking). It’s not difficult to take a bit of open-source software and build your own proprietary, closed-ecosystem software around it. And the fact that it was built around open-source software doesn’t magically transfer the benefits of open-source onto the proprietary, closed software.

    • hangphyr says:

      Thats like if GM decided they don’t want to sell cars anymore, only trucks, so they start crippling and delaying their cars they sell.

      People will do one of two things: buy their cars somewhere else, or drive their old GM cars.

      Unless MS does a complete 180 with their next OS, then windows 7 is the last microsoft OS that I will ever use.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        I’d say most cars I’ve seen have been “crippled” by “new tech” many times. I stick to companies and cars that try to stay to the tested and well made stuff. Does not stop others jumping on bandwagons though. And not the type of new tech that helps the consumer, but the new tech that adds service costs and non-serviceable (so needs replacing/larger jobs) parts.

        Some companies do do exactly what MS are doing, and start out trying to be electric only (Tesla etc).

      • The Random One says:

        It’s like that, except that there are only three carmakers in the world: GM, Lamborghini, and a Swedish guy named Rick that posts the blueprints online, but is really bad at explaining which carburetors work with which engine blocks.

    • rb2610 says:

      You say that, but if you take a look at this chart, of all the games announced at E3, 37 are on PC, which is only beaten by the PS3 with 38. http://i.imgur.com/ZWK5YzZ.png

      Doesn’t look much to me that the PC has been ignored as a whole…

      • DatonKallandor says:

        And how many of those 37 are not held back by console hardware? I’ll be surprised if you can find more than 5.

    • RDG says:

      Microsoft can be in serious trouble in the next few years. They have two cash cows in Office and Xbox. Office sales are falling due to a poor PC market and competition from Google Docs, iWork in the Cloud, OpenOffice and generally an increase in quality of alternative office suites. The PS3 has outsold the 360 everywhere but the US and the Xbox One is miles behind the PS4 in both popularity and technologically before it has even launched. That leaves Windows Phone which is disappointing users and vendors alike and Windows RT which has tremendously flopped, as expected.

      In short, Microsoft had better not let the PC community down. I know statistically this does not mean a thing, but I know plenty of people who only use a Windows machine because it runs their games, myself included.

  4. Thompy says:

    Why is your sink on the wall and defying gravity? Away with your devilish magic!

  5. Khalan says:

    Sony must be loving how Microsoft has handled the whole Xbone thing.

    I hated Steam in 2004. Love it now, with more than 300 games on my account. Wonder if that will eventually happen with the Xbone? Personally, I’ll be staying away from it and getting the PS4.

    Unfortunately there seems to be stupid decisions made all round – for PCs and for consoles. Is this a case of two neighbours chatting over the back fence on how to fix the world? Or are there some genuinely good points in the article? I’ll pick the latter – after all we have plenty of history to draw on. 10 years is an entire era in PC land.

  6. Brun says:

    absurd sales

    This is really the key, and it’s what Microsoft and EA and everyone else that’s trying to emulate Steam keeps missing. People are fine with Steam’s janky offline mode and inability to resell games because they can substantially reduce the price of gaming by shopping during Steam sales. Remember, value is quality / price. By removing quality (the ability resell, the ability to play offline) value is reduced UNLESS the price also comes down.

    As for toxic communities, my attitude is that the Internet in general is the wild west. It’s just the way the Internet is. I walk into that environment fully expecting it to be toxic, with defenses raised, and as such very little of it ends up bothering me. I like Riot/Valve’s approach to improving things as it’s very hands-off but surprisingly effective.

    • Premium User Badge

      basilisk says:

      I would argue the inability to resell games is what makes those sales possible in the first place. Also, we don’t know quite yet what the pricing policy for non-physical titles on the Xbone is going to be – they may very well take the Steam route of strict ownership rules + cheap prices = massive profit.

      (Of course, MS’s entertainment division being what it is, they probably won’t, but the possibility is still there and it’s too early to jump at conclusions.)

      • Brun says:

        they may very well take the Steam route of strict ownership rules + cheap prices = massive profit.

        If that’s the case then it needs to be one of the most highly-touted and hyped features of the Xbone. They should be positioning that as something to offset the restrictions.

      • calendar_man says:

        As many, many people have pointed out when most large gaming companies get access to a delivery system that they alone control, they do not automatically lower prices for the consumer. They tend to just pocket any profits.

        Love your optimism though.

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          And it’s amazing that they don’t. Valve don’t do just do it because they’re nice, they do it because they understand the borderline nonsensical elasticity of digital games. It’s absurdly profitable to have massive sales and thus far those sales have not devalued PC games in the way that EA higher-ups were predicting it would. There is no downside, just large piles of money.

          The fact that Steam sales aren’t already happening on the consoles is just evidence to me of how out of touch MS and, yes, Sony are with the market.

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            That’s exactly what I meant. It’s no secret – Gabe has been saying literally for years that 75% and higher sales are making them way more money than anyone could have predicted. I’ve heard him say that many times at various places all over the internet, and I’m not even in the industry. And Steam is the greatest success story in the history of videogame distribution, so one would think other companies would listen to what he has to say.

            I mean, I would be genuinely surprised if the ever pig-headed Microsoft actually went that route, but on the other hand, if they won’t, then the Xbone is a strong contender for the most bizarrely out-of-touch product in the history of this medium. I keep thinking they must have an ace up their sleeve, because the only other explanation is that they’re just stark raving mad.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I think that’s doubtful. Origin has had how many massive Steam style sales? Digital delivery is just so much more efficient than physical; there’s no storage space, supply always meets demand, infinitesimal delivery costs, and a lower barrier to purchase. The vast improvement in efficiency is what makes the price cuts possible (also cutting out several middlemen).

        Steam was just the first online retailer to let the customers see the fruits of that efficiency, so it gained marketshare and then kept it by solving a lot of long-standing PC gaming problems.

        • Misnomer says:

          Rough day to make that point about Origin sales, they just started a big one.

          http://store.origin.com/store/ea/en_US/html/pbPage.origin-deals

          • Apocalypse says:

            And still many will not buy from EA, because they do not trust them to store their library for longer periods of time.

            Trust is another big factor in such digital sales.

          • Malk_Content says:

            50% off isn’t a huge deal when your prices are massively inflated or have never dropped. Oh boy Crysis 3 is 50% off, I might pick it up, oh wait somehow that is still £27.50. Ooh this Sim3 is half price, oh wait no that is just 50% of an expansion that adds very little and still came out at £30 originally. I wonder if the new Sim City has gotten cheap enough to buy yet? Ah no, apparently still worth £65 for the deluxe edition.

        • HadToLogin says:

          AFAIK, there were big sales on Origin every month. Mostly on EA products, true, but some third-party products also appear on them from time to time.

          And personally, I didn’t bought anything from Valve from a long time. Thanks to their 1euro=1dolar I’m getting lots of gifts. Mostly from friend in Russia (since Valve has “$60 in US = $20-30 in Russia” policy) and when region locks attack I’m getting gifts from US friend (paypal and similar stuff, thx).

          Funny how Valve was able to create enough fanboys who doesn’t do their homework, they just buy whatever appears in “timely sales” (example: Alan Wake became Steam bestseller, even when you could get it 4 times cheaper from Humble Bundle week before).

          • drinniol says:

            If I could get Origin to price fairly in AUD and download more than 300Kb/sec then I’d probably buy more. Maybe.

    • Apocalypse says:

      “Remember, value is quality / price. By removing quality (the ability resell, the ability to play offline) value is reduced UNLESS the price also comes down.”

      Exactly. I could not care less about stupid ubisoft always-online DRM if the game is just 5$, but I would never buy such a game for 50$.

      Ubisoft seems to have notice this behavior from more people than just me, and adjusted their system to maximize their profit. Good for them, and ok for me.

  7. beanman101283 says:

    So, serious question:

    How would some self-designated curator of PC gaming go about putting on a flashy press conference at E3 similar to the ones the console makers and big publishers do? I assume somebody just pays the E3 people a chunk of money to slot them in the schedule and go from there, correct?

    So if RPS teamed up with somebody, whether it’s Eurogamer, Valve, Riot, or some other entity, couldn’t we MAKE PC’s presence felt?

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      One does not bite the hand of corporate hospitality. Or indeed preclude oneself from future corporate hospitality when it’s the Chinese Year of the Console!

    • Premium User Badge

      Clavus says:

      You shouldn’t aspire to be on the E3. It’s stressful for everyone involved. Most developers seem to wish the format would just die already, and have something with less buzzwords and fake game demonstrations.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Rezzed? Etoo?

    • Shuck says:

      It’s enormously expensive to buy space at E3 (a small booth space is something like $50,000, a flashy press conference would be in the millions). If you aren’t selling a product that you expect to get many-tens-of-millions of dollars worth of revenue out of, it’s not worth it. This is why you don’t see a lot of PC games there. Valve can afford to go to E3, but unless they have a specific large game to showcase, it’s not worth it for them. I’m not sure what the point of making “PC’s presence felt” would achieve for a collection of PC games writers, especially when they’d have to give up a good chunk of their combined revenue to do so.

    • thetruegentleman says:

      Alas, no: PC centric companies are generally the way they are exactly because they can’t afford to go into console space (or aren’t able to, as the case may be). A company that can afford to go to E3 can also almost certainly afford to make their game for the consoles as well, which is why we can’t really expect PC exclusives to show up at E3.

      Of course, going to E3 is also a lot less necessary: smaller games are a lot more visible on the PC stores than they are in places like Gamestop.

  8. Reapy says:

    I think consoles and huge publishers live in a whole different world than a smaller progressive pc company. Corporations are notoriously good at plugging their ears and going lalalala I don’t care, while still being big enough that it doesn’t matter if they aren’t listening, you still have to play by their rules. As usual, vote with the wallet.

    Also “just let it happen” is not a rape joke.

    • bladedsmoke says:

      You’re right, not a joke at all. More of a casual rape reference.

      • Reapy says:

        The phrase to me means, hey, just let this unpleasant thing happen, you can’t stop it. The context being the video game being played and losing the match on stage. Just because rape is an unpleasant thing a person can’t stop does not mean that is a valid substitution given the context and lame script from which the line was delivered. If that phrase is owned by rape and rape alone, that is news to me considering my understanding of the English language.

  9. dagudman says:

    What really amazes me is that microsoft didn’t try to make the PC their gaming console. It would be the best one, you would be able to upgrade it and you wouldn’t need to buy the PC 2 since you can just upgrade it. They could have done the steam thing and made games for it but they decided that making a gaming console would be better. Their loss anyway…

  10. Seraphithan says:

    At first I wanted to chide you for calling the progress in the videogame industry evolution, but than I remembered that it is slow as molasses, rather stupid and ridiculously opportunistic.

    It’s still no evolution though…

  11. WoundedBum says:

    So they said today you can invite 10 people to share in your Xbox Live family, and from that you all share access to the games you’ve bought, just you can’t play them at the same time. This can’t be right can it? Or must be restricted? Despite everything else, that is a pretty cool feature, if it’s what they say it is.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      It must be on the same machine, surely?

      • WoundedBum says:

        Apparently not, from Yusuf Mehdi himself :

        “they don’t have to live in the primary owner’s house—I could name a friend that lives 3,000 miles away as one of my “family members” Mehdi said”

        Of course, this could just be half the story.

    • DatonKallandor says:

      This is literally something you can do with Steam right now, except there’s no limit the amount of people.
      And it’s also something you can do on an original Xbox, SEGA Genesis or a goddamn Nintendo. It’s calling letting a friend borrow the CD/Cartridge.
      What the big publishers and companies are doing is telling you the restrictions they’re putting on you and telling you how GREAT they are. Yeah they do sound good until you think about them for one bloody second and realize they’re not features – they’re goddamn balls and chain.

      • WrenBoy says:

        How does Steam do this?

      • Premium User Badge

        cpt_freakout says:

        It has one advantage in the sense that it’s easier to lend a game to a friend who lives, say, in another country, or too far away to just drop by and give out your disk. However that’s the only thing it has going over its physical equivalent, and we all know in the end it’s just one more regulation / data collection process.

    • Wedge says:

      They say they have this 10 person sharing thing at the same time they say you can’t play a game on a console other than your main one without checking in online once every hour. So unless they allow you to be logged in 10 places at once, something here doesn’t make sense. And I can’t imagine they would allow that, because then everyone would make a 10 person sharing account.

  12. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    Well that is on of the main problems with a closed system isn’t it? When a market is so completely dominated by a small group of companies and their closed systems, stupidity from any one of them makes some big rings on the water. Ubisoft and EA are doing some shifty stuff to be sure, but here in PC land we are free to stay clear of them and just support smaller companies whose practices we approve of.

  13. biz says:

    I think gamers still don’t understand that developer-friendly = player-friendly

    PC is developer-friendly because it gives freedom to use any business model for a game
    and it’s player-friendly because people can choose how they want to access their games

    the free market decides what succeeds or fails – not greedy publishers, not entitled consumers

    the keyboard warrior’s idea of success and failure is detached from reality

    the console industry is learning from PC games…. but from Valve/Blizzard’s profits rather than EA/Ubisoft’s stumbles

    maybe you have to be a software developer to see it, but it always converges to the exactly same thing… finding common patterns and letting someone manage those parts independently

    elastic cloud
    achievement system
    DRM solution
    cloud saves
    online multiplayer
    user input
    graphics library
    streaming solution
    user identity

    instead of working for some pretend “common good” they work towards an infrastructure to deliver the very real and concrete “common functionality” that many developers need. that’s all there is to it…

    I’d rather have this stuff handled by Microsoft or Valve engineers rather than individual small developers
    I don’t even care if Google is the one to do it. the concept is the same

    • WrenBoy says:

      The market does not exist independently of consumers. It is difficult to see in what sense consumers do not decide who suceeds and who fails.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      I don’t think I can read that post. I don’t live on your planet.

      Customers are not developers, nor are they publishers. Each has different needs, desires and requirements. Sometimes they can decide to work together. Sometimes they do not. Thus, a benefit for one is never automatically a benefit for the other, unless they agree before hand that it is.

      DRM can for example be detrimental for all 3 if “number of sales” is the desire for developers and publishers and “less restrictions” is the desire for the customer. As “less sales” would be the end result of that triangle of a market.

    • MarcP says:

      “elastic cloud
      achievement system
      DRM solution
      cloud saves
      online multiplayer
      user input
      graphics library
      streaming solution
      user identity”

      I’m not saying you’re wrong, but to me this sounds like you’re flipping pages of the Necronomicon.

  14. Craig Stern says:

    At this point, I’m inclined to say that Sony is outdoing the PC in terms of catering to indies. When you look at the PC marketplace right now, something like 70% of all sales happen on Steam–but thanks to the Great Wall of Greenlight, few indies will ever see a penny of that. Valve is shutting indies out; Sony is welcoming them in. Frankly, I think there’s a thing or two distribution platforms on the PC could learn from Sony.

    • Wedge says:

      Sooo, is Telepath Tactics coming to PS4? I’m curious what exactly someone has to do to get a game on the PS4. They haven’t really said anything other than you don’t need a publisher, but surely it doesn’t mean anyone can just throw a game up there? Right now Sony is desperate for games to have on it’s platforms, whereas on PC there’s an absolute glut of games available and competing for attention. So if Sony is just picking up anyone that puts in the effort and putting their games out right now, I would imagine that could change in the future very quickly if that market saturates like it has on PC.

      I don’t blame Valve for what they’re doing right now, as they have to do a major redesign to how Steam works as a store if they’re to allow more people to publish their games on it. If they just published every game anyone wanted to put out in the current system… well you’ve seen what things like the Appstore and the X-box indie thing look like.

  15. Jimbo says:

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun: Crying Wolf Since 1873

  16. Fumarole says:

    Xbone owners really needs to be shortened to Xboners.

  17. Premium User Badge

    bills6693 says:

    On a side note, the link to the GDC talk was really interesting, I watched it through.

    It also demonstrated the difficulty in reducing negative player behaviours and a bad community. There have been extensive steps taken by Riot and yet the problem seems to persist. And how many publishers/developers are going to put the money, time and effort into doing this?

    This isn’t really something I see Microsoft or Sony tackling, this is a problem for the creators of the game.

    But the rest stands. Look at steam – a similar kind of model for the PlayStation and Xbox would probably be really beneficial for all. But it seems the consoles are not ready for it yet – digital only can be a problem, and I understand that.

    • Emeraude says:

      One aspect of the problem is that consoles have become the refuge for people who did not want to lose/bother with what going with Steam entailed, wanted to keep a certain social aspect of gaming that is destroyed by the adoption of its model – whatever other advantages it brings.

      Going digital for consoles, as designed by Microsoft, means leaving behind the last positive specificity consoles had over the PC – it already lost convenience by ease of access and use, lost being the more economic solution, and now its losing the social aspect – whether in shared space multiplayer or in game sharing… which begs the questions: why bother with the platform ? Where to go if this strategy becomes the norm ?

      That last one, I guess, explains a bit the virulence of the epidemic resistance to the change: it is presented in such a way that it leaves no alternatives.

  18. nimzy says:

    But your picture on the About page has you in headphones, not a stovepipe hat! RPS, this should be corrected immediately!

  19. Premium User Badge

    darkChozo says:

    It mostly fits the dictionary definition of “unemployed” in the sense of “unemployed resources” — things that you have access to but aren’t using. Even if you’re looking for a job, if you never contact any companies you’re basically invisible to the job market; the job market’s not rejecting you, you’re rejecting the job market (maybe justifiably, but still). That’s not congruent with a definition of “not employed”, of course, but that statistic would include a lot of cruft (those in school, those unable to work due to sickness, retirees, et cetera) and would probably be slightly less useful as an economic indicator.

    Really, I think so long as there are sufficient divisions of statistics, it’s not a problem in terms of what data is being produced (ie. unemployed, underemployed, disabled, discouraged, etc). The problem, arguably, is that some stats are emphasized even when more is needed to provide a full picture of the economic situation.

  20. Wulfram says:

    Well, I can’t say I’ve got more than the vaguest of vague ideas as to what MOBA is, and the occasional eSport post on RPS leaves me blinking in utter confusion.

    So I’m not especially surprised they didn’t come up much in E3, and not so sure about that wildfire thing

  21. wodin says:

    After reading the specs and seeing the PS4 price is going to be around £50 I’m seriously considering buying one!!!..The price for th hardware is pretty good to b honest. What with the Xbox being nearly £100 more the PS4 looks very tempting indeed. The price reflects it isn’t exactly the hardware of the future and I’m sure my PC upgrades will in a few years knock it for six..but hey the price is tempting.

    One thing I will say though..the PC will still rule in my house.

    • Premium User Badge

      jimbobjunior says:

      “After reading the […] £50 […] £100 […] !!!”

      Jeez wodin, at first glance I thought you’d been turned into a spambot. Though a more modest one, given the figures you were bandying about.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        After […] seeing the PS4 price is going to be around £50

        What?

        Wait, what?

  22. drinniol says:

    FFS guys. Microsoft barely had a show in E3 before the X-Box came along and it has been console focused for the last thirteen bloody years.

  23. Shooop says:

    I do not understand why anyone keeps thinking there is going to be some PC gaming resonance or something. The consoles have won that war already, it’s done. Over. PC gaming is never going to be front and center ever again for trade shows.

    So long as consoles remain sealed computers whose main function is to play games and PCs remain multipurpose tools which require even minimal effort to use this will never change. That is not what the majority of gamers want. The majority of gamers are loud stupid kids who have controllers with elaborate paint jobs and $100 head sets into which they scream racial slurs because they pestered their parents until they got sick of their whining and wanted to shut them up. The majority of gamers have trouble finding their own hands in the dark.

    • Chris D says:

      1. Did you mean “Renaissance”?

      2. No, they’re not the majority. They’re just the loudest. It’s just taking the industry some time to realise that. It would happen faster if they weren’t quite so intent on turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      • frightlever says:

        Leave him alone, he’s just cranky. Give it a minute and he’ll nod off. Bless.

      • cunningmunki says:

        I think he meant that we’ll be hearing it for a long time afterwards. But I can’t be sure.

      • Shooop says:

        1) Yes, but of course spell-check wouldn’t give me the right spelling. And I don’t use the word often enough to have it memorized.

        2) Where are they? If more mature and well-adjusted people are the majority, why aren’t they out and about more? The stupid ones are always loudest, but when they’re all the industry caters to it’s terrifyingly likely they are in fact the majority because publishers and other industry number pushers always aim for the largest market they can hit.

  24. frightlever says:

    There’s no such thing as “PC gaming” as some unified group and there never will be. AAA games sell better, much better, on consoles but PC gaming spend dwarfs console spend. PC gaming is vast in all its shapes and sizes.

    There is no need to be concerned about what the console makers are doing because it doesn’t matter. If you actually want to play those console focussed games then next generation more than ever will be the best way to do it. Why worry about delayed releases, shoddy console ports or intrusive DRM when you can pick up a PS4 and just play the games you like?

    Obviously you’ll miss out on a bunch of oddball, esoteric indies and most of the simulation and strategy end of gaming that you can get on PC but it’s horses for courses.

    The reason the gaming companies don’t learn is because most of them aren’t run by guys in their 20s or 30s who actually still play games (nearly fifty year old gamer here but stereotypes are stereotypes because of truth) and since the games they make are console focussed, if they do play games they probably mainly play console games. They don’t learn from what’s happening with PC gaming because it’s not on their radar.

  25. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    My block button got a good workout today

    • Bork Titflopsen says:

      Keep hammering that block button and soon it’ll be like you’ve got RPS all to yourself!

  26. Blaaargh says:

    ““This is totally cool! It’s an essential part of playing our games” – to enhance their images. It’s especially frightening when very overt “jokes” about rape enter the picture during conferences meant to represent a product and its culture to millions.

    I don’t think trash talk is necessarily bad. For some people, it’s a cornerstone of their gaming experience. And as long as the feeling’s mutual, that’s great. But that’s a big if, and services like Xbox Live have become known for their sizzling cesspits of toxic filth. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that people avoid online multiplayer for that reason.”

    Please do humanity a favor and go bleed out in a ditch somewhere.

    Not everyones definition of “fun” is equivalent of an english tea party amongst lords and ladies with all the etiquette rules that entails. When people go to a football or hockey match or to a metal concert they don’t expect the same either.

    • Sian says:

      I don’t know what metal concerts you’ve been to, but mine were usually a friendly affair. People are there to enjoy the music, not cause a ruckus. Of course there’s usually a mosh pit, but people who don’t want to go there have the choice not to. People who don’t want to have to listen to trash talk in an offline tournament don’t have that option. And don’t tell me offline tournaments are the mosh pit of gaming – they aren’t. They are just more concerts.

      • Premium User Badge

        JamesTheNumberless says:

        twat-metal, it’s where the mosh pit is for being as much of a dick as you possibly can, abusing and intimidating people in as vile and hostile a manner as can be… No, I haven’t heard of it either!

        With some sports crowds, on the other hand, I do see the comparison.

  27. Premium User Badge

    Surlywombat says:

    I was surprised they went as far as they did frankly. Ustream on ps4 and Twitch on xbone is obviously them noticing the rise of streaming on pc. Its not much of a leap to see that they are putting the infrastructure in place to do things with esports.

  28. Snakejuice says:

    Who the fuck cares if it’s a rape joke. I didn’t get the memo with the list of subjects that are forbidden to joke about.

    Gooby pls..

    • cunningmunki says:

      You surely can’t be that naive and function properly. Context is everything. But if you think a rape joke at the expense of a woman at an event representing an industry which already receives a lot of criticism for it’s male-dominated nature is ok, then that’s fine.
      Please continue your viewing of Top Gear and think nothing more of it.

  29. cunningmunki says:

    I missed that DOTA ban policy story. God I love Valve so very much it hurts.

  30. Psymon says:

    A stray letter H can cause ‘worth noting’ to hold a very different meaning.

    I only highlight this because it tickled me, not because I want it corrected.