The Sunday Papers

Sunday mornings are for waking up and… no, I’m not actually awake. No point trying to pretend that I am. Try as I might to coax some consciousness from the soggy depths of my skull, the truth is that today is only twitch of the needle before the oblivion of bed once again. I suppose that is what Sundays are for.

  • Polygon’s Arkane/Bethesda/IonStorm article about the men designing Dishonored is quite the thing to behold. I mean, blimey. But also really? Also, some good anecdotes: “There are some problems, though, that QA can’t fix, and when Ultima VIII is released, it has a lot of them. One hundred, by Smith’s counting. Smith is so frustrated by the state of this game that he writes a list detailing the reasons why he didn’t like it. All 100 of them. “I literally said it was a slap in the face to Ultima fans and RPG fans,” Harvey said. “And I sent it to my boss. I don’t know why I did it, but it was the kind of thing I did back then.” Harvey Smith in proto-angry internet man shocker! Sort of.
  • Gamasutra talk to Ocean Quigley – of all the best names for developers, that’s the one for me – about Sim City: “So, for example, if you see a car parked in front of a building, it’s because there’s somebody inside that building. And if there wasn’t anybody inside that building, the car wouldn’t be there. Or if the lights are on in the building, it means that the power is on, and that there’s somebody inside that building. Or if you see green terrain, it’s because that terrain is watered. Or if you see a house with graffiti on it, it’s because a crime has occurred there, and so forth. Right?”
  • Bioshock’s JP LeBreton talked to Idle Thumbs. It’s an amazing video-walkthrough talk talk, and PCG’s Tom Francis did his best to encapsulate it: “The cave-in that forces you to take a detour into Arcadia is triggered by walking through a particular chunk of space, and triggers a little earlier if you happen to be looking in the right direction as you approach. JP recalls a speed-runner figured out both these conditions, and managed to stack objects to climb a tree and jump over the trigger. Since he also knew that looking at the door would trigger the blockage, he had to do the whole thing while very purposefully looking the other way.”
  • An interesting article about Chris Crawford: “The Dragon Speech was Crawford’s impassioned call for change. He was disappointed in the direction that many designers were taking. He wanted games to be a medium for artistic expression, an aspiration he felt his contemporaries did not share. So he announced that he was leaving the industry in order to pursue that dream. Crawford described his goal as the metaphorical slaying of a dragon. At the climax of the speech he grasped a sword, unsheathed it from its scabbard, held it aloft and cried “For truth! For beauty! For art! Charge!” – and galloped out of the room.”
  • While you are over at Eurogamer, have a read of this Ed McMillen interview: “I don’t remember what it was called back then, but there was a family website. It was like Facebook, but only your family could log in. You could show each other what you’d been working on. I have a baby, this person turned three, that sort of stuff. So I decided, since I was invited to the McMillen Facebook page, whatever the hell it was, that I was going to show my work too. I started posting my comics and stuff like that, and they were very offended, removing it and telling me to never post anything else. And of course it would just make me do more, until I got banned from my own family’s website.”
  • Steven Poole and I agree on something! It’s a piece about the weakness of PS3 game Journey’s ending. I want to write something about the weakness of that entire game at some point, but I don’t get much time for writing about console games for some reason.
  • The Artistry Of Code: “We are artists who don’t create art. We are creative souls driven not by emotion, but by the rigors of logic an mathematical perfection. We write poetry that is not about love and desire but about function and procedural complexity. But we too seek beauty and aesthetic perfection in our work. If you put three programmers in a room, each of them will probably have a different opinion on how the code should be structured, what practices should be followed or even what language and/or text editor should be used. The most interesting part is that all of them will probably be correct, or at the very least have valid points.”
  • Kotaku Australia’s Kate Williams has something to say: “When I sit down at a computer, my left hand falls automatically into the inverted-V shape known well by all of you; middle three fingers arched across W, A, S and D. Pinky hovering over left-shift, my thumb resting lightly on the space bar. There’s a poetic comfort in this for me. I do it without thinking. These letters are the ones I always come home to.”
  • This clip from a stealth blog Sneaky Bastards interview with Warren Spector is quite the thing.
  • I don’t often link to IGN, you might have noticed, but I was interested to see an eye cast back to the original Medal of Honour. I remember playing it back in the day, when it wasn’t even clear that it would be such a big deal, and saying “this is a big deal”. Turns out it was a big deal.
  • Some more thoughts on videogame ultraviolence over at Split-Screen: “If you want to play realistic games, great. If you want simulated wind to affect the traversal of an imaginary bullet, that’s fantastic- but it’s not for me. I demand the right to fantasy: to ride a dragon through the stomach of an even bigger dragon, to dart through an avalanche on a snowboard while blue light streaks off the tail from an unknown source. I don’t care about the source: I care about the ride.”
  • Skyjackers’a alien fleet is amazing. They’re on Kickstarter, you know.
  • I was interested to read Jean Snow’s response to watching Indie Game: The Movie: ” I’m shocked at how irresponsible the creators of the documentary were in portraying a situation that was far more complex than what was shown, not even trying to give a full picture of what was happening, thereby turning my friend into a villain.”

Music this week is from Rachel Evans.


  1. DarkLiberator says:

    The D-Day level was so amazing when I first played it, like my jaw kept dropping. But, seems like shooters since then have failed to build on its formula.

    • McDan says:

      It really was, I remember it better than any of the “we can do bigger explosions and setpieces than you” of more recent shooters. What a game that was.

    • MistyMike says:

      It was amazingly done, but it was very easy to discover the solution to it. I mean, run up to the iron hedgehog, wait until the bullets stop drumming on it, quickly run to the next, repeat until you get to that trench.

    • serioussgtstu says:

      It really was quite an amazing game at the time. Am I right in saying that there was a covert mission in North Africa where you played as a female spy? Such a far cry from today’s mindless shooters.

      • Man Raised by Puffins says:

        Allied Assault started off during Operation Torch iirc, but you’re probably thinking of the Playstation-only Underground.

    • Lemming says:

      Really? Cos I think Company of Heroes did it far, far better and that’s the only time I felt like they’d got it just right. Hell, even Conker’s Bad Fur Day did it better than Medal of Honour, IMO.

    • Matt_W says:

      From the article: “Allied Assault was one of the first games that could accurately be termed cinematic, and set the modern template for that most prevalent gaming trope of shooting bad people until they fall over.”

      They seem to have forgotten a little-known title released 4-5 years earlier. Its title, if I recall correctly, had something to do with radioactive decay. It was made by some company that I’m sure has faded into obscurity by now, named Pipe… or maybe Fitting… something to do with plumbing.

      • Hematite says:

        Bah, Half LIfe isn’t a proper ‘cinematic’ game. Sure, it’s full of carefully arranged set pieces but, to be truly cinematic it should SHOW you the action rather than actually have you DO it ;)

        • lurkalisk says:

          Pretty much the reason, in a nutshell, why “cinematic games” shouldn’t be something to boast (also: are mostly crap).

    • bear912 says:

      It’s so sad that Allied Assault isn’t on Steam or GOG… It’s around on Amazon, I know, but does anyone where one might be able to find a digital copy?

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Good only for one sitting though. You can figure it out really easy. It was just like modern shooters, look a little beyond the flashy set pieces and you’ll see your on some movie set. There’s nothing threatening on a movie set. I remember running up and down the beach, bunny hopping around, picking up health. But I remember the rest of the game being great.

      • Nate says:

        It was just like modern shooters because it was the beginning of modern shooters. The developers that designed MOH:AA went on to create Call of Duty (which turned into Modern Warfare), a game you might have heard of.

        It’s one of those games that, if you look back on it, instead of living through it, you might miss what was so important about it, because it (and the games that followed it) set the tone for FPSs for the next ten, fifteen years. I think most of us are tired of MW now, but it wasn’t that long ago that the CoD franchise was one that even us indie-leaning types were excited about.

        I’m sure very few people realize this, but the developers of MoH/CoD/MW had a contract with Valve to create a mission pack for Half-Life. Valve was not satisfied with the direction the work was going, and pulled the plug on development. This is all ancient history, of course, but it’s interesting to think about how things could have gone differently.

  2. TheDreamlord says:

    Funny how programmers (I am one of them) want to liken themselves to artists (I do not, the comparison is moot), whereas artists don’t even know (nor care) what programmers do…..

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Lordy, he lays it on a bit thick, doesn’t he? The simple observation that “artist” and “artisan” both derive from the same root would have sufficed. Or even just that “artisan” is a word at all.

      I’m also not sure who he’s addressing here. I’m sure most programmers are already at home with the idea that programming is a creative process/code can be beautiful, and I’m not sure anyone else would care. :/

      • Hoaxfish says:

        There’s very much a movement in computing to formalise a lot of this stuff, which is where you get notation like UML. The idea being that one person can paint a picture, or do a small home-made game… but if you try and scale that up to 100s of people in multiple departments the whole thing starts falling over. Even basic communication about how something should work begins to fall down.

        It’s basically what “Software Engineering” is.

        I imagine a lot of “creative individuals” see this approach as an attack by “the man” to turn the job into much more of a factory farm, churning out the same thing over and over. Hell, from the way EA acts… this is exactly what they want/expect.

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          In the respect of churning out the same thing over and over, EA barely registers a blip compared to Activision. Hell, Bobby Kotick has even explicitly stated Activision’s business strategy is based on monetizing properties to release games on a, at a minimum, yearly basis.

          Makes one wonder how well Activision’s business strategies will transition to Blizzard.

          Oh, and before the “Blizzard has autonomy” argument, Blizzard is now beholden to the same shareholders as Activision. Blizzard may be able to call the shots, but they’re still under a lot of pressure from the same shitholes that run Activision.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            You know, I always get EA and Activsion’s particular “crimes against games” mixed up.

      • Dilapinated says:

        I’m an artist and dabbling programmer, and I have a lot of admiration for coding. They aren’t analogous though, and the comparisons that can be made, he makes over and over again. I agree with the ‘laying it on thick’ sentiment.

      • Tei says:

        The awesome thing about programers is that we are always learning our art, and helping other programmers. If you copy other programer, he will like it. Other type of artist get angry. Programers share the love, while other artist are jealous and hate to help other artists.

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          WTF? Is this a thread of logical fallacies or something?

          Yes, all artists HATE to help other artists. All programmers LOVE to have their work copied.

          So sayeth the wise Alaundo…

        • Baines says:

          That’s why so much software is closed source. Even free software. Programmers “love” when someone copies them.

          I assume you’ve not seen the accusations, hissy fits, and “I’m taking my ball home” situations that can result when one programmer even thinks that another has copied his work.

          And that doesn’t even get into the subject of software patents.

        • pipman3000 says:

          .one example of how much programmers love sharing is the game ADOM made by Thomas Biskup, he loves it when other people modify his code or make detailed guides about his game. that’s part of the reason why he opened it’s source 20 years ago and why ADOM has flourished and became the most popular roguelike game today because he lets everyone take his code and modify it or add to it and release it as a free variant. some of those variants are so different you can barely tell they’re based on the same good (like the variant formerly known as Stories of Discworld)

        • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

          Never change, Tei.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        and I’m not sure anyone else would care. :/

        I’m pretty sure this was aimed at just such people. To make the unaware masses care, or at the very least, understand a little bit.

        Why write about things no one perceptibly cares about? Perhaps to make them care. That’s part of why there was so much press during the early 90’s of police brutality of blacks in the USA. To make people aware, whether they really cared or not.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      As an artist, I do care very much what programmers do. My main strengths are writing and illustration. I can program a bit, but I’ve never had a knack for it. Currently, however, I’m delving into C# and I have, as always, the utmost respect for those that know such programming languages inside and out. Those who are much more knowledgeable than me, have helped me immensely when I’ve had questions or just been unable to wrap my mind around a concept.

      Blanket statements are atrociously obnoxious and completely full of shit. An anecdote belies universal truths.

      BTW, all poor people carry disease and immigrants steal.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      I loved those olde competitions ASSEMBLY etc. where coders had to fit as much graphics, sounds and effects as possible into 64Kb executable files. It might be seen nowadays in some keygens/cracktros but that I don’t know as I haven’t pirated a single game in years. Good old times. Chip tunes.

      • jrodman says:

        The demoscene is still alive and well.

        The executables make use of directx etc so they can do a lot more, but it’s still pretty crazy to think about what it takes to put a 3d world into a 64kb executable.

        Of course the current fronteir is the 4kb exe. If you want some really hardcore nerdery, look up the descriptions online about how Crinkler works — a compressing linker, that uses knowledge of how the runtime linker works, the OMF works, etc to compress these files as far as they can manage.

        If you just want to be amazed, look up CDAK from orange or Elevated from RGBA. watch them, and then think about the fact that this comment is almost 1kb

        • Ultra Superior says:

          Thank you!!! Praise be the Omnissiah, what a beauty ….. 8-O

  3. Jay says:

    It seems every time I start coming around to giving Phil Fish the benefit of the doubt, something else turns up to paint him as even more of a self-aggrandising dickhead.

    • BooleanBob says:

      The internet has a certain sort of inertia that it inherited from print press (and I guess oral tradition before it? (ugh, score off the square marked ‘oral tradition’ on your check-card for Nobhead Bingo, ladies and gentlemen)).

      What I’m trying to say is that he’s probably a perfectly okay dude 90% of the time, but nobody’s interested in writing/talking/thinking about that.

      • Jay says:

        That’s a fair point. I’d also forgotten the tendency for documentaries to leave out or tweak certain details to tell a ‘stronger’ story. He seems to be doing a decent job of making a bit of an arse of himself regardless, but they’re certainly not doing him any favours.

        On a lighter note, that ‘nobhead bingo’ line got a genuine laugh, cheers for that :)

    • dE says:

      He’s working hard on his Indie Rockstar Image. Everytime I start to give him the benefit of the doubt, all I have to do is read some of his original posts (no news media inbetween, uh shiny) and all doubt is gone.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think it’s much along the lines of “if you speak, everyone will know you’re an arsehole”.

      I was pretty interested in Fez, when I knew only what it looked like, and the rotate mechanic. The more I saw of Phil Fish (from forum posts, not just public coverage), the less interested I became in what he had going on.

      The actual “public statements” like the indie movie, and IGF “japan sucks” moment just make it even more audible.

    • nootpingu86 says:

      As a spectator here, the drama is more of a sideshow. He comes off as a huge jerk, but it doesn’t affect me one bit.

      I’ll give Fez a try when it comes to PC.

      • LTK says:

        But it’s not coming to PC. Why? Well, the last time I checked, Phil Fish is a dickhead to PC gamers.

        • pipman3000 says:

          why doesn’t like phil fish like pc gamers? i’d think he would love to develop for a platform unsullied by the suckitude of japan except for a few indie devs nobody cares about

          • Jay says:

            Well, considering Fez just about keeps chugging along on a fixed, closed system, it’d probably fall apart like a clown car at the first sight of an unverified graphics driver. He could call it a direct response to the uncertain nature of the PC gaming market or something.

            Saucer of milk? For me? You shouldn’t have.

  4. lordcooper says:

    I disagree with that article about Journey. I’m pretty sure that the character actually does die and the final scene represents rebirth rather than resurrection. The journey is more important than the destination, but it’s still nice to think there’s going to be something more when the journey ends.

    • pilouuuu says:

      They (Toy Box Station 3 players) should demand an Extended Cut that has a better, more understandable ending.

    • JackShandy says:

      It’s a Sisyphean ending. I couldn’t get much closure from the idea that this single guy just keeps going up the mountain, dying, and being reborn back down in the desert for all eternity.

      But he does it with friends, so it might be ok.

  5. MistyMike says:

    I’m one of those weirdos who always binds movement to the numpad arow keys (with zero, enter, slash, plus, asterisk for reloading, ducking etc.) instead of the mighty WSAD.

    • Rao Dao Zao says:

      I am ham-fisted so use the cursor keys. If I try to use WASD, I always end up moving my hand one key over and wonder why I’m not moving. Then ctrl and shift and numpad 0 for all the fun stuff.

      • subedii says:

        I find that occasionally, but only really on oddly shaped keyboards.

        Personally, I’ve recently been finding that I tend to type far faster and more accurately on a standard shaped keyboard (basically a rectangular block) than a lot of the odd shaped ‘ergonomic’. Maybe that’s just what I’m used to.

    • Zanpa says:

      ESDF is where it’s at.

    • nil says:

      A,Z,LShift,X. Terminator: Future Shock ruined my life.

      • bill says:

        Well, Terminator: Future Shock is be best FPS ever made, so at least your life was ruined by an awesome game.

        Personally I rebound the keys to ESDF though ;-)

    • Arglebargle says:

      I learned WASD on someone else’s computer, but did it with my fingers still in the home row typing configuration. My ring finger controls the W-S axis movement. Probably a little less efficient, but keeps my fingers in the same place all the time.

    • MrPyro says:

      Arrow key users represent!

      I like having the keys I want to use in a hurry to not be surrounded by other keys that I might accidentally hit.

  6. marcusfell says:

    That Kotaku article just wiped out my faith in humanity.

    Crud. Does anyone have that pic of a firefighter giving cats oxygen?

    • Kollega says:

      I agree with this man. The amount of sexism in the games industry is just horrible. When i’m going to make games, i will be campaigning against it.

      • RobF says:

        I’ve seen this sort of thing in action prior, it’s not exactly pleasant. I had one of my games on show somewhere and a few computers down there was another team of developers also showing their work off. I tend not to lurk around my own stands because I’m more interested in seeing how people react to it without knowing that the developer is there, just there, staring at them so we were off watching some other people play some other games whilst no-one was on mine when Mrs B decided to wander over to the corner to have a look at this other game.

        So, she’s standing there looking reasonably interested and seeing what this game is all about when I watch the developers pretty much barge her out of the way in order to show their game off to some passing blokes. Whilst Mrs B was there, they hadn’t even made the slightest attempt to show off what they were doing to her and as soon as some lads passed, it seemed like she was just in the way. I’d say her face was priceless at this but erm, yeah. It’s not like you couldn’t spot her, she was standing there in plain sight looking at the game.

        Amazing stuff to watch. On the bright side, she did meander up to one of them later in the day and nudge them pretty hard in the back ever so accidentally.

        • Cinnamon says:

          Nowadays a woman has to haul off and hit a man
          To make him know she’s there

        • Henke says:

          RobF, what about the women who came up and looked at your game? Did they seem to know their way around games as much as the guys did?

          Not trying to be inflamatory, I’d genuinely like to get some stats on this, or at least an estimate from someone who’s had their games on display at one of these conventions. It’s my belief that PR folks assuming a woman won’t be as well versed in the ways of gaming has more to do with past experiences and less to do with sexism.

          • RobF says:

            From what I’ve seen around a few of these now, it really makes absolutely no odds. If someone is going to be bewildered by the game, then that happens anyway regardless of gender.

            I watched two blokes who’d been playing a round of Left4Dead2 on a pod next to me earlier that day have to refer to a sticker for what key “press fire to start” would require rather than be willing to try a few obvious keys (I’d hard coded about 5 into the game so you were sure to get one very quickly), I watched a couple of lads fly round without opening fire or even considering that there might be a fire button, I watched some people just drift around the level select screen without ever entering a portal and looking confused by the whole thing entirely.

            And I watched both men and women cope with it all fine. Not necessarily liking it but certainly, they played ok.

            As I say, I don’t do hands on or “hello, I wrote this” or anything like that but I’ve never seen anything I’d put down to a marked difference between man or woman when it comes to playing games at events.

          • Henke says:

            Ah, thanks for the reply.

          • Chandos says:

            You know, this actually reminds me of an incident where I offended a woman in a very similar way. The only difference was it wasn’t about video games but about football. Where I come from women have very little interest in playing foot-to-ball, so I was quite surprised (and in fact positively impressed) when this one Canadian lady told me she played as a goalie. Apparently my surprise had offended her, I was later told, and I did apologize after the fact when it was pointed out to me. I understand now how it can be upsetting, but I also know there was no intention to offend on my behalf.

            I’m not going to deny sexism in general (women vs tropes does a great job of proving the point there), but there are genuinely cases where men are surprised at times, and pleasantly at that, when a woman turns out to be just as interested in games (or whatever other male dominated thing) as we are. My sympathies to the lady who felt slighted by the PR folks, but I’m optimistic that things will change for the better in time.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      Quick, your saved! link to

      After looking at that, I recommend eating some chocolate chip cookies and drinking milk.

    • yutt says:

      That was it, eh? All of the horrors of humanity’s past and present, and it took one condescending PR guy anecdote? Humans being rude to one another is a day to day occurrence for me. Apparently if the recipient is a woman it requires special acknowledgement and pity.

      Because? Women are weak and need our protection? If not that, why is this important? I have people in the gaming community treat me horribly daily, and no one cares much less makes note of it. Does anyone feel special sadness for me since I was called a “fat neckbeard” yesterday while playing a multiplayer game? I probably deserved it, being a man. I should man-up and get thicker skin, right? Sticks and stones, right? Resilience. Perspective.

      But were I a woman called something that would insult a woman? Stop the presses, we have a unique cultural problem! Everyone pay special attention that a woman never be insulted. Goodness knows men never insult other men. Apparently the gaming community is divided over whether or not to be completely inhuman fucks, or women being delicate and needing the utmost pampering and care for fear of their feelings being hurt.

      Maybe people could just be nicer to one another in general and stop obsessing over the sub-categories we can apply to those involved, as if that has special significance.

      • timmyvos says:

        Misogny is still a huge problem and people who refuse to acknowledge it as such are part of the problem. Yes, there are worse atrocities in the world, and yes, women aren’t the only people to be insulted and demeaned but it’s a fact that women are demeaned a lot more than men. Just look at Jennifer Hepler or that Tropes vs. Women vs. the Internet thing a couple of weeks ago. I can guarantee you that it wouldn’t have happened if Hepler was a man, and not a woman.

        • Phantoon says:

          It would’ve still happened, just differently. The vitriol would’ve been a different strain, but the fact is that you can’t go out and say “I HAVE A VAGINA THEREFORE I’M RIGHT” or any extent thereof and expect people won’t get offended. Though this line of thinking seems to be the norm rather than exception at Bioware…

          Much less how she got her job, how she doesn’t play games and has zero interest in the medium, how she can’t write. They decided part of the reason they didn’t like the games (and in the case of Dragon Age 2, how the fuck do you defend that garbage) was because of her. Then, result which I’m sure you’re probably familiar with at a base level.

          The source of ire wasn’t her appearance, it was just another thing for the Angry Internet Men to attack her on. However, since the angriest of angry internet men had already done so, the argument was lost to that, rather than to the original point of “jesus christ this writing, game direction, etc are terrible, wtf bioware”.

          Personally, I didn’t care, because Bioware isn’t worth energy in that direction. They’re too mediocre and unimaginative to be worthy of hate. But their fans seem to think otherwise. The irony of the entire Mass Effect 3 ending fiasco was it just proved how many fans Bioware still somehow has- no one that was mad about it or fine with it wasn’t a fan- they bought the freakin’ game!

          In conclusion, John Walker is a fart. And a terrible healer.

          • gwathdring says:

            ““I HAVE A VAGINA THEREFORE I’M RIGHT” or any extent thereof and expect people won’t get offended. Though this line of thinking seems to be the norm rather than exception at Bioware…”

            I’m pretty sure that’s not what she or Bioware say or think. Especially Bioware. I really can’t think of any examples of Bioware bending over backwards to cater specifically to female gamers at the expense of male gamers. Do you have any you could share?

            Your wording in particular does your case no favors.

        • Zanpa says:

          I would not be so sure about Hepler. It was not because she is a woman, but because of the many things she said, unrelated to her sex.

        • yutt says:

          “I can guarantee you that it wouldn’t have happened if Hepler was a man, and not a woman.”

          You’re right, it wouldn’t have happened. No one would have jumped to support a man being attacked and dehumanized. A man could never raise over one-hundred thousand dollars in response to being ridiculed on the internet. Because it is commonplace. Because we expect men to deal with it and move on in life.

          They would have further mocked him for being weak and thin-skinned. Worse yet, if he’d suggested he was being attacked for being a man, he would have been pilloried for daring to imply that men ever deal with sexism or don’t live a life of exhalted social luxury.

          You are right, the level of unbridled support in response to some generic Internet insults wouldn’t ever happen to a man. I certainly could never raise a dollar to in response to my being ridiculed in Youtube comments.

          Men do not deserve empathy. They are the purveyors of violence and hatred. The ignorant destroyers of the world.

          • Jay says:

            As a white, middle-class male, I’d just like to say that is a serious contender for some of the most woe-is-me passive-aggressive privileged male bullshit I’ve seen in recent memory. And that’s going up against some pretty steep competition.

            I mean, fucking hell.

          • gwathdring says:

            I’m going to second the above reply to your post. Perhaps you really do experience something on par with what my female gaming friends put up with. I can’t say for sure because I don’t know you. But I can say that I a white male and I have never been attacked because of my race or gender. That when I purchase something at Best Buy with my mom, sister or girlfriend I am personally addressed by the staff automatically but when my sister purchases something while I’m on the other side of the store … my presence during checkout causes the cashier that had been helping her while I was gone to address “us” no matter how far to the side I try to move.

            This isn’t to say that it’s a horrible life as a woman or that men don’t have their own unique set of problems. Traditional gender roles hurt men too, and all that. We’re also more at risk for heart failure and a lot of other nasty murderous things. We’re also more likely to do poorly in school in America. There’s a lot of things to worry about as a male. But these aren’t problems that get dismissed and discounted in the offhand manner you imply. I hear them and their less reasonable kin brought up every time sexism is mentioned on RPS (you’ve dredged up mostly the later). I can say from my work with school administrators and teachers that at least some school districts are well aware and trying to fix the gender gap in grades.

            It’s fine if, looking at the difficulties faced by both genders in modern society, you don’t see a difference or think men have it worse. I’d be surprised, but it’s your opinion. But your solution seems to be simultaneously complaining about how much it sucks to be a man and dismissing complaints about the misfortunes of women because no one listens to you so no one should listen to other people … that doesn’t seem incredibly silly, petty, and counterproductive to you?

          • yutt says:

            You couldn’t have given a more predictable or perfect response.

            That’s the key, my life is great, despite being harassed on the Internet. I know I’m better than the people that mock me and try to demean me. It is trivial to disregard, because if I ever do so much as acknowledge people are rude to me, I get an unsympathetic response like yours. My feelings were hurt? Too bad, get over it. Right?

            We teach young men to be resilient in the face of social attacks, but some want to teach young women a different lesson. That they are victims and the only solution is some farcical collective societal reformation. The change has to come from without instead of within.

            The idea that social reformation from outside is necessary to help women is far more fundamentally sexist and socially dangerous. Trolling at heart is just the desire to negatively emotionally impact another person, they don’t care if you are a man or a woman, a cat lover or a fan of Diablo 3 rather than Diablo 2 – they will attack you whereever they perceive weakness. Women will overcome any real or perceived inequalities by their personal character, capability and fortitude, not because all the sudden everyone treated them nice.

            Just like you’d expect a man to.

          • Jay says:

            I wasn’t attacking you, I was attacking your opinion. Try reading that again, and point out the part that was attacking you as a person.

          • jrodman says:

            “People are rude on the internet”

            “In gaming circles, women get systematic and repeated dehumanizing treatment solely because of their gender.”

            Can you see the difference between these two problems? Because pretending they’re the same is pretty bile-worthy.

            (edit, typos)

          • Consumatopia says:

            “Women will overcome any real or perceived inequalities by their personal character, capability and fortitude, not because all the sudden everyone treated them nice.”

            Yeah! You blame that victim!

            Reality check: campaigns against prejudice and bigotry rarely make progress without pressuring and shaming the perpetrators.

      • Jay says:

        You really can’t spot a difference between being called names in an online game and being shunned to your face?

        Edit: I’d also agree entirely with what timmyvos just posted above me. I had half a mind to write something similar, but decided not to as I’m absolutely fed up trying to explain it by this point. So thanks for putting it so succinctly.

        • lurkalisk says:


          It seems rather clear to me that yutt is trying to say that individuals are, above all, people, and that what individuals deserve has nothing to do with gender. In that respect, I would consider any that disagree… [crude, likely insulting statement omitted]. You seem to have made the premature inference that yutt believes ALL man-struggles to be tantamount to all lady-struggles. Now, if this is true, I would agree with you, but thus far I don’t know how yutt views these things, and nor do you.

          Granted, people seem to have this innate, intractable need to make inferences about a person’s opinions based on inadequate information. So it’s understandable…

          (just to be clear, it’s pretty obvious to me, and should be to all, that women are at a noticeable cultural disadvantage in most developed countries, and a serious one everywhere else. If the reader has any wits about them, it should also be obvious that my only assertion in this post is that gender inequality is inescapably more complex than “women are sad and men are strong and always happy”, even if the inequality finds itself slanted greatly in mens favor in most cases.)

          • Consumatopia says:

            “It seems rather clear to me that yutt is trying to say that individuals are, above all, people, and that what individuals deserve has nothing to do with gender.”

            It seems rather clear to me that no one has denied this. Since yutt clearly thinks he disagrees with somebody, we can rule your interpretation out.

            Besides, yutt asked “why is this important? I have people in the gaming community treat me horribly daily, and no one cares much less makes note of it. Does anyone feel special sadness for me since I was called a “fat neckbeard” yesterday while playing a multiplayer game?”

            Jay responded “You really can’t spot a difference between being called names in an online game and being shunned to your face?”

            That’s a direct response to exactly what yutt wrote. “Why is X important, when Y happened to me?” “You really can’t spot a difference between X and Y?” No further “premature inference” is required.

            Overall, yutt’s posts aren’t really coherent enough to exactly determine anything other than that he’s really annoyed because anyone thinks this particular incident is important.

          • Jay says:

            His argument seems to be a muddle of “but men have it terrible too, people are monsters on the internet” and “people can handle it, and to suggest otherwise is insulting, whatever the gender”. Growing a thicker skin doesn’t help anything and only serves to normalise indefensible behaviour. Ignoring the issue is little better than perpetuating it personally.

            The problem with this argument is that women obviously get worse treatment. I can vividly recall far too many cases of it for comfort, and to suggest it isn’t its own issue seems wilfully naive. So the argument that men have to deal with it doesn’t hold water, because they don’t, really, to anything like the same extent. You might get some rough treatment, but it’s a long way from being singled out and treated differently almost everywhere you go in gaming circles. People might call you a loser or a neckbeard or whatever, but they’re just taking wild stabs in the dark. Insults aimed at women tend to get a lot more personal, and almost exclusively gender-specific.

            But it goes beyond verbal insults. As examples like RobF’s proves, discrimination is so endemic that it just happens as a matter of course, even when it may not be consciously intended. And that’s where I was going with my “shunned to your face” comment.

            Can any guy here honestly give an example of such insulting, dismissive treatment based on their gender that happens so frequently and with so little thought put into it? His example is far from an unusual case. Put the “what about US?” argument to one side for a moment, what is the argument against this being something that needs to change?

          • lurkalisk says:

            @Consumatopia – ” Since yutt clearly thinks he disagrees with somebody, we can rule your interpretation out.”
            -Not exactly. He could be making the very error I spoke of (that is, has made baseless assumptions as to what there is to agree/disagree with within this forum). Again, we don’t know. Not unless yutt were to clarify. Also you make that mistake as well. It may be, potentially, logical to assume that his juxtaposition of his experience with the subject at hand indicates that he believes these trespasses equal, but we don’t know that.

            @Jay –
            See? You’re doing it again. Grow thicker skin? It sounded much more to me that he implied people are ALREADY capable of this, but you seem to make the assumption that he means to say that women should grow thicker skin.
            Just because his post seems to ignore how women are treated, relative to men, doesn’t mean you know how he feels women are treated; simply that he finds some unknown amount of discomfort at some tormentor’s hands without anyone to cry foul (unlike only certain instances where women were involved).

            There are many ways in which yutt’s opinion may actually be quite repellent, or completely the opposite, but his posts, as Consumatopia rightly observes, aren’t clear enough to derive the level of meaning necessary to form these arguments.

          • Jay says:

            I think his attempt to deflect the issue in such a fashion is more than enough justification to call him out on it. If he wants to clarify his position, he can feel free to.

            Nothing he’s said has shown much sympathy for the issue at hand, and appears to be little more than another fairly typical attempt to derail or invalidate the line of discussion, as is increasingly common every time the topic comes up.

          • Consumatopia says:


            “He could be making the very error I spoke of (that is, has made baseless assumptions as to what there is to agree/disagree with within this forum).”

            An aside: this isn’t the first time you felt the need to attack people responding to yutt for making an error that yutt himself made first. (The other case was when you went after me for “misusing” a word in exactly the same way yutt used it.)

            Anyway, allow me to slightly modify my wording–we can rule out that he’s merely saying “individuals are, above all, people, and that what individuals deserve has nothing to do with gender”. If, indeed, he believes that, then he is also claiming that other people disagree with this claim, or that their actions and/or expressions are inconsistent with it.

            “Also you make that mistake as well. It may be, potentially, logical to assume that his juxtaposition of his experience with the subject at hand indicates that he believes these trespasses equal, but we don’t know that.”

            No. He did not merely logically juxtapose them, he asked why X was worthy of attention while Y was happening. If X is greater in severity, or X is part of more serious problem than Y, then either of these would serve as a simple answer to his question. Pointing either of these out doesn’t mean that one is making “premature inferences”, it’s simply answering his question.

            “as Consumatopia rightly observes, aren’t clear enough to derive the level of meaning necessary to form these arguments.”

            That’s not exactly what I said–please allow me to clarify. Yutt’s posts are, indeed, ambiguous. But if someone makes an ambiguous post, it’s perfectly reasonable to respond to what you believe their meaning to be. If the original poster notices your misinterpretation, they can feel free to clarify what they originally meant in the first place. As I am in this very paragraph. Yutt not only failed to clarify, he doesn’t even seem to claim that anyone is making a misinterpretation.

      • Phantoon says:

        Sure, but that doesn’t make it okay. The norm and the ideal are rarely the same.

      • RobF says:


        Dude! Very blunt personal example: I want people of all genders playing my games. I want as many people as possible playing my games. That’s sorta why I write them. I don’t just write them FOR MANLY MEN WHO ARE MEN. It’s why I put access options in, it’s why I make stuff gender neutral and abstract and oh, lots more things.

        So if some prick stands between women getting to play my game for any reason, I want that prick out the way, right? If they choose not to want to play my game, that’s entirely different from someone pushing them out the way or assuming control when they want to play.

        And what happens consistently is that there’s pricks getting in the way for all of us who make games. This article is one example, I’ve brought my own anecdote. Ask a thousand women and you’ll find another way they’ve been kept out of gaming because some men are pricks.

        So I don’t really care about your experiences at this point because I know someone isn’t going to jump inbetween you and a keyboard at a show because I know, you know and they know you’re a man, so they assume you’ll be fine and off you go. If the same courtesy was shown to women, then hey! There wouldn’t be a problem here.

        As it is, there is a problem here, And it is of special significance because it’s something THAT ONLY HAPPENS TO WOMEN. Christ.

        And it effects me as a white, fairly middle class man because it effects me when I take my wife to shows, she’s not thick, she can make and play games, yet there’s certain quarters who won’t let her even so much look at the things. Which is massively unpleasant. And it effects me as a person who makes games because it limits the amount of people I can reach with them for no other reason than someone has decided to be a complete tool.

        And that’s just how I feel. I can tell you that having first hand experience of this sort of thing, Mrs B was less than impressed too.

        So yeah, I would like this to stop, thanks. And if that means calling out this behaviour in public even if it offends you so or you think it’s nothing, I’m fine with that. Because it’s not about what Yutt wants and no amount of resilience or “sticks and stones”-ing will make it stop and the situation improve.

      • Apples says:

        Hmm, let’s do an experiment:
        “Because? [Black people] are weak and need our protection? If not that, why is this important? I have people in the gaming community treat me horribly daily, and no one cares much less makes note of it. Does anyone feel special sadness for me since I was called a “fat neckbeard” yesterday while playing a multiplayer game? I probably deserved it, being [white]. I should man-up and get thicker skin, right? Sticks and stones, right? Resilience. Perspective.

        But were I a [black person] called something that would insult a [black person]? Stop the presses, we have a unique cultural problem! Everyone pay special attention that a [black person] never be insulted. Goodness knows [white people] never insult other [white people]. Apparently the gaming community is divided over whether or not to be completely inhuman fucks, or [black people] being delicate and needing the utmost pampering and care for fear of their feelings being hurt.”

        Do you see how this makes you sound like a complete self-obsessed arsehole with no knowledge of history? And before anyone starts shrieking about how you can’t compare treatment of racial minorities and women, let’s try and remember that women were literally considered property that should do menial tasks for most of human history and there are almost certainly still women alive today who were alive during the time when women did not have the full vote.

        Also you can shave that neckbeard off, buddy. Nevermind that “neckbeard” usually means you are behaving like a big stupid goony goon and saying dumb offensive goony things rather than that you have a neckbeard, as unless you straight-up say you have one nobody knows!

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yeah, it’s weird, I thought from the precie that it’d be an article about muscle memory or something, but it’s an article about bigotry. Shameful that this kind of attitude still exists anywhere.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I think Kotaku’s article is disingenuous at best. They criticize the game industry for sexism when they ran an article ranking boothbabes two year prior.

      link to

      They’re a sleezy, low-brow rag that is publishing this article to generate page hits, not because they’re interested at all in discussing or enacting social change.

      • Bork Titflopsen says:

        Kotaku –>AUSTRALIA<– and Kotaku are not the same website.

        • Jackablade says:

          That can’t be emphasised enough. We get both Australian and US content on the Australian Kotaku site and the US content is consistently embarassing, full of inept writing, not to mention the kind of hypocracy you refer to putting hand wringing articles about sexism and the like back to back with pandering ones about booth babes and hentai games.

          The Australian content by comparison is consistently high quality, often drawing from a well respected local bloggers like Ms Williams.

  7. phenom_x8 says:

    Two interesting article from our fellow PC Gamer :

    link to

    link to

    • jezcentral says:

      Nice link to the Retina display article. It matched exactly how I feel about it. It’s a nice, shiny (although I’d prefer matt :) ) thing that I would spend money to get. It’s mystery that we haven’t had this option. I find 30 inch screens to big to play on a desktop with. I want a 24 inch screen with MOAR resolution.

  8. woodsey says:

    ‘I want to write something about the weakness of that entire game at some point’

    I’d love to know what you think it is, because right now I feel like the only person who doesn’t think it’s some sort of divine message from the heavens (silly consoleboxers).

    Pretty game – gorgeous, in fact – but completely vapid.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      Yep, I remember hearing about it on the TGS podcast (in between all the virtual weed smoking) and basically going “and…?”. I especially loved the way TB slammed Dear Esther, but loved what is, conceptually, the same game, except with a reskin. Oh pretentious indies…

      • woodsey says:

        It’s not that it’s not an interesting experiment, because it is, but I really don’t think it worked. I felt more of a connection with the random person I silently played SC: Conviction’s co-op with a while back then I did any of the people I met in Journey; and DayZ is infinitely more organic, because you’re not being ‘placed’ with people, you simply meet them, by actual chance.

        And the whole reincarnation/rebirth theme is severely uninspired – I felt like they’d thrown a dart at a list of the most used themes and then decided “that’ll do”. It didn’t feel like anyone on the team was at all passionate or interested in exploring that aspect.

        Compare that to something like Human Revolution, where you can feel the team’s enthusiasm for discussing the topic at hand whilst you play, and for wanting to make the player think.

    • JackShandy says:

      Some bad things happened once, and now you must go up the mountain. What’s up the mountain? A destination. Can we heal the damage the bad things caused? No, you may only look at it, as you go up the mountain. What’s the point of it all? To make the game work.

  9. Kollega says:

    I think that the Split Screen article describes very well how i feel. I very often find myself confronted with life’s horrors, and computer games are something to take me away from them, not closer to them. I don’t doubt there have to be games that raise serious questions so that people might do something about them, but it shouldn’t be our industry’s only output.

    • Wut The Melon says:

      I think the problem is that somewhere in the history of game development ‘immersion’ has been confused with ‘realism’. A video game is the opposite of realism (I always tell anyone who thinks otherwise to try to find their front door), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be immersive. Look at the games that pretend to be ‘realistic’ – Battlefield 3, for example. Now why would you want to play in a ‘realistic’ war? A real war is pain, trauma, negotiations, etc… no fun at all! We need weapon balance, slow jets that can be used in battles, killing should not be completely based on where you hit someone (because it gets too luck-based if you shoot someone 5 times in the foot and they hit you once in the chest)… etc.

      The gaming industry needs to pull a Wittgenstein to get out of this mess, then another philosopher to finally get it to make new and interesting games instead of always the same ‘accessible’ fun-for-everyone games. We need the fantasy and originality back in our games!

      • Phantoon says:

        Realism just means “REALLY REALLY SLOW”, unless it’s actually a military sim like Arma 2. In the case of CODBLOPS: A TIME FOR MANSHOOTS THE THIRDENING: HARDER WITH A VENGEANCE, accuracy pairs down to “hurp durp everyone is so slow I point and click adventure”.

        So really, what you’re saying is “accuracy AND GOING FAST”.

        Which has already been done. Go play Tribes.

  10. Bork Titflopsen says:

    That Kotaku Australia article was very good indeed. She made her point and stayed concise. She managed to stay objective despite the whole experience being pretty dehumanizing and she didn’t make me feel like a bad person just because I’m a male gamer, something that Kotaku US never seems to achieve when they post articles like this.

    • Phantoon says:

      If you’re actually right about that article, then I refuse to believe Kotaku: Shrimps on a barbie edition is related to the American version or the rest of Gawker “media” in anything but name.

      What a shit hive.

      • Jay says:

        The Aussie wing does seem to put out consistently decent stuff. They mustn’t have got the memo.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        The Daily Didgeridoo edition of Kotaku is consistently better than the US counterpart. It’s quite amusing sometimes.

      • Henson says:

        I find that Kotaku USA actually does produce some nice articles. Its just that they put out loads of disposables along with it. But, I suppose such is the fate of such a large editorial staff and the pressure of # of posts per week on said staff.

        • Bork Titflopsen says:

          The thing that really grinds my gears about Kotaku US is that they post articles about the male gaze or the sexualization and objectification of women in gaming like clockwork while at the same time glorifying women cosplaying as sexy game characters.
          It’s like complaining about the portrayal of women in rap video’s whilst claiming that you only like looking at models because you’re just very interested in the latest trends in female swimwear.

          Also, I guess I’ll go and give the ɐıןɐɹsnɐ nʞɐʇoʞ a better look then.

          • Jackablade says:

            You’ll have the added advantage of the original Kotaku UI from before it was reworked and irrevocably broken on the US version.

          • Jay says:

            I still have no idea what the hell they were thinking with that UI, it’s an absolute nightmare whatever way you care to look at it. I was browsing on a netbook the first time I stumbled across it and it all but burst into flames. Just clunky beyond belief.

          • RegisteredUser says:

            Two clicks into Kotaku AU I found Lisa Foiles.

            Is the name enough or should I have pointed towards the near topless tumblr / google images of her?

            Edit: Seems her twitter is defined by her showing her bra, too.

  11. Jannakar says:

    For me home was: Q,A,O,P, Space (sometime M or N)

    Now I have to go and read the article I guess. Something tells me it’s not about keyboard layouts.

  12. YourMessageHere says:

    With regard to the “Back to Reality” article: I think the industry and the author (“Alan”) are both making a fairly important mistake in respect of what realism actually means, and in the case of the article, that’s particularly confusing since the guy spends the whole time comparing games and films. Films are particularly good at being apparently realistic without actually being, because “realism” does not equal “realistic”.

    Realism refers to attributes that lend media qualities that make it credible in context. Imagine using it as a noun to describe a feature of media as “a realism”. This therefore means that Star Wars, A Scanner Darkly and anime can be said to contain realism as a quality, and “realisms” as specific features, as they present a set of rules in constructing their realities and then stick to them. Whereas Bad Boys 2, while realistic in that it’s set in something visually recognisable as our real world, is quite devoid of realism, as either adjective or noun, because having established that this is ‘the real world’, the film then goes into a huge parade of things that don’t ever actually happen.

    A partiularly important part of this is that filmmakers don’t often go for no-holds-barred depiction of everything gruesome or sexual or otherwise objectionable. They cut away as they know that ultraviolence isn’t what most audiences want, and that it breaks immersion and escapism, and thus breaks their chosen realism.

    A great example of this is the Action Half Life mod, which you can find a fab writeup of somewhere on RPS if you don’t know it. The mod was all about bringing a genuine sense of the action movie to a game, and all along, the designers tried to integrate “action movie realism” into the core gameplay. So you had guns that work like real guns, you had bleeding and bandaging, you had diving and climbing, and the game was fast, fluid and amazing fun. It had a realism, but wasn’t realistic. It didn’t have ludicrous gore, because action movies are not horror films. It was escapist realism.

    I don’t want ludicrous violence as standard. The x-ray deaths in Sniper Elite V2 for example (I’m sure that’s one thing the author is alluding to) seem totally unnecessary and egregious, particularly compared to the scrupulous simulation of the actual shooting. But at the same time, I don’t want Sonic and Mario and Rayman, because i want ‘realism’ of some sort, as in something I can find credible, and those games don’t provide any, at least for me. And yes, I’d rather be shooting Russians in Iran (?!) with licensed bullets than aliens on spaceships with pink needles, because if you’re going to have aliens and spaceships and pink needles, you need to construct the reasons for their existence enough that they can be credible, and it’s a rare game that actually bothers to do that.

    • mckertis says:

      I’d rather shoot US Marines and US civilians in Washington airports. Killing a Reagan with a raygun would also be pretty darn awesome.

      ” “realism” does not equal “realistic”.”

      I propose to switch out the term “realistic” with “common sense”, just to avoid the comparison altogether.

  13. Morte66 says:

    Why do spaceships that get linked on RPS look like something from a shop in 1973 San Francisco that sold lava lamps?

    I want some brutally functional spaceships, made out of exposed girders and pragmatic looking bits of heavy engineering.

    • marcusfell says:

      I always wondered why ships like the Enterprise are almost completely habitable. If they actually have systems that strong and efficient, how do they ever have any issues, ever?

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I’m always amused by the very end of Voyager…. they “invent” ship armor, like actual plating that goes over the ship’s hull. All I can think about is how absolutely retarded it is that the ship’s hull isn’t made that strong already.

        • Koozer says:

          It’s because of the SPACE MAGIC you see. I find it gets a lot easier to watch Star Trek if don’t think about the ‘science’ too much. Also, Kirk > Picard.

    • abandonhope says:

      If you’re referring to Skyjacker, the answer is pretty simple: the game thrusts a lone human into a setting that does not otherwise contain humans or their design sensibilities. Otherwise, I absolutely agree with you: if the setting is humans in space, I favor realism over space jet fighters and other fanciful aesthetics. By that same token, if the setting contains highly advanced, weird, Vinge-esque aliens, I do not want their vessels to look like something we might make over the next couple centuries.

  14. MondSemmel says:

    Hey Jim,
    you could have mentioned that the McMillen interview was done by one Nathan Grayson. It’s a nice disclaimer to know. In particular, I didn’t notice his name before I had read the complete article, and I was quite surprised to know that I knew its author from RPS.
    It was a great interview, in any case.

    • Arathain says:

      It’s a really excellent piece. It gives me a great perspective on McMillen’s work, and ties together a lot of what I’d seen there.

  15. Marijn says:

    Fantastic article about Arkane. However:

    “Arkane calls its game Arx Fatalis. It will become one of the most highly regarded RPGs of all time.”

    Yeah, on OPPOSITE DAY!

    It’s a shame when such a good interview is marred by factual inaccuracies that have been created for the sake of being able to tell a heroic story.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Because you think it’s actually underrated or because you think it’s bad?

      • Marijn says:

        I don’t have an opinion on whether it’s underrated or not (I only ever played it for an hour or so), but you can’t be very familiar with the game industry if you think it’s “one of the most highly REGARDED RPGs of all time.”

        • Runs With Foxes says:

          You could say it was an excellent game and a cult favourite, but yeah, it didn’t sell enough to be highly regarded by a wide audience.

    • Jay says:

      I hope he didn’t do himself a mischief stretching like that.

      Fondly remembered by RPG fans, sure. Anything much beyond that takes some serious reaching.

    • Chev says:

      It’s not the sole inaccuracy either, one that struck me is that the french Ultima 8 contest mentioned wasn’t actually a sham, or it was elaborate enough a sham that they bothered to give the promised prize to an actual winner (namely, a french teenager named Jean Pierre Demessant got flown to Austin to visit Origin, play U8 and provide the french voice of the ghost of the Zealan king Kumash-Gor, unsurprisingly turning out to be the worst bit of voiceover of the whole game but it’s all about the dream, man! ).

      Also the questions were waaaaay geekier than what he says (avatar companions are easymode, it was very game-specific questions like how to contact the wisps in U7) but that’s not as important.

  16. Hoaxfish says:

    Stealth Bastards always makes me wonder if there aren’t other websites focusing on other “side-genres”. I’m not even sure if there is anything as abstract as “stealth”, which isn’t already the “big thing” (i.e. Shooter Bastards would look exactly like most mainstream sites)

    • Kuromatsu says:

      It’s harder than it seems. I’m trying to get a podcast / site going that focuses on some niche things in the industry. Some days, I feel we’re different from other sites, others it just feels like we’re going over the same territory everyone else is. Finding your niche is an organic process, I am trying though. It’s a matter of limiting yourself to a subject matter without narrowing your focus so much you run out of things to write.

  17. Moraven says:

    Another recent opinion piece on Male Gaze and how women are treated in video games.

    link to

    • Arathain says:

      Thanks, Moraven. Pretty much sums the whole thing up.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      That article should have ended with “But women are a lot more than boobs and butts. That may seem obvious, but we are still likely to see reductions to this theme.
      Thankfully, just as the rest of the videogaming world ends up being a reduction of reality into a gaming reality, this does not mean that it has to reflect on any of us as human beings overall, as we have this knowledge.”

      And then not dive into the “And now here are the reasons why we all need to feel super bad and grovel and apologize in front of women every day henceforth” shit that has become so nauseatingly popular recently.

      No, I am not part of the problem if I don’t give hundreds of thousands to women protesting that a cloned baldy musclepack shoots high-heeled porno-nuns.
      I am part of the problem if I actually believe this is sexist just because it exists, and not because I help it to be by propagating sexism myself.

      All this bullshit is making me very sick and tired of these constant barrages of “You are what’s wrong with the world and why we are being paid less and raped and whatnot” implications.
      No. I am not. Nor is videogaming. The people that rape you are responsible for rape.
      The bosses that pay you less are responsible for paying you less and trying to ruin an entertainment industry because the way it entertains people may not be PC, neutral or agreed on on by measured comittees is one of the results of not living in a world of censorship.
      Make better games if you don’t like the ones being made and bought, don’t tell me that I’m a dumb fuck and offensive to women because I enjoy and deal with what’s there now.

      And quite honestly?
      What should bring any woman’s blood to a boil(I realize that this phrasing puts me in the same wrong spot as what I am trying to argue) is this kind of “I speak for all of you as a man” bullshit:
      “Think about it logically for a moment — if you were going to assassinate someone, would you wear the tightest thing possible? Would you expose your breasts to the world, essentially creating a target for a bullet?”
      Yes. Women have not a single example in the real world where they wear an outfit that is not ideal or even impractical for the task they are doing. HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THIS AT ALL?
      That’s the “realism” fallacy there, and the worst part is that Brandon basically can’t fit into his head that a woman might choose to do her assassinating HER way, not his.

      That’s men imposing what’s best and what is or isn’t sexist on women, and I find this just as offensive as they seem to perceive this media stuff to be offensive.

      Its all such ass backwards bullshit, it makes me sick. Have I mentioned yet that it makes me sick?
      It makes me sick.

      People being actually sexist in reality are just as bad as these people slobbering over the “Yea, you are all despicable women reducing male assholes” insult logic and joining the “Oh you poor huddled female masses” fray.
      I don’t think you can end up viewing someone as empowered and equal if you constantly dwell on how oppressed they are.
      Try it in conversation. Only talk about what’s wrong with the world and reasons to be depressed and see if you can make your conversation partner happy.
      This is what these people are doing. Demanding power and equality and talking 100% about the opposite.

      P.S. The “I think I better play it for you”(almost like “I argue it better for you”, ey?) dude is an arrogant douchebag in my eyes. But he has nothing to do with what is in videogames. He is just one of many examples of inconsiderate sexist assholes.
      That the community apparently ties these two into a is-always-connected knot is the part that makes me sick(especially as ironically enough those people themselves play videogames and would consider themselves not influenced. SO STOP CONNECTING!).

      I agree with her that we are over this. The only mistake she makes is that 3 paragraphs before the end, she has it 100% right: Dicks that are misbehaving, misrepresenting and overall just that, dicks, are annoying, backwards and should not be in the positions they are.
      That she then hops and pops over to “No wonder we must look up skirts and shoot nuns” is idiotic. Sorry, have to say it.
      Just like saying “I am just as capable” smacks of the attitude BEFORE we got over this.
      If you still need to say it, YOU are not over this. Because you are still in a mindset of needing to prove yourself.
      That means you still think we’re all out to get you.
      I’m not. Others aren’t. Those that are are the real dicks.
      But you don’t have to emphasize that you can write or game. I know. Many others do, too.

      Don’t work with the logic of the dicks.

      Let me be a dick for one second: Don’t write an article about how this was all very retarded afterwards.
      Next time say “Are you crazy? I’m here to play the game. Here’s a sack of marbles, pretend its my balls if it helps you. Now let me check this out in peace.” and don’t let yourself be reduced.
      Its not just about “Let me”.
      I doubt you would have been forcefully prevented from doing your job. Do it, don’t excuse it. You want your name next to something in-depth instead of shallow, make sure you get the scoop. That’s not a sexist problem: Its a journalistic one. Here its just wrapped in a sexist setting.
      You’re a good journo? Be a good journo.
      We’re letting you, and they must let you. But you gotta also be it.

  18. shitflap says:

    I actually teared up a little at the end of that Polygon article.
    I am feeling odd this morning.

    • Kuromatsu says:

      Kept hearing The Impossible dream from The Man From La Mancha really

  19. Shooop says:

    Polygon’s article is a real find. Thanks for that.

    The SplitScreen article though is almost hilariously awful. The problem is the CoDs of the world want to throw a dash of realism into a blender along with Loony Toons and call itself a war game. You can count on one hand the number of games that treat war like what war really is and have fingers left over. There’s a reason for this. Watch the movie Black Hawk Down and tell me if that looked like a fun time and place to be. Modern games are trying to make something nerve-wracking and horrifying into a “DudeDUDE-BroBRO” college frat-boy boy’s night out, not make it realistic.

    ARMA is only one game out of hundreds. You want to ride explosions in slow-motion and then have a 21 gun salute with nukes as the credits roll? We already have it. What we don’t have is realism. Because not many people really want that.

    • Kuromatsu says:

      There’s a distinction to be made from realism and having something feel realistic. Why would I play a game that’s slow and clunky, when really I just want a game that has some more rational internal logic? Vaulting isn’t necessarily realistic, it FEELS more realistic since it’s frustrating getting cut off by a waist high wall. We know we’re more mobile than that, even though realistically with that much gear you can’t do it that easily. Cognitive dissonance and whatnot.

  20. The Godzilla Hunter says:

    So, after reading the Article on Ed McMillen, I read the comments. *shudder* Are all comments like this outside of RPS? I lost track of the number of times the word pretentious was thrown around, among other unsavory words.

    • Arathain says:

      Sometimes I roll my eyes at the comments I see on RPS. Then I go to other sites and read their comments, and I realise how good we have it here. Thanks, Hivemind’s Iron Fist of Tyranny.

  21. Jason Moyer says:

    Totally pointless correction, but Allied Assault was the third Medal Of Honor game, apparently.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      You know what’s great about that Allied Assault article? The Omaha Beach video isn’t even from Allied Assault. It’s from Medal Of Honor: Frontline on the PS2.

  22. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Anyone else getting an unwatchable choppy framerate on that Idle Thumbs Bioshock Video? It looks like it was made with FRAPS on a 1993 videocard :(

  23. pilouuuu says:

    The article about Bioshock talks about some interesting features that were cut. At some point you couldn’t save Little Sisters and could just harvest them, so you had to choose between doing the right thing and being punished for it. It sounds like a much better realistic moral choice for me.

    And about Bioshock 2, this sounds great indeed:

    “Dark Messiah and Dishonored developers Arkane did contract work for BioShock 2, including a whole opening segment to the game that was never used. It started in the Kashmir restaurant in its prime, before the revolution that ruined Rapture, and before the decay that flooded it. You’d then flash forward to the same place during BioShock 2′s time, completely underwater.”

  24. KDR_11k says:

    I wonder how often Jean Snow gets to hear “Winter is coming!”

  25. manuelcalavera says:

    I’m enjoying the Bioshock video. I’m finding it very odd though, to listen to one of the creators of something so revered be very casually dismissive about a lot of it, and point out all the ridiculous things (huge revolvers etc.) that I’d never really noticed. I guess when you work on something for years it really loses it’s power to absorb or shock you.

  26. Billzor says:

    That Chris Crawford piece was interesting, but he seems really focused on the single-player experience. Seems to me that an answer to the dragon is to look away from npc’s that simulate people in a storyworld and just replace them with people. Which isn’t to say that EVE or Perpetuum, or even CS, are perfect, but games like these and Day Z are pointing towards something like what he’s trying to do.

  27. TsunamiWombat says:

    Genuinely dismayed by Miss Williams Kotaku article. They TOOK THE KEYBOARD OUT OF HER HANDS?

    • Gap Gen says:

      I bet beating people with a keyboard is super satisfying, especially if you can make the keys fly off.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Ironic or hypocritical use of Miss?

      • jrodman says:

        I think sometimes we forget this titling is supposed to have specific meanings. At least, to me, it seems so amazingly outmoded that it’s hard for me to remember.

  28. Games says:


    Thanks for this information

  29. PenGunn says:

    WASD is just wrong. I first used a keyboard and mouse on Doom and Doom2. The switch from a joystick was profound.

    The proper keys for movement are ASDLeftALT. That uncramps your hand, I can play 12 hours no problem and frees up useful keys for other things. W becomes USE, as you have to take your finger off forward anyway, W is as close as it gets. Z and X are quick to hit and since Stalker I use X for run and Z for MedKit.

    I submit there has been a huge mistake made and things should be put right. ;)

    • -Otto says:

      How Dare you, Sir!

      “uncramps your hand” ???
      I do not know how you yourself use the mighty WASD keys,
      but I don’t get cramps, 12 hours or 24.

      “frees up useful keys for other things” !!!
      I think you will find your ‘Z’ and ‘X’ are still available!
      The only one freed up, as it were, is ‘W’, which you
      have foolishly decided to replace as USE key.
      So foolish… so foolish it makes me sick.

      “as you have to take your finger off forward anyway,” ??!!
      Have you never needed to use or interact with things
      while moving!? Clearly, you have not!

      “Z and X are quick to hit” !?!#?!?!?!!
      I say, if you are talking about “quick”ness, then I put to you this:
      ‘S’ is closer than ‘Left ALT’!
      Shame on you, sir. Shame on you and your family, for
      disrespecting the WASD setup. I registered just to protest on you.

      • PenGunn says:

        Hi. So what do you use that does not require you to stop moving forward? I thought about that for a while and I can’t think of any in my games.

        I was using mouse and keys before WASD became popular. As I said ASDLeftALT was the way back then and I have seen no need to change to a bunched up and inferior pattern.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Most things I can think of I’d want to use on the move, the movement in question is usually a strafe, since I want to point at it without running into it.

          Vehicles, I guess?

          Sys Shock 1 was ASDX, since W cancelled the lean set by Q and E. Now there’s a first-person game that took as many keys to fine-tune the position of your PITIFUL MEAT CARCASS as a flight sim…

        • -Otto says:

          Actually, most of the time it’s picking something up off the ground or on a shelf, either an object or a weapon. Or an object into a weapon. Or sometimes just using an object or weapon. It’s just that strafe doesn’t usually let you go diagonally, so you always move exactly sideways depending on where you look, but with Forward and Sideways, with all the movement keys available, you can look all around and ‘USE’ as much as you want while still going one direction.

          I guess I mainly use it for things like Half-Life, where pulling things off a wall to block a doorway from something chasing you in a house is a bit quickly than switching off your weapon to GravGun and back again. There’s also the infamous “carrying” item swapping that help moves usables from one spot to another. Even just jostling puzzle pieces around in a machine or grabbing something mid-air in Portal. Granted, it’s not a strong case, but it’s FREEDOM!

  30. Oozo says:

    Chris Crawford is a fascinating person, even though sometimes you can’t help thinking that he is actively or at least unconsciously working at his own self-destruction.

    As somebody pointed out in the comments on Eurogamer, trying to do his research in an academic context would have been more fitting.
    Or start a Kickstarter – I seriously can’t imagine that he wouldn’t raise a considerable amount of money, seeing how respected he is in the industry.
    Or stop chasing the dragon and, as somebody pointed out above, accept the fact that probably, singleplayer ultra-complex agents are not the way to go.

    Instead, he stubbornly keeps pushing forward, no matter how close to the edge he is already. You can’t help admire his Ahab-ness, but at the same time, you can’t help wondering if he does not wish, a bit, to go down with waving flags.

    By the way, for those of you haven’t seen it yet: “Into The Night” with Chris Crawford and Jason Rohrer is really quite the thing and very inspiring:

  31. Bob says:

    “To thine own self be true”.

    What an interesting read that was of the journey that brought Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith together. After reading that I hope more than ever that Dishonored is a roaring success.

  32. WladTapas says:

    Original Medal of Honor my foot. The original had no subtitle and is still the installment I remember most fondly (tied with Underground). I had no gaming PC at the time, so those PSX shooters were amazing. An important reason was, I think, the sound design, especially Michael Giacchino’s score…

    • Jay says:

      It’s an aspect that tends to get overlooked, but now you mention it I entirely agree. They’d obviously taken a lot of influence from Saving Private Ryan’s equally impressive work there, and it made for a much more immersive experience.

  33. thebigJ_A says:

    I really want to watch that Bioshock video, but the stream freezes so much, and so continuously, as to make it unbearable. :'(