The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for realising you left your brain behind at Gamescom, and now it’s lost forever in a sea of videogames. Time to rebuild it. This week’s Sunday Papers brought to you by: a desperate last-minute search.

  • Killing The Games Industry, a talk by Ste Curran delivered at the Nordic Game festival, is very Ste Curran. Very. Worth it if you’ve got an hour.
  • Charlie Brooker writes about keeping his child occupied by stuffing Trials into his hands, and the benefits and consequences that follow. Funny as always.
  • Worst of all, in the iPhone version – which surprise, surprise masquerades as “free” – the bike runs out of fuel now and then, and the only way to refill the tank it is to wait for a countdown to expire (slightly harder for a two-year-old than completing a tapestry), watch an advert (evil) or to purchase in-game petrol from the App Store. I first became aware of this when he screamed and hurled the phone across a restaurant table in a fury. I caved in immediately and, illustrating everything that’s wrong with human progress, found myself spending real money on non-existent petrol for a non-existent motorbike in a desperate bid to appease an infant. Spending money to shut him up felt transgressive and undignified – but worse still, I was literally fuelling his addiction.

  • 80 Days is causing a bit of a storm. Pocket Gamer’s Chris Kerr tells the story of its creation:
  • The best ideas can hit you when you least expect it, but the inkle team seem to strike gold whenever they visit one place in particular.

    However, they don’t retreat to the quiet zen of a Japanese garden, or sink into deep thought beneath piles of books in a picturesque library. No, they go to, arguably, the home of all great ideas. They go to the pub.

    “We were chatting in a pub, just talking about things, when we happened upon the idea of Around the World in 80 Days,” says Ingold.

    Related: it’s co-created by Jon Ingold, author of the excellent Make It Good.

  • This is a good point well made, about Hitman Absolution’s treatment of women.
  • Robert Yang’s write-up of ZZT, the book by Anna Anthropy about the game and editor of the same name, is worth a read:
  • For Anna, these ZZT games functioned primarily as a shared culture that helped its players perform identities and develop communities. Each ZZT game talked to another in the language of ZZT. These single player games were highly social, with cameos by community members, persistent in-jokes, and technological “innovations” that eventually became normalized practice. These technical norms also acted as social signifiers to facilitate gatekeeping: e.g. some ZZT games without certain shades of “advanced colors” were not permitted existence on z2, the main ZZT community website at the time. Who deserves inclusion, who deserves to be remembered?

  • As recommended, Shawn Trautman’s Tumblr is worth reading for articles, links to freeware games, etc. Like blogging of old.
  • Gawker takes on the surprising Kim Kardashian game and argues that it has a point to make about capitalism.
  • When she does surface, Kim behaves much as you’d expect a divine being to do. She never seems to get jealous or duplicitous or underminery. There is clearly plenty of empty fame to go around, in her opinion!

    But unlike a deity, she is also open-minded and reluctant to pass judgment on others. “It’s a big decision,” she simply says, when I am summoned to her house to get advice on doing a nude photoshoot, though she’ll vouch for the photographer.

  • Tom Senior has finished his excellent Dominions 4 diary over at PCGamer.com. I linked part one previously, but now there’s part two and part three. From the latter:
  • Desperate action is needed. I feed my obelisk some death gems to level up his ability to cast death magic, giving him access to a powerful global death spell called The Utterdark. This throws the entire world into an unnaturally thick darkness. Living creatures can’t see more than a few feet in front of them, and spirits relentlessly attack from the shadows. As a result, income in every province for all factions is reduced by 90% and armies are less effective.

    Sounds like Tom.

  • Falling Awkwardly’s doing a great diary of an attempt to “sleep with all the women in The Witcher and survive the experience with my faith in humanity/eroticism/videogames intact.” Binders Full Of Women: part one, part two.
  • I mean, obviously it’s sexist and objectifying to make a game in which every time you sleep with a woman, you get a collectable card with her picture on it. I’m not here to get into that. I’m at the point where I choose to find it funny, even as it demonstrates a lot of depressing eye-rolly things about the people making it, and their assumptions about their audience. But I admit, I was curious. As my Guild Wars adventures show, I am hardly averse to the concept of playing a character who sleeps with everyone. In my version, it had been fun, exciting, consensual and hot. It’s a challenge to keep findingnew and interesting ways to initiate sex scenes with people you meet! While the cards were sexist, the concept doesn’t have to be sexist, if you accept that people, notably women, can freely choose and enjoy casual sex, and are not cheapened or sullied by it.

  • How to be polite.

Music this week is the deafening roar of a dozen competing Gamescom stages, but as I climbed inside the cab that would carry me from the train which carried me from the plane, this started to play on the radio, so let’s go with that.

70 Comments

  1. TillEulenspiegel says:

    ZZT was amazing. The “graphics” were crap even at the time, but it was a rather powerful little game engine. The sample levels included with the game were purely action and simple puzzles, but with the editor and scripting language you could create rather complex adventures or RPGs, and many people did. In particular I remember being very impressed with Code Red, a three-part adventure with a huge number of branching paths.

    It’s funny, I got started in videogame development with Tim Sweeney’s ZZT, and now I’m using his company’s Unreal Engine 4.

  2. Utsunomiya says:

    There’s also a new Pathologic teaser thingy and an ARG to boot.

  3. steviebops says:

    An hour? nah – give men the summary, what’s “killing” the game industry this week?

    • Emeraude says:

      “Nothing can kill the games industry. The form will survive.”

      Nothing can kill the playing. The games, I’d say, are another matter. One sure thing though: they don’t need the industry to survive. They haven’t needed it for most of their existence, and they would still flourish if it died, as it can.

      • Kempston Wiggler says:

        Good point. I’m a bit tired of hearing my hobby described as an “industry”. To me that term describes everything that went wrong with gaming as espoused by the EA’s, Ubisofts and Activisions of the world. Narrow-scoped, risk-averse, barely-iterative Product.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      What definitely was killed was the talk. 10 minutes spent with a terrible intro and a forced analogy that was drawing on for what feels like hours. We get it. Relationship. Hahaha. Now get to the bloody point already.

      That was, coincidently, when I closed the tab.

      • Fenix says:

        Same here. The also poor sound quality and the never ending metaphor made me go ‘yeah, no’ and I stopped watching :(

        The politeness article was marvelous, though.

    • aepervius says:

      basically he goes thru everything which potentially kills the game industry or was foretold to kill it, console, kinect, innovation, lack of innovation, you , me, sexism etc…. Then he goes on to say nothing will kill it because there will always be people wanting for it, it is only a medium like film and book and none of those were killed.

      • Blackcompany says:

        I tend to agree with his assessment. Games as a medium arent going to die. Some people will always make games. Board, video…there will always exist a subset of people who just want to make games in a given medium. Video games are no different.

        That said, I do think gaming – and especially video gaming – will change and evolve. And I think it will happen mostly in a way big publishers will feel as painful to their bottom lines. We are already seeing numbers indicative of declining AAA game sales over the course of the past 3 – 5 years. Activision went on record recently claiming preorders are down. And we have seen every larger preorder rewards packages enticing gamers into buying what are mostly subpar products before reviews are out. As if an industry that tries to entice you to buy early while also forcing review embargoes should be trusted.

        I think in the future gaming will move toward mobile. Whether it stays there will he up to both customers, and of course mobile developers. The latter currently see themselves shepherding a bunch of casual, dont-know-any-better gamers into sinking ever money into wait-gaming and addictive products. And evidence decrees them mostly correct. For now. This could change as ever more core gamers tire of paying $60 for a reskin of last year’s shooter/stabber/leaper/parkour simulator – or it might not.

        The next few years will be interesting indeed for video gaming. I might even be around to see them. More and more though I doubt it. I am an avid reader of books who also enjoys card and board games with my girl and my friends/family. When I am not working or with pets or friends or a book or my home gym I occasionally manage to cram in ever briefer bouts of gaming. But an industry full of subpar writers keeps trying to sell narrative experiences to a person who would rather read a book for those than play a game for the same reason and so I find myself more and more tired of the whole affair.

        Bad time for a person like me to be a gamer but it is what it is. I hope things improve. That player agency becomes a thing in games. That the annual sequel obsession dies down. That publishers become less risk averse. Because young people deserve this amazing medium. And they deserve to have its potential realized instead of squandered.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Oh, they killed film. It died in Transformers 2 (through to 4) and in Grown Ups. It’s long dead now.

        /joke?

  4. smokiespliff says:

    I loved the politeness article, thanks Graham.

    • Emeraude says:

      It really sent me back on a conversation we had this week between French, Japanese and American friends, and the difference about rules of politeness and their underlying unspoken assumptions in different cultural contexts.

      The bit about “holding off” asking for what your interlocutor does for a living is pretty salient. I mean, the French friends mostly came to the consensus that you *do not* ask someone what his/her job is, for it is rude. A job having nothing to do with what/who the person is; and it just boggled the mind of the Americans.

      I there’s only one thing to keep from that piece: listen to people. They’re interesting.

      No, really.

      • RARARA says:

        I wonder what happens when two polite people meet. Do they keep withholding their own life and keep prodding the other to open up? Do they reach a stalemate?

        • GameCat says:

          Staring contest.

        • Emeraude says:

          Listening to others doesn’t preclude being active in the conversation. If anything, knowing how to listen is a pretty active skill, demanding that you actually take what the other expresses (verbally or not) into account instead of preparing what it is you’ll be saying next.

          In other words: yes, you’re prodding. That’s part of the fun of conversations too.

      • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

        I need to move to France, it seems. I live in the US and it boggles my mind how often work is the ice-breaker. I’m not at work and I don’t want to talk about it.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I don’t see how it’s inappropriate to define people by how they spend most of their waking life.

          • Emeraude says:

            Might as well define them by how they sleep then.

            More seriously, the argument presented was that your job is just for the most part an accident. It’s something imposed on you by necessities. Unless you have a career and truly invest yourself in your job, it is just the way you’ve found to provide for yourself and do your duty as a citizen (both as in contributing to society through your workforce and being able to pay taxes, which remains the first duty of the citizen to the state in peace time). It has no bearings on the things that enthuse you, the things you care about, the things by which you want to define yourself as an individual.

            The idea being that, if the person you’re talking to *wants* to talk about his/her job, then it’s fair game. If the subject is not put on the table, then most likely that person doesn’t really care about it, or even doesn’t like it, and it would be rude to bring it into the conversation.

            Another point *one* Japanese friend raised – so make of it what you will, is that there’s a utilitarian bent to it: people by introducing their jobs (trading cards in a Japanese context) are networking. They’re prodding for possible usefulnesses in others. In some contexts its considered perfectly fair and desirable. In others it’s going to be seen as kinda rude.

          • HadToLogin says:

            This whole work-talk reminds me of Malcolm in the Middle episode where white dad was playing poker against his main black friend who brought his own black friends.

            Later he accused his main friend that they all ganged up on him. Friend says “what?”, dad says “well, it was obvious I was totally different than rest of you”, and when everyone before TV expects some racist remark dad goes with “I’m just a low worker while you all have successful businesses”.

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            N'Al says:

            Luckily, he managed to build up a pretty successful business peddling stimulants after, eh?!?

  5. Dave Tosser says:

    Ste Curran can have my children after that talk.

  6. RARARA says:

    While we are on the subject of video games and sexual politics, here’s a critical look at Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (starts at 35:46). While it’s an homage to ’60s espionage movies, MGS3 actually subverts a lot of problematic Jame Bond tropes (the consumption and disposability of women) and has quite a bit in common with North by Northwest in setting up the female characters (the emasculating mother figure and the duplicitous love interest), albeit with a more tragic ending.

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      neffo says:

      that was actually really facinating, i might actually try play it sometime.

    • welverin says:

      Odd, considering some of the things included in the games.

  7. Stellar Duck says:

    Yes. The Hitman games have always had a rather… bad way of handling women. It’s something that goes all the way back the Codename 47.

    Edit: This was a reply to a post that is gone. That’s why it looks a bit weird.

    • Drake Sigar says:

      Indeed, the games have always handled women poorly, it’s just looked upon less favourably now, which is why they were in for quite a shock upon releasing HItman Ab’s trailer.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I don’t remember Hitman 1 or 2 having rocket-launching fetish nuns.

        Also, argh, all the comment structure is buggered now.

  8. 6double5321 says:

    Not to belittle the artists, but it doesn’t seem terribly creative to sit around a pub and decide to make a video game based on a renowned book. What am I missing here?

    • Sam says:

      I think the game has met commercial success despite being a paid-for mobile title. This is unusual, so every detail about how it was created is mined for the magic ingredient that created profitability.
      I’m sure there’ll be English Pub startups getting bootstrapped around San Francisco any day now.

  9. Det. Bullock says:

    Well, allegedly the sleazy dirtbags perhaps tend to be just “sleazy dirtbags” not an example of how men are abusable sex objects who are either submissive victims or “bastards”, I went through with the article and it kind of had a point, there were some of these things in Blood Money but in Absolution it seems it has been cranked up to eleven.
    The part about the manager was particurarly disturbing, usually the victims in Hitman games are “asshole victims” but here the victim doesn’t seem to come off as such and has a scripted sequence in which has to strip because “hey, woman in underwear”, I find kind of difficult to think that such a character like she was described when cornered would think to strip down.

    EDIT

    Ok, It seems the post I was replying to was cancelled.

    • Emeraude says:

      Ok, It seems the post I was replying to was cancelled.

      Which is too bad because, as mean spirited as it was, I do think it brought an interesting point if you reframe things a bit.

      No one care about men as victims. We’ve had violence in games for as long as they existed, but while people have long objected to the violence itself, no one really cares about the men being victimized. Not as a set of individuals.

      There’s that weird thing you can work out to a linguistic level women/feminine forms tend to be defined by default, masculines tend to be neutral.

      A good example of that I’ve had a few years ago playing table top RPG, asking what character people wanted to play I was answered by the three players : “A warrior ! A Rogue ! A Woman !”.

      Being a woman is a defining trait. Being a man isn’t. And it is as violent on the man (a man in himself is *nothing*) as it is on the woman (a woman is limited in her scope of being by virtue of being a woman).

      Sexism is equally violent on men and women I would argue – though in different ways. But the overall public discourse doesn’t care about the effects it has on men. They’re not worth being defended. After all what’s the point of a man that can’t defend himself ?

      It doesn’t make all those points raised about Hitman Absolution any less valid, or any less worth raising. But I do think it’s as worthwhile a point.

      • pepperfez says:

        “The overall public discourse” also doesn’t particularly care about violence against women in games (or, if you include American football culture, in real life) – a comparatively tiny number of people are talking about this and they’re talking about it because they enjoy and care about games. Unpacking the entire social discourse of violence isn’t the main goal, making games more fun to play is. So I think in the games-specific context there’s a notion of fair play, where men are fair game as victims because they’re also overwhelmingly the protagonists perpetrating the violence. It’s not that women are often victims, it’s that they’re often only victims.

        Once you start talking about general feminist /gender studies beyond gaming, there’s plenty of discussion of the destructive valorization of “masculine” violence and victimhood. That’s just not on the agenda for people who are fine with totally sweet melee finishers but sometimes want to see a woman executing them.

        • Emeraude says:

          “The overall public discourse” also doesn’t particularly care about violence against women in games

          It doesn’t ? You can’t follow any of the mass media outlets on video games without stumbling on something concerned with the matter these days.

          a comparatively tiny number of people are talking about this

          Indeed, and they are occupying an unrepresentative and unprecedented volume of the public discourse as far as games are concerned. Which is good. We need to have that talk.

          or, if you include American football culture, in real life

          Yes,for the record, I was talking *games* there, not video games. Though I know nothing about American football culture, so I won’t pretend it fits my bill.

          So I think in the games-specific context there’s a notion of fair play, where men are fair game as victims because they’re also overwhelmingly the protagonists perpetrating the violence.

          See that’s part of the violence made on men, though, part of the asymmetrical process at play: it doesn’t matter when they are objects because they are defined as agents*. And if anything, they are only defined as agents and only exist as such; they don’t exist as objects. Not worth mentioning. It’s a weird double-think when you put it that way.

          *: no pun intended given the context.

  10. ChiefOfBeef says:

    In the Hitman universe(twinned on-off with the Kane and Lynch universe), woman are manipulative, shallow, victimised and stupid unless she’s called a ‘bitch’. Everything in the series’ depiction of woman is explainable through this prism if you also acknowledge that men are depicted as selfish, disgustingly unhygienic, cruel and whiny. I do not see women in Absolution being singled out in any way and clumsy attempts to criticise the game based on perceived sexism(as opposed to the game just not being enough like Blood Money) always seem to fail in identifying that the overall tone of the series means anyone not depicted in these ways is usually to be identified with as the only conflicted and redeemable characters. In Absolution, that would be Diana and Victoria; 47 himself acts more out of confusion, his loss of control of the situation, than any principle.

    So I don’t really see any good points to Elizabeth Edward’s blogpost. I don’t think she’s plumbing the depths of Anita Sarkeesian-level dishonesty(you’d have to go pretty far) but could she consider that she’s just not comfortable with the tone of the game itself but is wrongly attributing it specifically to how women are portrayed? I wasn’t comfortable with how Chinese people were portrayed in the first game whilst playing through the long but well-made set-up to the Lee Hong assassination(itself disappointing) but all fears faded away when it was clear no one gets away and the games that followed continued with ugly portrayals of all kinds of people.

    • Kempston Wiggler says:

      Sadly, ChiefofBeef, I think you’ve made the classic mis-steak (lol) that all Feminist Objecters do – in supposing that their own viewpoint is so supremely rational that any opposing viewpoint cannot have an ounce of rationality within it, or is at best seriously out-of-tune with reality.

      I honestly don’t think the “prism” you talk of actually exists. I think that’s simply your subjectivity coming into play, with a clumsy attack on a women’s point of view bolted on to the side. You even found time for a backhanded swipe at poor old Anita, subtly implying that Ms Edward’s logical abilities are similarly not to be trusted as you did so. Bravo, sir! Well played.

      But wrong. Oh so wrong. Critiques of portayals of all creeds, genders, etc, should never be ignored or marginalised just because that happens to be the Way the Author Intended It (even if that’s true in this particular example). because it might mean the author himself/herself is genuinely at fault.

    • Det. Bullock says:

      In the Hitman universe(twinned on-off with the Kane and Lynch universe), woman are manipulative, shallow, victimised and stupid unless she’s called a ‘bitch’. Everything in the series’ depiction of woman is explainable through this prism if you also acknowledge that men are depicted as selfish, disgustingly unhygienic, cruel and whiny.

      Yes, but they aren’t depicted as such because they are men, here because a character is a woman she must try to seduce the protagonist, no matter if it makes sense for her character or not, it’s almost as if having a vagina overrules every other traits of her personality.

      And the author played all the other games in the series, but there it was more or less tolerable (I played only Silent Assassin and Blood Money and they are nowhere near as bad, still have to play Contracts), in Absolution they wanted to be “edgier” and for some reason the “edginess” (because Hitman wasn’t edgy enough) cranked up mysoginist elements.

      • ChiefOfBeef says:

        I don’t want to sound like Steve Coogan in that swimming pool guard sketch(“in 1982, no one died. In 1983, no one died…) but one woman in Absolution pretends to seduce 47(twice as many as in Blood Money). In the prologue, none of the women do this. In Chinatown, none of the women do this. In Terminus, none of the women do this. The old nun at the orphanage doesn’t even do this and I was 50/50 that she would in a comic skit after seeing that nun trailer.

        So lots of women don’t do this, but one woman does this and that means she does it only because she’s a woman?

        • Det. Bullock says:

          From what I understand in Absolution the woman who does this it’s not that kind of character (unless something was left out), in Blood Money the characters who did this were killers posing as strippers/party girls and it was at least palusible that they would try to use sex as a distraction, but a why a woman who seems to be a high ranking bureaucrat/executive/whatever would think of that is beyond my comprehension.

          • ChiefOfBeef says:

            Because it’s precisely meant to go against what you’ve seen of her so far maybe? The scenario implies that she has slept her way to that position as her people skills combined with the attitudes of her colleagues means she couldn’t have risen there any other way. That’s my interpretation- any other is just as valid, but the recent focus on perceived sexism in games and certain games in particular(Absolution keeps cropping up) comes with baggage because the developers and players themselves get accused of indulging in sexism to the point of their attitudes to women being affected. That is why I bring up Sarkeesian: the Chauvinist-Finder General.

          • ChiefOfBeef says:

            …Also in contrast to this(*spoiler*), Diana had always been a glorified secretary with no operational experience in the ICA. We found out in Blood Money that this was wrong- she was able to maintain two complicated long-term covers simultaneously both within the ICA and the rival Franchise organisation as different versions of herself and do the impossible and ‘kill’ 47. Now with hindsight(and likely retconning) it seems everything that happened in Blood Money is explainable by her secretly hiring 47 herself to attack both ICA and Franchise assets in order to save Victoria.

            Almost everyone in the series is morally compromised; the one person I’d genuinely call a ‘good guy’ is Agent Smith who is an incompetent buffoon seemingly always sent to his death by the CIA and perpetually rescued by 47. Diana would be his female counterpart right down to the ginger hair, except that she’s smart.

          • HadToLogin says:

            She’s alone against highly skilled killer. She knows she doesn’t have much chances in 1on1 fight. So instead she tries to confuse her enemy by using women’s probably-most dangerous weapon…
            Cheap shot? Maybe. In character? Seeing how she would do everything for Dexter, showing tittles to get a kill-shot doesn’t sound that impossible.

          • pepperfez says:

            women’s probably-most dangerous weapon

            See, I’d be inclined to say that a woman’s sexuality, no matter how overpowering, is significantly less dangerous than a handgun.

        • Det. Bullock says:

          The point is: how that implication justifies that?
          I don’t really think it would be a normal reaction even if she really has slept her career off, it was just a cheap excuse for fanservice.

          Note: for some reason I couldn’t answer directly to the post I wanted.

          • ChiefOfBeef says:

            When we’re discussing what she did as opposed to what she could have done, perhaps her motive could be acknowledged? She wanted to kill 47; does she have even the slightest chance in that situation without attempting seduction? Is she aware that although male he’s asexual and actually grossed-out by sexuality? This is not even in the same ballpark as that Star Trek: Into Darkness scene; it just shows her playing the only card she has on the table and it going badly wrong. 47 does the same thing when he bumps into the giant bodyguard in Terminus.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            I fail to find the logic, why should she think to strip down when finding herself closed in a panic room with a professional assassin?
            Furthermore considering that if she just wanted to get close to shoot him, wasn’t more sensible to keep some clothes on to, you know, conceal the weapon?

          • ChiefOfBeef says:

            How frequently(canon-wise) do small-arms deter 47 from acting aggressively when he is in control of the situation? She knows who he is professionally, she doesn’t know much about him personally- she assumes he’s interested in what every other male in the Hitman universe is. Again using Diana as a contrast: she knows him enough that when she ‘killed’ him it wasn’t sex that dropped his guard, but work. A character makes a mistake or acts foolish and just because they’re female doesn’t mean they do it because they are female.

          • Det. Bullock says:

            I ask again, how the F*ck she was able to conceal a weapon?
            (because she obviously tries to shoot 47, unless her bra is kind of like Guybrush Threepwood’s trousers it’s a bit implausible)
            The scene could have been played out more logically without the super duper obvious fanservice, but then again, their concept of edgy is “woman in underwear”.

      • Dave Tosser says:

        link to pentadact.com

        Youse. Read.

        • ChiefOfBeef says:

          Ok am reading but really, does he HAVE to rub his Gunpoint in my face every damn time?

        • Geebs says:

          Now that was a piece of games writing. If they really made all the characters hyper sexualised in order to emphasise the protagonist’s sexless POV, then that’s properly clever. Thanks for the link!

          Also I obviously need to get Blood Money now.

    • SirMonkeyWrench says:

      I’m inclined to agree. The Hitman games very consciously place themselves in in a particularly grimy, greasy post noir genre and most of its characters conform to that genres conventions. The unfortunate side effect of this is that you end up with deeply unpleasant individuals who conform to a host of stereotypes. While this has always been present in the Hitman games the greater focus on character and story in Absolution made this element more pronounced, uncomfortably so for most people (and there’s nothing wrong with that.) there was a similar backlash against Kane & Lynch which also had more of a focus on character and story. The only part of Absolution that I personally found offensively sexist was the sexy nuns, and that was because they were so massively outside of the normal tone of the games that they could not be defended as genre conventions.

      • Dave Tosser says:

        Absolution isn’t a real Hitman game so it’s no wonder it couldn’t do the griminess properly.

  11. LionsPhil says:

    I first became aware of this when he screamed and hurled the phone across a restaurant table in a fury.

    And he rewarded this behaviour?!

    Confiscate the damn thing.

  12. limbeckd says:

    No link to the ZZT article?

  13. PikaBot says:

    I tried just a few days ago to give Absolution a fair shake (long story short, I couldn’t do it, the stealth and instinct systems were too hilariously broken) and I did indeed find myself terribly amused by the fact that we kill Diana in the shower. Because of course we do. And then once we do, she falls to the floor wrapped in a shower curtain that had not existed in the cutscene (or at the very least was nowhere near that opaque) because of course she is.

    I suppose one could say that previous Hitman games were not so different, and you wouldn’t be wrong at that, but it feels much worse in Absolution, both on it’s own merits and because there isn’t an actually enjoyable game to distract you from it.

    (And then I looked up the Wot I Think and wished I wasn’t two years late to respond to the complete tit repeatedly claiming that the utterly broken disguise system was the same as the one in Hitman 2)

  14. Xocrates says:

    The Charlied Brooker article syncs well with something I found out this week, and which, as a developer trying to release a game on mobile, irked me immenselly.

    One of the reasons the app store is plagued with “free” games, microtrasactions, and ads is because the app store will straight up, and explicitly, not allow trial versions or demos. The only way of allowing the users to try before they buy is by releasing the game as free to play.

    Granted, many still abuse the free to play thing, but the above policy irked immenselly because not only did it essentially forced me to add microtransactions to my game (fortunately, there was content where it made sense to do so), but it means I can no longer gift the game to friends and whanot to promote the game, since I can’t gift microtransactions and test accounts are temporary.

  15. Babymech says:

    How is Edwards’ article a good point, well made? It seems she lets the scummy nature of the game speak for itself, but it’s all anecdotal, and she never gets around to her point about how this characterizes the industry as a place to work in. I can agree with everything she says about Hitman Absolution seeming scummy (haven’t played it, but the screenshots compel), without thereby having concluded anything about the industry as a larger set of structures and a place to work. If her article was intended to illustrate what the games industry is like, you would expect her to actually get around to talking about that at some point, for her point to good and well made. If her point is just that Absolution is a failure at not being scummy, well, that point is well-made I guess, but it’s not very interesting

    It would have been interesting to read a good point, well-made, about structural sexism in the games industry, but it can’t just be “because hitman absolution is juvenile and sexist and repugnant.”