The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for relaxing. It’s a long weekend here in the UK, but by freeing me from the burden of work – I say, while writing this at 10pm on a Saturday night – I find it’s really just freeing me to spend time thinking about parts of the site I don’t normally have enough time for. (In other words, I’m sending emails bugging other people on the team.) For now, onwards with the week’s best games writing.

A group of No Man’s Sky players ‘settled’ in a particular region of space in order to work together and map its systems. Then the 1.3 patch shifted those systems, their trade routes, and the planet’s terrain such that the area became unrecognisable. Now the people who had settled there need to find a new home, as reported by Gita Jackson at Kotaku.

According to player 7101334, the founder of the Galactic Hub, it was supposed to be a place where No Man’s Sky players could settle into an organized community. The goals of the project were to create a place in the enormity of No Man’s Sky where players would have familiar landmarks, so they could get started with a bit more of a guide. Scott, also known by his handle UniDestiny, said over the phone that the first thing every player would see when they got to the hub was the Lennon star system, which is the designated entry point into the Hub for all players. “Everybody posts a pic of getting there, and going down on the planet,” he said. “For some of us, it took a long time to get there.”

Cultural junk food gets less respect when it’s girly. Katherine Cross at Gamasutra argues that manly junk food like Die Hard is celebrated as “an acceptably good time”, while Twilight and Jupiter Ascending are dismissed, and that the difference is gender.

Where manly junk food of the Die Hard vintage is considered an acceptably good time at the movies, something like Twilight is regarded as an abomination fit only for a cleansing flame. A more muted but still omnipresent sneering accompanied the release of Jupiter Ascending as well. Or consider the difference in cultural regard between spy novels and romance novels; Ian Fleming is worthy of the Vintage Press special edition treatment, despite his undeniably schlocky writing. It doesn’t take a genius to see why, of course.

At Gamescom, Matt Lees of Shut Up & Sit Down and Cool Ghosts gave a talk about cultural complicity: how all of us working in and around games are responsible for the tone, atmosphere and people that make up games culture, and what we can and should be doing to make those things better through our work.

I’ve enjoyed reading all the re-visits to No Man’s Sky this past week, including Austin Walker’s enthusiasm over the new story at Waypoint.

In the second major act of the new main questline, you’re searching for a missing friend and working with a mysterious cybernetic ally, whose lines are written with a sharp style of disaffection and indifference. These quests offer a bit of tutorialization if you’re starting a fresh game (guiding you to some key tool upgrades, getting your base up and running), and even these drip-feed tantalizing ideas about the game’s world and people in a way that the original No Man’s Sky never managed to do successfully. What phrases like “double the lore” fail to communicate is that the lore is actually good, and as importantly, it’s delivered in a surprising number of ways.

Pip linked me to this, presumably because she’s got a Google Alert set up for “Poirot”. Ian Boudeau writes at Paste that Hitman is an accidental Agatha Christie game.

Hitman shifts the perspective of a mystery story not to the continuously baffled dogsbody, but to the object of the investigation: the killer himself. As Agent 47, you’re not following someone around the way Watson or Hastings must, and you’re not looking for obviously-highlighted gameplay nodes, the way you do in Arkham or Assassins Creed games.

PC Gamer published their annual top 100, giving you an opportunity to go complain that number 32 is higher than number 77 and so on.

Tom S: A World War II RTS that distills the noise and fury of Saving Private Ryan into a clinical game of take and hold. The first Company of Heroes is still a design peak for Relic. The asymmetrical power curves of the Axis and Allied forces create an absorbing tug-of-war. In a long-fought game infantry armies give way to tank warfare, and the destructible maps are gradually levelled. There’s a sense of escalation to every fight, and the campaign features some of the best levels Relic has ever made. I keep coming back to it every year to see if it has faded yet, and it still hasn’t happened. It looks great for an 11-year-old game, and sounds incredible, too. The unit barks are baked into my mind, but the chatter still gives the battlefield a sense of life, and the ker-chunk discharge of a tank’s main weapon is as impactful today as ever.

Bryant Francis and Alex Wawro at Gamasutra spoke to Mark Essen about Nidhogg 2 about the changes to the art style between the first and second game.

The new Taylor Swift is percolating in my brain. I love pop music, if that’s not already clear, and I like a good deal of Taylor Swift’s previous music. The new track seems bad? But bad in a way that’s still getting stuck in my craw. I’ve heard it described as being like Taylor Swift’s parents paid for her to record a song – a la Friday – and like Friday, it’s an earworm anyway.

But as a backup, let’s say music this week is Sober by Childish Gambino.


  1. Spuzzell says:

    God, Twilight whinging again. Twilight is shit because it’s shit. Not because of gender subjugation or the patriarchal nature of society.

    Buffy for example is fantastic and adored. It’s funny, the female characters are strong, the male characters are strong and it has things to say.

    Twilight is crap. For a thousand books (I think. It felt like it) the female lead internalizes her abusive boyfriends behavior as entirely her fault, then decides between bestiality and necrophilia because OBVIOUSLY she can’t choose her own path, then we’re beaten over the head with the idea that SEX WILL KILL YOU AND YOU MUSN’T DO IT POOR DELICATE GIRLS then sex happens once and instantly results in a demon baby that kills you, then pedophilia+beastiality and honestly WHAT a crock of shit.

    Basically, fuck off with “people hate Twilight because it’s all girly”.

    Twilight is a festering pile of misogynist enabling crap, whose entire message is “women are weak, sex is bad, girls deserve to be made miserable by their men”. That’s why people hate it.

    Oh also, fucking sparkles. Christ.

    • klops says:

      Yeah. Commenter in Gamasutra mentioned Jane Austen, who, as far as I understand, isn’t frowned upon, although the themes are “girly”, at least compared to the mentioned Ian Fleming books or Die Hard.

      Could this be because Jane Austen books aren’t shit? I haven’t read any of them so I just say this for how I understand people like them, but I’ve seen around 45 mins of a Twilight movie.

      • Phil says:

        Could this be because Jane Austen books aren’t shit?

        Austen has a really, really dry sense of humour & an expectation that her readers are intelligent enough to do the work to dig under the surface of her novels.

        When I finally decided to read her books properly, having bounced off them in my teens, I was genuinely surprised by how funny her novels were. You can also read them as a subtle commentary on the place of women in the C19th England upper/upper middle classes – there’s a lot of subtext if you go looking for it.

    • Vandelay says:

      I’ve never read or seen any of Twilight, so can’t really comment on the quality, but everything I’ve heard about it suggests you are right. It does seem somewhat the anti-Buffy in many regards.

      Still, the main point from the author has merit; shlock aimed at men does seem much more acceptable than when it is aimed at women. I’m struggling to think of fictional “low brow” entertainment that considers women a target audience, outside of being a date, that isn’t generally laughed at. Buffy is a good pick, maybe Hunger Games (although that has its fair share of bashing)… That is pretty much as far as I can get.

      • RuySan says:

        There is a whole chasm of quality difference between shlock made in the 80’s/early 90’s and 00’s/10’s and this is most visible in action movies. This goes way beyond gender issues.

        Die Hard is a good fun movie. Twilight is crap. Get over it

        • ChiefOfBeef says:

          Pretty much. When the Die Hard series turned crap, no one failed to say so. All the masculinity in the world couldn’t save it when it lost it’s sense of humour and John McClane in-universe started resembling RL Bruce Willis a little too much.

          • Daymare says:

            This is actually a really good point.

            The whole idea of “Twilight” being regarded as shit is weird because it still made a huge bunch of money, as did the books.

            So maybe people say they were shit, but there certainly were a lot who saw/read them, to the point where Hollywood could make a trilogy out of it.

          • klops says:

            Things that are popular and get lots of money can also be shit. In all aspects of life from popular culture to politics. Extreme and tasteless example: Nazis were popular.

          • Grizzly says:

            @Klops – I’d like to point out that even when the Nazis openly intimidated people into voting for them and improsened many people, they couldn’t achieve an absolute majority (they got 44%). In the last free election, they got 33% percent of the vote. They were popular, but not that much!

          • Daymare says:

            Sure, I agree. See the comparison with “Transformers” by gwop_the_derailer farther down, I think that’s kinda what I thought about this business.

            (Edit: nevermind the rest)

          • klops says:

            @Grizzly – Yes, good clarification. I didn’t mean absolute majority. I meant they were “just” very popular while being pure shit.

    • PaceCol says:

      Indeed. Imagine what sort of financial success “Titanic” might have been if it had been targeted at a male demographic.

      • draglikepull says:

        Titanic isn’t low-brow, though. It won Best Picture at the Golden Globes and the Oscars. Katherine’s point is that low-brow entertainment aimed at men is not held to the same standards of criticism as low-brow entertainment aimed at (and created by) women.

        • PaceCol says:

          Ahh. You mean something like Bridesmaids.
          Or The Hunger Games.
          That sort of thing?

          • Herring says:

            Or more recently, Wonder Woman. It’s a great film and I really liked it, but I’d never describe it as “high-brow”.

    • Premium User Badge

      iris79 says:

      The books are disgusting and all of the movies after the first are terrible. But the first film has its charms, my ex convinced me to watch it and it had lovely cinematography and captured teenage longing rather nicely, it certainly doesn’t deserve the opprobrium it received. It definitely has to be seen as separate from the book universe. I find myself quite pleased that Kristen Stewart has made a respectful career for herself too.
      It is good movie candy like Die hard and John Wick and all those movies I love but certainly doesn’t get the same respect. I find the same issue with TV, there was a point there where all good TV was angsty men finding themselves (mad men, breaking bad and true detective were on) and stuff like the Vampire diaries and Twilight became appealing as I could relate more to teenage girls angst then watching another dude making poor decisions.
      When the wire and the Sopranos were on there were so many interesting characters that wasn’t a problem, it’s a bit better now but I still love Supergirl.

      • Herring says:

        I’ve only seen the first one, and I’ve mentally filed it in the ‘quite ok’ category. The thing that I remember the most is that it was way too long with too little happening. So you may be right that it had good moments but what it really needed was a ruthless editor :)

        But that’s more to do with how to re-imagine books for the screen rather than any gender issues…

    • PancakeWizard says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, but given it way more thought than criticism should require. It’s Katherine Cross. Strawmanning is basically her primary source of income.

    • Ghostbird says:

      The question, though, is why people are still so cross that Twilight was both bad and popular and but shrug and move on whenever a new Transformers movie happens. It’s as if they felt Twilight had no right to exist for some reason…

      • Daymare says:

        I dunno about the majority’s opinion on the subject, but for my money, “Transformers” and “Twilight” are equally bad for (slightly) different reasons, and the money and jobs for both should be used for other, better movies.

        Edit: Oh. Is your name a reference to the Biologist in Jeff VanderMeer’s “Southern Reach” trilogy, by any chance?

        • Ghostbird says:

          Yes to the name, and “my point” to the rest. Twilight and Transformers are both very bad, so consider the difference in public reaction and what that might mean.

          • Daymare says:

            Ah — is the difference that big? I honestly don’t know! The reviewers on Youtube that I watched hated “Transformer’s” guts.

            I read the trilogy last month, pretty much devoured all three books over the course of about 10 days. They were great, and reminded me of “Roadside Picnic”, in a way.

          • Daymare says:

            The last “Transformers” movie scores 28 on Metacritic, and 5.3 on IMDb. That’s really fuckin’ bad!

            “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2” has 52 on Meta, and 5.5 on IMDb. I know this one’s way older than “The Last Knight”, but just by comparison they’re … sort of equal?

      • pepperfez says:

        Were there ever t-shirts saying “Real Transformers aren’t spiky?” If not, there should be.

      • E_FD says:

        I don’t know, I don’t think there’s any shortage of folks on the internet who absolutely despise the Michael Bay Transformers movies and decry them as raping their childhood or the like.

      • dskzero says:

        Most people don’t really mind it, people who do are mostly people involved in pop culture. People really overblew the effect it had.

      • Lacero says:

        Transformers is a great counterpoint to the article, thanks for bringing it up.

        Now I’ll go back to trying to forget about it.

        Another example, does “Pride and Prejudice” suffer in comparison to “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”?
        One would-be typically female and one typically male but I think we know which one is thought of as worse!

    • Cederic says:

      Set up a website. Post film reviews. Let me know where it is so that I can subscribe.

    • Alecthar says:

      The comparison is even more unsound given that Die Hard is a significantly better movie than any of the Twilight movies by virtually any conceivable metric.

  2. Kollega says:

    Hm. I know that the article about cultural junk food is talking about overall picture and all that. But for what it’s worth, not all people enthusiastic about low culture fall into the stereotype of liking trashy stories written “for manly mens”. I, personally, can’t stand the “edgy” authoritarian machismo of anything with “Tom Clancy’s” in its name, and the “specopsploitation” genre in general. Or take my hatred of ludicrous “grimdark” works that think all it takes to acheive literary depth are buckets of blood and fetishization of suffering. I think I’d be a lot more comfortable writing shipping fics – a stereotypically “girly” pastime – than writing anything in the style of modern-day Call of Duty. (Unless I was bold enough to intermix the two, anyway.)

    So… while the overall picture is important, I feel we have to remember that we don’t match all cultural expectations put upon us. I tend to detest Twilight as much as I tend to detest Call of Duty, for one :P

    • Vegas says:

      Well said. Not to mention:

      >Where manly junk food of the Die Hard vintage is considered an acceptably good time at the movies

      Considered by who? Men? So what? The whole piece hinges on a straw man.

  3. RuySan says:

    I like that the pc gamer top 100 had the balls to put lots of new games in the list and kill some sacred cows in the process. I don’t agree with many choices (mass effect 2 wtf?) but most top places were well deserved.

    Kind of reminded me of amiga power’s yearly top 100 list

    • YogSo says:

      Outcast isnt’t listed as the 57th best PC game of all time, ergo that list is wrong and dangerous.

    • shoptroll says:

      I too liked that there’s a lot of new blood on the list this year.

      Also, with the exception of Portal 2, nearly every Valve game got dinged (and in cases like TF2 and Dota 2 dinged very hard) which feels almost like a statement about the general state of Valve right now.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      I know arguing over top x lists is pointless, but Ladykiller in a Bind? Really? I love Christine’s work, but it’s by far the worst entry in my book, the sexiness and kink is passable at best and it’s generally not the page Turner Hate and it’s sequel were. I’m a perplexed. Grumbles.

  4. Phantom_Renegade says:

    Nope, sorry, complete nonsense. Twilight is shit, not because it’s girly, but because it’s shit. Same goes for Jupiter Ascending, which was garbage. Not because it was girly, but because it was garbage. Not to mention that Twilight is incredibly sexist.

    There are a ton of action movies for ‘men’ that are terrible too, and they’re rightly called out as terrible. Die Hard isn’t one of them because Die Hard is a good, solid movie.

    There are plenty of examples of sexism in the industry, the fact that women are on average paid less, the fact that it’s harder for women to be considered as directors for blockbusters, etc etc. This however is ridiculous and only hurts the cause.

    • Baines says:

      I agree.

      Twilight and Jupiter Ascending aren’t dismissed because they have female leads; they are dismissed because they are bad movies, and not “bad in a good way” bad.

      On the other side of the equation, “junk food of the Die Hard vintage” is pretty misleading, when the first Die Hard is routinely considered one of the best action movies ever made. (It sometimes even makes it into general, no “action movie” qualifiers needed, Top 100 lists.) The first Die Hard is treated as an example of how to do an action film right on almost every level. The series itself degraded into “junk food” over time, largely as the later films forgot the lessons of the first. And audiences turned against those later films. The fifth film, A Good Day to Die Hard, may have buried the Willis franchise, as plans for a sixth film evaporated after release, while a few years ago the studio was considering instead doing a prequel or reboot.

    • Cederic says:

      I didn’t realise Jupiter Ascending was meant to be some cult movie. I mean, if you want schlocky Channing Tatum then watch some Mad Mike XXL, at least you get to see the bod and there’s some properly entertaining dancing in it.

      Hmm. I have a game idea! :)

  5. Unsheep says:

    Reg. the ‘Cultural junk food’ article.

    You can’t compare movies like Die Hard with movies like Twilight and Jupiter Ascending, that’s just odd.

    Die Hard created a cult character in Bruce Willis’ role, and many of my generation (30+) would consider the movie an action classic.

    Like most movies today, Twilight and Jupiter Ascending were teenage-oriented movies, whereas Die Hard was a quality (for the time) action movie with a much broader appeal. So it stands to reason that the latter will perhaps be more widely accepted than the former.

    Clearly, there was nothing memorable about Jupiter Ascending, so why on Earth would you even compare it against a movie that did in fact have an impact on people?

    She is also comparing apples with oranges. Someone who loves action movies would rarely be drawn towards a movie like Twilight, and vice versa. She might as well be asking ‘why do people have different tastes?’.

    I don’t think gender has anything to do with this matter, instead it has to do with being memorable enough and not having a limited demographic appeal.

    • Daymare says:

      You’re absolutely right, the comparison itself is wrong.

      To compare with “Die Hard”, you need to find movies in the same genre–i.e. action movies–but with female leads and topics. Can we find some that have been received positively? Recent ones that count IMO: “Mad Max: Fury Road”; “Gravity”; “Wonder Woman”. All received high critical praise.

      OTOH you could argue that action itself is such a male-oriented concept that the whole genre is inherently and irredeemably patriarchal. Then see if you can find women-oriented movie genres that’re inherently female. Which genres are that? Romance would count, almost an opposite of action, right? (Not to say that either can’t contain elements of the other!) Are there good, shlocky romances? I usually don’t watch romances, but there’ve certainly been widely praised romance movies all throughout movie history.

      Now to find some that are both recent and shlocky, yet well-received? That’s for someone else to find, because I’ve no clue.

      • Daymare says:

        For the comparison to really be male vs female entertainment, all the movies you compare “Die Hard” to would have to be directed by a female director, right? That narrows our scope down by a whole lot. In action movies, without doing any research on the topic, this leaves me with “Wonder Woman” as an example, it was directed by Patty Jenkins. Even there, the screenplay was written by a male, so it’s still not 1:1.

      • Shaun239 says:

        She also completely disregarded films such as Alien and Aliens;the latter as much an action movie in its own right and with an incredibly strong and memorable female protagonist. In fact, Aliens has two (Vasquez).

    • PaceCol says:

      And clearly Steven Segal movies (and Steven Segal himself) are universally panned because he is a man.

    • The Chadillac says:

      Cross wrote an article breathlessly congratulating Bethesda’s pro-polyamory stance in Fallout 4 because they were too lazy to code flags for exclusive relationships. She’s astoundingly dumb with a fairly blatant agenda to push.

  6. Kollega says:

    Okay, I just watched the Cool Ghosts video… and for me, the biggest point was about enabling the different types of fantasies through our games. I can easily see how playing the same “white dude with short brown hair and a gun” power fantasy over and over in different games might have well skewed some people’s perceptions of what is acceptable and what is important, and how our current problems have been emboldened by that. Though interestingly, Titanfall 2 (which is mentioned as one game that’s bombed because people are getting tired of the “same old”), is the odd-one-out among first-person shooters starring white dudes, because it’s a power fantasy explicitly focused on friendship and camraderie/teamwork. “Dang, just as things started getting good”, etc. etc.

    But anyway. What’s important to me is the presented notion that we can and should deliver on different fantasies, and that games are an important influence on our culture rather than being “just innocent mindless fun”… because it reflects my own ideas and direction really well. I want to build a gamedev career, and my style of developing ideas is very socially aware and themes-first, which is exactly what Matt seems to endorse in this video. Hell, right now I’m trying to start on a game that’s in essence “Cannon Fodder Plus”, and the original Cannon Fodder was a hallmark game specifically thanks to its themes and social awareness (and of course, being actually fun to play). This actually gives me hope that my plans and my work may not be in vain.

  7. Unsheep says:

    Reg. Matt Lees article.

    As game development is not limited the bigger companies anymore, we’re going to get more games that presents us with some sort of ideological scenario or setting. It’s a natural part of the decentralization of game production.

    Whereas bigger developers and publishers have a kind of shielding against the populace of gamers, smaller Indie developers don’t have one. In general it’s the developers(!), not the publishers, who face the wrath of the angry masses.

    So it’s very much in the interest of these smaller developers to try and create a more tolerable environment, for themselves to work in and engage with.

    I can’t blame them. Using the Steam forum as an example, many of us have tried to reason with the people we meet there, but most them just want to shout and call people names. Imagine being a developer trying to extract some information from this crowd? Only those with tolerance can be reasoned with.

  8. Unsheep says:

    Reg. PC Gamer’s annual Top 100 list.

    What’s the point of these more or less anonymous Top X lists?

    I understand the value of having a ‘Top X’-list based on an actual personality. Someone like like Jeff Gerstmann (GiantBomb) or Mark Bussler (Classic Game Room) for example, since I have a pretty good idea of what their priorities are, the sort of games they enjoy and don’t enjoy. By knowing ‘that’, I get a reference point for other games I might enjoy as well.

    However, having these randowmly slushed together best-sellers is just pointless.

    • icarussc says:

      1) They’re fun!
      2) They let those who’ve taken a step back and/or don’t purchase many games figure out what’s a good thing to buy/play next (for instance, I’ve marked down that I might want to pick up Dishonored 2 as my purchase of 2017).
      3) They’re fun!

    • Carra says:

      It’s nice if you want to find a new game to play, certainly if you’re new to pc gaming. If you pick up your first pc game you can’t go wrong with the Witcher 3 or anything from their top ten.

    • MajorLag says:

      Top X lists exist for people to either A) Validate their opinions by or B) Get overly offended by. They’re great for getting a group of internets arguing in the comments section and driving up those pageviews.

  9. gwop_the_derailer says:

    Die Hard is not junk food. Hollywood would be a lot healthier if it took note of Die Hard’s efficiency of script, characterization, spatial communication, etc.

    Twilight is analogous to Transformers – aimed at teens, derided by critics, massivemassively successful, misogynistic as hell.

    • Daymare says:

      Hah, yeah. “Die Hard” is more like a really well-made, spicy burrito.

    • malkav11 says:

      And Transformers 2, at least, is also racist, incredibly stupid, and ruins any possible entertainment value in terms of just delivering action by quickcutting to the point that all of the action is just an unintelligible mash. I can’t speak for later films since the second is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen and I didn’t feel like punishing myself further. (I didn’t even want to see that far into the series after the first, but it was that or sit in the lobby for 2.5 hours with nothing to do since my ride wanted to see it and I didn’t have a smart phone at the time.)

      • Carra says:

        I watched the first two and then stopped.
        Such a cool concept but it’s just so loud and stupid.

    • Archonsod says:

      That’s a fair point. Die Hard is essentially a deconstruction of the 80s action flick. I don’t think the Hollywood Tween Movie genre is at a point you could even begin to do something like that yet.

      It’d have made more sense to compare to an established genre like the RomCom (and I’m guessing the only reason she doesn’t is because it wouldn’t fit the narrative or the conclusion).

  10. Vinraith says:

    That Katherine Cross article is almost unbelievably insulting to women. I’m baffled that it got written, let alone that it got posted here.

  11. NailBombed says:

    Re: Twilight vs. Die Hard/Action flicks – I refer you to this picture.

    link to,

  12. malkav11 says:

    Here’s the thing: an action movie can be entertaining purely on bombast. A horror movie can be entertaining purely on scares and/or creep factor. But many of the other genres (particularly ones culturally associated with women) are far, far more reliant on good writing, good acting, and strong characterization to work at all. Might there be some inherent sexism in there somewhere? I suppose. But I think it’s much more about that difference.

    • Koozer says:

      “Here’s the thing: an action movie can be entertaining purely on bombast.”

      I disagree with that entirely, personally. Every Expendables film is utterly awful for their overeliance on ‘bombast’ over decent storytelling, intersting characters, hell even the action scenes themselves are boring and unimaginative. The only fun bits in any Expendable film is when you go “hey, that guy said a line from that film he was in! That was great. Let’s watch that instead.”

      • Daymare says:

        … and steamy romance novels wouldn’t exist if it weren’t almost purely for the cheesy love stories within. (Those are actually kinda fun to read in short excerpts, for the absolute ridiculousness of them.)

      • malkav11 says:

        Just because they can be entertaining doesn’t mean they automatically are.

      • LW says:

        A better example would probably be something like Pacific Rim. The plot is paper-thin, basically just there to justify robots beating the shit out of things. And it’s got pretty good robot-shit-beating. Baby Driver is a more recent one, where the plot just exists to justify music-themed chase/fight stuff.

        You can appreciate sick fight scenes without really needing to care about anyone involved. Kinda hard to do that with dramas.

    • pepperfez says:

      A dumb story about two people beating each other up and a dumb story about two people kissing are almost indistinguishable.

      • malkav11 says:

        If you care about neither, I suppose. Personally I find there’s a lot to be done with staging, physicality etc with a fight, but I don’t give a rat’s behind about kissing unless I’m invested in the characters, however artful the presentation. (Or if it’s a lot more explicit than kissing…but you’re not going to find porn showing in the cinema anymore.)

        • Vandelay says:

          Good action films, particularly martial arts ones, are basically just dance movies.

          In fact, the dance/musical genre would be a good counter to the articles argument. Hollywood’s golden era was dominated by them and I expect La La Land will create another boom in the genre.

  13. and its man says:

    PC Gamer published their annual top 100, giving you an opportunity to go complain that number 32 is higher than number 77

    This would actually be the long-awaited Bayonetta vs. Overcooked debate.
    I’ll go get some M&Ms.

  14. klops says:

    I just noticed (or misunderstood?) that Matt Lees’s video is based on his older article on Guardian that was about Gamersgate, Breitbart, alt right and ur-fascism. Still haven’t watched it, but this makes it even more interesting. It was a good piece of writing, that one.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Graham Smith says:

    Man, this comment thread is relatively old but it’s been bugging me all week.

    I don’t know Twilight much, but a lot of people like it. That’s why there were so many books and movies. I choose not to assume all the people liked it merely because they’re stupid; they obviously got /something/ from it.

    “Here’s the thing: an action movie can be entertaining purely on bombast. A horror movie can be entertaining purely on scares and/or creep factor. But many of the other genres (particularly ones culturally associated with women) are far, far more reliant on good writing, good acting, and strong characterization to work at all.”

    I think a lot of people would disagree. A lot of people would say that spectacle, bombast or horror for its own sake is dull as dishwater, like watching a child smoosh two of his toys together over and over again without meaning or significance. Meanwhile, a lot of people would also say that vampires, supernatural romance, cute boys, shots of teenage yearning, etc. are more than enough to push their Entertainment Buttons even without great writing, acting, etc.

    It’s almost like people have different fantasies and those fantasies are fulfilled by different kinds of media? Katherine Cross’s argument is that one kind of dumb popcorn fantasy is usually considered fine while another is met with vitriol. There is a lot of vitriol in these comments, even in response to an article in which the author says that Twilight “isn’t my cup of tea.” It’s… hard not to read this as proving Cross’s point?

    If I had linked an article that had been much more vehemently gushing with praise about some Transformers movie, Expendables movie, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift – whatever crap-but-popular schlock you care to choose – would so many people have felt the need to provide a ‘corrective’ opinion? I doubt it.