The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for reading about videogames all day and nothing else. That’s why you’re here, right?

At Waypoint, Patrick Klepek wrote about how two developers dealt with the racist parts of their community. There are interesting anecdotes here, about the work required to deal with problem players in online games.

Trolls who trot out racism and other toxic remarks are nothing new to online games, but what prompted Brenner and his team to take notice was watching their player count going down.

“We actually noticed a dip in our retention numbers of new players because of his actions,” he said. “And I get it, I mean—You sign in to a new game for the first time and just see a wall of the N-word in global chat.”

Mona Ibrahim, a videogame attorney, wrote an article for Polygon about Campo Santo’s use of DMCA takedown notices against PewDiePie.

But from the perspective of the content owner, Vanaman’s reasoning is irrelevant. You see, a licensor doesn’t need a reason to withhold a license. That also means that they can withhold a license for any reason. In the case of a Let’s Play video, a content owner like Campo Santo would argue that they can revoke their permissive, non-exclusive license to stream (granted to end users) against anyone who uses their content in a way they find offensive, or in a way that associates their game or brand with something against their values.

LawBreakers has been struggling since release to keep players, but Cliff Bleszinski isn’t giving up on it. He spoke with Gamespot with a few hints as to what he felt has gone wrong.

But you know, I have to keep this game alive, first and foremost. I can be very cocky and very brash on social media. And realising that, you know, we have a fledgling player base. It’s been very humbling for me. I’m going to continue to iterate on this game, continue to add to it. And try to be less of a dick, honestly.”

For another perspective, Alice Bell spoke to fans of LawBreakers about why should play it and what went wrong. I don’t know if Overwatch can really be blamed for so much, since Paladins wasn’t hurt at all by those comparisons, but the feature is interesting throughout. Particularly agree with this comment on delicious Nintendo games.

LawBreakers does read, visually, like a more standard FPS, with a lot of gunmetal grey and muzzle flash when compared with the technicolour approach of shooters like Overwatch and Splatoon. Splatoon in particular gives me the impulse, as most Nintendo games do, to eat it. LawBreakers looks like it would taste more of concrete and hot tin rather than a Fruit Salad. This may of course be the point, but one is still more eye catching on a storefront than the other.

Some people asked what the difference is between our new Clickuorice Allsorts posts and The Sunday Papers. Allsorts are very short posts which link to something interesting, but aren’t restricted to only articles, videos and podcasts. They can be anything, and include all three. There will be occasional overlap however – so here’s Mark Brown’s great video on detective games again.

I really loved the Double Fine Adventure documentary, which charted the creation of Broken Age from beginning to end. Near the completion of the project, one of the main team members had to take a long time off work sick, and although I forget what’s exactly said, it’s at least heavily implied that the illness was caused by the stresses of long hours working on the game. Crunch sucks, but I’m glad the documentary showed its consequences. And I’m glad that Tim Schafer has now spoken about how crunch has impacted his company, his career and his personal life.

“You don’t realize until it has happened that you’re doing all this damage to your personal life by staying at work all the time,” he said. “You can mentally put the rest of the world on hold, but the rest of the world can’t necessarily be put on hold by you. I was so gung-ho about it. If you think someone will wait for you and tolerate you not being around… people move on.”

Craig Pearson used to write words on these pages (and I used to live with him – hi Craig!), but now he’s at Facepunch, makers of Rust and Garry’s Mod. He emailed me this article he wrote this past week about Michael Efraim, a player who makes vast, complex, beautiful scenes in Garry’s Mod. These need to be seen to be believed.

It involved 329 effects, 679 props, and 116 individually posed ragdolls that were iterated upon several times over the course of seven months. The in-game scene building took me around five months, the editing took me around two more. I barely made any compromises, and the ones I did make were because of engine limits. I used every trick I knew back then to get the most out of the picture, and as a result the project was extremely demanding, technically speaking. Material blending, atmospheric passes, direct and ambient light stacking passes (holding light information equivalent to hundreds of thousands of lamps) all rendered and outputted to 25600×14400 raw captures which I later had to manually–and very slowly–process in Photoshop. I definitely bit more than I could chew with Path of Spawn, but I followed through with it till the end. And it was still mostly fun.

At Kotaku UK a few weeks ago, Laura Kate Dale got to the bottom of Tracer’s bottom in Overwatch. That shadow? It’s not painted on the texture.

Wu discovered that the primary cause of Tracer’s plump backside is an inhumanly deep buttcrack. In fact Tracer has a butt crack so deep that regular humans could not possess similar physiology and survive. Such a crack would inevitably interfere with organs and the body’s structural integrity

New Baman Piderman.

Apparently the lyrics to this song don’t make much sense even in Japanese, but isn’t it fun?

55 Comments

  1. BooleanBob says:

    Forgive me if I didn’t read it thoroughly enough, but does Schafer actually say anywhere that crunch doesn’t happen at his studio anymore? It seems like an obvious question to put to him but the article sort of seems to glide around it.

    I ask because it seems to be commonly accepted, even at a senior level, that crunch often does more harm than good.. but there doesn’t seem to be an indication that it’s actually happening less.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      It’s quite rich where the author concludes that TS now goes how at five to be with his family, a if he somehow personally conquered the crunch… quite easy when you’re the boss and company owner.

      • draglikepull says:

        I think it’s really important that team leaders work a regular shift and go home when the shift is done, because it sets an example for the rest of the team. If your team leader is staying late every night it can create the feeling that you’re also expected to be there late every night. If the team lead works reasonable hours and makes clear that they expect the rest of the team to do the same, it creates a better work atmosphere that’s less conducive to people feeling like they’re letting the team down if they go home at a reasonable hour while everyone else is still working.

        • Baines says:

          Just because the team leader is heading home doesn’t mean all the employees are actively encouraged to do the same.

          And honestly anything short of legitimate encouragement can easily be taken as discouragement. Mind, that itself is due to how often legitimate discouragement exists. And double standards, because even a boss that sticks to a regular workday schedule can expect and require subordinates to work extended and/or unpaid hours. (No, it isn’t legal. But it happens anyway.)

          I’m certainly not saying that describes Double Fine or Schafer. I’m just saying that a boss that sticks to only working during business hours doesn’t mean the employees all receive the same consideration.

  2. LearningToSmile says:

    Man that article about toxicity reminded me about how much of a fucking cop out the Overwatch toxicity video was.

    Sure dealing with toxic players is a struggle if you’re a small developer, because then you really do have to divert resources from other parts of the game.

    But for Blizzard? A massive studio with literally a billion dollar property? If dealing with toxic players takes resources from people who work on animated shorts or map design of all things, then it’s about fucking time to grow your team and hire more developers(or even dedicated moderators). It’s honestly insulting. It’s hand wringing to shift the blame from not putting sufficient effort into combating the toxicity onto your playerbase, and I’m disappointed the gaming media isn’t calling them out on it more.

    Blizzard isn’t a poor small developer struggling to stay afloat because the players just can’t help but be toxic, and they should stop pretending to be one.

    • Vurogj says:

      From what I can gather, Blizzard is kind of a toxic company. They are the “jocks” of game developers, with all the less than enlightened behaviour that word implies.

      • Blackcompany says:

        And lest we forget, a lot of the toxic behavior in gaming – not all of it; that would be a cop out, but still, a lot of it – came about as a result of “mainstreaming” gaming. You bring the masses into anything, and you bring behaviors common among the masses with it.

        And Blizzard is a “mainstreaming” company. That’s literally their specialty. They take games from various niches – strategy, MMORPG, CCG and FPS – and they streamline those games for mass appeal and market the hell out of them. And it works for them.

        But it also attracts toxic communities. Because, well…you bring the masses, and that is going to include the portion of the masses known for toxicity and vitriol. I think Blizzard’s penchant for “mainstreaming” games is a big part of the reason for their highly toxic communities.

        That said: Game bans. Start banning people and their accounts. Blizzard games on built on progression hooks. Unlocks, obtaining levels, items, customizations…people arent going to want to play without the stuff they earn and purchase in these games.

        So start banning them. Start with a week or a month and use a three strike system. When people begin to lose access to their accounts after their third strike – and I mean permanently – this will become a self correcting problem.

        • Blackcompany says:

          I wanted to add something I just thought about:

          Lest we forget, Blizzard also has another issue on their hands with the games they create. Like most popular, AAA developers today, Blizzard isnt really even creating games any longer. They are focusing on interactive addiction loops for addiction prone gamers.

          Which fact means they are building communities full of addicts who play their games out of a sense of compulsion, as opposed to enjoyment. Addicts a lot of whom know, deep down, that they are addicted. Addicts who play their game as much, if not more, from a sense of compulsion than of enjoyment.

          When you fill your community with people who feel compelled to be there, sometimes for reasons beyond their control, and who arent even really enjoying being a part of your community, the result will always be toxicity. It comes with the territory. A fair number of players in MMO and CCG communities want to be there about as much as your average AA attendee wants to go to meetings every week, but there they are, regularly doing something they feel compelled to do without either enjoying it or really even understanding why they do it at all. So yes, they will exhibit “toxic” behavior as a result of the resentment they have built toward their compulsory behavior loops.

          When you build games to target addiction prone individuals, you are intentionally, deliberately fostering resentment and the resultant toxicity in your gaming community. Combine this with the general –
          and I only say general, not universal – youth in gaming and the anonymity of the internet – and I think this is a big reason why we see so much toxic behavior in progression based, multi player games.

          • Splyce says:

            There is something to be said for the micro transaction market making developers loathe to remove dedicated players no matter the reason. And frankly, the larger community does have culpability, in that they stick around for this shit. Same reason Felix Kjellberg still has millions and millions of subscribers, general apathy and lack of concern beyond getting the entertainment they want. You can just mute someone and move on to the next loot box, right?

            I never even played Overwatch long enough to encounter the toxic community, I found the game to be so abhorrently dull. But for those that do enjoy it, very little will stop them from continuing to get their fix, and will complain to the company about the annoyances of that pursuit, just as they would with a balance patch or a boring meta. The Overwatch case is interesting because the price of entry is high compared to most games in the genre, so they’ve got you as soon as you’ve entered the gate. Selling cosmetics is a big revenue stream, I’m sure, but not the only one. Until people stop playing, and this is true for everything we do when it comes to major companies, until the bottom line sags, nothing changes. Until people tune out of their ESports venues, stop playing thousands of hours on rankings and forums, stop dressing up and pretending to be their favorite fictional Blizzard-designed characters, and stop buying skins and logos, they won’t divert resources they obviously could divert from profit-generating activities to “clean up” or police their players. Essentially, until ‘gamers’ develop moral fortitude and standards that exceed those of the companies that produce the seratonin drip they want, and are willing g to speak with
            the wallets and time pursuing their hobby, the companies won’t raise their bar at all.

          • jonahcutter says:

            So you think most/all people aren’t playing Overwatch, Hearthstone, HotS, and WoW because they’re having fun with those games? You think they play them only for the loot/progression rewards? Not the gameplay?

            And if you do, then that very, very broad declaration applies to any game that has some sort of loot/progression system in it. As it discounts all manner of other reward the player gets from the game: the gameplay itself, competition, clans/community.

            Reminds me of people declaring “you’re not really having fun” when you enjoy playing a coop game with mates that those people opined as being bad.

          • MultiVaC says:

            I don’t think he’s saying that most people aren’t having fun. It’s more that there are some people who aren’t, and are playing the game for the wrong reasons, which I think is a fairly reasonable explanation for some of this toxic behavior. Listening to some of the outbursts and tantrums you hear in these games, there are clearly some people out there who are not having a good time, and the reward loops in question ARE addictive. That much is well understood. It’s certainly plausible. I’m guessing in cases like Overwatch it’s more to do with “competitive” ranked modes with levels based on win/loss ratios. That stuff is pretty compelling in terms of external validation, but also really unpleasant when things aren’t going your way, especially when it seems like other players are at fault. So you start encountering some truly awful behavior from the more unhappy players.

          • AngoraFish says:

            I’ll admit that many of the games I started out having a lot of fun with are now just part of my daily grind.

            Every day I get home from work and bring up four or five games to complete the login bonuses and daily missions and somehow never end up with any time left over to play anything else.

            It’s tipped over from being enjoyable to work.

            Yesterday I booted up Hearthstone, looked at three dailies and knew that if I didn’t complete at least one I’d miss tomorrow’s. After staring at the screen for a bit I closed the game.

            Perhaps I’ve just taken my first tentative step on the road to recovery…

          • syndrome says:

            [Blizzard is] focusing on interactive addiction loops for addiction prone gamers. Which fact means they are building communities full of addicts who play their games out of a sense of compulsion, as opposed to enjoyment. Addicts a lot of whom know, deep down, that they are addicted. Addicts who play their game as much, if not more, from a sense of compulsion than of enjoyment.

            Thank you. I thought I was the only one who perceives such things.

        • draglikepull says:

          This is, frankly, ahistorical nonsense. Blizzard’s “mainstreaming” of game genres has tended to make them *less* toxic, not more. Did you ever play Ultima Online or Everquest or any of the MMOs that were relatively popular before World of Warcraft came along? Those games had waaay more toxic communities. In fact, one of the reasons that WoW became so much more popular than other MMOs is that it was specifically designed so that it was harder to be a jerk to other players (other popular “mainstream” MMOs like Guild Wars 2 have gone even further towards those goals).

          And I’d also say that in my experience a game like Overwatch is much less toxic than the more macho competitive manshooters out there, and it’s certainly not more toxic than old competitive communities for games like Quake.

          If anything, the “mainstreaming” of these genres has made them considerably less toxic, because there’s a huge potential audience for multiplayer games that has tended to stay away from them because of the toxicity that has always been a problem.

          • Ghostwise says:

            Blizzard’s “mainstreaming” of game genres has tended to make them *less* toxic, not more.

            My memories of Barrens chat do not align with this. By contrast the EQ community was generally acceptable, if a tad obsessive.

            I agree with your general point, but the specific counterargument holds little water. I remember LGBT friends having to build queer WoW guilds because the homophobia outside was unbearable, and no amount of racist, misogynistic, antisemitic, etc. ranting seems to have landed anybody a serious WoW ban.

        • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

          By what means could I travel to this alternate past where games were purely intellectual pursuits, developers would never court compulsion to turn a profit, and gamers weren’t mostly insufferable white wealthy male nerds with the social graces of a boar?

          “The masses” (seriously?) were never the problem.

          • Unclepauly says:

            As opposed to insufferable poor nerds of all colors playing call of duty on consoles?

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        subdog says:

        They like football and drive Camaros?

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      tenochtitlan says:

      The Blizzard video also pisses me off when they’re whining about how they can’t concentrate on feature development and have to focus on moderation tools instead. In what world, at least post-hashtag-that-shall-not-be-named (but really since long before), is it a sane assumption that a massive online community would just magically be a pleasant and abuse-free place? This utter obliviousness to basic community dynamics, gaming history and the specific experiences of other similarly large online game developers should have been a sign for anyone thinking about this for more than half a second. And still, a year later and they are sort of, a little bit, maybe as a hack, getting around to a functioning reporting system, the most basic and brute-force method of fighting abuse.

      It’s so baffling to me to design an online game and work in such precise detail around team composition and balance, and then when it comes to the human players simply assume everyone will be nice 100% of the time. It’s like creating a massive hero pool and then designing your maps so that exactly four of them actually are useful.

    • ooshp says:

      ^^^ Is this entire thread ironic or are you guys communicating from hipster heaven?

      I’m pretty sure Bl$$$zard ba$hing is more popular than any of their games, so you… you should probably stop. Or people might stop thinking you’re cool.

  3. Pich says:

    I fell further int the Japanoise hole this week, so i’m gonna share this Gerogerigegege tracks with you all link to youtube.com (this being imo their most accessible track tells a lot about this band),
    also a great noisy Psychedelic rock band link to youtube.com

    and a bunch of weeb Hardcore metallers (in a good way) link to youtube.com

  4. Zorgulon says:

    @Blackcompany

    “Blizzard isnt really even creating games any longer. They are focusing on interactive addiction loops for addiction prone gamers.”

    This is extremely reductive and not fair to the point of misleading, at least as far as Overwatch is concerned.

    Yes, there are systems in the game that are clearly designed to encourage repeated play, and these unquestionably create traps into which addictive personalities can fall. Loot boxes, ranked ladders, etc, etc.

    But for my money, the developers of Overwatch have been rather good at constantly tweaking balance, engaging with the community, and adding new (non-unlock-based) content. They clearly do care about the gameplay experience they are creating. Obviously a happy player base is a larger player base, but the cynicism has to stop somewhere. The Overwatch team have done (and are doing) more than is strictly necessary.

    You may find their response to toxicity insubstantial (I’d certainly be happier with more swingeing ban hammers for unpleasant behaviour), but you can’t blame that entirely on addictive design.

    Edit- wow the ‘Reply’ button really doesn’t work, does it? :P

  5. RabbitIslandHermit says:

    I know this doesn’t directly apply to Blizzard and the like, but the more I think about it the more I think getting Valve to actually moderate their shit is key to reducing toxicity, because Steam is so central to PC gaming culture these days.

    Have you ever tried to report someone on Steam? Because I have (some shithead was posting rape threats toward a developer), and it’s incredibly obvious that the only thing that looks at reports is a line of code that says “if number of reports > threshold then punish player.” You can’t even report specific posts, only the profile itself. They have enough money to hire people to handle this.

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      Sadly, that would require getting Valve to put some work into it, and as we know how long it took them to make even a single step towards increasing overall quality of games in the store, it’s not going to be easy.

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      MajorLag says:

      Think of it from Valve’s perspective: why bother? How many paying customers are you losing because of toxic behavior? Are there not mute and block features to handle that already? Why should they expend money censoring their platform when half of the community will complain they’ve gone too far and the other half will complain they haven’t gone too far enough?

      • RabbitIslandHermit says:

        Because making the gaming community at large less of a cesspool is a worthy goal in of itself? Because they have a virtual monopoly based almost entirely on the size of their community and thus have a responsibility to administer it responsibly? Because they’re charging the same rate as Target does to sell products despite not having to pay for cashiers, stockpeople, warehouses, storefronts, logistics, etc. (yes they have to pay for bandwidth and servers but the cost is minuscule compared to physical stores) and we should reasonably expect them to do some work for it?

        I’m tired of this tech company attitude that anything that they have to hire human beings for is too expensive.

        People who think banning people for making rape threats is going too far can go to hell.

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          MajorLag says:

          Conceptually I agree, but the reality is that if you lay rules down in stone for what is/isn’t a threat or harassment then people will find ways of harassing and threatening that are just outside what those rules cover and you’ll be blamed for not doing enough. If you leave it up to human judgement then you will invariably end up being blamed for making the wrong judgement. We’ve seen plenty of this happen with Google and Twitter’s handling of the issue. If I’m Valve, even if I want to do something about it, I’m weighing my options and I’m probably seeing that not doing anything significant is safest option.

          • RabbitIslandHermit says:

            Well, OK, but cowardice certainly doesn’t excuse or justify anything and not taking action is, effectively, taking a side.

          • April March says:

            “No matter what laws we put up, people will find a way to kill someone within the law! Therefore, we should make murder legal.”

            It’s true that some people will work their asses off in order to keep harassing people around anti-harassment rules. But the more and better rules a community has, the more they have to work, and less people will be willing to put that work only so they can be an arsehole. That’s without mentioning active, human moderation. I mean, in my metaphor even if you kill someone in a roundabout way that’s not clearly defined as murder in the books a judge can still convict you for murder if they find it fits the spirit of your action; a human moderator can do the same, rather than an algorithm looking at a checklist of actions. And again, both Blizzard and Valve are huge companies; they definitively can afford it, and if they don’t because they wish to focus on others, presumably more profitable things, it’s on them.

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            MajorLag says:

            Harassment is a far cry from murder and, unlike murder, it seems that different people have vastly different ideas of what constitutes harassment or offensiveness, and what level of that society should tolerate in the name of free expression. One only has to look at recent stories around the banning and/or firing of certain individuals to see that. Certainly there are times when every rational person will agree that what’s happening is definitely a problem, but those aren’t the cases that cause trouble.

            I wish it were simple. Steam must handle, what, billions of messages an hour? How many reported abuses happen in that hour? Now some human being has to examine each one of those and make a judgement call, and no matter which call they make they’re likely to piss off one community or another. Case in point: that recent “misogynistic” sex game. A bunch of people wanted it banned for being misogynistic and depicting date rape, a bunch of other people thought that was silly since a lot of games depict gruesome mass murder and similarly unfaltering characterizations of lots of groups.

            If you’re a company, and you’re just trying to make some money by providing a convenient store front and social network for gaming, what is your incentive to do anything other than deal only with the stuff that gets the most attention? Anything else is going to alienate developers and players, probably from both sides of the “too far”/”not too far enough” line as each of your decisions triggers one group or the other.

      • Urthman says:

        How many paying customers are you losing because of toxic behavior?

        It’s always easier to see the people you would lose from banning toxic players than the people you already lost because you didn’t ban toxic players.

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          MajorLag says:

          I suspect any numbers that exist on that would show that they don’t lose or keep away many customers due to toxic behavior. People tend to complain a lot more than they are willing to inconvenience themselves. Just look at what people say about Facebook and how many people actually stop using Facebook.

          • Hardlylikely says:

            But that’s exactly the point. I don’t buy or play multiplayer games. Don’t even consider it briefly, and haven’t for years. There are several other reasons, but one of them is the general toxicity of online gaming culture. I won’t spend my leisure time irl in environments where offensive behaviour is ignored and excused, I’m not about to do it just because it’s a video game. That’s not showing up in any numbers because nothing is changing.

          • malkav11 says:

            Facebook is a free service that people are tied to by the gravity of all the other people that use Facebook. Charge me even a single cent to use the godawful thing and I’d delete my account in a heartbeat.

            What I’m saying is that’s not the same situation.

          • wengart says:

            I mean those numbers are lost, but there are at this very moment over a million people playing Valve’s two flagship multiplayer games (CS:GO and DOTA 2).

    • Baines says:

      You can report posts on the Steam forums, but it isn’t going to accomplish anything. It feels like 99.9% of reports get ignored, regardless of content.

      Too often the forum mods or even developers are either involved in or otherwise encouraging the behavior that is being reported. Heck, I’ve seen several cases where people have claimed (sometimes with screencaps of the messages they received) that they’ve been threatened *by* mods/developers for reporting posts. (Which is quite believable considering the other behaviors of some of the publishers and developers, and their appointed mods, on Steam. Even Valve employees can get a bit iffy at times.)

    • Umama says:

      There’s a pretty good article about that very topic here: link to gamesindustry.biz

    • MultiVaC says:

      That’s a good point. Just take a look at the Steam discussion sections if you want a sample of gaming’s ugly side.

    • wengart says:

      Steam is, but I don’t think the Steam discussion forums are particularly central. Most are afterthought location that people who aren’t interested enough in a game to find the official forums use.

      I’ve used a few that act as central discussion points and they are usually much better moderated than others.

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    particlese says:

    Nice articles on Lawbreakers there. There are a couple odd points mixed in (e.g. a fan comment that the game’s name doesn’t hint at gameplay could be applied to a heck of a lot of games), but…

    I like that Cliff’s reaction to the game’s current situation is more humble than the strategically-cut clipshows I’ve seen on youtube which, while fairly highlighting his hilariously bold statements made during interviews at loud conferences (at least the messaging’s consistent?), cut out a lot of his more reasonable, interesting answers. I don’t personally have the pre-formed general opinion of the man some do, but I will contest that he’s been involved in making some rather good games, so he gets some forgiveness from me for being boastful. Anyway, I hope he’s able to keep his company’s game propped up long enough to build up a larger player base without the employees feeling fatigued or unduly responsible for the struggle or something. I can’t speak for them, of course, but it probably, hopefully helps a little that Cliff is publicly taking the hit for the game’s current state. Appropriate with him being the CEO, but still, he’s doing it, and I’m liking this humbler approach.

    I especially like that other article with the fan quotes, though. They hit on a ton of good points about what’s good about the game and why it might have had such a poor start despite it being so much fun. On the former point, I especially agree with the sentiment that I never feel cheated upon death. That’s something which has formed a lot of my decisions to keep at games (or not) recently, and LB is very good in that department. As a newbie, and before the patch came which limited class representation to two per team, death could feel cheap at the hands of an army of speedy assassins. But the patch helped, and learning the game made it clear that the actual cheapness can be pretty quickly overcome by learning to kick people and move better and stuff, so any feeling of actually being cheated was gone pretty quickly. Good players still destroy me, of course, but with the way this game is designed and responds to input, it makes me want to improve rather than quit.

    • April March says:

      e.g. a fan comment that the game’s name doesn’t hint at gameplay could be applied to a heck of a lot of games

      Including Overwatch, in fact.

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    particlese says:

    Also, holy cow, those Garry’s Mod renders are almost incredible. I had no clue people were creating those sorts of things with GM or SFM or what have you (plus some judicious composting), let alone things of that quality, so thanks for the tip.

    Videogames!

  8. Babymech says:

    “But from the perspective of the content owner, Vanaman’s reasoning is irrelevant. You see, a licensor doesn’t need a reason to withhold a license.”

    This is more technically correct than the throng of YT “creators” crying censorship, but it’s still misleading. It is true that it’s very possible to argue that all Let’s Plays commit infringement, but it’s also true that Campo Santo already provided a blanket license – explicitly by supporting LP’s on their home page and implicitly by allowing other LP’s to stay up. They’re using copyright more like trademark law – they’re drawing the line not at the actual copying (copyright) but at the damage to their brand (trademark). Pewdiepie didn’t violate their copyright less one day before he used a racial slur in a video about another game, and he didn’t violate it more a day after – nothing had changed in terms of copyright – but he did poison his brand somewhat, and he made it more onerous for Camp Santo to have to be associated with him in any way.

    • April March says:

      I found the article to be a bit meandering (lawyers, am I right? eh? eh? eh?) but I think that bit is right. Legally speaking, youtubers are in infringement unless the game’s IP’s owner has clearly given them permission. And if they do give permission – as Campo Santo has – then that can be construed as a licence; and as the article states, unless there is a contract a licensor can withdraw their licence at any time. You are right that Campo Santo and others use it focusing on trademark rather than copyright, but as owners of the copyright they have the right to act as they see fit. The specific manner of a DMCA notice is peculiar, though.

      • Babymech says:

        Let me first get out of the way that I agree – were I on a court, and giving the matter no more than 15 minutes of thought, I would construe this as an implied, revocable license, and it would be possible for Campo Santo to revoke that license but not recoup any damages due to the implied license and Pewdiepie acting in good faith based on that implied license.

        But.

        In theory, this undermines the basis of most open source licenses, which imply that it should be possible to trust in and act on an implied license like the one Campo Santo gave. For open source licensing to be viable, it’s not possible to suddenly say “oh yeah, we forgot – you’re not allowed to use this code if you’re a nazi, and if you have, you have to retroactively remove all of our code from your derivative works.” I mean – they’re retroactively removing the license permission he was operating under before he dropped the n-word, and claiming that those videos were infringement all along.

    • pepperfez says:

      And I suppose it’s all moot anyway, since we’re not even talking about a legal move so much as a private company making a request of another private company with a legal-ish excuse.

      • Babymech says:

        It is a private company making a request of another private company – but it is also a private company providing a formal statement of intent to go to court and argue that LP’s constitute illegal copyright infringement, which is obviously worrisome for a number of people.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      I think Campo Santo is within their legal rights to take down LP videos, just like Unity is within their legal rights to take down Campo Santo’s games. I guess what I’m trying to say is people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  9. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Some people asked what the difference is between our new Clickuorice Allsorts posts and The Sunday Papers.

    As one of those people, I appreciate the acknowledgement and the response. It does make a bit more sense now. From my perspective, the original premise (“things to click on”) felt vague to the point where I was questioning if a new category was even called for.

    For what it’s worth, it still kinda feels like Clickourice Allsorts could use a little narrowing of scope to avoid the overlap you describe, but that’s your editor’s concern, not mine. I do appreciate being pointed to cool things, though, so keep ’em coming!