Its For Dinner! Official blog of the Dream Boy game company

October 19, 2014

The Vigoorian Military Arrives

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dream Boy @ 5:19 am

One of my all-time favorite games, Ninja Gaiden Black, has a great subtextual narrative taking place throughout the game via gameplay progression, rather than the usual modern-day, AAA-approved bromides of endless cutscenes.

The main plot is that bad guys from the (fictional) rogue-fascist nation of Vigoor commit a massacre in a ninja village occupied by hero and Chuck Norris-level bad-ass ninja Ryu Hayabusa.  Ryu retaliates by infiltrating Vigoor’s capital and, through the player’s (hopefully) skilled control, becomes a one-man apocalypse for Vigoor’s police state.  At first, the player merely encounters Vigoor’s baton-and-Glock-waving secret police.  When the decapitations fly, they are eventually replaced with Spetsnaz-style commando specialists.  They too fail and by the time the climax approaches, Vigoor is swarming with absurdly-armored military goons astride tanks and APCs.  There’s no Nifty Million-Dollar AAA-Approved Cutscene showing Vigoor’s leadership crapping themselves as they call in the entire military while the Ninjageddon continues, and that’s a good thing; your imagination does it for you, perhaps like me picturing a Vigoorian flack screaming into a phone “S-Send in everyone….YES, everyone, dammit!!”

Speaking of, that was exactly the Weasel Axis and friends last week:  “S-Send in everyone!!  Including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Deadspin, everyone!  We’ll even take Vox! 

“YES, I KNOW VOX CAN FUCK UP A CUP OF COFFEE!  SEND THEM IN, ALL OF THEM, NOW!!!”

It was a quaintly nostalgic full-court media press, reminding me of the best (worst?) of the Main Scheme Media’s staggeringly shady and Orwellian moral panics/narrative control flimflams, such as the pimping of the Iraq War for war ratings before suddenly forgetting their own culpability when that war went bad.  Or scheming and tanking for His Wholly-Mess President Barack Obama and then wondering later why he governs like an imperious and unaccountable cult figure.   Or, arguably my personal favorite, the shameful McMartin witch hunt of the ’80, in where the media tried to railroad an entire innocent family to prison in exchange for ratings and a “narrative” of a ludicrous plague of Satanic child-molesting kindergarten teachers for, wait for it, yet more ratings, and when THAT, too, went bad, simply fucking off for the Next Moral Panic That Threatens Our Children And The Way of Life We Think You Should Be Having (that would be, wait for it, Mortal Kombat Hysteria of the early 90’s.  Who knew making a dude explode into fifteen rib cages would create such panic.)

All of the above were carefully coordinated together by the journ0list class and their cronies, to maximize each others’ collective gain.  Hell, during the McMartin Kangaroo Trial, media figures were often caught sleeping with witnesses and members of the prosecution; even Burgertime Quinn would balk at that, I hope.  And so it was with the Weasel Axis’ hilariously stumbling planned gambit this week:

1. First a MIGHTY (fake) HASHTAG that pops up out of nowhere to ape #GamerGate’s success, sort of like GoBots to #GamerGate’s genuine Transformers.  It goes nowhere, fakery usually doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter because suddenly next, as if to luckily capitalize on the social media attention…

2. …A conspicuous yet totally “organic” stream of articles appear, throughout the week, from Official Main Scheme Media Publications of Importance (though they aren’t important in the slightest; more on this later).  The articles of course depict #GamerGate and gamers as an evil scourge, right up there with Satanic Kindergarten Teachers from Los Angeles, whom for some reason have no more time to game because they are too busy trying to eat the brains of Ineeda Shark and the rest of the Weasel Axis/Social Jerkstice Warbler clan (whatever brains there may be).   The geniuses that brought you the Iraq War, Obummer, Wall Street Bailout Panic, Mortal Kombat is the Devil, and my favorite, SATANIC KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS FROM LOS ANGELES, now bring you the intolerant wrathful, Nazi/Skinhead/ISIS-like danger of…guys and girls that play Pokemon and WoW.

Fear of a Black… Videogame Controller.

It’s ridiculous, but the point is to teach any and all remotely close to #GamerGate a hard lesson as to whom really has the juice (though said juice is a cheap illusion; more on this later).  And then…

3. …Here come’s three of #GamerGate’s main culprits, Polygoon, LameSpot, and the aptly-named GIANT BOMB, all of the sudden very conveniently all singing pleasing, soothing pleas, like the propagandist equivalent of Febreeze, for those not involved with “the mob” to simply drop the hashtag that is kicking their ass for weeks, in the name of ending this fabricated moral panic as innocently reported that very week by Official Main Scheme Media Publications of Importance.

The “opinions” are all pretty much clones of each other, all released at the same day and within hours of each other, proving that the cretinous Weasel Axis STILL hasn’t learned from the GameJournoPros/”Gamers Are Dead” scandal and are apparently as incontinent as Jeff Gerstmann’s bladder (more on this later).   I mean, come on guys, the Upper Main Scheme Media gets that you have to spin this crap “organically”, so that you don’t sound like a bleating church choir.

The ideas behind all three are all laughably the same; all age-old, classic Main Scheme Media schemes:

1. #GamerGate is now “toxic” (largely because official propagandists said so), and you are informed (never to decide, simply informed) to either move on or become “toxic” too. There are five lights, you see.

2. The articles offer the #GamerGate-leaning proles friendly advice to avoid becoming “toxic”, which of course makes no sense since if #GamerGate is so “toxic”, why would the  group that hated them enough to shriek they are “worse than ISIS” and “need to be broken on racks” suddenly so concerned for their public image?  Didn’t this all stem from the REVERSE, in fact?

3. And, most important of all, it’s also a perversion of a classic advertising trick: Soft Sell/Hard Sell.
In ads, the “soft sell” is like, say, a website that tries to pique your interest towards any product with friendly nudging.  Once you show interest in something, like say a towel, you get the “hard sell”, which means getting blitzed with non-stop ads about all sorts of towels.
With authoritarians, particularly of the media variety, this bit is backwards: the “hard sell” is the asswhupping you get; the “soft sell” is the concern trolling designed to ease you away from the pain.

All of the above tactics were a total failure, of course, as it completely misunderstands and libels #GamerGate, which, of course, is what created #GamerGate in the first place.  It also does nothing to address the Weasel Axis’ main dilemma of watching advertisers head for the exits, or AAA majordomos furious that their continuing antagonistic bungling will now prolong #GamerGate into the vital holidays (especially vital this year for the industry).  Or, for Christ’s sake, the fact that scandals are STILL EXPLODING within the Gaming Journ0list Class.

 

And yet, as often the case with authoritarianism, the attacks “worked” from a sheer destructive point of view.  The massive onslaught was designed to crush spirits, making it believe you really are all alone as the rags “report” that you are not just to be reviled, you ARE reviled.  The result was the temptation among a few, for a moment, to give in.

It’s all bullshit.  For a bunch of douchebags obsessed with “harassment” (harassment that always seemed to be laughably afflicted with hazy facts), to be so ruthlessly smeared nationally really IS harassment.

It reminds me of a gruesome torture technique used in the Salem Witch Trials, on one Giles Corey.  Accused of witchcraft, Giles told them to fuck off, and so they used a torture technique in where they pin him under a large plank and then stack heavy boulders on him slowly over the course of days, literally slowly crushing him to death one minute at a time.

Every time they tried to get Giles to confess, he’d just respond: “More weight”.

The Main Scheme Media, along with their fellow travelers in the Weasel Axis and Social Jerkstice Warblers, do the same trick; crush you with more and more weight until you finally confess to misogeeneye and white privileged or whatever bullshit.

Unlike Giles, however, this “weight” is pure bullshit.  It doesn’t exist unless you believe it.  It’s coming from institutions that are complete failures and will probably not last the decade.

This is like the Salem guys stacking Kleenex on a confused Giles.  The only confusion would be: “Why the fuck are they calling this bullshit Kleenex “boulders”?  Can I go home now?”

 

Before we rip apart the pathetic Main Scheme Media hard sell and Polygoon/LameSpot/GIANT CLOWN SHOES’ equally pathetic soft sell, let’s take a trip through history to explain why their bullshit, why they’ve always been bullshit, why they will always be bullshit.  TL;DR, Lamepro and Doritos Pope, with a dash of Social Jerkstice, is the cornerstone of Modern Commercial Journolism from which this week’s attack comes from.

First, this simple truth: Commercial Journalism = Advertising.

I don’t just mean hawking ads and products a la Lamepro or Doritos Pope, or Polygoon’s Sims scandal.  Under commercialized journalism, the articles, themselves, are ads.  Under the veneer of “news” and “journ0lism”, they are designed to get your eyeballs, in hopes that said eyeballs will provide handy windows for the Real Advertising, whether it’s Products (which means $$$), or Propaganda (which means influence, which means a lot more than mere $$$).

This is why the Main Scheme Media goes out of its way to raze the industry/country/Planet Earth with horseshit and moral panics and invented threats like Satanic Kindergarten Teachers from Los Angeles and Gamers That Eat The Brains of Women For No Real Reason, and why cronyism and agenda-setting is seen as not a problem; it’s good, nay vital, for the ad business, er, “news”.  And even better, the Main Scheme Media will helpfully explain This Brave New World they created after having razed the last one, with yet more cronyism, more agenda setting; strip mining reality itself for more self-serving b.s.

In America, this used to be already known; in the old days, Journ0lists (the “career” kind) used to be considered bottom feeders along with Politicians, Lawyers, and Used Car Salesmen; not evil or anything, just make sure to keep your grains of salt handy.  Indeed, a Journolist is usually what happens when you combine a Politician with a Used Car Salesman (“You, too, can buy my b.s. NOW!”), with a block of Smug Douchebaggery from the Lawyer (“tried in the ‘court’ of public opinion”, as they say).  The words then were things like “sensationalist”, “muckraker”, simply “reporter” (and his cousin the “paparazzo”), and the horrifically obnoxious “yellow journalist” such as Joseph Pulitzer who, along with William Randolf Hearst, tried to cash-in on war and spent his later days lamenting his “yellow sins”.

But then a string of 20th-century calamities like world wars and holocausts and depressions and social upheavals spurred people into trusting authoritarians to keep them safe.  The press elite would not only join those authoritarians, they became Top Authoritarian Dog, and the result was people slavishly taking dictum from elitist talking heads like St. Walter of Cronkite, literally billed “The Most Trusted Man in America”, whom would intone after each broadcast “And That’s The Way It Is”, a sort-of folksier version of “Do Not Question”.

The reality, of course, is that St. Walter was no saint, especially as noted by this blistering biography from Douglas Brinkley.  Cronkite is described as someone who “could almost dictate anything he wanted”, and among other things, had crony sweetheart deals with corporations like Pan Am and spurring Robert Kennedy to run for president before then “breaking the news” during an “interview”.  RFK was Product; Pan Am an Investor; Cronkite a Business and Brand.

Yet thanks to the Main Scheme Media the myth bullshit endured and St. Walter was “The Way It Is”, when the truth, which ostensibly was his stock and trade, says pretty clearly he wasn’t.  Nowadays there’s even a “Cronkite Award”, a sort of IndieCade-style fraud medal handed to cronies like this insufferable douchenozzle.  It’s all good, Joseph “Yellow Sins” Pulitzer also has an award after him, the “Pulitzer Prize” For Great Journalism.   Got that?  The dude that went to his grave bitching about “yellow sins” has an award named after him For Great Journalism. Move Bullshit.

TL;DR: Modern Commercial Journolism is bullshit founded on bullshit that uses bullshit to disguise it’s true form as BULLSHIT.

Why am I mentioning this?  Because, nowadays, the myth bullshit is busted and everyone knows that journ0lists are bullshit.

Don’t take my word for it; take the polls.

original

This is from Gallup, last December.  Here we learn (and get ready to roffle, folks XD):

-Newspaper Journ0lists are ahead of Lawyers by one point.  TV Journ0lists are tied.

-They are both hated more than CEOs and Bankers.  That’s pretty fucking amazing. XD

-They are ahead of Politicians and Used Car Salesmen only because those guys are such dogshit, even dogshit refuses to be associated.  But let’s take this poll again after things like #GamerGate and President Obumbles’ furthering collapse conclude; it won’t be pretty.  That’s what happens when you back the wrong horse.

Speaking of polls, there’s loads more, like this one from Pew.  All play out the same; Journ0lists are in the cellars with Politicians, Lawyers, and Used Car Salesmen, as we always knew they were before their authoritarian bullshit flimflammery during the 20th century.

Remember Journ0lists, before you get upset and piss your pants like Jeff Gerstmann (more on this later), don’t take it out on me.  I’m just the humble messenger.  And besides, you guys like polls, right?  XD   It seems the people, as you like to frequently invoke, have spoken.

Besides, write an article or two if it makes you feel better.  More weight, you little cumgargles.

 

Ok, so we proved that Journ0lists have a massive history of bullshit they won’t cop to, and are down there with Used Car Salesmen and Lawyers and Politicians.  We also established that the Journ0list’s only weapon really is bullshit, so unless you actually believe the bullshit, they are also largely impotent; the Used Car Salesman could theoretically sell you a Pinto, that’s dangerous.

Now that we’ve done that, let’s blast apart the various losers behind this week’s smear campaign, starting with the Soft Sell losers first, then the Hard Sell losers like the New York Times and the Washington Post in another blog post/update.

THE SOFT SELL LOSERS:

GIANT BULLSHIT

We’ll start with GIANT WASTE OF SPACE first because Jeff Gerstmann has bladder-control issues and has to go to the bathroom, so we need to excuse him first (more on this later).

Ok, finally, about Jeff Gerstmann’s bladder problems: the bio of him on GIANT EMBARRASSMENT reads that he once peed in a movie theater.   No really.

Once peed on a seat at a movie theatre during the 1992 movie “Singles”. His justification for this was that it was a bad movie. Requests to the theatre for comment went unanswered.

I remember actually reading about that from Gerstmann’s own dopey blog, during the Kane and Lynch controversy days.  He thought that was pretty hilarious, IIRC.

So yeah.  You are being lectured about harassment from a guy that publicly urinated on a movie theater seat.

You know, most women define a slob peeing on movie seats as total harassment.  So do, say, their boyfriends and husbands, whom would probably whup Gerstmann’s sorry ass up and down the theater before calling the police.

More fun Gerstmann facts from the bio:

Thinks people who clapped at the E3 2010 Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer are “fuckin’ idiots”.
Carrie gave him her “bread maker” after she left San Fran. What that is a euphemism for remains a mystery.
Got punched one year at PAX.
Wants to have sex with a fish.
He’s into having sex, not making love.
Likes boobs.
“Damn girl, I’m gonna take you out back for a Grease Dance.”
“Tunnocks bitch!”
“I’m always trying to find ways to expose myself to kids.”

There’s more drivel, but I’m bored already.  But by the logic of the Social Jerkstice Warblers Gerstmann is defending, he should be Public Enemy #1, what with the “microaggressions” and references to a woman’s “bread maker”.  “Likes boobs”?  What a raging misteeoeogysinst this guy is.

In other words, a doofus hypocrite that should stick to peeing on movie seats.  How come this guy gets to be “outrageous” while regular gamers are slammed by the Weasel Axis slobs as “rapists” and “fostering a culture of terror”?

Answer: he’s a Journ0list.  In fact, he puts the “Yellow” in “Yellow Journ0list”.

Speaking of “fostering a culture of terror”, when he lamented Jenn Frank’s career and falsely accuses some mysterious menace of hounding her away, he, as too often with Journ0lists, fails to mention very relevant points such as Frank’s shady and hastily-footnoted article for The Guardian, her own bullying, and her own awful rhetoric like, oh I don’t know, “fostering a culture of terror”.  Does the latter somehow not count as harassment and bullying?

Gerstmann’s sheeple defenders will no doubt barrel in and scream “KANE AND TEH LYNCH”; i.e. the time LameSpot fired him for a honest review about how sucky a particular game was.  Except for two problems:

1. To my knowledge, it was never officially confirmed why Gerstmann was axed.  CNET and LameSpot denied it having to do with the review, and the rest was he said/they said.  They did, after all, PUBLISH his review.  If #GamerGate’s claims are tenuous, then Gerstmann’s is pure vapor.

2. The guy bragged about peeing on seats in his blog.  If he were my employee I’d fire him in two seconds after hearing about it, because four words: Future Sexual Harassment Lawsuit.

Exit quote of pure ironic stupidity (bold added for hilariousness):
But you might want to really look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re spending your time crusading for the right fight. That’s all. Make sure this is the position you want to take and, more importantly, how you want that position to be represented. If you genuinely care about ethics in games journalism, GamerGate is not the spot for you. To some of them, “unethical” is being used as a synonym for “a viewpoint I don’t agree with.” That’s not an ethics discussion. That’s an attempt to silence criticism. Again, if you do care about ethics in games journalism, GamerGate is destroying your message. 

 

LameSpot

These are the (notoriously corporate) losers that fired Gerstmann, so, next.

Ok ok, one quick thing, LameSpot, always very calculating and corporate, ulitmately never really gives a position.  The “letter” just waffles everywhere, only really highlighting, again, nebulous claims of “harassment” without explaining what those charges are or even who they are targeted against.  You are expected to either just believe or find out about this scourge of crimes yourself.

I will also give them that LameSpot allowed people to comment on the letter directly, unlike GIANT YELLOW STAIN and Polygoon, which forced commenters into their forums where no doubt armies of fanboys, trolls, and sockpuppets were waiting.

Otherwise ultimately boring, like LameSpot itself.

Exit quote of pure ironic stupidity (bold added for hilariousness):
We believe that gaming has a bright, inclusive future ahead of it, and the industry is strong and diverse enough to accommodate games and gamers of all types. However, the medium that all of us care for so much will only grow as long as we continue to treat people who make, play, and talk about video games with respect. Our own belief is that actions speak louder than words. We choose to lead by example — through the content we create, the staff we hire and the way we conduct ourselves — and to not feed the grotesque and appalling behaviour of some individuals. We are not planning further comment on this [until the heat’s on again!  -Michael], but note that we will continue to reinforce our site’s zero tolerance policy for anything constituting harassment of our users, our staff, or indeed, anyone else, for doing nothing more than sharing an opinion or being different.

 

Polygoon

Saving the best (worst?) for last.

The Zoe Quinn scandal, which would’ve floored any other journ0list profession, is claimed in the letter to have been “debunked” by, of course, the very website at the center of that scandal.  Of course.

The Patreon scandal, in where journ0lists and pet developer cronies hand each other cash monthly, is addressed in a few warbling sentences where denials, mea culpas, and stubbornness sort of mash together in what could only be described as mewling and sad.

#GamerGate is described as a “mob”, a favorite term for authoritarians along with “terrorists” and “subversives” (the Washington Post, oddly enough, also used that exact same word, “mob”; more on this later).  Also used: a “wave of hate”, “violent misogynists”, and the like.

The GoBots GamerGate hashtag knock off gets a full paragraph, the only one of the three stooges to even mention it.  Of course.

Multiple scandals fail to be addressed, such as GameJournoPros.  Ars Whateverica was nice enough to admit “an error in judgement”; Polygoon dives out of the nearest window.

Obsessing over Adam Baldwin and attacking his gamer credentials for some reason; because nothing says “gamer” like the washed-up film critics that review games at Polygoon.

And, of course, #GamerGate was dodged by Polygoon because, it is explained, of a claimed “danger to our families”, despite by their own admission not having a problem covering harassment just days before the scandals.  So much for Journ0listic courage; perhaps they can borrow some from Nero, who was chillingly mailed a syringe, one of many, many “harassment” episodes the #GG-side received and yet the Weasel Axis somehow always fails to mention.

The Zoe Quinn scandal is inexplicably mentioned again later (was it not “debunked”, genius?) in where it is now claimed that the journ0list “school of ethics” prevented coverage of the story, or: “Minimizing Harm”.

Oddly enough, “Minimizing Harm” fails to magically appear whenever one of the Weasel Axis goes overboard with their McCarthyite tactics, or outrageous rhetoric like, oh I don’t know, “wave of hate”.  “Minimizing Harm” you would think involves not calling others “mobs” or “fostering a culture of terror”.  But that’s over this dingus’ head.

By the way, the idea of Journ0lists, whom are more hated than CEOs and Bankers, lugging around a “School of Ethics” book is pretty hilarious.  XD  I imagine it makes a great paperweight at Polygoon HQ.

The rest of the letter is more funny than phony.  For example, the Polygoon actually links to BuzzFeed’s own Code of Ethics, which is not only hilarious in it’s own right, it’s also, no joke, in listicle form.   XD Sigh..

But here’s the kicker; here’s where the truth FINALLY comes out in this whole sordid mess of a “letter”:

They say they want politics out of video game coverage? OK, now we’re getting somewhere.

By politics, the voices calling for ethics reform really mean “progressive” politics. The so-called corruption that needs to be rooted out is a focus on “diversity” and the “magnitude of the human experience.” It should be no surprise that the outlets and voices specifically targeted by GamerGate are progressive. Baldwin was the first of several notable opportunists who, despite caring little for video games or video game culture, were more than happy to contribute to any movement that counted “SJWs” — that’s “social justice warriors,” for those of you out of the loop — as enemies. That “social justice warrior” is considered a pejorative at all speaks volumes about the motivations behind much of GamerGate and its fixation on progressive voices.

If GamerGate simply wants a conservative counter to what they consider a left-leaning gaming press, I think that’s great! That’s healthy! You don’t have to like the way we or any other outlet cover video games. If you truly believe there’s an army of people who reject “progressive” voices and outlets like Polygon and Kotaku, or who would prefer coverage “just about the games,” then I’d encourage you to start a new site for those readers. There’s no easier or better time to do it.

Whoops.  Cat’s out of the bag, dingus.  In other words, you confirmed that gaming press is for the Totally Not Orwellianly Named “Progressives” only, or in other words:

1. Prog-assives only; all those of any other political persuasion, go away
2. Prog-assives only; all those that care just about videogames and not personal soapboxes, go away
3. The gaming press, or at least our Weaselly end of it, are “left-leaning”, meaning, #1 and #2 will not change.

Advertisers read the above, and see Polygoon BRAGGING about driving away eyeballs, including those that are “just about the games”, and are no doubt grinding their teeth.  They didn’t book months of coverage for their product to watch Polygoon tell a massive swath of customers to fuck off and “start a new site”.

You can’t make this up.  XD

This is why you never,

ever

ever

ever

ever

ever give a fuck what these or any Journ0lists say.  “Lower than Bankers, Dude”.

Exit quote of pure ironic stupidity (bold added for hilariousness):
[THE WHOLE DAMN THING]

COMING SOON:
THE HARD SELL LOSERS

 

October 12, 2014

Not a movement; that means you, weasel boy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dream Boy @ 5:37 am

Some interesting #GamerGate experiences this week, including some new stuff I noticed and also my being booted from what was billed as a “pro-#GamerGate” project in record time.  XD

(Eh, that’s not true; I quit a shitty project manager job for a dumpy studio in Santa Monica on the first day last year, but I digress)

Some of  what I’m saying ties in with my general skepticism of “movements” (often cash cows for weasel boys, but more on this later) and how #GamerGate should never become one, despite whichever barracudas on both sides try to make that happen.

As I’ve said before, #GamerGate is not a war or a movement, to wit: “This is not a war, and you are not marching on Gettysburg.” This is a clueless and corrupt industry elite about to meet a diesel truck labeled “Reality and Market Forces, Inc.”

So that said, there are those within #GamerGate, it would seem to me, that would love to have #GamerGate go from a “consumer revolt” or “customer service issue” (as I put the latter), to a movement.  The Weasel Axis, as I call that dreadful crew of cronies, elitists, and moral authoritarians including those Social Jerkstice Warblers, would also love to see that happen.

The Weasel Axis would love to see #GamerGate become a “movement”, as brilliantly stated by this article that Milos linked to recently.  A “movement” becomes suddenly complicated, hard to explain and understand.  It has factions and various agendas; leaders, martyrs, heroes, villains, some self-appointed, some genuine, but all labeled and, to the uninitiated, needing explanation.  The Weasel Axis would then in turn handily provide that explanation, simply: “They are bad guys.”  #GamerGate as a movement would give them the one foothold they need to reestablish all the credibility and authority they blew up over the last several weeks.

On the other hand, there are those pro-#GamerGate types whom would also love to see it become a “movement”.   Movements are “relevant”.  Those speaking for the movement are even more “relevant”.  Official “Heroes of the Movement” have mucho “relevance”.  When you are “relevant”, and have done things of “relevance”, nice things like fame and money head your way.  Even better, movements can go on for a long while (much longer than Scamasutra sans advertisers) and become a nice cash cow up until they fizzle.  And hey, doesn’t everyone want to be a Hero of the Movement?

Indeed, the Weasel Axis, themselves, are part of a “movement”.  That movement required the smearing of gamers and gaming as some insane maelstrom of intolerance, after which its heroes, like Ineeda Shark, will fortunately arrive to save us all from their own Kafkatastrophe and cash in.  Others like these indie derpers will pump out ridiculous agitprop disguised as a critique-proof shambles of a “game” (what, you hate people with DEPRESSION or something?) and then hand each other awards for doing so; cashing in is great.

The Weasel Axis knows how a movement works and would love to see #GamerGate become one.  The weasel boys on the pro-#GamerGate side wanna cash in too, ironically just like the Weasel Axis did, and as often the case in politics, a mutually beneficial “political rivalry” is borne, no matter if the proles will be the one to pay the price.

Now granted, there might be some confusion due to two reasons.

The first reason is that, for what’s basically a consumer revolt, it DOES in fact have its “heroes” in a way, such as Milos and Adam Baldwin.  A bit first on how I see a “hero”.

Basically, according to Michael Vargas’ Fantabulous Dictionary, a hero is “a girl/guy who stood up, and doing so got others to stand up with them.”  It’s not automatically a movement leader, or some kind of career, nor do they need special praise or some shit.  Just an easy-to-explain action that made others rise up.

Milos: Reporting exposed scandals gaming’s own industry press tried to bury.

Adam: Began the #GamerGate hashtag, unifying consumer resentment an industry keeps trying to crush.

As a result, people stood up.

So that’s awesome, but does this mean they’re like divine or something and there needs to be some kind of movement around them?  No, as Milos and Adam I’m sure would say:  movement = factionalism = waste of time (except for the barracudas profiting from it all).

Speaking of factionalism, the other source of confusion is indeed the sheer factionalism that the Weasel Axis purposely inserted into the debate.  The terms “pro-#GG” and “anti-#GG” ultimately became adopted because one damn crew, the Weasel Axis, all but set themselves on fire trying to make this about “us and them”.    The terms are now I guess valid, only because the Weasel Axis tried sooo hard to make it that way, but really there is only one faction: the Weasel Axis, against a consumer base that is tired of this industry taking them for granted again and again, whether it’s bad product or cronyism or money-scams like DLC, or these aforementioned clowns.

When it starts becoming about factionalism, it’ll become about those profiting from factionalism.  Which leads me to the fellow I mentioned in the first paragraph, one “Andrei Pambuccian”.

This guy approached me on Twitter to work on a collaborative effort for #GamerGate game. I’m always skeptical of random “let’s work together on a project, perfect stranger!!” things online, especially regarding what I said earlier about #GamerGate, and “movements” and “cashing in”.

For example, this other guy also approached me on Twitter a while ago for I guess some kind of #GamerGate collab.  When I suggested I would work for free, to make a point about #GamerGate, the guy responds “don’t do it for free.  we’re not 4chan mods. :P”   Ok then.

So I’m already skeptical, but I hear this Andrei fellow out in email.  Already my Spider-Sense is tingling for a few reasons, such as when he describes one of his story pitches as thus: “The main story focuses on a far-left ideological cult that is trying to gain influence in the media, and the player becomes entangled in the cult’s dealings as his/her investigations progress”.   Uh-oh.

While it’s undeniable there’s plenty of uber-leftists in the Weasel Axis (that’s just by their own rhetoric, such as inexplicably attacking gamers as “Tea Partiers”), I personally see it as mostly a problem of elitism.  For example, Tim “Of Legendary Budgets” Schafer doesn’t strike me as a leftist, just an out-of-touch snob who’s bad with Kickstarter money, maybe a bit corrupt, and doesn’t seem to like the very gamers he’s selling to.   Also, many of the “pro-#GG” are themselves leftists, as I had pointed out to Andrei.

Eventually this guy Andrei goes and creates a Google Group for the project, and starts asking for input.  I provided Pitch #2, which is basically “Secret of Mana/Seiken Densetsu meets Broforce/Spelunky with a GamerGate satire theme”.  That to me sounds like a kick-ass game to play on its own, which is what ultimately matters to me.  I don’t want to play the #GamerGate version of DERP-QUESTION PRESS.  Regardless, I voted for Pitch #5, which also sounded interesting to work on (it’s bad form for a designer to vote for their own pitch, I feel; at least unless it gets momentum ;)  )

Andrei quickly gets upset when he gets no other feedback immediately from the group during a weekend and decides to issue an ultimatum to force the selection of Pitch #5.  So much for “group effort”; Spider-Sense tingling.  Three guys respond, politely reminding Captain Patience that, you know, it IS the weekend, some might even be on vacation or busy, and they’ll give feedback when they’re online.

Votes come in through the week and Pitch #2, my pitch, starts to pull ahead in the votes (yay!).  To move things along so that we can get moving, I throw this goofball #GamerGate satire I wrote after Labor Day Weekend out there, when I first got caught up in #GamerGate thanks to the IGF scandal.  The goal for the group was to take what we like from it and see what kind of story we ultimately want.

That satire was pulled out of my ass early September, intended to be both a lament and lampoon (in the tradition of my satirical/deconstructionist heroes South Park and Garth Ennis) of watching this industry transform over the years into first a pit for moneymen, and then by professional outrage-mongers whom have declared everything offensive for their own ends.  The name of the game is even called “The Offenders”; a ragtag band of heroes are united only in how “offensive” they’ve all been declared (whether true or otherwise).

One thing’s for sure in my view, a #GamerGate game, if one had to exist, HAD to be deconstructionist and lampooning.  Without it, all that’s there is pointless “sincere”, movement-y agitprop/cash-in, a la DERP-QUESTION PRESS .  I’d rather people just read Milos’ reporting.

For example, the “Hottie McHotsauce” character in the synopsis; this character wasn’t an endorsement of rampant boobies in games.  On the contrary, they can be annoying (thus, lampooning it), but also the moral is that censoring art, even questionable art, is the way of oppression (the Hottie character in the face of censorship goes ridiculously from a fun fake sexy pirate to a mean actual (but still sexy) pirate).

The Weasel Axis would reflexively and immediately lambaste a #GamerGate game with a character named HOTTIE McHOTSAUCE in it…and that’s the point.

The synopsis is put up, and one guy comments that he likes the idea of a main character that’s female, and suggests maybe making it like the #NotYourShield version of Samus Aran (that’s an awesome idea; I’d play that)  But before any other feedback comes in, along comes this Andrei character, ready to let everyone know who’s “project” this actually is, immediately shutting down the discussion and lambasting me in one of the most obnoxious email’s I’ve ever received in the industry.  Seriously, even shitheads like HASBRO and Farcebook weren’t as bad.

Among other intonations, he declares everything to that pitch rejected, without allowing any other discussion.  The synopsis “derailed” into “ideology” (from the guy talking about “far-left cults”, you see).   “Tasteless” and “crass”,  “like Saints Row” (..ok).   I was “promoting ideology” and apparently know nothing about #GamerGate.  I was one of the many stiffed by both IndieCade and IGF’s fraud contests, so I like to think I know maybe a teency little bit, just me tho.

Then the guy gets extremely obnoxious, as seen here; publicly implying that I “wanted” to be on the project and openly calling into question my credentials, not only as if I was back on one of those shitty corporate jobs I used to have (without even getting paid!), but as if I’m being inquisitioned by High Priestess Leigh Alexander herself.  I was just blown away.

So, naturally, I tell the guy to go fuck himself.
Andrei learned a lesson others in the industry learned the hard way; you don’t fuck with me.  I will not tolerate bullying, accusatory tones, shadiness, or any other meanness, especially after enduring so much of it from #GamerGate.  It will not happen.
Especially if I’m working for free, for God’s sakes. -_-

With an hour of sending that email, I was blocked from Andrei’s all-inclusive “Do it for #GamerGate!” Google Group, with no explanation or even an alert.  Just quietly banned, like so many plebeians from Polygoon.   Obviously we were NOT going to work together, that will not happen, but I didn’t expect an actual stealth ban. XD  Good Lord.

I got one email later from another guy asking us to “hug it out” (and, probably because of his own tingling Spider-Sense, suggesting we work on our own games each).  And that was that.  No more emails from the group, without a single word.  For all I know, the group still exists and they are using the ideas I contributed.  For the record, they do not have permission if they ARE doing so.

Maybe the guy was thinking he’d be damned if some wild card like me was going to botch THE #GamerGate game that will give him “relevancy”, as I mentioned earlier (which would also explain why he wanted to rush these guys through what would apparently be “his” project).  I dunno or care, other than being insulted and my time wasted.   For the record, I hate drama and prefer settling something like this privately, but stealth bans a la Weasel Axis without a word for days (and possibly using ideas I do not give permission to use), well… IT’S BLOGGERING TIME.

Ultimately it’s not that big a deal, (i.e., all of this is NOT CODE TO HARASS OR DOXX ANYONE…including me if you hate me for some reason), but I will wryly note:
#GamerGate is about corruption, bullying, and censorship.
And so I’m invited to a “pro-#GamerGate” project with..some familiar elements, let’s say.

My experience is a cautionary tale.  Not just about “work for me for FREE about our passions!”-style indiedev, but about those trying to turn #GamerGate into something more than it’s not.

I’m seeing for a few other types out there, including dudes cashing in with YouTube accounts acting like they are about to storm the Bastille with Vivian James or some shit, and then get defensive when you suggest that that attitude is not a great idea.  Some really believe it, others know better, but all of those guys seem to be buying into the Weasel Axis’ factionalism or worse, actively trying to turn this into a movement, and all the “opportunities” that goes with it.  This helps exactly ZERO, and you will probably do nothing but enable the same dickheads and corruptocrats that started all this in the first place.

Speaking your mind helps.  Telling the Weasel Axis you are #NotTheirShield helps.  Voting with your dollars and eyeballs helps (greatly).  Movement-izing this thing, or buying into this movement crap, helps no one but the barracudas.

Addendum to this Andrei person:  You do NOT have permission to use ANY of my designs, characters, or ideas as stated in email or within your Google “Group”.  Period.

September 17, 2014

Underrated Console Games by Generation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dream Boy @ 5:22 am

Just pulling this list out of my ass, to shake loose some of the scars from #GamerGate and especially the scandal-and-hate bukkake the Weasel Axis seems to be luxuriating in throughout this whole ordeal.

I have it basically as one per console generation, with an honorable mention.  I’m avoiding PC, handhelds, arcade, etc. only because I’ll be here all fucking day deciding between shit like Adventure Construction Set, Smash TV, and Mario’s Bombs Away. I also exclude the First Generation, as that was before my time, and the Eight Generation, which just started.

 

Seventh Generation

Underrated:
Red Faction: Guerrilla

Honorable Mention:
Dr. Mario Online Rx 

I cannot stress how awesome the completely destructible sandbox world of Red Faction: Guerrilla is.  Stealing an enemy APC, lining it with explosives, then smashing it into an enemy barracks, flee and then detonate it and watch the whole building crumble on the confused enemy.  I won’t even go into all the cool and BALANCED weapons like the nanotech rifle that dissolves targets in a mist of gold particles.  The time I dissolved the roof beneath the feet of a shock trooper and he screamed “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT??!?!” before falling a few stories into the building lobby.

As for Dr. Mario Online Rx, known as DR. CRACK in my old place back in LA (especially for that “Virus Buster” mode), I recall this as pretty much being the only WiiWare exclusive worth getting until I gave up on WiiWare altogether.

 

Sixth Generation

Underrated:
Okami

Honorable Mention:
The Punisher 

Okami just goes without saying.  Not just the gameplay, but the soundtrack too, which I still fire up from time to time.

Written by one of the best comic book scribes ever, Garth “Bueno Excellente” Ennis, The Punisher just kicked a lot of ass, especially all the great fatalities you can pull off.  The patented Ennis-style Cameos of Total Humiliation, such as  what Iron Man gets here, or especially Bushwhacker (“I don’t smile much.  Don’t smile ever.  But if I did…this would be the one time.”) are easily worth the price of admission.

 

Fifth Generation

Underrated:
Body Harvest

Honorable Mention:
Deathtrap Dungeon 

Body Harvest may sound like a shitty Skinemax flick, but it actually was essentially a fantastic dry run for Grand Theft Auto 3 (the same guys, DMA Digital, would go on to make GTA3 and Manhunt).  Each level is a huge sandbox and you raid vehicles to stave off massive Starship Trooper-style bugs swarming everywhere in order to solve missions.  The challenge was awesome, not afraid to bring it, unlike modern games.

I’m not sure if Deathtrap Dungeon is “underrated” by Europe’s standards but it was definitely slept on in my country IIRC.  Another bit of game design daring-do, you are basically thrown into an action RPG featuring a dungeon in where every new level has basically insane shit going on, including, well, deathtraps, as well as crazed amazon bitches, killer clowns, and my favorite, a massive castle stuffed with hordes of humanoid “rat-men” (so in other words, a Polygoon employee convention).

For the record, I was gonna put the Playstation version of Robotron X in the Honorable Mention thinger instead (DAT MUSIC), but I realized I never played the N64 version and am not sure then which of the two is better.

 

Fourth Generation

Underrated:
Ninja Spirit

Honorable Mention:
Pac-Man 2

Ninja Spirit IIRC was one of the few, maybe only, TurboGraphix-16 games to get a 10 from an EGM reviewer (Sushi-X, naturally).  It was just an awesome ninja action game, with awesome power-ups, great 16-bit sprite graphics, and intense yet inviting action.  Casuals and hardcores will all love this game.

Didi you know Pac-Man had a sort-of “sequel”?  An insane sequel called Pac-Man 2 in where instead of typical maze-game stuff, it’s instead is an adventure game in where you “control” Pac-Man by shooting shit on the screen with a slingshot and Pac-Man reacts to it?  This may all sound like shit, and maybe not a logical vehicle for Pac-Man, but it was still hilarious and engaging…somehow.  Pac-Man has lots of “moods” he can be in (sleepy, happy, depressed, angry, stoned, etc.) and you can interact with the environment on your own using the slingshot.  The results are arranging Pac-Man’s life so that he is, say, mauled by a feral alley cat, or commits suicide by drowning himself in a park fountain after you drugged him with strange fruit.  The puzzles were fun too.  To this day, me and my brother (who watched me play and was a huge fan), STILL make the funny “Wooouho” noises Pac-Man makes in that game.

 

Third Generation

Underrated:
Sweet Home

Honorable Mention:
Shadowgate

Yeah, Sweet Home I get was probably “underrated” by Americans only because it never came here.  But it’s still underrated, I say dammit.  I really wish this came out when I was younger, having played it through emulation in the 90’s.  It was damn scary, not just because of the conventional horror, but also because of vidya’s true horror angle: your guys can DIE, for good, no “fainting” or Phoenix Downs, leaving your party become slowly more and more fucked in that hellhouse.

The NES port of Shadowgate was a huge influence on me in terms of atmosphere and pacing; how music works, how suspense works, etc.  And the music was just awesome, as are the modern remixes available on the Internets for it.

 

Second Generation

Underrated:
Space Dungeon

Honorable Mention:
Fast Food

Space Dungeon in this case was an Atari 5200 port of the arcade version, which itself is a lost Taito classic.  It was a “two-joystick shooter game”, like Robotron 2084 but before even that.  The Atari 5200 version came with this plastic thing you can use to put two joysticks in it to play it like the arcade, although me and a neighborhood kid instead played it by each taking a controller, with I as “pilot” and he as “gunner”.  Ah, memories.  Anyway, the game was like Robotron, but combined with the random dungeon generation of a roguelike (with even treasure to loot), so TL;DR, it was great.

Ok, I admit, I, my brother, and the neighborhood kids loved Fast Food mostly because of the bit where you get a game over (from eating too many “purple pickles”, which is exactly what she said), in where your dude lets out a burp so nasty, they close the whole restaurant where they were just shooting food at you a second ago.  But it was also a fun casual game; I see all those “lifters” on the App Store sleeping on something, personally. ;)  YOU’RE GETTING FATTER!

 

September 16, 2014

Mojang-it!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dream Boy @ 4:18 am

Mojang sold to M$, amirite?

The best part, the money shot if you will, is that last Q&A parting shot at the end from Mojang’s blog above.

How much money was the company bought for?
Microsoft acquired Mojang for a smooth 2.5 BILLION dollars.

“Smooth.”  BILLION IN CAPS.  XD

Meanwhile, I see on the Internets many Minecraft fans feel they’re taking a BILLION “Smooth” 12″ dildos from Mojang on this.  This “Smooth” BILLION-DOLLAR semi-shade must be the icing on the dildo.

I actually defend Mojang, or rather, Notch, here, though those feeling betrayed certainly have the right to feel that way.

As well known by now, Notch explained that this ever-growing Minecraft hysteria was a bit too much for him.  He is at heart A Guy Who Just Wants To Make Games In Peace (something I very much understand), rather than be a rich and hated dickhead like the sociopath Fark Suckerberg (something I very much understand), or a famous and hated dickhead like Kayne Pest, (something I very, very, very much understand).

So, he gets a payout to ensure that happens, and at the same time, I guess, have enough money to live comfortably too.   Maybe buy a house or three; ones with lots of trees planted around them so he can punch them silly all day.

Now he has money and freedom again, and there’s no chance really of him waking up one day and realizing he’s Fark Suckerberg or Kayne Pest or, worse, Phil Trout, which leads me to a Couple of a Few Things he mentioned that I thought were interesting.

First, he states flatly that “If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately”.  He’s pretty determined not to end up like Phil Trout.

Next, he stresses that “a relatively long time ago” he distanced himself from Minecraft dev.  That’s important, because in the next paragraph he expressed frustrations over Minecraft’s new EULA agreement that started a backlash against him and Mojang, one he claims “had nothing to do it”.

That new EULA essentially forbids people from making money selling custom Minecraft gameplay features on their servers.  This affected not only the scammers fooling dumb kids into blowing up dad’s credit card, but as collateral damage basically most of what helped build up Minecraft in the first place, including modding, YouTube vids, and the like.

The only thing I’ll say about that is that that EULA was an inevitability once Minecraft got big enough to become a real kids’ phenomenon (and it is, basically swallowing kids around the planet whole).  The math formula goes like this:

Bad Industry Rep of Fleecing Kids with Micros * (Screaming Parents(Greedy Lawyers * ScandalPanic-Hungry Main Scheme Media)) / Easy CYOA Solution + (The Growth We Want Is Already Here Anyway) = New EULA

I get where the people on that, sigh, Change.org petition are coming from, but this was an inevitability.  It’s hard, IMHO, to get too upset over an inevitability.

So anyway, Notch lamented that this EULA controversy was already dragging him into Phil Trout-level notoriety.  Which leads me to this: Notch specifically linked this video about Phil Trout, stating “I didn’t have the connection to my fans I thought I had”, adding, rather, “I’ve become a symbol”.

The video itself basically reiterates the obvious about how this Phil Trout guy is a famous toolbag and the principle-free game journ0lists like famous toolbags, going out of their way to make them so if necessary, because famous toolbags help sell print.  But you can see how this clicked in Notch’s mind, especially the bit where the narrator intones that game journ0lism is pretty much just “gossip”, unless you work in a “symbol” like Phil Trout, and now suddenly it’s “news”.

TL;DR:  It dawned on Notch that he’s now a “symbol” that the journ0lists can Phil Phish for $$$ at any time.  Nah, I’ll have my $2.5 billion and peace and quiet, pls.
P.S.  the enraged comments blaming the video author are already coming in; high irony since the video was about the Price of FAME.

One other thing: there are those, like this guy, that insist Notch is a hypocrite.  The primary reasons from this and other guys is Notch’s past tough stances online against M$, and Farcebook buying Occulus Rift, and the notion of indie hero Notch selling out at all, and all this stuff invalidates all the cool stuff Notch did.

Before I begin, I’m not dumb, I know that Microjang will probably end as well as Raresoft.  I also know that you can set your watch to Minecraft 2 and the 42740529 related-Minecraft products being available only on Xbone or Surface Pro Whatever.  I also know Minecraft will turn into a huge DLC fest, because if there’s one math formula everyone knows, it’s KIDS * DLC = NEW IVORY BACKSCRATCHER.  I know this, and it sucks, especially I’m sure for those fans whom helped get Minecraft this far.

And above all, I get that lots out there thought that Notch and Minecraft represented something different, and in the end, maybe it really didn’t.  That I get more than anything.

But Notch is, it seems to me anyway, obviously a great guy and not a hypocrite.  For one, even the Gaming Main Scheme Media it seemed liked the guy too much to try to Phil Phish him.  Look at him politely and effortlessly defuse an attempt by, who else, Kotaklown from smearing him and Minecraft in the name of Social Jerkstice Warbling.

Regarding tough talk on M$, as far as I can see, that was all Twitter Tough Talk, which is to say meaningless.  M$ was apparently actually good to Mojang during their Xbox port; a business relationship started and it was only a matter of time from there.

Regarding Farcebook and Occulus Rift, again, as far as I can tell, his big problem was Occulus Rift soliciting Kickstarter money (in Notch’s case, ten large) to then turn around and cash out to Fark Suckerberg and his “creepy” Farcebook (they are both damn creepy, btw).

Though then again, if he had told supporters back in the Minecraft Salad Days that he would eventually sell this growing, potential-filled game to M$, would those supporters have hung around?  Food for thought.

More food for thought: what’s to stop M$ now from putting Minecraft out on creepy Farcebook?   Lecturing tweets won’t work.

So maybe not that great of a look there, if you think about it.  But Notch is human, which leads to the final thing, regarding the idea of indie king and Minecraft High Priest Notch selling out as a betrayal: the guy already stated his price was $2 billion, as, now famously, stated in this tweet.

For the record, mine is $20 billion, if Dream Boy ever becomes worth that much.  I give that figure because I figure that number is insane; I’ll never have something somebody wants to pay twenty fucking billion, so I’ll never worry about the question of “selling out”.

Thing is:

-Notch probably thought the same exact thing about $2 billion.
and
-If someone actually called my bluff with $20 billion, can I still be a proud dickhead and still say “no”, if my family (including the people working with me) beg me to reconsider?  If saying no to $20 billion hurts the people I care about, can I still do it?

I don’t think I’ll ever sellout personally, because for one I guess you could say I have a serious case of Walter Sobchak Syndrome, and for two, I would really, really, really love to go to my grave knowing I created something for gamers that nobody could take away.

I’ve seen this medium grow into something great despite a great deal of adversity, especially from the outside: journ0lists, politicians, lawyers, bible-thumpers, social scientists, Wall Streeters, big business dickheads, management dickheads, Hollywood dickheads, jocks, bullies, frauds, charlatans, smear campaigns, scandals, DLC, and DERP-QUESTION PRESS.  I half-expect Martians from outer space to descend in from the sky, next season’s villain against gaming.

I want to make at least one place, one thing, that gamers can be forever proud of.

But, then, I bet Hamlet thought he had his shit in the bag too.  Also, Notch.

September 15, 2014

Shanghai of the Nerds

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dream Boy @ 3:30 am

Before I start, let me begin by saying, as usual, all of this is pulled out of my ass, and over the course of a Sunday no less, so take it with copious grains of salt if you need to.

Anyway, I’ve come to believe that one of the things that most irritated me about the Weasel Axis, aka those shady journ0list/Social Jerkstice Warbler moral authoritarian charlatans getting blown up and buried by the #GamerGate avalanche,  is their fake-ass usage of the terms “geek” and “nerd”.

Before getting into that, it’s worth going over where an older gamer like me comes from; a mythical era, known as the 80’s, in where the adults took cocaine like Alka-Seltzer, the music was goofily awesome, gaming began to take its first true steps, and, most importantly, the last of an era in where society told you that “nerd” was something you definitely did not want to be.

The 80’s, as I like to believe, was basically an “IT’S TERMINAL *PATS SHOULDER*” doctor diagnosis for a deep “anti-brainism”, as I call it, that, as I also like to believe, started after World War II.

After World War II, it was believed that “eggheads” were basically feckless menaces that are good for nothing but creating more guns, more atom bombs, more pollution, more nuclear waste, and other nightmarish technology to be abused by the elites.  That got coupled with, and I don’t want to start any anti-generational type things but I will say it, a “Baby Boomer” generation that pretty much celebrated primarily “The Self”; no longer was it about having an interest in society and how to better it, but instead to not give a fuck unless society can interest and better ME.

So anything related to thinking, not just “anti-intellectualism” but “anti-using your brains at all, period” fell away to worship and gratification of the self.  And since we’re worshipping and gratifying the self, we’d like others to join in on our own self-worship/gratification party, through the appreciation of being adored or special or “cool”.  It’s now way better to be adored, special, or cool, than to be a guy who likes thinking about things (the new term: “NERD”) that nobody finds adorable or special or cool or could give a fuck about.  Besides, those NERDS built the atom bomb and are more interested in bookworm shit than girls and rock-and-roll.

But as they say: when you are SELFish, you tend to be stupid.  And when you tend to be stupid, you can only get more stupid.  And when you get more stupid, you will get more and more and more and more stupid until you’re so stupid you’ve become totally irrelevant, even for the sake of laughs (amirite, Weasel Axis?? XD).  So by the time I was born in the late 70’s and started the formative years or whatever in 1980, the word from the institutions on high was in:
Do Not Be A Nerd (At Least Not Openly), OR ELSE.  
At the same time, you got the feeling that this way of thinking was about to topple over.

I want to stress, this wasn’t just mere “anti-intellectualism”.  It’s one thing to be “anti-intellectual”, as “intellectuals” can certainly sometimes be annoying douchebags that are just wonky for wonkery’s sake (see: just about every journ0list and talking head in the main scheme medias) .  This was different; the more you used your brains at all, the more you risked being labeled a “NEEEERRRD”, and that’s bad.   The lesson: don’t use your brains, it’s bad for your image.

Anyway, continuing on, culturally, role models in the 80’s, especially for kids, reflected this “anti-brainism”, which is important as everything is both upstream and downstream of culture.  In the movies, buff Bruce and Sly and Arnie shot up bad guys even if it made no fucking sense.  On TV, you had reruns of Happy Days still ripping on nerds (arguably, the show that popularized the term). In the cartoons, you had hilariously muscle-bound dudes like He-Man solve stuff by literally just punching it (Christ I hated that show so bad; basically what happens when you mix Superman and Popeye with the Golds Gym in West Hollywood).  In group dynamic shows like G.I. Joe, with the lone exceptions of Donatello, Egon from Real Ghostbusters, and the black guy from Bionic Six,  the nerd on the team basically showed up now and again as a wimp wearing a ridiculous “techno-backpack” for some reason, as if he’s got spinal cancer as designed by Radio Shack,  just to deliver some exposition and a device that furthers the plot.  And that’s it; back to sitting around not fighting and letting Duke and the lead jocks beat the bad guys.  Speaking of bad guys, the only ones that actually used their brains was them; if you had an “ingenious plan”, you were likely Hans Gruber or Cobra Commander.

There are three things I’ll add on this: the first is that, for me, a special shout-out to Marvel Comics for SOME relief during this period.  Unlike the wider culture, just about all of their guys were proud thinkers and have always been so, like Dr. Bruce Banner, Dr. Reed Richards, Prof. Charles Xavier, Dr. Victor Von Doom, Tony Stark-ladykiller with two MIT masters at 19, and my favorite, Peter Parker, who even in the 60’s was noting with WRYONRY the shared sociopathy between criminals trying to kill him and high school kids hating on him just for being a “bookworm”.  The only notable Marvel big-jock-on-campus then was that stupid-ass, hairy midget-ass, fucking hoser-poser Wolverine, who SUCKS, and helped set the tone for Stupid Marvel in the 90’s, but that’s another blog post.

The second thing to note is that the exception in 80’s culture was the music, which I suspect is part of why it remains popular even with the young’ns these days.  It celebrated technology and advancement, especially in fun and inventive ways, with music made out of synthesizers and bleeps and bloops and computers.  When I see younger gamers wonder why did they “ruin” the track Miami 2 from Hotline Miami with random “robot noises”, au contraire, that’s quintessential 80’s-style musik.   It was foreshadowingly awesome, which is why, of course, the professional chin-scratchers of the decade hated 80’s music at the time and probably still do (computer music?  how dare they!).  This is why you NEVER listen to professional chin-scratchers, amirite professional game reviewers?

The third thing to note that there was one other aspect to all this anti-brainism culture; there was a subversive undercurrent beneath it all that all this anti-brainism is obnoxious and ridiculous and about to play itself out, and soon the nerds will have their revenge.  The Simpsons had a great bit on this, in where Homer “prepares” for college by watching an 80’s teen comedy movie.  In the movie, a jock orders a “nerdlinger” to create and detonate a “bra bomb” that causes such an outbreak of “partying” that even the President of the United States is instantly won over.  The institutional 80’s culture from on high actually WAS that stupid, and sometimes I think purposely, subversively so.  Maybe He-Man and Ahnold actually pulled a “Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3” and were like uber triple-agents, buried as villains but secretly broke the enemy without anyone knowing.

Speaking of ’80s teen comedies, this brings me to a 1984 movie named Revenge of the Nerds, which I’m mentioning only because: 1. It let the cat out of the bag early, that the nerds WOULD eventually have their revenge in wider society and 2. It pretty accurately sums up what it was like to be a nerd, especially a flamboyant, out-of-the-closet nerd, in the final zenith of anti-brainism.

I’ll leave this clip here to explain #2, with a little bit of #1.  In the run up to this scene, the jocks have lost it all at last to the nerds; utter defeat.  They couldn’t compete with the nerds’ ingenuity (shades of the coming Internet), or their tech mastery (the coming tech revolution), or especially their hax0r dirty pool (“That’s my pie!!”; JLaw nudes 6 years before she was born).  All they had going for them is a bullshit rigged system, so rigged because they’re too stupid to keep it propped up themselves.  Coach John Goodman meanwhile is pissed, because if jocks can lose face, jocks can lose games, and he and the school can’t allow that to happen, so Coach whips the jocks into an anti-nerd frenzy and the scene ends with them mindlessly bellowing “NERDS!” into the camera like lunatic Nazis or something.

Like with the Simpsons’ bra bomb gag, it’s so over-the-top mostly because it’s true.  Nerds were very much reviled then; society said so.

So nerds, the same kind of guys and girls that wouldn’t harm anybody and would otherwise help tutor you or fix your computer, took constant and often condoned abuse for being different.  That, or you pulled a St. Peter and went “stealth nerd”, bullshitting to the Roman guards that you don’t read comics or study or program on computers and you definitely didn’t play video games.

Video games especially were a big no-no; you risked being a “Nintendo Nerd” (which is where James “AVGN” Rolfe no doubt got his original moniker).  Those iconic retro graphics that are oh-so-hip with the indie hipsters these days were seen as lame shit by non-nerds and infantile by adults.   At best, Mario et al. were a kid’s fad, like Tamagochi or pogs or something; boys were supposed to do sports and chase girls and later get a corporate gig later in life and girls were supposed to…just kind of stand there, I guess?  Jamming to the iconic NES-style midi tunes I hear being played now constantly on my nephews’ Cartoon Network shows was seen as “not normal”.  Jamming to fucking Paula Abdul’s stank ass was instead normal, which shows how screwed up society’s priorities were at the time.

Worse was that schools, wider society and adults of that era absolutely reviled gaming, and a Nintendo Nerd could expect to get tag-teamed from peers attacking you for Nintendo Nerdery and then hear it from pissed-off parents that you’re declining baseball practice for more Zelda while Newsweak or some shitty main scheme media rag is explaining how Nintendo is like a Japanese plot or something.  Hell, even “gamer” was originally an epithet IIRC; any label ending in “-er” is, such as “truther”, “fluffer”, and “nerfherder”.  The “gamer” of the 80’s was pretty much a rough journey; while you got your ass kicked by “Nintendo hard” game difficulty,  you got piled on further for enjoying a medium that nobody but gamers liked.

Why am I mentioning all this?  It’s not for victimhood, that’s for sure; quite the opposite.  Aside from my personal feelings that I could give a fuck anyway, as we know from both Revenge of the Nerds and real life, the nerds got their revenge regardless (and obviously they would; the competition was that stupid).  Anti-brainism came to a crashing end when nerds took over and built the society that we live in today.  The Marvel movies are now the only ones that make real money, not Ahnold or Sly.  Our top dogs and robber barrons are all nerds, such as Bill Gates, the Apple guys, and especially that sociopath Fark Suckerberg.  You MUST do what was once total nerd shit to even function nowadays, such as have an email account and know how to use a computer.  Even jocks and vacuous celebs are using things like Twitter (just a more modern CBBS), though the celebs are still too brainless to do things like keep their bukkake pictures off of iCloud.  And of course, videogames is now a cultural norm and became a huge ka-jillion dollar industry, this despite the Weasel Axis’ and the idiotic AAA crowd’s constant attempts to sabotage it.

So that said, if there was victimhood in being a nerd before, so what?  There really is none now, or to paraphrase Nixon, “We’re ALL nerds now.”   It’s a nerd world.  Which brings me back to how pathetically phony the Weasel Axis and the Social Jerkstice Warblers are.

One of the things I see these guys constantly doing is “proudly wearing the nerd label”.   Except one problem: they sound mostly fake.  All the nerdery they boast about sounds less like nerd passion and more like name dropping: endless Neil DeGrasse Tyson linking, despite seemingly having no actual real interest in science, yammering about nerd stuff in ways that seem absolutely irrelevant to the actual nerd stuff, and my favorite: copious use of hipster nerd glasses (Pro-Tip: Real Nerd Glasses /= Hipster Nerd Glasses).  It’s like these people are on a Nerd Train hastily showing their Nerd Papers to the Nerd Conductor before they get thrown off.

And the best example or all this fake-ass “intellectual”, “nerd pride”?  The fact that they then turn around and call the #GamerGate insurgents, well, “nerds”, and other bon-mots like “freaks”, “outsiders”, and “weirdos”, and, oh yes, “gamers”.  I guess the game “journ0lists” and the rest of the Weasel Axis/Social Jerkstice Warbler crew have returned the term “gamer” back to its roots as an epithet from the anti-brainism era.  So much for being “geeks” and “intellectuals”, eh douchebags?

Why are these bozos appropriating terms like “geeks” and “nerds” for themselves?  Same as always; cheap grasps at victimhood, the eternal grand prize for moral authoritarians such as the Social Jerkstice Warbler.

The following brief list is a commonality I see with 99% of all Social Jerkstice Warblers:
1. They are not particularly interesting
2. They are not particularly insightful
3. They are themselves privileged
#3 makes easy victimhood pretty much impossible, with help from #1 and #2, because nobody really feels sorry for someone both dumb and boring anyway.

However, it seems that in our modern times, even though we live in a Nerd World, “nerd” still has a charged history of victimization, a bizarre one that inexplicably attacks “bookworms” and other thinking-types.  So here comes the Social Jerkstice Warblers and other assorted charlatans from the Weasel Axis, they need victimization, always needing victimization, despite being privileged and not very interesting, and so suddenly they are all “geeks” and “nerds”, “oppressed” by…somebody, I guess?…for just being “intellectual”.   Because seriously you guyz, the nerd stereotype is nothing if not unique, intellectual, and opprezzzed.  

And so just like that, they are now self-proclaimed “nerds”,  even though they are really pseudo-intellectual morons that give us such brilliance as “Single White Males: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is“, and inexplicably see nothing ridiculous about claiming to love games but hate “gamers”, and the last time they did any real science was visit the Wikipedia page for MDMA, or maybe some bullshit “social studies” paper at college.  

Remember, this is all while we are living in an era in where BEING A NERD IS A GOOD, FORTUNATE, RESPECTED, POPULAR THING.  Does anyone believe that nerds like Fark Suckerberg, or cosplayers, or any other kind of nerd face any opprezzion?  How clueless can the Weasel Axis people be?

Anyhoo, so when push comes to shove, such as it did with #GamerGate, a whole lotta ugly truth comes pouring out like bad doo-doo, and all of the sudden the same guys that just a second ago were tweeting “nerd pride” with Hipster Nerd Glasses now all of the sudden hate actual “nerds”.

Well, hey guys:
1. Thanks for embarrassing yourselves again.
2. Thanks for letting nerds and gamers reclaim the term “nerd” and “gamer” from your fake, victimhood-humping asses.

So, TL;DR: the above is probably one of the more interesting aspects to me about #GamerGate.

Let me also say this as a Nintendo Nerd from an era where both nerds and videogames were both considered dogshit; you guys in the Weasel Axis were certain to lose.  If Ted McGinley, John Goodman, and Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds couldn’t win, you guys had absolutely no fucking chance, even if you set the difficulty on STRAIGHT WHITE MALE, which I understand is like the lowest difficulty setting in the entire known universe.

September 7, 2014

A brief list of my favorite awesome, divine fem game professionals

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dream Boy @ 11:51 pm

So the journ0list/Weasel Axis side of #Gamergate continues to crumble.  Looks like they’re slipping into that third and final “Then they fight you” phase of Ghandi’s famous axiom.  We’re likely due for the “Then you win” part, when the holidays arrive and the paymasters decide they need a different set of puppets; ones that will not set the puppet booth on fuckin’ fire.

For example, this now-familiar colossal douchebag, seemingly the Baghdad Bob of the opposition, whom you may remember blessed us with this wonderful article in where he douses all gamers in such invective spittle as: “self-destructive”, “socially unaccepted”, “losers”, “weirdos”, “outsiders”, and “freaks”.  What’s he been up to lately?  Bitching on twitter that this is all about “silencing” others.    Because nothing says fair discussion like calling others “self-destructive”, “socially unaccepted”, “losers”, “weirdos”, “outsiders”, and  “freaks”, and oh yeah, “worse that ISIS” and “The KKK”.  And following up all of that stupidity with  even more stupidity like this.

Pro-tip to the Weasel Axis: get a better Baghdad Bob, because that guy sucks.

And in a brand-new scandal today, fresh off the FAIL, more corruption charges against IGF, whom you may remember already has a sizeable scandal that affected yours truly, AND yet another new scandal, also mentioned in the linked report, involving YET ANOTHER “games festival”, IndieCade, with a few other notable causalities.

Seems a person by the name of Kellee “What in the world” Santiago, whom was the Chairperson of the 2011 IndieCade event,  is also an investor of Polytron, the company of the loathsome pissant known as Phil Trout or whomever.  Subsequently, Santiago, through investment, had a percentage in Trout’s game “FEZ”, which I’m sure at this point is actually a French-Canadian word for “complete fuck-up”.

Wouldn’t you know it?  Trout’s “Complete Fuck-Up: The Game” was a “big winner” (to use G4’s own wording) at Santiago’s IndieCade, taking even their version of Grand Prize.  Will wonders never cease.

Fun side fact: PipeWords was not just a contestant of the scandalized IGF 2014 competition, but of IndieCade 2013.  And who was also a  “big winner” of IndieCade 2013?   Zoe “More Burgers” Quinn and her tour de force DERP-QUESTION PRESS.

How is it that these guys keep popping up over and over and over?  Wait, don’t answer that. XD

So, all that shit out of the way, time to FINALLY get back to what I wanted to do in the first place and list up just a few of my favoritest female creators within gaming, in honor of all the screaming epithets about “gamer rapists” and whatnot from a certain media class.  Feel free to add your own in the comments.

 

Kinu Nishimura

If you loved Capcom’s character illustrations and designs in the 90’s/early 2000’s, good chances are it was by this absolutely brilliant artiste, whom among other things was a main illustrator for the Street Fighter II series.  All of her characters feel totally alive, especially her Dungeons and Dragons: Shadow over Mystara characters.  My favorite (I believe hers as well), is this compelling likable rogue, The Thief, whom I’m sure the Social Jerkstice Warblers would demagogue into oblivion as this font of raging sexism in between turns at DERP-QUESTION PRESS.  How can any toolbag hate The Thief’s design?  Social Jerkstice Warblers will find a way.

 

Eveline Novakovic

One of the great goddesses of vg music.  How do we know this?  Because she worked on just about all of Rare’s best soundtracks in the 90’s, including the Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct series.  Novakovic was responsible for one of the greatest overworld map themes ever: “Simian Segue”.  That’s a lifetime of win.  Another fun fact, or at least according to that Wikipedia page: she did the VA for Joanna Dark from the original Perfect Dark game.  (I didn’t know that!  Pretty cool. :) )

 

Roberta Williams

One of the great pioneers of game development period, let alone female.  Her Sierra games are still loved to this day, and a huge influence on anyone that gamed at that period, proving you can have an effective, ongoing, coherent narrative while all this gameplay is going on.

The most influential moment for me from her work was at the endgame of King’s Quest II; a vicious lion guards the princess you must rescue to win (Rescuing a princess?  Better call Ineeda Shark and Kotaku).  I opted to just stab that sucker to death with my sword and cruise to victory (“HOME”).  While showing off for my little brother later on another playthrough, my big sister interrupted me when I was about to stab the lion again and offered “Hey, why don’t you feed him that ham you have, that you can’t find out a use for”?  Turns out she was right, feeding the lion the previously useless “Roast Ham” item puts the thing to sleep, letting you pass without harming it, giving you more points.  Perspectives matter.

Hey, speaking of raging sexism, check out Roberta Williams refusing to check her misogyny (from Kings Quest Collection).

King’s Quest II reminded me a little of Wizard and the Princess. We saw how previous games (Mystery House and King’s Quest I) were received by the public, and I was anxious to try my hand at a bigger story right away. Graham would be king by now. What quest should a lonely king go on? What should he see through the magic mirror? A maiden in distress! I started to forsee a family for Graham in the future. 

Damn, that’s like a million dollars worth of bullshit videos from Indeed A Shark, right there.

 

Amy Hennig

Awesome producer/designer champ, I’ve actually experienced her work going all the way back to ElectroCop for the still-underrated Atari Lynx (poor Lynx; I still believe in my heart you could’ve been a contendah ;( ).  She helped bring us, among other things, the awesome Legacy of Kain 2: Soul Reaver, and later moved to Naughty Dog to blow shit up with her Uncharted series.

She had a great, inspiring article with the LA Times in 2010 that’s really worth reading, especially for the way she smacks down the Gaming Main Scheme Media and the Weasel Axis for their endless “sexism” wolf-crying.

As one of very few women in senior creative positions in the video game industry, Hennig is often asked about sexism and challenges she has faced. But she says it’s not an issue. “Usually it has been men who gave me the opportunities I have had. I think this is a young enough and progressive enough industry that there just isn’t any of that.”

So that loud pop you just heard was Aye Neat A Shark’s head exploding a la Hitler in Bionic Commando, and the Main Scheme Media journ0lists falling all over each other to put Humpty Whatta Dumpty back together again.

 

Rebecca Heineman

Top-notch programmer responsible for, among other things, Bard’s Tale III, that great SNES port of Out Of This World that all us console guys enjoyed (“MYTOBAH!”), and one of my favorite nostalgia triggers, Tass Times in Tonetown (Franklin Snarl lives!).

I mentioned Heineman a couple blog posts ago, including how her nickname “Burger” can entered in Tass Times’ parser for a funny instant death, culminating in a joke at Zoe Quinn’s expense.  The BURGER jokes write themselves!

 

Kazuko Shibuya

You know this iconic Final Fantasy image?  This is the person that created it.  :)

It is impossible to state how brilliant of a pixel artist this person is.  Among other things, this person is primarily why you were able to see Yoshitaka Amano’s artwork faithfully represented in 8-bit NES graphics.  Hell, her pixel art even helped make those Rad Racer tracks come to life.  This person as far as I’m concerned is more iconic Squaresoft than even Amano, Nomura, etc. are (without the talent of devs like her, their stuff would still be just sitting on papers somewhere).

She has a great interview here.  Watch her rip on Dragon Quest for their goofy “crab-walking” hero.  (In their defense, they just wanted dat Ultima magic).

 

There’s way more than this I dig, but I gotta get back to work.

 

September 5, 2014

Hey, guys, your clown car is on fire. Guys?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dream Boy @ 9:07 pm

“Gaming journalism is dead.”

“Game journalists are rage-quitting their meal ticket.”

Those aren’t my cruel, cutting words, nor are they from the fictional scourge of “gamer misogynists”.

Those are the cruel, cutting words of Slate Magazine.

To put this in perspective, Slate would’ve seemed at least an instant sympathetic ally of the Weasel Axis of Gaming, that mob of swindling cronyist moral authoritarians.   Slate after all is not itself above pumping out clickbait dreck, even the kind of clickbait dreck favored by the Weasel Axis. (exit quote from that article: “Infant gender assignment might just be Russian roulette with your baby’s life”.  I feel the same way about online journalism!)

Instead, to everyone’s but really no one’s surprise, Slate went out of its way to blow up the Weasel Axis’ Clown Car of Craziness, by especially stressing that their positions and resulting hubris are totally delusional:

Maybe gamers don’t trust their press as much as they trust the enthusiasts because the press doesn’t seem as engaged with the games themselves. Compared with the enthusiasts, the journalists’ hearts aren’t in it…they cannot solve their problems by preaching about the death of their audience. That audience is dying only in that it is leaving them, a process the journalists have evidently decided to accelerate.

When you’ve lost Slate this badly, period, let alone ALREADY, well… you lost it, homie.

A couple more fun antics from the burning clown car I noticed over the last few days.  The first is from Scamasutra, the former jobs website-turned-Kremlin of the Weasel Axis, whom actually demoted one of their writers for speaking out against the rabid rhetoric of the anti-#GamerGate journalists.

When this latest scandal started to  metastasize on Twitter and even in Scamasutra’s comment section, the powers-that-b.s. on that website quickly deleted all related comments and re-promoted the writer, explaining only that they weren’t sure this 20-year running games engineer was actually an “expert”.

Yeah.  There’s at least a good 5 or so Yakov Smirnoff jokes in there.  One of which ends with : “Lost it, homie.”

The last one I’ll mention is this Jenn Frank person, whom it seems is yet another acolyte of the Weasel Axis, and another they insist I simply must treat super-genius, super-serious “games journalist” (OR ELSE), mostly because she reiterates the kind of baloney arguments they like (did we mention OR ELSE?).  That said, since Frank was it seems formerly a celebrity gossip blogger, you’ll forgive me for right away demanding copious amounts of salt grains to put on my shot of Tequila.

Frank as it turns out has quit games journalism, because according to Slate, she had been “unfairly singled out for relentless criticism”.  This sounds like typical journo CYOA/bailout, especially since the writer doesn’t bother to mention what exactly caused this “relentless criticism”, instead linking to Al-Jeerzebra.

Color me skeptical for two reasons.  The first is that “unfairly singled out for relentless criticism” sounds like journ0-speak for “The cruel mistress known as Accountability finally paid a visit.”  The second is the Al-Jeerzebra article, which as far as I can tell, maybe I’m just blind and my CTRL+F doesn’t work or something, but… Frank is not even mentioned in the article.  Instead, that article goes into detail on the death threats Zoe Quinn and Ineeda Shark or whomever received, while Milo Yiannopoulos’ own reported death threats are meekly whispered at the very bottom as “Update: Milo Yiannopoulos has also reported receiving death threats.”  Yeah.  I’ll have more grains of salt, pls.

So once again, I need to research myself what happened, as with Le Affair Du Zoey, and lo, here’s the font of all that “relentless criticism”.   Frank blessed the planet with yet another boilerplate defense of the Weasel Axis at the British news site Guardian, and all the fun shenanigans we’ve come to expect are there.  There’s the stupidly insulting, ad hominum dismissal of all critics as “keen on suspicion and hate”, “bullies of the game industry”, and “fostering this culture of terror”.  (even for the Weasel Axis, this is truly ad hominum, ad nauseam)  The outrageous Zoe Quinn scandal, which would’ve floored any other industry press, is of course dealt with by the journalist equivalent of diving out of the nearest window.

But the kicker is, always, the Weasel Axis’ penchant for painfully avoiding key disclosure, such as 1) “Hey, I’m a supporter of this Quinn person, fyi”,  2) “Hey, I’m a FINANCIAL supporter of this Quinn person, fyi”, and 3) “Hey, I’m a PAID supporter of this Quinn person, through her PR agent, fyi” (Yes, the same one involved in the IGF scandal that affected me.  Because smelly birds of a stinky feather.)

Frank claims that the Guardian threw her under the bus (clown car?) for editing that all that very, very pertinent information out without her knowledge, and the Guardian backs that up in a series of ever-increasing footnotes (et tu, Grauniad?)

However, the latest footnote just mentions that Frank only mentioned (also in footnote) that she was just a “supporter of Quinn’s work”, with nothing about the money being exchanged back and forth that would’ve discredited the entire piece as clumsy pay-for-play.  Unless Grauniad has a Season 4 of Hastily Added Footnotes planned, I doubt that wrinkle will be ever addressed.

What does Frank do in the face of demands for accountability?  Naturally, bow out, and blame those “bullies of the game industry” that are “keen on suspicion and hate” and “fostering this culture of terror”.  That crazy Weasel Axis likes their Martyrdom Perk more than the Call of Doodie players.  Watch those grenades.

The last I saw of the this “unfair” situation, IIRC, was Frank bemoaning on Twitter that it’s not fair that “one piece” could cause so much grief.  Take it from disgraced journalists Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair: one piece can sure cause a lot of grief.

And f you asked Glass and Blair, it’s never just one piece.

Which leads us to this:  remember the indie dev I linked to in the last blog?   The one that chronicled lousy, lazy behavior from the IGF judges?  Well, Jenn Frank quickly lept to the IGF’s rescue against this big, bad, small indie dev in yet another hit piece.  That would be the same IGF that provides a comfortable crony clique for some of her pals and is about to collapse in a sex-and-cronyism scandal.  My favorite bon-mot from Frank’s previous masterpiece:

Why would I ever skip a game, you wonder. Easy answer: shit was broke. For whatever reason, it wouldn’t install. If your complaint is every freaking judge passed your game over, I don’t know, maybe contemplate the circumstances? Like, I really hate to suggest it, but maybe the problem was your game?

So three things:
1.  If I were a judge of a prestigious awards show, I would never just “skip a game”,  instead working with the developer to resolve the issue.
2.  The indie dev in question much more politely disagreed.  So did this IGF judge.
3.  This Jenn Frank person sounds like an ass.

What’s the phrase again?  Oh yes.  You lost it, homie.

One final addendum to the Weasel Axis’ continuing collapse.  This Zoe Quinn, whom kicked this all off?  Last I bothered to notice, she was doing what famous-for-being-infamous people always do during the endgame: endlessly soliciting attention, any kind of attention, to anybody that’d listen (on Twitter, in her case).

This is a person with obviously a lot of time on her hands.  Perhaps a sequel to DERP-QUESTION PRESS is in order.  P.S:  LOST IT, HOMIE

So as it stands, the Weasel Axis is already a burning clown car about to be sandwiched by two speeding trains, bearing the horrifically misogynistic names of “REALITY” and “KARMA”.  I mean…they lost Slate.  How did these guys lose Slate??

A final Q&A on #GamerGate’s eventual progression of things.  I’ll make it brief, because the Weasel Axis’ obviously isn’t going to be around for much longer, and I’ve actual work/gaming/life to do, unlike those guys apparently.

Take note of the following easy-access idioms for quick answers:
Simple arithmetic.
Kill Chicken, Scare Monkey
#GAMERGATE IS NOW THE PERMANENT STATE OF AFFAIRS

1. How do we win this “war”?

This is not a war, and you are not marching on Gettysburg.  This line of thought only contributes to the Weasel Axis’ various messiah complexes.

All this is is a customer service issue.  If you walk into, say, a Five Guys Burger and Fries (great meat, man), and the waiters there are inexplicably calling you “worse than ISIS”, you don’t argue.  You go the boss and make it clear, it’s either them, or your dollars.

Nobody likes losing money, especially management dickheads.  Bye bye crazy waiters; have a burger before you leave.

Once the axes hits a few dozen weasels, the rest will either leave or wise up.

Simple arithmetic.
Kill Chicken, Scare Monkey

2. When does this wa-, er, customer service issue end?

It doesn’t.

#GAMERGATE IS NOW THE PERMANENT STATE OF AFFAIRS

Likely the offending websites are going to axe a few, along with mea culpas, such as this one from The Escaper or whatever that website is (I did used watch that Yahtzee guy, tho).

This wont’ help the Weasel Axis, nor will the continuing trend, as even Slate was smart enough to grasp, that people are giving up on the comedy show that is games journalism altogether, and getting actual comedy and games information from YouTubers, generally without regurgitated PR or being called “losers”, “virgins”, and “freaks”.  The AAA boys already know this; when was the last time Nintendo Direct accused you of “fostering a culture of terror”?

#GAMERGATE IS NOW THE PERMANENT STATE OF AFFAIRS

3. So the journ0lists of the Weasel Axis are doomed, but what about the indie scene cronies?

Who cares.

I do know that without the journalistic equivalent of a Praetorian Guard, they’ll have to:

A. Bail themselves out of their own scandals
B. Actually deliver on something (Have you played DERP-QUESTION PRESS?)
C. Keep relying on the moral authoritarian demagoguing.  Ask Joe Lieberman and Jack Thompson where this leads.

Simple arithmetic.

4. Where did all these guys COME FROM anyway?  How did they get in games?

If I had to guess: wash-outs from other industries, touched off by the Great Depression 2 in 2008 (and it is a depression, and not a Great Recession or whatever Orwellian bullshit from the wider Main Scheme Media).

For example, this doofus from Polygoon, whom openly admits she “used to be” a “film critic”.  This brainiac writes a screed on how Dead Rising 3 is “ridiculously sexist, misogynist, homophobic and transphobic at the same time” for one of their Psychopath boss characters, a stereotype.  I guess this “film critic” never had a problem with the other Psychopath bosses from the Dead Rising games that mocked other stereotypes, including the mentally handicapped, rednecks, and most memorable, a bunch of Tea Party guys that grotesquely compare zombie hunting to “Border Patrol”.

This is what happens when you get another industry’s leftovers.  Or college grads with little to show for anything but “Cultural Studies”.  It’s all beside the point, because:

#GAMERGATE IS NOW THE PERMANENT STATE OF AFFAIRS

 

5. What’s going to happen to Ineeda Shark, you think?

Who cares.

If you had to make me guess: College Professor, which the last refuge of all radicalist scoundrels.  If the former radicalist terrorist Bill Ayers can become a “distinguished professor , Ineeda has it in the bag.  Just watch out for that Education Bubble.

With that, it’s back to work.

 

September 3, 2014

#GamerGate (it’s not a worker ant that breeds) + IGF (LOTS of breeding there!)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dream Boy @ 1:59 am

So the #GamerGate thing and the IGF thing.

Over Labor Day Weekend, while I was trying to figure out if I should have more Sangria w/Jack Daniels or beer (Hmmm Sannnn- eh, beer), the #GamerGate thing happened.  And then a ludicrous scandal involving the guy who runs the Independent Games Festival, which I submitted Dream Boy’s first game PipeWords for, involving cronyism and sex.  And not “hawt Hollywood-style sexy intrigue” sex, but more like “two slobs from Craigslist humping in the night over a mutual agreement” sex.  And then I yelled at one of the people involved in said scandal on Twitter.

So a pretty good Labor Day Weekend, I guess.

I’ll try to run down briefly where I’m coming from on #GamerGate.  My immediate reaction was: “WTF is going on, and why is games so much drama now?  The gaming journos are corrupt, what else is new?”

Indeed, what else is new?  As an older gamer, I come from an era of LamePro trying to convince me that [x] game is “JUST LIKE THE ARCADE ORIGINAL” and, say, Way of the Warrior is “THE GAME TO BEAT BOTH SF AND MK” (bonus points if you even know WTF that game is).

Well apparently, this time it’s different, because not only the Gaming Main Scheme Media is as corrupt as ever, they’ve also basically morphed into Jack Thompson meets douchey college radicalists.  That’s really something, for ANY industry, let alone this one.

I didn’t know what’s going on because I don’t read Main Scheme Media.  I never have, other than maybe 90’s era EGM.  I don’t care either for these pissants that are more famous for being infamous like this Phil Trout guy or this Ineeda Shark lady and these smelly slobs having sex with Five Guys Burger and Fries (that’s a good place!  great meat there).  Or that fat fuck from Destructoid, mentioning him only because that guy shows up everywhere somehow.  I just care about gaming.

I get information by just good ol’ word of mouth, which tends to not have its own angle.  If I need reviews for some reason, I hunt down small blogs and see what they have to say, such as it was with Gone Home, of which one, a genderqueer blog, talked me out of it saying that it was boring and too stupidly numbskull with its agenda for even that genderqueer blogger to take seriously.  I guess me and that genderqueer blogger will burn in the fires of CisHell for not getting on the bandwagon.

So at the time of the #GamerGate blow-up on Saturday, there was a plethora of Twitter accounts hawking headlines from Main Scheme Media sites such as Gamasutra like this: “Great article that sums up #GamerGate!!”.  So I read them and HOLY BLUE CUPCAKES, talk about handing out the rope to hang yourself with.

The Gamasutra garbage still blows my mind.  First was this droolingly stupid piece from some guy who claims cheerfully that the other faction in #GamerGate are “tea-partiers” (the ultimate shibboleth for college radicals everywhere), “truthers” (of course), and the most insane thing ever written: “Today’s gaming media has never been more active or honest.”  Are you sure about this, genius?

Missing from that article was what exactly was the #GamerGaters position.  Instead, the article devolves into hilarious randomness including a shout-out to Seattle for being “progressive”, a name-drop of Joss Whedon, and reiterating Ineeda Shark’s proclamation of “We’re gonna win!”, which sounds awfully like the last time someone proclaimed that “We’re gonna win this thing!”

So then I go back to Twitter and see a #GamerGate insurgent link THIS Gamasutra piece.  And ohhh boy.  Among other bon-mots from this little cumgargle: Games can no longer be purely about “fun”, but “aspire to qualities” (read: do it, or get smeared for your defiance) such as “edifying”, “healing”, “pro-social”, or “even enlightening” (read: do it like how we say to do it, or get smeared for your defiance). 

Does this mean Tetris is now banned?  Maybe if the blocks were all transgenders or something.

No seriously, it’s hard to overstate how batshit this is.  Normally, this is just somebody after a bong rip at the Nerds for Marxism campus meeting.  But since this is GAMASUTRA, a major Main Scheme Media majordomo, this is more like a guy on ESPN demanding on air that the NFL football players must write anti-heteronormative sexpositive poetry after every play, and then hit another bong toke.  Actually, fuck that.  The Gamasutra I knew used to be a fucking jobs page.  XD   So this is more like the classified section of the town newspaper warbling in the middle of the ads before hitting the kush again.

And it all went downhill from there for the “Journolists'” side.  There’s the moderator from Polygoon, some other Main Scheme Media outfit, bragging that he will SWAT-prank all dissenters; this is particularly crazy as Polygoon just reported on the dangers of SWAT pranks a few days prior.

There was this colossal douchebag who claims to have it all figured out.  You see, he totally understands these “self-destructive”, “socially unaccepted”, “loser”, “weirdo”, “freak”,  “angry gamers”, because HE was once a “self-destructive”, “socially unaccepted”, “loser”, “weirdo”, “freak”, “angry gamer”.  Do you think the younger version of this douche would’ve appreciated all these ad hominum insults from his older self?

Then there of course was the gross and absolutely embarrassing scandal of this Zoe Quinn person, which would’ve rocked senseless just about any other journalistic profession, yet was impossible to find any straight information (or any information) on it and required me to go to KnowYourMeme to get it.  Yes, KnowYourMeme.  When KnowYourMeme can put together a straight, informative article on a controversy and you can’t, you have serious problems as a journalist.

Finally, there was endless examples of the MSM “professionals” getting just as vulgar as any other troll.   Which leads me to this point: the wailing about “disgusting attacks” rings hollow if YOU ARE DOING IT AS WELL, YOU DUMBASSES.   A random troll loser from the internets screaming derp and threatening SWAT attacks is just that; you guys are “professionals”, so WTF are your excuses?

This was truly an eye-opening journey for me, kinda like traveling through the maze areas in Adventure, but in this version of Adventure, the duck-like dragons that normally chase you are instead smoking crack in the corners and calling themselves “game journalists” and ranting hatefully about “gamers” (wat??).

Which lead me to a video about ANOTHER shoe dropping in the Quinn scandal, one that sorta blew up my Labor Day.  The vengeful ex-bf, whom already let loose that Quinn may have cheated with 90 burgers instead of a mere 5, but she slept with another Craigslist-level catch named Maya Kramer, whom is cut from the same cracktivist cloth as the current GameMSM, and is a indie game PR flack (or not, more on this later).  This PR person Kramer in turn had slept with a guy named Brandon Boyer, who runs the Independent Game Festival,  and her apparently intoxicating influence lead to a rigged IGF contest this year in where all her cronies coincidently came out on top.

As it turns out, I submitted PipeWords to this year’s IGF festival.

I initially waited-and-see’d on this latest revelation because it struck me as somewhat innuendo-y.  And I had a lot of beer to sleep off anyway.  So I do so, and wake up to check again and the video is now “private”.  Shrug my shoulders, go eat bacon.

I come back and so’s the video, in a new link and format.  This time, it backs itself up with much more relevant information.  Much more. Now it’s not so innuendo-y.

If it’s one thing that irritates me, it’s a fraud at my expense.   I have plenty of them as an indie dev and it happens.

If it’s one thing that ABSOLUTELY FUCKING ENGRAGES (YES, ENGRAGES) me, it’s a fraud designed to fleece even innocent dreamersm making their hard work, crucial sacrifices, and $95 went to flimflammery cronyism.  This is purely wrathful outrage at some sociopathic-level shit, like the fury the old guy had at Willy Wonka before the Hollywood magic ending kicked in.  A sociopathy that, by the way, seems to fit right in with the looney toony idiots in the current Gaming Main Scheme Media.

I briefly look through my email history for this fucking guy and his contest, but then say fuck that, I’ll find him on Twitter and ask him directly.   After all, this is a simple question: “Are the allegations in this YouTube video true?”  No #GamerGate hashtag drama or anything, just a simple question, should be easy to answer.

And yet: no answer.

I’ve been working in games for a while.  I know what “No Answer to a Simple Question” means.  It means “I can’t talk right now because I’m crying into my lawyer’s lap.”  So out comes first the fury and then the #GamerGate hashtag.  And here it stands currently (video link included).

For the record: still no answer.

So, some final words on the new “Weasel Axis” in gaming, and this should be quick because in the great grand scheme of things, these pissants are small time and can never hope to stop true art.  Better lot than these jerkoffs have tried.

Regarding IGF, I have no plans personally yet to legally go after that slob or his crony.  Mostly because it’s just $95 bucks, and I have work, gaming, and life to enjoy.  TBH, I’d much rather finish my current GDD and work with my peeps to get various projects and tasks done (there sure are a lot of them!) than even do this blog post, let alone pay these assorted weasels any mind.

However, I am KEENLY interested in getting money back from the young devs these guys ripped off, because the scandal is just appalling, and I’m a believer of the old Chinese proverb “KILL CHICKEN, SCARE MONKEY“.  If IGF is guilty, it should be scalped in court asap as a lesson to the other indie clique scams out there.  If there is a group effort underway, I will join it immediately, and believe me, I can put resources to bear on it.

The most important thing for me to do now IMHO, is to warn young devs this: DO NOT BUY INTO THE GARBAGE THAT ARE THESE AWARD CONTESTS.

These award things are frauds and always have been, in any medium.  Ever heard of Citizen Kane?  Of course you have.  Ever heard of How Green Was My Valley?  No?   Well this was the movie that beat Citizen Kane for Best Picture at the Oscars.  Yeah.  You sure you haven’t heard of How Green Was My Valley?
Fun side fact: Citizen Kane was destined to lose.  Why?  Because Hollywood was scared of retaliation from a big shot the movie was clearly mocking, a “journalist” by the name of William Randolf Hearst. A punk journalist attacking and suppressing art?  This never happens!

The IGF already had a sordid rep, as it turns out, as someone from Twitter linked to me.  This indie dev, whom competed in IGF 2012, used TestFlight to deduce that of the IGF judges assigned to them, 5 total played it mostly near deadline for a total of 4 minutes, 3 didn’t even play it, and 1 didn’t even fucking install the game.  Are they even trying?
Incidentally, I just fed my judges promo codes, since PipeWords was already released, so I guess I’ve no idea how long or even if they did play.  But their judging sure sounded like they hardly looked at.  Guess they AREN’T trying.

TL;DR: Treat these award shows like you treat Vegas.  Spend money if you want, maybe you’ll win, but it’s not a real investment and odds are on the house.
Another side note: there are those that say “But, but, these things are good for schmoozing at!”  And that’s the problem; often times they have folks that are good for ONLY schmoozing, instead of delivering.  It may be nice I guess to be graced with the presence of Jonathan “Aptly Named” Blow or somebody, but you’re likely better off finding real colleagues you can trust online in the magic that is the Internet to produce real stuff.

Ok, now that that douchery is out of the way, onto the Weasel Axis in gaming media.

I see a lot of talk about these are “radical feminists” and “leftists” or whatever, but that is just their background at best.  The basic core of it is: these guys are run-of-the-mill moral authoritarians.  That’s it.

There’s been endless moral authoritarians in history, but the Weasel Axis is just from the same crew using it to crush games to give their own careers a boost.

Before them it was Joe Lieberman.  Then it was Jack Thompson.  Hell, other journalists have attacked gaming before; recall TIME magazine’s infamously insipid anti-Pokemon cover.  

The Weasel Axis including Ineeda Shark and the rest at Kotaklown and Polygoon and “What Jobs?” Gamasutra are no different.  They don’t get nuances like “freedom of expression” or that differences in taste does not mean a call to censor art.  And they don’t like what they don’t get.  They’re convinced that they’re right, so don’t bother reasoning.

And like the rest, they’ll go down eventually.  The reason why is because eventually you have to earn and deliver.  When you can’t, you’re done.  Lie-berman had to resign from Congress early because his actually-violent Iraq War failed and no one liked him.  Jack Thompson: disbarred.  TIME magazine: does anyone still read that shit?  Yelling about videogames and gamers didn’t save them; neither will it the Weasel Axis.

The only difference between the last few dozen failed moral authoritarians and the Weasel Axis is that these moral assholes are actually inside the perimeter.  But that just makes them a thousand times more vulnerable than the likes of Jackoff Thompson ever was.

Which is why I’m glad the people fighting this latest group of moral authoritarians are getting smarter at last.  Forget all the ACTUAL journalistic detective work that busted Zoe Quinn and this slob that slept with the other slob at IGF.  They are vowing to just stay patient and civil and go after those paying them.

I can tell you exactly what puts ph33r and loathing into the heart of a management dickhead at any videogame company: “I was going to buy your game, but I won’t.  Not because it sucks, but because of who you do business with.”   Management dickheads like easy solutions, and the easy solution to this?  Don’t do business with people that can hurt your business.

Rather than just yell or argue pointlessly on Twitter comment forums, they are finally now hitting pockets, or to use gamer parlance, “hitting the weak point for massive damage”.

To use another gaming metaphor, the game doesn’t care if your Mario is a better debater than its Bowser. (Mario: “Yahooo!” Bowser: “RAWR” Me: “Mario has a more cogent argument.”) The game cares only if you can beat him, specifically through means he has no control over (that nifty axe sitting right behind him).

I can assure you that management dickheads everywhere are finally hearing about this and are as stunned as I am.  They don’t read Kotaku’s and Gamasutra’s bullshit either.  They just want them to sell their products, not go to fucking war with their own consumer base.  What the hell kind of industry journalism does that anyway?  Do you see Car and Driver attacking motor enthusiasts as “rapists”, “truthers”, and “worse than ISIS”?

If things don’t quiet down, people will get whacked, especially since “game journalists” are the most disposable vermin this side of Lemmings.  It’s just economics.

TL;DR: just calmly hit the Weasel Axis’ bread-and-butter till they go away.  Do it as often as possible and always provide examples of their nuttery.  Eventually they will disappear.  Ineeda Shark brags that she has Josh Whedon on her side, but if Whedon wakes up one day and finds that no one is going to see Avengers 2 over this bullshit, he WILL change his tune.  That’s why Ineeda Shark’s “We will win!” declaration  wil rank right up there in Famous Last Words history.

One final thing: don’t take what these frauds say personally; I see a lot falling into that mistake and they shouldn’t.  They’re frauds, and know nothing about games or gamers, especially that for such a “misogynist” industry some of its earliest pioneers WERE women, including Roberta Williams and Rebecca Heineman.

With that, I finally get back to work doing what I love.

P.S.  I have to drop this fun fact.  Rebecca Heineman, formerly Bill “Burger” Heineman, used to put gags in her games referencing the nickname “Burger”.  IIRC, if you enter “BURGER” into the parser for the text adventure Tass Times in Tonetown, you will die instantly in a fun Easter Egg.

Death by BURGERS.  Zoe Quinn’s career feels this pain.

 

August 13, 2014

Silent Hill + Guillermo del Toro + Hideo Kojima

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dream Boy @ 2:42 am

This is awesome news, or at least, this is “There are no excuses now, Konami” news.

So Konami is going to release a new Silent Hill game featuring the extremely creative and talented minds of Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima.

This is like the creative equivalent of Captain America-level steroids being injected into the ball sacks of Steve Rogers; that is, a Steve Rogers that was once very fit before becoming obese and slovenly after eating McDonalds and paint chips for the last decade.

I say this because the people at Konami have basically been acting like they’ve been eating McDonalds and paint chips for a long while now with regards to Silent Hill.  Well, with regards to a lot of stuff, but especially Silent Hill.

IMHO, and if I recall I mentioned just that in the last post, Silent Hill was of the pinnacle of the “new-school games” of the last two decades.

Also, IMHO, Silent Hill has been sucking more and more since the second one, ultimately descending into near-total irrelevancy and articulating greatly just how screwed up Konami is these days.

A bit on the former: like all new-school games, SH valued “The Experience” over “Gameplay”, and unlike many others of this design theorem, it actually worked.  Silent Hill is technically not fun to play as your main character often controls as you would expect some average guy off the street would; clumsily swinging his weapon and fumbling around for health packs.  This is the intended point, as this same average dude is unfortunately experiencing a sort of perdition/catharsis within a total living nightmare.  As any horror author/director/whatever-er would say, whenever you can find a way to make your horror that much more sublime and complete, you win, and Silent Hill does this perfectly with its own otherwise-shoddy-in-another-kind-of-game gameplay.  Add to all this the brilliant audio of Akira Yamaoka (among the best of our time), and it’s a total triumph of new-school design.  The early series was usually my go-to for StingTFU art snobs whom say “Teh Games Can Not Be Arht, AH DERP” (with a side bonus of making them proverbially shit their pants).

So Silent Hill is a triumph of new-school design.  It’s also a triumph of “What happens when you don’t fire these dumb fucks that are trashing your franchise through neglect and incompetence”.

This is almost always inevitable when you have a creative risk like Silent Hill become a sudden success.  The original game had no hype behind it and seemed destined to be an automatic also-ran to Resident Evil, and indeed when I first played it, I was ready to rip on it the whole way.  “Look at my dude running like he’s pinching a loaf, har har!”  Then I entered that first alleyway with the massive pile of dog guts neatly sitting outside it and it was soon me that was pinching loaves.

Then you had Silent Hill 2 come along and do everything the first one did, but better, with clearer, less Engrishy dialogue, then-fabulous PS2 graphics, and wisely putting the cultist hijinks that empower the town as just backstory, concentrating instead of character development that once again the Gameplay serves to move along.  (Ever wonder why the “Great Knife” weapon you steal from the Pyramid Head character has to be dragged around by main character James like a heavy ball-and-chain?  Or why those “Abstract Daddy” monsters that look like humanoid figures on a bed have a clumsy “attack” in where they jump upwards and slobber all over your face?)

Success-itis, however, tends to hit the most creative and riskiest of franchises hardest.  Everything just came together right, and so it’s very easy for a company to unfortunately shove a management dickhead or crony in there to handle things, and assume that job will be like running any other Call of Dookie game when it’s not, and so the franchise implodes.  Sometimes it’s actually the original creatives themselves that allow success to make them lose touch with what originally worked.   I also feel it’s like a perverse form of “survivor’s guilt” on these breakout risky projects.  As if to say: “Hey, this shouldn’t have succeeded in the first place, so fuck it, who cares.  Bring on Silent Hill Warriors!  It’s Dynasty Warriors, but IN SILENT HILL.”

Whatever the case, success-itis really began with Silent Hill 3, which was like the Silent Hill equivalent of “Jaws: The Revenge”.  The good point was that the scares were definitely delivered once again (the Brookhaven level shellshocked me for a couple weeks.  Damn you Mirror/Sink Room Of Near-Death).  The bad was that the plot sucked as we are once again mired in the tedious cultist shenanigans that had nothing new to say about itself, or anything in particular.   It seemed more like the creatives flattering themselves on how hardcore the Silent Hill EXPEERREIENNCE is, as if to say “Fuck the plot, that don’t even matter either”. (In a new-school game?  Yes, plot does matter, guys.)

Then came Silent Hill 4: The Room, also known as Silent Hill 4: The Game That Was Originally Meant To Be This Other Mediocre Horror Game We Were Making But We Decided We’d Better Slap The Brand On This If We Still Want Our Bonuses And/Or Promotions.  (Also known as Silent Hill 4: The Konami).  This actually had some promise, as a sort of Silent Hill-style take on the Freddy Kruger/Jason horror movie; there’s a weird, all-powerful killer menace toying with the main character and offing other hapless dudes one by one.  Worse, you’re accursedly trapped in your apartment (“The Room”) waiting to be next!  There’s no escape…except for this ridiculously subtextual “birthing tunnel” in your apartment that lets you wander around boring levels.  You’ll then have to jump in and out of those tunnels to repeatedly to go BACK into the, uh, inescapable room you are trying to escape to stuff a bunch of items and ammo in your storage trunk to go back outside and get back to the game.  Got that?  There is no escape from The Room, except to leave it to get stuff and then go back into The Room to drop off shit so you can get back to getting out of The Room to get more stuff.  Those of you that haven’t played and are asking “Well, what about the Silent Hill version of Freddy you mentioned?”  Oh yeah, him.  He shows up in cameos until halfway through.  Then he shows up as an undying random enemy that you can have fun smacking him around with golf clubs and shovels.  Think the worst of those scenes with Robert Englund getting his ass kicked repeatedly in the “Nightmare” series, with zero payoff afterward.  But you’re already bored of hitting Not Freddy before this happens because the whole game has you fighting off similarly unkillable “ghosts” and crazy wheelchairs with the occasional goofy stock enemy like, uh, burping nurses(?). I will say that as a final boss Not Freddy has an amazing wake-up move that would making Cammy from Street Fighter lose her shit.

The final kick in the balls for me was the next one, Silent Hill: Homecoming.  This one was just a straight-up bad game, plagued with the scars of development hell and management dickheadery.  Boring horror.   Lame enemies.   No innovations.   Bad plot.   Elements from the fetid Silent Hill-licensed Hollywood movies are crammed in.   A laughably bad “combat system” designed to accentuate the main character’s military roots but ends up being both unplayable and un-Silent Hill.  And worst of all, glitches.  This title was notorious for being plagued with glitches, some hilarious like “Alex the One-Armed Gimp” here, but most are game-breaking and can cost the player all of their progress (I myself got hit with the “church puzzle” glitch, but thankfully had a backup save; remember to always create backup saves, kids).  Just a shitty game.  At least The Room had burping nurses.

At that point, I gave up.  About the only tolerable SH game by this point was the surprisingly ok Silent Hill Origins; that game too was in dev hell and escaped it by the skin of its teeth, mostly by borrowing what worked from Silent Hill 1 and 2 (The “Butcher” character, Tito to Pyramid Head’s Michael Jackson), and also it’s charmingly pedestrian hero (hapless truck driver Travis, whom may not be a scholar but loves animals and carrying 40 TVs, 23 steel pipes, and 5 katanas in his back pocket).  I didn’t play Silent Hill Downpour, nor that one reboot on the Wii in where Harry Mason runs from pink things and takes pics of frozen shit with his iFruit or whatever.  When a franchise passes the burn threshold with me, it no longer gets any of my money unless it does something big.

Konami seemed to understand this too, so they decide to move at last to turn the boat around, if not dredge it from the ocean floor.  Their first step was to rerelease the first three games in HD, only to somehow fuck that up as well, because it’s Konami, and because they lost the freaking source code, making a solid HD not really possible, so they simply ship the broken things anyway, because it’s Konami.   Oh Konami.

So after they, uh, “tried” to rebuild interest in Silent Hill, there’s now this new announcement with Del Toro and Kojima, along with a demo called “P.T.” (“Playable Teaser”) that’s generating buzz.

Del Toro has that sort of “ZOMG SONIC IS IN BRAWL!!:!!@” kind of thing to him; it’s such a shock until you realize it makes perfect sense and the universe is just returning to natural order.  That whole scene with the eyeball-toting dude from Pan’s Labyrinth might as well been a cut puzzle/action/boss sequence from one of the early Silent Hill games; that “Pale Man” monster-thing even staggers around and gurgles like a proper SH enemy, right after the little girl character triggers an event flag by interacting with the food (GG PLAYER).  Del Toro likes striking art and horror meshed with geek sensibilities, which means he’s ideal for structuring a vision around the idea of moving a character around while solving puzzles.

Kojima in the same vein is another no-brainer.  Silent Hill is nothing if not surreal and the passionate creator that brought us the demented acid trip that was the last hour of Metal Gear Solid 2 is nothing if not good at surreal.  In fact, he’s often good at it in the best kind of way, understanding that just adding loads of BLUE CUPCAKE and calling it a day is not adequate; surreal is best done progressively through grand storytelling, as if to give the player false hope of grabbing onto something that makes sense. He’s also good at keeping things in the storytelling somehow…weirdly positive, if that makes sense.  It’s like even though Metal Gear had plots about things like treachery, madness, matricide, stealth nukes, vampires, a dude called The Sorrow, and another dude that has the power to eat your face off with bees, they still remained hopeful, as if to say there is a dawn if we can just get past this evil guy calling himself Psycho Mantis.  Silent Hill is the same way; despite the horror and depressing stories, there was a sense of catharsis at play, with a final resolution (one way or another) that awaited the poor suckers of Silent Hill if they can survive the hanging corpses and grated floors floating over endless black voids.  

So those two are no-brainers, but Konami sadly also has no brains by reputation and could probably somehow fuck this all up again.  It takes serious management skill to have two or more creative titans work together well (let alone with an army of lesser creative titans beneath them), and if these idiots can do something as dumb as lose the source code to Silent Hill 2, well…

The other issue I have is that times have changed since the original Silent Hill games.  The horror genre in most fiction these days is in the pits, with most stuff offered out there seemingly either lame or shock derp like Hostel or The Human Centipede (“You agreed to this!”), so unless this new game fails to take advantage of either Del Toro or Kojima and goes into retread, or just plain bad territory, there’s little else to go but up on that front.  However gameplay has changed a lot from Silent Hill’s heyday, to the point where even Resident Evil is no longer Resident Evil these days, mostly because core survival horror has been pretty played out.  This new game has the challenge of not just bringing survival horror back, but reinventing it.  In other words, back to Silent Hill’s truest roots of creative risk.

I’m in Reagan mode right now with this latest project from Konami; trust but verify.  There IS trust though, that’s a step forward.

July 2, 2014

Doom

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dream Boy @ 12:23 am

7-hit-combo-belated, but random thoughts on the Doom 4 teaser. Or  rather, how it brought up thoughts of Doom 3 and gaming in general.

Doom 3 IMHO was and still represents everything that’s sorta right and yet very, deeply wrong about modern single player AAA gaming.

Yes, Doom 3 had oodles of homebrewed stupidity.  Obnoxious back-spawning enemies.  Troll-tastic “monster closets”.  THOSE ENDLESS PDAs (“Things have been really strange lately!  Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah x100 oh BTW the passcode for that safe is 3095”).  Doomguy looks like an extra from Mad Men.  The once-iconic BFG weapon was now the FPS equivalent of a fusion between Pajama Boy and Trollface; the mighty gun was now crippled with unimpressive firepower and an annoying “quirk” of inexplicably KILLING the user outright if “overcharged”.  The atmosphere was uneven, and it is a truly a sad thing when the levels based in Hell Itself are somehow LESS scary than the ones based in reality.

And yes, The Fucking Duct Tape Controversy.  That insipid mechanic that forced players to inexplicably switch between shooting a gun and using a flashlight, because apparently in The Future, futuristic underground military bases on Mars lack the duct tape to affix flashlights to guns.  This dumb idea still blows my mind all these years later.  It should really be called The Fucking Tactical Light Controversy, as tactical lights have existed since the battery-powered handheld light was created at the turn of last century.  This is because it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out you can just plop a regular flashlight on a weapon, or on your uniform/suit, or just train yourself to hold it and another firearm at the same time.  Maybe there’s a PDA I missed in Doom 3 that explains that tactical lights were banned after The Great Tactical Light Uprising of 2074.

So yes, Doom 3 had a lot of dumb on its own, but a lot of that dumb was a part of a larger problem plaguing modern AAA games.  This is especially true when Doom 3 is compared to the superior “old-school” games Doom 1 and 2.

Yes, it’s the old-school vs. new-school divide, although as I recall it when the words first started appearing in the 3d era, the “divide” was thought of as “fancy 3d graphics versus solid 2d gameplay”.

To me, that’s not the accurate divide, as a great-playing 3d game is just as nice as a great 2d one.  The real divide is this:

“Old-school” = Gameplay > Experience
“New-school” = Experience > Gameplay

“Experience” is, you know, “THE EXPPEEEERRIENCE”, an industry marketing term long humped to death.  I.e. play Call of Dookie’s campaign to really EXPPEEEERRIENCE war.  Dead Space will have you EXPPPEEERRRIENCING true fear.

With Old-School game design theorem, Experience took a backseat to Gameplay.  When you played the original Legend of Zelda, you probably didn’t *really* feel like a Hyrulian warrior out to save the land, because Link looked like a green/blue/red marshmallow with rabbit ears, and he fought equally misshapen pixel-blobs, and “the land” itself was composed of generic bricks, bushes that were supposed to be “trees” and towering snail shells that I guess were “rocks”.

All of that is incidental because what matters is the Gameplay.  The Gameplay is the emotional investment; it’s what compels the player to care about defeating some bad guy named Ganon (“Do I, the player, have what it takes to reach him and kill him?”).  The Gameplay is the narrative, built by the player him/herself; the “plot twists and turns” are solving a puzzle, finding a new world, earning a new weapon, all on the player’s terms; the “climaxes” the epic boss showdowns; the “character arc” is finally overcoming that difficult dungeon.  The Gameplay is the appeal, the selling point.  The Gameplay is the art.  You may not exactly FEEL like a Hyrulian warrior, but you will defintely feel something awesome when the Gameplay works.

New-School game design theorem says: “FUCK ALL THAT”. (a la Mr. Pink)

New-School instead values The Experience over Gameplay.  The Experience is everything.  From start to finish, you must feel like you ARE Link, right down to chafing yourself in Link’s Keebler Elf skirt.  If not, you are not Experiencing.  But what is in an Experience?  The same thing it is in a movie, book, or any traditional storytelling; a cohesive narrative sequence of connected events, wrapped in a package of atmosphere and art, all crafted in one single way to give you as much of the intended Experience as possible.

Because The Experience was meant to be enjoyed “as intended”, the player cannot do so on his/her own terms as with Gameplay.  There is a reason why the Haunted House ride at Disneyland doesn’t allow you to roll your little cart anywhere you want.  You might roll it in a way that will cause you to, say, miss too many of the intended spooks and scares and have a crappy Experience.  This is why Disney glues your ass to a track; it’s easier and simpler that way to give you the Experience “as intended”.

As a result, the New-School games tend to be less “game”, and more like a fusion between an amusement park ride and a movie that anyone (not “everyone”, but “anyone”) can enjoy.  You roll through from point A to point B, set piece to set piece, getting the sights and thrills.  Occasionally a cutscene shows up.  The gameplay is dumbed down to where it’s just an accessible vehicle for The Experience.  That includes the reviled “quick-time event”, that old-reliable of New-School games everywhere.  This landmark New-School achievement lets you simulate exciting gameplay without having to go to the trouble of designing actual gameplay, or worse, having it muck with The Experience as intended.

Note that New-School games aren’t necessarily bad; some of the best games ever are New-School, such as the early Silent Hill games before they imploded.   It’s true plenty of them age poorly, right into divisive pro/against camps (see New-School hallmarks Halo and Final Fantasy VII), but they were at least undeniable successes of their day.

New-School is also not at all exclusively 3d.  Great Old-School-style 3D games aside (e.g. Minecraft), some of the most obnoxiously New-School games out there are those 2d indie titles.  You know, those 2d indie games that may have shitty gameplay, but darned if you don’t feel THE EXPERIEEINENNCE of whatever presumptuous art/social justice is going on there.

Back finally to Doom 3.   If there’s any game out there that represents the superseding of Old-School by New-School, and the industry having embraced New-School to the larger determent of both themselves and consumers, it was this one.

The original Dooms were brilliant Old-School, especially the level design which still remains a huge influence on me.  The levels invite so many different gameplay twists and turns and ideas and possibilities: exploration, puzzle solving, open warfare, guerrilla warfare, massive battles, one-on-one battles, close combat, long-range fights, sequence breaking, risk taking, secret-hunting, trap-dodging, ambush-creating, kiting, baiting, skipping.  There where myriad upon myriad ways of enjoying the Gameplay here: “Ghandi-style” (no harming of monsters), using just the fists/chainsaw (as I tried to do in my youth), who knows what else.

Doom 3 New-School “level design” is thus: walk down a dark linear hallway and get spooked by a monster jumping out of a monster closet.  Sometimes an evil dude cackles.  True fear homie, you are EPXXIICPCIHTENCING it.

Doom 3’s biggest blunders were also mostly the result of New-School logic.  If you give Doomguy a simple flashlight, then all that epic lighting design built to accentuate The Experience is lost.  Solution?  Doomguy lives in a universe where tactical lights are banned.  Derp.

In the “BFG edition” of Doom 3 later released, they finally bless Doomguy with a tactical light, because that whole shit with the lights in Doom 3 was too embarrassing.  But New-School priorities still remain and so Doomguy’s tactical light is unfortunately saddled with Salvation Army-issued rechargeable batteries that laughably run out of power after seconds of use.  Derp again.

Apologists at the time of Doom 3 did what they normally do in these situations: they tear down the old games.  “Oh, well the original Doom games were also simplistic.  All you did was shoot demons in those game too.  They also had monster closets, amirite?”

In other words, TOTAL BULLSHIT.  It was not even worth arguing against, like debating what color the color “red” is.  It’s bullshit.  Bullshit on top of bullshit.  When the Doom 3 apologists of old die, they will go to Hell and be forcefed bullshit by Doom 3’s demons.  Remember The Simpsons?  “So you like BULLSHIT, eh?  Well, HAVE ALL THE BULLSHIT IN THE WORLD!! Muahahah!”

Doom 1 and 2 was 1000 times more fun to play than Doom 3.  You can’t even jump or look up or down in Doom 1/2 and they are still more fun to play than Doom 3.  Conversely, Doom 1/2 aren’t scary, unless you are 10 years old (or maybe playing the PSX version, with its excellent flourishes and soundtrack by Aubrey Hodges), but Doom 3 is.  That’s all Doom 3 is, and what it wants to be, because how it plays is not a priority.  The Experience is #1, as with all New-School.

And so Doom 3 marked when a great, iconic Old-School series went under in AAA New-School bullshit.  Kind of like the industry itself, creatively speaking.  The suits may like New-School games more.  Theoretically easier to concieve and execute.  Much easier to market.  Any dope can enjoy them and thus buy them.    New-School games make you feel like Hollywood Jr, with fancy-pants game writers and celebrities voicing a boss or something and blah blah.  But as a whole they are not a good long-term bet for the industry.  When all the “games” are really $60 movie/rides, “gaming” becomes an easy habit to cut when you need to, especially in these kind of economic times.

Doom 4 better be fun to play.  That teaser has a perfectly rendered Cyberdemon ass, and I dig the familiar “door opening” sfx from the original Doom games, but please be fun to play guys.  We tried New-School, it didn’t work last time.

 

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