#egmr » Caveshen http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:00:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-6/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-6/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 09:00:26 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168918 The sun and the moon could both block each other out, and bring about a temporary darkness the likes of which the world has never seen– and it still wouldn’t […]

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The sun and the moon could both block each other out, and bring about a temporary darkness the likes of which the world has never seen– and it still wouldn’t be as dark as this podcast.

Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would attempt to answer them. With our new podcast, the EGMR Offensive, we want to try something slightly different.

We want you to suggest topics for us to discuss. Because it’s a much more topic-based podcast, we’ll be discussing a few of the biggest news stories for the past week or two. So we thought, why not just ask you guys and see what you’d like to hear us talk about? This article is your opportunity to do just that.

If you would just like to ask us questions as usual, then by all means do so. However if you have some hot topic you’d like us to dig our teeth into, then by all means do that too. Either way, the comments section is your friend. Go wild.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: Is Gaming Really As Under-Represented As Claimed? http://egmr.net/2015/03/life-universe-gaming-gaming-really-represented-claimed/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/life-universe-gaming-gaming-really-represented-claimed/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:00:05 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168858 The topic of representation in gaming is one of the biggest and most contentious in recent times. By all rights, it shouldn’t be. What could be more simple than asking […]

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The topic of representation in gaming is one of the biggest and most contentious in recent times. By all rights, it shouldn’t be. What could be more simple than asking for more representation, after all? Throw in the odd powerful female character, or person of colour, maybe make someone homosexual or transgender. Easy enough, right? Well it should be, but the going belief is that it is anything but.

The going belief is that the gaming industry is stagnant, stubborn, resistant to change. Stuck in the old ways. Unwelcoming to a new era of gaming, where games are about more than mindless fun, and every player character should not be a middled-aged white male. The going belief is that this is all gaming has to offer, with very few badly done exceptions. The going belief is that there is an untapped market for games with better representation… the going belief, is wrong.

I’ve always found this point of discussion to be confusing. If gaming is consistently growing each year, then by that logic is gaming not already catering to its market? Why would a market not already being catered to, have any reason to grow? Nonetheless, as gaming permeates the mainstream, it must inherit the mainstream’s issues, and one of those is that of representation. Indeed in all media, representation is critiqued. Why are there so few non-white Academy Award winners? Why do so many series have only a token person of colour, or save stereotypical roles for females? Most recently, why are all the super-cool comic book movies so under-representative of women and people of colour? Where are the non-white-male superheroes? If I’m being completely honest, I think that gaming is miles ahead of other forms of media, but now I’m getting ahead of myself.

First let’s have a look at a Twitter conversation that was linked by someone I follow, who summarised the conversation with the following caption: “I don’t like it and it’s a problem.”

tpl0ANP

I guess your reaction to this conversation depends on who you are, but when did it become okay to say that a sexy character is wrong? Further, why is it wrong just because this person feels that it’s wrong? Is it objectively wrong? Is there a metric of some sort that proves it to be wrong? And why is this okay to say for a game character when the real-life equivalent would in fact be considered slut-shaming? After all, regardless of regularity of the trope, he is basically saying that a sexy character is “profoundly alienating” and “depressingly common” based on the images above.

For a long time the likes of Lara Croft have been criticised as sexually gratuitous, and catering to the male gaze, despite the fact that Lara’s large breasts were the result of a graphical glitch that made it into the final build. But let’s not even go that far; are there not women in the world who have breasts the size of Lara Croft’s? How do you think they feel every time someone says something like, “Boobs aren’t like that, IRL!”?

Why not both?

I won’t contest that there are a lot of games that put female characters in sexy clothing, but that’s like saying there are a lot of women in the real world who would go out wearing sexy clothing. There are, and they do. Likewise, as much as some games are unashamedly gratuitous about their displays of women, there are also places in the world that are as gratuitous if not more — just visit a nightclub. However there are also women who don’t go around in sexy clothing, just like there are games that do the same for women. In a way, gaming already mirrors real-life. And more especially, gaming caters to its market. If the market wants a particular thing, gaming will shift towards that thing.

Why? Because gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry, and game developers and publishers are going to go where the market is. This is why you get a bit more representation with the indie developers; because most of the time they’re making what they want to, not what the market wants. Ultimately though, the market does dictate, and if sexy sells then sexy is what gets made. Does that mean there is no space for anything else? Of course not, after all there is certainly a hubbub about having more representation so a market must surely exist, it just means that there can be representation for both.

But what do the numbers say?

Here’s where it gets a little more interesting. We all know that nearly half of all gamers are women, right? Despite claims that gaming is a boy’s club, nearly half of all gamers are not in fact boys, so they must play something currently part of the gaming industry in order to qualify as gamers, yes? Here is an infographic sourced online which shows what percentage of women and men play particular games:

uYiSePG

So despite games such as Mass Effect, Final Fantasy and Resident Evil all having strong portrayals of female characters in their games, they are still played by a majority of men. Meanwhile, the games that have strong female player counts are SingStar, Candy Crush, and Animal Crossing. You can argue philosophy and politics all you’d like, but numbers are typically quite damning. And the interpretation of these numbers can go any way you’d like, they would still ultimately lead to the conclusion that a game with strongly 50/50 player bases of males and females, looks like this:

1 Cg9IiA31Xwd96qUXa_s2Rw

So what gives? Why are we being led to believe that there are so many discrepancies in gaming, and that there is a conglomerate of women who are eagerly awaiting their stories to be told, who are sick and tired of the way games are currently portrayed in the triple-A sphere, and just want something they can call their own? Despite this claim, why is it that Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure games have 80%-female player bases, whereas Mass Effect, a game lauded for its representation of all types of people, can only boast 14%? (If you’d like further reading, you can have a look here.)

Well the quickest and simplest response, quite honestly, is that you were told as much.

By this woman

By this woman

Anita Sarkeesian is the Vani Hari of gaming

If you don’t know who Vani Hari is, then you are a lucky person. Calling herself Food Babe, Vani Hari is a computer science graduate who turned her attention to GMOs, and uses pseudoscience to justify her assertions that GMOs are evil, and “Big Agro” is out to get us, spouting off such nonsense as consuming liquids causes problems for digestion of food, negative thoughts ruins microwaved food, and perhaps most incredibly, airlines deprive you of 100% oxygen and sometimes spray you with pesticides. Seriously.

In many ways, Anita Sarkeesian has done the same thing to videogames, albeit with cleverer execution. She has taken rudimentary forms of archaic feminist concepts not applicable to the gaming sphere, and then applied those concepts to the gaming sphere. The result is a mismatched, misrepresented idea of what the state of gaming is currently like, using out-of-context scenes and images to better convey her (or co-writer Jonathan McIntosh’s) points. Much like Food Babe, her many harsh critics have led to her garnering the support of millions who flocked to her defence, with even celebrities supporting her cause. The likes of Joss Whedon, Wil Wheaton, and Stephen Colbert for example.

But with Feminist Frequency, and the Tropes Vs Women in Video Games series, there is a lot of harm being done as well. Now I’m not going to stand on a self-righteous pedestal and claim that Feminist Frequency has made game developers hesitant to portray women in games for fear of criticism of their portrayals, because I believe that would be counter-balanced by the criticism of a developer who opts not to include women in games at all. But the problem comes in what we consider to be fair representation and what we don’t, and how many valid and viable options of fair representation are being overlooked and ignored in favour of the chosen narrative: That gaming is inherently sexist, and needs to change.

Now we could argue about whether or not gaming is actually sexist until we’re both blue in the face but let’s rather look at it like this: Society is sexist, and has been for a long, long time. This is changing. Slowly but surely, this is progressing towards equality. Of late, feminism has diversified into select sub-classifications, and the third-wave, radical feminists are those “fight the patriarchy!” folks who maintain the narrative that gaming is in fact a horrendously sexist place, devoid of equal representation and sorely lacking in any form of actual equality. Thing is… that’s not at all true if you only paid attention.

Gaming is more progressive than you might think

Have a look at the scrollable image above (zoom in if your browser doesn’t do it for you, or alternatively click here) and you will see a list of LGBT characters found in gaming, currently. Note also that this list extends well into the early days of gaming, with both strong female and LGBT characters present since gaming’s inception. But you’ll never hear about that if you aren’t careful to do your own research, rather than taking at face value, what the likes of Anita are saying about gaming.

Gaming has always been representative; you just haven’t been shown the right games to prove it.

Throughout her criticisms of current gaming, and calling for better representation of women in games, I’ve always wondered why Anita Sarkeesian left out the likes of Ellie from Borderlands 2 as working examples of doing it right. Then again, this is the same Anita Sarkeesian that believes women who aren’t the right type of feminist are doing all other women a disservice. I find that astounding, but I digress from that point. Anita Sarkeesian has laid out eight basic principles for making gaming better for women (a fair request, by all accounts) as follows:

  1. Avoid the Smurfette principle (don’t have just one female character in an ensemble cast, let alone one whose personality is more or less “girl” or “woman.”)
  2. “Lingerie is not armor” (Dress female characters as something other than sex objects.)
  3. Have female characters of various body types
  4. Don’t over-emphasize female characters’ rear ends, not any more than you would the average male character’s.
  5. Include more female characters of color.
  6. Animate female characters to move the way normal women, soldiers or athletes would move.
  7. Record female character voiceover so that pain sounds painful, not orgasmic
  8. Include female enemies, but don’t sexualize those enemies

But what does it mean? What if you had two sexy characters who were strong, without over-emphasised parts, and one of them was of colour? Who reacted realistically to harm, and presented believable portrayals of women?

Or, this

Or, this

This isn’t the only example, either. Developer Stardock presented another example of applying Anita’s eight rules, and you never heard about that one either. I wonder why?

Meanwhile, the Feminist Frequency website lists the likes of Gone Home, Mirror’s Edge, Portal, and Beyond Good & Evil in its list of recommended games. But no love for Gears of War? And none for Borderlands 2? Tomb Raider meanwhile, remains one of the biggest targets of contention, where Lara Croft is still the target of criticism because the likes of Anita consider her latest game to be torture porn.

My question then, is: You want a strong female character, but you don’t want her exposed to violence? But you want her to do what male characters do, which is commit and receive violence, in a game that is based around violence. Meanwhile, the likes of Bayonetta, despite being written by a female developer, and despite being a strong and empowered woman with her own agency and motivations, is considered a shameless example of catering to the male gaze. You know what I call that? Strawmanning.

But don’t confuse this with a hit piece, because I don’t mean to attack Anita Sarkeesian. I together with many, many, many, many others fully support her right to critique; I just don’t believe that she is not above critique, herself. And perhaps this is the biggest issue of late, because the two facets of sexism in society and sexism in gaming are becoming muddled together, such that many jump to Anita’s defence, not because of her critiques being sound, but because they identify with that overt sexism Anita experiences, which is truly awful.

No, I am not concerned with whether Anita Sarkeesian is a gamer or not, because honestly, I don’t mind someone who isn’t a gamer critiquing games from an outsider’s perspective, so more power to her if she isn’t. I’m not concerned with disproving her, or making a point of the fact that she was a telemarketer before she was a games critic. If she wants to make her money from critiquing videogames, then I’ll say again, more power to her. But the problem that comes with this is that when you jump to someone’s defence for one reason (harassment), you inadvertently disregard the folks who are criticising (read: not attacking) her for another reason (her critiques). That is to say, you ignore the other critics, a lot of whom, are women.

There are alternatives

My focus on Feminist Frequency is because they are by far and away leading the charge in the discussion of representation in gaming, but it really isn’t the only voice on the internet discussing the topic right now, regardless of what the internet is trying to tell you. The truth is, there are some arguably better, definitely more well-researched women on the internet discussing gaming all the time. And they didn’t require a hundred-thousand-dollar Kickstarter that nevertheless used artwork and game footage without permission, and was accused of outright dishonesty in the process. Here are a few of them:

Liana Kerzner‘s five-part discussion on representation in gaming, and why Feminist Frequency is doing it wrong: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Quite possibly the most important of the links I have to share, and one of the most powerful reads I’ve had in a while, Liana Kerzner used actual research and citable sources to convey her thoughts on the state of gaming today, and I take every opportunity to promote this series of articles as the best alternative to Feminist Frequency. And the best part is, she didn’t need $100,000 to do this.

Angela Night‘s ongoing blog about feminism and gaming, entitled Thoughts of a Feminist Gamer. Where she regularly discusses things from a slightly less myopic viewpoint, identifying aspects of sexism in games that are not inherently sexist, and attempting to diversify and discuss areas that radical feminists immediately dismiss. She’s been known to take on the odd feminist as well, which I feel is important to ensure that logic prevails. Nothing should be above critique, after all.

Elise Favis‘s opinion pieces on Game Informer, most recently We Need More Female Leads In Narrative Games, which delightfully explain what games currently do right, and what they do wrong, so we can effectively identify what can be improved upon for future. No outlandish claims, nothing out of context, just easy and simple words and thoughts.

Liz Finnegan is a new recruit over on The Escapist who’s been doing a series of articles entitled Pixels and Bits, in which she explores the tenets and traditions of games, while providing entertaining commentary and thought throughout.

Finally, not actually a woman but a developer for The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and former co-owner of People Can Fly, is Adrian Chmielarz, who wrote the article that inspired a lot of this piece today. It’s called Woman and Video Games, and it takes a very interesting look at the market side of things, straying away from conjecture, pseudoscience, and hearsay, and presenting actual research, and many, many citations. Like any good critique should.

Despite the narrative offered to you, the truth is that there is a lot more than initially meets the eye, you need only look for it. Start with Wikipedia, if you absolutely must. Read about gender representation, and LGBT themes in videogames, and go from there. Because it really isn’t as bad as they say it is. Is it where we need it to be? No. Gaming could definitely use some work. But the day we allow critique to be above critique, is the day we forgo critical thought and succumb to 1984-styled truthspeak.

Let’s go away from gaming now…

Then there’s the other side of things. The claim that “women in tech” are being oppressed, that there are very few in the gaming industry, and that they’re having a really hard time about it. Hmm…

Wrong again.

Don’t mistake me, there should definitely be a lot more women in games, but I grew up idolising Jade Raymond when she was a lead developer at Ubisoft, and the likes of Rhianna Pratchett and Amy Hennig have taught me that there are strong, inspirational women in this industry, who can be role models to many. In fact, they have been. A massive reason for why I am a writer today is because of another South African writer, also female.

It really isn’t nearly as bad as has been claimed, and I’m afraid the narrative that gaming is sexist, and that harassment is all that you can expect from joining this industry is only going to push more and more women away from the industry. It’s counter-productive, above being false. Again don’t mistake me, harassment is a massive problem on the internet, and gaming happens to overlap with the internet in a big way, so harassment is also a part of gaming, but it is not the be-all-and-end-all of gaming, and certainly not a “women-only” issue — not to undermine the problem of harassment of women online at all, I must stress that much.

All I’m asking here is that we stop believing the doom cries and fear-mongering of people who are doing their best to promote themselves while portraying a false image of the games industry as it currently is.

See my previous column for examples of such.

What they probably don’t tell you

Meanwhile, the likes of Paradox Interactive, with their female CEO and lead designer, are breaking sales records and getting rave reviews with Cities: Skylines, and not a threat nor complaint of harassment in sight. It’s almost as if the narrative you’ve been told is… false?

I’ve held for a long time that the loudest and most critical voices in gaming right now, regarding the representation of women in gaming, are those who stand to gain monetarily from it. They will make base proclamations and statements without a shred of evidence or citation, mostly just opinion or pseudoscience, and then ask you to support their Patreon or Kickstarter. The likes of Brianna Wu have been singing songs about how difficult women in gaming have it, while turning around and asking for money. I think it’s time we began to separate the loudmouths from the actual critics.

The ones who are willing to engage. The ones who are not above criticisms. The ones who don’t hide behind block bots, or ignore anyone with a question of critique. The ones who don’t block and shout “harassment” the moment someone disagrees with them. The ones who are capable of identifying what is and is not criticism. The ones who, for lack of a better word, are civil. Capable of having a discussion. Not above it all. Those are the folks we should be aspiring to champion, not the Anita Sarkeesians of the world who really couldn’t give a damn about you or your defence of her right to critique.

My intention with this column is not to much to paint the picture that gaming is a field of sunflowers and daisies, but rather that it’s not all doom and gloom, as has previously been presented — and really, I find it quite telling that the loudest voices are not actually long-standing contributors to games development but rather media, and indie developers. My intention then, is to show you that side that you’ve perhaps not yet seen. And if I get to poke at the people who’ve been painting that image, then all the better for it. I never claimed to be above it all.

I think it’s time we stopped hiding behind the façade of an unfriendly and unwelcoming games industry. We already have the representation present. We just need more of it, and scaring everybody off helps nobody. Let’s band together and report the trolls, condemn the harassers, and promote the folks who promote gaming through sound research and sourced references. Because really, it’s only as bad as you believe it is. And ultimately, it’s what you put in that you get out.

Feel free to disagree with me in the comments below.

Addendum: You know, if the conversation shifted to racial representation, I would be fully behind that, because as much as I see strong female characters, and a wide array of LGBT characters, I’m not nearly as overwhelmed by people of colour, either in the games I play, or playing the games I play. Racism, as far as my personal experiences go, is a much larger issue on the internet, not to undermine sexism at all. But let’s be fair about it here, a lot of the loudest voices in all of these discussions have been white. I’d like a bit more brown in my conversations please.

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The EGMR Offensive #6: The Killing Joke http://egmr.net/2015/03/egmr-offensive-6-killing-joke/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/egmr-offensive-6-killing-joke/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 09:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168732 Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive. This week’s podcast is a rather more political affair, discussing the array of Twitter campaigns that went […]

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Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive.

This week’s podcast is a rather more political affair, discussing the array of Twitter campaigns that went around the internets this past week. But don’t worry, we’ve also saved some salt for disgruntled gamers who are not happy with the length of Bloodborne, at a paltry 40 hours. Oh and have you seen Titanfall’s sequel? All this and more, right here on your favourite gaming podcast featuring offensive brown people.

Here are the topics discussed during this week’s episode:

  • Have you seen Titanfall 2?!
  • Evolve’s growing pains
  • The origin of #LetDevsSpeak
  • Don’t forget #ChangeTheCover
  • 40 hours of Bloodborne is apparently not enough
  • Questions

Keen on getting offended? Here’s how:

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | Android | RSS

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Nintendo Wants To Make Games For Smartphones http://egmr.net/2015/03/nintendo-wants-make-games-smartphones/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/nintendo-wants-make-games-smartphones/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 11:00:23 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168708 If you’re one of those folks who use emulators on their Android or Apple device to play games like Pokémon, Super Mario, and Legend of Zelda, then you’re either going […]

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If you’re one of those folks who use emulators on their Android or Apple device to play games like Pokémon, Super Mario, and Legend of Zelda, then you’re either going to love this news, or be indifferent to this news because you already get your fill.

Either way, it delights us to inform you guys that Nintendo will be working with a Japanese mobile games publisher called DeNA to create new games for smartphones, all based on their various IP.

According to Nintendo, all existing IP is included in the deal, and the partnership will see both companies exploring all possibilities in the creation of new original titles based on these IP. To emphasise: Existing IP will not be ported over, but original content will be created instead.

You’re welcome to take this as you please; after all, it could still just be remakes.

“Both companies will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo’s IP, including its iconic game characters, for smart devices,” reads a statement from Nintendo. “To ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimised for smart device functionality will be created, rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.”

The two companies will also be working on a membership service across all three devices, likely similar to Xbox LIVE Gold, and PlayStation Plus.

For a very long time, we’ve held the criticism of Nintendo that they’re just really old people who don’t understand how the industry has progressed, opting instead to simply rest on making “toys” for kids rather than getting with the times. This is why the greatest MMO to ever exist has not yet been created, despite Splatoon being the most exciting thing to have been announced in recent years.

To their credit, Nintendo has also made some great moves of late, with the likes of Bayonetta 2 releasing on Wii U and effectively reinvigorating a dead console in many regions. Here in South Africa, the console now has market demand again, even after a few local retailers cleared stock a few years ago, letting the consoles go for a fifth of the price. Those lucky folk who bought it back then are probably chuffed with themselves now.

What do you think of Nintendo’s shift towards mobile? Will it be more free-to-play bullshit from a beloved maker of games, or will it be something new and different that only Nintendo could realistically have pulled off? Let us know in the comments below.

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What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-5/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-5/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 09:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168693 Perhaps the reason for the Film & Publication Board’s new draft is to put a decisive and immediate end to all things EGMR? We can’t say for certain, but we […]

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Perhaps the reason for the Film & Publication Board’s new draft is to put a decisive and immediate end to all things EGMR? We can’t say for certain, but we can say that it seems likely. Also: Hands off our internet.

Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would attempt to answer them. With our new podcast, the EGMR Offensive, we want to try something slightly different.

We want you to suggest topics for us to discuss. Because it’s a much more topic-based podcast, we’ll be discussing a few of the biggest news stories for the past week or two. So we thought, why not just ask you guys and see what you’d like to hear us talk about? This article is your opportunity to do just that.

If you would just like to ask us questions as usual, then by all means do so. However if you have some hot topic you’d like us to dig our teeth into, then by all means do that too. Either way, the comments section is your friend. Go wild.

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But Have You Seen Titanfall’s DLC? It’s Free Forever http://egmr.net/2015/03/seen-titanfalls-dlc-free-forever/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/seen-titanfalls-dlc-free-forever/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 12:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168594 When Titanfall released last year, a lot of people bought it and enjoyed it. Those people likely weren’t South African, because the game’s release was cancelled for South Africa following […]

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When Titanfall released last year, a lot of people bought it and enjoyed it.

Those people likely weren’t South African, because the game’s release was cancelled for South Africa following some rather contentious CPA violation allegations levelled against publishers Electronic Arts, and developers Respawn Entertainment. Titanfall’s reliance on Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers ended up harming the game’s viability here in South Africa, and the decision was taken to cancel release.

Not that that stopped anyone.

Thing is, you can actually quite easily procure Titanfall for your PC, Xbox One or Xbox 360, just by going digital. Or you could even import, if you’re daring enough to risk dealing with our country’s Customs department.

Lots of South Africans have had a chance to get their Titanfall on, and while the game was initially hyped to shit, and continues to be regarded as “overhyped” the actuality is that lots of people are actually still thoroughly enjoying the game, and its frantic mech-infused action. And if you’re one of those folks then you’re in some luck depending on whether or not you purchased the season pass.

See, Respawn Entertainment recently priced all DLC and the season pass for Titanfall as free, which led to the obvious question being asked:

And so it was that current and future players of Titanfall will be able to get all DLC and the season pass for entirely free. Pretty neat, right?

This follows the announcement that Titanfall 2 is coming, and will be multiplatform, with a PlayStation 4 version planned. On Titanfall 2, Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella said that the studio would be considering a more Evolve-like model. Evolve offers players free maps, but charges for optional characters and weapon skins.

So does that mean Titanfall might actually be worth picking up now? I guess I’ll leave that up to you to decide but I certainly think there has never been a better time to see Titanfall. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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The EGMR Offensive #5: PC Beats All http://egmr.net/2015/03/egmr-offensive-5-pc-beats/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/egmr-offensive-5-pc-beats/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 09:00:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168465 Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive. We’re back in the gaming swing of things this week, with a decidedly more platform-focussed podcast, discussing […]

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Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive.

We’re back in the gaming swing of things this week, with a decidedly more platform-focussed podcast, discussing the likes of Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC gaming, including functionality, performance, and multiplayer. We also delve into returning greats, and a whole lot more. We hope you enjoy the show. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments once you’re done giving it a listen. We really appreciate the feedback.

Here are the topics discussed during this week’s episode:

  • Marvel is skipping Comic-Con
  • Rock Band 4 is bringing back rhythm
  • Xbox One’s March Update looks pretty sweet
  • People are angry about Xbox LIVE being free on PC
  • Hotline Miami 2 review scores

Keen on getting offended? Here’s how:

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | Android | RSS

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What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-4/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-4/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 09:00:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168358 Known as much by his acting name as he was by his real name, EGMR salutes the passing of one of the greats; Leonard Nemoy, also known as Spock, the […]

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Known as much by his acting name as he was by his real name, EGMR salutes the passing of one of the greats; Leonard Nemoy, also known as Spock, the logic-fuelled Vulcan from Star Trek who taught us to Live Long and Prosper. Unlike everyone’s favourite podcast, which forgoes all logic and teaches us to live erratically and fail miserably.

Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would attempt to answer them. With our new podcast, the EGMR Offensive, we want to try something slightly different.

We want you to suggest topics for us to discuss. Because it’s a much more topic-based podcast, we’ll be discussing a few of the biggest news stories for the past week or two. So we thought, why not just ask you guys and see what you’d like to hear us talk about? This article is your opportunity to do just that.

If you would just like to ask us questions as usual, then by all means do so. However if you have some hot topic you’d like us to dig our teeth into, then by all means do that too. Either way, the comments section is your friend. Go wild.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: On #GamerGate, Feminism, Ethics, Harassment, And Working Together http://egmr.net/2015/03/life-universe-gaming-gamergate-feminism-ethics-harassment-working-together/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/life-universe-gaming-gamergate-feminism-ethics-harassment-working-together/#comments Mon, 09 Mar 2015 09:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168156 Alternative title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To #GamerGate Let’s begin by clearly declaring our outliers here: Today’s column is not meant to take a side, either for or against the hashtag […]

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Alternative title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To #GamerGate

Let’s begin by clearly declaring our outliers here: Today’s column is not meant to take a side, either for or against the hashtag collective that is #GamerGate. Now since this is an opinion column, I shall share my own standpoint shortly. But first let’s establish who this article is for.

A lot of people ask me, “Cavie, you beautiful creature, what is this #GamerGate thing all about, and why does it have so many people so angry?” To which I typically respond, “Well, most noble and scholarly friend, #GamerGate is a whole mess of things depending on who you are, and you should most certainly stay out of it. But if you really must know…” See the thing is, there are a lot of people who think that #GamerGate is this or that, typically based on what people close to them have portrayed it as, or what they have personally been exposed to. These could be very different things as you can expect. Here’s the thing though: There are a lot of other people who claim indifference, who are simply not willing to have the conversation, but nonetheless condemn as if they know what they’re talking about — watch these people run to the comments without reading past the titles. I personally detest that level of ignorance, and I want to firmly establish a common ground upon which we can all tread. One established mostly on verifiable facts, sound reporting, and other content that I feel deserves to be shared (note: not necessarily fact, but worth sharing). It is therefore up to you to decide whether or not you feel this is fair and equal representation, or a biased perspective.

If you’d like my personal opinion of #GamerGate, then you’re going to have to read through all of this — or do the lazy thing and scroll to the end.

Throughout this column, I am going to do my best to address both sides of the argument, with the hope being to allow for as much fair coverage as is humanly possible. Please work with me on this, it’s quite difficult to be 100% objective, but I will give it my best shot.

 

So what exactly is #GamerGate?

The pro-#GamerGate side would have you believe that #GamerGate is a consumer revolt intended to fight corruption in the games industry by bringing writers and websites to task for unethical and questionable practices. The anti-#GamerGate side would have you believe that it is a hate campaign of harassment which is a product of internet misogyny and exists as a form of resistance to change in gamer culture. These are two very loaded sides, and I believe that each has an element of truth to them. If I look at the pro-#GamerGate side, I can quite easily see that yes, there are unethical practices in the games industry, but if I look at the anti-#GamerGate side, I do wonder why it’s mostly women who are being brought to task for this (addendum: based on public perception and most readily available examples).

We must then also consider the point from which all of this madness spawned, and that’s a tweet by Adam Baldwin with the hashtag #GamerGate, in which he linked to two videos that covered The Quinnspiracy Saga from August last year. The pro-#GamerGate side would insist that the Quinnspiracy is a forgotten episode, and that the focus has since shifted towards ethics in games journalism, while the anti-#GamerGate side would argue that anything born of harassment is still, in effect, a form of harassment, and therefore #GamerGate cannot ever be considered anything more than a hate campaign as a result. The question is, is that a fair assessment? After all, are all Muslims condemned for the acts of Islamic extremists? Were non-white Apartheid freedom fighters condemned for their acts of rape and terrorism? And what about all the harassment that has been going on for years before this? Perhaps let’s break it down a bit…

 

Let’s talk about harassment on the internet

Hi, my name is Caveshen Rajman, I am a twenty-something, straight ethnic male who has been a victim of internet harassment. I have received death threats for not liking a game (Halo 3) that others liked, I have been asked to kill myself, and been accused of being a sad, lonely virgin for many years of my life, just for expressing an opinion on the internet. I was told, in no uncertain terms, to go and fuck (or kill) myself whenever I tried to communicate on internet forums (some local), I was even investigated, and had personal family details revealed, by a man who claimed to be a police inspector, who took issue with my advocating the downloading of TV series from the internet. Most recently, I expressed a dislikeable opinion about a game called Destiny, and had my Xbox LIVE, Gmail, and Twitter hacked (they had different passwords) by angry internet users who didn’t like what I had to say about the game. This is over and above being very publicly lambasted by other websites, users, and even some of my own team members at the time.

Because of the anonymity of the internet, you are quite prone to being harassed. This is just how it has been online, and nobody feels that more, than women. That’s not to say that men don’t feel it too, but really, a woman with a strong opinion on the internet is the target of just the worst kinds of harassment and discrimination. We’ll discuss the very necessary conversation of feminism in a moment, but let’s first get one thing abundantly clear: Women on the internet have a really fucking tough time. That’s not me “white knighting” as they say, because honestly I also feel that a lot of women prey off this idea and throw themselves directly into the line of fire unnecessarily, and receive abuse, effectively for themselves being abusers. These are however outliers, and many women simply do not ask for abuse, but nonetheless receive it. Either in the form of threats, disingenuous disagreement based purely on gender, scepticism, and of course, sexual harassment. And in the wake of #GamerGate (had to), the anti-#GamerGate side has argued once again that harassment and hate has been a core element of #GamerGate. Let’s have a look at that in the form of tweets I found online:

Threats from #GamerGate
GGthreats1

GGthreats2

GGthreats3
Threats from Anti-#GamerGate
AntiGGthreats1

AntiGGthreats2

AntiGGthreats3

AntiGGthreats4

AntiGGthreats5

AntiGGthreats6

AntiGGthreats7

AntiGGthreats8
Men who were threatened
Menthreats1

Menthreats2

So you see, nobody is really innocent here, and everyone is a victim in some way. That’s not to undermine the very real and dangerous threat to Zoe Quinn’s life last year during the Quinnspiracy, something that I wholly condemned back then, and still do now. What happened, and continues to happen, is borderline barbaric and uncalled for. My only intention here is to establish three things:

  1. Internet harassment has been on the internet for as long as I can remember, and is going nowhere any time soon.
  2. Neither side is innocent, or not guilty of themselves being harassers, as has been demonstrated.
  3. The focus is abundantly on females, whether it’s the argument that only females are guilty of corruption, the bewildering number of female harassment cases I’ve seen online, or the disregarding of males who are also being harassed, albeit admittedly not nearly as much as females are.

So to summarise: Women get harassed, whether they are pro- or anti-#GamerGate, yet #GamerGate appears to be universally condemned for it, even by people outside of the gaming industry. In much the same way that Grand Theft Auto once made all of us killers.

Now let’s talk about the other half of the harassment…

 

Feminism in modern culture

I am no expert on feminism, and I make no claims to being otherwise. In the past, I have written articles in support of women and representation in gaming quite a bit, but of late I found myself slightly more critical. Why? Because for the first time I actually engaged it, and I discovered that there is such a thing, as with anything, as the ‘wrong kind’ of feminist.

B1OOcoECMAAyKkq

Now that’s not to say I follow the sentiment that feminism is killing gaming. No, of course not. I find that sentiment to be frankly absurd. I do however see that based on who you are, one feminist is the “right kind” and the other is the “attention seeking” kind, with very few exceptions in between, and this is constant across all sides. This, friends, is more of an argument in semantics, much in the same way actual feminism is. Feminism has permeated gaming and is here to stay, and so along with that must come the copious amounts of discussion surrounding feminism. After all, where do we draw the line between empowerment, and reverse discrimination? Personally, I am pro-equality, and that means equal rights for all. To see some women spoken down upon for not being the same kind of feminist as another is, quite honestly, incredible to behold.

On the anti-#GamerGate side are feminists the likes of Leigh Alexander and Anita Sarkeesian, while on the pro-#GamerGate side are feminists the likes of Liana Kerzner and Christina Sommers. The latter two have, thus far, employed the use of research and academic references to explain their standpoints. The former have dealt more with opinion and personal research. Anita Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency videos in particular have become above reproach to many who feel that critique is necessary in gaming, but do not allow that critique to, itself be critiqued, something that nonetheless deserves its own voice.

And when all of this is said and done, where is the other representation? We always hear of representation for the LGBT community, and of course people of colour, but how are they being represented. On the #GamerGate side, you have #NotYourShield, a subsection of #GamerGate formed from women, LGBT members, and people of colour who stand with #GamerGate against what they perceive to be another attack on them from privileged white people who want to speak on their behalf. Or, this video:

On the anti-#GamerGate side, during my research I found very little to indicate that it was about anything other than stopping the harassment of women on the internet, which as I’ve said, does happen and is not something that can be easily dismissed, nor should it be. From my own research, I have struggled to find many people of colour, or LGBT community members who have argued against #GamerGate, and the best it’s come to has been a few ethnic members who are unwilling to concede that #GamerGate is comprised of anything other than privileged white males, and their indoctrinated, sexism-internalising allies. It was quite telling to see the frequency of non-white gamers who flocked behind #GamerGate however:

Which then brings me to my next point, one that does indeed reflect the opinion of Leigh Alexander in her article entitled ‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over. albeit in a very circular fashion, and without the assumption that all of this is happening due to resistance to change in the current way of things. I believe that as gaming matures and permeates the mainstream, it will gain the discussion points of the mainstream. The likes of equal representation and ethical treatment, as well as corruption and questionable behaviour. Equal representation of women, for example, is a broad and diverse issue across all subcultures of humanity, not just gaming, and not just entertainment. Last year’s Fappening for example, had nothing to do with gaming. To go further into our daily living, women are forced to either take the surnames of their fathers or their husbands when married. In many situations women are paid less, just by virtue of being women.

To cut a long story short, gaming has inherited the contentious issues of our modern world, and therefore #GamerGate is the first real hot debate to have come from that. In other words…

 

It’s all political

You might have seen words like “SJW” and “MRA” used a lot on the internet recently. Social, justice and warrior, are all seemingly okay words, right? What about men’s, rights, and activists? So why then are both these terms used negatively, and in direct opposition to each other in gaming?

Throughout my research on this piece, I found that many pro- and anti-#GamerGate discussions occurred around other terms such as anarchist, left-wing, libertarian, and so on. These are political terms, and I believe #GamerGate to be the first political war in gaming. This has a few very big connotations, as follows:

  1. Humanity is accustomed to fighting revolutions for change. If there is change, there is typically some destructive element that happens to bring about that change. In the absence of real wars and conflict, we have turned on ourselves and our way of life, and as a result, fundamentally split ourselves into factions based on beliefs and opinions. This is abundantly apparent with the #GamerGate saga.
  2. The #GamerGate sides have become their own entities now. In other words, if you are anti-#GamerGate and one day start espousing pro-#GamerGate views, or vice versa, your respective side will take you to task for it, and your own followers and friends will turn on you, call you a hypocrite, and metaphorically burn you at the stake. Why? Because most members on the two sides are no longer bothered with having an actual discussion but are rather obsessed with firmly establishing that one side is completely right, while the other is completely wrong. Expectedly problematic.
  3. Despite what anyone says to the contrary, neither side is going to go anywhere any time soon. This is a direct result of the above-mentioned idea that both sides are now entities on their own.
  4. There will always be propaganda, because each side wants to win more supporters to its own cause. Therefore you will see misrepresented or falsified sentiments, and will be goaded into throwing your support to one or the other side, and if you should choose to remain neutral, you will be the target of both sides should you ever choose to involve yourself — either you will be a coward who is condoning harassment, or a coward who is unwilling to fight the corruption.

The entire thing got so political that it even found its way onto the David Pakman show over on YouTube, in which David Pakman interviewed four people, two pro-#GamerGate, two anti-#GamerGate, and eventually rendered his final verdict. Here are the rather lengthy videos if you’re interested in them. I strongly encourage watching them as they provide some excellent examples of the mentalities, personalities, and overall views of each party.
Brianna Wu

Total Biscuit

Arthur Chu

Liana Kerzner

David Pakman’s Final Verdict on #GamerGate

An unsurprising albeit unfortunately fair resolution to the entire thing, all agreed?

 

Now let’s talk about ethics

Ethical practices on the internet have always seemed like something of an oxymoron to me. After all, it’s the internet. There is so much possibility for misrepresentation and dishonesty through anonymity that how can we ever take anything at face value without questioning its integrity. Related to #GamerGate, how many examples of harassment above were from people who claimed they were part of #GamerGate, on either side, and how many were just internet trolls? And how many claims of harassment were categorically false? It’s really, really difficult to tell for certain.

Now that might sound like a harsh thing to say, but consider that if police reports were filed, then the police would have encouraged the involved parties not to speak publicly after filing a statement. If those parties then went public anyway, who’s to say it wasn’t for personal attention? The “crying wolf” accusation is constantly disregarded in favour of the sanctity of the victim, and this would need to change or more people will falsely accuse others and get away with it. Is it fair to call for evidence of claims made? It ought to be. The burden of proof should always lie with the accuser, should it not? Unfortunately it’s a tricky situation because you then undermine the real victims, and we never, ever want to stoop to that level. It’s quite tough in the end.

We must now come to the topic of “ethics in games journalism” which is something that the pro-#GamerGate side claims to fight for, to the point of being made fun of by others. Ethics in games journalism has been a point of contention for a while now, albeit never to this extent. It has certainly been growing, and has come a long way from the time when Doritosgate happened, and the internet piled on Geoff Keighley. From then on, the discussion of what constitutes actual games journalism and what is simply glorified blogging has been raging, hitting its high point late last year when a bunch of websites were brought to task for what gamers considered to be unethical practices.

But here’s the thing… you cannot fight the media. The power of the media is strong, and what first started out as silence eventually morphed into attacks on #GamerGate, despite the best efforts of those involved. Some gaming sites did their part to portray an equal amount of exposure for both sides — we did our part to represent the pro-#GamerGate and anti-#GamerGate sides as well — but for the most part if you see an article on #GamerGate on a popular gaming site, it will be labelled from the anti-#GamerGate perspective, i.e. a hate campaign that focuses on harassing women.

If you consider that #GamerGate is effectively taking the very same gaming websites, as well as game developers, to task, it kind of makes sense doesn’t it?

 

The blatant immaturity of it all…

The one question I’ve asked myself about all of this is, if the common argument across both sides of this saga is that gaming is not something to be taken so seriously, then why are the issues of representation and ethical practice such massively contentious topics?

The #GamerGate side will jump on anything that even slightly supports their claim, condemning or outright dismissing counter-arguments and jumping on rather shaky, questionable-at-best examples of evidence. If WikiLeaks taught us anything, it’s that if there is evidence of unfair practices then the truth will out. So why then is there not more evidence being presented each day, or is the focus simply not on that evidence but rather focusing too much on proving that it’s not actually about the harassment of women?

Meanwhile, the anti-#GamerGate side isn’t even willing to have a conversation, steadfast in the assertion that if you even so much as humour the #GamerGate side then you are implicitly condoning sexism, harassment and discrimination. But what about all the women, LGBT members, and people of colour who are also on the side of #GamerGate? Do they all have internalised sexism as is claimed, or is there actually more to the story?

If you’re a man on the anti-#GamerGate side, you are immediately accused of being a “white knight” who just wants to have sex with the women he is defending. If you’re a woman on the pro-#GamerGate side, you are immediately accused of being an “attention seeker” who just wants men to like her and accept her. Words such as “GG salt” and “man tears” are thrown around, whilst doxxing, threatening, bullying and harassment occurs on both sides, and when caught out they simply say, “Well the other side started it.”

My question to you all is, if a small minority are guilty of harassment and making death and rape threats, and that is enough to condemn the entire #GamerGate argument, why is it then okay, if not acceptable and at times warranted, for anti-#GamerGate members to do the same? I present to you a tweet in which the harassment of a ten-year-old kid was considered getting off easy, as compared to the harassment of an adult woman.

AntiGGthreats9

I have this to ask: Seriously?

 

What has all of this fighting achieved?

You would be forgiven for believing that it was nothing but actually, you would be incorrect.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Many like to exclaim that the headless movement that is #GamerGate has achieved no clear statement of their intentions, but this is, as it so happens, factually incorrect.

On the one side, #GamerGate has forced ethical policies to be enacted by various websites.

On the other side, #GamerGate has brought about active discussion regarding the treatment of women in the industry, including getting the likes of Anita Sarkeesian on The Colbert Report, and springboarding her to near-household-level fame amongst the techheads and geeks of the world.

Nonetheless, through the power of the media, those not in the know tend to shy away from #GamerGate and declare it a hate movement by default, where it has got to the point that people preface sentiments with, “I’m no GG supporter, but…” That, dear readers, is the take-away for many gaming outsiders.

 

Closing thoughts

It’s clear that people on either side of #GamerGate are fighting different battles. Anti-#GamerGate are fighting against harassment and abuse of women in gaming. Pro-#GamerGate are fighting against unethical journalism and corruption in gaming.

The topic of sexism in gaming is a contrasting one, with many women in gaming standing up and proclaiming themselves to be victims of abuse, whilst other women also in the gaming are calling “cop out” and declaring that actually, women in gaming are surviving and thriving, albeit not with anything remotely resembling the numbers of males.

Capture

I don’t think that feminism is an enemy of gaming, and fighting feminism should not be the point. We’ve seen that some feminists are willing to work together with others in the gaming industry to produce a better quality of gaming experience. Why on Earth would we want to stop that from happening? The argument that feminism is ruining gaming by making developers hesitant to be criticised, is offset by the argument that representation of women must happen or developers will be criticised anyway. And whereas the likes of Anita Sarkeesian would seek to critique without looking for discussion, disregarding pro-#GamerGate examples of representation of women in gaming, she is not the only voice of feminism… just the most antagonised and therefore celebrated right now. But there are others, and they do a much better job of understanding that no, it is not a ‘stubborn resistance to change’ that is the reason gamers are upset, but rather that examples of “misrepresentation” are taken out of context, or disrespecting of other female perspectives that simply don’t see a problem — and not because of internalised sexism.

Unfortunately, as has been stated earlier, there is no change without revolution. And revolution can be chaotic, destructive, not without some casualties along the way (I don’t mean casual gamers). Therefore all of this fighting, if ugly, is necessary, because from the ashes of the fallout of this political warfare will rise a different gaming industry for everyone. One that will undoubtedly be unrecognisable to those of us who grew up in the old one. But one that, hopefully, will be better. Changed. Sadly right now, it’s all the wrong people who are spearheading the cause for each side. You need people who are willing to be diplomatic, and have a proper discussion. I can at least see hints of that on the #GamerGate side but even they tend to flounder and trip on their frustrations, as has been demonstrated by Total Biscuit’s scathing attacks on Leigh Alexander recently.

The focus needs to shift away from harassment and whether or not it exists, and move towards highlighting and then abolishing corruption. The focus must shift to accountability, taking every single article, one at a time, for every single website, and looking at the facts as they are presented, then determining whether it is ethical or not. If the fight remains around harassment and whether or not it exists, then I’m afraid the entirety of the #GamerGate saga will have been an exercise in futility.

 

So what is my opinion of #GamerGate?

This might surprise you, but I actually consider myself to be a fence-sitter in the whole argument. I am for equality and against discrimination, which is why I cannot abide the disregarding of women, LGBT communities and people of colour who fall under the #NotYourShield banner, nor can I disregard that #GamerGate has in fact spawned from a disgusting attack on a developer of a free to play game, and the subsequent attacks on other women in the games industry.

Further, I don’t think that #GamerGate is the biggest issue in gaming, let alone the world right now. Don’t get me wrong, I do think that ethical practices are a massive topic of conversation, one that in the past I have lost some friends over, because after all gaming is a multi-billion-dollar franchise, and a very expensive pastime, and I’m honestly tired of people who have money to burn telling me that I must just shut up and play games and be happy, as if they fall into my fucking lap on command. If you can convince your ten thousand readers, unethically, to buy a $60 game, you’ve just made a developer $600,000 worth of money. Extreme example sure, but I have my own first-hand experiences of occasions where a particular website garnered favour with a distributor, developer or publisher, or vice versa, so I am not unaware of what goes on. How would you feel if we started punting the Nintendo New3DS as a viable gaming platform purely because we were offered a review platform if we did so, but never declared that to anyone? These things happen, and in an industry with so much money at stake, integrity and accountability are important.

But as much as I can get behind what #GamerGate is trying to accomplish, I still feel that there are bigger issues. In gaming alone, as much as women are under-represented, throughout my research what I found startling was that the overwhelming majority of either gender, was white. Where are the gamers of other races? Why is representation in this manner not also a discussion? The idea that gaming is a thing that needs to grow up is categorically untrue, because the likes of Bethesda and BioWare have been doing LGBT and race representation since the nineties. Gamers though? Less so. I can count on one hand, the number of black gamers I know. But as for women, I know many on both sides of this whole #GamerGate saga. So why is racial representation not also a large factor? Is it a case of one issue at a time? Or is it, as was previously stated, simply a political issue where the privileged fight each other while the rest of us are left to suffer the consequences of the rift created by the fight?

I have lost respect for so many people in this industry, and I find myself constantly upset by watching what’s going on. The worst, for me, is seeing those who claim to be above all of it and determining the rest of us to be silly and childish. But how wrong are they, really? In a world with global warming, an ongoing energy crisis, anti-vaccination, anti-GMOs, gluten allergies (seriously?), religious conflict, and failing democracies, how big of an issue is ethics in games journalism, really?

Here’s the kicker though: How many people outside of the gaming industry actually care about #GamerGate enough to educate themselves about it? Further, how many people within gaming development are actually bothered by it, or interested in joining the fight? I hear a lot of people go “I don’t care about all the drama, I only care about the games,” and how can I possibly fault them for that? Even if #GamerGate potentially ends up affecting their gaming in some way in the long run, how can I say they are wrong to hold this mindset?

To conclude then, I stand neither with nor against #GamerGate. I stand with equality. I stand with integrity. I stand with logic. And I stand with discussion. And when either side is willing to have a discussion, I for one will have both ears ready to listen, and both eyes ready to see. Will you?

Note: For a full series of the events of #GamerGate, please check out the Know Your Meme website, which presents what I’ve found to be the least biased perspective available.

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: On #GamerGate, Feminism, Ethics, Harassment, And Working Together appeared first on #egmr.

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Can You Tell The Difference Between Xbox One, PlayStation 4 And PC Graphics? http://egmr.net/2015/03/can-tell-difference-xbox-one-playstation-4-pc-graphics/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/can-tell-difference-xbox-one-playstation-4-pc-graphics/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:00:39 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168159 Brace yourselves for one of the most important videos in recent years. In the latest video from Gamespot’s Reality Check series, Cam Robinson discusses whether gamers can actually tell the […]

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Brace yourselves for one of the most important videos in recent years.

In the latest video from Gamespot’s Reality Check series, Cam Robinson discusses whether gamers can actually tell the graphical difference between the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. He does so by setting up a standardised rig and letting six people have a go at it. The result? Not as obvious as you might think.

There was a while during the previous generation when the graphics in games were good enough that people stopped caring and out of that time we got some truly sterling entries in gaming, the likes of BioShock, Dead Space, Gears of War, Assassin’s Creed, and so much more. Then the new generation of consoles released and the focus shifted once again on the visuals. Graphics comparisons became all the rage once more, and people cared far too much about whether a game looked as good on their preferred choice of console.

Despite the fact that they would only ever see it on their preferred choice of console, so the differences wouldn’t matter anyway.

Nonetheless, the experiment involved the playing of three games; Far Cry 4, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Assassin’s Creed: Unity, on all three platforms, but with the rigs manipulated in such a way that it would not be possible to determine which gaming platform you were playing on. The effect being that you had to guess based purely on the visuals and gameplay, which gaming platform you were playing on.

Interestingly, those who guessed PC did so for the feel of the game and not the visuals themselves. Further, a lot of them just got it flat out wrong. You’ll see that some event invented differences where there are none. I strongly encourage every person to watch this video in the shiny 1080p 60fps quality on YouTube, to get the full effect of it. And then when you’re done, be sure you play that guessing game at the end of the video.

When you’re done, please do come back and let us know what you think. We’d really be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

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Elite: Dangerous Will Release On Xbox One, And Not Be Dumbed Down http://egmr.net/2015/03/elite-dangerous-will-release-xbox-one-not-dumbed/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/elite-dangerous-will-release-xbox-one-not-dumbed/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 13:00:55 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168153 The Elite series of games have been around for almost as long as I have, in this gaming industry. That said, it has been a very long time since we’ve […]

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The Elite series of games have been around for almost as long as I have, in this gaming industry.

That said, it has been a very long time since we’ve seen a half-decent space simulator, let alone a proper Elite title.

My love affair with the space sim genre began with Freelancer, a game that presented you with a fully imagined galaxy and gave you freedom of exploration, allowing you to be whatever you’d like, from a trader to a bounty hunter to a pirate. The Elite and X series were other big games at the time, and I unfortunately never got into them at all.

But the Elite series is making a massive comeback with Elite: Dangerous, and we finally have some solid news about the game to share with you all.

The big announcement that came out of GDC 2015 was that the game will release not only on PC and Mac, but also on Xbox One. No PS4 version we’re afraid, but hey, you get No Man’s Sky.

Now this naturally led to fans questioning whether the game experience would be dumbed down in some way, to account for the less extensive controller setup, and somewhat inferior console hardware. Makes sense, especially after recent other games were outed for being inferior on a particular console, and the Xbox One in particular has suffered this a fair bit.

So developer Frontier, via CEO David Braben, took to the game’s official forums to allay fears and assure fans that the Xbox One version of the game will most certainly not be inferior in any way — except maybe the price, amirite?

“Elite: Dangerous on Xbox One will be the complete and authentic Elite: Dangerous experience. It will not be “dumbed down”. We’ll be working with an all-new audience, but that doesn’t mean a change in direction for the game, and nor does it mean slowing development on the PC version.”

Following this was the announcement that all versions of the game will share the the same overarching narrative and galaxy state. If that sounds like cross-play to you, we might just be on the same page about this.

Elite: Dangerous is slated for release around mid-year. The question is, will you be picking it up? Personally, the inside-spaceship view has always led to be a bit of nausea for me, so I might give it a try but as to whether I commit or not depends on my ability to adjust to it. Nonetheless, let us know what you think in the comments below.

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The EGMR Offensive #4: Use Idiots As Biofuel http://egmr.net/2015/03/egmr-offensive-4-use-idiots-biofuel/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/egmr-offensive-4-use-idiots-biofuel/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 09:00:40 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168129 Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive. This week we’re discussing all sorts of things from Halo: Master Chief Collection’s failure to properly handle […]

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Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive.

This week we’re discussing all sorts of things from Halo: Master Chief Collection’s failure to properly handle matchmaking in South Africa, to Samsung’s latest smartphone, the Galaxy S6, to collectors editions that are just batshit crazy. We hope you enjoy the show. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments once you’re done giving it a listen. We really appreciate the feedback.

Here are the topics discussed during this week’s episode:

  • Is Microsoft blocking Halo: MCC matchmaking in SA?
  • Samsung’s brand new Galaxy S6
  • Collectors editions so complex you need a spreadsheet
  • Making light of serious situations
  • Questions

Keen on getting offended? Here’s how:

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | Android | RSS

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Are Games “Basically Porn” Or Was Jonathan Blow Misunderstood? http://egmr.net/2015/03/games-basically-porn-jonathan-blow-misunderstood/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/games-basically-porn-jonathan-blow-misunderstood/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 14:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168061 It isn’t a day on the internet until you’ve seen a few knee-jerk reactions to a story. Earlier today while strolling through my Twitter timeline, I saw someone post a […]

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It isn’t a day on the internet until you’ve seen a few knee-jerk reactions to a story.

Earlier today while strolling through my Twitter timeline, I saw someone post a link to a write-up on Jonathan Blow ahead of his upcoming game, The Witness, which we have previously reported on. Two things immediately stuck out at me when I saw this article. First, I incorrectly thought it was Jonathan McIntosh who made the quite silly statement, and second, it just seemed like something completely absurd to say.

Here’s a direct quote from the original article:

“It’s kind of like if every movie were a porn movie, most people wouldn’t see movies,” he told me. “The majority of games are basically porn—the onus is on us to make more things that are worth a reasonable person’s time.”

Now at first I too was “triggered” by the statement, and had a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. But then I started thinking about what he said, and after discussing with a friend, we reached a consensus regarding the statement that required readers to think a little more and react a little less. But first, let’s talk about the statement at face value.

If we took it at face value, the notion of a “majority of games” is untrue unless we’re talking about what some might call “core” games, because casual games the likes of sports titles, mobile games, and so on, likely do not constitute the subject of this discussion. Then there’s the small matter of “porn” because I know very few games that are sexually explicit, and all of them are strongly restricted in quite a few countries.

But what if we thought of the statement as something a little less direct and a little more… metaphorical.

“The majority of games are basically porn.”

What does this mean in the context of metaphor? Well, consider porn to be a thing that is easy to watch, and caters directly to your needs. It satisfies you by presenting immediate gratification, and then you’re done with it and you move on.

Sounds kinda like video games, doesn’t it?!

When you choose to interpret it like this, it immediately seems more apt. Now I’m quite certain that this writer phrased it that way intentionally, and included the GamerGate mention in the title for added effect, because they understand that it will get them all the views to do so while simultaneously allowing them to have a go at GamerGate — I mean really, the only mention of GamerGate in this article was to criticise it, and it had nothing to do with anything of what Blow actually said, yet it somehow made it as part of the title. Baited like a champ, author.

But GamerGate folks didn’t waste any time in reacting with the jerkiest of knees to this story, and posting it everywhere while sarcastically suggesting the sexually explicit games they’ve been playing. Not all, granted. But a shameful many on my timeline, whom I expect better of.

Here’s what Jonathan Blow actually said in the article itself:

“A lot of games today are only interested in making players feel smart, rather than have players actually be smart. A game that is just trying to make you feel smart all the time runs the danger of being like a Potemkin village: you may feel like you’ve had this sequence of cool experiences, but when you look at them more closely, you find that most of them are empty. I feel like ‘try to make players feel smart’ is a shallow motivation and I hold some kind of mild contempt for it. Rather than making some relatively surface experience where people feel smart—the implication being that they’re not actually that smart, we’re just helping them feel that way—game designers should believe that people are intrinsically smart and give them a chance to exercise those muscles and become better at it.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Porn is easy. Porn is something you watch for leisure, not something you watch to engage in a deep and meaningful experience — I hope. A lot of games are also easy, and not worthy of anything more than leisure. And that’s fine, but why aspire to be so low on the scale of creativity, when there are games that truly inspire and delight? I mean, Braid was a spectacular game in its own right, and it certainly wasn’t an “easy” game.

“It’s about being in a world and looking around and wondering what that world is, and why we are there, and how the things that we perceive to happen can possibly be happening.”

At first, you might be excused for thinking Jonathan Blow a hypocrite, because The Witness is a singleplayer experience set on an island without other characters, a scripted storyline, or even enemies in most cases. So where’s the great complexity? In the puzzles, of course. The game will start off simple, then get more and more complex, requiring you to use knowledge gained from previous puzzles to progress.

I am okay with this.

I am okay with thinking of games like porn, if we’re speaking in metaphors. Jonathan Blow certainly isn’t a malicious guy, so I have no reason to believe he meant it in the frankly absurd literal sense. And if you take it that way, seriously, why would you take it that way unless you’re just looking for something to get angry at? I’ve been sympathetic towards GamerGate a lot, and I agree that the writer of the article above was disingenuously chucking their own opinion into an article that just wasn’t about GamerGate at all, but that’s where it ends, and that’s where it should end. Wouldn’t you say?

Let us know what you think in the comments. And watch people who didn’t read past the title argue the hilarity of the statement regardless.

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What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-3/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-3/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 09:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=168040 Blue and black, or white and gold? Hmm, guess it depends on your level of privilege. It’s actually about colours in fashion. Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask […]

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Blue and black, or white and gold? Hmm, guess it depends on your level of privilege. It’s actually about colours in fashion.

Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would attempt to answer them. With our new podcast, the EGMR Offensive, we want to try something slightly different.

We want you to suggest topics for us to discuss. Because it’s a much more topic-based podcast, we’ll be discussing a few of the biggest news stories for the past week or two. So we thought, why not just ask you guys and see what you’d like to hear us talk about? This article is your opportunity to do just that.

If you would just like to ask us questions as usual, then by all means do so. However if you have some hot topic you’d like us to dig our teeth into, then by all means do that too. Either way, the comments section is your friend. Go wild.

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Godus Isn’t The Only Kickstarter Disappointment, Here Are A Few More http://egmr.net/2015/02/godus-isnt-kickstarter-disappointment/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/godus-isnt-kickstarter-disappointment/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:00:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167722 Alternative: Controversial Starting an article is always difficult. Let’s start this one with the following statement: Deep down, we’re all pathological liars. Kickstarter isn’t always everyone’s friend. Sure, sometimes it […]

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Alternative: Controversial

Starting an article is always difficult. Let’s start this one with the following statement:

Deep down, we’re all pathological liars.

Kickstarter isn’t always everyone’s friend. Sure, sometimes it can present you with some truly great ideas, but other times it only shows you delusions of grandeur. As a result, it’s always a bit of a risk to put your faith in a Kickstarter project by becoming a backer. Sometimes the perks are worth the risk of investing in a project that could fail without return, but other times you’re better off not parting with your hard-earned disposable income. It’s just not worth taking the plunge for something that will likely never reach fruition. Unfortunately, we as gamers tend not to be very smart with how we spend our money — pre-order culture anyone? — so Kickstarter is the perfect gamer bait.

In 2012, a studio called 22 Cans which was created by Peter Molyneux and friends, started a Kickstarter for a game they called Project Godus. The game called itself “a delightful reinvention of the god game” and was billed for PC, Mac, iOS and Android. It seemed like a great idea at the time, as with any project Peter Molyneux puts his name on, eventually grossing over £500,000 from backers. You can predict what happened next…

Feature-Godus

A few weeks ago, Molyneux and friends came under fire for Godus not delivering on all its promises. To cut a long story short, it was a Peter Molyneux game. But that didn’t stop sites such as Rock Paper Shotgun from having a right go at the man, calling him out on his “lies” and asking for answers.

I felt that was unfair on a man who has lived his entire life devoted to this industry. A man whom I might add, has inspired thousands if not millions of gamers around the world. But since subjectivity is by its very nature, a matter of opinion, I thought we could take a slightly different look at things. Molyneux’s detractors would have you believe that he has once again singlehandedly brought the devil’s work to our homes, but actually there have been other Kickstarters which have failed to live up to expectations in some or the other way. Either they were cancelled, or have become too controversial for their own good, or they quite simply disappointed. I’d like to talk about a few of them today, to help establish my point that Godus is not the worst Kickstarter project out there, and certainly not the only one that should be brought to question. Despite it being the only one currently being brought to question.

For the purposes of relevance, I’ve opted not to mention certain Kickstarters such as the Ouya, which received good attention and success, then faded into irrelevance. Gamers are whimsical creatures, so it’s pointless bringing up previously celebrated but now forgotten creations.

 

CLANG

Feature-Clang

The first game we’re going to talk about is CLANG, a game that was proposed in 2012 by famed fiction author Neal Stephenson, of Cryptonomicon fame. He wanted to try his hand at a sword-fighting game, expressing dissatisfaction at the portrayals of such in current games, suggesting that they could be more fun than they were at the time. Backers loved it, and the Kickstarter went on to raise $500,000. Unfortunately a little later on, after burning through that money and cautioning patience amongst backers, Stephenson officially cancelled the game, stating that it just wasn’t very fun to play. Respectable admission of guilt, but how do they now pay back the $500,000 that backers gave for development? Perhaps it’s time Stephenson got to writing his next book, and handing out some free copies.

 

The Doom That Came To Atlantic City!

Feature-Doom

Next up is a game for fans of tabletop boardgames, entitled The Doom That Came To Atlantic City!. Billed as a “light hearted Lovecraftian game of urban destruction, for two to four players” the Kickstarter raised over $100,000 but sadly was not to see the light of day. The developers had the following to say of the game’s failure: “Every possible mistake was made, some due to [their] inexperience in board game publishing, others due to ego conflicts, legal issues and technical complications.” And that was all she wrote for this so-called boardgame to end all boardgames. So long, all that money.

 

myIDkey

Feature-myIDkey

Here is an example of something that seems to good to be true. And really, why was anyone convinced by the glaring security risk that is myIDkey? Nonetheless, the award-winning “voice-activated, fingerprint secure Bluetooth / USB Drive that displays passwords and personal info online and on the go” managed to raise nearly $500,000 from Kickstarter backers and a further $3 million from investors. Now in this case the project did reach fruition, but with a myriad of issues including faulty final products and lack of communication, eventually leading to lawsuits being filed. The Kickstarter has recently been updated with backers-only messages, but it’s safe to say that some backers got shafted hard.

 

Tentacle Bento

Feature-TentacleBento

Meet Tentacle Bento, a card game about tentacle rape. Oh Japan…

 

Tropes vs Women in Video Games

Feature-FemFreq

Let’s get controversial. Tropes vs Women in Video Games was initially a very interesting concept, promising very simply to “explore five common and recurring stereotypes of female characters in video games”. Many people took this as an academic discourse on sexism as it currently exists in video games. The project, which originally promised a slew of videos, as well as availability on multiple forms of media, went on to raise over $150,000. It inspired gamers to believe that we would finally get a stimulating and challenging look at one of the most contentious topics on the internet, but the final product, depending on who you were, led to contrasting views. See, a lot of the series was steeped in controversy. The videos took too long to come out, and when they eventually did, there were claims of stolen artwork, stolen game footage, outright dishonesty, and even women disagreeing with being spoken for in ways they don’t agree with. One backer went so far as to openly request a refund after initially supporting the Kickstarter.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world defended her “right to free speech” because Reasons™. Personally, I feel that pseudo-science has no place in legitimate critique, and taking situations out of context does not allow you to freely comment on them. Context, after all, is everything. Ask anyone who pulls the “context” card when referring to jokes about death threats. All in all, a controversial Kickstarter, and a lot more problematic than anything Molyneux has done. Why then did he get the scathing interview? But I digress from that shoddy attempt at a cheap shot.

 

Paper Airplane

Feature-PaperAirplane

This Kickstarter.

 

BONUS — Exploding Kittens

Feature-ExplodingKittens

Not technically a disappointing or controversial release, just worth noting that the Oatmeal guys wanted $10,000 for a Kickstarter project that resulted in them grossing over $8 million. I guess the internet really loves cats. (P.S. This might possibly be the greatest Kickstarter ever created.)

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The EGMR Offensive #3: Smells Like Balls http://egmr.net/2015/02/egmr-offensive-3-smells-like-balls/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/egmr-offensive-3-smells-like-balls/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:00:50 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167804 Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive. Why? Mostly because we can, partly because AG is a naming genius, but also because we feel […]

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Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive.

Why? Mostly because we can, partly because AG is a naming genius, but also because we feel it best reflects the kind of podcasters we are. In today’s world everyone is far too sensitive and what appeases one group will undoubtedly offend another, so we say why stroll the veritable minefield that is internet discussion when we can just blow the entire place up instead? Expect mostly gaming discussion with slight amounts of off-topic content (comics, movies, and so on) and a much more structured approach to podcasting.

Please do give us feedback after listening; we really worked hard on ensuring this sort of show format catered to what listeners previously wanted. Hopefully it serves well as a replacement to the old podcast. If you’re interested on catching up on the old show, check here: eGamer Podcast.

Here are the topics discussed during this week’s episode:

  • The Oscars
  • #thankyouanita
  • Banana Wu’s latest hypocrisy
  • Open world
  • Why some devs opt out of remote play, share play, and so on
  • Questions

Keen on getting offended? Here’s how:

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | Android | RSS

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What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? http://egmr.net/2015/02/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-2/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-2/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 09:00:31 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167680 Do you know what Leonardo diCaprio and this site have in common? That’s right: A sinking ship. Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each […]

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Do you know what Leonardo diCaprio and this site have in common? That’s right: A sinking ship.

Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would attempt to answer them. With our new podcast, the EGMR Offensive, we want to try something slightly different.

We want you to suggest topics for us to discuss. Because it’s a much more topic-based podcast, we’ll be discussing a few of the biggest news stories for the past week or two. So we thought, why not just ask you guys and see what you’d like to hear us talk about? This article is your opportunity to do just that.

If you would just like to ask us questions as usual, then by all means do so. However if you have some hot topic you’d like us to dig our teeth into, then by all means do that too. Either way, the comments section is your friend. Go wild.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: What’s With All The Double Standards? http://egmr.net/2015/02/life-universe-gaming-whats-double-standards/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/life-universe-gaming-whats-double-standards/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 09:00:16 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167541 Are you a pathological reader? What about a pathological gamer? Perfect, because today we’re going to take a look at what’s been going on in the gaming industry of late. […]

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Are you a pathological reader?

What about a pathological gamer?

Perfect, because today we’re going to take a look at what’s been going on in the gaming industry of late. I hope you’re all ready for some pure, unadulterated hypocrisy.

But first why don’t we build it up with a scene-setting anecdote. Today’s society has fully embraced the digital age. Information is freely available to any who seek it, and while on paper this might seem like a brilliant concept, in practice it has led to rather drastic misrepresentations of the truth. It’s not so much that the truth doesn’t exist… it does, but you see, we humans have an uncanny knack for choosing what we believe in, preferring to think of the facts as a matter of opinion rather than hard truth. Instead we opt to find opinions on the internet that mirror our own, and therefore support our preconceived notions, strengthening our arguments in the process.

To emphasise: We don’t look for the truth, we look for something to make us feel vindicated about our beliefs.

This, in my opinion, is why religion is still around. This is also why things like vaccination, genetically modified food, and global warming are still contentious topics in spite of the near-unanimous agreement of scientists on these matters. If I wanted to find a study that supported my belief that bananas disprove evolution, I would go onto the internet and look for it, and then immediately consider myself correct upon finding something to support that belief. Despite the venerable veritable mountain of evidence to the contrary, which I choose simply to ignore.

This is how we work, as a society now. And it’s a crying shame.

Bringing it back to gaming, of late I have been seeing many discrepancies with the goings-on within the gaming industry. What is true for one party is not necessarily true for the other, at least in terms of the way these matters are being treated. Today I thought I would look at three of the biggest topics of contention, wherein I feel people are choosing to see only what they think to be there, and disregarding what is so clearly obvious to everyone else. Let’s start with…

 
Why is Peter Molyneux treated differently to Anita Sarkeesian?

If you close this article at this point, I would forgive you. I understand that it might seem like an agenda of some sort, but I humbly ask that you bear with me, especially since you’d be helping me to make my point. A few weeks ago, Peter Molyneux had his ass handed to him in an interview with RockPaperShotgun. The interviewer started out by asking Molyneux if he was a “pathological liar” and it only got worse from there. The interview followed Molyneux’s latest Kickstarter project Godus, which was criticised as failing to meet expectations, and pulling every nasty trick in the book, ultimately upsetting backers of the project and leaving some hard questions to be asked of Molyneux. The questions to be asked of Molyneux were certainly valid. His treatment in the interview? Less so.

But that’s not actually what irked me. I mean yes, the interview was depressingly harsh, and I found myself struggling through it. What really had me upset to the point that I had to go off social networks for the rest of that evening, was that people were actively supporting RockPaperShotgun and claiming that it was about time Molyneux ‘got what was coming to him’ to put it lightly. Here’s the kicker: Those same people were the ones defending the likes of Anita Sarkeesian, when fans were angry about basically the same thing.

I guess bullying doesn’t go both ways?

To elaborate on a story you all ought to know by now, Anita Sarkeesian and Jonathan McIntosh, under the banner of Feminist Frequency, launched a Kickstarter to create a series of videos entitled Tropes vs Women in Videogames, with the expected completion date being 2012, and the series being available both digitally and on physical media. It is now 2015, and the series is still not complete. Further, there have been accusations of Feminist Frequency taking videos without permission, from other YouTube users. But the moment you dare to ask a question of this nature, you are ostracised on the internet for daring to question a woman who is putting her life on the line to talk about gaming.

What about Peter Molyneux? What about the man who has given his entire life to this industry, and spoken of it with a passion that has inspired? I think of the man as a hopelessly proud father of gaming… you might call him a patriarch of gaming, amirite feminists? And whatever you might think of him, the man’s games are lukewarm at best. Unremarkable, but not outright bad. Never Aliens: Colonial Marines level of bad. But let’s pick on him because it’s the way of gaming to hate on a man who has dedicated his life to gaming, while simultaneously protecting a woman who is somehow above reproach, despite citing no actual facts for her series of videos, and presenting out-of-context arguments almost uniquely geared towards misrepresenting our games. Why? Because controversy sells, and those same people who would close this article upon the mere negative mention of Anita Sarkeesian, are the same ones who would eat up anything she does, without question.

Where is the harshly worded interview of Anita Sarkeesian? I’ll tell you why there isn’t one. If there was, that site would be burned to the ground, if not DDoS’d to hell by the end of the day. Assuming Anita Sarkeesian was ever brave enough to actually undertake such an interview, which she won’t because you know, it might bring her credentials into question, and she really can’t have that…

 
The Order: 1886 vs Call of Duty, and other games

Another staggering occurrence of late, for me, has been the gaming community’s treatment of The Order: 1886. Here is a game that had mostly flown under the radar apart from a few mediocre trailers, and suddenly it is all over the place. I don’t need to go into detail to explain why, when I can do it with two words: Sony Fanboys. Kidding. Nonetheless, the big debate surrounding The Order: 1886 came when it was criticised as being too short. Immediately the internet erupted, with many defending the game for being short, citing that a short game is a game that some people would be playing. Now that’s all good and well, but last I checked, a certain Call of Duty series was crucified for being short.

So too were a bunch of other games. I remember many people telling me that Homefront was a waste of my time because of its game length, with many even conceding that it had an interesting story to tell regardless. So what gives? Why is The Order: 1886 acceptable as a short game, but other games in the past were not? Is it truly because it was a PS4-exclusive and the Sony fans were simply oozing at the mouths for another game to play? Or was it something else? Some other hypocrisy that led gamers who previously attacked short games, to now defend this one? Was it perhaps underdog syndrome, where people hated on Call of Duty because Call of Duty is popular, but defended The Order: 1886 because it was not?

Whatever it might have been, in the end the detractors were to have the last laugh because the game met with some mixed reviews, many not even mentioning its length in criticising how many quick-time events the game had, as well as the myriad other issues present within the final product. Inevitably then, this became yet another lesson for gamers to not pre-orders games, and not fall victims to hype, but instead wait for reviews to see if a game is worthy of their money. And if they still feel a need to purchase, then they are more than welcome to. Seriously, how is this still something that needs to be said?

Meanwhile, I had a right old laugh because two years ago people told me they would not consider an Xbox One because they didn’t want racing games and quick-time events for exclusives. Sunset Overdrive says hi!

 
#GamerGate and anti-#GamerGate are just two sides of the same coin

It doesn’t matter which side you fall on, there will be ignorant, belligerent, bigoted assholes on both sides. The only difference between the two, as far as I can see, is that one side is actually pushing for a mature discussion, whereas the other side simply maintains that the former side is not pushing for any sort of mature discussion. But by all means, feel free to correct me. Many other gamers simply no longer care about this, after all, gaming is about the fun so why should anyone care about ethics in games journalism? Well for one, your favourite pastime is being hijacked by politics, and you should care because this billion dollar industry that we’re all a part of, is once again looking like the devil to outsiders.

We are going backwards right now, and this entire argument is the reason why.

Do we really want gaming to be so unfriendly to the world, that a series the likes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit can go and write an episode about a gamer rapist, and nobody stops to think that maybe this was the cause of those folks who call gamers rapists, despite there being no supporting evidence of these claims? But then, I can’t even ask for supporting evidence because I then become “part of the problem” and immediately the suffering of actual victims is undermined by politics.

Stop that.

By all means, stay out of it if it doesn’t interest you, or you would rather not have any arguments about it. But don’t sit idly by while people do the wrong thing. Exhibit A:

nAxgNCD

Perhaps it’s time we empowered those with louder voices to speak on our collective behalf. Because at present that is already exactly what is happening, only it’s the wrong voices. It’s the fear-mongers, who are looking to bleed the industry dry for personal gain, and frankly I am sick of seeing people jump to their support while blindly condoning their questionable actions. Be better than that, friends.
It’s difficult to rise above all of it and admit if we’re wrong, the same way it’s difficult not to remind everyone the moment we’re right about something. In the end the question becomes whether we are willing to blindly cling to our beliefs, or accept that maybe another truth is the correct version of events, and we might not be as right as we think we are. At the very least, let’s start considering all sides of a story. Don’t simply condemn one person, then turn and protect another who is guilty of the same thing. Don’t defend something you would otherwise attack. And don’t, I beg you, don’t pick a side without knowing the full story. You are only making matters worse.

Let’s be better than the hordes of hypocrites running around. Please, for the sake of our most beloved pastime, let’s not stoop to that level. Educate yourself. Learn to admit if you’re wrong. Be humble when you’re right (something I must still learn, if I’m being completely honest). Don’t let yourself cling to a belief. It’s okay to change your beliefs if you find them to be wrong. I promise, nobody will judge you. Just, don’t have double standards in the way you go about things.

It’s not a lot to ask, is it?

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The EGMR Offensive #2: Hatred Is Better Than Uncharted http://egmr.net/2015/02/egmr-offensive-2-hatred-better-uncharted/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/egmr-offensive-2-hatred-better-uncharted/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 09:00:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167393 Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive. Why? Mostly because we can, partly because AG is a naming genius, but also because we feel […]

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Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive.

Why? Mostly because we can, partly because AG is a naming genius, but also because we feel it best reflects the kind of podcasters we are. In today’s world everyone is far too sensitive and what appeases one group will undoubtedly offend another, so we say why stroll the veritable minefield that is internet discussion when we can just blow the entire place up instead? Expect mostly gaming discussion with slight amounts of off-topic content (comics, movies, and so on) and a much more structured approach to podcasting.

Please do give us feedback after listening; we really worked hard on ensuring this sort of show format catered to what listeners previously wanted. Hopefully it serves well as a replacement to the old podcast. If you’re interested on catching up on the old show, check here: eGamer Podcast.

Here are the topics discussed during this week’s episode:

  • Leave Peter Molyneux alone
  • Game-to-movie adaptations
  • Review scores
  • Questions

Keen on getting offended? Here’s how:

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | Android | RSS

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What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? http://egmr.net/2015/02/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 09:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167316 Honourable readers, it is your time once again! Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would attempt to […]

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Honourable readers, it is your time once again!

Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would attempt to answer them. With our new podcast, the EGMR Offensive, we want to try something slightly different.

We want you to suggest topics for us to discuss. Because it’s a much more topic-based podcast, we’ll be discussing a few of the biggest news stories for the past week or two. So we thought, why not just ask you guys and see what you’d like to hear us talk about? This article is your opportunity to do just that.

If you would just like to ask us questions as usual, then by all means do so. However if you have some hot topic you’d like us to dig our teeth into, then by all means do that too. Either way, the comments section is your friend. Go wild.

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The EGMR Offensive #1: Banana Woe http://egmr.net/2015/02/the-egmr-offensive-1-banana-woe/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/the-egmr-offensive-1-banana-woe/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 09:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=167056 Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive. Why? Mostly because we can, partly because AG is a naming genius, but also because we feel […]

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Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive.

Why? Mostly because we can, partly because AG is a naming genius, but also because we feel it best reflects the kind of podcasters we are. In today’s world everyone is far too sensitive and what appeases one group will undoubtedly offend another, so we say why stroll the veritable minefield that is internet discussion when we can just blow the entire place up instead? Expect mostly gaming discussion with slight amounts of off-topic content (comics, movies, and so on) and a much more structured approach to podcasting.

Please do give us feedback after listening; we really worked hard on ensuring this sort of show format catered to what listeners previously wanted. Hopefully it serves well as a replacement to the old podcast. If you’re interested on catching up on the old show, check here: eGamer Podcast.

Here are the topics discussed during this week’s episode:

  • Brianna Wu
  • Review Scores
  • Spider-Man
  • Nvidia GTX780 woes
  • Questions

Keen on getting offended? Here’s how:

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | Android | RSS

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Disgruntled Feminist Frequency Kickstarter Backer Wants A Refund http://egmr.net/2015/02/disgruntled-feminist-frequency-kickstarter-backer-wants-refund/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/disgruntled-feminist-frequency-kickstarter-backer-wants-refund/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 11:00:49 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166973 One of the big issues with Kickstarter is that if you pledge money to a project, you really don’t have the greatest assurances that you will ever get back your […]

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One of the big issues with Kickstarter is that if you pledge money to a project, you really don’t have the greatest assurances that you will ever get back your money’s worth.

Some do. In fact, some get back their money’s worth and then some.

Others do not, and unfortunately this is a startlingly regular occurrence, with either delays in meeting release dates or just shoddy versions that form half-fulfilled promises from original Kickstarter projects. This is the risk you undertake when you back something on Kickstarter.

One Kickstarter backer, however, has had enough and has decided to make a video about it. See, he backed Feminist Frequency’s Kickstarter, which was created with the intention of making a documentary series highlighting sexism in gaming, entitled Tropes vs Women in Videogames. The series was originally intended to be completed a lot sooner, and with other forms of consumable media made available, but now with over $100,000 pledged it is still incomplete and only available in digital video format.

Further to that, accusations have been made regarding the unauthorised use of content from other YouTube users rather than original recordings, causing many critics of the series to ask exactly where all that money went. Meanwhile, Feminist Frequency spearheads Anita Sarkeesian and Jonathan McIntosh have become media personalities, appearing on a range of television shows, and meeting the likes of Joss Whedon, Stephen Colbert and more, along the way.

Check out the video above to see what this disgruntled fan thinks of the Kickstarter project he initially pledged support to. And then let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

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Here Comes A New Podcast — Got Questions? http://egmr.net/2015/02/comes-new-podcast-got-questions/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/comes-new-podcast-got-questions/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 09:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166966 We’ve been teasing it for a while now, and we’re finally ready to announce that starting this week, there will be a brand new podcast! Hooray! Last year when we […]

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We’ve been teasing it for a while now, and we’re finally ready to announce that starting this week, there will be a brand new podcast!

Hooray!

Last year when we ended the old eGamer Podcast, we had a strong following who knew what to expect each week and were happy to have it. Nonetheless, we listened to the feedback of those who… let’s say, had suggestions. And we went back to the drawing board to produce something brand spanking new for this year, with a bit more structure a lot more of what makes us at EGMR who we are.

Prepare yourselves for The EGMR Offensive, starting this week.

And as usual, this is your chance to get involved in things. Do so by scrolling down to the comments section and asking us whatever you would like. If you’d like to subscribe to the feed, you’ll find links in the podcast article, which should release on Thursday. However it’s just the old feeds so if you’re already subscribed then awesome. And definitely be sure to follow our old podcast if you’d like, using the link above.

So what are you waiting for? You’ve got questions, we want to answer them. Go!

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Half-Life 3… Unannounced http://egmr.net/2015/02/half-life-3-unannounced/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/half-life-3-unannounced/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 11:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166922 I always feel so terrible for Gabe Newell. He spearheaded the creation of one of the most beloved gaming series in all of gaming with Half-Life and as a result, […]

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I always feel so terrible for Gabe Newell. He spearheaded the creation of one of the most beloved gaming series in all of gaming with Half-Life and as a result, has become the messiah to many who worship him as a gaming god.

Naturally then, Half-Life 3 has become the holy grail of gaming.

And gamers have used every possible opportunity to poke fun at GabeN for not being able to count to three, and other such taunts. “Volvo pls”.

In the meantime, some of the more productive fans have come up with some really neat things to help ease the wait. Things like the video above, entitled Half-Life 3: Unannounced.

The video shows a bored, overweight and lonely Gordon Freeman, doing his best to live his life while eagerly awaiting the announcement of Half-Life 3, when he’ll be back in the action. While “Half-Life 3 confirmed” has become a painful joke for many gamers in the world–somehow despite some people who just don’t get it, the mind boggles–it’s great to see that content like this is being created, just so we can have a laugh at our strange predicament.

Will Half-Life 3 ever actually release? We sure hope so, and we’re quite certain it will break the internet when it does. Check out the video and let us know what you think of it.

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Braid’s Creator Is Looking At Debt In Order To Finish The Witness On Time http://egmr.net/2015/02/braids-creator-looking-debt-order-finish-witness-time/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/braids-creator-looking-debt-order-finish-witness-time/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 10:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166943 Braid is one of my favourite indie games, from a time when indie games were innocent and hearty offerings that formed a healthy, artistic alternative to triple-A. As such, Braid’s […]

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Braid is one of my favourite indie games, from a time when indie games were innocent and hearty offerings that formed a healthy, artistic alternative to triple-A.

As such, Braid’s creator Jonathan Blow is a man I deeply respect. Not just for creating one of the most harrowing and beautiful game stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing, but also daring to do it more or less on his own.

Since then Jonathan Blow has been hard at work on his next game, The Witness.

Despite Braid earning millions of dollars for him, work on Myst-like puzzler The Witness has led to Jonathan Blow spending everything he earned from sales for Braid, which continue to slowly bring in revenue but not nearly enough to fund development on a new offering. It has got to the point when borrowing is now warranted.

“Braid still sells well on platforms that are thriving, but two of Braid’s big platforms were the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, both of which are sunsetting at this point,” explained Jonathan Blow. “Not so many people are buying digital games there, so the Braid income is not nearly enough any more to fund the team. I have borrowed a bunch of money to finish The Witness. So I hope when it’s done, some people buy the game.”

Truly heartbreaking, especially when there are people feeding off the finances of gamers in order to fund shoddy games that don’t do much to earn their asking price.

The Witness will be coming out on PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS, but currently has no release date. Hopefully it’ll be out this year, and the hopes are certainly high with the team.

“If there is such a thing as taking ‘too long,’ we have probably already done that,” he added.

Not nearly as long as other Kickstarted developers, Jonathan. Also, maybe you should just reverse time? Obvious Braid joke is obvious?

If you’d like to check out the full interview then feel free to click the source link below. And please, let us know if you’re keen on The Witness in the comments below.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: What About A Gaming Committee? http://egmr.net/2015/02/life-universe-gaming-gaming-committee/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/life-universe-gaming-gaming-committee/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 09:00:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166907 Or a Board of Gaming, amirite? Previously on Life, The Universe And Gaming, we discussed the concept of gamer representation. If you were paying any kind of attention, the more […]

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Or a Board of Gaming, amirite?

Previously on Life, The Universe And Gaming, we discussed the concept of gamer representation. If you were paying any kind of attention, the more pertinent issue was actually that of misrepresentation.

We as gamers have been misrepresented for far too long, especially in the media. Call of Duty has been blamed for school shootings and terrorism, Grand Theft Auto for pretty much everything including homophobia, violence, and rape culture, and of course Mario for drug usage. Seriously.

Recently though, the misrepresentation has taken a drastically different step, with people who reside inside our gaming industry being the ones who so horrendously misrepresent us, creating large problems where there were arguably smaller ones. People like Jonathan ‘#FullMcIntosh’ McIntosh and Brianna ‘Banana’ Wu who blatantly misrepresent situations for personal gain, and really, it’s all become very political… the great irony of all of it is, these two were amongst the champions of anti-#GamerGate. Remember that?

But since it seems gaming is bound for more political grounds–and the Zeitgeist, as we know, goes on despite our best wishes–it is pertinent that we discuss it, so let’s take a quick stroll back to #GamerGate and discuss why it didn’t really catch on with everyone. Make no mistake, it is still a thing and there is a massive group of gamers–male, female, of all races, sexual preferences and other forms of diversity–who continue to pressure big websites into performing ethically (oddly you’ll not hear as much about the harassment side of it any more, almost as if that was blown universally out of proportion at first), and as such sites are slowly but surely conforming to this practice. Now we get sites declaring developer relations, or explaining how they got their hands on early copies of reviews, and so on.

It has been working.

Despite all this, a lot of those who were against #GamerGate from the very start argued that it would never reach its target because it was still just a chaotic ‘pseudo-movement’ of people who couldn’t all agree on what they wanted, without much in the way of a concrete written manifesto and no leadership to speak of. Besides, perhaps, the more famous supporters of #GamerGate in the community. This is unfortunately true, and despite the best intentions of #GamerGate a lot of people immediately dismiss it as a band of babbling buffoons who are trying to bully their way to male superiority. Not so.

This was a troubling one for me, because I don’t personally subscribe to the idea of angry gamers on the internet. Indeed it just reeked of entitlement and aggression when I first saw the #GamerGate hashtag doing the rounds on Twitter. Now most people are very much over it obviously, but when I see some #GamerGaters doing the hashtag and I see their conviction, not just at proving that they’re working towards something (and not just dismissing ad nauseum) but also doing their best to disprove the accusations of harassment laid against them, I can’t help but empathise.

After all, isn’t that the theme of being a gamer?

To emphasise: Isn’t that what being a gamer has always been about?

And then I got to thinking, after a conversation with a friend last year in which it was suggested that maybe what we need is a middle ground between the industry and gamers themselves. Thus far the way it has worked is roughly as follows: Publishers finance and distribute games made by developers, who then sell to the public. The gaming media (not strictly ‘journalists’ but that’s up to you guys to decide) will create critique and discussion, or if you’re one of the more PR-friendly sites, free marketing, for these games. It is then up to the public to either consume this media and make informed decisions, or not. A lot of people choose not to.

Why? Well, for a lot of people it’s just a case of not knowing where to go to find out what they need to. Others simply don’t think of it, or are ignorant of what’s out there, and that’s fine too. But ultimately these gamers end up getting burned whenever publishers get greedy and put out broken games, blatant cash-ins, or outright lies. The media can’t help these people¹ so naturally they are left to fend for themselves, and that’s a crying shame because how would you feel if you paid money for Ride to Hell: Retribution because you just didn’t know what a complete pile of shit it was? Or De– *ahem*

So what about a committee (let’s call them a governing body since we’re getting so political²) with the sole purpose of representing us as gamers? This committee would be created by gamers, for gamers; it would consist entirely of gamers, with the representatives selected based entirely on their ability to cater for, and speak on behalf of all gamers. Who would be worthy of such a committee, you might ask? Well straight off the bat, I can think of three people. We needn’t have a ‘president’ or governor but rather it can just be a team of individuals, all with gaming’s best interests in mind. Let’s just go with my three possible choices, and let’s see what you guys think, or who else you can think of.

Total Biscuit — Some may dislike him, and really I think they more dislike his community than anything, but if this gaming governing body were to have a ‘president’ of a sort, it would have to be Total Biscuit. He might not always have entirely agreeable opinions but nobody cares more about the gaming industry than him. Nobody. He is never afraid to tackle shoddy publisher practices and will call out anyone he believes is guilty of anti-consumer practices in the gaming industry. Total Biscuit is the man gamers turn to first, when they have a problem with the state of gaming. Naturally, many gaming industry members despise him. Why is that, I wonder?

Jim Sterling — I’ve been talking about Jim Sterling for years and years; it’s funny that he’s so well-known now and a few years ago when I was raving about how great he is for the gaming industry, people scoffed and told me he was a gigantic dick and why would I ever be a fan of him. Now everyone clamours for his thoughts and gets behind anything he says. It’s almost as if nobody was paying attention to me, as per usual. Nonetheless, his Jimquisition show has been a beacon for consumer advice for a good few years now and nobody shies from a fight like Jim Sterling. Consider that Konami has had him blacklisted for years now, because of statements he made about their business practices. While his #GamerGate opinions confounded me, I will never not take the man’s gaming advice to heart.

Boogie2988 — This is a man who challenged an ‘angry feminist’ type on Twitter, someone vehemently anti-#GamerGate, and by the end of it, had that person saying that Boogie was actually a pretty decent guy. If that doesn’t speak volumes of the man, then I don’t really know how better to phrase it. Despite his… questionable Francis character (never really caught on with me) he’s been one of those guys who really cares about the human element of gaming, and wants to see gamers enjoying gaming without getting ripped off in the process. Who better to bring a humanising element to the entire thing?

Some special mention must also go to Sickboy from Gaming Anarchist who works tirelessly to defend gamers against the allegations they are faced with each day, and funnily enough, earned my respect by challenging Microsoft with their Xbox One, in a time when I was vehemently defending the same thing. Story for another day.

Perhaps you think there should be some female ‘representation’ on that list, but what I offer is just a suggestion. By all means let me know who else you’d like on this hypothetical committee.

So what would this group do for us as gamers? Well they would act as that middle man between the gaming industry and gamers themselves. They would approve or disprove of certain practices and protect the rights of gaming consumers, without them needing to visit media sites (that might lie to them) in order to make informed decisions. They would be the shield that guards the realm of gamers from the controversial and eyebrow-raising practices of this gaming industry we all participate in.

Why? Because the gaming industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and when that much money is involved you can be damn sure that the sharks come for blood–coincidentally also why ‘ethics in games journalism’ in such a big deal, in case you didn’t know–so why should we simply float there and await, when we can do our best to arm ourselves? Why can’t we have representatives who stand up on our collective behalf and say, “No! Enough is enough!” And not people who leverage gamers for personal gain without showing any interest in actual discussion or debate, but people who actively serve gamers for the betterment of all.

Or am I just too much of an idealist?

 

¹ — As media, it should be our job to cater to our readers. Not to call them names, or blatantly attack them. And certainly not to market games to them. But speaking frankly and directly to readers doesn’t yield as much views as quick Cracked-style check-list articles with clickbait titles and a healthy dose of controversy. And why cater to readers when you can suck up to distributors for future benefits including invites to big gaming events and preference when review copies come around? Come now, be better than that. Your community deserves better than that.

² — It infuriates me that there are people in this industry who get political and leverage real issues present in the gaming community, for personal gain. People like Brianna Wu who basically say things like “vote for my game on Steam Greenlight if you don’t support #GamerGate” which is admittedly a great marketing ploy but a disgusting way to take advantage of people while shaming others. Why do people like her ever get support from sympathisers? Are they blind to her hypocrisies, or just so adamantly against something that they’re okay with supporting hypocrites?

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Is Gaming Really As Under-Represented As Has Been Claimed? http://egmr.net/2015/02/gaming-really-represented-claimed/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/gaming-really-represented-claimed/#comments Fri, 06 Feb 2015 12:00:51 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166888 By this point if you’ve paid any kind of attention to the gaming industry, you will undoubtedly have heard of the ‘representation in gaming’ issue. Not just who represents gamers […]

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By this point if you’ve paid any kind of attention to the gaming industry, you will undoubtedly have heard of the ‘representation in gaming’ issue. Not just who represents gamers but who is represented in the games themselves.

Last year developers the likes of Ubisoft came under fire for not including playable female protagonists in their games; before then there were other games such as Grand Theft Auto V. The topic of representation has been a contentious one in gaming.

Unsurprisingly, it’s mostly been around women. Why is it unsurprising? Well, because it feeds into the recent cultural growth of feminism and highlighting of sexist practices in the world. Sexism, of course, is a deeply rooted problem in all aspects of media, the workplace and even daily living. Rape culture is a growing problem, together with woman and child abuse. All of these are understandably serious topics of discussion. Naturally then, sexism would eventually permeate into gaming.

And it certainly is a necessary conversation to have; are games catered only to a specific audience? Some online entities would have you believe exactly that. They would have you believe that 90% of all games are for males, by males, with males in the games. That representation in gaming is a massive issue right now, and we need to stop the sexist practices of game developers. But in practice you might find that that is not necessarily true. It’s certainly true that there are many games with males in them, but what do the actual numbers say? Let’s have a look at the past year in gaming, when this conversation was at its loudest.

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Despite common online opinion, the stats seem to paint a slightly different picture. At least, not one that is nearly as dire and critical as those online entities would have you believe. Now sure, the actual roles of the women represented in these games might be up for question, but it certainly isn’t as horrendously one-sided as the popular argument goes, is it?

Personally, it has always confounded me how we can gladly purport that nearly half of all gamers are women, and then say that gaming is inherently sexist. Now, this is not necessarily the same argument, it has to be said. The argument of sexism, to me, is different to the argument of representation in gaming. Indeed the recent events in the gaming industry (#GamerGate and such) have either forgotten or ignored this, opting instead to simply fight it out.

Don’t get me wrong, as I’ve said before, the topic of meaningful representation is a necessary one, but one that needs to be engaged with an element of interactivity. In other words, both sides need to sit down and talk, not just take shots at each other and purport the other to be wrong in one grand shit-flinging contest that, effectively, amounts to politicking rather than anything remotely resemblant of meaningful discussion.

The problem as I see it, is not that gaming itself is sexist, but rather that society has some deeply entrenched habits that need to be cut out. Throughout all forms of media, as well as in daily living. Like I said last year, the entire debate around sexism is not a gaming-specific issue but rather a societal one. Don’t believe me?

pQYZ6Zp

I feel a key point to all of this would be learning to identify what is and isn’t sexism, and what is and isn’t a representation issue.

In South Africa we have a policy for allowing different races equal opportunities, but what it has done to the population is create discontent because someone who is qualified, worthy, and good at their job, cannot do that job because the government requires someone else to be hired instead. Let’s not allow this sort of thing to permeate into gaming.

Further, let’s not cry wolf at every moment. There is a lot of sexism in the world and even innocent gestures may be unwittingly sexist, but this is not necessarily the case 100% of the time. If you are wrong, and you are called out on that, the person calling you out (obviously depending on the words they’ve used) is not necessarily doing so because they are sexist. You’ll often hear the argument that women receive more attention for controversial articles than men; absolutely, this has been a thing since forever, when women had more Facebook friends (for example) interacting with them on a daily basis. This inconsistent treatment works both ways — I see it too often where someone wants to be treated equally but refuses to relinquish their gender advantages, you all have your own examples of what I’m talking about — and really, ideally, it should not be a thing, but it is. But I digress. That’s not the point of this.

The point to be made here is not that representation in gaming is not an important discussion to have.

It is.

But I want to stress once again, that women are not, or should not be, the only topic of representation in gaming (where are the arguments around racial representation, or LGBT representation?) and the situation is nowhere near as dire as has been claimed. Don’t operate on emotion and conjecture, but rather try and look at what is, not what you have been told is, or what you think is.

And don’t. Cry. Wolf.

Sexism is not representation, and representation is not sexism. Female gamers are already represented in games, but the point is how they’re represented. Do I think that there’s a problem right now? To an extent yes, but personally I don’t believe those calling for representation actually know what they want. Because they say they want empowered women but then they use the phrase “fighting fuck toy” so which one is it? And they want women who kick ass, but don’t want to see violence against women. You can’t have your cake and eat it; if I played a game with a male protagonist that kicked ass, chances are his ass got kicked at some point in the game too.

If the conversation is actually about equality — as proper feminism and representation should be — then can we not agree that the recent Tomb Raider game was a perfectly adequate representation of women in gaming, in much the same way that The Last of Us was? A game in which the protagonist can get his face eaten off by monsters. And why stop at ‘violent videogames’ as they say? Can I not claim Portal to be representative of women, or is that also reinforcing traditional roles of ridicule and belittlement because the empowered female is made to feel inferior by an AI? You’re welcome to decide.

Either way, let’s at least establish that representation in gaming is already a thing. It’s more about the content of that representation than anything.

Science.

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PSA: Don’t Get Sucked Into The Recent Politics Of The Games Industry http://egmr.net/2015/02/psa-dont-get-sucked-recent-politics-games-industry/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/psa-dont-get-sucked-recent-politics-games-industry/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 11:00:38 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166822 As gamers, it is important to remember that the fun is in the gaming, and therefore the critique should be related to the games. To that extent, I am quite […]

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As gamers, it is important to remember that the fun is in the gaming, and therefore the critique should be related to the games. To that extent, I am quite glad that most gamers are either not aware, or not exposed to the ridiculous amount of politics currently going on in the games industry.

And I’m really hoping we can keep it that way.

Brianna Wu is a budding game developer who has released a game on Steam Greenlight entitled Revolution 60. Previously, Brianna Wu was a strong anti-#GamerGate presence. Before that, I’m relatively certain not many people in the games industry really knew her at all.

Now that’s not to say she’s the only person who, through #GamerGate, became a household name — yes, #GamerGate is still a thing — but she has certainly been amongst the most vehement detractors, sharing death and rape threats she’s received, and calling #GamerGate supporters all sorts of names along the way. Her pariah status amongst the #GamerGate community has led to her gaining an overwhelming amount of support from anti-#GamerGate members, feminists, and feminist sympathisers, but here’s the fascinating part:

Brianna Wu gets $13,000 per month through Patreon, to make games.

That’s a staggering amount of money, isn’t it? And why? Because she’s very effectively exploited the crowd of gamers who do not support #GamerGate. Plain and simple. But here’s where it gets interesting. After releasing Revolution 60 on Steam Greenlight, Brianna Wu stated that #GamerGate supporters were trying to get her game off Greenlight, so people should vote “yes” to stop them.

Bullshit.

Why? Because a “no” vote does nothing to stop a game from publishing on Steam Greenlight, so those “no” votes count for nothing. What Brianna Wu effectively did, then, was goad anyone who doesn’t support #GamerGate into voting her game into Greenlight, and you know what? There are people who did exactly that.

Someone doesn't understand what "free market" means...

Someone doesn’t understand what “free market” means…

Apparently users opting not to support your product is not considered part of the “free market” guys.

 

Meanwhile...

Meanwhile…

It’s this sort of hypocrisy that we just don’t need in gaming. And to make matters worse, Brianna Wu straight up copped to a conflict of interest with Patreon — remember that thing about ethics in games journalism, guys? — but still she won support. Why? Because she made it political; she made it about harassment and abuse.

Let me make something abundantly clear right now: I do not condone harassment, abuse, or sexism. I simply do not. But I also do not condone behaviour like this and if you do, what is your problem honestly? I consider myself as much a feminist as a meninist, with the point being equality. Not superiority. Equality. And equality means all things being equal. Which means drawing the line at bettering yourself by belittling others. Sure, she received many horrible things. How many of those horrible things were because she instigated matters in the first place? Or is that “victim-blaming” as they say.

Exhibit A: Mansplaining

Exhibit A: Mansplaining

Here is one person’s response to the people defending Brianna Wu in the wake of Revolution 60 allegedly getting attacked by #GamerGate supporters on Steam Greenlight:

Here is the problem with your defense of Wu. You see this as one sided. The reality is that for months Wu has campaigned against GG. Now, what you have to remember is Wu had NOTHING to do with the original scandal. Nothing. The first interaction she had with GG was HER inserting herself into the conversation and accusing GG of these horrid things; saying they drove her from her home and everything. Again, no one in GG even knew who she was. Have you ever wondered how all the sudden this huge group, mostly focused on Kotaku and Gawker, and the reporters within, just happened to “jump” on a random Developer?

Use a little Occam’s razor. Or better yet, simply go back into her tweet history and look at the time line. Some of her first interactions with GG was calling it a group of sexist, misogynistic terrorists. She was then invited on 3 national broadcasts where she repeated this; it was only AFTER that, where she lied to the press about a number of issues, that GG began to link her to this torrent of terrible media that has been continually saying Gamers are terrible people.

It was AFTER this, after insulting and libeling her audience, that her game lost popularity. I don’t know sir. I don’t think it would go over well for Coca Cola if they came out and said people who drink Soda are sexist pigs, who terrorize women, on national TV. Somehow I find it unfathomable that someone who intends to exploit the market would do something like this an expect attention towards her product (Which, objectively, is not a very good product. But I don’t wish to sound insulting. I actually admire Wu for doing such a labor of love–but it’s not a stellar game. It’s a pretty obvious first attempt from a novice.)

Now, I actually work in marketing; I’m an economist by trade. So maybe the insanity of this is more personal to me. But the only strategy I can see in all this (And I assume Wu is an intelligent, rational human being) is that she is cultivating this kind reaction so she can whip up her own base into support. This is actually not an unheard of tactic in politics; in fact, it tends to be fairly effective. I’ve just never seen it used in marketing (But Kudos to Wu, it seems to be working.)

Now, you may feel like that’s assuming a lot. But ponder this. Wu, because of how you sign up for Green light, KNOWS that “no” votes can’t “brigade” a game down. Only yes votes matter. Yet her first tweet was simply about no votes winning and then she proceeded to encourage her supporters to vote to “stop GG from winning.” It’s odd that she used intentionally misleading/incorrect language, no? (Odd, or intelligent. Because it worked, you see many people in the comments of her game saying it looks bad, but they are voting to “support her against harassment).

In reality, Wu went through and plucked out the 4 or 5 bad troll tweets. Something many games on green-light get. And used them to whip up a PR campaign in order to rally her base. I commend her on her politicking; it IS excellent. But don’t be fooled, see it for what it is. That said, I did not down vote her game–I kind of admire her ability to manipulate her image.

However, assuming the market isn’t working because the market is reaction to defamation? Is just silly. Wu cultivated controversy. Saying that force is alien or against open market principles is just disingenuous. Media branding is an important aspect of doing well in a market. Your product can be amazing, but if you trash your customers repeatedly you WILL lose them. Wu, as said, doesn’t have a great product (A great effort, but not a great product). Mixing that with controversy? Well, the effects are to be expected, and they are certainly natural market forces.

However, I believe it will work out for her, because she’s convinced a ton of people of the imminent need for them to defend her freedom of expression. Like I said, kudos on her politicking. As someone who does it for a living, it’s an impressive display of narrative management.

Says it better than I ever could.

Gaming is getting far too political, with this whole “representation” thing going on right now. As far as supporting equality goes, I am fully on board with it, but when you’re part of the problem and don’t see it, yet purport that others are part of the problem and don’t see it, not only are you a hypocrite but also blatantly stupid. And it’s happening frustratingly often in the games industry.

This is the best example I can use to highlight why it’s just a really bad idea to get mixed up in all of this. It is dogfighting. It is not about constructive conversation anymore but rather about shit-flinging, and one-upping the other ‘side’ with some new revelation or conspiracy. Frankly, it needs to stop but since it likely will go on for a while, it’s best we simply step away and distance ourselves from it while refocusing ourselves on the videogames.

By all means, fight the patriarchy and push for real equality, but don’t go attacking people and trying to prove points that have already been proven ad nauseum. Let gaming be about the games, and we can all be happy together. As for the industry, I foresee permanent dividing lines, and that’s a complete travesty; it’s just awful. But that doesn’t mean we should get ourselves involved in it. I regret ever getting myself involved in it. What people like Brianna Wu are doing right now, is politicking for support. “Don’t support them, they’re horrible people, support me instead!” Despite, herself, being horrible in a different way.

Politics has no place in gaming — or shouldn’t. So let’s not encourage any of this sort of practice, okay? Pick your fights carefully; understand when it’s about sexism, representation and injustices, and when it’s just about winning supporters and shit-flinging. Gaming really isn’t in as bad a state as they would have you believe. Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Sony Online Entertainment Bought Out; Now Daybreak Game Company http://egmr.net/2015/02/sony-online-entertainment-bought-now-daybreak-game-company/ http://egmr.net/2015/02/sony-online-entertainment-bought-now-daybreak-game-company/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2015 12:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166642 In what will likely be the news of the day, Sony Online Entertainment has been bought out and as a result, will be rebranding (for obvious reasons) to a new […]

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In what will likely be the news of the day, Sony Online Entertainment has been bought out and as a result, will be rebranding (for obvious reasons) to a new name; Daybreak Game Company.

Responsible for a bunch of online offerings including H1Z1 and DC Universe Online, Sony Online Entertainment has mostly been in charge of Sony’s… online… entertainm– yeah you get the idea. They make multiplayer offerings for the PlayStation, but now that they’ve been bought out you can bloody well expect them on other consoles too.

Here’s the official statement in full:

Dear Players, Partners and Friends,

Today, we are pleased to announce that we have been acquired by Columbus Nova, an investment management firm well known for its success with its existing portfolio of technology, media and entertainment focused companies. This means that effective immediately SOE will operate as an independent game development studio where we will continue to focus on creating exceptional online games for players around the world, and now as a multi-platform gaming company. Yes, that means PlayStation and Xbox, mobile and more!

As part of this transition, SOE will now become Daybreak Game Company. This name embodies who we are as an organization, and is a nod to the passion and dedication of our employees and players. It is also representative of our vision to approach each new day as an opportunity to move gaming forward.

So what exactly does this mean for you? It will be business as usual and all SOE games will continue on their current path of development and operation. In fact, we expect to have even more resources available to us as a result of this acquisition. It also means new exciting developments for our existing IP and games as we can now fully embrace the multi-platform world we are living in.

Our games and players are the heart and soul of our organization, and we are committed to maintaining our portfolio of online games and pushing the limits of where we can take online gaming together.

Thank you for your continued support. See you in game!

Is this the result of Sony’s massive losses, as declared last year? I can’t really comment on that because I haven’t been keeping track, to be completely honest. But with Columbus Nova, what’s certain is that Sony Online Entertainment Daybreak Game Company will now be a multiplatform studio, which means you can expect a whole bunch of their games to now make it to other consoles. Further to that, whatever currently exists will continue to exist.

Here are a bunch of tweets by president John Smedley, answering common questions from fans:

The question remains: Should warning bells be ringing over at Sony? Is Sony beginning to drop whatever it can afford to let go of in order to recuperate some cash? Or is this entirely unrelated and am I just being the Xbot that I am? I guess we’ll find out but in the meantime, let us know what you think in the comments. Do you play any of SOE’s games? We’d like to know whether they were worth keeping around, or if Sony made the right idea by selling up.

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EA Infographic Reveals 113 Million Hours Of Dragon Age: Inquisition… Think About That For A Second http://egmr.net/2015/01/ea-infographic-reveals-113-million-hours-dragon-age-inquisition-think-second/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/ea-infographic-reveals-113-million-hours-dragon-age-inquisition-think-second/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2015 09:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166415 Who knew EA does quarterly infographics? Perhaps they’re choosing to boast about this particular quarter because it’s the only one in which they released half-decent games last year. Either way! […]

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Who knew EA does quarterly infographics? Perhaps they’re choosing to boast about this particular quarter because it’s the only one in which they released half-decent games last year. Either way!

We’ll let the stats speak for themselves on this one. They seem to do an adequate job, with those staggering figures from the final quarter of 2014.

Do we really need to discuss the kinds of games Electronic Arts sell? Probably not. Do we need to discuss the kind of publisher they typically are? Again, probably not. But in a year devoid of a Dead Space, Medal of Honor, or Need for Speed title, it’s nice to see that the remaining franchises got that extra bit of effort to keep them going.

And also, it’s just a really humbling reminder that EA are one of the biggest publishers of games in the world for a reason.

One-hundred-and-thirteen million hours. In one quarter.

Click here to see the infographic in expanded form.

And click here for the latest Half-Life 3 news.

Also don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments. See, Mike? We can do news without opinions sometimes (don’t get used to it).

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Microsoft Wants To Make The Xbox One Controller Even Sexier http://egmr.net/2015/01/microsoft-wants-make-xbox-one-controller-even-sexier/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/microsoft-wants-make-xbox-one-controller-even-sexier/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 07:00:14 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166319 Is faster better though? The Xbox One controller is a beautiful controller. Not perfect, certainly — for after all nothing can be perfect — but a beautiful controller even with […]

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Is faster better though?

The Xbox One controller is a beautiful controller.

Not perfect, certainly — for after all nothing can be perfect — but a beautiful controller even with its flaws.

Even then you would have to really look at it to try and find flaws. There have been complaints in the past about the positioning of the bumpers on the controller, for example. But these are based less on the controller’s layout and more on the size and use of your hands. If you used the tips of your fingers on the bumpers you were fine, but if you used any other part then problems arose. Stuff like that.

For the most part though, the Xbox One controller is one of the best parts of the console, and in a coming firmware update Microsoft are looking to make it even better.

How so? Well the Xbox One controller currently takes around five seconds to go from switched on to ready to use, and according to Microsoft that is simply unacceptable. We’re glad they think so, given that a Kinect command is actually quicker on the Xbox One. So they’re designing a new firmware update to fix it and make the controller’s start-up faster.

That’s right, Microsoft are aiming to make their controller start up faster.

Let that sink in for a moment.

In the meantime, there’s really not much else to this piece of news but while I have your attention let’s have a quick survey of what everyone actually calls controllers.

See, Dean calls them remotes…

Or perhaps I should tell you guys the full story: Towards the end of last year on the official better-than-the-internet all-access EGMR WhatsApp group, Dean asked about Xbox 360 remotes. I thought he was referring to a media remote control, as in the thing you use to change channels on your TV. He was actually referring to a controller. Cue many hours of back and forth about what actually constitutes a remote. Eventually we agreed to disagree.

So now I ask you guys. What do you call the thing pictured above? Remote or controller? Let us know in the comments, and help settle an old argument.

I’ll never let it go, Dean.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: Who Best Represents Gamers? http://egmr.net/2015/01/life-universe-gaming-best-represents-gamers/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/life-universe-gaming-best-represents-gamers/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:00:02 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166258 A few years ago when a brand new video game was revealed, typically by means of a game trailer, we as a community would eat it up and express our […]

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A few years ago when a brand new video game was revealed, typically by means of a game trailer, we as a community would eat it up and express our delight at the visuals, the mechanics, and the story. They might not always have told us the truth regarding what was contained in the games themselves, but we tended to respond positively to them anyway. I remember the very first reveal of BioShock: Infinite, when the player character used Telekinesis to fire a shotgun (didn’t quite make it into the final product, but still made for an awesome trailer) and we all squee’d in delight.

Nowadays, when a new trailer releases or a new game is revealed, the biggest topic of discussion isn’t the visuals, the mechanics, or the story, but rather it’s the colour of the protagonist’s skin, the gender of the protagonist, or the protagonist’s sexual preferences. In short, what representation there is in the game being revealed.

It’s a weird sort of irony in a time when many video game critics (cough cough) are citing violence against women as a massive problem in gaming, and yet calling for better representation of women in video games; what are they expecting will happen to those women in these games? Unless we’re talking about FIFA, LittleBigPlanet, or Bejeweled, there is every likelihood that a female playable character is going to subjected to the same sort of situations as a male playable character, ie. violence.

But since I’m sure we’re all tired of the representation in video games argument by now, let’s excuse this horrendous contradiction and move swiftly on.

When it comes to video games, especially recently, there is the problem of: Who exactly represents gamers as a whole?

It’s a tough one, because like any community of people, we are all very different. You get the ones who swear by the old gods and the new that the term ‘gamer’ does not exist and that there is no such thing as ‘gamer culture’, they’re just regular old people who enjoy playing games; then you get the hardcore gamers who wear the title like a badge of honour and will tell anyone willing to listen (or not) about their K/D ratio, or what difficulty they finish games on, or whatever else. In between those are a myriad other identities, but you get the point: Gaming is massive, and gamers are far too varied to be directly represented by one archetype.

Typically, the one thing we can all agree on is that gamers play games; which might sound like pleonasm but actually, as someone who spends more time writing about games than playing them, well you get the idea.

So to return to our question, who then can best represent such a varied and diverse community? Who can represent the gamer who swears by their gaming PC that cost a small fortune, or the gamer who has never paid with their own money for a single game in their life, or the gamer who pirates everything, or the gamer who buys a single game a month every month, or the social gamer who only plays with friends, or the competitive gamer who swears by their online stats, or the asshole gamer who thinks that gaming belongs to them and them only?

It’s really fucking tough to pick a specific person, isn’t it?

In 2009, a movie released called Gamer in which Gerard Butler (more like Buttler, amirite?) was controlled using nanotechnology in a twisted ‘game’ of real-life deathmatch. It was tough to watch. Actually, it was downright embarrassing to think that this was what Hollywood thought of gamers. Do you think Gerard Butler with an assault rifle is a cool way to represent gamers? Because I certainly don’t.

Then you get people like Anita Sarkeesian, who go onto shows like The Colbert Report and presume to speak on behalf of gamers the world over. And I have to say, that does not make me happy to see. But this is what permeates the mainstream and spills through into homes for families to watch and take in. This is what people come to believe of gamers. And this is quite possibly why the wrong sort of stigma is spread about gaming not just as a pastime but a lifestyle. The previously awkward-reclusive-shut-in is now the violent-minded-aggressor. And again I can’t help but think, this isn’t me.

dn17819-3_767

Now I don’t mean to sound elitist by saying all of this. I mean sure, anyone who plays games is welcome to call themselves a gamer, whether they’re the scum of the Earth or borderline saintly. I have no right to say they are not gamers just because they don’t speak for me, just like I have no right to exclude them from the gaming community because I disagree with their practices. But, and here’s where we start getting a little more heated, this works both ways. To be more specific: Nobody gets to say that because a certain group of gamers are bad apples, all gamers are bad apples. Nobody gets to tell me how to feel about my lifestyle, because they’ve deemed it so.

It’s a case of whom we choose to look at in the gaming community, as the best representatives of gaming. Let’s use a common example of feminism here, and say that there is more than one type of feminist. There is the feminist who simply wishes to see women become empowered to the point of equality with men (which in my opinion is awesome). Then there are feminists who want women to be better than men. Then there are feminists who exist simply to attack men, which is itself quite a sexist approach. One of these is the best representation of feminism, all agreed? The rest, not so much.

The problem with the mainstream is often that it’s not the most worthy candidate that shines through but rather the loudest or most flamboyant. Think here of comic books and comic book movies. Suddenly Marvel is everywhere and everyone loves them, but that’s only really because of the movies. Are Iron Man, Captain America and Thor the best representations of comic books? Invincible, Chew and Y: The Last Man might disagree (I mean, when was the last time you read a standalone Iron Man comic?). On the DC side of things, why is everything always about Batman? If he wasn’t so damn popular, maybe we could get a half-decent Nightwing movie.

Put succinctly, the popular will always outweigh the most suitable.

But who defines suitable? Like I said earlier, it’s virtually impossible given the variety on offer. So instead what happens is that the best marketers are the ones the light shines on brightest. Credit where it’s due, Anita Sarkeesian really marketed herself well when it came down to the hot topic of sexism last year, despite not being someone I would consider the best representation of gaming.

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I am not a qualified journalist. To different people that could mean different things. To some it could mean I rely more on conjecture and opinion over facts and research. To others it could mean I am less academic and more in tune with the gamer lifestyle. To the rest, it might completely invalidate my four years and two thousand articles on this website.

It’s really tough to turn to someone and say, “Hey, you know what, you’re a gamer and that’s great, but I don’t think you’re the best representation of gaming. Sure, you speak for some gamers in the world, but you don’t speak for all of us and you certainly don’t speak for me.” By virtue of the idea of representation, if we were to then take the idea representative of gaming as one from the majority, therefore providing the widest representation, should the best representative not in fact be a white male gamer? Suck it, McIntosh.

Even then, who’s to say that person represents my gaming interests? And so we come back to our initial quandary of who best represents gaming. I’ll say one thing: It’s not often I watch a gaming-centric TV show (as in, something broadcast to the mainstream viewing audience) and think to myself, “Yes, this feels like the kind of gaming personality I can get behind.”

Misrepresentation in gaming, like any facet of our lives, is something that is borderline impossible to solve without seriously hurting those who presume to currently represent us as gamers. It’s not fair on them because they too are gamers (hopefully), but at the same time we want people talking on our behalves, who have our best interests at heart and in mind. I wouldn’t want someone going onto national TV and saying that gaming is sexist; especially when anyone who actually takes a look at the stats can see that there is all kinds of gender representation in games, whether it’s the nearly 50% gender-spread of gamers themselves, or the female characters in popular videogames.

Despite what the critics might say…

representation-coverlarge

So to attempt a very difficult answer to the question of who best represents gamers, I would say anyone who speaks for gamers as a collective. As to who that is, I have some ideas for who would be best suited to the job. Personally, I don’t want someone who caters only to publishers and helps to market games on their behalf by only discussing positive elements and trying to purport that gaming is a fun activity and who cares that I’m spending thousands upon thousands of my hard-earned money for that entertainment value, and therefore deserve a return, when all I really need to do is lighten up and enjoy my gaming more. I refuse to have someone like that speaking on my behalf, but you know what? Those are the guys that the sponsors will send up to E3 and Gamescom each year. Not the hard-hitters who ask the tough questions and cater specifically to the gamers themselves, doing everything in their power to challenge authority and fight for the little guy.

I can certainly tell you whom I don’t want representing me.

In the end, the matter of who best represents gaming is a contextual one. Who is the best representation of consumer advice in gaming? Who best represents gaming to the public? Who would be your ideal candidate for gaming as a medium for education or self-enrichment? There are multiple answers to each of these, and the core focus needs to be around ensuring that the wrong people are not the ones representing us as gamers.

Put simply, it doesn’t matter too much who is representing us as gamers, but it matters a whole lot more, who is misrepresenting us as gamers.

Who do you think best represents gamers? I’d love to read your thoughts, down in the comments below.

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Nintendo “Do Not Understand Modern Gaming” — Former Exec http://egmr.net/2015/01/nintendo-not-understand-modern-gaming-former-exec/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/nintendo-not-understand-modern-gaming-former-exec/#comments Fri, 23 Jan 2015 11:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166145 In today’s great revelation that nobody actually didn’t already know… Nintendo is not a company that makes games. I’ve said this time and time again, and I’ll repeat myself now: […]

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In today’s great revelation that nobody actually didn’t already know…

Nintendo is not a company that makes games. I’ve said this time and time again, and I’ll repeat myself now: Nintendo is a company that makes toys. Toys don’t change; their designs might change, but ultimately they are still aimed at a particular audience, and centre around certain themes. Nintendo caters specifically to its audience. They grow up, move on, and then Nintendo finds a new audience. They refuse to grow up with their audience, because they don’t necessarily have to. Everyone plays Nintendo games as a child (privileged white kids, amirite?) but not everyone plays Nintendo games as a grown-ass adult. And that’s by Nintendo’s choice. Or so my sentiment regarding the company goes.

You might see it as a company that just doesn’t understand what its place in gaming is, and I would not disagree with that sentiment either.

Former Nintendo executive Dan Adelman has had some choice words about the company since leaving. If you don’t remember who he is, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Adelman was one of Nintendo’s most important developers liaisons, who left in August 2014 and immediately complained that the company had attempted to silence his social media usage.

He also called the Wii U’s name “abysmal”, which, I mean, yeah, he has a point.

In a recent interview, he went even further by providing some rather expository commentary regarding Nintendo’s lethargic grasp of ideas and practices in recent times.

“They’re very traditional, and very focused on hierarchy and group decision making,” explained Adelman of the company’s structure. Is that racist? I can’t tell…

“Unfortunately, that creates a culture where everyone is an advisor and no one is a decision maker – but almost everyone has veto power. Even Mr. Iwata is often loathe to make a decision that will alienate one of the executives in Japan.”

According to Adelman, getting anything done involves abhorrent amounts of groundwork in order to bring different groups on board, which becomes yet more difficult for anyone out of Japan since the process must be repeated at multiple levels.

“All of this is not necessarily a bad thing, though it can be very inefficient and time consuming,” he said. “The biggest risk is that at any step in that process, if someone flat out says no, the proposal is as good as dead. So in general, bolder ideas don’t get through the process unless they originate at the top.”

And that’s not all, folks.

“The most senior executives at the company cut their teeth during NES and Super NES days and do not really understand modern gaming, so adopting things like online gaming, account systems, friends lists, as well as understating the rise of PC gaming has been very slow,” continued Adelman. “Ideas often get shut down prematurely just because some people with the power to veto an idea simply don’t understand it.”

Sounds a lot like government, hashtag politically incorrect statements.

“There is very little reason to try and push these ideas. Risk taking is generally not really rewarded. Long-term loyalty is ultimately what gets rewarded, so the easiest path is simply to stay the course.”

If you’re interested in reading the full interview, and why wouldn’t you be, definitely head on over to the source link and check it out. It’s a fascinating read.

In the meantime, let us know what you think in the comments below. Do you agree with my sentiment that Nintendo is a toymaker, not a games maker? Am I full of shit, and are Nintendo on form as always? Do you drive a now-illegal modified car? We want to know all about it.

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The Elder Scrolls Online Drops Subscriptions, Console Release Dates, And Bombs http://egmr.net/2015/01/elder-scrolls-online-drops-subscriptions-console-release-dates-bombs/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/elder-scrolls-online-drops-subscriptions-console-release-dates-bombs/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 09:00:19 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166142 Okay so we lied about the bombs… It’s been a long time coming, but finally console gamers get to enjoy what PC gamers have been disappointed with for quite some […]

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Okay so we lied about the bombs…

It’s been a long time coming, but finally console gamers get to enjoy what PC gamers have been disappointed with for quite some time now.

The Elder Scrolls Online released on PC last year to a lukewarm reception; it was billed as the quintessential MMO, the direct competitor to World of Warcraft, who could possibly build a better RPG game world than Bethesda themselves? Unfortunately, it wasn’t Bethesda’s main team that worked on The Elder Scrolls Online and the final product showed as much.

Not that the world was the biggest talking point of the release; The Elder Scrolls Online released with an initial asking price as well as a monthly subscription, which immediately dissuaded many fans of Bethesda games including myself, who simply could not afford to keep playing the game and refused to put in that much of an initial investment into the game. Since then, subscriptions have slowly dropped off.

Naturally then, Bethesda were forced to take some action, and so they have. Come March 17th, The Elder Scrolls Online will be a subscription-free offering.

Thereafter, on June 9th, a new release will be issued called The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited (which almost sounds like a Greatest Hits cover to me) for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you’re already playing The Elder Scrolls Online on PC or Mac, your version will be automatically upgraded as well.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will feature all updates and content additions since the game released, including the new Justice and Champion systems. Previous players will be “invited back” while new players need only make the initial purchase and from then on, they will be allowed to play without paying a subscription fee.

So the question then becomes, how will the MMO stay afloat? According to our source, “special, optional downloadable content available for purchase” as well as “customization items” from an in-game Crown Store. So, you are welcome to decide how you feel about this system. It certainly works for Valve’s free-to-play offerings, so maybe The Elder Scrolls Online can pull it off as well. Maybe…

There’s also another sneaky trick they’re employing. See, regular updates and new gameplay will release for free once the game drops subscriptions, but those who continue to pay a monthly subscription will be placed into a premium membership service called ESO Plus, which will grant exclusive in-game bonuses, a monthly income of crowns for use in the store, as well as access to all DLC game packs while they remain members.

If your subscription currently goes past March 17th, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the premium service until your sub ends.

What is the opposite of phallic?

What is the opposite of phallic?

“Our fans are the biggest inspiration, and we’ve listened to their feedback on the entertainment experience they want,” explained game director Matt Firor. “We know that Elder Scrolls fans want choice when it comes to how they play and how they pay, and that is what they will get. We have made numerous changes to the game over the past year, and are confident this is a game that Elder Scrolls fans will love to play.”

I have to say that it’s quite enticing. Last year I was supposed to review the game for EGMR but after the review code wouldn’t work, I gave up on it. Now, I tell you, I might just go ahead and pick it up on Xbox One when it’s out later this year. I don’t even particularly have that much time for MMOs…

What about you? Have you been holding out, and would this now convince you to take the leap? Are you currently playing it and looking forward to not having to pay that exorbitant monthly fee? Either way, this is lesson once again to early adopters to wait.

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Dying Light Mixes Mirror’s Edge, Zombies & Sensational Night-Life http://egmr.net/2015/01/dying-light-preview/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/dying-light-preview/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 12:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=141055 Full disclosure: We have had a preview of Dying Light ready and awaiting publish for little over a year now; that’s right, an entire year. With delay after delay, we […]

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Full disclosure: We have had a preview of Dying Light ready and awaiting publish for little over a year now; that’s right, an entire year. With delay after delay, we were forced to delay our preview in turn. Meanwhile, development on the game itself has been moving along at a rapid pace and what you will see releasing in a few weeks’ time is likely going to be quite different from what was originally shown nearly two years ago now. An interesting opportunity then to take a look at the dynamics of game development, and actually watch the transformation of a game over the course of two years. Yay for academic previews!

Name: Dying Light
Genre: First Person Zombie Survival Horror
Players: 1 or 4 (online)
Multiplayer: Online cooperative
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Developers: Techland
Publishers: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: 27 January 2014
Price: $60 / R699

First, a brief history of Techland — because it’s good to get to know the developers of the games we play, so we know what to expect from them. That way they can either deliver to our expectations or try to exceed them. Techland is certainly not the cream of the crop of gaming developers, it has to be said. Hailing from Poland (a place now somewhat infamous for producing glitchy games) the European developer has certainly had a few disappointments to its name. The likes of the terrible Call of Juarez: The Cartel — aka Kill Brown People: The Game — come instantly to mind, and much of the gaming world still hasn’t got over the way the first trailer for their other recent title Dead Island — aka Angry Racist Stereotypes Vs Zombies: The Game — blatantly misrepresented the actual content of the game itself. But they have also had a few half-decent offerings such as the now-quite-old Xpand Rally, and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.

With their Dead Island franchise ripped like the tide (heh) from their clutches and given to Yager, Techland have instead been hard at work on something not entirely different. And something, we have to say, which looks a lot more interesting than any old zombie-beat-em-up. So that’s the brief history of Techland out of the way, let’s have a look at the history of Dying Light itself. It has certainly been around for a very long time, and when it was first announced, it was a multi-platform, multi-generation offering. Since then the older generation has fallen away, leaving only the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions which will be releasing soon.

Dying Light is, at its heart, a spiritual successor to Dead Island. It will play out in the first person, and feature a zombie-filled open world for you to explore. There will also be semi-intensive RPG elements in play, allowing you to scavenge items from the game world and improve your player character along the course of the game. But Dying Light has a few neat twists to its core gameplay. For one, you are able to platform pretty much everywhere, just like in Assassin’s Creed but in the first person and with zombies so nearly nothing like Assassin’s Creed. Second, and here’s where the game’s name so brilliantly comes to the fore, zombies hulk out at night, effectively forcing you to only venture outside during the day or risk life and limb once the sun goes down.

Let’s have a look at what the game looked like over a year ago:

Not too shabby, eh? You’ve probably heard the comparisons to Mirror’s Edge styled parkour and zombies ad nauseam by now, but there really is no better way to explain the game than that. Seriously, try it. Walk up to someone who hasn’t heard of Dying Light but plays games and tell them, “It’s Mirror’s Edge but with zombies,” and watch the realisation dawn upon their face. Speaking of dawn, there’s also that little neat twist to things.

Granted it’s not new to the world of zombies, but the idea of overpowered zombies at night and the first person element could blend together to provide something truly fearful and frantic. Dead Island may have been a lot of disappointing things but there were times when it really had you on edge. Add in some Assassin’s Creed meets Mirror’s Edge platforming and you’ve got something that literally has you on the edge too. It’s all one big recipe for mayhem, and it might just make for one of the most entertaining zombie romps for a while.

But of course, that was over a year ago, and how has the game shaped up since then? Well, we’ve got quite a long watch but feel free to skip ahead, and see what Dying Light looks like now:

So we’ve got a graphical upgrade, par for the course. We’ve also got what seems like a more focussed story this time around, with a central character rather than one you can pick for yourself. We’ll allow it, for story purposes. Finally, it looks as if they’ve really done a lot to the mechanics and systems in play with the game’s mechanics. It certainly doesn’t seem anything like a pedestrian stroll where you need only turn up and automatically win. This game looks as if it’s going to take some serious time investment to get the best play experience out of it. Sweet.

Another new addition since the initial reveal seems to be multiplayer. There are two distinct types that have been revealed thus far. One of them is your standard Assassin’s Creed: Unity / Left 4 Dead / Gears of War style four-player cooperative. Basically: Shoot zombies with friends, but they can’t call it The Walking Dead because of licensing. The other multiplayer mode will be a form of asynchronous multiplayer in which players get to either be humans or zombies, and well, we’re not really sure just yet how that will work; it could be Watch_Dogs-styled invasion of another player’s game, or it could be a separate mode entirely. Watch this space?

Suspected Selling Points
  • The game offers something unique to players, with the zombie parkour experience.
  • Dead Island wasn’t the worst game ever, so there’s no reason to believe Dying Light will suck.
  • It’s the first big new-gen game to come out this year so if you’re impatient then why not?

 

Potential Pitfalls
  • Techland’s shaky past leaves a lot to be desired.
  • This game is almost guaranteed to be glitched to hell.
  • Are zombies still cool in games?

Dying Light is another chance for Techland to show that it’s ready for the big leagues. It certainly has the interest from the gaming community, so all that remains to be seen is whether it can deliver. We’re willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for having the audacity to try and mix first person platforming, niche though it is, with zombie survival. It could be a glorious mess of glitches and mediocre storytelling, but it could also be entertaining despite all that. For the moment, the only question that needs to be answered is: Does Mirror’s Edge with zombies sound fun to you? If so, what are you waiting for… besides, well, the game to release… *cough*

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Gaming Does It Again: LittleBigPlanet 3 Remixes Game Of Thrones In Style http://egmr.net/2015/01/gaming-littlebigplanet-3-remixes-game-thrones-style/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/gaming-littlebigplanet-3-remixes-game-thrones-style/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 09:00:58 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=166026 Wieners, floppy wieners, floppy wieners, floppy wieners… Since its release late last year, LittleBigPlanet 3 hasn’t quite been hitting the same high notes as its predecessors, but here at EGMR […]

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Wieners, floppy wieners, floppy wieners, floppy wieners…

Since its release late last year, LittleBigPlanet 3 hasn’t quite been hitting the same high notes as its predecessors, but here at EGMR we try not to be overly negative, we’re a glass half full kinda site after all, so we prefer to look at it as a work-in-progress.

After all, the previous LittleBigPlanet games were so wildly successful because of the ridiculous amount of user creation on offer. Naturally then, it relies on its fanbase to make it a success.

And just like that, a few months later, we are treated to this spectacle of a video up above. Created in just over two weeks by Jamie Colliver and AAAAALEC (the new first word in the dictionary) using only LittleBigPlanet 3’s own creation tools, behold, the entire Game of Thrones introductory sequence.

Cue the violins!

The dashing duo managed to recapture the majesty and charm of the iconic (reading, Ubisoft?) theme tune by using “transitions from camera to camera” that followed a custom assigned path, effectively creating a more cinematic rendering. All we can say is, it’s bloody marvellous and a testament to the creativity of gamers… wait, are we allowed to say that about obvious copyright-infringement? Eh, it’s cool.

Check out the video above for yourself, and let us know what you think of it. Think you could do better?

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Xbox One’s February Update Brings Transparent Tiles And Game Hubs http://egmr.net/2015/01/xbox-ones-february-update-brings-transparent-tiles-game-hubs/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/xbox-ones-february-update-brings-transparent-tiles-game-hubs/#comments Thu, 15 Jan 2015 09:00:03 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165808 February is commonly known as the month of love, which is why everyone who is alone and unhappy — as well as hipsters because being contrary is their way — […]

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February is commonly known as the month of love, which is why everyone who is alone and unhappy — as well as hipsters because being contrary is their way — absolutely despises it.

But the light in the middle of the tunnel, presuming you own an Xbox One, is that you will get a cool new update to play with when the month comes around. That’s right, Microsoft will soon be rolling out their February update for Xbox One. In fact, it has already entered the early preview stage which is how we can talk about it here today.

What’s new in the Xbox fold? Well to be honest, there’s still no Twitter image sharing which makes us quite sad, but there are a few other neat additions.

Perhaps the biggest addition in this update is the Game Hub feature, accessible for every game as well as content relating to that game (user streams, edited videos, leaderboards and so on) by clicking on the menu button and selecting the Game Hub option.

Game Hubs will be the new way of seeing which friends are playing a particular game, as well as accessing broadcasts, clips, leaderboards, VIPs and top players, and so on. It’s not going to be particularly interesting to most of us, but it’s still a really cool added extra for those who enjoy that sort of thing.

The other big change is that of custom backgrounds and tile transparency, adding a slightly better look to the overall aesthetic of the UI. The transparent tiles obviously allow for better visibility of your custom background, which you can create for yourself by going to Settings -> My Xbox -> My background, or, you know, telling your Kinect you want to change your background.

There are also some updates for TV and specifically OneGuide, although we’re not really sure how much of it will affect us in South Africa right now, although if you’re reading this from Europe then prepare for a whole bunch of new features including Live TV streaming to your smartphone, as well as TV Tuner capabilities. Maybe one day, when the SABC elects someone with actual qualifications…

In all, it’s not a very substantial update and we’re really looking forward to image sharing, but with recent updates including an announcement from the Xbox team that they are freeing up more CPU capacity for gaming, it’s looking pretty good for team green. If you bought an Xbox One, chances are you’re enjoying the hell out of it. Look forward to a little bit more on that front, soon. Who even needs a Valentine anymore?

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: Let’s Have A Quick Catch Up Session http://egmr.net/2015/01/life-universe-gaming-lets-quick-catch-session/ http://egmr.net/2015/01/life-universe-gaming-lets-quick-catch-session/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 09:00:29 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165588 Is it 2015 already?! Geez, welcome back I guess. That holiday sure flew by. A lot has changed too. For one, I am now a working man with a tax […]

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Is it 2015 already?! Geez, welcome back I guess. That holiday sure flew by. A lot has changed too. For one, I am now a working man with a tax number and everything! I have my degree and I open up at least four non-gaming websites a day — albeit only because my place of employment requires as much.

Since it’s been a few weeks, and to be completely honest this day positively sprung up on me as if by time dilation or something equally ridiculous, I thought we’d spend a few hundred words catching up and discussing some of our big plans moving forward into the new year. By the way, happy new year if you’re one of those people who care about that. If you’re not then just pretend I said something positive and friendly, such as that football is a really great and not totally pointless sport, or that Dest– wait, I promised I wouldn’t make that joke this year.

Much like Marvel has had a long-term plan for their Cinematic Universe, slowly but carefully crafting a bunch of heroes before putting them together and then going from strength to strength since, EGMR too has had some long-term plans set in motion literally years ago. When I first joined the site back in 2011, we were certainly not regarded as the best or even close to the top, but in those few years we have endured a gruelling, arduous climb and we continue to do so. Despite a few departures, and more than a few times of conflict, we have done our best to keep on climbing.

Needless to say, I’m quite proud of us, and 2015 is going to be another massive year of growth for us. More than innovation, this year we are seeking to actively build on the incredible foundation that we’ve carefully, meticulously crafted in previous years, and refine on everything already in place. With a few new additions as well, of course. Now I don’t want to spoil everything so I’ll keep things vague for now. What I can talk about are things like the podcast, which is currently undergoing maintenance with an eye on a fresh, new style when it eventually releases to the public.

Or perhaps the fact that we are once again refocussing our core point of entertainment, that of gaming. We tried diverging a lot in the past year to see what you guys enjoyed and didn’t particularly care about. What we gained thereafter through Analytics was invaluable. Apparently everyone searches for Fallout Nude Mods always, but other than that it’s clear that a site that dabbles in too much will struggle to nail down a focus. As a result, we’re bringing it back to gaming. We’ll still try to do a few more geek-related things, like cosplay, comics and movie coverage. It just won’t be nearly as extensive as before, with the majority of our coverage going back to gaming.

We’ll also be aiming to give you more exclusive content and features this year, with a hearty amount of reviews coming out this month to kick things off. As always, columns will be around in full swing as well. So really it’s a massive collection of content for you, our beloved reader, to dip your gaming fingers into and enjoy.

On a more personal note, having started full-time employment this year and also looking to complete my other degree as well as secure more qualifications in my field, this year is going to be interesting to say the least. Especially when I throw in editing such things as columns, podcasts and so on. But I feel ready to accept the challenge and I am as motivated as I ever was. I’m ready to ruffle some feathers once more this year.

With that in mind, I’d like to suggest some light reading for you all, if you’d oblige me. It’s an article titled ‘If you’re not pissing someone off, you probably aren’t doing anything important‘.

Please do read through it; it’s quite a quick and easy one. Last year we pissed off a lot of people, and I can assure you from having a look at our site stats, we have been making more and more of an impact. It’s a delight to see this because despite the very public decrying of our site on more than one occasion, it has never held us back nor hindered our steadfast progress onwards and upwards. Remember that this year, friends. Remember that the zietgeist knows only one direction and it will go ever on, unhindered. Because we mean business and our goals are our gospel.

We mean to stick around and be the best place to come to if you want gaming and geek related discussion. Especially if that discussion revolves around consumer advice and ensuring that the purchasing decisions you make are the best for your wallet and your time. We are unapologetic about being for gamers, always. And as far as tough love goes, nobody loves tougher than myself (um wut). Last year on more than one occasion, I had it told to me that my advice was on point and they wished they had listened. Words are given freely. It is up to you to choose how you wish to use them.

On that note, let’s have some quick-fire predictions for this year:

  1. The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt will be an amazing game and easy game of the year contender.
  2. Batman: Arkham Knight will be underwhelming despite introducing a great new villain who is basically Hush.
  3. Nobody will care about The Order: 1886 after it releases but Sony will do its best to sell it as a must-have exclusive.
  4. Uncharted 4 will be delayed into 2016.
  5. Assassin’s Creed: Victory will look interesting but ultimately Ubisoft will have lost too much fan faith by this point.
  6. A new Need for Speed title will be announced.
  7. Still no Beyond Good & Evil 2.
  8. Angry feminists (also known as: the ones who harass everyone on Twitter without a hint of irony) will go too far, this year.
  9. The Xbox One will overtake the PlayStation 4 as the best overall gaming package but nobody will outwardly admit it and be allowed to get away with it.
  10. We’ll see a proper Mass Effect 4 trailer this year, and I will lose my shit over it.
  11. Avengers: Age of Ultron will be fucking amazing, while Ant Man will surprise everyone who expects it to be Marvel’s first flop.
  12. Destiny will still be shit for 90% of the people who play it.

Let’s reconvene at year-end and see how many I’ve managed to tick off this list, shall we? In the meantime I urge you all to sit back and enjoy the show. It’s going to be a wild ride on the EGMR Express in 2015.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: The Final Word On 2014 http://egmr.net/2014/12/life-universe-gaming-final-word-2014/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/life-universe-gaming-final-word-2014/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=165507 We’ve reached the end of yet another year, with all of us no doubt proclaiming how only yesterday it felt like January. Isn’t it weird how our entire way of […]

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We’ve reached the end of yet another year, with all of us no doubt proclaiming how only yesterday it felt like January. Isn’t it weird how our entire way of life has been moulded around Earth’s rotation around the sun, even though we now know that the sun itself revolves around something and that thing revolves around another thing and so on, ad infinitum. Everything is a cycle, the ending met by another beginning and like that, 2014’s conclusion will be met by 2015’s introduction.

At this time of the year it is also customary to wish good tidings upon the many religious folk who are celebrating the likes of Yule, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Krampusnacht, Yalda, Pancha Ganapati, Hogswatch, and more, as well as the non-religious folk who are spending this time pissing off the religious folk and vice versa. That said, we can’t help but be grateful for all these end-of-year festivities for they grant us a chance for rest. A few weeks off to spend either with family and friends or, more likely, catching up on our massive accrued backlog of games from the past year (I have at least eight).

In the gaming world, it has been quite a rough and tumultuous year with a whole bunch of controversies and just sad things, but there have also been a lot of great times as well. We’d like to honour all of it using this here column, on behalf of everyone on the site.

 

Changes (not the Tupac version)

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On EGMR we have made some massive changes this year. We changed our site host. We changed our name. We changed our review system. We changed our entire way of doing things, and tried to branch out into more than just gaming. All in an attempt to be more and do more for you, our beloved readers. 2014 has been a rocky one for us as a result, causing a quite drastic shift in our reader-base as well as in the core content you will find on the site. Gone is the quick-fix style of basic news reporting. Now we try to have a proper discussion and actually ‘talk’ games but more than that, we want to ‘talk’ about anything else a gamer might have an interest in; movies, music, comics, TV series, anything really. We want to ‘talk’ geek.

Admittedly it’s not been the easiest thing in the world, having to effectively start up from scratch and endure many months of steady but slow growth, but we have soldiered on and will continue to do so next year. Because we know the kind of site we want to be and our sights are set on getting there, along with you, our adored readers. We have no intentions of slowing down so we hope that come 2015, you are with us for the great things that are coming.

And we’d like to thank each and every one of you for your support, patience and understanding with us this year. We exist for you guys, and we would be nothing without you guys. We want to cut out the bullshit and present you guys with a thorough explanation of the facts, straight up, as we see them, giving you a solid platform to form your own views. We want to talk with you as your fellow gamers, not as ‘superiors’ or something equally pretentious. You make up your mind, but we’re more than willing to engage with you on the way to that decision. That is our way, and that is what we intend to keep doing. No matter how many people we upset in the process, we will always prioritise our readers because once again, without you guys we are without a purpose. Like Romeo without Juliet, or a Marvel movie without a post-credits scene.

 

A moment for the friends we’ve lost this year

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As with any year, we saw a few losses to go with the gains and this year in particular was quite harrowing for us at EGMR.

Aside from international site CVG and a bunch of others we will inevitably miss, we saw the loss of a great local website called El33tonline. They were a delightful bunch of guys with whom I was well-acquainted and although it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard anything from them, we only hope that they have all gone on to find great success in their current endeavours and hope to see them again soon.

We also saw the loss of PC Format this year, which we considered a massive blow to the local gaming scene. While there were highs and lows experienced with the ex-staff of the magazine, we nonetheless have a deep and sincere respect for all that those guys achieved and how far they took the magazine before bowing out and moving on to other things, for which we hope they too have found success.

Finally, we are still waiting to put in our bid for LazyGamer which could possibly go up for sale sometime soon and that’s possibly the greatest tragedy of this year when you consider the circumstances (we don’t mean Alessandro, guys, relax). We hope that this allows us time to catch up they find a way to keep on keeping on in the coming year, and wish them all the best as well.

A little less hopeful was the death of long-time reader and friend of the site, NeoN. His Facebook is now deactivated so sourcing a picture is difficult, but just know that this was quite possibly the biggest shock of our year, more so than any gaming-related news story. One of the truest and most honourable people ever to have visited our site (and I say that without a hint of hyperbole). I first met NeoN during my first rAge, back in 2011. Where other gamers were quite rude and wanted to be left to their playing, he introduced himself to me, showed me around the LAN area and talked to me at length about the expo after I told him it was my first time. He also complimented me on my work (which you might be surprised to learn happens very seldom) and wished the at-the-time eGamer crew all the best. A truly great person and someone whom I feel should have lived a much longer life. It really is so horribly unfair. In any case, we want to dedicate this article as well as this year’s festive season to NeoN’s memory.

To a great friend! *holds up beverage of choice*

 

On a more personal note

Header-2014-26a

At some point midway through last year I felt terrible about doing what I had always accused others of doing: Enjoying something so much that I deigned to look past its faults because I enjoyed it and therefore disregarded all criticism of it in favour of gamersplaining explaining that, “it’s really fun if you give it a chance.” I had forgotten for a moment that this amazing pastime we all share is a very expensive passion in a world where people struggle on a daily basis to put food on the table, and yet here I am complaining about people being unwilling unable to enjoy a game they paid a lot of money for. So this year I made the active decision to change the way I looked at videogames and I allowed myself to be more critical of them, for the purposes of informed decision-making. If they cost money then I, as a self-respective gaming writer, owe it not just to myself but to my readers as well, to provide some ‘consumer advice’ in order to educate readers and create some awareness of what money should be spent where.

To that extent, this year I began by cautioning restraint against falling victims to hype. Cue the likes of Titanfall, Watch_Dogs and eventually the big daddy, Destiny, and we’re left looking retrospectively at a year when hype ruled supreme and caused many a gamer to part with money they would rather not have. “If only more people had listened,” I said to myself, before remembering how nobody likes ‘Mr Always Right’ regardless of how right he always is (it’s an old saying of mine). So despite trying my level best to do everything I could to educate and inform readers, I inevitably pissed off a lot of people with my admittedly brash style of conversation, causing some friends who used to speak often to me, to no longer so much as reply to a Facebook message or tweet, so alienated are they to my person now.

We forget too easily that none of us are perfect and nobody purports to be so, but we are all learning and growing and trying to do our best, and that is why I will do my best to keep on growing and pushing boundaries but also try to find a middle ground, a diplomatic, happy place where I can still exercise active consumer advice and stimulate intellectual discussion without creating a stifling or negative atmosphere. I, like everyone else, am a work in progress. And come next year I hope to achieve that little bit more, hopefully with you all around to see it.

 

Onwards and upwards to 2015!

Untitled 2014-12-22

Stay tuned in 2015 because we have a lot of plans in the works. We can’t talk about all of it right now because reasons, but we can talk about some stuff. For example, we are overhauling our daily schedule and opting for a quality over quantity approach. Less news per day, but more substance to that news together with a bit more opinion in that news. It’s more actively engaging, it’s more lively, it’s a discussion, not a one-way-conversation. We’re also reworking our podcast to give you something with a little more structure, and a little more innovative thinking. Further, we’re streamlining our reviews to give you even more of what you want and less of what you could do without, with fair and functional scoring and critique.

And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, so definitely keep opening up this website if you wish to track our progress throughout. Remember that you, our readers, are the single most important beings in our collective existence and we will strive at all times to cater to you in an honest and transparent manner. If there is something you should know about then we will tell you about it. If there is some way we feel you are being unfairly treated then we will do our best to get to the bottom of it. And finally, if there is a way you feel we can improve then we are here to listen and to take your advice to heed. Please, let us know in the comments where you feel our strong points are, where you feel our weak points are, and where you think we should focus next year. Let’s work together to ensure that 2015 is a bigger, better and brighter year for us all. One with less hype and more fun, and a whole lot of lulz as well.

Here’s to less controversy (hopefully a side effect of having more games to play since after all, having nothing to play just makes everyone edgy) and more great times. From all of us at EGMR, we would like to wish you all the best for the holidays and a splendiferous new year celebration. We hope to see you real soon, when we start back up early next year. Happy holidays!

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Review: Grand Theft Auto V Is Back With A Vengeance http://egmr.net/2014/12/review-grand-theft-auto-v-back-vengeance/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/review-grand-theft-auto-v-back-vengeance/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:00:13 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164764 Visit review on site for scoring. Here at EGMR we aren’t the biggest fans of remakes of games that have only just released a few years ago. It seems like […]

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Visit review on site for scoring.

Here at EGMR we aren’t the biggest fans of remakes of games that have only just released a few years ago. It seems like a cheap tactic, especially given the lack of backwards compatibility, for publishers to exploit fans with minimal effort required on the part of developers. But honestly not a single one of us here would contest the point that Grand Theft Auto V is a game that has belonged on the new generation of consoles from the moment it was first revealed.

No matter how you choose to look at it — whether it was a previous generation game remastered for the new generation, or a new generation game released early in an inferior format to capitalise on the end of an era — Grand Theft Auto V is a ridiculously beautiful game and an achievement in game-building, and you start to understand why this game took so many years to develop. At its core, Grand Theft Auto V on the new generation is the same game as Grand Theft Auto V on the previous generation; the same storyline, the same characters and the same inherent problems. However it branches out from there, with better visuals, a new way of playing the game and more. We’ll discuss all of these for you here in this review, but if you’d like more details regarding such things as the story and gameplay, check out our original review.

What’s new?

Grand Theft Auto V has quite a few new additions, and in this little section we’re going to detail all of ‘em for you really quickly.

  1. Better graphics — Including higher-resolution textures, advanced anti-aliasing techniques, improved lighting, shadows and draw distance, better reflections and weather effects, as well as depth-of-field effects. In other words, Grand Theft Auto V looks like the business.
  2. Wildlife — Meaning people and animals, the game brings an assortment of new wildlife as well as larger crowds, more traffic and an overall busier world.
  3. First Person mode — Perhaps the biggest addition, the first person perspective in Grand Theft Auto V overhauls animations, reworks gunplay and even brings interiors for cars.
  4. Additional content — These include new missions, weapons, cars, and even radio stations, as well as a bunch of new customisations for both players and vehicles.
  5. GTA Online — Player support is now up to 30 at once, together with all of the singleplayer additions (except for the animals), and more creation tools.

In all, it’s quite a bit extra. If you’re a returning player then you also have access to some exclusive perks which you can read about here, including the ability to synch your previous-gen save and continue from where you left off, with your progress intact. Thus far it has been a little hit-or-miss and many issues have been reported, but it’s still a really neat feature to have.

If you’re wondering how the first-person perspective plays, check out this video and see it for yourself:

 

Singleplayer

For the most part, the core story of Grand Theft Auto V is as it was. This goes both ways. For one, it means that it’s still the excellent 90/100 experience that we rated it last year, with all of the thrills, excitement and clever development we remember. But for another, that means it carries the same core problems that held it down before. We’re willing to forgive this because keeping the core story as it was should never be a bad thing and the year-later ‘required effort’ field in our minds has been quite smoothly filled in by all the extra additions.

So if you’re playing the new generation version of Grand Theft Auto V and expecting to be blown away by a new storyline, stick to your fan fiction. In the meantime if you’d like to play the same story — or just play it for the first time because you missed out on it before — then it’s all there for you. This is pretty much why it’s so confusing that Target Australia have only now received complaints about the game, when it has been around for over a year now. But let’s swiftly digress from that discussion. Storywise, Grand Theft Auto V is as it always was, and that’s just perfect. The new additions are therefore, all the more welcome.

 

GTA Online

As far as the online component goes, it’s a bit more of the same showing we got from previous-generation versions, albeit with a new coat of paint and some new toys.

Returning players have the option of importing their existing characters through Rockstar’s Social Club account, meaning they can keep their experience, money and earned possessions from the previous generation version. With this comes the option of redesigning their characters with the new character creation system, which is miles ahead of the previous mechanic.

Into the game, and when we said more of the same, we meant it — lobbies now support up to 30 concurrent players (so twelve tanks, eight buzzards and ten victims), as do certain Jobs. As far as content is concerned, new generation players get access to all the exclusive content previously accessible to collector’s edition players — which is a nice touch, although you might be a little perturbed if you had bought last generation’s collector’s edition only to have your exclusive content handed over now, but that’s a minor gripe at best.

Since Heists are now confirmed to be on the way in early 2015, there’s no worth to criticising that anymore, though one has to wonder why a core feature took a year and a half extra to build. Until then, however, there’s a collection of new Contact Missions and other Jobs to pull players through to the new year, and Rockstar have already started patching in new weapons and gear, like the recently released Festive Surprise pack.

The first-person mode is available in multiplayer, but fighting is simpler in third-person. Either perspective can be locked for Jobs, meaning all players will play at the same advantages/disadvantages, which goes a long way to balancing the gameplay.

Fundamentally though, it’s the same core experience with a bit more. It’s had a smoother launch, with more content and features than its previous generation version had, and that’s all it really needed to do.

 

The last word on GTA V

Perhaps the biggest point of conversation regarding the new generation version of Grand Theft Auto V is the first person mode. Sure, the exclusive content for returning players is nice but it’s ultimately just a bunch of side missions and doesn’t have any real bearing on the core storyline; it’s just more to do. And sure, it’s nice to have a prettier and busier world but we expect no less from a new generation console. Even if Grand Theft Auto V, by all rights, looks like a game that was always meant for this new generation of consoles (and PC, don’t worry we haven’t forgotten you guys, it’s coming soon).

But the first person mode is really what sets this version of Grand Theft Auto V apart from its previous generation counterpart, and really, it’s not something everyone will enjoy. Don’t get us wrong! It’s absolutely great to play Grand Theft Auto V from this perspective, but there will be as many of you who will simply try it and then go back to third person, as there will be who enjoy it and never go back. Personally when playing it, I got rather drowsy thanks to the shaky cam, and I quickly changed back. However others have reported that they tried it and loved it and now play it exclusively in the first person view. It’s still a very workable and admirable change to have made to the game and really changes it from the core experience upwards, so we’ll grant that it’s a worthy addition… but yeah, it takes some getting used to.

Over and above that, Grand Theft Auto V on the new generation, as it was on the previous generation, is an exemplary offering from Rockstar Games and a testament to excellent storytelling, game design, and player empowerment. It is fun, it is unapologetic, and it holds very little back. Playing this game on the new generation of consoles… it feels like home. An easy recommendation then, for anyone who hasn’t already picked it up. As if this was ever in any doubt.

Thanks to Bracken Lee-Rudolph for assisting with the GTA Online component of this review.

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EGMR Fun Awards 2014: Biggest Scams http://egmr.net/2014/12/egmr-fun-awards-2014-biggest-scams/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/egmr-fun-awards-2014-biggest-scams/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:00:01 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164937 People talk about selling ice to an Eskimo as a show of skill for the seller, but who ever considers the poor Eskimo who just got scammed into buying ice? […]

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People talk about selling ice to an Eskimo as a show of skill for the seller, but who ever considers the poor Eskimo who just got scammed into buying ice? As gamers we have had our fair share of buying things we don’t need, being goaded through interest in things we just could not enjoy no matter how hard we tried. 2014 has been a year of scams, and today we’re going to highlight the biggest ones. There isn’t a winner for this Fun Award because the Fun Awards have no winners, really. It’s all about what the industry tried to get away with, and got caught red-handed in the process.

The Rundown

Nobody likes getting scammed. Yet everybody, at some point, has fallen victim to persuasions that border on misleading or downright untrue. On the internet we experience things like clickbait, hype and other such methods of being scammed into believing what should otherwise be questioned at all times. While scepticism is always a great practice, sometimes you give the benefit of the doubt to something and are taken for a ride. Not cool, right? That’s why we’re using this Fun Award to get our own back. While controversies are controversial because there is a back-and-forth about it, with conflicting opinions and much debate, scams on the other hand, are just downright embarrassing for all involved. Here we’ll highlight the more outrageous scams that have permeated gaming this year, and try to take a tongue-in-cheek look behind the so-called magic.

 

The Nominees
1080p 60fps
Pictured: The Gaza Strip of gaming.

Pictured: The Gaza Strip of gaming.

In previous awards we’ve discussed why 1080p has been so controversial this year, and how many gamers have been up in arms regarding the standard. Of course, if you’re a PC gamer then you’re laughing at all of it while enjoying your 4K resolution on a PC that costs a small fortune. But here’s the thing: Regardless of the merits of 1080p itself (spoiler: It only matters insofar as your physical distance to the screen) if you paid for a system that promised 1080p gaming then nothing should stop you from getting what you paid for. Ideally, anyway. Unfortunately the likes of Ubisoft Montreal didn’t get that memo, and they dropped Assassin’s Creed: Unity to 900p in order to create “parity” on the two consoles. So all of you PS4 players who purchased the console for 1080p gaming — sorry. But again, it’s okay because unless you’re sitting closer than 9.8 feet then the differences really won’t matter all that much (Google it if you don’t believe us). Plus the differences only matter if you can see the game on the other console for yourself. So why not just, you know, not check out graphics comparisons? Either way, you paid for it so you should get it because the consumer gets what they pay for. Let ‘em know.

 

Destiny
No legendary drops? Problem???

No legendary drops? Problem???

Oh you knew this one would be here… what did I tell you guys halfway through this year? People fell hook, line and sinker for Destiny’s charms from the very first trailer. Despite the fact that it looked very much just like a barren wasteland and showed glaring inconsistencies if you spent more than a minute thinking about it, Bungie somehow managed to do it yet again by making you think Destiny was a game you wanted to own on release. It got people practically fervent, and honestly caused me to lose a few friends who vehemently disagreed with my opinions of the game, pre-release. Then it did release to the world and experienced some of the most polarising reactions on the internet, very much like the developer’s predecessor series, Halo. Overwhelming positivity, or complete disgust even when the game is still rated highly but issues are raised regarding the game. Destiny continues to scam many a gamer, who will continuously throw “but it’s so fun” at you as their first, last and only line of defence. (Against the worst scum of the universe… ahem.)

 

Hidden PC Options In Watch_Dogs
ctOS be like: "Problem, PC gamers???"

ctOS be like: “Problem, PC gamers???”

So you watched the very first trailer for Watch_Dogs and were positively blown away by the visuals and the gameplay. “There is no way this is running on anything but a high-end PC, how will this work on our consoles? It has to be next-gen.” And just like that! Then over the next few quarters, Watch_Dogs slowly dug its hole deeper, eventually releasing looking like a mere shadow of its initial showing and leaving gamers feeling more than a little underwhelmed, not entirely blown away by the digitally rendered Windy City. You could say, they had their hype levels hacked. Even the PC version seemed inferior… until you played around with the settings and discovered that holy hell, the game does look better! Why on Earth was Ubisoft hiding features that made the game look graphically better than it did on release? Nobody knows. Perhaps they were saving it for DLC or microtransactions or something. Thanks to a few modders, condemned no doubt by developers, we’ll never have to bear that sort of exploitation. No wonder Ubisoft hates PC gamers…

 

Rugby 15
It's the right image, we promise.

Pictured: A conversion-taking in action.

Here at EGMR we are massive fans of sportsy-sports, and we’ll sports all over anyone who dares to presume otherwise. Some of the worst — and therefore best — sportsysportsing we had in years was from Rugby 15, a game so atrociously bad that it actually made all those terrible Cricket games look passable. Perhaps the biggest scam of all involving Rugby 15 was how well-marketed and popular it was, nearing release. People bought into Rugby 15, or to say it a different way: Someone actually got suckered into paying for this! Perhaps they’re those ironic types, like the hipsters without scarves, or people with intentionally misspelled tattoos. I don’t know about you but perhaps in future let’s all stick to the not-at-all-unpleasant king of sporty-sportsing, FIFA. Besides, hockey is just better in every way.

 

Dom’s tuition fees
And that's just for the printing...

And that’s just for the printing…

Seriously, WTF?!

 

Halo Borderlands
The Holy Grail of gaming, or so they said.

The Holy Grail of gaming, or so they said.

Since we cannot touch on this enough, a special double-mention for the game that gamed gamers like no other this year. Oh it played us all like a new Call of Duty title, or perhaps more relevantly, like a Halo title, slowly stalking us from behind for months leading up to its release, then energy swording us in the backs and teabagging our corpses for months since. I for one am still eagerly awaiting the promised ‘Halo Borderlands’ game that made me care about Destiny in the first place. Easily a scam on its own, especially considering this year saw the somewhat-better releases of Halo: MCC and Borderlands: TPS, proving once and for all that sometimes a game is not the sum of its parts, while striking a massive blow to science after creationists took this to be a sure sign that evolution does not exist. Halo Borderlands: The Game scammed gamers by purporting to be Halo Borderlands: The Game, so much so that it was twice the scam of anything else this year. And it only cost literally trillions of human monies and a dwarf to make. Truly out of this world, but not in a good way. You could say, this game came from the moon.

 

$90 ‘microtransactions’ in AC Unity
Pictured: The reality of game development

Pictured: The reality of game development

Assassin’s Creed: Unity has a lot to feel guilty for. You’ve had the laundry list explained to you at least forty-two times already, with the likes of no playable female characters, 900p 30fps gameplay, post-release embargoes on reviews and irrefutably condemning images of an otherwise broken game. I’d like to add a few of my own bugbears from the game, including the likes of British accents despite this game being set in France and developed by French-speaking developers in a French-speaking country, the failure to include one of the most noteworthy (and coincidentally female) figures of the French Revolution in the game’s story, and the ridiculous microtransactions on offer. We can’t even call some of them microtransactions because when they cost more than the game itself, surely they become macrotransactions? It’s quite ridiculous really, and you can tell that Ubisoft has adopted the ‘mobile gaming’ approach of intentionally making some things a grind in order to coerce gamers into spending IRL money in order to achieve virtual completion; vapid completion at that. I thought we were friends, Ubisoft. No wonder Jade Raymond left…

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Super Heroes Vs Game Heroes — Quite Possibly The Coolest Video You’ll See All Week http://egmr.net/2014/12/super-heroes-vs-game-heroes-quite-possibly-coolest-video-youll-see-week/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/super-heroes-vs-game-heroes-quite-possibly-coolest-video-youll-see-week/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:00:46 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164587 Now, we could write up a couple-hundred-word blurb about what the above-embedded video entails, taking the time to talk it up a bit before explaining its contents. We could tell […]

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Now, we could write up a couple-hundred-word blurb about what the above-embedded video entails, taking the time to talk it up a bit before explaining its contents. We could tell you it was created by Corridor Digital and featured some popular videogame characters and superheroes, meeting in a clash of two worlds style. We could tell you it all centres around a very familiar McGuffin from a recent superhero blockbuster. We could tell you a bunch of stuff, if we’re being honest.

But really, that would be a waste of words and all you really need to know is that this video is freaking rad. So just watch it okay? Watch it in 1080p, and then share your thoughts on it in the comments below. (It’s the one and only time I’ll allow something cool to have Master Chief in it…)

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Here’s How To Share Game Clips To Twitter From Your Xbox One http://egmr.net/2014/12/heres-share-game-clips-twitter-xbox-one/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/heres-share-game-clips-twitter-xbox-one/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 07:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164473 We few Xbox One gamers have been a little short on the sharing capabilities. Granted, many people just ignore those game clips and videos that are shared online and it’s […]

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We few Xbox One gamers have been a little short on the sharing capabilities.

Granted, many people just ignore those game clips and videos that are shared online and it’s typically just the others who do it that are interacting with said shared content, but the PlayStation 4 has really brought social media sharing to the fore as a massive pull, with the whole #PS4Share thing.

The Xbox One has been lagging behind on that front. They are certainly working on it, but Microsoft has definitely been on the back foot in this regard. As of yet, there is still no way to taking screenshots on an Xbox One, even if there was a time when screenshots were considered silly; why they’re back in action is anyone’s guess, perhaps just hype factor surrounding a new generation of consoles and a novelty that might someday wear off.

Either way, it’s in the works for better or worse, and the Xbox One has since received the ability to upload game clips to Twitter, as a means of keeping the peace and allowing for some sharing. By “since” we mean quite some time ago, but what better time than now to start talking it up!

Watch the video above, which will explain exactly how to do that. Then go wild, uploading all your favourite clips to Twitter and watching your Follower count dwindle to nothingness faster than you can say 15GB update. Let us know in the comments if you share your gaming stuff online, and how people tend to react to it.

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Need A Reason To Feel Happy About Being A Gamer? Come Watch This Video http://egmr.net/2014/12/need-reason-feel-happy-gamer-come-watch-video/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/need-reason-feel-happy-gamer-come-watch-video/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:00:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164467 We gamers have it rough. If we’re not attacking each other, we’re busy being told that our favoured pastime is a pointless activity in self-indulgence and nobody ever got rich […]

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We gamers have it rough.

If we’re not attacking each other, we’re busy being told that our favoured pastime is a pointless activity in self-indulgence and nobody ever got rich off gaming. Also, a whole bunch of other things including violence, harassment and doxxing. It’s not the coolest time in the world to admit you’re a gamer, right?

Wrong.

It’s great to be a gamer. It’s great to be so progressive, so young. So educated, so intellectually stimulating, so privileged in a manner of speaking. So forward-thinking and innovative. Gaming teaches us so much and helps us to be so much more than we otherwise would be. We’ve all learned a thing or two from playing our favourite games. They’ve helped us improve our hand-eye coordination, overcome our fears and even taught us history.

And the very short video above, courtesy the ESL, wants us to love being gamers.

Even when we’re being told that “gamer” is a stupid term and that nobody else self-identifies in that way (sorry bookworms, and any form of fanbase attached to a singer), we still gleefully smile and embrace our passion. We still have something to play, or play next.

Let us know in the comments, what makes you proud to be a gamer.

Thanks to Haig Tait for sharing this with us.

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The Inventor Of The First Gaming Console Has Quit Out Without Saving http://egmr.net/2014/12/inventor-first-gaming-console-quit-without-saving/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/inventor-first-gaming-console-quit-without-saving/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 14:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164398 Many of you won’t know who Ralph Baer is. That’s fine, after all he’s a really old man whose contributions to gaming stretch further back then most of our lifetimes. […]

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Many of you won’t know who Ralph Baer is. That’s fine, after all he’s a really old man whose contributions to gaming stretch further back then most of our lifetimes. Let’s take a stroll through history, shall we?

Ralph Baer is the gaming equivalent of Nikola Tesla, the so-called ‘father of video games’ to many. While tinkering with the idea of playing games on television screens way back in 1966 when England still thought they could win World Cups, Baer began work on what would eventually be called the Brown Box, which got a working prototype two years later. The first ever game console was quite basic and featured the first ever game, ‘the chase game’, which had two spots on the screen and allowed players to control them using basic analogues with the aim being to catch the opponent’s spot by touching it.

The Brown Box would go on to gain licensing by Magnavox and be renamed to the Magnavox Odyssey, which is what you might recall as the first ever actual video game console. It released to the public in 1972, to folks who no doubt claimed that it’s a silly device that would gain no traction. Just like cellphones. Oh humans…

Now at the tender old age of 92, Ralph Baer has passed away, leaving behind a legacy of inventions and a quite intriguing life, including a lengthy rivalry with Atari’s Nolan Bushnell, who is also considered a patriarch of videogames as we know them today. Taking inspiration from a table tennis game Baer had created in the sixties on his Brown Box, Bushnell released Pong in 1973 and just like Apple did with their iPhone, entirely stole the show, despite blatant patent infringement.

It has been said that at his ripe old age, Baer was still busy at work inventing things, and while a lot of us have rarely ever heard his name and will probably just as quickly forget it, it’s pertinent that we take a moment — for sentiment or for gaming, you decide — to acknowledge the life of a man who pretty much hand-crafted the great pastime we all love and adore in today’s world, and the reason sites such as this exist.

Press X to pay respects.

Our condolences to Baer’s family as well as his colleagues and companions of old. Gaming has lost a beloved father, but we will endeavour to ensure that his legacy lives on. Leave your thoughts and so on in the comments below, and do check out the videos above if you have a moment.

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Capcom Doesn’t Want You Discussing Street Fighter V On YouTube — Copyright Strikes For All! http://egmr.net/2014/12/capcom-doesnt-want-discussing-street-fighter-v-youtube-copyright-strikes/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/capcom-doesnt-want-discussing-street-fighter-v-youtube-copyright-strikes/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164395 Ever hear the phrase, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity?” Well we’re here to tell you that there absolutely is; Just ask Electronic Arts. Nonetheless, Capcom has decided that […]

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Ever hear the phrase, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity?” Well we’re here to tell you that there absolutely is; Just ask Electronic Arts.

Nonetheless, Capcom has decided that it wants to test the boundaries of losing consumer faith by issuing copyright claims for any and all coverage of their Street Fighter V announcement. This includes the media and assets that they provided through press releases, as well as any discussion that takes place containing the Street Fighter V name even if the media is not used.

YouTube game reviewer Angry Joe took to Twitter last night to complain about the unfair copyright strikes he received, with the following tweets:

 

 

 
Other YouTubers then also took to Twitter to dispute the claim, or discuss it.

 

 

 
The official Capcom Twitter account has since made a tweet but has not responded to the tweets embedded above. Clearly, they’re not interested in having a dialogue. Our hope is that they’re just meeting and discussing what went on, internally, rather than just snubbing the people who actively work to make these distributors money. But hey, perhaps that’s just hopeful thinking here.

Either way, if you were planning on making a video about Street Fighter V, don’t. It will get a copyright claim and your channel will receive a strike and there’ll be little you can do about it besides remove the video.

What do you think of Capcom’s heavy-handed attempts at copyright control? Is it fair? Are they just being dicks? Let us know in the comments.

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Don’t Care About The Game Awards But Want To See All The Cool Trailers? We’ve Got You Covered http://egmr.net/2014/12/dont-care-game-awards-want-see-cool-trailers-weve-got-covered/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/dont-care-game-awards-want-see-cool-trailers-weve-got-covered/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 12:00:53 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164393 This past weekend saw the launch of the inaugural Game Awards, a new type of show following on from the Video Game Awards of old, and last year’s horror show […]

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This past weekend saw the launch of the inaugural Game Awards, a new type of show following on from the Video Game Awards of old, and last year’s horror show of a travesty, VGX. The aim was to create a show by gamers for gamers, featuring only the people in the industry who matter. And it was certainly a noteworthy improvement.

Our bodies were all ready when Reggie Fils-Aimé walked onto the stage.

But maybe you don’t want to watch the entire thing and you don’t even care about the categories and winners because after all, nobody’s opinion is more important than your own and you don’t want to spend many hours tirelessly debating why Transistor is your game of the year, and not Dragon Age: Inquisition. Perhaps all you really care about are the trailers.

Well that’s perfect because this article has you covered. Below, every single one of the cool game trailers that featured during The Game Awards 2014. You’re welcome.

 

Tacoma

Meet Tacoma, the next game from Fullbright — makers of 2013’s indie wonder-child Gone Home. The trailer shows a female character (are you watching, Ubisoft?) exploring a lunar base called Tacoma in the first person. It’s out next year and, yeah, that’s about it for now. Cool teaser though, right?

 

Dying Light

This one’s been a while coming now, so you ought to be quite familiar with Dying Light’s first person parkour zombie fighter, with its political unrest and expansive city exploration mechanics. Techland really need to get this game out already so we can play it.

 

Metal Gear Online

Wondering where the multiplayer for Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain would be? Well, here you go. In keeping with Konami’s new style of splitting up the prologue and main story of their singleplayer game, they’ve now gone and split the multiplayer as well. Watch stuffed dogs, bipedal mechs and of course, boxes in the trailer above.

 

Bloodborne

The game we’re calling Dark Souls 2.5, which happens to be very much unlike Dark Souls in execution but we just enjoy trolling that fanbase because they’re so easy; Bloodborne is the next-gen debut of From Software and swaps out the shield for firearms while placing you in a whole new setting. Do check it out.

 

Hazelight

Remember that game Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons that made all of you cry for reasons I don’t know because I haven’t played it, but I presume there’s sacrifice involved at some point? Well that studio has since joined Electronic Arts, would you believe it, and they’re working on a new game. It’s called Hazelight, and like Brothers it involves you controlling two characters at once. The teaser doesn’t show much but at least it looks pretty. Hazelight: A Tale of Two Fogs?

 

No Man’s Sky

This one needs no explanation, right? No Man’s Sky is singly the most ambitious and incredible game we’ve seen in many years and with its entirely randomly-generated galaxy, it’s proving to be something spectacular. Check out the latest in this game’s progress above, and try not to feel too sorry for me being unable to afford a PS4.

 

Until Dawn

What’s this? More playable female characters? Hot damn, Feminist Frequency. Until Dawn seems to be a weird take on Saw, pitting young female characters against a mask-wearing psycho and allowing users to fight their way to safety using gesture controls. Expect this game to be called ‘Damsel Simulator’ at some point.

 

The Order: 1886

Th is is wh at it ‘s li ke wh en yo u go fr om 60 fp s to 30 fp s an d th en to le ss th an th at. The Order: 1886, ladies and gentlemen.

 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The game you just know will be game of the year next year, or at least a contender (if it happens, we’ll be sure to remind you who called it first), CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 3 is look positively mindblowing and we’re eager beavers to give it a go. Sooooooon… in the meantime, check out the trailer above and get eerily creeped out by wraiths in armour — because you know, they need that protection.

 

Zelda Wii U

It’s a new Zelda game, guys! Rejoice! If you’re into that sort of thing, anyway. Zelda for Wii U is expected out next year, and if you pay careful attention to the conversations, you’ll hear that Star Fox is also possibly headed out next year as well. Go be merry, Nintendo fans. Your console matters again.

 

King’s Quest

Remember King’s Quest? Perhaps this is the true test of the kind of gamer you were, growing up. Or perhaps you’re even older and this is what you remember playing in the prime of your life? There were many, many King’s Quest games and now, the nostalgia is upon us as the classic Sierra adventure title makes it return to, well, pretty much every possible platform. You’re welcome, eighties kids.

 

Godzilla

Licensed cash-in or genuinely good title? Who’s to say. There was that one game on the Gamecube that was apparently really good so maybe this Godzilla title could pull it off as well? Here’s hoping it’s a better game than the movie, amirite?

 

Before

When Peter Molyneux was still around talking up videogames and failing to deliver on promises, a game was teased on the original Xbox called B.C. and featured a tribe of cavemen interacting with their prehistoric surroundings. It never made it to release and for the most part, everyone forgot about it. That is until now, well okay kind of. Before is basically that game but without the exaggerated emotional attachments and obviously on a whole other generation of consoles. You hunt, gather supplies, deal with changes to seasons, and a bunch of other stuff. Check it out, above, and consider it a glorified history lesson.

 

Adr1ft

Did they take inspiration from my Twitter name for this game? Heh. Anyway, remember Gravity? That film featuring Sandra Bullock that everyone says you should have watched in IMAX or you missed out on something great? Well that’s basically what Adr1ft is. You’re stranded on a destroyed space station and must make your way back to Earth. Intriguing idea? You can bet your quickly asphyxiating ass it is!

 

The Human Element

Finally, we have The Human Element which seems to mash together a bunch of games into a racer / first person shooter / comedy hybrid that we can’t quite figure out just yet. Perhaps checking out the trailer will help give you a better idea of what to expect. No, there’s no Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovic combo to be found, we’re quite sad about it too.
And that’s it for the trailers found during The Game Awards. Which were your favourite, and which games are you really excited for after watching all of these? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget that you can watch the show in its entirety by clicking this blue text.

Stay in school.

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Life, The Universe And Gaming: Can We Stop With The Gamer-Shaming? http://egmr.net/2014/12/life-universe-gaming-can-stop-gamer-shaming/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/life-universe-gaming-can-stop-gamer-shaming/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 09:00:41 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164350 There was a time when being a gamer was considered a shamefully unflattering pastime; you were mocked and laughed at, and considered a weird, anti-social freak for loving something others […]

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There was a time when being a gamer was considered a shamefully unflattering pastime; you were mocked and laughed at, and considered a weird, anti-social freak for loving something others felt was a waste of time. Certainly not anything remotely career-worthy or beneficial.

Fast forward a bit and today we have videogames rating as one of the highest-grossing forms of entertainment, developers becoming almost household names, some games becoming so bewilderingly popular that tournaments held in their honour have some of the largest prize pools in all of sporting history. And yet, it’s still not necessarily cool to be a gamer anymore. Oh we think we’re cool; it all worked out so nicely for us geeky stereotypes, with the popularisation of glasses, sneakers, beards (for some of us), comics and videogames. But every single time we try to move up as a community, it is others in that same community that hold us back.

Often people who claim to be helping.

Now today’s column is going to loosely skirt (if you’ll excuse the pun) the fringes of a topic I try my best to stay away from… that of sexism (okay there was the one time). I just don’t feel that, as a male, I get to have much of a say on the topic of harassment or mistreatment of women. I am not a woman (which might elicit a gasp or two, I’m sure) and therefore I have no context for the way it feels to be harassed or mistreated by men or indeed other women; I hold up both hands and profess that for this topic, at least insofar as regarding women abuse, I am just not worthy. And I certainly believe this of other men too, regardless of how many articles they boast about having written on the subject. As a man, you just don’t get to tell a woman that she is or isn’t a victim of sexism, nor indeed do you have a right to question her about it.

With all of this said, I’m sure you’ve all, by now, if you’re interested enough, or perhaps you had it forced on you by an article along the lines of this one, seen the most recent Feminist Frequency video entitled 25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male. If you haven’t, here you go. You’re welcome.

I originally viewed the video just a few minutes after it was released because it featured one of my favourite podcasters, along with a bunch of other guys I recognise. It was quite painful to watch, admittedly, but I took it on the chin and accepted that it was something I needed to watch for the betterment of gaming and for the enrichment of the community as a whole, so that we think and do better in future. But then I started to think about it for myself and a harrowing realisation dawned upon me, like the many literal lightbulb moments we’ve recently had thanks to Eskom (except for me because I live in an always-powered area, sorry).

That realisation is as follows: The people who are already aware of all of this do not need the video to be made further aware of this, and the people who need to listen to this are not going to listen to this.

Why is this a problem? After all, if someone takes it to heart then job done, right? Perhaps, but have you ever scolded a child for something that wasn’t necessarily their fault? They probably knew it was wrong and even felt bad about it, but you went and scolded them anyway and made them feel even worse about it. This is obviously not quite what it’s like, it’s actually a lot harsher. And especially the ‘white male gamer’ that is targeted with these sorts of videos, I feel particularly bad for: That’s right, I said it, I as a non-white gamer feel bad for white gamers. And now as a male gamer, I am made for feel bad for being a male gamer.

This is not constructive. Sure, critique exists to point things out even if it doesn’t necessarily help anyone — and actually, I quite enjoy Anita Sarkeesian’s other videos — but I encourage you to find someone who will truthfully admit to having watched that video above and done something to change the current state of gaming.

Why point out why it’s great to be a male gamer? It isn’t. I mean sure, it’s not nearly as bad as being a female gamer (although I’m willing to bet both cases have exceptions), but I assure you I’ve had my fair share of death threats online, as well as people regularly telling me they’ve fucked my mother, they’re going to kill my parents, they’re outside with snipers, and so on. I’ve been hacked and had my pictures stolen. After my now-infamous Destiny column I had to change my Xbox LIVE password thrice because of hacking attempts. I’ve run through the laundry list of abuse I’ve endured just this past year in a previous column. So it’s not as if being a male gamer is a guarantee of privilege. And yet still we are made to feel ashamed for being male gamers, as if any of it is our fault.

By all means, point out the myriad white males as protagonists in videogames but don’t point the finger at male gamers as if those design choices were ours.

Then, when we inevitably take issue with it, don’t then tell us that we don’t have a right to complain about it. Of course we do! Why wouldn’t we, praytell? Sure, about sexism and specifically the harassment and mistreatment of women, absolutely, we don’t have a right to take issue. But this is a video about male gamers and therefore, we as male gamers are allowed to have our responses to it. It is frankly base hypocrisy to tell us we’re not allowed to have a problem with being called out in this manner for things that, I can assure you, a lot of us don’t even care for, as male gamers. More so, things a lot of us cannot even change if we had the power to do so, but I assure you again, we would if we could. Nonetheless we are told that as male gamers, we’ve basically asked for it by allowing it to go on… now where have I heard that before.

This is shaming, and it’s not cool.

Someone please make this a stamp.

Someone please make this a stamp.

Nor indeed is any other form of shaming. We should not condone shaming in any manner, whether it is male gamer shaming or female gamer shaming, or indeed black gamer shaming, gay gamer shaming, Halo gamer shaming, Xbox gamer shaming or even gaming writer shaming (just kidding), because it’s just not cool of us as a community that should be united in our mutual love of a collective pastime.

Shoe on the other foot, if I created a video called ‘The 25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Female’ I would be crucified for it. For pointing out that every support player on the team is willing to help, and that the nicer people in the game will jump to your aid (not that you need it) in case anyone harasses you, and so on. It would possibly end my career to commit such heresy. But it’s okay to do it for males, why? Because we’re all the problem? Now granted, yes, it’s the so-called ‘not ALL males’ once again — and I certainly don’t mean to purport that male gamers are necessarily the victims here, I mean that’s like going to an AIDS drive and screaming, “But there are cancer sufferers too!” — but here’s the thing: As much as I’m okay with talking about sexism and highlighting harassment and mistreatment (of any kind) in videogames, I just don’t see how this helps anyone. We who watch the video can’t do anything about it, and anyone who needs to learn from it… I mean at this point if they still haven’t, then why keep reminding the rest of us why we’re such terrible human beings in the process? I’m sorry I was born with a penis?

Biologically, men and women are not the same. Ethically, we endeavour to be as close as possible. Societally, this is slowly but surely happening. But why do we purport equality and then in the same stroke turn around and become exclusionary and accusatory? Why is something not okay for women, suddenly okay for men? Because it happens already? And this solves it? Shaming men will solve the ‘problem’ of scantily-clad women in videogames, how? I’m sorry but I’ve spoken to strong, intelligent and fiercely independent women who don’t see a problem with scantily-clad female characters in videogames. For them, a women is allowed to dress as they please in real life so why not portray them in the same manner? Within reason and practicality, of course. In other words: It’s empowering for women to be sexy in real life but in videogames it’s sexist and demeaning while catering specifically to the male gaze. Meanwhile, every male character is a chiselled Casanova voiced by Troy Baker. Talk about unrealistically high standards and the female gaze…

Or alternatively, this guy.

Or alternatively, this guy.

Now this isn’t a problem specific to videogames; I wholly accept that it’s society that is the issue. Nowadays with ‘curvy women’ permeating pop culture as the new sexy, you’ll find slightly larger folks shaming ‘skinny bitches’ and the ever-green socially middle-to-upper-class folks shaming anyone below them. Racially, white people are shamed for being privileged to the point that I, as a brown person, somehow feel terrible for being a white person. Meanwhile, people who choose to think for themselves are shamed for going against the grain. The list goes on. And yet even through all of our fighting over console exclusives, resolution, ethics in videogames (ha) and so on — none of them nearly as important as other things going on in the world right now — we are united in that we all love gaming and want to see it grow more and more.

To an extent I blame some select feminists for this (not ALL feminists, mind you), their undying support base of people who think they have a clue but are regularly misinformed by out-of-context framed false-positives, and indeed the small handful of (frankly idiotic) people on the internet who are continuously baited into responding to them and just end up making it worse for all of us. People say the term ‘gamer’ has become toxic thanks to #GamerGate but in some ways so has the term ‘feminist’ ultimately spawning the phrase ‘casual feminism’ to explain those occasions the shark is well and truly jumped.

On my own Twitter timeline I’ve witnessed such things as a collective hate for Bayonetta 2 even though the game was written by a female (one of the many occasions I’ve witnessed people of both sexes purport that a woman doesn’t understand sexism, or is inherently wrong about it), as well as an otherwise unassuming male who has done little else wrong at the time, being shamed publicly for having breasts in his Twitter avatar — never mind the fact that one of the people shaming him has a tumblr dedicated to nude women.

Sexy and empowering IRL; sexist and demeaning in videogames.

Sexy and empowering IRL; sexist and demeaning in videogames.

Don’t mistake me though (although I’m sure the ‘donotlink’ URLs will do their best to convey the contrary), I am fully in support of feminism done right, and I abhor sexism, racism, homophobia, and any other form of discrimination in videogames and society in general; these are all human problems that we as a species must deal with, and to an extent we are making progress. Slavery is no longer a thing, nor is the idea that women and men have set ‘roles’ to play in the household. We are making some slow but inevitable progress. Let’s not then hold that progress back by shaming and doing nobody any favours. What is the point of it, really? I dare say, for shame.

I beg of you all, please: Let us never be the type of people who criticise a particular subsection of gaming just for existing without necessarily doing anything wrong. Let us criticise only the games themselves, not the gamers behind them who might actually be on your side and so just end up feeling alienated by your words once all is said and done, to the point that they start to feel bitter and resenting, rather than supportive of your campaign. Let it never reach the point when someone feels ashamed to call themselves a gamer. Yes, there are lot of bad apples around but the sins of the few should not be enough to condemn the hopes of the many. Be the change you want to see in gaming. Yes to gaming, no to shaming. And so on.

TL;DR — Nathan Drake is a beautiful man.

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The Latest Feminist Frequency Video Wants You To Check Your Male Gamer Privilege http://egmr.net/2014/12/latest-feminist-frequency-video-wants-check-male-gamer-privilege/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/latest-feminist-frequency-video-wants-check-male-gamer-privilege/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 15:00:08 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164269 Ever play a game with a really chiselled, buff, manly man of a male character who is always able to take control and get things done, and think to yourself: […]

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Ever play a game with a really chiselled, buff, manly man of a male character who is always able to take control and get things done, and think to yourself: “Damn, that really puts pressure on me as a male to perform, both in terms of physical appearance, suave conversation skills and bravado.”? Just me?

If you don’t know what Feminist Frequency is then truly, you are especially capable at remaining in the dark. In today’s gaming culture it’s impossible to go a few weeks without hearing either that or the name Anita Sarkeesian, either in vehement support or vitriolic opposition.

Here at EGMR we have actually erred on both sides of this argument. We’ve previously highlighted the importance of her video critiques, but also criticised the way she has vilified gamers in the public eye. In truth, it’s actually quite admirable the way she manages to turn the abuse around and make it work for her, and really internet, you guys do it to yourselves by allowing those idiotic kids to spew those disgusting rape and death threats all the time.

Even if they’re just words, do we really want them to be the words we’re painted with as a gaming community?

All of that said, the term ‘feminist’ has recently become just as toxic as the term ‘#GamerGate‘ mostly thanks to what the internet has endearingly termed ‘casual feminism‘, either attacking otherwise innocent practices or entirely missing the point of being a feminist. Or both. But I digress…

The latest Feminist Frequency video comes with what Anita herself would call a “trigger warning” but for males, and is unique in that it doesn’t actually feature Anita herself; it’s also not called Tropes Vs Women in Videogames. It’s entitled ‘The 25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male’ and you can check it out embedded above. Go ahead and watch it, we’ll wait.

Done?

Cool.

So yeah, that was admittedly very, very difficult for me to watch. My initial reaction to it was, “I mean I know they have a man producing Feminist Frequency videos but must they really use a man in this one? Isn’t that just spreading the message that a woman’s words won’t be taken as seriously?” But then in the video that’s exactly what they went and said, and I was left with simultaneous thoughts of, “Damn…” and “… really?”.

As usual the video released to conflicting viewpoints including vehement support and vitriolic opposition. Sometimes on the same site.

In a sense it is somewhat framed and the so-called #NotAllMen comes into play here, but that doesn’t necessarily take away from the point of the video and I would encourage every male gamer who watches this to, rather than immediately feel aggrieved by the video, consider the thoughts presented and just think about what they’re trying to say here.

Of course, that’s not to say it’s all agreeable, and yes there are absolutely ‘benefits’ that are not in our control and if they were, we would have it differently, but work with them on this one. They do have a point.

I mean, you wouldn’t go to an AIDS clinic and go “BUT CANCER EXISTS TOO!” now would you?

Let us know what you think of the video in the comments below. And remember: If you are abusive online, then you’re really just making things exponentially worse. Don’t prove the point of every person who thinks you’re just an internet troll with no sense of humanity. Don’t give ‘em what they want. Entertain these views and present your own and let’s get some proper discussion going, and if you really must feel so aggrieved that you react, why not be productive about it and make something intellectually stimulating that counters the points raised in a fair and humble manner? I promise if such a thing exists, maybe in the form of a video, we will help you to share it. You don’t even need a Kickstarter like Feminist Frequency.

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eGamer Podcast #108: Flawless Victory http://egmr.net/2014/12/egamer-podcast-108-flawless-victory/ http://egmr.net/2014/12/egamer-podcast-108-flawless-victory/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 09:00:42 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=164185 Recorded: 03 December 2014 Welcome to episode one-oh-eight of the eGamer Podcast, where we discuss the real issues… like who has a headache this week, and why lightsabers are impractical. […]

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Recorded: 03 December 2014

Welcome to episode one-oh-eight of the eGamer Podcast, where we discuss the real issues… like who has a headache this week, and why lightsabers are impractical. It’s a typically zany episode that we’re going to call “iconic” because there’s Ubisoft discussion inside, oh and it’s also the last of the numbered ‘eGamer Podcast’ episodes, cue the shock and horror and so on. Listen in to find out what we’re doing after this.

Topics discussed this week include Assassin’s Creed: Victory’s leak, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, and DC Comics series.

Here are the shownotes for this week’s episode:

  • Guess who “has a headache”…
  • How’s that new early-access game from Ubisoft?
  • Rugby ’15 might just be the greatest game ever.
  • But how’s that AC Victory?
  • How similar to Far Cry 3 is Far Cry 4?
  • Are identical games just made for new gamers?
  • Did someone actually enjoy Call of Duty: Ghosts?
  • But Advanced Warfare is cool, right?
  • They’re actually re-shooting scenes for Avengers 2.
  • Did Aqua-Man save Superman in Man of Steel?
  • But how are the DC Comics series doing these days?
  • When TV shows spoil their own episodes.
  • We answer your questions.
  • There’s some Star Wars conversation in-between.
  • Also, first person GTA V.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed, Libsyn or iTunes so you never miss an episode. Enjoy.

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | RSS

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