#egmr » Caveshen http://egmr.net Let's Talk Games — Videogame News, Reviews & Opinions Fri, 01 May 2015 09:00:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? http://egmr.net/2015/04/what-would-you-like-us-to-discuss-on-this-weeks-egmr-offensive/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/what-would-you-like-us-to-discuss-on-this-weeks-egmr-offensive/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 09:00:33 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169948 Remember, kids: What doesn’t kill you only makes you stranger. Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would […]

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

Remember, kids: What doesn’t kill you only makes you stranger.

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.

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/what-would-you-like-us-to-discuss-on-this-weeks-egmr-offensive/feed/ 0
The EGMR Offensive #8: Dawn Of The Force http://egmr.net/2015/04/egmr-offensive-8-dawn-force/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/egmr-offensive-8-dawn-force/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 09:00:28 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169850 Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive. This week is all (mostly) about trailers, after a whole bunch of them released last week. We’re […]

The post The EGMR Offensive #8: Dawn Of The Force appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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

This week is all (mostly) about trailers, after a whole bunch of them released last week. We’re also taking some time to discuss things only the PC Master Race would care about, but also things only consolefags would care about. It’s another week of pure offence so we hope you’re ready for it. I guess what we’re asking is, do you bleed? … you will.

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

Keen on getting offended? Here’s how:

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | Android | RSS

The post The EGMR Offensive #8: Dawn Of The Force appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/egmr-offensive-8-dawn-force/feed/ 0
Review: Ori And The Blind Forest Is Simply Spectacular http://egmr.net/2015/04/review-ori-blind-forest-simply-spectacular/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/review-ori-blind-forest-simply-spectacular/#comments Tue, 21 Apr 2015 11:00:06 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169476 Visit review on site for scoring. The first game I ever completed was Super Mario Bros 3, back when I had milk teeth. At the time it was the most […]

The post Review: Ori And The Blind Forest Is Simply Spectacular appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
Visit review on site for scoring.

The first game I ever completed was Super Mario Bros 3, back when I had milk teeth. At the time it was the most diverse and extravagant game I had ever played, with a multitude of environments, enemy types, power-ups, and play-style requirements. Importantly, it was the first game I ever played that had actual non-linear progression. Oh you had somewhere to reach and only a few ways to get there, but you ultimately still had some choice in how you went about it. And it was the one thing above all the other cool things that really shone for me.

Many, many years later, this is one of the best parts of Ori and the Blind Forest. It is a game that empowers the player by allowing them to play along particular paths but entirely through their own choosing. Likewise too, the multitude of environments, enemy types, and power-ups. But perhaps that’s getting ahead of ourselves, so let’s start with the basics.

Ori and the Blind Forest is an independently developed game by Moon Studios, published by Microsoft Studios on PC and Xbox One, with an Xbox 360 version coming later. Moon Studios (not to be confused with High Moon Studios) comprises a range of experienced former triple-A developers, and has no central location. This is important because it means that Ori manages to come together as part of a larger whole, and yet does not suffer for it. Something larger studios such as Ubisoft Montreal could possibly learn from.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Rayman and Metroid, Moon Studios have developed Ori and the Blind Forest using the Unity engine from the ground up as a 2D platformer, meaning that it will look and feel like the Metroid games of old, but with the colourfully vibrant worlds of Rayman, and more. While playing it, it felt more like a mixture of Braid, Super Meat Boy and Limbo, but faster. In that respect, in terms of playability, it is a delight.

I’ll let the screenshots do the talking but suffice to say, if you’re looking for something pretty to gawk at then Ori and the Blind Forest more than has your number. It’s got a wide variety of colourful areas within the game, going from windy canyon-like passages, to fiery volcanoes, to murky swamp-land, and more. Interestingly, it also goes from night to day in certain areas, offering up even more variety.

Mix it together with the aesthetic of the titular character and a self-aware ‘camera’ that pans back and forth along with what’s going on, on-screen, and you’ve got a very beautiful game on your hands.

The story behind Ori and the Blind Forest is certainly one that attempts to tug at one’s heartstrings but whether or not that is effective remains entirely up to you. It tells the story of the titular Ori, recently adopted after falling from a Spirit Tree in the forest of Nibel, having to survive and fix the world after a cataclysmic event leaves him orphaned, alone, and hopeless. Thankfully the light-hearted nature of the rest of the game more than makes up for the emotionally heavy prologue sequence.

While playing through the game and attempting to set things back to the way they were, restoring light to the fallen forest, you encounter another spirit of the forest who teams up with you and allows you to use it to help you. This grants you an attack; a mild one at first, but one that gets progressively stronger as you go along. You also have various abilities that will unlock as part of story progress, so don’t be afraid to just play the story and explore later.

Along the way your character may collect souls and use them to create soul-links. These are very important resources in the game for three reasons. For one, they allow you to upgrade your character, selecting from three paths (which you can eventually max out by exploring enough) each with their own strengths. For two, they allow you to release a charged attack that does extra damage and creates pathways for you during navigation. Most importantly though, soul-links allow you to create save points.

That’s right. Saving is a resource in this game. Granted there are checkpoints and a few free save points because they don’t want to make it too unfair on you, but because souls are a limited resource you are forced to be very tactical about when you save. The result is a game with just the right amount of challenge, and the levels don’t make it too easy on you either. You’re going to need some solid hand-eye coordination, and time everything from jumps to attacks to some really crazy set-pieces. Don’t worry, we won’t spoil it for you (spoiler: they’re fast, frenetic adrenaline rushes of note).

There isn’t really much more to Ori and the Blind Forest. The soundtrack mixes delightfully with the aesthetic and creates a warm, welcoming feel while playing. It flares up at just the right time for just the right reason before calming down to soft and soothing again. I can honestly say that it’s been a very, very long time since I’ve had such a happy, truly joyous feeling while playing a platformer — and I say this as someone who hasn’t enjoyed a platformer since the above-mentioned Braid.

Navigating the levels of Ori and the Blind Forest is utterly sublime.

If there is one criticism to be had, it’s that sometimes the game doesn’t quite register what you want to do, so for example you’ll try to do X and because of the sheer amount of ways to control Ori, the game does Y. It can be quite frustrating when you’re doing it as part of a sequence that disallows saving and forces you to complete it. But honestly, it’s a minor niggle and more to do with knowing what to press and what not to press, so we can’t really completely blame the game for it.

The game will take you a solid eight hours to finish, and that’s if you speed through it and only try to collect what you are already able to, along the way. The entire world remains open to you throughout your playthrough, allowing for backtracking if you so desire. This is especially handy when going back later to explore areas previously inaccessible. Overall if you wish to go for total completion you’re looking at perhaps fifteen hours worth of fun here. Which is quite a lot for this game’s asking price and digital nature.

Unfortunately that’s where it ends, because the game features no multiplayer component to speak of. But that’s fine because on its own, it shines as a singleplayer offering. And is by far and away one of the best platformers, not just this year, but in indie gaming as a whole.

The post Review: Ori And The Blind Forest Is Simply Spectacular appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/review-ori-blind-forest-simply-spectacular/feed/ 0
Life, The Universe And Gaming: On Media, False Narratives And Truth http://egmr.net/2015/04/life-universe-gaming-truth-not-always/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/life-universe-gaming-truth-not-always/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 09:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169707 Today we’re going to do something a little different from usual column entries. Usually what happens is, I have this extensive list of topics to discuss and I choose one […]

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: On Media, False Narratives And Truth appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

Today we’re going to do something a little different from usual column entries. Usually what happens is, I have this extensive list of topics to discuss and I choose one that is most relevant at a point in time, and then spend a week or two researching before finally writing up on the topic. I give informed, educated opinions which make no presumptions about being anything other than self-involved research pieces, and I then leave it up to you guys to decide how you want to receive the information being provided.

Let’s not do that today.

Instead, let’s just have a bit of a freestyle session in which I throw thoughts onto a screen and see what sticks. No supporting sources that can be accused of cherry-picking, no vigorous research prior to claims made, none of it. Just me, my thoughts, and you, our dear reader. I should probably say now that if this isn’t your cup of tea then by all means give this column a skip and return in a few weeks. Shall we?

I had originally written this column to completion before scrapping it and deciding (after consultation with the relevant parties) that the content coverage was too edgy, too controversial, and just a little bit too alienating. I delved into the likes of societal norms, culture, religion, and cultivation theory. In the end, I felt it was just too harsh and would win me more detractors than supporters, despite the quality of those supporters perhaps balancing those scales.

Why do I feel this relevant to discuss? Because it speaks in and of itself, of a world that is too afraid to be edgy, controversial and alienating. It speaks of a world so ready to be offended that an opinion columnist would think twice about releasing an article because it might upset too many people.

And frankly, I think that’s outrageous.

There’s something I’ve been battling with in recent times, and it involves the idea of truth. What is true, and who’s to say that it’s the correct version of truth? After all, truth is relative. We’ve all heard the saying “history is written by the survivors” right? So how do we factor truth into the beliefs and mindsets of such a diverse people as humankind? Who’s to say that your truth is the preferable one to mine, and who’s to say that we’ll believe the person who says that? In most situations it comes down more to personal belief than to objective fact.

One of the greatest and most difficult life lessons I ever learned was that most people don’t want to be corrected, and don’t care for your version of the “truth”. More especially, nobody cares if you’re “right” about something. By claiming to be right where others are wrong, all you are doing is hurting the egos of others, and creating animosity towards you in the process. This is especially difficult when you’re an opinion columnist on the internet, because seemingly everyone thinks you’re wrong, and if you ever end up being right about something you are forced to take it on the chin, forget about it, and move on to other things. Frustrating, agonising, part of being an adult. So fair enough.

I lament that I haven’t studied up enough on the ideologies of culture, politics, psychology and religion. Because I would probably have a better idea of how “truth” is perceived and how to reconcile the best version of “truth” from these parties.

For instance, let’s say you take some proven scientific theories to a person of religious faith. These scientific theories may contradict this person’s faith. They may choose to accept or reject those theories, but what do you think will ultimately happen to the religious person’s faith? That’s right: Nothing. Because that is what faith is; it’s unwavering. They might argue that your scientific theories have no say when compared to their god, and who would you be to argue with that? Each person then believes their own version of “truth” with neither able to reconcile, because nobody is willing to concede their side in the absence of evidence that the other party is willing to accept.

And so we end up in a frustrating stalemate, unable to prove either “truth” to be more correct than the other. So once again, truth becomes relative. In this case, contextual. Based on who you are, perhaps the way you were brought up, and the way you think. And also based on what evidence you bring to the table.

There is a going belief that the US government is being run by lizards. Most sane people would laugh that off relatively quickly, right? It’s an absurd sentiment by all accounts. And yet, to those people, it’s their truth. Their version of honesty would be to claim that Lizard Obama is the one calling the shots, but only until Lizard Hilary Clinton takes over. In this respect, we accept many truths based on compelling evidence. For example, if you hold two magnets together there will be a force, either of attraction or repulsion. You can’t see it, but you know it’s there. It’s an accepted “truth” because it’s compelling enough that all parties are willing to accept it.

But what if we took a slightly different example. What if we looked at an online movement, and one person called it a “harassment campaign” whilst another called it a “consumer revolt” and neither party was willing to let up. Who would you side for or against, if I said that both sides possessed compelling supporting evidence of these claims? More than likely, it would depend entirely on who you are, the way you were brought up, and the way you think.

not-this-shit

I regret how consumed in the politics of the gaming industry, I am. However I feel it is my duty as a representative of gaming (albeit to a far smaller audience than the giants of this industry) to see that the truth is outed. Yes, I have a personal interest in a particular side and that will always motivate me to argue in favour of that particular side, to the point that my arguments, though clearly labelled as opinions, are construed as self-involved. But ultimately, I have reached this point of personal interest based on particular experiences in my time as a representative of gaming.

Before we get to that, let me first substantiate in terms of the “way you were brought up” part; I don’t trust the media. This might sound a bit like a conspiracy theory but ever since seeing articles outing Pokémon as Satanic, I’ve always eyed media reports with an air of suspicion. This was not helped by Fox News attacking Grand Theft Auto as a game that promoted and trained violence within children who played it. As gamers we know that this “truth” is anything but. We know that this “truth” has no compelling evidence to back it up. Put simply, the media is and has always been self-serving, capitalising on a trend and creating controversy in the interests of self-preservation, profit and power.

After all, what is more believable than the news?

Effectively, the best way to convey a “truth” then becomes the media.

That is, until the media is challenged. And this brings me to the second problem I have, and that’s the power of the media. In gaming, we’ve had to endure many months of #GamerGate, and the movement that has many labels seems not to be going anywhere. Every few weeks when you think it’s starting to die down, another scandal erupts and it begins anew. And nobody on either side of #GamerGate has their hands entirely clean; whether it’s blocklists or organised assaults on companies.

We as consumers of the gaming industry then have the choice of staying out of it, something that many have done quite admirably, or jumping into it on either side (with “side” used very graciously). Some of us claim first-hand experience to justify why we stand in a particular camp, whereas others are simply willing to accept a narrative proposed by media.

As an outsider, I came into #GamerGate with my mistrust of the media, and I saw that lo and behold, the media was once again misrepresenting certain arguments, and despite my disinterest in throwing in with people who think that tweets on Twitter are so important, I was taken by the idea of giving the world the truths the media didn’t want them to see. After all, what seemed more obvious than the media trying to cover its tracks by negatively portraying #GamerGate? I certainly do still believe this, especially after the events of this past weekend.

Anti-censorship. Getting censored for having a booth about anti-censorship. A “hate movement” that is dedicated to silencing women, and yet it was women who were silenced for being part of it. Ironic, wouldn’t you say? It takes me back to a George Orwell book called 1984 (which is one of the most important books ever written) which discusses “truthspeak” and “doublethink” and the art of censoring the truth to keep a specific narrative going, and maintain control of the population.

So again we come back to the idea of “truth” and what exactly constitutes telling it. Compelling evidence? Who’s to say the evidence can be corroborated, and who gets to decide whether to accept the truth in the face of the evidence presented before us?

It’s a difficult ask, to expect someone who disagrees with you to let go of their beliefs and try to see the world from your side. Not just try lazily and then claim to have done so, but really put themselves in your shoes. Sure it makes life interesting to have disagreement, but how rad would it be if we could instantly get someone to see our point of view when we needed them to.

Unfortunately for all my efforts, I’ve only ever been met with frustration and contempt when I tried and failed at changing someone’s mind. Learning to let go and accept that people will disagree and there’s nothing I can do about it, has been undoubtedly one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life. It’s agonising, painful, I feel powerless whenever I see people who believe what I construe to be a false narrative, and yet I see that they are led in that direction by a perceived truth, and who am I to argue the merits of that truth? More importantly, what difference does it make if I can’t convince them otherwise? And why should I even bother, if they were willing to accept that truth in the first place?

World-famous cosmologist Carl Sagan once said: “In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.”

Alas, living in the real world means having to make peace with the fact that no matter how “right” I think I am, and how much I believe in my “truths” I will not convince others of these things because they believe themselves to be equally “right” in their “truths” and it’s for this very reason that #GamerGate, and all the relative parties, are not going to be going anywhere for a very, very, very long time.

The best we can do is try to educate the world and hope that someone somewhere is willing to accept all sides presented to them, before making their call on what is “right” and what isn’t.

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: On Media, False Narratives And Truth appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/life-universe-gaming-truth-not-always/feed/ 0
Screencheat Wants You To Cheat To Win http://egmr.net/2015/04/screencheat-wants-cheat-win/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/screencheat-wants-cheat-win/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 08:00:15 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169674 Ever play a game with your friends and have to hide your screen so they don’t try to cheat and see where you’re at? Ever try doing that in a […]

The post Screencheat Wants You To Cheat To Win appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

Ever play a game with your friends and have to hide your screen so they don’t try to cheat and see where you’re at? Ever try doing that in a splitscreen competitive match?

Well now we have something entirely different with a game that is actively encouraging screen-peaking. Yes really.

Screencheat is a game developed by Samurai Punk that uses screen-peaking as its core gameplay mechanic.

In Screencheat, players are invisible and the only way to know where someone is, is by looking at their screen, tracking them down, and shooting them to shit. And not with the kind of weaponry you might imagine, either…

The game will feature ten guns that seem to take massive inspiration from Sunset Overdrive and other zany titles, the likes of exploding teddy bears, a ridable horse with lance for skewering other players with, and even a candelabra. How do you find players? Well for starters, maps will have specifically coloured quadrants which will help you track down players, and then there are also distinctive landmarks scattered around.

Btgnjcl

Before you think that this could only work at parties, and only offline, the game does support online multiplayer. The way it works is that everyone’s screen is displayed on everyone else’s, meaning you can look at everyone’s screen at once. As a result of this, games are limited to eight players, which can still be a party if you think about it.

The game will be releasing on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 “later this year” although exactly when remains to be seen.

The post Screencheat Wants You To Cheat To Win appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/screencheat-wants-cheat-win/feed/ 0
2012’s Game Of The Year Journey Will Soon Be On PS4 At 1080p 60fps http://egmr.net/2015/04/2012s-game-year-journey-will-soon-ps4-1080p-60fps/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/2012s-game-year-journey-will-soon-ps4-1080p-60fps/#comments Fri, 17 Apr 2015 07:00:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169666 A few years ago in what remains the most contentious discussion ever conducted between the EGMR staff, Journey was revealed as our Game of the Year for 2012 despite polarising […]

The post 2012’s Game Of The Year Journey Will Soon Be On PS4 At 1080p 60fps appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

A few years ago in what remains the most contentious discussion ever conducted between the EGMR staff, Journey was revealed as our Game of the Year for 2012 despite polarising opinions, contrasting thoughts on what constitutes ‘Game of the Year’ and the obligatory outburst from Azhar about Metal Gear Solid and Batman not making that list.

The debate was so intense that it even caused former news editor Alessandro to leave the site — okay that’s not quite true but he’s the biggest Journey fanboy in existence so I had to.

And now Journey is headed to PlayStation 4 in full 1080p 60fps glory, as part of a physical trilogy pack alongside sister titles Fl0w and Flower, or alternatively as a standalone digital download.

Developer ThatGameCompany has confirmed that nothing about the core game has changed, with only the processing output increased a bit. In the constant discussion between whether or not 1080p 60fps matters, we tend to get people who previously said it doesn’t matter, then changing their minds, and vice versa. As far as we’re concerned, it’s a nice touch for an undoubtedly beautiful game, and it’s sure to get many, many, many downloads when it releases.

The physical retail and digital download versions are slated for release in the northern hemisphere’s summer, which should be between June and August for us here in South Africa.

Will you be picking it up?

The post 2012’s Game Of The Year Journey Will Soon Be On PS4 At 1080p 60fps appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/2012s-game-year-journey-will-soon-ps4-1080p-60fps/feed/ 0
What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? http://egmr.net/2015/04/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-7/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-7/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 09:00:25 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169569 Spoiler alert: You’re going to get offended. Previously on the eGamer Podcast we would ask you guys for questions each episode, and during the recording we would attempt to answer […]

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

Spoiler alert: You’re going to get offended.

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.

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-7/feed/ 0
The EGMR Offensive #7: Dividing Mankind http://egmr.net/2015/04/egmr-offensive-7-dividing-mankind/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/egmr-offensive-7-dividing-mankind/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 09:00:10 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169451 Welcome to a brand new gaming podcast, which we’re calling The EGMR Offensive. It’s a little more gaming-focussed this week with discussions featuring the likes of the new Deus Ex […]

The post The EGMR Offensive #7: Dividing Mankind appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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

It’s a little more gaming-focussed this week with discussions featuring the likes of the new Deus Ex game, the new Witcher game, and the old Visceral Games. We also take a moment to laugh at Feminist Frequency for being debunked by science. Take that, radicals.

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

Keen on getting offended? Here’s how:

Direct Download | Libsyn | iTunes | Android | RSS

The post The EGMR Offensive #7: Dividing Mankind appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/egmr-offensive-7-dividing-mankind/feed/ 0
Get Season Passes For Cheap In The Xbox Spring Sale http://egmr.net/2015/04/get-season-passes-cheap-xbox-spring-sale/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/get-season-passes-cheap-xbox-spring-sale/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 08:00:36 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169406 It’s actually Autumn in the southern hemisphere but hey, who’s counting. All through this week, there will be sales running on both Xbox One and Xbox 360, spanning all forms […]

The post Get Season Passes For Cheap In The Xbox Spring Sale appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

It’s actually Autumn in the southern hemisphere but hey, who’s counting.

All through this week, there will be sales running on both Xbox One and Xbox 360, spanning all forms of media available for consumption on Microsoft’s gaming consoles.

Here’s what Major Nelson’s blog had to say about it:

Spring is officially in the air and starting today you can save on games, movies, and TV shows with fresh deals for the entire family. The Xbox One deals offer a combined savings over $2,500 on 276 games, HD movie and TV shows while the Xbox 360 deals will fetch a combined savings over $2,600 on 294 games, HD movies and TV. And, if you’re an Xbox Live Gold member, you can save over an additional $65 on all game offers.

If you’re interested in movies and TV shows, also check out the Xbox Video store specials. Here are the specials for both consoles:

 

Xbox One
Content Title Content Type Gold Discount Silver Discount
Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Xbox One Game 50% 40%
Alien Isolation Season Pass Add-On 50% 40%
Zoo Tycoon Xbox One Game 60% 50%
Kinect Sports Rivals Xbox One Game 50% 40%
Tetris Ultimate Xbox One Game 40% 33%
Monopoly Plus Xbox One Game 40% 33%
My Monopoly Add-On 50% 40%
Boom Ball for Kinect Xbox One Game 50% 40%
Beachbody P90X for Xbox Fitness Xbox One Game 33% 25%
The Crew Season Pass Add-On 30% 20%
Watch Dogs Season Pass Add-On 30% 20%
Far Cry 4 Season Pass Add-On 30% 20%
Rabbids Invasion Season Pass Add-On 30% 25%
Shadow of Mordor Season Pass Add-On 60% 50%
Project Spark Champion Play Quest Add-On 60% 50%
Ryse: Son of Rome Season Pass Add-On 50% 40%

 

Xbox 360
Content Title Content Type Gold Discount Silver Discount
Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Games On Demand 50% 40%
Rabbids Invasion: Interactive TV Games On Demand 50% 40%
Zoo Tycoon Games On Demand 67% 60%
The Voice Games On Demand 50% 40%
TMNT (Retail) Games On Demand 75% 67%
Kinect Sports: Season 2 Games On Demand 67% 60%
Virtua Tennis 4 Games On Demand 75% 67%
Rockstar Table Tennis Games On Demand 80% 75%
Rayman Origins Games On Demand 67% 60%
Summer Stars 2012 Games On Demand 85% 75%
Winter Stars Games On Demand 85% 75%
Mini Ninjas Games On Demand 75% 67%
Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood Arcade 67% 60%
Guacamelee! STCE Arcade 60% 50%
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD Arcade 60% 50%
Trials HD Arcade 50% 40%
Motocross Madness Arcade 50% 40%
Castle of Illusion Arcade 50% 40%
Freefall Racers Arcade 75% 67%
Let’s Sing and Dance Arcade 50% 40%
Geon Arcade 75% 67%
Rock Band 3 Games On Demand 50% 40%
The Crew Season Pass Add-On 30% 20%
Watch Dogs Season Pass Add-On 30% 20%
Far Cry 4 Season Pass Add-On 30% 20%
Alien Isolation Season Pass Add-On 50% 40%
Rabbids Invasion Season Pass Add-On 30% 25%
P4AU Navigation Set A Add-On 40% 33%
P4AU Navigation Set B Add-On 40% 33%
P4AU P4A Story Add-On 40% 33%
Forza 4 VIP Add-On 67% 60%
Rock Band 3 – Ozzy Osbourne 8-Pack Add-On 50% 40%
Rock Band 3 – Aerosmith Greatest Add-On 50% 40%
Rock Band 3 – The Black Keys Pack 02 Add-On 50% 40%
Rock Band 3 – Pretty Hate Pack 01 Add-On 50% 40%

Personally I think it’s pretty rad to have season passes on the cheap. It kinda makes sense, doesn’t it? Games depreciate in value but DLC rarely ever does. It’s nice to see the season passes at least, becoming a bit more affordable along with the games they’re linked to.

Let us know if you’ll be picking up anything in the sale this week, in the comments below.

The post Get Season Passes For Cheap In The Xbox Spring Sale appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/get-season-passes-cheap-xbox-spring-sale/feed/ 0
The EGMR Offensive Returns This Week, Here’s How You Can Contribute http://egmr.net/2015/04/egmr-offensive-returns-week-heres-can-contribute/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/egmr-offensive-returns-week-heres-can-contribute/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 09:00:52 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169336 He learned how to live his life a quarter mile at a time, but it doesn’t matter whether you offend by an inch or a mile, offending is offending. Also […]

The post The EGMR Offensive Returns This Week, Here’s How You Can Contribute appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

He learned how to live his life a quarter mile at a time, but it doesn’t matter whether you offend by an inch or a mile, offending is offending. Also how’s that CGI? Dude looks like a Ken doll.

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.

The post The EGMR Offensive Returns This Week, Here’s How You Can Contribute appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/egmr-offensive-returns-week-heres-can-contribute/feed/ 0
Square Enix’s Failure Of 2013 Surpasses 8.5 Million Sales http://egmr.net/2015/04/square-enixs-failure-2013-surpasses-8-5-million-sales/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/square-enixs-failure-2013-surpasses-8-5-million-sales/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 08:00:17 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169344 Square Enix are a special bunch, truly. Not content with reinventing and creating successes of a bunch of rebooted titles from the Eidos range, including Hitman, Deus Ex, Dungeon Siege, […]

The post Square Enix’s Failure Of 2013 Surpasses 8.5 Million Sales appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

Square Enix are a special bunch, truly.

Not content with reinventing and creating successes of a bunch of rebooted titles from the Eidos range, including Hitman, Deus Ex, Dungeon Siege, Thief and Sleeping Dogs (formerly True Crime), they expected overwhelmingly large amounts of sales from their games. So much so, in fact, that they considered 2013’s Tomb Raider to be a failure, despite having the biggest early launch of that year.

The biggest launch of early 2013, a failure in the eyes of its publisher.

Now two years later, Tomb Raider has been free on previous-gen consoles, and has released on new-gen in the form of its Definitive Edition, and it’s going quite well for the reboot.

Square Enix has now announced that the critically successful multiplatform title has just surpassed 8.5 million sales, effectively making it the best-selling Tomb Raider game in the long-running franchise. This includes all versions of the game, previous- and new-gen, and sends total sales for the series past the 40 million mark.

Forty million people thought Lara Croft wasn’t all that bad. Take that, Feminist Frequency.

“Tomb Raider ignited and expanded the fan base, pushing the series to a new level,” said head developer David Gallagher. “The game’s incredible sales success reflects the passionate response of players. Our studio is proud of what we accomplished with the game.”

Next up for Crystal Dynamics is the sequel to Tomb Raider, an Xbox One exclusive called Rise of the Tomb Raider. Thus far it’s been quite a controversial title, with PlayStation and PC players feeling quite hard done by, and betrayed by the makers of one of their most treasured game series. Whether it’s a timed exclusive or set in stone remains to be seen, but for now how about you let us know what you think of Square Enix’s apparent “failure” hitting that sales figure?

The post Square Enix’s Failure Of 2013 Surpasses 8.5 Million Sales appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/square-enixs-failure-2013-surpasses-8-5-million-sales/feed/ 0
Life, The Universe And Gaming: On April Fools, And Why It’s An Important Day http://egmr.net/2015/04/life-universe-gaming-april-fools-important-day/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/life-universe-gaming-april-fools-important-day/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 09:00:37 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169325 This week we’re going to take a break from my recent opinion columns about the so-called “gamer culture wars” and instead talk about something a little more topical, and time […]

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: On April Fools, And Why It’s An Important Day appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

This week we’re going to take a break from my recent opinion columns about the so-called “gamer culture wars” and instead talk about something a little more topical, and time sensitive. Given that it’s a holiday, I’m also going to keep it short and sweet because really, I know that you all want to spend your day celebrating Easter Monday, or Family Day, or whatever it’s called in your neck of the woods. Also, it’s not a topic that requires too much thought. This will be ironic for reasons to come.

Yay for shower thoughts!

It’s actually quite coincidental, the way I thought up today’s topic, because while researching I actually found that it had already been presented on Reddit in /r/Showerthoughts/ so hey!

April Fools’ Day comes around but once per year. On that day, we prank each other, harmlessly, in the interest of shits and giggles, or, shiggles. That’s about it, and there’s really not much more to it. Actually it’s only half a day since tradition holds that April Fools jokes must end at 12pm, but of course we do live in a world with a multitude of timezones spanning an entire twenty-four hours, so for that twenty-four hour period of time it’s always April Fools’ Day somewhere.

This year on the internet, I noticed something unparalleled in previous years, and that’s a vast amount of people going onto the likes of Twitter and sullenly reminding everyone beforehand that April Fools’ Day was approaching, and no news was to be taken seriously. Heaven forbid anyone ever falls victim to a false report. The sheer, utter, unimaginable horror…

This was strange for me. Almost as if people were playing the role of social advocate, creating awareness of the falseness and misgivings of the day, refusing to get into the spirit of it and instead opting to be better than it; almost condescendingly so. I mean, who really forgot that April 1st means there are going to be some pranks going on? Nonetheless, it happened and it shocked me a bit. Perhaps everyone is still bitter about being pranked so hard last year? Either way, I couldn’t get why so many people were so adamant that April Fools’ Day was a day of being weary of everything (are we really so insecure?) rather than enjoying the fun and laughs of the day (even if it’s at our own expense) and just having a good time.

I for one love April Fools’ Day. It’s the one day a year when I can make ridiculously unbelievable articles such Nintendo confirming a Pokémon MMO and actually get away with it.

When I thought about how others were shying away from the day, actively hiding from the internet until it had all passed, as if the mere mention of an untrue story would bring a level of chaos and uncertainty into their lives that would unravel every carefully stitched seam that held their fragile lives together — *ahem* — it hit me.

April Fools’ Day is the one day a year when everybody looks at articles with the level of scepticism and critical thought that ought to be the daily standard in online news consumption.

Think about that for a second.

No, seriously, think about it.

rc-blog-img

Imagine a game was announced and instead of immediately faffing over the graphics, the gameplay, and the representation of sexes, what if we instead thought about it in a more critical manner? What if we questioned whether those visuals were possible on current generation consoles, or whether that gameplay could translate into something enjoyable and fun, or even whether that woman was just included to tick a checkbox?

Critical thinking is important and there is woefully too little of that going on in this industry. The number of preorders for games that end up disappointing everyone should be enough of a compelling argument, or do I have to revive a long dead horse?

I really wish that more days were like April Fools’ Day because then instead of immediately getting excited and thrilled at the potential for fun a game might bring, we might instead look at a game like Evolve and think, “Well, this could work great but will the novelty wear out and will there always be five willing players, and what happens if two of those players are complete retards?” Or perhaps something like The Order: 1886, and think, “Well this looks great as an interactive movie, but how much of it can I actually play, and does that justify the asking price when I can get an interactive BluRay for much, much cheaper?” Or even looking at Bloodborne and thinking, “This is getting great reviews and I’m quite excited about that, but if I buy this game will I actually enjoy playing it myself or will I have to endure lots of frustration first, and do I want that in my life?”

Hell, I’d even caution critical thinking in the case of a game I am currently playing, Ori and the Blind Forest, by looking at it and thinking, “This game is very pretty, adorable, and charming, but it’s also quite challenging. What if I prefer my platformers to be fun, and without the challenge? What if I like a bit more meat in my gaming packages, and the minimalist approach doesn’t appeal to me?”

Critical thinking, as far as I’m concerned, should be taught in primary school. Developed as one of the fundamental lifeskills — along with managing money, another thing people are terrible at. You might think to yourself, “But Cavie, you egregious boot-licker, why are you so insistent on killing my fun?” To which I shall respond, well firstly I don’t lick boots, I eat them, and secondly, how many games do you regret buying? Likely not as many as you might initially think because we as humans love to find ostensible ways to justify our purchases so we feel better about our mistakes, but try to think about how many games you shudder at the thought of spending another ~R700 on, and then try to tell me you would have done it again if you had the chance.

If you had only thought a bit more critically, you would have been R700 better off ($60 for my international friends) and that’s not even counting the time investment.

And this applies to everything online, including the spreading of false stories — cough cough — as well as getting hyped for games, and of course, hyper-consumerism. Stop that. You have a brain.

Use it.

And if you’re one of the folks who already uses their brain, good on you. Good on you for thinking critically, and not immediately jumping to conclusions. Good on you for making informed purchases and educated decisions about the things you choose to consume. You live the better life, and I for one, admire you for it.

Here’s to more April Fools’ Day level critical thinking, because really this industry just needs it at this point.

Just for shiggles, here’s a list compiled by PC Gamer, of the April Fools’ Day pranks for 2015 in tech and gaming.

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: On April Fools, And Why It’s An Important Day appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/life-universe-gaming-april-fools-important-day/feed/ 0
Only CD Projekt Could Be This Cool About Issues Experienced Developing The Witcher 3 http://egmr.net/2015/04/cd-projekt-cool-issues-experienced-developing-witcher-3/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/cd-projekt-cool-issues-experienced-developing-witcher-3/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 10:00:20 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169283 Mostly because only CD Projekt are developing The Witcher 3… See the image above? What do you think is wrong with it? It looks pretty solid, right? What if we […]

The post Only CD Projekt Could Be This Cool About Issues Experienced Developing The Witcher 3 appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

Mostly because only CD Projekt are developing The Witcher 3…

See the image above? What do you think is wrong with it? It looks pretty solid, right?

What if we told you, that monster’s nest is unoptimised, and currently sits at 52 million polgyons? Staggering, right?

This one’s for the budding game devs, and anyone else with an interest in tech, and specifically how putting a game together can go wrong. CD Projekt RED senior technical artist Martin Thorzén Truu — yes, he has Thor in his middle-name — detailed at a press conference, the kind of problems experienced by the developer in making The Witcher 3. Mostly, they’re issues with optimisation, but since it’s a massively important part of the games-making process, we thought they were worth sharing with you all.

Game dev folk are likely to throw a few knowing glances at these, but the rest of you can just pretend this was a Buzzfeed article where the title said that the third one is something you wouldn’t believe, and that actual insects really hate these in-game bugs. Or something like that.

 
WitcherProblems-2

Check out this campfire. It caused unnecessary load because a large part of the polygons were sunk under the ground layer.

 
WitcherProblems-3-876x1024

Likewise as above for this ship. A large portion of the ship was being rendered, polygons et al, yet it was under the ground and therefore entirely unnecessary.

 
WitcherProblems-4

See these rather simple objects? See that polygon count? That’s right, 1.5 million.

So how did they fix these issues? Well, they had to create a tool.

 
WitcherProblems-5-670x343

What you see here is a data base viewer that CD Projekt implemented to help solve the problems. It identified problematic assets using a series of customisable parameters, then produced results such as the ones that follow.

 
WitcherProblems-7

In this case, the tool helped CD Projekt to find areas with excessive vertex density (basically too many polygons)…

 
WitcherProblems-8

…or excessive amounts of foliage.

 
WitcherProblems-9-670x343

Here’s an image of a light source casting a range of 4km, basically a miniature sun. It caused massive lag in the game.

 
WitcherProblems-10-646x425

The case of the missing bow. This archer’s tool just randomly popped up underground somewhere. Like so many dead bodies in Victorian England.

 
WitcherProblems-11-670x340

Suddenly! Random test assets, just strewn across the in-game world somewhere. Had they not found it, it might have turned into a nifty but rather embarrassing Easter Egg.

In all, quite an interesting and insightful look into what goes on behind the scenes. We’re appreciate of The Witcher 3 devs for allowing us this little look into their process. This is the power of freedom, of a developer not bound by publisher dictations. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

The post Only CD Projekt Could Be This Cool About Issues Experienced Developing The Witcher 3 appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/cd-projekt-cool-issues-experienced-developing-witcher-3/feed/ 0
Get Marvel Mighty Heroes Free On Your Smartphone Right Now http://egmr.net/2015/04/get-marvel-mighty-heroes-free-smartphone-right-now/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/get-marvel-mighty-heroes-free-smartphone-right-now/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 09:00:21 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169280 You’ve heard of DeNA, right? They’re the guys who teamed up with Nintendo to make smartphone games with Nintendo IP. You’ve heard of Marvel, right? They’re the guys who made […]

The post Get Marvel Mighty Heroes Free On Your Smartphone Right Now appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

You’ve heard of DeNA, right? They’re the guys who teamed up with Nintendo to make smartphone games with Nintendo IP.

You’ve heard of Marvel, right? They’re the guys who made you fall in love with a talking tree and a cybernetic raccoon.

Well these two parties have now joined forces into one crazy combination, and they’ve released a free-to-play co-op game for your mobile.

Marvel Mighty Heroes is a free to play four player brawler where you can bring together your favourite characters, and then fight with others around the world. It allows players to choose between a select bunch of heroes and villains, and what’s cool is that it’s not limited by the movie license issues that plague Disney, Sony and Fox. On this mobile version, you can get any character or villain you’d like, as long as they’re present on the roster.

The game is fully compatible on smartphones, and you can get it both on Android and on Apple iOS right now.

Check out the trailer above and let us know what you think.

The post Get Marvel Mighty Heroes Free On Your Smartphone Right Now appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/get-marvel-mighty-heroes-free-smartphone-right-now/feed/ 0
Assassin’s Creed Gets A New Trilogy On New-Gen — Chronicles Downloading Soon http://egmr.net/2015/04/assassins-creed-gets-new-trilogy-new-gen-chronicles-downloading-soon/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/assassins-creed-gets-new-trilogy-new-gen-chronicles-downloading-soon/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 09:00:00 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169241 Okay we had our fun. Back to srsbsns now, or at least our version of it… After last year’s Assassin’s Creeds, Unity and Rogue were met with more than a […]

The post Assassin’s Creed Gets A New Trilogy On New-Gen — Chronicles Downloading Soon appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

Okay we had our fun. Back to srsbsns now, or at least our version of it…

After last year’s Assassin’s Creeds, Unity and Rogue were met with more than a little criticism, you could be forgiven for feeling quite exhausted with the Assassin’s Creed franchise right now. The game series that defined a generation of consoles has begun to feel as old and tired as the generation of consoles it defined. And that’s all good and well.

You could be forgiven then for sighing at the revelation (no pun intended) that the brotherhood (okay this was intended) of Ubisoft studios (gender-neutral, of course) is busy at work on yet another entry into this franchise. Actually not just one, but three. That’s right, a brand new trilogy of Assassin’s Creed titles. This time they’re downloadable titles, and will be three geographically specific parts of a series called Assassin’s Creed Chronicles.

Here’s what the press release had to say:

Developed by Climax Studios in collaboration with Ubisoft Montreal, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles brings the thrill of being a Master Assassin to 2.5D. Players will journey to three distinct civilizations and time periods throughout history including the Ming dynasty at the start of its downfall, the Sikh Empire as it prepares for war in India and the aftermath of the Red October revolution. Each chronicle stands on its own with a unique setting, art style, story and Assassin, but is tied together narratively.

Players will embody legendary Assassins, including Shao Jun from the animated short Assassin’s Creed Embers™, and Arbaaz Mir and Nikolaï Orelov from the Assassin’s Creed graphic novels. Slay from the shadows, master the art of parkour and take the leap of faith in a collection of stunning, living paintings. Each chronicle has its own artistic signature, from the beautiful brush paintings of China to the vibrant colors of India and the distinctive propaganda art style of Russia.

So a spinoff series then. That clears the way nicely for Ubisoft’s bigger triple-A release of Assassin’s Creed Victory at the end of this year.

The question is, is this a necessary spinoff series? Part of me, the part that is a bit Assassin-ed out right now, thinks not. It seems like an artificial way of extending a series’ exposure and just teasing and creating hype for the bigger releases.

But then there’s the other side of me that realises this is a much, much quicker way of getting through a lot of the bloat that is the Assassin’s Creed canon, and exploring the intricacies of that universe even more. For cheaper. And with less time wastage, hopefully. So actually, I think I’m all for it!

But let’s see if Climax Studios lives up to their name when the first game, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, releases later this month. It’ll cost you $9.99 on either the PS4, Xbox One, or PC, whatever your poison. If you purchased the Assassin’s Creed Unity season pass you poor soul then you get it for absolutely free. Pending uPlay downloads, of course. Other games release later this year. Check out the trailer above and let us know in the comments below, what you think of this announcement. Totally not an April Fool’s joke either.

The post Assassin’s Creed Gets A New Trilogy On New-Gen — Chronicles Downloading Soon appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/assassins-creed-gets-new-trilogy-new-gen-chronicles-downloading-soon/feed/ 0
Nintendo Confirms Pokémon MMO Coming This Year http://egmr.net/2015/04/nintendo-confirms-pokemon-mmo-coming-year/ http://egmr.net/2015/04/nintendo-confirms-pokemon-mmo-coming-year/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 07:00:07 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169232 We have to admit, we gave Nintendo far less credit than they deserve. We thought they were old fools, stuck in their ways and stubborn to embrace the future. We […]

The post Nintendo Confirms Pokémon MMO Coming This Year appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

We have to admit, we gave Nintendo far less credit than they deserve. We thought they were old fools, stuck in their ways and stubborn to embrace the future. We thought their only idea of the internet was hearing that weird buzzing tone every time someone in the office sent a facsimile.

But they went ahead and proved us wrong, because finally, at long, long last, they went and outdid themselves. Gone are the days of Super Mario reboots. Gone are the days of Legend of Zelda games. Gone even are the days of games nobody actually realises was copies from elsewhere (sorry Skylanders). Because now we get the Half-Life 3 of Nintendo games. Now we get our Pokémon MMO.

The game was announced in the early hours of this morning and comes fresh off the heels of the announcement that Nintendo would be stepping up their online presence, creating a new social network for Nintendo fans called MiiBook, complete with a simple idea-sharing sister network called Miiter, and chat application called WiiChat. Not to be confused with that thing people use to listen to Cliff Central on Monday afternoons at 5pm.

The Pokémon MMO will be a Wii U exclusive, and feature all four hundred and sixty thousand known Pokémon as well as a few new ones including Xbot, PSfag, and GamerGator. It will also come in two very different versions, each with its own set of already unlocked Pokémon for you to find and catch, namely Pokémon 1080 and Pokémon 900. Nintendo meanwhile have denied that 900 will in any way be an inferior offering, reassuring gamers that the company is working at its hardest to ensure parity across all versions of the game.

With the release of the Pokémon MMO also comes the marking of another precedent for Nintendo, and that’s downloadable content. And no, not event-specific content like before — because really, who has the time and money to fly all the way to Japan for a Mew ticket any more? — but this time they’re doing on-disc DLC. Yup, that’s right, if you buy the Gotta Catch’em All editions of either game, you’ll get an additional fifty Pokémon unlocked for you at the very beginning of the game.

The game will be priced around the $999 mark, and have a monthly $99 subscription, because Nintendo feels if gamers want something bad enough then they can bloody well pay for it out of their own body parts if need be. There will also be an in-game store for purchasing Pokémon you don’t feel like catching but nonetheless need for your collection, as well as the regular sorts of PP UP, HP UP, and Escape Rope. There is no Repel for regular in-game currency players, instead available exclusively to real-money players.

Beginning in the Kanto region, the Pokémon MMO will feature all your favourite areas from the handheld games, including Nurse Joy’s Pokécenter, Route 7, the Safari Zone, and even that awful Hoenn region — I mean really, why did anyone even bother with that one…

Okay, so we’re just fucking with you. April Fool’s and all that. But seriously, if a Pokémon MMO is what you’re really interested in, then be sure to check out this awesome independent project, which is currently the closest you’ll get. Don’t say this article never did anything for you.

The post Nintendo Confirms Pokémon MMO Coming This Year appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/04/nintendo-confirms-pokemon-mmo-coming-year/feed/ 0
Prepare For 200+ Hours Of The Witcher 3, And More In This Massive Details Blowout http://egmr.net/2015/03/prepare-200-hours-witcher-3-massive-details-blowout/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/prepare-200-hours-witcher-3-massive-details-blowout/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 10:00:47 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169170 At the beginning of this year, if you asked me what the one game I would buy for 2015 would be, and we went on the assumption that Mass Effect […]

The post Prepare For 200+ Hours Of The Witcher 3, And More In This Massive Details Blowout appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

At the beginning of this year, if you asked me what the one game I would buy for 2015 would be, and we went on the assumption that Mass Effect 4 would not be releasing this year, I would say The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt without a moment’s hesitation. It’s coming, it’s eagerly anticipated, and today we’ve got a massive blowout of details for it. Hold onto your hats as senior game designer Damien Monnier answers a bunch of fan questions after taking to Twitter this past week.

Starting with author of The Witcher books, Andrzej Sapkowski:

Then, save importing:

On Dark Souls, and its influence on The Witcher 3’s combat system:

On the game’s story structure:

On DLC for the game:

On the dynamic AI in the game:

On camera options present in-game:

On armour sets available to Geralt throughout the story:

On Geralt’s hair… yes really:

On using signs while on horseback:

On using boats:

On censorship in international versions:

On Ciri, the new playable character:

On friendliness to newcomers to the series:

On Yennefer:

On the game’s duration:

On the dynamic weather system:

On alchemy:

On screenshot options:

On the use of the Aard sign:

On water:

On the PS4 version:

On differences between the versions:

On Cyberpunk 2077:

On plans for PS4 ports of the previous games:

On the Xbox One version:

On the new jumping ability:

On passive skills:

On RedKit, the modding tool from CD Projekt for The Witcher games:

On DirectX 12 support:

Quite a lot of details, hey? Special thanks to Dualshockers for compiling these tweets in three very handy articles, which we’ve condensed and grouped for your reading pleasure here.

Are you as excited for The Witcher 3 as we are? You better well be, because boy am I excited — and believe me, I don’t get excited for a lot of games recently. They’re all so… samey. Let us know in the comments if you’re going to be picking up The Witcher 3, or if there was an answer you had that the developer might have missed in his answers. We’d love to know what you think.

The post Prepare For 200+ Hours Of The Witcher 3, And More In This Massive Details Blowout appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/prepare-200-hours-witcher-3-massive-details-blowout/feed/ 0
PSA: No EGMR Offensive This Week So Here’s Something Else Instead http://egmr.net/2015/03/psa-no-egmr-offensive-week-heres-something-else-instead/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/psa-no-egmr-offensive-week-heres-something-else-instead/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 09:00:09 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169166 We’re really sorry about no podcast for a second week in a row. We understand that you’re missing your weekly dose of offence, but don’t worry, the EGMR Offensive will […]

The post PSA: No EGMR Offensive This Week So Here’s Something Else Instead appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

We’re really sorry about no podcast for a second week in a row. We understand that you’re missing your weekly dose of offence, but don’t worry, the EGMR Offensive will be back next week and in the meantime, here’s something (potentially) equally as offensive.

Here are some porno-themed reimaginings of games. Spoiler: Porno-themed reimaginings of games do exist; they’re just not as cool as these ones.

The post PSA: No EGMR Offensive This Week So Here’s Something Else Instead appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/psa-no-egmr-offensive-week-heres-something-else-instead/feed/ 0
Nvidia’s GeForce Titan X Finally Gets Local Pricing http://egmr.net/2015/03/nvidias-geforce-titan-x-finally-gets-local-pricing/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/nvidias-geforce-titan-x-finally-gets-local-pricing/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 10:00:44 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169161 Nvidia’s latest powerhouse graphics card has been expected for quite some time now. Its performance figures were in no doubt ever since they became public knowledge, but the biggest question […]

The post Nvidia’s GeForce Titan X Finally Gets Local Pricing appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

Nvidia’s latest powerhouse graphics card has been expected for quite some time now.

Its performance figures were in no doubt ever since they became public knowledge, but the biggest question remained its price tag here in South Africa.

Now thanks to a quick check on Wootware during my lunch break today, the local pricing has been revealed, and it’s quite staggering, at nearly R17,000.

Even more staggeringly, that isn’t actually that bad if you think about it.

Remember that this is a card that was priced at the recommended $1350 in the US. A straight conversion would mean somewhere in the region is R16,000 anyway so thanks to our terribly weak Rand we get a very, very expensive graphics card. And for once, customs and import taxes aren’t to blame.

Now all of this said, let’s have a look at what a Titan X could buy us in South Africa:

  • 6 x Xbox 360s
  • 5 x PlayStation 3s
  • 2½ x Xbox Ones
  • 2½ x PlayStation 4s
  • 23 x brand new console games
  • 47 x brand new PC games
  • 1 billion x Steam Sale games
  • 5 x Geforce GTX960s
  • 3 x Radeon R9 290s
  • Half of SA’s police force
  • This website, probably

If you have enough money to afford the R16,679 price tag for the graphics card then may I have a loan? go get your Titan X right now, and let us know what kinds of crazy space travelling adventures you get up to with that machine of a graphics card.

I’ll just sit here and keep counting coins while I save up for my minor upgrade.

Let us know what you think of this graphics card’s price tag in the comments below, and if you dare to actually purchase one for yourself.

The post Nvidia’s GeForce Titan X Finally Gets Local Pricing appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/nvidias-geforce-titan-x-finally-gets-local-pricing/feed/ 0
Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious Is Standalone And Free (For Now) http://egmr.net/2015/03/forza-horizon-2-presents-fast-furious-standalone-free-now/ http://egmr.net/2015/03/forza-horizon-2-presents-fast-furious-standalone-free-now/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 07:00:56 +0000 http://egmr.net/?p=169140 Do you know why we love the guys over at Playground Games? Because not only have they created some excellent racers in recent years but they are such cool people […]

The post Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious Is Standalone And Free (For Now) appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

Do you know why we love the guys over at Playground Games? Because not only have they created some excellent racers in recent years but they are such cool people about giving gamers free content.

Naturally then, we would be remiss if we didn’t inform you all of the latest of their freely available downloads — for now at least — Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious.

Announced last month as a limited free offer, the downloadable content based on Forza Horizon 2‘s engine is entirely standalone, meaning you need not have bought the game to play the newly released content.

But you have to be… fast… about it… (sigh) because the offer only lasts for the next two weeks, reaching the finish line on April 10th, after which you’ll have to pay for it. Kind of like the petrol price in a way, but a lot less morbidly depressing.

Since I can’t think of any more car puns right now (because I’m both tired and exhausted), how about I just ask you guys to flash your beams at the videos above and below? They’re both trailers for the DLC, and will help give you the driving purpose to download the content and give it a go.

It’s free, what do you have to lose?!

Listen to Furious 7 Picture Car Coordinator Dennis McCarthy explain how the cars imagined in-game are “exact replicas” of the ones he built for the movie. Then try not to cry when you remember that Paul Walker is dead — sorry.

If you own an Xbox One and you don’t have Forza Horizon 2 then how simply dare you exist on this Earth. Seriously, give it a go. Or at the very least, try out this temporarily free DLC and let us know what you think. Or if you already have, how about sharing our experiences of it in the comments below?

The post Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious Is Standalone And Free (For Now) appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/forza-horizon-2-presents-fast-furious-standalone-free-now/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-6/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: Is Gaming Really As Under-Represented As Claimed? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: Is Gaming Really As Under-Represented As Claimed? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/life-universe-gaming-gaming-really-represented-claimed/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post The EGMR Offensive #6: The Killing Joke appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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

The post The EGMR Offensive #6: The Killing Joke appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/egmr-offensive-6-killing-joke/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Nintendo Wants To Make Games For Smartphones appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post Nintendo Wants To Make Games For Smartphones appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/nintendo-wants-make-games-smartphones/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-5/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post But Have You Seen Titanfall’s DLC? It’s Free Forever appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post But Have You Seen Titanfall’s DLC? It’s Free Forever appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/seen-titanfalls-dlc-free-forever/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post The EGMR Offensive #5: PC Beats All appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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

The post The EGMR Offensive #5: PC Beats All appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/egmr-offensive-5-pc-beats/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-4/feed/ 0
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 […]

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

]]>

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.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/life-universe-gaming-gamergate-feminism-ethics-harassment-working-together/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Can You Tell The Difference Between Xbox One, PlayStation 4 And PC Graphics? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post Can You Tell The Difference Between Xbox One, PlayStation 4 And PC Graphics? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/can-tell-difference-xbox-one-playstation-4-pc-graphics/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Elite: Dangerous Will Release On Xbox One, And Not Be Dumbed Down appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post Elite: Dangerous Will Release On Xbox One, And Not Be Dumbed Down appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/elite-dangerous-will-release-xbox-one-not-dumbed/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post The EGMR Offensive #4: Use Idiots As Biofuel appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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

The post The EGMR Offensive #4: Use Idiots As Biofuel appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/egmr-offensive-4-use-idiots-biofuel/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Are Games “Basically Porn” Or Was Jonathan Blow Misunderstood? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post Are Games “Basically Porn” Or Was Jonathan Blow Misunderstood? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/games-basically-porn-jonathan-blow-misunderstood/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/03/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-3/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Godus Isn’t The Only Kickstarter Disappointment, Here Are A Few More appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.)

The post Godus Isn’t The Only Kickstarter Disappointment, Here Are A Few More appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/godus-isnt-kickstarter-disappointment/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post The EGMR Offensive #3: Smells Like Balls appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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

The post The EGMR Offensive #3: Smells Like Balls appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/egmr-offensive-3-smells-like-balls/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive-2/feed/ 0
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. […]

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: What’s With All The Double Standards? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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?

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: What’s With All The Double Standards? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/life-universe-gaming-whats-double-standards/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post The EGMR Offensive #2: Hatred Is Better Than Uncharted appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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

The post The EGMR Offensive #2: Hatred Is Better Than Uncharted appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/egmr-offensive-2-hatred-better-uncharted/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post What Would You Like Us To Discuss On This Week’s EGMR Offensive? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/like-us-discuss-weeks-egmr-offensive/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post The EGMR Offensive #1: Banana Woe appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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

The post The EGMR Offensive #1: Banana Woe appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/the-egmr-offensive-1-banana-woe/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Disgruntled Feminist Frequency Kickstarter Backer Wants A Refund appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post Disgruntled Feminist Frequency Kickstarter Backer Wants A Refund appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/disgruntled-feminist-frequency-kickstarter-backer-wants-refund/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Here Comes A New Podcast — Got Questions? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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!

The post Here Comes A New Podcast — Got Questions? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/comes-new-podcast-got-questions/feed/ 0
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, […]

The post Half-Life 3… Unannounced appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post Half-Life 3… Unannounced appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/half-life-3-unannounced/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Braid’s Creator Is Looking At Debt In Order To Finish The Witness On Time appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post Braid’s Creator Is Looking At Debt In Order To Finish The Witness On Time appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/braids-creator-looking-debt-order-finish-witness-time/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: What About A Gaming Committee? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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?

The post Life, The Universe And Gaming: What About A Gaming Committee? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/life-universe-gaming-gaming-committee/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Is Gaming Really As Under-Represented As Has Been Claimed? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

GY2XaQ1

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.

The post Is Gaming Really As Under-Represented As Has Been Claimed? appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/gaming-really-represented-claimed/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post PSA: Don’t Get Sucked Into The Recent Politics Of The Games Industry appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post PSA: Don’t Get Sucked Into The Recent Politics Of The Games Industry appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/psa-dont-get-sucked-recent-politics-games-industry/feed/ 0
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 […]

The post Sony Online Entertainment Bought Out; Now Daybreak Game Company appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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.

The post Sony Online Entertainment Bought Out; Now Daybreak Game Company appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/02/sony-online-entertainment-bought-now-daybreak-game-company/feed/ 0
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! […]

The post EA Infographic Reveals 113 Million Hours Of Dragon Age: Inquisition… Think About That For A Second appeared first on #egmr.

]]>

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).

The post EA Infographic Reveals 113 Million Hours Of Dragon Age: Inquisition… Think About That For A Second appeared first on #egmr.

]]>
http://egmr.net/2015/01/ea-infographic-reveals-113-million-hours-dragon-age-inquisition-think-second/feed/ 0