Thursday, August 21, 2014


A few years ago Kirk Battle, going under the pseudonym L.B. Jefferies, was one of the most prolific critics of the burgeoning amateur bloggers arising from the boom of 2007 and 2008.


43 hours after the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter launched it was funded. Fargo was at inXile's office outside Los Angeles at the time. The team was "doing a little jig" he says. "It was like a New Year's Eve countdown. The first 10 years I couldn't even get the trademark. Then another eight years of hardcore pitching getting nowhere. It was a great moment."
"It was amazing to me," Fargo recalls. "When you do contracts they come from anywhere but trust. You have 10 pages of pain about how to get paid. What happens if you're not on time? They could take your project away from you. They could take your trademark. They could shut down your company. They could take over your company. They could sue your company. You can have damages that are related not just to that but to their stock market price dropping. You can be on the hook literally for a billion dollars for screwing up a contract. I came from that world to, 'here's the money up front, Brian. We trust you.' What a difference."


The Secret History of Videogames & The Military
| Game/Show | PBS Digital Studios


Some could argue that, because Yuga is the one who patronizes and objectifies women, and because Link eventually kicks Yuga’s ass, the game itself is presenting these behaviours as unacceptable. I disagree. Just as a text is not feminist just because its heroine is strong a game does not become un-sexist when it features a villain rather than a hero acting in a sexist manner. Let’s face it: The Legend of Zelda’s history does not do it any favours.

The Zelda series is a garden you can keep inside your drawer, not a wide, expansive landscape that absorbs you. The environment in Oracle of Seasons, and to a less direct extent, in other Zelda games, is both an enemy and a lover. It’s the uncomfortable source of conflict, theme, plot — it’s something to be feared and understood and respected, but also something to overcome. It has authority over me as the game system, but it can also be gamed. It can destroy me, and it can also be destroyed. It has a precarious but learnable pattern. Master that pattern. When it swings left, go right. Harmonize with that pattern, like Din’s dance. Master the dance, and master nature.

Game Theory: World of Warcraft will SAVE the Economy


Queer Mechanics in Tabletop Games


PlayStation Now Is Here. Streaming is Popularizing. God Save Us.


How Are Games Biased Against the Disabled? | Game/Show | PBS Digital Studios

Wayward Manor goes most wayward in terms of game design, such that the possibility of interacting inside a Gaiman story in a meaningful way becomes impossible. We are left with a game that, rather than immersing us in story, stands as proof that games don’t just need better writer to make game stories better.


Violence is seldom framed for what it is: uncontrollable, self-perpetuating and unpredictable. Games treat violence as a stable fuel for their ambitions.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Extra Credits - Episode 200! - How Far Have Games Come Since 2008?


Is Minecraft the Most Important Game Right Now? | Game/Show | PBS Digital Studios


Retro Review: System Shock 1

SWT - Inputs and the Rift


Players sit up and pay more attention when they think they might die. Permadeath games and the like don't even bother with the fake-out; if you make a mistake, boom, goodbye, thanks for playing.
Quicksaves, regenerating health and other sorts of developer generosity are well-intentioned but often diminish the experience. These systems make no demands, so the player sleepwalks through the game. Let's call it: some of these shooters are just walking simulators with a bit of colourful pizazz. There's nothing to lose, so there's nothing to play for. This isn't to say all games need extraordinary challenge, but how risk compensation affects player behaviour is not something that should be ignored. Tricks to simulate risk might work but it's all too possible players will figure them out after which point they begin to relax. Suddenly, it's a walking simulator.

Kim Kardashian is surfing this wave of male tears all the way to the bank. In a world with limited opportunities for famous women as they age, Kardashian broke the Internet simply by lending her likeness to a single mobile game. And to read Kardashian as a vapid figure who does not deserve her fame is to fundamentally misunderstand the ways in which women exercise agency within the sexist constraints of celebrity culture.


Let’s talk about how folks in fandom were rewriting [Mass Effect 3] in a massive variety of creative and clever ways for over a year before that one dudebro did it, in horribly out-of-character quasi-prose, and was the subject of front-page Kotaku articles showcasing his devotion to the series.

Let’s talk about how female-dominated fannish spaces have been around for decades. Let’s talk about how “fans brought back Star Trek in the 70s!” always brings to mind stereotypical Trekkie dudes and not the women who were actually organizing and running conventions.

Let’s talk about how women are over 50% of moviegoers. Let’s talk about how women make up nearly 50% of gamers. Let’s talk about how, despite all this, the industry is still almost entirely guys making content for guys.

I’m just saying. Let’s fucking talk about this.