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FEATURED VOXPOP maca2kx Metal Gear Solid was a watershed moment in gaming for me. The graphics, at the time, were phenomenal; the story was winding and engaging; the gameplay was sharp and not above breaking the fourth wall when appropriate. It’s one of the few titles where the number of times I’ve...

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The Phil Fish Saga Part Tres, The Patheticking
Posted on Tuesday, July 30 2013 @ 13:06:13 Eastern

So, just when Phil Fish's particular brand of histrionic self-aggrandizing reached its supposed apex - him running off like a child who cannot take the heat when he lights himself on fire - he doubles down.

Trigger Warning: The following is incredibly pathetic and may make some people regret belonging to the same phylum as Phil Fish.  Consult your bartender before proceeding.  In the absence of a bartender, make sure something at least as strong as a Scotch and soda high ball is handy.

Is there anything more pathetic than being a pissant, getting called on it, and then running off like a glass-jawed wannabe picking a fight and running at the dawning realization that in a boxing match one may well get hit as likely as throw punches?  Yes there is.  One can run around pretending to be someone else, and say what a fine boxer that fellow over there was.  And that is what Fish did.  He did it over at 4Chan.

Source: Slower than Slow, Thicker than Thick

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On the Question of Anita Sarkeesian's Integrity
Posted on Friday, July 19 2013 @ 21:13:23 Eastern

This post is not about the merits of Sarkeesian's thesis, her approach, analytical methods, ideology or content of her arguments.  This is purely a question of the ethical character of her work.  A considerable portion of her credibility rests upon her academic credentials.  With such training she is surely aware of the ethics of citation.  She has breached those canons numerous times.  More troubling is what those breaches imply about the true nature of her donor funded project.
From the first Sarkeesian's Kickstarter attracted a great deal of attention.  Whether one accepts a possible analysis* that she incited the people who harassed her to that harassment (or the even more severe proposition that the money received was only a secondary gain and the harassment was the real reward, the basis for a long-running gig) or not it is clear she was savvy enough to gain from it.  First there is the publicity and then the money.  The money (over $160,000 - Sarkeesian continued to accept donations after the Kickstarter campaign ended and I have no independently verifiable figure to hand) was enough to pay for every game that might have some relevance to her project and the hardware to run them if she didn't have it already, plus additional equipment to do direct video capture.  The research to be done being a major plank for her support, this would all be essential.  There was no way to justify even the original six thousand dollars asked for without having this sort of project in view (and it, too, would have sufficed for that goal) and all it required.  Among other things, all in-game footage would have to be original to meet the original goals - to show, through direct demonstration and in a scholarly manner that yes, this or that game did or did not contain this or that bit of content.  However, we now get to the core of our discussion.

A blogger going by the handle Vicsor, in a post titled Anita's Sources documents that Sarkeesian does not use any originally gathered game footage for any of her TvW videos.  Not one.  From an academic standpoint this is plagiarism.  Presenting the work of others without attribution and passing off the work as one's own is plagiarism.  She appropriated the content without the knowledge or consent of its creators.  She used it in a fashion which they may not approve.  What is far worse is that this explains numerous factual errors pointed out by her legion of destructive critics thus far.  She has not done the much talked-about research.  She has not done any of it.  The most factually-sound claim is that she has done what her attackers said she would - she browsed wikipedia and TV Tropes, mined some content from Let's Play videos, used what she gathered to shout sexism at everything, and called it a day.  Vicsor's evidence is irrefutable.  It explains all the rational objections raised thus far in the worst possible way.  One may now wonder how long it will take for her supporters to either apply special pleading to her defense or turn about and admit their prophet was false.  I won't hold my breath.

* It is not appropriate to present the facts and reasoning which support the claim.  It is enough to say that there is a body of evidence to suggest that Sarkeesian (or a supporter of hers pretending to be her) spammed the /v/ board on 4Chan with announcements of her Kickstarter at launch to incite a harassment campaign.  The reaction was predictable given the norms of 4Chan's community, particularly as regards spamming content.

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An Open Letter to Peter Moore
Posted on Wednesday, April 10 2013 @ 10:47:53 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.



Dear Peter Moore,

I understand your company was in the running to receive and then won the worst company in America award.  Let me start by saying I don't think you deserved it. There are worse offenders who have robbed, cheated, lied, stolen, and sought rent on a scale you can't possibly match. You're not big enough and you are in the entertainment industry which is ultimately optional and therefore generally avoids those sorts of problems.

However, in a recent statement seeking to defend your company's good name against scurrilous attacks (are there any other kind these days?) you went just a little too far. A well-ordered bullet list itemized a few complaints. A couple were relevant but, shall we say, less than completely honest, and the rest were straw criticisms to avoid facing the music for far worse things you and your colleagues have done.

"Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It’s not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period."

That's what's known in plain English as a lie. It's been demonstrated that the always-on is in no way necessary to run the game. It does not help that, under the hood, the game is inferior to its predecessors in practically every way. I can't be any clearer - that won't change until the game does. Period. End of sentence. Punctuation mark. Noun.

"Some claim there’s no room for Origin as a competitor to Steam. 45 million registered users are proving that wrong."

No room? Of course there's room. But your claim about 45 million registered users rings hollow when we consider the number of people who actually purchase things through the service. Most of your users are people roped into the Origin service as a requirement of using games that should not require it and that number would never have materialized had you put those same games up on competitors' services.

"Some people think that free-to-play games and micro-transactions are a pox on gaming. Tens of millions more are playing and loving those games."

How many of those tens of millions lack anything that could practically be called standards? Just because you've found an audience that is (for the moment) gullible enough to shovel garbage to, doesn't mean they will stay that way. They might discover good games. The kind your company used to make and publish once, before you killed off the studios which made them. They're going to start playing or loving your products a whole lot less when that happens. And think of it this way, even if I'm wrong, your business model will be built around making terrible products and making sure people who foolishly pay for them never realize the mistake they've made.  You are a predator and you know it.

"We’ve seen mailing lists that direct people to vote for EA because they disagree with the choice of the cover athlete on Madden NFL. Yes, really…"

Citation needed. This is at best doubtful.

"In the past year, we have received thousands of emails and postcards protesting against EA for allowing players to create LGBT characters in our games. This week, we’re seeing posts on conservative web sites urging people to protest our LGBT policy by voting EA the Worst Company in America."

Do you have any evidence whatsoever to validate this claim? The Consumerist has flat-out refuted your claim and called you on it. If you can't prove it, I suggest you walk this one back. If you don't, you're an even bigger liar than everyone thought. At the very least it's noteworthy how utterly craven it is to use something like LGBT rights issues and anti-discriminatory attitudes as a beard to protect you from criticism.

And now something a little different. I hate to beat a horse so dead and beaten its hide was nothing but glue before Bush the Younger was up for re-election but it bears arguing. What of the studios you've shut down, the projects you've canned and the talent you've driven from the industry? What of the employees you've worked overtime without overtime pay? What of the numerous anti-consumer practices your company has innovated, improved, formalized, normalized or even perfected? What of your marketing department's hilariously bad decisions over the years? Take your time. Answer as best you can.

The opinions expressed here does not necessarily reflect the views of Game Revolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. It has been submitted for our monthly Vox Pop competition. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick



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Deus Ex: Invisible War Is a Deeply Flawed Game.
Posted on Wednesday, March 6 2013 @ 15:10:10 Eastern

Compared to its predecessor, Deus Ex, it is inferior in every way save one arguable exception, and that came at a terrible price.  The following is a disordered rambling attempt to show how and why broken down by particular subfield.

...   read more...

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Randy Pitchford, Coney Fetcher
Posted on Sunday, March 3 2013 @ 15:11:30 Eastern

Randy Pitchford is a damned fool.  This is not news to anyone who has heard him make proclamations or try to defend his arguments or behavior.  This latest incident of 'Randy Pitchford made a fool of himself again' concerns an artic...   read more...

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A Copy of Sega Awakens' AP and RDR Post
Posted on Wednesday, February 27 2013 @ 12:13:09 Eastern

This is a repost of another writers' work.  I do not own it or have any special rights to it.

The Ugly Side of the Business.   First off, let me say that these incidents happen in any job environment.  Poor...   read more...

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A Copy of Sega Awakens' A:CM Post
Posted on Wednesday, February 27 2013 @ 12:09:44 Eastern

This is a Repost.  I do not hold the rights to it at all.  It belongs to whoever wrote it.

That eventual Aliens: Colonial Marines post   Looks like I have to finally post this information.  Going through a...   read more...

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Sony's Immediate Future, Revisited
Posted on Wednesday, February 20 2013 @ 15:19:18 Eastern

Sony just announced the PS4 so I was wrong, and so was Razörfist.  That's that.  If I were to guess where the guess-work went wrong (besides being guess-work, of course) is the failure to properly tease out the difference betw...   read more...

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Good News, Everyone!
Posted on Wednesday, February 13 2013 @ 07:10:49 Eastern

System Shock 2 will be available for sale on Good Old Games on February 14, 6AM Eastern Standard Time, 3AM Pacific.

Update, 9:16 AM EST - It's out now.  Go get it. ...   read more...

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Level Scaling, Beef Gates, and Broken Bridges
Posted on Wednesday, February 6 2013 @ 09:41:44 Eastern


To anyone familiar with open-world games the beef gate1 is already a well-understood, if not well-explicated, concept. It's one way to control player movement by setting up obstacles the player will be unable to surpass without great...   read more...

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