GamerGate and The Cusp

Remember how I said there’s a war over gaming culture between the “softcore” and the “hardcore” gamers?  Softcore gamers are desperate to have mainstream validation, while hardcore gamers only want to be catered to as the prime demographic of the industry — as the vocal consumer.  The softcore part of gaming culture, which largely includes media personalities who want to become accepted by the mainstream for the sake of their careers if nothing else, hate the hardcore because they make gaming culture look unfriendly and uncool; they complicate the “games are art” and “games are becoming movies” narratives, and they demand higher standards from everyone in the industry, including the media.

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META GEAR is now a Steam Group with recommendations!

Now Recruiting!

Click here to visit the page!  The page where you can do things!

I can’t force you to join META GEAR on Steam, but I can throw some inspirational quotes at you and beg you to validate my fragile ego.  By making that little number on the group page go up, I feel motivated to work on new articles, draw comics, and more!

…Come on, I just want to have more followers than the gag accounts who review every game on Steam by saying stuff like “Hodor? Hodor” or “No, it’s not Postal”.

Unlike an intron of history, we will be remembered as exons!  The Patriots won’t be able to erase our existence, my friends. We will pass on our memes to future generations, through this Steam Group!  (And it’s not like you can only be subscribed to one group so don’t be shy.)

I won’t scatter your sorrows to the heartless sea… You will always be with me (on Steam).  So click here to check out our curated storefront and then find the “Follow” button in the top right!

Your role — that is, your m-mission — is to follow the META GEAR group on Steam.  You’ll ruin your eyes playing too close to the TV, but you will enjoy my funny announcements and meet other people who also like this website.

And I should point out the obvious…

Yes, this is the closest thing to a discussion forum this site will get.

This is good… isn’t it?

TGS and the craziness (MGSV + Silent Hills)

It doesn’t really get any better than this.  Kojima has given us lots of new information and video, including the African jungle location, an AI buddy system, a pet wolf, and the return of the most iconic outfit in the Metal Gear series.  It’s glorious.

 

We learned that Quiet has ridiculous abilities, including the ability to turn invisible, move at supersonic speeds, and perhaps phase out of existence altogether judging by the way she simply shed those handcuffs back at Mother Base.  Whatever her powers, the most shocking revelation of all was that depending on how you play, you might not meet her at all!  What kind of game is The Phantom Pain going to be, if the main female character is optional content?

Nothing could surpass the introduction of a new character, however, in the form of “D.D.” — an adopted wolf-dog who eventually grows into a badass companion for war.

 

The gameplay itself is what fascinated me, however.  Big Boss can equip different prosthetic arms, which allow him to electroshock enemies, smash the ground for wide-radius sonar tracking of creatures, and the ability to climb cracks in walls.  He rides into the jungle on a helicopter, and apparently can jump out whenever he wants, which is dangerously close to my fantasy of being able to parachute down to locations as Big Boss freely.

The buddy system is designed to give players a strong incentive to maintain relationships with his comrades (in order to unlock better powers), find new characters to befriend, and basically not become a brooding lone psychopath in the middle of nowhere.  The fact that these are optional means that players will have to be vigilant, and get even more attached to characters whose fates are extremely unknown (ie. they don’t appear in future titles!)

 

Silent Hills

 

We also got a new Silent Hills concept video, which is disturbing.  Apparently its what Kojima and Del Toro discussed for the direction of the game, and it was made by just a small handful of artists at Konami using the Fox Engine.  There’s been a lot of positive reaction to it, but I’ve also noticed some complaints that it’s not very moody or eerie, but more of a parade of insanity.  It’s kind of interesting how big of a difference there is between a playable experience like P.T. and simply watching a video of something scary.  When you’re playing, turning a corner is a terrifying risk.  You almost don’t want to proceed, because you don’t know if you can handle what’s there.  It’s stressful.  A video like this simply can’t deliver that gruesome tension, where you control the pace.

It’s good to see that they are running with the series’ themes of sexualized horror, mingled with childlike innocence, and dark filth.

Follow me @GreenlightRview and let’s talk games!

Sick of the game media talking about everything except games?  Wish there was a better way to find out about new indie games without visiting dumps like Kotaku and RockPaperShotgun?  Me too, and that’s why I created @GreenlightRview on Twitter!

greenlight-review

Follow me and you’ll see concise but thoughtful critiques on as many Steam Greenlight projects as I can find.  Already I’ve seen some hilariously bad projects, and some amazingly good ones — like, stuff that I’m actually going to fund on Kickstarter.

Greenlight is one of the biggest forces for change in the history of games, but it needs intelligent people to pay attention and weigh in on the process.  We all know that it’s not perfect, and we know that even Valve is working on replacing it, but in the meantime there are thousands of games waiting to be seen and judged, with hopeful teams whose dreams of game development depend on you and me.  @GreenlightRview is a way for you to share my enthusiasm for upcoming indie projects, discuss game design with me, and help the cream rise to the top.

If you ever felt like there was a lack of game discussion and reviews on this site, you’ll definitely want to follow me there, because I’m going to have the same standards as I would if I was publishing it on this site, with the same wit and sharpness.

Thank you, and I look forward to discussing countless new games with you all!

[Check out @GreenlightRview]

The last “kingmaker” is the gaming press

One of the key parties in the #GamerGate affairs is a group called TheFineYoungCapitalists, which is trying to help female game designers get their games made, even though it was sabotaged by neofeminists; the creator’s private information leaked and the website DDOS’d.  Cool, right?  But he’s been making some comments since then on his blog, and now he’s given an interesting view about the state of affairs in the gaming industry regarding “kingmaking”…

The last KingMakers left are the journalists, with such a giant market they have the ability to push eyeballs to your product. To use their audience to make your game a success or a failure. What #GamerGate is about, is the general public becoming aware of the backroom deals of the last kingmakers in the indie video game market. And showing how a small group of friends have a remarkable amount of pull over what get’s made and where it is discussed. Gaming journalism has responded by attempting to discredit the public. Which is an interesting strategy to say the least but has successfully avoided discussing the real issues.

He says that lack of quality control — and lack of visibility for good startup developers — has always been a problem in the gaming industry, causing the infamous Atari crash back in the old days, and the current problem with Steam being flooded with too much questionable content to keep track of or sort.  Somebody needs to filter all those games, and those who filter the games have a lot of leverage that they can abuse.

Just think about it: what would you be willing to do to get your unknown little project on the front page of Kotaku or RockPaperShotgun?

If you want to cheer up TFYC and read more, you may as well follow them on Tumblr and give money to their pro-female developer and tragically sabotaged charity project!  It sounds like things are getting bleak over there.  I’m kind of shocked, how are they not funded by now, with all of #GamerGate going on?