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Worth Reading 04/19/2013

After a turbulent week for ol' America, it's time to hang out with a good glass of scotch and enjoy some damn video games.

An incredible piece of art someone sent me today. Speechless. I make a surprisingly good Pinhead, as it turns out.

It only took a few minutes into Spookin' With Scoops to realize two things:

  1. I'm happy this feature is back.
  2. I'm upset this feature is back.

Those are, fortunately, both positives.

Playing skin crawling games in the dark with no one else around is exactly why the feature was cooked up in the first place. As I briefly mentioned in the video, my reactions are truly genuine; I try to play games that makes me physically uncomfortable. Slender taps into the same sense of abandonment and isolation that made The Blair Witch Project such a defining film for me, and DreadOut is just plain creepy. It might take a few days for the sounds of that wailing woman to fully leave my mind.

Horror media allow you to explore fears in a safe place. When the game is turned off, the world reverts to normal. Sure, there's a lingering sense of creatures with blank faces watching your every move, but that's every day. These games aren't for everyone, but we all enjoy watching others subject themselves to horrible things. Happy to be your tortured surrogate.

Also, I'm hoping to record a premium Q&A video before I jet off to Iceland, so if you want something answered, shoot me a PM on Comic Vine: patrickklepek. Also also, if you happen to be in Iceland and are going to EVE Online's FanFest, send me a note! Drew and I will be there, and we're lookin' for hangouts.

Hey, You Should Play This

You're going to play through Safety Instructions once and come away with a smile. "Oh, it's like Typing of the Dead with cute death animations when you don't type properly." And that's completely true, but don't ignore the suggestion to experience the game a second time once you've "finished" it. Then, don't ignore the suggestion to play it a third time. Each go-round only takes a few minutes, so you'll be in and out in less than 15 minutes, but the writing only gets funnier and more twisted as you go deeper. That's to say nothing about the final, final, finale scene, which had me over the moon. You'll know when you see it.

And You Should Read This, Too

Jorge Albor isn't the first person to write down his reaction to a game (or any piece of media, really) that appropriates another group's culture, but what's interesting about Albor's essay is how it's acutely focused on whether or not he even should be offended. Clearly, Guacamelee! is prompting a reaction from him, but it's a reaction that, at first, is not necessarily positive or negative. Albor thoughtfully spends his words exploring various responses to Guacamelee!'s leveraging of something that is very near and dear to him. He doesn't draw any scathing conclusions about Drinkbox's intentions. It's good food for thought.

"The concept of cultural ownership is strange to me. As far as I see it, the music of Mexico belongs to the world, as all music does. The sights, sounds, and festivities of the small pueblito where my family is from means something special to me. But if I took you there, drove you through farmland and forest, and walked you into the old stone church at the center of town or showed you the worn down arcade cabinet I played obsessively during my stays there, I believe you would fall in love. Culture is unique in that its shareable yet simultaneously subjective."

I wish I could spend more time following fascinating cases like the resolution of the "Edge" trademark involving the notorious Tim Langdell. Fortunately for the rest of us, NeoGAF user phisheep has been closely tracking the development of the case, and it's absolutely worth crawling through every page of the thread to watch it unfold. If you aren't familar with Langdell, he's caused trouble in the trademark system for various developers, the European magazine Edge, and others through his dubious and troll-y ownership of "edge."

  • TTAB Nov 2010: EA moves to have the marks cancelled and have judgment entered in EA’s favour (that would include a finding of fraud against Langdell). Langdell instead voluntarily surrenders the marks (trying to avoid fraud finding), EA withdraws its motion and…
  • TTAB Dec 2010: … the Board agrees to cancel the marks ‘in due course’ and dismiss the case without prejudice. Game over? Not a bit of it, Langdell has another trick up his sleeve.
  • TTAB Feb 2011: Langdell moves to withdraw his surrender on the EDGE mark because of it being part-owned by Future Publishing (though by then it wasn’t). Future intervened in the case to support that (because it wanted to hang on to its own rights) and …
  • TTAB July 2011: ... the Board allowed Langdell to withdraw his surrender, and joined Future Publishing as a defendant. Langdell thought that was a winning move, and gloated about it, but then …
  • TTAB Jul 2011: ... Future put in the killer motion to just get the trademark cancelled anyway in accordance with the Federal Court order! EA should have thought of that in the first place.
  • TTAB Aug 2011: Langdell countered by trying to withdraw two more surrenders, and for the next couple of months everyone disagreed with everyone else, with Langdell complaining that Future weren’t taking his side.
  • TTAB Oct 2011: Langdell moved to pull Future’s EDGE trademark into the proceedings and so try to get Future onside. EA and Future objected to that.
  • TTAB Nov 2011: everyone is all out of motions to submit and we are waiting for the Board to decide.
  • TTAB Mar 2012: the Board gives Langdell 20 days to appeal in the District Court or the trademarks will be cancelled ...
  • TTAB Apr 2012: ... which Langdell doesn't do, instead filing a barrage of motions claiming it's impossible, or illegal, or something ...
  • TTAB May 2012: ... which of course, Edge and Future opposed,

If You Click It, It Will Play

Crowdfunding Has Promise, Hopefully Developers Don't Screw It Up

  • C-Wars is cyberpunk + apocalypse + RTS + pixel art = something I would like to play, thanks.
  • Remember the horror game where you're a two-year-old? It's Among the Sleep, and it looks great.
  • Retronauts was (is) one of the best gaming podcasts. Glad to see it's sticking around.

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

Papers Please made PCGamer's Greenlight list. Thoughtful reader comment: "all these games look like shit" pcgamer.com/2013/04/17/25-…

— Lucas Pope (@dukope) April 18, 2013

someday I will make a game that has a grid inventory and a cyberspace layer. I'm not saying I want to I'm saying it's inevitable

— Steve Gaynor (@fullbright) April 19, 2013

Excellent Meditations on the What Is/Isn't/Could Be a "Game"

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
94 Comments
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Posted by cooljammer00

I thought the same thing about Guacamelee when I heard about it. I'm not Mexican, so it's more "is this offensive?" than it was "is this offensive to me?".

From what I understand, though, the development staff has Mexican people on it and it is a wholly respectful game that reveres luchador tradition. I'd like to give Drinkbox the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by patrickklepek

Not sure what caused some weird link swaps in this week's edition. They should all be fixed.

Staff
Edited by cooljammer00

In Verbis Virtus sounds REALLY silly, because requiring microphone commands in games has worked so great before. In Binary Domain it could be ignored, but in something like Lifeline it could not.

Posted by Metric_Outlaw

The old woman oculus rift video was easily one of the most genuinely cute things I have seen in a long time.

Posted by EchoEcho

Weird. I just watched all of that dude's acapella videos two nights ago.

Posted by Akeldama

@patrickklepek Not to be that dick, but I don't know we can call the events in Boston a massacre.

Posted by oueddy

There's a super-secret ending to Safety Instructions if you cheat. If anyone is having trouble with the nightmare mode, here's the autoit/autohotkey code for all the phrases so you can just press '=' to cheat your way through

http://pastebin.com/hbjZEvtv

Funny little game, but infuriating if you don't have a US keyboard due to the placement of the ' key!

Posted by dudeglove

@patrickklepek I should point out that Robin Yang is actually Robert Yang. Unless I'm missing something.

You're perfectly right to.

C'mon Klepek, this isn't the first time there's been some glaring errors in your articles. I know you guys are super busy n'all, but is it really a bit too much to ask that you get someone to edit your material before it's copy?

Edited by Eujin

@akeldama: Massacre: "An indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of people"

Also, the Boston Massacre of history had less than 10 deaths. So yes, I think this could be called a massacre.

Posted by Winternet

I know I'm not from an English-speaking country, but "This whole conversation started with designer Raph Koster wrote a letter to Leigh Alexander." seems wrong.

Edited by Greenshoes

There was a an oculus developer at my college yesterday, that stuff was pretty cool.

Edited by happymeowmeow

While I was reading that thread about the copyright troll I noticed phisheep was banned recently, some kind of threating or sounding like blackmailey post, hard to say because the posts he was banned for were deleted. Strange twist on a strange story.

Posted by NoelVeiga

@danm_999 said:
@freedomtown said:

Can I read any of your articles without having to wade through the shit of racism or feminism? There is more the journalism then stirring the pot constantly. Hell I guess I'm in the minority here, I suppose people these days like to get all riled up about shit.

What wading? What constant pot stirring? Of the like 30 things here, only two are even tangentially related to a discussion of racism and/or sexism. Why do you seem so horrified Patrick would dare mention what's being discussed on the internet recently in an article designed to summarise what's being discussed on the internet recently?

There is somebody that definitely likes to get riled up for no reason here, but I think it might be the person you see in the mirror.

Thiiiiiiiis so much.

I am amazed at the people that request content they aren't interested in to be removed from the site. In these cases I can only extrapolate a self-indulgent "I don't want to be confronted with my failures or challenged about my opinions" approach. It's not just choosing to ignore content, which is extremely easy, it's getting feelings and thoughts and shit and not knowing what to do with them.

... which of course is why those articles need to keep happening.

Also, the way Jaffe addressed Alexander in his blog post was shitty, but the amount of douche used in retaliation immediately convinced me that I have no side I like in that feud. As for the idea Jaffe was presenting... yeah, I see why people in the business disliked it. It DID come across as a bit patronizing (if only somebody had the brilliant idea to fund a journalist with no strings attached, imagine how shocking and new that'd be!).

I mean, newsflash, a TON of people already operate that way, from those in media where sales and editorial are properly separated to people who have been successfully kickstarted already to do just that (Penny Arcade!) to people who do a mix of both (Giant Fucking Bomb, guys). Games journalism has some issues, but they certainly won't get magicked away by throwing money at a few guys.

That said, I am SO behind Jaffe on the sense of entitlement thing. He was spot-on about all of it and the Jaffe-tastic amounts of cursing drove the point home beautifully. The selective blindness of some up-and-comers or just outright outsiders about why they are where they are and the big names are big isn't just a bit annoying, but it's self-destructive for the guys not cleaning up their act because they think they are not responsible for their own shortcomings.

So help me out here, after this rant am I agreeing with everyone or disagreeing with everyone? I'm a bit unclear on that.

Posted by TruthTellah

So help me out here, after this rant am I agreeing with everyone or disagreeing with everyone? I'm a bit unclear on that.

You're clearly not agreeing with -everyone-, but you're generally agreeing with most folks around here. As far as content goes, I'd agree with the sentiment you're expressing(more content, let people like or dislike what they want to), and speaking for most people(because why not?), I'd say that's a relatively common feeling when it comes to Giant Bomb.

Hope that's relatively clear!

Edited by Parsnip

SmoothMcGroove gets recognition, and suddenly all is right in the world.

Posted by Parsnip

Also, Jaffe is great.

Posted by dropabombonit

That ladder video near brought a tear to my eye. I have such nostalgic love for MGS3 and I will fight anyone who says that the ladder climb is not the best moment in that game

Edited by RitzkriegRap

Glad to see Pietpiet's Sonic remix album getting some love! Everyone should give Track 8 a listen ("Faster than a Speeding Ballad", based on Sonic 2006's Radical Chase level (yeah yeah I know, I know)). Falk is kind of a hero amongst the Sonic fan community- he contributed to the Sonic Generations Unleashed Project, as well as the superb fan game Before the Sequel.

Also, screw Nightmare Difficulty. No-one can type that fast.

Posted by Moncole

I don't know if you read my tweet but you should look up Chess The Gathering by Misfit Addict. It's chess combined with Magic the Gathering and its very cool but its currently in pre alpha.

Edited by Graham_Nix

@oueddy said:

There's a super-secret ending to Safety Instructions if you cheat. If anyone is having trouble with the nightmare mode, here's the autoit/autohotkey code for all the phrases so you can just press '=' to cheat your way through

http://pastebin.com/hbjZEvtv

Funny little game, but infuriating if you don't have a US keyboard due to the placement of the ' key!

Can someone please explain to me how to use this?

Posted by chocolaterhinovampire

the Drinkbox article was great

Posted by Actinium

I cannot type fast enough to complete nightmare mode of safety instructions

Edited by fiberpay

@chromule said:

@fiberpay said:

@freedomtown said:

Can I read any of your articles without having to wade through the shit of racism or feminism? There is more the journalism then stirring the pot constantly. Hell I guess I'm in the minority here, I suppose people these days like to get all riled up about shit.

Of course you can't it's a Patrick article. I've learned not to read anything but the "You should play this" part.

oh no white adult males just want to ignore all the bad stuff in the world abloo

Sorry I actually go to credible news sources for serious discussion and information regarding those subjects. I don't come to a game site to hear about it from some "game journalist".

Posted by zoozilla

@mcghee said:

Love that video of the grandma using the Oculus Rift. Made me a little teary eyed, actually. Gives me hope that I can be that old one day and still have new experiences and be excited about the world.

Yeah, that video is amazing. Kind of makes me wonder if the Oculus Rift really is the future of entertainment. If it gets grandma on board, it can get everyone on board.

Posted by danm_999

@fiberpay said:

@chromule said:

@fiberpay said:

@freedomtown said:

Can I read any of your articles without having to wade through the shit of racism or feminism? There is more the journalism then stirring the pot constantly. Hell I guess I'm in the minority here, I suppose people these days like to get all riled up about shit.

Of course you can't it's a Patrick article. I've learned not to read anything but the "You should play this" part.

oh no white adult males just want to ignore all the bad stuff in the world abloo

Sorry I actually go to credible news sources for serious discussion and information regarding those subjects. I don't come to a game site to hear about it from some "game journalist".

Yes most credible media sources and non-game journalists do such a wonderful job examining those contentious issues in relation to video games.

After all, they've always played the games they discuss, and so talk about them in a way that's both accurate and in full context. They don't have the mindset games are for kids and have no inherit value, and don't jump to blame video games for tragedies.

Who can forget the wonderful coverage of Sandy Hook, where huge media outlets like CNN pointed out prominently that the shooter played Call of Duty? Or when Fox News had a segment where they called Mass Effect "Luke Skywalker meets Debbie Does Dallas". Or when a CNN op-ed called men "pathetic" compared to women and boys because they play more video games. Or the Telegraph called video games an addiction that leads to mental illness.

Yep, you sure are right. When I want a serious discussion about racism, sexism and basically any contentious issues in video gaming, I go straight to these credible mediums and these wonderful journalists that are fighting tooth and nail to stay relevant in the face of the increasingly digital and specialised news world. They're bound to tell me what's what.

Posted by Raye

They all look like super interesting reads, Patrick. Looking forward to diving into these!

Posted by BombKareshi

There's maybe one good track on that Sonic remix album.

The rest is a dime a dozen.

Posted by danm_999

@fiberpay said:

Yea because Patrick always played the games he discusses and talks about them in a way that's both accurate and in full context. He never shows both sides of a story and just jumps on the P.C. side, he's a shitty journalist at best and a scared journalist at worst.

So I assume you can prove all those things wrong, right? Did the shooter at Sandy Hook play COD? Do video games lead to addiction that leads to mental illness? Prove them wrong.

I can't help but notice you do exactly what you say those news sources do. You automatically assume i'm talking about CNN and Fox, lol gtfo.

Patrick doesn't render an opinion though, he simply creates a list of what's being said about video games on the internet. For some reason, people like yourself take that for an endorsement of what's being said and froth uncontrollably over an alleged P.C agenda.

How dare Patrick link an article written this week on the role of women protagonists in video games in an article designed to summarise what's being said on the internet about video games. He must be pushing a P.C agenda! Clearly he must agree with everything listed here, even though some things he links contradicts over things!

And if you want me to not assume you're talking about CNN or Fox or the Telegraph or the mainstream media, how about actually list wtf you're talking about when you mention 'credible news sources'.

Posted by ch3burashka

That ladder video is very touching.

Fun fact - I played through MGS3 the first time with audio off, podcasts on. Had no clue why the hell I was crawling up a ladder for 3 minutes. Made waaay more sense the second time around.

Edited by fiberpay

@danm_999: If you don't think what Patrick publishes is backing his opinion then there is no more reason for me to talk to you. Clearly you, like Patrick, can only see one side of things. Get back to me when you open your eyes and can talk about subjects without your blinders on. Just look at his sexism articles they are all completely one sided, that's something a shitty/scared journalist does. A real journalist gets the same amount of people from both sides of a scenario and lets both tell their side. He's just scared and pushes the P.C. agenda because it is easier than showing both sides.

Edited by Nate

I can't stop watching Smooth McGroove a capella videos. Thanks for that, Patrick. Dude is AMAZING.

Edited by Nettacki

@fiberpay: Just last week he posted an article that's against the #1reasonwhy campaign that he supports. That was an article that disagrees with many of his points, yet he posted the link up there anyway. Thus disproving your argument that Patrick only sees one side of the argument.

Posted by fuzzypumpkin

I just saw Smooth McGroove for the first time like 2 days ago and he is incredible. Also, MGS3 is one of my all time favorite games and that scene is one of my favorites from that game. I don't know what that says about the game or myself that climbing a ladder for upwards of 2 minutes struck such a cord with me.

Edited by fiberpay

@nettacki: If it's the one i'm thinking of, that was not actually against it. If it was, which I don't think it was, that is just one small link compared to the time he rounded up a bunch of people to back his opinions about that Dead Island bust. Points still stands, he is a shitty journalist. He needs to go make a blog or stop calling himself a journalist if he cannot show both sides of a topic. Make no mistake I am not saying he is wrong, I am saying he is a bad journalist who cannot be neutral.

Edited by Nettacki

@fiberpay: Upon closer examination, you're sorta right. The article was not entirely against #1reasonwhy as an idea, but rather how certain people use it to further their own agendas and point out things that aren't actually sexist. And I wouldn't go as far as call Patrick a "shitty" journalist, but yeah, he's got room for improvement. He claims that he doesn't need to cover the other side in his article because people in the comments section did it for him by expressing their informed opinions.

Posted by Tesla

That Metal Gear ladder tribute was perfectly sincere without taking itself too seriously. They truly captured the spirit of the game.

Posted by Sabata

Haha, "Kleepeck"