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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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Edited by mrfluke

Typo on Mattie Price, supposed to be Mattie Brice

Posted by Turpskadey

Lay the goodness on me, Scoops. I need to think about vidja games for a while.

Posted by Limiter31

That ladder video is very touching.

Posted by TruthTellah

Seeing a new Giant Bomb article after the Boston hunt finally ended feels like the world is getting back to normal. :)

Posted by ichthy

I've heard a lot of remixes and renditions of Bloody Tears. That one may be the best yet.

Posted by Colourful_Hippie

That oculus rift video, oh man.

Edited by TurboMan

If anyone is offended by Guacamelee!, then I suggest taking a long and hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: "Am I a real person?"

Posted by Mumrik

I was more offended by how broken a co-op experience Guacamelee is. To protect your sanity one player has to bubble up and let the other do all the world-switching platforming puzzles solo.

Edited by posh
@turboman said:

If anyone is offended by Guacamelee!, then I suggest taking a long and hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: "Am I a real person?"

i don't think that's for you to say

Edited by Gold_Skulltulla

While Pippin Barr's Safety Instructions is worth playing, people should really check out his recent, hilarious Mumble Indie Bungle package that just came out pretty recently, and includes riffs on popular indie titles in World of Glue, and Carp Life.

Edited by Bumpton

:( I can't do the nightmare difficulty on Safety Instructions. I will never know the glory that Patrick alludes to. This will drive me insane.

Edited by RecSpec

@turboman said:

If anyone is offended by Guacamelee!, then I suggest taking a long and hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: "Am I a real person?"

WE. THE PEOPLE.

Posted by Fobwashed

Great set of links as usual. I'd love to read more on what devs think about either being called out for copying other games or about being copied from. Games as a whole is such an iterative industry and with the increase in smaller bite sized games, I think this will only become a larger problem that needs to be addresed.

Posted by Biddy

Daft Punk?

Edited by Deathpooky

I didn't not spend half an hour watching acapella video game songs by a bearded man.

Posted by Gyrfal

@patrickklepek The Namco Tales thing has the wrong link attached to it.

Edited by redelectric

See this is why I LOVE Jaffe. Absolutely love him. Unashamedly.

Edited by Epidehl

@patrickklepek The Tales series producer link is the same as the Howling Dogs, just so ya know.

That Edge thing is super weird, I remember hearing about it on the bombcast before at some point, I think during all the Trenched stuff.

Edited by jozzy

@bumpton said:

:( I can't do the nightmare difficulty on Safety Instructions. I will never know the glory that Patrick alludes to. This will drive me insane.

Me neither, can't type that fast...

Edited by namesonkel

Howly dawgz?

Posted by radioactivez0r

I couldn't find a way to send a PM, so - the first part of the link to Koster's letter is actually linking to Price's post, up to the word "designer". Seemed silly to tweet that.

Posted by Chaser324

I feel like No-one Has to Die should have been in this week's "Hey, You Should Play This". It seems like exactly the sort of thing Patrick, or any fan of things like 999 and VLR, would be in to.

Moderator Online
Posted by patrickklepek

I couldn't find a way to send a PM, so - the first part of the link to Koster's letter is actually linking to Price's post, up to the word "designer". Seemed silly to tweet that.

I'll fix!

Staff
Edited by JYoung

That grandma was going out of her mind!

Posted by ArbitraryWater

I wish I was a skilled enough typer for nightmare mode, but alas.... tis not so.

Posted by MrMazz

I did find what Jaffe had to say to be halfbacked and what he said about Leigh was mean. BUT I would of kick started the SHIT out of that kickstarter! O to dream.

As always I love this post right amount of whimsy and other good shit that I don't see

Posted by FrostedMiniWheats

The "Tales of" link leads to the Howling Dogs page. And the Howling Dogs link also leads to the Howling Dogs page. Could you please change it so one of these leads to the Tales Of retrospective?

Edited by Phatmac

Love the ladder sequence video. It's sums up my love for MGS rather well.

Posted by FreedomTown

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.

Posted by napalmtrees

@bumpton said:

:( I can't do the nightmare difficulty on Safety Instructions. I will never know the glory that Patrick alludes to. This will drive me insane.

I ended up cheating using a hotkey editor. I feel kinda dirty, but it was worth it.

Posted by Wilshere

Papers, Please is great. Google it and download the beta from Lucas Pope's website.

I wish the feedback of your actions was more subtle and delayed. Right now you just get a message that you screwed up something. I think it will be way more effective if the player had to wait for the next day's newspaper to find out that someone slipped through and committed a terrorist act or something else. Then you can have that guilt stuck with you while trying your best to prevent another slip through the system.

Hopefully he already has plans to change it. I'd tweet him if i had an account.

Posted by yoshimitz707
Posted by Hailinel

That giant cat boss in Other M is balls-hard, guys. You wouldn't believe the amount of health it has. And it doesn't even attack or anything!

Posted by Scottish_Sin

That Grandma Oculus Rift video is great.

Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials

Typing class flashbacks. If I had just mastered the homerow, maybe I could finish this stupid game.

Posted by NovaDTH

Please tell me it's not possible to do the very final safety instruction on nightmare mode. I might go mental if I have to go through that again.

If that's the actual ending it did get a good "heh" out of me.

Posted by TurboMan

@posh said:
@turboman said:

If anyone is offended by Guacamelee!, then I suggest taking a long and hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself: "Am I a real person?"

i don't think that's for you to say

How many articles are out there about how many italian stereotypes there are for Mario and Luigi? Bad Accents, Plumbers, love Pizza and Meatballs.

No, nobody is upset over this because there's nothing to be upset about. It seems like there was just a writer over at Kotaku that is trying too hard to come up with something to write about.

Edited by dr_mantas

Great stuff, Pawtrick!

Edited by McGhee

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.

Edited by TournamentOfHate

That bit about you/Giant Bomb from Patrick Miller is amazing, and true from where I'm sitting. GB 4 Life!

Edited by danm_999
@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.

Posted by WhiteThought

It's like Patrick Miller said, I'm always coming back every Friday for this feature and it's because of your personality, same as with the rest of the GB Crew, on and off camera. So thanks for being you, as cliche as that sounds :)

Posted by Gregner
Edited by obonicus

That Raph Koster discussion string is something else; Robin (Robert?) Yang seems to seriously use 'oppression' in describing opinions contrary to her own. Raph's letter is also terribly masturbatory; he presumes to try and formalize aspects of game design that people can barely put into words. It comes down to 'mechanics' are important, which you'd think would be a truism, except Yang actually goes out of her way to disagree with it. Luckily this sort of indie developer is being crowded out by the sort that actually makes games people want to play.

Posted by Scrawnto

@jozzy said:

@bumpton said:

:( I can't do the nightmare difficulty on Safety Instructions. I will never know the glory that Patrick alludes to. This will drive me insane.

Me neither, can't type that fast...

I can barely make it to the first comma in nightmare before I run out of time.

Edited by e30bmw

See this is why I LOVE Jaffe. Absolutely love him. Unashamedly.

Same here. He is one of those people I can just listen talk about whatever for forever. The E3 Bombcast that he was on was absolutely mesmerizing. @patrickklepek, please make that happen again this year, if you can.

Posted by carnifexseverian

God damn, Jaffe fucking rules. He's out of his mind yet he makes so much sense. Giantbomb needs a "Jaffe keepin' it real" weekly video feature.

Edited by eroticfishcake

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

Edited by fiberpay

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.

Posted by bgdiner

Snakkeeee Eaatteerrr!

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