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Worth Reading - 05/24/2013

Beware of Mr. White Face, as he's always looking over your shoulder and making sure you click on the right links.

You can’t accuse the video game industry of being a boring place right now. It may be turbulent, its future uncertain, and market forces are stretching in new, untold, slightly scary directions, but there’s plenty to talk about.

We’re only a few weeks from the biggest E3 in years, and the 2013 edition is the one we’ve promised ourselves will show us brand-new video games. It's a new cycle! More money! Yeah! Increasingly, I’ve found myself shrugging at the prospect that a transitional E3 is the solution. More accurately, it’s not where I expect to find the solutions that fit my tastes. I’ll most certainly be playing plenty of AAA games in the years to come, but if my top ten list from last year was any indication, it’s not where games are resonating for me anymore, so why should I worry so much about it changing?

So...I won’t! Worst case scenario? It’s business as usual, and at some point I end up tweeting about the amount of guns and violence for the upteenth time. (I'll try not to.) Best case scenario? I’m surprised at the interesting risks video games are taking on a large scale, and we’ve all come out ahead.

Hey, You Should Play This

Anyone that tuned into Spookin’ With Scoops experienced what this is all about. I’m not going to say anything. Download this game, and come to learn who Mr. White Face is. I do not like him.

If you told me Mr. Rescue was a long-lost game from the 16-bit era, I’d believe you. Mr. Rescue has players running around an excellently pixelated series of burning buildings, putting out fires, and tossing people through windows--you know, rescuing them! The controls are tight (I couldn’t seem to climb up ladders on a gamepad, though), and the multiple game systems--water control, heat management, crowd panic--play off each other to create a deeper game than it first seems.

And You Should Read These, Too

Brendan Keogh, author of Killing is Harmless, does an excellent job introducing the queer games scene. Papers, Please and Cart Life have taken the most credit for evoking empathy from players, but it’s been happening in the queer games scene for years. Playing Anna Anthropy’s Dys4ia was particularly powerful for me. Growing up, I watched a close friend’s sibling have similar experiences with gender, and Dys4ia helped answer the questions I was too afraid to ask.

"I'm really good at luring gamer nerds in, then surprising them with a discussion about gender," she says with a sly smile. "I think making things that look like video games and play like video games and are very 'video gamey' video games is a really good way to trick people into becoming more enlightened, educated human beings."

When news about a Shadow Warrior reboot broke, it sorta broke my brain. Who wants another Shadow Warrior game? I might’ve enjoyed its blatantly over-the-top nature when I was a teen, but it didn’t take many years to realize how sexist and racist the game’s “humor” was, and none of that would fly in 2013. It’s interesting the producers of the game decided this would not be part of the new Shadow Warrior game from day one, and are focusing on the game’s other elements. Are those enough to support a brand-new game?

“We said look, there is some baggage with the original game, but we thought the elements that I described were worth it. It did some neat things, and had a very rich setting, and we were going to discard [the racial and sexist humor] elements of the original game. If some fans don’t like it, that’s unfortunate, and we think we can win them over with the other parts of the game,” he continued. “In fact, those things were, in our minds, detrimental to the original. We’re reinventing it how we think it needs to be done. If they miss that, we’re not going to be sorry, or anything like that.”

If You Click It, It Will Play

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

Far be it from me to discourage msft bashing, but this "shutting out indies" thing isn't actually news, right?They didn't change policy.

— Chris Hecker (@checker) May 24, 2013

I mean, write articles about how they should change policies, but using headlines that imply they've changed for the worse is misleading.

— Chris Hecker (@checker) May 24, 2013

Ah, the point about XBLIG going away, if true, is a step backward, although none of the others are doing anything crazy like that either?

— Chris Hecker (@checker) May 24, 2013

And by "others" I mean Sony & Nintendo.I guess we need a good definition of "self-publishing", and then we can judge them all against it.

— Chris Hecker (@checker) May 24, 2013

I'm just talking about traditional big consoles, not mobile, and basically the big 3 from M, S, & N. Ouya definitely seems "open", like iOS

— Chris Hecker (@checker) May 24, 2013

From talking to all three at the first-date stage (nothing signed), the terms for 1st party publishing are all fairly similar...

— Chris Hecker (@checker) May 24, 2013

There are differences, some have better terms, are more enthusiastic, are funnier, wear nicer deoderant, but they're not _that_ different...

— Chris Hecker (@checker) May 24, 2013

...enough to warrant the headlines I'm seeing, so I'm basically confused, and wonder if I'm missing something.

— Chris Hecker (@checker) May 24, 2013

Microsoft Announced a New Console, And People Have Thoughts

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
64 Comments
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Posted by teh_destroyer

I downloaded ImScared for my friends to pay so I can watch them get scared, should be great!

Edited by mlarrabee

It's pretty remarkable how terrifying 1000 pixels and two colors can be.

Edited by posh

the sonic xtreme article I've been waiting for. now please someone write an article about sonic extreme

Edited by gschmidl

AHAHA "as open as iOS". So completely closed and arbitrary?

Posted by TheInsider

John Riccitielo makes some good points in his article. Wonder if he will be doing more things like that. Im sure he has a lot of insight on certain matters that could make for some interesting reads.

Posted by MattClassic

Gimmick!/Mr. Gimmick is one of those games I wish I heard about a long time ago, but my first exposure was the incredible speed run from Awesome Games Done Quick:

Gimmick is a brutally hard game, maybe even the hardest on the NES, and this guy just manhandles it.

Posted by PeteyBoles

@mattclassic: I could watch 3:15-3:32 over and over again. So awesome.

Posted by BlazeHedgehog

It still kind of bums me out to read about Sonic X-treme. On some level, I had that story in my hands and I let it slip through my fingers years ago because I couldn't summon the courage to do a phone interview with Mike Wallis.

But that's how it goes, I guess. Live and learn, whatever.

Posted by MrMazz

Aw man I didn't know Anthony was leaving =( what about RebelFM?

Edited by clumsyninja1

"I'm really good at luring gamer nerds in..." yup, not creepy at all...

Posted by JucheCouture

I have been looking for that Gimmick video for literally years! I remember seeing that exact video and being impressed by how much time the guy had put into the annotations, but never being able to remember the name of the game. And now it shows up on my RSS feed. The internet is amazing.

Edited by EricSmith

Gimmick!/Mr. Gimmick is one of those games I wish I heard about a long time ago, but my first exposure was the incredible speed run from Awesome Games Done Quick:

Gimmick is a brutally hard game, maybe even the hardest on the NES, and this guy just manhandles it.

Cyghfer is a pretty awesome runner. He has a lot of great stuff out there.

Posted by BeachThunder
Posted by BigD145

Mobile games are not awesome. The are mediocre. John Riccitiello is a moron, but what's new there?

Posted by TheManWithNoPlan

I guess Rebel Fm and The Comedy Button will be changing things up.

Edited by bybeach

You know I for one am pleased that a Shadow Warrior reboot is being done, and done without the bs. But I will re-iterate I could often give a shit about ppl,s sensibilities. If one is so concerned about the gay/transgender scene in gaming, or the ever shifting line of racism and sexism, perhaps they can save a little of that for raccoon dogs...read about it sometime.

Posted by Dagbiker

On the Annoyed Gamer/Kotaku Article I didn't watch the video, but kotaku dose use misleading and often inflammatory titles to draw you in, often for articles that don't include much content, or are just information from other sites reworded and spun as their content. I don't think they do not believe what they are writing, because often they never include an opinion.

But a lot of sites do this, this news is all about a catchy headline.

But I would prefer a site with a few articles every week, like giant bomb, then a site with an article every half an hour.

Posted by TruthTellah

@dagbiker: I actually don't see the issue with those posts you screencapped. That Dragon's Crown one doesn't fit your description at all, as Schreier definitely delves into the whole exchange with Kamitani, the Dead Island statue followup was especially surprising considering the developer had apologized but still sent it out anyway, and the third one is by Brian Ashcraft and I won't really defend how silly that one is.

Posted by Hailinel

@dagbiker: I actually don't see the issue with those posts you screencapped. That Dragon's Crown one doesn't fit your description at all, as Schreier definitely delves into the whole exchange with Kamitani, the Dead Island statue followup was especially surprising considering the developer had apologized but still sent it out anyway, and the third one is by Brian Ashcraft and I won't really defend how silly that one is.

The exchange with Kamitani was predicated on Schreier's initial baiting idiocy in calling Kamitani a fourteen-year-old for the way he designed the Sorceress. It's debatable whether or not Kamitani crossed a line himself in his artistic retort, but his apology was also far more sincere and far less self-serving than Schreier turning around and milking a self-made "controversy" for attention and clicks, half-heartedly apologizing while continuing to criticize Kamitani in the same breath.

Posted by Milkman

@dagbiker: I don't understand what's wrong with any of those headlines.

Posted by TruthTellah

@hailinel said:

@truthtellah said:

@dagbiker: I actually don't see the issue with those posts you screencapped. That Dragon's Crown one doesn't fit your description at all, as Schreier definitely delves into the whole exchange with Kamitani, the Dead Island statue followup was especially surprising considering the developer had apologized but still sent it out anyway, and the third one is by Brian Ashcraft and I won't really defend how silly that one is.

The exchange with Kamitani was predicated on Schreier's initial baiting idiocy in calling Kamitani a fourteen-year-old for the way he designed the Sorceress. It's debatable whether or not Kamitani crossed a line himself in his artistic retort, but his apology was also far more sincere and far less self-serving than Schreier turning around and milking a self-made "controversy" for attention and clicks, half-heartedly apologizing while continuing to criticize Kamitani in the same breath.

But that's not what he was talking about. He was just alleging click-baiting articles with click-baity headlines, and of the many articles out there that could have possibly been pointed to, he chose poor examples. And the linked to article specifically addresses these complaints.

It's just so tired.

Edited by theanticitizen

I can see what Leigh was saying in her post but the last line was unnecessarily scathing towards gamers like me, whether it be true or not. I honestly don't like the way she writes. She brings up valid points but her attitude always turns me off from her articles.

Posted by Hailinel

@truthtellah: I know it's tired, but people wouldn't keep bringing it up if there wasn't some truth to it. People can defend Totilo's stewardship of Kotaku and Jason's better efforts all they like, but the site has a reputation for being the gaming equivalent of a trashy supermarket tabloid for a reason.

Posted by TruthTellah

@hailinel said:

@truthtellah: I know it's tired, but people wouldn't keep bringing it up if there wasn't some truth to it. People can defend Totilo's stewardship of Kotaku and Jason's better efforts all they like, but the site has a reputation for being the gaming equivalent of a trashy supermarket tabloid for a reason.

There are definitely things that keep it clinging on. Plus, people like an easy go-to symbol of their frustrations. Especially on the Internet. Its ties to Gawker don't help, of course, as it is an unabashed tabloid. But there really is a big difference between what Kotaku actually is and what some people perceive it as.

And the reasons for harping against it have changed off and on over the years. Heck, the loudest criticism I've heard over the last year has simply been that they're too liberal. That they seem to care too much about issues surrounding women in videogames. They've made a big push for more acceptance of LGBT gamers and games that appeal to a more diverse audience. Which all feel more like areas of possible disagreement, not reasons to trash them. And for all the criticism around click-bait articles, most of the examples given are usually articles that don't even garner as many clicks as rudimentary trailer articles. A few weeks back, someone made a big stink here on Giant Bomb about some article that they alleged was horrendous and just out to get views with its headline, but when I looked at it, it was one of the least viewed and lowest commented articles that day. And that's not a rare example when it comes to really clickbaity sounding articles, as most people are not half as dumb as many critics seem to suggest. Topics worth interest generally get more interest.

Also, as the Annoyed Gamer article mentions, contrary to popular belief, Kotaku writers are almost all salaried workers who don't get more money for specific articles exploding with views. People often allege quick cash in articles, but it doesn't even make sense with the reality. To me, the most reasonable criticism is that a lot of their content is blips, trailers, press releases, or simple fluff surrounding their more substantial articles and commentary. That's a fine enough reason for someone to possibly prefer looking elsewhere. But the reality is that they're hardly alone in that. And most of the enduring criticisms of Kotaku are really just frustrations people have with gaming media in general.

Posted by NoelVeiga

Oh, I'm SO glad Patrick wasn't just posting a link to Marcus Beer's absolutely atrocious video and instead to a piece calling him out on the crap he pulled.

Not only was it gross to see him berate another games journalist for the exact same stunt he pulls for a living (I mean, he calls himself "Annoyed Gamer", and lives up to that name), but the stuff he called out was just weird, either because Hernandez hadn't done what he was saying she did or because the stuff he criticised was so off the mark.

The article Patrick links breaks it down pretty well, but it skips the one moment that made me cringe really hard and vow to never click on his content again: He's talking about the complaints about Sony not having women on-stage. Fair enough, one can believe that Sony just didn't think of it or that the way their current corporate layer is aligned meant there weren't any naturally lined up (which is a different problem that many corporations have).

BUT.

But then Beer presents his alternate scenario, why he thinks this is trolling and Sony couldn't win in the eyes of Patricia Hernandez.

Because "if Sony had turned around and put a hot girl up there, an atractive woman in a tight outfit, looking amazing who delivered her stuff and delivered her stuff brilliantly, we would have seen an article saying 'Oh, they only put her up there because she has big boobs'"

Ew. Eeeeeeew. The implication, if you're keeping track, is that if Sony had put a woman on stage, it would have been a model. Because women are models, get it? They're not game developers or executives or producers or designers, get it? Or maybe he thought that they are those things, but that had the woman been attractive, the commentary she would have garnered would have been about her looks. From Patricia Hernandez. Right.

Also, as a secondary cringe-worthy thing about that sentence? Note the implication that an attractive Sony exec or developer on stage would have been wearing "a tight outfit". For the record, the two female Microsoft execs that spoke on their conference were wearing a suit and a denim jacket, I think. That may be the one thing nobody has complained about yet.

Gah. It's one thing to hear that shit on comments. Commenters are commenters, there's a degree of bullshit that is (unfortunately) expected, but as I watched that video from a guy that does this professionally I was shifting in my seat. It was really unpleasant, and I only made it through because I kept hoping he was going to tone it down, or claim it had all been a joke before it was over.

Posted by FTomato

Every single Twitter user I've ever talked to uses it solely to follow people they're interested in, not to talk to their friends. Twitter is basically useless without having a lot of followers, and people who aren't celebrities or who produce internet content don't have people interested in following them. There are better ways to communicate with groups <10 people. That twitter article is flawed in the most basic way.

Posted by mbr2

@gschmidl said:

AHAHA "as open as iOS". So completely closed and arbitrary?

Did you even read the previous tweets? He's talking about it in the context of putting stuff (or publishing for you cool kids) on there. Anybody can do it.

Edited by mtfikhan

I'm gonna miss Anthony Gallegos. Brap Brap.

Edited by dropabombonit

Another great worth reading. I will miss Anthony, no more turtle or star wars talk on Up at Noon now :(

Posted by Linkster7

Why have I not heard of Gimmick before? I'm even Scandinavian!

Posted by KDR_11k

I had a firefighter game for the Game Boy, Mr. Rescue reminds me a bit of that.

Posted by ThreePi

I'm disappointed at the removal of the humor in Shadow Warrior. People don't seem to be able to differentiate between actual racism and a parody of racism. At some point the stereotypes go so over-the-top into the level of the absurd that you can't take it seriously as racism. It's akin to the fake trailer in Grindhouse by Rob Zombie, Werewulf Women of the SS. Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu is a joke, not actual racism. Women with large breasts and ample cleavage in Nazi uniforms is a joke, not actual sexism.

Edited by posh

@threepi said:

I'm disappointed at the removal of the humor in Shadow Warrior. People don't seem to be able to differentiate between actual racism and a parody of racism. At some point the stereotypes go so over-the-top into the level of the absurd that you can't take it seriously as racism. It's akin to the fake trailer in Grindhouse by Rob Zombie, Werewulf Women of the SS. Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu is a joke, not actual racism. Women with large breasts and ample cleavage in Nazi uniforms is a joke, not actual sexism.

it's not parodying sexism and racism, it's normalising it. it isn't explicitly denouncing it, it's using it as a feature. also, it isn't funny at all

Posted by ThreePi

So when South Park's Mr. Kim misprounces "City Wok" as "Shitty Wok" and Cartman dons large fake teeth, squints, and wears a conical hat, that's just normalising racism right? And they should be taken to task for that?

Posted by KDR_11k

@threepi said:

I'm disappointed at the removal of the humor in Shadow Warrior. People don't seem to be able to differentiate between actual racism and a parody of racism. At some point the stereotypes go so over-the-top into the level of the absurd that you can't take it seriously as racism. It's akin to the fake trailer in Grindhouse by Rob Zombie, Werewulf Women of the SS. Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu is a joke, not actual racism. Women with large breasts and ample cleavage in Nazi uniforms is a joke, not actual sexism.

Poe's law.

Edited by SatelliteOfLove

The thing that gets me about that Shadow Warrior deal is similar to the Syndicate and OG Xcom reboots: Why the fuck are you bothering with an IP if you're not working it's memory or shouldn't? This fucking industry, I swear.

Also, fuck yeah, Mr. Gimmick!

Edited by Praise_the_sun

Wow, Gimmick! looks/sounds incredible

Posted by pingolobo

In my opinion. I think Kotaku sucks. I think they like to get clicks by doing spoilers and trying to create controversy where there is none.

Posted by Hailinel

@hailinel said:

@truthtellah: I know it's tired, but people wouldn't keep bringing it up if there wasn't some truth to it. People can defend Totilo's stewardship of Kotaku and Jason's better efforts all they like, but the site has a reputation for being the gaming equivalent of a trashy supermarket tabloid for a reason.

There are definitely things that keep it clinging on. Plus, people like an easy go-to symbol of their frustrations. Especially on the Internet. Its ties to Gawker don't help, of course, as it is an unabashed tabloid. But there really is a big difference between what Kotaku actually is and what some people perceive it as.

And the reasons for harping against it have changed off and on over the years. Heck, the loudest criticism I've heard over the last year has simply been that they're too liberal. That they seem to care too much about issues surrounding women in videogames. They've made a big push for more acceptance of LGBT gamers and games that appeal to a more diverse audience. Which all feel more like areas of possible disagreement, not reasons to trash them. And for all the criticism around click-bait articles, most of the examples given are usually articles that don't even garner as many clicks as rudimentary trailer articles. A few weeks back, someone made a big stink here on Giant Bomb about some article that they alleged was horrendous and just out to get views with its headline, but when I looked at it, it was one of the least viewed and lowest commented articles that day. And that's not a rare example when it comes to really clickbaity sounding articles, as most people are not half as dumb as many critics seem to suggest. Topics worth interest generally get more interest.

Also, as the Annoyed Gamer article mentions, contrary to popular belief, Kotaku writers are almost all salaried workers who don't get more money for specific articles exploding with views. People often allege quick cash in articles, but it doesn't even make sense with the reality. To me, the most reasonable criticism is that a lot of their content is blips, trailers, press releases, or simple fluff surrounding their more substantial articles and commentary. That's a fine enough reason for someone to possibly prefer looking elsewhere. But the reality is that they're hardly alone in that. And most of the enduring criticisms of Kotaku are really just frustrations people have with gaming media in general.

I'm not going to defend the Annoyed Gamer piece; I find Beers full of himself, and in general refuse to take any internet personality that markets him or herself with the line "________ Gamer" seriously. I don't care if you're annoyed, irate, incensed, pissy, edgy, sexy, or whatever.

That aside, regardless of what other reasons others might have for beating up on Kotaku, I have my own, and I'm going to stick to them. They employ some truly horrendous writers on their staff; Luke Plunkett alone is one of the single worst so-called-journalists working in the industry today. I can't imagine him being employable at any publication that isn't owned by Gawker (save perhaps Polygon since his original Kotaku boss now works there).

Their 'throwing shit up on the site and seeing what sticks" mentality lowers the quality of their content overall and makes it harder to take take their content that's actually thoughtful and well-written seriously because those articles are like islands in a sea of shit. I should note that it's been years since I've intentionally visited the site, other than to take bait like Schreier's and read what people are complaining about so I can be at least informed enough to form a valid opinion of my own (then I close my browser in disgust for going there).

Here's what I recall from the days when I used to visit Kotaku on a regular basis:

  • The same general content-to-quality ratio as exists today (i.e.: islands in a sea of shit).
  • The rambling incoherence of Tim Rogers being mistaken for some sort of deep commentary (I guess? I still don't understand why they let that clown write for them. Certainly not for his complete lack of skill as a writer.)
  • The general feeling that the staff treated their readers as plebians, with a promotion start system based on the whims of what the staff found amusing more than informative. God help you if you express an opinion contrary to or attempt to correct certain staff.
  • Weird, creepy articles. Did you know that Aya Brea is thirty-eight years old in The 3rd Birthday? Did you? Let me tell you this in an article based on this one fact alone in three paragraphs with an intensely weird, obsessive focus.
  • A general atmosphere of a frat boy mentality completely lacking in any manner of professionalism, where the writers seem free to just write whatever the fuck they want without consequence while enabling those readers that worship their shenanigans.

Eventually, I just had enough of their bullshit. Kotaku has a long, long, long way to go in suggesting to me that they've changed in any way for the better, and Schreier being a dick to someone and then using the reaction for his own gain doesn't help.

Posted by Dagbiker

@dagbiker: I actually don't see the issue with those posts you screencapped. That Dragon's Crown one doesn't fit your description at all, as Schreier definitely delves into the whole exchange with Kamitani, the Dead Island statue followup was especially surprising considering the developer had apologized but still sent it out anyway, and the third one is by Brian Ashcraft and I won't really defend how silly that one is.

I was referring to the fact that they are all within a 6 hour time frame. from 6:30 am ( Exactly ) to 12pm. And those were only the ''click bate'' If they are putting out an article every hour then how much time can they really be spending on the articles?

Posted by CustomOtto

@threepi said:

So when South Park's Mr. Kim misprounces "City Wok" as "Shitty Wok" and Cartman dons large fake teeth, squints, and wears a conical hat, that's just normalising racism right? And they should be taken to task for that?

yes

Posted by martyarf

@threepi said:

So when South Park's Mr. Kim misprounces "City Wok" as "Shitty Wok" and Cartman dons large fake teeth, squints, and wears a conical hat, that's just normalising racism right? And they should be taken to task for that?

Yes.

Edited by TruthTellah

@hailinel said:

@truthtellah said:

@hailinel said:

@truthtellah: I know it's tired, but people wouldn't keep bringing it up if there wasn't some truth to it. People can defend Totilo's stewardship of Kotaku and Jason's better efforts all they like, but the site has a reputation for being the gaming equivalent of a trashy supermarket tabloid for a reason.

There are definitely things that keep it clinging on. Plus, people like an easy go-to symbol of their frustrations. Especially on the Internet. Its ties to Gawker don't help, of course, as it is an unabashed tabloid. But there really is a big difference between what Kotaku actually is and what some people perceive it as.

And the reasons for harping against it have changed off and on over the years. Heck, the loudest criticism I've heard over the last year has simply been that they're too liberal. That they seem to care too much about issues surrounding women in videogames. They've made a big push for more acceptance of LGBT gamers and games that appeal to a more diverse audience. Which all feel more like areas of possible disagreement, not reasons to trash them. And for all the criticism around click-bait articles, most of the examples given are usually articles that don't even garner as many clicks as rudimentary trailer articles. A few weeks back, someone made a big stink here on Giant Bomb about some article that they alleged was horrendous and just out to get views with its headline, but when I looked at it, it was one of the least viewed and lowest commented articles that day. And that's not a rare example when it comes to really clickbaity sounding articles, as most people are not half as dumb as many critics seem to suggest. Topics worth interest generally get more interest.

Also, as the Annoyed Gamer article mentions, contrary to popular belief, Kotaku writers are almost all salaried workers who don't get more money for specific articles exploding with views. People often allege quick cash in articles, but it doesn't even make sense with the reality. To me, the most reasonable criticism is that a lot of their content is blips, trailers, press releases, or simple fluff surrounding their more substantial articles and commentary. That's a fine enough reason for someone to possibly prefer looking elsewhere. But the reality is that they're hardly alone in that. And most of the enduring criticisms of Kotaku are really just frustrations people have with gaming media in general.

I'm not going to defend the Annoyed Gamer piece; I find Beers full of himself, and in general refuse to take any internet personality that markets him or herself with the line "________ Gamer" seriously. I don't care if you're annoyed, irate, incensed, pissy, edgy, sexy, or whatever.

That aside, regardless of what other reasons others might have for beating up on Kotaku, I have my own, and I'm going to stick to them. They employ some truly horrendous writers on their staff; Luke Plunkett alone is one of the single worst so-called-journalists working in the industry today. I can't imagine him being employable at any publication that isn't owned by Gawker (save perhaps Polygon since his original Kotaku boss now works there).

Their 'throwing shit up on the site and seeing what sticks" mentality lowers the quality of their content overall and makes it harder to take take their content that's actually thoughtful and well-written seriously because those articles are like islands in a sea of shit. I should note that it's been years since I've intentionally visited the site, other than to take bait like Schreier's and read what people are complaining about so I can be at least informed enough to form a valid opinion of my own (then I close my browser in disgust for going there).

Here's what I recall from the days when I used to visit Kotaku on a regular basis:

  • The same general content-to-quality ratio as exists today (i.e.: islands in a sea of shit).
  • The rambling incoherence of Tim Rogers being mistaken for some sort of deep commentary (I guess? I still don't understand why they let that clown write for them. Certainly not for his complete lack of skill as a writer.)
  • The general feeling that the staff treated their readers as plebians, with a promotion start system based on the whims of what the staff found amusing more than informative. God help you if you express an opinion contrary to or attempt to correct certain staff.
  • Weird, creepy articles. Did you know that Aya Brea is thirty-eight years old in The 3rd Birthday? Did you? Let me tell you this in an article based on this one fact alone in three paragraphs with an intensely weird, obsessive focus.
  • A general atmosphere of a frat boy mentality completely lacking in any manner of professionalism, where the writers seem free to just write whatever the fuck they want without consequence while enabling those readers that worship their shenanigans.

Eventually, I just had enough of their bullshit. Kotaku has a long, long, long way to go in suggesting to me that they've changed in any way for the better, and Schreier being a dick to someone and then using the reaction for his own gain doesn't help.

I'm not sure those particular criticisms are as relevant today. I do think it's fair to not want to sift through lesser content to get to better content, but it's easier than ever to just find what you want to check out. I wouldn't ever suggest that Kotaku is a site for everyone, but it has its certain appeal. Though, for me personally, my enjoyment of other commenters on the site has been the backbone of why I still visit there at all.

As far as those specific complaints, I'll say this.

  • This is a criticism I'd agree with. While I wouldn't say it's all shit, a decent amount of content is not really important. Like trailers and little press releases.
  • I rarely, if ever, see Tim Rogers posts anymore. If his linkedin profile didn't indicate that he still contributes to them, I wouldn't even know that he does. He doesn't have anywhere near the presence he once had.
  • Thankfully, this has improved -a lot-. I have been a champion for Kotaku commenters for a long time now, and I agree that, a few years ago, things were a lot worse. I did not appreciate how the Gawker mentality against commenters hurt the site. Fortunately, Kotaku has gone in a good direction since Totilo came in. He has recognized how much Kotaku commenters can contribute, and there is even a dedicated sister site to Kotaku called Talk Amongst Yourselves which allows commenters to create articles which are occasionally highlighted on Kotaku proper. Commenting is also improved, with much more acceptance of opposing viewpoints. Totilo really seems to have changed the tone, and having talked to him myself, I think he has been big in steering the site in a good direction.
  • I would say those creepier articles are relatively down. Their Japanese and Chinese contributors provide more interesting content, even if it is sometimes wierd as well. Brian Ashcraft seems to have improved a bit since settling down with his wife, and while he still does enjoy weirder stories from Japan, it's a lot less creepy. Now, it's more like just fun oddities or silliness.
  • There has been a bit of a shift on this, as well. Totilo really does seem to believe in professionalism, but he does try to strike a balance when it comes to the tone. Their bigger push on looking at games seriously has led to a decent push for women in gaming and social issues within games, but they also think it's alright to just have fun with games. So, it's more like people that take gaming seriously but still have a sense of humor. And as mentioned above, writers don't just enable bad habits in commenters anymore. I'd say they're not too different from GB commenters; though, maybe with a tad less cynicism.

Now, I can understand still choosing to go elsewhere for gaming news, but I think it's an alright place to go if you can get through some of its rough spots. Though, that can be said of most sites. Just gotta browse at your own discretion. Different sites for different folks. :)

Posted by MariachiMacabre

@threepi said:

So when South Park's Mr. Kim misprounces "City Wok" as "Shitty Wok" and Cartman dons large fake teeth, squints, and wears a conical hat, that's just normalising racism right? And they should be taken to task for that?

Yes. Obviously. Not only is that not funny, it's racist, it's mean-spirited and it's fucking LAAAZY comedy. But expecting anything but gross, lazy "comedy" from South Park is asking too much, I suppose.

Posted by Andorski

@gschmidl said:

AHAHA "as open as iOS". So completely closed and arbitrary?

Other than Android, iOS is the most open "game" platform. The ability to self publish content and have it go up in the iTunes store beats out the flexibility of Steam. Apple's requirements are extremely lax (for better and for worse), and rarely ban games based on content. Their banning of controversial games is extremely trivial compared to the three console makers.

Posted by dr_mantas

@threepi said:

So when South Park's Mr. Kim misprounces "City Wok" as "Shitty Wok" and Cartman dons large fake teeth, squints, and wears a conical hat, that's just normalising racism right? And they should be taken to task for that?

No.

Posted by Crembaw

@patrickklepek Would you be at all interested in someone shooting a download link for Yume Nikki your way?

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