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Worth Reading: 11/01/2013

We bid farewell to Shocktober, and look ahead to the future. It's full of links, man.

October, better known as Shocktober, has disappeared in a flash. We hardly knew ye, but I’ve gotta admit I’m a little burned out on talking about horror games so much. Even I need a break.

I'm no artist, but I tried. Happy Halloween, Ryan.

It was fun to open up the Spookin’ With Scoops floodgates this week to the whole Giant Bomb audience, since the website was down and, thus, the premium video player wouldn’t work properly. It pushed me to play for nearly three hours, and made me think 24 hours of horror might be a worthy goal in 2014. Who wouldn’t want a reason to play through every Fatal Frame game?

What makes Japanese horror so creepy? Fatal Frame got me thinking. (For the record, if you were wondering if a horror game from 2003 holds up, a decade hasn’t made a dent in Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly’s ability to be scary as hell.) Maybe it’s because so much of Japanese horror doesn’t try dressing up what’s most plausibly scary: the people around us. The Ring, Ju-on, Pulse, and others are so terrifying because it makes us running for the hills from the closely familiar, not a mummified creature. It’s why zombies work.

Fatal Frame, especially, was so ahead of its time. The camera “weapon” was Tecmo recognizing the genre’s advantages in limiting player agency against enemies, but unlike the current trend in horror, it didn’t make the player completely helpless. Let me tell you, though, when a ghost is screaming and running at you, a camera doesn’t make you feel very powerful.

I’ve said it a million times before, but I’m hoping for the Beetlejuice effect here: Nintendo and Tecmo should make a Fatal Frame for the Wii U. The GamePad makes way too much sense.

Please.

(At the very least, I’m excited the developer of the Siren series hopes to return to horror.)

Hey, You Should Play This

And You Should Read These, Too

Part of the beauty in Grand Theft Auto comes from what players do within the seemingly infinite freedom provided by the world built by Rockstar Games. But GTA does not simulate everything, and it only builds in particular directions, the ones Rockstar wants to encourage. When it comes to player expression in other forms, you’re limited. Within those limitations, however, is where magic can happen. On the Media’s producer PJ Vogt passes on his intimate experience with another while playing Grand Theft Auto Online, and it gives you pause about what Rockstar might be able to do in the future, should it choose to give players more opportunities to interact with one another. (Also, On the Media is a terrific podcast about media coverage.)

“ProX drove me to an airfield and showed me a military helicopter I’d never seen before. The police were still chasing us. We left his car and flew off towards the sunset and the Pacific Ocean, out of the law’s reach.

This is the point where I realized that maybe, perhaps, I was on a date. Players in GTA rarely cooperate, with the exception of those situations where the game makes it literally impossible not to. ProX had saved me from death or arrest. And now he was peacocking, flying the helicopter low over the Pacific Ocean, and then threading it through the mountains around GTA’s version of Los Angeles.”

One of the features I’ve been kicking around is a look as cosplay. I don’t know anything about the world of cosplay, and given the gender issues I’ve written about in the past, I’m left with some questions about it. It's about empowerment, it's about a fantasy. What else? This essay by cosplayer Maddy Myers begins to fill in the gaps. Myers is a regular cosplayer, even going so far as to participate in masquerade competitions that require entrants to develop comedic skits and pre-record audio. That’s hardcore, and sounds utterly terrifying. Her commentary on what she gets out of it is interesting:

“The high of getting to embody a character I had already pretended to be in virtual form (and longed to be in real life) felt addictive—as addictive as escaping into a videogame’s power fantasy. Everybody had recognized me, had known me, and had seen me as a hero, just as the world of Final Fantasy X-2 loves Yuna. I had performed for a crowd to applause, and I had walked around the hallways getting treated like a magical, world-saving pop star. It was easy to forget that the “me” everybody recognized and respected wasn’t me at all.”

If You Click It, It Will Play

Like it or Not, Crowdfunding Isn't Going Away

  • If we're reviving all these other games, sure, why not another 7th Guest?
  • Can someone explain to me what the appeal is of games like HuniePop? I don't get it.
  • Been looking for a new game to scratch the strategy itch. Maybe Confederate Express is it.

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

Want Some Steam Codes for Paranormal?

  • C7I4M-BZWP6-P5T8D
  • CJ58T-VRAQB-ZAIGN
  • TL3WH-HT82I-8M7LC
  • JKMXZ-C62GL-3XN2J
  • 90N0C-ZTN9B-TDT6E

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
49 Comments
Edited by FUMN

HAPPY HALLOWEEN and Thanks for the Steamcode!

Posted by djm389

Holy crap, I can't believe I have went through 29 years of life without seeing that Siskel and Ebert clip. That may be the single best thing ever recorded on tape.

Edited by jimmyfenix

Stupid Gas companies :@

Oh also since FFX-2 is mentioned here WHERE IS THE HD COLLECTION SQUARE?

Edited by RonGalaxy

Why wait until 2014? Extra life starts tomorrow. Instead GB having 48 hours of live streams, you should go on monday and make it 72 hours.

Also, Siskel and Ebert were so perfect together. I don't think film critique will ever see as amazing of a duo ever again (hopefully I'm wrong).

Posted by RetroVirus

Haha, those old commercials after the Siskel and Ebert segment were fun. Commercials today so different.

Edited by mrfluke

WHA?!!11, NO CONTROVERSY THIS WEEK EITHER??!!!11.

I WANT MY CONTROVERSY SO THAT I CAN HATE MY TASTES AND EVERYONE ELSES!!!111

DAMMM WORTH READING CHANGED YO!!!!1!!11

(there's going to be one overly-sensitive person that takes the above statement the wrong way, so this is me saying im kidding around and im just being stupid.)

but for reals now great set of links this week. i like how the the gamestop story was presented, it was very even, presented both sides of a scenario and didnt really take a slant on a subject.

and i hope you do a cosplay feature patrick, itill give you the perspective that some of the "questionable" female character designs that US journalists look down on, some of these ladies wear said questionable costumes with genuine stride, and they actually don't get much creepy comments (SOME dont, i dont deny there will be cosplayers that get the creeps) , they get genuine support from strangers. its interesting.

also nice job on getting worth reading done heck of early.

Posted by tucah

I read the description really quickly and thought it said "We bid farewell to Shoemaker," got scared for a second.

Edited by HoboZero
Edited by Marokai

Hopefully Jim Sterling finds a good place for himself. Bummer to see him leave Destructoid. What does that site have left, at this point, anyway? It feels like they've been completely drained of all their notable talent.

Online
Posted by GaspoweR
Edited by MonkeyKing1969

I think it is odd how often 'accidental catfishing' occurs online. I know for a fact that my female avatar and my not using the microphone HAS confused several men with GTA V online.

- Could it be this is a game that people who do not play much multiplayer online do play, is this such a big game that this is many 15-45 y.o. men's first online game?

- Could it be that there really are men out there who could not possibly conceive of playing as a female avatar online, so that they honestly don't think it could possibly be a man in those boots, short-shorts, and tanktop?

- Could it bet that some man even if it a 60/40 chance it s a dude on the other side still don't want to ruin it by asking. They just 'like to think' it is a women, because the illusion is nice...why ruin it with facts.

Whatever the reason, so many men seem drawn in by the honey pot of a female avatar. I have had several dozen instances in a dozen games of men trying to pick me up online. It is like they don't see my masculine sounding PSN/XBL user name. But, the sobering fact for these men should be - NOT ONCE - has a woman befriended my female avatar hoping I'd be female. Nor, have they tried to chat-me-up when I'm in a game as a male avatar.

Women gamers seemingly know what is what, who is who, and are not tripped up by false hopes as much. Men seem always confounded by fining a dude on the other side of a female avatar EVERY TIME. I don't know what that is the case, maybe science can tell us.

If Mark Twain were alive today woudl he instead attribute to 19th-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881): "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and the gender on the other side of a online game avatar."

Posted by SgtSphynx

Nintendo and Tecmo should make a Fatal Frame for the Wii U. The GamePad makes way too much sense.

I've been saying this since the Wii U was introduced.

Edited by jiggajoe14

What?! Jim Sterling's leaving Destructoid?! Damn it I've grown to really enjoy his writing and reviews.

Posted by Pat

The Siskel and Ebert video is incredible.

Posted by Parsnip

So I looked at the HuniePop kickstarter, and one of the physical item rewards are collectable tissue boxes. They sure know their audience.

Posted by Nekroskop

Chris Plante is a cunt as always.

Posted by TournamentOfHate

First time I saw Jim Sterling was in his Jimquisitions on The Escapist this year where he just went after Microsoft after the XBone got announced. That guy calls out publishers like nobody else I've seen. Plus he's funny as shit.

Edited by yeliwofthecorn

The fact that Gawker is now higher ranked than NYT fills my soul with a deep sadness.

Edited by MATATAT

One of my friends in college was a GameStop manager before she went to school. She mentioned on several occasions that at her store they would basically only consider you if you had boobs or you were friends with someone who already worked there. They thought more people would come and buy stuff if there were more girls. She also had similar experience of being hit on all the time and being treated differently as a female.

Posted by Neox

That Grandmother playing GTA V, was both hysterical and adorable.

Posted by FLStyle

"Hello, what do you do for a living? Work for British Gas do you? You wanker!" *kick up the arse*

Posted by noizy

@gaspower: I am going to get a Swatch Internet Time android app to piss people off at work. Call meetings in Beats.

Edited by YummyTreeSap

Hey @patrickklepek, sorry if you've mentioned it already, but have you seen the Kickstarter for Night In the Woods? Made by the guy behind Aquaria, and it kinda looks like the best thing ever. Already met its goal so maybe it's not worth funding by now, but still!

Edited by scottygrayskull

This site doesn't talk about Internet Swatch Time enough anymore. :(

Also... "Jim Sterling is moving on from Destructoid. Smart dude." Had to reread that, first thought was meant as a diss to Destructoid. :p

Posted by pingolobo

HOW TO TRICK YOUR GILRFRIEND INTO...

Go girlpower. But don't misslead or nag to us.

Come on, Patrick. I was expecting something funny and you sent us to a lecture.

Not necessary. Not cool.

Edited by GaspoweR

@noizy said:

@gaspower: I am going to get a Swatch Internet Time android app to piss people off at work. Call meetings in Beats.

I bless you on your endeavor.

Edited by ptys

"Fatal Frame for the Wii U. The GamePad makes way too much sense." Apart from the fact that no one would have access to it and it would look 5 years dated already, but ok, down for some modern Fatal Frame.

Edited by MrKlorox

Step 1. Print out monochrome image scaled to fill a full 8"x11" sheet of paper.

Step 2. Tape printed sheet of paper to pumpkin to use as an outline.

Step 3. Poke holes along the outline of said image along straight edges, including inside and outside edges, adding more holes around curves.

Step 4. Play "connect the dots" along the path laid out by the holes poked using a knife suitable for pumpkin carving.

Step 5. Use toothpicks to strategically hold weaker joints in place after bulk of image has been cut out.

Step 6. Shove a candle up in that shit, crack open a beer, and revel in the glory of tracing an image and carving it into a pumpkin.

Edited by Hailinel

@ptys said:

"Fatal Frame for the Wii U. The GamePad makes way too much sense." Apart from the fact that no one would have access to it and it would look 5 years dated already. Vita/PS4 makes more sense to me.

Graphics aren't everything. Fatal Frame II is still scary as hell, and that's a PS2 game.

Edited by Shivoa

From reading over the KS pitch for HuniePop, I'm going to say the appeal is potentially a good game. Will this be a Persona (with match 3 rather than RPG battles and a less linear story, kinda vs Puzzle Quest) in a more traditional dating sim package? I doubt it (if it is then I hope some reviews get out, that sounds like it could be worth playing). I hadn't heard of it and don't expect to play it. But it isn't as if I can't see where that could be appealing.

@patrickklepek: As someone who has, only after 'I Spit on Your Grave 2', decided that subgenre has too much squick to worthwhile ratio to deal with, I think some outliers like Persona should indicate that time management/dating sim games are not a subgenre without any redeeming/worthwhile titles. Maybe the subgenre only can sustain the volume of output due to an element of people funding it to get their jollies, but I refer back to movies like 'I Spit on Your Grave' and the unfortunate potential they also contain for this purchasing pattern.

Edit: Probably worth saying, if people are deciding to get their jollies from stuff like this then before handing down judgement we should probably consider that they're at least enjoying a better developed narrative with their porn than most of the rest of us.

Edited by pocketroid

I went deep into the world of cosplay and anime conventions for over 5 years. I can tell you it's not that mysterious. There are two reasons people cosplay:

-Genuine love of the character

-Attention

Most cosplay is for attention, these days. People make costumes out of The Latest Hot Anime [or game/comic/etc] to use once, go to a convention and get recognized every step, and then after the con they discard the outfit. Rinse and repeat for the next con. They will probably never think about that character or series again. Some other people throw together quick crappy outfits that are barely recognisable or embarrassing.

It seems that fewer people choose a character they have loved for years, and work hard on the outfit over a period of time. They don't care if they are recognized - they simply love the character and the franchise. They wear the outfit because it has deep personal meaning.

My own cosplay experience is very casual, but I have fun with it. I have a mostly-finished outfit of Red, the character you control in the first games, Pokémon Red and Blue. I'm always adding little improvements. Sometimes I'll find a Japanese toy of an in-game item and keep that in my backpack. For example the Town Map item, which is just a map of the region. I use this one Red outfit as my cosplay when I go to cons. Pokémon is very important to me, and Red and Blue were formative experiences. I'm still into Pokémon, and know tonnes about it. I was familiar with the official Sugimori art for Red back in 1998, and it was a relatively simple outfit, but not something you can just go buy in a store. A few years ago, I decided to finally make the outfit happen. I had to manufacture my own version of it, and I really like how it turned out. It's pretty accurate to the original art. It feels way cool to almost be Red. When I put the outfit on, I feel like I could just leave home forever and start my own journey.

You know what you could do? Go to Anime Central there in Chicago, coming up in May. I've been there many times, and it's one of the biggest cons in the country. If you end up deciding to go, pre-register asap. It's like those VIP lines in haunted houses. Registering at-con is a nightmare.

I'm not even super into anime, and it's funny how many people go to cons who aren't into anime. I always end up talking for hours about video games with people, and playing in the 24 hour game room, which is the highlight of Anime Central for me.

Posted by cikame

Would the WiiU gamepad really make sense for a horror game?
Wouldn't constantly shifting your view between screens take you out of the game constantly?

Posted by Tiny_Tank

Gamestop has always been shit. I worked there for just under 10 years, I was lucky that I started when I did though, which was back when it was Babbages Etc. They never were a great place to work and have only gotten exponentially shittier since I started back in '98. I worked with a number of different women there (in fact was hired by one) and all of them were treated horribly. I remember the woman who hired me told me one of the reasons she hired me was because I "was the only guy who applied that didn't stare at her tits the whole interview". Sad. And that isn't even talking about any of their business practices. I really do hope they are on their way out with all of the changes in the way games are bought these days.

Posted by KDR_11k

Men seem always confounded by fining a dude on the other side of a female avatar EVERY TIME. I don't know what that is the case, maybe science can tell us.

If Mark Twain were alive today woudl he instead attribute to 19th-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881): "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and the gender on the other side of a online game avatar."

I think it has to do with men being more visually oriented than women in their partner choice.

Edited by Film_Noir

Awesome. Saving these links for my lunch break tomorrow at work.

Edited by masterfaculty

@patrickklepek The appeal of HuniePop is exactly what you think it is, but you don't want to admit it to yourself.

Posted by Ponyexpress

@pingolobo: I really hate when I get lectured about shit that imaginary strawmen somewhere once did. That video sucked.

Posted by happymeowmeow

I've been playing through Fatal Frame 1 and 2 as well. Despite a game crash that kept me from seeing the end sequence of the first Fatal Frame, the game really holds up. I agree about the camera obscura not making you feel invulnerable: like the early resident evil games, you have a means of defending yourself, but has its limitations. Near the end of the game I was dreading the random appearance of those ghosts that spin around the room at high speeds, usually I just ran because catching them with the camera would use up my already limited film supply.

Edited by PerfidiousSinn

I love Twinfinite, especially the Positive Gamers videos. Lots of good, unique video content on that site.

Sadly relating to the article about Catfishing because i play female characters in most games online and don't use a mic. I've been both flirted with and killed repeatedly/insulted in GTAV so far because of my avatar. It's weird.

The Gamestop article is sad but true as I've seen female Gamestop employees treated badly more than once. And their business practices sound all fucked up and I can relate working in retail (understaffing because they can't afford it? happens to me on a weekly basis). Cannot imagine working at Gamestop, dealing with immature customers and unreasonable sales goals on the regular like that.

Mr. Ligman's article about Johnny Gat really made me appreciate Saints Row IV and the mythology of the series a lot more. People tend to dismiss it for being too silly but there's some genuine, emotionally affecting moments in the games (mostly in 2 and IV though). It's like Mass Effect except I care about the cast of Saints Row.

Edited by kn00tcn

HOW TO TRICK YOUR GILRFRIEND INTO...

Go girlpower. But don't misslead or nag to us.

Come on, Patrick. I was expecting something funny and you sent us to a lecture.

Not necessary. Not cool.

'all of that blood reminds her of her period' i was laughing several times

that wasnt a real lecture, pay attention