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Worth Reading: 11/29/2013

Because if a link to Bubsy 3D won't make you click on something, what will?

Let's cut right to the point, shall we? I'm writing this on Wednesday morning, and both Worth Reading and a review of Tearaway are what stand between me and drinking too much over the next few days.

I will say this. The week that I spent back in the office was truly great, and I hope you enjoyed it, too. The last few months of suburban hibernation with my family has been its own kind of enjoyment, but I've forgotten how much joy there is in constant collaboration with others. I'm finally moving to Chicago this weekend, and that should begin altering the content I'm putting out from this part of the world, too. There are lots of cool people in the city of Chicago, and I'm going to tap into what's here.

Honestly, I can't wait to get started.

(The soaring Oblivion soundtrack by M83 that's playing in my headphones is doing a good job of pumping me up, too.)

Hey, You Should Play This

There wasn’t time for me to record Worth Playing while in the office last week, and I’m away from my computer this week for Thanksgiving. You’ll just have to live with my heartfelt recommendation that you click on a link asking you to play a game called Bubsy 3D, and know that I’m guiding you down the right path. If you’re not convinced, try to remember Frog Fractions.

And You Should Read These, Too

As a company that’s experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in the past 10 years, Nintendo has continued to produce industry-defining works of art over and over again. I don’t feel bad saying that people who have not played Super Mario Galaxy might, in fact, be bad people, and I only say so because Super Mario Galaxy is such a wonderful game. It’s the kind of game that reminds you why Nintendo is Nintendo, and that for a company that often leaves us baffled and confused, every once and a while they pull a video game rabbit out Miyamoto’s hat. And I have to give it to Christian Donlan, as he does a fine job putting why Super Mario Galaxy is such a triumph into words. You’d think that’d be easy. It's not.

“Mario's earned the right to take a few risks, in other words. The series has always been a testament to power of what if? With Galaxy, the whole thing's finally reached the point of why not? Why not? With that kind of thinking, is it really any surprise that you can glimpse the outer edges of a genre in levels like Pull Star Path, where you float weightlessly between cosmic grappling points and navigate a space made from nothing but discarded platforms. You're playing a Mario game in which Mario frequently seems to have evolved well past the need for mere jumping, working on a larger, stranger scale where he can shift between the attraction radiuses of entire planets, and where precision gives way to an exercise in faith. You'll launch yourself into the unknown as paths made from magnetic space junk clip themselves together around you; you'll leap, hoping that Nintendo's designers will catch you.”

This is the kind of feature story any writer worth his salt looks at and goes “damn, wish I had thought of that.” What I found most interesting about this analysis was the feeling that PlayStation 4’s console and controller design feel disjoined, and the design team points out some very specific reasons why it makes that case. Considering these are the designers behind the original Xbox, one might not be surprised to see them drawing this conclusion, since you can’t say the Xbox’s “duke” controller didn't feel completely in line with that hulking green and black box.

“It’s always a challenge to design two functionally apposed objects to look like they’ve been born from the same creator; one a box to be quietly placed, admired, and left alone, the other a controller to be held and beaten into submission. But the controller is the main touch point for the console; and in the future, we believe it will have to do all the talking as consoles disappear into the cloud. Getting the ergonomics right is only half the battle, the other half is to make this handheld device the icon of the brand. Ironically Sony had achieved that with their original controller; although not everyone loved it, it still said ‘PlayStation.’”

If You Click It, It Will Play

Like it or Not, Crowdfunding Isn't Going Away

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

Oh, And This Other Stuff

  • Brian Taylor tries to put the idea of "crunch" into a historical context.
  • Glitch is no longer a live game, and its developers are giving all of its assets away.
  • Ziff Davis has launched IGN Africa, a sentence that still makes my brain go "wuh?"
  • Jay Margalus says indies should publish indies, and explains why.
  • Simon Parkin's profile of fighting champ Daigo might be old, but check it out.
  • Double Fine paid back its Indie Fund investment in just two weeks.
  • Jeff Vogel explains why we need video game critics, not reviewers.
  • Rami Ismail writes about why he's a feminist, and happy to brand himself one.
  • Kris Ligman talks to Volition about the real story behind its Enter the Dominatrix DLC.
  • Jeremy Parish continues his excellent "Anatomy" series, now breaking down Metroid II.
  • Penny Arcade's Kenneth Kuan responds to criticisms of the company's recent job post.
Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Edited by TheHumanDove

Why is everyone so confused about being confused about IGN Africa? I wasn't aware that IGN had separate regions covered to begin with. Seems wuh worthy, or wot, or wat worthy as well.

Posted by blackcat0158

Well Scoops, you've done it again. I don't know what I expected when you likened Bubsy 3D to Frog Fractions, but that knocked it out of the park. Keep it up, Patrick. Mad props to you!

Edited by DevourerOfTime

@video_game_king said:

@devoureroftime:

What about the dissonance between a branch that covers a small-ass country like the UK and another branch expect to cover a continent three four times the size of the United States?

The last time I went to IGN was the launch of the Wii. You think by now that they'd have expanded the UK to be all of Europe by now, like how IGN proper covers all of North America.

Weird.

Edited by Hassun
Edited by TehPickle

Bubsy was nuts! :D

Edited by ptys

I don't know about Jonathan Blow. Never played Braid... I've seen it, but I question how someone becomes a creative god after just their first success? In the music industry everyone is skeptical of your talent until about the 3rd release. Lets hope he lives up to the mantel as one only needs to mention the name M. Night Shamalan to get an idea of what could happen, lol.

Posted by mbr2

@ptys said:

I don't know about Jonathan Blow. Never played Braid... I've seen it, but I question how someone becomes a creative god after just their first success? In the music industry everyone is skeptical of your talent until about the 3rd release. Lets hope he lives up to the mantel as one only needs to mention the name M. Night Shamalan to get an idea of what could happen, lol.

I and probably most people wouldn't define Jon Blow as a "creative god" at the moment but just listen to what he has to say and you'll realize why he so revered among people who don't just give praise to good business moves and popular flukes. He is genuinely really smart and really good at put his thoughts into words. That is why I respect him.

Edited by Tikicobra

Is anyone else sick of all this "women in gaming" stuff? I remember hearing some woman complain that Bastion was sexist because there was only one female character. But did Bastion need more female characters? It made no difference, it was a complete non-issue that a feminist turned into one. And can we take a minute to talk about all the buffed out handsome gods of male characters in games? How is that different from over-sexualized women in games?

I'm probably the only person here who feels this way. Don't destroy me.

Posted by development

@hassun said:

@patrickklepek This video definitely deserves to be here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FLVjfFKy58

That was great. I'm surprised they got someone as well-spoken as Charlie Brooker for that segment. Who knows if Jon Snow was actually swayed in any significant way, but Charlie certainly presented his case as well as anyone could be expected to, I think.

Edited by ch3burashka

Yeah, including women in gaming makes sense, but wanting to include Africa makes you go "huh".

Africa goes into the "video games" and "makes sense" Venn diagram, women do NOT.

Posted by pingolobo

Patrick, stop giving attention to that con Sarkeesian. She already took a lot of people's money to promote her uninformed hatred and we must not give her any attention.

Posted by Zapf

@pingolobo: I forgot thats how kickstarter works. Just suckin up all those bucks without consent.

Also you're a bad poster and should stop being dumb

Edited by leinad44

@pingolobo said:

Patrick, stop giving attention to that con Sarkeesian. She already took a lot of people's money to promote her uninformed hatred and we must not give her any attention.

The people who spend their whole time bitching about her are much worse, whatever her views may be.

Edited by FonkyMucker

What the FUCK is King Kong 10!?!?

That shit is weirder than the Bubsy 3D game.

Edited by skrutop

I miss Chicago. Good luck, Patrick!

I have trouble listening to someone after they use the phrase "gender binary."

Edited by Igottadeuce

Super Mario Galaxy is a terrible video game.

Edited by ThunderSlash

You guys should check out this video. A guy got a history professor to commentate on what Assassin's Creed IV got right/wrong as he plays through an early section of the game.

Edited by TheMasterDS

I've heard that in the posted video Anita attacks Dixie Kong of all characters, accusing her of being sexist because in her head she's just Diddy in pink with no personality? It's almost as if she's never read the DKC2 Manual! Quote!

"What about me?!" asked Diddy, stamping his foot. "I went with Donkey on his last adventure! Why can't I do it?!"

"You?" laughed Cranky. "You've only been in one game, and you didn't even get your name in the title! You think that makes you a hero?"

Diddy looked discouraged, but Dixie was quick to stand up for him.

"Give him a chance--he could be a better hero than you ever were," she challenged.

Cranky scowled. "You think so, do you? You think he can make his way through all those Kremlings and all those traps, all by himself?"

"He won't be by himself," she replied. "I'm going with him!"

Plus she's never sexualized, plus she's portrayed as being more competent as Diddy and Donkey Kong (and she is, that ponytail spin is overpowered. Only in Rayman Origins/Legends has there been an equally great glide/float move.) Plus she got her own game a year later. Dixie Kong is great! I named a dog after her.

Everything I hear about Anita Sarkeesian reminds me of a High School student grasping at straws trying to find examples to reinforce a hastily written paper. The examples don't quite fit and the argument feels half baked. I think she is way out of her depth and trying desperately hard not to show it by believing really hard in the bullshit paper she's managed to throw together. She's found herself with an audience far bigger than she can handle all with expectations far greater than someone with her skills can hope to meet. She's like the Ouya of internet videos. She's a joke to some. She's a figurehead to others. It's sad really. I prefer to pay it all no mind. Except when she makes it personal.

Edited by Devil240Z

the tropes v women chick keeps talking about character design and not gameplay design, I mean dixie kong can friggen fly! that pretty cool.

Posted by TheMasterDS

Oh, also she can wear purple in 2 player contest. So the criticism about Dixie Kong wearing pink hardly holds water.

Posted by GrantHeaslip

I hate to attack the messenger here, but I don't think the design team behind the original Xbox really earned the right to nitpick others' work. And if the idea was to make the console the "icon of the brand", why did Microsoft throw out more-or-less the entire Xbox design language four years down the road?

Also, given that design is intended to communicate something to the viewer, the original Xbox seems to have communicated "not for you!" to Japan and most of Europe.

Everything I hear about Anita Sarkeesian reminds me of a High School student grasping at straws trying to find examples to reinforce a hastily written paper. The examples don't quite fit and the argument feels half baked. I think she is way out of her depth and trying desperately hard not to show it by believing really hard in the bullshit paper she's managed to throw together. She's found herself with an audience far bigger than she can handle all with expectations far greater than someone with her skills can hope to meet. She's like the Ouya of internet videos. She's a joke to some. She's a figurehead to others. It's sad really. I prefer to pay it all no mind. Except when she makes it personal.

That's a really good way of putting it. As someone who went through the wringer for the first half-year of university, I see her making argumentative mistakes I had beat out of me at 17. There are some good points buried in there, but they're surrounded by such a miasma of amateurism they're hard to take seriously. I find it troublesome that so many people seem willing to accept horrendous reasoning if it validates their pre-conceived ideas.

Posted by FoxMulder

Bubsy 3D....what did I just do...my life.

Edited by DeadpanCakes

Watched the Feminist Frequency video as I found the topic of discussion to be a lot more interesting to me, personally. Still not entirely sure I understand all the passionate extremes expressed about those videos... I mean, they're not terrible, but it seems like most people go in expecting more. The series revolves around critiquing and drawing attention to broad, problematic tropes concerning gender, and not necessarily targeting sexism or attempting to rid the world of sexism. People seem to assume gender issues automatically means sexism, which isn't particularly true. On top of which, the series is fairly new, isn't it? I dunno, maybe it's the naive optimist in me, but I wanna believe that some good things can come from it.

Edit: People have already responded to me, so keep that in mind before approaching me with the subject. If you still feel that you have more to contribute feel free to tell me, but chances are, I won't respond. I don't normally approach this subject but was really tired when I wrote this. Whoops.

Also, wasn't fond of Braid (loved the last level) but I found the Jonathan Blow talk to be interesting.

Edited by Tajasaurus

@mr_misery said:

@zerdune said:

What's so "wuh" about IGN Africa?

Patrick probably thinks Africa doesn't have internet...or videogames.

Do they, besides South Africa?

haha

Online
Posted by Cactusapple

lol Patrick there is no fucking way I'm clicking on anything on that Bubsy 3d site.

Edited by Winternet

What?! Not even one word on Spring Breakers? I don't know where you've been all week @patrickklepek

Posted by jacobgray

Bubsy 3D: witch mode, zoo mode, one of us. Try 'em.

Posted by Butano

That ACIV video....I'm half convinced that that wasn't a bug at all and just part of the story, in which case, SPOILERS! :P

Posted by billyok

Let's discuss how games stereotype women by giving them jewelry and makeup! Hang on, I need to put on my giant earrings and apply some makeup.

Posted by Yretery

@themasterds: She probably didn't play the game herself, her partner writes all her videos for her and she just speaks the words. I don't understand why anyone can still care about anything that comes out of her mouth when it's been proven time and again she just uses random people's videos for her own video footage as if to claim she spent the time playing the games she talks about, when she was up on stage in front of a college audience talking about how she doesn't play or even really care about games. The whole shill is sickening at this point and she needs to be outright ignored. Shame on patrick for even helping her video get hits.

Posted by scarycrayons

Watched the Feminist Frequency video as I found the topic of discussion to be a lot more interesting to me, personally. Still not entirely sure I understand all the passionate extremes expressed about those videos... I mean, they're not terrible, but it seems like most people go in expecting more. The series revolves around critiquing and drawing attention to broad, problematic tropes concerning gender, and not necessarily targeting sexism or attempting to rid the world of sexism. People seem to assume gender issues automatically means sexism, which isn't particularly true. On top of which, the series is fairly new, isn't it? I dunno, maybe it's the naive optimist in me, but I wanna believe that some good things can come from it.

To summarise, FeministFrequency (before the kickstarter) was a YouTube video series that claimed that everything was 'sexist and problematic' when, in fact, Anita was applying sexism herself to topics. The reason that people are riled up is that she claims that things are somehow misogynistic when the simple truth is that a style choice doesn't appeal to her.

The character I always use for a comparison is Lara Croft. I see her as an independent archaeologist who has a hobby of fitness and exploration. That, after all, is what she is portrayed as in the games. Anita, on the other hand, will not only claim that Lara Croft is just a sex object for men to masturbate to, but that women with D cup breasts 'are not realistic or believable as being archaeologists,' and that the game/art designers are actual misogynists (ie. the designers have an irrational hatred of all women). The reason for this is, of course, because the designers are male.

I'm sure I don't need to point out that it's her being sexist herself, but I will regardless, because so often in criticisms of her, this point does not get made. Anita is the one who believes an attractive lady only exists for men to masturbate to. Anita is the one who says that women who have a naturally large chest should not be seen as an archaeologist, and that it's unrealistic for women with that body type to be seen as being fascinated by history and relics. Anita is the one basing opinions on the designers gender, regardless of context.

She's also notorious for some absolutely hilarious arguments, such as the song 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' supposedly being about a woman ruled by the patriarchy, because women should not want to be with their loved one for Christmas. She also claims the song 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' is about a mother two-timing Santa Claus who broke into a mother's house (I kid you not). She then made a final remark of 'Well I suppose it could be the child's father dressed as Santa, but that still means it's a song about exposing children to sexual activity.'

I'll let people make up their own minds about her, but I feel it's worth people knowing what kind of things she says and promotes. I'll also just note that I've been on the receiving end of a lot of online bullshit since the whole pseudo-feminism thing took place a couple of years back, with people saying that I'm sexist/misogynistic myself for being a girl and wanting to dress how I want, for saying that I'm not a victim of men in every day life, and for liking (and preferring) stylish or cute costumes in video games. A lot of developers seem to be getting the same treatment too... I believe Blizzard recently had to make a public apology just for saying that they wanted Kerrigan to look awesome, and were aiming for a comic style art design. It's kind of embarrassing that people genuinely think that this is somehow sexism.

Edited by Zapf

I believe Blizzard recently had to make a public apology just for saying that they wanted Kerrigan to look awesome, and were aiming for a comic style art design

lmao, nope, that's not what happened at all. Much like the rest of your post, you've managed to be willfully obtuse and miss the point of every single thing you've brought up, hoping to hide it behind giant walls of text and some mystical radical feminist (straw)boogeyman in that last paragraph. Yes, I totally believe someone called you sexist for wanting to dress how you wanted. totally. sure. yep. thats exactly how it went down.

edit: I don't plan on wasting the afternoon addressing the rest of your terrible post point to point; i don't pay 50 a year for something I can witness in shitty Reddit threads for free

Posted by Redhotchilimist

Bubsy 3D was horrible. The ascension of the Jackdaw, on the other hand!

Edited by scarycrayons

@zapf said:

lmao, nope, that's not what happened at all. Much like the rest of your post, you've managed to be willfully obtuse and miss the point of every single thing you've brought up, hoping to hide it behind giant walls of text and some mystical radical feminist (straw)boogeyman in that last paragraph. Yes, I totally believe someone called you sexist for wanting to dress how you wanted. totally. sure. yep. thats exactly how it went down.

edit: I don't plan on wasting the afternoon addressing the rest of your terrible post point to point; i don't pay 50 a year for something I can witness in shitty Reddit threads for free

It's okay, I can pick up your slack in addressing your post.

"lmao, nope, that's not what happened at all" - It's certainly what I read on Eurogamer. To quote, they apologised for this statement about Kerrigan's visual design: "We're just making characters who look cool. Our sensibilities are more comic book than anything else." This is the statement they publically apologised about.

"you've managed to be willfully obtuse and miss the point of every single thing you've brought up" - The points I brought up were... Anita claiming that developers (like Miyamoto) are misogynistic (have a hatred of women), Anita claiming that women should not be seen in intellectual roles if they have a certain cup size or body figure, Anita claiming that songs such as 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' is sexist and supports the patriarchy because, according to her, women should not want to show affection for their partner. I'm absolutely not seeing how I've missed the point of these things, nor be willfully obtuse. If you can explain, then do so. Oh, and I also brought up the point of saying that I've been getting a lot of hassle for bringing up these (arguably and demonstrably legitimate) points. Thanks for being a willing demonstration of this! And yes, I have been called sexist for 'not refusing the patriarchial ideals of men'. Seriously. Many times.

"hoping to hide it behind giant walls of text and some mystical radical feminist (straw)boogeyman in that last paragraph" - The problem with strawmen arguments is that I am presenting her arguments completely and truthfully. If they're really easy to knock down, then I can't really be blamed for that. Really, there's no way to present a lot of Anita's approach without it coming across as a strawman, because naturally, it's going to be easy to knock down every time. She sees strong women as Mrs Males, petite women as weak, attractive women as sex objects, unattractive women as lesser counterparts to males... when the logic is this contradictory, it's always going to come across as a strawman argument. As for her being radical, well... radical isn't the best term, but she certainly isn't for equality.

"i don't pay 50 a year for something I can witness in shitty Reddit threads for free" - Okay. Good to know, I guess!

Edited by noizy

"Bundle of reflexes that can be psychologically manipulated"

Jonathan Blow describing F2P social games.

Posted by gringbot

@scarycrayons: Haha, well done.

Couldn't agree more with what you've said

Posted by Zapf

@scarycrayons:

It's certainly what I read on Eurogamer.

Maybe you should read the original RPS interview and followup that actually spawned this apology, thanks.

Anita claiming that songs such as 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' is sexist and supports the patriarchy because, according to her, women should not want to show affection for their partner

See, theres that whole trying really hard to not get it part again. If you honestly think that she believes women "should not want to show affection for their partner," or that the other poorly editorialized statements you put forth in your original post are her opinion, you either are incredibly dense, or have an awful case of special snowflake going on here, and have some inexplicable urge to really want to believe the contrary of Anita. I'm sorry for your lot either way =(

Edited by ArbitraryWater

Bubsy 3D confused the hell out of me. I was a level 5 ghost?

Posted by teh_pwnzorer

" disjoined " is NOT A WORD.

Edited by TheMasterDS

If I had 160 thousand dollars more than I asked for to make a series of youtube videos, something people do for free/ad money on a regular basis, and as much attention as Anita has gotten I don't think I'd simply sit back, not do any research into the things I'm talking about, get dolled up and read a poorly written diatribe about video games into a camera every 2 or 3 months. I'd fucking do something with all that attention and money! I mean fuck your dumb web series, with that kind of cash and that kind of buzz you could do so much more! You could bring other people who have axes to grind together. Make a podcast, make multiple web series, spread the money and attention around with others. What else are you going to do with 160,000 dollars, hide it in your walls? Put it into dry cleaning bags and hide them under the house? Maybe you could invest in laser tag! Women love lasers!

I think the videos and what I've heard they say say a lot about her but what I think is much more damning is how she's letting the attention, the money and the buzz go to waste. She's found an audience but she just doesn't know what to do with it other than make a web video once in a blue moon.

Posted by thatdudeguy

@beard_of_zeus: Minor Bubsy3d spoilers: Walk through the levels again. As a ghost, you can fly by repeatedly tapping <space>, and there's a shortcut in the museum level if you immediately take a right and fly up the shaft.


I'm currently at Ghost Level 5 and not sure if I should keep playing...

Posted by So_Hai

"Hard to complain about free games, but Microsoft giving away a garbage platformer and a 7 year old shooter is so weak compared to Plus."

I thought Plus cost you - so the comparison is uneven. Also, the age of the game is immaterial if it's a quality game, don't you think? I don't know which one he's referring to but it sounds contemptuous for no reason.

Posted by scarycrayons

I'm currently at Ghost Level 5 and not sure if I should keep playing...

There are other cheats you can enter on the title screen, but you can't unlock them in the game. You have to guess the codes by typing random letters on the title screen and seeing which letters work... or alternatively, you can just look them up on the internet.

Posted by scarycrayons
@so_hai said:

"Hard to complain about free games, but Microsoft giving away a garbage platformer and a 7 year old shooter is so weak compared to Plus."

I thought Plus cost you - so the comparison is uneven. Also, the age of the game is immaterial if it's a quality game, don't you think? I don't know which one he's referring to but it sounds contemptuous for no reason.

I think the games that are being referred to are the ones Microsoft are giving out if you have an Xbox Live Gold subscription, so the comparison to PSPlus is appropriate. The two games, from what I can tell by googling, are Gears of War and Shoot Many Robots. Gears of War currently costs $0.01 used on Amazon for a retail copy, and as for Shoot Many Robots... well, I guess that game comes down to personal tastes. It's not exactly equivalent to getting Remember Me, Dragon's Dogma, Uncharted 3, Resogun, Contrast, and Gravity Rush for the PSPlus subscription though.

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