Giant Bomb News

134 Comments

Worth Reading: 12/20/2013

And your game of the year is...not going to be found anywhere in this article.

It's not over, but it might as well be. The moment I've been asked to finalize my ten games for the year, it makes the rest of the days...fuzzy.

I'm still playing through Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, for example, but it no longer has any impact on my list. It doesn't matter if I like the game more or like the game less, the list has been finalized, and once the list has been finalized, what's the point in playing video games anymore?!

Lists are a weird thing, though, and I know people have mixed feelings on them. The group lists are, in my estimation, the way weirder set to cobble together. Those are an eclectic mix of horse trading, arguments, and compromising to come up with a set everyone is not necessarily happy with, but it's a list that everyone can live with. With the personal list, it's all your own nonsense.

But the whole process is really appealing. So often, I talk about games I love with people who also love them, and we're really just talking to one another about how much we like the game. We're coming at it from similar angles. With Game of the Year, what you're advocating for might be knocking off someone else's favorite, and so you need to go beyond explaining why you think it's great, but why everyone should think it's great, and explaining those pieces about a game proves much more difficult to fully articulate.

On the whole, it keeps me sharp. It makes me feel better about my choices. It gives me a better sense of who I am as a player, and why my preferences are what they are (and what they aren't.) Even if you're only publishing them to a blog, I'd recommend you try the same thing!

Hey, You Should Play This

And You Should Read These, Too

The bigger the game, the more likely it is to avoid touching on, let alone commenting on, sensitive subjects. So when I learned Assassin's Creed IV's Freedom Cry would focus on slavery, you can imagine how curious I was about how Ubisoft might (or might not) handle it. I haven't had a chance to play Freedom Cry yet, but Kotaku writer Evan Narcisse has, and his essay on playing through something so personal is insightful. Narcisse's parents are from Haiti, where part of Freedom Cry is set, and Narcisse's relationship with the idea of slavery has evolved throughout his life. Freedom Cry prompts him to reflect on both.

"Freedom Cry puts you in an early pivotal moment in that aforementioned othering of black people. You'll pass auctions in Port-au-Prince where barkers talk about the slaves as merchandise. One of the game's final levels forces Adéwalé to escape a sinking slave ship that he's unable to save, surrounded by the screaming, burning bodies of people he's called brothers. You'll overhear street chatter where people talk about how it's illegal to teach slaves how to read or that they're animalistic in nature.

These attitudes evolved into legal and economic policies designed to make people of African descent less free. While I played, I kept asking myself if Freedom Cry cheapens the historical horrors of the Triangle Trade to use them in an entertainment like this. For me, it doesn't. The chattel slavery of millions of black people from the 16th to 19th Century is one of the most heinous things in human history. But that doesn't mean that it should be out-of-bounds as source material for pop culture creations."

Here's an excellent example of why I gave my TEDx talk earlier this year. Depression Quest designer Zoe Quinn has endured some of the most horrifying harassment I've ever seen while seeking to have her game approved through Steam's Greenlight service, and for a long time, she decided to keep quiet about it. You don't have to like Depression Quest or think it's a good game, but we can't be comfortable with how someone is treated when they decide to make a game that's "different." Quinn's harassment is the kind of incident we typically sweep under the table because "oh, well, it's just the Internet being the Internet," but it's only that way because we have allowed it to become that way. Most of us have given up on trying to make it better, leaving the terrifying status quo as it stands. It's upsetting, it's wrong. And we have to stand up for these people.

If You Click It, It Will Play

(For some reason, I can't embed videos right now. I'll add 'em if this gets fixed.)

Like it or Not, Crowdfunding Isn't Going Away

  • Pixel Poetry is a documentary exploring the idea of video games as art.
  • Below Kryll is a 2D platformer with a focus on players collaborating on creation.
  • Grapple Knight is a promising game I looked at on Worth Playing a few months back.

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
151 Comments
  • 151 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Posted by jimmyfenix

Did someone say The Last Guardian ?

Edited by Jayzilla

I would so love to see Barnwell on the morning show or a dumptruck interview, Scoops! Have a great rest of the year, duder!

Edited by pornstorestiffi

Damn didn't know Jeremy Parish was doing that, too bad it didn't go through. I used to love 1UP back in the glory days of the 1UP Show and the different variations Garnnett Lee's my goddamned show.

Posted by digitalerich

Hey that's me in there! I didn't think anyone listens to my dumb twitter snark.

Posted by Antlions

Russians be crazy.

Posted by DarknessMyOldFriend

@jayzilla said:

I would so love to see Barnwell on the morning show or a dumptruck interview, Scoops! Have a great rest of the year, duder!

Yes, fantastic idea. I had no idea Barnwell worked at IGN. Great NFL writer.

Edited by BlazeHedgehog

No Merry Gear Solid 2? It's vastly superior.

Dude also teased a fully 3D Merry Gear Solid made in Unity a couple years ago, but never finished it, apparently.

Edited by TruthTellah

No game of the year yet?! Aghh!!

Edited by ThunderSlash

Mad respect for Jeremy Parish. I always liked his articles in OPM. And it was the same magazine that introduced 1UP to me.

Posted by MarkWahlberg

"The chattel slavery of millions of black people from the 16th to 19th Century is one of the most heinous things in human history. But that doesn't mean that it should be out-of-bounds as source material for pop culture creations."

There's probably a salient point to be made here regarding the overwhelming presence of WWII, and thus the Holocaust, in pop culture in comparison to the general avoidance of slavery - but then I started thinking about those fucking Tarantino movies and now I'm just pissed off about that instead of thinking about how video games are perfect for exploring historical periods.

Also, that first tweet is a 'sick burn', as the kids say these days.

Posted by thatdutchguy

No game of the year yet?! Aghh!!

AAAAAHHH

Posted by illmatic19

Ugh Andrea that shitbag. Glad the Knicks are terrible.

Posted by Encephalon

Ha. That first tweet got a chuckle.

But wait... I'm a 20something with a humanities degree!

Edited by Brendan

Man, those commentors were really mad about that esports editorial.

Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam

Thanks for another year of interesting coverage, Patrick. Happy Breakmas!

Posted by SockLobster

"buttlord"

Posted by Noogy

The near-reboot of 1up is fascinating, never knew about that. It honestly breaks my heart whenever a gaming site goes under, or the crew breaks up.

Edited by sickVisionz

I think what's really missing from games coverage is 20somethings w humanties degrees offering business advice to multinational corporations.

This one is a gem.

Posted by Milkman

As a Knicks fan, that Bargnani tweet is hilarious. Does not surprise me one bit.

Posted by Hailinel

That first tweet is fantastic.

Posted by Random45

That Russian story is interesting, though it kind of pisses me off at the same time. It then makes me wonder whether what I know about Soviet Russia is American propaganda or not, or whether it really was as horrible as it was. Reading the comments to that article, I find it very interesting that some of them are glorifying communism and want it to return. Didn't their country and economy collapse due to communism and corruption? Why would they want that to return?

I'm not well versed in any of this though, so I'll just drop the issue and stop dwelling on it.

Posted by Brandino

The whole depression quest harassment stuff makes me sick to my fucking stomach.

I don't wish misfortune or harm on anyone but a part of me is glad knowing that a lot of these sick, twisted basement dwellers will never amount to anything. Karma is real, and it's a bitch.

Posted by Dan_CiTi

Stuff about the Last Guardian seems interesting. I felt as though SotC took forever to come out as well, but it turned out to be a fantastic game. I'm sure this will be a moving one as well.

Edited by Bam_Boozilled

I think what's really missing from games coverage is 20somethings w humanties degrees offering business advice to multinational corporations.

This one is a gem.

Is there a specific thing that is referring to?

Posted by Dan_CiTi

"The chattel slavery of millions of black people from the 16th to 19th Century is one of the most heinous things in human history. But that doesn't mean that it should be out-of-bounds as source material for pop culture creations."

There's probably a salient point to be made here regarding the overwhelming presence of WWII, and thus the Holocaust, in pop culture in comparison to the general avoidance of slavery - but then I started thinking about those fucking Tarantino movies and now I'm just pissed off about that instead of thinking about how video games are perfect for exploring historical periods.

Also, that first tweet is a 'sick burn', as the kids say these days.

Did you read the email in AC4 talking about different historical period possibilities? Also I agree, games as a medium are fantastic for exploring historical periods, hopefully we can progress to a point where high production, interesting, well-made, and historically accurate games can be made. AC's a nice step, but it is a bloody action game from top to bottom.

Posted by Flappy

@illmatic19: As a New Yorker that refuses to pay for League Pass, I hate the Knicks for playing some of the ugliest basketball on the market.

Fuck the Knicks.

Posted by headphonehalo

@bishop113 said:

We get it Patrick, you're real modern, I love that you're allowed to continue to use Giantbomb as your outlet for pushing your over the top agendas out into the world.

Which "agenda" in this article is over the top?

Edited by Video_Game_King

@dan_citi said:

AC's a nice step, but it is a bloody action game from top to bottom.

悪いダジャレだよ。

Edited by churrific

@milkman said:

As a Knicks fan, that Bargnani tweet is hilarious. Does not surprise me one bit.

Lol I'm a Knicks fan too, and it doesn't surprise me either. With that game on Wed., when he turns even the most eloquent of poetic stylings of one Walt Clyde Frazier into basically a "WTFFF are you doinnggg?!?!", just a bad week, even for him, but it fits perfectly.

Posted by IzzyGraze

"I think what's really missing from games coverage is 20somethings w humanties degrees offering business advice to multinational corporations."

Well that was a backhand to everyone with humanities degrees. Thanks for bringing attention to that tweet Patrick. I mean it's like someone with a journalism degree talking about the humanities.

Online
Posted by MEATBALL

We get it Patrick, you're real modern, I love that you're allowed to continue to use Giantbomb as your outlet for pushing your over the top agendas out into the world.

What are you even talking about? Did you read this or did you just see the name "Patrick Klepek" and immediately see red?

Edited by ZmillA

@bishop113 said:

We get it Patrick, you're real modern, I love that you're allowed to continue to use Giantbomb as your outlet for pushing your over the top agendas out into the world.

Over the top agendas as in talking about video games and the video game industry?

lol ur attitude, and those like it, really suck

Posted by jiggajoe14

Hey remember when Adrea Bargnani was the #1 pick in the NBA Draft? I do. *giggles*

Edited by joshwent

@brandino said:

I don't wish misfortune or harm on anyone but a part of me is glad knowing that a lot of these sick, twisted basement dwellers will never amount to anything. Karma is real, and it's a bitch.

Okay, but see in that next part... where you did?

Hating the haters is what completes the cycle of violence.

Posted by MrMazz

I think what's really missing from games coverage is 20somethings w humanties degrees offering business advice to multinational corporations

This is so perfect

Posted by medacris

I don't see The Sky At Night as being Anti-Communist or Anti-Russian. I see it as people over history getting attached to a brave animal who died in a way that could have been avoided. And they're not the only ones. Heck, Jonathan Coulton wrote a parody of "Space Oddity" comparing her demise to Major Tom's, and the first thing I'm modeling for Team Fortress 2 (once I can) is a little Laika that sits on Heavy's shoulder.

What happened to Zoe Quinn made me incredibly angry, especially the Wizardchan commenters who said she was lying about having depression. Women get diagnosed 2x more with depression than men do. It's just unprovoked from her end, the commenters were irrational, childish, immature, and it would have been smarter for them to just ignore her if she was doing something they disagreed with. Nothing she did in the game was directed at them, and yet they lashed out like it was. It's infuriating. I wish I could give Ms./Mrs. Quinn a huge hug for being so brave and sticking through this.

Posted by DevourerOfTime

We get it Patrick, you're real modern, I love that you're allowed to continue to use Giantbomb as your outlet for pushing your over the top agendas out into the world.

Shhhh... Shhhh... It's okay..... It's okay. Shhh.... It's okay. I've actually read the article. And mean ol' Mr. Klepeck didn't mentioned Yoshi's Island not even once. So you don't have to worry about any of his mean, over the top agendas keeping you up at night.

Just go back to bed, sweetums.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@meatball: I see seven links to articles written by women, an article about a woman being harassed on the internet and an article about a homosexual person as well as an article about a black man's racial heritage.

It's all part of the feminist conspiracy.

Posted by MarkWahlberg

@dan_citi said:

@markwahlberg said:

"The chattel slavery of millions of black people from the 16th to 19th Century is one of the most heinous things in human history. But that doesn't mean that it should be out-of-bounds as source material for pop culture creations."

There's probably a salient point to be made here regarding the overwhelming presence of WWII, and thus the Holocaust, in pop culture in comparison to the general avoidance of slavery - but then I started thinking about those fucking Tarantino movies and now I'm just pissed off about that instead of thinking about how video games are perfect for exploring historical periods.

Also, that first tweet is a 'sick burn', as the kids say these days.

Did you read the email in AC4 talking about different historical period possibilities? Also I agree, games as a medium are fantastic for exploring historical periods, hopefully we can progress to a point where high production, interesting, well-made, and historically accurate games can be made. AC's a nice step, but it is a bloody action game from top to bottom.

Haven't actually played the game, although I vaguely remember seeing a pic of the email floating around somewhere, I think. The one where it explains why no modern period?

But yeah. It's definitely an aspect that's getting some recognition, and it was one of the things that got me interested in the AC series to begin with. It's easy to see why adding 'historical accuracy' to their list of headaches would make most developers prefer to work in fantasy/sci-fi, but it'd be nice if there were a larger trend towards games with proper historical settings that don't all involve you staring at map the whole time.

Edited by Orange_Pork

Dark Souls uses 3d for new gameplay possibilities?

Is it requirement that in order to be a fan of this game, you must engage in this hyperbolic circlejerking in every internet forum you come across?

Posted by Fonzinator

Some of you should really listen to the latest Jar Time...

And I know that depression quest article is loaded because it contains 4chan quotes, but if someone does not understand the internet they could get really hurt by the shit that is said there. No that does not mean that what is said there is OK, but it needs to have context. A place like 4chan exists because it has to. Jeff explains a lot of stuff better than I will attempt to.

Have a +1 Patrick, write about what you want.

Posted by Hailinel

@meatball: I see seven links to articles written by women, an article about a woman being harassed on the internet and an article about a homosexual person as well as an article about a black man's racial heritage.

Patrick is very blatantly trying to implement some sort of diversity change with these articles as these are the same topics and trends that pop up in nearly every single one of these "worth reading" posts, even when the articles aren't worth a damn he posts them just because oh hey race, sexual orientation or it's written by a woman. Oh so edgy, so modern. It's ridiculous and it completely clashes with every single other piece of material on this website, Patrick is the only one on here pushing this kind of crap onto the site every week.

You apparently have no idea how ridiculous you sound. Perhaps if you lay off the knee-jerk foolishness and actually read what Patrick wrote and linked to, you'd learn something.

Edited by meteora3255

@milkman: The craziest thing is Barnwell didn't ask him if he played video games, he asked him if he went after rebounds.

@jiggajoe14 said: Take a look at the 2006 draft again. Bargnani has had a better career than most of the guys in that draft. It was weak from top to bottom.

Edited by Chuddy

Oh, the article talking about assassin's creed 4 and haitian slavery neglects to mention the source of black slaves, that is black and arab slavers, that more black slaves were shipped to brazi than to the US or the West Indiesl and that voodoo (and witchcraft in general) is distinctly african.

http://www.newstatesman.com/node/149728

C'mon patrick, if you're going to write spread leftist feel goods about race in video games do some further research than having a black guy write it for you. The guy is obviously so distant from the slavery in haiti that he should focus more on Papa and baby Doc duvalier than on human chattel.

E: and of course, zero mention that slavery (of the sex abuse and field work) still goes on in haiti.

Online
Posted by GreekTrojan

I too had no idea that Barnwell was a games journalist in his past life. Just know him from his fantastic NFL work, especially his podcast. He would be a great guest if you could nab him. He does love his nonsense as much as the rest of the bombcrew.

Posted by Ravenlight

I keep digging Worth Reading. Kudos to Kleptok for keeping it real.

  • 151 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4