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Posted by patrickklepek (4623 posts) -

So, 2012, it’s over. Blah. You’re gone. I can’t say I’m too upset about having 2012 in the rearview mirror, even if there was plenty to celebrate about those 12 months. I’m just happy to be moving forward, and can begin enacting change for the better, based on my time spent thinking about the recent past.

Sure, most of that’s going to happen in my personal life, but given how intertwined my personal life is with my professional life, that also means change for Giant Bomb--and my approach to news. When I first got here, I was hired as a news and features guy, and that was my role for the first few months. There weren’t enough podcast microphones to have me on the Bombcast regularly, but the office bought another one, and that changed. I’d drop into Quick Looks every so often just to fill in, but as it became clear there were games I was interested in looking at that no one else was, that changed, too. It all started to add up, and while I’m still regularly writing features for the site, it doesn’t happen enough, and I certainly do not have the time to spend doing background reporting on truly big stories.

That’s gonna change in 2013 in ways that will become evident in the next few months, I hope, and doesn’t really have much to do with shifting my day-to-day interaction with the site and you guys. It’s mostly making adjustments to operate more efficiently (ie: using a service to transcribe my interviews to get the writing part started sooner), and maybe bringing in outside writers to report on material that I have no interest in or time to tackle.

We’ll see. I’m only sharing some of these ideas with you to let you know it’s a new year, and while everyone talks about it being a time for change, I’d actually like some of it to happen. And, yes, that includes getting that PC. I already have the CPU and GPU, just need to get the rest. Soon, I think. Spookin' With Scoops will return, then, too.

Hey, You Should Play This

I may or may not have gone slightly overboard with the horror coverage on Giant Bomb in 2012, so I had every intention of opening Worth Reading in 2013 without a single reference to a horror game. Then, of course, I landed upon this terrific point-and-click adventure game about escaping the confines of serial killer, and absolutely had to share it with you. Killer Escape has an awful name, but Psionic Games has done a masterful job of establishing a sense of dread in a game with largely simple, static visuals. The damn game even managed to pull off a terrific jump scare out of nowhere, and I suspect you won’t see it coming, either. The whole experience doesn’t last more than 20 minutes or so (if you’re stuck: spiderwebs), but a timer ticks and tocks in the corner of your inventory, instilling a constant sense of “oh, shit, will the killer actually come back?” as you desperately click your way out.

And You Should Read These, Too

What brings pleasure to some will bring pain to others, as evidenced by this stunning essay about the negative role video games have played in his life. Granted, were games not around, it’s entirely possible Duahmel would have substituted them for a different form of fantasy and escapism, but today, the medium of choice for many is video games. We do not spend much time thinking about the consequences of the games we make and the games we play, and I’m troubled by the industry’s obsession with the word “addictive” and making games “addictive.” It’s not to suggest video games are “bad,” only that maybe there may, in fact, be “bad” things about games. The worlds we create and the mechanics we design that are beloved by most may bring out the worst in others. Should it matter?

The difference between my own experience, and that of a typical hyper-successful ivy-league-bound student is that my sense of self was built around fabricated success. Video games present a fictitious sense of trial that produce a baseless sense of accomplishment. Saving the world feels like it’s worthy of note but it is simply the outcome for every person who plays the game and doesn’t turn off the console.

I chose to define myself by my gaming successes as a way of displacing the definition given to me by my circumstances. This has brought with it all the consequences Deresiewicz describes, but without any of the benefits gained from the hard work real-world success requires. I still craved the type of success that Ivy League schools looked for, but the ease with which I could turn on a video game and feel successful without any of the work was (and still is) incredibly difficult to pass up.

Gavin Purcell likely speaks for many of us when he talks his guilt from playing with the popular iOS word game Letterpress in 2012. I went through a similar psychological arc years ago when Words With Friends, and it surfaced some of my worst tendencies. It’s awfully easy to start a game with someone, but I’d usually never make it past the second turn. Then, you’re trying to avoid the messages from people asking you to keep playing, and you resent the game, the concept of push notifications, and, ultimately, your friends. Terrible! I don’t blame people for giving up.

I take so long to play? Well, guess what, dude, I’m busy. I put in long days at work. I have to buy things from time to time. I eat. I have a family. And I was just told by my own children to put the iPhone down. So, yes, I take my time.

The interchange gnawed at me. This was an entirely new development. Guilt. Anger. Betrayal. All because I wouldn’t play this dumb little iPhone game. Looking back, my friend probably did care about what was happening in my life at the time but he was blinded himself. He just wanted to play his turn.

If You Click It, It Will Play

I Don’t Know About This Kickstarter Thing, But These Projects Seem Pretty Cool

  • The campaign to raise funds for a sequel to The Ship went nowhere, and the developers share lessons.
  • Full Bore started as a simple action game, but it's growing bigger. Looks like this has potential.
  • I'm so glad Dreadline didn't disappear into the ether. This ghostly game looks fantastic.

Maybe Every Top 10 List Doesn't Have to be the Absolute Worst

Valve Just Launched Greenlight, So Here’s Some Games That Don’t Look Terrible

  • KRUNCH looks just like the kind of assholishly hard nostalgia I haven't experienced in a while.
  • I don't know what to make of people saying They Breathe is genuinely horrifying, but I gotta find out why.
  • In 2013, I will play more couch co-op games, and maybe Super Motherload can help in that quest.

Patrick's Watching TED Talks As Part of a New Years Resolution, So Here You Go

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (4623 posts) -

So, 2012, it’s over. Blah. You’re gone. I can’t say I’m too upset about having 2012 in the rearview mirror, even if there was plenty to celebrate about those 12 months. I’m just happy to be moving forward, and can begin enacting change for the better, based on my time spent thinking about the recent past.

Sure, most of that’s going to happen in my personal life, but given how intertwined my personal life is with my professional life, that also means change for Giant Bomb--and my approach to news. When I first got here, I was hired as a news and features guy, and that was my role for the first few months. There weren’t enough podcast microphones to have me on the Bombcast regularly, but the office bought another one, and that changed. I’d drop into Quick Looks every so often just to fill in, but as it became clear there were games I was interested in looking at that no one else was, that changed, too. It all started to add up, and while I’m still regularly writing features for the site, it doesn’t happen enough, and I certainly do not have the time to spend doing background reporting on truly big stories.

That’s gonna change in 2013 in ways that will become evident in the next few months, I hope, and doesn’t really have much to do with shifting my day-to-day interaction with the site and you guys. It’s mostly making adjustments to operate more efficiently (ie: using a service to transcribe my interviews to get the writing part started sooner), and maybe bringing in outside writers to report on material that I have no interest in or time to tackle.

We’ll see. I’m only sharing some of these ideas with you to let you know it’s a new year, and while everyone talks about it being a time for change, I’d actually like some of it to happen. And, yes, that includes getting that PC. I already have the CPU and GPU, just need to get the rest. Soon, I think. Spookin' With Scoops will return, then, too.

Hey, You Should Play This

I may or may not have gone slightly overboard with the horror coverage on Giant Bomb in 2012, so I had every intention of opening Worth Reading in 2013 without a single reference to a horror game. Then, of course, I landed upon this terrific point-and-click adventure game about escaping the confines of serial killer, and absolutely had to share it with you. Killer Escape has an awful name, but Psionic Games has done a masterful job of establishing a sense of dread in a game with largely simple, static visuals. The damn game even managed to pull off a terrific jump scare out of nowhere, and I suspect you won’t see it coming, either. The whole experience doesn’t last more than 20 minutes or so (if you’re stuck: spiderwebs), but a timer ticks and tocks in the corner of your inventory, instilling a constant sense of “oh, shit, will the killer actually come back?” as you desperately click your way out.

And You Should Read These, Too

What brings pleasure to some will bring pain to others, as evidenced by this stunning essay about the negative role video games have played in his life. Granted, were games not around, it’s entirely possible Duahmel would have substituted them for a different form of fantasy and escapism, but today, the medium of choice for many is video games. We do not spend much time thinking about the consequences of the games we make and the games we play, and I’m troubled by the industry’s obsession with the word “addictive” and making games “addictive.” It’s not to suggest video games are “bad,” only that maybe there may, in fact, be “bad” things about games. The worlds we create and the mechanics we design that are beloved by most may bring out the worst in others. Should it matter?

The difference between my own experience, and that of a typical hyper-successful ivy-league-bound student is that my sense of self was built around fabricated success. Video games present a fictitious sense of trial that produce a baseless sense of accomplishment. Saving the world feels like it’s worthy of note but it is simply the outcome for every person who plays the game and doesn’t turn off the console.

I chose to define myself by my gaming successes as a way of displacing the definition given to me by my circumstances. This has brought with it all the consequences Deresiewicz describes, but without any of the benefits gained from the hard work real-world success requires. I still craved the type of success that Ivy League schools looked for, but the ease with which I could turn on a video game and feel successful without any of the work was (and still is) incredibly difficult to pass up.

Gavin Purcell likely speaks for many of us when he talks his guilt from playing with the popular iOS word game Letterpress in 2012. I went through a similar psychological arc years ago when Words With Friends, and it surfaced some of my worst tendencies. It’s awfully easy to start a game with someone, but I’d usually never make it past the second turn. Then, you’re trying to avoid the messages from people asking you to keep playing, and you resent the game, the concept of push notifications, and, ultimately, your friends. Terrible! I don’t blame people for giving up.

I take so long to play? Well, guess what, dude, I’m busy. I put in long days at work. I have to buy things from time to time. I eat. I have a family. And I was just told by my own children to put the iPhone down. So, yes, I take my time.

The interchange gnawed at me. This was an entirely new development. Guilt. Anger. Betrayal. All because I wouldn’t play this dumb little iPhone game. Looking back, my friend probably did care about what was happening in my life at the time but he was blinded himself. He just wanted to play his turn.

If You Click It, It Will Play

I Don’t Know About This Kickstarter Thing, But These Projects Seem Pretty Cool

  • The campaign to raise funds for a sequel to The Ship went nowhere, and the developers share lessons.
  • Full Bore started as a simple action game, but it's growing bigger. Looks like this has potential.
  • I'm so glad Dreadline didn't disappear into the ether. This ghostly game looks fantastic.

Maybe Every Top 10 List Doesn't Have to be the Absolute Worst

Valve Just Launched Greenlight, So Here’s Some Games That Don’t Look Terrible

  • KRUNCH looks just like the kind of assholishly hard nostalgia I haven't experienced in a while.
  • I don't know what to make of people saying They Breathe is genuinely horrifying, but I gotta find out why.
  • In 2013, I will play more couch co-op games, and maybe Super Motherload can help in that quest.

Patrick's Watching TED Talks As Part of a New Years Resolution, So Here You Go

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Staff
#2 Posted by MrPeabody (65 posts) -

worth reading!

#3 Edited by CaLe (3985 posts) -

Stop saying Valve Just Launched Greenlight.

#4 Posted by Roger778 (957 posts) -

@MrPeabody:

Definitely worth reading.

#5 Posted by RetroVirus (1473 posts) -

That videozine thing is pretty interesting. Thanks for the links, Patrick, and happy 2013!

#6 Posted by TheHT (11284 posts) -

That "middle ground between Left 4 Dead and Day Z" is just Left 4 Dead on Expert (Realistic On). Seriously, that shit is paralyzing at times.

#7 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Yes, Shining Force holds up well enough.

#8 Posted by SagaciousJones (143 posts) -

The link under "Apple outlines" is broken. Leads to the Top 25 Kotaku article.

#9 Posted by lanerobertlane (139 posts) -

Shining force 2 is my 2nd favourite game ever (behind Bubble Bobble)

#10 Posted by The_Reflection (249 posts) -

Uh oh, the CBS overlords wont cotton to you criticizing their BBT cash cow. Watch your back Patrick.

#11 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1130 posts) -

"and maybe bringing in outside writers to report on material that I have no business, interest, or time to tackle."

My native language isn't english but shouldn't it be business with, interest in [...]...?

Also, you use, a lot of commas, which is, very annoying to, ultimately, read.

#12 Edited by joshwent (2207 posts) -

REASON Magazine, represent!

I am nothing but excited that this new year will hopefully allow Patrick to explore and share more of the games that appeal to him (and obviously none of the other bomb crew). We are living in the fucking future now... let's get experimental!

#13 Posted by Urnack (7 posts) -
#14 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1604 posts) -

Aside from ending a couple of sentences with ", too." (why?), I've got to give credit where credit's due: Patrick published an entire long-form article without any blatant spelling or grammar errors. Here's hoping this wasn't just a fluke.

Edit: Looks like I spoke too soon:

@TrafalgarLaw said:

"and maybe bringing in outside writers to report on material that I have no business, interest, or time to tackle."

My native language isn't english but shouldn't it be business with, interest in [...]...?

Also, you use, a lot of commas, which is, very annoying to, ultimately, read.

#15 Posted by Cyrus_Saren (536 posts) -

Shining Force does indeed hold up pretty well. The second one, anyway.

#16 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Wow, I've just realized something:

Saving the world feels like it’s worthy of note but it is simply the outcome for every person who plays the game and doesn’t turn off the console.

This is reductionist as hell. Who said that "saving the world" would be easy within that given game? That's like saying, "Graduating summa cum laude from Harvard sounds prestigious, but that's what happens to everybody who goes to that college and doesn't drop out."

Maybe it was just a really poor selection of quote.

#17 Posted by themangalist (1735 posts) -

I definitely feel for Matthew Duhamel in the article. To be very honest, I think video games killed my concentration. I don't even know if I could recover from it either... Man, what a downer.

#18 Posted by kwang2000 (51 posts) -

You should watch the TED talk parodies on the Onion youtube channel too. Some TED talks are great, but there's some Jonah Lehrer-style BS in there.

#19 Posted by kwang2000 (51 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: That article is misleading anyway. It is less about the "Negative Influence of Games" than a sad man describing using video games as a crutch to escape from his sad reality.

#20 Posted by jonnyboy (2920 posts) -

@TheHT: Basic transcript of every L4D2 Expert Realism game: "There's a Hunter over there. Over there. By the.....OVER THERE! GODDAMNIT YES THAT ONE! GET IT OFF ME YOU IDIOT!"

#21 Posted by Xeirus (1305 posts) -

@GrantHeaslip said:

Aside from ending a couple of sentences with ", too." (why?), I've got to give credit where credit's due: Patrick published an entire long-form article without any blatant spelling or grammar errors. Here's hoping this wasn't just a fluke.

Edit: Looks like I spoke too soon:

@TrafalgarLaw said:

"and maybe bringing in outside writers to report on material that I have no business, interest, or time to tackle."

My native language isn't english but shouldn't it be business with, interest in [...]...?

Also, you use, a lot of commas, which is, very annoying to, ultimately, read.

It always cracks me up when people do this, who cares...

#22 Posted by Skyfire543 (691 posts) -

That essay about the Big Bang Theory is going to make it way easier to explain to my friends why I don't like that show.

#23 Posted by PaulRevere (207 posts) -

Keep up the good work!

Also, TED Talks are the shit.

#24 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

The "Apple outlines" link points to Kotaku's top 25 stories article.

#25 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

mid-core is a stupid term that I can't agree with.

#26 Posted by PurpleMoustache (106 posts) -

Oh man, TED talks. I got completely, hopelessly addicted to those a few years ago. Haven't seen them in a while.

If Worth Reading has one every week, I would be so happy.

#27 Posted by Outrager (157 posts) -

Just finished Killer Escape. No walk through used.

31:01, 25000 points

#28 Posted by TinyGallon (193 posts) -

More Ultima Online in 2013!

#29 Posted by ReaganStein (87 posts) -

Just when I thought patrick couldn't get any more pretentious he starts posting TED talks in "worth reading." This "feature" needs to be taken out to pasture.

#30 Posted by bvilleneuve (265 posts) -

That post about co-op in horror is really interesting. I've had one co-op experience that I found really creepy, even though the game isn't a horror game at all. It was Terry Cavanagh's At a Distance. If you ever have a chance to give it a shot, definitely do.

#31 Posted by Veektarius (4837 posts) -

I think that you need to decide whether this is a column meant to aggregate and inform on obscure video games and news related thereto, or whether it's a personal blog for you. Personally, I think the former has more value to the site, but GB will do as GB wishes to.

#32 Posted by Brodehouse (9950 posts) -

Electronic Arts apparently responsible for... the legal sale of firearms in the United States.

What fuckery is this? "Blatant regard for decency". Do you even know what decency means? Say what you want about comarketing, but it's not like they're promoting the sale of crystal meth. If you don't like guns, try to get guns banned. But trying to make them taboo, EA mentioning them is 'indecent'?

You're not 22, Patrick, you're as old as I am. Are you being serious with this or is this just a Tom McShea-ish play to the kneejerk and the reactionary?

#33 Posted by ItBeStefYo (1020 posts) -

Completed Killer escape 16:50 25000 points. Not worth your time, Jump scare is jump scare, scary and cheap.

#34 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

@Xeirus said:

@GrantHeaslip said:

Aside from ending a couple of sentences with ", too." (why?), I've got to give credit where credit's due: Patrick published an entire long-form article without any blatant spelling or grammar errors. Here's hoping this wasn't just a fluke.

Edit: Looks like I spoke too soon:

@TrafalgarLaw said:

"and maybe bringing in outside writers to report on material that I have no business, interest, or time to tackle."

My native language isn't english but shouldn't it be business with, interest in [...]...?

Also, you use, a lot of commas, which is, very annoying to, ultimately, read.

It always cracks me up when people do this, who cares...

Well, the guy writing the article probably should.

#35 Posted by JoeyRavn (4974 posts) -
#36 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1604 posts) -

@Xeirus said:

@GrantHeaslip said:

Aside from ending a couple of sentences with ", too." (why?), I've got to give credit where credit's due: Patrick published an entire long-form article without any blatant spelling or grammar errors. Here's hoping this wasn't just a fluke.

Edit: Looks like I spoke too soon:

@TrafalgarLaw said:

"and maybe bringing in outside writers to report on material that I have no business, interest, or time to tackle."

My native language isn't english but shouldn't it be business with, interest in [...]...?

Also, you use, a lot of commas, which is, very annoying to, ultimately, read.

It always cracks me up when people do this, who cares...

I do, and a lot of people do. It's not unreasonable to expect a professional writer to meet the standards I was expected to meet in elementary school. Patrick's articles have obvious errors in them the majority of the time (or pretty close to it), which to me says "I don't respect you enough to spend 30 seconds skimming for red underlines before hitting publish."

This is also Jeff's fault — he's (I believe?) the editor of Giant Bomb, so everything published is his responsibility. If a newspaper reporter's articles consistently contained blatant errors, I'd have serious questions about what's going on in that newsroom — if we're expected to take Giant Bomb seriously as a journalistic entity, we should hold them to the same standard. Patrick has opined about taking his job as a journalist seriously — I'm holding him to that.

#37 Posted by Zelyre (1200 posts) -

That Ultima Online picture made me think of two words.

Corp Por!

#38 Posted by Pr1mus (3911 posts) -

Yeah typos suck and all but man... those top 10 that aren't the worst are totally the worst.

#39 Posted by Xeirus (1305 posts) -

@gladspooky said:

@Xeirus said:

@GrantHeaslip said:

Aside from ending a couple of sentences with ", too." (why?), I've got to give credit where credit's due: Patrick published an entire long-form article without any blatant spelling or grammar errors. Here's hoping this wasn't just a fluke.

Edit: Looks like I spoke too soon:

@TrafalgarLaw said:

"and maybe bringing in outside writers to report on material that I have no business, interest, or time to tackle."

My native language isn't english but shouldn't it be business with, interest in [...]...?

Also, you use, a lot of commas, which is, very annoying to, ultimately, read.

It always cracks me up when people do this, who cares...

Well, the guy writing the article probably should.

That's all well and good, but the condescending tone in which people "correct" him is uncalled for and more annoying than any grammatical errors Patrick makes.

#40 Posted by darthslughorn (49 posts) -

Patrick, I first saw your work when you were over at G4 in the glory days on the Feedback podcast. You moving to Giant Bomb is a large reason why I'm here, and I am happy that your role in the site will continue to evolve. To 2013!

#42 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1130 posts) -

@Xeirus said:

@GrantHeaslip said:

Aside from ending a couple of sentences with ", too." (why?), I've got to give credit where credit's due: Patrick published an entire long-form article without any blatant spelling or grammar errors. Here's hoping this wasn't just a fluke.

Edit: Looks like I spoke too soon:

@TrafalgarLaw said:

"and maybe bringing in outside writers to report on material that I have no business, interest, or time to tackle."

My native language isn't english but shouldn't it be business with, interest in [...]...?

Also, you use, a lot of commas, which is, very annoying to, ultimately, read.

It always cracks me up when people do this, who cares...

Usually I don't comment on grammar or errors and as I said english isn't my native language but it can be really annoying to read. I think Patrick has some interesting stuff to read but when I think about the format...it first starts out as a personal blog/introspective...that's okay...back to games and then some random youtube links without any introduction...?

I'm looking forward to new writers.

#43 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1604 posts) -

@Xeirus said:

That's all well and good, but the condescending tone in which people "correct" him is uncalled for and more annoying than any grammatical errors Patrick makes.

For what it's worth, I sent him a polite (seriously, I went out of my way to be deferential) email a few weeks ago, he never replied, and the errors continued.

What really pisses me off isn't even the grammatical errors — I've come to terms with the fact that Patrick uses about twice as many commas as he should, and I know that's not going to change — but rather the red-underlined spelling errors. It's easy to miss grammar errors or correctly-spelled-but-mistyped words in your own writing, but it takes an irresponsible disregard for basic proofreading to miss spelling errors in this day and age.

#44 Posted by PerfidiousSinn (748 posts) -

Still anxiously awaiting that last Faces of Death, dude.

#45 Posted by Majkiboy (972 posts) -

ULTIMA ONLINE!!! <3

#46 Posted by toastface (106 posts) -

If there's one thing I don't like about Giant Bomb, it's the assholes in every Patrick related article or video that feel the need to point out his flaws. Unfortunately, I will be skipping the comments section on anything Patrick related from now on.

Keep up the good work Patrick, your content is great.

#47 Edited by Itwastuesday (966 posts) -

blagh I never like it when intellectuals publicly denounce the idea of schooling. I understand their point, and I understand that US public schools are fucked, but then dumb people take their message and run with it and are like "YEEEAaahhh i dont need college im dropping out" without any good alternative ideas, and then people I know end up with dead end jobs that they post about on Facebook. Shoulda just gone to school, man!

Edit- thanks for linking the Morrowind article, if there's one thing I've loved more than Morrowind, it's reading about other people who love Morrowind.

#48 Posted by Pingu44 (95 posts) -

To the people bitching about grammatical issues:

That you should be so bothered by this should be cause for concern.

You are not forced to read this.

You are getting this content for free, to complain about it is nothing short of lunacy, or perhaps I was the only person who was taught the proverb that you should never look a gift horse in the mouth?

Grammar != journalism. I would read the most typo laden, error filled piece of shit ever if it was, for example, a breakdown of Duke Nukem Forever's creation. Don't confuse what you had to do in your English language class at school with some actual reportage.

There's probably numerous errors in this post. Well guess what you pedants, I don't care. I wish I could live in a world in which my greatest concern was the grammatical accuracy of a news post about video games that I was able to read for free, but unfortunately I have some far more important problems, such as how my fridge is so far away from my computer I'm going to have to get up to get a beer now. Holy shit people, the GB community is so much better than this. Stop embarrassing yourselves.

#49 Posted by genpatton7 (25 posts) -

@GrantHeaslip: Pretty sure I remember Brad being cited as the one who gives the final once-over on articles.

#50 Posted by Laxaloot (105 posts) -

@Zelyre: Or even better, 3 words; Kal Ort Por or even Vas Rel Por

Honestly, I clicked on this article solely due to the UO image.