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Worth Reading 04/12/2013

It's the weekend, right? Let's do this.

No Caption Provided

So I have a PC now. It’s pretty cool.

Naturally, I spent the first few days with a computer attached to my TV playing Singularity. Naturally. (Hey, I really liked it. Sue me.) The first constraint I ran into was not having a monitor. I’ve now solved that, which’ll allow me to experiment with streaming. No more streaming on a MacBook Air? I don’t even know how to imagine how much better that will end up being. Given the generosity that resulted in the PC showing up, Spookin’ With Scoops will return next week. Which game? Hmm.

The weirdest part about having a PC appear in your life after years without one is figuring out where to begin. The coming drought of new releases is a blessing for me, as it provides a meaningful opportunity to begin exploring a catalog of games that have patiently sat in a text document on my computer. Most of them are horror games (Dark Corners of the Earth: Call of Cthulhu and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. being at the top of my list), of course, but there are so, so, so many others. What classics to revisit, and consequently destroy my nostalgia for?

What excites me about a PC isn’t so much the increased catalog as much as it is the lack of restrictions. There’s nothing more distressing than having a game recommended to you, only to find out there’s no way to play it. It’s the reason why I own every platform other than a Vita, which I’ll eventually solve later this year. I’m always looking for a game to provoke a reaction out of me, and where that might come from isn’t always clear. It should hopefully result in a more varied set of recommendations for Worth Reading, too!

Anyway, if you have PC games you wanna recommend, have at it!

Hey, You Should Play This

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Tax Evaders might not be as subversive as Paolo Pedercini’s other works--the way it communicates the message is a little on the nose--but it was created as part of a larger team, so maybe that explains it. I’m not used to Pedercini using humor as part of his toolset as overtly as Tax Evaders employs it, but it’s easy to see how the goofy charm could effectively disarm players and make them more receptive to the serious point it’s trying to impart. If Tax Evaders strikes you, check out Pedercini’s other games.

And You Should Read These, Too

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I haven’t made a game, but the creative process outlined by Blendo GamesBrendon Chung sounds similar to writing an article. More specifically, it’s the process of writing an opinion piece. I’ve written stories just for the sake of writing stories, but the ones that feel really good afterwards were clawing out of you. What you wanted to say may not translate into the words properly, but at least you said it, at least you tried. Chung’s feelings on how to get started with game development are analogous: just start. The worst game is one that’s never made, and the worst article is the article that’s never written. So...get to it.

"I don’t think it’s important to have a great idea. I don’t think it’s important to be unique or innovative. I don’t think it’s important to be bulletproof, or for that matter, good.

When the ground is rushing toward you at a million miles per hour, what’s important? You make something.

People can’t play a design document. People can’t play a grand vision. People can’t play all the cool ideas you’ve planned out down the road."

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The conversation that’s been happening around games in the...well, I’m not sure how long it’s been going on. Maybe it started when the conversation about women and games started snowballing, maybe it happened somewhere else down the line. I don’t know. Anyway, that conversation has been a messy one, and it’s not getting any cleaner. It’s not just about women, either--it’s a larger conversation about empathy and inclusion. In the way, a conversation meant to erase lines is drawing new ones, and creating the exclusionary atmosphere we’re all (I think) trying to avoid. This is not just a games problem-- it’s an Internet problem. Shouting down others in order to be heard is an effective but frustrating strategy, and Saltsman is one of the many who feel excluded, sitting on the sideline and observing the flames.

"We are in the midst of the most important and influential movement in video games in a decade, if not ever — a movement that is vital to the ongoing cultural relevancy and maturation of our medium — and almost everyone involved in the conversation is, intentionally or otherwise, looking for ways to ignore everyone else. We can do better than this, and we have to, in order to make progress.

This is our real empathy problem in video games. Instead of figuring out some reason why this person we disagree with shouldn't even be at the table, we should be trying to figure out why they so badly want to be part of this discussion. We will always, always, always learn more from people with whom we disagree than from our own personal echo chamber, as safe and comfortable as that place may be."

If You Click It, It Will Play

Crowdfunding Has Promise, Hopefully Developers Don't Screw It Up

Even If You Don't Like BioShock Infinite, It's Getting People Talking

Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"

FUCKING ROOMMATE WALKING IN FRONT OF THE TV WHILE I'M ON RAINBOW ROAD IN MARIO KART SHOULD BE GROUNDS FOR EVICTION

— boxcar (@pilotbacon) April 11, 2013

"WHO GIVES A FUCK" is the correct answer to many contemporary questions

— ITS ME PORPENTINE (@aliendovecote) April 10, 2013

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+
199 CommentsRefresh

Avatar image for charlesalanratliff
Posted By CharlesAlanRatliff

@fattony12000: I've never seen so many copyright claims on one video before!

Avatar image for fattony12000
Edited By Fattony12000

@charlesalanratliff said:

If you are thinking about streaming from your PC, I highly recommend Open Broadcaster Software. It's free, light, and awesome. I streamed my entire playthrough of BioShock Infinite and the quality is fantastic. It didn't affect the performance of the game at all, either, which was key for me.

I can vouch for this as well. It is so low impact it is like it isn't even running. Really fantastic bit of software.

I drop thick, weighty loads all over OBS, it's bang tidy! Very good piece of software, even more so considering it's cost.

Loading Video...

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Posted By TerraTempest

They got system shock 2 on gog recently, that's definately worth playing if you haven't. The Longest Journey is a really good adventure game series.

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Posted By darkjester74

That little plushy Songbird Ken got was pretty awesome. :D

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Edited By bennyboy

@travan said:
@crembaw said:

@patrickklepek

I really felt like the #1ReasonWhy article was really out-of-place and off-base in this week's roundup. The author seemed not to actually have a grasp of the issues which she was discussing, and while standing against a simple turning of the table in regards to treatment of the sexes is a noble long run goal, it isn't something that needs championing right now.

Her straw-manning of other feminists is pretty deplorable, and while there are certainly some extremists out there and I understand where she was coming from about the woman speaker she mentioned early in the article, they aren't the people that need to be addressed in this debate. The people that need to be addressed are the bottom-ravaged gamers who cry foul when Rock-Paper-Shotgun has the sheer audacity to have a woman writer, the people who think that Anita Sarkeesian's admittedly faulty methodology are grounds to tell her to 'get back in the kitchen' behind the anonymity of a YouTube account, the people who will point to this article and say 'See, a woman said it, so we're right.'

Yes it's not the fault of the men whom she works with on a day-to-day basis. Yes she got to where she is based on her merit and effort. That doesn't change the fact that she is the exception and that on the whole, female game developers and indeed female gamers are on the whole treated as lesser by this system we've all inadvertently pitched in and manufactured with our dollars. And that, in my opinion, is criminal.

Sorry for the long post, I don't even know if you read these, I just felt like typing it.

Quoting because you highlight every issue I have with that article with far more grace than I was able to manage. Well done.

I don't think the article is any more out of place than other non-cohesive stuff that Patrick tends to tack in there.

She reminds the reader in more than one instance that she is indeed the exception to the norm (check the first sentence of the third and entirety of the fourth paragraph, for example) and that there are of course people of the sorts you mentioned. So I'm not really sure where you're coming from.

Avatar image for scampbell
Posted By Scampbell
Avatar image for manlyzar
Posted By Manlyzar

I wish I was internet famous and got sent PCs :(

Avatar image for aquacadet
Posted By aquacadet

Tax Evaders is the worst. It's like a game PETA would make for meat packing plants.

Avatar image for vigil80
Edited By Vigil80

When it comes to Bioshock and racism, I think Mr. Navarro is on the right track. It was never a main theme, just part of the setting.

I know the game is sci-fi, but let's take a moment to think. It's 1912. It will be several decades before the civil rights movement even begins. It's simply part of the world the story is set in; literally a sign of the times. On some level, demanding that there be more resolution to it is like saying, "I don't like the frumpy swimsuits they wear in Battleship Bay. Make them speedos! And lose the period slang while you're at it."

The racism in the game world is institutional. It's accepted. It's simply not a big deal to the characters. And that could be considered commentary in and of itself.

Edit:

And now I'm finding the "Tweets that make you go 'Hmm'" section quite appropriate. :P

"WHO GIVES A FUCK" is the correct answer to many contemporary questions

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Edited By Haruko

Yay you found Research Indicated LP of Trespasser one of the best LPs out there!

Avatar image for nettacki
Posted By Nettacki

@travan said:
@bennyboy said:

That Gamasutra piece on sexism was really on point and what I feel true feminism has always been about. Thanks for posting it, Patrick.

True Feminism n. Bougie cis white people fret over misandry

Regardless, I hope she finds fulfillment carrying water for MRAs.

What do you mean by all this? What's Bougie cis? And what's with that snarky retort about carrying water for MRAs?

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Edited By dsi1

Spookin' With Scoops STALKER edition?

Yes. Please.

Avatar image for nettacki
Edited By Nettacki

Hey Patrick. Thanks for linking that alternate viewpoint on the whole #1reasonwhy thing. It shows that an "us vs them" mentality is not the right answer to fighting sexism in the industry. There's gotta be a better way of doing things than this.

Avatar image for hailogon_
Posted By Jon

@aceofspudz: Because her writing is insightful in a way many people (myself included) feel is worth reading?

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Edited By Sunjammer

Wow that Megaman game looks fucking awful

As for playing DCotE, I finished my first bout with that game on the original Xbox and it was super cool. The PC version is less lucky. Combat, for one, is hilariously simple with mouse controls whereas it was pretty tense and difficult with analog sticks.

I may misremember but the Xbox version is backwards compatible on the 360, and I seem to remember it working pretty good. May want to check that out.

It's a hell of a game.

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Posted By Humanity

@dezztroy said:

@patrickklepek

If you decide to play the STALKER games, please do not use the English voices. They are awful. Also, you probably don't want to play them without mods.

I thought half the fun of Stalker are the english voices.

"Git out of heer Stalkher"

Avatar image for do_the_manta_ray
Posted By Do_The_Manta_Ray

@shotgunlincoln: Ah, right. I actually recall having some issues with that segment, yet I was able to get past it. I do actually have my old boxed version of the game, which might or might not have something to do with it. After a bit of looking into it, my own self, it seems there's a number of fixes online. Here's a decent one if you ever feel like replaying the game.

Avatar image for aceofspudz
Posted By aceofspudz

I don't understand why this site keeps linking to Leigh Alexander. I assume it has to do with a limited contact list.

Avatar image for sammo21
Edited By sammo21

Tax evasion isn't the same thing as tax subsidies and tax breaks. Political message = failed. I'm not saying I think any and or all of those companies need/deserve any of those things, all I'm saying is there is a difference. This developer obviously doesn't care about billions of dollars lost to this administration's backing of failed green energy companies, and those were tax payer dollars. I'm also sure that the developer probably doesn't care about the random money we give to nearly anyone for the whacky shit they study, like mating rituals of animals in other countries. I'm just saying; its hard for me to take some of these political activist games seriously.

Avatar image for dezztroy
Edited By Dezztroy

@patrickklepek

If you decide to play the STALKER games, please do not use the English voices. They are awful. Also, you probably don't want to play them without mods.

Avatar image for nation764
Posted By Nation764

@lhson said:

What Bioshock Infinite's story really shows us, much like the previous Bioshocks before it, and much like many other games with well praised stories such as Spec Ops, is that videogame stories are terrible. The people who write these stories are maybe on the level of a shitty crime thriller writer like Lee Child or CJ Box. The best videogame stories are maybe on the level of a decent anime.

That stories as clumsy and vapid as these get praised so heavily is not a function of their quality but instead indicative of what a cultural and intellectual backwater the videogame community is. Videogames either need to stop trying to tell stories altogether or do it much much better than what we have now.

I think this is an interesting observation. One of the things that I think makes video game writing hard is the fact that you have to put actual gaming in to the product. It makes the story feel disjointed and contrived when the flow of the narrative is interrupted by slaughtering 20 guys, then going back to the story. Any sort of good pacing is going to be hard to accomplish with gaming stories, and developing really interesting or believable characters (come on, Elizabeth tossing you unlimited med kits during fights?) is going to be hard to achieve as well.

I think Bioshock is getting so much attention for its story because it goes leaps and bounds beyond the majority of other games in its attempt at telling a deep, complex, ambiguous story, as opposed to a Call of Duty type straightforward action story. You're right, when you take a birds eye view and actually put the story in to perspective against other mediums (movies and books), it is not nearly as good or transcendent as it is being hyped up to be. Its still a pretty good game though.

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Posted By NoelVeiga

"Aberrant" is only the right word if you are making a normative statement. There is no use of the word that does not cast a moral judgement. That is the word's purpose. If the author didn't not intend to imply any normative judgement than he chose the wrong word.

The whole article is an attack on the Metacritic status quo. Regardless of whether he was making a normative statement, it's obvious that he doesn't agree with the presence of the norm. At most, yes, it's a case of him choosing the word poorly or not expecting to cause a reaction, but I would then argue that Chick's response, "Kotaku calls out Quarter to Three for aberrant review scores" is deliberately misleading. They don't call him out, they actively defend him and, in context, it's undeniable that they are closer to his position than Metacritic's.

So, hey, if you want to argue that Schreirer is a clumsy writer, I'm cool with that, but he clearly intended to use "aberrant" in its strict definition, he undeniably doesn't intend to defend the norm, just to describe it and the relationship Chick's scores have with it and, as a result, there is no way to read Chick's headline, which is what leads to Patrick linking it here, as anything but a misleading attempt to create a polemic where there is none.

Avatar image for boopie
Posted By Boopie

STALKER is garbage it's really not good at all whatever might be good about it is buried under it's overwhelming crapness I have no idea why this game is praised so much and yes I DLd every mod and patch under the sun and it still sucks

Avatar image for travan
Posted By Travan
@crembaw said:

@patrickklepek

I really felt like the #1ReasonWhy article was really out-of-place and off-base in this week's roundup. The author seemed not to actually have a grasp of the issues which she was discussing, and while standing against a simple turning of the table in regards to treatment of the sexes is a noble long run goal, it isn't something that needs championing right now.

Her straw-manning of other feminists is pretty deplorable, and while there are certainly some extremists out there and I understand where she was coming from about the woman speaker she mentioned early in the article, they aren't the people that need to be addressed in this debate. The people that need to be addressed are the bottom-ravaged gamers who cry foul when Rock-Paper-Shotgun has the sheer audacity to have a woman writer, the people who think that Anita Sarkeesian's admittedly faulty methodology are grounds to tell her to 'get back in the kitchen' behind the anonymity of a YouTube account, the people who will point to this article and say 'See, a woman said it, so we're right.'

Yes it's not the fault of the men whom she works with on a day-to-day basis. Yes she got to where she is based on her merit and effort. That doesn't change the fact that she is the exception and that on the whole, female game developers and indeed female gamers are on the whole treated as lesser by this system we've all inadvertently pitched in and manufactured with our dollars. And that, in my opinion, is criminal.

Sorry for the long post, I don't even know if you read these, I just felt like typing it.

Quoting because you highlight every issue I have with that article with far more grace than I was able to manage. Well done.

Avatar image for curtman2k20
Edited By CurtMan2k7

awesome article Patrick! enjoyed all the videos, and i'm glad you got a PC, really looking forward to Spookin' With Scoops' return, as i really enjoyed those live streams. :)

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Posted By bradgrenz

@noelveiga said:

@bradgrenz said:

That people like you have decided a mysteriously calculated mean creates an objective measure of what a "normal" reaction to a game is, is exactly what he's arguing against. Your own quoted definition basically claims that there's something wrong with his scores. Frankly, considering we're talking about critical reactions to creative works, the entire idea is poisonous. And FYI, in statistics, they talk about "outliers" not "aberrant" data.

No, I'm not arguing that. By definition if a majority of scores are identical (or similar) that's the majority of scores. I have no moral stance on it. Good on Chick for having it, but him disliking being an outlier doesn't make him less of an outlier, and I didn't get the impression that the Kotaku article was using "aberrant" derogatorily. In fact, they seemed to agree with Chick's stance, pretty much:

Chick’s message is admirable, and his criticism is always sharp, but his scores illustrate one of the biggest problems with how publishers and developers use Metacritic today: inconsistency.

Note how the problem is with "publishers and developers", not Chick.

Also, whatever the preferred lingo is for eccentric data points, it doesn't change that "aberrants" is very much a correct and accurate word to define it.

"Aberrant" is only the right word if you are making a normative statement. There is no use of the word that does not cast a moral judgement. That is the word's purpose. If the author didn't not intend to imply any normative judgement than he chose the wrong word.

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Edited By Palaeomerus

Tax Evaders is subversive? Seriously? Rootin' for the man and law and order is subversive now? What.

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Edited By CornBREDX

I keep bugging you to play Undying, and since you embedded its (not embeddable) youtube video I am going to take that as a sign you intend to look into it.

I want to warn you, there is some minor tweaks you will have to make to get it to work on a modern computer if you do and the screen is not intended to be as big as modern monitors so it may cut it off and blur some text (if I recall from last time I played it).

But ya. Undying.

I could recommend some really obscure games, if you want. I cant say they are necessarily good. For instance Zero Critical. The first thing you'll notice is it's Giantbomb page is blank. I remember when I got the game I actually couldn't get it to work, until years later. So thats a potential problem.

Less obscure requests, I am just going to list:

Shivers

Shivers 2 (This game was great but you probably wont be able to get it to work correctly- the mouse movement is out of whack on modern computers and I have yet to find a way to get it to work in a way that the game is fun to play. I haven't tried very hard though- i'm sure it's possible but just a warning from my experience)

Sanitarium

Mummy Tomb of the Pharoah

Frankenstein through the eyes of the monster

You gave up on Manhunt way to easily. The fix is easy. You need to set it to not download updates ever. Then download the executable from before the update that broke the game. I have the executable that makes the game work (if you want) but if you search you can find a safe download for it too. Up to you. I think you should give it another go.

I could honestly keep giving suggestions, but I'll stop. This comment is really long.

Hopes these are some fun and interesting ideas for Spookin with Scoops and I look forward to its return! =)

Avatar image for shotgunlincoln
Edited By ShotgunLincoln

@do_the_manta_ray:

On the boat when the giant waves are coming in and it tells you to knock out the sorcerers on the reef. Sorcerers don't spawn for me so you essentially just keep getting knocked around by the giant waves forever. I looked it up and it seems like a lot of people who purchased it through Steam have the same issue.

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Posted By anzejk

@patrickklepek Don't know if you played the original Bioshock but you really should. And if you have just do it again.:)

Avatar image for crembaw
Posted By Crembaw

@patrickklepek

I really felt like the #1ReasonWhy article was really out-of-place and off-base in this week's roundup. The author seemed not to actually have a grasp of the issues which she was discussing, and while standing against a simple turning of the table in regards to treatment of the sexes is a noble long run goal, it isn't something that needs championing right now.

Her straw-manning of other feminists is pretty deplorable, and while there are certainly some extremists out there and I understand where she was coming from about the woman speaker she mentioned early in the article, they aren't the people that need to be addressed in this debate. The people that need to be addressed are the bottom-ravaged gamers who cry foul when Rock-Paper-Shotgun has the sheer audacity to have a woman writer, the people who think that Anita Sarkeesian's admittedly faulty methodology are grounds to tell her to 'get back in the kitchen' behind the anonymity of a YouTube account, the people who will point to this article and say 'See, a woman said it, so we're right.'

Yes it's not the fault of the men whom she works with on a day-to-day basis. Yes she got to where she is based on her merit and effort. That doesn't change the fact that she is the exception and that on the whole, female game developers and indeed female gamers are on the whole treated as lesser by this system we've all inadvertently pitched in and manufactured with our dollars. And that, in my opinion, is criminal.

Sorry for the long post, I don't even know if you read these, I just felt like typing it.

Avatar image for drabnon
Edited By drabnon

@fiberpay said:

@drabnon said:

@fiberpay said:

@drabnon said:

@fiberpay said:

It sure as shit wouldn't be a Patrick article without some sexism links or articles. Yea we get dude your PC, can we move on now?

You know that if you don't want to click on the link you don't have to? Just ignore it, no one's forcing you to read it.

I never said anyone was forcing me to read it.

So if no one's forcing you to read it, then why do you care if Patrick puts sexism links or articles?

I can't put the answer to that here. If you would like I could PM you the answer.

Go ahead, I'm genuinely curious.

Avatar image for devitiffany
Posted By DeviTiffany
Loading Video...

This guy has the best criticism of Bioshock Infinite that I've seen.

Avatar image for buft
Posted By buft

Why aren't you kids all talking about this?

It's by far the most amazing thing I've seen this week. The ending is perfect. It's worth the 16 minutes.

I was blown away by this, the pause at the end of tetris so it didn't lose was genius, I never seen a PC get salty before. I chuckled loudly at that part but in all serious that dudes got some brains.

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Edited By Eldredpe

The gamasutra article reminded me a lot of the points Carrie was making on the GDC livestream.

@animasta said:
@mcghee said:
@deathpooky said:

That Trespasser Let's Play is amazing. Highly recommend listening to the whole thing.

Also Leigh's critique of Bioshock Infinite is both well-written and incoherent. She had points in there, but they were lost in a stream of consciousness mess. If you don't take time to organize your thoughts, then I'm not going to take time to put them together. She's not Pynchon or Joyce, she's writing a video game critique.

I imagine her swilling booze and screaming at her monitor as she bangs words onto her keyboard.

http://www.polygon.com/features/2013/1/22/3880638/far-cry-3-letters

She's actually a fantastic writer (not everything's going to be perfect or even good however), but hey let's all judge her for something she did 3 years ago. something as innocuous as being obnoxiously drunk on a live podcast.

This.

The amount that people still bring that one sort of dumb thing she did while drunk up as a case against her as a person is probably my least favorite thing about the entire GB community.

Avatar image for supah_ted
Posted By Supah_Ted

Leigh was not even being obnoxious, just a bit drunk and loud, you know, like many of the E3 guests.

Avatar image for fiberpay
Posted By fiberpay

@drabnon said:

@fiberpay said:

@drabnon said:

@fiberpay said:

It sure as shit wouldn't be a Patrick article without some sexism links or articles. Yea we get dude your PC, can we move on now?

You know that if you don't want to click on the link you don't have to? Just ignore it, no one's forcing you to read it.

I never said anyone was forcing me to read it.

So if no one's forcing you to read it, then why do you care if Patrick puts sexism links or articles?

I can't put the answer to that here. If you would like I could PM you the answer.

Avatar image for drabnon
Posted By drabnon

@fiberpay said:

@drabnon said:

@fiberpay said:

It sure as shit wouldn't be a Patrick article without some sexism links or articles. Yea we get dude your PC, can we move on now?

You know that if you don't want to click on the link you don't have to? Just ignore it, no one's forcing you to read it.

Why don't you just ignore his comment? No one forced you to read it.

Because I find it interesting that he wants Patrick to stop putting sexism related content in Worth Reading.

Avatar image for drabnon
Posted By drabnon

@fiberpay said:

@drabnon said:

@fiberpay said:

It sure as shit wouldn't be a Patrick article without some sexism links or articles. Yea we get dude your PC, can we move on now?

You know that if you don't want to click on the link you don't have to? Just ignore it, no one's forcing you to read it.

I never said anyone was forcing me to read it.

So if no one's forcing you to read it, then why do you care if Patrick puts sexism links or articles?

Avatar image for bunnymud
Edited By bunnymud

My girlfriend wants to play Saints Row 3. Should I warn her about the game so she can steel herself against the cleavage and machismo? She is like a butterfly sailing in the summer breeze.

Avatar image for gaminghooligan
Edited By gaminghooligan

@ildon said:

Fitzroy has every right to be filled with self-righteous rage, she just takes it a little too far because she is a flawed human. Not because she is black. That's why in the game's story she does not represent a racist depiction, because of the circumstances of the plot and the character motivations for her actions.

Like I said in my other post, this in-game revolution was modeled after the French Revolution, in which the oppressed violently murdered their oppressors. It was going to be bloody regardless of the race of its participants.

Levine probably picked that style of revolution specifically because it allowed him to write more gray characters, because he seems to fucking love that shit. He just loves to write deeply flawed people doing terrible things to each other for what they think are the right reasons. There's just too much evidence based on his other work for this not to be the obvious answer. But nope! He made one of those flawed characters black. Now he's a racist.

YES. Exactly. I mean the color of the Vox is even red, hello blatant Les Miserables/ French Revolution reference. Race has nothing to do with the violence on display. It's a gun fueled revolution led by people who were so oppressed the only answer left was violence. Revolutions are always full of terrible acts committed by both sides, hell during the American Revolution people would beat, tar and feather, and even hang British loyalists for simply not joining the rebellion. She could have been a white Irish woman and had the exact same reactions to the situations presented. Think of how many of her own Vox she's had to watch suffer and die at the hands of Fink and Comstock. Of course she wants revenge, it's only human, and honestly if they had her just let Fink go at the end people would be writing articles about how they copped out and made a weak character.

Avatar image for auron570
Posted By AURON570

So Brendon Chung and Patrick subscribe to the "it's better to have written something than have not written at all" camp.

Arg, sometimes I really wish I could believe in that and just write by heart out, but a part of me is still stigmatized against writing as a "respectable" job.

Avatar image for sonicboyster
Posted By SonicBoyster

Man that racism article for Bioshock Infinite is awful. I had to read it all about three times to make any sense of it because she writes at such a horrible breakneck pace, and it all reads like she's pissed off because the ending wasn't 'black people everywhere win!' and she didn't find enough voxaphones to see any of the ending coming. There are criticisms to be made about the portrayal of racism in Bioshock Infinite. The way that it all gets dropped halfway through? Fine. The way it's apparently all racist because there's a black character who isn't very nice? No. No no no.

Why can't we have more minority characters who are just judged on their, you know, character rather than endlessly over-analysing how well they subvert the stereotypes of their minority group? Because, to me, having characters be completely independent of their race/gender/etc. seems like the end goal to all of this.

That woman didn't even play the game and has no context for her article. She clearly writes inflammatory garbage on her site without comments enabled to get hits. I think it's unfortunate Patrick fell for it and copied that total nonsense. "Courtney Stanton" is the flamebaiter.

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Posted By ildon

@posh: @rsquall: Let me posit this for you guys: In your opinion, would it have also been racist if the leader of the revolutionaries was white? Would it not be construed as "Ken Levine doesn't even think blacks/minorities are competent enough to run a revolution without a white man in charge to lead them?" Levine can't control the fact that he was born white. Should he now be relegated to completely avoiding any discussion of race in his writing forever based simply on the circumstances of his birth? Or even portraying any non-white characters except in completely altruistic and unrealistically flawless terms?

You can't just assume a character depiction is racist because they do something bad, and you can't just assume it's racist because its writer is white. You have to look at the context within the work itself. Fitzroy is arguably the least violent, least sadistic, and least cruel character out of the principles. Hell, Booker/Comstock killed innocent, unarmed women and children in their tents at Wounded Knee just because someone accused him of having "Indian blood." Fitzroy has every right to be filled with self-righteous rage, she just takes it a little too far because she is a flawed human. Not because she is black. That's why in the game's story she does not represent a racist depiction, because of the circumstances of the plot and the character motivations for her actions.

Like I said in my other post, this in-game revolution was modeled after the French Revolution, in which the oppressed violently murdered their oppressors. It was going to be bloody regardless of the race of its participants.

Levine probably picked that style of revolution specifically because it allowed him to write more gray characters, because he seems to fucking love that shit. He just loves to write deeply flawed people doing terrible things to each other for what they think are the right reasons. There's just too much evidence based on his other work for this not to be the obvious answer. But nope! He made one of those flawed characters black. Now he's a racist.

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Posted By lhson

What Bioshock Infinite's story really shows us, much like the previous Bioshocks before it, and much like many other games with well praised stories such as Spec Ops, is that videogame stories are terrible. The people who write these stories are maybe on the level of a shitty crime thriller writer like Lee Child or CJ Box. The best videogame stories are maybe on the level of a decent anime.

That stories as clumsy and vapid as these get praised so heavily is not a function of their quality but instead indicative of what a cultural and intellectual backwater the videogame community is. Videogames either need to stop trying to tell stories altogether or do it much much better than what we have now.