Category: Gaming

93

Roosh V's "Reaxxian" Website Kicks Off Exciting Era Of Gaming Ethics And Innovation

Print This Post

[PR NEWSWIRE: IRC CHANNEL "CHATEAU ROISSY"] The worldwide computer gaming community reacted with excitement this week at news that gender relations expert Daryush Valizadeh has launched "Reaxxian," a bold new online platform for game journalism.

Valizadeh, best known by his scholarly pen name  "Roosh V.", built a global publishing empire with philosophical works including the best-selling "Bang Estonia: How To Sleep With Estonian Women In Estonia." He is both the financial backer and editor-in-chief of Reaxxian, which aims to combine the gender-equity social-ethical ontological-literary activism that made his name with his devotion to cutting-edge games such as "Starcraft," "Oregon Trail," and "SimPlaymate." "I see this project as a way to overcome inequities and barriers to traditionally excluded groups," said Roosh. "I want to create a safe space for heterosexual males who play video games."

Roosh V. says he's prepared to invest substantial amounts of his Bang earnings to achieve that goal. "I have hired some of the most cogent and disciplined minds of 8chan.co, and they're coding like mad," Roosh explained. "This is a team of the iron-willed. Blue-pillers need not apply." Planned innovations include a commenting system codenamed TOGTFO, which promotes comments supporting masculinity by bombarding Twitter and Facebook with their content, and sends messages of affirmation, acceptance, and brotherhood to their authors. TOGTFO identifies preferred comments through a complex algorithm that assesses spelling, grammar, capitalization, and frequency of use of common dialetical terms including "cunt" and "panties." TOGTFO's media uploading application will make it easy for female readers to comply with Reaxxian's commenting policy.

Reaxxian also promises to be an innovator in trigger warnings. "As part of our safe space policy, we'll have customizable pop-ups that warn readers of potentially upsetting game content, like flat-chested female avatars, implied universal suffrage, pepper spray, or creepshaming," said Roosh. "When you think about it, the entire concept of 'wandering monsters' in computer role playing games is a form of creepshaming."

Reaxxian emphasizes that this project is not intended to denigrate women, the traditional consumers of video game content, but to promote acceptance of men. In the words of Reaxxian team leader "DieFagsDie," "Isn't it time we had a safe gaming space of our own, without outdated and judgmental socio-gender concepts such as 'stalking?'"

But Reaxxian's lofty goals are not limited to merely reviewing games. "We're going to crowdfund male-positive and heterosexual-affirming games too," confirmed a Reaxxian administrator who goes by the handle "StoP3nis3nvy." At launch Reaxxian unveiled an early version of "Alphas of Gor," a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the universe created by noted philosopher John Norman. Reaxxian's readers have eagerly stepped in as game-testers, and Reaxxian forums are busy with constructive criticism of the game's intricacies like "OMG who nerfed negging" and "lolconsent spell cool-down is too long" and "fm merchant npcs standoffish."

Concept art from early build of "Alpha Males of Gor" by Reaxxian Game Studios.

Concept art from early build of "Alphas of Gor" by Reaexxian Game Studios.

Roosh promises that Reaxxian will feature regular strategy guides for its promoted games. "Theodore Beale — Vox Day himself — is working on a newbie guide to selecting the best race during character creation," an enthused Roosh revealed. "Alpha Males of Gor" is not the only game Reaxxian is promoting; there is also talk of Kickstarting a first-person-shooter to be titled "Divorce Court," a remake of "Custer's Revenge," and a children's game under the working title, "Strawberry Shortcake Gets What She Deserves."

The timing of Reaxxian's launch is no coincidence; it will draw traffic from the game-industry controversy referred to as "GamerGate." Roosh joins other prominent thinkers like Adam Baldwin, Milo Yiannoppouos, and Pat Robertson who have recognized GamerGate as an opportunity to explore the important social and political issues raised by modern gaming.

"We're just very excited that another powerful voice has joined our call for ethics in journalism," said ardent GamerGate supporter and Reaxxian fan Kajira Lisa, speaking with the permission of her master, Chad of the Free City of Bakersfield.

Ken White and Patrick Non-White contributed to this article.

30

"Digital Homicide Studio" Abuses DMCA To Lash Out At Reviewer Jim Sterling, Gets Fair Use Wrong

Print This Post

Frivolous abuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is nothing new. We've seen fake poets, manufacturers,purveyors of anatomically impossible boobs, sociopathic revenge-pornsters, and legbreakers for totalitarian governments make false claims of copyright violations in an effort to censor online criticism.

So why should we be surprised that a computer game designer would abuse a DMCA takedown request to silence a negative review?

(more…)

439

Ten Short Rants About #GamerGate

Print This Post

If you know what #GamerGate is, I don't have to tell you. If you don't know what #GamerGate is, any description I give you will be attacked by hordes of partisans saying that I have described it unfairly and that the sources I have linked are biased. So I'm going to treat you, dear readers, as if you know what it is. Clark wrote a post about it last week. My take is different. I'm not going to offer you a timeline or an attempt at a definitive "what happened" or "who is right." Instead I'm going to rant about ten ways that this controversy illuminates how we're screwed up.

(more…)

Gridiron Solitaire is live!

Print This Post

On 16 November, I told you about Gridiron Solitaire, an indie game developed by Friend-of-the-'Hat and all-around nice guy Bill Harris of Dubious Quality. At that time, Bill had submitted the game to Steam for possible greenlighting and I asked for votes in support of that effort. Alongside some Popehatters, friends of Bill from all around the 'verse joined in, and pretty soon afterward the game was approved.

Well, Gridiron Solitaire is now officially available on Steam! I'll bet it's a great way to spend a snowy evening….

Taffer Style

Print This Post

This is a relatively self-indulgent post, but hey– blog!

This is fundamentally a gaming site, founded and sustained by gamers, and I was once, and remain, a rabid fan of the gaming franchise that began with Thief: The Dark Project, continued with Thief II: The Metal Age and Thief: Deadly Shadows, and will soon resume with 2014's Thief. These are the high water mark in first-person, hybrid, potentially non-violent, stealth-based, story-rich games.

A recent discussion of satire, parody, and pastiche in the comment section of another thread here reminded me that I wrote a handful of Thief-themed pastiches back in the early aughties. To share them with others who might like them, to store them in our database, and to revisit them with wistful nostalgia, I reproduce them below. Each is set to the theme of a pop song. Note well: these are only meaningful if you've played the games, and they're best read with the corresponding tunes playing in the background. :) The songs are Barbie Girl, All Star, Mickey, We Didn't Start The Fire, Uptown Girl, Cheers, and U Can't Touch This.

In one sense, the message of this post in a nutshell is "Ain't I a clever chap!" But if you, too, love the Thief games, then in joining the nostalgia perhaps you'll revisit some fond memories of your own.

(more…)

Open Gaming Thread

Print This Post

So what are you paying right now? What do you recommend?

I've recently been playing the latest Civ V expansion — Brave New World — and worked towards a culture victory to test of some of its new elements (like tourism and archeology) — but started to lose interest in the late game. I also pre-ordered the Beta of Age of Decadence but find it very challenging to stay alive.

I'd love to find a good-old-fashioned party-based crpg, something like Helherron. On the other hand, I'm tempted by Patrick's glowing reviews of Europa Universalis IV.

You?

Gridiron Solitaire – ready for Greenlighting!

Print This Post

In an earlier post, I introduced you to the forthcoming indie PC game Gridiron Solitaire by our friend, the amazing Bill Harris, whose blog Dubious Quality has kept us in sentiment, insight, and stitches for many a year.

The game is one of those 15-20 minutes-per-session card-based games that are easy to play over lunch or during a break. The game models football, including leagues, seasons, and the intricacies of football strategy, but presents it all in a highly accessible, enjoyable way. I'm not a football fan, though tonight's standoff between Stanford and USC nearly converted me. But I'm looking forward to this game because I know that Bill knows what makes games fun.

(If you missed the earlier post, go read it now!)

Well, his game is ready to be considered for distribution via Steam. All it takes is enough community support through the Greenlight system. So if you're a Steamer, consider headin' on over to the Gridiron Solitaire page at the Steam Community website an' doin' what yer Mama taught ya.

Scroll down to where it says "Would you buy this game if it were available in Steam?" and make the world a better place.

Gridiron Solitaire: the first preview

Print This Post

GridironSolitaire

From game reviewer and gaming market analyst to game… developer?! Yep. Our friend Bill Harris of the fascinating blog Dubious Quality has been creating a game for the past couplethree years.

One thing that's special about Bill is that he has an intricate understanding of all the tactical and strategic nuances of every sport that interests him. For example, whenever there was a release of NCAA or Madden in their heyday, Bill would spend countless hours on empirical testing of various configuration slider settings and then release a definitive slider configuration to make the video game as much like the live game as possible.

Another is that he has a broad and deep understanding of what makes games enjoyable. He's both analytic and intuitive, and his judgment has been honed through decades of playing, reviewing, and discussing.

Understanding and good judgment–that's a magical combination for creative endeavors, and so the anticipation is high for his soon-to-be-released game, Gridiron Solitaire.

The exclusive first look at Bill's game is now up at Red Door Blue Key. I have no interest at all in football, but I can't wait to play this game because I know Bill. I trust that his creature will not only be accessible, suitably challenging, and hugely replayable, but also that it will somehow capture the feel and the fun of genuine football. For anyone who does love football, the game will undoubtedly offer many special moments that I'll fail to intercept.

The more I played Gridiron Solitaire, the more I kept repeating that phrase: just like real football. It’s astonishing that an abstract, card-based mechanic can so closely mimic the peculiar feel of this sport. Ball control, time of possession, and clock management are crucial. The games end with realistic scores…

Check out the preview, read his designer blog installments (starting here), and watch this space for further info about when and where the game will drop!

Listen, Don't Mention The Malshandir. I Mentioned It Once, But I Think I Got Away With It All Right.

Print This Post

Gentle readers, I write with important legal, ethical, and spiritual advice: don't say "Malshandir".

Really the core of my advice is not to name anyone or anything "Malshandir". Don't name your baby "Malshandir"; name it, I don't know, George or something. Don't name your dog "Malshandir". Don't name your macaw who rides on your shoulder as you ride your second-hand bike to the ironic t-shirt store "Malshandir." And for the love of the all-merciful God, whatever you do, don't name your pretend Elf, the non-existent avatar you use in an online game, "Malshandir", even if — and I want to make this very clear — you believe he deserves special recognition for having completed the "Fetid Slug Imbalance" quest successfully.

Fetid Slug Imbalance was dropped from the DSM-V, probably for political reasons.

Fetid Slug Imbalance was dropped from the DSM-V, probably for political reasons.

But it's not just about naming things "Malshandir." It's really not even safe to say "Malshandir." You shouldn't say "that piece of halibut was good enough for Malshandir," or "I've been having trouble with that stuff that builds up in the crevices of my groin, where I sweat a lot — what's it called? Malshandir?"

You shouldn't do these things because a guy named Thomas Freyer may sue you or have you arrested using European courts, which apparently are magic and render decisions in two hours. This, apparently, is Thomas Freyer:

THIS IS THE FACE OF YOUR DESTRUCTION, IMPUDENT WORM.

THIS IS THE FACE OF YOUR DESTRUCTION, IMPUDENT WORM.

We know these things because Thomas Freyer has been engaged in a furious dialogue with a web site devoted to the online fantasy game Everquest 2. That site had a profile of an EQ2 character, an Elf named "Malshandir." Mr. Freyer maintains this is VERBOTEN, because even if his domain name malshandir.com has expired, and even if he has not registered an American trademark for "Malshandir", and even if his English company "Malshandir" closed in 2010, and even if the "Malshandir" character was created on EQ2 in 2008, he has a European trademark on "Malshandir," which prevents you from calling anything "Malshandir", even a pretend Elf. Using the name "Malshandir" can have grave consequences, including but not limited to being forced to "delist your site from nameservers within the EU and reject all requests from servers and clients from the EU," a "decision from a court within 2 hours," and exposure to worrisome paradoxes, such as "BTW: I talk with a trademark lawyer. trademark attorneys doesn’t exist."

Read more about Mr. Freyer's legal acumen, and why you should fear his wrath, here.

Mr. Freyer apparently believes based on legal advice — which may or may not come from attorneys that you or I could see or hear — that if he trademarks a name for commercial purposes in Europe, then you or I may not use that name for completely unrelated non-commercial purposes in America, for instance to denote a pretend Elf. This would mean, for instance, that if someone trademarked "Buster" to sell marital aids in Oslo, you could not name your World of Warcraft Orc Buster, even if Buster is not in the actual or pretend trade of manufacturing or selling marital aids. [Note to self: develop pitch for new profession in World of Warcraft. Assign associate with lowest billable hours and least inclination to sue.]

I could explain why that is silly, but I think my head might explode. I am concerned that my head exploding could made some sound that resembles some word Mr. Freyer has trademarked in Europe, which could lead to further litigation against my estate.

So: be sensible, be prudent, and don't say "Malshandir." And whatever you do, don't engage in any sort of contest to see which of you could photoshop the most creative use of "Malshandir" for commercial or artistic use, and especially what you do don't start with templates like this.

Edited to add: Dammit, people! I explicitly told you not to do things like this, from Aaron in the comments!

COME AT US BRO

COME AT US BRO

Updates: All right, who did this? That's very mean to Malshandir!

Meanwhile, Mr. Freyer seems to be very angry and threatening, and thinks that an EQ2 blog can take down posts from Popehat.

Mayday, Mayday…we are under attack

Print This Post

This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone…Mayday, Mayday…we are under attack…main drive is gone…turret number one not responding…Mayday…losing cabin pressure fast…calling anyone…please help…This is Free Trader Beowulf…Mayday….

Got home late tonight and found a package on the front porch.

AWW YEAH!

footnotes:

1, 2, 3

#old_school

Confessions of a 43-Year-Old Gamer

Print This Post

I have been playing video games since Pong. I learned some rudiments of BASIC on the Commodore 2000 just to program incredibly rudimentary "games." I was video-game-obsessed. It was my main hobby. My father once barked at me "THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN PAC-MAN." (I said something very similar to my son on the streets of Seoul and could hear my father laughing in my head.) I enjoyed video games to the detriment of studies and social relationships.

But . . .

Now I am 43 and married with kids and a job and a mortgage and pick-ups at soccer practice every weeknight and soccer games every weekend and errands and making a gesture towards helping around the house and so forth.

Leaving aside games like Civilization V which I can "finish" by virtue of winning a scenario, I can't remember the last video game I "finished."

Now that time is a much rarer commodity than money, I buy games and barely start them, let alone finish them.

I frequently plan to take a serious shot at a game, only to drift off into idly surfing the internet, or watching Netflix.

Where I used to be intimately familiar with the leading games in my chosen genre (rpgs and Civ-style turn-based strategy), I haven't played most of the "big" games for years.

Increasingly when I look for games, I am looking less for graphics or gameplay, but for a feeling — the feeling games used to give me. That's why I often get the most pleasure not from big-budget heavily-promoted releases, but from obscure indies with 25-year-old graphics.

But my quest may be fruitless. There are many beautiful and innovative and genuinely artistic games coming out, some with improvements on classic gameplay. But it will never again be 1983. I will never again be playing Ultima III on my Apple IIe, windows open to let in a summer breeze smelling of honeysuckle and suntan oil, without a care or responsibility in the world, gasping as I found my way into the treasure trove in Devil's Gulch.

u3chestsScreenshot courtesy of the fabulous CRPG Addict.

Freebage

Print This Post

I have one of each of the following oldie-but-goodie games to give away within the Steam ecosystem:

  • Half-Life 2 (taken)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One (taken)
  • BioShock (taken)

Do you play games via Steam? Do you, for some inexplicable reason, lack one of these games? Would you like one of them?

If you have answered "Yes, Yes, Yes!" to these questions, then send an email to me, david at popehat dot com, requesting by title exactly one of the three games.

Each game will go to the first person who requests it, and each will go to a different person.

Enjoy!

No Shit

Print This Post

Former Diablo 3 Director Jay Wilson discusses Diablo 3's Auction House

He thought they would help reduce fraud, that they'd provide a wanted service to players, that only a small percentage of players would use it and that the price of items would limit how many were listed and sold.

But he said that once the game went live, Blizzard realized it was completely wrong about those last two points.

No shit.

That, said Wilson, made money a much higher motivator than the game's original motivation to simply kill Diablo, and "damaged item rewards" in the game.

31282046

 

"I think we would turn it off if we could," Wilson said during his talk.

no shit sherlock 2

Blizzard, Wilson said, doesn't want to remove a feature that lots of players will be unhappy to see go. But he did say that the team is working on a viable solution, without giving any other details about what that would be like.

Buy Torchlight 2.

Kickstart: Torment

Print This Post

Do you remember with fond affection that masterpiece of PC gaming, Planescape: Torment? Have you never heard of Planescape: Torment? Do you wish you could dropstop everything right now and replay Planescape: Torment?

Well, you're not alone. But Big Publishing is too rational or terrified to make that sort of game anymore.

Happily, we can acknowledge the waning importance of what Big Publishing thinks about this or anything else, for we now have tubes full of Kickstarter. (What can change the nature of games publishing?)

Many of the folks who made Planescape: Torment now work at inXile, and they're making a new game: Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Not actually a sequel to the previous game's story, which is self-contained (and recursive), Tides of Numenera will offer the same kind of thematically rich content within the framework of Monte Cook's (already fundedNumenera RPG system.

Anyhow, the studio's Kickstarter campaign began this morning and raised its 30-day target of $900,000 in six hours. That should tell you something about how the fans of Planescape: Torment regard this franchise and these developers and this plan.

There's still plenty of time to buy in, and there are plenty of perqs for berks, so if this is the sort of thing you're likely to like, then you know what to do!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/inxile/torment-tides-of-numenera

Some People Call Me The Space Marine . . . And Get Threatened By Games Workshop

Print This Post

M.C.A. Hogarth is a writer of many things, including science fiction.

You would think that it is difficult to draw frivolous legal threats and demands writing science fiction. You would be wrong. Hogarth wrote a book called Spots the Space Marine, only to find it yanked from Amazon, apparently based on a claim of trademark infringement by I-can't-believe-they-still-exist gaming institution Games Workshop. Games Workshop, it seems, told Amazon that they own the trademark to "Space Marine," not withstanding that (1) they don't own a trademark to it in the context of science fiction books, and (2) they couldn't, because the term has been in wide use in science fiction for the better part of a century.

Unprincipled and frivolous trademark threats chill speech just like defamation threats. Companies that make them should face consequences. Regrettably, Amazon will probably continue to pull books first and ask questions later.

Ignore This In Ten Minutes

Print This Post

We (I say that cautiously, as I'm no longer really a part of "us") don't blog about games as we used to, which is sorta sad but people move on.

That said, one of the things I'd meant to be blogging about back when I was actively blogging here is Guild Wars 2, a "buy-to-play" (meaning no monthly subscription fee) massive, multiplayer online roleplaying game, which I think is the best game of 2012. I didn't, because I sorta ran out of steam on the whole blogging thing around July, but I have a few trial subscriptions for a free four day weekend trial of the game, which begins tomorrow night.

If you'd like one, say so in comments, using a real email address (in the email address field, not in the body of your comment), and as supplies last I'll provide you a free trial.  If you choose to play on the Ehmry Bay server in North America, you can even join the Popehat guild, which is pretty much just me.

Of course, if you try the game and like it, please consider buying it through the Amazon widget on the right sidebar.