Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We got a letter

So what? We get lots of letters. But this one was written properly and all thought out and stuff so it would be rude not to reply no? Plus it was from a girl.

Catherine Martin writes to thatguys:

Do games have a moral obligation to be politically sensitive? In recent months we have seen a handful of games clumsily attempt a politically savvy narative and blunder into every stereotypical pitfall they could. Now, however, games are about to breach an almost untouched setting: Africa.
Both Far Cry 2 and Resident Evil 5 have chosen this setting as an environment in which to destroy countless hordes of digital natives. More importantly, however, their plots are likely to involve the distribution and flow of medicines in the area. Here I am making a slightly educated guess about the plot of Resident Evil 5, but the evil drug company Umbrella and its infamous T-virus are bound to crop up somewhere. These are controversial and current issues surrounding the African nations as warlords illegally cut supply chains of life-saving vaccinations for a profit. My question is this: if the game designers decide to tackle these issues will they represent a fair and unbiased opportunity for the player to learn something important through the medium of videogames? If they do will they be rewarded?
Secondly, can a mature audience really learn something from what are likely to be two extremely violent games? How many of us wanted to find out more about the plight of the residents of Mogadishu after we watched Black Hawk Down, a film criticised for its exploitative and stereotypical representation of African people? Are games going to continually fall back into politically ignoratn category, or will a games company attemtp to tackle these issues head on and help change mass opinions in the medium's favour?


Dear Catherine, can we call you Jill?

Well Jill, thanks for your letter it was quite long! Almost tl;dr. But I did read it. You make some valid points but I must point out four things:

1) Resident Evil 5 is set in Haiti not Africa because it was racist otherwise! Also, you have to be careful because if you can't tell the difference between Haiti and Africa people will call you racist too! Whoops it almost undermines your whole letter. Don't worry though, just replace Resident Evil 5 with the games Afrika, Exhumed or The Lion King before you send your letter on to EDGE or another excellent gaming culture publication. No one will notice the difference.

2) You've missed the point entirely. Why is Resident Evil 5, Resident Evil 5? It should be at least 6 or maybe seven if we renumber zero as one. The issues you raise are valid but I feel this is a burning issue that must be resolved by Capcom sooner rather than later. For all our sakes.


3) Umbrella aren't necessarily evil they just employ idiot Doctors who inject themselves with their own virus the second trouble crops up. I think they need more screening of research scientists before they employ them in the future.

4) Dude(tte), Umbrella was toppled according to the plot RE4... get with the times.

5) Duuuuuuude(tte) T-Virus is sooo 1997, what happened to G-Virus? Veronica Virus? and to a lesser extent the Plaga...

6) Ultimately, I doubt game desingers will provide a fair and unbiased opportunity for players to learn something. Look at the environments traditionally covered in videogames; train stations, warehouses and helicopters. From videogames you would think that every train station and warehouse is occupied by evil goons trying to take poorly aimed potshots from behind explosive barrels! My grandad used to work on the train lines and he never once saw an explodable barrel in his whole life. As for helicopter pilots, some of them do save lives rather than gatling gun people. It's a sad truth but perhaps together Jill we can change things and get game designers to really show people what life is like rather than stereotyping hard working warehousemen and women as goonish. And Africa.

Watch

Listen. Learn.

Play RE4 again?


Played it on the Gamecube: Check.
Played it on the PS2: Check.
Played it on the Wii: Check.
Played it on the 360... Nope, looks like I have some cheevos to get this time round...

As great as all this is... Where is my RE2 remake?

P.S. This is possibly an April fools photoshop, but I don't think it is that unlikely.

Epilating is the new black

Would, Wouldn't, Would
Check those pits! Cammy is the choice of the axillophiles!

Take note, Evangeline Lilly, Mohinder, and all you other HD TV wonders that don't believe in a proper skin care routine.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Warning: new term approaching…

I’m coining it here, right now, mark this day, it’s “Blog Artist”. Now this doesn’t mean some dude that creates “art” (graphics) for a blog. It is the art of blogging. One who has blogging to a fine art. I considered shortening this to Blogists, or artiloggers however this cheapens the quality to which blog artists aspire too. The best way to define this new class of bloggers is to use analogy to rock pop culture: Rockers, can dress the part, listen to all the music, and quote trivia on their favourite bands. However to be considered an Artiste you mush have talent and create.

May I introduce to you the first two Blog artists ever:

Richie!

Cunzy11

Luv n Hugs.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Quick Question...

“Hey Richie, you know how you were bigging up Devil may cry 4, and even managed to get it early? How come you only have 3 Cheevements and are only at mission 8?”

Good question.

And to be honest it’s a culmination of many things:

Firstly my X-box was constantly Dirty Disking the game, I was getting 15 mins of playtime, and was reduced to saving after each red orb. This has now been rectified as I have upgraded to an X-box elite.

Secondly Katamari has been a big hit, don’t get me wrong I still <3 Dante, but that Katamari rolling game is stupidly fun to play as each level is timed, most of them being around 2 mins. As such I got 450 cheevements from some “casual” gaming.

And lastly*… and the main point of my post. I think I approached Devil may cry from completely the wrong angle, I found myself desperately struggling to work out the most efficient achievement based route through the game, trying to make my first playthrough as fruitful as possible… Gamerscore-whore. I’m far from an epic gamerscore partly because I haven’t really been bothered, I have been playing the games for playing’s sake. E.g. I cant be arsed going through Easy/Medium modes on Guitar hero if I can do the hard/expert modes (FYI Activision, you should sort that out, if you complete a career on Hard you should totally get the easy/medium cheevos!). Also I have only bought a few games, i.e. ones I want to play, I’m not sure I can condone playing King Kong just to get the 1000 gamerscore at the end. waste of time methinks. Anyways right now devil may cry is on hiatus, until I come to a point where I wanna play the game to play the game.
For fucks sake! Anyone else been afflicted with gamerscorewhoreitis?

*Oh yeah also I have a Lvl 70 troll hunter on EU Tarren Mill. My guild is actually now in the process of recruiting drop me a mail (richie[at]thatguys.co.uk) if you would like to join in…

Laters…

Remember the Irish

So Google is telling me it is St. Patrick's day either today, yesterday, tomorrow or this week sometime. St. Patrick's day is a day when the English get excited because for the lower classes it's an excuse to get special on Guinness and vomit on a car because we're not allowed to celebrate St.George's day because any kind of patriotism is racist these days. So in honour we're going to remember some of our favourite Irish gamers:

1) Keith "no saves" Blarney
Ne'er before or since Keith "no saves" has the world experienced a gamer so committed to busting games without saving. One time we were interviewing Keith at PAX and he ate a GBA in rage because someone was auto- saving in the booth next to him. Alas, Keith passed away in 2005 after four days straight of playing GTA San Andreas. He leaves behind a widow, two children and an unused PlayStation Memory Card we imagine he received from a well intending Grandma one Christmas.

2) Kieran "Multipass-Miles" Prower
One of the all time greatest Super Monkey Ball players of all time and surprisingly the only Irish gamer in this list who has been inducted into the All Time Great All Timers Gamer Hall of Fame. But, if there was a monkey in a ball you can guarantee he was umm..... rolling it. He also drew a picture of me as Claire Redfield once. It was awesome.

3) Siobahn "Double Click" Charm
For five years she held the record for the fastest double clicks in the world. Unfortunately, in 2005 after suffering a tendon strain she failed to make the national semis and retired from the pro tour. She can still be seen hustling in internet cafes in and around Dublin.

4) Keeno "super stealth" Rivets
Half Irish-half Italian, Keeno is probably still the greatest stealth game player of all time. He took every major Stealth Game Olympics title from 2002-2007. Records include the infamous 56 hour stealth on Metal Gear Solid: Potable Ops to take the 2007 title and fans fondly remember the 2004 SGO where he scooped gold in every event* despite not even being there.

Stealth games suck

5) Raz "No Scope" Black
Perhaps the most famous Irish Gamer of all time. Raz was brought up in a household with three older siblings and hence was only used to gaming with hand-me-down joypads, often with buttons missing or stuck in with jam and other sugary substances. It was due to this training that Raz allegedly never zoomed in with a weapon yet could no scope from any distance on any game. Raz still holds the records for the Bricking It, Pane in the Neck and Stain Removal challenges on Timesplitters 2 although in recent years a number of kiss and tell stories in the tabloids from ex-girlfriends claim that Raz wasn't as no-scoping as he claimed in the games media. The ongoing court cases will hopefully clear Raz's rep but either way this gamer still has a number of tournament wins under his belt.

So well the done the Irish! The gaming landscape wouldn't be the same without these contenders. Let's all raise a Guinness in their honour.

* UPDATE a number of readers have written in to point out that Keeno only managed the Silver in the Codemaster's SAS Combat event, the gold going to Div1ne W1nd obviously. Apologies.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

We* know** someone*** famous****

What with being listed as an "industry link" over on RAMRAIDER and now knowing** the top Geometry Wars Galaxy player in the world surely this is the year of the maniac. And look!, Games Media Awards people, no ads so perhaps we should win the Best Commercial Non-Commercial Commercial Website Or Blog this year yeah? Yeah? Then we can finally give up our jobs packing battery chickens and write posts about Resident Evil full time!
GaySo without further ado, congratulations to DR Hamhock MD who by now must have been signed by Nintendo and is currently developing a Dr Hamhock limited edition Wiimote holder and/or DS stylus for mass release. Well done, you made it son*****, you made it.

* By we I mean me. Cunzy1 1. Richie left the blog about two years ago and since then I've been dressing up as her and doing posts about dildonics and naruto. That was until Claire interrupted me when I had the Richie wig on and was posing in the mirror talking in a Scottish accent. I went 'special' for a bit then but I'm okay now.

** By know, I mean straight (not gay) flirt with in the comments section on UK:Resistance every now and then. I also mean, have been meaning to add as a link (to the right) for three months but have to wait until I have six months off work to wait for blogger to republish the whole blog. That was heterosexual flirting by the way.

*** Presumably it is someone but we don't know for sure. It could just be a bot or spider******

**** Really depends on your definition of famous I guess. Some people might argue that gamers on the top of leaderboards aren't famous, some might argue that gamers the top of a nintendo leaderboard aren't famous because to-date only seven Wii owners realise that their Wii can go online. But then most people are stupid and poor.

***** I wish I hadn't used "son". It's a bit American, pretentious and condescending. With hindsight I should have used "King of the World" or just "the good Doctor". Oh well it's done now. No way of taking it back.

****** Technical terms for software developed by the FBI in collaboration with the American government that create websites to make real bloggers feel useful and important when they get a new comment or link from another "blogger". According to
Boingboing there are only five real bloggers on the internet.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

WAR Screenie competition

Yeah I made a post! But I hid it all the way back in time if you can believe it! This is the screenshot competition for my friends I lost to WAR. The competition was simple, submit some screenshots of WAR that include the usual MMORPG silly elements such as 'chicken', 'sheep', 'awful clipping' or dinosaurs.

You, know the shots the company would never use to promote the game itself. The competition lasts as long as I say it does. Currently we have three submissions, the artists names have been changed to hide their real identities.

1) 'Horned Squig' by Wowcansuckmyballs

Yee hah The first submission and the most thoughtful it screams realism and I think the artist intended it as a criticism of the tuna and sweetcorn sandwich combination. 200 points.

2) "Still life" by I'msowhackyIputjaminmyshoes

This submission truly captures the lonely nature of MMORPGs 24.5 points

3) DINOSAURS BY AWESOME DUDE

And you still wonder why people lose their family, friends and life to MMORPGs 10000, 000 points. The clear winner so far*

*Hint adding dinosaurs or dinosaur like creatures increases your score by a lot.


Ode to medipack (Vagina)*

Medipack-S Medipack M Medipack-L Medipack or is it Medi-pack?
You make no sense
How do you work?
You save my life often but you could never work in real life

Medipack or is it Medi-Pack?
Sometimes you have a red cross
Sometimes green
Sometimes you come in three sizes but surely it would be better for everyone if you just came in large size

Medipack or is it Medi-Pack?
Sometimes you are a potion
Sometimes you are a herb
Sometimes you are a food stuff like milk or apples

Medipack what is in you to give life?
To cure all wounds by merely standing on you
Or sometimes going into the inventory and selecting "use"
Is it majicks?
I think it is.

*In my travels in Hoenn I wrote this ode as a sister ode to the classic An Ode to Spuddy. I was inspired by studying the Clamperl on Route 124.