Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I Love Rodland

A beautiful bit of "16-bit" work.

The whole thing is just the epitome of the crazy Japanese pixel are you come to expect from the mid 90's

You don't see shit like this nowadays, no siree, Its all fucking hyper real sci-fi men with brown hair.

Where's the fantasy where is the off-the-wall utter madness you used to see in games.

Even the fucking F2P Monstrosities with cartoon graphics still settle into the old D&D tropes.

Love and Fuck you, I'm old, I get it,

Richie X

Friday, September 05, 2014

Over 200 Games Journalists Write an Open Letter To Gamers. Stop the Hate

#GamerGate continues to tear the gaming community apart. Brothers and sisters fight. But there's a shining light. Writing letters to end the hate, harassment and nastiness that haunts our hobby. Theoretical game developers and community managers wrote their letter and gamers have their petition but as a community, video game journalists have not yet spoken out as a group. Until next week that is. An anonymous source who wants to remain anonymous sent us this letter which will be going out next week. 

Dear Gamers (R.I.P)
Please stop the hate. The only thing we have is the power of our opinion on games and gaming related things and if you don't like that then we don't get paid. Well a lot of us don't get properly paid in the first place. In fact being a games journalist sucks. We should really do something to improve our plight.
Anyways. If games journalists stop writing are we not just gamers? Please stop the hate.

7 of 9
Albert Brooks
Andre Romelle Young
Anthony North
Barney McGrew
Bonnie and Clyde
The Busby babes
Bruce Wayne
Charles Earl Bowles
Charles Foster Kane
Clark Kent
Clint Eastwood
Clive Hamilton
The crew of the Nostromo
The dinobots
Dr. Mario
The Easter Bunny
Edward Kelly
Ellis Bell
Father Christmas
Huey, Dewey and Louie
Huey Lewis and the News
Jane Doe
Jessie and James
Jessie James
John Doe
Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Kaiser Soze
Kane and Lynch
Kane and Abel
Katrina and the Waves
Killer 7
The magnificent seven
Malcolm X
Megaman X
Metal Mario
Mike and the Mechanics
Oswell Spencer
Sir Percy Blakeney
Peter Quill
Richard John Bingham
The Rockford Peaches
Roger Rabbit
Saloth Sar
Professor Samuel Oak
Santa Claus
S.T.A.R.S Alpha Team
S.T.A.R.S Bravo Team
Steveland Judkins
Terry Jean Bollette
The seven dwarves
Thelma and Louise
Tom Marvolo Riddle
Toon Link
Tooth Fairy
Unown (all 28 forms)
The Wonderful 101

UPDATE: Parts or all of this post may be deleted, reinstated, edited, changed across all dimensions and we reserve the right to not have to inform any of you of those changes, unless we want to. 

Cant Beat them...

Here! You know Kotaku right, in between all their "journalism" they do crap about Japanese Culture. Like stuff about food shaped like an obscure animal from the most talked about cult dating sim from that week. Or when they talk about their favorite Anime from this season and genuinely discuss the quality of the "boing" noise that the overly endowed female character's boobs make when they bounce/jiggle/squish.

Well here is our favorite bit of Japanese culture:


They are hitting western shores now.

I'm too old now for Dubstep and following Radio 1. But this I can get behind.

Be warned Babymetal, TGAM may just go Full Stalker on this one.


Richie X

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Alcamoth Citizen Says: The topic of the hour/day/week

With the gaming community tearing itself asunder, the developers, gamers and gamers who get paid to write about games turning on each other like cornered animals (online of course, nothing is happening in real life) this conflict between brother and sister is spilling over into game worlds too. Our in-game correspondent,Alcamoth Citizen reporting from Xenoblade Chronicles has this to say about the burning issue: 'Why isn't anyone excited about Jigglypuff being potentially leaked for Super Smash Brothers?'.

So there we have it. If only other game journalists took this news quite as seriously.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Won't Someone Spare A Thought For The #GamerGate 'Journalists'

This last couple of weeks there's been a storm in a teacup that seems to have culminated in the gaming community doing a sea cucumber and eviscerating itself, turning itself inside out and ejecting all it's internal organs as a defense mechanism. You can follow the 'story' on the social media under the hashtag GamerGate. We won't go into the specifics of how this kicked off because the spark that lit the part of the fire we're interested in is sort of irrelevant. The short version is that some pretty strong evidence has come to light reminding us once again of the rampant cronyism and amateurism within games journalism. The funny thing is that what may or may not have happened to kick this off is almost completely by the by. In between the feminists, the white knights, the trolls, the griefers, the journalists and the developers all rallying to four or five different calls and fighting with each other, some are using the #GamerGate to call for clearer transparency and ethics amongst game journalists, an ugly beast that occasionally rears its head. It's just there's never been a hashtag for it before. 

Our issue is that expecting games journalists to conform or to act in a certain way is verging on pointless because aside from a few organs of repute, most games journalists are nothing of the sort. Here's a bulleted list.
  • Games Journalists Aren't Professionals. We've seen our fair share of job adverts for 'journalists' for various outlets over the years from Rock Paper Shotgun to the Official Nintendo Magazine. Our interest piqued, we've made enquiries (because professional industries never, you know, list a salary or rights and benefits for a job with the advert right? If there even is an advert...) to have received responses like; 'If you're asking about pay, it's not the role for you' or just not hearing anything back at all about the job, the role, the pay, the ha ha ha pension. Much like the games industry that apes a proper industry by mimicking them from it's cage, 'games journalism' parodies proper journalism by using words like news, exclusive, feature and sometimes even calling themselves journalists but it's just a bunch of people who write about games.
  • There's No Association Or Accreditation For Games Journalists. Well there may be one or two but I've never encountered them. Anyone can (and does) write about games for a website. But unlike the proper press there's no way to lodge complaints or issues aside from emailing the author, who can and will in all likelihood ban you, tell you to fuck off and then subtweet about you. They may then adapt, delete or rewrite offending content and they may or may not flag or make transparent that they've done so. And why should they? They've got nothing to lose. They're people who get paid (sometimes) to write about games. Nothing more. Go ahead, find a list of 'approved' games journalists.
  • Anyone Can Be A Games Journalist. Seriously. I have a couple of Internet acquaintances who do just this. Try it. Find the right distribution list to get yourself on as a 'journalist' and voila, you'll get free games, get taken on press junkets, sent free junk and invited to 'conferences'. Publishers don't care. They barely check credentials and again, why should they? Send out a bunch of games to outlets and they'll write about your game. If your game is shit you can 'embargo' reviews but the only threat from breaking embargo is you won't get sent review copies from that publisher in the future.  
  • But The Websites Look Legit. They Have Ads For Games On Them. I really think that this confuses people. Having ad banners from the latest blockbuster is in no way an indication of legitimacy, in fact it's probably the opposite. Again, think about it. There isn't someone at EA or Activision who goes through a list of websites they could run their ads through, screening for journalisti integrity. If anything it's a popularity contest not a discerning process at all.  
  • The Lines Are Blurred. We can all agree that the following aren't journalists; Youtubers, people with Twitch channels, Redditors, most posters on NeoGaf. We're all fine with that. So why would you expect some sort of higher behaviour from people whose only qualification is they upload content to a website? Even more worrying are websites like Kotaku who used to have a ban policy on comments telling them their articles aren't news. That's not really a part of journalism. 
  • Some Game Companies Don't Bother Anymore. Nintendo is a great example of this. By releasing their announcements, interviews and trailers [direct to you] through 3DS and Wii-U they bypass the 'gaming press' altogether. You wouldn''t interpret Nintendo's content as journalism right? It's marketing. So then why oh why are you surprised that your sacred journalists are the same people who fight over themselves to live tweet and report the information you can go and see for yourself first hand and in many cases they barely interpret it. They're just churning out the marketing but on their URL. And you and I know this practice is rife. Press release goes out and like a row of dominoes the websites report the release sometimes illustrated or edited, sometimes almost unchanged. Rarely is it labelled ADVERTORIAL or PRESS RELEASE. 
  • There's No Such Thing As Investigative Games Journalism. We all know that there are many many ills with the games industry. Dodgy practices, poor finances, sweatshop sourcing, abysmal job security, lacking basic employment rights, unsustainable hardware, dodgy trading not to mention the games which employ the same tactics as highly addictive gambling  machines. Even worse many 'games journalism' sites don't even pay their writers or in the case of one Official Magazine in the UK get under-age writers to contribute to their content in return for the 'privilege' of writing for them and the odd exclusive access to conferences and expos. Yet I'd be hard pressed to find a single genuine piece of journalism investigating any of this. Sourcing 'quotes' from 'anonymous' 'unconfirmed' 'leakers' doesn't fucking count either. Where's your journalists now?
These are just a few points that have sprung to mind during this whole #GamerGate affair. Expecting 'game journalists' to maintain a baseline code of ethics or practice is ridiculous. Yes they're all mates, yes it seems ridiculously easy to segue from writing about games to making, consulting on or writing games and back again. Yes, they may have a press pass but in reality it should take a lot more to fool you into believing you are accessing content that is in any way different to losers like us writing here or worse, it's agenda driven content. Content to get more clicks. Content to squeeze more 'exclusive' content from game makers. Content to earn enough to pay the 'journalists' employed. I can understand the anger from many gamers but at the same time we can't all be that naive right? As for what we can do to change the situation, we'll see if #GamerGate starts the ball rolling to inject some accountability within, so called, games journalism. And if they're smart about it, 'journalists' could use the opportunity to professionalise the field they work in and distinguish themselves from hobbyists who make content on the Internet.

GROUCHCLAIMER. Yes there are some exceptions and there are some great writers but from the grubbiest of websites (Escapist) to the heady heights of EDGE it all smacks of an exploitative and 'grey area' industry far too often.