Tag Archives: gaming

#432 The road to #GamerGate is paved with good intentions

You know that I did not WANT to do another #GamerGate blog post so soon. I have been meaning to write a proper post for a while. I have been following the entire event as it has unfolding since it’s conception well over a month ago, and while I have mentioned the effects and fallout of #gamersgate twice already (Be MOP #419 and #431). The terrible thing is it seems that every time I sit down to write a post covering the entire event or a recap of what just happened, a new twist is added or revealed every other day.

But out of everything that has happened, all the accusations and name calling and conspiracy talks I want to focus on three major incidents and wrong doings that Game Journalism have committed, that has been revealed and brought to light from this past month.

The big three are:

  • The Original Sin of having an established journalist having an affair with a game developer, and while writing and financially supporting the work by the developer. (Source)
  • Another journalist writing about the works of friends, significant others, and roommates. (Source)
  • and most recently and most inflammatory the reveal of the secret mailing list of journalists talking about the recent events and leads that lead into talking about what these journalists write about and how to write it. (Source and follow up Source)

These are all wonderful examples and outcomes from the #GamersGate movement because all those accusations have been confirmed, by a Kotaku post from Stephen Totilo about his employees and by admission of guilt by tweets and comments of the journalists in the secret mailing list. The thing is what has been done by the sites and people involved was incredibly unethical.

“– Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.” -The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics

Despite the damning evidence here I firmly believe that all of these events might have been done with the best intentions .

Hanging out a bit too closely with leads and contacts because they were at or hosted some really cool expos and parties, as we have seen with staff of Destructoid having their pictures taken with prominent PR members AAA gaming industry.

Writing about your friend/patreon user’s pet project or creation on the site that you write for and that gets thousands of hits per day as a sign of good will.

Or as we seen from the recently leaked emails from the secret Gaming Journal Pros threads advocating the blocking any coverage of the Zoe Quinn event to help prevent any more harassment coming her way or thinking it would be a good idea to get all the journalists to pitch together to buy Zoe a “feel better” gift for her.

But what they, the journalists, did was still wrong, beyond wrong they broke some founding rules of journalism. Because of what they have done to try to protect someone from trolls, help significant others/patreon and just wanting a place to talk to fellow journalists they were in fact changing or ignoring the recent objective stories, promoting people for their or their own financial gain, and creating a place allowed the passive (or if you read some of the emails aggressively) attempts to sway the direction and message or video game journalism.

***

That is the problem with ethics, it’s that what you want to do might not line up with what you want to do.

I get it, having and following work ethics is a double edge sword, it is great to have as a defense when you have to do something that is unpopular but it is terrible burden to have when it prevents you (or suppose to stop you) from doing the fun stuff.

I have been there, there have been times in my line of profession when I did not know what to do and I had to refer to my code of ethics for guidance and for the answer for better or worst.

With all the glam and fashion of being some of the most viewed journalists in your field and when you constantly get first looks at the newest games, free giveaways, and invitations to all the biggest gaming events I could find it quite easy at time to do the thing you want to do for a story rather than things you have to do.

But work ethics are there so we have an established (and to keep up) a professional image and to keep it a constant professional image for all the other workers, clients, and people you work for.

Those rules are there so that people in and out of the workforce can trust you to do your job. Moving forward how can anyone ever trust these people to write an unbiased article about any of these game developers if they refuse to remain a proper distance away from a source to remain professional.

Videogame journalism, as we have seen, is still a new form of journalism but simply because it’s new does not exclude it from any form of ethics, or cherry picking the essentials. We are in an age where even YouTubers, not professional journalists with web shows but regular people with personalities are expected to have ethics and use disclosures lest you forget the events surrounding XB1M13.

At the end of the day all of these game journalists fall under the same category of some of the greatest Pulitzer Prize winners and people who risk their life for a source or a major story. After reading all the emails from the recently leaked email logs from GameJournos Pro I believe that these journalists did not mean to do harm when they were discussion the possibility to not cover the story, what they have done in their private talks and actions they took did inflict harm to the name of Journalism.

Now these journalists involved needs to be reprimanded for it, with a combination of mass resignations for the worst offenders, massive reconstruction of these website’s code of ethics and how to approach sources and stories, or at the very least complete transparency on what wrongs and these other sites and writers have done in the past and present with regards to GamerGate.


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#431 What does it mean to be a “Gamer” and other titles

Forward: This post is a long time coming, on top of the recent published articles from various news sites declaiming the title, ‘gamer’ as obsolete and tainted from the recent #GamerGate social media movement.

 

Yip we're doing this topic. Buckle up

Yup we’re doing this topic. Buckle up

I hold several titles, ‘gamer’, ‘blogger’, and ‘streamer’ as a result of the various choices I have made from my past. I proudly wear those titles now but that was not always the case, there was a time where I had to go through a personal journey in order to build up self respect and confidently announce that I am a gamer, a blogger or a streamer, and in my personal experience all titles went through the same cycle.

 

It always starts out the same with dabbling with the new media or concept, whether it be being gifted my first game,Pokemon Red, by my parents, biting the bullet and starting a World of Warcraft video game blog (this one right here) or committing myself to a constant streaming schedule. At first, for me but I assume many of other gamers out there, there was a period of time where I kept my gaming activity to myself not being the first to bring up videogames, blogging, or streaming in conversations and when I would have those conversations I would be with close friends in the corner of the lunch table in middle school or just as causal blogging side project with my college friends.

During that time I did not refer to myself as a ‘gamer’ or ‘blogger’ but rather ‘a guy who play games’ or ‘a guy who has a blog’ in fear of retaliation and because at the time, it could have been easily disproven that that was someone I was not, a poser or someone jumping on the bandwagon.

For refrenece, at all of these these times only owning a few games or publishing a few dozens blog posts/stream sessions with no real viewership.

 

What makes gaming, blogging, streaming stands out from all of my other hobbies that I have picked up along the way was that I kept to gaming, playing more games, going out and actively looking for gaming news sites and articles and liked minded people. and I kept to my writing and streaming schedule with Be MOP.

Then I got to a point, and again I assume I can say this for many people as well, where I have put so much effort and passion into your hobby that I could not deny the title to anyone, not even to myself. The “I’ve made it point” in many people’s journey.

For reference this was when I was making and rearranging my social calendar to make my World of Warcraft raids, reaching the 60th Be MOP post and when I was starting to decorate and customize my blog’s wallpaper and banner with screenshots I took from the Mists of Pandaria beta. As for Twitch I reached that point when I started to get constant viewers coming back to my stream to watch and interact with me in the chat room.

 

As I was writing this I did not realize I was more or less writing about the steps of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but if the shoe fits

As I was writing this I did not realize I was more or less writing about the steps of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but if the shoe fits

With all that back story of my gaming life, why does it bother me that there are game journalists out there trying to convince me to move away from the name of gamer? Because I worked incredibly hard to build up the title of gamer and blogger in the eyes of my friend, family, and myself and it is insulting when some when a group of people, from within the same group no less, tries to change what it means to be a gamer by dragging the title through the mud. All in an attempt to shame us away from it because of a few bad apples or an exponential boost in mobile gaming population.

Neither the Democrats or Republicans Party tried send out internal and external memos to their supports to abandon using the word ‘Democrat’ or ‘Republican’ when one or a few of their politicians got caught in a scandal. Both parties stuck to the name because they realize the title “Democrat” or ‘Republican’ does not mean the group of people, but rather an idea that a lot of people group up under and rally behind.The same can be said about the title Gamer, it is not named for the group of people who plays games it is a name for the people who are avid fans who feel passionate about their hobby and goes out on day trips to gaming conventions and who cares about nurturing and growing the media on a whole.

P.S: To bring a counterpoint to the idea that the title, “gamer” is being diluted because of the introduction of causal and mobile games bringing in people that have never played games before; My mother and I are both literate and can and has read books, but only one of us constantly frequents goes down the bookstore, attend book meetings and events, actively go out and read new genres and works from new authors, and thinks the best time to relax is with a blanket and a nice book. She is a ‘reader’ while I casually read books on the side.


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#429 The 3DS Time Capsule

The next installment of Super Smash Bros. is right around the corner, while I have been patiently waiting to buy my Wii U edition of the game I have been killing time and getting more excited for Nintendo’s newest brawl by playing some of the original titles of some of the fighters in the rosters on my 3DS. Blame it on the fact that I am a history fanatic that enjoys a good origin story, and where some of these original, now iconic, tunes that I hear over and over again in the brawl soundtracks WITHOUT resorting to emulation or romhacks.

I have mentioned before I already own a copy of the NES port of Super Mario Bros (Be MOP #380) and Metroid (Be MOP #406) and through one way or another I also picked up 3D Classics: Kid Icarus. It seems that Nintendo was thinking the same thing because I received an email about their discounted Wii U and 3DS games starring the stars of Brawl and with that I picked up a copy of Mega Man II.

 

 Who says Nintendo doesn't know their player base and have an on point marketing team

Who says Nintendo doesn’t know their player base and have an on point marketing team

With the the released replenishing of the Featured Games offers and my surplus of Club Nintendo rewards coins I also picked up the Legend of Zelda on the 3DS for myself and the first Super Mario Bros for my younger brother.

Because that what bigger brothers do.

Because that what bigger brothers do.

While I am still clicking through Tomodachi Life, waiting for the right moment to open up Bravely Default, these proper 8 bit games have been holding me off the itch for buying another action platform game. All of these games are challenging, way tougher than I anticipated, as I mentioned at the origin point at the start of this blog post, I get to see and hear all the original tunes and experience the first boss fights that all future installments of Mario and Zelda games base themselves off of and for the cherry on top, I also get to see, first hand, the inspiration of the levels and bosses in Shovel Knight.


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#428 The Return of the Pokemon DLC

Good news Pokemon fans! The Pokemon Company just announced two new DLC for everyone with a copy of Pokemon XY for the over the course of two weeks in October and November, presumably to build suspense and hype for the release of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire slated for November. 

The first DLC will given away between October 13th and October 26th, and it is a Level 25 shiny Gengar, holding a mega stone that will allow it to transform into the one of the coolest mega forms I have ever seen. The other DLC will distributed between October 26th and November 16th and this is one of the blocked off legendary Pokemon, Diancie, to celebrate the release of the 14th Pokemon movie, Diancie & The Cocoon of Destruction. Both DLC will be given out via special code for free -currently for US players only- at participating Gamestop.

 

As much as I want to say I am above being subjected to Marketing techniques, because of the news and other things, I am currently powering through the XY Pokemon show to prepare for the upcoming movie.

As much as I want to say I am above being subjected to Marketing techniques, because of the news and other things, I am currently powering through the XY Pokemon show to prepare for the upcoming movie. 

 

As I wrote in the last time I wrote about Pokemon DLC (Be MOP #414), it is still nice to receive continuous support for this game with the best type of DLC with content that are not connected to the main story or plot all while being free,and not to sound like I am biting the hand that feeds me but I do not like how Nintendo of America is tying themselves to Gamestop AGAIN. 

The 3DS and Wii U were the herald that brought Nintendo in the new era of constant and easy internet connection for all of their devices with the ability to download any games and patches, friend lists, and the introduction of the Mii forums. Both Nintendo and the Pokemon company has proven they have the ability to distribute DLC and free games on the global scale directly to the comfort of our own WiFi enabled homes. So why is the American branch of Pokemon resorted to local connections and printing and handing out unique codes especially since Gamestop already had their promotional stunt with Pokemon just a few weeks ago.

 In the official Pokemon release they even highly suggested that while you were at Gamestop, picking up your code for the bug mega stones.

In the official Pokemon release they even highly suggested that while you were at Gamestop, picking up your code for the Heracross/Pinsir mega stones, you should preorder ORAS.

 

I could see why Pokemon Company would decide to give away Diancie, and in Japan Darkrai, in the specific movie theaters since it could act as a marketing tool to push more tickets and it would serve as a great way to meet and trade with strangers who are also interested in Pokemon, like what I did at Pax East. But tell me why would I go to videogame store when the American version of the Pokemon Movie will be either be broadcast on Cartoon Network as a special TV event or streamed online?

 


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#427 Penultimate Extra Life 2014 Update

At the start of the weekend I received some amazing news. As you know, since the initial announcement post back in Be MOP #376, I signed up with the Extra Life organization to help raise money to support Boston Children’s Hospital and because of all the contributions from many of you we were able to reach the Extra Life fundraising goal!

Thanks to grammar I can now say that I have raised hundredS of dollars for Boston Children

Thanks to grammar I can now say that I have raised hundredS of dollars for Boston Children

 

This is good news for all of you because, even though the fundraiser is still going, I will not be constantly mention the fact that I am participating in this event at the end of every other stream. Which is great for some of my close friends and co-workers because in a few weeks I would have started obviously mentioning that I am in this cool fundraiser that helps children hospitals every time payday comes around.

I want to take this time to make this post to say Thank you to all who donated to my profile. Thank you to those who have donated to other profiles, and Thank you all of those involved with this campaign. You are all amazing, you guys can rest easy tonight with the knowledge that you have directly helped sick children in need. 

Upon reaching that fundraising goal that also means that I have to follow through on my promise to deliver on my 24 hour live stream on October 25th, Extra Life’s National Game Day, as a special reward for all you guys. But what I need now are suggestions on what games you would like me to play during that big 24 hour block, I have a few games in mind but they are not enough to fill the entire time, so feel free to leave comments down below with your favorite or most hated game that you want to be featured on that October stream.

plus I need some serious tips on surviving this live stream event, since this is the first time I have ever done something like this.

plus I need some serious tips on surviving this live stream event, since this is the first time I have ever done something like this.

 

PS: for clarification of the title the last 2014 Extra Life 2014 post will probably on the Friday of the event, so the raise a last minute awareness for Extra Life and the event and to serve as a easy blog post for a Friday

 


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#426 The Appeal to Pixel Perfect Precision Platformers

For my Wednesday stream I played VVVVVV for all of Twitch to see. I could only last half of my regular streaming time, one and a half hours, for the sake of my sanity and cool.

One hour of gameplay and a half hour to quietly reflex on what I just experienced

One hour of gameplay and a half hour to quietly reflex on what I just experienced

 

 While I was playing, and enjoying the constant deaths, I was asked over and over again throughout the night’s stream by passersby on how I could possibly enjoy this type of game. As I mentioned on the stream it is because incredibly hard platforming games, like VVVVVV and Super Meat Boy, rewards players based on skill and skill alone.

Cool thing about this game is that its the first example of Open World Platformer I have ever seen in a game, impressive since the open world is missing a dimension.

Cool thing about this game is that its the first example of Open World Platformer I have ever seen in a game, impressive since the open world is missing a dimension.

 

Other games have easier ways of getting to victory and the end game screen, Pokemon has a type advantages to give you the edge over the certain gym leader of the city, Trading Card Games have the aspect of Random Number Generator to give the player the occasional lucky hand, and regular action adventure games have unlockable powers and upgrades to help you fight tougher and tougher enemies.

But most Platforming games gives you everything you need from the get go, as we see in VVVVVVV we have the right and left movement buttons and the one action button to flip your character’s gravity’s perspective, and that’s it. There is no trick on getting through the end stage the only way to beat it is to not find the most effective hidden items but just be either being good or getting good enough to pass the objectives at hand.

The good news that the checkpoints are so frequent that you backtracking becomes a non issue.....usually

The good news that the checkpoints are so frequent that you backtracking becomes a non issue…..usually

 

With VVVVVV there is only one specific path for the stage, but unlike that horrible GiOPi, Mission Majority game, that stage’s proper path is so specific that even though the creator made only one path it is narrow and unforgiving that the game’s major focus is not about reaching towards the end of the game but getting through the current obstacle.

That is why I love games like these, because titles like They Bleed Pixels, Cloudberry Kingdoms, and even the later levels in the new Mario games, can only be properly created and played by having tight controls and really superb level designs, which is two of the cornerstones of what makes any amazing game.

 

 


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#424 Games from my Backlog for the month of September 2014

Another month, another dollar, and another batch of games to try to tackle in my on going series ‘Games from my Backlog’ to try to trim down the amount of games I have yet to play. Before we talk about the games I will be playing this month, lets sit down and talk about the games I played last month. 

Tiny Brains – I did play this one one of my Wednesday Twitch streams, and in front of the everyone watching, they saw the exact circumstances that game would need to create for me to immediately quit right out of a game. The moment was near the beginning of the game, and I was enjoying the 3D platform puzzles rotating through the four superpowered mice to overcome the room’s challenges, and I was holding my own until I got to one level where it was a waves and waves of enemy NPC, and your objective was to defeat them all before they got to the the little pink chicken NPC in the middle of the room. 

I had handled previous hostile enemies NPC but what made this different and the breaking point for me was in that room the mobs were obviously designed to be Co-Op challenge, the later waves comprised of twice the enemies spawning from each end of the room. Which is a proper challenge for two or more players handling the mobs but when it was just me I was forced to juggle between two sides of the map, which was not fun. 

It was the same problem I had with Borderlands 2, it was a game that seemed to be designed to be played with friends, preferred couch co-op, but the problem occurs when some players can not gather up other people to play with them when they want to play those games. It is still a good game, but I think it flourish more when I need a party game to entertain a group of people,  rather than just one player. 

It was the same problem I had with Borderlands 2, it was a game that seemed to be designed to be played with friends, preferably couch co-op, but the problem occurs when some players can not gather up other people to play with them when they want to play those games. 

Tiny Brains is still a good game, but I think it flourish more when I need a party game to entertain a group of people,  rather than just one player.

 

The Walking Dead Season 2 -This was another game I tried to play on Twitch as well but those who tuned in that day would remember that nightmare I had when my OBS program just was not willing to work with me on this game, freezing the not only the videogame feed but freezing the feed coming from my webcam. 

2013-08-13_00005

 

As a result, The Walking Dead was pushed back to, “when I have some spare time to give”. But here is the thing everyone tells you, but you do not realized until you get into the real world with a full time job, there is no time for spare time anymore. Weekdays are mostly filled with work and running the odd errands and when the weekends are a sacred thing but when Saturday and Sunday comes around, there is always something for you to do. 

Of course most adult gamers do not spend Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays nights crafting rough drafts for blog posts to be published Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, then broadcast a three hour stream session later that night, and dedicate the weekends to canvassing around their town. 

But the Walking Dead is one of the few games I want to get through, so in an unprecedented move I am going to bump this game into this month’s games and I have to sit down and schedule some personal gaming time to play this game. 

I'm doing this because I remember how impactful and I am to try to experience that again. but I have to really be on top of my time management. 

I’m doing this because I remember how impactful the story was in the first game and I am going to try by hardest to experience that again. I have to really be on top of my time management.

On top of that, the other games on my chopping block is VVVVVV, a good ole tough as nails 2D pixel platformer. I picked this because I have been playing some easy games lately and I need to start feeling that gaming rush from beating a incredible intense platforming stage.

I will be playing this on my stream and hopefully the gameplay will solicit some entertaining reactions from from me.

791px-VVVVVV_logo.svg

I was able to easily beat Binding of Isaac on Twitch, twice now. I need a proper challenge. 

 


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