All posts by Jillian Scharr

“That girl is kicking our asses!”: Tomb Raider’s (Lack of) Gendered Power Plays

The firefights in Tomb Raider are intense and brutal. There are many scenes where Lara is pinned down behind a splintered barrel or crate, shooting and ducking and shooting again at upwards of ten armed enemies, half of whom are charging with drawn swords, knives and axes. There wasn’t much time to think of anything other than lining up headshots. But even so, there was always a part of me that tensed up when the enemies started talking. “Here it comes,” I thought. “Here come the insults.”

But they didn’t come. When the bad guys talk about Lara, they say things like “That girl is kicking our asses!” Not “That girl is kicking our asses!” It’s a huge difference. These dudes are horrified that someone is killing their buddies and ruining their freaky plans. The fact that it’s a woman doing the killing and plan-ruining doesn’t seem to be their main concern, nor even any sort of blow to their masculinity or pride.

I never once heard Lara called a bitch, or a chick, or any other derogatory term related to sexuality or gender. Not once.

And you know what? I’m glad. Continue reading

The PlayStation 4 Expo: Wednesday’s Reveal and the Internet Aftermath

I had the privilege of attending Sony’s mysterious New York City press conference on Wednesday where they finally revealed that yes, they are making a PlayStation 4. It’ll even be called PlayStation 4. The first half-hour or so of the evening was dedicated to explaining the console’s impressive hardware specs: Sony CEO Andrew House and PS4 lead system architect Mark Cerny emphasized the machine’s graphics capability, expanded social network, and connectivity with the PS Vita and a whole range of smartphones. The rest of the night was a showcase of upcoming titles.

Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs definitely stole the show, inducing the only whoops of excitement from an otherwise contained crowd.  The new Killzone title looked pretty but didn’t thrill me. Quantic Dream’s David Cage didn’t showcase any of his upcoming title Beyond: Two Souls, but did showcase the PS4′s incredible graphics and processing power with a live-rendered face of an old man. And the odd man in the room was Jonathan Blow, the reclusive developer of indie darling Braid, who announced that his upcoming title The Witness would be coming first to PS4. His presence helped reinforce Sony’s commitment to supporting indie titles and smaller studios as well as the heavy-hitters, a commitment which I was overjoyed that Sony promised to maintain, citing Journey and Unfinished Swan as titles they were proud to produce.

Square Enix was the one big disappointment. As usual, their showing was a cinematic tech demo instead of actual gameplay, and the demo, while notable for featuring the only female protagonist of the night, just didn’t seem to capture the audience’s excitement. Content-wise, the demo appeared to be all-original IP–a very frenetic and colorful story about a shamaness of some sort escaping some robed assassins by unleashing a dragon on them. It looked cool–but the demo apparently isn’t indicative of an upcoming game. No title or anything. So it’s hard to get excited about something that we know we’ll never see again. Why didn’t Square Enix do what it’s done in the past–soup up a Final Fantasy scene for their tech demo? People lost their minds when Square Enix redid the iconic opening scene of Final Fantasy VII for the PS3 demo. If their only intention with this demo was to showcase their graphics, then why not use an established brand as the emotional hook, instead of something we’ve never seen before and already kind of know we shouldn’t bother caring about?

The two biggest content surprises were from studios known for working with other consoles. First, Blizzard announced they’d be bringing Diablo III to the PS3 and PS4 in a strategic partnership with the ultimate goal of” taking over the world.” Personally, if we’re going to be ruled by a game studio that’s not the one I’d pick, but all right then. The other surprise studio was Bungie. Now that their contract with Microsoft has expired, they announced, Bungie’s upcoming “shared-world shooter” Destiny will be on the PS4. No word if it’ll be exclusive, which means it probably won’t, but they did announce there’d be some exclusive PS4 content.

All in all it was a very content-focused night,  with a significant portion of the show devoted to developers and the content they’ve created for the PS4.  Social was also a frequently used buzzword. I also couldn’t help noticing that the games were very male-dominated. There were only two non-gendered protagonists (those from Knack, a children’s game, and The Witness, an indie title) and the one female protagonist was from the only content featured that wasn’t actually a game–Square Enix’s tech demo. All the rest were men.

Men also comprised the entirety of Sony’s presenters, whether on-stage or pre-recorded on screen. This is an observation that several game journalists have made since Wednesday night, only to be met with swift and vitriolic backlash from many readers. Kotaku’s Patricia Hernandez wrote an article called “The Lack of Women Presenters at the PS4 Event is Bigger than Sony” which questioned whether there really weren’t any women at Sony who were qualified to present at the PS4 event. Her article met with a shocking outpouring of comments and Tweets disgusted that Kotaku would run such an article, many of whom called for Hernandez’s removal from the writing staff. Kotaku Editor-In-Chief Stephen Totilo even tweeted:

No one is saying Sony should have put women on the stage simply to have women there. Rather, the fact that there were no women on stage is indicative of the unfortunate state that the games industry is still in.  As an attendee of the event, the lack of women was something I noticed right away. It didn’t ruin my night–it was just one of the many subtle letdowns that come from being a woman in the games industry.

Early on in the presentation, one of the images [link here] used to illustrate the PS4′s capability was of a young man standing in a closet in front of a trifold mirror. He’s dressed plainly–sweatpants, tee-shirt–but in each of the three mirrors he’s reflected dressed as the hero of Uncharted, Killzone, and InFamous. I was thrilled: what an incredibly simple and powerful way to render the feeling of playing a videogame, of donning another’s identity, of becoming someone else! If only the game industry would show someone like me up there, standing in front of a mirror that reflects Lara Croft, Tifa Lockhart and Chun-Li back at me. Even one image like that at the PS4 unveil would have made my night.

Weekly DLC: News Roundup

This week, the gun violence debate continues as industry folks and enthusiasts alike wonder how and when to participate in national policy discussions. We’ve also got some Gabe Newell, a retrospective on a weird Star Trek episode about virtual reality gaming, and a Christian videogame blogger talks about how Anna Anthropy’s game DYS4IA expanded his understanding of the LGBTQ experience.

Walkthrough

  • This week, Vice President Biden announced the creation of a gun violence task force that includes, among lawmakers and gun retailers, representatives from the videogame industry. The response among the videogame community was swift and varied; The IGDA wrote a letter pointing out that censoring comic books didn’t work, and neither would taking the same approach with a medium that is, in a lot of ways, the spiritual successor to comic books. (IGDAGamasutra‘s Kris Graft wrote that attending Biden’s task force would be tantamount to ceding that videogames are to blame for violence. (Gamasutra) But IGN‘s Casey Lynch disagrees, writing in a countering article that the industry has to take charge of its own defense. (IGN) At The Atlantic, Ian Bogost offers a good summary of both arguments, as well as weighing in on the videogame violence issue himself. (The Atlantic)
  • Gabe Newell sat down with The Verge this week to talk about the Steam Box, the company’s foray into gaming hardware, as well as about mobile platforms, Windows 8, the future of gaming–you know, the usual. The full exclusive interview is definitely worth a read. (The Verge)
  • Check out this awesome game HERadventure, a grant-funded project from Spelman College that tackles environmental and gender issues. (via DailyCaller)
  • Here’s a first look at upcoming game Cyberpunk 2077, from CD Projekt, the developers of The Witcher. (YouTube)
  • And there are updates on the THQ bankruptcy proceedings. (Joystiq)
  • In 2012, over 2 million people pledged over $300 million on Kickstarter.  The crowdfunding website had a pretty good year, wouldn’t you say? They’ve compiled some pretty impressive statistics for their 2012, which you can check out here. (Kickstarter)
  • You can get 25% off some of the biggest upcoming videogames with online retailer Green Man Gaming, including Tomb Raider and Devil May Cry. (via Polygon)
  • The rumored Firefly MMO is apparently legit! Though probably a long way from becoming a reality, says studio DarkCryo(via Kotaku)
  • The Japanese version of Far Cry 3 is much less graphic than the American version. Does that fundamentally change the game? (Kotaku)
  • MMO Tera joins Star Wars: The Old Republic and DC Universe Online as free-to-play. (Joystiq)

Sidequests

Bonus Levels

  • Intel’s latest study “Women and the Web” found that there are 25% fewer women than men with internet access in developing countries. Here’s the full report in PDF form and an overview at Putting People First.
  • Actress Carrie Fisher wrote an amazing open letter to Princess Leia, the character she portrayed in the original Star Wars trilogy. (Bullet Media)
  •  Here’s a pretty cool Tumblr post explaining why breast-shaped armor is totally dumb.

DLC 2013: Your Holiday News Roundup

Whew! I hope everyone’s had a good holiday. Now it’s time to get back to it, though. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) not much in terms of videogame news has happened over the holidays, so we haven’t missed too much.

Walkthrough

  • There weren’t any big releases in the past two or so weeks, but here’s a handy partial calendar of 2013‘s big upcoming releases. (GameInformer)
  • Well, a game called The War Z (you have one guess as to what it’s about) was released on Steam and then quickly pulled because of controversies such as vague descriptions, suspicious microtransactions, and being very similar to the popular (and free) Arma II mod DayZ. Here’s a summary of the kerfuffle (Kotaku) and an open apology from creator Sergey Titov. (WarZ Forums)
  • Here’s a Minecraft mod that turns creepers into anime girls a la visual novels. (Minecraft Forums) Kotaku’s Patricia Hernandez has some interesting thoughts about it.
  • Sony has filed a patent application that could make it so its next home console doesn’t play used games. Such a move could decrease piracy, but would also be a severe blow to retailers like GameStop who trade mainly in used games. Sony’s stock shares have dropped in reaction to the announcement. (Gamasutra)
  • Microsoft says they’re going to make a big Xbox-related announcement at E3 2013. Who doesn’t think they’re finally going to unveil their next-gen console? (Gamerant)
  • Oh and here’s a trailer for the Devil May Cry reboot. What do you guys think? (GameInformer)

Side Quests

  • Gamasutra took a look at just what the hell “mid-core” means anyway. They also polled some designers and Twitterers and got some interesting results.
  • Kim Swift, creator of Portal, wrote a blog post this week in the wake of the #1ReasonWhy movement talking about how the best way to bring diversity into the games industry is to empower  kids to make their own games. And, possibly, exploding lemons.
  • Unwinnable’s Steve Haske writes about experimenting with the world of Dishonored in an article entitled “Abuses of Power.”

Bonus Levels

  • From the comic book world: Gail Simone is back on Batgirl! The super-swell Tumblr blog DCWomenKickingAss has lists of the best and worst of DC Women for 2012.

Extra: Cheats and Hacks

Every gaming blog worth its salt (except this one, natch) has loads of “Best/Worst of 2012″ compilations. I’m kind of over the “Best Game” sort of lists–but some of the other lists are interesting or thought-provoking. Here are some of our favorites:

      • The best games of 2012: A far cry from 2011′s heights (Metacritic)
      • 50 Games that Defined the Year (Gamasutra)
      • Indies met challenges, learned lessons in 2012 (Gamasutra)
      • “Someday we’ll be living in the Matrix” and other thoughts from the industry in 2012 (Kotaku)
      • The Best Achievements and Trophies of 2012 (GameInformer)
      • 2012: The Games that Might Have Been (Gameological Society)

Weekly DLC: Border House News Roundup

Walkthrough

  • Releases: …What did come out this week? Hawken? Anything else?
  • Guild Wars 2‘s Wintersday event, held this Wendesday, pushed the game to the top of the PC downloads. (PC Gamer) Here’s the list of events.
  • Naughty Dog studios, the developers of The Last of Us revealed in an interview this week that they were asked to remove Ellie, one of the game’s two main characters, from the front and center of the box art. Naughty Dog refused. (GamesIndustry International) There’s also a great feature piece on VG247 about the game, where Ellie’s voice actor Ashley Johnson spoke out about the industry perception that games with women on the covers don’t sell as well. (VG247)
  • Angry Birds Movie coming in 2016. This is not a drill. For the first time the impending apocalypse doesn’t seem so bad. (Kotaku)
  • MMO The Secret World is changing its monetization strategy. No more subscriptions, now after buying the game you can play at “free,” “member” and “grand master” packages. (Joystiq)
  • The PC release date for DMC: Devil May Cry was announced for January 25 through Europe and North America. The game will be on PS3 and Xbox on January 15. In this reboot,  a younger Dante from a different timeline partners with a psychic named Kat, and since the game’s developers, Ninja Theory, pulled off a similar-sounding game called Enslaved: Odyssey to the West a few years ago I think it’s safe to say this game will probably be pretty good. (Digital Spy)

Side Quests

  • If you’ve played enough of Far Cry 3 you’ll know that [SPOILER] the game heavily implies the rape of a main character. A male main character. At Kotaku, Patricia Hernandez tries to make sense of the scene, and what the game might be trying, or not trying, to say with it.
  •  Kotaku also has a series of “Years in Review” for some of the biggest videogame companies, including NintendoSquare Enix, Sony, and Microsoft.
  • Lots of people have written about the relationship between Master Chief and Cortana in Halo 4, and this article,”The Naked Vulnerability of Halo 4” on Tap Repeatedly, is one of my favorites.
  • And here’s a timeline of The Last Guardian announcements by Kotaku that only reminded me how badly I want that game. TRUE FACT: I occasionally tweet at @fumito_ueda to send him encouragement like “You have lots of American fans!” and “頑張ってね よ!”

Bonus Levels

  • There were female pilots in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi but they were cut from the final version! Eight-year-old me is crying. (Star Wars Aficionado)
  • Beloved comic book writer Gail Simone was rather unceremoniously fired from the Batgirl series this week. We still don’t really know why, but we do know it really sucks, particularly for ladies in comic books. (The Mary Sue)
  • Here’s a little awesome to make up for all that: A Swedish toy company with a gender-neutral catalog that features boys playing with dolls, girls with Nerf guns and, perhaps most incredibly of all, boys and girls playing together with the same toys! Sooo basically me and my brothers growing up?

 

 

Border House DLC: This Week in Videogames

 Walkthrough

  • Big releases: Far Cry 3, and “Dragonborn” DLC for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • Also, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has been born again as an iOS app. Eh, there are plenty of  console-to-iOS reboots of much better games. Like Baldur’s Gate, which also hit iOS this week.
  • We also got the box art for BioShock: Infinite last weekend, which appears to feature every FPS protagonist ever. Infinite is slated for a March 2013 release.
  • A new trailer for The Cave, from Double Fine studios, showcases the cast of playable characters. (Joystiq) The game comes out in January 2013.
  • And finally in free advertising courtesy Border House, here’s some footage about Peter Molyneux‘s newest game GODUS. (Kotaku)
  • In case you missed it, Anita Sarkeesian hosted a TED Talk this week! The Feminist Frequency creator talked about her Tropes vs Women in Videogames project, and the unbelievable amount of hateful, mysogynistic backlash she’s received.
  • This week in Bad Ideas: to promote Hitman: Absolution, the developers created Hire Hitman, a Facebook app that lets you take “hits” on your friends for reasons such as “her small tits” or “his big gut.” I would say that you just can’t make this up, but apparently, some people can. Square Enix, the game’s publisher, has apologized, and taken the site down. (RockPaperShotgun)
  • What’s the next big thing on Xbox? We don’t know, but apparently Black Tusk Studio—formerly Microsoft Vancouver—does, and they’re not telling. (Joystiq)
  • In other future news, there’s going to be a thing called “All the Bravest.” Square Enix just filed for trademark and domain registrations on it. (GameInformer)
  • Remember Ouya? Developers’ consoles for those wishing to design for this Kickstarter darling will ship Dec. 28. (Joystiq)
  • The Humble THQ Bundle is doing good by THQ. With nine days left to go in the pay-what-you-want sale, the company’s stock as jumped by 40%. The success of Humble Bundle’s monetization system with games from big studios could have wider implications for the videogame market. (Joystiq) EDIT: The games in the THQ Bundle are NOT DRM-free, which was previously a key point of Humble Bundle’s mission. (Ars Technica)
  • Guys! Boyfriend Maker is still a thing! The controversial app was pulled from the iOS store but is still available via Android, though now with a filter of moderate functionality.  (DigitalTrends)
  • BioWare is throwing all the writers at the next DLC for Mass Effect 3, responding to criticism of their last DLC, Omega, and, of course, the game’s controversial ending. (DigitalTrends)
  • BioWare also wants you to know that they’re still working on Star Wars: The Old Republic, so don’t go! (Eurogamer)
  • A sequel to beloved 1999 RPG Planetscape: Torment is officially in the works! (Ars Technica) Plus, it looks like the original is getting a Steam release. (Gameranx)

Sidequests

  • Our own Quinnae had an article in Bitch Magazine entitled “Game Changer: Why Gaming Culture Allows Abuse… and How We Can Stop It.”
  • Kotaku has a feature on Thomas Deer, a cultural liaison officer at the Kahnawake Language and Cultural Centre who worked with the Assassin’s Creed III developers. Among his input was the recommendation to take out the ‘scalping’ feature that the developers had planned for the game.
  • At Gameranx, Daniel Starkey talks about how he based Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard after his mother, the person who first got him into science fiction.
  • For more BioShock Infinite goodness, here’s Ken Levine’s interview with Wired Magazine, where he discusses the game’s influences.
  • This article from Gameological Society about affectionate gestures in videogames is very touching. Sorry, bad joke. I’m just bitter because they didn’t include the hand-holding in Ico.
  • On The Mary Sue, Becky Chambers talks about how Mass Effect 3: Omega lead her to muse about the continued relevance of gender debate.
  • Here’s a parody of the Dumb Ways to Die video featuring videogame characters. (And here’s the original, for reference)

 Bonus Levels

  • Below, one valiant geeklady rips into the “fake geek girl” myth.

Review: Furdiburb takes virtual pet simulators to the next level

Dolls. Tamagotchi. The Sims. A significant portion of our play constitutes what some would call “work:” the labor-intensive process of caring for and nurturing another virtually or figuratively ‘living’ thing.  Furdiburb is a game that takes that basic care-for-something mechanic, and sends it beyond the tropes and gender norms that usually constitute the genre. It revolves around hatching and raising “Furdi,” a blobby little alien that looks like a Botamon, who has crash-landed on Earth. Furdi needs to be fed and cleaned regularly, or else there’ll be sad faces and swirly poops all around.

That’s the central mechanic, but quite a few things make Furdiburb stand out among pet simulators. The first is its puzzles: Furdi isn’t the only newcomer to this world, and the game gives very little instruction for what to with the items and locations you come across. This gives the game a distinct likeness to old-school point-and-click adventure games, with all of the incumbent frustrations, fruitless experimentation, and finally the satisfaction of having discovered the rules of a system all on your own and then successfully manipulated them to your ends.

The other thing that sets Furdiburb apart from other games is more subtle, but no less important. Says co-creator Danny Ata:

“We’ve always wanted our game to be aware of the diversity of gamers. We wanted people to be able to relate to Furdiburb in a personal way and allow their own identity to shape that of their pet…We’ve also wanted to be inclusive to the diversity found in real families. Not every functioning and healthy family is made up of any stereotyped ideal, and we didn’t want any kid or parent playing our game to have those stereotypes reinforced.”

The bright colors and sharp lines do serve to be gender-neutral as well as visually striking, giving the game a Blue’s Clues-meets-Pikmin sort of feel. And although Furdi is sometimes referred to as “he” in the marketing materials, the in-game dialogue is careful to never specify gender, which allows fans to project what they wish onto their Furdiburb pet. “Furdiburb is supposed to be gender-neutral and we find this allows people to explore their pet in very personal ways,” Ata wrote.

Ata, Furdiburb’s  concept artist, is part of the three-person team that comprises Shead0, including Chad Ata, his brother and the lead developer, and Alice Lo, who served as composer and co-developer. The three made Furdiburb, their studio’s first game, completely from scratch using the Android SDK, and are now working to port it to iOS, Nook, and Kindle Fire. It is currently free on the Google Play store, and is completely playable without spending a dime, though players can use in-app purchases to get quick money.

Furdiburb’s biggest weakness as a game is its lack of replayability; once you’ve solved the puzzles and reassembled the spaceship, there’s little left to do, though that ‘little’–decorating Furdi’s house, customizing Furdi’s appearance, or even just feeding and bathing the thing, can quickly become engrossing. With its fluid conception of gender and indie credentials, not to mention fun, multilayered gameplay, Furdiburb is a game that all ages and types of people can enjoy.

News Roundup

Game News Guidebook

  • IGN released info and official artwork for Destiny, Bungie Studios’ first post-Halo project, which is to be set in Earth’s future and deal with aliens and ominous, gargantuan space stations. Wonder what that’ll be like!
  • The Museum of Modern Art plans to add 14 new pieces to its collection—and they’re all videogames. Yes: Portal, Dwarf Fortress, Passage, and 11 more games will, in March 2013, be in one of the most prestigious art museums in the world.
  • Entertainment Weekly also has a poll on the 10 best videogames of the past 10 years. When did we get so mainstream, guys?
  • The Humble THQ Bundle is live: six rather military-themed Steam games, including Darksiders, Red Faction: Armageddon, and three Company of Heroes games, with Saint’s Row the Third  for those who pay above the average.
  • The Israeli Defense Force has gamified their website to allow visitors to “be a virtual part of the IDF.” Unsurprisingly, the design choice is controversial, particularly in light of the recent renewed conflict in the Gaza strip (GamePolitics)
  • Zynga and Facebook have changed their relationship status from “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated” (AllFacebook).
  • Research psychologists at the University of Toronto created a videogame that helps test patients for cognitive disorders (Killscreenmag)
  • Also, Pong turned 40 this week (BuzzFeed).
  • And in general geekdom: some dude was sexist and homophobic on the internet. Surprise surprise. But wait—it wasn’t just some dude, it was James Gunn, the writer and director of upcoming Marvel superhero movie Guardians of the Galaxy, and he was saying awful things about superhero women and some men. The Mary Sue has the full story.

 

 Editor’s Picks

  • This poem by Cara Ellison and Jenn Frank: “Romero’s Wives,” on Nightmare Mode.
  • Another Nightmare Mode article forefronts the treatment of religion in videogames.
  • Is there a correlation between gaming and depression? One games journalist on Kotaku talks about his experiences with both.
  • Here’s a cool interview with White Paper Studios, a new game studio whose upcoming game Ether promises “mind-opening mind-exploration with a more personal, intimate focus,” that the Rockpapershotgun interviewer compares to Psychonauts and To The Moon. Yes please! (Rockpapershotgun)
  • Also on Kotaku, a writer talks about how a videogame made her realize her marriage was over.

News Roundup: Election Week

News Roundup

I don’t know why you say good-bye, I say HALO. HALO HALO-OHHH-FOUR. I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU SAY GOOD-BYE, I SAY—ahem. Sorry, I’m good now….Looks like there’s going to be more than one Dovahkiin running around in Skyrim, according to the new trailer for Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim‘s  next DLC, aptly entitled “Dragonborn” ….Turns out the U.S. Navy isn’t happy that some of its operatives consulted for Medal of Honor: Warfighter, a fact EA touted heavily in its advertising (via CBS)….The Mass Effect folks want your opinion on where to take the franchise next—looks like the ME3 outcry really put the fear of fanrage in them! (rockpapershotgun)….On Tuesday, Maine elected Colleen Lachowicz to the state senate, despite the fact that she plays World of Warcraft, something her opponent tried to use against her (Eurogamer)….Speaking of WoW, you can buy a cute kittie pet and support Hurricane Sandy recovery! (Shack News) ….Humble Indie Bundle is back with an Android deal! Games include Eufloria, Splice, and Sword & Sworcery EP….And this week in fatherhood, we heard about an awesome dad who gender-swapped Windwaker for his daughter so she’d know that girls can be heroes too; and an awful dad who beat his disabled daughter for illegally downloading videogames, and was just given his old job back with nothing more than a reprimand.

Editor’s Picks

contributing reporting and blog-scouring by Twyst. And you! Tell us what made your headlines this week!

News Roundup: Happy November!

TGIF, Border House folks! This is the second installment of our new feature where we summarize the week in gaming and link to our favorite articles of the week. Be sure to add your own news and links in the comments section too, especially as I probably missed a lot what with Sandy and all.  Okay, here we go:

This Week in Game News

The big releases this week were the two Assassin’s Creed titles, ACIII and Liberation…It was a great week for boobs in advertising, too; first of all Grand Theft Auto V was announced with this pretty bla bla advertisement poster that prompted many critics to wax nostalgic about when GTA was like, edgy; and a new French ad for the PS Vita equates its dual screens to a hot lady with four breasts. More on this later, guys, because we’re still trying to figure out where to start with this one….for game devs, Unity 4.0 is out in a free open beta…In better news, as we reported yesterday, two awesome women from 343 Industries announced that sexism on Halo 4 multiplayer would not be tolerated (Daily Dot)…also ICYMI from our news roundup yesterday, the developers of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare were caught with their sexism showing…and in best news, Red Thread Studios’ Ragnar Tørnquist announced a sequel to beloved game Dreamfall, entitled Dreamfall Chapters. You can check out Tørnquist’s other games in this Steam bundle for $24.99.

And although this isn’t video games per se I have to include it because it concerns us all: Star Wars Episode 7 is going to be a thing. Yes. George Lucas has sold LucasArts to Disney for $4.05 billion dollars, with the agreement that a seventh installment of the wildly successful science fiction franchise (presumably titled Star Wars VII: Really?) will be released in 2015. And the internet has responded (Buzzfeed).

Border House Editors’ Picks