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.

19 thoughts on “News Roundup”

  1. Today is the end of City of Heroes.

    AFAIK, it was still profitable. It meant a great deal to a lot of people. Thousands poured not just money but effort and creativity into it. It was full to bursting with player-created content.

    All yanked away at a whim.

    1. “All yanked away at a whim.”

      Whatever really happened to prompt the closure, I’m sure it wasn’t a whim. People generally know less about the inner-workings of companies than they think.

      1. True. My main point was not that the company had no reason to make the decision. My point was that the players had no recourse. From the perspective of anyone who spent large amounts of time writing adventures for that toolkit, it may as well have been a whimsical handwave from an evil emperor – there’s absolutely nothing they can do to stop the shutdown and nothing they can do to preserve the culture they were part of.

        It’s hard to even find a parallel to draw to explain the problem. If a blog provider shut down with no warning people who’d spent years writing those blogs would be devastated – but most blogs are designed so that you CAN fairly readily extract the content and put them up again somewhere else if you have to. It doesn’t really work that way with games. If you create something in a DRMed sandbox or an MMORPG and the company takes it away from you and decides no one is allowed to play anymore… you can’t recreate that.

        People are doing their best to save what they can. Homebrew character extractor tools and costume saves have been making the rounds, people are logging in what characters they’re still allowed to to take screenshots and save personal data and emails (although if you’re like me you can only check about three of your fifty characters in detail because NCsoft chose not to allow accounts to have paid privileges for the finale) There will probably be some manner of player-run server in the future. There are enough people who care that something will survive… but that something will be technically illegal, and that’s a problem.

  2. Nyyrrrgh, that Kotaku article about the end of a marriage is quite nice, but the comments remind me that I need to install a Gawker comment-blocker in Chrome.

    1. CommentBlocker has made my internetting much more pleasant since I installed it. There’s a big grey box where those Kotaku comments should be, and I don’t care to see what’s underneath.

    2. Yeah, it was interesting to me as well. However, as soon as she mentioned that she had cheated on her husband I knew the comments would explode.

      1. I thought it was a pretty terrible article regardless – what the heck is with anyone who asks anyone else to have their children after hardly knowing them? I’d be pretty nice to someone in co-op if I wanted use of the uterus I assumed they had, I guess.

        “It wasn’t long after that first play session before he decided to ask me something. This something was prefaced as a “weird” something, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

        He wanted to know if I would have his children.”

        She does go on to say that it crossed her mind while they were playing, but really? That’s just… are we being trolled? Is this meant to be romantic???

        1. Considering the opening of the article where she mentioned pulling out her DS mid-meeting with someone; I thought that was kinda weird.

          The whole “I want you to have my babies” thing is also something that comes off as super creepy to me. At least he asked? I don’t know. I could understand it being some sort of awkward compliment, but seriously asking after playing co-op with someone comes off as weird as well.

          As someone who has a serious relationship that was developed through gaming, I found it amusing to read about another “co-op couple”. However the people in that article just sound…. off-the-wall. Who tells a loved-one they “don’t deserve” to play a certain game?

        2. The writer of the piece did say that she’d known the person for a while before they played Portal 2 together. (And when you live 1,3000 miles apart, a question like that isn’t necessarily going to be asked completely seriously.)

  3. I think the Kotaku writer had guts to be so open about her private life, and a lot of the comments were out of line and sometimes unconscionably sexist to boot (one commenter said that if gamer women are all like that, he was going to stick to prostitutes, while a couple of others seemed to assume that she spoke for all women).

    However, I found the article pretty bad. The author is right that small things can tip you off that your relationship isn’t working, but… she cheats on her husband (though admittedly, apparently he cheated on her too) and then thinks she can take the moral high ground when he lets her character die in “Diablo III”? No, just no.

    1. I don’t think she took the moral high ground. The Diablo III thing was just (in her opinion) a very strong sign that they were not going to work out their issues as a couple. The article itself is more just an example of how using co-op games to repair your marriage sounds like a bad idea. Specially if you’re dealing with already flawed individuals.

      1. Yeah, I don’t think she made any case for the high moral ground, and there’s clearly a looot of complicated stuff going on here in terms of the relationship and the people. But I don’t think that detracts from the primary point of the article.

        I liked it, because it focused on games as an extension of how we interact with one another in the real world. She wanted to use games as a fun thing to try to recapture the intimacy and partnership they felt earlier in the marriage. Instead, it ended up being a mirror for the current state of their relationship, and why they were falling apart as a couple.

        And the comments finally convinced me to install Comment Blocker. I am now a happier, healthier human being.

    2. I always feel somewhat uncomfortable when I read these kinds of articles about the breakup of their relationships, because I like to think that if I broke up with someone they wouldn’t air our dirty laundry in public. Also, something they did when the relationship was already so far down the toilet it was past the U-bend went wrong? What a surprise!

      As an anonymised example in a wider article about gaming in a relationship – or in a failing relationship – it might have been interesting and illustrative. As it stands, it’s neither, and it’s pretty vulgar to put someone else’s private doings on the internet for all to see.

    3. What’s funny is that playing FF11 online with my boyfriend when it came out (a looong time ago) let me know our relationship was over, but it certainly wasn’t the only thing, but for some reason, this particular incident really stung. It was a memorable pain and it could be pinpointed, so I can totally understand her exaggerating this experience. This was a game that we had both been looking forward to together and he even bought me a video card to play, so he stole my loot and argued that I didn’t need it anyway, I knew he cared nothing for me anymore. It was so stupid, but I could never play the game with all my heart after that. Love is weird.

  4. I’m glad to see games acknowledged as potential art. And I’m especially happy to see Dwarf Fortress on that list alongside some real classics. As far as I remember, that’s not the first accolade that DF will get, and it’s entirely deserved. From my personal POV, I’d love to see The Secret of Monkey Island, Ultima VI (or hell, the whole middle trilogy) and Baldur’s Gate II earn some recognition outside the gaming industry too.

    As for EW’s “10 best games”: from among their picks, I’ve only played WoW (which I now loathe, along with its makers). Let’s just say my list would look very different.

    1. I voted for Shadow of the Colossus! Except for maybe its prequel, Ico, it’s definitely my go-to favorite game. Portal and BioShock are brilliant, too. I agree some of the other games I was surprised to see on that list, but just the fact that they included Shadow of the Colossus made me super-happy :)

Comments are closed.