Ethics in Gaming

I am surprised in general about the whole ethics in games journalism.

Oh I agree that games journalism has problems. Games Journalists don’t make the sort of money they need to review games so are reliant on free handouts. This isn’t a bad thing, most game reviewers of note are pretty biased but they make their biases clear. We have PS4 junkies and XBox Junkies and and PC Gamers all promoting their “master” system.

BUT here is the thing? We have always known that. We listen to the game reviewers of our choice as they share the same biases.

Okay? Gaming is a Subjective Medium. There are people who are enthralled by the plots of games, there are people who don’t mind sprite graphics and clunky interfaces and learning curves akin to rock climbing walls rather than gentle hills. Guess what? These gamers aren’t going to take advice from the Call of Duty Shooter Reviewer. Likewise we have reviewers such as Yahtzee whose snark adds to the experience of the review.  [Read more…]

Roofied at Maryland Ren Fair

Lady Orla Rose has a request for you.

This Lady Orla Rose

Maryland Renaissance Festival goers (this is important), I was roofied on Saturday afternoon and completely blacked out.

If any of you find or took photos of me on this past Saturday October 18th at the Dragon Inn, please POST THE PHOTOS and/or tag me!! It may be a lost cause, but the more photos we have of the people around me, the more possibility we can identify the culprit. I don’t want this to happen to someone else! I know several people took my photo before I blacked out, so if we can find those pictures it may be helpful. I was wearing this outfit at the time.

Any readers who can help out and who know anyone there give her a shout.



SO will these people be receiving a tonne of hate mail and death threats for pointing out how to do race in games?

This is a serious look among games developers into reaching new standards of quality about race. Oh and in response to Thunderfoot trying to distance games from being much more?

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

That’s like suggesting that Doctor Who should just be a kids show and keep away from poetry… When the Doctor convinces a little girl to not sacrifice herself to an awakening god, he quotes Lewis Carrol by listing the things that come from a unique explosion in a star (“shoes and ships and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings,”). There are little references to poems and little rhymes used to enhance the creepy factor and drama.

To say these things and this depth detracts from games means that we would ignore great games that have these things in exchange for Tetris and Asteroids.

Thunderf00t – Looks like a Duck, Quacks Like a Duck

You know? A lot of us used to be Thunderfoot fans. And I have come a fair way since then.

Now  here is the thing? Youtube is simply an easier medium to view than a blog. It’s hard to make rebuttals, it’s good for a dialogue but not for a good fisking. In effect it is a monologue. You guys can comment (and I know I get around 600 or so readers per page these  days which means that the vast majority of you are silent! Please! I encourage dialogue and I understand this place is very wild west but comment if you like and think you can add to the discussion)

But Thunderfoot’s taking on “feminism” under the guise of skepticism. I was torn between this and A Voice for Men and I figured that I may as well do this first.  [Read more…]

Would you play a game where the protagonist was a Nazi?

It’s a rather “puzzling” surprise to many readers that I do play games. While poking around someone asked me a question.

Why can’t you play a game as a Nazi? Why can’t you play a WW2 game where you play as the “baddies”. I thought about it and I do have a genuine answer as to why that is possible but why no one would take the risk.

But we did play a Call of Duty game where we played the “Historic Bad Guys” (but at the time good guys). We played as Russians in the first two Call of Dutys, back when it was about showing the viewpoint of historical soldiers. Who here played Call of Duty 2 and forgot the training mission where you learnt to fight with potatoes because grenades are expensive, you are not.

So would someone ever make a game where you played one of the Axis powers in WW2?  [Read more…]

A Voice For Me – Not the Geeks!

In the aftermath of “Donglegate” (Dear Americans. Stop Putting Gate at the end of everything. It makes everything sound stupid. There are BIGGER scandals out there. Let’s start calling things Donlehman Bros) I wrote about my stance on the issue. I don’t think Adria Richards handled it correctly particularly considering it was a private conversation…

I don’t know if the employers of the two men handled it correctly.

I do know that the response from the Internet was bad and everything from “Rapey” to “Deathy”.

But do my eyes deceive me? It’s everyone’s favourite rape apologist brigade and all round worst dudes from A Voice For Men! This time they have sage advice for all us geeks. So we must take heed. [Read more…]

Sexism, Work and The Public

I didn’t comment on the Adria Richards story because I wanted to see how it panned out before I said anything. But here goes.

To Summarise? Adria Richards overheard two men sitting behind her at PyCon making frankly childish jokes about dongles and forking. She spun round, snapped a photo of them and posted it on Twitter with a summary of their joke. PyCon officials intervened and dealt with it. However, this didn’t stop here. One of the men was fired from his job. [Read more…]