Last week, a whole lot of people who aren't into video games, but like reading financial news, suddenly heard about Minecraft for the first time when it was announced that the game is being acquired by computer giant Microsoft for 2.5 billion dollars.
This news has been a huge surprise, sending shockwaves through the fan community and the gaming press. Some of those reactions have been particularly entertaining, and the possibilities that the deal presents are interesting as well. Let's take a look at some highlights.More >>
Tropes Vs. Women Screenshot
I had the good fortune of being born in 1979, and thus living through the golden age of video games. I received an Atari 7800 for Christmas, which sort of sucked actually, but it was replaced the next year by the hallowed Nintendo Entertainment System. I also had the fortune of growing up in an area where arcades were popular and spent summers living the birth of Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat and my personal favorite, Time Killers. In more modern times my wife, daughter and I all game and frequent our local Gamestop. The game I am most looking forward to this year is Dragon Age: Inquisition, and I plan to take a long weekend to get into it.
Why say all that first? Well, there seems to be an opinion that growing up loving video games and thinking that Tropes Vs. Women is total crap and that Anita Sarkeesian should be banned from the internet are inseparable. Honestly, this is only the beginning of the online rage as you can see from this Patreon with a $5,000 a month payout vowing to fight her movement because apparently "Recent evidence suggests they have far larger powers of censorship than anyone would suspect; this is what we want to uncover." Because obviously a secret cabal of feminists is controlling all media. Hadn't you noticed?
Is Tropes Vs. Women perfect? Not at all. One simple complaint I have is the lumping of games with a karma system like Fallout or games that reward pacifist play-through like Dishonored with the Grand Theft Auto games of the world. Sarkeesian states that these games all have a similar punishment/reward system for offing random innocents, and this is factually incorrect. However, we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater and having actually watched these videos, I have to say they bring up some really simple and valid points.
Martha Boyd is not just Luke's mother-in-law - she's also an ex-cop, a landlord, a self-described crazy cat lady, a major Star Trek geek and the widow of a green beret. So go ahead: ask her anything. And we mean anything.
Hello, hello and thank you all for the words of support. Nothing P.O.'d me this week - how about that, so nothing to rant about, LOL. Was looking through the computer and I don't even have any new photos this week - must be slipping, so here's one of my ferret.
I just spent time still trying to get rid of my cold and trying to do appraisals in between sneezing. So I just poured another ice coffee and added some Coffee spirits - after all it has to be 5 p.m. somewhere in the world. That's also what I tell my mom when we go to Mexico and I am having a pina colada at 11 am. Yes, my 89 yr-old mom still corrects me, so don't feel bad. Hope all of our readers up in the Northern parts of California are okay and did not have damage from the recent earthquake, but it does look like the price of CA wine might be heading up. Napa really got hit hard.More >>
Daniel Suchman Photography Just your average RPG group.
Dark Dungeons is a movie that dramatizes the infamous Jack Chick tract of the same name. For those of you inexperienced with the works of Mr. Chick, he is most famous for his warnings about the evils of games like D&D, rock music, and pretty much everything else that was invented after 1950. On the one hand, this is something funny; a remnant of history. On the other hand, such scares continue today on any and all sides of the political aisle, from GMO food to vaccinations to terrorists to nuclear energy washing up on shore from the Japanese tsunami. No one seems immune, and the Internet lets these things travel faster than ever.
I personally had my life influenced by this hysteria, as I was fascinated by role-playing games (RPGs) but due to some vague fear of cults and "real spells" I was banned from playing them. This was my status quo for many years until I reached my teenage years. I became the worst teenage rebel ever, making excuses for being out so I could attend game sessions, then smuggling D&D books back and forth. While other people took up drugs, illicit drinking, or casual sex I was trying to hide my Player's Handbook behind my back while leaving for the game store. It's pretty funny now but it led to some tense moments at the time. Having lived the hysteria, was I impressed by Dark Dungeons? Read on! [SPOILERS for those who don't know or can't guess how an evangelical tract about something Satanic is going to end]More >>
Wizards of the Coast Prepare for the editon war to begin
A new version of D&D is dawning that intends to unite the fractured fan base, as currently D&D is playing underdog to Pathfinder, a game which itself was based on D&D 3rd edition rules. Imagine if the legal vagaries allowed an old partner of Microsoft to make a Windows 7 variant which then beat Windows 8 in sales, and you're pretty close to the situation with D&D and Pathfinder at this point.
The makers of D&D have long had a problem with gamers finding it easy to ignore their releases of new editions. The old books are still available, as well as the aforementioned Pathfinder, and any one of these has enough adventures, class variations, and settings that anybody with a normal life as well as a gaming life would not be able to completely devour them in a lifetime. D&D 5th Edition aims to fix that by appealing to fans of all versions of the D&D experience and thus get them to start buying books again. I was able to get the new Player's Handbook thanks to a limited early release, and despite being pretty firmly in the Pathfinder camp I was really impressed with it - enough to switch our home game over to the new system. Here are eight reasons why...More >>
Filmmaker JR Ralls, who actually got the blessing of fiery fundamentalist comic-book creator Jack Chick to adapt his tirade on the Satanic evils of role-playing games, has played it very close to the vest as to how serious his film was going to be.
Today he emailed me with this message: "There has been a lot of controversy over the film and in response we have put the first eight minutes on youtube so now your readers can judge for themselves what type of film we have made"
Whenever hallowed video game publisher Square Enix laments about their lack of profits from their latest, hugely expensive titles - the likes of Tomb Raider, Lightning Returns, et al - fanboys and girls from all walks of the internet are quick to shout in unison at their brilliant idea to fix Square Enix's money woes:
"Why don't they just finally remake Final Fantasy VII? They'll make millions!"
Except, for reasons that I will soon disclose, that is actually a terrible idea. Having recently revisited the game on a recent whim, allow me to discuss 7 reasons why remaking Final Fantasy VII isn't as surefire a success as most might think.More >>
Fans of Neil Gaiman will be thrilled to learn that an upcoming game will give them the opportunity to immerse themselves in the writer's whimsical world. Here's the details from Gamespot:
Wayward Manor, a puzzle adventure game from developer The Odd Gentlemen and renowned horror-fantasy author Neil Gaiman (Coraline, Stardust, Sandman), will release on PC and Mac on July 15, The Odd Gentlemen has announced.
"We've been working day and night to make sure Wayward Manor is the best game it can be," the developer said in the announcement. "This ultimately meant making the tough decision to delay the game. After adding more puzzles, an extra level of polish, and maybe even some paranormal surprises; we're finally ready to announce a release date for Wayward Manor."
Set in the 1920s, in Wayward Manor you play as a ghost who's trying to reclaim his house from its new owners, the Budds family. As The Odd Gentlemen explains the game, in each level you'll have to use observation, discovery, and puzzle solving to scare the Budds, earn enough fear to take back control of the room, and eventually the manor.
Well this sounds like a lot a fun. Hit the jump for a look at a teaser for the game.
Going into this year's E3, everybody thought they knew what to expect from Nintendo - given that their profits are almost literally in the toilet, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the one-time market leader would rest on its laurels and trot out the same ol' shtick. Another round of Mario sports titles, another spinoff, continued reliance on the Smash Bros. fanbase, and so forth.
But when Nintendo takes it on the chin, that's when their true, undisputed strength really shines; their unbridled creativity, and the freedom to let their talented developers do whatever the hell they damn well want.
And from playing their offerings at E3, as well as their Nintendo Direct presentation Tuesday morning, I can tell that Nintendo is indeed in "Panic Mode," and that's awesome for these seven reasons.More >>
Qfamily Overthrow your (Dungeon) Master! Not every game needs a D20.
As con season approaches with the all-time title bout between Pathfinder and D&D Next in its wake, it seems like a time to step back a little. Let's remind ourselves of the smaller, weirder aspects of RPG fandom. Although publishers willing to commission a large-scale print run are diminishing, the tools available today can more than make up for it. Crowd funding, PDF, POD options - not to mention Amazon and eBay - make it so the obscure titles aren't as obscure as they used to be; most are little more than a Google search away. Although we've put together only a taste of what's available in the market today, here is a sample of ten that might catch your interest.More >>