I’m still not starving here.

26 09 2013

I love this game. This episode I get cozy in my camp, assert my undisputed dominance over the pigmanz, and shift to throw down mode when some dogs come to claim my face as their trophy.





Thade’s Starving his Youtubez.

25 09 2013

 

This is a thing. Are you hungry? Because this guy definitely is. Basically all the time. And despite his regular exercise and intake of obviously organic food, he always appears to be in poor health.

 





Penny Arcade, we need a formal apology…and probably more.

23 09 2013

I had a cold making voiceover work (such that it is) impossible for me, so instead of finishing my 3rd episode last week, it’s sat on the bench; I instead spent my time making maps of make believe places and prepping for the D&D campaign I’m running, which I hosted on Saturday. Anyway, that’s not what I’ve come here to talk about today.

Rock Paper Shotgun has stepped up and drawn a line. They explain (at great length) that they are boycotting PAX going forward, but reserve the right to change their minds, which I assume is contingent upon Mike Krahulik stepping up and unilaterally apologizing for the epic, epic jerk he’s been. There are two articles (making for lengthy reading) both their initial statement, as well as a valuable clarification.

I assume that I’m nobody’s first stop for information, but just incase you missed this massive debacle, here’s a reasonable summary that’s mostly (but not entirely) devoid of interpretation and conjecture.

My feelings on it.

I think my position can be summed up pretty quickly; let’s first start with this quote from some UK Uni’s new student orientation:

“Consent is really too low a bar. Hold out for enthusiasm.”

I don’t know precisely how we got here, but we live in a rapist-apologist culture right now; one where women are held accountable for dressing and acting in ways that cause men to assault, hurt, or offend them. It’s textbook displacement of responsibility and yet it’s somehow okay, everywhere, and utterly ignored by much of our media, our acquaintances, our perceptions.  Something like 25% of all college age women report being raped in their lives; see the wiki article for a laundry list of citations. This shit should have more people enraged: sexual assault is heinous and we need to revise our worldviews such that it’s no longer a laughing matter. Do you see people writing comics lampooning child pr0n? No, because that’s fucking disgusting. We should treat all sexual misconduct in precisely that light: it is abhorrent. Make sure your kids (especially your sons) grow up believing it is anathema to all things good on this earth.

I get that “Gabe” (Mike K.) doesn’t really get it; he’s got the same flimsy excuse most of us have, that it’s built into the power of male privilege and very deeply entrenched in our culture…but, frankly, this shit must not fly anymore. The guy’s being a turd. He’s human like the rest of us; he wants to not suffer, he wants to be happy; we have more in common than what sets us apart.  He’s not evil but he is being grossly irresponsible. He should be looking into this shit, trying to learn why so many people are hurt and upset; whether he likes it or not, he’s a recognizable face in the industry and his actions are helping to sustain a gaming scene that is toxic to anybody that’s not straight and male. He ought to want to learn; ought to want to be better; he ought to not let his anger get the better of him, because – right now – he’s coming off in the worst possible way.

Regarding PAX.

I will be going. Boycotting it can send a certain kind of message; one that I feel carries more weight considering who you are. RPS boycotting sends a powerful message; they have a great deal of influence in the industry, so their not going is going to have shockwaves. They’ve drawn a line, and nobody can mistake it.

I will be attending, because: 1. I don’t have that kind of influence, but more importantly 2. we need people there who want Gabe to shape up. I’m confident that we’ll see more LGBTQ and feminist presentations and panels at PAX going forward, and I want to be at those events: just one more straight white guy trying to help. Equality and a safe atmosphere is what I want for gaming.

I want this so bad, because – right now – I feel like I can’t, in good conscience, share my beloved hobby with my yet-to-be-born daughter(s). Women have a hard enough time feeling safe on their commutes to work; how can I engender in my own daughter(s) love for a scene where she(/they) can’t currently feel safe?

People like Feminist Frequency are (at tremendous cost to themselves) trying to make the gaming scene a better place; safer and friendly and open, that’s what we want. Yet right now their opinions are vehemently and venomously opposed by a cluster of men who fear losing their privilege, who don’t want things to change. Things need to change.

And change starts with us.

So, go to PAX or be vocal about not going; either way, keep the following in mind.

Whether or not you want to, just like Gabe, your actions matter. Don’t let them be passive; that’s what Gabe’s doing and…well, look at this mess.

What can be done?

Honestly, I don’t know; I’m not a member of the affected demographic, just a passionate sympathizer. It’s not a battle I can fight, I don’t think, though I’ll keep flailing in my attempts. A formal apology from the Penny Arcade brass couldn’t hurt. Maybe donating every shred of profit from the next year’s worth of PAX to RAINN would go a long way to making amends. I know that he did kind of apologize, but it was for the wrong things and incomplete. That he revealed his ire for ever pulling the merch speaks volumes to his ignorance on the damage he’s done. He doesn’t get it. Well, he needs to. More specifically, he needs to want to.

Everybody’s watching, man. Whatcha gonna do?





New XCOM Enemy Within Achievements suggest base defense and human enemies.

13 09 2013

It’s not for sure, but…well, see for yourself. There are achievements for killing enemy medics and snipers, which may describe roles for aliens and not humans…but what do you make of it? Or the Zom-B-Gone achievement?

Elite Defense and All Hands on Deck really sound like some form of base defense; maybe your Interceptor launch stations can be located and come under fire in EW.

My personal favorite is Guardian of Earth. “Designate a highly decorated soldier….” Decorated, eh? Like, with medals and accolades? I can give my soldiers medals?

Oh, and the aliens were having a mud party which I needed to shut down.





So, this happened.

11 09 2013





Musings.

10 09 2013

I read this article from back in January (which I’d missed) which indirectly answers, I think, my own query: why is Solomon not attached to the XCOM expansion? Possibly because he really, really, really needed not to be. The whole reason I never really pursued the games development avenue, despite my nigh insatiable curiosity and lust for it, is the tremendous sacrifice it demands. That article really spells that out. Basically missing the first year of your kid’s life so you can make the greatest game ever? That is a harsh trade to make; not one I’m capable of.

A few real life friends of mine asked me if I’d ever pick up the Let’s Play idea…you know, the Youtube initiative that I basically dropped cold turkey. Editing those episodes was fun but very labor intensive; that’s not really a deterrent, but there was this whole job turmoil/I moved/I’m getting married/endless chaos scene, and then a real need to just play games in my downtime. That and, frankly, I hated my Let’s Plays; they felt forced, artificial, and dry. (I am maybe not my own worst critic, though I strive to be.)

So, I dunno if we’ll see that again. I have been playing XCOM thought; a lot. I’m upwards of 370 hours now, according to Steam. I got the Achievement “Ain’t No Calvary Comin’”, which means one operative saw every single mission in the game. I did this on Marathon, without realizing until the end that’s what I was doing. I only lost one operative that entire game (an assault) for doing something colossally stupid (sending him in very, very deep all by himself) giving me a Memorial Wall of size one. This was on Classic difficulty, which I have really no trouble with; only the fun kind of trouble.

Impossible Mode is another matter. It redefines brutality. I can only take so much of it, haha.

All that said, I admit I’m frothing at the mouth to make a video, so maybe I will.  Just one more. We’ll see where it goes. If it sucks, you’ll know: you’ll never see it. <3





Enemy Within Mah Brainz

21 08 2013

This video shows some really cool stuff off. In particular, what I shall call The Punch at like 4:19.

Here’s a big IGN article, and here’s a big Kotaku article. There’s a lot more,  like RPS…just hit the Google for “xcom enemy within”.

My excitement is pretty unbounded here. Gene mods and mechanized armor are very welcome additions to the game, as are freakin’ power armored sectoids. I’m also excited to see they’ve rebalanced some of the no-brainer class abilities: for instance, a stiff nerf to Squad Sight preventing you from scoring a critical when  using it vs. the Sniper’s move-and-shoot ability’s aim penalty is cut in half to balance it out. Melee combat?! Yes, please. And the flame thrower looks delicious.

There’s one thing I haven’t yet seen mentioned or asked about, and it’s odd because I feel like that question is really begged for here. There are now even more options for soldier builds, and already my strike team roster for any deployment is very tight…at six soldiers. So, do I get to bring more operatives out to the field? Say, eight?

I hope so.

My reintroduction to Ironman Impossible last night went as well as you might expect for my time off, though maybe worse than I expected: I very easily cruised through that Classic Marathon game, only losing maybe four or five soldiers and brushing aside the opposition. Impossible is significantly harder. I lose one operative a mission, on average. It’s so easy to trigger a cascade of alien packs, and their fire is pretty withering, even when I’m hunkered down. It’s hard and fun in the way Classic mode was when I first got into it…even if I have lost both Bomb Missions I’ve tried so far, losing my entire team in the process of trying to save the city. That’s XCOM, baby. That is, in fact, XCOM.

I’m also a bit saddened/surprised to not see Jake Solomon’s name attached to this; the lead designer is Ananda Gupta. Don’t get me wrong, what little I’ve seen so far of XCOM:EW looks fantastic…but I gained a lot of respect for Solomon and I wanted him to continue tending to his baby. “Jake Solomon’s XCOM.”

We gotta wait until November for this. It’s going to feel like a long wait. But I have XCOM:EU and Minecraft to keep me company in the meantime.








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