dirigiblebill

Watch: Blizzcon reacts to Overwatch's sexism problem

dirigiblebill

6 months ago

@theruining

Anonymity does indeed contribute to online harassment and abuse in general, and yes, men are subject to plenty of abuse, but women - young women especially - are much more likely than men to be targeted on the strength of their gender.

http://www.pewinternet.org/2017/07/11/online-harassment-2017/

Also, I'm curious as to how you think we should address behaviour of this sort long-term without tackling the specific kinds of bigotry involved, be that sexism or racism or ableism or whatever. Big multiplayer games like COD, Battlefield etc have been letting us report, ban, mute etc trash-talking players for decades, but the abuse keeps on coming. Wouldn't it be more practical to think about the underlying causes of this behaviour, the social norms and values in play, rather than just fighting fires as they arise?
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Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus review

dirigiblebill

6 months ago

Sorry if this reads on the spoilery side - I wanted to get into the meat of the portrayal and it's hard to do that without stating some things. I've left plenty unspoiled though! I'll bear the feedback in mind for future reviews.
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dirigiblebill

6 months ago

@fabio78 The interesting thing for me is that it's almost like a Dishonored game in places, once you've unlocked certain abilities, and the story interludes are clearly straining at the leash. There are levels that are more walking simulator than shooter. A horror spin-off, possibly? IDK. It sort of reminds me of the first-person games that came out before the FPS really existed as a genre - the perspective is really what defines it, not the gunplay.
5 1

dirigiblebill

6 months ago

@mostro Thanks. Tolles spiel!
5 0

dirigiblebill

6 months ago

@jabberwocky Yep, you'll do a lot of that.
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In praise of bad game design

dirigiblebill

6 months ago

@neuroniky Honestly, I didn't mention Dark Souls because readers tend to roll their eyes when games critics mention Dark Souls ;) But yes, it absolutely fits the bill.
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The untold origin story of Creative Assembly

dirigiblebill

7 months ago

Lovely stuff. One of my favourite developers.
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Ruiner review

dirigiblebill

7 months ago

@JeremyODwyer Glad it was useful!
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dirigiblebill

7 months ago

@CrashOkami It's a fair cop that the piece doesn't mention the developer or publisher, or Xbox Play Anywhere, but the soundtrack *is* covered and the "mechanics" (by which I assume you mean the supposedly "functional" aspects of the game, like the weapons, enemies, etc) are "elaborated upon" throughout. If I devote equal time to talk of storytelling, characters, political themes, etc that's because these concepts are integral to what you style the core of the experience, the game as it "really plays". This is not a cluster of ephemeral abstract shapes firing pixel bullets at each other on a white screen - it is a complex collection of images and narratives with equally complex histories, selected by the designers and artists to achieve certain effects, which are further played out in the combat, level design, etc. When you ask me to put the emphasis on the "gameplay", you're asking me to minimise or even outright exclude all of that, and the result is - by my lights, at least - a much less interesting game. And when you ask me not to bring my own "views" into my criticism, it sounds an awful lot like you're rehearsing the debunked argument that there is such a thing as "objectivity" in criticism. Anybody who says or implies that they're entirely dispassionate and without bias is, in short, lying to you. Far better for critics to deliberately air their orientations, so that readers are more equipped to assess their work.

All that aside, thanks for taking the time to respond to my piece, and I respect that your priorities as a player differ from mine. I have to get on with some work now, so might not respond to any follow-ups, but will try to keep an eye on the thread.
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dirigiblebill

7 months ago

Thanks for the comments all. As ever, I accept that my more florid style isn't for everybody - feel free to offer constructive feedback, or find another reviewer whose work is more to your taste.
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dirigiblebill

7 months ago

@CrashOkami Mate, when you (among others in this thread) chide me for "shoehorning" talk of gender, machismo and inequality into a review of a cyberpunk fable that features prostitutes, "Mother" bosses and a violent social order upheld by corporations, you are asking me to submit an incomplete analysis. Calling attention to this stuff isn't "preaching", it's just describing what is in the game - the values according to which its world is (openly, explicitly) constructed, the tenor of its writing, the characterisation of its combat systems - and offering a viewpoint. And it's not like I'm castigating the developers for taking this tack, in itself - as I acknowledge in my conclusion, the game actively sets out to portray an ugly world, so merely condemning it on that count would be missing the point. The problem isn't that these ideas are endorsed by the developers, it's that they don't really go anywhere worthwhile in the course of the story.
2 6

Heat Signature review

dirigiblebill

7 months ago

@riceNpea Ta!
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dirigiblebill

7 months ago

@Zealuu2 Yes.
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Celebrating Devrim Kay, Destiny's first gay character

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@EdFear Great comment, thank you for making it.
20 3

Sunless Skies is a very British garden of horrors

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@Samael_Blackwing Great, now we're stuck in a feedback loop. Somebody call Einstein.
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Searching for the past in the Call of Duty: WW2 beta

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@Zealuu2 Ah, I'd forgotten about Brink! Yeah, that's a good call. A game ahead of its time (and plagued by horrible network technology).
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Absolver review

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

I am eternally guilty of not talking enough about soundtracks in my reviews and in this case, there's really no excuse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=El1OELLC6nk
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dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@imagonnawin No problem!
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dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@imagonnawin The review was originally down to run when the embargo lifted at 2pm yesterday, but we decided to hold it so I could spend an evening playing after the servers went public. They've patched the game twice since I started playing last week, and performance has been solid the past couple of days, give or take a bit of lag when people join your session (I hear the PS4 version has some connectivity issues, but haven't had a chance to check as they didn't have PSN review keys available till release day). I'll keep an eye on how it fares.
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dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@petersnoeren You are correct. I have nuked that paragraph from orbit.
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dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@riceNpea Cheers. Updated!
1 0

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@GotCakes Fixed!
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How video games win back time

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@Zicoroen Honestly, I didn't play it beyond the preview stage so wasn't comfortable discussing it! Glad the piece was enjoyable.
2 0

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@captain-T-dawg Thanks! I haven't played Superhot in VR, no (I can't afford the kit) - sounds incredible.
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dirigiblebill

8 months ago

An interesting Thing I turned up during research for this feature - juries are more likely to perceive conscious intent when watching footage of defendants in slow motion. http://www.pnas.org/content/113/33/9250.full
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Why did 3D Sonic struggle?

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

I've just realised I didn't pay any attention to the music. Consider this your opportunity to fill the comments thread with soundtrack posts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZX96Nb3IgE
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Blizzard gamescom 2017 show live report

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

Snowball? Snowball! SNOWBAAAAAAAAA
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EA gamescom 2017 live show report

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

No dog though.
0 0

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

In case anybody's wondering, the eclipse has better shoutcasters.
0 0

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

EA goes full Ubisoft.
0 0

Observer review

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@MrTummyGiggles They are only a couple of those sequences, in fairness, but yeah it's annoying.
1 0

Why the spirit of Flash gaming must never die

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@GreyBeard true, the strap is a bit fast-and-loose, isn't it. Have edited!
4 1

Sonic Mania review

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@djclae Yeah, but they're not exactly 3D platforming at its finest. Well, IMO. I'd be interested to read (or, perversely, write) a defence of the Sonic 3D era at this point. My sister was a big Sonic Heroes fan and I do like the Sonic Adventures 2 soundtrack.
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dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@Matroska_ Hey! Sorry to hear you've been feeling down in the dumps, and glad the article helped. If you can beat Chemical Plant you can beat anything ;)
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dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@Atropos Hmm, interesting. The concept I'm talking about comes from psychology - I caught a Develop presentation on it a couple of years ago. Possibly there are two kinds of "flow"? In any case, "flaux" is brilliant and I am definitely pinching it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)#Gaming
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dirigiblebill

8 months ago

I wasn't really trying to suggest that Sonic is the worse for punishing reckless speed - as I wrote, resisting the urge to speg it is part of the thrill, and sure, once you've gotten a feel for the courses you can avoid those hazards at pace. I was trying to characterise 16-bit Sonic's contribution versus what we associate with "good gameplay" today.
2 1

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@Zanxion22 So why not use another word that resembles "retro"? "Retrograde", perhaps. What's so amusing about "retard"?

As for my thoughts on this game, I wrote the review.
7 0

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@Zanxion22 But your joke about the Retro Engine implies that "retard" is a slur, and your follow-up about not being able to read is a callous generalisation.
6 0

dirigiblebill

8 months ago

@Zanxion22 My brother has Down's Syndrome, and he can read, and he has to put up with a lot of this casual just-for-fun prejudice in daily life. It's easy to say there's no harm done when you're not on the receiving end.
10 1

dirigiblebill

9 months ago

@Zerobob Sorry! There's an autosave now, and you can pick zones from the level select once you've completed them.
4 0

dirigiblebill

9 months ago

@VariousThings Hey up, thanks for the spot! And good to see some follow-up discussion of the inertia/unpredictability stuff. I will try to chime back in later if I have time.
1 0

Sundered review

dirigiblebill

9 months ago

@Brainflowers You should check out Wayne June's stuff if you haven't already - he's the voice of the Ancestor from Darkest Dungeon. Exceedingly sepulchral! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0eDis-w-90
0 0

dirigiblebill

9 months ago

@Brainflowers I've taken to listening to Lovecraft audiobooks to help me sleep. Which is probably a bit worrying.
1 0

dirigiblebill

9 months ago

There seems to be this perception that I've gone on some massive Lovecraft-hating spree - we're talking about one line out of a 1300 word review! I like Lovecraft's stories immensely, as silly as they often are, but I think it's useful to remind ourselves of his prejudices given how much clout he carries among creators of horror/fantasy fiction.
2 0

dirigiblebill

9 months ago

@flaming.carrot In itself the word isn't necessarily racist, no, but when you're using it predominantly with reference to hideous cosmic aberrations eating away at the foundations of civilisation, there's a certain subtext in play. :)
3 2

dirigiblebill

9 months ago

@cakelawd It's not totally unpredictable - the major landmarks are always the same and each "chunk" of layout is designed by hand around the player's capabilities. Sorry, probably could have been clearer on that front.
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Remembering G-Police, the best Blade Runner game ever

dirigiblebill

9 months ago

@pelican_ I feel G-Police's city spaces capture the Blade Runner vibe better than any direct adaptation, but I agree that the Westwood title is great - never played to the end, mind you.
2 2

dirigiblebill

9 months ago

@Mr.DNA Lol. Just for that, the next few thousand words will be about climate change in the Gears of War series. In all honesty, I'd have given more attention to the plot - and the feminine commodity politics of Blade Runner, for that matter - if I'd had more time to reflect. Had to fit this in at the back end of last week.
1 0

The pleasures of a good video game horizon

dirigiblebill

9 months ago

6 0

Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age review

dirigiblebill

10 months ago

@Brainflowers Indeed, it's Vaan for the history books.
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