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Blizzard’s Titan Fall

Once again... this is the wrong Titan
Once again… this is the wrong Titan

Blizzard has cancelled project Titan.

Yes, go ahead, check your calendar. Its nowhere near April first.

Mike Morhaime, the big man at Blizzard, told Polygon that Titan is no more. Mike cited genre fatigue, lack of faith in the project and a change in mentality in favor of smaller games  as the main reasons why 7 years of development were scrapped.

This news trashes my own predictions on the details surrounding Titan. Yet, in my defence, those predictions were made in a different era. MMOs were thriving. Wildstar and ESO were hotly anticipated titles still in the works. They were meant to breathe new life into the genre (they didn’t). WoW was seeing declining numbers but many assumed it was just a phase (it wasn’t). Many MMOs were already switching to free to play – but I was assuming that it was because the model appealed with the user base rather than a decline in interest. Continue reading

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Death to the Male Power Fantasy

Again I find myself writing about this hot-button issue. I apologize to the people (all three of you) who have been long time followers of this blog for this sudden shift in focus. However I find myself commenting a lot on this topic in fora and comment sections. Indeed this is a reply I wrote on one such section but I felt there is some worth in sharing here… at least to be able to link to it from elsewhere.  

Every body wants to be Superman. Even the girls, presumably.
Every body wants to be Superman. Even the girls, presumably.

Undeniably, many triple A games are male power fantasies. They are designed to appeal to a youngish male demographic. They make the player feel heroic, special and powerful and this is done very deliberately. Each gender is catered for in different ways by different media because each gender, as a rule, is attracted to different things. Men are usually attracted to male power fantasies therefore they tend to love action movies. Women usually seek something that stimulates them emotionally so they veer towards romantic comedies or drama. So, if triple A videogames are mostly consumed by males what is wrong with focusing on what men find appealing? Moreover, if there is this huge untapped female audience for triple A games, wouldn’t the capitalistic nature of the industry dictate that publishers would strive to make games which also appeal to women? Isn’t it telling that they didn’t?
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A Response to Anita Sarkeesian

Its been a while. I have crawled out of my inactivity because I felt compelled to share my thoughts regarding Anita Sarkeesian’s latest Tropes vs Women video called ‘Women as Background Decoration (part 2)’. Full disclosure. I am not a fan of Anita. I am very much in favor of gender equality but hate modern day feminism. Also I have not watched all of the videos in the series because, frankly, they get my blood boiling in all the wrong ways. However, after watching this video I had to share my thoughts somewhere, and since comments are disabled on the video, I thought of using this here blog. I will not regurgitate what the video contains. In fact I am assuming that, if you decide to keep reading, it means you watched the video. For the sake of brevity and focus I will stick to two points.

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Too Soft for Dark Souls 2

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Cue a famous Cutting Crew song

Dark Souls 2 is upon us. Which means we will all be discussing death and dying for some time until we come to the same brilliant conclusion that being alive is a much preferable state to be in. The Souls series is notorious for its unforgiving nature. Make a mistake and you pay with your life. Kind of. It would be more accurate to say that you actually pay with your time. Players have an infinite amount of lives available to them in-game but, if you are like me and have other commitments in your finite life, you have a limited playing time. And with so many games to play the titles you dedicate time to have to be meticulously selected. Continue reading

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NBI: Poetry Slam

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I have it on good authority that the Japanese characters here read ‘Haiku’

As part of Newbie Blogger Initiative month Syl (the MMO Gypsy) threw a poetry slam. I’m no poet but I also have no shame. I came up with these three haiku. They refer to three different MMOs which are, hopefully, very easy to guess.

1.

Asteroid mining

For Scordite and dense Veldspar

Wasted time of mine

2.

Missing trinity

With no tanks and no healers

Just damage dealers

3.

There were twelve million

Now it’s almost half that much

Pandas didn’t cut it

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Is Eve Online Boring?

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It’s a miner’s world

Undock the station. Warp to within 0 m of suitable asteroid field. Fly to Scordite filled asteroids (or Veldspar if Scordite is scarce). Turn on the Civilian Shield Booster. Launch my Hobgoblin I drones. Click on nearest asteroid. Lock on target. Activate the XeCl Drilling Beam I. ‘The asteroid is depleted’. Click on the next asteroid in my overview, lock and drill. Rinse repeat till the ore hold is to full capacity. Warp/dock to station. Sell ore. Restart process. That more or less describes my experience of EVE Online in the last week. Continue reading

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Killer Is Dead But Feminism Lives On

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God forbid developers accentuate the sexual beauty of women in videogames

The topic of sexism and misogyny in videogames has been coming up quite a lot lately. A week or so ago we had Dragon’s Crown which caused an uproar in feminist circles. And now Suda51 goes and shakes the hornet’s nest with Killer Is Dead and its ‘gigolo mode’. For the uninitiated this is a mini game which has the player ogling over a sexy woman and giving her presents in order to win her over and eventually bed her. The reward for carrying that out correctly is weapon upgrades. The game has been criticized and given bad scores by many websites because its ‘sexist’ and ‘misogynist’.  Certainly these are damning words so it would benefit everyone to go over some definitions taken from Merriam Webster. Continue reading