Anita Sarkeesian, #Gamergate, and the myth of the boys club

Let’s get something perfectly straight—I had no problem with Anita Sarkeesian back when she was asking for funding on Kickstarter for her Tropes vs Women in Video Games videos. I didn’t donate because I hate Kickstarter (which is an entirely different topic), but I thought and still think that the inexplicably fierce backlash to something so innocuous was totally unacceptable. Around when Gamergate started, however, I was shown a clip of one of her videos where she claims that a Hitman level that takes place in a strip club includes the strippers as female representations of female sexuality that exist only to be punished for some weird sexual gratification of the player. “Okay,” I thought, “she’s clearly never played Hitman, because that’s ridiculous. You’re not supposed to kill anyone but your target. That’s the entire point of the series.” Fast-forward to the present day, around two months after Gamergate began, and my opinion of her has taken a steep nosedive thanks to some truly misguided things she’s said about the movement, those in it, and what their motivations are. Read more →

Wayward Souls Review (iOS & Android)

I have no idea how to make this a long review. There’s simply not a lot to talk about, and one of the primary reasons for that is that this is one of those very rare games that I gave up on before reaching the end. The controls in Wayward Souls are just too consistently aggravating and imprecise to be of any use, and even using a keyboard (which shows up as a controller) didn’t solve the problem. Playing Wayward Souls on a mobile device is akin to driving a tractor in need of an oil change while wearing a biohazard suit and being loopy on painkillers, so overwhelmingly clumsy and impossible to control that the game is borderline unplayable. The core of the game revolves around going down floor after floor until you reach a boss fight and clear the area. Since this is the only point where your progress is actually saved—though you retain the gold you accrued even after death—the game has a tendency to be absolutely unbearable to play through. Read more →

Wayward Souls Screenshots

My review of Final Fantasy XIII is a bit later than I expected (I haven’t even finished the game yet), but I don’t like going longer than a week without updating the site. That’s when I saw Wayward Souls staring at me on my Kindle, the icon existing as an eternal reminder of how frustrating touch-screen controls are. “Okay,” I said, “I’ll give this game one more try.” Deciding to abandon my rogue and start over as a mage instead, I wasn’t able to make it more than 3 or so floors before dying due as a direct result of the poor controls deciding that I wanted to randomly shoot fireballs and stop running when being chased. Worse, many of the control problems are still glaringly present even when using a Bluetooth keyboard to move around, so I’ve officially thrown in the towel. I expect more out of a 6 dollar app. However, this will almost definitely make for a great PC game (the game’s website claims that a PC version will be coming “soon”), and I very much look forward to that. Read more →

Costume Quest 2 Review

Costume Quest 2 is a great example of a sequel that improves on its predecessor in virtually every way. That’s not to say that it’s entirely flaw-free, but the problems from the first game have been largely minimized in such a way that it’s a much more fulfilling experience than the already-worthwhile original. That said, much of the game will be instantly familiar to those who have played the first game: a large part of gameplay still consists of going house to house trick-or-treating for candy to progress, the combat is still jRPG-inspired, and the overall game still has a distinct sense of humor that you won’t find anywhere else. Read more →

Costume Quest 2 Screenshots

The first Costume Quest is a great game, but Costume Quest 2 is even better. Not only is the humor still present, but many of the first’s issues with repetitiveness and twitch-based QTEs have been addressed. Granted, both problems are still present in some form, but they do less to diminish the overall experience than in the first game. In Costume Quest 2, everything comes together to create a much more solid game than the first entry despite a huge number of similarities between the two. Read more →

The history of #Gamergate (sans emotion)

Update: Gamergate never ends, and constantly updating this history and finding the relevant links to show that things happened is weirdly exhausting. That said, I might go a week or two here and there without updating it so that I’m not eating into all my free time. After all, I need that time to actually play through games to review them for this site. I’m only telling you all this so that you don’t automatically assume that I’ve stopped updating if the timeline is a bit behind on more recent events. I haven’t given up! No—I’m just finding it a bit difficult to juggle everything right now. This is a one-person operation.

I’ve been a supporter of #Gamergate from the very beginning (consider this a disclaimer), and despite some rocky moments and problematic fellow members, I remain a staunch supporter. However, there’s been so much misinformation, noise, and emotion coming out of both sides of the debate that newcomers are bound to be either confused or misled by how we actually got to this point. Since I haven’t seen anyone else attempt to fairly cover the events that started Gamergate and the wins and losses on both sides, I figured I’d do it myself in as unbiased a manner as possible. This is bound to be long, but bear with me—it’s important to understand the whole thing if we’re all going to have a meaningful conversation on the topic. Read more →

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