Ep. 161 - Legalize Bowsette

yeah that is definitely a cinco brand product

Idea: “athleisure” controller made out of high-performance sweat-wicking fabrics


I’m not super familiar with how sweat and leather interact because I don’t go to those kinds of bars

the key is to listen to any judas priest song

re gagmergate - I remember IC people being some of the only games media persons who cut through the fog and reflexive both-siding that the great majority of outlets projected about it. Yes it was an early sign that the doctrine of providing “balanced consideration” combined with the precarious employment status of the media people would be easy prey for coordinated disingenuous self-victimization. Lots of mealy-mouthed non-condemnations from big outlets, and I could be wrong but I suspect that had giant bomb for example told gg creeps to shut the fuck up, it would have been helpful. Anyway respect to frank who I recall as making some correctly and righteously angry denouncements when it mattered. IC was on the right side of history at least (hence my “brand” loyalty)

I think maybe in the very early days games media could‘ve helped with that, yeah. Frank and I were both big antagonists of that particular movement, and one of my articles was early in that debate (pre-gamergate having a name), and hopefully didn’t further spark it, but it was a discussion that needed having.

Kind of an embarrasing/dated read now because I was trying to appeal to/convince the jerks/"fellow men," which is impossible, but I stand by 2012 me writing it at the time: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/173227/Opinion_Video_games_and_Male_Gaze__are_we_men_or_boys.php

I don‘t really get the “naughty dog is shitty” thing that appears to be the commom opinion on the english speaking gaming critique circles i’ve come with contact for some years now. I mean, the criticism on the narrative and violence that i read especially on last of us I can understand and agree on, it‘s statements like uncharted robbed us of good videogames (and with the open world one suppose assassin creed? elder scrolls? been robbing us of this hypothetical good videogames now). Since I was very young and not even remotely a english reader at that time, there was this same sentiment about game studios chasing market trends, for example, after the psone era with resident evil being all the rage and cloned that “capcom has been robbed us of good games” or when it began the metal gear cinematic aspirations talk also came along this "kojima trying to pretending he’s not selling us a videogame“? Do you guys really believe that good videogames would have been born in the ps3-360 era had not naughty dog and other trend setters of the time ”poisoned the well"? Because I read this discussions and sincerelly don't see this hopeful scenarios coming to fruition.

I don't know to what degree ND design is to blame for fostering bad trends, but they have been one of the primary movers of ridiculous boardroom-inflected $$$ products of the last 10 years.

One of the supremely irritating things about the ND house style for me is the quippy too-clever by half and bloodless way they are written. The abrasive quality of which may not be easily apparent to a non native english speaker (apologies if I assume too much.)

And that particular mode of writing has grown to infect a large proportion of high-budget english language entertainment in film and television, so it's at least for me become bound up in this kind of greasily ingratiating style of enforced corporate "fun." But it isn't genuinely fun, it's just the motions and signifiers of "fun."

In the case of The Last Of Us, the ND style gets even grosser because it's still this immense and empty product that is an assemblage of things that are "serious." But despite the amount of money, tech, and labor behind The Last Of Us/part II, they're still completely mediocre, silly, and incoherent (in bad ways). But because they have the resources, and what I think detractors fear is a growing cultural hegemon behind them, they get received as being "serious" and unfortunately mark the horizons of what is "good" and "important"

So without being familiar with the specific critical english-language sources you've read, that's at least my view. I think that it's the sort of emotionally needy quality of the The Last Of Us that inspire the more intense negative reactions. I mean, ubisoft is bad but they're more just regular bad. ND wants me to cry when my guilt plagued father figure gets hit in the head with a golf club during a mushroom zombie apocalypse. Also I need to ponder the "cycle of revenge...."

As the one being questioned I have to say my pal @yeso already articulated my thoughts on the subject a lot better than I could.

The statement of "ND robbed us of good videogames" that seems to be what annoyed you the most was an hyperbole I used because I wrote that in a satyrical "let's make fun of this" way. The nature of videogames as an industry that is maturing on the worst side of late capitalism is such that there is always going to be a trend that is followed by the money chasing big corporations. And I think the fact that I already stated we are going after another goose in the form of the open world trend kinda hints at the fact that maybe ND is not to blame.

The Last of Us is very hollow, I can't put it any other way. One thing I left without saying is that The Last of Us can't be "the Watchmen of videogames" because Watchmen and Bioshock at least say _something_. They establish some critical discourse, shallow or not, and hint at some problems and dynamics that people embrace and make them feel like interesting and relatively realized fiction.

The Last of Us is just the hollowed husk of a generic Cormac McCarthy novel filled with the most superficial and cliche misanthropy fluff of every postapocaliptic story since the 60s. Combine that with the cinematography of Children of Men and your regular HBO series, be sure to add some grittiness and violence (which are always super good shortcuts to "mature") and you have a videogame that strongly feels it's about something while in fact all it has to say is "everyone is very selfish and bad and you have to kill to survive". Which, by the way, it's a very popular conservative claim nowadays.

I will say, though, that I think Left Behind was very interesting in the context of AAA games, even though it was a DLC, therefore lower risk, and slipstreaming hard into the Gone Home phenomenon. And also, that I liked The Last of Us 2 because, in spite of it worst narrative efforts and sad "attempts" at making you feel guilty, it was an ultimately Fun murderbot simulator with every layer of reward and player engagement firmly in place. It also landed some of the drama in my opinion, specially on the parts that were inspired by Left Behind.

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