Extra Extra Gamer News in 2024 AD

What a way to start the year. Ice-Pick Lodge bearing tidings of P2thologic: The Bach2lor Route

https://teletype.in/@icepicklodge/1UeQEI9YTAS

That sounds awesome

https://www.axios.com/2024/01/03/reported-shake-up-in-chinas-gaming-industry-after-turmoil-over-new-rules

I was looking for this thread after I saw something new, but I forgot. Guess it’s too late now, it’s old.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/01/1d-pac-man-is-the-best-game-ive-played-in-2024-so-far/

I guess games haven’t come a long way since…

@“tomjonjon”#p147063 this game is hard! The timing is pretty tight and leaving a pellet in the center of the screen seemingly lets the ghost guard it forever(??). Also idk if it‘s just me but it was missing some keyboard inputs from me. Still the best 2024 release I’ve played this year by default!

@“Tradegood”#p147074 I’m at work so I’ve not yet tried it. Something so simple has to be pretty challenging I would think.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2548880/Divine_Frequency/

via IGN: Video Game Voice Actors Express Worry and Confusion After SAG-AFTRA Deal With AI Studio

by [Rebekah Valentine](https://twitter.com/duckvalentine?lang=en)

>

Today, the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) announced a deal with AI technology company Replica Studios regarding the licensure and use of AI digital replicas of actors' voices in video games. But not all impacted voice actors are happy about it.

>

The deal, per a statement by SAG-AFTRA, “will enable Replica to engage SAG-AFTRA members under a fair, ethical agreement to safely create and license a digital replica of their voice. Licensed voices can be used in video game development and other interactive media projects from pre-production to final release.” It apparently includes minimum terms and conditions, as well as requirements for performer consent and the ability to opt out of ongoing use of a digital voice double.

>

While the guild is lauding the the deal as “groundbreaking,” a number of voice actors have taken to social media today to express concern, anger, and confusion regarding the deal. As many point out, a number of SAG-AFTRA voice actors don't want companies to be able to make AI doubles of their voices at all, regardless of the terms.

I had some thoughts on this when someone in a Facebook group I'm in was confused at what the problem could be, since it's a voluntary thing. I'm just gonna copy paste it:

I think even if it requires consent and that people can opt out, any allowance of it has a negative effect on the proper valuation of voice actors within the industry.

For something like this to not be able to diminish the value of labour, it would require that the professionals within it were all able to negotiate from a strong position. As we know in these economically depressed times, those who can choose to negotiate as purely rational actors and who will only accept terms within their best interests are those who already have stable careers and adequate income. The less income one has or the least established one's career is, the more willing they will be to sell more to their employers (as in, the digital likeness for their voice rather than their voice itself) for less.

The idea that this being allowed to exist at all won't necessarily be harmful is predicated on the idea that employers (or with videogames let's say publishers and executives and shareholders and whatnot) actually give a shit about fostering new voice talent or making a comprehensively excellent product, and they can be trusted to compensate actors for literally selling them the right to not employ them as much as their voice is wanted for a game. Even if the voice actor is getting ongoing payments for signing over their likeness, the primary incentive for employers to use this will be so they can pay the voice actor less than they would have to bring them into the studio. They don't give a shit about fostering talent or making excellent games, that's why voice actors felt a need to unionize in the first place. So in this I think the union has really let them down. Employers will always ask for an inch and take a light year.

When you think about it, AI generation of convincing imitations of human skill and talent is the capitalist wet dream. Even when we are talking about artists who will be compensated for signing away their likenesses, it's another form of worker alienation from the fruits of their labour, the near total abstraction of yet another social relation. No long days in the studio doing the same grunt a hundred times, sure, but no collaboration between artists and technicians in the studio, no laughs at bloopers or smiles when the person on the coffee run returns triumphantly, no job protection, no concern for the welfare of a human being at all, really. I'm no Luddite but considering there are too many fucking videogames already, efficiency is not what I think the industry should value over everything else.

And again even with stuff like royalty payments for ongoing use, especially with videogames which are kind of in the midst of another near crash with thousands of layoffs in the industry last year, I don't think that's even any guarantee of signing over likenesses being worth it in the long run. To the suits the human being has already been removed from the equation, in the event of a sever economic downturn in the company because the nth live service game the suits wanted shit out to cash in on a trend completely bombed on launch, it's certainly going to be royalty cheques to voice actors who signed their likeness away or whatever that are going to get hard to get out of them.

Son and Bone is a really weird name for a game

https://youtu.be/WoIPJS1wiJM

@“Chopemon”#p147851 sounds like a fricking Gastro Pub name

@“Chopemon”#p147851 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSXTSt1G3qU

reminder that I correctly predicted there would be no Nintendo Switch 2 in 2023

@“treefroggy”#p147952 at this rate I‘d be surprised if there was a new Switch in ’24!

Switch keeps rollin'.

People think Gameshark leaked the release date of the Switch 2 (September 2024) but actually they were just guessing.

@“Mnemogenic”#p147994 if I had no morals and a newly rebranded shady AI company I would also take a guess just to let people know we exist

@“Chopemon”#p147851 should be Son and Done, a construction management sim in a fantasy world

@“tomjonjon”#p147955 I‘ve heard some people finally coming around and understanding that it’s not that outrageous for nintendo to ride the switch for as long as possible. It took them long enough gosh darn!

Non-gamers don‘t give a cannoli’s catunkus, it‘s like the second coming of the game boy. Nintendo would be smart to ride this as long as possible, and follow up with a switch-compatible upgrade a la the game boy color…. the only thing that’s missing is another pokemon-like killer app to really bust into the mainstream. BotW and Animal Crossing, Mario Kart nonwithstanding. in that regard we have a very different setting.

At the very least it will be interesting to see what their true next move will be when/if it ever comes. I think the pass/ no move counts as a move, a very big move. a bigger move than new hardware would have been.

In my not at all humble opinion, **it could be the *last* console they make,** in a sense.
I need to repeat that to upset as many people as possible:
we may be looking at the last couple generations before consoles as we know them are completely obsolete.

### the nintendo switch could be the last console

or among the last. including sequels and iterations. I'm speaking from an outward perspective here, not a completely literal one. you know what I mean?
10 years from now, we may be looking at the end of consoles.
15 years from now, we may see the last ones.
20 years from now, there may be no consoles.
50 years from now, they will be a thing of the past.

mark my motherfather words.

>

@“treefroggy”#p148214 we may be looking at the last couple generations before consoles as we know them are completely obsolete.

People have been saying this since the PS3, and we've seen console manufacturers releasing new consoles ever since.

The problem is this argument typically presumes that:

  • 1. the motivation to release new consoles stems from the technological advancements they offer.
  • 2. technological advancement is primarily or entirely quantitative in nature.
  • 3. we are only now reaching some sort of plateau beyond which no technological advancement is possible.
  • But that's not necessarily the case. In fact, challenging the first assumption undoes every other assumption beyond it: console manufacturers are motivated to produce new consoles because they stand to create new opportunities to make money from doing so. Thus they will find whatever new qualitative technological advancements they need to present that new console as cutting edge (ray tracing being the big one for the PS5), and if that's the case, there's no reason to assume they'll reach a plateau any time soon. They can just find other, newer technologies to present as necessary for the future of gaming.

    The closest I can imagine to a real threat to this business model would be the rise of cloud gaming, and with it, a weakened reliance on the consumer-end technology needed to render all those fancy graphics. Of course, we've had cloud gaming for a while now, and the conceptual challenge of "how do I ensure the player's inputs register fast enough when we're doing computations on the other side of the globe" continues to hinder its popularity.

    >

    @“Video Game King”#p148217 the motivation to release new consoles stems from the technological advancements they offer.

    I agree! this is my point: they can just keep releasing the new xbox, the new playstation that are the same as before. The switch could be the last new console. Do you know what I mean? They could ride out the switch in same way that the Game Boy lasted 15 years, and then where will we be?

    >

    @“Video Game King”#p148217 and we’ve seen console manufacturers releasing new consoles ever since.

    **Well they were right to say it!** Consoles have been weird and redundant since then. It's been 17 years since then, and I'm talking big picture, long term here. In 100 years when they look back, a PS4 could be seen as "late" or the beginning of the end of consoles. 50 years from the release of PS3 is still 32 years away!

    Capitalism and growth are taken for granted by gamers.

    >

    @“Video Game King”#p148217 The closest I can imagine to a real threat to this business model would be the rise of cloud gaming,

    also the fact that the same class of consumer who would buy a console already has a stealth gaming console in their pocket at all times. People said that in 2006 also, and it's only more obvious now. It was true then, and it's more true now.
    Looking at things from a narrower perspective: yeah smart phone games suck. that's not the point. Could there be a dinky little toy in 50 years that bills itself as a game console? yeah.

    either way, I'm making blurry conjectures. I'm projecting out in the same way we look at the dreamcast and say it was the last dedicated, true video games console. We could be looking back and saying "the switch was the last time a console offered a new experience"

    But I'd be wrong if something like a VR, AI or whatever new technology box becomes hugely mainstream that isn't a phone or a PC, sells 150,000,000 units and offers the Wii Sports equivalent experience of its own era. I just think it's a lot more likely to be a phone or a PC, similarly to the way a PS2 was a DVD player.

    IDK man I'm just dreamin' up hot takes