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Internet Matlocks

Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Game-within-a-game hinted at for Splatoon


Like pizza crust stuffed with pizza rolls
Jan 17
// Jonathan Holmes
Splatoon is shaping up to be Nintendo's most bold and explosive new intellectual properties in recent memory. Nintendo is often accused of never publishing new I.P., though these accusations are often coming from folks who on...

Outrage culture is pretty silly

Aug 19 // Jonathan Holmes
An easy way to make yourself part of the narrative Most people who bother to create a profile on a website are looking to be a part of something. They don't want to be a passive observer. They are looking to get engaged, to have some sort of exchange with the content on the other side of their screen. The easiest way to do that is to get upset at someone or something. While being nice is more effective at making an impact, being mean is better for getting a response. Getting a response makes you feel like you are part of the story, even if you're just an extra with one line.  There's also a safety in writing yourself into the script when you have a chorus to hide among. You see enough people chanting "[blank developer] doesn't really care about us!" or "[blank videogame reviewer] should be fired because they said [blank thing]" and you see a little rebellion in the making. The romance of the picket line sets in, and reason starts to slip away. The fact that no wrongs have been done to them personally starts to shrink and blur. The feeling of being a part of a larger story, safely within the crowd of "like minded" protesters who absolutely will not tolerate any more gets larger and more focused.  Unless you or a loved one relies on videogames to make a living, there is very little that anyone can say or do in the videogame industry that might have a impact on your "real" life. The idea that someone's opinions about videogames might inspire the kind of emotions that lead to death threats or attempts to have people fired is absurd. The fact that people will lose sight of that when anonymously killing time on the internet is the reality. Cartoons are fun The word "outrage" is just a couple of letters away from being "outrageous", and the internet is packed to the to the gills with people who want to be truly outrageous. Extreme, cartoonish expression of emotion are the bread and butter for those who aspire to be the internet's Jem and the Holograms. These expressions often start off as partly ironic - like "[game publisher] raped my childhood by making [game in a series I used to like but don't like that much anymore]" or "[game] was so bad it gave me a disease that will kill me! I am dying because of the videogames hahahah!" The comedy is supposed to come from the honest expression of something that we may feel, but won't express because cognitively, we're aware that our feelings are irrational and not entirely warranted. After all, it's "just videogames", right? Wishing that a developer will feel ashamed because they made a videogame I don't like that much is ridiculous. Telling them they should go kill themselves is even more ridiculous. But that's exactly why people do it. The ability to remain anonymous and irresponsible attracts the kind of "comedy" that's really just "saying a mean thing that they are afraid to say in real life because I'd feel like a bad person." Daniel Tosh built their hot rod, and it's running amok. The people who take this tact don't often see the internet as the most amazing communication tool ever created. They see it as public toilet to crap all their anger and hatred into, laugh at the sound of their own farts, then walk away without flushing.  Everything is cool when you're part of a team I made passing mention of it before, but it warrants restating that a lot of people just want to be a part of a group, even if that group is largely over competitive, destructive to others, and serves no real purpose other than to provide the illusions of belonging, purpose, and power. This certainly isn't unique to the internet as a place, or to outrage culture as a thing. It's still worth giving a quick look though, as it's something that's always good to remember. I tested out how deeply the passion for group-think and feeling that whatever makes you feel good is good, and vice versa. by sending to a group of people I know in real life some articles by my friend Jim Sterling. I removed Jim's name and said that they were done by three different friends who were all looking into getting into videogame blogging. This was a group who all loved Final Fantasy and Assassin's Creed, but hated Sony and Nintendo. When they read Jim's Why Sony fanboys are the worst article and his review of Mario Kart 7, the first one said "pretty good." Then the second one said "I love it." The third called him, "a great writer with a lot of smart ideas presented in a funny way." When they read his reviews of Final Fantasy XIII and Assassin's Creed, an opposite spiral occurred. It started with "meh" and ended with labeling Jim a, "pretentious try hard who didn't know enough about videogames to write about them professionally." When he reflected their own opinions back to them, he made them feel good about themselves, which made them feel good about him. When he did the opposite, he got the opposite response. When an attractive person smiles and tells you that you're smart and interesting, they seem like they know what they're talking about. When they are indifferent or even frowny when telling you the exact same thing, they become stuck up or fake. Anyone who doesn't validate us isn't allowed in the group. Even if someone in the group is being cruel to someone else, they will still be accepted, as long as they share the same thoughts and opinions.  Gobble Gobble.  An asshole pass Now back to the specifics of outrage culture. If there is one thing I hope you take away from this article, it is the awareness that when a lot of people feel victimized, they often times feel free of any guilt or responsibility. When someone just broke your leg, no one is going to blame you for spitting in their face. Worse, when you're afraid that someone might break your leg, you don't feel any empathy for them. Fight or Flight doesn't allow for empathy. If it did, our ancestors would probably have all been eaten by wild animals, too caught up in their cuteness to defend themselves. These kinds of animal instincts tend to be at their worst in two places - the internet and the highway. Think about road rage. When a big piece of metal get in someone's lane and slows down, you feel threatened. You feel cheated. You feel powerless. That powerlessness signals to the amygdala and hippocampus that it's time to kick ass, with no reservations or self awareness. Full self-permission to be as awful as you want is granted. Emotional coldness and heated thirst for revenge shift into gear. Entitlement is in full bloom. Self awareness goes out the window. When you find yourself feeling this way on the internet, it's probably a good idea to follow Ness's father's advice and take a break. Every minor criticism will feel like an unjust insult, every challenge an unfair hardship. The urge to stand up for yourself and "win" will push aside all reason. You'll only feel empathy for those who are as pissed of as you, and nothing for the "bad guy" who you see as having way more power than they deserve. You'll be sure that they should be replaced by someone "good." Someone like you or another member of your group This kind of thinking is important when fighting against real life violence and oppression. In the world of videogames, it only leads to stuff like the Bayonetta 2 suicide "jokes" and pretty much every entry of our old Fanboy Fridays feature. It's silly, potentially embarrassing, and most importantly, ineffective at communicating anything other than hostility.  The pros and cons of an ugly phenomenon  This article is knowingly but unintentionally ironic. At times, I sound pretty outraged about internet outrage, which will make me a hypocrite to some. More so, it's quite likely that some people will be outraged over my outrage over outrage. If that happens, chances are high that someone one will get outraged over their outrage over my outrage about outrage. And so forth and so on. Forever and ever. Amen. The truth is, I'm not entirely outraged. The outrage about outrage is just one side of an issue that has many faces and many shades of grey. Part of me also think it's great for people to use the internet like a giant emotional toilet, at least sometimes. There's definitely some value in having a place to see people's unfiltered and uncensored emotional garbage -- their hate, their pettiness, their righteous entitlement, their complete lack of empathy. Sadly, that's what the internet has become for a lot of people. It's the place where grieving daughters are attacked with racial slurs and accusations of not loving their lost parents enough. It's terrible that these things happen. On the other hand, it's good to know how terrible human beings can be. The more we know about the truth, the better equipped we are to deal with the world around us, even when truth about the world is harsh and repulsive.  There are even times when I see my friends generate outrage and think to myself  "Maybe this is because they're doing something right." Zoe Quinn and the previously mentioned Jim Sterling immediately come to mind. While it never feels good to piss people off, sometimes pissing people off is a sign that you did something good.  Knowing that a lot of the people who tried to organize a "Fire Sakurai" chant at Evo this year also think I should be fired makes me feel like I'm in good company. Being on the side of great content creators sometimes means spurring the ire of certain content consumers. That's not something I like, but it's something that is true.  I just wish we could have our cake and eat it too. I wish people could express their outrage in ways that felt more thoughtful and productive and less mindless and destructive. I wish we could step out of labeling people as either victims, victimizers, or protectors any time that we feel strongly about a situation. Those absolute terms make us feel special, and make our world seem simple and easy to navigate. They also weaken our ability to be empathetic and fully understanding of all parties involved in a situation. This extreme perspective is almost never the most valid way of assessing a situation, especially when it comes to videogames (or hamburgers). It also doesn't help people to effectively apply the criticism that they so passionately wish to express. It usually just makes them look like angry children at best and repugnant, selfish monsters at worst. When someone behaving like a repugnant, selfish monster criticizes me, I often times take it as a compliment. That's a little bit productive for me, but it's not for the person who was trying to levy the criticism at me in the first place.  So if you want to step away from outrage culture and be more effective in your criticism of internet strangers, here are some general tips that may help you. Avoid labeling the individual person you want to critique with some invalidating, derogatory term. You can say that a lot of videogame journalists behave like opportunistic, soulless husks, but once you call an individual journalist that, he/she is not going to take your criticisms seriously. If you don't respect someone at all, why would they offer respect back to you? Even better is to force yourself to imagine yourself reading the comment or criticism you plan to write before you press send, and imagine how receptive you'd feel to it if you were on the other side of the conversation. If you think you'd be insulted by what you're about to say, maybe don't send it. Though it's likely a valid expression of your emotions, it will likely fall upon deaf ears, only to be used later as proof about how the internet is filled with jerks.  If you don't know what to say without resorting to personal attacks, maybe just express how you feel, why you feel that way, and what you want done about it. "This post you wrote is annoying, because you write like you think you are better than me, and I'd like you to stop writing that way" is way more effective than "You're an elitist douchebag who should kill themselves because of that thing you said about videogames that one time." The direct and less hostile approach isn't as funny, but as someone who faces thousands of both commending and criticizing comments a week, I can tell you which will be taken as helpful feedback and which will be laughed at and forgotten almost immediately.  Like my old pal Patrick said last week, if you want your statements to hold real weight, back off on the mob mentality and joyful, cartoonish hostility, and talk to people the way you'd like to be talked to. Or don't. It's up to you to decide what you  care more about -- making an impact or making a difference.  
Outrage photo
'Like preaching to one choir while throwing bees on another'
The world can be a difficult place. Even if it looks like you have everything going for you on paper, it can feel like everyone is against you in practice. As a young, attractive, Caucasian millionaire once said, "Have you ev...

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Microsoft obtains rights to Xbox 8 domain names


Jul 03
// Dale North
Cheng Juan of China had snapped up some Xbox-related domain names like Xbox8.org and xbox8.us, as well as crappier ones like xboxcompanion.com, xboxlivetv.com, xboxphone.com, and xboxtablet.com. Microsoft wanted them bac...
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Nintendo finally locks down SuperMario.com 25 years later


Sep 26
// Dale North
Ha! Nice timing, Nintendo. Nintendo issued a complaint last August with the World Intellectual Property Organization over SuperMario.com, as someone else held the rights. Who was it? Bowser? What's funny is that they just sta...
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Do you have AT&T and have PlayStation Network issues?


Feb 18
// Dale North
Some readers have made us aware that AT&T customers are having download issues when pulling down some types of content on Sony's PlayStation Network. From what we hear, the problems started a couple of weeks ago. It se...
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PAX 10: Wakfu interview gets teen girls feeling fantastic


Sep 09
// Jonathan Holmes
I'd never heard of Wakfu until seconds before this interview. I did know a little about Dofus, Wakfu's prequel, but only because Niero has a Dofus art book on his coffee table. Other than that, I was flying blind on this one...
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PS Jailbreak PS3 mod chip orders open, related warnings


Aug 23
// Dale North
We recently told you about the PS Jailbreak USB PS3 mod chip that lets you rip/copy/backup games to your internal harddrive or another external and then run them. Some doubted its existence, but now it's actually selling. Get...
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What is Red Faction Battlegrounds?


Aug 13
// Dale North
I don't know what Red Faction Battlegrounds is, but it is a thing. THQ registered a website domain for this name on August 10th. The name makes me think of a light version of a franchise game, but don't take that to heart. It...
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Arkham City was in Batman: AA all along (well, kind of)


Aug 09
// Jordan Devore
I was one of those crazy people who did everything there was to do in Batman: Arkham Asylum; or so I thought. Game Informer has rocked my world by posting about the secret room of Warden Quincy Sharp. It's so secret, you lite...
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Monday Mind Teasers: Not Pr0n


Aug 03
// Tom Fronczak
Last week's trip down mind teaser memory lane brought us back to the clicking nightmare known as Crimson Room. Now that some of us have escaped once again with our sanities intact, we run in fear to the first door we can find...
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Monday Mind Teasers: Crimson Room


Jul 27
// Tom Fronczak
[UPDATE] The old link is broken. You can play Crimson Room here now (or at least until this link stops working too). "Ahhhh!" "The horror!" "Minimize in fear!" These screams might well describe your reaction to this game back...
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Why you can't play Hulu on your PS3


Jun 28
// Matthew Razak
I watch all my television on my computer by hooking it up to my television through an HDMI cable. At this point there just isn't any point to watching TV "live" since everyone can get everything over the web wheneve...
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E3 09: Tatsunoko Vs Capcom video interview


Jun 11
// Jonathan Holmes
Got a butt-kicking interview here with Capcom's Seth Killian on the development and localization of Tatsunoko Vs Capcom, and a little bonus stuff with Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder at the end. I'm still pissed/jealous that He...
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GameDaily BIZ leaves AOL, launches IndustryGamers.com


May 15
// Dale North
GameDaily BIZ will become IndustryGamers.com, a new site created Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of of the new site, James Brightman, and the fine folks at Hammersuit LLC, who has ties with the fine site that you're currently ...
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Fake Watch: On-going April Fool's 2009 hoax list


Apr 01
// Dale North
Oh, Internets. You and your silly April Fool's Day jokes. We would never do anything like that. We're far too serious. To combat this nonsense, Destructoid has collected all the April Fool's Day hoaxes we could find as a publ...
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Modern Warfare 2 teaser deciphered: What does it all mean?


Mar 26
// Jordan Devore
That was fast. It was only last night that Infinity Ward gave us our very first glimpse of the latest installment in the Call of Duty series, Modern Warfare 2 (which is apparently missing "CoD" from its name?), and ...
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Sony takes on Internet Explorer, claims the PS3 outpaces IE7


Oct 28
// Jim Sterling
Oh Sony and Microsoft, can't you just get along? Sony is claiming that the PlayStation 3's 2.5 firmware update will allow it to browse the Internet faster than Internet Explorer 7, along with some shiny Flash 9 support. Take ...
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Marvel Vs Capcom 3 Matlockery: Tastunoko Vs Capcom to become Marvel Vs Capcom 3?


Oct 13
// Jonathan Holmes
As many long time gamers know, Capcom used to hold the rights to create games based on Marvel comics. It was at that time that they created what is perhaps the greatest cross-over fighting game of all time. Marvel Vs Capcom 2...
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Mega Man Matlockery: The Mega Man 9/ZX Advent boss connections


Sep 20
// Jonathan Holmes
Like a lot of retro-philes out there, I'm currently pre-occupied with this coming Monday and it's promise of Mega Man 9 on WiiWare. To help alleviate my anticipation, I've been replaying all my favorite Mega Man games over ag...
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DLC file reveals unannounced Rock Band songs, Internet Matlocks win again


Feb 13
// Nick Chester
The Internet Matlocks are at it again, this time extracting a file from a recent Rock Band DLC pack. While I'm not even sure what would possess you to do this (or better yet, how you would do this), the results appear to be a...
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Though parts three, four, and five lack the creepy stalker talk that made part two such a delightful read, these latest installments in a series of ongoing interviews between Nintendo of Japan President Satoru Iwata and Super...

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Rumortoid: Is a mysterious new Castlevania game in the works?


Jan 18
// Chad Concelmo
The above images were apparently posted by a member of the Castlevania team on the GameFAQs forums minutes before the thread mysteriously disappeared.Hmmmm. If the screen grabs are real, they obviously prove the...
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Smash Bros Brawl's Japanese Instruction Booklet hits the Internet?


Jan 18
// Jonathan Holmes
Well, we had to expect that this to would happen. Super Smash Bros Brawl, now set for release in Japan on Jan. 31st, has suffered it's first leak of physical evidence of proving it's actual, factual existence. Super Smash Bro...
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What the hell is the Olduvai Theory and, more importantly, who founded it? Beats me, but I bet you'd like to know because the right answer could score you a free game, an Xbox 360 Premium console, or some spiffy swag. This mo...

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Internet Matlockery: Gears of War 2 at GDC?


Jan 03
// Jim Sterling
The Team Xbox boys are putting on their Internet detective hats and are suggesting that Epic is going to be announcing Gears of War 2 at this year's Games Developers Conference. The GDC can be a good source of pre-E3 fanboy m...
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Speculation: Final Fantasy Versus XIII may garner Mature rating


Dec 18
// Colette Bennett
Like an army of tiny beetles, the murmurs skittered across the internet late Monday night: Final Fantasy Versus XIII may have a Mature rating, the first Final Fantasy to ever carry that stamp upon its cover. Could it be true?...
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Gerstmann still likes videogame journalism: Speaks with Joystiq


Dec 03
// Jim Sterling
Joystiq has finally coaxed some words out of Jeff Gerstmann, the now notorious Gamespot editor who found himself fired after angering Eidos with the "tone" used to review Kane & Lynch: Dead Men. While he is stil...
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Sony: faulty hardware rumor of 40GB PS3 baseless, reeks of shoddy journalism


Nov 08
// SRVSLPS
Acting quickly to quell the nasty rumor originating from the Dutch gaming site Gamed.nl that the already somewhat controversial 40GB PlayStation 3 has a whopping 40% failure rate, comes official word from Sony (along with a n...
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Ex-Harmonix developer lays down a nasty track concerning the PS3


Oct 26
// SRVSLPS
Depending on who you ask, the PlayStation 3 is either potentially the console equivalent of the second coming of Christ -- or one of the biggest travesties in the history of consoles. Although I'm still in the "let's wai...
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Okami for Wii = Internet WAAAAR!


Oct 25
// Jim Sterling
Everybody knows that the Internet is serious business, and nobody knows that better than Capcom, it seems. After the news broke about Okami heading to the Wii, many fans were ecstatic, but a fair number were far more cynical ...

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