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Leland photo
Leland

Former senator who was against gun-heavy games pleads guilty to racketeering


Oh, that wacky Leland Yee
Jul 03
// Chris Carter
Hey, remember former California senator Leland Yee? The guy who said "gamers have no credibility" in the video game violence debate and was arrested a few months back for fraud and gun trafficking? It looks like he just ...
Troops vs Women photo
Troops vs Women

Murder women in SJW Riot: Troops vs Women - in Video Game


'Terrorising men, just for being men'
Jun 27
// Jed Whitaker
An Indiegogo campaign for a new game called SJW Riot: Troops vs Women - in Video Game, in which social justice warriors -- who are apparently only women -- have "lost their mind, again, and are terrorising men" according to t...
Newstoid #4 photo
Newstoid #4

Steamy drama, marriage equality in Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy VII changes - Newstoid #4


It's about to get gay in here
Jun 26
// Jed Whitaker
Last night the boyfriend and I got together -- giggitty -- and shot this latest episode of Newstoid since Jess Brohard is out hunting fugitives with Dog the bounty hunter or whatever. Who knew we would talk about marriage eq...

Baku Games photo
Baku Games

A game that fights for actual social justice


The Real Baku Games
Jun 21
// Jonathan Holmes
The 1st European Games are currently being held in Baku, Azerbaijan. They're sort of like the Olympics on a smaller scale, but not that much smaller. For Azerbaijan, a country that's big on wealth, but is not necessarily a b...
Election photo
Election

The National Video Game Arcade's election event is reading your tweets


I hope they're hamburgers
May 05
// Joe Parlock
It’s almost that time again. Time for the great British-and-also-Northern-Irish-people to filter in to the polling stations, tick little bits of paper, and then have no change ever come about as a result. It’s tim...
Threats in D.C. photo
Threats in D.C.

#GamerGate get-together sabotaged by threats


Social event in Washington D.C. ruined
May 04
// Jonathan Holmes
[Photo via Daddy_Warpig.] A recent #GamerGate-themed meetup organized by "critic of contemporary feminism" Christina Hoff Sommers and political pundit/wonk Milo Yiannopoulos was put to a disturbing and sudden e...
Senran Kagura photo
Senran Kagura

Fake VR boob goggles showed me that 'two party politics' are no good for gaming


Maybe it was inevitable
Mar 31
// Jonathan Holmes
Last week, Steven Hansen did a news story about some fake boob-infused videogame consoles that Marvelous made up to promote the next Senran Kagura game. I did a video about those videos for our YouTube channel, and it w...
Tropes vs Women photo
Tropes vs Women

New Tropes vs Women series Positive Female Characters debuts


Checkmate, Link!
Mar 31
// Jed Whitaker
Everyone's favorite feminist Anita Sarkeesian is back and this time with a new sub-series of Tropes vs Women in Gaming called Positive Female Characters. In the debut episode Anita takes a look at the main character fro...
GDC photo
GDC

Seen at GDC: Game development is for whites only


Diversity (or lack thereof) gets the stink finger
Mar 04
// Robert Summa
Spotted around the happenings of this year's Game Developers Conference was a sticker that tells us game development is for whites only. Diversity in game development (especially amongst the sexes) continues to be a hot-butto...
38 Studios lawsuit photo
38 Studios lawsuit

Judge okays first settlement in 38 Studios lawsuit


$4.4 million agreement between Rhode Island EDC and bond attorney approved
Jul 27
// Kyle MacGregor
A judge has approved the first settlement in Rhode Island's lawsuit over the ill-fated $75 million deal that brought Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios to the state in 2010. The ruling from Superior Court Judge Mich...
Obama and The Witcher photo
Obama and The Witcher

Thanks Obama: U.S. President mentions The Witcher in visit to Poland


Admits he is 'not very good at videogames'
Jun 03
// Darren Nakamura
Public relations in the videogame industry can be grueling. There are hundreds of contacts to keep, thousands of emails to send, and even after all of that, there is no guarantee that an outlet will pick up the story. So much...
Metro dev relocates HQ photo
Metro dev relocates HQ

Metro studio 4A Games moving headquarters out of Ukraine


A second studio to be opened on Malta
May 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Metro: Last Light developer 4A Games is in the process of opening a second studio on the island nation of Malta. The new location will serve as the company's headquarters moving forward, while the existing studio in Kiev, Ukr...
Politics photo
Politics

Anti-game senator Leland Yee arrested on fraud, gun trafficking charges


Sweet irony
Mar 27
// Jordan Devore
California state senator Leland Yee was arrested Wednesday on charges of honest services fraud and gun trafficking. A vocal opponent of violent videogames, Yee should be no stranger to long-time Destructoid readers given his ...
Battlefield photo
Battlefield

China bans Battlefield 4


Surprise, surprise
Dec 28
// Harry Monogenis
I remember browsing the Origin store a few days ago to see if EA was going to at least try and compete with Steam's Holiday Sale when I came across the Battlefield 4: China Rising expansion in the 'New Releases' sec...
BioShock Infinite photo
BioShock Infinite

The Tea Party doesn't understand BioShock Infinite


Conservative group confuses satire with propaganda
Dec 16
// Alessandro Fillari
Satire: the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. It's not every day when an ultra-c...
38 Studios photo
38 Studios

Poll: Half of voters want to default on 38 Studios loan


Hurry, imagine away the $90 million debt!
Nov 21
// Kyle MacGregor
A majority of Rhode Islanders are in favor of becoming ostriches, burying their heads in the sand, and pretending the debt incurred from the state's ill-fated loan to Kingdoms of Amalur developer 38 Studios no longer exists, ...
High Voltage Software photo
High Voltage Software

The Conduit developer seeking tax incentives in Illinois


High Voltage Software appears from the woodwork
Nov 06
// Kyle MacGregor
High Voltage Software is seeking tax credits from the Illinois state legislature, according to a report surrounding a number of companies looking for incentives currently stalled by a veto from governor Pat Quinn over a lack ...
Politics photo
Politics

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden inspired by videogames


Like game hereos, some are forced to do difficult things for the greater good
Oct 28
// Kyle MacGregor
Videogames were reportedly the inspiration behind what's been billed the most significant leak of classified information in US History. In an interview with The Advocate, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald spoke to the motiva...
38 Studios photo
38 Studios

Court battle over 38 Studios begins in Rhode Island


RIEDC v. Wells Fargo Securities LLC is underway
Oct 13
// Kyle MacGregor
The trial between 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation has begun. Opening arguments from both sides were made Friday in Rhode Island Super Court, The Providence Journal repor...
Kingdoms of Amalur photo
Kingdoms of Amalur

Rhode Island governor allegedly forced 38 Studios closure


Former RIEDC director backs up criticism of government inaction
Oct 06
// Kyle MacGregor
The former head of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation has accused the state's governor, Lincoln Chafee, of preventing 38 studios' attempts to avoid bankruptcy, the Boston Globe reports.  Keith Stokes, the ...
GTAV gubernatorial race photo
GTAV gubernatorial race

Grand theft subtlety: GTAV governor candidates are awful


"I hate immigrants, the crippled; I can't stand unions, cops, old ladies"
Aug 14
// Steven Hansen
Grand Theft Auto V is getting gubernatorial with these two political campaign videos. Former actor and stuntman Jock Stanley (above) is running against incumbent liberal and "successfully divorced school teacher" Sue Murry (...
Kickstarter photo
Kickstarter

St. Christopher's is in lockdown in a new adventure game


Kickstarter campaign for an adventure game set in a UK private school
Jun 24
// Alasdair Duncan
If you're going to attract people to backing your Kickstarter for an adventure game, then promising "no meaningless fetch quests, no mazes and no pixel hunts" is a good way to do it. The St. Christopher's School Lockdow...
 photo

Biden: No legal reason why 'violent' games can't be taxed


Vice President tells Reverend Asshole that'd be just fine
May 14
// Jim Sterling
Vice President Joe Biden recently had a meeting with religious leaders to discuss gun control, and violent media was discussed. God forbid we don't obfuscate the gun discussion with more demented strawmen.  Reverend Fran...
Electronic Arts photo
Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts distancing itself from gun manufacturers


Plans to use branded weapons without licenses going forward
May 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Electronic Arts is distancing itself from the gun industry. Well, sort of. The publisher plans to cut ties with gun manufacturers while still using branded weapons in its future titles. In the past, EA has approached gun comp...

SimCity, Colonial Marines, and The Silence

Apr 23 // Jim Sterling
The trouble with games media -- and indeed most news-based media -- is that it's predominantly reactionary. If there is action in the industry, the bloggers and journalists can react. Conversely, without action, there can be no reaction. During SimCity's launch, Electronic Arts and EA Maxis made all sorts of statements and promises -- activities we could react to, in order to keep the story going and add to the pressure being applied to the companies involved.  As soon as EA and Maxis keep their heads down, however, the story largely goes away, almost instantly. After all, most of the information comes directly from the companies, so if they stop giving out, there's nothing to take. A number of outlets can continue to ask for comments from these companies, but with launch period over and a reduced need for promotion, the chances of getting a response start shrinking at a rapid pace. Rock, Paper, Shotgun learned this -- it's attempted to get a comment repeatedly, but to no avail. Neither EA nor Maxis have to say anything anymore -- they had their SimCity launch, they got their money, now they just need to sit back and let the bad press shrivel into oblivion.  Aliens: Colonial Marines is another fine example. During launch, there was plenty to dig up about what I still maintain is one of the most fascinating screw-ups in recent videogame memory. At first, it was amazing to see how deep the rabbit hole went, to try and work out how six years of Gearbox time led to such an unfinished mess of a game, attempting to fathom how much of the project was outsourced to TimeGate, and who developed what. But during this time, Gearbox was largely maintaining a stonewall of silence, and even outspoken developer Randy Pitchford limited himself to a tiny handful of Twitter outbursts.  Nowadays, Pitchford spends his time retweeting positive comments about Colonial Marines, talking up the fanbase and boasting about how many people like it. As negative coverage dries up, these tactics begin to succeed, rewriting the narrative to shut out the criticism and portray a story where only positivity exists. People like me, who covered the debacle extensively, get referred to as harmful individuals, out to personally injure the studio for some vindictive agenda. This is the second major problem with covering these kinds of controversial games -- do it enough, and publishers start to paint you as a lunatic.  We saw this recently with Peter Moore, responding preemptively to its "victory" in The Consumerist's Worst Company of America competition. Moore, having already guessed EA would clinch the prize, wrote a blog demonizing EA's critics, suggesting that most people who dislike the company are homophobes angry about Mass Effect's same-sex romance, or irrational maniacs upset over certain athletes appearing on Madden box art. While EA maintains total silence over legitimate complaints -- such as knowingly launching a game that would be broken by design -- Moore pens self-serving fan fiction in which EA's raked over the coals exclusively by bigots and bedlamites.  The real kicker is, if you want to keep these stories alive, if you care about industry bullshit and feel it's too important to simply forget, you have no choice but to reinforce the publisher's narrative and look like a vindictive crackpot. After all, if publishers are staying quiet, if they're ignoring your requests for comments, what can you do? At that point, your options are limited, and mostly involve inventing new articles from whole cloth -- be it a no-news post that simply reminds people a certain problem still exists, or finding some contrived way to pen a "fresh" op-ed on things people already know about. At that point, you end up becoming the very fanatic publishers say you are.  Most writers don't want to do that. They don't want to become some raving demagogue, and I do find it hard to blame them. Some games writers want to just write about the software and blot out the seedy surroundings -- and I get that. Hell, many readers want that, and I understand it completely. In fact, if you cover a topic too many times, most readers will start a backlash, which is another issue that cripples one's ability to keep the pressure on.  A cat may love being petted, but if you do it to the point of over-stimulation, they start to bite the hand that's stroking, and no matter how passionate gamers are about a subject -- they will grow tired of it in time. It's a natural reaction, and one that I can't blame anybody for, especially in an age of information overload, where news moves quickly and no subject can stick around for long.  Once a reader has had his or her fill of a topic, the backlash begins. The shitstorm surrounding SOPA was exciting to most people for a while, but it required a lot of coverage to truly communicate how vile it was, and a lot of coverage -- in the Internet age of aggressive apathy -- is too much coverage. It didn't take long for comments to go from intrigued to lethargic, with calls for Destructoid to "let it go" and "move on" and "just go back to talking about videogames." Be it about online passes, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Electronic Arts or harmful legislation, I've been told to "get over it" more than I can adequately remember. I've gotten told to "get over" almost everything I continue to care about, and I dare say it's a familiar phrase to anybody who's talked about a certain controversial subject for a long enough amount of time. Sadly, that's exactly what publishers bank on. It's just what they're waiting for. All they have to do is batten down the hatches, erect the flame shield, and wait for the community to turn on itself, to split between those who have gotten over it, and those who need to get over it. Eventually, apathy wins, everybody gets over it, and the publisher can hype its next unfinished piece of shit, that the cycle may begin anew.  So what can be done? Nothing, probably. Just keep on keeping on. However, I do hope that those who do "get over" these things, and angrily demand others join them, understand that they're essentially a brick in the publisher's stonewall. Nobody is obligated to be angry and indignant -- I would not be so arrogant as to demand any reader or fellow writer take up arms for a cause they don't believe in, and more than likely don't think matters. However, I do ask for an understanding equal to mine -- an understanding that it's equally arrogant to demand others stop caring about something, just because you don't care. There are many who continue to give a shit about SimCity, Aliens, and all sorts of other nasty industry crap, and they're having a hard enough time keeping the discussion alive with publishers attempting to drown them out and snootily dismiss them as a "vocal minority." And that goes double for the "game journalists" of the industry. Those whose job it is to cover the industry and serve the readers, yet tell other writers to get over it, to stop whining, and to just talk about videogame press releases. Those journalists who call angry gamers "entitled" and dismiss their complaints. Those journalists who join publishers -- often publicly laughing with them -- and sneer at anybody with a criticism. You know who you are. I know who you are. And I know Electronic Arts is not your friend, no matter how much you cuddle up to them.  It should, really, go triple for publishers themselves. It should be said that they'd be best served not looking like decadent aristocrats, smugly dumping on the "vocal minority" and boasting about how much money they've made, as if raking in ill-gotten dubloons is an automatic invalidation of any complaint, rather than a fallacious use of argumentum ad populum. It should be said, but what's the point trying to squeeze blood from that stone? After all, these are the words of a lunatic from the fringe minority, who really should get over it. But won't.
SimCity Silence photo
Keep your head down, then rewrite the story
Recently, John Walker at Rock, Paper, Shotgun wrote a compelling article on SimCity, and how Electronic Arts' maintenance of radio silence has demonstrated total effectiveness in getting everybody to shut up. The basic argume...

STEM Video Game Challenge photo
STEM Video Game Challenge

STEM Video Game Challenge at the White House Science Fair


Leaders acknowledge the good that videogame development can do
Apr 22
// Darren Nakamura
For the second year now, the White House Science Fair has invited National STEM Video Game Challenge participants in its effort to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) among American youth....
Indie game vs NRA photo
Indie game vs NRA

The Best Amendment calls out the NRA


"Hell is other people. But what if other people are you?"
Apr 07
// Fraser Brown
In an effort to poke holes in NRA vice president Wayne LaPierre's belief that only a "good guy" with a gun can stop a "bad guy" with a gun, Paolo Pedercini has created The Best Amendment, a satirical PC game, report...
Videogames & Violence photo
Videogames & Violence

Poll: Playing videogames correlates with violent behavior


The debate rages on
Feb 26
// Kyle MacGregor
In the wake of the recent string of violent acts across the United States, many are still looking for someone or something to blame. A majority of Americans (58 percent) believe playing videogames contributes to increased lev...
 photo

President Obama wants game design in high schools


The President looks at the positive effects of gaming in education
Feb 18
// Allistair Pinsof
Game design programs in high schools can encourage kids to learn math and programming, President Barack Obama said in an online interview with the public. In response to a question about adding programming requirement in publ...
Violent Videogames photo
Violent Videogames

Poll: Violent videogames more dangerous than guns


The saga continues
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Apparently, violent videogames are more dangerous than guns. That's what 67 percent of Republicans think, anyway. Over two thirds of those surveyed in a recent national poll believe plastic discs are a "bigger safety thr...

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