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Worth thinking about

Nintendo Amusement Park photo
Nintendo Amusement Park

What would it be like if Nintendo ran a theme park?


I'm like, 'Yo - that's fifty dollars for a ten-year old game.'
Feb 17
// Jason Faulkner
Nintendo is a company whose name is synonymous with videogames (just point at any console and ask my granny what it's called). It's produced some of the most beloved and iconic characters of the last century, and is still goi...
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Nintendo PR actively promoting playable female characters


Pikmin 3 hailed as the start of many
Jul 25
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo is generally thought to exist in its own fancy little bubble, protected from the outside world and faintly out of touch with the rest of us. However, Nintendo of America's marketing department may be a bit more savvy...
Kickstarter photo
Kickstarter

Project Awakened fails to meet Kickstarter goal


Unreal Engine 4-powered project failed to raise $500,000
Mar 06
// Alasdair Duncan
In another reminder that Kickstarter isn't the surefire way to fund your game, the impressive-looking Project Awakened has failed its Kickstarter drive. Developer Phosphor Games raised $338,498 of its required target of $500,...
Rayman Legends delay photo
Rayman Legends delay

Anonymous Rayman Legends dev angry about delay (Update)


Takes to forum to argue his studio's case
Feb 08
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Anonymous no more! It appears that this comment comes from Xavier Piox, the Ubisoft managing director who recently said that "gaming is no longer just for geeks." Errr... guess not. It's just a random dev who left th...

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Objectify A Male Tech Writer Day [Update]


Salivate over grade-A man-meat on February 1st
Jan 28
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Leigh Alexander has decided to call off the event, following an examination of potential risks. It's been proposed that the event alienates those who do not neatly fit into the straight male and straight female dynam...

Combating hidden sexism with Objectify A Man Day

Jan 25 // Stephen Beirne
Gendered compliments are of that type of benevolent sexism that generally flies under the social radar. Getting praise is lovely, right? Surely it raises self-esteem and spreads good will to all the boys and girls. The problem is that benevolent sexism goes hand-in-hand with the more obvious hostile kind  (your torsos and your booth babes) and reinforces the subconscious values hidden therein. In essence, it’s the friendly face to those overtly harmful practices and behaviours, making it far more insidious in nature. Unwelcomed and irrelevant compliments on a woman’s appearance can also elicit emotions of self-objectification and shame. By subtly endorsing appearance as a top priority for women, they boost socially ingrained values of superficiality and unrealistic beauty standards.Like individuals, videogames don’t exist in bubbles isolated away from society. The subconscious values of game makers manifest in industry practices and game design, such as the belief that men will foremost want to protect their female protagonist, or the idea that girlfriends are lovely and all but simply dreadful when it comes to the pew pew. I wonder how many developers have passed on the notion of having a female protagonist on the basis that girls are too dainty for all that running about. The effects of media representation on audiences is something we should always bear in mind.Well-intentioned though some beliefs may be, when they carry adverse connotations which support wider spread gender roles, the overall effect is merely an endorsement of deeper structural problems. While it is nice to receive a compliment on your hair every now and again, when it becomes a recurring thing everywhere you go you start to get a message about what’s commonly perceived as important. Speaking of well-intentioned, personally I remain sceptical of whether Objectify A Man Day will succeed in its goal or obscure it. It’s true that a bit of awareness and empathy can help men to see sexism to which they’re normally blind, but the condoning of benevolent sexism is a much harder thing to shift. The event stands no chance of emulating the problems of misguided compliments, what with the lack of everything else that makes benevolent sexism so disconcerting (including, odiously enough, the sincerity). Those in on the joke need no convincing, while those outside might barely even notice anything’s different. Most likely it will bolster the belief of many that getting complimented on one’s appearance is flattering, not insulting. And if well-intentioned men can get through one day of receiving superficial compliments, it may just encourage them to think that benevolent sexism isn’t so bad after all.That being said, the event can prove indirectly productive simply as a gateway for conversation on the subject. Certainly the more people that grow aware of the many facets of sexism, the better we become at correcting our errors in value and judgement. For this, I wish Objectify A Male Tech Writer Day all the success in the world.You can check out the #Objectify FAQ here.
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Of course, they all have lovely bottoms
For men to compliment women is far more common than for the reverse to happen. It’s one of those socialized traits people barely notice unless they’re particularly alerted, what with it being so widespread as to b...

Twitter reveals why there aren't many women in videogames

Nov 27 // Jim Sterling
The #1ReasonWhy list is well worth reading through, especially if you're a guy like me who has, for a long time, been clueless about the extent of the shit women deal with in gaming (and still has way too much to learn). Of course, some assholes have come into the conversation with predictable venom, but most of the topic has been host to eye-opening, if somewhat depressing, stuff.  It's not just women, either. Rock, Paper, Shotgun writer John Walker revealed he gets threats and abuse every time he addresses these issues, "And *I* have a penis." Katie Williams wrote a particularly revealing post on the subject, too large for a single Tweet. She recounts a number of instances of discrimination and judgement. As with almost every contribution to the tag, it's more than worth your time to read.  "Because I'm sexually harassed as a games journalist, and getting it as a games designer compounds the misery," wrote Lillian Cohen-Moore. "Because conventions, where designers are celebrated, are unsafe places for me. Really. I've been groped," wrote filamena.  It's one of those things where it's great to see such a turnout of people supporting each other, but sad that such a turnout was able to happen. A tag like this ought not to be so popular, but it is, because we're all pretty shit at making this industry open to everybody, and I do include myself in that criticism.  There's positivity, too. #1ReasonMentor has those successful in the industry offering aid to those struggling, while #1ReasonToBe shares some good experiences and reasons why the women who are in the industry stay in the industry.  So yeah, go read it, tap into your empathy, and maybe show some support of your own. If you want to -- and it wouldn't hurt if you do. Videogames aren't a zero-sum game, and you're not going to lose anything if you open it up to more people. Some folks seem to fear that's the case. It's not.  Videogames will lose nothing by making it more inclusive to wider demographics. It really can only stand to gain.
#1ReasonWhy photo
#1ReasonWhy
Women in the game industry are currently revealing some of the crap they have to put up with in the videogame industry, using the #1ReasonWhy hashtag to explain why there aren't as many women in the business as there ought to...

From a bag of Doritos to a bag of dirty laundry

Oct 29 // Jim Sterling
From hashtags to harshtags Florence's criticism of Wainwright stemmed from her defense of a suspicious contest being held at the GMAs, where media folks were encouraged to Tweet a marketing department's hashtag for a chance to win a PS3. Lauren's insistence that there was nothing wrong with such a practice rang alarm bells in Rab's ears. "Now, a few tweets earlier, she also tweeted this: ‘Lara header, two TR pix in the gallery and a very subtle TR background. #obsessed @tombraider pic.twitter.com/VOWDSavZ'," he wrote. "And instantly I am suspicious. I am suspicious of this journalist’s apparent love for Tomb Raider. I am asking myself whether she’s in the pocket of the Tomb Raider PR team. I’m sure she isn’t, but the doubt is there. After all, she sees nothing wrong with journalists promoting a game to win a PS3, right?" Wainwright took umbrage with Florence's words, and her response was to accuse him of libel. Her employer, MCV, backed her 100%, and after a day of back-and-forth between Rab's supporters and hers, Eurogamer eventually capitulated to the implied threat of legal action and amended the offending article. That is when everything went truly south.  The Internet will CUT you Various communities, most notably NeoGAF, began talking in earnest about the situation, with many of them reposting and immortalizing Rab's redacted words. Rab, meanwhile, stepped down as a writer for Eurogamer, feeling his position was untenable at an outlet that would censor him (that said, he did not bear his former employers any ill will). In no time at all, Lauren was revealed to have listed Square Enix as an employer, at the same time as she was reviewing and covering Square Enix games. She claimed she had not reviewed any of the publisher's games while working for it as a consultant, but an image of her Deus Ex: Human Revolution review for The Sun was quickly shared online. Meanwhile, she locked her Twitter account to escape a torrent of abuse, and also set about deleting references to her Square Enix connections. This all added fuel to the fire, as a public found such behavior all the more suspect.  Lauren and MCV deny any sort of legal threats being made, but even that has been called into question, with Lauren having been found to have Tweeted that her media law qualifications were finally paying off. Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell said that Lauren had made it quite clear to them that lawyers would be involved if nothing was done. Such a threat cannot be taken lightly in the UK, where libel suits are costly, risky, and can prove destructive to the losing party.  Neither Lauren nor MCV have made further comment on the matter, and are more or less attempting business as usual.  Media uncoverage The story gained traction at many outlets, with articles from Penny Arcade, Forbes, and myself via GameFront pouring in. At this time, the hardcore gamer community demanded other outlets cover the ongoing controversy, with some publications such as Kotaku brushing it off as not important. This was seen as a position of cowardice by the likes of GAF, who felt the story shone too bright a light on the dodgy dealings of the gaming press at large. Meanwhile, Stephen Totilo's argument that good games journalism was what mattered only seemed to amuse the accusatory GAF, who wasted no time in juxtaposing the statement against Kotaku's Halo 4 unboxing video.  It didn't end there. As the GAF thread goes on, everything is scrutinized from free review copies to press kits to writers and game marketers being far too friendly to provide a useful service to readers. All of it's worthy of scrutiny, all of it's worth thinking about. It is tempting to cover each subject individually, and that may indeed happen here if enough people would like a series on the subject.  Are there any writers who deserve to be called game journalists? Does calling yourself a blogger really give you the right to be lax on journalistic ethics? Should reviewers buy all their own review copies? The story throws up a plethora of questions, so many that no single article could cover them all. Most importantly, people have been asking, "Why is nobody covering this?" In a few ways, Totilo isn't incorrect. Many gamers do just want to hear about the games, and they don't really care for journalism or controversy. Maybe a site that talks about Japanese food isn't the right environment in which to say it, but it's not untrue. Then again, the size of the GAF thread alone proves there's a huge audience for these kinds of stories, so there is definitely something to gain from writing about it.  As for having something to lose from doing so ... maybe. There's no doubt that this is an uncomfortable story, and I don't think there are many writers at all who could claim to not be on friendly terms with at least somebody on the other side of the fence. Trust between a writer and a reader is crucial, and perhaps it is true that this story makes every writer just that little bit less trustworthy. I will quite happily admit that I have repartee with several members of the industry-side of things, and it's up to the readers whether or not that makes me unworthy of trust. It's not for me to say. It's not for any games media to claim it's trustworthy. That's a decision for the readers.  The ongoing discussion Many writers have decided to shrug this whole thing off as nothing but, a week later, it's still being talked about and, as Ben Kuchera says, it doesn't look like it's going away. Everybody covering games professionally is currently being viewed under a microscope, but not by publishers looking to see who they should favor -- it's by the people who ultimately matter. The readers are the ones taking a long and dirty look.  That's a good thing. Ultimately, it's the readers we are meant to serve. It's not our job to look after a developer's Metacritic bonus, or ensure that Ubisoft is happy with the way we phrase a particular thing. As a guy who got himself blacklisted at Konami in the name of entertaining and informing gamers, and who writes for a site that gained its popularity back when no publisher gave a damn about us, I can confidently say that it all begins and ends with the audience. We can live without the blessing of a game manufacturer, but we're dead without you. I'm glad the audience is judging our worth to them and I'm glad we're all getting a chance to reflect on what's going on.  I invite you to look at what Destructoid does. Read our reviews, check out the pictures of plastic tat that publishers send us, and by all means examine the games that our mascot, Mr. Destructoid, has appeared in. Take a good, long look at every site you enjoy. I can only speak for myself, but I welcome the scrutiny, and your decision as to whether or not we're worthy of your readership. If you decide we're too friendly with the games industry to do you a service, then it's a consequence I embrace. If you decide we are capable of giving you honest analysis of the game industry, then I can only be grateful for you allowing us to do that. In any case, it's given me and others a lot to think about, and those of us who did not simply close ranks on this issue will likely continue to think about what we've done and how we can improve. Maybe Destructoid is doing something wrong. Maybe I'm failing you as reviews editor somewhere. I like to think about this, because I believe we can always get better.  And if you don't care about any of this stuff, and just want to talk about videogames? That's fine too. Unless you're a professional writer, doing this for a living. I don't think we get to not care. None of us have earned that kind of privilege.
Game media controversy photo
How the games media got into a big crispy mess
Who knew that a picture of a man sat next to a bag of Doritos could snowball into anger, humiliation, and intrigue? The most startling thing about this industry is that the biggest of avalanches can erupt from the humblest of...

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Ex-EA man says traditional consoles are under pressure


May 04
// Jim Sterling
Former Electronic Arts and Xbox Live bigwig John Schappert has joined the growing band of rebels who believe traditional console gaming is in a risky position. With social and mobile games encroaching on their territory, Scha...
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Firefall dev says game consoles are 'broken' and 'dead'


May 03
// Jim Sterling
Game designer and Red 5 boss Mark Kern is ready to kick the footstool from under the feet of modern videogame consoles and let them dangle. According to the man heading up Firefall, the business models keeping the Xbox 360, P...
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Child molester caught red-handed thanks to DSi camera


Mar 29
// Jim Sterling
A 46-year-old British man may have gotten away with molesting a child, had the victim not been quick-witted enough to catch his criminal act on her DSi camera. Thanks to a 10-year-old girl and her game system, pedophile John ...
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Will the PS4 be capable of visuals like this?


Mar 07
// Jim Sterling
British magazine PSM3 is boasting images of alleged next-gen tech, giving us a glimpse of what the PlayStation 4 may be capable of rendering. The images shown are a richly detailed jungle environment, and a realistic close sh...
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The Jimquisition: Taking Videogames Seriously


Dec 19
// Jim Sterling
When will games be taken seriously? Why isn't anybody taking videogames seriously? How many times can Jim say the word "seriously" in a single video? Does any of it matter? No. None of it. Ever.
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Red Cross wants to see FPS games respect the laws of war


Dec 09
// Jim Sterling
The  International Committee of the Red Cross recently caused a stir by implying that military first-person-shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield might (fictionally) break international armed conflict laws with...
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Steve Jobs, iOS voted biggest influence on game industry


Nov 03
// Jim Sterling
According to a survey completed by over 1,000 professionals at the London Games Conference, Steve Jobs is considered the most influential person in the videogame industry, with the iPhone providing the most significant g...
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The Jimquisition: The Beautiful Irony of PC Gaming


Sep 05
// Jim Sterling
Beauty is only skin deep, and a pretty face can only go so far. Fortunately, I am both beautiful and wise, so I'm basically the perfect lifeform. In a way, I consider myself to be very much like PC gaming -- visually stunnin...
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Parents in 1991 got mad about having to buy the SNES


Aug 10
// Jim Sterling
These days, the march of new technology is inevitable. Early adopters of the 3DS know that a 3DS Lite is going to be launched one day. We buy Xbox 360s and PS3s knowing that, in a matter of years, hotter, more powerful ones ...
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Grandia Creator Takeshi Miyaji dies aged 45


Aug 01
// Jim Sterling
Takeshi Miyaji, creator of legendary PSOne/Saturn RPG Grandia, has died at the age of 45. The announcement comes by way of G-Mode, the studio he founded and ran as CEO.  Miyaji worked on Grandia, Silpheed and Gungri...
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The Jimquisition: Linearity versus Replayability


Jul 11
// Jim Sterling
As online multiplayer and extra, post-game content as become the norm, people seem to have forgotten exactly what makes a game worth coming back to again and again. A "linear" game, without extra modes, is considered bargain bin fodder now and I think that is wrong.  The Jimquisition, of course, shall set things right. It literally saves lives, remember.
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Cliffy B wants dynamic difficulty for returning gamers


May 25
// Jim Sterling
We spotted Epic's Cliff Bleszinski proposing a new method of scaling difficulty for returning gamers last night. The basic idea is that a game lowers the challenge if someone hasn't played a title in a while, allowing them to...
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David Jaffe criticizes media praise for 'art' games


Mar 14
// Jim Sterling
David Jaffe, ever a man after my own heart, has slammed the praise that people pour on "art" games. He claims that most art games aren't as compelling as people pretend, and focusing on them only serves to devalue the medium....
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GTA veteran Navid Khonsari talks about '1979 Iran' game


Feb 16
// Maurice Tan
Iranian-born Navid Khonsari -- voice actor, co-director and writer for PS2-era GTAs -- is working on a new game centered around the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Specifically, the happenings surrounding the U.S. embassy hostage c...
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High Voltage: Preposterous to demand games sell a million


Feb 08
// Jim Sterling
Conduit and The Grinder developer High Voltage has criticized the prevailing attitude that videogames need to sell over a million in order to be considered a success, calling such a believe "preposterous" and declaring that t...
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Awakened is a game that may very well be brilliant


Jan 29
// Jim Sterling
There once was a game called Hero, a Midway project about customizable superheroes that looked incredibly promising, but was sunk when the publisher collapsed. Many of the game's developers have banded together under the nam...
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Arc sees no East/West divide, only 'gamers'


Jan 13
// Jim Sterling
With so much talk of Western vs. Eastern games and Japanese developers trying to "appeal" to the West, Blazblue creator Arc System Works prefers to see the world as one big ball, and we gamers as a single mass rather than two...
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Nobody told me about Jeklynn Heights, now I'm telling you


Dec 18
// Jim Sterling
I hadn't heard about Jeklynn Heights until I saw this post on Rock, Paper, Shotgun this morning. We've never posted about this indie PC game on Destructoid, and I take that as a shameful failure, because i...
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Survey: 64% of gamers prefer physical media


Jul 01
// Jim Sterling
While publishers strives to push us into an all-digital market where it can control every aspect of the consumer experience, a new study from Ipsos MediaCT claims that 64% of consumers still prefer physical copies over downlo...
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It's become a common joke that the new Xbox 360 Slim prevents Red Rings of Death simply because Microsoft took the red lights out. However, it's been revealed that there is a real preventative measure built into the Slim, as ...

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Mikami: Japanese RPGs were never really popular'


Jun 10
// Jim Sterling
Many pundits like to wax philosophical about the decline of the Japanese game market, especially noting how JRPGs just aren't as popular as they used to be. Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, however, offers a more radical ...
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Shadow Hearts publisher getting back into videogames


Apr 05
// Jim Sterling
Shadow Hearts is one of my favorite RPG series, but unfortunately the general public didn't quite agree. At least, not enough of the public to stop developer Nautilus from falling apart and publisher Aruze from pulling out of...

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