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Vienna, Austria

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Roberto Plankton
8:15 AM on 03.24.2013


Do I love videogames? I would have said so without hesitation some hours ago, before I actually started to think about the matter while writing this blog entry.
I do like videogames, getting close to borderline obsession if I am to be completely honest.
But love it is not.

There are I people I do love for various reasons of course. And there are people who I played videogames with. And then there is a certain amount of people I love and with whom I played video games - so far so rather trite.
Yet, I have to admit the shared virtual experience intensified the feeling of love I feel for some of them. Or expanded it's dimension. Kind of.

I love several guys for their "Jekyll and Hyde"-like transformation whenever they take hold of a controller and I love them because I am allowed to call them names when they frag me in their usually very spiteful and sneaky manner.

I love a woman for the way she beats me at Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers
(a love-hate relationship to be precise). And the way she associates with the background stories of games like Where Is My Heart. And her seemingly limitless patience and endurance concerning the Paper Mario series. And the clockwork precision of her playing Bust A Groove (the love-hate-thing again) and Vib Ribbon. And the fact that she is a worthy opponent in Bishi Bashi Special. And for shared emotions at the end of Journey on a lazy Sunday morning. And for sharing regressive obsession and childish joy with me.

So, videogames:
an actual feeling of love involved - no.
petit objet a, fetishized object of desire and wish-fulfilling - oh, yes.
Loved ones who can understand or even share this obsession, this joy - the best.

But that's all rather hard to express graphically. Perhaps I'll manage to express all of this via the means of eurythmics&dance. I'll upload a video then.

Instead I decided to depict the most pure form of love ever exhibited in a videogame.
Sweet, unconditional brotherly love. The unshakeable bond between siblings.

It is what it is says love.

You dear people of Destructoid’s C-Blog!

I want to ask a favour of you. It might seem lazy, it might seem clumsy, but I am going to ask anyway. A friend of mine is the editor of a feminist monthly (an Austrian one btw.).
They want to dedicate one of their next issues to videogames and I ‘d love to support them.

Over the course of the last few years I read many inspiring blog-entries of feminist and/or LGBT interest here. At least I have a vague remembrance of their existence.
Some of them stood out - they were so good, I even recite them before going to bed.
I want to instrumentalize this think-tank!tank!tank!
I want to recklessly exploit these mental ressources.

So now for my question:

If you happen to have written or read something you deem interesting in that specific context, please feel free to post me a link in the commentary section.
That would be immensely helpful.
Also, if there is a topic or game you think would be interesting and/or of utter importance – please tell me! From the Sarkeesian-incident to the Riptide-insipidity - feminist games, anything goes.

I might contact some of you individually if that is alright – if the magazine-people want to quote your blog or something like that

Many many thanks in advance!

(you are the good ones!)

I am so incredibly late for this, but the following lines are going to be a kind of introduction. I feel attached enough for this now. The process of writing this down was actually a little bit nauseating since I had to notice a certain degree of obsession in my life.
Oh dear.

So, videogames.
I grew up in a kind of pedagogical black hole, with forces tugging at me from different directions: with my father being rather indifferent to the perils of popular culture (exposing my juvenile mind to classic movie monsters and fascinating comics stashed away in the darkest corners of the bookshelf) I developed a rather distinctive taste for the morbid. On the other hand my somewhat overprotective mother tried to shelter me from Masters of the Universe and plastic guns. Any depiction of violence was a big taboo. Especially videogames were absolutely out of the question.
So I developed an obsession about comics early on, buying many hundreds of incredibly cheap pulp-magazines popular at that time. Gespenster Geschichten ("Ghost Stories") were equally cheesy as they were extremely awesome.

Everything on paper, everything written was not considered to be too suspicious, I hid my treasures anyway. Just in case. Today I have a large collection of movies and graphic novels.
Most of them deal with sex or violence. Or both.

And I started to draw very soon in my life. A lot. At some point I must have realized that creative endeavour was not subject to hours of tiring arguments. That's when I really got into drawing.

I mostly designed death-trap-labyrinths.
This amused me immensely and seemingly shocked my environment, which used to amuse me even more.

The first cut is the deepest:
I do not know anymore when exactly it was that I saw my first videogame but I vaguely remember some Game&Watch at school. And I fell in love.
Not so much with the grizzly graphics and the game itself but the mystery and the hysteria the whole phenomenon was connected to. Stories were told of unheard-of adventures and strange, almost arcane languages were used in doing so: "press button B in order to run faster"
What was meant by that?

When I was 8 I got an Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas. I unwrapped the parcel and after some moments of realization I punched myself in the face. Out of pure joy.
I actually punched myself in the face, twice.

I got a NES and Dr.Mario and nearly fractured my chin. Up to that point I hadn't even detected Super Mario Bros. yet. I think that was the moment when my parents realized that this present might have been a big mistake. They told me later on, that they didn't want me to loose the connection to the digital avantgarde, with the "sudden" rise of personal computers and all that. Ha!
I learned to press button B in order to run faster. I admit that it took me some time,

After the first constitutive years I developed an attitude:
As soon as I understood a game's structure (be it narrative or gameplay-wise) I got bored.
Unless it's structure proved to be of certain elegance. Then I would play it until my thumbs hurt.
Essentially, I unlifted secrets during my really obsessive years of playing games.
I did my best and amassed about 300 games for 8 different systems.
I invested uncounted hours in videogames and the associated subcultures. As a child I videotaped bugs and glitches together with a friend. Whenever Crash Bandicoot got stuck inside some stairs or Mario Kart 64 exploded into multicolored abstraction we would yell:
"Get the camera!" and document the unthinkable: a bug in a videogame...times do change.

Apropos Nintendo64: I also remember now that me and some friends rented a japanese Nintendo64 (in an impressive metal-case), in order to be among the first Europeans ever to play Mario64 - constantly reassuring each other that this game would be the summit of digital creation.
I am also in the possession of the golden membership card of a long gone chain of game-stores, entitling me to a 15% discount. (yay...)
Whole weekends were wasted with playing Doom and burning holes into our gastric mucosa with cheap imitations of well-known soft drinks. I remember counting as much as 14 Bottles (1,5l) of soda for two kids a night. Glorious.
For years he was my closest companion in games, he wrote move-lists for Clayfighters and Mortal Kombat, together we hit the level-cap for River City Ransom/Streetgangs.
He will always be my hero.

(depicted as an old man)

So what else is there to tell?

Something not game-related, yes?
I was born and raised in Vienna, Austria.
I have two part-time-jobs (I actually like to do) and I am spending too much of that hard earned money on videogames, comics, cinematic extravaganzas and cigarettes.

I paint and I build things. I write about the erotic of the undead
I really have come full circle (see above).
Oh my!

I even built myself some friends.

I almost forgot to mention that I wrote my final thesis about videogames. About their dualistic nature between disciplinary mechanisms and emancipatory effects, to be precise.
At university I played a lot of Soulcalibur and Medal of Honor - out of adademic interest of course.
Two of my colleagues during an important experiment:

(academic dispute at its best; please observe: a player of Urban Terror, on the left)

The way I see it, every aspect of my being seems to be deeply connected to videogames.
That is frightening.

but now I'm here and all is good. thank you very much

I will always love you, Kickle Cubicle...
And you will alway haunt my dreams, Giant Pirate Chicken.
Floating dead in icy waters. Face down.

Next to the Happy Tree

Kickle Cubicle for the Nintendo Entertainment System (1990) was one of the first games I rented from a video rental store. I did not finish it but it gave me a great deal of satisfaction. The game's mechanics were easy enough for me to handle and it provided me with small doses of success.Not like the ghastly Faxanadu where I failed at beating the first monster hopping around in front of the town's gate.
Somehow I never forgot about Kickle Cubicle. It is stored deep inside my head, like that moment when I first saw Mortal Kombat for the Super NES being played by some older kids in the mall.

There has to be a connection of some sort.
I was one these kids who tend to imitate shooting sounds and the piercing shrieks of the fallen while playing videogames and I always liked a hint of violence in my popular culture.
With Kickle Cubicle I could act out these urges:
Kickle Cubicle takes place in a hibernal realm of snowmen and pirate-chicken trying to mangle you. As a player you have the ability to freeze enemies with your breath, take the icy cubicle to kill other targets or kick them into water to form walkways.
You kick animals into the water to run across their frozen carcasses.
How much fun I had.
It was a mortal combat.

Strangely enough I have decided what I wanted to draw long before I even thought about all of this.
While doing some research I found this (right picture):

The American add for Kickle Cubicle not only shows traits of the time-honored MegaMan-tradition of pictoral fraud but also emphasizes the essentially gory nature of Kickle Cubicle.

I salute you, unkown advertising graphic designer!

..also: it is snowing right now.

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why

(Christmas noobs)

Only a few days left until a large section of the world’s population celebrates the year’s most special and anticipated event: the arrival of the Christmas-noob.
With this in mind I think it is time to consider creating new accomplishment-medals for all of us serious COD-kids out there. The occasional 4-Piece-Medal got stale already and if we are utterly honest to ourselves we are in dire need of more realistic awards in the yearly Call-of-Duty iteration.
Realistic in terms of actual occurrence in actual gameplay on an everyday basis.

So, Treyarch and Infinity Ward do listen to this! And pay me a lot of money!

Why should a lucky grenade-toss in domination should be rewarded with a chic multikill-medal and the accomplishment of hitting nothing at all due to lag-interference goes totally unmentioned? I think that’s just unfair.

A very important step and breath-taking innovation would be the introduction of mic-medals.
I heard that you cannot not communicate, that seems to be very essential..
Social stuff and communication. You have to implement much more of that.
And social media!

Everybody seems to complain about the abuse of the microphone function in modern FPS-shooters. Instead of complaining, we should probably adapt and introduce some mic-related awards. A crying infant in the background? That deserves a price, I suppose.

Also: user generated content.

In fact, everbody deserves a price for everything. All the time.

(see also: gallery)
Photo Photo Photo

When I started posting on Destructoid I used to do some small illustrations, especially Forums-related stuff. In order to illustrate my point or to honor an especially entertaining or inspiring person.
May seem like a waste of time and effort but It just felt so right whenever I did a picture.
I had fun…malicious fun sometimes.
You may know some of these already but I posted them mostly into Forums-threads and other people’s commentary-sections.

I simply want to archive them within my own personal blog-o-sphere as well.
Right or wrong, my country!

Panzadolphin is one of the aforementioned equally entertaining and inspiring persons.
I want to open his skull and crawl inside. Who wouldn’t like to do this?
That name alone, “Panzerdelphin”…makes me think of a deadly device, constructed somewhere in a secret laboratory hidden deep within the Alps’ vast cave-system. A superior weapon to finally win the war.

The same is true for Mr. Zombieplatypus. Exactly the same…
As if this wasn’t enough already, he creates images which steal a part of your soul when you look at them.
(as seen here together with my impression of Herr Usedtabe [also, the same: see above], frolicking at the beach)

two guys one tub

This one I did for a Destructoid contest. I won a laptop-bag but unfortunately failed at reading the conditions of participation.Oh, bitter fate.

Isaac-chan no Wonder Kitchen
Dead Space always felt a little cooking mama to me.

The Pinkie
The Forums’ index-thread made me do this

My regards.
Photo Photo Photo