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TheToiletDuck's blog

10:30 AM on 04.17.2013

You are no longer the consumer.

I see a lot of complaints about entitlement, how gamers think they are owed something. Disgruntled gamers being told to “deal with it” when a game is shitty. But you know what? Gamers shouldn’t have to “deal with it” the reason why gamers are entitled to quality is because they are no longer just consumers, they are co-developers / investors.

Gamers are getting shafted at every opportunity. As gaming gets more and more expensive a lot of game developers are looking into ways they can monetize aspects of the development that would normally go out for free. More and more developers are giving people the option to buy in to betas, and sometimes alphas. It’s become so common that Valve has introduced a whole subsection of their store dedicated to unfinished games.

The median wage for a games tester in the UK (according to is about £17,726.
The average wage paid by developers such as Mojang and Introversion Software (creators of Prison Archetict) to you for games testing is -£15. Note, that’s a negative. You’re paying to do their dirty work. Almost every update to Minecraft lead to something else not working. Minecraft wouldn’t have been nearly as big a success if it wasn’t for the patience of the dedicated few that stuck by it during the beta. These testers were thanked by being given a $10 bill for this ‘privilege’. Prison Architect is a lot more transparent in its beta, they are telling you that the game has bugs and at times is flat out broken. But being told you’re going to be kicked in the nuts, before you get kicked in the nuts, doesn’t take away the pain. Just because it’s a job that is seemingly quite fun, does not mean it’s a job you should be doing for free. These developers are taking advantage of gamers good will by charging them for their labour. Gamers are not deluded with a sense of grandeur. They are legitimately owed something.

Now don’t get me wrong, not every developer are crooks and charge for beta or alpha testing. Grinding Gear Games, developers of the Action RPG Path of Exile recently touted the success of their open beta in stress testing the servers, they had 56,700 ‘players’ working for them on one weekend to make their product better. To make it so more people will purchase their product and that the product was up to scratch when it was released.. 56,700 people that are advertising for them, but receive no monetary gain. No wonder gamers have a sense of connection to these games, it’s the least they can get given that if they game is successful they don’t see a dime (even though they’ve invested time and money into its development).

Fans of gaming are the best marketing a game could ever get. There's a reason why community managers exist. Developers are of course not unfeeling monsters and like to see their product get love but then to invest actual money into nurturing this with an employee position shows that there is a return on investment in the long run. Think about the last convention you went to and how many dude-Aeriths or Fat-Links you saw? When you saw them, did it make you then think of Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda? Probably. The fans are adding to the product mindshare. They are marketers.

It’s becoming increasingly more common that developers are taking input from the community. The recent success of the Skullsgirl’s Indiegogo campaign is a good example. Instead of paying for market research, fans are choosing and paying for the best characters to include in the game. The gamers that invest are given these characters for free, but then these characters become an incentive for other gamers to buy the game. It’s perfect for the developers because it’s a guaranteed hit, they are getting development costs, market research AND advertising all for the one buck. Kickstarter is far more explicit evidence for gamers as investors, but somehow it’s now called a donation. That’s a pretty insidious way to run your company.

I would hazard that many of you have been buying games for years, maybe even buying games in one series for years. You're probably loyal to the series, you purchase the games, the soundtracks, the stuffed toy faff. The least the company can do is give you the story/gameplay they've consistently produced in the past or teased for the last few games. But instead you get reboots, such as DmC, or considerable different games, e.g. Hitman Absolution. Sure a company can do what it wants, but you can understand how this might be a bit of a shock to someone that has been so loyal to a franchise and invested so much.

The fact of the matter is that game companies need us, we don’t need them. Pre-order incentives such as the Bioshock Infinite deals are good evidence of how desperate they are for our business. At least Irrational Games had the grace to make a game without begging.
As consumers we make or break a company. You are supporting these companies so they can make more and more money in the future. Even when you take money out of the picture you have given the artists a chance to spread their work. A painting locked in a room where no one sees it is pointless.

We are receiving unfinished products and are contributing our time and money to finish them, and finish them well so that they appeal to a greater audience. People forget that game companies are businesses. They are out there to make money. They’ve found a very good way to make money, by offsetting their costs and convincing people to be charitable to ‘The Man’.
So stop telling gamers to Shut The Fuck Up when a terrible game comes out. Despite all the support they give they receive little respect in return, complaining is the only thing they can do.

Part 1 end.   read

6:47 PM on 03.22.2013

Thomas Was Alone - My closest thing to playing a pixar movie - Play It

Remember the old cliche that games will one day be like Pixar movies? Despite its simple appearance Thomas Was Alone is that game. I’m not talking about fancy graphics with individually rendered hair. I mean that Pixar can take an inanimate object like a small lamp and give it life. So it seems, can Mike Bithell (creator of Thomas Was Alone).

You play as Thomas, an extremely observant, cheerful but above all lonely AI. He might just be represented in game by coloured quadrilateral but Thomas (and the other characters) have fleshed out personalities. This is achieved through the addition of inspired narration by UK filmmaker/comedian/smartassdudeinAssassinsCreed Danny Wallace.

In fact, the personalities are so fleshed out and the narration so well acted you find yourself actually rooting for the little squares. You want them to succeed and genuinely feel sad when something goes wrong. It just goes to show that even the crudest shadow puppet show can capture your imagination if it is well written and acted. Don’t get me wrong though, while the art design is simple the game is very attractive. For example the use of directional light is fantastic and helps guide you through certain sections or subtlety alerts you to your next task.

The goal of each level is to get each character to their corresponding shaped portals. All the AI’s have their unique ability which are integral to beating the level in a puzzle like fashion. For example, some AI’s have immunity to otherwise lethal environments but cannot jump very high so they may need a boost up a small step. It’s a system that melds very well with the narrative, you find yourself constantly working as a cohesive team to the point that when you see the players together you imagine them as a digital X-men despite them being crude shapes.

Mechanically this game is surprisingly sound. Platforming can go horribly wrong and getting ‘the jump’ right is extremely important. Thankfully the controls are just right, you have great control of your character mid air and i rarely found myself missing platforms because of dodgy gravity.

I’m not going to lie, the game isn’t particularly difficult. I never really got stumped on any of the puzzles but i rarely cared because my reward for finishing the level was an extra bit of story, which is nothing short of delightful. According to Steam i beat the game in 94 minutes, but the game is currently half price on Steam and i really felt like i got my moneys worth.

It’s hard to convey but when I finished the game I just felt nice. The same feeling you’d get after seeing Monsters Inc or The Muppet Movie. I used the word delightful earlier, and it really is the best word to describe this game. I wholeheartedly recommend taking a break from shooting stuff or stabbing arrows in people’s faces and go enjoy a feel good adventure.

The game is also free on Vita next month for EU Playstation Plus members, so you really have no excuse.


5:23 AM on 03.15.2013

Year Walk - iPad/iPhone - Play it!

Year Walk is the story of a man on a spirit journey in hope to see visions of the future. Except it’s the 19th century, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, pitch black, snowing, he hasn’t eaten or drank anything for days, he doesn’t really know where he is going and the last person he saw before leaving told him not to go and said it wasn’t natural. Oh, and there are creatures from Swedish folklore that are out for blood, quite literally out for your blood.

Year Walk is scary. Sure, it has jump-scares, which is fair to say are pretty cheap thrills, but there is real fear in this game that comes from knowledge of what’s out there. The game pairs with a free companion app that gives you a primer on the creatures of true Swedish folklore (written by a real professor of Ethnology). It’s this knowledge of what creatures are capable of, coupled with the stark emptiness portrayed through the game’s minimalist audio design, that makes it scary.

Year Walk is a puzzle game. You have a panoramic view of your surroundings and you can scroll left and right along the path until you reach points where you venture forward and backwards. It’s a simple control scheme that works quite well and it’s quite easy to maintain a mental map of where you are so you never really get lost.

The puzzles are very well designed and quite often have you using ios gestures in ways you rarely do in other games. Think Sword and Sworcery, rather than Fruit Ninja. The puzzles are at that ideal level of difficulty where you find yourself clueless at first but not frustrated to the extent that you’re compelled to consult a gamefaq. You will need to write things down. I guess, to be frank, once you are familiar with the world the puzzles aren’t that hard but I don’t think the creators, Simogo, want them to be. You always want to be moving forward or else it breaks the tension which so adds to the experience.

I have a love/hate relationship with horror. I don’t actually enjoy being scared and to be honest I scare easily. I do, however, enjoy the exhilaration that comes after being scared. This game definitely scratches that itch and at one point I had to switch on the light and take a little break. Even if you’re not the type to scare easily the story is written well enough to stand alone as a short piece of fiction and the ending has left a mark on me.

I highly recommend giving it a go, at the very least download the companion app and learn a little folklore. You’ll be surprised what people used to believe when they were starving, freezing and dying of disease.


obligatory gif   read

3:43 AM on 09.06.2012

Shortblog PSA: The current destructoid theme is the Metal Arms theme

SHORTBLOG ALERT I'm putting this here for posterity as it seems this information is not easily accessible and quite a few people ask about it in comments. The current (Season 4, 2012) opening theme of Podtoid is the theme to Metal Arms.

Yeah, i know forums are that-a-way.   read

6:00 AM on 03.07.2012

The death of the brick and mortar: come for the rant, stay for gifs

In case you hadn't realised, video game brick and mortar stores in the UK are dying. Ah, i hear your reply "oh but we're all dying since the day we're born" and while that is true i'd like to add and that i mean dying soon and that you're a miserable twat. In Edinburgh, Gamestation has more or less closed down, CHIPS has closed down, and a couple of other independent video game stores have long since bit the curb.

Realtalk. Okay it may not really be happening that soon but it seems eventual and this is a bad thing. People (some good friends) are going to lose their jobs; a significant customer chunk that support the industry are going to stop buying games (i.e. the non-enthusiasts); and the lack of competition in the marketplace is ultimately going to hurt us. I mean, would you rather buy all your games from EA's Origin at full RRP? No thank you. Physical retailers are a necessary evil and it's hard to argue that it's a good thing that they're closing down.

However, certain experiences recently make me think you know what?

Fuck em.

It all started many weeks ago when i decided to get excited about a game i really should never have got excited about: SoulCalibur V. Even the great ProfPew called it and said that i wouldn't be playing it in a week. Goddammit he was right, i loved the older games but SCV for me was as fun as explaining to your parents why your socks snap when you fold them. Nae bother, i'll just trade it in. Used games, the last great bastion of the physical retailer.

I stroll into GAME and say "i'd like to trade this in please". The clerk tells me i'll get 30quid, which i think is pretty reasonable for a game i paid 36 for. He asks for an ID and I hand them my NZ drivers license. He then proceeds to explain to me that he is not sure if he can accept that as a valid ID and that he won't go through with the trade. I will need to get my passport. Ah bugger, alright i'm annoyed because a drivers license is a pretty valid ID but perhaps that's the law and i can hardly argue. I go back the next day to the St James GAME store, passport in hand and successfully make the trade. In fact, the clerk made an error and gave me 35 quid. Score! I decide to put 5 quid on a Mass Effect 3 preorder, i RARELY preorder but thought why not since it was free money anyway. What a happy ending.

As you probably have heard already GAME is not doing very well financially and EA refused to give them credit. The end result being that GAME has gone from being the exclusive sellers of the N7 edition to not getting the game at all. As a gesture of goodwill GAME offered customers an extra 5quid store credit. Brilliant, i'll just buy ME3 from Amazon and use my credit to buy Street Fighter x Tekken.

On Monday of this week (my 30th birthday i might add) it was reported that game will no longer be stocking SFxT. Ah bugger, that really threw a spanner in the works. But i devised a plan so cunning that Blackadder himself would go "crikey, that's mighty cunning of you". My plan was to use my credit to buy SSX (40quid) take it to HMV (a music/game store) and trade it in for 35quid store credit. I only lose 5 quid but as that was given to me by GAME for free i haven't really lost anything. Ace.

So i go into the St James store, and ask if they have SSX. No surprise they just sold the last copy an hour ago. I say, okay can i just get my credit back on my preorder and i'll try the other branch. The clerk tells me that i can transfer the preorder to Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City and unfortunately here's where i was inadvertedly a cunt. I replied "ah no that's a CAPCOM game too so i'd rather just cash in my chips and get off this sinking ship". I didn't realise that was a real dick thing to say until i saw their d'aww faces. These people are probably losing their jobs, i'm really sorry about that. Anyway she gives me my credit and my 5 quid extra and i wander off to the other store feeling like a jerk [Maybe they didn't really care and i'm imagining that part but i still felt like a jerk anyway..]

Success! The other store has SSX. Only, the previous clerk failed to tell me that the 5quid goodwill gesture takes 24 hours to process. I got off work early especially to sort all this shit out and now i'm going to have to repeat the whole process in 24 hours while taking the risk that the value of SSX at HMV will drop. Fuck it, i want done with this, i'll spend money to make money (or err to not lose money). I use 5 quid of my own money and get SSX. Done deal, sorry GAME but i'm not having my vouchers be null and void when you go into administration.

Last step is to go to HMV and trade this new copy of SSX into the store. Simple huh? Well, apparently the HMV staff member decided i was trying to game the system and refused to trade in new games. He told me, this is sealed and new we don't trade in new games. Wtf? I said i can open it right now and he replied that i would literally have to go home and play it and i can trade it in tomorrow but he will NOT accept the trade in today because it's new and i may be trying to make a profit. Profit!? i said, i can show you a receipt that says i just lost 5quid and i'm trading it in for a special edition of a game i'll be paying full RRP for. He will not take the trade in, i have to play the game. I'm gobsmacked.

Luckily he didn't call the other branch and i was able to open up the game on the way so i wouldn't have the same problem [speaking of which if anybody needs an online pass for SSX just say so in the comments]. The second branch took the trade in and i asked about pre-ordering the SFxT special edition. I thought i'd preorder to make sure they get allocated stock. He tells me that to preorder i have to register for an HMV pure card which costs 3quid but also that "We don't have the Special edition our system". You have got to be fucking kidding me. So now the final solution is cancel my Amazon preorder, buy SFxT from them and hope that there are still copies of ME3 at HMV available on Friday (which there will be).

What a kerfuffle. A simple trade in turned into, trading in, preordering, cancelling a preorder, buying a game, trading it in, thrice cancelling and reordering amazon orders and generally being treated by retail staff like Typhoid Mary. While online i may not be be able to trade stuff in i do receive texts informing me my order is placed, packaged and shipped to my door. I used to work in a game store, i know how shit works. To be fair the issues with GAMEs creditors is outside the staff's control but what i experienced yesterday was unacceptable customer service. I'm fine with unfortunate circumstances, but don't be either incompetent or outright rude when you explain the situation to me.

Alright, I'll admit i'm just ranting in long form and i guess you could argue that i was doing a bit of swindling but the point still stands that maybe these retailers wouldn't be hemorrhaging customers if they made the whole experience a little less like getting a root canal. I've had a root canal, it actually wasn't as bad as trying to buy Street Fighter x Tekken.

So maybe GAME is dying, and quite honestly I somehow still think this is a bad thing. I'm sad for the people involved but after this experience i think of a phrase my mum used to say

"God helps those that help themselves"


8:34 AM on 01.19.2012

My retort to Randombullseye on Piracy and "stop giving a shit" +Animated Gifs

This blog is a response to Randombullseye's blog on piracy. It's very much a train of thought diatribe so please excuse the errors. It's too long for a comment i think so i made my own blog. Random did a great job of inciting conversation on this topic, i disagree with some of his points and it's great to debate. I'm glad he wrote the article and you should all read it. Actually read it instead of this. Don't read this, it's terrible :P

Disclosure: I do pirate shit.

Disclosure two:I may tart up the blog with pictures. If i don't i'm sorry. Animated Gifs ho!!

Disclosure three: No disrespect to Randomsbullseye. He's a standout fella and i'm not saying anything he doesn't already know.

"Piracy is stealing as we define it today"

No, it's copyright infringement. No one has changed the definition of piracy.

"I want people to read my work and make money, but if the choice was to have them read it and not make money, I'd be happy with just that. "

Then you are giving people the right to distribute your work and it's essentially Creative Commons. You still get credit but you've lost your right to claim money off those people that distribute it. It's called divestiture.

"If nobody had ever said it was wrong, would anybody have ever felt the least bit guilty about file sharing at all? "

The guilt is there, and the moral is taught because it does hurt people. It hurts those who's livelihoods depend on receiving royalties from the work they created. It's easy to say that you wouldn't care that The Bonerquest* gets out there because at the end of the day your job isn't to write Bonerquest novels/novellas (let's say it isn't). Sure these days it's not so much individuals as it companies, who obviously want to protect their money makers too (and shake them).

*(on that note, since it's an original idea from Aaron Linde wouldn't you at least need his permission if you were to make money from it? I guess not since he hasn't claimed copywright and has probably at some point waived his ownership of it).

Metallica wasn't exactly fond of people getting their music for free. "How dare our fans share our music! Those assholes!" Lars and the boys of Metallica were not exactly thrilled that people could do this, and made a big stink about it, ultimately making piracy a thing everyone knows about. You boners!

See my point above about protecting their means of income. You have to protect your IP or else you're setting a precedent to allow everyone to use it as they will. It's the same thing with how video game companies stop fan projects. If they don't then it becomes difficult to argue why a 'real threat' such as a SEGA funded Mario game is any different to a fan based project. They lose control of their brand and that's the most valuable thing to a company.

There is no value in every body knowing what you made if you can no longer make money from it.

"If only I could send someone something and let them experience the video games I had, without risking them breaking my shit. If only we had that. Wouldn't that be a good thing? A great thing even? "

Your example is flawed. While the discs that house the video game are the physical media that we receive it's not what we're paying for. You know that licence agreement you sometimes see with software and in game manuals? That's an indication that you're paying for the right to play that game, you do not OWN the content on the disc, you own the right to access it. Go to any university to see this in action. There may be loads of computers in a lab but perhaps only 2 of them have a particular program. If we have the program, why doesn't every computer have it? Because we only have a licence to access that program on two machines. This is taken even further with a lot of advanced scientific software requiring a usb dongle to "unlock" it. This concept is so often forgotten by gamers, especially those that demand that they own content on the disc. You don't own shit, or else all those people that made money making mario clones could claim that they own the code because they bought a copy of super mario once.

What i'm saying is, that lending your games to others is different to letting them have their own copy. When you lend a game you're also lending them your licence to play. You cannot play that game at your house at the same time so there is still a desire and chance that another purchase will be made and the company makes its money. If you give them a copy, then you have removed that limitation and there is no desire for that person to purchase the game except for the guilt you described or the fear of getting caught for copyright infringement. They are vastly different things in the law and vastly different in terms of whether a company considers it a threat or not.

"Nobody gives a fuck about it. You guys do, some of you, but would you buy a dumb book from me? Would you listen to an audiobook version that you've paid money for to have on a CD? Wouldn't you want to hold it in your hands and actually look at it, and turn the physical real pages, not some shitty iOS ap that pretends to be a book, but an actual god damn book"

Companies don't see their product like that. They see it as something everybody wants and everyone will pay to get. Hell, you have to think like that or else who the hell is going to be duped into giving up money?

Steam digital sales, ebooks and itunes have proven to us that we don't all want physical copies. Sure that's your selling point, that's your case for desirability in this case but i'm not sure that's a very good selling point. I DO like crappy ios apps, i love mp3's over cds, i don't want physical media (i moved across the world, stuff is a fucking pain in the ass). You should be selling the content not the product (just like selling the licence, not the game cart).

"And I know how the internet works, the second this thing is out, and if a guy cares enough, it will be online for free, if you really want it for free. It happens. Doesn't matter what it is, if it exists, it will be put out for free somewhere if you search for the right words on the right websites. This is twenty twelve, piracy exists, deal with it. "

Yep, you're spot on. The success stories where people have made money despite this are the cases where they are fully aware of this fact. They are humanizing the creators of the product and I think they are relying on that guilt that a lot of people have when they pirate. They either say part of the money is going to charity (i.e humblebundle) and amplify the guilt of piracy or they show that they are a regular guy and that when you pirate you are taking income from a person not a faceless company (see any comedian)... OR you show the world that you make a great product that doesn't cost much and rely on their sense of charity (obviously this is the best way).

"If I throw thousands of dollars into having a guy make fun of my book, and then sell two copies, to myself, what kind of business is that?"

Yep and that's the risk / reward aspect of business.

[i]"In the interest of everyone having a copy of the book, and knowing the material, I feel like I have to give it away for free. However, in the interest of quitting my job so I can write more, I feel like waiting a year from the physical release of the book and actually releasing it myself in as many formats as possible, in as high a quality as possible. "
Yep and that's the struggle of the artist and the businessman. It blows but i don't think you can have the best of both worlds. Unless you think you have a best seller on your hands (and you should do) you are either going to have to give it away for free (create value by taking away the monetary risk to the consumer) or you are going to have to create something that you believe is good enough that the strength of the content will get it recognition and spread. It's very risky, especially given you might quit your job over it, and it's possibly the reason why we see so many Actors that are just waiting tables until they find the right role.

OH snap, you just said pretty much that anyway. Sorry bout that.

"But I'm none of those things. Not really. I'm just guy who wrote a book, I want to not work a soul eroding job and make people laugh. Is that such a big deal?"

Yup, that's life. But you can't have it both ways. Companies aren't people, they do not care about you. This allows them to make money. There are good companies that don't dick you over, but you can never see that as them being nice to you. It's not, it's just their way to get money out of you.

"People act upset about having copies or clones of their work put out. Why? The archetypes of literature only go so far."

And by that logic there is only so many musical note combinations in the world. Original ideas are tricky thing to hold onto and claim, but hell you have to try or else you'll never make money.

"If we can't grow the fuck up and laugh at everything, how can we ever really share anything with each other? "

I like your idea of a world where nobody has ownership over information. I'd like to visit your planet one day.

"Can you copyright a concept? "

No. You can only copyright the expression of the concept. It can be copied by anyone but not in the same way you've done it. This sounds hazy no? It sure is. Which is why copyright law is so bloody complicated.

"To tape that Generation X TV movie Fox did, then pass that around to your friends to make their own copies of it, isn't that piracy?"

Yep, it sure is. But the reason why you didn't hear of little Timmy getting sued is because you have to choose your battles. Would it be worth the shit storm of publicity for suing a little boy just for the money you'd make from a few cassettes? It's all about scale but no bones about it, that IS piracy.

"So what do we do? How can we stop the greatest thing that ever happened to humanity? "

You humanize yourself and you try to go for human traits like charity and hell, even guilt. You said it yourself you can't fight pirates, they can't be stopped. But you can make money from those that are borderline or those people that have a conscience or attachment to your product because a) you're a really awesome dude (see Valve) or b) they became super attached to your product (Lewis CK)

So yeah, i think you're not struggling with the idea of piracy. You're really struggling with the conflict of wanting your work to be in as many peoples mind sets as possible (i.e. take away the risk of reading it) and also paying your rent. It sucks and luckily it looks like it's something i'll never have to deal with because unlike you i'm not a good enough writer to even think about writing a book. I will certainly be buying a copy when it is released to support you, and you could say a lot of that is because you're part of dtoid and you're the man dawg (you're a person and not a faceless company). And also because it has cock monsters in it and that pleases me greatly.

"Fuck everybody that said you can't just write a book and publish it, I can do that. I can do anything. You can too." - Randombullseye

God speed.

lawl God.

I'm out

3:45 PM on 08.04.2011

I put pixels in real photos (less words, more pics)

I felt like trying my hand at putting pixel art in some real photos. I'm certainly not the first person to do this, and this is my first attempt so is a little shoddy. I tried to get away from using the standards you always see (Link, Space Invaders) though Mario did sneak in there. I used a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop. Illustrator is some kind of voodoo when resizing pixel art. I GIS'd the originals and got the sprites from Sprite Database

Original photo

Original photo

Original photo

Original photo

Original photo

Original photo

Original photo

Original photo

Feedback is appreciated, especially comments like "eat a dick" and "what the fuck is this shit". This is probably a forum post, but meh what are you going to do.

So, what do ya think?

Dtoid Eu Member (go on, join you lazy bum!)

EDIT: I added the original photo credits   read

10:48 AM on 03.22.2011

Religion and Homosexuality

I think one of the most important things to consider when discussing video games, homosexuality and religion is the matter of choices and the freedom of speech. In other words sometimes video games really...

Oh wait, what i meant to say was...


5:25 AM on 01.20.2011

'12yo boys living in Australia' perspective on video games

Not my nephew

My nephew is 12yo, lives in Australia and was given an xbox 360 for Christmas. I gave him a call to wish him merry Xmas and talk about his new present. I learnt a few things about gaming from the perspective of a 12yo boy living in Australia.

12yo boys living in Australia think that guitar hero is where it’s at and rock band is gay (while stipulating this is in no way offensive to his gay uncle… Good boy).

12yo boys living in Australia would have preferred a playstation 3 because it has gran turismo 5 which has the track from top gear on it. It’s meaningless that gran turismo five sucks because the top gear track makes it awesome… End of.

12yo boys living in Australia are the greatest living black ops players and ‘owns guys’

12yo boys living in Australia wonder why people refuse to talk to him on xbox live as he’s just trying to talk smack and say that he’s going to pwn you or you suck and stuff. 12yo boys living in Australia really do think this is completely fine and is just a strategy to put them off. It’s not annoying at all.

12yo boys living in Australia are surprisingly interested in mirrors edge and have been since it came out. Wow.. Good lad.

12yo boys living in Australia think that kinect is really cool and that they wish that black ops had support because that way you can be in the game.

12yo boys living in Australia are still fans of snow boarding games.

12yo boys living in Australia is aware of the new legislation in Australia that means games will be rated R18 and want to convince their uncles to explain that the games are still okay for them or alternatively send games in secret.

12yo boys living in Australia have no idea what their gamertag is.

12yo boys living in Australia love that parrot that sings drowning pool songs ( oops not video game related) and deems it the greatest video on the Internet.

12yo boys living in Australia think that street fighter is pretty cool but would be cooler if it had blood.

Hmm that’s all I can remember. Now I can see you thinking “ahh 12yo boys living in Australia are the worst thing about video games… Stay off ma xbox live!” but give them a break they’re 12 and stupid. Just keep muting them and you’ll be fine :)


10:35 AM on 11.18.2010

Gaming medical conditions (serious business)

Every so often in the news you see stories that link serious human conditions with playing video games. It’s easy to see how playing a video game makes you obese, murderous (i’m looking at YOU Korea) a little bit tarded. Conversely, there are real life human conditions that manifest themselves in video game culture. They are much harder to spot and in some ways are much more serious (yes more serious than murder this is video games!). Bear with me as i run through a few.

Real Life Condition: Muscle Atrophy

“Muscle atrophy is defined as a decrease in the mass of the muscle; it can be a partial or complete wasting away of muscle.” –Wikipedia

Gaming Equivalent: Skill Atrophy

Skill atrophy is defined as a decrease in your ability to perform simple controller inputs, it can be a partial of complete wasting away of your ability to do a shoryuken.

Personal example: Street Fighter (any)
I will admit i’m not a fantastic street fighter player but I’m not completely shit. I’m not going to enter Seasons Beatings any time soon but i could probably beat a kid in an arcade providing he’s not asian. Thing is, if I don’t play constantly i will completely lose any skills I have. This last couple of weeks i took a break from playing Super to focus on other games and other life commitments. When i got back to the game i found i had little to no strategy, could not pull off ultras properly and was getting my ass handed to me by players I knew i could beat 2 weeks prior. I knew i was playing terribly but i just couldn’t get anything right, i had completely lost the skill to move that stick in the right order. I lost 1000pp in one sitting (if you’re not familiar with PP, all you need to know about that is that’s atrocious). This is a more than just a once off occurrence.

There is no cure. I’ve clearly learnt i can’t stop playing street fighter EVER for fear of having to defend my honour in a random situation, losing and having to perform seppuku.

Real Life Condition: Locked In Syndrome

“Locked-in syndrome is a condition in which a patient is aware and awake but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for the eyes.” -Wikipedia

Gaming equivalent: Lawnmower man Syndrome
“Lawnmower Man syndrome is a condition in which a gamer is aware and awake but cannot move his body or communicate verbally due to being ‘totally in the zone man’”

Personal Example: Lumines PSP (close second to Puzzle Quest)
That game.. man that game. If there is any other that can make me lose time, loved ones, personal hygiene it’s Lumines. There’s something about blocks disappearing to the beat of music and the simplicity in the controls and puzzle element that lets you just turn off and run on auto pilot. If you play it long enough in one sitting you would still be playing it in your head when you stopped.
I used to commute an hour on the train every day to get to University (college to our American listeners) and would play Lumines to pass the time, there was a trip when i had to stop playing because i had missed my stop... twice. 

Take the red pill

Real Life Condition: Dissociative identity disorder (or more specifically violent Dissociative identity disorder)

“Dissociative identity disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities (known as alter egos or alters), each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment” -Wikipedia

Gaming Equivalent: kKk_cl1tripp3R_420_kKk disorder

“kKk_cl1tripp3R_420_kKk disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes the condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities or personalities when playing on Xbox live.”

Personal Example: Halo 3 Xbox Live Multiplayer
You know, i’m a nice guy. I’m progressive, open minded, open a door for a lady and heck I even recycle and know a vegan. However, put me in a Halo 3 matchmaking lobby with ten or so 13yo racist little buggers and i’ll eventually resort to talking about their mothers ability to cook, their position in the class system and sometimes even using homophobic slurs like Bumder. Penny arcade put it best with, there’s not much more i can add:

Oh, unless a hot laddy joins the game, then i’m all about a/s/l and protecting her from those brutes.

Settings > Voice and Text > Friends only. Unless you’re friends with __Joker$tylez[420]__, XxXNGrKKKillaXxX, <==ni9h@tEr2223==> or BobtheWeedSellerGuy (thanks IRC)

Real Life Condition: Synaesthesia 

“Synaesthesia is a neurologically-based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway”

Gaming Equivalent: GrandTheftesia

“GrandTheftesia is a neurowhatsit-based condition in which stimulation by something in real life leads to an automatic, involuntary experience with that object in video games, usually resulting in murdered prostitutes and crushed turtles.”

Personal Example: Burnout 
I played a lot of Burnout, in car view. Burnout rewarded you for close calls but not actually hitting the other cars, going against the traffic and general tomfoolery that’s going to get you or other people seriously hurt in real life. I know it’s a video game, but the thing is that didn’t stop me having to actively think about taking my foot off the accelerator when i saw two cars parked side by side in traffic in real life. The video game instinct scared me sometimes, i would eye up everything and think about how close i could get my car without scratching/killing it. “I can totally make that”, and hell if i couldn’t i could always restart the race right? It was then i decided to stop playing burnout before driving my nephew to playgroup. 

Do what TheToiletDuck don’t does.

Real Life Condition: Chirophobia

“an irrational fear of hands”

Gaming equivalent: Digitusminimusphobia

“an irrational fear of having to use your little finger”

Personal Example: Guitar Hero / Rock Band
I’ve been playing Guitar Hero since it was first released in 2005. At first i was really shaky and could barely pass any song, that’s understandable as i don’t play guitar and this was an entirely new experience. With practice i got much better and could eventually play most of Ziggy Stardust without looking at the notes. That does however come with one giant caveat, i only played on medium because i couldn’t learn to press five buttons. 
Fast forward 5 years to Rock Band 3 and i can still only play on medium. That’s five years. Five years. People learn a language well within five years and i can’t learn to press orange at the right time. Everything that happened in World War 1 was within 5 years and i can’t take that time to pass I love Rock and Roll on expert? Forget about it.

Practice, or in my case pretend you don’t care / blame it on your double jointed knuckles that lock a bit when you try to extend your little finger, a condition that totally exists and doesn’t allow me to do anything that requires skill because it is not my fault and i am awesome and shut up my uncle works at Nintendo.

So there you go five medical conditions that manifest themselves in or around video games. This can be part 1 if you like. I have more ideas but i didn’t really want to take the time out to write it all up if the whole idea flops anyway. So let me know if you want to see more. Or just tell me to STFUAJPG.

p.s. if anyone you know has these conditions, dude it's a joke it's okay i know they're serious.   read

6:25 AM on 04.14.2010

How i learned that if you bad mouth Destructoid, Xzyliac will stab you. (NVGR)

I woke at about 4am this morning feeling a combination of dread and
"wow, that was pretty f'd up".

So, the set up: I'm sitting at my desk at work browsing Destructoid
cblogs and i notice an introductory post. Same old stuff so I comment on
"Welcome to dtoid, love you/waffles/ekans all that jazz". The OP posts
back and says "yeah it took me a little while to join because sometimes
i wondered what the hell was going on". I reply "Yeah, this place is
like that sometimes but don't worry just go with the meme and you'll be
That was that.

I leave work and head home (i'm sure there's other stuff that happened
here but i can't remember), only to bump into a friend that i hadn't
seen in a while. We're talking about some useless shit and then Xzyliac
or should i say Xzyliac's avatar, Elly Jackson comes up to me. "oh hey,
Xzyliac" i say and she replies "you're going to get stabbed". My friend
decides this as a good time to get the fuck out of there.

I ask her what the hell is going on? and she tells me that it's too late
and i'll see her at her place in the afternoon.. or something to that
effect. It's hard to remember it now but i remember getting out of a
stabbing for a few hours.

I meet Xzyliac at her place, which happened to be a giant manor with a
big green lawn and she walks out to see me. She's in a suit, looking a lot like
Tilda Swinton in Constantine. She comes out with a knife, a glass of
water, some pills and a tub of rock salt (which i assume to is to put in
my wound to make it hurt like a mother fucker).

She asks if i'm ready and funnily enough by this stage i've accepted my
fate and am scared but know there's not really a way out of it so I just
hope it's not fatal.

I ask her if she could first explain why i'm getting stabbed in the
first place and Xzyliac says "you don't fucking know? You can't go
around speaking shit about Destructoid and not expect people to notice".

"What the hell are you talking about? I've been visiting Destructoid for
years, i love it"

"Love it enough to talk shit in the cblogs" she replies and proceeds to
walk up to her laptop which is on an old oak table, outside on the lawn.

"Wait wait wait, show me what the hell you're talking about" i ask.

As Xzyliac/Elly Jackson/Tilda Swinton walks up her laptop she is
unwrapping the pills and tells me to take them
"it will hurt a lot less if you take these now"

She opens opens a note pad next to her laptop, with numbers scrawled all
over it. Writes down some of the numbers in a sum and circles the
answer. Types the number into the search bar of Destructoid and it comes
up with a loading screen. She's got some sort of crazy mathematical
filing system for posts, crazy.

As a sidenote, while the page is loading i'm half freaking the fuck out
because i'm going to get stabbed and half thinking it's a good
opportunity to recommend some music and chat about the bloody lawn.

"you know the new Mint Chicks EP is out, i think you'll like it. They're
a band from New Zealand" [i'm guessing this snuck into the dream because
i was just reading about it today and i am a fan]

"hey cool, i'll look into it"

"It's an amazing place here"

"Yeah, we're going to get a garden soon. I'm really excited"

Oh yeah, we're buddy buddy right now. Never mind the fact that she's
drugging me and is going to stab me over a cblog comment.

Funny thing, when she brings up the comment page the comments are
organised in coloured blocks like tetris. She slides them all down on
the page until we almost get my whole comment on the bottom line. Only
she gets carried away, puts a long block down the side and **TETRIS** my
comment is gone. She's a little frustrated but explains that it doesn't
matter this is my fate now i've turned on the Destructoid Army.

She stands up, takes the knife out of her breast pocket, i brace myself,
her hand on my shoulder and whammo, a burning sensation right in the kidney.

I wake up and wonder what the fuck was all that about?

Now as a disclaimer, i don't actually know Xzyliac and haven't talked to
him beyond commenting on his posts now and then so it seemed an odd
choice but i've been having messed up dreams lately on account of having
a cold and did read some blogs before bed.

I am fully aware of the extreme creepiness of having a dream
about someone from the internet you don't know but hey i thought it
would give someone a laugh to read and make Xzyliac feel incredibly
weirded out.

A lot of people believe that dreams have meaning, i guess the take home
message from this dream is:

Destructoid clan ain't nuthing ta fuck wit

p.s. this was a very real dream i had and not some shitty destructoid fan fiction. You know it's not fan fiction because nobody got naked and started to fuck Sonic.   read

9:14 AM on 03.24.2010

Let's get Topher waffles

I was listening to Podtoid #1~ well, almost every single one really, when Topher mentioned that he likes waffles, and I know that in previous Podtoid's he's mentioned that he has ... well ... REALLY liked waffles.

Seems like a damned shame that this man doesn't have waffles right now, especially for someone who has lamented that he doesn't have waffles all the time and would also (probably more so than Adam) have a lot of waffles. So, I thought about what could be done to get Topher waffles and I made a semi-serious thought in my head about a "Get Topher Waffles" fund. I thought about it some more and figured "Well, why the hell not?"

As a Dtoid member and a proud member of 'eat waffles'. I've been a waffle eater since many of you were still eating pancakes. So, I have a personal love for the dough based breakfast goodness. I've also been on that line for waffles twice, so I know what that's like.

In the interest of transparency, I'll be glad to put a list of donors and the amounts on a plate (I own several) as well as photos of syrup and berry toppings. Also, I have to say that I've never met Topher nor even spoken to him. He's always been one of those Dtoid personalities that always seems to speak up whenever someone mentions waffles.

So, what do you say, everyone? If I can get some kind of fund going to help to get Topher waffles, would you be willing to contribute?


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