hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Tzarscream's blog

2:45 PM on 10.13.2014

My Thoughts On The Current Gaming Landscape

Hi there guys. The last time I posted a C-Blog was in 2009, so about five years ago. I've been a lurker on DToid for a long time and never really engaged with the community, but I have always felt like an undercover member, purely through the length of time I have spent with Destructoid.

I have also recently started commenting on news stories, because I have things to say. As with all comments sections they are predominantly split between mind numbing stupidity, ignorance, or genuinely reasonable opinions. That being said I have still enjoyed commenting because A) I like to amuse myself by posting things I find funny B) I like it when the community like the things I say.

This whole gamergate shit though. The shit show that's currently going on regarding video games, I want to actually take the time to write something about it. I am 22 years old so have known for a while now that the best way to deal with the internet is to laugh/cry at the stupidity from a distance followed by quickly casting it out from my mind. However this stuff is cutting deep now, it warrants a response from everybody that cares about video game culture and the people within it. Therefore I want to share my 2 cents. 

I think the reason why the gaming community is currently so volatile at the moment is because two very different world have collided very quickly, with no real warning. 

If you cast your mind back to the gaming community circa..... 2007/08, what did most "gamers" argue about in comment sections and on youtube? Consoles mainly. The ridiculous "console wars" that involved picking a side and then throwing as much shit as you could at the other. People said ridiculous things, death threats were made all over the place. Xbox owners were Xbots. Playstation was the "Gaystation." The Wii was for "casuals." Playstation 3 had no games. Xbox 360 had the red ring of death. Killzone 2 will be a Gaylo killer. Killzone 2 got an 8 out of 10. There was a great deal of anger about extremely petty and childish things. Except nobody really did anything about the actions of the community because the anger and abuse was being contained in a sort of equilibrium of bad vibes. Nobody did anything because the parts of the gaming community that were vocally aggressive were basically white male angry raving rabbids who fought themselves. Violent Lemmings that would happily throw themselves off a precipice of reasonable behaviour.

So what would happen then, if this precession of mindless infighting orcs and goblins, came in to contact with a world and a concept that has enjoyed over a century of existence and continuing academic analysis? Yes lets see what happens when a volatile community that was previously only ever preoccupied with "Killzone got an 8 out of 10" comes in to contact with Feminism. 

Fucking chaos is what has happened. The gaming culture is the very last culture that could have handled discussing a topic with a cool head and an academic approach. How could it have? The only way the culture previously knew how to "debate" involved lashing out and using any curse, slur, insult, threat they could. 

I can't take gamer gate seriously. I can't take anybody that is passionate about this cause seriously because I have never taken the community seriously before, and they have never taken themselves seriously either. It's just video games. The level of anger is not proportional to the subject matter. You'd think with these death threats and the level of abuse we were discussing something more important than videogames. There's the claim that it's because of "Corruption In Games Journalism." Even if there was corruption in Games Journalism, I find it hard to care about it, it just doesn't register as something worth really giving a shit about. Probably because I don't think the community how it is really deserves a dedicated press with integrity. It's like the monkeys at the start of "2001 A Space Odyssey" complaining that they don't have a Supreme Court Justice System.  I just don't see how it matters when my previous context of the gaming community involves two usernames throwing a tantrum at the other in the comments section of a blog. 

The irony is, that the "Social Justice Warriors" want to create a new gaming sphere that is generally more mature and inclusive so that if there was corruption in games journalism, it WOULD matter. 

Anger is something that has been prevalent in the gaming community long before "Gamergate." So if you add that pre-existing venom to paranoia and fear, which new ideas such as "feminism" usually instigate in a previously ignorant community, you get a cocktail of chaos which we are currently seeing before our eyes. Feminism as a concept is only new in regards to this community though. It's not an unreasonable request. It's not unreasonable to want to feel included and safe within an art form you enjoy. Art only stands to benefit from new ideas and diversity, actively railing against these ideas is cutting your nose to spite your face.

I have been playing games since I was five years old when I got a PS1. I don't consider myself a "gamer," I just love artforms. I love music, films and books as well as games. It has always irked me that games have come with a caveat of shame. A negative connotation that always had to be explained or excused. These negative connotations are not undeserved either. How can we be proud of playing games if the majority of them portray women in such a comically dreadful way? It's embarrasing, and this gamergate debacle is reaching a very real fever pitch. It could go either way. It could set game culture back a decade through chasing out diversity or it could bring in a wave of truly unseen, original and unique game ideas. Maybe we'd even get the mythical "Citizen Kane of Videogames" out of it. 

Personally though, as horrible as these death threats are, as awful as people are being, there is a silver lining behind it all. It feels like the last final screeches of a dying animal, backed in to a corner and lashing out trying to draw blood. The orcs and goblins throwing shit at each other are being dragged in to the spotlight and they are destroying themselves in front of us. 

The bottom line is that inclusivity and diversity is not morally wrong, and perpetuing fear and causing emotional harm to undeserving people is. Gaming Culture is being dragged by the scruff of its neck from a bunch of knuckledragging neanderthals and in to the 21st Century. The culture shock was always bound to cause problems, but in the end I feel our community will be heading in the right direction when the violence eventually ends. The scary thing now is just how many casualties there will need to be before this ridiculous argument ends. 


10:48 AM on 03.16.2010

Happy 4th Birthday Destructoid

I'm not gonna say I was here from the beginning, because I wasn't, however the time I have spent here has been baller. I found out about Destructoid late 2008 and it has been my homepage or in a tab ever since. There's an air of character about it, the news posts are frequent and mirror the personality of the author, the editorials are often funny and/or interesting, the podcasts are consistently hilarious and the community feels close to each other.

Destructoid has also affected my life outside of just the internet too. The Podcasts have offered me viewpoints on gaming that I had never even considered before hand and subsequently doubled my interest and enthusiasm for games. Even more importantly, the fun that the writers seem to have when they write for Destructoid opened my eyes to acknowledge that I too want that kind of career. Writing about something you feel pasionately about and providing alternative viewpoints is something that I am very interested in and has affected my choices for University courses.

So Happy 4th Birthday Destructoid and Niero and I hope to keep reading the site for many years to come.

[/Destructoid Fanboy]   read

8:39 PM on 08.24.2009

Why I love Destructoid

1) Podtoid
2) Front Page
3) IRC
4) Retroforcego
5) Podcastle
6) Sandy
7) Freakazoid
8) IRC
9) Forums
10) Videos   read

9:56 PM on 07.19.2009

Can True Morality Ever Exist In Games?

It's widely known that as of late, morality in games has been a rigid, blunt, mechanic. It is often just used to give the player certain rewards or perks for playing in a certain way or sticking to a personality type. Some good examples would be inFamous, Fallout 3 and Fable 2 as they all featured quite an obvious morality mechanic. The morality mechanic in these games were highlighted a lot by the developers in order to create interest and a buzz for them as it gives the illusion of diversity within the game.

Thinking about Fallout 3 in particular led me to question if we could ever have a proper, real morality system or mechanic in future games, I will explain with an anecdote.

Fallout 3 Spoilers

There's a particular section or mission arc in Fallout 3 that requires you to visit a location called "Tenpenny Tower" that houses a rich, corrupt business man by the name of "Allistair Tenpenny." Earlier in the game this man sent a "goon" of his that tries to persuade you to blow up the City of Megaton for a fee. Obviously even to somebody with a vague understanding of the average mans moral code, this would be seen as an evil act.
Anyway back to the anecdote, before you enter the tower you are shown a verbal conflict between a guard and a ghoul named Roy Phillips. The guard refuses the ghoul asylum from the wasteland due to his physical appearance as he believes ghoul's are sub human. Right there you are deliberately shown that the ghouls in this area are being oppressed by the richer and "smooth skinned" race, which would generally be seen as a cruel thing.
When you enter the tower and go to see Mr Tenpenny you can choose whether or not to kill this man as part of a quest and if you choose to indeed kill him, you will be rewarded with positive karma. Right then the game decided that the man was evil and that killing him was a morally positive act to commit.
Once you leave Tenpenny's living quarters and speak to a guard named Gustavo you quickly discover that he too detests ghouls and wants Roy Phillips to be eliminated in case he starts a rebellion against Tenpenny tower. I quickly went to find Roy to talk to him as I felt sorry for his character for being oppressed and I came to an arrangement with him that instead of killing him I would help him get his revenge.
Roy wants you to open up the backdoor of the tower so him and his feral ghouls can get in a wreck up the place. I felt that this was justice as personally I strongly dislike prejudice and discrimination, especially as the residents of Tenpenny tower wanted to kill Roy and his family. So I let him in and helped him kill everybody inside thinking that the game would see the reasons and allow me to break even in the Karma system as on one hand I'm dealing out justice but on the other hand I'm doing it in a really extreme way. However after the quest was complete I found that I had gone from "Neutral" all the way to "Evil". Right there I wondered why they said that Fallout 3 has a morality system as it is more like a "law" system. In law murder is murder no matter what the circumstances and you will be punished for committing homicide. In Fallout 3 the game decides what reward or punishment you get preemptively without judging the scenario and thinking about any moral ambiguity.
Is it right to kill to stamp out an oppressive force that was trying to kill you?

Of course we don't have the technology yet to create such a broad morality system that could efficiently judge moral situation and we probably never will. Even if we create an AI so powerful it takes on human thought and logic then morality will be judged due to that AI's personality type. If it has no personality then it will have to use logic, and then we're back at square one. Everybody has a different definition of what is morally right and what is morally wrong. We have rigid laws that try to fit in the middle of the average moral view but in the end, that system has to remain rigid.

It makes me question why we need moral systems at all? Why call it a moral choice system if all you can do is pick a really obvious morally wrong or right situation like in inFamous? Surely a better idea would be to enforce a "law" system and let us judge a situation and weigh up the pro's and con's of the games options and act upon that? Wouldn't that be a true moral choice?

For example lets say that there is a game where the objective is to find your daughter who has been kidnapped and torture might be the fastest method of achieving that goal. In this game there is a law system that says that torture is wrong and you will be punished (arrested = Gameover?) if you do it and are caught. However if you get away with it the reward is that you've become one step closer to your daughter, but you've had to torture a man to do it. Of course for this to work there would have to be some considerable risk to resorting to torture and/or it would need the game to give you a reason to not torture that character, they may have a family or something.

Surely that is a proper moral choice? Judging the outcome of the situation within the realms of an in game law would present you with a real moral choice, not just a "Yes/No" box that is used either subtley or bluntly in todays games with "Moral Choices".

I really hope developers abandon trying to incorporate a moral choice system into a game where the moral choices can be made in our brains instead. I suppose that is why I'm really looking forward to Heavy Rain, the story in that game appears to be incredibly flexible and able to allow you to choose a solution that fits you, the punishment being a character death.

Thanks for reading.

(If this blog reads wrong it's because I wrote it from 4-5am)   read

4:01 PM on 03.16.2009

Aerial Block: A Working Man's Podcast

Hello, destructoid's resident lurker and writer for Negative Gamer here.

Basically me and a couple of members of a forum I frequent have started doing a podcast that is up to its third episode. The first episode was well received within the forum so I thought I would expand our audience and let dtoid know about it.

It's a gaming podcast and we cover news on all platforms as well as a weekly feature, the past 2 have been:

Console gaming vs PC Gaming
Can Games be art (Pretentious Ahoy)

So yeah if you have a lazy afternoon in the nearby future, be sure to try the podcast and let me know what you think.


Oh and have a picture of some Geese.

Thanks Dtoid.   read

4:10 PM on 01.04.2009

Farcry 2: Meh

People slated Mirrors Edge because of its hard gameplay and combat
system yet Farcry 2 is rated very highly among reviewers and gamers.

Farcry 2 is the most annoying game I've played of this generation, list
will be provided.

*Health Bar depletes rapidly
*You have hardly any ammo
*Enemies appear to have eyes in the back of their heads
*Cars die too quickly
*Check points everywhere
*Hidden enemies popping your head off from 100 metres away with a
shotgun, and you can't see where they are.
*Bad voice actors
*Missions send you on a car journey that lasts 10 minutes

And they all congeal together to make many frustrating experiences.

EG, You go through a check point, they come after you in a truck, car
gets 2 shots in the back of it and then the bonnet starts steaming (Doesn't really
make sense),
you get out of the car and then 5 people lamp you in the face with bullets.
And even if you escape, if you haven't cleaned all of their clocks they come
running after you shooting you in the back but then you turn around to shoot
them you either:

A) You have no ammo
B) You cant see them anywhere

And you get pwned again.

The problem is that I really want to like this game because it seems to
have the right idea going for it, I don't know maybe I need to slog on through
to get a better experience.   read

11:45 AM on 12.11.2008

Home: Everybody GET ON THE HYPE TRAIN!

Home is a good idea.
It elaborated on the Nintendo Mii idea and decided to go one step further from customisable
avatars and created a world for owners to mingle with their friends and play some simple
minigames, eg. Pool. When it was first announced in 2007 thats all it was, a good idea by
Sony, but now its turned into a gigantic hype machine by the Playstation fanboys where

This hype has been generated by the shameless display from Sony by delaying Home
time and again and keeping people that wanted to play it, in the dark and on the edge
of their seats (for no real reason). This caused curiosity among gamers and eventually
became a legend in its own lunchtime because of the mystery question, "when will it
actually be released".

Now we are here at the release of the open beta for Home (still not even been officially
released...) and Playstation owners are going f***king mental over it. At the moment it's
not even hit the PSN store (to my knowledge) and the tension around the fans is intense.
People just want to see what they have been missing out on for over a year and because
of this its going to get hyped to hell by the fanboys and in turn, they are going to get flame
baited by the 360 owners that feel the need to critisise Home because it is for the enemy
Console, and we can't allow the opposition to have a better avatar function than us can we?

Hype is the black death of games, for example Mirrors Edge was a good concept and
had original gameplay, but was destroyed by the hype of the impressionable gamers
that see a teaser trailer and automatically judge the whole game on a few seconds
of actual gameplay.

Prepare mature gamers, the next few months will be rife with Home Vs NXE arguments.
Then again, looking at the track record of the common gamer, we have seen much worse.

P.S. Woot first blog entry.   read

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -