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kftX's blog

4:44 PM on 08.19.2014

STOP. Stop the hate. Gaming needs a serious reset.

How did we get here guys? I mean really. Has everyone become a hateful prick hell-bent on stopping other people from having fun? How has it come to this? Where did we go wrong? What is happening? WHY is it happening?

I admit, I don't come here from the perspective of some enlightened person who comes to tell everyone what they should or shouldn't do. You know what my perspetcive is? I'm an avid gamer. I've been gaming since I can remember. Games have been there every time for me when no one else would. This is why I will love videogames until the day I die. I am also someone who loves humanity. Yes, we have a muddied history of doing shitty things: doesn't matter if you are white caucasian, white latino, black, asian, American, English, Russian, French, Chinese or any other race or nationality we can think of. All of our ancestors have done something shitty in some way or another. But even so, over the centuries, we have shown a capacity to grow, evolve and become better. This is why I love humanity.

So, who am I? I will tell you off the bat: I'm not the best person to ever walk the face of the Earth. I'm also not the worst person to walk it, so I guess I've got that going for me. I am a human being, just like any one of you who might be reading this. I've made my share of horrible mistakes and I've tried to be the best person I could every time I was allowed to. I'm not gonna parade myself as a paragon of anything, but I will say one thing off the bat: I am a gamer and I love videogames.

This week, more specifically today, I've read and read up and tried to understand why us gamers have stopped being the outcasts who were looked down upon by everyone, into becoming hateful monsters out to kill each other for what they believe in. I can't. Understand, I mean. It doesn't make sense to me. Why? Why are you all trying to kill each other? Can't we just all love the medium we are a part of?

It all used to be so simple. Developers made games, we enjoyed those that catered to us. We supported those games and sent letters to the developers most dear to us to show them our support for their work. Nowadays it's like everyone is in it for their own agenda and pushing their beliefs onto others without any respect for what other people think or feel. We are eating each other and bringing fans and devs alike into this sad, sad spectacle. We insult each other and wish the most horrendous things onto each other. Why? Because someone disagrees? Because someone has the gall to think differently than you do? Because they don't stand for the same values as you do? Is it really worth all the drama and shit-flinging?

Of course, this doesn't deny there are many issues to be tackled within videogames AS A MEDIUM still. Of course there are. We are a young medium that is still evolving and has, in my opinion, prematurely hit the mainstream without being ready for the responsibility and maturity it really deserves. Instead of naturally evolving, we have one side trying to force us to evolve to their standards of what is right, and the other violently reacting against it, and now all they can do is tear at each other, while the games, THE HEART OF OUR INDUSTRY, are suffering in the midst of it. Do you guys see what you are doing? All of you.

Can we stop being such assholes to each other? Can we unite for the sake of the videogames? Can we just love the games that cater to us, and push forward for creativity, evolution and all those things?

Gaming is my life. I'll admit. Maybe way too much. But that's because gaming taught me my values: friendship, love, respect, that right and wrong aren't necessarily as black and white as sometimes we think. But not only that, it taught me many valuable lessons: sacrifice, hard work and unity all are things I got as positive from that. And on top of all that, gaming also taught me things from fields of knowledge that I might have not pursued on my own: history, psychology, philosophy, among so many others. Gaming also helped me meet many friends over the years, people that I stuck with for certain periods of my life, that even if they aren't with me anymore right now, I still consider them important pillars of my evolution as a person and that because of that, I will never forget.

So what does gaming mean to me? As I said above, gaming means many things to me. It is a very big and important part of my life. It is like the sibling I never had and taught me everything I needed to know about life to be prepared for when stuff got real. It pains me to see what my older brother and the people that surround him have become, when I used to look up to them.

Guys, please stop. Please stop the hate. Stop trying to murder each other. It's enough. We are all gamers. Can't we all just love videogames? Can't we just focus on the good and constructively work to better the bad? This goes for everyone: gamers, journalists and developers. Stop the hate. It's enough. Flinging shit and hate and bile at each other just because you disagree with each others' point of view is ridiculous. We are all better than this. Stop this now before it escalates out of control. Please stop the hate.

I really have nothing else to say. Just, stop the hate.   read

10:50 AM on 03.26.2014

Why people hate the Oculus aquisition by Facebook

(this is a repost from my own personal blog, but I felt like sharing it with the community as to see if I'm alone in this)

It is the inevitable discussion of the week, perhaps even of the month, as most people know by now Facebook has acquired the Oculus Rift company and this not only shocked people, but also brought disgust to many. The official Reddit of Oculus was on fire yesterday as Palmer Luckey went on the social site to try and calm the fire that was set but only making it much worse. But I think the question on almost everyone's head is: "Why do we hate Facebook so much?"

And yes, I am one of those people who hate Facebook and all it stands for with a fiery passion, but at least I have my own reasons - which admittedly are many - and I think that in all my reasons I may be able to rationalize the events that are now unfolding.

Zuckerberg isn't trustworthy and there's enough proof of such: We're talking about the same guy who calls people who trust him "dumb fucks" and yet, we're supposed to trust this guy with our info, our moments and parts of our lives? Why would we?

Facebook's shady policies: Did you know that Facebook keeps all your data even if you delete your account? Most of you surely do and you most likely know why. Which also means you stand for it and tolerate it but that still doesn't mean that it's okay. Twitter for example (the second biggest networking site on the internet, probably) retains your info for 30 days after deleting your account, in case you might want to go back, but permanently deletes everything after that period. Did you also know Twitter allows you to download your entire history in a easy to consult format? But all this talk of Facebook shady policies brings me to my third point.

How Facebook makes money: Yes, this is a known fact for a while though I doubt people are aware of it as they should. Facebook is as much of a social networking site, as they are mercenaries selling your information for the highest bidders. They allow companies to download your information - in convenient torrent format no less which you can also get here. Why not trust Zuckerberg indeed.

There are many other reasons to detest Facebook for all it's done for the way we interact with each other, destroying the meaning of the word friend. However, I am not even going into such a more personal discussion and am now going to focus on why gamers distrust and are disappointed (so much as to call Palmer Luckey a "sell out") by this acquisition for other reasons as well:

The social gaming media boom: Before the smartphone gaming boom of making a game and then copying its formula over and over again and milk it dry along with possible customers with IAPs that even infected the more mainstream gaming titles, there was the social media gaming boom and the monster that spawned and died with it: Zynga. Gamers hate Zynga and all it stood/stands for and as well they should. A company that once said that they didn't want innovation and tried to justify and rationalize their cloning game strategy. We also saw many franchises cash in and trying to scam (like Zynga did) players by bringing games such as Dragon Age and Final Fantasy to Facebook. What an amazing thing that was for gamers.

Facebook isn't a gaming company: I remember when I saw the Oculus Rift Kickstarter, I thought to myself: "This is an amazing thing for gaming and how it can bring experiences to a whole new level". It was originally meant to be a gaming device, by gamers for gamers. Guess what it won't be now. As developers are already pulling support for the device for the simple fact it is now connected to Facebook, to say the reactions have been mixed is an understatement.

Rift wasn't just a gadget, it was a dream: Oculus for many was a stand against the monolithic corporations that rule technology nowadays and a banner in showing that good people with great ideas can still succeed in this world. For those people, the dream is over.

Zuckerberg already thinking about how to monetize and integrate Oculus into his Facebook "strategies": Ain't this a kick in the nuts.

I won't go into much more detail into why people are so up and in arms about this piece of news, but yeah, we live in a world in which Mark Zuckerberg got his hands on one of the most amazing pieces of tech in the last decade. Greed is good.

(I decided to remove formatting like bullet points because Destructoid's blog system was showing it in HTML code instead of actual stuff. Sorry if it makes the blog harder to read:()   read

6:51 AM on 05.22.2013

The Xbox No and How We Should Have Telegraphed This From a Mile Away

(Disclaimer: this is my first attempt at writing a Destructoid blog post, after years of lurking in the shadows with my fellow ninja and taking my stabs at comments once in a while. This is a cross-post from my personal blog)


Like many, yesterday all my attention was turned to the Xbox reveal conference held by Microsoft. Like many, I expected good things from this. How could I not? Microsoft entered the last generation with a full head of steam and surprised everyone by being an awesome gaming console. With the reveal of the PS4 in February we all expected Microsoft to really blow us away with the new Xbox now that they knew what was up Sony's sleeve. Well, they did blow us away alright. But it was in all the wrong ways.

I have to admit, I started off last generation by only owning a mid-range PC and a PSP (yes, people actually bought it!). In time I got myself a PS3 and a 360. I still intend to get a Wii though. But in the generation prior, I actually owned only an Xbox and I was mindblown by the great games I had on it. Many times me and my pals in high school would spend time talking about the games that were exclusive to the Xbox and PS2 and different they were, yet still awesome. Hell, I've always been critical of the 360 because of it's focus to only one market of gamers and the paid online service instead of repeating the awesomeness of its predecessor and having games for pretty much everyone, (there was no Xbox Live in my country) which in my eyes, bolstered the value of the console. But hey, the 360 was damn successful so that goes to show how much I know.

But somewhere along the last decade, Microsoft fooled us all. They fooled us in making us believe they cared for gaming. They fooled us in making believe they wanted to bring gaming forward. But just like the propaganda of the Third Reich, it was all lies. Maybe this was their plan all along. We honestly should have seen this coming. We should have seen this coming because Bill Gates did warn us. This is what he said at the unveiling of the original Xbox:

"This box is going to be the entertainment hub in the living room"

Damn right. But you know what the Xbox and the Xbox 360 had that made me use their media-centric as really awesome extras? They had games. Yeah, big shocker I know. In the end, the press conference from yesterday was the culmination of their decade old plan. This plan was to create a userbase (or fanbase) big enough to support them so they could create this thing that was unveiled yesterday and have people to sell it to. I'm sure the rising success of Apple in the media market is related, obviously. But I have no shred of doubt in my mind that this was their plan all along.

We had more warning signs over the past eight years though. Signs that Microsoft didn't really care about gaming, or bringing gaming to the next level. All they wanted, was for you to support them and they made it pretty clear by using very very dirty tactics.

The first clear warning sign was when they paid Rockstar Games $10 million to buy-out GTAIV content for a one-year exclusivity, locking out all owners of PC and PS3 of this content for that said period. The same money that could have gone into funding first-party games, or making Xbox Live Arcade a better platform for up-and-coming developers. This was repeated when they signed an exclusivity deal with Activision to get exclusive DLC and add-on content for Call of Duty games on the 360. Still, people supported them.

The second clear warning sign we failed to aknowledge was the entire second-half of the Xbox 360's life cycle. The half that focused on pushing movies, TV content and all the media whatchamacallit that gamers couldn't care less about. The half that buried gaming and indie content deep into the crust of the Earth because Microsoft had already used them to get what they wanted out of the system. Still, people supported them.


Now, Microsoft show us their true colors and their true intentions. I'm going to finish this post by focusing on the damning "features" that make this new Xbox not a game console, but a thing for other people that aren't gamers. (funny thing is, the conference was yesterday but the more time passes the less appealing the console becomes, considering all that we keep learning about it)

* The console has to be connected to the internet once every 24 hours to function, even for offline games.

Really? Just wow. So, if I need to travel somewhere where I will have no connection for a long time, I can't use my console? This is quite great. Reminds me of that one time I snuck my original Xbox out of my house and took it with me on a school trip of 3 days, so me and my friends could play games all night on it on motel TVs. So much for that.

* After inserting a one-time code, the disc content will be locked into your Live account, meaning everyone using your console can play it.[/li]

Yeah, but when I borrow a game to my friends, I don't expect to have to borrow my Live account or my entire console with it. This not only is anti-used games, but its also anti-consumeristic. Add-in the unconfirmed story (even though it was said by a Microsoft Exec) that your friends or used game buyers would have to pay FULL PRICE to be able to play the game... I really have no words.

* The Xbox One cannot function without Kinect.

Another restriction in being able to use the console? You're really going all-out aren't you Microsoft? There's not much to say about this except that Kinect is trash and no person with half-a-brain should buy hardware that requires such an useless add-on to be plugged in at all times.

* The Xbox One functions as a TV Hub.

Yes. If you are in the United States. All the features that were shown yesterday? They are totally useless if you live in Europe or Asia. Have fun paying a yearly subscription to use zero features!

* No games were announced for the Xbox One...
...besides Call of Duty. More to come at E3! Just wait! We will unveil all new Kinect-enabled games that you can't get anywhere else! And also games that you can get on the looking-right-now-much-superior PC or PS4.

All-in-all the Xbox is not a gaming console. Not anymore. It's something else for a totally different market. If you are a gamer, you have no reason to acquire this new media platform. Microsoft gave you no reasons to do it.

P.S. Hey, Microsoft. When you are making Japanese-based companies (which are much more closed-minded and traditional by nature) look positively progressive by comparison... you're doing something very wrong.   read

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