hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

positive outcomes in gaming

 photo

Russian Borderlands 2 problems officially resolved


Russia and its neighbors get international version
Sep 20
// Jim Sterling
Borderlands 2 caused a commotion in the East when it was revealed that Russia and surrounding territories would be forced to buy a locked-down, Russian-only version of the game, despite not being warned before purchase. After...
 photo

Rather than slowing down, the donations that gamers are sending Double Fine continue to be sent. For those just joining us, the studio is funding an adventure game through Kickstarter. It cleared its minimum goal of $400,000 ...

 photo

Last night, Double Fine announced that it would fund its next project -- an old school adventure game -- through donations from Kickstarter. Less than twenty-four hours after the plan was enacted, the studio has surpassed its...


Insomniac responds to 4/10 All 4 One review with dignity

Oct 20 // Jim Sterling
After the review went live, I came to learn that I had just awarded Insomniac Games the lowest review score in its 17-year, 15-game history. The review is also the lowest-scoring non-port Ratchet & Clank review of all time. It's not a record I'm exactly thrilled about, but there it is. However, rather than get angry or upset, the message I received from Insomniac was one of dignified acceptance.  "It's bound to happen at some point," said the studio during our exchange. "No hard feelings. You backed up [the] score with your thoughts." By no means is this an endorsement of the review by Insomniac. Nobody likes getting slammed by the critics, and Insomniac is certainly not pleased with what I wrote. Did it get upset, demand a rewrite, or complain about the score? I received nothing of the sort. Not from Insomniac, nor from Sony -- a publisher that has always treated me with respect and friendliness, despite the litany of criticisms I've written about the company before (and still stand by, I might add).  Insomniac Games has been one of my favorite developers for a long time. I've long admired the way it respects its workforce and I love its ability to craft truly endearing characters. It's unpleasant taking a dump on someone's hard work at the best of times, but when it's a studio you truly value, it's all the worse. Nothing's worse than souring a relationship with people you like.  Recently, we had Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski whine about 8/10 reviews for Gears of War 3, claiming to be "upset" by criticisms and implications that Gears of War 2 might have been slightly better. He is another developer I've always liked, but he now refuses to talk to me, ever since I asked him to justify his Gears 3 outrage. When I see that kind of behavior over a positive, very high review score and contrast it with the dignified, adult response from Insomniac, I am astounded. One side is cheapening the entire idea of a review system and encouraging melodramatic fanboy backlash, while the other -- in my opinion -- reacted with the professional responsibility that so many more studios need to adopt.  We have the same problem with gamers themselves. I've received a few hateful messages from people furious over the 8.5/10 score I gave Batman: Arkham City, and there are communities almost obsessed with crying over our critiques. Yet while the members of N4G and GameFAQs go on the attack within seconds of any of our reviews going live, looking to undermine our writing and whip themselves up into a childish frenzy of emotional convulsion, it's cheering to know that people who have a better right to be angry than anybody else can take criticism on the chin and move forward with their lives.  As someone who has received phone calls and emails from all manner of folk upset by my reviews, I can't tell you what it means to me on a personal level to have such polite discourse and understanding from a developer who really had no impetus to be polite at all. If more developers had the grounded grace of Insomniac, this would easily be the best industry in the world.  Insomniac Games' attitude should serve as an example to everybody working in videogames and ought to shame many of those same people.
 photo

Moments before yesterday's review of Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One went live, I received a message from Insomniac Games via Twitter. It said, "We will still love you, though you realize as a dev it's terrifying knowing Jim S...

 photo

The Room director and star of upcoming game series The Tommy Wi-Show, Tommy Wiseau, has stated that he'd "absolutely" like to direct a film based on a videogame property. During our exclusive interview with him on Podtoid, he...

 photo

Study: Violent videogames can help stop nightmares


Mar 08
// Jim Sterling
It's not every day that one gets to promote a positive study about videogames, so it's with pleasure that I bring you this slice of happiness -- videogames may help some people to cope with nightmares.  Jayne Gackenbach ...
 photo

Apple takes down stolen game following Internet uproar


Jan 23
// Jim Sterling
Recently we posted about The Blocks Cometh, a Flash game that was stolen and ported to the iPhone without the developer's permission. Apple seemed to do nothing about it, so Destructoid kicked up a stink, which was then notic...
 photo

Help MLB 10 The Show donate to cancer research


Jun 10
// Dale North
SCEA, MLB, and the Stand Up to Cancer organization have all partnered up for a new program that will bring money to cancer research. You're part of the plan too, dearest gamer. SCEA says that they will donate $10 to SUtC for ...
 photo

My day with the MLB 2K10 perfect game $1 million winner


May 11
// Samit Sarkar
This year, 2K Sports decided to do something unprecedented to market their baseball game, Major League Baseball 2K10 -- in an effort to highlight the game’s improved pitching system, they offered a $1 million cash prize...
 photo

97% of teens play videogames, remaining three are in comas


Jun 07
// Matthew Razak
Did you know that videogames were kind of a big deal? Evidently they're immensely popular with teenagers these days. Those younguns don't know how the games will rot their brains and eat their souls so they play them. In fact...
 photo

Call of Duty stopped Rabbi being scared of Nazis


Mar 07
// Jim Sterling
Remember when you were a kid and thought that a Nazi lived under your bed, so your parents had to scare it away? Maybe that was just me, but I know that at least one person still grew up with a fear of Ze Germanz, and that wa...
 photo

Study: Everything about videogames is bad


Jan 23
// Jim Sterling
A new study fresh out of Utah is claiming that there are no positive side effects of videogames whatsoever, and that even non-violent gaming has a negative impact on your life. That's right, every single videogame is now bad ...
 photo

Dear Namco & Interplay, don't screw up


Apr 23
// Jim Sterling
Dear Namco & Interplay,You may be wondering why I am addressing this humble letter to both of you, for on the surface, you have nothing to do with each other. You are two completely different companies in two completely d...
 photo

The Podcastle episode 08: Why it's good to be a European gamer


Mar 20
// Jim Sterling
Somehow we managed it, but we've constructed an entire show about how good it is to be a European gamer. Actually, that's a total lie. Wardrox came up with fifteen reasons and we absolutely destroyed them because we are so aw...
 photo

Manhunt 2 UK ban is lifted! Let the controversy begin anew


Mar 14
// Jim Sterling
As you should know, we have been covering the BBFC's ban of Manhunt 2 for the past year, from the original decision, to Rockstar's appeal, and the BBFC's counter. Well, it seems that freedom of expression has won out, as the ...

Interview with Surfer Girl, darling tipster of the industry underground

Nov 13 // Tristero
Destructoid: A couple of months ago you had the idea of running ads on your site to support charity. Have you decided on the best way to implement this, and if so, what charity would you be most likely to support?Surfer Girl: No, it was more of an idea for a system that would donate ad revenue to charity.D: Have you seen how groups like The Hunger Site and Free Rice run their ads?SG: Yes. Those sites are admirable, but I forget to do that everyday.D: Yeah, it's tough to keep up with when there are at least 100 sites or so in the constant daily rotation. Your blog’s given some attention to the inner workings of Wikipedia, with mentions of the Lost/Gabon incident, as well as some things about the Blackwater controversy. Do you feel that currently Wikipedia is being run in the best possible fashion, and if not, do you have any suggestions to improve the way it functions?SG: D: Do you find that you get a lot of private feedback for the political segments of your site? Those sections tend to get less public comments.SG: No, sadly. I find those posts far more important than anything about games or whatever. My initial intention was for the posts about games to attract attention to the political posts, but it did not work out that way.D: I wouldn't have found your site without the game news, but I ended up sticking around for some of the political links. I especially liked the clip of the MSNBC commentator giving the impassioned speech against water boarding. I forwarded that to a lot of friends. With the more attention your site gets, it seems that your comment sections get bombarded with questions about everyone’s pet videogame projects they’re interested in. Remarkably, you take the time to answer almost every single question. Did you envision your site becoming the magic 8-ball of videogame news?SG: I don't answer every question. I have comment moderation because people ask the same thing twenty times.D: It does seems like the comment sections have been huge lately, though, and that most of the activity on your site happens there. Are you happy with the new direction your site has taken? Is it still fun for you?SG: I have a blog, not a site. I really have not paid attention to what direction the site takes, but I don't enjoy this as much as I did before. I'm considering stopping all game related posts and concentrating on other things.D: Are you ever afraid that there will be repercussions for the secrets you’ve been divulging? I also work in the film industry and between that and the videogame world I’m swimming in a sea of NDAs. There are topics that I would love to talk about publicly, because I think people will be excited to hear about them, but I’m deathly afraid that the hounds of the law will hunt me down. What motivates you to spill the beans?SG: I have not broken an NDA yet.D: Do you just not sign them?SG: Nothing I've said so far has applied to one.D: Why all the secrecy then? You often reveal your information in a cryptic, playfully mysterious fashion. What’s it all leading up to? Do you have a master scheme? Will there be a huge showdown on the roof with the coppers? Or are you going to reveal that it’s all been a big joke on us? SG: There are topics I cannot talk about because of NDAs.D: Does that mean you're getting permission to tell us the things you've said so far?SG: Nothing I've said so far would be a breach of an NDA I have signed because I've talked about nothing that’s under an NDA. The ears, the mouth, the eyes are my sources, primarily. Not so much the nose.D: You've said you're an industry insider. What attracted you to work in videogames in the first place?SG: Videogames seemed far easier than other things. There are things that happened that made me slide away from being a journalist. Maybe this blog is me attempting to justify that college degree.D: Do you have a personal passion for videogames? SG: I like games, sure.D: I've read statements by you bemoaning the lack of creativity from publishers. What’s one thing that’s holding the industry back that you would change if you could?SG: Hesitancy, I'd eradicate that like Ron Paul wants to do with the federal government (like a crazy, crazy irresponsible man).D: Do you mean hesitancy to embrace new ideas?SG: Yes.D: I personally think misogyny is a big problem in the videogame industry that needs to be addressed, both in the actual developer/publisher side as well as the fans and press who comment on it. From the perspective of someone who works in the industry, would you agree?SG: Definitely, definitely.D: I feel that the problem, while not necessarily larger than what goes on in other subcultures, is both more ignored and at the same time more “in-your-face” in the world of videogames. How do you think these attitudes became so entrenched and what do we do to fix them?SG: The females in creative roles are still forced to output things that conform with male interests.D: Does this mean we need more females in producer roles? More self-funded/developed games?SG: We need females who are willing to express themselves. Jade Raymond is not doing anything remotely unique. Assassin's Creed is great, but it is just another game. But then you have someone like Kellee Santiago with a passion and drive to do something different and something mind-blowing results.D: Is she the one with that worked on Cloud?SG: Yes. She's producer and president at thatgamecompany. She has produced my favorite PS3 game thus far [fl0w], which is just an expansion of a Flash game.D: Are you in a position where you could one day see your ideas for games realized?SG: In a way, that already occurs. Sorry that I cannot elaborate on such a vague statement.D: Do you have plans to reveal your identity eventually to the public? Or will this be a long-running mystery?SG: D: From statements on your blog, it looks like we’re both fans of the author Thomas Pynchon. My pen name that I write under is Tristero, from The Crying of Lot 49. Your public persona has some similarities to the reclusive author. You’ve inspired a similar following with wild speculation and fanatacism. What appeals to you most about his writing? Which books have you tackled?SG: I never thought of it that way, but that prospect of any similarity is actually somewhat inspiring.D: People enjoy scavenger hunts. It's part of the whole mystique.SG: He is far more entertaining than I am and far more verbose, but verbosity should not be feared. Gamers should read beyond Halo 3: the Novelization.D: No kidding. I feel like some of us are afraid of books, or films, or anything else for that matter taking supremacy over the precious games. I like games, but they're just one facet of my life. It's hard to keep them from taking over.SG: But the text in some of these Japanese RPGs that has to be read are like tomes that rival five Ayn Rand books stacked high in volume. Similarly pointless and redundant as Rand's work, without the manifesto. Maybe now that BioShock did well, Atlas Shrugged: the Game will not be so far off.D: I do like how BioShock played off of Rand's ideas, but showed how awful they could be in practice if actually implemented.SG: If Rand had a cameo, I'm sure male gamers across the land would be declaring it "the scariest game of all-time."D: Any last cryptic comments you'd like to give the readers of Destructoid? You do know every word you say leads to ten different google searches, right? Want to throw any more hints to the crowd?SG: Because I feel gamers do not read enough, I am considering launching Surfer Girl's Book Club. I'll be like Oprah.D: Do it! I'll read your books. Good luck with everything. It's been fun.SG: Thanks, same to you as well.  
 photo

If you've had your ear to the ground, then you're probably aware of the feisty diva of gossip and news who splashed onto the videogame press scene this year. Surfer Girl Reviews Star Wars has quickly become one of my favorite...

 photo

Chewy, chocolate-coated gummy proposal: Viva Pinata love


Sep 13
// Leigh Alexander
So we know that wedding proposals take place in MMOs all the time, sweet touching moments of deep connection that occur when real people start to forget that Azeroth is not a real place, as their concept of reality becomes ev...
 photo

Trickle down Nintendonomics is alive and well: Ronald Reagan would be so proud


Aug 16
// SRVSLPS
You may not have given it much thought up until now, but Nintendo's success with the Wii has been a blessing to all sorts of people you wouldn't normally associate with the videogame industry. If you recall earlier, the Wii h...
 photo

E3 2007: Mercenaries 2 developer walkthrough will make your pants tight


Jul 14
// William Haley
  Towards the end of the Xbox's lifespan, I had about 75 games for the console that I traded in before GameStop realized they had created a major loophole that made each game worth $15 more than it should have b...
 photo

Walter Reed Medical Center: games and their healing touch


May 27
// SRVSLPS
Thanks to an aid group called Cause, soldiers at the Walter Reed Medical Center have monthly get togethers of healing, fun, and not so surprising... video games. Although somewhat of an afterthought now, video ...

  Around the web (login to improve these)




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 -