The Alabaster Sock

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Posts Tagged ‘Game ‘journalism’’

Top Ten News Items at E3 2011

Posted by Matt on June 8, 2011

10. Game media apparently still excited by video games based on the ‘Star Wars’ film series. Leading expert baffled.

9. New trends in gaming: voiceovers in games that approximate the sounds of idiots playing those games (“Oh god! Oh god!” FUUUUUUUCK!”), primary example being the latest in the Tomb Raider series.

8. Some games are announced, but they don’t really exist yet, so what the hell was the point? (I.E. Bioshock for Vita, New Super Smash Bros.)

7. Sony is very, very sorry guys. It will never happen again, cross our hearts hope to die. For serious.

6. Revealed: the first major title for Nintendo’s new console: “A Bird Doing Things”

5. Modern Warfare 3 reveals latest footage of people doing something, and then not doing something for long stretches of time.

4. Newest Sony portable console has a silly name… once you forget that we’ve been playing on a thing called a ‘Playstation’ for 15 years.

3. Gaming’s biggest franchise set to return with Halo 4: The Search for More Money

2. Nintendo reveals that they are making a tablet. Seems weird, although I hear there might be a game console attached to it as well.

1. Xbox now becomes voice-commanded with Bing search. It’s like we’re in the future, except then you realize that the future involves talking to a little plastic box and you say GO AWAY, FUTURE!

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Posted by Matt on May 18, 2011

Some time ago, Cameron Stewart mentioned on his Twitter feed that he would like to see a show like Marc Maron’s WTF podcast for comics creators. You know, something that goes a little deeper, engaging them on a more personal level, whether talking about their work or their lives, rather than simply go on about the comics culture or what have you. I would agree that this is a good idea. A very good idea, in fact. I love hearing or reading that kind of stuff – the real why of what they do. Not just that, I like to hear about their interests, too, and small talk, and anecdotes. It’s really just great to have real, solid evidence that the names I see on the covers of my books are people. This is why I listen to Maron’s show, as depressing as it can be (seriously, the recent episode with Dave Foley is a downer).

I will always welcome more interesting, thought-out takes on any subject, really. It really helps a medium evolve, and mature, when someone is out there willing to actually discuss it on some kind of an intellectual level. One of things I think is holding back video game discussion, art or not, is that there isn’t really much of an ‘alternative’ sector that is willing to tackle games on anything other than a simple consumer level. There are a few, for sure (on a related note, I discovered the Extra Credits video series on The Escapist, and it is exactly what I’m talking about here. Check it out, gang); unfortunately, due to the short period of time in which games have existed, and the more ‘democratic’ world of information sharing that it lucked into, serious game discussion (and when I say ‘serious discussion’, I don’t mean dry, psuedo-intellectual, philosophical wankfests, but just any sort of thought about what the games are and our relationship to them) is going to have some difficulty becoming as much a viable channel as its equivalents in other arts circles (like movies and music) or non-arts circles (professional sports. Yes, professional sports can be discussed in a non-idiotic fashion). The seeds have been planted, though, so it is really only a matter of time before these channels are more common/gain some legitimacy.

To be fair, it isn’t just games. Comics have a good critical establishment among seasoned professionals and fans, with varied and interesting reporting coming from publications like the Comics Journal, or from individuals like Tim O’Neil, Sean Witzke, David Brothers, and so many more. However, I think comics criticism has trouble becoming a natural component of the form, rather than a tiny, antagonistic niche within another niche. There will always be some level of antagonism between the critical establishment and the peanut-munching crowd; but movie, music, and literary critics, even if they are often treated with disdain, are still not outcasts whose sole purpose is to tell the rest of the people how stupid they are. The issue might be that critics of the other mediums deal mainly with the apathetic, while the comics critics have to deal with the much more frustrating obsessive fanboy set. There are not many casual comics readers, or at least not many that don’t simply occupy another micro-niche (manga, webcomics, indies, etc.) that rarely interacts with the others. So who do the comics critics talk to? Either themselves, or the people who will buy every X-Men branded pamphlet that month. It’s a battle of extremes, a symptom of how small the comics crowd is right now, and that is a limiting agent for comics discussion. Good work is still being done, however, so it’s not that tragic a situation.

So how did we get from interesting interviews to the state of criticism? Well…I don’t really know. In my mind, at least, both those candid interviews Stewart suggested and Maron embodies and the critical culture in various mediums are related. They are both about digging into works, or the people behind them, to find points of interest. For people like me, it’s those points of interest, no matter how deep or trivial they may be, are what keeps us hooked on these things. I like learning things about these things; I like seeing them interpreted in different ways. Whether it’s from the talents themselves or other readers, I just think all culture deserves a little prodding, and I will always be in favour of whatever provides that analysis.

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Guess what!

Posted by Matt on October 6, 2009

IGN is a piece of shit!

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The dead speak to me

Posted by Matt on August 27, 2009

Funny, this seems entirely appropriate for what I imagine is the majority audience for Play. By the way, Play fucking sucks.

Oh yeah, and nerd justification for said thing based on argument of ‘but but but they based it on something artistic!’ in the comments (or at least one comment). Hilarious how often that one pops up!

And because I’ve already gone on a spree of posts with no substance, here’s 20 quotes I quite enjoy from various sources in no particular order.

“I’m the insect who dreamt he was a man and loved it. But now the dream is over and the insect is awake.” – The Fly (1986 version)

“Second comes right after first!” – Buzz Aldrin on The Simpsons (“Deep Space Homer”)

“Were people this dumb before television?” – Don Delillo’s White Noise

“They never die/They just go to sleep one day” – David Bowie’s ‘Sons of the Silent Age’

“The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists actually believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the 12 foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless.” – Alan Moore

“Solutions are not the answer” – Tricky Dick

Posted in Gamezzzzz, Leinks, NERDS!, Nobody Cares | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »