Friday, January 30, 2009

GamOvr, ludogeek activism

If you're looking for video game culture stuff that doesn't require much reading nor much thinking (at first glance), and if you can spare two clicks between the gazillion you spend on torrent links, you might want to check this fantastic collection of pictures which appeared on internet over the years, and which you may have missed:

GameOvr, a place I'm glad I found.

Here's a selection:








Now, I must say that I do have a nitpick.
Although this is certainly not reflected by the samples I put on this page, the pictures are largely focused on Japanese gaming lore, especially material related to Nintendo.
It lacks American, European and retro stuff from the ATARI/AMIGA/COMMODORE or early-PC eras, but I suppose that this will be corrected in due time.

It's still a good place to go, and one can only hope it grows bigger (...).

Cutscenes are embarassing


If there's one thing sure, it's that video games, and I mean 99% of them, seem to share the same dumb writers when it comes to lay down the turd -script lines- on (toilet) paper before sending it to studios' CGI/Machinima departments.

There's literally a huge amount of uglies to collect and savour. If you can put them in a HD-box, plug that to your TV and get some fresh beer, all the more fun!
Be it an abundance of alcohol or facepalms, your face will likely turn fiery red anyway, so I'd go for the booze.
Truth is, this material is gold (the cutscenes). It should be prized, because it is the painful heritage of our industry, a chant to the struggling debut of its "creative" minds and the labour put into them to bring you some of the most credible (?) stories ever told.

Unless your SoD-meter is high 24/7, of course (hence the beer, if you have not figured that out yet).

As such, it is obvious material for flowing exquisite mockery, and as such came a new unskippable feature at the Escapist, one more to count alongside ZP (the rest of the video stuff over there ranges from yes and? to plain mediocre).
This new piece of spoofing is aptly named... Unskippable!!

Enjoy it before internet cynicism goes out of fashion.*

* I think it has lived long enough, AFAIK.**
** AFAIK is not an Arabic word.***
*** ****
****

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day of Lolz


Let's start two tales about what it means NOT to piss off your shareholders, never mind if you should say stupid things and eat your pants to cater to their whims.

  • This one is gold. I may have not told you so, but I really miss the days of Ken Kutaragi. I really think his memorable pompous, posh and full of hot air claims about Sony's consoles is what actually helped them trample competitors in the battle for media coverage and audience mind bludgeoning.
    Now, when Kaz Hirai tries to walk Kutaragi's path, it's just horrible to watch.

    "This is not meant in terms of numbers, or who's got the biggest install base*, or who's selling most in any particular week or month, but I'd like to think that we continue official leadership in this industry," Hirai told Official PlayStation Magazine.

    * or penis/post count.
    Just to sum up: you're not a leader on a market if your product is only going to be doing what it's been advertised for in about five years in the future, while competitors are thriving now.

    "And with the Xbox - again, I can't come up with one word to fit. You need a word that describes something that lacks longevity," he added with a laugh.

    RROD? Oh wait, he meant the Xbox 360 will be old in ten years? Assuming Microsoft will stick with the 360 all that long, of course...
    Maybe things would go better for the PS3 if it didn't look like you needed a Ph.D in Arcane Hardwares.
    Put simply, there's nothing wrong in planning to have your diesel console work well on the long term, if you have something cooking up that's fit for that, but this "Plan", however superior it may be on the paper, does not measure well to what is happening right now, and does not make such a product the defacto official leader of the industry. Geez...

  • Next on the list, 2K Games' Christoph Hartmann does his best to convince the guys behind the curtains (the real audience) that the industry is recession proof, with the obvious implied message that sales of AAA titles won't suffer.
    Why?

    Traditionally, when the economy does badly, the entertainment market grows... [...]
    The recession is coming, but it’s not only about the sad situation of people worrying if they can pay their mortgage – it’s people wondering if they can still afford to spend £500 to go crazy in Ibiza twice a year. [...]
    Cost-wise for a decent amount of hours of entertainment, it’s cheap. Brutally cheap. The recession shouldn’t have too much of an impact.

    Safe that when recession will strike, people won't think in terms of ratios and nuts, and will certainly not aim for expensive entertainment, which 2K Games' titles typically are. Instead, they'll look for the cheapest stuff. So while people will continue to play games, even those AAA, what will bloom is illegal file-sharing.

  • Moving on to a different topic, we learn that 250 K users have already registered on Football SuperStars, the new face of MMOs. While it was clearly obvious that worldwide sports were an obvious market waiting to be exploited (Pok√©mon is on the list), this one can have far reaching consequences which we may laugh about now, but ponder more seriously in two or three years from now.
    Can't wait to see families split even more as the male faction spends hours before the football match, watches the match, and then spends more hours after the match.
    That and all the intoxicating effects we know about MMOs and how expensive they are, and how they turn out to be a tax on kids without having them working for something real and good.

  • And once again, be you a pseudo pirate or not, Canada's ISPs do not like filesharers (regardless of what they share actually), and have slowed down P2P traffic, as revealed by a CRTC investigation. Bell, Cogeco, Rogers, Eastlink and much likely Shaw have capped such flux in their own ways.
    I just wonder now if this is already happening elsewhere. I admit, I don't have the means of keeping an eye on this, not even the will.

  • Maybe it's me, but I'm almost translating the following bit:

    "It's a sad fact that in 2007, two of the highest-selling videogames were also two of the lowest-rated. So that's one of the things we're trying to get across to students - that it's better to be a play-tester at Epic than it is a lead artist at a terribly naff studio that's focused purely on getting something out in time."

    ... as "Epic, you make shit."
    AN: Huh, after a second thought, I'd say it's more like it's gratifying to work as a mob at Epic than quiver at the prospect of being a lead on a production which won't let you truly assume your rank. Sounds better that way.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Grow some boobs for God's sake!

MCV has found that women, although being a minority in the industry, get paid better than men.

So one solution. Don't spend too much money on WoW and save it for hormones, take some early, and someday you'll turn into some beautiful muse:





She's called Harisu if you wonder. Of course they'll never tell you how much it cost "her" to get that fake female body.

On a sidenote, YouTube is well known for being the must-go-to place if you're looking for absolute bigotry when it comes to comments. Still, toki doki you may find some stuff that sticks out:


Don't ask, I think this one nearly bested ALIENS' exchange between Vasquez and Hudson.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

YouShutup

Well, there have been busy times... many imperatives not allowing me to post the couple of articles I have in stock... still, today is a good day, for we welcome another proverbial smackdown, straight from They Who Make Shitloads of Money.

Well, maybe it was yesterday, I didn't check for sure. Or maybe it happened a while ago, but I doubt that. There's a clip I've watched a few days ago which got totally silenced.
The band in question is, without a doubt, extremely successful. They're global, they tour a lot, they're well known, etc.

If you didn't guess it, the news is that YouTube is muting copyrighted content, which as far as I observed, is all about the music video clips of artists and other bands.

Let's notice, however, that what they used to do before that was completely remove said clip. Which was probably even fairer and simpler in a way, because it makes a very bad publicity for artists to indulge with such behaviours. I don't know about you, but instead of being teased and convinced that I should go buy the whole damn thing just to try it, I'm merely pissed off and slap a "fucking cash fiends" etiquette on said band and move on.

YouTube has been repeatedly targeted by critics of its system and its illegal practices, allowing copyrighted material to spread without any retribution, and certainly no or very little financial compensation.

So we'll see, with time passing, if YouTube applies this measure to all clips, or if it happens to be the choice of some majors only.

If it's the later, you'll probably learn a lot about the artist(s) then. I for one can't help think that someone who really wants a group's music will either download it or buy it, eventually go watch them as they tour, but likely not settle on the low quality of such YouTube clips, which aren't even that easy to carry around and cram on your MP3 player you know.
If anything, YouTube remains a good way for spreading the music, and someone really has to tell me how YouTube hurts in any way the content, reputation or even sales of an artist's or band's production.

So be it. I've always enjoyed being able to listen to music to know if it was worth buying it. I'd spend hours in music shops and listen to complete CDs, and discovered so many groups this way (along many other ways which were all legal) that I find it a pity that art is returning to the few.

At least, there are the AltTubes.

EDIT: If you're looking for a definition of "success", look around for the four magic letters, F R E E. Trent Reznor's (Nine Inch Nails) album Ghosts I-IV has been Amazon.com's 2008 highest online sale.