Cat Context 59: The Crew beta, Silent Hills, more Destiny
Sep16

Cat Context 59: The Crew beta, Silent Hills, more Destiny

cat context vertical Cat Context 59: The Crew beta, Silent Hills, more Destiny

This week Liore, Ellyndrial, and Arolaide get together to talk about The Crew PC beta, the terrifying Silent Hills teaser, and Destiny’s future.

The Crew recently let PC players have a first crack at the game, and all three of us had the opportunity to try it out! We all agreed it was beautiful to look at, but are a little less certain about the game’s long term plans and it’s “MMO” factor. But hey, you get to play Gordon Freeman in Fast and the Furious, so we can’t really complain.

Meanwhile there was finally time to talk about P.T., the Silent Hills teaser, which is a great excuse for Aro to talk about how much she loves the franchise. We’re also impressed with their take on the horror genre, and stealth marketing tactics that are actually stealthy and not just hype.

Also more phone games, much to our eternal shame! Elly is feeling positive about Destiny! We got listener mail!

Like to watch? This podcast has a livestreamed video version:

If you enjoyed this podcast, please “Like” or “Favorite” it in your media consumption method of choice! It makes us feel nice.

* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years

This Week in Liore – Week #36, 2014
Sep08

This Week in Liore – Week #36, 2014

Hey I’m giving away a code for 400 gems for Guild Wars 2 TOMORROW to a random donator to my Extra Life efforts! Even $5 will help kids and could earn you sweet hats and dyes!

gamesyouguys This Week in Liore   Week #36, 2014

I FINISHED TROPICO 4.

Yes, after 67 hours (according to Steam) I finally finished all 20 of the missions in Tropico 4. My plan was to buy Tropico 5, but after reading some reviews the general consensus seems to be that it doesn’t really contribute anything new, so instead I just installed the Modern Times DLC and now I can play even mooooore Tropico 4! Somehow Tropico just hits the sweet spot for me between micromanagement and just muckin’ around, and I’m looking forward to having some new buildings to try in Modern Times.

I also started up another playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins, and this time I am really super going to finish it. A few years ago I played it about halfway and just kind of stopped, even though it’s quite good. At first I was kind of taken aback by how bad the graphics look now, so I looked it up and DA:O came out in 2009. 2009! That’s forever in game years.

I’ve been kind of wibbling (that’s a word now) on the whole MMO thing. I haven’t logged into WildStar in weeks, although I’m still subbed. I kind of want to play ArcheAge because it was soooo good in the Alpha but I think it’s a game that will require a fair bit of time and definitely a group of people to play it with and I’m just not sure I want to commit to either. I’ve been nostalgic for RIFT (have I mentioned lately how much I loved Vanilla RIFT huh have I) and its second expansion is just around the corner but then I remember how all of the good hats are on the store now and then I just kind of stare at my Trion World Glyph launcher and make faces.

(Dear MMO companies, stop making custom launchers please.)

ireadthis1 This Week in Liore   Week #36, 2014

 

So there’s been this little drama going on in the gaming enthusiast community lately. I’ve already said my bit(s) on that, but here are a bunch of good posts that were directly or indirectly inspired by it all:

Where All the Hate Comes From
Events and Opinions of Gamergate
[Problem Players] Guild culture, game culture, gamer culture (with notes on GamerGate)
GamerGate
The War on Terrible
Your Voice Matters
Be Awesome Human Beings
“I Don’t Read ‘x’ Because of ‘y’” Gets It Wrong
“I Am Gamer.”

inthekitchen This Week in Liore   Week #36, 2014

 

Over on 8bit Kitchen Cary from Recollections of Play posted a recipe for Root Beer Pulled Pork that looks super yummy. Jeromai made Roti John, and I’m totally making that over the next weekend.

Meanwhile, I tested a recipe for local dessert favorite, Nanaimo Bars. They were delicious.

 This Week in Liore   Week #36, 2014

watchthis This Week in Liore   Week #36, 2014

 

I’m about 4 episodes into The Leftovers, and it’s pretty good so far. It reminds me of the first (and best) season of Lost: vague hints at something supernatural, and very in-depth character studies. The show is currently in the middle of its first season on HBO.

My favorite K-Pop group, Block B, put out another song you guys! It was released in July apparently but I just noticed it.

The channel trailer for Cooking With Dog.

socialnetworks This Week in Liore   Week #36, 2014

 

I saw this graffiti in Vancouver:
Bv7rH0jIEAAPotS This Week in Liore   Week #36, 2014

Meanwhile on Twitter I was happy to see Catching Fire appear on Canadian Netflix:


 

Being a moderate in extreme times

Hi, this is kind of.. like general small-p political stuff so feel free to skip it if you’re not interested!

Well, one more post related to all the recent mess becase it’s been weighing heavily on my mind this week. I’ll be talking about the G-word hashtag movement itself over the weekend on the Contains Moderate Peril podcast (thanks for the invite, Roger!) along with some other folks, and you should listen in if you’re interested.

Anyway. I’ve always considered myself to be kind of a moderate when it came to interpersonal politics, but I’m having a hard time knowing where being moderate fits in to the current climate in gaming.

I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ve called myself a feminist since I was 10 and I vote with vigour to defend the “socialism” parts of Canada’s social democracy, but I’ve also always believed that as long as two people held similar tenants of being excellent to each other, you didn’t have to sweat the small stuff.

I would never intentionally tell another woman how she should or shouldn’t talk about sexism, for example, but being routinely confrontational about it made me uncomfortable and wasn’t something I enjoyed in my environment. (Did any of you post on the wow-ladies Live Journal back in the day? Oh man, the fights.) I really liked Cuppy’s post back in January about finding more positivity in social justice, and it resonated strongly with my own attitude.

And game journalism, jeeze. You’ll have to take my word for it, but I have at least two fully written screeds against game journalism in my drafts that I never posted because they just seemed too mean and too “inside baseball”. One from June is titled “Game Journalism is Not Worth Saving” and talks about how much more I value what my fellow unpaid bloggers say than most publications. I actually published one post about how I don’t think “journalism” is the right word for what we have in gaming now, while back in 2012 I wrote that many journalists were being uncool when they called gamers entitled for not liking the ending of Mass Effect 3. I told vaunted writer Leigh Alexander that she was being an “elitist jerk” in a conversation on Twitter a few years ago, because she was.

And man, do not get me started on the game development industry. I guess I don’t really even have to start because if you’ve been reading this site with any regularity you already know some of my problems with it. I dislike money-grubbing DLC, and free-to-play, and I still don’t understand how people can be devoted to Blizzard after being left for over a year of content drought.

My favorite professional game journalist was Jenn Frank, winner of the 2013 Games Journalism Prize. I enjoyed her articles mostly because I think she’s a brilliant writer. But also I really appreciated her moderate attitude towards things. She was a force to be reckoned with on Twitter during the Dead Island Boob Statue debacle, but also counseled calm discussion during one of those (many) moments when Mike from Penny Arcade said something horrible. Frank wrote that she was a teenage sexist, and although I called myself a feminist I was too in many ways.

(A thing that young Liore said on many occasions: “I just don’t like other women. They’re boring, and men get to do all the fun stuff anyway.”)

I say that Jenn Frank was my favorite games journalist because on Wednesday night she was harassed by g-word hashtag people to the point where after nine years she quit the industry. But it’s not enough that she promised to never write about games again. No, she’s been driven out of every aspect of a hobby she loved.

There have been multiple journalists who have quit writing about games over the past few weeks, all of them women, and it’s a damn shame about them all but it hurt me to see Frank quit. She was a moderate voice, someone who advocated being kind to everyone, hardcore gamer and casual dabbler, women and people who have problems with women.

Now, I don’t know how I can continue being a moderate voice, even if it’s just to my friends. How can I talk about how I think game journalism is flawed when the idea has been inexorably linked to people who will literally ruin someone’s life over it? How can I opine that some games journalists, some of whom happen to be women, are not terribly interesting when that same idea has been wielded like a weapon against people’s safety and livelihoods?

How can I keep enjoying games when such gross things are done to “protect” them, even if it is a minority?

These are rhetorical questions, of course. But right now I don’t know how to bridge this gap, and instead of coming closer together I just feel pushed into being more and more radical in my beliefs, because I fundamentally cannot in good conscience ally on even the tiniest issues with the horrible people who do these horrible things in their name.

So where do we go from here?

This is not a GamerGate post.

For you fortunate souls who don’t know what “Gamergate” is, beyond a very poorly formed word, it is a current huge drama storm in the gaming community that involves accusations of corruption in games journalism, a great deal of trolling, and our old friend straight up misogyny. As someone who loves games, loves media analysis, and has done a lot of reading about feminism this would initially seem to be a subject that I would love to write about. So why haven’t I?

It’s because I am afraid.

As a woman who has public opinions about video games, even on my very tiny scale, watching the events of the last few weeks unfold has been, frankly, brutal. I have seen high-profile women and their families have to leave their homes because of threats that specifically mention personal addresses. I have seen women become targets of account hacking, right down to their pizzeria account. I’ve seen threats of assault and personal injury and horrible, horrible things.

I’ve seen what happens when a woman in particular mentions a hashtag or a key word on Twitter, and the anonymous opinion squad that immediately shows up to call them c****. I’ve seen links to porn of these women drawn by their detractors. I’ve seen women who even have a vague opinion be written up in lists of people who should have their livelihoods ruined. In the last few weeks I’ve seen women literally be hounded out of the game industry and off of social media.

A couple of years ago when I wrote for RIFT Junkies I earned a hater. For six weeks this fellow would be the first comment on any post I wrote, calling me a stupid bitch. He was never quite clear on why he hated me, just some mishmash of liking RIFT and having the temerity to be overweight and on the internet. The experience was so tiny compared to what I’m seeing happening right now, and yet it really bothered me. Admittedly I am a little sensitive, but I can’t even imagine dealing with something more vitriolic or on a larger scale.

There are a ton of brave men and women right now who have a bigger audience than I do, who speak more boldly on this subject than I ever will, and who take a lot of shit about it.

As for me, at some point a couple of weeks ago I literally became scared of stating an opinion about video games. I realized that there is no escape. You can never be temperate enough, talented enough, logical enough, kind enough to avoid the train of angry gamer mob justice when it spots you on the tracks.

Cat Context 58: The Gamer Questionnaire!
Aug27

Cat Context 58: The Gamer Questionnaire!

cat context vertical Cat Context 58: The Gamer Questionnaire!

Liore is back and this week she sits down again with Ellyndrial and Arolaide to answer some of the questions in the blogger meme of the moment, the Gaming Questionnaire.

Together they describe elements of their perfect video game, share the scariest moment they’ve ever had while playing, and coo over crushes on game characters. What games have our favorite music? What was the last game we finished? And much more!

We also talk about what being a “gamer” means, and whether it’s a label we want for ourselves. Should people who feel alienated from gamer culture still use the word in the hopes of making it more friendly? Elly thinks so, but Liore and Aro aren’t so sure.

Also Liore gets scared by the Silent Hills teaser! Elly tells a story about naked murder! Aro really loves Peggle!

Like to watch? This podcast has a livestreamed video version:

If you enjoyed this podcast, please “Like” or “Favorite” it in your media consumption method of choice! It makes us feel nice.

* The Gamer Questionnaire on Cannot Be Tamed.
* Jesse Cox and friends get drunk and play P.T. aka the Silent Hills teaser.
* Play Zuma for free online!
* Free Music Archive page for our theme, in THE crowd by The Years

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