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I'm Embarrassed...Video Game Dev Harrassed By Reporter [Kotaku Article]

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Kotaku has an excellent article up today and it's a topic often discussed among the gaming community. It's an important one that I feel everyone's attention. It's a fairly long article, so as such, I'm not going to post the entire thing here, but I'll try to highlight important aspects and be brief.

Last week, an abridged screencap of Mercier and Mattingly's Facebook conversation made its way around social media and then gaming news sites. It's shocking and uncomfortable to read: a stark illustration of the kind of treatment of women in the games industry that gets glossed over or discussed in general terms, but rarely gets exposed in so raw and ugly a form.

...

When we finally talk, I'm struck immediately by how much Mercier feels obliged to qualify. Without asking, I learn how she dresses for work and professional events; how she acts in professional contexts; the image she strives to project; her boundaries for friends and friendly acquaintances and colleagues. She also tells me, unprompted the exact scope of her previous contact with and relationship to Josh Mattingly leading up to the conversation where he told her repeatedly and explicitly what he'd like to do to her vagina. She's seen the comments on Mattingly's apology post, and she's acutely aware that, in the court of public opinion, it's she, not necessarily Mattingly, who is on trial.

"I know there were people saying that I was leading him on, or that I should have shut it down," Mercier tells me. Anonymity has let her follow the conversation around the Facebook thread as it unfolds. Few of her peers know whom they're discussing.

...

"Even right now, my mind is still blown over it," Mercier says, then pauses. "I've had people in this industry say things to me, but I don't know what it is—that one in particular just really threw me off."

...

She goes on: "It gets difficult, because you're in shock, and your brain isn't really thinking, 'I am going to tell this guy that this is not appropriate.' It's more of 'I'm just going to ignore this and hope that it gets dropped.' Because, you know, there was the original intent to his conversation, which was trying to get information about another studio and their game—which I legitimately know nothing about—so it was more of, 'okay, well, I don't want to be rude. I don't want to potentially burn a bridge here, because what if there's a future where I need that press contact, or a professional relationship, and the industry is so small?"

There is FAR more in the article -- and it's well worth the read.

I hope that this kind of misogynistic behaviour goes away sooner rather than later. It's not appropriate on any level. Period. This type of behaviour is absolutely disgusting, but I think what irked me even more is the fact that people are blaming the victim. Are you serious? You can't be serious. Pardon my language, but please sit the fuck down. How is this at all the her fault. This guy is clearly an asshole and thinks this is appropriate and acceptable conversation? This is also not the first time this topic has come up for discussion and it's a problem. If people in the industry keep thinking it's totally fine, it's going to continue happening.

I feel like a lot of male straight men also get scared of trying to defend anyone from the LGBT community or women. Seriously, are you 12? Defending them is not going to affect your masculinity. Grow up. I'm highly passionate about this industry and I appreciate the work people put into it, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation. So hell yeah, I'm going to defend those people for disgusting acts like this one.

That being said I'm well aware that this incident is not isolated to the games industry. It happens everywhere, but the amount of stories I've seen pop up lately about it happening in this industry -- and the way in which some of these individuals have acted towards others, is shameful. I'm embarrassed being associated with you, being clumped as a gamer with people like you.

Maybe this isn't even about gender, but a larger issue. Maybe gamers are just assholes. I mean Patrick Klepek speaks his mind, reports so well, and people shit on Patrick for no reason. He gets his own amount of hate online, so maybe it's not isolated to just women and the LGBT community -- maybe gamers just need to grow the fuck up. I hope they do soon, because this type of behaviour is embarrassing and truly disgusting.

My one and only hope is that there are people who actually took the time to read the article, and have realized you know what, I've done this before to people and it's terrible. I'm going to stop being an asshole to people in the industry because of their sexual orientation or gender.

I don't even know what else to say at this point, but I'm utterly disgusted. Gaming and the people in the industry are better than this. Smarten up.

Top 10 of 2013

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Since everyone is doing this I might as well.

Note: I haven't played everything yet - I haven't played Super Mario 3D World, BioShock Infinite, Wind Waker HD, GTAV, Pikmin 3, etc. Things came up and I haven't had a chance to play through them - so here's my list based on what I have played.

10. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

I usually hate these types of games. I would never think I'd put it on my top 10 list "GOTY" list, but considering the game got me to play almost everyday for over a month and I still check in every now and then, it deserves to be up here.

9. New Super Luigi U

New Super Mario Bros. U was fantastic and New Super Luigi U was even better. 80+ newly designed levels on the original game's map, for $20, challenging and a whole lot of fun. Great DLC from Nintendo and I'm glad they gave so much content for $20.

8. Steamworld Dig

This game is pretty awesome. It reminds me a lot of Metroid and the sense of exploration is great. It's here because I was addicted for a few days playing it when I bought it on the 3DS. Grab it now if you haven't already.

7. Pokemon X/Y

Pokemon. If you think it's a rehash or childish, fuck you.

6. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

In Platinum Games we trust. That's it. Good job Konami for grabbing Platinum to revive the game from what it once was.

5. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

Yo, year of fucking Luigi. This game is amazing, I love what Next Level Games did with the sequel, exploring each mansion was great and it actually felt like a full game and not a tech demo like the original game. Also it just had a really great sense of charm that always had me smiling. Definitely one of the biggest surprises for me of 2013.

4. 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

This game is old but I just started playing it this year. I haven't finished it yet, but the story is amazing and it keeps getting better. I stopped because Pokemon came out, but I've been in the process of moving so I don't have it on me to continue playing it.

3. Super Mario World

I played this game 100% through for the first time this year. It's awesome and now I actually see where the newer 2D Mario games get their inspiration from. It's incredible, such a fantastic game. I wish I played it in completion when it was originally released.

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Besides how easy this game was, it was really amazing. I still haven't beat the original game, but I don't really feel like it was necessary at all to even enjoy the sequel. The painted Link mechanic just works so well in every dungeon and being able to explore Hyrule and Lorule for secrets is pretty fun. I beat the game pretty quickly but have been roaming around the overworld and been enjoying it even more than I originally was. 60FPS and in 3D too - it's one of the best looking 3DS games yet.

1. Fire Emblem: Awakening

I usually hate Strategy RPGs but wow, Fire Emblem: Awakening was amazing. No other game this year grabbed me like this one did. I stopped half way through but when I picked it up again I was hooked, immediately, again. I put so much time into this game and I loved every minute of it. I tend to not play games that are too difficult but I've been slowly trying to expand and try to play games that force me to learn and to be skillful.

Fire Emblem: Awakening was hopefully just a stepping stone, next up is Dark Souls ... see you in 2014.

In case you didn't realize already ... I mainly played games on the 3DS this year.

The Worst Part About Watching People Play Demos ...

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... is when they can't read instructions.

Example one - IGN Wind Waker HD GamesCom 2013 Demo

Skip to the 4:00 mark.

Example two - GameTrailers GamesCom 2010 Demo:

Example Three - IGN The Wonderful 101 Thoughts Video:

Followed by this ... 

Now you know this would all be easier if these journalists

a) Are semi-aware of the games that are going to be at the show to play

b) Actually read the instructions on the screen

All this does is make me yell at my screen and call you an idiot.

Game Snowball Debt Is Pretty Bad (Why Do I Do This To Myself?)

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I have a problem.

I buy a lot of games but then rarely get time to tackle them. I think I should do something about it. I actually made a list of all the games I own that I want to finish. It's pretty long, but now that I've graduated and currently unemployeed, I have time, so I should probably use it in between my job application sessions to finish some games. 

I made some progress in the last 3 days by finishing up Fire Emblem: Awakening and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, but added to my debt by buying SMT IV. Ah well. 

Anyway, here's the list, in no particular order:

  • Dillon's Rolling Western
  • Crimson Shroud
  • Metroid II
  • Link's Awakening
  • Oracle of Ages
  • Oracle of Seasons
  • Minish Cap
  • Wario Land 2
  • Wario Land 4
  • Yoshi's Island
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Xenoblade
  • Dark Souls
  • SMT IV
  • Toki Tori 2
  • Sonic All Star Racing
  • 999
  • Virtue's Last Reward
  • Vanquish

I started SMT IV but I'm thinking of going through Dark Souls first, because I don't think I can play both concurrently. A lot of the other titles seem pretty short and stuff I could easily do.

Xbox One & Microsoft - I Jumped Out Of The Microsoft Ecosystem Long Ago

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I'm sure everyone here on GameSpot has heard about the Xbox One and Microsoft's DRM policies and online checks. While all of that is pretty terrible and stupid (that's putting it lightly), I'll be honest. I already decided prior to the Xbox One reveal that I was skipping the new Xbox.

Why?

Microsoft as a company, over the last 10 years, has been pretty crap. The Xbox 360 is designed poorly and the User Interface was terrible from the get go with the blade design. Once the New Xbox Experience hit it was much improved, until the next major update a year later. Downhill from there. Now, it looks like the Metro UI which isn't half decent, but still has stupid issues.

If I have a gold membership, why do I see ads? You're getting my money anyway, it's a way to pay you for your services - you don't need to advertise to me that I can order Pizza Hut with Kinect. On top of that the Xbox 360 has terrible build quality (as is the case with almost anything hardware related Microsoft does). Loud. Hot. Issues with connectivity. 

I've been Windows free for about 3 years now, using Ubuntu as my main OS of choice. Windows 7 is a great OS, but Windows is too restrictive for my liking. Windows 8 on the other hand, might be better with performance than 7, but Metro on a desktop is riddled with stupid limitations and Microsoft's attempt at converging tablet and desktop interfaces with Metro really is a poor attempt. 

Don't even get me started on Windows Phone and Microsoft's laughable attempt to compete with iOS and Android.

Microsoft is a confused company. Steve Ballmer is a terrible CEO. They need some restructuring, because right now they're falling into irrelevancy. The Xbox One is a big issue to console gaming, but the bigger picture here is how the Xbox One is just another example of how behind Microsoft is. The whole idea of the Xbox One being a TV hub is over and done with. No one wants that anymore, because more and more of the younger generation aren't getting cable anymore. Furthermore, Microsoft likely saw Google attempting this with Google TV. Google TV failed massively. Instead of learning from what Google TV did wrong and trying to make the Xbox One's TV features relevant, Microsoft's doing what Google did.

It's hard to imagine that Microsoft - once tech giant overlord - is falling into irrelevancy. Apple and Google are both better and more forward thinking than Microsoft will ever hope to be under Steve Ballmer. Fire him as a CEO, restructure the company, become forward thinking once again. They're running out of time and space.

I Are Graduate Nao?

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After 5 long years, I've finally graduated from University. Today I got my final grades and did well, and now convocation is set for June. 

My program was a mix of Business and Information Systems and I hold a Bachelors of Commerce degree. The only problem now is finding work, which is proving a lot harder than I was hoping it'd be. Guess I just have to keep applying; but that loan needs to be paid back ASAP.

Ah well, cheers to being done and finally having some spare time to play games again, read books for leisure, watch movies and work out.

The 3DS Is My Favourite Gaming Device At The Moment

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It's been almost 2 years since the 3DS was released in North America and it's been a pretty crazy journey so far. From the mediocre launch line up to the price cut four months after launch, the 3DS didn't exactly have the best start. However, I feel like two years later the device is has a fantastic software library.It's been my go-to device for quite some time now, with a lot of great content.

It's amazing to see all of the content the platform has received in two years:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
  • Mario Kart 7
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario 3D Land
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D
  • Tales of the Abyss
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
  • Professor Layton & The Miracle Mask
  • SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked
  • Star Fox 64 3D
  • Resident Evil: Revelations

These aren't even all the titles, just the one's I've played personally. Nintendo has also done a really great job with the eShop and are continuing to do so. Despite the fact that the user interface is pretty poor, there is a ton of great content from smaller developers and Nintendo. These are the ones I've downloaded:

  • Bomb Monkey
  • Crimson Shroud
  • Dillon's Rolling Western
  • Excitebike 3D
  • Mighty Switch Force
  • Mutant Mudds
  • Pushmo
  • Crashmo
  • VVVVVV

More titles are coming to the 3DS, both retail and eShop. HarmoKnight from Gamefreak and a new FPS from Renegade Kid is coming to the eShop this year. There are more title in the first half of this year that I want for the 3DS than I do with the Wii U and Xbox360 combined.

  • Fire Emblem: Awakening
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon
  • SMT: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
  • Pokemon X and Pokemon Y
  • HarmoKnight

I also recently purchased a 3DS XL and sold my original launch 3DS. The 3DS XL in my opinion, is a lot nicer. The screens are nice and big, the form factor is a lot better and the battery life is slightly better as well.

Anyway, what do you guys think of the 3DS so far?

Sony And Microsoft: Do Something Interesting Next Generation Plz.

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Before I start let me say if you don't know, I made a thread in System Wars about the same thing. However, this blog is what I actually feel, because I added SW flavour to make it interesting and to get hilarious responses.

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Sony and Microsoft really need to prove to me why I need their console and what sets it apart. This entire generation I feel like both the PS3 and the 360 have no identity that separates them from the competition.

I feel like post 2004, Nintendo has been taking the proper steps in enticing me (and others) with new and interesting methods of controlling or changing the way you interact with video games. The DS was a huge shift in the handheld world and the Wii added a new standard that both Sony and Microsoft tried to imitate.

For me getting a Wii U means I'll have all the Nintendo titles I want, probably getting all the multiplat titles for at least 2-3 years and being satisfied. On top of that, mostly whatever else I need will be on a Gaming PC which I plan to get eventually. I also feel like a Gaming PC is a much smarter investment because it's easy to upgrade throughout the years, it's performance is unmatched by consoles and it has the most flexibility of all the consoles.

So I feel like if I get a Wii U, PC and a 3DS I'll be totally covered for what I want.

I'm not totally discounting Sony and Microsoft, but I really don't want a conventional console from them. That stuff bores me now, I need something else. That's not to say I'm a total fanboy - I'm pretty open to buying any platform so long as the games are there. I've owned at least 2 SEGA machines, 2 Playstation machines, 1 Xbox machine and all of the Nintendo machines save the Virtual Boy.

That being said, if Sony and Microsoft do something interesting, or have an interesting pricing model, or have a stronger first party line up that appeals to me, I'll be on board.

I'll wait and see once we see their consoles, however I'm not expecting much in terms of swaying away from traditional conventions - and that makes me sad.

New Purchase -- A New Laptop For University and Post-University.

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I purchased a new laptop over the weekend.

It's a bit of a weird situation but I'll do my best to explain. Normally, my program at school offered every student a laptop. After two years, they provide you with a new model. So during my first two years I was using a Dell Latitude D630. After that, I received a Dell Latitude E6410 which is what I'm still using ... until May 7th.

I'm technically suppose to graduate this year, however I'm staying back an extra year. I've divided my course load into two years instead of one final year - so I'm taking 3 courses per semester to wrap up my degree. Usually, I'd be able to receive the new laptop next year, however my program has eliminated that laptop program. So my options are either continue using the Dell Latitude E6410 for another year, paying $400 a semester and being able to buy it out for $1 at the end of the year (April 2013). The other option is returning the laptop by May 7th and getting my own, I opted out for getting my own.

The Dell Latitude E6410 is pretty lacking. No HDMI port, no USB 3.0 port, no webcam, onboard integrated video card (Intel HD 3000), 120GB HDD -- the only good thing is it has an Intel Core i5 m520 2.4GHz processor and 3GB of RAM. It was also a 14.1" laptop.

So that being said, I picked up this:

A Lenovo ThinkPad x120e.

It's got an 11.6" screen with a weaker processor than my current one. It has an AMD E-350 Dual Core, 4GB of ram, AMD Radeon HD 6310, 320GB HDD, a built in webcam, 3 USB ports, one USB 3.0 port, HDMI port, VGA port and a headphone jack. This also comes with Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, where as the Dell Latitude E6410 came with Enterprise 32 bit (which makes no sense to not run 64 bit).

I'm okay sacrificing a bit of computing power for a more compact, well built machine. Also, the thing has some more power capabilities in running games and what not which is always a nice addition. Now, I'm just waiting for exams to be over before I dual boot Ubuntu 12.04 (it'll be out by the 26th, my last exam is the 27th).

All in all, the Lenovo is a nice machine. They keyboard is a lot nicer to use, it's pretty small and compact and it'll get the job done. I just need to get the license for the full version of office and I'll be good to go.