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New Beginnings

Hello all,

This is a bittersweet post to write, so I will try and keep it brief.

When I first joined GameSpot back in May 2011, there were many things I had yet to experience. I didn't have a beard, I'd never been to E3, and I'd never seen Seb Ford with his shirt off.

Needless to say, a lot has changed.

My time at GameSpot has brought a lot of change into my life. After three years of working alongside some truly excellent (and in many cases inspiring) people, I am a far better journalist, a more confident individual, and definitely more of a handful than I was at the start.

All good things, however, must come to an end. It's time for me to stretch myself again, so I am leaving my full time position at GameSpot in order to pursue a freelance career.

Happily I will still be producing Feedbackula for GameSpot, but (with luck) you should also see me popping up in other places around the internet.

If you want to follow my progress on this frankly terrifying new journey, my twitter is @johnneh, and you can find me on tumblr at

As for you guys, thanks for giving me the chance to do some really exciting things, some really dumb things, and all the things in between.

Don't go a bed.


EDIT: I realised I didn't give a time frame for my semi-departure. I will be in the office full time until the 12th of February, so there's time for a bit more silliness yet.

Feedbackula's lost episode

Hello there!

A while ago, I put out an episode of Feedbackula about Assassin's Creed 3. In it, I said that my original intention was to have Medal of Honor: Warfighter take the stage, but that reading the comments had frankly made me too depressed to go ahead with it. Some people have asked for a bit of clarification, so I decided I'd just post the script in its uncompleted form for anyone who fancies giving it a read.

In case you end up wondering, UPSOT is the term we use in scripts when we want there to be a big boom or pithy line from a trailer to follow whatever it is we've just said. It's a way of punctuating the video. SOT means Sound On Tape, so UPSOT is Up-Sound on Tape.

Enjoy... if you can.

Hello! Youre watching Feedbackula, the show Cliff Blezinski described as who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house

[Menacing stare]


This week were talking about Medal of Honor: Warfighter - or, more aptly, Medal of Honor: Warfighter-fighter, Tom McShea. This is him. This isnt him. Mc Shea, not Mc Shea. Mc Shea, not Mc Shea. You get the idea.


Anyway! In case you missed it, Tom recently wrote an article called Medal of Honor: Warfighters Dirty Secret Fuels the Flames of Hatred. And, if you didnt guess, it was fairly opinionated. Tom argued that Medal of Honor: Warfighter makes an irresponsible and sickening show of things in its portrayal of the enemy. Combatants are plonked down in front of you without any contextualisation or motive exploration, and to top it off theyre given stupid A.I, further dehumanising them. Tom argues Medal of Honor: Warfighter is designed to widen the gulf between the West and the rest of the world, and to promote an image of warfare as fun.

Having read it, you guys commented on it quite a bit. 2000 times, in fact. I should know, I read them. All of them.


Toms article was strongly worded, make no mistake. Our user reaction though was no less intense, ranging from the heavily opinionated to the downright f***ing scary.


I guess we should just go back to killing Germans. no one complained then.


If we humanized terrorists, they wouldnt be terrorists. They dont want to be humanized. They want to be symbols of fear, thats what makes them terrorists.


Excellent article, Tom! Congratulations! It is so much easier to paint the enemies in non-human colors, turning the war into a good against evil struggle. It isn't realistic at all, but it is easier.

- non human colours - what, like green?


First of all this is a video game.. No one really wants a realistic war game.. realistic to an extent. But what really happens in combat you can't put into a video game. After having been in afghanistan I don't believe that the developers should give them such justice as giving them a reason or whatever in a game. They are cold bastards that are cowards. Everything that was mentioned in the game could be precisely put toward Call of Duty and even more so.. But since CoD is a cash cow all the HORRIBLE development gets over looked. But its whatever.


I'm assuming this is a deliberate 'controversy for clicks' style article because no one can be that naive or stupid. Ignorant, possibly, but not that naive or stupid. First off, all muslims are extremists. ALL of them. It's simply a matter of degrees in how extreme they are.

Right, stop there. Its unsurprising a lot of the comments turned to Islam and the ethics of warfare, but thats straight up wrong. Its not opinion, its just bollocks. Muslims arent all extremists. Extremists are extremists, and those people arent true Muslims. Theyre twisting the meaning behind a peaceful religion to meet their own ends and try to gain influence. JUST LIKE MILITANT CHRISTIANS.

[Westboro baptist footage]

Islamophobia is not ok, and saying someone deserves to die because youve arbitrarily designated them your enemy is definitely not ok.


Now I have to say I dont entirely agree with Toms article - I feel like he makes a good point, but this issue is not isolated to Medal of Honor alone, nor is it especially new. That said, one thing it does do exceedingly well is question the form our games take, which - bafflingly - is something many people seem against entertaining even as a concept - as exemplified by this comment.


In MOH Warfighter, you play as a soldier. As a soldier, you do as you are told, and you do not question orders. If your CO says they're bad guys, they are bad guys and you shoot them. Period. Fleshing out the enemy would bring the player out of the main character's head, and completely ruin the authenticity that Danger Close was going for. (Please note, the word authenticity, not realism.) Part of the authentic portrayal of being a soldier is shooting when you're told to shoot, and not questioning.

Thing is, mariomaster16, when youre playing medal of honor, YOU ARENT A SOLDIER. The same freedom to burst into a room relatively unconcerned about getting shot and killed because you can respawn that the game affords you, is the same freedom which lets you question the validity of whats actually going on. Take your first kill in the game, for instance. This guys just chilling, trying to get warm by a bin, and youre going to shoot him in the head. You can stand there all night if you want, hell never notice you. And you also cant move your reticule to anywhere other than the back of his head. At this point, youve not received any back story other than the few lines of mission briefing before you start. Your first real action in the game is to kill someone based on the blind assumption that they deserve one in the back of the head. Im not saying war games cant be gritty, but its an odd thing to place such a moment right at the start of the game.


And another thing, it's fictional, you don't have to like it, you don't have to play it, you don't have to agree with the story writer, b*tch about it til you're blue in the face, but don't try and stifle it, in an age where many forms of expression are becoming unacceptable, because it might offend someone, or hurt someone's gotta stand behind everyone's right to speak, no matter what you think about their words.


WTF about terrorist's families are you talking about Tom Mcshea? Who cares about that? The game's storyline says these enemies need to die, and we gamers need to execute that directive. Cut the bull about human emotion and concern. I say frag their asses.

And that is why the army will probably try and recruit you very soon!



bigruss51 thats ALL the intention for this articles. There is no grey matter in them at all. They want ratings, they want flame wars. VERY IRRESPONSIBLE REPORTING.


[Shot of self flagellation ceremony - flail, gimp mask, sign saying I tried to start an intelligent discussion]

Community Service: BEARDMAGEDDON


What is this?
We have some drinks and play games after work, chat with the community and special guests. This week our guest is Gav Murphy, who has a beard. I have one too, which is why the theme is Beardmageddon. Let's just hope we don't get our faces stuck together like velcro.

Where can I watch?

6PM - London
1PM - Eastern
12AM - Central
11AM - Mountain
10AM - Pacific

How do I get involved?
Log into the Twitch chatroom, follow us on twitter and ask questions@johnneh. We'll be getting the community involved in playing games with us this week, so listen out for instructions in the show itself.

What Game you playing?
Minecraft, in honour of Notch's beard! There'll also be a quick beard based grudge match between myself and Gav on WWE All Stars, and then if there's time we're going to jump on a shooter of some kind.

Who's this week's guest?
Why it's Future Publishing's very own Gav Murphy! You can follow him on twitter @cymrogav

Hope to see you there folks.
Who's tuning in?

I'm at E3!


I'm at Eh Eh Eh! After over a decade of wanting to get here, I, erm, well, I am here.

The jet lag isn't affecting me too badly, I am relieved to say. Currently watching the Microsoft conference (streamed) at the GameSpot war room (not sure what the actual name is, but the air conditioning just came on and for that I am extremely grateful).

I'm not sure how much I'll be checking in on my blog over the week, partially because we're all going to be extremely busy, and partly because nobody tends to read this thing. Best bet would be to follow me on Twitter (@Johnneh) or search #GameSpotE3.

I made a video

It's a video about a sandwich. Watch it!

Be warned though, I done a swear in it. Sorry everyone.

I'm making a game! (Probably)


I imagine some of you will already be aware of Choice of Games, but for those who don't know, it's a team of developers who make text based choose-your-own adventures. These include Choice of the Dragon, Choice of Zombies, and (my present favourite), Choice of Broadsides.

They're frankly brilliant but, best of all, the devs have made their programming software available for all to use. I've been trying to find myself a writing project to get behind lately, and decided this would be a fun challenge. So starting, well, about twenty minutes ago, I'm writing my own text based game, which I will also be blogging about intermittently on here.

(EDIT: Just realised that by making this blog post I really have to do this now. Kind of terrified)

I haven't named it yet, though I have chosen a premise and start point - one that is very dear to my heart and the degree I did at university (though, I hasten to add, it is not Choice of the Student).

If anyone has done something like this before and has any suggestions / advice, that would be most kind. Failing that I will also accept a good knock knock joke. Leave me a comment or tweet at me here.

Onward, to (choose-your-own) adventure!

Dude, seriously, loot something.

Skyrim DLC! Exciting!

Teaser image! Bland!


Seriously dude, you've been adventuring since November and you're still running around in that tatty horned helmet. Get some better threads for God's sake, you're an embarrassment to the Nords.

Escape from Mount Stupid


You might have noticed already, but with the publication of the Max Payne episode, season 2 of Escape from Mount Stupid has come to a close.

Danny and I are going on a bit of a break, but before long we'll start knocking ideas around for season 3. So, if you have any suggestions for topics or game series you'd like to see covered, leave a comment below.

You can also find us on twitter if you like, we're @dannyodwyer and @johnneh. No prizes for guessing who's who.

Thanks all!


P.S. Sorry I haven't been updating this thing much recently, it's been a hectic couple of months.

Buh-buh-buh Bafta

Tonight I will be covering the Video Game Baftas from inside the winner's room. It will be my fourth year running, which makes me feel slightly dizzy.

This time last year, I was working for a different company. I was afraid to approach Seb and Mark because I was waiting to hear back about my interview for GameSpot, and didn't know if they were aware or not.

Now I'm just approaching my first GameSpot birthday, and I talk to Mark and Seb all the time. A little bit too much for my liking, actually.

Time is a strange thing.

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