Early access is the modern cancer of games industry. That used to be free to play monetization methods in my mind but lately that thought has changed. While they remain an issue ftp is more an assault on the sense, something that activates the gag reflex and makes you wretch into the air a few times before pushing on. People of course differ in how dull their senses may be from simple skittles dripping from the mouth to a large pool of vomit for the particular heinous elements.
Eco epitomizes the feeling of potentia in its current state. A game and idea around it that screams of the possibilities but one in which is both muddied by its current alpha state, but also because of how convoluted many of it’s mechanics and systems are. Looking at it right now and I am rather unsure of its future because of it. The next big thing in Minecraft-inspired sandboxes, or just another in a long range of failures.
I’ve been writing a little bit more for MMOGames lately and while the posts hadn’been released for a bit it seems the New Year is the perfect time. So let’s get into it.
A fun first one was a post looking at the official The Secret World merchandise that opened up with Funcom’s new online storefront. I love the idea of game merchandise and TSW has such rich theming, lore and character design that it should be an easy slam dunk but no – we got half-assed lazy designs printed on a basic tee with no thought of the product itself. It reeks of lack of effort.
And with that thought in mind I thought of 10 merchandise items that I’d actually want to see – and buy. Items that take the best elements of the world while still being within the realm of possibilities.
It seems another start to a year where people in the MMO community are feeling a little lost again. We all seem to look forward at times like these to see how the industry is going and what we ourselves have to look forward to. Last year wasn’t great unfortunately so I think this longing and looking onwards was magnified – and mostly you come up a little blank. There are no big MMOs to look forward to, either Eastern or Western really.
Me though I always seem to be rather hopefully for the future, and MMO experiences I’ve yet to enjoy. Even though I rant and rage, generally spreading my personal blend of cynicism it’s a feeling that I keep contained in thoughts of the present rather than the future. Even with MMOs I may attack with a fervent rage, I still see elements of wonder within them. It ain’t all bad after all and this is what I tried to channel in this posts of Anticipated MMOs in 2016
And now, after talking about the positives is the complete counter to that though with my review of The Exiled, formerly Das Tal. I want to like indie games and MMOs, I really do but there was absolutely nothing I enjoyed about The Exiled and no way I can see it possible getting to be an experience worthy of my time. It’s a small team, and they do have some interesting ideas and the foundation design is solid – it’s just something that is lacking the scope and polish needed to ever compete.
A better late than never update here for an awesome podcast with yours truly and a few other mmo and gaming podcasters.
Episode 5: Kicksarter and gaming, ethical crowdfunding, content creation and community in a post factual world and the ebb and flow of blogging
With Syl, Liore, Eri and Roger
For a while now it’s been the common thought that toxicity in gaming is just this weird vocal minority. A small group making trouble harassing woman, poc, and others and general acting like assholes but now – now it seems that’s not exactly true. The US election has shown us all this isn’t true with a huge number of people voting for, and by proxy, supporting a ignorant, angry, misogynistic racist. They are showing they don’t care about these elements and those they affect or worse, actively embodying these beliefs themselves. I am honestly rather shocked and appalled at that huge number right now and even if Hillary did the win the effects of Trumpism were going to be long lasting.
One of its core tenets seem to be this apparent war against political correctness that the gaming menimists have been chanting for some time now. The ability to access every platform out there, to say whatever very you want, to whoever you want without recourse. That anyone attempting to showcase diversity in the form of women, poc, lgbt, and other minorities is merely pandering to the so called SJW movement. That attempting and aiming for progress, for change is some kind of abhorrent ideal. Like… How dare they, and this is what I see when I watched those results pour in. A backlash against change. Against Progress. Against the other.
That’s not something they want to see, or deal with. They want their quiet little bubble back and fuck everyone else creating this division we currently see yet forgetting just how much they have tormented, ostracised, and discriminated against these poeple for years. Those feminists corrupting the media with their fancy critiques and game analysis. How dare they maybe.. possibly.. get a few percent more female characters. Them damn blacks are getting AAA protagonists now too – like 2 this year is so fucking unsettling. And of course it’s all about ethics in gaming journalism right. So sexism, racism and a distrust for media – or hate against the other, the founding pillars of trumpism and something that has been highlighted as much larger than we thought.
And then there is the hate. I’ve felt it, I know many others have around me as well and we see it each and every day amongst twitter, youtube, twitch, reddit, and elsewhere around the gaming community. Even then, with the tirade of toxicity I held the idea that it is still a small group of toxic assholes being as loud, obnoxious and obvious as they possibly can to make their position larger than it is. To make it seem more important and powerful, and I was comforted by the fact that only the most dejected, lonely, loser could possibly think like that. I mean how could people not believe in diversity, and inclusivity? How could people be so filled with hate? But they can, and are for mostly misguided reasons believing they are being forgotten and ignored when, by and large the majority of gaming, the culture at large, and western civilization is still overtly focused around them and their experience.
Why, because intrinsically many of these poeple consider themselves and their view more valuable than others – that’s plain to see, and become angry when the situation even slightly changes. You look around at the industry and we aren’t even close to parity when it comes to representation. The majority of our characters are still white males and yet even the slight changes we’ve seen are enough to threaten this. Enough to make it feel unequal to them, to make it feel like they are less…. no… equal to those around them. That is abhorrent to them after feeling so entitled over the years to the entirety of what this medium creates. And thus we see the lashing out with hate.
Now of course there are larger ramifications with this election than gaming right now, or likely to be results of it anyway. Changes that are going to possibly affect many people’s livelihood and I am so deeply perturbed by that as well. I actually cried watching it last night and still tear up thinking about the pain, anguish, and fear it is creating and will create. I’m not american though, and I don’t know there political system. I can’t rally and fight for those rights from abroad that well but what I can do is speak up for the mediums I do know, the communities I am present in and fight this change. Because make no mistake, this is an issue for us to fight as well. A culture of hate, ignorance and toxicity that has been growing for some time now has just been legitimised to a certain extent and I expect the emboldened assholes will creep out from their holes louder, and in greater numbers than before. But that just means I too will be more vocal to contest that – to offer an alternate view.
I don’t intend to let twitter trolls derail a conversation anymore, or misinformed youtube idiots to spread their idiocy. I won’t just fall back to silence when entering voice oriented games I enjoy, or stay quiet around the misogynistic monologue we so often here in our daily gaming lives. Fuck that, and fuck them. This isn’t their space alone. It is meant for everyone.
I’ve talked before about how my gaming obsession has often functioned as a limiting factor on my life. Taking up large chunks of my time that would probably.. definitely be better spent elsewhere and without, would have made it much further in my studies and profession. I have spent a lot of my energy playing, researching and thinking about gaming – and just otherwise been too preoccupied with it to focus on the aspects of my life. I have no doubt it has affected my relationship at certain points as well, slightly and severely.
Weirdly I don’t have any regrets though because in part it has served as a huge area of stress release for me while growing up and even now. Stepping into other worlds and escaping from the here and now, even if just for a short time has always been a positive thing for me. I actually don’t get too stressed from childcare, unlike many, but it is something that kind of recharges my energy levels. Being more introverted and forcing out that extraverted appeal for a day does take a lot out of me most days and gaming seems like the perfect way to recover. To forget about anything, become completely insular with my headphones on and that wonderful screen light tanning and completely relax.
The other element that gaming has helped immeasurable is my self-confidence. It’s been a rather gradual increase over time and one that has mostly been because of gaming and has mostly resulted in me being far more confident in both relaying my opinion and speaking up when needed to. I used to be rather nervous and quiet. Not exactly quiet but still avoiding conversation and ESPECIALLY conflict if I possible could. Even if that meant a worse result for me, which it often would.
But now I’m more likely to speak my mind which has obviously made me a better team leader in childcare. I more confident in stating my opinion and directing people where I need and where is best. I am more confident in my relationship with asking for what I need, standing up for myself, and I generally worry far less about my own personal failings that I just can’t change. My feelings about my body and myself are more positive, less focused on the negative which obviously makes me much happier in the long run.
Of course I’m still worried at times about my broken janky nose, my pudgy little tummy and other things like that but not enough that it becomes crippling to my self esteem and ability to live. Like i sometimes did. And of course – I no longer give a shit about what bullies and trolls think which we so often find in life not just in gaming. Being able to shut down these people, and defend others form their idiocy is something I’m very happy I’m able to do now.
And that’s another reason why I’m thankful to gaming, and don’t regret my time and experiences. What are you thankful for?
Post number 24 foir Blaugust2016