What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Fruzsina Eördögh

Fruzsina Eördögh, YouTube reporter

The online video maven gets a high from collaborating with strangers in online games.

By Ryan Smith • July 20, 2012

In What Are You Playing This Weekend? we discuss gaming and such with prominent figures in the pop-culture arena. We always start with the same question.

Fruzsina Eördögh is a Chicago-based journalist who recently joined the technology blog ReadWriteWeb as a YouTube reporter. She previously wrote about the video sharing megasite for The Daily Dot.

The Gameological Society: What are you playing this weekend?

Eördögh: Diablo III or Team Fortress 2. Team Fortress 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. It’s the more artistic, creative, intelligent form of Call Of Duty. A lot of the artwork is nostalgic and it’s inspired by Norman Rockwell, so even though it’s a very violent game where you’re blowing each other up, it’s also very charming and a throwback to a more naïve time.

Gameological: I’ve seen internet quizzes like “Which TF2 character are you?” Can you accurately judge someone’s personality based on what character they choose?

Eördögh: Kind of. I mean, I like playing as the medic, but that’s because I like winning, and you need a good support character to win a lot. It’s interesting, though, because a lot of medics can be quite bitchy, and yelling at team members to do this, do that, do this.

Gameological: So you’re saying medics can act like football coaches.

Eördögh: Yeah, exactly. They’re in the game, but they’re not on the front lines in the main battle. So, because you’re behind the action, you usually have a better ability to assess your team and what challenges your team is facing. It’s a great game because when you do win, it’s usually with this random group of strangers who’ve managed to work well with and accomplished this goal in 15 minutes. You get this big endorphin high from it. 

Gameological: You’re a YouTube reporter—that’s an actual job?

Eördögh: Yes, I am, believe it or not.

Gameological: Have you learned much about gaming culture through YouTube?

Eördögh: I’m always surprised at how many gaming commentators there are and how popular some of them have become. There are hundreds of YouTubers now who make six figures a month off the site and many of them are gaming-related. But yeah, it’s difficult because I’ve only been covering YouTube for about a year, and it’s impossible to stay up to date on everything because there is 72 hours of video being uploaded every minute. There’s no way for one human to see it all. As a YouTube reporter, I sometimes feel like I’ve been sent to cover Beijing in China, and I’m just one reporter sent to cover the entire city.

Gameological: Your article for The Daily Dot on YouTube’s “Reply Girls” made quite a stir.

Eördögh: Yeah, Fox News even did their own take on my article, and it looks like they may have read it but didn’t digest it very well, because I embedded a clip of a girl who is actually making fun of the reply girls, but Fox presented her as a real reply girl herself.

Gameological: Fair and balanced.

Eördögh: Right.

Gameological: It seemed like this Reply Girl story resonated with a lot of people, though.

Eördögh: You had this group of women gaming Google’s algorithms for months, some of them making 15 grand, even 30 grand a month, an insane amount of money, on these silly videos shot in their bedroom where they were simply relying on their cleavage and preying on men’s weakness for sex. People got really mad at the women and the community outrage got pretty insane. They were bullying these women, making petitions. But it’s interesting to me because men have been making money on women’s cleavage for the longest time on YouTube. Some of YouTube’s first millionaires only got where they are because they used misleading thumbnails of women with scandalous outfits. Just click candy. But when you have women doing it, it’s an outrage.

Gameological: There was a part of you that appreciates the fact that women were self-exploiting and gaining from it.

Eördögh: Exactly. Women can’t for some reason be in charge of their own exploitation.

Gameological: It’s interesting because in the games industry, it’s still mostly men making profits off digitized versions of boobs.

Eördögh: Yeah, but at the end of the day, I don’t understand why people are so bent out of shape at the idea of people sexualizing each other. We’re all animals, and that’s something we all do. There’s a reason why [reply girls] were getting the attention they were getting, and you can’t tell me a girl wouldn’t check out a thumbnail of a guy with a nice body. People just like looking at sexy things, so it’s hard to get too mad at men and women for succumbing to their animalistic impulses.

Gameological: So you’re not offended by the way a lot of women are portrayed in modern games?

Eördögh: I only get mad, like in Batman: Arkham City, when nothing nice was said about a woman. It was all, bitch, bitch, slut, whore. There was no normal female character, and that’s a problem. It seemed like a game made for men who didn’t think highly of women.

I actually wrote a blog post about the rape scenario in that new Lara Croft game recently because they said they were going to remove the scene. So they basically silenced these video game creators talking about rape. But number one, this is what happens to rape victims all the time, and number two, bullying a company to not portray rape is silly because we don’t talk about it enough. It needs to happen in games. One in five women will be raped in their lifetime, it’s a very common problem. Plus, there wasn’t anything wrong with that sequence in Tomb Raider. She’s defending herself, it’s very empowering. If it was trivializing rape, that would be an issue. I mean an attractive person like Lara Croft is kidnapped by horny pirates, you think they aren’t going to make a pass on her after weeks? Denying that as a possibility is silly. Pretending it’s not a possibility is part of the issue.

Gameological: Then you have games like Call Of Duty: Black Ops with a segment where your job is to physically torture someone with a sharp piece of glass. Yet when it comes to something with sexual content, it becomes taboo.

Eördögh: Yeah, it’s a conversation we need to be having. Part of the problem is that we’re afraid to talk about it. 

Gameological: Speaking of conversations, I’ve always felt like YouTube comments are some of the lowest form of communication.

Eördögh: The great thing about YouTube comments is that it’s a pretty good spectrum of everyone on the internet. It depends on the videos you’re watching. If you have a video about gender inequality, you might have death threats from guys but then you’ll also have people trying to have a serious conversation. For any trending video, you definitely have a share of ridiculous comments because people like trolling. So I feel like people mocking YouTube comments are mocking society in general. It’s a video hub of society, a lens of what’s going on. Video games are a huge industry and that’s why it’s huge on YouTube too.

And now, we put the question to you. Tell us what you’ve been playing lately, and which games—video or otherwise—are on your playlist for the weekend.

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517 Responses to “Fruzsina Eördögh, YouTube reporter”

  1. HobbesMkii says:

    I assume I’ll be playing something I bought for $2.50 off Steam.

    • Enkidum says:

      Yeah, I mean, you could equally argue that Gameological Society comments are a reflection of society. In a sense, they are, but clearly it’s a very particular subset of society who are behaving differently because they’re online. Most people don’t comment on Youtube videos, and even the worst of the people who do act very differently there than they do IRL.

      • caspiancomic says:

         It’s true. In my offline life, I am a complete animal.

      • Electric Dragon says:

        YouTube isn’t really a persistent community like the Gameological Society. Perhaps some individual videos might foster this kind of thing, but there’s far too likely to be simply a transient population, leading to drive-by (browse-by?) trolling. In a persistent community there’s a greater incentive to improve one’s reputation (as long as that community isn’t so big that no-one “knows” others).

        Communities can put mechanisms in place to improve those incentives. For example, moderation or active participation by the editors/contributors. On the GS, the Comment Cat also has this function. When there’s the possibility of egoboo via getting the Comment Cat’s attention, it causes
        people to improve the quality of their comments. This creates a positive feedback loop.

        Another contributing factor is extra-community links – such as the Steam group.

        • Enkidum says:

          Good points. At any rate, though, I think it’s silly to talk about any website being some sort of clean reflection of society as a whole – the way one interacts online is shaped far too much by the specifics of the website. Which I think is consistent with what you say.

    • X_the_Anonymous_Man_or_Woman says:

       If youtube comments are an accurate reflection of society we really need the cold war to start back up but this time end with nuclear armageddon.

      Although I guess the middle east is working on that now.

    • I was going to say that the only reason YouTube comments are so heinous is because of their anonymity. But I don’t think that’s the whole story. Many people write heinous things on Twitter under their real names. 

      The problem is that internet comments allow us to ignore dissent. We can post something violent and hateful, grunt, and then walk away, confident that we have just made the most mind-blowing observation in the history of the universe. 

      Sure, other users will reply with well-thought-out rebuttals, the comment will get hundreds of thumbs-down, and may even get flagged for removal. But we can easily filter out all of that negative feedback. 

      In real life, there’s no way to filter out that negative feedback. There’s a whole spectrum of dissent in real life. A misogynistic rant will be met with a disapproving look, or a lecture about ignorance. In extreme cases, the rant will be interrupted by orders to “shut up”, or possibly a punch to the face. 

      Insofar as the Internet constitutes “reality”, one’s own perception of that reality can be deliberately controlled with ease. 

    • Sarapen says:

      It’s easy to forget, but a lot of people today still don’t have Internet access. Actually, there are still people out there who are illiterate. Which means that no online community can ever be a cross-section of any society and any statement otherwise comes from a position of privilege.

      • HobbesMkii says:

        I just want to say that this is an incredibly brilliant comment. There are plenty of people who do have the means to have an influence on society, yet lack e-communications platforms.

  2. Dead Island! I’m digging it so far. 

    • Mookalakai says:

      It’s so deep and emotionally involved!
      It’s actually pretty fun, but really dumb.

    • Fixda Fernback says:

      That’s random that you’re also just getting into Dead Island! I bought it about a week, week and a half ago. Probably put a good 10 hours in so far, I just reached the city (Moresby?) and am at about level 24 I think. What platform are you playing on? I’ve barely used the co-op but it seems like it would be pretty fun. Also, did you opt for the analog combat controls? I’m having a blast with them.

      • Yeah, I’m late to the party. I got it for ten bucks on steam and I’m enjoying the hell out of it. I played solo for a while, but my buddy and I have been playing a whole lot of co-op and its a blast. They have a really cool feature where they scale the level of the monsters and the loot locally, so my friend could join my lvl 20 character’s game with his new character. 
        I’m playing on a mouse and keyboard, and I’d actually never heard of the analogue controls. I looked them up, and they seem really interesting. I might try them out on a controller sometime. 

  3. EmperorNortonI says:

    My long-ago decision to never watch internet video has resulted in me being more and more cut off from the mainstream.  I actually got sick of the form in its infancy, before YouTube was developed, when a bunch of friends who I hadn’t seen in forever thought that the best possible way for us to spend time together was to show me all the dumb videos they’d found on the net while I’d been away.  Grrr.  Never again, I said, never again.  As such, I have absolutely no idea what this article is talking about.

    As for this weekend, I’m torn between giving Crusader Kings 2 another run, or delving into New Vegas.  I got both on the Steam sale.  I’ve played the Paradox games ever since EU2, and was even involved in modding EU3 right after release, but it’s been a long time since I’ve really gotten involved in actually playing a Paradox grand strategy game.  The problem is, as soon as I start to understand the game well enough to get into it, I also start to catch onto all the gamey ways to break the game and conquer the world.  The fact that this is a possibility at all annoys me, and then I get annoyed by every little thing that makes it possible, and then I stop wanting to play.  Also, I tend to reach a certain point, and ask myself, “why?” and then quit my game.  The aimlessness of it gets to me, I guess.  I suppose this very thing is what leads many to world conquest.

    Team Fortress has been a lot of fun in the two weeks since I started playing it.  Yay fun shooter.

    I’ve been starting to learn hockey, playing NHL2k10 with a friend on the XBox.  The game is entirely new to me, making it a bit hard, but so far I can report that the “controlling guys to defend and score” thing is pretty fun.  When I play Madden, I just call plays and let the PC do everything, so this is new.  Also, Modern Warfare 3 on survival mode.  Kinda fun.

    Memoir 44 has not been kind to me this week.  Horrible unlucky streak, leading to games that just aren’t fun.

    • Mookalakai says:

       Whenever someone tells me there’s a hilarious video on youtube I have to see, I develop a lower opinion of that person, so I think you have the right mindset. It’s an extreme viewpoint, but these are trying times, and we’re at war. You’re not missing much by abstaining from internet videos.

    • Electric Dragon says:

      I tend to use YouTube as a TV clip or music video archive.

      • EmperorNortonI says:

         And on that point, there’s a ton of useful and educational stuff there.  When I was teaching the Stone Age, it was great to be able to pull up a video of a guy making a chert spearpoint, and it was great having video of a musket being loaded and fired at speed to show my students working on Napoleonics.

        But for my own entertainment?  No.  And I will simply walk out of the room if people start showing each other YouTube videos – it’s an endless cycle that I just don’t want to participate in.

      • BarbleBapkins says:

        I always make a distinction in my head between videos that happen to be on YouTube, and “Youtube videos.” I basically only use it for the former (like you say, music and tv and the like).  I just don’t see the appeal of most of the stuff that is made specifically for YouTube, but to each their own.

        Also, YouTube comment blocker addons for Firefox make the site about 100 times more palatable. I don’t know what it is about watching a 3:50 minute video of the lyrics to a Rolling Stones song that brings out peoples’ latent homophobia, but I am glad to avoid it.

      • Electric Dragon says:

         Oh! and following the cricket (or lack thereof) in another tab reminds me of the terrific channel of robelinda2 who compiles great clips of cricket matches throughout the televised era of the sport. In many cases he’s transferred them from his own video archive.

    • Maudib says:

      As a newbie to TF2, I actually prefer medic because I can’t go wrong in my mind.  You pick someone, hide behind them and keep healing until one of us dies.  If it is them, I scamper back to cover squealing, and latch onto someone else to be my meat shield. Even though everyone else is dropping dead due to my tunnel vision, I at least kept someone alive longer. so technically I helped.

      But I guess I am doing it all wrong because I should be the master strategist.  Seems odd, I trust suicidal berserkers know how to carve the path to victory better than me.

      • EmperorNortonI says:

         There’s also a thing about situational awareness, some people have it and should lead, and some don’t.  But also, if you’re typing out orders and commands, you can’t really do that while you’re in the heat of battle, and TF2 is too fast for the fighty classes to NOT be engaged in battle.

        Now, as machine gunner or plain rifleman in Red Orchestra, I was quite often a team coordinator, but in that game, there were lots and lots of times to just put your head down and hide for a few seconds, while I typed out my timeless wisdom.

      • AHyperkineticLagomorph says:

        Well, actually, as a medic, you CAN go wrong, but you’re apparently not doing the number one thing a medic can do: go on the offense. Unless your pocket (fancy speak for the guy you’re healing consistently) dies and there’s no one else around, or there’s a spy behind you and you don’t have time to warn your friends, a medic shouldn’t really attack.

        Also, know how to ubercharge people (I’m amazed at how many medics don’t realize their most important ability exists) and don’t use the Quick-Fix. Seriously. It’s terrible.

        As long as you keep those things in mind, playing a medic to get a feel for the maps and the flow of the game is a great way to learn while still being a credit to the team.

        • Maudib says:

           When I live long enough, I do indeed uber-charge.  How could a medic not exploit temporary invulnerability?  Sometimes I waste it though when I misjudge how far from the battle I am.

          And I hate changing weapons, so I never go offensive.  My touch ball mouse lacks a scroll wheel, so when I lose my meat shield, I am bashing my number pad in a blind panic as I try to flee for my life. All it does is disorient me and I end up running into my death.

          What’s the community’s opinion on medics who don’t favor one person, but stay behind to try to heal everyone up?

        • AHyperkineticLagomorph says:

           @Maudib:disqus I think there are a number of players who do not do the tutorial and thus do not know ubercharges exist. Several times I’ve had a medic with 100% full not use it on me, or themselves, despite clear danger, and then explain they didn’t know it was a thing.

          For switching weapons, I like to set it to quick-switch in the advanced options. That way, as medic, I only need keys 1-3. The scroll wheel is almost never used. But yes, in most cases, medics shouldn’t be fighting, anyway.

          In general, medics should be on or near the front lines. However, sticking to one person exclusively is usually frowned upon. In other words, if you’re sticking to a heavy, who has a full 150% health, and you’re next to a demo-man with 20% health and the heavy is NOT under direct fire, heal the demo, too. In fact, there’s incentive to do this. Healing targets at less than 100% health actually builds your uber meter faster.

          Of course, if you’re healing someone who is under heavy fire, it’s advised to not wander off.

        • BarbleBapkins says:

          In general, Medics should try to stick with good people, especially if they are classes like Soldiers and Heavies for protection, however they should try to heal (or overheal) everyone they are near. Nothing is worse than those Medics who join a server with a friend and flat-out refuse to heal anyone else!

          Don’t worry about “wasting” an Ubercharge. Most of the time it is much better to use one too early than waiting too long, dying and not getting to use it at all.

      • BarbleBapkins says:

        Medic is a great class to begin with for a couple of reasons. Any medic, no matter how good, is often more useful than having one more of the other classes (especially in a pub where medics are rare), and since the best skill a medic can have is a good awareness of the battlefield, it is a good way to learn from watching other people.

        Honestly, most people won’t listen to you if you actually start calling out any strategy more in depth than “wait a sec until my uber is built.” As a matter of fact, if you are using a mic I have found that is actually a good way to get muted by your team!

    • The_Misanthrope says:

       I’m with you on avoiding viral videos.  Granted, sometimes a reputable site will link me to something on YouTube or I’ll go looking for a specific thing I need, like a Let’s Play or a video that explains some tech thing beyond my ken, but these occasions are rare.  There are useful videos on YouTube, but Sturgeon’s Law demands that the vast majority is a load of crap.  It absolutely boggles my mind that people can make respectable money doing these videos.  I always figured that the whole YouTube boom was just a bubble that would burst some day, but what do I know?

  4. Sandwichands says:

    Finshed LA Noire. Yes its kind of a lame ending. But the game has some pacing that I really liked. I felt it changed gears (you know what I mean) at just the right time towards the end and those last few missions were great fun. At the end of the day it was a fun story and the gameplay mechanics sort of worked. That’s pretty good compared to a lot of crap out there. 

    I have just started playing Beyond Good and Evil. I have played about 10 minutes and I am in total love with it. The game gives you a camera and ACTUALLY MAKES IT FUN TO USE IT. When I read about the camera I thought ‘I bet this is like MGS and I barely use it unless I am told to’. HOW WRONG.

    • caspiancomic says:

       I’m telling you man. A photography sidequest improves every game it touches.

      • Shain Eighmey says:

        Never mind sidequests! Pokemon Snap was a great game and it was the main quest!

      • Cornell_University says:

        I completely misunderstood the purpose of that mini-quest in Majora’s Mask that had Link take a picture of “something interesting” or whatever, and spent literally hours wandering the swamp experimenting with angles and foreground/background and whatnot, seeing if the shots would qualify.  I have a surprisingly hard time with Zelda games sometimes since I clearly just overthink them.  Also I’m terrible.

    • I get lost in photography sidequests so easily. The hours I lost to Dark Cloud 2 will never return. 

  5. Enkidum says:

    Probably bashing a bit more at Crusader Kings II – Norway is having some trouble after conquering England, putting down all the rebellions and then having my son succeed me, which led to something like 2/3 of my vassals revolting. I still haven’t quite figured out the game yet, so I suspect I may be about to go down – we’ll see.

    Also the kids will probably do a bit more of Strong Bad episode 1, which is always entertaining to watch. They’re figuring it out pretty well, so far.

    • Staggering Stew Bum says:

      You know what Norway is? It’s a sitting duck, a road apple. Norway is weak. It’s feeble. I think it’s time to put the hurt on Norway.

      • Effigy_Power says:

        Hating on Norway is so main stream, @Staggering_Stew_Bum:disqus. Now Sweden… they have it coming.

        • Staggering Stew Bum says:

          The appropriate response was:

          UKRAINE IS GAME TO YOU?!?

          I thought with this place being an offshoot to AVC that someone would be promptly jumping in to show their recognition of my mangled (and only barely relevant) Seinfeld quote.

        • Effigy_Power says:

           I watched like a whole of 10 episodes of that, so yeah… I went with that.

  6. caspiancomic says:

    Let’s get these ones out of the way quickly:
    LIMBO, S:S&S EP, Bastion, Braid: Finished!
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent: On hiatus
    Psychonauts: As soon as the patch hits, I’m there.
    Super Meat Boy, Lone Survivor: In progress.

    Also, a couple of new challengers:

    The Binding of Isaac: I’ve already emptied nearly twenty hours into this game and I’m still going. I’ve unlocked all the characters now (I usually roll with Cain), but I’ve only “beaten” the game like three times. I’m enjoying myself quite a bit, though.
    Dear Esther: Picked this up for a song the other day, and will probably make an evening of it at some point this weekend.

    While I’m at it, I’m also going to finally download Team Fortress 2. I’ve been meaning to play it for ages, and I’d like to get in on the Gameological TF2 nights that Hobbes organizes.

    I might also play around a bit with either Arkham Asylum or Arkham City, since I got into an advance IMAX screening of The Dark Knight Rises (gloat gloat gloat gloat) and it put me in kind of a Batman mood. Don’t know what I would do though- I’ve finished most of the interesting stuff in both of them, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to go traipsing through the muck to collect another stupid Riddler trophy.

    • blue vodka lemonade says:

      S:S&S I tried, but just just couldn’t get into. Something about the controls made it very frustrating so I stopped probably three screens in.

      I remember my family won a contest to get tickets to a Dark Knight pre-screening four times, so we ended up being able to bring the whole family. Apparently not a lot of people entered the contest in our area.

      Dear Esther is one of my favorite media-things, though I always have a terrible time trying to describe it to other people.

      EDIT: Also I am terrible at Binding of Isaac and can only sometimes make it past the first basement. I feel inferior to the rest of the internet.

      • Girard says:

        I picked up Binding of Isaac this week on Steam sale, and despite several tries, still have not successfully made it to the last level. It’s a little frustrating how unfair some of the levels the generator throws at you are (and it seems like it would be trivial to have it make sure the number of keys provided matches the number of locked doors generated). I’m not crazy about luck playing that big a part in my success at the game.

        That said, I’ll probably give it another go or two this weekend, on top of wrapping up Portal 2, which I’m finally playing thanks to the Steam sale.

        I also just wrapped up the first two episodes of Walking Dead (Steam sale, again). It’s definitely a solid title form Telltale, though the “decision” mechanic is quickly transforming from an intense, charged experience to an increasingly predictable and repetitive mechanic – hopefully they find a way to maintain that agency without constantly repeating very similar “save him or her?” binary decisions. Also, the Steam version is borked, and doesn’t retain my choices between episodes without my manually copying files between directories, which almost defeats the whole purpose of the game.

        • blue vodka lemonade says:

           I’m actually also working through Portal 2, albeit pretty slowly. Any time I get frustrated I stop playing and comeback in a few hours, and it’s actually done wonders for my mental health.

          Binding of Isaac is annoying to me for pretty much the same reason, though I think I’m also just worse at “difficult games” than most people. Depending on which monster comes up as the level boss, it’s either a 30-second cakewalk or I die in 10. And the spiky doors exist only to haunt my dreams.

          The Walking Dead sale was tempting, but I talked myself out of it and will check it out again once all the episodes are out.

        • Basement Boy says:

          re: TBOI… stick with it, it takes awhile (and, sure, some luck!!) for everything to gel in your nuerons before you’ll enter zen-mode… and even then it can all go to shit in the very next room. 

          I’ve been playing since before Xmas (so fucking addicted), so to change it up a bit, I picked up Super Meat Boy on sale, see how that goes, tho I’m sure I’ll be basement-crawling again in no time…

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      Hobbes’s TF2 nights have been great so far. I’ve only been able to play a few of them, but someone (Slogan, I think.) offered up a server so it’s ONLY gameological people, which is really awesome. We played some of a deathmatch/counterstrike-ish gametype last night and it was really a lot of fun. We could always use more people to play with!

      • George_Liquor says:

         Are you guys doing it every Thursday?

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          I believe so. We also have various other game nights and stuff, thanks to Hobbes being able to organize far better than I can.

      • AHyperkineticLagomorph says:

        Indeed, playing with you guys is a blast. Getting together with people you’re familiar with always makes the game more interesting.

        Sadly I had to work last night and couldn’t make it.

      • BarbleBapkins says:

        Last night was a lot of fun, indeed. Thanks to Slogan for the server! (even if he did kill me constantly, grrrr…)

        The group has been getting bigger each week, but more is always better! If you like TF2 or have wanted to try it, come out for some fun matches!

        • James Bunting says:

          Hey, I would like to play, and the wife will be out of town on Thursday. May I play? I haven’t played TF2 in about 3 years, but it would be nice to give it a shot again.

        • BarbleBapkins says:

          Of course! If you haven’t joined the Gameological Steam group, go ahead and join up (the last two weeks we have had a private server thanks to Slogan, so that is where the info on that is). Hobbes has set up an event for TF2 every Thursday at 9.  Its a friendly group of players and we’re always looking for more to join us!

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      I think I’ll be taking the Saints Row III character generator for a spin.  I don’t know how much more into the game I’ll get than that, but my understanding is that part alone is worth the $12.

      • JoshJ says:

         The campaign has some fairly outrageous setpieces that are totally worth it. Completion of all the other events is optional, which is good, because the insurance fraud events are just stupid.

  7. X_the_Anonymous_Man_or_Woman says:

    I’ve got a friend coming to visit this weekend so I have no idea what we’ll be playing, but co op will be likely.

  8. djz5014 says:

    Batman: Arkham City. Didn’t really like the first game and ended up
    hitting a wall, and I figured the same would happen again (plus the
    giant pain in the ass GFWL decided to be), but I’ve been having a blast
    so far.

    Also trying to get Platinum God in The Binding of Isaac and seeing what else the Steam sale has to tempt me.

  9. blue vodka lemonade says:

    I tallied it up and have spent $42.25 during the Steam sale, netting me 12 games. So it’ll be some combination of ME2 (which I started weeks ago and have been neglecting,) Dragon Age: Origins, Binding of Isaac, Deus Ex: HR, Prince of Persia, and probably some The Secret World so that my guild won’t think I quit the game like the last time I forgot to play for a few days.

    There’s also the meta-game of Buying Things on Steam, and I’ll be using my new FitBit (magic internet pedometer thing) to try and motivate myself to also leave the house a little bit maybe.

  10. Merve says:

    I’ll probably be playing some combination of Mirror’s Edge and Spec Ops: The Line. I might throw in a little Prince of Persia: Sands of Time if I have time.

    Mirror’s Edge is tough, but for the most part, it’s fair. If nothing else, it proves that first-person platforming can work. The mechanics just have to be super-refined.

    I find it difficult to play Spec Ops: The Line for more than an hour at a time. That’s not because it’s a bad game – far from it, in fact. It’s just so heavy that I feel the need to take a break from it every now and then.

    Sands of Time is still super friggin’ difficult, and the fact that the combat has no sensible targeting system makes it a grind. Still, nothing beats the feeling of running along a wall at top speed, jumping off to grab a bar, and then swinging onto a ledge just in time to slip under a closing gate.

    Other games I’m still working on: Alpha Protocol; Beyond Good & Evil; BioShock; Costume Quest; Fallout: New Vegas; Far Cry; Left 4 Dead; Left 4 Dead 2; RollerCoaster Tycoon 3; Saints Row: The Third; Worms Reloaded.

    Backlog: BioShock 2; Frozen Synapse; Prince of Persia: Warrior Within; Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones; Prince of Persia [2008]; Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands; Worms Ultimate Mayhem.

    I really don’t need any more games. Hey, Steam: DON’T TEMPT ME TO BUY MORE GAMES, OKAY?

    • Staggering Stew Bum says:

      I’ve bought 9 games during the sale so far, with 4 more sitting in my cart, and I don’t even play PC games. So I share your pain/joy. Madness.

      • Girard says:

         I’ve never understood the allure of Steam, and find it DRMiness off-putting. This sale (and my actually now having a computer capable of running contemporary games) has started to make me appreciate the service more.

        I have fewer qualms about a system phoning home, that will render my games unplayable in the future when servers are shut down, when the price I’m paying for those games is less than I would have paid to rent a game for a weekend from Blockbuster as a kid.

        • Staggering Stew Bum says:

          I had to look up what DRM meant. Anyway, that’s the way the world is these days. You’ve just got to bend over, clench your teeth and put up with it. But it’s all worth it because of 75% off!!!!!!!.

        • Shain Eighmey says:

          Steam isn’t in itself DRM. Any game on Steam that doesn’t use “Steamworks” can work without Steam running, which is the vast majority of the games. 

        • stakkalee says:

          I’ve been leery of getting into Steam as well, although seeing all those sweet games at those great prices is really tempting.  However, my PC is just a mid-range laptop with adequate specs.  If I get a Steam account am I going to be able to play all the games?  I’m just worried about dropping cash on something that I won’t be able to use, at least not fully.

          @bakana42:disqus what are the specs on your computer, if you don’t mind me asking?

        • blue vodka lemonade says:

           I only got Steam in the first place because I bought The Orange Box at retail, which I’m not sure had any reason to exist as an actual orange box, because it just made you install the games off Steam. It’s an annoying program in a bunch of annoying-program ways, like deciding to turn itself on whenever, using a lot of memory for what’s essentially a stripped-down browser, and generally being unnecessary.

          Those $5 games, though. They know me (my budget) all too well.

          @stakkalee:disqus They have an impressive library of cheap-as-free last-gen (or last-last-gen) games which should run fine on even a mid-range laptop. For specific games, there’s usually some kind of spreadsheet online saying whether you can run it (“with graphics card x and this many RAM, you can run Gunblaster 4 in High graphics.”)

        • Girard says:

          Okay, I keep getting a system error every time I try to post. I’m going to test with a shorter message, and if it works, maybe see if there’s some weird formatting that is making the system choke on my real reply…

          Edit: apparently the problem was that I had more than one “@” in a single comment? It seems like the system shouldn’t let me do that if it can’t process that.

        • Girard says:

          @stakkalee:disqus : Before this computer, my computer was a bit long in the tooth (8-year-old Pentium 4 DELL upgraded with a decent AGP graphics card and 3GB of RAM), so I mainly stuck to gog.com and indie bundles, which provided good, DRM-free games I could actually run. I also ran Telltale games, though until I had upgraded the graphics card, newer ones since Tales of Monkey Island had a hell of a hard time running.

          Once I had upgraded the graphics card, I could run the Orange Box, and picked up a box copy, foolishly thinking I could sidestep Steam’s bullshit. My
          experience was similar to Blue Vodka Lemonade’s. I didn’t really ever use Steam because I disliked having to connect to the Internet to play my games offline (the aforementioned DRMiness), and because most newer games couldn’t run on my rig.

          That said, there are some last-gen and indie games available on Steam – a friend of mine ‘gifted’ me Terraria, for instance – which run fine on less
          powerful systems. Likewise, something like the Binding of Isaac, which
          only costs $1.25-$2.50 on Steam, is a 2-D indie game which you could
          easily run, and which is on sale.

          My new, current computer (which
          I only recently got when the old one finally, utterly gave up the ghost
          after years of just replacing and upgrading parts) is fairly up-to-date
          (and will hopefully last a non-power-gamer like me the better part of a decade). Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz processor, 8GB RAM, Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card.

      • Girard says:

         I’ve never understood the allure of Steam, and find it DRMiness off-putting. This sale (and my actually now having a computer capable of running contemporary games) has started to make me appreciate the service more.

        I have fewer qualms about a system phoning home, that will render my games unplayable in the future when servers are shut down, when the price I’m paying for those games is less than I would have paid to rent a game for a weekend from Blockbuster as a kid.

    • Fluka says:

      Bought Portal 2 for $5, and Deus Ex: HR for $7, because I live at least 1 year behind the rest of the internet.  (Things are quiet and cheap here!)

      • AHyperkineticLagomorph says:

        Honestly, waiting a year is the most sensible, economical idea. I probably spent around $100 on New Vegas between the original game and all the DLC. Now you can get all of that for 1/10 the price.

        That, however, is for people with patience. Meanwhile, when a new game comes out I sit by the mailbox all day waiting for Amazon to arrive.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          Patience or a child.  Having a kid is what inadvertently provided me the calm (and lack of liquid assets) needed to wait a year on game releases.
             Now I’m owning it like the crusty old dad I am and refuse to buy almost any game full price.  I’m anxious for my daughter to get older to fully feel the annoyance at my insistence on buying generic bagged cereal.
             It’s just as good as the name brand stuff, you know.

        • AHyperkineticLagomorph says:

           @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus I fear my lack of social graces and poor time management skills would disqualify me from parenthood, so I should probably learn a little patience.

          It would certainly also help me get through these college courses.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          I dunno, @AHyperkineticLagomorph:disqus , lack of social graces and poor time management are two of my little girl’s most pronounced characteristics.  You might make a fantastic parent.

        • Girard says:

          Growing up, we were usually about a half-generation behind on consoles, and our family would typically wait a year or two until the price dropped to get one, so I’m extremely accustomed to putting off games (even great ones) until I have the time or money (or an amazing sale comes along). The fact that I’m usually crazy busy with school, work, or personal projects also helps contribute to my tardiness.

          I’m only just now getting to Portal 2. Maybe in a year’s time when I’m more or less done with grad school and actually have more than intermittent, brief, free time, I can do the co-op levels with some other Gameological late-bloomer, as all of my RL friends who care about the game played it through a year ago or so.

        • Fixda Fernback says:

          @bakana42:disqus I would ask your friends before you assume they wouldn’t play again, you might be surprised. That game is amazing, I’ve played it a bunch and would still pick it up at the drop of a hat to help someone through the co-op again. That said, if you CAN find someone else that’s new to it, it might be best… it’s fun discovering all the stuff together, and figuring it out.

      • Mooy says:

        Did you see that new “Friday” video by Rebecca Black?

        • Fluka says:

          I am basically the guy in this xkcd comic:
          http://xkcd.com/606/
          (Also in that I only got around to Portal in the past 12 months.  Fuck you grad school.)

        • Mooy says:

          @Fluka : I feel an odd mix of pride and shame that I didn’t even need to click on that link to know precisely the XKCD you are referring to.

        • Effigy_Power says:

           @Mooy:disqus: Good to see you didn’t hang yourself after playing Dear Esther.

        • Mooy says:

          Effigy: (I still haven’t figured out how to tag people with disqus) Wow that game… I see what you meant about it not really being depressing. I’ve never been pulled in so many directions emotionally in such a short time by a game (or even a movie for that matter).

        • Girard says:

          @Fluka: Wow, me too! I literally just played HL2 last year. And started GTAIV a few months ago.

        • Merve says:

          @bakana42:disqus: I also played HL2 for the first time last year. (It might even have been early this year.) I tend to be way behind the times on games. I started BioShock just a few weeks ago, for example.

        • LoadRanPimp420 says:

          @Fluka:disqus pshhhaw! I started the FIRST half-life last MONTH!

          was mostly a console gamer growing up. My roommate got the orange box on xbox a number of years ago and I got hooked on both Portal and TF2. After Portal 2 I figured I owe it to myself to check out the half life games

      • caspiancomic says:

         I know how you feel. I’m usually relatively cutting edge when it comes to the games I really want, but in almost every other area of the culture I’m usually dragging my feet by at least a couple of years. I’m the worst with TV. I very recently became the guy who just finished The Wire, and insisted on talking about it with all his friends who watched it five years ago and had to struggle to remember all the crap I was so excited about. I think next I’m going to start this Mad Men show.

        • Fluka says:

          Oo oo, have you heard of this other show, Breaking Bad?  I just started it!  It’s super-cool!

        • Merve says:

          @Fluka:disqus: I keep telling myself I’ll get around to watching Breaking Bad eventually. I’m sure it’s great; I just haven’t had the time or willpower to seek it out yet.

        • Fixda Fernback says:

          Haha. I annoyed the shit out of my boss at work that watched The Wire when it was originally on, and doesn’t remember anything from it. BUT I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT IT SO BAD! I finally talked another coworker into watching it. Now my next project is Breaking Bad, then Game of Thrones… then I still have Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire to start.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      OH OH OH! Frozen Synapse is great! The main draw is the multiplayer, which is asynchronous so you can log in and make all your turns and then log out instead of waiting for your opponent. It’s great to play in little bursts and as a result is easy enough to play alongside a beefier single player game or whatever. Also I have it so you can totally play with me if you want to play someone who isn’t that great at it.

  11. rvb1023 says:

    Finding ways to fill the time in with games until Persona 4: Arena hits.  Mainly Folklore and Killer 7.

    • AHyperkineticLagomorph says:

      Ah yes, Persona 4: Arena. I will get it the day it comes out and play it non-stop despite my complete inability to play fighting games. Seriously, I can do a Hadoken in Street Fighter maybe 3 out of 4 times, and that’s about as good as I can hope to do. I couldn’t get past the tutorial in Blaz Blue. But it’s SMT, so I’m obligated to finish it.

      Until then, I just finished Spec Ops and will be trying to finish some Visual Novels like Fate/Stay Night and Steins;Gate, as well as other Japanese games that insist on strange punctuation in the middle of their titles.

      • rvb1023 says:

         I’m right there with you on fighting game talent, though I have been getting a bit better from playing UMvC3, I can consistently do the basic motions now.  Anything beyond a basic combo and I’m screwed.

      • GhaleonQ says:

        Uh-oh.  You couldn’t pass the tutorial of an accessible Arc System Works game, and you’re about to jump into an Arc System Works game based on a cult role-playing game series?  I salute you for going down with the Atlus ship, but there are going to be some scary, belligerent people online.  RUN, LAGOMORPH.

  12. KidvanDanzig says:

    “Plus, there wasn’t anything wrong with that sequence in Tomb Raider. She’s defending herself, it’s very empowering. If it was trivializing rape, that would be an issue. I mean an attractive person like Lara Croft is kidnapped by horny pirates, you think they aren’t going to make a pass on her after weeks? Denying that as a possibility is silly. Pretending it’s not a possibility is part of the issue. ”
    Uh, here’s the thing. When you’ve got something like Game of Thrones depicting sexual assault that serves a fairly clear narrative purpose – it serves as a bolding / underlining of how fucked over the little folk are in the setting and how women in particular are powerless. Simple “realism” is not enough to remove such things from the realm of cheap titillation, it has to have a point. You cannot simply ascribe that sort of meaning on a depiction by virtue of its being there (grimdark fantasy fans trot this out alllll the fucking time in defense of shittier ~dark fantasy~). Focusing on internal consistency (ie woman kidnapped -> kidnappers rape) misses the point and besides, when you’re talking about video games the demands of realism are dictated by convenience, more or less.Can we expect Lara Croft: Tomb Raider to ask its audience to consider sexual assault as a thing that happens in the real world? I suppose anything’s possible, but we already know the answer is almost assuredly “no”. There’s no reason to give the benefit of the doubt (we’ve got most every reason not to, actually) The scene doesn’t say anything about anything, it’s a cheap tension-building device. This is as close as we’re going to get to a “The Hills Have Eyes” video game sequence. Even if it did have meaningful things to say, who would listen? Who plays Call of Duty and finds themselves deeply conflicted after reading the anti-war quote that appears upon the screen at death? Can a game effectively comment on violence when its mechanics require that you be immersed in it?I been playing no small amount of “To The Moon” lately. It’s v. good, makes you all teary in your eyes.

    • Lord Autumn-Bottom says:

      Good call on the rape thing.  I didn’t hear anything in that whole debate that made it sound like that scene (if it existed) was at all integral to the plot.  Just sounded like it was tossed in because why not.  Definitely didn’t get the impression that it was fleshed-out enough to make anyone think about it, or change any minds.  People who are already anti-rape would react one way, people who don’t think rape is a big deal would react a different way (maybe even get off on it).  I doubt it would’ve been relevant at all in terms of a cultural dialogue.

    • stakkalee says:

      So much truth.  If video games, or other media, are depicting “real life” then why wouldn’t I just go enjoy real life?  Just showing a rape is, frankly, mundane (although I don’t mean to minimize the trauma of an actual rape.)

      The problem isn’t with the attempted rape itself, it’s that the publisher doesn’t intend for the player to identify AS the character, but instead to view Lara as their “virtual girlfriend.”  By putting that buffer between the player and the character it lets the player divorce themselves from the emotional impact of the act; it’s just another minigame to beat.  No one is pretending that rape isn’t a possibility in that situation, but using an attempted rape as shorthand for “character growth” is lazy writing (among many other sins.)  And equating “calling Square Enix out on their bullshit” with silencing rape victims just, well, squicks me out a little bit.

      Yes, there’s room in video games to tackle complex subjects with empathy and nuance.  Is that how the new Tomb Raider game is approaching the subject?  Magic 8 Ball says “All signs point to ‘No’.”

      • parrotful says:

        Yes, definitely, to all of this.

        To just expand on your point about the mundanity of rape, this game only plays into cultural narratives about who rapes and for what reasons, where it’s obviously evil pirates who do the raping of attractive women that they have kidnapped.

        In reality, women are raped all the time by people they know in places that they feel safe while being unattractive, and so many people have a hard time believing it because of all these cultural narratives. This game has nothing interesting to say on the topic. It can actually be harmful. So why include it?

      • Fluka says:

        Not having had the experience, I obviously can’t speak for rape victims.  But I have a hard time believing that a survivor would play that scene and think “Oh good!  Someone is speaking out and portraying my experience accurately!  Thank you, Tomb Raider!”

        • Effigy_Power says:

          That was pretty much my thought as well.
          @Fluka:disqus keeps thinking my thoughts before me, it’s actually getting a bit creepy.

          The makers of Tomb Raider had all opportunity to make an attempted rape-scene meaningful, at least theoretically. I can’t possibly tell you what that would entail, but media and art have dealt with the subject before and succeeded in putting a human face and a very human chill to it.

          I also have to raise my eyebrow a bit at the comment that the developers were more or less gagged from telling us about something that happens in the real world a lot. It sounds a little patronizing. People know that rape exists and that it is a terrible plight on humankind (and not just women). I don’t think this game in particular will break new ground by informing us how shitty the world is.

          Also, that argument ignores the further remarks by the developer completely and therefore judges the outcry over the scene completely out of context. They admitted that “Lara is what she is because…” and that this is supposed to make the player want to protect her even more.
          Because nothing is healthier than wanting to lock your dream-girl in a computer so you can protect her, because obviously Mister Player knows best how to keep silly bouncy-girl out of trouble.

          It is that attitude that is infuriating on a level that makes the tapioca rise in my gullet, not the fact that “Oh, they had the audacity to talk about something that’s bad”…

        • Fluka says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus Yaaay moderate internet videogame feminism!

          Honestly, the game could be great for all we know, and could turn Lara into a multifaceted character with a fantastic arc.  What’s really incredible about the whole incident at this point is that a PR persion thought that showing all these things (showing a rape-prevention quicktime event, saying that the dude player would want to protect the lil’ lady) WAS A GOOD IDEA.

          Video game PR people: they may in fact not have brains!

        • Effigy_Power says:

          I am getting read for Grill-Power already.

          I am guessing that there must be a great divide between the people coming up with computer games and the people marketing the same games. And from my personal, if limited, experience with marketing people, I’d say this creates a pretty frustrating situation for those willing to make a serious effort.

          Writer: “Well, we could show her defending herself against the brutal advances of an especially disgusting enemy. It would show that she is strong, but also vulnerable and that this event will leave her rattled and a little scared, because she came so close to this heinous event that so many people world-wide are subjected to.”
          Marketing: “Hmm, OR we turn the whole affair into a quick-time event, because everyone loves those. We’ll make sure that the players know that it’s not Lara defending herself but that they are in fact slapping at the hands of the would-be-rapist! That’ll make them feel great about saving Lara, who without the players help would have totally been raped there. After all, what player wouldn’t want to save fragile girls from the evils of the world?”
          Writer: “But, that not only turns a deep and emotional crisis into a game-mechanic and lazy character-development, it will seriously infuriate everyone who has ever identified with Lara as a person!”
          Marketing: “Identified? People don’t identify with Lara. They want to protect her, keep her safe, make her crouch for no reason and tell her what to do!”
          Writer: “But… women play this. And men who are mature enough to identify with a strong female character! Think of the damage to Lara’s image, which we’ve been building up for so long!”
          Marketing: “Women play this? Ah, fuck it. Press release is out.”

          Obviously that’s an exaggerated version, but that’s how it feels.

        • PPPfive says:

           Exposure of a crime is not for the benefit of the victim but society at whole

        • HobbesMkii says:

           @PPPfive:disqus I think Fluka’s point is less that rape shouldn’t be portrayed for exactly the reason you’re discussing, but that Tomb Raider is hardly the most appropriate platform for the discussion of rape, given the series…um…penchant for overly sexual portrayal of women.

          It’d be like if Die Hard tried to sneak a anti-gun message in somewhere. Sure, it might be worthy, but didn’t I just see John McClain use a gun to kill a whole bunch of people?

        • Merve says:

          Keep in mind that we don’t know if this is a quick-time event, a cutscene, an interactive segment, or what have you. We’ve literally seen an 8-second cut of the scene in question. That’s it.

          I’m all for condemning Rosenberg’s sexist comments. I’m even more for condemning Crystal Dynamics’ PR people for trying to write off a potential sexual assault as “close physical intimidation.” (Seriously, WTF were they thinking?) But as for the game itself, we really have no idea how this story will be handled, or heck, if it’ll even appear in the final cut of the game. I’m all for bashing on the game if it turns out to be a steaming pile of exploitative shit when it comes out. But none of us have played the game yet.

    • blue vodka lemonade says:

       See, I feel like it not being integral to the plot is what makes it less sleazy. If the game focused a lot on it, lingered on it for more than the 10 seconds they do, I’d be more worried. As it is, it looks like they’ve bit off an amount they can chew–it doesn’t go far, doesn’t have the character obsess over it, etc.

      And (if I understand correctly, which I very well might not) we’ve seen the scene in question already. There’s an Evil Pirate Guy, he gropes at Lara, she kicks him off of her. It acknowledges the possibility, and then says “nope.”

      I still think it’s a little gross to include, but so’s just about every other part of the game. It would be nice if the first half of Tomb Raider didn’t look like some kind of torture porn extravaganza, but it doesn’t seem to cross the line (my line; yours may be different) and at least looks more interesting than previous games in the franchise.

    • Merve says:

      Executive producer Ron Rosenberg’s comments don’t exactly inspire confidence in the dev team’s ability to handle this issue with any degree of sensitivity, but let’s wait until the game comes out before we jump to conclusions. Condemning something before we know the whole story doesn’t help anyone.

  13. KidvanDanzig says:

    Also this is like the second year in which I already owned everything in the Steam sale that was even remotely interesting. I waffled on buying Krator (sp?) but decided against it.

    • Lord Autumn-Bottom says:

      Krater.  Haven’t played it yet myself, but I can say the soundtrack is really good.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      I am experiencing the same thing. I’m currently mulling over Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition for $10. I played it, but it was the vanilla version and on the PS3. I do consider it to be one of my favorite games though. It may be the one thing I buy during this sale. I almost made it out unscathed.

  14. Lord Autumn-Bottom says:

    I finally got back to Psychonauts a couple days ago, after having gone on a gaming hiatus a couple months ago.  Gonna be playing that again.  Might buy something from Steam, depending on what sales there are.

    I like this lady’s thoughts on sexism and sexualization.  But that Tomb Raider rape thing… that story kind of came from nowhere.  That initial Kotaku article was so badly written.  Yeah, say the guy talked about rape, but don’t actually provide a quotation or anything, oh no!  That context wouldn’t be useful at all.  Honestly I’m pretty sure at this point that interviewee never said “rape,” and there probably wasn’t an attempted rape scene; so I wonder if Crystal Dynamics is actually changing anything at all, in that regard.

    At any rate, I was against the inclusion of a rape scene — not really for moral reasons, but just a selfish desire to avoid the discomfort of such a scene in a game that I expect I’ll want to play.

  15. Maudib says:

     I actually don’t know.  I just finished playing Darwinia because I got so frustrated trying to learn how to play Uplink last week.  Darwinia had been vexing me for months, but seemed so much less tedious, especially once I got the hang of using grenades and actively shooting, as oppose to passively nudging my squads around.

  16. duwease says:

    SIX FIGURES A MONTH for making YouTube videos?!?  Please tell me there’s a decimal in there.  Or that all of those figures are zero.

    This weekend, trying to figure out if Dark Souls will become frustratingly fun soon, or just frustrating.  I normally love tough games and get addicted to 100%-ing them (Meat Boy, Binding of Isaac, Bayonetta), but something about this just isn’t grabbing me.

    • Enkidum says:

      Well, all of the figures except for the first one are 0.

    • Fluka says:

      Whu-huh?!  I missed that part.  *Rips up graduate degree and storms off in a huff.*

      • Effigy_Power says:

         I can’t really be surprised about that. Homeless-shelters have to be closed because they can’t afford to heat the place, but commenting on who lit the most awesome fart last week pays the bills.
        Yes, it’s a pretty feeble comparison, but I am too angry about this to come up with a clear thought.

    • jellybeanpill says:

      They earned it.

  17. Shain Eighmey says:

    Interesting interview! It reminds me that I need to play some more TF2. As for the portrayal of women in video games, I really think that there’s a good story to tell here. Cracked tried a little this week, with what may be the most poorly written thing I’ve read online since the Hyper-Cube website, but it does have a point about how tone deaf most games are with portraying race, sexuality, and gender. 

    I think I’m going to finish up Arkham Aslyum this weekend. I also may replay The Walking Dead, only this time as a jerk. 

  18. Cornell_University says:

    I’m on disc 2 of FF8 finally so glacial, maddening progress.

    I also bought NBA2K1 for Dreamcast…. which came cracked.  So I will be playing NBA Jam on my SNES emulator for the immediate future.

    God how did my game habits get so damned boring?  I’d better play Quest for Glory 1-4 in order this weekend.  That’ll make me more interesting!  LADIES!

    • X_the_Anonymous_Man_or_Woman says:

       FF8 is such an underrated game. It seems so many people have written it off because “it’s not FF7.”

      • Girard says:

        That’s what middle-school me did upon playing the demo packaged with Brave Fencer Musashi (another fantastic, underrated Squaresoft gem). Maybe someday, when I have a little more free time, I’ll give FF8 a spin now that I’m more urbane and open-minded.

  19. stakkalee says:

    I’m still grinding through New Vegas; I’ll probably tackle another one of the DLC, although I should probably make a little more progress on the main quest.  I’ll probably also spend some time on the Arkham City challenges – I’m playing through on higher difficulty and I need to get used to the stronger enemies and the “No warning” for counter-attacks.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      Is it the first time you’ve played New Vegas? What do you think so far? Did you play any other Fallout games before?

      • stakkalee says:

        I’ve played Fallout 3 before, but this is my first playthrough of New Vegas.  Get it.  If you’re a fan of the series, just get it.  Especially since (as you mentioned above) you can get it for $10.  The whole storyline so far, where there’s “good” and “bad”, but it depends on where you’re standing, is excellent.  There have even been a few points where I found myself agreeing with the “bad” guy (even though I find him and the ideology he espouses abhorrent.)  I can also recommend both of the DLC that I’ve already played, Old World Blues and Honest Hearts.  OWB is wacky and fun, especially if you’re a Venture Brothers fan, and Honest Hearts, there’s a storyline in there that, as I’ve mentioned before on this site, is one of the most emotionally affecting moments I’ve ever had in a video game.  Really, just get it; you won’t be disappointed.

      • stakkalee says:

        I wanted to add, if you do get it, choose the hardcore mode when you’re asked at the end of the character creation process (right before you leave the doc’s house.)  It isn’t overly difficult, just forces you to manage food, water and sleep along with the other sliders.  It’s easy enough to handle the logistics, and it makes you use the campfire, which has some neat elements.

      • JoshJ says:

         I played the heck out of Fallout 3. Bought everything. Played it exclusively for over a year. New Vegas didn’t hit me the same way. I did my same playstyle: creep along the plot and check out all the locations as I pass, but it seemed like Mojave wasteland was just a bunch of low-level animals everywhere as soon as I was tough enough to leave the highway. Perhaps it was just because I picked it up the minute I was done with F3.
        I didn’t do hardcore mode because I spend enough time in the pip-boy menus handling logistics as it is (half of F3 was inventory management per mission mechanics for me). But then, multiple runs to glean everything from the wasteland, constantly packing your house, was my primary mechanic (and head-shotting bandits).

  20. Fluka says:

    Continuing long game of Civ IV with husband.  Our glorious Japanese-Ethiopian Alliance needs to take down the Holy Roman Empire, before starting our colonies in the New World!  Besides that, I am playing the game of Debugging My Code For Work (the only way to win is not to play!).

    So there are a buttload of space-based 4X games out there right now, and I feel like playing something of that sort.  Any recommendations, community, for someone who likes things in the Civ mold (turn based, not entirely combat-based, etc.)?  Besides Alpha Centauri and Civ IV mods, of course.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Japanese-Ethiopian Empires are so main stream.
      Inca-English is the way of the future.

      I somewhat remember enjoying Galactic Civilizations II, but I can’t remember why and how much.

      • Fluka says:

        *Googles.*
        I can design my own custom ships in 3D?! :O
        …This may in fact be relevant to my interests…

        • Effigy_Power says:

           I believe it is or was on Steam Sales. In any event, even for full price it might be fairly cheap.

    • Mooy says:

      In the world of space 4X games, I would highly recommend Sins of a Solar Empire (there’s a standalone expansion called Rebellion maybe on steam sales). It’s in real time, butthe pace us pretty slow and you don’t need to go military force to win. For a more civvy experience, Endless Space (Ithink that’s the one) is turn-based, and much more similar to the Civilization games from what I hear.

      • HobbesMkii says:

        You do need a fair amount of military, though. Enough to blow up attacking fleets. At least minefields. It is one of my favorite RTS space games. Possibly in my top 10 RTS games ever.

  21. Matt1267 says:

    I finally picked up the Wrath of the Lamb expansion for the Binding of Isaac so I’m probably going to be working on getting my 100% completion status back

  22. ShrikeTheAvatar says:

    I will be trying to actually play some of the games I bought on Steam so far… 

    Bioshock 1 & 2
    Binding of Isaac (already have like 5 hours or so into this and I still haven’t even “beat” it)
    Limbo
    Hitman: Blood Money

    I also joined the Gameological group finally, where I saw the group playtime for Binding of Isaac and thought I was looking at @Douchetoevsky:disqus ‘s profile, and then made myself look like an ass (and a stalker) by asking him if he really had over 300 hours played.

    Derp.

  23. Effigy_Power says:

    Meh, I probably won’t have any time playing anything this weekend, which fits a week in which I did nothing worthy of CommentCat’s attention.
    Write this one off, I guess.
    If I have some time I will delve a bit deeper in Torchlight, but that’s a big if.

    • Girard says:

      Also, even if we are “just” animals, animals are amazingly complex and diverse things, and we are almost certainly an exceptionally complex example of an animal.

      • Effigy_Power says:

         “We are all just animals” is too often synonymously used for “All we ever do, we do for the chance to fuck”. I’ve had that discussion with a person who claimed that the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo for the sole purpose of getting him some sweet booty.
        I love sex as much as the next person, as a matter of fact, I sometimes think like it more than many, but I’d feel pretty awfully judged if all my achievements in life could be boiled down to getting into someone’s pants.

        • Girard says:

           Yeah. While I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of some big-time subconscious sublimation going on, virtually nothing I do is motivated by a desire to “fuck,” and worldviews that cast me as somehow damaged or less human or repressed or whatever for that seem hopelessly reductive.

          I mainly meant that that turn of phrase also seems to do animals a disservice, and is consequently kind of reductive on both sides of the equation. (Obviously, animals have less recourse to reason, complex emotion,etc. than we do, but even then I blanch at the reductive notion that all any animal, human or otherwise, wants to do is fuck.)

  24. urthstripe says:

    SUP BROS

    I shall be playing…

    DEUS EX: HR – Moving at a snail’s pace here, but I’m already sick of the stealthy stealth stuff. So I’m just shooting people, who cares. Just need to remember it’s really easy to die.

    BORDERLANDS: It’s a kind of FPS Diablo, what with the grinding and the randomly generated weapons? Not so down with the grinding, but maybe this gets better?

    BINDING OF ISAAC: Forever and always. I’ve still never beat it.

    AMNESIA: THE DARK DESCENT: Still pouding through at my blistering 5 minutes a session pace. I’m in the sewers! Yay!

    • Shain Eighmey says:

      Borderlands is definitely better with friends, as it feels much less grindy. 

      • urthstripe says:

        I don’t have any friends.

        • Shain Eighmey says:

          Well the good news is that the grind in the game just became the least of your problems :-) 

          I’m sure you can find someone to play with, there’s still a good community for it. 

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          Ask around on the Gameological Group. I’d bet that someone picked it up during the sale and would be up for the multiplayer.

    • Merve says:

      I know that stealth is the “cool” way to play DX:HR, but you know what? Blasting through it with a submachine gun is really fucking fun.

      • Destroy Him My Robots says:

        Here’s a thought after having finished it now: I think your play style for Deus Ex might depend on your preferred input method. I though shooting felt pretty bad with the controller, and conversely stealth felt pretty awful with keyboard and mouse.

    • JoshJ says:

       Borderlands is ok with a group of friends. It’s a horrible slog solo. I got some DLC recently with my group though, and realized I don’t enjoy playing it because, like a bad MMO, it’s very easy to end up doing more running back and forth between missions than actually shooting at anything. That and the MMO-ness of the mission structure turns me right off.

      That and the sniper role is somewhat borked for balancing reasons. Multiple headshots to drop enemies, and you can usually snipe better with an assault rifle because 1.5 zoom seems to be the best scope a decent sniper rifle will come with.

  25. djsubversive says:

    This weekend, I’ll probably go back to that gem, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat. A few friends just picked it up in the steam sale, and it’s unfortunate that the multiplayer is just team deathmatch-type stuff, because getting a crew of Stalkers together to cooperatively cleanse the Zone would be excellent. It would make the game a little too easy, though. A big part of the danger is that you’re alone in the Zone and it wants you very dead.
    e.Y.e: Divine Cybermancy: I got it as a gift on steam, and it’s insane. Maybe that’s a good thing. It’s like Deus Ex, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and Warhammer 40k had a baby with a sub-menu fetish. Strange translations, NPCs that don’t really make a lot of sense, no handholding, dual-wielding a pistol and sword (that has an eye in the hilt and the eye looks around), BLOCKING BULLETS WITH SWORDS, exploding dudes with swords, summoning psychic clones of yourself, being counter-hacked by ATMs when you try to hack them (worse, being KILLED by an ATM counter-hack)… it’s a gigantic clusterfuck of drugged-out Shadowrun-style cyberunk and incomprehensible gibberish, and I want to keep playing.I’m probably going to try to get a multiplayer game going, so hit me up on steam if you see me playing! It seems to require port-forwarding and lan-fakery to get working, though (I use Tunngle for my lan-faking needs, and it works pretty well).And, of course, Payday: the Heist is always a possibility if we get a crew together (I hate playing with randoms).

    • Effigy_Power says:

       Nothing like being shot by the 5-0. Massive hordes of the 5-0.

      • djsubversive says:

        Unless you’re a civilian in Heat Street. then it’s more like being shot by some asshole in a suit and Santa mask. I swear, I mowed down civvies by the dozens last time we tried that one.

        oh, Hobbes and I actually beat Green Bridge a few days ago! it was awesome and hectic and that boat SUCKS.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Well, I am notoriously bad luck. Also I am pretty sure I reduced Mooy’s and Hobbes’ health by a lot in that instance, since I just fired indiscriminately into the wall of uniforms rolling at us.

        • djsubversive says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus I think the bridge’s biggest problem is that it’s easy to get peppered from both sides when you’re trying to make the escape. We stuck to the right side of the bridge whenever we could, and just kept creeping forward to the next bit of cover. 

          Damn, I love that game. When I get home (about 6 hours from now), I’m gonna get some robbing done. You in? :D (this goes for the rest of the Gameological Payday crew, too!)

  26. Citric says:

    I’ll be playing Condemned 2, because I like beating the homeless.

  27. AmaltheaElanor says:

    I just started playing Uncharted 2, and all I have say is: swooping is bad.

    I’m also planning on starting Kingdoms of Amalur on my PC, in addition to another playthrough of Mass Effect 3.  And I’ve been working my way through Golden Sun: The Lost Age (GBA on my DS) which, despite being almost ten years old, is still one of my all time favorites.

    • Professor_Cuntburglar says:

       I don’t know what “swooping is bad” means, but Uncharted 2 is one of the most fun video games I’ve ever played. I’m beginning to wish that every game had a climbing mechanic.

      • AmaltheaElanor says:

         Well, I just finished Uncharted and while I wasn’t wild about it, I have heard the second one is better so I’m crossing my fingers that I like it more.

  28. Professor_Cuntburglar says:

    [gets lost in Fruzsina Eördögh”s eyes]

    …what were we talking about?

    • Girard says:

      When I was reading the bit of the interview about how Youtube users often use their boobs to secure click-throughs, I couldn’t help but think “Not unlike choosing the story with a header picture featuring a beautiful, doe-eyed young woman as your cross-post to the AVClub newsfeed to secure click-throughs…”

    • Fixda Fernback says:

      Seriously, it’s like she’s staring straight into my soul. I’m not sure I like it. Those are some stunning eyes, though.

  29. indy2003 says:

    Finally introduced myself to the Metroid franchise with Metroid Prime, which I’ve been playing on and off throughout the week. Honestly, I found the first couple of hours rather dull and frustrating, and for a while I was baffled by all the hype I had heard over the years. However, I decided to stick with it a while longer and found myself increasingly enamored with the game as it proceeded. The endless scanning and backtracking can be frustrating, but I’m pretty well hooked at this point. I’m moving through it at a somewhat slow pace, so I doubt I’ll get to anything else this weekend.

    • BarbleBapkins says:

      I would suggest giving Super Metroid a try if you decide Prime isn’t your cup of tea (and really even if you do, I guess). Super Metroid is easily the best of the 2D games in the series, and is as atmospheric as the Prime games while having better overall gameplay in my opinion. It is really just a great game, and ramps up the action quite a bit more quickly than Prime. It can be a bit easy to get lost at times, but if you don’t mind getting stuck and wandering around for a while (or using a guide to figure out where to go), it otherwise moves at a pretty brisk pace.

    • Girard says:

      Seconding the Super Metroid recommendation. The Prime games had enough Metroid goodness to elevate what could have been cliched FPS mechanics (I was one of those folks who was a little disappointed when I first heard the new Metroid was an FPS, then shut my mouth when I actually got my hands on the game).

      Super Metroid has all of that Metroidy goodness (and more) without you having to put up with FPS mechanics. It’s arguably the best game in the franchise, and is certainly one of the best games of its, or any, generation.

  30. Andy Lopez says:

    I’m getting Uncharted 3 in the mail tomorrow.