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Dear Anita Sarkeesian & Jonathan McIntosh E3 Is Not Your Soapbox

Dear Anita Sarkeesian & Jonathan McIntosh E3 Is Not Your Soapbox

After a good solid year and a bit of refusing to cover the topic, Anita Sarkeesian and Jonathan McIntosh have became a problem. They may have been at the forefront of a movement that has brought in change and awareness, but that message has long been tainted by those few looking to further their name, and salary, rather than their cause. I don’t speak for anyone but myself, I don’t subscribe to any movements across social media, I’m just another quiet voice on the internet, merely expressing a concern and distrust. For those who have followed the astronomical rise of Anita Sarkeesian, it’s hard to not have a opinion on her. Some see her as modern day icon, others see her as a false prophet. However way you look at it, she has power and influence, the problem is, she’s wasting it for further herself and not a cause. Her Tropes Vs Women In Video Games video series is where she made her name. Slated as a in-depth look at how women are portrayed in video games. This series was successfully funded, and only some of the videos followed.   The series resulted in both Anita Sarkeesian and Jonathan McIntosh being placed in a position of influence, with immunity from criticism and question. This was the case until recently, both Sarkeesian and McIntosh have started to take liberties with their offence, showing their lack of knowledge or interest in the media at the same time. With every big release, or reveal, both of them would take to twitter to project how said game was furthering some kind of social issue. The Witcher 3 was a recent target for McIntosh who showcased a huge lack of knowledge of the franchise, resulting in social media (his most powerful tool) being turned on him. Both McIntosh and Sarkeesian have bee suspected of telling lies when it comes to their connection with video games. Videos have been floating around the internet now providing proof that they had no prior interest in the media, this has became increasingly more evident. While E3 is seen as a time for celebration for video game consumers, it’s seen as another marketing opportunity by Team Fem Freq. Bethesda kicked off E3 with a wealth of fantastic showings of their most popular franchises Fallout and Doom. Both games are 18 rated, both games have a legacy. Doom is known for it’s gore, it’s demonic themes, the balls to the wall shooting. This was unacceptable for Sarkeesian, who blasted the violence on show, as well as looking down on those who cheered at the brutality on screen. This was the first of many complaints she projected, but the Doom jibs resonated with me the most for various reasons. Doom is what Doom has always been, to expect anything else is stupid. It’s the same as turning up to a Saw film and expecting to see a romantic comedy. The main reason I hold such disdain towards her tweets was the fact she started to look down on the people who enjoy Doom. As someone who enjoys a number of things that are often judged as ‘lesser’ entertainment (MMA, grind house cinema, horror films) I’m well aware of how snooty people can be. Anita is looking down at people because she sees them as lesser beings, purely because they like something she does not.     Her reaction to Doom was not that of simple dislike, it was much deeper, much more venomous. She didn’t simply just look past the game as something she is not interested in, she targeted it as a harmful creation. The snobbery is palpable, you can almost feel her sneering at those enjoying action displayed on screen. This wasn’t Doom, this was a ‘problem’. It’s bizarre to think that anyone in 2015, who claim to have a long running interest in video games, can still be shocked by Doom’s violence. Anita is constantly in a state of flux with what she’s actually offended by, but one thing is clear, if it’s an adult game, then it’s inherently ‘wrong’. That’s the key thing in play here, Adult games do not sit well with both McIntosh and Sarkeesian, and neither do a lot of ‘kid’ games. If it has blood, a male character that has any ounce of masculinity, then the game is looked down on. Doom is not trying to make a statement on modern society, it’s not a analogy, it’s a video game where you battle Hell with shotguns and chainsaws. It’s fine to not enjoy violent video games, but claiming they’re ‘not normal’ while looking down at their fans, that’s ignorant. Violence without context is worthy of criticism, but Doom’s violence has context, which is fact that is lost on Team Frem Freq. It’s frustrating that Anita does not seem to understand the appeal of Doom, or what Doom is, or even has a ounce of respect for Bethesda/ ID. The lack of respect is running theme throughout Team Fem Freq’s feedback on Bethesda’s E3 showcase, and a running them of theirs in general. There’s a chilling touch of Mary Whitehouse to the reaction to Doom, a genuinely creepy similarity between the two ‘figures’ of pop culture of modern times and the past. As they, history has a habit of repeating it’s self, and this seems especially true, with both of them amassing the same levels of vocal detractors.   Dishonored 2′s inclusion of a female lead was also bemoaned, purely because the game offers a choice of genders to play as. This was the lowest of the low, a true white flag in the sinking Fem Freq ship which resulted in a number of replies on twitter. Once vocal supporters of Fem Freq even began to question her. It seems like nothing is ever good enough, unless it fits her exact criteria for is, or isn’t, sexist. This was Dishonored 2′s official reveal, on the biggest stage of them all, and the female lead took center stage, but all because the player had a choice between playing a male or female, it was considered a ‘saddening’ reveal. You can have your cake, eat it, and still be utterly displeased it would seem. Anita’s reactions towards Fallout 4 supports the concept she struggles to accept adult video games. After the crafting system was shown in all it’s glory, her first port of call was to instantly relate back to video game violence. With a sly backhanded compliment she tweeted ”The #Fallout4 crafting system is cool. Imagine how much cooler it could be if it wasn’t SO focused on building stuff to kill other stuff.” It’s not yet clear if Fem Freq has ever played a Fallout game, let alone even seen one before E3, but the core concept of the game is apparently lost on her. One of the primary themes of Fallout, from day one, is survival. The world is ravaged, people are on the brink, supplies are limited, it’s human nature turn primal in this environment. It all comes back to the point about the violence having context. You can’t talk a Deathclaw out of mauling you, regardless of how high you speech level is. You can’t sit down and debate the ethics of killing with a fire ant. You survive by killing these creatures, you can also survive by talking your way out of situations, a fact she blissfully ignores, or is unaware of.   These last two tweets sum her up perfectly. She makes bold statements, and uses a social issue a shield to fend away legitimate criticisms. There’s plenty of video games that focus on human interaction, with little to no violence. Did she honestly expect the likes of Doom and Fallout to drop their weapons and became some sort of bizarre ‘talk it’ simulator?  Her tweets, much like McIntosh’s, display their lack of familiarity with the games, as well as their biased approach to adult titles. Bethesda made no secret of what  they were showing at E3, yet Anita still came armed and ready, complete with a dislike towards violence in video games. To her, this was not a opportunity to see these games running, it was merely a business opportunity she could exploit, like a leech, sucking the blood from actually talented people. When your career and relevance solely relies on how many issues you can create, should we be shocked by Anita Sarrkeesian and Jonathon McIntosh’s behavior? Neither of them want to progress the industry, nor do they want a better product for me, you, or anyone else. They want to keep creating the issues, keep creating the sensationalism. They are not people who enjoy games, they are people who enjoy power and accolades,  even if that means stomping on the hopes of a movement, while dehumanizing anyone who dare question them. E3 is not your soap box Anita Sarkeesian, it’s not your next pay day Jonathon McIntosh.      ...

GAME Reveal ‘Vault Club’ Promotion, Pip-Boy Prices Higher Than Amazon

GAME Reveal ‘Vault Club’ Promotion, Pip-Boy Prices Higher Than Amazon

UK retailer GAME has officially listed Fallout 4: Pip Boy Edition up for pre-order, with a few exclusives.   GAME currently offer a free T-shirt to customer who pre-order the pip Boy edition. GAME have also revealed their Fallout 4: Vault Club promotion. Vault Club rewards members with a ‘strictly limited edition’ Vault Boy Bobble Head as well as VIP access to Fallout events, exclusive offers on Fallout items and updates from the world of Fallout 4. Details for the listed events and items are limited, it;s not yet known if it’s in-game DLC or physical products.   In order to gain access to the Vault Club customers are required to pay down a £20 deposit. The £20 price tag seems a bit hefty for a service that has next to no details or tangible benefits as of yet. The ‘VIP Fallout Events’ would mostly likely be based in London, making that benefit less attractive for a large number of people. GAME currently have a asking price of £99.99 for the Pip Boy Edition, while Amazon have it priced at £78. The price difference is a little odd, suggesting that customers are actually paying for the pre-order extras, with GAME attaching a £20 worth to them. For those looking to get the Pip Boy Edition at a fair price, Amazon may be the way forward (UPDATE: as of 15/06/15 15:20 the Amazon listing is down)....

Splatoon Adds New Mode,Map & NES Zapper Gun Tomorrow

Splatoon Adds New Mode,Map & NES Zapper Gun Tomorrow

Ranked Battles are set to unlock tomorrow, along with the addition of a NES Zapper and a new map. Nintendo are seemingly lashing on the content early on for Splatoon, much to the joy of it’s players. The one fault Splatoon truly suffers from is a lack of maps and modes, and this issue is already starting to be addressed. The new NES Zapper gun will surely result in feverish fan boy sweats, while the new map and mode will keep people hooked. Are you a kid? Or a squid?...

We Happy Few Hits Kickstarter June 4th

We Happy Few Hits Kickstarter June 4th

We Happy Few, the bizarre 60s themed first person title from Compulsion Games, is heading to Kickstarter. The announcement was made via a press release, with the Kickstarter date being set for June 4th. Compulsion Games also introduced weekly developer updates which will chart the development cycle of the game as well as showing off various assets.   We Happy Few’s trailer has been doing the rounds online for some time now, generating a lot of buzz thanks to it’s quirky tone. The unique art direction is worth checking out alone. It’s refreshing to see a game tackle a period of time not normally covered in video games, even more so given it’s distinctly English tone similar to that of The Wicker Man. Compulsion Games last release was 2013′s Puzzle/Platformer Contrast.  ...

The Beauty In Boredom -Toren Review (PS4)

The Beauty In Boredom -Toren Review (PS4)

For their first game, Brazilian developer Swordtales decided to make more than ‘just a game’. Exploring themes such as growing up, gender and expectations, Swordtale have displayed some genuine ambition, and bravery, with Toren. Taking inspiration from various games such as Ico, Journey and The Legend of Zelda, Toren isn’t trying to simply entertain, it’s trying to provoke. Toren proudly shrouds it’s self with mystery, forcing the player to connect the dots of the story. The basic outline sees Moonchild, a young girl stranded on a tower overseen by a dragon, tasked with uncovering her purpose. Her goal is to reach the top of tower, slay the dragon, and understand her place in the world. The basic plot may reek of generic staples of fantasy video games, but it’s far from it. The core goal of the game exists to direct the player, but the result is only made worthwhile by the journey. Moonchild’s journey from the bottom to the tower, all the way to the top, is not merely to fight a dragon and save the day, it’s more of personal journey. Each step towards the top of the tower is accompanied by Moonchild growing, in more ways than one, progressing her story as well as her development.   Toren’s strongest aspect is clear from the off. The art direction is utterly stunning, lush colours fill the screen, giving Toren’s environments teem with life. Soaking in the sheer beauty of the world is the most rewarding element Toren has to offer,. Much like a beautifully painted picture, the art direction posses a strange ‘hand made’ quality to it, allowing the world to transcend that of a video game, appearing organic. The sheer range of environments the player indulges in leaves Toren feeling dream like, producing a overwhelming sense of relaxation, forcing the player to succumb to the game’s beauty. In a strange turn of events, the actual textures of Toren are a mixed bag of fair to terrible. Character models lack any real detail, this leaves them feeling rather alien from the world they inhabit. Bizarrely, some of the backgrounds look totally untouched, it’s genuinely jarring to be hooked into a beautiful environment, only to see a large ugly rock protruding through the world. Textures aren’t the only issue Toren suffers from, the animation is painfully awkward, failing to compliment the before mentioned art direction. Robotic movements restrict Moonchild from ever feeling, or looking, like a believable character. Watching her awkward shuffles, with such beauty around her, is utterly frustrating. In truth, most of the games real issues revolve around the gamplay and mechanics. Jumping never feels responsive, or satisfying, the same can be said for the combat. Simple button presses should result in instant and tangible responses, Toren never achieves this. Puzzles make up a large part of the overall experience, unfortunately, these puzzles are neither challenging or even engaging. The core mechanics feel dated, limited and ultimately boring. Wrestling with the camera is the biggest challenge Toren presents. Trying to traverse the bland level design is made increasingly difficult by the camera refusing to play nice, instead it stubbornly locks it’s self at awkward angles. Technical issues plague Toren from start to finish, from physics bugging out, frame rate drops and some irritating screen tearing. Toren’s technical issues detract from it’s strongest aspect, the art direction, which is truly a crying shame. On the plus side, the gorgeous soundtrack is left utterly untouched by any issues, allowing it to flow in perfect motion with the story. Toren is a much more enjoyable game to watch than it is to play. The poor puzzles, dated and repetitive mechanics leave the game feeling like a struggle to play. It’s sad that the wonderful work with the art direction is not vindicated with competent gameplay. The attempts at exploring gender and maturity are admirable, but never truly taste complete, leaving the climax of the 4 hour campaign feeling underwhelming. Swordtales have plenty of promise, particularity with their art design, but Toren is a messy first outing needed more time in development. More enjoyable to witness, than to play, Toren often looks the part, but unfortunately falls short in most areas....

Dishonored Set To Be Remastered, Are There Too Many Re-Releases?

Dishonored Set To Be Remastered, Are There Too Many Re-Releases?

It appears that Dishonored is due to be given the ‘Remastered’ treatment. A Brazilian site leaked the classification of Dishonored Definitive Edition, set for release this year. It’s assumed this new version will appear on PS4, Xbox One and PC. With the game collecting numerous honors from critics and players alike, it should come as no surprise that a ‘New Gan’ version is on the way. The PS4 & Xbox One are both lacking decent stealth titles, even more so after the failure of the Thief reboot, but are more remastered last generation games really the answer? The early periods of both new systems have been saturated with re-released versions of last generation games, some of which felt like odd choices. The recent DMC: Devil May Cry remastered felt like a attempt at earning a quick buck, with the game seemingly proving to be even less popular the first time around. Video game bargain bins have now become packed full of remastered games. The likes of Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs, DMC, The Last of Us and Metro 2033/Last Light make up a large majority of games constantly on special offer. Dishnoured may have been a fantastic game, but are people really interested in picking up yet another remastered title? even if the DLC is included this time around. It feels like yet another attempt to gain a quick bit of cash without making too much of a effort. Perhaps the lack of stealth games will result in Dishonored Definitive Edition performing far better than other re-releases, or maybe, just maybe, people are getting sick of playing last generation games for full price.          ...

Amiibo Price Drop: Multiple Amiibo Receive Discounts

Amiibo Price Drop: Multiple Amiibo Receive Discounts

The Amiibo craze is still in full swing, but not everyone is as popular as the others. While the likes of Little Mac and Meta Knight are basking in the spotlight, the common Amiibo are falling into the Lindsay Lohan bargain bin. Lugi, Mario, Peach, Diddy, Donkey, Link and Pikachu are all steadily falling in price. It’s no surprise that the obscure characters are the most sort after, while the well known characters are found literally everywhere. None of the listed Amiibos will go up in price, even boxed, but if you’ve wanted to dip your toes into the Amiibo waters, now is as good as time as any.   Mario – £7.99 Peach – £7.99 Lugi – £7.99 Diddy Kong – £7.99 Donkey Kong – £7.99 Link – £7.99 Pikachu – £7.99    ...

Alien Isolation, Dying Light, Pokemon Y & Battlefield: Hardline Prices Slashed

Alien Isolation, Dying Light, Pokemon Y & Battlefield: Hardline Prices Slashed

As 2015 starts to enter a decent run of releases, a number of games are receiving big discounts.   Last year’s Game of the Year contender, Alien: Isolation, is a utter steal at £16.95 over at The Game Collection. Pokemon Y is a mere £18.79 on Amazon, a bargain for anyone with even a slight interest in Pokemon, with some claiming Y to be one of the best in the franchise. It may not be out for a few weeks, but that hasn’t stopped Xtra-vision from flogging Battlefield: Hardline, on bothPS4 & Xbox One, for a mere £35.99 when using the code PATDAY20 Xtra-Vision’s code offer is also applicable to recently released Dying Light on both PS4 & Xbox One   Last, but not least, Evolve is now £24.99 Pre-owned at Game Centre      ...

Deepsilver’s New Studio Announced, Homefront Sequel Still In The works

Deepsilver’s New Studio Announced, Homefront Sequel Still In The works

Homefront: The Revolution is not dead, development is still under way at Deep Silver’s newest studio, Dambuster Studios.   In a official press release, Deep Silver revealed that their third studio,Dambsuter, is still working on the title. The current date for the game’s release is set for 2016, on PC, Xbox One and PS4.   Speaking on the subject of Homefront, studio lead Hasit Zala gave a little more insight to the game’s development:   “We are excited that Deep Silver’s acquisition of the Homefront IP and assets from Crytek has allowed development of Homefront: The Revolution to continue with minimum disruption,” said Hasit Zala. “The team here believes we are working on something truly special.” “Dambuster Studios are an extraordinarily talented group,” said Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, CEO Deep Silver. “We are giving the team every opportunity to turn Homefront: The Revolution into a best-selling title, and have set a 2016 release date to provide them the time they need to achieve this. You can expect to hear more about the game later this year.”   Deepsilver were one of the main purchasers of fallen THQ franchises, their biggest acquisition coming in the shape of Saints Row creator Volition....

Driveclub PSN Plus Version Still In Development, New DLC Pack On The Way

Driveclub PSN Plus Version Still In Development, New DLC Pack On The Way

It’s fair to say the PSN Plus version of Driveclub is a ‘little’ late. While the retail version is now out in the wild, and all patched up, the PSN Plus version remains missing. The PSN Plus version is far from dead, at least that’s what Evolution Studio’s: ”We continue to work on the servers needed for the PS+ Edition to release it ASAP,” the studio wrote. “While we do, the teams not able to support the online work are adding new cars, tracks, events and improvements for everybody already playing the game.” While the PSN Plus version remains in development, the retail version is about to receive a new Lamborghini expansion pack. The pack will contain three Italian beasts, along with a new tour and five new trophies.    ...

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