HOW MANY JOKES DOES IT TAKE FOR #GAMERGATE TO LOSE ITS SHIT?
Just one, it turns out. This one, offered by Double Fine head Tim Schafer ( interviewed, recently), at this week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco:
Don't know what #notyourshield is about? Nutshell: not everyone on the pro-GG side is a straight white dude, so anyone else adopted the hashtag as a means of "defence" against those highlighting a lack of cultural diversity amongst vocal GG
harassers campaigners. Sort of. To be honest, Gamergate is such old news now that I can't really recall the point of #notyourshield, especially when I'm pretty sure the whole "ethics" agenda is dead in some decidedly stagnant water. Anyway, Schafer still managed to tick off a few Twitter accounts, like this one:
Probably. It was a pretty petty joke, to be fair, but come on now, #Gamergate – it's over-reactionary micro-blogging rhetoric that makes neutrals out there think you're all angry-faced agitators with a hotline to whatever anyone with a slightly liberal slant on This Whole Thing might've said, that you can spin into some fresh fiasco about how you're being oppressed by the industry. The dude's up there with a sock puppet, a literal sock puppet. And you're taking this so seriously? Oh fuck it, just sit down. Sit down, Gators. You're boring.
ACTUALLY, BEFORE WE MOVE ON FROM #GAMERGATE-RELATED MATTERS
Remember when Those Two Dudes – the one with all the skull(s) and the one with all the hair, who together looked like an ill-advised nu-metal reboot of ToeJam & Earl given terrifying human form – were going to make a film about Anita Sarkeesian and her goddam liberal bastard games-progressing pals? Those Two Dudes who set up a Patreon to fund this "exposing" of the "unethical behaviour" of these industry players, and the "thugishness (sic) of Social Justice, an ideology which exploits the very victims it claims to represent"? Those Two Dudes who raised over $8,000 a month to do this, from 331 supporters? Who took your money?
Yeah, they aren't together anymore. They had a falling out. Skull Kid has suggested that Eddie Riggs has taken the last of the money and run, while said roadie-ringer has gone on video to say something else altogether, claiming the film, The Sarkeesian Effect, will still be made. (And if not, we'll always have this.)
The only thing I believe is that these two are best returned to where we found them last year: snivelling in the shadows of the internet's grimiest corners, sucking themselves off over the faintest whiff of real-life relationships, forever destined to declare the media manipulative into an echo chamber of tens. Around and around, until they finally put something out, throw up on their shoes and realise it's all been for nothing because everyone else moved on six months ago. Which, on the internet, is equivalent to 54 years.
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BACK TO GDC FOR SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS
In no particular order:
Thumper looks actually amazing, and was playable at GDC. It's a "rhythm violence" game made by two guys who previously worked on Rock Band and, oh, one of them is Brian fucking Gibson of Rhode Island noise legends Lightning Bolt. Which makes the tinnitus-welcoming punk inside this svelte thirty-something father of two piss his knickers because of the sheer awesomeness going through his brain. Look, listen, freak out, above.
Games journalists Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson are launching OffWorld, a "place for curious and playful grown-ups" to read about games, and that. It's a website. You know, like this one. But it's this one. They press the big green "go" button on the 9th of March.
Phil Harrison is leaving Microsoft. Or he isn't. But if he does that leaves only one Big Phil (Spencer) in charge of Xbox fortunes. Harrison has been doing something with tablets since 2013. Might be that he choked on one.
The final Steam Machine(s) controller was revealed. It looks like the result of your DualShock 4 having sordid, should-be-impossible intercourse with a Logitech bluetooth mouse. Nine months later: surprise, peripherals! It's a mutant pad with almost as many sensitive areas as that awful Atari Jaguar thing eight people got cramp over in 1993. Thank goodness, then, that Valve's multi-manufacturer computer-console hybrids are a "suicide mission", or we'd all have to instantly evolve two extra fingers on each hand to play TowerFall properly.
Battletoads might be due a revival. Whoopee?
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor won game of the year at the GDC awards. It's pretty good, to be fair. At the Independent Games Festival awards, the Grand Prize went the way of Outer Wilds, which I'm ashamed to say I've never played. Sorry about that.
Loads more happened but you're on the internet already and there's probably a search bar somewhere on your screen right now.
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SOME NEW GAMES CAME OUT
Criminel is a 19th century Paris-set game for your iPad which puts you, player, in the shoes of a police force photographer, only in the job to cover the rent on the cesspit you call home. You scan each crime scene for clues, snap them to earn the approval of the officer in attendance, line up the shots at the station and piece together an idea of what happened. An ID parade is arranged, and you point the finger at the likeliest culprit. At least, that's how it's supposed to work. Imprecise controls, what feels like unfinished UI and poor explaining of What To Actually Do at key junctures – the first round of finger-pointing, for example – mean that Criminel is less sleuth, more slurry. That doesn't actually make any sense, does it? Good, because nor does this game. And its faces are all weird, too.
White Night is a noir-influenced puzzle-horror hybrid set in a haunted house, out right now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. I wrote about it already. If you're into having the colour spooked from your cheeks, give it a go.
The second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is out. The Claire Redfield half of the story sees her and Barry Burton's daughter meet up with a similarly captured work colleague who says "balls" way too much. There's a lot of running about with a massive drill – disappointingly, that's not a euphemism – and a lurching, fire-chucking zombie thing shows up towards the end. Exactly what Bazza's up to though with that little girl, I don't know, as I didn't get that far before the urge to play Raid mode got the better of me.
OlliOlli 2 came out a couple of days ago, too, but last I checked it was still only 7% downloaded through PS Plus because of my wind-up internet.
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BITESIZE EXTRAS BEFORE WE GO TO THE PUB
There's going to be a standalone prequel to 2014's super shooter Wolfenstein: The New Order. It's called The Old Blood, is out in May, will cost less than £20, and looks a lot like the video above.
The PC version of Grand Theft Auto V has a new radio station. The Lab is hosted by The Alchemist and Oh No, and Rockstar had better patch it into the PS4 version or so help me.
Johnny Cage is confirmed for inclusion in the forthcoming Mortal Kombat X. Breathe slow, bro dudes of 1992.
This War of Mine is coming to iPad. Excellent. Elite: Dangerous is coming to consoles. Excellent. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is confirmed for a September release. As Montgomery Burns might say: "Fifteen minutes from now, I will wreak a terrible vengeance on this city. No one will be spared."