Hey guys, my name is Jean Kalyx (triaD!). I’m a writer of fantastically exciting things, a commentator of social silliness, an ambitiously aspiring game designer, a rigorous competitive gamer, an opposer of ideological sophistry, a lover of pizza, and a- OH MY GOD I’M BLACK!
Watch superhero movies drunk. Become worthy.
Everything Wrong With
In However Long It Takes You To Read This
So Ashley Valazquez of Not Your Mama’s Gamer, a feminist gaming blog, wrote an odd poem of sorts lamenting the fact that Lara Croft – a Tomb Raider – is fit enough to have a thigh gap. While she’s obviously having a bit more fun with it than the usual diatribes about this sort of thing, I still found it telling enough to wanna respond to it by way of translation. I’m going to break down each passage for you so we may gaze into the mind of somebody who plays games and ends up reflecting on their body. In poetry.
I also wanna preface this by stating I do not like the new Lara Croft. She’s ironically designed to cater to people like Ashley while abandoning the gameplay oriented elements of the actually good Tomb Raider Legend reboot. So keep this in mind.
The real Lara Croft, far as I’m concerned. (Legend, 2006)
Kept you waiting, huh? I’ve returned to this blog to share a write-up I did recently on my concept for a rebooted Combined Arms mode for Destiny. For those outside of the box, Combined Arms was Destiny’s pseudo ‘big battle’ Crucible mode that… fell short. For me, the effect was marred by mismanaged Control mode integration and an unusual refusal to actually increase the player count. Sure we have two vehicles and more heavy weapons to deal with, but it didn’t translate into the epic battles the map size seemed to advertise (the indoor control points?). Well I took a hand at imagining a new Combined Arms mode, dubbed “Rencounter”, that may fulfill the big team battle gap in Destiny’s Crucible offerings. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but so was my blog last year concerning Heavy Weapon swords. So why not play Aladdin once more? *rubs lamp*
Destiny deserves its own Big Team Battle!
Update: You may consider this my swan song of my participation in the ongoing games media ethics and culture movement that is #GamerGate. I have a new initiative that I will elaborate on in the future called Return To Gaming (#ReturnToGaming). As it were.
A fine chap, Sean Morrison offered a list of questions for people who support GamerGate. Sean is a journalist and all around decent guy who ventured out to hear the voices of people who make up the movement, and that included voices you may not be familiar. I figured this is the closest thing to being heard and I appreciated the outreach. While he will be compiling the responses in a future piece of his own, he also gave his blessing in posting my full response on this very blog. Because he’s nice, you get it!? Hit the jumpity-jump for my full response to see where I am with GamerGate. He has some interesting questions and I hope to have a two-way with him in a public, real-time way someday.
Update: As of The Taken King expansion this totally came to pass. Carry on.
I’m going to copy and paste a post I put up this morning in Bungie’s official Feedback forum (link here) regarding the addition of swords in Destiny’s weapon sandbox. Putting it here on my blog to increase awareness, because I kinda really want this to happen. Will be back to the typical blogging later. Remember; Listen and Believe! Hit the jump on the post.
I CUT YOU
Over at i09.com Rob Bricken presents a list of arguments that I suppose he hears often when the subject of sexism in comics books come up. I am the sort of guy who would make the occasional counter-argument to an article that puts the subject in view, so I was interested a great deal. i09 itself has made more than a few articles on this kind of thing, most recently a Spider-Woman cover, so I’m sure he’s versed enough in the opposing arguments for his list to be fairly comprehensive. Thing is, when you kick off your article with nuggets like, “They’re wrong on all counts. Here’s some helpful logic that proves why,” understand that he’s coming out arms swinging (flailing really). I say this to prepare you for the general tone of this reply. And I’m replying here instead of on the article itself because their current pending comment system is hit or miss. I’ll be rebutting his rebuttals. So go ahead, have a click.
Empowering! Or… Sexist! Who knows!
The trailer for Amazing Spider-Man 2 came out, and it looks great. But this blog isn’t a screencap rundown or a trailer review, because we got those all over the place. Nay, I want to address something that segues into something bigger that itself hints at something grander. Something, something, ya know? You know. You don’t? Well let’s start knowing, dammit! Today’s discussion is about the fan reaction to the trailer, fan bias/hypocrisy, and most importantly something I’m going to call “Super Cynicism”. First, the epic trailer in question:
Dear 343 Industries,
In the last few weeks you’ve experimented with how to handle the eventual online population drop of that befalls many games over half a year into their life. To your credit, this is something even Bungie struggled with in Halo Reach. While you worked with combining playlists (often the best course), you seem to have hit a snag with how to handle purchase disparity with you DLC. I understand this is a hard item; DLC playlists validate purchases but map size difference prevents all DLC from appearing in one hopper, and non-DLC required playlists present DLC only so often compared to launch maps. The fighting game genre also has DLC post-launch, but without such issues splintering the community or making hard decisions, they do this via Compatibility Packs which essentially puts the DLC on disc to people can play each other regardless of who purchased DLC.
I think you know where I’m getting at.
I have a confession… more like a dilemma. Yeah, let’s go with that. You see, I love the concept of MMOs. Large persistent worlds, growing your character into a badass and hooking up with other players both friend and stranger to go on epic adventures. MMOs, more than shooters in my opinion, perfectly marry the structures of ‘gaming’ and ‘being online’. They are bound by each other; you go online and play the game. It’s not Call of Duty or Halo where you can reasonably put together a LAN party. MMOs are a great concept, I always felt this way. But… I don’t like MMOs in practice. Their actual ‘gameplay’ is boring to me, most up until this point share very similar structures, and while the social aspect is there… the presentation is lacking. And then Destiny, The Division, and GTA Online came along. These are persistent worlds that catch my attention, but not because they’re shooters at heart. Mark my words this is the dawn of the shooter-MMO genre, one that may define next-gen consoles.
Let’s you and me have an adventure, shall we?