News: The Winter of Creativity

Not so definitive.

… And nothing of value was lost!

Chilling Effect: Social Justice Zealotry Begins to Take Its Toll on Creative Expression in Gaming

For months now the Twitter Social Justice brigade has been aggressively shouting down video game developers, and fervently arguing for the necessity of having them self-censor the presentation of perfectly reasonable content, and demanding that they implement quotas for female representation. St Anita and Josh McIntosh have been the biggest culprits in this attack on gaming, though it really has been a team effort. One of the oft repeated claims uttered by St Anita, and dogmatically echoed by both her Marxist followers and SocJus game journo shills alike, is that she is not going to take away our games. This is true, as she merely wishes to change games until they are all but unrecognisable – that way we can all play these ‘educational’ programs until we internalise their message, and thus reach a point where radical Marxism and gender politics no longer seem so pants-on-head crazy. Or at least that is the goal.

With the release of DmC: Devil May Cry – Definitive Edition last week, SocJus weasels are one step further to getting their way. For the release of this so-called ‘definitive’ edition of DmC the decision was made to censor a sexually explicit verbal exchange between two of the game’s demon bosses, Mundus and Lilith.

The original version of DmC featured the ‘problematic’ exchange:

Mundus: “I will control the world through debt. I have absolute power.”
Lilith: “The world is at last your bitch, as am I. Nothing left but to grab it by the hair, bend it over and –
Mundus: **engh**
Lilith: “What’s the matter? What? What’s the matter?”

In the ‘definitive’ version of the game this conversation is then shortened so as to be more respectful to Lilith’s female gender:

Mundus: “I will control the world through debt. I have absolute power.”
Lilith: “The world is at last your bitch.”
Mundus: *grunt*
Lilith: “What’s the matter? What? What’s the matter?”

World-raping demons are not generally held to be particularly moral beings. What they do is not generally considered to be good, and they do not generally come across as personable, or even civil. This being said, it is something of a mystery as to why the literal embodiments of the fall have had the scissors taken to them to ensure that they do not say anything unkind. This is symptomatic of the scatter-shot approach that Social Justice weasels take when demanding censorship – anything mean is fair game, irrespective of whether is spoken by a hero or villain – unless of course said villain was written Joss Whedon, in which case it will be given a free pass because he is an ally. Such censorship is the only way to stop gamers from raping; Social Justice weasels know this to be the case because they have seen it on SVU.

It is unknown at this time who is responsible for making the call to preemptively cull potentially offensive dialogue fromDmC, though it is staggeringly unlikely that a Japanese company like Capcom would ever give anything approaching a shit about hurting the feels of special snowflake Tumblrites. That just leaves the game’s developer, Ninja Theory, to whom bad decisions are a raison d’être.

The most positive thing that one can say about this situation is that DMC is shitty, and so nothing of value was lost. In fact a preferable censorship solution might have been to not re-release the game at all. That said, if Ninja Theory and Capcom are once again dead set on foisting this damp squib upon the gaming public, then one is inclined to support them doing so with all of its content intact. Moreover, the fact that DmC has been censored in this fashion is something of a slippery slope, as if it can happen to a game that most everyone is indifferent towards, then it can sure as heck happen to big AAA releases, which tend to have much more riding on a positive reception.

Cock.

It’s not his fault that gamers just don’t get it.

O RLY? Tim Schafer Talks Broken Promises and Missed Deadlines

Last week in the aftermath of Tim Schafer taking to the stage at GDC in order to strip the agency of minority gamers, one opined that industry award bodies might think twice before bestowing similar honours upon this buffoon of a man. It would seem that this prediction was naive in the extreme, as ‘shitbag’ Schafer was tasked with handing out the award for ‘best game design’ at this week’s BAFTAs, which ended up going to Bungie’s content-poor drudge-fest, Destiny. To be fair it was probably too late in the day for the BAFTAs to replace Schafer a mere week after making a colossal cock of himself, but it still did not come off looking too good. Regardless, the occasion presented Schafer with an opportunity to grant interviews, and thereby show himself to be an even bigger tool.

In this industry there are few plebeian rags more sycophantic than Destructoid when it comes to coddling their SocJus chums in gaming, yet despite this [or perhaps because of it] Schafer felt comfortable revealing once again precisely what he thinks of other people’s money, as he spoke at length with them about his experiences with Kickstarter:

There were so many great things to Kickstarter when it first exploded and we had that rush of not just money but also goodwill too. That love and support from the community told us that people want to play adventure games still and that was really important to us.

Because everything’s announced at the start of creating your game and not the end like we normally do, it makes more sense to be transparent like we were. That made us vulnerable to a lot of criticism because people could see “oh, the schedule’s changing” or “You’re doing this thing the way I don’t want you to do it.” The experiment’s not over yet and I’d still call it an experiment, but being that exposed and vulnerable was difficult. There were some good things and toward the end there have been some bad things.

My hope was that by being really transparent and showing all the ups and downs of game development, that people who play games would start to understand more of what goes on when making a game. But still, after all this time, it still seems like people get super mad about things that are totally normal. Things like schedules slipping happen on almost every project but people just don’t hear about it because we don’t usually show people.

This is not an instance of people complaining that “oh, the schedule’s changing“, and it is not a case of people complaining that “You’re doing this thing the way I don’t want you to do it” – Schafer right here is attempting to rob his own backers of agency, much as he did to minority gamers last week. Rather, people are angry that they gave Schafer many times the money that he originally requested for the development of Broken Age, only to see him squander it all with only a fraction of a game to show for their largesse. It must have been frustrating beyond words to watch as he broke the game in half to sell on Steam, in the vain hope that sales would be enough to fund the other half of the project [they were not]. It was not until the eleventh hour that Sony swooped in to act as Schafer’s own personal white knight [ironic, no?] that the production actually had the financial backing to see its way to fruition – were it not for this, backers would have been forever denied a conclusion. But it is terribly nice of Schafer to boil this complex situation down to a simple case of the people who gave him free money being unreasonable because ‘they don’t know how the industry works‘. Going massively over budget is not the way the industry works [among developers who wish to remain solvent], rather it is the way that Schafer operates because his past accolades [so very long ago] have meant that he has never been made to face the consequences of his actions.

The PS4 is shaping up to have a very good year.

The gift that keeps on giving.

The PS4 Is Really Starting to Pick up in Japan

This week it was little surprise when the PS4 was revealed to be the top-selling console in the Americas – again. More surprising however is the fact that the console finally appears to be hitting its stride in Japan. When the PS4 went on belated sale in Japan during February of 2014 there were practically no games which appealed to the Japanese audience on it. The situation was so dire that within a few weeks of launch the PS4 was being outsold by the Wii U – a fact which served as a huge ray of light to Nintendo fanbois’ otherwise dreary lives. Jump ahead a year to the beginning of March 2015, and it is an entirely different picture. Games are now being released for the PS4 which appeal to Japanese gamers; Dynasty Warriors iterations and Monster Hunter clones for the most part. These games are achieving what marketing alone could not, namely that Japanese PS4 sales for 2015 have been emphatically back on track.

The week’s PS4 sales in Japan are neck-and-neck with Nintendo’s 3DS. Media Create puts the 3DS ahead [33,950 to 33,753], meanwhile Famitsu puts the PS4 ahead by a nose [32,946 to 28,450]. More impressively, the PS4 actually managed to soundly best the 3DS during the week prior, with Media Create putting it at 46,139 units sold to the 3DS’ 36,596, and Famitsu putting it at 46,495 units to the 3DS’ 29,846. Regardless of whether one puts their faith in the Media Create numbers or the Famitsu ones, it is very impressive to see the PS4 sell this well in relation to the 3DS within Japan – seeing as the conventional wisdom has Japan being, more or less, a country which games exclusively on portable devices.

9 comments on “News: The Winter of Creativity”

  1. This being said, it is something of a mystery as to why the literal embodiments of the fall have had the scissors taken to them to ensure that they do not say anything unkind.

    Because SATAN, the ENEMY, the ADVERSARY, is DEEPLY CONCERNED about the feelings of Social Justice Warriors on the Internet!

    Not surprising, as he is evidently leading them by the nose!

  2. If this industry becomes what Sarkeesian and her lot desire, I will no longer play games.
    Tim Schafer needs to be punched in the face. On camera.

  3. @Wolfe: If Tim Schafer is punched in the face on camera, I would sit and watch that until time itself ends.

  4. @Wolfe: Also, we have nothing to worry about. Pleasure has always defeated puritanical piety when the chips are down. Human beings generally prefer to have fun and be happy than to eat porridge and have the cold comfort of being sanctimoniously self-righteous.

  5. I believe you Lusipurr, but I can’t help but worry. There’s no hobby (short of D&D) as dear to me as this one. I remember the days of getting ridiculed for something as stupid as wearing a Zelda shirt, or even better: threats of physical violence for saying I liked Sonic the Hedgehog more than Beavis and Butthead (which was the new hotness at the time). These punks aren’t gamers. They’re hipsters with social degrees who would’ve been the ones throwing stones at the 10 year old me. It makes me angrier than anything this side of politics.

    But again, history has proven you correct. I just hope this doesn’t wind up being the one time history veers clear off course.

  6. If we look to the bonfire of the vanities as a model we can see that beauty and pleasure ultimately win out, but not before tremendous harm is done to what is good in life…

    Also, the US population had prohibition foisted on them for like a decade, didn’t they? [though of course the counter-point to this is the ironic claim that prohibition likely led to an increase in the American consumption of alcohol]

    As an aside, the amusement is not lost on me when noting that feminism, to a degree, appears to have grown out of the temperance movement – they’ve always been trying to spoil the fun since before they were even a thing.

    TL;DR: Fun wins out in the end, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not headed for dark[er] times.

  7. Shafer deserves to be forced to watch all the seasons of sex and the city, great article Julian!

  8. @Wolfe/SN: Oh, to be sure: there are dark times ahead. But, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel–and it is coming from the fires that will be laid beneath the feet of the philistines and the puritans.

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