Articles about gaming communities may range from intimate gaming groups to convention centers filled with like-minded individuals. Regardless of the size, gaming communities are important to better understanding games, people, and the human psyche.
Drew Scanlon of Cloth Map has released the first part in a series exploring video game culture in Brazil. His first video, “Brazil’s Video Game Gray Markets“, explores how a political dictatorship in the ’70s and ’80s influenced the path for video game production and consumption in Brazil.
Joseph Bernstein’s article at Buzzfeed News—”Here’s How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream“—includes larger implications for the video game community. Bernstein creates a narrative from a series of leaked emails from Breitbart which show Steve Bannon giving directions to Milo Yiannopoulis regarding their white nationalist agenda. They also “out” several male members of the press who were secretly giving Breitbart ideas for articles.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article that showed how Bannon had been grooming supporters from World of Warcraft forums way back in 2005. Bernstein’s article includes a bit where Breitbart editor Alex Marlow is editing one of Yiannopoulos’ speeches and approves a joke about “shekels” but asked to remove a joke about gas chambers. The article shows how Yiannopoulos would push the limits and the higher-ups would reign him in. At any point that he hinted at their racist, misogynist, or nationalist agenda, they would have him reword and rephrase certain excerpts.
The article is extremely long and detailed, and includes several examples of this sort of careful planning and manipulation. But the most interesting part for video game communities is how seemingly “good” guys were actually feeding the hate machine. Continue reading Breitbart Leaks & the Terrorism of GamerGate→
Cloth Map‘s Drew Scanlon explores Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone through the eyes of video game interactions. He compares the real life experiences of a real life post-apocalyptic wasteland to scenes in games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and The Last of Us.
A Strange Feeling
Throughout the video, Scanlon tries to pinpoint why he feels strange, whether it’s the radiation or something else. “When we entered an apartment complex,” he says, “I couldn’t put my finger on why it felt so strange until I realized it’s odd to be walking through a large building and feel a breeze.”
Cloth Map released a 360 degree video of California Extreme, one of the United States’ largest arcade and pinball expositions. On a computer screen, you can click and drag the mouse in order to look in a 360 degree arc around the camera, as well as up or down. On a phone, you can move the phone to look around. The video also supports Google Cardboard.
Drew Scanlon, founder of Cloth Map, walks with Steve Lin, founding board member of the Video Game History Foundation. They look at various machines while Lin explains eye-catching videos.
In August 2015, VICE released a video called “Pinball: From Illegal Gambling Game to American Obsessions”. The video was part of VICE’s series called American Obsessions.
The video includes interviews with Zach Sharpe, President of the International Flipper Pinball Association; Walter Day, referee for and founder of Twin Galaxies; Roger Sharpe, known as “The Man Who Saved Pinball”; and Michael Schiess, founder of the Pacific Pinball Museum.
The video also covers the history of pinball and how it was banned in major US cities because of gambling. Roger Sharpe managed to prove that pinball was a game of skill (not chance), thus decriminalizing it in many US cities. Decades later, Schiess had to talk with his city council in order to get pinball legalized for his museum. Near the end, Zach Sharpe competes in a pinball tournament at the Chicago Pinball Expo.
The video was recently shared on VICE’s Facebook page, which brought this to my attention, and I wanted to share with the Maze Rats readers!
Developers of the popular Pokémon Go, Niantic, had a rough time during the first day of Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago because of server issues.
Polygon‘s Allegra Frank reports widespread server issues caused attendees to boo at Niantic CEO John Hanke and yell “Fix the game!” and “Fix the servers!” Shortly after that, Frank reported that Niantic promised attendees $100 worth of Pokécoins at a later date. Dani Deahl of The Verge also added that Niantic added the game’s first legendary Pokémon, Lugia, to attendees’ accounts.
NoClip has released their newest series of documentaries on Final Fantasy XIV (2010, 2013). FFXIV is an MMORPG that had a bumpy launch and received a large backlash from the gaming press as well as fans. In an effort to maintain their reputation, Square Enix opted to completely recreate the game from scratch over the course of three years. This documentary uncovers why the game underwhelmed their fans, how the company responded, and how they went about saving the franchise.
Danny O’Dwyer interviewed several key members of the Final Fantasy XIV dev team, including English Language Localization Lead Michael-Christopher Koji Fox, Engineering Team Leader Hideyuki Kasuga, Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, and Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida.