Category Archives: Community

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.

What’s Your Favorite Video Game?

I conducted an informal survey among attendees at the Kentucky Fried Zine Fest and among my Facebook friends. The question I asked was simple: what’s your favorite video game?

The responses were varied and insightful. Some people left one-word answers while others gave elaborate responses. I have compiled this into a printable zine that you can download here or from Issuu. Continue reading What’s Your Favorite Video Game?

Breitbart Leaks & the Terrorism of GamerGate

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

Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone

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

Hallway

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.”

Continue reading Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone

Virtual Tour of California Extreme

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.

Cloth Map is a video series that explores how games affect communities around the world. Scanlon announced in April that their first in-depth documentary would be about Ukraine. While the Ukraine gaming documentary has yet to be released, Scanlon did release a video about his experience in Ukraine at Eurovision.

Related Links

VICE Pinball Documentary

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!

Related Links

The Pokémon Go Fest Fiasco

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.

During its release last year, Pokemon Go became such a cultural phenomenon that The Verge‘s Emily Yoshida asked acclaimed director Werner Herzog for his thoughts on the game. As a result, mainstream media sources are reporting on Pokémon Go Fest’s problems; CNBC’s Chris Welch also covered the story as well as USA Today‘s Edward C. Baig.

Other Stories

featured image by Dani Deahl and is believed to be used in accordance with fair use

 

Final Fantasy XIV Documentary Explores Hubris, Failure, & Redemption

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.

You can view all of NoClip’s videos on YouTube. You can view all videos in the Final Fantasy XIV series here.

The Atlantic Article Written on an Emulated Mac

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the Internet Archive’s Macintosh collection. Adrienne LaFrance covers technology for The Atlantic and recently wrote about her own experiences with the Macintosh emulator.

LaFrance writes the first couple of paragraphs of the article in MacWrite on the emulated desktop environment before having to start over because there’s no way to cut-paste. A large portion of her article interviews Jason Scott, the archivist at the Internet Archive who is responsible for such collections as “The Malware Museum” and “Internet Arcade“, which includes over 600 playable arcade games. Continue reading The Atlantic Article Written on an Emulated Mac

Oregon Trail: A Postmortem

Don Rawitsch, co-creator of classic computer game Oregon Trail, gave a postmortem on the game at the 2017 Game Developer’s Conference.

The 2017 Game Developer’s Conference lasted from February 27 to March 3 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. More videos can be found at the GDC YouTube channel.

featured image from “Classic Game Postmortem: Oregon Trail” and is believed to be used in accordance with fair use

Giant Bomb’s New Hires: Abby Russell & Ben Pack

Giant Bomb recently announced two new hires: Ben Pack at their San Francisco office and Abby Russell at their New York office.

Ben Pack has interned at Giant Bomb when they were a wholly owned company under the umbrella of Whiskey Media. He started in 2011 and talked about it on a blog post at Sidequesting. Pack is an Editor and has already been featured in Quick Look’s for games such as The Signal from Tölva and The Surge.

Abby Russell is an Associate Producer and sat in with the regulars of The Giant Beastcast in Episode 103.

Communities are talking about this at NeoGAF and at Waypoint‘s new forums.

featured image copyright CBS Interactive, believed to be used in accordance with fair use