Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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gamernews, punkrocknoise

The Groovie Ghoulies were just what I was looking for on Saturday night; spooky showtunes and banana suits for all. (Well, no, really just one banana suit, occupied by something anthropoid. It left the stage right after I showed up. I tried not to make the banana split joke. As far as you know, I succeeded.) They did the Time Warp, and more importantly Pet Sematary, which compels one to sing along at the top of one's lungs, reassuring the world at large that you don't want to live your life again. No-o. Whoa-o.

Mr. T. Experience didn't seem like they were having as much fun with things as they were the last time I saw them. Dr. Frank appeared rather bewildered, giving the between-song banter a really pronounced "I don't really know what to say to you anymore, but I'm gonna talk between songs anyway," kind of feel to it. But they performed like professionals and I was thankful enough for that.
Deep, deep down
Pretty as the scenery
Cause I buried you there
And now they're coming after me.


Let's see. Last week in gamergeek news.

James Doohan handled his last transporter operation last week. I can still remember lounging around the living room in Baltimore, amped up on breakfast cereal to a hyperactivity level that made Sunday cartoons tolerable. Right before Soul Train came on (or was it after?), they used to run Trek in the afternoons for a while, and I labored for years under the delusion that a karate chop was something you could actually use in a fight, innocently unaware that I was watching the gestation of forms of slashfic to hideous to contemplate. Ah, Scotty, never a transporter malfuntion when you were at the console. We'll miss you.

The Hot Coffee scandal heats up a little more, as the Federal Trade Commission prepares to step in and investigate whether or not Take Two and Rockstar committed a deliberate deception in allowing (hardly) pornographic content to remain in the game code for GTA: San Andreas. If we allow ourselves to look past the amusement value inherent in a game featuring grand theft, hooker beating, and general bloody violence, now getting strung up for a little consensual, half-clothed hetero humping, we may see some interesting things happen. This is the first time the ESRB has made such a public show of power... but to what end, exactly? On the one hand, having games coded for content is a good idea in principle. In actuality, we've handed a large amount of economic control to a group of inattentive and rather arbitrary puritans.

Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language.

Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.

I mean, how much of a difference is that, really? Might Rockstar and Take Two have decided to buck the line and sneak this one past, to ride of the controversy sales later? Can it be proven one way or the other? Can they be penalized in any serious sense? Hell, their flat denial of the existence of that code in their game (they claimed that hackers inserted it in there) fell apart rather quickly, thanks to a smattering of details that anyone with a bare minimum of software knowledge would have eventually uncovered -- so they're not exactly unfamiliar with the whole lying concept. However, if the ESRB's actually going to be able to do take punitive measures, then who's watching the watchers? These people spend most of their time trying to convince you that gore isn't gory if it's green instead of red. At best, they've been a whimsical and inconstant entity, but what might happen if a little scrutiny were applied here?

If GTA: SA continues to sell, after the "game-breaking" AO label is applied, might we actually see some people pick up that lead and run with it? The AO genre is one that's been around for some time in the Asian gaming marketplace, but there's potential for more here, for game concepts that are more intensely beautiful and/or grisly, thought-provoking. Is anyone going to step up to the plate? Is that even what gamers even want?

For more on this, check merikus and gamegirladvance.

<3 Qwantz.

Nintendo interview with Sega President, Simon Jeffrey.

"The Nintendo fan, I think, is very similar to the Sega fan of old. And I think Sega and Nintendo have similar software philosophies," said Jeffrey, "A product like Sonic is very family-oriented. It's all about entertainment rather than trying to be controversial or anything like that. It's pure, good old-fashioned entertainment."

I mean, I know the market's come a long way since back in the day, and I think he's right. I just find a pleasing touch of irony in remembering that Sega's campaign strategy once centered around defining themselves against Nintendo's family-friendly good vibes.

(Sonic, if you'll remember, was a bit of a hellcat in his youth. He ran with a tough crew, you know, the type that would knock a man out for the rings he got on him. But that's all in the past, he's clearly a family man now, see?) That aside, I would pay good money for a next-gen Panzer Dragoon. Now that I think about it, where the hell did my copy of Orta go...?

From Gizmodo: What, still taking showers? Luddite.

Get with the program. We're all using Automated Human Washing Machines now.

I don't look to games journalists to inform me about whether or not I will like a game, let's be clear on that. I look for them to provide me with engaging reading material about games, at which they by and large fail. With notable exceptions. Nich Maragos, meanwhile, has prose that is less of a read and more to the point, but generally I find that if I'm looking for a game, he's probably reviewed it. So here's a selection of three articles I dug. Check it out, or bookmark 'em for later.

Gaming Rhapsody: First Movement.
An ode to the music that makes the games. From 8-bit sounds to DVD audio, video game music has a history that's a few decades deep, now. Take a look.

In Character: 01, The Art of Takehito Harada, and
In Character: 02, The Art of Kazuma Kaneko, both provide a closer look at the work of two of my favorite designers in games.

Whew, okay, that's probably enough for now, yeah? Oh, wait. Chamber has been updated. It's not long, just a little rumination on the nature of consciousness. And perhaps a game, of sorts.

More later. Seeya.


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