White Flag of Freedom – Why not give up on a game?

There is something almost therapeutic about finishing a game. Another accomplishment, another disc to put back on the shelf (metaphorically if you are not obsessed with collecting slowly decaying physical media), and the freedom to move on to another game without the slightest twinge of guilt, regret, or sense of failure.

Completing games has been enshrined in the culture by sites like Backloggery and How Long to Beat. I have a 6 year old spreadsheet I use to track what I finish and know other people who do the same. Gaming forums have threads on backlogs frequently; many of us feel the weight of our unfinished games.

Why do we want to finish games, and should we?… 2 h4rdc0r3 4 U.

Gran Turismo 7 is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I don’t play Gran Turismo, but if you spend even a little time reading video game news, you’ve probably seen something about the game’s many post-launch issues. Things like the in-game economy making it difficult to purchase vehicles without ponying up real world cash, the online requirement even for single player, and the fact that in-game car prices are partially linked to and based on real world prices, at a time where all car prices are insane (meaning prices for cars that are old, rare, and fast are even worse).

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about these developments. The game is clearly trying to position itself as a Live Service (even if Sony doesn’t want to admit it), and they clearly want even the Single Player audience to pony up for some good old “Recurrent User Spending.”… Actraiser Readnaissance

Remembering to Forget to Remember Sega

The original sin that man is responsible to

Part of being a jerk on the internet is having unnecessarily heated arguments about irrelevant things with strangers. One of my go-to topics, mostly borne out of authentic emotion, is Sega and their current state. Unlike sane people who see the branding on a box of some Total War game, notice Yakuza doing well, or wonder why there are so many Sonic games and intuit Sega is a moderately successful company, I think they died almost twenty years ago. 

What’s the problem?

I am haunted by nightmares every night

There was a distinct Sega-ness that was removed from life support the day they were acquired by pachinko manufacturer Sammy in 2004.… Go ahead, read my day.

Are Old Games Killing New Games – Parallels Between Gaming and Music

I recently came across this piece from musician/writer/historian Ted Gioia. The last time I read something by Gioia was his 2017 essay Music Criticism has Degenerated into Lifestyle Reporting, which I found to be both entertaining and painfully accurate (and which set off an entertaining firestorm of backlash from all the poptimist critics whom the piece targeted).

But this new post is a lot less inflammatory, and is arguably much more useful. The title says it all – “Old Music is Killing New Music.” The author makes several key points about the music industry, and what I find interesting is how every single one of them can also be applied to gaming.… Sid Meier’s Alpha Centarticle

Competitive Mentalities in Gaming

It’s been about ten years since I last wrote something for this site. A lot has changed in that time.

For instance, it seems to me that the entire gaming landscape has become a lot more competitive.

Gamer Unsupervised: Ideas and Lessons Your Gamer May be Learning While  Nobody's Watching | PT 1: Rage — Ukatsu

I’m not just talking about eSports. In fact, the rise of professional competitive gaming is one thing that doesn’t surprise me. It was already a thing back in 2012, albeit much smaller, and even then I had a feeling it would grow.

I’m also not talking about the popularity of traditional, non-professional competitive gaming. That’s been consistently popular for about as long as gaming has existed. I’m more interested in the other, subtle-but-not-always-subtle ways in which a competitive mindset has permeated the hobby.… Readout 3: Takedown

The Strange Joys of Not Gaming

Video games have always played a large role in my life. Some, my wife included, have drawn the conclusion that video games take up too much of my time. I’ll freely admit that I have a problem. It apparently could be worse since I have never played Shenmuie or however one spells that awful transliteration and if I did I would apparently love it so much it that it would devour my very being. So I got that going for me.

Thrust into a position where I have no television, no console and a laptop that struggles to run The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, I find myself looking from the outside of the gamer community in.… Are you ready for some readball?

Reports of the East’s death are greatly exaggerated

Joseph Goebbels said that if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. I don’t say this to make some comparison to the Nazis, but because it often occurs outside the realm of propaganda. There are times when bad reporting and a lack of research can cause a false belief to become a truism in the eyes of society. As a general example, I am reminded of the various reports on the epidemic of sexual “rainbow parties” among teenagers, which were based on a handful of incidents which in no way suggested that such an event is a common occurrence anywhere. Sometimes this happens due to someone wanting to push an agenda, and other times it may simply be the result of people believing something that they want to be true.… Start your journey now, my Lord.

How The West Went Wrong

Let’s play a game that we’ll call, “Count The Genres”. Video games do a pretty good job of covering their bases in terms of the copious amount of scenarios and storylines they deal with. You have your run-of-the-mill sci-fi game, fantasy plots set in mystical realms, hospital simulations, farming sims, sports, you name it, there is probably a video game that touches on it in some way. There is one genre though that I am constantly amazed by the lack of coverage it receives and that is, the Western. How many Western themed games can you name?

I am curious as to why the Western genre gets as little love from electronic gaming as it does.… All the lonely gamers, where do they all come from?

Cloud Gaming Paranoia!!!

Call me paranoid but I have never been a fan of “cloud” computing. I like having all of my files stored on my computer. I like having my games on discs. I like knowing that if something goes haywire, I am the one responsible and I am the one that can fix it. It seems like the general trend for computing has been to have massive servers out there in the wilds of Oregon and Washington take care of all of the heavy lifting and maintenance of data while the computers we are using keep getting smaller and more portable. Gaming has followed these trends and I find it troubling for handful of reasons.… Look upon my works, ye mighty, and read!

Changing Game Cases

When the Playstation 2 was released, gaming saw an unexpected, but seemingly logical shift in packaging.  CD jewel cases were replaced with the taller, sturdier cases used for DVD videos.  Considering the PS2 used DVDs, this made a lot of sense, and everyone appreciated having a case that wouldn’t break apart so easily.  It also helped video games look like a much more legitimate entertainment option.  A Playstation 1 game would sit indiscriminately amongst your CDs.  A PS2 game, on the other hand, would stand nicely on your movie shelf.  This line of thought was somewhat damaged by the tacky green colors of Xbox cases, but you get the point.  Not since the days of the Genesis had games been so easy to keep and collect without resorting to extraordinary means of preservation.… Gotta get down on Friday.