One last time, for the road

I know I have said the next issue of GameSpite Journal — currently in production in whatever spare time I can sneak in — would be the last, but I’ve had a partial change of heart. It’ll be the next to last. For sentimental reasons and a bit of closure, there’ll be one final volume at the end of the year, provided enough contributors are interested in participating.

Meanwhile, for the few of you who read this blog but inexplicably not USgamer… first, let me exhort you to change your reading habits. Secondly, I’ve published a few pieces this week that I’m actually really happy with. Maybe even proud?

  • Great Works, Troubling Moments: A response to the occasionally nasty online conversation that has been circling Dragon’s Crown this week (and before this week). I tried to be nice about it.
  • Ultima III: Exodus, Whence RPGs Came Forth: Man, Ultima III is 30 years old this month. Here’s why it was/is a big deal.
  • Tales of the World’s Worst Batman: I’m terrible at Arkham Origins‘ multiplayer, but I tried to make up for it with a not-entirely-serious preview.
  • Pikmin 3 review: Hey, this game is out tomorrow. It’s really good, and you should consider picking it up if you’re one of the handful of world citizens who happens to own a Wii U.

13 thoughts on “One last time, for the road

  1. Your Great Works, Troubling Moments article was exceptional. I used to be quite uncompromising on these types of issues; my default stance being “people overreact on the internet”, and while I think that’s generally true, people have a right to be offended and their opinion shouldn’t be shrugged off, so long as it’s genuine. There is, however, a lot of click-bait out there — people who love to make mountains out of mole hills — and that I can’t stand. It’s all a part of the proliferation of marketable online identities, people becoming “commentators” on specific topics and having to live up to crowd expectations by spewing their opinion on hot button issue. Yuck.

  2. True story. I just started playing Catherine this week, and I started reading your “Great Works, Troubling Moments” article while I was waiting for the game to load. I finished the game and then I finished reading your article… which means I was seconds away from being spoiled by accident.

    (I know the spoiler limitation on Catherine has expired, but this was one of those coincidences that only happen every now and then. I had to post it!)

  3. Allow me to explicate why I read this site more than usgamer (though I do land there every now and again):

    I do almost all of my regular web browsing through an RSS reader. usgamer has an rss feed, but it’s so minimal that I almost have to force myself to click through to read an article.

    I recommend that you/someone expand the content in the rss feed to include

    * author’s name and avatar
    * the first paragraph or two of the article (ars technica does this really well)
    * the article’s header graphic (usgamer does graphics really well, but they’d be even better if used to entice me to click through to the site)

    So far, I don’t really feel connected to the individual authors at usgamer; and, despite how good the content is when I get there, I find myself only going to the site in the first place on your recommendations (despite how consistently good the content is when I get there). Authorial individuality apparently makes a big difference to me. In the past I’ve gotten a feel for authors from listening to podcasts (cases in point: 1UP, GiantBomb) but I’m sure there’s other ways, too.

  4. Good to hear there might be two more GS Journals on the horizon. If you’re low on contributors I wouldn’t mind writing something. I’ve been reading this site and the GS print efforts for so long I would gladly sacrifice some of my free time to help out.

    Also, while I don’t visit US Gamer every day, I usually find something interesting to read when I’m there. I feared the worst when I opened the Great Works, Troubling Moments piece, but it really was fair and level-headed commentary. I liked that you looked at the game, its maker and indeed other commentators. Maintain this level of quality writing and US Gamer’s future might be bright indeed.

  5. The Arkham games have been some of my favorite games of this or any generation. I had always hoped that you would play through the Arkham games to get your take on them. Not just from an overall quality perspective, but also how both games have inspiration from two very retro games and how thy use and interpret that inspiration. Metroid being Asylum’s and Zelda being City’s.

    When you became EIC at 1up, you had said that you were going to play through some more mainstream titles for perspective. I was hoping this would be on that list,but then you ended up playing CoD(snore). Then, Games Dammit was to start doing entire episodes devoted to the big releases of the upcoming holiday the year Arkham City released. My anticipation was raised, but alas, that format didn’t last long. One day, I’m sure you’ll get to it.

  6. Maybe I’m missing the point of the Great Works, Troubling Moments article.

    But the crux of the argument seems to be that you can say that something is offensive to you. But you should not state that something is definitively offensive because you cannot know what other people are thinking.

    That is true. But I think there is a line that can be crossed for the majority of the population. Where something moves from being offensive to me to being offensive.

    I think there was a 9/11 survival simulator game a few years ago. I have no problem saying that is distasteful and being confident that 99.9% of the population agrees with me. So I don’t think I need to qualify my opinion with for me.

    Is Dragon’s Crown at that level where one can confidently say the female designs are offensive and be assured that 90%+ of the population would agree with you? I’m not sure. But in the case of Dragons’ Crown specifically I don’t have a problem with reviewers stating that the female designs are offensive, without the for me qualifier.

    I think the female characters are offensive to most of the public. And I think the publisher ATLUS agrees. Why else would they hide the sorceress breast size and the Amazon’s butt on the box art? Mere coincidence?

    • If you’re going to express offense for something, be offended for yourself. Don’t presume to speak for others. It’s as simple as that.

      • I get that but you don’t think there are cases where social norms are clearly crossed?

        If you say child pornography is offensive. Does that need a “for me” qualifier? Its an extreme case, but I’m using it to illustrate my point. There are things that are socially unacceptable where the vast majority of the population will agree with your stance and I think the “for me” qualifier is unnecessary and superfluous.

        In general I agree that presuming other people’s tastes is dangerous ground. But I think there are cases where something is identified as being way outside of the bounds of good taste or the societal norm. In those cases, I don’t have a problem of not using the “for me” qualifier.

        And to a degree when a writer says something is offensive it implies “for me” as they are the author.

      • Child pornography is a criminal act. Why not just go full Godwin while you’re at it?

      • Hmm. I was not familiar with Godwin’s rule. I apologize for for taking my example into extreme territory. I was just trying to think of something that almost everyone would have a negative opinion of.

        I do see your point about not assuming other people’s tastes.

        I was looking for a counter example where the vast majority of people would agree on an opinion. At the moment I’m struggling to think of one that does not fall into crimal acts or ignoring expert opinion (Ex. human carbon emissions have contributed to global warming).

        In any case its not my intention to troll or pointlessly play devil’s advocate. I read your article and thought that there must be a counter example to this. I probably should have worked out a sound counter example before posting.

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