Ask Me Stuff

In this post I ask you to ask me stuff. I will then answer the question in a way that's hopefully relevant to you. So if you have any burning questions you want me to answer, or try and find out an answer to, let me know in the comments below and I'll get round to answering them in the afternoon.


    1) Julian Assange and Wikileaks, your take? Hero or Villain?

    2) Obligatory Capcom comp comment. News?

    3) On a Scale from 0 - 34, how sick are you?

    4) If you could have any other profession, what would it be? (Other than annoying poster on kotaku. I've taken that role!)

    5) You and luke figure out anything on KotakAU accounts yet? If not, I'll fire you an email.

    That's all... for now...

      If I could respond to the Asange question:

      I don't think he's either... I think he's a journalist, and frankly not a great one.
      As a journalist he should be releasing information... free from opinion, which he and his organisation does. He should have the sense to cover his sources better, and consider the impact of some data before it's released... which I don't believe they do. Or if they do consider it, they measure it for "news worthy-ness" which often leads to measuring how much it will sell.

      I believe he wants to see himself as a hero though.

        i dunno imo hes an idiot

        but the fact that he appears to leak whatever he can find to me seems like a better policy than being selective. it kinda says well i'm not sitting here protecting one country i found it here it is.

        i also see it as if he found the thing that could put so many in danger doesn't that mean someone with more nefarious plans could have

        which could have put them in danger without them knowing

        theres always 2 sides to the coin.

      1) He's definitely not a villain. Can't believe he's being held without bail for having sex without a condom. Are they going to arrest me? And every other man in Australia?

      2)Sorry dude - nothing as of yet. I'm actually getting a bit annoyed about the situation considering the hard work that went into every single one of the entries.

      3)On a scale of 0-32 I'm about a 2. I just complain about it because I'm a giant attention whore.

      4) When I was a kid my dream was to become Guybrush Threepwood. I even tried to grow a ponytail.

      5) Can you shoot me an email about it?

        Re: Assange, I find that an unbelievable - how the hell would people conceive if that were truly the case?

        Sabotage the condom and still use it?

    I bought a PS3 with PlayTV a couple months ago (primarily for use as a HDTV tuner and PVR... with benefits). I got the Move starter pack too... hmmm.

    My quesiton: Will a decent title ever be released for the PS Move? Will I EVER use it?

      Little Big Planet 2 in January. :)

        Meh, prefer to use the normal controller methinks. Same goes for Wii, if I ever have the opportunity with games to play with the wiimote sideways a la NES I happily take it.

          I agree that the main game is probably best suited for use with a controller, but the move controller sounds like it could make the level editor a lot easier to use.

          Controlling mouse pointers with a joystick is not my idea of fun.

      Are you trying to tell me that TV Superstars isn't a classic?


    With the whole R18 debate going I got to wondering if we are giving to much of a mouthpiece to the naysayers. I ask as it is often argued for instance in the vacination vs anti vacination debates that with the overwhelming evidence for the benifits any debate between the two is skewed. Often an expert on the topic is given the same amount of time as a concerned parent with no expertise just anecdotal evidence but portrayed as having an equal understanding on the topic.


      I think this speaks to a larger issue of the growing distrust, especially in Middle America, of 'experts.' So few people consider themselves intelligent or well-educated that experts are viewed as outsiders with no 'real' understanding of the world. As if experts are not themselves human beings, and as if education is actually the process of dehumanizing information, taking it out of the real world. While there is some room for that on an individual level: the clinician who deals with a couple hundred terminal cancer patients every year will never treat your grandmother the same way you yourself will, I think its mostly a fear tactic used by other experts with ideological biases they aren't willing to talk about.

      Re: vaccination specifically its parallel to all of healthcare, especially in the US but increasingly here. The issue is not examined on its own merits, rather it is filtered through an ideology, ie. 'big government vs small government' and any governmental program is (for the conservative) inherently worse than the lack of that same program. That is regardless of the consequences! Experts are portrayed in conservative media as 'them' against the concerned parent (us).

      The R18 issue is difficult and different in that there are purported experts, people like Craig Anderson, Prof. Handsley and Dr Warburton who are willing to filter their expertise through ideology. (The latter two are important figures in the Australian debate personally, both members of the ACCM if I'm not mistaken.) So when you get someone with Dr or Prof in front of their name speaking from that authority, it looks an awful lot like expertise. The problem there is that its very difficult to get a research grant and write papers on how something is 'not' a problem. There aren't many academics around who are able to claim their expertise is in the field of 'how media does NOT affect audiences.' So by and large, the 'experts' in the field are the ones finding links, however tenuous. Or rather, assuming a link is there and using laboratory gymnastics to prove it.

        Adam: That's a very interesting point about anti-intellectualism. It seems from my perspective that this is generally coached in the language of academic knowledge having no use in 'the real world', that academic concerns are too abstract, and that 'experts' are educated elites who don't understand the concerns of battlers/punters/working families/Mums&Dads/aspirationals. Certainly in the tabloid media, sympathy is given to "Common Sense" and opinion generally defers to what is assumed to be the obvious conclusion.

        I think it's unfortunate that the (correct and necessary) demand for balanced reporting is conflated with a sense that we need to give equal weight to all sides, even when (in many cases) one may use sound evidence and the other relies on anecdotes, populist appeals and obfuscation.

        In response to the original post, I think that's somewhat present in the R18+ debate - parents (or concerned activists, or commentators) are elevated to the status of 'experts' on the issue purely out of their status as parents, activists or commentators. There are few attempts to engage with the nuances of the legal, ethical or psychological sides of the debate.

          That's where anti-intellectualism is weird, Aiden: the battlers experience with virology? Immune-deficiency? WTF? The entire concept of medicine is based on expertise and learning, which is itself a concept based on an elitism of knowledge, not of personal value, though. Medical doctors are in fact elite, they know more about a subject than I do, or you do, but at the expense of some other subject. But they're not like 'us' so we can't trust them. Trust is a big problem there. The common sense approach, to me, is to defer to the person who has greatest knowledge on the given topic, in many cases. But that's because I trust (or choose to trust) doctors in many cases.

          In contrast to medicine, the 'science' of parenting or that of media effects is much much shakier, if it is true at all. Genuine scholars in those areas are prone to making vague suggestions because their research just isn't conclusive enough to say "This vaccine kills this virus, end of story." The media doesn't like that kind of thing at all. The story "Violent videogames, like other media such as news reports on war, may inspire acts of violence in children who have a genetic predisposition towards violence, or are trapped in social circumstances such as poverty, abusive families, etc." will not sell copy. Those great unwashed masses actually don't care for nuance, I'm afraid. That's my feeling anyway; there are far too many people who, on all but one or two pet issues (like us here?) would rather the world be simpler than it is...

      This is a big question that kinda goes beyond the bounds of even the R18+ debate. I think the media in general does this with almost every issue. I agree with you to be honest - but these lobby groups are experts in making a lot of noise with very little.

        Yeah that's what I was thinking of, the media. Reminds me of Atlas Shrugged when they talk about how the world is ultimately determined by the uneducated opinions of people of which are manipulated by whatever opinion the media want them to have. Good book!

    What's next for Kotaku, assuming R18+ gets through? Any big plans? World domination?

      I'd love to do a joke DDoS on Gizmodo (despite the fact that it's probably hosted on the same site as kotakAU).

      ...or at least getting all the kotakAU fellowship to spam on one article! :D

        Haha, this isn't the first time you've brought this up. You're really gunning for this aren't you?

      Sounds like a plan :D

      I don't know, I've written so much about R18+ over the last month that I wonder if I have the ability to write about anything else.

      If we get the right result on Fri I'll probably just spontaneously combust, or ride off into the sunset like Shane.

    Are there any games out there that isn't made more awesome by adding zombies????

    Cooking mama with brain recipes?
    Unlockable character Zombie Kong?
    Zombie tetris where every block is a decapitated limb?

      I would totally playing Cooking Zombie and Zombie Tetris.

      I think this is the theory utilised in every flash game ever made.

      Try finding a flash game that DOESN'T feature zombies.

    What should I eat for lunch?

      Sizzling bacon strips marinated with butter and bread-crumbs (tastes really good, trust me)

      A Brilliant pork leg of crackling, with chicken stock gravy, mashed potatoes, peas and red wine

      Pork-flavoured ice-cream!

      Pork ftw! :D

        Bacon soaked in butter? You've gotta be kidding.

        Don't get me wrong, I love both bacon and butter... but ... THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!

          Mate. I stopped caring about my health as soon as I tried one. Just do it!

          The dry crumbs of the bread melt into the butter coating. The smooth butter softens the bacon to the perfect level of tenderness. Combined, it produces the best entree I've EVER tried! Spectacular! :D

        Goddamn Tad, that is one delicious-sounding course of meals.. alas, I need to play "sport," this fine evening, so I must opt out of the mouth watering blubber fest and go with something a little more discreet.

        I love this site:
        Soooooooooo good...

      Tacos at the Guzman e Gomez in Kings Cross. The mexican girl that works there is gorgeous!

        +1,000,000 to you Mark

        The Mexican girl is divine, but I'll skip the taco and have the steak and onion burrito. Thanks for inspiring me!

    Do you have regular working hours? i.e 8.30am - 5pm. or do you post as you see fit and just add up the hours at the end of the day?

      I usually work from about 8.15- 5.30. But I usually do some comments approving at home and on the weekend. If I'm working on a big feature I'll generally do a bit of extra work at home, just for the love of the (video) game.

    Is there a game that you wish soemone would make that hasn't been made yet?

    Also, what game HAS been done, but is so utterly wrong it just abuses the crap out of the source material for you?

      Hmm. I'd love to see a game about war where I'm not allowed to kill anyone.

      I loved that idea of a game about a photo-journalist in a war zone.

      I want to see Retro Studios to create a new IP on next gen consoles.

      So many things.

      As for the other q. I liked Heavy Rain, but on some level I felt it was a missed opportunity.

        Thanks Mark! I'm glad you loved my idea.

        My question to you: If this photojournalist game gets made, what are my rights regarding IP?

        I know... probably none, but thought I would ask in case I could at least add high-level concept mindmapping for 'X Game' to my CV :)

    Is it time you sent a reminder to Nintendo about those questions? They were probably just 'misplaced', but leading into Christmas/New Year I fear we're not going to hear anything else...

    Also, is there any chance you could find out how things look at present for the Oddworld re-release on Xbox, if they've given up or that it's a realistic chance?

    Thanks Marky-Mark.

      Still hassling. If you think Valve time is bad, it's nothing compared to Nintendo time.

    is epic mickey a decent game or is it just disney cashing in on the mouse before they loose the exclusive rights to him?

      Its been designed by Warren Spector, one of the truly talented game designers to ever take up the craft, so I'd imagine that its going to be pretty good. I haven't played it yet though, so I offer only speculation.

      Spector worked with the Looking Glass gang on stuff like Thief and Deus Ex (or some others from their catalogue, I get confused about just who worked on what. Ken Levine and System Shock are in that group too...)

      Ryan from Giant Bomb (whom I usually trust when it comes to games) said it was disappointing and fairly average all around. Despite this he said there were a few fairly awesome parts and he thought it might be cool if it hadn't been hyped up so much and then not met expectations.

      Is that actually gonna happen (loosing the rights) I've heard of this before but surely Mickey Mouse doesn't become public domain?

      I haven't played it yet to be honest. It's still sitting on my desk. After the reports, I wonder if I'll ever get round to it.

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