While You Were Sleeping

While you were sleeping over the weekend (yes, the whole weekend), stuff happened. Video games stuff. So in case you missed any of the exciting weekend news, we've selected a few highlights and put them right here on this page (wow!). So here's the news from while you were sleeping.

Let's kick off our morning with some anagrams! Members of the NeoGaf community have been playing around with video game anagrams and re-designing box art to accommodate the names. It's a pretty hilarious thread they have going over there, with the Saints Row The Third and Epic Mickey covers being my top picks.

Lexis Numérique, the publisher behind the survival-horror game Amy have thrown the pricing of the PSN version of the game out to players... sort of. The CEO has put up a poll on Facebook giving players the following options: pay more for the game to make it out on its current release date, or pay less and get the game a bit later. I'm not entirely sure what the whole point of this is, but shouldn't a game just be released when it's ready?

According to Timothy Poon, there are problems with professional gaming. Here's his article on how it can be fixed.

Finally, I was reading this article last night and was dismayed by most of the comments. As a wise woman who threw up in my French sharehouse once said, "weeeeeuuuuuuuugh".

In short Video game anagram covers are hilarious Price of PSN game Amy is put to a vote This is how you fix professional gaming Nerds and make privilege part 2: the arguments


    “weeeeeuuuuuuuugh” is about right.

      There's a suspicious lack of familiar faces or gravatars there, so atleast the locals aren't frenzied... yet... ;)

      Yeah, I found most of those comments rather depressing.

        That article has actually prompted me to install a comment blocker plug in for Chrome. That back-slapping camaraderie of men telling other men that they're doing nothing wrong and women just need to toughen up and take a joke, toots, was finally too much.

    I think there are some good points on both sides in that article/comment section, along with the usual internet crapola.

    It's a shame the reasonable and logical arguments and counter arguments that have some merit can't be skimmed and explored as a separate article.

    Also, I do have to say that the original article was written in a fairly over the top antagonistic way, which will result in fairly negative push-back. Sort of annoying, because that destroys any of the key, good points the author was trying to make.

      Here is a thing I do not understand! On any given day, unless there's a big story about Skyrim or Mass Effect or The Next big Thing, traffic will sit at X level. But when a post that holds any kind of ideas about feminism appears, the comments just shoot up into levels that you wouldn't even see on a post about Call of Duty. I don't understand. So many of the comments are negative with people claiming that they don't see this as an issue and that they don't care, so why then do they flock to the post to fuel it? Why do they feel it's necessary to jump in and argue and debunk every claim made? If they really think these posts are rubbish and not worth their time, why are they camping on the post, constantly refreshing the page and adding snippy comment after snippy comment? Wouldn't it be easier to just scroll past and ignore them?

      Posts are often published that people will disagree with. We publish reviews, we publish opinion pieces, and we publish all kinds of editorial that aim to engage people in a discussion. But it's always these gender stories where people get SO defensive and feel the need to say something, with that something often being along the lines of: "This post is bs, it's not an issue, I don't care". We don't force any content onto anyone. It's all there on the site and it's up to the reader to click on "read more" if they feel so inclined. I have not looked at a cosplay gallery on Kotaku in months (I often rely on Elly or Mark to repost them), so if I, as someone who works for this site, am able to avoid the content I don't like, I don't see why it's so hard for readers to do that, too.

        As a regular poster (not in TAY, very intimidating at 2000+ posts a week) I declined to comment after seeing the sheer volume of argument.
        I can't speak from a position of experience, as I am primarily a solo gamer, but I make the effort when I do meet a female gamer online to make her feel welcome without treating her like some rare specimine to be torn down and studied.
        I think this raises the ire of many because it is a polarising issue, especially the way the author chose to phrase the article and the examples he used.
        Some people think, either correctly or incorrectly, they are doing something to prevent it, some trolls just know they will get some response if they flame, and some read "male gamers" and post an angry comment as a reflex action whle girls who have been nodding through the article get irked from the following comments.

        The issue is people will read the article in one place then go hunting for other places it has appeared to vent their anger in as many forums as possible.
        For what it's worth, I believe the entire kommunity appreciates your work and your presence, Tracey, and we're glad you're here.

        Lots of good questions in there!

        I think it in part comes down to people in general always hating to be told they're doing something wrong - in any situation (not just on the internet) most people will immediately fall back to a deflective, immature position of either saying "No, U!" or, more likely, side-stepping and pointing out something the accuser did that was wrong in order to derail. Then, we get the internet effect. You have the same percentage of trolls, immature people, or idiots as anywhere else, but it's a percentage of such a huge number they're more visible.

        From all the various posts on this topic (and related) the general feeling I'm getting from core commentators here is that they "get it", and agree that there should be a greater diversity in all gender/body type/personality.race representations in games, and that that does not come at the removal of "sexy" or over the top representations - it's simply a widening of the field to be more than just those.

        There also seems to be an agreement that there's not much we can do about it, as we would buy games without hyper-sexualised leads if they were released and the game was good - but it's down to developers and publishers to release those games so they can see that there's not suddenly going to be a huge drop in profits if you reduce cup size.

        So a lot of the core people here - so the names you recognise from either TAY or various articles - are "on board". But I would say that if you are on board, and keep being told through articles that "you're the problem, look at this issue, OH MY GOD it's been a WHOLE WEEK and the industry hasn't changed" you're likely to get fed up with it a little - you'd feel like you're being told off for something you're not even doing, and hell, you were doing the right thing anyway.

        I'll highlight here that I'm talking about the boiled down essence of these article posts, which is that there should be a wider range of representation in games, which would be pretty awesome for everyone. Unfortunately, some of the articles go well beyond this, and start calling for the removal of any representation they don't particularly like, or browbeat any reader and accuse them of being souless scum because of their gender or preferences for certain body types. Those articles do nothing for the general case, and cause more people to be put out and react more negatively to any future articles - so now not only are you being told off for something you didn't do, you're now being punished on top of it. Kind of sucks.

        Outside of this, I'd say the issue is fairly hot and live right now all over the internet, and attention keeps being brought to it - so people have their well-polished arguments or offensive remarks they just want to throw in for whatever reason, and they whip them out. You see the same in the piracy articles. I'm dreading the day someone posts an article discussing "the role of oversexualised characters and the effect it has on game theft aka piracy. PS: XSucks and PSLame and lol wii is for casuals" So many buttons pressed in one article title...

        What I find interesting is looking at who exactly is posting in these comment sections - there's always a million new names with one-post contributions and rebuttals that you never hear from again, while most of the "regulars" are absent. Like Lone Wolf mentioned, you'll see a lot of blow-ins who are chasing the article to restart their war and hopefully get a better result (on both sides).

        tl;dr: It's an annoying situation, but thankfully from time to time there are mature people who show up, make some good, rational points on both "sides". Unfortunately, they get down out in a wave of shit, trolling, and misinformed opinion.


        As a secondary point, about the Cosplay stuff. A lot of people comment each time that they don't like those articles. Unless there's a licensing issue, would it be possible to hold a KotakAU poll on "Do you guys even want to see these articles?" and if enough people say no, they stop being posted? It might solve the seemingly loggerheads position of "Let's promote mature discussion on equal treatment" vs "Look at these chicks wearing nothing!".

          What we often do is publish the galleries during off-peak times so that people can still search for them and have access to them if they want to, but they're not sitting on the front page when lots of people are viewing the site. I've just had a discussion with Mark about this, and moving forward we'll be assessing the galleries on a case-by-case basis before publishing. :)

            To be honest, that worries me.
            I really don't think the issue is worth increasing anyone's work load.
            The people who regularly complain about the US articles, particularly Brian Ashcraft's, are most likely seeking out those articles with the intent to complain or bad-mouth the writer.
            They shouldn't be pandered to.

            Remember that the world is controlled by money and the internet audience is far larger than ANY other audience. Remember that you can never make everyone happy.

            Constantly review what your target audience wants and adhere to that. You will still make money and you will upset the least amount of people.

            Remember sex is proven to sell.

              OK we will have more galleries of Mark getting a spray tan.

                Looks like we've all come out winners from this exchange.

                There's been a lot of talk on Reddit lately about low effort and high effort content. I think it applies quite easily to sites like Kotaku as well.

                Low effort content generates a lot of shallow interest. It appears popular because many people can give a quick response without my thought. Bashcraft's cosplay articles are like this. People have a quick click, take a gander and be on their merry way.

                High effort content tends appear less popular but the people who consume it are actually engaged with the content.

                It's the difference between "did you see that article?" "yeah, hehe, boobs" and "did you see that article?" "yeah, but I'm not too sure. I mean, it seems reasonable but..."

                I put much more value in the latter. You can get low effort content anywhere, you're not going to get much in the way of retention from it. High effort content will keep people coming back for more.

                This is one of the many reasons I much prefer KotakAU over KotakUS.

                Has anyone else got a bit of brown on their nose or is it just me? Just can't seem to get rid of this damned speck...

                  You might be surprised but the cosplay articles don't draw a lot of views from Australian readers, so it's not as if we have them there for the sake of generating hits. What Mark did bring up was that a lot of those cosplay images are actually really cool. While some of the images might be taken from less than desired angles, some of those costumes are so well put together. There's a really big community here with varying tastes, and we know that a lot of people are interested in cosplay, so we don't want to start making blanket statements about no longer publishing those galleries.

                  In any case, we'll be keeping a closer eye on those posts as they come through and decide what to do with them when we know what's in the gallery and how it is presented. We want to make content available to readers -- it's just a matter of finding the right balance, which we'll be working on. :)

                I want to see more videos of Mark trying to eat olives!

        I think so many people rail against these articles is because these guys are being confronted with a threat to their sense of identity.

        I believe that most male geeks/gamers view themselves as relatively open embracing people who accept people from all walks of life. And when told that their culture has a streak of sexism (or any other form of discrimination) that runs deeper than a few rotten apples, it shakes them. People don't like being told that their beloved franchise has been crafted in a way that is exclusionary or confronting, because it reflects poorly on them.

        Because they identify with this culture, and they think of it as a part of them, the attack on geek culture is an attack on their identity, ergo an attack on them personally.

        I really think these articles are saying important things, but they're not saying them terribly tactfully. I think some time should be dedicated to saying "We're not saying gamers or gaming culture are bad, but there are some bad habits here that are worth being vigilant about."

    Why did the women in your French sharehouse vomit?

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