Ask Me Stuff

You folks have any burning questions? About anything? This is Ask Me Stuff, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Leave me a question in the comments below and I’ll endeavour to answer it before the day is out.

Mark has today off so he might not be able to answer any questions you have for him. Maybe he will surprise us by answering questions directed at him! Maybe he will not. We just don't know. Oh man, it's like going to the casino or something!


    Is Mark hungover from Valentines Day celebrations?

    And how was your Valentines Day Trace? No stalkers sent flowers to the Kotaku office?

      Mark is sick! He's been unwell for about a week now and caught a cold today when his immune system wasn't paying attention.

      I don't care about Valentine's Day, nor does my boyfriend, so we did nothing. Big savings $$.

        same here, never been a big fan of Valentines day... Why shower her with chocolate and flowers when a week later they'll be reduced... coinciding with the anniversary of our first date!

        Valentines Day after last year will probably never be the same for me ever again, last year Valentines Day was one of the days between my Dad's death and his funeral.

    Any Vita-hype articles incoming?

      Maybe from the US but not from me. We don't have Vitas here in the AU office. Oh, Lifehacker might be doing a price guide this week so that will appear on our site when it is written.

    What's the deal with airplane food?

      What IS the deal with airplane food? That's a question for you, Trjn.

        I don't know. When I flew on Thai Airways it was pretty delicious, although that might have had something to do with the wine they were passing out like candy on Halloween.

        So I'm rather interested in finding out why so many comedians in the 90s were fixated on it.

    Why is Mark sick? Did he get poisoned by EA's secret agents when they got wind of the secret investigation he was doing? Are they trying to prevent the publication of another hard-hitting piece of Serrels investigative journalism?


        Be careful, rumour has it that Mark was poisoned by EA!

      I think it was Sony. He finally got to the bottom of The Last Guardian. They couldn't let that knowledge go public...

    Rocketman, just DMed you on Twitter. Get back to me ASAP.

      Oops. This was meant to be in TAY, not here.


      Unless you're Rocketman, in which case, check your DMs on Twitter and get back to me ASAP.

        Tracey being Rocketman explains so much.
        But mostly nothing at all.

          It would be rather interesting but Roceyman would have to be some sort of genius troll to lay down a groundwork of grammatically flawed commenting history before getting a job at Kotaku.

      * please.

        We've already been over this. A false sense of urgency and a lack of politeness are there to counteract the fact that I'm trying to help.

        I can only be so nice :p

    How long will it take to finish To The Moon? Are there multiple endings? I'm looking to play something short-ish in length and somewhat relaxing to offset Demon's Souls.

      I don't know about multiple endings (I have not investigated this), but it takes around 4 hours to finish.

      Try Dear Esther... it's real pretty, and nothing's going to try and kill you.

    Whenever I read anything written by you, the voice in my head reads it in a very high voice. Are you somehow subconsciously pulling a Professor Farnsworth (Good News, Everyone!), or am I just crazy?

      You read those 2000+ word features in a high-pitched voice? That is some effort.

        I'd only really consider it effort if he read it aloud...

        Helium assisted. I think i'd still qualify for at least one category in the Guiness World Records though..

    We were discussing the best/worst covers in TAY the other day, so i would be keen to know what some of your favorite covers of songs have been, and for that matter, which were the worst.

      I'm sorry Loops, but this is so much worse than that cover.

      As far as good covers go, its hard to go past Motorhead's cover of Enter Sandman

      Only thing I don like about it is the performance of the 'now I lay me down to sleep' bit

      The Paris Hilton cover of Rod Stewart's "Do you think I'm sexy". Youtube it.

        No... just... no.

        Both to the suggestion that I watch her ear grating attempts at music and to the question hilton is asking with the song.

        Just no...

        Well.. that was.... interesting...

    1. Just as a curiosity, is Community Kudos still an event that grants the winner a prize, or just the adulation of friends and family? Mark emailed me about three months ago asking what console I owned, and I haven't heard back since! :P

    (PS: adulation is fine. I like that more than games. :) )

    (I don't like asking this, I feel a bit guilty, like I expect to get something out of the fun I have here, but want to check up on not just my behalf but others too...)

    2. Also, on future Kudos posts, can the following (or a variant thereof) be added please?

    Community Kudos is a weekly recognition of the awesome behaviour of Kotaku readers. The overall winner gets especially recognised by getting their name extra-bolded and possibly receives a prize.

    To nominate someone for Kudos, email Mark or Tracey at [email addresses that I can't be bothered typing out now] before lunchtime on Friday!

      Email me your postal address + what consoles you own. Also, we'll be sure to add that line in future kudos posts!

    If you could wish into existance faithful HD remakes of any game from any platform, what would your top 5 be?

      The Final Fantasy 7, 8, 10, God Hand, and I'll save the last one for when I think of something really amazing.

      TIE Fighter... four times over, and Mechwarrior 2 Mercs.

    I have three questions for you today. One serious, one standard, and one stupid.

    1.Have you ever really wanted to write a piece, but been unable to?
    (like through contractual obligations to an opposing view, unable to contact appropriate people, so on and so forth)

    2. Pants?

    3. Have you tried reading my blagh? I spend ages discussing things that other people have worded far more eloquently!(In case it wasn't clear, this is the stupid one, particularly as I'm not actually going to link my blagh, that would ruin the fun)

      A lot of stories often fall through because I can't secure interviews for them. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does it's one of the most annoying things in the world because you KNOW who you want to talk to, they just won't talk to you.

      I've never not been able to write something due to contractual obligations or anything, and we never let advertising get in the way of what we want to write (I wouldn't work for a company that compromised on editorial).

      Pants - I'm wearing them right now!

      Blagh -- send me a link plz!

        Thanks! If I keep up questions like this, maybe I'll get back to making Mark question every day of his working life. Big goals I aspire to.

        And since you asked so nicely,

          Thank you! I will read it when I get a free moment!

    How long does it take to ship a game from the UK to here? I've been eagerly waiting to see what the mailman brings every day since I ordered something from OzGamesShop only to be disappointed to not see a brown box.

      It varies. I've ordered 3 or 4 things from them fairly recently. Some came im 7 days others took about 15. That's working days btw.
      I had some that I ordered later arrive before ones that I ordered earlier.
      I think this was around november so maybe pre-xmas rush was to blame.
      Either way - expect 2 week +

      Ordered one on Sunday the 29th Jan and it arrived on the 8th of Feb. Been ordering from Ozgameshop for quite a while and it generally takes a little over a week. In Melbourne BTW.

      I've had them arrive in 4 days and I've had them take just under 4 weeks. Ozgameshop is awesome for prices but when it comes to delivery you might as well roll a D20 and use the result as your expected delivery time

        >I’ve had them arrive in 4 days and I’ve had them take just under 4 weeks

        My experience too. It's always excruciating when it takes more than 2 weeks, and a pleasant "WTF?" when the item gets here in 4 days.

      My TopShop orders take 2 weeks from the UK, if that helps... :P

    Here's a bit of a difficult one I've been asking myself, but maybe you can share some thoughts Tracey... Should I renew my PC PowerPlay subscription?
    While I've been subscribed for around 12 or 13 years, it's gotten to the stage where I spend 10 minutes each month reading the opinion pieces, and that's about it.
    From your point of view, do you think it's worth supporting the older, outdated models while there's people doing good work?
    I may have turned this into a more general "Magazines, yay or nay" question, but I was interested in your take on this.

      I guess you have to ask yourself how much you enjoy those 10 minutes you spend with those opinion pieces (and why you don't engage with more of the content in the magazine!). PC PowerPlay is undergoing a bit of a transformation and I think that it is becoming stronger as a magazine. They've gotten some fantastic writers and critics on board, so you should give the rest of the mag a chance.

      Personally, I would say renew the subscription. Aside from being a fantastic publication, it acts as a time capsule -- a snapshot of gaming at a particular time -- and that's something the online environment hasn't really been able to replicate. When I flick through my old issues of HYPER and PCPP and read about how AMAZING the graphics on the original Xbox were and how the Gameboy Advance blew everyone's mind, I can't help be feel glad that I bought those mags and held onto them. There's something precious about videogame history that is captured in those magazines. Perhaps I'm just sentimental, but those are my thoughts on it. :)

        I had similar thoughts about the time capsule stuff when my Hyper subscription came up again most recently. But then I realised that I hadn't read any of them since the middle of 09 or so and games these days suck anyway so I just let it drop :P

        Plus stuff from the last 6 years or so is more likely to have more presence online than stuff from before, so my old Nintendo Gamer mags will still come in handy for that retro wonder. Or I'm just too jaded now.

    For the Emperor?

      The wrong answer might result in a visit from the Ordo Hereticus


    I want to get involved in this indusrty - Im very serious about it...
    Whats teh best way do you think?

      In making games or in games journalism?

        Initially as reviewing games and gaming products. I dont have an interest in programing, tried that on with 'Level Design' cert in Canberra. I currently work with HP as a BA, and im trying to work out how to get into the gaming industry.....

          I can only advise on the games journalism part because I do not have any experience with making games (perhaps any game devs reading this can jump in and offer some tips!).

          Game reviewers are not in demand. Everyone wants to review games and editors have no shortage of freelancers and staff writers who can write reviews. It is almost impossible to make a living from just reviewing games because there isn't enough work available. You need to be an all-rounder to make a living from games writing, which means being able to pitch and write feature stories, cover news, write criticism and review.

          I'm not sure if the same applies for tech journalism, which might be a bit more review-heavy than games journalism, but in this field in particular you need to demonstrate that you can do many things. Hope that helps.

    Hi, I’m Kipperton Beaumont,

    You might remember me from such popular animal-themed family game shows as Seal the Deal, Tiger Petting Party and Baby Llama Drama.

    I want to play a game.

    For your chance to win two tickets - for you and the animal of your choosing - to the upcoming season premiere of my new show, Hippopotamus Hypothesis, you must correctly answer Question 7 from season 1, episode 2, of Seal the Deal.

    Popular "East Coast" rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard famously interrupted Shawn Colvin during her acceptance speech for “Song of the Year” (Sunny Came Home) at the 1998 Grammys; the Wu-Tang star taking to the stage in protest of the hotly contested “Best Rap Album” category being awarded to the artist formerly known as P. Diddy.

    For two studio tickets and your chance to go into the draw for a weekend escape to Kokomo (you’ll get there fast and then take it slow, it’s where you want to go:

    Tracey, to Seal the Deal, can you name the rapper who would later - in no uncertain terms - claim full responsibility for advising Ol’ Dirty to “shut-down” the Grammys?

    I love the support of Indie games here on kotaku. Do you believe that Indie games are forming a bigger part of the gaming market? Will we see more Indie games and a smaller stable of "safe" AAA titles?

    Also, what's your opinion on mods and modders? Modders often release new content for games after they're considered "dead" by most gamers - do you see a good way to promote this kind of content and encourage people to try something new on an old game?

      At the moment it looks like we'll be seeing fewer but bigger AAA titles. We'll still have our CoDs, Mass Effects, Assassins Creeds and Battlefields because, as expensive they are to make, the returns on them are enormous. We'll probably see fewer middle-tier games as a result because publishers will want to put money into products and brands that they know will sell.

      This will probably mean a lot of developers who don't slot into the huge AAA model of game development will be looking to go indie so that they can make the games they want to make. It's definitely an exciting time for indies.

      Re: modders -- I think modding is great! What's the harm in bringing your own creativity to a game and breathing life into a title that hasn't been played in a while? A lot of game developers get their start working on mods -- I would encourage it. :)

        Glad to hear there's some mod love. :) As budding modder, I can say it often feels like players only care about the latest and greatest. Glad to hear that's not the case! (I

        Glad to hear there's some mod love. :) As budding modder, I can say it often feels like players only care about the latest and greatest. Glad to hear that's not the case! (I

    What games have stuck in your head ever since you first played them? FF7 and MGS wont leave me alone!

      Monkey Island often comes to mind. I almost think of levels from Theme Hospital a lot!

    im at school and im bored, what should i do tracey?

      Should do: STAY in school.
      Should not do: Drugs.

        Winners don't do drugs!

        Except Captain America, dude needs his super soldier serum to be a hero.

        So if you're a super hero (or planning to be one), maybe drugs are an option. But only experimental government research drugs!

    Where have you got your batman statue sitting now?

        Follow up question, have you considered slowly moving him across the room, so that after a few weeks, he's staring down at someone else?

        Words can't explain the awesome in that picture

    So I might just be very impatient and/or paranoid, but did you/Mark ever get the reader reviews I sent in a while ago? Normally I wouldn't pester anyone about them but I have no idea if they even went through. xD

    Also, I second Shane's point above about the kudos addition. The same for anything else that requires submissions. :)

      I don't think I have received it. Can you re-send it to me? tracey.lien at

    Continuation from your question....

    Initially as reviewing games and gaming products. I dont have an interest in programing, tried that on with ‘Level Design’ cert in Canberra. I currently work with HP as a BA, and im trying to work out how to get into the gaming industry…..

    How do you think a new Time Splitters game would fare in the current shooter climate?

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