A holiday won't stop me from sharing the best games writing from the past week with you!
Hey, You Should Read These
- "Here's what a 10-year-old thinks of Splatoon, her first online competitive shooter" by Chad Sapieha
As we suffer through endless hot takes on whether Splatoon is or isn't a shooter (who cares?!), I'm curious what audience the game begins putting together. It won't surprise me if parents decided to use Splatoon as a way of introducing their children to a genre that's typically too violent for them. It's why I was captivated by Chad Sapieha's conversation with his daughter! What she observed about the game, what the cared (and didn't care about) is utterly fascinating.
Did you find it more immersive than other games you've played?
What's immersive mean?
Like you were there, inside the game. That you, not your avatar, were the one doing the shooting and splattering.
Well, no. And that makes me happy. Because I don't want to feel like I'm covered in paint, or that I'm a squid swimming through paint. And this game isn't as aggressive as I thought it might be. It's not violent the way I hear other shooters are. Like, when you die, you don't really die or anything. It has kind of a bright, happy atmosphere, actually. Because it's Nintendo, right? And it's very colourful, and nice to look at. Except when you're fighting with red and green paint. That's when it's most warlike. Because red and green don't go well together. At all. Except at Christmas. And even then, really.
There's a single-player area, a multiplayer arena, and a local competitive mode for two players. Which did you like most?
I liked online play the most, because you get to have a team. Which is great. I'm not the best player out there, and having a team I can rely on is great. I really like that. But it's kind of a personal thing. I'd rather not get into it.
Yeah. Let's move on, dad.
- Hatred: gaming's most contrived controversy by Keith Stuart
It's with some shame I admit Hatred got a rise out of me, since that seems to be driving its marketing. Twitter encourages — nay, relies on — our worst impulses and reactions, so when I saw the trailer, I felt compelled to share...something, anything. I may have just made fun of "hot takes," but I'm guilty of my own, as well. By most accounts, Hatred is a pretty by-the-numbers action game with the thematic trappings of Postal, now creatively engineered for 2015 outrage. I am probably curious enough to download and play it, so I can say I did. Anyone else?
Hatred is not a rebellious game. It is an isometric third-person twin-stick shooter that adheres to the conventions of that ancient genre with obsequious rigidity. Its understanding of anarchy is a teenager's bedroom delusion, a comedic supermarket sweep of deadbeat pulp horror cliches. It is the slasher film, the death metal band, of games — providing the same sort of production line viscerality to the kids who think Slipknot and the Saw movies are cool and transgressive. It is as dangerous and provocative as telling your mum you've brushed your teeth when you haven't.
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Oh, And This Other Stuff
- Daniel Starkey argued games with sex should make us feel uncomfortable.
- Leigh Harrison believed the boredom in Valiant Hearts was the point.
- Maddy Myers revealed her experiences with bullying and trying to conform to norms.
- Holly Nielsen pointed out how exaggerated women is a disservice to all genders.
- Alex McCown performed a detailed analysis of the Charlie's Angels game. It's great.
- Austin Walker has been hired by Giant Bomb, and I couldn't be more excited about it.
- Bryant Francis explored what happened to all the educational video game companies.
- Chris Kohler pointed out the Vita has already been "dead" for several years.