The Final Score: Why #GamerGate Has Won

Over the past 48 hours #GamerGate opponents have been spreading a narrative about how #GamerGate is a dying (it’s hovering around 50k tweets per day), or it’s popularity picked up because of those attacking it. Opponents have also crusaded against Women and People of Color stating that their support of #GamerGate is nothing more than 4chan creating fake accounts.

It's clear that #GamerGate is not irrelevant, yet the opponents say otherwise.

It’s clear that #GamerGate is not irrelevant, yet the opponents say otherwise.

If you ask me. #GamerGate has won. I don’t expect widespread changes in gaming news anytime soon, but the call for relevant journalism, fair reporting, and fair practices in the industry has been well noted. Sites, bloggers, etc. can no longer ignore the cry of the gamer. As much as they would like to drown their voices, gamers are ultimately the consumer, and these feelings may hit the wallets of advertisers and developers.

Opponents will continute to attack #GamerGate. There will be those who will try to project the actions of a few extreme people to the entire mmovement These things occur when one side loses an argument. Projection is a surefire way to rile up the emotions of the opposition, and they have done a good job charging those people up, however, it proved to energize #GamerGate supporters as well.

#GamerGate has won. Gamers have a voice, even if it is only through a twitter hashtag. Don’t let the opposition fool you otherwise into thinking your voice doesn’t matter… that #GamerGate doesn’t matter. Those in support of #GamerGate have legitimate concern about the direction and integrity of the industry. The cronyism, racketeering, and vicious attacks of the consumer must be put to an end. We’re on the way to reaching this reality.

Now go play some Video Games!

Edit: I want to shout out  two great sources of gaming news. Check out Nintendo Life, and Push Square for Nintendo and Sony news respectively.

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Why I Can’t Buy Sims 4 Yet (And my Week 1 Picks)

The Sims 4 released early Tuesday morning. As someone who’s played all the Sims game since its beginning in 2000, I’ve always followed each release closely. It took me years to finally get into the Sims 3, but I can admit I had a ton of fun with it. I played the base game with a single expansion that I purchased from Humble Bundle, so I still didn’t get the full Sims 3 experience that I could have had. Once I heard news about The Sims 4, my ears perked up and my sweat glads started firing through the excitement. Finally, a Sims game that had a robust Create a Sim mode which would give me the ability to create a multitude of various Sims.

Fast forward to today, and I still haven’t been able to jump on the bandwagon. The excitement that I had for the game is still there, but my unease about the game itself outweighs it. I’ll give you three dumb reasons why I can’t purchase the Sims 4 right now.

1. No Pre-Release Reviews
Some people may not see this as a big deal, but I think a lot has to be said that a massive publisher won’t let let reviews out before release date. The obvious idea may be that they don’t want the inevitable bad reviews it would get if they feel the product was lackluster. If the reviews before release are bad, people won’t buy the game… Preorders would be cancelled. Disaster. But here we are, with no reviews of the game. User reviews have been less than stellar as the aggregate user review on Metacritic has plunged to a paltry 3.7. As of the time of this writing, the critic meteoritic score sits at 70. Reviews aren’t everything, but if my past experience with EA indicates anything… I don’t have much home for this game.

2. The Bugs
Freddy Kreuger babies are real. Clipping is a serious problem. Sims pathing can be frustrating at time. Working in video games has shown me that no studio will release a game with no bugs… but the Kreuger Babies seem to happen so frequently, I don’t know how it could be missed. It will be patched later, but things like this give me a hard time trusting EA

Child of Kreuger

Child of Kreuger

with big name titles these days. From Sim City to Battlefield 4 to this? The Clipping issue was seen in demo builds that were played months ago… with no fix! I think a few more months of polishing would have done this game some good.

3. The Cost
$60 bucks for a base game with all of these issues have put me off to the title. Not to mention the content cuts (which are numerous) and the general lack of content simply because its a base game have me scared of the price tag. While 60 bucks for most people is acceptable, I can’t justify spending that amount on this base game with the issues and lack of confidence I have in EA at the moment. Once you figure in long term costs for more content, this will turn out to be one hell of an investment. I don’t think my wallet could handle getting sucked into this game at the moment, so for now… I’ll pass.

With that being said, if the game resonates well with people, and these issues are patched, I’ll pick up the game on sale. For now, I can’t justify spending 60 bucks on an unfinished game. The Create A Sim has me very excited as well as the visuals, but it can only take the product so far. October is shaping up to be a great month for the 3DS and Wii U, so I’ll spend my money there for now. Sims 4 isn’t going anywhere. I’ll check it out later.

WEEK 1 PICKS

Football Starts tonight! Here are my Week 1 picks, with the winners in CAPS.

WEEK 1 Picks. Winners in CAPS

Green Bay @ SEATTLE
NEW ORLEANS @ Atlanta
MINNESOTA @ St. Louis
Cleveland @ PITTSBURGH
Jacksonville @ PHILADELPHIA
Oakland @ NY JETS
CINCINNATI @ Baltimore
Buffalo @ CHICAGO
Washington @ HOUSTON
TENNESSEE @ Kansas City
NEW ENGLAND @ Miami
CAROLINA @ Tampa Bay
SAN FRANCISCO @ Dallas
INDIANAPOLIS @ Denver
NY GIANTS @ Detroit
SAN DIEGO @ Arizona

#GamerGate: A Boss Battle to Last a Lifetime

The fight rages on. Alexa ratings for pages such as Kotaku and Polygon fall. #GamerGate and #NotYourShield continue to trend on twitter. It finally looks like the gamers can change the course of gaming news in the long run. All is good.

While it looks like things are heading in the right direction, it’s important to remember that this will always be a battle that free thinking Gamers must face. There will always be those that want to use their influence in order to manipulate a narrative. Game publications that cater to their advertisers and publishers will always be under pressure to skew the news. We’re making progress, but this will not be a war with an end.

Over the course of human history there have been uprisings in various degrees. It can be as small as workers going on strike, to the American Revolution, but these all have one thing in common: a people united for a common cause; seeking to change the direction of their story. #GamerGate is the beginning of OUR story. The reclamation project of a hobby we’ve loved for many years. Gaming started as a humble shut-in activity and has grown to be the biggest entertainment medium in the world. Over the course of the years, things inevitably had to change, but the core of what makes video games so fun remains. 

So while we fight the powers that be, don’t get the idea that one day we will win this fight. Corruption, greed, and self-serving agendas will always be an issue that Gamers must sniff out and fight against. We have finally gained a voice in the Gaming Industry and it’s no longer sufficient that we speak with our wallets; but that we speak through various platforms as well. If we let #GamerGate die, the cancer of corruption will continue to spread without ceasing. 

While this experience has brought gamers together, and allowed people to form new friendships, we can’t allow this to become a cycle that we that we experience every few years. Keep the fight. Keep pushing. Keep demanding excellence and transparency. As I’ve said before, the various opinions of those involved in this industry are valid. We all just need to learn to respect each other. 

Remember this: Gamers are diverse. Gamers are unique. We all come from different stages in life; yet we can all bond and share an experience over a game of Mario Party. This business is influential for a reason. Don’t let that fire die because powerful people says that it should.

I’m a 26 Year Old Black Gamer. I am #NotYourShield.

What #GamerGate Means to a Black Gamer

Hi there. Black Gamer here (more on this later). I’ve spent my entire life playing games. I’ve played as Black dudes, White dudes, Black girls, White girls, and all colors in between. I’ve never been the type to look into a deeper meaning with games (for the most part) simply because they’re an escape from real life and an opportunity to visit worlds that were once impossible to visit. From saving the Galaxy as Commander Shepard, advancing on the enemy nexus on Summoners Rift, to constantly getting C- teammate scores in NBA 2K, I’ve played all sorts of games.

Growing up, I was primarily a Nintendo gamer. I was subscribed to Nintendo Power and would wait eagerly for the next great issue to come into the mailbox. It might have been my impressionable mind as a kid, but I always had the idea that Nintendo made the best games and make the best experiences for my friends and I. I eventually grew into opening up to Sony and Microsoft (while shunnung Nintendo during the Wii era), to a point now where I can only stomach a few PC games and Nintendo titles.

I don’t know exactly what changed between the late 90s and today. It could have been my taste in games, or growing out of some titles, but one thing has never changed, and that is my love for video games.

Over the past week, all gamers have heard about the Zoe Quinn scandal, and the ensuing #GamerGate movement happening on twitter. Over the past half decade or so game “news” has taken a sharp turn from informational to opinionated, and not just about games. While the internet is an amazing thing in which people can share their ideas and convictions, those who claim to be journalists must still adhere to a code of ethics and professional decorum. I learned this in my basic level communications classes.

Racism, Sexism, Mysogyny, Feminism. If you were to ask me, these are some dirty words being used quite frequently in all aspects in gaming talk. These blanket statements are used to silence critics, prop one’s ego, and shape the way the video game industry is viewed. Not only that, review sites are sent pretty generous gifts from studios and developers to get a good word out on that blockbuster title it just released. It’s hard to see where the line separates fairness from influenced writing.

Let’s not pretend this doesn’t only happen in games. A left leaning person will spit venom at Fox News, while MSNBC will gladly stretch the truth for its left leaning viewers. Conservatives will claim Fox is the end all be all in information, while scoffing at anyone who watches MSNBC is ill informed. While both sides have valid arguments, these people will cling to what they want to believe and hear, and take it as fact.

Game news is no different. Whether it’s an article about console wars, Social Justice, or Battlefield vs. Call of duty, we all have our own opinions, which helps advance the medium every day. When opinions are silenced, censored, or plain ignored by the media, this will cause a stagnation in the conversation about games.

Living in Los Angeles allows me to rub elbows with the Game Industry on an every day basis. The Industry has some of the best people I’ve met, and some of the most creative and wonderful minds I’ve come across. I hate to see developers go under because jobs are lost and I see what effort it takes to put out good games. These people work hard to give us our experiences, and I don’t want to see those handicapped because of radical views on what a game should be. These same developers may be too afraid to take a risk in their game because of backlash from the media, while a less deserved game will be propped up as the game to end all games.

As a Black gamer I’m told to be upset about the lack of diversity in games. I’m told to hate the straight while male demographic that dominates the industry. Maybe I’m out of touch with my people or my roots, but I simply don’t care. Give me a chance to make a Black character, and I’ll take it… But I won’t boycott a game simply because it has 3 White protags. I won’t blackmail a developer because of the story THEY want to tell. It might be my upbringing, but I just can’t bring myself to be offended about these things.

That being said, developers have an expectation to deliver great games, with FULL experiences out of the box, and give us VALUE for the money I spend.

I want games discussion to be open. I want to be able to engage with SJWs on a person to person level without being called nasty blanket terms because I disagree with a point. I want to have a civil conversation as to whether or not Wii U will come back as a desirable console. I’m hoping for too much, only because human nature will always get in the way, but in the meantime, #GamerGate will have us THINKING about how we talk to each other about games, and will hopefully encourage transparency to the media that covers it.

Aside

My NBA Draft Mock Draft Wish

~THE WAIT IS OVER~

It’s finally here. Draft day has arrived and tonight will settle the endless speculations about what will happen in this most unpredictable draft. The top 10 is about as deep and unpredictable as I’ve seen in a long time. I’m going to do a “mock” draft of what I’d like to see happen tonight. Don’t worry, it’s realistic, but it’s what I’d like to see happen as a Sixer fan and beyond. So let’s get started.

  1. CLE –Andrew Wiggins SG /Kansas
  2. MIL – Jabari Parker SF/Duke
  3. PHI – Dante Exum PG/Australia

Now this is where things may get interesting. Exum visited the Cavaliers recently for a workout. Now it may be a formality, or a smokescreen, but there may be genuine interest in picking him. The Cavs won’t snag Exum with the #1 pick, so I can see a Exum + 2nd round picks for Wiggins swap. So the top 3 would look like this.

  1. CLE – Dante Exum via PHI
  2. MIL – Jabari Parker
  3. PHI – Andrew Wiggins via. CLE

Now, this would be my ideal situation, however, there have been rumblings with Orlando being the forerunner for that #1 spot as well. I have a hard time believing Cleveland keeps whoever they pick #1, so I expect the pick to be traded before the draft, or the Cavs picking a player for another team.

  1. ORL – Noah Vonleh PF/Indiana
  2. UTA – Aaron Gordon PF/Arizona
  3. BOS – Joel Embiid C/Kansas
  4. LAL – Julius Randle PF/Kentucky

The Lakers have been high on Marcus Smart for awhile now. I think they make a strong push for Kyrie to run the point for the Lakers, thus Randle gets selected here. I could see Smart going here about as much as Randle.

  1. SAC – Marcus Smart PG/Oklahoma State
  2. CHA – Gary Harris SG/Michigan State
  3. PHI – Doug McDermott SF/Creighton

This won’t happen. It fits too well and there will be chaos throughout the top ten picks. Tonight is pretty much must-watch TV for any true basketball fans out there. So tune in tonight, sit back, relax, and enjoy the madness.

LeBrOpt Out

THE SUMMER OF LEBRON 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

LeBron JamesWell folks, we’re at it again. It still feels like it was mere months ago when the original “Decision” happened in front of millions of people on national TV. While I don’t expect any Decision type event in July, you can expect the constant ESPN coverage, and internet rumor mills exploding with anonymous “sources”. LeBron becoming a free agent instantly puts the NBA in a near must-follow spotlight over the next few weeks. It’s hard to deny the obvious impact LeBron has on the NBA, even if he isn’t the most popular guy in the league. That distinction may belong to Kevin Durant, however, LeBron commands so much airtime and intrigue, it’s hard to ignore. Sports fans all around the world will be watching as this saga unfolds right in front of our eyes.

Chicago? New York? Cleveland? Miami? Philadelphia? Let’s not forget the Heat are in the best possible situation as they can throw the most money at LeBron, WHILE already having a championship atmosphere in place. Each of these cities will be brimming with hope to reel in the biggest catch on the FA market this summer to please their fans and the owner’s wallets. Sorry Carmelo, but you’ve been demoted to a supporting role in this drama. Regardless, both Carmelo and LeBron make this the most interesting FA class since 2010, and it will not fail to deliver on the hype and drama.

Do you want your team to sign LeBron this offseason? What about Carmelo?

A Non-Soccer Fan’s Take on the World Cup

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Football Fever has taken over the entire world as the World Cup continues in Brasil. 32 countries have been facing off in their group for the better part of a week as teams are being whittled down, and we inch closer to the round of 16 starting later this week. As a general sports fan, I’ve never really been in tune with the original brand of football played around the world. I played soccer in 3rd grade, lost every game, and never looked back. While it wasn’t a scarring moment in my soccer life, it didn’t really give me a love for the sport that many others have.

Fast forward about 20 years, and I find myself watching my first full soccer match in my life this past Sunday. As I took in the sounds and action from Sunday’s US/ Portugal matchup, I found myself appreciating the little nuances of the game that a lot of the major sports in America don’t really have. The lack of commercials was quite refreshing, as is the national pride being laid on the field (or pitch I believe) for both squads. Watching one of the world’s best in Cristiano Ronaldo was quite a treat up until the 94th and a half minute, and witnessing the evolution of Soccer in the US as the team fought valiantly from an early 1-0 deficit.

The World Cup has exploded in popularity over the past decade, which I believe is mainly in part due to social media, and #FOMO, but it’s hard to not get excited about an event that puts the entire world on hold for a least a few weeks. While I’m excited for the NBA Draft, NFL Training Camp, and a pretty modest Phillies winning streak, I’ve found myself checking in more and more into a sport I had no desire to watch a few weeks ago. I’ll admit the same happened to me with the Stanley Cup Finals a few weeks back, but most of that had to do with bandwagoning an L.A. team.

So here I am, looking forward to Thursday’s match with genuine interest. I don’t know if this will translate into watching MLS or anything else down the line, I can safely say I gained a lot of respect for the worlds most popular sport, and can understand the craze it commands every 4 years. So with that said, let’s beat those Germans (or tie) on Thursday and shock the world over the next few weeks!