Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Enough With The Insults Please

Posted: November 27, 2011 by iancox1986 in General

So, it’s been a long time since anything was written here. Sorry about that. Life, you know? But now I need to share something that’s making me really quite, quite angry.

Usually when I write here, I come up with a draft in Word, have it proof-read, then copy it wholesale into the blog and format it. Today, I’m writing directly into the blog. This is coming off the cuff, there’s nothing pre-planned or edited in this; so if it’s a little rough around the edges, you have my apologies.

Being the modern type that I am, I have this morning been listening to the radio. I know, I know, it’s like it’s 1952! Anyway, to name and shame, I was listening to a Radio 5 programme called ‘Double Take’; which is presented by what sounds like (and from the website, certainly looks to be) two middle aged woman, complaining….sorry, reporting about the week’s stories.

I happened to turn on just as they were on that favourite hobby horse of middle aged women everywhere; tut-tutting about violent video games. Of course, this piqued my interest; I’m 25 years old and have been gaming for in excess of twenty years. As I tuned in, they were speaking about gamers cannot separate gaming from reality; how if they drop a pencil, they look for a button to pick it up, rather than bending down to get it themselves. Before I could get indignant about this, they asked an ‘expert’; who reasonably said, that yes, if someone has been playing a game for an extended period of time, they may for a split second have a reflex to perform a gaming action, but can easily differentiate gaming from reality, and so would never actually perform this action.

Of course, our MAW hosts (this is how I will now refer to them) took this and ran with it. ‘There you have it, gamers try to perform gaming actions as a reflex!’ Er, no. That’s not what she said. But let’s not allow that to get in the way of your crusade!

The MAW

Probably not the radio hosts.

Their next attack was to point towards ‘mounting evidence’ that there is a link between violent games and violent crime. Of course, they then managed to completely fail to present any of this ‘mounting evidence’; surely we’re meant to just take the MAW at their word. Frankly, I have mounting evidence that I should be the King of the Universe, but I’m not going to bother you with actually presenting said evidence; you should just believe me. Or, because I’m a gamer, run away screaming just in case I murder you. Hard. In the face.

They then spoke to a gamer that they had tamed for the occasion. I assume that they had him chained up and popped into a straighjacket, just in case he tried to plug a memory card into their foreheads to download their brains. He quite rightly pointed out that gaming has in fact proven very useful; helping surgeons with hand-eye co-ordination for example, and as a theraputic tool. He also stated that if we were to go on anecdotal evidence, then he is an example sat right in front of them; someone that’s been playing games (even – gasp! – violent games) for 20 years and hasn’t even killed a single person in real life!

Gamers busy not murdering people.

The MAW then quickly cut to the news, not being able to put a negative spin on this. After the news, we have some tweets read from listeners; another MAW that calls games ‘bad, bad, bad, bad, bad’ and thanks the presenting MAWs (now there’s a nasty image…) for highlighting this on the radio. I can only assume that her only experience of gaming is Carnival Games on the Wii; that would make think gaming was bad too.

We then have a tweet from a teacher – a paragon of morals and virtue, charged with moulding our little cherubs into fine and upstanding members of society. She comments that many of her students were off school the day that Call of Duty was released, so they must have been up all night playing it. Also, because of these games, all of her students are almost completely desensitized to violence, which is  BIG PROBLEM. The MAW appeared to pronounce both the capitals and the italics over the air; impressive.

Frankly, this is another opinion borne from scaremongering of the media, mixed with a lack of understanding of the games. I mentioned earlier that I have been gaming for over twenty years; a lot of games that I’ve played could be considered ‘violent’. However, far from being desensitized, I’m completely squeamish; papercuts make me feel nauseous, let alone the thought of genuine violence. I realise that I’m taking a focus group of one here, but that doesn’t suggest to me that we’re going to have a generation of people running around shooting each other because they expect their health to regenerate (which is another argument in itself).

The reason that I’m so hacked off at this is that my hobby, and the hobby of millions of others, is seen as fair game for the general populace and mass media to attack as evil, bad, rotten. And because I’m a gamer, I’m a problem. People ask I why I still play with something for kids; the same people that say kids shouldn’t play them because they’re violent (go figure). People ask why I don’t do something productive with my time, like watch a film or play some sport. This, apparently, is productive. I point out that actually, I’m not glued to my sofa; I have a full time job, I play a lot of sport when time permits, spend time with my family, go to the gym, and take part in other well rounded and wholesome activities. But, because I’m a confessed gamer, I’m frowned upon.

I thought, when these same opinions were being cast around ten years ago, that as a society we’d move on beyond seeing gaming as a boogie man. But it seems that we’ve gone backwards, and the hysteria is worse than ever. The problem is, only gamers will think to read this. Therein lies the problem; within the bubble, we know that we’re not pyschopathic face-murderers. But those on the outside refuse to look in, and instead paint as some sort of child eating monsters. Frankly, it’s getting harder to take.

I have no suggestions on how to change this; all the time that the mass population is being spoon fed scare stories from the popular media, we have no chance. So here’s what we do; enjoy our hobby. Ignore those that don’t get it. Because, remember, they were once like us; listening to music their parents didn’t get. But, don’t judge them. That would make us just as bad. Instead, inform, and if they still refuse, agree to disagree; hold the high ground.

Like I said; this would be rough around the edges. But hopefully, it hasn’t been too incoherent.

Ian

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Weee-ooo.

Ok, I’ve got that out of my system now. But come on, really? You’d have thought the big N would have learned their lesson with naming by now…

Anyway, I thought that now E3 is over, I’d start arranging my rambling and dangerous thoughts into something vaguely coherent. Today I’m exploring my thoughts on the newly announced Nintendo Wii-U; some Ninty fanboys may want to look away now…

The nPad

It would be daft to start anywhere other than the elephant in the room; that controller. It’s like the bastard offspring of a DS and an iPad, and frankly doesn’t live up to the lofty heights of either parent. It looks like a FisherPrice toy, and enjoys something of an identity crisis as I can see. Is it a controller? Is it a handheld? Is it a tablet? I’d put my money on Nintendo trying to use it as all three, and coming up short.

wiiPad

wiiPad

To be fair to it, it’s certainly innovative. The idea of switching between handheld and console is certainly an interesting one, and used innovatively could be a fantastic step forward for the industry. However, I have concerns. It has been announced that so far there only plans for one of these controllers to be used with a console at a time; other players will be forced onto wiimotes/classic controllers. Not so impressive.

Also, I can see Sony sneaking up and stealing Nintendo’s thunder with the Vita. It’s close to PS3 spec, and will inevitably interact with the console in the future – Naughty Dog have already stated that the Uncharted game for Vita will interact with Uncharted 3 on PS3. Sony has a track record here, too; the remote play function of the PSP is not well known, but it was fantastically implemented. In trying to be too clever, Nintendo could be late to their own party.

PS Vita - Weeoo killer?

Spec

So far we know that the Wii-U will handle up to 1080p graphics, but we so far have no details on actual spec. Several third party developers have said that their cross-platform games will appear on the Wii-U, but that raises some questions for me. If the Wii-U is (as rumoured) of superior spec to even the PS3, will the ports take advantage of this, or be straight ports from the other consoles, thus rendering the extra spec pointless? Or will they be optimised, but inevitably take longer to arrive, thus leaving the Wii-U at a time lag disadvantage?

As with the previous couple of generations, the Wii-U will live or die on its first party exclusives. Rabid fanboys will eat up the inevitable HD iterations of Zelda, Mario and the like, but will that be enough to sway other gamers that have already been spoiled by the HD class of Xbox360 and PS3? Nintendo’s leap into HD isn’t nearly as jaw dropping as Microsoft’s and Sony’s, simply because it is already the norm.

Price

A big one, this. How much will the controller drive up the price of the system? Are Nintendo going to have to abandon (to an extend) the ‘casual’ market that made the Wii so successful? Will the hardware and more ‘serious’ games appeal to a generation of gamers that’s already shelled out for one or both of the established HD giants enough to part with yet more cash? Ninty have so far proved recession proof by driving into a new market, but trying to step back into an already (over?)saturated marketplace in challenging economic conditions will certainly represent a big gamble. Indeed, Iwata himself has said that this new console ‘won’t be cheap‘.

Until more is announced about the Wii-U, I’m certainly not leaping on the ‘day one purchase’ bandwagon. Rabid Nintendo fanboys won’t care a jot about anything I’ve just said; they’ll just be salivating at yet another facsimile Zelda adventure made shinier with HD graphics. But what about everyone else? The floating gamer that just likes to bust out Wii-Sports or Rock Band every now and then?

Let me know your thoughts on the new console. It would be interesting to see what effect the announcement has really had.

I’ve kept quiet for long enough on this subject. I find it difficult to speak about; simply because the total onslaught of opposition I have on the topic. It’s no surprise to anyone that a good portion of video gamers are ridiculously devoted to certain games. Some gamers would defend them, even in face of indisputable evidence, that a certain feature was poor in comparison to anotherSome of them are ‘fan boys’, some are people who genuinely enjoy the game and some are just jumping on the bandwagon because they love a good bit of mindless devotion. It’s for these reasons that I tentatively approach the subject of one of the worlds biggest first person shooters: Halo.

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Multiplayer Mayhem (I Miss You)

Posted: May 22, 2011 by iancox1986 in Features, General
Tags: , ,

Multiplayer Mayhem

So after a long hiatus from writing (I’m blaming the combination of a broken finger and an even more broken laptop), I thought it was about time I bored the internet with my thoughts
again. The basis for this blog struck me a few weeks ago – those of you not living under a rock will, of course, realise that this was slap bang in the middle of the PSN down time.
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In the last 24 hours Sony has unveiled its latest hardware: Playstation Tablets. This article at IGN shows two designs that Sony have planned for this fall. They will be released globally on a date to be confirmed, and have been named as the S1 and S2. Pricing details have not been announced, but you will be able to download PS1 titles, (most people would either own them, or have them on the PS3 by now I would have thought?) as well as performing other tablet related activities. The main difference between the two from what I can see so far will likely be the pricing and the size and design of the screens, as you can see from the picture below.
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New Faces

Posted: April 7, 2011 by CptToffer in General

Hello Antiherogamers!

First and foremost you have my sincerest apologies for the disruptions of the last two months. It has simply been internet connection problems; which are now solved. Now that we are back up and running you can witness the fire-power of this fully armed and operational… wait sorry I went off on a tangent then…

What I meant to say was that now we are back up and running we have some announcements. Yes, that’s right actual announcements. Both of which are exciting and interesting so hang onto your hats and read on!

Firstly we welcome two new persons to the Antiherogaming team! These are Ian and Dave aka Vinny V and Shogun. You can head over to the “The Team” page to read their personal information, bank details and blood type should the mood take you. Ian will be joining us as an additional writer this is to ensure that we get more gaming news and information that you guys crave! He’s a great writer and a very welcome addition to the team. Dave joins us in a quality control capacity. He will be reviewing work, submitting a few ideas and helping out generally. He’s like an editor minus the power, pay or desk. The lucky sod.

Secondly is that I (Toffer) will be submitting work from time to time on a neighbouring website: GamingLives. It’s a top site and is growing in popularity rapidly. So head over there when you can; take a gander at my work and that of other people. My first piece there will be an improved and more in depth version of my post on regenerating health which attracted so much attention the first time around. It will be up sometime in the future so have a look will ya!

See you all soon!

CptToffer

Into Oblivion (Again)

Posted: March 13, 2011 by CptToffer in Features, General
Tags: , ,

Hello antiherogamers!

Despite not having the internet, I’ve kept up with the majority of gaming news. (God bless word of mouth and magazines) and have seen the coverage of “Skyrim” the new Elders Scrolls game.

I bought Oblivion, the previous entry to the series and played it religiously when it first came out and after sinking around 200 hours into it, I lost my saved game to a PC virus. Total fail.

I didn’t play it for some time until now as I thought it due to recent announcement it would be good to go back and finish the game

When it comes to Role Playing Games, ‘ something of a moron. This is because I totally miss the fucking point of them. If im playing an RPG, I generally go for the most human looking character, a male, whose main skills revolve around the use of guns/swords, bartering/speech and generally going for a combat/personality angle.

The thing is I want to break the mould. I want to try something different. I don’t want to play the same person in a different setting over and over.

So, as part of this little experiment I’ve started Oblivion again and will be recording how I get on. I’m going to be well outside my comfort zone and while I won’t be going finding every little quest in the game, there will be enough random run ins and side quests that pull my attention from saving the world.

Look for an update for the next couple of days for my first days in-game!

Have a good week

CptToffer