TotalBiscuit, FUN Creators and Critique.

The argument that video games are forms of art has been made several times. An important part of art is the ability to criticise the artist, the art and the art form as a whole. It’s worked that way for centuries with other forms of tradition art.

However, with this new art form come new critics and new artists who aren’t used to taking such “harsh” criticism, even when it’s warranted.

TotalBiscuit on the Cynical Brit YouTube channel is well-known in the gaming industry for his fair, but often highly critical analysis of video games. Last year, after a scathing review of a video game called “Day One Garry’s Incident”, the game’s developer Wild Games filed a copyright claim against the “WTF is…” video in which the review appeared. (It should be noted that TotalBiscuit wasn’t the only critic who slammed the game. His review was just the most prolific.)

After some intense back and forth between the YouTube channel, it was revealed that Wild Games had filed the claim under a false pretence and were forced to apologise to TotalBiscuit for having the video taken down.

The incident revealed some pretty gaping flaws in YouTube’s copyright system.

It seems like history is repeating itself.

After the “WTF Is…  Guise of the Wolf?” appeared on Youtube being highly critical of the game’s mechanics, voice acting and how many bugs were in the game. TB told his audience that this game wasn’t worth the money that it was asking for.

This is where the fun begins. The creators of the game FUN Creators filed a false copyright claim against the video (all videos use Fair Use). TotalBiscuit’s reps sent the developers an email asking why copyright claim was filed and that it’s illegal to file a claim as the video is a critique. The reply email from FUN Creators implied that the review was a paid review by someone else to criticise the game and that they would get their lawyers involved to find out who was behind the review.

TotalBiscuit announced the issue and FUN Creators hit back saying that any emails that were release were faked and not from their studio. Both claims are incredibly serious but only one person was correct. TB again provided proof that Fun Creators were making serious threats against him and his channel.

Finally, at the end of all this, FUN Creators want TB to take down his channel, tweets and pretty much anything related to the incident or they’ll sic their lawyers on the channel and everyone involved.

I try to present these facts without too much bias to allow you to make up your own mind.

Personally, without my journalist or reviewer side kicking in, I’m sick of developers trying to manipulate the system for their advantage and try to remove any critical analysis of their work. Like I said at the beginning of… whatever this is, art is presented without comment and readily for critique. Without it, art has no meaning. Games can present a story and a purpose, but without critique, there can’t be any discussion of the deeper meaning of what the story means for the player or the world.

When more information comes to light, I’ll update this post.

TotalBiscuit logo by Jamspencer on DeviantART.

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Warner Brothers Put DLC Above Bugs

Talking about new DLC and upcoming patches for Batman: Arkham Origins, Warner Brothers came out last week and said “The issues that are not progression blockers will unfortunately no longer be addressed.” Essentially, unless it’s a game breaking bug, you’re shit out of luck.

While talking to a friend about the amazing performance Troy Baker gives in Origins, my friend mentioned that he was pissed off that Warner Brothers had said more-or-less “fuck you” to their entire fan base. He put it down to the last generation (Xbox 360/PS3) coming out and developers/publishers trying to push more content out quicker, then patching it later. I have a few friends who also share this thought.

Unfortunately, there are a few development houses guilty of this style of publishing. With most households that have consoles/gaming PCs being connected to the Internet, why publish something correct the first time when you can slip a quick patch in every week or so? It’s disheartening to think that this could be the future of modern gaming.

Although, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With some developers willing to patch games day after day, there are still plenty of quality game makers who put games through their paces with vigorous game testing. Customers obviously play the biggest part in making changes to the industry and if people let it be known that they aren’t willing to buy broken game, perhaps the developers will start making finished games, instead of buggy ones.

(Quote from Warner Bros originally found here)

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Two Games Down, 98 More To Go…

In the month since I started the Steam Challenge, I’ve felt quite overwhelmed. Realising how much time and effort this will require, the size of my list, what I can finish and what I can’t; it’s all a lot to think about!

Some of the pressure has been relieved, thankfully, when this week I finished two games. I know it’s only two games, but it’s a start and sometimes that’s all you need.

This week I finished Mass Effect 2 (no plans to finish Mass Effect 3 since it isn’t in my Steam list, but I’ll probably import my character and actually finish Mass Effect 3… eventually) and a texty-point-and-clicky RPG called Monsters Love You.

My Mum asked me about this challenge recently. I explained to her the basic rules and regulations I’ve imposed on myself and what I’ll be doing. Her second question was “How many games do you need to play?”

“Well, I’ve got 100 games in my list and I’ve figured that I can play at least half of them before I have to start looking at games that I can’t actually finish.”

While my Mum doesn’t necessarily understand my work, her interest in it (or feigning of) is nice, too. Hopefully with the coming months and more games being completed, she’ll be my own personal cheer-squad.

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Steam Challenge: Humble Bundles, Steam Games and the Internet Plots Against Me.

I actually think the Internet is working against me this year. When I decided to start the Steam Challenge, the first thing people said was “What about Humble Bundles!?” Ah, Humble Bundles…

If you’re not a gamer and don’t know what a Humble Bundle is, they’re a group of games that you purchase for whatever price you think they’re worth. The money you spend goes to charity. It’s a pretty cool idea. Some people just pay over the recommended price to get the extra goodies, but I’ve seen donations for games upwards of thousands of dollars.

So while I’ve been doing the Steam Challenge, I’ve pretty much ignored the Humble Bundle stuff on social media and such so that I won’t be tempted to buy anything. And then this happened:

 bundle

A text message from Tyr (the boyfriend) telling me about the new bundle and its games.  Apparently, the boyfriend has joined the evil forces of the Internet in trying to tempt me with new games. I went to look at what games the Codemasters Bundle included because apparently I’m a giant idiot who likes to tempt myself. Thankfully, the only games that really appealed were games I already had (thankfully!)

Humble Bundle: 0. Rade: 1.

In other news…

I’ve started Mass Effect 2, Peggle Deluxe, Plants vs. Zombies and Half-Life 2. I think that with two story-heavy games, Peggle and PvZ break up the long hours of game play. The list of games I’m playing is available here if you’ve got suggestions on what I should play!

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Steam Challenge: Week 1

Half a week in to the Steam Challenge and I haven’t completely lost my mind. After the initial freak out and planning stage (which didn’t go well, to be honest), I started playing games from the beginning and making some simple rules for my challenge to follow.

For the challenge to be a little easier to manage, I decided to go through the games I can play. I’ll go through all my games and make sure that I haven’t missed anything, but the list so far contains 52 games which is just over half of my Steam list.

Secondly, I realised that this challenge might interfere with the whole “review” part of my job description. So I add this clause, any game that I have to review doesn’t count towards this challenge. Although, all the games that I review, I buy for myself so that would go against the rules of the challenge.

Lastly, any game that I can’t finish (online games, multiplayer-only games), I will spend at LEAST half an hour playing and I’ll document it with a Let’s Play, to show that I’ve done it. At the end of the challenge (or when I break), I’ll put together a thing and write up what I discovered about gaming. Or something. Maybe I’ll just wax lyrical about crap like I normally do.

Like always, if you’ve got suggestions for what games to play, the list is linked above. Should I play them alphabetically? Short to long?

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