So, I sort of missed last week’s Sunday Swatch so here’s an extra large version to make up for it. Enjoy all this gaming goodness.
Let’s start with an update on voice actors on strike. Vice breaks down some of the issues that voice actors are protesting against, namely not knowing what projects they are working on. One reason that is given for keeping actors in the dark is the potential for leaks. And yes, some Fallout information did leak through a casting call, but the biggest leaks are the company employees themselves. Idle chat leaked the news of the PS Pro and carelessness leaked the title of the new Tomb Raider. Giant Bomb has this article discussing what unions are and why they’re important to the workforce, which is a good read even if you’re a card carrying member of your local union.
Moving on from working adult life woes, to childhood memories – Kotaku revisited Neopets to see if it’s still alive. And it is, in a half dead kind of way. For anyone who loved Neopets back when they were young, this article is both nostalgic and kind of sad. I am interested in how online game worlds age, and what happens to them when the world moves on from them. For Neopets it seems to have gone in a weird direction to survive.
Are you still on the hype train for Dishonored 2? Even if you’re not a fan of Dishonored this is a great read about virtual city spaces. Representing an authentic feeling settlement is often a hit or miss in games, and when you stop to think of everything that makes your city it’s understandable. This post focuses on Dunwall specifically, but it’s a good investigation of what makes it believable as a city. Plus there’s lots of beautiful shots of the city that’s almost worth the click through alone.
Do you delight in messing with in game worlds? Playing a game exactly how it shouldn’t be? Or just watching Snake crawl around in a cardboard box? Then this article about the trickster is perfect for you.
Kotaku interviewed a self proclaimed “boring” gamer and it’s really good. I’m really into the idea that it’s worth picking the brain of “normal” gamers. Personally I love a good interview with someone I know nothing about, so the whole thing was felt charming to me.
Are you visiting Skyrim once again? One of my favourite things from the fandom is the in-depth stories players tell about their home lives. This is a beautiful and compelling tale of werewolves, vampires and love won and lost. Read it and remember what makes RPGs like Skyrim so special.
And now, for our grand finale, I present: The Gaming Controversy of The Week. Here is where it all kicked off, an article on Rock Paper Shotgun looking at the code of Rimworld and questioning the gender politics behind the system.
The dev of Rimworld replied to the RPS article (which you can still see there) and then went on Reddit to explain his position further. This article and this one explain some more of how it became A Controversy.
I’m not going to wade too much into this as the articles I’m posting here cover all my feelings better than I could. But I will say this: whether the dev intended to make a statement with his coding or not, the fact that it has led to players discussing killing off lesbians makes me feel uneasy. Also his statements that there are no bi men, only gays and straights in various states of denial makes me angry. It also seems dumb to me that after all the extensive research he tells us he did into sexuality, that he then went on to rush the related code and give it no thought…
What I also find interesting from this discussion is whether or not code is fair game or not, especially since Rimworld is not a finished game. I agree with Polygon here that since players pay for Rimworld, that yes, it’s fair game. It also highlights different views of coding – some are viewing it as a means to an end and therefore should not be analysed. But since coding is the skeleton, or maybe the brain and psychology of the game, then of course it should be analysed. Code is a language and once it is employed by a person and used to create something, then it no longer remains neutral.
Anyway, here are some reactions from Twitter that I collected, either because they add intelligently to the conversation or because they made me laugh.