Winter is here. Or at least it is where I am. Cozy up somewhere warm and enjoy this week’s round up.
First up is this piece on why you should cheat in games. It’s a pretty interesting read and does highlight how cheats, mods and console commands can be used to create an easier play level. This makes sense to me, and I’m all for mods and adapting a game to your needs/wants. My first thought is that while this all makes sense, cheating is not cool in a PvP game. Not only because it makes you a dick with an unfair advantage, but since some developers can weald the ban hammer against those who have had contact with cheaters, it’s pretty shitty too. However, I remember when console cheats were the norm, and developers would release them to game’s magazines, where they were then passed around from gamer to gamer. (Shout out to Donald who lived across the road and told us that inputting BARRY into the Lion King on the SNES allowed you to select any level.) So, personally I think there’s maybe more nuance to the subject than this article goes into, but it’s worth a read nonetheless.
This is a pretty serious but extremely worthwhile read. Since Brexit, Trump’s election and the rise of the right in Europe, we’ve all been questioning how this happened. Here, Willie Osterweil shows how fascism has been festering in our own community for a long time, fuelled by the perpetuated thorn of the bulled nerd trope. There are plenty of people in game/’nerd’ culture who challenge these Gamer Gate types, but I’m left wondering, is there more we can do? I don’t know. The theme of powerlessness has been haunting me recently. Admitting it is the first step though, and it’s important we recognise that the ‘outsider’ myth of our community has created fascism within. It is part of the problem.
Speaking of how awful society is, let’s look at how games reflect technology and capitalism! This piece from Waypoint looks at Doom and Inside in the context of the exploitation of the working class body.
Voice actors are still on strike. The initial social media commentary seems to have died done, so it’s good to see that it’s still getting some media attention. This is a pretty detailed article talking to some of the actors and union members involved.
Gita Jackson is continuing her look into The Sim’s fandom, and this week wrote about teen pregnancy mods. This was really fascinating to me – I’ve played The Sims since I was a kid, and even though I’m not as into it as I was then, I still like to keep up with the franchise and play new expansions now and then. Since I’m not in the fandom, I had no idea people role play to the extent outlined in the article. I’m really amazed by the dedication and creativity shown by some of the simmers (?) is impressive. I’m also amused by the hand-wringing that real teens will become pregnant because of these mods.
I really enjoyed this article on dying in games and how it is a learning experience. This is not a new subject matter, but this article went into some details on resilience, reflection and how death penalties can change for harder difficulty. Really worth a read.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and I’ll see you later.