Culture User Blog

Summer Lessons: A course in Cultural Understanding Part 1

6d ago ... Every so often, something gets announced in Japan that raises a few eyebrows in the West. It mostly has to do with sex, a topic where our cultures seem worlds apart. You get two basic responses when these strange titles come up. The first is one of condescension and ridicule. The second is one that can be summed up as “they’re Japanese, you wouldn’t understand”. Neither one of these responses h...

SteamWorld Dig: “From a man in the mines”

54d ago ... [b]By Herobyclicking[/b] I felt naked without a duster, hat and cigarello as the title screen flashed and the theme music haunted my ears. [i]SteamWorld Dig[/i] has all the trappings of the spaghetti western, neatly, if not oddly, framed in a post-apocalyptic, robo-steam driven future. Though developers Image & Form are located in Sweden, the American Western is no stranger. “I think it star...

What I've learned about corporate culture while at Runic Games

59d ago ... [b]by Wonder Russell[/b] I fell into the gaming industry almost by accident, serendipity. Prior to being hired by Flagship Seattle, I held jobs as diverse as a production manager for the film industry and working at a daycare. Now that I find myself with the supreme luck of working at Runic Games, I tell anyone that asks that I have the best job in the world.  I started thinking, how does...

Indie Strong

73d ago ... [b]By Cat[/b] He was wearing a bright red plastic fireman’s hat and soliciting the Indie Alley traffic like their very gaming salvation depended on it. As I approached the booth for my scheduled interview I surreptitiously surveyed their reactions and those of the people already playing, confirming that it wasn’t just me - Fire Hose Games Fire Chief Eitan Glinert has infectious enthusiasm. I...

A Gamer/Game Dev's Opinion of the Game Industry in 2014

74d ago ... [b]By Chris Chung, [i]Catlateral Damage[/i][/b] I’ve been a gamer for the majority of my life. I grew up with Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Pokémon Blue and have been playing games ever since. I’ve been immersed in gaming culture for the past 15 years, have been working in the industry for the last 2 years, and I’m now beginning my career as an indie game developer creating my...

Fettered by Fun

118d ago ... The word ‘fun’ is attached with gaming culture to a rather excessive degree. For roughly thirty years, the simple feeling of amusement or the quality of being enjoyable has been the key, oftentimes only, focus on the creative side of developing video games; even development books have been crafted into understanding and harnessing fun. Think about that: for as long as most of you, the audienc...

The Continued Stupidity Of Social Justice Warriors In Gaming Part 1

146d ago ... It is no secret about my opinion on Social Justice, its Warriors, and their place in the gaming consciousness and culture. I'm not going to go into things I've already stated in previous blogs and comments about that topic, but I am going to first engage in a nuclear facepalm, a sigh, and then discuss why I was forced to do those two things. It all started with this... http://www.polygon....

The True Value of VR

177d ago ... Over the past few years, something that was seen as a joke, as a flop (Virtual Boy) a mere decade ago has become a very feasible reality. I'm talking about Virtual Reality. When Occulus Rift launched its Kickstarter, it certainly got a lot of attention. However, I can't speak for you, but I doubted it would become anything significant (see: Ouya). But I was wrong. Occulus Rift has not only begu...

3DS: The Moses of the JRPG genre

208d ago ... For those who didn't attend Sunday school or perhaps never saw Prince of Egypt, Moses was a Biblical character who led a few million Hebrew slaves out of Egypt and into their promised land full of milk, honey, and...well, full of not being a slave anymore, too. It's an iconic story in Western culture of how one brave man led a nation to a better place. I figure I might as well get the explan...

Read before you write - an essential practice

212d ago ... I'll touch on the ice cream sandwich soon enough. Most of us would probably agree that game journalism in general is not quite where it should be. Some might even say it's mostly bad. I know I would. But if we more or less agree on the problem, could we come together on a solution? If I were to abridge my suggestion to improve the culture surrounding video game writing as much as possible...

5 Reasons Videogame Movies are Terrible

223d ago ... I have been an avid gamer my whole life. Coming from a poorer family I was always one generation behind; got a Genesis when the PS1 came out etc... Because of this I actually started gaming on the Atari 2600. I have watched games progress and improve over 6 generations of gaming technology. What I haven't watched is movies based on games improve with time the same way. Currently Hollywood...

Terror vs. Terrible: Horror returns to the mainstream

230d ago ... As per usual, we have a lot of horror titles to be excited for in 2014, but what makes this year particularly special is the fact that we're finally seeing a true return to form for a genre that lost it's way in the loudest corner of gaming culture. Last Year, I believe, I became exponentially excited about an indie game that was green-lit on Steam, tearing through every little drop of infor...

Some Gamer Culture Bugbears of Mine

318d ago ... In this blog, I’d like to talk about just three of the many things about gamer culture that perennially bother me. I’ll talk about them separately, but I think these three things are actually quite intimately related. Alas though I don’t think I have the space to engage in such a comparative study, so readers might try to connect the dots for themselves. I think I certainly allude to those conn...

Beyond, Hackers, and Naked Celebrities

324d ago ... (If that title sounds like I'm just grabbing for hits, you have not been following the news with Beyond) Well, this is different and interesting! Is it strange that I’m excited to talk about this? I just find the differences between developer’s ideas and what the players get to see really fascinating. Throw in one of the more interesting moral quandaries of our digital age, and you have a...

The Let's Play Phenomenon

328d ago ... Today I want to talk about the cultural phenomenon that is the "Let's Play" and how important I feel it is not only for gaming as a culture but also for the industry. First of all, what is a "Let's Play"? Well for those of you not already in the know, basically a Let's Play in regards to "video games" is a video in which you watch another person play through a video game, usually whilst offe...

The State Of Gamer Discussions Online.

329d ago ... When mainstream media, or people not within the gaming culture, take a look at how gamers discuss things online; a clear sense of bewilderment and possibly disgust is a common opinion. Regardless of age or position in life, we gamers tend to speak colourfully about gaming at the best of times. Whether that be because of the idea of internet anonymity, attention seeking (or trolling for the lulz...

Referencing the References: Do We Need New Jokes?

338d ago ... (I'm writing seriously about jokes and isn't that the biggest joke of all? Yes.) Memes and that, am I right guys? Cake is a lie, Battletoads is hard and where is Half Life? lol. Most everyone enjoys seeing something that they recognise in something else that they’re fond of for a little giggle every now and then, but I’m not wrong in thinking that videogames seem to be the one medium that us...

The Corporate Co-option of Indies and the Subordination of Creativity and Positive Subversion

350d ago ... Creativity, experimentation, innovation. These things give rise to new frontiers in human consciousness, as well as challenging our most stubborn of assumptions. For when something genuinely "new" is made, it creates a new space in culture; it channels a new voice to be heard by the world that was either unknown prior to its creation, or was silenced or suppressed. Creativity and experimenta...

On Kojima, Quiet, And What Actual Maturity Is.

372d ago ... Here we go again. Western ideology trying to impose itself around the world, oblivious to culture or society. First it was Dragon's Crown and its creator being labelled a 14 year old boy, now it's Hideo Kojima being labelled misogynistic. Why you ask? It's all because of the female character known as Quiet and how Kojima deliberately made her appearance to be more "sexy" for cosplayers. That's...

Gamer rage: Verbal abuse vs constructive criticism.

389d ago ... The complain culture that has become rampant in the videogames community, and how it lends itself (often unknowingly to those contributing to it) to undermining our right to legitimate criticism, is a subject that I've been wanting to discuss for a while now. For quite some time now we have been hearing reports and have often witnessed for ourselves, the comments made by the increasingly voc...
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