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I'll vote for Half-Life 2 as well. It's available on pretty much any PC now, plus PS3, XBox 360, and XBox Classic (which is the version I'll be playing if it works on 360.)
If you're buying HL2 now, you might want to wait until Sunday, when the deals roll over, it might go as a Community Choice/Flash Sale for $2.50 between now and then (if $2.50 is worth waiting for to you.)
I love the idea of a game club, I'll happily join in when I can.
On the idea for multiplayer games: Why don't we get a Steam group going? (This also could help the club part.) We had a Steam Group for the Chroma alpha, and being able to see that a game session was scheduled was awesome, made it easy to jump in, no preparation ahead of time. It'd also facilitate more impromptu games (i.e. you see part of the group playing Counter Strike, so you jump in with them,) and we'd have a Steam chat room too.
I love to collect books when I find them at yard sales and thrift stores. I buy Stephen King, Terry Goodkind (if it's the original cover art), and Tom Clancy whenever I find them in hardback, a few other authors too. But for actually reading, I almost exclusively use my Nexus or iPad. The accessibility, price (tons of free and cheap books out there, check out Humble Bundle and Project Gutenburg,) has nothing on Physical books, plus I can adjust the screen (white on black for nighttime reading, sepia tone for daytime.) I also have a short attention span, so anything I can grab instantly increases the odds of me actually reading it.
I'm the same way with games and movies anymore, buy the one's I really like on disc, grab the ones I'm somewhat interested in digitally, usually long after release.
Thanks for reminding me I have Cave Story somewhere in my backlog, I haven't thought of that game in a long time. I need to stop jumping around and actually finish games...
- I am not a student of Westerns so I cannot comment on its original context (and I bet a proportion of the game's player base that it would be statistically acceptable to round up to 100% are in the same situation), so it's just a contextless act of violence against women that gamifies something that we dimly remember as being associated with a film genre.
If you don't know the context of something, research it. It took me 5 seconds to find a TV Tropes page on both the Railroad trope, and the Dastardly Whiplash character trope ("a one-dimensional, over-the-top, openly evil villain ... tying a woman to a railroad track in an attempt to coerce her into "marrying" him ...)
- "Stop attacking the developer's creative vision." Creativity should be scrutinised and debated. Or are you OK with all those micro-transactions now?
This is a false equivalency. Micro Transactions aren't part of a creative vision (except when making fun of Micro-Transactions see: DLC Quest) They are a business decision, that, at best, are ignored (Mass Effect 3) or at worst, destroy the game (Forza 5, countless Pay to Win games.)
Creativity should be scrutinized, I agree, but I take issue with those who would censor instead of discuss. (Which is what most critics would prefer. Tom seems okay with discussing though, that's good.)
- Someone suggested thinking about how you'd feel if a game asked you to re-enact something from Schindler's List.
Don't invoke Godwin's law, it's just makes everything else you say easy to ignore, even if its well intentioned and makes good points.
- "Bloody social justice warrior." Yes, I like social justice - and so do you, assuming you're in favour of education, health care, public services, etc. Also, stop trying to change the subject.
Social Justice Warrior != Social Justice. A person is normally referred to as a SJW/White Knight if they get overly offended about things most people ignore or find unoffensive. In this case, lazy reliance on tropes means sexism to SJWs. (And in RDR's case, they're making fun of that trope, not using or endorsing it.)
Calling all non-SJWs anti-education, anti-healthcare, etc. is just a straw-man designed to foster hostility. Black and white thinking does nothing but lead to more hate and ignorance instead of solutions and dialogue and change.
- It's also worth remembering that the gaming community is an emotionally charged one - we're defensive because we're used to being vilified by mainstream media,
I agree with this, and I could write pages of rants on this subject. Instead, have a short one.
In my opinion, it boils down to the fact that gaming (and geekdom in general) used to be sort of safe space. We were told by outsiders that what we liked was bad and we were horrible people for liking it, so we banded together in support of each other. Now the same people who said we were horrible for liking something, are forcing their way in and telling us how bad we are for excluding X, when these people excluded us in the first place. /rant
- So I am writing this because I hope that if I stand up and admit that I am sexist, have always been sexist and will probably always have to rebel against this bit of programming in my head whenever it is triggered, one or two people will realise that they can relate to what I'm saying, and that will give them a bit of courage to try to do something about it as well.
That's good and all, but in this case "doing something about it" means writing articles complaining Ubisoft won't multiply the development cost and time by the power of two to show female avatars to other players, or how RDR making fun of an old movie trope you don't understand, is sexist.
If you want more girls in gaming, make more games involving and appealing to girls. Less than a month ago, RPG Maker was on sale for a dollar. It includes everything you would need to make a game, except the stories and characters. Don't show or tell, do, it'll get more people on your side (and more inclusive gaming, without throwing current gamers under the bus, is a good cause.)
Conclusion: I normally hate articles like this. I set out to tear apart as much of this article as I could, because I find the complaining about things instead of of fixing them, or at least rationally discussing them, annoying to the point of immediately reacting to the other way. Most people who write articles on this subject don't want to fix anything, they just want outrage and censorship. But I couldn't tear it completely apart, Tom has some good points: There is some sexism in gaming (although it's no where near as bad as most commentators claim,) but he picked some bad examples. Good for him wanting to improve and challenge his world-view though, more people need to do that.
Tom seems to want to discuss instead of censor, but he needs to avoid bad arguments and fallacies, or people will ignore his points, or worse, react in the opposite direction. Also, saying that you're always going to be sexist is a great way to make sure you're always going to be sexist. You can improve yourself.
One last semi-related word: Be the change you want to see. GameMaker, Unity, and RPG Maker are all easy to learn and fairly cheap (in some cases free.) Don't complain about the games you don't see, make the games you want to see.
Sorry for the rambling/wall of text, I have a tendency to go off on tangents like this.
Personally, I'm going to stick with both for a while. /r/games for gaming news (comments are a circlejerk though,) /r/RPGMake, /r/emulation, and /r/gamedeals for obvious reasons, and /r/youdontsurf for my "simple" comedy needs. Small subs are definitely the way to go if you're still on Reddit.
But everyone's been cool so far here, I'd love to help build up a gaming community.
A parent should have a say in what their kid reads and sees, but A) using this as an excuse to get rid of books that don't fit a particular world view is horrible, and B) by the time a kid is in school, they should be exposed to things that make people uncomfortable (age appropriate of course). Its how people learn and grow, and something that people, adults and children, should be encouraged to do.
- But it's not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.
Somewhat related: This is another favorite quote of mine.
I know its been suggested numerous times in this thread, but The Watchmen is an excellent book. It is the one of the only books that I have sat down and read through completely in one sitting. It is incredible (and contrary to most fans of the comic's opinions, I think that the movie is perfectly acceptable if you have a severe aversion to comics.)
I haven't read too many other comics, but I do have a suggestion for finding comics if you're new: find one based on something you already like. Buffy/Angel, Dr. Who, Start Trek are all great TV shows that have good-great comics, and if you like any particular comicbook movie, that's a good place to start too. That's what I did with The Watchman, and later various Batman and Catwoman comics.
I picked up Terraria on an old Winter Sale, and have over 100 hours played. I've only beat it (killed the normal mode boss) once. If you love Metrodvanias or Crafting games, it's definitely worth it, especially with it $4 on the Summer Sale. (Though it has been lower, and might go lower as a Flash/Community Choice later.)
Eyeing me some Rocksmith DLC myself. They only go on sale once or twice a year (Summer and Winter Sales,) so I have to grab them when I can. Particularly Rush's Tom Sawyer and maybe Green Day or The Who.
Also, some advice for Steam sales: don't buy a game unless its a Daily Deal, Flash Sale, or Community Choice until the next to last day (the 29th this time.) It won't go higher before then, but it might go lower. The exceptions to this are games that are already discounted so much that they won't go lower. (Generally, this means 80% or more off.)
3D Legend of Zelda games for me. I tried Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, and just could not get into them, rarely making past the first dungeon. I loved the 2D games (particularly Four Swords on Gamecube) but could not get into the 3D no matter how many times I tried.
Then, years after trying the last time, I got Ocarina of Time 3D, and absolutely loved it. Its now one of my favorite games and series. Re-tried Wind Waker with the HD version (for the same reason I tried OoT in the first place: lack of game on their respective systems,) and loved it this time, and I eagerly look forward to whatever Nintendo has planned for Legend of Zelda HD.