Tag Archives: Tim Biggs

Without even thinking

As I see it, Microsoft did not learn from the massive act of idiocy that Don Mattrick bestowed upon the Xbox One, when the quote “Microsoft’s Don Mattrick has addressed concerns about the compulsory connectivity requirements of Xbox One. ‘Fortunately we have a product for people who aren’t able to get some form of connectivity; it’s called Xbox 360,’ said Mattrick. ‘If you have zero access to the Internet, that is an offline device’”, the blowback in 2013 was massive and as such Microsoft had to take a few steps back, mainly because Microsoft had lost the trust of the people through the mere lust of data.

And now, without even thinking, Microsoft now does exactly that same thing as they rolled out Windows 10 on Xbox One. Once you have updated, you cannot play any games unless you have signed in online. A mandatory sign in! I reckon that Microsoft has now moved beyond a certain point, it is called betraying your customer base, so fuck you very much Microsoft!

Thank god there is Sony!

Without even thinking they pushed it out, forcing mandatory internet connectivity, the threat that made people jump towards Sony due to ‘the Mattrick equation’ will now assist to soar Sony’s PlayStation 4 even further. So if Phil Spencer gets a lovely bouquet from Andrew House we will all know the reason. So as this mistake was made just in time for the people of America just before Thanksgiving and for all other people before Christmas to cancel their Xbox One order and change their order to a PlayStation 4.

There will still be an issue for me; you see to keep the PlayStation competitive it needs a nemesis. If we accept that the Xbox will run dry another solution needs to be found. Perhaps Google will father a sibling next to their console and make one for true high level gaming. Perhaps it will be an upgraded Steam based reality, perhaps something truly new. They might be the only one who can replace Microsoft. I reckon that is not the only field where Microsoft will lose. As it has ‘mesmerised’ the media with a massively overpriced tabled with a soft keyboard (the Surface 3) at almost twice the price of the most powerful iPad, being at almost 400% of a Chromebook that can be stronger from the word go by inserting an $80 CF card you get the 32Gb storage the surface has (they have bigger models too), yet these CF cards can be switched in mere seconds. This is not me becoming anti-Microsoft, this is me informing the consumer that they should not take any ‘easy’ path but they should consider that alternatives should be considered. The fact that Microsoft becks out on their earlier promise, how long until they break other promises? What options will they have AFTER they paid $2293 for a Microsoft Surface Pro 3?

Yes, we cannot deny that there is still a market for Microsoft, but they are now pricing themselves out of a market by no longer being reliable, because how long until every device is forced onto the land of THEIR cloud systems and how private will your data be? Part of that was addressed by ZDNet today, the rest (the press at large) seemed to have ignored the Xbox issues. Perhaps they decided to hold out for advertiser’s funds like hungry debutants! Yes, the press is not the reliable force of true information it ones was.

ZDNET gives us another part that connects to this (at http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-updates-privacy-statement-addressing-concerns-from-critics/), stating “Microsoft recently revised its global Privacy Statement, with a few minor changes and some significant additions aimed at cooling overheated privacy concerns“. The article is for the most about the user’s privacy and it goes into lengths to do that, so if you fear your ‘privacy’ then read the article and fear no more. The article addresses it quite clearly but then stops short of dealing with the mandatory login (which was not part of the article in all fairness), which is now one step away from ending preowned gaming. An entire economy now in direct possible threat.

But back to the consoles!

The fact that this escalation has happened is also a blessing now, because as people realise before Thanksgiving that whatever Microsoft device is gifted at thanksgiving, it will be the thanksgiving present for Microsoft, not for the intended person that would be the recipient of the console, so How crazy is that?

Thank god we have Sony!

Between now and late 2016, the PS4 will have 15 titles on its sleeve that are PS4 only, some of them have been jaw dropping, as such PS4 remains the compatible system that does not demand you to be online, yet until the Achievements remain offline, that part is not too realistic. Sony has in addition kept its word throughout the PS2, PS3 and PS4 era, something that cannot be said for Microsoft as the promised backward compatibility on the 360 was not delivered on and now that it has some backwards compatibility, the issue of being forced online is a massive setback to gamers all over the world.

Thank god we have Sony!

Sony is not without flaws either, yet this level of backstabbing has never been ‘offered’ by Sony, which gives Microsoft now a massive disadvantage with Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, so the gap between Sony and Microsoft could widen even further. When we consider that Sony has a 2:1 growing lead and even as the Microsoft Marketing engine is trying to flog statements like “Sony PlayStation 4 sells 22 million, but Microsoft has backward compatibility“, whilst not revealing that online presence on a daily basis is now mandatory gives food for thought and the served meal is no longer that appealing.

In all this if Xbox takes another massive hit, so much the better, they need a little humbling experience, because even though the gamers tend to be online, to be forced there is not what they signed up for and if Microsoft is breaking its word, what else will it break its word on? Pre-owned games perhaps? Because if this is where gamers are going, they will be happy to switch trains any way they can. Microsoft just didn’t realise the impact of that move, the worse for them I say!

In the end, what are the fact of life? The people do not mind being online, they mind being forced there, no matter how we feel about some marketed stream of ‘media’ like the Sydney Morning Herald (at http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/games/xbox-one-finally-finds-its-feet-with-backwards-compatibility-gamesfocused-dashboard-20151115-gkzq7p.html). Is it not interesting how Tim Biggs remained unaware how people MUST be online now so that they can sign in?

Thank god we have Sony!

Yet in all this, we have ignored an alternative player, perhaps they will come with a new console called ‘the Black Hole’, a device that equals the next ‘PS4+’ allows for gaming, internet and streaming. That has an interchangeable drive and can be the centre of your devices to you can synch your mobile and tablet. All things the gamer does, all this whilst he/she plays a game, by themselves or with/against friends. Connected was never the issue, it was the non-consensual part that had everyone miffed, so if you do something you truly want, yet you get there without consent, does that not equal getting screwed over?

They did that to you without even thinking and the press stayed silent how lame is that?

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Evolving our lives!

This article is not for the faint of heart. This is not for the people who think that life is all sunny and joy. So if you are any of these people, then read not on and return when my next story comes online.

You see, in my mental world I am about to pick up an axe, I sneak upon the man who has no idea what is about to happen. I sneak, slowly into the den, the door was open this warm September and he likely hoped for the breeze to cool him down. Suddenly he feel one hot gush of water over his chest, he looks down, it is not water. It is the hot blood gushing from his skull, the blood that rains is his, he cannot shout out, blood is everywhere, he falls on the rug with a ‘thump’, he is no more! I hear the voice from the kitchen ‘what was that dear! Are you alright?‘ I hear the footsteps, she is not walking fast. I move to the left into the shadows, I see her silhouette, she seems to see the blood and that what was left of her husband. I had already placed the hunting knife in my left hand; it slices through her throat in less than a second. She goes down on her knees, looking at me, not having any idea why she is getting hurt. She had died before her head hit the ground.

I get the knife and the axe and roll them in linen. I grab the bottle from the bag and place the knife and the axe within the canvas bag with linen coating. I add ammonia to mask the scent of the blood, in case a police dog gets near. I look at my feet; they are covered in lamb coated overshoes. My overall is thin but sturdy. I take out the billy club. I slowly walk to the staircase; I hear the sounds of gunfire from a video game. I sneak up slowly and see that the door of the room is ajar. A boy sites with his back to me, it is time to put on my ski mask. I slowly sneak in and observe the equipment and I hit him hard to the side of the head and quickly turn the sound up by a lot. Not hard enough to kill him, that is not my goal. He is reeling at the edge of losing consciousness; I slap his face hard with an open hand. The leather glove makes the sound more intense. I pull him up and hit him in the gut with enough strength; he buckles over gasping for air. He looks up in sheer terror. I gag him with duct tape and cuff his wrists at the back, I drag him downstairs.

I place the cable ties on his thumbs and index fingers as close to the Opponens Pollicis as possible. He looks at the bodies of his parents, he is now truly afraid. I look at him and say “Zoe Quinn and Phil Fish did not care for your harassment!” I put the mask on his face; the nails will slowly but not fatally bite into his face. Last I tighten cable ties as much as possible. Within the hour, amputation will be the only option left to him. His life will never ever be about gaming of harassing again! I walk away with the bag in my hand, not giving the little troll a second look. Within the hour all evidence that I ever existed will be gone, so will I and he will only know fear until his dying day!

This is just a story! This is nothing more than a rant of frustration, dressed in the cloth of a short story, dealing with my frustration like Percy Bysshe Shelley, Stephen King or Virginia Woolf. Although I tend to take the high road, this time it is Slate who has the high moral ground (at http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/08/zoe_quinn_harassment_a_letter_to_a_young_male_gamer.html), it is an excellent article by David Auerbach about more than just a gaming scandal. I am all about gaming; I have always been all about gaming. The fact that more and more women are entering this field is filling me with joy. Yes, for now this market is all about the man, but consider that over time, we have seen women leading in artistic fields. We have given our souls to Diablo, Minecraft, Oblivion, Fallout and a league of other games. Would it not be great if we get another wave of amazing games? For now Tombraider has sold itself short. The game is nowhere near the first two which broke the mould of good gaming. We saw the rise and fall of Origin, Rare and several others, all bringing us great games. Now women come and I hope we see a host of amazing games to follow. So when I see such hate and harassment from men (99.4233% sure that the harassers are not women) it just pisses me off. The fact that these people are not hunted into extinction gets to me to some degree. I did not get the hate people showed because Caroline Criado-Perez successfully championed for Jane Austen to be the new figure on the ten pound note. For the same reason I do not get the fact that Zoe Quinn is persecuted either. The idea to bring the awareness of depression is a great idea; I wish I had thought of it. It had several review, our own Tim Biggs of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote “Tim Biggs, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, also stressed the lack of fun in the game, and went on to say that the game was ‘a testing and, at times, a boring experience to go through.’ However, he praised the game’s execution, and acknowledged its importance as a tool for raising awareness of depression and for helping its sufferers“.

OK, not the greatest review for a game, but who remembers Superman for the Nintendo 64? I still consider it the very worst game I ever beheld for reviewing!

So, why is there such an overwhelming hate for these women. This all was brought to light because someone speaking out for them (Phil Fish). I did not play his game either, but the movies and the views give an interesting and original game play. So, it does not look like anything Ubi-Soft releases, but consider that ‘their’ Prince of Persia released in the 80’s (Broderbund released it) had no great graphics either, now it is a billion dollar company, we all have to start small.

So what about Zoe Quinn?

Well, the accusation is that she slept with a reporter to get a better review, but that is not entirely correct either. She got harassed shortly after the release and before her ‘ex-boyfriend’ made his claims. So what is it about this particular group of losers who feel so threatened about women in the gaming industry? They must be losers, because if they were not, then they would have their own brands of success, but that seems not to be the case. I think that if anonymous is the idealist it claims to be, then they would stand up for these women and publish the names and addresses of all of these bullies, you see, trolling is all fine, as long as we all know who you are, they become liable. It should stop two issues with one group all at once. But are the allegations true? Actually, does that matter? Perhaps a journalist got ‘lucky’, perhaps not. The real question is, is it a good game?

Yet, the issue does matter, you see, her ex, who is ‘hiding’ on his blog and accuses her of acts. Hiding the fact that the relationship was a bust and she did not stand still, she created something! Motherboard quotes “he accuses Quinn of sleeping with various prominent figures in the video game industry, including a writer at Kotaku“, so basically she knew a few guys, is that criminal? the information motherboard gave (at http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/zoe-quinn-slut-shaming-the-feminist-conspiracy-and-depression-quest) “Gamers have been complaining about corruption in video game journalism for years now” is not new, look at Gamespot and the massive amount of additional visibility that Ubi-Soft enjoys as a sponsor should raise more than just a few flags. But how far does this corruption go? And it is alleged corruption, the question remains, is it really corruption? I started reviewing games in 1988. I got the games, I wrote the articles and I got paid for the published articles. In addition I got to keep the games. I had to pay for the consoles myself (except for 2) and the chief editor kept the Atari Lynx for himself, an act which was slightly irritating, but not the greatest of issues. I went to the ECTS (the UK edition of the E3) a few times, which I paid for myself and deducted it from my taxes. So where is the corruption? I gave an honest review of the game and sometimes if the game was bad I did not bother writing a review for the simple reason that I only got up to 5 pages per issue, why spend it on a bad game, whilst a good game is so much more fun to review. I also tried to steer away from the ‘big titles’ at times; I did not jump onto Command & Conquer in 1995, like everyone else but choose Wing Commander 4, Tekken 2 and Rayman instead. My ex hated Rayman (the end of level laughter), I never regretted my decision. Everyone wrote about Command & Conquer, I showed them different games. The question still remains, why hate Quinn?

Is it because her ex-boyfriend turned out to be a loser? let’s be clear about this, if he was in a relationship and she did cheat on him, he should be angry and walk away, I do not care, it is her life and her choice and if so he is free to walk away and perhaps be angry for a little while, yet he is the only one with the smallest degree to be angry, the other hundreds have absolutely no valid cause for such trolling and harassing behaviour. Consider that we start trolling all the cheaters, the man too! Spam mail would drop to 0%, there would be no bandwidth left for spam mails, which might be a new novel idea to get rid of spam messages.

This is all so stupid, because in the end, the real gamers want to know if the game is any good. In her case, does it matter? Her game was to bring forward awareness of depression, if that works, what could be better? Even if the game is not the greatest one, it is likely to be a whole lot better than Superman on the Nintendo 64. In the end, I hope groups like Anonymous actually do something to help these victims instead of some political agenda, I wonder how ‘loud’ the troll feels when everyone in the street knows their name and where they live, more even if their mommies and daddies realise what losers they are. It is an interesting form of justice!

To some degree I miss reviewing games, I have seen so many classics be born and evolve. I saw underdogs like Broderbund rise and fall, I’ve seen how new generations love the originality of Loderunner, as much as I did when it got released on the CBM-64 and I saw the giant Elite, move from system to system, only to see the concept evolve into Privateer. Later we see part of the original game on tables and PDA’s, now Elite is back in a state of the art version that is to be released this year, still showing the original logo that was on the box of the CBM-64. Yet, the sandbox part, the travels and another side of the foundations of Elite will be seen in 2015, as we explore the galaxy in ‘No Man’s Sky’, in ways the original designer could never imagine (he only had 48Kb to write the program). As my life is drawing closer to an end, I see that timeless games will continue, bringing joy to a new generation and to generations after that, after I am gone. If the world for us as gamers is to move forward then this cannot be only about the man, women should pick up this torch and bring new options and new levels of gaming. In the end it will be a win-win for all gamers.

When we look at long term playing we have seen the big titles, and we all have other thoughts on what makes the great game, but there is also unison, it seems that the bulk all loves Diablo, even since the original release in 1996, it still keeps us busy. Would it not be great if we see new and more surprising games from female developers? Let’s not forget that one of the most famous developers in the early years for gamers was Roberta Williams, co-founder of Sierra-on-line. The bringer of King’s Quest, as early as 1984, a woman was in our gaming midst and she was as good as any of the male developers, letting these trolls win means that we gamers of all genders are missing out, do not let it come to that!

 

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