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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Issue : Games : Home Base


A long time ago I was a grom in the city, and life had somehow become all about drinkin' smokin' skaitn' and playin' games. It was all I did, I thought I had it under control, but wasn't sure. I was ok with that.

I still went to school and got good grades, because I was scared of what would happen if I didn't. I was a latchkey kid, and the only way my folks would ever get a clue as to how far down the self destruction rabbit hole I had gotten was if they got a call from the truancy department. So the double life had to exist.

It really wasn't hard to keep up. I enjoyed reading even when drunk or otherwise indisposed of feeling in my extremities. It helped with immersion. I would pop in and hang around in the back of class, take a test, and pop out. My school was so impacted most teachers didn't even know my name. I was just the weird quiet kid in the back that did the work and never gave them a hard time. After a while even they fell in line with the double life silent agreement I had with my parents.

They ignored when I was obviously hungover, smelled like a reggae festival, or was just straight up absent. As long as the assignment showed up double spaced in twelve point font, no one had a thing to say except keep it up. Super easy mode.

The only teachers who didn't fall for that shit were the creative types. My English teacher lectured me on my future after I accidentally threw up on another student in his class. My photography teacher had a mock intervention one day after a group of independent pharmacists interrupted her class to collect a debt from me. That kind of stuff.

The hardest on me in this regard was my political science teacher. She was a mean old bird that came from Australia and never left, she smelled like bourbon, and hated Bill Clinton with a burning passion. In her class everybody had to participate in discussions, there was no grading scale, and if you failed it was because you were stupid.

I thought poli sci was my strongest subject. My pops was in politics, my family were political junkies. I couldn't get more than a "C" on anything in her class, and I was really trying. It was bullshit. One day I hung out after class and stepped to her full of piss and vinegar.

I said, "What's up with these grades?" She turned to me and replied, "You get those grades because you are full of shit. You sit in the back of my class stoned and only contribute when you have no other choice. Everything you say or write is a lie. Not even a funny or convincing lie, just groundless regurgitation from some tv show, book, or fruit loop. Which makes you an average politician, so you get average grades."

I was finna cry. Whats worse is her accent made it sound sexy. I just sat there quietly. She broke the silence by saying, "Tell me something honest. Tell me what you did this weekend, leave nothing out, as long as it's the truth."

So I told her the home base story. It  happened that weekend. I left nothing out, broke down a couple times while telling it, have never told anyone the story since. It was one of the hardest things I had ever done. Then she told me a story. Her story blew mine out of the water. Then we went and had a drink. We never had sex, she was super old, It was different times back then. I thought about it though. Is that gross?

Later she gave me a job as her T.A. We still talk from time to time.

This Week in Gaming Oct 21-27 - By SpeakingOfGames

The Protoculture Mixtape v.122 : People : Tableland

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Issue : People : Compromise


Games Journalism. what the fuck is games journalism? I don't ever remember it being an actual form of the word. It has always been this. It has always been everything explained in the picture above these words. People get so butt hurt when they see pictures of things that are obvious. It's sad.

I feel sorry for Mr. Keighly though, the sacrificial pitch man. He tries, and in all fairness he does more for gaming than most. Just what he does for gaming being the thing that ruffles the other most. He looks like he is asking hard questions to the future him who is looking at this photo.

Remember Nintendo Power? That magazine was all about Nintendo  and power. The idea of that magazine advertising or writing about something other then a Nintendo product was ridiculousness.  Remember Gamers Republic? Remember Game Informer? Ah, simpler times. People give Gerard a hard time about his leanings, while he shoots back, "Y'all should probably tend to your own garden."

I don't feel as bad for the fangirl that got exposed in Mr. Florence's article. What the fuck was she doing? Public relations. Most game journalism is public relations. Peanut butter meets jelly. I have seen many a journalist walking through the workplace, treated like royalty, flights, room, board, chips, and snacks. Hand in hand with marketing and pr, getting shown the best parts of the pie, while the chaff is hidden in the back.

Not many complain that blogging doesn't get the respect it deserves anymore, because it probably is. No one is even trying. Can't write the article if no one likes you enough to talk to ya. Can't play the game if ya can't get it free.

The people that sacrifice their lives, families, and sanity to make games are getting fired in droves, and all anyone can talk about are the folks that cheerlead them. Sometimes I truly believe doing this crappy thing for kids is just silly. Also, Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.121 Issue : Games : Complimentary 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Issue : People : Assets


In the video game world the term asset is used to define anything digital that is used for a larger production. It can be a tree, a bush, a rock, a box, a dumpster, whatever. A shit ton of assets make up a game, all sprinkled around an area to provide the illusion of a vibrant world.

The term "Art" usually goes in front of the term asset, but that phrase is transient. Nowadays assets can be photographic, 3D rendered, bitmapped, animated, motion capped. The toy box is full of toys to play with these days. Most artists are designers, most designers artists, but they are all Americans, unless they are not. Actually, a large number are not. I don't know why I just wrote that.

I was never an art guy, the closest I came to the art life was back when I would do these horrible drawings of X-men characters in my elementary school notebooks, and then an unfortunate extended graffitio phase. Not exactly exit through the gift shop stuff. Although I can and will say that one piece I did where I had the Tasmanian devil spinning under my name in neon green and purple wildstyle was... it was a different time.

The art guys say the hardest thing about fixing asset bugs is that the assets are used over and over, everywhere. so if you have a rock formation that's broken in one place, you most definitely have that same problem somewhere else. And if you fix the rock formation in that one place, you probably broke it next to a thousand more lakes rivers and streams all over the world.

That must be nerve wracking, every fix is a choice you know will change a bunch of unknown DPO's all over the world. All the game artists I know drink a lot. Now that I get to thinking about it, all artists I know drink a lot. I don't get it.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.120 Issue : Games : Placement

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