Default Tester

Help people get better with video games. Donate to Child's Play for karma Achievements.

Join Default Tester and save the Galaxy. Service guarantees citizenship. Would you like to know more?

Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Issue : people : Toil



Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is a game about frequency.

A whole number ago I worked graveyard shift at a gas station. It was in the middle of nowhere so not many cars came round. Gave me a lot of time to read and catch up on Nintendo DS titles. It was chill.

From time to time a paralyzing tsunami of depression would crest and torture me with questions like, "How disappointed do you think your parents are in how you squandered your potential?" or, "Do you think you will die a gas station cashier or assistant manager at Arby's? Is that dream too big?" Some nights even my thoughts abandoned me and I spent the entire shift staring out the window waiting on the sun.  

I mean, the job had it's cons, I'm not saying it didn't. But check it, you probably aren't gonna believe me but I could just like, go make a hot dog whenever I wanted. Ohh I feels like a red/blue Slurpee with a Slim Jim chaser? It's nothing I just go get that! Feelin' like Prince Akeem in that birtch.

I knew I was being watched, most nights the camera was my only visitor. I never much minded, it's been the story of my life. In America all are innocent until proven guilty, so guilt is simply a matter of surveillance over time.

The owner of the station told me from time to time she would watch me at home on the closed circuit channel. Said at first it was to make sure I was safe, then she said she would find herself watching me restock the shelves, or having a conversation with a customer, or staring at the potato chip rack for thirty minutes and realized she was no longer searching for wrongdoing.

She was just watching me, the studio audience of a bespoke, melon collie TV show. She told me she didn't mind that I was taking hot dogs, but to chill out on the Sour Patch kids, I was up to like five packs a day, terrible for your teeth.

I think I quit that job because I heard Kinko's was hiring for twelve an hour. I was like, "TWELVE DOLLARS AN HOUR!?! Dude, I can raise a family! Nigga I made it!!!" Turns out twelve dollars an hour isn't really that much money. Such is life.

I hope information gets in the holiday spirit but doesn't forget the deliverables for this sprint (y'all get seven days of presents? Comin' up!). Thanks for the condolences for Boo, it means a lot to me that you sent them. And for fucks sake no I'm not gonna sherpa everybody that comes through SD. I only have so many leave the house days between panic attacks and I'm not using them on that. Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : Games : Drudgery 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Issue : People : Obligation




OneShot is a game about the omniscience illusion.

From time to time I am a sherpa. Over the years the city I live in has been getting closer and closer to resembling actual civilization, which means more and more opportunity for tribes of paint spillers and noisemakers to mark it as a stop.

A homie from the Deutschland rolled through, she has one of those jobs where if you do it right every person, place, and thing but you gets famous and people openly wonder what you do all day. She said her crew had a day off before hitting the road and wanted an "off menu" tour of Sunny-D.

I immediately said no, because that is how I start all negotiations. Then she offered to pay for everything and I immediately said shit, which is how I end all negotiations. Not that I could have declined the offer even if I wanted to. Thing is, it wasn't really an offer but more of a friendly challenge.

It's one thing to create an advertisement or campaign over time in circle jerk, but can you create an experience in the moment tailored directly for a target market of a few? Do you know the people and the places and the things around you well enough to convince others to invest in them? Ok, you can rap, but can you freestyle? It's the debt of having friends in low places.

So in true D&D fashion, I meet the party outside the Observatory, they roll for initiative and the winner decides they want a drink. GG, if this town is good for anything these days, it's a drink. So I took them up the street for round one. They aren't video game people, but I have not yet in my lifetime met anyone who didn't enjoy the four-player Simpsons Coin-Op, sober or drunk, and I'm still waiting.

Folks from out of country only have one question for Americans these days, especially Americans that look like me, so I was relieved to get it over with when she pointed to the television,  motioned to me incredulously, and said, "Really? This guy?" I spun my index finger around the rim of my pint and said, "Yeah, that guy."

I said, "Ok, imagine you have this friend, you grew up with this person, there has been history with this person that goes back to before you were born, old wounds that aren't like to heal. The friend is obnoxious, mean at times, and says wild shit to people and more often than not you are embarrassed to be associated with them.

But over the years you fought, celebrated, and mourned with this friend and you know that beneath that anger is fear, and beneath the fear is hurt. When someone is hurt, they are willing to make a deal with whoever claims to understand their pain and promises to make the pain stop.

This is that jackass up there, you know he is mos def not your friend, he is the worst parts of your friend given corporeal form. And honestly I don't know how to stop the anger, combat the fear, to address the hurt. I don't know what happens next, but I will never give up on a friend, because I am all those things too, and I only exist now thanks to the people in my life that withstood the storm and never gave up on me. Maybe it's dumb, but I'm dumb."

She responded, "We had a person once."

The rest of the day was a blur, I swung them around Garnett to a beach adjacent dispensary that laughs if you pretend to have cataracts. We watched the one guy who could handle the breaks surf at Blacks because I'll be damned if my fat ass is getting in the water. I mean I could, obviously, but my leg has been acting up, no need to risk it.

We slithered into the Rock and Roll pub with a metal bike in the front to wind down, and then I took em to Skyline and showed them the majesty of a proper rolled taco, ensuring to remind them that they have to ask for green sauce and jalapeno's and carrots at the window, they won't just give them to you. Then it was time for them to load the bus and leave, remarking, "Hmm, San Diego, isn't bad." High praise.

I walked home, dropped my bag, and said hello to Rocket, who was crying in front of Boo's cubby hole bed. I placed my arm inside the hole, Boo's body was cold, looked like she was sleeping. I sat on the ground and Rocket and I stared into the hole all night. I felt if I moved, I would have to address this moment, this moment that comes sooner or later. I realized, we adopted Boo in Golden hill, not a few blocks that way.

She was a mess when we found her, mostly feral. But it was her, we knew that much. She hated plastic bags with a passion, wouldn't go near them, she had gold green eyes, she loved her space, but knew when you needed her, she drove me crazy, but she was loved, that was the best that I could do. So it goes.

Also JOBS.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : Games :  Valhalla

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Issue : Games : Plutonite



Orwell is a game about everyday life in the first century of the third millennium.

People love to call me crazy the moment I tell them the distance I commute to work every day. They cock their eyes and clutch imaginary pearls. I've been looped into the same conversation for years so nowadays I  skip the dialogue tree to the point where they decide to feel sorry for me because that yields the highest chance for the conversation to end.

When a rationalization script reaches pity seventy percent of people end the conversation. For these folks there is simply no reason to jump into another person's ostensible hole when that person seems fine down there. Twenty percent of people won't jump in the hole, but they will throw notes down. The notes will say, "Well you could move closer!" or, "Is it your credit?"or, "Yeah, I wouldn't either, the town you work in is a strip mall with a zip code."

The second group is easy enough to deal with. I use old jazz standards like, "Gotta do what I gotta do. This economy, amirite?" or, "Craft beer and beaches, amirite?" It's super important to add "Nawmean?" "Feel me?" or "Amirite?" to the end of these statements because it's peaceful punctuation. It implies you understand what the person is saying but you don't intend to ever give a straight answer. So let it go.

An old friend outlier'd me on this strat last night while paying the bill for a favor. We go way back; both Nor-Cal expats, alternating current junkies and card carrying survivors of the Home Base era. My buddy had picked up a command center gig for the 2016 Game Awards then had the Capcom cup to work the next day but no way to get to Anaheim. I figured I could pick them up in LA and drop them in Anaheim, it's only like, four hours out of my way. And it's my fault cause I answered the phone.

When the show starts, his shift ends, so I'm sitting backstage watching the shows blood begin to flow, the intestines begin to pump, the arms move. A gaming award show streams on about one thousand platforms concurrently so in one area you will see purple bars with emotes that look like eyes, you will see big station cameras swinging around to people that swear they are famous, you never know what is on or off, I think it all may be on.

While sitting next to me during curtain he asks the question. "Dude, why are you still in San Diego?"  I know the only reason he asked me that specific question is because he knew the specific answer. He wasn't a percent in my head. He knew by asking my mind would get in that old blue Civic and leave San Diego, take the five over the grapevine, through Bakersfield, stop around Button Willow to gas up and get them sauce rolled tacos, slide off the 580 around Pill Hill and park in front of that ramshackle hovel he calls a memory.

I would walk inside of that memory and the person there would say "I'm good, it's time to go." and we would get in the car, and we would go. I never thought he would leave, but even though the set change had happened, nothing could truly leave if he didn't. He figured that out on his own and decided to go. Least I could do was give him a ride out of town.

So he asks me why I'm still in San Diego. I cock my eyes, clutch imaginary pearls and say, "N!@@a it's not that serious!" My aim was to imply that my situation held no equivalence to his previous and how dare he invoke a "You ok?" I have reasons to still be in San Diego, business interests, favorite Taco shops, he knew that.

He nodded in what must be sign language for "whatever" and said, "Yeah, well, give me a call when it's time to go." I told him I have a car, he replied, "I know." Later that night we were both on the catwalk of the Anaheim convention center watching a group of dummies throw cat five cables over a rigging bar for sport when he received a text that said, "The ghost ship is burning."

I dropped him off at the coaster a while back. Hope he makes it safe.

I hope information understands there are no words in me for how terrible I feel for you and yours. I'm so sorry. Holy shit can it not be 2016 anymore?! Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape Issue : People : Sequestered

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Issue : People : Atomistics



Dishonored 2 is a game about usurpation.

So NASA dropped their EM Drive paper and that shit is straight fiiire. Almost close to kelvin as my mixtape.

Ok, let me back up, an EM Drive is an electromagnetic propulsion system. A propulsion system is a machine that uses thrust to push an object forward. All things that go zoom and vroom got some kind of propulsion system in them, but what sets an EM Drive apart from other propulsion systems is that instead of using fuel it bounces microwave energy back and forth inside of a cone shaped metal case to push an object forward. Next level shit.

It if works it could cut a trip to Mars down to like seventy days. Crazy.

The only issue is that EM Drive technology shits on Issac Newton's third law (spoiler: It doesn't) which states everything must have an equal and opposite reaction. For an accelerant to produce thrust it has to push something out the other way.

A human eats a burrito a stank do-do is coming no matter what. The EM drive doesn't poop in traditional ways, and nobody quite knows what's going on.

The science community has been shitting on EM drive tech since Roger Shawyer proposed it a couple decades ago. Roger doesn't seem to be tripping that it's taking a while for the science community to catch up to his schematic.

The rule of science is that everything is a hypothesis that should constantly be challenged. But when hypothesis' from stars like Aristotle, Einstein, or Newton get challenged by some no name bum from Wukka Chukka the human tendency to believe the most confident voice in the room comes into play.

"Who is this person and why are they questioning what we have agreed to know?"

Then, invariably the universe shows it isn't what you think it is.

I only care if Robert's right because I need us to hurry this shit up. We are so close to a Cyberpunk dystopia in my lifetime I can taste it.

First the roles of corporations and government merge until they are nearly indistinguishable. Check. Second, we need an emulous and malleable citizenship that is almost completely technologically dependent with a majority of that population being technologically illiterate. Yup.

Then comes the new tech that completely changes the rules of engagement, then comes the singularity, then comes me not having to deal with these goddamn sword and sorcery games that are getting old as shit. There is the whole... collapse of civilization thing. I'm not into that. Yeah, that may be a problem. Alright, I gotta rethink this.

If one more information DM's me talkin' bout I need to be getting residuals from Ubisoft for them stealing my likeness and swag for Watchdogs 2 it's gon be some dread head n!@@s in the lobby. Also JOBS.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : Games : Quantum

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Issue People : Halcyon



Civilization VI is a game about time.

Speaking of, a long time ago I worked for a jazz radio station. It was located on the campus of the school I was attending. I didn't want to be there, at the school. I had dropped out of enough schools by that time to know formal education wasn't for me.

The problem was I was dead broke and the only way I could manage to survive was through the GI Bill I received for not dying in the military. My journalism teacher knew about my money issues and suggested his friend at the jazz station take me on staff because as he put it, "This kid speaks dinosaur."

I did speak dinosaur, my family exclusively played blues and jazz in the house and wouldn't shut the fuck up about it. I could care less about blues and jazz, but I guess I soaked in B.B. King through osmosis.

So the Jazz station head of operations had a conversation with me and took me on. I became the "office liaison" which means I categorized the records, cleaned the studio, set up events, troubleshot the equipment, and did anything else in the office that no one else wanted to do.

The hardest part was the categorization. The studio had thousands upon thousands of records wedged into these hallways and the disk jockeys would put them in there all willy nilly using some process only known to old potheads. So the first task I took upon myself was to alphabetize all of the records.

There were no set hours to this job, so with the exception of the disk jockeys who had to do their show at the same time people came and went as they pleased. I would shuffle in around nine in the afternoon and set to the task. Ella went there, Art went there, that sort of thing.

After their shift the disk jockeys would come in with the crates of records they used for the show. They would set them down and more times than not just begin talking to me about this or that. Those guys loved to talk. A bunch of entertainers that loved to talk, go figure.

My favorite DJ was a guy by the name of Bob Gibb. He was the most popular jockey at the station, loud, opinionated, and whip smart. He listened well, and we would chat about everything.  He would come in after his shift and bellow "HELLOOOO PETER!!" And I would respond, "Well hello captain!" He called me that because of my love for video games, said I would be a perennial "Lost boy." Like himself. guess he had me on that.

He would tell these stories about the artist featured on every single record he handed to me. This was before Google, so everything he said had to have been in his head somewhere. He knew facts, he knew B-sides, he knew anecdotes about the artists themselves. I had never met a person so knowledgeable about one thing in my life.

I knew what he was telling me was true because even then I made it a point to look up what people told me, not to correct them, just to confirm I was dealing with a bullshitter.

He was impressed by the little I had learned about his world and the things I had acquired of my own and asked when I was going to host a show at the station. I didn't have the heart to tell him I had tried to DJ in my teens but it didn't work out.

I loved doing it, I had dreams of it being my life, but a friend sat me down intervention style and let me know that I sucked. No one liked the songs I played, people were laughing at me, and I should stop. So I did, and I hadn't spun a record since.

Bob was a good guy, and I didn't want to disappoint him by not being the person he imagined me to be, as was my pattern. Figured I could save us both some time by not grabbing a mic or touching a record. He never pushed, and I figured he would have tried to change my mind had I told him why I stopped. I didn't want to put him through that so I told him it just wasn't my path, that I wanted to change video games, not music.

Bob died sometime in October of 03. I had already left the station to work at some coffee shop that paid more. One day out of the blue Bobs widow called me up, I had never met the woman in my life. She said that he left some things for me and to swing by to pick them up, so that's what I did.

I walk in and she shows me a wall of records. She says they are all mine, says he said I would know what to do with them. I told her I would not be walking out with all the records, but I would be taking what I believe I could use.

Every record I pulled from that shelf came with a story, told by Bob, through her. They were stories of where they where they were in life when he received them. Forty plus years of music. I collected two crates of rares, I have never seen anywhere else. She made me promise to play them someday for other people. She believed that's why he gave them to me.

I've carried them with me to this day, they are not four feet from me now. I know every piece of vinyl by heart, haven't played a single record as of yet. I often think of what it would be like to play music for people again, then I remember that it's not my path. If I ever did, though, I know the first song I from that crate I would play, Bobs favorite song. He wouldn't shut the fuck up about it.

Anyway, I'm remembering this because I was in the backroom of my companies booth at Blizzcon checking account access and someone comes in bellowing "HELLOOO PETER!" I stood in shock, zipped back decades in a moment. I was in the same position, doing pretty much the same thing. Such is life.

I hope information voted (If you live in the belly). I did and it's not a thing I'm like to do. I'm just glad this part is over. One way or the other. Also JERBZ.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : Games : Tranquil

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Issues : Games : Zeal



Shadow Warrior 2 is a game about rose-colored dystopias.

A relatively short time ago I was video game QA. I guess I still am, it doesn't go away. It was my job to discover and document defects in gaming software. When I started the job I truly sucked at it. I only knew how to play video games, I couldn't find a bug to save my life. There was no formal education or training for the role at the time so you had to learn everything on the floor.

Learning on the floor is hard because a QA test floor is not designed for teaching or learning. You will receive no alms from your fellow testers because that is tantamount to them literally handing your their job, and woe is he who approaches the bosses. All quality assurance leads are sociopaths. It's not a job requirement, but a critical soft skill.

Test is a very laissez-faire environment. I found this state of being perfectly fine, preferred; actually. If asked to describe me in one word, I'm pretty sure the last word anyone that has ever met me would use is "conversationalist." But nonetheless, the first two weeks I tried to make friends with the other testers, mimicking the ways I had seen it done on television sitcoms and serial dramas.

I tried to eat in the cafeteria, only to find no one ate in the cafeteria, instead, they ate lunch at their desk while playing games with headphones on. I tried to ask the guy working next to me what music he was listening to, he said the track was called "Eat a dick,"performed by the "Fuck offs." I said "Oh yeah I heard of them! They put out some new shit?"

After a few go-rounds of trying way too hard to attain something I didn't want, I decided to keep to myself and figure out how to run bugs. Turns out the best teacher in QA is time and the lesson is patience. After weeks and weeks of staring at the same thing over and over again, twelve hours a day, six days a week, I started to kind of gravitate toward issues. Turns out the issues I gravitated toward weren't in the game, but inside the system running the game.

I would pull the SD card from the system during a cutscene, I would pause the game during a boss battle and read a book for three hours, I would pull the power cord from the system end, not the wall after just pressing the power button. That kind of stuff.

After a while of turning in those issues, the lead would call me into the office to walk him through repro. Every lead tester I've ever met had his own unique personality and a really menacing name, this one was called "Taint." Face tatoos down to the neck. Gun parts littered around his office. Played Jet Set Radio incessantly, it's all I ever saw him do.

I'm from active environments, not a lot of "bad hombre's" scare me. They are usually just dudes and ladies that missed out on going to Baskin-Robbins with their parents and have a hard time letting go. But I know a gutter punk when I see one though, and I'm sorry, I'm scared of those guys. Unpredictable as humans can get.

Turns out the whole building shared my feeling. Most test leads talk a big game but when a developer or producer came down from on high they would bend the knee. All yes sirs and right away's. This guy had none of that in him. He would mix it up with anyone that dared knock on his door, he expected his crew to find him bugs or find another job, he never talked to anyone unless it was about work, he never took a day off, he expected his team to do the same.

I figured the only way to get on his good side was to follow his lead. I did exactly what was asked of me and more, never took a day off, steered clear of the interpersonal politics of the office, and focused only on the work.

He made me the technical requirements floor boss on the second title I worked with him on, and I made a spectacular mess of it. The title was going gold, which is the part of development right before the game gets pressed to disk and gets sold to the public. The game gets sent to a third party test team to double check our work, and that team found something really bad with the system requirement. I don't know what happened, it was part of our test plan, we tested the section every day. I just... didn't find it. I fucked up.

It stopped development on an AAA title. The development team lost thier minds. The executive team wanted heads to roll. I knew that head would be mine, and shit, I deserved it. It was about two in the morning when the issue was found, and about three when word got to us. I left the bay and headed to a bench in this Japanese garden across from the parking lot for a smoke.

Out comes the gutter punk who sits next to me and lights a blunt. I figure I know what he is here for, I figure the blunt to be my severance, so when he passes it to me, I take it. We sit there for a while before anything is said.

Then he stared out into nothing and tells me about his lady. Who she is, where they met. He showed me a picture, and I did that thing guys do where we say "Damn, your lady is hot! Why is she with you?"

He took it as the intended compliment. Then told me they have a daughter. He told me his lady was at a clinic putting their daughter to sleep at that moment. Told me he wanted to run there like in the movies before 9/11 when you could go right up to the loading area of an airport and talk to someone.

He said he won't though. Because he understood why she was doing it, because he isn't ever there and that wasn't changing soon. He said he would have been a great dad, just not right now. When he had enough to support them, when he had done enough, he was almost there.

He told me they had fixed the issue, and it wasn't just my fuck up, it was his, and he told the production team as much. He told me to pick a skeleton crew to work post-launch, everybody else was getting fired. Then he left.        

A week later the game team had a launch party in the cafeteria. He and I happened to wander in there to forage for food around the same time. There was a guy standing in front of the group holding those little translucent cups with wine in them. He said, "Every single person in this room is responsible for this game, your hard work, dedication, and sacrifice made this a reality. I'm incredibly proud to call everyone in this room my team, and my friends."

They cheered and went about their revelry. The guy turned around to find us. He didn't know me from Adam, but he sure as shit recognized my lead. The guy who made the speech said to my lead, "Hey! didn't know you were... you guys were... still here! Want to join?"

My lead grabbed his bag of chips from the vending machine, stared a hole into the guy, and walked away. I said, "Ummm. I'm good! Thank's though!" Then I tripped backward out of the room, smiling like an idiot. I knew who that guy was! He was famous!

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh, Shadow Warrior 2. The game is fuckin dumb. A lot of people are going to say it's good. Maybe it is. I don't think so. Just play Gears 4, or Serious Sam, or even Postal. The fuck do I know?

If information asks me one more thing about the Nintendo Switch I'm gonna... I don't know what to do with that information right now. I've been hurt before. Can we just wait and see? Also Jerbz.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Avidity

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Issue : Games : Old Dominion



Virginia is a game about Hobsons Choice.

That one sword and sorcery MMO everybody plays dropped an expansion a while back (cmon if you really thought I was gonna finish the previous story anytime soon you haven't been reading this thing very long) so my old crew of shitbirds decided to give it a go.

Loved ones were left to wither on the vine of neglect, all types of unsolved mysteries requiring miniature sabbaticals from work. that type of thing.

My guild never got along, but that's our thing. We work amazingly well together, as in, our Tanks tank, our DPS do whatever that acronym means, our healer heal, our poppers pop, our breakers break. A well-oiled krit machine.

The main reason we don't get along as humans is because we are all from different time zones, different countries, and walks of life. So we have different opinions about everything. Nothing really wrong with that, except all their opinions are dumb. Especially in regards to the current US climate of hyper shenanigans.

Ok, so we have been exposed as a dysfunctional country en masse with... like... all the murders, and our electoral process is a global embarrassment, and yeah maybe we are a few whammies away from a failed state. So what, it's a family argument; thanks, and get out my Discord with all that wooptie woop, like you all don't have problems. China? Poland (well nah, shouts to Poland, at least y'all are standing tall on it). And Russia please don't even talk, I know you're loving this shit show.

The worst offender being our healer, a known humor communist and habitual pot stirrer.

We tend to mix it up the most because our mains are the most useless in a fight. The vanguard are specced to self-heal unless things get really messy so she's mostly a sock on a shower rod, and I run an undead warlock so my job is to sit in the periphery picking giggleberries while my pet does all the heavy lifting. We sit the virtual bench as we would in life, nerdception.

And as these things go she's the only woman on the main squad and I the only black dude, so it became our constant battle by birthright over who's struggle was more struggle-y. She decided to fight on the hill of the recent election by asserting that the only way the States have managed to get close to electing a woman president is to have her be presented as the lesser of two evils, with the higher evil being the literal devil in this case.

My reply was, "yeah, probably." Then I kindly reminded her that I had nothing to offer her in this arena because one, Barack Hussein Obama went 4 Loco on the current democratic nominee in the last go round and now that he is leaving office black people are officially out of politics. We got our one, he survived it, which is absolutely a server first in this country as far as black leaders go, and he wasn't even hit with a chicken bone during a speech. It was all low-level fuckery, we are good, we know when to fold em. Good luck with money Hitler. Life choices.

She thanked me for my observations and asked when I would return them to Kevin Hart. I just ignored her on that, because I rise above. Then she said, "Those types of jokes get Tyrant's elected." I agreed with her on that. A broken watch is right twice a day.

Anyway, we had that argument during the last stretch of Emerald Nightmare, got everybody wiped. They were pissed. Then she had to log, she and her wife were getting ready to celebrate their 8th year of consensual conscription by going wine tasting. Feels strange to know someone that long and have never met. Such is life in these series of tubes.

I hope information plays Virginia so I didn't waste a Steam key, It's very good. And please don't say Twin Peaks, it's just not. Also yes I'll be at Indiecade, my cave dwelling tide has turned, please don't be weird. Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue :  People : Shenandoah 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Issue : Games : Chryselephantine



Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a game about subsequence.

I haven't played it yet. I'll get to it, I imagine. Until I do, how about another dumb story about my misspent youth? No? Cool, let's get started!

A long-ish time ago I was little turd in the jungle and boy did I love to write my made up name on walls. I learned it from my skateboarding friends.

We all congregated at a place called the Bank of the West a ways up a stretch of Pacific avenue road called the miracle mile. The parking lot had tons of manual pads and smooth waist high ledges to skate. Also there was almost literally nothing else to do in that town. This was way before youth outreach.

They all went to Stagg High School (It was that one school in every town with the "that" reputation) and smoked cigarettes and had tumultuous relationships with their parents. My parents were cool, just busy all the time and got on my nerves (because I was a teenager) and my brother was up to whatever gangster shit he was up to so I was desperate for negative influences that appealed to my demographic, things were simply going too well for me.

Anyway,  I... Shit I gotta go to work, I'll try and finish the story later. Yes information I'm still alive thanks for asking. Sometimes I just run out of things to say, or motivation, or both. Also insert inside reference and some yadda yadda and some music. Oh and some Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Banded 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Issue : Games : Limpidity



No Man's Sky is a game about verity.

Should everything seek to entertain in the manner we are accustomed to?

It's established that for the most part the universe is made of the same elements. So how much variation can there be from world to world?

We want to believe that there are entities out there that have answers for us. And maybe there are. But in between here and them there are gonna be a bunch of fart neck giraffes with wings on planets made of sulfur pudding. It's just gotta be.

Should a race become powerful enough to cover most planets in a solar system are they gonna be able to establish a culture on every planet? Wouldn't it be smarter to place a couple necessary things and repeat those things as checkpoints toward civilization? 

The I-80 runs from The Bay to Jersey. Not much on that road cept gas stations and tourist traps. Not sure if Jersey counts as civilization.

And how boring would life be for a sentient traveler? Wandering about, busting ass to survive in a universe that couldn't give a fuck less if you live or die.

If I was born in the time of space travel and heeded the call of adventure I wouldn't be getting into space battles or be the fated prince of Zontar traveling with a princess with amnesia and a cheeky robot with a soul. 

Life wouldn't be that different than that of a present day field archeologist, their life isn't that different than that of a bronze age sailor, and that guy's life wasn't that different than the dawn age pre-agrarian. 

Adventure is a sad and lonely life. TV lies.

No Man's Sky brought me crashing back to earth and I don't like it for that, but I respect it for telling the truth. It offers a glimpse into the butt ass life of some schmuck in space, and may be too deep a look into the mirror for most. 

No one want's to play honesty because honesty is an experience, not a game. And when it comes to entertainment, honesty gets you nowhere.

Anyway, I hope information isn't taking the politics of business to heart. It's another game not designed to entertain. We make the sausage, the kids get the smiles. Not the sausage. What a terrible metaphor.

Also yes Shiro I do in fact hate my cats, but love them in equal measure. They are fine and always will be as long as I draw breath. If they trip and fall off a building, well it must be part of Cthulu's plan. Also Jobs

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Issue : Games : Peregrination




No Man's Sky is a game about velocity.

On god if these cats pee on my clothes and assorted accouterments one more time we squaring the fuck up.

I know it's Rocket, little asshole. I don't have any proof, she's too good, but I know it's her. And she's been listening to my records.

I often dream of strangling my cats to death. If I did that one small thing I could have my life back tomorrow. I could have people over to my home, I wouldn't smell like ammonia, every surface of my life wouldn't be covered in fur. My life would be mine again.

Ten years, same dream. I used to take solace in the belief they would die of natural causes soon. Nah, they are gonna outlive me, I can tell. Sometimes when I walk by Boo and she's sitting there licking her paw I mouth the words "I hate you," and she nods back like "I legitimately hate you as well."

She's the worst. It's always the quiet ones.

I can't bring them anywhere. A while back I dropped the dummies off at Petsmart for a haircut. First thing Boo does is maul the groomer. So I gotta drive all the way back to Aero drive to pick her bad ass up. The groomer talking to me about "Your cat is uncontrollable and isn't welcome here anymore."

I'm like, "Cool story, how bout you start life shoved into a trash bag and left to suffocate to death in a dumpster with your newborn kin? Sorry she didn't walk away from that with a positive mental attitude! Whatever, just hand over the Siamese delinquent and we'll be off."

The groomer says, "Oh no we love Rocket!" I look over to find Rocket on a table surrounded by Petsmart staff fighting for time with that little cuddle hoe. She sees me and lays down with her paws over her face and everyone's looking at me like I'm goddamn Ike Turner. The cat is a sociopath.

A ways back I was telling this story to some friends over lunch. Married couple, popped out a few kids. They were looking at me like I was crazy! Psh, some people just can't comprehend the struggle. Have no idea.

Anyway, oh yeah No Mans Sky. You won't like it if you have unrealistic expectations of life. If you understand that 90% of life wont be as exciting as you thought, meaning is what you make it, you will definitely die without seeing it all, and that's ok, then you may enjoy the game.

Either way I give Hello Games all props for the quantum leap in design. The load screens, where are they? I never thought I'd see the day. Well done. Also JOBS.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Celerity     

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Issue : Games : Sham



Inside is a game about The Impostor Syndrome.

In the game the... Wait a second let me back up cause information just sent this over... So New York wants to ban sex offenders from Pokemon Go? Hold on I'm not sure I understand what is happening here. I mean, cool, I'm down with banning sex offenders from everything in a kids gravity. Rock and Roll.

Systemically it would be easy enough, in no way. But easy in the meaning that it's possible. Nothing's truly easy. It's called a sex offender registry for a reason and the ban hammer has existed since the dawn of fuckery. Just a bunch of names on a list, those names and account info show up in plat, flag goes up, cross em off. Bet.

Gameplay side you would have to delete spawn points for these addresses but I don't have access to the backend and that's maybe a Google maps thing as well so I don't even know what's possible there. Also that's deleting or masking or manipulating things from and on the internet which has impossibly scary implications from a civil perspective.

And should it all come to be, that would totally not stop unregistered sex offenders in any way, or the creation of boofer accounts, or like, the perverts could just walk to the park where Pokemon and children be and candy van them there. I dunno, this seems pointless and stupid, as well as treating a symptom and not the disease.There are a bunch of moving parts to this situation that are absolutely uncontrollable from this approach.

The NY State Government has no way to enforce this ban, the precedent for this drastic a measure hasn't been established. And is it a ban on the game? It's Ninantic's game and they are a private company. Will the government pay Ninantic for all the extra work they would have to do? And this is actually about AR. What about the games coming up? How does this ban scale? And what about... oh wait shit this is an election year, video games are the classic scapegoat, Pokemon Go has peoples attention, and this is about attention.

Wow, every year with the same bullshit. Games are Charlie Brown and politicians are Lucy with the football. Information, I'm sitting this one out. Wake me up when the election cycles over. Also, Inside is one of the best games of the year, real talk. Also, Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Masquerader

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Issue : Games : Awry





Rise of the Tomb Raider is a game about pluck.

A short time ago, or a long time ago. I really don't know anymore; time gets distorted as you get older. My high school years still feel like an eternity, these days four years pass and I barely notice.
 
Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, I was seguing into one of those trite fuckin' memoirs come allegories I do. I figure it's gotta be about Comic-Con, that just happened... And I've been playing Rise of the Tomb Raider but I think the game is kind of meh so I'm not sure why I chose the .gif... Oh right it was probably about that time I worked as a Comic-Con booth bro for Crystal Dynamics. That was  a slog.

Well alright, so to set the table; a few years back I quit my day job to start a business.

Everyone told me that quitting my job to start a business was the dumbest idea they had ever heard. I disagreed, feeling the dumbest idea ever is questioning a G. So I politely told my workplace to eat a dick up till they hiccuped, pulled anchor, and plotted a course towards "doin' me."

Obviously a couple months later I'm broke, the business failed in every interpretation of the word, my woman left me, there's an eviction notice on my door, and all I could muster the energy to do was lay on the couch eating crushed Top Ramen from the bag salted by my tears while marathon-ing Buffy the Vampire Slayer till my Netflix account turned off or the sweet embrace of death enveloped me. I was rooting for death.  

I was snatched from the reapers grip by a temp agency I had worked with previously who had need of warm bodies to support this event going on at Comic-con, told me they would pay top dollar for me to stand next to a kiosk and tell everyone about how awesome the reboot of Tomb Raider was.

So I pulled myself off the couch, hopped on the number 2 bus, and made my way downtown to survive. That was literally all I was doing. I didn't care about video games anymore, I didn't care about myself. I just knew that my allotted time for self pity was done, and my story didn't end there. I wouldn't let it.

After that experience I was ready to apply the first rule of holes, and then apply the second, climb up. I started writing this thing again, because it has always been more for me than for you, although I love you very much. And then I found another job, and then another. And then I started working on why the business failed, and what I was going to do different next time, because I am way too dumb to give up on a dream.

But I'm not quitting my job to chase it again, that was legit stupid. Kid, don't do that. Or do, who cares.  

Anyway, I bring that up because at this Comic-con I worked with the same game, just a different perspective. Some kid walked up to me and asked, "Sir (which is still weird to hear), how do I get a job in the video game industry?" I told her, "That's a dumb idea, but never give up on it." I don't think she got it.

I hope information enjoyed the SD heat, the Rolled Tacos, and the belly laughs. It sucks these marketing vortexes are the only time we enter each others gravity. See what I did there? What's good William Faulkner? Get ya bars up, fuckin' bum! Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Adrift

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Issue : Games : Encapsulate



Everyone thinks I abstain from Pokemon Go as an extension of the misanthropic persona I have ever so carefully crafted, and I engender this belief because the truth is a vulnerability door I haven't been able to approach since the launch of the title.

That truth is this: I'm heartbroken that Mr. Iwata is gone and none of the people I see staring into their phones know his name.

It broke my heart that he will never be able to see for himself this new world his hard work and dedication has ushered in. A world brought together and made brighter by an interactive experience.

I don't think Mr. Iwata cared if anyone knew his name. I don't understand why it's so important to me that the end user does. I suspect it's vanity, I suspect I'm the architect that wants his name on the building instead of the company's. And have projected that need onto this great mans avatar.

It's a fatal flaw when playing the metagame, this lust. That's what young people do. It's not fear of death that drives, it's the fear of being forgotten. If a world changes in the woods and all of that.

Anyway, I say all that to say I don't dislike Pokemon Go in any way, shape, or form. Quite the opposite. I had lost my faith, but seeing what I see every-time I step into this waking life has given me back what I had lost. I don't have to download the gift, It's there in the faces of everyone enjoying the world version I hoped for.

A simple April fools joke did all of this. Sometimes that is all it takes. Thank you Mr. Iwata. Sleep Well.

I hope information didn't just send me a text about passes to Comic-Con a week before the got-damn event. Get off the bathsalts homie. Also all props Niantic for opening the largest portal ever. shouts to The Enlightened. Also JOBS.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : O.bit

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Issue : Games : Incarnation



Mirrors Edge Catalyst is a game about topicality.

In it; Faith attempts to overthrow a totalitarian conglomerate of corporations who rule a kingdom made of glass. Real talk.

Unrelated, congratulations America! We are officially not alone in the race to be the dumbest superpower (or superpower composed of the dumbest citizens. Shouts to Mr. Cameron) in the world. I believe it's the best gift the Britain has ever given the us. The gift of sight.

Donald Trump will be our president if people vote for him, and people will. Some because they are legit touched in the head, some because 4chan has gotten really good at rallying trolls. We will all be sitting here like... WTF just happened? And then the party starts.Everybody thought Roger Waters was crazy, and they were right. Sometimes it takes crazy to see it coming. Go vote.

Anyway, let's switch gears to Overwatch and what all of you are doing wrong.

If you are the last to choose character and you don't pick support go fuck yourself. I don't know how else to say it. If you choose Pharah and fly into the air for a "Justice" when you know there is a Hanzo or Widowmaker (A.K.A. Annie fuckin' Oakley and Steph Curry with the shot, boy.) on the field collecting bodies then you live a different kind of life and I feel sorry for you.

If you pick Reinhardt and drop the barrier that was protecting your whole team to Leroy Jenkins into a soul train line of enemies with a Bastion mid fire at the end then why are you playing video games? If you main Torb or Mei and feel good about yourself then let me borrow some self- confidence because you have too much.

Can't wait till competitive starts so I can really be a grown man crying over video games and I don't care because I swear to god... Anyway, information has been wondering where I've been so here is the truth. A combination of hard work and heartbreak put me in a place where I had to step back. I am a human person (contrary to the rumors) and run out of gas. But let's get back to it, stores open, also JOBS.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Paradigm

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Issue : Games : Metamorphosis



The GTX 1080 is a graphics card about planned obsolescence.

Planned obsolescence is a policy of producing consumer goods so they rapidly require replacing due to frequent changes in design, termination of the supply of parts, and the use of easily breakable materials. Not a bad thing, just is.

A company may set out to do this, a company may not, doesn't matter. Moore's law is still popping, it drives the industry, not the makers of the things or the people. Sorry people, we are all beholden to gravity and nothing lasts forever. I miss VooDoo too.

Planned obsolescence is such a terrible phrase to use for what is happening, you can tell there were no marketers involved in that bullpen. Bunch of scientists. I would have went with "Quantum Leapz," or, "Proactive Ballin;." Those are both off the dome. You are welcome, the future.

To keep it 100 stacks emoji the 1080 isn't that much better than the 980ti or Titan. To keep it 1000 stacks emoji it doesn't really need to be because the homies at Nvidia did the right thing and priced it well. The reasoning: The current VR climate has a bunch of new folks sniffing around computers.

We PC awakened know that anyone who sees a computer running at full sauce will become a believer. This is happening right now, and the 1080 has the potential to be the first civilian purchase toward their new Ferrari, or Tesla, depending on how you want that metaphor to hit.

It's all coming together, what a time to be alive. Next thing you know there will be U/X everywhere and people's bodies will be made of computer stuff. All of this sounds scary to outsiders, and it's terrifying to insiders. But listen, it's gonna happen anyway and the job of people is to keep the humanities lined up with the tech so one doesn't overtake the other, not the other way around. I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, E3 is when?!? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. This event season is brutal, well alright, see you in Anaheim for MLG and at E3 and at the Poway carpark for the goddam... county fair LANfest or wherever the hell else we take this Electric Daisy Carnival. If I see you in RL first drinks on me. Also JOBS.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Square Parts

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Issue : Games : Hue


Chroma Squad is a game about reminiscence.

It's also a game about being hard. I swear I don't remember a Power Rangers level that hard to play. And who knew cardboard cutout swords could be so expensive! Every damn move is expensive, and the level design/ block work are Swiss perversion. It's a really good game.

Just kidding, I'm really playing Overwatch. I don't get it, did they sprinkle crack on this game or something? The hell is going on? It's like I broke up with Steam. I pop on there to play something now and people are asking about TF2 (miss you baby) or SF5 runbacks or Doom multi like its 5/23. I have to tell them I've been hanging out in Battle.net playing this shooter, and you know what? Feels good.

It's like I betrayed the dojo or something.  I can't believe people still believe a game this popular can not be this good. It just...is. It's the kind of game you can sit anyone down in front of, I mean anyone, and they will get what is going on, they will have fun and feel like they saw a fleeting glimpse of what you see in games. It brings people to the hearth, It's that kind of good.

I think Blizzy-B did two things well. They ripped off the best parts of other shooters, and they put it in a world I care about. I actually like the characters, and the stories, and the world. Or what they will be, because Blizzard has crafted a growing tapestry to be admired. To look at the Diablo in HoTS, or Hearthstone in WoW, it's all one big narrative Blizzard is bringing together. It's never been done at this level and they are really making it happen. This is crazy to see.

So yeah, I'm playing Overwatch and couldn't be having more fun. I still have my feelings about Lucio, but we gonna leave that where it is. Having said that the Warcraft Movie is out of control. Why would this happen? I don't understand why this would happen? Man, no. I don't understand why this would happen? Why would a movie that had all this time to be made be made into that movie? Promises were made, assurances were given...It's just... I dunno. Maybe it's just me, I dunno. Gul'dan was alright, that was cool. I'm running out of Steam. That statement ties everything together.

I hope information enjoyed those store opening lines. That other company had a store opening too? Wow, cool! Sorry I couldn't make the gala, I was watching my brother walk. Not that walk, the good one. Congrats KD, well done. Also JERBZ.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : luminosity

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Issue : Games : Knead


Doom is a game about vicera.

A long time ago I was a boat person. A boat person is a person in the Navy that lives on a boat. Imagine literally living at work. Imagine your whole life fitting in a coffin. Imagine your home pulling anchor and moving while you sleep. That sort of thing.

I lived on an Aircraft Carrier. An Aircraft Carrier is a floating fortress staffed by morons that didn't feel college was the right fit at the time. My job was flight deck ordnance (I.Y.A.O.Y.A.S). We were tasked to build, issue, and install bombs and guns onto airplanes on the flight deck of the Aircraft Carrier.

Every job on the flight deck required the worker to wear a different color shirt, because the flight deck gets very loud and very chaotic. Yellow shirts were aircraft handlers, green shirts handled aircraft catapults and arresting gear, blue shirts took care of airplanes, purple shirts were aviation fuel, brown shirts were plane captains, white shirts were safety observers, and red shirts were people that handled things that blew up. It was very important to learn the colors, roles, and sounds of the flight deck because there was an exponential number of ways to get yourself killed up there.

When I wasn't working or drinking or partying I was at the recreation center of whatever base we happened to be at. I was always there because TV time on the ship was always taken up by guys watching wrestling. The Rec center had rows of televisions and was open twenty four hours a day. I would cart my Dreamcast over and play Skies of Arcadia and Powerstone in peace and quiet for as long as I liked. It was nerd heaven.

It was heaven until this grape (purple shirt) kid fresh out of M.E.P.S from my boat showed up and started hanging around the tiny universe I had claimed. He had seen me at work and I had seen him. He was that goober holding up the bird load line cause he couldn't twist the gas pump angle, he was asking dumb questions to people during general quarters, and generally being that gigantic turd on the deck to step over.

My dad was fond of saying, "Stupid is a loaded gun." I interpreted that to mean that a stupid person will damage everyone in their gravity, not out of malice, simply because they don't know any better. Can't blame the gun. So I was very careful to follow the rules that my father and Stockton California taught me about surviving dangerous environments. Stay quiet, stay smart, and be very, very careful about who you allow into your life. I could tell this kid was a loaded gun, so I told him to kick rocks, and went back to business.

The next time I saw the kid was at work. 9/11 had just happened and the boat was scrambling to prepare for an impromptu engagement in the middle east. We had taken on different squadrons who were hitching a ride, things were happening a mile a minute, and somehow this kid found himself under the fuselage of a catapult as it was closing. Instead of staying in the fuselage, the kid tried to crawl out before the blast plate closed. He made it halfway.

I was humping GBU's to the bomb farm when I heard the sirens. I looked over and saw the kid laying face up on the deck, torso and legs wedged under the blast door. I left my load and ran over, along with the green shirts, the brown, the white, and the yellow. We looked like a bust open pack of skittles at a funeral for the purple one. The kid was in shock, awake, and staring at us like we were all famished and he had spilled the coffee carrier in Starbucks.

When he realized everything was very much not ok he panicked and attempted to remove himself. We begged him to not move until the Doc's arrived but he just pushed and pushed, we watched his tendons snapping from his waist, blood and purple, capillaries in his face bursting from the screaming. Then it was done, he died right there on that deck. A loaded gun kid that backfired.

I said I was fine but my gunny insisted I take a couple days to decompress. So I stayed in base housing for a week and finished Skies of Arcadia before hitching a helo ride back to the boat. I spent most of my time wondering if I could have helped the kid, I still do.

Anyway, Doom is a fun game. It's the same Doom they have been making for years. A flashy, fast paced, grindhouse with no soul or context. Demons, Zombies, Insurgents, it doesn't matter. Just head from one set piece to the next and mow them down, or hop online and mow humans dressed as avatars down for catharsis achievements.

Whatever, it's what our audience wants, and I now realize most people that make the games have no experience with real life pain (with noted exceptions. Sup Lance, sup Michal, sup Navid)  so they can't make explain or frame what they don't know. Old children making games for young children.

So lets just keep video games irresponsible on every level and rake in the money. I'm not going to blame people for looking down on video games as a base artistic medium because lets be honest, we are, and at large we aren't trying to change. Such is life.

I hope information rocks the pillars of heaven at the store opening. It's big, congrats. Also, this shit is not cool. I don't blame the guns, I feel sorry for them. Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Pummel

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Issue : Games : Applications


Hearthstone is a game about prescience.


Hearthstone is a turn based card game played between two opponents using decks composed of thirty cards. A selected hero with a unique power (think a King piece in chess) has to be killed to win the game.

The key to Hearthstone is board control. Board control occurs when a player has knowledge of every single available card as well as any configuration of cards the opposing player uses. They use this knowledge to keep the opponent from building momentum and advantage.

Board control and deck knowledge are important (please stay with me non-nerds I'm going somewhere with this) because these skills unlock the Metagame. The Metagame is a strategy or action that transcends a games prescribed ruleset.

Think like in poker where a high level player has to understand all the cards and combinations in the deck, what the opposing player has in his hand, and has to be able to discern the opposing players style of play through how they use the cards they have, as well as subtle movements and repetitive actions of the people playing the game.

The Metagame also applies to technology in general. Knowledge of all technological advances leading up to today can give you a pretty good idea of what is coming next. The payoff of this style of play are many, as evidenced by the top scoring practitioners, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Yeah I know that people kiss their ass on no background and they were both assholes (think Gates isn't an asshole? Ask Paul Allen after a couple beers) but there is a good reason people do. They NBD'd the entire world using things that were just laying on the floor. Well they were laying on the floor of Xerox Parc but whatever. There was no such thing as a personal computer before Steve made it simple to use and cool to have and Bill gave it a unified rule set that anyone could build off. GG.

Hearthstone is a great game and video games in general are cool, but the metagame is way more fun. Best part is there is no better time in history to play, new players and advancements are popping up every day. It's the goddamn wild wild west out here and it's anybodies game. What a time to be alive.

I hope information recovers from Dreamhack Con Krud. Best ribs I have ever eaten, and that Twitch party... Jelly. Also, sorry Disney game team, it's a cold world. For what it's worth Infinity was fun. Oh and I'm actually handing out fades in Hearthstone forever. Gamertag is J4RMZ#1670, come get that work (I'm not good). Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Alternating Current 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Issue : Games : Red Herring




Hay gurl have you heard there are transvestites in bathrooms trying to rape people? I'm scared but I'm glad this is what we have decided to talk about for some reason cause I have been having my dick out in there for the longest and I would have never known this is something to loose my shit about until it became a national discussion.

Like an idiot I thought women were more worried about the men outside of the bathroom in a bar that are 90% more likely to rape them. And men, well, we stay checking for penises in there so not much has changed in this heightened security climate. It's all fun and games until stuff like this happens. Makes me understand why people look at me sad when I'm overseas and say I'm from here.

Anyway, might as well talk about video games.

Battleborn is a game about exertion.

I don't know. It's fun, it's from Gearbox so if you like Borderlands then you know what you are getting into. I'ts trying to do a lot, maybe too much. I played the beta for a good while and didn't remember any of the twenty five characters names. I didn't connect with the world, I didn't care why I was doing what I was doing. Felt relieved when I stepped away. I said the same thing about League of Legends when it came out, and look how right I was there. That was a hot fart.

Alright, well that is literally it. I hope information doesn't expect me to bring a PC to Dreamhack. Laptops bruh, I got those. I hope 2MEX recovers from that close call, gotta get myself checked out. I'm up to a pack of sour patch kids a day and I like my foot. Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Demail Gaze

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Issue : Games : Spurious




Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan is a game about fidelity.

It's basically Remember The Time : The Video Game, and wow is it a great RPG. These guys have been paying attention. Their combo system and story could teach the triple AAA's a few things. I picked the title up expecting it to not be good because I am American and have been trained to believe anything that comes from Africa is inherently inferior, especially myself. 

So now I have to figure out a way to diminish this achievement to justify my immutable programming. Hmmm, let me dip into the bag real quick... oh there I have it. It's because they are liars. All of the gods and kings of Africa depicted in Aurion are black, and that's not true. I know it's not true because I just watched the documentary Gods of Egypt. It's the same as when I believed Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell was Asian. Nice try, Cameroon. You have heart though, the'll give you that.

Anyway, switching gears it's cool to see Harriet Tubman will be on the US 20 dollar bill because it hearkens back to a time when black people were used as actual currency in America. The woman spent her life shepherding people away from the system she will now represent without her expressed permission, because she dead. Hey, things seem a little better, she might have been cool with it, so why not? It's great to know that Trump supporters will have a wad of Harriet's in their pocket, able to spend her in any way they see fit. Least it's not a penny. Can't wait to see what will be written on her face in permanent ink. What a time to be alive. 

Alrighty then... I hope information reaches out to Patton and makes sure he is ok. The world weeps for a prince and the man lost his Queen. No one will know how much that guy actually does for geeks every single day and you could tell he was fearless because she was riding shotgun. I don't know... Love and loss are both a deep well. Be well, hug the ones you love today, and also Jobs.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Issue : People : Specie



Dark Souls III is a game about tenacity.

If my inbox and questions I get at events are any indication I guess it's that time again. "How do I get a job in the game industry?" Alright... Well this time I'm done with the marketing answer, it always felt like a lie because it is, so let me get the hardest thing for me to do out of the way, which is honesty.

Here is the answer to how to get a job in the game industry, the answer is you don't "get" a job in the game industry. You make one yourself.

To see why you have to look at the big picture. Computer science and information technology have entered the platinum age in our lifetime. It doesn't seem like it at the moment but companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Valve, the people involved in digital entertainment and technology, and the events occurring right now in tech will be discussed in books for centuries on.

Video games are the entry point to this world because the barriers are low and the value is high. A generation or two from now it will be far and away the number one entertainment source for the world. It's the wild west, and everyone is planting stakes. The competition for jobs in gaming is unbelievably fierce, and I'm talking about for gaming industry veterans with launched titles under their belts to get ground floor gigs at medium size studios. No to mention the legions of QA/GM/CS folks in those studios waiting for the opportunity to move up and fighting tooth and nail for it.

So having said that here is the truth, to HR and resume reviewers your degree means nothing when compared to those people. It just isn't. It's a check mark that means you have the heart to finish something. Those people have been through the gauntlet and are asking for more, so they are first in line because they are proven soldiers. The average lifespan of a person in this industry is two years, and the day to day is really that hard. If a person persists in this industry we come together to make sure they are ok.

So that's why it's damn near impossible to get a job at those places and and I wouldn't get my hopes up about working on your favorite video game right out of college. By the way, if you have obligations that have to constantly be attended to, if you have a ceiling to the hours you are willing to work, if you are allergic to stress, I'd advise you think the decision to do this job through.

Ok, so if you absorbed all that and said, "So? I don't scare easily, tell me how to succeed." here is how you make it happen for yourself. Thanks to this platinum age of tech no longer is there anyone or anything keeping you from making a game, by yourself or with friends today, right now. If you have to ask how then listen... If you constantly ask that question and haven't typed "how to make a video game" into google and followed those steps then I have to just say it, you aren't ready for the job yet. You have to shake that entitlement and get used to the idea that the Calvary isn't coming, you are the Calvary.

There is no degree in the world that trumps a interviewer being able to click on an .exe or go to a website you made. And you doing that on your own tells them everything they need to know about your character. Because here is the dark little secret of game industry hiring, technical acumen is a dime a dozen these days, recruiters hire on character, the passion for the field, and the hunger to learn more and grow. Straight the fuck up. So download Unity, check out some YouTube tutorials, and start to make something today. Best time to plant a tree.

Anyway, the squad at D:T is working on a more efficient way for you to make that goddam... "War and peace" cell shaded Rougelike brawler MMO you have in your head but we all have day jobs so it is what it is, in the meantime you know how to find me (or one of the nicer members like JT or Burnout) and if you don't, refer to the paragraph above the above paragraph, take those steps, and get at me. And for the record we are not the Calvary, we are co-workers at the company you are making.

Also shouts to the SDCC folks, thanks for having me and I hope I wasn't too... me.. I guess. And also Black Mamba, wow, what a game. Salute. Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Penny Stock

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Issue : People : Relict



Enter the Gungeon is a game about letting go. Of bullets.

In Enter the Gungeon four adventurers descend a castle searching for a fabled gun that can kill the past. Must be nice. Think Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but with, you know, guns. It's a multiplayer bullet hell rogelike. I know, none of that should work together but it does.Sometimes life's like that.

So here's a fun story that happens to be part of my everyday waking life. One of the homies happened to be working on this game called Baldur's Gate: Seige of Dragonspear. The game launched to salt concerning the writers decision to include "Social Justice" issues into the game.

So the company gets the business from this "community" who felt some type of way over "distracting" representations of  real life human beings. Their team has been getting the usual hate in the form of death threats, misguided dogma, and all the other old jazz standards. Here is where the story turns up. Another "buddy" of mine get's in touch, awash in rage that Beamdog would engage in such agenda pushing through their video game.

I just.. I don't get it. It truly breaks my heart when people think I'm on any other side of this "Gamer Gate" thing than everyone gets to play. I have been doing video game things for a long (correction: short / medium time. Sorry video game elders) time, and the whole time I have haaaaaaaatted the gaming community majority. Entitled, spoiled, feral, jerks. Why would I condone omitting or diminishing anyone?

I have been spending every waking day of my life in the video game industry beating on the same drum, that we are obsessed with repeating the mistakes of other mediums. The stories we can tell and the people we could represent if only we could just let go of some things... I know that earns me a lot of labels and cold shoulders. Don't care. It's wrong, it's been wrong for a long time, and we need to change it. I'm down with whoever is willing to step up. Everyone else is living a different kind of life and I feel for them.

Anyway, I hope information takes note of the greatest CV ever. Next level stuff. Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Errands

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Issue : Games : Disruptive



Doom is a game about... Demons in space... And the Rock was in the movie... yeah I think that's it. I dunno.

So it's the end times, and I say that because we have reached a day where Microsoft is making good decisions with BASH on x86, Xbox = Devkit, cross compatibilityHoloportation. And Popeye's is bringing back the Bonafied Big Box. It's like a singularity of office buzzwords opened in Seattle to birth the ultimate synergy. A whole new world.

Oh sorry, I was talking about Doom. I'm playing the Beta now. It's cool, more like Quake than OG Doom multiplayer but I don't say that in a bad way. I'm actually having fun. Is it strange seeing that Bethesda splash across the opening cards? I'm legit asking.

Anyway, that's about it... I don't have much else on my mind. Oh wait, shouts to DrAKz, and yes I am aware this blog sucks and it's pointless and shitty and yada yada yada.

Here's the thing Korben Dallas, It's a thing I do for myself and the few friends I have. Most people I know of that read this thing have worked with me in the past. For eight to twelve hours a day they were forced to hear me behave like this in real life. Some days were so hard all I could give anyone was a laugh in the hallway.

Nowadays we are all so busy and scattered. With this blog they can pop in to chill, have a laugh, and catch up with their one buddy that never grew up and is into weird shit. But by far the most important thing is the jobs link at the bottom, everything about this project is just toppings for that because layoffs and setbacks happen a lot in gaming and I always want my friends to know I'm there for them.

Never meant for this to make a buck or to ever be more than it is, and as long as they poping in I'll keep it up, because if my foolishness brings them even a moment of reprieve from this waking life than it's more than worth it. And for what it's worth your Reaper is waaavvy. Also Florence and the Machine in Final Fantasy? This truly is the end times. Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : Synergy

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Issue : Games : Injustice League


Damn, tough hit Mr. Affleck. You tried, you really tried.

Can we call it? Time of comic book movie market saturation critical mass, plateau, and ultimate backslide into terribad at uhhh, what time did Batman V. Superman launch?

We've seen the last minute slide in of awesome, A.K.A Deadpool, and now we continue to allow them to shove every comic book property they can dig up down the pipeline until the idea of seeing a "comic book movie" on day one is laughable.

So what's next? Hollywood has milked this cow dead, and will move on to the next thing with the chance of making a buck, this is known. Nothing can stop that until people learn to stop paying money to watch things they know are made to take their money and not challenge or engage them. Not to say that comic book movie don't or can't. It's just the understanding that the movies will not be close to the source material, which once again is what made Deadpool so awesome.

I have always wanted to see a Secret Wars, Infinity Gauntlet, or a Civil War play out on the screen. What I accepted though is that the screen can not do a property justice based on how may balls are in play. For instance if a "House of M" film series wants to use all of the characters in the "House of M" comic book series, they are fucked from jump street.

Fox owns some, Disney owns others, and Marvel is just happy to be at the table so they allow whatever director, ex producer, cinematographer, and writer that is interested in the project, has a solid name, and some background and tests well in geek culture, not comic books mind you, to work on the project. After all this you get what kinda might look like "House of M" from the comics if you squint, but it's not what you read.

Ok, so that may be where we are now. What's next? Video Games are next.

It's been on the plate for a while. Games franchises have just enough story and history to be ripe for the pump. Assassins Creed, Uncharted, Last of Us, Mirrors Edge, WoW, Grand Theft Auto. It's not that Hollywood takes any of these properties seriously (Maybe Last of Us and Uncharted) as works of art with a world who's story would benefit from the canvas port. It's that these franchises get butts in the seats, they know enough industry people would be interested enough in the projects to get them green lit, and video games are officially not going anywhere, and they also pose a threat to movie production, so why not make them movies as well?

Then why not buy the companies that make the games, if not owned already. Classic kill em with kindness. It's all setup, ready to go as soon as comic book movie fatigue reaches it's peak. So stand by, gamers, gonna be a lot of groans, and Hollywood folks incoming. Let's show em some good old fashioned gaming community hospitality, yea?

Anyway,  Such is life. I hope information understands it's not Bens fault. He really does like comics and want what's best. Zack Snyder though... Man... I just... Cmon man... Also Jobs.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : People : The Scenario

Blog Archive