Thursday, 10 January 2013

A New Year to Remember!

  It has been a while.  Work has kept me busy, and even time off has felt full.  Still, I’ve taken quite of bit of time re-evaluating the blog.  The audience goes in unison: “Oh no, not this again.”

  The blog’s main topic is gamer culture, and despite a lot of recent stories on this subject, just off the top of my head, women’s issues in game, yet another sleazeball stalking women in online games just to drive them out of “his” territory, the new flare up of public “inquiry” regarding violence in media, including the destruction of the offending material, and the corresponding call to arms of video gamers determined to protect our beloved games, and every story on the net you could think of on the evils of gamers of every sort.

  (update: Southington Conn has since cancelled their game burning plans, claiming that they already have created a big enough scene.  I’m inclined to agree).
  I’ve tried several times to sew up a blog article about these events that would add something to the discussions at hand, but they always came out bland, like I had nothing to contribute.  And then, it hit me.  None of this stuff is what I want to blog about.  Most of it isn’t even tangentially about the gaming I love, mostly dealing with online or shoot’em up games, and the general culture that is lining them up for a take-down.  I’m going to come off as a old fogey for saying it, but the type of gaming I most enjoy is partisan to Nintendo, which shares some of these problems, but is usually thought of last in these challenges. 

  So, here’s the only blog post I can write, and I’m going to blow off my supposed responsibilities to other types of gamers on the Internet to write a feel good newsie, a report on all of the good things recent and on the horizon.

  The biggest recent news is the launch of the WiiU, which I have yet to purchase.  (Critics: How can you be a hardcore Nintendo fan without a WiiU?)  I’ve been busy, much too much so for a new console, and the 3DS has been a great 30 minute time waster.  It’s also been great for ducking into and out of the fictional worlds it builds swiftly and cleanly, a godsend for stress relief.  But I haven’t sworn off buying a WiiU; Pikmin 3 and Lego City Undercover both look like must haves!

  As a 3DS owner, the best news was revealed just the other day: new Pokémon games are confirmed October, Pokémon X and Y respectively.  I’ve fallen behind again; I played and loved Blue and Red for the Gameboy Color, then rented, but never bought Gold.  I never did follow up on Pokémon until White, just three years back.  It was another classic, and well worth the time investment, which coincidentally, was about 160 hours, greater than Monster Hunter Tri and Wii Fit Plus (separately, not both together).  Despite craving Pokémon White or Black 2 and Pokémon Conquest, I just never found the time for such a large scale RPG.  I wonder if I can change that for next October?

  Nintendo Power ended its long, long run just this New Years.  December was its last issue.  The end of the era prompted a lot of emotional farewells.  I once subscribed, but only for a year; I didn’t have much money when younger, and soon wondered at the wisdom of spending money to read about video games that could otherwise have been spent on buying and playing video games. 

  Still, not all of the news is sad, as the full might (or so it seems) of Nintendo press agents in North America have come out to support a new publication, called Nintendo Force.  So far it looks a bit like rushing into the fire zone.  Nintendo Power didn’t just morph into an e-mag.  It dried up, suggesting word from higher up on its closure.  While I certainly appreciate the passion Nintendo Force brings to the table, can they really fill the breach?   And pay the bills?  Is this gamble just crazy?  Nintendo Force’s debut issue is due out in just a few days.  Should I support this, which appears to be a true community effort (just what I was looking for, incidentally) themed on Nintendo (bonus)? 

  My money happens to be spoken for this month, for as of January 25th, 2013, the formal translation of the Hyrule Historia goes on sale.  This hardcover tome features developer stories and memories creating the many games of the Legend of Zelda, and developer concept art.  There is a timeline effort from Nintendo besides, but I consider the effort to be wasted.  Don’t insult us Nintendo; we know that there is no timeline connecting the LoZ games together, and there never was.  We know this, we appreciate how that lets you focus on telling better stories, and we appreciate it.  Still, having an unwanted feature won’t stop me from enjoying the rest of the book!

  And that’s just about all of the Nintendo news I know of for January.  It’s a full month, even without the baggage coming from outside.  Still, it’s also a little exciting.  This is time Nintendo seems the most alive, and the fan base is reciprocating. 

Harassment of women to chase them out of online gaming.

Southington SOS, as reported on by Polygon.

Southington cancels game burning.

The phrase Call to Arms here references the majority of what I’m finding on the net anymore.  Joe Biden, VP to Barack Obama, called all parties to participate in a dialog on the violence.  Here is Kris Graft of Gamasutra suggesting that should Game representatives even attend or send an attendant, it would compromise gaming’s place as would an admission of guilt.  And here is one articulate gamer, Kamicasey, responding that failing to speak up for gaming is the equivalent of letting freaks like the NRA blame gaming, the makers of games and people who play them, effectively defining what gaming is all about.  Kamicasey and Kris Graft between them make a good point, though divided on the Joe Bidden invitation: We need to stand up for this medium, and not let outsiders, especially those with an agenda, define gaming.  Video gaming may have its own learning curve to go through, and Casey Lynch at IGN does a nice job framing that work.

Audrey Drake’s Everything we know about Pokémon X and Y.

The Game Overthinker was instrumental in collecting all of these links.  Props!

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