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The Weekly: Top News & New Releases

The Week of June 3, 2013

The weekend is finally here! Time to recap some important news buzzing around the game industry.

  • How time flies - E3 is upon us! If you haven't listened to it yet make sure to hear our latest podcast, "The E3 at Gunpoint Show," where Nick, Brad, Nolan and Kris not only discuss games they've been playing but also share their E3 2013 predictions. If you're craving more of our opinions, then head over to the staff page and follow our Twitter handles to read up-to-the-minute commentaries during E3 as well.
  • There have been a lot of PRE3 updates about what we should be expecting for the Xbox One and our writer Zack Wheat is on the case. It's also important to note what major publishers are not saying about the console as well. As for me, it looks like I'll be skipping this mess altogether...
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum has appointed Sophia George as the first ever "game designer in residence." This is another big step for video games to be a part of high-art culture since the MoMA introduced its own game exhibit this year. I discussed this specific type of convergence of games and art in a three-piece feature that can be found here.

  • An upcoming game about female masturbation titled HappyPlayTime has been receiving controversy, and not because it's about masturbation. Game designer and critic Anna Anthrophy writes about how the solution to the shame around masturbation is not gamification and how the game's focus on vaginas excludes women who do not have one.

  • The Kickstarter for Shadow of the Eternals, the spiritual successor of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, has been temporary canceled. Precusor Games announced that this doesn't mean they're going away and that they will re-launch the Kickstarter "in just a few short weeks" with some new developments.

  • It's always troubling to see studios shut down and people lose their jobs in this industry. This week, Zynga sadly laid off 520 employees and shut down their New York office, which is actually OMGPOP studios. Here's wishing the best of luck to the former employees and hoping we see fewer studios shut down in the future.

  • If you needed proof that sexism exists in this industry (wait, did you really?), has-been Internet celebrity Maddox thinks he can solve all the problems. (Spoiler alert: he's actually wrong!)

  • Remember Me was released this week and I've been hearing mixed reviews, while State of Decay sold more than 250K copies in two days. Gunpoint was released for a whopping $9 and Limbo is now available on the Vita. Today, Animal Crossing: New Leaf releases in North America on the 3DS and will be available on the 14th and 15th in Europe and Australia respectively. Have you picked up any new releases this week? Let us know in the comments!

That wraps it up for this week. If a game-related event occurs during the week and you think it deserves a mention, then please contact me and let me know.

        Comments

        • CyborgMaid 6 years, 3 months ago

          "the game's focus on vaginas excludes women who do not have one."

          I hate being alive.

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          • Rorix 6 years, 3 months ago

            Seriously. Giving people a forum for them to air non-existent grievances is one of the worst parts of the Internet. Those people shouldn't be given any credence at all. If they're the only ones who are making that game controversial, then there is no controversy.

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            • Soha E. 6 years, 3 months ago

              Did you happen to read the article? Because "those people" you are referring to are transwomen who find this game problematic. To shut them out of a discussion because you don't want to hear about it is ignorant.

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              • Rorix 6 years, 3 months ago

                I'm shutting those people out because their opinions (assuming it's not just an elaborate troll) are baseless. They're creating a controversy out of whole cloth, where no controversy exists. These people shouldn't be given credence in the same way the people who think the U.N. is run by Reptilians or the Moon landing was faked should be ignored. It's a made up controversy and rather than trying to push a baseless agenda, how about we talk about some real news? God knows there has been plenty over the last couple of weeks.

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                • Soha E. 6 years, 3 months ago

                  And what, praytell, is this "baseless agenda?" For transwomen to be included as women? How awful of them! How could they make up such a hideous scandal?

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                  • Rorix 6 years, 3 months ago

                    To try and push a personal and niche social agenda on a video game website rather than sticking to talking about news in the video game industry.

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                    • Soha E. 6 years, 3 months ago

                      Free country, bro! I talk about things that are video game related. This is video game related.

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                      • Rorix 6 years, 3 months ago

                        Again, it's related to video games in the same way people saying the Moon landing was faked is related to space exploration. Just because a single person or small group of people think something doesn't mean that it's worthy of discussion, especially when that "opinion" is typically being said to drive eyes and ad revenue to someone's blog. Just because someone says they're offended or that there should be a controversy doesn't mean that they have a legitimate argument.

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                        • Kat Haché 6 years, 3 months ago

                          Wow, awesome you think you are the arbiter of what is acceptable to talk about! That's totally not assuming authority that you don't have and totally isn't incredibly entitled. I think I'll do it too! Nothing you care about can be talked about. Ever. It's not worthy of concern just because you think it's worthy of discussion.

                          Yay! That was fun!

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                        • Bob Webb 6 years, 3 months ago

                          While I can believe there was no ill intent behind the game, I can see why someone may get upset if they identify themselves with a demographic but are excluded due to physical attributes.

                          What I find interesting is that video games (typically a carefree entertainment) is bringing a lot of these gender issues to light. I can understand if not everyone wants to discuss it, but at least be considerate of other's opinions on the topic.

                          This is a video game _opinion_ website: opinions are welcome here and should not be discouraged. Since this is about a video game being (probably unintentionally) exclusionary, it still relates to the medium and the social topics surrounding it.

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                          • Rorix 6 years, 3 months ago

                            I'm not trying to stymie discussion and maybe video games can be used as a springboard toward social change. What I'm saying is that just because one person has found something to be offended by and wrote a blog about it, it doesn't mean that there exists a controversy. The source of the opinion should be considered and when the source is a single person stating their opinion, that does not seem to be a legitimate source for a news story. And rather than talk about a non-issue, why not discuss something that more than one person is actually talking about, like say E3 or Xbone?

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                    • Kat Haché 6 years, 3 months ago

                      Not having your identity constantly invalidated by everyone you interact with and all of the media that you consume: "niche social agenda" according to someone who will never have to worry about that. Also cool to know that you think that people can only criticize things that you find problematic in games. Way to show how you think the world revolves around you, A+

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                      • Rorix 6 years, 3 months ago

                        It's not a matter of thinking the world revolves around me. It's there's a ton of news in the video game industry right now and rather than having that discussion, we're talking about a "controversy" that exists only in the minds of a few. Maybe that would be a good discussion to be had, but there's a time and a place for it, and to try and have it on a video gaming website the week before E3 is neither.

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                        • Frank Hartnett 6 years, 3 months ago

                          It's still video game related, thus it can be discussed here. Hell, if anything, it's a GGOD thing Soha brought it up because it would be something otherwise overlooked as everyone stares longingly at E3's press conferences.

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                          • Frank Hartnett 6 years, 3 months ago

                            *good

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                          • Rorix 6 years, 3 months ago

                            The problem I think lies with the source material and since it's seems to be coming from one person's opinion, I don't think anyone could consider that to be a credible source when claiming that an actual controversy surrounds a game. If the standard is going to be reporting on a single person's blog and opinion, where do you stop? What opinions do you include and exclude? It's that sort of cherry-picking that creates biases.

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                            • Soha E. 6 years, 3 months ago

                              I don't know if you've noticed, Rorix, but 4Player is a gaming website that not only encourages opinions but also stands out from the rest of news websites because we try to build a community. Communities require people - all different kinds. The point of this weekly feature is to compile industry news that can be found easily on the Internet, and news from indie developers that doesn't receive as much mainstream attention.

                              If it seems that I am cherry-picking my sources from random blogs, then perhaps you would benefit from a simple Google search on Anna Anthropy.

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                        • Soha E. 6 years, 3 months ago

                          Oh yeah. Just ignore the part where I mentioned Kickstarters, new releases, Zynga closing its studios, linking to our PRE3 podcast, Xbox One news, yeah. I'm just here to push my crazy social agenda on you, dude.

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                          • Tyvokka 6 years, 3 months ago

                            Anna Anthropy does not represent all transgendered women, and saying that there is "controversy" about a game that encourages healthy female masturbation just because 1 person who identifies herself as being a woman and doesn't have a vagina isn't being insensitive. that's like saying track & field on NES is insensitive to people who don't have legs. Not everything is for everyone. There may be men who feel emotionally like women but who don't have the courage or money to go through with an operation, so should they somehow be included in this female masturbation game too?

                            When 25% of your E3 posts are about some form of sexual agenda that's only tangentially related to E3 (or not at all), it does come across as pushing a social agenda. And I watched the maddox video and it was pretty fair-minded. Though a little harsh, he's actually encouraging more women to make video games. how is that bad? you simply said "wrong!" and didn't elaborate or offer any insight. who cares what you think if you don't back up your opinions with facts or reasons? and maddox has written two bestselling books, a comic, etc, and has been writing for over 10 years. he's written more than you and longer than you. how are you in a position to call anyone has-been? sounds like sour grapes from someone who never-was...

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                        • Absolutely_Daft 6 years, 3 months ago

                          Now is always be the time and space to discuss any kind of issues. And E3 isn't going postpone because these discussions are happening.

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                        • Bob Webb 6 years, 3 months ago

                          You're the one that brought it up. Only 2 of the 8 items on that list were involving sexism and gender; that's hardly a one sided focus.

                          Some of these topics are important to people and instead of trying to shut it down and belittle the topics by saying those "people shouldn't be given any credence at all" you could just accept that everyone has a right to a voice and move on.

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                          • Frank Hartnett 6 years, 3 months ago

                            Saying this doesn't warrant discussion is like saying the link to video games and violent behavior doesn't warrant discussion because only non-gamers believe that. Yet it has been brought up many times on this and other gaming sites. Should they have just ignored the issue rather than report on it and "create bias"?

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                            • Rorix 6 years, 3 months ago

                              I'm not saying this doesn't warrant discussion. I'm saying when the source is a single blog, an opinion piece, without researched materials being presented, that not only signals bias, it also doesn't show that there actually exists a controversy. With regard to video game violence, at least there you could show psychological and sociological studies proving or disproving opinions and have a discussion therein. With this, there is none of that. It's just an opinion piece. If this opinion becomes shared by a group of people and many people think that the game is controversial, that's when it's more legitimate to report on a "controversy", but when the source is one person, ballooning that opinion to say that a gaming is somehow controversial is rather silly.

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                          • Rorix 6 years, 3 months ago

                            As I said previously, it's not a matter of what is being brought up or the gender/sexism angle. It's a matter of treating a single person's opinion the same as a researched news article. One is sourced and has some semblance of journalistic standards while this other is just someone giving their personal opinions, biases and personal inklings included and then treating that opinion like it is a legitimate argument people are having about the game. As I said, I'm not trying to stymie discussion, but I'd much rather see reporting on articles that have journalistic integrity rather than a personal blog. That's all I'm saying.

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                            • Soha E. 6 years, 3 months ago

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Anthropy <-- not a random person venting on her personal blog.

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        • Soha E. 6 years, 3 months ago

          It's unnerving for the rest of us to see transwomen being excluded from female identity and sexuality. Sigh. Cisprivilege is so hard! :(

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          • noman 6 years, 3 months ago

            Not really. All you have to do is not give a damn.

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        • pioshfd 6 years, 3 months ago

          ....... It looks like there's a lot of discussion going on. I feel bad for Swiftor and everyone else at OMGPOP who lost their jobs. Also got Gunpoint, very enjoyable. Gatecrasher is OP though.

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        • theottomatic91 6 years, 3 months ago

          It seems the only way articles get any notice is by bringing up controversial topics, sigh sometimes I wish people could respect other people's opinions even if they do not neccesairly agree with them.

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        • CydonianKnight 6 years, 3 months ago

          I understand why would have a problem with that game..
          But what can they do? It's like if a person who has a physical disability which renders him/her to be unable to play video games with a controller would complain that they're being discriminated against. They're not of course, it's just that not everyone can be accommodated for.

          There is of course a right to free speech and everyone is entitled to it. But if this issue would cause the game to be cancelled and not come out that, I think, would be overstepping the boundary.

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          • Emulatedhype 6 years, 3 months ago

            Agreed. Also, people are easily mislead and can be coaxed into an internet crusade on the sparsest of information these days. Especially with sites like twitter, neogaf and reddit.

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        • Joseph 6 years, 3 months ago

          Great to hear that State of Decay is selling well. One of the best games I have played this year. So happy for Undead Labs.

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          • dumon 6 years, 3 months ago

            Kinda sorta not really makes me wish I had a 360. I think I'd like this over Halo :P

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