Friday, June 22, 2018

Weekly Link Round Up

With the excessive posting of E3 last week, the round up took a break. But it's back, with a vengeance! Or as close to one as it can muster. The Weekly Link Round Up is a gathering of the best, worst, and weirdest gaming news on the internet...this week! Here's what we've found:

- Kids. If you didn't know already, you clearly live in a non-digital world. The Steam Summer Sale is up! Running! And taking no prisoners! If you have Steam Link and the controller some games are free, such as episode 1 of Life is Strange. Go forth and spend, geeks! Sale is on until July 5th.

- The Ringer has one of the most click-baity articles of the week. "Video Game Companies Want to Reflect [sic] America—They Just Don’t Want to Talk About It." The glaring issue with the headline and the article is that it's assuming that games released today are focusing on current politics. The problem is the overwhelming majority of these games have been in production for years, even decades. The stories were long drafted, the actors provided the vocals for the characters, the designs created, the concepts finalized well before any of today's politics. It would be impossible for Bethesda to remake Wolfeinstein II and meet their deadline with only a year into the current US regime. That doesn't mean their marketing departments won't take a jab at it. But to assume that all of today's video games turned their stories on a dime to talk about politics is unreasonable. And companies are allowed to choose what they want and not want to talk about. Bethesda has always been pro Nazi punching. A change in politics did not alter their stance.

- PayPal has shut down the account of Acid Software, the "company" behind the game Active Shooter. According to a spokesperson, PayPal has had a longstanding policy that their services can not be used to "pay for activities that promote violence." So, PayPal will disable an account if enough people complain, but they won't help you get a refund if you were conned out of a purchase. Or close your account without 20 forms of identification.

- Eric Lagel, producer and consultant for a number of large gaming companies, wants to know why shooting, violence, and gore is still the dominant focus at E3? "Here are some enemies, have fun killing them," he writes. And I can't disagree with him. So many games focus on maiming and destroying your enemies. Diplomacy, building meaningful relationships - this is rarely done and it's kind of tiring to have games focus solely on eliminating targets. Your food for thought for the week.

- The NY Times spotlights Amazon and Twitch, and how the online retail giant is king of streaming. Regardless of if you are a Twitch fan or not, this is where streamers live. They have an impact on gaming and advertising. If you need a review to catch up on what makes Twitch the top platform, this is worth a read.

- No Round Up is complete with WhatCulture making an appearance! 12 upcoming games that might be awesome. And if you thought staples like Call of Duty, Mario, and Crackdown would be listed...well you'd be right. There is nothing surprising on this list. It's your atypical, clicky article from WhatCulture. Sad face.

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