On Mommy Milkers, Race Wars, and Marketing

Sometimes it feels like that at one point we all collectively forgot the concept of trolling.
“Sure, I used to troll people online all the time. I used to troll them on 9GAG, MySpace and chat rooms but now I’, all grown up so I rarely do that so that means that other schmucks like myself stopped doing this, like, 7 years ago. These days I’m taking this internet business really seriously and you should take it seriously, too. If someone said something stupid; someone doesn’t like anything we do online – we have to create whole twitter threads talking about why fantasy worlds might have people with other skin tones other than porcelain white. You’re not funny young citizen. It’s hurting people. You have to stop right now.”

Not saying that there are no legitimate reasons to be upset about what’s happening around you but if you spend some time online, you start noticing patterns:

  1. Whoever posts first gets the likes/shares/pins/comments. It can jump start their careers.
  2. Whoever gives the hottest take wins. You have to really tap into the collective unconscious.
  3. If people are confused about something online – they turn it into a race/sex/political thing. Those 3 cause the most amount of attention these days (there are also religion/sports/hobbies but they are not universal). It might change one day so keep your finger on the cultural pulse. Why these 3 in particular I don’t really know at the moment so if you have some links that don’t end with *9WgXcQ I’ll be happy to discuss this topic. My current hypothesis is: every society has a couple of topics that cause an immediate and severe reaction in people’s brains. Bourgeoisie in socialist countries and commies in capitalist countries for example. Also evolutionary quirks (enemy/friendly, foreigner/chum) and the fact that our history is not squeaky clean (St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, crusades, religious and territorial disputes). We also define ourselves by who are not; what we don‘t like. We are always going to react to some stimuli so it’s really important to figure it out and defend your mind against all sorts of snake oil salesmen.
  4. When online, you don’t have time to take a break and think. You have to react here and now – that’s why people take the most obvious detail, blow it out of proportion, and the internet rage machine does the rest. An hour long post is as good as dead these days. Better say something now than think and regret later.
  5. Fortunately, if you ever saw at least one of those shitshows – you saw them all and thus it’ll be easier to create a mental block, laugh and return back to the business of becoming a worthy member of our society. Better be a content creator than a content reactionary.
  6. It’s no secret that big corporations spend billions of dollars not only on advertisement itself but also on research and development of better ads and marketing tricks. It means that they also know how to make us sympathize with or care about all sorts of things, be it a piece of electronics, running shoes, or a can of soda. But since each time, when a new Star Wars movie drops, or we hear something new about Neil Druckmann, people divide themselves into “We the People” and “They the Bastards” – I have nothing else to do but to start thinking that it’s all been part of the plan since the beginning. They want us to be at each other’s throats because it’s easier to control us that way. “Divide and Conquer” but this time it’s done also on an ideological level and not only territorial.
  7. Nuance takes time; outrage takes the cake. Truth costs; bullshit is free.
  8. First impressions matter but don’t necessarily tell you the whole story. Good storyteller/marketing or PR department can manipulate the flow of information to misdirect you.
  9. You can’t completely control the flow of information.
  10. You are going to be mad about things that have nothing to do with you. NOTHING! You can’t stop it but you can control it.
  11. Learning NOT to care in the world of constant stimulation and agitation is a valuable skill. (Looking at the Angrboda controversy) It will all become irrelevant in a week so why bother? At least think for a day or two before putting your Dorito-stained fingers on a keyboard.

And at the end of the day, before jumping in with your opinion, you really have to stop and ask yourself one simple question “Do I really have to care about this? Do I really want to spend time on this? Is it going to matter tomorrow? is it going to improve my life in any way?”

As a joke, I checked it in Spermtember of 2021 and yes, The Quartering keeps steaming his balls over Brie Larson‘s virtual voodoo simulacra to this day so I know this article will click in the hearts of some. Let’s open a bottle of kombucha and let me tell you a story.

It was a fine morning sometime in March 2019. I was doing just dandy until I discovered that there was a woman on the internet I just had to hate and her name was Brie Larson. For whatever reason I bought into the narrative that she did something wrong and had to be scolded and shamed for it.

I actually spent all day thinking about her and what she did to me and the world until one thought finally visited my head and this thought was “Who the hell is Brie Larson? What did she say or do?” I’m just a guy who lives really far away from her. I don’t know her. I never heard about her before. I never cared about any of this and now I’m sitting here huffing and puffing over some nothingburger. What the hell is going on?!

So I started researching, opened my browser history, opened all those links that talked about said controversy and I swear to God – none of them. I mean it! None of them could explain to me who she was and what happened. Nevertheless, simply reading those “pieces” was enough to make my blood boil. I was horrified.

Finally, It became clear to me that there is a video of her saying something so I decided to find it. Once again, I can’t call myself an internet detective but I know how to search for information. Usually I can find whatever I need within an appropriate amount of time. But finding the original source was not easy. The internet algorithm wanted to bury the original video and show only the reaction. Predominantly negative in my case.

So what did she say? How spicy was her take?

  • “We make films that better reflect the people who buy movie tickets but they are not allowed enough chances to read public discourse on these films by the people that these films are made for”.
  • “67% of the top critics reviewing the 100 highest-grossing movies in 2017 were white males. Less than a quarter were white women, and less that 10% were unrepresented men. Only 2.5% of those top critics were women of color”.
  • “Am I saying that I hate white dudes? No. But what I’m saying is that if you make a movie that is a love letter to women of color, there is an insanely low chance a woman of color will have the chance to see your movie and review your movie”.

Pretty basic stuff about representation in media and how we should balance things out a bit to better reflect the country’s changing population. And I can give you an example on why she’s correct: I don’t care about detective movies so if I see one, I probably won’t give that movie a really high score. I watched “Knives Out” and it was fine but that’s about it. Why is sci-fi not regarded as a “serious” genre? Because most critics don’t consider it as such and so on. So what she said was true: We have to balance things out to better represent most people’s values. “White Men” is a loaded term these days but I hope you’d agree with me that what’s valuable to you might not be as valuable to someone else and vice versa. It’s fine. It’s just one way to talk about it.

But, of course the internet took her “I do not need a 40-year old white dude to tell me what didn’t work for him about A Wrinkle in Time – it wasn’t made for him,” and blew it out of proportion even thought she was just talking about who the target audience for these types of stories is.

Let’s take the Metroidvania genre. Let’s say I just finished a game in said genre and showed it to my friends who are also big fans of these types of games. Then, let’s say other people download your game and start sending you messages like “I don’t know where to go. Change navigation. I also want to shoot more”. You answer them “Sorry, but this is how this genre works. I’m not going to change it because it’ll mess with the foundations. I guess it’s just not for you.” and then they start sending you death threats and tell anybody that this guy can’t take criticism and that I can play whatever the hell I want. If it doesn’t cater to your sensibilities – please step aside because you were warned in advance. What else could we do?

I don’t know anything about A Wrinkle in Time but I can assume that this story was created with specific aesthetics, people, backgrounds, and messages in mind. It’s perfectly fine. We all have our favorite stories that “hit” us just right. But since there is an imbalance in who has the most votes, who has the widest reach, who controls the narrative, and who’s the loudest – these people are going to miss the point again and again.

Or let’s take movies about baseball. If you understand the context – you are going to appreciate what these characters are dealing with and sympathize with them on a deeper level. I don’t know anything about baseball so I’m going to be like “whatever” and there is nothing you can do about it. Imagine now that there are 67% of people like me who review these movies and only 2.5% of reviewers who actually like baseball despite being like 30% of the population. Movies about baseball will never win anything and that’s what Brie was talking about here.

She explained herself well and even disarmed her critics in advance but it was all for naught. There are still comments 100% made by “girls of color” under the video who claim to dislike her. Did you watch the video? I’m not going to timestamp this one. It’s really short

  • Brie talks about a really specific thing that affects a really specific group of people (movie reviewers). It has almost nothing to do with you.
  • There is nothing controversial about her speech if you go point by point
  • Do you still think that the choice of words was chosen poorly? We all have our brain farts. “If any one of you is without cringy bullshit said in the past, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” – my bro and faith dealer Jesus-man.
  • Even if you disagree with her statements – it takes just 3 minutes to watch the entire video and 2 minutes to correct her. Turns out, it wasn’t the hill I was willing to die on. But it’s a lesson to remember – the media machine knows how to push your buttons.

Another recent case is Oli London. This one is hilarious. I’m only including this one because I stand in solidarity with poor, underpaid and overworked interns who had to cover it on TV.

I can just imagine their line of thinking. “Alright. We are completely worthless and unknown. We have nothing to offer to the world. How can we still make people talk about us not only in Britain but also wherever people have access to radio, TV, and internet connection? What’s on people’s mind these days? K-Pop, trans issues, racial tensions, immigration, representation. How can we use it to our advantage?”

“Speaking on This Morning on Tuesday, London, who uses they/them pronouns, spoke out after declaring they had ‘transitioned into a non-binary Korean’.”

You have to admit – this story has everything. It’s a PR case that should be studied in universities. This is how you build your brand. I actually saw Oli inside the TV. Obviously the case was not presented in a flattering way but, quoting Stephen Colbert (remember when that guy was relevant? 2014 remembers) “Don’t you know I’ve been trying for a year to get you to say my name? And you were very restrained — admirably restrained — but now you did it. I won.”

Over the top shit. Cry and cream yourself, bitches! Cry and Cream.

Let’s take a couple of recent examples and I’ll tell you what actually happened.

Angrboda and Thor.

People are making 30-minute videos about God of War Ragnarok thus helping Sony promote the game. Hit the nerve, huh?! Wait…

Angrboda: in trailers, the last few frames are usually reserved for something especially epic or exciting. In the GoW1 trailer, the last scene showed us the World Serpent and it was awesome. GOW2? I don’t know who that girl is supposed to be, how should I feel about said “reveal”, or what should I make of it? And when people are confused online – they turn it into a race/sex/political dumpster fire. Always! Surprised nobody made a joke like “Racemixing always leads to Ragnarok”.

Turns out, Angrboda is the mother of Loki’s 3 children: the Fenrir wolf, World Serpent, and Hel. I had to specifically spend time to google it which is not really acceptable online unless you have a YouTube channel that is specifically created to explain these things.

Considering how young she and Loki are in the trailer and knowing recent trends in storytelling I suspect that Kratos will die at the end of ACT1 in some really debatable way and then Atreus/Loki is going to travel through time or there is going to be a significant timeskip. Or both.

OR! Check this out: Angrboda is actually Kratos’ dead wife! What?! If Rick&Morty and Loki can openly talk about and show borderline incest – you have to keep up with the times, old man.

God of War Ragnarok is a fantasy game based on a really old myth, made by an American company, which is owned by a Japanese corporation, with the sole purpose of selling it all around the globe. Of course it’s going to be adapted and modernized to appeal to a wider audience. It’s all cultural appropriation through and through. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Besides, humanity has always been traveling and exchanging knowledge and goods between one another. Just read about The Silk Road. The current concept of time was created by the Sumerians, we still study Greek philosophy (which was preserved by a multiple generation of Muslim scholars and translators) and the Roman law, we use Hindu-Arabic numerals, drive Toyota, buy PlayStation, produce electronics in China, eat sushi, watch anime, drink Mesopotamian beer or Indian tea. Apples are from Central Asia, spices are from India, Potatoes are from the Americas and so on. There is even a 13th century Arthurian romance Moriaen about a guy with the same name who was “black of face and limb”, and also Jesus was Middle Eastern. Romans used to adopt gods from other cultures.

The concept of “whiteness” itself is a fairly recent phenomenon. White-on-white crime rates were off the charts in 1914-1918 especially (and then some). And it was the British who used concentration camps against Boers. Are Irish white? Italians? Slavs?

As for Thor – he just looks funny instead of terrifying and menacing (as for Balder – him being smaller than Kratos worked precisely because we knew nothing about him, so it was a genuine surprise to learn that he can kick our ass). Kratos had been though worse. I’m just imagining his attack patterns and all I see is him rolling across the map like Melvin Underbelly from Overlord, puking all over like Boomer from L4D, crashing into walls like Bane from Arkham Asylum, asspound like Vanguard Demon from Demon’s Souls. The clap of his asscheeks will alert everyone in the 9 realms and (at least at first) the fight between Kratos and Thor is going to remind you of Kung Fu Panda.

You might say that videogames have an unflattering depiction of anybody who doesn’t look like Apollo but that’s absolutely not the case. Mario and Wario, Roadhog from Overwatch, Bob from Tekken, E. Honda, Coach from Left4Dead 2, Bill from The Last of Us, Onion Knights from Dark Souls, Ellie from Borderlands 2, Liz Torres from GTA4, Denise Clinton from GTA5. People actually made a fuss about Mei from Overwatch being too skinny at one point.

Besides, God of War is famous for its boss battles. I just can’t really imagine how they are going to surprise us this time? We already fought Magni, Hades, Hercules, and even our brother Deimos.

They had to hide Thor until the very end. They made a mistake here. This Thor (even with chest hair) just doesn’t do anything for me. I have a feeling that he might even join us while Tyr is going to be the baddie. Will see how it goes. After all, modern games don’t tease something for 4 years only to deliver it in the end as expected. “Subvert expectations”, remember?

Or it was all part of the plan all along. Let’s start with the fact that the game looks like a DLC rather than a proper sequel. The fact that it’s a cross-gen title also doesn’t help. The game looks more optimistic with big cities and lots of NPCs which goes against everything they showed us in the first game and the idea that the Ragnarok is about to begin. They are going to rush Ragnarok, aren’t they?

We already know that the game is not going to be as innovative as the last one, Cory is not directing, some locations got repainted, I kinda don’t care about Freya’s loss – they could have done it differently (knock him down, choke him a bit, ropes or Kratos’ chains. Options, yo!). All I’m saying is: storytelling is hard. If the game is good – good. If the game is divisive – blame “toxic fans who still live in caves”. These corpos know exactly how to push buttons – don’t be a rube. They have PR firms working for them. They run marketing campaigns every year and you still think they had no idea how the internet will react to a person of color in a Norse myth? Gimme a break.

After re-reading 1929s “Torches of Freedom” campaign that was designed to promote smoking among women I have a hypothesis why modern franchises have been so divisive. They want to sell these franchises to a wider audience and thus have to specifically target them. The Lauder the Crowder. And since controversy spreads faster they do what they do best – create and spread more of it. “Force is female”, Abby and Lev, Luke being a loser hobo, doing some despicable things to the Star Trek’s corpse. You name it. The new audience buys it and starts watching this shit while the old fanbase just leaves. And then these companies hire better showrunners and we get something like The Mandalorian which fixes some of the problems just enough to merge the old and the new fanbases together. Even Mike said that it “it’s a pleasant.. is a pleasant surpsise” and Rich Evans even “felt a human emotion watching something made in 2019”. Ruin everything and then bring things back (but not as good as before) and people will give you their money and even thank you for it. These companies have the cash to burn and time to plan.

In conclusion: Thor looks like a drunk uncle and people these days automatically react really well to black(-ish) characters in their vidya so here we go. They knew what they were doing. And if you mention gay/trans in a sequel, as a prominent plot point – OMG! That’s a bingo.

Tifa’s Breast Size

Nobody cared about Advent Children’s Tifa or Dissidia so why start now?

Tifa’s in-game model just doesn’t look as good as the Blair Armitage’s version. She just looks bland. Like it’s not actually Tifa but someone cosplaying as her. Change the outfit/hairstyle and she can be whoever. Aya Brea from Parasite Eve, Melphie; Mila and Kokoro from Dead or Alive, Luna, Iris, Gentiana from FF15.

But never forget – nuance takes time; outrage takes the cake. Truth costs; bullshit is free. When you don’t have your own opinion please remember that the internet algorithm pushes people toward extremes for objective reasons (likes, shares, involvement, clout).

It wasn’t about tits. She just looked generic.

(And Cloud is just Agent 47 in disguise. That’s why his story doesn’t add up)

Project Eve.

The trailer makes it look like it’s going to be a worthy successor to Devil May Cry and Nier Automata but let me ask you something: do you really think that some unknown studio is going to accomplish something that took Capcom and PlatinumGames years and even decades to master?

The game looks good only thanks to Unreal Engine 4 (expect them to upgrade to UE5 next year and then delay to 2023-24). But they showed practically no gameplay and Digital Foundry mentioned frame pacing issues. Don’t get hyped until you see an actual slice of the game (10-20 minutes of combat and traversal) and then please remember what happened to Cyberpunk 2077. They showed us 48 minute gameplay and so much more and look what happened.

Someone from Digital Foundry said “character designs .. character models, let’s say they are kind of from a bygone era in some ways .. doll like”.

What should you do when some dude online starts saying funny things? Just say “I respectfully disagree” and if/when they ask you to explain yourself, only then you have my permission to say “I slept with your mother, your breath smells of poo-poo, and you yourself suck donkey dicks” while staying posh and patrician. But respect comes first. You never know how lawyered up this scrawny kid is until you kick his ass. Based on a true story. Do your research first, build a case, lawyer up yourself.

Back to Eve’s criticism. The whole point of technological advancement if to allow more and more people to do whatever the hell they want provided that they don’t peg the rights of others unless that’s precisely what they want in which case you’re going to need all the necessary toys, safe words, false safe words, and a good aftercare (most important thing, people!) later. You want to make a game with this visual style – please do. Don’t expect us to like it though.

And besides, DF didn’t say anything about censoring or cancelling the game. They just shared they opinion online but someone sure had to create a whole Neogaf thread about it and complain-complain-complain!

Wait… shit, not again!

Anyway, Let’s hope that PE is not only old school in terms of character design but also in terms of gameplay. Gimme dat DMC1 and Ninja Gaiden vibe! PS2 God of War is also fine by me.

Mommy Alcina From Resident Horny 8.

This one is especially interesting because:

Despite all that, she’s achieved a legendary status online and suffered no blowback whatsoever. How the hell did that happen? Did we learn some lessons? Angrboda’s case says no.

After watching all the trailers and teasers I came to a conclusion that it all boils down to great delivery and proper reveal of her features.

At first they showed us:

  • Her stylish design
  • Cheerful personality
  • Commanding voice
  • Royal assets
  • All the things to look at and explore

And only then they revealed her cock crashing tendencies but by then it was more of a funky addition to the mix rather than a dealbreaker. Oh, Hell yes, mommy! It’s a Kuleshov Effect in action – “a careful consideration of placement, order, and timing is necessary to create desired meaning and to avoid undesired meaning.” Capcom managed to accomplish something wonderful here: create a villain we are both drawn towards and have to avoid at the same time. Exciting how they keep reinventing the franchise after so many years. Really inspirations and worthy of research.

The lesson here is: deliver things properly or expect pushbacks. You can include any character with whatever features/characteristics you want if you do it the right way instead of being a fucking headstrong donkey who can’t accept criticism. Alcina, Maxine Caulfield, CJ from San Andreas, Samantha Greenbriar from Gone Home, Lara Croft when she was first introduced, Joanna Dark from Perfect Dark, Samus, Vamp from MGS, Jade from Beyond Good & Evil, Ellie from The Last of Us 1, Poison from Final Fight, Kaine, 2B, A2. Plenty of examples to choose from and be inspired by.

As for Alcina and her daughters, we still kill them all in the end rather than allowing them to bite our fingers off and then letting them go. Feel bad for Donna and don’t care about Miranda who’s Saddler’s cheap knock-off. So it goes.

Kaine and 2B

I didn’t much care about those and I don’t remember any significant drama revolving around them. They are both beloved and remembered fondly. So I guess, if you want to include something “actively discussed” so to speak in your game, you have a couple of options:

  1. Make a game entirely dedicated to [THAT THING]. Don’t try to shove it down people’s throats. Find the right audience that already likes those themes/things, build a relationship with it, and if the game is good – others will follow. You have to explore [THAT THING] through and through and not just tell people that [THAT THING] is good and if you don’t feel like it – you bad bad man. Go on an emotional adventure. Build your case. Win their hearts. People, on average, are not terrible – just a bit lost.
  2. Don’t include [THAT THING] as a prominent feature in a sequel especially when the previous game was not about [THAT THING]. Don’t shift perspectives. TLoU1 was all about being a parent, “this irrational love you feel for your kid, but you’d do anything to take away their pain and definitely anything in the world to save them from harm”. I’m still trying to figure out what TLoU2 is supposed to be about because it definitely wasn’t about “revenge = bad”. Abby survived just fine and Ellie went to Seattle only to bring back Tommy. It’s all his fault.
  3. “Yeah, sure. We have [THAT THING] but don’t dwell on that. The game has so much more to offer” That’s precisely what happened to Nier and Automata. Everything just organically flows from one mind-boggling beat to the next. I didn’t get any of that but I’m still happy they managed to make precisely the game they wanted without any significant sacrifices. Gives me hope. Waiting for their next project.

Abby from The Last of Us Part II

  • The nebulous vaccine would have created just another reason for people to start cutting each other’s throats. You know why Joel was right to do what he did at the end of the last game? Read Marlene’s Journal. Not only her organization was running on fumes for months now, they decided to kill Ellie on the same day she arrived – April 28. Just a couple of hours between “gotta do some tests” and “let’s slice that melon”.
  • The fact that Tommy managed to find Abby in California by “putting out feelers for months now” while sitting in Wyoming means that a zombie infested US of A has a robust system of communication, trade routes and cooperation. People in that world are already doing just fine.
  • Her physique – nobody is going to argue that in order to stay in such good shape you need plenty of time, all the necessary equipment, and a lot of food. WLF has all of that in abundance which completely nukes the narrative that Joel ruined everything. Nobody even knew about Ellie and her immunity to begin with so no one had their hopes up. Humanity just moved on and if you look at Jackson, WLF’s stadium, or the Seraphite’s encampment – they’re doing relatively fine. Social distancing is a thing of the past, plenty of ammo and fuel, electricity, veggies and meat.
  • Introducing a new character is not easy. Introducing a new main character in a sequel to one of the most beloved games of our generation? A bit harder. Unfortunately, the very first serious decision she makes immediately portrays her in a really unsympathetic way. When she and her skwad finally reach Jackson, they discover that these people are well armed and prepared. Her ex-bf tells her that his wife is pregnant and that they need a new plan and Abby just freaks out, tells him “I fucking knew I couldn’t count on you” (they traveled thousands miles together), then she says “fuck it”, goes AWOL while her friends are still asleep and don’t know about her whereabouts, and immediately almost dies. In the first game we cared about Joel because he tried his best to save his daughter yet still failed. In Part II, if you watch the 10 hour movie, it’s going to take you almost 6 hours in order to understand Abby’s motivation but by that time the damage is already going to be done.
  • First impressions matter. Instead of a tragic anti-hero we got a rush and impulsive psychopath who didn’t even acknowledge that Joel had saved her ass back there.
  • Then we also have Nora who, when ambushed by Joel’s adopted daughter, said “Yeah, that little bitch got what he deserved”. That’s just bad writing. If Druckmann wanted to create a story with grey morality where it’s hard to figure out who was right or wrong – this is not how you do it. You don’t antagonize people even further! Make your case and choose your words carefully. Abby and her team had to ambush Joel fair and square and since Joel had saved Abby’s ass a moment ago he’d have asked Abby to spare Ellie’s life. Then Abby kills Joel quick and clean and leaves while fulfilling her promise much to the dismay of her peers.
  • The writers constantly wanted us to sympathize with Abby even when: she went AWOL again to find his ex-bf, fucked him while his wife was on her way, betrayed her comrades and caused the death of her commander, didn’t cover her tracks so Ellie and Tommy managed to find and kill a couple of her buddies, and almost killed a pregnant woman with glee in her eyes. I just don’t know what to like about her. Losing your daddy will traumatize almost anybody but we learn her sobbing story way too late and she learned all the wrong reasons about “doing revenge”.
  • She gets her shit handed to her by a completely different group of people and she never even learns the name or history of that one girl who traveled thousands of miles TWICE to find her.
  • The story has no proper purgation of emotions. No definitive conclusions. They want us to believe that Ellie made a mistake by leaving her wife and child but we clearly saw her being absolutely miserable there. It was a spiritual deadend. Meanwhile Abby caused a lot of misery and damage yet still went to live another day. In his IGDA Toronto 2013 Keynote Neil said “I hope to leave her [Neil’s daughter] with the tools to be better than me”. He wanted to create a new type of character. He specifically said (37:45) “I wanted to create one of the coolest non-sexualized female video game protagonist”. That does sound a bit pretentious but I think it would be safe to say that he just wanted to create a positive role-model for his daughter. So what he did to Ellie in Part II, to me it looks like a betrayal of this idea.
  • Someone brutally kills her dad right in front of her eyes, her uncle immediately abandons her, aunt is an ice queen, her gf is no smarter, she just had an altercation with a local prick the other night. She’s all alone, lost, traumatized, brutalized and broken but sure – let’s blame everything on her. Everything that happened to Tommy and Jesse afterwards was entirely her fault. That’s just not fair and I have a 31k word essay to back it up so stay tuned.

Saints Row Reboot

Remember the very first mission from The Third? Does this reboot looks anything like that? Not really. The CGI trailer just looks like a whole lot of nothing. Some zoomers as imagined by older millennials and gen-X’ers are robbing some generic bad dudes. They look like liberal arts college dropouts. When was the last time you saw an intimidating violin player? I’m a liberal college degree dropout and I can’t even intimidate my own cat to stop pissing in my slippers and believe me I tried.“Wow! Classic Saints Row! Missed ya, bud.” This one actually doesn’t look like a well thought out marketing campaign. Feels like a corporate attempt to revive the series instead of a genuinely creative endeavor. Checkboxes instead of sticking to the fundamentals and iterating on them. And don’t tell me that “people just don’t like new things”. Resident Evil 2 Remake, Breath of the Wild, Black Mesa – people respond well to games that feel right.

What could they do to earn our trust? Read You Can’t Spell Death Without EA:

  1. Actual gameplay that looks at least on par with The Third
  2. Some old returning characters telling us that “You diverse group of zoomer hipsters know nothing about how to run a criminal enterprise!” and they be like “That’s why we called you.” Bonus points for Kinzie.
  3. Ask any marketologist and they’ll tell you that if you want your game to succeed – you need a hook. Black, short-haired girl with a gun is not a hook anymore. A diverse group of losers trying to build something is not a hook. Where is the hook? Why should I care? Where is Professor Genki? Ubisoft just called – it wants their Watch Dogs 3 back. GTA Online is still as popular as ever. GTA 6 is in development. You can buy Watch Dogs 2 for as low as $10 these days.
  4. Companies can promise you anything and then some but unless there is no gameplay footage of these features in action – then there are no features. Also, Remember Cyberpunk 2077’s wall running and everything? And that was CDPR at its prime. The less you trust them, the more you push against their bullshit – the bigger the chances they’d stop messing with you.

Basically, Saints Row doesn’t have its own identity anymore. It’s all Watch Dogs now (or Destruction All-Stars if you remember such a game). Wrench can even be a guest character. Pre-order to receive his outfit.

October 12. Saints Row: Exclusive First Look At The World of Santo Ileso. They showed us a character walking across the street. WOW! Truly a next gen experience. I think I’m gonna cum. I’ve never seen that before. My amazement is immeasurable and my day is saved. That’s precisely what I’ve been waiting for. Bushes exploding, people playing ukuleles, bloom, idle animations. 100% instant buy. GTA can’t handle it.

October 14. Driving And Car Combat. This is the last time I fume about this game. I’m not trying to “destroy” it. I’m explaining what they’re doing wrong with their marketing campaign.

  • 0:00 – driving in open world games is not a hook. There is nothing special about it. People are not going to buy your game just because you included cars with physics from X360 era games. Reminds me of Just Cause
  • 0:50 – enemy AI is non-existent. They are not a threat
  • 1:30 – shooting from the roof of a car was in Just Cause
  • 2:05 – I actually like this drift. I want more of that
  • 2:19 – I don’t know why but i just hate how this bush explodes in your face
  • I always liked how in San Andreas you had to be really careful while on bike. You had to be aware of your surroundings. But here this gameplay feature is removed completely. Ride however you want, fight however you want – the game plays itself

I don’t see anything that would’ve made me excited for the game other than brand recognition and the fact that I need to waste my time somehow while I’m here.

Vote with your wallet. It’s the only thing they understand.

Aloy from Horizon

She seems perfectly healthy and fertile to me. You people are just too picky. No wonder you’re so lonely.

Some mention “Uncanny Valley” and I agree. If you look at her image: her hair is hyper-realistic, those strands of microfibers on her cloth, HD textures allow you to see her pores and so on. At the same time her face reminds me of Mass Effect‘s default NPCs rather than a facescan model. Also sunburns create a bit of an uneven look.

She looks fine on all of the promotional material so it’s just how light tricks you. Besides, I didn’t come here for her face. I want to see her belly.

Making your characters look a bit off is a great marketing tactic these days. Who cares about Kena and The Bridge of Spirits? Nobody because Kena looks OK. But Aloy, Amazon from Diablo 2, Peter Parker’s facial – they all created a little bit of buzz.

These days you don’t even have to create problems for the players to stir the pot. Any change is fine. Just don’t go back and forth – introduce a change, stick to it (or be silent for a couple of days like Valve with disabling old game builds), then go on a Twitter rant or let Disney’s PR-team write a New York Times article under your name telling people how some fraction of the internet can be mean to you (Kelly had no chance to opt-out so don’t blame her). Better make sure that the actual launch doesn’t have any critical bugs. Keep them mad but ultimately disempowered.

Superman’s son from one of the timelines yada-yada BI-SEX-UAL boy kisser sometimes. Only writing about it because actual people actually talk about it instead of ending the pandemic, solving labor and supply shortages so why not add one more example to my collection.

Sex/race/political. When was the last time you cared about comic books? New and interesting projects and storylines? How many artists do you know? What cool new shit have you seen? The media only mentions comics when someone is revealed to be gay or bisexual. This, Robin, Kate “Kitty” Pryde. It’s all a marketing ploy for reactionaries. Part of the news cycle to make us say all the tired lines about how politicians use these ‘issues’ to rile up their base instead of solving actual problem facing our country. True fans already shipped and slashed everyone with everything a long time ago. Big Comic can’t compete with the Internet Horny Machine. You can’t even imagine what people draw and share online.

Aight, I started it all to create a mental block because I spend too much time online but now I write, and write, and write about this nonsense. This is where I stop this fun ride. Don’t listen to your parents: don’t drink bleach or horse dewarmers. Vaccinate, wear masks, use condoms. Satan is an annoying dick so don’t actually praise him.

“Suppose [a person] had a basket full of apples and, being worried that some of the apples were rotten, wanted to take out the rotten ones to prevent the rot spreading. How would he proceed? Would he not begin by tipping the whole lot out of the basket? And would not the next step be to cast his eye over each apple in turn, and pick up and put back in the basket only those he saw to be sound, leaving the others? In just the same way, those who have never philosophized correctly have various opinions in their minds which they have begun to store up since childhood, and which they therefore have reason to believe may in many cases be false. They then attempt to separate the false beliefs from the others, so as to prevent their contaminating the rest and making the whole lot uncertain. Now the best way they can accomplish this is to reject all their beliefs together in one go, as if they were all uncertain and false. They can then go over each belief in turn and re-adopt only those which they recognize to be true and indubitable.”
Descartes’ Epistemology

I know it’s difficult. Sometimes your brain sends pain signals in an attempt to save those false beliefs and prevent you from adopting a new perspective. But it’s important to ask yourself once in a while if you’re being brainwashed. Hope it helps.

P.S. There is actually one race full of infidels I wish to eliminate from the face of this planet: Sunday Bicycle Ride around my town. Let me tell ya: the ones who participate in this herpetarium every Sunday “to support nature” own the biggest, most polluting cars you can imagine. You can fit a howitzer in the back, go incinerate a couple of villages, before sending spicy TikToks to the Hague Tribunal. And they all act like holier than thou especially after traveling to London or Dubai 2-3 times a year to drink alcohol and spend time with Filipino sex workers.

So, when you hear them talking about how “problems happen because we don’t follow the word of God” – they are the first to blame.

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