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Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Fox, Storm
February 21, 2011 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Bullestorm is a rather silly FPS from People Can Fly, focusing irreverance, violence, points for ridiculous achievments and fun fun. It's marketing campaign has included the meta-game "Duty Calls", which savagly skewers it's equally violent but far more self-serious competition such as Call of Duty: Black Ops. Naturally, Fox news has freaked out and started a campaign against it, including a claim that it will cause rape. Rock, Paper Shotgun responds. FOX responds to the response. RPS responds to the response to the response, with a summary of the debacle so far.
posted by Artw (119 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sure would be nice if other American news outlets had the balls to stand up against Fox News to insist on journalistic standards or, you know, reporting some semblance of truth so that when a gaming blog does it, it didn't seem so novel.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:15 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The PCF team must be over the moon about all this free publicity. It strikes me as marginally-but-not-really interesting because you know their marketing people probably had "poke squares with a sharp stick" up on a whiteboard before a single line of game code was written, and how hard is that to do, really?
posted by chaff at 1:18 PM on February 21, 2011


Oh, good. More controversy involving video games and rape.
posted by Aizkolari at 1:18 PM on February 21, 2011


Get big Government out of my healthcare! And in to my freedom of expression.

Fox News knows its audience: the easily frightened and cognitively dissonant.
posted by codacorolla at 1:19 PM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was going to make a post like this, but I'm glad you did.
Bulletstorm looks FUN. I'm just getting back into games and I think I'd rather pull off ludirous kill-combos than slink between cover. I hope the single player is up to scratch, since I don't have a stable Live connection
There is way too much misogyny in gamer culture. I don't think it's Cliffy B's fault but heaps of creeps will play this
Won't stop me from getting it, especially since it made it through Aus censorship intact
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:20 PM on February 21, 2011


I have zero interest in first-person shooters, because I SUCK at them, but if Fox News hates it I may have to buy it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:20 PM on February 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:22 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does NewsCorp own any EA stock?

Just a thought.

'Cause thanks to FoxNews, this game is going to sell like hotcakes at a Grateful Dead concert.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:29 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This looks like the most ridiculous and fun thing since the original Serious Sam.
posted by thewalrus at 1:29 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I may be getting, as they say in action movies, too old for this shit. That said: sexualizing violence by calling fragging multiple people at once "GANG BANG" in huge letters is really not the sort of thing the video game community needs more of.
posted by IjonTichy at 1:34 PM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Being bisected at the waist is referred to as "topless", and this pun means the game causes rapes. Really. Damn.
posted by kafziel at 1:34 PM on February 21, 2011


It's a good thing Fox hasn't seen the rest of lead Bulletstorm writer Rick Remender's output. I'm specifically thinking of a scene in Uncanny X-Force #4 last month, where Deadpool cheerily cuts off a few pieces of his arm to feed an injured teammate he's nursing back to health.

It's played for the blackest possible comedic value, it's fucking hilarious, and it would make Carole Lieberman shit her pants.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 1:34 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have no intention of siding with Fox's over-the-top outrage, but everything I've heard about Bulletstorm just makes me think it's filled with idiotic frat-boy humor that will just make me roll my eyes and put down the controller. Recommended for 13-year-olds and fans of Tucker Max.

Sample dialogue:
"You scared the dick off me!"
"Pull up your skirt and strap that dildo on!"

The director boasts: ""I made a video game where you can blow out another man's ass-hole."

Skillshots include "Facial", "Gang-bang", etc. and are pretty much the equivalent of the "tea-bagging" and "ass-raping" that so many kids on XBox Live are fond of.

The developers claim that this is all a parody of the macho aggression of FPS games, but I don't really buy it. The game is marketed and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator, and the devs are well aware that they're aiming squarely at the juvenile, "fag"-spewing kids that play these games. There seems to be no real subversion or substance here, just happy wallowing in the same crude humor, violence and misogyny that's already flooding the market. I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt I'll play the game to find out...
posted by naju at 1:35 PM on February 21, 2011 [14 favorites]


News Corporation subsidiary causes rape!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:35 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I played the demo, and the writing is pretty juvenile. The gameplay, however, is pretty fun, so I'll probably get it used or something. Which means I'm probably a danger to society, or something.

Has any videogame developer considered hiring someone over the age of 20 to write one of these?
posted by Huck500 at 1:39 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was afraid one day someone would co-opt the perfect video game name from the Simpsons. I am disappointed.
posted by Nabubrush at 1:41 PM on February 21, 2011


Come on Fox News, invoke Hitler already so you can lose the argument.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:41 PM on February 21, 2011


Yeah, Fox News can go drive off a cliff, but it does seem like Bulletstorm is tapping into the worst of FPS gamer culture.

Not really looking forward to Duke Nukem Forever's "hilarious" misogyny either.
posted by kmz at 1:44 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


P.S. Did Fox News hear about Custer's Revenge? (NSFW I suppose)
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:45 PM on February 21, 2011


I don't pay much attention to the writing in these things. If it is Serious Samish I will buy it.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:46 PM on February 21, 2011


So on this topic, Fox demands a nanny state and wants things nannyier?

I don't think I've developed sufficiently muscular cognitive dissonance to be a fox viewer.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:48 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does anyone else see this as very good news indeed in its larger context? Fox has failed so completely to paint what's going on in Wisconsin as an anti-freedom riot by knuckle-dragging union thugs that they've bailed on the whole thing and are instead trying to gin up fake outrage over something ridiculous (sort of on the lines of their occasional war on Christmas coverage) in hopes of distracting their audience from it entirely.
posted by Naberius at 1:48 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have no intention of siding with Fox's over-the-top outrage, but everything I've heard about Bulletstorm just makes me think it's filled with idiotic frat-boy humor that will just make me roll my eyes and put down the controller.
Sometimes you need to separate the 'story' from the gameplay. Bayonetta is sexist and ridiculous but has amazing combat. This looks to be the same. I haven't played CoD or Medal of Honor but I find over the top videogamey stuff really entertaining. Sure, games are art. But they're also fun.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:49 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Having played Bulletstorm's demo, I too wish that they'd chosen a different palette for their very, very fun game - the gameplay is great, but the atmosphere is gratingly childish.
posted by Fraxas at 1:51 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fox has failed so completely to paint what's going on in Wisconsin as an anti-freedom riot by knuckle-dragging union thugs that they've bailed on the whole thing and are instead trying to gin up fake outrage over something ridiculous (sort of on the lines of their occasional war on Christmas coverage) in hopes of distracting their audience from it entirely.

Pretty sure this all took place before Wisconsin
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:51 PM on February 21, 2011


The game's trailer, an amusing parody of Halo 3's elegant "Believe" ad campaign, is worth a watch.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:51 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I played the demo for Bulletstorm. I thought it was incredibly stupid.

Don't take that as a pejorative, though. It was also pretty fun and I laughed out loud a few times in spite of myself. In fact, I might even consider picking it up when it drops to $20 or less.

My problem with this is that the psychologist interviewed in the Fox News article was using bad science and the reporter didn't bother to challenge her on it because it fit the narrative. Disappointing, but not surprising given the source. Still, it was doubly disappointing to me on an academic and professional level.

I can't remember, but there was a site that did a really, really strong followup (I want to say it was Wired) in which they pressed the psychologist to present a study that signifies any sort of relationship between violent games and rape and she couldn't present one. Sadly, that's not the story that's getting out there.
posted by HostBryan at 1:52 PM on February 21, 2011


Fox has failed so completely to paint what's going on in Wisconsin as an anti-freedom riot by knuckle-dragging union thugs that they've bailed on the whole thing and are instead trying to gin up fake outrage over something ridiculous (sort of on the lines of their occasional war on Christmas coverage) in hopes of distracting their audience from it entirely.

I'm pretty sure Fox News can manufacture bullshit on any level at all times. This isn't their first time at the rodeo.
posted by kmz at 1:53 PM on February 21, 2011


Complete playthrough of Duty Calls. Which is pretty spot-on in its Call of Duty design-mockery.

>: "Does NewsCorp own any EA stock?

Just a thought.

I share that thought.
posted by Drastic at 1:54 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Naturally, Fox news has freaked out and started a campaign against it,

There are very few things in life that I take as a more ringing endorsement.
posted by quin at 1:55 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bulletstorm is pandering, derivative bullshit that trades on dudebro fratbro humor and the lowest common denominator audience that finds rape joke hilarious. Paste Magazine has a good write-up on "over the top" in games, and how it works in some games and fails in others. AN excerpt:
Of course, most of the media attention surrounding Bulletstorm has been not on the skillshot system itself but on the names of various skillshots, winking monikers like "Double Penetration", "Gang Bang" and "Rear Entry" (shoot an enemy in, well, the rear). When I first heard those names, I couldn't help but groan—it seemed pretty clear that People Can Fly had simply grafted some provocative language onto a fairly derivative scoring system with the hope that it would attract controversy and media attention.

But when I spoke with Bulletstorm's producer Tanya Jessen, her view was... since Bulletstorm gives points based on creatively dispatching enemies, its violence is merited by its gameplay systems...but what of those oh-so-provocative skillshot names? I've learned that when a developer or spokesperson is about to try to sell me a half-truth, they preface it with some variation of "What I can say is…" So when I asked Tanya about the gameplay necessity of calling a special move "Double Penetration", she responded thusly: "What I can say is, the intent was humor. We didn't want a game that took itself too seriously."

A fair enough response, though it felt a bit like she was skirting the issue. I asked her if she had played Bayonetta. "I played a bit, yeah," she said. "Based on what I played, I really enjoyed it. I loved the fact that the developer was taking risks; it was so over the top."

...As I watch an increasing number of developers loudly and publicly embrace the ridiculousness of their games, I wonder whether they're missing the point a bit. Games like Bulletstorm and Saints Row 2 are perfectly enjoyable, but there is a self-consciousness about their ridiculousness that feels calculated and disingenuous... I suppose when it comes right down to it, there is only one thing that will consistently take me over the top. It isn't toilet humor, blood and guts, dick jokes or curse words; it's imagination.
Full article here.
posted by ShawnStruck at 1:57 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


> I was afraid one day someone would co-opt the perfect video game name from the Simpsons. I am disappointed.

Ah, that would be Bonestorm. "Buy me Bonestorm or go to hell!"
posted by Burhanistan at 1:58 PM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Complete playthrough of Duty Calls. Which is pretty spot-on in its Call of Duty design-mockery.

TBH I consider the weird pseudo-fascist mindset of a lot of these pseudo-Clancy "military" shooters far more offensive than lulzy achievment names.
posted by Artw at 1:59 PM on February 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


Good for Rock, Paper, Shotgun for taking these claims apart one by one and exposing all the fear-mongering for what it really is.
posted by misha at 2:01 PM on February 21, 2011


THRILLHO
posted by Sys Rq at 2:01 PM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


if Fox News hates it I may have to buy it.

There are very few things in life that I take as a more ringing endorsement.


Everybody loves making these kinds of comments (me included, at times), but come on, the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.

A game can both be ridiculously pilloried by extremist right-wingers as well as still not that great for gaming.
posted by kmz at 2:05 PM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


True enough kmz, but their hatred fans my curiosity, so by making a stink, all they've succeeded in doing is getting me to look at something I probably would have otherwise ignored. The game may suck mightily (and probably will based on some of the non Fox reviews). but if I get even one small modicum of enjoyment out of it, Fox will have failed.

I'll probably try the demo. No risk there other than potentially wasted time.

Can we use Streisanding as a verb yet? It's not an exact fit with the situation, but it feels close enough by my mind.
posted by quin at 2:12 PM on February 21, 2011


Naturally, Fox news has freaked out

Video games make up fictional scary things with the express purpose of making money by scaring the viewer. I can see how this would be threatening to Fox, since they have the same business plan. But right now, Fox needn't be too worried because video games are very different from Fox in that they are openly and up-front about the fact that what the viewer sees is make-believe.

Fox demonstrates that video games are the ethical and honest way to sell fear.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:15 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good point, quin. If it wasn't for the fact that Fox News does this kind of idiocy so often, it almost would make you think EA was doing this on purpose. They did already have their stupid faux-controversy campaigns for Dante's Inferno and Dead Space 2.
posted by kmz at 2:18 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Having played Bulletstorm's demo, I too wish that they'd chosen a different palette for their very, very fun game - the gameplay is great, but the atmosphere is gratingly childish.

Seconding this. I played the demo and honestly just felt embarrassed to be playing it. It's got interesting mechanics that are going to be otherwise glossed over for horrible, horrible voice acting and a fabricated "attitude" so hackneyed it makes Duke Nukem sound like he's narrating a Ken Burns documentary.

This game isn't going to encourage teenage boys to rape. It is however going to set back their general social skills by about a year.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:18 PM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


'Cause thanks to FoxNews, this game is going to sell like hotcakes at a Grateful Dead concert.

Either Kind Veggie Burritos or Grilled Cheese might be a better metaphor there...
posted by mikelieman at 2:26 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


"A Ph.D. informs us that “9 year olds are playing games like Bulletstorm”, which is bloody unfair, as we’ve not even got review code yet." Awesome.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:27 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the stupidity gives you 'permission' to have fun by dehumanizing the enemies and I think this is a good thing, at least for this game.
I played through Red Dead Redemption and I was so busy concentrating on the story and caring about the characters that I never went on any stupid rampages or tied people to railroad tracks. It would feel like I'm hurting the integrity of the world. Bulletstorm looks like it's about scoring points and inflicting violence in creative ways so the dumb context lets you know that's okay.

Has anyone played Vanquish? It's a Gears of War style game by the Bayonetta/Devil May Cry/Okami guys. I'm hoping it offers the stupid fun without as much stupidity

Still, it's good to see scoring and combos and such in a shooting game. Though i'm not sure about it only allowing you to carry two weapons at once. I know that's standard these days, but why?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:36 PM on February 21, 2011


I tried the demo and was just bored, frankly. It didn't feel over the top or controversial or anything: you're killing generic mutant alien monster guys on an alien planet with fictional weaponry while the frag text from Quake plays over the screen. I'm perplexed at the publicity it's got for being outrageous when it's just more of what we've seen before. If I didn't know it was supposed to be noteworthily over the top I wouldn't have known; these geekbro games sort of meld into one horrible boring exciting mass after a while.

I'm sort of sad that this game is getting the attention it's getting, but I guess at least it's not Mass Effect being pilloried in the media, because that was actually a good one and not just another excuse to roleplay a hooting bellend in the evenings.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:37 PM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah, that would be Bonestorm. "Buy me Bonestorm or go to hell!"

Bloodrayne was another real game that should have been in the Simpsons

Warface is coming out soon
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:37 PM on February 21, 2011


you're killing generic mutant alien monster guys on an alien planet with fictional weaponry

what kind of fictional weaponry? do you get things like lasers or freeze rays?
sorry FPS developers, but assault rifles are not exciting
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:40 PM on February 21, 2011


The only thing that I know about Bulletstorm is that there is no PC demo, which means I will not be buying a copy to play.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 2:42 PM on February 21, 2011


"Double Penetration"

Wait, is this now taboo?
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:43 PM on February 21, 2011


Bulletstorm is getting a PC demo, Old'n'Busted. It was announced today.
posted by Fraxas at 2:45 PM on February 21, 2011


Has anyone played Vanquish? It's a Gears of War style game by the Bayonetta/Devil May Cry/Okami guys. I'm hoping it offers the stupid fun without as much stupidity

Yeah, I really enjoyed Vanquish. The game is a real treat to play, and the story and dialogue are B-movie hilarity without much of the crude stuff. I have no idea why the game featured a villanous, scheming President Hillary Clinton.
posted by naju at 2:57 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I played through Red Dead Redemption and I was so busy concentrating on the story and caring about the characters that I never went on any stupid rampages or tied people to railroad tracks.

I had the exact same problem, but I wanted the trophies, so I got drunk one night, exterminated all the bison, killed all the wildlife, and tossed a nice young lady onto the railroad tracks. To give you an idea of how much the developers wanted you to be miserable about that last one, after you put her on the tracks, if you look away, even for a second, she gets away. If you want the trophy, you have to stand and watch the woman you just kidnapped get graphically obliterated by a train.

Despite knowing that she's just a collection of ones and zeros, I felt really awful about it.

Because Red Dead Redemption was that good of a fucking game. I felt guilty for killing a completely random NPC.
posted by quin at 3:10 PM on February 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


Has anyone played Vanquish? It's a Gears of War style game by the Bayonetta/Devil May Cry/Okami guys. I'm hoping it offers the stupid fun without as much stupidity

Yes, and it's fantastic. It is to the third-person cover shooter what Bayonetta is to the Devil May Cry-em-up: so good, and such a step forward in mechanics and presentation, that every other game in the genre feels staid, clunky, and uninteresting. The plot is complete lolwut, but I didn't care in the slightest.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:13 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


it makes Duke Nukem sound like he's narrating a Ken Burns documentary.

I would pay to see this documentary.
posted by zippy at 3:26 PM on February 21, 2011


Because Red Dead Redemption was that good of a fucking game. I felt guilty for killing a completely random NPC.

It always makes me feel old when I remember running over tiny pixelated pedestrians in GTA as a kid, and seeing how far Rockstar has come.

that said, so few games can be Red Dead that i don't mind if they try for Bulletstorm
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:35 PM on February 21, 2011


Thanks for posting that link, ShawnStruck. When I was reading about how "over the top" Bulletstorm was supposed to be, I kept thinking, "Well... I am enjoying the crap out of Bayonetta, and that's one long over-the-top-athon, so..." Good to know that they're not really the same.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:47 PM on February 21, 2011


This is stupid. Video games don't cause rape. Prolonged virginity, maybe. Obesity, probably. Rape? Come on.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:00 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


quin: Because Red Dead Redemption was that good of a fucking game. I felt guilty for killing a completely random NPC.

I didn't but that's because I captured one of those women that lures you into an ambush of bandits. Not cool lady, not cool.
posted by Talanvor at 4:56 PM on February 21, 2011


This is stupid. Video games don't cause rape. Prolonged virginity, maybe. Obesity, probably. Rape? Come on.

Wait. What?
posted by Thistledown at 5:17 PM on February 21, 2011


"Naturally"? Rraawww.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:23 PM on February 21, 2011


I'm willing to bet the truth lies somewhere in between "OMG IT MAKES YOU TEH RAYP" and "NUH UH VIDYA GAMES ARE ONLY EVAR GOOD FOR PPL."

I'm a gamer and would never let my kid play this. Sexualizing brutality in the way this game does is disgusting. I don't see how creating a situation in which players (and, let's be honest, it's boys they had in mind) are encouraged to laugh at implied sexual violence can ever be anything but unhealthy.

Sexual violence is being trivialized, and another generic FPS was created to do it. Those responsible should feel bad about themselves as people. Twice.
posted by regicide is good for you at 5:24 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think he means video games maybe cause prolonged virginity and obesity. Not prolonged virginity and obesity cause rape.
posted by formless at 5:24 PM on February 21, 2011


I just played the demo, and my verdict is; Stupid. But fun. It's just a run and gun and blow shit up engine, and there's nothing wrong with that.

I don't see it changing the face of gaming as we know it or anything, but I could see getting a kick out of the full game.
posted by quin at 6:28 PM on February 21, 2011


Heh, Epic have always put shit like this in games. Remember in UT2K4 when the announcer yelled HOLY SHIT! after you killed a certain number of people in a row? I'm totally all for it.
posted by unSane at 6:37 PM on February 21, 2011


I'm happy to let FOX News and CliffyB sit together over there on the crazy, vulgar attention-whore side of the room, and I'll stay over on this side with games that are actually good and media that has actual news in it.
posted by straight at 6:39 PM on February 21, 2011


Sexual violence is being trivialized, and another generic FPS was created to do it.

The former may be true, the latter is anything but. Bulletstorm may well be bad but it isn't generic.
posted by Justinian at 6:44 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Remember in UT2K4

Dude, this is Metafilter. A bunch of American kids can give dumb nicknames to their game, in blissful obliviousness at what it means other than that they think it sounds hip, but the rest of the world actually uses the metric system, and metafilter is filled with judgemental jerks like me who are only too happy to assume that people who don't know how to use their numbers (or apostrophes or whatever else) are probably lower on the totem pole.

There... uh, there is a totem pole... right? right?!?
posted by -harlequin- at 7:05 PM on February 21, 2011


I've got a copy of BMX XXX lying around somewhere. Man, what a piece of crap.
posted by box at 7:14 PM on February 21, 2011


Remember in UT2K4

Dude, this is Metafilter. A bunch of American kids can give dumb nicknames to their game, in blissful obliviousness at what it means other than that they think it sounds hip, but the rest of the world actually uses the metric system, and metafilter is filled with judgemental jerks like me who are only too happy to assume that people who don't know how to use their numbers (or apostrophes or whatever else) are probably lower on the totem pole.


C'mon man. UT = Unreal Tournament, one of the most popular games by the Bulletstorm developers. In the same genre. 2K4 must be 2004 then.

I still miss the old 'KILL FRENZY!' voice from GTA1 and 2
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:19 PM on February 21, 2011


Sorry to interrupt your game of Fox News soggy SAO.

But can I just say I thought the portmanteau of "Call of Duty" and "nature calls" deliciously funny.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:40 PM on February 21, 2011


Xactly.

UT = Unreal Tournament, the classic 1v1 online FPS. Never bettered, to this day. Insane, twitchfest, mayhem. Perfectly balanced physics and weapons. Deathmatch oriented.

UT2K3 was the (horrible) next version. Lots of eyecandy but the physics and weapons balanced were b0rked.

UT2K4 remedied most of these problems, and had a very good 1v1 and Team Deathmatch mode with well balanced weapons and some ace maps, but by the time it came out, the world had moved on and it never really got the head of steam it deserved, despite having some excellent gameplay.

I'm still looking for the 1v1 equivalent of UT after all these years.

Nothing to do with decimal, metric, America, or anything else. If you didn't get the reference I probably wasn't talking to you.
posted by unSane at 7:46 PM on February 21, 2011


"Fire in the Hole?" Huh. I would called this achievement "Butt Plug." Go figure.
posted by SPrintF at 7:56 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or maybe "Rimshot"?
posted by Artw at 8:01 PM on February 21, 2011


Yeah I know the game. I own it. But I don't pretend there is any way around the fact that the kids who erroneously dubbed it 2K4 didn't understand their numbers but thought is sounded cool, and the kids who went along with it either didn't know better or didn't care.
(While Epic chose to avoid that bandwagon)

Plenty of people don't know or don't care that there is a difference between "they're" and "their", and they think poorly of people who would judge them on that - or are outright shocked that anyone could be so picky as to care about such stupid little technicalities "that no-one really knows anyway".
But people do judge, and they usually don't tell us. And sometimes they're people who matter.
My philosophy is to swallow my pig-headedness regarding habits and try to adopt what is correct. You don't have to agree, but the person I'm quoting above didn't get very far in life.
posted by -harlequin- at 8:11 PM on February 21, 2011


(Epic never referred to UT2003 as 2K3, or 2004 as 2K4.
2K4 is a continuation of the 2K3 nickname, which was a numerical misconception that caught on among people who didn't know better)
posted by -harlequin- at 8:26 PM on February 21, 2011


-harlequin-: "Yeah I know the game. I own it. But I don't pretend there is any way around the fact that the kids who erroneously dubbed it 2K4 didn't understand their numbers but thought is sounded cool, and the kids who went along with it either didn't know better or didn't care. "

I'm pretty sure that numbering scheme was popularized circa 2000-2001 by 2K Sports, not lazy UT players.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:29 PM on February 21, 2011


You'd probably be horrified to learn of Win2k, WS2k3 and WS2k8?
posted by Artw at 8:30 PM on February 21, 2011


Unreal 2ka+4?
posted by Zalzidrax at 8:40 PM on February 21, 2011


Artw - Win2K is correct because 2K means 2000. I've never heard of WS2K3, and Wikipedia has no entry for it.

Rhaomi - You're right, that does seem to be the origin. Either way, my benefit-of-the-doubt assumption was it was of American origins, which is understandable because Americans are generally not taught or familiar with the useage (but have heard it used in techy contexts).
posted by -harlequin- at 8:40 PM on February 21, 2011


I'm pretty sure that numbering scheme was popularized circa 2000-2001 by 2K Sports, not lazy UT players.

Y2K bug? Circa, um, 2000.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:58 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The acronym Y2K has been attributed to David Eddy, a Massachusetts programmer, in an e-mail sent on June 12, 1995."
posted by Sys Rq at 9:18 PM on February 21, 2011


Lovecraft In Brooklyn: "I played through Red Dead Redemption and I was so busy concentrating on the story and caring about the characters that I never went on any stupid rampages or tied people to railroad tracks."

But when you got to 100% completion..... ((wink-wink))

RDR was, and still is, highly replayable. I too cared about the story and the people and have never had that experience in a game. I'm on my third run through and still discover new areas and new things. Watching this trailer brought me back to the late 90s and Unreal Tournament which, at the time, was good fun but it wore thin rather quickly. That too had it's moments of puerile humor (MMMMMMMONSTER KILL!) and after hearing it for the umpteenth time, well..... forget it. Game over. Reading some of the quotes from in-game and from the developers, this game won't come within 100 feet of my hard drive or PS3. It's old, it's been done and it's fucking boring.

I did get a nice chuckle out of the blah-blah-blah "Duty Calls" trailer. Military games have really jumped the shark (except "Operation Flashpoint") and deserve any derision that comes their way.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:21 PM on February 21, 2011


uncanny hengeman: "Y2K bug? Circa, um, 2000."

I mean in the sense of 2KX, where the X is the year's trailing digit. It's pretty unusual, and I'd never heard it used that way before 2K Sports' annual ad blitzes for their latest baseball/basketball/football/etc. iteration.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:26 PM on February 21, 2011


I'm sorry, it was UT2K3 and UT2K4 on every fan site in existence. I'm sorry you didn't get the memo but if you are still fighting that battle, you are a sad, strange, little man.
posted by unSane at 9:26 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean in the sense of 2KX, where the X is the year's trailing digit. It's pretty unusual, and I'd never heard it used that way before 2K Sports' annual ad blitzes for their latest baseball/basketball/football/etc. iteration.

I'm terrible.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:41 PM on February 21, 2011


Why can't the games that end up being the focal point of these debates ever be good games? I'm against games being banned and all, but the case would be so much easier to argue if the game in question wasn't crap.
posted by dazed_one at 10:52 PM on February 21, 2011


This does look good
And L4D2 (Left 4 Dead 2) was censored in Australia very badly
Harlequin, you're pretty pedantic. Even for MeFi
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:34 PM on February 21, 2011


Has anyone played Vanquish? It's a Gears of War style game by the Bayonetta/Devil May Cry/Okami guys. I'm hoping it offers the stupid fun without as much stupidity

Vanquish is okay. Definitely worth trying. It has some awesome ideas - like you spending most of the time sliding around on your arse at great speed, only stopping to flip over a barrier for a second and gently shotgun another group of post-Soviet killer robots into small pieces of metal - and some ones that didn't really work, like the way the action goes all stop-start when you start using bullet time, or the way it rewards you for using the same weapon all the time - which almost always means the (you guessed it) assault rifle.

My real problem with it, though, was that it just wasn't over-the-top enough. The story, script, cutscenes, in-game chatter etc were just so flat and mediocre in every way. There were maybe two or three moments of genuine humour or feeling in the whole thing, which considering the ingredients - giant Russian killer robots done well, vast orbiting space station/superweapon, evil President Hillary Clinton, tough-guy sidekick who genuinely seems to hate the protagonist, etc - was really disappointing. I'm not saying that Bulletstorm-style artificial ultramachismo would have helped, but it needed something.

Sadly most of the Clover/Platinum games I've played have been a bit like this. Viewtiful Joe was let down by a bad script and really terrible voice-acting and editing. Bayonetta: brilliant gameplay, staggeringly terrible story and moronic script. Madworld: dull, dull, dull. Okami: beautiful, but what the hell was going on in the last third of the game? The only exception I can think of is God Hand, whose story was just inane enough for its basic good humour to shine through (plus Elvis is the greatest boss ever).

Ahem. Anyway, back on topic: it's games like Bulletstorm that make me feel ambivalent about the campaign to allow R18+ videogames in Australia. The basic principle appeals to me, but for every Deadly Premonition we'd get a dozen blasts of lowest-common-demoninator stupidity like Bulletstorm and a heap of Rockstar nastiness. Bleah.

(of course, I ordered DP from the UK anyway so I should know that it doesn't matter)
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:41 AM on February 22, 2011


I'm not saying that Bulletstorm-style artificial ultramachismo would have helped, but it needed something.

In Vanquish you can make your own entertainment! For example, when you administer battlefield aid to a fallen comrade, you can try to predict which of the two voice samples will play: "Have some juice!" or "Administering eppie!" You can then find yourself childishly entertained by imagining the main character carrying around large stocks of apple juice and "administering it" to unconscious colleagues with a funnel.

I actually have no idea about that second sample, but "having an eppie" is what people from my neck of the woods called "having a fit" when we were kids, so that brought its own hilarity.

The plots of Clover/Platinum games are very much a YMMV situation, I think. I love the way they're written, and found -- for example -- Okami charming to the end. On the sliding scale of video game stories I do put a well-written and well-acted story right at the top, but I also award so many points for effort (and subtract so many points for each hooting bro) that tumbledown plots and terrible acting can have me cheering all the way to the finish line.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:01 AM on February 22, 2011


psst... epinephrine
posted by Sys Rq at 3:44 AM on February 22, 2011


just wanted to drop in and say that UT2K4 was the best game of all time! (except for ut99, or dare I call it, UT1K99)
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 4:19 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


psst... epinephrine

I was happier in ignorance! :(
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:20 AM on February 22, 2011


I don't pretend there is any way around the fact that the kids who erroneously dubbed it 2K4 didn't understand their numbers

I'm not understanding what you're getting at, -harlequin-. I guess I can think of one possibility, but it's uncharitably asinine. (Are you the sort of person who becomes angry upon learning version 2.10 is a follow-on to version 2.9?)
posted by ryanrs at 5:30 AM on February 22, 2011


I played the demo. It was juvenile and stupid. The enemies and the scenery were uninspired, and the mechanics are exactly the same cover-based shooting we've seen a million times already.

I do believe I laughed out loud the first time I got one of those combo-kills. After that they were just sort of distracting.

Also, the game called me 'dick-tits', for which I have yet to forgive it.
posted by word_virus at 6:54 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


The husband and I futzed around with Bulletstorm's demo the other night. Nice graphics, but really juvenile.
posted by palabradot at 8:28 AM on February 22, 2011


I don't pretend there is any way around the fact that the kids who erroneously dubbed it 2K4 didn't understand their numbers

How is this ambiguous? It's unusual, but what would 2K4 mean other than 2004? I'm missing your point here.
posted by straight at 9:44 AM on February 22, 2011


2K derail = dullest derail I have ever seen.

On topic - Bulletstorm looked crap from the get go. Epic make a good engine - thanks to them Batman Arkham Asylum and dozens of other games using the Unreal engine look amazing. I couldn't give a monkey's about their terrible, awful games. I've got GoW1 & 2 (that's Gears of War for those not in the know) and I've never been able to play more than about 10 minutes of the first game before quitting on account of it being a huge pile of dog dirt.

Borderlands has about the same level of maturity as GoW and Bulletstorm but actually possesses some personality and isn't just about CliffyB needing to have a 500lb hairy man shout swears at me through my monitor, hence me being on my third playthrough now (just 5 more levels to 61!). Otherwise Castlevania : Patrick Stewart Unleashed is my current title of choice, at least until the new Deus Ex comes along.
posted by longbaugh at 10:21 AM on February 22, 2011


Those RPS articles were beautiful. Can we do this with every Fox News story from now on? Maybe collect donations to start a site that does nothing but rip apart Fox News?

As a female feminist gamer, I'm not particularly bothered by the achievement names, since they're so obvious and derivative. But the dialogue sounds wretched and it's not something I would play for that reason. My life just doesn't need simulated frat boys.
posted by threeturtles at 10:25 AM on February 22, 2011


The game looks stupid and unpleasant. The FOX News coverage looks stupider and unpleasanter.
posted by Zed at 11:34 AM on February 22, 2011


Rock Paper Shotgun claims Bulletstorm is much smarter and better-written (albeit obnoxiously crude and vulgar) than it looks. Which is a shame, the action and environments look kind of fun, but I still don't think I could tolerate the fratboy crap long enough to enjoy it.
posted by straight at 12:00 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does Bulletstorm have Patrick Stewart delivering lines written by Hideo Kojima? No? Well then it can get stuffed. They can't even be bothered to hire an RSC alumni to read the crazy ramblings of a Japanese lunatic. That's not Epic, that's Shite.
posted by longbaugh at 12:22 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


How is this ambiguous? It's unusual, but what would 2K4 mean other than 2004? I'm missing your point here.

Part of the point is that it's not ambiguous in the slightest; 2K4 means "two point four thousand" - 2400, and our entire world works because it means nothing else, because there is no ambiguity. A lot of people in the USA aren't taught this and genuinely don't know this stuff, so I was trying to make a friendly note that, like misusing the apostrophe, it's something that you're generally better off at least being aware of than not.

People here have the luxury of talking about this as if it's pedantry because everyone who matters knows what 2k4 means, and the video game fans who don't, don't get a say in the matter. If an engineer calls for 1k8 Ohm resistors on the motherboard of your computer, and some moron installs 1008 Ohm resistors, it's not pedantry when the transistors burn - that's just one application where correct use of numbers matters, and we are surrounded by them.

Media consumers are naturally an example where numeracy doesn't matter, but a lot of people have internalized these errors because it doesn't matter to them, and become like the person who doesn't know the difference between they're and their, and doesn't realize that other people notice.

My post wasn't a "gotcha", it was intended as a "psst, for future reference, in some circles, not understanding the apostrophe and wearing that on your sleeve will work against you",

People who already knew better don't react the way that some other people here reacted. So I'm the bad guy today, but someone here is nolonger going to end up cluelessly putting innumerate egg on their face in front of others.

Good for them.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:25 PM on February 22, 2011


What you aren't getting my friend is that context matters.

See, until this thread, the only thing is "K meant for was that it was the first letter in such words as kindness (lacking in the back and forth on this derail), kick-ass (what everybody thinks their argument in this derail is), and kinda fucking boring (what this derail truly is)

But for others elsewhere K means something else.

Context matters.

And I'd really hope that, for those using it in terms of resistance, that they'd know that and not instead count on their training in video game forums.

Just like somebody who was dealing with servers wouldn't think that Windows 2K3 meant Windows Two Point Three Thousand or Windows 2300 or anything other than Windows Server 2003 (or whatever the fuck it is, I don't know... like I said K for me means a letter... and sometimes strike outs...and a formerly popular party drug/horse tranquilizer.)

Language changes. Context matters.

(Yes, Google isn't at all where we should be going for settling common usage, but since somebody already brought up Wikipedia earlier, I amused myself this way.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:39 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Surely if there is one thing the world can agree on, it's that anyone who would abbreviate numbers using a different scheme than that used for resistors is a total fucking idiot, because everybody governs their lives around nomenclature schemes devised for small electronics parts.

If there is a second thing the world can agree on, it's that Windows 2K3 would have been Windows 2051, not Windows 2003.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:10 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


That's nothing. I once bought the game MDK2. Imagine my confusion!
posted by longbaugh at 2:30 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Really windows 2K8 should be 2*1000*8 = Windows 16000.
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on February 22, 2011


Haha, dig in then.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:34 PM on February 22, 2011


People who already knew better don't react the way that some other people here reacted.

You must be a fucking blast at parties.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:50 PM on February 22, 2011


Mr. Bad Example: "People who already knew better don't react the way that some other people here reacted.

You must be a fucking blast at parties
"

I think you mean "fuc2000ing blast".
posted by ShawnStruck at 4:30 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


fuc1000ing.
posted by Artw at 5:01 PM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


While we're being pedantic, has anyone pointed out the fairly important type in the FPP?

I did a quick CTRL+F for "typo" and "bullestorm" and came up blank.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:19 PM on February 22, 2011


Anyone? Anyone?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:19 PM on February 22, 2011


"Ahem. Anyway, back on topic: it's games like Bulletstorm that make me feel ambivalent about the campaign to allow R18+ videogames in Australia. The basic principle appeals to me, but for every Deadly Premonition we'd get a dozen blasts of lowest-common-demoninator stupidity like Bulletstorm and a heap of Rockstar nastiness."

Um, I've heard pretty bad things about Deadly Premonition. Rockstar are the guys who are so good they make me feel guilty about killing people. In a video game.

I know you're joking, but do you really want stuff like Bulletstorm to be banned (which it isn't - it got through uncensored)?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:22 PM on February 22, 2011


OMG BBROYGBVGW BBQ

If we had the image tag, we could remove all ambiguity with our year references.
posted by zippy at 6:45 PM on February 22, 2011


fµc1000ing
posted by zippy at 6:46 PM on February 22, 2011


Drastic, over at the Quarter to Three forums had the very best idea:

They should have a text-based equivalent of Serious Sam's hippie blood mode (where it spewed flowers instead of cartoon red). So you'd get lots of RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE and YOUR MOTHER IS A CLASSY LADY and TERRIBLY SORRY OLD CHAP and PARDON ME in place of the various upsetting things.
posted by straight at 8:21 PM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


While we're being pedantic, has anyone pointed out the fairly important type in the FPP?

I pointed it out a long time ago...by flagging it.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:21 PM on February 22, 2011


fµc1000ing

Oh, goddammit. I bet you watch GRSS1000, too.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:33 PM on February 22, 2011


>>While we're being pedantic, has anyone pointed out the fairly important type in the FPP?

>I pointed it out a long time ago...by flagging it.


You da man. I'm not one to "oooh typo!" but come on... the thread was getting grey hairs, and had been well and truly shat upon with this 2KX argument, and it was a fairly BIG typo getting the subject of the FPP wrong, and for it not to be mentioned with a subsequent "typo fixed in FPP" post by jessamyn... it seemed out of place enough for me to comment.

Anyone like my Bueller / Bullestorm joke? Anyone? Anyone?



Part of the point is that it's not ambiguous in the slightest; 2K4 means "two point four thousand" - 2400, and our entire world works because it means nothing else, because there is no ambiguity.

Unambiguous enough for me to work it out. The K is the multiplier. The 4 doesn't have a multiplier so I assume it's just plain old 4. I reckon 2K4C would be a more unambiguous abbreviation for 2400.

/and I'm not saying "unambiguous enough" = "obvious"
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:38 PM on February 22, 2011


MMIV. No scope for ambiguity there.

Um, I've heard pretty bad things about Deadly Premonition. Rockstar are the guys who are so good they make me feel guilty about killing people. In a video game.

Deadly Premonition is certainly not for everyone, but for me it's been the best game I've played on the Xbox. Apart from the near-perfect voice acting, excellent music and perfectly modulated sense of surrealist horror/comedy it's one of the only games I've played which was actually written for adults (okay, the zombie fighting parts and some of the side tasks are not so good, but they're not too bad).

My problem with Rockstar games is not so much the wanton violence, which is hardly unique to Rockstar, as the sense of nastiness that has pervaded every one of them that I've seen. I remember trying to play Canis Canem Edit but giving up when it became apparent that it was written by unpleasant people who hate everyone. Bleah.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 1:17 AM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


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