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Yay Carolyn! Yay GameSpot!
May 17, 2011 8:13 AM   Subscribe

This week, Rockstar Games released L. A. Noire, a video game that's--perhaps not unusual for a Rockstar game--getting stellar reviews. One review, and one reviewer in particular, though stands out. Carolyn Petit, a new member of the staff at GameSpot, made her video game review debut yesterday. Carolyn is transgender. Note: if you're not a GameSpot member, you'll have to do an age check on the video

Carolyn's coming out video from 2010.
posted by PapaLobo (117 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Forgot to add, Carolyn's video for It Gets Better.
posted by PapaLobo at 8:15 AM on May 17, 2011


Not uncommon in the game industry. Scorpia from CGW fame is Transgender, as was Dan/Dani Bunten. I know of a few current developers too. It doesn't seem to be that rare.

I'm not sure if it's a higher percentage in games or that it's just a smaller set of people.
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:18 AM on May 17, 2011


Yay for Carolyn!

Also, this video game looks amazing.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:20 AM on May 17, 2011


Caught that yesterday while watching every video review I could find in anticipation of getting the game today. I almost googled Carolyn but got sidetracked watching MK9 videos. Good for Carolyn and Gamespot!

A lot the reviews mention the game is "flawed", not gameplay bugs but jarring disconnects between missions, seems like poor performance on one case does not effect subsequent cases. Anyone have the game and can clarify this?
posted by Ad hominem at 8:26 AM on May 17, 2011


wow, that game looks really awesome! and that was a really good review too. too bad we don't have an xbox in our household. we're a wii family and maybe one day a PS3 (ps8 or whatever it is when we eventually get one.)
posted by sio42 at 8:26 AM on May 17, 2011


So the mediocre, kinda bumbling review (when there are many better reviews of this game available) is worth watching because this person is transgendered? And that makes it special for some reason?
posted by mikoroshi at 8:28 AM on May 17, 2011 [14 favorites]


It's kind of funny how I glossed this post so differently at first. I kind of skimmed over it: "L.A. Noire... stellar reviews... one review stands out... transgender..." My immediate thought was, "Oh, great, so L.A. Noire has some horrible transphobic crap in it? Dammit, I was looking forward to that game." It didn't even occur to me that the reviewer herself was noteworthy. So good on Carolyn for her willingness to come out, good on GameSpot for not hiding her, and (apparently) good on Rockstar for making another quality game.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:29 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Transgenderism in this industry doesn't really surprise me that much, on reflection. A lot of the appeal of video games is the element of escapism in it. When you're stuck inside a set of skin you're not comfortable in, I imagine that appeal is much greater.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 8:30 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


The face movements in the shots from the game are really good. Of course, I haven't really played games since GTA San Andreas, so maybe this is how all the games look now?
posted by odinsdream at 8:33 AM on May 17, 2011


No, the face technology is something that's new for this game. It's one of the selling points.
posted by demiurge at 8:34 AM on May 17, 2011


So the mediocre, kinda bumbling review (when there are many better reviews of this game available) is worth watching because this person is transgendered? And that makes it special for some reason?

This thread might help.
posted by josher71 at 8:36 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've never met another girl in person who is a "gamer" like me. I know they're out there, but I haven't met any. It's depressing. Playing the 360 online is an annoying experience because most of the time, as soon as the other (invariably male) players realize that I'm a girl, I end up getting harassed.

But on the topic of transgender video gamers ...? Good for Carolyn! I liked her review of the game. It's important for all different kinds of gamers to get opportunities to participate in the community.

I think I'll be getting L.A. Noire now. I hope it's as good as Red Dead!
posted by hypotheticole at 8:36 AM on May 17, 2011


I have been so looking forward to this game. It's like someone asked themselves what sort of game I wanted to play and then made it. Fedoras: Check. Adventure game investigation aspects: check. Horrible murders exposing the seedy underbelly of city life: Check. Interrogating suspects: Check. Good old fashioned ass kicking: Check. This may mark the first time I pay full price for an XboX game.
posted by dortmunder at 8:38 AM on May 17, 2011


Also, quite a few terrible comments to the video. *cringe*
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:40 AM on May 17, 2011


Here's a video about the facial motion-capture technology, if anyone's interested. It's pretty amazing.

Also, I really, really want this game, but it's not out yet in the UK and I'm a broke grad student. Anyone want to make a contribution to the Keep Mr. Bad Example Entertained Fund?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:41 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I really want this game too, but I do not have XBox. Or anywhere really to play one. And it seems A Bit Much to buy a console and my own personal TV just to play one game. PLZ TO B MAKING FOR PC
posted by mippy at 8:47 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


SO if this is an accurate open world representation of LA post war, then both Phillipes and Langers should exist. The very first thing I'm doing after buying the game is going for virtual pastrami. And then beef dip. So you all can solve all the grizzly murders you like, I'm basically using this as a sandwich eating simulator.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:47 AM on May 17, 2011 [17 favorites]


I've also heard there are some not-so-great reviews for the game, for some of the reasons given above, but others too.

This is a "wait and see" title for me. Too many games to play right now for me personally, I don't need to drop full price on this one.
posted by utsutsu at 8:49 AM on May 17, 2011


Excuse me while I am laughing out loud (also known as "lolling") over the fact that her coming-out video features her, a gamer, citing the date by using fast-food advertisements.
posted by entropone at 8:50 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: I'm basically using this as a sandwich eating simulator.
posted by dragstroke at 8:51 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


mippy: I totally agree, but sounds like you have a pc... you can easily hook up a console to your monitor so you don't need to buy a tv or anything. Though, buying a console for just one game is still kind of silly.
posted by utsutsu at 8:51 AM on May 17, 2011


Some of the initial reactions on /r/gaming are a little worrying, I have a very low tolerance for frustration. I'm still going to get it today, stupid work making me not play video games.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:52 AM on May 17, 2011


is worth watching because this person is transgendered? And that makes it special for some reason?

Transfolks around the world have it terrible. Like, getting murdered, terrible. Gamers are also a pretty hateful backward lot. Gamespot is a mainstream gamer site.

Yes, I will be happy when we no longer have to be excited, surprised, or amazed because anyone and everyone can show up in media and not expect hate for their identity (as opposed to say, their personality), but I'm also not going to live under the illusion that we're there yet by any means.

Until then, I'm going to celebrate what baby steps the world takes until we're there.
posted by yeloson at 8:54 AM on May 17, 2011 [21 favorites]


PLZ TO B MAKING FOR PC

Hang tight- in a year and a half they'll release a buggy port with fewer features for the same price as the console versions and then blame piracy when it doesn't sell.

-grumble grumble-
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:58 AM on May 17, 2011


I'm excited for LA Noire. The reviews so far are significantly positive, on track to be one of the top games of the year.

hyptotheticole, I hear you on how awful the Xbox 360 community is to women. I simply can't play Xbox Live with voice chat turned on: the community is entirely toxic. If you want a little laugh (or cry), check out Fat, Ugly or Slutty, a collection of the various sexist crap their contributers have captured from online games. Some of the snark is pretty funny. One of the reasons I liked playing World of Warcraft is there were a lot of women playing and in general the boys and men were much more respectful.
posted by Nelson at 9:00 AM on May 17, 2011


One of the reasons I liked playing World of Warcraft is there were a lot of women playing and in general the boys and men were much more respectful.

WoW has a significant trans player base in my experience and while overall I find the reception by other players to GLBTQ peeps to be cool, there is also some considerable bullying. Back in October of last year, WoW Insider addressed the issue in one of their advice columns.
posted by PapaLobo at 9:06 AM on May 17, 2011


it seems A Bit Much to buy a console and my own personal TV just to play one game

You can hook your 360 to a monitor pretty easily. I did it for a couple of years, though I had to make a kludge cable to plug my headphones/speakers into it with off-the-shelf parts from Radio Shack. Of course you still need the 360, but a TV is not necessary!
posted by adamdschneider at 9:08 AM on May 17, 2011


yeloson: " Gamers are also a pretty hateful backward lot."

I don't even think it's gamers per se, it's just a significant minority of high-school and college-aged people. After a certain age, I think most of them learn that being public about their prejudices will get them in hot water, so they go on to be run-of-the-mill, quietly hateful adults.

Going to public university sucked enough having to deal with that sort of people when I wasn't one. I can't imagine what it would have been like if I had been like if I had been visibly different.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:09 AM on May 17, 2011


Gamers are also a pretty hateful backward lot.

For real? My experience in online gaming and gaming conventions (like PAX) are the complete and total opposite. If anything, I find the gaming community is infinity more open to various lifestyles and personalities. I think what you may be seeing is two-fold 1) Gabe's Internet Fuckwad Theory, which applies especially to games since there may be very little continuality between handles and thus people can be dicks and get away with it. But, AH!, the gaming industry far from has a stranglehold on this. Most of the Gaming Dicks you meet are found in random gaming lobbies or Halo matchups. The trick is finding the right guild/clan where people are awesome. And even then, I've played WoW and TF2 for years- games around the social gameplay aspect-, often times randomly with PUGs, and encountered dicks far less than in real life. To be fair, I pretty much only MP on the PC. 2) You may see things like this, which again in my experience, is rather in the minority- much moreso than the general population. But like many things, that one voice can be the loudest while not being representative of the whole community.
posted by jmd82 at 9:11 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Gamers are also a pretty hateful backward lot.

Overgeneralizing to combat overgeneralization doesn't work. I'm a gamer and I take offense to that insult.

It's a subset of people in general who are transphobic and hateful toward others. Let's not stereotype others to try to prove some kind of point.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:15 AM on May 17, 2011


This game is not an Xbox exclusive, you can get it for PS3 as well. In fact, it was originally announced as PS3-exclusive.
posted by owtytrof at 9:15 AM on May 17, 2011


mippy: I totally agree, but sounds like you have a pc... you can easily hook up a console to your monitor so you don't need to buy a tv or anything.

Ah, I have a laptop. Which probably wouldn't run it anyway. There's a TV in the house, but it belongs to the landlord, who lives there too, and would probably not be keen on me pulling XBox all-nighters. Not even for all the wine in Lidl.

I find FPS type games very difficult to play (I'm dyspraxic and used to find platform games very hard - there was one time when I tried to play TF2 and lasted three seconds...) but the puzzle element is very appealing.
posted by mippy at 9:16 AM on May 17, 2011


Also, regarding the game, this is something that appeals to me in so many ways, but alas, it's not coming out for PC. I'm a console gamer too, but for various reasons I don't have one of the modern consoles right now. I wish Rockstar hadn't forgotten the PC gamers.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:18 AM on May 17, 2011


From the Bioware link:

"Its ridiculous that I even have to use a term like Straight Male Gamer, when in the past I would only have to say fans, but it is as if when the designers were deciding on how to use their limited resources, instead of thinking "We have fans who loved Alistair and we have fans who thought Alistair was annoying. We have fans that thought Morrigan was great and we have fans that thought that she was a ****. And we have fans who liked the combat and we have fans who hated the combat but liked the story. How do we make make all these groups happy?" Instead, it is as if they went "We have straight males, straight females, gays and lesbians. How do we make all these groups happy?"

What the fuck?
posted by mippy at 9:19 AM on May 17, 2011


What the fuck?

There was a whole thread about that a couple months ago.
posted by cortex at 9:21 AM on May 17, 2011


So excited for LA Noire, ever since it was announced back in September aught-six. However, I am sure there is going to be a huge backlash once players realize it's not as action oriented as trailers and Rockstar's history would suggest.
posted by yellowbinder at 9:25 AM on May 17, 2011


And just one more comment, but good for Carolyn and for Gamespot. Though one quick glance at the comments on the video review show they range from phobic and laughter to sprinklings of support. It's a start though.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:27 AM on May 17, 2011


I think I'll be getting L.A. Noire now. I hope it's as good as Red Dead!

I'm heartened by the fact that a lot of the reviews I'm reading are using similar terminology to the Redemption reviews when it first came out: "groundbreaking",.. "unbridled genius"... "brilliant"... "engrossing"...

These are words I like to see in a game that's (hopefully) going to make me think a lot about the motivations of it's characters rather than how fast I can gun down wave after wave of bads. (not that there is anything wrong with that, just sometimes you want junk-food, and sometimes you want prime steak.)

Also: yay for Carolyn!
posted by quin at 9:30 AM on May 17, 2011


Ok, there maybe be some good gameplay, ambiance and whatever in LA Noire, but for god's sake, give me a break, the graphic engine looks pityfuly last gen compared to, let's say, Mafia 2, and the facial expression is not up to the level of what you can do in Valve's Source Engine.
posted by denpo at 9:32 AM on May 17, 2011


Ok, there maybe be some good gameplay, ambiance and whatever in LA Noire, but for god's sake, give me a break, the graphic engine looks pityfuly last gen compared to, let's say, Mafia 2, and the facial expression is not up to the level of what you can do in Valve's Source Engine.

Can you give an example of better facial expression in a Source game? I haven't played one with human characters since Episode 2, so maybe there have been updates to that technology, but from what I remember this game really does look significantly better in that regard.
posted by invitapriore at 9:36 AM on May 17, 2011


Playing the 360 online is an annoying experience because most of the time, as soon as the other (invariably male) players realize that I'm a girl, I end up getting harassed.

You and me both. Any game with voice will immediately produce one of three results:

1.) "Herp derp, you're a girl, you can't play, sexismsexism"
2.) "Show us your tits."
3.) "Are you a little boy?"

It makes public lobby gaming with voice a miserable experience. I don't do it anymore.
posted by Malice at 9:39 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


the facial expression is not up to the level of what you can do in Valve's Source Engine

You do realize that they did full 3D capture of actors faces for the game, right? If the expressions aren't "expressive" enough for you, it's the actors' fault, not the engine's.
posted by dhalgren at 9:41 AM on May 17, 2011


cortex - thanks to that thread I now know there is a 'same sex relationship' option on Kudos 2. Which might make it easier to find out who to give my Medium Romantic Gift to.
posted by mippy at 9:49 AM on May 17, 2011


LM Harnisch who is a perfectionist when it comes to L.A. history, was pretty upset about its inaccuracies.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:53 AM on May 17, 2011


Sorry, here is the link.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:54 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I look forward to playing this after I finish the GTAIV expansions and buy Red Dead Redemption.
posted by box at 10:01 AM on May 17, 2011


If this is like Heavy Rain, it should be a lot of fun.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:12 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


To the women frustrated by all the stupid sexism in online gaming: I'm sorry you've had to deal with that crap. XBox Live is a cesspool, and I don't play anything online there because it seems most of the players are bigots, homophobes, or 12-year-olds out to demonstrate how awesome they are by talking smack to complete strangers.

There are bright spots and friendly, respectful people out there. And if you're having trouble finding nice people to play with, you might check out MeFight Club.
posted by xedrik at 10:15 AM on May 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Okay, well this is a weird thread so far. I guess I can expect it since it just came out. I have today off, which was a bit of an accident, but it worked out nicely. I've been playing for the last 3 hours, here's some early first impressions:

1. The motion capture is pretty cool. I think at this point they're limited by the current gen hardware, but I didn't notice that the graphics were worse than any other current game. There were moments where the character movements were much more like acting and less liking watching a video game.

2. The investigation is pretty cool, bat at this point seems more of like you're just kind of guessing and forced to investigate every clue. When you interrogate people, based on evidence, you're given the choice between "Truth," "Doubt," and "Lie." I haven't quite figured out how to figure out the correct response. Sometimes after you a question they're over the top shifty, but figuring out the difference between "Doubt" and "Lie" has yet to hit me. I'd appreciate it if anyone has tips.

3. Climbing up stairs and things is very fluid compared to past GTA games. Not nearly as awkward.

4. You can let your partner drive you around, which is pretty awesome.

On a whole, again very early impressions, this is much more like a classic adventure game compared to the more silly first person shooter fun of the GTA series, or even Red Dead Redemption. There hasn't been too much free play time, or ability to really influence the world. There are so few adventure games around, if you like the genre pick this up. Haven't quite got that really epic "Ah ..." moment I got in Red Dead Redemption, but still very early on in the game.
posted by geoff. at 10:15 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Let's hope it has some decent female characters, unlike Heavy Rain (which was pretty awesome otherwise). Also unlike pretty much anything I've seen from Rockstar previously. Bleah.
posted by asperity at 10:18 AM on May 17, 2011


Good for Carolyn and Gamespot.

I hope one day that people being transgendered or coming out of the closet won't be considered shocking news.
posted by HostBryan at 10:24 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


These are words I like to see in a game that's (hopefully) going to make me think a lot about the motivations of it's characters rather than how fast I can gun down wave after wave of bads. (not that there is anything wrong with that, just sometimes you want junk-food, and sometimes you want prime steak.)

I absolutely agree with this sentiment, not least because games that are otherwise good seem to have kept up the Constant Stream of Baddies philosophy of adding challenge to games that comes off as increasingly ludicrous the more realistic the setting gets. However, the preview I saw really emphasized the interrogation puzzles that you apparently solve with what amounts to lie detection via pop psychology/body language reading a la Lie to Mie, which really irritates me. It's like a video game from the 19th century forcing you to solve puzzles based on the bumps on a suspect's head. I am all for puzzles solved in more interesting ways than just shooting all the dudes you see in front of you, but not like this.

On preview, geoff. confirms what I was worried about. Oh well, I wasn't going to buy the game for another couple of years barring a massive Steam sale.

Also, I'm of course glad to see Carolyn able to review games in an industry that is a disaster on inclusiveness almost across the board.
posted by Copronymus at 10:33 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


geoff., I don't have the game, but from reading some reviews, it seems like you might use Doubt when you don't believe the person, and Lie when you have evidence against what they said.

I ordered the game, and I'm pretty psyched about a mainstream adventure game. The gameplay videos of the interrogation scenes sold me on it.
posted by demiurge at 10:43 AM on May 17, 2011


I'll probably get this at some point, but all the videos I've seen still fall into the uncanny valley for me. Like I noticed immediately that they've pasted the facial animations on top of an separately recorded body animation. Also, it bugs the hell out of me that you never ever see characters touching their faces. Which makes sense, since the capture videos I've seen have the actors strapped in a barber chair with everything masked out except their heads.
posted by danny the boy at 10:59 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fuck yea, got the game, eating KFC and drinking Hawaiian Punch. Pretty much livin' the dream.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:00 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


xedrik -- Thanks for the link to MeFightClub. I'm new to MeFi, so I appreciate the heads-up.

If I play online, I usually need to use a microphone (especially on the 360, where so many more people have and use mics than the PS3). This means that as soon as I speak, I am first asked for confirmation of my gender ("Are you a chick?"). This is annoying. I understand the question, because I get hopeful every time I hear what I think is a female voice over the mic. But inevitably turns out to be the voice of an 8-year-old boy. Hey, at least I'm polite about it! That's why I don't ask questions.

The questions then get progressively more personal. The focus of the conversation then becomes (1) my sexual orientation, and (2) my sex life. The game is more or less forgotten about. The other players jump at the chance to get some firsthand knowledge about hardcore lesbian sex, since porn is where they've learned everything they know about lesbianism (and how to interact with women). They quickly become frustrated when I inform them that I have, actually, no personal experience with hardcore-lesbian-young-blonde-party-chick sex.

They then assume that I'm not having sex; that I'm one of those ugly girls who wishes she was having sex, and therefore creates a 360 account in order to talk to guys because I can't be having sex with them. At this point, I feel conflicted: Is it more humane to let them live in their own little fantasy world, or is it more important that I correct their sense of reality? (First of all, I wouldn't be scouring the xBox Live community for potential sex partners. Second of all, I have more sex in a week than most of them have had in their entire lives -- but don't read too much into that statement, because rest assured, guys who talk to girls like this are not getting ANY sex.)

(This doesn't happen all the time, but it happens at least one out of every three times -- i.e. enough to make it -- most of the time -- not worth playing online.)
posted by hypotheticole at 11:04 AM on May 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


cmgonzalez : "Overgeneralizing to combat overgeneralization doesn't work. I'm a gamer and I take offense to that insult."

Oh come on. Have you played online, at all, ever? Most gamers may not be awful people, but the vast majority of your interactions with gamers, will be amazingly awful. You have to actively seek out non terrible players (the "find a good guild" answer), and that's not something most of us have time to do.

Seriously. Like 90% of the time I've played online, there was some racist or homophobic or generally offensive behavior.
posted by danny the boy at 11:05 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


After being really stupid about it for the first two games, Casey Hudson has said there'll finally be same-sex romances in Mass Effect 3. I really really hope they don't screw it up. Along with everything else in the game, of course.
posted by kmz at 11:10 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, it bugs the hell out of me that you never ever see characters touching their faces.

You might enjoy playing Face Toucher Armeggeddon: Face Touch Harder coming out Fall 2011!! TOUCH THE FACE!
posted by tittergrrl at 11:16 AM on May 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


Oh come on. Have you played online, at all, ever? Most gamers may not be awful people, but the vast majority of your interactions with gamers, will be amazingly awful. You have to actively seek out non terrible players (the "find a good guild" answer), and that's not something most of us have time to do.

Seriously. Like 90% of the time I've played online, there was some racist or homophobic or generally offensive behavior.



But the sample of players you are finding are not representative of the larger gaming community.

They are the players who both:

- play online
- don't have a group of friends / online gaming buddies / guild / clan / steam group to play with and thus are forced to play with randoms.

In effect, in a random game of strangers you are most likely to get the sociopathic bigots and idiots simply because they don't have anywhere else to play online.

It ends up being a bit of a self fulfilling thing.
posted by utsutsu at 11:19 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously. Like 90% of the time I've played online, there was some racist or homophobic or generally offensive behavior.

The difficulty is that the loud dongs are the ones you hear, and the quiet sensible people are the ones you don't because no one on a pubbie is going to bother engaging with the dongs. Aside even from the self-selection inherent in hanging out on public servers (some people will just elect not to play on a pubbie at all to avoid the background radiation), there's also going to be folks just muting the dongs and getting on with their gameplay-for-gameplay's sake stuff or using private audio solutions for chatting with their friends on the server, etc.

So on the one hand, yeah, public server gaming experiences are an easy place to encounter homophobic or racist chatter (and generally obnoxious behavior in general), and it's a pretty pervasive problem. On the other hand, it's really not a "gamers are like this" thing so much as "there are a lot of idiots who happen to play video games". There's lots and lots of non-idiots, kids and adults alike, who game as well. But they don't spend a lot of time shouting stupid shit, because they're not idiots.

Hence the complicated politics of an out transwoman doing video reviews for a major gaming media group; it's a divisive move in a sense because on the one hand it's a straightforward and mature (and in a perfect world non-event) move by Gamespot that a lot of gamers will actually gladly hail as progress, but on the other hand it's basically painting a red bullseye target for the loudmouthed idiot types. But making this move is a lot better than refusing to because of those idiots, so: progress.
posted by cortex at 11:20 AM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Great review. I'm so pumped about playing this game. Thanks.

geoff - I picked up my copy about 2 hours ago (preordered), but promised my son I'd wait til he got home (I'm an idiot what was I thinking!). I have been wondering whether this whole "face technology" and "figuring out whether someone is lying" was going to be gimmicky. That it seems to mainly be about studying facial tics has me a little nervous that it's going to be hokey. But then I read that you have to have evidence to push for "Lying", so maybe it's more complex than that.
posted by scunning at 11:28 AM on May 17, 2011


I've been relatively lucky on XBox Live, but I think that's because I almost never use voice-chat or play FPS games online. I think the most online I've done is You Don't Know Jack and Burnout Paradise and both have been relatively alright. A couple of jackasses on Burnout once, but that was it.
posted by kmz at 11:28 AM on May 17, 2011


On XBOXLIVE you have to be VERY aggressive with the mute button, because it's so noxious, and your experience sounds like its 100x as bad, hypotheticole.

It's really annoying because the vocal aspect makes the possibilities for coordinating strategy so much better in possibility, but never in practice.

It seems like MS is being very proactive about douche's with regard to usernames, but less so with real game play. The flagging mechanism is not very good either.

I'm gonna check out MeFight Club as well.
posted by stratastar at 11:32 AM on May 17, 2011


Ok, there maybe be some good gameplay, ambiance and whatever in LA Noire, but for god's sake, give me a break, the graphic engine looks pityfuly last gen compared to, let's say, Mafia 2, and the facial expression is not up to the level of what you can do in Valve's Source Engine.

I've played all of Valve's Source games. I've played Mafia 2. I've played L.A. Noire. I can quite assuredly state it looks as good as Mafia 2 and the facial capture is miles ahead of Source. Alyx Vance never looked this expressive, and I love what Valve was able to convey with her facial expressions.
posted by NationalKato at 11:33 AM on May 17, 2011


I think community management is an interesting topic, because I think that's where the really ripe opportunity in gaming is going to be in the future. The experience of multiplayer is so vastly different for reviewers and for people who have an established gaming group, vs the unwashed masses. So far the answer has been, well invest yourself in a quality group of people, and you'll have a lot of fun. And I did this when I was in my early 20s, and it was rewarding. But for the majority of gamers out there this isn't a realistic proposition. Cus I got other shit to do. The realistic answer for me has been, play single player games unless I can rope someone into coming over to finish Portal 2 with me.

But I think this is just another dynamic that can be designed to. How to get people to cooperate naturally. How to get people not to act like assholes. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I know it's not going to be in trying to police intent, but to foster a non-shit culture that is a natural side effect of game mechanisms.

Like... Metafilter: The Game.

Cortex call me
posted by danny the boy at 11:49 AM on May 17, 2011


There are bright spots and friendly, respectful people out there. And if you're having trouble finding nice people to play with, you might check out MeFight Club.

Shill: hey everybody, also come check out gamefilter, it's like metafilter for games.

So as not be a total derail, Tom Chick (who is kind of known for being controversial) doesn't like what he's seen of it so far.
posted by juv3nal at 11:50 AM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think community management is an interesting topic, because I think that's where the really ripe opportunity in gaming is going to be in the future.

Yeah, I just saw a bit from Gabe Newell arguing that multiplayer environments should start differentiating on how whether people are good or bad for the environment, and charge accordingly. Which is an interesting idea, and would be the end of GoonFleet...
posted by rodgerd at 12:02 PM on May 17, 2011


She gives a good, thorough review. It can't be easy to get the video samples to sync up with the narrative so seamlessly.

If I had time to play anything other than my drug game of choice (as well as work, sleep, MeFi, etc.) L.A. Noire would definitely be on the list. Along with Portal 2, and Red Dead Redemption...
posted by Xoebe at 12:15 PM on May 17, 2011


The review is great. Well done.

Being genderiffic in any aspect of the games industry has been a challenge for many, including for me. The public part of my transition happened in 2003 - and back then there wasn't YouTube and coming out videos and all of that. There was, however, a 40% month-over-month revenue drop in the game company I was running at the time.

It Gets Better - even for the bottom line. Over time, things normalized.

I very sincerely hope that Gamespot is not attacked for having a trans person publicly on their staff.
posted by andreaazure at 12:25 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


So on the one hand, yeah, public server gaming experiences are an easy place to encounter homophobic or racist chatter (and generally obnoxious behavior in general), and it's a pretty pervasive problem. On the other hand, it's really not a "gamers are like this" thing so much as "there are a lot of idiots who happen to play video games".

I can go to a movie theater full of random people without being called a faggot or a nigger most of the time. Not the case for xbox live.

There is a real problem in the gaming community, imo, and it needs to be addressed by microsoft, sony and valve, eventually.
posted by empath at 12:33 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


(valve is talking charging jerks more to play, but I don't know how they're going to figure that out)
posted by empath at 12:34 PM on May 17, 2011


kmz - "After being really stupid about it for the first two games, Casey Hudson has said there'll finally be same-sex romances in Mass Effect 3."

Huh? You know that in the first Mass Effect you could have a relationship with Liara with either a male or a female character? I played ME as a female soldier who had a relationship with Liara (Kaidan was too... whiny. something. ew.), and thought that the whole thing was handled pretty well.
posted by Zack_Replica at 12:53 PM on May 17, 2011


I recall hearing about there being some rather strained handwaving, from Bioware, about how no no no it's not a lesbian thing since Liara wasn't really female so much as a superficially gynomorphic but functionally asexual alien hominid. Which as a storytelling choice, sure, play with the idea of sexual identity as a product of superficial features and acculturation and yadda yadda yadda, but as response to questions about the exegetic sexual politics of the game designers comes off as kind of mealymouthed.

But someone who actually followed that bit at the time can probably explain it better.
posted by cortex at 1:02 PM on May 17, 2011


You know that in the first Mass Effect you could have a relationship with Liara with either a male or a female character? I played ME as a female soldier who had a relationship with Liara

That's the whole "I support gay marriage as long as both chicks are hot." thing.
posted by empath at 1:09 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


However, I am sure there is going to be a huge backlash once players realize it's not as action oriented as trailers and Rockstar's history would suggest.

I think I'll be getting L.A. Noire now. I hope it's as good as Red Dead!

I'm heartened by the fact that a lot of the reviews I'm reading are using similar terminology to the Redemption reviews when it first came out: "groundbreaking",.. "unbridled genius"... "brilliant"... "engrossing"...


Not to be too tangential, but this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine: the game is being published by Rockstar, not developed by them. The people who made GTA and Red Dead Redemption did not make this game. Team Bondi, who made the very lackluster The Getaway games on the PS2 made this. It may be a perfectly good game on its own merits, but a lot of people are being thrown by its intentionally confusing marketing.

I can go to a movie theater full of random people without being called a faggot or a nigger most of the time. Not the case for xbox live.

There is a real problem in the gaming community, imo, and it needs to be addressed by microsoft, sony and valve, eventually.


For the life of me, I can't figure out how you're posting to Metafilter while somehow managing to have never actually been on the internet.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:20 PM on May 17, 2011


Has anybody played it? I watched the first 15 minutes on youtube, and it seemed very adventure-game-y, in the sense of 'collect everything in location, use everything on everything' else sense. It also looks really on rails.
posted by empath at 1:22 PM on May 17, 2011


Well, it is Rockstar...
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on May 17, 2011


For the life of me, I can't figure out how you're posting to Metafilter while somehow managing to have never actually been on the internet.

Where do you hang out on the internet, 4chan? See, I can avoid 4chan and still enjoy the internet. I can't play a random game of Halo without having an extremely high tolerance for douchebaggery, though.
posted by empath at 1:25 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's the whole "I support gay marriage as long as both chicks are hot." thing.

What is? The relationship between a female Shepard and Liara as portrayed in ME, or my comment on it? If it's the latter, you're wrong. If it's the former, well, I'm just glad that they've gotten to the point that a non-judgmental relationship can be portrayed in a game. Should I hate the characters because they may be attractive? I don't, because I have other things to think of, as there are some really pretty women out there who like women, just like the game.
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:27 PM on May 17, 2011


This has been years in the making. I worked on a 2006-7 series about the history of games for Discovery and Rockstar was working on it then. I wonder if I have the trailer they sent out back then.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:32 PM on May 17, 2011


I've played a few hours, and I'm enjoying it so far. Then again, I've been following it for years, so I know not to expect nonstop action as the marketing implies. I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be pissed off, but hopefully enough people "get it" so it doesn't go down in history as a disappointment.

I highly recommend trying the black and white graphics option though. The colours are nice, but black and white really amps up the classic noir feel.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:36 PM on May 17, 2011


Has anybody played it?

Playing it right now (taking a break to read email). I am only a few missions in but so far it is how you described. Scour the alleyway or sidewalk for clues, use the clues to prove the suspect or witness is lying. There have been a couple chases and a shootout so they are mixing it up pretty well.

Trying not to run over any pedestrians or crash into anything, and getting stuck in traffic is pretty nerve wracking. And I really miss the route on the mini-map like in GTA4 or Saints Row, I keep trying to take shortcuts and driving on to railroad tracks or culverts and getting stuck in dead ends.

I just switched over to black & white to check it out. I really wish there were environment options to make it rain all the time, or even better yet make it night all the time
posted by Ad hominem at 1:37 PM on May 17, 2011


What is? The relationship between a female Shepard and Liara as portrayed in ME, or my comment on it?

The fact that it didn't guy ranting on the message board about the gay relationship in Dragon Age wasn't bothered by it.
posted by empath at 1:46 PM on May 17, 2011


Trying not to run over any pedestrians or crash into anything, and getting stuck in traffic is pretty nerve wracking.

What happens when you run over pedestrians?
posted by empath at 1:46 PM on May 17, 2011


What happens when you run over pedestrians?

From what I understand it negatively affects your case rating. I haven't killed any yet, they do a pretty good job of jumping out of the way, but it is only a matter of time.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:51 PM on May 17, 2011


Where do you hang out on the internet, 4chan? See, I can avoid 4chan and still enjoy the internet. I can't play a random game of Halo without having an extremely high tolerance for douchebaggery, though.

And I can avoid Halo (or Call of Duty or any other mega-popular FPS where thirteen- to seventeen-year olds tend to congregate) and still enjoy Live/PSN/Steam. I've had plenty of friendly Uno/Tekken 6/Civ etc. games where I wasn't called names. It sucks to play with a mob by assholes, I agree, but that still doesn't make it representative of gamer culture any more than 4chan is a good sampling of what Metafilter is like.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:08 PM on May 17, 2011


La Noire? So it's a French game?
posted by Theta States at 2:10 PM on May 17, 2011


Huh? You know that in the first Mass Effect you could have a relationship with Liara with either a male or a female character? I played ME as a female soldier who had a relationship with Liara (Kaidan was too... whiny. something. ew.), and thought that the whole thing was handled pretty well.

You know how I said they were stupid about it for the first two games? Part of that stupidity is Casey Hudson claiming that Liara/Femshep doesn't count as same-sex because Asari aren't really female.

Yeah.
posted by kmz at 2:12 PM on May 17, 2011


I think it is important to note that this is hardly Carolyn Petit's first video review, a cursory search on the web shows she has done at least ten before this one, including appearances on other GameSpot shows. I believe she has also been a reviewer for GameSpot since 2008.
posted by tittergrrl at 2:18 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


But someone who actually followed that bit at the time can probably explain it better.

You pretty much have it. For those who don't follow Mass Effect, the asari are a monogender race which reproduces by taking other races as mates and incorporating their genetic makeup into the asari gene pool. All asari children are asari. There's kind of an interesting bit where children asari/asari pairings are seen as second-class citizens, purebloods, because their parents and consequently them have added nothing to the overall makeup.

So, ok, asari mate with everyone, they are monogender and bisexual but appear as female to all races, and in fact appear as variations on a race's feminine ideal to each race. So why? Why do they identify as female and use female-gender words to describe themelves? (matron, matriarch, etc)? If they can appear to each race as a physically-ideal version of that race, why can they not appear as male? Why, in other words, are male-attracted individuals excluded from the asari seduction that's necessary for the species to reproduce? Why have the asari evolved to exclude this group, and only this group in the entire universe?

There is, sadly, not a great answer here. One is left with the overriding notion that Bioware wanted to include something resembling homosexuality in their romance options but didn't want actual homosexuality, so they settled for a girls-gone-wild variant with not-so-plausible deniability (as kmz says, they're not really male or female, so it's not gay, see?). Hopefully they'll do better in ME3, and in their future games also.
posted by Errant at 2:20 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it is important to note that this is hardly Carolyn Petit's first video review, a cursory search on the web shows she has done at least ten before this one, including appearances on other GameSpot shows. I believe she has also been a reviewer for GameSpot since 2008.

Her first official review as an employee of GameSpot was in October of 2010, according to the post I linked to in the FPP. I had thought L. A. Noire was her first review where she was on-screen--though she has indeed appeared in various of GameSpot's other media--but I might be wrong. Nevertheless L. A. Noire is quite high-profile, and shows GameSpot's faith in Carolyn Petit as a video game critic and journalist, both on-screen and off.
posted by PapaLobo at 3:42 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can go to a movie theater full of random people without being called a faggot or a nigger most of the time. Not the case for xbox live.

Apples and oranges. You don't go to a movie theater to interact with other people. You are a passive observer of the entertainment on screen. You see, when you log onto a multiplayer server on Xbox Live, you're an active participant. There's a large chatroom aspect there that you can't compare to being in a room with people staring at a screen. It's also not comparable to being at a party, for instance, because you're not chatting with everyone simultaneously. People don't converse that way.

No, online gaming is its own thing, and while many hang out exclusively with their own friends or guildmates, there are some who lack social awareness and manners and will indeed act like jerks to each other. But as cortex said, you don't always meet the reasonable ones because they've often sectioned themselves off.

It's just irresponsible to, to be extremely cliche, throw the baby out with the bathwater. In this case to lump "gamers", especially online gamers into some sort of terrible monolith.
posted by cmgonzalez at 4:12 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I pre-ordered it, mostly because I was wearing a fedora and had some extra trade in credits. Not sure if I'll enjoy the adventure gaming bits, but I loved Red Dead Redemption.

If I don't like it the developers are headquartered about 15 minutes from my house, so I can give them a piece of my mind.

Rockstar invited a group of 1947 LA bloggers to play the game and talk about its accuracy.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:43 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm playing it now, and I have some of the same niggling reservations about the game that Carolyn mentions -- it is frustrating to not be able to disable suspects in gunfights, sometimes the street crimes that pop up while you're en route are at the opposite end of the map from your story destination, and flubbing a case only to be praised to high heaven moments later is jarring. But: this game will, I think, change gamers' expectations of what level of nuance and expressiveness is possible in virtual actors. The interrogation system just flat-out WORKS, and it's a marvel to play. Knowing a guy is lying but not being able to back it up with hard evidence is incredibly frustrating, in a good way. Picking over crime scenes for clues, even with the controller rumble hints and musical cues, is satisfying and appropriately ambiguous, especially when you find an unexpected clue that you can trot out later to incriminate a lying suspect. I've yet to play through a case perfectly (meaning finding every clue and correctly branching every interrogation).

LA Noire (I wonder about the 'e' -- is it because LA is a Lady? Whatever.) is at heart an updated point-and-click adventure game. That's a good thing. The shooting and car chases have been pushed to the periphery of gameplay, and the heart of the game is the slow, deliberative process of investigating, interrogating, and building a case. That's a pretty bold move. It's not an endless string of cutscenes masquerading as a game, though -- there are regular cutscenes, sure, but none of the put-down-the-controller -and-go-make-a-sandwich 5-minute-long abuse you find in a Metal Gear or Final Fantasy game. LA Noire keep you engaged, keeps you guessing, keeps you thinking. I'm far enough into now that I'm beginning to see plot threads winding together, and decisions from previous cases are starting to haunt me. It's an exhilarating feeling to have about a video game.

It's also nice to play a game that treats you as an adult. This game deals with death, and sex, and deceit, and desperation, and it's never played for cheap laughs. Violence is ugly and brutal. Suspects lie to save their skin and they lie for stupid, sad reasons -- just like real people. There are moments of shocking racism and misogyny but that was as much a part of the fabric of late-40s LA as gleaming chrome and felt fedoras.

This game will be praised, I suspect, for the tech it uses to leap the Uncanny Valley and present genuinely realistic, readable, facial expressions. And that is really amazing stuff. But that tech is in service of a story. A good story. A story you feel invested in, a story that doesn't assume the worst about the people on the other end of the controller. That, to me is the achievement.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:44 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not to be too tangential, but this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine: the game is being published by Rockstar, not developed by them. The people who made GTA and Red Dead Redemption did not make this game. Team Bondi, who made the very lackluster The Getaway games on the PS2 made this. It may be a perfectly good game on its own merits, but a lot of people are being thrown by its intentionally confusing marketing.

My logic is that if Rockstar has faith in Team Bondi than I can put aside my prejudice and believe in that faith, if that makes sense. Which it probably doesn't.

I did idly wonder if this was a sequel to Discworld Noir.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:56 PM on May 17, 2011


Agreed, I'm really liking the interrogation system. There are a couple things bothering me though, the street crime missions have been popping up all the damn time. I like the street crime missions, they give me a reason to turn on the siren and drive like a maniac, but the missions themselves are so easy, either chase the guy on foot, or shoot it out. The shootouts are bordering on absurd, wait for the enemy to pop out of cover and blast them, the enemy AI is so brainless there is no sense of danger. Sure gunplay is not the focus of the game, but why half-ass it? I also managed to get my partner stuck and had to quit the game to get him unstuck, that is kind of unsettling in a game with no saves. The dun dun "omg this is some dark shit" music seems stuck on an endless loop as I drive, it is driving me insane.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:21 PM on May 17, 2011


Okay I just finished Disc 1, so I feel as if I can give a better review than a first impressions.

As the complexity of the game increases, the interrogation and clue gathering features get a lot more interesting. You might nit pick that at the end, you're just sort of guessing and doing a point-and-click, but that's like saying in a FPS you're just firing and running around randomly. The clues really mean something, and while it isn't Agatha Christie level whodunnit, it is pretty damn cool. It is not so much about who is guilty (though mystery is very much there), it is about gathering evidence and trying to pin it on people.

Once I figured this out, the Truth/Doubt/Lie triage became a lot more compelling. As pointed out above, Lie is only when you have evidence, doubt is when they're in a lie but there is no evidence and truth is when they're not telling a lie. If you find the clues and do the right detective work, it usually is pretty obvious. If you're relying solely on whether the character "looks shifty" then you probably missed a clue.

Again, I didn't get the grandiose novel impression I got from Red Dead Redemption. This is probably because there's not a real central plot. There is but I'm 1/3rd through the game and it is definitely taking a back seat. In fact, I couldn't even sum up the central plot other than there's a bad guy, probably from the character's past, and he's still doing bad things (also, I'm pretty sure he was one of the leader Vampires from the last season of True Blood, the gay one?).

But if I had to sum up the game so far, it is like playing Law & Order with Det. Ken Cosgrove, and playing Law & Order with Det. Ken Cosgrove is fucking fun as shit. Here's the deal, the game is played through a series of episodes. You see a crime take place in a real film noir, everything is obscured fashion. Then you investigate the crime scene, interrogate the witnesses and flesh out who did it. Usually there's a chase or fighting scene, but that's just to break things up. There always seems to be a bit of a twist or at least a back story, much like Law & Order. Each short story seems to be getting more and more complex. At first I could just wing it, but I'm finding myself having to go to my in-game notes to figure out who said what, who has an alibi, who I'm catching in a lie, etc. When you interrogate more and more people, it becomes harder to keep this all together.

So if you have your doubts, and you're finding it all much too simplistic, stay until the "hit and run" episode. This is the first one that really struck me.

PS, to those who talked about Rockstar not having strong female leads: this isn't any better. It is film noir, and I one of the traits of the genre is a femme fatale who leads men to do bad things. This is a reoccurring theme. There's also jokes about hitting wives, and other Mad Men-esque bits, but Det. Ken Cosgrove always provides the voice of reason.

I should mention, as great as Red Dead was, there were times I felt it was a slog. This has a ton of features that keep me from feeling that. As I mentioned before, you can let your partner drive, you don't have to do any sort of grinding, there's no money or other "open world" stuff besides the optional crime-in-progress stuff. I really hope this revives the adventure genre, I still have the last Gabriel Knight game in my drawer. Adventure is very hard to do without going into Sam & Max territory.
posted by geoff. at 7:21 PM on May 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have never bought a game for my PS3 (I used it for media) but I just bought this one in an attempt to unwind from time to time. I'm partially optimistic. I will have to get to know what all the buttons on the controller do though.

Instantly recognized Aaron Staton from Mad Men and had no idea he was in the game.
posted by juiceCake at 8:14 PM on May 17, 2011


It's just irresponsible to, to be extremely cliche, throw the baby out with the bathwater. In this case to lump "gamers", especially online gamers into some sort of terrible monolith.

Eh. I think it's irresponsible to act as if this stuff ISN'T a problem. Try reading the comments to the review- already lots of transhate floating around. And it's a bullshit dodge to say that it's just Halo or FPS games- try playing anything online that involves not a closed garden of your chosen friends.

Acting as if it isn't a problem doesn't make it go away. But it sure as hell makes things unpleasant for a lot of us (women: 51% of the human population, homosexuals: 10% of the population, add in transfolk, add in people of color, and you get the idea).

It'd be easy for me to say it was only a few shitheads if slurs and hate were shouted down or actively patrolled by the general gamer population... but usually the best response is people simply letting it slide. That said, non-action is basically siding with the shitheads, and fostering a hateful environment.

It takes one asshole to say something hateful. It takes whole communities to stand by silently to make it a regular feature.
posted by yeloson at 11:53 PM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


LA Noire (I wonder about the 'e' -- is it because LA is a Lady? Whatever.)

It's because of Google searches, I would imagine. LA Noir is hardly free of noise as far as the marketing department is concerned.
posted by jaduncan at 5:08 AM on May 18, 2011


You pretty much have it. For those who don't follow Mass Effect, the asari are a monogender race which reproduces by taking other races as mates and incorporating their genetic makeup into the asari gene pool. All asari children are asari. There's kind of an interesting bit where children asari/asari pairings are seen as second-class citizens, purebloods, because their parents and consequently them have added nothing to the overall makeup.

My hope (unlikely to be fulfilled) is that at the end of ME3 the Asari are revealed to be using psionic (sorry, "biotic") mind control to hide the fact that they are actually a race of 180cm sky-blue vampire squid. Unless the codex already says this but I haven't read it because the font is too goddamn small.

On L.A. Noire, it sounds slightly interesting but as police procedural games go I'll stick with Deadly Premonition.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:45 AM on May 18, 2011


It takes one asshole to say something hateful. It takes whole communities to stand by silently to make it a regular feature.

But it's more complicated than that, because unlike e.g. a conversation in a bar or on the sidewalk where the players all have some fairly direct physical presence in the situation, gaming chatter as it happens in-game (whether audio or text) is a no-consequences broadcast medium.

We wouldn't have conversations in bars where everyone in the bar had to be blindfolded and bolted to their chair and everyone had a megaphone, but that's functionally what gaming chatter is.

How do you shut someone up in an unconstrained broadcast medium? They don't have to shut up if they don't want to; if they're saying vile shit they're almost certainly not doing so by accident; shouting at them doesn't discourage them, and on the off chance that they are bothered by your shouting they (and anybody else not interested in the exchange) can just mute you as well.

There are not any good, ubiquitous tools for short-term, in-game, ground-up social rectification of this shit, is the frustrating thing from a socially conscious gamer's perspective. Mute and avoid are about it. If the architecture of communication and player reputation and sanctioning were different in general, it might be more doable. And some centralized services do this better than others—a WoW server is a harder place to get away with being a slur-hurling dickweed than is a random Counter-Strike server.

But at the moment there's still not an overwhelming emphasis in the basic design of these social spaces, and the larger the space and the more automatically a random player gets enrolled in a public game, the harder it's going to be for the folks controlling that space to find a way to overhaul the idea of what behavior is allowable and what is grounds for sanction without significantly disrupting their actual short-term priority, which is butts in seats playing.

Which is madding from a player's perspective because where a company might see "losing 10% of player base to new policies" as very bad in the short term, we'd see "getting rid of the 10% of players who ever deign to say stupid horrible racists/mysogynist/homophobic/etc shit" as a fucking wonderland transformation into an adult gaming space. Setting aside entirely the question of how many more adults would be happier to come become regular players if the problem went away, natch. But these are two very different priorities, and the people most directly affected and annoyed by the stupid shit some minority of assholes get up to are not the ones in charge of the millions of dollars involved.

There's no effective way, barring a fundamental and widespread spontaneous boycotting of their entire hobby by a truly gigantic mass of gamers, for the community to stop this. But plenty of us have expressed concern about, and done our best to refused to encourage the shitty behavior, and done some degree of talking with our wallets by taking our money to game experiences and social gaming spaces that are doing a better job of discouraging the shit.

The folks who actually design and control the open social spaces are the only ones who can actually take direct control of the problem. And I'd love to see it happen, and I'm not totally unhopeful that we'll at least see progress on that as the years go by. But I'm not holding my breath for Sony or Microsoft or whomever to drop an aggressive social manifesto on their player bases; there's way too much money at stake to hope for that kind of reckless, wonderful idealism in action.

So in the mean time, players who care will continue to do what they can to have the game experiences they love without the horrible gobshite intrusions they hate: they'll mute and /ignore and where available flag as abusive that behavior on public or semi-public servers that ruins the game for them, and they'll seek out private gaming experiences (whether local/boutique gaming communities like Mefightclub, or invite-only coop/multiplayer experiences with a friends list) so that they can know that their priorities are the priorities of the other participants.

No gamer with a lick of social awareness is happy that there are loudmouth assholes ruining game experiences for everyone else. We're not complacent about it because we see it as acceptable; we just have not been given the tools to take a more effective approach to it than curating our own personal experiences to cut out the crap at a local level. The specific places where you see the bulk of the shitty slur-flinging and such are those social gaming spaces that are least capable of being communities.
posted by cortex at 7:27 AM on May 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eh. I think it's irresponsible to act as if this stuff ISN'T a problem. Try reading the comments to the review- already lots of transhate floating around. And it's a bullshit dodge to say that it's just Halo or FPS games- try playing anything online that involves not a closed garden of your chosen friends.

I feel like your comment makes a lot of assumptions.

I've never said that this stuff isn't a problem. In fact, I've discussed it a lot. I'm a Hispanic woman who has been a gamer her whole life, and has a lot of online gaming experience.

I work in a job that exposes me to a lot of this kind of stuff on a daily basis. I am quite intimately familiar with all of these things, including personal experiences of harassment and discrimination.

I was specifically stating that lumping us gamers all together as some kind of terrible monolith is a huge error, and it doesn't help solve the problem at large of some people being intolerant jerks shielded by anonymity.


I also commented on the comments on the Gamespot review above.

However, cortex has already pretty much summed things up quite eloquently. The problem isn't simple.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:42 AM on May 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


dances_with_sneetches wrote: "LM Harnisch who is a perfectionist when it comes to L.A. history, was pretty upset about its inaccuracies."

Actually, the critical 1947project game preview isn't by Larry Harnisch (who consulted on the game), but by cranky architectural historian Nathan Marsak, my original 1947project collaborator. (Who, by the way, will be talking about L.A. Noire's architectural representation of 1947-era downtown L.A. on May 29 after LAVA's monthly Sunday Salon at Clifton's Cafeteria. It's free!)
posted by Scram at 11:25 AM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


SO if this is an accurate open world representation of LA post war, then both Phillipes and Langers should exist. The very first thing I'm doing after buying the game is going for virtual pastrami. And then beef dip. So you all can solve all the grizzly murders you like, I'm basically using this as a sandwich eating simulator.

I think the sequence starting from about 7:20 starts in Langers and then exits to Echo Park, but my history-fu is not good enough.
posted by kagredon at 12:12 AM on May 19, 2011


Er, in the Gamespot video, that is.
posted by kagredon at 12:13 AM on May 19, 2011


Finished the game.

Wow.

Wish I could talk about it without spoiling it.

Wow.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:50 AM on May 19, 2011


Yep, came here to say the same thing, I am about halfway done after another 10 or so hour session, totally blown away so far.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:56 AM on May 19, 2011


As someone who can't really justify buying a PS3 right now (certainly not when I own an 8-core behemoth): They had BETTER release a PC version.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:17 PM on May 19, 2011


I'll just wait for someone to post a longplay video on youtube...
posted by Theta States at 12:32 PM on May 19, 2011


I just got through the first Desk. I'm not doing too well with the interrogation or investigation. Or the driving, come to think of it. But I still couldn't stop playing. Not sure if I'll stick with it, though. I don't have much patience for adventure games.

Wish the hero wasn't so straight-laced.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:56 PM on May 19, 2011


Loving it, but awful at the driving. I've given up on driving myself and just make my partner drive everywhere. The one time I've had to chase someone by car, I narrowly missed running over a whole mess of pedestrians and did a ton of property damage to boot.
posted by juv3nal at 5:22 PM on May 19, 2011


Loving it, but awful at the driving. I've given up on driving myself and just make my partner drive everywhere. The one time I've had to chase someone by car, I narrowly missed running over a whole mess of pedestrians and did a ton of property damage to boot.

Same. 10 years on and it still feels like driving in GTA 1 when I was a kid, where the point is that you'll go out of control and cause havoc.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:33 PM on May 19, 2011


Started digging in today, and I find that it's not that I'm actually any worse at the driving than I was in GTA so much as that it actually kind of matters at all in this context. I've managed not to kill anyone but it's hard for me not to rack up some vehicle and property damage in the course of a mission.

On the other hand, I'm loving the cars themselves, partly for being less zippy and partly just for the nice exploration of period styling instead of the modern gamut of the GTA games. The hidden vehicles are neat, too; the Scarab van is just a ridiculous and lovely piece of weirdness.

I am also not a great interrogator. But I was also pretty terrible at Phoenix Wright, so no big surprise there.
posted by cortex at 6:19 PM on May 19, 2011


here's another long interview in the local press
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:09 PM on May 19, 2011


I pretty much just stick with the cop cars and drive around with the siren on all the time. It makes not hitting people a lot easier, at least until I have to turn.
posted by Errant at 10:26 AM on May 20, 2011


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