Skip

Hush Little Journo, Don't Say a Word
April 25, 2013 3:39 PM   Subscribe

In an ongoing effort to call out the PR tactic of silence which started with a focus on SimCity, Rock Paper Shotgun points out that after the public outcry, controversy, and an apology from Deep Silver which concluded "we want to reiterate ... how deeply sorry we are, and that we are committed to making sure this will never happen again", the special edition of Dead Island: Riptide which includes a statue of a woman's severed torso silently went on sale anyway.

Previouslies: Dead Island, SimCity 1 and 2
posted by gilrain (38 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
i was absolutely serious about being willing to pay for a zombie bust of myself

make it happen EA
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:53 PM on April 25, 2013


RPS is so good. I can't get over how good it is.
posted by dismas at 3:59 PM on April 25, 2013 [19 favorites]


I fucking love RPS.

This recent editorial line makes no fucking bones about their stance. They are awesome and I support them 100%. The fact that the content itself is quality is of course good, but this other ability to go beyond mere gaming journalism into social issues that confront us as gamers and our own social systems that are in place are really what make me respect them.
posted by symbioid at 3:59 PM on April 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


This is pretty funny considering that they just reviewed the Riptide expansion, gave it a comparatively tame review without mentioning the controversey and extolled the virtues of the former game despite its horrible representations of gender and race (1, 2, 3).

They're pretentious not because they cover good causes but because they continue to publicize games that they find fundamental ideological faults with while segregating the 'pretentious' criticisms from the 'fun' criticism. It's as if they were saying that the unsaid themes found in the game are separate to the mechanics and the fun and it is completely okay, reader, for you to not worry about questioning the values because it's not art, it has no place within society at large, it's just a game.
posted by dubusadus at 4:02 PM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not silence. Deep silver said

We are committed to making sure this will never happen again


Speaking of ' committed', I was committed to this joke before I saw somebody making it as a serious comment to begin the RPS thread.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:04 PM on April 25, 2013


If you can’t see how it’s a problem that needs discussing, then you simply don’t give a shit. I’m asking people to start giving a shit.
posted by absalom at 4:06 PM on April 25, 2013


This is pretty funny considering that they just reviewed the Riptide expansion, gave it a comparatively tame review without mentioning the controversey and extolled the virtues of the former game despite its horrible representations of gender and race (1, 2, 3).

They address different issues in different articles. You may disagree with that approach, but it's hardly hypocritical.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:09 PM on April 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Didn't EA release a major patch to SimCity the same day as that article came out ? A few people have also pointed out that the patched version that allows you to play a city offline doesn't really mean that there are no calculations for trade between cities in a region being done on the server.

I know EA sucks and all, but it seems like the devs are working on SimCity.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:14 PM on April 25, 2013


Ad hom, the patch did not add an offline mode... not sure what you're talking about. It did add a ton of new bugs, though!
posted by gilrain at 4:19 PM on April 25, 2013


Ad hom, the patch did not add an offline mode... not sure what you're talking about

I'm talking about the hacked client floating around that people were saying proved offline mode is possible.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:22 PM on April 25, 2013


From the article

Two days later these claims were confirmed by a modder who had the game running indefinitely offline. It was clear that the message coming from Maxis simply wasn’t true.

That is what I'm talking about.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:25 PM on April 25, 2013


Tom Chick and his Quarter To Three blog followed up his original March 8 SimCity review (the first comment here after the main post's joke) with a April 23 report on the SimCity 2.0 patch : "The SimCity tragedy of errors continues"
posted by Bwithh at 4:25 PM on April 25, 2013


A few people have also pointed out that the patched version that allows you to play a city offline doesn't really mean that there are no calculations for trade between cities in a region being done on the server.


There are a few, but it's tiny, just a few numbers per city. A 386 could host multiple regions just fine, except for the save/load part... and judging from the number of complaints I've seen about saving and loading, maybe that's what they're using.

Another way of putting that: a region's networked computations appear to be no more than a tenth of a percent of a fast modern CPU. That's why EA didn't even put scrollbars into the server selector, because they thought just a very few machines would be able to host the entire player base.
posted by Malor at 4:25 PM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I give up. I'm all out of anger and exasperation. Sometimes all us fighting the good fight against stupid misogynistic shit doesn't seem to make a difference. Doesn't even seem to make an impression. Just... (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Why do some people not want me to buy their games? Why? I HAVE MONEY. I LIKE ZOMBIES AND THINGS AND OTHER KINDS OF NON-ZOMBIE GAMES ARE COOL TOO. Why do they insist on marketing only to 50% of the population?! Because when I see shit like this I feel like I'm being told "We don't care about you. In fact we don't think you don't exist. Your actual ability to buy this product is irrelevant to our interests."

We also have a ban in our house for anything EA makes, and that fills me with happy. Screw them. Screw them all.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 4:29 PM on April 25, 2013 [17 favorites]


His thoughts were red thoughts: They address different issues in different articles. You may disagree with that approach, but it's hardly hypocritical.

I didn't say hypocritical because that would imply that they maintain a consistent message across the site. I said pretentious because they pretend to know better but it's becoming more and more apparent that this new group of writers are less the bleeding heart games-as-art crowd than they are the savvy blogger who've decided to keep these different issues in sterile environments in order to maximize web traffic. Want to come to us to read about social issues? Here's a tag! Hate that stuff? It's tagged so just ignore the ones that go on for more than 1000 words and have 'The Silence' in the title!

They're bowing to the demands of the same assholes that they're so confidently criticizing somewhere else. The divorce between issues instead of the comprehensive overview of themes and mechanics are modelled after the precise boundaries that continue to divide the gaming community.
posted by dubusadus at 4:29 PM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


make it happen EA

EA doesn't have anything to do with Dead Island.
posted by kmz at 4:30 PM on April 25, 2013


There are a few, but it's tiny, just a few numbers per city. A 386 could host multiple regions just fine, except for the save/load part... and judging from the number of complaints I've seen about saving and loading, maybe that's what they're using.

I have no love for EA but I really feel bad for the devs. I been through my share of release clusterfucks and Nobody wants to put out shitty software. I really hope they get this all sorted out an remain sane at the same time.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:33 PM on April 25, 2013


Kudos to RPS for pointing this out - the Silent Treatment works best when one party has little to no leverage, and this is absolutely the dynamic between studios and gamers.

In addition, the fact that this is some Special Edition of Dead Island tells me that this is aimed at hardcore fans of the franchise, further decreasing the amount of leverage that non-hardcore fans have. Only a small percentage are going to buy this anyway, and they're going to buy it whether there is a severed torso included or not.
posted by antonymous at 4:33 PM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


The sadly funny part is all the people in the comments who are SO FED UP with being subjected to articles EVERYWHERE in the gaming press about how we're fed up with being subjected to sexism everywhere in the gaming industry.

Does no one care about how passionately they don't care about sexism?
posted by straight at 4:53 PM on April 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Rock Paper Shotgun deserves all the money that has ever been diverted to Kotaku, Joystiq, IGN, Gamespy, and pretty much any mainstream gaming web conglomerate of the last decade. And then some.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:16 PM on April 25, 2013


The even sadder part, which is not really funny at all, is that, even if they're complaining now, everyone is going to be beating down the doors of the gaming companies for their next fix.

As a group, we are very much like Charlie Brown and the football.
posted by Malor at 5:17 PM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


In that editorial, the author I think invents the adjective "lecheroineineus".

Which is odd.
posted by cromagnon at 6:05 PM on April 25, 2013


So, what I'm hearing is: Gamers have short attention spans. Game publishers have learned to shut up until our attention wanders. Therefore, the only way will will get meaningful change is if someone manages to open a portal to D&D land, bring a bunch of Girdles of Masculinity/Femininity and then forcefully straps them onto the heads of a bunch of publishers and devs.
posted by Canageek at 6:05 PM on April 25, 2013


I don't think I get your criticism, dubusadus. They are a gaming site who write about games. They also take a strong stance on various issues and write plenty of articles about them, and nor are they shy about letting their opinions seep into non-directly-related articles as well. They have long-maintained their unique and independent voice. The Riptide review is hardly complimentary, and besides, why not give an honest opinion of how they feel about the game itself given they've already written at length about the marketing aspect?

Anyway, maybe this article by John Walker will make their position clearer.
posted by Drexen at 6:10 PM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Because there are far better blogs written by people who practice what they preach like The Border House and Errant Signal, among others. RPS was a gaming site that was devoted to evolving gaming journalism past the Gamepro "but is it fun" totality but it's increasingly returned to short-form work like the Riptide review that relies more on the RPS brand than advancing the criticism of games to the same level as that of other art. At least when Kieron was still writing for them, they regularly combined social critique with their gaming critique and they didn't make a point of bragging about their activism in one article while encouraging people to purchase the games they were courageously criticizing in the other.
posted by dubusadus at 7:01 PM on April 25, 2013




"No comment" is a common tactic, but it always leaves the reader free to draw the worst conclusion available to them. Whenever I see "we contacted Assholes Inc, but they had no comment" in the press, I tend to assume that it was because whatever they are accused of was true, and they had no reasonable justification for it.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:57 PM on April 25, 2013


EA may suck, but this Sim City game is pretty fun. I haven't really noticed the litany of problems everyone else seems to have had, but I've only put maybe 20 hours into it, so maybe they crop up later? I had maybe one 'stuck loading' screen that I fixed by killing and restarting the game.

I think the "don't comment and the story dies" approach they have been using is probably a rational thing to do, if a bit shitty. It's not like I expect corporations to behave morally, so I can't muster more than a shrug on that front. I do laugh at their attempts to sell DLCs though.
posted by axiom at 9:20 PM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


They're pretentious not because they cover good causes but because they continue to publicize games that they find fundamental ideological faults with while segregating the 'pretentious' criticisms from the 'fun' criticism. It's as if they were saying that the unsaid themes found in the game are separate to the mechanics and the fun and it is completely okay, reader, for you to not worry about questioning the values because it's not art, it has no place within society at large, it's just a game.

They are two different writers who have different priorities. John Walker wrote a review of Far Cry 3 that went into the problematic aspects of it. Jim Rossignol mostly focused on the game part of it. The great thing about RPS is that they allow a lot of space for their writers to express their own personalities.
posted by empath at 9:45 PM on April 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


EA Makes Worst Company In America History, Wins Title For Second Year In A Row!

EA's response.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:09 PM on April 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why do they insist on marketing only to 50% of the population?!

Oh, it's worse than that. Even 50% would be a huge step up.

The even sadder part, which is not really funny at all, is that, even if they're complaining now, everyone is going to be beating down the doors of the gaming companies for their next fix.

I don't think Dead Island: Riptide is doing all that well. Certainly their doors aren't being beaten down.
posted by ODiV at 10:45 PM on April 25, 2013


EA's response.

Consumerist's response to EA's response.
posted by homunculus at 10:51 PM on April 25, 2013


ea's fake response.
posted by empath at 11:03 PM on April 25, 2013


EA doesn't have anything to do with Dead Island.
EA is the only one with enough money to actually do it
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:41 PM on April 25, 2013


This, of course, alludes to you: "i was absolutely serious about being willing to pay for a zombie bust of myself... make it happen EA"

kmz: "EA doesn't have anything to do with Dead Island."

Sure, yeah. But TOCATY was just being realistic. When it comes to cutting users off from their brains and turning them into zombies, EA has pretty much got the market cornered.
posted by koeselitz at 11:52 PM on April 25, 2013


all I want is a kickstarter to buy bioware from EA and let them run themselves again
posted by NoraReed at 7:34 AM on April 26, 2013




I'm not a fan of RPS's writing style, but I clapped when I read that 'We shall fight against sexism on the beaches' op-ed, I clapped. When companies advertise with cut-off female torsos or double-sided torsos, they are advertising against themselves. I was idly interested in DI, but my custom is unwanted.
posted by ersatz at 3:28 PM on April 26, 2013


« Older You said we were going to try new food! An...   |   I love [my mom] so much it... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post