Someone apparently found a strange horror "game" that was uploaded to a remote corner of the deep web, accessible only via anonymizing tools like Tor. No one seems to know what it is or who made it, and apparently the link hosting the file is now down. All we have to go by at the moment is part of a playthrough (note: potentially unsettling material): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Got 30 seconds of XBox One game footage and absolutely nothing negative to say about it? A tweet from Ron Smith, community director for Machinima UK, announced that if you posted videos for Machinima, you could be making $3 CPM ($3 per thousand video views) on those videos. Only one catch: the agreement specifically forbids you from saying "anything negative or disparaging about Machinima, Xbox One, or any of its Games"... in fact, you can't disclose the existence of the agreement. OK, maybe two catches: this may violate FTC rules on endorsements in advertising [PDF]. Smith's tweet was quickly taken down (and the Twitter handle taken by some vituperative anti-Machinima person), but the news spread to NeoGAF before being confirmed by ArsTechinica and by Kotaku. Want to know who nibbled at the bait? Check the Poptent activity panel for Nick Sheets, who according to LinkedIn is the "Manager, Affiliate Activations (Branded Entertainment)" for Machinima's L.A. office.
Video game character design is frequently questionable, but some designers don't like being questioned. Penny Arcade imagines equal opportunity questionability, while their reporter Ben Kuchera examines the broader issue.
Skip Cameron, a Mormon, writes for Kotaku on the respectful treatment of Mormons and Mormonism in Fallout: New Vegas.
Kotaku article about, well, a weekend at a furry convention. Of note because it features a short interview with MeFi's own egypturnash (near the end, under "Our Transhuman Future"), plus a pic of her awesome dragon tattoo.
Psychotherapist and Game Designer Nicolau Chaud talks to Kotaku about his RPG Polymorphous Perversity. He has chronicled his experiences creating the game on his blog He has given earlier interviews here and here. Chaud is also the designer behind the controversial Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer. (All links NSFW).
Tevis Thompson writes about Nintendo's video game series The Legend of Zelda. Specifically about how it's gone downhill since Ocarina of Time. (via Kotaku) [more inside]
Why Gawker Nick Denton is a genius - he can smell the page views!. The redesign he's championed (previously) is a convoluted nightmare which breaks the web and left blog posts unindexed Google. Page views are in the toilet. He may loose that bet. It doesn't matter, Nick Denton is a genius. Look, pictures of a naked man!
An anonymous hacking outfit called "Gnosis" has infiltrated Gawker Media, hijacking the front page and leaking the company's internal chat logs, source code, and content databases along with the usernames, email addresses, and passwords of over 1.3 million users (including Gawker staff). The attack, which was motivated by what the group describes as the "outright arrogance" with which the company's bloggers taunted anonymous imageboard 4chan (semi-previously), affects every site in the Gawker network, including Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Jezebel, Deadspin, Jalopnik, and io9. While most of the leaked passwords are encrypted, more than 200,000 of the simpler ones in the torrent file have been cracked, and the links between account names and email addresses are in plaintext for all to see. Since the integrity of Gawker's encryption methods remains in doubt, it is recommended that anyone who has ever registered an account on any Gawker property change their passwords immediately, especially if the same log-in information is used for other services.
The stereotype of people who play a lot of videogames is that they're mostly guys who can't get a good-looking woman to talk to them unless they're paid to do so. GameCrush is not assisting in the refutation of that stereotype. [more inside]