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Bioshock Infinite is this years Skyrim: Flawed in just about all design, but completely forgivable due to its overwhelming atmosphere.
Bioshock Infinite is exactly what Spec Ops: The Line wouldve been if its game elements wouldve worked. Instagram filters and chained shooting galleries of a bland shooter that relies mostly on a storyline with an immense twist.
Bioshock Infinite is like the Twilight series, minus the scruples: Its third act becomes as convoluted and incredible as Bella becoming impregnated by a vampire baby that wants to eat her from the womb.
Bioshock Infinite is what Proteus wouldve been if they had forced traditional gameplay elements in it: Simply being present in its universe is more consequential than any other, lesser element of the game.
Bioshock Infinite is Far Cry 3 with opposite priorities: A gorgeous shooter with unnecessary ultra-violence that is accepted because of the overall products excellence.
There are bound to be a few more succinct comparisons to be made in a snappy one-liner. If you have one, feel free to leave a comment!
I periodically will stumble across items that make me do a double take, meaning I check it and then I check it once more for good measure, because the thing I saw is hopefully not the thing I think I just saw. Sadly, sometimes it is. This is the case for a recent Kickstarter project where a seemingly supportive mother wants to help her daughter in a charming sibling rivalry against her older brothers. The mean duo of males has ridiculed the girl, stating that her gender is incapable of producing good games. Still, at just 9 years of age, the girl isnt fazed and with help from mommy dearest, Kickstarter can come to her rescue and send her to RPG Camp, whatever that is, if they can muster the $829.
Its a noble goal and one we all took to heart, because of the low funds, the charming story and the struggle against adversity that puts us all on the cheering squad for the underdog. That all seems fine; except for a few dodgy tactics of manipulation. However, some of the goals had me taken aback. Now, far be it for me to ask why a sub-$1000 project would need high stakes donations; crazier things have happened. Instead, a first thought occurred that some goals seemed rather unrealistic to a child, even as a goal. For instance, how can you deny or ask someone to alter their vision by creating specific, custom NPCs based on backers that have paid the amount? In a regular setting, sure, but this is a 9 year old were asking to play house exactly like we want to. How many times has that ended well in the chronicles of all house playing ever?
Yet, by far the one that took me for that double take was the final tier, the $10,000 powerhouse donation. First off, the amount itself is more than 10 times the funds needed for the project in its entirety. Its a bit much. Still, thats not the thing that made it seem odd. Again: Kickstarter can be strange sometimes. No, its the fact that one of those prizes states that her brothers will personally apologize to you, the backer, for something you have no involvement in. Rather than just being plain weird, its the fact that morality is paired with currency that sickened me. I use a strong term, but it has made a tangible knot in my insides when I read it for what it really was: The literal concept of evil washed away with cash, which is in itself a redundancy of any remorse. The act is solely done to spite and the regret is only achieved when enough funds are acquired.
This was a major turning point in the ancient world with the Church and its concept of indulgences. In fact, its how the Church got to be the powerful, currency-backed institution it is today and why several branches started detaching from the known concept. Anyone who had sinned could buy their way back into the gates of heaven. It was indeed so popular that the Church began breaking down indulgences in fraction, so that poorer people could repay their since in payment plans. It was so ingenious that fractions would never complete, as youd buy 1/8 of an indulgence, which would then break off in another, smaller fraction and so on. To end this brief history lesson, it was a major catalyst for historic figure Martin Luther to denounce the Church for its greed and notify it of its sober and humble roots. If you follow organized religion today, the new Pope, Francis, has uttered a similar desire.
What I dont mention in that history lesson is the revolutionary movements, bloodshed and atrocities that this mentality has brought forth. This is the mentality in that Kickstarter that upset me: the loss of all morality for financial gain, through any means necessary. While the Kickstarter has long since reached its initial mark, I can only hope that it gets shut down for this deplorable action and the many others inside, which will fill the internet shortly.
There are tons of amazing Kickstarter game projects you can back. Developer Craig Stern has come back with Telepath Tactics for the second time and succeeded, but this strategy title can still use your help. More importantly, the glorious open world game Planet Explorers is still seeking funds for its sandbox RPG. You can support it here.
Today, we collectively failed as a community once more. Even though not every one of us acted poorly, the fact that one side clearly pushed its rhetoric through has made this less of an open place and more of a restricted area: No fun allowed. To give this ongoing lament some context: Today, Deep Silver announced a risqué collector's edition called the Zombie Bait Edition, which prominently displayed a severed and dismembered torso with big breasts and small clothing. Is it tacky? Yes, probably. Is it a reason for a mass outcry? Hardly.
Normally, I'd make this into an official piece, thinking up of a point by point case, argument, solution, future thought and that sort of thing. However, that would require me to go on endlessly about a topic that is out of my hands in this industry already. Instead, the swift rebuttal here serves to prove that this is a personal standpoint, though it has the same basis as most of my op-ed pieces, when I'm not using my education to look outside of my values, which I personally believe are the only rules to live by. For those wondering: I live by The Golden Rule. In short, it's that well-known line that goes "treat others like you yourself would wish to be treated." On that aspect, we treated the Zombie Bait Edition news like we would like to be picked apart by vultures. It's a standpoint I can respect, but not one I can condone.
News outlets were quick to release statements how "offensive," "disgusting," "repulsive," "outrageous" and more of these strong words on how appalling the limited edition was thought to be. Mayhap; I'm not saying such a provocative item won't burn in anyones eyes. I, too, am offended when Halo thinks it's a good idea to provide their promotional features with Doritos chips and Mountain Dew, implying that we're all greasy pigs. However, would I call for a massive outcry for someone offering a bust? No, not really; I'm not mad at art history for doing the same.
This point can be argued until the cows are dead and we're serving their racks in a self-righteous buffet of hypocrisy, but it's where my mind immediately went to. I immediately associated it with a bust, because that's what it is: a bust, which is defined as "the human chest." That seems accurate to me. Dead Island also features dead women in skimpy, tropical outfits and has dismemberment elements. All these things are fitting and no one gave a crap about that when the original came out. No, more so, prior to that, Deep Silver released a clip containing the "magical negro" trope, which was linked to their character Sam B, but doesn't resemble him in the slightest. That is, unless you're a racist and think all black people look alike. More so, that clip is also filled with objectification, but that is fitting, why exactly? Is it that hip-hop makes it okay? Is it because black people use women as toys? No matter how you look at it, it's going to be bad when a clip shows over a dozen shots of body parts with no face, for no reason other than to show it. Again, here no one cared. It's an issue now that Deep Silver rubs it in our faces. We're not being very consistent in how are brainwashing works, but I'll leave that point open to debate.
This shot of headless torsos is completely justifiable because...???...profit.
No, other than your personal stand on whether or not it's offensive, it's how we reacted like infants to it that caught my eye. Even that would normally not faze me too much, since we all know how the gaming community can be. However, this time is different for one particular reason. This frothing of the mouth; the knee-jerk, quick wit with no further thought came from the very crowd that would pretend to be different: It is those that make the sensible, adult remarks on how we need to evolve, accept each other and so on. I don't know about you, but I've never been taught that acceptance needs to be shoved down my throat and if my opinion is wrong I need to be snuffed out. That sounds like the reverse of accepting anyone for their good or lesser ideas and ideals.
How does acceptance work in Riptide's case? It made a provocative piece, so it needed to be shut down. Well, all this media outrage worked, as Deep Silver issued an apology the same day at how appalled they were by their own behavior. It must've struck them by surprise and so it should, because they did nothing out of the ordinary. They marketed their product with cheap attention grabbing, as anyone else in any walk of life does. No, not in our gaming community; we're fighting for equality in here, so there's no room for this.
That last sentence doesn't work. You can't have your cake and eat it too, then sue the baker for making you fat. At some point, this mass hysteria needs to end. Whatever happened to disagreement? "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Isn't that how the enlightened philosophers thought about equality? There doesnt seem to be any defending in massively coming down on Deep Silver. There seems to be only offense. What people are doing by projecting negativity on this campaign is calling for exclusive behavior that will only allow certain things and disqualify others. This is being part of the very problem you're trying to fight. I'll even leave out the fact that publications were quick to publish the provocative item once more with the apology update, because showing a bloody bust is so disgusting that you should do it twice, right? It can't just be updated in the same appalled article, that picture must be drained for all its juicy contents. Again, consistency is lacking.
Perhaps just use your fingers.
However, the lowest of all points today was not even this sad state of affairs; it's that the dogs weren't appeased with the blood on Deep Silvers hands. Instead, it went after their personnel and showed the true nature of what it means to not know what you're angry about. Some of you may know Maurice Tan from his time with Destructoid. He's now an employee of Deep Silver and earlier today tweeted an off color joke about this ordeal. Seeing as I don't want to actively feed the flames of other people's misery, I wont link it and just state what it said; which goes as follows: "It is cut off, so who knows. S(he) might have a cock down there." The response to it was immediately and overwhelmingly negative. Ill post a screenshot here.
Did we notice a pattern here? It has the same irate state of knee-jerk reactions, immediately going for the jugular, in the name of equality. The community had choice words for Maurice, because this was deemed offensive and bigoted. Yet, nothing in the tweet can be pulled any which way on that topic. There is no divide that would suggest a fixed view. Still, the immediate assumption is negative and the reaction is downright hostile. It's bullying in pure form, skewed on the platform of freedom of speech. It's not offensive, but it might be, so lets presume it is. It's these same presumptions that the community should fight, not endorse. That was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. The whole day today I thought I'd elevate myself and not fume like I watched people fume about their delusions. I failed, we all failed. Today was a bad day for gaming. We're not welcome in our own world, so what do we do now?
That's my secret...
It's getting to be exhaustingly late, the day was endless and I still need to edit this post with pictures and such, so excuse the longevity and unfiltered approach of this write-up. Again, I'd like to state that this is my personal reactionary movement and thus doesn't come equipped with the necessary softening filters. It is still based on my belief and my idealism focused on inclusion rather than exclusion. Let me end this rant, the only way the internet knows how:
TL;DR: Judge not lest ye be judged. We didn't fight for equality today, we merely fought equality. Deep Silver shouldn't have had to apologize for endorsing freedom of choice and the fact it did has made our world smaller, not more open. We are all to blame.
My Recent Reviews
This was done on an early build of the game. Release copies should not have this issue. The hover was performed by clicking the middle mouse button.
GREED CORP Review
Please, just for one second.
May 15, 2013 11:09 pm GMTDaavpuke posted a new blog entry entitled All The Ways To Compare Bioshock Infinite
Apr 25, 2013 12:36 am GMTDaavpuke gave BioShock Infinite a score of 8.5
Mar 25, 2013 3:14 am GMTDaavpuke posted a new blog entry entitled Cash For Sins: The Church Indulgence Returns In A 9Yr-Olds Kickstarter