July 16th, 2017

Tomb Prospectors


The game Bloodborne (previously, previously, previously) has a feature known as the Chalice Dungeon (some spoilers in that link, and throughout). Chalice Dungeons are procedurally generated content that allows a player to explore unique challenges, pieced together from a large pool of possible room combinations (similar to a rogue-light). In Chalice Dungeons, intrepid hunters face new enemies, find new items, and experience new boss fights not seen in the main game. However, due to the fact that Bloodborne is a PS4 exclusive, hackers have yet to crack into the game to find whatever secrets might be held within unexplored chalices. A group of hunters, nicknamed Tomb Prospectors, have dedicated themselves to the exploration of this mysterious part of the game (link is directed to Reddit). Patricia Hernandez, writing at Kotaku, has a profile of the group with a little more info about their quest to uncover Bloodborne's last secrets.

"YouTube comments agree with me."


Game Critics by videogamedunkey [YouTube] "...because there's nothing game critics like talking about more than game critics and the work of game critics. I like a lot of Dunkey's work but I disagree with most of this video, which criticises (among other things) big sites like IGN and Gamespot for expressing different opinions on games depending on which staff member at the site is talking at any given moment. Leading to situations where one IGN person says "Sonic sucks" and another person says "Sonic is great" and so on. Obviously I think writers expressing their individual opinions is a good thing (and there's a reason why I always mention the author's name alongside the links in Sunday Papers). There's also a bunch of other stuff in there about game scores and whether you need to complete games before reviewing them and so on, all of which is the exact same argument people have been having for, oh, about 25 years now." [via: Rock Paper Shotgun]

• Why Dunkey (and Many Others) Get It so Wrong About Game Review [Crave]
"Dunkey's misguided criticisms only stand to highlight the divide between the perception of how games media should operate, and the reality of how it needs to operate in order to meet readers' expectations. Dunkey has become an increasingly prominent figure in online games criticism, with his videos veering from funny musings on the notoriously terrible MMO Roblox, through to insightful commentary on the likes of Hollow Knight and Yooka-Laylee. His channel has been gaining a lot of momentum in the past year or so, with his videos frequently being upvoted to the front page of Reddit and him standing out on YouTube amid a sea of Let's Players and less accomplished comedy/gaming personalities. His latest video argues that outlets such as IGN should have a greater consistency with their reviews, and that the importance of "building an understanding between the critic and the viewer" is undermined when a site has multiple writers with different opinions, some of whom are "consistently wrong." While Dunkey is just one lone (albeit popular) voice and his video would otherwise not be of that much importance, his opinions echo those of many readers, so I thought it was worth deconstructing his arguments and explaining why he's completely wrong."
• Game Criticism Had Problems Long Before Dunkey Made a Video About It [Waypoint/Vice]
"Otherwise, Dunkey's video covers familiar but still unsettled ground, if you've been paying attention game criticism for the last decade. The searing text in a review doesn't match the score, often falling between the 7-9 range; accepting advertisements from video game companies when you're pretending to be impartial is, at best, a bad look; critics tend to latch onto familiar (and shared) language as an expressive crutch; coverage of new games tends to produce the most traffic, resulting in a rush to write articles without enough time to really understand the experience you're talking about; the question of whether a reviewer needs to finish a game to have an opinion on it; how we determine the term "fun" in regards to quality. I've fallen victim to all of these. The video, whatever you think of the arguments, is scathing. Dunkey seemingly intended to provoke a reaction from the people he was criticizing, and based on the chatter I saw online, fallout that's continued for days, he got exactly the reaction he was looking for: a defensive one. "
• I Don't Follow Dunkey's Contradictory Arguments About Video Game Critics [Forbes]
"But IGN is serving a different, broader purpose than most YouTubers. IGN, as the largest video game site on the internet, is tasked with covering all the games they possibly can, from major to minor. It is simply impossible to do that without a veritable army of freelancers. IGN could not possibly keep up with its reviews with one or two people, and it's impossible for YouTubers as well, which is why you simply don't see any individual YouTubers cover as many games as a large site like IGN. But there is an audience for those who want timely coverage of every game on the market, so that's why sites like IGN exist and have for years. There is also an audience for YouTubers picking their favorites to cover and doing so on their own time table, but one does not need to negate the other. Past this, though, I disagree with the notion that you can't get to know the tastes and preferences of individual writers, freelancers or otherwise, like you can with YouTubers. If you just...find a reviewer you like and constantly follow their work, which in the age of social media is incredibly easy, you can attach yourself to different writers and learn just as much about them and their tastes as any YouTuber."
• The Unique Shame of the Video Game Critic [The Guardian]
"Defending video games as a worthwhile subject during the medium's emergent decades has been tough. The blockbusters are often flimsy carnivals of pyrotechnics studded with DOA dialogue. Perversely, they make great demands on the critic, who must frantically draw meaning and interest from what little is there. When an authentically interesting game comes along, the temptation for the honest critic is to overpraise and trip into advocacy of the medium (its own kind of well-meaning dishonesty). But no matter how scintillating the text, when the real world starts to tremble, when fascism begins to rise, when the bombs start to fall, when real lives and real rights are imperilled, the job of writing about virtual worlds is further undercut. Why waste our time focused on fictional quests when so much of the real world is in need of repair? Perhaps this guilt is not the provincial concern of the video game critic, but part of a broad historical tradition? Maybe, as the 4th-century BC writer sat down to fine-tune a skewering paragraph about one of Euripides's productions ("the way the actor tucked his genitals behind his legs lacked conviction"), he was thus moved to hurl his writing reed in a moment of self-hating disgust. Who has time for this shit anyway, when the Spartans are coming?"
• Philip Kollar, professional game reviewerbreaks down some of the points raised by Dunkey:
@pkollar "ok at the risk of being yelled at by, uh, everyone, wanted to share some of my thoughts on @vgdunkey's video on game critics"

A glimpse into the minds of birds

Into the night..


George A. Romero is dead George Andrew Romero was an American-Canadian filmmaker and editor, best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about an imagined zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead and notably continuing on with Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.[1] His other works contributed include The Crazies, Creepshow, Martin, Monkey Shines, and The Dark Half.

His death was confirmed by his manager Chris Roe, who released the following statement on behalf of the family:

"Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero passed away on Sunday July 16, listening to the score of 'The Quiet Man,' one of his all-time favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero at his side. He died peacefully in his sleep, following a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer, and leaves behind a loving family, many friends, and a filmmaking legacy that has endured, and will continue to endure, the test of time."

no clip is just itself


Videlicet is a one-off vidding zine that tells the history of fanvids, breaks down vidding techniques, and provides critical analyses of classic vids. Edited by lim, a fan artist whose work was recently shown at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

  • Lyrical Interpretation, demonstrating lyric/clip connections through example:
    Dissecting lyrical interpretation is making the brushstrokes visible. Picasso did not paint the world as he saw it. He painted it as he processed it in the same way that vidders do. Vidding is a lie that makes people see the truth. When working through a lyrical interpretation of a vidsong, aim to make choices that strengthens that truth you are trying to vid and let that drive the lyrical interpretations.
  • A History of Vidding:
    Kandy Fong, a Star Trek fan based in Phoenix, Arizona watched "Strawberry Fields Forever" and realized she could do something similar for her favorite TV show. Her soon-to-be husband had access to film clips from Star Trek TV episodes. These were actual clips of 35mm film that had been left on the Desilu Studios editing room floor during production of the series in the 1960s. These film clips were then mounted into slides and sold to collectors. In addition, Kandy had a slide projector carousel and a cassette tape player. She now had music, video, and source, the three main ingredients to making a fanvid.
  • Sound and Story, an essay about soundwork in vidding and in the popular Marvel fanvid 'Glitter and Gold':
    It's the soundwork that emphasizes their physicality of the characters, reminding us of the opening lyric of flesh and bone; we are cued not to think of these superheroes as 2-D comic book cutouts but as real three-dimensional bodies. The sounds of human effort are layered into the music with perfect synchronicity, so that we hear grunting, the crunch of bone, the crack of gunshots – things that mark the collision of people and things in a way that makes the fighting feel real; we can feel it in our teeth.
  • How to Leave This Show, about a fanvid which combines clips from the Golden Age of Hollywood with Glee's Kurt Hummel:
    Lola's song choice is "Sort Of" by Ingrid Michaelson. It's about a couple in an unequal relationship. The singer is too intense and too invested in a lover who doesn't reciprocate her feelings. The lyrics, read as a single, coherent arc, are not a perfect, literal match for the vid's thesis, but rather shift in implication from clip to clip, verse to verse. And though Kurt's boyfriend has an important role to play, Lola's primary interest isn't shipping. Michaelson's refrain goes, "My love's too big for you, my love." Lola's "you" isn't Blaine, though, but—well. Kurt is a gay boy in a small town. It doesn't matter who or what is the object; Kurt loves many things. His love is always already too frightening and too big.
Still have time on your hands? Check out the vidder profiles, tips for new vidders, or their collaborative playlist of 89 classic vids.