Squee Mode

Written By mista sense on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | 12:19 PM


In a predictable state of affairs, writer Leigh Alexander swathed her entire blog in a romantic Persona 3 Portable theme, tweeted on numerous occasions about how she failed to sleep due to Persona 3 Portable, changed her desktop wallpaper from MGS3's final boss scene to the above image, and then stopped blogging for two weeks. Guess what she has been doing all this time.

Actually, while I have been playing a lot of Persona 3 Portable, I've mainly been writing a lot, once again developing bunches of stories that I can't wait to share with you as they materialize. Lately, though, I've been talking to a lot of developers about the high-stress environment of the game industry. Lots of people get into game writing because they hope to "cross over" -- that's never been me. I feel like there's nothing that could make me want to work on the other side; let's pretend I actually did have any game design skills, which I certainly don't. Writing for the trade I've learned something big: I don't envy them, to say the least!

And having been in games writing for a while now, there are a lot of times, to be honest, that I'm terribly stressed out, too, by the challenges of covering such a specific business -- and by the culture of the audience, and I know I'm not alone. And if the audience is capable of causing me so much fatigue and disillusionment sometimes, it makes me wonder what's wrong with them, too.

I wrote Who Cheers For War last month at Kotaku because I've been curious about digging into the darkness I often observe in our hobby -- there's no other way of putting it. Sometimes it even feels like illness. The often unspoken pains that all three spokes of this wheel (devs, media and audience) endure was something I think it's important to continue to call attention to and examine, and I did this at Gamasutra late last week. Please do check it out and discuss if you missed it. The discussion thread on it has grown epic.

Today at Kotaku, an article about -- surprise! -- Persona 3 Portable. In my last post I said I hoped to write more about how playing as a female feels different this time around, and I had the opportunity to do that in this month's feature column. For reference, here's how it felt for me the first time around, from the archives of my old Aberrant Gamer haunt.

You heard yesterday that GameStop bought Kongregate -- Kongregate's founder, Jim Greer, an industry veteran with whom I've had several conversations that make me feel he cares very much about developers, would like you to think twice before applying the "home for indies sells out" narrative to this one, or that's the message I got from my interview with both companies about the deal.

In other acquisition news, Disney spends quite a sum on third-place Facebook game developer Playdom, and one analyst thinks it's an over-spend with unclear ROI potential (how's that Club Penguin thing working out now, I'd like to know?). The contentious environment around social game investments, players and developers, is certainly becoming increasingly fricative, and nothing's made this clearer than the polarizing response to Ian Bogost's commentary game, Cow Clicker. For now, check out the heated discussion on his blog about it, and stay tuned for an in-depth follow up from me at Gamasutra coming soon. The whole issue's fascinating, to say the least.

Speaking of social media, you will notice Blogger has kindly added buttons to allow you to tweet, FB, email and Buzz my posts directly whenever you like. Go for it!

So, also StarCraft II is, uh... something that is happening... it is a game for your computer, a lot of people are playing it, I.. yeah, I don't know. I don't know anything about StarCraft. Blind spot. Sorry bros. Are you into it? Lemme know in the new SVGL poll on the sidebar!

The last poll, by the way, showed that the majority of you, at 58%, are not interested in new motion control solutions. 21 percent of you are interested in PlayStation Move, 16 percent prefer Kinect, and only 4 percent of you would like to have both interfaces in your living room. Innnnnnnnteresting! I'll have to ask you again after launch, when more titles are available...


['Today's Good Song' is actually an awesome music video! Check out Cosmetics' 'Soft Skin'.]

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