(51) Nintendo Sound Effect (acapella) – YouTube:

8 Queer Video Games Worth Playing | WIRED:

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH to all the gaymers! During pride this year,  as a celebration, I’m replaying a few of my favorite video games with LGBTQ+ representation. Even though many modern video game companies are committed to diverse representation, the execution still misses the mark at times. As a queer person, I value gaming experiences that leave me feeling included and understood.

After hours of dutifully playing through a variety of titles, I rounded up eight quality games where the LGBTQ+ characters feel natural, with a strong preference given to independent studios. This isn’t a complete list, by any means, so use them as a starting point to explore even more great queer games from queer creators.

Loom EGA/VGA comparison – superrune:

The original EGA background art for Loom was made by Mark Ferrari. The character art was done by Gary Winnick and Steve Purcell. Gary Winnick designed the sprites and did most of the sprite animation, while Steve Purcell did the larger character portraits and some additional animation. Ken Macklin did the effects animation, such as moving water and twinkles.

I love Mark Ferrari artwork across many games and formats…

Blizzard will rename Overwatch’s McCree, who was named after fired employee | Rock Paper Shotgun:

Overwatch character McCree is going to be renamed, the game’s development team have announced. The change comes after the character’s namesake, Blizzard developer Jesse McCree, left the studio amidst a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard by the State Of California which alleges workplace sexual harassment and discrimination at the developer.

“We built the Overwatch universe around the idea that inclusivity, equity, and hope are the building blocks of a better future,” begins the statement released through the official Overwatch Twitter account. “We believe it’s necessary to change the name of the hero currently known as McCree to something that better represents what Overwatch stands for.”

This is a start, but it’s cosmetic for all intents and purposes. Until devs themselves say that they’re satisfied with changes, I don’t see how the gaming public can support them.

Activision Blizzard have allegedly shredded documents related to their ongoing harassment lawsuit | Rock Paper Shotgun:

“DFEH is also informed and aware that documents and records have not been maintained as required by law of the DFEH’s Document Retention Notice,” the lawsuit alleges. “Including but not limited to documents related to investigations and complaints were shredded by human resource personnel and emails are deleted thirty days after an employee’s separation.”

They further claim that, due to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), employees must talk to the company before coming forward to the DFEH. They also criticise Activision Blizzard for calling in the third-party legal firm WilmerHale to conduct their own “confidential” investigation, saying this “directly interferes with DFEH’s statutory mandate to investigate, prosecute, and remedy workplace discrimination and harassment violations.”

Despite listing a number of actions they’ve taken to make Activision Blizzard more “welcoming”, the employee group A Better ABK say that none of their demands for a better workplace have actually been met.

Apex Legends lead designer fired over old racist and sexist comments | Rock Paper Shotgun:

I don’t have a ton of pity for people in this situation… We all knew this kind of commentary was toxic 14 years ago, 20 years ago, and far beyond that. The only difference is that people are actually being held accountable for some portion of it now.

I think the best answer, if you know you have social-media-skeletons like this, is to make your own mea culpa – Before someone else airs that laundry for you, expose them yourself with an explanation of how you have grown past them and apologize for you actions before someone else has to bring them into the light.

I am having the same issue with James Gunn right now with his return to the spotlight over Suicide Squad… because I don’t feel like he ever actually apologized for his own toxic social media past, only for it being discovered and possibly affecting the people he’s worked with.

Tencent Is World’s Worst Stock Bet With $170 Billion Wipeout:

This worries me a little because Tencent owns a slice of nearly every video game company that’s not part of EA or Microsoft now.

China’s unprecedented crackdown on its technology industry has turned Tencent Holdings from a market darling into the world’s biggest stock loser this month. From a report: The Chinese Internet giant had tumbled 23% in July as of Wednesday, set for its worst month ever after erasing about $170 billion of market value. That marks the fastest evaporation of shareholder wealth worldwide during this period, Bloomberg data shows. Nine of the top 10 losers in shareholder value this month are Chinese companies, including Meituan and Alibaba Group Holding. Tencent’s shares rebounded by 7.1% on Thursday morning, tracking broader gains in Chinese stocks after Beijing intensified efforts to alleviate concerns about its crackdown on the private education industry. The Shenzhen-based firm is one of the key casualties of an official campaign that targets some of the nation’s tech behemoths considered posing a potential threat to China’s data security and financial stability. The selloff in its shares intensified earlier this week after Beijing broadened the regulatory clampdown to include other once high-flying industries such as private education.

I love some of the games Blizzard has produced. Overwatch’s PVP focus isn’t for me, but the gameplay would be fun with a PVE focus… The Diablo family is the perfect representation of the genre it birthed, where no other entry really matches the chemistry of the originals… Starcraft and Warcraft are some of the most fun RTS gameplay in their genre… And WoW’s siren call is amplified by the fact that it’s one of the first big games to make an M1 native version a priority.

All that being said, no matter how much I love the games, I can’t give a cent to the company that also breeds these stories:

Activision Blizzard sued by California over constant abuse of women employees | Boing Boing:

At one point Activision Blizzard is described as a “frat house”, but that doesn’t begin to capture the scale and gravity of the allegations. Women punished for becoming pregnant. Women kicked out of lactation rooms. Women punished for leaving the office. African American women denied full employment and subjected to unique requirements. A woman committed suicide on a business trip with a male colleague who brought along lube and butt plugs.

In the office, women are subjected to “cube crawls” in which male employees drink copious [amounts] of alcohol as they “crawl” their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies and joke about rape.

Female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, including having to continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male co-workers and supervisors and being groped at the “cube crawls” and other company events. High-ranking executives and creators engaged in blatant sexual harassment without repercussions.

In a particularly tragic example, a female employee committed suicide during a business trip with a male supervisor who had brought butt plugs and lubricant with him on the trip.

Its response to this lawsuit is libertarian dogma about “irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.”

Activision Blizzard says interviewing diverse candidates for every opening “unworkable”

Activision Blizzard attorney told the SEC in January, “While the Company has implemented a Rooney Rule policy as envisioned [for director and CEO nominees], implementing a policy that would extend such an approach to all hiring decisions amounts to an unworkable encroachment on the Company’s ability to run its business and compete for talent in a highly competitive, fast-moving market.”

Activision Blizzard’s attorney further said the proposal was micromanaging in nature, and “leaves no room for the Company’s management or Board of Directors to exercise discretion in how new hire decisions are structured.”

Costs and poor leadership were why Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 reboot bombed

With Activision focussing on larger titles, such as Overwatch 2, and laying off 800 of its workforce in 2019, Classic Games would never receive the full support required to recapture Warcraft 3. Nevertheless, they plowed on, and even started taking pre-orders for the game. That left the team committed to releasing the title. A Blizzard spokesman told Bloomberg: “In hindsight, we should have taken more time to get it right, even if it meant returning pre-orders.”

Despite getting help from other Blizzard departments during the final development push, it was too late. The game was so poorly received that demands for refunds were upheld. Even now, 18 months on, the game is missing much of the promised content that it was sold on.

Tencent have bought another game developer, so let’s see how big their collection is now | Rock Paper Shotgun:

So there it is: if you play games, it’s likely Tencent owns at least a small part of the developer or publisher that made something you like. It’s such a huge number of companies to go through, it’s entirely possible I’ve missed one or two as well.

At the end of it all, here’s your frequent reminder that games industry consolidation is something we shouldn’t ignore. It took me a long time to put this list together, and that’s pretty concerning.

Their stakes pretty much touch every game I play.

While I’ve seen plenty of hate around the Resident Evil movies, I find them to be fair adaptations (Though I’d love to have seen the final production of a George Romero Resident Evil based on the first game)

Being in mind the movie production started in 2000, The only properties to really work with were Resident Evil 1-3… If you’d only played those games, would you have assumed that the franchise would take the direction of the larger implications of Umbrella’s corporate corruption, or midivil cults and mind-control fungus? While certainly taking liberties, the films sometimes feel more in-keeping with the spirit of the first 3 games than the games post RE3 themselves do.