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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Increasingly desperate misogynists target Sarkeesian… again

Posted by Erin Marcon On Wednesday 15 October 2014ADD COMMENTS

A still from an episode of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.

The creator of acclaimed web series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games has cancelled a public appearance following an anonymous threat.

Anita Sarkeesian was due to deliver a presentation at Utah State University, but elected to withdraw. According to the Standard Examiner and Kotaku, multiple university staff members received correspondence threatening “the deadliest school shooting in American History” if Sarkeesian’s appearance went ahead.

This is just the latest salvo in a seemingly relentless campaign of abuse and intimidation against Sarkeesian. While she is known to have shrugged off threats in the past, the prominent critic and feminist decided to withdraw from this engagement because local police declined to employ metal detectors or conduct pat downs. “To be clear,” she later wrote, “I didn’t cancel my USU talk because of terrorist threats, I canceled because I didn’t feel the security measures were adequate.”

Sarkeesian also revealed that one of the threats received claimed affiliation with Gamergate. This loose collective of largely anonymous industry observers claims to be lobbying for improved journalistic standards, but frequently devolves into misogynistic rhetoric.

The Black Panel commends Sarkeesian for her ongoing attempts to broaden the scope of the industry and make our hobby and art form more inclusive. We unequivocally condemn the ongoing threats and harassment that she and other prominent women in the industry are being forced to endure.

You can view the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series here.

Driveclub crashes on the starting grid

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Tuesday 14 October 2014ADD COMMENTS

Ideal conditions for driving.

In this week’s episode of “Which game totally stuffed its online launch?” we have Sony’s arcade racer Driveclub. In what seems to be almost the norm with new games Driveclub has hit some massive speed bumps during its launch window, which has resulted in no online connectivity and a lack of available features. It has even caused the delay of the free PlayStation Plus version, with developers unwilling to add a host of new players until the dents have been beaten out.

According to Kotaku, irate players have asked Sony for a refund but have yet to receive a response. It seems that this is just another in a long line of botched game launches. It seems to be that gamers are being forced to accept this as the norm as opposed to a rare occurrence and it is starting to leave a bad taste in many mouths. Here’s hoping that developers can come up with a way to properly test these online features prior to launch so we can all finally put these frustrating issues behind us.

Wildstar holidays cancelled

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 13 October 2014ADD COMMENTS

Orange and Purple Goo Day will seemingly go ahead as planned.

The studio responsible for WildStar has revealed that some of the content planned for its fledgling sci-fi MMO has been yanked from the release schedule.

In a post on the game’s official forums, Kristen DeMeza of Carbine Studios explained the reasons behind the cancellation of the Halloween and Christmas themed events. “Now, holidays are great, but they’re not has important as making sure the live game is working well. We took the time we needed to fix things players were already experiencing – all of the departments – and that meant that the schedule changed to account for it.”

Themed holidays are kind of a big deal in online gaming circles and the absence of these highly anticipated events doesn’t always go down particularly well. Just ask Valve. As reported at the time by Kotaku, the developer was on the receiving end of a withering backlash from DOTA 2 fans following its decision to skip Halloween (or Diretide as it is known in-game).

Australia forced to wait (a little) for Captain Toad

Posted by Erin Marcon On Sunday 12 October 2014ADD COMMENTS

Big brown bird thing disapproves of your fun.

As the saying goes, you win some and you lose some. Just weeks after Australian Nintendo fans rejoiced at the news that they’d be amongst the first in the world to experience the New Nintendo 3DS, they’ve discovered that they’ll be lagging behind when it comes to another first party offering.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is set to arrive in Japan in November and North America in December, but local fans will be forced to wait until Saturday 10 January 2015. Considering that the original version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker took almost six months to arrive on our shores, this is probably a reasonably manageable delay.

The Wii U exclusive Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker sees the fungi-like inhabitants of Princess Peaches’ Mushroom Kingdom take centre stage for puzzle platforming shenanigans. The game will star the eponymous adventurer, as well as Toadette, who somehow manages to have pigtails despite not having any hair.