#Gamergate; it’s actually not about ethics in journalism but I’d like it to be

If you haven’t been following what has been going on in the world of gaming then you may not have heard of #gamergate.

Rather than go over how it started again, check out this article by Caitlin Dewey on gamergate

There are tons of articles about how gamergate happened and I’m not going regurgitate them, this post is instead about my opinion based on the research I’ve done.

When I started writing this article, I was still  unsure of how it was going to end or what my point was going to be, all I knew was that I wanted to support those that want to improve ethics in journalism and condemn those that abuse and harass their critics.

Writing this article helped me sort out my conflicted feelings on #gamergate and I hope that it will help anyone who reads it do the same.

 

Why was I conflicted?

At this stage you might be asking, why was I conflicted. I mean people are either Pro or Anti Gamergate aren’t they?

It might be that simple for some people but for me this is a gross oversimplification.

While there have been some gains made by #gamergate, I’ve seen a lot of abuse under the tag. Gamergate supporters say that people who abuse using the hashtag are not ‘true’ gamergaters but this is basically the ‘no true Scotsman‘ fallacy and is essentialay an excuse to ignore the criticism levelled at those who are participating in the hashtag.

To ignore such criticism of people involved in a movement is dangerous  and is one of the reasons why the perception of #gamergate is that of a movement of trolls, harassers and knee jerk reactionaries.

Many people will make the argument that people are not guilty by association, but how can I know this without knowing the people involved?

TotalBiscuit is a reasonable person who called for calm & for a hashtag to get back on track but Adam Baldwin is a misogynist who peddles conspiracy theories: both could be considered leaders in the #gamergate movement. In fact, Adam Baldwin made the first tweet in relation to the current iteration of #gamergate and it was a tweet about the conspiracy theory surrounding Zoe Quinn

Who represents the true face of #gamergate? Is Adam Baldwin a fly in TotalBiscuits vision or is TotalBiscuit a shield for Adam Baldwin’s aggression?

 

Ethics in Journalism

Ethics in journalism is an important thing is discuss, I’m very concerned about ethics in journalism in general not just in game journalism.

Journalists and PR companies work together to spin stories and get the public to feel sorry for rich criminals and hate on who is the current target group.

This segment from Charlie Brookers ‘Newswipe’ explains it better than I ever could:

Too many journalists cite ‘anonymous sources’ as proof of a crime, so if it turns out not to be true, we have no-one to hold accountable to this inaccurate information.

News Media spin stories to make us afraid, by hiding scientific fact amongst a forest of fear. Take the Ebola coverage for example;  if you listen to some news sites, Ebola has evolved into an airborne virus and anyone who was even near a victim can catch it, which is simply not true.

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You need to physically come in contact with an Ebola victim’s bodily fluids or their corpse to catch Ebola and yet the Media is encouraging people to freak out about it.

Consider that diabetes kills 3.4 million people worldwide every year and the media is all like ‘ yeah, whatever

Diabetes is certainly not as dramatic or exciting as Ebola but you have a MUCH higher chance of developing and dying from diabetes in the Western Word than you do of even catching Ebola.

Of course, most western Media only started to care about Ebola when western doctors started to catch it. When it was only killing Africans; the media didn’t care but once a westerner caught it, the media was all like ‘Holy Shite, Ebola!

Meanwhile Nigeria has successfully gotten rid of Ebola within its borders and not only do Western countries not seem to be taking the lessons learnt from this success but the media has barely mentioned it!

Now homeopaths are peddling their ‘Ebola cures’ to the frightened public

*takes a deep breathe*

Let’s end this rant there, because that is not what this post is about, but I hope you understand now how seriously I take ethics in journalism.

Games Journalism suffers from less obvious lapses in journalistic ethics, but they still exist.

The community used to be very small, so anyone who has been a games journalist for years probably knows a number of game developers and they have not always been forthcoming about this connection. Good reviews have sometimes been paid for and publishers have threatened to  punish sites that run negative reviews.

I would argue that fighting for ethics in news journalism is objectively more important, but that doesn’t dismiss the importance of ethics in games journalism.

These are all things that we should be concerned about, that we should activity fight for,  but unfortunately that is not what #gamergate is doing.

 

A Confused Message

#Gamergate, has no consistent and cohesive message. There are too many people trying to use it for their own means and too many reasons why the conversation turns from ethics in game journalism to #gamergate defending themselves

You could argue that this is due to the fact that it is a hashtag but there has been many hashtags that managed to keep a consistent message, #yesallwomen is a good example.

Gamergaters say they are against censorship but, they censor.

One of the tactics of gamergaters is to email companies that advertise on sites that have written articles against them and get them to withdraw their advertising Intel pulling advertising from Gamasutra is touted as a success by gamergate

This tactic seems very hypocritical to me. They don’t want publishers to be able to censor journalists by threatening to pull advertising, but then they’ll campaign for a company to pull advertising from a site when it posts an article they don’t agree with.

This is the same type of censorship that they are supposedly fighting against and this is the same tactics that religious fundamentalists used to censor the late great Bill Hicks.

You can’t argue against censorship and then use censorship to prevent criticism.

If they are not trying to set a sites advertising pulled then they are ddosing sites, which is also a form of censorship.

They demand evidence from the people they debate, without providing any of their own.

To this day, gamergaters still say that Zoe Quinn had sex with a journalist to get a good review for Depression Quest and yet this review never existed.

They say there is proof that it did exist but never provided a link to the review or a screenshot or anything.However when people say they are being harassed or that they have been driven out of their homes due to threats made against them, they demand proof and when it’s given to them  they say it’s not enough or that it’s a false flag

Non Gamergaters who call out harassment are professional victims, gamergaters who get harassed are genuine victims.

Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, Braianna Wu and others are called professional victims for talking about the abuse they receive, pro gamergaters who receive abuse are true victims when they report the abuse they receive.  This is a terrible double standard.

They aren’t against diversity in games but they don’t want to fight for it.

It’s like they think that developers will magically make their games more diverse because they feel like they should. However AAA game producers and developers can be inherently conservative and games are expensive to make.  So, they want to make sure that their game will make money, adding potentially controversial characters could prevent them from making money, so they are less likely to add them unless they know that  players will accept them.

“Social Justice Warriors” are simply just asking for more diversity in games, which tells  game developers that there is money in diversity so we’ll be more likely to get it.

Staying silent on the issue of diversity just ensures that the current list of brown-haired white male protagonists will continue to get longer.

 

Emotive Issues

Playing games is the hobby of many people around the world and like most hobbies there are people who take it very seriously. I would include myself in that group. When you take a hobby seriously, it can be hard to take any criticism of it, it is hard to take criticism of anything you love.

It is easy to become defensive when  someone is attacking something we love, our emotions kick in and we get angry, we argue that their opinion is wrong, that the critics is biased or failing that, we attack the person themselves.

I mean, surely not all women in games are ‘damsels in distress’ or background decoration, I mean there is Lara Croft, Jade from Beyond Good & Evil, Samus Aran and eh, I’m sure there are lots of others. Right?

We need to use are heads and think when things we love are criticized, as I’ve said before: until very recently, I’ve spent most of my gaming life as a man, peering through a man’s eye and gaining their experiences. This is an imbalance that needs to be addressed and it is one that can be hard to see when you are immersed in the gaming world, so critics are needed to call attention to it.

Instead both sides have let their emotions get the better of them and a freak out has ensued.

TotalBiscuit has stated that Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, & Braianna Wu are getting the most tweets in relation to #gamgergate because they have been making the most comments about it, however all Braianna did was post a meme criticising #gamergate and all of a sudden she is being chased out of her house.  Anita Sarkeesian makes YouTube videos and supported Zoe Quinn when she was being harassed and people are threaten to kill her.

These women are spending time talking about #gamergate because there had been a total overreaction to what they do online.

This of course has caused some anti-gamergaters to become aggressive and threaten #gamergaters.

This leads us to a situation where gamergaters are saying they are not all harassers but that all anti-gamergaters are, which is exactly why they are so angry at anti-gamergaters, because they think everyone involved in the hashtag is harassing people.

Basically the argument is like this, not all gamergaters are threatening people but all social justice warriors are crazy people who threaten us.

It has turned in a giant cluster fuck, where #gamergate won’t accept any criticism of people under their hashtag or use the  ‘no true Scotsman‘ fallacy and those who are against it won’t listen to any valid concerns that #gamergate has because they are shielding or ignoring the harassment that goes on.

And while originally most of the harassment and threats were made under #gamergate, no side can claim to be completely virtuous at this stage.

 

Ethics has lost control

If the hashtag was ever about ethics in game journalism (this is debatable) then it’s not any more.

Some gamergaters speak out against the harassment but they have no leader and no central leadership so what can they do about it?

In other ‘movements’ harassers can be kicked out & denounced. In #gamergate harassers can be denounced but what can be done about them, nothing, nothing can be done about it and that is a problem if you have an important message .

#Gamegate is not a grass roots movements it’s an AstroTurf movement. It was created under false pretences and it can never escape that. The trolls and harassers within the moment are surrounded by a protective wall of genuine people who believe in journalistic ethics and this wall only gives the harassers legitimacy.

Some gaming websites have changed their ethics policies in light of #gamergate, which is awesome but it’s a good news story that has been lost in the din. #gamergate has been spending more of its time talking about how they don’t support harassers rather than talking about ethics in games journalism because people doxx in their name.

Felicia Day said that she was worried about posting about gamergate because she was afraid of being doxxed and then she was doxxed right after she posted about #gamergate, people shouldn’t be afraid to post their opinion or to criticise a moment or an idea.

 

The future

At this stage I’m not longer even sure what #gamergate wants. They said they were about ethics in games journalism, many games sites updated their ethic’s polices and they still weren’t happy.

Do they want a list of all the people in the industry each person knows at the beginning of the review?

Do they want games sites to stop allowing game developers to advertise on their sites?

At this stage what would satisfy them?

I don’t know.

#Gamergate has divided the gaming community, when we were finally united.

It has soiled the name of the gaming community just when the outside world was being to accept us, it has caused more problems than it has solved.

There is a lot of venom tied up with #gamergate and anyone who genuinely cares about ethics needs to distance themselves from that poison well.

As for me, I’m a feminist and a gamer. I stand in support of the people that have been attacked and I stand in support of ethics in journalism.

 

Have a Deadly day folks!

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Quiet but Thinking

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post and I wanted to let you know that I’m still active.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks in work and I just got back from a wedding in Rome, which was brilliant but tiring.

Instead of posting, I’ve been researching my next few posts.

Sneak Preview – in no particular order

Heuristics of User Interface Design 

Quite often in forums, on twitter and to random people in the street, I complain about a User Interface being poorly designed, but what do I mean by that?

It’s time to find out.

#GamerGate

It’s being going on for months now, so I thought I’d put together my thoughts on the “Movement”

DragonAge: Inquisition Update

With a month to go, am I still excited? What do you think?

Costume Quest 2 Review/Let’s Play

My first video – this might take awhile.

JazzPunk Review

Cos it’s awesome and you should play it

Couriers Journal Continues 

 

Any way – that is my planned output for the next few weeks.

Have a Deadly Day!

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Mixed Level Swears #mixedlevelswear

Anyone who follows me on twitter may have noticed that for the past few days I’ve been tweeting daily mixed level swears.

But what are mixed level swears and why I am doing this?

What is a Mixed Level Swear?

Whether you realise it or not swears have levels; heck is used as a softer version of hell, flip is a softer version of feck, which in turn is a softer version of fuck.

Mixed level swearing is about mixing a hard and a soft swear together .

This is not something that I made up, I got it from an xkcd comic but it is something that I’ve been intrigued by and have used to increase my swearing vocabulary

 

Why is Swearing Important?

Every language has swearing, some are basic and boring others are vibrant and colourful, but ever language has it.

Humans swear to relieve stress, express anger or for the craic.

Infrequent swearing givens a person a release valve so instead of freaking out Hulk style when they get angry they can just swear to relieve some of that angry or let of stress.

I used to swear quite a lot but over time I reduced it, because I realised that how much you swear can leave a very bad impression on another person and I didn’t want to slipping over into my work life.

When I swore a lot, I never noticed the physiological benefits of swearing, like a caffeine addict who stops benefiting from the caffeine high, I was simply doing it because it had become a part of my speech pattern.

Once I consciously made the decision to stop swearing as much, I started to notice that when I did swear I felt a sense of relief and my ability to deal with a situation was easier.

Receiving an annoying email in work and muttering ‘for fucks sake’ under my breathe, made it easier for my to response calmly.   Dealing with the pain of stubbing my toe become easier after shouting ‘bollocks’.

Swearing has become the valve for my life that lets me let off steam without punching someone right in the face.

Why Mixed Level Swearing?

English is a very boring language to swear in, depending on were you are from there are perhaps a half dozen worlds that get used on a regular bases.

Other languages have vibrant sentences to swear with. Dutch has Vliegende tering  which means flying tuberculosis,  Italian has cazzon di merda which means dickfaced piece of shit, compare that to English which basically just has slang words for genitals as swear words.

To make swearing more interesting I started to mix up the levels, calling someone a cretinous cockhead is much more satisfactory when simply calling them a dick.

It’s also fun and I’ve always believed that as much of life as possible should be fun.

If you want more of Mixed Level Swearing, checkout the #mixedlevelswear on twitter and don’t for get to try them out.

I didn’t use the hashtag for all of my tweets cos I’m a silly fuckhead so check out some of my tweets below.

 

So what’s my point?

My point is, swearing is awesome and physiologically beneficial but don’t be boring about it.

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Courier’s Journal: Entry 7

Today I helped a bunch of ghouls launch themselves into space- what did you do? random person who might be reading this

Let me start from the beginning.

After telling Meyers he had been pardoned, I spoke to Nash again. I wanted to see if he was willing to share any more information now that I’d brought the law back to Primm. HE had nothing more to tell me but I did spot a broken down Enclave Eyebot in his shop.

The Eyebot seemed to be fitted with armour and lasers, which would be very handy in the desert especially since the Legion are on the march, so I asked if I could have it. Fixing it wasn’t a problem, I’ve always been good at repairing things.

On the way to Novac, ED-E quickly shoed how right I was to fix it, the road was plagued with Vipers, who were much easier to kill with the help of ED-E.

I passed a ranger station and asked for directions from Offer Stepinac. He was helpful enough and pointed out all I had to look out for was Dinky the Dino at the edge of town.

Very quickly I was pointed in the direction of Novac’s daytime sniper Manny, who had apparently spoken to the people who shot me. Shockingly enough Manny wouldn’t give me any information until I’d helped him out, so off I trekked to the REPCONN Rocket test site to drive out some feral ghouls.

On the way I killed a Nightkin that was shooting at Brahmin, which I thought was going to be the weirdest thing I saw that day.

Feral Ghouls and dead Nightkin littered the road to REPCONN, it was obvious that there had been a fight here between ghouls and Nightkin. When I entered the building its self I was immediately address by the surviving normal ghouls who needed my help.

Of course they weren’t all normal ghouls, there was a guy named Chris Haversam who thought that he was a ghoul, not a human. Apparently he’d worked the reactor in Vault 34 and thought the radiation had turned him into a ghoul. Chris was not willing to talk to me much so this was all told to me by Jason Bright, the leader of a cult of ghouls who wants to escape this planet and go…..I don’t know, somewhere better I suppose.

Some Nightkin had invaded the REPCONN building  and they needed me to clear them out so they could jump on their rockets and leave, so off I went again to kill me some Nightkin, not exactly the easiest task considering these are elite Super Mutants but I was lucky as they had been driven totally crazed by over use of Stealth boys, a crazed Nightkin is a much easier opponent.

My task was made even easier when I came across Davison, the leader of the Nightkin, and Antler a Brahmin skull, he clearly thought was his leader. Davison was looking to Stealth boys so as soon as I found out were the Stealth boys had been shipped to, he has a guys cleared out.  Which was lucky since I was running low on ammo and I’m not sure how affective a Machete would be against a Nightkin.

With Davison gone, the ‘Bright Brotherhood’ were able to get to their Rockets, which of course needed some more parts before they could launched, so it was time for me to head to Old Lady Gibson’s Scrapyard and the Dino-Bite Gift Shop to pick up the missing components.

Seriously sometimes, I feel like I’ll be forever trapped in the role of a courier fetching supplies for other people. *sigh*  At least, this time I’m helping people and my chances of getting shot in the head by a member of the New Vegas families is significantly reduced.

With the help of Chris & the shopping list I picked up, the ‘Bright Brotherhood’ were off into space.

I hope they find what they are looking for, but I think it is a bit extreme to leave the planet, there are signs of recovery everywhere. If humanity does every go into space again, it’ll be interesting to see what would happen if they come across the Bright Brotherhood’s promised land.

As for Chris, I managed to convinces him that we wasn’t a Ghoul, he was very angry when he realized and thought the ‘Bright Brotherhood’ had tricked him, but in all honesty it was extremely difficult to convince him of his nonGhoul status so I don’t blame the ‘Bright Brotherhood’ from giving up and just accepting him as a Ghoul.

The sun was setting  when I arrived back to Novac so I stopped at the bottom of the hill path to REPCONN and watched it go down below the horizon, before heading into town for some much needed rest.

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I really shouldn’t be laughing at this

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Should Game Mods have Standards?

I love PC mods, they are one of the reasons I’ve been playing Skyrim for so long.

They add additional content, tweak game balance, retexture graphics, fix bugs, fix annoying game features. There is a lot of love for the modding community and there should be.

But do they ever go too far?

My Personal Mod Rules

There are mods that add lightsabers and chicken mounts to Skyrim but I would never use them. I’ve a few personal rules around what mods I use, of course I don’t expect anyone else to conform to these rules.

I don’t add god weapons to my game or use invincibility mods.

I use mods to expand by experience in the game not to add items that don’t fit in it or to make myself the Super Duper Lord of everything…….that happens later.

For example, I love the Mabari in DA:O but after Lothering, he is kind of useless. He’s not as versatile a tank or off-tank as Ailster or Sten and he’s not as good as support as Morrigan or Leliana, so I downloaded a mod that made him a summon creature so I can always have him with me even when I have a full party.

I wouldn’t use a mod that did this to Shale or Morrigan or any other companion, because it makes no sense to be able to summon them like that, but lore wise Mabari hounds are always with their masters, so a dog whistle that summons him made sense to me.

I also used a mod to allow my followers to ride horses in Skyrim because them running behind me was annoying . That same mod also allowed me to have more followers and a number of other lovely tweaks that really added to the usefulness of followers in Skyrim.

I could spend this whole post listing off all the mods I’ve used in various games, but that is not what this post is about!

………..Although that sounds like a good idea for one, note to self; write post on mods I’ve used for profit.

Anyway, where was I , oh yes, here is my personal mod rules in bullet point form

  • No God Items
  • No mods that allow me to become invincible without putting in any effort
  • No mods that don’t make sense within the context of the game
  • No naked mods
  • No appearance mods that change a character’s race

And that is pretty much it

I’m telling you this because even though I love mods, there are some mods that I think cross a line and my personal mod rules might help give you some context to that.

People are free to use any mods they like, but as someone on the BSN once said, “I’m free to be disgusted at you when you use them”

 

Problem Mods

At this stage I’m sure you’re asking yourself what am I talking about.

The mods that triggered this post are the DA2 Isabela race change Mods and the Skyrim Rape Mods

For those of you who haven’t played Dragon Age 2 (DA2) this is Isabela

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This is what one of the many mods that change her appearance does to her, spot the difference?

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No it’s not the tattoo, the pose, or the daggers, it’s her race

Isabela is one of the few people of colour in Dragon Age and someone, in fact a number of someones have, created mods that makes her white.

Encase you think this is a once off, Dragon Age: Inquisition is not even out yet and already someone has whitewashed two of the characters.

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images (5) download (7)

 

Now, I’m not against appearance mods that change but switching their race is a bit much and these mods only ever seem to be created to change a black person white rather than the other way around.

Basically people have taken some of the only black people in video games and whitewashed them, how is this not totally gross?

The Skyrim Rape mods are fairly self-explanatory, they add the ability to rape opponents who’ve surrendered or various others in game, which is lovely.

Now.

There is an argument to be made that people can mod their own games however they like and that there should be no restrictions on that but is that a valid argument?

Whitewashing characters because someone didn’t like their ‘dark look’ (actual quote from the Isabela mod) is inappropriate, if not totally racist.

Rape is often used as shorthand to tell players that this person is an evil person, this is bad enough without players seeking to add it into a game. There is enough in our world that seeks to trivialise Rape without modders adding it into a fantasy RPG and allow people to carry it out on random bandits.

So here is the question, should we allow there to be a free for all when it comes to modding, or should we as a community stand up and say ‘no, it is not right’?

People don’t have to download these mods, they don’t have to use them but is the fact that they exist at all a problem? I would argue that it is.

So What’s my Point?

People learn from the media that surrounds them, that media can be a positive or negative influence on the society that absorbs it.

Some game developers like BioWare attempt to be a positive influence by adding a diverse cast of characters to their games, for modders to then destroy this diversity, to erase this effort and to replace it with a generic white characters is wrong.

Modding out the diversity in games, leaves a player in a bubble, surrounded by their own experiences, letting them choose not to let anything else in.

If we do not allow our thoughts and opinions to be challenged by new people, new experiences, new opinions then what good are they. Our ideas being challenged allows them to grow, develop and become solid or allows us to realise that we were wrong, without this we become lost in a stagnant world of confirmation bias.

In order to grow as a person, we must reach out of our comfort zone, grab what is there, taste it, feel it, consider it and then decide whether or not it is something you want to assimilate into yourself.

I believe that there are standards that we must attempt to live by in order to advance the human race, some of those standards are to increase the diversity in our media not reduce it and to vilify rape, not to excuse or trivialise it.

We may not always be able to live up to the standard we set ourselves but as we strive towards them we become better people.

These types of mods are symptom of a world trying to maintain the status quo and we can’t let it stop us from bettering ourselves.

Have a Deadly Day!

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Courier’s Journal: Entry 6

The journey to the Mojave Outpost was less of a pain than I’d expected. The only people on the road were a few more Powder Gangers and some Jackals.

I heard a rumour once that the Jackals, The Khans and the Vipers all originated from the same Vault, Vault 15. If that is true then the Jackals are the annoying younger brother of the three gangs. The Vipers are religious fanatics and the Khans are a tribe of raiding drug dealers, whereas the Jackals are cowardly cannibals

Convincing Major Knight to pardon Meyers was easy enough and I was about to head back to Primm when I ran into Ranger Jackson. Well not so much ran into him as sought him out, I wanted to know why the caravans were being held up. This of course led him to ask him to kill some ‘critters’ for him to clear the road, critters he called them, what they actually were  giant freaking ants, I hate giant ants but at least it got the caravans going again.

It’s been years since I was a part of a caravan but I always try to help them out if they can, they’re the lifeblood of the waste.  In fact I think I’ll take Rose of Sharon Cassidy (a trapped caravanner) advice and visit the Crimson Caravans for some work…..

Anyway, on my way to the Outpost, I’d spotted some smoke over Nipton, since I’ll have to travel through it to get to Novac, I asked the Ranger Sniper, Ghost, if she knew anything. She didn’t and asked for my help to find out.

The NCR seem like they need all the help they can get and since they’re the Mojave’s only hope against the Caesar’s Legion, I agreed to help. I don’t necessarily regret this decision but I sure could’ve lived without seeing what had happened in Nipton.

I knew something was up from the moment I approached, a Powder Ganger ran right past me shouting that he’d won the lottery. A lump formed in my throat, the Legion are famous for their lotteries. I knew I was right when I ran into another Powder Ganger in an abandoned shop. He’d been crippled by the Legion because he was the second place winner

On a side note, he called me the Grim Reaper of the Powder Gangers, which makes no sense, I only kill the ones that attack me and I always kill all of them so how did he know what I look like?Something to ponder when I have time.

He told me what had happened in Nipton, which was probably enough for Ghost but I had to make sure that the Legion were here, this close to the NCR boarder.

The presence of Vulpes Inculta proved it, he said that what he’d done, the murders and the torture, had been a sermon and that bastard tried to get me to help them by spreading fear among the NCR.

I don’t know what came over me, perhaps it was seeing people crucified again or perhaps it was the memories of the last time I’d crossed paths with Caesar’s Legion, but I couldn’t let him leave Nipton. I killed him, him and his filthy legionnaires.

I searched the town trying to find survivors but all I found were corpses, Legion dogs and the tale of a town sold to the Legion for a mere 8,000 caps.

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Essential things to know about Dragon Age: Inquisition

GaymerX, Gamescon and PAX Prime have been & gone, leaving behind them a trail of juicy  new Dragon Age content.

I’ve googled my fingers bloody to bring you a list of the reveals that you need to know, in no particular order.

Dragon Age: Multiplayer or DAMP

Dragon Age Inquisition will have a multiplayer. Now before you all freak out here are the details

For DAMP BioWare seems to be taking all that was great about ME3 multiplayer and improving it. It has a similar set up to ME3 in that it is four player co-op but there are some very interesting additions

In DAMP, you play as one of 12 agents of the Inquisition, soldiers that the Inquisitor has sent out into the World on important missions Multiplayer is supposed to represent missions that the Inquisitor triggers in the Single Player campaign. Don’t worry though MP has no impact at all on SP, the outcome of the missions you send your agents on in SP is not dependent on anything that happens in MP, it’s simply a fun way to link the two campaigns together.

Being agents of the Inquisition the 12 characters have names, personalities and backgrounds, this combined with the story link to the Single Player seems to indicate that BioWare are adding more of a story to their MP this time around.

The dungeons in DAMP are partial randomised, each map has a possible 10 rooms and 5 are picked to generate a 5 room dungeons for you and your team to battle through.

Multiplayer characters are unlocked by purchasing loot packs with in game money or IRL money or by breaking down items found in the field

Check out the characters, below

 

 DAIMultiplayer DAI Multiplayer2 DA Multiplayer3

For more detail on DAMP check out Joystiqs review.

Allegra Clark Rocks!

Allegra Clark is Josephine Montilyet’s VA. Not only is she the only voice actor that is active on the BioWare Social Network, she hangs out on the Josephine Thread, she had the most creative ways of giving out the Dragon Age: Keep Beta Code.

If you read this post or if you are active at all on Twitter, then you know that there were a lot of DA:Keep Beta Keys being given out during and after PAX Prime

Most people were just posting the codes on Twitter and you had to be quick to get them but Allegra asked followers to favourite tweets and ran competitions.

Sadly I didn’t win any of these Beta Codes, but Allegra gave me more of a chance to win them than anyone else.

Allegra is very interesting and insightful on Twitter and I hope she keeps all the followers that she gained when she had the beta codes, she’ll certainly keep me.

In fact, I’m pretty sure Josephine will be my first romance and its largely Allegra that helped me make that decision.

Romances in Dragon Age: Inquisition

The entire LI list has been revealed along with who can romance them.

DA FAN put together this romance chart

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I was disappointed that Vivienne is not an LI, I had been hoping she would be since she is gorgeous and I love the idea of a woman who fights with words rather than her Magic.

I don’t think we can really complain though, there are at least 2 options for an Inquisitor of each sexuality

 

PC UI

Recently BioWare revealed that the PC UI has the same 8 slots for abilities that the console UI has.

I believe the reasoning is that it will create a unified UI between both the PC and console, but most PC fans would like to have more available abilities.

Personally I generally stick to the same abilities so 8 doesn’t matter as much to me and we’ll be able to switch them out before combat but I do think it is a bit weird to limit the PC UI so much.

Perhaps it’ll make more sense once we start to play it, I mean it does seem that the there will be a lot of passive abilities, so perhaps the 8 slots won’t seem so limited.

Check out a recording from someone who was lucky enough to play it

The Dragon Age Keep

Pax Prime marked the moment where we found out more about the Keep.

The Keep is a browser based  application that allows users to create a World State that includes decisions made in DA:O & DA2. The Keep will be used instead of a direct save transfer, this means that the amount of bugs in World states will be significantly reduced.

It would’ve been so easy to make the keep just a list of checkboxes but instead BioWare have implemented a fully illustrated experience that even has Varric narrative over the choices that you’ve made, so it’s more like a choose your own adventure then a tick the box exercise.

It’s even possible to use any saves that you’ve uploaded to the BSN as a basis for your World State or to use directly as you World State.

Once you’ve got your state then you can use it as your World State for your Inquisition playthrough.

LadyInsanity has a recording of a Keep Demo

 

What do you think about Dragon Are: Inquisition? Are you looking forward to it?

Have a deadly day!

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Courier’s Journal: Entry 5

In my last entry I spoke of a recurring dream I’ve been having. Most of the time, I just wake up in a sweat and know that it is the same dream but I’ve no memory of the dream itself.

Tonight I remember.

I’m with the Caravan I used to ride with, the sun is shining,  I’m laughing and joking with Joe, one of the brahmin Drivers. Then it gets dark, very dark, very quickly like a black cloud has blocked out the sun.

I look a Joe and he’s not laughing anymore, instead he’s been impaled by a Legion spear, all around me I can hear the sounds of screaming and then I get knocked down. I fall for what seems like an eternity, then I hit the ground with a thud and I look up and see two Khan’s covering up the hole I’m in with soil.

I would really prefer if I could stop having this dream.

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Courier’s Journal: Entry 4

I arrived in Primm a few nights ago, on the way I encountered more Powder Gangers and I don’t know how but they knew I’d killed some of their members so they attacked me.  I get the feeling that I won’t be getting along with any Powder Gangers I come across.

When I got to Primm, I discovered that a faction of the Powder Gangers had broken off from the main group and taken it over. The NCR had camped outside it but didn’t have the men to take it back. The NCR are a group that is trying to do their best but they do think that numbers are everything, sometimes one person can do more than an entire army.

Sneaking into Primm wasn’t that hard and I got to my stash easily enough, only to discover some assholes had raided it. Luckily enough they seem to have had a disagreement and two of them were killed, leaving enough clues to were their leader was.  Whoever this guy is, he made on to my list of people to fuck over.

The residents of Primm were hiding out in the Vikki and Vance Casino, so I managed to speak with Johnson Nash, who runs the local Mojave Express. From him I learnt the following things:

  • There were a lot of couriers paid to deliver weird items and my platinum coin is the only one that didn’t make it. This might be true but I did find the body of a dead courier just outside his shop that didn’t survive his bullet to the head.
  • Another guy was supposed to take this job before me, but then when he saw my name he gave up the job so I could have it. Nash made it sound like this guy wanted me dead, but I don’t know anyone with a grudge against me.
  • Primm’s deputy might have more info on the Khan’s and City boy who shot me.

Of course this last bit of information meant that I had to rescue the deputy from the gang who’d taken over the town. Deputy Beagle had been taken to the casino hotel across the street the Bison Steve Hotel

The rescue of Deputy Beagle was not as difficult as I thought it would be, the gang clearly didn’t expect anyone to come after them so they were woeful unprepared for an attack. After everyone was dead, I got a lead on my would be killers, they were headed towards Nipton before moving on to Novac.

I think at this stage I’m following their trail because it seems like the right thing to do, I’ve no idea what I’m going to do if I find them.

Typical of my life recently, Beagle asked me for help in finding a new sheriff and Nash wouldn’t open the Mojave Express without a new lawman. I don’t know why I care, I suppose if I had a package to deliver it might take my mind off the whole ‘tracking down the people who tried to kill me thing’ and help get rid of me reoccurring dream.

Beagle suggested either the NCR or some Sheriff in a correctional facility named Meyers.

Personally I prefer the NCR worrying about the bastard Legion instead of looking after some town, so I headed towards the prison, which of course was filled to the brim with Powder Gangers, who, as I discussed early, totally hate me. I’m not sure how the know it’s me killing their men, it’s not like I leave any survivors to ‘tell the tale’ , it’s like they all have some kind of physic link.

Anyway I won’t bother going into the details of my epic battle with the Powder Gangers, needless to say they’re all dead now and I’m not.

However since nothing is ever simple, Meyers needs a pardon before he’ll be the Sheriff so now I’m off to the Mojave Outpost…….sigh

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