Onward

Hollywood

In two weeks, I move to Los Angeles. Phew, I said it.

I will be joining Andrew “Skip” Pfister, former podcast editor for 1UP.com, and Sterling McGarvey, now former editor at GameSpy, as part of a fresh batch of recruits for the online editorial team at G4tv.com. Try not to judge a book by its cover…yet — there are massive changes coming to G4tv.com very soon.

My job will be very similar to the work I’ve been doing for the past several years, both at 1UP, MTV News and as a freelancer. I will be reporting the news. Originally, I had intended to turn this blog into a rebellious outlet for my reporting, giving poor-paying freelance the finger and exercising my talents through this gloriously bland-looking blog. Then, I realized I needed to help make rent. Bad paying freelance is better than no paying freelance.

But I’m very lucky, very humbled by the opportunity to continue doing what I love at G4tv.com. In an economy where most people are struggling to find a job period, to be fortune enough to have options was something I did not take lightly. G4tv.com is particularly exciting, an opportunity to shape the editorial direction of a new outlet, work in close proximity with good friends and colleagues (the working from home thing has grown old) and still stay in California.

I almost moved to New York, but chose not to.

You can start following my work over at G4tv.com, but since working for G4tv.com involves a move to Los Angeles, my contributions will occur in spurts. We are all scheduled to start working in the G4tv.com offices the week before E3, right around the time some big changes to the site are supposed to drop.

I will miss heading to the 1UP.com offices, as I have done for the past month or so, to record Listen Up with John Davison, Garnett Lee and David Ellis. I consider all three of them close friends, and will miss them (and many others) dearly when I move onto The Next Big Thing ™. Unless plans change, I will still be on the next two episodes. Try not to say anything too stupid, Patrick.

But change is good. Change is good.

What happens to this blog? I’m not sure. As expected, it fell by the wayside. I’m considering opening up a Tumblr. Maybe it will continue to be a place I drop the material that doesn’t make sense elsewhere. Or I can just drop LOST theories until the new season premieres. Suggestions are welcome.

Thanks for reading. The best is yet to come.

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The iPhone Roundup, Episode 1

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There’s a reason I’ve been silent

You’ll hear why soon.

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Do you want this gaming swag?

I don’t!

Rather than throw these items out or allowing them to continue rotting on my desk, I’d like to find them a loving home. Here are the items are up for grabs:

* Metal Gear Solid Touch iPhone / iPod Touch cover

Metal Gear Solid iPod Touch Cover

* Valkyria Chronicles replacement cover signed by the developers

Valkyria Chronicles

What do you have to do to win them? Hmm. How about a cooler graphic header for the blog. I’m not much with the Photoshop skills. Something Mega Man related would be nice.ūüôā Send them to patrick.klepek@gmail.com.

Please state your prize preference in the e-mail!

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Konami Making Iraq Video Game, Cops Out With ‘It’s Just A Game’

Iraq

Most of the conversation about Resident Evil 5‘s portrayal of race has¬†dissipated, but one of my biggest takeaways was an open open acknowledgement by many that gamers, games journalists, games writers and game makers must drop the excuse of “it’s just a game.”

Yet that’s exactly what¬†Konami’s embracing while discussing about their compelling (sorry, Stephen) upcoming collaboration with Atomic Games, Six Days in Fallujah, with The Wall Street Journal. Unlike, say, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Six Days in Fallujah doesn’t pretend it’s not about Iraq — it is about Iraq, throwing players into the very battle described in its title. That’s heavy stuff, which Atomic Games president Peter Tamte seems to recognize.

“For us, games are not just toys. If you look at how music, television and films have made sense of the complex issues of their times, it makes sense to do that with videogames.”

That’s encouraging news, right? Finally! It’s refreshing to hear until you read how Six Days in Fallujah’s publisher talks about the game, following the Wall Street Journal describe how Atomic Games apparently ¬†isn’t trying to comment on the war, ala Michael Moore‘s psuedo-documentary¬†Fahrenheit¬†9/11.

“We’re not trying to make social commentary. We’re not pro-war. We’re not trying to make people feel uncomfortable. We just want to bring a compelling entertainment experience,” says Anthony Crouts, vice-president of marketing for Konami, the game’s publisher. “At the end of the day, it’s just a game.”

“It’s just a game.”

Is it possible to experience the Iraq war on an interactive level without making someone uncomfortable? It’s a war with polarizing opinions about its proposal, execution and continuance. This game, while technically following moment-to-moment events based in fiction, is actively utilizing a setting with heated history…and that’s not supposed make us feel uncomfortable? I don’t follow. That works for World War II or Vietnam, when most players don’t have personal context. That’s not true anymore. If you’re making a game about Iraq, you’re making a game about the war one of my best friends came back from.

I’ve tried reaching out to Atomic Games to see if they can help reconcile my confusion between the two quotes. I’ll let you¬†know¬†if I hear back.

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Should You Tell A Developer You Haven’t Played Their Game?

Truth, Lies

While sitting in on a developer demonstration for a game sequel, it’s not uncommon for them to ask those in attendance if they’ve played the first game.

In years past, when presented with a situation where I hadn’t played the original game in question, I had multiple answers ready, all various forms of lies.

1) “Yes, but only briefly”
2) “Sure”
3) “Well, one of my roommates/friends/co-workers did and I watched”

None of them were true, obviously. Since then, I’ve come to realize such answers don’t help anyone. I tell them I haven’t played their game. No apologies. I can’t play everything, though I do my best to try everything.

There are instances where a developer will be taken aback, as was the case earlier this week when I was checking out a sequel. I joked with the developer afterwards, telling him I could have lied, and he laughed it off.

“I would have found out,” he joked.

“No, you wouldn’t have,” said the voice in my head.

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Warren Spector Is Right

“We’ve [games] been a niche medium that over-charges for its product and therefore generates a lot of revenue which makes us a little bigger than Hollywood, which is crazy. … If I’ve got a 20 dollar bill in my pocket I can go buy a book, go to a movie, but I can’t buy a game. I can buy a CD, I can do so much even now, but you cannot buy a game.”

— Deus Ex designer Warren Spector speaking to GamesIndustry.biz

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