Friday, April 02, 2010

Friday afternoon tidbits

Between PAX last weekend, and filing two game reviews this week, I could use a break. Fortunately, it's a holiday weekend, and at the very least I will be able to pause and eat some ham. That's how I roll on Easter.

-A few months ago I was invited to contribute to an exciting project, and now it's been officially announced: the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die is available for pre-order on Featuring capsule reviews of, you guessed it, 1,001 video games, the book covers it all, from Pong to Dragon Age, and every platform you can think of. I think it's going to be a really special product, and I had a blast working on it. It comes out on October 12. (By the way, that's an Amazon Affiliate link, and if you order through there you'll kick a buck or two my way. Yes, I will continue to post the link!)

-Some good stuff about women and games this week. The Border House ran a couple of satirical pieces for April Fool's Day that invert common posts on traditional game sites. The first is called "How to Get Your Boyfriend to Play Games with You," which lampoons the depressing number of similar articles aimed at (straight) men. The second, "A Matter of Resources," posits an alternate universe in which developers simply can't prioritize including male avatars in their games.

Also, the Phoenix's Maddy Myers considers the addition of a significant female character in Gears of War 3: " that there's finally a chance to include a female character in this hyper-masculine world, ... the developers have decided that the reason she's there is because there's something 'wrong' with her that makes her an 'ineffective' woman (at least according to the rules of this universe)." Honestly, I do give them points for trying, but Maddy's right -- maybe it would help to get more women involved in development?

-Several game sites have picked up on the story of the kid who tried to steal the Breach source code from PAX, but I've seen it covered best at Joystiq. Between part 1, part 2, and part 3, there are several surprising developments, and guffaw-inducing quotes. Quotes like:
  • "He said several times he 'knew people' and 'could give us bigger and more important people' and he could 'name names.'"
  • During the Q&A section of the panel, the alleged thief asked if he could have his Gamertag unbanned. Toulouse asked him what he'd done, and he said that he'd played Forza 3 before release, which Toulouse told him he shouldn't have done. Toulouse was clear to point out during the panel that buying games early, from a retailer that breaks street date, and playing them online doesn't get Xbox Live players banned, but illegal pre-release play does. The suspect later admitted to Joystiq he illegally downloaded Forza 3 early.
  • An arrest warrant has been issued for 20-year-old Justin D. May, the alleged thief of the Breach code at PAX East, after he failed to show up in a Boston court today... May's current whereabouts are unknown, but we do have his Gamertag, which shows that wherever he is at the moment, he's playing Modern Warfare 2.
  • "At the end of the day here, we aren't exactly dealing with John Dillinger, you know?"


-Finally, a couple of PAX recaps. Julian Murdoch relays a funny and kind of touching tale of mistaken identity. Eric Swain captures the whirlwind of handshakes and introductions (with bonus photo of me!). Simon Ferrari had an interesting encounter at the Breach booth, which did not involve attempted theft. Sparky Clarkson focused on the indie games on the expo floor, as did Daniel Bullard-Bates at Press Pause to Reflect. And if you'd like the full story of the guy who yelled "These are my people!" at the first PA panel, read his recollection at Punching Snakes.

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