- 38ce1f7: Bug 215: Implement v-gifts
- Add database table for vgift transactions.
- 428b6bf: Bug 215: Implement v-gifts
- Strip trailing whitespace in DW/VirtualGift.pm.
- 0adfd1f: Bug 215: Implement v-gifts
- DW::VirtualGiftTransaction - methods for working with transaction data.
- d922b93: Bug 215: Implement v-gifts
- New module DW::Shop::Item::VirtualGift.
- 9e3a057: Bug 215: Implement v-gifts
- New event for delivery notification, LJ::Event::VgiftDelivered.
- 6e0a656: Bug 215: Implement v-gifts
- Add vgift-trans.t for testing transaction methods.
- 4a66ec9: Bug 215: Implement v-gifts
- Add methods related to viewing transactions on profile pages.
- b81e166: Bug 215: Implement v-gifts
- Requested code style tweaks.
- 30d6f37: Bug 5041: Include comments search in S2 search module
- Add a "with comments" checkbox to print_search_form S2 method.
- 12bb380: Bug 5041: Include comments search in S2 search module
- Style fixes as per review comments.
- 0e27559: Bug 5041: Include comments search in S2 search module
- Put each element of the search form in a separate HTML span.
- 247eb2b: Bug 5041: Include comments search in S2 search module
- CSS added for styles which don't inherit from Tabula Rasa.
- 9d4acb9: Issue 658: Improve accessibility on landing page for screened comments
- Accessibility fix: screened comment link is now more descriptive.
- 2b02219: Issue 668: Change 'state' to 'states/regions/territories' for all countries when editing profile
- Changed widget.location.fn.state.inline to "state/province/territory".
- c9c43d2: Bug 5191: sticky posts won't work with slug URLs
- Fix sticky_entry method to accept slug URLs as well as ditemids.
- ebac26b: Bug 5191: sticky posts won't work with slug URLs
- Tweak slug-finding regex to use non-capturing groups.
- d6f033e: Issue 667: add ted.com as embed source
- Add ted.com to whitelist for embedded videos.
Okay, okay, I will acknowledge that the scenes with Channing Tatum and The Rock in them are fun and clearly they need to be in another movie together, but that's the first twenty minutes and oh my God are the remaining two hours not worth it.
Just, you know, in case you were ever wondering.
(No, I still don't know why I am apparently driven to watch everything he appears in, either.)
Also, I continue to have a disproportionate amount of Avengers feels. I do not know what to do with all these feels.
Opinions are like arseholes: best shared in a mutual exchange with friends. One of the reasons we don't allow reader comments on Midnight Resistance is because we feel it would be better for everyone if you would go away and discuss your reactions to our articles with people you know and trust, instead of anonymously engaging in a pointless bun fight at the bottom of every page. An opinion is the unique product of an individual's experience and cultural expectations, like a number generated by multiplying primes, and to post a comment describing all the ways in which some rando's unique opinion differs from your own unique opinion seems like a fundamentally pointless exercise for all concerned.
To reiterate: The fact that you care enough about something to form an opinion is a wonderful thing, and there are lots of people out there in the world who would love to hear what you think, and you should go and find them.
Amid the Bosch-like writhing mass of comment-posting overindulged millennial teens who think their experience of Xbox-era gaming has taught them everything there is to know about games criticism, sites like Video Game Review HQ stand out by virtue of the effort they've put into making an actual website and forming coherent sentances. Their aim is to promote good examples of games writing, which leads to a strange situation where you find yourself reading a review of a review of a game. It seemed appropriate that we should strap ourselves onto the back of this Human Centipede of games criticism and review a review of a review of a game.
Take, for example, their review of Polygon's review of Infamous: Second Son. You can basically break this text into two parts: three short paragraphs of fluffy prose, and then a three-point bulleted list of specific things they enjoyed. Personally, what I look for in a review is some kind of personal response to the thing under review - a description of the experience, how it made the reviewer feel, what it reminded them of, things like that. But the strongest emotional reaction coming through in this review lies in that final bullet point - substantially an underwhelming point to make, and a poor decision from a technical perspective (ie. that the most interesting part of the review comes at the very end, when the reader is most likely to have stopped reading out of boredom already).
Conversely, who cares whether "Infamous is one of the hottest new games to hit store shelves"? If you're writing a review of a review, shouldn't you be focusing on that instead of the game? Aside from specifically calling out Phillip Kollar's writing as "polished, professional and informative" (which even then manages to sound faintly damning when you remember that he is a professional game reviewer), that whole opening prose section is full of bland, unneccessary platitudes. You can tell a lot (ie. literally everything) about a reviewer's attitude towards a subject by the things they choose to write about. For example, doesn't it seem strangely superficial to praise a game review for criticising elements of a game, while offering no criticism of the review? If a good review is supposed to ask mature questions and hold its subject up against adult standards, then shouldn't reviewers... you know, do that?
If you're wondering how I could be so down on a website that wants to positively reinforce good writing, consider their (paraphrased) milquetoast argument that "Of course there's corruption in games journalism, but it NEVER benefits the publishers responsible!"
The issue of bribery and corruption in games journalism is often overstated by the clueless children who regularly vomit such accusations into the footwell of professional writing, but anyone who denies it ever happens is either a liar, or such a spectacularly unsuccessful blogger that they've genuinely never come into contact with PR agents or even semi-professional writers. I myself have but a wispy bumfluff of a social network among the UK's scene of young-ish games journalists, and even I know at least two or three writers who are (or were, while they were active) entirely corrupt, willing to promote any old shit in exchange for some free hardware or tickets to a launch event with a free bar. People like these are a minority, but their corporate shilling earns them a disproportionate amount of work, and this sort of individual bribery bullshit isn't even all that big a problem compared to publication-level deals involving things like cover exclusives, early access, and ad revenue!
This kind of attitude seems to permeate all their articles. Whether you're writing about game reviews, games themselves, or anything else, if your idea of 'positivity' involves glossing over anything negative, perhaps you're just making things worse?? But that's just my opinion.
Male main characters/protags: 14
Female main characters/protags: 28
Unspecified sex/gender/whatever: 2
Also, "characters" is meaningless applied to "A Vector Alphabet of Interstellar Travel," which is doing the Olaf Stapledonian thing with civilizations, sorry.
Of those characters, one (Loi Ruharn from "Wine") is FtM; everyone else is defaulted to cis.
Het main characters/protags: 6
Lesbian main characters/protags: 2
Bi main characters/protags: 1
Everyone else defaults to unspecified. (Well. Shuos Jedao is bi in Ninefox Gambit but there is zero evidence for this in "The Battle of Candle Arc," so I have him listed as unspecified. I really doubt he had any time to think about sex at Candle Arc.)
Um. I have one gay male pair in "Echoes Down an Endless Hall," whom I managed to kill off, although I also killed off the entire rest of that squadron except the one dude who...escapes only to be brainwashed and cyborged by his own side.
Yeeeeeeeeeah this needs work, although I am super super super reluctant to write trans* characters not because trans* characters are evil but because I'm trans* and I really don't feel like bleeding onto the page for other people's freaking entertainment reading, thankyouverymuch.
( cut for raw data )
- Funcom Wades Into Sexist Waters With Mankini-Gate Costume Goof | Maressa at The Mary Sue (April 15): “‘The item was pulled due to concerns over the integrity of the IP – not because of the gender or skimpiness of the outfit.’ Yet it is hard to ignore the fact that it was the male version [a 'mankini'] of the outfit pair, not the female, that was removed. And at no point is it ever stated how the integrity of the IP is damaged by the outfit, if not by its skimpiness and gender.”
- Why are People Perennially Surprised By Internet Misogyny? | s.e. smith at this ain’t livin’ (April 14): “Readers, I have a confession: I was tempted to cut and paste this piece, since I’m pretty sure I’ve written it before. I realized that my desire to cut and paste was kind of an indicator of how endlessly circular this topic is, though.”
- A Tech Leader’s Guide on responding to the question: Where are the women in tech? | Kim Wilkens at shining like the sun (April 14): “I recently attended an all-male panel of local tech leaders who, when asked about how they were addressing the issue of the lack of women in tech, provided some pretty cringe-worthy responses… So I want to share what kind of response I’m looking for when I ask a tech leader what they are doing to address gender equity and the lack of diversity in tech.”
- Today in Anita’s Irony and Lewis’ Law: my threats will show you that harassment is a myth | tigtog at Hoyden About Town (April 15): “Fancy! A woman analysed of an example of sexism/misogyny in popular culture, and the response was a disproportionate display of sexism and misogyny! Golly, who could have foreseen that!”
- Stand Down, Amazon Warriors: Comic Book Guys Already Killed the Comic Book Store | Dr B at BOOK RIOT (April 15): “Even as comics have become increasingly mainstream, comic shops have often remained places where only the hardcore are welcome and one has to prove one’s Nerd Cred to fit in.”
- speaker diversity | Selena Deckelmann at Github Gist (April 14): “Increasing speaker diversity is both about sending emails ‘to the right mailing lists’ but it is also largely dependent on individuals reaching out to new (and veteran) speakers to get them to submit talks.”
- 16 women whose digital startups deserve Vox-level plaudits | Ann Friedman at Columbia Journalism Review (April 14): “Yes, women are still underrepresented and underappreciated in the media startup world, but the truth is women are founding their own digital media companies. The problem is that they are largely absent from the buzzy narrative about entrepreneurs leaving the confines of traditional journalism.”
- In the Workplace, Leaders Who Aren’t Always Followed | Phyllis Korkki at the New York Times (April 12): “‘To the extent that women were perceived to be brokers, they incurred reputational penalties,’ Professor Brands says. ‘They were seen as more competent, but less warm.’”
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Theme: Man Made Out of Stars
Author/Opus: This is the 175th puzzle from Thomas Snyder aka Dr. Sudoku.
Rules: Standard Star Battlerules. Two stars per row, column, and region.
Answer String: For each row from top to bottom, enter the number of the first column from the left where a star appears. If the number has two digits, just enter the unit’s digit (i.e. column “10″ would be entered as 0). Enter these numbers as a single string with no separators.
Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 3:30, Master = 5:15, Expert = 10:30
islands look fingers of
the ground reaching up
in honor of kaberett's poem 'w/hole-hearted'
In return, I will make a point of commenting on at least one post of those you share, and I encourage others to do the same.
Newcomers, lurkers and long-time commentators equally welcome. See also followfriday.
There’s some spoilers for Infamous: Second Son in this article, so I’d avoid it if you actually care about the largely quite rubbish plot in that game and come back when you’ve finished it. I wouldn’t worry THAT much though.
Very few games get actual decision making right. At their best, they’re something like Far Cry 2, where at no point does it tell you ‘THIS IS DEFINITELY THE GOOD/BAD THING TO DO, SO DO THIS’ and just allows you to make your own choices as you move through the story. You provide the moral barometer and you - as in literally you, sat in your pants in front of your console - provide the stance on whether or not something was an act of good or evil.
Most of the time, it is like Mass Effect. You’ve got an obviously good and an obviously bad choice, and if you’re lucky you’ll get a couple of ‘flavour’ choices and some neutral options. It isn’t the worst system, it is just usually painfully binary. Occasionally, a game will twist this basic formula, like The Walking Dead or The Witcher, to give the decisions you have to make a greater feeling of consequence, but it is still the usual list of choices to make.
The weirdest one I’ve seen recently is the moral choices you have to make in Infamous: Second Son. Essentially, Suckerpunch have decided that murder is a much lesser crime than selling drugs in this future Seattle (which is odd, as marijuana was recently decriminalized in Washington state), and they’ve made this a big part of how you advance your character down the good or bad path. It is weird, because the developers have essentially made the moral choice for you, by taking a very conservative stance on narcotics. Regardless of what you think, Delsin’s politics have been set for you.
Second Son shows its true colours pretty quickly. You find a group of armed dudes standing around a large bag and upon approaching them you’re greeted with the message ‘Drugs are bad and destroying them will get you GOOD KARMA’. Right. Other than showing a powerfully bull-headed approach to the selling of illegal drugs, these guys are all painted up as categorically BAD. It is almost as if no one involved in the creative process behind Infamous: Second Son has ever had a smoke of something less-than-legal, which is almost certainly bollocks. If you’re playing the game, aiming for a good karma playthrough, you want to be finding all of these drug gangs and murdering the fuck out of them. Go in all powers blazing, chuck them off buildings, blow them up - these guys absolutely must die, so say the rules of good and evil in the Infamous universe.
On the other hand, there’s the Russian Akuran gang, a gaggle of anti-conduit dudes who want nothing more than ‘your kind’ to be killed or locked up. Killing any of these guys gets you BAD KARMA points! This gang of dudes who are just as armed to the teeth as the drug peddlers, but for some arbitrary reason, killing these dudes is an act of TOTAL EVIL. Get this, I even jumped a gang of these Akuran fellows and ONLY used my powers to neutralise them, rather than killing them. Nope, still an act of pure evil.
Infamous’ stance that dealing drugs is way worse than actual murder is further compounded when you meet Fetch, the assassin who has the ‘neon’ power you acquire and make the game exponentially better in the process. Fetch has got an issue with drug dealers because she killed her brother when she was going through a withdrawal from what is implied to be heroin. Obviously, this murder was the fault of 'the drugs'. Since then, she’s been hunted by the police as she is essentially a serial killer, leaving little calling cards at the crime scenes, where she’s usually crucified some guy who was dishing out smack or something. You track her down, and after a particularly tedious boss fight, you’re given an option as to what to do with her. It should come as no surprise at all to you that what Suckerpunch deem the ‘good’ thing to do is to team up with her and go on a crazed dealer murder spree, cumulating in a firefight at the docks where there’s a body count of at LEAST one hundred men you laser your way through.
There’s some dialogue between Delsin and Fetch, where Delsin essentially talks her into only knocking the drug dealers out, which would be something if it wasn’t for the fact that outside of this token scene to make Delsin seem a bit more reasonable than this rage fuelled girl, you can send him about the city firing smoke missiles into packs of dealers like it’s a fucking act of charity.
This shouldn’t surprise me. Games have had a pretty strange relationship with violence since day one. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bulletstorm, Hotline Miami and even truly dumb stuff like Postal 2, but because ‘killing loads of dudes’ is pretty much THE gaming standard, violence just doesn’t seem like a thing to take note of. In fact, the only time it is ever noted is when people are making a fuss over say, the torture sequence in GTA V, the ‘surgery’ in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes or almost all of Manhunt. Hilariously, they’re all games which have shown an unflinching realism to the violence, not just an action movie consequence free kill spree, and everyone got really upset. “There’s no room for torture in games!” people tweeted. They may as well have been saying that they’re writing off games as a genuinely artistic medium where more uncomfortable issues can be explored, and to let them go back to their Call of Duty now please.
Let’s be fair, how on Earth was your average Infamous buying gamer EVER going to buy into a game that had a reasoned and interesting take on the ‘war on drugs’? Maybe we’re still asking way too much, hence the broad strokes used here? There’s no denying that Infamous has a very childish attitude to things, but then, games are still for the most part aimed directly at those who don’t want their stances to be questioned.
Show 2: a detective verbally threatens a teacher with exposure of inappropriate emails between him and a student to obtain the teacher's co-operation for a DNA sample from a him. Her partner criticises her actions to her face and continues to do so in a later scene in front of the medical examiner. The boss she hates approves briefly and she rolls her eyes.
Go on, pick which one is 2014 USA and which one is 2014 Canada.
I give you the easy ones, people.
( Which shows? you ask. )