Is Minecraft Killing Lego? The Building Blocks Decline

Is Minecraft Killing Lego? The Building Blocks Decline

We All Had a Favorite Toy Growing Up

For many my age and those ages proceeding mine, the one name synonymous with creativity and mental growth just so happens to be Lego. The Lego company has always had a place in my heart during my formative years, every year for Christmas I would ask for sets like the underwater sets “The Stingrays”, the Space explorers set, and even a pirate ship or two. Almost every year, I’d get them, and spend the next day or so putting them together, allowing time for mixing set pieces together just for shits and giggles.

I’d be hard pressed to find a better toy to define my childhood better than Legos before video game consoles. That and the cassette playing robot from Tiger called 2XL. That robot was fantastic, can’t deny that.

However, with kids being born in the generation where technology reigns supreme, the idea that Legos would be the top pick for kids under the age of 8 seems to be fading. At least that’s how things seem to stack up, while companies in the gaming/digital industry might just be on the rise of catching the attention and hearts of kids around the world.

The Signs of Decline for Lego

Recently reported by Lego Chairman and former CEO Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, The Lego company will be cutting 1,400 jobs by the end of 2017. 8% of their workforce being cut because of the 5% profit drop in their established markets (mostly Europe and America). Knudstrop stated it was a “one-off” move in order to switch things back to normal and focus on the small company they’ve been used to operating. While their Asia market seems to be flourishing lately, it hasn’t offset the loss back in the established markets.

Sure, every company has highs and lows in terms of sales, like Apple back in 2016 had the same percentage dip in profit because poor iPhone sales. Seems the removal of the headphone jack was a poor decision. Both these companies experienced at least a decade of ever increasing profit but suddenly dropped in the blink of the eye.

So why is this as a sign of Lego’s soon to be downward spiral? Why am I hating on Lego so much even though I have such fond memories of the building block giant?

Well it’s like reading the writing on the wall, or on the tablet screen rather. Kids under the age of 10 (sometimes even 19 and older) have rallied behind the open world builder Minecraft. Everything from building replica castles of their favorite video games, to just building homes or shelters to see what they can do or how much havoc they can cause. Even just watching Youtubers playing through their own Minecraft adventures is a pastime for kids these days.

Let that last one sink in… the current generation is complacent just watching other people play Minecraft. In the small group I could speak to while researching, a 5 year old was content just watching videos all day and as they get to use the game themselves, they can replicate everything they saw the Youtuber do.  Their older sister (19) said she’d pick Minecraft over Lego, and she grew up with Lego! I even proposed the hypothetical situation if someone walked up and offered 6 sets of Legos or a fully paid for copy of Minecraft what would they pick and they still chose MC. Sure my survey was on a smaller scale and I wished I had more people to talk to but I’ve been limited in my time lately so I pulled what I could together.

I also polled those older than 20, closer to my age, and it was an obvious shoe in for Legos. I was not surprised by this, as my generation and the ones prior grew up long before computer games were as advanced as they are now, or even existed at all. The idea that those raised with toys like Lincoln Logs and Legos just didn’t seem the type to jump ship and hype over the video game equivalent. That’s a discussion for later on down the line though.

Minecraft: Developing The Future

As of 2017, developer of Minecraft  Mojang reported selling 122 Million copies of the game, and at the price of $29.65 (at least for PCs) would total around $592,900,000 in total sales since it was released in 2009. That’s not factoring in the free editions for Windows 10 they’ve given out and the discounted price for the full game here and there, so the figure is probably a little bit lower but still that’s a hell of a lot of money in just 8 years.

The popularity of Minecraft is undeniable, hell I found out doing laundry the other day that my son owns a shirt for them and I’m not even sure he knows what MC is. Honestly the reach of the open world builder has gotten to a point that Lego might have reached back it’s release years. Yes Lego has years of sales and activity under their belt than Minecraft has now but that doesn’t mean they can’t be rivals in the market.

Minecraft has their own merch, as mentioned from my son’s shirt, but also the foam swords and pickaxes, the glowing blocks, and so much more. Factor in the merch, the 122 million copies sold, the speed at which videos about it go viral, Minecraft has the staying power to take over the top spot from Lego.

The coincidental timing between Mojang’s success and Lego’s recent, but minor, decline shows that this might be the perfect time for Lego to be knocked out of number 1.

What Could Be and What Once Was

From what I found out from this adventure into which builder was better was slightly surprising. Going in, I thought that the generation after mine was going to call for Minecraft as the clear winner and I wasn’t wrong, even some of those that were just outside my generations door were rooting for it. The real surprise came from my Twitter poll, which while writing this  was still going on, I saw the majority of the votes went to Lego as the leader. Granted it was 5 out of 6 people but hey there are people out there who still feel Lego is on top and who can blame them when they’ve been number 1 for so long.

I personally love Legos, always have and I think I always will, which seems weird I’d be writing up a piece about how Legos might be going out of style but I like seeing things on both sides. Minecraft I can’t fully get my bearings on, I see some people crafting such amazing landscapes like castles and so on and yet the times I’ve sat down to play, I can hardly craft a house due to my perspective of it. Maybe if I can’t see the whole building while trying to construct it I just can’t wrap my head around it. Then again it’s been years since I’ve even picked up Minecraft, maybe I’m not remembering it properly. Also noted that I’ve been building houses in 7 Days To Die so my experience might differ if I picked up a copy now.

I honestly didn’t think anyone would be interested in reading about this, but after a few people convinced me and another helped me by voting for it out of a few other topics. Hopefully there is someone who finds my thoughts on the subject titillating to some extent, maybe enough to point out holes in my theory.

All in all, I am glad I took the time to look into this, was nice to get other people’s opinions on the subject for a change, rather than just Googling it and seeing what some guy in Boston said 4 years ago. I liked the fresh conversation, and it brought me out of my shell a little bit.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, or just follow me on Twitter or Facebook and spill your guts there.

-ProdigiousJ

P.S..

As with last my article, I’m still listening to and supporting my buddy’s music, Planet Revolver and it’s really getting me through the writers block so I want to give him a shout out.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hope/id1274304272

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Planet_Revolver_Hope?id=B2o4riocnjsxcxmxvxn4pmlfhxq&hl=en

https://www.facebook.com/PlanetRevolver/

Please do go give him a listen and maybe pick up the album.

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YouTubers Needing Accountability? The Wake of the Pewdiepie Racial Slur

YouTubers Needing Accountability? The Wake of the Pewdiepie Racial Slur

Unless you have been living under a rock, and that rock doesn’t have a good wifi signal, you will most likely know the incident involving the Swedish YouTuber.

A few days ago, in the middle of a live-stream of PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, Felix aka Pewdiepie blurted out the N word when insulting someone else in the match. Quickly he then tried to cover it up and briefly apologized in the same video. This is the second controversy that Pewds has been through in the past year. Earlier this year, he used the website Fiverr and paid two men 5 bucks to hold a s sign that said “Death To All Jews”.

So needless to say, the YouTube star has been on a fucking roll in 2017. Honestly people are vastly divided in how they want to react to the recent slip up, the clear path through this whole situation is unknown and murky at best. A majority of people, the knee jerk reacting folks, are quick to bash him, call him a racist and worst of all, some game developers (Campo Santo of Firewatch) are calling for copyright strikes. As of this writing Campo Santo have in fact pushed it through and removed Pewds Firewatch play through from his channel.

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The Other half are those who defend him, long term fans of the Let’s Player and just some random writers online all believe that it was a ‘heat of the moment’ slip up and that he shouldn’t be demonized for what he may or may not have said. Others have defended him by simply saying “It’s just Pewdiepie being Pewdiepie, which is kind of the worst way to defend someone in a situation like this, but hell who am I to judge.

Where Do I Stand?

To be clear, I do not condone the use of racial slurs by anyone, no matter race, gender, nationality. I generally shy the hell away from people who use these words of hatred in everyday life. I wont say it and I don’t intend to be caught slipping up saying it because I can’t bring my self to say any of them without feeling horrible.

That said, I understand heat of the moment slip ups, I know everyone has an “Oh Shit!” word, and in fact I know someone else who has the N word as her OS word and she’s white as porcelain. The difference between her and Pewds is that she is unapologetic about the whole thing, she doesn’t care who hears her and doesn’t care if it offends people, Pewds on the other hand felt some kind of instant remorse when it slipped.

Trick of the Tongue, he messed up and said it. There is no going back from that but getting better or just fading out of the spotlight. Yeah it was in the heat of the moment, I’ll concede that argument, but having that word in your vocabulary at all is a little bit frightening and says something deeper is going on with you and the relationship to said word. Maybe Pewds is a “Closeted Racist” as some people are speculating, even though Campo Santo Dev said he might just be worse. The Anti Semitic video from earlier this year where he “joked” by paying those men to hold the sign, was enough to make you think he just might be.

To break it down, he had time after he came up with the idea, before he started shooting the video, before he wrote out the request to the men, and so on that maybe, just maybe this whole thing is a bad idea, that insulting a race of people like that might just be a bit racist. He had time and he failed to utilize that time to bring himself to a halt when doing the bit.

My takeaway is that he might just be closeted in his racist beliefs and if that’s the case I feel sad for Pewdiepie, but hey who knows, maybe he has just be fueled by the darker side of the internet and gaming where that word is tossed around like a hacky sack during lunch hour and subconsciously he has been ingrained with these words and ideas that he feels he just pushing the envelope and nothing more till the backlash ensues.

Honestly I can’t tell you what it is, and like most people, I can only speculate what he has going on in his head. I can say that maybe, closest racist or not, he and other Youtubers need to be held accountable.

Keeping Them Honest

The wake of both events, the one earlier this year and the one a few days ago, resulted in some pretty big losses to the Pewdiepie channel. After the “Death To All Jews” incident, Disney cut it’s support for him as well as YouTube dropped his show off the premium service, with his N bomb incident Firewatch dev took down his video of their game, as I mentioned above and more possibly looming on the horizon.

But is that really a Bad thing?

I mean, yeah however this ends up turning, it could have been a slip up and Pewds could be a decent human being corrupted by the dark side of things, or he could be as the other half see him and just be an absolute monster, so why don’t we take both roads as far as punishment?

In school, when kids would get into fist fights, no matter who was defending or who attacked first, both kids got in trouble, and worst case scenario they were suspended or expelled. At least that’s how it was in my school, could have been way different in some of yours.

fist-fight

The idea isn’t lost on me though, whether he is a racist or a nitwit, he should get slapped on the wrist, so to say, no matter what. It was a live-stream, he knew the consequences when he was going on, because he’s probably played off camera hundreds of times and if he messed up then he knew he would mess up live. So punish accordingly, in fact all Youtubers should be held accountable for what they do. Sure there are laws and rules of YouTube that I don’t dare dream to understand, and some people are perfectly fine with saying and doing things like this and no one bats an eye.

That’s the problem though, no one gets concerned until someone with more Subscribers than most get involved and people can find a way to spin the story. It’s always worst case scenario when the most popular, and oldest, channels get involved.

The problem is that no one starts reprimanding people from the bottom to the top, they let the low hanging channels get away with stuff because the media isn’t all over it (yet) or they just don’t see them do the ridiculous things they’ve been doing because they aren’t people like Pewdiepie or Markiplier, two of the bigger names in gaming on YouTube. So why don’t we start treating everyone equally and start spanking all of our kids, not just when the oldest acts up.

Maybe if a racial slur is uttered a suspension on their channel for a few days. It may not seem like a lot but for people who monetize their work, a few days can mean losing plenty of money. I’m not saying I’m ok with taking some Youtuber’s livelihood away from them, but there has to be some sort of accountability where things don’t get this out of hand when a bigger channel goofs up.

I don’t have a clear solution, nor do I think anyone else out there might, but maybe it’s time we start thinking about it. Because whether he meant to or not, Pewdiepie has insulted two races now within one year, and has had huge failings with other companies because of it. Maybe it’s time it stop being news because it only gets noticed once in a while. Maybe it’s time to start holding Youtubers to a certain level decency from the get go.

Now I’ll probably get hate from tons of YouTube stars, and I can understand why. I don’t want you to stop making content or stop making your living off of it but I also don’t feel like we should give people any more fuel to bash on not only the YouTube scene but the gaming industry. All I’m asking is holding yourself accountable for what you say and do. You do have tons of influence over your fans, hence the Pewds fans protecting him saying “Pewds gonna Pewds” basically. Just be mindful, maybe someday we wont have to wake up and see another Youtuber in a slam piece by the Wall Street Journal.

-ProdigiousJ

P.S.: A friend of mine just released his first (I think) album, it’s House music, but I seem to love it and it helped me break my writers block so I want to support it here. So I’ll post some links to it below!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hope/id1274304272

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Planet_Revolver_Hope?id=B2o4riocnjsxcxmxvxn4pmlfhxq&hl=en

https://www.facebook.com/PlanetRevolver/

Please do go give him a listen and maybe pick up the album. I love his work

Level Up! Another Year Another Lesson

Level Up! Another Year Another Lesson

Every Year Serves As A Long (Somtimes Painful) Learning Moment

Lately, life has pretty much been piling one thing atop me after another and yet I persist. Though this is the reason I haven’t been able to keep a structured posting schedule or done anything besides personal posts. I know you’re all probably tired of the personal talks but hey, it’s the only thing I can invest time in while I wait for 90% of these issues to pass, which hopefully will be done with by the time September rolls around

REGARDLESS! This past weekend was my birthday, I leveled up to level 28 and gained a bunch of irritating perks upon reaching it. Mostly +2 in headaches and +4 in crap decision revisiting.

As a kid, I can’t remember may of the birthdays till after 10 years old or so, but they were simple birthdays, I guess. I kinda grew tired of the concept over the years, then as I reached high school I realized birthdays were kinda all smoke and mirrors. The amount of friends who attended, the amount of gifts, and the truly sad part is you see just how many people actually give notice that it even is your birthday. You were fooled as a kid or at least since you were younger, things seemed different, possibly more pleasant than they seem as an adult.

So it’s safe to assume that I grow rather jaded over birthdays every year I manage to pull my body and sanity to the next level. However, the past few years have made me realize that I’m becoming more insightful or at least that borderline that. This year I start on my inevitable downhill slide to a midlife crisis at 30, but it also made me realize that I have to finally start bucklin down to aim towards a more structured future. Sure I should have been working on that from a long while ago, but I’m a slow learner and a bit stubborn.

I’ve also realized I’ve become more harden towards most people, stupid mostly, but I’m still willing to offer good advice then tell people to screw off when they admit they wont take my advice. In a sense, I feel like I’m becoming more like my Papa, who passed away earlier this year. He was quiet, worked hard, said what he thought, but was kind in his own way. I feel like maybe, in someway, with each level that passes, I become closure to someone I admired and respect when I was growing up.

Regardless, I’ve never truly noticed the growth I’ve gone through on each birthday. It should have been an obvious thing but just like with New Years Day, you reflect just a little too late on what’s important and what’s happening around you. But as I grow older, I feel like I’m nearing a spot I want to be in. In a career, in my hobbies, and in general, my life might just be nearing a place of comfort. Maybe I can finally stop looking to the past and look towards the future instead.

Like I said at the beginning I have a whole HELL of a lot going on right now, a bunch of issues that will hopefully be resolved by September. So for now a bunch of personal posts might litter this blog until I can finally sit down and do official research on actual subjects. When that times does come, you are more than welcome to comment suggestions on future articles or maybe for one concentrated article for the next few weeks so I can pump on out instead of a few minor posts, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

-ProdigiousJ

How I Wished Life Was A Video Game (Personal Discussion)

Remember a while back when I talked about Gaming while Adulting?

Hell it was one of the first things I wrote for this blog, not the first thing I’ve ever written but I digress. I talked about how I coped with the responsibilities of adulthood and playing video games. This time around, I want to hit on the subject opposite of what I talked about, the fantasy of what life would be like if video games were reality.

I’ve covered this a couple times, dialogue trees, instructions manuals, etc. but this time, due to the reality I’m dealing with and how much easier things would be. I know, fantasy, escapism, but when life gets hard, about as hard as it’s coming down on me, I just like to imagine things would be a bit better if I lived in a video game style world.

Getting the chance to input a cheat code to spawn a new car, get infinite money, gain super powers, any of these things could make the day to day grind so much easier when life keeps kicking you when you are down. Being in a realm where I could charm my way through situations, where save points exist so if I made a bad decision I could jump back to that save and choose to do another action.

I don’t hold regrets in my life, I dislike some of the bad things I have done in the past, I’ve done some pretty horrible things that I would like to take back, but everything that I’ve done has brought me to the man I am. I had only wished the man I was had planned for a future better so I wouldn’t be scrambling to fix thing. I do wish, however, that life was just a bit more forgiving or at least more enjoyable when stress is hitting you from every angle.

I Know Things Wont Change By Wishing

I just like to imagine how things could be, I know I need to change my situation on my own accord and not wait for the universe to hand something out to me. I just have a hard trying to reach a point of being a responsible adult without losing my sanity, my anxiety has a way of exacerbating everything to the Nth degree. Taking some time to wonder what I would do in a situation if I could play like the Sole Survivor from Fallout 4 keeps me sane and places me in a situation where I can assess my own issues from a more comedic position.

I have improved who I was from years ago, I’ve dragged myself up from a position of just all around crap, and became a better man for it. Problem is things pile up, mistakes are made, and life becomes an all around a pain from time to time. Many of you might understand this, hell I would expect many people I know to understand just how difficult life can be.

I’m not saying I have it the worst, I know people who deserve more support than me, but I also know my situation is the one I have to deal with on a daily basis so it’s the one I unfortunately focus on. I don’t think less of my friends and their plight, heck I wished I could do more to help those around me when they need it. I just know at the moment I could hardly keep my head above water.

Which is why I idly think of the world with video game elements. Hell if I could use cheat codes or access super powers, like super speed, I could save money on using my car and wasting gas, just run back and forth. I could also use it to finish all my daily tasks more effectively where the real world limits me to certain constraints. I could only imagine a good time being had if I decided to misuse a power like that, but in general just looking to imagine life just a tad be easier.

To End the Fantasy

I know, this entry hasn’t been the most informative or interesting to most people, I’ve been having some writers block and was looking to break it by writing my experiences lately and just musing of something more interesting in my life. I know it is sad for an adult my age to be wishing like a child for some sort of video game inspired miracle when I could be working to fix things as a whole, but it’s how I cope. I craft stories, ideas, something to ease the pain while trying to deal with the situation. As a writer, I’ve always found myself writing about reality and twisting it to be better because the world around us is sometimes shit.

I can’t lie and say things will be better as easily as snapping my fingers or rolling a 20 sided dice, but I can at least soften the blow. I like knowing that I’m creative enough to imagine a better world while I try to figure out how to make the one we have the same. I just don’t find comfort in tackling a problem while my body falls apart due to stress. Taking the time to craft some fantasy may not be such a bad thing.

Again sorry, this one may end up being a throwaway personal post, but I needed to express my issues, my wishes, break my writers block, and to keep good to my word about keeping posts up here.

To those that read this, thank you. I just hope it didn’t become mind numbing for you in the end.

-ProdigiousJ

Women In The Nerdspace: The Roles They Play

Women In The Nerdspace: The Roles They Play

To Start, I know I’m going to get a lot of flack for this topic and some of the things I say, and frankly I don’t give a damn. You’ve been warned.

Ever since there have been men, women have existed along beside them. From cavemen and cavewomen, Adam and Eve (if your biblical), and even Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man. The trails we’ve walked, they have followed suit or even blazed their own trails ahead of us. They support us when we need it, can be strong, independent beings in comparison to some of the men I’ve met in my life, and yet one question keeps coming to mind when I think of the state of things.

Why The Hell Do Men Mot Give Women The Respect They Deserve?

Seriously though, why is it so hard to give women credit they deserve when it comes to, well, anything they do? In the workplace, they make less annually than we do, they had to be allowed the right to vote where men just got handed it instantly. Women have worked their assess off to get to the same level as men in many situations, professions, rights, and yet many men still can’t do the decent thing and treat them as equals.

My Opinion: I am all for equality, women deserve to be treated better and in many ways they have us beat. Yeah people, men or women, can judge me, put labels on me because I want to say women are better in many ways and deserve to be respected.

Before I go any further with my personal thoughts, let me go ahead and tell you why I’m willing to dip my toes into internet hate comments water, to talk about the women, in video games mostly but I will rant about equality in general at some point.

Last weekend, Sunday, one of my all time favorite shows, Doctor Who, announced the next person to take the title of The Doctor. To a lot of people’s shock (and whiny hate) the 13th Doctor was announced to be a women. Jodie Whittaker, has a handful of acting credits, the most notable would be her role on Broadchurch, where oddly enough former 10th Doctor David Tennant stars in it as well. We only received a couple minute clip, at that, showing her walking and receiving the TARDIS key, but I can only have high hopes.

doctor-who-nonbreaking-fq-lst255311

The Rest Of The Internet However

So many man tears were shed, so many man squeals echoed in the Nerdspace as there always male hero was now a women. Because, you know, women can’t be as heroic because… you know… their female… and stuff.

Why? WHY?! Why on Earth or even in the vast Universe we have around our planet do men or even some upset women think a woman playing the Doctor means the show is dying? Such little respect for a woman who has devoted her life to acting, someone who was chosen by show runners, and even many of the former cast, keeping in mind that the 5th Doctor was a bit off when he commented against a Female Doctor, they have spoken IN FAVOR of the change. I can still not wrap my head around why people have such a hard time giving women they deserve, in or out of media.

There was a video that mocked the haters for it, which touched upon the stupidity of Female Ghostbusters and some other jokes about the series. It was so on point, I will embed it below so you all can enjoy in the insanity that is butt hurt fans.

Video Game Women And Their Impact

Since I am in the habit of writing about video games and the beauty and sometimes ignorance I see in them, I figured I tap into the various ladies who have starred in their own series, the success of them, and even the early, demeaning depictions of them as characters.

Since this topic would have me on a tare for at least a couple of hours, I’m going to highlight some of the biggest roles (Top 5) and a handful of demeaning roles/depictions in both the past and the present. If this post gets away from me, it may run longer than Top 5 but hey, icing on the cake for those who find this interesting.

My Top 5 Women Protagonist

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  • 5: The OG female protagonist, to my knowledge, who started the trend of women in gaming, Ms. Pac-Man. Yeah it was just a reskin of Pac-Man, but it was the simple addition of a hair bow, a mole, and lipstick, Ms. showed up on the scene to show “Hey, eating power pellets isn’t just for guys”. Yeah This sounds like a cop out, but being the first women in video games at the time has to count for something. It also shows that stereotypes have been deeply ingrained from the very early days of gaming.

Samus.png

  • 4: Samus Aran, Bounty Hunter, Part Alien, Part Hero. She was always a silent protagonist, then again nobody knew she was a she. Samus was such a badass, people just thought she was a man because of how awesome she was. When the endings (fair, good, best only) in the original Metroid revealed that the cannon wielding beast was actually a woman, people lost their shit. At the time it was because the developers put her in a skimpy leotard, but over time she became a little less sexualized… ah who am I kidding they still portray her in a skin tight “Zero Suit” but that doesn’t mean she isn’t any less of a positive role model, she goes out, kicks ass, and hunts down Space Pirates.

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  • 3. Fem Shepard is an odd choice I know, because it sounds a bit degrading being called Fem anything, since it means that it isn’t the original, but honestly I can see the two characters as separate beings. While I can’t comment on specific details that the character does, you know being a bad ass in any form and can be the kindest person or the evil warlord type. It’s the voice, Jennifer Hale, who makes this character it’s own person. I don’t associate Male Shep and Fem Shep as just a skin swap, the person portraying the Spectre brings out a whole new perspective. The emotion, the delivery, this brings out this character. As the playthroughs of both male and female are two separate timelines/universes, because I firmly believe Fem Shepard is her own character.

KazooieTooie1

  • 2. This one is strange to be sure, but just bear with me. You’ll get the pun in just a minute by the way… So, I never am one to keep it just strictly human when it comes to my Top Whatever lists, (keep that in mind for future filler articles). In this case I’m including a chick with attitude, Kazooie from Banjo-Kazooie. Now let the two puns sink in, groan, roll eyes, and get over it. The reason she makes my list is; 1. Not many people know she is a female, and I’m not sure if it was scripted into the games dialogue, at least as far as I know, and doing a search hasn’t turned up too much on how it was revealed just that it was. 2. She is honest, upfront, a bit harsh, and a needed ally to make it through many areas of the game. She is needed, she doesn’t hold back and can hold her own (in most situations). Bird Brain Kazooie gets this spot. And look, one devs didn’t sexualize!

I debated on a few people for this spot because there were plenty of women who fit, but I made my final decision based off one thing: Does her role replicate what happens in real life? It was an easy answer, and you’ll be skeptical at first but hear me out.

  • 1. My number one spot goes to *drum roll*

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Aloy from Horizon: Zero Dawn. Think about this for just one second, especially if you played the game through the first hour or so, you’ll see parallels that show how our society works when it comes to women, to some degree (there are variations of course). Shunned as a baby, her whole life people are told not to talk to her, ignore her, or look down upon her. Not because she was a woman, but because of something story related that I wont reveal. But her whole life she was looked down upon, not thought much of, and even as she grew up and proved herself as a skilled hunter, people still looked down upon her, underestimated her. Most people felt there was no way she could be the person to take down the threat looming ahead, and it isn’t until she worked her ass off and took down some of the biggest robots did people start buying into the idea she was worth making the time of day for. Make sense? See parallels? I at least do and I maybe wrong. But she was portrayed as the underdog and I always love underdog characters. Intelligent, skilled, and the underdog, with some real world parallels, I couldn’t have asked for a more well rounded character. Yes she has her flaws, yes she is too stubborn for her own good, sure she has a temper, but who doesn’t have flaws.

Getting To The (Respawn) Point

The point I was making about this is that women deserve respect, deserve to be treated equally, and these women stood out as video game characters who received that respect. They were given there own game or shared the billing as the Main character not just a supporting character.

While looking up other games that started women as the protagonist I found that stretching back as far as the older PC games, and a big market in japan on the older consoles, all women main characters were super sexualized. Scantly clad, dim, big chests, etc. It’s not surprising, it still happens to this day, in fact the over sexualization of certain women characters made it where I wouldn’t place them on the list. I would have put Jill Valentine as a runner up but she steadily turns from police uniform, a skirt outfit, and then finally a skin tight looking body suit. Her personality has changed over the years too, so slowly kicking her off my top 5.

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I couldn’t have found a better show of Jill’s costume changes. DLC for Revelations 2 (Supposedly)

Before I get the comment about how I feel about scantily clad ladies, I know that is sexy, I’m a guy and to deny it would be just lying to myself. Female characters are designed the way they are because most devs know sex sells and so they embrace it. I’m not blind but I can appreciate beauty, sexy, and all that but I can also know when appreciating the women and what she does, or what she is capable is more important than thinking only of their beauty.

The Whovian Finish

Time to come full circle and wrap this up. The bottom line is, when people, mostly men, degrade women to less they what they are worth, it really, really, pisses me off. I’ve always been one to respect women, some I can joke around with and act like an ass but I never think they are worth any less. Some women don’t live up to the level of respect I hold them to but that’s only because they don’t respect themselves.

To the men out there reading this, if you didn’t gleam anything from this, I understand, I can’t change the world nor your mind, but I can tell you that if you ever disrespect women, I don’t respect you. Period. I know that’s harsh, but I’ve had so many female friends who have been in abusive relationships, both mental and physical, and I can’t stand to watch as the people in their lives treat as less than they are. The toll disrespect takes on a person shows and it’s terrifyingly shocking.

To those upset about the female 13th Doctor, get over it. Watch it or don’t, because in the end the show will go on because the huge following it has will not be diminished by a handful of you left. Plus that just means you really aren’t a fan because one change you hate made you run away, true fandom means standing by your group. Just ask sports fan, the ones who get off and on a team are called bandwagon fans, since they just want to be around when the team plays well. True fans stick around even in the hard times.

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I just made a sports reference and it hurts a little since I have no clue about sports. I’m proud of myself a little.

Final Thoughts:

Respect Women, they are our equals and sometimes they have skills or personalities that are better than ours. To not respect women is to basically just live a life inside a sausage fest, since that’s the only people in which you seem to respect or treat fairly.

Get over women being in a leading role/position. Women have just as much right to be the one who saves the day as any man. It’s going to happen, threatening to leave a franchise because your main character doesn’t have a dong, then maybe you should just find a new hobby.

You disrespect women and I don’t respect you. Sure I’ll have some people who hate me for it but those are the people I might just not care to get along with.

I apologize for the length and maybe the preachiness of it all. I just get ranty and angry when I’m particularly passionate about a specific and like I said at the beginning I could go on for hours about this, but for now I’ll leave you all with this.

Can’t we all just appreciate one another and grow to be a better world. Because you never know when aliens look down and are just like “Wow, no intelligent life here, keep fucking moving.”

-ProdigiousJ

How Pokemon Go Got Me Re Addicted

How Pokemon Go Got Me Re Addicted

The game that flubbed horribly on release has once again sunk its claws into me

While I just platinumed Horizon: Zero Dawn and have a lot to discuss (still considering if I should do a full review or not), I decided to sit down and write my thoughts on the recent changes and the hooks launched from Niantic to drag poor unsuspecting sods back into the walkathon known as Pokemon Go.

Almost a year ago today, the supposed global phenom was released to the world to about as much hype as one game could have when the hype train was set to maximum overdrive. Everybody was going nuts about what this game meant, based off a release trailer and some words from the developer. The fact that the Pokemon Company had put enough faith in a company other than Nintendo was enough to get a lot of people on board. Little did they know that the second they dropped the game, they dropped the damn ball. All the items in the trailer, co-op battles, trading, battling friends/enemies, and distance tracking. All promised, and all missing on release.

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Yeah sure, we got gyms, and some flawed distance tracking which was quickly removed, as was the support from community sites showing pokemon locations were banned, but that’s it. Nothing we were promised was in the initial release, not a fucking thing, which was a major letdown for those expecting great things from Niantic. Granted it became one of the most popular way to get exercise, one of the coolest reasons to get outside and socialize with people from your neighborhood. Old and young players alike began to make the Pokemon phenom just as big as it was in the 90’s, some who had followed from before, while bringing their children and our younger friends into the fold. It managed to get me to go to events in crowded parks just because it involved Pokemon, and I’m one of the most antisocial beings I know.

After a while, the craze died down and you’d see less and less people playing, to the point that many players were the ones who had something to prove (mostly to themselves). It wasn’t too long ago that I quit playing for real and only opened the app to do the 7 day streak for my wife, and just because I felt compelled, my own. I was all but clean of the drug known as Pokemon Go, and then everything changed once the Raid Battles came.

With A Simple Change, Everything Is Different (But Not)

When the Raid Battles were introduced, it changed how the gym system worked and opened a new avenue for catching certain Pokemon at higher levels and getting together with people to take them down. It brought one of the features that were supposed to be set for release, co-op battles making social interaction a higher priority when it comes to tackling some of the bigger raid bosses. As well as changing the Gym setup to make it a little easier on people looking to actually keep a leg up in gym battles, adding a berry mechanic to boosting morale for the pokemon stationed at your Gyms.

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The game made it interesting again, at least made me sit here and start planning stats of my pokemon to make sure I have the strongest of each type. I all but quit messing with CP and appraisal system, and let my evolution stats be what they will, that was until the update dropped just about a week ago. The introduction of Raid Boss Pokemon and the bonuses they offer (Golden Rasp Berries, Rare Candy, etc), has given me some pretty interesting incentives to keep my strongest guys on the field, as always prepping for the rumored Legendary Raids, the Three Legendary Birds or Mewtwo, which they teased in the trailer so long ago.

I’ve only participated in three raids, two solos and one group, and it hasn’t been all that bad. A group of 5 raided against a Rhydon at 4 stars, and we got close to winning when the time cut out. Which was kinda bullshit because we drained it’s health and then the timer, at 3 seconds, kicked us out saying time was up. Rather shitty but it was my first go, so it didn’t matter much. I was hooked after that, the other players telling me stories of ones they soloed and of the high lvl Pokemon they caught. I spent the next day restocking on healing items, I never used them before when I stopped Gym battles, I just needed space for my 600+ Pokeballs and the other assorted balls as well. I also spent that day searching out one and two star raids, only finding one close by, just to test my strongest guys. Turns out I won easily but I couldn’t manage to catch the Quilava with the special pokeballs after winning. This past weekend I ran through another 2 star Raid on a Muk, and managed to thrash it and catch it.

The kicker of the whole update was that nothing else was affected. Gyms received the only update, an aesthetic change (which looks badass) and them hosting the Raid Battles within them. Everything else stayed the same. Maybe the capture rates on some Pokemon changed, but that’s hard for me to really say because I only tried to catch what I didn’t already have registered or I didn’t have the evolve form of. Looking at the game as a whole, you can’t really tell the difference between pre-update to post-update, at least on any truly substantial level, and yet people like me have probably come in droves back to the Pokemon Trainer Simulator.

It’s a bit sad to say I have become a more avid player since the update, but it’d true. Powering up Pokemon, trying to get stronger evolutions, checking appraisal stats, and placing guys back in Gyms, all this has become a regular thing for me again and all because I want park next to some stranger in a parking lot and possibly not talk. But hey, we might catch a Charizard if there is enough of us. For now, I am suckered back in, yet this may give way to another wave of clarity before walking away completely. Or the Legendaries will get announced and I’ll be all to excited.

It really is a toss up at this point.

-ProdigiousJ

My E3 Top 10 and Runners Up

My E3 Top 10 and Runners Up

The event I love has come to pass once again, and it left us all wanting a bit more.

This years E3 was a bit underwhelming, most of the conferences seemed a bit lackluster while other reveals and previews gave us high hopes for the next year (or later this one). A mixed grab bag of emotions when it came to the video game industry, and each person has a take away from the show of best of show and even those that were worst of show. Below I walk through my Top 10 favorite reveals or trailers for the coming year.

These are NOT in any particular order, so the number may not indicate my excitement level for each game.

  1. Anthem: Bioware revealed to the world it’s new IP, as if Titanfall, Destiny, and Horizon Zero Dawn merged together with a fusion dance triangle. From what we saw, other than the forced in game chatter between players, this game could be a very interesting and is gorgeous to boot. Sure this could have all been a tech demo and the final game could end up being a mess at release. Yeah I loved Mass Effect Andromeda but it wasn’t a completed project. The faces, however, looked perfect so hey, an improvement.
  2. Beyond Good and Evil 2: Ubisoft surprised a whole hell of gamers by announcing something we long since thought was dead. BGE2 is still far from release, as most people have pointed out the trailer was made specifically for the event annnnd the only thing to play on the show floor was a tech demo that may not even end up being in the final game. Which could take years to make it to release. Oh god… this is like Half-Life 3 now.. Still excited either way! beyond-good-and-evil-2.png
  3. Metro Exodus: I fell in love with Last Light when I discovered it years ago. It had everything a post-apocalyptic shooter needed, mutated creatures, like the gorgeously deformed bear in the trailer for Exodus, and underground civilizations barely surviving without turning on each other. I never played 2033 but if I get a chance to play the Redux for PS4, I will definitely play it to warm up for Exodus. The trailer looked gorgeous, with dynamic environments (I hope that translate in gameplay). I guess I just have a thing for post-apocalyptic game and this reveal hit the sweet spot. Here’s to 2018!
  4. Spider-Man: Insomniacs take on Spider-Man looks fantastic, decent gameplay and reminds me a lot of the Spider-man 2 movie tie in game, which in my opinion was one of the better Spidey games out there. The story seems to be interesting, and the nod at Miles Morales being even mentioned in the game is fantastic for comic fans like myself. The graphics are beautiful and it doesn’t seem to be a Homecoming tie in, so that’s always good news.
  5. The Evil Within 2: Bethesda showed of their video game “amusement park” and besides the glorious Skyrim milking, The show was stolen by The Evil Within 2 announcement. The reveal trailer and some minor gameplay showed just how terrifying the game will be, reminding me of the feel of P.T., and I never played the first game (Now I plan to), so I can’t say how much like the first installment it is. It is stunning and had chills running down my spine. Definitely on my watch list.the-evil-within-2
  6. Dragonball Fighterz: This came as a surprise to me, I absolutely dislike fighting games, mostly because I’m horrible at them, but Fighterz made me excited to try another fighting game. Hopefully I don’t end up just spamming the cheapest fucking moves, but old habits die hard. The reveal showcased three heroes and three villains, Goku, Teen Gohan, Vegeta, Freeza, Cell, and Majin Buu. It is 2.5 D with destructible backgrounds. It was basic but I still want this on my shelf one day.
  7. Far Cry 5: Though we all knew about this game long before E3, the gameplay trailer shown was the final nail in the coffin for me. I was on the fence, not because of the petition going around I wrote about a while back, but because it seemed like the plot might have some holes in it about structuring supporting characters. With the introductions of Guns for Hire, Fangs for Hire, and Friends for Hire mechanic, I feel a bit better about the game structure, also the action was bad ass. I can’t say no to something that makes you looks so bad ass.
  8. Metroid Prime 4: Just a Title card and the classic warping sound effect we are used to hearing with the Prime games. No more information is given but this was another game we’ve been dying for for years, never expecting an end result just false hope. This E3 has given hope to a gaming future we can enjoy.metroid-prime-4-e1497381058373
  9. Super Mario Odyssey: We’ve seen enough before the show to know the game was going to weird, but the new E3 trailer had much more evidence to show someone at Nintendo is on acid. Using Mario’s new hat friend, he can now possess people, objects, and even dinosaurs much larger than Yoshi, that being a T-rex. Different outfits and showing off I think at least one new location, this trailer gave me high hopes for SMO. 60nchk9wxkxjxvtnnf6bqxopeiheyvf7bdvnymfflvmwmhcpzcfsdxmagngimny8.gif
  10. Pokemon for the Switch: A core Pokemon RPG game for the Nintendo Switch was a mind blowing moment. Sure it wont be out for “more than a year” and we don’t even have a title card or anything to go off of. Hopefully this isn’t a port of one of the current Pokemon titles, crossing my fingers till they break on this one.

Runners Up:

  • Mario+Rabbids (yeah it’s growing on me)
  • Hidden Agenda (Seems like an interesting title)
  • Vampyr (Seems it needs some work, but reminds me of Blood Omen 2 in a way)
  • Shadow of War (The aussie orc seems awesome, but I’ll need to buy the first game in order to play this one)
  • Shadow of the Colossus remake
  • Kirby (Kute Puffball)
  • Wolfenstein 2 (This looks fucking insane but again I’ll need to play the first to play this one)

All in all, E3 2017 wasn’t exactly the blow away show but it was still full of exciting reveals. It has added many older games to my must buy list just so I can keep up with some of these sequels. I wished some of the press events had bigger bangs and less dancing around mostly known games and a few major reveals that weren’t exactly unexpected. Nintendo walked away from the show on top with the most upcoming titles, and even managed to convince me to get in line for a Switch when I can.

I was hoping Sony was going to have another “Hold my Beer” moment like in years past but they disappointed, showing off new trailers for already announced games, a deeper look at God of War and Spider-man. I was left feeling somewhat empty after all the other shows this year. I can only hope that this was just a lite year for gaming news, that it was a fluke.

I can dream anyway. So what was your top 10 games of the show, or at least Top 10 moments of E3 2017? Let me know, maybe there was something I missed during.

-ProdigiousJ