Monday, 16 April 2012

RIP Game Focus

Perhaps the last, proper, independent retailer of import, used and retro games/accessories in London: Game Focus, has shut down, for good it seems. A real shame, as, for a gamer that lived in London, Game Focus was a godsend for reasonably priced snes and dreamcast games, obscure gameboy advance titles (which by the way, you really should own Astro Boy: Omega factor) and hard to find arcade sticks. Basically, everything GAME never stocks, Game Focus would usually have. Or would try to get, if you were on friendly terms with the owner. Of course, the only games journalists that will mention a relatively low priority story are the London based, coke-addled hacks that are upset that they'll have to trade in their review code, for next to nothing (but still 100% profit, because promo games are free) at CEX now.
Dammit, Naughty Bear is a triple-A title, I want ten pounds for it!

But as someone who keeps his promo copies (including the sure to be valuable Rockstar Table Tennis promotional sticker) so instead, I'll prefer to remember Game Focus as being a decent little games shop, that had a great selection of games, pretty much any kind of controller or cable you needed for your console (old and new alike) and the T-Hawk action figure, that remained on their shelf for fucking ages. So what if Goodge Street was always crawling with Romanian gypsies, pretending to be Big Issue sellers? It was a great shop. And now it's gone. So that's London a little more shitty, than it already is.

With the passing of Game Focus, I'm reminded of a "Monday musing" -you know those pointless opinion articles on Xbox LIVE, written by some mouth breather or by one of the LIVE admin team, to promote a upcoming Xbox exclusive- where the writer bemoaned GAME going into administration (this was before the last minute buy out) and how gamers should support GAME, as it's the only proper video game retailer. Bollocks to that, why should you support GAME? They don't support you, if they did, they would have, at least, done a "going out of business" sale. Instead, they closed down a bunch of stores, put hundreds of people out of work and still kept selling games at crap prices and unfair trade-in deals. GAME is a business, not your friend, you don't owe them anything and vice-versa. If they can't provide the title you want at a competitive price, then tough tits.
However, if you live outside London, and you know of a proper indie retailer (no, not Grainger Games, that's just a glorified car boot sale stall) then support them. They rely on every sale, actually give half a shit about games and know about them too and can give you the personal touch, GAME, HMV and certainly Tesco can never provide. Would GAME ever try to order in a import game for you? Does HMV sell the means to play import PS2 games? Would Tesco tell you of a upcoming special edition you might be interested in? Somehow I doubt it.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Maxim understands video games media

Overt misogyny in video game and it's related media is no big surprise (see previous post), be it ignorantly dismissing any female with hatred and suspicion or cynically exploiting the terminally lonely with the cult of the "Gam3r Grrl." Well "modern day rape bible", Maxim magazine is practising both, with their maxim gamer girl competition. In which the entire world of video games is dragged through Satan's arse crack as, essentially, attention whores line themselves up for the judgement of shut-ins in the desperate attempt to give their lives meaning by the adulation of total strangers. And that in of itself is nothing new either. Without it the likes of Olivia Munn, Jessica Chobot  or the Frag Dolls wouldn't have a job. I mean how else are people with below average looks supposed to feel good about themselves?
We can dig it

Not really a noteworthy thing to comment about really. Were it not for how I found out about Maxim's continued quest to keep gamers locked in the dark ages, I would of just made another post about how some rip off  DLC or tell you a story about how Ellie Gibson would gladly send all of the staff of Eurogamer to Hades if it meant getting her idea for a novel published. But I found it rather interesting to find it mentioned by Aoife (no, I don't know how it's supposed to be pronounced either) Wilson: a producer/presenter for the fuck-awful, Ginx production company. Fair enough if you hate the objectification of women in gaming. But if it weren't for lonely, male gamers, hand sexing their way through your awful video content, you wouldn't have any place in gaming. because your writing, production and presenting is painfully dire. Plus any sort of cosplay = twat
Please love me I'm just like you...join my tumblr, like and retweet, kthnxbai

That's not the issue either, because one expects everyone in television is a  fucking hypocrite. But it would seem a lot of you have trouble working out what exactly a girl gamer is. Seeing as most gamers' definition of a attention whore is a cosplayer who didn't give them their phone number. Ok, because deep down I care, so I'm gonna wrap this whole shit up right now for you.
What is a girl gamer?  Simple, it's someone that enjoys playing video games, who was born female. And that's it. They play games and have XX chromosomes. Look at the picture below...

You can't see what she's doing, but any gamer can tell you, she's playing a game. The glossed over, intense glare in her eyes, her face stuck in a  mask of concentration. She is girl playing a game. A girl gamer. Her gender and what she looks like are not important. She's too busy capturing the flag. Now lets look at an attention whore shall we?

"Hey guys, I'm a gamer and a  girl, looking for a decent game online. Unless you're scared of being whupped by a girl, hee-hee! ;p "  That person is not playing a game. They're posing for a photograph so lonely bastards can shower them with adulation and/or buy whatever ever product they're shilling. be it a website, kickstarter project or amazon wishlist. Understand?

someone playing a game

attention whore
And for the sake of balance here's a male attention whore
hey handsome

 I'm not gonna let the men off the hook either. Granted, almost no males in gaming have used their looks to any advantage. Mainly because they're all ugly as sin. But the climate in which girls either feel they have to remain anonymous or lick a PSP is down to the way you chaps have been behaving for the past two decades. Is it any wonder some girls go the attention whore route? Whether it's for personal or professional reasons, it's like shooting fish in a barrel, which  -in turn- continues the vicious circle of regular girl gamers getting abuse because they dare admit what gender they are or -and you know I'm right on this one- commit the crime of not being attracted to you.
A very wise person once told me: "no one is obligated to be in love with you"  So just because you chance upon a moderately attractive girl who shares your interest in video games, doesn't mean she's obligated to fancy you because you unlocked the recon armour on Halo 3. And likewise, someone isn't gonna go out with you, no matter how many pairs of shoes or games you buy on their amazon wishlist. Take a step back, remember video games are supposed to be a fun pastime and maybe realise men and women are much more alike than you think and there's no grand, female conspiracy, not to have sex with you. So stop actiing like the knuckle draggers, you see working for OXM's website.  Attention whore and hand-sexer alike...just stop. If you both acted with a little more self respect and  less self loathing, we'd all feel the benefit. Unless you're a cosplayer, in which case, go fuck yourself.