Highland Arrow

soapbox

The Soapbox: Vote With Your Wallet, Not With Tweets

Written by Trever Bierschbach and published on Feb 29, 2016.


How often have you been in a game where a player with hundreds of hours in does nothing but complain about how awful said game is?  How irritating is it when you see a group of people on social media trashing a company for 'ruining a game' only to buy said game when it releases, or worse, preorder?  What is it about gamers that makes us work against our own interests?  Is it because we're insatiable or habitual collectors?  Do we hope it will be better than we expect?  Is it because we value money differently when it comes to games?  Whatever it is, it's time to put up or shut up.  Use the one weapon we have to make our voices heard because we're being taken advantage of, and we're letting it happen.


Read more: The Soapbox: Vote With Your Wallet, Not With Tweets

The Soapbox: The Adverse Allocution of the Auteur

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Feb 4, 2016.


"Gaming needs to grow up" is a common byline of many an agenda-driven ideologue in the industry, but they're not wrong; it needs to.  We aren't going to do that in an age of developers or critics held above others, however, and we seem to have fallen into a rut by doing so.  We need to empower the disruptive, the scandalous, and push the boundaries, not simply hold up those whom validate us.


Read more: The Soapbox: The Adverse Allocution of the Auteur

The Soapbox: This is How Liberty Dies

Written by Trever Bierschbach and published on Oct 13, 2015.


“If there's one American belief I hold above all others, it's that those who would set themselves up in judgment on matters of what is "right" and what is "best" should be given no rest; that they should have to defend their behavior most stringently. ... As a nation, we've been through too many fights to preserve our rights of free thought to let them go just because some prude with a highlighter doesn't approve of them." Steven King write this back in 1992, and it is spot on how I feel about people who are willing to give up their rights, and the rights of others, to fit some sort of socially acceptable rule. Liberty dies fastest when we willingly put our hands in shackles, sew our own mouths shut, and sell out our neighbors because we're offended.


Read more: The Soapbox: This is How Liberty Dies

The Soapbox: Can the GG Beast Avoid Eating its Own Tail?

Written by Trever Bierschbach and published on Jul 31, 2015.


I saw an advertisement for Falling Skies new episode coming up, and it got me to thinking how the show about aliens conquering Earth is an apt, but accidental parallel to the consumer revolt that has been going on for almost a year now. A major event, caused people who would otherwise not be allies, to band together as unlikely allies. People whose ideology, interests, habits, and behavior that were often at odds with others set that all aside to fight this enemy. Can they continue to cooperate with one another, or will we see them turn on each other?


Read more: The Soapbox: Can the GG Beast Avoid Eating its Own Tail?

The Soapbox: Anti-Ethical

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Jul 26, 2015.


Musing upon the resistance of the games industry to accept ethical reforms, Maiyannah Lysander takes a brief, introspective look at the games industry: its past, present, and future directions, and upon the philosophical under-pinnings of journalistic ethics.


Read more: The Soapbox: Anti-Ethical

The Soapbox: The Rise of the Neo-Puritans

Written by Trever Bierschbach and published on May 2, 2015.


Throughout human history people have been suppressing the ideas of their fellow men and women.  Whether people disagree about art, religion, or politics, stomping on opposing ideas is a too frequently used tactic.  Recently social media has helped give rise to a new breed of outrage activist who use more extreme, insidious methods to censor opposing ideas and in some cases turned their online crusades into careers.


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The Soapbox: An Unpopular Opinion Regarding BasedGamer.com

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Dec 27, 2014.


With the push to "rebuild" the industry in the wake of GamerGate, BasedGamer and some other similar sites have cropped up.  Jennie Bharaj's BasedGamer.com is a website that proposes to be an alternative to Metacritic, allowing gamers to post ratings and reviews of games to an aggregation system.  If that seems a pretty vague and general, well, that's a big part of my problem.  But we'll get onto that.  BasedGamer.com is asking for 50,000 $ on IndieGogo here and a lot of people have solicited my opinions on it.

So well, they're unpopular opinions, I'd wager, but here they are. 


Read more: The Soapbox: An Unpopular Opinion Regarding BasedGamer.com

The Soapbox: Smoke Signals, or: I Will be Heard

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Sep 6, 2014.


This is a story.  Well, kind of a few stories, actually.  It's not my usual work, in any usual format, but these are not usual times.  This is going to be long, probably uncomfortable, and share some views you might not agree with.  Perhaps that is something you do not like.  Please don't read on, if that bothers you.

Oh, and when I say long, I mean long.  Like you're in for trying to 100% Just Cause 2 long here, in an article.  Fair warning.


Read more: The Soapbox: Smoke Signals, or: I Will be Heard

The Soapbox: Zoe Quinn and the Importance of Integrity in Games Journalism

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Aug 19, 2014.


There has been quite the large, recent controversy involving Zoe Quinn, her game Depression Quest, and her ethics surrounding it.  I spent most of last evening discussing this with individual readers.  Let's address this as a whole, collectively.  Integrity in journalism is important.


Read more: The Soapbox: Zoe Quinn and the Importance of Integrity in Games Journalism

The Soapbox: An Old Argument in a New Medium

Written by Bethan Tailleur and published on Jul 3, 2014.


Following the IeSF's controversial decision to exclude female players from their tournament that has since been changed for an Open-to-All format. It's sparked an age old debate on women and their place within an area considered male dominant.


Read more: The Soapbox: An Old Argument in a New Medium

The Soapbox: The Power of Player Agency

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Jun 20, 2014.


In an age of increasingly complex games which offer a great deal of player customisation and choice, expectations have evolved and changed.  Games that don't want to offer that variety have become increasingly controversial in the industry, and developers that want to succeed will find they will be expected to have that diversity if they want to succeed.  But maybe not the diversity we seem fixated on.


Read more: The Soapbox: The Power of Player Agency

Soapbox: Maker/Polaris GAME_JAM, "bro" Culture, and Sexism

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Apr 3, 2014.


It is the most potent and vile mix I can think of.  An untenable mixture of blatant commercialism, poor production with apparently oversight that was lost or unable to keep hands on their own production, and, at the heart of it all: a handful of game developers and youtubers subjected to a disgusting display of that commercialism.  That alone would have made the GAME_JAM set out by Maker Studios doomed to failure at the start.  But it didn't stop there: a drama-centric reality bent that went so comically far as to try to make dated digs at the proficiency of the two female developers.


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The Soapbox: Are You a Gambling Person?

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Mar 3, 2014.


... the games industry of late sure hopes you are!  It's become an increasing trend to add to games what I would call gaming economics, and it's a disturbing trend in what has been a long line of disturbing trends in gaming business models of late.


Read more: The Soapbox: Are You a Gambling Person?

Wait or Pay: Games Holding Your Fun Hostage

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Feb 18, 2014.


I have been playing a lot of Warframe lately, and I have such a love/hate relationship with that game.  In trying to resolve why I feel this way, there's one thing I keep coming back to, and that's business model, business model, business model.  It's quite hostile, actually.  It asks me to either wait to have fun, or pay now to have fun.

Sound familiar?  Then you've probably heard the controversy surrounding the new Dungeon Keeper mobile game; well, I hesitate to call it a game, really.  There is nothing to that game other than mining, the mining is ponderous at best, 


Read more: Wait or Pay: Games Holding Your Fun Hostage

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