Welcome to Press Start! It’s a column about my intense self-loathing, eating and masturbatory habits, cleverly disguised as a week in the events of video game culture. Come on in.
Skyrim gets sweaty, sexy too – apparently
I played a fair amount of Skyrim back when it came out. It’s fair to say that I played it to the point that I grew to hate them game, and by extension myself: simmering in a broth of my own crotch-sweat and remorse as I whiled away whole days trying to find enough dragon bones to make some shitty armour. It was a dark time. During my love affair, I wished for many things to be included in the game; a dragon that I could tame and fly around the place; a quicker and easier way to manage my overflowing inventory and maybe some colour now and again. Strangely enough, though, I never found myself hoping that the inhabitants of Tamriel were perpetually sweaty: not even the alluring female ones.
Strange, for a man who ranks baby oil amongst his top three substances, I never found myself yearning for glistening torsoes at any point during my time with Skyrim. It’s not something I’d say the game really fell short on. Far be it from me though to tell anyone how to live their lives. Skyrim modder Xs2reality (sexy handle, bro) has expressed his individuality and penchant for sweaty ladies with his Sexy Skyrim Sweat mod. This is a thing that actually exists and that another human devoted their time to. Let us all acknowledge this as the exact moment that humanity ceased to evolve. It’s all backwards from here, folks.
What is Call Of Duty’s biggest problem?
Penis swastikas, apparently. Black Ops II, like it’s forebears, allows players to create unique, customized player icons that show up in-game and on scoreboards. It’s an opportunity for guys who like firing into each other’s faces to show their more sensitive and creative sides. Naturally, as human beings, they use this opportunity to create offensive and bizarre tributes to the male appendage and Nazism.
Activision community manager, Dan Amrich is the poor guy that has to deal with the penis swastika phenomenon.
“This divides COD players into two camps: The people who want to create penis swastikas and the people who do not want to see them. I hear from both of them, complaining loudly that they should be able to create whatever they want and/or these people should be banned.”
I for one, feel uncomfortable around penises: especially four of them at once. I assume this is how many it takes (at least) to make a decent swastika. However, I also support people’s freedom to make penis swastikas. These kids may even be future Johnny Ryans after all. Just remember though kids: fascism isn’t cool and neither is contorting your penises into bizarre, unnatural shapes. If you have one, please cherish it and wash it both thoroughly, and often.
I can’t ignore Balloon Snake
Sometimes I’ll log-in to Tumblr and a phenomenon will have appeared overnight. It’s as if I slept through the second coming some mornings and I feel like a huge loser who didn’t get to go to the party. However, this week I get to consider myself as being on the front row for ‘Balloon Snake’. A bizarre, balloon model rendition of Solid Snake from the Metal Gear series has spread all over gaming’s seedy little corner of the internet: forming an unsettling and undoubtedly short-lived meme.
There’s nothing quite like having some of your favourite gaming narrative moments being ruined by a creepy, carnival sideshow version of your favourite character. I give it at least a week until it bores me and a further week to piss off the rest of Tumblr’s gaming community. Enter now, if you dare, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Chinese father takes out a virtual ‘hit’ on his son
Tired of his son’s relentless online gaming and lack of a job, Mr. Feng decided that he was going to have to get creative if he wanted his son to disconnect and become a functioning member of society.
“Feng’s 23 year-old son, “Xiao Feng” (小冯) started playing video games in high school. Through his years of playing various online games, he supposedly thought himself a master of Chinese online role playing games. According to his father, Xiao Feng had terrible grades in school because of his gaming habit; he couldn’t even land a job. He, however, says he simply couldn’t find any work that he liked. Feng was annoyed that his son couldn’t even tough it out for three months at a software development company.”
Rather than simply pulling the plug, or getting liberal with the belt, Mr. Feng turned to the games themselves and hired online ‘hitmen’ to teach Xiao Feng a lesson. I’m not talking about some bizarre, Matrix symbiosis between the digital and the physical here, I’m talking about some good old-fashioned trolling. The higher level players were hired to relentlessly kill Xiao Feng’s character every time he logged in, hoping, as his father did, that this would eventually break Xiao and result in him quitting the game.
It didn’t work out. Or at least, Xiao Feng didn’t instantly get his shit together and find a job, but he did stand up to his dad and defended his choice to wait until a dream job came along. So what did we learn? Entitled child with lack of work ethic cannot be trolled into accepting reality? I can assure you that if I tried pulling that shit with my parents, then my Dad would have kicked my ass off the wireless network. Seriously, when I was young he disconnected the dial-up because I called him a cock.
Namco going back to their historical pizza heritage
In an effort to diversify their business model, and further cash-in on Pac-Man, as opposed to creating new games, Namco are planning a chain of gaming-themed restaurants.
“According to Namco, a prototype, possibly starting in Chicago, could lead to a full-on chain, and it will involve gaming at the location including but not limited to: pool, shuffleboard, video games, or “new immersive attractions.”
David Bishop, CEO of Namco Entertainment Inc., says that this is a no brainer: “It’s no secret that we’ve been exploring a number of new business models and noodling the future of Out-of-Home entertainment for several years now, and our current planning does include an ‘upscale’ restaurant with ‘entertainment elements.’ ”
Can you imagine the unique kind of noisy hell that these establishments could bring? I can: it’s my worst nightmare. I like to eat in solitude; preferably in a room that I have all to myself, so that I can curse my jiggling, swollen form as I absorb more and more grease. Obviously I love video games and I love food, too. But I don’t want greasy controllers and anybody that can judge me more than I judge myself. Surely, being the dork that I am, I would be tempted into one of these potential hell-holes and the following events would further upset me and cause irreparable damage to my already fragile grip on sanity.
Let me be, Namco, please.
Hey Dad! How did I do? Have I made you proud now that I write about things I’m passionate about?
Ben, you just talk about penises and how eating lots of food makes you sweaty and hate yourself. I wouldn’t be doing my job as your father if I told you that this made me proud.
SICK! Coming up in this column for 2013: less food and body dysmorphia issues, but twice the amount of DADDY ISSUES! I bet y’all can’t wait.- The Faux Bot