There's No Such Thing as a Free-to-Play Game

I've tried to be fair to the concept of free-to-play games, which you see a lot of in mobile gaming. Yes, it all seems a bit cynical—it trades a single price for a potentially unlimited revenue stream, but there's nothing necessarily illegal or unethical about that. It does depend on making some substantive portion of… » 11/16/12 8:00pm 11/16/12 8:00pm

Crazy Expectations of a Console That Didn't Deserve Its Third Chance to Fail

If you never saw Crazy People, a 1990 film starring Dudley Moore, I highly recommend it. Basically, an advertising agency is taken over by the insane, who decide that honesty—the anathema of marketing—is now the best policy. Volvos are sold as "boxy, but they're good." Another stunt offers "a free plant for fat… » 10/05/12 8:00pm 10/05/12 8:00pm

Actually, It is Kinda B.S. That Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U Exclusive

It's funny when anyone on the Internet flips out, but no one does it better than the video gamer. When the issue involves someone not getting what they want, when they want it, at the price they want it—and you yourself don't want it—it's entertaining as hell watching someone break into a Rumplestiltskenian fit on the… » 9/21/12 8:30pm 9/21/12 8:30pm

Customer Service Sucks For Those Inside the Gaming Industry, Too

Console failures don't just happen to the little people. No, they happen to gaming industry professionals, too, and we're happy to report they don't get a customer service batphone and valet replacement service just because they happen to work for a major publisher, as "Frank" does here. He gets to suffer through the… » 8/31/12 8:00pm 8/31/12 8:00pm

Would You Pay $260 for Xbox Live? Technically, I Just Did

Helplessly watching this sweating man thrust all of his body weight into my bedroom wall, grunting over the whine of the drill, I realized I was seeing and participating in the perfect metaphor for my attempts to connect my Xbox 360 to the Internet in my new home.

"Man," he said, "you're a real tough 'un." I couldn't… » 7/20/12 8:00pm 7/20/12 8:00pm

Piling On: Four Hundred Games I'll Never Finish, and Counting

Tuesday afternoon I got the Internet connected in my new home. From Wednesday morning until Thursday afternoon, my PlayStation 3 was downloading every free title due to me as a PlayStation Plus subscriber. Since I moved, that console has literally spent more time acquiring games than I will likely spend playing them,… » 7/06/12 8:00pm 7/06/12 8:00pm

No Way to Trim the Pubic Hair of Console Gaming

In about a week I'll move into a new home. My mother's giving me an antique pine cabinet which she says is perfect to support my TV and house all my video game equipment. When I get home my best friend and I will carry over this antique. Then I'll drill a huge hole right hrough the back of it.

No matter how consoles… » 6/22/12 8:01pm 6/22/12 8:01pm

Lessons in Double-Speak, from Native Speakers

The major controversies, disappointments and outrages of the preceding week all seemed to share one trait: They contained some eye-rolling levels of double-speak and ulterior meanings.

The issues themselves have been gummed to death, and I really don't wish to rehash those arguments. But we're talking about debates… » 6/15/12 8:01pm 6/15/12 8:01pm

The Lazy Security Patrolling Apple's Shopping Mall

This past weekend, readers alerted us to an absolutely contemptible ripoff » 6/01/12 9:00pm 6/01/12 9:00pm on the iTunes App Store. Someone had submitted a straight-up copy of the flash game, called it —which doesn't exist on the iOS. , some unscrupulous dick managed to slide Adam Saltsman's game past Apple's mall security. The fact it happened on…

Even If No One Listens, Let the Review Bombs Fall

It's easy to sit back and scoff at "review bombing," as we saw last week » 5/25/12 9:00pm 5/25/12 9:00pm when Blizzard . Flooding Amazon to give zero stars to something others have , sure, that's not a legitimate review. And people staging a sit-in aren't there to legitimately patronize a public accommodation, either. But a sit-in is a legitimate…

Black Ops II Chooses Someone Who Failed the Call of Duty

When you face low expectations, falling short of them doesn't count for much either. And that's the dirty secret of Call of Duty » 5/04/12 8:01pm 5/04/12 8:01pm, which has spent four years solidifying its image as a crass chickenhawk brand thanks to some particularly dumb marketing initiatives. But hiring Lt. Col. Oliver North as a spokesman for ,…

Out of Hand—Is it Ever OK to Throw a Controller?

Two weeks ago, a million-dollar contest supplied an interesting prism through which to view the reactions to different people's failure to accomplish the same thing in a video game.

In one, a gamer stretched a remarkable achievement into an inhuman streak of perfection, ultimately snapped as much by bad luck as his… » 4/27/12 8:01pm 4/27/12 8:01pm

Ebony and Ivory: The Xbox's Black and White Buttons, in Imperfect Harmony

Dusting off some old friends on the original Xbox I was given back in January reacquainted me with several happy memories—and the two worst features in the history of console video gaming controllers: The black and white buttons.

I realize we're more than five years removed from their reign of terror, but as the long… » 4/20/12 8:01pm 4/20/12 8:01pm

It's Time for the Worst Day in Video Gaming: April Fool's

Oh, great. April Fool's is on Sunday. This is the worst day, the absolute worst, in video gaming.

The self-publishing capability of the Internet and the concept of viral spread has definitely made this holiday more hazardous for credulous reader and skeptical newsman alike over the past 12 years. But video gaming, as… » 3/30/12 8:00pm 3/30/12 8:00pm

Loving Video Games is Right, and I Don't Want to be Wrong

It's hard for me to look at the news of the preceding 10 or so days and not feel like there's been some enormous, possibly irreparable rupture between gamers and those who serve them. I certainly contributed to this with a post about the ending of Mass Effect 3 » 3/16/12 8:00pm 3/16/12 8:00pm and or appended. I still disagree with the goal of the…

Can We All Please Ignore Roger Ebert From Now On? Thanks.

Let's stop giving a shit what Roger Ebert says about video games, and art, OK? We've tried like hell to make him into a punching bag, and neither he nor the rest of America gives a crap for the fact we choose to feel so insulted every time he says something about video games.

This past week, Ebert, still the most… » 3/09/12 9:00pm 3/09/12 9:00pm