I was on the road all last week, traveling to San Francisco for Game Developers Conference and then to Boston to gaze at PAX East and piles of snow. While I was gallivanting around, Kotaku ran some good stories. My favorites:
- I Tried VR Porn, And It Was Weird | Virtual reality was a big deal at last week's Game Developers Conference, and we dutifully covered the big VR announcements. Reporter Nathan Grayson used Valve's much-praised VR system. I tried Sony's. We got the same demos of that tech that other reporters did, though I think we were able to make our takes stand out.
Still, our most interesting VR story wound up being Nathan's unexpected reporting about what it's like to use VR for porn, a story greatly improved by the fact that Nathan went beyond filing a safe-for-work I-just-tried-VR-porn-in-an-office/tradeshow-somewhere report and actually talked to someone who used VR porn for sexual pleasure. The result: some surprising insights about VR's potential for simulating intimate interactions between the user and a not-quite-real second person.
- Helldivers Is Like A Video Game Version Of Starship Troopers | Collectively, the Kotaku team plays a lot of games, but it can be strangely difficult to get readers to be as excited about some of them as we are. There really is no replacement for playing a cool new game yourself, but, in lieu of that, I think impressions like the ones features editor Kirk Hamilton wrote about Helldivers, do the trick. Superb use of GIFs by Kirk, too. I also greatly enjoyed editor Luke Plunkett's smartly-angled video preview of the forthcoming Kingdom Come Deliverance and reporter Patrick Klepek's surprise discovery of White Night.
- How Big Is No Man's Sky? | A proper skewering—in part self-directed—at those of us in the gaming press who've been running the same story repeatedly. Semi-related: Hideo Kojima might be done with Metal Gear, everyone!
- Holy Shit I Just Played Final Fantasy XV | A thorough preview of a game a lot of people are excited about, though this one's also notable because, as regular readers my have noticed, I recently told our writers that I was okay with them cursing in headlines. We strive to write about games the way people actually talk about games. Sometimes some profanity in a headline helps accomplish that goal. Best used sparingly, I think.
- Everything We Know About Five Nights at Freddy's 3 | Five Nights at Freddy's seemed to come out of nowhere. No big publisher backs it. No PR people hyped it to us. I don't think we've ever gotten the developer to respond to an e-mail. It emerged as a hit on Steam, and reporter Patricia Hernandez noticed it. She became captivated by the game and has been covering the hell out of it since. Last week, Five Nights at Freddy's 3 suddenly appeared. Patricia was on the case, and owned coverage of the game. Her stories about the series and the shock sequel are what I'm looking for as we put more energy into covering games people can actually play right now. Because, sure, previews of Final Fantasy XV and the like are cool, but coverage of released games—increasingly the most interesting thing we can tell you about or show you—is where it's at.
Another week in the books!
Got thoughts about what we published last week or about stories you'd like to see on the site? Let me know.