I’ve been listing my five favorite Kotaku stories each week since mid-January, and I’ve never had as tough a time making the list as I did today.
Last week was stacked with an unusually diverse set of good stories. Barely any of them involved major new releases, but you don’t need big new games to keep things moving on a gaming news/opinion site unless you’re an outlet largely driven by hype product releases. We’re not. Oh thank god.
Ok, so with apologies to our analysis of Scorpion’s popularity, our deep digging into League of Legends subreddit drama, our highlighting of probably the best Star Wars video game idea ever, our dispatch about the fighting technique of “invisible nunchuck guy”, our search for Mr. H. Kojima, our attempts to make GTA blush, our dive into the horror that is MyIdol, our devotion to Daredevil, our send-up to Souls games, and our two fun pieces on Westerado, the children of mine I liked best last week were:
- The Fake Video Game Rumor Someone Spread For... Homework | A great original piece by Jason Schreier about a college student tasked by his professor to make something go viral. He got a 90. The student did, not Jason. I gave Jason a 95 for the actual article; would’ve given him a 100 if the article had gone viral.
- Hot Fuzz Is A God Damned Masterpiece | Kirk Hamilton manages to convince me (and many other people) why a comedy he loves is so great. He also managed to spoil the movie for me while I was editing it. Thanks, Kirk. I hope it was worth it to get Edgar Wright to start following you on Twitter. Probably Kirk’s revenge many years later for me making him run a notorious Joker “spoiler” headline that got Kirk all kinds of grief.
- The Most Ridiculous Skyrim Mods People Are Trying To Sell On Steam | There was a lot of drama last week about Valve starting to let people sell mods, much of it covered by Nathan Grayson via our Steam subsite, but Patricia Hernandez’s list of ridiculous Skyrim mods for sale may have best captured the, uh, entrepreneurial ingenuity of modders. I love it!
- The Lies Adults Used To Tell Me About Mortal Kombat | A strong headline helps sell an entertaining, funny and succinct account by Patrick Klepek of growing up playing Mortal Kombat in the city where the game was made and tested. A lot of our first-person pieces on Kotaku are too long. Patrick shows how to get to the point and get it over with. Good stuff.
- GTA Players Try To Survive The Worst Taxi Drivers Ever | This might actually be my favorite post from last week. It is a snapshot of so much of what’s great about video games and how people play them.
Another highlight: Patrick’s piece about how Atlus is making four cuts in a game that’d otherwise be rated Adults Only, as well as this relatively unassuming piece about why he’s not into the new Overlord game. I bring both up in light of an internal discussion several of our writers had this week about online outrage and outrage about online outrage. You know how it goes. Some people will get angry about something; others will get angry about the anger; everyone’s miserable. Sometimes I feel one of those sides is in the right and that the other is being ridiculous, but I also see many instances where it’s easy to empathize with either side, easy to see why some people might be legit upset about something while others might legit not see much merit in the complaints.
Since the existence multiple, valid points of view is always possible, I always favor a cool-headed approach to tricky topics. At times that may mean I’m slow to outrage, but I think we all benefit when we can resist our reflex reactions and listen and think more. That’s why I was proud of writing this piece last summer about how tricky diversity issues are in games and why I was a big fan of Patricia’s unexpected exploration of the censorship of sex games on Steam. (I’m also a fan of passionate, strong argument, mind you.)
That Atlus piece from Patrick gives the game creators a chance to explain a controversial decision. The Overlord piece balances a reaction that many had—myself included—with a defense from one of the people working on the game. The articles are better for that cool-headed approach.
Got thoughts about what we published last week or about stories you’d like to see on the site? Let me know.
P.S. I had no idea about General Veers and Game of Thrones! How did I not notice that???