Our readers discuss death, customer service, the fantasy genre, and your inconvenience in the first weekly installment of Speak-Up, where what you say matters. Want to be featured? Read on.

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About Speak-Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have that little box on the front page of Kotaku. You know, the one with "Got something to say?" written in it? That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Just make sure to include #speakup in your comment so we can find it. Every Wednesday we'll pull the best #speakup posts we can find and highlight them here.


Thank You For Your Inconvenience

Anne Boleyne snapped this shot at a local Wal-Mart. Your inconvenience is always appreciated.

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Divinity 2 and the Nature Of Fantasy In Video Games

MosallahNejad uses a playthrough of the Divinity 2 demo as a launching point for a look at the very nature of fantasy in gaming.

In most fantasy games, the tone of contempt takes center stage in the form of evil tracks which depend on nothing more than genre-induced sociopathy to justify their existence. Why would you join the Dark Brotherhood? Because you hate everyone. Why would you hate everyone? Because the developer was pressed into lovelessly devising yet more medieval bullshit. The subtext is that nothing in this world-that-needs-saving is worth saving. Fantasy hates itself.

When I was small, I had a cache of magical items: a wooden sword from a ren fair; a cardboard shield; a driftwood staff with a prism tied to the top; a pleather-bound spellbook and cloth map from Ultima IV; a bag of polished stones; on and on. My friends and I would run around the woods with said items, employing their arcane properties to the effect of saving Krynn or Prydain or Middle Earth or just reaching the Dark Tower (cap gun in hand). We found things, doing that: fishing holes, thickets that made natural domes out of ivy, rusted bicycles, half-built cottages. All of these things took on a life of their own. It was amazing.

To me, that will always be fantasy: violent scraps over your little sister's costume jewelry aside, I'm talking about the sense of wonder. And my point is that it's really a very innocent thing and doesn't have much to do with "epic." Epic is just what happens on the way to the unknown. Sure, you come home bloody from when you didn't block quite right and the blow caught your knuckle (and eyebrow...and knee...ten or twenty times), and sure, you're muddy from tip to toe, and your clothes are ripped you're catching hell for it, but it's worth it for what you saw: sewers were passages to the underworld; water towers were places where wizards resided; there was beauty and terrible evil, and you've brought some portion of it back to the realm of the mundane in the form of the odd scratch or interesting rock.

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Check out his full comment here. Worth the read!


Poor Customer Service Is Universal

Mentuss proves that poor customer service isn't exclusive to North America as he attempts to pick up his Bayonetta preorder Scarborough Fair gun at a UK Game store.

Me: Hello, I've come to pick up my preorder of Bayonetta, please.

GS Employee: Er. Yeah. 360?

Me: Yes. What's going on with the preorder bonus? I hear there's a supply problem?

(Cue awkward pause as the GS employee works out what I'm talking about, he appears to have no clue at all - he goes into the back room to talk to who I assume to be his superior, appears to be just as brain-dead)

GS Manager: Yeah, there's a supply problem.

(Cue second awkward pause)

Me: Well, will I get one or not?

GS Manager: Err... (another awkward pause) They are probably coming in next week.

Me: OK, shall I keep my preorder slip then

GS Manager: Err... Yeah (said in the tone of voice usually associated with "don't give a shit", usually paired with "whatever")

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Read the whole sordid tale.

What Happens When Death Dies?

Clstirens raises an interesting question about the function of Death in Dante's Inferno.

Just played Dante's Inferno Demo, one BIG question.

You murder Death, you steal his Scythe and then murder him with it. Ok, that's great and all, but in the next scene, you find your wife murdered over... something.

HOW DOES ANYONE DIE? You killed death, you solved that little problem 2 screens ago!