Monday, June 30, 2008

Update re: stud muffin

I think she may be onto me...either that or I'm extremely paranoid.

She referred to me mockingly as a 'stud muffin' today....

more as it develops...

Oh, and I've decided to make a new site, and the process will be chronicled on here hopefully.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What is wrong now?

3scapsim has been taken off the air by its editor Melaisis due to a whole bunch of bat-shit craziness happening. I don't blame the guy. Anyhow, somebody has to fill the void....


Dear Escapist readers,

You may or may not be aware of the demise of Melasis’s site 3scapism. This was a site which was dedicated to showcasing the work of aspiring game journalists and reviewers in a place where it could be seen in one convenient location.

I’m not going into the reasons why 3scapsim is no more, because I simply don’t know enough about it. What I will say however is that it was a fantastic innovation that I’m sure every current games journalist would have been grateful to have access to when they were starting out.

I’m here to announce that the void left by 3scapism will be filled.

I’m starting my own games site, I say ‘my own’, I really mean ‘your’ gaming site. I’m not sure of the name yet, but no doubt it will rock your world.

This simply won’t be a mirror of 3scapsim though, it will [i]improve[/i] on it.

First off, instead of limiting content to video games, I will also be accepting games op-ed pieces. These ideally would be well-written and thought provoking articles written by journalists looking to make their mark in the industry. It would also go above the level of ‘GTAIV IZ DA BEST AND HEREZ WHY’ fan-boy style of writing.

These articles will be the opportunity for writers to take a look at the industry as a whole. Where we were, where we are and where we’re going.

Secondly, we will be accepting film reviews and op-ed pieces at this point too. I know some of you hold a great passion for cinema, and some of you are even film students. What better way to demonstrate your love for cinema by than writing about it?

Apart from new content, we will also be beholden to a real-world production cycle.

That means that each week, prospective article will run the ringer of subbing. This includes checking articles for fact and legal breaches and checking for spelling and grammar. I’m sorry to say that each article will be subject to a word limit too.

This is the way it’s done in the real world, and I’m thinking at this stage the word limit will be 1250 words. This is to ensure that copy on the site isn’t too cluttered, and also gives prospective journalists practice and discipline.

We will also be beholden to UK English. That means ‘colour’, not ‘color’. Don’t fear though, because of the process we will have in place, if you do slip into Americanisms, we will fix it for you.

We don’t wish to discourage anybody at all from writing, but I had to pick a spelling style that is maintained on the whole site, and I’m from Australia, so UK British it is.

At this point in time, there are no style specifics, and this is to encourage creativity from our writers. There’s nothing worse than writing a whiz-bang fantastic article and then having to go through it with a fine tooth comb.

I should point out, that these are all preliminary thoughts, and over the next three weeks these will be developed more fully, and a mission statement will be drafted.

What I’m looking for now is people who want to write. People that love writing so much that it borders on the legal in Missouri. In other words, contributors.

These people would have their own style, their own flair and their own words to preach. If this sounds appealing to you, please contact me using the details below. At this stage, all applicants will be considered, please do not be afraid to give it a crack. It’s your future, grab it.

As I alluded to, I am also looking for subs. These will be the people who have noticed the grammatical mistakes in this letter. Yes, pedants, I’m looking for you. The plan is to check about 5-10 articles per week and this will give you great experience at subbing, and will look FANTASTIC on your resume.

I’m hoping that we can send feedback to journalists each week detailing where they went wrong, where they went right, and where they went gonzo. That way, not only will the site be a functioning media outlet, it will be a great learning and training ground.

I’m also looking for web-wizards who will not only help maintain the site, but help innovate and bring new things to the table. Video content at this stage is off the table, but it’s something I’ll be looking into.

Lastly, I’m looking for enthusiastic researchers. These will be the people who bug the hell out of game developers and their PR departments looking for that juicy exclusive that will take our site from amateur to professional.

The hope is someday, when we call a game company, we get someone who isn’t in a meeting.

In summary, the groundwork has been laid my Melaisis, it’s up to us not only to replicate, but improve. Not to be happy with the status quo, but to innovate.

Please submit all ideas, job applications and articles to or contact me on the forums.

With all things running smoothly, we should have our first update live on the 27th July.


James McGrath (AKA Hey Joe)

P.S- All name suggestions welcome

Monday, June 23, 2008

What is wrong with porn these days?

I've never been able to get into porn myself. It's something about the masochistic crap involved in every money shot that turns me off.

Once upon a time, the pron industry had the guile to align itself with the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s, but now it remains a shadow of its former self as models are trotted out on camera and dissected through a consumerist eye.

Let me elaborate and let you in on what the hell I'm talking about.

You search the web for porn these days, and besides the gazillion hits you're going to get, you're also going to have a wide selection available. Porn for those whom feet are their fetish of choice, porn for those for whom redheads are their poison (moi) along with every conceivable combination of body part fetish, sexual fetish and other oddities to take your fancy.

It's a virtual meat market where anything goes, and it's harder not to find porn than it is.

You want a midget riding a black dude? Google it. You want an orgy involving 16 men and one woman? Google it. You want two giraffes giving a reach around to an old man who is licking the feet of a mute nun? Google it.

Any of you who have been on the internet for more than five minutes will recognize the vast fetishistic pool you have to choose from these days. Remember when it was gay/straight/soft/hard?

Now, I'm not against choice, I'm for it. If you have a particular fetish you want to explore, go nuts. What I'm against however, is the affect of this on society today.

Back to my woman in front of the camera example.

A woman is trotted out in front of the camera, usually naive or just acting that way. They're told to pose for the men behind the camera who make comments like 'whoah those are great tits...great nipples....nice arse'.

It's sickening to see these women subjected to this sort of appraisal. It can't be good for women if this is what is informing them of the female ideal according to the heterosexual male. Much like male porn stars create unrealistic expectations of penis size, these women who are engineered to be fetishistic objects can't be doing good.

What I'm driving at, is the standards of physical beauty in a woman is now informed by how perfect their nipples are, how sumptuous their feet are and how firm their bum is. In many ways, we have gone backwards in society when this happens.

Then, you actually get into the porn and its always the woman being subjected to the male presence. There's no passion there, she's being told what to do in every frame. "Bend over, take it on the face!"

Now, I don't know about you, but I've never known a woman who actually likes to have their man shoot his love juice onto her face. Not one.

But of course, men see these films and see the behavior of the ideal woman. So he gets to thinking this is what women should be doing, and they get disappointed when their woman says no (and disappointed when they look down at their manhood).

The only sort of porn I'll ever get into these days is amateur porn where the couple actually R-E-S-P-E-C-T each other and love each other.

Sorry for the rambling people, but I overheard some guys talking about a porno and the things the woman was doing. They laughed and joked about getting their women to do that, and I could only hang my head in mourning and walk on by.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What is wrong with bening a total stud-muffin?

I joke of course, but last night I had a somewhat alarming encounter at work.

As some of you know, I work as a barista when I'm not whining about people not giving me freelance work. It's a relatively new job, and I've been in it for about five months now. I get along with most of the people there and I feel quite at home.

I also work as the only male on staff. This is an interesting position to be in, but one I'm comfortable with because I've been the only maleon staff before, and I was raised in a family of women.

Here's the thing though, some of them find me attractive. I've lovingly been given the name of 'spunky' and I've overheard conversation saying that I'm quite alright looking. That's fine, it's just looking, that's not going to harm anyone.

But what happens when that escalates?

Last night I was closing with one of my coworkers when the banter between us somehow turned to what I find attractive in a woman and some of my pick-up lines. She instigated the questions such as 'what do you find attractive?'.

My inner alarm bells started to go off at this point, but they weren't blaring. I answered her questions saying that I'm looking for intelligence etc., but then she started to ask about how I picked up women. So I started to joke around saying things like "Nice shoes, wanna root?" and "I sincerely want to listen to you talk about your problems...really".

Then, I'm not sure if this was out of exasperation about my answers, but she asked "What would you say to me?"


Again, I kept it on the surface saying things like "'re tall" and such things. She kept on pushing the point though, and luckily I was able to divert her attention with something that needed cleaning.

Don't look at me like that.

This could just be me being paranoid though, as the girl in question is 18 and Christian. I'm sure Christians go out on dates and such, but she knows I'm not into religion. I don't hate it, but I don't believe in it.

She's pretty cute though, and this episode has me scanning everything she says for hidden intention.

So, the question I pose to readers is this. How do you work with a workplace infatuation? Do you try to bury it,or do you try and bring things to a head?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What is wrong with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08?

Not much. Here's my review


I stood on the edge of immortality. It was a 32 yard putt, downhill breaking viciously to the right. On the other side of the hole lay doom, the ripple of the water serving as a counterpoint to my greedy eyes. Make no mistake, this was a toughie.

If I sunk it I would win my first tour championship, if I missed I would be sunk.

I looked around at the crowd, expectant of history on the 18th and the flag waving in the breeze. I refocused and drew my putter back. I paused for a slight moment, I drew the putter forward and the ball was on its way. It seemed the moment was almost cinematic.

The ball rolled its way down the slope. had a chance! My hands gripped the controller as it rolled. Is it going to make it?

"Ooh...lipped out"...plop.

This ladies and gentlemen, is the story of how I broke my TV.

It all started one stormy day during a break at work, the local game store was just down the way and I had ten minutes before I had to get back to work. I decided to peruse the bargain section of the store; it was probably the giant red signs that did it.

I trawled my way through the titles I had no interest in, until I laid eyes on Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08. It was half price, making it $AU40. I would make that amount in the next two hours.

'Golf? I know nothing about golf! But still...$40 is pretty good.' I thought as I pawed at the case with my grubby hands, to the delight of the grubby sales clerk who took my money with glee.

I got home that evening, and almost forgot I had bought the game. I was halfway through Sports Tonight when a golf story came on and I realised I could actually be playing golf right now.

I loaded up the disc and waited for the monolithic EA-Sports logo to mock me for making an impulse buy and filling its coffers, therefore funding its attempt at world domination.

I got into the game and was pleasantly surprised by the catchy menu music provided by Gym Class Heroes. I guess I was expecting music from the twenties when golfers wore pants the size of their egos. The presentation was really quite nice, which is almost par for the course as far as EA Sports titles are concerned.

I browsed through the menu items and found a section called Golf 101. Yep, this is what I needed. As I made my way though the challenges presented by learning a new sport and constantly shanking my shots to the left, I couldn't help but notice that this game was gorgeous.

The trees swayed, the grass was realistic, the people were real and the water effects were stunning. Birds tweeted in the background and the crowd groaned as I missed the green yet again. I really felt as if I was out on a sunny afternoon rather than inside during a miserable evening.

There's a reason EA Sports rules the roost, it's because it gives the player great presentation to suck you into the game world.

Once I had completed the training, I felt that it was time to take off the training wheels and just learn by doing, so I decided on a career mode.

When I was asked to create a player, I presented with the option of using my Xbox camera to put myself in the game. Usually, I think this sort of thing is for sad, sad pandas but then again, I'm a sad, sad infant.

It asked me to pose front on, and then profile. It was surprisingly easy. The result was pretty good, it actually looked like me. As my friend commented: "Oh god! It's hideous!".

Once I had my golfer kitted out with the most ostentatious clothing I could manage, I decided to dive straight into the PGA tour. That...was a mistake.

You see, my stats at this stage were pathetic. An old man could out drive me (and did on several occasions), and Wayne Rooney could hit the target better than I could. The best I could ever manage was 6 over for the round.

I was about to give up on the game, egged on by the in-game commentators who mocked me like only the gentle observers of the manly game of golf can.

I went back, and realised there were two options I hadn't considered. Training and the Tiger challenge.

Training involves a bunch of mini-games like 'nearest to the pin' and driving contests. I was pitted with AI around my own ability, but just ahead of me to keep the greyhound interested in the bunny.

I soon found out that these challenges were quite fun, and at the end of them I had earned more potential for my golfer. This meant that my skills would grow as I played more golf, and I found it an effective way to keep the player interested in repetitive training.

Tiger challenge, was like training, but with a few twists to keep things interesting.

What it effectively amounted to was challenges to unlock golfers, courses, money, skills and ultimately a showdown with the great man himself. Rather than a linear structure though, you are free to take whatever path you want, and pursue challenges in any direction.

These ranged from skins challenges against AI, approach challenges that honed your game from the rough and devious putting challenges that placed you on Satan's own putting green.

As with the training portion of the career mode, these challenges were all quite fun, with distinct rewards for beating them.

As the hours passed and my golfer grew ever stronger, I felt it was time to get back on the tour, and see if I could do any better.

As it turns out, I could. My next round was only 2 over par, an improvement of four shots. All that training and all those challenges had paid off in a handsome way.

As I learned the intricacies of the game, I learned to appreciate the simple beauty of the controls.

The left analogue stick controls the swing, you keep it straight and the ball flies straight. Simple enough, but I found it quite hard to control it with my left thumb as is natural, and instead resorted to using my right thumb.

Normally, this would get a game ridiculed, but there's a whole stack of things you have to do before swinging the club, and once you've done those, it's all gravy.

A new feature this year is the ability to draw and fade. This is basically the ability to change the flight of the ball to go left or right. This is the key to unlocking those tough dog leg holes as you can start the ball out right, and fade it left.

The red button brings up your target zone. This is basically the area in which the ball is predicted to land if you give it 100% power. The beauty is, the you can move this to estimate how much power you need to hit a certain point.

For example, your target zone is off the green but you want to pitch your shot right next to the pin. You bring your target next to the pin and it'll tell you that you need around 50 5 power to pitch it there. Then, you just simply draw back your club less than you normally would and hey presto! You're on the green and the crowd is goin' nuts.

Once you're on the green, you're treated to all the bells and whistles.

A grid shows you the slope and the direction of the breaks, and once you've lined up your putt you can press the left bumper to bring up a putt preview. This shows you the line the ball will travel across the green and is invaluable for amateurs.

Of course, all of this can be turned off for the purists among you who want a real man's challenge.

It's taken me half a page to describe the mechanics involved, but once you learn these, it's deceptively simple to master.

I thought I'd finish this game within a week, boy was I wrong.

The thing about this game is that it demands your concentration for all 18 holes. You can't afford to let your concentration slip for even one hole, or you'll end up over even. The game gives you all the tools to succeed, but it can be a bitch sometimes.

There's no doubt this game is more than a challenge than your average sports sim (I'm looking at you Virtua Tennis 3), and is less forgiving. All of which makes sinking that perfect putt or pulling that great fading pitch shot from the rough to grab birdie all the more satisfying.

The true test of any sports sim is if will appease the fans and draw new people into the sport, and in this Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 succeeds. It's got lots of things to unlock, lots of game play and a ton of trouble if you slice from the tee.

The fact that I'm considering heading off for a round of real golf this weekend is testament to the game. It has superb presentation, superb visuals, great mechanics and is a challenge to all (even to my golf-familiar friend).

Multi player is an absolute hoot, with plenty of mini games and game modes to keep the sledging in the lounge room going long after you've controlled your controller in a fit of rage.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 has all the bells and whistles, but rather but feel overwhelmed by them, the player is invited into the world of golf through intuitive game play and easy to pick-up mechanics.

Now if you excuse me, I'm off to buy a new TV...and maybe a three wood for my friend. We'll see who's hideous.

Recommendation: Buy it for something different

What is smoggin' wrong!?

The case of Aussie athletes sitting out the Olympic opening ceremony is a curious one. Well, I say athletes when I mean a bunch of officials forcing them to sit at Hong Kong and fly in for their events instead of marching in the ceremony.

It's long been tradition to miss the opening ceremony if you have an event early the next morning, and that makes sense. Who wants to be standing on their feet for ten hours when you have to be gunning for gold the next day?

But this marks the first time that Australian athletes will sit out the ceremony for health concerns. They're (again, I mean the officials) are concerned smog levels in the city will affect their performance, so much so that they'd rather have athletes fly in for their events.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't the pinnacle of sporting achievement supposed to be participating in the Olympic games?

Of course, Beijing officials are furious, and I'm sure carefully worded letters will be sent to Canberra over the next weeks. The question is, do officials from the AOC have the right to determine the Olympic experience for athletes?

It's a pretty tough call to make, and one that will be justified if the athletes give good performances, but this points to a darker side of Australian sport, and Australian culture at large.

Ever since the Australia II sailed into Fremantle and Bob declared "any boss who gives a worker the sack because they don't come in tomorrow is a bum", we've relished in sporting success and the underdog tag.

We've always been the colonials trying to mix it up with big boys on the stage, and when we've won, well, it's been a product of Aussie ingenuity and guts.

Even when Steven Bradbury....somehow (by 'somehow', I mean everybody else fell over) won at Nagano, we rationalised the win by saying things like 'good on him, it took guts to make it that far'.

Look at the Australian Cricket team. Is the more no more poignant social baramoter of our culture than the colonials beating the masters at their own game again, and again, and again, and again?

We love it when our teams and athletes win, we see it as a vindication of our national character and our willingness to 'give it a go', but much like our cricket team, we really revel in dominance and the dark edge that can bring.

There is an ingrained culture in Australian sport to win at all costs, heck, bowl underarm if need be! AIS funding is tied into the results various sports achieve, so while Rugby Union may receive big ol' chunks of development money, Volleyball can only navel gaze from way up in the air.

It seems that winning on the world stage at games has become the way of proving our worth as a nation, and our individual character. So the latest move from the AOC should come as no great shock.

You see, the AOC have been looking over their shoulder as teams like Germany France and England eye the fourth spot on the Olympic medals table. They've expressed concern that the tradition of doing better at every Olympics, may be under threat in Beijing.

We can't go backwards! It's unheard of! Our coat of arms doesn't go backward!

So the move to base in Hong Kong instead of attending the opening ceremony isn't just for protecting our athletes, it's for protecting our medal position, and protecting the great Aussie dream.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What is wrong with carbon trading?

Well, I don't have enough time to write.

I had all these grand plans about how I was going to spend my free time this semester break, but as it turns out, my employers had other ideas. In short, I'm working about 35 hours a week which means I'll be getting some serious cheddar but after a long day, the last thing I want to do is write.

I'll have to scale back some of the freelance projects I was going to undertake, but I should be able to submit one or two pieces around the place which is nice.

The plans I have at the moment is to write a piece about gaming from the most isolated city in the world (Perth) and submit it to the escapist to see if they want to give it a run (or at least read it).

The other piece I'm thinking of developing is an article about the practice of offsetting carbon. My plan would be to hit up an editor of a bio-publication I had a bit of contact with over the semester.

My piece would question the whole practice of planting trees in a vain attempt from companies such as QANTAS and other to offset their footprint. Planting a whole bunch of trees is nice, but how long does it take for those trees to grow?

All the while they keep on polluting, but can say 'hey!We're eco-friendly, look at all the trees we've planted!'. Then what happens if the trees are cut down and made into furniture, what happens to the carbon in the plant then? Does it get released back into the atmosphere?

Perhaps a better way of showing you're eco-friendly would be to invest in renewable energies?

It's even worse since we've ratified the Kyoto protocol. Now companies have the power to engage in carbon trading, and specialist carbon traders are popping up around the place (including here in Perth).

It goes like this. A company can set them selves up so they buy property, plant a bunch of trees to develop a carbon sink. Then, because as a full business they've been allocated a heck of a lot of carbon credits, they can on sell them to the highest bidder (usually from a heavily polluting company). The thing is, they can claim the credits straight away, without waiting for the trees to grow to their full size.

So the polluting industry can keep on polluting because they have the carbon credits to do so, the dedicated carbon trader has a lot of dough and CO2 emissions continue to pollute.

A better system, in my opinion, would be a straight up tax on polluting companies. That way would you not only discourage polluting, you could take the money from the taxes and invest it in renewable energy such as wind, solar or hot rocks/geothermal (a personal fave of mine).

So anyhow, that's what I'd be going with the piece, and I'd be contacting some companies who are setting themselves up as carbon traders to see what sort of protocols are in place regarding the trading scheme.

I'll also be doing my usual round of reviews at the escapist forums, and my next two will be a comparative review between Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Invisible War, and Tiger Woods '08. I actually have some time to work on these, so I'm hoping these turn out to be really high quality reviews instead of the five minute reviews I usually submit, and hopefully these will hit around the same time I'm submitting to the Escapist.

Anyhow, I'm sorry for the longish post.


P.S- A shout out to all the Perth Escapists, at the moment Saskwatch and I are planning on goin' bowling in about 2 weeks time. We're hoping this could turn into a Perth Escapists forum/micro-convention, so if you want to meet up with me and the Yankee Culthulu, either contact me on the forums or send me an email.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What is wrong?

This is just a quick update to assure the two or three of you that read this blog that I am alive and well. I've got an exam in two days time (Which I've only just started studying for), but after that I will be flooding this blog with all sorts of things.

I'm going to be submitting a lot more freelance stuff around the place, and I will be chronicling my struggle to be published right here. At the moment, I'm thinking of submitting a a few gaming sites, because it's what I enjoy writing about.

That being said, I will be trying to get some work with a bio-tech mag here in Perth, and I'll let you all know how that goes. If you guys out there in the webiverse know anywhere that's taking copy for peanuts, fill me in.

I'll also be launching a few creative projects of my own (one of which involves video reviews) which will not be in the style of Yahtzee, so this blog may get some multimedia content soon.

Other than that, I'll be working my arse off at the coffee shop trying to get some money together. I'm not sure for what yet, but it'll be good to have some savings in the bank in case China slips into recession and we're left screwed.

Anyhow, I'm alive, I'm writing and you're going to be hearing a lot more from me soon...ish.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

What is wrong with boredom? (spoilers)

I was supposed to be writing a 2500 word essay due on Monday about the construction of the 'other' as relating to 'terrorist' yesterday, but by the time I got up to 1000 I decided to stop.

Instead, I wrote this. Enjoy


I should be writing an essay about the construction of the 'other' in action film right now, but I just can't be arsed.

Instead, I feel it prudent to collate a few thoughts about how our little medium is starting to grow up. In this discussion, I will be referencing two recent monolithic game releases in Bioshock and GTAIV.

We all remember the hype surrounding the release of the two titles. We all remember perfecting our Serbian accents before GTAIV was released and scribbling 'Rapture Rise!' on our notepads in lectures before Bioshock hit.

When these games came out, we found that not only were they excellent titles (not perfect), but they were attempting a serious discourse on gaming, and its direction.

I'll start with Bioshock.

Rapture. The only place it could be built was the bottom of the ocean. The dark depths were the setting for a game that examined the human condition, morality and most importantly for the gaming industry, the conventions of gaming until that point.

I think us all here who have played the game remember the phrase 'would you kindly?' and the reverberations it had.

Until that point, we had been guided by another's motivations, the other's desire for his family, and ultimately for revenge. Flashing lights gave us the objective we had to fulfil in order to advance the plot, and take us the next step on our linear progression.

'Would you kindly?' changed all that. Before that, we were passengers in a deeper struggle between two men, observing the twisted world around us, slack jawed and wide eyed.

After that, the true horrors of Rapture revealed themselves. Instead of a freakshow, we confronted the very real spectre of corruption and the degradation of society into cannibalistic orgy, where the flesh was the keeper of Adam. All for one man's vision, and a hoodlum's greed.

Bioshock took us on a ride and suddenly, oh so suddenly, with one phrase changed the experience for the player. It took us from the passive observer, to critical witness and participant in creating meaning.

GTAIV involved the player in the narrative like no other game has before.

We all remember GTA right? Violence, hookers and blowing shit up? Fun as hell, but kinda shallow.

The parents cried out. They're going to release a game like that!? In hi-def!? When will these game developers realise the consequences of violence?

Those who have completed the main story of GTAIV will realise that they did.

Here we had Niko Belic, coming to America to find the American dream. Now, it would be pretty easy for the game developers to have us digest a story about how petty violence was in this context. Simple as can be, just put in a huge fuck-you bittersweet ending.

Well, they did that. They fully explored the thematic concerns surrounding a gangster lifestyle as portrayed in popular culture. You know, the one where twelve scantily-clad women dance around a guy wearing baggy clothes telling the world about his penis size and how he was gonna cap all the bitches that stood in his way.

GTAIV captured the futility of this lifestyle perfectly in its storyline, but again, if this game were like ones before it, the player's involvement would be passive.

You know what this game did that no other has yet?

Relationships. You were given a phone, and given the chance to engage with the characters outside of the escort mission/ cut scene parameter. What better way to engage the player in the narrative but give the chance for the player to know the characters involved?

Imagine the emotional impact of a certain character's death if you have gotten to know them. Dug deeper than the superficial appearance of AI, and gotten to the real emotional core of the character.

For those of you who had to endure Kate's death. What did that feel like?

Did you shudder?

Did you weep?


Have you ever felt like that before? The heightened sense of tragedy knowing about Kate's family, the McReary clan. Knowing about her relationship with their father, and about her reluctance to trust anyone in her family's gangster life.

On the way to funeral, she finally accepts Niko. Niko accepts and embraces his new, clean life. Away from the killing.

Even after Kate's death, characters call you to offer their condolences.

Without the character interaction, we would just have another predictable tragedy on our hands, but because of it, the player's involvement becomes that much deeper, and we engage with the narrative that much more.


That should be the buzz-word for the next phase of gaming.

You can keep your next-gen graphics, you can keep your audio bells and whistles, you can keep your gun with a chainsaw, I want engagement.

I want a game to engage me.

I want a game to drag me into the world so deep that I forget I'm playing a game. You won't do it with graphics, verisimilitude has to go to the core of what gaming means as an interactive experience.

This thing, this gaming medium. It's the only medium where you can actively participate. It's time for developers to realise this.

Would you kindly?