Category: News


Zoe Quinn: “If I can bang a billionaire’s kid, you can too. Never stop dreaming!”

(Pictured left to right: Congresswoman Clark, Zoe “Chelsea Van Valkenberg” Quinn, Alex Lifschitz)

Fresh off addressing a congressional committee on Internet harassment as the guest of lawmaker Katherine Clark, Zoe Quinn gave an impromptu speech to reporters as she left Capitol Hill.

“A few years ago, I was just another self-important, mentally-ill attention whore who couldn’t program a commercial-grade video game if her life depended on it. Today, I spoke to Congress about the crucial need for busy elected officials to do something about mean words on Twitter.”

Quinn was humble in her her moment of triumph, using her biggest moment in the spotlight to date in order to take up the mantle of role model for future generations of young girls aspiring to be game developers Twine users:

“If I can be an inspiration to just one little girl, this was all worth it. For all America’s problems, today we still live in a country where a girl born into a wealthy family can change her name, try and fail at porn, ruin marriages, sabotage competitors, and still end up speaking to Congress because her new boyfriend’s war profiteer father pulls in a ton of money for a congresswoman. This isn’t just my moment, this is yours. For if I can go from slumming it with game journalists and developers five at a time, to fucking a billionaire’s son, you can too.”

“After all,” Quinn added with a grin, “this is still America.”

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Schafer Plans Comedy Tour; Separate Cover for Setups, Punchlines

Double Fine lead Tim Schafer’s impromptu stand-up performance at GDC was the pilot for a full-fledged comedy tour, an anonymous source close to the situation tells Subtle Blend.

“Tim’s bringing something new to comedy shows,” our source reports. “At most comedy shows, you’ll pay one fee and see an hour-long set from a headliner, maybe an opening act or two. What Tim plans to do is leverage his status as a Kickstarter pioneer to transform that model.”

It works like this: At his yet-unannounced tour dates, Tim will go on stage and perform an industry standard amount of material (roughly an hour). The Double Fine twist? No punchlines. “Tim will give the audience his setups day of the show. At a later date, they’ll have the opportunity to purchase the punchlines to those jokes on DVD.”

When we followed up to ask whether or not our source was worried about audiences reacting poorly to the prospect of not getting a “complete” set of jokes for their box office fee, we got the following in reply: “It’s a little unconventional, I’ll give you that. But Tim made Psychonauts and Grim Fandango. So, I’m sure audiences will respond well.”

(Image Credit: The Ralph Retort)

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Polygon Starts #750000reasonstobe Initiative

To better combine its position as a steadfast defender of Microsoft with its obsession to link social issues with gaming, Polygon has announced it will embed a senior editor with Microsoft’s gaming division for a whole year as part of its #750000reasonstobe campaign.

“A lot of gamers look at Playstation 4 and only see that they get significantly better hardware and a bunch of monthly free games and discounts with a multiplayer subscription,” Polygon’s Arthur Gies told Subtle Blend.

“As usual, gamers are looking at things through the perspective of their own privilege. They only consider that Sony’s value proposition is objectively better than Microsoft’s. They don’t think about all the people who dedicated years of their lives to work on this device. There probably were at least a few women and minorities on the Xbox One team, but gamers don’t think about that either. They just want the system that has better games and more power at a lower cost. Gaming culture is disgusting. It has a giant empathy problem.”

To change this state of affairs, Polygon will send features editor Russ Pitts to Redmond for a whole year to tell the “human story” of Microsoft’s failing console. (Full disclosure: Pitts doesn’t like us very much.) “Very few writers use more words per article than Russ Pitts,” Gies told us. “He’s great like that. You could ask the man to write a grocery list, and he’d find a way to make it 2000 words long, plus make eggs and cheese into a metaphor about the sexual awakening of young girls.”

As our chat came to an end, Gies contended that gaming culture needed to consider all the good Microsoft has done when selecting their next-gen console. “As you know, Microsoft gave us $750,000 in start-up money so we could make a movie about ourselves. When the Xbox One came out, I made sure we gave it a higher score than the PS4, and Microsoft gave me a house in NYC. Gamers want to shit on that, but I’d ask them what they’ve ever contributed. Have they ever bought a house or funded a movie for someone? Didn’t think so.”

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Next Titanfall update adds Macklemore Penalty Pack

Not to be outdone by its nearest competitor, Respawn Entertainment has announced the impending release of a voice pack for Titanfall featuring Seattle-based rapper Macklemore.

“Using the power of the Kinect, Macklemore will bring his signature blend of weaksauce rhymes and whitebread style to the world of multiplayer,” Microsoft spokesman Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb said in a statement.

Rather than add Macklemore’s voice to matches, Hryb explained that Microsoft views the free add-on as a way to greatly reduce offensive behavior on its Xbox Live service. “If the Kinect detects a user engaging in hate speech during play, the Xbox will automatically begin to play ‘Ball Till Ya Titanfall (Until All Are Equal),’ the exclusive track Macklemore recorded for us, in which he explores the social inequality issues that may arise during a round of team deathmatch.”

“The song is awful,” Hryb clarified. “How this guy won a Grammy is beyond me, but that’s the world we live in. The punishment will be tiered, so first offenders will only be subjected to the first 30 seconds, whereas a habitual troll will eventually be forced to listen to the entire 27:00 track. Again, it’s really bad. We expect our digital streets to be cleaned up pretty fast once word gets around.”

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Sessler Quits, Realizes Actual Whoring Pays Better

This just in: Veteran game journalist Adam Sessler leaves an industry that literally caused him to have a mental breakdown (and probably a cocaine addiction).

The story is still breaking, but an anonymous source close to the situation shared the following with Subtle Blend: “Adam realized he was really great at whoring for these companies over the years at Rev3 and TechTV/G4; as such, he decided that he could do better going into business for himself on the streets. Fact is, actual whoring pays better, and if you’ve got the right stuff, your clients will keep you awash in coke and next-gen consoles for the rest of your life. Perks of the job.”

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Facebook Overhauls Internal Servers To Accommodate Surge of 3D Duckface Data

In a filing with the SEC, Facebook revealed it plans to take a significant one-time operating loss as it “significantly revamps” its internal systems in preparation for the launch of its newest acquisition, the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

“Facebook is already the world’s most popular tool for sharing too much about your own life, but people are going to love oversharing more than ever when they can do it in stereoscopic 3D, ” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.

“On a daily basis, we process a huge amount of data. A lot of that data comes from selfies. Girls in particular love the selfie, and one of the most common selfies is the duckface. You take a duckface photo on a camera, it’s a small image file. But take one in the Rift, and you want to share everything with people so they can actually download your selfie as a navigable experience. We’re not currently equipped to pump out accurate, real-time renders of the small, minute curves of comically puckered lips for millions of users daily.”

Zuck said the added processing power should help render things other than lips: “If you take a photo of your ass in yoga pants after a workout, or your biceps, our current server-side GPUs are going to absolutely crush the blacks. People may well believe you’re wearing faded, knock-off Lululemons or Tapout gear even though you shelled out for the real thing. So you can see, these upgrades are crucial: Nobody said reaching the future would be easy or cheap.”

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Romero, Mercier’s Club Visit Reveals ALL Men Are Skeezy, Not Just Game Devs

Veteran game industry professionals Brenda Romero and Alice Mercier admit they might have made some erroneous conclusions about the nature of men in the games industry, the women told Subtle Blend over the weekend.

“I went clubbing on Friday and took Brenda as my wingman,” Mercier said. “I’m coming off a pretty brutal divorce and I wanted to get my twerk on. Anyway, the place ended up being a bit of a meat market. Neither of us had been to a place like that in a while, so it was sort of surprising how many disgusting things dudes said to us. By the end of the night, we both kind of had this horrible realization that getting embarrassing come-ons from douchebags can happen anywhere. It has nothing to do with video games and it doesn’t rise to the level of sexual harassment.”

Mercier said her experience led to second thoughts about an earlier incident that led to the resignation of Indiestatik founder Josh Mattingly after he clumsily, crudely hit on the recent divorcee in a private Facebook conversation. (“Alice Mercier” is an alias used by the unidentified woman to speak to the games press about the incident.)

“Like, when Josh flat out told me he wanted to kiss my vagina, I was pissed and ready to sue Indiestatik to make sure this never happened to any woman ever again,” Mercier said. “It took me a while, but I’ve finally realized there’s no actual recourse to this, because we don’t work together, and Josh doesn’t have any kind of authority over me. He was just this sad son of a bitch who doesn’t know how to hit on chicks without being a skeez.”

At last week’s Game Developers Conference, Brenda Romero made an impassioned speech about an incident where an unnamed developer from a different company allegedly drew Romero’s attention to the outline of his erection while the two shared a drink at a trade show. Like Mercier, she’s beginning to consider games culture may be an extraneous, unrelated variable in the equation: “I spend a lot of time on Tumblr and Twitter looking at what my fellow Strong Female Games Professionals say about men in this industry, so I kind of lost sight of the fact that this behavior isn’t directly linked to video games in any way.”

Romero continued: “A guy who buys you one drink then points at his dick is half a fuckin’ social retard, whether it be at a trade show or a shitty dance club infested with college kids. It sucks, but unless the dude is your boss or a coworker, you turn him down with extreme prejudice and move on. You don’t have to run to the press about it.”

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Adam Orth Rents Moscone Center For Follow-Up Speech

As Game Developers Conference 2014 ends, the Moscone Center in San Francisco has already been booked for its next event: Former Microsoft creative director Adam Orth will give a follow-up talk in which he hopes to “clarify a few things” in light of some of the initial reporting on his GDC talk.

“Basically, I failed to emphasize a few really important points in my GDC speech about the online harassment I experienced when I was still working for Xbox,” Orth said by phone.

“The games press is great, they take the side of us developers on most things because a lot of them really, really, really want to be devs themselves. But as a result of that, some articles kind of spun things to where I was the victim in all of this, even though I basically told millions of our potential Xbox customers that they weren’t actually people because they didn’t live in an expensive city with FiOS Internet in every appliance.”

Orth continued, “I wasn’t professional. I was a huge, toxic cunt. Like, gaping huge and Chernobyl toxic. Even by the code of the playground, I started it. In that spirit, I’m going to hold an hour-long event after my talk. During this time, anyone I’ve hurt can come by and give me a wedgie. I hope that the games media will cover my event to help begin heal any wounds I inflicted.”

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