This is my awesome tagline!

188 notes &

"We want to talk about improving games journalism."




Ok sure - well what specifically do you think is the problem?

"Too much corruption, not enough transparency, media keep trying to silence our complaints."

Oof, that’s a tricky one. I mean you’re sort of suggesting a number of things there, first of all that corruption has been proven to…

Awesome stuff from Matt Lees here.

This said, I definitely think there’s something not being acknowledged which I’d like to see mentioned more in retrospect. There’s a reason - not a good, justified reason, or a reason which demanded a reaction of this size, but a reason - that these people take it as read that there is corruption in the games journalism world and that the debate is about fixing it versus not fixing it as opposed to proving definitively that it exists in the first place.

It’s that they think, on some level, that Gone Home, Depression Quest and their ilk somehow objectively don’t deserve the coverage they get.

It’s just accepted - any major publicity for avant-garde video games, or at least this degree of publicity, is because of collusion and corruption, because to a certain mind, these games are somewhere between worthless and out-and-out Not-Games. There’s a reason the devs under suspicion are the indies.

It is at this point worth mentioning that, for quite a lot of people, the reasoning behind calling these games worthless is that they are made by women or GSM folk and thus aren’t for real gamers (or worse, are actively pushing the Ess-Jay-Dubbleyu agenda!) but for many it’s more broadly that they don’t get the appeal, that the things these games try and do aren’t what, in their mind, games are for, and thus don’t get why these games are so often praised or brought up, with many of them afraid that this kind of game will overtake real games.

To which I can only say, of course games journalists never shut up about games like those. If you evaluated and analysed hundreds of games a year professionally you’d be screaming out for interesting auteur curios as well. I mean, to me, I’d almost understand why someone would go the absolute other way and accuse Depression Quest ofa cynically designed machine engineered to get publicity, but it’s unimaginable to me that it was so unlikely to get coverage that it would rely on its writer banging people for reviews.

Critics always value the avant-garde of media because it’s a more interesting, worthwhile field to talk and think about than whatever shit you want them to discuss. Like, if these people had a broader scope than just video games they’d know that the term “indie darling” is in the lexicon of every sphere of mass media critics. Film critics aren’t all colluding to promote the career of their close personal buddy Leos Carax, they’re just sick of the same urban destruction blockbuster they’ve been watching since Independence Day. Likewise, Gone Home is obviously a welcome release from “Kill aliens! Kill goblins! Kill soldiers! Come see videogames, where anything is possible!”. Because one day, you’ll be bored of those things too, and when you are, you’re going to have a whole load of great writing about other avenues games have been exploring waiting for you.

It’s the same with developers. They play many games every year, just to expand their library of ideas. Hence why journalists and developers do not understand where these supposedly bulletproof accusations of corruption are coming from. To them, of course these games would naturally earn every piece of media they got. They’re interesting. They’re aspiring to something greater. They’re the forward guard, pushing the limits of the medium. To someone whose investment is in the evolution of a medium, rather than in the consumption, that’s the kind of work most worth talking about.

So you have one group who take it as given that these works wouldn’t get discussed without an ulterior motive, and another group who don’t understand why you wouldn’t want to talk about them as a matter of course. So they talk past one another for about two weeks until it dies down, as is fortunately happening now.

Filed under yes good games journalism video games gamers gamergate gamer gate misogyny feminism

7,402 notes &

Your fave is problematic: Potion Seller



  • Refuses to sell his strongest potions
  • Has no respect for knights
  • Is a rascal

god I’m so sick and tired of people shitting on Potion Seller and conveniently forgetting that

  • his potions are too strong for you traveler
  • you can’t handle his potions, they’re too strong for you
  • his potions would kill you traveler you can not handle them
  • why should he respect knights when his potions can do anything they can

I mean alright if you don’t like Potion Seller I get it, they’re not for everyone, and hell even I’ll admit that his strongest potions would kill a dragon, let alone a man, but nothing is stopping you from just going elsewhere for your potions, and finding a seller who sells weaker potions.

Filed under lol irl potion seller lol your fave is problematic

256 notes &

Why I’m not a “gamer”


I decided to sit out for most of the last month or so of games internet misogyny shit, opting instead of signal boost the good people willing to jump into the fray themselves. There is one thing I wanted to write a short note about, though — the identity of “gamer” and why I haven’t used it myself in years (and edited it out of Game Developer Magazine/Gamasutra work whenever possible).

The Internet Hate Machine believes that over the last few years video games have been infiltrated by The Feminist Cabal, which has taken control of the game industry and seen fit to divert it from serving the capital-G “Gamer”. This is true, but not in the way they think.

For starters: “Gamer” is a manufactured identity. Look at the history of the word, where it came from (early games magazines, which were basically extensions of the fledgling video game marketing machine), and contrast it to words used to describe other media enthusiasts (“bookworm”, “cinephile”, etc.). “Gamer” at its core, is associated with brands (consoles, high-end accessory/PC part manufacturers, sodas, energy drinks, snacks, etc.) in a way that the other words are not.

I hear you say: “But Patrick, that’s not what I mean when I say ‘Gamer’!”

Tough shit. Words exist and have meaning outside your intended communication, and you don’t own the word “Gamer”. What’s worse, you never did. I realize that if you’re reading this, there’s a high chance that this is kind of a scary thought, so: Imagine if you started calling large green fruits with black seeds and red delicious fleshy insides “bananas”. People would look at you funny and ask why you don’t know what a watermelon is. So too with the G-Word.

Now, when people describe themselves as “Gamers”, they’re typically doing so to bring up an identity defined by shared practice and priorities: staying up all night playing games, by yourself or with your buddies; engaging in fevered debate over who would win X fight or which dashing young thing is the cutest; willfully staying in on a free night to drown yourself in a virtual world instead of hitting the bars. Being a “Gamer” in the way people want the word to mean, means valuing games and play far more than you value “normal” recreational activities (sports, live music, dancing, movies, whatever).

I’m willing to bet you that every single “fake gamer girl”, every single games feminist, every single outspoken games journalist that the Internet Hate Machine accuses of having infiltrated the ranks of the game industry shares plenty in common with the “Gamer” described above. You cannot work in the game industry without loving games, because that love is what gets you through the shitty paychecks and the limited opportunity and the poor professional growth and the constant lurking threat of the Internet Hate Machine. I spent the final night of GDC this year with Leigh Alexander, Christine Love, Aevee Bee, Kris Graft, and the rest of the assorted Gamasutra family mashing up ’90s pop with the Tekken Tag Tournament intro cinematic on YouTube Doubler on one TV and playing through obscure SNES ROMs on the other; doubt anyone’s nerd cred at your own peril.

The thing is that loving video games doesn’t preclude you from also becoming a feminist. Learning how to dissect video games to understand what they teach us (accidentally or intentionally) about race, about gender, about class, etc. — this enriches video games. Had I never cultivated the critical part of my brain, I’d never be able to create anything worth a damn myself. If anything, intersectional feminism kept me in video games because it trained me to see the immense potential to produce profoundly transformative experiences. So we didn’t really “infiltrate” games, we just learned more about life and politics while continuing to engage with games.

I think it’s funny that the Internet Hate Machine dismisses all the badass women who have served as the industry’s most vocal critics as “not real gamers” because in my experience, simply playing video games is the lowest-effort method of engaging with video games. You play video games? Congratulations; so does just about everyone else. It doesn’t make you special. In fact, it says literally nothing about you except that you enjoy entertaining experiences.

The people I admire and respect most are the ones who love games enough to know what they can be — which often means hating what games are now. They’re the people for whom playing games is an unfortunate concession to the realities of modern gaming; their inspiration comes from playing a game just to enjoy one particularly well-realized design element, or watching a movie and thinking about how its narrative tensions could be translated into an awesome level design, or driving at night and thinking about it as an emotional journey reproducible in a game. They love games so much that they can’t help but be drawn inexorably to them, devoting themselves to helping games grow so they can grow alongside them.

"Gamer" says none of that. "Gamer" is selfish; preoccupied with one’s own pleasure over the advancement of the medium. "Gamer" is conservative; virulently opposed to change or innovation except in very specific, rigidly-defined areas. "Gamer" is tribalistic; defining oneself in terms of one’s tastes and factional allegiances above all.

But video games taught me to grow above these things. Games taught me to value empathy, change, and camaraderie. Video games made me a better person; that’s why I love them, and that’s why I want to help make them better still. But “Gamer” doesn’t do that.

patrick miller

Filed under video games gamer as identity feminism games industry

6 notes &

Quing’s Quest VII: The Death of Videogames!



It’s been a difficult month to care about games. Sometimes, though, the best way to deal with difficult things is to channel your frustrations into art, so when Ruin Jam 2014, a game jam “open to anyone and everyone who has been, is being, or plans to be accused of ruining the games industry” was announced, I felt inspired to create something.

The result, a story I have titled “Quing’s Quest VII: The Death of Videogames!”, is a silly, over-the-top power fantasy, wherein you play a monarch of mysterious and indistinct gender exiled from their home planet. It’s made in Twine, because nothing says “hey, that’s not really a game!” like Twine, but there’s music, sound effects, incisive social commentary, old-school adventure game references, a cute genderfluid pirate NPC, a working toilet, and glitter.

Anyhow. You can either play online or download the game and source code with a pay-what-you-want option.

Filed under quing's quest squinky dierdra kiai ruinjam video games indie dev gamergate

73 notes &

Are you a bad enough dev to ruin video games?
Embrace the inevitable. Submit to Ruin Jam.
Ruin Jam is a game jam for anyone and everyone who has been, is being, or plans to be accused of ruining the games industry. Submissions are open and run until the 14th.
Bring your non-games, your socially conscious games, your SJW agenda.
I’ll be adding more assets of our mascot, Nero, soon, and anyone entering the Jam is free to use them.

Are you a bad enough dev to ruin video games?

Embrace the inevitable. Submit to Ruin Jam.

Ruin Jam is a game jam for anyone and everyone who has been, is being, or plans to be accused of ruining the games industry. Submissions are open and run until the 14th.

Bring your non-games, your socially conscious games, your SJW agenda.

I’ll be adding more assets of our mascot, Nero, soon, and anyone entering the Jam is free to use them.

Filed under video games game jam gamergate indie dev my writing destroy video games

103,057 notes &












In vivid detail. If I am too embarrassed you win.

Let me have it.

i highly doubt anyone will do this for me but there’s no harm in trying~

yeah let’s do this too




….no one’s going to do it, but i’m curious.

AHAHAHA! C’mon, darlin’s, let’s see whatcha got!

tell me how u want 2 touch my tralala

Word order, kids.  Word order is important.

…but I’ll accept both intended (“anonymously tell me…”) and literal (“tell me how you’d anonymously…”) meanings.

I’m feeling pretty bummed that my anon needs to stay turned off right now due to high chance of harassment.

Now’s a time that I would really love to feel a sense of mystery sexiness. :( Maybe if I save it and do it again later once I’m sure the dudebros have moved on, I dunno.

Filed under meme self-image nsfw personal