Hello beautiful Circle people! Jon here with our weekly Circle Roundup!
Thank you to all the lovely people who made our 6th Annual New York Videogame Awards so memorable! If you missed it, you can catch the VODs here, complete with trolly Twitch comments. Someone saw my smirking and thought I was a smug bastard and, well, he’s right. I am a smug bastard.
Especially if it involves giving Josh a hard time.
And with that, the Roundup!
Gita Jackson, our newest addition to the Circle, reports that some Overwatch players are terrified of Ana’s new 탈춤 skin. Overwatch is currently hosting a Lunar New Year event with new content that celebrates the various cultures that observe LNY, and Ana’s skin is inspired by Korean shaman dances. Although Koreans find the mask pleasant and even comforting, western players are searching desperately for an adult to hug out of fear. Read Gita’s report here.
Allegra Frank reports that Overwatch hero D.Va has been adopted as a symbol of women’s rights in the Republic of Korea. The National D.Va Assocation, a group of feminist Overwatch enthusiasts, flew their flags proudly in the Seoul Women’s March. If you were wondering what role game journalists have to play in the current culture war, this is it. Games are art, art is culture, and culture changes lives. Read Allegra’s full report here.
Harold Goldberg flew all the way to Capcom HQ in Osaka to play Resident Evil 7. Producer Masachika Kawata takes spoke to him about ghosts, monsters, and how Kawata’s fear of loneliness was the catalyst behind RE7. It also took him 40 hours to get back home. Sorry, Harold. Read Harold’s whole feature here.
Matt Gerardi is also in the midst of reviewing Resident Evil 7, but several A.V. Club readers are hesitant to pick it up because they thought it’d be too scary. To my great shock, these readers weren’t ridiculed by trolls calling them giant weenies. Instead, they were met with helpful suggestions which evolved into a meditation on how horror games are designed. Wolfenstein: The New Order makes a bonus appearance, and if you haven’t played W:TNO yet, well, what better season than now to play a game entirely devoted to killing Nazis? Read Matt’s piece here
Michelle Ehrhardt rejoins the folks over at Bullet Points to talk about Titanfall 2, which Michelle has previously referred to as the robot gaming version of the buddy cop movie. In this episode, Michelle espouses her love of deep, competitive mechanics, robot buddies, and shooting jerks in the face. Listen to Michelle’s appearance here.
And now for news outside the Circle. . .
Masaya Nakamura, the founder of Namco, has died. Namco began as a small amusement park company, and through Nakamura’s leadership, expanded into the gaming industry, publishing iconic titles such as Pac-Man and Galaga. Nakamura was also a recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, the highest civilian award conferred by the Japanese government. Read about Nakamura’s death here.
Our very own Sara Clemens writes about comic books. She is cool and comic books are cool, so you should totally read her column. This week, Sara wrote a review-poem of Saga #42. Yes, review-poem. I think she invented a new subgenre of art critique. Read Sara’s take here.
In response to President Trump’s Muslim ban, iNK STORIES will donate all sales from 1979 Revolution: Black Friday to the ACLU. Director Navid Khonsari released a public statement calling for resistance, emphasizing that “silence is not an option” and calling for other game industry figures to rise up and stand against injustice. We still live in a time where social and political issues in games are mostly explored only in proxy through science fiction and fantasy worlds. So a game like 1979 which is set during the Iranian Revolution is a breath of fresh air. Read more about 1979 and where you can buy it here.
ZeniMax has received $500 million dollars from Oculus, the latest court mandate in an ongoing lawsuit between the two corporations. The ZeniMax vs. Oculus case goes back to 2014, and it is long, labyrinthine tale involving trademark disputes, NDA breaches, and accusations of corporate espionage. The case made mainstream news headlines when Mark Zuckerberg was called in to testify. Read more about the case here.
Paris Hilton was almost a boss in South Park: The Stick of Truth. In an interview with IGN, Obsidian Entertainment CEO Fergus Urquhart revealed that Paris Hilton was blasting the South Park boys with her vagina in the original draft of the game, which if you think about it, is actually not that weird. In Hitman, we were able to kill Gary Busey. Not a character being played by Gary Busey, but Gary freaking Busey. A boss battle between Paris Hilton and a bunch of 10 year old LARPers doesn’t sound that surreal in comparison. Read more about how Paris Hilton’s vag nearly threatened South Park here.
And that’s it for this week’s Circle Roundup. See ya next time!