Dream Games Rejects Player For Sporting Rainbow Facebook Icon

Dream Games Rejects Player For Sporting Rainbow Facebook Icon

As a part of corporate responsibility, we expect videogame developers and other videogame-related institutions to maintain professionalism when dealing with their consumer base. For sometimes, if they voice certain “opinions”, an already bad impression can get infinitely worse.

Such is the case for Dream Studios, developer for Steam Early-Access game Operation Caucasus. Maybe you shouldn’t say “We’re not support lgbt. Please, just f**k you.” to a (former) fan who happened to have a rainbow Facebook icon, if you actually want to sell your game. Unfortunately, that’s what’s happened, and now they’re exposed through a rightfully negative Steam review, and are experiencing the backlash.

Dream Games Rejects Player For Sporting Rainbow Facebook Icon 1

Even before this incident, Dream Games came under fire for accidentally posting a demo of the game on Steam for full price ($9) in March. Eventually, the price of the demo was brought down to a dollar, along with this lovely message:

“Hi! As already you know, after bad “demo” experience, we learned somethings about Steam users. We made a mistake before 2 months ago. We shared the demo version Operation Caucasus. But, this demo was for test and for the project future…Yes, we made a mistake. I’ll tell you, why we were shared the demo. There was a button in Steam page. It was “Share full project”. And our editor’ve pressed it. He said, ” i tried to cancel, but it shared on Steam.(9.99$).” After a few days we’ve set the demo price “0.99$” because, we couldn’t hide it. And, you know, it was our first experience.”

That last line alone really sums up this entire mess.

The state of the game and company can easily be summed up by the incredibly high number of free Steam keys they’re giving out, and the lack of a proper company website (the link leads to an expired domain). The blatant homophobia doesn’t help. To make matters worse, they aren’t even trying to pass it off as a “opinionated employee” situation; The developers have voiced their anti-LGBT views in the comments section of the Steam review using their developer account:

“We’ll never support LGBT”, said the developer who added their comment to the Steam review page.

That’s fantastic; looks like your “fans” won’t support you either.

Diversity in eSports: The Ongoing Struggle

Diversity in eSports: The Ongoing Struggle

Let’s face it: eSports is scorching up the scene. ESPN ran a story last year examining eSports’ massive appeal; based on findings from market research firm Newzoo, 205 million played or watched eSports games in America in 2014. Moreover, eSports is not only huge in Asia (especially Korea), but also in North America and Europe. Tournaments such as League of Legends and DOTA 2 The International are watched by millions.

Read moreDiversity in eSports: The Ongoing Struggle

Pridefest (iOS) Review

Pridefest (iOS) Review

Not many games exist that represent the LGBT community. The only one that I can name off the top of my head is My Ex-Boyfriend the Space Tyrant. It’s always reaffirming when new games are released that focus specifically on the LGBT community. Pridefest is a new mobile game by Atari that challenges players to spread a bit of love around through Pride Parades; however, while its heart is certainly in the right place, it fails to be anything more than a bargain-basement “free-to-wait,” “fee-to-pay” game, following the most popular model of mobile gaming at the moment and slapping a coat of rainbow paint on it.

At a one dollar price tag, the game already doesn’t qualify for the free-to-play model it’s trying to ape. The game is your basic build buildings, wait for them to generate money, tap on the money, repeat. The main focus of Pridefest is parades; you organize a parade and then trot around the city spreading “fun.” Spreading Fun allows you to build structures and opens up more parts of the board; however, since the established buildings need a certain level of Fun to be upgraded, you’ll find yourself going on Parade after Parade, which gets very boring very fast. Not to mention, each float has a limited number of uses, and adding new ones after a float is used up can take as long as half an hour. Considering parading is essential to building up your city, this process brings overall growth to a grinding halt unless you’re willing to use the in-game “gems” to speed up production. And if you run out, you can always shell out more real-world money for more gems.

The game is horribly optimized, freezing briefly every time you open a new menu to access buildings or parade options. There’s no sense of button detection for trying to speed up production, and often you’ll just click on nearby buildings trying to instantly upgrade one in production. What’s more (and again, I assume nothing but goodwill on Atari’s part), the buildings themselves feel like very stereotypical “gay-culture” stock. There’s no shortage of cafes, salons, and organic food stores.

The game looks awful. Buildings don’t face sidewalks, people walk in place, cars slide right through each other, never stopping at intersections. Not only does it look awful, but it sounds awful with the worst kind of generic disco song playing over and over on a 1 minute loop, with proper fade-in and fade-out so you can tell it’s on a loop.

Pridefest probably seemed like a very good idea, and it certainly is a game that represents not only LGBT culture, but one of its most prominent events. Instead, what’s been delivered is a boring, stale, derivative free-to-play game that isn’t even free. It’s a game that fails to accurately depict the LGBT community outside of rainbow flags and outdated ideals, and fails harder at being fun.

Hot and Heavy Motor Action with Stick Shift

Hot and Heavy Motor Action with Stick Shift

Remember that episode of My Strange Addiction? The one where a young man admits to his father that he has an emotional and sexual relationship with his car?

Lucky for that man (or maybe not?) Stick Shift, a new game by Robert Yang, features “plenty of naked gay cars, big swollen exposed gear sticks, and oozing exhaust pipes.”

This four-to-seven-minute-long autoerotic night-driving game comes after Yang’s Hurt Me Plenty and Succulent, which also tried to bring eroticism in video games further than just a cut scene.

The player is witness to a screen cut in half. On one side is the human, in charge of pleasuring his car. On the other side the player sees the stick shift and its five gears as well as that guy’s hand. The player must use his/her mouse to caress the stick shift appropriately, while paying attention to the facial expressions of the guy who seems to be getting off at the same rate as his gay car.

Other than the very small audience out there who (according to ridiculous shows like My Strange Addiction) like to jerk their cars off, why would someone make this game?

Yang posted an artist’s intent on his blog on April 3 entitled “Stick Shift as activist autoerotica.”

The idea for the game started with a suggestion to “riff off” a 1964 Andy Warhol film, Blow Job. The film is one unmoving shot of a man’s face and the viewer can only see his facial expressions. But since facial animation is not something Yang highlights in his games, he knelt toward metaphor instead.

While the player rubs and tugs the stick shift, there is a 48 per cent chance that they’ll be stopped by heavily armed police officers.

Forty-eight per cent isn’t a random number. It’s based on findings from a 2013 survey that the Williams Institute reported on this past March, which states that 48 per cent of LGBT people who had been stopped by police in 2012 reported they had experienced police misconduct, “including unjustified arrest, use of excessive force and entrapment.”

“Clearly, police abuse and brutality is still a very real issue for many LGBT people, it’s just that their basic safety loses political priority when weighed against whether your local neighborhood bigot florist will do your wedding flowers,” says Yang in the post.
stickshiftinsert1The original inspiration with Warhol’s Blow Job film comes back now. Yang describes himself as a 20-something gay person living in Brooklyn and says he associates Andy Warhol with an ancient New York City that “nurtured ball culture, beat poetry, street art, hip hop, Keith Haring, Basquiat… they are all part of this bygone legacy that barely seems real to me, so I can’t help but romanticize something like the Stonewall riots.” He describes the Stonewall rioters as more creative as they used their right to free self-expression as a form of protest.

“They mocked the police and denied their authority through flamboyance. They kissed and made-out. Free self-expression was its own protest, and it utterly humiliated the NYPD,” he says.

If you happen to be stopped by the cops in Stick Shift, you have the option to blow them a kiss, which adds time to a penalty timer that acts as a sort of cool down after orgasm or refractory period.

“My hope is that players quickly embrace this, voluntarily adding more time and locking themselves out of the game longer as a form of protest — ideally, you force the cops to detain you to absurd extremes,” says Yang. “Imagine a gay car and its lover, stopped by cops on the street, unmoving, for days or even weeks.”