Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 25, 2022

Before the Soy: Warcraft 2 Fight Club

Can’t handle it, reader? You better go back to your ‘hardcore games’ then.

Above: Way more entertaining than ‘Industry Gaming’.
Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 23, 2022

Email: Raw Venting: Another horrible gaming experience

Something you wrote a little while back stuck with me: how games are simply so lame these days. Even I can’t think of a more succinct accurate way of putting it.

It’s like what the hell even is this?

I know you’re not into Pokemon, but I’ve been watching the series developments in recent years (as a fan of the originals, but not the newer games) and have noticed such a steep and sudden decline that I had to vent a little bit here. It’s stunning.

It’s also stunning that there are actually people still defending the crap.

The newest releases for Switch have finally and rightfully started getting some backlash that not even the marketing or “hype” can distract from. The designs, the world, the concepts, the presentation, the games themselves are despicably horribly BAD, embarrassing and cringeworthy. Just lame.

Pokemon fans, with their unpolished, incomplete projects – who are not even generating an income from their endeavors! – are doing a better job carrying on the spirit and legacy of the original Pokemon concept than the official developers themselves.

People defend ‘crap’ because they don’t want to believe the franchise has fallen. For example, it took me a while to see Diablo 3 as a fall for Diablo or Starcraft 2 as a fall for Starcraft. I simply didn’t want to believe a favorite franchise was declining. I didn’t want to believe the magical Blizzard was no more.

To me, Nintendo quality fell during the 16-bit era and really went off a cliff with the N64 Era and Gamecube Era. People who grew up during that period will fight me on that, but I stand firm. For some inexplicable reason, people keep defending Super Mario 64 when it clearly destroyed the franchise with its low sales and low hardware sales rate. And let’s not talk about Super Mario Sunshine.

I considered Nintendo another has-been company. What made me take the company seriously again was seeing a preview for NSMB DS. I bought a DS the next day with six games! Was old Nintendo back? I started this blog to chronicle this development.

Nintendo did come back… for a while. Then they got arrogant (3DS and Wii U are evident of that) and then got smart again with the Switch. Now, I think Nintendo is getting arrogant again. We shall see with BOTW2 and the Switch successor.

“What do you mean they got arrogant?”

I mean they are making products Miyamoto wants to make instead of products Malstrom wants to make. I have decided to map this out for Shigeru Miyamoto.

HOW TO MAKE A SUCCESSFUL GAME CONSOLE

Rule One: Make games that entertain Sean Malstrom, not you or Nintendo developers.

There is no Rule Two.

“Why do you think games have to entertain YOU?” asks the reader.

Because I don’t represent the Nintendo Gamer. I represent the Former Nintendo Gamer. Nintendo can get me back with 2d Mario, but they can’t get me back with 3d Mario dressed like 2d Mario. They can get me back with Zelda, but not Aonuma Puzzles-And-Story Zelda, with Metroid, not Sakamoto Story-Time Metroid.

I do believe Switch’s success has definitely had an impact on Nintendo. However, Nintendo does know that Switch type success may not come around next time. Since there is no second hardware for Nintendo like a dedicated home console line, Nintendo is trying to create an IP Farm with theme parks, movies, and so on.

“Nintendo must really be scared that the Switch successor might fail. Boy, Nintendo is so smart. They are thinking contingency!”

I thought the same, reader. But the more I thought about it, the more I suspect Nintendo may want the Switch successor to be Whatever-The-Fuck-Miyamoto-Wants which puts it at super high risk for failure. The IP farms are not about protecting Nintendo, it is about allowing Nintendo to go wild. We’re talking Virtual Boy 2. We’re talking Wii U: The Sequel. We’re talking Super Gamecube. We’re talking 3DS Squared.

“Those would be amazing consoles!” orgasms the hardcore Nintendo fan.

Yeah, this is why games you love are games that destroy the company.

Shigeru Miyamoto is currently 70 years old. He has one last shot, hardware cycle wise, to do whatever the fuck he wants. And since he is such a legend, he is going to get his way.

The possibility of Nintendo doing something incredibly stupid, like Wii U stupid, is highly probable due to Miyamoto’s age. Investors would probably be more upset if Nintendo DIDN’T do what Miyamoto wanted. So investors might applaud Miyamoto’s Crazy Console as it will be likely his very last game console.

Since game console cycles are getting longer, the next hardware will be released (after Switch successor) is when Miyamoto is nearing 80 and that can become too old.

The act man just released this video talking about how live service games are the worst and are basically what happens when people who don’t care about video games are in charge of what goes into a video game:

Is your next blog post going to talk about the secret cabal of the WEF (it’s as though classic blizzard entertainment and Richard Garriott knew who was truly in power in the real world by giving the name Blackrock to the most powerful orc clan in charge of the horde for the first two Warcraft games and the raw material needed to construct the black gate in ultima in order to bring the guardian to britannia and really mess things up) putting their tentacles into everything since only the secret cabal gets to have fun and only at another’s expense?

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a video:

For those who just want to jump to the part of the video relevant to this discussion, it’s at the 12:50 mark. TL;DR- blackrock owns almost everything, and they’re the ones responsible for the current trend of making companies like disney and blizzard enforce “woke” policies. So I know how this secret cabal are destroying things, but I don’t exactly know why they want to destroy them in the first place. Is it because once they level out all of the outstanding sources, they’ll be able to create their own drivel and the people will have no past standards to compare them against?

I don’t think anyone is copying me. They’d be de-platformed if they did! haha

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 23, 2022

Before the Soy: Caricatures Allowed

Command and Conquer: Generals was released in 2003. This was after 9/11. And yet, no one complained about the ‘war elements’ of the war game or even the caricatures. Americans loved the caricatures. Europeans loved the caricatures. Arabs loved the caricatures.

But today, this game could not be made.

“Why is that?” asks the reader.

It was Before the Soy.

“Isn’t ‘Soy’ a right wing talking point to radicalize media and everything else?”

No. The measure of a man is not how big his penis is, it is how big his balls are. There is no such thing as risk-free entertainment. If games cannot be funny, they can’t be fun. Many games aren’t fun today which is why we buy remakes of old games.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 20, 2022

Zeihan on Houston

I’m still nearby but I’m out of Houston now. Houston is a working city. You don’t live in it, you just work in it. I didn’t realize Houston is now US’s #3 largest city.

Zeihan also says:

TX is already seeing sufficient labor shortages in some subsectors that it is reaching out to OKC and Tulsa. Lemme underline that: job growth in Texas is so bonkers that Texans are integrating with Oklahoma. On purpose. 😮

Flat no. Houston is the most multicultural city in the United States with the highest percentage of residents, being foreign born. More so than New York.

Mexico is also a major factor in the upcoming economic re-alignment.

I recently did interviews with companies in San Antonia as well as big companies like Samsung. Mexico is increasingly becoming ‘skilled labor’ but still relatively cheap for now. That will change with time of course.

While I don’t like Texas being so much in the spotlight, it’s very interesting what is going on here and how the Texas cities have become ‘manufacturing states’ of their own right. Dallas is finance. Austin is ‘tech’. Houston is ‘petrochemical, medical, and heavy manufacturing’. San Antonia is manufacturing. And this doesn’t include the smaller towns.

Cost of living plays heavily due to these strengths. Since I am at the place where gasoline is being made, gas is cheaper here than anywhere else in the world. Due to the proximity of the Mexican border, food is plentiful and remains cheap.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 11, 2022

All about Boris Johnson

I don’t know much about UK politics, but this video was eye opening. Why did the party ascend this guy? All this information had to have been known.

As I understand it, the reason why politicians like this are propped up is because they are black mailable. They can be controlled and manipulated. A saint could not be controlled or manipulated.

Who impregnates other women while married to their wife… and does this multiple times? That, itself, suggests the character of the man. UK has some serious financial issues (many countries do, of course), but I still can’t believe this guy got to where he was with that track record assuming the goal was to have the ‘best person in office’.

So what I assume today is that most leaders in office are selected for that role because of all the skeletons in their closet. Other powers want leverage over the ‘rulers’. You see that in politics, you see that in the Vatican (i.e. deviant priests put into position because they can be black-mailed, it’s intentional).

The last thing certain powers would want is a virtuous leader. This would mean they would have no leverage over him or her.

With all our talk about ‘freedom’, it really is virtue that creates that freedom. This is true for personal life as well as public life.

The ‘pursuit of happiness’ meant, back in the 18th century, of the Aristotelian belief that genuine happiness is achieved when the activity of the soul is in perfect harmony with virtue. How do you do this? John Adams said a way was to literally imagine a noble character, such as in a play, and then strive to become that character.

“That sounds ridiculous,” spits a reader.

George Washington, at Valley Forge, had the play “Cato” performed. Cato is a play by Joseph Addison where Cato, a victorious Roman general, retires to become a farmer. Washington emulates Cato in real life by retiring to his farm after victory.

“That is ridiculous,” cries the reader.

Maybe. But it produced a George Washington. I’d prefer to have more George Washingtons than current day politicians.

“The preservation of liberty,” Adams wrote, “depends on the intellectual and moral character of the people. As long as knowledge and virtue are diffused generally among the body of a nation, it is impossible they should be enslaved.

In a monarchy, Adams noted, the people don’t need virtue. They can be “as vicious and foolish as they please because all political responsibility lies in the hands of the king and his retinue. In a republic, however, the people are the government. So, the virtue of the state is a reflection of the virtue of the people.

Note how everyone today who chants about ‘democracy’ never, ever mention virtue. They don’t understand what Adams is saying.

Given that human nature is deeply flawed, this created an obvious problem of which Adams was painfully aware. 

“I have seen all along my life,” he observed, “such selfishness and littleness… that I sometimes tremble to think that, although we are engaged in the best cause that ever employed the Human Heart… the Prospect of success is doubtful—not for Want of Power or of Wisdom but of Virtue.”

There are all these stupid sayings such as ‘politics is downstream of culture’, etc. which is declared to be ‘profound’, but the truth is that freedom and liberty are downstream of virtue. The modern myth is that virtue is the antithesis of freedom and liberty whereas it is actually a requirement. For example, being virtuous with my money allows me freedom with my money. I have no debt so I can spend money freely with liberty. Another example, being virtuous with my food allows me freedom with my food. Since I am not obese and very fit, I am free to eat an extra dessert. When you have health problems, you are NOT free to eat whatever you want. When you have finance problems, you are NOT free to buy whatever you want.

“This makes too much sense.”

I know. So choose to become more virtuous, reader, and you will find yourself having more freedom and liberty with your life. Freedom and liberty is not a political consequence, it is a human consequence.

“I am free!” cries a degenerate. “I will fornicate with all the women and make tons of out of wedlock babies, drink all day, do drugs at night, lie at and during jobs, and spend more money than I make.”

You have created a life of hell for yourself. Ironic that pursuing freedom and liberty leads to enslavement. People trapped by this then accuse society for being ‘broken’. It’s not broken. You are reaping what you sowed.

Of all the years I’ve had on this Earth, I always wondered if pursuing virtue was worth missing out on the ‘fun’ I missed. But then I encounter those who had the ‘fun’ and how their lives are a living hell.

Virtue, and even religion, is not really all about heaven and hell after life. It is also about during this life. People do not occupy the same ‘Earths’ as everyone else. Some people have made their lives a living hell.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 9, 2022

Email: I don’t think it’s about the money

It does sound plausible that non-gamers are in gaming because of the money, but I don’t think that is the only reason. I can totally see that in some stereotypical executive type who wants to milk gamers with microtransactions for all they are worth, but he would not openly be hostile to gamers. Hardcore gaming was built on the illusion that buying all the newest AAA games and other gamer lifestyle crap would make you cool and mature and hardcore with tits and gore, not that you are a living cancer on the earth. Much like e.g. beer companies, they were selling the illusion that the product was making you better when in reality is actually bad for you.

But what I now see is open hostility to hobbies. How much money was there really in comic books before the Marvel Cinematic Universe? How much money was there in Dungeons & Dragons? Let’s take the Castlevania Netflix show as an example: at that time Castlevania was a dead series. The show shits all over the lore of the game series: the Church is evil, Dracula’s wife got burned at the stake for practicing science, characters get race-swapped and/or made gay, evil priest can make holy water just like regular priests. Yet the people who made the show had more than cursory familiarity with the series, they were pulling characters even from the more obscure games. They knew exactly what they were doing. But why?

There is the desire to “fix” what is old and problematic. Making a new Castlevania series is not about the money, but about making it your own. Video games, comics, board games, cartoons… it’s all just a vehicle for pushing a political agenda, even if it loses money. Remember the leaked internal conversation among Disney executives about their not at all secret gay agenda (which got buried very quickly)? There is no market demand for gay children’s shows. This is not about the money.

The real question is how did we get to this point? How did people who hate a medium get put into such positions of power? I suspect that it was a long march through the institutions: they got hired one by one, then worked to get their friends hired and slowly fill up all the positions of power. So why was this subversion not stopped in time? Again, this is just conjecture, but I suspect the siren’s song of inclusivity and diversity promising bigger profits.

After all, a broader appeal means more customers, right? If only you could make these small little changes. Just little ones, no one will mind. Oh, you might want to hire a diversity consultant while at it. And I just happen to know the right person. It will totally pay off, trust me.

I have an answer as to why Wokeism is being so heavily pushed by the BIG money people.

“Will you tell it to us?”

No.

Above: The reader is not ready to go down the rabbit hole.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 8, 2022

Email: Re: How and why non-gamers were hired as gaming journalists

In regards to your post about my e-mail, I’m replying to these two comments:

If the emailer can tell us HOW these non-gamers were hired or WHY they were hired in the first place, we might have some light on this subject. It really makes no sense.

The emailer mentions hostility for the fans which I believe. But why and how did this hostility manifest itself? And why is there any hostility to fans of an entertainment medium?

There is “a despising of a ‘male space’, an arena where men are having fun” (as you put it), but I think that’s only a small part of it.

I’ve been contacted by a former ESPN writer who said he got blacklisted from ESPN (for also not getting onboard with “political correctness”) who said that there was a mass-purge of non-politically correct staffers at ESPN between 2009-2011. This is apparently why they got super political and started mixing in non-sports related subjects (in particular politics) on their “sports news” segments following that same time period. Gaming journalism’s purge of non-politically correct employees began around the same time. Let’s not beat around the bush: We all know what happened in 2009. In fact, this part of your post actually sort of accidentally explains the whole thing and answers your own question:

The first warning I had something was wrong with the entertainment industry was an emailer telling me about comic books. I don’t read comic books so I had no idea what was happening. Apparently, they were being taken over by those who did not like comic books and were very interested in certain political messaging.

Disney (who owns ESPN) bought Marvel Comics (and everything related to it) in 2009. They appointed Sana Amanat to run the comics division (but — at least to the best of my knowledge — not the merchandising or licensing, etc. [though I could be mistaken]). Sana Amanat is the first cousin of Huma Abedin, a “purely platonic associate and definitely not a lesbian lover” of (you know who) the Secretary of State to a certain individual who will remain nameless who took a certain position of office that will also remain nameless in 2009.

You should be noticing a pattern with the dates. If you think that this is a coincidence then I have some “peaceful protests” at the bottom of a seabed that I’d like to invite you to.

Now to further elaborate on HOW the non-gamers were hired, it coincided with a lot of blacklisting and “networking” (translation: what low-value people call “corruption”). The journalists they didn’t want were ousted and then their friends and associates were brought closer and the inner circles were tightened and they’ve kept “outsiders” out ever since. This all culminated in “Gamergate”, which was their final circling of the wagons to defend their own corruption up to and including the exchanging of sexual favors for work or game coverage (what “Gamergate” was about in the first place). Before that it was not uncommon to hire random people that they didn’t even know. You used to be able to send in “volunteer submissions” to some sites and they’d publish them unless they were unsalvageable grammatical disasters (which a lot of them were — it’s shocking how many people can’t even write basic sentences). If you kept at it they might have even eventually started paying you (though very little and certainly not enough to live on). Sometimes they’d do stupid bullshit like selling your articles to other websites without consulting you first. And don’t even get me started on how often they copy/paste articles from other sites and reword them and hope nobody notices (they usually don’t, surprisingly enough). But I digress…

Anyway, nowadays I doubt they even take applications and they certainly don’t publish anything from people they don’t know. Most of the inner circles are comprised EXCLUSIVELY of friends and fellow ideologues of the editors and/or owners of the sites. I remember the editor-in-chief of a certain gaming website describing his “2 year plan” to turn the site into “radical feminist propaganda” (that is an EXACT quote! I shit you not!) Of course anyone who wasn’t down not only had any and all attempts at contact ignored forevermore, but also had their IP permanently banned from even using the site’s forums (yes, really — they are THAT petty).

To directly address the hostility toward gamers, you’re right that it really doesn’t make any sense, but it’s a very real and extremely intense hatred. They seem genuinely threatened by video games. So do politicians. I’m sure you can connect the dots on your own. Your theory that “It seems to be hatred for war games and the themes of domination and competition.” holds water for sure, but I think it’s more a political thing that originates from the roots that I not-so-subtly alluded to above. But make no mistake, these journalists and their employers are some of the weakest, most effeminate weirdos you could ever possibly imagine. Most of them look like living embodiments of the concepts of “sissy” and “wimp” and they’re usually ugly as sin to boot (no wonder they have to get positions of “power” to get laid, because they sure aren’t attracting any women otherwise). They literally walk around with limp wrists. No joke. So “domination and competition” is an area where they quite simply cannot survive or succeed and they know it. Their obsession with “romance options” in games is probably an extension of their effeminate natures, but also aligns with their weird, almost masochistic obsessions with feminism/”whiteknighting” (which I promise you is 100% a sex pervert thing). Their assessment of gamers as one negative trait or another is usually projection on their part.

The non-gamers in gaming journalism also explains why they constantly complain about difficulty in games and want them all to be easier, going so far as to ask for modes where you only watch the cutscenes. It’s because they don’t want to have to play the games to be able to review them. They don’t like video games and hate reviewing them (although they certainly like to complain about them not being “politically correct”). It also explains why they’re clearly more interested in “story” in games than they are in gameplay and seem to heap praise on top of any game where it’s impossible to die. They’d rather be watching a movie or doing practically anything other than playing a video game.

And yeah, it’s literally all west-coasters and northeast-coasters lol. ALL of them. Shocking, I know. Unsurprisingly, waaaaay back in the day, before things were like they are now, there were (generally smaller) sites based out of numerous other states. And those sites were less political and were (usually) staffed by actual gamers. Usually “hardcore gamers” mind you, but those types, for all their faults, were infinitely preferable to the freaks that now monopolize modern gaming journalism and go out of their ways to keep everyone else out. Those sites, unfortunately, are gone now.

Your comment about other sites copying and pasting your stuff is why I keep throwing ‘skit’ into my site. I’d be typing like this and, lo and behold, a reader would interrupt me.

“Like this, Master Malstrom?” asks the foolish reader.

By incorporating that and ‘Malstrom’ into the text, it watermarks it. If this writing was at any other site, it’d immediately become recognizable! hahaha.

I have a theory on Wokeism… what it is all about… why they are financed by the elite… why they are not allowed to fail due to bad products… I’ll think about it and post it soon.

If you have any other thoughts or observations, my readership and myself would love to hear them. We don’t hear too much ‘inside the industry’ comments. I think most people are quiet because they are so disgusted by what they see. Sadly, I run into too many people who regret going into the games industry.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 8, 2022

Email: Why non-gamers have taken over the game industry

Master Malstrom,

You recently lamented as to why so many game companies have employees who are non-gamers. I believe that many of these people are Hollywood wannabees. They want to make movies, but they aren’t talented enough (or lucky enough) to win the Hollywood lottery, so they want to make games that are movies. This would explain why there are so many cinematic games that are filled with too much story and dialogue. These people want to be creative and make great “art”, so they are using video games as the medium to show off their talents (or lack thereof).

I suspect most of us would like to believe that we are capable of being a creative genius. But true creativity is a rare talent. Very few have it, and the those that do are more likely to employ it in the writing of a book or the making of a movie than use it to make some icky video game.

You’re assuming, emailer…

Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 7, 2022

Re: Email: Non-gamers in the games industry/media

Hi Master Malstrom.

I just wanted to add to what the emailer brought up. It is indeed full of non gaming “journalists” that make the so called “gaming journals”. I saw this post a few months back on one of those sites, it was kind of an editorial where the autor was commenting on how games have “progressed” or something like that. He started out the article stating he’s only been playing since 2010 and hadn’t played any game made before that. When I read that statement I just stopped reading altogether. It’s as if someone was telling me they’re a movie critic and never seen The Godfather o Citizen Kane or Alfred Hitchcock movies etc and only started seeing movies made since this century started. Or a literal critic saying they’ve never read Shakespeare or Twain or Poe or any of the greats and only read books made in the last decade. Their point of refence would be so wrong in every way.

You asked how is it that all of the sudden the industry got filled with non gamers, and well, you already gave that answer in an older post where you said it attracks other interests, in this case it attracks people who just want to make money even at the cost of gaming itself.

It’s a generational thing as well I suppose. Most people nowadays hardly want to do anything and expect to get big and instant results. Sound about right when the emailer mentioned that those “journalists” quoted from Wikipedia or Reddit. I also think it’s a self-reinforcing cycle where the news media owners push their employees to pump out as many “articles” as posible in order to get more ad revenue quality gaming news has taken a backseat to clickbait or political trigger articles which hardly have to do anything with gaming Kotaku is specially guilty of this.

P.S. I think your site started in 2005 not 2007, the Wii was launched in 2006, back then you were cheering it a lot because you saw it was going to be big.

So non-gamers are attracted to Game Industry due to ‘Gravy Train’. But they despise the gamers because they are a threat to their ‘Gravy train’? As in “This game would have succeeded had it not been for those meddlesome gamers!”? It’s like saying Star Wars sequels would succeed had it not been for those doggone Star Wars fans!

A good question is why aren’t companies hiring ‘fans’ to continue the work? Why are non-fans being hired?

Remember Star Trek: Enterprise? The show was a yawn fest until Season 4 when Manny Coto became showrunner. Why? Manny was a FAN of Star Trek. So this begs the question, who were the other directors and why were they involved in something they didn’t like? And that period of time was bliss compared to the trash that is called Star Trek today.

Two can play at this game. I don’t like anime so I think I should be in charge of all anime! Isn’t that how it works now? I don’t like 3d Mario either, so I think Nintendo should appoint me as director of the next 3d Mario!

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