Behind the Blog: February 1, 2013–Guns and GOTYs

Behind-Blog-button-2_thumbHi there, me again. Still not much movement in either the traffic or Top 5 department so I’m milking that as an excuse to just yaketey-yak in the same informal manner as last month. If you miss the old version of B the B or prefer the this more informal version, please let me know in the comments or via Facebook or email or smoke signal. Whichever. We’re not hard to get ahold of. In terms of new content, Weekend Watchlist continues to top the local charts with the exception of the one on non-lethal weaponry. Lou’s Out of This World feature from the end of December about NASA turning an asteroid into a Space Base also picked up an outstanding amount of hits.

It occurs to me that perhaps a quick word on how pageviews are tallied may be in order. I doubt it’s much of a stretch to think that anyone who would spend time reading through B the B is a regular site visitor and probably reads most of our content from the main page. That actually doesn’t count when we look at the numbers on a per-article basis. So if you see something you really like, clicking through on the red article headline will take you to a full page view of that story and give you a little anonymous vote when I check out the monthly totals.

Next, I feel I need to talk about guns. I’ve been aware that articles on firearms seem keep popping up. For what it’s worth, I am a pacifist and not a supporter of the Second Amendment. However, seeing as how we cover how technology is changing the way we live, work, and play, I believe that topics such as the ability to print your own assault rife and a consumer-grade computerized rifle that can hit it’s target from ten football fields away are just too important to be left unnoticed. Also, the case of WikiWeapon’s 3D printed gun experiments opens up a whole world of questions about freedom of information. We stand on the eve of a strange new world where anything you ever wanted can be created in your own home at the push of a button. Sometimes people are going to make things you don’t agree with. Sometimes people are going to create devices to hurt others. Likewise, people are going to make things no one understands yet go on to save the world with it. I don’t have any answers, or, really, even a firm grip on the question, but things like the WikiWeapon project are topics we need to begin examining and thinking about now. Before that future comes and we make some half-arsed, knee-jerk reaction out of fear. Like the Patriot Act.

Okay, enough of the heavy stuff. Let’s talk fun n’ games. 2012 was one heck of a unique year for gaming. We awarded the Miniature Giant Golden Fire-Breathing Robot Baby to SOE’s PlanetSide 2, a multiplayer shooter that makes everything that came before seem positively dinky by comparison. Or rather I should say “I awarded.” Picking Game of the Year is one of those little perks I keep to myself. I blab about it with the crew, but at the end of the year, I make the call solo. There are also a number of stipulations I have to putting our site’s name on an award (that no one will notice Winking smile). I pick one game. Period. I did present two runners up years ago, but… I don’t know. If I go that far, I might just as well do a whole friggin’ Tops list. Secondly, platform is irrelevant. I don’t care if it was on PC, iPhone, or Xbox. Finally, its content has be suitable for the site. This means nothing that couldn’t pass a PG-13 rating and bonus points are awarded for pushing the bleeding edge of technology or creating an Internet sensation (much like our 2011 GOTY, Xenoblade Chronicles, which, ironically, was only made available in the U.S. in 2012).

So far as the finalists list for 2012’s GOTY, I had, of course, PlanetSide, FLT, a game I’ve already written extensively about but was just a little too random for it’s own good, Warlock: Master of the Arcane, a game I adored when it came out, but became a little less special as it was constantly updated in response to user feedback, and Asura’s Wrath, a sci-fi reinterpretation of Hindu gods presented as if it were an anime series. Yeah, Asura’s Wrath is about twelve times crazier than it sounds. If any part of “sci-fi reinterpretation of Hindu gods presented as if it were an anime series” caught your attention, or you’d just like to see how far imagination can stretch, you REALLY need to check it out. If you don’t have an console to play it on, just watch it on YouTube. The game is more about watching the spectacle than playing anyway. Because things like this happen:

 

Amazon. $18. Plan on an extra $6 for the “true” ending. So. Very. Worth it. Seriously. Guess what happens in the first level? You jump off a spaceship and punch a planet. Yeah, THAT level of crazy.

There were a bunch of other great games that just couldn’t make the list due to content. Borderlands 2 was a wonderfully tight shooter with limitless play potential. Walking Dead made conversation a game mechanic to spectacularly moving effect. Spec Ops: The Line told a spellbinding tale of an American soldier driven mad with his own obsession in trying to rescue people from a sandstorm ravaged Dubai. The rebooted XCom brought fast, turn-based tactics to more gamepad inclined players. It’s almost a relief that graphically violent content and swearing cut my list of candidates in half. That said, PlanetSide 2 still takes the cake even compared to these titles.

Well, that about does it for me. I’ve rambled on a great deal longer than planned and now I’ve gotta get a little proofreading done before bed. Love is cheap and easy to produce, so we send a bunch of it out to you every day.

Thanks for reading!

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