Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Radiator Blog: (belated) Sixth Year Anniversary

In keeping with tradition, I do a round-up of this blog's "notable" posts from the past year, and offer a bit of reflective commentary. This year, it arrives about a month late, because I forgot. (Oops.) As always, past years' roundups are accessible here.

For 2015, I promised myself I was going to blog more regularly than in 2014. I started pretty strong for the first half of the year, but then my output began plummeting toward the end. (Oh well.) Here's to a bloggier 2016!

  • By far, the "most viral" post of the past year was when I called out Twitch for blanket-banning my games, when they could easily accommodate it with better moderation policies like YouTube or Vimeo. We claim games are art, but at the same time our game culture platforms insist on "protecting the children", without even any cursory hand-wringing about free artistic expression. I can begrudgingly accept banning Cobra Club, a game about staring at penises, but then I went to the trouble of obscuring the penises in Rinse And Repeat and they still banned it! #smh
  • When the #altgames tag on Twitter finally attracted the attention of the wider game dev community, it exposed how some devs simply reject the game industry's traditional publisher system, while others reject commercialism and mainstream aesthetics in games. I was basically already feeling this at GDC 2015, that there was a growing fissure between indie-biz culture and everyone else. My argument was to embrace the separation, because we're both miserable together.
  • The road to the indiepocalypse involved an early discussion of what "minimum sustainability" looks like. Chiming in with other posts at the time, I wrote about my experiences as someone who doesn't rely on commercial game development for a living. My colleagues later chastised me for "willfully misunderstanding" the intent of Dan Cook's original post, but I still feel like I understood the subtext better than they did. (grumble grumble capitalist realism grumble)
This past year was the year of the gay sex games for me...
I also did a couple mod re-releases / got a certain bugbear off my back...
  • Level With Me, vol. 1; originally made for an interview series I did for Rock Paper Shotgun, a playable journalism mod for Portal 2
  • Radiator 1; five years in the making (kind of) but now complete with third episode about sneaking around Emily Dickinson's house, a gay divorce mod for Half-Life 2 / Source Engine 1
... anyway, thanks to all you loyal readers out there, and see you next year! xoxox