After It Doxxed 2000 Journalists, Why Should We Ever Trust the ESA Again?

This morning, I did something I've done dozens of times before: I clicked a link in an email to take me to a media registration page for an upcoming games industry convention. The page had all the familiar requests: Name, contact info, something to prove that I really worked in this industry, a photo of my driver's license. And, with the Entertainment Software Association's recent unintentional doxxing of over 2000 game journalists fresh in mind, I paused. This event wasn't run by the ESA, and I did end up supplying the requested info, but that pause went on longer than I thought it would. But the next time the ESA does ask for my personal data? I'm honestly unsure if I'll hand it over.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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I too, am mad that freelancer hasn’t been made available. I’ve been wanting to play ‘that kind of game’ for a while, basically since I bounced off elite dangerous. (The game has now moved on so far that I’m scared to go back in with my now outclassed ship)

It’s a game that needs a HOTAS to get the most out of it really, but i still got that freelancer feeling from it playing mouse/keyboard. But without any real story I just ran out of enthusiasm after a while.

Bernie is so great, especially once you find out why she is how she is. She deserves the world and more for what she’s been through. Which could apply to a lot of the characters in 3 Houses tbh, a lot of tragic backstories that are mostly grounded in reality so well, without being over-played and melodramatic, that they hit really hard. Petra is also great in regards to the game’s interest in borders and regional politics, I’m very happy with where her story has ended up. She was flirting with Claude a lot recently and I hope they get together at they end.

Also, it’s worth getting pretty much everyone you like to lern about horses at some point, as a vast majority of the Master Classes are horseback. Likely because by the time you unlock them your best folks will have already hit the skill requirements for their weapons of choice, so it gives you something else to focus on training them in. Plus they can all dismount and become footsoldiers if you want anyway.


Misc Fire Emblem stuff cause I don’t want to blunder in to the main Three Houses thread: I wrote for the queer support mods for FE Awakening and Fates where the main goal was to undo those games stupid sexist, heteronormative, etc. crap (also we were/are all queer fanfic writers with all the shipping goals that come with that) so from not playing the game but the supports I’ve seen and everything I’ve heard, Dorothea is such a great breath of fresh air.


I hesitate a little bringing this up, but the X series of space games is still going strong and could scratch at least some of that Freelancer/Privateer itch.

The reasons I’m hesitant are 1) I’m working on them and even this indirect self-promotion feels strange to me, 2) they’re incredibly janky, sometimes to the point of being broken, 3) there’s not that much of a story, at least in the most recent installment, and 4) the gameplay is like 75% pure uncut capitalism (the rest mostly being combat) and I could easily see that rubbing a lot of folks here the wrong way.

I haven’t used this account in ages but I have to speak because something in this podcast has me torn. I want people to experience Three Houses organically so I don’t want to say anything, but Dedue appears to be one of Rob’s favorites and (Blue Lions timeskip spoilers) I am not sure I can forgive myself if Rob doesn’t do his paralogue and loses him in the timeskip (which is what happens if you don’t do it, btw, if that helps anyone).

A game hasn’t made me feel this way in so long! A true moral conundrum!

In case you need a quick bit of exposure to Anodyne, here’s the old Guide to Games on it!:

I feel like I ought to play Anodyne again. I don’t think I really picked up on the themes at the time. Really interested in Anodyne 2, definitely on my… quickly swelling list of games to play from this year :sob:

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I notice they made fun of Rob for picking the side with Sylvain in it, but I have to say that Lorenz from the Golden Deer route is 4x more insufferable lol.

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If you guys are going to do a three houses spoiler podcast it would be good if you could find a 4th person to cover all the routes although i don’t think many people side with the church so might be hard to find someone

Anodyne is definitely one of those games that benefits from repeated playthroughs. I’d argue that Nitro Rad’s video on it is the closest to really getting it, mainly because he takes into account the utterly ridiculous post-game content.

I think the best way to describe it is that it’s mechanically Zelda inspired, and thematically about 200 different random ideas weaved together with a central one that’s obfuscated by the 200 other more extreme ideas, and that it’s kind of brilliant for doing that.

Albeit I’ve only played through it once earlier this year and only done a bit of the postgame stuff, but Anodyne felt way more like an atmospheric tone piece than any kind of coherent narrative about any particular themes to me. And I thought it was tremendously successful at that. The Labyrinth and Circus are still levels that creep into my head from time to time, along with the straight-from-Silent Hill suburban town and the level in the red whirlpool that is maybe formed after you kill a fisherman???

But it also seems like it’s one of those pieces (kinda like a certain anime that we just got about 25 hours of podcasts on) that thrives from creating a ton of evocative imagery that people (myself included) can’t resist projecting all their associations and feelings/histories onto. It’s tremendously good at supporting a thousand individual readings without having one that its text so-to-speak really advances.


This was my favorite episode in quite a while.


I don’t agree because when I look back at certain dialog, I can see that the ending bit of dialog wasn’t random, but being built up over time slowly.

I think Anodyne 2, from what I’ve played so far, will have a more concrete read than the first game did, since it has a central idea it’s way more focused on (the corrupting dust).

The ESRB (an ESA joint) does allow digital submissions of games to rate.

However, before a new developer or publisher can submit anything, they have to establish an account with the ESRB using physical mail, on their company letterhead.

In case you needed more of a reminder how behind-the-times the ESA is.