My Game of 2020 Reminded Me Why I Love This Absurd Medium

This was a weird year for video games. Lots of amazing titles came out and I loved many of them wholeheartedly. Final Fantasy 7 Remake showed me how good a remake could be, Half Life Alyx proved that virtual reality could be more than a passing fad, and Hades was an intoxicating mix of challenge and narrative. But I spent most of the year in quarantine putting more than 200 years into a completionist run of Red Dead Redemption 2. I struggled some of the year to remember why I had wanted to write about video games in the first place and honestly considered focusing on other journalistic beats entirely.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qjpzj3/my-game-of-2020-reminded-me-why-i-love-this-absurd-med

Trash article. I thought Gault was better than this.

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Yeah, the only thing wrong with Cyberpunk is the glitches. Definitely not the transphobia or racism or cultural appropriation or orientalism or…

Also, maybe this is just me, but the phrase ‘euro-jank’ is kinda uncomfortable? Like, people being from a particular region or economic background and their games get automatically but into this "bad-but-good’ genre. It’s just… weird. And comparing Cyberpunk to the games that traditionally get that designation is insulting to those games. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is so much better than what CP2077 would be even if it wasn’t a broken mess.

Bad article imo.

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I could accept this wrt to CDPR if it was referring to The Witcher titles (especially the earlier ones) but I really don’t see it here at all. It feels magnitudes more shallow than even other AAA cyberpunk titles like Deus Ex or big-budget immersive sims like Dishonored or Prey.

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Leaving aside the debate about the term itself, Cyberpunk can’t be euro-jank anyway because it’s operating on a traditional AAA budget. It’s just basic-ass AAA-jank.

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The Daikatana comparison feels weird to me, because Daikatana was nowhere near as broken at launch - sure the game is 75% escort quest with poor companion AI, but Daikatana’s failures were more about unrestrained ambition and poor project planning (and, yeah, that one ad).

It feels tone-deaf, and frankly offensive, that the author pegs CP2077 as a story that reminds them why they enjoy writing about messy projects. Sure, games like Daikatana were a mess, but Daikatana didn’t make numerous transphobic dogwhistles in its marketing, nor did it give anyone seizures (or forment an audience keen on giving its critics seizures). It has the same energy as the person seeing a marginalized person reacting to being harassed on Twitter and being amused at all the “drama”.

The fuck is going on with the editorial direction on this webbed site.

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A question that I, too, have found myself asking repeatedly this month.

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That’s…

not something you should enjoy writing about.

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Yeah, I’m also kind of taken aback by some of these recent articles.

As for this one in particular, I don’t necessarily blame someone for getting a little bit of schadenfreude from watch studios like CDPR collapse in real-time. But it’s… a weird thing to broadcast like this, especially with the acknowledgment of the materially devastating conditions. It’s a pretty questionable thing to focus on, and definitely not something I would write a widely published opinion piece on.

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It just, it feels so disconnected to the shit things we know about the development of the game and it’s content in a way I’d expect people to write about games like, over a decade ago.

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It’s honestly kinda striking how this and other recent articles have, like, bungled the framing of a pretty serious topic. It feels like more and more of the stuff coming out of WP is underbaked in a way that severely undercuts the more sensitive subject matter that WP has tackled since it’s inception

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I’m afraid I do not get this reference.

Basically the Splatoon equivalent of the music stopping suddenly at a party with a record scratch and everyone turning to look at you (or, in this case, the original article).

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hey here’s a question who even works at this website now because since it got flattened into “vice dot com slash tags slash games” it’s a bit difficult to find out any info on this operation given the web design has been reduced to A List Of All The Articles <next|previous>

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I dunno. If the primary thing that pulled me toward games media was seeing the cocktail of corporate hubris and ungodly amounts of capital yielding trainwreck releases, then maybe I’d take a step back and wonder if it’s games, specifically, I’m interested in writing about?

This plus the other super fun articles the site’s been putting out lately have been giving me OG Vice Gaming vibes. Like, couching a cynical article like this as a personal GOTY thing with so many self-preserving layers of ironic distancing (while also handwaving the tangible bad things one can say about this particular game’s production/marketing/portrayals aside) is just a really bad look for a site that used to make a point about discussing games with compassion and uncommon insight, y’know?

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I haven’t really been following the non-WPR stuff coming out of the site, but are Patrick and Rob in charge of editorial for Vice Games or is it some random Vice staff? I’m always interested to read Cameron, Gita, Patrick, or Rob’s stuff (though I haven’t been recently) so I’m surprised that the site took a turn for the worse.

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I’m more of a movie hobbyist than a games hobbyist overall, which makes me raise an eyebrow at the notion that games are uniquely “a medium where art and commerce are fighting to the death.” I understand the framing of this piece, and to a degree sympathize with it. The value of Vice Gaming (or, rather, Waypoint) to me personally has historically been in threading that needle between fascination with the medium, abhorrence with the process, and ambivalence about the net value to myself and the world of engaging with experiences defined primarily through consumption. Unfortunately, the site’s editorial direction (or the seeming absence of it) of late is pushing me increasingly back to my starting position that maybe, in fact, this stuff just isn’t worth engaging with at all.

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Thank you!

This has been a burning thorn in my side since Waypoint launched. In a bigger picture the coverage of eastern european stuff was 100% one of two things. “Jank” to look down upon or “It’s only worth covering if someone [from over there] takes a swing and misses”. The later being a direct quote from Austin.

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Personally, I’ve always thought of “eurojank” as a term of endearment. For me, it defines smaller budgeted games, usually from Slavic states that were formerly Soviet, that are known more for their ambition than their “objective quality”. Those kind of games tend to be right up my alley, but I guess it is still kinda patronizing.

Using my metric, however, Cyberpunk is absolutely NOT eurojank, it’s just a busted ass AAA game.

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