Tag Archives: Geoff Keighley

A Host of Problems

A Host of Problems

Conversations can be quite the surprise. True enough, everyone knows something you don’t know, and mining that is the core of storytelling, journalism, and, well, general life-living. But it’s also true that no matter who it is, you have something in common with them. It’s just a matter of how much that overlap matters to you that makes it meaningful.

It’s those surprises that somehow seem the least unexpected, though. Talking with the woman next to me, a person I’d then known for all of four minutes, I was asked if I had seen the “Spike video game awards thing” on TV. Indeed I had, and we delved into a pool of her tangential interests and my semi-adult life.

Surprising, and yet not surprising. Who doesn’t play games now? Perhaps unlikely that a random person’s interests would reach the desire to watch the VGX (more likely boredom, a sensation that took of me quite thoroughly over the course of the three-hour web stream last week), but the broadening reach of the industry is represented in Geoff Keighley’s cohost Joel McHale.

VGX 2013

McHale is known for basically two things: 1) being a dick on Community and 2) being a dick on The Soup. Oh and I guess being tall, handsome, and ridiculously jacked. But the point is that he’s found his success in portraying a very particular kind of person. It’s the same kind of person you find people flocking towards in high schools, the sort of man or woman with a distinct sense of disaffected aloofness. Tenderly uncaring and too cool to be impressed but that’s all you want to do: impress them.

The unexpected qualities in a person are often the least surprising, right? Well, the opposite is true, too; sometimes, when people fulfill the expectations, it can be a bit startling, a tad disappointing. It’s a truth of human nature that we don’t know what we want, but we can often pinpoint exactly what we don’t want. All we need is to see the potential for completion.

So it’s not unexpected that right out of the gate, McHale would come out swinging jokes against homosexuals, transgenders, and incontinence. McHale is a persona comedian, not a material comedian, though is a genuinely charming and nice fellow offstage. But the fact remains that we should not be surprised when a man known for being a dick acts like a total dick.

VGX 2013

At certain points of the VGX, you could tell he felt bad. The problem was apparent: you had Keighley, a man wholly ingrained in the trials and tribulations of the industry, next to a man who has no qualms with the medium but also no stakes. The implicit message sent to the casual observers of the event was that we—those most enmeshed in games—don’t give a crap about our little multibillion dollar niche, so you shouldn’t either.

And McHale attempted to hedge his bets; he turned from his ass stage persona to a guy who wanted to try while not shattering his carefully constructed hosting reputation for apathy and wit, the latter of which seemed to be in short supply. And then with the unshakable Tim Schafer of Double Fine Productions and some major trailer reveals, things turned almost somewhat barely slightly around.

The other thing about McHale, though, is that he doesn’t bullshit when he hosts. The words coming out of his mouth are more or less unfiltered, though they still do usually fall with purpose. So it should not be unexpected that he would want to say how ridiculous it is that we celebrate the industry with three hours of advertisements, but many were startled when he did it anyways.

VGX 2013

But he’s not wrong, to put it in colloquial terms. We are, in fact, an industry made up almost entirely of ads and marketing, more so than movies or music or television. E3, our biggest event, is a week of our most sprawling content and it’s all marketing that journalists are complicit with. All of these game award shows now come replete with world premieres of trailers and exclusive announcements before, after, during, and in between commercials.

You don’t see that happen at the Grammys or the Academy Awards or the Tonys or anywhere else that claims to be the flagship honoring ceremony of a respective medium. They celebrate their industries with the ones that built them up and remember their past, paying homage to how they got there.

We have a trailer describing how bullet holes are immaculately rendered in Tom Clancy’s The Division. We have a trailer for a next-gen port of Tomb Raider. We have Reggie Fils-Aime doing Reggie things. McHale, whether he knows it or not, has us pegged. We are cogs.

VGX 2013

McHale might not be the biggest problem of the VGX. It might be us. I’m not saying he or Jay Mohr or Mr. Caffeine aren’t the most painful things I’ve ever seen in conjunction with video games, but that doesn’t make the words out of McHale’s mouth any less true. You know what? Maybe that is a bit surprising.

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PlayStation 4 Launch Event Recap: Uncharted, The Last of Us, and More

PlayStation 4 Launch Event Recap: Uncharted, The Last of Us, and More

How was your night last night? Go out anywhere? Maybe stand in a big line and get a $400 piece of technology? I didn’t, but I did go check out a couple of midnight launches of the PlayStation 4. For one of the biggest metroplexes in the country, Dallas didn’t really have anything crazy to offer, although a couple of dudes offered me some queso, so there’s that.

UPDATE: just kidding. Apparently I missed Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant buying five lucky line-standers their PlayStation 4s.

Of course, it (and whatever was happening at your closest GameStop) didn’t compare to Sony’s big launch event in New York. It was just a big ol’ celebration for Sony’s step into the next generation, but they still decided to throw some news in there. Geoff Keighley even asked about The Last Guardian! (We’ll get to that in a second.)

New Uncharted for PS4

In perhaps the teaseriest tease of all teases, we see nothing more about the upcoming Uncharted for the PlayStation 4 except that 1) it exists, and 2) it has betrayal. Oh, also, I guess that is has a super high resolution logo?

At least it tells us what Naughty Dog has been up to since putting out Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and The Last of Us. And over on the PlayStation Blog, it has been confirmed that creative director Amy Hennig and game director Justin Richmond are both attached to the rather green project and that Todd Stashwick of Heroes fame provides the excellent voiceover.

The Last of Us: Left Behind DLC

Speaking of Naughty Dog, we see them release their first single-player DLC with Left Behind. The teaser is short and poised for a lot of emotional drama as the franchise is wont to do: Ellie and Riley Abel, her school chum from the Quarantine Zone, happen across a carousel.

Like, nothing happy can come from that, right? But it will hopefully at least be a fantastically sad. It’s based somewhat on the Dark Horse comics The Last of Us: American Dreams (which are pretty great) where it shows Ellie and Riley meeting, but this is Ellie telling Joel what happens after that.

Don’t worry, I’ll bring the tissues. Look for it in early 2014 for $14.99.

Destiny Beta

Along with the above trailer, Bungie COO Pete Parsons (what a comic book superhero name) announced that the beta for their upcoming online first-person shooter Destiny would be coming first to the PlayStation 4.

“We’re going to give first access to the PlayStation nation, PS4 and PS3 owners,” he said. If you want to get in on it, you’ll have to have preordered before October 1st, though I’m sure there will be other avenues available as it creeps closer.

Classic Snake in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

I guess not everything old made it out when the new stepped in. In a confusingly nostalgic move, Konami will be including Classic Snake as a skin in the Sony-exclusive mission “Déjà Vu” for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. So yay next-gen graphics? Whatever, as long as I get to choke dudes.

Dammit

Geoff Keighley asked Sony’s Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida and Vice President of Publisher Relations Adam Boyes about Team Ico’s mysteriously missing The Last Guardian. God dammit. JUST GIVE IT TO ME.

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