Kotaku





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Today, an argument broke out on Twitter between Anthony Burch, lead writer on Borderlands 2, and a few players who think that Tiny Tina is a racist character.



The issue, as some folks saw it, was that Tiny Tina appropriated African American lingo. See above video, which showcases Tiny Tina dialogue, if you want reference.



The argument on Twitter, which ends with Burch saying he'll consider changing her, is as follows—note that this is a mix of developers, game journalists, and random fans:



































































Whether or not a change in Tina's character will actually occur is not clear, though I suspect many fans would be upset if she was altered: she is frequently cited as a favorite character.



UPDATE: Some are even defending Tina, as not all players believe she is racist:



















Though this is but a small sampling of the response Burch is getting, which you can view here.



I reached out to Burch and have yet to hear back.


Kotaku





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allowfullscreen="true">

Today, an argument broke out on Twitter between Anthony Burch, lead writer on Borderlands 2, and a few players who think that Tiny Tina is a racist character.



The issue, as some folks saw it, was that Tiny Tina appropriated African American lingo. See above video, which showcases Tiny Tina dialogue, if you want reference.



The argument on Twitter, which ends with Burch saying he'll consider changing her, is as follows—note that this is a mix of developers, game journalists, and random fans:



































































Matt Charles is a producer on Borderlands 2.



Whether or not a change in Tina's character will actually occur is not clear, though I suspect many fans would be upset if she was altered: she is frequently cited as a favorite character.



UPDATE: Some are even defending Tina, as not all players believe she is racist (including Gearbox president, Randy Pitchford):



















Though this is but a small sampling of the response Burch is getting, which you can view here.



I reached out to Burch and have yet to hear back.



UPDATE 2: Burch responds and clarifies:



Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

As if we hadn’t already heard enough from the man who steers the Irrational Zeppelin through developmental waters, Jim also had a long chat with Ken Levine, the creator of Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite. Read on for thoughts that span the sadness of cholera, the mystery of condiments, the joy of turn-based historical war, and some stuff about a game set in a flying city.

I’ve marked out some mild spoilers towards the end of the piece. These are non-specific discussions of the plot themes, but you can decide whether to skip.> (more…)

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Bioshock Infinite’s City in the Sky trailer provides Comstock footage">Bioshock Infinite



Here's a rather splendid new trailer for Bioshock Infinite; one that packs together grand vistas of the soaring city of Columbia, insight into its fire-and-brimstone ruler Zachary Comstock, and plenty of explosive combat against men and monstrosities. It's also likely to be the only trailer you'll see today that features a minigun-toting mechanical George Washington.

He only makes a brief appearance, but Comstock seems set to be a great character. His zealous, patriotic fervour seems like a nice counterpoint to the grand idealism of Bioshock's Andrew Ryan.

Also: a game trailer made entirely from footage of said game! What a novel idea. We approve.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Do video games make people violent?">game violence



The debate over the relationship between violent games and violent behavior continues inside and outside the United States. In its initial response to the tragedy in Newtown, CT, the US government said it intends to ask the Centers for Disease Control to “study the root causes of gun violence, including any relationship to video games and media images.” Critics cite studies that link aggression and violent games, claiming that interactivity as a component of games makes them unusually potent. One politician labeled games as "electronic child molesters."

It's an enormous and serious topic—one that we believe gamers shouldn't shrug off, but take it upon themselves to engage critics and fellow citizens on. In the interest of that, Logan, Evan, and Tyler hopped into our podcast studio (inappropriately, the room that most makes it look like we're inside an insane asylum) to talk about their personal relationship with violence in games.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Firaxis discarded an “awful” XCOM prototype before developing Enemy Unknown">XCOM Enemy Unknown Thin Man



Speaking to Edge, Firaxis Lead Designer Jake Solomon said the developer's early efforts of crafting an XCOM reboot back in 2003 turned out "awful." Sounds harsh, but considering the polish and personality of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, we're glad for the do-over.

"It’s a good thing it never went ahead, because I was way too young, I had very little experience, and I just wasn’t in the right place to make that game," he said. "It really took a long time until it made sense for the team and for the company."

After a few years spent waiting for Firaxis to construct additional wings in its underground complex, Solomon and his team took another second stab in 2008, the prototype for which eventually evolved into XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the well-received blend of tactical alien slaying and squad management which earned our 2012 Strategy Game of the Year award.
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title="Permanent Link to Nvidia 313.95 beta drivers improve performance for Crysis 3 beta, Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 3">Crysis 3 Ceph-thrower



On the cusp of an open multiplayer beta for Crytek's maximally lustrous Crysis 3, Nvidia released an early version of its GeForce 313.95 drivers today. The GPU giant claims the drivers boost SLI performance for Crysis 3 by up to 35 percent in addition to other "sizeable SLI and single-GPU performance gains" in games such as Assassin's Creed III and Far Cry 3.

Nvidia says users should expect a 27 percent gain in graphics performance while playing Assassin's Creed III, 19 percent in Civilization V, and 14 percent for both Call of Duty: Black Ops II and DiRT 3. Just Cause 2 improves by 11 percent, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, F1 2012, and Far Cry 3 all improve by 10 percent.

Demonstrating its mastery over orderly green bars, Nvidia also supplied benchmark charts for these games using four of its most recent cards: the GTX 650, 660 Ti, 680, and 690. With the 313.95 drivers, the company declares GTX 690 users can max out all settings in Crysis 3 and still achieve 60 FPS.

Grab the new drivers and check out the charts at Nvidia's website. Also try out the GeForce Experience—which we've talked about at length—to automatically optimize and configure your games based on your PC's hardware.
Kotaku





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If you went to school in the 1980s, well, you'll probably find this to be one of the best video game trailers you'll ever see.


PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The five best game trailers of all time">Deus Ex Icarus



This week has seen the release of several pre-rendered cinematic trailers. Exciting though they were, brows were raised, then furrowed, then frowned in the PCG office as we noted how precious little these dramatic scenes reflected the actual action of the game.

It need not be so. Even fully pre-rendered trailers can do a better job of encapsulating the games they promote - and probably do a better job of selling them too. We cast our minds back to our favourite trailers of yore, and picked out the five that we felt best captured the games within, while offering visuals that are every bit as thrilling, powerful and cool.

Supreme Commander
 


Save for a snippet of pre-rendered CGI at the beginning, this is pretty much just an expertly-edited grab from the game itself. Not only does this, succinctly explain the action and features of the game, but it creates an epic four-minute trajectory of awesome escalation. Then the camera pans back from what seemed surely to be its climax, to reveal yet another immense level of robotic carnage. Even now, six years after Supreme Commander’s release, the trailer still makes it look like the ultimate future of the RTS.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
 


A cinematic trailer done right, Human Revolution’s pre-rendered preamble introduces us to the world with expert scene-setting. It quickly sketches out the themes and setting, establishing Jensen as an embittered cyborg with super powerful robo-arms, a vengeful purpose and uncertain allegiance. And then its action sequences, while slightly more fluid and dramatic than possible in game, do describe powers at the player’s disposal: invisibility, x-ray vision, and retractable elbow chisels. It may have flash camera angles, bespoke mo-cap, and sumptuous subsurface scattering - but it’s an honest evocation of the glories of the game itself.

Team Fortress 2
 


The jaunty crime-caper music and freeze-frame introductions make it clear: TF2 doesn’t have classes so much as characters. The game’s team-shooter action takes a backseat here to showcasing the vibrant art-style and humour, as well as articulating the distinct roles and capabilities of each of TF2’s nine classes. A multiplayer shooter might normally offer scant cinematic thrills, or struggle to communicate what it’s about without a dry breakdown of its mechanics - TF2 elegantly dances round these problems without being disingenuous about the game’s contents.

BioShock
 


There’s no in-game footage here, but BioShock’s trailer nonetheless captures a tremendous amount of the game within its short three-minute running time. Its opening panning shot establishes Rapture - its majesty, its dereliction and the ideals that created it. Then the trailer quickly and unexpectedly segues into a thrilling action scene, witnessed in firstperson. The ferocious combat seen here is more dynamic than that of the game, certainly, but the battle establishes the core relationship of the game: that between the little sisters and the big daddies. And, by putting you in the head of an child-stealing aggressor, also demonstrates the game’s ambiguous moralities.

GTA 4
 


There’s little in the way of explicit action in this trailer, even though it’s shot within the game engine itself. Action isn’t what the trailer is selling, however - it’s selling the city itself. As Niko struts through its succession of quick cuts, the sheer variety of Liberty City is elegantly illustrated, and Niko’s many guises suggests at the freedom the player will have to self-define within that space. Meanwhile, the exquisitely cool LCD Soundsystem track reaffirms Rockstar as gaming’s foremost tastemakers. It’s a brilliantly simple and boldly idiosyncratic trailer, intriguing and evocative in equal measure.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Dishonored and The Walking Dead score high in Game Developers Choice Award nominations">The Walking Dead thumb



The Game Developers Choice Awards are the other side of a coin that also contains the IGFs. Sure, indies are allowed into this GDC organised awards show, but they have to promise to be on their best behaviour. And wash behind their ears.

The nominations for this year's award - chosen by a panel of game developers - have been announced, with The Walking Dead and Dishonored scoring plenty of nods. Not the most, though - that honour goes to Journey, which is apparently a PS3 game about collecting scarves. Or something.

Dishonored picked up four nominations, including Game of the Year, Best Game Design, Best Narrative and Best Visual Arts. The Walking Dead also received nominations for Game of the Year and Best Narrative, as well as a chance to nab Best Downloadable Game. Wait, aren't all games downloadable?

Other PC relevant nominations include Game of the Year nods for Mass Effect 3 and XCOM, a well deserved Best Audio mention for Hotline Miami, and a Best Technology listing for Planetside 2. FTL also did well, being nominated for the Innovation Award, along with a shot at Best Debut for its developer, Subset Games.

Here's the full list:

Game of the Year
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Innovation Award

Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
The Unfinished Swan (Giant Sparrow/Sony Computer Entertainment)
ZombiU (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft)


Best Audio

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games/Devolver Digital)
Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)


Best Debut

Humble Hearts (Dust: An Elysian Tail)
Polytron Corporation (Fez)
Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan)
Subset Games (FTL: Faster Than Light)
Fireproof Games (The Room )




Best Downloadable Game

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)
Trials: Evolution (RedLynx/Microsoft Studios)
Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)




Best Game Design

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)


Best Handheld/Mobile Game

Gravity Rush (SCE Japan Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Hero Academy (Robot Entertainment)
Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)
The Room (Fireproof Games)
Kid Icarus: Uprising (Sora/Nintendo)


Best Narrative

Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Entertainment/2K Games)
Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
Virtue's Last Reward (Chunsoft/Aksys Games)


Best Technology

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment)
Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)
Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch/Activision)
Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)


Best Visual Arts

Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software/2K Games)
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)


The winners will be announced at GDC on March 27. Can you think of anything that's been unfairly missed out?
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