Welcome to GYGO! I’m Joesph, your local weregamer, and I hope your first few days of Halloween have treated you well! I’m going to jump straight into the news, because I lost track of the current moon cycle and I’m afraid I’ll run into the night in search of Mountain Dew.

GLAAD Media Awards to Include a Video Game Category for the First Time

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has added a new category to their annual award ceremony. The GLAAD Media Awards “recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and the issues that affect their lives,” according to the organization.

For the first time ever “Outstanding Video Game” will be one of the accolades handed out in 2018. Four rules govern a game’s eligibility, including:

  1. The video game must be publicly released in its final general release form in the United States on or before December 31, 2018.
  2. If released prior to January 1, 2018, the video game must contain substantial new first-party content publicly released for the game between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018, where the new content is the subject of consideration.
  3. The video game must contain LGBTQ-inclusive content that is revealed either in the game itself or through official canon by means of alternate media.
  4. The video game must be designed for use on at least one of the following platforms: a video game console, a handheld system, a computer running Microsoft Windows or Apple macOS, a commercial game network, a smartphone, a tablet, or a web browser.

While I have some complicated feelings about the inclusion of the “canon by means of alternate media” clause, I’m still stoked to see video games being recognized as an avenue for LGBTQ representation. I’m kind of excited that the cut off seemingly disqualifies many of the games dominating recent discourse, such as The Last of Us 2, and Overwatch. What better way to open this new category but to give some publicity to lesser known games released this year.

Former Employees File Class Action Lawsuit Against Telltale

The lawsuit revolves around a labor law that requires certain types of companies to give 60 days notice before mass layoffs, or be required to provide salary and benefits equivalent to that time period. While this case can do little to help the former employees struggling financially right now, it is a great step in holding companies accountable for their labor practices, not to mention a great example of what’s possible through organization.

As Polygon has reported, there is a risk that the lawsuit won’t pan out. There’s a clause in the federal WARN Act that allows exceptions in cases where the company’s financial distress was unforeseeable. As Telltale was reportedly working to secure funding, it could be argued they couldn’t predict how dire their circumstances would become. That being said, California, where Telltale games is based, has their own version of the WARN Act that provides no such exemption.

We’re rooting for Telltale’s former employees. We support your efforts and wish you a fair ruling.

Total War: Rome II Had to Put Out a Press Release About Their Game Featuring Women

Total War: Rome II, a game released in 2013, but faithfully updated by its developers, recently patched in a system that allows players to add more generals to their game through marriage. This introduces a relatively low chance of a woman being spawned as a general. After Steam review bombings, forum backlash, and general gamer nonsense, they put out a press release on Twitter explaining the system and letting players know they had no intention of removing it.

All in all, this story is silly and a little stupid, but I wanted to take the time to thank Creative Assembly’s community content editor, Ella McConnell, for taking a stand. Her comments on Rome II’s Steam forums can largely be summed up as, “If having female units upsets you that much you can either mod them out or just not play. People saying they won’t buy the game because there are too many women in it is fine with us—if that’s their reason, we’d rather they didn’t anyway.”

In other news:

Games Bleat

And now for those sweet deals! If you listen closely you can even hear my fellow weregamers howling the new releases into the night!

PC

While you were reading that, I tied myself to this here tree so that when the moon comes I won’t join the Dorito hunt. The ropes are worn but they should buy just enough time for me to tell you about this week’s new releases!

First off is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. This entry in the long running Ubisoft franchise puts the player in the midst of ancient Greece, and tasks with killing people (probably). I’m super excited considering the inclusion of flirting and how dope the female protagonist looks. I mean, really, what do I have to do to get shoulders like Kassandra’s?

This next game is perfect for the season. The Midnight Sanctuary is an anime inspired horror “almost full visual novel” with a striking art style. It follows a newcomer to an isolated town in Japan, known as a safe haven for persecuted Christians in the area. Not all is as it seems though, and the ominous sect quickly proves to have some strange and terrifying customs. It’s coming out for PC and Nintendo Switch.

Finally I have Odd Realm, a small game in early development that immediately struck me with a Dwarf Fortress vibe. The player chooses an island to settle, and must build, scavenge, and fight their way to survival. Just be careful not to wake the strange creatures, dormant gods, or myriad of other complication sleeping beneath your feet.

And that’s it for this week’s bleat. Hopefully next time I’ll have found a way to rid myself of this dark curse, but for now I can already feel it taking hold. Please, RUN! Save yourself! Before I ask you to speedrun Dark Souls with me!

A genderless eldritch beast bound to mortal flesh. Interests include games, gardening, magical realism, and the complete restructuring of America’s political and economic systems. Once designed their own Full Metal Alchemist style transmutation circle for the weeb cred.

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