Welcome to Wednesday! I have good news: I’ve been playing video games. I cooked my way through Battle Chef Brigade, climbed some cool scenery in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and fired up some games I’ve been meaning to check out for a while, like Oxenfree and Assassin’s Creed Origins. I… I love video games.
But enough about me, let’s talk about the news!
The Spider-Man Proposal Turns Sour
Last week, Kotaku reported on a proposal message left in Marvel’s Spider-Man. A marquee read, “MADDIE, WILL YOU MARRY ME?” which naturally set players’ curiosity ablaze. Had the proposal worked?
No, it had not. The ex-boyfriend told Kotaku that she’d broken up with him for his brother. Except that wasn’t really the case, according to the Houston Post, who reached out to Maddie for comment. She told the Houston Post that they’d been having relationship problems for some time, and that she’d been receiving harassment after Kotaku’s story was published. Though Kotaku has since updated the post to reflect the additional information and apologized for the lack of diligence in reporting, Maddie has since had to delete her social media accounts to avoid further harassment.
In other Spider-Man news, Heather Alexandria’s piece on the game’s relationship with the NYPD dives into some important critiques largely happening on Twitter—namely, what does it mean to be the “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” when you’re unflinchingly aligned with New York’s police force, which has been frequently criticized for racism and overzealous surveillance?
Riot’s Still At It
Riot Games is still under scrutiny after a recent report that the company’s structure enforced sexism and sexual harassment from a high level. Cecelia D’Anastasio’s follow-up report detailed some of the public action the company has taken, but also examined some of the still-existing issues the company needs to deal with. This kind of ongoing reporting is essential to cases like this—while it might seem like a month is a short period of time for a company to make large changes, it’s also just long enough for the community to shift their focus to another topic. D’Anastasio’s work reminds us that this is a process, one that it’s worth keeping our eyes on.
As part of their move to better their workplace culture, Riot Games has brought in Frances Frei, former senior vice president for leadership and strategy at Uber. Frei was hired at Uber to fix their own culture of toxicity before leaving in February of this year to return to teaching at Harvard.
Gaming News Tidbits
The world of indie development is hard and grueling. How hard? Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! developer David Galindo discussed his game’s journey to completion in a Gamasutra post, including how pressure affected not only his ability to get the game done, but also his health.
As the Overwatch League grows in size and scope, Amelia Mary-Justice argues that it’s time for the League to start taking the extreme access that fans have to players seriously.
Rachel Presser has a fascinating and illuminating retrospective look at the Leisure Suit Larry series, and how its playful portrayal of sexuality was a positive.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is on the way, and Ubisoft has all the details on ongoing content:
The #AssassinsCreedOdyssey post launch plan is here, and it's the biggest yet!
Get the lowdown on free episodic content & the Season Pass here >> https://t.co/xZ5cDxhVxX || pic.twitter.com/e2DvVTKkRH
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) September 13, 2018
And if that’s not enough Assassin’s Creed, there’s also a board game on the way.
Former Kill Screen writers have collaborated to release a collection of their work, which is free to download right now!
ANNOUNCEMENT: DED LED, an all new, freshly designed compilation of features, reviews, and articles originally published between 2013 and 2016 on Kill Screen, is available for free download right now! https://t.co/Kwr0Oev6oP
— Creative Business Unit Dan Solberg (@Dan_Solberg) September 12, 2018
Twitch has appointed its first head of diversity and inclusion, Katrina Jones. Jones previously worked in human resources, with a focus on diversity and inclusion, at Vimeo. Jones was hired alongside Michelle Weaver, the company’s new Chief Financial Officer, and Sudarshana Rangachary, Chief Human Resources Officer.
That’s it for this week! Let our resident games warlock tell you all about what’s cheap and new this week.
Welcome to Games Bleat! I’m Kael, a scholar of esoteric gaming theurgy, and I’ve been scrawling my chalk circles all night to evoke the spirits of games yet to be released.
First to cross the temporal ether is Hover. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I love parkour games, especially ones with a Jet Set Radio vibe. Hover seems to offer exactly that, putting you in the midst of a colorful futuristic city and having you perform tricks and traversals all around it. Best yet, it’s hitting PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One—giving you all the options you could ever need to try it.
Next is My Brother Rabbit, a game about the power of imagination in the hardest of times. It’s a surreal point and click adventure taking place in the daydreams of a brother and sister as they cope with terminal illness. The specifics of this game are a mystery shrouded by time, but it’s intriguing enough to keep your eye on for sure.
Finally I’ve divined the release of The Gardens Between. Friendship and time come together to create a puzzle adventure with more heart than any other. I’ve caught glimpses of it at PAXes past, and I’ve got to say, it looks adorable—even if the website promises a bitter sweet experience.
And now my eldritch intonations can bring you this weeks arcane deals!
That’s it for this week’s bleat! I have to go wash the smell of frankincense out of my velvet robes, but I’ll catch you next time!
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.