Belayed New Year’s resolution: I will not uninstall Dota 2.

Some games are a struggle – and most of the time, I thrive on that struggle.  Not so with Dota 2.

I play a lot of different MOBAs – I got started on Heroes of Newerth, and moved on to the (much friendlier) SMITE and League of Legends, the latter of which I’ve stuck with for something like four years now.  It’s only recently that I’ve started getting GOOD at League of Legends – for the last two seasons I’ve managed to scrape my way into Gold Tier, which is the “you’re somewhat proficient at this” rank.  But sometimes nostalgia hits me, and I feel the urge to delve back into Heroes of Newerth.  Since HoN is all but dead at this point, I’m left with the younger, better-looking Dota 2.

And lord, how I LOATHE this game.

The above comic (source) is not an exaggeration for me.  My typical Dota 2 experience consists of maybe five games, after which I delete the game for my computer, wait roughly two months, and re-install it.  Even now I sit, downloading this goddamn monstrosity, KNOWING that I’m going to hate playing it.

The item shop is a confusing mess compared to pretty much every other MOBA on the market, especially when you factor in the secret shop.  Creep denial is a royal pain in the butt to manage.  Certain champions (fucking Riki) make the game a nightmare to learn.  Game abandonment is rampant – in the four games I played this month, none of them ended as a 5v5.  The community is a viper’s nest.

But there’s just something about this game, man.  Some sort of black magic rests at the heart of Dota 2, and it won’t let me go.  Which is why, this time around, I’m going to try to do things the right way -I’m going to try keep Dota 2 installed on my computer for the rest of the year.

God help us all.

Point-Counterpoint: Grand Theft Auto 5 and Misogyny

This is a response to Colin Campbell’s opinion piece on Polygon about the alleged misogyny in GTA 5.  I will highlight quotes from the article, and then respond to them. Quotes from Campbell’s piece will be in bold.

In the interests of full disclosure: I have not played GTA 5, but I have seen multiple videos of the game in action and am aware of certain plot points. I have played prior games in the series (GTA 4 and San Andreas) and I assume that not much has changed besides the scope of the franchise’s available activities and the whole “swap between three characters” deal.

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Yeah, it’s censorship.

If you happen to play video games, odds are you’ve heard of the Target Australia Grand Theft Auto 5 debacle.  After being presented with a 40,000 signature petition accusing the game of encouraging violence against women, Target Australia pulled its copies of the game from store shelves.

For many gamers that lived through Jack Thompson’s moral panic-mongering of the 90’s, seeing such an effort succeed was a nightmare.  To these people (and to me), Target’s decision amounted to censorship.  But to others, it was a triumph of justice that “repugnant misogynistic garbage” was removed from store shelves.  Those supporting Target’s decision claimed that it wasn’t censorship – just natural market forces at work.

I think that’s bullshit.

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