Bald-faced News 10/25/17: Gaf Dun Goofed

After a long break, we return to discuss recent gaming news. Don’t worry, it’s all great…

NeoGAF Reformation/Destruction

For those who may not know, NeoGAF is/was an internet forum based around gaming discussion. It has a reputation for being a more exclusive community, since you need a paid email account to register, and as a more “knowledgeable” gaming community. Knowledgeable in the sense that discussions about NPD numbers and behind the scenes developments were more common than any reddit or GameFAQs forum discussion, GAF was never immune to idiotic trains of thought or blind hype. Despite all of the issues intrinsic to any internet community, NeoGAF was a prime source for gaming news and an excellent ancillary source for broader pop-culture news. But over the weekend it all burned down. The owner of NeoGAF, Tyler Malka, was accused of sexual misconduct by an acquaintance. This is not the first time Malka has been involved in sexual misconduct, but given the recent climate surrounding this topic this accusation has gained far more traction than previous ones. following Malka’s, or EvilLore as he’s known online, lack of a response a majority of the moderators of NeoGAF left, leaving the site unmoderated. Eventually EvilLore gave his take on the accusation to Patrick Klepek over at Waypoint. I highly recommend reading Klepek’s full write-up. It reveals a strange, disconnected side of Malka that I was not aware of before. Malka admitted that the situation happened according to the woman’s account, but insisted that the woman’s reaction to his actions was the result of her “mental illness”. The forum went down for about 48 hours before coming back online. Once the site was back up there was no Off-Topic discussion section.

Firstly, it is important to remember that at the center of this is a woman who underwent a trauma, and that any “damage” to the community of NeoGAF is of secondary importance to the experience she went through. She initially made her Facebook post private and only revealed the perpetrator was Malka once pressed for details. She deserves both the right to be heard and her privacy.

As far as the world of video games, it will be interesting to see if a forum rises to take GAF’s place, as well as where that community will disperse to now. GAF was a hotbed for leaks and rumors over the years, and had a strict moderation staff that did what i could to cut down on bullying and trolls while still allowing for some form of free speech. It wasn’t a “safe place” by any means, but when the alternatives are reddit or GameFAQs, it’s easy to look good.

I got most of my stories for this blog from NeoGAF, and spent many an hour lurking there; reading OTs and discussions about games and pop culture. GAF had a unique position where it was unaffiliated with any other gaming site or company, meaning it had no inherent leanings when it came to coverage. Sure it had a hive mind mentality when it came to certain topics, but if you wanted to just talk about a video game without having to deal with Kind Funny’s, Giant Bomb’s, or Easy Allies’ coverage of it you could.

NeoGAF is currently back online, but truly feels like a shell of itself. Posters are asking to be permabanned, demanding the EvilLore retire/step down, shrugging off Malka’s behavior, or just whining about all this “SJW crap” ruining their fun game discussion.

Some people from the official NeoGAF Discord group, including former mods, have launched a new site: ResetEra.  Time will tell if it can replace the watercooler that was GAF, but for the time it will serve as a great place for me to lurk.

Shin Megami Tensei V Switch Exclusive

Turns out the SMT game teased at the Switch reveal was Shin Megami Tensei V. Atlus and Nintendo seem to have developed a great relationship in recent times, following years of SMT titles being PlayStation exclusives. After SMT IV was a 3DS exclusive, it seemed likely that the next mainline SMT game would at least be on a Nintendo platform. The setting seems to have shifted back to modern day Japan, instead of alternate Earth’s like SMT IV or Strange Journey. Shin Megami Tensei V is currently planned for a 2018 release.

Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition

YOU DON’T HAVE TO REBUY THE GAME. Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition is a FREE UPDATE for people who own the game, and a bundle for those who have yet to purchase SFV. This update will add a robust arcade mode, with various paths based on past games. There will be an Extra Battle mode, with unique scenarios and rules to earn fight money in, and new V-Triggers for all characters. If you are buying the game for the first time, you’ll also get all of the characters from season 1 & 2, as well as some of their premium costumes.

Hitman GOTY Edition & Free Update Coming

One of the best and most overlooked games of 2016 is getting a major update! Similar to the SFV Arcade Edition, if you own Hitman already, you can upgrade to the GOTY edition for $20. This udpate includes a new campaign, graphical updates, new costumes and weapons, and 3 new Escalation Contracts.

The free update has several small features, such as eye tracking support for PC and a UI redesign, but the major thing is the elusive target reset. Elusive targets were similar to Splatoon‘s Splatfests, in that they were limited time events players could participate in. Elusive targets were difficult missions, often on a variation of an existing map, that players got one shot at. If you failed to eliminate the target or did not begin the mission before the specified date, you could never attempt that target again. Also, the missions would often have a timer. This update and re-release seem like a great way to get people talking about and playing Hitman again, and hopefully IO Interactive gets a bit of a boost from this as a freshly independent studio.

What’s on the Plate

I’ve recently started a new job, so I have not been able to devote as much time to this blog as I would have liked. I’m planning on transitioning away from a pure news focus to more topical pieces. As far was games go, I’m still grinding out Halloween costumes in Overwatch and I plan on getting Wolfenstein II The New Colossus.  Thanks for reading, and have a great week. Let me know why Widowmaker is your main at my Twitter.

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