We’ve had an unofficial summer break here at Reticule Towers, and we hope you’ve all had a pleasant few weeks of peace and quiet. Did we say quiet? Well, while we may have been quiet, the industry has been in turmoil with appalling reports of a toxic culture at Activision Blizzard, which ultimately lead to a staff walkout. This all emerged when the State of California filed a lawsuit against the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft creators, with the lawsuit alleging pervasive discrimination and harassment of women. Eurogamer have a good lowdown on the latest events with Activision Blizzard here.
We witnessed similar damning revelations spill out of Ubi Soft last year, but the truth is that this problem is industry-wide – it is deeply embedded in the very culture of gaming, both within those that produce our games and those that engage with them. A toxic culture, and one that has to be brought to an immediate end so that something better – an equitable, fair, decent, and empathetic culture – can emerge.
Enough is enough. Gaming needs to be better – and it needs to be better right now.
And it starts with us, too.
Here at The Reticule we embrace equality and diversity. We’re incredibly proud of our writing team, but we’re super conscious that, ultimately, we’re a team of white dudes, and that’s not a reflection of the gaming culture we want to see. We are committed to diversifying the voices that you see and read on our website. We are now actively recruiting such voices. If you want to get in touch about working with us, drop us a note on Discord or get in touch with our Editor Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org
Between adventuring around West Wales and work I haven’t had too much time for games over the last couple of weeks. It means that The Last of Us 2 is still there waiting for me to finish it, and Monster Hunter Stories 2 remains largely untouched since my preview from a few weeks ago. However, I have managed to squeeze some time into the Mass Effect remaster. Having not played the legendary space opera originally, I very much welcome the remaster. I’m getting to grips with the first title and have really enjoyed the sequences on the Citadel, although I find controls around combat to be a bit fiddly.
Regardless, I will push on and hopefully find some more time for playing Mass Effect and others titles over this coming week.
This week was a period of watching, rather than playing games, after my wife rediscovered her love of Skyrim.
I’ve always enjoyed watching other people play games. Even two people playing a linear single player game will end up with their own quirks and individual ways of playing. Watching her return to one of her favourite games has been fascinating to see just how differently we approach the same game.
After promising that this time she’d try something different, after a couple of hours she’d ended up with the same Dark Brotherhood armour, bow and arrows as in her last playthrough, but that’s fine. To her Skyrim is a sneaky land of deception, thievery and stealth, but to me it’s a realm of loud, angry warfare.
Her combat style is different to mine, too. Given the same weapons we still approach battles in completely different ways. I’m in no way suggesting it’s wrong – it’s just different. She strafes where I’d have back-peddled. She sneaks where I’d have charged. Does it mean one of us is wrong, or one of us is somehow the better ‘gamer?’ No. No it does not.