With 2015’s Life is Strange, Square Enix and Dontnod Entertainment introduced a normalized depiction of young, bisexual women to a mainstream audience. The episodic series was more than the story of teen girls exploring their budding sexuality, at least in its first season; Life is Strange became emblematic of the turning tide toward giving unconventional gaming heroes the floor. Life is Strange 2 is continuing that trend, even if it seems disappointing on first glance. Gone are the bisexual female leads; we have yet to see a high school setting that comes with a cast of recurring characters, each one as blunt as any real-life teen. But what we have instead, based on who we’ve seen thus far, are characters who embody diversity of a different kind: racial diversity. Our co-stars in Life is Strange 2 are the Diaz brothers, whose story begins when they flee their Seattle suburb after a run-in with the police. Sean and Daniel are at least half-Mexican, and their father is a … [Read more...] about Life is Strange 2 finds new ways to diversify after ditching female leads
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Alolan Meowth is brilliantly haughty - the way cats can be, when they sit in judgement awaiting food when you're still lying in bed. It's one of my favourite Alolan designs - the tropical takes on popular Pokémon which were added to Pokémon Go around midnight last night. And so, shortly after midnight last night, I was delighted to see a friend had just gotten an Alolan Meowth of his own. But not via a Twitter post or gloating Whatsapp message - I saw this via the new friends section within Pokémon Go itself, where we'd just finished adding each other. Pokémon Go has always been a game about collecting things and over the past six months with the introduction of weather-based gameplay, quests and yet more Pokémon it has only gotten better. But Pokémon Go previously lacked a direct way to connect with everyone else out there playing, doing the same things - leaving its dedicated community blind without the aid of external services like Discord or IM. … [Read more...] about Two years on, Pokémon Go’s new friend system refreshes the game
The 2018 Game Developers Conference is just days away, and that means now is the right time for attendees to brush up on all the ways you can meet interesting new people at the show! Most notably, the GDC Connect business matchmaking service allows GDC attendees to identify, contact, and request and receive meetings with GDC exhibitors of all kinds, either in exhibitor booths or the special GDC Connect Lounge. GDC Connect is available to all pass types except Expo, and Expo pass holders can still upgrade to an Expo Plus pass to secure access to this popular meeting tool! Also, you can find game companies recruiting during GDC by using the "career" filter on the exhibitor list or checking the "Who's Hiring" list on-site. Visit the Career Theater during the GDC Expo to network with potential employers, attend career development sessions, and attend GDC Pitch, where game developers get 5 minutes to pitch to an opinionated panel … [Read more...] about Don’t miss your opportunities to make new friends and contacts at GDC
I probably don't need to remind you that life can be a busy, unpredictable, and sometimes uncontrollable series of events; a frenetic balancing act, as you juggle your time between work, family, friends, recreation, health, and a billion other things all at once. As someone currently tasked with organising a Stag Do, I am particularly attuned to how hard it can be to get several people together in the same place at once, but video games are asking us to do this all the time. Last year, Star Trek: Bridge Crew's playability banks on four friends each owning a PS4 or high end PC, a VR headset, and their own separate copy of the game, and that's before having to find a good time to play together when every person is available for at least an hour or more. 1-2 Switch brandished a AAA price tag for an experience that can only really be enjoyed at social gatherings or parties tame enough to bring your new Ninty console out without fear of it getting trampled or splattered with alcohol. In … [Read more...] about Co-op is making a comeback in 2018, but is there a place for games that rely so heavily on working with friends?
The Golden Joystick Awards traditionally honour games released in the last 12 months. This made sense when the show began some (gulp) 35 years ago, but games increasingly work as services with vibrant communities still playing months – or decades – after the title's initial release. Hence the introduction of the new Still Playing category at the 35th Golden Joystick Awards Presented with Omen by HP, which pits venerable MMOs against the biggest games of the last few months. Can the sheer staying power of strategy games like World of Tanks triumph over the rising star of newcomers like Rocket League? That's up to you. The brand-new-for-2017 Still Playing category acknowledges that games aren’t just the product of a single year. Many players have a game that has become part of their lives, whether it’s something they dip into a few times a week or an all-encompassing hobby that has introduced them to new friends and new aspects of their hobby. These games might … [Read more...] about Can a 15-year-old MMO topple Overwatch? Have your say in the Golden Joystick Awards’ new Still Playing category