Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Apple iPhone's 'Notch' Abomination is Spreading and There is Not a Goddamned Thing you can Do About It

When I first saw 'The Notch', its barbarism really grated on me. I couldn't take it. It was a total, fucking eyesore. I found peace in the fact that it was an 'Apple iPhone thing' at the time, and I was an avid Android user. I'd cast aside the Cult of Apple a decade or so ago, and took solace in the idea that the despicable nonsense of 'The Notch' would be rejected and cast aside by civilized society, obviously. My devices would be safe.

I would be safe.

... or maybe not.

It didn't last. It's coming to more and more devices. With the last Android update on my beloved Pixel 2 XL, I noticed a new setting, buried deep -- hidden away, like a monstrous, threatening thing that was watching, waiting, to crawl out from its abyss and pull all back into oblivion with it. This setting added a software 'Notch' into my screen, likely for devs to design and program their apps around. I was aghast at what this implied for the future of my Android devices and I felt like huddling in the corner, wrapped up into a fetal position, rocking back and forth, sobbing as this abomination, my oppressor, beat me -- nonstop. Would the beatings end? Could they end?

No. The beatings will continue -- until morale improves.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

A Meta Review: Ubisoft's New 'Far Cry 5' has the Ideologues All Bent Out of Shape and That's a Good Thing

Originally, I wasn't very interested in picking up Far Cry 5, the latest entry in a series of formularized games going back to 2004 -- but the more I read about and saw more of its gameplay a couple of weeks leading up to its release, the more excited about it I became. The Montanan setting was much 'closer to home' than past installments, the cult concept was intriguing, the graphics looked gorgeous, the music highly thematic, and the gunplay sweet. The addition of co-op in its beautiful and chaotic open world of Americana was all just too much to pass up, this time around.

Pre-orders were placed.

First, The Actual Game

Allusions to 'The Last Supper', anyone?

On the politics (or mostly lack-thereof) within Far Cry 5 -- they had absolutely zilch, zero, nada to do with my initial excitement, subsequent purchase and ongoing enjoyment of this game. Far Cry 5 feels like The Dukes of Hazard taking on some equally cartoonish cult, and, ultimately, if I’m playing a Far Cry game, I’m not doing it for deep political commentary, regardless of the setting. I'm doing it to have fun in amazingly rendered open worlds and with the characters that dwell there, with great voice-acting, script, and well-executed facial and other animation mo-cap. I expect solid gameplay and combat with many ways to approach varying, highly dynamic situations within the chaos-engine that smashes, head-first, into what would otherwise be considered a paradise on earth.

At the end of the day, you and your buds are going to be sending flaming mountain lions to ravage a bunch of goonish, cult-obsessed, drug-addled hillbillies. Or maybe you'll take out psychopathic cultists with an M60 machine gun mounted on a flame-painted muscle car. Or maybe you'll whack them upside the head with a barbed-wire, nail-studded bat as you whip by in a pickup truck. Or maybe you'll raid doomsday prepper stashes. Or maybe you'll just enjoy the scenery. Or maybe you and your friend will do some fishing in order to feed your diabetic pet grizzly bear, 'Cheeseburger'. Whatever floats your boat, man (like, literally, you can go fishing on your boat).

Have some of that...

A bit of this...

And this...

And, of course, this...

Can't forget this...

There's some of this...

And, hell, why not some of this?

The chaos on the main roads in cultist-dominated regions outside their outposts is... palpable, to say the least. I think I actually like the non-stop chaos, but I'm not exactly sure. Wild beasts come out of nowhere attacking cultists and townsfolk (you happen to be talking to or receiving a quest from), alike, which can be comical when it's not an annoyance. Co-op really capitalizes on the chaotic aspect of the game, though, and finding random, hilarious shit to do in between the insanity on the roads is quick, easy, and supremely fun with a friend.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Medical Journal 'The Lancet' Proves that 'Low Fat' 'Diets' are Actually Killing You

Ah, yes. As a 90s kid, I remember the old 'FDA-approved' Food Pyramid plastered all over the walls of the cafeterias of elementary school all the way through high school. Pure carbohydrate foods like bread, pasta, cereal, and rice made up the massive foundation of supposedly healthy eating, whereas fats were, for some odd reason, lumped in with sugar, and should make up the least of your diet. They apparently updated this slightly in 2005, and in 2011, simplified it all even further for our carb-loaded (read: sugar-loaded), nutrient-and-fat deficient brains (our brain is made up of fat) with the dopey MyPlate iteration in 2011.

But it's wrong -- all of it. Unhealthily, mortally wrong. Consuming 'low fat' foods are what is actually making people fat and unhealthy and as it turns out -- literally killing people. The government FDA-approved and propagated 'Food Pyramid' and 'MyPlate' too many of us have been convinced of for so long has been nothing but the result of power politicking in Washington DC.

Remember this nonsense? 

The Lancet -- a widely known and well-respected medical journal -- published a study that has officially and finally blown up the old post-hoc, ergo propter hoc justified narrative of 'consuming fats = bad, therefore, minimize fats (and by implication, replace with carbs)'. Of course, this also ignored the fact that much of our bodies, including our brain, skin, and almost all of our internal organs are made up of fats

Here's a direct link to the abstract for Associations of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 18 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study, with the general summary provided below.

The relationship between macronutrients and cardiovascular disease and mortality is controversial. Most available data are from European and North American populations where nutrition excess is more likely, so their applicability to other populations is unclear. 
The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study is a large, epidemiological cohort study of individuals aged 35–70 years (enrolled between Jan 1, 2003, and March 31, 2013) in 18 countries with a median follow-up of 7·4 years (IQR 5·3–9·3). Dietary intake of 135 335 individuals was recorded using validated food frequency questionnaires. The primary outcomes were total mortality and major cardiovascular events (fatal cardiovascular disease, non-fatal myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure). Secondary outcomes were all myocardial infarctions, stroke, cardiovascular disease mortality, and non-cardiovascular disease mortality. Participants were categorised into quintiles of nutrient intake (carbohydrate, fats, and protein) based on percentage of energy provided by nutrients. We assessed the associations between consumption of carbohydrate, total fat, and each type of fat with cardiovascular disease and total mortality. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) using a multivariable Cox frailty model with random intercepts to account for centre clustering. 
During follow-up, we documented 5796 deaths and 4784 major cardiovascular disease events. Higher carbohydrate intake was associated with an increased risk of total mortality (highest [quintile 5] vs lowest quintile [quintile 1] category, HR 1·28 [95% CI 1·12–1·46], ptrend=0·0001) but not with the risk of cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular disease mortality. Intake of total fat and each type of fat was associated with lower risk of total mortality (quintile 5 vs quintile 1, total fat: HR 0·77 [95% CI 0·67–0·87], ptrend<0·0001; saturated fat, HR 0·86 [0·76–0·99], ptrend=0·0088; monounsaturated fat: HR 0·81 [0·71–0·92], ptrend<0·0001; and polyunsaturated fat: HR 0·80 [0·71–0·89], ptrend<0·0001). Higher saturated fat intake was associated with lower risk of stroke (quintile 5 vs quintile 1, HR 0·79 [95% CI 0·64–0·98], ptrend=0·0498). Total fat and saturated and unsaturated fats were not significantly associated with risk of myocardial infarction or cardiovascular disease mortality. 
High carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality. Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular disease mortality, whereas saturated fat had an inverse association with stroke. Global dietary guidelines should be reconsidered in light of these findings.

It feels good to be vindicated, doesn't it? Anyone I know, personally, would tell you that I've been touting this side of the argument for over a decade, now -- the idea that many of the problems with heart disease, general health issues such as obesity, and early mortality are not linked to one's fat intake. On the contrary, it's one's lack-of-fat-intake and the subsequent, over-the-top carbohydrate intake, that takes its place.

So why was this ever even 'a thing', anyways, being so ridiculously, dangerously incorrect? Is it just FDA and general government incompetence in a vacuum that brought us here, with moral busy-bodies sticking their nose into everyone's business? As this Salon article rightly points out -- with some snippets below -- the history of the FDA, the USDA, and the lobbies that lobby them encouraged a blatantly unscientific lack of evidence and a stream of logical fallacies that led to these false conclusions. Over time, this was all dogmatically propagated as a kind of inter-generational Holy Faith of Eating, with lobby groups, politicians, and bureaucrats all patting eachother on the back as the dietary saviors of the unwashed masses. Of course, it didn't matter that this narrative continued to crumble for decades to come.

ESRB 'M for Mature' Rating for South Park: The Fractured But Whole' Escalates Quickly

Having played the first 'proper' South Park game, South Park: The Stick of Truth, some years ago on the XBox 360, I was probably going to pick up their next game at some point. TSOT is probably the most hilariously fucked-up game I'd ever played, and I have to admit that I'm morbidly curious how they'll manage to top it. Here's the trailer for the upcoming sequel, gloriously named South Park: The Fractured But Whole.

Looks pretty good, and definitely scratches that South Park itch I've been scratching since the show first came out in 1997. I still wasn't convinced, though, until the ESRB gave their summary and reasons for why they're labeling it, like the original game, 'M for Mature'. If this isn't some damned fine, free marketing in-and-of-itself towards South Park fans or any gamer with a truly disturbing sense of humor -- then I don't know what is.

This is a role-playing game, based on the animated South Park TV show, in which players assume the role of a new kid in town embarking on an adventure to uncover an evil criminal element. Players engage in turn-based combat by moving around a grid and selecting attacks from a menu. Players use various weapons (e.g., blades, claws), blasts of energy/ice/lightning, and melee attacks during combat. Blood-splatter effects occur often, and cutscenes occasionally depict “cartoony” dismemberment or decapitation. The game includes several instances of mature humor, racial humor, and sexual material: characters are depicted urinating and defecating; one extended sequence (in a strip club) depicts a character performing a lap dance while emitting flatulence; one scene depicts a towel character performing an obscured sex act on a man in an alley; another scene shows a man watching security monitors and repeatedly reaching for lubrication behind his desk—all sequences are depicted in a cartoony and over-the-top manner. Characters are sometimes depicted nude (e.g,, breasts, buttocks, male genitalia). During the course of the game, players can observe characters snorting lines of cocaine, and in one level, players must complete a quest to bring a marijuana prescription to a character. The words “f**k,” "c*nt," and “sh*t,” and racial epithets (e.g., "n**ga," "sp*ok") are heard in the dialogue.

Well done to the fine folks at ESRB. You just turned me into an Ubisoft customer for the second time. Hell, I think I'll even pre-order this one. Thanks!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Chaos is a Ladder in the Orwellianization of Sex and Gender

Look no further than the Mount Everest, peak-levels of cringe surrounding this issue in popular media and so-called science fiction and you'll see why this is increasingly becoming something worth addressing and talking about. Yes, it's lamentable that much of this has to be reiterated and more rigorously argued for, but here we are. Sex, gender, pronouns -- it's all being ripped apart and mashed together over social and popular media, with the regressive, postmodernist, CTRL-Left (the flipside of the collectivist, identitarian coin that also includes the ALT-Right) and their Social Justice Warriors increasingly latching on and doubling down, pushing for individual and institutional thought and speech control. Critical theory is their muse, which in a broad sense claims that all knowledge is historical and biased, that any claims to objective knowledge is illusory, and that it should all be maximally destabilized through various strategies and tactics. In arbitrary, subjectivist ideology, the ends justifies the means, as well -- this means that minimizing, obscuring or concealing any alleged truth up to engaging in outright lies is a small price to pay to achieve a greater goal.

This is not to say that everyone who has been convinced of this mode of thought and speech is necessarily an underhanded activist (although it's relatively easy to spot the activist types). However, those who aren't are being tooled into useful idiots in doing so, and it's important to be equipped with the knowledge and integrity to avoid becoming an intellectual casualty of this ideology.

Appreciating where there are some clear, settled, and calm waters of knowledge, understanding, and communication so society can turn its focus to more pressing and important issues, it is the CTRL-Left's modus operandi to come along, dump a bunch of dirt and shit into it all, kick it up, and rub our faces in it. We might ask why they do this -- why this is their M.O. -- but to me, it seems pretty clear. Compared to trying to enact radical, social change in the face of established norms and accepted realities, it's much easier to do it amidst chaos and distraction -- especially if you can trip people up on what they think they know, their ability to understand the world around them, and how they're able to communicate.

This strikes at the heart of why the Orwellian deconstruction of knowledge and language is so effective. In the words of the infamous Lord Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish from Game of Thrones, "Chaos... is a ladder."

Part I: 'Sex' as an Empirical Construct and Exceptions that Prove the Rule
Part II: 'Gender' as a Social Construct and its Relative 'Elasticity'
Part III: Where Social Justice Ideologues go off the Rails on Gender
Part IV: The Increasingly Absurd Application of Transgender Post-modernism
Part VII: In Conclusion

Part I: 'Sex' as an Empirical Construct and Exceptions that Prove the Rule

In the human species, sex is binary, permanent, and unchanging. This is readily, empirically observable -- male or female, man or woman, him or her, he or she -- all of these are both defined and conceptualized specifically according to an objective biological ‘sex’, identical across all times and cultures of human history. This isn't even referring to the superficial perceptions of someone's sex based on outward appearance or genitalia, this is in regards to the empirical, objective reality of an individual's DNA as genetically derived -- XX for female or XY for male.

When the Social Justice Warrior is confronted with the argument from the empirically observable, genetic reality surrounding sex, he (triggered for pronoun assumption) will often want to point out either the development of a fetus as 'female by default' or the less than 0.01% of individuals with more complicated allosomal (referencing the sex chromosomes) profiles.

While easily dispatched, the 'female default' fetal development claim is, unfortunately, far too often one we still hear and have to put up with. The claim is partly that because a penis on an XY fetus doesn't form until about the 9th week, then that means an XY fetus prior to that time is a 'female' with a 'vagina' and 'ovaries', with the alleged implication being that XX or XY chromosomes must then not necessarily be what determine sex, and that sex is more 'biologically fluid' than is being acknowledged. Also, a quick Google search of 'female as default sex' yields quite a bit of content of people continuing to propagate this error based on decades old and very limited research in the field of fetal sex differentiation. The reality is that prior to the 9th week where sexual differentiation actually takes place, there are neither 'female sex organs' nor 'male sex organs' -- merely as-of-yet undeveloped, non-functional 'buds' that will eventually form according to allosomal profiles, ceteris paribus.

In addition, this whole 'female is the default sex' claim was completely debunked, as expressed by a Stanford paper on The Genetics of Sex Determination. In a nutshell,

Research on sex determination (the differentiation of the embryonic bipotential gonad into a testis or an ovary) traditionally focused on testis development. Andrew Sinclair’s 1990 Nature paper famously identified a Y-chromosome gene as the Sex-Determining Region Y (SRY). Female sexual development, by contrast, was thought to proceed as a "default" in the absence of Sry. In the case of sex determination, "default" became the prevailing concept for female pathways—i.e., an ovary results in the absence of other action. The active processes controlling ovarian development remained a blind spot. The notion of a "passive" female fit with current scientific theories and gender assumptions in the broader society. 
Around 2010, questioning the notion of "default" led to the discovery of a cohort of genes required for ovarian function. Gender analysis led to three innovations in this field: 
  1. 1. Recognition of ovarian determination as an active process. These investigations have also enhanced knowledge about testis development, and how the ovarian and testicular pathways interact (see chart).
  2. 2. Discovery of ongoing ovarian and testis maintenance. Research into the ovarian pathway revealed that the transcriptional regulator FOXL2 must be expressed in adult ovarian follicles to prevent "transdifferentiation of an adult ovary to a testis." Subsequently, researchers found that the transcription factor DMRT1 is needed to prevent reprogramming of testicular Sertoli cells into ovarian granulosa cells.
  3. 3. New language to describe gonadal differentiation. Researchers have dismissed the concept of "default" and emphasize that, while female and male developmental pathways are divergent, the construction of an ovary (like the construction of a testis or any other organ) is an active process. Each pathway requires complex cascades of gene products in proper dosages and at precise times. [1]

Further, in fewer than 0.00001% of XX and XY fetuses, the sex organs may fail to develop, leading always to infertility and what are called 'streak gonads' (non-functional, usually cancerous, fibrous tissue) as well as a failure of secondary sex characteristics to develop during puberty. This is called gonadal dysgenesis and, depending on the form, can include complications such as deafness, eye disorders, and cancer (at the site of the streak gonads during infancy).

The counter-argument regarding more complicated allosomal profiles is far more interesting and more important. Notable examples include combinations such as XXXXYXXXY, XXYY, XX/XY ChimerismXXY (Klinefelter Syndrome), XXX (Triple-X Syndrome), XYY, XX Male (de la Chapelle Syndrome)X (Turner Syndrome), and more. These are all extremely rare, and apart from one or two non-intersex profiles, they're all very unfortunate disorders that have complications ranging from sterility, to deafness, to eye disorders, to deformalities, to cognitive or physical developmental disorders, and in many cases shorter to much shorter lifespans and cancer. Most often, you'll find a combination of these unfortunate complications.

While still extremely rare, other intersex individuals often referenced are those historically known as true hermaphrodites, and more clinically referred to these days as having ovotesticular disorder of sex development. While their external genitalia are often ambiguous and they usually grow up sterile, these individuals typically have far less severe complications than the previously mentioned syndromes and can usually live normal lives. 

The 3 Primary Karyotypes for True Hermaphroditism are XX with genetic defects (55-70% of cases), XX/XY (20-30% of cases) & XY (5-15% of cases) with the remainder being a variety of other Chromosomal abnormalities and Mosaicisms.[2]

It's important to bring up true hermaphroditism, since at first glance, this seems to possibly propose a problem for the idea of the empiricism of binary, clear-cut sexes. However, reality still reaffirms this. In the cases where true hermaphroditism isn't expressed through one of the previously mentioned severe syndromes, most are simply cases of the XX/XY chimerism -- being that what was initially to be separate twins actually ended up with one XX or XY twin absorbing the opposite sex twin at a very early stage of development. Where there would have been two clear-cut opposite-sexed individuals -- an extremely rare, developmental fluke took place, instead. 

In consideration of all of this, how does it follow, then, that 'more than two sexes actually exist', or that this justifies genetically healthy and normal folks to claim that sex isn't based on one's chromosomes? If over 99.99% of individuals follow the standard genetic profile of sex as 'male' or 'female', and the further an individual unfortunately genetically drifts away from the standard blueprint of a healthy, fully functional individual brings more and increasingly severe complications, then it would actually follow that our conclusion should be the exact opposite. Simply put -- there are two sexes, and the more genetically intersex an individual is, the worse off he or she will be.

Ultimately, the subject of one's sex is a matter of an empirical, binary reality for 99.99% of all individuals born -- male or female. As for the remaining 0.01% of genuinely intersex individuals, it makes sense to refer to them as intersex, but not because there is a 'third sex', or no sexes, or some other arbitrary number of sexes other than 'two', but because there are two sexes. They are the extremely rare exception that proves the rule. If these weren't complications, and additional sexes were necessary or even just possible in the sexual reproduction of the human species, then intersex could be considered an additional 'sex'. Further, it's a particularly strange line of reasoning to fall on the argument of pointing out these intersex individuals and those with genetic complications as some justification for transgendered individuals to be able to claim to be the opposite sex, when they were, in fact, born genetically healthy and normal.

Part II: 'Gender' as a Social Construct and its Relative 'Elasticity'

Gender, on the other hand, is a subjective, social construct, albeit still based on a bimodal distribution of ‘masculinity’ vs ‘femininity’. It's a social construct because while expressions of gender are typically tied closely to the sexes across cultures, the cultures themselves express masculinity and femininity in sometimes wildly different ways. It's a bimodal distribution because while an individual would be on the spectrum of more or less masculine or feminine expression, there would be a peak concentration around a typical degree of masculine expression amongst the general populace, and a separate peak concentration around a typical degree of feminine expression amongst the general populace. In the middle of these peaks you'd have a very, very deep trough with a small connecting point representing essentially the androgynous, alienesque Mechanical Animals (his, ahem, best album, obviously) incarnation of Marilyn Manson, or Ziggy Stardust-esque androgyny.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Libertarianism and Immigration

The concept of "immigration" is fundamentally absurd, and the contradictions such terminology brings about due to the existence of States makes it a contentious issue for libertarians.

The libertarian position, as I see it, entails no possible position on "immigration," because immigration is a state-based concept. If there is no state, there can be no immigration, only traveling people. In a world with states, this traps the libertarian into taking a position on a fundamentally statist idea. Open borders, managed borders, and closed borders are all statist concepts.

The question ought not be whether the borders should be open, and I think no libertarian should take a position on whether they ought. Rather, the libertarian should recognize that if all property were private, then immigration policy would not exist as a concept at all.

"Refugees" would only come to such a place if they could survive there on their own, or if they had a sponsor supporting them. In either case, the likelihood of extremist behavior from "immigrants" would be drastically reduced due to either their self sufficiency or the increased scrutiny for which a sponsor would be held liable. Today the State as sponsor is held liable for nothing.

Additionally, since security would all be provided privately, there would be more security with greater firepower in closer proximity to any events that did occur. Private security is highly visible because its purpose is deterrence, and in an unhampered market would have the tools to handle whatever is necessary due to being held liable for failure.

However, there does not seem to be any possible peaceful solution, given the current social conditions of universal statism.

Ludwig von Mises points out that in a society under the conditions of democracy and interventionist ideology, there exists an endless civil war between cultures and nationalities inside of a cosmopolitan state. While in democracies this war is conducted through political means for peaceful power transfers, the conflict still exists as each special interest or nationality attempts to gain control of the state. This is not only to protect itself from other nationalities, but to impose their views on others. It is a natural instinct of man to desire maintenance of his way of life and to resist change.

Mises' analysis is purely positive, meaning he does not offer any normative arguments, nor does he offer any policy prescriptions. He merely analyzed the social conditions in a society where there exist many different cultures and nationalities, and pointed out that there will be problems with such a society under interventionist and welfarist ideologies.

He also points out this antagonism would exist to some extent in a purely laissez faire social system. It appears, at least to me, to be an unavoidable and irreconcilable conflict, interior to social units. Therefore, social units composed of voluntary arrangements will result in the most possible people living under their desired "policies."

This does not help us, today, however. Under the current conditions of statism, the likely best solution to immigration problems is ending the welfare state, and ending international wars. Immigration, illegal, legal, and refuge seeking are symptomatic of the disease.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Holy Fuck, the E3 2017 Devolver Digital 'Press Conference' was a Thing of Fucking Beauty

First, some background. I love Devolver Digital -- their style, the kind of hyper-violent, hyper-mature (immature?) or just generally bizarre, over-the-top games they publish. The music you often find in their games is simply sublime. More generally, they just don't give a fuck. They don't seem to hold back on anything -- and I love it. They know a great indie game when they see it  -- games big publishers wouldn't or couldn't touch with a 10-foot pole due to either some of the themes broached or just the riskiness of a project. In the end, they pull games into their line-up that seem to consistently reflect a certain, shall we say... je ne sais quoi?

This guy's face from Hotline Miami 2 may as well be Devolver Digital's face

Some of my personal favorites are games like Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong NumberMother Russia Bleeds, Shadow Warrior and Shadow Warrior 2, Gods Will Be Watching, Strafe, OlliOlli 2, and The Talos Principle. There's quite a bit more that I haven't played, too -- they've got a pretty sizable catalog for an indie publisher, but it continues to grow every year, and they rarely miss the mark. Most of their games look like they came out of a time machine from the 80s, inspiring a wonderful bout of nostalgia, especially from us millenials. Of course, this is either part of the charm and the draw, or 'retro' is just an excuse for small or single-person development teams to get away with shitty graphics. In any case, I think they look quite beautiful, and they often implement gameplay mechanics and/or styles that are original, innovative, and just refreshing. Since big publishers are far less likely to take many risks on this kind of content, Devolver Digital fills a very important void.

Mother Russia Bleeds is extremely fun, albeit completely insane

This week began 2017's annual Electronics Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, where some of the biggest publishers and developers showcase the exciting new projects they've been working on. Unfortunately, I found most of it to be a bit of a let-down, even though you could sift through it all and find some gems after scraping down into the bottom of the barrel.

Buying an E3 Time Slot to make the Equivalent of a 15-minute Shitpost

Enter Devolver Digital, with a highly unexpected 'press conference' of their own, which immediately piqued in me a sense of morbid curiosity. What in the hell would their press conference be like? How many games would--could, a publisher 'like this' showcase? They're not swimming in money like Bethesda, Sony, Microsoft, and Ubisoft, so the production value will likely be complete and utter shit. How 'clean-cut' would they be in an E3 culture where a big-publisher CEO or PR guy maybe saying the word 'fuck' is seen as 'edgy', but also kind of encouraged to say it -- only in small doses?

Well, I have to say... I was not disappointed. In Sun Tzu's The Art of War, you learn to recognize strengths as potential weaknesses, and how to turn weaknesses into strengths. If you're small, use guerilla tactics and create a perception that you're bigger than you are. Create some confusion and engage in psychological warfare. They did all this and more, and they clearly had a lot of fun with it. They go after everyone -- there were no sacred cows. Gamers, developers, publishers, 'hip-with-it' PR guys and CEOs, the press, commenters (!), and even the fucking audiences during these displays -- no one was to be spared.

I often use the phrase, "If you're gonna be a bear, be a grizzly," and Devolver Digital decided to take this concept right to 'Level 3'.  In their case, it goes, "If you're gonna be a bear, be a coked out, LSD-tripping, rabid bear, experiencing an increasingly psychotic episode in the last moments of its life." Oliver Stone could have plopped this right in the middle of his movie, Natural Born Killers, and anyone watching wouldn't blink an eye.

I won't provide more spoilers than that, because you deserve better, and I've already said too much. Just watch, and enjoy. You'll laugh. You'll cry. More likely, you'll probably just have nightmares.

seems legit

Of course, the games they did showcase look pretty great, too. I've been especially looking forward to Ruiner for a while. The Swords of Ditto and Serious Sam: Bogus Detour games both look like pretty fun couch co-op. I don't quite know how I feel about it, yet, but Absolver looks like an interesting hand-to-hand online fighting game in the vein of For Honor.

Keep up the good work, Devolver Digital. You're doing God's Work, and this 'press conference' was a moonshine-infused cherry to an otherwise anticlimactic E3.