by Brandy D. Anderson
We can’t seem to get enough of video games. They’re everywhere now: in movies, in tv, in everyday conversations – even if you don’t play many games yourself, odds are high that you know someone who does. So! That means you need to keep up with gaming news, and Twitter is the best way to keep in touch with minimal effort. These four gaming accounts are the best ones for both gamers and pseudo-gamers alike!
About: “Game maker, trouble maker, professor at Carnegie Mellon University. My employer has many, often contradicting, views. @likelikearcade founder. he/him.”
Molleindustria has the best information site. When you first visit, you’ll see a pleasant grid of images from their games. Then, if you click on any of the tabs, you’re transferred to entertaining and often funny pages. Their ‘About’ page gives you a definition of their name: “1. Soft Industry. 2. Soft Factory. 3. A project of reappropriation of video games. 4. A call for the radicalization of popular culture. 5. An independent game developer.” They go on to say, “Since 2003 we produced artisanal remedies to the idiocy of mainstream entertainment in the form of free, short-form, online games. Our products range from satirical business simulations (McDonald’s Video game, Oiligarchy) to meditations on labor and alienation (Every day the same dream, Tuboflex, Unmanned), from playable theories (the Free Culture Game, Leaky World) to politically incorrect pseudo-games (Orgasm Simulator, Operation: Pedopriest).”
When you go to their ‘Contacts’ page, you’ll find these gems: “Are you a journalist looking for a silly story about activism and videogames? Easy as copy and paste. Are you a progressive coder or a radical graphic designer looking for new challenges? We always need help! Are you a marketer or a media planner looking for a/n advertising/educational/serious game for your company or organization? Our skills and our souls are on sale! Are you a christian pro-life tea-partier teocon anti-porn sexist right-winger with a lot of spare time? We love hateletters!” Not yet convinced of their awesomeness? Let’s look at their Twitter page!
On the Twitter page you’ll find announcements for new games, like the brand new one called ‘Dogness’ where you can “create the purest and most homogeneous dog park through selective breeding and immigration control” – science and politics combine. A review starts, “In ‘Dogness’, the newest game by @molleindustria, dog breeding and right-wing populism are a little close for comfort”. Another tweet reads, “Our next show will be about labor and we’ll stay up until midnight to celebrate Karl Marx’s 200th birthday!” You’ll find retweets of other indie gamemakers, as well as retweets of other political and humorous posts. There are also a lot of news and article links, like this recent tweet linking to an article that asks, “Can an artificial intelligence learn to play videogames inside its own dreams?”
About: “Steam, The Ultimate Online Game Platform. Follow us here for news on the latest releases and special promotions.”
If you game on a PC, chances are that you are more than familiar with Steam. Steam is the largest digital distribution platform for computer gaming, and there really is no limit on what you can find there. There are a crap ton of games, ranging from highly polished and professional ventures to amateur games being developed by beginners. There is a large community network where you can chat and share questions and comments with other users. If you click on ‘Create and Share content’, you can “gift your friends, trade items, and even create new content for games in the Steam Workshop. Help shape the future of your favourite games”. And, aside from your PC, you can also access elements for Steam from your Linux box, mobile phones and tablets, and even your TV.
Now, if you’re wondering why you would need to follow Steam on Twitter, it’s because they share so many deals and announcements on the blue bird platform! For instance, at the time of this publishing, Steam’s game ‘Call to Arms’ is 10% off. Last weekend, they announced that ‘Arma 3’ was a whopping 66% off the cover price, but only for two days! So if you’re not following them on Twitter, the odds are high that you missed that sale. Another of their games which offered a limited two-day discount was ‘Rocket League’, and that was 40% over the weekend! Some sales are only for one day, like ‘Age of Empires II’, which you could have purchased for 80% off. I’ve seen sales for up to 90% off, too.
However, being up on all of the sale notifications isn’t the only reason to follow Steam’s Twitter account. They also announce a lot of the new games here, too. For instance, ‘The Swords of Ditto’ just released on Steam and they tweeted the announcement along with a link to the trailer and download. Another new release is ‘Frostpunk’. ‘Onmyoji’ just came out, as well as early access to ‘Hero Academy 2’, ‘Radical Heights’, and ‘Spy Party’. Steam tweets every day, and sometimes there are a plethora of tweets and deals in one day.
The Burch Siblings
(They’re both so awesome, I can’t choose just one!)
About: “Emmy award winning writer / BAFTA nominated actor / incapable of adding fractions.”
About: “Riot. Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack. Borderlands 2. HAWP. Icon from @NowhereProphet.”
If you’re a fan of the super fantastic ‘Borderlands’ games, you may recognize these two! Anthony Burch is a writer on ‘Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel’, ‘Borderlands 2’, and ‘Tales From the Borderlands’. Ashly Burch is the voice of the crazy, insane, hilarious little pixie in ‘Borderlands 2’, Tiny Tina. Both Burch siblings have also worked on other games and gaming web series, as well, but let’s face it, nothing really beats the awesomeness of the ‘Borderlands’ series!
Let’s start with Anthony Burch. His pinned tweet reads: “Good examples of iambic pentameter: -Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May. -Come on and slam, and welcome to the jam.” I don’t know if it’s just the lit nerd side of me, but this makes me laugh over and over again. You’ll also find some funny retweets here, like this retweet from Amanda @eruditechick: Someone named Magnus Lewis wrote “When your superhero dies, he stays dead. When my superhero died, he got risen from the dead”, and Amanda quipped, “Someone doesn’t read a lot of comic books”.
Another funny tweet from Anthony B.: “All I want from ‘Infinity War’ is for Bucky to start talking about some bullshit and then Mbaku to bark at him until he walks offscreen in a huff”. Anthony B. also posts really thoughtful discussions, like his retweet from Ceefurn @chrisfurniss which begins, “Boys are broken, and ‘Ready Player One’ celebrates a bunch of things that have contributed to this brokenness. 1. Media consumption as a substitute for personality. 2. Feeling entitled to a woman’s affection. 3. Women are supporting characters in YOUR story (cont’d)”. There are a lot of intelligent responses in this lengthy thread as well, it’s definitely worth the read.
Ashly Burch’s pinned tweet is inviting: “I’m happy you’re here”. A recent tweet from Ashly B. begins with, “A very important, inspiring read for folks suffering from imposter’s syndrome from everyone’s favourite good boy” and it’s a retweet from a thread by Griffin’s Cool 2018 Tweets, @griffinmcelroy, which begins, “It’s my last day at Polygon, and I mentioned I had a special thing planned for today. And I do! But first, I wanted to share a thread about how important this place has been for me for the last six years. I’ve talked a lot about Imposter’s Syndrome …” and the thread goes on. Ashly B. shares her funny personal struggles with playing games, and it’s kind of amusing: on April 23rd she tweeted, “I’m bad at God of War”, on April 29th she updated, “I am better at God of War now. It is extremely very good”.
Ashly gives some awesome advice, too, and you’ll find an example in this thread: “Today, I was asked about how I cope with fear while creating something. Specifically, a. Do I worry that my work isn’t good enough? And b. If so, how do I hand it? a. Yes, it is unavoidable. B. You keep going. I find that if I hate everything I’m writing on a particular day, I have to step away, give myself space, and try again the next day. If I hate everything I’m doing for days on end, it’s time to ask for outside help. Sometimes we can’t gauge whether or not what we’re doing is actually working. We need loved ones that we trust to be honest with us. But you also have to be comfortable with creating ‘the shitty version’ of whatever you’re making. Expect that it may not be great at first! Let that be okay! That’s why you get to revise and rework things”.