Category Archives: Games

Console Yourself

What does it mean to belong? How are we defined by choices we made a long time ago, allegiances pledged in our youth to causes long since cast aside by history as irrelevant, stepping stones on the way to the current orthodoxy? Why were Commodore 64 owners such massive losers? These are all questions Mr Moth hopes to answer in the course of this post.

Welcome to the motherfucking Thunderdome.

Continue reading Console Yourself

Saints and Winners

Last week saw the release of Grand Theft Auto V. A month before that, a smaller fanfare heralded the release of Saints Row IV. Mr Moth talks about why the former may not outclass the latter.


You already own Grand Theft Auto V (the V is important, symbolically – a hook for promotion, it is a V sign for peace, it is a V sign for fuck you). You might not have the game in your house. You might not have a console on which to play it. You might not ever have considered buying either of these things. But you own it. We all do.

I know what you’re thinking – “You’re blathering, Moth, creating an ominous philosophical generalisation into which you’re attempting to gather the whole of society simply for existing at the same time as a tinpot piece of cultural flotsam that matters only to a relatively small section of society!” To which I say – Well, yeah, a bit, but I’m going somewhere with this. Also, now that we’ve established that I can read your mind, maybe you’d better keep your thoughts nice while I talk, eh?

Continue reading Saints and Winners


by MrMoth

Let me start with a confession, and head off comment-based accusations at the pass: I have never completed a videogame on a difficulty setting higher than ‘Normal’, and even then the number that I have completed on higher than ‘Easy’ doesn’t exceed single digits. So, yes, I’m not that kind of player. I will, in all honesty, never be that kind of player. But let’s come back to that later.

First, as with my earlier article, I’d like to look at videogame history (from my point of view) and the evolution of hardness. I am, in gaming terms, a fairly old hand. The first electronic entertainment gadgeridoo in our house was a Pong ripoff by Grandstand, the Game 2000, back in the dawn of the 80s. It was pretty much the worst thing ever in terms of gameplay – one player hit the square ball, the other player hit the square ball, and so on until one player failed to hit the square ball, at which point the score increased. Imagine air hockey, but without the risk of a broken finger* adding that frisson of danger. But this was the Dark Ages, before the advent of real home gaming, and it seemed like some crazy electric dream. Was it difficult? Impossible to say. Is tennis difficult?

Continue reading Continue/Quit?

Love games

by MrMoth

The height of sexual sophistication, circa 1988.

In attempting to examine how and why there is such a huge streak of sexism and misogyny in videogame culture – and there is, let’s just take that as read, shall we, and press on – it helps to look not at sexism in games, but sex. There are bigger societal pictures to take into account, but that’s for someone else to give you.

Continue reading Love games

MostlyFilm’s Best of 2011 – Videogames

by MrMoth

I am spectacularly under-qualified to write this, but when has that ever stopped me? I did a pop column for six months, despite being quite clearly a man in his mid-thirties. So here I am writing about the best videogames of 2011 having only played about ten in total. I haven’t had a chance to play two I’m looking forward to (Skyrim and Zelda). None of the games I have played were the big, brown franchises – Resistance, Gears, Battlefield, Call of sodding Duty – none were quirky Japanese side-scrollers and absolutely none had any downloadable content installed because I haven’t got a fucking modem, okay?

So for the half-dozen of you still here, let’s get cracking.

Continue reading MostlyFilm’s Best of 2011 – Videogames

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Paul Shuttle shoots, thinks and shoots, then thinks again.

Adam Jensen in Human Revolution: “single-handedly dragging us back to an era of arms-perpetually-folded, mid-90s tough guy protagonists”. Like that’s a bad thing.

Note: this post contains minor spoilers for the Deus Ex series and Mass Effect.

Riding the elevator down into the depths of an unassuming textiles factory, the glass walls afforded me a glimpse at what awaited on the floor below. A handful of armoured FEMA agents were dotted around, either on patrol or huddled in a small group to the left. In the centre of the room, a rhythmic mechanical thud signalled the familiar presence of an unwieldy ED-209 replica, with its pair of slowly rotating turrets scanning the open, multi-level storage area. As the lift doors pinged open, I darted for the cover of a nearby raised platform, eyes fixed on the HUDs pulsing suspicion meter. Nothing.

Up above laid a series of catwalks, from where a red sniper dot flirted perilously close to my position. I pulled up my inventory and selected one of the two gas grenades I’d stolen from a newly-unlocked cabinet. Leaning out from cover, I tossed an explosive towards the amassed troops, whose immediate rasping was just enough of a distraction for to break for the central stairwell, by now hopelessly unguarded. Suddenly, a piercing siren began to ring out. My pace quickened as I ducked from shadow to shadow, timing my steps to avoid the curiosity of the lingering two-man patrol. Reaching the relative safety of the far side, I crawled slowly back down the stairs, now standing across from where I’d started.

A solitary guard lingering close to the exit, completing a cursory lap of the area; deliberate looks around and behind as he went. Pausing nearby, I held my breath, convinced he’d seen me. A moment passed. Then two. Finally, he turned back towards the door and I exhaled, inching out from behind the railing to strike him in the back of the neck, sending this 3-days-to-retirement badge crashing to the floor with a bone-crunching thud that left him otherwise unharmed. As a nearby surveillance camera began its slow sweep back towards the door, the body was already halfway back into the darkness. Somewhere in the distance I could hear agents muttering about another false alarm. They hadn’t found their unconscious friend yet, but they would soon enough. By then, I’d be gone. Continue reading Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Air Con: The Death of Flight Sims

By Richard

Your face here: Tom Cruise’s jacket from Top Gun

Flight! The dream of man from when Daedalus first made wings for his son without first performing a full risk assessment.

Shooting things! Man’s other dream, sadly realised a lot earlier.

Despite the enduring appeal of these dreams, why is it that the once dominant genre of combat flight simulations now survives only because of obsessive Russians willing to work for peanuts? Continue reading Air Con: The Death of Flight Sims