Archive News

Jesse Dreams of Content: The Hand That Feeds You

If I could make this first paragraph that gif of Michael Jackson eating popcorn, I would.

But we need to have some text before the jump, and on top of that maybe actually including the gif would abrogate my ability to display restraint regarding this next item, so here we are.

Screenshot from The Slaughtering Grounds.
This is an actual screenshot from The Slaughtering Grounds. Courtesy SidAlpha.


Digital Homicide — developers of The Slaughtering Grounds, among others — have had their games taken down from Steam, largely as a result of suing customers for negative customer reviews. Per Ars Technica, the lawsuit apparently names 100 different Steam users as defendants and is attempting to claim over $18 million in damages.

This is not Digital Homicide’s first public struggle with freedom of speech — earlier this year, it (in)famously attempted to sue PC gaming critic Jim Sterling over a negative review of The Slaughtering Grounds. And Sterling makes a very valid set of points in his response.

I mean, look.

Freedom of speech is a principle shared by a broad cross-section of the gamers of the world. It is a pillar of democracy in many of our societies, and the principles of trade, trust, and respect that allow Digital Homicide to conduct its business in — where are its headquarters? Oh, Arizona — are founded in part on freedom of speech.

It’s so central to how we conduct our lives that ignoring one’s customers’ right to freedom of speech is a legitimately awful idea if you wish to do business with those same customers. You do not get to control what your customers get to say about your product unless you are in a very different country, with a very different set of laws.

It is difficult not to gloat over the poor choices of a company that seemed so set on disrespecting its customers. As an old mentor taught me, “You can never go wrong with being humble.” So I shall simply hope that Digital Homicide learns from this boondoggle, if not the previous.

They’re suing Valve, now? Oh.


I mean, given the ubiquity of Pokémon GO about a month ago, you’d think that road trips with the latest Nintendo device were already in the category of Things We’d Tell Our Grandkids About.

But check out these recent numbers from VGChartz:

  • PlayStation 3: 86.57M

  • Xbox 360: 85.56M

  • Nintendo 3DS: 60.05M

  • PlayStation 4: 43.38M

  • Xbox One: 22.25M

  • PlayStation Vita: 14.30M

  • Wii U: 13.36M

Look at the 3DS! Still a league or two ahead of the latest generation of consoles. Incredible.

Now, it would be quick and easy to attribute this success to Yeah But Japan And Mobile, but I’m still a little reluctant, and I’ll tell you why.

For a long time, I had an iPod Nano. Fifth-generation — the one that could take videos, but not still pictures, because Apple I guess. But the thing had incredible quality and ruggedness, and lasted for forever and a day — it finally bricked earlier this year, ten full years after I picked it up from the store. And I still miss it.

I’d often get people asking why I didn’t just put my music on my phone. And here’s the answer — separate pools of battery life. I didn’t want to tune people out with the same device I used to talk to them, because that would mean I’d get to do less of either.

There are many countries where public transit is deeply ingrained, and where I can imagine it’s better to put all your mobile gaming on a separate device, with it’s own battery. So, Yeah Japan And Mobile, but also Yeah Europe And Mobile, and probably also Yeah Public Transit And Mobile.

Kudos, 3DS. You keep doing you.


I love brutally difficult games, and Devil Daggers is perhaps the premiere brutally-difficult horde-mode FPS title. It’s just you, your weird bone-dagger-shooting claw-hand thing, and double-jumps against ever-increasing hordes of demons and their peerless, frightening sound design.

In their most recent update, developers Sorath have announced that you can now watch replays of your life in a top-down view, per Eurogamer.

This is merciful and fascinating and I can’t wait to subject myself to the terrors of that unearthly goddamned sound design again. It might actually make me better at the game!

… or I might actually just break down and cry.

(Seriously, you owe it to yourself to try this one. Highly recommended.)

I should put this one in front of fellow Contributor Kate Rhiannon — she’s played a lot of Layers of Fear, she might be able to handle it…

Jesse Mackenzie is the Managing J. Jonah Jameson of He can be reached at, and his opinions are his own.

Leave a Reply