Hello, and welcome once again to Replay , WIRED's look at the world of gaming. This week, we're looking at the right and wrong ways to be upset with people, and also how amazing dumb action movies are. People say videogame movies need to be smarter, but I am wise and I say, no, no, they should be much dumber. Let's get going.
Microsoft's Official Trash Talk Guidelines Are Good For Gaming, and Also Incredibly Pure
Microsoft, as the host of Xbox Live, plays a major role in shaping what kind of discourse, language, and attitudes are and are not acceptable in online play. To that end, Microsoft this week updated its Community Standards for the platform, which includes some very practical do's and don'ts.
Of course, and thank goodness, there's a warning against violence, slurs, and sexual harassment. But there are also—and this is incredibly wonderful—examples of what Microsoft calls "acceptable trash talk," which includes family-friendly insults for your foes that don't involve any sort of harassment or unwarranted cruelty. These are great, you should check them out. My favorites include the phrase, "Get destroyed," which is the sort of thing a supervillain says to a hero on a kid's show to get around the censors, and "That was some serious potato aim," which is a phrase with all sorts of imaginative possibilities. (Hat tip to Kotaku for bringing these to my attention.)
Gearbox Software's CEO Had a Crazy Day on Twitter Yesterday
Ah, the Twitter rage, one of the classic blunders. The latest public figure to fall under its spell is none other than Randy Pitchford, CEO of Gearbox Software, the studio behind the popular franchise Borderlands, who yesterday got very mad at some reports from the videogame publication Game Informer.
Newsweek has all the details pretty clearly laid out: Pitchford suggested, in a presentation yesterday, that Borderlands 3 would not have microtransactions of any sort, whereas Gearbox developer Paul Sage said that, in fact, the game would have microtransactions, just cosmetic ones that did not affect gameplay. Game Informer reported this, framing it as a clarification to a previously somewhat misleading statement, and Pitchford, in response, uhhh, got mad online about it.
In a lengthy series of tweets, Pitchford accused the publication of calling him a liar, called out editor Andy McNamara personally, and generally shouted a bunch over what was, so far as this writer can tell, accurate reporting. That's the internet for you.
Saints Row Is the Only Game to Ever Need a Film Adaptation, and Now It's Getting One
Saints Row is a wacky, endlessly creative videogame series, starting off as a Grand Theft Auto clone/parody before developing into something much more eccentric, with superheroes and the player character ending up the President of the United States and a variety of other types of off-the-wall nonsense. It's perfect fodder for a dumb, ridiculous action movie, and it looks like it'll be getting one.
Variety reports that Saints Row is the next game to get tapped for a film adaptation, with F. Gary Gray, director of The Fate of the Furious—a movie which features a car fighting a submarine—set to helm it. Scribe Greg Russo will write the screenplay. Color me excited for this one.
Recommendation of the Week: Halo Wars 2 on PC and Xbox One
The real-time strategy game isn't what it used to be. Pure examples of the genre are rare nowadays, its ideas absorbed by more complicated simulation games and tactical multiplayer titles like League of Legends. One of the most straightforward recent examples of the form is, oddly, a Halo spinoff that no one paid a lot of attention to. It's not the most brilliant, or elaborate, RTS, but it is one built to function comfortably on consoles, nonetheless. It also features one of the best Halo narratives since Bungie handed the reins over to 343 Industries.
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