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Matthew Rossi

Matthew Rossi @MatthewWRossi — Matthew Rossi is a synapsid, perhaps descended from Cynognathus. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and grew up there before leaving to see the world and be mistaken for a sasquatch and/or minor singing celebrity in various locales. He currently lives and writes in Edmonton alongside his amazing and beautiful wife and their cats. He’s written three collections of speculative fiction, Things That Never Were, Bottled Demon and At Last, Atlantis. He loves playing warriors in World of Warcraft, barbarians in Diablo III, and he’s beginning to notice a pattern here.

The QA workers of Raven Software, a division of Activision Blizzard, are unionizing

The QA employees of Raven Software, one of many studios owned by Activision Blizzard and the makers of Call of Duty: Warzone, have voted to unionize, asking the corporation to voluntarily recognize them as a union. Raven's head Brian Raffel has already announced a restructuring at Raven, breaking QA up so that instead of one department they'll be "embedded" into other departments.

The Queue: The music in Mass Effect 2 was the best

Whether it’s the Suicide Mission music from the suicide mission at the end of the game, or the music from the Overlord DLC, or even the music from the final confrontation with the Shadow BrokerMass Effect 2 had by leaps and bounds the best music in the series and possibly one of the best scores of any video game. It just manages to perfectly encapsulate the emotion of the scenes you’re playing through. Honestly, I’m almost enjoying listening to the game as much if not more than I am playing it. One of the best things about it is the way certain themes and motifs come back in different ways throughout the score, and I’m finding new ones as I listen to it.

Anyway, it’s Queue time. It’s very dramatic from my end due to the music, so imagine yourself as an action hero as I answer your question.

What does it mean to play to earn instead of playing to have fun?

I've been mulling this one over ever since the president of Square Enix, Yosuke Matsuda, penned this missive on the subject, and I'm no closer to a real understanding of how it is a good idea to move away from the model of people playing games because they are an enjoyable pastime and towards a model that says you should be playing games to get a tangible reward.

The Queue: One step closer to Demolition Man

Demolition Man suffers from the same self-satisfied smugness that a lot of 90’s era satirical comedy does.  It posits the radical idea that gasp people in the future will be different and act differently! And they might thing swearing in public or eating meat is bad so really they’re going to be complete wimps who can’t stop one guy from running amok. It even has Dennis Leary in it as a brave freedom fighter holding out against the tyranny of social politeness gone too far. So in that regard, it fails pretty hard at predicting where we were heading as a country.

But the San Angeles of the movie’s 2032 — a mega-city consisting of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego all smushed together — does have some cool satirical moments. One is that, in the future, every restaurant is Taco Bell — not that every restaurant serves Taco Bell’s brand of ‘Mexican’ food, and yes the italics are on purpose, but that every restaurant from the quirky breakfast diner down the street to the fanciest French-Hawaiian fusion bistro are all owned and operated by Taco Bell. There is but one restaurant conglomerate in 2032, and it’s Taco Bell.

I can’t stop thinking about this in the wake of Microsoft’s planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard. By 2032, everything might be owned by Amazoisneysoftoogle. Or, heck, maybe Taco Bell? Who knows anymore?

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