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Bobby Kotick is Shameful Human of the Year

December 30, 2010 Shameful Human No Comments

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has been made Shameful Human of the Year following a rigorous vote in which 8 people exercised their democratic right to decide the title. (9 shared the story on Facebook, figure that one out.)

Bobby took first place in the poll by narrowly beating out Steve Jobs 4 to 3, while Uwe Boll and Roissy trailed significantly further behind, grabbing 1 and 0 votes respectively.

Among all the annoyances committed by all the Shameful Humans of 2010, Bobby’s have certainly been some of the worst. 2010 saw the corporate mastermind get sued for trying to underpay one of his lawyers, firing the creative talent behind his company’s best selling games, getting sued by his former employees for ripping them off massively, and poorly slagging off Tim Schafer. This was all in addition to Kotick’s previous track record, which is one of driving game franchises into the ground and entirely disrespecting the artistic aspect of video game creation.

Congratulations Bobby, you’ve succeeded at being an utter dick numerous times in a single year, you deserve this more than anyone else ShufflingDead bothers to cover.

Vote now for Shameful Human of the Year

December 23, 2010 Shameful Human 1 Comment

Image: Adapted from Nepal Protest. Photo by SFTHQ. Used under a CC-BY license.

As promised, ShufflingDead now presents the poll for Shameful Human of the Year. After a rigorous nomination process of me picking names based on the three comments we received regarding this important issue, we have narrowed the contenders to four. Make your selection in the poll below.

First up is Steve Jobs. Mr. Turtleneck has done a lot of being himself this year, and that’s bothered a lot of people. There’s plenty to dislike, you can read the full write up for more info, but in summary: he sells you shit you don’t need at prices you can’t afford, he’s smug as fuck, he’s secretive and controlling, and he hates Flash.

Next up is Roissy. His write-up was done in 2009, but we didn’t have a Shameful Human of the Year back then, so Roissy has been grandfathered in. Basically, he’s a raging sexist blogger. It hasn’t hurt that his page is one of the few on our site that gets any comments.

The third contender is Bobby Kotick. The Activision CEO has received a lot of bad press in 2010, and it has been well deserved. The man runs his company like an assembly-line, driving game franchises, even genres, into the ground for the sake of short-term profits. Along the way, Kotick has been accused of ripping off his most creative employees for millions.

Finally, we have perennial hate vacuum Uwe Boll, who actually managed to be Shameful Human twice this year. The man argues with journalists, he boxes his detractors, we produces garbage films, and generally acts like a raging dick.

Who is the Shameful Human of the Year?

  • Bobby Kotick (50%, 4 Votes)
  • Steve Jobs (38%, 3 Votes)
  • Uwe Boll (13%, 1 Votes)
  • Roissy in DC (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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Shameful Human of the Week: Whoever Greenlit SSX Deadly Descents

December 16, 2010 Shameful Human No Comments

Image: EA.

ShufflingDead’s final Shameful Human for 2010 is whoever it was, lurking in the darkest corner of EA’s corporate office, that greenlit SSX Deadly Descents. If you wisely chose to miss the abominable SpikeTV VGAs where this game was premiered, allow me a moment to explain what this new title is about.

If you have the barest knowledge of the SSX franchise, then you can probably guess that this is a snowboarding game. If you know anything more about the SSX franchise than that it is about snowboarding, I’m afraid you will be unable to assume anything else.

If the game’s teaser trailer is any indication, Deadly Descents is a tonal reboot of the franchise which moves it away from the “totally extreme” style of previous entries and toward the “gritty extreme” of Gears of War. Alternate titles suggested by angered fans include “SSX: Dudebro Descents” and “Tom Clancy’s SSX: Deadly Descents.” The official website for the game explains “SSX: Deadly Descents will pit riders versus both mountain and man.”

I’ve played a couple SSX games in my life, and although I would not describe myself as a huge fan, I did enjoy them. What I found most memorable about those games was that they were colourful, bright, humorous, and slightly-cartoonish takes on snowboarding. In other words, they were nothing like SSX Deadly Descents.

I love to rag on the manly-man dudebro style of games that have dominated this generation, but that is not my problem with this new SSX. The real issue is the entirely inappropriate branding of this game as SSX at all. A game so far removed from the previous titles which bore that name simply isn’t one of those games.

From a business perspective, I understand EA’s reasoning: stick SSX on there and let consumers know this is a snowboarding game while (maybe) getting the fan base on board as well. From an artistic perspective, there is simply no sense in the decision because there is no longer a common thread between the games aside from the most basic premise (snowboarding). Casting that wide of a definition of what makes SSX SSX means you might as well start calling all snowboarding games by that name.

Compare this with something like Spider-Man. That franchise has been ported to numerous mediums and been re-booted in most of them. Never the less, many characters remain in each iteration and fill similar roles. The basic plot (teenage boy with super-human spider-like capabilities deals with girls, the death of his uncle, and super-villains) persists. “Spider-Man” still means something beyond “superhero.”

It’s time game companies like EA began respecting their own intellectual property enough to call different games different things.

Shameful Human(s) of the Week: The Enemies of Free Speech

December 9, 2010 Shameful Human No Comments

I admit it. I haven’t don’t much of anything this week except read about WikiLeaks, its founder Julian Assange, the site’s detractors, and its defenders. It seems only appropriate to put a cap on the ass of this zany outpouring of internet: serious business, and declare the enemies of WikiLeaks, also known as the enemies of free speech, the Shameful Humans of the Week.

Who does this group include? Most prominently in recent days, it has been the corporations which have stifled WikiLeaks’ ability to sustain itself monetarily. That includes PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard for cutting off their ties with site, making donations difficult. These political decisions have been shown to be especially egregious thanks to the revelation that Visa and MasterCard can be used to donate to other controversial groups, including the KKK. Apparently, free speech is only okay when your organization is not in the process of being attacked and smeared by the American government.

Amazon booted WikiLeaks from its hosting, claiming the site did not own the leaks it was publishing. This claim came despite the fact that United States government documents are not copyrightable. I wonder if publications later discussing these leaked documents will be available on Amazon. My guess is yes. At least we got the amusing story of an Amazon UK seller briefly hawking commentary on the cables following this incident, which made it look like Amazon was actually selling the documents they had so much trouble with hosting.

There are plenty of other players in this as well. That includes whoever it was that DDoS’ed WikiLeaks, Sweden and its mysterious legal wranglings to bring Julian Assange back to their country, Assange’s uncooperative bank, etc.

In the end, however, there is no more hypocritical, and no more troubling a group than the government of the United States. A country which has perpetually lauded free speech and wagged its finger at other nations for disallowing free press has admitted in its actions that it only approves of those things when they do not reveal embarrassing information regarding the behaviour of the American government. These criticism include Hillary Clinton calling WikiLeaks’ actions “an attack on America’s foreign policy interests,” and Joe Lieberman calling on Amazon to remove WikiLeaks from its hosting. Most disturbingly for me was Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ reaction when he found out about Julian Assange’s arrest from reporters. He commented: “I hadn’t heard that, but that sounds like good news to me.” In other words, arrests of the innocent when they disagree with you: good news. Video of the incident made it appear that he was fighting back a smile at the time.

Hopefully that’s enough on WikiLeaks for now. Maybe I can think about something else for awhile.

Image: Robert Gates. Government of the United States.

Who will be Shameful Human of the Year?

December 2, 2010 Shameful Human 3 Comments

Image: Adapted from Nepal Protest. Photo by SFTHQ. Used under a CC-BY license.

With the month of December upon us, it’s time to begin considering the all too important process of selecting the Shameful Human of the Year. We’ve had some 40 Shameful Humans this year so far (Uwe Boll twice), and before all my rage is drained for 2010, we’ll probably have a couple more. Who among them has shamed the most? Who has shamed the most shamefully?

Hit the jump to see the full list of candidates thus far, with links to their corresponding write-ups. Ponder on the evil-doings of Bobby Kotick, Prince, Gene Simmons, Michael Bay, and so many more. Marvel at the collective badness of this especially annoying rogues gallery.

Pile upon the comments section of this post with your leading contenders. You can nominate anyone from the list so far, combine candidates (like the parade of Nintendo haters), or even throw in last-minute nominations I have yet to write about. I’ll put up a poll in a couple weeks between the leading contenders to determine the wrongest wronger of 2010.

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