In response to "The 12-Year-Old English Kid Who Carried Us to Victory" from the Escapist Forum:

So you create an article that talks about how great multiplayer gaming can be with strangers when you leave out all the immature, sexual and generally unpleasant business out of the communication channels... except the way you describe the scenario is loaded with that crap. And I am not talking about the intro, I am talking about the way he described fellow gamers who did not follow Pip and himself.

Agreed. It feels like the lesson is that, so long as you are on the right side (defined for this scenario as those who follow Pip), you can refer to others as "idiots with buckets on their heads, playing a game of grab-ass as they died again and again." I know it seems different because the author is talking about someone in the past rather than talking to them in the present, but I don't think we can dismiss it that easily. He's still locked into immature and sexually-based descriptions of others and their behavior.

How much more mature would it be if your opponent in Black Ops was totally silent to you during the match, but later wrote on his Facebook page how you handle a sniper rifle as sloppy as he handled your mom last night? Does pulling the discourse outside the game somehow redeem that kind of talk? I think we're excusing it a little too readily just because we like the idea of Pip, and I don't know that the idea of Pip would approve.

- Ironmaus

This kid sounds awesome. However, I think that if I would've encountered someone like Pip, I would not follow. I just don't want to win that much, I don't care about winning. Playing a game and enjoying it is what matters to me, and that's often unrelated to whether I'm winning or not.

Also, listening to "Holding out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler while reading this was hilarious.

- Orthon


In response to "Hey, Listen, I like Navi" from the Escapist Forum: I adored Navi. I found her adorable, extremely helpful (I have distinct memories of her teaching me how to beat the water temple boss) and her little voices chimed in just frequently enough to be comfortingly reliable without being terribly annoying. Watch out!

Tatl was less annoying because of her bell replacing the voice, but significantly more annoying just because she was, well, a bit of a stupid bitch. (To the extent that fairies can be.) While Navi felt like she was encouraging you to go in the right direction, Tatl felt like she was punishing you for going in the wrong one. I felt they hit the perfect balance with Midna in Twilight Princess, though, and it was also nice in that game to find out that this little imp thing was actually relevant to the greater plot.

- Thorvan

"Water Temple" gets my vote for the modern equivalent of FUBAR (not an impassible obstacle, merely one that will make you want to bang your head against a wall, if only to potentially divert the proscribed path from the horrors that await).

If I recall correctly, that was the only temple in which Navi and Link were equally confused as to how to proceed. (It's been a few years since my last playthrough of OoT, but didn't the Water Temple require more forethought on the player's part than any other area of the game?) It seems to me that the Water Temple functioned as the sole trial in which Navi and Link could be considered of equivalent rank, neither individual truly leading nor following, but both stumbling, almost blindly, through a completely foreign environment. I mean, what would a forest child and a skyfaring shapeshifter know of underwater exploration, except what they discover in tandem?

Loved the article, BTW (and apologies if this bit of rambling belongs in a different thread. I've sporadically lurked before, and am attempting to figure out protocol/etiquette as I go). Hooray for the under-appreciated sidekicks!

- Ben Byard

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