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By Jonathan Balofsky On 30 Apr, 2017 At 04:42 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, Opinion, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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God of War for PlayStation 4  is coming soon and will be set not in Greek mythology but instead in Norse mythology. This is a great way to shake things up but I do have some concerns about this.  The previous trilogy was about Kratos’ vengeance against the gods, sparked by his vendetta against Ares, the Greek god of war. Given the way media often likes to make many mythological figures similar to ones in other cultures, it makes me concerned that the developers will try and give Kratos an enmity with the Norse god of war, Tyr.

In fact, many modern fictional portrayals of Tyr use him as a villain,, and this includes story arcs in the Marvel Comics Thor series. However, this is completely wrong, and usually is the result of writers using him as an Ares stand in. To be fair, the Romans did identify Tyr with Mars when they discussed the Germanic peoples and their beliefs, but there is another issue there. Ares and the Roman god Mars were not the same figure, and in many ways Mars is incompatible with Ares. Mars was the second most important god to many Romans and was a noble god of war, a protector god and a patron of farmers. Tyr is also incompatible with the myths of Ares, since among other things, in the original Germanic myths, he was king of the gods, and it was only centuries later that the cult of Odin got more prominent and Odin became the top god. The writings of the Romans about the Germanics clearly record Tyr, referred to as Mars, as King of the god, but did acknowledge, Mercury (Odin) as an extremely popular one, albeit  only among certain warriors.

Another key point is that Tyr wasn’t the only god of war among the Norse people actually. In fact, most of the Norse gods were war gods in some form, and Odin and Freyja were two of the other important war gods. Tyr had A domain in war, and that was as the patron of soldiers, the common warriors, and of personal combat. Tyr was god of a number of things besides this however, and these include wisdom, justice, law, honor, bravery, compassion. When it came to war, he was the incarnation of the noble and protective aspects of it, and in many ways was the Norse counterpart to the goddess Athena, the Greek goddess of war and wisdom.

An actual evil god of war for the Norse would actually be Odin surprisingly enough. Odin is thought of as the king of the god, but in truth was only really important to the nobility of the Norse people and  this was only centuries after the Germanic people met the Romans. bear in mind, most of the surviving Norse myths are from Iceland, and were written for the nobility. Odin being the top god was a result of the Nobles preferring him and having stories written accordingly. these stories were later Christianized by later writers, and many surviving stories only come from Christian sources.

The common soldiers did not generally prefer Odin and actually preferred Tyr and would dedicate their weapons to him. The farmers in turn worshipped Freyr and Thor,  who were the fertility gods of the crops. Of course Thor was also the protector god for many. Another thing that isn’t widely known about Odin was that he had many names and one of them was Oathbreaker. The breaking of oaths was big taboo is Norse culture and many sagas involved this and the damage it brought. Furthermore, as mentioned Tyr’s domain in war was of the common soldier, and the protective aspects of war, but Odin’s domain was the berserkers and the destructive aspects of war . The goddess Freyja was also associated with destructive aspects of war and was noted for her blood thirst, similar to the Morgana.

Odin just makes far more sense to be the overall villain right from the beginning of the new series.. He did many bad things in the myths that he later suffered for and can be easily argued as outright villainous.  His actions, many of which were to prevent Ragnarok, actually caused it, and he often made life worse for many. It should be noted, that he was originally a death god, but his domain there was not of honorable death. Tyr was noted for being the bravest of the gods and did the things no one else was willing to.

As a history buff, and a mythology nerd, I hope the writers have properly researched the myths and don’t just take the easy route. Norse myth is very interesting and full of grey and grey morality. It had a very different value system than the Greeks, but at the same time, a lot of it is misunderstood. I hope I have cleared up some of it here.

By Lauren Carpenter On 8 Jun, 2013 At 08:46 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, PlayStation, Previews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIf you are a Sony fan you didn’t miss very much with the Xbox reveal flop while waiting for the next big gaming console. Sony’s groundbreaking new console is quickly approaching, and eager PlayStation devotees are anxiously awaiting further news on the PS4. According to PlayStation, in terms of sheer graphical power, the PS4 may well be one of the last big graphical leaps we’re going to see in gaming. From here on, it’s a matter of improving other aspects of the console beyond graphics and sound:

New Inputs

Many of the new input devices attached to the PlayStation 4 are interesting not because they offer a new means of control but because they offer input that is actually out of your control. Namely, the PlayStation Move is going to have facial recognition, meaning it can identify you the second you stand in front of the PlayStation, according to Engadget. No more inputting your name and selecting your save files as it will simply know who is playing.

Remote Play

Handheld gaming platforms have always been thought of as the baby brothers to the big consoles. Remote play and cloud technology are poised to change that. Kotaku International reported that the PlayStation 4 will be remotely playable, so you can play your home console not only through your TV, but through a window that fits in your hands.

Social Sharing

Gaming consoles are finally catching up with the social scene. The new console allows gamers to jump in on one another’s games, post their scores on Facebook and show off their moves with the click of a physical “share” button, described in detail in a PlayStation press release.

Streaming Games

Streaming games are a controversial subject as many are worried that it will be tricky to play a game of Halo on a spotty Internet connection, but by the time the PlayStation 4 debuts, we’re going to have options like Google fiber optics and other lightning speed, reliable Internet sources, explained further by Google. Then, there is the issue of cloud security. InfoWorld noted there have been concerns over the PS3’s precarious cloud services in the past and the safety of users’ personal information stored on the console. Digital security and identity theft concerns will likely continue once the PlayStation Cloud service is launched on the PS4. The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network Databook, which was released in February, shows identity theft complaints have increased 30 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to CNET. If you happen to be dealing with this kind of identity theft, you can contact protection agencies such as LifeLock via their LifeLock FB page.

…And, the Launch Titles

All that really matters at the end of the day are the games. One of the coolest in the lineup has to be Watch Dogs, a near-future open world game that puts your character in the role of a technomancer in a totally connected world. The trailer shows us the character controlling stop lights and other computer-operated equipment with the touch of a cell phone in order to manipulate the world to his will, reported by Digital Trends. According to Polygon, Jonathan Blow, of Braid, will also be releasing a new puzzler, The Witness, which may well meet the high bar that his indie classic set. With developers like Nnooo approved, more games on the way, and most importantly, Sony trying to make the console easier to develop for than its notoriously difficult PlayStation 3, it looks like the PlayStation 4 is definitely going to make an impact.

By SarahTheRebel On 12 May, 2012 At 04:23 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews | With 1 Comment

No GravatarThis week I had the opportunity to catch up with Will Santiago, better known as AkilleezMight, winner of this season of The Tester. I spoke with the 28-year-old  Brooklyn native after his first official day of work at Sony, so decided to ask him a few questions about his new job and the state of the gaming industry.

So what are you playing right now?

Just finished Prototype 2. I’m also playing my favorite RPG of all time, Legend of Dragoon, and I’m playing Final Fantasy 9 again.

What’s your current favorite game?

Soul Calibur V

What’s your favorite game of all time?

Earthbound. It was the first game I played where I was just captivated and I remember being like oh my God. Wow.

How was your first day at Sony as a Production Associate?

It was very informative. I got to spend time with a bunch of talented people all day. It was cool to really get some one on one time with them and to learn the history of the studio.

You’re moving from New York City. Was it a big adjustment moving to Cali?

I’m used to moving around because of being in the military, but it doesn’t make it any less daunting. Moving from coast to coast was a big transition. Especially with jumping into the real gaming side and seeing behind the scenes of the game industry. It’s totally different than I imagined!

How was your experience on the Tester? Did you ever doubt that you would be the winner?

I cant say that I didn’t think I would be the winner. I tried to stay confident. The really weird thing about the whole experience for me is that I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t get nervous the whole time I mean… I was on a reality show. That can be intimidating but for some reason I just kept my composure.

 

It wasnt until after the Santa Monica visit that I actually became confident that I was going to make it to the end.

I have to ask: why the Tester?

It was a whim. I was on vacation and I saw the first two seasons. I was just looking at the blogs and thought why not? So I made my profile, submitted my video and the rest is history.

So what do you think of how women are treated in games/gaming culture?

It goes along with the whole race thing. Things are moving forward. I like the way the industry is moving towards being more diverse and more gender friendly. There are more female protagonists now. I definitely support this move because it’s not just good for adults: it’s good for the kids. Gaming helped me stay out of trouble and I think if we can introduce more diversity and culture into our games and teach people not to segregate then it would be a positive thing.

Especially (working with Sony) now, I see a lot of women able to take on roles in the industry as project leads or directors or other prominent roles like that. It’s impressive and it’s the way it should be. I like the improvement I’m seeing.

Is there anything you would change about the state of the gaming industry?

Yes actually I would love for the golden age of gaming to come back. You know, when everything and all parts of the game came with the disc.

It just  seems like there’s too much complacency and dependence on patches to fix errors that shouldn’t be there at launch. I know a lot of it has to do with deadlines from the higher ups but people used to put blood, sweat and tears into games to make them damn near flawless at launch.

If you could be any video game character, who would you be and why?

I would be Dante from Devil May Cry 3.

…Why?

*looks at me incredulously*

Cuz he’s a f***ing bad***!

*laughs*

Ok, Ok well he’s over the top and he’s this funny, arrogant, crazy character but he is never unlikable.

Keep an eye out for Akilleez as the newest addition to the elite ranks of The Tester winners!