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    The AJSA is on Playstation 4! Join us for weekly Game Nights with a selection of the best games the PS4 has to offer!

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    The AJSA Xbox One Division: We Got You Covered!

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    The Best News from the Best Sites, Every Week.

    The AJSA News Collection Team is hard at work condensing a week's worth of news into one giant-sze digest for you to chew on and discuss! Links to source articles are always provided!

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    The AJSA Expeditionary Force: Every Month, a New Game.

    The elite vanguard of the AJSA, the Expeditionary Force (EF) chooses a new PC game to dive into every month! Join us for weekly events and help decide if the game has a future in the AJSA.

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  • By WITHASTICK, in Frontpage,

    Game Nights Rainbow Six Siege (1/14/17), Hosted by Recon_avwf and Syrupywolf.
    Spots are limited and time is short, so save a spot by replying with ‘GNR’ and your PSN ID.
    Game Nights are weekly PlayStation 4 community events where members gather every Saturday to play games together. These games can span from new released Triple-A games, old popular games, indie games, free to play games, and even PS Plus monthly line-up games that support multiplayer features. No matter what game it is we’re sure you’ll find something to enjoy. So come join the mayhem, make new friends, laugh all night, destroy the world or destroy each other!
    How To Join Game Nights
    Reply below with the Abbreviation you see above and include your PSN ID (you’ll be added to our Attendance List).
    Look for and remember your Game Nights Start Time for your region/country below.
    Remember who the Host/Hosts are.
    On the day and start time of Game Nights keep an eye out for an invite from the Host/Hosts (either an In-Game invite and/or a Party Chat invite).
    Game Nights Start Times
    Universal Time Coordinated
    10:00 PM UTC
    North America Times
    6:00 PM ET
    5:00 PM CT
    4:00 PM MT
    3:00 PM PT
    United Kingdom/Ireland Times
    11:00 PM GMT
    *Game Nights are ever changing and are open to change. Always stay up-to-date in case a Game Nights changes.*

    By Conan, in Frontpage,

    Please RSVP, using this post.
    Blood Bowl 2
    This is ESPN 8 The Ocho covering all the sports no ones else does! Tune in the month to see the AJSA Championship League of Blood Bowl 2! What is Blood Bowl 2 you ask? Blood Bowl 2 is a beautifully horrific and bloody strategic turn based Football game with little to no rules. You have 16 turns (8 in each Half) to score as many Touchdowns as you can to win the game. Play as 8 main Fantasy Warhammer races like Humans, Drawfs and of course the....................*sigh* elves. So find that gold stash, find a sponcer and make a team to win the cup and spill the blood of your enemies AND friends!
    ................Wait you dont like Warhammer, Football OR Strategy?! CLEANSE THE HERESY! *ahem* Back to you Jim.
    The Event will be a month long league tourny to see who just is the best BB coach of us. Will it be dodgy coaches? Bash and Kill? or the ones in between? Find out with the hosted events on Discord at  4pm EST/ 9pm GMT. The second event will be held on the 14th of January.
    Dedicated Players
    We encourage commitment and attendance within the EF, this we offer attendance pips for those players, who attend at least 50% of the events. For which you will receive said pip, once awards made their return.
    If you want to suggest ideas, discuss the game or make other recommendations, then feel free to do so in the PC Gaming Forum. If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact the EF leaders, namely Acepilot666, Brandykins1982, Conan, Digs or Jayson's Rage.

    By Conan, in Frontpage,

    Behold the Angry Army, Warriors of the Inner Sphere!
    Mission: We will be focusing hard on unit tactics, communication, and aggression in the field. Those looking to enter the unit will be squared away. Tutorial is a required prerequisite. Expect to be recorded.
    Enemy: Each other or public pilots.
    Terrain: To be determined.
    Time: 2pm EDT, 01/14/2017. Duration: 2 hours
    Location: AJSA Discord-> MWO Dropship 1
    Command/Signal: BATCMDR BlackOpsElf will lead the event. RSVP by commenting below. Questions may be asked here as well. Please come ready to use your mic and communicate respectfully/effectively.
    See you there.

    By Conan, in Frontpage,

    It's Friday the 13th. do you feel scared? (I don't)
    Depending on the number of participants we will receive during this event, we will be playing either on Rush (24 players) or Operation (40 or 64 players). To ensure that everyone will be playing on the same server as fast as possible, it would be a advisable to start adding one another on Origin (Please refer to this thread for posting your Origin ID and finding others). 
    *Time: January 13th, 2017 @ 5:00pm EST/ 10:00pm GMT Event Duration: 2 hours
    Host & Squad Lead: QwiK (Origin ID:QwiKAJSA)
    Voice Server: We will be using our Discord Server for this event. AJSA Discord ­­> Voice Channel > Battlefield 1
    If you have any problems, suggestions or concerns regarding this event to make, then please refer to our PC game host QwiK. Else please refer to our dedicated sub-forum.
    See you in the Battlefield! 
    * Times could always changes, if so please refer to the event post again if any changes or update has been made.

    By Legolas_Katarn, in Articles,

    The oral history of Final Fantasy VII, an interview with Vanillaware's Kamitani, Patrick Klepek talks with a JRPG speedrunner, XCOM 2 to get a Long War sequel, how Valiant Hearts drives you to the breaking point, an except from Richard Garriott's memoir, Mark Brown looks at how the gameplay in The Last Guardian portrays a relationship, New Year's resolution to stop screaming, Banner Saga developer talks about 2nd game's underwhelming launch, Microsoft cancels Scalebound, Tarmack talks about virtual reality devs designing anti-harassment features, Activision removes four games from digital stores, Tim Sweeney interviewed for thoughts on virtual reality, and more.
    Last week I shared some of the best videos and best writing of 2016, many of the chosen were included in previous This Week In Gaming posts.
    Gaming News (Announcements, release dates, previews, interviews, expansions, DLC, updates, company news, new tech, mods)
    Inside, Overwatch and Firewatch lead GDC 2017 Choice Awards nominees!


    An ode to the pixel art-driven nominees and winners of IGF Awards
    GGJ17 Keynote announced
    TwitchCon 2017 announced for late October

    Steam beta update makes Xbox and generic X-Input controllers customizable

    Nvidia rolls out game streaming on a GTX 1080 cloud for $2.50 an hour
    Mass Effect Andromeda Won’t Have a Season Pass; EA Access Members Will Get to Play it Early
    Mass Effect: Andromeda 'allows you to go between singleplayer and multiplayer within the game'
    Up Close With The Nier Automata Demo’s Constantly Surprising Combat
    Microsoft Cancels Scalebound

    She Remembered Caterpillars is a cute semi-autobiographical puzzler about death
    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night video shows off creepy village level
    Beyond Good and Evil 2 exclusive to Nintendo Switch for a year, teaser to drop next week
    Watch a Heat Signature mission go completely wrong in a new trailer
    AngryJoe Previews MXM!
    Injustice 2 gets May release date
    An Uncensored Sex Game's Difficult Journey To Steam

    Shock Tactics is an XCOM clone with an exploration twist
    For Honor gameplay trailer showcases large men getting medieval
    A grim For Honor trailer reveals closed beta dates
    Ghost Recon: Wildlands Trailer Features a Cat, for Some Reason
    Ghost Recon WIldlands - Operação Skydive
    Sea of Thieves Inn-side Story #10: Co-Op Gameplay
    Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III still have a way to go, says Tetsuya Nomura

    Brut@l, a modern rogue-like with 3D ASCII art, is coming to Steam
    Star Citizen Promises New Updates; Shows Gorgeous Screenshots and Videos as it Breaks $141,000,000
    Star Citizen cheaters face permaban with no refund (but CIG needs video evidence)

    River City Melee: Battle Royal Special multi-language physical version coming to Asia in March

    Conan Exiles dev diary showcases its 'freeform' building and crafting system
    Everything (we think) we know about the next Assassin’s Creed


    Failbetter sheds some light on the aesthetic of Sunless Skies

    Husk is a Silent Hill-esque horror game framed by domestic violence

    Final Fantasy 14 update trailer demos new quests, dungeons and gear items
    Dreamfall Chapters "Final Cut" update is coming in March

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided pre-order content now free for all

    First contact has finally been made in Elite: Dangerous
    Meet the pilot who made first contact with aliens in Elite: Dangerous
    The Road Ahead For Battlefield 1

    Gears of War 4 Patch Notes Cover Quitting Penalties, New Maps, and More

    New Overwatch PTR patch nerfs Ana and D.Va

    Terry Crews wants you to want him to play Doomfist in Overwatch
    Overwatch Valentine lines discovered
    How Soldier 76, Sombra and Symmetra are changing the Overwatch meta
    Wildstar's huge February patch will revamp the endgame

    EverQuest Landmark is closing down next month

    HTC unveils deluxe Vive strap with in-built audio

    Vive Tracker brings hand-tracking VR gloves, plastic guns and more into the virtual world
    HTC Vive headsets getting wireless options in 2017
    Firewatch has sold more than one million copies
    PlayStation 4 sales surpass 53M, Uncharted 4 moves 8.7M

    Sony announces ‘glacier white’ PS4 Slim
    Hearthstone Devs Want To Be More Open, But Are Worried About Harassment

    SEGA Of Europe Has Registered “ShenmueRemastered.com” & “SheMnUeGame.com” Domains Too

    How much money did Steam’s best-sellers earn in 2016?

    Steam Reaches 14 Million Concurrent Users For First Time In Its History
    Activision “won't be making a comment” on the Steam removal of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    The games are also removed from Xbox Live and PSN.
    Hacker Leaks 1.5 Million Profiles From Game Site After They Refuse To Pay $100,000

    Square Enix Europe's Twitter Account Was Hacked

    Final Fantasy XV ships 6M in just over a month
    Oculus exec pleads not guilty to underage attempted sex abuse charge

    Thermaltake displays wall-mountable mini-ITX case and pure black coolant

    XCOM's massive Long War mod is getting a sequel

    Skyrim Script Extender for Skyrim Special Edition aiming for a March beta release
    People Have Started Hacking Nintendo's NES Classic And Adding More Games To It

    Nintendo hid secret message for hackers within NES Mini
    Wii U emulator cracks native 4K streaming, and it’s stunning
    These Korean students made their own Overwatch VR rig
    Esports News
    The Weekend In Esports: The Smite World Championship Returns To Atlanta

    Digital Chaos Wins Its First Big Dota 2 Tournament

    Get ready for the Smite and Paladins championship finals

    Counter-Strike League Shuts Down After Players Organize Against Owners

    Crowdfunding News
    Crowdfunding Tips and Toolbox

    Content I found interesting this week (interviews, reviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, criticism, etc)
    Final Fantasy 7 An oral history

    Looking Back at Square’s Final Fantasy VI Tech Demo with Kazuyuki Hashimoto
    The Art of Final Fantasy VII: An Interview with Yoshitaka Amano
    How Nobuo Uematsu Composed FF7's "One-Winged Angel"
    New year's resolution: Let's stop screaming

    Epic's Tim Sweeney on Virtual Reality and the Future of Civilization

    Vanillaware's Kamitani on Keeping the 2D Flame Alive in the Age of 3D

    'The Last Guardian' Creator Ueda on His First Game Job and the Late Kenji Eno

    'Gravity Rush 2' Is Guided By a Singular, Bright Vision

    Read Excerpt From RPG Legend Richard Garriott's Memoir

    “We set out to make this trilogy. We can't leave the story unfinished”

    Pete Hines on how Bethesda became one of the most creative publishers of this generation

    What Drives This Speedrunner To Play to Master Long, Grueling JRPGs
    How the composer of SimCity and Fringe went from scoring games to making them
    Why I love the low-fi tech of Alien: Isolation

    Design in Action | Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and the Story of the Ultimate Sequel

    How Valiant Hearts drives you to the breaking point

    How Reading an Original Witcher Story Made a Modern Quest All the More Meaningful

    No Man's Sky's best bases

    We need a revolution in tutorials

    Opinion: Lana Beniko, The Old Republic's best Immoral Woman

    Top 8 Games From 2016 You Might Have Heard Of
    Overlooked games of 2016
    Final Fantasy XV’s Out-Of-Bounds Glitch Shows Scrapped Or Unused Areas
    Horror Game Explores A Corrupted, Glitchy Video Game

    The Roguelike Platformer Where Anyone Can Lose A Limb

    The 10 Best Photo Modes In Videogames

    Civ VI's Neo Tokyo Is About To Explode

    Virtual Harassment And Game Design | Feature Creep By Tarmack
    The Last Guardian and the Language of Games | Game Maker's Toolkit
    Nintendo's Virtual Console Is Trash Garbage (The Jimquisition)
    Great Switchpectations - Colin Was Right
    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games
    Star Citizen Reaffirms Commitment To Not Release In Whatever Year It Is Now

    Sibling Rivalry with Tom Taylorson & Fryda Wolff
    Overwatch is 11th most searched PornHub term for 2016, beating off anal by one position

    Overwatch Heroes Ranked, According To Pornhub Searches
    Shadow of the Colossus Cat

    By Legolas_Katarn, in Articles,

    This year was the first where I had a This Week In Gaming article posted each week (a weekly article for industry and game news, crowdfunding news, esports new, as well as the best writing and videos I find on games that week), for the end of the year I've compiled some of the best and most interesting game's writing and videos that I've seen throughout 2016.
    These videos cover topics involving game design, developer history, effects of games on wider popular culture, the culture of the industry itself, why games are important, how games can better evoke certain emotions when compared to films or literature, and essays on the games themselves.
    Each of the ten listings might include a single video, a single video series, or videos that might be from different people but focus on a similar idea or subject, I didn't use the numbers to signify better or worse quality.
    1: Satchbag's Goods
    "Firewatch, Gone Home, and That Dragon Cancer are, right now, the trifecta of titles that place their greatest ask in the conversations had after the game is done."
    Satchbag's Goods talks about why Firewatch is one of the most memorable titles he has played this year. His essay covers player choice, art design, the game's music, and mentions a trifecta of titles whose greatest strength can be in the conversations had after they are finished. One of those three games mentioned is That Dragon, Cancer which he has also made an excellent video of, talking about what he feels the win state of the game is, how video games allow you to linger in spaces, faith, purpose, significance, and insignificance.
    2: Story Beats
    "I'm being told stories in ways I've never been told them before. These are tools, and they're tools that don't exist anywhere else."
    Innuendo Studios takes a look at a different game in each episode of this four part series. The games include Dear Esther, Limbo, Ben There Dan That, and Bastion. In the videos he talks about what games can do narratively that books and film can't. The sound, animation, timing, and programming that creates the feel of games and how it engages you. How film can make you feel sympathy, or happy, or proud of a character but a game can make you feel guilty or take pride in your own fictional act of heroism.
    3: Play Conditioning
    "You play games in the manner dictated by the experience of the game itself, and sometimes that manner isn't great."
    hbomberguy takes an in depth and entertaining look at the Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Fallout games. Talking about what he feels works and what doesn't when it comes to story, lore, world design, themes, and gameplay. The videos are both informative and funny to watch, but the strand that connects the two is in how games can condition people to play them, sometimes in ways that aren't enjoyable.
    4: A Thorough Look At
    "It's probable that games will come later that will depict race with the same unflinching straightforwardness as Mafia 3 while preserving a more compassionate outlook. But, for 2016, the best video games can manage is Ras the Destroyer, come upon his black horse with guns and fire."
    Noah Caldwell-Gervais has been making detailed videos taking a look at games and game series for years, including titles like Fallout, Skyrim, Postal, Arcanum, Vampire Bloodlines, Warcraft, and others that are all well worth watching. This year he has taken a look at three game franchises in his A Through Look at series, Mafia, Baldur's Gate, and Wolfenstein. Out of those, I found his look at Mafia to be the most interesting but if this didn't exist the other two would easily take a spot in this list and they and his other videos should be looked at by anyone who enjoys the above video.
    His look at the Mafia series starts with the first game, which is a more linear and grounded crime story when compared to the other open world crime game of the time, GTA 3, and a focuses on the setting rather than player empowerment. The realistic nature of the cars in the first game and how the commute style gameplay has been one of the biggest barriers to entry. A sequence with an odd design choice that developers later felt should be patched out of the game. The game's ambitions for presentation compared to the realities of what it could do and disconnects between the serious progression of the story when compared to the mechanical situations.
    He moves onto Mafia 2 that he feels uses many of the same ideas of the first but with greater sophistication. He compares the similar but situationaly different backstory of being an immigrant in America in Mafia 2 to GTA 4. How you get to know the character of Vito, can see what leads him to make the choices he makes by exploring his upbringing, his recent life, American culture, and how those choices lead to his rise and fall. How the gendered cliches of Vito, your friend Joe, and the game's female characters ends up being smartly written. How it reaches for political themes and takes an artistic viewpoint on them, exploring crime, identity, gender, and race. How writing choices in the first two games can be due to the game being s a Czech production looking at American culture through an outside lens and how the game says and does what the developers wanted. He ends Mafia 2 by talking about the DLC and how it feels at odds with the narrative and design choices of the game, like it's trying to be more like GTA 3 than Mafia, which brings him to Mafia 3.
    His critique of Mafia 3 focuses on the game being more about a time and a place rather than a character, how that time and place molded the development of the character, the shift in development priorities that could have been brought on by review complaints of Mafia 2, the feel of the combat, the villains being the embodiment of the emotional infant-hood described as the driving force behind KKK and similar group recruitment, and the ways the society is portrayed as only a game can show. How consumerist approach of video games usually sees deviation as a bad thing, how doing something more daring can create more compelling artistic results, and how the worst parts of the game come from the areas where they played it safe. How it tells a deeply American story.
    5: Noclip
    "She would let me sleep while she pressed this button."
    "What would happen if she didn't press the button?"
    "The servers would go down."
    I used to be a member at Gamespot with Danny O'Dwyer, I later joined a site he created called Citizen Game, followed his work after he started working at Gamespot where he worked on another excellent video series The Point. This year I think game's writing gained something special with the creation of the site Waypoint and I think game videos got the same with the creation of Noclip. This Rocket League documentary is the first of what will hopefully be many interesting, entertaining, and high quality looks at game development and culture (the end of the year saw the release of another great look into the creation of DOOM with extended interviews of that series releasing into this month).
    This was a good additional watch that ties in with the first video shared here about the creation of Noclip. This is from an episode of The Lobby, which Danny hosted shortly before leaving Gamespot to start Noclip.
    6: Because Games Matter
    "We believe that these stories can do some good and remind us, in this chaotic world, why games matter."
    Extra Credits shares stories from their viewers of how games changed their lives or gave them hope. Hamish Black, Writing on Games, talks about why he feels that the commonly accepted legacy of Dark Souls is reductive and how the game is an uncompromising celebration of life, and how his experiences with Dark Souls and suffering from depression resonate with one another.
    7: RetroAhoy
    "Story in a game is like story in a porn movie, it's expected to be there, but it's not that important."
    Ahoy talks about the Doom and Quake series, the choices made for their design and original ideas, effects on the developer, and how they influenced gaming culture. If you want to go back further he also did one on Wolfenstein, though that was from 2015, and Noah Caldwell-Gervais also went over the entire series this year which was mentioned on number 4 of this list. If you want to start with Ahoy's take on that, here is the link.
    8: A Critique of SOMA
    "And if you guessed all that, you are completely wrong, just like I was."
    Joseph Anderson discusses the gameplay, story, and themes of SOMA.
    9: The Witcher Expansions Discussion
    "It seems like it's elevating the format of The Witcher to some kind of greater literary purpose. It's a genuine effort by the writers to explore the problems of an old morality play and reexamine them for a new age."
    Super Bunnyhop looks at the expansions for The Witcher 3, where the ideas for the stories came from, the history of the original story Hearts of Stone takes inspiration from, and the themes in the content of Blood and Wine.
    10: Dungeon Design
    "I think these things are fascinating. They're these twisting, contorting, non-linear, maze-like, puzzle boxes, filled with enemies and traps. They have terrific boss fights and unique architecture, and the best ones are these giant mechanical riddles for you to solve."
    Mark Brown, Game Maker's Toolkit, has spent months and multiple videos going over the dungeon design of the Legend of Zelda series, and for those that enjoy looking into level design or the Zelda series, they are a great watch. In a similar but more focused series of five videos, Extra Credits takes a look at the entrance and first floor of Durlag's Tower from Baldur's Gate Tales of the Sword Coast, which he considers to be one of the best teaching examples of dungeon design. He goes over how the dungeon of Durlag's Tower is introduced to the player, encounters design when it comes to monster and trap placement, and how the developers are teaching the player what they need to look out for in the early areas of the dungeon. Some of this being similar to what hbomberguy talks about in his videos on this list, where he mentions how developers get you to interact with a game's mechanics by training you to see them in a particular way.
    Honorable Mention: Game Industry
    "If more of us are less like this because we think about this stuff and try to communicate with each other about it effectively, everything can and will get better."
    hbomberguy talks about Bethesda's anti-critic review policy, using Youtube fanboys as commercials for their products, and the need for critical reviews and discerning customers to help create better games and a better industry. Jim Sterling spends two of his Jimquisition episodes on something that will be relevant now, in the future, and that was definitely relevant in the past (hell we had someone here lose their mind over Watch Dogs). He talks about the people and fandoms that attach their entire identities to products, how game companies allow and often want that to happen, and how media both suffers from and can aid in the creation of the bad behaviors often expected from gaming communities.