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The Mad, Mad World of Icycalm
ICYCALM: The Man. The Legend. The Douchebag.
I haven't read the entirety of that, not just because it's too long, but mostly because it's too painful.

I've never really heard about icycalm before (at least, I only saw him mentioned a few times), but now that I've read some of his... writing, I have to wonder:

What the hell is wrong with this guy?
Nyarly
Three words: Narcissistic. Personality. Disorder.
Iaculus
The worst part is that he's still better than this guy. http://www.theabsolute.net/minefield/poison.html

That said, Icycalm has created more flame wars and trolled more people, while the above guy is a more isolated wackjob.
Myrmidon
This guy... I don't get how he expects to be taken seriously when he calls people he dislikes faggots, or abortions thereof (seriously, how's that even supposed to work?)

On the topic of his arguments... yeah, I'm not seeing it. I mean, yeah, there's more indie games now, and as it usually is with indie media, they are more prone to experimentation and "artsyness", but can one in any way say to impact mainstream games negatively? I mean, yeah, it means mainstream games aren't the only alternative, but it's not like there's a set amount of "appreciation" in the world, and people appreciating one game automatically drains the appreciation available for other games.

Oh well, I'll give him one thing, though, his tendency towards Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness does allow me to learn a couple of new words, and that's something :D
slowzombie
"He is a plagiarist."

I'm going to play devil's advocate here, but Icycalm has never actually plagiarized anyone. Plagiarism implies that Icy tried to claim someone else's work as his own. Icy simply posted (and edited) EOJ's reviews of a few CAVE shooters from EOJ's Cave fansite to Insomnia.ac without his permission, but he still gave the guy credit. The problem is that EOJ really hates Icycalm's guts and doesn't want anything to do with the guy, but Icy ignored EOJ's requests to have his reviews removed.

Aside from all the drama involving his attitude towards others (I've never posted in his forums, nor have I ever interact with him, so I'm mostly indifferent towards him), I think Icycalm has many intelligent points (at least from all the articles I've read). His main criticism of "art games" is that the label "art" itself is so vague and undefined that it might as well be meaningless. When someone says a game, book or film is a "true work of art", they might as well be saying this is a "great game/book/film". However, many "indie" game designers try to justify or overlook the poor game designs in their works by claiming that their games are all about the "message". You might or might not label Tetris and Super Mario Kart as "art games" (depending on how you feel about them), but they're definitely more deserving of the label than say, Desert Bus.

Quite frankly, most of the poseurs writing for so-called professional sites like IGN and Gamespot are more deserving of scorn than Icycalm. Icycalm may have an attitude problem, but at least he has taste.
PowerRider
You make good points. I'll remove the plagiarism part.

However, he doesn't like pretentious snobs who label obscure works with barely any effort art. He hates any and all games that try to be more than enjoyable entertainment. Take, for example, his review of Braid.

And even if he does make good points, he's such a total dickwad that you still want to punch him in the mouth. A broken clock, after all, is right twice a day.
OurGLORIOUSLeader
"However, he doesn't like pretentious snobs who label obscure works with barely any effort art. "

Is there anything wrong with that?

"He hates any and all games that try to be more than enjoyable entertainment."

What does that mean? Exactly how can a game "try to be more than enjoyable entertainment", whatever that means? To me anyway, a game can only achieve greatness by taking previous or new ideas and mechanics and then refining them until you make an outstanding game that is nothing like anything that came out before. That's why games like Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter II, Metal Gear Solid, Civilization, among others, are still considered classics. Those are the true "art games".

Braid is overrated anyway. There are many platformers from the 1980s and 1990s that are better and have more "artistic" merit than Braid has. Most of the praise Braid has gotten was due to rather superficial reasons.
PowerRider
I'm glad you mentioned Nietzsche. His perverse misunderstanding of the great man is truly insulting, though Nietzsche might have found it hilarious.

Still, it is sad that (presumably) many gamers only know him through icycalm. Nietzsche was a philosopher of difference, complexity and self-creation. His enemies were resentful, humorless dogmatists. Nietzsche didn't give a FUCK about petty traditionalist concerns like "proper" or "clear" grammar. In fact, he opted to write with aphoristic ambiguity partly because he did not want his would be misappropriated by humorless, resentful fools who could only think in dogmatic language. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened with the Nazis, not to mention the grammar-Nazi, Alex Kierkegaard.
207.166.120.130
Ah yes, Icycalm. I forgot how hilariously inept his ranting is.
Scardoll
Woah guys I think we have an internet badass here!
AnsemPaul
"Because he's a total fucking asshole"

You have to define "asshole".

"He bans and flames all who disagree with him."

This is a reasonable thing to do if you want to have a neat forum.

"He is a Grammar Nazi."

That's a good thing too. It helps people pay more attention to how they write, which is what makes his forum nice to read. Imagine if his forum was written by people like you! Just imagine!

"He believes himself to be the one true follower of Nietzsche's philosophy."

So what? You have a problem with that? What kind of problem? Maybe you should write another entry in the series just so that you can explain to us what kind of problem you have with this statement.

"Wow. Ad hominem against both the subject and object of the quote? I wonder if this man has an agenda."

Wishful thinking. It's not an ad hominem but conclusions stated in advance.

"Please show me the exact place where he dissed "the labor of entire generations of master game designers", please."

He dissed the labor of entire generations of master game designers by implying that their games are not art. How did he imply they are not art? By calling the games he features on his frontpage "art" games. Get it?

"Much like the rest of his website, Icycalm's pulling shit out of his ass."

Much like the rest of your entry, this is wishful thinking.

"Let me guess: they created games you don't even have to acknowledge the existence of and yet still treat them all as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?"

God what a pathetic little fagot you are.

"We, as a society, dislike people who do this! So stop strawmanning and accusing the entire indie game scene of thinking this, because it's not. True."

It doesn't matter, idiot. Nobody cares what you and your friends think.

"First: "art game" is not a qualifier that automatically dismisses games like this as art."

You're trying pretty hard to conceal the original motives.

"You know who else wanted to separate groups of people?"

Nothing wrong with separating groups of people.

"Also, who says science fiction or anime or comic books can't be art?"

Nobody you idiot (well, apart from you.)

"Are you fucking kidding me. Are you saying that neither games nor movies can be fun and art at the same time?"

You need to learn how to stop and think before responding to what people write. Seriously. What I'd do is delete this entry immediately. I wouldn't be able to sleep if I knew I made a stupid mistake like the one you made here.

"You know why gamers hate this man? It's because he does things like belittle us for liking good games."

He's belittling you for liking stupid games. Just because you like these games, you idiot, doesn't mean they are good.

"He assumes that his opinion is fact."

It is. But before you can grasp this you have to understand what a fact is: what we call a fact is simply the best opinion. Since his opinion is the best opinion it IS fact.

"The entire crux of his argument here is It's Popular, Now It Sucks. Still, Sturgeon's Law applies, so it still has some merit."

No, that's not the crux of his argument. You're merely an idiot who's interpreting things in a way that pleases you. So instead of considering that what he's saying is closer to that "Sturgeon's Law" you've mentioned, you're going for the interpretation that makes him look weak. Wishful thinking again.

"You're acting as if this is a bad thing. Does art not intrinsically breed art?"

Jesus fucking Christ, why am I even bothering with you? Fucking wishful thinking maniac.

"Is photography simply not a legitimate artform anymore?"

Again, where did he say that?

You know what? Fuck this guy. Fuck this liveblog. Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it. What I just read was merely a sample of the complete and total mound of crap. It is little more than a mouthpiece from which he can bitch and moan from whereabout he hates anybody with more artistic integrity than he (which is to say, icycalm.) His arguments could be debunked by a comatose banana slug. And he passes off baseless accusations and retarded opinions as complete and unwavering fact.
mirosurabu
And what the fuck is a "liveblog" lol
mirosurabu
mirosurabu - please take icy's dick out of your mouth. All that sucking's reduced your intelligence to dangerously retarded levels.
BloodyHoneymoon
Part Deux: The Asscockery of Reviews
I accidentally skimmed too much over the hotlinked paragraph and forgot to mention that Icycalm praises the art style (or as close to praise as you could get with him), but fuck it, what's the point?
OurGLORIOUSLeader
"How about you lift your head from the circlejerk for a moment, wipe all the yellowish encrusted jizz that's dripping from your chin, and take a look at the history of the artform you are so furiously engaged in slandering and debasing?"

This sounds like something that could be directed at icycalm himself. And would probably fit much better.

Anyway, this was really painful. My brain hurt when reading this and only your comments prevented it from oozing out my ears. I haven't played Braid, but I highly doubt that he has much of a point. Or even remotely one.
Nyarly
Icycalm mentioning Roger Ebert and Soulja Boy was quite possibly the dumbest thing any human said ever to defend their argument.

He even knew that they were "outsiders" to the gaming industry.

I'm starting to think that Icycalm is a troll, and this is coming from the person who thought that My Immortal wasn't a Troll Fic.
AwesomeZombie22 (edited by: AwesomeZombie22)
Wait, Soulja Boy liked the game.

Granted, that isn't a ringing endorsement.
Myrmidon
There's probably an "amusing" "Only Girl in the World" filk in here somewhere, but I'm too lazy to write it.
FreezairForALimitedTime
I thought that the point of the Soulja Boy game was that he was on drugs and that jumping and reversing your jump over and over again is really fun when you're on drugs.
Ponicalica
Just to say, that first link to the forum gets me a 404 error.
Neo_Crimson
"You heard it here first, folks: Braid is not a puzzle platformer, even though it has platforms and you maneuver and jump on them and on enemies to progress to the end of the stage."

Exactly. Even though I never liked his attitude, he is right and you aren't. Try to imagine Braid without the puzzles and the result will instantly flatline into a cakewalk. It may be good at puzzles but the platforming barely even exists, it's there as an INTERFACE for the puzzles.

Really, once you start IGNORING his dickish attitude, he actually makes a whole lot of sense.
Muzozavr
The entire point is that Braid is a *puzzle* platformer. Neither a pure puzzler or pure platformer. The complexity in its various components represent the difference split between the genres it straddles. You cannot talk about Braid, in this example, without acknowledging this.

So it's correct to say Icycalm is misrepresenting the game to belittle it, as he's comparing it to a pure platformer in order to shore up his strawman.

Really though, the guy is batshit insane. Being batshit insane doesn't preclude actually knowing a few things. He clearly does. It's just that his knowledge is trapped inside onion layers of narcissism, attention-getting, and basically outright madness.

He seems like someone who simultaneously is and is not a career troll; as if he has no idea where honest opinions and trolling begin and end. He seems to think highly of himself, but the truth is, the internet is chock full of guys just like him. The power of self publishing from the bedroom has made the net a release valve for millions of would be "ubermen" who each think they deserve to be king of the world and aren't properly recognized for their qualities.
108.15.145.53
Numbah 3: Flowering My Hatred
Well that's just fucking stupid, now isn't it? I mean, it's absolutely impossible for a game to not fit into any preconscribed genres, right guys?!?!?!? AMIRITE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Well, yes.
Wicked223
Well, what about, say, Shadow Of The Colossus? What genre is that? And don't use the incredibly vague "action-adventure" label.
OurGLORIOUSLeader
"Because you see the great thing about the airplane THEME is that airplanes are complicated machines, which therefore give the designer ample opportunities for injecting as much complexity into his game as he likes."

Well, that was stupid.
Pannic
I find his rampant homophobia and misogyny pretty hilarious. It's like the stereotypical Xbox Live kid with a screechy voice wrote a blog. The only thing it's lacking is the racism.
Scardoll
Metacritic scores posted as facts lel
mirosurabu
Icycalm: Animated Boogaloo
So, that one wasn't by Icycalm but John Kricfalusi? Scary, I would have never guessed that. It fits so perfectly....

The article can be summarized with "Disney sucks and are responsible that animation in general sucks now." Really, that's all there is.
Nyarly
I enjoy reading your liveblog! I did notice, however, that you accidentally left out a beginning [[quoteblock]] somewhere near the end, so I can't tell where your comments end and Icycalm's/John K.'s articles continue. I'm going to guess it was somewhere between right after "Second,..." and right before "THE END".
Videogamer07
I enjoy this very much. I will watch this.
Vorpy
IT WAS THE MOST APPEALING OF ALL VISUAL ARTS

That fuck? Did Satan just pop out of my computer screen?
Scardoll
More Art Games? FUUUUUUUUUU
"Also, he just used the word trope. I think I'll just let that sink in."

D:

I've only watched a little bit of an Irate Gamer video before I got sick of him and watched something else, but in this article Icycalm reminds me of Bores. Either he doesn't really try to be funny or he is an incredibly humorless douche, who knows humor only as theoretical concept.
Nyarly
"Also, he just used the word trope. I think I'll just let that sink in."

Actually, we don't own the word trope. It existed long before this wiki, but if he does know about this site... I don't even want to think about it...

"This is like a game, except it doesn't look like graphics."

ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER, CAN YOU WRITE IT?

Also, how does something "not look like graphics"? Wind Waker looks plenty "like graphics" to me! It looks like a cel-shaded, unique style of graphics. Also, how is it "like a game"? Don't you mean it is a game, Icycalm?
AwesomeZombie22
With Apologies to Komodin
I approve of this blog. It makes me laugh.
Vorpy
Did this guy just pull a "back in my day" argument with Sonic 2 of all things? Color me astonished.
Neo_Crimson
Not his review, he merely used it on his site and gave credit. Also, Sonic 2 is overrated. Not as bad, as he claims, but overrated.
Muzozavr
Sonic 2 is better than Sonic the Hedgehog, I can definitely say that. The original Sonic the Hedgehog had a lot of terrible parts, like the horribly meandering sections of Marble Zone where you stepped on a block and slowly traveled across the lava.

Sonic 1 was also an easy game, so I have no idea why Icycalm is championing it.
Scardoll
Journey to the Center of Icycalm's Ego
In this way they help us avoid confusing them for trailer trash Americans or lager lout Brits who never went to school. Well fuck you too.
Scardoll
Philosophy 101
I can always tell I'm going to get along so well with a person who views anyone he disagrees with as non-human.
JackAlsworth
Wasn't the Tsunami Enough Punishment?
I've played three of the five games you listed that you hadn't (Everyday Shooter, Darwinia, and Alien Hominid), and I'm sort of willing to dive into the site and see if his reviews for those are any good.

I say "sort of willing" because I want an estimate on potential brain damage before actually committing to anything
JackAlsworth
I assume the review for Aquaria will be boring,too hard and maybe crappy graphics.

delta534
Maybe I'm a little biased because I don't like Cave Story (for terribly different points than he at least, and I'd still give it a 4/5), but some of your points are almost on his side of the stupidity line:

1- He says: "Can anyone name even a single title that gets anywhere near the ones I just randomly rattled off?" And you respond with CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL (like you yourself said in a previous post). The capslock is okay, but I'll have to agree with Icycalm on this one, the western indie scene is seriously lacking on quality. Sure, we have plenty of original titles, but Melty Blood is actually good, the same for BBBR and Vanguard Princess; meanwhile in the west we have only ONE seemingly decent fighting game called battle Capacity.

This is nothing hard to explain, the Japanese are known for being afraid of change (in broad terms), and it's several times more difficult to do something good and original than to refine already well explored concepts.

2- "Pray tell, then, why the Japanese gaming industry is so stagnant and losing money rapidly." you say, but I don't think I need to clarify how quality is usually completely separate from economical success.

Others aren't worth mentioning.

Anyway, I just wanted to warn you: don't become the man you hate. Hey, I read all your other critics and I liked them (some of them defending games I don't like), so good work, but just try to keep it logical.
alvare
The capslock is okay, but I'll have to agree with Icycalm on this one, the western indie scene is seriously lacking on quality. I think Melty Blood is shit.

Subjectivity is subjective.
Scardoll
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