The Wordle War: The NYT's attack on Free Software

The Wordle War: The NYT's attack on Free Software

This week, we've seen a new threat to Open Source gaming emerge… and it's not who you'd think. And what major publisher would go out of their way to make their AAA games available DRM free? We'll talk about it. Plus, new updates to the Steam Deck Beta channel… all of this and more today! Let's get right into the news!

AMD stops certifications

So, AMD has stopped certifying monitors and TVs that aren't capable of 144Hz or more. That's right, the floor is now 144 Hz. And that's a big deal.

The FreeSync spec used to define a maximum of 60 Hz refresh and FreeSync Premium was anything greater than or equal to 120 Hz.

Now? The minimum spec for FreeSync is 144 Hz or more and FreeSync Premium is anything 200Hz or more. And this new floor also specifies a minimum horizontal resolution of 3440 pixels.

I love to see when specifications are forceful and opinionated like this. Why have a spec if it isn't pushing the boundaries of the industry, am I right? What other things would you like to see in the spec? Feed the engagement algorithm and leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

And while you're down there, be sure to like that smash button. It's the best way to tell YouTube you want to see more videos just like this.

But if you're tired of the machinations of a cold, unfeeling, and radicalizing suggestion algorithm eroding your digital autonomy, why not check out my streaming site You can subscribe using your existing fediverse account and even like, comment, and share from Mastodon, Pixelfed, Peertube and more!

None of it would be possible if it weren't for my Patrons, so a special shoutout goes out to them. I've had a lot of folks say they don't like Patreon, so I set up a Kofi. You can check that out as well. It's all greatly appreciated.

RPCS3 gets improved Deck Support

RPCS3 has added a bit of a workaround to allow the gamepad to control the emulator's GUI. This is excellent if you're on the Steam Deck and you find it annoying to have to use the touchscreen to configure the emulator.

So how does it work? Well, it's pretty simple:

When no game is running, a separate process is spawned that translates player 1's inputs to keyboard and mouse inputs. When a game starts, the gamepad process is killed.

There are two options regarding this feature. The first is Enable pad navigation, and Allow global pad navigation which persists this mouse/keyboard emulation when RPCS3 isn't in focus.

Now, there's no customization available for mapping gamepad input to keypress. These are hard coded values. The D-pad maps to the arrow keys, Cross maps to Enter, Circle to ESC, and so on. The left stick maps to the mouse and the L1 and R1 buttons map to left and right click respectively.

This is an excellent update that should provide that much more usability for players outside of the traditional desktop setup.

Humble Plaion: The Hits Bundle

Okay, so as a kid, I played the hell out of Red Faction for PS2. My bestie Karl and I played this game for days on end. I didn't even realize that it was available on Steam. So I picked this bundle up as soon as I saw it! It includes four Red Faction games as well as the Path to War DLC. It also has five Saints Row games. All for just $10. It should be noted that Red Faction: Armageddon is listed as unsupported but has a Gold rating on ProtonDB. Saint's Row: The Third Remastered is also listed as Steam Deck Unsupported, but has a Platinum ProtonDB rating. And Saint's Row: Gat out of Hell is Unrated and has a Bronze rating on ProtonDB.

As always, picking up this bundle supports charity and, if you use my link, it helps this show as well.
Halo 2 Public Beta on Insignia

Announced on their Discord channel, Insignia has announced the public beta for Halo 2. Insignia, if you’re not familiar, is the community-maintained resurrection of Xbox Live for the original Xbox. While Insignia has been around for a few years, Halo 2’s servers have been conspicuously absent from the list of supported games.

Insignia restores online functionality for original Xbox hardware, but it also provides support for XEMU. Check out their work and learn more about using XEMU on your Steam Deck!

God of War is now DRM-free

You can get God of War right now over on GOG for 50% off as of writing this. This is the full game and it's now DRM free. It's pretty exciting to see.

But God of War isn't the only PlayStation game for PC available. There's also UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection, Days Gone, and Horizon Zero Dawn Complete edition as well! Some of them are 75% off, too!

And if you're looking to get any of these games and play them on Steam Deck, check out Heroic Game Launcher. I've got a video about using Heroic on the Steam Deck here.

NYT Pulls a Nintendo

So the New York Times has pulled a Nintendo. If you're a regular watcher of this show, then you'll know exactly what that means. But for those that don't, it means that the NYT legal team have ignored both law and court precedent to claim ownership not just of the code, but the very idea of Wordle.

See, much like you can't own the recipe for a meal, you also can't own the mechanics of a game. But the New York Times doesn't see it that way. They bought Wordle a few years ago and they've started attacking free and open source clones of the game. Including Reactle, a ReactJS implementation of the game's mechanics.

According to their takedown requests, the New York Times claims to own the mechanics of the game including the quote "5x6 grid" and the "green tiles to indicate correct guesses."

And yes, they've filed DMCA takedowns against GitHub accounts.

Imagine if id had done this against so-called "Doom Clones" and won? The kind of games we'd have lost out on if they were successful.

Sorry, New York Times, but you don't own the idea of a word game. If that were possible, Scrabble would like to have a word with you.

Get it? A word. Cause they're both word games.

Steam Deck Beta Client Update

So there've been a few updates to the Steam Deck beta client channel over the last week with some interesting stuff!

First, on Friday March 8th:


  • Made taking screenshots more responsive.
  • Modified CSS classnames to reduce package size and reduce feature leaks

Desktop Mode

  • If a game failed to update, show why on the details page as well as the downloads page.

Steam Input

  • New: "Reset to Horizon" action (found in "Mouse" action tab): This helper can reset your camera to the horizon by sending 180 degrees down, and then 90 degrees up after a very short delay. This action can be bound to any activator slot. It is complementary to Gyro to Mouse mode, and re-uses the "Dots Per 360" value - if this value calibrated correctly for in game angles, then the "Reset to Horizon" action should snap your view to the horizon. For games which do not allow the camera to rotate all the way to the ground (e.g. Helldivers 2) there is a tunable "Horizon Reset Angle". The Delay is also tunable - increase the value if you end up looking at the floor or ceiling.

Then on Monday the 11th:

  • Fixed a bug that prevented the framerate limiter from applying changes.
  • Fixed screenshots not including Steam user interface elements.
  • Added an option to Settings->In Game to hide Steam user interface elements from screenshots.
  • Fix an error when launching some games that was introduced in the previous beta
  • Fixed swapped A/B buttons when using Nintendo GameCube controllers
  • Reset Camera Horizon: Increase maximum delay to allow for a more consistent behavior on lower/less consistent frame-rates.

And on Tuesday, we saw a small update that addressed some Remote Play issues

  • Fixed missing audio while streaming
  • Fixed continually being prompted for the PIN when pairing a device

00:00 Intro
00:20 RPCS3 adds gamepad GUI navigation
01:30 FreeSync baseline update
02:53 Insignia is launching Halo 2 support
03:38 Red Faction and Saint's Row bundle
04:37 New York Times files DMCA takedowns against multiple open source games
06:00 Sony releases mulitple PlayStation games DRM free
06:33 Steam Deck Beta Channel Update