Who Let That Rabble In Here?
- Dec 12, 2012 3:12 pm GMT
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I had some thoughts related to this article that appeared on Gamespot recently.
It takes 20 years from the time it's invented for a technology to become ubiquitous. It worked that way with radio, television, personal computers, the Internet, cell phones and many other items. Once a technology ubiquitous regular people start using it and if it's an entertainment or informational media, the general level of the content moves toward the lowest common denominator to appeal to a wide audience. As this occurs in the world of gaming we see the old timers and dedicated hobbyists complaining that "the casuals" (i.e. everyone else) are ruining gaming with simple fare like Angry Birds and dumbed down sequels.
In reality there is no loss of quality in content for the people who want to dig deeper. With gaming, as with all the other entertainment vehicles you still have content created for the more discerning audience along with a great deal of content aiming for what plays in Peoria. Some people fear that developers are being lured into creating "casual" games because that's where the money is and neglect the deeper games aimed at the hobbyist. When things are in a state of flux this can even be true at times. But the good news is there isn't a fixed pool of developers. It's a simple function of supply and demand: as the audience grows the number of content creators grows, and in the end everyone gets to see a wider variety of content aimed at a wider variety of gamers.
To use television as a comparison, while you absolutely see lowbrow yet popular content like American Idol, Survivor and Two and a Half Men taking center stage, you can also find intellectually challenging and stimulating fare. All you need to do is look a bit. There is also a great deal of variety. You can also find hundreds of channels of programming that cover just about every interest under the sun. I'm sure gaming will follow the same pattern.
We'll also see gaming grow beyond the adolescent male focused themes and design choices we see so much of now. Those games are always going to be around because there will always be a large audience for them, but those gamers aren't the only people on the demand side of the equation any more. No one wants to be laughed at and called childish for being a gamer, and that perception is finally changing for the better. But part and parcel with that change in attitude is an influx of new outlooks and experiences from women, older adults and people of all walks of life who want their views, values and experiences reflected in their entertainment. This is another source of change anxiety for some of the veterans. As the industry is under assault for it's male focus that at times leads to overt sexism it might seem that outside forces are trying to get rid of the kind of games that appeal to them, or turn them into something less appealing. The only thing that will happen in the end is there will be more choices and variety of viewpoints and themes and less outright misogyny, which is best for all involved.
So yes, gaming is changing, and it seems like it's changing for the worse at times, but based on history I have faith that in the end gaming will grow and change for the better.
Because I Said So Part 2 - 2012
- Dec 11, 2012 5:32 pm GMT
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Because I Said So is the only game of the year awards you should care about...because I said so.
If you missed Part 1, be sure to check it out to see my most disappointing, favourite unplayed and favourite old game were for 2012. Part 2 is made up of some miscellaneous categories, all which I feel should be standard in every end of year game awards! Be sure to let me know yours!
WINNER - NIGHTS INTO DREAMS (PSN)
NiGHTS was my GOTY for 1996 and remains one of my favourite games of all time. I still pull out the Saturn and Xmas Special Edition every holidays for a play. With this beautiful HD remake, I no longer have to dust of the Saturn and I still get the same great game, but in full HD glory.
RUNNER UP - JET SET RADIO (VITA)
So close, yet so glitchy. Another of my favourite Sega classics. This one would have taken top spot had it not been for the constant crashing on the Vita. Luckily I love the game that much I persisted through this annoyance.
WINNER - SLEEPING DOGS (PC)
Not only do the outfits in Sleeping Dogs look awesome, some even give you added bonuses such as extra XP or melee damage. In any case, that Bruce Lee Jumpsuit alone is enough to justify the win!
RUNNER UP - FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 (PS3)
Ignoring the corny Mass Effect 3 costume, Serah and Noel's fantastic wardrobe selection come in a close second. It's just a shame these cost you real $$$.
WINNER - MCPIXEL (iOS)
The blonde, the cow or the bone? I'm not going to tell, you can figure it out for yourself. Possible spoilers in the image below.
RUNNER UP - Umm...
That's all for Part 2. Keep an eye out for Part 3 next week!
Where Does the Industry Go From Here?
- Dec 10, 2012 7:57 pm GMT
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I ask a simple question that lacks a simple answer. Just where exactly is the video game industry headed? After reading the recent news article about BioShock Infinite skipping the WiiU--as well as some of the more intelligble comments by various GS members--it sparked this burning question in my brain.
It's no secret we're coming upon the precipice of this generation. It's arguable at best, but the launch of the WiiU last month can be considered the "official" start of next gen consoles despite using slightly more powerful tech than what is currently available in the PS3 and Xbox 360. But taking a look back a mere ten years we can all agree that the gaming landscape we find ourselves in now is vastly changed and probably more different than we could have possibly imagined.
Where does the game industry go from here? With each respective company offering more and more bells and whistles to their systems we've never seen such a fractured environment with motion controls, 3D-stereoscopic games, the proliferation of high speed online connections, the digital marketplace, streaming movie services, and the rampancy of DLC and online passes.
The gaming industry seems to be lacking a focus as they strive to offer everything in order to try and please everyone at once. Unfortunately, pleasing everyone cannot be done as inevitably some facet will suffer. I'm cautious about what the next gen has to offer because if it's simply going to be a repeat of this gen, then what's the point? Nintendo is already experiencing this from their lackluster sales of the WiiU. Sony and Microsoft need to seriously reassess what is important.
Dear VGA's, Where's the Hall of Fame Award?
- Dec 10, 2012 1:23 am GMT
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The VideoGame Award's have improved significantly over the years. I mean when Samuel L. Jackson is the host and Linkin Park is performing, you're probably at the right place. The 2012 VGA's did not disappoint. I think I counted 4 awards being given out, but that's nothing compared to some of the trailers we saw. The one that sticks out the most to me is The Phantom Pain. I have no idea what the gameplay for that game will be like, but that trailer was badass.I was hoping to see a Fallout 4 announcement, but I'm happy it wasn't announced. I'd rather wait another 5 years for the next Fallout than to play another rushed game.As good as the 2012 VGA's were, there was one thing that wasnoticeablymissing besides myself. Where was the Hall of Fame Award VGA's?
The VGA's began handing out the Hall of Fame award at last years award show. Shigeru Miyamoto graciously accepted the award on behalf of the Legend of Zelda. I remember standing up and clapping to my television as the crowd cheered for the legend himself.Mr. Miyamoto. That was the first moment where I felt like I had an opportunity as a gamer to thank Shigeru Miyamoto for his many contributions to video games. I think I shed a tear at that moment.
After Mr. Miyamoto accepted the Hall of Fame award, I began wondering what game would be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2012 VGA's. Would Miyamoto be back on stage to bring Mario into the Hall of Fame? Would Hideo Kojima swag it out for Metal Gear Solid? Would Cliff BlizinskiannounceResident Evil 7 if he accepted the Hall of Fame Award? The world will never know since the VGA's didn't give out a Hall of Fame Award this year.
Not giving out the Hall of Fame Award feels like a missed opportunity. There's so many timeless classics that need to be inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame. We don't have time to waste. Let's say the VGA's gave the Hall of Fame award out every 2 years. That'd take forever to catch up with the current generation of classic games that should be up for consideration. Maybe the VGA's could do it like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and required a videogame series to exist for 25 years being, but that's not what this post is about.
What I'm trying to say is the VGA's Hall of Fame Award is a big deal, and it's a shame it wasn't awarded this year. There are plenty of games and developers that deserve their moment where gamers can thank them for creating timeless art. Yes video games are art Roger Ebert. Hopefully I'll be in the audience as the Hall of Fame Award is given at the 2013 Video Game Awards. Maybe I'll be the one presenting the award. Guess we'll have to watch the VGA's next year to find out. Until next year VGA's.
Because I Said So Part 1 - 2012
- Dec 7, 2012 11:34 pm GMT
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Now in its fifth year, Because I Said So is the only game of the year awards you should care about...because I said so. Each year I select my favourite game, along with a few others in categories such as favourite unwrapped, most dissapointing and prettiest Final Fantasy costume. If you're interested what I chose last year, you can check it out here.
Games in this category don't necessarily suck. They either didn't live up to my hype or I felt they could have been so much more.
WINNER - SYNDICATE (PC)
I couldn't even guess how many hours I sank into the original 1993 classic strategy version. It was such an accomplishment at the time and still holds up as an excellent game today. I didn't mind too much that this reboot was taking a different direction, mostly because it had a look similar to my 2011 GOTY, Deus Ex Human Rev. Unfortunately, the weak story made it difficult to fully enjoy what was an amazing looking game.
RUNNER UP - ASSASSIN'S CREED LIBERATION (VITA)
The prospect of the full Assassin's Creed experience on a handheld was exciting, but ultimately let down by a few seemingly minor issues. It looked great and handled well, but an uninteresting story and horrible sound meant I was unable to fully immerse myself in the experience.
The winner of this category is either still shrinkwrapped or awaiting download on Steam. I know it's good, as many people tell me so, but I just haven't had the time to kick it off yet.
WINNER - FARCRY 3 (PC)
With such a large unplayed shame pile, I now try to avoid buying games until I've finished whatever I've got going. However, at AU$28 for a new digital version from Ubisoft, I couldn't pass this over. I don't expect to kick it off until around the Xmas holidays, but I know I'm in for a treat.
RUNNER UP - PERSONA 4 GOLDEN (VITA)
I'm pretty sure Persona 4 was on this list last year or the year before as one of my favourite unplayed PS2 games - and this remains true as I'm still finishing off Persona 3. Anyway, I decided I'd probably have more luck finding time if I picked up the portable version, so I'm waiting on slow shipping from the UK to bring me a Vita version.
We don't all have the time to play each and every new game released within the year, so here I give you the top game I played for the first time, but came out before 2012.
WINNER - FINAL FANTASY IX (PSN/PSP)
Being the massive Final Fantasy fan I am, this one is a little embarrassing. I picked this game up brand new when it was first released on the PS1 in early 2001. However, I think Metal Gear Solid 2 got in the way and I never finished it off. It wasn't until recently that I decided to start from scratch and wrap it up. It's a true classic and one that should be played by all RPG fans.
RUNNER UP - COSTUME QUEST (XBLA)
I'm a big Tim Schafer and Double Fine fan and I feel guilty I put this one off for so long. It was such a great little game, I only wish I had played it closer around Halloween than earlier this year.
That's all for now, but keep an eye out for Part 2 and be sure to share in the comments if you've started posting your own GOTY selections!
Final Fantasy Versus XIII -- Move it or lose it
- Dec 6, 2012 3:47 pm GMT
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Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Chances are, a lot of you have already forgotten about it. And who can blame you? It's been seven years. It was one of those games that I was personally very excited about, and one of the main reasons why I invested in a PS3.
Development started in November of 2005, and the announcement came on May 2006. It was intended to be a part of a three game trilogy of Final Fantasy XIII called Fabula Novela Crystallis, chronicling three unrelated stories within the backdrop of a single mythos involving gods, goddesses and crystals. This was widely seen as a bold new innovation for the storied franchise. Final Fantasy Versus XIII is groundbreaking in a sense that it was darker and more violent than previous Final Fantasy titles. True to Tetsuya Nomura's style, much of it takes place in a very modern setting---a far cry from Final Fantasy XIII with all its silly Fal'cie, L'Cie business. In Versus XIII, conflict erupts between powerful kingdoms vying for control of a single crystal that had been stolen by force from an isolated nation. The main character was a member of that nation's royal family, caught between these warring factions. Suffering a personality disorder, he must deal with the worldly crisis and fight to get that crystal back, all while suppressing his inner demons and confronting a host of personal issues.
Since then, Square Enix has divulged little to nothing of any progress made in Versus XIII's development. Some screenshots were revealed to assure people that the game was indeed being worked on, but the only factual information we were able to get out of it thus far were just snippets of its storyline, its few characters and gameplay mechanics that have yet to be fully explained. They were featured in a six-minute trailer; the only official trailer for the game at this point in time. Furthermore, Versus XIII was a consistent no-show at E3 and TGS within the seven year period. Outside of Versus XIII's development, Final Fantasy XIII, the first game in the Crystallis trilogy, met an undesirable response (not to mention a ridulous endorsement from Leona Lewis) , prompting Square Enix to complicate the Crystallis framework further by releasing two other spin-offs; XIII-2 and the upcoming Lightning Returns. Final Fantasy XIII was even ported to the XBOX 360 for the first time. The third game of the Crystallis trilogy, Agito XIII, had its name changed to Type-0 and ported to the PSP platform from mobile phone devices, entirely removing the XIII distinction and sequestering it away from the Fabula Novella Crystallis arc.
A lot can happen in seven years. So what has the world been up to during that time? Well.....
>> The entire Mass Effect trilogy was released, including the recently released compilation pack.
>> Skyrim is released with three expansions on the way.
>> Barack Obama is elected president, and serves the entirety of his first term in office.
>> The entire Assassin's Creed series is released, including Assassin's Creed 3. Oh, and don't forget the Ezio trilogy consisting of AC2, Revelations and Brotherhood.
>> The entirety of the PS3 Ratchet and Clank Future arc of games is released---with their Greatest Hits releases following shortly thereafter.
>> Prince William and Kate Middleton get married. And it was recently announced that Kate is expecting her first child.
>> The Wii's life cycle, leading all the way up to the release of its successor---the Wii U.
>> The birth and death of Guitar Hero.
>> Sony and Microsoft jump on the motion control bandwagon by releasing the PS Move and the Kinect---respectively.
>> Four subsequent Final Fantasy titles were released, including Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Final Fantasy XIV.
>> Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 got price drops, with XIII reaching Greatest Hits status and XIII-2 meeting below expectations. You can currently buy them both brand-new for $20 each.
>> George Lucas sells Lucasfilm to Disney, who in turn also bought out Marvel and Pixar. Plans are already underway for three new Star Wars films. Oh, and Rick McCallum departs Lucafilm after two decades with the studio.
>> Taylor Swift has dated 13 different guys.
>> Duke Nukem Forever escapes its own development limbo and finally sees release with help from Gearbox software and 2K Games. The game was poorly received by critics and gamers, and can be picked up from bargain bins for $5.
>> The entire life period of the PS3, including both console revisions.
>> The release of the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS.....AND the 3DS XL.
You're probably wondering if Final Fantasy Versus XIII had been cancelled given the seven years we've not heard about it. Well, not so fast. Square Enix President Yoichi Wada debunked rumors of its cancellation, saying that the game is still on schedule and should see release sometime in 2013. Likewise, Tetsuya Nomura has given updates on occasion through his Twitter feed, urging patience. As if seven years of waiting weren't long enough, no?
My message to Square Enix is this; cut the crap and stop screwing around. They've already let the banner loose and made the announcement, and all they've done up to this point is come up with excuse after excuse. Its repeated absence from E3 and TGS are giving false impressions to people who were anticipating the game to be released. The developers continue to urge for patience, but seven years? Patience is running thin. And with the PS3 edging close ro retirement, time is running out. It would be enormously costly and time-consuming to migrate development to the next console, and the quality will likely suffer. Great games have spent considerable time in the development oven, but I don't know of any that have reached the plateau of seven years or more. That said, it's time for Square Enix to make a decision regarding Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Either kill it off, or make the effort to get it done. So, what do you think? Do you believe Final Fantasy Versus XIII should be cancelled? Or do you hold hope that it will eventually see the light of day?
Don't rule it out, but don't bother crossing your fingers either.
More Sequels Please
- Dec 6, 2012 7:13 am GMT
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Sequels are good. There, I said it. While it's easy to criticize companies for giving us what can feel like annual DLC, it's worth noting that the usual suspects (CoD, FIFA etc.) not only sell well but generally review well too. It makes plain business sense for the likes of EA and Activision to profit on an established brand and although I would always champion a fresh, new IP it's hard to deny the quality of so-called 'triple-A' sequels. This may bring snorts of disdain from eye-rolling haters but their scoffery should really be directed at the exiled, ostracised and forgotten hermits of the past and instead of demanding less they should be crying for more.
Although some spec-snobs will disagree the WiiU has officially landed us in the next-generation (or in a new current generation again - I am never sure when that changes) and with it comes the opportunity for developers to exploit this power to tear up the rulebook and create new and original experiences but there is also the potential to give some lesser known titles a second chance. Titles that may not have met their own expectations in terms of sales, reviews or even quality, but ones that had the ambition to offer up something that we may not have been ready for on older hardware. Here are a few examples
Portal 2 proved that a co-operative puzzle game wouldn't just work, but that it could be great. Although Project Eden may have been presented as a shooter, at it's heart it was a puzzler. Sure there was a lot of combat but it was of the stand and shoot variety and involved little or no strategy due to Bioshock-styIe respawn booths every ten feet or so. No, the combat was there as a nice little palate-cleanser between wandering around in a Monkey Island kind of fug until you managed to stumble over the solution. Four characters each with separate skills had to descend deeper into the bowels of a MegaCity One type complex, constantly hindered by failing lifts, collapsing walkways and annoying beasties. With Live and PSN this could be rebooted with new graphics and drop in / drop out play that games like Left 4 Dead and Dead Island use so effortlessly.
Stubbs the Zombie
Zombie games are hardly a rarity but the difference with Stubbs the Zombie was that you didn't destroy the zombie horde you created it. As the original zombie it was up to you to bite unsuspecting humans, reducing them to shambling warriors so they could spread the plague to others and so on until you could take on the military and then ultimately the world. With a cute soundtrack and a great sense of humour this game turned the genre on it's head and had a real sense of fun in it's skull-munching gameplay. So while the original meant that you could create a zombie horde of only about 8 or so, a powerhouse sequel could increase that number a hundred-fold to create a Dead Rising sized mob of brain-hungry monsters to throw against all those undead haters out there.
The herd 'em up is hardly a crowded genre which makes Herdy Gerdy the best by default but it doesn't mean it wasn't full of great ideas. Big open levels were full of various creatures like the fearful Dupes or musical Bleeps that you would have to round up and herd into their appropriate pen. Dangerous creatures roamed the countryside too like the bear-like Gromps that could knock you out and start eating your carefully herded flock. A cutesy and whimsical look hid a challenging depth and if you wanted to get 100% in each level it would take some serious planning. Sadly it felt rough around the edges and basic issues like a lack of checkpoints, long loading times and a woeful map meant that the difficulty could occasionally tip from fun challenge to unfair slog. With current-gen technology there is the opportunity for bigger maps, greater creature numbers / diversity and the chance to bring this forgotten gem back from obscurity.
Dropship - United Peace Force
To my mind Ace Combat has lost it's identity. You could never have said it was a flight sim but you still had to fly the thing, Ace Combat never felt like a corridor shooter before Assault Horizon. This leaves a gap in the market for a console flight game that wants you to actually fly and Dropship is the perfect game to leap into that breach. The Dropships that you flew were of the VTOL type that meant you could hover like a helicopter and then shoot off like a jet. It was tricky to control but incredibly satisfying when you made that pinpoint rescue landing under fire and then jetted away to safety. A modern version could not only make the game look a lot better (which wouldn't be hard) but could create some huge battles and set pieces in both a campaign mode and hectic multiplayer. Just leave out the jeep sequences.
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
Based on several Lovecraft stories this game was a disturbing trip into the occult. At the start you arrive in the sinister town of Innsborough on a straightforward missing person case but things start to go very bad, very quickly as you realise that the town is under the influence of monstrous ancient beings. Like Eternal Darkness on the Gamecube (itself in sequel limbo) you had a sanity system which meant that looking at the horrible creatures of the dark for too long would drive you mad and eventually to suicide. Reminiscent of Half Life the game was very linear and the story-telling and atmosphere meant it never felt like you were just running down a fancy corridor. An updated version of this could be fantastic and with HD visuals and sound it could be something really special.
There are plenty of other games that deserve a sequel treatment like Soul Reaver, Thief, Fear Effect or Beyond Good & Evil but these are well known and often requested. It's the less well-known that need a voice. Those titles that may not have been great but were trying great things. So if a developer is short of ideas but doesn't want to crib off the usual then they could definitely try some of the above for inspiration.
We're Still the Same
- Dec 5, 2012 12:10 pm GMT
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When asked by my friends why I have a PS3, XBOX 360, 3DS and the like, I often look back at them with the same curious expression. Gaming could be likened to nurture versus nature, do you grow up gaming or is it in your blood? Can it be both?
The first time I picked a game up, it was one of those hand-held games that had the set background and the object of the game was repetitive, a la Donkey Kong. Though diverting, it didn't hold my interest for long, and the specialty batteries made it impossible to power after they had run out. This went on for a few years before the Nintendo became commonplace. I had to pay my parents back for it, but I got one, wasting countless hours away on Mario and Bowser until I could afford to buy another game. I had a total of four NES games as a kid, when I got my Sega, I had two.
As I grew up, I stopped playing games. Though my college dorm was rife full of gamers, they were mostly guys and didnt want to let a girl play. Once I graduated and starting making money, the idea popped in my head, how nice would it be to have a respectable game collection? The PS2 was a great entry back into gaming. I picked up Grand Theft Auto 3, a Batman Game and Metal Gear Solid 2. The first game I completed was a Spiderman game based off of the movie. Metal Gear took the longest to get through, but once completed, I was hooked. The challenge came not in the hours of cut scenes, but the elaborate story that was affected by the decisions I made, to some extent.
It was at this point that I realised gaming had evolved from the repetitive simplicity I had started on to something much more adult. Some might argue that the audience has aged with the systems, but that has always felt like a cop-out to me. There is still a lot of thought that goes into an idea, be it for kids or for adults. The audience matters, certainly, but that doesn't define whether an idea has merit.
Gaming was always a niche activity, something that had a narrow audience, mostly men. This never deterred me. The friends I discussed games with were all men I worked with, guys in their early- to mid-twenties. They didn't think much of it, I am a bit of a Tom-boy, enjoying sports and the like. It was this generous introduction that made me feel welcomed, the hobby inclusive, unlike so many other hobbies. Luckily I started gaming before online gaming really became popular, I would have realised that this was not what most gamers would like to see.
As a gamer, I want to enjoy my time in an evolved story where game play impacts the outcome of a game. There are few games that truly fit this bill. I think of games like inFamous that do this wonderfully, providing two very separate styles to play the game with, different endings based on your decisions. The same can be said about other games like Red Dead Redemption or Bioshock, though both only hold variant endings, perhaps. Games like these define me as a gamer, I think.
In games, whenever there is a choice, I always want to make the right choice, the one that benefits the person in need, the person who cant help themselves. I'm currently playing Assassins Creed 3, and in one side-mission, the option is to pay the red-coats or fight them or leave the man to his own devices. Being the gamer that I am, I've been doing dozens of side-activities, so the money is there, but more than anything, I wanted to avoid the open confrontation and have the issue be resolved to everyone's benefit. I know that makes me idealistic and na´ve, so be it.
To play a game is to do something that, in real life, you would never be confronted with. It isn't just about blowing off steam or blowing your friends away in multiplayer. The games that stick with me are the ones that have a compelling story and game play that matters, that makes me want to decide whether someone lives or dies.
I feel, though, that I am in the minority. As a woman gamer, over the age of twenty-five, I don't carry the same sensibilities that, say, a twelve-year old boy would have. To me, there are really two types of gamers: the conscious and unconscious gamers. The conscious gamers are the group I would belong to, they are aware they are playing a game, aware that there is something more out there than the game, that games are an escape but a way to be creative and communicate. The unconscious gamer are kids, plain and simple. The unconscious gamer doesnt care about story, doesnt care about aesthetics, only shooting things, killing things and nothing more.
The two groups are easy to differentiate, one wanting to mow down everything in sight, others being thoughtful and introspective in the face of adversity. I'd like to believe the conscious/unconscious gamer can be seen in real life situations, but the contrast is too great to make a reasonable comparison. The gaming culture is made up of all different types of people with different backgrounds and different walks of life. Some use gaming as an escape, others a way to improve their lives, others still to take from those they play with. To quote the always appropriate 'V for Vendetta,' a gamer is 'was Edmond DantÚs... and he was my father. And my mother... my brother... my friend. He was you... and me. He was all of us.'
Hey everyone, check out what I have to say about sexism!
- Dec 1, 2012 11:42 pm GMT
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Boy oh boy, it's been a long time hasn't it? I can't really remember the last time I fired up my writingtyping fingers but I'm glad I did, for I will educate the Gamespot masses about how to properly think about sexism in video game play thingys. However, before anything else, I would like to address that this blog is not something to be taken seriously, but I would really like it if you did because I mean every single last word of the following blog post.
SEXISM: AN INTRODUCTION
Sexism is something that has been around since the dawn of bra burning, when the first woman who was tired of sitting in the back of the bus climbed atop the blue line to Montgomery Ave. and declared all notions of gender differences moot; culminating in an event that scientists usually call "that crazy woman atop the bus waving around something on fire and making everyone really nervous." Later on, in the days of Jimmy Carter, sexism would evolve into looking back at Humphrey Bogart films and sneering at his suave, attractive demeanor, a practice that can still be observed to this day whenever Casablanca comes on public television.
Today, sexism is known as not really liking the a person who doesn't have the same dangly (or non-dangly...or kinda dangly?) parts as you, making it akin to racism but with dangly/non-dangly/halfway-dangly things (which will be grouped together as "doongleys" for the sake of convenience).
Doongley Hate and Video Games
Doongleys in video games have been something that has been discussed numerous times over the history of some YouTube videos and article comments, as this graph clearly shows:
The inclusion of lines is clearly indicative of their tendency to zigzag, showing how attitudes toward doongleys have changed over time; the top and bottom lines being an exercise in individual interpretation as to who is on top and who is on the bottom. Come to think of it, I think I kind of see strange images from the two lines, but that is clearly none of my concern as the most accurate interpretation of the graph's content comes from the fact that I'm dragging this on too long.
Video games and lady peoples are one of the hottest issues in sexism today (if you're into that kind of thing) with prime examples being Bayonetta, Master Chief and Q-Bert. Bayonetta, in terms of how she stands in the grand scheme of gender equality, is somehow seen as a detriment to the image of women because she never cuts her hair (making her get really bad gigantic dragon tangles that eat godzilla villians) when, in reality, she is clearly a misunderstood Jeanne d'Arc for her time, showing that she can be almost completely naked all the time and bouncing around with her sweet, round...
erm, where was I? Oh, right: Master Chief. Master Chief is seen as an additional detriment to the state of women in video games because he sets the standard for men to completely cover themselves up and still somehow make a lot of money off teenage boys, unlike Samus who needs to take her turtle shell suit off every once in a Team Ninja to sell some copies. Quite frankly, I don't see how this is sexist due to the fact that it's more homophobic than anything, what with all the homosexual epithets hurled like candy in a parade when you go online. If there's any Sexism to be had in Halo 4: Never Showing Your Faceathon, it's that Cortana isn't completely stark naked with glowy things on her chest to make her look like Madonna covered in neon paint. On that note, I am forced to talk about my last subject: Q-Bert.
Q-Bert is the most disgusting example of sexism in the entire gaming universe (in fact, maybe in everything ever). Q-Bert, as everyone knows him, is a ball with legs who clearly resembles the male end of the doongley spectrum, hopping around like a territorial, testosterone-filled jerk who has to obsessively make sure that everything is the same color because he also happens to be a racist.
(not to mention the swearing)
How, in today's world, can something like Q-Bert be seen as acceptable, even making its way into beloved Disney movies like Wreck-it-Ralph? I, for one, was appalled at his inclusion in the film, showing that the industry simply wants a paycheck and doesn't care that they're pushing a racist, misogynistic, profanity-spewing sphere with legs onto newer generations of child persons. Indeed, the future looks bleak.
Sexism in the video game industry is something that will continue to persist whether you like it or not, given that there will always be somebody who will cry injustice on even the smallest of things. I mean sure, there's Dead or Alive with all the women having gigantic, heaving, oh...oh yea-erm what I mean yeah objectifying women is bad but hey, what can be done about it? I guess there would have to be an influx of women in the industry, but even that doesn't matter when most of the consumer base with the most money are those guys who keep yelling means things at me every time I go online to play one round of a game because, you know, I had a long day and need to relax, I don't need the same crap at the office happening to me when I get home, I mean come on.
Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, doongleys or something. Keep an eye on yours and don't hate other people for theirs.
Have a nice day or else I will be sad.
The S-Word. Sexism - A Male Point Of View.
- Nov 28, 2012 8:57 pm GMT
- 0 Comments
So, THIS argument has popped up again.... and again..... and again: Women are overly sexualised in games, Girl gamers are routinely abused online, The gaming industry is full of sexist pigs etc.
I'm tired of trying to post single comments in the thousands of articles relating to this, so I thought I'd put all my own thoughts in to one handy Blog for all, or nobody, to read.
Depiction & Over Sexualisation Of Women In Video Games
Yes, there is some mild sexualisation in games. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't any. The obvious ones like Dead Or Alive and Tomb Raider spring to mind first.
First off the "bouncy boobies" in DoA are just part of a game that is so ridiculously over-the-top, it's almost tongue-in-cheek, more than anything else. The women are scantily clad, the men are bulging brutes. It's all a bit silly, rather than titillating. Similar to Lollipop Chainsaw that was released earlier this year.
With Tomb Raider, yes, Lara Croft is nice to look at, with her athletic body, heaving bosom, THAT ass and posh English accent. But she's also, intelligent, strong, independent and kills a lot of stereotypical, dumb, male henchman. Facts that are largely overlooked, or smeared over just because she happens to be attractive and has big breasts. Not to mention that the main reason the Tomb Raider games (especially the earlier ones) have been so succesful is actually down to their outstanding 3d level design, clever puzzles & platforming. The novelty of Lara being hot wears off after about 2 minutes of playing the game. Yes, I had a little giggle the first time I saw the big boobies, but I didn't play the whole game with one hand. Which brings me to my main point with regards to the sexualisation of women in games.
From what I've read in the majority of Blogs, Forums, Comments etc protesting against the depiction of women in games, there are a few things that seem consistent in all of them:
Firstly: The people doing the complaining seem to think that all male gamers are horny, knuckle-dragging, slobbering, Neanderthals. I actually find THIS offensive. I have NEVER purchased a game thinking "There might be a hot chick in this". I buy games I think might be interesting & enjoyable for me to play, not because I want to drool all over my control pad at scantily-clad women. I think even the most seasoned pervert would struggle to be titillated by a video game, or would go out and buy a game just for that reason. Just because I'm a man, doesn't mean I constantly have naked ladies on the brain. I read the interview with Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency and it's pretty clear that her and many others like her presume that all male gamers are like this. We're not. I play games for fun, that is all.
Secondly: From what I've read, the depiction of women in games doesn't really seem to be an issue from a sex point of view, it seems to be more about VANITY. Many seem to think that just because a female game character is attractive, she's somehow less intelligent and is therefore a sex-object. I completely disagree with this. In my view, it is just down to pure vanity and nothing else. The majority of video games characters are much like the majority of movie characters: Everyone is fit and pretty. You don't see people writing angry Blogs about good looking men, or women, in movies creating overly sexualised characters, so why is it such a big deal when it comes to video games ? I don't truly have an answer to that one. I just think their is a small minority looking to create a major fuss over nothing. I don't think women are depicted any worse in games than they are on TV, or movies. Sure there are a few games that could be considered titillating, but it's the same as any other media, whether it be TV, Movies, Magazines etc. It's a very small percentage.
Lastly: There's a lot of rambling in these articles about equality and women in games being "The Damsel In Distress". Again, I completely disagree with this. Maybe 20 years ago when Mario had to rescue Daisy and Link had to rescue Zelda. We've come a LONG way since then. There are many strong female characters in games these days: Sarah Kerrigan, Alyx Vance, Samus Aran, Lara Croft, Cortana and yes even the bouncy babes from DoA: They may be sexy, but they fight and win against MEN. How much more equality to you want ???? Not to mention the fact that in most RPG's you can play as a female lead, most notably, in recent years, with FemShep in the Mass Effect Trilogy. Again, certain people are making a major fuss over nothing. It just goes back to the vanity argument: If a female game character is pretty, she must be stupid & helpless.
Girls Gamers & Online Abuse
I have quite a few girls on my Xbox Friends, who I play with fairly regularly and I've never once heard them get picked on just for being a girl. I have heard THEM taunt guys by saying: "Ha, you just got owned by a girl" and everyone laughs. From my own experiences online, I'd say it's one of the few mediums where people are judged on their ability rather than their gender. Also, I only really play with online friends, rather than going in to open games, because I can't be bothered with all the screaming & trash-talking. It doesn't bother me, it just gives me a headache. So, to any girl gamers who are apprehensive about playing online: Play a few games and you'll get friendly with people and eventually you'll play with friends most of the time. If you prefer to fly solo, you do so at your own risk. Just don't get upset at some name-calling. It happens to EVERYONE, not just girls. Remember, you can always block, or mute someone who just wont shut the hell up !
Sexism In The Industry
I obviously can't comment fully on the matter, as I don't work in the industry and am unaware of companies hiring poilicies. All I can say is, from what I see, there seems to be healthy amount of women working in the journalism side of the industry. Sure it's not 50/50, but that's down to video gaming being more of a male interest than a female. There's no denying that more men are in to games than women, especially the more hardcore element. I don't know the exact number, but I'd say it's about 80/20 in favour of men, who are in to gaming enough to pursue a career in the industry, whether it be in game journalism, or game development. As gaming is becoming a more mainstream hobby, I expect the number of women working in the industry will increase over time. However, I expect it will always be more of a male interest than a female one. Again, this is all just speculation on my part, as I have no idea when it comes to the hiring policies of game developers and game magazines etc.
I can see this debate raging on for a while yet, but that's all I have to say for now. Personally, I don't see what all the fuss is about concerning the depiction of women in games. It's just like everything else: You can't please everyone.
I just hope that this vocal minority don't get their way, otherwise political-correctness will get so out of hand, it'll be like playing Pong all over again: Instead of characters we'll have genderless blocks that don't speak and have no personality. I'm all for equality, but that's a step too far !
Feel free to post a comment below, whether you agree, or disagree. I may reply to some of them.
Keep it civil.
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