Posts Tagged ‘Gaming’

Tumblr Blogger hits nail on the head about the portrayal of female characters..very surprising

March 11, 2015

So I woke up to see a link from tumblr posted by one of my favorite cosplayers regarding the portrayal of female characters in video games. Though I’m usually pretty wary of tumblr users as a I am of those of Reddit or 4chan, this link fell directly in line with my article on what I feel is the systemic censorship of gaming through shaming gamers and developers.

Here’s an excerpt from the post.

“And this is the crux of this topic.  How I feel these so called advocates, these people obsessed with social justice and crying misogyny and sexism at every turn, are not pro-women.  They’re anti-sex and pro-ego.  We have a game like Overwatch, with a diverse cast of women and men, of different nationalities, and yet it is still ‘problematic’.

They lumped every woman together into one body type; ‘sexy’.  And called it a day.  They erased the body differences displayed in Pharah and Tracer because to them that is a body type.  To them, classically attractive women are just lumped together, regardless of if they have different body types or not.

It’s amazing that they crow victory over the new character being introduced, despite being extremely shallow, relying on a very old trope, wearing a breastplate and is, effectively, employing the “man with boobs” trope.  But they really didn’t care, not that much, what they wanted was a body type that wasn’t considered classically attractive and, ultimately, to be listened to and have their ego stroked.”

The author,the spectacular spider-girl, goes on to use various examples of some of the complaints that were made about games like Dragon’s Crown, Soul Calibur etc and how these complaints are sexist and bent on body shaming in their own way. Hell, she even mentions the whole “big breasts” issue that I touched on in my piece.

The post isn’t very long but it’s very interesting and is nice take on what’s going within our hobby from the eyes of another person who’s getting tired of the current bias that’s been running rampant.

Check out the post here.

Advertisements

Dissidia Final Fantasy Returns!

February 14, 2015

What a great way to start Valentine’s Day!!! Square Enix has announced that there will be a new Dissidia: Final Fantasy, game coming to arcades in Japan! I sank more hours into both the Japanese and domestic versions of the first Dissidia game than any other handheld title I owned at the time. Originally released to the PlayStation Portable, Dissidia was a arena fighter/crossover title.

Dissidia_012_Main_Cast

It featured every main hero and main antagonist from Final Fantasy I to X, with a few characters like XI’s Shantotto and XII’s Gabranth being unlock-able.  A prequel game called “Dissidia 012” was released with even more characters like FFXIII’s Lightning and FFVII’s  Tifa Lockhart joining the battle. The general plot of both games was that the God’s of Light and Dark wage an eternal war with each other, these wars are fought by the various characters from Final Fantasy. There’s plenty of drama, exposition and interaction with the characters making the game a delight to play for fans of the Final Fantasy franchise.

Anyway, here’s what we know so far,

3 on 3 Battles( as opposed to the one on one set up of the first two games)
It’s a reboot and not a continuation of the last two games
Everything in the trailer is composed of in game assets, no CGI. (source)

That GamerGate inspired episode of Law and Order is out…and just as awful as expected.

February 12, 2015

Zoe Quinn/Brianna Wu Proxy-“These guys, they just can’t stand women in gaming!”
-Detective-“What did they do to you?”
Zoe Quinn/Brianna Wu Proxy- “They leveled up”

Wow, I really don’t know what better word to describe the cringe fest of an episode Law and Order: SVU’s “Intimidation Game” was. It has everything from Ice-T using gamer jargon, awkward pale white dudes  as gamers, First person shooter dissing, damsel(s) in distress and of course a guy in a fedora wearing a bow-tie( I kid you not).

Screenshot 2015-02-12 15.07.24

I mean, really I’m not making this stuff up. From Ice-T spouting explanations for “camping” and what “FPS” meant to how bewildered Mariska hargitay looked the whole episode. it’s totally difficult to keep yourself from laughing at first. However, the laughter turns to consternation and shock when things quickly escalate and the Anita Sarkeesian Proxy, Raina Punjabi, is at first threatened, doxxed ,swatted and eventually kidnapped by a mysterious group of individuals that are an obvious analogy to the real world internet  group “Anonymous”.

Screenshot 2015-02-12 14.00.42

Except that Anonymous has never kidnapped, beaten or sexually assaulted anyone. The “Intimidation Game” is a macabre perspective on the current headlining issues in the gaming media. Since the producers of Special Victims Unit know that making an episode that centered around the very real but online threats that people like Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarkeesian have received would not be as gripping for their audience, they just  went ahead and portrayed these issues in a much darker and EXTREME light. I mean seriously, The episode ends in a Mexican standoff on a rooftop between the police and  two “Gamers” who go off on how women and “social justice warriors” are ruining video games while the camera literally switches to a first person perspective like it was a scene from a low budget Call of Duty clone. It looks as ridiculous as it sounds, trust me.

Screenshot 2015-02-12 13.35.53

There are some saying that they can not wait to see “GamerGater tears” over this episode as if this something to be championing as a “blow” to GamerGate. What people like that don’t realize,  is that this episode of Law and Order has set ALL of us and our favorite hobby back to almost mid 90’s level of mockery. Be you Anti, Pro or whatever side of GamerGate you’re on, no one has won and we’ve all come out of this looking exactly how the media has always portrayed us as, losers.

If you can’t bear to watch the full episode (I can’t blame you) you can watch a supercut version posted below. Let me know what you think.

The culture of infallibility that surrounds Anita Sarkeesian

December 17, 2014

Anita and the culture of shaming that shields her

A petition involving a well-known developer and Anita Sarkeesian began floating around the internet a few days ago. It was apparently about having Anita ousted from her role as an advisor on the development team that is currently working on Mirrors Edge 2. “Alright,” I thought to myself. “What is she doing being an advisor on a videogame?” I decided to sign the petition. What I did not realize was that site would then post that link to my personal facebook. It wasn’t until I received my first comment that I realized what had happened.

“Ugh,” was the very first comment from a friend of mine, another person who has been well involved in covering the gaming industry. I remained silently amused and even contemplated removing the link because I didn’t want it to cause unnecessary drama. However, I went against my better judgment and allowed the post to stay up.

It wasn’t long before I received my first reproach, being sternly told about the good that Anita’s videos have done and how her videos had gotten a lot better since her first few. “Ok, fair enough,” I thought to myself.  I went ahead and typed my response, detailing why I couldn’t get behind the idea of Anita working on videogames:

Nah, I can’t stand behind someone who tries to pass off opinion as fact, refuses to be open to discussion (there have been plenty of credible individuals who have plenty of counter arguments to her videos) and tries to pass off the actions of a few crazies as the representation of an entire diverse demographic of people, and play up the idea that all people who play games and happen to be against her rhetoric, are angry white men/boys/basement dwellers. The last time I checked, I’m neither of those things but the way Anita and people who follow her talk, you’d think that anyone that picks up a controller is basically just as she describes.

However you feel about Sarkeesian is moot to me. She isn’t the correct path to change, she’s the antithesis of it. The only way to even begin any kind of dialogue is the willingness to hear out both sides of an argument. 

What Anita and her ilk have done is promote the silencing of any opposition by painting them under one broad brush and that’s far from fair and I don’t want someone like that to have anything to do with the games I play.

One line of the response I received was:

That’s a shame. Even detestable people can sometimes have a valuable, unique point of view

For some reason this struck a nerve with me. It seems to be the go-to thing to try and shame a person for not agreeing with Anita by automatically placing them with those who have proven themselves to be detestable. The culture of shaming anyone that doesn’t align themselves with Sarkeesian or her rhetoric is a clear sign of how close minded people on the other end have become.

Something I’ve often noticed is the willingness to shame anyone that doesn’t agree with Ms. Sarkeesian or any of the issues that she speaks of. While we know that disagreement is a common aspect in society, the problem becomes apparent when you’re not just disagreed with, but you’re shamed for disagreeing.

I felt like talking about this topic because I’ve noticed the ease of which people will dismiss you, especially if you happen to be on the other side of the Anita Sarkeesian/GamerGate argument and you’re not a woman-hating bastard.

Honestly it feels like I’m supposed to just keep my trap shut sometimes.

Now let me get one thing straight. By “Other side,” I don’t include the sexists, the woman haters and those who argue in bad faith. I mean people who have valid critiques of Anita Sarkeesian and others like her. What I noticed from my petition post was the willingness of the people arguing for Anita to not even bother to ask what my own opinion on her were. Instead my post was met with “ugh” and Feminist Frequency videos. Not once was I asked, “Well why are you against Anita? Is there any particular reason why you don’t want her working on Mirrors Edge 2?” These questions weren’t even asked until I pointed out the fact that they were willing to automatically go in on the attack before even knowing what my reasoning was.

(Before I go further, Id like to clarify my use of status quo, in reference to people like Anita and sites like Polygon)

This needs to stop, we’re seeing a culture of shame were you’re not allowed to speak in opposition of the status quo. People are too willing and eager to throw you into a camp with the rest of the “extremists” and throw away the key. Is that how progress in video games should be made? “Oh you don’t agree with Anita has to say? Well instead of asking you why you don’t, I’m going to assume that you’re one of the many extremists that just doesn’t want to hear what a woman has to say and therefore your opinion is now invalidated because of my assumption.” People are willing to do this instead of hearing one another out.

Both sides do this

Which prompted me to write this piece. I’ve steadily noticed the increased readiness for people to throw aside others thoughts and opinions. Like I said before, this a is a common thing in the real world, it happens, but when you’re trying to start a discussion on something like gender representation  in videogames, how much better are you if you’re telling someone that happens to not agree with you to basically shut and be quiet?

It has become OK to excise, vilify and attack anyone that might disagree with the opinions of the status quo. Here in lies the problem: How can one expect any kind of discussion or progress, especially on one so polarizing as a gender discussion? Disagreement is one thing, but to shout one side down because you’ve automatically assumed that the reason they stand against you is because they hate women or they’re angry misogynistic bullies isn’t entirely fair. It’s the equivalent of those “Misogynistic bullies” who call anyone who talks about gender issues a “feminazi” or “white knight.” More often than not you’re going to hear about the misogynistic bullies before you hear about the abuse that those who have their own logical arguments receive from the “status quo.” What does this mean for a man or woman who wants to argue their point? You either throw up your hands, or forge ahead to make your point clear to those who want to throw you in with the Gamergate/anti women-in-games crowd and hope that those you are having the discussion with are at least open minded enough to hear you out.

Race in Videogames: Burning questions from the peanut gallery.

November 18, 2014

Today I received some intriguing questions in regards to the article I posted the other day you can read that piece here. Now I want you all to know I’m an open book, I tell it like it is and I’m open to discussion and all that jazz. That being said, I knew that I’d get some people who weren’t too keen on what I wrote about. Below are my responses to some questions that were posted to my link.The questions are Italicized my answers will be in bold.

“The question is why black people feel the need white people need to represent them then get angry when white people don’t do it right. Do.it.your.fucking.self.”

Looks like you have some anger issues there and I detect a bit of racism there with that “Get off your lazy asses comment”

First off, let me introduce myself.

I’m Bamidele Ojo Jr, I’m an Adjunct at a University, I hold a degree in Corporate&Professional Communications as well as a minor in Biology.I’m far from what you call “lazy” but I’ll say this, reading your questions I do believe I see who the ass is here.

I wrote this here article because of I got tired of chuckle fucks like yourself spewing the same bullshit rhetoric every time someone, be it a woman or person of color speaks up about issues in video-games.

Black Micheal Scott

My face while  answered these questions

“Devs make what they identify with if white men are most of the western devs it makes sense white men will be the most prevalent character.”

Sure that excuse would work if the developers still lived in the year 1955 and only developed games in a gated community with no exposure to the outside world. That’s the only time that whack excuse would ever fly.

“The question is why black people feel the need white people need to represent them then get angry when white people don’t do it right. Do.it.your.fucking.self.”
Oh golly another lame excuse! like my answer to your other burning question, that shit only works if you’ve never interacted with black people. We’re as varied as a people can come but if the same “joke cracking, trash talking,boisterous” Barrett stereotype is only what is used the majority of the time. I’m going to raise an eyebrow and start asking questions.

There’s a difference between Nathan Drake from Uncharted and Cole from The Last of US same goes for Allan Wake and Booker from “Bioshock Infinite”

When it comes to people of color, we’re lucky if we get a character every once in awhile that doesn’t sound like they’re a sidekick in some 1990’s buddy cop movie or a character that actually has some depth to him/her besides having “Jokes” and “Attitude”as his/her only repertoire. It’s 2014 not 1996.

There you have it, my answers to your whack ass questions.

Later!

I know there’ll be more of these and it should be interesting to see where this all goes!

Race in Videogames: It’s not just one group of people that suffers from tropes.

November 17, 2014

You know,
With all the coverage women have received in gaming,from sexism to objectification I sometimes think to myself “At least you have characters that are somewhat varied representations of your gender”.

I mean female gamers have Samus and Lara Croft(reboot) Claire Redfield ,on one end and zany characters like  Bayonetta, Princess Peach, Lightning so on and so forth.All these characters, regardless of what you think, have some kind of variance to their personality or demeanor. Critics  can pick and choose  from a veritable laundry list of female protagonists   which they feel are objectified or which characters are too “sexy”.On the other coin What do gamers who aren’t white or female have? If you’re black, different variations of Barrett from Final Fantasy 7 or Augustus Cole from Gears of War, what I call the “Cookie Cutter” Stereotype. From CJ from San Andreas to “Big Bo” Roy Boateng from Binary Domain. We’ve all seen these stereotypes of black men in  videogames, loud brash men that half the time sound like they had just moved from Detroit and had a stint at a comedy club.Now don’t get it twisted, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a Black character portrayed as “Boisterous”  and loud and funny. The problem I take up with is when that stereotypical character becomes the only representation of Africans and African Americans in videogames.

First off let me say that there are  African/African American characters represented in games that at least have been distinctive. An example would lie in Assassin’s Creed’s Adéwalé , A former slave from Trinidad. Adewale is featured in the DLC “Freedom Cry” but even then Freedom Cry  is DLC, it’s not part of the main campaign and can be passed up if the player doesn’t want to buy it. Basically regulating Adewale and his story as a “sidequest” lessening the importance of the character and his story. Another Assassin’s Creed game “Liberation” featured another  black protagonist, this time a woman, Aveline de Grandpré, unfortunately, Aveline’s game was initially released on the PlayStation Vita and later ported as an HD up conversion for other consoles but by that time, gamers had already moved on and Aveline and her story have basically faded away into obscurity as that “One Assassin’s Creed game on the Vita”

Aveline, Assassin’s Creed:Liberation

The pool of protagonists that women of color is even smaller. When I say protagonist, I mean the main character of the game. Not a side kick like Alyx Vance from Half life 2.I mean a woman that is a protagonist in her own game that isnt oversexualized  or fetishized . Nilin Cartier Wells from “Remember Me” is probably one of few women of color in recent memory that was of mixed race AND that was a main character in a game the other character being Aveline.

“Nilin, Remember Me”

I sometimes wonder to myself, why doesn’t anyone ever talk about any of this? why doesn’t anyone question why we’re so underrepresented and  portrayed like that in video games? why isn’t polygon writing ten articles a day about the lack of racial diversity or miss/under representation of people of color in gaming?

Then I realize something, it’s not “sexy” it won’t get websites like Polygon a massive amount of clicks, not like their daily posts about women, gaming and what developers are doing wrong.Those topics draw in hundreds of commentators, all arguing over who is right and what someone else is doing wrong. Then I start to think again and wonder why more people like myself aren’t talking about this, especially since this is a time where people are demanding that there be some kind of equal representation in gaming.

Then it hit me.

Just a few months ago a Micheal Brown was shot dead  by the police in Ferguson Missouri.  A few months later, another young black youth, 22-year-old Darrien Hunt was shot six times in the back by the police in Utah. A few weeks ago, an irate caller called in to C-Span and  said that “Republicans hate the nigger Obama” on live television.

I’m torn,

On one end there are far more serious injustices to be concerned about and to be rallied against in the real world. At the same time, in the hobby that I love, I’d for once would like to see more characters that moved beyond the typical “Giant, Funny Black Guy that sounds like he was on Sanford and Son in the 70’s” and it’s time to start a dialogue about it.

The Forgotten Game-Perfect Dark for the Gameboy Color

June 3, 2014

People often forget that there are three games in the Perfect Dark Series. The first being Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64, Perfect Dark Zero and the oft forgotten Perfect Dark for the Gameboy Color. Unlike the console games, Perfect Dark for the Gameboy Color is played from a top down view point and is one of the few GB games that has voice acting and a rumble feature.

However Perfect Dark for the Gameboy Color is pretty terrible.

Perfect_Dark_(handheld)_Coverart

9-2-5:The Confessional

November 22, 2013

I ask you, the community some tough questions…

9-2-5: “Where my Mechs at!”

April 13, 2013

Some new updates!!!

—State of the Industry—

February 7, 2013

So once again we’re on the cusp of a new age of gaming machines. With the announcement of machines like Valve’s “SteamBox,” kick-starter machines like the “Ouya” and the newly announced “Gamestick” we’re looking at a many new ways to play… but at what cost? Loads of rumors have been abound concerning unsettling patents filed by Sony… patents like lockout chips that tie a user’s disc to the system making it unable to be read future consoles. Another rumor regarding Microsoft’s next machine mentioned something about the console having to always be online. These rumors, if true, could prove to be catastrophic for gamers coming from previous generations.

Image
Why do I say “Gamers of previous generations?” I’m referring to people like myself who have been gaming since the Super Nintendo and further back. People who grew up with the Sega Dreamcast. Hell, even people who had just entered with a PS2 or Gamecube. People who will openly understand the peril of which we face in the next generation of gaming.

These are troubling times because there is less say coming from the consumer, and if we as the consumer aren’t allowed a say… it just seems to be a darker time for videogame hobbyists. So-called “Game Journalists” are quick to call the any concern the consumer voices as “whining” and are quick to call us, the consumer, “entitled.”

Image

Here is a quote I found on a popular videogame message board:

“It’s time to get a new hobby when your current hobby has sycophants screaming at you that the corporations are always right instead of the customers. That any complaints are a result of the consumer’s entitlement. Where they vehemently demonize second hand sales and try to block them. Where they try to tell you that the product that you bought is, in fact, not yours, but theirs and that you’re just renting it. In no other industry does ANY of that **** happen without the RIAA… being involved.

“Ford doesn’t force you to impound your **** car when you’re done with it. Barn’s and Noble’s will not tell you that you’re entitled if the book you bought has a bunch of blanked or smeared pages. Texas Instruments doesn’t force you to agree to an illegal agreement that states the calculator you bought is just rented from them. If you complain to an ice cream company that your ice cream had a flaw they will apologize and give you a coupon for another container of ice cream no questions asked.

“I have never seen better examples of yellow journalism, corporate bribery, and nickel and diming in my life anywhere else compared to what you see in the video game industry every day. Every. ****. Day. You don’t even have to look hard for this trash, it’s right in your face everywhere you look. It’s pathetic.” –Anonymous.

This quote struck a chord with me. This unknown individual hit the nail right on the head. If any of these practices were done in any other business the business would come under great scrutiny. That’s the thing we aren’t allowed to do – scrutinize and make our thoughts known on products any longer.

Granted, there are times that gamers have gotten out of hand but this does not dismiss times were a company has been called out on it’s practices or a when a company releases a subpar product. The situation is reversed when it comes to the game industry. Game Journalists are buddy-buddy with Public Relations people, gifts and favors are made in back rooms and reviewers, people who we are supposed to trust to be fair in their critique of a game are paid off and freely admit to it.

The only solution that I see is that we make sure that our voices are heard: hit the chatrooms, talk about these issues facing our hobby on Facebook, get the attention of the big-wigs. Make sure we are HEARD and not simply brushed aside.