Posts Tagged ‘Nintendo’

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.

Advertisements

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.

Majora’s Mask is coming to the 3DS- Am I happy? no. Will I get it? Most likely.

November 8, 2014

sad kid

I have a serious love/hate relationship with The Legend of Zelda-Majora’s Mask. On one hand it’s a Zelda game, an expansive, one that too what was awesome in Ocarina of Time and expanded upon it. It took regular NPC’s and gave them side stories. I mean geez, I could play as a Goron or Zora (Fuck Deku SCRUBS, pathetic and very beta-ish if you ask me). Majora was a major leap forward, it had an amazing set up a set up that you could just leap into..but you know what ruined that set up?

That RIDICULOUS three day time limit. Nothing turns me off faster than knowing that I’m running under a clock.Yes, I know you can slow down the transition of time in game by playing around your ocarina, that’s “nice” but it still doesn’t change the fact that there’s a fire under my ass still. I get it, the moon is going to slam into the earth “Armageddon” style and you got only three days to stop the destruction of Termina. But Gods damn it, I still think having that three day limit is total bullshit.To me, Zelda has always been taking my time and exploring the world that was created for curious adventurers like myself. I simply cannot immerse myself in exploring that world when I know I have to watch a “clock” that isn’t fun and only served to stress me out as a kid.

I remember exactly when my dislike for Majora’s Mask solidified into palpable hatred. I had just got done slogging my way through the Great Bay Temple, as many fans of Zelda are accustomed to, Temples and dungeons are always full of traps and puzzles and all sorts of unpleasant things you would find in such places. Anyway I just slogged through a puzzle ridden dungeon and had reached the boss of the area, Wart. As the cutscene ended and the battle commenced I remember getting so carried away that I didn’t keep an eye on the “clock” located at the bottom of the screen. I didn’t realize that I had literally ran out of time until the ominous chiming of a clock boomed through the level. “Wuh WHAT?!” I yelled out in surprise, the room started shaking and all sorts of apocalyptic shit started happening on screen. “You’ve got to be flippin’ KIDDING ME!!” I screamed as I hurriedly tried to finish the boss fight I was in the middle of. But alas, like David Spade’s career it was pretty much futile and the game ended with the moon smashing into Clocktown signaling game over.

That’s when my contempt for Majora turned to hatred.

Garbage game

I’ve since gone back on several occasions,trying to amend my dislike for the black sheep of the franchise and each time I turned away with disgust. Now Nintendo is once again shoving Majora in my face and this time it’s portable..I think I’ll give it one more go.

I’ll probably still hate it.

Forgotten Games- Zone of The Enders:The First of Mars

June 4, 2014

I am a Zone Of The Enders fan-Let me start off with that. That said being a Zone of The Enders fan is nothing but endless suffereing as series creator, Hideo Kojima constantly fawns over Metal Gear his brainchild and most likely the series that has most lined his wallet with Yen. I can’t sit here and criticize the dude for only doing what he does best which is continuing to make a series of games based on one of the most confusing plots in entertainment history. But I digress- While Many fans of Z.O.E  1 & 2 are crossing their fingers for a third entry in the series I am pressed to point out that there technically IS a third Zone Of The Enders game.

Image

Zone Of The Enders-The First of Mars for the Gameboy Advance back in 2002 was pretty different compared to it’s brothers on the Playstation 2. FoM took a page from turn based games like “Super Robot Wars and Fire Emblem” instead of going the fast past route  of the previous games.

I think that Mars acts as a side story the events of the first two games but I’m not entirely sure I do know that the protagonist is a young boy who comes in contact with an “Orbital Frame” and..I’m sure you can guess where it goes from there. First of Mars follows the typical tropes such as the main character coming into possession of a powerful robot and using it to combat evil. It’s a game that’s worth a try especially if turn based strategy and mechs are your thing. I’ll attach a video along with this post and maybe that will give you, the reader, a better of the forgotten 3rd Zone Of The Enders game.

 

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

Makin my way back to you!(The reader!)

November 20, 2013

Image

So I haven’t posted in forever, sue me. Anyway I’m back after months of non-stop bullshitting. You fools see those new consoles that are out? your boy is over here scheming to find ways to get himself one…pimping isn’t easy.

On a serious note I’m glad to be back. I still follow the industry and will be taking more of an active role of getting myself out there and becoming a well known source of videogame tomfoolery.

No doubt many of you who will be reading this are probably from my facebook group,great what I intend to do with this blog? probably make it a more “officical” space for thoughts and musings about the industry and why it currently sucks(or doesn’t suck depending on the given day)

Stick with me kiddos, we’re going to have a blast!

-Tsunami

 

Tsunami goes to Best Buy-is disappointed by Nintendo

November 20, 2013

So I originally went to see if Best Buy had any Playstation 4’s but instead ended up weeping for the Wii U

It’s ok-Time for a trip down memory lane…..

July 17, 2011

 

So old..so comforting

So today I got some old pokemon that I traded to my sister some odd years ago-during the trades I could all but think about the hours I spend playing each pokemon titles and genuinely having a blast, back then all I had to worry about was getting to the next gym leader and catching the games legendary pokemon so I could brag about it the next day to my friends at school.

Nowadays the older you are the more you have to lie about playing games like Pokemon, or Mario today it’s all about how many times you prestiged  in Black Ops or if you unlocked the latest Armor piece in Reach. Not that these games aren’t fun, they are but to me,the time I spent playing those kind of games couldn’t compare to how it felt to rush home after school to play Pokemon Yellow,sitting by my bedroom window,using the warm sunlight to help me view the game on the tiny un-backlit screen of my gameboy color. To me THOSE were the days of great gaming…..

 

That’s all for the tonight!!