So, I’ve got a lot of work to do this week, so you likely won’t see me around here until at least Friday. See you then.
So, I’ve got a lot of work to do this week, so you likely won’t see me around here until at least Friday. See you then.
"you need a REASON for diversity" ok here’s one: poc, queer and disabled people all exist
If you played video games as a child, do you feel that it HELPED, rather than hindered, your childhood development? If yes, please like or reblog! Even if you aren’t a hardcore gaming enthusiast, if you believe you benefited from video games when you were a child, please like/reblog as well!
(Note: This is for my own personal research and it’d be awesome if people helped out!)
I’m reblogging because I’ve loved games since I was a child and certainly see no harm from them, but I’m also a little uncomfortable with the whole “helped” part. It seems every time someone wants to defend videogames from charges that they are worthless or even harmful, they tend to go the other way, and want to prove how beneficial they can be. They want to talk about social interaction or STEM preparation or even the old “hand-eye coordination” chesnut. I’m just not sure this is the best way to go about this.
Don’t get me wrong - I defend videogames, loudly and without reservation, but I do so because of what they are and what they can be as art and entertainment - not because of some slight medical or sociological benefit we might be able to tease out of the data. I’ve written this twice before, and I stand by my opinion that games need not defend themselves on these kinds of bases. Videogames need not defend themselves at all. They are an artistic medium, and like other media, their existence is inherently valuable; they don’t need to prove any other kind of ancillary benefits in order to be justifiable. And I can’t help but feel that these attempts to prove that games are “good” as a reaction against charges that they are “bad” is counterproductive. It feels like attempting to justify ourselves is playing right into the hands of the people who believe games require justification.
EDIT: Of course, those of you without my reservations (which is probably everyone) should feel free to reblog a clean version of this without my commentary, if you support the OP.
Why don't you make games?
Uh, well I sorta have. Or tried, at least.
I made this goofy thing in Stencyl, thankfully with someone else doing the art. It’s about being a douchebag and running cyclists off the road in your sweet Hummer. I made it when I was bike commuting and really tired of douchebags running me off the road with their Hummers.
Then I made this Twine thing, which is completely different. It’s all just text, and not even particularly gussied-up text. It’s about being alone and unwanted and vulnerable and the power of escapism. It’s got some choices you can make, and even some things you can miss, but it’s largely a linear story. I honestly still like this one, which makes it rare among things I’ve made/written/said/thought.
Finally, I made this other Twine thing, which I think can be categorized as a complete mental breakdown in playable form. I had just received my first few law school acceptances, which means I was near the end of the application process, which I had been going through in one form or another for over a year. I had an excess of bile and turned it into a more-interactive, more gussied, but ultimately still text-based guide for what to expect from the application process. I still think it’s funny, but funny in that particular way that only watching someone get really upset and make bad choices can be.
That’s the extent of my output so far. I don’t think I’m finished with making games. I really, really want to do more, and I’m sure I will once I put law school in my rear-view mirror.
Not a question, but rather, I want to post an excellent, mature comment made by someone in the comments section to a rather thought-provoking article on Gamasutra questioning the lack of homosexual game protagonists in mainstream gaming today:
Reading through some of the comments here has made me wonder which specific problem we’re talking about solving. The obvious one seems to be “get games to depict a more accurate sample of reality,” but that seems like a means to an end rather than an end in itself.
This is just my 2 cents, but even if have a game with a realistically portrayed gay protagonist, that game won’t necessarily be inclusive to all gay people. People are so much more than a gender, a sexual preference or a nationality. As a woman, I’ve played many games with male protagonists, and I’ve identified with some of them more than I’ve identified with some female protagonists based on their values or attitudes. The point where I started to feel excluded was when a game made incorrect assumptions about my own attitude towards women.
This is why I think variety alone will not solve the inclusiveness problem. We have to think bigger than that and remember that we’re all, first and foremost, people. If we reduce a character to the label “gay” of course there will be many players who think “I can’t relate to that.” That’s why we have to write characters that are deep, multi-dimensional and can be empathized with (or at least understood) on many levels. If “gay” just happens to be one of those levels, there should be plenty more to like or dislike about a that character. After all, that’s how reality works.
I get the impression that when a lot of game writers try to tackle characters unlike themselves, they tend to fixate on what’s different, even though there’s a lot more that’s the same. As a result, we end up with caricatures.
I think this comment sums up perfectly the thoughts I’ve always had with self-insert demands for more diversity in gaming. I’ve always held that games need more diversity, but said diversity needs to come from a confident place. Shoehorning a gay lead into a game is not justice or representation; it’s a patronizing concession that moves the goalposts forward with all the force and bluntness of an apathetic half-shrug.
For all the laudatory comments Saints Row IV received as being an example of “progressive” representation in video games, a crucial point that I feel lots of people missed was that all of the homosexual/minority content in the game was filtered through a morass of absolute irreverence. In that particular context, this swirling orgy of references and gonzo humor made everything “okay.” This bothered me a lot, because while, yes, it’s nice to see these kinds of customization options in this kind of game, I felt people were trying to interpret some subtext hidden beneath something that had no filter to begin with.
Anecdotally, as a straight Asian male, I can name three story-driven games I’ve completed that featured Asian male protagonists: True Crime: LA, Sleeping Dogs, and recently, Shadow Warrior. Of these three, I can relate to precisely none of these male leads. That didn’t make any of these games any less fun to play, aside from the well-intentioned but clearly wrong, wrong, WRONG stereotypes that were used to further “humanize” these characters. The issue is, and has always been, good writing. I still stand by the notion that a game must be mechanically sound before anything else, but if we’re still insisting that a game’s artistic and mechanical merit is primarily defined by the content created by mo-cap actors and outsourced cinematic production houses, then we need to give developers a wide berth in creating as mature content as possible.
Diversity is good. Hackneyed, lazy writing, regardless of which way it swings on the gender/sexual preference/minority spectrum, is hackneyed, lazy writing.
There is some truth here, and I understand some of the basic ideas and motivations of the two commenters above. So I hope it’s understood that I’m not dismissing these opinions out of hand. But there are also some big, nasty assumptions on display here that aren’t necessarily reflective of reality and which bear examination. This gets a little long, so I’m going to put a page break here, and also encourage you to skip to the last paragraph for a TL; DR if you’re feeling squeamish.
Sorry I'm very new and big fan of this blog but I was just wondering your opion on tell tale games? I mean for me they've really just sprung up and sprouted really well especially with the Wolf Anoung Us despite it being a comic adaptation that at first seemed very bad but got so much better so fast. Also they have a really nice style which is just the tops.
No worries! As for Telltale, I don’t have a lot to say. That’s because despite owning many of their games (because I bought a Humble Bundle containing several a while back), I’ve never actually played one. Mostly, that’s because I don’t really dig on adventure games, which is pretty much all they do.
That said, the way they’ve managed to get people jazzed about narrative in games like The Walking Dead is exciting to me, and so even if they mostly work in a genre I don’t personally care for, I’m glad they exist and am rooting for them to succeed. The more games that do narrative and characters in a thoughtful way, the better, and so I feel like I can say “kudos” to Telltale, even without having tried their work.
do you have an faq around here?
Nah. The way I see it, there are two reasons for having an FAQ on the blog: if there’s information that people should know upon visiting, and/or if the person gets tired of answering the same questions over and over, and wants to put a stop to it. There’s no crucial information you need to know about me or this blog, and I never mind being asked questions, so it doesn’t seem necessary. If there’s anything anybody wants to know, feel free to ask away!
I’m making more of an effort to finish longer games that I’ve let sit, rather than jumping into new ones. Last night, I finally finished S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, which I started back in August, and today I played some of Knights of the Old Republic, which I started even before that.
Do you guys have any games like that? Not just your regular stack-of-shame backlog, but games that you actually play every once in a while, but can’t seem to finish because they’re too long and shorter games keep grabbing your attention?
My Sunday morning includes lots of coffee and Knights of the Old Republic. Things could be worse.
(mug courtesy of pixelkin-org)
What's the weirdest game you ever played?
Ooh, there’s one I haven’t been asked before. I’m not sure, but I think Katamari Damacy and Killer7 are both solid candidates.
which defunct game studio do you miss the most?
None. I mean, any time decent people lose their jobs it sucks. And it sucks doubly if a whole bunch of people have to get laid off because of the unchecked greed of their parent companies.
But in order for me to “miss” a studio, it would have to be one that consistently made games I love, and I can’t think of any developer who fits that bill.
seeing all these straight ass bitches complaining about how gone home “isnt a real game” fuels my soul in only the way that people who dont know jack shit about game design could
Rambo: Last Blood is probably the best Rambo game you’ll ever play. Programmed by Naughty Dog Dev Peter Javidpour, it’s an inventive puzzle game with wonderful retro visuals, reminiscent of Swords & Sworcery, and an excellent sense of humour. With a full playthough clocking in at less than 10 minutes, it’s a short, sweet masterpiece that just keeps throwing surprises at you. Highly recommended.
Everyone I talk to online says increasing the minimum wage will benefit everybody and there won’t be any real consequences.
However, everyone I talk to offline says it will cause a big rise in cost of living, rent, groceries, and everything else within a few months.
The cynical pessimist in me is having a hard time understanding what makes the former group so certain, when the latter group has consistently been proven right.
This whole situation sucks because Corporate America is a greedy fucker.
You’ve made a huge (and incorrect) assumption here - that the people who oppose minimum wage increases have been “right” about their feared consequences. What are you basing that off of? The fact that costs of things keeps going up? That’s confusing correlation with causation. You might as well say that increasing technology is to blame for rising food prices, since both have continually gone up in the past few decades.
The truth is that prices for everything continue to rise (as they do, as they must), but wages have not kept pace with that inflation, not by a long shot. Even if you strip away all moral arguments for wage increases (like, you know, how working people should be able to eat now and again), and only focus on the economic consequences, raising the minimum wage still makes sense. The United States has for the last century or so been an economy driven by consumer spending. When people have money in their pockets, and spend it, the economy grows. Every time.
Continuing to keep wages stagnant doesn’t help. Making the rich richer and the poor poorer doesn’t help. Forcing working families to take government benefits or live on the streets doesn’t help. At the core of the minimum wage is a simple idea: that a person who works a full-time job should make enough money to have a roof over their head, food on the table, and enough left over to pay bills and maybe even save a dollar or two. That used to be true, back when we had the strongest economy in the world. But we’ve let wages stay put for average workers, while CEOs now make 200 times what they did during the boom years, and the economy as a whole has suffered.