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So another pseudoscience article was released this week stating that people playing video games were more sexist. Firstly, fuck you! And no video games do not cause sexism, just like they don’t cause violence. You would swear these issues weren’t prevalent before the advent of video games. And as an avid gamer for the entirety of my life, I can safely say this is a load of bullshit. So let me see if I understand this study correctly. The supposed study shows people who play video games are a lot are sexist than the person on the street who does not play video games. The first issue I have is the fact they used citations from a study conducted in 1998, that was 19 years ago plenty has changed in the video game industry since then.
The second issue is the fact that they used a single question to determine if a person was being sexist: Participants were asked the following Participants were asked the following likert style question: “A woman is made mainly for making and raising children”, from fully disagree (1) to fully agree (4), M = 1.53; SD = 0.9).” It is basically a loaded question. So what end up happening is that by saying you agree or disagree with it means you are accepting assumptions made by the question. Having said that, one question is certainly not enough to represent a subject as complex as sexism, especially a vague question like that. My third issue is that they didn’t control the amount of “sexist” content each subject was being exposed to.
After more than a decade in development hell, the long awaited Last Guardian has finally been released. And 10 years is a very long time to wait, especially for a video game. 10 years worth of rumors and anticipation. Developed by legendary designer Fumito Ueda and the talent behind iconic games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus both legendary games in their own right. In The Last Guardian, you take control of an unknown and unnamed boy who mysteriously wakes up in what seems to be a labyrinth of some sort. More surprisingly next to him is a legendary man-eating monster named Trico chained up and injured. During the course of the game, these two establish an unlikely friendship and bond as they begin the long climb upwards out of the labyrinth they find themselves in.
The cornerstone of The Last Guardian’s is its gameplay and teamwork mechanic, you will be solving puzzles, navigating the obstacles of the world and compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses during the course of the game. Sometimes you will use the Trico’s strength and power to help the boy, and sometimes Trico will need the boy’s courage and quick thinking to help him. At first, both the boy and Trico are frightened of each other. But the more they work together, the more the bond deepens between these two and they can start solving more complicated puzzles and navigate larger obstacles. During the course of the game, you gain the ability to command Trico to climb up obstacles, pick up objects and do other simple commands like jump, stay or attack.
I have a serious question for my regular readers? Why has it suddenly become okay for developers to release unfinished, unpolished broken games? And when has it become acceptable for a portion of the gaming community to defend these bad business practices?Now don’t get me wrong. Buggy releases and poor quality games aren’t exactly new, we have had these for as long as games existed. But the last couple of years seemed dotted with broken, buggy and unpolished games most famously: The Master Chief Collection, No Mans Sky, Drive Club and now Mass Effect Andromeda. Is it now par for the course that we should expect games to be released with bugs and glitches? And by making excuses for developers and publishers because we are fanboys or girls of a certain franchise or product, have we become complicit in allowing them to release unfinished games?
I would say most definitely yes. Developers will now look at all these fanboys or girls comments and pre-order sales figures and say: “Well, we can release the game broken and unpolished and fix those issue later. Even if it is broken and does not work properly they will buy it anyway.” Furthermore expecting people to download 6GB, let alone 40GB just so they can play the game properly is beyond fucken ridiculous. If a game is that broken at release, then it should not have been released at all, and while we are partly to blame for this happening more often than not. The other part of the blame can be placed on the publishers, and this all boils down to greed and making a profit. Now don’t get me wrong video game publishing is a business just like any other.
Every time someone mentions Cultural Appropriation when it comes to Video Games, I roll my eyes so hard that they might just roll right out of my skull. Haven’t these people heard of multicultural societies? Someone’s culture is not owned or copyrighted by a single group or persons. And it not like the human race has cultural borders, as a whole, every single culture on earth has conquered, assimilated, remixed, borrowed, and improved upon ideas between thousands of different groups of people for thousands of years. I grew up in South Africa, a country with over eleven official languages, and I was equally influenced by many other cultures. Including the indigenous African cultures, Europian, and American cultures. The general thought process that: “This is ours and you can’t do this because you’ll take it from us.” is a really retarded notion to me.Most examples of Cultural Appropriation we have been shown in Video Games are more akin to “assimilation” or “diffusion”. Taking ideas from other cultures and adapting them into your video game is generally healthy, and a sign of an open-mindedness by the developers. It is not a process that should be vilified. The alternative to risking some “assimilation” or “diffusion” in video games seem to be “everyone stays in their own box and does not step outside of it” if you do you will most certainly be killing all creativity found in Video Games today. I also think using other cultures in a video game can help enrich and inform gamers. Prime example being the Assasins Creed franchise, a franchise that actually piqued my interest when it came to European cultures and their history. Rather than simply defining myself narrowly as being a white male gamer.
Touchy subject time folks! As many of my regular readers know, after the debacle that was the Mass Effect 3 ending and the day one DLC outrage. Which I wrote about here. Not to mention the terrible hamfisted pick your rainbow color ending we got, undoing the amazing work that was done in the franchise. So it is no real surprise that I am not a fan of Bioware and the new game in the franchise Mass Effect Andromeda. The first issue I raised about Andromeda was the fact that it was created in part to avoid the entire trilogy and avoid the train smash of an ending. I also highlighted some of my concerns before the release of the game, and they seem to have been validated. Which included terrible animation work, buggy gameplay and a dull and sanitized story. Not to mention the employment of a racist who proudly announced his racism on Twitter.
All this has culminated into the game becoming an internet meme and the butt of the joke, because of it’s poor animation. And a game that ended up looking worse than the last one in the franchise even though it has been released 10 years after the last game. Which inevitably culminated in another #GamerGate style media shit storm surrounding the game’s release. Where a vocal minority decided to take it upon themselves to attack and miss identify a random woman on the internet as being the lead developer of Mass Effect Andromeda. And for the record, I strongly disagree with such actions and I think these douchebags need to be brought to task. But having said that, it seems to be a deflection on the fact that the game is badly animated and not up to the franchise’s standards. Which is more than 10 years old already.