Monthly Archives: March 2013

Tropes Vs Women. Worth the Watch?

Ah, Anita Sarkeesian. Love her or hate her, she’s taken whatever vitriol thrown her way and used it to make sure you know her name and what she’s done. After her INCREDIBLY successful Kickstarter campaign, she’s finally released the first video in her Tropes Vs Women series which explores the roles of women in video games. The first in her series is the Damsel in Distress.

One thing to note, I feel, is that Sarkeesian played the Damsel in Distress role when her Kickstarter took on a life of its own. While she may not have done it herself, when people began attacking her based on her sex, religion and so-called “girl gamer” status, backers of her Kickstarter ran to her rescue, as did the media. People wanted to rescue her from the people trolling her Youtube page, her Wikipedia page and the rest of her social media and accidentally (or intentionally) made her out to be this poor girl who needed someone to come help her overcome this horrible ordeal. It’s an interesting look on how we’ve gotten to this point as normally something like this series may just be pushed to the back of Youtube, never to be seen again.

Sarkeesian discusses how games like Donkey Kong were based on the notion of the Damsel in Distress. With the hero trying to rescue the princess and whisk her away to a new life and how these games try to appeal to a male sexual fantasy of being a hero character. She makes some very valid points in her 20 minute video. For instance: she makes note of a Real game that never came to light. The game was about a 16-year-old strong heroine named Crystal, until Shigeru Miyamoto hijacked the game and made it into another instalment of the StarFox franchise. They completely remade Crystal into a prize to be won and Sarkeesian uses this example to explain how strong female characters are easily looked over for a more traditional male hero.

But in other parts, she seems like she doesn’t believe in what she’s saying. However, it may be because she has no screen presence whatsoever. Sarkeesian is clearly reading from a script and she sounds like she has only read it once or twice before. Emphasising the wrong words and her tone is constant. She’s just… bland. I’d be more interested if Sarkeesian expressed an emotion other than mild-annoyance.

It’s an interesting start to a series that is only going to get better. I only hope that the presenter can take criticism (constructive, not hatred) and use it to try to use more personality to engage the audience.


Double Fine Developer Leaves.

Ron Gilbert, best known for his games Manic Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island revealed that he would be leaving the quirky director via his blog earlier today.

After development on “The Cave” finished, he decided it was time for him to move on.

Now that The Cave is done and unleashed on an unsuspecting world (ok, we did do a bunch of PR, so it wasn’t exactly unsuspecting), it’s time for me to move on from Double Fine and plot my next move.

This raises a question: What’s happening with the incredibly successful Kickstarter that Schafer started last year? If one of his lead developers is leaving, what on Earth is going on?

I, unfortunately, haven’t had the pleasure of playing any of Gilbert’s games but from what I’ve heard, they’re great fun. I should probably invest in a copy of Monkey Island…

Anyone wanna add that to my list?

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Jumping on the EA Bashing Bandwagon.

SimCity launched the other day. It’s had a pretty disastrous first few days with server issues plaguing users and everyone is pretty pissed off about it.

Amazon has temporarily pulled SimCity from their catalog, EA have disabled some global features until they can get the server issues under control and give a pleasant experience for their users. All-in-all, they’re desperately trying to avoid a mass exit of their customers. The masses seem to have another idea. News outlets like Kotaku US and Kotaku AU are reporting everything and anything as fact and inspiring a lynch mob. People are even bombing Metacritic so that the Metascore of SimCity is negative and everyone is bashing EA without looking from the facts.

A source, who wished to stay anonymous, has revealed that EA had different plans for the relaunch of one of their biggest series. Attempted to provide resources like a server base similar to SW:TOR so that there would be enough servers to deal with the enormous load that they expected. However, the Maxis department (owned by EA) wanted to go another direction which is the way that SimCity is now set up. Since the game is being distributed by EA, Origin is how you download the SimCity client. Origin handles the authentication of servers then hands it over to the Maxis side of things. It’s pretty much the same way Steam handle their MMO’s.

While none of this has come to light (it probably won’t because the aforementioned news outlets won’t research anything past hits and revenue), it’s important for users to remember that this has happened before and no, I’m not talking about Diablo 3; I’m talking about Guild Wars 2. I remember that Boyfriend and I had issues connecting to servers, Amazon pulled their digital distribution of GW2 until ArenaNet got their issues sorted.

Don’t remember that? There wasn’t a lot of press about it but there were a lot of people who had issues like myself.

Unfortunately, what you learn from this is that bashing “evil” developers is the cool thing. EA bashing has been in fashion for years and even I’ve been guilty of bashing EA over their constant stream of The Sims 3 expansion packs every few months to get dollars from their users. (You thought I was infallible?)

It’s disappointing that the news outlets won’t present an unbiased front on the game because, when you can get on, it’s a spectacular game. It’s beautiful, challenging and a great amount of fun and all that gets drowned out by all the entitlement of gamers of our generation. I hope that one day we mature past this childish behaviour and can enjoy games without complaining about the first few teething days.

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